Thoughts about sleep

My husband and I are really in the thick of raising little ones. As I am writing this blog, my youngest daughter, Emma, refuses to fall asleep. She’s a little fighter when it comes to bedtime. We’ve done everything we can think of (short of getting into the car and driving all the way to town and back!) to try and get her to sleep, but tonight, none of our tricks are working.
Its funny how I took sleep for granted before having kids. I also never thought that something like sleep could become an issue in my life. When I can’t sleep, it’s all that I can think of. When I do sleep, it’s never enough. But, I am thankful for each phase that I get to share with my little ones, and I keep on reminding myself that this too shall pass.

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Blogging is not as easy as it looks

This blogging thing has really been a journey for me this year. Honestly, when I heard that I had to write 100 blogs by the end of the year, I was terrified! But, here I am on blog number 95 and still alive and breathing.

I was afraid of opening myself up to complete strangers. But, the more I wrote, the more I realised that my blogs are much better if I experienced what I wrote myself. It was much more difficult for me to write blogs about topics that did not hit home for me. As I look back, I’m pretty chuffed with myself. I feel like this blogging thing symbolises a personal victory for me.

Thank you, Marian, for stretching me. It’s helped me more than you will ever know.

I found three grey hairs today…

I always thought that I would be one of the lucky ones when it comes to grey hair. I figured that I would spot my first grey hairs in my forties, but alas, they seem to have made an appearance in my twenties.

I’m okay with grey hair. I don’t like the prospect of colouring my hair, though. Although dyed hair looks beautiful (if it’s done properly), it does take a lot of effort and maintenance to keep it looking good. I admire women who decide not to colour their hair. It’s almost like they wear they grey hair like a crown, a symbol of self-confidence and peace with who they are. I haven’t decided whether I’ll be doing the same thing. We’ll have to see when I get there.

Is it possible to lie without saying a word?

My answer to this question is yes! It IS possible to lie without saying a word. A person’s non-verbal body language is just as, or even more important, than what he/she says. Anyone can say nice and flattering things or give a textbook answer to a question, but it’s the subtle aversion of the eyes, a slight hesitation to answer a question or just the absence of an answer that could say a lot more than any perfect answer could. Soap stars are experts at lying without saying anything.

The last lecture – do you know who you are?

Many people would answer this question in a heartbeat and start describing what they like, their personality type or launch into an explanation that they heard on the television or in a movie that sounded really cool. However, that’s not what I’m asking you. Do you really know who you are?

Here are a couple of questions to get you started thinking: what do you stand for and, more importantly, what do you NOT stand for? Is your identity wrapped up in what your parents or your friends or your partner want you to become? Knowing who you are will take out so much of the double-mindedness you are faced with when making decisions. Knowing who you are will make you more at peace with yourself, especially in your thought life.

I was recently told that I don’t know who I am. After I got over my momentary shock at this statement, I realised that it was true. I’ve been looking at the wrong people to find answers to a question that only I know the answer to. My advice for getting to know yourself is simple. Start doing things that help you to discover who you are. Spend some time alone with yourself. It’s amazing who’ll you find on the inside of you!

P is for Potty!

I have ventured into the world of potty training. Amidst many other comments, mums that have been through this somewhat unpredictable process all say the same thing: you need to have A LOT OF PATIENCE. Boy, is it true! I don’t think I understood the word “patience” until now.

My two year old and I ventured onto this journey together at the beginning of this week. Day one was very uneventful (by uneventful I mean no pee-pee in the potty). Each time we went to the potty I sat on the edge of the bath and waited with baited breath for the trinkling sound to come… but alas, she insisted on doing all her “business” everywhere except the potty. Day two started out to be very promising. She made two beautiful puddles in the potty. I never thought that I would get so excited about it, but I did – I jumped up and down like a maniac! I think my animated response might have put her off, because that was the last time she did it. Day three (today) has so far gone by without celebrations. It seems like she enjoys the garden more than the bathroom.

I’m trying not to think about the journey ahead… it’s only day three after all! If I have any hope of getting her potty trained by the end of the year, I’m going to have to pull some tricks out of my sleeve!

Letter to Migael (part 2)

Liewe Migael

In hierdie pakkie is ‘n kombersie wat ek spesiaal net vir jou gemaak het. Dis my eerste poging om ‘n kombersie te hekel en jy sal sien dat dit nie ‘n baie suksesvolle poging was nie. Jy sien, ek het nie so lekker by gebly met die grootte van die blokkies nie, en toe ek die blokkies aan mekaar wou vaswerk, het ek my fout agtergekom. Maar, nogtans wil ek die vreemde grootte kombersie vir jou gee. Ek het my eerste hekel kombersie gemaak met jou ingedagte en ek hoop dis iets wat altyd spesiaal sal wees tussen ons twee.

Baie, baie liefde!
Tannie Chella

P.S Ek gaan vir jou nog ‘n kombersie maak – baie groter en sonder blokkies!

Letter to Migael (part 1)

The origin of this letter is a crocheted blanket (my first!) that turned out be a royal “flop”! A friend of mine gave birth to a gorgeous blue eyed little boy earlier this year and I wanted to give him a blanket as a gift. I crocheted blue and grey blocks with the intention of sewing them together to form a large square blanket with a white edge all around. I set about crocheting the blocks, but somewhere along the line I forgot to keep track of the size of the blocks and when I got to the stage where I had to sew the blocks together, I quickly discovered my mistake. I tried to mend my mistake by adjusting the size of the white edge. The result? A very haphazard gift! I decided to give him the blanket anyway, because I made it with him in mind and also because it is my first attempt at a crocheted blanket and I want him to have it. The letter that accompanied the gift is in part two of this blog.

A better day usually follows a bad one

A friend of mine wrote me these wise words via sms one day after I asked her for advice. Since then, these words have stuck with me. When I’m having a bad day, I remember these words and surely, the next day usually is better.

I’ve blogged about bad days and good days before, and my opinion is that neither one exists. It all comes down to your perception. If you perceive a day to be good, then it is good. The inverse is also true. Then why is the next day better (or more positive) than the bad (or negative) day than you might be experiencing now? I don’t have the textbook answer to this question, but, once again, I think it has to do with perception. It’s easier to wait for tomorrow to come than to try and change your perception about a bad situation that you might be faced with today. In this lies a challenge: make every day a good day by speaking positive things over yourself and every challenging situation that you may be faced with.

When money is tight

When money is tight, I tend to get creative very quickly. Instead of buying something new, old items get new life so that they can be used again for the same or another purpose. My mother-in-law recently gave us a wooden table with two accompanying benches that she wanted to throw away. My husband grabbed the opportunity to salvage her “junk” and now we have a nice place to enjoy coffee and snacks on our front stoep.

I’ve often surprised myself with meals on a tight budget. I put together ingredients that I otherwise never would have if I’d had more options in my grocery cupboard. My husband and I have found the best (and cheapest!) diner in Cape Town, where you can buy four beef hamburgers and fries for only R55.00. This place is a winner for us when money is tight.