Green Nail polish

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Should boys wear green nail polish?
We were in the shops buying some gifts for the kids cousins. Caleb asked for some green nail polish. He wanted monster nails. Rachel has quite a lot of different colours and I could see that at 4 he was just curios. I had no problem with it and he is now sporting some rather fancy green finger and toenails.

Yme was not that keen and maintains that I should have just said no boys don’t wear nail polish. But this is not totally true, there are many boys and men, goths, punks and people who do wear nail polish. I see no reason at this point to make huge gender differentiation when it is just curiosity because his sister does it. And besides he loves green so why not green finger nails.

I asked on twitter what people thought of a 4 year old boy wearing green nail polish and funny enough most women had no problem with it but a lot of the men thought it was a no no.

What do you think?

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Looking back 2011 and forward 2012

I get to the end of each year and think that it has been quite a whopper and that surely next year must be easier, but seeing as this is a recurring theme I am beginning to draw the conclusion that this is just life. There are 365 days in our yearly trip around the sun, that is a lot of days for good and bad things to happen. But 2011 did have some rather big life events

* 27 Febuary Titus Yme Tichelaar, formerly known as #Koos joined our family
* 15 March Natasha, Yme’s sister died (still seems unreal)

The rest of the year was just coping with these 2 events and learning to be a mom of 3. I have never enjoyed the baby time all that much, as I selfishly find it so consuming of my time, but Titus is lovely and a wonderful addition to the family. I can hardly believe it will soon be time to plan his first birthday.

I am not good at making New Years resolutions,I think there are only 2 things I would like to do this year as resolutions go. Blog more and be more organised. I am a little chaotic by nature and am never going to have an immaculate home but the chaos is starting to get to me.

Last year I posted a list of 60 things for an exceptional life – I was not aiming to do all of them but lets see how well I did

1. Exercise daily – does vocal cord exercise count? But now that we have a dog I need to try walk more, still not sure it will be daily. This video is a very good reason to motivate me to walk though http://youtu.be/aUaInS6HIGo 
2. Get serious about gratitude – I did the 29 days of giving challenge just to help focus me outward
3. See your work as a craft – I really got into knitting last year, it is not my work but I nice sideline and I even designed a pattern or 2 which I must now write up 
4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst – Maybe, I don’t know I think i just like to hope the best will happen rather than the worst
5. Keep a journal.- No I was terrible at blogging last year
6. Read “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”. – not sure this is one that I will ever tick off, there are a lot of other things I want to read first
7. Plan a schedule for your week – No but maybe in my new more organised life I should try this
8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life – Does this include people? My priorities are to my family and friends
9. Say no to distractions. – big fail on this one, I am so often distracted.
10. Drink a lot of water. – no but I want to try this one too
11. Improve your work every single day – If this means trying harder as a mom each day, then yes, everything else last year took a back burner role
12. Get a mentor. – Had one already
13. Hire a coach. – No
14. Get up at 5 am each day. – But choice never, when kids wake me, often
15. Eat less food. – No I like food
16. Find more heroes. – I have friends that have survived and be through so much, they are my heros
17. Be a hero to someone. – I don’t know that I am a hero to anyone but a friend and a support, I hope so
18. Smile at strangers. – I started doing this, it is fun
19. Be the most ethical person you know. – I don’t think I am unethical but I am sure there must be some more ethical than me
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence. – As a mom with 3 kids and home schooling and life some times done is good enough
21. Savor life’s simplest pleasures. – smiles and kisses from my kids
22. Save 10% of your income each month. This is one that I really want to do but it does not help when there is not enough to make ends meet let alone save. But this year I feel like it is save first and then plan the rest of the month, seems to be the only way it will happen
23. Spend time at art galleries.
24. Walk in the woods. – does walk on the beach count? we do this a lot. I love where we live
25. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you. no, i really should try do this, I do try always thank for gifts, not always written though
26. Forgive those who’ve wronged you. – anger only eats you up and the other person is usually oblivious to it so might as well forgive and move on
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades. – this could not be truer than in SA
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love. – I think we did this, the moment that Titus was born was pretty amazing
29. Have 5 great friends. – Yes I am lucky, I have some fantastic friends
30. Become stunningly polite. – Hahaha stunningly polite, no not really
31. Unplug your TV. – I need to do something while I knit and TV is a good unwind
32. Sell your TV. See no. 31
33. Read daily. I read to the children daily, does that count?
34. Avoid the news. A lot of the time when it is just me and the kids at home we are rather removed from the news but sometimes it can feel a bit isolating. I like to try know the main bits of current affairs and news
35. Be content with what you have. – I am working on this
36. Pursue your dreams. – always
37. Be authentic. – People see through you if you are not being you.
38. Be passionate. – this is not hard for me, I feel and live passionately 
39. Say sorry when you know you should. – working on doing this more
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another. – I hope I celebrate others and their successes
41. Have a vision for your life. yes
42. Know your strengths. yes
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack. – no I need to do this more
44. Be patient. – seldom, I need to practice
45. Don’t give up. – have not yet, but I did learn that sometimes walking away is okay
46. Clean up your messes. – I am not sure if this is physical mess or metaphorical, I am just working on our messy house to start with
47. Use impeccable words. – I love words and could really do with improving my vocabulary and not defaulting to lazy standard words
48. Travel more. This is hard with 3 small kids but a holiday to my parents for Christmas and a few days in the Magaliesberg was lovely
49. Read “As You Think”. – no
50. Honor your parents. – I hope I always do this
51. Tip taxi drivers well. I never use a taxi, maybe I should teach my kids this one for Mom’s taxi
52. Be a great teammate. – I am not really in a team setting but I think I can work in a team
53. Give no energy to critics. – A lesson we could all use again and again
54. Spent time in the mountains. Climbing mountains with kids would just be silly, but I spend time looking and appreciating them, I spend time walking and doing out door time on the beach
55. Know your top 5 values. yes Honesty, vulnerability, 
56. Shift from being busy to achieving results. – I could do this more
57. Innovate and iterate. – always have ideas
58. Speak less. Listen more. – need to practice this, especially in discussions with the Geek when I feel like I speak over him too often
59. Be the best person you know. – with a world full of such amazing people this would be hard but I hope I touch the lives around me in a positive way
60. Make your life matter. – It matters to 3 little people at the moment

 

I hope 2012 is great for us all, I hope it is easier than 2011 but it is through the hard times that we learn and we learn where our support comes from. What are your hopes and goals/resolutions for 2012?

Cherry Picking


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We went cherry picking on Sunday. It is the beginning of cherry season but the kids leave to Pretoria on the 8th and we wanted to fit it in before they go. It is quite a long drive and it made me grateful my mom talked me out of driving up to them for Christmas. The colder windy day gave me the perfect excuse to wear my new hat I knitted for myself. I so seldom knit for myself so it was nice to enjoy something I made.

We went to Klondyke Farm in Ceres. Titus loved the cherries and ate them with great gusto, there were even a few cherry stones in his nappy the next day. He would cry if Yme did not feed him them fast enough.

Here are a few pictures

Can giving change your life?

We went to the exclusive book wharehouse sale last weekend. I received an email about it but was not sure I wanted to be up at the crack of dawn to be there by 7am; Titus decided that we would be awake by 5:30am so there was plenty of time to get everyone ready. We did not get there as early as we should have and waited in rather a long queue, with 3 bored kids this was less than fun.

Anyway, one of the books I saw was called 29 Gifts – How a month of giving can change your life.
29 Gifts - how a month of giving can change your life

I did not have a chance to read much about it and as we were weighing the book becasue at the wharehouse sale you pay by weight, Yme took it out and put it on the not to take pile. I put it back and said I really wanted it. I am not sure why I just knew I wanted to see what it was about. He did a bit of eye rolling at me. I am loving reading it.

The author has MS and was in a terrible place physically and emotionally and phoned a friend to moan but rather than sympathize the friend told her to spend 29 days giving to other people. This was at a point when getting out of bed was hard for her. She said focusing all your thoughts and negative feelings about the disease inward was not helping her and focusing out on others makes us grateful for what we have and sharing love brings more love our way.She started and with amazing results for her health and mental happiness.

I decided to take on the challenge. Mondays are my bad day, weekends are great and Yme can help and we have a different routine, Monday is back to just me and the kids, we usually don’t go out, the house is a mess from the weekend and the kids feel the difference of the transision from 2 parents attention to one again. I lose my sense of humour on a Monday. I have so much to be grateful for and yet I can get bogged down with the everyday frustrations. I thought I needed a reason to look more out at the world and less in on me.

The size of the gifts are not important and they do not have to be money or bought they can be time or effort. But one has to be something you think you can’t live without. You should not force the gifts but kind of do it as it comes to you.

My list so far has been

Day 1: Monday – did not leave the house so was not able to give out to others but I did try to give within my family and cyber space. I connected with a friend on twitter who lost his dad and asked how he was doing and how life was now, people avoid talking about the person who has died and within a few months expect you to carry on as though nothing has happened. I thinking letting someone know you realize it still hurts a lot is a valuable gift. I also gave Yme my undivided attention when he spoke to me. I am usually trying to multi task and talk to him and knit or tweet or whatever else but whenever he spoke to me I stopped what I was doing and just gifted him my full attention, it may sound like a small thing but it strengthened our bond this week 😉
Day 2: Tuesday – I gave Rachel an hour of my time while I helped her play very girly horse game on the computer. It is aimed at young girls so the music is slightly twinkly and annoying and it is a bit insipid but she LOVES it and so the chance to play for a whole hour made one little girl so very very happy.
I also phoned my close friend in Pta to find out how her wedding plans were going and gave her a chance to talk about wedding stuff. When you get married all you want to do is talk about the stuff you are organizing and doing and others don’t always share the same enthusiasm, but I love weddings so it was fun to hear what she is planning.
Day 3: Wednesday – when I write for Natural Medicine Magazine I get an authors gift pack and one of the things that came in one months pack was herbal/natural love pills, like viagra for hippies I guess 😉 so I gave it to a friend who is wanting to ttc as a joke, we had a good laugh and it was a fun gift.
Day 4: Thursday – I gave a lady who’s daughter does swimming on the same day as Rachel a ball of Nurturing Fibres hand dyed yarn that my very talented friend Carle dyes. I also printed a pattern to gift to her as motivation to make a shawl/scarf for her trip to Switzerland in December. I often knit while we wait for the girls at swimming and we talk about knitting and patterns and I wanted her to try knitting with this lovely yarn. It was wonderful to see her face light up in surprise when I gave it to her and she said she really needed a gift it that day.
Day 5: Friday I gave a chocolate to the lady in the post office. They know me by name and I always have a nice chat to the Melkbos post office staff so when I went in today I took a chocolate. She joked with me at first when she saw it and said “oh thank you is that for me?” and when I said yes actually it is for you she was so surprised and delighted, it felt fun to make her day.

I am loving doing this, sometimes it is the small things that count, I am looking forward to the next few days

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Everybody Hurts Sometimes

I was in the bathroom getting dressed after a shower when I heard R.E.M “Everybody Hurts” playing from the dinning room.

I was immediately transported back to my res room in university. I remembered listening to this song, broken hearted over unrequited love. You only learn through these painful experiences, the lessons life has to teach. At the time you always think there is something wrong with you, why could the other person not love you. Why do we do that? Why do we not think that maybe they are just not the right one? I guess only time teaches that.

But today the song meant something else. I walked out to Rachel babbling to Yme, unaware that he was in pain. I sent her outside and just stood and held him for that moment. The quiet sad moment of remembering. A few short months and the pain is still raw.

I am Yme’s incomplete sentence

The thing about pink hair is that it makes you recognisable. There are not that many of us with pink hair so people remember you. I was in the wool shop on Thursday and a lady caught my eye and said “Hi, how are you?” So I was polite back but it was clear I did not know who she was. It turned out she was from Yme’s dad side of the family and I had met her at Natasha’s funeral. I met a lot of people that day.

She said “you are Yme’s…” slightly awkward pause as she did not know what to call me and then she said “oh and look how the baby has grow” and then lots of comments on how cute he was and that he looked so good.

I had a bit of a chuckle later and now tease Yme that my status is that on an incomplete sentence. I must admit it was a bit weird and did leave me thinking how sad it was that a relationship does not seem valued in our society until there is a wedding.

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Step parenting is hard

Well parenting is hard, but as a step patent you always have that extra anxiety.

Rachel made this card for Yme.She loves Hama beads but this was the first time that she finished the lion all by herself. I love the fairies that she added all around the picture of Yme. She asked me how to spell the words but deciding what to say was all her own decision. I think it shows that he is doing a great job.

rachelcard

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Pick your battles

This is something that I have used with the kids and have to tell myself over and over but it applies to relationships too.

I am The Amber Necklace Lady. After all they are one of Earth Babies top seller. Clients often ask me if they work and I am honest about my experience. We never had them when I had Rachel and she had no problem teething. Caleb had one on 24/7 from a few months old and he had no problem teething. So I tell them I am not sure if the necklace helped or if they just had it easy. I do tell them I have plenty of clients that swear by them and they report a big improvement in teething symptoms.

This time it was Titus’s turn, the only problem was that Yme is dead set against them. He is a scientific man and says they are hocus pocus and he does not want his boy wearing one. He was not trying to be difficult it just really is something he does not like.

I was gutted, to me they look so lovely and always get comments which is good for business. For a few days we had a little passive aggressive war where I would put it on during the day, when Yme was at work, and then he would take it off at night.

Finally I thought, this means more to him than it does to me, I can let this one go. So no amber for T man, but he has a dad who loves him so much a necklace does not matter.

(Murphy’s Law he is a terrible teether)

Our weekend away

Part of my birthday present from Yme was a weekend away at a wine farm in Franschoek. It was called Chestnut Cottage

I have been meaning to post these for ages. We took Titus with us but left the older 2 with Annatjie. Shame poor Caleb it was the first time that we have left the kids overnight since Natasha died and the difference was noticable. Before we often did not get as much as a backward glance or a quick hug before they run off to play. This time he was very tearful and worried that I would not return. Fortunately Annatjie, Jacques and Wouter are good at taking his mind off things and he actually managed fine without us.

We arrived after dark on Friday night. Smallest Pinklet kindly went to sleep like Lord Muck and Yme and I were able to have a meal and a glass on wine together uninterrupted

Quick snack before we went into town the next morning

The river running behind the cottage

Front of the cottage

View out the front – wine farm and mountains


Titus chatting to mommy while she knits

Oh I fell in love with the fireplace – I want a fire place

The bookcase of awesomeness.

I have wanted a Pac-man bookcase ever since I saw a link to one on line.
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Last weekend Yme and his brothers set about to make one. Wood was bought and strapped to the roof of our little fiesta. Power tools were purchased. Designs were drawn and much noise was made. They got it all together and then during the week sanding started.

Pacman bookcase

Pac-Man bookcase

pacman bookcase

Yesterday was the last of the sanding and painting. The wall was also painted blue to match the photo feature wall.

Pac-man was hung last night in all his glory. I posted a picture on FaceBook. Sharon was worried books would not fit. So I have included a picture with books

Pacman

I made a mosaic mirror for the guest bathroom, it just needs to be polished.
mosaic mirror