100 Days

Sigh, it’s been 4 months since my last blog post. I just haven’t had the mental capacity to find the right words. Even this post is a stretch for me.

Today marks 100 days since we’ve been socially distancing. 100 days since the kids were last at school and had any interaction with other children their age.

The kids aren’t coping. I can see their anxiety. I can sense their worry and fear. They are all acting out and doing things they didn’t normally do when we were home. They lack structure, they miss their friends, their teachers, their grandparents, the outside. We go for a walk every day, just around the block, but it’s fresh air and a little bit of sunshine for everyone. We’ve been doing schoolwork every other day. Oh man, what a mission. Matthew hates it and I have to moan with him all the time to do one more question. Ethan breezes through his work and finishes more than he’s supposed to.

Mark has been working from day 1, so I’ve been alone at home with the kids while working full time too. This is so hard and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. Trying to keep up with your work responsibilities while being there for 3 kids is next to impossible. Something is going to suffer. In our case, my kids have been suffering. It’s taken me 100 days but I’ve finally realized my work will have to take a backseat while I spend more time with my kids. Don’t get me wrong, my kids haven’t been starving or been left to their own devices but they have been getting more screen time than usual and they have been getting the worst of me.

I have realized that it’s up to me to change my mindset. To choose to be happy every day. To set goals and follow through with them. I started running (who am I even?). Okay, it’s more walking than running but every day is a little bit better. My sister and I run with Matthew and my niece. The bigger kids some exercise the smaller ones don’t get.

It’s not always enough. Every day is a struggle. I shout at my kids all the time, I cry more often than not, I am tired of cooking and fetching snacks, I’m done with the fights between the kids and struggling with bedtime. I long for an hour of peace/quiet/alone time. And it’s okay if you long for that too. You’re not a bad mom for not wanting to be with your kids 24/7 and you’re not a bad mom if that is what you want either.

We’ve had a visit from the tooth fairy:

And a visit to the ER:

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We've been drilling into the boys since lockdown started that they need to play nicely with each other and be careful when running around and jumping on/off things because we don't really want to go to the hospital unless we absolutely have to. Well, Ethan decided to force us to the ER when he klapped Matthew on the head with a broom last Thursday because Matthew wouldn't do what he wanted him to do 🙈. A lovely gash, blood everywhere, me trying to decide if it's absolutely necessary to go to hospital, eventually Mark takes him. Entry into the ER is hectic, temps taken, questions asked, etc. Doctor sees him, luckily no x-rays needed, 3 stitches later and they're home. You Are Home Preset Collection from Shante Hutton

A post shared by ♥ 𝕂𝕚𝕞 𝕄𝕦𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕣 ♥ (@kimmuller01) on

But overall, we’ve been healthy and mostly happy.

I know this post if all over the show, much like this year has been. But we are stronger together, we can get through this if we are there for each other and lift one another up.

Today is day 100 of social distancing. I feel like we need a prize.

Ella & Ziggy

There’s a lot about having multiple kids that people don’t tell you. Like how much fighting there will be, how loud they can be, how they care for each other and love on one another.

They also learn from their siblings and I love that Matthew can read to his brother and sister. When Matthew was younger, I used to wish I had tools that helped with teaching him to potty train, tell time and when he just started school, a timetable of sorts. I recently found these exact tools I was looking for called Ella & Ziggy.

Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards include a range of fun magnetic games for children to use their creativity while learning the alphabet, concept of time, weather, planning, calculation, shapes and much more.

The Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards also include a weekly timetable and various reward charts to help parents stay organized and kids stay motivated.

ALL ABOUT TIME
All About Time Magnetic Board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn the concept of time in a fun and simple way. 12-hour and 24-hour clock with moveable hands.

POTTY TRAINING CHART
Potty Training Magnetic Chart is a simple and easy-to-use tool to help children potty train and learn good bathroom hygiene in a fun and interactive way.

WEEKLY TIMETABLE
Weekly Timetable Magnetic Educational Planning Chart helps kids plan their week ahead with cute and colourful magnets on a magnetic board. A handy and useful planning tool for children and parents.

They also have the following magnetic boards available:

ALL ABOUT THE ALPHABET
All About Alphabet magnetic learning board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn Alphabets in a fun and playful way.

ALL ABOUT COUNTING
All About Counting magnetic learning board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn counting from one to ten happily.

ALL ABOUT TODAY
All About Today Weather and Calendar Magnetic Board – Children can learn the concept of days, dates, months, weather and seasons in a playful way. Available in pink & blue.

ALL ABOUT BODY ORGANS
The Magnetic Body Organs Magnetic Board is a fun interactive game to tell the allocation of the body organs. Choose the correct magnetic puzzles and place them in the space provided.

I CAN DO IT REWARDS CHART
I Can Do It! Magnetic Reward Chart is a simple and easy-to-use tool. Children can monitor themselves independently. The more stars they get, the quicker they can get a reward from parents. It can be used by 1 – 3 children with colour-coded stars.

Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards are available at Toy Zone, selected Clicks stores and online from  Charley’s Boxes and Loot.

I seriously need to get my hands on the potty training board soon. We’re starting with Harper in April. Wish us luck.

Have you purchased any of the Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards? If not, which ones would you purchase?

Positivity for 2020

I started this post with a bit of a negative vibe. I was going to talk about being close to the anniversary of my mom’s passing. Of how different things are, yet still so the same. I was going to go on about how much I miss her still and how I wish she was here. But I have had enough of the negativity of the last year. I’ve promised myself I will bring more positivity into my life in this new year.

Grade R, Grade 1, Grade 3

The school year started today. Matthew surprised me with his confidence and bravery. When he started Grade R, he was this timid little mouse, scared of his teacher, was always walking around with his head down. He told me he was a bit nervous this morning (but I suspect that was normal back to school jitters). When I chatted to him earlier today, he said “school was lekker Mommy”. He strutted into his class like he owned the place. Chatted to his desk buddy like he’s always known her. I’m so proud of that big, little guy.

Ethan started Grade R today. Although, he’s doing this through the educare/creche. It makes financial and logistical sense for us to do it this way. That boy has confidence by the bucket-load and I’m sure will give his teacher grief this year (Lord help us).

Harper is a mischievous little miss. She loves pretty dresses and shoes. She loves brushing her own hair and putting in bows and hair slides. She also loves running outside barefoot, chasing after her brothers, playing in the mud and dirt, and getting down and dirty. I am excited to see her personality develop as she grows.

I started this year with a word. But I’ve since added a few more words.I asked myself why I should define my whole year by just one word, when I feel that a combination of a few words will have more impact. My chosen words are a combination of things I want for myself and how I’d like the rest of my life to go.  

Do you have a word(s) for 2020? Care to share?

I also have a list of goals I’d like to accomplish this year. Not resolutions as they never work for me. I’m not going to share my list but it’s there. And I’m hoping I can tick off a lot of those goals this year. I’ll think about sharing that list at the end of the year.

 

 

 

Christmas gift list – kids

It’s almost Christmas, which is my favourite time of the year. The one thing I always need help with, is gifting ideas for everyone. I’ve put together a little list, with some help from Hasbro, of gifting ideas for kids.

For ages 2 to 4
These are some of the toys I wouldn’t mind getting for Harper. She’s such a “girlie girl” and loves her plushies.

FurReal Cubby, the Curious Bear Interactive Plush Toy, is a dream companion for kids. He has over 100 different interactions and responds to touch, voice and motion with moving eyes, nose, and mouth, his face is delightfully expressive. Cubby is a totally lovable, curious young cub and is eager to be picked up and held (he hugs you back), plays peek-a-boo, and let’s not forget snack time – feed him his bottle or treat and he’ll make eating sounds. Then, when it comes to bedtime, you switch him into a nighttime mode and he slowly falls asleep and plays a variety of music and white noise to also help the child sleep. To watch Cubby in action click here.

Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby loves to eat. Mix baby’s food with water to make doll food that looks like the real thing. When you give baby her spoon, she opens wide and really eats her doll food. She also giggles, moves, and asks for more. With over 50 sounds and phrases, this sweet baby doll makes feeding and changing time feel oh-so-real and fun for little mommies and daddies. The Baby Alive Snip ‘n Style Baby is ready for you to brush, trim, and style her hair. Brush baby’s fringe with her interactive brush and watch it grow then hold the interactive scissors up to baby’s fringe and pretend to trim and watch the fringe get shorter! Includes 35+ sounds and phrases, and 12 hair accessories to style baby’s hair for any occasion.

Gear up and get ready to ‘earn your wings’ with Top Wing. Now kids can join Swift in his Deluxe Rescue Vehicle for high-flying rescue missions as he zooms through the sky on the Flash Wing, which includes a Rescue mode (talons down) and Turbo mode (talons up), each with sounds for even more fun.

For ages 4 to 8
I know for a fact that these are items Ethan would absolutely love!

Mr. Potato Head Movin Lips is an interactive talking toy, that’s fun and entertaining for kids as well as adults. Just attach his mouth and press the buttons, his lips synchronise to wacky songs and some funny phrases.

Play-Doh continues to captivate kid’s imaginations. Picture a land of colourful dreams where unicorns poop Play-Doh ice cream. Meet Tootie, the hilarious unicorn ice cream maker who loves to create silly Play-Doh sundaes. As she dispenses Play-Doh colours this unicorn toy makes laugh-out-loud sounds and even changes her facial expression. There’s no stoppin’ the poppin’ fun with the Play-Doh popcorn maker toy, which includes everything you need to make creative Play-Doh popcorn masterpieces. Crank pretend popcorn into the 3 bucket sizes and mix it up with silly snack mixes. Add fun play food toppings like pretend pretzels, crazy candy, and more with the candy-themed stamps and moulds. Don’t forget to squeeze in some silly syrup or butter with the syrup tool. Little chefs can go pizza crazy with the Play-Doh Stamp ‘n Top Pizza Oven. Stamp a pizza crust in the oven, then go wild creating and customising with the variety of tools and moulds included.

The My Little Pony world is filled with magic, friendship, fun and laughter. Tickle Oh My Giggles Pinkie Pie toy and watch as she starts to giggle, wiggle and laugh – the more she is tickled the harder she laughs and the faster she moves. Cuddle and play with an adorable baby pony doll. Each My Little Pony baby doll has a moulded diaper and removable bib and bottle accessories. Feed the doll her bottle to activate sound. Poseable figure can sit or stand and is made of soft plastic for kids to cuddle and hug.

For ages 8 to 10
Some of these will be great for my fun loving, Nerf wielding 8 year old. I want to play with some of these lol

There is an exciting range of Nerf blasting options on offer:

o The Nerf Trilogy DS-15 toy blaster has ejecting shells to heat up your Nerf dart-blasting action. Unleash a triple-dart blast with this Nerf N-Strike Elite blaster that shoots 3 darts at once from each shell.
o The Nerf Fortnite AR-E blaster, inspired by the blaster used in Fortnite, is the only way to play Fortnite in real life. Drop into indoor and outdoor Fortnite action with this motorised, dart-firing Nerf Elite Fortnite blaster that features two flip-up sights to help you align your shot and an acceleration button to power up the motor.
o Go into battle with the bolt-action Nerf Rival Helios XVIII-700 blaster. Pull back the bolt to prime the blaster and unleash rounds at a velocity of 30 meters per second. The bolt placement can be customised to accommodate right or left-handed battlers.

Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. Build the ultimate battlefield with Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toy figures with customisable weapon configurations.

On the Transformers Cyberverse animated series the Allspark can harness incredible new powers, including the power to convert Earth vehicles into Spark Armor: battle-ready gear that allows them to fight in new places and in new ways. Kids can collect assorted Spark Armor figures (each sold separately) to discover more exciting characters from the Cyberverse series.

Imagine teaming up and battling the Power Rangers’ toughest enemies with these Power Rangers Beast Morphers Action Zord figure assortment (which include: Beast-X Megazord and Beast Racer Megazord). Standing 25 cm tall, and with the included  accessories, these action figure toys are ready for action against any foe.

Young fans of the Disney Frozen movies will love the Frozen 2 Singing Elsa and Anna Fashion dolls (each sold separately). Each doll includes a Frozen 2 inspired outfit, press the button on the bodice to watch the dress light up and hear a snippet of an original song from the Frozen 2 movie. Sing along while imagining scenes with Arendelle’s favourite sister duo. Kids can take magical Frozen adventures on the go with the Fold and Go Arendelle Castle portable playset. Inspired by Disney’s Frozen 2, this castle set has two floors of fun that fold up and fun accessories are included to decorate the rooms.

For the Family
What’s better than spending time together as a family? Nothing. Here’s a list of perfect games to play together as a family.

Monopoly Fortnite – in this thrilling Fortnite inspired edition of the Monopoly game, players claim locations, battle opponents, and avoid the Storm to survive. The gameplay, design, and components of the board game include elements inspired by the video game including Fortnite locations and loot chest cards. Instead of Monopoly money, players earn Health Points (HP). Like in the Fortnite video game, the last player standing wins!

Make Monopoly Cheaters Edition board game a favourite go-to game for game nights and other fun get-togethers. Lean into those iconic (yet unspoken) Monopoly moments in which rules are bent, money is borrowed, and funny business is welcomed. Fake a die roll, steal some bills from the bank, and even skip out on rent. Complete a cheat to get a reward but fail a cheat and pay the consequences. The pretend handcuff unit that may leave players “chained” to the board is a fun addition to the game.

The Connect 4 Shots game combines the gameplay of the original Connect 4 game with fast-paced, competitive excitement. Two players at a time race to get four balls of their colour in a row to win. Kids can also practice solo to prepare for a future Connect 4 Shots matchup.

Stocking Fillers
The following are perfect for filling those stockings.

Hasbro products are available from leading retailers including: Takealot.com, Makro, Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Game and Checkers.

What’s on your kids’ list for Christmas?

Superbalist Black Friday Showdown

Black Friday is on 29 November this year. I’m not one to set my alarm for midnight so that I am the first to get into the specials. But what I always do is put items in my wishlists year round. This way, I always have access to the things I like (also, I have a memory like a fish) and most retailers put discounts on items that are wishlisted often by customers.

To avoid disappointment this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, download the Superbalist app and start building a wishlist now. Come 29 November and 2 December, you can check all the items in your wishlist to see which ones have been discounted. I’m sure most items will be, especially with Superbalist.

Here are some of items I have on my wishlist:

For Mark

Jacket; joggers; cable box; shoes 

For the Kids

Backpack, swimming costume, dress, tracksuit

For the Home

Rug; bedding; basket 1; basket 2

For Me

Sneakers; nail polish, boots, jeans

Most of these items are already discounted, so I’ll be super lucky if they get a further discount this Black Friday! If you’re unlike me, set those alarms and get ready to shop.

BUY NOW

Dear Diary

Dear Diary is a little thing I used to do a while ago. It would be the safest way to let out my frustrations, anger, gratitude for people I won’t/don’t want to say it to face to face. It’s also a way of getting things off my chest that is bothering me.

Dear Daddy
Thank you for every single thing you do for us. Thank you for always being there and loving on your grandbabies the way you do. I know you miss Mommy, we do too, but you’re doing great. Please look after your health and that diabetes of yours. I love you!

Dear Fear
I’m getting really tired of being scared in my own home. I’m tired of every single groan and grunt of the house giving me heart palpitations. Please can you go now and leave me the hell alone?

Dear Universe
Please see my positive attitude and bring that positivity as something tangible into my life. New job, better salary, new opportunities, anything I’m asking for.

Dear Creativity
Where you at huh? It’s that time of the year where I need you. Halloween is coming up and then it’s Christmas. And this little blog and my Instagram page needs a little help too. Step up ‘kay.

Dear Insects and Varmin
Get out of my house, okay? I am moer tired of cleaning up after you and hearing you scurrying around at night. Oh and our security company is tired of calling us between 2am and 3am because you keep setting the alarm off #LeaveMyHouseMouse

Dear Weightloss
Come on and give me a break please! I’ve been eating better, cutting out a lot of the junk and you still fronting me? What am I doing wrong?

Dear Anxiety/Depression
FUCK OFF!

Dear Bokke
You’ve got this guys!

Annie’s Baking Club *sponsored*

Do you love baking with your kids? Despite the mess that’s bound to happen. Despite them wanting to do everything themselves. Despite the nagging of when will it be done. I know I enjoy baking with Ethan (as he’s the only one that is willing to help out in the kitchen lol). When Tessa’s Bakery contacted me to test out their new baking kits I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement and couldn’t wait to start.

There are 7 different types of baking kits available. Think unicorn, dinosaur, emoji and many more. The kits start at R195 and include everything you need to make baking memories with your child. They can be found at Annie’s Baking Club. They’re also launching a monthly subscription box in November. These are R295 each and I am so getting in on that!

We were sent the Marvellous Monsters Cupcake Kit. The kit includes the Vanilla Cupcake Mix, Buttercream Icing Mix, White Cupcake Cases, Monster Cupcake Wrappers, White, Black and Blue Sugar Paste, Tooth Picks, Green and Purple Gel Colours, Piping Bags, Grass Piping Nozzle. And to make your cupcakes at home, you need eggs, oil, butter, milk and vanilla essence (the usual ingredients for premixes I think).

The instructions are bright and kid friendly. The easy to follow step by step instructions made it so that Ethan could see what he needed to do next. We had so much fun playing with the sugar paste, although I had to remind myself to take a step back and let him do this on his own. I think the most tedious part was cutting out the monster cupcake wrappers lol.

He was so proud of his creation and couldn’t stop telling everyone about HIS cupcakes. I can’t wait to try every kit in the collection. It’s a wonderful way to involve the kids in the kitchen, spend some quality time with them and make wonderful memories.

 

Do your kids help out in the kitchen? Which kit do you think would be the first one you’ll try?

Barbie Baby

*Sponsored

Before I fell pregnant with Harper, I used to dream about having a little girl (oh and please note that I love my boys completely). A little girl who’s hair I could braid, a little girl I could share manicures with, a little girl I could dress up. When the Barbie clothing first hit stores, I couldn’t wait for Harper to be just a little bigger so that she could fit into those clothes. Can you imagine my delight when I heard that Barbie Baby was launched?!?!

Little girls can start dreaming big earlier than ever, with the new range of Barbie Baby clothing range currently available in Ackermans. With Barbie there is no age limit. The message that You Can Be Anything should be broadcast to girls of all ages, as well as those who are responsible for shaping their dreams, constantly remaining each and every one of us to not allow our children’s dreams to be limited. Pink and polka dot leggings are sold as a 2 pack set from R85 and 2 T-shirts sold as a 2 pack from R99.60.

Available from size 3-6 months, 6-12 Months and 18-24 months. The T-Shirts that read “Dream Chaser” and “Born Ready” are the perfect to wear at school, at home and on a day out.

To add to the fun, Barbie products are now available at Woolworths.

Barbie Bath, Body and Accessories range will be sold in Woolworths stores, including Barbie Hair and Body Wash, Barbie Body Spray, Barbie Shimmer Lotion, Barbie Shimmer Spritzer, as well as Barbie Lip Gloss, Nail Polish and Mani & Pedi Set. It also includes the Barbie Fashion Set, Glam Ring Set, Watch Set and Sunnies Set.

So rush out to Ackermans to get your baby kitted out and ready to Be Anything!

A break in, a flooding, coping mechanisms

 

A few weeks ago, we had our very first house break in. We had only been in the new house for 3 months and were still in the process of putting in an alarm system. The Friday before the break in, we noticed that one of the vibracrete slabs had been broken and pushed in and looked like someone might have been in the yard and looked around. We then contacted the alarm company to urgently install and setup the alarm. Unfortunately, it was a little too late.

Mark normally gets home earlier than I do. This Monday, he walked into the house and immediately noticed that the tv in the lounge was missing. I have no idea what went through his mind at the time, but he walked into the kitchen and then noticed that the backdoor was standing open. He had the kids with him and instead of being able to deal with the situation, he had to ensure the kids didn’t touch anything and get them to my dad.

They had gotten into the house by unclipping the aluminum window from the frame, and jamming a thick wooden plank between the burglar bar and the wall in Harper’s bedroom. They ransacked our house. Took all our electronics, valuables, name brand shoes. The police took 4 hours to come take our statement, it took us a couple hours to straighten the house and make a list of things that were taken. We sent our list to the insurance in that week but still found things missing 2 weeks later.

Then, dealing with the insurance assessor was another headache. Gosh, I understand why the insurance companies are so thorough but they seriously need to find another way to talk to claiming clients. I was made to feel like I had stolen my own things. I honestly do not want to go through something like this again.

To top off things, 2 weeks after the break in, our geyser apparently burst. We walked in the Sunday to a house flooded in most of the rooms. Water was gushing out of the bathroom lights, the passage ceiling, there was water in the kitchen, the playroom, the bathroom, Harper’s bedroom, just freaking everywhere! It took forever to mop it all up and then another few days before the assessor came out to see the damage. It’s been a week and a half and we still have no idea when they’re coming around to repair the ceilings, flooring and cupboards.

It’s just been the most stressful few weeks. We’ve never had to deal with any of these issues before, so it’s been a learning curve for us. We have Ethan’s birthday tomorrow week which I have to plan a party for and I have no idea whether our house will be able to accommodate guests or not. I’ve taken a break from social media and blogging as my mind is just all over the place. I’m dealing with some anxiety and mild depression and I’m not coping. Social media also seems to be adding to the anxiety and stress, especially when the lives on Instagram all seem so perfect and I feel like I can’t live up to it.

Do you have coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anxiety?

 

I’m sucking at motherhood

Motherhood has been kicking my butt the last few months. I’m trying to keep it real here but it’s not always easy to post about the sucky bits of life. Most of us want people to think we have our shit together, that the house is always clean, the kids are always well behaved, that you have an amazing sex life. But in reality, this is not always the case.

The kids ignore me. Every, fucking minute of the day! I am so sick of my own voice. I mean I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. I’m just so tired of asking them to do a small thing 344 times. Being ignored and then losing my shit. Then I get the mom guilt for shouting at my kids and not being the “cool mom”. And if you lose your shit with 1 child, you inevitably carry that anger over to the other kids. Story of my life…

Photo captured by Shante Hutton Photography

I’m sucking at motherhood so that must mean I’m doing well in all other aspects of my life right? I mean, with all the balls we juggle, if we drop one we still manage to keep the others afloat? Nope, not in my case. Work is boring. I’m not being stimulated at all. I’ve asked numerous times for more responsibilities (I mean who even does that) but I get ignored at work too. Whoop whoop! So even though I get my work done, I’m done within 30 minutes of of being at work. So let me break this down for you. I get to work at 07:30. My hours are 08:00 to 17:00 with an hour lunch break. So essentially, I spend my ENTIRE day at work doing nothing because I finish what needs to be done before I even start. Go figure.

So being a mom is kicking me in the butt, work is killing my brain cells, that means I should be having the time of my life with my husband. Except I’m not. I love him and I love spending time with him. But because of the guilt (mom), the boredom (work), the complete suckability (not a real word, I know) of my life right now, I’m not giving my all to my husband. I’m questioning everything and being the worst wife. I don’t feel like cleaning, I don’t feel like disciplining the kids, I don’t feel like doing anything except laying in my bed and being left alone.

Photo captured by Shante Hutton Photography

I just want to be myself again! I want to be happy and find joy in my family. Or maybe it should somehow just all end.