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.

KidsCon – The first Kid focused festival

Whether you’re a geek/comic nerd, love your movies, or into Disney, we have all heard of Comic Con (especially those Big Bang Theory fans). I’ve always wanted to attend a Comic Con but I either miss the dates or I can’t attend because of my kids. Well now, I have some amazing news for you. Comic Con Africa 2019 is hosting a spectacular four day event. For kids! It’s a family friendly, kids oriented convention. KidsCon is taking the term ‘fun and games’ to the next level by empowering kids to be expressive and embrace their individuality. It’s the first and entirely kid focused convention in Africa and will be hosted at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand between the 21st and 24th of September 2019. The interactive four-day convention is geared to celebrating and inspiring all kids to embrace the superhero within and to cosplay along with the those who are older, but still kids at heart.

To make sure that the kids rule the playground, KidsCon is designed by Kids for Kids, which is why the KidsCon Board of Little Experts was established. As a board of 14 diverse children (ages 5 to 10) the KidsCon experts shared their insights on various trends and products. Their input was used to create an unforgettable, dynamic and modern experience that’ll have parents itching to join in on the fun.

Children attending the festival will be stimulated as they engage with different interactive areas. Their creative flair will be sparked by the BIC Artist Corner then their imagination will surely run wild as they create new worlds while immersed in the Play-Doh Creations space. Visitors can also team up and face-off as they show off their blasting skills in the Hasbro Nerf Zone, and experience the Nerf Fornite blaster range, or play it safe by challenging mom to a game of Monopoly or taking a photo with dad at the Nintendo selfie wall and win wonderful prizes.

Visitors are in for a number of treats like meeting some of their favourite characters like, Mario Karts’ Mario and Luigi, your favourite My Little Pony and many more. Other activities include building a RC Car with Nintendo Labo and competing at the Transformers Speed Station to see who takes home the prize for transforming a Transformer in the least amount of time, and a chance to take a pic with Transformer Bumblebee. Besides the Mario Kart and Ultimate Dance competitions., there are numerous other giveaways at KidsCon. Families can shop, learn and play to their hearts content while enjoying the ultimate kids experience. Hosting the best fashion, the newest merchandise, a digital universe, and a gaming corner is only the tip of the iceberg. The awe-inspiring exhibitors will keep the whole family on their toes and occupied for hours.

Join the first Kid focused festival from the 21 September and be a part of the excitement of the first annual KidsCon. Tickets to Comic Con Africa are R160 with free access for children under 6 years of age and gives you access to the dedicated KidsCon Hall. Get your Comic Con Africa tickets now at  http://bit.ly/CCA_KidsCon or www.computicket.co.za

Products we love from 4AKid

#sponsored

We were given some products from Ally Cohen from 4AKid to review sometime last year. I never got a chance to put the review up on the blog, so here you go. Some of my favourites from their website.

Knee pads
I loved these little knee pads. With Harper crawling all over the show, these pads helped protect her knees from scrapes. They stretch to fit over her knees and are very comfortable. They’re not too tight and don’t leave those elastic marks on her legs. They also minimized the stains on her pants that I struggle to wash out. Definitely a win for us! Available in light grey, light pink, and more.

Toothbrush holder
Oh my gosh, do my boys love this little ladybug. Toothbrushes don’t lay all over the basin now and the holder is easy to attach to the wall with little suction pads underneath it. And they rush to the bathroom to catch a glimpse of this cute ladybug and show him how they brush their teeth.

Plush pacifier holder and dummy
I thought this product was a brilliant idea! I mean what better way to find a lost dummy than to just look for the little stuffed dog. However, for us, it just didn’t work out. Harper didn’t like the dummy that was attached to the dog and there was no way we could remove the dummy attached and add our own one. I would definitely consider using this if there maybe a velcro strip to attach your own dummy to the plushie. If your baby is not as fussy as mine, then this is a win. They have other designs in the collections as well. I think there’s a monkey and a teddy.

Magic tracks
Anything to do with cars and racetracks have my boys jumping up and down with excitement. With these magic tracks, you can bend, flex and curve the track magically in 360˚ however you want – even while the race car is zooming around. They’ve even worn the tracks as a crown lol.

 

I also have a few items from 4aKid on my wish list.

Blackboard sticker
I’d love this blackboard sticker for the boys’ rooms. Those old school blackboards on the stands can get in the way and I love that this sticker is easy to apply and can be cut to fit any size you wish. I could even stick it on my fridge to jot down my shopping list or little love messages for Mark.

Unicorn backpack
Man oh man what’s not to love about this baby bag backpack? Not only does it have unicorns on it, it’s a multi functioning, versatile bag. We’ve only had shoulder bags for the boys and as much as I loved those bags, with 3 kids now it’s a bit difficult to juggle them all as well as struggle with a bag falling off your shoulder. Definitely one on my list to get soon.

Responsibility Chart
The boys are going through a stage of not listening to me and creating a mess wherever they go. I’m hoping to get this responsibility chart and start tracking their behaviors. According to the product info on 4aKid’s website, “kids can open the dry-erase boards to reveal a behavior chart on one board, with the 90 magnets on the other, including illustrated responsibilities and behaviors (like Clean Room, Set Table, No Teasing) as well as smiling rewards (Well Done!, Excellent!, You’re a Winner!) also two blank magnets to personalize. The attached sturdy cord is ideal for hanging and the fabric hinges ensure that it will remain durable for many responsible years to come.”

Silicone Ice Lollies
My kids love ice lollies, suckers, bunnylicks, whatever you want to call them. I love these silicone ice lollies because you can add your own fruit juice, yoghurt, etc and freeze. This way, you know what’s going into these ice lollies and they’re mess free.

 

Bake Snake
I try to bake as often as I can. But I’ve only ever baked a round cake. With this little silicone gadget, I can connect the “snakes” into any shape, place it into a foil lined tray and add my batter. And voila! A heart shaped cake for Valentine’s Day? A number 5 cake for Ethan’s next birthday? Maybe even a star to tell the kids they’re my stars? The possibilities are endless!

Have you been onto 4aKid’s website yet? What have you purchased from them or what is on your wishlist? Tell me in the comment section below.