“Just Noah”

Just before Easter, Noah had made a set of bunny ears at school, and when I went to pick him up, he came out wearing them. He looked so darn cute, I just couldn’t resist, and said, “Hello, Bunny Noah!” He then promptly removed the bunny ears and looked me straight in the eye and said, “I not a bunny, Mommy. I just Noah.” And since then, every time he wears a mask or dresses up as a character of sorts, as soon as we start calling him by the name of whatever character, he quickly reminds us that he is “Just Noah.”

Just Noah

And every time that he says that he is “Just Noah”, I can’t help but think that yes, he is “Just Noah”. But he is also so much more than “Just Noah.” He is Noah – son, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. And there are so many things that go into making him “just Noah” – his character and personality. As “Just Noah”, he is a sensitive little soul. He loves to pray for friends and family when he hears they have an “ouchie” or are sick. Sometimes,he will stop what he is playing with, and ask if we can please pray for someone specific in that moment.

“Just Noah” loves school and is excited to be with his friends and teachers each day. He loves, and I mean LOVES going to church. It is a definite highlight of his week. He gets excited every time we drive past our church, and his Dad and I better have a good explanation on the Sundays when we don’t make it to at least one service!

As “Just Noah”, he is an active little boy. I feel like he would hop his way through life, given half the chance! He is always jumping over or off of something, or simply jumping along to get from one room in the house to the next – walking can be so overrated sometimes! He loves wrestling – John Cena has a definite fan in our home! In fact, one of his favorite ways to wake his Dad up, especially on weekends and other prime sleep-in days, is to jump on top of hm, and say loudly, “Wake up, Farder! Let’s wrestle!” He also runs constantly, and when he falls, nine times out of ten he gets up, dusts himself off, and carries on running.

My Noah, “Just Noah”, is a brave boy. He is fearless, and would rather try something, even if he is wary. He is my happy boy, with one of the most contagious laughs I have ever heard – it really is one of my most favorite sounds! He keeps us busy, and he keeps us entertained. He loves to act silly and do silly things, just to make us laugh.

Don’t be fooled though – he is also quite shy. As much as he loves to sing and dance and make those closest to him laugh, if he feels too many people are watching him, he stops. He’s not a huge fan of being the center of attention – he prefers more one-on-one interactions!

For the last almost three years of being his Mommy, it has been a delight watching him grow into the little person that he is today. There is something so precious about watching your child develop into the person God created them to be. What a privilege it is to watch them learn both who they are, and Who’s they are. I am reminded of two verses in the Bible, every time I think about this –

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14

Oh, my sweet boy, in your eyes, you may be “Just Noah”. But, to Daddy and I you are so much more than that, and we love each and every part of you that makes you, YOU!

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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.

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.