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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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In persuit of happiness

Today as I prepped my Facebook posts I came across an image of myself in 2013.

For the sake of the particular post I published it but it’d been haunting me all day .

This is me in 2013

Me 2013

I look so serious, much older than my then 39 years and my eyes are screaming with unhappiness.

 My face doesn’t display my usual smile and even my clothing choice is dull and depressing.

This was exactly how I felt.

I was depressed,  stuck in a loveless , abusive marriage with no where to turn.

I couldn’t see anything positive in my life and felt no joy in the things that usually kept me happy.

Four months after this photo was taken , I’d packed my bags , left Jhb and started my adventure for a new life…..

Me 2017

This is me today

I feel and hope I look younger than my 43 years. My photos show smiles and light hearted joking poses. 

Gone are the hurt eyes staring back at me .

 My clothing is bright and even my poses are less stiff and more relaxed. 

Smile through your eyes always

Our body language and clothing choice speaks unimaginable truths about us. 

I look at the images above and I thankfully don’t recognise the first me.

My journey wasnt easy..

But the price of happiness is doubled when we chose to let go of what doesn’t bring joy to our lives and start to take control for our own destiny.

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I survived the babysitter and other lessons learned 

Somewhere during the course of last week I agreed to let Dbear and the gf babysit bear this Friday.

It seemed like a good idea.

I mean Dbear is 22, responsible and awesome with little ones.  The gf is amazing with bear and he loves her. The bonus being that Kiki and Monkey were here to help if there was a problem. 

So , in reality , I’d actually arranged 4 sitters for bear.

Date night set.

Round about Wednesday ,Papa started asking what I wanted to do for date night? This was also round about the same time the butterflies moved into my stomach and my nerves began to get the better of me.

What happened if bear cried, or wouldn’t go to sleep? What happened if he needed us or got hurt or …. (and here you can honestly just fill in with words that sound like mommy guilt and paranoia)

I wasn’t sure it was such a great idea and didn’t give too much more thought to it.

Until papa booked the movie tickets!  

Now there was no going back. Sneaky man , books the tickets online so I couldn’t back out of this .😉

Dbear and gf arrived just as papa bear pulled up with the other bears. I was half ready , dreanched in mommy guilt and secretly wondering how to get out of this.

Before I knew it Dbear was cooking, the bears were settling and bear was eating his supper from gf.

Guess I had no choice but to get ready.

As I pasted on a quick face and brushed my hair i started to feel human. Less mommy bun harassed and my anxiety was quickly replaced with an excitement. 

I love dressing up and haven’t had too much time to do that lately.

I also love spending time with papa . This would be our first few hours alone in 9 months.

The nagging mommy guilt brought me right back to the reality that for a few hours of quality time with papa I was about to abandon my poor bear into the land of the unknown.

As we closed the door and headed to the car, I realised I was just being paranoid. Bear was surrounded by 4 responsible people who love and adore him. 

I resolved to focus all my attention on papa. After all with a demanding toddler in the house it’s easy to forget each other.

It was strange not having to check bear was in the car seat correctly before starting the car.

But within seconds I’d relaxed enough to thoroughly start enjoying the evening.

Our date night was nothing extrodinary in the eyes of many…but for me it was perfect.

An evening alone to connect with the man I love. Sushi and a movie.

Papa even pulled out my chair and we held hands , something we don’t often get to do now as our arms are usually full of baby paraphernalia. 

I tried not to overthink the unimaginable and stopped myself 300 times from reaching for my phone and checking all was OK at home.

I had my first meal in 9 months not having to gulp it down because my attention was needed . I came away from the meal without the stains of a self feeding toddler.  And I sat through an entire movie without interruption ….it was wonderful.

Truthfully I was sorry the night ended so soon (four hours later) and we walked to the car imagining the chaos our home was in, certain bear would be awake.

But it was even more amazing to come home to a clean home, sleeping bear and 3 bears and the gf cuddled up on my bed. 

What did I learn ?

I learnt that in every relationship you need to focus on each other. Papa and I love our time as a family but we need that time alone to reconnect as to why we fell in love with each other to start with. Putting each other first is just as vital as raising bear.

I learnt that bear will survive a few hours without me. That others are capable of looking after him and that I need to let go a little and trust those around him who love him. 

I learnt that mommy guilt will rob you of enjoying the moments without your children if you let it.

I learnt that I raised responsible , loving, capable bears

I learnt that I can survive bear being babysit! 

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This mamas top ten guilty pleasures 

Draw the shades and lean closer I’m about to reveal my top ten guilty pleasures ….

1.Coffee

There is not a day that doesn’t start with a good cup of dark coffee. No milk -no sugar. It’s my go to! The cure of all ailments and proberbly the reason some of my children are still alive and that I’ve managed to maintain a level of sanity.

2. Pink champagne

I know ! I’m such a girl …but nothing makes me feel more luxurious than a chilled glass of pink bubbly.

3. Deep hot bubble baths

Which brings us to number 3… deep , boiling hot bubble baths. A little lavender bubbles and I’m rejuvenated for another round of mommy madness.

4. Old books

I’m not sure if it’s the smell of old parchment or just the general look of a weathered old book but I love them. Many years ago I had several book cases full of tatty old poetry books that I would spend hours reading.

5. Soft fluffy winter throws 

Oh to delight the senses with a warm fluffy throw on a cold winters night. 

6. Vintage clothing

While those round me run off to the nearest fashion boutique to spend far too much money on a piece of material with a designer label, I love nothing more than to find a few decent vintage pieces in a dusty old charity shop .

Don’t get me wrong …this mamma loves her retail therapy for normal mamma attire just as much 😋

7.Perfume

I love a lingering scent and if I was to choose my favourite scent it would have to be any of the YSL fragrances . 

8. Museums

One of my favourite pastimes is to visit a museum …ALONE! 

I love to wander the quiet halls ,soaking the images and information in. 

This is naturally best done without the distraction of little fingers grasping at prehistoric artifacts .😂

9.Sunsets

Living in Cape Town we get the most beautiful sunsets . As the sun lights up with her flaming  autum colours , my guilty pleasure is to watch these awesome sunsets on a beach , cocktail in hand .

10. Art

I love art in all forms .  From graffiti to fine exhibits on a First Thursday. I must admit I haven’t had much time to sketch in a while , but often if I need a time out or to gain new perspective , I’ll pick up a pencil and sketch for a while.

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Meeting the mama

Those who’ve met my older bears know that, like their mama they can be a little unconventional.

So I didn’t flinch when I received the following conversation from Dbear….

DbearHello!”

5.01PM

DbearAre you home

5.02PM

DbearMother

5.03PM

Dbearwoman who gave birth to me

5.04PM

Followed by my response at 5.20pm 

Meyes child of my womb

It seems by my response if he was in grave danger I’d have missed his call due to the survival need to cook a meal. 

But , as it was only mild hysteria all was good and mom could save the day.

The crisis….

He was stuck in traffic and his girlfriend was headed my way for supper. Could she arrive early without him please.

I’m unsure why he needed to ask but I took his thoughtfulness and as I really like her had no problem with them arriving two hours early for supper.

Imagine my suprise when I’m greeted at the door by both her and her mom. 

Inward I was cursing the boy… if I’d known a mama was coming too I’d have brushed the mommy bun down , made up my face and prehaps not answered the door in baby supper stained track wear and just my socks.

I must have given the look away on my face as gf mama kept apologising for interrupting. 

I fetched bear from upstairs, got ready to boil the kettle and we started chatting. 

Before I knew it gf mamma and I had bonded over the drunken mentor of Katnis Evergreen,  divulged our Steven king secrets and right off discovered that we shared a birthday. 

Half an hour later we were still laughing at our odd mamma jokes before gf mamma went off to a meditation class and I headed to fold paper boats for the wedding. 

All in all I have to say , this certainly was one of the nicer suprises at my door. 

Oh ! 

And supper ….well that never happened as the kids had other plans 😂😂

And what do you expect ….

With 7 kids life is certainly not boring 😉

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To the mamma who feels she’s failed 

I remember a few times when my bears were younger waking up overwhelmed before the day had started. 

There seemed to be so much to do . So little time to do it in.  Everyone needing a part of me and me still wanting to try to save a little of my own sanity and independence in the day.

I did all my own housework. Home schooled my brood , often I was crafting for money , helping to run my ex husbands business or working flexible time .

I devoted my time to my husband, home and family .

Was I resentful?…. some days. Was I over whelmed? …always. Did I feel I’d failed misribly as a wife and mother?…. daily!

Yes I screamed at my children when I should have sat patiently with them.  Yes I impatiently brushed them aside to try get a few seconds to myself . Yes I sometimes didn’t care why they were fighting with each other …I needed a break.

I was and am only human. 

6 kids, a husband, work and teaching took its toll. I was tired, sometimes depressed and always busy. 

I made mistakes.

If you a mom whose in the same situation right now and you feel lost,  alone and like your kids deserve better….

Let me tell you 

If I look back , those moments were few compared to the days we laughed and joked.

They are out weighed by the memories of my kids in the kitchen baking or all of us crafting on the lounge floor. I remember more moments of fun outings and bathroom splashes than I do of shouting to pick up the mess.

It’s not easy mamma…

Motherhood demands great sacrifices but I promise you it’s worth every minute.

So , remember …

When you feel you not enough, when the world seems to big and you convinced you’re the worst mamma in the world

Those little eyes are looking up at you thinking how much they love their perfect mamma😍

Today …know that YOU ARE ENOUGH