Monday, November 26, 2012

Letters to Kayla: First chatter

Dear Kayla

One of my favourite times of the day is laying in bed with daddy and you on a Saturday morning. You are just like your me - you love mornings. You sometimes even sing yourself awake. It makes daddy and I feel so much better because nothing can dampen our day once we have heard your cheery voice.

Here is a video of you, daddy and  I hanging out in bed and reviewing your new words for the week. You were only 13 months at this stage and you can thank Grandma Taruvinga for teaching you alot of the words. She had been babysitting you for 3weeks and what a joy it has been for both of you.

Love you loads my angel,

Mommy for life

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Working and Traveling Mother

October 2012

Just when I thought I got the hang of being a working mom life seemed to switch things up a notch. How about a working and travelling mom? Yup I am two months into my new career as Business Development Director for Strategic Environmental Focus (

Last year I probably would have never have thought that I would be keen for such a position. Being a mom I was so sure that I would opt for the stay-at-home mommy career path. I had consulted with a lot of moms who gave up full blown careers just so they could be with their kids. And listening to their reasoning’s – I could relate BIG TIME.

When my boss proposed the new job position I got a strange sense of excitement and fear all at the same time. I had had a couple of job offers previously which required weeks of travel and I had turned them down purely because it meant me spending less time with family. But this new job seemed a bit feasible – regional (Cape Town and Durban) short visits. Then there was the other fear factor which was the complete career change. I was moving from GIS and Remote sensing work which was mainly computer based to now relationship building, people management, marketing and business development. Am I capable of such a position? This was kicking my career into top gear – was I ready for this change?

So with any major decision I face I consulted my Husband and to my surprise he was more excited than me. It was so encouraging too because ultimately this travel and stress would put more pressure on Avon. Were we ready for this as a couple?

God opens and closes doors – so I needed to get confirmation from God. And what better way to do that than to fast. During this fast I prayed and got confirmation on various levels from dreams to scripture to actual words given by people. Strange how even when you get the confirmation you still question God…Are you sure about this God?  Why me?

One thing I knew for sure was that this was going to require a massive walk in faith. I would need to proceed trusting that God would grant me wisdom, strength, patience, endurance, contacts and ideas. I was being put in a leadership position……Could I trust in Him enough to make me a leader?


Two months have gone by and I can really tell you God has come to my rescue on numerous occasions and still continues to do so. There have been moments when I just want to break down out of frustrations with working with people - sometimes working with a computer is a lot easier. There have been times when the future just seems like a blur and I am not equipped for it. Yet God, in his mysterious ways, encourages me, humbles me, reassures me that he is in control and I am not. These are the times when I realise how amazing God is with taking care of the details.  And all of these learning experiences and awakenings wouldn’t have happened if I had decided not to take the position. 

So readers this is why I have been quiet…and I apologise to all of you who do follow these blogs on a regular basis. Keep me in your prayers….coz let me tell you! I NEED IT big time. I have a couple of blogs which I have up my sleeve, I just haven’t had time to post them….so watch this space.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Kayla Starting to Walk

Our Angel has just started walking..... this video was taken the morning after she mastered her first 5 steps. Avon and I are having so much fun just getting her to walk between the two of us. It is like playing ball lol. Excuse the morning look!!!!

Baby Meal 1

Before I became a mother I used to day dream of all the fun meals I would put together for my child. I was one of those mom’s who believed I would never feed my child purity. But life caught up with me pretty fast and before I knew it I was feeding my child the very same food I resented…..well this was until a month ago.

During life group one of my good friends told me how she has put together all different kinds of meals for her 10month old and had frozen it. When I saw how neatly she had put her meals together in freezer bags I got a huge feeling of guilt. My poor Kayla had been eating purity for the past month and she could have had the option of real food. I think my friend sensed the lousy feeling so she loaned me her baby Food cook book!

The very next day I was in my kitchen cooking up a storm for Kayla. I didn’t realise how much fun it was cooking food for her and how easy it was. I would cook up a meal – pure it and freeze it in ice cube trays. The bonus was that Kayla loved my cooking. Her appetite just shot right up. Even I would enjoy tasting her food.

So I thought I would share one of my remixed easy baby meals:

Lentils and Sweet Potatoes Mush
Quarter of an onion
Bit of garlic (optional)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 carrot
1 tomato
½ cup soaked red lentils
1 grated apple
½ cup Stock
½ cup water.

  1. Fry onions and a dash of garlic in olive oil
  2. Add remaining ingredients
  3. Simmer till potatoes are cooked through. Add more water if the dish begins to dry up.
  4. Cool and then blend with a puree machine.

Switch it up:
You can switch this meal up by adding cooked boiled meat or chicken instead of lentils.
Another easy one is:
Eggy Bread.
Mix breast milk or formula with one egg, Soak bread and fry in butter.
This is very handy when you want her to feed herself. Plus she gets her protein.
If you have any cool and easy baby meals please do share.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thoughts on Nelson Mandela Day

If this morning you had a thought like this “Gosh it’s Mandela Day and I have not planned a Good Deed or supported any good cause…Am I changing the world?,” then maybe this read is for you.

I had that very same thought ponder in my mind on my way to work. The thought followed with more guilty thoughts like“ Gee I wish I was more giving, more involved! I wish I was making a difference” Sometimes one feels a bit overwhelmed by all the areas that are in need and sometimes you just feel like maybe you don’t trust where your money is going too. But honestly at the end of the day it is about doing something no matter how big or small because whatever it is it will make a difference some how.

So I decided to dedicate my Madiba 67 minutes to supporting an organisation which has been close to my heart since high school – Abandoned Babies for Christ (ABC ministries). It is a small orphanage in Swaziland which is dedicated to providing the vital support and love needed for babies who have been abandoned. Over the past 10 years of knowing them I have heard of horrific stories of babies being rescued and how they have managed to survive and love life again.

When I was in university I used to give talks about HIV Aids in Swaziland and talked about my links to ABC ministry as signs of hope. It was amazing how these educational talks actually stirred the hearts of random people in the audience. Once a random IT guy decided to sit in on my lecture just to kill time and by the end of my talk he was in tears. Turned out that he was a leader of a youth group and he managed to get his youth group to raise money for these babies. Other events were we managed to support this organisation included Aids Awareness day and African Awareness day.

I felt super guilty when I received a personal letter from ABC Ministries last week. They talked about the changes, challenges and how they were trusting God with every thing they needed. I haven’t been supporting them much since my university days and yet now that I have my own 9 month old baby I feel like it is even more applicable for me to support them. I mean now I should really understand what it means to look after another life Right?

So TODAY I will do things differently! My first 15 minutes have been dedicated to creating awareness to ABC Ministry. If you feel like supporting them please feel free to contact me or contact them directly. Their details are below:

Robyn +26876688989; Email:; Website:
Section 21 Company No: RT/2542
Banking Details: Standard Bank Swaziland;
Acc Name: ABC Ministry;
Acc. No.: 0140034300101;
Branch Code: 661164;
Swift Address: SBICSZMX;
I BAN No.: SBICSZMX6611640140034300101

I will now go and convert my well saved up Pick and Pay Smart Shoppers points to Cash and purchase some supplies which they are desperately in need of. It is a baby step….but a step for a baby J!

Happy Mandela Day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Letters to Kayla: Europe Holiday 2012

Dear Kayla,

We have just got back from a fantastic vacation in Greece and Manchester in England and you travelled like you were born to travel, flights, people, lights, camera’s …it was all second nature to you. The best part of this vacation was spending time with you but I thought I would highlight some of the moments in a short letter.

I had been feeling so guilty the weeks before we left because I was so busy at work. I had so many projects to wrap up and had to put in extra hours at work just to accommodate for the vacation. Dad was a star at giving me space to work and he would help with picking you up and entertaining you on weekends. He enjoys taking you to the racetrack to watch the cars and motorbikes race. I think you enjoy it too because you never give Dad a hard time.

We had a wedding in Manchester, Auntie Emma and Uncle Darrion. You probably don’t remember them but they came to visit us in Johannesburg when you were 4 months old. Their little girl Jasmine just loved the fact that “Baby-Kayla” was staying with her. Jasmine is about a year older than you and a lot more active. For the wedding I dressed you in a navy blue and white dress which were the same colours as what I was wearing. I don’t normally match you up but it was kind of fun. The wedding was beautiful and your Dad did an amazing best man speech. I think his speech will go down in history. Lol.
Emma and Darrion

Family photo at the wedding
 In Greece we stayed on a farm just outside of Athens, with Stel, Katie and Stels parents (who don’t speak English). It was so welcoming being embedded in the whole Greek culture. They are so loving, sharing and also loud. We would eat dinner at 10:30pm and the neighbours would join us.  The food in Greece was so tasty and yet so simple.

Our Greek family.
The Greek landscape seemed African but with a twist. Olive trees, fig trees and grape vines surrounded the house. It was super hot with temperatures reaching a high of 40 degrees Celsius some days. The sea was warm and calm. (No major waves)

In Greece, we would spend hours just hanging out on the bed. Sometimes it was too hot to go to the beach and I struggled to get into the whole siesta time (sleeping in the afternoon). So I would play with you when you were not sleeping. You were full of laughs and giggles and I would try encourage you to crawl. You haven’t fully crawled yet but you are very, very close.

You would love it when we bathed you outside.
In Greece it was your first beach/water moment, Dad and I took joy in seeing how you reacted to it all. The texture of the sand running through your toes intrigued you, the sounds of the waves scared you and the splashing of the water with your hands fascinated you. We would float in the water together like we were mermaids. Then I would have to cut the experience short coz you would dip your hand in the water and then taste it too many times. I think you are like me…you love your salt.

During the warm summer nights we would go for dinner and you would enjoy sitting in your pram anticipating what food you could have. I would give you bread to play with and little finger foods coz you would have eaten your baby food already. The snacks would keep you entertained when we were eating. When you were tired you would just fall asleep in the pram as if you were at home. It was quite an adjustment being awake so late for dinner…even for Dad and I, coz their normal dinner time was 10pm. But you hardly ever gave us problems and I just wanted to thank you for that.   
This was a very hot day but loads of fun in Athens
 Something that is super exciting is that your auntie Katie is 6 months pregnant. It was a super surprise for us all but I was so excited to be with her during this time. We got to share pregnancy stories and I tried to calm her fears on the labour process by showing her videos of the day you were born. She is going to have a baby girl…just like you J. Maybe that is why you loved playing with auntie Katie…coz there was a mini you inside her. Uncle Stel was always full of energy when he was with you. His voice would go a tone louder everytime he spoke to you (it would sometimes give me a fright). He would sing – “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” with real zeal and enthusiasm and you would just beam with excitement and start clapping. It was funny coz sometimes he would sing – “If you know it and you are happy clap your hands” (the tune was right but the words were so off lol) Lol.

I was super glad that you were a good baby but I realised something while travelling. If you look stressed and flustered and have a child with you, they usually let you go ahead of the queue. This was a bit of a bummer because you made us look so calm and composed….so we would have to wait in the queue like normal people. It wasn’t a problem because you were the entertainment for the queue. People would just shoot you smiles and you would smile back. You loved seeing other kids. You would get all excited and point at them with a high pitched scream.

Well I hope the photos tell more about our vacation. I am looking forward to travelling with you more.

I love you always,


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Travelling Medicine

When preparing to fly with Kayla I thought for sure there should be some medicine that could help with the cabin pressure or to ease the stress of flying. I was quite nervous because we would be flying 8hours to Abu Dhabi then another 4 hours to Manchester….then we would reroute back to Johannesburg through Greece. That was a heck of a lot of flying.  Anyways while in Dischem (pharmacy) I decided to ask an African Male chemist who offered some assistance.

He didn’t know of anything specific but he did recommend Entressdruppels which is a German herbal medicine which I had heard of before. About a month after Kayla was born we went to visit Avon’s Auntie in Aldo’s. She was adamant that I should apply the stuff on Kayla’s scalp whenever I go outdoors. She did a whole demonstration on Kayla for me and even gave me some to take home. While driving home the potent smell of the Entressdruppels filled the car …it smelt of tar and vowed that I would never use it. You must know that by this time I had had a lot of tips and recommendations on what to do with Kayla so this was just one of the ones I wasn't going to use. The second time I heard of it was when I was on my way to the shops in Nhlangano, Swaziland (rural part of Swaziland) and Avon’s Grandmother told me I should put it on Kayla because I was going to be around Swazi’s. I was so offended by it because I thought she was being racist, but then Avon’s mom did some further explaining. Apparently Swazi’s are known for carrying herbal medicine on them especially in the rural areas. Some of the medicine is for healing and some is for Mootie to gain wealth, punish your husbands mistress  or whatever witchcraft might be needed for.  I am aware of this because I grew up in Swaziland and know most Swazi’s are deep into medicinal herbs and culture. However some of these “mooties” are very strong and dangerous for babies…apparently so bad that if a child inhales the mooty the baby could die..or it could just enter the baby through the soft scalp. Avon’s mom shared several stories of babies that had been affected by it..some died one had to go get the Sangoma (traditional healer) to reverse it. The stories gave me the jibbers and made me think...was this all true? Were those cases of child death something else rather than mootie??? Part of me didn’t want to believe a word of it but another part of me didn’t want to take the risk either. Needless to say that particular day I didn’t take Kayla into the rural Swazi shopping centre.

So you can imagine how baffled I was when the chemist recommended this remedy.
Kanya: “you are joking with me right?”
Chemist: “No seriously every time I take my child on the bus I use it. And my son is 14months old! It helps with the motion sickness.”
Kanya: “My husbands family mentioned this stuff but I assumed it was just a coloured old school remedy that didn’t work.”
Chemist: “It works!”
Kanya: “But what about all those stories about babies inhaling mootie ect. Isn’t that why it is used?”
Chemist: “Well the remedy does have a history to it. But I am recommending it as a calming motion sickness remedy. Just take a drop and rubb it on the scalp of the baby, behind the ears, under the armpits and even between the legs.”
Kanya: “Well if you say it is a medicine rather than a mootie blocker …then yes I will use it. I don’t want to start getting all superstitious about things.”

So I left the shop with the small bottle of Entressdruppels. I used the Entressdrupples as recommended and Kayla was as calm and as normal as ever during every flight. I can’t say it was the medicine entirely. But I wasn’t going to fly with out it! Maybe I am a bit superstitious lol.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Letters to Kayla

Dear Kayla,

The month of May has really swept us away, I am even surprised I could even have a moment to write to you. But this letter has been playing in my mind for quite a while and I feel if I don’t write to you I will forget all the beautiful details I want to remember and want you to remember.

Kayla you are now 7 months and a week and my angel you have finally learnt how to say Ma Ma. It was so amazing when we realised you were saying it because it was a cross between a cry and a mumble of words. Then you just said it clearly in the middle of the night while half asleep “Maaaaa Maaaa.” Your dad and I had to giggle because it was clear that you only said Maaa maa when you wanted something and were not to happy. And Da Da is the sound you make when you are happy. I am trying to get you to realise that Ma ma is actually me your mother and not a word you say when you upset. “OH Mother!”

We took you on your second visit to Swaziland last week. I must admit you were a lot better in the car than your first visit which was during Christmas time. I think you love cars just as much as your dad does. You laugh when I make the sounds of a car Vvrrrrroommm Vrrrrooom and get excited with anticipation when I repeat it again. Maybe you are actually making fun of me because none of the cars we drive make a sound like that.
Dad has really started pouring into his passion – Cars. It is very exciting because he gets to test drive cars and write all about his experience on his blog ( You probably don’t know the real difference sitting in your car seat but we have got the opportunity of driving in some very cool cars. When we were in Swaziland we drove in the Mini Countryman which made me feel like we were in a Cartoon car. I must admit we did look a bit awkward having that car packed and travelling with you in it. I am sure people were like “That sure ain’t a family car guys!”  I personally wasn’t used to people looking at us, well I guess it wasn’t us, it was the car. I didn’t realise how unique the car was till I realised that I hadn’t seen many of these kinda cars on the road.

There were four of us couples who planned the trip to Swaziland and we had such a great time just being out of the city. Although we were the only ones with a kid I think you started to get the other couples quite broody. It was quite nice for me because I actually got to have a couple of hours uninterrupted sleep while the others took turns looking after you. We spent time with your  Sekuru (my father) who was so happy to have the house full again since Ambuya (my mother) was in Canada for the month helping uncle Hama and aunty Giselle with your cousin Xaria. We also got to spend time with grandma and grandpa Middleton in Big Bend. It was so hot in Big Bend but so relaxing. I personally loved being back in the sugarcane landscapes. It reminded me of my childhood days in Mananga.

Being back home in Swaziland really got your dad and I thinking and missing how simple life is out there. We love Johannesburg and its drive and how sophisticated it is, but it really gets me thinking how much longer we will be able to keep up? Living in a complex does get a bit claustrophobic and I personally don’t like the idea of you being a city girl. I would want you to climb trees, ride your bike through sugarcane fields and dirt roads, build mud houses and discover life outside of the city, like we did. If living in a big house in the country would mean us working harder and spending less time as a family then I would not want it. Can we really have it all?

Anyways those are just the thoughts on Mommy’s mind. Love you so much.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Awkward Rhythm

The Essentials magazine came out this week and I had this grand plan of uploading every detail about my experience, blog by blog but the whole plan and inspiration left me as quick as it came. This week has been so busy that I haven’t spent enough time drawing from my real source of inspiration which comes from spending time with God. It’s quite amazing how this lack of time with God just creates a domino effect on everything else in my life….I get more anxious, my mind and ego gets the best of me and a whole lot more negative thoughts seem to pollute my mind.

Given my frame of mind and space that I was in….. you wanna know my real reaction when I saw myself on the cover of Essentials Magazine? .....NOTHING. I didn’t think, Wow there I am or feel proud or anything of the sort. All I could think of was how huge I was compared to all the other girls, how ugly the dress looks on me and how pale I looked. Even though I had so much fun doing the shoot and felt comfortable in my own skin at the time....looking at the cover didn't seem to move me at all.
 To make matters worse...When I read my blurb I got even more negative …..because in my mind it all read very selfish. “Kanya do you really think you are going to write a book? What makes you so special? So what, you are on the cover of a magazine!!!! Big deal! You won a competition which got you to be a fashion editor - it ain’t like you are Oprah or Beyonce – people with some real talent!”...Yes these were the thoughts which were polluting my mind.
These negative thoughts created a dead-end in my blogging inspiration. I had somehow felt not good enough to even blog because I had created a difficult imaginary audience in front of me. It was an audience that critiqued my every sentence, thought and experience. I felt intimidated and insignificant. It was so frustrating for me because I genuinely wanted to write but nothing was coming to me and couldn’t quite figure out why.

Then I lay in my bed this evening after reading an email from a friend who said she couldn’t help but pass this blog onto her other friends…. and that was when I came face to face with these negative thoughts! I asked myself “when someone comes to your blog what are they reading about?” My answer…to myself of course was “My Rhythm of Life!”  … “So why are you not writing about this Rhythm?” All of a sudden I realised that these negative thoughts were not from God and they were not healthy and I needed to release myself from them.....and what helps me get release is through writing even if i am not sure of why or what.

So here I am, sitting up in the middle of the night, writing about my awkward Rhythm, which wasn't exactly how I wanted to reveal my Essentials experience. But I guess that is just going to have to do for now. 

I am sure I am not the only one out there that brings themselves down like this. It happens to the best of us but the real task is finding a way to remove yourself from that negative space and for me that is by spending time focusing on God. Boy am I excited for Sunday morning Worship at Church!