Father Day interview post with my awesome hubby!

Just a reminder that Miss Cass Lee has moved on over to here .

I have posted a new interview , this time with my husband Rasheed Ferguson. He talks ALL things “Dad” and about his fears, his joys, and hashtags ! Check it out over here .

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Mom to Mom with Liezel Kriel

Mom to mom Liezel KrielI am very EXCITED about our second “Mom to Mom ” interview with a very inspiring mom in the making : Liezel Kriel! Liezel Kriel or as I know her via Twitter and Instagram as @Elle_K I met through other “Twitter moms”, through some “mama tweeting” over our baby boys! It’s been so awesome following her journey with her gorgeous son Ben, she is real , and honest in her approach to “mom hood”, and I find that to be so inspiring, and relatable ! She has a gorgeous blog : ellekaydiary.blogspot.com that you should definitely check out!

Right, lets get straight into shall we? Grab a cuppa ladies, sit back , and relax.

About Liezel :

  • I am 31 (32 in September) and have officially reached the stage where I feel the need to start lying about my age.
  • I am originally from the small town of the De Doorns and moved to Stellenbosch after high school to study Drama at the University of Stellenbosch.
  • I’ve lived in Taiwan for a year, then Cape Town, but eventually found my way back to Stellenbosch.
  • I am a wife to the most handsome of men, mom to the sweetest 3 year old Golden Retriever Knox and then of course my pride and joy our baby boy Ben. Man I love this little guy so much.

Tell us a little bit about the season that you are in :

I’ve always hoped to be a “stay at home” mom. I wanted to be present for every minute of my children’s live’s. In October 2013, 2 months after Ben was born my husband had to close his business and find a new job. I wasn’t employed at the time and financially we took quite a hit. Eventually I had to give up on my dream of staying home with my baby and had to go back to work . It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I found a great daycare and Ben is really enjoying the days spent with friends. He is 9 months old and I must say I am loving this phase. He is so adventurous, and loves to interact and explore. Being a mom has given me such a sense of purpose. Yes, I am beyond tired and there are many frustrating moments, but there are far more awesome moments.

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The Challenges 

“Married with kids”

The biggest challenge so far has been maintaining a healthy marriage. We’ve always been the “perfect couple”and we hardly ever fought. Marriage came easy to us, then we had a baby and suddenly everything changed. I had no time to cuddle with my husband on the couch. We were constantly comparing who was doing the most work and who was more tired. In between the utter exhaustion we lost the ability to laugh together. We were so serious, ALL of the time. Sometimes I would feel lonely and a little neglected by him (I’m sure he felt the same) all of our time and energy went into Ben. Things have returned to normal (somewhat) and we are back to laughing and joking, but it’s definitely harder than before.

“Mo money Mo problems”

The other challenge being: Money (Or lack thereof). Not being able to afford the R10 000 Pram or the “best” car seat on the market eats at you. Then you start thinking about school and university fee’s and suddenly your are struggling for air and breathing into a brown paper bag.

The Blessings 

For me a big blessing was being able to fall pregnant, and then to experience pregnancy . Another blessing; being a mom to thee most gorgeous little boy. It has made me feel so worthwhile and special. I also love the fact that I can share this journey with both of my parents. They are SO obsessed with him, and seeing the bond form between them is so special.

Advice for other moms

A week after I had my baby I had to go see my doctor for a checkup. Getting both of us ‘dressed and ready’ for my 11:00 am appointment created so much anxiety that I phoned my husband at work crying and asked him to meet us at the doctor’s office. That first trip driving my baby was so nerve wracking. I was such an emotional mess when I got to the doctor’s office, that he ended up prescribing me a mild anti-depressant. When I got home I saw a fellow new mom’s Instagram post of her sitting at a coffee shop with her newborn looking calm, polished and put together. I felt like such a failure. In comparing myself to this mom I put so much unnecessary pressure on myself.

My advice would be to just focus on you and your baby. No comparing yourself to others!!! Go at your own pace. No new mom or baby is alike. Do what works for you.

Thank you Liezel for sharing with us, your honesty is SO refreshing! Ben is such a gorgeous boy and is so lucky to have you as his mama! I loved how you ended this post off by saying “Don’t compare yourself with others” , as women we tend to do that ALOT. We bring ourselves down without even realising it! It reminds me of this quote : “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodor Roosevelt. I’ve often found that when I start comparing myself to others, I start feeling down and thats when I KNOW I need to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have !  A Thankful heart, is a happy heart.

 

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Photography by : Nikki Meyer

 

First Mothers Day.

mothers daySo today is my FIRST MOTHERS DAY (eeeeeeeeeee happy baby whale sound) and I have a very sick little baby at the moment! I only clocked in 3 hours sleep but some how I am still full of ….um…uh LIFE? (haha) But it’s my FIRST MOTHERS DAY, and we will still celebrate !

I have never been this excited before, and I am not even sure why? Maybe its because I find being a mom to be such an honor, and to celebrate that with my gorgeous family is just the BEST feeling in the world. I think its awesome that a day like today gets everyone to stop “collaborate and listen”  (I had too!) , pause , reflect on their moms intentionally. Being a mom is a full on, full time job (24 / 7) yet it is the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. I think every mom would agree with me when I say there is nothing quite like a mothers love! I could go, on and on – but lets move on shall we?

I was told to wait in the bedroom this morning with Malakai until my husband aka “Gordon Ramsy(the edited version) was finished cooking up a storm in the kitchen! (The smell of bacon-DROOL ).It was the worth wait! My husband laid out a beautiful spread (Go Rash!) flowers every where (protea’s and baby’s breath) , all fitting a colour scheme of course, juice in fancy glasses, candles , music playing (You name it – it was there). I was also spoilt with thee most amazing gift, that I will cherish FOREVER, a gorgeous locket with a picture of my two favourite boys ; Rash and Malakai (heart melt). Rash thank you for making my FIRST (of many) Mothers Day so special  for me , you truly went above and beyond ❤ Malakai said it was all his idea, but he delegated all the work to you? (Good team work) ha ha

MOTHERS DAY 1 Locket

On Mothers Day , Malakai I want you to know :

▪  That I love you above and beyond. FULL STOP.
▪  I am proud of literally EVERYTHING you do! (NO JOKES!)
▪  I am in awe of how you observe everything around you.
▪  I love how your nose crinkles and your cheeks look like they could possibly explode off of your face from smiling or laughing!
▪  I love that you are so friendly and warm towards all sorts of people.
▪  I love how you started pulling this “cheesy fake smile”, and start breathing like mini dragon when you want me to pass you something!
▪  I love how, just before I put you to sleep at night, you smile and stroke my face when I kiss you goodnight.( My Favourite)
▪  I love it when you do this dramatic sigh, when you’re tired or bored.
▪  I love it when you literally some times talk / sing yourself to sleep.
▪  I love how you leopard crawl towards (aka chase)  “Cutie” the cat, because you are so determined to have her love you! (One day she will give in)
▪  You are gentle, you are definitely loving, you are friendly, you are funny, you are VERY charming , and you are SO sweet!
▪  I am SO proud to be YOUR MOM ❤

Malakai & Mom 1 Malakai & Mom 4

I am so grateful to have thee most amazing mom, who loves us so passionately! There is nothing quite like a “Greek Mama’s” love! She has been my BIGGEST cheerleader, and has always been there for me! I love how she is a mom figure too many ! (Literally)  I’ve also been blessed with a beautiful mother in law who raised amazing children – ‘yummy mummy’ Rish (who I adore and admire) Adam the ‘super star’ and of course my absolute favorite Rasheed who is a rocking dad, a romantic husband and all rounded creative genius! I feel so blessed to have such strong women in my life, that inspire me on a daily basis! Love you all!

Today, was a special day for me! I LOVED every moment of it! From our family breakfast with a snotty coughing yet smiling baby, to a home cooked family lunch made my Italian Stallion dad ! Rasheed and Malakai you are two of the greatest , and I love you to the moon and back and then some! Thanks for a very memorable Mothers Day!

My mom, Brother,Malakai & I Mom & I

Mom to Mom with Carmia Leao

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I am very excited to be sharing my first “Mom to Mom” article with you. In our “Mom to Mom” section, we get to meet a fellow “Mom in the Making” and hear what’s going on in her world. Today we have the pleasure of meeting a very special friend of mine that I have had the honor of knowing for several years now. We met years ago on a course, and she somehow crept up beside me and said (in a creepy tone)  “I’ve seen you around, and I have always wanted to meet you, my boyfriend and I call you the Funky Girl !” (ha ha). How could you not want to be friends with someone who introduces herself like that ? Carmia aka Mia has the best introductions. If not memorable ones! She has always brought a smile to my face through her genuine, sincere, and loving nature. I know that she has touched the hearts of many that have come across her path and that’s why I wanted to start this section with her.

About Carmia:

  • My name is Carmia Leao but my friends call me Mia.
  • I am married to Sergio Leao Co owner of Fusion floors, we have been married for 5 years.
  • I have two beautiful children Jesse (20 months) and Giana (3 months old) their age difference is a year and a half.
  • I am currently a stay home mom.

I am at Carmia’s house, busy doing her make up for her first date night since having 3 month old Giana. She is very excited as she will be celebrating hers and Sergio’s 5 year wedding anniversary this evening (Congrats guys!) . While I am doing her make up, we are recording her thoughts and views on “mom hood”.

Tell us a little bit about the season that you are in?

At the moment I am a stay home mom with my daughter Giana (3 months) while Jesse (20 months) my first born attends Daycare. Financially it is a bit tight, but I am hoping to start part time work when Giana is four months old. Which means both children will be attending Daycare. The thought of Daycare can be nerve wracking for first time moms, because you wonder and worry if other people aka “crazy people” will be able to look after your kids! What do you mean “Crazy people” Mia? As in the crazy kids make them crazy at Daycare (ha ha) . But after awhile you and your child get used to it (Daycare) , and it becomes a blessing to both mom and child. Jesse comes home happy, which makes me happy.

How does having a second child compare to having  the first child?

With the first child, you are overwhelmed in general. You are adjusting to new sleeping patterns, you’re feeding on demand,your body is healing from giving birth and your boobs are adjusting to breastfeeding. In the beginning (first few weeks) you feel like its never ending, you start thinking “is this how my life is going to be like forever?” It starts to effect how you feel; you start feeling a bit down, and despondent. But then with Giana, I knew that the “beginning phase” would pass. Which made me more relaxed, knowing that it’s just a phase that would eventually pass. And that season is gradually passing by, for example my husband and I waited three months before going on our first date night! (Which is tonight woohoo). Just keep reminding yourself that it will pass, and your baby will settle into a routine when they are ready.

Team Leao

 

The Challenges

“The Balancing Act”

The biggest challenge at the moment is to give Giana and Jesse equal attention. Sergio and I will “Tag Team”, and swap kids.  For example Sergio will fetch Jesse from Daycare. Then when Jesse is home I will feed him while Sergio gives Giana a bottle. Sergio will then bath Jesse, and I will get Jesse ready for bed. Its a juggling act. (Sounds like you are rocking it Team Leao!)

“Intimacy & Self image”

Another challenge is to keep the romance alive, especially when you’ve had an exhausting day. But sometimes you need to just “take one for the team” (haha) and mentally prepare yourself for “sexy times” . While the baby is asleep quickly polish up ladies – trim downstairs, put some shimmer lotion on and something cute to wear, you may not “feel” like it. BUT it will be so rewarding for both you and your husband. To add to this, I find that I am constantly working on my “self confidence”.  I often don’t feel sexy with my “mommy body“. I keep reminding myself that my husband still thinks I’m sexy even though my boobs might look like “cones” at the moment. Sometimes I wish we could see ourselves the way our husbands see us, and stop being so hard, and so critical on ourselves.

“Getting out vs Cabin Fever”

Something else that I find quite challenging, is trying not to loose my mind while being indoors 24/7 . I am quite a social person and I like being around people . I make sure that Giana and I get out of the house to baby friendly places ; Tygervalley has the best baby changing facilities for feeding and changing, Damhuis restaurant in Melkbos is a favourite, and I love going to the Mugg n Bean by the Paddocks, if it is a nice warm day we will go to Green Point park. Theres something about going out and getting out of the house.

The Blessings

For me one of the biggest blessings is knowing that your children are a gift from God. It’s awesome to know that you can pour Gods love into them! Another blessing about being a mom, is when you and your husband witness your children doing something funny or something cute. Those moments are special because you know that they are YOURS!

Advice for other moms : 

  • Make sure that your relationship with your husband is healthy, invest in it, cherish it, and look after each other especially in challenging seasons, and um “sexy times” is a must!!!
  • Stay connected with other moms, meet up regularly and share mom stories and encourage one another!
  • Make sure you get out of the house with your baby, go for a walk around the block or go out to the shops. The more you do it the more confident you will become when cruising out and about with your baby.
  • Don’t let mommy guilt dictate you, decide what works best for you and your family and just go with it. So if that means introducing a formula bottle sooner than what you originally thought for personal reasons then do it – you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.
  • Remind yourself that this is just a season, you will go on date nights again, you will be able to sleep for longer at night again, it will happen.
  • Be patient and be present in the moment with your baby. They grow up so quickly!

Carmia’s make up and hair is done, and she is looking gorgeous! Before I go , we quickly take a few fun pics ! You can see that this lady somehow manages to balance being there for both of her children. She knows when to laugh at herself, and when to laugh with her kids. She is real and honest in her approach to mom hood, and I just LOVE that about her! Carmia I hope you had some “sexy times” ! 

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