hannah's blog

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There are times each day that I feel like a referee- constantly breaking up little squabbles between the boys. Other times though, they surprise and delight me with their impeccable manners and politeness. Anneke seems to bring out that side of them more than anyone else does. She inspires her older brothers to take turns, share, and be gentle- to think of someone else's needs besides their own. When she sneezes, Josiah immediately says, "bess oo, Onka" (bless you, Anneke). When she cries both boys shush and pat her, croon loving words to her, or sing her a song. Read more about Things our kids teach us (and each other)...

We made homemade granola (or muesli, as it's known here) today! Zak made an excellent chef's assistant- cutting dates, fetching and prong away ingredients,  and pouring them in.  Can't wait to eat some! #homemade #granola #cookingwithkids #norefinedsugaro

Like most parents, we're always looking for affordable ways to feed our family healthier. So today Zak and I made some homemade muesli, and I'm hoping the boys will take to it well enough that we can stop buying sugary breakfast cereals (much as I love them myself, I know they aren't good for you). We found some great local sources for GMO-free oats, honey, and dried fruit. We got the oats and dates we used in this recipe from His Working Hands, which is a local business run by a Christian homeschooling family. They're out on the other side of town but deliver here for a small delivery fee, and their prices make the delivery cost more than worth it. They also have excellent prices on honey, which we've also bought from them, but in this case I used honey from the Exceptional Foods Consortium, which was running a Christmas special- they're another small local company, just starting out with some incredible products! If you're in the Cape Town area, do yourself a favour and check these companies out!

I've had some people express interest in how to make muesli. Most people don't realise how easy it is to make it at home. I grew up with homemade muesli (or granola as we call it in the States), and people in the States were always amazed that you could make it at home too. In light of this, Raoul said I should share my recipe on our blog. Well of course, what an awesome idea!

When I saw today's word I was a bit stumped. I already explained how we don't often leave our children in a previous blog post, and that was the most obvious thing to blog about. I realised there are ways that we do "leave" them though.

We leave them to create their own schedules as babies- I breastfeed on demand, often wear them for naps (especially in the early days), and they go to bed at night when they're tired for the most part.

Zak is our firstborn, and that is such a special thing. I KNEW before I took the pregnancy test, that I was pregnant. We weren't even trying for a baby (weren't even considering trying for a baby for another year or two!), but somehow I knew. I prayed for him every night, from even before that pregnancy test turned positive. Zak changed so much in my life.

One of the most (if not THE most) important aspects of parenting for a couple, is to be united in your decisions. It can really harm a marriage to be divided on issues of parenting, and it's something that comes up before the baby is even born! If any young couple or unmarried person reads this, take note! Read more about 31 Days of Parenting Littles: Unite...

We never intended to co-sleep with our children. When I was pregnant with Zak, we got a cot (crib), and a bassinet to use, just like every "normal" couple does. We intended for him to sleep in our room for the first few months and then transition to his own room in his cot once he outgrew the bassinet. That's just what you do...right? Well, turns out, not so much.

There's a quote that says, "the best things in life are free", and often that saying goes with a cute picture of a couple holding hands, or kids smiling, a little girl dancing in a field of flowers...beautiful, sweet images that bring to mind love and family, joy, laughter, etc. Well, I have to disagree with the wording of that saying. Those things aren't free. In fact, they're very costly- often moreso than material things. To say that they're free actually cheapens them I think.

Being a parent really changes your social life. When you have your first and your friends aren't yet having children, it can really drastically change things! We had Zak sooner than we were planning on having children, and we were the first in our circle of friends to have kids. We were never big on schedules, and Zak slept amazingly while we were out as long as we were wearing him, so we never saw a reason for cutting down on visiting friends, going to braais, etc, but not all our single or young married friends felt comfortable having a baby around or knew that we would still be happy to come, so invitations became a bit few and far between.

People have a tendency to be very negative about parenting- even parents who LOVE their kids and love being parents still say a lot of negative things surrounding parenting in general. This tends to come out most while talking with parents who have younger children than they do (or pregnant moms- they get it the worst I think!). "Just you wait..." Sleepless nights, colic, tantrums, terrible twos, sassy three year olds, rebellious teens, etc, etc. When people see you with more than two children, or even more than one sometimes, it's always, "Wow, you've got YOUR hands full!" Today we were at the mall with our three kiddos and although I got oohs and ahhs over Anneke, I still got that comment from several people, and even worse, "So you must be done now, right?"