Oh no! I have become an addict.

I have always been a sucker for a sale.  Before I was pregnant, I would every month (around payday ofcourse) go to the mall and buy something. Whether it be clothes, decor or groceries, I had to walk out of that mall with a shopping bag. Crazy right? I’ve never really bought something that I have not worn or used.  I try to stay with classic fits and neutral colours.  Clothes I could wear to either work or to casual gatherings. Because lets be honest with ourselves, the clothes they put on sale, well, most of those items are from last season, so you need to shop like a pro.  These days, after becoming a mother, I have become a pro at online shopping. Yes, I also think a have become an addict…

Online shopping is just so convenient. Especially when you just not in the mood to get out of your pajamas to drive somewhere, because you have been awake pretty much the whole night with your baby.  The only thing I do buy online, is baby clothes and accessories. I do not buy clothes for myself anymore, because I have enough (and this I only realise now??) Buying Baby Girl’s clothes online is the best thing since baked bread with butter AND jam. I always wait for that awesome sale, because jeez louise, baby clothes are expensive! and they can only wear it for so long.  I have been introduced to a couple of sights by friends and also have been searching for ‘Proudly South African’ products online.  Here’s what I have found.

Most of my shopping happens at Sticky-Fudge.  I only buy when clothes go on sale and when you join their Facebook page, they always keep you up to date with great bargains.  The brand started in Stellenbosch in 2009 and they only use 100% cotton fabric.  Great for our warm summer months.  They design for ages 0 – 7 years and also ship overseas.

I have totally fallen in love with Myang.  All their products are handmade by an all-woman team coming from disadvantage communities.  Their specialty is their handmade shoes and they design for ages 0-2 years. Also have a look at their baby linen, toys, hats and headbands.  Too cute.  They have become popular in the States as well.

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I have been looking for a pair of leather vellies for Baby Girl before she was even born and recently came across this amazing little shop based in Jo’burg. Amavi supplies all localy handmade products and make your leather vellies on order. Although pricey, I would say that anything made of leather is a good investment.  If you are looking for more variation of leather shoes then Pitta-Patta and Shooshoos are also sites worth having a look at.  Both brands make quality handcrafted leather shoes for babies and toddlers.

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I saw the following brand at a local market, but you can purchase online as well if you can’t make it to the market over a weekend.  Just Chillin sells funky kidswear which are designed and made in Cape Town to support local job creation.  They sell the cutest little tutu dresses, dressed with a pair of funky gum boots, you have a winner!

I have to mention that I have never had a problem with receiving any of my goods after payment made.  All sites are legit and very profesional.  I have only received great and friendly service.  Which is another reason why I have become addicted to online shopping 😉

Give me a break! Please?

 

Getting a break to have some ‘grown up’ conversation with a friend is always welcoming. I am fortunate to live in a town where there is a coffee shop around almost each corner and neighbouring towns also have a few places fit for any new mom or expecting mommies, meaning lots of sweet treats and good coffees and teas.red_cappuccino_love_heart-t3

One of my favourites in Stellenbosch is Schoon, previously known as Schoon de Companje. They have wonderful freshly baked artisan breads and delicious mouthwatering pastries and mini cakes.  Breakfast is a must. Just plain scrambled eggs on a slice of Sourdough toast. YUM.   Another great cafe to have breakfast and a cup of (locally sourced) Joe is Meraki.  Beautifully served breakfast and lunch in quaint little space, where they also serve freshly baked pastries. It’s all about making food with love and passion.  Ya-Ya Cafe is the meeting place buzzing with locals.  Great for catching up or having meetings for work, you will definitely enjoy their yummy menu with great coffees.

Outside Stellenbosch towards Somerset West there is couple of wine farms that serve great coffees and a great view. (from 12 – 7pm)  Peter Falke Wines is situated on the Annandale Road and is truely a hidden gem.  If you haven’t been, do yourself a favour and visit this farm. The scent of beautiful rose and lavender gardens during the summer fills your heart with warmth.  Great venue for popping the question (or even announcing your pregnant 😉 Just down the road on the R44 you’ll see the gorgeous Cavalli Estate.  Not only a magnificent wedding venue, but they do serve a mean cup of coffee overlooking the their man-made dam and the Stellenbosch mountains.1085881_901082

Whilst in Somerset West do visit Morgenster’s restaurant 95atMorgenster. Not only does the farm offer their infamous olive oil tastings but the restaurant also serves some of the best Italian inspired dishes.  In town, be sure to visit Fred&Max Eatery.  These two guys know how to entertain.  The coffee is good, the breakfast very good and they even offer live music shows over the weekends.  Last but not least, I have to mention the Pajamas and Jam Eatery.  When you walk in you are met by this fabulous table stacked with freshly baked cakes.  It is absolutely to die for.  Although situated in the industrial area of Strand (finding a parking space is a little bit of a challenge), this little cafe offers big slices of cake and serves a hearty breakfast and lunch. Fresh flowers are also delivered everyday.

These are only a few great places to catch up with your grown up friends.  But yes, the best place to be (after having a much deserved break) is ofcourse with my little Baby Girl.

Immunisation. Yay or Nay.

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Maybe it’s a little late for me to reconsider getting these immunisations for my baby girl, but I’ve been thinking about this ‘injecting your child with germs’ topic.  I’m still a 100% pro immunisation, but it does break my heart everytime we go and that little smile turns into an upside down smile.  The total disbelief on her face.  The ‘You just gave me an injection that hurts really bad, like, why?’ face. So here’s why.

According to the South African Department of Health and The World Health Organization between two and three million deaths are prevented globally each year by effective immunisation.  Vaccines protect your child againts diseases like measels, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diptheria and tuberculosis.  These are your major life threating diseases.  Your child is still susceptible to getting chickenpox, mumps, german measels and other child diseases, especially once your child starts interacting with other children at playgrounds and schools, seeing that the above mentioned diseases are contagious but also can be easily treated.  Tuberculosis and whooping cough however are harder to treat and could cause death.

So, I would say that getting these injections are very important.  Even if you might later sit with a little one at home whom is very much restless and unhappy.

When Baby Girl got her first injection in the arm at the hospital, all was good.  She was four days old and received her shot against TB and her polio drops. Then came the six weeks check up and three injections! Oh my heart.  She cried and the nurse advised that I should breastfeed her after the shots just to calm her down and it worked, but the rest of the day, I sat with a very unhappy baby.  She had a slight fever and was crying and crying.  I tried little bit of Panado syrup (half the dosage) and also was given Homopathic medicine, Viburcol (if you into all things natural, try it! It contains calming herbs like Camomile and Belladonna) and eventually she fell asleep.  They do advise though not to give any medicine directly after receiving vaccines but rather wait for up to six hours. (which means you’ll have to endure more crying). A few days ago we had to go for her ten weeks shot.  Luckily only one injection, that does not burn.  (so the nurse says…) She cried for a while and then later the afternoon, same story as what happened four weeks earlier.  Slight fever, restlessness and lots of crying.  All you have to do as a parent is stay calm and give lots of hugs and kisses in between the tears.  So now the next visit is in four weeks time, another three injections 😦

These injections are terrible.  For a little baby to have all this discomfort, must be awful.  It got me and the nurse talking.  It’s seems that some researchers feel the same and have started to look into different approaches.  She told me about this idea of inventing a needle that you can not feel.  We as humans do not usually feel a mosquito sting us and that’s because their ‘needle’ is not straight but curved. So now researchers might create (if it works) a small needle that is curved for using during immunisations. Or here’s my idea, what about not using any needles at all and just invent a plaster with the germ that you stick on your arm or leg and is then absorb directly through your skin.  That would be great! It would safe us mothers lots of tears and upside down smiles.

And the Gold Medal goes to…!

s3-news-tmp-103031-rio-olympics-2016--2x1--750We have been watching the Rio Olympics everyday, that includes Baby Girl. She is fascinated by the athletes and especially loves watching gymnastics, synchronised swimming and Usian Bolt.  She is totally spellbound. Does not move a muscle. We were watching Usain run his heat to qualify for the 100m and as he ran over the finishing line, she fell asleep.  No point in watching anyone else I figured. Speaking of champions, we also have to say huge congrats to our South African athlete, Wayde van Niekerk, for winning and breaking the 400m World Record!

My special gold medal that I would like to give is for my mom.  Yesterday we celebrated her 63rd birthday and for the last 34 years of that 63 years she has devoted all her love and time to her children.  That is amazing. She now loves spending time with her granddaugther, so much so that she doesn’t want to put her down!

I am forever grateful to have a mom that does not hesitate to help out (and lives close by). She is and always was a super woman. She left her job to take care of me and my younger brother, although today I know that she would have loved to kept on working, just for that little bit of extra income to spoil the kids with.  She has taught us to accept one another, with all our flaws.  No one is perfect and listen.  You need to listen and never judge, because thats not your job.

I am giving her a BIG gold medal for being super mother and super grandmother, not only for 2016, but for all the years that has gone by and for the many more to come.

Shopping trips, definitely without baby.

Baby girl and I have not gone on a shopping spree together this winter. Don’t get me wrong, we have been outside the house for an occasional stroll (weather permitted), but I just feel a big shopping mall, is just too big of a challenge, for both of us. I am totally paranoid that she would start crying uncontrollable. Then again, researchers say “a calm mom, a calm baby”. Personally I feel that going to the mall with my baby, is not nessesary.  I see it as ‘me time’. What would she gain in going on a shopping spree at the age of two months? But that’s just me. Instead, I spend time with her at home. She takes three, maybe four naps during the day, more or less an hour long. When she is awake, we laugh and talk. She likes talking. Then she eats, falls asleep and wakes up for a nappy change. That’s our daily routine. And its working for us.

I have come to realise that not all babies are the same. Just like we, adults, are also individuals, with our own set of goals and outlook on life.  I will not judge any mother. I have never judge any person for that matter. Do what you feel is best for you and your baby. Not what others say you should do. That book you’ve been reading by Dr. so and so, use it as a guideline and instead go with that gut feeling. Woman intuition. Call it what you want. But it goes in overdrive once you become a mother.  It’s crazy, but true. You think now that you will not know what to do in certain situations, but believe me, you will know. Just like I know I should not take my baby girl with me when going to the mall.

I am looking forward though to our first summer together. Having picnics outside in the garden. Watching the birds and the clouds past by. Laughing and having conversations. Priceless moments that I will remember with my precious baby girl. Until then, we will enjoy each other’s company at home, whilst family and friends are always welcome to visit.

I’m a first time mom! Jikes!

I’m a first time mom! Jikes!

So, I decided to to start this blog, because firstly, I now (at this moment) have a break and secondly, well I need to write down what I’m feeling and doing during the day and share it with people older than 2 months (no offence my beautiful baby girl, mommy’s got to take some time for herself too.  Funny how in my head, I’m saying it in this high pinch baby goo-goo gaga language). Yes, I have learned how to speak to babies, not that they don’t understand my normal language, but we have to adapt as mothers.  I figured before I had her I would be speaking in a normal manner, but alas, this baby as gotten me in her tiny firm grip and transformed me into a goo-goo gaga human!

I’ve been at home for the last 2 months, after giving birth to a healthy girl.  Yes, she has ten fingers and ten toes and I am blessed that she has come into my life.  We both are, that’s me and my  fiance.  ( I’m not married yet, but that’s another story for later).  We were given the ‘go ahead’ and in early June, a week before she was due, I went in for an induction.  Well, let me tell you.  If you can have a normal delivery without induction, do it! I ended up having an emergency caesarean, because my uterus overstimulated.  Possible?  I was my gyne’s first patient that it happen to.  She reminded me afterwards that if I was planning on having another baby, don’t opt for an induction…that said.  We went into theater and she was out in under 2 minutes. Amazing! Not amazing was the amount of discomfort I was in for the next 3 weeks. Word of advise, do not bend forward or backwards or even stay one side of your body too long. Take nice warm showers ( a bath is out of the question after c-section).  Get and accept help! Especially for the first few weeks.  It is not possible to do all the things that you thought you’d be able to do. Like, standing up from a sitting position with your baby.  Not happening. Get your mother or a good friend to sleep over.  That cup of caffeine-free rooibos tea in the middle of the night whilst breastfeeding, means a lot.  Ahh, yes, breastfeeding.  The doctors, nurses, grandmothers (and -fathers) and health department, wants you to breastfeed for the first six months.  If you are medically not able to breastfeed and formula is your only option, than so be it.  But God has given us women breasts for a couple of reasons and one of them is to breastfeed. It is the first thing you do when holding your baby for the first time. It is painful the first few weeks, but there is nothing better then the encouragement from mom and Lanolin. I have been breastfeeding for the last 9 weeks and its going very well. Lets see how long it’s going to last. Now that I have that ticked off the list, I am waiting for the next challenge…teething.

This is not even half of my story and I have many more tales to write.  I hope that everyone that is reading this, will enjoy and walk away from you computer or phone, thinking, that this discomfort and annoyance shall pass.