Musically Inclined

When it comes to music, I would say I am actually musically declined, if that is even a phrase. It just doesn’t appeal to me like it does to others. Not saying I don’t jam out every now and again, but there isn’t a band or song that I obsess over. Not like my friends, who OBSESS over bands like Widespread Panic and Lady Gaga. Widespread and Gaga, in one sentence. Hilarious!

Recently, I found myself driving all the way to work without even turning on the radio. It’s a 45 minute drive. Not good. I want Ava to love music and have been trying to turn on music as much as possible when she is around. She is so peaceful when I play children’s music while driving in the car. Our next step is to purchase her some instruments. She looks like a flute player to me. 

It’s funny that I have been thinking a lot about Ava and music lately, and then the below article landed in my inbox. It’s written by two ladies from Primrose Schools who found my blog on Top Baby Blogs and offered for me to use this piece on Blairadise. Enjoy.

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Musically Inclined

A child’s sensesare stimulated to the fullest when he or she grows up listening to music,singing songs, and dancing. Their early development is positively impactedthrough this exposure to music. As it works to strengthen the neurologicalpathways between brain cells it also provides a unique learning experience. Anearly introduction to music is crucial for jump-starting childhood learningprocesses whether it be in day care,or homeschool, or even before the education process begins.

Incorporatingmusic into early childhood education strengthens cognitive abilities likememory and spatial reasoning skills. More over, research has proven thatcreating an educational environment that engages the five senses, withparticular attention to hearing can positively affect a child’s mind andphysical development. The Nemours Foundation, a nongovernmental organizationdedicated to the health of children, produced a report concluding that childrenwho actively listen to, play, or perform music related activities excel in mathand reading, have higher self-esteem, are more focused, and are more likely toplay and explore with their peers. 

Music makes thegreatest educational and neurological impact on children when they activelyexperience it. Active listening can be defined as clapping, singing, tapping,or keeping the beat to music. Further more allowing a child to create his or her own music will proveto be priceless. Passive music participation (listening to music) is alsobeneficial to a child but does not work to engage and develop neurologicalpathways as deeply. If you would like your child to experience the benefits ofmusic on early childhood education and development, begin simply.

1. Play music for your child then ask he or she todistinguish the different instruments present in the music. This game works tosharpen your child’s divided, shifted, focused, and sustained attention. Eachtype of attention is crucial to the healthy development and functioning of yourchild. Divided attention can be defined as performing two or more tasks atonce. Shifted attention is moving back and forth between multiple tasks withoutforgetting the rules and instructions particular to each task. Focusedattention is concentrating on one task. Sustained attention is concentrating onone specific task for a long period of time.

2. Teach your child basic nursery rhymes and songs. The ItsyBitsy Spider, This Little Piggy Went to Market, and The Wheels on The Bus arenursery rhymes that have accompanying hand motions. The synthesis of music andmovement enhances a child’s memory by linking the memorization of words withhand motions. This method also works to strengthen a child’s ability to do morethan one thing at a time.

3. An upset child can be comforted by music. Playing certaintypes of music for a sad or angry child provides stability and repetition asthe child learns to cope with new feelings and emotions.

4. Use any available opportunity to share music with yourchild. Play music when riding in the car or before bedtime! Researchers saythat tones and notes characteristic of jazz and classical musicwork best to stimulate neurological pathways.

The benefits ofplaying music and encouraging participation in making music can be huge. Thedevelopmental, emotional, and educational affects yielded from exposing yourchild to and encouraging your child toward a musical life are invaluable.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen areCommunications Coordinators for the Atlanta daycare facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of PrimroseSchools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of daycare preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning®curriculum.



The Ice Cream Man

As the sun slowly sets on this relaxing Sunday, I find myself quite disappointed. All day I have been straining my ears to hear the ice cream man. The familiar jingle that would give me all the confirmation I need, that summer is on it’s way.  The ice cream man is like my ground hog. If I hear him, then winter-like weather is nearing an end. Hopefully next weekend he will surface.

Funny thing is I have never even seen the ice cream man here in South Africa. I hear the jingle, then search for my wallet and keys, rush to open the gate on our door, then one at the front of the house and lastly, the gate on the street, by then Mr. Ice Cream man is at least two blocks away. It’s not too terrible, as you all know how I feel about South Africa and their ice cream, which I wrote about here. I was still a bit shocked the first time I heard that the ice cream man only sells soft serve?!?! How boring is that?!?! No ice cream baseball glove, with the bubble gum ball? Unimaginable.

Note to Self: Ava MUST experience an American summer, chasing after the ice cream man, for an ice cream baseball glove, with a bubble gum ball.

Friday night was Johan and I’s first night out without Ava. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, however, I did check my phone a bit more than usual. In my defense, both our phones were on silent so I was a bit paranoid something would happen and no one would be able to reach us.

The night was wonderful. A glass of wine at this swanky new restaurant, then a hilarious comedy show that had us all in tears, and then a nice snack and glass of wine at another swanky restaurant. Felt young again, until I realized the only people I was younger than were my friends. Everyone else around us looked like they were still in matric!! Thank goodness we don’t get out much these days. I don’t think my confidence can handle it. Honestly, I don’t think I ever wore my skirts as short as the girls these days.

Happy Half Birthday, Ava! Here is a look back at the first half of her life:

Don’t forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway here! It’s easy, just leave a comment saying which lucylucybangbang print you like the most and WIN! The winner will be announced next Sunday, on my birthday!

Goodbye July, hello August!!


Ordinary Day

Just a day. Just an ordinary day. Just trying to get by.

Today was just a day. Just an ordinary day. Just trying to get by,  just like the song.

I got out of bed at 5:30 after feeding Ava. Thankfully, she went right back to sleep. I showered, dressed and blow dried my hair. Chatted with Johan about the day ahead. My dad was visiting, so I got to eat breakfast him and Johan, while Ava played on my lap.

Drove to work with barely any traffic. Listened to the news, jammed to Adele a bit and gave the finger to a few taxis’s.

Working on two events right now, super busy. Making the day fly by. Listened to one of our speakers on the radio. An interview I helped organize. Made me feel pretty cool.

Drove to my brother in law’s house for my niece’s 4th birthday. Barbie themed. Ate some delicious soup. Watched my niece become speechless at the sight of her new bike. Ate some delicious cake and sweets.

Now I am lying in bed, thinking about my ordinary day. Just got the baby and husband to sleep.  I am so content with life right now. Today was just an ordinary day and I liked it.

Ava likes to play with my face while she falls asleep. I love it.
I saw this on JCrew and something similar, also JCrew, on I heart your outfit.
This is my dream outfit.
Now to find the $2,500 to pay for it…

I can’t seem to get Vanessa Carlton out of my head…

Here’s to ordinary days!


Hello, My name is Blair and I am a internetaholic…

It all began back in the late 80’s when my parents brought home our first computer. I would spend hours on that thing. From Where in the World is Carmen Sandeigo and Hero’s Quest, to Oregon Trail and Reader Rabbit, then on to Prodigy and AOL in the early 90’s. Before chat rooms were filled with freaks and serial killers, my friends and I would write, “two 13/f wanna chat?” The requests would pour in. Little did we know the dangers of giving your information out over the internet to strangers. Thankfully, nothing serious happened to us and the chat room craze faded, and I began surfing the internet. Still to this day, I could spend hours on end surfing the net, I am what you could call a internetaholic. I Googled it.
Most days I waste time with Stumbleupon. You fill out a questionnaire with your interests, then click Stumble! in the tool bar and poof, a random site is pulled up. My favorite Stumbleupon site I found, still to this day is Brillant. 

Have you seen Post Secret? New posts every Sunday. Love it and the community service he is doing.

I’m a huge fan of reading blogs. There are 11 I read daily, 5 of which are good friends. The thing I love most about blogs is that it’s real people, living real lives. Sometimes I am jealous of the fabulous lives these single girls are living, in awesome cities like Cape Town. Then I remember how awesome my little life is, married in Pretoria and I smile. Some are also 1st time moms, like myself. For example, The Rodrigues Family, sometimes I refer back to what little James was doing at say 5 months, just to give me an insight as to what I can look forward to with Ava. I just found Being Brazen today via i heart your outfit. Loving everything about it, the fashion and books, completely delightful.

Online giveaways and contests have easily gotten all my contact details, filling up my inbox with spam for years. Rarely, have I won but I keep on trying. Once I won a rainbow pack of Bic pens. They were pretty awesome and gave me hope for future contests. Recently, I registered Johan for a giveaway and can you believe, he won! Two pair of Paul Smith designer boxers, R350 ($50) a piece! He is so lucky, I swear. I hope one day my blog is cool enough that someone approaches me to do a giveaway or contest for them. One day…
Have you checked out Etsy yet? If not, you are really missing out. It’s the best place to find unique items and gifts. I just bought bibs with ties, a onesie (baby grow) with Mohammad Ali on it and monthly onesie stickers for my brother’s baby shower. Super cool. Love Ava’s monthly onesie stickers I bought on Etsy. My friend Jacy just opened a shop, lucylucybangbang. Super cute dish towels, bought some today. Also check out, My Child’s Hand, my friend’s 7 year old son’s shop. Buy a painting now, before he becomes famous! The good news about Etsy is that most shops will ship worldwide! For a price, of course.



My Child’s Hand


Billeevers Boutique

Skype is pretty much a life saver. Don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t chat to my friends and family back home. Even my grandmother knows how to use instant messaging. Spoke to the BFF for about an hour tonight. Such a nice way to end the weekend.

Can you imagine how scared I was the day I reached the end of the internet, here? It says:


You have reached the very last page of the Internet.

We hope you have enjoyed your browsing.

Now turn off your computer and go outside.

I honestly thought I had reached the end of the internet… My heart, was broken. I got up and went outside. Then it dawned on me, there was no way I could have reached the end of the internet, I hadn’t even been to sites in languages other than English! So, I went back inside, and began surfing some more. Jokes on you Mr. End of the Internet. Jokes on you.

The 4th of July party on the 9th turned out great. The weather was perfect for outdoor grilling, braai as they say here. I was even able to find red, white and blue striped napkins! We played some country tunes. Drank a few beers. Made a pound cake, with caramel icing and fresh strawberries. Over indulged myself like a true American. It was great.

We (I mean, Johan) finally installed Ava’s doorway jumper thing and she loves it! Honestly, the normal swing has nothing on this thing. Once we got it the right height, and she wasn’t leaning to one side about to be dumped onto the floor, she had a blast and mom could finally relax.

The picture says it all, sassy!

Gotta love the mismatched outfit kids wear at home when no one is looking.
Hopefully, this week she will sit up by herself long enough that we can snap a photo. I didn’t think she could get any cuter and she surprises me everyday. I freaking love this kid.

Friday night we are headed out to Joburg to watch the Parlotones concert with my work colleagues. I am so excited, I cannot wait!! I’ll be singing Remember When all week! Check them out.

Watch out week, here we come!