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Add Hope

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Red Cross Children’s Hospital Burns Unit Charity Drive

Last year Rachel cut off all her hair to donate for a cancer wig, we blogged about it here she raised R4693 too for the cost of the wig making – look how cute she looks here in our thank you blog post

She won a Lead SA May youth hero award for this, and this year she is at it again.

Rachel as part of her ambassadors course with the Chaeli Champaign needs to get involved and help a charity or cause. We decided to contact the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Burns Unit and see what we could do.

I visited them on 4 February 2015, (Rachel could not go with me this time as no under 16 are allowed in the acute burns unit,) to find out what they need. I met with Chantel from the Hospital Trust who was very helpful in arranging the meeting and showing me around the hospital. We then went to see the doctor on the burns unit to find out exactly what they need.

In the ward they need:
Toiletries packs for the moms and kids. Most of the burn victims come from rural areas with nothing and hygiene is vital in a burns until to prevent infection. Each mom gets a pack of toiletries for her and her child. The moms do a lot of the help with care.

The pack has soap, washcloth, toothbrush, vaseline, body cream, toothpaste etc in it.


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Thank you


Rachel and I would like to say an enormous Thank you to everyone that supported her when she cut her hair and for the very generous donations to her hair fund.

She raised R4693!!! I am so very proud of her, I think she looks beautiful. The short hair suits her little pixie face. It has made swimming everyday much easier without so much long wet hair to deal with.

An enormous thank to to : Tanya, Andre, Karin, Tamsin(8), Jenni, Aiden(7) & Lauryan, My Mom, My Dad, Gavin, My 2 sisters; Jenni and Sarah, my Granny(94), Carle, Camilla, Amanda, Clare, Helen, Nadia, Lucy, Amanda. I really hope I have not forgotten anyone.

Thank you so much

For those who did not see the pictures on Face Book or Instagram here is the day she had it cut

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Rachel’s Hair Donation

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Sometimes my children do things that make me think that I can’t be doing such a bad job at parenting after all.

Rachel has the most beautiful colour hair. People stop her on the street and in the shop to comment on her hair. Mostly telling her not to ever cut it. She loves her hair, and like any little girl loves it long and pretty. So it was quite a surprise to me when she said she wanted to cut it. She does not want to cut it because she does not want long hair anymore but rather she wants to donate it to a child/person with cancer for a wig.

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Rachel’s Egg-cellent Market Day

Rachel and her friend Thomas had an egg stall at the kids market day. They each had 7 boxes and were very equitable and alternated sales.
Ollie also made some biscuits to sell. Caleb ran around and was the ‘support’ team. Although next time I think I will make some things with him to sell too.

They sold out on all their eggs and had a good time. They will definitely be doing the one near Valentines day in February

These are the little labels she designed and made for her egg boxes
Kids market day Eggs

I took some photos of her and Caleb with 2 of our chickens so she could show that the eggs were not just from the shop and that she is the chicken ‘farmer’
Kids Market day

At the market – when we arrived she was a little nervous
Kids Market Day

Egg Table

Other tables
Kids Craft Market

Photo from the Photographer that was there on the day Akaroo

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Rachel is a cub now

When I was young, girls went to Brownies and Guide and boys went to cubs and Scouts. In fact my ex’s sister and I knew each other through Brownies and Guides when we were growing up, and even though her brother and I did not work out, we were friends before and have remained friends now.

But now things are all inclusive and so girls can go to cubs. Rachel’s 2 good friends Thomas and Oliver go to cubs and so naturally she wanted to go too. She tried it out a few times and then we very happy to learn that her Dad and my Dad did cubs.

There are not many girls but it suits Rachel and what I love about cubs is that it gives her the interaction across a wide age groups. She learns to work in a team and as an individual. I think more than school it is a positive group and social interaction for a home school kid.

Here are some pictures, she was so nervous but she said her law and promise all by herself.

Her sixer and friend Thomas taking her up to the Akela

Look at her little nervous face

A small smile

Saying her cub promise and doing her salute

Getting her new cub scarf and pack colours

The many badges that I have to sew onto her uniform, best she get her sewing badge soon so she can do this.

Being introduced to the pack afterwards as the newest member

Her brother had the sulks and I can’t even remember why, but here he is in his rainbow colour jersey and hat and long hair – he wont let me cut it at the moment

It was very sweet and I hope she really enjoys it. The only problem I had was that although cubs is all inclusive now of race, gender and religion, it makes not allowance for those with no religion. So she still had to make a promise to God and her country. She thought it was a bit odd but we chatted about it and she knows other people believe other things. So it was fine. But still felt a bit odd helping her learn it and somehow a bit dishonest I guess but there was no non religious version.

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Potty Training

With Rachel I did Elimination Communication or Nappy Free. I did used to back up with cloth nappies when we went out but mostly with a combination of timing and her signaling we did pretty well. She was totally dry at night from about 11months, with occasional accidents but these were few and far between. She was potty trained from about 15 months. She would reliably tell me when she needed to go and we had very few accidents after this.

Caleb was born in the UK which is colder and so being nappy free was harder, we were also renting and the place had carpet floors which meant that a missed wee was not easy to clean and so I used cloth nappies as a back up a lot more even at home. But still he always knew the cue for going to the toilet and would try when I remembered to take him. Life with 2 kids and my ex away a lot off shore meant that I never had the same time to focus on EC like I had with Rachel. But still he potty trained earlish for a boy I guess. He was out of nappies by 2 and although we had more accidents than Rachel. I am not sure if it is a boy thing but even now (just turned 5) he has a few accidents at night. Mostly if he drinks a lot before bed. I do try to remember to lift him for a wee before I go to bed and it is not that often. Up to 6 for boys for occasional bed wetting is considered normal. But I admit to being a little concerned as Rachel was dry at night from just under a year.

Titus I have mostly used nappies, it is hard to EC with 3 kids, a business, home schooling and housework. But like the others I introduced the idea of the potty very early and let him sit on it, made the cue sounds and praised him a lot of he did a wee or poo in the potty. He does really well, it is more my lack of time and remembering to take him that stops him being totally out of nappies.

Zoe from Baby Throne sent me one for Titus when he was little and it has been a huge help. He loves his potty and it means that he can sit comfortably. I used it on the base when he was little and it was convenient to move around as we needed it.

He can now sign toilet and so every time I take him to the potty/throne I use the sign.He is now at the stage that he has the seat on the toilet.I have a few toys in the bathroom which he likes so this helps him sit for a few minutes. Today was the first time that he signed toilet to me without me signing first. Nappy was dry and he did a big wee in the toilet – Mommy was very proud.

What I love about EC is the bond and the communication that it build between mom and baby. I wrote more about it on Parent 24 But with out drive to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly I have always loved anything that cuts down on nappy use. Be it disposable or cloth. I EC’ed the others by just holding them out over the toilet or sitting backward but the Throne really does help. I do make sure that when out and even at home on occasion we do try without it so that he is used to not using it if we are out or at another house.

How was potty training for you?

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All is well

Caleb was an absolute star on Friday, he was brave and did not make a fuss at all for his needle biopsy. It was quite funny to watch him all spaced out with the sedative they gave him. My awesome GP managed to get the results for me the same day and it showed a reactive gland, in other words and infection and no cancer! Yay A huge thank you to Carle who let us going to the farm after the hospital to wait for the results. I would have been much more stressed alone.

What great news to get before the day before my birthday. I must admit that when he came to climb into bed with me Saturday to wish me happy birthday I gave him an extra long hug.What a great 35 birthday present.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend, it was spend with family and friends. The boys woke me up with presents in the morning, we then did some shopping, baked caked and got the snoek braai ready. Yme’s family came over, our friend Andre (and his nice car) and my friend Carle and her family and we just chatted and laughed and relaxed it was lovely.

I spoke to Rachel on skype and she was having a good time at her Dad for the weekend visit. I am glad it went well and they went to a lot of effort to make it nice for her. I just hope that it does not open a lot of old wounds for Rachel. She has come to accept a certain level of non involvement from her dad but they were always close so I wonder if seeing him again and having a nice time will make her sad and miss him more again. Maybe seeing her will be motivation for him to come and visit them ( one can always hope)

Sunday we did a bit of gardening and then went to watch F1 at The Green Barn. We have been trying to decide where to get married and for budget reasons we were going to do it at home but we decided to ask on the off hand that it might not be as expensive as ‘proper’ commercial wedding venue. It is a barn, rustic and has a huge play area. They do great pizza and so we can have pizza and then bring any other food we like. They have a bar so the drinks are sorted. There is a hall with a fire place and a lovely outside section where we can do the service. The kids area is fantastic, with jumping castle, huge wooden climbing frame, trampoline. We have kids and a lot of the people coming to the wedding, especially those coming from far away will have their kids. It feel odd to try exclude them as we are a family. So this play area makes it perfect.

I am really excited, by the time we fixed the garden, hired the extra tables, chairs, plates, glassware etc and thought about a jumping castle etc for home we would be spending more so I am very happy and it is still very much in keeping with our style. It is 5 minutes from home and we can decorate it in much the same way with a backyard diy crafty feel as we would have done at home.

All in all a great weekend, how was your weekend?