BABE, BUMP, MAMA

SOME OF OUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE POSTS

20th September 2016
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Francie Sugar at 9 months, pic by Lad & Lass

We are up to our ears this weeks – post Rock-a-Baby has us packing up orders round the clock which is super exciting but has also resulted in us neglecting our blog a bit. We promise we will get back on track asap with loads of new, interesting, fun content.

But in the meantime here are some of our most popular posts, enjoy!

This second birthday party causes serious #partyenvy and this one is perfect for spring!

Mamas talk about being a triplet mama, the hardest obstacle as a mama, being a surrogate mama, breastfeeding 3 year olds, post natal depression and adoption.

Some practical advice: 5 Favourite mom apps.

This post about my mom body got everyone talking and so did Bailey’s post “Motherhood isn’t a competition

Our guide to Cape Town

The best preggy shoot ever!

Birth Stories: Francie Sugar‘s and the twins.

BABE, DIARY, MAMA

AN WINTER’S AFTERNOON

19th September 2016
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Pretty much every Sunday we all pack up our things and head to Kimmy & Bear for a big Sunday lunch. We eat late – whenever babes are asleep or awake, we sit under the big Oak tree and the babes play for hours in their grandparents’ magical garden, we eat, drink, laugh, cry… it’s my favourite day of the week.

A couple weeks ago we invited Emma and Dylan of Lad & Lass to come and spend the afternoon with us to take a few pics of us as a big family. We love how they turned out.

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BABE, COURSES, EAT, MAMA, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

16th September 2016
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Julie Andrews and her babe on the beach. 

There is nothing else happening this weekend except Rock-a-Baby – we are so excited to be part of the fair this year, launching Kimmy & Bear clothing and can’t wait to shop, shop, shop! Please come and say hi at our Kimmy & Bear stand, we would love to meet you all.

Once you have shopped up a storm at Rock-a-Baby and are feeling all shopped out, here are 10 links to read:

Why Parents Aren’t Vaccinating

Co-sleeping after you swore you would never

Are you worried about your babes penis?

Reimagining the Modern Classroom

Children friendly restaurants in the wine lands

Mom version of Hallelujah goes viral – I love it!

How to Kid-Proof Your Home WiFi

8 Mistakes Parents Make When Raising Bilingual Children

How Getting Rid of My Stuff Saved My Motherhood

The Autism Epidemic

BABE, MAMA, READ

WORK/MAMA BALANCE: REBECCA OF FANCYPANTS

15th September 2016
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Last year we featured a Work/Mama Balance series and we received such great feedback on this topic so we thought we would do it again. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring a whole lot of super mamas who balance it all.

Today we chat to Rebecca Stürmer she is the co-owner, co-creator and co-designer of the Fancypants brand of cloth nappies and other eco-friendly baby and toddler products, she is also mama to two babes; her daughter aged 7 and her son is 5. Here is how Rebecca balances it all:

What’s your work schedule?

I get up in the mornings and sort out the kids and do the school run etc.  By 8am I am back at my desk or on my way to a meeting.  I work until 12.30pm and then start the school pick-ups and take kids to their extra activities.  I plan, plan, plan and then plan some more to make sure that I can get everything I need to get done in that precious 4.5 hours everyday.

How do you handle childcare?

I do not have any family nearby, nor do I hire it in so childcare can be tough sometimes.  Luckily carefully planned playdates and the occassional aftercare service at the school allows me the flexibility that I need sometimes to work longer hours.  I also have a very supportive husband who steps in when really needed and no other options present themselves or for the occassional weekend event or if I am travelling to JNB or Durban.

When do you typically hang out with your littles?

Every afternoon in some way, shape or form.  The afternoons are also when I have to get my chores done – the usual food shopping, endless tidying up, washing clothes etc so they do have to come along to do those things.  But I make sure that I spread them out and still have time to kick a ball, visit the park for a swing or play monopoly – their current favourite 🙂 I think it is good for them to see the work that goes into running a home, business and family so that they can appreciate what I do for them…….it is painful sometimes, it would be so much easier to do the food shopping without them.

Do you have any family rituals?

Yes, over the years we have created a few.  One of my favourites and I know the kids love it too……is always have cuddles in bed before we get up and start the day.  It may be 6am and it may be quick but before my mind starts racing to my ‘to do list’ and going over the ‘logistics’ for the day we always take time to cuddle and say ‘I love you’.  Pancakes every Saturday morning without fail is also another one 🙂

What do you enjoy most about your current set up?

I get to work in a flexible way.  My business partner and I have always said our families come first but Fancypants has grown so much it does require a team of people to run.  Employing and empowering other people to help in our business has meant that I can work in the mornings and spend the afternoons with my 2 beautiful children who have been with me at every stage of this entrepreneurial journey.  Their bums have tried and tested all our products!

What’s the biggest challenge about your current set up?

Time management – it is always hard to manage your time between work and family.  ‘Mummy guilt’ is ever present but you need to find a system / routine that works for you.  There are always emails, phone calls and things that need your attention however, I have trained myself to only ‘work’ in the mornings.  In the first few years I found myself working long hours at night after the kiddos had been put to sleep, but over time this became exhausting and wasn’t how I had envisioned my entrepreneurial life.  Now, my kids are at school and I have 4.5 hours each day to attend to the ‘biz’.  I have learnt that if you set goals, prioritise tasks and then train yourself to work efficiently – don’t let FB, phones and other things distract you – you can be much more productive with less time.  It is a discipline and nobody’s perfect but by doing so, I get to spend more time with my kids while still running a successful business.  I have a paper diary (I know totally old fashioned) and each day I have already put in tasks that need to get done.  When something new comes up I slot it into a particular morning but only if I can realistically get it done.  If not, then I move it to the next day and so on.  That way, I always complete my daily task list, which feels good, and I am allotting time to important tasks in a manageable time frame so there are no last minute hustles or working til midnight to get something done as everything is planned in.

‘Switching off’ is another big challenge for me. When you work for yourself you never really stop thinking about your business – but you have to try.  Everyone needs a break and when I get down on the floor and play a game with my kids I want to be ‘100% present’, not there physically but mentally somewhere else.  It is a discipline and a challenge but one which I continually have to overcome.

What about time for yourself? Do you take timeouts? What do you get up to and how often?

Absolutely, if I don’t look after myself (physically and emotionally) I can’t do the best job of looking after my family and growing the business.  I do sometimes take time out of my morning schedule to get my hair cut, sit and have a coffee on the stoep, call a friend.  It just requires planning.  And on those days when you just can’t handle another complaint or tantrum or crappy email I just take a deep breathe, go to my happy place for 10 minutes (usually sit outside or read a home magazine because I love those).  The peace is usually restored and I can head back out into the world refreshed and calm.  This happens at least once a week.  I also ‘try’ and exercise; it really is amazing how it clears your mind.  I often solve problems or draft email responses in my head whilst jogging.

Let’s talk about dinner – who handles dinner in your home?

I must be completely honest, it is my husband.  He loves to cook and does such a good job that I usually just let him roll with it.  I can cook, I just don’t do it very often…..there you go, it is out, I have confessed. I do however, play an important role in the kitchen – I am his 2IC and get all the good jobs like cleaning and washing up.  Small price to pay for his amazing meals.

Top tip for the work/motherhood balance?

Spend time at the end of each day/week planning the next (whether it is for work, kids, holidays – whatever it is).  It just helps to free your mind so that you don’t wake up in the night with lists and worries running through your head.  I also find a nice glass or two of red wine when the kids are tucked up in bed helps a lot.

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BABE, WEAR

KIMMY & BEAR CLOTHING

14th September 2016
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We are so excited the announce the launch of Kimmy & Bear Clothing.

Kimmy and Bear clothing is simple, beautiful, and well made. Our materials are handpicked for form and function, and we select only 100% pure cotton fabric. We  also oversee every aspect of the production of our small, limited collection. Our garments are not built for a single season, rather they should be worn again next year or passed down to a younger sibling just learning to walk. Founded by three sisters, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Kimmy & Bear’s first collection is inspired by childhood. By a time when our mother dressed all three of her daughters in matching outfits she’d made from patterns not dissimilar to these, by a time when the garden was our playroom and barefoot mornings stretched into long shadowed afternoons collecting snails and imagining worlds of fairies and forts, when reality was magical, and the magical was real.

Our clothes are reminiscent of those sweet childhood memories you have tucked away in some forgotten place.

Kimmy & Bear Clothing will be launching this weekend at Rock-a-Baby  or find us on Etsy.

BABE, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, WEAR

IT’S ROCK-A-BABY THIS WEEKEND

13th September 2016
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There are only 4 days until Rock-a-Baby and you don’t want to miss out on South Africa’s best baby fair. Not only is it a fantastic shopping experience, but it is a lovely day out with good food, a play area for kids, a bar service, and a chance to connect with like minded moms.

Of course we know that you have had the date in your diary for ages but just so you now what you are in for here are some of the items that are on our wish list this year:

Dovetail toddler table and bench

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Oliver and Bean leggings

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A whole bunch of KidO toys from the Yummy Mummy & Yummy Baby stand

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La Fede Designs soft toy and wooden camera

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Muslins from Panda Love 

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A doll from Little Black Ant

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A birthday crown by Dash of Cute

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BABE, WEAR

COTTON ON KIDS ROCK

12th September 2016
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We were so excited to get our hands on the latest Cotton On Kids collection – it’s all about rock ‘n roll. The collection is in partnership with Bravado Music and includes a super-cool range of essentials inspired by some of the world’s greatest artists – think David Bowie, Run DMC, The Beach Boys, Queen and The Rolling Stones! The collection also includes super cute socks, baby grows, water bottles and blow up guitars!

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Don’t miss out – visit Cotton On Kids today.

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, NEST, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

9th September 2016
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Actor and model Olivia Wilde caused a stir with her breastfeeding photo shoot in the September 2014 issue of Glamour magazine.

Happy weekend mamas! We’re excited for the Parkview Garden Fun Day and the Joburg Art Fair .

Here are some links from around the web:

Fear is childbirth’s worst enemy

How To Get Baby To Sleep Through The Night – The Advice You’ve Never Heard

Tips to Help Your Child Have a Successful School Year

Man cold vs mom cold

How an early bedtime can have lasting effects on kids

How to Help Shy Kids Without Harming Them

How kids around the world get to school – they should have included South Africa in this one.

Courtney Babyccino is pregnant again! 

BABE, DIARY

FRANCIE SUGAR (YEAR 2) – 52 PORTARITS ROUND UP – AUGUST

6th September 2016
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Week 19: You love your cousins and greet them with big hugs and enthusiasm each time you see them. You seem to have graduated (ever so slightly) into the gang… before this you followed them around wanting to join in but not realising that you were in fact on the outside, but it seems it is changing, you are now often part of their game and given something to look at. You feel happy and confident around them, going off and following them wherever they decide to play. You have learnt to rock a doll by watching them. You love to play tea and have taken on a new game this week of playing teatime with your soft toys, especially binki and lion.

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Week 20: We started at Seedlings this week – a playgroup once a week where mamas stay. You love it! You wonder around the playground and find different things which interest you, spending a long time exploring the art and paint. You unpacked each and every bucket and looked at all the crayons with joy. Of course, the miniature chairs were also the best thing ever. You then joined your cousins in riding the bikes up and down the driveway, chasing them as fast as your little legs would go. I tried to watch you with new eyes as you explored this new space, I felt such pride watching you confidently explore the surroundings, happy to be on your own and excited to join the others too, checking in with me every now and then to know I was close by, that sweet sound of “mama?” brings such happiness and peace to my heart. Thinking of it now, before I had you I didn’t often feel proud – I thought things were great or good or even deserved but feeling proud of something wasn’t a go-to feeling of mine but now I am smothered in pride – I am so proud of you constantly, I have to hold back saying it because I am sure the other mamas feel the same way about their babes.

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Week 21: You are learning new words everyday and slowly learning to nod your head. This week you started saying “Bailey” (pronounced Bay…ley”,) “yes” and “brush”, “house”, “in” and “out”, “truck” and “bus”. I am fascinated more and more each day how much you understand, in both languages – you follow instructions so well and point out all the animals in the books whether your papa or I ask you. Your word to be picked up has changed from “up” to “uppie”. Your favourite thing to play with is still a “bag” and you wonder around the house pushing your pram and carrying your bag… and you are loving hand cream!

This week was the twins’ 3rd birthday party which you loved, you gazed at the ponies in fascination – although didn’t want to go to close, you indulged in the birthday cake and watched hem unwrap presents with just intrigue, knowing there was something to this whole thing but not sure what

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Week 22: We headed to Sibon this week for a bush break. It really is my favourite place in the world and I love taking you there, you seem to thrive in the bush air – you always seem to grow while we are there. You love having everyone around, especially your cousins. You follow them around thinking that you are totally part of their gang, you want to do everything they do from wearing a hat to weeing on the  loo! Your vocab increases constantly – “hat” “buk” (buck) “bid” (bird) “bom” (for fall down) and “oopsie” whenever anything happens. You bonded with your Bear, calling his name and running to his cottage, then spending time chatting to him on the bed. You would “spot” things all game drive long and eat like a trooper. Each night we would bath with you cousins and you could let them cream you up and brush your teeth. You learnt and copied everything – trying to put on your own mosquito spray, carrying around chairs. You would sit at the table during lunches and indulged in the selection, trying new foods and enjoying them.

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Week 23: Something switched in you this week, you grew and changed and I feel  reached some new important developmental stage although I am not sure exactly what is it. The result: “mama” for everything, constantly. You want to be on my hip or close by at all times, no one else can take you for a walk or feed you your dinner. Your words have more distinction to them and more direction – often the tone of “mama” has an urgency to it that I won’t ignore. You get frustrated when you can’t do things, like open a bottle and you have a new found fascination with zips. You are missing your cousins after a week in the bush and each morning and each night as I do your nappy you say each of their names… Honor, Anna and Florence are all “nana”. Oh and you slept the best you ever have this week – a little treat for this tired mama.

BABE, DIARY, FEATURED, PLAY

HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY PEPPER!

5th September 2016
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Natasha Palin, Cape Town mama to Pepper, has just celebrated her baby girl’s second birthday. It was a magical day for the whole family. We loved the beautiful paper details, the gold balloons, the bunny alice bands, and the delicious looking cake – this celebration is full of inspiring ideas. We asked Natasha some questions  about the day. 

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What kind of party did you have to celebrate Pepper’s second birthday?

We had about 50 guests at Peppers party. It was a beautiful and hot day so the champagne and Coronas were flowing, kids were running around high on sugar, and cafe del mar was playing in the background. It was a day to remember! 

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Where was the venue?

We hosted Pepper’s party at our new home that we had just finished renovating. It was the perfect venue as the house was still empty and there was no furniture in it so everyone was free to roam around as they pleased and I didn’t have to worry about my brand new furniture getting ruined. 

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Was there a theme?

Yes! We had a Watercolor Bunny theme.

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What was the inspiration behind the party?

My daughter is bunny obsessed. She became attached to a pink bunny that my mom gave her at birth and it is literally her everything, it goes everywhere with us so the theme was a no brainer really. 

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You included such beautiful details. What design elements did you include?

The very talented girls at Bash Paperie designed all the stationary for me. They also made the bunny ear alice bands and the ribbon garland. I had a clear vision of what I wanted the dessert table to look like so it was easy to put together.

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Did you use any additional decor?

I am a huge fan of using flowers for decor at parties. I go a bit overboard with flowers but I never regret it as it is an easy way to make a space look feminine and pretty. I am also balloon obsessed- the more balloons the better! 

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The cake looked amazing. Who was the genius behind it?

A very cool bakery called Billyboos made the cake, cupcakes and cookies and they even ended up catering all the savory snacks for the big people. 

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What other kind of food did you serve?

We made big bowls of popcorn, fruit salad, home made rice crispee treats, and a range of savory snacks. 

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Babes are still so little at two. Did you do any party activities?

I hired a few kiddy rides which were an absolute hit with the toddlers. I also had tables out with colouring in books and pens etc for drawing, and then lastly we had sand art which although ended up being very messy, was super fun for the little ones. 

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I feel birthdays are also such a milestone for the moms – as they celebrate your journey of motherhood too. Can you share a bit about your feelings on your baby TURNING 2!

Absolutely and admittedly, Peppers party turned out to be a party for her parents too. We wanted to celebrate so much this party as we had such an amazing year together and our new home renovation  had just been completed which was the cherry on the top for us all. When Pepper turned one, I was very emotional. I wished I had done so many things so differently and the night before she turned one, I made a promise to myself to make her second year the best one yet. I slowed our life down completely, I stopped making lists and I forgot about all my career aspirations- I just focused on us and I savoured every single second with her and it was the best thing I ever did. There were no tears for my baby turning 2, only huge smiles and immensely happy hearts. I’m excited for her third year!

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