Posted in Life with my bears

A letter to bear on his third birthday

Happy birthday my little bear ❤

It seems like yesterday I sat in the quiet room of Blaauwberg Netcare waiting patiently for you to make your arrival. Nervously wondering if doing motherhood again in my 40’s was the smartest decision of my life.

It seems like yesterday I watched as they handed you to your daddy, whose smile and pride told me at that very moment, we could do this.

It seemed like yesterday that I held you close, breathed in the soft smell of newness and loved you to the moon and back.

It has been such an amazing 36 months, 156 weeks and 1095 days full of adventures.

You fill our days with joy and love. There is hardly a moment that you aren’t smiling or talking to me telling me how much you love me.

Your first birthday was a quiet breakfast decorated in pooh bear decor and a picnic near the beach with your siblings and friends.

I’m not a fancy birthday mommy as there are so many adventures out there and those seem more exciting than party packets and cake.

And so that year I took you to your first Aquarium experience. You loved it and we rode the Thomas train at V & A and ate ice cream from that shop I always find just too expensive for ice cream.

You were a whole 12 months old and I wished time could just stand still.

For your second birthday I gave up on the fancy party and instead ordered us matching family bear shirts and had a party where you were surrounded by your siblings.

You helped me bake your cake and wanted a boat on it, (you have since sailed my boat in mud and it’s no longer a sailing boat.)

That year we took you to the ostrich ranchs where you met the world’s smallest ostrich, rode on an ostrich and decided tortoises were your friends.

You were 24 months old and I wished tat time would stand still.

Today you are 3 years old.

I feel like I’ve blinked and you are a little boy, no longer a baby. You are potty trained and don’t have a dummy or bottle.

You are intelligent and convey your emotions and needs like a 7 year old. So often you take my breath away with just how much you have grown and how smart you are.

Today again, I chose a small family party for you. I want you to always be surrounded by those who love you most.

Daddy and I woke you with a gift from the party fairy.

I hope that one day you look back and realise your birthday was not about gifts, but about sharing the day in love. So, whilst we can shower you in a lot of toys and gifts, we chose to focus on one thing that you would enjoy the most.

A new dinosaur playset for our little paleontologist.You love dinosaurs more than anything in the world.

I let you help me with this years cake. I baked you a chocolate mud swamp and between us we positioned the tree , shrubs and dinosaurs. I think we may have muddled our dino eras but you were happy with the outcome.

I added some dinosaurs to the rest of the decor, just for fun.

Your favourite gift was the new guitar you recieved and you immediately gave us a concert.

You were born to shine and I will totally understand if at 16 you choose to travel the world in a rock and roll band. I will be equally as proud if you decide to study further and be a paleontologist.

You are 36 months old and I wish time would stand still.

Happy birthday my little bear ❤

Posted in babies, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

School Holiday challenge … Day 3

Sunday’s are family days. A time to connect and spend time together.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to get outdoors. Put on those Takkies and take the family for a walk. This is both healthy and fun.

A fun way to make this more exciting is to challenge the kids to a nature hunt.

A nature hunt is a list of items they need to find in your back garden, the park, or on your stroll through your neighbourhood.

Try to make your list relevant to your childs age and abilities. For example a little child may just look for a flower, whereas an older child can be asked to find a specific flower like a rose, sunflower or lily.

Here are some examples of a few fun nature hunts.

( photo credit unknown or on image .)

Make your own

Take a piece of paper or card. Draw or list a few items you want your child to collect.

Give your child the list and a marker to pick off each item found.

Just for fun

You could also divide into groups and see who finds the items fastest.

Happy hunting mammas.

Posted in babies, Crafts, Family Life, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

School Holiday challenge Day 2 – Homemade bath paint recipes

Most children love messy play as it stimulates their senses and allows them the freedom to explore and play.

Today’s challenge is fabulous for bath time but you can also use any of the recipes to let your child paint on glass doors, windows, tiles or a large plastic tray.

It washes off easily with hot soapy water.

I’ve included 3 recipes to make bath paints. I use the first one as I find it has a better consistency and can be made a few hours before and stored in the fridge.

RECIPES

1.Shaving cream bath paint

To make the shaving cream bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints into ( cake baking tins work best, but you can use anything non breakable)

🎨 Shaving cream

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paints together spray a generous amount of shaving cream into each container, add one or two drops of food colouring and mix well.

Note: The food colouring does not stain your child or the bath because it’s used in such small drops.

2. Yoghurt bath paint

This is a great paint to use with little children whom you think may try eat the paint.

The consistancy is a lot more runny, you could add some corn flour to thicken it if you feel it is too runny.

To make the yoghurt bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints in. (I like to use a 6 pack yoghurt and use the little pots themselves as my paint pots.)

🎨 Yoghurt

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paint, divide your yoghurt into little containers and add one or two drops of food colouring to your yoghurt.

The colours will be more pastel looking.

3. Bath tub finger paint.

This is a nice alternative to the shaving cream paint but also more runny and better for sensitive skin, as you can use your favourite baby wash or shampoo.

To make the bath finger paint you will need:

🎨 a container to mix your paint

🎨 About 4 to 6 tablespoons of your favourite baby wash or shampoo for each colour.

🎨 food colouring

🎨 1 teaspoon of corn flour per colour

🎨 paintbrush

To make your paint into each container add 4 to 6 tablespoons of your baby wash or shampoo.

Add a drop of food colouring per container.

Mix into each colour, a teaspoon of corn flour.

Mixing colours

Here’s a handy chart to mix your colours.

Happy bubbles mammas ❤

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

LESS LIGHT MORE SLEEP …Innovative specs help with ADHD

ADHD – a modern menace

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a modern menace for millions of children and adults alike. 

It is characterised by problems with concentration, impulse control, organisation and memory and makes life difficult for the child affected by the condition as well as parents, teachers and other care-givers; but, most significantly it often leads to a life-time dependency on drugs.

Sleep difficulties and ADHD

 
Sleep difficulties are also often associated with ADHD affected children and now the question is being asked: what comes first – the ADHD diagnosis or the sleep difficulty?  And is one being treated rather than the other?
 
According to commentary by Dr Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, one needs to consider sleep problems as a possible cause when evaluating patients for ADHD
 
He notes that many of the symptoms of ADHD are similar to insufficient or poor sleep, for example lack of focus, problems listening, forgetfulness and disorganisation, as well as a tendency to be agitated, excitable and disruptive.
 
These behaviours interfere with a child’s social and intellectual development, causing problems with relationships with peers and adults, at school and at home.
 
There is also particularly strong evidence that children with sleep disordered breathing display many of the same symptoms & behavioural problems as children with ADHD

The problem, however, is that sleep disorder screening is not often done and so problems go undiagnosed.

Does technology play a part?

 
 
Dr Thakkar makes the interesting observation that …

“the escalation of ADHD cases in the 1990’s and 2000’s coincided with the rise of the digital age, and the widespread use of personal technology that now pervades our daily lives.

These devices – our laptops, tablets and cell phones – that enable so much convenience and connection, also threaten the quality and quantity of sleep.

The night-time exposure to the light they emit interferes with the body’s release of melatonin, disrupting sleep cycles and diminishing time spent in the deepest, most restorative phases of sleep. 

More than ever before in history, we must work to create the darkness that is so essential to sleep.

Keeping our bedrooms, and our children’s bedrooms, gadget-free sanctuaries for sleep is one important way to guard against chronic sleep deprivation.”

 
This may be easier said than done, however, as watching television or playing a game on their tablet also helps children destress after a busy day at school. 
 
 
SleepSpec is a non-invasive, non-medicated solution to sleep difficulties. 

These glasses contain scientifically engineered amber lenses, which filter out the blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin.

 
Worn for two hours before bedtime, SleepSpec allows the body to produce melatonin and prepare for sleep, while continuing with watching television or using other electronic devices.  

“The glasses, however, need to be taken off in complete darkness, as even the smallest amount of light can signal the brain to stop producing melatonin and to wake up,” says Daniel.

 
He adds that it is also important to keep bedrooms as dark as possible and use an amber coloured flash light on waking at night so as not to interrupt melatonin production.
 
“Many children suffer from night terrors or are scared of the dark.  If any light is needed, make sure that it is one with an orange or red colour as this contains little or no blue light and so will not disturb sleep,” he says.
 
The effectiveness of SleepSpec is also cumulative so the more they are used the more noticeable the difference.
 
SleepSpec come in various styles including one specifically designed for children. 
 

For more information http://www.sleepspec.com

(Photo credit: Sleepspec)
(Article supplied)

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Family Life

We visit The Farmyard Farmstall


Situated opposite the Duynefontein turn off on the R27 our favourite Farmstall has relocated and set up bigger, better and with a fabulous farmstyle menu just waiting for you to enjoy.



This little restaurant, farmstall and party space truly tugs at my country girl heart.

From being greeted with wine barrels and haybales to finding the cutest scarecrow at the door inviting you into a world of homemade treats and delights.


This little farmstall has been in operation for 20 years and are still supplied by some of their first suppliers.

The homemade breads, jams and preserves are always fresh and of a good quality.


They also offer a loyalty program through their app.

Now you can enjoy yummolicious rewards for buying your daily bread.


The grounds are fully fenced and I personally felt a lot more relaxed here with Hamish than at the last property as I was able to sit and watch him whilst he explored.


There’s a sturdy jungle gym, little black bikes to ride, a jumping castle and the magic of pulling off your child’s shoes and letting the be free to play outdoors.

And it wouldn’t be a farm without animals.

The enclosed duck pond ensures any small children are still safe to explore and older children can enjoy the ducks inside their area.

Hamish took some time to have a little chat to the duck family.

Your child can also feed the free range chickens that stroll around clucking at you whilst you enjoy your meal.

An enamel cup of chicken feed will cost you R5. Please take some coins with when visiting to enable you to use the vending machine.


Hamish was totally mesmerised by the gentle hens and smiley the rescue dog


The home cooked meals will take you back to grandma’s kitchen as you tuck into the deliciously presented meals.

Pricing is good and the kiddies menu is large enough to cater for even the fussiest eater.


So the next time you are looking for a wholesome day out head to the Farmyard Farmstall.



For more information click  here

Photos ( Farmyard farmstall and Fun mamma SA)
Posted in Family Life, Parenting

Just 5 more minutes

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.

“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

“He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”

Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”

The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”

Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”

The man smiled and said, “OK.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa.

She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch her play.”

~ Author Unknown

Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today!

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

Wise words for parents

Raising children can both be stressful and difficult at the best of times.

As a parent you will find yourself questioning and second guessing so many of your choices wondering if you have done the right thing, made the best choices or handled a situation ccorrectly.

Here are some wise words to help along your parenting journey.

Wise words for parents

1 Apologize to your children when you are wrong.

2. Say thank you to your children when they do something for you or give praise when they help others.

3. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.

4. Listen to your children.

5. Set boundaries for acceptable behaviour.

6. Lead by example.

7.Teach and practice compassion, kindness and love.

8. Explain to them that actions have consequences, good or bad.

9.Enjoy watching and nurturing them.

10. Lastly, enjoy the privilege and responsibility of being able to guide and shape your children into becoming responsible well adjusted adults.

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

The greatest gifts you can give ….

The greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your attention, your love, and your concern. …

These words have so often graced the posts on Fun mamma SA , and we read , nod our head in affirmation and go on thinking how we can afford our next holiday ,new car, ect.

This month let’s stop and take notice of the relationships around us -partner- children-friends-work colleagues- and truthfully, from our hearts put these into practice.

Time and attention

In our busy world finding time for our families and friends can be difficult, especially with the demands and stress of life .

But how nice for us to wake to a friend or family members email, or social network message .

If you have older children or are separated from your children, a good morning message and good night hugs mean more than a lengthy email. Share short messages , jokes or photos during the day , all of these say “I’m thinking of you”.

Put aside 20 minutes a day for individual time with each child – if you can pencil in gym, shopping,tennis , you have time. Don’t make this homework time. Some of my favorites are a cuddle and story .

As a large family , this was often difficult when the kids were small -so my solution was to give each child a day , and we would walk alone to the shop to buy bread (and a small treat) and chat there and back.

Giving the children different age appropriate bed times also allowed for a small quick cuddle time just before bed.

Spend alone time with your spouse/partner daily , even if it just a special good night or a quiet chat in the car to the shops . Make the effort to spend at least an hour or two alone each weekend. Staying connected is vital to any partnership.

When we give someone our time , we also give them our attention. This says I think your worthy and I want to spend time with you.
Our children, especially , need this validation to build a healthy EQ.

I don’t believe attention can be divided as you multitask . If you are speaking to someone who’s mind is everywhere else and they are so busy with something -are they truthfully giving you their attention?

Stop what you doing …….attention is a gift to give and its gift wrapped in time .

Love and concern

Love your children and the special people in your life. This sounds so easy but can you love unconditionally?

Can you accept those around you, even with their faults? Do you forgive the small hurts and try to see the other persons side before answering In anger ? Can you unselfishly give of yourself to serve them?

We all need unconditional love and praise. We all need someone to believe in us and support us.

Our children learn from us , what are you teaching them about love ?

Having never heard my parents tell me they loved me , I determined that there would never be a day go by that my children would not hear the words ‘I love you ‘. So much so that as I call their names , they often turn and say “yes , I know -you love me! ”

This may sound overdone but when you feel loved , you have a healthy self confidence and your self esteem soars . I want my children to be the best they can be , for that they need to know they were always wanted and loved .

This is the same for couples -if you ask a majority of divorced couples what the contributing factor of their divorce -one will inevitably say that the other didn’t love them.

So how do we show love ? By giving of our time and attention . Seems so simple and yet we have so many lonely broken people.

Concern is our love and empathy for our friends . Treating them as we want to be treated . Making time for them and being their to support. Not because you always know or truthfully understand but because that person is important in your life and you care.

So this month , truly and truthfully give of your love , concern, attention and time .

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Brands we love, Events, Giving back

Fair Cape factory tour

Last week I was invited to a factory tour at Fair Cape Dairies. To say I was excited was a slight understatement.

A factory tour

I arrived at the Fair Cape factory and greeted a group of fellow bloggers and food journalists.

After a quick briefing by the experienced and knowledgeable staff we were kitted out in factory gear and headed off to see where the magic happens.

I even got a pink hair net.

The first thing that was evident was how strict the hygiene policy is at the factory. We were shown how to scrub up correctly before entering the factory and at other areas we were asked to sanitise our hands again.

The factory is meticulously clean and temperatures are set to assist with the yoghurt making process.

Large shining silver containers containing the dairy that make our favourite yoghurt snacks greeted us.

We were then expertly guided through the factory and each process was explained to us.

I was, and still am fascinated by these amazing machines and the people that operate them with such precision.

I could have watched the process of yoghurt pots being made, filled and labeled all day.

This was such a fun, educational visit.

Why I love Fair Cape

As a household Fair Cape is our preferred dairy brand.

They have become a name I trust with high quality products and Hamish loves that Barney is on his favourite yoghurt and Batman on his milkshake.

But mostly, I know that by purchasing Fair Cape products I’m supporting a company that does it’s part to give back.

Fair Cape established the Fair Cape Cares Foundation in order to make a difference in the many beneficiaries they support.

By purchasing Fair Cape products and supporing the Fair Cape Cares Foundation events, you add to this amazing initiative.

Today,on International Charity Day, I would like to encourage you to ” do the right thing” and buy the Fair Cape charity yoghurt 6 packs. 50c from each pack goes back to the foundation to make a difference.

To learn more about our favourite dairy or the Fair Cape Cares Foundation visit http://www.faircape.com

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Mamma bears

Be a woman of worth

Many years ago I read this scripture thinking wow ! That woman is amazing ….I hope I can be like that one day.

Then life happened …. I grew! I made good choices, I made bad choices and so often I looked at this beautiful scripture and I ticked off each thing that I wasn’t instead of looking to the things I was.

Many years later I realise even on my worst days I am a woman of worth!

So, what is a woman of worth?

A woman of worth to me is someone who uplifts and encourages others, no matter what she is personally going through.

A woman of worth inspires you through her experiences as much as she does her daily life.

Someone who shows courage in the face of adversity or stands up for her beliefs, even at the risk of standing alone.

A woman of worth is loyal, to her family and friends. She supports them with enthusiasm and lifts them up when they are down.

A woman of worth loves fiercely and unconditionally.

She is above all else…kind. knowing that kindness will soften even the harshest words and hold a broken heart together.

She forgives easily.

She is trustworthy. She doesn’t need to use her words or your secrets to hurt anyone or betray a confidence.

She is Grace filled and wise enough to use her words to help and heal. She is honest but tactful. She is kind but stern when needed.

A woman of worth leaves you richer for having known her.

To all the Women of worth in my circle …. thank you for inspiring me to be the best version of myself