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A farm visit

I’m lucky to have been able to bring most of the older bears up in a farm environment.

Fresh air ,dirt and animals are always a fabulous combination for kids.

So, I was in my element when we popped over to a friend’s farm this weekend.

A long drive to Atlantas led us to their stunning farm. As you stepped outside of the aircon interior of the car, you could taste the dirt and smell the rich aroma of farm life.
Bear was quite happy to mingle with his fellow red haired friend and they shared a lovely afternoon swimming and running about barefoot.
The highlight of bears farm trip were the horses and we’ve discovered he loves animals.
He took a trip around the farm with monkey and met the other farm animals, before trying to “love ” the shaggy farm dog.
I believe all children need to experience nature so it was a delight for me to watch bear toddle barefoot after his new found friends.

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An early Spur celebration 

This weekend saw the start of papas anual weekend away with the soccer guys. This meant Bear and I would be alone at home.

I had hoped Kiki and Monkey would come for the weekend as I’m not a fan of  staying alone but  with both of them having German measles that wasn’t an option. 

So , It was just Bear and I. 


Friday

Early birthday celebrations

Friday morning , after quickly grabbing a few birthday gifts for the weekends birthday parties,  we collected my bestie P and headed to start our weekend.

A quick stop in at a Mommy and me tea and then to the mall.

Early birthday suprise

I decided to do a party for one at the local Spur. Bear was quickly seated with his Totem teepee pictures to colour ( and wax fatties to throw on the ground) , Indian brave headdress on his head and hungry tummy waiting to tuck into his plate of smilies. 

Ice cream smash

He had a ball and I secretly noted that he must be getting bigger as he hadn’t moaned yet to get out the baby chair. 😂😂

All too soon he was done and ready for his Chico the clown ice cream. (After all what is a kiddies birthday without Chico? )

Out of nowhere the sound of clapping and chanting caused poor bear to stop colouring and look with horror as the entire Spur staff quota made their way towards us singing happy birthday to him.

He was proudly presented with a sparkly ice cream (which also caught the serviette on fire 😄) 

Just this once,I sat back and allowed him the privilege of  a non OCD mom and handed him his spoon to tuck into the ice cream.

The look of delight on his face was gianormous. 

 I don’t actually think he spooned any ice cream into his mouth but he did manage to stick his hand in it, gets some on his nose  and try share with me. 

Finally we tidied up the melted mess and he received his toy … I’m not sure yet how he’s going to use the wax sticks but that’s a problem for another  day.

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Photo challenge day 1 ….. something I love

lighthouses. …. I love light houses.
I’m not sure where the obsession came from but there is something magical for me in the solid foundation of a lighthouse.

Papa and I have been lighthouse hunting over the last 3 years and as you all know our wedding and reception are at one of our local lighthouses.

On our recent road trip we discovered quite a few new lighthouses along our beautiful coastal shores and I purchased a copy of Gerald Hobermans Lighthouses of South Africa to see which lighthouses we havent yet seen.

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Little bears dedication adventure

I began planning bears dedication long before he was born. 
What I imagined

In my mind i saw the beautiful ceremony in the same church I’d dedicated his 6 siblings, visions of his huge smile as the minister lifted him in his white suit to pray for him playing over and over.

After his beautiful ceremony  I imagined a simple reception with family and friends decorated stylishly with a nautical theme. 

I even went so far as to design the cute invite and send it out. Ensuring that everyone knew ahead of time to save the date.

Plan B

Not long after I’d sent the invite, his godmother fell pregnant and baby was due in September so we naturally changed the date. 

Bringing his dedication much sooner and with that a new look at our available budget.

I chose my grandmother’s birthday ,21 May and was happy to see it fell on a Sunday. I have to say by now I was a little over trying to please everyone and we decided that if people couldn’t make it we weren’t changing the date again.

But I really wanted him to be surrounded by his full exstended family and God parents.

This also didn’t give me much time to replan with a much smaller budget as we wouldn’t have time to save for the extra 4 months.

I began to plan again

 The origional church I’d planned  hadn’t gotten back to me and reluctantly i chose another church who could do the dedication ceremony that weekend…. but … I wasn’t happy.

Our venue was able to move the dedication forward but our new hardly existent budget meant I was batteling to find a menue everyone would eat and still afford a cake. 

My decor went from amazing to bare minimum. I wanted everything perfect and started looking for DIY options.

Something was wrong 

Something was wrong ,and my heart wasn’t into planning  this elaborate event . 

I became tearful at the thought of having something less than what I’d imagined.

I really wanted his 3 God parents present but I didn’t want an event I’d been planning way before his birth to be a thrown together event because we were rushing.

I cancelled

In tears the one afternoon I finally threw my toys out the cot (yes….this mom lost her shit) and between tears of frustratiom and the realisation that my boys dedication would be something less than what I had planned for him, I told Pappa to cancel.

Right there in that moment I didn’t care if I had to wait a year … this was not the dedication I wanted for him.

I explained  that as I worked on his dedication plans I felt more and more annoyed, stressed and just sad.

We had only invited family but I felt it was becoming less about the ceremony and more about making everyone happy. (Which you know is never possible). 

My whole beautiful dedication ceremony was becoming  a very costly event with none of the original simplicity and ideas. It was rushed and now everything was changed to fit our new much tighter budget.

So we cancelled

I don’t remember what excuse we used just that the pit in my stomach disappeared and was replaced with a calm knowledge that I could dedicate bear when he was a little older.

 A new plan

A few days later papa phoned his mom in Durban ….bears gran is very active in her church and one of the few people who would have understood the meaning behind his beautiful dedication  ceremony.

 That nagging feeling in my heart came back and as he placed the phone down, I said” lets do the dedication in your moms church.”

I had no idea if the church could accommodate us or what the pastor would need and it meant  we would have to drive to Durban  from Cape Town.

 It also meant that none of the ideas  I had planned would be included in his dedication. No family, no siblings, no friends , no large ceremony with its nautical theme.

Road trip

Papa looked at me, mostly in shock and asked a hundred times if I was sure. I could see in his eyes he loved my idea, but he also knew how important it was for me to have this perfect.

 We started planning our road trip.

For the first time since changing the date I was excited. This felt right. We would still be able to keep the date -my grandmother’s birthday and he would be dedicated in her happy place …Scottsburgh 

Plan C

It was going to be a suprise and so bears gran had no idea we were coming.

To achieve this we would need to get all our ducks in a row long before arriving in Scottsburgh.  We phoned papas cousin T and with her help we were able to  get the churchs contact number and suprise his gran by just arriving at her door on the Friday. 

I phoned the church when we arrived at our friend in Umtata and together with the pastor and office we set up the suprise dedication for that Sunday. 

Suprise 

The Friday I posted on my Facebook that we were on the road. People assumed as we had been travelling for a week prior that our road trip had ended and we were headed home.

As we got outside her door, I tagged her in a suprise we here photo, she was genuinely shocked as we buzzed and she heard Pappas voice. 

We shouted SUPRISE  for the first time that weekend.

The joy in seeing her grandson was wonderful and I was reassured that this was indeed the perfect dedication plan.

Saturday she gave bear his dedication gifts a bible and silver money box. I resisted the urge to spill the beans , especially when I saw her disappointment at his dedication being cancelled.

We met with T and I was able to arrange the very first cake I’d chosen to be baked. Secret whatsapp messages  bounced between our hushed conversations. 

And more surprises 

Sunday finally arrived and bears gran was trying to get out of attending church. I nearly choked.  How to convince her without being to obvious or revealing the secret.

Finally just before 8am we bundled into the car and headed to church.

We stepped into the warmest reception of people, most aware of the upcoming suprise and winking at us.  Smiles and welcome arms surrounded us and i felt an emotion of joy overwealm me …. please dont let me cry 😂

The pastor took us aside and told us how the ceremony would go and bears gran was happy to see her sister  and family fill the pew next to us.

The service began with well known hymns  and I surveyed the beautiful blue flower arrangements placed on either side of the stage.  Suddenly the pastor called bears gran up to the stage and asked her if she knew why she was called up, her confused reaction indicated …no

“We here to dedicate your grandson ” he stated and called us up to join.

The ceremony

Bears gran began to cry which set me off and as the pastor prayed his dedication over our precious bear i realised this was exactly what I wanted.

There was no white dedication suite , no sharing the same church and pastor as his siblings but there was the one thing I’d wanted to achieve ….

Bear was surrounded by love on his special day.

A time to celebrate

We left the church and headed to T’s home where she had set up a beautiful table with the cross cake just as I’d wanted. 

As i sat down to enjoy a piece of cake papa pointed out that T’s whole home is decorated with a nautical theme . I got my nautical theme after all.

Bear proudly held his certificate for photos and even did a mini cake smash with his first real taste of cupcakes as he enjoyed playing with his cousins. 

As for us …. We could finally tell everyone the real reason for our road trip and share our second suprise that weekend. 

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How to stop your kids bouncing off the walls 

I often hear from parents my child is bored or they so hyper at home and I always ask the same question ….

When last did you let them run outside?
Children are never bored when they outside.

Outside they learn to explore and appreciate the wonderful world around them.

Outside they learn to use their imaginations for play.  I’m sure you remember making mud pies .

Outside they learn to face dangers and test their limits. Just think of when you learnt to climb a tree.

Outside all their senses are stimulated.

Outside they exercise their gross motor muscles and become more agile.

Outside they learn the basis of a healthy life.

So what you waiting for ….let them play outside 

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Finding Nemo ….a trip to the Aquarium 

The Aquarium has been on my bucket list for the last 3 years, so when I saw tickets were half price on the Waterfronts museum night I knew exactly where we were headed.

Dressing bear for the Cape winter we headed off early determined to try avoid a long queue. 

Friendly aquarium staff ushered us to the right line and before we knew it we had out tickets and we’re entering the exhibit.

As we entered a photographer snapped our pics for sale later (at R250 a set it’s well worth the memory. 3 pics in a wonderful keepsake frame full of info about the Aquarium,  a postcard and 2 small pics that you can turn into a magnet or keyring)

We always do things the wrong way lol and started at the sharks first. I’d read that they had just this week completed the shark tanks and introduced the few ragged tooth sharks we saw. Bear was in total awe as these magnificent creatures swam slowly past us.

Next we found the Nemo tank where you can crawl into the centre and have a full view of inside the tank. Papa got to snap a few pics of bear and I. I watched as a facinated bear watched  the fish swimming about , babbling about what he saw.

Next we past small tanks of various fish and sea creatures. Each as beautiful as the next, giving us a wonderful glimpse of the oceans secrets.

The wave pool was intriguing and bear giggled each time the ‘wave’ crashed into the large fish pool.

I couldn’t help lingering a little longer at both the star fish and sea horse tanks …two of my favourite creatures.

Soon we came across the jelly tanks , strategically placed in a darkened room the florescent jellyfish seemed to dance before us.

I loved the I &J tanks with a giant turtle shyly hiding in the courner as large sea creatures swam around him . Ahead of us was a tunnel and I wondered what kind of tunnel you’d have at an aquarium. The tunnel is made of glass and as you walk through the fish swim above and to your sides. This allows you perfect close up views of the animals in the tank.

Something that stood out for me was the touch tanks , where bear got to touch sea weed and a live starfish. This was not a sensory experience he enjoyed. He could also dig for fossils. Sadly he’s a bit young to understand what he was doing.

We gave the kids play area a skip,  mostly because it was bears suppertime and we were eager to view the penguins. But it was encouraging to see so many families , especially with small babies visiting. The Aquarium is completely pram and wheelchair friendly.

You smell the penguin enclosure before you see it and if you’ve been to Boulders beach you will know that smell only to well.  A cross between ocean, fish and dirty socks. The penguin are as cute as can be as they stare at their visitors .

I found this the most beautifully decorated exhibit with its wild fauna creating an ambiance of exoticness. 

It was nice to see an area dedicated to how green you are and we noted a kelp forest interactive game for older kids. I also saw a microscope section manned by aquarium staff who were educating the visitors about various sea life.

The sign boards are informative , without being too rigid and the staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have. There were many opportunities to interact with certain exhibits, touch and take unusual photos.

If you haven’t visited , it’s well worth the visit .

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NutureOne -All in one bib (review)

I was very excited to collect bears NurtureOne Fuss Free Bib as now that I have an active crawling baby who wants to feed himself on my hands EVERYTHING gets messy.

The fuss free bib is made from a durable plastic and folds itself into a small pouch attached to the bib. The pouch is small enough for you to pop into a nappy bag or even your handbag and pull out when needed.

I also like the fact that by folding it back into the pouch , you are able to store these bibs on top of each other neatly. So great for other OCD moms like me who have nightmares over the neatest way to fold and store material bibs.

It slips on easily and attaches at the back with Velcro. I’m happy to say it will fit kiddies older than a year. Bear currently wears clothing age 12 to 18 months and the bib was comfortable with room to grow. It also covered all of his outfit.

Easy to clean and dries in minutes. I wiped his bib down with a wet cloth after breakfast but after lunch he’d smeared yoghurt all over it so I gave it a quick hand wash in warm soapy water , hung it up and when I went back 20 minutes later it was dry, ready for supper time.

The bib is not just great for messy eating but also for messy play time. A stress less way to keep your baby and toddler neat as they enjoy water play, paint , play dough or messy play.

I’ll be popping this into my bag and taking it along to bears Moms and babes classes for messy play time …no more dragging along a change of clothing for this mamma. 

For more information on the product contact

 www.nutureone.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/nurtureOneNesting/