Let’s talk about monkeys.

So my son got a taste of real monkeys recently.  We took a day trip out to Monkeyland near Plett, and had so much fun! Stopping for roadtrip coffee at Storms River bridge and having a late brekkie on the monkeyland deck with monkeys running around in the trees.

Cal has a book called “wheels on the bus” and the story isn’t the conventional one, each page the song takes you through various animals doing different things, one particular page is “lemurs like to leap in a dancing troup”, and so when we saw an ACTUAL lemur, his face was priceless! Then afterwards it was “lemurs like to leap in a dancing troup” every two minutes.  

So freaking cute.

I was amazed how he recalled such a complicated sentence, with words he would only hear in that book, and be able to recite it so perfectly.  It just goes to show, they retain more than we think, and will recall it at precisely the right moment.

Monkeyland gets my vote for awesome places to visit, and it was just far enough to feel “away” but not too long a drive with small kids.  

Bonus is they slept all the way home.

Friday Fun.

My nails weren’t meant to be pink, they were meant to be red…but a certain two year old accidentally dropped my brand new bottle of red on the tiles WHILE I WAS BUSY PAITING THE SECOND COAT.

So, we had to start again, and go with pink, cause well, red was all over the tiles.

Needless to say part of my birthday gift from my boys was a new bottle of red nail polish.  How their father managed to remember which one to get is beyond me, but I’m all stocked up and good to go.

The birthday was surprisingly upbeat this year, I don’t have ridiculous expectations, but a gift is required. I like to open a present on my birthday, in my bed with my family, it’s tradition. My hubby took me out for breakfast, sans kids, and I have a shopping trip in the not too distant future.  It was a lovely busy day and ended with dinner with my bests.

Not a bad way to celebrate 38, I think.

Ignition.

That saying, “you don’t know whether you’re coming or going”? That’s pretty much me right now.  Not in a bad, disoriented way, but more in a stuff is just starting and running and I’m having to trot along beside it all to keep up.  

This is a good thing.

Going back to work for a lot of moms is challenging at the best of times, and there are quite a large percentage of mamas who don’t have a choice when or if they go back, I am so very lucky.  I work for myself, and this meant that I could decide when I’d start again, I just wasn’t quite bargaining on everything taking off so quicky and so I am now thrust back into working a little sooner than I would have liked.

Shame. No, not shame, this is awesome.  It means my businesses are thriving, it means my livelihood is securing it’s spot and means that those months of maternity leave and having a good old re-think about my work is paying off. 

I just have to keep up with the momentum, stay focused, caffeinated, and I’m sure I’ll be okay, I think! 

Pre work, work.

So my online felt mobile business, Asherlove Felt, is due to re-open June 1st.  I thought I’d take May and slowly get the new range samples ready and start a bit of marketing to get folk excited that we were opening again, and then it exploded!

I thought I’d be able to ease back into the working life, but it would seem this is not the case.  I already have orders that need to get finished, the new samples that are busy being made, and a business mentoring support group that pushes me to do better, be better and expand my business.

So we’re adding products.

Yup, you heard me, as if I don’t have enough on my plate, I’ve taken up the challenge and am pushing my little business into overdrive for the nect few months, bye bye Netflix, bye bye photo-a-day entertainment, bye bye mooching in coffee shops with nothing to do, this mama’s got work to do!  

So watch this space for more on the Work at Home Mom life!

That’s your other brother.

So that moment arrived a few days ago.  My toddler has seen the photo in my bedroom of Asher, and wants to know “what’s that?” (Toddler for please explain).

It’s the only kind photo we have of his short life in the St George’s N.I.C.U.

My husband started explaining that this was Cal’s older brother, Asher, who went to be with Jesus.  He stood thoughtfully for a moment and then toddled off to play.  Hubby and I exchanged a look of surprise/that went well?!  We were never going to keep Asher’s story from his siblings, and even though Cal and Shaw will never meet him, they need to know this part of their families story.  

What I didn’t anticipate was the emotional response I would have to the conversation.

The suddenly seeing my boys and realising that they would never know their “older brother”, looking at how Cal and Shaw interact and wondering would it have been like that between Asher and Cal?  Watching my 10 week old smile at me and wondering what it would be like to see Asher smile, and I cried and cried.

I missed my first born.

Learning to allow the peace of God to, ONCE AGAIN, flood my soul, then it doesn’t overtake me.  

I can be sad for a while, but it won’t overtake me, because the goodness of God overshadows every part of my soul, even the difficult moments.

Book review: IDENTITY: Finding the Proverbs 31 Woman in the Middle of Kid Chaos.

I love a good book, digging into a great story and loosing yourself in the pages for nights on end.  Non-fiction, not so much, I tend to shy away from the mainstream, trendy publications, especially of the religious variety (call me a anti-hype weirdo), BUT THIS BOOK, this book is life changing.  How do I know?  I’ve had a taste of it, in person, and it’s positively changed my view on “becoming that proverbs 31 woman” that we are always encouraged to aspire to.  Shauna lays it out bare bones, life as a wife, mother and follower of Christ.  Keeping it down-to-earth and practical all the way.  De-mystifying the Proverbs 31 woman, and keeping it within reach of the normal, everyday woman.

This is my kind of book.

Here’s an excerpt from her book to tickle your brain:

IDENTITY---Front-Cover

The Proverbs 31 Woman―you either love her, or you hate her. She will either inspire you to greatness, or she will remind you of your weakness. Continue reading

When your only option is to quit.

I’ve been an advocate of the all natural, birthing process, including breastfeeding for a long time, even before I had kids.  It’s what a women’s body was made to do, and even though I needed ceasars for all my babies to make it safely into the world, I still believe that natural is the way to go.  This goes for breastfeeding too.  My first experience of breastfeeding was pumping every three hours in the hospital while my first baby, Asher, lay in the NICU with a terminal infection.  It all ended rather abruptly and painfully when he passed away after nine days.  

My second breastfeeding experience was, for lack of a better description, perfect.  Cal latched beautifully, my milk came in abundantly and we enjoyed the breastfeeding journey together for sixteen months.  It was at this point I started to get ill.  I had some sort of virus that wouldn’t leave and in order to be treated I needed to stop breastfeeding, cold turkey, or risk ending up in hospital and having to stop anyway.  At sixteen months I figured it was okay because I’d given it such a good run, so I let it go quite gratefully.  

Along came Shaw.

I fell pregnant with Shaw quite soon after going off the pill, and hadn’t quite regained the weight I’d lost from my illness, and I was a little concerned that would play a roll in the pregnancy or the birth.  Pregnancy went reasonably trouble free, and birth was normal (ceasar).  Then two weeks into breastfeeding I started getting sick again.  Nothing was working, I got infections and stomach flu and it all continued for almost six weeks when my GP advised that my iron levels where taking a dive from the breastfeeding, and if I didn’t stop immediately, I’d end up in hospital again with another iron transfusion and would have to stop breastfeeding anyway.  Breastfeeding at this point was going really well.  I had an abundance of milk, as usual, and could probably have fed a second baby with my abundant supply.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough milk, it was a question of wellbeing.

My son is only nine weeks old.  How can I stop now?!?! 

It wasn’t a difficult decision, to choose being healthy for my family over breastfeeding one child and becoming useless for months from illness, but it was an emotional one.  I knew that my youngest would never get ALL the benefits that breastfeeding provides, he’d miss out on crucial immunity and his milk may not always be warm.  Funny how a mamas mind works.  But, we had no choice,  we had to make the most of our window of opportunity to move him onto formula bottles while it was still less obvious to him, and possibly less traumatic to move over.

My only option was to quit.

It didn’t take long for him to take a bottle (second type we tried he liked), we stocked up on them and formula and all the other paraphernalia that goes with cleaning and sterilizing bottles.  I started to express to mix the milk and hoped like heck that stopping the breastmilk would be painfree, hahaha. 

So, after a weekend of excruciating pain, a round of Dostinex, a good bra and some serious pain killers, my milk is almost dry and my son drinks his bottles like he’s done it since he left the womb, why was I so worried???  

The irony is not lost on me that I’m so pro natural and have such different experiences with my children, it just shows you, you cannot plan what life will throw at you, you can only respond to it.  
Image: Impact Photography