Monday, 31 January 2011

The weekend report

So the weekend was one of those - fun filled at times and very challenging at others. Sleep was mostly the challenging part with L, currently the better sleeper of the twins, waking up around 1:30 Friday and Saturday night and only going back to sleep at about 3:30 (yes, I do check the clock!).Last night, they slept through. Bliss! I did manage a short nap on Saturday and Sunday and I let Hunter sleep in on Sunday morning, taking the kids to church on my own and visiting my mom after.The highlights was good though: - afternoon walks on both days with the kids and the puppies, the Princess went to the Men*lyn drive-in with friends on Friday night and loved it, and the kids were super good in the church. I really could almost not believe how good they were.The highlight however was family fun day at the Boys' school.

For some of us,  the water slide proved irresistible.

 While others discovered the joy of a jumping castle for the first time.
 Stolen twin moments - I have no idea what these two were up to right here, but it does warm my heart.
 As we sat chatting to other parents I remarked to Hunter that this is the first family fun day since the boys were born that we actually sat down and talked to people and did not spend all our time running after a kid.

So yes, small steps, small bits of progress makes my Monday.

Playing along with Cheryl.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Brithday recap

Way back in December I had my birthday - but in the mad rush of  the end of the year madness, I never blogged about it and as I use this as a personal journal, I have no problem catching up on events.
My birthday itself was on a Saturday and I had a wonderful day, spoiled rotten by my family and  friends popping in for cake and coffee organized totally by my hubby.

On the Friday night, the two of us had a great date night out which I blogged about.

On the same day I took most of the day off, had my hair done and met some girlfriends for lunch. A pity two of my favorite friends could not make it as the one was away on holiday and the other had to work. But we had a great lunch at the Cornerstone Rose Cafe in 19th Street Menlo Park. It was quiet and during the course of the afternoon only two other tables were occupied. It was the perfect venue and I can really recommend his food too.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The 6th year check up.

Someone had her 6th year old check -up yesterday. As expected everything is on target and she has a 100% clean bill of health.
Her length at the moment is 122cm - that is on the 99th percentile. Even a bit taller than last year's percentile which was just above the 95th.
Her weight is 22,2kg - that is on the 75th percentile up from the 50th last year. As she is still a very skinny girl, the doctor is very pleased with the weight gain as it implies great muscle development.
On milestones she has far exceeded on her age and there is really nothing we need to work on for now.

I am so thankful for our sweet, healthy little Princess.

Monday, 24 January 2011

A day on Aunty Tina's little farm.

Playing along with Cheryl.
A great, relaxing and filled with play Sunday, makes my Monday. We spent the day yesterday with Hunter's Aunt and Uncle on their smallholding. We had a great lunch with potjie, and after that....

There was sleeping, swimming and biking around
Just before we left it was time to bring the tiny flock of sheep into the main enclosure.

Jacobus, the ram.
Also playing along at Sundays in my City with Unknown Mami

Unknown Mami

Friday, 21 January 2011

A Crafty 6th Birthday party

When the Princess asked for a craft party at the end of last year we agreed, on the basis that she could only invite 5 friends. A the end, she stuck with 4 and I organized everything accordingly. The theme was flowers, with flowers on the tablecloth, party buckets, on the cupcakes and even as part of the mosaic they made. It was such an easy and relaxed party to have - very little preparations and stress. I served quiche for the moms from our local home industries, mini Woolworths hamburgers for the girls and biscuits and cupcakes (home made) for the sweet stuff. But as usual, better told in pictures:
Our table - the table cloth is plastic! Kid you not! Beautiful, don't you think? The flowers were all in tea pots.
Every girl had her party bucket, mosaic and juice set out. We combined the flowers with pink polka dot ribbons.

The cupcake tower made by yours truly and the Princess. The cupcakes with the white icing are red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing - I used Lanalou's recipe. The pink cupcakes are standard cupcakes with cream cheese icing coloured pink. All sugar decorations from Bakers warehouse.

The Princess specially decorated her own cupcake on the top of the tower.
The girl's mosaic door hangers came out beautiful The Princess' is second from the right. Mosaic kits specially made up for me by The Clay club.

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

My initial title for this post was, "Two steps forward, one step back", but no! I am refusing to look at life in this way. We have to win- we can have 3 content and happy kids.

The transition to school for the boys have not been easy for any one of us. It also does not impact just at what  happens at school but also the fallout at home for us. Our usual "difficult" boy, little man C is now all of a sudden Mr Happy Camper - well, most of the time. He can not wait to get to school, in the afternoons he is in general happy and mostly tantrum free where we were used to a string of tantrums regularly.

For little man L going to school has not been easy - this morning was the first relatively drama free drop off, but the day turned downwards as it progressed. He is also not easy at home and has been niggly and crying a lot. Only the last two days he played contently up until dinner time when only a little gets eaten and all hell breaks loose when we move upstairs to bath. A huge tantrum is followed by crying and a refusal to bath. Only the last two nights resulted in a calmer conclusion to bath time. At least going to bed is easy these days.

Then, of course sleeping is an issue once again. C wakes up every night! Most nights he then wakes his brother and that is when the real (not) fun start. We are exhausted. As from tonight we are trying the mattress method - a small mattress in our room that they can come and sleep on when they get scared. At least, I hope it results in only one and not both awake.

But we shall persevere - I live in total hope that one day we will have 3 content kids . As you may have noticed I did not mention the Lil Miss here simply because she is just so happy, so helpful and so sweet. Believe me, she has her moments, but in general, she is a joy. Maybe, some day, 3 will be a joy. Until then, I will take a good night's sleep as a consolation price.

Monday, 17 January 2011

The weekend report

So yes, today is not such a good day.
I am sick - the tummy craps and the rest that follows started late yesterday afternoon. I feel like crap, but I have two meetings schedule which I can hardly move as the rest of the week is jam-packed. So, let's suffice with bullets, there are two pics at Captured by Cat, and I will do a birthday party post tomorrow.

  • Little man L had a good day at school on Friday and the school actually sent me an mms in the afternoon to show how happy he was. Ai, they are a special bunch and I love that little school to bits.
  • The Princess had a good school party and their athletics was rained out.
  • Friday night was spent doing the last bits for the party.
  • Saturday morning I baked the last cupcakes, the Princess and I iced them (see here) and we picked up some stuff at the home industries.
  • Saturday afternoon the hubby took the boys for an outing and we had the Princess' mosaic party at home. I was a huge success.
  • Our friend I and her daughter E stayed on and the hubbies and smaller siblings joined us for a potjie the evening. It was a good social.
  • On Sunday Hunter and the Princess went to church - he to do duty at the projector in the family service and she was admitted to her first Sunday school year.
  • My mom and her friend H came over for lunch, which Hunter mainly cooked, and after a nap for the kids (and a short one for us - tidying kitchens and all), we went to the park.
  • Last night we watched New moon. 
So a good, but busy one.

Friday, 14 January 2011

It was a great 6th Birthday.

The morning started with singing, cupcakes and gifts.

A teaching watch from Early learning center.Jip, she is going to learn to read it.

The morning and afternoon was spent having tea with granny, collecting the kits for her craft party with me and having ice-cream with cousins Ananda and Karla.

The day ended with a visit to our local Spur with some general silliness in the mix. I just love how silly my family can get - especially Hunter and the Princess.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

First day at school 2011

So yesterday was the first day of school for most kids here in South Africa. We had 3 kids going to 2 new schools. The picture above is just an absolute description of what happened on the day. (taken in the afternoon - the morning's pictures was a total mess)

The Princess had a great day - she loves her new school, her teacher and made a friend.
Little man C had a great day - he made a friend in the first 5 minutes and ran off to play... to leave his twin alone. L cried for 2 hours, after which the school asked me to send his nanny over. So Lucy spent half the day there and the Princess the afternoon with him. This morning it was much the same - heaps of crying.

In hindsight, I made a mistake not to just keep them at school last year after they spent the 2 days there. But I do know that he will stop crying, that he will start liking it there. It is just going to take time. And it is so hard for me to see this. My consolation is that he is possibly at the best place to handle this - the school has been wonderful - flexible and supportive. Allowing Lucy there, and the Princess in the afternoon - even giving them lunch. For that I am so grateful.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Today, 6 years ago was also a Tuesday...

and as I held my little baby in my arms, I thought, my gosh, I have a daughter. Someone is going to call me mommy!

 This morning, as we sang "Happy Birthday" to her, I could just not believe how big and independent this little girl has become.

Happy Birthday mommy's Princess. I love the way you always try to help me. How you share and show compassion. The school tells me that you are their little peace maker, the one who bats for the underdog and cares for all. I love that. I love that you have become the type of person that I like and would like to be friends with. I love you with all my heart.

Want to read her birth story? Click here.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

It will always be remembered as the holiday...

Do I dare quote a Barbie movie? "Go surfer girl!"

when the Princess found her inner mermaid. Honestly we were both so disappointed that after so many swimming lessons she remained weary of water. But this holiday changed everything - and the best of all is it took no prompting, no encouragement. It just happened. She grew to be a lover of water.
In the sea...

Or the pool...

 Even the slide...
 This alone made our holiday well worth it.

Friday, 7 January 2011

A bloggy "pay it forward"

Yesterday, Angel posted this pay it forward and with some good luck of the whatsisname I was no 4! (My fav number too!). In any event, so I am paying this forward:

I promise to send something I have made with my own two hands to the first 5 people who leave a comment on this post saying they would like to take part. I have no clue whatsoever what I am going to make, but I am sure some idea will pop into my old head soon.

Here’s how it works.
  1. The blogger posting the offer must send something to the 5 commenters before the end of 2011.
  2. What is sent to the commenters must be handmade by the blogger.
  3. The commenters who ask to take part must post the same offer on their blogs, and then send something handmade to the five commenters who ask to take part, and so on and so on.
    So let's see who are putting up their hands!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

November 2010 - Book 30

House rules by Jodi Picoult
 Jodi Picault employs her much used style of varied persons to tell the story of Jacob, a young man with Aspergers syndrome, and his family. Fascinated by crime scene investigations, Jacob finds (or stages?) himself into the center of the murder investigation of his young tutor.

I found the facts surrounding Jacob and Aspergers syndrome fascinating and I have certainly in reading this story, gained a lot of sympathy for not only the sufferer but also the family. I can not help feeling extremely sympathetic towards other siblings and parents in this type of situation.

What I do love in Picault's work is the moral dilemmas lifted out which one often have to deal with while reading the book. On this book I found that element lacking. It was very  clear to me from very early on that Jacob could never have committed the murder and also why he did stage the scene. A bit disappointing.

Cat's opinion - a good read 7/10

Back to work 2011

Today is back to work day - and yes, I would rather post pretty holiday pictures, but the truth is that being here weighs heavily on me. Only last year I wrote about my need to work and that I love it. Well, I still like my work, but today I really do not want to be here. I want to be home with my kids - suck up that last bit of holiday spirit before the year starts in full force. Although maybe fearing the stress that I know will be part of this work year is a factor, having enjoyed my kids more this holiday certainly is a bigger one. There has just been less whining, crying and crap, and more love, hugs, laughter and joy. Be under no illusion - our holiday was not a blissful event, but it was great, good quality family time.

I know that this year will be tough as we will be dealing with 3 kids at two schools, two jobs and many other demands, I can not help looking forward to it. Looking forward to positive new things will be my motivation. Hunter and I had a nice chat on our way back about our goals for the year. One item stands out for me - we have got to rush less. Have quieter lives. A part of that will be to get more organized. But we need to breathe.

In our sermon on Christmas morning our pastor quoted Hildegard von Bingen as saying "I am as light as a feather on the breath of God". I took that as my motto for Christmas and the family holiday there after. And it worked for me. Maybe this year, it can work as a motto for the year. Live light and live in dependence of God. Do not sweat the small stuff. LIVE!

Ps - I am doing a project 365 again this year at: 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The very brief holiday report

Today, I am taking what has now become a bit of a traditional day. Just after we return from holiday and before I go to work, I leave the kids with Lucy, take the car for a good clean and polish, and take some time for myself. I just saw Spud - it was brilliant, and now I am sitting at the Mugg and Bean, doing this post and attempting to catch up on some blog reading.

I am definitely going to do a whole series of blogposts about our holiday, but to summarize, in terms of time and distance travelled:
  • On the 17th of December we left in our bakkie for the little town of Mtunzini in the North coast of Natal. On the way we  met Dr Ian Player, a dream of Hunter, and we pitched camp after 10 the evening. The kids were total troopers in our little adventure. (566 km / 352 miles)
  • We spent a lovely couple of days there filled with sunshine, friendly people and the sea, the sea...
  • On the late afternoon of the 23rd of December we traveled back to Pretoria to be home for Christmas Eve. We celebrated with a snoek braai with my mom. On Christmas day we had my cousin Ananda and her 3 grown children over for lunch. This year I made my gammon the German way - in beer. It was good.
  • On the 25th we once again packed the car, including the two puppies and left for a farm outside the little town of Bethulie.(681km / 423 miles) where we spent a lovely evening and morning.
  • On the 26th we left the farm and traveled to Port Elizabeth, Hunter's home town ( 454 km / 282 miles).
  • We spent some great time visiting with friends and family and got the chance to see Hunter's great grandfather - now 90 and not well at all. 
  • Hunter also drove my mom down to Groot Brak rivier (she flew to PE) - another 750 km /466 miles trip.
  • On the 31st of December we headed out to friends of us on a farm near Kirkwood and on return visited Hunters aunt in Uitenhage. (144 m / 90 miles)
  • On the 1st of January we returned to a very wet Bethulie (on another farm) and back home on the 2nd in heavy rain an traffic.
In total, we traveled 3546 km (2203 miles), all of them with 3 small kids, and most with two dogs as well. Hunter's tally for the holiday sits at 4296 km (2670 miles). These are very conservative calculations and do not include the little side tips and roads less traveled that we love to take.

In all honesty, both the kids and the dogs were troupers-and I think I can now classify us all good travelers. Or as Hunter and I love to call ourselves - adventurous travelers or traveling adventurers. I guess as he kids grow up the adventures will grow too.