Archive of ‘parenting’ category

4D Scan: There’s a ballerina in my tummy! {1st Year Birthday Celebrations}

Our curly girly turns 1 on the 31st October, and we’re spinning around in circles, like “huh?! did that just happen?!” For the next few days, sometimes in my blog, but mostly in my head, I will be reminiscing on my glorious pregnant days and all the prep that went into making sure the transition from womb to world was an amazing one.
Thinking back to when I found out I was pregnant and how much I enjoyed my pregnancy made me so nostalgic for that feeling of expectancy and excitement!

One thing I knew I wanted to do (even before I fell pregnant) is a 4D “photo shoot” (aka ultrasound).

At 4 months preggers, my Curly refused to give the ultrasound tech a good flash, so that we could see if she is a boy or a girl. My heart was hoping for a girl but I was okay with a boy too. Although, between you and me, I knew she would be a girl because God showed me a picture of a ballerina one morning while I was praying over her (not knowing the gender yet).A beautiful ballerina princess! I was convinced, but kept it to myself.

I found it quite amusing that God had chosen to show me a picture of a dancer. If you know anything about us, you’d know that we are a musical family. We love music – we sing, play instruments etc. But I would not exactly call us dancers. In fact, I am probably the opposite of a dancer. I don’t do “dance” well. So how amazing that God completed this musical circle by adding a dancer to the mix!

Anyways, so ultrasounds were like precious commodities while I was pregnant. I planned my weeks around them! I loved seeing my baby and hearing it’s heartbeat. Dude, I even dreamt about buying an ultrasound machine and keeping it my living room! Yep – all kindsa crazy, this one 🙂

Curly was quite feisty in womb – she just could not lie still! But with all the movement going on, she still refused to open her legs. My wonderful gynecologist happened to be the same doctor that “caught” my first born many moons ago. So I had the privilege of taking my boy to meet him and sit in the room while we did an ultrasound. He was a bit more impressed with the equipment than the tiny picture of his sister on the screen though. But none the less, it was a moment for me! (Que the emotional tears)

We booked the 4D ultrasound at a place that offered what they call ‘gender ultrasounds’ – which means that they would do the 4D and look specifically to see what the gender of baby is. And if baby is too shy to show then you can go back another time. Sounded legit to me!

I did my part in making sure Curly was active by (gasp!) having a chocolate a half an hour before the ultrasound. I also made sure my bladder was full – but I cant now remember if it was needed or not. But I do remember that I needed to pee quite badly. (Heck, who am I kidding, I needed to pee quite badly all the time when I was pregnant.)

The moment arrived… I lay there, excitedly searching the screen, trying to figure out if I am looking at an elbow or a leg… and then I saw her face! (Que: Bruno Mars) Her beautiful little face, perfectly formed! I could feel tears coming! But I was like, “No, Luchae, keep it together!” And instead, I squealed in delight and said “Awww she looks like MEEEE!” heehehee 🙂

She was there… beautiful and dancing! Arms up, lips pouting, and yep, with little girly parts 😉 our baby was definitely the ballerina princess that God had showed me weeks before! We were over the moon!

We were given about 6 different shots of her 4D scan – all perfect, all beautiful!
My favorite is this one, that shows off her pout, with arms up in the sky, pirouetting for mommy and daddy.
This was one of the most special things that I did during my pregnancy. It made everything just so REAL.
We were going to have a real life baby! A real one!
Woah! My mind was officially blown!

Check out how detailed the 4D scan was compared to real life.
Proof that we did actually get the baby as was advertised on the screen 🙂

ballerina

How to give your kids a gift that isn’t theirs

All images found on the Santa Shoebox website

We love our children, as is expected. We want to give them the best that we can and never want them to experience lack or limitation. But often we are faced with the “but it’s not all about you!” challenge and we need to regroup and remind them that the world certainly does not revolve around them and their latest game or fad.


With that said, I’ve always encouraged the boys to Santa Shoebox. It is a great initiative where you sign up, choose a child (or children) in your area, who live in poverty stricken homes or at institutions where they may not have as much as we do. You then put together a Christmas box of sorts, that will contain a variety of essentials. The box is prettily decorated for reuse (which is a big deal for these kids already) and you are always welcome to add more than what the list stipulates – special items that you feel would mean alot to your sponsored child.



We Santa Shoebox every single year. I have made it a habit for us to choose 1 boy who is close in age to our boys and for the past few years, we have been quite fortunate to be able to choose the same boy every single year. The boys know his name already and they’ve written him letters before, so I am sure he might feel as if he knows them too. Last year, with the loom bands craze going on, the boys added tons of loom bands and loom makers for him to use. The year before that we added some books that they loved. Every year we try to make the box special, because he is special and he should feel loved and not as if we threw things in a box because we feel sorry for him.
This year, he is 13 years old! So we are adding deodorant and other “big boy” stuff, as recommended by our new teen.

I have found that since the boys are able to relate to our pledge (because he is a boy too and close in age), it has made the packing and deciding of what goes in the box so much more special and important to them.

I’ve also decided to sponser a little girl, who is close in age to our Curly. I would love to apply the same concept to this little girls box and hopefully would have the honor of being her sponsor until Curly is able to understand it all.

I love Christmas. It is my favoritestest season in the whole entire year!
Why? Well, because baby Jesus was born and I love me some Jesus!
But I also love that it’s a season of family and love… I find it so beautiful and I love that I get to share that beauty with children who may not know what it feels like, waking up to a Christmas tree looming over tons of presents. Or who may not know what it feels like to be excited about wearing your new “Christmas clothes” or who may not be looking forward to a huge Christmas lunch the way we do.

Not only is it our responsibility to look after orphans and those who are unable to fend and provide for themselves (that’s what the Bible says yo), but it is a huge privilege to be able to speak into the lives of children – even if it’s through a simple Christmas gift box.

I appeal to you: Please check out the Santa Shoebox website and consider pledging a child.
The closing date is looming and there are hundreds of children who are still not sponsered and your box would mean the world to them.

If you are unable to physically pack a box and get it to the drop off centres in time, PnP has made it possible for you to sponser a “virtual box”, which they will pack on your behalf.

I want to pledge a child at Santa Shoebox! What now? 

1. Log on to their website http://www.santashoebox.co.za and follow the prompts to register.
2. Select your region and then select the child (children) you would like to pledge.
3. You will receive an email with all the details in it, including a label that will need to be stuck on top of your shoe box.
4. Find a large shoe box and decorate it beautifully. Keep durability in mind, since your pledge will probably reuse your box. The lid must not be attached to the bottom. If you choose to wrap the lid, keep in mind that it must remain seperate from the rest of the box.
5. Insert the following mandatory items to the box:
Toothpaste
Tooth brush
Bar of soap
Wash cloth
An outfit of clothing
Educational supplies
Sweets
A toy
You can add any other items that you feel would bless your pledge. There are a list of things you may not add – check out the website for deets. All items must be new.
6. Close the lid of your box, remembering to add the label that they have provided on the top. Keep the box sealed by using rubber bands.
7. Drop off your Santa Shoebox at the designated drop off points in your area. (Details will be found in the email they will send you.)
8. Sit back and say a prayer for your pledge, knowing that you have helped bring joy to a child during what could be the most loneliest season of the year, for some people!

You are blessed to be a blessing to others!
xxxL

How to be pregnant like a boss… {1st Year Birthday Celebrations}

Our curly girly turns 1 on the 31st October, and we’re spinning around in circles, like “huh?! did that just happen?!” For the next few days, sometimes in my blog, but mostly in my head, I will be reminiscing on my glorious pregnant days and all the prep that went into making sure the transition from womb to world was an amazing one.

So, if you recall my post last week, as a build up to her first birthday, I am taking the time to remember the little things that made being pregnant with my Curlysue so sweet and precious to me.

I loved being pregnant with her! There is just that something about knowing that there is life inside your belly. It gives you this sense of wonderment and excitement: Who will baby look like? What will her cry sound like? Will she love peanut butter the way her daddy does? Will she have my moms green eyes? Will she share our love of music? The prospect of a brand new life, with new possibilities, growing inside of YOU, makes you gawk at the beauty of God and the perfect way his grand design falls into place.

I did have the swollen feet syndrome and my hip joints ached on the regular, because of the weight. But other than that, it was a lovely pregnancy. I love that when you’re pregnant you can wear just about any kind of maternity clothes, because  no one is looking at you thinking “does she know that top makes her stomach look big?” I also love that I got to take my slippers to work with me, for those moments when my shoes cut off my blood circulation. See exhibit A:

I had vowed to make this experience the best that I could, knowing that it would probably be my last!
Yep, this factory is closed for business, Mister!

Here’s a bunch of things I did that really made my pregnancy special: 

1. Took a lot of selfies and pics of my ever growing belly. Bathroom selfies were a must. They say if you’re pregnant with a girl, then you will see her beauty on your face – well I don’t know how true that is but I felt SO beautiful when I was pregnant with my girl. My hair was longer and thicker, my skin was clear and I just felt like something special. I was host to precious cargo! It felt amazing.

2. I began to journal about all the little things that I was feeling or thinking (Or doing!) and added photos and special dates and appointments to the scrap book. I wanted my baby to know that she was loved before we even met her! I wrote more about it here.

3. I did a full on preggy photoshoot. Check out some of the pics here.

4. I continued to do the things I loved doing! At 8 months pregnant, I was on stage at our church’s annual Arise Womens Conference. I sang a song called “You know me” by the Bethel Music collective and the lyric fits so perfectly with what I was experiencing. God knew me before I was in my moms womb and He knew my Curly too! It was a wow moment for me.

5. I surrounded myself with girly things all the time! Because we have 2 sons, I knew I had to wrap my brain around PINK. Not that it was very hard for me 🙂 Im a pink girl at heart. I produced a little princess skit for the womens conference, that was totally inspired by the fact that we are our Daddy’s Girls… Princesses of the King.

6. I watched Frozen. Yep. I did. “Do you wana build a snooowmaaaaaaaan?”
I figured that girls are watching it and I’m about to pop one out, so I need to get with the programme.

7. For my birthday, I hosted a Pink Picnic In the Park – just to get my pink on and also because it was my birthday and I wanted to do something that featured my baby on board.

8. I helped to plan baby showers for my best friend and my baby sister (and yes, all 3 of us gave birth in the same month!) Celebrating with them made me so much more excited about mine!

9. I attended expos and seminars and did everything and took every photo and filled in every competition and listened to every speaker! I just wanted to experience it all!

But more than all of that, I constantly reminded myself to take it all in. Every moment, every ache, every doctor’s appointment. Just like your wedding day, it all passes so quickly, and soon it’s just a sweet memory!

Ahhhhh if I could do it all over again…
xxxL

Family Photos/1st Birthday Cake Smash:Sneak Peak

Yesterday my family and I trekked to the other side of Port Elizabeth for our annual(ish) family photo shoot. This would be our first with Miss Curlysue and would also double as her 1st birthday cake-smash shoot.

Thanks to the amazing photo package photographer, Michelle Janse van Rensburg, of Cutepix/Full Circle Photography, has put together, we were able to take pics of our princess, a couple of portraits and get some much needed family photos in. Oh and the cake was included in the price too. Score!

Michelle had asked us to meet her at a tiny cafe on a long road, where her hubby, Marius, acted as a chaperone transporting us from one destination to another. It seems our “karretjie” just did not have what it takes to navigate through wood lands. After driving for a couple of minutes, we stopped smack dab in the middle of a forest where Michelle was waiting (with camera en tow) – the forest was to be our stage!  After applying lots of mosquito repellent on to little arms and legs we were ready for our shoot!

The first couple of frames were of us with “ours” – Chris with Seth and myself with Kyle.
We took some with our Little Miss and a bunch of pics as a family.
And that was our moment of fame for the day. The rest was all about Curly!

The next scene had Curly sitting in front of a kissing booth, with a very chic looking hat perched on her head. Michelle had hand-crafted every single prop! The setting was “carnival” themed and very cheery and colourful. The forrest makes for the perfect backdrop!

Cake smash time didn’t go according to what I had envisioned. Sigh! I feel like a struggling artist! My child does not do cake. She did not like the sweet taste or the feeling of icing between her fingers! But I also think that it was alot of stimulation all at the same time and she was just tired of it all.

All in all the shoot took about an hour long (which I was totally okay with! happy baby, happy mommy!) and it’s the next day and I have a couple of photos to ooh and ahhh at already! How on the ball are they? 🙂

Loving it already. Cant wait to see more! Stay tuned!
xxxL

And then I found out I was pregnant… {1st Year Birthday Celebrations}

Curly girl

Our curly girly turns 1 on the 31st October, and we’re spinning around in circles, like “huh?! did that just happen?!” For the next few days, sometimes in my blog, but mostly in my head, I will be reminiscing on my glorious pregnant days and all the prep that went into making sure the transition from womb to world was an amazing one.

I found out I was pregnant with Curly like, two months into our marriage. It was a beautiful, scary surprise that swept our 4-man family under our feet. Totally unplanned, but such an exciting thought – the fact that we were going to be one man up! So to speak.

We knew we wanted to have babies – since Hubstopher has one and I have one. Having a kid of our own just made sense. But my spreadsheet brain planned it for atleast 1 to 2 years AFTER we were married. We had just moved into our new place and I was still busy unpacking and preparing the boys rooms and all of that. I had wanted to get some new curtains and carpets and had so many diy decor stuff I wanted to try out. I wanted to set up our kitchen so that I could be a culinary expert for my family, cooking them gourmet Jamie Oliver stuff. (All gone in the wind. Try doing that when you’re puking your lungs out because you cant stand the smell of lettuce).

So, taking my spreadsheet brain into consideration, I would like to think that I was always very diligent with those tiny, annoying contraceptive pills (which took some getting use to). I had started taking them a month before the wedding, but they gave me leg cramps and a bunch of other nasty side effects a few weeks after the wedding. The nurse at the mediclinic advised me to stop taking them immediately, because the cramps were a symptom of blood clotting! She told me to wait a month and then she would put me on something else. Easy peasy. I mean, how much trouble could we get ourselves into, in a span of 4 weeks? I remember hanging up the washing a few days after that, and I put my hand on my belly and said “God, if you want me to be pregnant, then bugger my plans… I’ll be okay with that! Have Your way.”

Soon after that I started feeling queasy and drained. (Who lied and said that you only feel tired when you’re a few months pregnant?!) Look, if you’ve been pregnant before, and you know what morning sickness nausea feels like, then you KNOW the difference between “oh I just ate something and now I feel queasy” vs “Oh my hat! My stomach is doing cartwheels, while breakdancing, on it’s head. I’m pregnant!” I mean, I had to reprimand myself for being too dramatic, but I just KNEW that I am ‘with child’. The fact that I could be pregnant seemed far fetched and I was elated and excited but also so concerned about what people would think. I mean, we’ve only been married for a couple of seconds. What is WRONG with us?!

Anyways, keep in mind that all of these thoughts occured before I even did a test. Bwaha. So I did a couple of home pregnancy tests, and it came out negative. (Yeah, I said “a couple”) The last one I did (at work nogals) had a faint second line. So I promptly sent my bestie a message saying “what does this mean?” (She had found out she was pregnant two weeks earlier and had sent me the same message.)
Pregnant

The next day, my family doctor did a pee stick test as well and said “sorry, its a negative”. But he sent us for a blood test anyways, which we did the following day, en route to a wedding. I was just so happy that they were open on a Saturday! Since we had to sing at the wedding, I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to call in for the results. And we were I was not prepared to wait until Monday. The blood place person (sorry, what are they called now again), was a friend of a friend, so she promised to send me a text once she had the results.

So picture us, sitting at a wedding ceremony, getting ready to go up to sing, and I get this sms:“Congratulations, you’re going to be a mom again!” 

Woohoo!!! Of corse my darling husband wanted to burst out in tears! The wedding ceremony was underway, so we couldn’t even scream or shout or hug each other LOL and then 10 minutes later, we were called to the stage to serenade the couple and their guests by ministering a beautiful prayer to them in song: “Hold me close, let Your love surround me. Bring me near, draw to me to your side…” It just had a whole new meaning to us!

We celebrated with a KFC Double Down (good enough reason to put on weight – check!). We told our moms first and our dads afterwards. The boys were told together. They were excited. And apprehensive. Both had already received a newly acquired sibling (from their other parents). So they reckoned they were experts already. And then lo and behold my doctor calls, saying he’s been trying to get hold of me since Friday. It turns out the pee stick test turned positive after we had left the surgery! Haha. Talk about a movie ending.

To share the news with our friends and long distance family, we posted a very cool pic on Facebook. No caption required. It was a hit.

Pregnant

Man it has been such a journey ever since!
We have been blessed by so many people who have sowed into our lives and that of our baby. Our little darling has brought so much joy (and lessons) and I wouldn’t trade any part of it for anything! Having this baby just restored so much in our lives.

I am looking forward to celebrating 1 whole year of God’s goodness this October.
I am SO thankful!

God’s plan is the best plan 🙂

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