Hell Week (Or, Sleep Deprivation: Lest We Forget)

I never thought I’d get to the point where I forgot what sleep-deprivation was really like. Pixie, while still not a great sleeper, has been much better the last few months. I even commented to Jenna that perhaps I was feeling broody because I didn’t remember sleep-deprivation.

The very next day, Pixie got sick.

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I fetched her from school and Teacher Bumblebee commented that Pixie felt a bit hot when she woke her. Teacher Bumblebee grabbed the thermometer – 38.1°C. “No problem,” I said. “It’s probably those molars. I’ll give her Nurofen at home.”

The Nurofen worked. Pixie ran around the garden all afternoon and I relaxed.

Then came suppertime.

The fever was back. Pixie didn’t want to eat. It was the end of the world. More Nurofen, a tepid bath, a screaming two-year-old, and an early bedtime.

But the worst was yet to come.

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Pixie ended up sleeping in our bed later that night so I could keep an eye on her temperature, which remained stubbornly high despite Nurofen and Panado. How high I cannot tell you, because we discovered that night that our thermometer was broken. I suspect the girls had been playing doctor. Sigh.

It was a long, long, long, long night.

I took Pixie to see Doctor M the next day. “Red throat, red ears,” Doctor M said, handing Pixie a lollipop and me a script for antibiotics. (I wanted a lollipop too.)

Pixie spent the next few days on the couch, watching movies while I fed her Nurofen and Panado to keep her fever down. She spent the nights in bed with me, waking just about every hour to ask for water.

By Saturday, the fever was gone but the snot had started. Rivers of snot! I’m not exaggerating. She was still sleeping with me, this time waking every hour so I could wipe her nose.

The two of us skipped church on Sunday. I sat on the couch with a book, trying to read but not absorbing anything. Pixie kept coming to show me her snot bubbles and ask for tissues.

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She’s back at school now and I’m trying o work out where I can squeeze in some naps this week. There is no word for how tired I am right now.

For the record, I am no longer broody. Not in the least. (Sorry, Mom. You’ll have to look to your other children for more babies.)

How do you cope with sleep-deprivation?

Some Help for Mums on the Run – and a GIVEAWAY

***This giveaway is now closed.***

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending a “Mums on the Run” workshop with Leigh Fowle, Laura le Roux and Belinda Mountain. The workshop is focused on equipping parents to boost their children’s education using everyday life.

The workshop is run by Raquel Nielsen of A-Z Tutoring. She has a BSc degree in Molecular Cell Biology, a BSc Honours in Biotechnology and a postgrad certificate in mathematics. She is also so enthusiastic about education that it practically bubbles out of her every time she speaks.

First on the agenda was the topic of homework. Poppet will be in grade R next year (eek!) and apparently that means homework will be part of our family routine before we know it. Possibly even before we’re ready for it. Raquel mentioned the importance of changing your child’s thinking to look at homework itself as learning and not just more work in addition to studying.

Raquel also spoke about how we can develop numeracy and literacy with things we use and do in the house. She suggested focused questions to ask while baking together and told us how food like pizza can help with understanding fractions. (Just in case you were looking for an excuse to justify eating more pizza.)

We also discussed how important it is to motivate your child and what kind of reward system works best. Raquel then shared how vital it is not to transfer any of our unconscious issues to our children. It’s no secret that maths was never my favourite subject. The only reason I took it to matric was because I wasn’t allowed to drop it. Note to self: don’t mention that to the girls.

Another topic under discussion was how to communicate with your child’s teacher, particularly if there is a problem. We’ve been fortunate to have had good relationships with all the girls’ teachers so far. Of course, they are only in preschool.

We also spoke about introducing technology into learning. Basically, if you don’t have Tetris, get it.

The workshop is maths-focused, but as a self-confessed maths-phobe, I found it helpful to see how I can instill an understanding of basic maths concepts in my children before they even start learning school maths.

Now, for the good news: Raquel is offering you a space at the next “Mums on the Run” workshop on Friday, 13 March.

To enter the giveaway:
– Simply comment on this post.
– For an extra entry, share this post on FB/Twitter and leave a second comment stating where you shared it.

The competition closes on Monday, 2 March at 9am. The winner will be announced immediately after the draw.

***Please note, the workshop will take place in Glen Vista, Johannesburg south.***

Wordless Wednesday: Art By Poppet

One of my favourite things about motherhood is watching my children grow. Over the last few months, Poppet’s art has just blossomed. From colouring in the lines (when she feels like it) to images that actually resemble people, she continues to blow me away with her creations. My current dilemma is what do I do with all of her artwork?

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What do you do with your children’s art?

I Like To Move It, Move It (Okay, Not Really)

We moved house a lot when I was growing up – nine times, to be precise. In six years of marriage, this will be our third move (if you count moving in to our first home as a married couple). The second move happened when Poppet was on the cusp of two and Pixie was six weeks shy of being born.

For the record, I do not recommend moving house when you are nine months pregnant, especially when you have a very busy toddler as well.

Poppet handled that move very well. We started a big countdown chart a month prior to the move, and continued with it until Pixie was born. Poppet wandered into our room to sleep with us for about a week after the move, until she felt settled in the new house.

This time around, Poppet was four and Pixie was two. While Pixie’s sole interest was in unpacking the boxes as quickly as we packed them, Poppet had a lot more questions. “Why are we moving? Are we taking all our stuff? Are we taking all my toys? What about my bed? Is Napoleon coming? Are we all moving?”

I wasn’t as jacked with the countdown chart this time, but I wanted to do something to build excitement as Moving Day approached. So I came up with this idea: a house puzzle. Each day, the girls stuck another piece onto the house as they marked one less sleep until we moved.

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The girls handled the move really well – possibly because we moved in with Nana and Grampa (and uncles and dogs and cat). They’re sharing a room, which is also working out better than I expected.

How many times have you moved house?

7 Days of Love – Marshmallow Krispie Hearts

I found this recipe at Nurture Store and it seemed like an easy, fun treat to make for the girls to give to their teachers. We had a trial run first, just in case it turned out to be a disaster.

It really is as simple as melting the ingredients and pouring the mix into a baking tray to get firm.

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I couldn’t find my small heart-shaped cookie cutter, so used the next biggest size. I struggled a bit to cut the hearts just using the cookie cutter and needed a knife to make sure I got all the way through. I’m not sure if it was because the cookie cutter is plastic or if my Marshmallow Krispie layer was too thick.

The hearts looked amazing, though.

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And my taste testers agreed that it was delicious.

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So we’ll make them for Poppet and Pixie to give to their teachers for Valentine’s Day.

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Do your kids give their teachers Valentine’s gifts?