Monday, 30 June 2014

Every morning I wait with abaited breath....

to see what Timehop has to offer. Honestly I totally love this app. Maybe just second to Instagram. Truly seeing those pics and status from years ago often tug on my heart strings. Last week it offered my tiny baby boys on their Ybikes. Just a few days before the Princess at 6 with no front teeth. Sweet memories. Yesterday though the memories were not that sweet. My thankfulness that we have moved on though was HUGE!
For those who have not "known"us for this long, Mr L only started sleeping through consistently about 2 years ago - at more than 4 and a half years of age. Up to a stage Mr C was also a rather bad sleeper but with Mr L it was what happens to Neuro A typical kids - the over active mind in the middle of the night. (It is well documented on the blog - just search sleep) He would be awake between 2 to 5 nights a week for periods of 2 to 4 hours a night. Talking, trying his best to sleep, but really not able to. We sometimes now still have single nights - once every 3 months or so, like Friday night where he woke up at 1:30 and only fell asleep again at about 4:30.

We tried everything - brushing, melatonin, routines, baths - we even imported a weighted blanket. Something like this can not be countered with sleep training or anything like that. It is totally outside of the usual range of things. I can not really tell you what worked in the end - I guess a bit of everything. With him going firstly on Ritalin and now on Concerta it was often my first worry - that bad sleeping would return. But luckily after a night or so with every changeover he was back on track.

I often wonder how much developmental damage was done to that little brain - would he have less delays if he slept better? I know that it really challenged my attention span at work as well as my performance. Heavens, I even developed high cholesterol from sleep deprivation. Would we have been looking at non mainstream schooling for him if he slept better? I guess its pretty much the chicken and the egg situation. I guess I have spent more than my usual awake hours the last few weeks about this too.

Honestly I am just grateful that we (and especially him) are sleeping well and hope and pray it continues, medication and all. And that we will find the right school and do the best we can for our little man.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

So sick and tired...

of being sick and tired.

Honestly this year has been tough - as I knew (hence my chosen word for the year - "Brave"). However things are certain to now move on to happier spaces.

My shoulder operation is over - I have been dismissed from physio and bar some exercises I have to do at home I am 95% rehabilitated and almost have full use. I have to wait for another 3 months to pick up heavy stuff - but I can live with that. The whole experience have been humbling (being so hugely dependent for 6 weeks) and I have never been more grateful for the partner in life I was given. It was also very sore (let's not bluff about that one) but I am pain free mostly now - more than I had been before the operation.

My mom is slowly moving on too - she is now without a cast the first time in almost 6 months. She is still wearing a moon boot but moving onwards.

We also lost our puppy B as some of you may know. Her whole body just gave in - pure old age. 

We bargained for all this and the usual sick kid here and there. What we did not bargain on however was the nice curve ball that hit us this weekend. Me and all 3 kids down with Influenza A - each with our own little unique package of secondary infections and each with our own little pharmacy of meds. I tell you it's no joke - cold and flu symptoms with some tummy bug stuff thrown in for fun. It was epic. At times I wanted to cry - maybe I did cry but felt to crappy to know. But today, we are all back at our posts - and tomorrow school breaks up for the holidays.

Really I need happy spaces - loving spaces - healthy spaces. Just a lot of happy please! Please! Pretty please!

Onwards with the rainbows and unicorns right now!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

And the winner of my Sasko Fathersday competition is...

No 17 which was the bloqg comment by Angel Conradie. Please email me delivery details at Congratulations! I know it is going to look stunning in your kitchen. I a, just a tad jealous

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A little Fathersday win

I have always known that I not only married the best man for me, but also the best dad any of my children could wish for. This year, more than ever he showed just how fantastic he is. With my shoulder surgery and basically being able to do very little he stood strong and kept the whole household on track.

We have a few ideas as to how we are going to make his day special but mostly we will let him choose what makes him happy. In case you are out of ideas, the kind folks at Sasko sent me a great one for Fathersday

Sasko Chouxnuts dipped in Chocolate Icing
Sasko has developed an easy yet delicious recipe that you will enjoy making as much as you will
enjoy eating it! Sasko Chouxnuts are a heavenly combination of a doughnut and a choux bun.
Decadent and chocolatey, these chouxnuts are the perfect dessert option for Father’s Day.
Choux pastry is the lightest, crispiest pastry commonly used to make puffs and ├ęclairs, but why limit
yourself to just these options? Simply reshape the pastry into a doughnut form, bake and then try a
combination of different toppings like melted chocolate, chopped nuts and cherries on the top half
of the chouxnut.
Visit the Sasko Flour Facebook page for this recipe which will be up before Sunday and more , product information and baking hints and tips.

And now for the very best part - I have one very gorgeous Carrol Boyes Bread bin (worth over R2000,00) to give away for Fathersday. Come back later today to see how beautiful this tin is! It will look wonderful in any kitchen - mine too to think of it!

To enter:
 1. Leave a comment and tell me what you are planning to make for dad for Fathersday using SASKO flour AND "like" Sasko's Facebook page. (If you already like it it's fine) 2. For an extra entry tweet about the competition mentioning my Twitter handle @catjuggles

Competition closes at 12 noon on Saturday 14 June . 

Maximum two entries per person one each of the two items above Winner will be chosen from a numerical sequence by and announced here and on Twitter. Prize will be dispatched and delivered by Sasko and their marketing company - I have no control over the timing, and is open for South African residents only. 

We have received nothing in return for running this competition. I just love to give something away. 
Comment moderation has been enabled because I seem to be under a spambot attack but rest assured I will post yours

Friday, 6 June 2014

Oh heavens! The fighting

So A and C are sometimes best friends, sometimes best enemies. They have always had the ability to totally get the other one up that ranting and raving path. They can disagree about everything. Literally everything! The one would say its a beautiful day and the other would disagree just to, well, disagree.

So yesterday afternoon they get into the car. Even before I have my door closed the first words fly! So we pick up L and for about 1 minute he gives me the rundown on his day. He has not even said his last words when the nastiness started to happen. About 500 meters on I stopped the car and ordered the two fighters out of the car to walk home. A starts crying and C stares in defiance. I open my door, open A's and order her out - walk around and does the same to C. Gosh the look I got from him! By this time A is hysterical and shaking so I let them back into the car - thinking that the lesson has been learned.

This morning we were not even out of the driveway! After I had to reprimand them twice at the dining room table. So we will have a family talk tonight - this has to stop. As I never had siblings these dynamics are a bit of a mystery to me. Because I can assure you that 10 minutes after the fight the two will be a thick as thieves and playing blissfully.

Help please! Any advice? And do your kids fight like this too?

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Silly Billy opening tomorrow!

Silly Billy is opening tomorrow in Brooklyn Mall, my favorite Pretoria mall. If you do not know Silly Billy - have a look on their website. Design team that supplies the fabrics for Big Blue's Olka Polka range manufactures for Silly Billy. They have created a junior version of Olka Polka - my favorite Big Blue brand. Its their very first retail store and the Princess can not wait to get a matchy skirt to match mom's Olka Polka skirts.

What makes me even more excited is that they will also be manufacturing their girls wear in the extra small and small sizes to cater for the tweens and teens. In a market that has very little to offer this is fantastic.Moms with girls over age/size 10 will know what I mean by this. Very few brands cater well or this age in an age appropriate and girly fashion
Disclaimer: I was in no way paid or asked to do a post by Silly Billy - this is my way of doing a public service announcement.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

So you want to be an entrepeneur? At age 6 or 9?

The rubber band looms are all the rage in the school at the moment. Apparently it has been huge overseas for a while and the craze has ran its course. Here I thought we were last out of the blocks, but we're not. So much so that the Princess has sold a few bracelets. But the market is basically saturated unless you find something brand new to do with it, you have huge competition
 So she has been asking me to help her find something to sell. Clearly she has realized that by selling something at school she can have more disposable cash than the bit of tuck shop money we give her. I agreed and then set out to find something not available in the school and at least quality. With a bit of a search I found Afrikaans Fathers day badges - and really cute ones too. And then decided that I have to give the boys the opportunity to also make a bit of profit and I will assist them each on their own level. Of course the profit will be spent on Lego apparently.

I picked up the badges on Monday and this morning Mr L in grade 0 had 6 left of his 33 to sell. I helped him by advertising on his class' Whattsapp group and his teacher has kindly offered to be the keeper of envelopes of money and badges being exchanged. We even had requests from other classes as the word spread.

Mr C has to sell on his own - I did advertise on his class' Whattsapp group but he has to sell them himself - work out the change etc. I pasted a table of number of badges and cost in the lid of his little box. He sold 11 by the end of his first day.

The Princess I sent in cold - let her do the marketing and sell. Yesterday she sold 4 - great as many kids did not have cash (the grade 3s can only go to the tuck shop on Fridays which is when most kids will have cash). She had plenty of kids that will come today with their R8 in hand as she very wisely decided not to sell without cash. And she can also sell at ballet this afternoon. I went the full length with her (and to some extend the boys too) I told her what each badge cost to buy and that they will have to refund me for my capital outlay, we talked about a fair price (the badge manufacturer gave me the guideline between R5 and R10) They agreed on R8 as it worked out on the profit they wanted and we thought it was a fair price.

We will see how this little experiment will run - many kids wanted badges for themselves and I can see us selling smiley face ones etc in future - things that are not seasonally related. I really do hope it runs well so as not to dampen the little spirits. The point is that I love that they thought like entrepreneurs - with no spurring by me, the school, or anyone else. A very useful, maybe even essential skill. In the process we are learning many other skills as well that I hope will come in handy.

(BTW if you want some - pop me a mail - I can post at an extra cost)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Exclusive books recoomendations for June

As per usual the good folks at Exclusive books picked their top 5 fiction choices for June. It's always good to keep an eye out for the new releases that may become best sellers or entertainers of note. As for me , I would not mind reading every single one of this month's books. For June we have:

The Quick
You are about to discover the secrets of The Quick - But first you must travel to Victorian Yorkshire, and there, on a remote country estate, meet a brother and sister alone in the world and bound by tragedy. In time, you will enter the rooms of London's mysterious Aegolius Club - a society of some of the richest, most powerful men in fin-de-siecle England. And at some point - we cannot say when - these worlds will collide. It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, one of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors - and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.

I Am Pilgrim
Can you commit the perfect crime? Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn't exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found face down in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder - and Pilgrim wrote the book. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.' This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things
Coney Island, 1911: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of a self-proclaimed scientist and professor who acts as the impresario of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show offering amazement and entertainment to the masses. An extraordinary swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl,and a 100 year old turtle, in her father's "museum". She swims regularly in New York's Hudson River, and one night stumbles upon a striking young man alone in the woods photographing moon-lit trees. From that moment, Coralie knows her life will never be the same. The dashing photographer Coralie spies is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community. As Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman's disappearance and the dispute between factory owners and labourers. In the tumultuous times that characterized life in New York between the world wars, Coralie and Eddie's lives come crashing together in Alice Hoffman's mesmerizing, imaginative, and romantic new novel.

The Collected Works Of A.J. Fikry
AJ Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck. 
Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life
Maya is the baby who ends up on AJ's bookshop floor with a note.
What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters?
This is the story of how unexpected love can rescue you and bring you back to real life, in a world that you won't want to leave, with characters that you will come to love.