Friday, 30 October 2009

Photostory Friday - rugby fever

This weekend is the biggest domestic rugby event of the year, and the final is being played in our city with and epic clash between our Blue Bulls and Bloemfontein's Freestate Cheetahs. So how fanatical are South Africans about their rugby? You decide for yourself at the hand of a few examples:

These attorneys have flags up for both the teams. (some Bulls supporters in the foreground)

A Cheetah supported in front of the Cheetah flags.

Some Bulls supporters at the Bulls flags.

This Bakkie (or you may call it a truck or a Ute, wherever you live) is a private persons'.

Permanent images.

Flaggs and a bouncy mascot.

Supporter helmet with real horns.

It also had some of theses (could not photograph due to the curb 0 this image from google):

And doing our bit - at school this morning:

Me and the Lil Miss and friend ALexa with mom Hester

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily

Thursday, 29 October 2009

She wants a Hello Kitty Ballet party.....

Every year since her second birthday party (yes, she chose even that one), she chooses the theme of her next party. And she sticks to it, for almost a year, every year. This year however, has been a bit different - at first she wanted a mermaid party, then it was ballet and then Hello Kitty. And now, for the last 3 months she has been talking about her "Hello Kitty Ballet party" - I could not think where she came up with this idea, until I played with the top of her Belly washer juice bottle - and it all became very clear to me....

I better start planning. Oh yes, and she wants no boys, but on asking if her brothers could come, she said yes, and Keagan, and Simon and... I foresee a seriously pink party.

Playing along with Thanksgiving Thursdays now at Elyse

And Thankful Thursdays at Laurie

As per usual I have a huge list to give praise over, but today, I have one biggy! Little man L has picked up 500 grams ( a whopping 1,1 pounds) in a month! He is 11kg now. Every mom that has a 5th percentiler knows how much you stress about this.I am sooo happy! Our ENT specialist said that he could start growing more after his ears are sorted out and it has paid off so well. I am also giving him a very small amount of feeding supplement once a day with his evening milk (something like Pedisure) but that alone can not make the difference. Prayers do make a difference as well.I am overjoyed!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Way back and wordful Whensday - school photo.

Joining Cheryl for a Way back Wednesday.
Playing with Angie for Wordful Wednesday....

I had no fixed idea for a photo for today, so I decided to do the play the old random game:
Pick a (blindfolded) random DVD from the back-up pile: 2007
Click on a random dated directory: 15/04/2007
Click view as list so that I can not see the pictures, and pick a random file.
And what we have is:

The Lil' Miss' first school photos. She was 3 years old at the time. Weird that I pick this blindly (I promise, no cheating involved), and we just had this year's school photo on Monday? My, she has really grown so much.


Today I want to feel like a little girl again - you remember when you told you mom that you are just feeling crappy and she would hold you, put you in bed and feed you chicken soup or a toasted cheese sandwich with tea? And just tell you that everything would be ok? I need that today.

I feel horrible - and I can not really explain why or what is wrong. Earlier today I felt nauseous (no I am not pregnant) and had a headache. I have since eaten something and taken some pain tablets, but I still feel shaky, tired and edgy. I am stressed at present, but it can not be that alone. I know how to deal with stress.

So of course, the worry start, adding to work stress I already carry around. South Africa is experiencing the biggest measles outbreak in decades - all my kids are inoculated, but even the kids that were are getting it.Apparently a faulty dosage of vaccine is the culprit and now it is spreading fast. I never had it as a child although my mom had me play with sick friends etc. I therefore presume that I have the necessary immunity. My mind though, is playing tricks on me. On Saturday at the farewell, our buddy little Keagan had a rash - to be confirmed as measles later that day. I can not be upset with his mom, he has frequent eczema, so it was easily confused. But I do worry - about the kids more than myself. But I worry.

Waking up at 5 am and only getting the chance to eat at 8 am at work could add to the problem. Our little monsters are now sleeping through - consistently, but the pay-off is a waking up time of 5:10 am. Getting them to bed later at night does not change this time - we have tried. You can set your watch to Little man C. Trying to get them into our bed for an extra little nap is really a waste of time and frustration. Much more realistic is taking them downstairs, switching on the electronic baby sitter (aka Barney), getting their milk and a snack and trying to get a few minutes of shut eye on the couch, have some coffee and something to eat, maybe. This morning it was not to be. Little man C was just cranky and crying the whole time. Seriously, to shower and dress was almost not an option. Hunter says to let him cry and do my thing, and yes, I know he is right in suggesting that, but the crying just gets to me. And he sets of the other two.

The poor kid (and Hunter) has bronchitis - I hope both will start to feel better today as Hunter has a trail this weekend and I would not like his bronchitis to get in the way of him doing something he really enjoys. And I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Two for Two-sday - another goodbye

Playing along with Debi as per usual. Pop over - you are bound to see many great two-somes.

So we said good-bye to Vanessa, Tyra and Chad on Saturday morning. They are emigrating to Australia. We will miss you guys!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Makes my Monday - school photos!

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Playing along with Cheryl as on every Monday.

It's a great surprise every year to get these. I love the more natural take the photographer took this year, but gosh, she forgot the date on her camera and did not edit it out! Regardless, I love them!

And this is the whole little school (I've cropped it to remove the namefor security reasons) Her beloved teacher Kirstee is not on the photo - she was sick.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Cat's bookclub - new review added.

For a review of 13 Uur By Deon Meyer or to find out more about this great South African writer, published in English in the US and UK click on the image.

January 2009 - Book 4

Book 4 - 13 uur by Deon Meyer.

Deon Meyer is the king of suspense in South Africa. His books are all written in Afrikaans and then translated in English and many more languages. This specific book will only be published in the US and UK in 2010. Go to Deon Meyer's website for more information.I can recommend every single one of his books and most are available through

I had sick babies, I hardly slept, but I read until 3 in the morning to read to the conclusion of this book. This about sums up how absolutely spellbinding and thrilling this book is.

The storyline is original and unexpected, the hero unusual. As always, this book is well researched and frighteningly realistic of the crime ridden South African society. The language is just as realistic in the world that this story takes it's shape. One of the best books I have ever read and certainly the best suspense thriller ever.

Cat's opinion: A well deserved 10/10

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Photostory Friday and Friday Fragments - 23 October

I know you always love these type of posts as they are uniquely African. On Sunday we went to the Krugersdorp Lion and Rhino park. We saw a huge selection of antelopes, some quite rare like sable antelope, cheetahs, lions and wild dogs being fed, rhinos (and a tiny baby one) and hippos. There is so much to see and do there - we missed half of it. Next time we will plan better (including taking a camera - I forgot! These are cellphone shots).

We were really close to the cheetahs when they were fed - they each grab some meat and run away - fast - really fast!

The king was present.

The male lions eat first and then the females follow.

The wild dogs eat as a pack.

Our little lion got all excited about the lions.

He was not Mr Congeniality - maybe those ears were so sore?

PhotoStory Friday

Hosted by Cecily

I am just loving Friday fragments- so tempting to be able to just wrap up the week in little tidbits. So here goes:

We have converted The Boys' cribs to toddler beds. This is way earlier than I have planned - I would have kept them in safely in their cribs until about 18, ok, 3 would have been nice. We are doing ok - Little man L struggled to go to sleep, he is finding everything hilarious at bedtime and keeps climbing in and out of bed, throwing dinos and blankeys around, whatever. But once he falls asleep, he sleeps right through. Little Man C goes to sleep with ease, but wakes up - the first night 3 times and once during Wednesday night. Last night he slept until 5:15 this morning. They are growing up way too fast.
The silkworms have started to spin fast and furiously.
We have our first silk article done.

Some of these guys are like 3 inches and still not spinning - they are huge (and getting a bit gross). We are going to have so many worms next year - anybody for silkworms? We do export.

I am so loving my new phone! A Nokia E71 and I am emailing, posting etc from it for the first time. Great stuff.

We are saying good-bye to some friends tomorrow morning - joining the emigration run to Australia. So sad to live in a country where you constantly see people go.
It is absolutely remarkable to see the improvement in balance for Little man C since his grommet surgery. There is no way to compare! I though my kid was clumsy - turns out he just had one very blocked ear that threw him off balance.
Apparently it was raining inside the car (no real rain in sight) this morning on our way too school. Apparently it was raining "gumdrops and lemon drops" - sounds familiar? Barney!

Thanksgiving Thursday - friendship.

18 years ago my friend Stefaan was spotted on campus with a new girlfriend. Our whole group of friends buzzed about this tiny German girl. Nobody has ever talked to her, nobody knew much about her. One morning, a couple of days later she walked into our studio, looking for him. I was the only one working there at the time and she introduced herself as Nanna. We started talking and in just 15 minutes we became friends.

3 years later Stefaan left for Stellenbosch, a 2 hour plane trip from us and the two of us were left in Pretoria. We both moved out of our parental home and a new phase began. We went to movies together, we went to concerts, we ate heaps of ice cream - we became best friends.

2 years on Stefaan moved back to Pretoria and as I watched their relationship crumble, my heart nearly broke. How could two such great people whom I both love not be together? How could this end in such a mess? It was not my place to interfere, but I made a decision that I will never regret. I will stay friends with both of them. I will invite them both to my parties, and I will not discuss the one with the other. It worked well - not without small hiccups along the way, but good enough that today I can still count both as 2 of my 3 closest friends.

As the years went by I was with Nanna at Tings and times the night she met Allan who became her husband. I was also at Stefaan's house the evening when he threw a party and a friend brought along Ilse, newly relocated to Pretoria. And we were so blessed when all of them managed to make a connection with Hunter when I eventually met him.

The next few years that followed was some of the best times I have ever spent with a friend. Nanna and I were both bitten by the horse bug at the same time and we spent countless Saturdays out at the stables. We like the same movies, read the same books and love classical music and as the wives of men that understand the need for personal space, we had lots of great times together. When the house next to them came up for private sale, we bought it with their blessing and many afternoons a quick after work coffee or tea was called for. Sometimes it would just mutate into dinner for us 4. We spent countless nights around the braai fires at one of the houses or enjoying Hunter's excellent curries. Between Hunter and Allan they share two of the most wicked minds I know and we had so many laughs. We always joked about "driving home' under the influence while it was a a mere 15 meter walk back home. I cried with her when she had to give away her beloved beagle as Allan's allergies made it impossible and she enjoyed our puppies to the fullest. She and Moya became best friends and we often walked the dogs after work. She also rejoiced with me when we became pregnant although by choice they were not planning children she understood my need to have them. When motherhood became too much for me in those hectic first 3 months she was a shoulder to cry on although she was packing to move. Far away. Way too far away...

On Saturday morning I saw her at the farmer's market - it has been 4 years and 3 months and I did not expect to see her there. I had my dates wrong and thought she was landing the evening, where she did the previous. We both burst into tears and just hugged for ages. They are staying with other friends in a non-dog environment. I saw her for lunch on Monday and we talked and talked for 2 hours. Last night, we had a braai at our home - like in the old days with Dahl (Indian curry lentil soup) for a starter. They left at almost 12 - very late for a weeknight, but we just could not stop talking. We are planning to say good-bye at the farmer's market this Satudray as on Sunday they are leaving for Cape Town and a week later directly back to Calgary Canada. It's been to short and too little, but they have so many people to see in such a short time.

I miss her so much that my heart is aching today. Friendships takes years to build up to this level of trust and love. Yes we Skype, we email. And in some ways it feels like yesterday. But we have both changed so much - and the great part is that we still like each other just as much . After Saturday, I don't know when or if I will ever see her again, but I do know that a true friend stays one, even over thousands of miles.

So today I am thankful for friends, true friends. I am thankful for the years we spent together, but I am also thankful that we managed to stay close for the years that we have been living worlds apart.
To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship.Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)

Playing along with Thanksgiving Thursdays now at Elyse

And Thankful Thursdays at Laurie

Check out this cute outfit the Lil' Miss got from them - adorable. The Boys got cute Banff bear theamed t-shirts.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New book review at Cat's Bookclub

Click on the picture to read a review of Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

January 2009 - Book 3

Book no 3 - Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

I am not a biography or autobiography reader. I have read and enjoyed a few, but they are not my chosen poison.I like the escape of fiction. But some true stories are certainly larger than fiction. This is one of those, and so well told.

The book tells the story of a dirt poor Chinese boy that gets chosen to go to the elite state ballet school - without ever having seen a ballet or know what it is about. It provides him with the opportunity to escape the hardships so graphically described and the chance to have a better future. In time he becomes a star and see the world. But he also realizes how he has been brainwashed to believe the communist principles forced down with the pirouettes.

The book is well written and holds the attention although it is a long read. I found life in communist China fascinating and the portrial of the west through his eyes is just amazing to read.

Cat's opinion: A well deserved 8/10

Way back and wordful Whensday - hospitals take 2

Playing with Angie for Wordful Wednesday....

Yesterday was grommet surgery take 2. Little man C ' turn. The children's ward was full but when I heard why, I was so relieved that we landed at the day ward (with 3 other kids). Due to a measles outbreak in our city they had to turn 2 of the normal children's wards into isolation wards as well. That was the good bit about it. The not so great bit, was that there was not a single cot available, so I had to sit with him every minute to make sure he does not fall out of bed. Luckily we had dad there as well. The other not so great part was that they did not give him pre-med (the anaesthesiologist was caught up in traffic and came late - and it not being a children's ward they did not automatically give him pre-med). So he went down fighting. But woke up like a little angel. Calm, sweet and all smiles. I am so relieved that this is all over and hope on healthier children.

And of course, I will not let a chance go by to play along with Cheryl:

The picture with Hunter reminded me of this one:

Timeline: April 2008
Age of the twins: 6 months
Hospital stay: a week for bronchiolitus.
I had such a laugh - in Friday's post I wrote: "Tomorrow is big rugby in South Africa - with the semi-finals for our big domestic tournament. My team, the Blue Bulls will take on Hunter's team, The Western Province. This off course will be followed by a braai"

Not one, but two commenters had a Freudian slip! (first I thought I made a spelling mistake, but no, I did not!)
Suemac realised her mistake and had a good laugh (giving me a great laugh as well): "I need to get my eyes checked.... I thought it said Blue Balls not Blue Bulls... and I laughed soooo very hard, my side hurts! "
But this one is so funny: "Your team name is the Blue Balls!? lol" from our gracious host at Friday Freewrite.
Just shows how our minds work - so for your viewing delight - The "Blue Balls" logo and mascot. And BTW, we won and are hosting the final on the 31st against the Cheetahs.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Makes my Monday - One on one time

We had such a great weekend! We made an effort to really enjoy this weekend together as a family. On Friday night we had dinner out at the Spur - the kid's favorite and we were actually able to eat our dinner in peace and even had a sensible conversation with each other. Yesterday was spent at the Lion and rhino park - more about that later this week. But Saturday was mommy and princess day and we had so much fun! Having the chance to spent a whole afternoon together and the memories of that really makes my Monday.

Playing along with Cheryl as on every Monday.

She had her face painted at the farmer's market - to be a Rainbow faerie - really artistic -what do you think?

After waiting for Hunter to return on his errands, the two of us set off to watch Tinkerbell - the lost treasure. Such a sweet little movie - both of us really enjoyed it and it has such a great little lesson about friendship and forgiving.

She dressed as a faerie in her faerie dress and wings. The movie showed at "the Cow mall" (previously featured on this blog) and the centre has a play fountain - which mommy forgot about. So, to add to the Saturday treat, I bough her a new outfit, panty and all and let her play in her faerie outfit in the fountain. The pictures tell the whole story....

Fun, fun, fun! I had a relaxing coffee at the restaurant and watched her play her heart out. I will always treasure these special one on one times with her. Soon, I will have to get this started with the little boys too.

If I could please ask your prayers one more time - little man C is going for his grommets tomorrow.