{Guest Post} My pregnancy journey with gestational diabetes

This week’s post about gestational diabetes is written by South African mom blogger Puveshree Moodie, who blogs at Life’s a Treat. 

 

I was somewhere between my 24th and 28th week of pregnancy when I got a call from my gynaecologist saying that I need to come in and discuss the results of my 3 hour glucose test. My gynaecologist sat Jason and myself down and discussed my results. She gave us as much information as she could as I had no idea what this meant for my baby’s and my health.

This diagnosis was a head-on challenge which I was up for the battle.I went into research mode to learn as much as I could about GD to ensure I overcome this without taking any medication. I learnt about the carbohydrate vs. protein balance to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.My gynae booked me into the hospital for 24 hours to monitor how my body coped with breaking down the sugar in difference types of food.Once this was established, a dietician compiled a personalised eating plan for me. I went home with a list of allowed foods and its portion size in each food group. I also received print outs to keep a food diary and blood sugar readings after 30 and 60 minutes of eating. I purchased a blood sugar test machine to get the readings. My goal was not to take any medication to manage the GD and to manage it through diet. Leading up to the diagnosis, I was eating healthier and limited sugars so it was not a huge task to adjust my eating habits.

gestational diabetes

I became obsessive about what I ate, how much I ate and about testing my sugar after each meal, my gynae and dietician had to make some adjustments to my diet as I was losing weight; so I was also put on a shake called Glucerna which I could have at any time I felt hungry. However with me following my eating plan so strictly; I never felt hungry or cravings as my blood sugar levels were balanced. I gained a total of 7kg and lost my weight and an additional 4kg postpartum by following a similar diet.

gestational diabetes

My baby tracked well with her weight gain, was born at 38 weeks to ensure my placenta did not calcify and she was not at risk of being still born. Mckenzie weighed 2.6kg at birth and we were told it’s a good weight for a baby whose mum had gestational diabetes (usually babies are big weighing over 4.5kg).I was tested 6 weeks postpartum and my sugar levels were back to normal.

I drank at least 2lts of liquid in the form of still spring water and herbal teas with no milk, sugar or sweetener. I would also have a cup of Glucerna anytime between breakfast and lunch.

WHAT I ATE IN A DAY

Breakfast: Green smoothie (Cooled rooibos tea, 1/4 avocado, 1 cup spinach/kale,4 almonds, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tsp chia seeds) and a clemongold mandarin.

 Snack: 1 small carrot and hummus 

Lunch: Oven baked turmeric & smoked paprika chicken thighs, avocado, tomato, lettuce/kale/spinach, cucumber topped on a slice of brown bread.Sometimes I would sprinkle some feta (I would not recommend the feta if you have high blood pressure)

Snack: Nimu skinny hot chocolate made with low fat milk 

Dinner: Curried chicken breasts and pickled carrot and onion salad.

 

*Disclaimer: Please don’t follow my typical day of eating as it was designed for my needs.If you are faced with this diagnosis, I encourage you to meet with a dietitian to develop an eating plan customised to your needs.

I would love to hear from you if you have had an experience with gestational diabetes or are going through it presently. You are welcome to contact me lifesatreatza@gmail.com if you want me to create recipes to support your personalised diet.

                                                          XOXO

                                                    Puveshree

A little bit about me

I am a LUCKY GAL married to my best friend and completely obsessed with my little princess. I started blogging because I am a lover of blogs and bloggers. 
Blogs have introduced me to ideas, insight into people’s experiences and keeps me sane by knowing that I am not alone in this journey called motherhood & life…
A banker with a post graduate degree in BSc. Statistics and Financial Mathematics by day and tapping into a creative and fun side by blogging at night.
 
 

Blog: www.lifesatreat.co.za

Instagram: www.instagram.com/puveshree_lifesatreat_za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifesatreatza

Twitter: @lifesatreatza

Chela Preg: The Prenatal Vitamins that Adapt to your Growing Baby

pregnancy, prenatal vitaminsThere are a host of prenatal vitamins out there, and it can all be quite confusing the the mom to be, navigating all the options. Obviously you want to do the best for your baby and give them what they need. Chela Preg is a new offering on the market, and in this post we’ll share why this brand is one which grows with your baby, adapting to their needs.

The most noticeable trait about these vitamins is that they come in three trimester packs. That’s because each group of vitamins is uniquely designed to cater for your growing child’s needs every step of the way. 

Sometimes it’s frustrating to see a whole list of components on these packs and not have a clue why they are there. Here’s a breakdown on why you would be taking these sets of vitamins and how they would be helping your baby grow in an optimal way. 

Trimester One:

Your little one is barely a little speck inside you, but already it has a multitude of needs. Chella Preg’s first pack has 25 micronutrients which are working for the optimal growth of not just your fetus, but also your placenta. 

  • DHA-omega to boost your red blood cells and for the placenta development. 
  • Extra Vitamin B6 to reduce morning sickness
  • Gentle non-constipating chelated iron, Ferrochel, for the formation of extra red blood cells to carry more oxygen in preparation of the baby’s metabolic needs.
  • Quatrefolic, a natural 5-MTHF folate form of folic acid, which is better absorbed and essential for spinal chord closure (neural tube development)
  • No Vitamin E which is best avoided in the first trimester. 

Trimester Two:

Now it’s time for tissue and organ differentiation and development. This set contains 26 micronutrients. 

  • Extra DHA-omega to support the baby’s brain and nervous system development.
  • Additional calcium for skeletal development.
  • Vitamin E, extra vitamin C, choline and zinc for organ and tissue growth.
  • More Ferrochel, a gentle non-constipating chelated iron, for the formation of additional red blood cells to carry more oxygen to meet baby’s growing metabolic needs.

Trimester Three:

All systems go for a rapidly growing baby. 26 micronuritents for maximum micronutrition.

  • Maximum calcium for strong bones plus DHA-omega 3 for brain growth and for future heath, immunity and intelligence. 
  • Extra Ferrochel, a gentle non-constipating chelated iron, for the formation of extra red blood cells to carry more oxygen to meet the growing baby’s high metabolic needs.
  • More choline, a nutrient most important in the 3rd trimester for baby’s health and to help prevent diseases later in life.
  • Extra zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E to support rapid 3rd trimester cell division and tissue growth, and to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.

pregnancy, prenatal vitamins

These packs are available at DisChem, Clicks and leading pharmacies. Their recommended sales price is R211,72 (for Trimester 1),  R230,68 (for Trimester 2) and  251,22 (for Trimester 3). 

Pregnancy already has so many things to think about, at least it’s good to know that the prenatal vitamins will be taken care of with Chela Preg.  So you can go back to planning your baby’s arrival. 

This post is sponsored by Chela Preg. 

{Beauty} Testing out the LVL Enhance lashes

LVL Enhance lashesLVL Enhance lashes are a unique way to give your face a lift. Let’s be honest. As moms we don’t have ten minutes to apply mascara, separate lashes and curl them. LVL does it all for you and it lasts 6-8 weeks. 

So what is LVL? It is Length, Volume and Lift. So basically, a serum straightens your lashes at the root (giving them the curled effect), and then the lashes are tinted, giving them the look of mascara.  

ILVL Enhance lashes think what I liked most about it was that it looked completely natural. The lashes curl up separately, darkly, and look fantastic.

Here is the step by step process we followed to create this:

  1. Bonding gel
  2. Lifting gel: from the root to halfway up the lashes
  3. Volumising fix – placed on the same area as the lifting gel
  4. Tint
  5. Moisturising serum – to remove the bonding gel

The process took an hour an inbetween waiting for different parts to dry, I received a lovely massage.

I do find eye treatments a bit sensitive on my eyes. Every time I have my brows waxed my eyes tear up and go red. But what can we do, we must suffer for our beauty! There were a few times some liquid went in my eyes and I went forward to let gravity get it out.  It was not so bad and I recovered ok.

I do see, doing a bit of research, that I was meant to have a patch test 48 hours before the treatment to check if there would be any reactions to the serums. Fortunately I didn’t have any reactions though.

Here are the before and after pics. As you’ll see, I don’t look as glamorous as the model. I seriously need a brow wax as well. But you can see the difference in the lashes.

Would you try this treatment out?

You can find out more about this treatment on the website Nouveau Lashes ,  –that’s where the model comes from too!

Thanks also to Rene from Rene’s Beauty Clinic in Linksfield for doing the procedure. (she says she normally charges R595 for this procedure). 

This video is also a really good demonstration of the procedure. 

Disclosure: SA Mom blogs was provided with the experience for review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Blogger: Meet Mom-to-be Cat!

This week meet  South African mom blogger Cat, who blogs at Boots in the Big City. 

 

1) What do you normally get up to on an average day? (Give us a brief description about yourself)

I work full-time in HR at a Publishing House in Cape Town but as that doesn’t leave much room for creativity, my blog is my creative outlet. I love being active so I try to fit a in workout in the afternoons and always take my dog for a walk. My evenings are spent cooking dinner, writing blog posts or catching up on series.

Weekends are spent enjoying our beautiful city and catching up with friends and when I need a little me time, love indulging in a pedicure or spot of shopping!

2) How do you feel about motherhood – what are your struggles and joys?

I’m currently pregnant with my first child and could not be more excited! I am amazed every day by the changes taking place in my body and the fact that I am growing a person. That being said, it certainly comes with a fair amount of anxiety around the unknown as I don’t think you can ever fully prepare yourself for what lays ahead, despite all the advice given and books read, but I do think it’s important to take one day at a time and then hold on tight when the rollercoaster starts moving! Right now though, I’m trying to enjoy every moment of this amazing, mind-blowing journey while I still have my little human safely tucked up inside me.

3) Tell us about your kid(s)

I have a beautiful 10-year-old chocolate Labrador called Wellington and this gentle soul is my four-legged child. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore Wellie and ask about him as they would a two-legged child! Our evening walks are our bonding time but also an opportunity for me to walk off the stresses of day and feel like I’m ready for the evening. My husband travels a lot for work so Wellington keeps me company and gives the best cuddles 😊

4). How did you start blogging?

I started my blog in August 2015 not long after I got married. I wrote an article for our company newsletter about my wedding day and I realised just how much I loved writing and being creative. I’ve followed a number of blogs for many years and decided it was time to try my hand at it. It’s definitely a labour of love and has become something that I am really proud of.

5) Share with us a valuable blogging tip you’ve learnt. (or more)

As hard as it is, don’t compare your blog to other blogs, especially those that are more established. Your blog is unique and that’s what makes it special. Be authentic and write content that resonates with you. If you try to be someone you are not, or you are blogging for the wrong reasons, your readers will pick it up very quickly. And lastly, consistency – both on your blog and social media is key. I try to post on my blog once a week but engage with my social media daily and definitely noticed an increase in my readership/followers.

6) If you make money from your blog, give us a breakdown on how you do it. Give us some of your methods on how to get started on this, or any tips or advice.

I’m not making money from my blog at the moment and while it’s not the driving force behind my blog, I would definitely like to be able to make some money off it and see some of the hard work and many hours I’ve spent on it pay off. I have done a few partnered posts where I’ve done reviews for brands and I think that has come from posting consistently and engaging with brands that I like.

I am a wife, soon-to-be mom, dog lover and certified chocoholic, born and bred in Cape Town. I have a love for writing and all things pretty and it was this passion that led me to establish my blog. Boots in the Big City is a beauty and lifestyle blog, where I share my thoughts on favourite products, tips and tricks, places to go and things to do, providing my readers with honest product reviews and first-hand real experiences

Blog: www.bootsinthebigcity.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bootsinthebigcity/

Instagram: @bigcityboots – https://www.instagram.com/bigcityboots/?hl=en

Twitter: @bigcityboots

 

Thanks Cat! I think one of the things I really like about her blog are her lovely pictures. She really can style a photo. So go and have a look!

 

 

{Blogging} Women’s Day Giveaways: Lauren tries out ContestFriend

Today’s post was written by Lauren Kinghorn, who blogs at Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.  Here she shares what happened when she tried to put together some Women’s Day Giveaways. 

 

Hi Moms

Did you do anything special on Women’s Day?  For you, or for your blog?

I’ve discovered that as a Mom blogger, our special holidays, Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, take on a whole new meaning.  My focus has shifted from what I’ll be getting and what I’ll be doing to what I’ll be giving my readers.  

I can no longer relax and put my feet up… well I can, as long as my smartphone is at hand. 

My husband spoiled me as always. He brought me coffee in bed and make me a sumptuous breakfast. He also took me out for sushi at Paddocks where my son could play.  But my mind was not on my Women’s Day delights, I was distracted by everything I still had to accomplish by close of day.

The challenge is I’m still a relatively new blogger so I don’t have the year mapped out beautifully with timeous reminders in place.  Yet.  And it doesn’t help that World Breastfeeding Week  is the week before Women’s Day. I wasn’t prepared for that either.

 

I’m kind of a haphazard, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants blogger. Maybe that will change in time. Maybe I’ll find my groove and become super organized one day. Or maybe it’s just who I am. Who knows?

At this stage, anyway, I’m reactive rather than proactive. 

Which is why my Women’s Day landed up being super busy.

The end result?  I created my first giveaway on both my blogs, Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.

The Giveway on each site is 2 Tickets to a really cool event in Cape Town on 26th August called The Missing Piece in Your Puzzle.   Very briefly, it’s about how DNA Testing and Functional Medicine can help you achieve optimal health.  Find out more in my interview with Dr. Yael Joffe.  Yael Joffe is the one of the speakers at the event.  As is Kathie Swift, best-selling author of The Swift Diet.

women's day giveawaysIf you’d like to enter, here’s the link.

Setting up my Giveaway

RAFFLECOPTER

I initially set up my Contest  on the free version of Rafflecopter which was fun and easy to use,  but once it was done I decided it didn’t have the look and functionality I wanted.  Here’s why:

You have to upgrade to their Basic Plan which costs $13 a month if you want to:

  • Add an image to the contest
  • Add the option of sharing on Pinterest

You have to upgrade to their Grow Plan at a whopping $ 43 a month if you want:

  • Integration with your email list, e.g. Mailchimp, AWeber, GetRepsonse, MadMimi

CONTESTFRIEND

So I went with a FREE WordPress plug-in called ContestFriend.  I was really happy to find Contestfriend had no upsells built into their free plan.

Design

With Contest Friend you’re able to:

  • Add a contest headline, description and image
  • Add a Disclaimer and Rules either as a popups or links
  • Design your contest (e.g. change headline, background and border colours)

Social Sharing for the Win

With Contestfriend, your contestants can share your giveaway on 5 social media channels:

  1. Pinterest
  2. Google Plus
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. Linked In

You can set up tweets or messages for each specific channel AND add images.

In testing out my social shares now that the contest is live, I think only the image for my Pinterest pin works.

Email Autoresponder

One of my favourite features was their email autoresponder.

You can set up an email to send to your contestants the moment they’ve entered.

Email List Integration

You can save participants to the Database Only, i.e. in the Contestfriend Dashboard in WordPress, or:

  • Mailchimp
  • AWeber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Get Response

Other Settings:

You can also choose:

  • Number of winners
  • Automatically select winners
  • Start date and time (don’t forget to set time zone to UTC+2)

Once published you get a WordPress Shortcode to add to a page on your site, or on your sidebar using the Contestfriend widget.  I’ve added both to Happy Human Pacifier just so you can see what the side widget looks like.

The Snag

The tricky part about this Giveaway was that the prize was LOCATION based.  Ideal Giveaways are Prizes that you can award to anyone, anywhere in the world.  Especially if your blog serves a global market. 

Giveaways and Contests on your site are touted as a fantastic way of bringing to traffic to your site but I couldn’t be sure that this Giveaway would do the same for mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m VERY grateful to Dr. Yael Joffe and CTG Centre for sponsoring my first Giveaway.  

But only about 35 to 40% of my audience is in South Africa, of that I’d estimate maybe 20% are Cape Town based. 

So I had to get really creative in the marketing of my contest. 

THANK YOU, Heather for helping me with this dilemma by featuring my Guest Post on SA Mom Blogs!

Getting the Word Out

Here are some of the other things I did before Women’s Day.

  • I started following all the South African Moms and Mom Bloggers I could find on Twitter.
  • Just before my Contest went live, I published my Instagram posts for Inspiring Mompreneurs.
  • In the morning, drinking my coffee in bed, I sent WhatsApp messages to my Mom’s groups.

 

The Results of DAY 1

I was ecstatic with my first day’s results:

  • 36 Unique Visitors
  • 6 Contestants
  • 1 New Subscriber to my Email Newsletter
  • 1 New Starter Member in Wealthy Affiliate

If you’re a newcomer to blogging like I am, I hope this post inspires you to run your first contest.

I’d love to hear from you.   Was this helpful? Do you run Contests and Giveaways on your site? Which plugin or software works best for you?  Please leave a comment below.

 

Lauren Kinghorn aka Mom Blogger in the Mother City, is a wife and mother who likes to Shine the Spotlight on Breastfeeding Moms, Mom Entrepreneurs, Mom Inventors and Mom Bloggers. You can find her blogging on Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.  She’s also just started teaching how to blog at Lauren Kinghorn.

Lauren recently participated in a project to normalize breastfeeding in public spaces.  The project is ongoing and is the brainchild of Cape Town photographer, Leah Hawker. Leah blogs at The Softer Sex.

Leah is documenting an extensive series of candid portraits showing women confidently feeding their babies in public areas.  If you live in Cape Town or surrounds and would like to participate,  send an SMS or WhatsApp message to Leah on +27 83 340 7872. 

Follow Lauren on: Instagram   Pinterest   Google Plus   Twitter   Flipboard   Stumbleupon

 

Top 9 Tips for Toddler Toys (and Preschoolers too)

tips for toddler toys, what toys do I get for my toddler, what to look for in toddler toysWe all know how much children enjoy toys, but there certainly are a lot of them out there. How do you distinguish between something that will gather dust or something your little one will get the most out of? In this post we will list  what to look for in toddler toys, or even preschool toys for that matter. 

Throughout this post we’ll also be doing a product review of Dexter the Digger, which is one example of a series of Wow Toys. 

Here’s a video of us unboxing him:

 

Now let’s look at getting value out of those toys for little kids:

  1. Large size.

The smaller the kid, the bigger the toy needs to be. As their grasp is still developing, larger objects are easier to manipulate than smaller ones. A large truck will be a lot more useful to a toddler than a tiny car. 

2. Parts to manipulate.

Kids love opening and shutting things. They like joining things. Extending and moving. Watch how they are constantly moving themselves and you’ll see the need to move and change an object. 

This Dexter the Digger toy is a winner on many counts of this aspect. It has a bonnet that opens and shuts, rocks that need to be scooped (with the help of an arm that moves with a lever) as well as a little driver that can be placed in his seat or moved around. 

3. Movement of toy.

It’s really a delight when a car moves forward or something that catches their attention. The problem with many of these toys is that they require batteries. The nice thing about Wow toys is that they still move forward, but they are friction powered, so no batteries will run out.  Little kids don’t really need the fancy stuff of the lights, bells and whistles which become more entertaining than educational and promoting of play. 

Another nice thing about the Wow toys is that they have interchangeable trailers with magnetic tow bars. Have you noticed how kids love to attach different vehicles to each other? They even do this with their scooters. 

4. Sensory play

Toddlers just love messing around with all kinds of sensory stuff, since they are at the age where a lot of things go in the mouth. They have to explore with all the senses! One of the best things we bought Nicky when I was at home was a water table. Often I would wash the dishes and he would play with his water table just outside. The sandpit is also a fabulous source of fun, construction and sensory play. (I put this next to the washing line and he would play while I hung the washing). Another good idea is Play Doh.  If you’d like to take this further try shaving cream, spaghetti, flour,  slime, in fact anything that they can manipulate and isn’t too dangerous to put in the mouth.  (Check out some posts on my other blog Children’s Kickstart: Sensory Bottles and Sensory Activities). 

We took Dexter the Digger out into the dirt and, as little boys do, became suitable dirty. 

 

5. A toy that will grow with your child

You can see that Nicky (now 5) still enjoyed playing with Dexter the Digger.  Yes, he also likes the smaller cars but he is still a “play in the dirt” child at heart.

6. Building and problem solving.

Duplo is a great one for toddler to build with. Now that he is older, NIcky loves lego. The amount of time we have spent building and constructing various things… well I simply can’t count the hours. The lego gets deconstructed and built again.

Puzzles are excellent tools for problem solving as well because they build a picture. Super to have these around.

7. Encouraging fantasy play

All toys have this purpose, but it is a delight for me to watch Nicky construct stories around his toys and also play out emotions that he is going through. With my dad back in hospital he has been playing a lot of “doctor doctor” kind of games with the doctor set. 

See how Nicky built a boundary with cushions and took the rocks and put them on another dump truck. He also had a crane in the area.  The box also comes with a background picture. 

 

 

 

8. Real objects

Nicky has enjoyed baking with me in the kitchen and pouring and manipulating common objects is the basis of the Montessori “Practical Life” set of activities. So set up some beans to pour, let them peg some pegs around a bowl or tweeze pom poms with a set of tongs. I wrote a post about setting some things up around the kitchen when he was 33 months: check out some ideas here. 

9. Gross motor toys

We need balls and bikes to keep the kids active. A lovely one for a baby is a ball pit: we got this for Nicky when he turned one. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple big car: Nicky used to crawl along pushing the car in front and this was one of his favourite activities. Now he whizzes along on his balance bike (a great one to teach the art of balance).  

 

At the end of the day, look for value in the toys you buy, and learn about the things that bring your child joy. (Nicky loves cars) And don’t be surprised if your little one enjoys the cardboard box it came in more than the toy.  Children have that knack of humbling us in that way. 

Disclosure: SA Mom blogs was provided with Dexter the Digger from Wow Toys. You can find them at your local toy store or on Takealot.  

Wow Toys are part of the Pegasus Toys group, who also distribute Sylvanian Families. (Read about our review here)

 

{Meet the Blogger} Meet Angela: blogging about her “Sunshine Journey” of being a widow and a toddler mom

This week meet South African mom blogger  Angela, a  widowed mum journeying through life with her little son Elijah Micah Rea, her “Rea” of sunshine. She blogs at Our Sunshine Journey. 

 

1) What do you normally get up to on an average day? (Give us a brief description about yourself)

Hi I am Angie from http://www.oursunshinejourney.wordpress.com . I am a 43 year old widowed mum to a toddler boy. I lost my beautiful soul mate of a husband in a helicopter crash in 2015 while he was on duty firefighting. We used to live in the beautiful little town of Tulbagh where my husband’s air base was until his passing, where my son and I picked up our lives and moved to the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, to be near family and friends. No two days are the same in this household. I am a freelance makeup artist who is getting into the photography industry. So depending what is on offer or if Elijah has anything planned is to how the day commences. Elijah is a professional model and also a brand ambassador to some super local companies. I take the photos for the later. I also like to go to gym as I find that is my therapy, although I have been a bit slack about that at the moment as I ran a 21km race which I was not properly prepared for and payed the consequences dearly! Elijah and I love to go on adventures and so when I am not working and he is not at play school you can find us searching out all the fun things Cape Town has to offer for a small boy of his age.
 
2) How do you feel about motherhood – what are your struggles and joys?
Motherhood did not come easily to me. I fell pregnant easily but could not retain the pregnancy. This went on for three years. I am so grateful for the amazing fertility clinic I attended who helped Darrell and I have our miracle baby. I am also so grateful to the love and support of my amazing husband who was with me every step of the way. Our journey to parenthood made us so extremely close, we both used to fall in love with each other more every single day. 
I love being a mummy. Especially Elijah’s mummy. He is a joy. What I do find extremely hard on an everyday basis is looking at his beautiful face and charming personality and thinking how much Darrell would have loved him now and how much Elijah would have just doted on his father. Before Darrell died he was very hands on which made his death all the more difficult.
 

3) Tell us about your kid(s) 

Elijah is turning three at the end of September! Apart from being very cute to look at he is just a delight. He is so loving, kind and loves people. We cosleep and he wakes me up in the middle of the night whispering “I love you Mummy” in my ear. He is a real boys boy and loves to follow any worker, be it family or not, doing anything on my house with his own tool box helping them to fix things. His dad was very handy and Elijah has certainly inherited this from him.
 

4). How did you start blogging?

I have always loved writing and I thought writing my thoughts down would help me with this painful journey I am on. This and my photography are my food for my soul. They are helping to bring me back to life. I have a voice and I want people to hear it. I want everyone to know that each day is special and to love the ones around you.
 

5) Share with us a valuable blogging tip you’ve learnt. (or more)

 
Blog for yourself and not what you think other people want to read. Also be true to yourself and you can not go wrong.Have a theme for your blog and let your content reflect that.
I am also very active on Instagram over here https://www.instagram.com/oursunshinejourney/ and Facebook over here https://www.facebook.com/OurSunshineJourney/ and I use these platforms to promote my blog.
 
 
Read this post on Angela’s blog: so poignant yet real: The seven and a half million stages of grief.
 
Angela, I can only respect you and the way you are dealing with your journey through blogging. 

 

What’s on this weekend in Gauteng (5-6 August)

It’s all happening this weekend in Gauteng: from music (the Rasta Rebels to Acoustic festivals), to animals (fish and horses),   to productions (ballet and shows) to food (making bread) and festivals.

  1. Introductory Fly Fishing Clinic – 5 August

On Wednesday or Saturday mornings both adults and children may join a two and a half hour opportunity to learn the art of fly fishing. 

Time: 8:30-11am

Venue: Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa, Muldersdrift.

Cost: Adults R600, Children under 12 R500.

Website: sundowner.co.za. 

 

2. Basic Bread Workshop: 5 August

Have you ever wanted to bake bread yourself? Learn how to mix, shape and bake artisan bread using organic stone-milled flour and natural yeast.

Time: 8:45 am – 3:30 pm

Cost: R90

Website: oldtraditions.co.za

Venue: On the farm in the Magaliesburg Mountains.

3. Lipizzaners: Sunday Shows: 6 August

Enjoy your Sunday morning in the country at a performance of the magnificent white Lipizzaner stallions! Show lasts an hour. Browse through the Lipizzaner retail shop for branded Lipizzaner clothing, DVD`s, post cards and lots more! After the show, visit the stable courtyard, meet the riders, feed carrots to the horses.

Time: 10:30am (doors open 20 minutes prior to the show)

Cost: R150(book through Computicket)

Venue: 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami

Website: Lipizzaners.co.za

4. Stars of the Russian Ballet: 6 August

This performance is a tribute to dance legent Rudolf Nureyev

Times: 12pm and 3pm

Venue: Emperor’s Palace

Cost: R200-300

Website: Book at Computicket

5. Winter Acoustic Music Festival: 6 August

Support the SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. Enjoy the sounds of local artists Majozi, The Motherland, Jerry and the Bandits and Georgetown.

There will be a variety of of food on sale as well as craft beer plus a dedicated children’s area.

Time: 12pm

Venue: 126 Wroxham Rd, Paulshof

Cost: Adults R150, Children under 12: R30.

Website: Book though webtickets. 

6. Annie – Thurs 3 – Sat 5 August

The much loved story about the orphan who searches for her parents but finds love in unexpected places is on at the Roodepoort Theatre. 

Times:  3 August – 09:00 & 11:00 4 August – 10:00 & 19:00 5 August – 10:00, 14:00 & 19:00

Venue: Roodepoort Theatre

Cost: R85

Bookings: Webtickets

7. Mini ECD Expo, Mini Kids Expo & Mini Edu Expo with Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels
This event looks like a really good one for the kids with a kid’s play area and expo. For the adults there is a beer garden and various stalls. 

Time: The doors open at 3pm and Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels will perform at 7pm. 

Cost: Adults R80, Kids under 12 R50, Kids Under 2 Free 

Venue: Lenasia Stadium

For more info: Karishma t  011 852 5422 e  karishma@letsdoit2gether.co.za 

Do you have any events you want to share? Leave them in the comments. 
If you have any events you want to share email heather@samomblogs.co.za. 
 
If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.

 

 

 

Win a hamper from Similac to celebrate World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

It’s World Breastfeeding Awareness Week from 1-7 August and SA Mom Blogs is giving away a hamper of some lovely goodies for a nursing mom.

So… I’ve had my share of ups and downs with breastfeeding. It’s hard. It’s a really hard thing to do. I struggled to latch. I had to pump for a month.I used both boob and formula till I got back on track a few months later.  I struggled through biting. I struggled to wean. 

breastfeedingI even wrote a poem about how frustrated I was feeding a two year old at night. 

And then I wrote this:

I’m not a lactivist. I’m just a mom who wants her kid to sleep. And the boob works. It has other benefits as well. (see below)

There are a lot of positive and negative things about breastfeeding but this remains: at the end of a long day of tantrums and peeing in pants Nicky and I can connect in this intimate way. In the middle of the night, when he sometimes wakes up, the magic boob gets him back to sleep. And it calms me down too. Yes, there are times when it drags out too long and I get irritated, but on the whole, I’m glad that we have this. Because I know it won’t be long when he will no longer be asking for his “boobie” and my little boy will really become a big boy.

Until then I’ll cherish these moments with my son.

Honestly I can’t tell you exactly when we stopped breastfeeding. I know he stopped the day feeds at two but after three it became less and less at night. He stopped when he was ready and told me distinctly that “booby is for babies”. (As I’d been telling him for some time). 

But the struggles were totally worth it. I know that Nicky got the best in nutrition at the temperature that he needed and there were benefits for me as a mother too. Most of all, that I just had to roll over and feed him. No bottles to sterilise, to heat. Just an initmate connection between mother and child. And a real bonus: he doesn’t get sick much. Yes, the snotty nose etc but we have never been to a hospital. 

 

Here’s a nice timeline of the benefits of breastfeeding. So however long you do it, you know you’ll give your baby some benefits.  (This is taken from Babycenter).

IF I NURSE FOR A DAY…

Breastfeeding your baby for even a day is the best baby gift you can give. Breastfeeding is almost always the best choice for your baby. If it doesn’t seem like the best choice for you right now, these guidelines may help.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR JUST A FEW DAYS, he will have received your colostrum, or early milk. By providing antibodies and the food his brand-new body expects, nursing gives your baby his first – and easiest – “immunization” and helps get his digestive system going smoothly. Breastfeeding is how your baby expects to start, and helps your own body recover from the birth. Why not use your time in the hospital to prepare your baby for life through the gift of nursing?

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR FOUR TO SIX WEEKS, you will have eased him through the most critical part of his infancy. Newborns who are not breastfed are much more likely to get sick or be hospitalized, and have many more digestive problems than breastfed babies. After 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll probably have worked through any early nursing concerns, too. Make a serious goal of nursing for a month, call La Leche League or a Lactation Consultant if you have any questions, and you’ll be in a better position to decide whether continued breastfeeding is for you.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 3 OR 4 MONTHS, her digestive system will have matured a great deal, and she will be much better able to tolerate the foreign substances in commercial formulas. If there is a family history of allergies, though, you will greatly reduce her risk by waiting a few more months before adding anything at all to her diet of breastmilk. And giving nothing but your milk for the first four months gives strong protection against ear infections for a whole year.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 6 MONTHS, she will be much less likely to suffer an allergic reaction to formula or other foods. At this point, her body is probably ready to tackle some other foods, whether or not you wean. Nursing for at least 6 months helps ensure better health throughout your baby’s first year of life, and reduces your own risk of breast cancer. Nursing for 6 months or more may greatly reduce your little one’s risk of ear infections and childhood cancers. And exclusive, frequent breastfeeding during the first 6 months, if your periods have not returned, provides 98% effective contraception.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 9 MONTHS, you will have seen him through the fastest and most important brain and body development of his life on the food that was designed for him – your milk. You may even notice that he is more alert and more active than babies who did not have the benefit of their mother’s milk. Weaning may be fairly easy at this age… but then, so is nursing! If you want to avoid weaning this early, be sure you’ve been available to nurse for comfort as well as just for food.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR A YEAR, you can avoid the expense and bother of formula. Her one-year-old body can probably handle most of the table foods your family enjoys. Many of the health benefits this year of nursing has given your child will last her whole life. She will have a stronger immune system, for instance, and will be much less likely to need orthodontia or speech therapy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least a year, to help ensure normal nutrition and health for your baby.

IF YOU NURSE YOUR BABY FOR 18 MONTHS, you will have continued to provide your baby’s normal nutrition and protection against illness at a time when illness is common in other babies. Your baby is probably well started on table foods, too. He has had time to form a solid bond with you – a healthy starting point for his growing independence. And he is old enough that you and he can work together on the weaning process, at a pace that he can handle. A former U.S. Surgeon General said, “it is the lucky baby… that nurses to age two.”

IF YOUR CHILD WEANS WHEN SHE IS READY, you can feel confident that you have met your baby’s physical and emotional needs in a very normal, healthy way. In cultures where there is no pressure to wean, children tend to nurse for at least two years. The World Health Organization and UNICEF strongly encourage breastfeeding through toddlerhood: “Breastmilk is an important source of energy and protein, and helps to protect against disease during the child’s second year of life.”* Our biology seems geared to a weaning age of between 2 1/2 and 7 years**, and it just makes sense to build our children’s bones from the milk that was designed to build them. Your milk provides antibodies and other protective substances as long as you continue nursing, and families of nursing toddlers often find that their medical bills are lower than their neighbors’ for years to come. Mothers who have nursed longterm have a still lower risk of developing breast cancer. Children who were nursed longterm tend to be very secure, and are less likely to suck their thumbs or carry a blanket. Nursing can help ease both of you through the tears, tantrums, and tumbles that come with early childhood, and helps ensure that any illnesses are milder and easier to deal with. It’s an all-purpose mothering tool you won’t want to be without! Don’t worry that your child will nurse forever. All children stop eventually, no matter what you do, and there are more nursing toddlers around than you might guess.

WHETHER YOU NURSE FOR A DAY OR FOR SEVERAL YEARS, the decision to nurse your child is one you need never regret. And whenever weaning takes place, remember that it is a big step for both of you. If you choose to wean before your child is ready, be sure to do it gradually, and with love.

*Facts for Life: A Communication Challenge, published by UNICEF, WHO, and UNESCO, 1989
**K Dettwyler. A Time to Wean. Breastfeeding Abstracts vol 14 no 1 1994
©1997 Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC 136 Ellis Hollow Creek Road Ithaca, NY 14850

 

Win!

Similac® Mom would like to give-away a  hamper to the value of R800  not only to create awareness but to also celebrate this week.

Similac® Mom is a shake. 

  • Low-fat, low calorie, helps manage weight during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • Helps build your immune defences
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Helps reduce the risk of iron deficiency anaemia
  • Vitamin D and FOS, a prebiotic, have been shown to improve calcium absorption

 

 

similac hamper breastfeeding must havesThe hamper includes:

  • Breastfeeding Pillow
  • Nipple Cream
  • Breast Pads
  • Similac Mom tin
  • Wrapped in a lovely hamper box, cellophane and ribbon

By the way I have to say a word about the pillow. I think it is one of those nursing must have’s. It helps support the baby while you feed. And the cream sure helps the wear and tear of breastfeeding. The pads help those early days when you are literally leaking.

But the Similac mom can help YOU. I think we forget about ourselves in this process and how much we need the nutritional support just as much as baby does. 

Win this hamper by simply leaving a comment below. 

Terms and Conditions

  1. This competition will run for a week. The winner will be announced on the Facebook page, and emailed. 
  2. This competition is open to SA residents only. 
  3. The prize is not transferable.
  4. If you have won on SA Mom Blogs in the past 3 months you will not be eligible to win this competition. 

 

{Guest post} Should I hire a nanny?

Should I hire a nanny? muses South African mom blogger  Tracy Dawson, who blogs at Liam and Cole. 

The nanny conversation has been a hot topic in our home for a long time now. Hubby and I often discuss whether or not to keep our nanny or send Cole to creche and Liam to aftercare. Many have different views on the subject, as do I, and I’d like to share with you our experience. Use it, don’t use it. You will hopefully at least gain some perspective.

I returned to work with Liam when he almost 5 months old. He went to a day mother for the first 3 months. I wasn’t quite happy to take him out with me so early every morning, especially during winter, which was exactly the time that I had I returned to work. His day mother was good, and the only issue I had was having to take him out in the mornings.

 

 

Hubby’s dear grandmother recommended a lady who would be able to take care of Liam and stay with us. This sounded amazing to me. Having someone everyday and not having to take Liam out in the cold was all that mattered to me. She stayed with us during the week and went home on weekends. Coming home from work was a breeze as I came home to a clean, fed, and well looked after and happy baby, AND my house was clean – major bonus! What more could I ask for? To be honest though, when we hired her, we didn’t actually do a formal interview. I also didn’t sit with her and take her through everything that I needed her to do besides the basics on how to take care of Liam. I also didn’t ask any questions about who she is, where is she from and I didn’t get any references. I trusted this lady with my greatest asset, my son! The could have proven to be my biggest mistake. Fortunately, she was an honest hearted lady and took great care of our son. She was simply amazing!

 

should I hire a nanny

 

Sadly though, she was only with us for a year. Circumstances changed at home, and having had no experience with a creche going child,  I was pretty keen on sending Liam to a creche as I felt he needed to “socialize”. Being a first time mom, I just couldn’t wait for Liam to be doing all the big boy stuff, you know, learning, playing etc. It didn’t cross my mind that all of that would come in due time, in HIS time, when HE is ready. There was no reason to send him to creche at such a young age. He has the rest of his life to socialize and learn and play. Nonetheless we found what we believed was an amazing creche. But, after a couple of weeks of Liam being there, I really started to miss our nanny. Now having to drop Liam at school every morning, fetch him in the afternoons after work, and always being prepared for school everyday, just became a nightmare. Liam also started getting sick more often than usual and it mean’t me staying out of work more often, and spending alot more on doctor bills. So in addition to creche fees, we now had alot more medical bills and I still had to do all the chores of a stay at home mom when I arrived home from work everyday. It was tough, and it was tiring to say the least! I didn’t realize how good I had it, until I didn’t have it anymore.

 

 

Later, when Liam started “big school”, he didn’t quite enjoy aftercare at the school so we decided to hire a nanny once again, just to be home with him after school. I made contact with our ex nanny and she recommended someone. It worked out well. By the time I fell pregnant with Cole, our new nanny had been with us for a good few months and I was comfortable with her taking care of Cole. Cole came and regrettably there were many things that our nanny had to deal with back home. Which meant more staying out of work for me and hubby, which was one of the very things having a nanny was supposed to prevent. It left me frustrated and resentful. Any employer would be upset to pay someone to do a job but end up having to do the job themselves. At the end of the day, no matter the circumstances, I needed her there and she wasn’t there. That’s the thought that kept rolling through my mind. I then started reminding myself, that I trust this lady with my greatest assets, my kids! I started reminding myself of all the good she had done. And she too is a mother. Just like I and any other person, we all have “stuff” that we have to deal with from time to time, it was just a bummer that we had to suffer the consequences.

 

 

So in light of everything that’s happened along the way, my personal decision is To Nanny! Not everyone will have the same experience. In fact, many might have had a more positive experience and some not. But I constantly remind myself that my baby is warm and at home every morning, he is in his safe place and he is not exposed to other kids germs at a creche. Yes, no matter how much money you spend per month, to send your child to the best creche in town, everyday your child is exposed to other kids germs. Kids carry germs, it’s that simple. And if one kid is surrounded by many other kids daily, well, you can expect that your child will get sick from time to time, more often than not. Unless your child has an amazing immune system and he just doesn’t get sick very often (which most kids don’t).

So here’s a list of do’s and don’ts and pro’s and con’s when it comes to hiring a nanny:

Do’s:

~ Ask for a referral from a trusted source

~ Conduct a thorough interview, engage and ask many many questions

~ Be clear of your expectations upfront

~ Have a contract in place

~ Document EVERYTHING

~ Be good to your nanny – She is taking care of your greatest assets!

Don’t:

~ Take it for granted that your nanny will know what to do in any given situation at home

~ Hire someone who has not been recommended by a trusted source

~ Have a verbal contract

~ Let her work for longer than her working hours

Pro’s:

~ Less exposure to other kids germs therefore a less often sick child, hence less medical bills

~ Your child is at home and safe and well looked after

~ You can come home from a tiring day at the office and know that all you need to see to is dinner and homework

~ No need to pack in school bags and worry about sending milk and food and the stress of getting your little one ready in the mornings

~ You child’s carer is only focusing on your child, and not distracted by others

~ Your child may be taken care of the way you want, provided you make this very clear from the start

Cons:

~ Nannies get sick too, they have stuff to deal with too. So when your nanny does not pitch for work, you may find yourself very inconvenienced if you don’t have a support system

~ It can be expensive

~ Public transport issues can play a big role if your nanny is travelling from far. Be prepared for late coming. Speak about this upfront. Live-in nanny’s work out great to avoid this!

 

 

In my personal experience, the pro’s definitely outway the cons which inevitably makes it less expensive for me and so I will continue to keep my nanny employed. Cole hardly gets sick, in fact, off the top of my head, I can only think of one occasion when he was very sick and that was just a couple of weeks ago. I hope I was able to give you some perspective on the subject or at least given you an idea on what to keep in mind when hiring a nanny.

I would also love to hear your thoughts on this, To nanny, or Not to nanny! Please leave your comments below!

PS: For Cole’s outfit details, go to the Gallery page, or visit our Instagram page.

Tata for now

Tracy xx

 

Tracy has  been wanting to document her journey for such a long time and at the same time she’s fallen in love with the little local companies, especially the mommy owned ones. So what better way to incorporate both, other than a blog. In her blog she talks about her journey through motherhood with her kids, Liam and Cole while at the same showing you what our local momma owned companies have in store for you. 

Find her on her blog, Facebook and Instagram