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Legally Brunette

Legal | Laughter | Pretty Things | Mommy Stuff

Farm Living

I’ve always been a city girl. I love city living. I love the CBD. There’s something about the great tall buildings that light a fire within me. It excites me, but as I get older it seems to be changing. 

Instead now I notice the grey dullness around me. I notice the filth and litter. I notice beggars at ever street corner. I notice how my children haven’t ridden their bikes in months, because it’s just not safe for them to ride their bikes in the street. We can’t take the chance that anything happens to them. I’ve noticed how I double check that all the doors are locked at night and during the day. How I lock my car ten times before going to bed. How I hold onto my handbag tightly wherever I am. I also notice how I need to constantly hold my child while out and about. How I need to constantly monitor their whereabouts and as a result limit what they can and cannot do. I’ve noticed how limited we all are in our everyday lives and it bothers me. In fact it more than bothers me, it annoys the crap out of me.
 
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of escaping to a picturesque farm in Tesserlaarsdal. There was no fancy guest house, no luxury, in fact no electricity and no hot water

The old me would have died, but this new me felt so at peace. All I saw around me was beautiful greenery and open spaces. Cattle roaming freely on the property as they should. My children running freely as they should. Fresh air. Time stood still. We had no wifi, no tv, no tablets and no cellphones. It was blissful. I would never have thought I could survive without my ‘daily essentials’ but it turns out that it was so much better than my usual reality. 

Ever since, I’ve missed it. I’ve missed that simple life. Sitting outside long after its dark with a glass of wine and only my family for conversation and entertainment. I’ve missed the openness. The freedom. The safety. 
It’s made me really start to reevaluate our lives and the type of life I want my children to have. As parents we are constantly trying to give our children better than we had, but is it really necessary? Do they need the big houses, fancy cars and branded clothing? Wouldn’t they rather enjoy being children and have their parents time and attention? Wouldn’t they rather enjoy the freedom? Wouldn’t they enjoy playing outside until it’s dark out like we did? I would jump at the opportunity to have that farm life everyday. To be able to really enjoy this beautiful country that we live in.


 
What about you? 

Accepting your child as they are…

This title seems straight forward right? Before we all became parents we were so sure that we would accept out future children for who and what they are. I was very sure of this. I mean why wouldn’t I accept my child. Until a few days ago I still felt that way. I believed that I accepted my children for who they were. 
Until I actually stopped and reevaluated my actions. 

It was an ordinary, rushed morning. We were extra rushed that day as I had to be at work, in the CBD, at 8am and was only dropping Seth at school at 7.45am. If you live in Cape Town, then you’ll know that getting to town in 15mins during peak hour is impossible. I was flustered, frustrated and annoyed. Annoyed with life, because well, it’s become insane. I am so busy adulting that I don’t know if I’m coming or going. 

Back to the point. I rushed my 7 year old out of the car and didn’t get out with him as I usually do. In fact, I didn’t even turn the car off, I left it running, turned around in my seat to kiss him and practically pushed him out. He awkwardly got out and awkwardly walked toward the little school gate. I watched and through gritted teeth hissed ‘go! go! Why are you walking so slowly? Why are you stopping?’ He stopped in the middle of no where, as 7 year olds often do, probably to inspect a smudge of something on the ground that could possibly be treasure. Once he was safely inside I sped off. I didn’t think about this encounter for the rest of the day. 

A few days later, Seth and hub came home from soccer practice. Seth has recently joined a soccer team. He absolutely loves it. He can’t wait to train and play matches every week. 
But…he isn’t very good. In fact he kind of sucks. I know, I know, he’s 7, but seriously guys it’s not something that comes naturally to him and he looks super awkward on that field. During a match one Saturday he stopped after knocking a boy over to help him up rather than run after the ball. Awesome sportsmanship, I know and so sweet, but ‘they’re not supposed to do that’ I thought to myself. 

My thoughts bothered me for days. Was I embarrassed that he wasn’t the worlds next big soccer player? Was I disappointed that he’s so awkward and weird sometimes? Why did I even care? I hate soccer and never intended for my child to become a sportsman???! 

What was really bothering me? And then I remembered the time when I was a newbie parent. Before my children became older. When I looked at them and oozed love and only love. When their every move was just adorable. Now that they’re becoming older I’m becoming more demanding of who and what I want them to be. But that’s not my place. I’m not here to force them to be something that they’re not. 

I’m here to guide and love. I’m here to accept them unconditionally. I’ve never professed to be the worlds best mother or a perfect parent, but I do want to be the mother who realizes when she’s wrong. And I’ve been wrong here. 

When I was pregnant and vowed to accept my children as they are, I meant it. I need to learn to stop pushing and wanting to control everything. I’m the worlds biggest control freak, ask my husband. Seth is who he is and I wouldn’t have him any other way. He’s sweet and thoughtful. He’s gentle and kind. He’s intelligent and intuitive. He’s also weird and awkward. And that’s okay.  He’s his mothers child. 

Hamley’s South Africa {A Magical Experience}

A few weeks ago I was invited, by the lovely Hamley’s PR and marketing people, to attend a Hamley’s VIP shopping experience. 

Being no stranger to the awesomeness that is Hamley’s, I immediately said yes. When I told the boys Seth nearly jumped out of his skin (any excuse to be in a toy store). Luca, being a threenager and all, didn’t really care. I’m being honest here guys. 

In all honesty as the day loomed I really didn’t feel like going. Work has been so stressful and busy over the past few weeks that a mid week outing, with kids, seemed crazy. 

We hardly ever venture out during the week, unless it’s someone’s birthday or anniversary, that kind of thing so this was big and the kids knew it. We were out in the dark, at night they said. Yup, I keep them quite sheltered I realized as Seth was shocked to see so many other people also out in the dark. Look, lets be real, going out in day light with two kids is stressful enough, imagine at night so don’t judge us!

As soon as we arrived, I completely forgot about my tired feet, stressed and overworked mind and dirty hair (oops) as I was swept away by the magic that is a toy store.
 I don’t know if it’s just me, but even as an adult I oooh and aaah at everything. Toy stores are such magical places and hold such fond memories for me. I remember as a child going into toy stores with my dad (he was the spoiling parent). There was nothing like the feeling of choosing and bringing home a new toy. It truly is magical. I remember my teenage brother sneaking matchbox cars into the trolley, pretending that they’re not for him, because well that’s not cool and he was uber cool back then, jokes he’s still uber cool. I remember saving up pocket money and Christmas gift money to buy the toy I had eyed for months. (I was that kind of kid, wish I had some spare cash to save now.)

A toy store is magical. It oozes magic. It oozes happiness. It oozes joy. Have you even seen a sad person in a toy store? (Well, besides the kid throwing a tantrum for the toy that he just has to have.) Yes, I know in the bigger scheme of things toy stores are commercialized, money eating giants. But so what, I say. In this world that we live in today we all need a little bit of magic. We all need to be transported to a magical place. With the pressure placed on kids these days, toys allow them to be just that, kids

Hamley’s, in my honest opinion, is the only store in SA to really provide a shopping experience. It’s not just any toy store, it’s an experience and more than that, from the moment you walk in you feel special, like you’re the only person in the store. I know this from personal experience, when I was searching earnestly last year for a white NASA type rocket-spaceship-thing that Luca just had to have for his birthday (it’s all he talked about for months after seeing one in a story book and watching nasa videos on YouTube, I kid you not). I had gone to and called every toy store in CT and looked online. Nobody knew what I was on about and barely cared to listen, but from the moment I stepped into Hamley’s I had three shop assistants eager and willing to help me. These guys literally scanned the entire store in search of what I described AND FOUND IT! The only one in the store. It was a toy miracle. That’s the Hamley’s experience. That’s the service they provide.

 

Thank you Hamley’s for a wonderful evening making memories that I’m sure my boys will look back on one day. 

A Barney Picnic Party {With FREE Printables}

Guys, this is so long overdue. It’s been almost a month since the actual party. Anyhoo, this year my little munchkin turned three. Three’s a weird age, right? Like, he’s still a baby, but at the same time he’s also a big boy. How does that even work?

 

He loves Barney, Pooh Bear and Mickey Mouse…but he also likes Spiderman, Hulk and Iron Man. Three is weird.

 

Luca had a major Barney obsession for most of his second year of life. It actually ended right around the time that we threw him this Barney party. I decided on a Barney theme, because well, he’s got many years ahead to be a big boy and have a superhero party. By four there’s no way we could get away with a Barney theme, because by then he’ll be a real big boy. *sob*

 

I know, Barney. Urg. Overdone, huge, purple dinosaur thing with an annoying voice and ridiculous, but catchy, music. While planning the party, there were quite a few times I almost gagged. I. am. NOT. a. fan. of. Barney. I detest the guy, but what was this poor Mom to do when he made her baby boy so happy…and so it was settled. A Barney themed third birthday party.

 

Due to my less than enthusiastic feelings toward the big purple guy, I really wanted to do this party differently. I didn’t want the usual, run of the mill, purple, yellow and green Barney themed kids party. You know what I’m talking about. The one you find all over Pinterest. I had to get creative here. I liked the idea of a picnic, but the weather in Cape Town during March is so unpredictable. But, oh no, I didn’t let that stop me. See how badass I am. (It was raining cats and dogs the morning of our party and I almost cried, but just as the party began the clouds cleared and Mr Sun arrived.) 

I merged my picnic and Barney ideas and this was the end result…

I made the invite and all the party stationery myself, using my trusted friend, Microsoft Word.😉
   
   

Instead of the usual kiddy tables and chairs I had a vision (not the supernatural kind) of gingham picnic blankets and little cushions scattered here and there. I searched high and low for someone who could bring this vision to life, because I can’t even sow a button guys. Finally, I found the amazing Cindy from PureGemSquash on Mommy Mall. If you’ve never been to Mommy Mall, please go! It’s a Facebook page. You can literally find almost anything and everything there and while you’re at it, you’ll be supporting another mom’s small business. It’s a win-win.

  

 From that first email, Cindy was professional and extremely accommodating. She kept me up to date throughout the process and sent me pictures of different fabrics to choose from. She went out of her way to find me the most cost effective way of bringing my idea to life. Cindy made the picnic blanket and beautiful little scatter cushions for me with each child’s name hand painted on it. She also hires the most beautiful fabric bunting for all occasions. The cushions served as the party favour, so each little party goer took their cushion home with them.

  

   
Now that I had all the prettiness sorted, there was food to consider. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted cute little individual picnic boxes for each child. As the party was set to begin at lunch time I thought it only fitting to give the children proper savoury picnic snacks and not fill them up with junk (they could rather take the junk home and kill their parents with their sugar highs). Thanks to my personal chef aka Woolies, the kiddies picnic boxes were filled with yumminess. Mini cheese burgers, mini chicken pancakes, purple and green grapes (get it? Purple and green? Barney!), Barney yogurts and mini vetkoek  were some of the things that could be found in each box. For the adults we had sushi and pizza. Easy peasy, no mess, no fuss. I also thought that those are things that can easily be eaten with no fuss or frills.

  

    
    
   
After the picnic boxes were devoured, there was delicious, delicious cake from the amazing Freya who was recommended to me by a friend. I will NEVER buy cake anywhere else after this. Freya is fantastic. She’s sweet, efficient, organised, lives right around the corner and is so, so affordable. She made this delicious purple ombre cake for us. Luca was thrilled. All he kept asking for was the cake.

  

 I’ve thrown my fair share of kiddy parties over the past 8 years guys and I can honestly say that this was the most relaxed and chilled party I’ve ever thrown. Usually, I spend most, if not all, of the day running around like a headless chicken, but this time I could actually sit around and enjoy myself. Everyone had a good time (I think). The Moms and Dads sat around in picnic chairs while the little people ran around playing. When it was time to pack up and go, each child received a party box with a few sweet treats (really minimal, I didn’t want to overdo it) a Barney cupcake and their personalised scatter cushion.

  

    
    
 The party was held at one of our local parks. Not at home, so I didn’t have to worry about space and whether or not my house was ‘people-ready’. All I did was contact the City of Cape Town. They informed me that if I was expecting more than 20 people I would need to apply for a permit. This literally consisted of filling in one little form and immediately receiving the permit for FREE. I then found another gem of a mom on the Cape Town Mamahood Facebook group, who provided our gorgeous photo board and jumping castle with a generator.

  

    
 It’s amazing what you can find when you put together a bunch of like-minded moms on a Facebook page/group.

Thank you to the awesome service providers and to all our guests! Without you, there would have been no party.🙂

 

{FREE BARNEY PRINTABLES}

By clicking on the links, you’ll be directed to the Pdf versions of the documents I made and printed for our party. You are more than welcome to edit and use them for your own party!

 

Bunting Bunting Name 2

Thank you tags Barney Thank you Tags

Picture and Names for Picnic Boxes LUCA

 

Enjoy & Share

 

 

 

 

 

When Did Having More Than 2 Kids Become a Bad Thing???

As a child, I vowed to have six children. The grown ups would laugh at my sweet innocence. I laugh at it now too. What was I thinking? I can barely cope with two, imagine six. 
  

It’s been on my mind a lot recently. It feels like I’m always broody and while I’m content with my two boys there is always that nagging feeling that our family isn’t quite complete just yet. It could just be my ovaries talking again, who knows, nonetheless the broodiness is always there. Some days I feel that adding another monster to the pack will be fine. Surely if I can keep two alive and well, I’ll be able to do it with three. But other days, on the bad-non-stop-fighting-and-tantrum days, I feel that two is just right (or too much). 

Has society always been this judgmental though? Maybe it’s just that we have it thrown in our faces so often nowadays through social media.
 
I’ll be honest, I often find myself being one of those judgy people. I frequent mommy Facebook groups and pages often and take a double step when I see birth or pregnancy announcements for a fifth or sixth child. Like woah, you know condoms are free,right? I can be so stupid and ignorant sometimes. 
  

On one hand I think “how do these parents possibly manage financially, emotionally and physically”. With the other hand however, I smack myself. What gives me the right to feel entitled to have an opinion on other people’s lives? What makes me better than them, to sit on my pedestal, look down on them and make stupid assumptions about people that I know nothing about. Who made me the birth counting police? By me, I’m also referring to you other judgmental assholes. 

People are funny little creatures. Have one child and they never stop asking when you’re having the next. Have two and they assume you must be ‘done’, because well, anything above two is just plain crazy and irresponsible. Have three and they’re sure the last one was an oopsie. Why? Are you the ones up all night with these children? Are you caring for their every need and want? No! So sit the hell down and mind your business. 

I salute all of you moms and dads whether you have one child or ten. Parenting is hard and lovely at the same time regardless of the number of children that you’ve had. Instead of all this judging we should be giving them a medal (and maybe some free babysitting so that they get a break), because if this is what two’s like then you’re one awesome person to have more and still cope. 
  
 
On another note, how do you know when you’re actually ‘done’? How many are enough?How many are too much? My ovaries lead lives of their own. Seriously, these girls are sneaky, releasing eggs like that every 28 days and making me feel like I. Must. Have. A. Baby. Anyone else feel like this? Surely I can’t be the only one. 

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