Parenting Perfection Zone

african-670641_1280

What you might regard as your best ploy, as a parent, to convince your children to do things your way rather than the hard way – can easily be judged as totally inappropriate by another!

I encounter this daily both as mom and teacher. There are certain methods that are of a universal nature and others that are so personal – it’s best not mentioned.

How do you enter the parenting perfection zone?

*Realise that NO so such place exists!

*Be kind to yourself, your mistakes are not unique – others have have erred as much as thou hast!

*Those who share their ‘success stories’ tend to edit out the ‘horrorific’ scenes.

*Your gut; though it sometimes feels hollow; is your good guide! Trust it!

*Black and white is for boring people! Grey has multiple shades… seize the opportunity. Sometimes you gotta wing it, before you win it!

*Laugh at your mistakes.

*Apologising to your child, is way easier than a sleepless night. Keeps them from telling you some day, how much they hated you for doing it!

The zone however, is reserved for those who’ve realised that to ‘err’ is normal and that perfect parents actually don’t exist!

So continue on thine path – crawl, stumble, fumble they will soon be older and hopefully recall your blunders with bursts of laughter!

 

Advertisements

Passionate Purpose

 

Talent or passion it all boils down to the same thing, that is ‘Are you led by your heart or your head?’.

Being led by your heart can cause much heartache and headache, especially when you attempt to ignore that call or live it by someone else’s definition. I recently got a call up from my passion, despite ignoring it for months.

A friend requested a cake for a baby shower. Despite never having made such a cake I agreed to do it.

I recall reading something said by Richard Branson about opportunity, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

That is purpose at work, you will not be able to resist a challenge within your ability or that awakens your passion.

The cake had to be a Preggy Belly Red Velvet Cake. Easy to bake but the decorating bit took much Google-ing and prayer for inspiration.

IMG_20151126_002236

Now, since I am a procrastinator by nature I find it extremely challenging to finish cakes before the last minute, though this time I decided to color my fondant and crumbcoat the cake the night before delivery. This turned out to be a blessing because I had piles of exam scripts to mark and had to invigilate an exam session at work. The final touches were done in 1 hour (record broken!) and I  must admit, my  kids were of great help. They totally understand my temperament, not every person can deal with my yelling and crazy expectations!

The end result was a beautiful and delicious cake, which is evidence that all things are possible whether we see it as our purpose in life or not!

IMG_201511330_034854

My baking scripture has to be “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 it gets me through the most challenging of cakes.

As long as one has the passion,  understands how it relates to your purpose and talents you’re good to go!

Parenting Perfection

I hope this post sounds ominous!

But, it’s truly an innocent replay of last Friday; and how I forgot to save the brilliant post about Parenting Perfection! Two things I did learn however about parenting is that:

  • Everyone has their own idea about what works best for their family!
  • Some of our parenting fraternity don’t want the headache of disciplining their kids!

I am the mother of good intentions; but it all went south when my master plan went belly up! My total mission was to spend the afternoon at the laundry and write at least ONE inspired post for my blog. However, on arrival I found all machines in use which meant I had to wait or return later; I chose to stay. Whilst waiting I started chatting to the only other customer there, a mother of two teenagers. Our conversation obviously revolved around our children and the things they get up to.

Her parenting strategy is to “negotiate”! The expression on my face didn’t speak of joy and my face cannot hide my feelings, so I guess she saw my surprise and utter shock! She explained how she deals with her teens and reach a compromise with them, to enter a state of Nirvana. My Christian heart recalled to the best parenting advise the Bible has, which requires the least spiritual depth; “Chastise your son..” (Proverbs 19:18) My crazy lady thoughts of “Not in my house!; That ain’t gonna happen on my shift!; Over my dead body!” The list is endless and exceedingly colorful! But, the very composed me allowed her to elaborate on how well it works; up to the stage where she contradicted herself and mentioned the problems. I sympathised with her but really thought that she was setting herself up for major headache. My plan to wash, rinse, dry and blog started taking on a different direction altogether! I shared my experience with her as a mother and teacher; and could see that she figured I am  a control freak, but I’d rather be that; then wait up for a fifteen year old to return home well after midnight!

She got busy with her laundry and I tackled mine and started writing my post about Parenting Perfection.

Here’s everything that it is not:

  • Parenting perfection does not exist; it is not even an imaginary state of mind. It’s a bunch of lies we tell each other to look and feel good about his we deal with our offspring.
  • There are no perfect parents, dead or alive!
  • The stories we tell each other about our parenting methods, often edit out the mistakes and guilt we experience.
  • Judging another as ‘bad’ isn’t fair. To a child that is their parent – sober, depressed, divorced, etc.
  • The methods which I employ in raising my kids, might be totally unacceptable in your opinion – our own experience is our guide.
  • The best things we can all teach our children is Respect, Love, Humility, and other common values that will prepare them for life.
  • There’s no Black & White in parenting and no manual to do it by.
  • Dealing with the nasty is way better than a sleepless night.
  • Prayer changes us and how we regard things.

african-670641_1280

Parenting Perfection is attained when we acknowledge, our propensity to imperfection.

Handwash best wash

The best way to care for baby’s clothing is by USING ‘elbow-grease’ especially if it is your first, and you are planning on having more children at a later stage.

This method help me safe a pretty penny with my two eldest children. I had splashed out quite a bit with the first one and luckily had mostly bought gender neutral clothing; so it was easy to use for my second born. First time moms, usually have no idea about the eventual cost of having a baby and it hit me like a bucket of cold water!

Hand care tips:

1. Invest in handwash laundry soap (Sunlight green bar         soap),vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution (30% volume) and a bucket.

2. Fill the bucket with luke warm water and soak the soiled clothing after rubbing it with the laundry soap.

3. Let it sit in the soapy water for an hour, and gently rub it- till clean- and rinse in clean water.

4. Stubborn Stains: Dab the stain with hydrogen peroxide solution and add a little soap to it. Leave a while and give a quick rub. The stain should fade; if not leave overnight in a water and peroxide solution (A tablespoon peroxide to 1 litre of warm water).

5. Fill the bucket with cold water and add 1/4 cup vinegar, this is your final rinse! Rinse thoroughly ensuring there’s no soap/peroxide residue on the clothing.

6. Hang out or dry as it suits you.

PS.The vinegar softens the clothing and removes all soap residue that might cause irritation to baby’s skin!

Cupcakes = Charity

Cupcakes of Hope is a charity for kids who have cancer. It is an initiative which has been close to my heart since I heard about its existence.

We embarked on a Cupcakes of Hope Party at a boy’s school where I teach full time. The project entailed getting the boys to donate ingredients and decorating the cupcakes. What fun we had! Many of them showed of skills that I never anticipated they would have but they managed to surprise me, and the orientation process was done at great speed.

The female educators each baked a batch of cupcakes using a basic, but delicious recipe and the decorating was left to the Cupcake Ambassadors; two representatives from each class. Batches of fluffy frosting were prepared and the decorating process started. The boys had free reign and could do it anyway they wished; some had to ice the cupcakes others added the different toppings which ranged from sprinkles to fondant flowers , and even Turkish Delight!

c4c.4

The cupcake cups, ambassador badges, piping bags, balloons and flyers were supplied by The Cupcakes of Hope organisation (http://www.cupcakesofhope.org/). Thank you for helping us help you!

CANCER!!!

Our Party of Hope was a resounding success and will be added to our list of annual fundraising events!

c4c.1c4c.2

c4c.3c4c.5

Five things I did not know about my kids

I have always believed that I know my kids best, until I started paying attention to how others described them, their teachers in particular. Some were shocking and others sort of confirmed a vague suspicion.

The greatest compliment any parent can hope to receive about their child, has to be ‘well-mannered; polite; disciplined or responsible’. I’m not that type of parent, my neighbours can attest to that- I shout, threaten and deal with you (in biblical terms) because it can get rowdy and noisy here. Three children and two dogs, require a touch of gangster!

This is what I heard about my bambine that shocked me!

1. The eldest, was called a ‘such a lady’! If it wasn’t for my ability to withhold emotion, I surely would’ve woken up in ICU. I’m always fighting with her to wear shoes; a dress for church or just act more girlish!

2. My son, is apparently very stubborn! OK, that might be genetic, by my own admission! He’s such a softy and my right hand man; ready to help whenever wherever, but stubborn!

3. The youngest and our resident ‘diva’ is quiet and finds it hard to make friends! Cannot be, the child I know has an opinion about everything under the sun.

4. They heard every warning, threat and promise ever made. My son reprimanded one of sisters about using the Lord’s name when angry, his exact words, “Mum,…is using the Lord’s name in rebellion!”

5. They can hold their own when it is required; they are fiercely protective of one another and their favourite line has to be, ‘don’t worry we will be OK’.

I’m looking forward to hearing more pleasing reports about my kids and not judge them based on the construction process!

How to eat a quarter loaf of bread

WP_20141230_031

A South African favorite amongst young and old!

The ultimate indulgence whether as a snack or meal, it has become my children’s favorite holiday food.

Definitely not for the health or calorie conscious, this is real junk food!

LET’S DO THIS!!!!!

1. CUT a loaf of bread is cut into four quarters. Cut out a square and set aside to use as lid after filling the bread..

2. SPREAD mayonnaise on the hollowed out part.

3.The art to a good quarter is in how and what you stack inside the bread.WP_20141230_029

4. My first layer is DEEP FRIED CHIPS

5. Next a royal layer of atchaar/ pickles

6.Slap on a slice of CHEESE

7.Spread some MAYONAISE/TOMATO SAUCE on the cheese

8.Add a slice of COLD MEAT/POLONY

9. Finally cover the stacked quarter with the part cut out in step one.

10.Last step SINK your teeth into it and enjoy!

 

Forgive me for I sinned against you…

I wish I had more than the normal number of digits, of the average person. I have officially run out of fingers to burn!

Making mistakes are part of learning they say…Not, have I learned. It’s amazing how the same weakness can present itself in all kinds of shapes and forms, that one easily ends up doing it all over again. You only realise that you’ve blundered-again– after making the blunder.

Like the first two sinners you want to:
1. Run and hide
2. Blame it on someone, even if it’s a snake
3. Cover it up

What truly happens in the heart of the truly repentant sinner:
1. A longing to be accepted despite their inability to break free
2. A need for forgiveness
3. A need for the presence that brings peace beyond human understanding
4. The hope that you’re still loved and accepted despite your weakness

What should the forgiver do:
1. Remind yourself that a mountain can’t throw a rock at a hill- you’re a sinner too
2. A sin confessed is fertile soil for the Word of God
3. Separate the person from the sin, continue loving, hoping and believing that God can turn it around

An individual prone to habitual sin.

Banana pancakes

Breakfast is one meal I want to prepare with as little as possible trauma!

And to top it I have a daughter who always returns the fruit I pack for lunch. After saving the umpteenth bruised banana, I decided to serve it differently as a pancake. Now, this is by no means my own invention I just love freestyling with recipes.

Ingredients:
3 medium bananas (smashed)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup oatmeal

Method:
1. Peel banana and smash till smooth.
2. Add eggs in a time and incorporate in smashed banana.
3. Add oatmeal and stir till completely incorporated.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Use a soup ladle to pour batter into the pan.
5. Ensure that the pan isn’t too hot and bake pancakes slowly, till it’s firm enough to flip over carefully.
6. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or as is.

Ps. She suggested that we try an apple version of it!

.



How to cure Compulsive Stirring Disease(CSD)

I suffer from a common but not well researched compulsion, Compulsive Stirring Disease!

The symptoms include:
1. Stirring pots of food for longer than necessary.
2. Standing in front of the stove- stirring.
3. Loading up the sink with every spoon/ladle in your cutlery drawer, used solely for stirring purposes.
4. Stirring food which should simmer.
5. Missing the reruns of your favourite series, because you were busy stirring.

There is no known cure for said dis-ease, I stumbled upon something that I believe has brought me much needed relief from the agony of CSD.

Do try this at home:
1. Invest in oven dishes of all kind.
2.Find oven friendly recipes.
3.Invest in a slow cooker.
4.Start with something easy like vegetables in your oven.
5. Google for oven/slow cooker recipes.
6. Donate all those extra ladles to a soup kitchen.
7. Slowly back away from the oven after shoving the dish in.
8. Go sit down!

My before and after pictures of the 8 step cure for Compulsive Stirring Disease.

PS. This way you use less oil!