Easter in Yzerfontein

Hi lovelies,

I’m happy to say that we headed out on our first family holiday over Easter this year – and it was our 6th anniversary too … which is why I absolutely love the month of March. 😉

amelias-first-easter-4amelias-first-easter-6amelias-first-easter-3amelias-first-easter-13amelias-first-easter-11amelias-first-easter-14

We were quite excited to take some time out and be away from home as we’ve had an almost non-stop stream of visitors coming round to see Amelia. I won’t lie, it was pretty fantastic to have friends popping in and keeping me company – as I didn’t have time to get lonely – but it was only recently that I realised I haven’t had a single week to myself with just Amelia at home (gasp!).

20160319_10115920160319_10120620160319_11081420160319_110930So with the long weekends of Easter coming up and our anniversary, we decided to spend a whole, blissful week with just the three of us – before inviting my parents to join us on a family holiday.

20160321_12472020160321_12492420160322_18003120160323_110025020160323_11002520160324_09221720160324_15070820160319_130332

We enjoyed board games, home cooked meals with some Tangled Tree wine, and even a few trips to the beach – though sadly, the weather didn’t quite cooperate. In short it was heavenly!

20160325_10585620160325_10575320160325_10545020160326_15091920160326_150923

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Yzerfontein as a town? For those who don’t know it, it’s a perfect seaside village outside of Langebaan with secret beaches, family-friendly restaurants with lovely owners that were completely okay with me breastfeeding Amelia which is a big plus in my books.

20160327_16082120160327_151502.jpg20160327_151617

Easter morning was a quiet affair at home before we decided to head back to Cape Town to beat any kind of crazy traffic. I naturally went a bit crazy with the camera and took a million pictures. I whittled them down to the below. You’re welcome. 😉amelias-first-easter-18amelias-first-easter-17amelias-first-easter-19amelias-first-easter-2120160327_132700amelias-first-easter-25amelias-first-easter-2720160327_13193920160327_132531

I honestly can’t wait to return and suspend time as we enjoy baby giggles, amazed stares at seagulls, wrinkled noses at the scent of braai food, and happy cheer and togetherness with those I love.

Things I’ve learnt during my first 100 days of motherhood

It’s funny how time takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve got a little life depending on you for everything. And how easy it is to get so wrapped up in your own world of snuggles and cuddles, late night feeds and hours of walking or rocking that little angel, all the while praying that they’ll fall asleep so you can rest your weary eyes.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (2)

Days seem to slip away as you stare at tiny eyelashes, smiling at contented sighs and feeling your heart start to melt as five little fingers curl around one of yours. As that little head rests softly on your chest and cuddles close to you, heat and heartbeats shared.

So it’s with some amusement and much love that after the first 100 days of motherhood, here are a few of the things that I’ve learnt:

* The motherhood glow is real – though I have a sneaky suspicion that mine was caused by cuddling a beautiful little furnace – during the 40°C heat wave we had.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (23)

 

*Mommy brain is also a real thing. Ever had it? No? Well, it’s the sort fog that draws over your brain as you stare in awe at your little gift at 3 in the morning as they nuzzle into you, and then you try to form coherent sentences to your significant other at 7am as you cook breakfast over a hot plate, despite having been awake for close to 24hrs. Oh what fun that is. Now repeat it every day for close on two months.Yep. There’s a peek at mommy brain for you. Also, I feel mildly cheated of this fortitude back during the odd all-nighter.

* Post pregnancy hair loss is a myth – or at least it was for me. I never once woke to strands on my pillow, or wound up having my drain clogged by clumps as a horrified friend informed me I would. Boy, did I feel smug about that one. Instead, what I did find was that my sweet little dumpling loved to reach up and tug with her tiny fists, which though adorable also slightly terrified me as it hurt to have her yank out single strands out of my head where they were firmly attached. She started to do this all. the. time. And it was so painful!! Seriously though, aside from tugging by my little darling, the rest of my hair stayed firmly where it belonged on my head. Smugness intact. 😉

*Friends will pop in almost daily to visit and meet your little angel, which is great because it’s good for them to start learning who their aunties and uncles are (and let’s face it, adorable baby snuggles and cuddles are too good an opportunity to pass up on regardless of heatwaves).

 

Amelia Growin (5)

*You will never be afraid of any kind of bodily fluid your little one may provide. Which is both heartwarming and terrifying considering the coming years and the dreaded potty training. Luckily, there are many, many, many moons still to go before that happens.

*Baking mini breakfast cupcakes with bacon and cheddar, spinach and feta, and carrot and cinnamon, becomes a soothing and a lovely way to grab a snack in the morning if you don’t have time to do a full breakfast of any kind.

* Washing and arranging tiny, cute outfits doesn’t get old – or at least, just over 100 days into motherhood, it hasn’t yet. It still brings a smile to my face as I tip in those teeny tiny little pants, tops, dresses and blankets into the washer and run it through the rinse cycle twice. Because since she’s inherited my sensitive skin, I can’t be too careful.

*Gummy smiles are the cutest things in the whole world. Especially when you realise that they look like an angelic Nights Watch member  … you doubt? Humph. You know nothing Jon Snow!!!

Amelia Growin (10).jpg

* Possibly too TMI but at some point everyone will ask you if you can tell when your milk comes in. To anyone wondering: yes, yes you can definitely tell when your milk comes in. Though it’s name “Let Down” may fool you into thinking it’s some kind of gentle process – in the early days, it’s not. Instead, it’s a thousand tiny fire-hot needles stabbing you that lead to you knowing when your milk for the baby has arrived. Yay.  Word to the wise: feed the tiny human asap because engorgemegive is an even worse feeling  … (I told you tmi). However, it doesn’t last forever and it really does settle into a normal ‘feeling’ of “oh, the milk is here” after the first two months or maybe I’m just cursed special.

*Taking photographs of those moments, along with other moments is a great way to pass the time and make memories to cherish. If you ever find time to print them for that album and scrapbook.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (8)

*Sleep deprivation may make you cranky, but you’ll find ways around it that work for you which sadly, usually don’t include sleep. I found drinking something after every feeding session, coupled with having something to eat every three hours did wonders at improving my mood throughout month two (those midnight snacks were sooo good!!). What did I drink, you ask? Well Schlehlens tonic with water, apple juice and rehydrate sachets for one, along with healthy dolings out of coconut water, regular water, water with lemon cordial and that single, aromatic first cup of coffee. Oh coffee! I miss you so …

*Watching your partner cuddle your sleeping child suddenly becomes the most magical sight in the whole world. Especially if they both snore softly together.

Amelia Growing  (14)

*Tiny finger nails are deadly weapons that give you the human equivellant of paper cuts. One minute you’re happily chatting with your tiny person in arms, the next your finger (or arm, or face, or cheek) starts to ache and there’s a tiny red line going down it from the talons of terror (not even joking). Cutting them while your child is asleep is the only safe way to do it that I’ve found.

*Soft sighs of contentment into your neck make everything worthwhile.

* My little lady had colic – and while it seemed to last forever, it does finally pass. It’s not pleasant (in the rocking in the corner crying with them way) but it does become more manageable over time. While my daughter didn’t have it as badly as some babies, it was a series of late night unsettled cries that were pretty impossible to soothe. Long story short, we finally realised that she had a dairy allergy and after I eliminated all milk products from my diet for a few weeks (which also cut down on the amount of gas Amelia had), her nightly cries pretty much vanished. So if your baby suffers from colic, and though it’s not a popular solution nowadays, chat with your paediatrician about doing an elmination diet if you breastfeed or switching to a different brand of formula and see if that helps. Because being told by everyone you know that it’s normal for all babies to cry when your gut says somethings wrong means ignoring convention and going with your instincts.

Amelia Growing  (16)

* Cradle cap is the most annoying thing in the world once the tiny white bumps (milia) have done their rounds on your babies beautiful skin. After trying baby shampoo, gentle brushing, olive oil, and even aqueous cream to remove it, nothing worked and it was as stubbornly staying put as ever. Eventually I tried coconut oil which cleared it up in a week! I seriously can’t recommend it enough as your first option.

*You can never have too many spare nappies in the car, despite however many you pack in the diaper bag. Likewise, another pack of baby wipes and a spare outfit in the car can’t hurt.

*The baby superman pose of arms being held high above the head when sleeping doesn’t get old. And somehow seems to grow more adorable the longer you gaze at it.

Amelia 0 - 3 months (17)

*There are plenty of people who’ll give you advice, from the lady in Woolworths to the parking attendant. Best scenario: Take in all advice graciously and apply or disregard it as necessary, especially as you know your baby best and what will work with your lifestyle.

*You will at some point think that your child looks like a cranky old person and you’re not wrong. They definitely get that “what do you think you’re doing, whippersnapper” look in their eyes a lot once they start focusing.

*That first bite of those forbidden foods you couldn’t have while pregnant are so. So. SO worth it. Here’s looking at you, sushi.

Amelia Growing  (21)

*You’ll never forget the first bathing experience you have with your baby. Mine had a look of wonder on her face as I put her in the water and she started crying when I took her out. It made bathtime so much easier than originally anticipated and it’s now an activity we both love at the end of a long day of play.

*If your baby is sticking out their tongue, they’re most likely hungry. If you’re wrong, they’ll likely be hungry in 20 minutes. It’s how it goes.

*If you’re inclined, read up on baby language (also called the Dunston method)  which consists of five basic cries: neh, heh, ah, eair, eh. For our little girl, it helped a heck of a lot in the beginning when trying to figure out what could be wrong. It could also have been complete hogwash and I’m just completely and utterly  in tune with my little angel, so there’s that too. 😉

Amelia Growing  (8)

*When you leave that hospital room and the comfort of people checking in on you, to go out into the world with your precious gift and start the journey of being mom and dad, at some point you’ll realise, “I’ve got this”. It’s not a wondrous, terrifying journey anymore but a happy, comforting reality of daily diaper changes, cuddles, playing, feeding, bathing, laughing, crying and cuddling. You’re in a place where time doesn’t matter and the points you assign to various things don’t mean anything (yep, I’m a huge Who’s Line fan).

Because in the end, as long as your baby is growing well and you’re doing fine, you really can say to anyone who asks how you are: “I’ve got this”.

Welcome Amelia

Hi lovelies,

Sorry for the delay in getting this up, but it’s been an incredibly busy last few days as hubby and I finally got to meet our beautiful little girl! Though it was via an emergency C-section and not a natural birth as planned (despite an 11 hour labor), I’m really over the moon at finally meeting my little girl!

My little angel (C) Rambling with Rose

Instead of keeping you in suspense, here are a few photographs to tide you over, until I have time to update properly. 😉

Born at 5 minutes to midnight (C) Rambling with Rose

Being prepped for surgery and cracking jokes (C) Rambling with Rose

Getting to hold my daughter (C) Rambling with Rose Amelia being checked out (C) Rambling with Rose The wonderful surgical team (C) Rambling with Rose Holding Amelia after her first feed (C) Rambling with Rose Daddy and daughter (C) Rambling with Rose  Our little super girl!

This tiny little angel has definitely brought a whole lot of love with her! ❤

7 Things That Have Made Me Happy

Hello lovely,

After stumbling across a few blogs (specifically these ones at Color Me Katie, The Nectar Collective, Style Generis and Cider with Rosie), which have bloggers sharing and showing gratitude on a weekly (or monthly) basis, I’ve decided to start my own round up of weekly gratitude’s and happiness’, from events which have brought a  smile to my face and a sparkle to my eyes. ^_^

So here’s the first of my posts on 7 things that have made me happy this past week:

Roses (C) Rambling with Rose

1. Nothing brings cheer to a house or beauty into a room as quickly as some freshly cut flowers, and I loved the fading, soft colours and sweet scent from these roses I got from work. ^_^

 

My amazing family
Awesome Cousins (C) Rambling with Rose
Family Christmas Brunch (C) Rambling with Rose

2.  It’s been fantastic seeing family over this festive period, from my loving parents and brother, to my cousins visiting from Gauteng, to family from hubby’s side, and my wonderful auntie from Durban!

Ratanga Junction (C) Rambling with Rose (1) (Copy)
Ratanga Junction (C) Rambling with Rose (63) (Copy)
Ratanga Junction (C) Rambling with Rose (22) (Copy)Ratanga Junction (C) Rambling with Rose (56) (Copy)
Ratanga Junction (C) Rambling with Rose (44) (Copy)

3. Having a day of giddy, carefree fun at Ratanga Junction with my hubby, wonderful cousin, and  his beautiful wife. The cobra was our favourite ride (as per usual) though the Congo Queen got a few squeals out of us too. ^_^

Grandmother Samantha (C) Rambling with Rose (5)
Smokey (C) Rambling with Rose (6)
Misty (C) Rambling with Rose (7)
Pumba (C) Rambling with Rose (8)
Silverine (C) Rambling with Rose (2)
Storm (C) Rambling with Rose (3)

4. Coming back home to our loving kitties, who’ve missed us during our 3-week house sitting stint.

2014-12-16 19.24.06

5. But speaking of house sitting, I feel so blessed to have had the above view (and pool) during our house-sit (it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?!)  We spent lots of evenings enjoying meals in the lapa beside the pool, with a glass of wine and conversation flowing.

Beach walk (C) Rambling with Rose

6. Going on long beach walks! ^_^

Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (3) Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (4) Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (5) Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (6) Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (1) Healthy foods (C) Rambling with Rose (2)

7. All the delicious meals we’ve had, both cooked meals at home, and meals out. A healthy, happy 2015 is definitely a priority for us.

What has made you happy this week? ^_^

Glamour and Gangsters, Murder and Mayhem

Hello darling,

Last year  I decided it was time for me to do something a little more interesting with my friends than the usual “dinner, drinks and dancing” routine that I’ve stuck with for the past 4 birthdays (hey, if it ‘aint broke and all that good stuff…).

Murder Mystery the Girls

Murder Mystery the Boys

Though last years birthday wasn’t a milestone one (unless you count it as one in the general sense of ‘well-done; you survived another year’), it was when I finally realised that my various friendship circles had never met.

And to me, there was no better way to introduce them to each other than by gathering them under one roof, and unite them in a joint quest – to stay alive and solve the mysterious murder of William, a prolific director who died in August 1920.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (67)

How did the idea for a murder mystery come about?

Let it be stated that I’ve loved thrillers and detective stories my entire life – ever since I was little and was introduced to characters like Hercule Poirot, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, The Adventures of Hal and Rodger, and later on in television Murder She Wrote, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, NCIS, and more! – In fact, I’ve always thought I’d missed my calling as a kick-ass crime solver. ^_~ So after attending a murder mystery dinner written by my good friend (and 2nd cousin) Wayne R, I realised that this festive approach would be the perfect way to ring in my 28th birthday. We struck an accord (ooh, doesn’t that sound pirate-like) and he dutifully began casting my friends as characters while I furiously trolled Pinterest to collect a sample of Gatsby / 1920s / gangsters and glamour themes, decor and food ideas.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (11)

 What Worked

– Having Wayne play host (and butler) for me, while I got to mingle and chat with everyone (he’s an angel!) – this also allowed me to be completely oblivious to who the killer was, so I could enjoy the fun and suspense of the night alongside my friends

Murder Mystery (C) Wayne Ronne

– Having a little table in the entry hall with props on it to set the mood as soon as people arrived (Gin bottle, hollywood scene board, long cigarette holder, long pearls, feather boa, etc)

– Inviting more than 10 guests – you have more suspects to narrow down and with more people participating, those who aren’t part of  theatre felt less shy when give their fledgling acting a try, and there was always someone new to question

– Planning the party fairly early in the month (rather than having it as a last-minute thing)

– Not having a formal sit down dinner and serving finger food platters (it’s far easier to mingle, with less interruptions / opportunities to fall out of character)

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (78)

– Opening bubbly and giving everyone a welcome drink as they arrived (that in itself was very Gatsby-ish). As I’m not made of money I served a sweet , delightful bubbly that cost slightly over R40 a bottle from Pick ‘n Pay.

– Ensuring there was a dedicated drinks area (the bubbly station became the bar after a half-hour)

– Creating a broad theme for the party – Gangsters & Glamour encompassed styles which ranged from the 1920s – 1950s, which ensured everyone could dress up and get into character (as opposed to feeling awkward in the usual jeans & a t-shirt)

– Cupcakes – were a welcome dessert after the game, and were quick and easy to whip out

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (61)

What Didn’t Work

– High heels on the outside lawn – should have seen this one coming

– Having everyone amalgamate outside due to the heat of the day, without knowing where the outside lights were for when the sun set – which resulted in hubby going home to fetch a few camping lanterns to light up the outdoors (oops)\

– Putting out extra flowers around the house, which were a nice touch for me, but hidden in the greater scheme of things

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (42)

Final thoughts

Needless to say, with champagne flowing, finger foods being passed around, clue cards handed out, and everyone putting aside their nerves and just taking part, the entire night was a smashing success! And though our darling murderess walked away free and clear (pictured below in the red and black dress), everyone had a rip-roaring good time, complete with appropriate Jazz era hits playing softly in the background.

Murder Mystery (C) Rambling with Rose (13)

If you’re interested in having a murder mystery planned for an upcoming event, contact Wayne R (who will have a website with sample scripts coming out mid-March 2015) ^_~

Have you ever thrown a murder mystery party before? What theme did you pick?

A Birthday Summary

Hello lovely,

Yesterday was my birthday, and as of today I’m another year older, and hopefully a little wiser. ^_~

The morning started off with my wonderful husband and mom in law waking me with a cup of coffee and a present that I’ve been dreaming of for months – the Kindle Paperwhite!

Kindle Paperwhite

The little beauty came with a black leather case, and after several joyful squeals of delight (delivered with hugs and kisses), I bid them adieu for their day of work while I sipped coffee and started syncing it (to retrieve my hundreds of book purchases over the months that I’ve been reading on my phone’s Kindle App).

I then opened my other presents which included a gorgeous Gatsby-inspired lace beauty hamper from Oh So Heavenly, a lovely, large red beach blanket, a 2-player solitare word game called Voltaire, a gorgeous golden paisley writing book and pen, and my present to myself: a trench coat (which is an item I’ve been searching for, for the past 3 years!!)

Lace Gatsby beauty hamper

 

Voltaire

Writing book and Pen

Trench 1

Then it was time to help my brother in law with the tiling of dining room, grab a quick shower, and meet a friend for some wine and a catch up chat, before we went to the theater to spend an evening being entertained by the pantomime: Once Upon a Time.com.

Wayne and I

It was a fantastic day all in all, and I feel grateful and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. ^_^