Spirited Mama

YOU have got to take in the BAD to experience the GOOD

Category: Family (Page 1 of 5)

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The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve says NO to cub petting!

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve says NO to cub petting!

 

September 9th 2019 – The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in the Cradle of Humankind will no longer be offering cub petting to the public, with immediate effect.

For 30 years, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve has shared its love of wildlife with South Africans and visitors from across the world. But times have changed. Under the new ownership of the Bothongo Group the reserve is refocusing its efforts on animal welfare.

“As new owners, we have acknowledged that what was acceptable in 1990 when the reserve first opened to the public, may no longer be acceptable in 2019,” says Jessica Khupe, Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve Brand Manager. “Human beings have always wanted to get up close and personal with wild animals,” says Khupe. “Understandable as this is, studies have shown that it is not good for animal welfare.

Recent campaigns have highlighted the global problem of cub petting and unscrupulous operators both locally and abroad. Simply put, it is not necessary to touch an animal to connect with the importance of wildlife conservation. We’d also like to make it very clear that we are utterly opposed to the abhorrent canned hunting and lion bone trade.”

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Recently appointed Chief Operations Officer of the reserve, Mike Fynn, explains: “Breeding and rearing animals for the purpose of cub petting and interaction is not only undesirable from an animal welfare perspective, it’s also not a sustainable business model. From now on, we will focus on educating the public about wildlife and the importance of conservation. This is why, with immediate effect, we choose to put a stop to cub petting at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve and sincerely hope that other facilities responsibly follow suit.”

Over the past few months, while under new stewardship, the reserve has initiated a three-year plan to upgrade all of its public facilities, habitats and wildlife enclosures, which will be remodeled around the welfare and well being of its animals. Many of them are species that are endangered thanks to human activity and habitat loss.

According to Fynn the reserve team will dedicate themselves to a new internal mantra of being a ‘nurture reserve’.

In addition, he says they will commit to the following:

  • We will strive to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse and contented animal collection, and we will work with local and international institutions and bodies ensuring that we play our part in managing the long-term survival of endangered and threatened species.
  • We pledge not to sell or exchange any of our animal family, especially our lions, unless it’s to a reputable accredited facility and/or licensed wildlife institution.
  • We will breed animals only if this serves a conservation purpose.

“To those of our visitors who are disappointed that they can no longer cuddle a lion cub at our reserve: this is the right thing to do,” says Khupe. “As animal lovers, we understand how charismatic African wildlife is. But the truth is that our love for our animals may inadvertently harm them, even though we don’t mean to.”

She adds that she’s excited about this new journey: “We take the opportunity to re-welcome the greater public, wildlife stakeholders, tour operators and travel agents to actively support our reserve as it evolves into a BIG, must-see destination, that provides an authentic and informative wild animal experience for generations to come. Our wildlife family now has a voice again.”

https://www.rhinolion.co.za/

We’ve been to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve on a few occasions AND we whole heartedly agree that cub petting IS.NOT.NECESSARY!

My boys, currently 9 years and 2 years, don’t understand why we won’t let them pet the cubs like the other grownups and kids do. BUT I hope that someday they will understand their parents’ MO behind saying NO to cub petting and interaction.

How do YOU feel about cub petting and interaction?

Spirited Mama

x

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BORN TO PERFORM’s SHINE! 2019 coming this September

BORN TO PERFORM presents SHINE! 2019 

Experience the stars of tomorrow, on stage today! 4 shows only!

The Teatro @ Montecasino

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

BORN TO PERFORM’s SHINE! 2019 is less than a month away, with over 450 talented young artists hard at work in rehearsals, preparing to blow audiences away as they take to The Teatro’s stage at Montecasino from Friday 13th  – Sunday 15th  September for just 4 shows only.

Be ready to be taken on a roller coaster ride of fun and exhilaration while enjoying the astounding display of young talent in this year’s production of SHINE!.

But Born To Perform is SO much more than “just” an opportunity for audiences to witness the energy and passion of young South African talent as they set the stage alight during the 2-hour show.

It is the culmination of many months (and years) of hard work, dedication of the artists and all those behind the scenes for the Joburg audiences to enjoy the end results of that hard work.

Born To Perform is also a place for young people to find their own journey through the Arts, giving them the opportunity for self-development and personal growth through their love and passion for the various performing arts genres.

Says Creator/Director Gemma Marinus; “My passion in teaching and mentoring is always seeing my students succeed in what they love and finding confidence and growing as future professionals of our industry in doing so.”

She continues; “I am so proud that we have managed to play a small part in assisting these young people reaching their goals. We cannot wait for the audience to see them SHINE! in September and for them to enjoy how they have blossomed!”

Gemma’s  producing and creative partner, Bryan Schimmel, states; SHINE was originally developed as a transformational performing arts experience for over 400 young people ranging from age 8 to 23.

The production delivered on massive entertainment value and had a profoundly emotional effect on the audiences who came to see it, so much so that Montecasino asked us to reproduce it for the Teatro.” 

Bryan continues; “Revisting the show has given us a chance to improve an an already powerful product and introduce elements that will take it up yet another level. 

We have some of the same young artists from last year and a whole bunch of fresh faces. 

Here are just a few highlights of what audiences can enjoy from BORN TO PERFORM’s SHINE! 2019 :

YAHTO KRAFT (18)

Yahto Kraft made a stir for his performance of his original track Ugly in the 2018 SHINE! Show. Since last year’s show, Yahto became a South African TV audience favourite in The Voice SA, reaching the Top 6.

Here’s a behind the scenes look into Yahto :  https://youtu.be/O8DHMMI4N4I

 

ZINAH (23)

Zinah has been busy non-stop since appearing as the face of Born To Perform and MC of the 2018 SHINE! show. Her debut single Ever Been has been released and rising up the charts, with her music video featured on Trace. She was recently offered an opportunity on EXPRESSO where she took the day being mentored on set to further her presenting aspirations.

Here’s that video of Zinah at Expresso for you to enjoy: https://youtu.be/KvTJBC13Lww

 

JOHN TSENOLI (21)

John’s performance of his original song Long Road in 2018 SHINE! was the showstopper number of the show. Since last year’s show, he has been been hard at work on his original music and has been gigging around Johannesburg as well as having been invited to perform in Gone Too Soon. John will be releasing his debut single later in September.

Here’s a behind the scenes look into John:  https://youtu.be/x9_XcchGfNY

 

PHILIPPA HIGGINS (19)

Philippa was a crowd favourite in 2018’s SHINE! Show, performing her orginal song Running Away. Since last year’s show, Philippa was selected to perform in the The Abba Tribute Show, also touring around Australia, New Zealand and Canada. She will be releasing Running Away as a single following SHINE!.

Enjoy Philippa’s performance of Running Away in 2018’s SHINE! https://youtu.be/jxHgHLLXZew

 

With material that includes songs from The Greatest Showman, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, as well as Justin Timberlake, Prince and Mozart, entertainment value will be high.

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Added to this, there will be electrifying performances by The Voice SA Winner Craig Lucas and The Voice SA Finalist Thembeka Mnguni .

 The show features a spectrum of musical and choreographic styles that will take the audience on a journey from pop to hip-hop, from ballet to rock ‘n roll to opera.

Exciting additions to this year’s line-up will be 20-year old Xae Memela (who reached Top 7 in Idols Season 14) and introducing upcoming artists Jamie Nell and Micah Stojakovic, both learners at Fourways High School.

The 450 young performers on stage will feature performances from Fourways High School, Mondeor High School, Curro Aurora – Sundowner and New Generation Pantsula Dancers from Alexandra.

Returning for another heart wrenching performance will be St Vincents School for the Deaf. 

This is nothing short of a celebration! From ages 8 – 80, this is ideal family entertainment like no other!

Says Bryan Schimmel; “Audiences who saw SHINE! last year will be knocked out at the development and growth of the young artists they saw previously. Audiences who missed it last year now have an opportunity to come and experience what all the rage is about.”

SHINE! 2019 is on stage for FOUR SHOWS ONLY at The Teatro at Montecasino:
Friday 13 September at 20h00
Saturday 14 September at 15h00 & 20h00
Sunday 15 September at 15h00.

Tickets range from R180 – R320 and can be booked online at www.monteacsino.co.za or through Computicket.

Various Public Group Bookings and Tsogo Sun Rewards Discounts are available through Computicket.

Group School Bookings are available on request by emailing bookings@borntoperform.co.za .

Upon confirmation, Group School Bookings of 20 seats and more will receive the added benefit of a SHINE! Workshop delivered by Born To Perform, at their school.

Born to perform’s SHINE 2019 caters for the deaf community too

A special performance made accessible for the deaf community will be taking place on Saturday 14th September at the 15h00 performance, with an on-stage signer. At this performance, audiences have access to the Opticon system for the hearing impaired. This facility is only available in specific seats within The Teatro, so bookings would need to be made directly with the Teatro Box Office on 011 510 7472.

 

Watch the advert for SHINE! 2019:

Follow Born to Perform on Social Media:

Website: www.borntoperform.co.za

Instagram : borntoperform.world

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/Borntoperformgala

YouTube: Born To Perform TV

SHINE! 2019 is produced by Born To Perform NPC, Created & Directed by Gemma Marinus, Bryan Schimmel and Matthew Marinus with Design by Oliver Hauser. With grateful thanks to Montecasino, Howard Audio, Gearhouse Splitbeam, The CoLab Network. Computicket, Kelsey Mastering and Justine Mac Photography.

So were you Born to perform to Shine?

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Spirited Mama

x

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Family travel tales from a Spirited Family

Family Travel Tales

Family travel tales from a Spirited Family is a little diary that I intend to fill with travel adventures for my travel loving Spirited family. Feel free to wander along as we go in search of some wanderlust around the world. Hopefully our travel tales will inspire you to share some of your own travel tales with us. We are always ready for an adventure even though private school fees restrict the travel BUDGET!

We are travellers… I live for a holiday and often joke that I only work to travel and go on holidays! Although, I’m not socially awkard and I love being around people, I just can’t bring myself to holiday with the masses. I don’t like overcrowded spots.

That being said, we prefer to have frequent breaks rather than wait for one long holiday at the end of the year. Also, frequent travel breaks gives us way more options to travel as a family. Travel need not be something exotic and a budget breaker.

You’ll be amazed at how budget friendly family travel can actually be once you do proper research! We often just take a road trip with the kids. The furthest we’ve travelled by car has been 7 hours down to the South Coast of Durban. 7 hours in a car with your kids, aged  9 years and 2 years…well let’s just say that we chose to fly rather than drive after THAT road trip 🙂

I do love a road trip as there are so many “undiscovered” places to see and experience. After all “Happiness is a journey… not the destination”. More often we opt to just hop on a airplane and just get to the destination as quick as possible for our own sanity.

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We are a travel family

We have never travelled without our kids, obviously besides prior to having the kids 🙂 We are a travel family. They are a part of us as much as we are a part of them. To travel as a family also opens up your mind to new/other possibilities that you might not have deemed important to check if you were travelling sans kids.

We do however try and take a Summer vacation when it’s Winter in South Africa though… just so that we can break away from the cold for a while.

Family travel tale tip

Once we start planning a family travel trip, there are a THREE things that we absolutely MUST have:

For me: Good and proper accommodation – NO floral bedding!

For Dude: Location! Easy access to various transport options.

For a family travel: Child friendly environments, child friendly activities preferably on the premises or in very close proximity or easy to travel to.

I’ll share some tips and tricks as we navigate our family travel tales BUT for now we’re planning a family travel trip in July 🙂

Keep an eye on my social media if you want to follow along on our family travel tales.

Where have you last travelled to or where do you want to travel to next?

Spirited Mama

x

P.S. The pictures I took on different family travel trips. You might see them again when I write about those travel tales.

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Bored? Teach your kids some skills with board games with #PrimaGamesFest + Win

Board games are still a part of me

Board games reminds me of so many childhood memories with my extended family. And to this day, a family gathering is NOT complete without at least one night of playing board games. We live in Gauteng and most of our family live in the Western Cape. So whenever we visit the family, you can bet on it that we will squeeze in a board game or two. In fact, it’s sort of become our tradition and Dudie, 8 years old, loves it!

I have one brother, 9 years younger than me. So growing up I felt like an only child. Don’t despair because I have loads of cousins and if you saw us together you would think that we were siblings. The endless fights BUT the closeness so surreal. Board games was also our escape from the madness of busy days and the boredom during school holidays. I don’t remember being BORED growing up!

Board games also kept us out of mischief as one time we burnt down Mamma’s beloved tree, but that is a story for another day…. I only told Mamma almost 20 years later what actually happened to her tree.

Competitive much? Try board games

Personality is linked to genetics, go google it… I’ll wait.

That being said both Dude and I are competitive by nature! And Dudie inherited THAT gene two fold. Holy moly, this child DOES NOT WANT TO LOSE! Be that as it may, we have subtle ways of reminding him that you WON’T always win in life, so you need to know how to handle that loss. Board games is one of the methods we use to get this point across.

When we play boardgames, we don’t LET him win. He has to win fair and square. We, rather I, won’t throw the game so that he can win. The lesson is sinking in and I see that he is much better at managing his competitive nature.

Parents should take advantage of board games

Growing up, the parents were always busy working so kids were left to entertain themselves. I was fortunate that Mamma was home to take care of us after school. My favourite after school activity, as you know it pours in Cape Town during Winter, was playing Rummikub with Mamma. Hours of endless fun and bonus learning!

Now being a parent myself, I see the  learning opportunity and take full advantage of games in general.

Preparing this generation for Life to come

Workplace situations – perseverance, tolerance, team work, communication, conflict  resolution, negotiation skills… Are these not SKILLS that employers are trying to hone in on?

Why are YOU not instilling these skills into the next generation? They are the FUTURE!

It need not be so complicated. It starts with baby steps, and by that I mean, start with a game. PLAY with YOUR kids. Learn from one another AND teach/build/enhance their skills whilst brushing up on YOUR OWN SKILLS. Inevitably, these skills become their coping mechanisms through life. And the BONUS is that YOU are BONDING with your family x.

Communicate with each other – I mean like talk to each other IN PERSON! No technology involved other than actual people talking face to face, in person. Yes, we live in a technologically driven world BUT sometimes you need to step back, switch off those devices AND just talk to the person. No text, no whatsapp, no facetime, no snapchat – Just talk like we used to in the “olden days”…

We tested some games for the #PrimaGamesFest

I consider these games, tabletop games BUT in our case, BEST played on the floor.

#PrimaGamesFest review

Rummikub

This game is FUN for adult and child alike! It’s easy to understand and once you get the hang of it, you and your kid(s) won’t want to stop. Hours of endless fun to curb some cabin fever this winter. Once you have mastered Rummikub, try Rummikub with a twist to spice things up a bit! Make sure you get a little helper to clear up AFTER you’re done playing 🙂

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Little sibling, aka Troll, clearing up after the game is done

Boomblast stix

Now this game is something you MUST try with your family and friends. It’s listed as a “teen” game BUT even my 1 year old cracks his belly laugh when we play Boomblast stix. *we don’t let Troll play with it! He is our spectator cheering us on 🙂 I’m going to do a proper video of this one soon!

King Pong

It’s all about your accuracy and speed. I’ll show you OUR version, we still need loads of practise AND then I’ll show you what it actually needs to look like 🙂

World’s smallest Doodletop

For the doodlers – You MUST try this one! I am NOT a doodler but I thoroughly enjoyed this doodletop. Probably because it requires minimal input from MY side… My Dudie thinks everyone can be an artist with a doodletop 🙂

 

 

Boardgames and games are a wonderful form of entertainment and this year, to showcase Prima Toys’ amazing products, we are very proud to be launching the first ever Games Festival. The festival highlights all our hottest game and boardgame products from the traditional ones like Rummikub and Snakes & Ladders to the brand new King Pong, Boomblast and Flipside!

The hottest #PrimaGamesFest products:

For Toddlers and Children

  • Twist & Turn
  • Disney 4 in 1 Game
  • Frozen Matching Game
  • Frozen Activity Packs
  • Lion Guard Surprise Slides
  • Lion Guard Matching Game
  • Peppa Pig Dominoes
  • Disney junior Surprise Slides
  • Minnie Play & learn educational game
  • Disney Princess Brainstorm
  • Sofia the First my nail studio
  • L.O.L. Surprise Game
  • L.O.L. Puzzle

 

For Teenagers

  • Flipside
  • Boomblast
  • Kingpong
  • Rubik’s Cube

 

Family Games

  • Wikipedia
  • 20 Questions
  • Rummikub
  • Hotel Tycoon
  • Anti-Monopoly

 

For more information go to www.primatoys.co.za or www.Facebook.com/primatoys

WIN the King Pong Game!!!

All you have to do is share this giveaway post on Facebook + tag a friend!

*Make sure that you share publicly and tag me so that I know you have entered*

And GO!!!

Spirited Mama

x

T’s & C’s

**Competition closes 31 July 2018. Winner will be announced on 3 August 2018.
Open to South African residents only.
Winner will be randomly selected. 
No correspondence will be entered into once a winner is selected.
Winner will be announced on my social media accounts and notified via email.
I reserve the right to disqualify invalid entries.
**

***Disclaimer – The games were sent to us for review but the views and opinions expressed are my own.***

 

It’s Play Day..so “Let them play”

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Let them play…Those words still hover in my mind since the #PrimaTopToys event where the top toys were revealed for the Festive Season 2017! What a fun time the adults had playing with the toys. We got to let loose our inner child without worrying about what others would think of us oohing and aahing over kids’ toys. Let’s be honest, as a parent if you are not convinced will you really buy your child a particular toy?

Prima Toys is one of Southern Africa’s leading importers and distributor of toys and games; bringing the world’s most famous toy brands and characters to children across various African countries

I remember one of my first dolls was a Prima Toys doll, a gift from my father’s friend who I think at the time worked for Prima Toys….I wish I had a picture of her.
I’m not a typical girl who played with dolls but I do remember that doll…
Being at the event evoked an emotion, at the time I couldn’t put my finger on it. Whilst playing with the toys in the goodie bag, I remembered the doll and how that doll was a Prima Toys product.

Funny how destiny or fate works…who knew that many many years later I will cross paths with Prima Toys again.

I’m definitely a boy mom and I love the toys as much as Dudie. Troll at this stage is too little to comprehend what is happening. But, he is besotted with his Teletubbie, PO. He giggles and even has a soundbyte of the actual Teletubbies music.

Dudie, obviously, raided the goodie bag I received. He loved the toys BUT that Ben10 Omnitrix was his favourite….until I showed him the hamper that I won…Gracious, that child’s eyes were ready to pop out his head. Why? Because there was a Ben10 Omnitrix Deluxe in there. He wears an Omnitrix on each arm…

And he had just seen the TV ad a few days prior to teh event and really really wanted one. Well, that was me getting the Mom of the Year award from Dudie. Granted, my status might not last long, as any parent knows you can go from hero to zero in 2 seconds flat, but I’ll revel in it for now.

The phrase, “Let them play” has constantly been on my mind. As parents, we are so busy with life/work/kids/etc/etc and sometimes we forget to stop and just be present. Similarly, we forget to just let our kids play. And to play with our kids. Dude and I have had the discussion that it seems lately we have been in “survival mode”. We have consciously made a decision to stop and have at least one “play” session per week night. Weekends are more chilled and we all get to have down time. It’s the weekdays with school/work/extra murals that consume our time.

So Thursdays are reserved for “play” in the evening. Tonight we will play 🙂

Happy Play day!

Mom’s favourite, even though I have NEVER managed to get all the colours in the right order! But I will keep trying 🙂

Spirited Mama

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. Opinions and views shared my own.

My proverbial death…

I took a leap of faith

Well in 2016, I took a leap in faith and decided that if it is in God’s plan for us to have another baby then we will. I left it in God’s hands. I am a control freak but this was the one decision that I knew I couldn’t make on my own. I needed intervention but I needed God’s intervention, as I just wasn’t sure if we were making the right decision. Turns out God wanted us to have another son. I was nervous as hell as I pee’d on a stick…do you know that both times Dude predicted I was pregnant before I realised it. And he was spot on both times. Maybe he knew something I didn’t. In 2016 when I saw those two lines I was shocked that I didn’t believe it to be true. Dude set out to buy a digital test and it was confirmed again. I was pregnant. If I could do my own blood test I would have.

A blessing as a result of faith

Fast forward to 2017 and we welcomed our resident alien, another son richer. For the sake of this blog we will call him “Troll” as Dude has dubbed him. A blessing indeed. Life as we knew it changed completely. As much as I tried to prepare my oldest son, Dudie who is 7years old, I neglected to prepare myself…Suddenly, there was a new man in my life who needed me. Every ounce of me. Day and night. To say that I’m tired or even exhausted is an understatement. How did I neglect to prepare myself. Well that was so easy. Whilst helping everyone else make the transition and preparing the baby room I kinda got so wrapped up in it all that I never took a moment to understand or even allow myself to embrace this new change. I was ecstatic and consumed with the happy that I never allowed myself to say goodbye to the old me. Much like I didn’t do 7 years ago when Dudie was born. No one can prepare you for motherhood. Well not for YOUR unique individual experience as a parent.

Troll weighed 4kg at birth. I shit you not. Me, I birthed a 4kg baby…I might do a separate post about it. I didn’t struggle to lose the baby weight as Troll literally suck me dry. But who was I kidding trying to wear my push up underwire bra….it’s a killer especially when your boobs fill up with milk.

Who knew I would sing “Jesus loves me” a gazillion trillion times….cos the baby seems calmer when I sing it. And 75% of time he drifts off to sleep listening to my singing. Maybe I could make a career out of it on You Tube…one can wish can’t I.

I am breastfeeding mom. Was with Dudie too. But my golly these kids of mine can suck me dry. Sometimes I think my body can’t keep up with their milk demand. Dudie breastfed exclusively for 5months then went on a boob strike and from then I expressed for a further 3 months. Then I was done, my hopes of breastfeeding for a year didn’t quite materialise. Troll is also being breastfed currently. If we can make it to 6 months I’d be happy but If we can last 1 year that’ll be great.

Just as with Dudie, I am back in my normal old clothes again very soon after having Troll. But I have a tummy roll. Omg the dreaded roll. Dudie asked me the other day when the lines on my tummy will disappear. I responded with “Never. It reminds me that I have you and your brother”. And he also asked if I store Troll’s milk in my boobies…this child of mine has no filter…but I love him.

Finding the silver ling after the old me was gone

There have been dark days where both kids have drove me completely batty. Especially during Dudie’s school run. Someone is always hungry. Someone always poops as we need to leave. Someone is always unhappy about something.

Then there have been great days where Dudie is showered and ready whilst I’ve still got Troll stuck on my boob. Everyone is happy and the morning is as smooth as baby shit.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I love being a mom. I just think that I need to stop being so hard on myself. But how can I. How can I drop my own standards. If mom doesn’t do xyz, the wheels on the bus go STOP. If mom doesn’t cook then chances are we WON’T eat supper by 6pm which then means Dudie is in the snack cupboard and snacking like a savage dog. How am I the only one seeing that if we break out of routine the shit hits the fan?

Let’s not even get started on Dudie’s homework, oral presentations, projects etc…he is only in grade 2 and I swear this child’s homework will be the end of me. We fight and there have been times where I relieve myself from homework duty but I end up with a 7 year old crying his eyes out cos he needs me. His words exactly. He needs me. Mommy must do homework with him.

A new me was born

Being a mom to my two boys is a blessing and yes I am extremely grateful. BUT this mom needs a break. This mom needs a mom retreat. Soon. Before I lose my marbles. I have so many draft posts that I just don’t get around to finishing right now. Life is so busy. And when I have a few minutes to spare you can bet your pennies I’ll be hurriedly busy trying to finish something, read housework, cos otherwise that too just piles up. Life lately is consumed with laundry. Everyday. I kid you not. You can stop over any day and I bet you will find the washing machine on or the tumble dryer or the load waiting to be washed. Whoever came up with the idea that mom needs to sleep when the baby sleeps was either completely insane or most likely had someone to do each and everything that comes with running a household and family….

I am NOT  the same person I used to be. In fact I am a new me. I’m not even sure I want the old me back but I do know that I miss snippets of the old me. Somewhere when Dudie turned 5 I felt like a person again. Not just a mom. Now throw in the Troll and it feels like I’m back to being just “Mom”.

I get that there are Dads who are very hands on, and granted Dude does help ALOT at home. But what is up with the “mom guilt”? Why can Dad decide to go fish and sleep out with his buddies but if Mom says she is NOT coming home tonight it’s the end of the world? Happy mom happy family right?

Do you do mom retreats?

I’m going to start my own trend #momcation 

Now to find some mom friendly destinations 🙂

Spirited Mama

P.S. Troll is 14 weeks old already…where have I been these past 14 weeks??? Feels like a dream.

This Christmas…

 

It’s starting to look like Christmas

It’s starting to look alot like CHRISTMAS in the Spirited Household. Albeit, we were 12 days late with putting up our tree…I am just happy that it is finally up. We are counting down the days to Christmas, only 11 more sleeps…For the past 7 years we have been home for Christmas. It all started when Dudie was baptised on Christmas Eve during the midnight mass, 24 December 2009. Granted he was too young to remember any of it but from that Christmas eve we have been attending midnight mass every year since. It is our very own tradition. And this year will be no different. Every alternate year we have family with us and this year was supposed to be “the family” Christmas.

This Christmas

Well, things changed during 2016 and even though we will share Christmas with two family members, it just won’t be the same because Mamma won’t be at our table… Mamma loved McDonalds and upon returning home from midnight mass Dude always used to buy McDonalds meals for everyone. We would open our gifts and eat McDonalds until 2am sometimes 3am. Even Dudie would be wide awake by the time we get home from mass.

We were toying with the idea of just dining out this year BUT for us Christmas is about the joy, the laughter, the togethernesss, all of us cramming into our little kitchen to cook amazing dishes to be served on Christmas day. We will spend ALL day cooking on the 24th of December, only to take an afternoon siesta so that we can be fresh and bright eyed for midnight mass. We generally only wake when the sun is high up in the sky and the room gets too hot to sleep in. We always skip out on breakfast as we just had McDonalds at 2am. Normally, we are ready to eat our festive feast by lunch time, which could range anywhere from 12pm onwards. Even our dogs sleep late on Christmas morning.

This Christmas will be different. But this Christmas we will remember the good times and encourage new traditions and memories and remember those whom once shared that table with us.

What are your Christmas traditions?

Spirited Mama

x

Mabalingwe…is why I was off the radar for a while

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I was beside myself… I was literally trying to sit still as I typed this. I have anticipated this holiday for months. Along with the excitement it also brings great sadness that Mamma isn’t here to share it with us, well physically that is… She was the one who called me up in January and said “I really enjoyed spending my birthday with you guys (Dudie is on the 1st of October and Mamma on the 2nd) so I was thinking I want to spend my birthday with you guys again”. I said cool I will find a place for us… And I did. Mabalingwe it was. I booked and confirmed that we would the last week of September at Mabalingwe in anticipation of their respective birthdays…We arrived 26 September to beautiful chalet surrounded by the bushveld and nature. We did send Dude into the chalet to check that there were unwanted pets/wildlife/snakes in the chalet…Yes, we waited in the bakkie until he came back out to give us an all clear…One day I will tell you about how my Guess watch saved me from a Mozambiquan spitting cobra…I shit you not. True story but for another day.

Well you may or may not know that Mamma is sadly no longer with us as she was lost a very short, well from the time of diagnosis for the family, we really don’t know how long she knew about it, 8 day battle with CANCER! you can read about it here. I miss her dearly. I wish she was here.

We haven’t been to Mabalingwe since I was 7 months pregnant with Dudie, which was more than 7 years ago… I am really not sure why though but I do know that we had loads of fun the last time we were there. Like Dudie’s godparents probably conceived their first child there. LOL. We went up Vodacom hill, yes with me being 7 months pregnant and I even went on a game drive to the Lion Camp, all whilst I used most of the Chalet’s cushions to pack all around my pregnant self….However, this past week I was very lazy and very cautious NOT to have extreme activities….We spent the week just lazing around and enjoying the heat. Cooling off at the pool with some refreshing drinks and too much ice-cream…

It was a happy but also sad and emotional week as there were many moments where I caught myself staring out blankly and just having a quiet cry for Mamma…we saw lots of animals, loads of birds (OMg I am so impressed with Dudie who knows how to navigate through the bird book. This kid is damn good at spotting birds, and finding the correct bird in the book).

It is sad that Mabalingwe, like many places not just in Limpopo Province is suffering due to a lack of rain…the water levels are so low. The dams actually look empty.

Do you remember the old Castrol(Boet & Swaer) Ad? They made this ad at the Kalahari Oasis aka Bush Pub at Mabalingwe.

We discovered the BushPub on a previous visit and it is definitely a MuST stopover every time we are at Mabalingwe. This time however, we etched our names into the walls and forever left a little piece of ourselves there. They have scheduled game drives but you can and really should drive yourself through the bush as well. I find it very exhilarating….except I shouldn’t be the actual driver…

God willing we will be back to soak up some Mabalingwe again…

Spirited Mama

P.S. Some elephants went roque trying to break the water pump or filter or something to get some fresh water. They actually also broke into a private home to steal some food… The sound of these elephants approaching is insanely scary and yes it was pitch black outside as they decided it would be best to do the deed at night. SO we’re sitting on the porch and Dude is about to braai when we here the commotion…Dude says “It sure beats the hell out of PnP animal cards and sound readers…this shit is real….this is what the actual sounds are.

 

Second child syndrome..and hand me downs

 

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Second child syndrome. Hand me downs? Is it fair or OK to pass on things?Do you feel neglected as a second child? I am the eldest of two children. But I am also the only girl. I have a brother who is 9 years younger than me. Dude is the youngest of three children but granted his brother is 8/9 years older than him. In essence, we kinda grew up as “only” children or in different generations to that of our siblings. Dudie and the resident alien will have a 7 year age gap between them. Whilst I am all for sibling bonds I am most certainly NOT cut out to be a mom of two babies/small children. Hence, the age gap between my boys… I do worry that they will not “click” right away but as with anything you cannot predict the future. My wish is that my boys create and find “their own special brotherly bond”.

Is it fair or OK to pass on things?Do you feel neglected as a second child?

The competitiveness…First born vs last born? The resident alien is not even born yet and already I am picking up competitive vibes from Dudie. And No it’s not anything that we have said or done but Dudie had a problem with the name that we I have chosen for his little brother. Yes, imagine that. To quote my 6 soon to be 7 year old, in exactly 8 days he will be 7 – he promptly reminds me daily of how many days are left until his birthday “that name is too powerful for my little brother”. I shit you not. When did this boy get sooo smart? And who in the hell of it old him which names are powerful? Oh my, this is but a sliver of what I can look forward to with my spirited Dudie. This kid is song willed…
Does it create sibling rivalry? Dude and I had this conversation the other day and granted I agree that if the parent makes a fuss about it the second child might feel somewhat neglected or begin to realise that this might not be normal behaviour. Although, I have always given Dudie things to family and charity my Dude had a valid question…”Why is the stuff not good enough for the resident alien? Honestly, I couldn’t think of a valid reason. Perhaps it’s the mommy guilt of wanting to give my boys everything I possibly can. And wanting to give the resident alien his “own” things?

I foresee a journey full of discovery for the Spirited Household. I hope that we all embrace the changes with love, respect and dignity…

Happy bonding.

Spirited Mama

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I chose these random images as I didn’t think anyone would want me posting pictures of their kids on my blog…and well the resident alien is still in utero so how do you think I would get a picture of my boys together…

CANCER WON….Mamma lost

CANCER WON (1) – Mamma lost(0)

Sadly on Sunday 28 August 2016 at 04:22 am Mamma breathed her last breath of life over my fingers. It was a bittersweet, surreal, peaceful, quiet, but so very special moment that we shared. One last moment with my Mamma. I will miss you ALWAYS!!!!

Only two weeks after the diagnosis was confirmed Mamma had lost the battle. She was a brave and strong willed woman. If you missed it you can read When Cancer happens

I LOVE YOU ALWAYS. L

My heart is broken. I cannot do not want to imagine my life without you….but it is a bitter reality I must face. My heart breaks for Dudie who cries and cries for you.

It seems like a bad dream but everytime I want to call you up and remind you to pack something for our upcoming holiday at the end of September….I remember that I will never speak to you again. I will never hear your voice again. I will never hear you laugh again. And I will never see you smile again.

We have so many wonderful memories. And those memories I will treasure forever. But what I wouldn’t do just to have one more day with you…

Spirited Mama

P.S. I will  do a proper post dedicated to Mamma soon. Right now my whole being is broken.

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