Spirited Mama

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

Category: Kids (Page 1 of 2)

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All aboard for Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! and Bobby van Jaarsveld sings the theme song LIVE!

All aboard with Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

Bobby van Jaarsveld, South African pop music superstar and chart-topping recording artist, sings the local version of the theme song in the exciting new CG-animated children’s movie Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie, officially launching in South African Ster Kinekor movie theatres on 5 October 2018.

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Yesterday, we attended the #thomasandfriendssa #BWBA movie premiere @sterkinekor @sandtoncitymall ❓ Did you know that @bobbyvanjaarsveld does the local version of the of the movie's theme song? 🎯 Well not only did we watch a feel good family movie but Bobby performed the song LIVE for us! . The Thomas & Friends Big World! Big Adventures! movie will be released in cinemas 5 October 2018. . There are some valuable lessons for young and old in the movie 😉 . I gave my phone to Bobby and he actually took our picture😁 not bad Bobby, maybe you should do #photography too📸 . . #thomasandfriendsSA #BWBA #movies #KIDS #kidentertainment #familytime #keepingkidsbusy #lifelessons #kidsactivities #latergram #thomasthetrain #sterkinekor #sandtoncity #moviepremiere #momofboys #momlife

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The Big World Adventures theme song shares the message that we should be open to exploration; to traversing the globe, seeking out adventures, engaging with new and different people, and making new friends along the way.

“This film resonates with me partly because my own friends are such a big part of my life. I feel much the same way as Thomas does about friendship: for me, the true meaning of friendship is acceptance”, says Bobby.

But this isn’t the only connection that Bobby feels with Thomas. He says: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve grown up with Thomas. Now, as a dad of three children (a 2 year old daughter and two sons aged 5 and 6) I’m going to be the hero of the house just for taking them to see the movie. Once they realise I’m singing in it, we’ll be watching it the entire year.”

Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

The 80-minute movie is the 13th feature-length film in the Thomas & Friends stable and is considered to be the brand’s biggest, boldest and most relevant release to date. It has an exciting plotline full of twists and turns, and seven new musical pieces that are bound to delight pre-schoolers and their parents.

In line with its quest to resonate strongly with the next generation, the movie introduces a diverse group of new friends – including Nia, an African tank engine from Kenya – and takes them on an epic global journey.

Thomas & Friends’ first African female engine

Voiced by Yvonne Grundy, a rising star of Kenyan descent, Nia is smart, fun and playful, with a strong moral compass. Her name, pronounced Nee-Yah, means ‘purpose’ in Swahili; her engine design is based on the East African Railway’s ED1 class; and her exterior is inspired by iconic African textiles.

In building this character, Thomas & Friends’ first African female engine, Mattel, Inc. received input from the UN Woman’s African Programme Advisor on the portrayal of gender equality and female empowerment. This was part of a greater collaboration with the UN, with the goal of incorporating into Thomas & Friends five of its 17 Sustainability Development Goals.

A consultant from the Royal African Society also came on board to advise on cultural representation, including Nia’s scripting, animatics, and voice casting.

You can watch the interview with Bobby van Jaarsveld below

Another new character, Ace, is voiced by Australian singer and entertainer Peter Andre, who says: “It’s incredible for me to help introduce young viewers to the range of cultures, ways of life and animals that exists on our planet. We have access to more countries than we did when Thomas started 73 years ago…so it’s nice to see that the whole world is part of this movie.”

Bobby attended the VIP premiere of the movie at Ster Kinekor Sandton, where the new South African version of the Big World Adventures theme song was officially released. Fans will be able to download the song for free from Bobby’s official website: www.bobbyvanjaarsveld.com

Thomas the tank engine is a household name in many homes

As for us, Dudie who is turning 9 in October has played with Thomas the tank for as long as I can remember. I don’t even know where all the tracks are anymore. Now, Troll has taking a liking to the blue tank and is happily playing with it. I guess it’s time to buy Troll a new, complete, set 🙂

We attended the VIP Movie Premiere and wow what a treat. The kids were spoilt with games, photos and backpacks filled with Thomas and Friends memorabilia. The adults got some yummy cupcakes 🙂 My Dudie decorated the cupcakes… He was super proud of his recreation of Thomas but this Mama thought it looked a bit more like Jigsaw, adults alike noticed what I noticed.

Be sure to check out Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie, officially launching in South African Ster Kinekor movie theatres on 5 October 2018. A movie fit for the whole family with some valuable lessons for adults and children alike.

Spirited Mama

x

#ThomasAndFriendsSA

#BWBA

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We EXPLORED the Prima Top Toys for 2018

Let them explore

There are 161 days before it’s Christmas!!! Generally, I try and get most of my shopping done in advance so that I avoid last minute trips to get gifts. This also saves my budget a few pennies as I can make informed decisions about the toys that I would buy the boys.

Last Thursday, I attended the much anticipated Prima Top Toys for 2018 Christmas Launch. What a treat it was or rather it was a CARNIVAL! As an adult, I do look forward to the annual Prima Top Toys launch as it is then that ALL the adults get to behave “child-like” and no one is judging you. In fact, it is expected of you to behave in a child-like manner to ensure that you enjoy the entire experience AND explore the top toys on offer.

From arrival, we, i.e. media/bloggers/vloggers/influencers/etc, were spoilt from Maverick & Jane gourmet popcorn to chilled Prosecco, playing carnival style games to win actual prizes. We knew that we were in for a real carnival.

The theme for 2018 is Let them explore. It’s about letting children enjoy and explore their world through play. It’s about giving them the opportunity to discover new things, new play patterns, new technology and more. With the array of toys that will be available in stores from now until the end of the year, children of all ages will have the opportunity and the excitement of exploring new ranges.

YESSS!!! Influencers and Bloggers, Prima Toys is taking note!

We have also seen the positive impact of influencers and bloggers in our ‘local’ market place, educating parents & children alike and in so doing changing the face of ‘traditional’ marketing for ever.

 

Here’s an overview of the Prima Top Toys for 2018

Nostalgia toys continue to make a serious comeback, together with collectibles and toys that incorporate robotics and technology. This Festive Season there is something for everyone and for all ages from toddler to tween to teenager. There is also a wide range of classic and new games that adults can enjoy.

 

Kids are becoming increasingly tech savvy and they want in on the latest toy craze around the world.

Top Toys for BOYS in 2018

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Ben 10

Ben 10 is still at the top of the list in terms of boy’s toys. Benjamin Tennyson moonlights as Ben 10, a superhero with special powers that he discovered from a young age when his signature Omnitrix device miraculously attached itself to his wrist. The Ben 10 range features all the alien figurines in various sizes ad movement capabilities. There are also exciting playsets including the Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber and the Transform & Battle playset.

New to the range is Ben 10 Action Projection Omnitrix,  the Omni Launcher which includes 2 figurines, the deluxe Transforming figure and the Alien Creation Chamber.

 

Big Hero 6

The toys in this range are based on the animated superhero series of the same name. Toys in the range include Micro Chibi figures, action figures, feature figures, Armoured Up Baymax and Blast Flying Baymax.

 

Treasure X

Especially for boys who love to hunt for treasure, Treasure X is a new toy that engages the senses as children scratch, dig and unearth the lost bounty. Like any good treasure hunt, Treasure X is about more than just what you find, it’s about the fun of finding it too. Hidden somewhere inside the Treasure X brick are a collectible skeleton figure and a treasure chest which contains a gold treasure.

 

StretchMini Stretch Justice League Figures are just some of the fantastic toys available in the Stretch range.  Each toy can stretch up to 5 times its original size, it then slowly shapes back, ready to be pulled and twisted all over again. Look out for Mini Stretch X-Ray and Mini Stretch VacMan, Stretch Batman and introducing Disney Pixar Mini Stretch Mrs Incredibles.

 

Trixx

Collect the 8 cars and create your own circuit! Trixx360º is much more than a car that turns 360! Everything is usable in Trixx360! Use the packaging box to build your own circuit! Make as many combinations as you can imagine!But not only that. All the accessories of the cars are interchangeable, including the wheels and the bodies! Collect the 8 cars with their ramps and make multiple combinations!

 

Top Toys for Girls in 2018

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Shopkins

Shopkins have become a toy box staple and have crept into the heart of little girls the world over. They are cute, adorable, very colourful and collectible with price ranges that accommodate intermittent purchase and big ticket item buys kept especially for birthdays and special occasions. From the small collectible Shopkins, to the world of Shoppies and now Shoppets, the Shopkins universe features different themes for every season, sparks the imagination and provides endless hours of enjoyment.

This season sees the launch of Shopkins’ Season Nine – Wild Style, which introduces the Shoppets. They are adorable little pets for the Shoppies dolls and are larger than a Shopkin, but smaller than a Shoppie.

2018 also sees the launch of the Shopkins Small Mart Range. 

Something top secret is happening in Shopville. Shopkins Lil Secrets is another range to look out for and will be available in stores in October. Hint: they are little playsets that Shoppies can play with.

 

L.O.L. Surprise have been a phenomenon. The success of the products hinges on the fact that it’s all about unpacking the surprises inside until you have put together a complete toy. The products have won a range of international awards and continue to fascinate girls from the age of four and up.

To add more fun, sparkle and excitement to the range, a variety of new, mystery-filled L.O.L. products have been launched including L.O.L. Pets, L.O.L. Glitter, L.O.L. Confetti, L.O.L. Little Sisters, L.O.L. Surprise Game with Accessory, L.O.L. Water Game and L.O.L. Puzzles.

 

Baby Secrets

Baby Secrets is a retro toy that has made a comeback. Baby Secrets is collectibles range which features a unique element, that of discovering if the character is a boy or a girl by bathing it in water. The nappy changes colour to either blue or pink to reveal the gender.

 

Pikmi Pops and Cake Pops

Pikmi Pops and Cake Pops are just waiting to be unwrapped! Another range of collectibles that feature the surprise element, the Pikmi Pops and Cake Pops are filled with mini scented plushies and other fun goodies.

 

Baby Love

Baby Love is Prima Toys’ own baby doll range. The success of the dolls hinges on the fact that they were designed with a South African audience in mind and each doll speaks a national language. Baby Bella speaks English, Baba Tasha speaks Afrikaans and the hugely successful Baby Thando speaks English and isiZulu. Parents and little girls can look forward to a new isiXhosa speaking doll. For 2018 the range now includes a Baby Love Buggy.

 

Little Live Pets

Fans of the Little Live Pets will be pleased to know that there are new additions to the toy range. Little Live Pets Pup, Little Live Pets Dragon. There is also a Little Live Pets Bizzy Bubs.

Introducing the Lil’ Cutie Pups, the latest members of the Little Live Pets family! These little dogs are the cutest pups around. Lil’ Cutie Pups are full of life and love to show off their own personalities as they scamper about, beg and play with you!

 

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LITTLE LIVE PETS DRAGON

Hatching toys is a trend that will continue in 2018. The Little Live Pets Surprise Dragon comes in a beautiful egg and you don’t know which one is inside until it hatches. Once hatched, the Dragon can hop and flutter its wings.  The Little Live Pets Surprise Dragon can be hatched again and again.

 

Baby Born

Baby Born is a wonderful product range that has been around for 26  years. The Baby Born dolls feature lifelike functions like tearing, feeding, drinking and wetting. Numerous accessories are included with each doll ensuring that little girls can role play and take care of their doll as if it were a real baby. Accessories include plate and spoon, a potty, a dummy, a diaper and a sachet of baby doll food. Baby Born new soft body

Features of the new Baby Born rage include being soft to the touch (their bodies are soft and seamless), super movable (there is improved motion of arms and legs) and more easily crying real tears.

October will see the launch of our nationwide Baby Born campaign – in which little girls can stand a chance to win their share of R100 000 Baby Born dolls and accessories!

 

Baby Annabell

Baby Annabell® is almost like a real baby with lifelike functions and a cute expression on her face. She responds to touches, can cry real tears and loves her bottle and dummy. When she drinks her bottle or sucks her dummy, she delightfully opens and closes her eyes, while her mouth moves realistically. Patting her on the back helps her burp like a real baby. Rocking her from side to side makes her feel sleepy. When she cries, tear drops start to fall from her eyes. She yawns, closes her eyes and begins to breathe gently.

 

My Fairy Garden is an enchanting range that features fairies and unicorns and introduces children to the changing of the seasons, gardening and how plants grow. The toys are perfect for girls aged 4 years and older. Children love toys that allow them to be creative and to learn about their environment; and with My Fairy Garden playsets they have the opportunity to learn even more about nature.

 

Coming in October are the Disney Doorables! Unlock Moose Toys Latest Surprise with Glitter Eyes when Doors Open in October 2018! Through a collection of figures and connectable playsets, Disney Doorables empowers kids to become storytellers by uniting beloved Disney characters in one land – where surprise and delight await behind each door.

 

Scruff-a-luvs are adorable fur ball, rescued pets. The pets come in pink or blue and untangle in water to reveal your puppy. Find us Scruffy, Make us Fluffy! These unloved and abandoned pets are in need of your help! When buying your Scruff-a-Luv, they arrive as a sad ball of matted pink fur, but once you bathe them, dry them, brush them and love them, you will discover your puppy! Available mid September.

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SCRUFF A LUVS

Top Tech Toys in 2018

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Fingerlings continue to be at the top of the birthday wish list.

This year, the Fingerlings family has grown with the addition of Fingerlings Baby Unicorns and the Glitter Monkey. As the best-selling technology toy for 2017, the Fingerlings have become a phenomenon in the toy world and with good reason because these robotic pets are cute, adorable and very huggable.

Brightly coloured with adorable faces, these palm-sized pets curl around your finger and come to life when you play, responding to sound, motion and touch with over 40 animations. Later in the year and leading up to the festive season, more awesome and exciting Fingerlings will be added to the range.

Introducing exciting new additions to the Fingerlings family: Dino, Pando and Dragon.

 

Teksta
Incredibly lifelike, the classic robotic Teksta puppy is back with more interactive features than ever before. The puppy responds to voice, movements, lights and sounds through a built in artificial intelligence program. It communicates its emotions with barks, whines and changes in eye patterns, just like a real puppy. Teksta 360 will also react to your hand gestures to sit, stop and flip backwards. You can even train it to play and dance with its friends by downloading the app for additional bonus features.

 

Robo Chameleon                         

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Robo Chameleon

Move, Aim and Catch! A Robot Chameleon that can Shoot the tongue out and snap up the “food”!

There are 3 steps to catching Robot Chameleon:

  1. Walk your Robot Chameleon to the “food” by remote control
  2. Aim the target!
  3. Press “catch” on the remote

Robot Chameleon has a built-in extendable tongue to “catch” the “food”. It also has a LED Illuminated body, with multiple colour light changes. It also has a motorized tails and eyes that move when it walks.

 

Virtual Reality (VR) Real Feel

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VR product range

VR Real Feel is the game that makes virtual reality a reality! Experience 3D high definition graphics with your iPhone or Android smartphone using the VR Real feel headsets. Simply download the game to a smartphone, insert the phone into the headset and play. Range includes VR Fishing, VR Alien Blaster, VR Motocross and VR Racing. The headsets have a comfortable foam face, adjustable straps, and an adjustable phone cradle.

 

Show off your skills with the Laser X Two-Player Laser Tag Gaming Set.

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Laser X

With two blasters and two receiving vests, players are ready for one-on-one competitions, but can also join in on team play since the sets are all compatible with each other. Check the blast power indicator to know how many blasts you have left, so that if you’re low on blasts you can find a good hiding place.  Available September.

 

ARIA

A.R.I.A’s Adventures is an educational interactive set with 3 different games in 1 box. It includes 100 interactive flash cards, a Virtual Reality animal park and 3D colouring pages. Use your smart device or the included VR head set and allow A.R.I.A to take you on an incredible virtual journey.

 

Top Science Toys in 2018

National geographic has launched a new range of S.T.E.M. toys that stimulate the imagination and help children develop an aptitude for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We all want to give our kids the world, and now, with National Geographic, parents can do just that. The range has fun, educational, stimulating and inspiring toys for kids.

With the National Geographic science kits, children become thoroughly absorbed in play and learning. The range includes a variety of digging kits such as the Shark Teeth Dig Kit, Dinosaur Dig Kit, Bug Dig Kit and the Gemstone Dig Kit. There is also a Volcano Science Kit and a Glow in the dark crystal it where kids can create their very own crystals. There is a new range of soft play including Dinosaur, safari and Ocean animal figures to collect, play with and display.

 

Nat Geo figurines

Wildlife Wow is a revolutionary NEW wildlife series! Soft and squeezable with the same level of detail as hard figures. Each figure is hand-painted with non-toxic paint. These animals come to life with a free virtual and augmented reality experience and the app’s X-ray vision lets you see the skeletal structure inside each animal. Watch videos, learn facts, and explore each animal with the educational interface.

 

Prima Top Toys Games in 2018

This year the Prima Toys’ collection of games is bigger and better. From the classics to brand new games that will have your skills tested to the limit, all in the name of fun! Our brand new games include:

Flipslide is a fast-paced electronic game that tests your speed and reflexes.

Boom Blast Stix – this game will keep everyone on the edge of their seats!

Game Box – Games Box is small enough to be taken but big enough to provide lots of fun gaming times!

Rubik’s Cube – For all Rubik’s Cube fans both veteran and amateur, the brand has created new versions of the famous cube that are more challenging, more fun and more exciting to solve. 

 

Top Toys for Toddlers in 2018

A range of new LeapFrog products are available to help your child develop a love of learning during the early childhood year.

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LeapFrog prepares your child for a lifetime of learning. The brand is the leader in innovative solutions that encourage a child’s curiosity and love of learning throughout their early developmental years. For more than 20 years, LeapFrog has helped children expand their knowledge and imagination through products that combine state-of-the-art educational expertise, innovative technology and engaging play.  LeapFrog’s learning tablets, developmental games, learn to read and write systems, interactive learning toys and more are designed to create personalized experiences that encourage, excite and build confidence in children. 

 

V Tech

VTech creates age appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children of various ages. The products enrich children’s development and make learning fun. VTech consults a panel of experts, specialised in reading, language arts, science, math and child development, during the process of creating new products to ensure that they are beneficial to children.

Some of the new products for toddlers that parents can look forward to from VTech are:

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Little Tikes

Little Tikes is a range of toys for indoor and outdoor play that will entertain your child while helping them to develop their mind and imagination. The toys encourage discovery and learning through active, creative and social play and provide hours of fun.

The products are created for babies and toddlers, as well as older children, with a focus on interaction, movement and learning.

Below are some of the latest toys from Little Tikes:

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Mickey turns 90 years old!

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90cm Mickey Plush toy

 

 

Mickey is turning 90 on 18 November. Disney will be running a nationwide campaign to celebrate all things Mickey over the festive period and capitalising on the hype around his birthday (18 November).

Prima Toys will focus on key product categories such as: Plush toys, games, puzzles, metals and outdoor play.

Disney and dress up

Playing dress up is a fun way for kids to express themselves. The Disney rage includes costume party packs available in the following brands: Marvel Avengers, DC Heroes Boys, DC Girls and Disney Princess.

 

This season there really is something for everyone! For more information, go to www.primatoys.co.za or www.Facebook.com/primatoys and follow @PrimaToys

The toys and games are available at toy stores and retailers countrywide. 

Go on, “Let them explore”…

Spirited Mama

x

Cartoon Network Live characters

Cartoon Network Live is ALIVE!

Opening day of Cartoon Network Live

Yesterday, we attended the opening of Cartoon Network Live at the Teatro, Montecasino, Johannesburg. Man alive, am I happy that this day had finally arrived as Dudie was driving me crazy with the constant “when are we going to the show” or “Mom, come see the ad is on TV”. As a parent I take precaution in what and how much details I divulge to my 8 year old. BUT, he saw the Cartoon Network Live invite on my laptop, stupid me left it on the table and forgot that this child CAN read!

This child called me at work to ask when I’m leaving because we can’t be late for the show. Then he called again, whilst I was en route, to check how far I am from home. Alas, we made it to the show on time.

Cartoon Network Live!, features Cartoon Network’s most popular heroes from Ben 10, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time and The Powerpuff Girls, in an interactive and spectacular stage production for kids aged 5+.

We were seated and waited in anticipation! It was incredible to see all the wonderment and excitement as the Teatro was filled with gleeful children waiting to see their favourite characters LIVE on stage.

Cartoon Network Characters come ALIVE on stage

Adventure Time, Finn the dog and Jake the human - Cartoon Network characters on stage

Finn the dog and Jake the human, Cartoon Network Characters

The audience erupted as familiar Cartoon Network characters stepped out on stage. The kids were in their zone, screaming gleefully as they recognized their favourite characters. What stood out for me was the story line that these beloved characters brought to life. From inspirational songs to interacting with the audience. To instill a value that “GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL”. To be the best friend you can be and to just believe in yourself.

Kids tend to “listen” to their peers and in this instance I think they were more zoned in to the message from their beloved characters. This live production is filled with song and dance but also very important messages for our kids. We just need to listen to the message. After the show, Dudie aptly told me how this was the best show ever and that the characters have some important messages for the kids. *this is my smart egg this one 🙂 *

I prefer live productions, especially for kids. It ignites their imaginations and allows for human interaction as opposed to staring at a screen!

The production brings together an international, award-winning creative team to ensure a quality family entertainment stage show for audiences of all ages. The show is directed by award-winning director and choreographer Bart Doerfler, known for his work on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, The Walt Disney Company, The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Holiday On Ice and Dreamworks. Besides Bart Doerfler, the creative team consists of Stephen Emmer (Musical Director), Cynthia Nordstrom (Costume Designer), David Smeets (Lighting Designer), Michael Al-far (Video designer) and Marinus de Graaf (Set designer).

Cartoon Network Shows and Dudie’s schedule

We are fortunate to have multiple channels in our home and that everyone, EXCEPT me, can watch what they feel like. Dudie is constantly tuned in to Cartoon Network. His favourites Cartoon Network shows include the likes of Ben 10,  The Regular show (aka Mordecai & Rigby), The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time AND Teen Titans!

Now before you judge how much screen time is allowed in my home, Dudie has very limited TV time during the school week but has free reign Friday – Sunday. That being said, he prefers to spend his weekends outside BUT he has an endless supply of pvr’d episodes, he does this himself, should he decide to catch up on some TV time.

About Cartoon Network EMEA

Turner’s Cartoon Network is a universally appealing boy focused, girl inclusive channel driven by its exciting slate of surprising comedy and adventure. The programming line-up explores the relatable themes of humour, friendship, imagination, action and adventure. Cartoon Network targets boys and girls aged 6-12 and aims to champion kids being themselves through its rich mix of entertaining and globally successful content.

The Powerpuff girls Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network’s -The Powerpuff girls

If you’re stuck for some school holiday fun best you make your way over to Montecasino for the Cartoon Network Live production! Your kids will thank you…

Johannesburg

3rd July 2018 – 15th July 2018

Montecasino

Ticket Price: R175 – R390 – up to 50% off all off-peak shows

Tickets are on sale now through www.bigconcerts.co.za and Computicket.

 

Spirited Mama

x

**Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the opening show but the views and opinions expressed are my own**

 

 

Little Tikes from Prima Toys for my own Little Tike

Toy deliveries from Prima Toys

Every time a courier arrives at our door, or my phone rings and I answer with “ok, thanks I’m on my way” Dudie knows it’s a blog drop… It seems Troll is catching onto this as he hurriedly makes his way over to any unopened box to reveal or rather spill the contents faster than I can say “Did anyone notice that it has MY name on it”. However, my neighbour received the boxes from Prima Toys as we were stuck on the sports field with Dudie’s soccer match. Needless to say the boxes were opened as soon as they were brought into the house. We received the Little Tikes Big Car Carrier as well as the Handle Hauler Truck.

Babies, or am I now suppose to say toddlers, love to be on the floor. It’s fascinating to see how Troll’s imagination takes over during play time. The Little Tikes toys came at just the right time to keep Troll interested and stimulated during floor time play. I did have a jealous Dudie, who felt a little left out, as the toys are specifically aimed at younger children. But this Mama quickly pointed out that the box says for kids up to 12years 🙂 So both my boys get to enjoy the Little Tikes toys.

Little Tikes toys encourage play and movement

Little Tikes is a range of toys for indoor and outdoor play that will entertain your child while helping them to develop their mind and imagination. The toys encourage discovery and learning through active, creative and social play and provide hours of fun.

The products are created for babies and toddlers, as well as older children, with a focus on interaction, movement and learning. From outdoor sets to role-playing toys, the products encourage children to play, push, pull, bounce and more. The toys have been designed especially for little hands and are tough enough to endure being chewed, hit and thrown about.

Little Tikes Car Carrier

Little Tikes Big Car Carrier

If you’re looking for a toy that is durable and waterproof, yes Troll has taken his cars into the bath with him, then this is it. Also, according to Troll, the Big Car Carrier doubles as a human ride on toy. What amazed me is that it actually carries my 13kg baby and still is in good working order.

This toy car carrier packs a lot of fun and includes two toy sports cars.  Ideal for outdoor and indoor play, the truck turns effortlessly making it easy to push or pull around. The truck also decouples from hauler and the ramp flips down to load the cars inside. Ideal for ages 18 months plus. RSP: R899.99

Little Tikes Handle Haulers – Truck

First off I was apprehensive as this toy makes sounds. I’m the parent who cringes at a toy that makes loud sounds because as you know, kids will press that darn button a gazillion times in one day! The good news is that the sound is quite soft but still audible for the child playing with it to hear it. The great news is that it doesn’t disturb anyone else!!! Troll has been pushing that button to his heart’s content and no one is complaining 🙂

This friendly-faced Handle Haulers Truck encourages children to get down on the floor and play. The easy to grip, handheld car is easy to push. Little Tikes Handle Haulers are great toys for kids as they encourage energetic floor play and hours of pretend fun. Ideal for ages 12 months plus. RSP: R299.99

There are various Little Tikes products to choose from.

Available at toy stores countrywide. For more information go to www.primatoys.co.za

Spirited Mama

x

**Disclaimer: Products featured above were sent to us to review. However, the views and opinions stated are my own.

Cartoon Network Live coming to SA + Win tickets

A FIRST FOR SOUTH AFRICA; CARTOON NETWORK LIVE IN CAPE TOWN AND JOHANNESBURG THIS WINTER HOLIDAYS

Cartoon Network Live will be in South Africa ever, in Cape Town in June, and then Johannesburg in July.

Cartoon Network Live!, will feature their most popular heroes from Ben 10, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time and The Powerpuff Girls, in an interactive and spectacular stage production for kids aged 5+.

Meet Jake and Finn

 

 

 

 

Powerpuff Girl – Buttercup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to plan holiday activities with the boys, especially when I know it’s going to be a long school holiday. How do you keep your kids entertained during school holidays?

My Dudie, aged 8 years, is going bananas every time he sees the advert on TV. By now you and your kids must have seen this ad doing the rounds. I am yet to meet a kid who does not love Cartoon Network.

This is one show that will get you the “Best Parent” Award…I cannot guarantee how long you will be best parent BUT you will earn yourself an award!!!!

About the live production

There is something amazing about live stage productions that just does it for me and now sparked Dudie’s interests too. The interactive shows allows you to really enact and live in that moment. It brings about a whole new perspective on the characters and the fun they bring rather than just sitting in front of a TV watching a pre-recorded show.

The production brings together an international, award-winning creative team to ensure a quality family entertainment stage show for audiences of all ages. The show is directed by award-winning director and choreographer Bart Doerfler, known for his work on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, The Walt Disney Company, The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, Holiday On Ice and Dreamworks. Besides Bart Doerfler, the creative team consists of Stephen Emmer (Musical Director), Cynthia Nordstrom (Costume Designer), David Smeets (Lighting Designer), Michael Al-far (Video designer) and Marinus de Graaf (Set designer).

 

Justin Van Wyk, CEO at Big Concerts – A Live Nation Company added “We are very excited to work together with Cartoon Network and the Live Nation team. Cartoon Network Live! will feature, for the very first time, all the familiar and beloved Cartoon Network characters, together in one live stage show. Live Nation always strives to bring fans closer to their idols and with this Cartoon Network Live! we will be doing just that!”

You know you’re in for a treat with a production team like that!

Cartoon Network Live in SA

Tickets are on sale now through www.bigconcerts.co.za and Computicket.

Tour Itinerary

Cape Town

26th June 2018 – 1st July 2018

Grand Arena, GrandWest

Ticket Price: R245 – R365- up to 50% off all off-peak shows

 

Johannesburg

3rd July 2018 – 15th July 2018

Montecasino

Ticket Price: R175 – R390 – up to 50% off all off-peak shows

YOUR chance to WIN tickets to see Cartoon Network LIVE

Are your kids Cartoon Network fans? Here’s your chance to win some tickets to either the Cape Town or Johannesburg shows.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!!!

Spirited Mama

x

T’s & C’s

**Competition closes on Friday 22 June 2018.
Open to South African residents only.
Winners will be randomly selected.
No correspondence will be entered into once a winner is selected.
Winners will be announced on my social media accounts and notified via email.
I reserve the right to disqualify invalid entries.
**

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.

Kids get sick

Kids get sick when in doesn’t suit your schedule

Kids get sick at the most inopportune times in OUR lives. It will either be in the wee hours of the morning, or at school, or weekends, or on holiday, etc. Isn’t is just incredible how kids make a miraculous recovery whilst you are sitting in the Paediatric waiting area? Please tell me it is NOT just my kids who do this. They are happy and playing when we are at the doctor but limp fish and half dead when you have them at home…

Maz, from Caffeineandfairydust, wrote a post earlier this year that resonated with me.

To The Mom Sending Her Sick Kids To School…And Everyone Else

When kids get sick, what are your alternatives?

I know some parents have NO alternative but to send their sick kids to school but dammit it aint fair on the rest who are trying to keep their kids in good health. I empathise with both parents, the parent sending the sick kid to school as well as the parent trying to keep their kid healthy. With Dudie we used to rotate who would stay home so that we don’t exhaust one parent’s leave only. And also not to piss of the employer that one parent is staying out of work all the time.

I remember spending more time than I would have liked at the Emergency Room with Dudie. And thankfully now that he is 7 years old I think we’ve only had two ER visits in a long time.

Troll is in daycare. Fortunately, it’s only half day. But that still makes him susceptible to the germs around him for the few hours that he is there. Thank goodness we have a policy at work in OUR department, Family comes First.

Last month whilst I was on study leave, I dropped Troll at 07:35 only to pick him up again at 10:20. They called to say that he had a fever. With the long weekend coming up, I didn’t want to take any chances and end up at ER for the weekend. I took him to the paed and thankfully it was only a secondary infection but it was enough to warrant an antibiotic…

SO that is how Thursday started. And so we went through our long weekend nursing Troll, who woke hourly every night without fail. This was as exhausting as it was painful. Troll has an excellent night time routine. He cluster feeds from 4pm, then it’s bath time at 7pm and bedtime by 7:30PM. Then he will sleep for 7-9 hours straight. Imagine after such an incredible routine you now suddenly have to wake every hour during the night. Do you see why it was painful? By Sunday Dude and I were walking zombies. We would take turns and just pass Troll from one to the other.

Thankfully Troll got better and by Monday night he was back to his normal routine. I did say “Thank you JESUS” aloud a few times. In fact, I say “Thank you JESUS” every night when I swaddle Troll after his bath, put him in his bed and switch the lights off and just walk out the room. 9 out of 10 times he will be asleep within 2-5 minutes. If not, he normally just needs to be burped again and put down.

Do you get sick after your kids were sick?

Our kids got sick, both Dudie and Troll. Then as luck would have it, when they were fully recovered the parents were sick. For the entire month of June, it is like we were playing musical chairs with someone always being sick. Everyone one got better, except me… I’ve been nursing “something” all this time. It’s not quite enough to get a doctor’s appointment but it is also not going unnoticed… I’m gatvol of feeling like this. Then last week I was better, in fact I was doing great. BUT that something was lying dormant, just waiting for me to let my guard down.

As soon as my exams were done and I could finally just sleep like a “normal” person BAM! I was sick AGAIN! And then Murphy seems to be in my red zone, Troll is sick too… Oh My Lawd…I can’t. I just can’t. For my own sanity, on Saturday I co-slept with Troll. We both got some much needed rest. In fact, we only woke up at 8:51 on Sunday morning.

I do think that Troll will need some meds, so guess where we are this morning. Yep, the paediatrician’s waiting room. I must add that I do love this doctor. He is so gentle with ALL the kids and so very thorough. And just in case Mom isn’t feeling ok, he will happily give mom a quick check and prescription too. It’s a win win situation.

What I would like to know is:

  1. Do you send your sick kid(s) to school?
  2. How do you feel about parents sending sick kid(s) to school?

What do you do when your kid(s) are sick? Do you send them to school/daycare?

I have been on both ends of the stick. I was the parent dropping a sick kid and I am now the parent getting pissed off seeing sick kids at school. I know what it feels like to drop a sick child. We live in a different province than our families. So we don’t have the support that most of my family has, who lives within close proximity to the family. We, i.e. Dude and I, have to do everything, be everyone etc…I also know what I feel like walking into Troll’s class and I see snotty faces. I cringe and immediately wipe their faces. Yep, I wipe the other kids’ faces. Whilst cuddling Troll, I quietly tell myself to calm the fuck down because perhaps those parents had NO ALTERNATIVE.

Yes, it’s annoying to have a sick child but then again if need be, I can always take Troll home or to my office. I do think that it builds their immunity to catch a few germs here and there but within reason of course. I am fortunate to work in an environment that is “family” and “kid” friendly. Well just in my department, not in the Institution as a whole.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have an alternative, whatever it may be. So for now, I smile as Troll looks like he has made a miraculous recovery in the Paediatrician’s room but will most likely be limp by bedtime tonight. Both Troll and I are fine for most of the day but as soon as dusk starts setting in, we become “sick”… what is this sorcery?

I “see” you when you have no alternative with your sick kids

I’m pretty sure we can debate the topic about whether or not to send sick kids to school until kingdom come…I think we all just need to chill out and cut one another some slack! I see the mom, who is pregnant and battling to hawl her kid from car to classroom all whilst huffing and puffing and looking a little under the weather herself. I see the parent, who is embarrassed to drop the “sick” kid too. I also see the parent who is fuming because someone at school is sick.

Happy Monday! I feel like crap! I need to go nurse my Troll.

Spirited Mama

x

 

Derailed and binge drinking

Not me…the baby…Troll is binge drinking. At first I thought it was growth spurts but it has become a daily occurrence and I guess this is just what he does. I really think I should just connect the tube from my breast pump directly from breast to Troll…

My plans are being DERAILED. Clearly I have forgotten how long it takes to get out of the house with a new baby. Just to get to PicknPay, which is literally across the road from our house, takes forever. I swear it’ll be quicker if I sent one of the dogs with a note and some cash to bring back the goods.

One Sunday I had a plan of action for the day. We would go to church, go to Checkers straight after the service because the toilet paper was on special. BabySoft hasn’t been R79.95 since forever. I wrote about our use of Toilet Paper here.

Then I wanted to stop at Woolworths because I have a gift voucher to pamper myself. And I had to change baby clothes because we had duplicates, a gift we received when I already bought the exact same outfit for Troll.

Well, this is how my plan of action actually went down:

We skipped Church because I just didn’t want to wake the sleeping baby. My 7 year old said “Mom you can just pray harder here at home.” Then my 7 year old took an eternity to get done. In between Troll kept feeding as if it was the end of the world. Me having a hissy fit because the 7 year old showers for an eternity and yet he is the first to preach that we should save water. Oh and then Dude, aka the husband, messages me that he needs to go to PicknPay after work but we should enjoy our outing. I responded that we were going nowhere slowly. At 11am I put Troll down for a nap. I hurriedly dust the bedrooms, get the eldest child dressed and ready for the day. I fold the clothes from the dryer and put the next load. I never hang the laundry. I tumble dry EVERYTHING. Even the ones that say DO NOT tumble dry. I take a quick shower. I nibble on some biltong because with a new baby you kinda forget to eat nevermind make a proper lunch. Then the 7 year old is calling for food. I waiting for Dude to get home from work, just to offer me a few minutes of respite. I look at the clock and think shit it’s only 12:35 but it feels like bedtime again.

Well that’s that. I ate some fruit and some yoghurt. I’ve learnt to stock up on food that you can snack on whilst breastfeeding or handling the baby…One-handed operations only. I never got to PicknPay, neither did I make it to Checkers or Woolworths. I sat down and realised shit I still wanted to go to Makro as well. What used to be a seamless operation now takes forever and a day, planning and coordinated movements…all just to get to the shops with two kids by my side.

I always pack two baby bags. One to take with us when we leave the house and an emergency backup if we need to rush out. My 7 year old always grabs snacks for the road, albeit just to PicknPay across the road. I kid you not. Dude will attest to that.

How do you manage with kid(s)? I only have two but some days it feels like I have twenty…

#thestruggleisreal

Spirited Mama

P.S. My 7 year old says “Mom if you don’t want to smell like the baby vomit just wash with water and soap and you can smell like you”. The honesty of this child sometimes…

 

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.

Competition between siblings

Siblings

I can’t believe how competitive Dudie is with the resident alien, who is still in utero. He is literally competing with his brother even though his brother is still very comfortable and snug in my ever growing belly. Last week I was spoilt with a surprise baby shower for the resident alien. A lovely gesture from some of my colleagues. and some even took the initiative to get Dudie a gift or two.

Do you have a baby shower for your second or third child?

When I fetched Dudie from school , I had the leftover cake in the car. By the time we got home Dudie had eaten the “Baby Noah” off of the cake, dug little holes into the cake and was ready to eat the pretty blue booties. I was slightly annoyed as it just felt as if he was jealous and acting out. (How pretty is this cake and it was SO delicious!)

cake

When he saw all the gifts the baby received his immediate response was “he is so lucky to get all these gifts”. He was fine when he realised he also got some gifts though.

Competition between siblings is real

What gets to me is that it seems that he expects to get something if the baby gets something. How can I change that mentality? How do I make him realise that if one gets the other doesn’t necessarily HAVE to get as well. (I actually know of people who buy birthday gifts for all their kids, even if it is just the one kid’s birthday.) I’m sorry that shit just won’t fly with me. Perhaps I need to give it some time. Consistency is key here. We have had numerous conversations about it and will continue with these conversations because frankly there is no need to be competitive. We love our children and strive to treat them both equally and fairly.

I get that Dudie is only 7 years old and suddenly he needs to share his whole world with someone else, his brother. This brother that he has been yearning for… It’s a HUGE adjustment for all of us as we will now be a family of four.

How do you deal with competition among siblings? How do you handle it? Any advice?

Spirited Mama

x

 

 

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