Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Two for Twosday

My two 18 month old toddlers (yeah, I guess I now have to really let go of the babies idea) with their one and a half month presents - cute little Teddy bears.

Gosh, they have grown soooo much!
So, pop over to Deanna's for some more adorable two-somes.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Makes my Monday

This is our former neighbours, Danie and Lasca who paid us a visit last weekend to tell us huge news! They have since moved to Stellenbosch in the Cape but we keep in contact. They have had 11 unsuccessful fertility treatment procedures and have opted to enter the adoption roll. They got the surprise of their lives when her sister informed her in January on her birthday (which she shares with The Little Miss) that she will be willing to be a surrogate for them (she has 3 kids of her own and falls pregnant with great ease). She phoned me today to tell me that the procedure will take place mid April. We are hoping and praying for twins. I am just so happy for them - they are such great kid's people and our's love them. This just makes my Monday! Please pray for a successful pregnancy - they so deserve it.

I have a little storey to add - the moment we saw we were pregnant with twins, my first, shocked reaction was "maybe we can give one to Danie and Lasca?" Off course I was not serious, but she just heard the day before that her IVF was unsuccessful again, so it was so much in my mind how lucky we were and how much she would love a child.

For some more bright Mondays visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation .

Oh gosh, and yes, life just happened!

And that is why I have been MIA since Wednesday.

A quick summary:
  • My cold turned very nasty on Tuesday afternoon and after a night of almost no sleep with Little man L I paid a visit to my friendly GP who booked me off for two days with Respiratory tract infection and general fatigue. I got a nice sore shot of live anti bodies which should boost my immune system. 2 more of those to follow. I literally slept for 2 days. I am still a little tired and coldish,
  • Little man C is now a confirmed allergy asthma sufferer and added as such by the medical aid for chronic medicine.His IGE count was 58 - more than twice of what confirms an allergy in a 2 year old (and he is off course only 18 months old.) A paediatric allergy profile was done for most foods and horse and dog hair and none has tested positive.
  • He will have to go to the allergy clinic for more tests as the levels are so extremely high. We can only do this if he is well enough to be taken off his meds for 48 hours.
  • I have been so busy purging, de- cluttering and tiding in the house, it is not even funny! But I have started to really really enjoy it - in fact, I gave up some of my time for taking a naps yesterday afternoon to complete my work in The Little Miss' room. Can this become my best addiction ever?
  • I am finished with tiding and listing the kids' clothes for this winter and buying most of what is needed. I am delighted that The Little Miss needs very little, and that I made some sale buys last year for The Boys.
  • And I am still holding with my fasting for Lent - I gave up salty snacks and am having a really hard time with it, especially when I am tired and /or sick. So last week was a real bummer.
  • I have book club with me tomorrow night and am quite anxious that my food etc. will be good. I am a good cook, but it is the first time I am hosting, so I am hoping for the best. Some of the girls are awesome cooks. I have decided to stay with Italian which I have some lessons years ago - doing pasta (I am still thinking if I will make my own tonight or buy homemade), Alfredo and seafood sauce, a nice salad and fresh Italian bread. I am thinking of serving meringue nests with Nutella and cream, topped with chocolate eggs for the Easter theme.
  • I am way behind on blog reading, but finished the twin book (check out my side bar) and will review asap. Suffice to say - a definite read for twin parents. I promise I will pop in at you blog soon.
Well, that is all for now - will try to catch up on some of the more pleasant stuff as the week goes on.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Way back WHEN sday and Wordful Wednesday

The Boys are 18 months old today! I can not believe how time has just flown by. I am also going through my photos of The Little Miss when she was 18 months old. Oh she was such a cutie!

Timeline: July 2006
Age of The Little Miss: 18 months.
Incredible that there seem to be very little resemblance to her brothers at the same age.

For some more blasts from the past, head over to Cheryl's and play along and if like me, and Angie at 7 Clown circus's Wordful Wednesday you have to "talk" about your photographs, head over there to have a look as well.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Two for Twosday - they start work early these days, don't they?

We had our youngest co-worker little Vutivi in the office yesterday - his nanny is sick and daddy brought him to the office to the delight of all. Remember our stork party at the office for the dad? This is my secretary Adele enjoying some play-time. He fell asleep in my arms later - oh, such a great feeling.

Head over to Deanna's to see who else is playing along today.

Ah yes, and the fun continues....

So I phoned the Paediatrician's receptionist yesterday morning at 8am, right when they open. I swear, she knows my voice by now and no, she can not move our 18 month check-up a day earlier as our doctor is sick as well! In fact, she had to call me to cancel. But she made a plan with her partner, a very sweet elderly doctor who when we arrived, agreed to do the 18 month check-up as well.

We are going to the nurse practitioner in two weeks time for inoculations and check-up and I'll do the stats then as hers are in general more accurate. But but seems like their growth is continuing on the same curves, so all is well. He is delighted that Little man L is walking at a reasonably earlier stage than his general experience is with hypnotic children and loves that he is holding his crayon in a specific manner which apparently is way beyond his age. Little man C obviously is continuing to be the absolute average kid, doing everything according to the "correct" age. He is very happy with their vocabulary and the fact that Little man C is starting to join 2 words. So all seems well on the development side.

On the health side, well, we are in trouble once again. Little man L has now succumbed to croup, the only child that has not fallen to it this year - he is coughing but coping well. Little man C is worrying! He has bronchiolitus and at last, his asthma is confirmed. He is now on chronic asthma meds at least until winter has passed as well as an inhaler, which he seem to cope with. They also ran a whole battery of blood tests to draw up a paediatric allergy profile in the hope that we will find out what triggers the asthma. I have a feeling about dairy... and I hope it is not animal hair. In any event, allergies are expected in my family. Both my gran on my father's side and I have struggled for years with mutating allergies. But that is a whole post on its own. I just hope we find something that we can deal with.

At least we had a good night's sleep last night - after a week of very little sleep we were both zombies yesterday. We paid our nanny to sleep in the Boys' room last night - I got up at 12 to help her with the nebulizing and then went back to sleep. I am feeling like a brand new person today! That sweet woman - what would I do without her? She also helped me to bath them and do their meds and get them to bed last night as Hunter had a class.

Oh and to add to the whole sad storey - I had one cold-free week, just to have it back with renewed force yesterday. The paediatrician, (such a cute man) joked that he could do a script for me too! But gave me good advice - it is due to complete exhaustion that I can not get rid of the cold. Just go to bed at 8 he says, and see if you can get some more rest. Sure thing! As if I can... And pile on the vitamin C - more do-able at least.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

It's not even RSV season yet...

...and I have 3 sick children again! I can not believe that we are only now going into autumn, and the kids are sick again! Yesterday was such a positive day for us and today, after almost NO sleep for me and the poor Hunter, I feel discouraged, depressed, just overwhelmed. Luckily The Boys have their 18 month check-up on Tuesday so we'll get this sorted then. My poor girlie first had a tummy bug on Wednesday followed by cold now which makes me think it might have been a light version of Rota. Oh well, I am letting poor H sleep in a bit, no church this morning. The poor guy worked until 3 on Saturday morning, worked with his study group for most of yesterday and after almost no sleep last night really just needs a bit of sleep.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Happy Birthday my dearest hubby!

Today is my beloved Hunter's birthday. Happy birthday my sweetheart! You are truly my absolute favorite person in life and I love you with all my heart. You are a great husband, no woman can wish for more. You truly make the best out of the circumstances.

I love this photograph because he is so relaxed and happy in it. It was taken in the Pilansberg National PArk after a 2 day trail.

You are also the best father ever, of that I am convinced. You are teaching your children the true values in life, about nature and caring for our world and others around us. You are also the best dog daddy ever.

And I wish you (and me ) many happy years to follow.

Veels geluk my liefde!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

Oh I just love this photograph - the contrast of the bright colours against the grey background. And off course, my favorite model!

For some more special photographic moments head over to Carrie's for more 4XF

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

Playing along with What a trip:

Today I am thankful for:

1. Little man L has progressed from 2 to 3 steps to crossing the room in one week!

2. A better understanding of Little Man L's eye problems. The eye specialist has sent a report to my cousin who is also an eye specialist in Namibia and she has explained the problems to me in lay men's terms. He actually has two problems in the one eye, but at least I know more.

3. The rainbow I saw while driving home last night - such a positive reminder of God's presence to me.

4. That my kids love reading. I am an addict - so I value this highly.

5. For good books and reading. And the book club that provides me with a couple of good reads at R50,00 per month. (That is 5$ to you)

6. That the hubby's studies is really progressing well and that God and your prayers helped to carry him over his doubt.

7. That The Little Miss' tummy bug worked itself out by 12 last night and that we had a good sleep after. And that she is recuperating while napping as we speak (in the weirdest position!)

8. That my mom is able to take The Little Miss to ballet every Wednesday - she would not be able to go if not for that.

9. For inspiration to tackle and de-clutter my home. Slowly but surely we are making progress.

10. That I will hear Joan Friedman speaking on Friday night about raising emotionally healthy twins. I am looking forward to hearing her views.

Diggit the Dancing Queen, oh-hoooo!

You can dance

You can jive,

having the time of your life,
Whoo, see that girl, watch that scene ,
Diggit the Dancing Queen!

Glasses, courtesy of one of my employees that passed them on after a 70's parts,
Singing courtesy of her bigger cousins and a Mamma Mia/Abba filled weekend.
Her repertoire now includes Mamma mia, Honey Honey, Don't go wasting your emotions, Chiquechita and Dansing Queen. Am I a bit pre-occupied or is the resemblance to Anastascia (remember this post) growing.?

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Extreme sportsman in the making

Just to make it very clear, this is my child that can hardly walk yet, my hypotonic little monkey. This child has no fear. We are expecting Treetops tours at 7 and Bungi jumping at 12. Maybe he will be a rock climber like my cousin Theo?

And then he wants to slide down on his own. Seriously stuff to make a mom very very nervous! (but proud)

Way back WHEN sday and Wordful Wednesday

Timeline: December 1994
Age of the girls - about 6 and 2.
So this is Cousin Ingrid (at the back) and Karla in front with their aunt, cousin Petru. We were at a wildlife rehabilitation centre and the lioness was 8 months old.

And 2 weekends ago, look at the two very pretty girls!

My they grew up to two very gorgeous girls.
For some more blasts from the past, head over to Cheryl's and play along and if like me, and Angie at 7 Clown circus's Wordful Wednesday you have to "talk" about your photographs, head over there to have a look as well.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

To hear the sound of water..

We seriously get cabin fever and sometimes a quick walk is not enough. So we often take a Sunday afternoon drive out into the country side, gives the kids a chance to take a nap (the only way we can get the princess to nap) and we get to see to the horizon. On Sunday we stopped at the Bronkhorstspruit dam and just listened to the water. It was quiet (crappy weather) and peaceful.

Got to love the daddy - two of my favorite people.

Oh and I just love this man.

Just look how pretty this is.

Two for Twosday (or 3 today)

From me and mine to you and yours, Happy St Patrick's day!

Yes I know we are 3 and not 2 and yes, I am aware that I short a kid - Little Man C was sleeping in this morning. The Little Miss goes to a Catholic nursery school so they will be celebrating the day. As for us, my hubby being a quarter Irish, we will make sure that we eat potatoes and have our occasional glass of Shivas Regal before bedtime. Cheers!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Weekend report

I have missed two weekends with my weekend report, so just to inform all who are new or might have forgotten, this is the idea:

You know how the weekend just sometimes flies past you. One moment it's Friday, the next it's Sunday night and you have no recollection of what you did. So I decided that I need to DO things on weekends. I am going to try to:
1. Do something for my hubby
2. Something for each of the kids
3. Something for the puppies
4. Something for someone outside of my direct family that shares my home
5. Something for the house
6. And something for myself.
Sometimes these will overlap or combine, but it is just a conscious effort to make more of the weekend. Get out of the lazy rut of just sitting around and DO things.

So how did this weekend go?

1. Do something for my hubby & 2. Something for each of the kids:
The plan was to take the kids on Saturday afternoon and do something fun with them while giving daddy the chance to get into his studies or at least watch some rugby in peace. We have a very pretty local nursery and they love to visit it. The reality was a rainy and dreary afternoon and so I resorted to our big regional mall. Hunter thought I was crazy to take all 3. And they were so good! The little Miss got to choose some of her winter clothes herself and some stuff for The Boys and we had great french fries and a milkshake (juice for the babies). They were so well behaved I could not believe it and we all enjoyed doing some people watching (and as always with twins, being watched). I will definitely do this again. We also got The Boys their first colouring books.

3. Something for the puppies We bought them nice rawhide chews on Saturday afternoon and they loved it. Off course they had a nice walk every afternoon.
4. Something for someone outside of my direct family that shares my home I said to one of the young guys in the office this morning that by far the most important quality you seek in a life partner is a good heart - and that is exactly one of Hunter's best attributes. He suggested and organized that we treat my mom and two of her neighbours at the retirement village with a braai yesterday afternoon. He did almost everything ( I helped with the salads etc.), and apart from the little monkey refusing to take a nap at gran's, all went so well.
5. Something for the house
I packed and tidied a section of our bedroom.
6. And something for myself.
I went riding on Saturday and accomplished something I have been trying for years - I cantered a full circle without stirrups! I used my trainer's dressage trained horse and it was wonderful. I have a great sense of achievement!

So what did you do this weekend?

Makes my Monday

I am playing along for the first time with Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

So what makes my Monday? My little girl's second pottery project (she is taking pottery as an extramural at the nursery school). She adores the pottery classes. And I love that she adores it, having been quite a serious potter in my BK (before kids) life. One day, some day, I will also potter again.

Do you know what also makes my Monday? Her spontanious "I love you Mommy and Daddy" last night as Dad brought her to our bed after a nightmare. Nearly broke my heart. Oh I love that little girl.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The best seats in the house

My monkey - on top of the top couch cushions.

My bear - in the cane chair like a big boy.

Once again, they grow up way too fast.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta - Kruger National Park

As promised yesterday, today is all about our short visit to the world famous Kruger National Park - a wilderness area the size of Belgium. I have been to the park so many times - my family took me from a very early age and I kept it up until the month before I got pregnant with The Little Miss. We have not been back until last weekend due to the fact that it is a classified Malaria area. But this year is a very low incidence year and we deemed it safe enough to let our little girl go with me. Off course, we take all possible precautions.

I took the 4 smallest girls, A, cousin Jana, her friend Alida and cousin Carla with me. On our half hour drive to the gate (the gate at Komatipoort is currently closed due to flooding) the girls listened to the Mama Mia soundtrack and was singing top of their voices, and off course I joined in - lovely of let go of all convention and just sing! It is exceptionally green and pretty after a good rain season.
The 3 little ones game viewing ( you are allowed to take off seat belts, car seats etc - top speed in the reserve is about 20 miles/hour)

We were really so very very lucky - in 3 hours we saw 3 of the big 5: The big 5 is the 5 most coveted animals to see in a game reserve and can be seen in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania. It originally referred to the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot and are: Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo. Often theses days guides talk about the big 7 which include the cheetah and Wild dogs.

3 Lions (2 pictures here) close enough for A to see well - that were sleeping next to a giraffe carcass. There were probably more lions as you can often not see all in the dense grass.

A white rhino really close right on the park boundary.

An elephant - also close enough for my 4 year old to see.
We also saw what we refer to as the usual stuff - giraffe, zebra, impala, monkeys, ground squirrels, banded mongoose and lovely birds, amongst them a fish eagle.
After 3 hours we stopped at a rest camp for ice-cream and turned back, leaving the park about half an hour later.
The 4 dancing queens.
It was a great day and so special that I could take my little princess.

For some more special photographic moments head over to Carrie's for more 4XF

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

I know there were many many complaints and tears earlier this week, but I have so much to be thankful for. I am playing along today with Nicole at What a trip for the first time and if you'll humour me, I will report a bit on our weekend as well.

1. May I please say it again, shout from the rooftops, announce on national TV, email Oprah - Little man L is finally walking! Only 2 ore 3 steps at a time, but he is!

2. Lovely summer fruit. We bought great fruit at a fruit stall along the road driving back from Komatipoort this weekend. This is the lowveld region in South Africa - one of the world's top fruit producing areas.

Just check out the size of the pineapple (crayon next to it)

Just check out the lovely stall where we bought the pineapple, yellow cling peaches, mangoes, grapes, bananas and avocado pears.

3.Little man C is better at last! Thanks to anti-biotics and paracetamol.

4. A good night's sleep - we all slept through for the first time since I got back on Sunday.

5. The return of Blanky- bear - this is a post all on it's own, but suffice to say, my daughter is ecstatic.

6. Lent time fasting - I do it every year (apart from when I was pregnant) - I give up one thing I love for lent - the idea being to think of Jesus' sacrifice every time you have to pass on the items. I have done many different things through the years - movies (pre kids), alcohol (easy one), red meat (easy enough), chocolate (tough), all sweets (tougher), caffeine (the toughest to date, no doubt). This year I am doing all salty snacks like crisps, pretzels and popcorn. I am finding it tough, but that's the idea.

7. That my hubby is still holding on with the studies.

8. For Easter eggs - gosh for a chocoholic it is yearly heaven.

9. For our quick trip to the Kruger National Park as part of our girls weekend where we saw 3 of the Big 5 in 3 hours. Amazing. Check out tomorrow's 4XF for more about this.

10. And for my dear hubby who gave me the time to enjoy a lovely weekend with my little girl and my extended family. It was my first night away from my Boys, but it was great. I missed them (and dad) but my soul was refreshed. My daughter was the sweetest girl ever, got heaps of attention and time for me alone and with the family. She is the smallest girl of all the cousins and was always being entertained by somebody.

Read on for more about the weekend - if you want to opt out now, why not tell me what you are thankful for today.

Driving with us to Komatipoort were my cousin Ananda and her daughter Carla and my aunt's sister Lou-lou. On the way down we stopped at Milly's to have lunch - we had lovely troutfish pancakes (it is in our prime troutfish area).

The Little Miss and Carla

Me and my princess.

Checking out the huge Carp fish.

My cousin's house is right on the Kruger National Park - the view from the top patio is stunning. They have a telescope on the patio and you can watch the game coming for a drink. On the photo below - just across the river is big game country.

The place to relax.

We had a relaxing Friday night, catching up on news and just weel, relaxing. On Saturday morning I took the 4 younger girls to The Kruger National Park and we all had a lazy afternoon at the pool. On Saturday night we had my aunt's surprise 80th birthday party. And on Sunday morning, after brunch we headed back home.

The table settings were beautiful - the place mats are made of copies of photos showing her life and laminated.

She was so surprised - can you believe she is 80? And her sister on the right is now 74? They both use hearing apparatus, but are so healthy.

The cake was really cute.

Cousin Petru and I were always the two little girls of the family - now our daughter are. She with Peter.

The two little girls of the family - Jana and A.

Cousins Theo and Ananda's 3 - Ingrid, Peter and Carla.

Me and my little Angel - she was so good!

Cousin Mariska is the oldest of my kid's generation - she is 24.

Cousin Peter and The Little Miss had heaps of fun. Can you believe a young man of 22 enjoyed the evening with his 4 year old cousin?

Just love this photo of the 3 pretty cousins.
And although this photo is not in focus, I have to place it - Cousin Buckle and his partner pharmacist Eugene both shaved their heads that morning in the annual CANSA shaveathon to support their patients with cancer. They own the only pharmacy in the small town - it is South Africa's border town to Mozambique.

My aunt, her children and grandchildren. Her one son and his wife and 4 daughters could not make it.

And got to love this one - driving back, the two bigger cousins sleeping and the Little Miss reading and watching DVD. She should be the one taking a nap - no luck!