Marisa (24) I am very pleased to be able to feature a tiny family member and her parents on the blog today! Livia Lerato de Bruyn is the five month old daughter of Marisa and Quentin who farm in Ladybrand, a picturesque Free State town. Marisa is my husband’s cousin and we had the privilege of meeting little Livia when she was only a few weeks old. Her delicate features made her seem like a perfect porcelain doll and it was clear from the start that she had completely enchanted her entire extended family. Have a look at Sinéad Brook’s beautiful images of the family, taken when Livia was only six weeks old. Stunning mom Marisa also shares a few of her parenting experiences. Marisa (2)

How did motherhood change your life?
“Apart from the day-to-day reality of having a baby to take care of, motherhood has opened up a whole new channel of love in my life and in our family. To experience the unconditional love of a parent is amazing and scary at the same time, because it comes with so much responsibility!”

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What are you enjoying most about being a mom?
“I found the first few months of being a mom quite challenging trying to figure out what she needs and how to keep her happy. But thankfully it gets easier and easier to understand her language. At the age she is now we have lots of fun laughing and talking gobbledygook to each other! It really is cute to see her personality develop and every day there is something new that surprises both of us.” MarisaCollage2 Marisa Collage2

Please tell us a bit about Livia’s personality and how you’ve seen it develop over the past few months? “She is incredibly observant and loves to watch people and things going on around her. It has been wonderful to see her eyes become more alert and focused. When I visit my family in Joburg she gets passed around from one person to the next and she just takes it in her stride staring and smiling at each person and making a connection. The other day she was fixated by my grandfather who was dressed in a fucia pink jersey with a black beret on his head. She only had eyes for him and he was of course completely charmed!” Marisa (14)

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What are a few of the ‘perks’ of raising a baby on a farm?
“There are quite a few perks. Because we work from home I have been able to take time out to be a full-time mom, but still manage to get office work done in between when she is sleeping. A big perk is how much time she gets to spend with her dad because he is usually home for lunch and in time for her bath in the evenings. So many dads working long hours in the city don’t have this quality time with their kids during the week. She is still too small to really appreciate the outdoors, but when she gets bigger it will be a big plus to be on the farm with so much space around us. On the downside we are quite isolated so socialising with other babies doesn’t happen as often as it would in the city.” Marisa (9)

 

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What are a few of your biggest hopes and wishes for Livia’s future?
“I would like her to be a child of Africa with an open mind, a strong value system and a tolerance for other cultures and races. She will hopefully speak at least three languages: English, Afrikaans and SeSotho. As parents we will try to enable her dreams by giving her the best education possible, exposing her to travel and encouraging her to have strong relationships with her family and other positive role models.”

Livia, now that she is a bit older: MarisaCollage6

Read more about Marisa, her family and their farm on her blog: Vastrap – My New Life as a Farm Wife.

Credits
Thank you to Sinéad Brook for the lovely images! Sinéad has a boutique make-up and photography business in Greenside, Johannesburg.
She says: “One of the differentiating features with regards to my shoots is that they come with a professional make-up application (as I am also a make-up artist) for mum to make her feel special.” BabaLlama loves the idea!
* Visit Sinéad’s website & Facebook page to view more of her lovely work.
* Or contact her directly: 082 885 4103/ info@sineadbrook.co.za

Riëtte van der Wat

I have adored stories since I was a little girl - from the weird and wonderful characters of Roald Dahl, to the sweet innocence of fairy tales. Fictional tales ignited a curiosity to know more about living, breathing folk and to write their stories. In the meantime, I developed an interest in how parents can help little people grow up to fill their grown-up shoes with ease. I am also passionate about pretty, can't get enough of my dad's garden on a blue sky day, enjoy good food (especially my mom's), can't live without a cuppa (or two) in the morning and would be a speck in the universe without the people I Iove.