Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mom, No-one will like you!


Tuesday was a public holiday.  While Hubby and I were still asleep, Stella woke up and decided it is time to be her own hairdresser.  Within a few minutes she managed to cut all of her locks off!  I mean everything.  She came into our room with her hoodie on.  Seeing that it is summer, I found this a bit suspicious.  I asked her to please remove the hoodie, but she was hesitant.  After convincing her she took it off and I saw what she had done.  She simply said "Look Mom, I look like James".  I had no idea who James was.  I found out afterwards that he is a boy in her class.  At this point I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.  It was pointless getting upset over it, because the scissors were left on a counter where she could reach them.  (May I just mention that I didn't leave them there!).  I took a picture of her new hair-do and showed her.  She was even more shocked than me and eventually started crying, begging me to put her long princess hair back!

The New School
The girls visited their new school and loved it!  I am so relieved.  They love their new teachers and when we dropped them off Stella asked me to please leave her at school and to go to work!  Honestly... Mom's must be so thick-skinned!

Enough TV for one day!
On the weekend we were about to go out when I told Stella she couldn't watch another DVD because we we had to go.  She was not impressed.  I've tried to explain that we were in a hurry to which she replied "Mom, no-one will like you!".  I must admit I did laugh to myself about that comment.  Obviously not where she could see me.  It reminded me so much of how cheeky I was at times when I was younger.

Routine went out the door!
Since the school holiday started the girls' routine is all messed up.  Granny is visiting so that is something new to them as well as we don't often get family visiting us.  That in itself caused their routine to be less-strict.  Last night they refused to go to sleep.  Daddy was working late and by 10PM I was still fighting to get them to go to sleep.  I heard Nika fiddling and went to see what she was up to.  I found her lying in the passage with her pillow on the cold tiles!  I took a picture and when she saw the camera she loudly said "Cheeeeeeese!" with a big grin on her face!  Looking at the picture today I think she was so cute, naughty but cute.  Last night I was not so amused.

25 Days to Christmas
We've done a few crafts and read passages from the Bible surrounding Jesus' birth and upbringing.  Here are a few things we did (again, most of the ideas came from Melanie B. http://melanieblignaut.wordpress.com/):
(I baked these for them as a surprise)

On the days we didn't make any crafts we were singing Christmas Carols or they've made crafts at Sunday School.

Wishing everyone and your families a blessed Christmas filled with love, joy and peace. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Counting our words

Little Nika is at an age where she repeats EVERYTHING we say.  So now we have to be so very careful (we should always be, I know) of what we say in front of her.  Yesterday was so funny, her daddy was telling Stella to pick up her toys and she echoed every command from him.  This really got to Stella who walked out of the lounge while making little fists shouting "Nikaaaa!!!!".  It was very funny, but of course we couldn't laugh because they were so serious about it.

Yesterday afternoon Nika fell over clothes that was lying on the floor ready to be washed, and bumped her head against the door frame.  She had a big bump on her forehead.  Luckily the bump is gone now.  I got such a fright!


They've got one of these bouncy animal things, I'm not sure what kind of animal it is, but it looks like it might be a cow.  (Not the one in the picture, theirs is yellow!).  One day Nika came to me and asked me where "Boink" is.  We soon realized that she was referring to her bouncy animal toy.  We thought it was so cute that she named it so appropriately.

We haven't done a 25 Days To Christmas craft since Friday due to a lack of concentration and a lack of time, but we did do our daily Bible stories surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.  Yesterday at Sunday School they made Angel Crafts made from Doilies and colourful pipe-cleaners.  Something similar to this:

The difference was that the bigger doilies were used for the body and the smaller ones for the wings.  The heads and halos were made from the pipe-cleaners.  They also received a cover for a light switch each with the verse, John 8:2, written on it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mom, pick me up!

Most embarrassing encounter (so far)
Oh my, did I truly and honestly experience my most embarrassing moment ever yesterday morning...  Oh the horror!!!  The day started out quite hectic as hubby had to leave for work VERY early in order to leave early to pick his Mum up from the airport.  That left me alone with the two little ones, in other words, getting them into the car on my own which sometimes is a mission in itself.  Never mind getting them ready and all that.  All went well until we went outside to get into the car, which hubby pulled out of the garage for me earlier.  My hands were full of keys and bags and of course little Nika insisted that I pick her up.  Keep in mind that my knee-length pants that I was wearing are ever-so-slightly too big for me (I've worn it while I was pregnant!!).  So keeping it up was difficult even before picking Nika up.

Long story short, Nika held onto me more than me unto her as my hands were too full.  When we got to the car and she realized that I was going to put her down to open the door.  She refused to get down and slung her legs around me and in the process kicked my pants down!!!  I have never been so grateful that I was wearing a long-ish shirt!  There I was, hands full, a little toddler hanging on to me for dear life and my pants on my knees!  Luckily this was before 6am so not too much happening outside otherwise.  Nika of course still wouldn't let go of me and I had to do a rain-dance in order to get her to let go so I could pull my pants back up.  I can just imagine someone peeking through their kitchen window watching in horror what happened in our front yard!

I would love to hear about other Moms and Dads' embarrassing stories!  (It does tend to make me feel slightly better, I have to admit!)

25 Days To Christmas
Two nights ago we read The Christmas Story, a version I found online.  It was easy for the littlies to understand and they loved it.  Here is the link:

Last night we read about Jesus being the light to the world.  Due to a lot happening yesterday (Granny arriving, etc), we didn't do a craft, but they did get some related pictures to colour in.  The reading of the Bible passage was quite challenging due to all the excitement around Granny visiting.

Granny brought presents for the girls, Stella got two Monster High dols and Nika received a wooden stacking toy which they both love!  They even took it to bed with them.

Educational Therapy
Stella has another play therapy session tomorrow and will continue in the new year.  Next week they will be visiting their new school so that everything is not so new and strange in the New year.  I really do hope they like the new school and get used to it quickly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Interrupted Sleep and Good Advice Followed

Last night I got such a big fright...  Let me explain.  It all started when little Nika who normally sleeps through the night decided to see how loudly she can cry (or rather scream) minutes after I have fallen asleep.  Her Dad woke with a jump asking what is going on with the kids.  I in return jumped out of bed, running to their room only to find that she was just irritated by the blankets or her sister's feet or whatever it was that irritated her.  Back to bed I went.

An hour or so later, I didn't actually check the time this time around, same thing happened.  Nika started screaming and flew open and at that instant I was looking straight into Stella's eyes which were mere millimeters away!  My heart stopped!  She was standing next to the bed with her nose against mine, probably hoping that I would wake up gently and make space for her to lie down!  Needless to say I got a big fright!  (putting it mildly!).  I took her hand and went back to their room to check on Nika, my heart still racing from the shock from seconds earlier.  I lied down with them until they were both asleep again.  As I got up they both woke up AGAIN!  So I lied back down as that was the only way I was going to get any sleep.  After a very uncomfortable hour or so I got up and went back to our bed.  At that point my heart was still racing and I was wondering if I shouldn't perhaps take something to calm me down.  I've decided against it and eventually fell asleep again.  This morning I could hardly get my eyes open when the alarm went off.

Advice followed
The Therapist Stella has seen last week has given us some advice on how to handle some difficult situations that might arise like if she is whining or clingy, etc.  I wasn't sure if it would work, but this morning I put it to the test.  She was whining and telling me how she is going to be naughty from now on and how she is not going to listen to me because she is angry, etc. so I've played the 'reversed psychology" game with her and said to her "No, Mommy is going to be naughty, I'm the naughty one, not you, I am not going to listen and I'm going to be naughty.  I'm the naughty Mommy" and I carried on in a playful tone of cause.  The outcome was that both her and Nika started giggling because now they have a 'serious problem' on their hands with Mommy being naughty and the problem was solved.  No more whining.  Of course I'm not convinced this will work every time, but it is worth a try.  It worked much better than fighting.

Craft update
I haven't had a chance to post an update on our craft projects, but here is the latest.  On Friday night we have made some Christmas-tree decorations again.  On Saturday night we made wings from paper plates and (don't laugh) corn on the cob leaves.  Last night we made crowns.  Stella decided to use the tree decorations she made to decorate her crown.  Nika used golden stars.  All of these were inspired once again by Melanie B.  You can see her blog here:  http://melanieblignaut.wordpress.com/.  I had to improvise on all of them because I haven't had a chance to go and buy supplies yet. We continued to speak about the prophecies from Angel Gabriel to Elizabeth and Maria about Jesus being born as the Messiah who will reign for all eternity and how John would prepare the way for him.  Here are some pics:

Visit from Granny
My Mom-In-Law is coming to visit from tomorrow and will stay until January.  I've mentioned this to the girls, but I don't think they realized what I've said.  I'm sure they will be pretty excited to see her though.  They only see each other once a year because we are staying so far apart.

New begiinings:
I had a nice chat with Stella and Nika's new school principal for next about the issues we are experiencing with Stella at the moment just to prepare them that it might be another difficult transition for Stella.  I'm feeling more relaxed about them starting at the new school.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Little Stars

Here is a quick update.  Stella saw the Educational Therapist today and it went really well.  She basically picked up on everything we were hoping she would and also a whole lot more which we didn't realize.

For example, she cannot understand why we have moved, but is unable to put that into words to ask us.  She is also very sad to know that she will be starting at a new school next year.  She also picked up on sensory issues she will be focusing on and also that it can take up to 30 seconds for her to register that she has been given a task.  That is why she does not always respond immediately.

My heart is so sore knowing that she got into trouble so many times before for not responding the first (or second or third) time she has been told to do something, us not knowing that she couldn't help it.  The therapist said that we will just have to be very patient with her and she also discussed this with the school principal so she in return can talk to Stella's teacher.

I'm so glad we are making progress in helping our little princess.

We've made star Christmas Tree Decorations.  It was an idea I got from another Mommy's post.  You can see her post here:  http://melanieblignaut.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/12-days-of-christmas-day-4-felt-star-ornaments/.

We've read the passage about Maria visiting Zechariah and Elizabeth while both Maria and Elizabeth were pregnant.

Here is a picture of the little decorations (I had to improvise once again as we didn't have a lot of craft material available)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Show Time!

I was so looking forward to this morning.  Stella is doing an extra-mural activity at school to help improve her speech.  It is a group activity with a few other children from her class and the older class.  She absolutely loves it.  And she adores the teacher.  It is easy to see why.  She arranged a little show for the parents at school today and Stella's dad and I had the privilege to meet her afterwards.  What a stunning person she is!  It is so obvious that she loves the children and loves helping them to improve their speech.

The show was so cute!  Stella took part in school shows before, but this time around was so different.  She actually paid attention to what the teacher wanted her to do and did it so well!  I am so proud of our little girl I could burst!  She looked so happy!  I get all teary just thinking about it.

Both her daddy and I were so impressed with what this brilliant teacher managed to accomplish with Stella in such a short period of time.  And for not giving up on her because she is sometimes very difficult to handle.

I've been so emotional all day thinking about what this woman accomplished with Stella, building a bond with her and really helping her working better in a group and improve her speech.  The girls will be moving to a new school in the new year as mentioned before.  I was so happy to find out today that she will still be able to get lessons from this teacher!  It makes things so much easier for Stella.  We would love for her to continue with the lessons.  Not having to find another "new" speech therapist just make thinks so much easier for her.

Ok so here is a little update on Day 3 of our 25 days to Christmas project.  We read about the Angel appearing to Mary telling her that she will fall pregnant with a baby boy who will reign for all eternity.  So we have made another little angel craft.  We just made it out of paper plates and little pieces of cardboard circles for the heads.  They have decorated it with different colours of sand, some stickers, colouring pencils, etc.  Here is a picture:

Once again the girls loved it :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You are so cute!

Yesterday morning in front of the school the girls and I were waiting for the school to open.  We were very early.  Nika pretended to be Stella's dog.  She gets this cute look on her face when she is a 'dog'.  So adorable.  Stella loves this game and is so loving towards her sister then.

I've made a little video clip of them playing in the car.  They were both sitting on the passenger seat and Stella asked me if the 'doggie' can sit on my lap.  I said no she must stay where she is next to Stella.  Next moment, Stella did the most adorable thing.  She patted the 'doggie' on her head, gave her a cuddle saying "you are so cute!".  This just melted my heart!  Nika had a look on her little face like the cat that got the cream!

Speech Therapy
Stella's speech is really improving.  She uses new phrases and words on a daily basis.  It is much easier to understand her too.  She still doesn't want to pronounce the "s" in front of a word like Snake (nake), School (chool), Spider (pider), etc.  Also, she does not say the word "very" she says "berry".  I must admit, I absolutely love it when she says "Yes, Mom, I love you BERRY much!".

Play Therapy
We have come to realize that Stella struggles to adapt with change.  She gets quite aggressive and frustrated easily when there is a major change at home or school.  We had a scary incident in the car on our way home just over a week ago.  So much so that we had to pull over on the highway in order for her to get into her daddy's car.  Luckily he was driving in front of us.  She got very upset because I had to close her window after I've told her that she must stop putting her hand out.  She didn't listen so I had to follow through and close it.  What she had was not a temper tantrum, it seemed like she didn't understand herself why she was reacting the way she did.  Long story short, I've been speaking to a few professional people and eventually made a booking with a Play Therapist who would hopefully be able to help her deal with her frustrations better.  And hopefully she would be able to help us too to handle these incidents better as and when they arise.  I'm happy to say that this has only happened twice so far, but we are concerned as they will start at a new school again in the new year and we don't know how she would handle that.  Her first appointment is on Friday so hopefully some light can be shed on why she reacts this way and how we can help her soon!  She normally is such a loving child.

Nika realized that she can argue.  For example, if Stella touches her hair she will respond by saying "No Tella!  Why you touch Nika's hair?".  Or she will on our way home from school say things like "No (friend's name), why you take Nika's toy? Naughty!".  Of course the poor friend who has been accused is not in the car with us :)  The moment I walk in the door to pick them up from school and she sees me, she immediately shouts at the principal that I'm her Mommy! and that Tella is HER Tella! Not to mention the fact that the teacher better hand the juice bottle over, because as you've guessed, it belongs to HER!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

25 Days To Christmas - Day 2

Last night's activity was fun to make.  We read about the Angel Gabriel telling Zechariah that his wife, Elizabeth would have a baby boy, John.  Zechariah did not believe him and because he did not believe could not speak until the prophecy was fulfilled (Luke 1:5 - 25).

We have made angel decorations to hang on the Christmas tree.  It was so easy and quick to make.  We've only needed some cardboard, coloring pencils, tissue paper (for wings), wool for hair and string to hang it.  Oh and thin golden ribbon for the halos.  The girls got very excited when they realized we had another project planned for the evening :)

25 Days To Christmas - Nativity Scene

Last year I saw a post where a Mommy created an Advent Calendar with her two sons.  I thought it was a brilliant way of teaching our girls why we as Christians celebrate Christmas.  So I've Google'd the topic and got some lovely ideas online.  So we have started with our own countdown to Christmas last night.

Day 1:  We've read the passage in the Bible about Jesus's birth.

As an activity Stella and Nika coloured in pictures of the Nativity Scene.  Then we created little figures with cones, sticking faces on (which they drew themselves) and sticking wool on for hair.  The "Angel" got a pair of paper wings.  Here are some pics.  The picture quality is not so good because my phone's flash did not work, but you will get the idea.  (The soft toy giraffes are obviously representing the animals in the stall, and next thing I saw was when little Stella added a teddy bear!)   I will try to get better pics next time!

Tonight we will read a different passage and as a craft the girls will each make an "angel".  We have some video clips of Christmas songs which we will show them and hopefully they will soon learn the words to sing along!

We also have little Angel pictures to colour in to stick on our calendar.

They girls loved the story and activity last night.  I'm still thinking of a way to 'clothe' the figures.  Maybe with some Tissue Paper.  I will have to go shopping to get some supplies :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

It looks like a tree

Having little ones in your home most probably will guarantee some hilarious and sometimes embarrassing moments.  These past couple of weeks there were some very funny moments in our house.

About two weekends ago Hubby and I were still lying in bed, early Sunday morning.  It was one of those mornings where we would have loved another hour-or-so's sleep, but of course the littlies wouldn't let us.  Stella came into our room (after getting up at the break of dawn) and went over to her Daddy's side of the bed.  Not getting the attention she obviously was after, she started a conversation with her half-asleep daddy.  The conversation went something like this:
Stella:  "Daddy, what is that?"  (Pointing at his mustache).
Daddy did not answer, only tried to hide his smile.
Stella:  "It looks like a tree".
Daddy laughed, not saying anything.  Feeling a tad bit silly by the looks of things.
Stella:  "Daddy, why do you have a tree on your face?".
Daddy finally breaking the silence in a laughing voice:  "I think you are talking bull dust!"
Stella:  "Daddy, why does the tree look like bull dust?".

At this point neither of us could keep a straight face anymore.

We moved house last weekend and are still trying to recover.  They say you can never really catch up on lost sleep, and at this point and time I have to agree.  The girls love the new home and the fact that they can once again play outside.  Something that wasn't possible at the apartment we stayed in before.

On Saturday morning, Nika climbed onto our bed with us.  She asked to put her "princess" dress on which in actual fact is just a pretty little colourful, layered dress.  Obviously I couldn't resist the chance to cuddle with our cheeky little toddler.  As I attempted to give her a hug she said "No Mommy, don't touch the princess!".  I obliged, trying not to laugh as she was so serious.

Nika learned a new line which she uses every time a visitor is leaving or when Daddy needs to go to the shop.  As soon as the person gets into his/her car she will wave and say "bye-bye, see you later!".  It is just too cute to hear her little voice.

I catch myself more and more thinking that these are the moments we need to cherish, as they really grow up too fast.  To make mental notes (and written once for that matter) of things that they do or say and to really enjoy them.  Even when we are tired and over-worked and completely exhausted, because soon enough they will be teenagers with their own things to do and friends and school to keep them busy and we will surely miss these early childhood days.  This is not meant as a sad comment, but rather a realistic one.

A friend commented yesterday how lovely it is how Stella looks straight into your eyes when you are talking to her.  Precious girl.

They have a new favourite song: King Julian's version of "I like to move it, move it".  If Nika is standing in your way and you ask her to move she replies in the naughtiest voice "I like to move it!".  Soon enough both of them will start singing "I like to move it, move it" at the top of their voices.

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's just a baby!

It's just a baby:
As mentioned before we often get imaginary visitors.  I find Stella's 'interaction' with these imaginary friends very entertaining and amusing at the best of times.  Yesterday morning was no exception.

Once again, we were getting ready for work and school when Stella exclaimed "look Mom, I have a baby!".  Our dialogue was something like this:

Me:  "Oh, what is your baby's name?"
Stella:  "Genèva"
Me:  "That's a nice name"
Stella pretends to put the baby down to lie next to her on our bed.

In walks Nika, unaware of the little visitor, got on the bed and lied down next to Stella.  At this point Stella shouted, highly upset, "Mom!  Nika is lying on the baby!  It's just a baby!".  Of course I had to drop everything, run to the baby's rescue, pick 'her' up and move her to a save spot to make space for Nika.  Although I found this highly amusing, Stella was not impressed with her little sister.  Nika on the other hand gave Stella a look that made it clear she had no clue what she was on about.

Last night they were absolutely impossible.  They were sent to bed at around 8pm at which point they found everything we said or did or didn't say or do hilarious.  They were giggling so much that I had to send Daddy into the room to tell them to go to sleep.  Usually they would listen to him.  Not so last night.  He had to surrender and where he usually can keep a poker face, he actually came out of the room laughing and shaking his head.  At one point Stella actually seemed to have a laughing fit because I was telling them to stop whatever it was they were doing.  It made me laugh as much as I've tried not to.  After about the 3rd time Daddy went into the room to tell them to go to sleep they finally calmed down.

Bible Stories
We have started reading them Bible Stories at night before bed time and then they get a picture to colour in.  This has become a huge hit for them.  Nika decided that she only likes the blue crayon for some reason and Stella better not take it.  Stella on the other hand luckily prefers yellow or "lellow" as she likes to call it.  Nika decided that the "lellow" crayon does not work, obviously preferring the darker, more obvious colours.

After talking to Stella's teachers on so many occasions about the other kids, 2 specifically, teasing Stella about the way she speaks, I mistakenly thought that this was at an end.  Sadly it isn't.  Yesterday when I dropped her off at school she wanted to know if I packed her ballet clothes in.  She asked "Mom, where's my Bella?", Bella referring to ballet clothes.  The two girls whom I'm forever complaining about immediately shouted to each other from the back of the class "it is not Bella!  It is Ballet!", not in a nice manner, but in a teasing tone.  Both the teacher and her assistant again said nothing.  I really wished I had something to say at that point to put them both in their place, but for the sake of Stella and the fact that I didn't want to make a fuss to draw her attention to their bratty-ness and I couldn't think of anything clever to say, I kept quiet.  I really wish I knew how to handle this because it is getting to me.  Who knows what poor Stella must put up with during the day.  I can only imagine if that is what they are like in front of me that they will be even worse when I'm not there and the teachers have proven time and time again that they are not interested in doing anything.

All in all I'm glad it is weekend.  I feel drained after a busy week, but in a good way.  If that makes sense!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I don't want it...

"No fank you Mom, I don't want it" seems to be Nika's newest favorite line.  I could be offering her anything, milk, food, breakfast cereal, anything.  I'm getting the same answer 90 % of the time, however, this doesn't actually mean she doesn't want whatever I'm offering.  She just likes saying it.  If you mistakenly believe it, you will surely hear it because she will scream at the top of her lungs until you give it back.  Another thing she loves saying is "I luv you!".  Of course that just melts my heart every time she says it.

Stella caused some drama at school last week apparently throwing her shoes in the teacher's face.  I was shocked and horrified to hear it, but knowing Stella, something must have pushed her to do it.  So after a discussion with the school principal I'm afraid I'm still non the wiser.  I can only assume that she got frustrated being misunderstood, as it is still very difficult sometimes to understand what she is saying, and she lost her temper.  Not that it makes her behavior right, but I can at least understand why she gets so upset.

We bought the kids a new dvd the other day, The Croods.  If you have seen the movie, you would know that they don't necessarily portray 'good table manners'.  I thought that the movie would be a bit rough for Stella at times, but she absolutely loves it and finds it hilarious!  I must admit that I also enjoy it to a point that I don't even mind watching it all the time.  She is over Queen Elsa and Princess Anna now, but started wearing her hair like Queen Elsa since yesterday.  Or her version of it anyway.

On Tuesday morning we were getting ready for school and work.  I walked in to the girls room and Stella suddenly put her hands behind her back trying to hide something from me.  Being a very observing Mommy (or that is what I like telling myself!) I have seen the sudden movement and demanded to know what she is hiding, to which she answered "I have a pider Mom!".  Needless to say my heart started racing and I started panicking, because one thing Stella is not is afraid of 'piders' or any other insects for that matter!  So the possibility of it really being a spider was very real.  The question that remained was whether it was alive or not.  She quickly stuck the culprit in her jacket pocket before I could demand her to through it away.  So now I had to carefully open the pocket to see what was inside.  Obviously it just had to be an insect of some sorts, don't ask me what, but luckily for me it wasn't alive!  I still got a fright though... to Stella's delight!  And they say girls are easier than boys and don't do these kind of things.......

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hearing, Talking and Imaginary Friends (or not)

I haven't posted anything in quite some time.  I had too much on my plate to get around to do any blog-posts as well.  So here is the latest:

Stella's hearing:
Lately, for the past few weeks or so Stella started talking exceptionally loud.  So much so that we were concerned that the problem with her hearing might have re-occurred.  On Monday we took her to to see the Audiologist to have her ears tested.  Her hearing is perfect!  So the conclusion we have come to is that the reason she is talking so loud has to do with her competing with her little sister for attention (and with her friends at school perhaps).  The Audiologist recommended speech therapy again which she will start again from next week.  We were getting worried about her speech that is still delayed seeing that she will start grade R next year and at times it is still quite hard to understand her.

Nika's talking:
Nika on the other hand is repeating EVERYTHING we say.  It is quite funny at times.  She has also learned the 'technique' of telling tales!  Or rather fibbing to get her big sister into trouble!  Whenever she falls or bumps her hand or head or foot or whatever the case may be, she will immediately run to me crying "Stella pushed!".  Poor Stella!  The other day Nika was in the room with her dad and me while Stella watched a movie in the lounge.  She got hurt and immediately said that Stella had pushed her.  Her dad and I were equally surprised that she would come up with that even though Stella wasn't even in the same room.  So now we take it with a pinch of salt when she says that Stella had pushed her and have to make sure before we punish Stella for something she didn't actually do.  Nika's newest favorite word is "hello".  We could be having a fat conversation or I could ask her to take her toys to her room and she would look at me with those innocent eyes and a big smile on her face and loudly say "hello!" as if it is the first time she has seen me all day!  She especially likes pulling this trick when I tell her to stop being naughty!

Imaginary friends:
The other day as we got home from school Stella started talking to someone.  We got to the door and she politely asked me to get out of the way so that "Lewis" can come in.  It was the first time I've 'met' Lewis.  At least I think she said his name is Lewis, but I cannot remember for sure.  This morning Hubby already left for work and the girls and I were getting ready for work and school.  Stella was having a fat conversation with someone (of course I didn't see anyone!).  The talking got so loud that I had to tell her to talk softer to which she replied "Mom, we're just talking!".  Luckily I don't get freaked out by her talking to people I cannot see.  I asked her what her friend's name is and she answered "Sakranos Pampinos".  I had a blank look on my face.  How am I supposed to remember Sakranos Pampinos if I am having trouble remembering if the previous friend was called Lewis or not?  I will have to start making notes.  I don't know whether Sakranos Pampinos is a boy or a girl either?  Whether she is only pretending or whether she actually has imaginary friends I don't know yet.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sleepless nights

Has anyone seen the movie Shrek 3 where they had triplets?  When they finally were back in their swamp and the kids were in bed Shrek said in a teasing voice "What will we do now?".  The next scene shows Shrek and Fiona passed out on the bed!  This is pretty close to how we are feeling at the moment.

For the past three nights or so we have been struggling to get Stella to go to sleep.  I have tried staying in the room until she falls asleep.  It works, but it takes very long and I get nothing else done.  I've said to her she will have to sleep in the lounge if she keeps calling me all evening because she wakes her sister up.  This doesn't help either.  Last night, around 10:30pm she was still refusing to sleep and cried every time I left the room.  By that time I did have to move her to the lounge because Nika was starting to wake up.

Eventually she fell asleep on the one couch while I was wide awake on the other one.  This morning at 6am she was wide awake again and woke her sister up.  I'm exhausted.

I don't want this behavior to become a habit, but how do we prevent it?

Her shenanigans last night caused a lot of unnecessary stress and tension in the house.  I tried to convince hubby, or maybe myself that it is just a phase and it too shall pass.  Neither of us were convinced...

I am honestly beginning to think that "me time" is just a myth.  Never mind "couples-time" or date nights or whatever other time you are supposed to fit into your day.

Of course guilt steps in every time I wish I had a few minutes to myself just to relax.  I love my girls and love spending as much time with them as possible, but I very often wish there was a family member nearby whom I could call at a moments notice to just babysit them for an hour or so!  I especially feel guilty thinking this way because I'm working full day and don't see them during the day.  Sometimes I just think that there would have been a lot less arguments if we could every now and then ask someone to entertain them for a little while!

Bring on the weekend!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pre-schooler with Attitude!

Some days I just have to smile looking at Stella.  She has got such an attitude, it actually amazes me.  She is such a confident child... when she wants to be of course.  Her newest favorite hair-do consists of many hairbands put in her hair as well as every hair clip that she can lay her hands on.  She must be wearing about 7 hairbands in her hair to school today and a couple of clips.  Oh and don't forget the shades!  She found my pair of shades yesterday morning and has been wearing it since.  I at least managed to get her to put it in her drawer when she went to bed last night.

This morning her teacher said to me that one day she would like a daughter who is just like Stella.  This made me smile, because usually I have to hear the many criticisms from people about how she is too busy, etc.

Another thing that amazes me looking at my daughters is how they trust us so completely.  For example last night Nika stood up on the couch next to the one I was sitting on and just jumped towards me.  There was no warning... nothing.  Unfortunately she missed me and the couch and fell on the floor!  Luckily she didn't get hurt, but in her mind there must have been no doubt at all that I will catch her.  She started with this new game of jumping of the couch a few weeks ago when we visited friends.  She climbed up onto their ottoman and jumped off, just expecting that someone will be there to catch her.  Luckily we realized in time what she wanted to do and reached her just in time to catch her.  Obviously it gave us a huge fright, but she on the other hand found it hilarious!

Stella's new teacher started yesterday and apparently Stella behaved very well.  Hopefully this good behavior will last!

I was surprised when Stella asked if one of her toys were given to her by her Grandma as we don't live near our families and don't see them more often than maybe once a year.  She recently started asking to speak to "Ouma" on the phone.  Although we speak to her and Nika in English Ouma stays Ouma :)  It might be a good idea to Skype with the Oumas soon!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Early Bird Catches The Worm

I've googled the phrase "The Early Bird Catches The Worm", believe it or not.  I thought just maybe I'm missing somthing....  I was being optimistic you see.  A few images came up as well and I found this one quite amusing:

In all honesty, I do get up very early every morning, including weekends.  Weekdays for obvious reasons and on Weekends because Stella does not think that sleeping-in is an option.  We are lucky if we can sleep until 7am on a weekend.  Of course once I am up, there are ALWAYS things to do.  Weekdays I need to rush to get myself and then the girls ready for work and school, but looking at this picture, I probably look more like the sun than the bird!  Sadly coffee has to wait until I get to work.

I think in my case as with many other Working-Moms (as well as Stay-At-Home-Moms who's work never ends) the phrase should rather be "the early bird catches extreme exhaustion!".

Nika is teething at the moment, her second molars are coming through, so she has been grumpy since the weekend.  It is getting better, but she had interrupted sleep in the beginning of this week, which means that Hubby and I also had interrupted sleep.  She must have woken up 5 times during the night.  Since then she's been sleeping better.

On Tuesday night the girls' new bunk bed was delivered.  I was nervous to let Stella sleep up top, simply because she gets up during the night and I was scared that she will fall trying to get down.  When she saw the bed she was super-excited and couldn't stop saying "thank you Mommy, I love you Mommy!".  It is so nice to see that they actually like it.  She's been sleeping up top since it arrived and Hubby assembled it and it has been absolutely fine.  What a relief!

I don't know if it was out of pure excitement about the new bed or just the fact that things are rearranged in their room, but Stella has been waking up regularly during the night every night where previously she used to wake up only once every night.  Even at 4 years old she doesn't sleep through.  Since the bed arrived they want to spend more time in their room, which is nice, because now they are finally playing with their toys where before all Stella wanted to do was watch dvd's or read a bible story and colour in, but on the other hand, all the excitement causes for very little sleep.  I am feeling a little bit like what I would imagine a zombie feels like.

Here's me looking forward to the weekend, trying to ignore the little voice in my head reminding me of the enormous load of clothes and bedding to be washed.....

Have a great one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Parenting aint for the faint-hearted

Tonight I'm feeling like a complete and utter failure...  Let me try to explain why.  How often have I lost my cool today and got so upset that I ranted and raved about something not going my way?  I've lost count.  It pretty much started when I needed to go out in my lunch hour. I needed to go somewhere and someone parked me in and disappeared.  I ended up having to walk to the mall only to be sworn at by a drunk "bergie" because I said he must stop shouting and swearing at assistants in a shop I had to walk past.  He started following me, swearing after me, but I had the advantage of being able to walk faster than him, being sober and all...  Maybe I needed something to drink to calm me down!

Got back to the office, still parked in.  I started panicking because soon it would have been time to pick the girls up from school.  I phoned the body corporate, got a number for the so-called culprit but it was the wrong number which rang and went onto voice mail.  Long story short, the one trustee got hold of the right guy who denied it was him and who in the 5 minutes of me still seeing the car in front of mine and the trustee phoning him, quickly and quietly removed his 'rented' car.

Got to school, all went well until Nika needed a nappy change and she screamed her head off.  I waited in her classroom and didn't dare to go and get Stella first while I waited, imagining Nika's reaction if she should come back and see that I'm not there...

Finally got Stella, but she wanted to run up and down the pathway between the front gate and the front door and do all kinds of monkey business, while I was trying to keep Nika in my arms who was adament she wanted to get down.  The school is in a Main Road with LOTS of traffic.  We finally made it to the gate and Stella decided that she wanted to keep it open.... for the rest of the afternoon it seemed!  Eventually I said that I am no longer waiting.  As I turned my back to pretend to walk away she ran onto the sidewalk in the opposite direction nearly giving me a heart attack!

She threw herself against the outside wall of the school.  I walked over to her and much to my horror saw what looked like an old dry blood stain on the wall!  That just freaked me out completely!  I asked nicely, even begged, and then demanded her to go to the car.  She refused.  I tried to pick her up, with Nika still in my arms, but she fought it.  Eventually I basically had to take her hand and 'drag' her to the car.  Ok not literally, I was trying to pull her up to her feet and get her to walk with me with her kicking and screaming.  By that time I could feel a migraine coming on.  I could just imagine the horrified looks from other parents picking up their kids at the same time!  I didn't dare to look at them.  They probably thought that I needed the "Worst-Mom-Of-The-Year-Award"!

Got home, I told her to go to her room at which point she screamed as if I was doing something terrible to her.  Who knows what it must have sounded like from outside!

This evening Stella asked me to read a Bible story to her, but neither her or Nika would sit still and listen for a minute.  So when I said that's enough, no more reading tonight, another tantrum followed.  So after trying to reason with her I tried reading again.  It wasn't perfect, but better.

They usually color in a picture after we've read a Bible story at which point I left them in their Dad's capable hands and came into the bedroom to just wind down.  I thought it might help writing a post about it so that I can read it and think "it wasn't all that bad".

Let me just say this, I had an opportunity to share a life lesson with my precious daughter today which I've tried explaining to her.  I'm hoping that she understood what I wanted to say to her.  It actually doesn't matter how badly they behave, I love my girls with all my heart and wouldn't exchange them for the world!  I wanted Stella to understand that we all behave badly and fail miserably sometimes, but it is ok.  As long as we try to get it right next time!

The two little monkeys just came into the room with their usual mischief and cheered me up again!  Naughty little things!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tranquil breakaway weekend

I shared my epiphany about writing a children's book with hubby the evening after my previous post and his response was "just finish your photography course first!".  As much as I hate to admit it, he probably has a point.  So the plans have changed ever so slightly.  I will finish my course first and THEN focus on the book-writing issue again... hopefully in the not to distant future.

Two weekends ago we went away to get a break from the hectic city life.  We visited a lovely cottage on a farm just outside of Bredasdorp.

The setting was so peaceful and beautiful.  The girls could just run and play without us having to worry about cars, etc.  We went for walks every afternoon before supper time, getting some fresh air.  Of course we met some weird and wonderful creatures along the way.

The cottage has no electricity so we used a gas stove to boil water for coffee, barbecued meat either on the inside built-in braai or we built a fire outside.  At night we built a fire indoors to warm the place up.

To get hot water for a shower we had to build a fire to heat it up.  There are paraffin lamps in every room and hanging from the chandelier on the patio.

We had a little visitor who gave me an enormous fright when he came flying into the lounge where we were sitting by the fire the 2nd evening!  He was so cute though.

All in all a great weekend away.  I'm already looking forward to start planning our next trip.  But for now, as instructed, I better make progress with my photography course first.  Of course a trip is an ideal way to take on-location shots...  I'm just saying...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Story Time

A while ago we were visiting with our friend who worked with Hubby before.  He has no kids of his own, but he is surprisingly patient with our girls.  As a matter of fact he always tries to cover for them when they get into trouble with us.

While visiting we had a conversation about "what is the one piece of advise you will want to leave with your children".  Talking about his Mom whom sadly passed away recently, he said that she was such a wise woman and he has learned so much from her, but should he ever have kids he doesn't think that there are any significant things he could teach them that will stand out from the rest...

That made me think..... a lot!

I got this idea in my head; actually I have a lot of those, but the specific idea I am referring to is, wouldn't it be cool to write a children's book?  I always said that I would like to write a book, usually jokingly, but I'm actually considering doing it.  Of course I have never attempted anything like it, but will put some serious thought into it.

Now the question comes to mind, what will I write about?  What is the one thing I would like to teach kids, including our own?  Well, let the research begin...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Morning Routine

Last night I was convinced that I broke my little toe after bumping it against the skirting on my way to the kitchen.  I'm not so sure anymore if it is broken, but it is still very sore and I walk funny as a result of it.  This morning, sore foot and all, I had to rush as usual to get myself ready for work and the girls ready for school.

The alarm went of at 6am.  I snoozed it...  I snoozed it again... and again... and again... and again... Then I just switched it off.  At 6:30am I flew out of bed, grabbed whatever was closest to wear, gave Stella her favourite breakfast cereal and let her watch an animation movie while I was getting ready.  I need to leave by 7:30am to be back in time to start work at 8am without having to rush.

I got Stella dressed and combed her hair and she brushed her teeth.  I walked past the bunny's cage and saw that he was busy pulling the cardboard out from under the area he uses as a toilet.  So I had to get a plastic bag in the kitchen to remove the mess he has made.  Got back and as I was taking the cardboard out he jumped forward, pushed against it and the poo went flying into his water bowl!  I was not impressed.  Cleaned the cage and of course then had to change his water.

While Stella put her socks and shoes on it was Nika's turn.  Got her out of her cot and took her to our room to change her nappy and clothes and get her ready.  Of course by the time we reached our bedroom I've noticed that her eyes were almost sealed shut with yellow discharge because of the wind blowing in her face over the weekend.  For some reason her eyes seem to be very sensitive to wind.  What I thought would be a quick wipe of her face turned into a real battle and it took much longer than expected.

As we headed for the front door I realized Stella only put one shoe on.  Got her to put the other one on.  As I was about to pick up the bags again, I remembered they haven't had their cough medicine (season is changing so they both have a couch) nor their vitamins.  Ran back to the kitchen, keep in mind my foot is still very sore, got a spoon and ran back to them in the lounge to give them what they needed.  Stella got upset because I gave to Nika first and she ran into the passage and refused to come back when I called her.  After 'serious negotiation' she finally came back, got her vitamins and we were ready to go.

Got outside, there are two ways to get to the car.  I had Nika in my arms, went one way, of course Stella took the long way.  It already was past 7:30am.  She wanted me to chase her to get her into the car... not fun when you are already late...  Got in the car and Stella showed me she scribbled on her hand.  This was the point where I thought I might as well give up in trying to be back in time.  Ran back into the house... with my sore foot... and got wet wipes.  Got back in the car and took off only to land up behind a slow driver.  I was furious by that time.

Got to school, and took Nika to her class.  Stella wanted to greet a teacher who was talking to another teacher.  This took ages.  Eventually got her to her class and did a power walk to the car and took off.  Only to drive behind an even slower car this time.  To say I was frustrated is putting it lightly.  Anyway, I managed to walk into the office at a minute or two after 8am.  After the hectic morning I still consider it as on time!

My foot is till sore...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mom, may I have a sheep?

This morning while we were getting ready for work and school and Hubby opened the fridge door to take something out, Stella pointed to the fridge saying to me "Mom, may I have a sheep?".  I was obviously confused as I couldn't remember putting a sheep in the fridge!  So to make sure I've heard right I repeated "a sheep?".  "Yes, may I have a sheep?" she said.  That was the moment I started thinking about the sweeties that is lying in the fridge door, wondering if maybe there was one in the shape of a sheep, but couldn't think of any.  Then the realization hit me...  What my darling daughter actually wanted was a peach!  She had one two nights ago and obviously got the name wrong.  Just to make sure I asked "do you mean a peach?" to which she very proudly replied "yes!".

We have enrolled Stella for an extramural activity at school focusing on speech and using the correct language, pronunciation and speaking with confidence.  Ever since she started it I have picked up words and phrases she has been using which she didn't use before.  Lately, I'm not Mommy anymore, I'm simply Mom.  Every sentence she says to me starts with "Mom".

A conversation between us two nights ago:

Stella:  "Mom, what's your name?"
Me:  "My name is Marianna"
Stella:  "No Mom, what's your name?"
Me:  (Thinking very hard)  "... my name is Mommy"
Stella:  "Yes Mom, you're a big girl!"

Like a friend said, it is not every day you are being called a big girl!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Brilliant Child-Friendly Restaurant to visit in Franschhoek

After my last post about the horrible eating out experience in Cape Town I thought it is only fair to tell you when we did have a great experience at another restaurant.  Although it is quite a drive out there, the Col'Cacchio's in Franschhoek has undergone a metamorphosis over the past year or so.  At first whenever we visited this branch the service was poor, the food wasn't up to scratch and staff not friendly at all.  You would be lucky if they acknowledged within half-an-hour that you have arrived and are waiting for a table.

However, this being said, my opinion on this Restaurant has changed dramatically over our last few visits there.  The staff were all so friendly and welcoming to us and our littlies.  They now also have a lovely jungle-gym in an enclosed area where the kids can play.  We had lunch there on the weekend and they really kept our little ones entertained while we were eating (the kids weren't hungry as they already ate late that morning).  The waitress remembered us from our last two visits to the branch months ago and so did the manager.  From being my least favourite restaurant, they have now moved to 1st place!  We were so impressed.  They have a lovely outside area where the kids are free to run around a little and keep themselves entertained in the play-area.  The preparation of the food improved significantly.  We've had the best Arrosto Pizza which is a new item on their menu as well as the Piselli Pasta (slow cooked lamb pasta) I've had in a very very very long time.  It was simply scrumptious.  I highly recommend them to anyone who feels like taking a scenic drive to the lovely Franschhoek.  The girls loved it!

To tell you a bit more about the area, here is the link to the official Franschhoek Wine Valley website:  http://franschhoek.org.za/.

After watching the video clip at the bottom of their homepage it makes me want to drive back there and enjoy Nature's beauty and of course the good quality food and service at Col'Cacchios!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eating Out

For a while know I was craving the peri-peri chicken from an authentic Portuguese restaurant not far from where we live.  I have been there once before for an office-lunch and the food was delicious.  So last night I finally convinced hubby that we should have supper there.

All went well until we actually arrived at the restaurant and Stella's ability to listen to us disappeared into thin air and Nika started to whine about anything and everything!  I was horrified!

We had a constant battle with Stella to sit still and Nika kept trying to run out the front door...  Let me just add that this restaurant is situated on a VERY BUSY road.  We've tried everything to keep them quiet but with no luck!  It was so embarrassing.  The restaurant is divided into different rooms and we were alone in the one room when we arrived and there were one or two diners seated in the room opposite from us.

On the menu it says that it takes ±30 minutes for the kitchen staff to prepare the peri-peri chicken.  After about 10 minutes the waitress came to us saying "your food is on the way and someone from the room next door already complained about the noise!".  Instantaneously I felt like running out the door myself.  Needless to say, the chicken was not properly cooked and still very raw when it arrived.  We did not complain.... We finished our meals as quickly as we could and left the restaurant.  It was an awful experience and highly embarrassing.

Hubby went to the car with the girls while I paid the bill.  The waitress recited her line she is supposed to say when diners leave "we hope to see you again soon!", but the look on her face was a completely different story.  Lets just say we are not planning on dining there again soon in the foreseen future!  Oh I forgot to mention, the manager glared at us on several occasions while we were trying to eat at a record speed to get out of there.  Especially when Stella handed him her empty plate when she was finished with her food.  He was not impressed.  She has got this idea that she must help clear the table when she is finished eating.  Which is fine at home, not so much when you are at a restaurant.  When we got home the girls were as good as gold....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Firmness vs Fighting

Yesterday was such a mission getting Stella and Nika to school.  Before we even left the house Stella started whining... "Mommy, I want a different teacher.  My teacher is fighting to me".  (she always says 'to me' instead of 'with me').  I have come to the conclusion that she misinterprets firmness as fighting.  She says the same to us when we are being firm with her.  The reason for this, I think, is because at her school she was at last year she was pretty much left to do whatever she pleased and is expecting the same now.  Thankfully this school is quite strict on discipline so hopefully she will realize soon enough that she needs to obey the teachers (and us of course!!!).

I have mentioned to her current teacher that discipline never seemed a high priority at her previous school and that we really want this to improve significantly.  She knows about saying please and thank you, but when it comes to listening when she needs to sit still or do something we ask her to do or wait in line it is a completely different story.  For my own sanity I keep telling myself that this is just a phase and it will improve...

Anyway, back to yesterday, so it was a nightmare dropping them off because Stella refused to get into the car, then refused to get out at school, then wouldn't go into the pedestrian gate...  Eventually once we were inside, little Nika's eyes were so big and her teacher asked her what was wrong.  She obviously was in shock by watching her sister behaving so badly.

This morning I was dreading the trip to school because it is quite embarrassing and enormously frightening if you are screaming like a crazy person when your child runs up the sidewalk on a busy street!

I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised.  She was behaving so well and was nice to everyone for a change.  She hugged the teachers, even smiled at them!  Can't wait for the day when she actually says good morning to the teachers when they greet her!

Okay, rewind back to last night... I forgot to mention this little bit of info... We were having a casual conversation in the lounge when I mentioned something about Stella's teaching saying that she is doing her schoolwork so well when little Miss Stella said as if it is nothing "I have a boyfriend" and carried on with what she was doing!  I mean, really?  She is 4 years old!!  When I was that young my friends and I all thought boys had germs!  It is quite obvious that she doesn't really understand the term "boyfriend" but to hear your 4-year old daughter tell you that she has one is quite a shock to one's system!

Her teacher has told me a few times that Stella only plays with this one boy at school or rather chases him around all day.  She must have joked about it and that is most probably where Stella must have heard about the little boy being her boyfriend.  Maybe it is time to schedule some play dates with some girls from her class.... :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sisterly Love

Last night we went out for supper.  Nika fell asleep in the car on our way to the restaurant.  Nika's nickname is "Chickle-bum".  No, there is no logical explanation for where that name came from.  Stella obviously heard me (I am the only one calling her that) calling her little sister that so now she also calls her that from time to time.

When we arrived at the restaurant I heard Stella saying in the back of the car "Chickle-bum, wake up, it is food time!".  It was so sweet!  It actually made me laugh.  The way she said it was just too precious.

As I mentioned in my previous post Stella is struggling to adapt to her new surroundings, but I am happy to say there were no bad reports when I picked her up from school.  At times she still struggles to speak clear enough for people to understand her the first time so I think that it is frustrating her which could also lead to conflict.  Although her speech improved significantly since July last year it is not 100 % yet.  I am so proud of how far she had come in such a short time.  Less than a year ago we couldn't understand even 10 % of what she was saying.  Now we can talk non-stop for who-knows-how-long and understand most of what she is saying.  We might have to ask her to repeat something a few times but in the end we know what she is trying to say.

This morning went much better when I dropped her off at school and she didn't scream at all.  She sat down, unpacked her snacks and said good bye to me with no tears.  Hopefully today will go well.

Nika wakes up with a smile in the mornings.  She is so excited when she sees it is time to get up.  This morning I got so many kisses from her!  This is something that she didn't easily give at one stage and I just love "baby kisses".  Lately though, she just dishes them out and even blows kisses at strangers and anyone who just looks her way!

On Saturday night we took them out to see Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2.  At one stage Nika got so excited, she climbed onto my lap and out of pure excitement bit me on my shoulder!  There still is a bruise to show for it!

Behaving Badly

Stella had her birthday party at school yesterday.  Turned out that sometime during the course of the day she kicked her teacher.  This is not like her at all and I'm not entirely sure if it is true as I haven't heard it from the teacher, but this is what one of her classmates has said.

For some reason I am tempted to believe her as Stella has really been acting out lately.  To say it is worrying is to say the least!  The move and new school and new surroundings seem to be having a bigger effect on her than we thought.  In fact I was more concerned about how her little sister, Nika will adapt as she is the shy one.

By last night I was so worked up over this that I could hardly sleep.  I would never have thought that this is an issue we would ever have to deal with!  One might worry about them being bullied (which I still worry about), but not that they would be bullying others.  By the way, apparently she also hit another child yesterday.  I arrived at school to find her alone in the classroom with the cleaners, crying.  Her teacher came in explaining that she had hit another child and she was told to apologize and instead she ran into the classroom crying.  I have no idea why she hit her or why she was crying.

I have asked her to apologize to the little girl and she did.  She might have misunderstood the teacher when she asked her to apologize.

I've received advise (which I have asked for :) ) to maybe see a psychiatrist who specializes in dealing with young children with behavioral issues.  So last night Stella's Dad and I were talking about it.  We haven't made up our minds yet.  I phoned the school this morning to ask that they must please tell us when Stella acts out otherwise we won't know if she needs help or even if we just need to talk to her.  The lovely lady at school assured me that they will let us know if there is anything to worry about and that Stella is just trying to find her place still in her new surroundings.  She said that they know that kids can react in this way when they are in a new environment and that they know how to deal with them.  I'm so glad they don't just label her a 'problem-child' and start treating her differently.  They really seem to be caring for the children and it really is comforting to know they are in good hands.

I feel so much better today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New School

The girls started at a new pre-school this month.  The first two days Stella was so excited and couldn't wait to get to her new class.  After that it went a bit pear shaped.  The moment she realized that I had to leave she started screaming at the top of her lungs!  The first time she did that I was terrified that she might act out and kick or hit her teacher who tried to help her up from the floor.

Apparently, as they normally do, she stopped screaming the moment I was gone.  The past two days it has been better again.  We will arrive and she will start unpacking her bag and hand her snacks to the teacher to put it away.  She even smiled at her teacher when we walked in yesterday morning which is definitely huge progress.  She normally is a very friendly child.

Nika on the other hand adapted so fast!  I was more concerned about how she would handle moving and going to a new school, but she only cried the first two mornings and after that she was completely fine with it.
The second afternoon their dad and I both went to school to pick them up.  Nika saw us through the window as we were walking down the stairs.  She obviously must have thought that we would simply climb through the window to get to her, but was she shocked when we had to go around the corner out of sight to come in through the classroom door!  Shame, she got very upset.  She did realize soon enough that we cannot climb through the window though so now it is less of an issue when she sees us coming in.  I saw another little boy reacting the same way yesterday when he saw his dad.

After 11pm last night Stella woke up and climb into bed with us.  It was the 4th time she had woken up since she went to bed.  Every time I would take her back to her room, sit with her a little until she falls asleep and go back to our room.  By the 4th time I told her dad that something is obviously bothering her so we must just let her sleep in our bed so that she could at least get some sleep.  Next moment she whispered to me asking where her friend from her previous school is.  They have known each other since they were born and she obviously misses him.

It might be all the big changes that are only getting to her now that is keeping her up at night.  Hopefully she will get back into her normal routine soon.  Luckily she makes friends easily and she already made new friends at her new school.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Strong-Willed Child

I haven't posted for a while, due to having a bit too much on my plate, but things should return to "normal", whatever that is, slowly but surely.

Lately we have had a real struggle with Stella being so strong-willed.  Everything, and I mean everything, seems to be a battle.  We would ask her the same thing over and over and over again, and it would appear like she is listening, only for her not to respond and to turn around and have a lie-down on the carpet or to carry on doing whatever it was she was doing.

At times I wonder whether she still can't hear well or maybe she simply doesn't understand what we are saying or that we are actually talking to HER and not someone else or maybe she thinks we are kidding, surely we cannot be asking her to pick up her toys!

Seeing that her dad and I, as many other parents, don't always agree 100 % on how to handle various situations, it very often results in us arguing over it.

Although I'm sometimes very skeptical to agree to everything I find online, I have read up on raising strong-willed or spirited children and came across two articles which I found very informative and helpful.  The first article gives various ideas on how to react in different situations to diffuse battles and the 2nd article actually made me realize how our wrong reactions could really hurt and confuse a little child.  This really made me think that we should really be more considerate and careful about what we say in the heat of the moment.

Here are the links:


Hopefully I would at least be able to implement some of these ideas and that it would make a difference in the amount of battles we have daily.

I get the idea that Nika might also be strong-willed, but she is very young still so it is hard to tell.  It is quite obvious that she knows what she wants and makes herself heard when you do otherwise!   However, I have noticed that as small as she still is, when she is asked to pick up something and through it in the bin for example, she obeys with no arguments.  However, if you ask her to open her mouth to brush her teeth or not to tear the toilet paper in a million pieces, she is not always as obedient.  

I cannot help but think that whoever said "it is as easy as taking a toy from a baby" has never actually tried just that!  That is another thing you will not easily get right when Nika has got something that she is adamant she wants to play with (usually a musical toy in the evening or early morning hours!).