Willow at three

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I am still a little shell-shocked that Willow is now a three-year-old. How did time go by so quickly?

I really understand the expression “The days are long but the years are short” now. When you’re stuck in the trenches of parenting sometimes the days seem to drag by at snail’s pace, but then you blink and your child is three!

This last year was a fun one. Willow pushes and challenges me in ways that I cannot even begin to express. Some days I feel like every single on one my personality flaws are laid bare. I have more than a few occasions where I just haven’t dealt well with the situation at hand. I get irritable and shouty when I don’t mean to be. I have found the consistent discipline to be the hardest thing to achieve.

But then there are the bright, shining days where she is just so adorable my heart melts. She can get me laughing till my sides ache. She’s witty and so smart. And I look at her in complete disbelief because we made her. It’s difficult to fathom that this person with this strong will and definite preferences didn’t exist three years ago.

Here’s a snapshot of what we have been doing over the past year:

Personality

Willow is very strong-willed and sassy, yet sweet and compassionate. We went through a definite ‘mine’ period, but more and more I am seeing a really generous spirit coming through. She likes to share her things with other people, but she likes to do it on her terms. You can’t make her share, but when she does share it’s so truly sweet. She loves babies and children younger than her and seems to take them under her wing and look after them. It’s very cute.

Willow is incredibly musical and loves to sing. She’s singing a song about 90% of the time. They are usually ones she knows the tune for but she has made up her own words to. She’s still very partial to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but these days you’re very likely to here the Wheels on the Bus, Baa Baa Black Sheep or the Finger Family Song. I love it when she sings that because she sings the names of her family as well. One of her favourite toys is a plastic microphone we got in a lucky packet and she walks around singing and making noise all the time.

We’ve seen more temper tantrums through the end of the year and into this one. She does seem to be a lot more emotional these days, but they are usually short-lived and a quick timeout to her room is all that is needed in terms of discipline. That said, however, we have had a few times when we have had to take a firmer stance. I’m very grateful that this behaviour is not the norm, however. She’s a pretty happy, polite little girl.

We’ve been working on manners a lot recently and I’m starting to see some progress here. She needs to be reminded to say please when she asks for something, but she’s very good at saying thank you and will spontaneously say thank you for something you have done for her. We try and lead by example in the manners department and I think this has been helping a lot. She also says You’re Welcome which she sort of sings. It’s adorable.

We have entered the ‘All my Own’ period where she insists on doing everything herself. I try and indulge her as much as I can. I think it’s important that she develops confidence in her abilities, but I won’t lie, things get difficult when she wants to do something that is beyond her current abilities and could be dangerous, or that she can do, just not well. She’baulks at the idea of you assisting her in any way and this often leads to conflict. We’re working on it

We’re starting to see pretend play becoming more and more of a thing in our home. She loves to dress up in costumes and look after her babies. She’s also cooking up a storm in her kitchen a lot of the time.

Loves

Watching the iPad – we need to be very strict about her screen time.

Disney movies, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and Dora the Explorer – she particularly likes movies and shows with songs and music in it. It’s so cute watching her watch Dora because she is starting to respond to the prompts.

Music – she is always singing and dancing

Swimming and the swimming pool – She always wants to go to the pool. Even when it’s freezing out. I’m really glad we have her swimming lessons every week as that provides her with an outlet. She loves her swimming teacher and now enjoys being in the pool even when I’m not there which is great!

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Speech

Willow has had a major vocabulary explosion recently and she now talks almost from the moment she wakes up to when she falls asleep. She’s making pretty big sentences at least 5 to 7 words at a time. I can also understand her 90% of the time. She is difficult to understand when she whines and she does this thing where she speaks really softly when nervous or shy. I am amazed that she uses pronouns. She says ‘me’, ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘us’ and very seldom refers to herself in the third person. She can also say some pretty big words like ‘ballerina’. When I’m at the sewing machine she will often come up to me and ask what I’m making, enquire if it is for her. I’m frequently left to pick my jaw up off the floor.

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Sleep

We had a period where we had a lot of night waking, but that hasn’t happened in a while. However, my really great sleeper now fights going down for the night and wakes up super early (Well, not as early as some other kids we know, but too early for my liking.) I think she feels that she’s missing out on stuff and that sleep is for the week. She’s also trying really hard to drop her nap, which I am not ready for. I always put her down and enforce quiet time. Whether she will actually sleep is a gamble.

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Eating

This depends on the day. In general, she has a very healthy appetite and eats very well. But we have days where she eats like a bird and I don’t know how she is sustaining herself. She loves most foods but still refuses to eat sweet potato. She will eat cucumber now, but not the skins. She loves sweet things and we really need to watch how many snacks she consumes during the day. The child has never met a package or hummus or cream cheese that she didn’t love. As its summer right now, ice lollies are a huge hit in our home. I make our own by essentially making a smoothie with fruit and yoghurt and freezing it in ice lolly moulds.

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Potty training

I consider Willow fully potty trained these days. I can’t remember the last time she had an accident. She is very good at communicating her needs, although I do find it helpful to ask her if she needs to go every now and again. She tends to get wrapped up in a game and forget about needing the loo until it’s just about too late. She still wears a nappy at night but wakes up dry the majority of the time. It’s incredibly liberating to have a potty trained child!

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Stats

Height: 101cm tall

Weight: 15kg

Clothing size: 3 to 4years or 3T

Shoe size: Mostly UK size 9! It’s a little crazy to me. It feels like her feet are so big!

Sleep: Approximately 10 to 11 hours at night. She will sometimes have a 1 to 2 hour nap in the middle of the day.

Average routine:

6.30am: wake up. She’s usually content to snuggle for a little bit and she gets a quick bite to eat and something to drink while I get ready for work.

7.30am: Get Willow dressed and get ready to leave for school/work. If its a weekend we may stay in bed a little longer and I may let her have some screen time before we get up for the day and I make proper breakfast.

8am: During the week this is when I drop her off at school. On the weekend this is when we will do an activity before we go out for a little bit. I like to take her out in the morning to go and let her expend some energy, as this will usually result in a nap later. We go somewhere with a playground or will go run whatever errands we have on the books.

11.30am/12pm: lunch time. Willow would have had some kind of snack mid-morning, but I like to keep snacks lower so I can be sure she will eat well at mealtimes. Lunch is usually some kind of leftovers from dinner or picnic style veggies with cheese etc.

12.30/1pm: Nap time. If I’m lucky she will go down without too much fuss. But if not then this is an enforced quiet time. The general rule is that she doesn’t have to sleep but she must stay in her room. She has books and toys to entertain her.

3pm: Afternoon activity. If it’s cold or really hot then we’ll stay indoors and play her dolls, do puzzles etc. If I can’t entertain her at all I may let her have some screen time. But as its summer time now afternoon time is usually spent at the pool. During the week she has two swimming lessons (Monday and Wednesday).

5pm: This is when I usually let Willow watch some TV. This allows me a little bit of space to start getting dinner ready.

6pm to 6.30pm: Dinner time and a little bit of play time before we start getting ready to wind down.

7pm: bath, stories and bed. How long it takes to achieve all this varies from night to night.

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Handmade Wardrobe: Megan Nielson Flint Pants

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A dodgy mirror selfie of me in my Flint pants. Worn here with my floral Sew Over It Alex shirt and a pair of navy strappy block heel sandals

I have to be honest, Culottes have never really been on my radar as something I really want to wear.

They bring back really bad memories of school uniforms (long story!) that has always left me turning my nose up at them. But then I came across these gorgeous ones by Megan Nielson and saw what the international bloggers were doing with them. I started to change my mind.

Then I came across this really gorgeous dark green stretch twill at Fiona’s in Randburg on sale for R90/m. When I saw the pattern for sale as part of the Black Friday sales I decided I would just go for it.

I had the fabric cut and waiting for ages before I actually started construction. Part of me was really intimidated because they were pants, and another part of me wasn’t sure my machine would handle it.

In December I took possession of a second hand Bernina and let me tell you it has rocked my sewing world. What better way to break in a new machine than to tackle this project?

I used Gutterman thread in the absolute perfect green and a large gauge universal needle. This was all perfection!

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This pattern is so well drafted and as it doesn’t have zips it comes together so easily. There’s even a sew along on Megan Nielson’s site to help the construction and I found the posts on the release tucks, darts, hemming, and pockets really helpful. All in all, it was such a pleasant sewing experience.

I cut and made an extra small and made sure to try them on before I attached the waistband. This was a good thing as they were slightly too big in the waist for me. As the legs are so voluminous I decided to simply take in the entire outside seam by about 1.5cm on either side. I’m not sure if this was the right thing to do, but it worked like a charm. It didn’t affect the positioning of the darts or the effect of the wide leg but the waistband fit like an absolute glove now.

I did have an issue with the waistband though. I had it sewn on so perfectly and my topstitching was incredible and then I noticed that I had sewn the bow on the wrong way around. So I had to unpick the whole thing and start again. Since my fabric was quite bulky I had graded the seam allowances.

The right thing would have been to remake the waistband from scratch, but I didn’t have enough fabric. So I made do with what I had. It still looks good, but it was very late but the time I finished and my topstitching went skew. Ce lest Vie. My thread is such a perfect match that you can’t tell unless you’re super close. I still love them and have worn them a bit.

Because I used twill for this project my pants are quite structured, which I love. They are still really cool and easy to wear in hot summer weather, but I think they will transition well to colder weather as well. If you used something with more drape you would have a completely different look.

Since making these I have seen culottes everywhere; which is great as its giving me a lot of inspiration on how to wear these. This is a great project if it’s your first time making pants. I would recommend you be at least advanced beginner before tackling this.

Hello 2018!

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Why, Hello there. Let’s try getting back into this blogging thing, shall we?

As I mentioned in my previous post the end of 2017 got away from me and I was left feeling really drained and overwhelmed. It was a challenging year. A lot of really great things happened.

We had new additions to the family when A’s cousin had her baby, close friends and family got married, we got to travel for the first time in ages, I fell in love with sewing and my dad had his knee replacement which we have been working towards forever. It just felt like everything that happened in the most difficult way possible. We had to fight for every bit of ground gained and by the end, I was just soul weary.

But a really great break, spending quality time with family and friends as well as a blogging hiatus has left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new year. This year has quite a few exciting things on the horizon as well. We’ve got two weddings coming up, hopefully, more babies to look forward to and A and I are hoping to do some small renovations to our home. No travel, but a more stable year is just what we need I think.

In amongst all that I have some pretty lofty goals when it comes to my sewing and of course, Willow will be sure to keep us on our toes. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

Speaking of Willow, the little munchkin turned three last week! I have a full blog post coming up on that. We didn’t do anything major for her party. My In-Laws traveled down for the day and we went to a really awesome restaurant that caters specifically to kids. She had tons of fun. She also had a mini celebration when we joined our close friends for their son’s birthday party (the two of them are 362 days apart), and we did treats and cupcakes at school when she started the year on Monday. There will also be more to come when we see my parents in the near future. She’s a very lucky girl.

So, that’s where we are at the moment. I haven’t got any new year’s resolutions to share. This year I’m taking everything as it comes. I want to try a new thing where I have a keyword for the year, sort of like an affirmation. This year the words intention and mindfulness are really resonating with me. I want to try and take them with me as we go through 2018. I felt very ungrounded last year and I want this year to be purposeful.

I hope that 2018 treats you all well. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one!

 

 

The month that was: December 2017

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Hello all, long time no see! I hope that the end of 2017 treated you well and that you’re all ready for the new year.

The last three months of last year really got on top of me and I was struggling to keep all my ducks in a row. Eventually, I realised I had to scale back and focus on all the things I could achieve and that I just needed a bit of a break you know? But after a wonderful summer break and festive season, I feel rested and ready for what 2018 brings us.

I spotted this concept for monthly reviews on Lisa Comfort’s  site and it was such fun to read that I’m shamelessly borrowing the idea.

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Sewing – I got a new machine in December! Well, an old new machine. It is my Mother In Law’s seldom used Bernina and I’m so excited about it. While I loved my Empisal that I initially had, I can see what a step up this machine is. To celebrate I spent my week off in December while Willow was visiting her grandparents trying to fit in as much sewing as I could. I made a Willamette Shirt by Hey June in navy and white shirting, an awesome pair of Flint Culottes from Megan Nielsen Patterns in khaki stretch twill and I managed to sneak in a Toaster #2 sweater by Sew House Seven in a lovely mint French Terry.

Making – I made as many Christmas gifts as I could, but I did drop the ball a bit. This year I plan to start a lot earlier! I already have a few ideas up my sleeve.

 

Drinking – Gin and Tonic! What is summer without G&Ts? We have this amazing gin that is made in Tzaneen that we have drunk far too quickly!

Hoping – For a stable 2018. Last year was so up and down that I felt very overwhelmed. I’d like to just have a quiet, but productive year this year.

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Loving – The summer weather and spending afternoons at the pool with Willow. Right now we’re in the middle of a heat wave, but the start of this summer was so cold and wet that the heat feels amazing!

Hating – flies and mosquitoes. A by-product of the hot weather is that we have a lot of flies and mosquitoes around at the moment, but it’s a small price to pay, to be honest.

Buying – I treated myself to the Sew Over It Capsule Wardrobe ebook just before Christmas. I have been lusting after this for ages and thought it was the perfect time to get it. I’m looking forward to trying out all the patterns.

Watching – Satr Wars – The Last Jedi! A and I so rarely get to go to the movies these days. So while Willow was with her grandparents we took the opportunity to go see Star Wars. It was a lot of fun.

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Sporting – shorts and me-made tops. Around the end of the year, I realised that I needed to make more separates. I was making a lot of dresses, but I tend to wear separates more. I’m so glad I did this as I have been living in awesome shorts and my Sew Over It Camis, Ogden Camis and Minntu Tanks.

Laughing – a lot. This has been a wonderful festive season, made even better by being able to spend it with the family who we rarely see. My soul feels really full.

Admiring – my sister’s gorgeous morganite ring that she recently bought. That stone shines like crazy!

Thinking – about a lot of things. I’ve felt at a crossroads for a long time about various things. I’m still trying to work through it all in my head, but it finally feels like things are starting to move along. Whether its the right direction only time will tell.

Realising – that I need to focus more on being in the moment and not in my head so much. I had such a relaxing and enjoyable December because I was not so hyper-focused on what I needed to do next. Also that I don’t need to take everything on my shoulders.

Planning – Willow’s school birthday party for Monday (how is she three3 already?) and deciding on a routine for how our weeks will go once school and work start up again. I feel like some structure is really missing from our lives.

Needing – to find a balance between the things I have to do and the things I want to do. That’s the eternal struggle, isn’t it?

 

Adventures in adult braces: November 2017

I can’t remember if I wrote about my October appointment or not. I think I did, but I’m too lazy to go look through my post history right now.

Long story short I was left very sore and disappointed at the end of that appointment. The date to take my braces off had been pushed back again. The changes they made to the tension etc was very uncomfortable and I left feeling my there had been no progress and the damn things would never come off.

What a difference a month makes. My progress is still much slower than I would like but it looks like my teeth are 99% to perfection. I spoke candidly with my doctor and told him that I was really over this and anything he could do to get this done quicker would be greatly appreciated.

After the examination he got out a mirror and showed me what he was trying to achieve. Basically my alignment has been corrected, but he’s working on getting the tooth placement absolutely spot on. Three teeth in my upper jaw on the right and one tooth in my lower jaw on the left are not playing ball. These teeth need to touch to be in the correctly placement and right now they are so slightly splayed that if I wasn’t told what to look for I would never notice. But being a perfectionist and a professional my orthodontist is not happy to take the braces off with these teeth in their current placement.

He did make a compromise with me. My next appointment is at the end of January. We will do an evaluation on that date to see whether the teeth are touching and if they are the braces will be removed two weeks after that. So send me all the good vibes that my teeth move over the next eight weeks!

As for the tightening etc. the stubborn lower tooth (this is the same tooth that has been out of alignment since the beginning), has been wired to within an inch of its life!. The gauge of the wire on my lower was once again increased and no changes were made to my upper teeth. My elastic configuration has changed again and all this combined has put immense pressure on the two teeth in particular that need to move. But this is nothing compared to the pain of last month, which is disconcerting. I really hope it’s doing something!

So that’s where I am right now. I’m getting quietly optimistic that come February my braces will be removed. I’m practically willing the teeth to move. I have to wear the elastic day and night and I’m trying to be super conscious about making sure they are in 24/7.

Another post about why I haven’t been posting…

Well, hello there. Seriously long time no see.

I’m not going to bore you with reasons justifying my absence or regale you with tales of what I’ve been up to. Because honestly? It hasn’t been all that exciting. I have been in a really weird headspace and blogging was the last thing I wanted to do. Pretty much all I’ve done for months is hang out with my family, go to work and sew. I have done so much sewing.

I love it more than I ever thought I would. That sewing machine scared the crap out of me at first and I had it for almost a year before I plucked up the courage to learn how to use it. Now we’re besties. Just go to show that good things happen when you move out of your comfort zone.

All this sewing means that my closet is being overrun with me made items (I love it!) and I haven’t bought a ready to wear piece of clothing in months. It also means that my wish list of toys has gotten a lot more expensive and my bank account is crying in pain at the thought of it. I dream of a bigger, badder machine, I dream of an overlocker, I dream of an embroidery machine, I dream of a new house with a room for my sewing stuff. Sigh.

I’m also at a crossroads with regards to my blog. All I really want to talk about is sewing and Willow, sometimes sewing for Willow. And I’m not sure if anyone really wants to hear me witter on about that. I don’t have the energy to run two separate blogs and content for both. Hence, the radio silence.

Also, this year has just been long. Is anyone else feeling flat and tired or it just me? I feel uninspired and in need of some serious downtime.

Everything right now seems to be a lot harder than necessary. We’ve had some emotional stuff going on and my dad’s just had a knee replacement o my sisters have been on the country in relay. I’ve been trying to spend time with everyone, get stuff done at work, keep on top of housework and more. 2017, you’ve been real but I’m done now.

I only have two weeks left of work for the year and then we’re on a well-deserved break.

Friday Favourites: October 27

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My Agapanthus are flowering for me this year! I’m so excited

I keep persevering with writing these posts, but then something always happens and I never get the thing to go live. I’m determined to get this post up!

So this is a Friday favourites/life lately post seeing as how it’s been absolute ages since I posted anything. It’s amazing how busy we’ve been. I feel like I’m chasing my tail a bit. Both work and my personal life have been manic and whenever I get some down time I feel like doing absolutely nothing but binge watching tv. Did they sneak an extra few months into this year while we weren’t looking? 2017 has been long and exhausting. I’m ready for holidays now!

In other news, last weekend was my birthday. I turned 31 and despite a horrid week leading up to the event, I had a lovely birthday and it set me up to be in a pretty awesome mood all week. I’ve managed to be productive and that pleases me immensely.

We didn’t do anything spectacular for my birthday. We went out for a very nice lunch, A babysat for a bit so I could go grocery shopping alone (#momlife) and I managed to squeeze in a brunch and shopping date with my bestie. All of which makes for a very happy Kierryn.

This weekend we’re off to see A’s folks in the Lowveld. We haven’t been to visit since August, its long overdue.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Chat soon! Xx

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My lovely new brushes

Product of the week: A bought me this lovely set of oval makeup brushes and I am in love! I really like this kind of makeup brush for foundation especially. It does an excellent job of buffing it in and making it look seamless and it does so in no time at all. These come from Dischem I believe.

Purchase of the week: I managed to get my hands a few bits from the Clarins summer 2017 collection and it is so lovely. Everything from the aesthetic tot he actually product makes me all heart eye emoji. I treat myself to this every year and it sees me through until the next one. I got the bronzer and the eyeshadow palette. If you’re going to spoil your self to one thing make it the bronzer. You can use this for your eyes to complete a look. Its buttery, pigmented and just gorgeous. I’ve been using it every day since I got it and the motif is still perfect!

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This is the perfect casual summer dress!

Project of the week: I made myself Allie Olsen’s Highlands Wrap Dress in this beautiful viscose. The fit is absolutely spot on; the fabric is so light and airy. This is the perfect dress for summer. I got the Fabric from Chamdor in Northriding for R50 a metre and the pattern was part of the Spring/Summer 17 collection on Indiesew but you can buy it stand alone as well. It was challenging in some parts so I would say suitable for a confident beginner onwards.

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Fiona’s Fabric Store in Fernadale. My new happy place

Random: I haven’t bought any clothing since I started taking my sewing seriously. It’s a pretty epic feeling. I won’t lie, I’ve spent a bit on fabric. But I love every piece I’ve made and the satisfaction I get out of wearing my own garments and having someone compliment them is immense!

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The epic burgers we had for my birthday lunch

Best moment: I can’t really decide on one. I’ve had a pretty good week altogether and I’m really grateful for that.

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Ending off the week with pink G&T. I got this bottle from my friend for my birthday. it’s a local brand made in Tzaneen and its delicious

Looking forward to: Sleeping in late on the weekend and having some quality family time.

Adventures in Adult Braces: October 2017

So I had my latest torture session with my orthodontist and I am once again left with tender teeth and a seriously bummed out spirit.

I just want this damn thing to be over and done with now. I’m so over it. I had a random thought while my teeth were being yanked on. I think I’m really stupid for paying someone to cause me physical pain every six to eight weeks. This though was followed closely by: “If I ever have to go through this again I am just going to have all my teeth pulled and fake ones put in.”

On the whole, the feedback was positive. The way my back teeth interlock is now perfect. This was the whole reason for getting such an intensive treatment in the first place. so that’s good. My Dr has even seen a difference in my gumline and I can see from my before photos that my face has changed ever so slightly.

The bone of contention is that my orthodontist thinks that the way my top overlap my bottom teeth is off and he is working on creating more separation there. I’m not sure how he expects to get this right as this is the way my teeth have always been for as long as I can remember.

According to the doctor, I am on track to have the braces removed early next year. Then he said sounding ever so pleased with himself ‘March/Aprilish’. Now that is not early next year. That is a third of the way through next year. There is a huge difference. Early in the year in January, maybe February. early March at a push. But April? April is the second quarter. It also marks being in braces for two years! I was told this was an 18-month treatment. I am very annoyed.

This whole process has been very much like renovating a house. The construction company gives you the quote and a time frame then spends the entire time you’re building pushing the finish date further and further back. All the while you cannot see what they have done to justify this because whenever you do a site inspection nothing looks to have changed.

This month I also got these lovely, comfortable (#sarcasm) wires wrapped all around my top teeth – every. single. tooth. Yay for me. I also got a larger gauge wire for the bottom teeth and have to wear elastics day and night again. So over it.

A small spark of good news is that at least the bloody things are paid for now and I get to go back in November for more torture.

Willow’s Two year swim lessons anniversary

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Willow and I recenlty celebrated our two year anniversary of swimming lessons at Little Fishes swimming school in Bryanston.

Every week I am blown away by her progress. It has been so much fun to watch her grow and develop, get more and more comfortable in the water and have a ball while doing it.

I am asked quite a lot why we started swimming lessons so early. The first thing that comes to mind is that I didn’t want her to be scared of the water. Living in South Africa, we spend most of the year around the pool. Our summers are long and hot, our winters are short and a lot of our social activities take place outside and near water. I wanted to make sure she was comfortable in the water and knew what to do in the event that she should fall in.

But during our journey, I have seen so many other added benefits.

It’s very social. She has some special friends at swimming lessons that she has been swimming with pretty much since the beginning. It is also social for me. When she was very young it was a great reason to get out of the house, see some people and have some interaction with other moms.

It is incredibly strengthening. Willow’s core is incredibly strong. Swimming is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of hard work. She can climb in and out of the pool all by herself now and that takes a lot of strength for a toddler. I think it helped a lot with her crawling, walking and coordination as well.

It tires her out. Swimming is the only structured outing we have every week, but in the beginning, we would do two lessons of swimming a week and one session at Clamber club. These activities were great for letting Willow play and get her energy out. I have always found that she slept really well on these days. I just make sure I balance it out with lots of rest and free play so that she’s not overscheduled.

Willow’s swimming teacher is incredibly happy with her progress and there is talk of graduating her to the next class in the next few months. It won’t be until she’s ready, what I love about the Aquatots program is that each skill is built upon the foundations they have been instilling since the beginning and moves at the child’s pace.

She holds her breath beautifully and is self-propelling through the water. What is really cool is that she does so in a forward motion with her head down and her body in a straight line. According to her teacher, this is actually really hard to teach kids.

Willow can jump into the water, spin around, come up to the surface and grab onto the wall. It’s one of her favourite games.

She is also experimenting with floating which freaked me out a little bit (She holds her breath and floats face down in the water for a few seconds). She is basically swimming; she just doesn’t have the strength needed to get from one side of the pool to the next.

At the moment we’re working on coordinating her arm and leg movements and refining her propulsion. This has been a lot for her to learn. She’s got the kicking part down pat but struggles to kick and use her arms at the same time.

I’m really proud of her progress and I love that she enjoys it. She is always asking to go swimming and to see Teacher Monica. She also can’t wait to get into her swimming costume and climb into the water each lesson.

I would absolutely do this again with my next child. It’s a vital skill to have and I have seen how much Willow has benefitted from it.

 

Life lately: September 2017

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Wow, long time, no blog. In all honesty, I have been writing quite a few blog posts, but I wasn’t sure if people really wanted to read about me wittering on about stuff, so they never really made it onto the blog.

We’ve had a mixed bag this month. Some of it was really good, some of it was a lot harder than I anticipated. But I suppose that’s life, isn’t it?

We’ve been blessed with some great weather. Johannesburg bypassed spring and jumped straight into summer. Willow and I have already been in the pool a couple of times, the garden looks fantastic and we’ve had some rain! It makes my heart really happy.

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately.

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Willow seems to be getting a handle on the whole potty training thing (I always knock wood when I say that. I’m not a superstitious person, but I really don’t want to jinx this.) It was both an easy experience and really, really hard. I can’t quite explain the dynamic. We have struggled a bit with number 2s in the toilet – this situation was the cause of the majority of our accidents. But in the past few days, she seems to have turned a corner. She’s made a number 2 in the toilet a few times now and I think she’s learning to anticipate it now. I was speaking with her teacher the other day who says she is one of the children in her class who has clicked with potty training the best and they have paired her up with other children who need to see what to do. That makes me really proud of her.

She’s also doing incredibly well at swimming. Her swimming teacher wants to graduate her out of the Aquatots programme into ‘big’ swimming lessons in the New Year. So we’ve been put in the advanced class. She gets so excited about going under the water and can propel herself really well. She’s learning to coordinate her kicking and paddling with her arms and she’s working on learning the basics of diving. It’s all very exciting to watch.

I’ve been really getting into my sewing and have made a few garments I am incredibly proud of. I’m working towards building a completely handmade wardrobe. It’s a lot of fun to sew and so satisfying to wear something I worked hard to make. A lot of my blog posts that never got published have been about sewing. I’m pretty sure it would bore people to death, but it makes me happy.

I have also been struggling with the strange dizziness again. It leaves me feeling really sick of out of sorts (definitely not pregnant!). I’ve been doing a lot reading up on the symptoms. I know you shouldn’t but when I have an episode I can’t go to the doctor and then to go afterward and say, well, yesterday I was dizzy but now I just feel hung over and tired makes me feel really stupid.

I think they’re vestibular migraines. I get a lot of migraine symptoms: blurred vision, trouble with speech, sensitivity to light and smells on top of the dizziness, trouble walking/standing and nausea (It feels like I’m on a ship in a hurricane, being tossed about.) I often have to lie down or lean on the walls. The only thing I don’t get is the pain. I get a really uncomfortable pressure in my forehead and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. Then for days afterward I feel like I’ve done a few rounds in the boxing ring. They seem to be triggered by changing hormones and stress. I’ll definitely go to the doctor if they get worse.

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So there’ you have it. I’m pretty excited October is here. It’s my birthday month and my favourite month of the year!