Trying out Cindy’s 5 Minute Face

Cindy Alfino over at 3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 Old House recently blogged about a 5 Minute Face tutorial.

As someone who only wears makeup to special occasions (read, weddings) I didn’t pay any mind to it. I’ve never had to wear makeup to cover up blemishes, I’ve never had problem skin any time in my life, and I’ve always had a clear, even skin tone. That was, until I took a selfie with Ethan the other evening. (The blemish on my forehead is a form of Vitiligo which started in March 2014.)

I look so pale and have such deep bags under my eyes

I looked at this photo and all I saw was this pale, baggy-eyed, sleep-deprived woman. I realised how ignorant I’ve been into thinking I don’t need to do anything with my face.

So, for the last 2 mornings, I’ve tried Cindy’s 5 minute face and I am delighted to say that I look so much better!

No filters, I promise

Thank you Cindy for your tutorial. I never thought I’d have the time in the morning to actually put on makeup. It was just what I needed and came at just the right time.

Who needs food anyway?

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Matthew doesn’t want to eat food. He will ask for biscuits (he doesn’t eat chips so his savoury snack is Bakers Mini Cheddars), sweets, Oros, etc. The minute I give him food, he turns his nose up at it and refuses to eat. I have since taken to only giving him something he will eat, like bread with peanut butter or toasted cheese.

Last night I went through my normal questions trying to get him to eat. It went something like this.

Me: Matthew, can I make you peanut butter bread?
Matthew: Hmmmm Neh (the neh sound was dragged out and sounded like those American kids saying no in a snobbish tone)
Me: But Matthew, you need to eat. Can I make you cheese bread?
Matthew: Mommy, when I say “Neh” it means I don’t want to eat anything.
Me: o_O

Trying to get him to taste food is another problem. He will cry and sulk and go hungry instead of just tasting something. There was an episode on Team Umizoomi on Nick Jnr where they spoke about trying something and how you won’t know if you liked it if you didn’t try it. We watched this episode together with Matthew. I have tried using this logic with him but he is having none of it.

Team Umizoomi
Team Umizoomi

Recently, his go to answer when asked if he wants to eat is “No thank you, Mommy. My tummy is not lekker” WTH?!?! Where does this child come up with these things?

I am just so done with fighting with him. I can’t deal with the worry about him not eating but I can’t also stress too much with him that he needs to eat. I suppose as long as he isn’t dehydrated and getting his vitamins, he should be ok?

Anybody else suffer with this? How do 4 year olds survive on nothing but air? Any suggestions?


Party and photos


We had an amazing first birthday party for Ethan on Saturday. The weather was simply beautiful for a winter’s day in mid August. Everyone had loads of fun, I think I may have had the most fun though. Planning parties and doing the DIY’s are my most favourite part. Ok, no more talking, here’s the photos.

The tissue paper balls were bought at I just had to fluff them myself. There was just no way I was going to be able to cut and fold the balls and finish everything else.IMG_20150823_192859

I made all the banners, the photo board, and cut out all the airplanes.





The amazing cake and cupcakes were made by the talented Made By Mel.



I made the food label tents and party packs, as well the peg airplanes included on the party packets.







The birthday boy is still recovering from an ear infection but was mostly happy on the day.




He thoroughly enjoyed smashing that cupcake and then stuffing it into his face! What fun!







The soft play hire was provided by Klouter Kabouter.






Ethan’s first birthday

Ethan, today is your first birthday. It has been such a significant year for all of us. The day of your birth, although it wasn’t the happiest of births because of my doctor, it was one of my happiest moments. Hearing your cry for the first time a year ago brought a lump to my throat. Getting to eventually see you and touching your tiny fingers and toes is a moment I will never forget.


When your brother saw you for the first time, he didn’t want to know you. He was more interested in jumping on the bed and disturbing my neighbours in the ward. But he loves you so much now and can’t stop holding your hand when you are sitting by me, or kissing you on your head and hands. Everything out of his mouth is ‘my brother’ this and ‘my brother’ that. Don’t get me wrong, he hits you too, although I do reprimand him when I see him. I see many fights between you two in the future but I also see a massive love for each other.


Ethan, you are such a serious child. Hardly smiling for much but when we do get to hear your bubbly laugh we can’t get enough of it. Matthew goes crazy trying to keep you laughing. Your dad and I burst out laughing with you when you get going. You love music! And will bop to any tune you hear, even the one going on in your head. You love giving me kisses and recently learnt how to wave bye. We are still working on blowing kisses but we’re getting there.

You love to bath, just like Matthew. But your love for food is something we never saw in Matthew. Son, you are going to eat us out of house and home soon! You dislike getting dressed after your bath and will fall asleep soon after you’ve drank your milk bottle.


You are crazy in love with Matthew’s toy cars and if you hear him playing in your room, you hurl yourself out of our arms and speed crawl to his room to play with him. I love those moments.



Your Daddy, brother and I love you so very, very much. You are one amazing little kid (as well as your big brother) and your dad and I thank God every day for making us your parents.

12 motnhs d

Party prep and some DIY

Preparation for Ethan’s birthday party is coming along really well. I still have so much to do but I am super proud of everything I have done so far. Here’s some pics of the everything so far. I will post more after the party.

The peg airplanes were made using some pegs and sucker sticks. I then spray painted them.

The colouring books were printed double on an A4 sheet and then cut out and pasted together. I stapled the middle to resemble a book. The crayons were bought at Makro.

The letters for the names on the party packs were printed and then cut out and pasted on the brown paper bags. These were also bought at Makro.

Colouring books
Colouring books
Peg airplanes
Peg airplanes
More peg airplanes
More peg airplanes
Party packs
Party packs
Back of the party pack
Back of the party pack

Drivers Licence (or lack thereof)

How many 33 year olds do you know that do not have their drivers’ licence? Not many, I guess. Well, I am one of those people and not for lack of trying (well, not completely).

I have had my learners’ licence 4 times now. I have gone to pass out once and was so traumatised by that failure, that I haven’t been behind the wheel of a car since. It’s been 9 years….

I do want my licence, I’m just so blooming scared to get behind the wheel and drive. I have the blue form to make my learners appointment at home. It’s been filled in and just needs to be taken to the traffic department. I just can’t find the motivation this time.

I ride to work and home with my sister. My younger sister, yes I know. I get so worked up just being a passenger in the car that I fear how I will be if I was actually driving.

But I desperately want to drive myself. I want to be able to take the boys out when I want to and not rely on Mark to take us everywhere, especially when he doesn’t have lus (liss). I want to be able to go to work on my own without inconveniencing other people. I really just want to be able to drive.

How do I get over this fear? How do I find the courage to get behind the wheel of a car and not worry that anything bad is going to happen if I move it down the road?


A sick baby and so much guilt

How would you feel if your 1 year old is sick and you have to go to work? I know that I feel terrible and I feel like crying every 5 minutes. I can’t stop thinking about him and wondering how he’s doing.

Let’s just backtrack a bit….

Firstly, ok Ethan is not yet a 1 year old. His birthday is in 3 days’ time so we won’t be technical about it. He started getting sick on Thursday. Just a runny/blocked nose and a slight cough. I was treating it with meds I got for the last time he was sick (read last month). Then on Sunday he spiked a fever. Managed that through the night but my mind kept going to ear infection. Fast forward to yesterday and we’re at the paediatrician. He has his 5th ear infection for the year with the start of bronchial pneumonia.

We now have to see an ENT to make an appointment to have surgery to insert grommets. SURGERY!!! I know it’s a minor operation but they’re still going to put my baby under anaesthetic. I don’t know how to prepare for this. But I know he needs it.

In the meantime, we have to manage that pesky fever and hope his chest clears soon so that they can do the operation. I feel so much guilt for having to be at work while Ethan is sick. I feel guilty because Matthew was sad that he couldn’t stay home with his dad. I feel guilty when I stay home with Ethan to look after. What is it with the guilt?!?! Can it just quit now!?!

Hoping the fevers break soon and he can start getting better. I still have so much prep to do for the party on Saturday and no inclination to do it. I just want to sit and hold Ethan until he’s better.

On another note, you know those Timehop things and the Facebook memories thing. Well, a year ago, Matthew was admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis. The timing you guys….

20150817_181958 IMG_20150815_134802 20150725_124905

Ethan’s Birth Story

It’s really hard writing this. I don’t know where to start to do justice to this story. I don’t want to portray this as a bad experience when such a wonderful gift was given to us in the end. But I do want to be honest and maybe someone can learn something from my experience. It wasn’t all bad but it wasn’t what I wanted and I had to really push my doctor for some things. Anyway, here’s Ethan’s birth story…

12:30 am – I woke up with pain in my back. Worried it’s another gallstone episode but secretly also hoping it’s Ethan on his way.
12:45am – I got into the shower. The warm water was wonderful on my back. But the pain is excruciating.
1:00 am – The back pain is bad. Definitely think it’s gallstone pain. Matthew wakes up at this time.
1:15 am – I try walking around in the lounge but the pain is not subsiding. It’s a constant pain not at all what I think contractions will feel like. I’m feeling tired so I lay down but the pain is too bad. I used the toilet twice.
1:45 am – I wake hubby and tell him we need to go to the hospital. I end up throwing up first.
2:00 am – We drop Matthew with my sister. Hubby flies to hospital. Make it in 15 minutes.
2:20 am – We check in at labour and delivery
2:30 am – I am hooked up to the monitor, pain is receding
2:40 am – The doctor is called. Nurse asks if I want something for the pain, recommending I take the pethidine injection. I refuse and ask to go home. The pain is gone and I feel no contractions
3:00 am – The nurses don’t want me to leave. Pain is gone and I just want to go home and sleep. Nurses push pethidine injection. Saying it’s in my best interest to take it. I get told some women contract better after taking the injection. I still refuse, having to literally shout at the nurses to leave me alone and that if I want pain meds I’ll ask for it. (Had pethidine with Matthew’s labour and it did nothing besides make me tired. The pain was still there. Didn’t want to go through the same thing this time)

3:15 am – The doctor is called again. He says I must wait till he gets there so that he can assess me
4:00 am – I am hooked up to monitors again. Apparently I’m having contractions but I’m not feeling anything
4:30 am – The doctor shows up. He does an internal exam, I am only 1.5 cms dilated
4:35 am – Doctor ruptures my membranes. He didn’t ask if he can. (I feel he did this so that I couldn’t leave, as I was adamant about labouring at home instead of at the hospital). I’m told baby isn’t engaged and being a previous c-sec patient I’m high risk, that’s why I can’t leave.
4:40 am – A drip is inserted for just incase and I have to remain on the monitor
4:45 am – I ask if I can move around and get off the monitors. Doctor agrees saying it should help (I know this, thus requesting to be disconnected). I am still feeling nothing from the contractions
4:50 am – I am feeling down and cry a little. I am disappointed with the rupturing of my membranes, doctor saying that baby isn’t engaged and that if it was up to him he would call the anaesthetist immediately to do spinal block for c-sec (still can’t believe he says this to me)

5:05 am – I am off the monitors and sitting/bouncing on exercise ball. Starting to feel contractions a little bit but it’s not bad, like mild period cramps. More like tightenings of my uterus.
5:15 am – Hubby is snoring on lazy boy – poor guy. Only had about 2 hours sleep

Taking a quick nap

5:30 am – I’m told to walk the halls. The other rooms have filled up now so its a bit uncomfortable roaming the halls in that flattering hospital gown.
6:05 am – I’m put back on the monitors
6:20 am – Starting to feel contractions now. Can anticipate them and then see how strong they are on the monitors

Printout from monitors
7:00 am – Taken off the monitors. Doctor checks again and says I’m heading for 2cms. Says he’ll be back between 10:30 and 11:00 to reassess. I’m starting to give in and waiver about telling the doctor to just go ahead and book the c-sec. I’m starting to feel the strain of fighting for a chance to labour on my own and the way I want. And having to fight to NOT have pain meds.

7:35 am – Hubby needs to pop in at work. Says he will be back in an hour and I mustn’t do anything without him

8:45 am – Hubby is back. Contractions start to feel a bit stronger and more often
9:00 am – I’m placed back on the monitor
10:00 am – Doctor is back and I’m assessed again
10:15 am – He claims that baby’s head is not engaged and that in his opinion I should throw in the towel. After my earlier crying bout and wanting to give in, I relent and agree to the c-sec. Just too tired of fighting the hospital staff. I’m worried I’m being a hard ass and if something happens to my baby then I will regret it for the rest of my life. I just want to trust my doctor.

The OR is booked for 10:45. Everything is a rush now. Papers are thrushed into my face. Medication is given with no explanations. I have to literally take a breath and calm myself down to ask what the meds are for, what the paperwork says before I sign. Hubby looks like he’s in shock. I can’t rely on him at this moment to help me. I need to stay calm to keep him calm. The nurse comes in and just opens my gown to start shaving me. No one asks anything. I feel like my rights have been taken away and they just want to get this over and done with so that they can clean the room and get another patient in there.

I am rushed to the OR with hubby pushing the incubator. Get to the theater and hubby is given scrubs to change into. I get taken into the OR alone to get prepped (with Matthew, hubby never left my side). The anaesthetist was fantastic. All this time my contractions are coming stronger and faster. He calmed me down because I was starting to panic. The rush, no hubby, worry, distress….

My very own McSteamy!

The spinal block is inserted and I feel the heaviness in my legs. I start to get short of breath and try not to panic. I know why this is happening but it’s uncontrollable. Hubby is eventually let in. I panic. My chest feels heavy, I can’t breath. They start cutting and I feel this pushing pressure on my abdomen.

Busy taking him out

Again, I know what is happening but the lack of control is causing me to panic. Doctors tell hubby to get the camera ready. I hear the shutters go off, photos are being taken. But I don’t hear him. I don’t hear him cry. Hubby looks worried. I am getting scared. I ask if everything is ok. No one answers me. I ask again if everything is ok. Someone says everything is fine. I don’t believe them. I don’t hear him cry. Just as the panic starts to set in, I hear my baby cry. The sweetest sound in the whole world.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy

Ethan Brent Muller is born on 21 August 2014 at 11:22 am, weighing 3.77 kgs and 50.5 cms long. He is taken away to get cleaned. I get this lopsided view of my baby by my face. My hand with the drip is released and I can stroke his face. I just get enough time to say happy birthday to him before he is whisked away to the nursery. Hubby tags along and I have to get sewn back up. I start getting the shakes. This is normal but such a strange and foreign feeling. I get taken to recovery and stay there for the longest time. I have a male nurse assigned to me and it’s so uncomfortable when he checks my pad to see how the bleeding is. These people don’t know of asking if they can do something. I know that it’s something they probably have to do but it would’ve still been nice to be asked.

First weigh in
I want my Mommy!
I am eventually taken to my room. I have to ask where my baby is. It’s now been 2 hours since he was taken from me. The nurse says she’ll go see where they are. Hubby comes to my room alone. No baby. They eventually bring him to me. He was crying because he was hungry. I can’t believe they keep babies away from the mom for so long after birth.

It’s 3 hours after surgery and I have to request something to drink and eat. I haven’t eaten since dinner the previous night. I get told I am on a strict liquid diet until the next day. Whatever, I just want to get out of this place and go home and enjoy my baby.

Ethan had a bit of a “cone head”. Meaning that he was starting to descend into the birth canal. Why would the doctor say that baby wasn’t engaged? I am not very happy with this doctor….

My biggest regret is not having maternity and newborn photos professionally done. With finances being tight this year there just wasn’t extra funds for this. I wish I had just found some way to make it work as my pregnancy was such a joy and I wish I had documented this. And with Ethan growing so quickly, I wish I had been able to afford professional newborn pics. But we have a healthy baby and a big brother that adores him.

So sleepy. Day 2 in this world
Big Brother Loves
So proud!

Matthew’s birth story

Matthew was born at 17:05 on 21 January 2011.

I started my maternity leave on 1 January after weeks of looking forward to being home. Unfortunately, I was at home for 3 weeks before I went into labour. Lovely! 3 weeks of just lazing around and not worrying (much) about anything, except having to cut my time spent with my new baby short. On Thursday, 20 Jan, I started getting cramps at around 11h00. I wasn’t sure whether I was going into labour or not and posted on a mommy forum asking if I was actually having contractions, hahaha! The cramping got progressively worse and neither sitting or lying down would alleviate the pain. The pain was all in my back and I had almost no pains in my tummy. At after 8pm, I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and told Mark that its time to go to the hospital. I can’t believe how calm he was throughout this whole thing. He quickly put the bags in the car and we made our way to the hospital.

At the labour ward, they took me to a room and started the observations. They decided to keep me overnight and moniter me. After 9 hours of labour, I was only 1cm dialated. Mark was told to go home and rest and come back in the morning. I was asked if I want anything for the pain and was given 3 pethidine injections throughout the night and morning. Dr came by after 11am and checked me out. I think I was around 4cm dilated and 80% effaced by then. Dr then broke my water (wasn’t sore at all) and we discovered that baby had already released some meconium in utero as my waters were a bit green. I started to stress a bit but Dr said the baby could’ve gone into distress anytime in the last few weeks and that he’ll be fine.

I was taken to the birthing room and there this fabulous anesthetist gave me the epidural. Absolute, wonderful relief!!! Despite my emphatic claims that I would birth naturally with no pain killers! The epidural wasn’t sore and I only felt the injection to numb the site. After that, it was a waiting game. At 14h25, Dr came by to check how far along I was……. 8cm’s! YAY!!! Almost there! Dr said baby should be here between 16h00 and 17h00. Woohoo! I was excited and started prepping myself mentally to push my baby out. Dr came back around 16h35 to do final check. I was asked if I didn’t have any pushing sensations yet. I told the dr that I don’t feel any different from 2 hours before. She looked concerned but didn’t say anything and checked how far along I was. I was still 8cm’s dilated!! Nothing had happened in 2 hours. Dr wasn’t happy and said that the cord could be around baby’s neck and was stopping him from moving further along the birth canal, thus the reason why I stopped dilating. She wanted to book me for an emergency c-section. She would just check for a paediatrician and anesthetist that was available. She was very sweet and explained everything so nicely. I think she could see how badly I wanted a vaginal birth. When she left, I just cried. Mark held my hand and I just let it all out. I couldn’t believe that after almost 32 hours of labour, I would need a c-section to get my baby.

I was wheeled to the operating theatre and my epidural was topped up. I had this funny feeling in my legs and was really worried that I would feel them cut me. I asked Mark if they started yet and he said that they’ve cut me already! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel anything. Shame, he was so awesome and actually looked at one stage. But as quickly as he looked, he looked away again and kept his head turned away from them working on me. Hahahaha! All I felt was this pushing and pulling feeling as the doctors were working him out of me. And then I heard the most amazing sound ever. My baby’s first cry!!! I didn’t realise how badly I was waiting to hear that cry. It just melts your heart… Mark was asked if he wanted to cut the cord and managed to do it after 2 tries.

Matthew Adrian Muller was born weighing 3.47kgs and 53cms long. Mark has been amazing and has far exceeded what I thought he would do. He is changing nappies, burping, bathing. I think I fell a little bit more in love with him…. It was an amazing experience even though I was disappointed in not getting my normal birth.

Hello world! Again!

So yes, this isn’t my first blog but I am hoping it will be my last. I have tried so hard to keep my previous blog up to date, but after Ethan’s birth I lost track and life got in the way.

I originally started my blog to capture memories of my pregnancy for me to look back on should I have more children. It then progressed to include updates of Matthew growing up. I must also mention, this is my personal blog space and I want to always look back and remember where we came from and how we moved past certain issues.

With this blog, I want to leave a space for my boys. A place they can come back to when they’re older (should they so wish to). A place where I can be myself and share what’s on my mind and in my heart. A place I don’t have to be afraid to show me….


I hope you follow us on our journey and the adventures of little boys.