Thursday 31 May 2012

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

dear Pick 'n Pay.


My regular readers will know that the Princess is very tall for her age. She is just all arms and legs and a tiny little waist. Which already makes it quite and issue to shop for her. At age 7 she wears size 9 to 10 clothes and then I have to take in around the waist or fit a belt. Up until last year , wearing size 8 to 9 Woolworths was our staple clothes shop mainly because I got more length for the waist than anywhere else - their waists are smaller and legs and arms longer than the other retailers and they still had little girl clothes up to that size while a lot of other retailers make the jump to pre teen and teen clothes at age 7. This year buying clothes for a ever growing girl has been a nightmare - she simply is a little girl still and has no interest in the pre teen clothes. We go into Woollies, flip through the stuff, and nope, nothing that she likes. She then runs to the little girl section and want every single item. I felt so sorry for her not to be able to get her beloved Hello Kitty stuff. Secretly I have been very grateful for it and hope that she will keep this little girl innocence as long as possible.

And then I remembered! Pick 'n Pay stocks little girl type clothes up to size 13-14! And they did not disappoint. We can home with a bag full of little girl happiness and a mom satisfied that at least she has clothes to wear. Everything from a pretty turquoise dress and pant set to her favorite Hello Kitty and many more. Also great denim look with flowers leggings, which are way too big over the waist but which I can take in, but at least long enough.
I love seeing my little girl being a little girl and not a pre mature mini adult.

So how do you feel about this tendency to squeeze our girls towards maturity? I for one are outraged by Ackermans and PEP who has clothes that are either almost sexy or have sublimely sexy messages. At least Woollies clothes are ok in that way, but just boring? Or am I over reacting?

Wednesday 30 May 2012


During the long weekend, a month ago, the 3 boys in the house had their own very special morning out. The Princess had a sleep over and I spent the morning getting my craft groove going. They attended the special steam powered weekend at the Centurion Model Trains where, rather than the usual little diesel model trains, steam trains ran as well as steam boats. It was heaps of boy fun.

Filling up with water. This give you an idea of the scale of the trains

Steam boats on exhibit and on the lake

More trains in the yard

All photos by Hunter. Centurion Model trains are open every weekend with a nice play area and big lawns to picnic on. Tuck shop available for treats.

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Tuesday 29 May 2012

Dealing with disappointment

Way back in standard 4 (grade 6 today) I was chosen to sing in a State Theatre Opera production of Othello. It was a huge honour as we were hand picked by the Opera's conductor and musical director and we practiced for hours.Then came the big day when we were taken to the State Theatre to be measured for our costumes and to practice with the cast. We got on that huge stage and the Prima Donna was standing with us to sing our bit (we were children taking flowers to her) and as the director looked at the scene, he yelled "stop" and took me off the stage. Yes, at that age I was head and shoulders taller than her and would most certainly not have worked in the piece as a child taking flowers. It was the end of my brief singing career and I also stepped out of the school choir at the end of that year. Not only did I feel I was too tall but also that I could not sing. That somehow, the two were connected. I fully intend to handle and see that disappointment is handled on a better level with my children. And yes, I realize that one can not always guard them from others and the realities in life, but our family's motto of "I think I can I'll try my best" is what have to carry us through the joys and the disappointments.

And so the Princess met her first big one on Friday. It was the long awaited mini netball tournament. My, they were excited. It went so well in the warm up.
They were ready for their first (and only ) real game of the season. And then we as moms found out that the school they have been drawn to play is one of the schools that starts in January and have had 8 games under the belt. But we somehow hoped that it will go well. And yes, it did not go too bad, they  only lost 0-3, but the issue is that the ball NEVER go to my Princess - you see, being the tallest girl in the team she plays goal or assistant goal,  and on Friday it was goal. She was stuck in her little circle with nothing to do - the bane of many netball goal shooters - you are either very busy or very bored. The picture below is the closest the ball got to here - once in the whole game only. Clearly waiting for it, but they lost it while passing it to the assistant goal (HD) in the picture. The frustration was great, the tears after the game endless. Despite being asked by her coach to please play again next year as she is her best goal, the tears just did not stop.
We were both hungry, not having had a "real" lunch but she refused to have something there, so we hopped in he car and stopped at the first convenience food place - a KFC just across the school. As we waited for our lunch and the obligatory ice cream to follow, the tears stopped and she started talking. Turns out her biggest disappointment was not being able to show me (and me telling daddy) that she can indeed play netball. After I assured her that I knew she can play and reminding her that she was asked to play again next year she cheered up and after a hug and a re assurance that I am in fact very proud of her the smile that I love so much appeared again.

Oh my heart broke for her -I know how much she was looking forward to this, but I also know that we need the disappointments in life to grow. It is how we as parents handle them that will determine how they deal with it in time. I do not think that it has put her off sports though, seeing as she is very eagerly starting with mini hockey this afternoon...

Wednesday 23 May 2012

What??? I said?

When I saw on the school's newsletter that admission applications close on the 22nd of June this year. Yes, it has been made a whole lot earlier than it used to be. In addition, grade R is part of the Primary school next year and forms the first formal year of education. This means that I have to enroll my boys into grade R now! And at the Primary school, not the Pre Primary who I have talked to about my boys, especially Mr L before.

So on Friday I popped in at the Pre Primary and had a chat to the headmistress there. It transpires that I need to do a whole lot of homework and get a whole lot of reports for Mr L. (For those not aware he has Sensory Integration disorder - or Sensory processing disorder). He is behind in some fields of development and apparently at this stage ahead in others, but he does not have what I would like to call a "non neurotipical" profile - I hate the word normal. What the hec is normal? What is a fact is that he has made huge progress in the last year. But it also means that although our OT and his teacher and the headmistress of the pre primary all are of the opinion that he should go to a main stream school, the governing body of the shool has the right to refuse him entry. So I need to get the supporting "evidence" that he is indeed suitable for the school. The Pre primary principal is prepared to go to the headmaster of the Primary school and have a discussion to allow him without even having to refer it to the governing body. For that I am so grateful.

But, this all means a scramble to the OT for a new updated report, asking his teacher for an updated report and getting a developmental psychologist report if the OT thinks we should. A lot to get done in just a month. But I know that if we can get this done, and if we can indeed get him grade 1 ready next year, I can have my twins in the same school and grade successfully. As our OT always says, that is our big goal. The rest will follow. Maybe with more attention and therapy, but it will follow. We also have to move the two of them into separate classes next year so that they can both establish their own friends and place in the class.

So we are pushing ahead getting everything done, and then it's a question of holding thumbs and praying that this all works out. What I do know is that he loves these books at the moment - and he is doing so well sitting, concentrating, drawing. Starting to lift his wings and fly. Hope, yes, hope. There's that word again, My word for 2012.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

What's happening...

One of those bullet style catch up posts.
  • My work craziness at the moment is very stressful. Some days I feel I had enough. Others I am on that high crazy cloud of adrenaline and job satisfaction.
  • We had a wonderful social weekend - maybe a bit too social but it was good.
  • We may be making some new friends within the Princess' group of little school friends' parents. Years ago one of my friends with older children told me it happens - at the time I thought she was crazy and a bit weird. But I guess one shares a lot through our kids and it they then happen to be just great people anyway, it's a win win
  • The Princess has been chosen to play in the 0/7A team in their first and only mini netball tournament of the season. Mommy will be there to take lots of pictures and support on the side.
  • Next week is Eisteddfod week and our Princess and her drama buddy will be doing a little story of a big grumpy bear and a clever little bunny. She very proudly is the bunny. We have been warned that they will not do well but need to get the "first try" out of the way. Looking forward to see her in action on the stage.
  • The boys are practicing for their first rugby day - I have no doubt that it will be controlled chaos, but really looking forward to see this.
  •  The Princess is all excitement about her character skirt in progress. For the grade 1 RAD girls this is a big moment. Her ribbons look like this:
  •  I have just finessed reading "When God was a rabbit". A superb read and no , not blasphemous at all. I always find that I struggle to get into a new book after such a great read - as if my mind is still in the previous story. And funny enough, I often read 3 books at a time.
  • Someone also came second in the annual grade1 colouring in competition. She was so happy about it - I think more about the going on the stage and photos with the headmaster than the actual prize. The friends congratulating, the fuss over her.
  •  Hunter and I had the most fantastic date night on Friday night - a "our regular place" way back from our dating and early marriage times Tutti Pasta. It was such a great night out - superb food and we had such a lovely time together, chatting away. I loved it.
So, what's happening on your side?

Monday 21 May 2012

Getting the craft thing going again

I have been very slow this year on feeding my inner creativity. At the moment my work is very stressful, but I am also in a non- creative stage of a big project, or shall we rather say, less creative. I reached a point where frustration took over and one morning in the long weekend of  27 April to 1 May my hubby gifted me with a morning for myself. I just jumped in , as eager as can be and made 3 mosaic crosses
Without grout

Two of them with grout (the other already gifted by then)
It really just made me so happy to make them, and gift them, after all not to the church for the bazaar as intended but to people shown out to me for each of them.

Then for Mothers day I was totally out of ideas for the grannies, until I saw this post on Marcia's blog. I mean, it is THE perfect gift for them.. So I went ahead, bought my canvasses (R22 for a 30x30 canvass), modge podge and the photos (R24 for a 30 x 30 each). So the total gift cost me R46 plus a negligible amount of modge podge and the grannies are in granny heaven. They came out beautifully.

I was lucky to get a friendly co amateur photographer that was at the course with me the Sunday before Mothers day to take it down for my MIL. It was rather unexpected so no time for a card, but Oupa saw to that and she was totally happy. For my mom, we had a bit more time for a "card" .I found a printable of Crayola's website to make flowers, and made we did. I printed two sheets for each child so that we could make double sided flowers and they coloured it (well I did the boys' second sheet for them). We then cut them out and glued them on drinking straws, and just like that, granny had the most beautiful bunch of child made flowers. She loved them. (and I could not stop photographing them)

Her wrapped canvass and flowers.
So, do you need to craft to keep your sanity? And what did you craft recently?

Friday 18 May 2012

And the winner is...

Today is Friday and gosh, many many reasons to be happy. This week has been tough.

But without further ado, I popped over to just minutes after 12:00 and the first number generated was no 36 - the number of I am so not a blogger - a private blog. Congrats to you - I hope you enjoy shopping with your prize!

The second number generated was no 68 - that of Marulé MacKay

The  third number generated was no 25 - that of Tania - fellow twin mom and blogger.

I am rather jealous of those gorgeous bags you will be sporting soon.
To claim you prize, please send me and email before 12 noon on Wednesday the 23rd

Thanks top all who have entered  - it has been a rather exciting experiment in social media. More on that in another post.

Have a great weekend 

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Ingredients for a great Mothers day

 Breakfast in bed with my nearest and dearest.

Handmade cards(love them above all) and the new Katie Melua CD (sticking with our CD, DVD or book rule for these type of celebrations). Am lovign it by BTW - stunningly relaxing and truly beautiful.
 A walk in the neighbourhood while C proudly takes puppy B on her leash.

Feeding our street's chickens 
 A pretty little birthday girl
Lovely dry Cap Classique
Good friends and company, ribs and chips galore.

And yummy home made birthday cake for desert rounded off with some of the best coffee in town.

Thanks to my family who went out of their way to make the day special for me.
BTW - it is mid may and it was so nice and warm that Hunter and the Princess had a swim at our friends (granted, the pool is heated). Today feels like winter - just like that the seasons have changed.

PS I am way behind on both blogging and reading - life and work's been very busy. Hope your day was great - wil get to your blog soon.

Friday 11 May 2012

It's competition time

Whenever I walk into Big Blue I have this exact feeling:
Little money purses
It is my best bestest shop ever as a lot of my regular readers clearly knows  (11 of you guessed correctly yesterday). Welcome to all the Big Blue Facebook fans too finding this post from their Facebook page.

There are so many reasons why I love Big Blue - firstly I just like their style. I feel at home in it - just a little bit different and creative.The Olka Polka tiered skirt as featured below must be the signature Big Blue item - every girl needs one and a pair of Olka Polka pants - the most comfy and stylish pants ever and yes, that combination does exist.
 I also adore the quality of their clothes - I have a dress that is close to 7 years in age that is still as beautiful as the day I bought it and because the style is unique, has never gone out of fashion either. The shops are beautiful - a true shopping experience.

Their gift range is really funky - much to choose from.

The cookies from the cookie stamp above are truly beautiful and I always get compliments on them.
The choice for men is great too but the essence must be the quirky T shirts they are so well known for.

Being a true handbag fanatic I can tell you Big Blue has the most stunning bags, always. Always something pretty or funny or just different.
I really want one of these

Love this one too
But to me the true experience lies in the helpful and friendly staff . Tshidi and Caroline at my local branch are always ready to help, to suggest another option, to phone and find something for you in your number. My cookie stamp took a lot of phoning around until they found two and within days I collected it from the shop. True excellent service
So today, I am truly delighted to present a little competition to celebrate my 1000th blogpost in conjunction with Big Blue. Up for grabs are :

First prize - a R500,00 gift voucher to spend at your local Big Blue. If you live in the backwoods of South Africa you can choose from their beautiful new website.
Second and third prizes: A lovely shopper bag each worth R290,00  which you can collect at your local Big Blue or alternatively I will arrange to post it to you.

So to enter the following:
1. For your initial one entry : Go to Big Blue's facebook page and "like" it, then visit their website and leave a comment below on my blog stating the exact description of your favorite Big Blue item.I will attempt to do a gallery of choices.
2. For a second entry tweet the phrase: "To win with @BigBlueSA head over to @catjuggles blog:" and leave a comment here stating that you did it. No separate comment, no extra entry.
3. For additional entries do a blogpost about this giveaway and tweet the blogpost including the twitter handles @BigBlueSA and @catjuggles or post a picture on Instagram of your favorite Big Blue outfit or items and tweet the Instagram post including the twitter handles @catjuggles and @BigBlueSA. Once again tell me in a comment that you did it. No separate comment, no extra entry.

Competition open to SA residents only
You have to do the initial one entry (item 1 above)  to enter the competition at all
Bloggers that guessed correctly yesterday will have one additional entry into the competition - you still have to do item 1.
The winners will be determined from a random number generated per entry posted. The decision is final.
The winner will be announced here and on the Big Blue Facebook page on the 18th of May. You need to respond on your win with an email to claim your prize.
The competition closes on 12 noon on the 18th of May 2012.

Have fun! And keep reading.
Thanks for each and every reader and each and every comment over the last  999 posts. Here's to 999 more.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

This is my 999th post!

Wow, I was a bit surprised when I noticed last week that I am nearing the milestone. I had a lot to say, and a lot to show over the last 4 years and one month. Ever since my very first post on the 3rd pf April 2008 I have gathered friends along the way. At first it was the MOM's all over the world - that special bread of Mothers of Multiples who live motherhood on a larger scale than one child at a time. Slowly I explored other avenues and as the kids grew from 6 month old babies (and a 3 year old Lill Miss) to two busy and independent 4 going on 5 year olds and a 7 year old Princess flying in big school. At some stage I started to reach out to other South African bloggers, other subjects than purely motherhood and discovered a whole new set of friends in the computer, some which I have met along the way and at least two who are very real friends to me. 

Looking back I can see the love, the support and the encouragement in my old posts. I also remember times when I supported other bloggers.
Imge credit
As you can well imagine, the statistics are quite interesting. Always good to look back on these little items as the years go on and the milestones are reached. In short, I have had 60 946 page views on my little blog - these days I get and average of about 40 page views per post, although some run much much higher up to 615 page views for my top post (you can see my 10 most read posts on the right hand side bar). Clearly someone needs to start writing Afrikaans book reviews - I also get a lot of hits (but never a comment) on all my Afrikaans books posted on my book club blog. 

My top 10 referring URL's include the blogs of some of my favorite South African bloggers - Margot (top referring URL), Lynette, Angel and Marcia. Also my oldest blog buddy ever, Debi in the USA sends a lot of traffic over - I have read and commented on her blog for more than a year before I started my own. Google reader is the second most referring URL - that is how I know a lot of you (as I do) use your readers without subscribing to a blog as a follower (but I do have a die hard 129 of those too ).

I am always astounded by which search phrases people find my blog but obviously "juggling" is always there. As is Lego and anything Lego related and Easter and South Africa. My audience has changed over the years from mainly USA to South Africa now being the at the top, followed very closely by the USA , the UK and Australia. Surprisingly enough I have a good amount of Russian readers, or so it seems. from my stats.

But that with all the stats and so. I have often been asked what my favorite posts are and really it is a huge body of work to sift through. Some that come to mind right now are:
To celebrate my 1000th post on Friday and to say thank you to you, my loyal blogging friends, both old and new, I will be hosting a fabulous giveaway from my very favorite shop ever. I am so excited to be able to do this! (Apologies to my international friends but for South African residents only).

So, for a pre -competition entry, I give you one guess and one guess only in a comment below. I am expecting all the silent readers to de- lurk on this one. If you know me and my blog, you would know the answer. This pre entry close at 6 am Friday morning.

Monday 7 May 2012

Sometimes you need to be a bit more

More than a wife, mom and career woman. You need to be more of yourself, of being creative. Of doing something that makes you truly happy outside of this all. Food for the soul if you like.

I have been thinking about what I like and would like to do to fill my happiness tank.I though about all the hobbies I have had in my life - making beads, needle work, painting , drawing, photography, mosaics, pottery, horse riding, yoga - a long list. And although I do the occasional yoga class at gym it is nowhere the quality and intensity I was used to. And horse riding is simply not practical at the moment. Occasionally yes, but intensity, no. Not with all I have to do and money wise. But I evaluated all and decided that I would love to do more in photography and discussed it with the hubby. I might do a course in the future. The occasion to feed my creativity cam soon and unexpected when my cousin invited me to a photography forum's event on Sunday and in the blink of an eye and one call the the hubby to co ordinate schedules and time, and I was in!

What I loved about the event was the casual approach and easy timing. Apart from the two challenges there was no stress to perform involved. The atmosphere is very much in terms of positive comments and teaching with encouragement. After introductions we had a nice brunch followed by our first challenge - to photograph the restaurant experience.I really like my photo below but I does not say restaurant, does it? I have to agree that I got distracted by beauty. And there's something in the corner?
This one shows a bit of the atmosphere of the place.
On to the next section which was a workshop where you had 4 options ranging from beginners, to portraits, to macros and unusual angles etc. I chose portraits because my interest is mostly in people and boy, did I learn a lot. They had a wedding photographer couple that showed us the ropes,with natural light, different light conditions, fill in flashes, slave flashes and reflector screens. Wow, a whole world. Also learned a lot about the light triangle and juggling with that.
What I think was my best shot of the light skinned model:
And the dark skinned one. I should have had my ISO on 200 and not 400 to have the very bright background a bit better in balance but I love how I got her skin to "glow" and not "shine".
Then we were set the "one shot" challenge - we got one shot only and half an hour to take it in - thus release your shutter just once. This is more difficult than you think - we are all so used to taking many shots with digital and edit - now you had one shot, no editing and no testing. This was mine:
The comments that I got was that it is slightly over exposed but a very interesting and eye catching shot.

I loved the whole experience -not only having some time for myself for the day, but learning and meeting new like minded people. 

And I used my new knowledge to catch the super moon - out of hand with my little zoom lens (and cropped). Not great detail or super sharp, but certainly better than I did on Saturday night.
Now I have to comment on the forum, and post some photos (which I am terribly afraid to do) but I guess it is learn and take the criticism. After all, it is putting yourself out there that is the next step in growth.

Thursday 3 May 2012

I used to love crafting, all types, but now I am not so sure anymore.

See this adorable little rag doll?
Very cute. See how totally in love the Princess is with her tiny ballerina ?

Yes, she is. She better be! No kidding!

It came in a little kit (an untouched up to now birthday gift from January) suitable for little girls age 8 and up

Gosh, age 40 and up found it a huge challenge. The hair was fine, we did it together, quick sticks. The rest.... works with tiny little strips of double sided tape that does not budge from the backing. And no, no 8 year old can do this ( I know she is 7, but I also know that in a year she would not be able to do this) and already, the strips are coming off so I see a lot of very fine hand sewing in my future. I have done many many crafts in my life, this is the first time I feel totally beaten by something.

Did she love making it? Well, she will tell you she did but she mostly watched Mary Poppins while I swore at tiny little double sided tape strips.
Will we make the other 3 in the collection (for sale at good old CNA) ? Nope, over my (now dead ) crafting body.
Will we give it as a present to a friend? Only if we either really do not like the mom and she said something nasty to us or if it is one of those die hard needlework type moms. Which maybe I do not like.... Ok kidding, I like most of them so no, I will not.
Did it fill a day on my daughter's life while we stayed inside with a sick brother? Yes, it did on Saturday and it was about all we can remember the day for.

At the end one defeated (ex crafter) mom = one very happy little girl. The things we do for our kids.....

So let me go and do some mosaics....

Wednesday 2 May 2012

A great day out

On Friday we spent the day with good friends at Rietvlei dam reserve - it is really just a bit of nature just around the corner. And although we did not see anything very exciting (but the rhinos far in the distance) we had a lovely day, braaing a bit of boerewors and chatting to friends. I just love how all our kids can entertain themselves with absolutely nothing - we took no toys with us (intentionally - there was a little Ferari in the car by chance) and they had a great time just playing around.The very best kind of play if you ask me - the creativity ran high making up games etc.
The city right there behind the dam.

Lovely picnic area - lots of peace and quiet.
A great day to climb a tree - the two big girls spent a lot of time in it and the other 4 also had to try and climb it.

Such a refreshing day - food for the soul.

What I would like to know is how well your kids do with a "no toy" situation?

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Oh hallo!

So I have been rather quiet around the blogworld and social media world lately. Well, lets exclude Instagram which is really so easy and fast. The point is that I have loved taking a bit of a break and suspect I will never catch up on my reader though. But I did finish a lovely book, did some crafting, some cooking and organizing.

I really wanted to go away for this long weekend ( all of 5 days for the out of South Africa friends if you put in 1 day of leave), but alas, our usual places were all booked up so we decided to stay home. It has been lovely though, well most of it. The rest have been fine too - not too much issues with the kids and I do feel like I have had a bit of a holiday.

We did spend a bit of time in some of our city's kid friendly offerings, some time with family and friends and quite a bit of time at home and the weather has been fantastic. I will post some photo highlights later.

Hope your weekend has been great and looking forward to see those posts filled with happy holiday snaps - be it around home or away.