The toys have taken over our home!

Last year, before we moved across the country, I did a big clean out of Noah’s toys. Everything he had outgrown or no longer played with was either given away to friends or donated. I was ruthless, to the point where he had a box of toys brought to Cape Town on the truck, and we had kept a Spiderman drawstring bag aside, filled with all his favourite cars. When we arrived in Cape Town in December last year, all Noah had was his drawstring bag of cars, with his box of toys still packed and in the garage (where it still is today).

THE TOYS HAVE TAKEN OVER OUR HOME!

Christmas happened just a few days after we arrived, and then two months later it was Noah’s birthday. And in the blink of an eye, that little drawstring bag of cars seemed to magically multiply. Now, a corner of our lounge is overrun with puzzle pieces, cars, trains, lego, marbles, army men and a whole range of age-appropriate sports equipment. In just six months, we went from one small bag of cars, to an entire corner filled with a variety of toys.

I try to keep the toy corner as tidy and organized as possible, but I am realizing that I am fighting a losing battle. Enter The Smart Toy Club

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The Smart Toy Club is a business run by two moms. They provide a toy rental subscription, where a bag of age-appropriate toys are delivered to you, for your child to play with for the month ahead. At the end of the month, all you do is pack up the bag of toys, and swap it out for the next bag.

We just did a three month trial with them, and loved it! The day the bag of toys arrived, Noah would get so excited – he couldn’t wait to open the bag and see what was inside! Each month he got a nice variety of of toys, including story books, puzzles, cars, a leap pad and musical toys. I did notice that he would pick his favourite toys from the bag, and those would be what he played with the most throughout the month.

I think this is such a clever idea for a business. Noah loved playing with the new toys. He would still play with his own toys, but, especially in the first week or so, he would mainly play with the toys from his bag. The toys were in perfect condition, batteries always fully charged, all the puzzle pieces were there and none of the toys were damaged in any way – quality! The toys are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized before being sent out, so don’t worry about those pesky germs.

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The toy rentals work on a monthly subscription system, with a minimum subscription of three months. And if you have any queries or questions, the ladies from The Smart Toy Club are so friendly and helpful – they go above and beyond to help you!

To read more about how it works, and the cost and different delivery options, click here. Click here to sign your child up and enjoy your toys. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you feel like your home is being taken over by all of the toys, and you’re desperate for a solution, definitely look into The Smart Toy Club!

*We did a free 3-month trial with The Smart Toy Club, in exchange for this blog post.

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Mothers Day Connect 2018

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I couldn’t wait to be pregnant, have a baby and be Mommy.

Now, I am Mommy. It never happened the way I thought it would when I was a young girl. And I certainly wouldn’t change my journey to motherhood one bit – it lead me to my Noah, after all!

Having gone through the adoption process, I’ve only ever been a visitor in maternity wards. I’ve never seen a lady in active labour, let alone been inside a delivery room before. Until yesterday, that is.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of leading a team of ladies in visiting the maternity ward at False Bay Hospital. What a meaningful time it was! We were armed with gifts for moms, babies and nurses. We visited with a new mom and her gorgeous son, only one-day old. We chatted to three labouring moms, one of whom was on the verge of giving birth at any minute. We even got to hear her baby’s heartbeat and chat to one excited dad-to-be.

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Our team, from left to right: myself, Ali, Donna, Amanda and Chevone. Nicki was with us in spirit on the day!

The faithful nurses, moms themselves, were amazing. They work tirelessly, caring for labouring moms, and moms with their newborn babies. The nurses showed such care and compassion to to each mom in their ward, all the while with such lovely smiles on their faces. It was a delight to give each nurse a gift, honouring them for all that they do.

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The wonderful nurses!

I left False Bay Hospital yesterday feeling such a sense of joy. I was able to wait with a nervously excited dad, just outside the delivery room, while he waited to hear his baby’s first cry. I left the hospital, having heard a newborn baby’s first cry as he was being born. It was a sound I heard for the very first time. It was incredible!

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The delivery room!

It was a joy to team up with such dedicated ladies, living in the Valley. Each lady on our team worked so hard, sourcing donations for the gift bags. Thank you to each one of you, for the part you played in making yesterday everything that it was. And thank you to each one of the sponsors, who gave so generously:

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Gift bags for the newborn babies

I can’t wait to do this again, next Mothers Day!

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Gifts for moms, ready to be packed!

*Chevone Petersen was a part of our team, and wrote a beautifully personal post about her experience yesterday, on her blog, Chevs Life.

Moms supporting moms this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday – four more sleeps! This will be my third Mother’s Day as a mom, and I cannot wait!

Motherhood has been one of the most exciting, scary, busy, up and down journeys I have ever been on. I love the fact that there is a little boy in this world who calls me ‘Mommy’. When he is hurt or sick, he comes to me for comfort. When he is excited, he comes to me for happy loves. When he needs something, he calls for me to come and help him.

Being ‘Mommy’ has been a roller coaster of good days and bad day. Days (especially in the beginning) where I felt accomplished when Noah was changed out of his pj’s and fed…never-mind a tidy house and clean Mom! There were other days where everything just went right, and I even managed to straighten my hair and put on some make up. I loved those days!

Through all the good days and the bad days, I was always so thankful for our village around us. There were (and still are, even though Noah is older now) ladies, fellow moms, around me, who helped me out on the bad days, offered advice and tips, and celebrated with me on the good days. I counted on these ladies, and still do!

There is something so special about mom’s who support other moms. I found comfort in knowing that there were ladies, both family and friends, who understood what I was going through. They understood the struggles. They had been there and done that. We all need help and support at one point or another. And when moms come together and support each other, wonderful things happen.

Enter Embrace. Embrace is an NGO based in Cape Town.

If you’re a mother or a mother-supporter, you’re part of the ‘us’. We’re reclaiming our village and giving every new mother a voice, a community and a network of possibilities.

Embrace is a national movement for connected, supported and celebrated motherhood. We want to see every new mother embraced and flourishing from the start of her motherhood journey, understanding that an empowered and embraced mother raises a thriving child.

One of the ways that Embrace works to empower moms, is through their Mother’s Day Connect initiative. Basically, there are teams of ladies, across the country, all going to spend one hour this Mother’s Day at their local government hospital maternity ward. It is “Moms supporting moms” put into action.

Last year I joined a team of ladies, lead by the lovely Sade from Disney Mom Blog, and we visited Addington Hospital. It was such an incredible time of moms coming together to wish the new moms a happy Mother’s Day.

This year, a team of ladies and I are going to be visiting False Bay Hospital. I’m so looking forward to visiting with the new moms on Sunday. It’s so rewarding taking time out of your Mother’s Day, to go and visit new moms, give them some gifts, both for them and their babies, and just love on them.

There are still some spots available at hospitals across the country. You can sign up, and RSVP to the hospital of your choice, by clicking on this link.

You can join the Facebook event here.

You can join the Embrace Facebook page here.

It will be one hour well spent this Mother’s Day!