Knitted Mug Cozy

Even since my friend Lucy gave me a book on Mug Hugs I have loved making these for presents. This is the first pattern that I made myself to give as a birthday present.

Materials:
4ply sock yarn held double or DK. I used Nurturing Fibres Sock Yarn in colourway Sugar and Spice
Darning Needle
4mm needles
Crochet needle
Button
Mug

Abbreviations
k = knit
p = purl
kfb = knit forward and back in the same stitch to increase by 1
skpo = slip one, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over
k2tog = Knit 2 together
p2tog = purl 2 together
s2kpo = slip 2 as if to knit 2 together, knit 1, pass slipped 2 over
yo = yarn over

Pattern

Base
Cast on 8 stitches leaving a tail to sew up the base ( I used 4ply sock yarn held double to be equivalent to DK)
Row 1: kfb into all stitches ( 16 stitches)
Row 2 and all the alternative rows: Purl
Row 3: *k1, kfb* to the end (24 stitches)
Row 5: *k2, kfb* to the end (32 stitches)
Row 7: *k3, kfb* to the end (40 stitches)
Row 9: *k4, kfb* to the end (48 stitches)
For medium size mug ( 8cm diameter)
Row 10: purl to last 2, p2tog ( 47 stitches)

For large mug (9cm diameter)
Row 11: *k5, kfb* to the end (56 stitches)
Row 12 purl to last 2 p2tog (55 stitches)

Diamond Pattern

Row 1: k2, k6, *k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, skpo, k5* repeat 2 times for medium and 3 times for the large k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, skpo, k6, k2
Row 2 and ll alternative rows k2, purl to last 2, k2
Row 3: k2, k5, *k2tog, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, skpo, k3* x2(3), k2tog, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, skpo, k5, k2
Row 5: k2, k4, *k2tog, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, skpo, k1* x2(3), k2tog, k1, yo, k5, yo, k1, skpo, k4, k2
Row 7: k2, k3, k2tog, *k1, yo, k7, yo, k1, s2kpo* x2(3), k1, yo, k7, yo, k1, skpo, k3, k2
Row 9: k2, k4, *yo, k1, skpo, k5, k2tog, k1, yo, k1* x2(3), yo, k1, skpo, k5, k2tog, k1, yo, k4, k2
Row 11: k2, k5, *yo, k1, skpo, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, k3* x2(3), yo, k1, skpo, k3, k2tog, k1, yo, k5, k2
Row 13: k2, k6, *yo, k1, skpo, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k5* x2(3), yo, k1, skpo, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k6, k2
Row 15: k2, k7, *yo, k1, s2kpo, k1, yo, k7* x2(3) yo k1, s2kpo, k1, yo, k7, k2
Row 16: k2 purl to last 2, k2

Repeat rows 7 one more time ( if your mug is taller, repeat as much of the pattern as you need to fit your mug)
k2 purl to last 2, k2
Cast off all stitches except the last one. Use this stitch to make a crochet chain for the button loop of about 6cm or enough to fit over your button when folder back and secured on the end of the cast off row to form a loop.

Attach button to the top corner of the opposite side.

Sew up the base and secure off all ends.

Try your new mug cozy on your mug

Add some chocolates and coffee or your own personal touch to your mug cosy to make a great gift.

I have not reknitted this since I wrote up the pattern so I am trusting that I wrote it all down right as I did it. Please email me if there are any errors that you pick up cameronsallyjane (at) gmail.com

Love

Review: Tranquil Body Treats

I blogged Dear skin I am 35 not 15 a while ago, bemoaning still getting pimples at 35 which seems just unfair. I have done my time, the bad skin fairies can go visit someone else now.

Leigh-Ann from Tranquil Body Treats saw my plight and kindly sent me some of her skin range to try and see if it would help. I don’t know about you but getting parcels in the post makes me as excited as my kids on their birthdays. There are very few moments of feeling spoilt in our busy world and getting a nice parcel in the post seems like a little reprieve from the chaos of the day, even if just for a moment.

It was all packaged beautifully but I am afraid I was too impatient to wait and photograph that, I had to open and see what I got. Wow Leigh-Ann really spoilt me. These are my goodies. (I am not a photographer by any means, which is seems one needs to be now a days as a blogger – but that is another topic for another day.)

I have oily skin. And I am not sure why it feels yucky even typing that, as though in admitting my skin is anything other than normal I am not quite meeting the required standard. Oh well if being in my 30s has taught me anything, it is to moving on and not making issues about stuff that should not be.


What I love about Leigh-Ann’s range is that she understands that what oily skin needs is moisture and not to be stripped and left as dry as the gobi desert. Her milk cleanser glides nicely across your skin and there is not rough rubbing and scrubbing. Skin prone to acne needs to be treated very gently and does not like to be rubbed and scrubbed at all.

I don’t know what magic is in the moisturizer but you take a little on your finger tips and it almost melts into your skin as your apply it to your face, and not in a oily layer that sit on top all day but in a good way that just seems to take moisture right in where it is needed.

The mask and exfoliator as just as nice, gentle and well thought out. Leigh-Ann really knows her stuff when it comes to skin care.

The whole range smells just amazing, one of the nicest skin care range smells I have ever used. I love that Leigh-Ann comes from a beauty therapist background and combines this with aromatherapy and a focus on natural ingredient. No baddies in these products. Which is great for the environmental conscious like me.

And to make a good thing better, this is a local range, supporting small business and job creation here in South Africa.

A huge thumbs up from me for the Tranquil Body Treats Oily Skin Range. Thanks Leigh-Ann for letting me try these. Whatever you skin type is I recommend trying Tranquil Body Treats your will not be disappointed.

Bad secrets

Birthday presents are closely guarded secrets in this house. The goal is to be the best at getting something the other person would never guess, and making sure that the kids do not inadvertently let the secret out. Rachel is very good, but up until now Caleb has been too young to keep the present surprise secret, and so was usually not given any advanced knowledge. But this year I told him about Yme’s presents, some of which he helped me buy and wrap. He was so good and so proud to be a big boy that kept the present secret.

The kids were talking about it in the car, how good they are at keeping secrets and of course the inevitable ‘who is better than who’ discussion started. I felt that I had to talk to them about secrets that you should not keep. I hate that we live in a world where I even have to mention to my kids that there are adults they can’t trust and secrets they must never keep.

I even said that they need to tell me regardless of what someone threatens. If the person says they will hurt me or them if they tell, don’t worry tell mommy anyway. I can fix everything. Yes I realize that this is a bit of an exageration. I can’t fix everything and I can’t protect them from every bad thing but at this stage I need them to know that they can come to me with anything.

Trying to explain a bad secret to kids is not easy. I said anything that was not a nice birthday surprise. Anything that made you feel bad inside. If it made your heart sore or your tummy feel funny inside then rather tell me. And of course I mentioned no one being allowed to touch their private parts.

Caleb being a typical boy said that he would just beat the badies up, and tell them he was going to tell his mom. I did try to impress upon him that the idea was not to tell the person that you were going to tell me but rather to get away and tell me as soon as possible. But I guess this is a lesson that we speak about more than one time. I just need to open the dialogue with them that they can come to me with anything and that not all adult secrets are good.

I hate feeling like I might scare the kids into thinking that the world is a bad place and they have to be suspicious of everyone, but I suppose a balance is what is needed. Mostly they need to be care free and play and have fun as kids but they also need the knowledge that if something happens they have a refuge and they know mommy said no matter what the other person says they must always tell me.

Have you had these discussions with your kids?
How did you handle it and how did they respond?

Can I have your number?

Is there still a place for old fashioned dating?

I have a non blogging friend that is keen to know if people think there is still place for old fashioned dating, where the guy ask for girls number and ask her out on a date. Social media seems to play such a big role now a days that asking for a number seems less common than sending a FaceBook friend request, or BBM contact or following twitter

I am a social media girl, I met The Geek and most of my friends here in Cape Town through my computer, in one way or another. I actually love that you can chat on places like twitter and have contact with people you might never have crossed paths with otherwise.

When I separated from my ex and started the long divorce process I remember the thought of dating was terrifying. I did not want to have to go hang out in club/bars like when I was 20s. I had no idea how to date as an adult. How do you actually meet people? And having kids added a whole new complexity to this question.

A friend introduced me to twitter and my world just opened. Granted twitter was slower and smaller and the SA tweeters knew each other and chatted often then. Naturally these friendships spilled over into real life and tweetups happened. Through one of these in Cape Town, I met The Geek.

I am quite glad that there was this way to meet people and that I did not have to go out and spend evenings in bars. Or enduring the horror of blind dating. I liked getting to know people first. I also think that it levels the play field a bit. The Geek is awesome, but not always socially confident. He is a true Geek and so asking for someone’s number is not something he did. I wonder if he had spotted me across a bar if he would have ever asked for my number.

But as social media explodes now, it is becoming less personal than a few years ago. I wonder if in some ways it has changed dating, for better or worse I am not sure. At some point people have to step out from behind social media screen and risk getting to know people for who they are. People can be very different on line.

So what do you think, is social media detracting from old fashioned dating?
Did you meet anyone on line or using social media?
Do you wish things were more like they were before?

Giveaway Baby Throne

**closed**

Winner drawn by Random Picker on Line is Carle – well done

Today I have a very exciting giveaway. I blogged a few days ago about Titus and his potty training.
Well Zoe from Baby Throne has ofter one of her wonderful potty training systems for one lucky reader to win. They retail in the shop at R999 and on her website for R899 including deliveries. This is a really fantastic prize I have loved using our Baby Throne. It is really comfortable for Titus and is so cleverly designed that even little boys can’t pee over the top which is a problem with most other potties.


How to enter:
– Comment here below to enter by answering the following question “From what age can you use the Baby Throne?”
For extra entries ( you need to let me know here if you have done the extra entries so when I enter them in the draw I enter your name the right number of times)
– Like the Baby Throne FaceBook page and come leave a comment here that you have liked it
– Tweet ” Win a Baby Throne toilet training system worth R999 @BabyThrone @pinkhairgirl http://www.pinkhairgirl.co.za/2012/06/20/giveaway-baby-throne/”
and come and tell me here that you have tweeted, one tweet per person per day is allowed.

Conditions
-The competition will close on Friday 29 June 2012 midnight South African Time
– Names are randomly drawn using Random Picker on line
– The prize excludes postage and any registration or insurance of the parcel
– Entries from both South African and abroad are welcome but please check the postage costs if you are entering from outside South Africa as this will be for your expense.
– Entrance must be 18 or older

***EXTRA BONUS**
From now until wednesday 4 July you can order a Baby Throne for R699 excluding postage as a promotional offer through PinkHairGirl Blog. These usually retail for R999 in the shops. You will see that I have made sure that after the competition ends, you get enough time to order one if you did not win.
Contact Zoe Zoe@knightsbabytraining.com to make use of this Blog Special and say that you saw the special offer here.

About Baby Throne

Baby Throne; toilet training system for babies 4 months+!

• Age 4 months+ or start whenever you like!
• Max size limit 20kg
• Save R6500 (60%) on nappies before age of 2
• Patented and endorsed by paediatricians
• Baby feels comfortable, safe and secure in a soft foam
• Gentle progression (beginner, intermediate to advanced) progression onto the toilet.
• Designed for little boy’s too!
• Baby fully supported in correct squat position
• Ideal for babies transitioning from liquid to solids
• Helps prevent constipation
• Save time, money and be green!
• Ideal as baby shower gift.

As a brief introduction: The Baby Throne is a toilet training system suitable for babies of 4 months and older. There is a 60% decrease in nappies used; we have proven a saving of R6500 before the age of 2 for just one child! It is made from soft recyclable foam saving time, money and the environment. I have attached a one pager detailing what is unique about the Baby Throne.

• This is a new invention. Invented, patented and manufactured in Cape Town.
• Award winning; namely Baba Indaba Certificate of Excellence, Green awards and a finalist in the Mail and Guardian’s Greening the Future.
• Endorsed by paediatricians and supported by the South African DTI
• Market segment: That is career orientated women (LSM 7 to 12) – perhaps as a direct result of this market being more educated and understanding the physiological benefits or simply understanding the environmental need to be ‘green’. Or perhaps it is simply about what is best for baby!
• Baby Throne has also proven to be a favourite Baby Shower present: something new, unique, best for baby, green, saving time and money. A lot of grandparents buy – they know from experience it is NOT necessary to wait until baby is in their toddler years to start toilet training! (40 years ago we were toilet trained by 18 months; 5 years ago Huggies saw their market go from under 3’s to now, in the USA, the under 5s!)
• Manufacturing costs are high as this is still a new product– it is a simple economies of scale in manufacturing this product. Costs drop substantially as the word gets out and production demand increases.
• Further information on the website (www.babythrone.com) and a video that proves the product – it is titled ‘funny’ and worth a watch even if for just a giggle.
• Test run at Toys R Us in Canal Walk – retail price R999 – sold out in record time. Website price R899 including postage.
• Between USA, SA and the UK we use 148 million nappies/diapers a day. Using the Baby Throne we can reduce this number by half. Imagine saving 74 million nappie/diapers a day in just these 3 countries?
• Presently looking for distributors to manage retail outlets

Note: For those who do not have children: toilet training generally starts at the earliest at 2 years old. 40 years ago we were trained at 18 months. Huggies have seen their market go from the under 3’s 5 years ago to now the under 5 year olds! Nappy mountains are a world-wide environmental issue. It has been reported a disposable nappy/diaper can take between 200-500 years to degrade. Washing toweling nappies are not much better – they pollute our seas.

‘Kinder and healthier for baby AND leaves mum with more free time’

What is unique about the Baby Throne, and how does it differ from the products already on the market?

Interest in the award-winning Baby Throne stems not only from the fact that parents are now able to toilet train their babies, but also from the fact that the Baby Throne is environmentally and baby friendly. Parents no longer need to wait until their child is a toddler before beginning the toilet-training process. Toilet training using the Baby Throne is kinder and healthier for babies. The Baby Throne has not only been endorsed by the South African Department of Trade and Industry, but has also been endorsed by baby clinics and paediatricians. Additional benefits include more free time for mum and a proven 60% reduction in nappy/diaper usage, resulting in substantial cost savings and environmental benefits.

The unique Baby Throne is a medically-endorsed, comfortable toilet-training aid for babies as young as 4 months old. It differs from other toilet-training devices on the market in that it can be used with much younger babies. The Baby Throne fully supports the baby, or toddler, from all sides in soft, warm foam. The ergonomically designed Baby Throne has received endorsements from paediatricians and an internationally recognized paediatric surgeon. Doctors especially recommend use of the Baby Throne with babies when making the transition from a liquid to a solid diet (at approximately 6 months of age).

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for babies or toddlers to soil their nappies, especially with number 2s. In fact, it is possible for babies as young as 4 months old to start using the Baby Throne as long as they can hold up their heads unaided. The Baby Throne must not be confused with the baby chairs on the market, which hold the baby in a seated position. The Baby Throne is a toilet-training system, which supports the baby in an optimal ‘squat’ position, holding the baby in a natural position for emptying the bowels. This unique toilet-training aid helps to prevent the constipation issues suffered by many babies.

The Baby Throne has 3 different positions (stages) that gently guide the child towards using the toilet; this transition has been proven to be effective in getting toddlers onto the toilet without frightening them. The uniquely shaped aperture in the seat of the Baby Throne has been designed to allow the baby to use their Baby Throne until they reach 20kgs (approx. aged 4). The longest period of time that the baby or toddler should spend in the Baby Throne is 10 minutes.

The Baby Throne manufacturers are the first manufacturers in Africa to use an environmentally-friendly production technique. The Baby Throne is a South African product, manufactured in Cape Town. It is fully compliant with the strictest international safety and environmental protection standards. The Baby Throne design is protected by international patents.

For more information contact Zoe@knightsbabytraining.com

Baby Sign Language

Titus signing milk just after waking up in the morning, he still looks all sleepy

I have done baby sign language with all 3 of my children and so I thought I would share some of my experiences with you in the form of answering some questions that people often ask

1) What age to start?
I would say that it is better not to be too enthusiastic and risk to starting too early. Babies are not dexterous enough to start signing back to you much before 9months and some only really get going after a year. Titus is 16 months now and from about 13-14months he really started to use the signs. There is no problem in starting early it is all about you, and if you think that can sign for months before they first sign back then that is fine but if you might get demotivated if you have been signing from 3 months and have months to wait until they sign back, rather start later.
The only time that this is not the case is when you are in a family where a memember of the family uses sign language to communicate. Then it is good to use sign language with the baby from young and let baby see it being used by all the family as a communication that extends past the baby years.

 

2) Which type/language/version to use?
This is a personal choice, when I had Rachel I was keen to use South African Sign Language as I hoped that she would be able to learn the language and then use it one day if needed. I struggled to find stuff on line in South African sign language except expensive courses and books. So I just went with what I could find in books and on line. This happened to be mostly American Sign language. Although a lot of the signs are quite similar.

What I realized with Rachel was that babies drop the sign and start using the words as soon as they know the word. When Caleb came along Rachel who signed a lot as a baby could not remember any of her signs ( except I love you, which we still use) For a family that does not use sign language as part of the normal communication most children will not remember their signs and so it is not really a useful language for later it is just a tool for communication while they are small. This is obviously not true for a family using sign language for other reasons. Then it is important to use the same signs as the rest of the family are using.

 

3) Will sign language slow down or interrupt their speech development?
No, not at all, it actually stimulates the centers in the brain used for speech and communication and babies often start to speak early or totally on par with babies not using sign language.

4) Can babies make all the sign properly?
Well no not always, it is a bit like they might mispronounce words when they first start talking but you as a parent who are tuned into what they are saying can understand them. Titus’s signs are often not perfect but I know what he wants and this is the most important thing

 

5) Bilingual families
Titus is the first of my 3 that is being raised bilingual and so I did not know how sign language would fit into this but it has been great. The biggest reason that I think Titus signs so much is that both The Geek and I sign to him but when we say the word I use English and he used Afrikaans. It has been great in helping Titus see that the different words in the 2 languages have the same sign. I am expecting him to talk later as bilingual babies often do, so for him sign language really helps him communicate and be less frustrated.

 

6) Why use sign language?
I guess I should have started with this one but I need to take the kids to swimming and I don’t feel like remumbering the whole post ( how is that for honesty)
Why sign – becasue babies are dexterous and able to use their hands to communicate before they are able to speak and so it help give them a way to communicate during the toddler stage when they are finding their independence and are often frustrated that we don’t understand their gurgles. Being able to know when Titus is hungry and when he wants to go to the potty or has finished eating is great.

There are course available which I am sure you can find in your area if you want to go for a course.
I just used google and looked for signs. I also used a small book I found at Exclusive books which had some basic baby signs.
There are lots and lots of baby sign language websites, some that want you to buy the course but there is a lot for free too.
You can also make up your own signs as long as you all use the same signs.
Makaton is specific sign language for those who battle to communicate and is often used with children with learning or developmental difficulties. If you have one child using this or feel it might benefit a family member then this is a good version to use. It also uses more simple and easy to do signs that are perfect for babies.

Most of all enjoy communicating with your baby.

Tutorial: Swiss Darning/Duplicate stitch

My Owl and the Pussy Cat pattern uses Swiss Darning otherwise known as Duplicate stitch to sew the cats onto the hat. Here is a quick Picture Tutorial on how to Swiss Darn

Swiss Darning allows you to go over the stitches you have done to make them a different colour or picture. Stranded knitting is often used to do this when knitting in the round, but in some patterns, like The Owl and the Pussy Cat one of mine, the spaces between the different colour sections are too big and so swiss darning is very helpful for adding the colour on afterwards.

I like to work up and down the rows of knitting but you can work across too. Find what seems easiest to you. One darning stitches covers a stocking stitch, what you see is the legs of the V, the yarn also goes across behind the next stitch to hold it in place. You can see a few done already in the picture below. The yarn is now below the stitch about to be covered.

yarn below stitch to be covered

follow the leg of the stitch V and insert darning needle behind the legs of the stitch above, following where this stitch goes across.

insert the needle back where you started this stitch and so covering the other side of the V

Have the needle exit moving one stitch up ready to cover the next stitch in the pattern.

continue covering the stitches that correspond to the pattern in the same way

when moving down the next column you will be crossing underneath the stitch that you have just done before

move one stitch down to complete the stitch and have the yarn ready to cover the next stitch

the back should look something like this

finished cat

I hope this is clear, if my wording is confusing try just looking at the pictures, it was actually harder to explain than I thought. If anything is not clear or you need help please feel free to email me cameronsallyjane (at) gmail.com

Happy Hog – I found bacon!

Quite by accident I have found a wonderful supplier of free range pork. The Geek had a job in Bonnievale and he was driving past Ashton. There he found Happy Hog Free Range Pork Farm, he got some pork directly from their butchery for us to try.

Wow the difference is incredible! I have never been a huge fan of pork sausages. But these were wonderful they do not shrink when you cook them and they are delishious. The bacon is amazing and again does not shrivel to nothing like shop bacon/pork with all the extra water and fillers that they use. The Apple and pork patties are a favourite ammoungst the kids and are really fillng. I can’t eat more than one and I am stuffed.

The best part is that they deliver to Cape Town and surroundings. The courier is R90 for less than 5kg and R120 for less than 50Kg. Over 50kgs is 2.25 per kg. A friend and I split the delivery fee and got our next lot of pork delivered. Again I am impressed.I found if you buy directly that the meat is not more expensive than the shop pork even for free range.

They have their own butcher and the pork is by far the best I have ever tasted. So now I no longer have to feel bad about having pork.

If you read the horrors of sow stalls, intensive pig farming and the cruelty that normally happens on commercial pork farms it is easy to make the switch to more ethical meat. Our country is taking 10 years to phase sow stalls out, but this is not good enough for me now. I am not going to risk supporting this cruel practice

Pictures from their website of happy pigs rather a stark contrast to the life of commercial pigs.
Now I must stop speaking about bacon and yummy pork as it is meat free Monday and we are having spinach quiche sans bacon.

A hairy question

Ladies: could you stop shaving? To help save the planet and to claim back the right to be feminine as we are and not as society and media says we have to?

Men: could you date, bed, wed a woman who did not shave?

The problem with starting an eco sustainable challenge is that you have to start looking at areas of your life which you did not really want to come under the eco spot light. The process of getting rid of body hair is not that kind on the environment

A little google research taught me that women shaving gained popularity during WW1 when all the men were away and the sales of razors fell, so they started marketing them to women! So many things motivated by money.I knew it was a marketing and media ploy but did not realize the exact origins.

Of course now it is a society norm and we just expect it, we are lead to believe that it is gross to be hairy and that men will find us repulsive. I wonder if this is the case? The Geek seems to have mixed feelings. He is not complaining about my winter leg hair and to be honest I have still been shaving my underarm hair.

It seems like it is not just us ordinary everyday ladies who are questioning if society should dictate how we look but some celbs have decided to be hairy too Julia Roberts in 1999, and more recently Mo’Nique

Whether I can keep up this fuzz in summer, I am not sure, but I guess even 4-6 months of the year cutting down on shaving has to be good. The biggest thing that people can do is to use a reusable razors and just buy blade and not throw away the whole razor. Apparently in the US 2 billion ( and who knew there was a debate about how many zero’s in a billion has 9 or 12 – the things google teaches me) disposable razors are thrown away each year. That sounds like a lot to me. I realize in SA the number is not as high but we have to be more mindful of what we throw away.

There are even more eco friendly razor but they seem to be marketed mostly at men. I have no idea if women can use them wihout a blood bath.

The old barber’s straight razor or cut throat

Saftey Razor

The kind of shaving cream we use also needs to be examined as the normal stuff available in the shop is not that great for the planet. A list from normal shaving cream
But have you seen what’s in canned shaving cream? Here’s an example list of ingredients from a well known brand:

Palmitic Acid
Stearic Acid
Triethanolamine,
Butane
Isobutane
Laureth-23
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Propane
Parfum
Sodium benzoate
Hydroxythylcellulose
Lauryl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
Irish moss
Dimethicone PEG/PPG-20/23 benzoate
DMDM Hydantoin
Coceth-7
PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol ether
PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil
BHT
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

That is quite some list! Many of those ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are particularly bad for the aquatic environment. More info here on EcoMall

There are other options and I have seen eco shaving cream and gel on line but don’t know too much about what is available in South Africa. I usually use soap in the shower but realize that for guys this is not an option.

And men we are not forgetting you. Here is a who article about using a saftey blade and Learning to shave like your grandpa

Could I go completely hairy, embrace my inner true woman? I am not sure.
Could you?
Men what do you think?

Caleb

Caleb turned 5 last Friday. He is such a sweet child with his own way of looking at the world.

I thought it was a good time to write down all the things that he says that I might otherwise forget.

Caleb Funny’s

The one night while Rachel was away he was doing a show for us after supper with his toy Lion. He had the Lion balanced on a chair. The Lion fell off and without skipping a beat Caleb grabbed the Lion turned to us and said “Don’t try this at home” I am not sure where he heard that ( maybe the science show at the Cape Town Science Centre) but it was so perfectly in context and said so seriously it was hilarious.

The one day I was working at the computer on the dinning room table, we was talking to me from the school and I could not hear properly so I said that if he wanted to talk he need to come to where I was. He spoke for a while and then started babbling stuff about dinosaurs (his favourite) while walking around and around the table. I told him I would love to hear all about what he had to say, but that I needed to get some work done so we could go out. As soon as I was done he could have my undivided attention again. He wonders off to the school room and starts talking again. I scolded him about not talking to me from across the house. He was totally indignant and replied. ” I am not talking to YOU, I am talking to the bacteria!” ( his sister told him there was bacteria on everything.

I am not religious and so I realize some might find this less funny. We were driving along the road and he asked who planted the thorn trees along the middle island.
Me: I am not sure, maybe the road people.
Caleb: Maybe it was god.
Me: I did not think so.
Caleb: what does god do?
me: I did not think he did anything.
Caleb: well then what is he for?
Me: I don’t think he is for anything
Caleb: Maybe he is for decoration

The Song of your life
This is not really a Caleb Funny but it shows how his mind works. He was in the car one day and he told me very seriously that I must find the Song of my Life. He said that it is inside and that you must sing it. He then sang a little song so softly and faintly in the pure innocent child voice. It was too soft for me to hear but it was beautiful and you could hear it was from his heart.

He mentions it often, he tells me he was born to sing the song of his life. At first it worried him that he could not always rememeber the exact words that he sang before but now he is fine if it changes.

My friend Carle gave him the book Heartsongs by Mattie JT Stepanek for his birthday.

Mattie is the youngest of four children, each of whom inherited a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease called Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. His mother, Jeni, did not know she carried the gene. She was diagnosed as an adult, after all four of the children were born. Mattie’s siblings — Katie, Stevie, and Jamie — all died before age four. Being the youngest, Mattie lived longer as more and more was learned about the rare condition. In addition to causing muscle weakness, the condition interrupts autonomic (automatic) body systems and functions, such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and the processing of oxygen. Like his siblings, Mattie needed a wheelchair, ventilator, oxygen, monitors, medicines and spent a significant amount of time living in Pediatric Intensive Care Units. When Mattie was four, his mom began using a wheelchair for mobility, and years later, she also began relying on a ventilator to support breathing.

His poems are very cute and very powerful for a child, some really bring a tear to the eye. There is one called Heartsong that is like Caleb’s song, it comes from inside you. Caleb was fascinated that another child also knew that your song of your life/heart was inside you and that you had to find it.

Heartsong

I have a song, deep in my heart,
and only I can hear it.
If I close my eyes and sit very still
it is so easy to listen to my song
When my eyes are open
and I am so busy and moving and busy,
if I take time and listen very hard,
I can still hear my heartsong.
It makes me feel happy.
Happier than ever.
Happier than everywhere,
and everything and everyone in the world.
Happy like thinking about
Going to Heaven when I die.
My heartsong goes like this-
I love you! I love you!
How happy can you be!
How happy can you make this whole world be!
And sometimes it’s other
Tunes and words, too.
But it always sings the same special song.
But do you know what?
All people have a special song
Inside their hearts!
Everyone in the whole world has a special heartsong.
If you believe in magical, musical hearts.
And if you believe you can be happy
Then you, too, will hear your song.

-Mattie J. Stepanek
1992-2004

Mattie died at age 14 I think, he watch his 3 siblings die. I wonder how a mother copes losing all 4 kids?