Spirited Mama

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

Tag: Parenting (Page 1 of 3)

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52 lessons for 52 weeks: Week 12 – Enjoy the small things…F*ck balance

Enjoy your life vs Balance your life

This lesson is constantly in my subconscious. Its become a part of me as THIS is ultimately what I want to achieve. BUT, it’s also one of the most difficult tasks to do, in the throes of life when trying to juggle all the balls. There is that little voice in my head reminding me to find that “BALANCE”. But how? How do you find that balance without dropping any balls?

As if I don’t have enough on my plate as is with life, husband/kids/work/me…

A while ago, my Dude pointed out that I should MAKE time for myself. My question is HOW/WHERE/WHEN?

Even though I only work half day, I still do a full days work within half the time. I don’t have the luxury of free time as my kids take up the other half of my time. In between extra murals/homework/projects/speeches/etc life still goes on.

I feel as though I’m playing catch up ALL the time. I took a few days off in August BUT I was sick the entire time. Not a common cold but full on flu and bronchitis. I didn’t get much done and was merely making a bad situation even worse. I decided to refrain from social media and tried to focus on my family. Although, we had tantrums and moods, all in all the time out from the  mundane weekly routine did us some good.

I try to enjoy the small things but it’s damn hard to enjoy the small things when you were literally up all night with a sick baby. A baby who refused to sleep until 4am! only to wake up at 5am and vomit EVERYWHERE.

Training my mind to let shit go

Remember the lesson for week 6 – Let it go

It’s a work in progress… every single day. Learning to just be in the moment. This is one of my biggest struggles. Since being more conscious about it, I’ve started to find joy in the small things. With Troll being sick and being up all night, we caught up on some series. Before you judge, Troll was half asleep/half awake and NOT staring at the screen.

I am my worst enemy. I know that I am damn hard on myself. I take pride in my work BUT I realised I have dropped some balls there.

So society has dictated that we need to find that “BALANCE” in life. If you have THAT balance please feel free to send me your step by step manual. Otherwise feel free to f*ck off and let me enjoy my small things. This works for me. It’s what makes me feel happy rather than chasing some balance that no one person seems to know where to find anyway! Spirited Mama

It’s the small things that matter the most

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I have big dreams but I’m more of a person who thrives on gratification and satisfaction of achieving and seeing my plans come to life. To that I am trying to make those big dreams and goals smaller and more achievable by having smaller sizable tasks that once completed I can tick off my list! This is what gives me a sense of achievement. If I have to wait years just to tick a box, it kills me inside.

Right now, I find that I’m super proud of myself for getting the kids ready for school ON TIME! That’s a major thing for me and usually sets the tone for the mornings. The ultimate bonus is when the kids are happy to oblige to the morning routine.  I high five myself even if one child is happy and the other is having a shit fit. Having my kids eat their food is a big deal in my world. They are generally good eaters BUT we do have days where anything served is exactly what they DO NOT want. I’m not going to cook you a special meal, this is what’s on offer so deal with it. Believe me, kids will eat if they are hungry.

Dude and I have catch up sessions in the evening when the kids are in bed. You might be wondering why this is a big deal to me…Well this is also the time where I can quickly clean up/fold laundry/get ready for tomorrow. So this is also the time that Dude helps with whatever task is on hand! It’s also OUR quiet time to sit back and enjoy a coffee together.

 

F*ck Balance

I’m doing the BEST I can in the moment!

What are the small things that you enjoy?

Do you have the elusive BALANCE in your life?

Enjoy YOUR small things!

Spirited Mama

x

If you are new to my series find the previous posts below:

Week 1 – Living with intent

Week 2 – Be an example

Week 3 – Be YOU

Week 4 – Treasure people NOT possessions

Week 5 – Change is inevitable

Week 6 – Let it go

Week 7 – Love YOURSELF

Week 8 – FORGIVE

Week 9 – TRUST

Week 10 – BELIEVE in yourself

Week 11 – Find GOOD Friends

 

 

 

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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

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My kids make me angry or is it just me needing to express my emotions?

Do my kids really make me angry?

My kids have a set routine and we follow their routines quite efficiently. They know what to expect and when to expect it and this in turn sees them as generally “good” kids. The problem is that I feel they make me angry when they don’t do what I want them to do…when I want them to do it.

I don’t think I have the right to be angry BUT in that moment I am angry and I can’t help it! I breathe, I tell myself to calm the fuck down. It’s not the end of the world BUT to me it feels that I have lost control.

So I’ve been toying with this anger for a while and Tuesday was one of those nights… Our electricity went out just after 8pm. For the record, Troll, 1 yr, goes to bed anywhere from 6 – 7 pm. No issues, no fuss. Dudie, 8 years, goes to bed 7:30 PM but now during school holiday we leave him until generally around 9/10 PM.

Back to Tuesday. Electricity goes out just after 8PM. Granted we have a generator but we had done everything that we needed to so there was technically no reason to use the generator other than to be able to power the aircons. It’s freezing at night.

Troll sleeps in his own room and does not co-sleep with us AT ALL. We expereinced a terrible week of co-sleeping whilst on holiday earlier in teh year and I vowed that we would NOT repeat that again. So we decided it would be a good idea for the rest of the family to catch up on some sleep and turn down early.

Around 9PM, one of the neighbours switched on their generator. WTF! Both dude and I were like, “that generator is going to wake Troll” as it sounds as if it is coming from next door, closest to his window…. And BAM! Baby wakes up and is pissed as hell. So I quickly cuddle him in our bed for some warmth and pray that he just goes back to sleep. That must have lasted 20 minutes…

Troll decided he wants to play because why else would he be in our bed… The dilemma we had was that his room was freezing cos NO aircon! Troll is also a bad, all over the bed, sleeper. So in between Dude and I trying to get him to settle, Dude eventually pipes up that Troll is NOT going to sleep and we should just let him be.

 Where the anger stems from?

So many possible solutions here but let me point out a few:

  • If I have settled my kids, then why are they not settled??? I don’t know how to help you.
  • I feel that I have lost control of the situation.
  • What am I doing wrong? Parenting is kicking my ass. If I can’t manage my kids at 8 years and 1 year, what will I do when they are teenagers…
  • I am tired and just want a good night’s sleep.
  • I’m under pressure and stressed at work.
  • This situation is not conducive to my current mood and is quite inconvenient and inconsiderate right now…
  • I expect my kids to be more mature… How I can think this crap is beyond me. Note to self – THEY ARE KIDS!

I really need to get a grip on these negative thoughts!

How I am managing my anger

I know that many parents feel this way too. It’s not intentional BUT these feelings creep up when I least expect it. Some days I manage the anger well and others NOT.

I want to start making notes of when, where and WHY I became angry. Hopefully, this might point out some triggers for similar situations.

More and more I find myself talking to myself, sometimes aloud. This is not as crazy as you might think because sometimes we need to SAY SOMETHING OUT LOUD and hear YOUR OWN VOICE. You might have that much needed ah-ha moment.

I’m trying my hardest to model good behaviour.

I need regular time-outs! Nothing fancy, just a time-out to do me… some times a walk outside the house to look at our roses bushes does wonders…

Parenting and emotions

Parenting is NOT for the faint hearted! Parenting is very very hard sometimes. It’s an emotional roller coaster. As a woman, I already have dozens of emotions and hormones doing all kinds of crazy things to me and on top of that I still have to keep my emotions in check when parenting. That being said, Parenting is also my greatest achievement!

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Spirited Mama quotes

 

I just can’t imagine living without my offspring…

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**

 

 

Mama Magic Baby and Parenting Winter Expo + Win

It’s that time again for South Africa’s biggest Baby and Parenting Expo, the Mama Magic Winter Expo, 17 – 20 May 2018 @ The Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg. This expo is aimed at new and current parents, there is something for everyone. What I enjoy most about this expo is that there are experts readily available to advise you on products and if you have other children who love Barney, well there’s a live show to keep them entertained too. There are always new and innovative products so you get to see them first hand and if you wish to, buy them at show prices! Below an excerpt from the organisers:

As South Africa’s biggest and best baby and parenting expo, MamaMagic™, The Baby Expo has all you could need, want and more from 0 – 5 years old, all under one roof. With the very latest products and services, expert seminars, amazing show specials, exciting competitions, live entertainment and so much more, it is no wonder year on year we come out tops. Join in the magic and let us help you make your pregnancy and parenting journey just a little easier.

If you are expecting your first child, you WILL most definitely find essentials and must have items, well you know how we all have those “I need this” for the baby but you not quite sure how or when you will use it. I think the biggest draw card for the expo is the “A  Baby on Board Pregnancy starter pack competition worth over 100K!” 

If you are a parent, you will most definitely benefit from some really great show specials. I always stock up on the nappies 🙂

I have two double tickets for Friday or Saturday PLUS a Barney Meet and Greet!

Want to WIN some tickets? Here’s how:

To ENTER:

  1. Subscribe to my blog
  2. Comment on this blog post with either Friday or Saturday, so I know which day you will attend
  3. Like my Facebook page, click here
  4. Like MamaMagic on Facebook, click here

Earn additional entries:

  1. Follow me on Twitter @spirited_mama1 and tweet about this giveaway, tag a friend and remember to use the hashtags #spiritedmama  and #MamaMagicSA
  2. Follow me on Instagram, @spiritedmamablog, and tag a friend who would like to go to the expo, remember to use the hashtags #spiritedmama  and #MamaMagicSA
  3. Share the post on Facebook and tag a friend who would like to go to the expo, remember to use the hashtags #spiritedmama  and #MamaMagicSA

T’s & C’s

**Competition closes Wednesday 16 May 2018 at 12:00 midday .
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.
**

Ready! Set! Go!

Spirited Mama

Keeping A BREAST with World Breastfeeding Week

So 1 – 7 August 2017 is World Breastfeeding Week.

It’s ironic as Troll, who is just over 6 months old, has decided to “wean” himself from my breast… When Troll was in utero, I decided that I would be happy if I could breastfeed for 6 months. Perhaps I would make it to 12 months. Who knew? I decided to set a realistic goal of 6 months. And true as shit, he weans himself at 6 months.

Also, I think his self-weaning was aided with me being sick for 4+ weeks, being on various medication. The turning point was last week though. I was put on a high dose of antibiotics and was given strict instruction NOT to breastfeed. Of course, I could express my milk but I would just have to throw it away.

If you breastfeed or have breastfed, you’ll know that that milk is “liquid gold”. I would cringe even if we just wasted a drop. Imagine my horror just throwing it down the drain.

My breastfeeding journey is on its way out

As the situation currently stands, I have two bags of frozen breast milk in the freezer. This is the last of my stock pile. I currently have very little milk left. I have tried to boost my supply and even taken the infamous jungle juice. But alas, my milk supply is drying up.

It is bittersweet. This is the end of my breastfeeding journey. I am OK with it. I have come to terms with it. I have NO intention to have any more babies. BUT it is also the start of a new chapter for us.

I am honoured that I had the opportunity to breastfeed my boys. As Troll is now eating solids, which I make fresh by the way, I would’ve liked to have kept breastfeeding for another 2-3 months. I feel that this would’ve prepped him for the world. It may have helped keep allergies at bay. Fingers crossed Troll has NO allergies.

All over the world is celebrating Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding is NOT easy. Once you get the hang of it and your nipples are no longer cracked and/or bleeding from constantly being sucked on by a baby, you may actually enjoy breastfeeding. I also know of some people who find it the hardest thing to do. It’s stressful and yes your milk too can become stressed.

What I find even more ironic is that today is the last day of the World Breastfeeding Week. Today is also the day that I have set myself “free” from expressing and/or attempting to breastfeed again. Troll is happy and so am I. When I offered Troll my breast, he looked at me weirdly and just pushed it away. Now Troll happily just positions his head in between the warm squishy boobs, that once was his only source of nutrition.

Kudos to the moms who can breastfeed for extended periods.

Happy Monday…

Spirited Mama

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

 

To my first born. You ARE a good child!

My first born… 7 years old already

Where is the time flying to???

You know that moment when you realise your baby isn’t a baby anymore….Dudie is 7 years old. 7!!! He used to call me mommy/mama now it’s just mom. Sometimes he even uses my first name, bless this child. He is so independent but yet still so dependent on mom. Where did the last 7 years go?

One minute I was looking at a 3.4kg chubby face whom I had just birthed and the next he is in Grade 2. Somedays I miss your incessant staring at me and in the same breath I look forward to watching you grow into a handsome young man. A man who will become the object of some woman’s affection yet you will always be the object of my heart and soul.

Your first cry made me cry

From the moment I heard your first cry, you literally came screaming into this world, I knew you were destined for great things. Your first cry made me cry. Of all the emotions I was experiencing, being hormonal and high on adrenaline as I just birthed my child drug free, I was ecstatic. Some things will be discovered later but for now, we support you in whatever you want to do. We want to give all the opportunities possible. We want you to explore, to live, to dream. To find your happiness. And wow, you have proven to be an all rounder…and we are SUPER proud of you. In any and everything you give it your best shot.

Your good shines through

Your friends look up to you. Some days I think you are the cool kid but you nonchalantly wave me off and just hang out with your friends. Adults comment on your excellent behaviour. I smile proudly and take the compliment whilst quietly thinking to myself “You aint seen this monkey when he loses his shit”. You are a good child and don’t you ever forget that. Some days you just fall by the wayside…just as many of us adults do. It’s life, it happens. You know how sometimes you tell me my face has an angry stare but I insist that I am fine. Well, that is mom falling by the wayside. Or when mom doesn’t seem her talkative self, yip that is mom falling by the wayside.

You are a good child

In essence, I want you to know that not everyone is good at everything all the time. So when you do fall by the wayside, cut yourself some slack and don’t be so hard on yourself. At the tender age of 7 years I see how hard you are on yourself. And I know you don’t want to disappoint us. Remember what we always say:

“Just try your best. You should be proud of yourself. Your best is good enough for us and should be for you too.” Spirited Mama

You are a good child. And I am blessed to call you my son. My love for you is fierce. And it burns like a roaring fire in my soul. I am sorry that it doesn’t always seem that way though.

I love you my child. Be fearless. Discover. Go on adventures. Go live YOUR best life.

Spirited Mama

x

P.S. Today was a typical day where the wheels fell off the bus. I got you up and going happy bedhead and all. Somewhere in between me calmly, I promise I was calm and there was no shouting, asking you to get done for the millionth time you lost your shit with me. You went off on a tangent and then I got the dreaded “you give Troll more attention than me”. OMG! Really? I will need to rethink this situation as I really don’t think it’s true but I will merit your concerns and address them. I do think we are going through a difficult patch as you are struggling to manage your emotions. And I do think Troll definitely  makes a huge impact on the situation right now. (Adulting and parenting is hard…🙈)

Last night was opening night for your Concert. As always, the moment you take the stage my tears roll. I am so proud of you, how confident you are, how much you pour your heart and sould into everything you do. When I offered you a sandwich, you politely declined because you didn’t want to ruin the makeup 😂😂😂

When you live up to your name…

What’s in a name?

Do you know what your child’s name means? Did you choose it or did you give someone else the honour of naming your child or children? Did you choose his/her name before they were born? Or are you one of those parents who waited until your child was born, to see what “name” they looked like?

I have 2 sons. Dudie is now 7 years old and the new baby is currently 3 weeks going on 4. I can’t believe how quickly the past three weeks have flown by. Where is time rushing to?

When I was pregnant with Dudie, my Dude and I discussed several names. With both pregnancies our kids were planned. We had a few options but none that really resonated and made me feel “aaahhh that’s the name of my child”. Dude is the 4th generation of family names and when Dudie was in utero I decided that we will not continue the tradition. Don’t worry Dude was totally on board with the decision. One day on my commute to work I sought of had an epiphany. Now I am not the very religious type but I do believe in God and I do regard myself as a Christian. Somehow I had a sense of something around me and I knew in that moment that my child’s name was “Joshua”. Nowhere had I ever dreamt or intended for my child/children to have biblical names. But that feeling was so strong and reassuring that I knew he is destined to be “Joshua”.

Some might know and for those who don’t, for a very very very long time I was convinced that Joshua would be my only child. Albeit that I had relatively fuss free pregnancy and what many believe to be an easy birth too. But in 2015, Dude threw me a curveball wanting or rather longing for another baby. I wasn’t quite ready. I wasn’t convinced. And the whole baby thing was left hanging. I spent alot of time considering having another baby. Many people commented that its because I waited so long. The gap is too big. Blah blah blah… I always knew that I was not cut out to have two babies close in age… I couldn’t handle the thought of two nappy bags, bottles, diapers, etc.

Dude is very superstitious. When I told him that our first born’s name is Joshua, he told me that he needed to think about it and thoroughly do his research. He is a firm believer that one lives up to your name. It took him a while to agree that we will name our first son Joshua.

My sons live up to their names

Joshua means “God saves”. Joshua was and still is my happy child. When we looked into the meaning of his name it described my child to the core. We have witnessed how Joshua has transformed our extended families. We have witnessed how Joshua has impacted our families and brought them together. This child is a hellavu kind of special person and I know he is destined to be great, no matter what he does, no matter what he chooses to be one day.

I joked about how if we ever had another child he will be Noah. Never did I imagine that it would be a reality. But in 2017, 2 weeks earlier than anticipated, we welcomed Noah into our little family. From the onset he crept into my heart and I reAlised that indeed I had a sense of longing, just as much as Dude, for Noah. Dudie is as happy as a pig in mud about having a brother. He is super proud and completely “in love” just like us with Noah.

Noah means rest and comfort. Even though he can make his voice as loud and clear as any baby, he is a peaceful child. It is yet to be seen if he lives up to his name but already he has brought comfort into our souls…

Ironically, I named both our boys, and both have Hebrew names. First and middle names but Dude did add the SURNAME😂

Little did I know that this is my destiny. My family feels complete. It’s me and my guy and our boys ❤

This is my legacy.

This is my BEST life.

Spirited Mama

x

p.s. The sign featured is one that I bought for Dudie to hang in his bedroom.

Here’s to the Dads!!!

 

If you’re a Dad, congratulations

Kudos to YOU if you are a “hands-on or involved” Dad. It’s quite amazing to see that there are still guys out there who think their role is to implant you with their seed and VOILA they are ‘Father of the year’ because their job as “Dad” is done.

We really don’t show enough gratitude to the dads who really get involved and dirty their hands when it comes to raising their offspring. As a society, we are hell bent on naming and shaming dead beat dads BUT what about dead beat moms? Why is it shoved under a carpet or no one ever speaks about when the mom is a bad parent? There are so many bad/absent/uninvolved/negligent parents out there.

What Dads should know

Please don’t think that my life as a mom is all roses and moonshine BUT I really cannot imagine my life without my kids(yes I am already speaking of the resident alien as if he is here). Parenting is NOT easy. There is NO handbook. We parent by trial and error. What is good for one family might not necessarily be good for another. Everyone is different. Everyone has different parenting styles. BUT they day that we, Dude & I, became parents we made a commitment to Dudie – to always try our level best and to always be there for him! It’s taken 7 years to have another child. I do NOT take this commitment lightly.

For me being a parent is a LIFELONG commitment! You cannot unparent yourself. There is no return to sender, or 7 day exchange period. Please ensure that YOU are sure that YOU want to be a parent – for your child’s sake as well as yours… Spirited Mama

I am 31 weeks pregnant and counting. Dude is doing most of our housework and taking care of us, all whilst holding down his paying JOB too. Granted he is exhausted by 8pm every night BUT hey he is doing it without any complaints…perhaps silently or in his head but he is sure not complaining to us about it.

So today DUDE we SALUTE you for being an AWESOME husband and Dad. Thank You for taking care of us! We love you LOTS!

Spirited Mama

x

P.S. Anyone MAN can father a child but it takes a FATHER to raise his child!

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