Friday, 29 August 2008

5 Things Friday...

Thank you so much from reading my little musings about my life in general - I never thought that I would have so many readers and make so many bloggy friends. The other moms of multiples have been a special blessing in particular. And lo and behold - I've had two comments from men reading my blog. Holy smoke! Ok, so now for the things you were wondering about in you comments and if you have more questions, please ask by means of comments.

Today, for 5 Things Friday, I will mention 5 questions/notes regarding comments left on my blog.

1. Tinker left a comment on last week's 5 Things: I'm surprised you didn't mention Bumbos. They're a fabulous South African invention! I did not know that Bumbo seats are a South African invention - they would have topped my list from last week if I knew that. I also love the Bumbo trays for the seats.

2. Faith asked after this photograph:I love all of your photo's.... do you mind if I ask you what type of camera you use. I need a new one and have no idea where to begin w/ all of the choices out there. I use a small Sony compact digital camera (Carl Zeis lens - important)- nothing fancy. I am planning to buy a SLR digital in near future and have my eye on a Nikon. I did however do a lot of SLR photography in the good old days of films and am using the principles I learnt then in my photographs - like balance, placing of objects, colours, lines, division of fore and backgrounds, light etc. I think about a photograph before I just take it.

3. When we got the new kidmobile, Mel asked:What kind of car? It is an Opel (Vauxhall) Zaffira and I am still totally loving it. BTW - Mel runs a wonderful charity called Bossum Buddies - please have a look and see if you can support her.

4. Several of you commented about the term "Stork Party" used in this post: Yes, I admit it is a cute term, but it is the usual way we refer to these type of parties in SA - sometimes you will hear about a baby shower, but in general we refer to Stork Teas/ Stork parties. I am attending one tomorrow for a very special little boy .

5. After all the comments about my wedding dress (thanks girls for all the lovely compliments): I did not actually wear my mom's dress, although just as it was was gorgeous. My mom is about a head shorter than I am and I did not fit the dress at all. The designer cleverly devised a plan in which we used the hand beaded pieces of my mom's dress in combination with new material (satin with two layers of chiffon to achieve the precise colour of the old dress) and new hand beading to create a brand new dress (actually a skirt and top). For instance, the band of beading at the bottom of the dress was re-used at the bottom of my dress, the part on my mom's bodice became a short train on my dress and a beaded section on the lap part of my mom's dress became the central panel of my bodice. The silver beads on the dress have turned to gray with time and hence we had white and gray as the colours for our wedding. The only other "theme" we had was heaps and heaps pf great smelling lavender. I love lavender! I am keeping the dress very safely stored for The Little Miss to use if one day if she wishes to.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Way back WHEN sday

Cheryl hosts Way back- WHEN sday.

For today, The Story of our little family continues in Way back WHEN sday. If you want to read Part 1 link here.

10 December 2000 - one of the 3 happiest days of my life.

After our engagement we decided to get married in April 2001, leaving us a comfortable 8 months to plan the wedding. In September, H had another plan - why not marry in December so that we can have a nice long honeymoon as the building industry has an obligatory closing period over December? So he booked the honeymoon (I only later found out to where) and we planned the wedding to co-inside with the honeymoon. December is the most popular month for weddings in South Africa - everything is booked a year ahead, so we settled on getting married on a Sunday morning and having a traditional South African Sunday lunch.

It was truly a wonderful day. I woke up to the quiet sound of rain and as we drove to the hairdresser at 5 am, my heart was both completely at ease and jumping with excitement. Driving back "Butterfly kisses' played on the radio and I missed my dad ( he passed away when I was 7 years old) and got all teary, for the first time that day. My friend and bridesmaid, Benita managed to cheer me up and we had a lovely breakfast, followed by a bath and by then the rain stopped just long enough for us to take lovely photographs. My dress was made out of my mom's wedding dress, hand beaded in 1965. New beading were added and the dress restyled by a great designer.

H's favourite photograph from our wedding.
My dear friends Debbie & Gerhard drove the wedding car - an Audio cabriolet and delivered me safely at the church. My heart jumper into my throat as my mom lead me down the isle to Bach's "Jesus joy of man's desire" and I saw my very handsome hubby to be and the keeper of my heart in the front of the church. The sermon was very fitting, done by my best friend Hesti's hubby Herman, a pastor and he really made everything, also the vows, special and very personal. I cried for the second time that day when we exchanged our vows (the third time was during H's lovely speech at the reception).

My favourite
We had a lovely relaxed reception and slipped away to catch a plane that evening to our honeymoon destination. The rain stopped periodically during the day, always just in time for us to be outside when we needed to be. We have always fealt that the rain symbolised God's blessing on our union. More about the honeyoon and before kids years to follow in part 3.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Stop the clock - it is all going way too fast.

I can not believe that The Boys are 11 months old today! (I better start planning a little celebration).

I can not believe that a year ago I started with my last week at work before my maternity leave! (I'll save you making the sum - I worked until I was 34 weeks pregnant)

I can not believe this is our last "Monthday celebration"( I will miss the once a month cake - but better for weight)

And I can not believe that my last babies are so big.

Oh yes, and I quit. No, not work. Pumping at work. I've had it with the breastpump - I have a great pump (Medela pump in style), but I've had enough. I feel completely liberated!Now I have to watch out what I eat. I will continue breastfeeding in the mornings and evenings, but daytime now is formula time. And I will not feel guilty about this. Repeat to self: "I will not feel guilty about this" until I believe myself.

Oh, and did I mention that it is definitely spring in SA! Yes, we've been having days with 27 degrees Celsius and blossoms everywhere. One of these days I am going to bore you all with our lovely summer weather and you will all be feeling a wee bit colder than now.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta

Just because everybody liked my photo last Friday, another one that I think is artistically quite nice (and for once is not featuring one of the kids). This was taken in the region known as the Karoo. The thunder clouds in the photo produced their first good rains for the season that night. I love the line sweeping from the front of the picture with the rocks through out on the other side with the clouds. It is totally unedited - colours all natural, Head over to Candid Carrie to see who else is joining.

5 Things Friday...

5 Great South African products you can buy:
South Africa is an new democracy with a growing economy and great products, so herewith 5 great kiddies products you can buy that is proudly South African:

1. Naartjie: Tonya first alerted me to the fact that Naartjie is available in California. On closer investigation - it is widely available through out the world and can be ordered online.

I love Naartjie because it really has a unique look and is super comfortable. The material also tends to stretch a bit as the kids grow so you get good use out of it. The quality is excellent. The clothes are super cute.

The Little Miss (center) in Naartjie
2. Dried mango: South Africa is one of the biggest dried fruit exporters in the world and I use dried mango as teething chews. It's great. 100% natural, low allergen, tasty and relatively clean as teething things go.

3. Shooshoos: These are just brilliant - if I have to pick one product only, this is it. Slip free, super comfortable, 100% non-invasive allowing natural foot growth. They are easy to put on and does not come off in play and is slip free once baby starts walking. I see they are also available in a lot of countries. It is the only shoes my babies wear until they are very steady on their feet.

4. Rooibos tea: This is a super natural product. It is hypo allergic, anti bacterial, naturally calming and high in anti oxidants. Rooibos is the first thing most South African babies drink after mother's milk. At present I mix it with juice for a healthy drink for the kids. I enjoy it black with honey or with milk and no sweetener. Apart from drinking it is great for nappy rash - apply on area and let it dry, for eye infections ( a bit of tea in the eye) and for tired puffy eyes (put a tea bag soaked in boiling water and cooled to a comfortable temperature on your eyes and rest a while). It is famed to help children with colic and allergies. I use skincare products (Annique) based on rooibos tea, also available internationally. It is I know the brand name have been registered in America. And if you have ever read the Alexander Mc Call Smith series (No1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) this is the famous redbush tea Mma Ramotswe drinks.

5. Keedo : Another super South African children's wear retailer. The clothes are beautiful and a small part of the proceeds go to care for destitute children in a Cape Town township. I see the clothes are also available online and through out the world.

Have you come across any of these. What about supporting us?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

At last, the weekend report!

We had the best date night in a long long time on Friday night. We went to the Arthouse cinema and watched "Paris J'etaime" - several short films rolled into one feature all connected by the themes of love and Paris. It was fun to pick out the familiar faces amongst the unfamiliar - Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Marianne Faithfull, William Dafoe etc. all in small little roles. It is not a new film, but these type of films takes a long time to reach our shores. We both loved the movie (which in itself is a rare occasion) and after the movie had a lovely meal at Crawdaddy's - a late night restaurant with great food. We both had a good steak, some great South African red wine and shared ice cream and Belgian chocolate sauce. Yummy!

I met two great friends at the Irene dairy farm - a working dairy farm with a lovely country cafe, for tea and cake on Saturday morning. The Little Miss loves it there - heaps of space to run and things to do. Off course we almost played tag amongst the 3 of us with one of us running around with her for a good half of the time. For the rest she polished two strawberry milkshakes and a plate of fries as well as played and danced around near our table. I just love the way she keeps herself busy for hours in her own little world.

Peeking into Jewls' handbag to find the odd sweet lurking around in there.

Petting a "cow" uhm - a calf actually.

Checking out the fish in the dam.

Little man C sharing a smile with Jewls.

Little man L having a cuddle with Elize.

In her own little world pebbles become walls, and cages for her pretend dinosaurs.

My favourite picture from the day - floating leaves on the water.

The rest of Saturday was spent watching the Springboks loose to the All Blacks (Ugh!!!!) and having the usual braai (barbecue) - lamb cuts and venison sausage.

Sunday was spent quietly at home - we both got the chance to read the Sunday newspaper, relax on the couches (nod off and sleep) while The Boys and The Little Miss took a bumper afternoon nap. Almost heaven!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

Cheryl at Twinfatuation hosts Way back Wednesday.

A year ago on the 18th of August was my Stork party for the twins. My BFF (we've been friends for 21 year this year) Hesti and my mom went to a lot of trouble to have a lovely tea for me with entertainment and party packs for the kids.

Mom, me and Hesti.

The bump in profile with some of the guests behind - at 31 weeks I was already substantially bigger than with The Little Miss at birth - I reached the same size at 28 weeks with the twins.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Can you believe this!

Guys, I should really be doing a weekend wrap-up post, but this story really freaks me out this morning. Go to iafrica if you want to read the story.

A teenager went to school with samurai swords, masks of some crappy Satanist band and chops off the main artery of a fellow pupil! He then proceeds to attack two gardeners at the school and to wound another pupil. One have to ask yourself what is wrong with the world if thing like this happens. It's just plain crazy.

This links with another story that has been bugging me for more than a month. A mother is suicidal and depressed. She chooses the busiest highway in South Africa to jump from a overpass
bridge. Apparently she did not look before she jumped and could have landed in front of any vehicle - it so happens it was a truck and a very traumatised truck driver had to deal with the fact that he killed her. It could also have been a small car with kids in it and could have resulted in the passengers and drivers injury or death. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING! If you want to commit suicide (which is a very selfish act to start with), do it where you can do no harm to anyone else. Not is this way.

Yes, I know it looks as if I am insensitive towards people with depression, but I have been there myself, twice. I might have considered suicide the first time, but definitely not in such a way. With the grace of God (and a nice cocktail of pharmaceuticals) I came through it. I have so much sympathy for depressed people, but gosh, what more can I say.

Edited to add: I am thinking again of the Jodi Picault book "Nineteen minutes" about a school shooting. Read it if you are interested.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta

Pop over to Candid Carrie for the Friday Foto finish. This is the Little Miss on the farm where we had a sleep-over on our way down to the Eastern cape in December last year. She gets completely absorbed into her own little world and this photo shows it so well. That's why I love this photo (and also because I think it has some artistic merit).

5 Things Friday...

I know I sometimes complain about the complicated life I live, but I am truly in love with my kids. So, for today's 5 Things....

5 Things my kids do that I just love...
1. The Little Miss clambering into our bed early in the morning and snuggling close to me for some cuddling and love.
2. Her yelps of joy when I arrive home in the afternoon, rushing to me and giving me a huge hug.
3. The Boys calling in baby lingo with excited voices to me when I arrive home and huge grins when they see me.
4. The way Little man C puts out his arms for you to pick him up when you walk past him, and his subsequent clapping of the hands if you pick him up.
5. Little man L is a charmer of note - he melts the hearts of all and sunder with his shy little smile and accompanying flutter of the endlessly long eyelashes.

So what about telling me the 5 things you love about your kids.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

There is a sticky hairy monster in my house!

I have just realised that today, in 6 weeks time, the boys will be one year old! Wow, how does time fly!

Firstly , I am exhausted! This week has just been crazy. On Monday my mom could not fetch A from school, so I had to run in lunch time.Tuesday was Little man L's PT ( he seems to be doing really well), yesterday was Little man C at the paediatrician ( he has middle ear infection) and today it is again fetching The Little Miss at school. So, no lunch break that actually translates to a break this week. Add to that the fact that we are not sleeping well with two sick babies and that the alarm went off at 5 this morning waking up A and no sleep after that! And that in general, I am struggling to fit all into my life, including L's PT every afternoon after work, cooking etc. Yeah, my crazy life. I fall down on the couch after all the kiddos are in bed, too exhausted to watch anything - I am even missing the Olympics. But I will NOT miss the dressage today and on the 18th.

Enough of the negative. The Little Miss loves to scribble and "draw" for hours. But never anything recognisable. On Sunday I tried to get her to draw herself and she only scratched a blot of paper. Last night it was like something just "clicked" First she produced a sticky (not stinky, she was quite specific) hairy monster - complete with feet, teeth, hair and eyes. And added her initial to the drawing - her "name" as she calls it.
Then came "Mister golden sun".

A "ballet girl (check the nose, ballet shoes and tutu!)

And lastly "Daddy"No arms yet and 3 legs for daddy - but it is a start. I love the way she does noses in profile. And at least daddy has less fearsome looking teeth.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

Our little family, three years ago this week in the Drakensberg mountains. Join Cheryl at Twinfatuation in the fun.

A night out, a princess party and a goodbye.

That about sums up our weekend, apart from the 4 trips to 2 pharmacies to try and get the prescribed adrenaline for little man L over a public holiday, Saturday. But that is another, very frustrating story which I would rather not share.

We were planning to go out on Friday night before the Little man L fell sick, and had the nanny lined up for it . He did so well after the fever suppository that we made the decision to go out for a quick dinner - I think all in all we were gone for 2 hours during which the kiddos slept. And can you believe it - the fever never returned! We had a lovely seafood platter for two at Ocean Basket - a well loved chain of seafood restaurants and coffee after wards at the Seattle coffee shop in our favorite booksellers, Exclusive Books. We used to spend hours there BK (before kids) and it is still one of our best treats - you basically take the books you want to browse through and sit at the coffee shop enjoying your coffee, while listening to a 2 man band singing John Mayer songs. Bliss!

On Saturday morning the kiddos had The Little Miss' friend Jeannedre's 4 th birthday party, a princess party. The invites were absolutely gorgeous! Little crowns with glitter and jewels. I convinced The Little Miss to wear a new outfit bought at the Woolworths sale (a big event for mommy every year - I buy clothes for the kids for the next season.) Woollies is our best kiddies clothes chain store and the quality is great. Their basics are well priced but the fancier outfits, such as this one and her well photographed favorite is quite pricey. On the sale - half price!

She loved the fairy wands in the party packs - made out of sherbet sticks, cardboard and ribbon.

The Little Miss as Aurora (I think) and enjoying the trampoline.

Little man L took a short nap and enjoyed playing on the blanket for the rest of the party. Little man C had no idea there was a party at all - he slept through the whole occasion.

As always the ball pit was fun and The Little miss and the Bday girl enjoying the jumping castle.

The daddies enjoyed a beer and played with the babies while the moms kept an eye over the older kids.

We helped our friends to tidy up and while the grown ups were busy with that, the girls ironed away on the Bday girl's two new ironing boards. Gosh, are we stereotyping our girls or what!

The afternoon our bud Stefaan and his two girl came over to watch some Springbok rugby ( we demolished Argentina - yeah! We are the world champions after all). His little Anik spent the afternoon napping on dad's lap while The Little Miss and Emma played the day away. We hardly knew there were two older girls around.

As you are probably aware off, we are losing a lot of young South African due to emigration. On Sunday we said goodbye to cousin Alida and her kids (and the only other pair of twins in the family) - her hubby Marius is already in Belgium and they are following on Friday. We did not always see eye to eye, but have grown fonder of each other in the last few years. I am sorry to see her go, but we will keep touch thanks to the computer, off course. All and all we were 4 aunts and one uncle, 4 cousins, and the kids.

Cousin Gerrit and little Simon - he is exactly one day short of a year older than The Little Miss.

Cousin Gerrit, H, Andrea (cousin Alida's daughter) and Alida playing with The Boys. In the background, her 20 year old twins. It was so incredible getting some first hand info from them and their mom about being a twin and growing up as one of a pair of twins. They had lots of advice which we will take to heart - for instance, do not always say " L & C", sometimes do "C & L". Be careful of stressing birth order. Never address them as "you two" or " the twins" - focus on individuality. And buy them the same outfits that they have the same choices, but do not dress them exactly alike always. Or at least give them the choice when they reach the appropriate age.

The older generation had time to catch up on all the family news.

And we had such help with the kiddos from Andrea - she was constantly busy with one of the kids. Little man C fell asleep in her arms, Little man L had his lunch fed by her...

And she and The Little Miss had great fun, amongst other things, hunting for faeries in the garden. Girls will be girls.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Two for Tuesday

Head over to Eight is great for Two for Two-sday if you also want to join in the fun. I have missed on so many of these little challenges over the last couple of days.

Today is the turn of the pups! Here is madame M & B on the beach at Uvongo on the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast. This was our last holiday before the birth of the Little Miss - I was about 7 months pregnant at the time.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Tag in stead of 5 Things Friday....

So, you've probably noticed that I didn't do my 5 Things Friday. That was because I was rushing around with Little man L with a fever of 104. Turns out to be some viral respiratory something, not too serious at present and thankfully not UTI. So we are busy with the nebuliser and adrenaline, but for the rest he seems fine.

So , in stead of five things Friday, I will do the tag by Brenda

The subject is....
"6 UN-spectacular things about me"
As with everything in life there are rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

Ok, here goes:
1. I love spinach. I any form and shape. Right now I am fantasizing about spinach quiche.
2. I never thought I would have children. Really!
3. I have a phobia about snakes. I can not even look at a photograph of a snake without feeling slightly nauseous.
4. I love museums and to look around in them.
5. I am in a continuous struggle to get myself to drink enough water. I keep a bottle at my side at all times. Still not drinking enough.
6. I love Crocs. Yes, I know they are ugly and look stupid. But they are just so comfortable and I love the fact that they are so hygienic. My favourite style - the Mary Janes - I have khaki and light pink pairs.

I'm tagging:
1. Jen
2. Nancy
3. Deanna
4. Terri
5. Tinker
6. Kelly

Thursday, 7 August 2008

So we had our first physiotherapy session on Tuesday with Little man L. He seemed to enjoy it at first, maybe it is a twin thing - just getting one on one attention is great.
The Physiotherapist was very happy with how well he was doing in terms of not crying and even smiling now and then.
She said he did better than what she expected and if we do his exercises she expects a very positive outcome.
Then he got a little less happy - but gosh, he loves this toy. If you press the buttons it spins around and play songs.
And right at the end of the half hour, it was just all too much for him and he started crying. He slept for a solid 2 hours afterwards.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

This is The Little Miss and her godmother - last year in July. I just love this photo! It has such a happy feel around it. Head over to Twinfatuation and play along too.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Two for Twosday

This is The Little Miss with her twin baby boy dolls in our hospital room, just hours after The Boy's birth. She was an excellent tandem breast feeder of her babies. Join Deanna at Eight is great for a Two for Tuesday.

The story of us - part 1

Today, 8 years ago H "abducted" me from my riding lesson to Dullstroom, our trout fishing "capitol" - a sleepy and picturesque little town. I knew that he was getting ready to pop the big question so on arrival at our little cottage next to a dam, I immediately spotted the lovely fireplace and thought that he would do it later that night while relaxing in front of the fireplace. At 4 the afternoon he surprised me by asking me to get ready to go for a ride on a neighbouring farm. And on the escarpment, overlooking what looks like half the world, against the setting sun, he got down from his horse, helped me to get down and on his one knee asked me to marry him. Off course I accepted and he put a beautiful diamond ring onto my finger, and we were engaged.

We met 10 years ago this September the 5th in a coffee shop over breakfast on a Saturday morning. I was unexpectedly in Johannesburg for the day - my dentist, an ex boyfriend , has his practice there and I had some emergency dental work done very early the morning. So I thought it would be nice to meet some Jo'burg friends for breakfast and the first friend I called, Joe, was so happy to hear from me that he asked that I meet him in 15 minutes time - but he added that he was already meeting a friend of his and I would join them. And there he was - I can remember seeing him for the first time as if it happened yesterday. Cute! We chatted away and when Joe phoned on Sunday night to ask if he can pass my telephone number to H I was not surprised. What did surprise me was that a guy so much younger than me wanted to date me - I later found out that he is 4 and a half years younger than I am. And that was the very last time that I was stressed about the age difference.

Things didn't start off smoothly as he cancelled our first date ( he was injured in a rugby match the night before) and when he called for a date the next weekend, I already had one lined up. But eventually by the third weekend and after a lot of emailing and phoning, we had our first date - and I instantly fell in love. He said he knew when we met that I was "The One" It took me a bit longer, but boy I was smitten!

We lived in two neighbouring cities and saw each other over weekends, and sometimes a week night, and he moved to Pretoria to be closer to me after about a year and a half. After a very relaxed and enjoyable dating period of just short of two years, he asked the question. And the rest, as they say, is history. My sweetheart, although you don't know that this blog exist, I love you as much, if not more, than I did on our special day 8 years ago. You are my everything.

Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 etc. in future.