The Toffee’s First Easter

This is a post inspired by Woolworths.

Last week I received a gorgeous delivery, to draw attention to Woolies’ Easter amazingness. When it comes to special holidays, Woolies always does them extremely well – never failing to put on a serious spread of goodies, edibles and irresistibles.woolworths, easter, #wweaster

This Easter hamper? Really blew me away. Mostly, the beautifully personalised card. It may or may not have given me a lump in my throat. The Toffee’s first Easter? #wweaster, woolworths, easterThe fact that it’s almost Easter, means that the Toffee has been around for nearly a year. This month is his first Easter and next month is his first birthday.

This year, we’re having Easter at our house. We now have a garden big enough for a proper Easter egg hunt, so we’re having the family over for breakfast and a hunt. This Easter drop from Woolies reminded me that I no longer have any excuse to ignore or play down special occasions – my Kid enjoys them immensely, and I should be doing my utmost to make the special days as special as possible for him. We spent the weekend doing this giant 6 x A4 colouring-in project and he’s very proud of the outcome. Took it to school this morning to show his teacher. As for how much of this was coloured in by mom, well, I’d say it’s about 60:40. But I’m ok with it. This was pretty much the most challenging thing he’d ever coloured, and he managed pretty well.

The plan for this giant easter egg that we coloured in?

It will eventually be framed and hung somewhere in the house, along with photos of our first easter as a family of four, in our new home. Photos like these:

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Bad Movie Bingo: For movies so bad they’re good

bingoBad Movie Bingo: For movies so bad they’re good

Make movie nights even more fun with this easy-to-play game

Last year, indie filmmaker Jordan Liebowitz wrapped up shooting on his 20-

minute comedy short film, Bingo Night. The film, which stars Lynne Stewart, Mindy Sterling, and Brenda Pickleman, tells the tale of bingo-playing grandmas who plan to rob their local bingo hall to help a friend in danger of being evicted.

Liebowitz, who had turned to Kickstarter to fund post-production for the film, planned to bring Bingo Night to the festival circuit. Earlier this month the short film finally debuted with a bang, with tickets selling out in 24 hours when it hit the Wisconsin Film Fest.

The short film’s success fuels a belief that has been going on for a while now: bingo still resonates with audiences even in these high-tech times. Of course, bingo has kept right along with the times, with the BBC reporting that the number of online bingo sites has ballooned to over 350 – a far cry from the 20 or so sites ten years ago.

A lot of the game’s popularity has to do with the vast amounts of money that gaming companies pour into their advertising budgets. UK-based gaming giant Gaming Realms alone spent over $13 million for its bingo site FoxyBingo, and that was just during the first three months of 2014!

A notable side-effect of the old game’s popularity is the prevalence of bingo “remixes”, or bingo games that substitute the numbers on bingo cards with anything from pop culture. Music bingo, TV show bingo, NASCAR bingo… the list goes on and on.

What we want to focus on, though, is Bad Movie Bingo. Not just because we talked about films in the first part of this post, but because everybody loves bad movies – but only if they’re bad enough to be funny, of course.

There’s actually a site aptly called Bad Movie Bingo that has everything for the bingo-playing bad movie aficionado. The good part is that it’s chock full of ready-made bingo cards and even has a few movie recommendations. The bad part is you have to buy the cards, plus the site seems to be defunct. The recommendations are still there, though, and they’re pretty good—er, bad.

Of course, you could always go down the DIY route by using a free bingo card generator like Print-Bingo.com. Make the cards online, print them out, and use them at your next movie night. Have fun!

FoxyBingo

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This is a guest post

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I Can’t Believe We Made This

Every now and again it hits me that I have a six year old. That he’s only six. I’m so busy treating him like a mini-adult and regiment every aspect of his life, that I often forget he’s only a little boy.

Every now and again I get this feeling – this momswoon thing – of intense love and admiration for what I made, accidentally. (And yes, I purposefully use the word ‘accidentally’ and ‘mistake’ when thinking about my Kid. He was definitely an accident and definitely a mistake, but a beautiful one. One I don’t regret in the least.)

It’s hard not to take it all too seriously, this being a parent thing. It’s far too easy to forget that he’s only going to be a child for a short while, and that I should let him enjoy it. I’m always on his case to pick up his toys, stop messing juice on the couch, dry his feet before he comes inside from swimming and getting annoyed at his constant questions.

I forget that children only learn through asking questions, and that he’s not trying to purposefully irritate me – he’s just exercising his curiosity. That forgetting to make his bed is simply because he was too busy having fun doing something else. That yelling at the top of his lungs isn’t intended to wake his sleeping baby brother, it’s just an expression of his excitement or happiness in that moment. Just a vocalisation of fun.

Fun. That’s the whole point of being a child, isn’t it? Learning while having fun. Growing while having fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in being an adult and a parent, that you forget that important part of life. Fun. There’s no time for that, in between commuting and making dinner, packing lunches and sitting in meetings. There’s barely even time for enough sleep, let alone fun.

That’s got to change, and the only one who can make it happen is me. I need to find my fun again. I need to make time for fun. Make time for my family. I will soon be in the process of making this happen. All I want is some time. Time to enjoy this, before it’s grown up and moved out of my house.

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On Being A Chicken-Shit Scaredy Cat

I don’t know when it happened. This whole me-being-a-scaredy-cat thing. It seems to have gradually snuck up on me. I’m not fearless and I really don’t like being scared.

I can’t watch scary movies. It’s not fun. I don’t dig it. In fact, Scream is about as scary as I could handle. Texas Chain Saw Massacre? Couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. That panicky feeling that I get from watching a suspense-filled movie? Can’t cope.

Can’t do rollercoasters. Can’t even do the spinning teacups. Got so panicked on the teacups that my Kid started screaming and crying. Thought I was going to diieeee on the Log Ride at Gold Reef City. May have even peed myself a little and definitely had a little sob once the ride was over.

I don’t like being scared. I don’t know if it’s a since-I’ve-been-a-mom thing, or a since-forever thing, but honestly – I don’t get why people PAY MONEY to be scared. I don’t wanna.

I reached an all-time cowardly low this morning. Am actually snorting hysterically (read: panicked laughter) as I think about it. I walked down the passage to discover The Toffee playing on the rug. He was quiet, content and very absorbed in what he had in his hand. I looked closer. It had legs and feelers.

IT WAS A PARKTOWN PRAWN*, YOU GUYS. He had it IN HIS HAND.

I did the only logical thing I could think of. I screamed and ran. I shrieked so loud that my husband came running, convinced that the end of the world was nigh. Or something. I shrieked so hard that my Kid started screaming and burst into tears, too. I can’t remember what I shrieked at my husband – UUUUUUUUGH IT’S A PARKTOWN PRAWN. AAARGH. TRAVIS IS TOUCHING IT. AAAARGH (was probably it) but he calmly removed the offensive creeper from The Toffee’s hand and deposited it safely outside.

The Toffee was pissed he’d had his toy taken away, and The Kid needed a hug to calm down and my husband was once again completely gobsmacked at what a bangbroek (scaredycat) pansy he’d married.

I didn’t even hang around to watch my husband remove the bug from the house – I’m always too scared he’s going to think it’s funny to chase me around with it, and that he might (HEAVEN FORBID) throw it at me and it MIGHT TOUCH ME.

It would seem my maternal instinct to protect my children does not extend to Parktown prawns. Or amusement park rides. Hell no. In these circumstances, it’s every man (woman and child) for himself.

SCARY SHIT. I JUST CAN’T DO IT, YO.

 

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On Fudge. No Other Words Are Necessary.

Last night I made fudge. The end result looks nothing like the recipe I used, however. Could have had something to do with the fact that I used condensed milk, butter (not margarine), vanilla, brown sugar and maple syrup. (I didn’t have golden syrup).

I also made the mistake of not stirring it for about 5 seconds once it had reached the soft-ball stage, so it set prematurely, before I could pour it out of the saucepan and into the baking tray. Rescued it by adding more milk and melting everything again. Wasn’t as creamy as it was the first time I made it, but still pretty damned amazing.

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It’s Happiness And It’s Found In Togetherness

10af7edc868811e3a0851240c301e87e_8We don’t often get a chance to get together like this. But when we do, it’s like we’ve barely been apart.

Having been in our new house for almost a year now (can you believe it?) I thought it was time to have my sisters and nephews over for lunch. Two sisters, three nephews and one Granny Jill, plus two of my own children made for a very loud, happy day.

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We had a chilled lunch in the shade of the bottlebrush tree while the kids ran and swam and shrieked and played on the jungle gym. The Kid loved having other kids to swim with and The Toffee loved having another baby around. Mason didn’t want to go home at all.

Half an hour after everyone left, this one was fast asleep on the couch with a Hulk movie playing – completely blissed out.

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We Went To Gold Reef City Today

And this picture pretty much sums up my entire experience. It also re-affirmed for me that I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a thrill-seeker. My Kid and husband are, however.

I had a bit of a sob once I got off the Log Ride. A hysterical sob. I was pissed with my husband for convincing me to go on this ride and pissed when he laughed and insisted on buying this picture.

They were a tad disappointed that The Kid was 2cm too short to ride the scary stuff – like the Anaconda. (Their height restriction of no persons under 1.3m is strictly enforced) But, as the mom, I have to say that I was totally ok with him riding this, and enjoying it. It was way more my speed.

I have a phobia of heights. Which is why getting onto that Log Ride was a huge thing for me. I can’t do the Ferris Wheel. Look how high it is. I feel sick just looking at it. Kid got off it and said “that was cool, Mom, but I couldn’t see San Francisco.”.

gold reef city

Since we were in the children’s section of the theme park, I thought we’d left terror outside. Apparently we hadn’t. The spinning seashells were next. My husband was a tad incredulous at how much of a scaredycat I am. But I just can’t. Those shells spin so fast and hard I actually thought I was going to be flung out.

gold reef city bumper carsHe also enjoyed the bumper cars. I have to say, from observing a whole bunch of kids on these cars – that the girls are always the better drivers. The boys are fixated with causing huge mayhem, and the girls just weave in and out between the pile-ups caused by the boys.

We’ve promised to take The Kid back to Gold Reef City for his 7th birthday. That gives him 10 months to grow another 2cm so he can enjoy ALL the rides. As for me – I won’t be going on anything. Ever again. Never, never, never. But especially not on those freakin’ shells. My arms are so sore from the deathgrip I had on the safety bars.

Chicken, thy name is Tamaryn.

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Teething. Man, It’s Hard Work

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The Toffee is getting his bugs bunny teeth – his two front, top ones – and is having an extremely hard time of it.

It was only after an entire day of misery and squawking that I finally discovered what the issue was. A tooth peeking through the top of his gum.

It’s only been a week or two since his bottom teeth appeared, so I thought we might have some time off from teething for a bit, but not so. He’s in a hurry to have a full mouth of teeth.

I dosed him with Myprodol syrup and rubbed Teejel on his gums. For the record, I’m convinced Teejel doesn’t work. I remember using Vidol teething powders with The Kid, but can’t seem to find them. What other products are there that actually work? Or is it a case of grit-and-bear-it until the teething has passed?

I don’t remember having this much of a hard time of it, with my firstborn. Toffee really battles. So much so that the pain makes his whole body rigid, and he grabs whatever is closest (usually a baby towel or blanket), jams it in his mouth and shrieks. It’s actually a tad worrisome.

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It’s affecting his sleep, and mine. But, as I keep telling myself, it’s not forever.

This phase too shall pass.

And in other, non-tooth-related news, Toffee can now sit. Not for very long, but we’re getting there.

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So Proud Of This Guy

The training wheels came off. In the same day he learned how to ride his electric scooter and his bicycle*. It took him another day or so before he could take off by himself without a boost and get his feet on the pedals without wobbling precariously and dropping one foot on the road to catch himself.

He’s had this bicycle for well over a year now, and has only just grown into it. Even with the training wheels on, he battled to ride this bike.  He still battles to pedal it uphill, but I’m sure his legs will catch up soon enough.

Bless him. He was so brave when his dad let go and he was doing it on his own. He braved falling over a few times and miraculously avoided all injury. Not even a scrape. He persisted and got it right. He made his daddy real proud.

And his mama, too.

*Bad mom. No helmet. No excuses.

 

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On Something We Never Did In Our Old House

We never got ’round to hanging many pictures on the walls. There never seemed to be enough time to get it done – life as new parents was stressful. Then, we simply stopped thinking about it and it didn’t happen.

Not so in this house. I’m having a wonderful time. (My husband, who has to do all the labour, is not having such a wonderful time.)

A card from Sarah, that I framed and (my husband) hung in our bedroom.

A whole bunch of my Instagram pictures, block-mounted and adorning our dining room walls. (Still impressed that my husband had them all hanging just a few hours after I brought them home)

A bead-and-wire springbok head. Can’t tell you for how long I’ve wanted one. Also agonised for months over what to do in this space.

And a reindeer head. (Let the record read that my husband hates this “crap” and bought it purely because he knew I loved it.)

I picked the bamboo bathroom fittings, he picked the glass-framed mirror. We have such different tastes, but it seems to work out.

I have some of The Kid’s art from this year that I want to frame and hang. There’s still a sun mirror that’s in the process of being restored (we bought it many years ago, at a bargain price because it was damaged) and a few more ideas that I have for each of the boy’s rooms – but we’re not in any rush. There’s also space over our fireplace – I have no idea what to do there. All of this is fun. I now understand why grown-ups like to hang out at home decor and hardware shops!

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