Blog Reader Survey: Give me some post ideas!

blog reader survey

(Courtesy of Microsoft/Bing)

I’d like to get a bit of blog reader feedback on One Step at a Time and if you can fill in a survey for me, that would be great!

I’d like to know a bit more about you and your problems and maybe I can write a post about it.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TBCGZFB

Create your own user feedback survey

Are You Paying for Too Much Car Insurance?

(Picture courtesy of Microsoft/ Bing)

(Picture courtesy of Microsoft/ Bing)

Are you spending too much of your hard earned money on insurance? Two academics actually put together a paper for the Journal of Economic Psychology back in 2008 to say as much. Zur Shapira (from New York University) and Itzhak Venezia (from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Business Administration) found that their subjects would rather take a full, expensive insurance policy rather than a less expensive one with a deductible (in South Africa, that would be your excess that you have to pay before the insurer pays out). At the end of all their studies they found that people would rather spend more than consider options. And, although we are in February, it still feels like the beginning of the new year. We are still recovering from the festive season binge which included not only food but finances. Perhaps we should rather consider the a la cart power of choice rather than a set menu that you are unlikely to fully make use of.

You might be surprised to learn that since I returned from overseas and began driving around in Johannesburg about twelve years ago, I’ve only had one incident where I had to take my car to the panel beaters. I had a minor accident with a gate. I had been paying a pretty low premium for the car for ages but I was surprised to learn that my excess was R2000. It was a bit of a shock to me at the time. The fee back then was less than the excess so I landed up not even claiming.

Looking back on the experience now, I understand better that I actually had a good deal. I mean, this is more than a decade of a low cost policy which adds up. There was only one time where I needed it.

As the authors of the paper suggest, people need to be educated about alternatives.

So I thought I’d share with you some of the a la Carte options from Budget Insurance, and you can pick and choose what suits you.

Firstly, with Budget Saver, you get to choose your form of basic car insurance. You can select cover for:

 

  • Total Loss – meaning that you get an insurance payout in case your car is damaged beyond repair or if the car has been stolen and can’t be recovered. I guess you have to weigh up the chances of losing your car altogether. I don’t expect it to happen to me, but you never know. It happened to a teacher friend of mine but she was going through a bad break up at the time and I remember feeling sure that her emotional state at the time was linked to this accident. On the other hand, if it does happen through forces beyond your control, you would need a car.
  • Accident – this is the cover you need if your car is ever damaged in an accident. Your payout will generally be determined according to the amount of accident damage, the cover selected as well as other options selected which will be indicated in the Terms and Conditions document you sign. I think this kind of thing does happen eventually to most of us – but some more often than others.
  • Third-party – this insurance cover protects you against liabilities which are related to a third-party if ever you are involved in an accident. This includes medical fees for the injured third party, repairs to that person’s car etc. In other words if you hit a car, this covers you for their expenses and not your own. One of my best friends that I worked with as a receptionist in my twenties only had this insurance – it’s an affordable option when you are young and want to keep costs down.

 

Once you’ve chosen the type of cover that you want, you are then informed by the insurance provider about the added benefits of your particular insurance choice. There are two benefits which you get automatically, irrespective of which insurance policy you decide to choose. You will get Accident Assist, which includes cover for towing and storage (when you call the approved towline) and you also get Loan Assist. The latter benefit helps you get a loan to pay for your car at no extra cost to you.

 

Finally, you also get additional cover options which you can choose to meet your specific insurance needs. You can either get

  • Car Hire – whenever your car is in for repairs and it impacts on your day-to-day activities. Being stuck without a car would be terrible for most of us, unless you have someone to cart you around.
  • Tracking – this will not only help you decrease the risk insurance premium you pay on a monthly basis, however requires you to pay for the monthly subscription, it can also allow your car to be found if ever it’s stolen. This is definitely one of the more recommended options. (I confess, I don’t have this).
  • Radio Cover – this one is mostly for older cars. A large number of the cars which are built nowadays have radios which are a part of the dashboard and cannot be removed, which would need to be specified when contacting companies for an insurance quote. I don’t think this would apply to most of us. I do have a new car radio now with a removable front, but personally I don’t think that people are going to bother with my old Mazda anyway.
  • Windscreen Cover – this is another highly recommended option. Windscreens are prone to hairline cracks and fractures depending on which part of the country you live in and the prevailing weather. Do your homework about the conditions you will be driving in before deciding on this one.
  • Additional assist – this could be anything from trauma counselling, to helping you fit a tyre in terms of roadside assistance, or even keeping you company on the phone as you wait for the tow-truck which the insurance provider has called on your behalf.
  • Hail Cover – In terms of body-work, hail can come from different sides and make small dents which are hard to repair and generally create such damaging conditions that your car may be written off. It’s best to get this form of cover just in case, especially if you don’t have a garage for your car.

 

 

I’ve noticed that you can now buy one of the world’s biggest soft drinks with your name on it. If you can brand your drink, why not brand your insurance with your own personal style?

If you want your insurance to work for you, why not customise it today?

 

Choose to save instead of over spending.

 

 

This post was sponsored by Budget Insurance.

 

The Worst (Public) Tantrum We’ve Ever Had (So Far)

our-worst-public-tantrum Tantrums are just plain awful. As a mom, at home, you understand what’s going on and you can deal with it. Put the situation in the public arena… well it just got a whole lot worse.

On Saturday I was recovering from a bad night (I didn’t sleep well, but Nicky did). The next morning DH watched him while I slept in. We only left the house at about ten. I needed to go looking for the pomegranate juice and raspberry tea mentioned in the previous post. The guy at the health shop did not have it and recommended Dischem.

We first went to a discount bookshop at Brightwater Commons. This place sells cheap books. They have a R5 box and we got some nice ones. We watched some bikers and skateboarders on the ramps there. Then we went to Cresta.

The problem with getting to Dischem at Cresta (if you want the free parking) is that you have to land up parking a long way away from it. It is in the middle new underground section. So we grab a trolley to put Nicky in and off we trundle.

When we get there I am dismayed to find they don’t have plain pomegranate juice and there is no raspberry tea in sight. All I can get is combinations pomegranate/green tea, pomegranate/aloe and pomegranate/blueberry.  Oh well, that will have to do. I am thinking of making it myself (has anyone ever made pomegranate juice? Those fruits look a bit intimidating).

In any case DH was asking about lunch. He wanted to go to the Spur. I knew it was getting late and Nicky needed his nap. But there have been times I have managed to push him an extra hour and I was hopeful he would make it. Big mistake.

However, off we went and had lunch. Nicky was so excited to climb up the play canyon and I went with him. This time he didn’t spend much time at the top and just wanted to climb down again. He had his face painted again. I think it reminds me of a hyena because she made his ears yellow. He also enjoyed some macaroni. Nicky loves his noodles.

The problems started with a balloon. Nicky loves balloons. Nicky loves balls and balloons are great because they are light to kick for little boys. So he got the balloon, whined until it was detached from that plastic stalk, and then started kicking it around. I worked very hard to make sure he didn’t go out of our corner and kept the bouncing balloon as contained as I could.

The difficulty was that there was a long stretch between the car and the Spur. Of course Nicky wanted to kick his balloon all the way through the mall, but we did not want that. All we could do was put the balloon in the trolley. Nicky flatly refused to sit in the trolley. We had to carry him, kicking and screaming for his balloon.

Dear blog readers. I did not handle it. I was a crying mess myself and Nicky was forcing himself out of my arms. I actually said “I am not handling this.”

Fortunately I have a great husband. He scooped Nicky up and carried him the rest of the way. Crying all the way. At least he is stronger than me.

Nicky was kicking and screaming for about 15 mins in the mall and people made the odd comment when we walked past them.”Quite a performance,” was one of them.

Finally we got to the car, put Nicky in the carseat with his balloon. He instantly calmed down and fell asleep on the way home.

Poor little dude was just tired.

Today he did not nap at all (although we did have a good night before) and had an early night tonight.

It’s all about the sleep people… sigh….

 

 

Fertility Update

update on my fertility journey A little update on our attempts to give Nicky a little sibling.

First of all the blood results are in.

Insulin Fasting: 4.5 (should be between 2.1 and 10.4)

Thyroid TSH: 1.54 (should be 0.35 -3.5)

Free T4: 15.9 (should be 7.6-16.1)

Prolactin: 8 (should be 3-27)

Day 3 test:

Oestradiol  <73

FSH 10.1  (should be 3.9-8.8)

***

Dr R says these are numbers he can work with, so that is good news.

However we then went and had the Day 10 scan and he hummed and hawed and said that what he was seeing didn’t match up with the blood tests. After the scan he said my uterus lining was a bit on the thin side. He asked if I had any sugar lows, even though my insulin test was fine, it could be affecting things.

So he prescribed Glucophage. Let’s see if this helps!

I guess I have been so concerned that Nicky has all his snacks and I offer him food frequently, but I don’t do the same for myself and it’s a bit of a wake up call to look after myself and my health.

I’ve also been doing my own research and came across this post which recommends pomegranate juice, raspberry tea and Vitamins B and E. I’m already taking a lot of B with my multivitamin but I guess I can just add some E to the mix.

Fertility Focus Telesummit March 2015

FFTSMar2015Button You have to admire Sarah Holland, the founder of the Fertility Focus Telesummit. She took a bit of a break for most of last year with the arrival of her second child through adoption but this year she is back with a bang with not only one, but three telesummits! The first one is coming up now in March and focuses on the emotional fertile mindset that you will need for the roller coaster ride of infertility.

Let’s have a look at the line up of speakers. They really look interesting.

1. Andrew Loosely. This is a Chinese Medicine expert and acupuncturist. He will be looking how Chinese medicine views the 7 emotions, and the most important ones for transforming your fertility health.

2. Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer - A published author and expert in the field of women’s health, fertility and spirituality, she will be looking at the energetic and emotional pattern of your menstrual cycle as the map understanding yourself and creating a fertile mind.

3. Lynsi Eastburn - A registered psychotherapist, NGH Board Certified Hypnotherapist who will help you end that cycle of hopelessness.

4. Anya Sizer - a support advocate and patient co-ordinator, Anya is a mom to two IVF children and an adopted child herself. She will be talking on reducing stress.

5. Sue Dumais -yoga instructor and intuitive healer – she will be talking about emotional awareness.

6. Clare Blake - will be talking about fertility massage.

7. Molly Nichols - The founder of The Mind Belly Connection, Molly is a Mind Body Fertility Coach and an expert in teaching women how to use fertility visualizations to uncover and heal from the deeper mental, emotional and spiritual causes of infertility; so they can finally become pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. After seven years of infertility Molly is now the proud mama of 3. Her twins who were conceived through IVF, and her daughter conceived 2 years later from natural conception.

8. Naomi Woolfson – A mindful fertility coach, Cognitive Hypnotherapist and founder of Mindful Muma-To-Be, she will be talking about mindfulness and hypnosis for managing stress and infertility.

Plus of course, Sarah Holland herself, Fertility EFT coach at Fertile Mindset, who will be talking about harnessing the power of your emotions plus discovering and demolishing emotional blockages.

I’ve written quite a bit about these telesummits before.

There was even that time when I was a guest speaker blogger back in 2011. They always give you some really nice free gifts – in past years this has been charts, yoga recordings, and digital ebooks.

This is what I wrote back in 2011, a few months before I actually got pregnant:

Last year the Fertility Focus Summit was a huge help to me. I bought all the recordings and listened to them one by one. I savoured the information and learned from it. I also landed up getting some really cool bonus gifts (I remember one was a fertility yoga leaflet, which I have subjected my pupils to during gross motor – evil grin) and another was a consultation with a lady which was very encouraging. It was also full of the usual tips you’d expect to hear about infertility, but also some new learnings e.g. don’t take your iron tablets with the other vitamins (it absorbs them), rather take it with Vitamin C (for absorption). This was from Marilyn Glenville, whose book on “Getting Pregnant Faster” is in my fertility book collection.

You can listen to Marilyn in a pre- event presentation here and also have free access to the week long summit. She will be sharing insights into how the body really responds to stress, and which food can send us on to a stress roller coaster.

The point I am making is that knowledge is power. I credit these telesummits for giving me really useful info as well as the confidence I needed. I really recommend buying the recordings if you can’t make their free broadcasts. It’s something you won’t regret. Go here for more information.



Washing machines, Generators and My Timeless Love

washing-machine-generators-love It was Tuesday morning. I had just dropped Dearest Hubby off at work and instead of heading home to have breakfast, start the washing and get going on our day, we were heading to Woodmead Makro. If you were wondering why we were facing morning traffic and getting breakfast from a petrol station, well, according to the internet, there was one 2.5 KVA generator left there, and we had better get moving before the rest of load shedding  Joburg headed there first. That’s if the (power failure = non existent) robots did not stop us first.

So off went Nicky and I. When we got there it was to discover that they only had 950 watt generators left. After complaining that this was not what was listed on their internet site, I got a few people to look around until eventually they produced a 2.5 KVA generator. I was cautioned that the voltage may not be stable and to get a few surge protector multi plugs, which I did. It was a different make to what DH had originally wanted, but hey, it was the last one in the shop, so off I went, armed with multiplugs, extension chords, some oil and a jerry can. The things we have to do to survive this power crisis.

I got home and attempted to start the laundry. The washing machine decided that it did not want to insert any water but continued to go round and round. I phoned my trusty repair guys from over the road. They know us so well as that washing machine always seems to be giving us some kind of problems. It turned out the wiring was faulty.

In the meantime DH and I had practically been on the phone to each other all day about the generator and he had investigated the model I had got and found that it was not what he wanted. It did not have Automatic Voltage Regulation (hence the power surge multi plugs). So we had to take it back.

Nicky, who had refused to go and have  a lunch time nap, was put in the car and off we went to Woodmead. Again.  (We live on the other side of Johannesburg and would normally go to a closer Makro.)

Of course he fell asleep. When I got to Makro I got a car guard to push the generator all the way to returns while Nicky slept on my shoulder. He woke up when I put him back in the car. I gave him a milkshake to keep him going on the long, hot trip back. At least the task was done.

On Wednesday the washing machine came back. I loaded some laundry, pressed some buttons and guess what? It gave a minuscule amount of water before turning around as if everything was normal. Of course the repair people were most upset (and normally I never have this problem with them). They sent a guy over who concluded it was the control panel that was at fault. This part is no longer being manufactured but they would try and source a second hand one for me.

On Thursday two guys came over with the part, which did not work. We were now out of options. They took the blasted thing away and I took my washing off to a laundrette. I was about an hour late for mom’s group but at least my washing was getting clean.

That night we had the State of the Nation Address. For those of you not in South Africa this was rather depressing. If Zuma could just have answered a simple question as to when he was paying back money he had used for building his home, the violence against the people asking and the walkout of the opposition could have been avoided. I see they are investing more money in Eskom: I hope it will be wisely used.

Saturday was Valentine’s Day! We went out for breakfast and got a new washing machine. My husband got me the most awesome gift: it is a kitchen clock with lovely flowers and colours. It just reminds me how timeless our love is and how well he knows me.

Today we did a load of washing in the new machine. It has a see-through lid and Nicky watched in fascination as the clothes went round and round.

I am so glad to have a reliable washing machine!

Now if we could just have reliable electricity….

Skin Conditions in Pregnancy

skin problems in pregnancy

(Image courtesy of Bio-Oil / Karin Schermbrucker)

This month has Pregnancy Awareness Week (10-16 February) and I thought I’d write about one aspect of pregnancy that every woman must face: the changing condition of your skin. Whether the changes are linked to hormones, the pregnancy itself or existing conditions which become worse during this time, it is good to be informed and prepared for what lies ahead.

The skin problems are:

1) Stretch Marks:

“Contrary to what you may expect, stretch marks don’t only occur in the later stage of pregnancy,” says gynaecologist Dr Jana Roussouw. “They can start developing as early as the first trimester due to high hormone levels. However they most commonly appear in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.”

Stretch marks initially appear pinkish purple, along the skin that is expanding. They do eventually fade to a silverish white. They are more common if you are younger, have a larger baby or a larger body mass index.

So what can you do?

1. Massage with cream: I started using Bio Oil, twice a day, right from the beginning of my pregnancy and I was lucky to escape stretch marks. However, there are no guarantees for everyone. There are some limited studies that do show they help (Young and Jewell, quoted in American Family Physician). If nothing else it will help ease the itchiness and massage is always good.

2. Try not to gain too much weight. Dr Roussouw says ideally you should only gain 12kg and after 36 weeks put on 1kg per week.

3. Drink lots of water.

4. Promote elasticity in your skin with Vitamins C and E.

5. If they are really bad, What to Expect suggests that afterwards you can laser them off or use the topical tretinoin (Retin-A).

 

2) Itchy Dry Skin

Hormonal changes rob your skin of oil and elasticity, leaving it dry and itchy.

So what can you do?

1. Cut down on the cleaning! This might not make sense, but if you keep you showers short and avoid soap you will irritate your skin less. You know why we slather our babies in moisturiser after bath time? It is because their skin is so sensitive, and yours is too during pregnancy.

2. I love my bath as a place to relax and you can help your skin by adding unscented oils and Bio Oil too. Make use of cooler/ lukewarm water.

3. Slather on the Bio Oil afterwards and as often as you can. It’s  a nice way to bond with your unborn baby too.

4. Wear cool, loose clothing and sunscreen.

 

3) Hyper Pigmentation

Pregnancy causes excess melanin production, a the tanning hormone that darkens your skin. The results are

– Chloasma – “the mask of pregnany” – a mask like configuration or confetti like appearance on your face.

– Freckles and moles may become darker.

– Linea nigra: a line down your belly.

So what can you do?

Many of these conditions will fade after you’ve had your baby, if not a dermatologist can bleach or laser it.

1. While you are pregnant, you can use make up to conceal these problems.

2. Stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen.

3. Bio-Oil has been shown to be effective in helping improve uneven skin tone. During a clinical trial at Medunsa in 2005, 93% of the subjects recorded an improvement in appearance at six weeks and in those with darker skin tones, the improvement continued significantly from week 8 to week 12.

4) Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). These are pale red bumps which can be tiny like a button or huge like a plate. When they occur together they are called “plaques”.

This rash normally also goes away after pregnancy, and can be resolved with antihistamines and topical steroids.

5) Red palms and soles. Hormones and increased blood flow cause red and itchy hands and feet. It’s like you’ve been washing too many dishes.

Relief can be found in cold water or an ice pack. Avoid heat or harsh soaps.

6) Bluish, blotchy legs. An increase in oestrogen causes this discolouration when cold. It will fade when your baby comes.

7) Skin tags. A small flap of tissue hanging off the skin: not an issue unless you rub up against it. They should regress after delivery, if not, your doctor can remove them.

8) Heat rashes. These may occur when hot and damp as the friction between clothes or skin reaches an uncomfortable dimension.

Use something cold or powder after your shower and try and keep cool.

9) Veins.

-More visible: they are a sign your body is working as it should. Your baby needs the increased blood supply.

-Spider veins: Purplish red lines.

To prevent them: exercise, take Vitamin C and don’t cross your legs.

These burst vessels can be covered with make up or if they don’t disappear you can get them injected or lasered (after the birth).

-Varicose Veins: With all the extra blood pumping around, the extra pressure your legs have to support your bump plus the hormones that relax the vessels, it won’t be much of a surprise if this occurs, especially if it runs in your family.

What you can do is elevate your legs and keep the blood flowing. Watch your weight and heavy lifting.  Support panty hose may help support your straining veins.

10) The normal skin conditions that worsen with pregnancy e.g. acne.

 

Wow. All those skin conditions are rather depressing, aren’t they? But it seems there is a common theme running throughout: keep yourself on the move, wear sunscreen, eat well/ watch your weight, take your vitamins and slather on that Bio Oil.

(And don’t forget to carry on using Bio Oil for your C-section scar, if you wind up going that route. I used it for my laparoscopy scars, three months later started using it for pregnancy and then afterwards used it on the C-section scar. Today it is so faint you can hardly see it.)

 

I do have to tell you one good skin condition after all those bad ones: it’s called the “Pregnancy Glow”.  Your skin is moist and plumped up. Increased progestrone makes you look a bit pink and flushed.

But, hey.. you’re glowing.

And that baby is going to be totally worth it.

 

***

win-a-bio-oil-hamper WIN! Bio-Oil is the number one selling scar and stretch mark product in 18 countries and the one most recommended by doctors, midwives and pharmacists for pregnancy stretch marks. We have a gorgeous Bio-Oil baby hamper worth R1,000 to giveaway. The handy basket contains a hooded towel, a soft muslin blanket, a cute bunny and fabric building blocks as well as Bio-Oil’s ‘Tips from Moms for Moms’ and ‘Guide to Pregnancy Stretch Marks’ and three bottles of Bio-Oil (60ml, 125ml, 200ml).

You must be a resident of South Africa to enter.

(This competition is now closed)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Low Carb Mousse Recipes

i try out chocolate mousse When we first started Banting I was looking around the internet for resources and recipes when I came across an excellent blog which not only had a ton of recipes but also had tips such as shopping lists. Low Carb is Lekker  is now releasing her own book and I was lucky enough to try out one of the recipes. Inè Reynierse has devised several recipes you can choose to enjoy a low carb mousse.

Here follows the different mousse recipes:

Chocolate mousse

1 cup fresh cream

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp xylitol

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Berry mousse

1 cup fresh cream

1⁄2 cup strawberry purée (about 1 cup whole fresh or thawed

frozen strawberries, blended)

1 Tbsp xylitol

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Granadilla mousse

1 cup fresh cream

Pulp from 2 granadillas

1 Tbsp xylitol

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Caramel mousse

1 cup fresh cream

4 Tbsp cold Quick Caramel Syrup (p. 180)

1 tsp vanilla extract (plus a sugar-free choc-mint block to transform it into peppermint crisp mousse)

 

Lemon cheesecake mousse

1 cup fresh cream

2 Tbsp cream cheese

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp xylitol

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

 

Whip all the ingredients together using an electric mixer until fluffy and decadent.

Yields 3 servings.

Chocolate mousse: 4 g carbs per serving.

Berry mousse: 6 g carbs per serving.

Granadilla mousse: 5 g carbs per serving.

Caramel mousse: 6 g carbs per serving.

Lemon cheesecake mousse: 4 g carbs per serving.

These can all be enjoyed as a dessert on their own or can be added as toppings or fillings for cakes, waffles, scones or brownies.

LowCarbLekkerCover.indd Extracted from Low Carb is Lekker by Inè Reynierse (Struik Lifestyle). You can read more about the book here.

***

If you’re wondering how the Banting is going with us – we are still using low carb main meals throughout the week. I’ve changed some of the recipes. I’m using Low Carb Living for Families too. This  way of eating is working very well for my diabetic husband. He has lost 9kg. Remember that Tim Noakes is a diabetic and I think that low carb suits that condition. For me, however, I’ve decided that I need my carbs. I have been adding in noodles and potatoes again a few times a week, I have oats for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. I’m eating lots of fruit. I have kept off the sugar and chocolates as much as possible (I still have xylitol in my decaf coffee) and I’m eating lots of vegetables. I think that you need all the food groups when trying to get fertile, as I am. However I also believe strongly that everyone has their story and a lot of people have had success with Banting. I think everyone needs to do what feels right for them, and I need to do what’s right for me. I still like my low carb recipes but I also like to supplement with my carbs now and again.

***

LCHF chocolate mousse mouse 31 months 033 I decided to try the Chocolate Mousse. It’s pretty quick and easy to whip up and I also had strawberries to decorate it. It was delicious.

The real test, however, was my son. Would Nicky Noodle forgo his noodles for Chocolate Mousse?!

mousse face i like my noodles I put it down next to his food that he was eating and when I came back I saw he had eaten the strawberries and had a big chocolate mousse mess all over his mouth. Yum, yum.

After a while though, he went back to eating noodles and he gave me what was left of his mousse.

Ah, there’s my Nicky Noodle that I know and love so much.

That Time My Toddler Fell on Me and Gave Me a Black Eye and Other Parenting Adventures

toddler-gave-me-black-eye If I think about all the injuries I have sustained directly as the result of being a mother, I could put up quite a list. Starting with Bell’s Palsy during pregnancy, things only went downhill from the time my tot became more mobile. He launched himself into my face, causing ulcers, and frequently bashed and crashed around so much that I wondered if I needed the baby crash helmet more than him. Then there was the pain from him falling asleep on my boob and biting me in the process. However, all these pale in comparison to the shiner I am now sporting on my face. Yes; my son has given me a black eye.

It wasn’t directly his fault, of course. Let me tell you how it happened.

On Saturday we went to the mall. I was actually quite pleased with what we managed to get. From Pick n Pay clothes I got some nice shorts and Tshirts for him, a cars swimming costume for when he is 9!!! and some little crocs. We got him a puzzle which he was very excited about and proceeded to clutch very closely for the rest of our trip. At Exclusive Books they had a markdown table and I scored some cars flashcards and an etch a sketch with cars all over it.

etch a sketch with cars As you can see, I try and go for anything to do with cars as I know he really loves cars. They say if you love someone you should support their passion. So I realise that I need to do that. I absolutely love Jolene’s post that she made for Nicky, by the way. Serious collection of free car educational printables.

Anyway I digress. I’m trying to show you the reason why Nicky didn’t want to sleep. Of course he was very excited about the puzzle and the etch a sketch and wasn’t interested in sleeping.

sitting-on-desk I lay there in his bed wishing sleep on him while he decided to go and climb the window sill. He sometimes does this when he doesn’t want to rest. Then he works his way round between the window sill and the desk. He likes to play with various things that have collected there. He is fascinated by those little fans and switching them on and off.

In any case, Nicky may have perfected the art of climbing up to these places, but he is still learning how to get down. He decided to go down backwards from the desk.

And landed.

On me.

On my eye.

Ow!!!

black-eye So now I have a lovely dark pink hue on my eye. This morning I went to a meeting with Laura to try and get sponsorships for our blogging events and I tried to put some matching pink eyeshadow but it didn’t really work. I guess I felt a bit out of my depth – I should have been more presentable and I should have been more prepared. However I think it was good that we went and made the contact. It’s all a learning curve people…

SA Mom blogs is really on the up and up by the way. I got my first gig to get bloggers to giveaway car shades and people seem to be responding to the potential of our events and the idea that bloggers can be influencers too.

So even though I look awful there’s lots to be thankful for!

Nicky is just growing and developing too.

cricket -He is loving to run and throw balls. He is trying to hold a cricket bat too.

-He found the Kid’s Academy counting and alphabet apps all by himself and has been tracing letters. I am so proud. I got so excited when he did the “b” I jumped up and down (this is after dealing with so many Grade One’s who like to draw the “b” like a six).

Here he is doing numbers:

Here he is doing his letters:

– He is repeating a lot of words after me. They are often only partially correct but he is trying :)

-We are still jumping on that trampoline and I am getting a lot of exercise running after him on that contraption.

-He is  really climbing all over his jungle gym. He can now climb up the slide. He can climb from his driving tube up to the landing of the slide.

family2jpg My sweet son is growing every day and even though he sometimes injures me in the process I couldn’t be more proud of his progress.

Win A Magic Mesh Kids Shade for Your Car!

win-car-shade Summer is an awesome season for having fun in the sun. Unfortunately it can also be a very hot experience for little ones in the car. We already know that the heat is magnified in a closed vehicle. Driving around in the warmer months can become uncomfortable for children. This is why you need some kind of shade from the sun in your car.

My current shade solution is a little roll up thing that sticks on with suckers. The bottom part is forever coming off and Nicky loves to play with it. It doesn’t offer much protection.

The other option I’ve heard of is called “Window Sox” which is a total blackout. There aren’t any pictures on it and I don’t think the driver can see out of it either. I also know a friend whose kid actually got a bit carsick with those shades because of not being able to see the road.

Magic Mesh is a little bit different to the above options.

1) You can still see out of the window.

2) There are a lot of gorgeous designs to choose from – animal, underwater, boy and girl themed.

3) UV protection

4) You can’t see the picture from outside the car.

5) It fits your window and won’t affect the window operation.

 

You can win a magic mesh car shade in the design of your choice by entering below:

(This competition is only open to residents of South Africa).

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway