Taking off the training wheels

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“Removing the training wheels”

Do you remember the day you learnt how to ride a bike? The rush of the unknown the excitement, the worry or the scared feeling? Maybe the fearless feeling or just the sheer rush of adrenaline and happiness, or was it just the memory you hold on to because you remember who taught you or how they taught you and how amazing it felt when you finally got it right no matter how many times you fell or got hurt that day?
Yesturday while I watched my husband teach our daughter how to ride her bike without the training wheels I realised something, that maybe I need to remove the training wheels from my own life…. A metaphor I know but so appropriate. While we took the training wheels off her bike, I realised I must do the same!

She reminded me of something, that you need to be fearless sometimes, you need to take that first step, you need to approach things with the wind in your hair and a care free attitude and that you need to do new things although they seem scary on the other side is a something new, you’ll come out a different person, maybe a little bruised from a fall or two but at the end you would of learnt something, maybe not what you wanted or thought you would learn but definitely something will be learned from it. The unknown and doing something without a safety net is probably the scariest thing in the world.

Training wheels, I see them as the attachments of our life, the excess baggage, the things holding us back from a faster ride, a higher high, a freer life, freedom to do and go where we want, to so things the way we want and not let go, so yesterday I decided to take the training wheels off of my own life, How? Well you’ll just have to wait and see….

On another note, I’ve noted these 6 tips when teaching your child to ride a bike..

 
1) Let them lead the way, don’t push them to do more than they are ready to do.
2) Talk them through the process, step by step. Explain the process as well as tell them they may get hurt or not get it the first few times but its ok.
3) Make sure you put safety first, helmets, knee guards, and a soft area (grass is ideal) for the first time.
4) Balance is key, as well as steering. Focus on these two things.
5) Praise them, reassure them constantly!
6) Lastly, be prepared to watch them fall, they will get back up though, I promise!

When did you first learn how to ride a bike?

Yours in Mommyhood,
Mama N.

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The thin LINE between us ~ Infertility

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You may or may have not been here before, staring NOT even wanting to BLINK for even a moment, WAITING, Looking, EXAMINING THE SHIT out of a pregnancy test. Shining your phone light onto it, Taking the stupid test APART, Scrutinizing, investigating, wondering why or when you’ll see that line? That Thin line you Love to Hate.

 
Peeing on countless sticks, ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, hoping praying something comes up on those tests, a darker line, a smiley face, any DAMN line. Wondering when GOD, when is it my turn. Wondering what is wrong with you, wondering how you’ve failed yet again, how you’ve lost the battle another time. YOU – 0, TEST – 1.

 
How much money have you spent?  How many tests have you bought? How much medication, How much time wasted, how many doctors seen? How many waiting room walls have you stared at, how many nights lying awake wishing, how many tears shed?

 
Its another month, another month to hope, you still have hope, its only been a few months or years now but still you hold on, is it this month you hope, this month I will be better, do better, try better! Its MY month you tell yourself! This time it will happen, this time it will stick.

 

The waiting game… 14 days, 14 days of hell, when, why, how, what? Your body plays tricks on you, your mind plays tricks on you! Googling a 100 times a DAY ‘’PREGNANCY symptoms” and “AM I PREGNANT” but, You FEEL something different this month, you think something is different, but it’s not, it’s the same, you see RED again, you tell yourself maybe it’s just implantation bleeding, no its not, but you hope, it isn’t though, the sticks you’ve been peeing on for the last 5 days are not turning positive, still no line for you. Only ONE line, it’s the lone LINE of failure, a line you are so used to, a line that mocks you, ALWAYS alone, always just one, always unaccompanied, always by itself, never a companion, never a POSITIVE, always a NEGETIVE.

 
You tell yourself it’s all a lie, you tell yourself you’ll stop trying, tell yourself its ok, but its not. You see your friends with babies, you hear ‘are you not pregnant yet?’ You hear ”don’t worry your time will come”, it means nothing to me anymore, my time is not coming. My time has gone. Every aspect of my being feels like its being challenged daily, my self-worth, my femininity, my profession, my marriage and my FAITH!

 
You no longer trust your body, you used to know it so well. WORK for me BODY, why won’t you work UTERUS, why won’t you do your job? Just once! The thoughts of babies, needles, medication, ovulation, implantation, embryo’s and sperm are always on your mind. Its all you think of anymore.
Now #TTC, Community, HCG, CD1, PCOS, Triggers, DPO’s, TTC Journeys, Follicles, FSH, LH mean something to you, they are terms and letters and words you’ve come to know too well.

 
To all my TTC, Endometriosis, Infertility, Anovulation, PCOS, hormone imbalance MAMA’s I salute you, I was one of you, I know you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, I have no words of WISDOM or HOPE only words of kindness.

 

TO BE CONTINUED….

Yours in Infertility,

Yours in Motherhood,

Mama N,

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20 indoor activities to do with the kids this June/July holidays in Cape Town

 

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If you’re wondering what to do with the kid’s this school holidays you’re in the same boat as me. I often find myself struggling to come up with things to do in the school holidays with the kids especially in Winter.

I’ve complied a list of 20 indoor activities, hopefully something will catch your eye and you can plan some of your activities, beforehand with no hassle.

20 indoor activities to do with the kids this June/July holiday (Cape Town Edition):

Disney on ICE

A beautiful tribute to some of your most loved Disney characters. This show never ceases to amaze me and its a must see for young and old alike. The show is at Grand West, Grand Arena from the 11th – 15th of July. Prices range from R51 – R404. Tickets can be bought at Computicket.

THE KIDS GYM 

Based in Milnerton, the Kids Gym is fun-filled, amazing way to burn off that excess energy, the kids will love it. With its large array of activities guaranteed to keep your little munchkin busy and happy, its definitely a great way to spend a few hours of SUPER fun. In my opinion they offer a Fun way to exercise for all kids no matter their fitness levels. A space to find their own ”zone”. They also offer specific programs to cater to your child’s individual needs. You can visit their website www.thekidsgym.co.za for more information. My favourite would have to be the gym and play combo for only R140 for 2 hours.

ARTSCAPE

The theatre at the Artscape has a great show for the family during the July school holidays, none other than the lovable little Noddy!

Noddy -Enid Blyton’s name is synonymous with Children’s stories, none being more famous than Noddy. This adaptation by acclaimed children’s dramatist, David Wood, combines the excitement of live theatre with imaginative staging.
Noddy, a little wooden toy who nods his head, is very lonely at Mr. Carver, the toymaker’s workshop, so he runs away to Toyland. There he bumps into Big Ears who wants to know who he is as he does not look like a toy. Only toys are allowed to stay in Toyland. The audience must decide whether Noddy is a toy or not.
Noddy learns the value of friendship, hard work, honesty through a series of adventures and building his own house in Toyland. Great entertainment that children will enjoy with their little friend, Noddy.
Join in the fun as Noddy, Tessie Bear and friends return to the stage. Before the show, there will be exciting activities such as face painting, colouring in, puzzles, play tents and black bikes to ride. Tickets are R90. Shows begin from 23 June and ends on the 7th of July.

THE IZIKO PLANETARIUM

What’s better than gazing at the stars? As a child and even as an adult I loved the Planetarium. During the July school holidays the planerium is open and has a few time slots (you can click on this link for the details: http://iziko.org.za/PDF/WO_April2018.pdf

Showtimes are from 11:00 am daily with the last show at 20:00 from the 23rd of June to the 18th of July. Ticket prices are R15 per person and are 45 minutes long.

INDOOR ROCK CLIMBING

City Rock is THEE place to be to climb to your hearts content. Its a climbers paradise! The best thing about this place is that they offer climbing for first time climber right up until professional levels. It offers a coffee shop for the parents relax while the kiddies climb and is open to kids from the age of 5. They are based in Paarden Eiland and are open every day. However you need to remember to book your intro course or Top Rope Belay test beforehand. Read more here… http://cityrock.co.za/capetown/how-to-start/ Rates are available online too http://cityrock.co.za/capetown/rates/

The SCRATCH PATCH and CAVE GOLF

Based at the V & A Waterfront this is a lovely outing the kids will love. It’s an inexpensive visit and popular with all ages – and being surrounded by so many colourful stones is a memorable and uplifting experience. More and more “mainstream” people are starting to believe that gemstones have “powers” – and being surrounded by so many beautiful polished gemstones certainly does have a calming effect on many people – and especially children!
Costs:
You can purchase a small plastic bag or container ranging in price from R17 for a small bag and up to R95 for a large container. Which stones you put in your bag or container is up to you.

Cave golf – a fun putt-putt course for the kids in a cave setting. Costs are in the region of R42 per child.

THE PUBLIC LIBRARY

What a joy it is to instil a love for reading in kids, the absolute best way is to take the to the library. There are 104 public libraries listed in the City of Cape Town and many of our city libraries also run programmes through the school holidays. For more information please visit: http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20Home/see-all-city-facilities/our-service-facilities/libraries

GO-Karting

Century Carting or Kenilworth Karting are the 2 that come to mind immediately. Prices range from R160 to R240 per person/Kart. They are open 7 days a week. Please note the height requirement of 1.5m onwards only.

TEN-PIN BOWLING and GAMES ARCADE

The Games arcade and ten pin Bowling at Grand-West is a one stop indoor FUN house. With many arcade games to choose from and hours of fun this will definitely keep the kids entertained. Wonderland at N1 City Mall is also a great choice for this type of entertainment or even the one at Canal Walk.

THE MOVIES

There are a few kids movies coming up this holidays, namely The incredibles 2, from 2 June, Duck-Duck Goose from 29 June and Show dogs from 6 July. Remember half-price movies on Tuesday at Ster Kinekor as well as on Wednesdays at Nu Metro

ART-JAMMING

“Whether it’s playing, painting, sponging or spraying, it’s about putting on an apron to face a blank canvas and unleashing your own individual creativity that makes Artjamming™ the most fun you can have with a paintbrush. Artjammers are provided with a menu of 12 different size canvases, easels, a choice of non-toxic acrylic paints on tap, brushes and tools to freely express themselves.No drawing or painting skills are required, but for those who would like a helping hand or some inspiration, there are qualified artists at the studios to assist.” Based at the V & A Waterfront or Willowbridge Centre in Durbanville, their Prices range from R150 onwards.

They have an awesome school holiday program this year from the 25th of June to the 13th of July. For more information on their school program please check this link: www.artjamming.co.za/holiday-program.html

THE PlayStation or the Playdate Superpark

Known for its amazing indoor play area hosting all kids dreams come true the PlayStation in Tokai or the new Playdate Superpark at the V&A Waterfront is definitely the place to be! They offer a wide variety of play areas, kids equipment, mazes, slides, wall and rope climbing, the list is endless. The perfect way to spend most of your day. The Café at both venues offer really amazing food, drinks and definitely caters for the sweet tooth!

You can book your sessions beforehand online to make things simpler:

https://lilypadpos5.com/playdate/onlinesales/tickets1.php (Superpark)

https://secure.activitybridge.com/search?supplierid=50875 (PlayStation)

ICE SKATING

Also based at Grand West Casino and Entertainment World, the indoor ice-rink is definitely a MUST! Prices range from R30 for the mini-ice rink or R50 for the main ice-rink area.

THE CAPE TOWN SCIENCE CENTER

With more than 250 interactive exhibits and mind-boggling puzzles, the Cape Town Science Centre is a world of discovery under one roof. Based in Observatory, tickets range from R55 to R200 pp.

THE AQUARIUM

The Two Oceans Aquarium based at the V&A Waterfront is an experience not to be missed by young or old. From meeting a penguin, to exploring their exhibits, diving or even an ocean experience there is something for everyone. To skip the queue you can book online here: https://www.aquarium.co.za/shop/buy/ticket/category/general/ Prices range from R85 upwards.

THE CLAY CAFÉ

Situated in Hout Bay a gem of a place you’ll find the Clay Cafe

Their Ceramic painting is the best indoor activity this school holiday. Choose from a variety of unfired pottery pieces. With an array of paints, colours, tools you can create a beautiful masterpiece yourself. It guarantees to bring out the creative in you. I definitely and highly recommend this activity for the kids. Along with a beautiful café environment and the yummiest food its the perfect indoor treat for the family. Prices depend on the item chosen to paint/decorate. However a standard R40 studio fee is charged.

I suggest pre-booking as it is very popular which you can do here: www.claycafe.co.za/bookings/

CANDLE AVENUE

Antonette runs a lovely candle making, party and craft business and she comes highly recommended by me! Based in Durbanville she offers candle making, kids or adult parties as well as her famous school holiday candle and arts programs. To view her amazing holiday program for various dates running from 26 June to 12 July please click the link: www.candleavenue.co.za/holiday-programme/ Prices start from R100 per child.

21 JUMP STREET

Jumping, jumping and more jumping, this is just an activity that any kid will love, at 21 Jump street there is loads to do and they all involve JUMPING. Jumping on trampolines, jumping at angles and against things, foam pit, dodgeball, basketball dunking and Jump fitness is also on offer. They are open 7 days a well. Their free jump sessions are R100 per hour per child, with a R75 excl your jump socks which are R30 midweek special running at the moment. You can pre-book online: http://21jumpstreet.co.za/shop/open-jump/

WARRIOR TOY MUSEUM

From Dinky toys, dolls, Meccano, model cars, boats, trains, soldiers, aeroplanes and other miscellaneous toys.The Warrior Toy Museum in Simon’s Town houses a permanent display of 4 000 model cars, 500 dolls and teddy bears, miniature dolls houses and rooms, two fully operating railroads, lead soldier displays, Meccano, ships and many other miscellaneous toys and models. The toy museum also has a sales section for collectors. Percy van Zyl, curator of the museum, has created a haven for collectors of cars, buses, airplanes, trucks and lead soldiers. Based in Simon’s Town and Open daily from 10H00 to 16H00.

CANAL WALK – ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Join Alice as she tumbles down the rabbit hole for an unforgettable adventure through Wonderland. Audiences of all ages will be enchanted by a Garden of Singing Flowers, learn lessons from a Caterpillar, have a mad-cap tea-party with the Mad Hatter, and many other unforgettable characters, like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, The White Rabbit, The Cheshire Cat and The Queen of Hearts. Open 23 June – 16 July, Daily except Mondays at 11:00, 12:30 and 14:00. Tickets are R100 per person.

Book online here:

https://online.computicket.com/web/event/canal_walk_s_alice_in_wonderland/1209613155/0/86473332

STAYING IN?

If you’d prefer to stay in and not venture into the cold this school holidays I’ve got my top activity picks too…

  1. Play dates – gather a group of school moms, each take a turn to look after the kids so that each mom gets a break one day of the school holidays. Don’t make the group too big though, you might regret 10 kids all under your roof! haha.
  2. Arts and crafts – the list is endless for fun filled DIY crafts for kids, if you need some ideas here is a link: https://www.education.com/activity/arts-and-crafts/
  3. DIY Pizza and a movie night – is there anything better than PIZZA, even better eating pizza while watching a movie? Make the kids help you make home made pizza’s and then snuggle on the couch for a movie. Entertainment – CHECK!http://www.cbc.ca/parents/food/view/cooking-with-kids-no-rise-pizza-crust
  4. Baking – Kids love to help with baking. The fun is endless, and the mess even more so but isn’t it just the best way to spend a few hours? I find cookies or cupcakes are the best to make with kids. http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/article/baking-kids.html
  5. Sleep-overs: Kids love sleep-overs and you can make it even more fun for them. Games, stories, snacks, books, movies and POPCORN is a must.
  6. Have a GAMES day – Monopoly, Pictionary, Uno, Cluedo, Snakes and Ladders, oh the list is endless and so much fun. Here ar some more ideas https://www.parents.com/fun/activities/indoor/kids-indoor-games-activities/
  7. DIY – Play dough or slime: Kids love both! Give these easy recipes a try! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/playdough-recipe or https://www.buzzfeed.com/terripous/easy-slime-recipes?utm_term=.wvXwM1Ro7#.xoMnXMJQD Guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for hours!
  8. Tents and Forts – This old time classic is probably my favourite! The kids absolutely love this, especially if you help them make them from scratch with lots of blankets and pillows. Why not also have a picnic inside your DIY tent, marshmellows and popcorn are our favourites!

 

I hope this list helps some Mama’s out this holidays, and if it does please drop me a note in the comments.

Your’s in Mommyhood,

Mama N.

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When you feel you’re not ENOUGH

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With my PPD I often have feelings that I am not enough, that I am worthless, that I am nobody and that I am invisible.
It’s not something I want to feel, its not something I like and its not something I want to be pitied for.
You see I am not a person who likes to ask for help or speak about my problems, I’m that person who always listens, I am a BIG listener, mostly because I like to listen to people but also because I feel like other people’s opinions and words matter more than mine.
There are some days that I hate being me, some days that I wish I was someone else and then there are days when I am ok being in my own skin, in my own body, regardless of how much I hate my body and how it looks or how it works.
Sometimes I feel alone and sometimes I get overwhelmed by too many people, does this even make sense? In many ways I even confuse myself. I love being around people though, I love meeting new people, like a blank canvas to explore and, I am a blank canvas to them, it’s exciting like a mystery. And I love the new, the exciting and the unknown.

There is no need to be more – you are enough. Everybody is enough ~ Osho

I am scared a lot, to show the true me, I have so many ideas, thoughts and wonders to share. Am I the only one who feels like this? I doubt it. Scared of being the odd one out because I hate to fit in, I was born to stand out, but just not too much! We were born to be amazing but just not too amazing or more amazing than the next?
I love other people’s successes, it makes me happy, it makes me smile but it also makes me sad, it makes me look back at myself and wonder what am I doing to be successful? Why am I stuck, why am I not moving forward at the same pace as others, and then realise I am comparing myself to others, how hard is it to not compare though? Do you struggle with this too?

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody ~ Maya Angelou

In truth, feeling like I am enough is a feeling all too foreign! I want to be enough for my kids, my husband but mostly just for myself, and the battle to feel like I am is so hard its like walking up a mountain backwards. How can you feel like you are enough when there are days so frequently that you feel like a failure?
The saying you are your own worst enemy is so true, NO ONE judges me as HARD or as HARSH as I judge myself. So when I feel like I am not enough, what do you I do?

Well here is what I have tried….

1) I Look at my kids – they are the purest and biggest examples that you are enough and worthy.
2) Focus on the good – sometimes its hard to see but there are so many silver linings
3) Appreciate the little things – like your messy house- means you have a house, your unbrushed hair and teeth – means you were too busy to do it, you have things to fill your time and life with.
4) Surround yourself with your family and friends- we all have people who love us, they are our support structures, lean on them.
5) I look at photos – and remember those moments in time, the memories, the smiles.
6) Write them down – feelings, thoughts, hopes, inadequacies anything you want.
7) BE creative – THIS is my most trusted outlet. It soothes my soul and refuels me.
8) Remember it will get better. Trust that you are enough as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a lover, an aunt, a grandmother, a person an individual.
9) SPEAK – to someone, anyone who will care to listen. Venting or expressing yourself helps as well as outside perspective.
10) Openness – open yourself up to the good vibes and the positive energy.
11) Do things that make you happy – be it me time, recreational activities, shopping, dancing, singing whatever.
12) Contribute – The feeling of not being enough can be helped so much when you give back, when you do something for someone else, be it small or big, I can’t tell you have amazing it feels to know you have helped someone in some way, it makes me feel like I am enough, I was enough for that person, even just for a moment. The joys of giving are end-less.
13) LOVE – Love heals all things, A husband, partner, a boyfriend, girlfriend, basically anyone who shows you love shows you ONE simple thing, and that is that you ARE ENOUGH!

Do you ever feel you aren’t enough? Well from me to you, I want you to know you ARE enough!
Thank you for reading this. If it helped you or you related to it in anyway please share it with me.

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Yours in Mommyhood,
Mama N

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