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Heritage Day & Our Visit to the Military History Museum

Heritage Day – 24 September

The incredible thing about this country and it’s beautiful people, is the huge variety of heritage that we can learn about from eachother. One step further than that, our melting pot has formed such a unique culture that we share as South Africans that I don’t believe exists anywhere else in the world!

This special public holiday is therefore aimed at everyone sharing and celebrating their unique heritage. In the MammaChef household, we truly are not only a modern family, but a multi-heritage family as well!

My father was born in Germany and my grandparents came to South Africa shortly after WW2, when he was a young boy. My mother was born in South Africa, but descended from a mixture of Irish and French backgrounds.

SuperDad’s parents are both from Madeira. Our children therefore have a wonderful, rich mixture of different languages, cultures and food to incorporate into their South African context and share with their friends!

National Museum of Military History

After much discussion, we decided to take a “sho’t left” to the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg, which is next to the Joburg Zoo. I hadn’t been there since I was very young, in fact I had no memory of what it was like – it was that long ago!

I knew that the boys would enjoy seeing the vehicles etc, but I actually had no idea how much they would love it!

Blake (4) has such a fantastic imagination and can completely immerse himself in little toys and pretend play. He absolutely loved being able to climb on the cannons, see the huge planes, the uniforms and the vehicles. He especially loved playing ship captain on the “deck” of the SAS Tafelberg with it’s huge wooden wheel. For days after this visit, everyone was called “Matey”!

 

My son Wade, who is 8, really enjoyed the different weapons on display. He asked me to read the descriptions and stories behind certain displays. We noted the distances that the various cannons could shoot at. One item that we found particularly interesting was a small side window from an aeroplane. A bullet hole had gone right through the middle of the glass. It’s displayed in a frame with a black and white photo showing the pilot looking through the little window. He had a huge smile on his face.

We learned that this was a look of pure joy to be alive! The story went that during a battle, a shot went through the window next to his head. His goggles were shot right off his face! He didn’t sustain even a tiny scratch! I’m quite convinced however that he had a new outlook on life from that day onwards!

Not Just Exhibits

After we had taken a walk through all the exhibits, we spent quite a bit of time with the boys on the playground which has an old Jeep and the shell of a helicopter to play on. The adventures took on a life of their own! Mamma and Daddy got to sit peacefully on a bench in the garden and watch the fascinated faces of all the children who were running around having just as much fun.

There is a small coffee shop serving light meals and refreshments. I found that overall, it was very well maintained, clean and safe. All in all a great day out for all of us and something we are definitely planning on taking cousins and friends to in the near future.

 

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On #ParentingWins and #ParentingFails

This post is inspired by MomofTwoLittleGirls who has asked several parents to open their hearts (and skeleton cupboards) by sharing their shiniest #ParentingWins and scariest #ParentingFails. She also bravely set the example with her own post here.

Several disastrous moments flashed through my mind as I considered which ones I would pick to expose to the world out there. I have had quite a few epic fails and many beautiful wins with my two boys. I’ll start with Wade, being the oldest and I’ll lead with a mommy fail that did not cause permanent damage to either of us…

#ParentingFail

Let me begin by saying that this boy has the most gorgeous temperament and gentle manner about him. Thinking back to his baby and toddler years, he was generally such an “easy” child but when he did throw a full blown tantrum he really did give it his all!

Wade was somewhere between terrible two and more-terrible three when, one fateful morning, he just simply refused let me dress him. All moms would probably recognise this story, weekday morning getting ready for work and school, possibly already running a little late when playfully asking leads to seriously instructing, leads to desperately pleading, leads to half an hour later, a frazzled (to say the least) mom and a completely out of control kid.

Long story short, I resolve that empty threats will get me nowhere and the time has come to show said toddler that I also mean business! I manage to carry wriggling and loudly protesting little monster, in his underpants, to the car and stuff him safely into his car seat. The next forty minutes in the car to school was spent trying to block out the deafening screams from the back seat, focus on the road and keep some semblance of composure.

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There were maybe 5 minutes of silence before we finally made it to the school parking lot. I turn around to said little monster and ask in my calmest mom voice whether he is ready to get dressed as we have arrived at school. A quiet, calculated “Yes.” was the reply. As my luck would have it, this was only the eye of the storm. As I got near his foot with a pair of pants, the kicking and screaming started again and this was when the Mom-bot took over and I just gave up.

In my mind’s eye, I can remember the gate guard silently clearing the way as I walked into the nursery school, Wade wildly flailing around under my one arm and crying bloody murder. I will probably never forget the teacher’s face as she was sitting on a chair in the middle of the classroom. This wide-eyed mother walked straight up to her and the teacher didn’t say a word but just stuck her arms out. The screaming suddenly subsided to a small wail as I handed him and his bag to her, turned around and walked out. I paused outside the door to hear the total silence as he realised where he was and that all his friends were looking at him in his undies. On the upside, there was no permanent damage and this was never repeated again! It did take me quite some time to pull myself together and get myself to work that day.

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#ParentingWin

Staying with Wade, my parenting win story is short and super sweet. It’s more attributable to him that me, but I must have done something right along the way!

About a year ago, I received a phone call from the mom of a girl in Wade’s Grade 1 class. She told me that she just wanted to let me know how he had just made their day. Her daughter had the most beautiful, long, thick hair and just the day before, had decided to trim her ends herself (just a little bit).

As she was telling me this, I had flashbacks to my own attempt at cutting my Barbie doll’s hair and the devastating consequences!

She had made a complete mess of her beautiful long hair and they ended up having to take her to have it all cut into a bob. Both mom and daughter were distraught and when they arrived at school the next morning, after hearing the story my little boy held her hand and said “I don’t really care if your hair is long or short, you’re my friend and I still like you.”

Smiles made and hearts melted. #WIN!

 

 

No Fuss Roast Chicken & Vegetables

This week’s meals are intended to be as quick and easy as possible due to the current state of sleeping arrangements in our happy home… Just to paint a picture for you, last night I went to lie down with my eldest son, Wade who is eight, to have a chat before bedtime. It’s possible I fell asleep before him!

I vaguely remember moving myself over to my little three year old’s bed when he called for me during the night, as he does on most nights. After a short blank which could have been sleep, I opened my eyes to see same three year old, Blake, get up and make his way to the bed where I should have been, to go and sleep next to Dad. I close my eyes for a second…

Lights on and Wade is looking at me. There has been a night time incident which requires new pyjamas and removal of sheets. I give up my temporary bed and head to the main bedroom where I shift over a sideways Blake and finally find a slither of space in my very own bed…. and I’m wide awake.

I possibly got a blink or two in before it became time to rise and shine!

Hence, quick and easy meals! Recipe below…

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Instructions:

Place a large pan on medium high heat and preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Season 6 chicken drumsticks with ground salt & pepper, Portuguese chicken spice (or seasoning of your choice). Add olive oil to heated pan and brown chicken for 2 minutes per side.

While the chicken browns, place 600g baby potatoes in a plastic bag, loosely knotted, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Next, transfer chicken and baby potatoes into a shallow oven dish, add brussels sprouts if desired. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and brussels, season with ground salt & black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Pour a glass of wine!

With 10 minutes to go, steam baby carrots and green beans. Serve!

Yours in daytime snoozes,

xMCJx

 

Portuguese Day

FarturasMy big little boy may be German/South African by blood, but his soul is Portuguese like SuperDad!

Today he played in a junior soccer tournament at the Portuguese Day festival held by Luso Africa soccer club in Germiston. Beautiful sunny winter’s day in Johannesburg, family, fun, pregos and farturas!

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