About Sarah

I'm Sarah, married to an awesome man who also goes by the name 'Daddy' and mommy to a gorgeous little girl Skye. We're just a 'slightly crunchier than normal' family growing up gently together.

What Masterchef has taught my pre-schooler

Oh gosh, I have a pre-schooler now?!  Doesn’t feel like it, she’s still my baby 🙂 but she is more than a toddler.  Skye turned 3 in October, she’s growing up so fast!

She loves watching Masterchef, both the ‘big’ one and the Junior one.  Every day it seems she wants to re-watch an episode she’s watched before and I”m not too fussed because at least it’s not rubbish cartoons and it appears she’s learning some interesting lessons from watching.

1. Not everyone can win all the time.  Sometimes you can do your best but it’s not the best overall.  Sometimes you’re not the winner and have to leave the game.

2. Sometimes you need to work with people in order to get the job done, if you don’t work together properly the job doesn’t get done properly.

3. How to make Pavlova and Roast Gammon

4. Tasting new foods isn’t scary

5. How to fast forward, pause and rewind on the remote lol

6. How to count backwards from 10 🙂

And just for interests sake, she made us  a yummy pavlova, Skye style, with cream and astros and sprinkles instead of fruit lol

A month of bumps

This past month has been a month or bumps,bruises and flu. It started off ok,but quickly went downhill! Skye managed to fall over her own feet several times, sit down and miss the step, bump her head repeatedly on the car door, squash her finger in her lunch box and box of school stuff, I got the flu (real influenza) so Skye got a bit sniffy (thank-you breastfeeding for keeping her healthy!) And then to top it off she fell out bed this morning straight onto her head and has a lovely egg on her forehead.

I’m so greatful for my arnica, rescue, tissues salts and homeopathic preparations. Makes life a lot easier knowing that I can quickly treat little injuries as naturally as possible.

Benefits of extended rear facing car seats…

Skye is 30 months old and still rear facing. Yes,she is tiny and still fits in her Bebe Confort infant seat,but since she was 18 months old,she’s been using a Britax Multi-Tech seat (sold through Volvo in South Africa) in order to keep her rear facing for longer.

The main reason we’re keeping her rear facing is because she is so small and I don’t think her body would cope under the extreme forces at play if we had to come to a sudden stop and she was forward facing.

Many EU countries and now even some states in the USA require or recommend rear-facing until a minimum of 2 years old, several EU countries have even extended this to 3 or 4 years. In most car accidents your body is thrown forward at a great speed and force. Your seatbelt reacts as it should and forces you back into the seat. This puts a great deal of stress on the body,particularly the neck. In a rear-facing seat, all this force is spread through the body as your child is actually pushed deeper into the seat.

This is also why any child in my care is expected to use an age, weight and size appropriate car seat. If they no longer fit into a harnessed seat,then a booster seat is required to enable the car seatbelts to fit them properly. An improperly secured car seat or a child wearing a seatbelt or car seat straps incorrectly or too loosely might as well not be restrained at all for all the good they will do.

So,Skye is still rear facing and will continue to do so for many years. Her seat will last her from 9 kg (she’s 10kg now) until around 25kg. It can change from a rf seat to a ff harnessed seat and then to a booster seat using the cars seatbelt.

On the plus side, several additional benefits for extended rear facing are:
*better view out of the windows
*excellent vocabulary development (because they HAVE to talk and explain since you can’t see them perfectly enough to understand the ‘this’ and ‘that way’ etc)
*amazing use of the feet to manipulate and pick up objects that roll away from them (which if forward facing would just end up on the floor)
*it’s easier for them to climb in and out themselves

If you’re interested in rear facing car seats, have a look at the following:
http://www.carseat.se – this is a Sweden based company who do ship to SA. Costs work out to aproximately the price of a top range forward facing seat locally available including customs and import duties. The owner is also very helpful for answering questions.
http://www.rearfacing.co.za

Maxi-Cosi make a rf only seat which can be imported specifically for you.

Volvo South Africa sells the Britax Multi-Tech as well as a Britax infant seat and a Britax booster seat.

Even if you cannot afford a specific extended rear facing seat, keep your child rear facing for as long as possible, to the maximum that their seat allows. ALL infant seats are designed to install rear-facing. They can NOT go in forward facing. Most infant seats fit babies till 13kg,although some local made ones only go to 9kg. You then get combination seats which can rf or ff. These are usually only rf till 13kg,but are a good option if you have a tall child who has outgrown his infant seat but is still under a year old and 13kg. Then you get ff only seats using a 5-pt harness and lastly the boosters which use just the car seatbelt,some with a back to provide extra protection and some without.
In SA,it is recommended that your child remain rf till a minimum of 9kg AND 1yr. This means that if your 6 month old is 9kg,they still need to be rf and you will need to buy a new seat. And if your 1yr old is only 7kg he still needs to be rf. Only once BOTH requirements have been met should you even consider turing your child. If your child is still within the rf limits of the car seat, keep them rf. It’s safer. Simple.

Mothers Day

Mothers Day has come and gone on this side of the world. I was lucky that my mom and dad could visit,it was pure coincidence that they were going on holiday and could pop in and visit us on the way. Pity it was such a short visit.

I love how excited my daughter is when she see’s her grandparents. Grandparents are very useful. They provide extra cuddles and loves, they spoil you and their grandchildren and they remind you that you’re not the only one who has ever raised a child before even though at times it may feel like you’re totally alone in the world!

Your parents and in-laws have been there, done that, got the poo and vomit stained t-shirts to prove it. They might not be quite up-to-date with the latest information or you might find their ideas quite strange and weird,but I’m pretty sure,they’re just trying to help 🙂 Listen to their advice, smile politely and thank them for their concern and file it away – you never know if you might need it.

School vs Education

I’m beginning to wonder if what is happening at schools nowadays is education, or ‘just passing the time’. My 7yr old charge is in Grade 2. Yet again, their theme is ‘My Family’. It’s been ‘My Family’ since her first day at school as a teeny tiny toddler. Surely she would know her family by now? Yes I know that you can add on to it, but come on, there are SO many more interesting themes out there to choose from! But I suppose given the meager budgets and salaries, it makes sense to recycle old material from the year before even if it is outdated and boring.

And then I start to wonder about the teachers and management themselves. Having been a teacher in several different schools, I know that you get good and not-so-good and some downright awful teachers and management staff. T management can really make or break a school. For example by totally outlawing technology in an Intermediate Phase class by saying it’s ‘bad’ doesn’t bode too well when you’re trying to teach children who are growing up with technology changing before their very eyes.

This made me think about what I want my child (and hopefully in the future, children) learn. By all means their ABC’s and numbers and what a neuron and a molecule are and the history of our country and how it has become what it is today, but also a LOT more.

I want them to be able to grow their own food; to make a stock and a soup and be able to read and understand a recipe to make pretty much whatever they want from scratch; to treat illnesses themselves from locally and easily available herbs and spices and household things; to be able to sew even if it is only a hem and button; to use their imaginations; to design and make something that they need; to catch a scale a fish; to take good photographs; to care for others; to manage money; to appreciate the little things in life…I could go on and on. Most of this you cannot do in traditional schools anymore. No longer do they teach woodworking and home-economics in primary schools. No longer do children get to be a part of daily life.

there’s the early morning rush trying to get children fed and off to school with everything they need, then most parents go to work, then it’s the after school rush of activities and appointments and homework before rushing through a dinner meal and evening ritual of bath and into bed. How often do your children cook WITH you? And by with you I mean actually being a part of the process,not watching? How often do your children just get to let loose and explore and experiment?

I’m not so sure that what we’re getting in our schools at the moment is an education, or at least, not an education that will stand up to everything the real world throws at us.

I love watching what my daughter gets up to during the day. I think my next few posts will be about what she gets up to, what she’s learning and why I think it’s so important. And of course to brag 🙂

What we’ve been up to

Things have been really busy lately and whilst I have so many ideas rushing around my head, I’m just battling to find time to get them written down. There always seems to be something else that just has to be done…dishes, gardening, laundry, building blocks, dancing in the lounge, painting, hugging, cuddles and milkies…

In between all of this, we’ve been cleaning

Falling asleep on mommy

Cuddling with the cat

Doing homework (she wants to do homework when 7yr old does homework)

Getting late Christmas presents in the post (yay!!!)

Doing ballet (not classes, just fun we usually dance around the lounge)

Playing in baskets full of balls

Eating vitamins and sharing them with the doll

Just looking cute 🙂

Baking biscuits / cookies for valentines day

Learning to set the table

And monkeying around

Skye is growing up so fast. She is daddy’s little girl, daddy can do no wrong lol but mommy is still good for miklies. Even at night she will climb over me and snuggle up next to her daddy to sleep 🙂

Ballet baby

Skye has been wanting to do ballet for ages now (and swimming and horse riding). Today whilst we were buying new ballet clothes for 7yr old, Skye spotted a cute little ballet outfit and asked me SO nicely if she could have it. So I decided I would (only I had to find on in her size first!). I wanted to share this picture with you. I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast. She is a real little girl now.

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Can you believe that this was her not so long ago (OK, 2 years ago lol):

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I am so excited to see what the future brings, so excited for our journey together as a family.