Energy Management for Kids

tips and tools to get kids to save energy We are all aware that the resources of this planet are limited and we need to manage what we have as best we can. Everything is energy and these principles can be applied across the board,  but I think the one form of energy that we are all very aware of that needs to be managed is electricity. Load shedding is once again an unfortunate reality in our lives. What can we do about it and how can we teach our kids to conserve energy? In this post I will be sharing some tips on how to manage energy in your home as a family, and tips for kids too.

On Thursday night I was privileged to be invited to the launch of the new Powerwatch Energy Management System. Powerwatch is a company that measures energy with their own devices. One of my part time jobs is to enter Eskom details into a spreadsheet and then compare the figures against the private measuring company of Powerwatch. In any case, their main speaker was Karel Steyn, who is a senior consultant in energy performance verification at Eskom.

He had a lot of interesting things to say about why we should manage energy and take care to measure it, but there was one practical concept that stood out for me. He shared a four step process of energy management.

1) Conservation: In other words: switch off! Switch off everything you are not using. Switch off the fans in the rooms you leave. Turn off lights if you are not in the room. These are basic principles we can also teach our kids.

2) Efficiency: There are always more efficient ways to use electricity. A small example would be to replace your light bulbs with LED ones. (LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”, a semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. LED lights are super energy efficient, using approximately 85% less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting – meaning significant savings on your power bills.)

3) Substitution: There are other forms of energy you can use. Put solar panels on the roof.

4) Own Generation: Get your own generator.

The important point he made was: you have to follow the order above when you manage energy. It is no good going straight to getting a generator when you are wasting energy in your house.

***

I have found two resources that you can use for kids and energy management.

1) Books:

This post on Rattle and Mum is about free ebooks you can download to teach your kids energy efficiency. You can download them from Ruby and the Powerpals.

The books are:

– The Night Laaitie called it a Day: About the importance of turning off lights.

-The One Note of TiNiRiMote: About turning the TV off at the set.

-Ruby Gets Into Hot Water: About the importance of conserving water.

-Freddy the Fridge has a Meltdown: About the importance of closing that fridge.

Tanya talks about the effect one of the books had on her son Max:

After reading my son the story “Freddie and the Fridge”, the next day, instead of opening the fridge, standing in front of it and mulling over what he wanted to eat, he simply grabbed a peach and swiftly closed the door, so that “Freddie the Fridge could live for longer”.

I have downloaded the books for Nicky on the IPad and read them to him. Since he likes to stand in front of the open fridge and ask for food he can’t reach, I think I might have to read this story a few times.

 

lights 2) Load Shedding Lights for Kids:

If you need some alternatives to a night light during load shedding, then these cute lights are a great alternative.

– Pink solar lamp: (R185) This comes in pink or white. Leave it on the window sill for the solar cell to charge. This will power the LED lamp at night. The switch is inside the lid, away from curious little hands.

little-sun -Little Sun solar lights: (R176) This is a great one to take camping or outdoors. It comes with a string that the child can put around their neck. You can have a strong light or softer light. Five hours in the sun will give you ten hours soft light or four hours bright light.

We have one of these and Nicky loves it. Of course he enjoys turning it “Off!” and “On!”

-I love you sun jars: (R246) These are cute decorative lamps with swirls, hearts, lady bugs and “I love You” on them. Comforting messages for your little one.

-Chochin Solar Lights: (R140)These ones are more durable and safer in case they are knocked over.

-LED light bath toys: (R68) You can use these in the bath, in the pool, or even dry next to the bed.

These lights are available from Sustainable, and there are a lot of other interesting things on that site too.

 

Adrenal Fatigue? So is that what this is…

adrenal-fatigue So I went back to the dietician today. Before I continue, I need to reiterate a disclaimer that I’ve given before. I am no medical expert and these results are for an individual (me) and are not going to fit a “one size fits all” mentality. This is my story. If you would like to get your own individualised plan, consult your own professional.

Last night I woke up at 2am. This is because Nicky woke up at that time the previous night. So did I drift sweetly back to sleep? Not a chance. I sat there wondering when he would wake up, which turned to be 4:30am. As soon as I was with him, my body calmed down and I went back to sleep. It’s fairly amazing that Nicky slept through the night so well. I just need to be able to sleep in my own bed peacefully. My little boy is growing up and I need to keep up!

Well, at the dietician my blood results were in. A mixed bag of good and bad stuff.

1. The good news is my thyroid is well controlled and my T3 is 4.5 (should be 3.5 to 5.4)

2. Other good news is my cholesterol is not that bad. I mean, it’s still bad at 5.7, (should be 2.8 to 4.9) but considering all the cream and fat I’ve been putting in my system, it could be a lot worse.

3. Bad news is my Vitamin D is low (39), although within the normal range (30-100), it needs to be at optimal levels. So I will need a prescription for that. I have emailed Dr R and let’s see what he says.

4. The other bad news is I that my adrenals are exhausted. But apparently this can be fixed too with a supplement which I have now got – “Energising Adaptogens” from Solar. Apparently if that is not enough you can also use “Burnout” but she doesn’t advise that as a first point of call. We are going to do a bit of trial and error with this, starting with 2 tablets in the morning, and if that doesn’t keep me up and happening the whole day we will add two more in the afternoon.

I asked her if it has anything to do with lack of sleep and she said no, it’s more than that.

It’s kind of ironic that a few years ago I put together this download on adrenal glands – maybe I should listen to my own download…

 

**

sleeping-in-car So I better go and study my meal plan and figure it all out. Looks like I will be eating throughout the day with an early snack (1 portion carb), breakfast (1 protein, 2 carb, 1 fat, fruit and veg), mid morning snack ( 2 protein, 2 carb, 1 fat, fruit and veg), lunch (same as mid morning snack), afternoon snack (1 protein, 1 carb, fruit and veg) and dinner (4 protein, 2 fat and fruit and veg). See, still no carbs for supper but they are now throughout the day. Well… I’ll let you know how it all goes.

Even though I sent out a load shedding warning with my data capture job I have just come back from sitting in two hours of traffic. Oh and Nicky didn’t nap this afternoon so he slept through the whole thing.

Yawn…

Feeding a Toddler in the Car Without The Mess

feeding-toddler-in-car-no-mess Many parents and children spend a lot of time in the car. I know we do. Sitting in traffic is hard enough without having to deal with a hungry little tot, whom you don’t want to feed because you are scared he is going to spill everything. In this post I will outline some tips on how you will be feeding your toddler in the car without creating the huge mess that you fear.

1) Backseat feeding from an adult:

My husband used to feed Nicky breakfast all the time on the way to work. He would grunt and DH would give him another spoon of yoghurt and banana. This was a fun bonding session for them. At the moment it seems that Nicky is waking up a lot earlier so these days we have breakfast before we leave the house.

2) Play ‘n Snack Tray:

tray1 tray2 When I saw this advertised it looked like a really good idea. It is a tray that you can put over the car seat and put objects and food on. There is also a strap that you put around your child’s neck. The other day I put some yoghurt on it and Nicky had his IPad going as well. He gave me the yoghurt container pretty quickly though, so I can’t honestly say how far it actually would have made it without spilling. Also the sides are not as stiff as they look in the pictures. Nicky also doesn’t like it when it’s hot as the plastic feels a bit uncomfortable. So I think this is one item that is good to have around, but you might have to pick the right moment and food for it. (I got it at 4akid.co.za and I also got the safety car seat strap (which prevents him climbing out of his straps) at the same time.

3) Non spill drinking bottles / sippy cups

There are a lot of non spill cups and bottles on the market. Tommy Tippee has a special valve. (I have to say it works well but after months of giving Nicky hot tea in it has pretty much had it! The one we use for water is fine.) Avent also have a nice one with a straw which is great for water.

4) Pouches. These are great for non spill. You can even go economical and get the re-usable ones.

5) Non spill snack box

Spilt food in the car is a huge irritation for parents. There is nothing worse than cleaning up sticky food. I will never forget the time I let Nicky eat a nectarine as is in the car going home from grocery shopping. Suffice to say that the car seat clip has never been the same since. It still works but it doesn’t make that distinct click when you put the pieces together. You kind of have to force it now. This just shows how important it is to have a system of keeping food in a container and not all over the car.

snack-box I bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as a non spill snack box! Amazingly NUK have designed this really cute snack box with easy to grip handles and silicone slats so that your tot can reach in and grab the food without it spilling. There is also another lid you may place on top to keep the contents fresh. You can even pop the bottom part out so that the handles come off if you want to save space in the fridge. Suggestions for food for this container would be: cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grapes or apple slices.

blocks-of-cheese-in-snack-box Nicky really loved this little snack box. Although we used it in the car with blocks of cheese (as per his request: he stands in front of the fridge and points!) we did not limit its use to the car journey. I initially put some grapes in and then Nicky also took it along for jumping on the trampoline and when we were sitting playing by the pool.

Jump and snack

Jump and snack

Nicky with his snack box by the pool

Splash and snack

It is easy to hold and the contents won’t fall out.

Now that’s a great idea.

I wish I had known earlier about all these options before my car got messed up. However, there’s nothing like experience to teach you what you should have done. Here’s hoping your next car trip with your little one will be less messy and a lot more fun all round.

This post was not sponsored but I was provided with the snack box from NUK for review.

 

That Time Nicky Hurt His Leg

There are so many unknowns in parenting. We stress about doing things the right way for our children. I think one of every parent’s worse fears is when something goes wrong. Will I be able to judge the seriousness of it? Will I do the right thing? At the end of the day we all do our best but when your child is hurt, it still is stressful.

But let’s rewind to Saturday evening.

***

 

There was a shriek coming from the study.

There was my dearest boy, who loves to climb, dangling with his hands on my desk and his legs bunched up behind him against the chair.

My first instinct was to gather him up in my arms, but I’m not sure if I hurt his leg further in the process. :( He was full of tears.

We were at that stage trying to have supper so I took him to the kitchen and put him in the chair. He ate a bit and it was after a while that I realised he was unable to get up from the chair. Normally he likes to stand at the table. He often eats and goes away and comes back. He is a boy on the move. However, he just sat there.

I then started phoning my mom and my husband (DH was at a rugby game). But then Nicky showed me that he could walk after all, and I calmed down a bit. He was walking a bit weird though. A kind of shuffle.

We then Skyped with my parents and we had a nice chat. Nicky was all smiles. He was definitely not in pain. He walked up and down for Granny.

It was then time to have a bath and off we went. After we had a bath he was just sitting there and I realised – he can’t get out. So I lifted him out.

Normally after bath time Nicky likes to use the bed as a trampoline and run away from me as much as possible because he likes being naked and hates getting dressed. This time he couldn’t get on the bed. I helped him up and he stood there, and then he sat. He let me put the clothes on and didn’t even complain. Shocker.

I phoned my mom again. DH by that time had returned home. My mom seemed to think it could wait till the morning. She sent me this link about a “toddler fracture” which you won’t pick up initially if you x-ray too soon. DH also had a look and played with Nicky.

We said “Night Night” and went to bed. I think he was a bit frustrated because he couldn’t kick off all the bedding like he usually does, but I took it off for him myself.

The next morning, guess what?

He stood up, tested his legs and smiled. I asked him to run. He did it. I asked him to jump, he obliged. I even tested him getting out the bath and climbing on the bed. No problem, although he did use the other leg for leverage.

My little bear was all better and riding around on his scooter.

Thanks be to God.

Although he did wipe out on his scooter, he recovered and carried on! On Friday DH had spent time running around with him with the balance bike but he is still walking a lot with it. Now we have gone back to the scooter and are working on helping him overcome his fears.

Advantages of Electric Toothbrushes for Kids: And Win a Philips Sonicare

advantages-electric-toothbrushes My heart was touched the other day. Some food had gotten stuck in my tooth. Nicky ran off to the bathroom to fetch one of the interdental brushes I sometimes use. He is really becoming more aware of objects around him and their uses. He will fetch one when he has things stuck in his teeth too, although he needs help to get it out. He even tried to floss the one time (yards of floss all over, as you can imagine).

I have been having a really bad time with my teeth. I have been going through an on-going root canal. You’d think it would be over in two visits, right? Nope. The dentist is struggling to get to a nerve. I have to go back again. This is why it has been easier for me to give up sweets.

Anyway, I digress.

With World Oral Health Day being the 20th of March and Easter on the horizon about to give us lots of tooth decaying chocolate, maybe it’s time to look at the oral health of our kids.

We have been using a manual toothbrush with Nicky. There are advantages, however, to using an electric one for kids, and I think I should try it out.

1. Better cleaning. Electric toothbrushes have superior plaque removal.

2. Easier to use. Instead of doing all the brushing yourself, you just guide it along. You do have to supervise under 3’s using an electric toothbrush though.

3. Can help those not able to move properly.

4. Kids with oral, feeding or sensory disorders enjoy them because they crave sensory input. 

5. All the gadgets (music, colour, vibration) add to the fun experience of brushing teeth.hh

 

toothbrush Today I am giving away a Philips Sonicare for kids rechargeable powerbrush worth R899. It is apparently the “Ferrari of electric toothbrushes” according to their website. It is suitable for children aged 4 to 10 years.

It operates at 31 000 brush strokes per minute.

Oh, and “all the gadgets”? There are musical chimes, a KidPacer and eight inter-changeable covers.

A great kids size head and handle – easy to manage.

You can buy them at DisChem, Clicks, dentists and selected pharmacies.

If you want to win one, enter below. You must be a resident of South Africa.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Diet and Fertility

I’ve written a post before about food that is good for fertility and also a post about vitamins for fertility and pregnancy. I’ve also reviewed a fertility cookbook, the contents of which I used leading up to my pregnancy. This is the first time, however, that I have actually gone to a dietician for a personalised plan. Diet and fertility are strongly connected. The food that you eat has far reaching effects not only on your health but also on your hormone system, which affects your fertility. I’d highly recommend going to a dietician if you are trying to get healthy for any reason, but even more so if you are trying to conceive.

diet-and-fertility The dietician that I went to is Nicqui Duffield-Grant. I heard her speak at the #MomBlogMeetup and after listening to her had this overwhelming feeling that I just wanted to carry on talking to her – pick her brains and just absorb some of that knowledge!

Nicqui is quite accomplished, if her “about” page is anything to go by. She is an expert in fertility and has also appeared on TV. She contributes to several publications. What I did not know, before I booked, and endured me to her even more, was that Dr R had used her as his referral (before she moved to Cape Town for four years). Dr R is my fertility gynaecologist and if he approves of her, even better!

We started our session by chatting about how Dr R had put me on glucophage and how I wanted to stabilise my blood sugar so that it could have a positive effect on my uterine lining. I also told her about how I didn’t want to lose too much weight and how I had made that mistake before. It was a bit of a shocker when she did weigh me that I am now 50kg (normally was 56/58kgs before) so I have lost a bit of weight on Banting, but I didn’t really want to.

I also brought with my fertile kitchen cookbook and Fertility Wisdom by Angela Wu and chatted to her about those experiences too. I brought our current Banting meal plan so she could see what we were doing at the moment.

Of course, I’ve mentioned before that Nicqui is not a fan of Banting, although she likes some aspects of it, she doesn’t like the unhealthy fats and she also says that not all carbs are the same.

Anyway, I will try and summarise my main learnings from this session.

1. Thyroid issues.

The whole thyroid thing is a lot more complicated that what I thought. As readers of this blog will know, when I first went to Dr R he did blood tests and discovered that my TSH was too high (over 4 point something) and he put me on Eltroxin. This really helped me at the time and together with the laparoscopy operation, got me pregnant. My TSH is now much better (about 1. something) However, Nicqui is now saying that just measuring TSH and T4 is not enough. You also need to measure T3 (which I have now done a blood test for). If this aspect is not measuring up I might need to switch medications or also add in more Vitamin D and Iron. Vitamin D is very important and  my prenatal vitamin may not be enough (I just checked its 400iu). If my T3 is low and so too my Vitamin D we would supplement a higher dose as Vitamin D acts as a co-enzyme in converting T4 into T3.

dietician 2. All carbs are not the same.

She referred to some of the slides we did at the meetup and showed me that although an apple and bread numerically have the same amount of carbs, the effect on the body is way different. It’s all about the function of food.

– Bread (starches, sugars) goes into the system, converts to glucose and produces too much insulin.  High insulin levels have several consequences.

*weight gain

*water retention (increases blood pressure – I have a high blood pressure history)

*increase in androgens – a male hormone, which we don’t need for fertility

*decrease in growth hormones – not good when you’re trying to conceive a baby.

*increase in appetite (sugar is addictive, as we know)

(there are more – I just mentioned the ones I was interested in)

-Apple (fruit) goes into the system and converts to fructose. This is a much more balanced substance to have in your body.

 

Excess carbohydrates convert to triglyceride cholesterol. This is part of the whole cholesterol profile and is also an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome.

 

3. All fats are not the same.

Fats can loosely be divided into two groups:

a) Saturated (generally from animals) This is the one you want to avoid – apart from coconut oil.

b) Unsaturated (generally from plants). This is further divided into mono-  and polyunsaturated. (Mono is avocado, nuts, olives, Poly is the sunflower oil)

Basically the bad fats harden your cells so that the glucose can’t get in and it converts into cholesterol. The good fats make your cell walls flexible.

I asked her advice about what oils are okay to fry things in. She said coconut oil and olive oil are fine. Sunflower oil is also fine as used domestically. She said the difference is that at fast food places they use too much heat and pressure and this creates the trans fats.

Also interesting is that you want to go for fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna as they are higher in unsaturated fat. Hake, chicken, red meat and eggs are pretty much 50/50 with the different kinds of fat. It’s also better to go for the soft cheeses rather than the hard ones. Goodbye to cheddar cheese, hello mozzarella.

 

***

Although all in all these are not terribly new learnings, I think I am more motivated after chatting to Nicqui. She explained the effect of food on my body so well and I think both hubby and I have kind of had enough of all the cream and fat of Banting, plus I think we just need a change. I’m looking forward to my new meal plan and will keep you updated on how things are going.

 

 

Grateful for readers, bloggers, tweeters and family

gratitude-post This post will be a kind of different one today. I’m going to dedicate this post to some very special people, without which this blog would not exist, and they really have helped me on my way.

1. Readers. Yes that’s you. Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you to the people who took my survey and said such nice things.

I like that you mix things up, but still write a lot about parenting your son in a down to earth real way.

It’s encouraging to me that most respondents are interested firstly in toddlers, then fertility, then children, so I’m glad because I do write about those first two topics a lot. The topics people wanted were: parenting, fertility, marriage and what to feed a fussy kid. I do write on the first two topics, but I don’t think I’m really an expert on marriage. Cindy has written some good posts on it though, and how it evolves with kids. For a fussy eater, try these recipes we learnt about at the Mom Blog Meetup.

2. Bloggers and Tweeters

I think I am so lucky that I have met so many local bloggers in the past year. They have enriched my life and showed me that we can be a community. What’s really special, though, is some really nice tweets that people have put out there that made me feel all warm inside.

Laura wrote this one, something that made me smile, because I know that we are working towards doing some great things for bloggers in this country, and it makes me excited.

laura

 

Shan wrote this one; I’m glad you had a great day. Shan also has a child about Nicky’s age and we have a lot in common.

shaney

 

You guys sure know how to make me feel special and I am feeling so blessed.

To all the SA mom bloggers: you rock. Finding time to blog and take care of everything else (like your kids – full time job there) is really appreciated.

3. Family

family My family is the most important. My husband is my rock who keeps me stable. And without Nicky, there would be no inspiration to post all the things I do. He is just a miracle child and I am so happy to have him in my life. My cup runs over.

Did you know that my family are blog contributors in their own way? My husband often reads my posts and helps me edit. He also takes great pictures. My father takes fabulous pictures too. I’m glad they are around helping me.

Most of all I am grateful to God for blessing me so much.

 

What are you grateful for right now?

 

Five Ways Your Toddler Thinks Differently To You

your-toddler-thinks-differently It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a toddler thinks very differently to an adult. They do have a very young brain, after all. I’ve collected a series of how my little boy has a very different approach to life than me. Sometimes I have to say that his way is probably the more creative and fun perspective.

1. WATER

Adult: This water is for drinking. Here’s a cup of water. Now drink it.

Toddler: Oooo. Water. This is fun for pouring. Let’s pour it all over my table and make a big mess.

2. PLAY DOUGH

Adult: This playdough is going to keep you busy while I get the food done.

Toddler: I am going to need help with my playdough every 10 seconds or so. I am going to grunt that I can’t roll it. My cookie cutter dropped on the floor and I need help finding it. I want to balance my cars on it and this car fell off and please help me put it back in this awkward position. Then when it falls again please help me get it back.

3. PACKING AWAY

Adult: Please pack the toys away that are lying on the floor.

Toddler: I think it would be much more fun to put the toys all over the couch, on chairs everywhere and in the bath. I think they make nice decorations.

4. BATH TIME

Adult: Bath time is to get clean.

Toddler: Bath time is to throw water. Drink water. Throw toys. Does it still count as bath time if I’ve spent most of the time out of the bath throwing my bath toys in, then going in and throwing them out again?

5. MEAL TIME

Adult: Food time is to eat food.

Toddler: Food is optional. I’ll eat when I’m hungry and most of the time that is not going to be at meal times. I way prefer cookies to food. Don’t worry mom, my food won’t go to waste. The dogs will get nice and fat.

Nicky’s Swimming Lessons

nickys-swimming-lessons It seems to me that it’s been a while since we’ve had a bit of an update on Nicky, so I thought I’d tell you what we’ve been up to. One of the fun activities we’ve been doing this year is Moms and Babes swimming lessons. We are really enjoying them.

I’ve always enjoyed swimming. It seems to cool and calm me down at the end of a hot and hectic day. Of course, this is purely for recreational purposes. I am no good at competitive swimming. There was that time I failed the Girl Guide swimming badge because I couldn’t pick an object up at the bottom of the water. (I like my goggles, okay!) So yes, swimming for me is a relaxing activity, but please don’t make me compete, I’ll just be embarrassed.

It has really been hot this year and we have been swimming at our pool at home a lot. I am really proud that we have actually managed to keep the pool blue for  a substantial length of time. Nicky always has fun on the step squirting water and playing with leaves. Mostly he really enjoys coming into the deeper waters with me where we whirl around and just have fun.

As much as this has been enjoyable, at the back of my mind has always been the thought that we should really get some structure into our swimming so that Nicky can pick up some skills. I heard about this class from my friend Nicole and decided to give it a bash.

laura's-swimming-school Laura’s Swimming School is not far from our house. She has a cover and tent like structure on the sides of her pool, as well as heated water, so she can stay open all year apart from July. She also has someone to watch your car and help reverse out of there.

Nicky was a bit hesitant the first two lessons. At the second one he didn’t even want to enter the area. It was all a bit new and confusing, although we love being in the water at home.

After that he seems to have settled into it and is enjoying himself.

I really like her classes. There are a lot of songs and movement. Nicky especially likes “Wheels on the Bus” because we move our arms for the wheels, blow bubbles for “the engine on the bus goes broom, broom, broom” and go up and down for “the people on the bus go up and down.” (Nicky has his own version: “Up da da” which he sings in the car afterwards!)

choca-train-swimming He also likes doing the “chooca train” on the sides of the wall and at home insisted on doing this all around our pool wall! So he was keen. We have also been practicing “Froggy, froggy, jump to Mommy!” jumping from the step into my arms.

swimming-with-noodle Another cool thing they do is try and learn to swim with a noodle which is bent in half. Nicky needs to be held while doing this but I think he will get it eventually.

 

swimming I’ve been meaning to blog about this for quite a few weeks now (yes, I know it’s Autumn now) but it’s a bit awkward when you don’t have pictures. I was lucky enough to have my dad visiting and he is brilliant with photography and took some amazing shots.

I thought I’d also use this post to do a quick update on what’s been happening with us.

-The #MomBlogMeetup went off so well and you can read more about it on that link. We are already planning the next one!

-Nicky is talking more and more. When we drove to swimming he was going “Swim! Swim!” all the time. He will often say the last word I say in a sentence e.g. “I better take these toothpicks out of the chicken or else Dad is going to moan.” He will then go “Moan! Moan! Moan!” rather triumphantly. He can now say “Moon” correctly (it went from Boo! to Moo! and now Moon!) He likes looking at the moon. He can say “Star!” too.

-We are having some further attempts at potty training but it’s not going so well. I try and do it only on days I know we aren’t going anywhere which aren’t that many. We did have some success at it, and will keep trying. He is always pretty good if I put him on the potty but not that good at knowing when he needs to go.

reading-with-grandpa -My dad has been visiting and it is good to have another person around to play with Nicky. He also took us out for supper.

-These days Nicky just loves throwing balls and having someone else bat. So if he says “Bat!” while holding his bat you can bet he wants to go outside and play. He will insist on picking up all the balls even if they are your side.

Well, that’s all from us for now! Enjoy your weekend. :)

The Grace Factory Needs Help Packing and Sponsoring!

cropped-TGF-header-new3 The Grace Factory is a non-profit organisation that collects baby items at locations in Gauteng and the Vaal Triangle, and distributes these items to other non-profit organisations (such as children’s homes and orphanages). I first met founder Amy Westerman at the first  #JoziMeetup. She has a daughter, Erin, who is around about the same age as my little Nicky. Amy has really done something special in creating this charity and is organising an event to put the maternity packs together.

I guess I have a lot of admiration for a mom who not only is negotiating the terrible twos, but works full time as a chartered accountant (total admiration, I’m not that good with numbers) plus manages a charity. I have no idea how she does it but what I do know is that she needs our support.

Amy is organising a packing session of maternity packs. You know that free pack you get at the hospital when you have a baby? Well, government hospitals are not that lucky. Amy has decided to make a difference. If you can volunteer your time or money, here are the details:

Packing Date : 28 March 2015

Time : 1pm – 4pm

Venue : Midrand, exact address to be given when volunteering is confirmed at amy@thegracefactory.co.za

They will be packing 500 maternity packs.

They urgently still need baby blankets and cash donations.

If you can help in any way, please contact Amy, thanks!