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What to pack for a holiday

It’s that time of the year! Holidays holidays holiday!

A holidays is one of the most exciting and stressful things to do! Especially if you’re going out of the country and flying!

Passport ✔️ Visa ✔️ Air ticket ✔️ Travel size bottles for toiletries ✔️ The right sized luggage ✔️

My sister and I stayed up late days ago with me helping her pack for her holiday! Mind you, we have this conversation every year! 🙂

What do you pack for a holiday? Are you a light traveller or you pack your entire house to take with on holiday! 😜

My essentials here:

1. Pack clothes you can mix up to create multiple outfits

2. Blue jeans and white tops are always a winner for me ( they do come out very lovely in pictures as well). So 2 pairs of blue jeans ( different shades), 1 white shirt and 2 t-shirts

3. Summer dresses and flops! Add a straw hat, you’ve got yourself a winner! Take wedges as well to jazz up the dresses if you feel the need to dress up!

4. Accessories: bangles, necklaces, hoop earrings, make up, hot lippie and your fave perfume: you’re sorted.

5. Sleepwear: somehow I ALWAYS forget to pack it! Don’t be like me, start with it

6. Finally: SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN

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Traveling with Kids

Kids. What’s the secret to traveling with kids? How do you ensure they stay interested in a long haul flight? Adhere to flight safety instructions? Toilet break?

Well I thought I had done research and had a plan until four weeks ago when I had to travel with my 4 year old from Botswana 🇧🇼 to Czech Republic 🇨🇿

She’s very feisty and strong willed and thrives on consistency so days prior to our departure I loaded all her fave music and cartoons on a phone for her to play with on the journey. Even took some fave snacks for her to nibble on Yaay, mommy has a plan!

Our first leg of the trip was a 55 minutes flight to Johannesburg. Her excitement knew no bounds and I thought great, shes gonna fall asleep the moment we fly out! But alas nope!! I had a great travel companion❤️ in her with whom I chatted about everything! When the captain announced our descend into OR lo and behold, lil missy falls into a deep sleep!! The black mark on my leg is evidence of missing a step trying to board the bus taking us to the terminal, lugging two bags and a sleeping heavy tiny person!!!

So then came the 4 hour wait before our next flight. We sit at the restaurant and view planes coming in and out. Lil Miss is having a dramatic moment because she’s bored out of her mind and she doesn’t want any of the food on the menu!! She just wants French toast!!!! I mean, I make it for her at home and she keeps telling me she doesn’t like it, and now she’s asking for it on the flight and in an airport restaurant!!! Incredible!!

Pssss, I pleaded and offered to pay extra for it, but the restaurant flatly refused to make one for her. ☹️

We finally get to the boarding queue for our 9 hour flight to Istanbul and she makes a new friend, thanks to a Peppa Pig book the friend had! 😃 We smile gratefully to one another with the other mom because the wait was beginning to bring out the niggles from the girls, and hands were held while reading the book!! Kudos to the airline for a smooth boarding experience and for the selection of cartoons. She didn’t even want her phone on the flight! We agreed though that at a certain time, we are having a screen off moment and she has to sleep. My negotiation skills grew on this trip!! 😂 She still refused to eat and only had water and some juice!

We get to Istanbul and we have to find the airline desk to get our boarding passes for the next leg. Not the greatest experience. Time not on our side ( the time differences are deceptive), having to deal with a long walk up the stairs as elevators weren’t working, no assistance from airport staff who simply didn’t want to speak English (they did speak it to other people) and a looooooong walk to the security gates! Attempts to get a ride on the countless carts were futile: they just refused to give us a ride! Lil miss was flatly refusing to walk even the shortest distance!! The term super mom has gained a new respect from me! By the time I got to our boarding gate, I honestly could feel my abs hardening and my arms resembling Michelle Obama’s!!💪🏽

After 14 hours of lugging two bags and a kid, we were finally in Prague! Phew!

My take 5 on this:

1. There’s nothing like a plan when traveling with kids! Just be open minded and patient patient patient!!

2. Some airlines and airport staff don’t care that you’re with a child, so don’t expect assistance on that basis. But fellow travelers can be so awesome and helpful. I’m grateful for all the assistance I got.

3. Children are resilient and can be very helpful with luggage and lightening the mood! Of course I had to do a lot of bribing with bubble gum, so pack lots of it!

4. Check in ALL the luggage and just have on you a backpack with just essentials to free your hands for a loooot of “mommy pick me up please” moments. I learnt the hard way!

5. A stroller would have been great especially for moments when she fell asleep. so choose airlines that allow it for that age!

So what are your tips! Let’s engage…..

What has the lockdown taught you?

Hello beloveds

It’s been a very trying time in our lives because of COVID-19! Everything is so unpredictable and unexpected.

How have you been coping? What has been the hardest thing for you?And what lessons will you be taking from the lockdown period?

The hardest thing for me has been the closure of our businesses and source of livelihood! We are in the hospitality industry and one of the hardest hit, especially with all the travel restrictions. It’s been a mission to keep motivated, but we know this pandemic will be over at some point and then we will rebuild all we have lost.

The second hardest has been homeschooling our little one!! All the tips from the parent groups flew out the window on this front!! So we decided to take it one day at a time. It’s a confusing time for the children as well, having to stay indoors, no play dates and no school. There are days where we don’t touch the books at all, and then on some we will school for an hour. But we have been strict with keeping our reading schedule! We had stocked up on some books and puzzles and those have been a saving grace!

How have things been from your end?

Re

Social media: the good, the bad & the ugly

Social media.

The social media debate is always a hot topic and my take has always been to each their own.

I wanna know. What do you use social media for? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? Which platforms are you in? How do you control yourself to ensure you don’t overuse it?

I joined social media 11 years ago and I started with Facebook. At the time, I joined mainly because I moved away from my family and friends to a new place and wanted to keep in contact regularly. I loved the instant connectivity and how distance got shortened. I was also studying part time and we had a group where we helped one another with our assignment: my mates were in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Then I joined Twitter and Instagram ( my fave) and WhatsApp ( we have a love-hate relationship).

So the good, the bad and the ugly? My take:

The good

1. I love the instant connection with people all over the world: there’s no distance, no time difference at all

2. I love the sense of community you can have: I joined a new mom group when I had my child and the info and tips on that platform are great

3. I love that I can store my pictures ( Instagram) and hence no need for traditional photo albums

4. Stress buster: I have to admit I love memes: the creativity behind them! So I visit humorous pages when I’m stressed out for a laugh

The bad

5. It’s addictive and if uncontrolled can just mess up personal relationships and human contact

6. Some people now don’t call or text but will send you a WhatsApp or Messenger and if you don’t check, can miss on important info. (It’s the people who are being bad, I know!). I still love the traditional ways of communicating

7. One can be added to groups ( WhatsApp) without you their permission or control.

8. The information you post can be taken out of context or even re-circulated and result in a media frenzy

The ugly

9. The bullying on social media is worse than that at the hands of childhood bullies!!

10. People hide behind the keyboard and just give out an avalanche of insults they would not normally say to your face

11. We can be quick to believe everything on social media without verification. Someone can write a bad review or words and almost everyone will believe it

Your take?

Choosing the right “big” school for your child: a transition from Pre-school

Wow!! I wish someone had schooled me on this process and how stressful it is

Every parent wants a good school for their child, and I’m one of them. I started dreaming of school for my unborn child even before I got pregnant ( don’t raise your eyebrows, I’m sure you’ve done worse😂)

I applied to schools we discussed and decided on and forgot about the applications until early this year when three of the school wrote emails to ask if we were still interested in a space for next year. Great.

Then we had a school readiness talk at our preschool with the other parents! The panic I felt after that talk!

1. I started wondering if I had applied to enough schools. And I did actually go and apply at one more school, just in case! Don’t judge!

2. I started thinking really hard about what this moment means. For us as parents and for our little ones and how the schools’ decisions will affect us

3. I started to really questions our little ones readiness for big school. I mean it’s one thing to be told your child is flourishing at preschool but does that translate to being ready for big school?

So the wait continued until around May when the other parents would say they’ve been shortlisted for assessments. Honestly I’ve never checked my email and phone as much as I did in those weeks!! And trust me, I do check them every minute!!!

I’ll forever be grateful to my friend and fellow mom Ashley* for holding my hand through the process. We would sit and talk and plan what the next course of action would be should the outcomes not be what we expected.

Your heart beats faster when you hear siblings and debenture holders are given priority because you have an only child!! And you’re not a debenture holder!

The process isn’t complete yet, but I’ve had time to breathe otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to even write or talk about this.

Any tips for this process?

Especially for us first timers going through the process?

Let’s engage……….

Things kids say that crack me up

Hello there

My FB page reminded me of something my nephew said that cracked me up at the time and actually influenced this post! You know kids say the craziest things with a straight face…..

1. I was newly married we visited my in-laws for the weekend. On Sunday I said to my then 5 year old nephew ” I’m going, come give me a hug and a kiss!”. He obliged ( he’s the one that actually started that culture between us). Then he looks at my mother in law and say to her ” this one likes boys!!” 😂😂

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2. Two weeks ago my 4 year old and I went to see my sister’s new place. It’s a new build and the screen wall was being built so naturally the yard and house weren’t clean and bricks and sand all over the place. We get to the house and she gives a look over 😂 like an estate agent! It’s a bachelor pad, the kitchen and living area are in one area, and the kitchen is fitted. The bedroom has fitted wardrobes but no shelving yet. She goes to the bathroom which has a shower and the shower glass isn’t yet fitted. We look at one another with my sis as we wonder what’s going through her lil mind.

Finally she says she’s seen the house and wants to go home😂 We get to the car, she takes one more look and says

a. I don’t like this place mummy. It’s not fancy and it’s so dirty

b. mmamaneza ( Aunty) is lovely and fancy and she couldn’t be staying here

c. There’s no couch or even a tv, how does someone stay in such a place

We could only 🤣🤣🤣 because she was so serious!!

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What do the little ones say to you?

When the novelty wears off

Do you ever want to go somewhere or want something badly?

And when you finally have it or get there, you’re like “is this really it”

We took our daughter to see the Eiffel Tower: it had been her dream! 5 minutes in and she’s like, “I’ve seen it, now I wanna go home!!”

And home was an 18 hour flight to another continent! 😅

For me it was the first time I went to London! I had been dreaming of it since my teens and when I finally went and arrived at where we stayed in Edmonton, I was like ” it’s London but it’s not heaven”. It wasn’t a great feeling!

How was it for you when the novelty wore off? What was it in connection with?

Let’s engage