Twaddle & Twak

Rants, Raves and Everything Else!

Mommy Moments June 28, 2010

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Parenting,Uncategorized — natalian @ 6:34 pm

To keep the fine balance of sanity in our home, especially during these extremely long school holidays, we have something called “quiet time” which starts around 1pm when Wee One starts hitting his peak of  exhaustion after a full morning of running around trying to copy his older brother.  Eldest, sits quietly in his room ‘reading’ a pile of his books and Wee One, after a bit of protesting, heads off to the land of nod.  I escape to my room and gleefully pick up my book, enjoying the few moments I have off duty as “Supermom”!

Yesterday, Eldest decided that instead of reading, art was the order of the afternoon. 

With my nose firmly in my book I heard a strange shuffling noise at my bedroom door and a little voice announcing I had ” Post!”.

Under my door, I found a folded piece of paper, decorated with butterfly on the front. 

“What a beautiful butterfly!” I exclaimed.  “Is this for me?”

“Open it up Mommy!  Open it up!” replied the little voice at the door.

Inside, in his best 6-year-old scrawl was ” I love U M m” and his name written below.

So we left out an all important “o” to complete my name but as it was his first  attempt at a card, not instigated by a teacher around Mothers Day, this was the best present I could have received!  It was one of those precious “Mommy Moments” where you feel like all the nose wiping, sandwich making, juice pouring and the many other duties one performs daily are all worth it!

I hugged him tightly, praised his socks off and placed the special card next to my bed on top of my book pile.

Today, I received an additional three cards and  I am running out of space!


Tough Questions May 13, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood,Parenting,Uncategorized — natalian @ 1:04 pm

As parents we are often faced with questions from our children which we may find difficult to answer.  There are the “Where do babies come from?”, the embarrassing ” Mom, why don’t you have what Daddy has?” and then there are the more difficult questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and  “Where is heaven?”  All which you can talk your way around or divert their attention with “Hey!  Who would like some chocolate?”  and promptly raid the easter egg stash you’ve been hiding in the back of the grocery cupboard!

This month I had to answer difficult questions from my five-year old which no amount of chocolate could solve. Because this month his childlike mind had to deal with the fact that human mortality has no age restriction.  A little classmate, who suffered with severe epilepsy, passed away suddenly after he experienced intense seizures that could not be stopped.  The school flag flew at half mast in honour of this brave little boy and a school went into mourning. 

“Mommy, why did he have to die?  It’s so unfair!  He was only 7 years old!” 

“Mommy, I think he is missing his Mommy and Daddy in heaven….”

“Mommy, can his Mom and Dad have another baby and call him the same name?”

“Mommy, I’m sad, I’m sad I am not going to see him again.”

All these questions I answered to the best of my ability while holding back the tears, because although I may not have known the family extremely well, as a mother, I couldn’t even try to comprehend such a loss.


Can We “CTRL ALT DEL” August Please? September 1, 2009

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Parenting — natalian @ 6:06 pm

Helloooo!!!  Anybody still there??? 

Here on the East Coast we could not have asked for a better day to welcome Spring, there was a slight touch of the humidity that drains many of us of our energies in the summer months and for the first time in weeks we could sit outside under the setting sun and watch our two boys run around in the garden.  With the promise of summer on the horizon and the heady scent of jasmine floating in through my windows I am finally in the right space to blow the dust off my keyboard!

I do have good reasons for being scarce, to be quite honest we could just ‘ctrl alt del ‘ August right off my annual calender!  Ever heard of the “Butterfly Effect”?  Well I attribute the chain of events that befell my lot squarely on the shoulders of Hubby!  From the moment he attempted the 90 degree drop  ramp into the bowlrider (which looks like a big empty swimming pool) at the local skateboard park and crack fractured his elbow my title of Domestic Goddess has been seriously tested by the men in my home!

As I just started getting used to my new job function, that of chauffeuring Hubby to work and back, I had to try and be the plumber/washing machine expert as well!  Please lets forgive our brothers who take on this ungodly task of bending under counters to turn in pipes etc, the plumbers crack is truly difficult to cover up, I’ve been there and will hold back my snigger’s from now on!  Bring on the one piece overalls!  Despite my best efforts and that of “Danny”, resident expert in washing machine repairs, my poor little washing machine could wash, rinse and spin no longer.  With jarring financial pain we had to replace him with a younger model who sounds like a jet plane during the spin cycle and beeps when the wash is finished, he even came with a name – “Maxx” which is printed in bright red on the front!

Finally life looked like it was going to move to a more normal biorhythm, as Hubby prepared to drive himself once more to and from work, (after four weeks), Eldest woke up with a temp and a dry cough.  Just as I resigned being a chauffeur I had to sign up and be Florence Nightingale.  For 3 days I took temperatures, ensured an increase in liquid intake and monitored for any signs of the dreaded ‘swine flu’.  By Friday evening my Eldest was the picture of good health, well almost if one ignored the barking cough, and I prepared the children for bed, looking forward to night of relaxed sleep.  Hubby handed Wee One to me straight from his bath, he felt about as hot as cookies fresh from the oven!  Taking his temperature I looked in horror as it beeped 38.6! 

Saturday morning he woke up with a temperature of 39.6 and I knew that a relaxing weekend was shot to hell.  Eldest had passed his throat infection to his brother and on a weekend when Doctors go to their holiday homes next to trout dams up in the mountains and turn their phones to voice mail!!!   Lets just say that when Wee One finally turned a corner on Tuesday I felt like I had been dragged behind a car.  I had less than 3 hours sleep in 3 days, Wee One insisted on lying on my chest and he is not a petite build, my whole body ached!  By the end of the week he appeared to be on the up, just in time for my moms birthday weekend!  The boys seemed well and I sat  that Sunday breathing a sigh of relief …

That night Wee One was restless and Eldest started his croupy cough again.  Monday could not have been bluer, Eldest’s temperature had returned like a phoenix and Wee One’s ears had become inflamed as a secondary infection due to his prior throat infection.  Even Hubby looked sorry for me when he went off to work.  So back to the Doc we went and the ‘road to health’ started again. By Wednesday I kicked Eldest off to school and Friday Wee One followed suit.  “Why send a child to school for only one day?” you may ask. 

My sons decided to ‘thank’ me for all my nose wiping efforts and gave me the viral love which had dominated my life for nearly 3 weeks!!!  Mom deserved a morning to curl up under the duvet and feel sorry for herself! 

I hung my “Supermom” uniform behind the bathroom door, put on my dressing gown and grabbed a box of tissues, the ironing would have to wait…


Party Panic & The Pinata! July 2, 2009

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Uncategorized — natalian @ 10:59 am

There is one day in every year that my Eldest son yearns for, this excludes Christmas and Easter, and that is his birthday.  We constantly get asked how old he is and “Four Years Old” has never been good enough, he has always been 4 and a quarter, 4 and a half or 4 and three quarters as the year progressed.

Now most kids get excited about their birthdays and are quite happy for their moms to lay a table of sweets and get on with it but my son plans his birthday literally a year in advance!  After his fourth birthday I was informed what the theme of his fifth birthday would be – the boy didn’t waiver on that and as this particular Superhero is seen as ‘unpopular’ at the moment finding party themed material became impossible!  The real humdinger of a request was that this year he wanted a Pinata – and not just any Pinata – it had to be his Superhero of choice.

Thank goodness for the Internet as this very important ‘guest’ was ordered in Gauteng, who arrived 2 weeks before the big day and for his safe keeping our Superhero Pinata slept in my bedroom out of my overexcited sons reach!

The day of the party finally arrived – I managed to paint signage, find colour co-ordinated balloons, book the jumping castle, shuddered as almost every child we invited was going to attend – all 32 of them including the addition of their siblings and the weather was good!

My Eldest was ecstatic but the excitement only increased when it was time to ‘smack’ the pinata!  My main concern was that none of our party guests would become an additional pinata – so I made sure the children were lined up a safe distance away from the child with the stick!  When our Superhero finally succumbed to his fate, the children dropped to their knees with glee as it ‘rained’ sweets and treats, the mothers looked on glumly knowing that the rest of Saturday afternoon would be sugar induced mayhem, the fathers knew that they would have to corker for a pinata at their kids next birthday and I sadly picked up our fallen ‘Superhero’.

I had grown quite fond of the paper mache little chap.


“Nigella” And The Rye… May 12, 2009

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Uncategorized — natalian @ 7:20 pm

In my dream world I would love to have the cooking skills of Nigella Lawson.  Firstly, she is left alone in her kitchen without interruption unlike myself who, while chopping vegetables, is trying to prevent Wee One from getting hold of the bread knife by keeping the cutlery drawer closed with my hip !  Secondly, the woman always has the ingredients needed to cook her masterpieces!  Honestly!  Have you watched her cooking show?  Right down to the ready made vanilla sugar and pancake mix!  Forward planning is not my forte and so I tend to substitute, which I can justify by saying that my cooking ‘evolves’ till it arrives at the dinner table.  Thirdly, she puts it all together so effortlessly whereas I tend to chase the egg yolk around the counter and my kitchen floor looks like some form of abstract art!  Fourthly, (and the list could go on), have any of you seen Nigella wash a dish? ….  Exactly! 

Since entering the career of Wife, Housekeeper, Cook , Mother, Nanny and Laundromat I have become embarrassing with the meals I literally throw together in between the mayhem.  I have become the queen of  ‘one pot cooking’ , so simple and less dishes.  My other new found friend in the kitchen is something called a slow cooker. For once my stews are edible!  I know my tools, I know the product and together we produce somewhat nutritious dinners for the family…. until Monday.

Hubby went on a wee shopping spree at the local health shop and came back bearing gifts!   Yes, a gift for me, and no it was not essential oils, Bach Rescue Remedy or some organic soap, it was pasta and not the type ‘Mama’ is used to cooking with!  We were presented with rice pasta twists and rye macaroni. Mmm.

The rice pasta twists didn’t scare me one jot, it looked like any other no name branded pasta you would find at your local supermarket but the rye macaroni had me stumped.  It was shaped like macaroni but it was a dark brown colour and somehow brown mac and cheese just didn’t do it for me.  I needed time and definitely forward planning to attempt the new visitor in my kitchen.

This afternoon, while the kids napped, I went to work, chopping veggies, frying mince, making pasta sauce and cheese sauce, layered the lot, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and bunged it in the oven.  I produced my rye pasta bake with flair and held my breath as my harshest critic held his plastic lime green spoon in his hand.  Eldest, all of nearly 5 years old, slowly went to work and only managed to extract one tiny piece of onion, the rest of the veggies went unnoticed and I was rewarded with a clean plate!

As I washed up my last dish this evening I must admit I felt a bit of a “Nigella”……


Hop Hop Hop!!! April 4, 2009

Filed under: family,Holiday,Motherhood,Parenting — natalian @ 6:29 pm
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Our schools have closed for the Easter Holidays but not before they filled our children’s little minds with hopping Easter Bunnies and chocolate eggs!  We have been sent home Easter masks, baskets and other arts and crafts just to ensure that the Easter spirit does not wane in our household!

Every night, for the past two weeks as I kissed my Eldest goodnight, he would try to engage me in another one of his sneaky schemes to ‘trick’ the Easter Bunny!  Every now and then he has a surge of excitement that tonight is the magical night when the Easter Bunny will make his appearance and we have to dash his hopes by informing him that the Easter Bunny is still very busy making chocolate eggs for the boys and girls of the world.

It was with this realisation that I, mother of the household aka Father Christmas and my current future role of Easter Bunny had to dash off to the shops to stock up on our Easter eggs, rather today than next Saturday!  So, as I type, my little secret stash of chocolate eggs is safely hidden away, the pressure is off!  Or is it?

My sons have inherited a most hideous gene called an ‘early riser’ from my husbands double helix!  Thankfully,  Hubby pays for his sins and gets up with the team at the unearthly hour of 5:30am allowing moi an extra hour of ‘zuzz’ time before the smell of java pulls me from my slumber.  However, this year I have to break the pattern and awaken with the sparrows as I ‘hop’ around the garden, in a half asleep state,  finding good hiding places for the precious choccie eggs!  I have heard that some Easter Bunnies hide their eggs before they go to sleep at night but unfortunately for me this is not an option due to a troop of monkeys that use our garden as part of their morning stroll!  Can you imagine the drama?  Monkeys whooping with joy as they swoop down from the trees, collecting the chocolate eggs, ripping them open and gorging themselves leaving my boys to wake up to a multicoloured lawn of just shiny papers?  An Easter nightmare!

So next Sunday morning, while you are all tucked up in bed, think of those who will be up at the crack of dawn keeping dream of the Easter Bunny and his chocolate eggs alive!


To Sink Or Swim March 19, 2009

Filed under: family,Motherhood,Parenting — natalian @ 7:25 am
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My Eldest son, from the age of 3, has expressed a deep need to skateboard and surf.  Now before you start thinking that he is trying to emulate his father let me just correct you on the offset, the last time Hubby took to the waves was when he was 15 years old! 

I like to encourage my kids to do what they express an interest in, although I must admit to watch my then 3 year old start skateboarding was a little taxing on my nerves and I left Hubby to control that department while I implemented the health and safety aspect by making him wear his  helmet and every knee and elbow pad!  I was defiantly told off by Eldest as he informed me that he was a ‘professional’ and that ‘professionals’ don’t wear helmets and protective padding!  To which I replied, “No helmet, no skateboard.”   Simple as that!

He is now nearly 5 years old and I must say due to his own determination and few ‘wipe outs’ he has managed to stay more on his board than off it!

Our next problem was his desire to start surfing.  As much as Eldest wanted to surf he was extremely phobic about putting his face in any type of water or getting his hair wet, this impacted any form of swimming lessons I tried to take him to, made hair washing an absolute nightmare, and therefore hindered his dream of surfing.  I kept feeling anxious that I had a child who was not water safe and had not learnt this essential life skill!  So I was ecstatic when I was able to get limited lessons with a swimming teacher who is known to get little people with water phobias to swim.  Although she felt the time may not be enough for Eldest I decided that something was better than nothing!  With her phenomenal personality and gentle yet firm approach she had Eldest ‘swimming’ with no floatation devices and with his face, hair and ears all in the water by the second lesson!  I could have wept!  As much as I give this fantastic swim teacher her dues, I am also extremely proud of Eldest, who was determined to overcome his fear so he could start learning  how to surf. 

I know that there are many more milestones that lie ahead of us but I am really glad I can tick this one off my list!