American English vs. SA English- Cultural Vlog #2

24 Jul

Here we go.

Cultural vlog #2.

Let me know what you think.

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The 2’s

13 Jul

Hi.

I haven’t forgotten about blogging.

Life has been nuts lately and blogging is always the thing on my ‘ To-Do ‘ list that seems to get bumped. Sometimes it bothers me that I don’t have the time to share life with you as much as I’d like but at least half the time… I’m kinda relieved when I don’t have time. I really enjoy blogging but am not a natural writer at all. So when I do write, it takes me a little longer the average person. There’s LOTS of writing, then deleting, then staring at the keyboard trying to force my fingers to type what I could easily say but can’t manage to write somehow. Sleeplessness and plain exhaustion doesn’t really help the matter either. Haha:)

The reason why life has been so nuts lately is because my girls are about to turn two- plain and simple. Thus far, I am finding this age extremely taxing. They are becoming so verbal and so independent, which I love on the one hand. But on the other hand, it requires so much work from me teach them how to use these new-found skills in a respectful way.

You know exactly which behaviors I’m talking about.

…the nagging & whining when they want something (or just plain feel like it).

…the fact that they only eat what they want to eat and therefore choices are becoming limited.

… when they run away from me in public leaving me looking like a parent who can’t control of her child.

… when I call their name and they ignore me.

…when they won’t greet people or make eye contact and you can tell it’s a game for them.

I feel like pulling my hair out just typing about it! I know these are all normal behaviors of children this age but I still don’t find them acceptable. Teaching them to listen to me when I speak is flippin’ tiring. At the moment, every day is about being patient but firm with my words and consistent in my follow-through (of discipline). Every day is negotiations of the smaller things and choosing my ‘no’ carefully. Someday’s I feel like Supermom and other days I feel like a crap mom. And sometimes it seems like they tag teaming me; if Keena’s not pushing her luck, it’s Blake and visa versa. I’m loving their developement but totally drained by it at the same time. (big sigh)

I’m going to leave that there and just say that I welcome any words of encouragement or advice from my fellow moms who have walked the 2 year old road already.

Here are some cute things from late than I can share with you though…

This is Blake’s favorite thing/toy/comfort object at the moment. Other than her dummy- this old vitamin container is her joy. She carries it in her hand ALL DAY, most of the time she’s ‘making eggs’ in it. Therefore, this container has become known as ‘eggs’. When she looses is she throw up her hands, shrugs her shoulders and asks me “Mama, eggs’? So crazy and so cute.

Keena is really into cars & motorbikes at the moment. Husband has a motorbike that he’s busy fixing up and she LOVES to go see it with him every night when he gets home from work. She carries her girly hot wheels around with her most the day and calls them her ‘beep beeps’, after the sound of a car horn.

( A close up of ‘eggs’ and ‘beep beep’.)

So far, it looks like I have one cook and one car fanatic on my hands:) Fine by me.

PS. I know I still owe you quite a few cultural vlogs. Stay tuned… (like always huh?)

Walks. Groceries. Tea.

1 Jun

This is the girls new favorite activity…

 …taking their bubbas for a walk.

 Blake is particularly game for going for a walk 2-3x’s a day.  She doesn’t seem phased if there is no bubba in her pram, it’s just very important that she takes the pram for a walk.

Luckily our street is not a ‘through’ street and is only about 8 houses long so it’s easy to contain the walks.

I experimented with letting the girls have their own trolleys (shopping carts) when we made a quick dash to the supermarket the other day and it went so well!

 Chalk it up to good moods that day or the fact that they were high on the fun responsibility of  grocery shopping but they were awesome. Stuck right by me and didn’t try to grab much off the shelves.

My bargain hunters.

Next, I give you…

my tea monster!

OMG does Keena love tea. Due to South Africa being a nation with a heavy British influence, we drink a lot of tea. That includes babies and kids. There is an indiginous tea that we drink everyday that tastes amazing and is very good for you called Roobios. Keena can drink the stuff by the gallon. Blake also enjoys it but Keena… she’s got an extra British gene or something.

The girls have grown so use to us wanting to take a photo of them in cute outfits that they have this pose down pat! All we have to say is “Come let’s take a picture!” and they line up against the wall and hold hands. Haha!

Going for lots of walks.

Grocery shopping.

Rooibos tea.

3 Things…

16 May

1) Do you remember when I did this comparison photo of Blake and I?

Well, an old friend from high school saw this photo on Facebook and realized that she had the exact same baby dress! She contacted me and very sweetly offered to send it all the way to South Africa so I could have one for each of my girls. Super great of her right?

Now I have two retro nautical chics.

 

2) I am feeling very adult-like lately because…#drumrollplease# I am now officially a coffee drinker!

It’s ok if you’re a little confused by my coffee declaration. See the truth is (gulp), I’ve detested coffee my entire life.

GASP!

SHOCK!

DISBELIEF!

I am not exaggerating at all when I use the word ‘DETEST’ either. I hated the smell & the test- the whole package. I do realize that I am probably the only American to ever say that but, it is what it is. I always just figure it saved me heaps of money and saved me a legal addiction.  Everyone always said I’d learn to like it as an adult but that didn’t happen. Then everyone said I’d learn to like coffee when I had my twins simply because I’d NEED it to survive the early months… but that didn’t happen either. And Husband has tried and Tried and TRIED to get me to drink coffee with him (he’s a coffee connoisseur) but it all smelled and tasted like burnt rubber to me.

AND THEN…

A few weeks ago I was saying to Husband that I’d like to find a natural stimulant to take before gym. That’s when the magic happened. He took the gap and made me an extra-strong, standard sized cup of coffee with a heaped teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa and 1 diabetic sweetener. I was, of course, reluctant to try it but did eventually and… it wasn’t half bad.

Now I few weeks later, I’ve grown to actually savor each cup. I know I’m still kind of cheating cause I’m not drinking straight up coffee but still… baby steps people. Baby steps.

3) The girls and I had a lot of fun playing play dough together the other day and just wanted to share our fun.

Play dough time!

Cheesy face.

Keena’s sweet new nose.

Play dough ‘staches.

My Mothers Day

15 May

This is how my Mothers Day started off. Pretty good start huh?

We usually go to church on a Sunday morning but we decided to take the girls to play at an outdoor play land for the morning instead. It was such a blast!

(As a side note, I’d like to mention that our city doesn’t really have safe parks. There are a few ‘parks’ here and there. There is 1 in our neighborhood that is decent enough to take the girls to but it’s nothing like the parks in the states. The parks in the states seem like Six Flags in comparison to our parks. So… as an alternative, there are 3 outdoor play lands around town like the one below were I can take my kids to play. You do have to pay a few Rand ($2-3 per kid) to get in but it’s totally worth it. Then they can play till their hearts content in a safe, contained environment while I have tea. It’s a win-win for everyone.)

The fenced area on the left is a rabbit petting area. The cage in the back has goats the kids can feed.

Keena + bunnies+ bubba

Keena hunting a bunny.

You gotta love how little kids can make instant ‘friends’ to play with anywhere .

 You can see there is a track were the kids can ride a scooter or bike. The wooden houses are a little village were the kids can play ‘house’. The house in the foreground is a kitchen. The one in the back left is a laundry room and the one to the right is a doll house. There was also a medical/doctors house and a petrol station.

Blake taking her bubba for a walk in her pram.

Keena maxing out in the elephant swing with her bubba.

So that was my mothers day 2012. And that’s…

Mum

14 May

Stand up for what you believe in.

Always be yourself.

Have fun!

Reach out to those in need.

Appreciate other cultures.

Be open minded.

Always return to God’s word for answers.

Never give up.

Pray.

Pray.

Pray.

Take time out for myself to do something that makes me feel alive.

Always forgive.

Marriage is for life.

If I fall down or get knocked down, I can  always get back up & try again.

Be generous.

Never stop learning.

Never stop dreaming.

Always trust the Lord.

These are just some of the valuable things that I learned from my mother.

Your strength to face another day amazes me Mom.

I love you.

Thanks for you friendship.

Cravings Gone Clean

12 May

I really like pancakes.

Unfortunately though, they’re  not healthy enough to eat even regularly. (#bigsadface#) So when I found this recipe the other day, a healthy alternative to pancakes, I knew I had to try it.

This recipe is a direct copy from

Coconut Carrot Cake Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cps shredded carrots
  • 1/3 flour (I used spelt)
  • 1/3 cup spelt flakes (or large flake oatmeal)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T chia seeds (white, whole)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt

How to:

  1. puree the eggs and the carrots and coconut oil together (I used a magic bullet, but a blender or immersion blender would do just fine)
  2. in a large bowl, combine all other ingredients EXCEPT the shredded coconut
  3. fold liquid into flour mixture until combined
  4. fold in coconut
  5. cook over medium, flipping when the top is bubbly

Make an easy 2 second syrup alternative:

  • combine yogurt with vanilla stevia to taste–it’s healthier than syrup!
    Top with some nuts for an extra ‘carrot cake’ taste.  Enjoy!  

Just in case you needed a few more reasons to eat these…

  • whole eggs provide complete usable protein
  • good source of B vitamins–destress with breakfast!
  • sneaking some veggies into breakfast–yes, you should!
  • chia seeds provide some Omega 3′s, and a great source of fiber and antioxidants
  • coconut oil=healthy fats

Look at this delicious texture!

I made some today and really enjoyed them. It was a little bit more like a cross between a fritter and pancake but I will most definitely take it as my pancake substitute. I topped mine with melted natural peanut butter and it was heavenly.
This would also be great food to try with your kids. I tried with my girls today but the’re going through a phase of not wanting to try anything new. Gotta love that.
Anyways, happy pancake experimenting!
Coconut Carrot Pancakes…