Monday, 30 July 2012

The last week in June - our life in 365

Day 7/365 Wednesday 25/7 One of the street's chickens decided that our driveway looks like a great home. Just beware of the puppies!

Day 8/365 Thursday 26/7 The pansies the kids planted are such a joy

Day 9/365 Friday 27/7 Baking day at the boys' school - oaties snakes as the theme was reptiles. Such a great idea.

Day 11/265 Sunday 29/7 We found the kid's favorite shoes in Woollies - new softies for all. The Princess' last pair as the biggest size (13) fits just. The boys are now both on a size 10 - L has cought up with C in terms of shoe size. Oh my soul, they are getting so big.
And as we are ending on the weekend, in summary we watched the Olympics opening ceremony, I saw South Africa and then went to bed - the boys went earlier and the Princess fell asleep somewhere aropund China. I thought our athletes looked great. Hunter stayed awake for the lighting of the flame - but did not make it either. After the mall on Saturday we napped . Saturday night was rugby and friends over for a braai and a late night for all and Sunday was spent at home with a Princess with a cold. And all round naps again. Yeah! I did see Cameron van der Burgh win his race last night - what a fantastic feeling.

Friday, 27 July 2012

It's the weekend!

And really, it could not have come any sooner. Olympics weekend! The second Olympics during the life of my blog, coming to think of it. So I am planning to attempt to stay awake for the opening - take note, attempt.

Anyways, I have only touched on last weekend and before this one start, let me give  ashort run down:

Friday night saw me and the DH at a wonderful food and wine evening at Blu Saffron restaurant. The wines were stunning - Hermanuspietersfontein (with the most wonderful Afrikaans names). Hunter loved the Swartskaap (a Cabernet Franc) and I , unusual for me because I usually love red wines, adored the Bloos, a Bordeaux style blush wine. The company was great (work related for me) and the food was super. I had a tomato and basil soup for a starter while Hunter loved the Canadian Salmon. We both had their divine duck in mandarin sauce for main course and I had old fashioned bread and butter poeding while Hunter enjoyed berry cheese cake for dessert. It was a great adult night out and a real treat. I would really recommend both  the restaurant and the wines.

Saturday was party day for the boys and I took the two Spidermen for a Spiderman party. The Princess went with Oumie to a Swiss puppet show at the Brooklyn Theatre, our local little theatre.

My mom's orchid is in full bloom again and looks stunning. I have a string in the house.
They had such a  great party with a very clever party mom. On the tables were all sorts of salty snacks - nuts, chips, pretzels, biltong etc and no sweet in sight. Not a single kid asked for a sweet! Then the kids got Boerierolls (sausages in bread rolls) and the adults braaivleis and salads. Then they had a clown show.

I have to share a proud mommy, but very funny moment here. The clown asked the kids "What are the magic words?" (meaning abracadabra). L, my quiet kid piped up immediately and very loudly: "Please and Thank You!". Everybody had a great laugh and he was so proud while one of the moms asked me what our secret was to raise well mannered kids. Gosh, I was so proud too. The clown was not taken a back one minute, she explained that those are certainly the most magic of words to use in every day life, but when we want to create magic, it's abracadabra - Pepsi! And you need to jump on the Pepsi. (the clown's name is Pepsi)

The birthday boy and the clown

The very spectacular (and tasty) birthday cake was brought out and we all had a piece of cake. After that the jumping castle was the main feature and only when we left, the mom apologized for giving our kids sugar and handed a party pack - filled with - popcorn, cheese naks, a juice , a lollipop and 2 chew sweets. Jip, a low sugar mom - loved that. The kids had so much fun without all that sweet stuff. I am not sure however that I will manage that with my kids at their ownb partes because they are so used to sweets at parties.

Love this shot of C in full Spiderman mode on the jumping castle.

Saturday night was an early and relaxed one at home. Sunday was the usual church and palying after in the garden. We had a light lunch of hot dogs and had the most wodnerful of Sunday afternoon naps - we all slept, over 2 hours! After we woke up we decided to reward great afternoon naps with an early dinner at the Spur.

It was a great weekend - what are you plannig for this one?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

I had a whole post planned for today, but...

...after reading a few posts in my reader over my morning tea, I had a change of plans because the winner of many many very legit blog awards, one of the funniest woman I have ever read, the Reluctant mom gave me an award. Does that mean that by how many degrees of closeness I have touched a small bit of that Mommy blogger of the year award? Ok, just kidding, but I will take my 5 seconds of fame any time. She describes me as the "The how-the-hell-does-she-keep-it-all-together Cat" which makes me think that I am not writing about dropping some of those juggling balls enough. But alas, let's keep you all thinking that I am in fact keeping it together, for now anyways.

So the rules calls to post the logo (and yes, RM yours is a much improved version), and tell you 7 things you don't know. Gosh I have done so many of these, it can be hard, but let's think:
  1. I can not stay away from a good stationery shop. I love them. I do not even need to buy anything. Ditto for book shops but I guess you all know that
  2. I never write with a black pen, unless I really have to or have no other with me. I prefer my life to be multi coloured - and I remember things better in colour - something I used while studying from my school days. (I can remember in which colour I wrote something)
  3. About the only thing I love about winter is boots. I adore boots with tights or leggings and a pinafore style top. The rest of winter can go somewhere else.
  4. I secretly convince my daughter that I need to make a page and design in her Top Model books. I would so have loved these as a child. Totally addictive.
  5. I am rather useless at decorating my own home. I just can not decide. While I would gladly choose colours for a huge building, choosing one to paint my own lounge is a total issue. Tonight is the night to choose one.
  6. If I get behind on blog reading in my reader I often just go "mark all as read" . Sorry girls, but I just have to otherwise it will drive me nuts. I will never get the chance to catch up.
  7. I wish Lego will find my blog and get us to review Lego! Yes Lego, are you guys out there? 
Now I have to nominate 5 to 10 bloggers I admire:
I have decided that I will nominate the last 10 people who left comments on my blog as they do fill my love tank by leaving a comment (skipping those that have been nominated by RM herself)
  1. The very Sassy dress-up Queen Wendy - one day I want to think about clothes like you do. For now I just get dressed, most days.
  2. Mrs Ol at Ordinary life who I admire not only for her OL musing but for being an Iron (wo)man of note.
  3. Cheryl at Twinfation - writer and  veteran twin mom. We have been blog buddie from 2007!
  4. TJ at Two half pints etc - fellow SPD/SID mom and a more recent find. Love her balanced perspective on everything.
  5. Lynette at A work in progress - friend, true follower of Christ, magnificent scrapper, adoring granny. Need I say more.
  6. Blackhuff at My daily walk - a girl I admire hugely for her guts and determination.
  7. Mandy E at My life as described by Twin trials and Tribulations - fellow twin mom. Writer of delightful fun posts.
  8. Karen at Mom again@40 - delightful blogger, super delightful comment leaver. Champion mom of a toddler and a student. That must be tough.
  9. Linda at Linda's journal who I have actually met IRL without knowing that we both blog and read each other's blogs. You have to smile at that one
  10. 10. The ever charming Louisa of 123 Blog Myself - A friend now IRL and apparently my current future SIL according to little man C who was totally charmed by the Pink terrorist.
And now, just before posting I saw that the charming CoutessCaz whom I have been reading for a short while also nominated me. Thanks girl! I really appreciate.

So in summary, here's what you need to do if I have nominated you:

1. Include the award logo in your post or on your blog
2. Say 7 random things about yourself that the readers don’t know yet
3.  Nominate 5 – 10 other blogs you usually follow
4. Let the nominees know that they are nominated & include their blog-links
5. Link the person who nominated you

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Some craft ideas

It's been a while once again since I have shown you what crafting stuff we have been up to in the house. Nothing big and great, just small little things. So I present 3 super easy quick crafts:

Pen holder tins

The Princess and I made these for teachers gifts. If I can find the time I like to send a small little something to the teachers at the end of the term - both really go above and beyond duty for our kids. After the first term it was my little note books with an Easter egg and at the end of the second term it was these. Both teachers have them on their desks and even nicer - I see them writing with the multi coloured pens.

To make:
1 empty tin - washed nice and clean - I have subsequently found that condensed milk tins are smooth so they will work even better.
Pretty wrapping paper - I loved this one with the little birds
Modge podge
Coloured ball point pens - these were R14 at Checkers a packet (the very same ones for R24 ar CNA!)
Cut the paper to size and stick on the tin with modge podge, add one layer over. Let it dry. Add another layer brushed in the opposite direction. Continue until you have about 8 layers on.
Add the ribbon and stick with Bostik clear to the tin.
Add pens and put in a cellophane bag that you tie with a ribbon and a note.

Finger puppets:

We made these over the holidays - the Princess and a friend with their grannies did the first batch - the learned how to sew by sewing the edges and then glued on googly eyes etc. The second batch I made with all 3 kids and we glued the sides together and each made their own 3 puppets (and I made 1)

To make:
1 Packet of felt puppets from CNA (R20 for 10 puppets) or you can cut felt to size
Embroidery needles and embroidery thread
Glitter glue
Googly eyes
Feathers, pieces of ribbon, felt, pipe cleaners(nice striped ones at the Crazy store) etc.

Either sew the sides of the puppets or glue (depending on the age of the kids)
Create your own aliens by gluing, cutting etc - just get down on being creative
Make a show! Apparently our were all aliens so we had an out of space show.

Birthday card books
I never buy birthday cards - they are just too expensive - so I have been making cards for years. But let's face it, most ends up in the bin after a while. So after Marcia gave me pretty note books last year that she decorated, I have sprung on the idea to use note books as cards.

To make:
Coloured plain note books (now again available at the CNA for R6 for two small and R14 for two big ones)
Die cut  letters (I buy these at the Crazy store)
Stickers, scrapbook stickers etc - depending on age and gender.
I try to always have birthday paper that match the colours of the books I have so that they look great on the presents.

Stick the name onto the front with the die cut letters and add stickers to taste (the Princess loves to do this for me)
Write your message on the inside of the first cardboard page.
What I love most about these is how I see the kids with their note books at school - they all love to draw in one.
And seeing my friends with theirs in their handbags.

So what crafts have you been up to?
(Will be linking this to Marcia's craft party for July)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

So once again he defies the odds!

Yesterday was our yearly check up at the Pediatric Ophamologist - something I go to every year with a total knot in my stomach because every year, we return 3 months later to measure the angle that the right eye "falls out" and every year we seem to miss the dreaded operation by the skin of our teeth. This year I am breathing much much easier - it seems as if his eye has stayed stable the whole year and as if he is reacting well, even better than expected to the glasses and the drops over weekends. So the great news is that we will have no operation and that he gets a lens that is a ,5 higher as the doctor thinks he is able to handle that. We have now moved from the initial -3 to a -4 and now a -4,5 (his eye is in fact -6!) So great news all round. We will be exploring the possible use of a contact lens for the eye next year.

I took my iPad along to possibly do some work while we wait (it is always a long wait there) but alas, a certain young man decided he wanted to play "Spotty horse" ( Make a scene farmyard) on my "iPerd"- his term for iPad (for the non Saffers a "perd" is a horse - so he was playing "Spotty horse" on my iHorse). He shared the game with a little girl that was also waiting and really, with over 2 hours waiting time between the doctor and the optometrist for teh fitting of  his glasses I was eternally grateful for taking it along and letting him play.  It must be the only place in the world where every kid they meet wears glasses - although wearing glasses was never an issue for him (I think because he was just a little baby when he started) it must be for those who get theirs later. There is always much talking and comparing of glasses between the little ones and the parents.

I had to smile - the doctor brought out a sheet with 10 alphabet letters for me to hold and stood at different distances, asking L to show him the letter he was holding. I did not expect him to be able to do this - not because he can not see the letters but because I did not know he actually had the skill to match so specifically (and not pictures). But he did! Faultless! Another bit of hope for us.

I also had another huge smile later at the Optometrist - as we walked in the receptionist had me completing the forms and then asked us to take a look around the frames while we waited for the optometrist. He ran straight for the colourful kiddie frames and as a pro (it is his 4th frame after all) he immediately started fitting frames and talking to himself : "Nee nie die een nie, waar's die blou ene? Die een is te klein" (No not this one, where's the blue one? This one is too small ) As much as both me and the optometrist tried to convince him that red or orange or green was cool, he was set on blue (once again) and choose a nice dark blue frame. At least a different shade and make. Photos to follow when we get it next week.

So all that done and dusted, we got home at about 5:20 after I left the office at 2:30 to pick him up. 

I am much much relieved and very thankful. So what was your Monday like?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Our life in 365

So I have done a  few 365 projects - in 2010 I actually took a picture a day with the big Canon every day - I just never got around to publish them but suffice to say picking pictures for our yearly photobook album was a pleasure - so much to choose from. 2011 I just fizzled out and then I got the iphone and Instagram. So on 1 January this year I started with a 366 (leap year) project, but somewhere along the line, I just stopped. Last week I just knew I had to start again - it is such a great reference later in the year - so I am doing the i365 again and started at the very random date of 19 July 2012. Hopefully I get my whatsisname in gear and publish it here every week.

So, Our lives the last few days on Instagram:

Day 2/365 20/07/2012 Hubby and I had a wonderful food and wine evening at the Blu Saffron restaurant - stunning food, the greatest Hermanuspietersfontein wines and good company too

Day 4/365 22/07/2012 Went to the plastic shop, came home with a R12 shopping basket each. Amazing the amount of fun they had with it. And now it serves and the carry all for their stuff between the ground and top floor when tidying up every evening.
Here's hoping you all have a great week. Mine will be very busy at work, but please for this afternoon all positive thoughts and prayers for our yearly all important appointment at the Pediatric ophamologist with Mr L. (yes, we got a cancellation appointment on short notice)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hey kitty kitty

Very very busy with work around here, but for your viewing pleasure my best image from our visit to the Pretoria Zoo on Friday.
As always, well worth the visit. Full post to follow.
  and Parenting by Dummies for Wordful Wednesday

Monday, 16 July 2012

Creatures of habit

3 Months ago the dear city council closed the street that connects ours with the street that runs in front of the boys' school to re-do the stormwater system in the area before the summer rains. Although we all appreciated that upgrade was certainly in order and that our council is actually spending our money where it helps us and not to enrich our officials, it did mean quite a bit of disruption. It made our 4 street block journey about 8 in the other direction and a huge time difference as the traffic went from insignificant to heavy due to the road closures. And if you ever transport 3 tired children after school you will know that it can mean the difference between sanity and a glass of wine. Hence I was delighted when last Friday afternoon the road was opened again and I had my former easy route. I used the old/new shorter route a few times over the weekend but come Monday I instinctively turned to the detour road. It seems a 3 month habit is hard to break.

This morning we had to break our great 3 week old holiday routine - last night I had to turn back the alarm clock on my phone to 5:30, not the relaxed 6:30 of the holidays. Packing lunches, getting all ready for school, remembering ballet clothes and school books. Yip, back to reality. To make it all worse, Ouma and Oupa that has been with us for the last week and who have spoiled us rotten with help, meals, love and stories and all that makes them great, also left on the Gautrain for the airport. There were many tears - we all love them and hope to see them soon. Ai, a habit of shared love is hard to break, as is the holiday routine. At least I took the shorter old road to the school this morning. Already a creature of the new/old habit.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Choose only one toy, any toy.

Let's talk toys - now I am not talking books, books are books, they are not toys. They are above all this on a little pedestal of their own. As are puzzles, drawing stuff etc. I am talking purely toys here. For me my toy of choice it's an easy - blocks of all shapes and sizes. They are just so versatile and creative and kids learn so much by putting them together, planning and spatial lessons.

Through the years we have moved from our big basket of Megabloks to Duplo (and Megabloks' equivalent which btw fits perfectly with Duplo.
And although mainly the Princess, but also the boys to some extend has moved on to the small Lego blocks- some of which are mine which I played with as a kid - they regularly take the Duplo out and create. Just this Sunday the Princess build a huge castle in her room and invited her brothers to help populate it with people , vehicles and furniture.

I recently gave the boys' school their old plastic ride on toys so I was considering donating the huge basket of Megabloks until a very cold and unpleasant Sunday (Fathers day by chance) arrived and I had bored and cold kids. So I dragged out the basket to test the waters and suffice to say that the basket will be with us for quite a couple of years to come. It kept all 3kids busy the whole Sunday - even the 7 year old build huge towers, castles etc.

What a wonderful toy with such a  wonderful value for money time frame - most of these blocks were her 1st birthday and Christmas presents, the rest the boys' first birthday and second Christmas - thus they have served almost 6 years for 3 kids. And will continue to do so. Maybe I should just keep them for grandchildren to come in the far future.Because blocks, although evolving all the time with more extras, in essence stay the same in the basic form.

Great great toys which we love to receive and to give.

So what is your (and your kid's ) favorite toys. We all love blocks but I do suspect not all moms love their kids' favorites. Although other toys comes and goes, these remain the staple in the house.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

What's happening?

  • The in-laws are visiting at the moment and it is truly just so lovely to have them here. I love that my MIL cooks double every evening, resulting in a dish in the freezer every day. I love that my FIL fixed L's glasses last night as soon as we got home from school. I love that the boys get fetched early at school every day and have time at home with them. I love that they are there for the Princess during the holidays. But most of all I love to see that very special bond between grandparents and grandchildren. The mutual adoration just warms my heart the whole time.
  • Work is just as hectic as it was before my holiday - actually maybe a bit more. But it will be the norm for the next year and a bit and it's nothing new. Actually I prefer it over not being busy.
  • We had bookclub last night. I just never get tired of it. I think the secret is that we are such a diverse group and that I see most of them only once a month and about 2 of them regularly enough that we do not feel we need to catch up at bookclub. We never have enough time for all the talking, And I do love that the talk is always about great subjects that just pop up. And then I am not even mentioning the book talk. We only got to the books after 9 last night. Ads the food! R really went all out and made the most wonderful meal. Some great books added to the club as well.
  • Hence I did not watch MasterchefSA last night and am so sad to hear that Sarel went. He was the latest favorite of mine following on Berdina, which I love and then sweet Khaya. But I do think that Deena will win - I told Hunter at about the 3rd episode that I think he will win.Just not sulky Manisha please. I just feels she lacks the personality to make a celeb chef. Rather then sometimes bubbly Sue-Ann.
  • I am loving the slower pace of the school holidays. Getting up a full hour later than usual and not the mad rush to get everybody out of the door by 7:05.I can not believe that the 3 weeks are almost over. I think we could have done with another one although I do suspect most moms do not feel the same.
  • I feel like I am reading too slowly these days. I am just not getting to my 3 books a month I usually read but on the one hand I am reading rather thick books (those 500 plus page ones) most of the time and on the other hand I have stopped doing speed reading when I read at home. I feel it detracts from my joy and only use it at work.
  • The 8 GB data card of my Canon just stopped working - I guess after 2 and a half years it is no surprise. So I guess I will be spending money on that rather than on anything else today.
  • I have joined the public library again - mostly for the benefit of the Princess who is fast running out of Afrikaans books to read on her level in our house. There is one close to the office and it seems better stocked that I expected - having been reminded by the librarian that it is holidays and that a lot of books are out at the moment.
  • I got a tube of Annique's moisture cover as a gift with my last order. It is the most fantastic product I have used in years. It is a 3 in one moisturizer, factor 15 sunblock and light cover for your face in the famous green rooibos hypo allergic format. In fact the cover is so good that I hardly use my base over it.
  • I am still totally in love with my AEG Electric Pressure Cooker. It is such a fantastic bit of equipment - can do both low pressure and high pressure cooking - it takes about an hour and 15 minutes for soft soft meat falling off the bones. I think I may have perfected my venison stew recipe with the help of Tannie Evita's cookbook.
 So who is you Masterchef favorite? And what have you cooked lately? Any new exiting beauty products discovered? Are you a member at your local public library and how are thing there? How many books do you read in a month and do you ever attempt those 500 plus page reads?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Apple pie , schmaple pie!

At long last the promised apple pie recipe. As far back as I can remember my mom has been making this apple pie. It is anything but the usual apple crumble or apfel strudel recipe - apparently it is a South African version of the old favorite.
2 Desert spoons butter (not margarine)
half a cup of sugar
2 eggs
half a cup of milk
Cream the above together.
Add one cup of self raising flower
It makes a very sloppy runny dough
Pour in a large pie dish (the dough has to be very shallow in the dish)
Pack a large tin of pie apples on top of the dough and bake for 30 minutes at 200 C (392 F)

Make the syrup:
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup cream
Cook together for 5 minutes
Pour over pie as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes a great tea time treat but also desert

Monday, 9 July 2012

Winter sea holiday - day 2

I woke up to a beautiful Tuesday morning and to a girl that seemed to have no earache - I was much relieved. We started the day with breakfast on the patio and some drawing while waiting for the temperature to just go up a wee bit.

The old tree in front of the Villa always provide a bit of a climbing opportunity and yes, every year we climb higher.

Happy to have conquered the tree we set off for the beach. It was a beautiful day and I posted this picture on Facebook
Bliss indeed - a good cappuccino, a happy Princess and a great book.
She had a ball playing on the beach and in a big hole and even made friends with a 10 year old boy with whom she scavenged for shells and other sea life.

All of a sudden she came running to me, crying that her ear was incredibly sore. We immediately went home and by the time we got there she started puking again - poor girl. I dumped her in the bath with a bowl to at least get rid of the sea sand and called reception for a doctor's number. A doctor in Margate was recommended and we I called - we could come in but be prepared to wait, he was fully booked. My poor girl, all the way there she was miserable and kept getting sick all the time. We walked into the doctor's rooms and the receptionist immediately took her to a room to lie down. They were so friendly and helpful - not 10 minutes later and the doctor saw us. Turns out she had a huge ear infection (her first ever) and that it was the pain and imbalance from the ear that made her feel so crappy. We picked up the meds and headed home, to only stop at the library to return DVD's and get two more as I knew that for at least until tomorrow morning or more realistic tomorrow afternoon we will be at home while she slept off some of the meds he gave her.

So we had a great afternoon sleeping (her mainly but me too), reading and watching DVD and went to bed rather early.

Friday, 6 July 2012

So we get to review stuff

The friendly people at Fruit Pack recently asked if the Jugglingact kids would review their product. As per usual I promise a honest review and will not compromise just because we got some stuff for free. But we always do get excited over free stuff, hence the kids all had one for desert that very same night.
The reactions were mixed - L took one sip and gave me the sachet - I do think it might have been a bit new to him - he is our pickiest eater. C had about half and then gave it to me and the Princess downed hers and the other 2's leftovers. So say a 1 and a half out of 3. The Princess liking this was a huge plus for me as she is a total summer fruit eater and apart from oranges, the all  year round fruits of bananas and apples are just not her favorites. She would rather eat a sweet pepper or baby tomato. So in some went into her lunchbox and apparently caused a bit of a stir in her class - I got a few messages from moms asking about the "fruit sweets" she had in her lunchbox. I was happy to refer them to Spar, Dischem and Babycity.

However I decided to give the packs another try during our Saturday mid morning snack , which is often a fruit snack. With a totally different result - a raving 3 out of 3 from all the Jugglingact kids. Everyone had theirs and L asked for another so it seems try one was a semi fail possibly to full tummies and tiredness. Funny enough, their choice of flavours differ - the Princess loves the strawberry and banana flavour (both fruits which she does not particularly enjoy on their own) and the boys love the other two (apple and apple and pear). As to myself, let's just say I would rather eat the fruit.

What I do love about them though most of all is that it is so convenient for school lunch boxes - they seal easily, can not be squashed to pieces ,do not mess and at least we get that much needed fruit inside their tummies. One problem though, none of them can open it themselves - not even my 7 year old. She has to ask a teacher to break the seal for her. So Fruit pack, my only point of critique is the caps, which I do understand must have a hygiene seal, but is possibly just too tight.

Do try Food Pack for yourself - from age 10 months and up. And I do think the apple flavour could go very nice with and Eisbein on the side!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Winter sea holiday - day 1

What I expected of the holiday: Some moments on a rather cool beach, maybe building sandcastles and the occasional dip of mere toes in the sea. Lots of time at home reading and playing - I brought along heaps of activity books and a case of Legos plus some other stuff.

What surprised me totally: The stunning South Coast winter weather - it was warm, it was lovely (up to 27 degrees C on Friday) and unless the wind started blowing (which inevitably it does somewhere in the day) you could literally spend the day on the beach from dawn till dark.

What  it though we would mostly do: Read, play at home, go to lunch at some nice place almost every day (budgeted accordingly).

What we did: Spent every possible moment on the beach. It was lovely.

So, let me give you a day to day rundown in pictures:

We left home at 4:15 to be dropped off by the boys at Lanseria airport at 4:45 - just in time to check in for our 6:15 flight to King Shaka airport. I have to say that I love Lanseria - gosh, simple, convenient, great waiting lounge, no big walks, easy parking and drop off. And we left on time with the green airline.
The Princess chose her Oortjie cat to come along and mommy had to take a picture in the plane as it was Oortjie's first time on a plane. The landing was rough on my Princess' ears - the first time ever that she had trouble and as much as we tried gum, sweets, equalizing, the pain was intense. She also complained after we landed that her right ear was blocked and she could not get it to open.

We landed before 7:30 and was quickly out of the baggage collection to pick up our little rental car.I booked the smallest car type available as it was just us two (and my did I struggle with our big suitcase) but in the end it worked out perfectly and we loved zipping around in our little silver bug (a Kia Piccanto)
I have never been to Gateway centre - every December when we are at the North Coast the traffic into the area is horrendous, so I decided to take the chance at it was literally on our way to pop in and have a look. Being in the branch of business I am (Retail Architecture) it is always important to know how most centres look for reference, trends etc and I am glad I had the chance to see it, although most shops were closed (Woollies was open though from 8am - so we did our small grocery shop for the week there), had a snack at the fountain court and left just after 9 for the South Coast.
The drive down was longer than I though - about an hour and a half with two stop and go areas down on the N2 - so somewhere I turned down to the coastal road which is just such a nice drive. The Princess slept almost all the way and woke up just in time to see the pretty coastal scenes. We checked in at San lameer and almost immediately I missed the family - such familiar surroundings. After unpacking which really took only a short while she insisted to visit the library first (you can tell she is a little eager grade 1 reader) and we each took out 3 books and a DVD for the evening - in total the whole week's reading pleasure cost me R10 for both of us! Not kidding! And R10 per DVD you rented. We then headed directly to the beach.
It was a beautiful day at the beach - this picture was taken towards the rock, further on from the swimming area so although it looks rather empty the main area was quite busy. And the joy to discover it's winter but the water is quite nice! (the pictures speak way louder than words)

And admired  power of Nature -where the sand bank with the sand sculpture is at the moment was a big dip in the beack last year - the tidal pool at the back was very deep, now it is literally a sand bank and only about 200 mm deep at most. 
We left at about 3 for a nap - we were both exhausted and slept until almost dark at about 5:30. So we had a quick braai and watched a DVD and went back to sleep. She complained a bit about the ear again and a headache - and then promptly puked! My poor girl does that when she has pain so I gave her a bit of pain meds and she felt better soon.

We had a great night's sleep.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Yes I am - so totally.

Here's the thing - at the end the Princess and I had a great week away at the sea last week - just the two of us. It was lovely. I have not had such a great rest in the last 5 , maybe 7 years. She was a great companion and kept herself so busy most of the time that I finished 2 books - the one over 500 pages thick. But that's not really the point.

The point is that the two of us went on our own because my car developed a problem - service light shining brightly at times. So we booked her in on the Thursday before we had to leave, just to be quoted R8 550, 00 to fix said problem- and a 1 to 3 week wait for the part. And a stern warning that we could permanently damage her engine if we drive down with her. I was shocked! Hunter and I had a chat, he did some calcs and we decided to dismiss the idea to go down with the bakkie (truck) that is so much heavier on fuel and slower, and to fly just me and the Princess down. It was a cheap option - my Disc.overy miles bought my whole plane ticket, hers was a good price for short notice and with Disc.overy I got a great deal on car rental too on a small little car.

The real point however is that Hunter booked the car in yesterday with a very reputable dealership to check the diagnostics too and et voila! Fixed in a day to the total cost of.......wait for it..... R 355,75! Kid you not. It makes me so totally angry that we have missed out on a great family holiday for NOTHING! Because someone did not go to the trouble to check the part that was diagnosed by the computer and to see that it was just dirty, not broken. That someone not only robbed us from a great holiday but also caused me ages of stress about a huge wad of money. I am really so angry. Bloody crooks! (I do hope that this does solve the problem though - but so far so good)

But all of this does not take away from the fact that we had a great great break - about which I will tell you more next time.

BTW - I went "mark all as read" in my reader yesterday - there is no way I would catch up on over a 1000 items in my reader. And yes, I took a blogging break too - it was also good for my soul.