This is a letter that your mom is writing to you so that if you ever have a dislike to your name, you can know why you are called Isabella.
I had a dream when I was 12 years old that a little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes came and told me that if I ever have her, I must call her Isabella. Your daddy knew before we were even dating that if I ever have a girl, that that is what your name will be. Most people think that is has to do with Ms Stephanie Meyer and her whole Twilight Series but alas it does not. When the gynae said that I need to go for IVF to have you and you eventually came by yourself, we found out the meaning of your name which is “God’s promise”. I think someone was trying to tell us something?
In case you ever need some back up and you are feeling low about yourself, think of all the powerful women in history that share the same name as you and never doubt that you are made of the same powerful stuff. There is Isabella of Spain who was Queen over Castille and did many great things. There was Isabella of Portugaland though most people don’t know it, Isabella is the Spanish term for the name Elizabeth. Everyone knows what amazing woman Queen Elizabeth 1 and Queen Elizabeth 2 have been! A version of your name is even used for Hurricane Isabel! As I mentioned before you are named in the series Twilight but you are also named in Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure’, Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’ and Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights! Oh and we mustn’t forget Isabella Rossellini, the famous actress and model!
I can see your strong personality developing and never doubt that both mommy and daddy will always be there protects and watches over you! Little Bella as they say, go forth and conquer!
You might not know this about me but I have a secret addiction. Ok maybe I should add an S onto the end of that and rephrase. Secret addictions! Now before you get all worried, they are not drug or alcohol related or anything that can hurt anyone else but my wallet and make you question my sanity! Here they are in no particular order…
I have a thing for cute owls, the kinds in cartoons and on picture books, not the real feathers and claw kinds. You won’t know it by looking at me as I don’t have any thing that I have on me (international shipping fees are meanies) but I have started to spread it to Bella’s room with her duvet and the whole “theme” of her room which is owls. With her birthday coming up I am also slightly inclined to make it owl themed, well how many parties have you seen based on owls? I’ve never!
My other addiction that I make sure to pack far away in the crevice of my heart is my thing for shoes. Now those in the know will be standing with mouths hanging open but it’s true, my little heart goes gaga for shoes but I hardly ever buy them because when I do spend my money (hubby calls me a cheapskate) it is on the Perfect pair and not the 101 other ones that caught my eye.
My other silly addiction is my addition to DIY and crafts. I love redecorating things in my head and I have so many ideas for things to make but finding the time to do it is another thing. I have an eye on my next project and it will be done…soon.
Some would ask “What about your loves for Pucca or for Soap & Glory but these are so hard to find to find in South Africa. My love for Hello Kitty has never gone away and Bella has many Hello Kitty items in her room and wardrobe and I was in labour with her in a Hello Kitty PJ! With Pinterest there are so many sites that I have found that sell these things but with the exchange rate, they are very pricey!
Well now you know my secret, it is out there in cyber space and will be stored away for some other person with a secret addition to find! 🙂
Today was one of those days where you realise your wings are cut, the Super Mom logo has been removed and you are just having one of those days when the 100 balls that you are juggling all seem to plop onto your head with the heaviness of a bowling ball. Each one leaves a nasty dent as it rolls to the floor. The thing with being a mom is that before you only had to worry about yourself and your partner. If you had one of these days, getting into bed with a good book, glass of wine or something stronger and staying there until you decided to get up was ok. Now with a kiddie, this seems to only be possible once they are in bed. I still have to get Bella from school, get her home, bathed and fed while playing with her and giving her “Bella Time” and then off to sleep. Once she is asleep it’s time to back her bag for school, make sure she has a bottle for later and get her school clothes ready for the next day. Only then can I start to tackle the rest of the things and then maybe get into bed at a decent time before Bella wakes up and starts looking for me!
To keep the balls in the air takes quite a bit of planning and making sure that things go according to this plan. If her baby bag isn’t packed the night before, I have to run around like a banshee to get it done in the morning which takes away some of “our” time which means Bella gets whiney and vies for my attention. This makes me even later and then I get more worried about being late etc!
So I put “Back to Sanity” plan into place! I had a big cup of coffee, took a deep breath, did a little gig, resolved to be more efficient and felt a 100 times better! Only I can help to make it better and if it means 5 minutes less in bed, so be it! Tomorrow will hold another day and I am going to be positive that all the balls will be in the air and not stress! As they say “Bring it!”
I have recently come to t the conclusion that a Fussy Eater can also have another name: Sporadic Guzzler! Bella has always been a fussy eater but we have never struggled with her eating her porridge. To be honest I was at my wits end and started to Google to find ways to get her to eat more. Some of the tips worked and some of them didn’t but the ones that did and those that I figured out, I stuck to. The main tip that I found to work is not to make a fuss when she eats but to let her do it in her own way. This has led to large amounts of mess and clothes changes but at least she has been eating more. This makes it very strange when she becomes a Sporadic Guzzler and wants to eat everything in sight from pasta to bread to avo to cashew nuts. I have learnt to just keep asking her if she wants things and giving it to her. I think it has to do with her allergies, when they are in check then she wants to eat more but when they aren’t then she doesn’t feel too great and starts to eat less again. Some days I will make her the most amazing food and she will look at it and take a bite and then want nothing more to do with it. We try to keep the foods that she does love and eat easily in the house for when she is being really difficult. We have also discovered that she loves spicy and flavoured food and doesn’t like bland or too sugary foods.
So here are some of the tips that I have found to be working:
To get her to eat vegetables, I cook frozen mixed veg (you could use fresh ones too) and then fry some mince with mixed herbs and a pinch of salt. I then mix the two and blend it in a blender so that it is a bit coarse but that she can’t see the veggies and tell her its “vleisie” and she eats it all.
I get her involved in the cooking or give her a pot that has some macaroni in it, a spoon and some plastic bottles of spices and let her “cook”
If she asks for a certain food like hot chips, I will make them for her to show that she can also have a choice in what she eats.
We try to eat earlier so that she eats with us at the table as I have found that she doesn’t like to eat alone. It does make my food get a bit colder when I have to help her but I encourage her to use a fork or spoon to eat as much as she can alone.
I make extra of her favourite meals and then freeze them so if I am running a bit late, that I can heat it up and she doesn’t have to wait
I always have mealies and tuna on hand so that if she asks for it or is being really difficult, she will eat them.
When I pick her up from school, I play a game with her and ask if she wants different foods i.e. steak, burger, veggies and she will answer yes or no to some things but then I get an idea of what she feels like! Doesn’t mean that she is going to get what she wants but it keeps us entertained for a while.
If I make food for us, I will take some of the protein i.e. chicken out before adding the sauces or curry so that if she doesn’t like the food, she has it plain. She has surprised us by eating medium curry and seems to like it!
When we get home, I try to give her as many healthy snacks as I can because I have noticed that her sugar levels drop from the last time that she has had snacks at school and this can make her cranky, not in the mood for food and only want her bottle.
We are not pudding eaters in our family but I will give her some cookies or Flings now and then that she can have if she has been very good. She doesn’t eat sweets or chocolates so this is her treat! If she has been very good she can have some cake!
On weekends I try to stick to the times that she eats at school and have noticed a large change in her moods and if I don’t stick to them, she can get quite cranky!
If she is being very difficult, I will put some food in a bowl and tell her to go and give it to her Daddy. I often catch her around the corner munching “his” food!
If you have a fussy eater, try the above tips but mainly find something that suits your child. What works for mine doesn’t mean that it will work for yours as they have different personalities! Good luck and if you have some tips for me, please let me know! J
Before having Bella I had heard of children having allergies but never thought that it would happen to me! Boy was I wrong! We recently found out that she is allergic to small dogs and cats and as luck would have it, we have two of the dogs and one cat! This helped to explain all the nights when I had 3 to four hours sleep, sitting up with a little one that would wake up coughing, snotty noses and who seemed to be often sick. This had been going on for a year and while Bella can sleep at school during the day, her mum hasn’t been so lucky.
Queue my new best friend in a bottle React2Pets. I came across the product and as I had been using their MiteFree Allergen Spray in Bella’s room to help combat her allergy to dust, I thought that I might as well try it and see what happens. The bottle comes in a selection of two colours, green or purple and the packaging is really eye catching. I did the easy to follow instructions and sprayed our entire house with it. They recommend that you stay away from the sprayed area for at least 30 minutes so off we went for some fun. The next morning when Bella called for me I went to her room, half asleep and checked the time as per usual so that I could gauge how much sleep I could still try to wrangle. It was 06:30! Bella had slept through for the first time in a year! The poor child got soooo many kisses and hugs that she must have thought I was nuts! She has since slept through for the past 7 days! I have sprayed the house again as it is recommended to do it once a week but the difference is amazing! I wish that I had found this stuff a long time ago! Allergex would wake her up at night with cramps but since using the React2 Pets, she has not had it once in the past 7 days! Best of all, I am getting in some much needed rest!
Do yourself a favour, if you know of anyone that has allergies to pets, get this product for them now and see the difference that it makes to their lives! They also have a wonderful range called SoPure which consists of disinfectants that are not harmful to you or your family and come in easy to use spray bottles. All the bottles seem to have a safety feature on the front that you can lock the spray so if little hands get hold of the bottle, they cannot use it.
For more information on the React2 Pets, MiteFree Allergen Spray and the SoPure range, have a look at their websites:
If you have friends with a child, the quickest way to scare them is spend time with their little one and then afterwards casually mention that you saw green snot coming out of the child’s nose. Watch for panicky or worried looks! What could green snot mean? To a parent it translates to a signal that there is either a cold or flu on the way or that there is a sinus problem. This in turn brings out memories of sleepless nights due to coughing and blocked or running noses, getting up to test fevers and a long day at work due to being tired. Now you might be thinking “Seriously?” but yes it is a sign that something isn’t right and if you don’t start taking care of it asap, you will have a sick little one on your hands.
Before having Bella, green snot to me meant the goo that you find in colourful bottles at the toy store that stick to your hands when you pull it out and play with it. Now it means that I have to have tissues on hand or wet wipes to wipe away snot that can create a whole different mask on a Bella’s face if I don’t wipe it off and makes me think of the silver stuff that snails leave behind them as they plod along! As you can imagine, this isn’t a pretty sight!
The morale of the story is this is when you have to act; get medicine or homeopathic stuff for colds and treat it before it starts to develop properly! When I saw green snot for the first time, I didn’t act as I thought that the lady that had told me about it was pulling my leg and boy did I pay for that mistake with lots of lost sleep and sick child that took longer to get better than had I acted immediately. Now when I see it I start early and nip it in the bud and then our household gets that little bit of extra sleep that we so dearly need and the germs don’t get to take hold!
Gratefully grateful This evening has been a really cold evening and so I put on an extra blanket on Bella when she went to bed and put on a warmer top for myself. This made me think of all the other people out there tonight that don’t have extra blankets and warm clothes. The recession has caused not only the rich to lose their money, but those that were struggling have been hit harder. As an adult, we can make do with a lot less than children. We can still wear that old jersey from last year or the jeans that are a little tight around the tummy but children are constantly growing and often that top from last year doesn’t necessarily fit this year. As a parent, we want to give everything that we can to our children and it must be very hard when you know that you cannot buy your child that jersey or warm top and to see their faces look up at you with blue rimmed lips or chattering teeth. It must break your heart into a million pieces and I am sure that there are many parents that have stayed up at night worrying about where the next meal will come from, let alone the next jersey! This has encouraged me to start a program, that currently doesn’t have a name but I have been in contact with other mothers and I am convinced that whatever clothes we have that aren’t being used, can go to a good cause. There are many children out there that can benefit from us and who knows, maybe one day those children that we have helped, can become CEO’s of companies or maybe even be the people that give my daughter a job! All I know is that everyone can do with a helping hand and I plan on doing what I can. I’m grateful that I am in a position to help and although the recession has affected my family and I, I still have a roof over my head, food on my table and clothes that I can dress my child in. What are you going to do to help?
Society has taught us that mothers should be on top of their game, be good at everything that they do and be the perfect role model for our children. We should have a clean house and everything should be on its place or nice and tidy. We should live for our children. While I agree with some of this I do also think that there is more to it,
Most mothers will not admit to having days when they aren’t in control and things seem to go at a mad pace. Sometimes its work, sometimes its life in general but sometimes it is our kids. We have so many roles to play that sometimes we forget who the actor is, ourselves. We are the wives or girlfriends and play the role of friend and lover in that aspect. We are the care-takers, cooks, cleaners and nurses for our children as well as our partners. We are the employee or boss at work and have to do a different role there. With so many balls in the air, when do we get time to spend on ourselves? When do we take care of us?
I can honestly say that sometimes I have to take a time out for myself and just spend time with me and not thinking of everyone else. Some days it might be on the way to work playing my favourite songs at full blast, some days it is when Bella is asleep but if I don’t do it, I can feel that everyone else around me starts to feel it too. That is often what we as mothers forget; that to be able to look after everyone else, we need to take care of ourselves. If we feel flu coming on, not to just keep going but to take the rest we need to be able to give our bodies the time it needs to rest. I am as guilty as the other mothers that I know but I have made a stand and I am starting to slowly spend more time on myself, to find the bits of me that were there before Bella and motherhood. My husband isn’t complaining and says I look better which in turn makes me feel better! When I have a day where things aren’t in control, I try to find something to laugh about or speak to a dear friend Kirsten who is also a mom and we bounce ideas or feelings off each other.
The morale of the story is that it is ok to have a bad day; it is ok to for things to be out of control and to accept that they are and deal with them accordingly. It’s ok if there is a cup or dishes from the night before as you fell asleep by mistake and didn’t do them. We as mothers shouldn’t beat ourselves up or allow others to do that. You are the best actress in the world with all the roles that you pay and there should be a daily award given to each and every mom out there! You are fabulous!
Education is very important to me and Bella and I have been playing fun learning games since she was an infant. Now please don’t think I am like Amy Chua in the Battle Hymns of a Tiger Mother but we would play games that looked silly to other people but that indirectly she would learn from. A perfect example is when she was 2 or 3 months old, I hung different coloured ribbons in the tree in front of our house. On warm days, I would put a blanket under the tree and Bella and I would lie on the blanket and watch the ribbons move in the wind. Another thing we would do is I would put her in her chair while I hung up washing and she would giggle at the washing and when the wind blew, giggle harder at the clothes moving. I found out later that this all apparently helps with eye movements.
I also don’t have a problem with messing, there have been many times when I have been covered in porridge or water or bits of food but this has never bothered me! She has learnt to water the plants and drink tea and many other little things that she might not have had I been fussy about it.
This new development phase she is going through is driving me a little insane and I know that it is very important but when you are a working mom, time is important and this new phase often ends up in a little bit of a fight. Bella is at the stage where she would like to “dress” herself. Now I understand that it is important for her to learn to do this but when it takes up to 10 minutes to put her top on in the morning, this can create a problem as it takes up our play time. I always pack Bella’s school bag the night before and have gotten into the habit of packing her clothes out for the next day so that I don’t have to still figure out what she is going to wear and I can give her more attention. How do you teach a child to dress herself? I have resorted to taking my top off to show her how to put her head in the hole but she thinks it’s a big game and laughs at me! Dressing is a game to her now! One can’t draw her a picture as she would not understand either! I suppose its time to go onto the trusted old Google and see if there are any tips out there. Patience will just have to become another virtue in the dressing game!
Some mornings I walk past a gym on my way to work and can see all the ladies in their tight tights doing the treadmill or having their bodies shaken on the Power Plate machine. They don’t even seem to be breaking a sweat but have that look of utter determination on their faces that screams “just one more calorie”. My body goes automatically into Suck in Tummy mode and I start thinking of the Baby Weight that I still carry from having Bella.
As a working mom I find it quite hard to get the time to go to the gym or work out. My mornings consist of getting Bella ready for school, getting myself ready for work, dropping her off at school and then my working day begins. In the afternoons, I pick her up from school, spend time with her, get her fed, bathed and ready for bed and my husband and I take turns putting her to bed. At the end of the day I am quite exhausted especially as Bella still doesn’t sleep through the night. Winter has also started to play havoc with getting washing done and all the little things that we need to do to keep the household running.
So what is a girl to do? I can’t add Winter Weight to the whole scenario on top of the Baby weight or I will end up looking like a Teletubby! So I have started to devise a plan on keeping off the Winter Weight and working on that Baby Weight as well. So far I have lost 2kg but that hot chocolate keeps calling and encouraging me to drink it and general diets are like a challenge to me to eat everything wrong! Here are the things I am trying:
Drinking a litre of water every day (well most days)
Staying away from bread
Eating a green banana every moring (The Carb Diet says that it increases your metabolism by 10% if you get a green banana and 4% if you eat a ripe one)
Limiting the amount of full cream milk that I drink
Going from two sugars in my coffee to one
Lays Chips are to stay in the shop and not to be bought
If I see Coco-Cola I imagine with every sip that I am drinking a cup of sugar and this puts me off it
When at my desk, jiggle my legs 100 times to get the blood circulating and those calories burning
I drink apple cider vinegar to increase my metabolism
Take –aways are the Enemy and should only be used in dire circumstances
If I go to a coffees shop and they give a biscuit with the coffee, before I reach for it I think of my tummy!
I play music for Bella like Dynamite by Tao Cruiz and I dance like a mad person to burn a few extra calories
I do understand that I need to do more exercises and would looooove to go to my old Zumba classes but time does not allow it. I have therefore devised a plan to get the Wii dance game and I am going to start shaking my booty to get rid of the Baby Weight while listening to some good music.
One day I will be one of those ladies in the gyms again, but for now, I’m going to find ways to make myself happy in the comfort of my own home!
Before having my child my vocabulary consisted of many words and sentences like “all night movie marathon”, “hangover”, “reading till 13:00 in bed”, “stilettos”, “playing Wii all day”, “it’s 22:00 but let’s go out for dinner” and many more.
Since having my daughter, words and sentences that I now regularly repeat are “don’t”, “watch out”, “stop”, “be careful”, “slowly”, “are you going to do the bottles”, “ooh stinky poo”, ”time for a nappy change”, “no”, ”naughty”, ”uh-uh”, ”Mommy said no!”
I have realised that as babies get older, so does ones list of reprimands as you are trying to teach them to look after themselves and to set boundaries. Often the reprimands seem to out weight the praises and I realised this weekend that little people still need that positive affirmations even if they are little. Please don’t misunderstand me, I give my little girl a lot of praise and encouragement but I noticed that she tends to need it a bit more when she has learnt to do something. For example, we were in a shop yesterday and she took a necklace off of a rack. I told her “No, please put it back” to which she put it back and promptly took it off again and dropped it on the floor. So I changed tactics and said “Please show Mommy what a big girl you are and put it back on the rack and come and give me a hug!” I don’t think I have ever seen her put something back so quickly and the hug I received made us both feel very special. Needless to say it then became a game but it didn’t bother me as her smiles made me see how she enjoyed it.
Being a parent isn’t always sunshine and roses and can be a lot of hard work and sometimes reprimanding is easier than the praise. Sometimes we forget that objects and experiences are often new to them. Sometimes we need a reminder of how it feels to be in their size 4 shoes. Needless to say, my new goals are to change the way I speak when reprimanding her and to do it in a positive but firm manner. The most important goal will be to make sure that she hears more and more just how special she really is.
Do you have any tips or things you find to help your child in a positive manner? Suggestions are always welcome! Drop me a mail or leave a comment!
Today my hubby and I went on a date day instead of date night. This is when my hubby and I leave my daughter with one of her sets of grandparents for a few hours and go and spend some quality time alone. You might call it something else like couples evening or Mommy and Daddy time.
Some people might say “How can you leave your daughter alone and go and have fun?” but I find it to be a very important thing to do with Hubby. We get to spend time outside of our normal environment and have supper or lunch in a restaurant without the other person going to the play are to check on Bella and eating individually. Sometimes we go and watch a movie together and share a big tub of popcorn and afterwards go window shopping in the Mall. It helps to reconnect us again and grow our relationship as a couple because this is what existed before Bella was born. If we don’t look after each other on a couple bases as well, it will not be good for Bella as our relationship would deteriorate and eventually we would probably end in divorce. One only realises the importance of them when you haven’t been on date night for a while.
My problem is doing different things within our time frame? Going to the movie all the time can become boring and that’s not what I want our time alone to be! So the challenge is to find new things to do, go and discover as they say and find things adventurous things to do that aren’t going to break the bank! To go where we have never done before and to see things that will blow our minds within the confinements of our town and surrounding towns.
What do you and your partner to keep the spark alive, nothing sexual please but I would love to hear what you have to say? Leave a comment and I’ll reply to all those that I get! If you aren’t doing a date night, why not start now, plan something simple and go for coffee first or go to the movies? You never know how much you might enjoy it!