Friday, 28 November 2008

Just before this weekend, a bit about the last one...

On Saturday morning I took the kids and The Little Miss' BFF Emma to my mom's for a visit. She had her 3 friends from her teaching days there - all now retired for more than 10 years but still meeting often. We call them the Golden Girls - if you remember the TV show? One of them brought her grandson Charles along and the bigger kids had great fun playing with plastic dinosaurs. At the end they buried them and had an archaeological dig - I can remember us playing in mud and water as kids but we certainly did not know at age 4 that dinosaurs were dug up by archaeologists. Maybe this all had to do with our local museums great dinosaur programme for the pre-schools that all 3 did with their respective schools.

The archaeological dig'

Rushing to get water to make a bit bigger mess, no doubt.

The team of intrepid archaeologists - nice an clean! Wow! Took me two days to get the mud out of the two girl's clothes.

And washing their finds. Look at granny's fountain - in general all clean and sparkly. Took her and the gardener a whole day to clean out but being a gran just laughs about it and says they can do it again any day they want.

And the two little men, suppose to take a nap, but had none of that. Enjoyed all the attention from the 4 grans and slept for hours the afternoon.

So, what did we do the rest of the weekend?

The kids gave us the gap (and we planned around it) to do some major tasks in the house. We just don't seem to find the time to do very much needed work. And with some clever planning and very good kids we did it! It is just a start (but a very good one).

Today I am thankful for a great staff team at work - without them I would be lost.

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

We are attending the local chapter of SAMBA (South African Multiple birth association) Christmas party and year end function tomorrow afternoon. Below is the photograph taken at our Spring meeting on the 27th September. Attending were 8 sets of twins and one set of triplets with siblings, parents and grandparents.

Head over to Carrie to see who else is playing along. If I take a wild guess there will be many Thanksgiving pics to appreciate.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

5 Things Thursday...

I just love lists. I make lists of everything, I even make lists of my lists. And I love ticking off items on a list. I even have a special little Moleskine diary with your days of the week on the left side and place for lists on the right (ok they say notes - I say lists).

So a while ago I started doing "5 Things Friday" to address my list addiction and I have to say that quite a few readers love the lists. But Fridays have miles of other things going on in the blogging world, so I thought I'll do this on Thursdays. And maybe, just maybe some of my blogging friends will join in.

So, for today:
5 Things I am looking forward to in the next two weeks:

1. Friday night is The Little Miss' school concert. This was up to last week disguised as just a "Carols by candlelight" but we parents were surprised by an invite to the concert on Friday. I just love events like this to see your little one grow and express themselves.

2. On Saturday afternoon we are attending our local chapter of SAMBA (South African Multiple birth society) Christmas party. Santa will be visiting so the Little Miss should be thrilled. I am expecting laughter from little man L and tears from little man C.

3. On Sunday we are having our yearly family photos done. I have made a conscious decision that I will enjoy it and have banished thoughts of last year. Dad has promised to come along to help but will not pose. I am ok with that.

4.On Thursday I will hit the big four-oh! Yes, I am entering the naughty forties! Wow, I am still not even used to being 30. But yes, I will celebrate this birthday! With all of my heart.

5. On Saturday we will celebrate my birthday in the way I chose. No party. We will be doing an adrenaline activity. Yes, I am not going to say more - but watch this space next week.

So girls, why not join in? Maybe you have 5 things to look forward to. Maybe you have 5 things to do today. Or whatever. Why don't you join in and let me know.

Today I am thankful for my daughters sweet sweet prayer last night. And because she said at the end:" I love you Jesus. Amen"

And a happy thanksgiving to all the American girls.

Playing along!
Barbara at A Tale of toe twinkies is the first one to play along. Check out her list.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Way back Wednesday

Timeline: September 2005
The Little Miss was about 8 months old and Granny Annie was visiting from Port Elizabeth. What I love about this photo is the way the two grannies are completely absorbed by their first grandchild.

Join Cheryl at Twinfatuation for some more great memories every Wednesday.

Today I am thankful for a quiet morning in the office (and not on a building site and time to catch up on my administration and other work).

Monday, 24 November 2008

Crazy times!

Let me try to explain why I am so quiet at present. Well, in South Africa everything comes to an end at the end of the calender year. The schools close for our long summer holidays, the building and industrial sectors close for a month for the summer holidays. And yes, we also have Christmas. This off course means that we have a hectic social and work calender at present. I have 3 projects finishing, and am spending days on end on building sites in extreme heat. And I am tired, really tired. This year had been way too long.

Off course, socially it is heating up to being very very busy. So much so that until the end of our work year, our weekends are packed. And some weeknights as well - there are Christmas functions, end of project functions etc.

So please do not feel affronted that I am not visiting or commenting - I promise I will catch up. And ditto for publishing posts - I am really doing the best I can. Love and light to you all.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Phriday photo phinish phiesta

A little bit of the African landscape for your enjoyment. This was taken in the Free state province in December 2007 - a good rain season, near the little town of Bethulie.

Pop over to Carrie to see who else is playing along.

Dear mom in the baby changing room.

Dear fellow mom in the baby changing room at our local shopping centre,

That friendly smile and nod just did not do it for me. Could you not see the absolute disbelieve and anger in my eyes? Could you not notice the tears on my boy's cheeks? And could you not hear them crying ( more correct screaming) while you were having you 10 minute long telephone conversation in the baby changing room?

I am sure your kid will never cry like that because she has a runny tummy and nasty nappy rash due to teething. No, she is just so perfect in her little boutique dress and top of the range Jeep pram - the cuteness just oozes. And I am sure you needed the room for the 2 minutes it takes to change her nappy - but did you really have to have a heart to heart with your best friend there and then. As if it is the most comfortable and attractive area in the world. For 10 freaking minutes! And ignore my hammering on the door and crying kids?

Sincerely, the mom with two boys with runny noses, tummies and an impatient 3 year old.

Today I am thankful for good quality nappies. Enough said!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Way back WHEN sday

I have booked our family photo shoot about a week ago, to have the pictures in time for Christmas cards. I am considering dressing options for us and had a look back at our previous shoots:

Timeline: July 2005. The Little Miss was almost 6 months old when we did this.

Timeline: November 2005. The Little Miss was 10 months old. I won this photo shoot with the digital images in a competition, so we used it for our Christmas cards that year. It was great to have the puppies with us. We didn't do one in 2006 as we had two in 2005 (and I could not get dad to agree on doing a third one in two years) so we used this picture as our 2006 photo.

Timeline: First week in December 2007 - The Boys were 11 weeks old, The Little Miss almost 3. We had the shoot in our home with the photographer setting up a studio in our lounge. The plan was to have the puppies with us but we found it so tiring with the kids that we gave up on that idea. We got some really good photos though (see my sidebar).

This year we will be without dad - last year really got to him (well it got to me as well, I almost didn't feel up to doing a shoot ever again and I just have to block the memory of last year's), but at least we will have a nice one of the kids (I hope) and me.

Pop over to Cheryl to see who else is playing along.

And I am going to copy Cheryl and Debi in doing a gratitude items every time I post - I have been keeping a gratitude journal (a la Oprah) for more than 10 years and really find it lifts the spirits and keep me grounded). I hope you girls do not mind.

Today, I am thankful for... a good night's sleep! What a difference it makes - we had a very rough night the night before last and I am seriously over worked.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Two for Twosday

One of my favourite photos of The Boys - taken when they were 5 months old at my mom's - just before this blog started, with my phone's camera.

Head over to Deanna to see who else is playing along.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

A Busy weekend, as per usual.

The weekend started with a quiet Friday night, watching an episode of "Long way down" and spending some time with the dear hubby.

On Saturday morning The Little Miss and I paid a visit to the local farmers market. It was still very wet and muddy so dad and the Boys stayed at home. I have published pictures previously, but some things to buy (apart from the obvious meat, vegetables, dairy and fruit):

Plants for your garden.

Pails and pails full of beautiful Gerberas.

And stunning Proteas - our national flower. The smaller pink ones are called Sugarbush and the large one is a King Protea. These we bought for granny. They will keep up to a month and a half in water and are very heavy. There were a whole bunch of American girls buying some (judging from the accents). We have a lot of embassy, UNICEF, UN, Aid organizations etc working from Pretoria.

And some bloody good coffee.

The Little Miss spent the morning after her swimming lessons with gran and we picked her up for a party at about 2. It has been raining on and off for almost a week, and Saturday afternoon was no exception - during the thunder storm the kids had the cake, sweets etc. After that the 3 girls enjoyed the dolls house but later joined the boys on the slide in the light rain.

It was a Blue Bulls party - our local rugby team.

To her dad's dismay The Little Miss had two "Blue Bulls" temporary tattoos! He supports the Stormers.

The Boys just loved their helium balloons.

And remember the 3 little girls from my Way back Wednesday post this week? Here's The Little Miss and Jeannedre - all dressed up!

And The Little Miss and Tyra having fun with the foam.

This weekend will be much quieter - thank goodness, I am exhausted.

Friday, 14 November 2008

5 things Friday..

Yikes guys, it's been a very busy week. My apologies, I am so behind on reading your blogs and commenting.

We attend a church with a very large congregation - what is know here as a Makro congregation. Due to that we have several services on a Sunday and we attend what is known as the family service, designed for families with children under 13. The service is in simple language, and is co-led by a preacher and a puppet that "speaks" for the children and involves lots of music and the chance for the little ones to get up on the stage and sing and do movements on the music. This past Sunday the subject for all the services was communication in the family, and we were given the 5 phrases/ words that should never be used in a family as it stops communication. We have made this a motto for our home.

So, for 5 things Friday, never use the following in your home:

1. You always do this or that - for instance, you always let your toys lie around, or you are always late.
2. You never do this or that - you never wash the dishes, etc.

3. Why can't you? Why can't you make the coffee for a change? An instant accusation.

4. Just leave it!/ Just forget about it! When you are failing to make another member of the family understand what you are trying to explain. Persist and talk until you understand.

5. Because I say so! Not a good enough reason for anything. Try to explain, always. This breeds understanding and communication in the family.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

Cheryl at Twinfatuation hosts Way back Wednesday every week.
Timeline: Late November 2005 (Little Miss @ 10 months on the left, friends Jeannedre and Tyra)
Description: The last Moms & Miracles meeting for the year and Christmas party. This is the 3 little girls that was in the class and we are all still friends. Just this weekend we had a party for one of the boys that were in the class and all 3 girls had such fun. Pop over again to see what they look like today.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Two for Twosday

Bad, bad blogger me! I still have not shown you most of our holiday photos from way back in September. So, for today's Two for Tuesday - me and my pretty little princess in a self portrait style photograph at Ramsgate's lagoon park. The two of us escaped from the testosterone faction of the family to do some shopping and a milkshake. Head over to Deanna who gracefully hosts this every week.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta

I've been hinting at the crazy work schedule I am keeping at the moment. Let me tell you a bit more about this. I am acting as supervising architect on a project of 54 high class houses, a clubhouse and a guardhouse. The project is nearing completion and we literally have to inspect, list faults and check if these are corrected in every nook and corner. It is long hours outside in the sun in high temperatures (Monday was an exhausting 36 degrees C - that is 97 degrees F and the African sun is very very hot. Today is raining, so we worked until the rain became to hard and everything was done to could be inside the houses. And what do I find waiting for me at the office? Lovely flowers, and in the orange striped packet, sunblock - all from the developer as a thank you for our effort. Some men knows just how to keep a woman happy and focused on her work!

Pop over to Carrie to see who else is playing along.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A discovery that wil change the way parents think about television.

Check out these little guys below - they are completely mesmirized. Is it Barney? No, The Boys have absolutely no interest in Barney. Is it Baby Einstein? Nope - that only keeps them busy for about 5 minutes. Noddy? Nope.

It's Andre Rieu in Wunderland!
Barney and Pavlov has been dethroned by a funny looking Dutchman with a ugly hairstyle and freeky white frilly shirts playing a violin!
After my mom noticed that The Little Miss was busy watching another Andre Rieu DVD with her, she bought her this one - featuring faeries, dwarfes, princesses etc. And now The Boys are hooked! They LOVE it! They sit for a whole half an hour and then some. And the best - they get to listen to all the very nice brain developing music - the Mozart effect for free! This is a huge discovery in parenting I think! We waltz, clap and sing along. Great fun.
And if you do not know who Andre Rieu is - he is a conductor who decided to make classical music more accessable to the masses creating spectacular concerts. Worth checking out this one for the little people in our life.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

Timeline: August 2005
The Little Miss (on the left) at 8 months, friend Roosje (middle), 9 months and BFF Emma (alomst 2). I can not believe how much they have grown! It feels like "just the other day".

Join Cheryl at Twinfatuation to see who else is playing along.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Two for Tuesday

On Tuesdays Deanna hosts "Two for Tuesday" for any adorable two-somes. My two-some for today is The Little Miss and her Angelina Ballerina mouse - remember the story about the crushed fingers at the dentist? She loves her ballerina mouse as she does anything pink, frilly and girly.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Thank you all!

For your loving comments and shearing in our laughter (and tears at times). Just to add to the previous post and to answer Debi's question: Honestly, I am not surprised by his studies. I find that lots of moms I know with multiples have at least one twin with "issues". I just wonder if it's the prematurity or the medication lots of moms have to ingest while pregnant to stay pregnant.... - he did discuss this with me. Off course prematurity plays a role, he also treats a lot of singleton preemies, but the actual birth also plays a role - he does advocate C sections for twins as is now standard procedure in SA private health care, but also other issues. He mentioned something that the Embryologist also mentioned to me during my pregnancy - the human body is not "designed" to carry more than one baby - we have one optimum place in a womb to attach a baby and with twins the second baby (or more in the case of higher order multiples) do not attach in an optimum place and will therefore not get the optimum nutrition, oxygen etc as the first baby - also not optimum space which can be an issue in hypotonic babies. In our case, yes, little man L is definitely the second baby - we know that from the embryologist reports during the pregnancy. Little man L also had a true knot in his umbilical cord and it was wound twice around his neck - these issues are also more prevalent with twins. He also has huge issues with fertility specialists not informing prospective parents with the risks involved with multiples. This was also one of the questions he asked me - if they were fertility treatment babies. This is also an issue he is addressing in his study. He was not prepared to divulge if this is a factor that increases problems.

Well, officially I am addicted to blogging - I started this post at 5:30 am - I woke up when the hubby left and what did I do with the half hour before my alarm clock goes off - not sleep, read etc, no blogging! Well, I can hear a baby waking up, time to go. I am working outside on a building site today and the temperature is 35 degrees C (95 F) and 95% humidity. Geez - we are going to boil in the sun - I am going to be so exhausted tonight. Have a great day .

Saturday, 1 November 2008

I don't really know how to say this....

but he is absolutely fine! The Neurologist did a 1 hour evaluation, playing with him, testing muscles, co-ordination, etc and is convinced that we do not need a scan and that he is a normal intelligent functioning boy. He just has a bad case op hipotonic muscles and happens to have a crease next to the eye probably merely a physical feature.. According to him Little man L shows all the symptoms including his weight/ height ratio and has assured me that I do not need to worry about his weight gain as he has enough fat, but very little muscle. He is also happy that we have now stopped the PT as he is crawling in the correct manner and suggest going back for an evaluation at age 4. He told me not to worry at all when he starts walking as it is not an important milestone for him as a neurologist and in Little man L's case. He is impressed with his fine motor skills and skill for placing objects which he normally expects at around 15 to 18 months - also normal behaviour for a child with low muscle tone. In short - all is fine! I am on cloud 9, despite a very sore foot and being very tired.

Thank you all for your very kind words, prayers, thoughts etc etc - it really means the world to me to know that you were all behind us.

Everybody warned me that this doctor, although brilliant, is not a people person - that is why I wanted to go to the other one. But he was extremely friendly and communicative with us - maybe we just caught him on a good day. Little man L also did his "charm thing" - gosh, that kid will charm his way out of trouble one day - we will have to be on the lookout for that.

What I found really interesting is the statement made that " You do not know how blessed and lucky you are to have normal healthy twins". So I asked him about that. He says that half his practice consists of multiples, the other half is mainly preemies, motor vehicle accident and near drowning victims and assorted other singletons. He tells me that he is currently busy with a study (which he asked if he could use our data for) about the occurrence of neurological problems and other related - including cerebral palsy and autism in multiples. Could be interesting to see the results.

But all in all, we are truly blessed. He was impressed with what he calls my very well managed pregnancy and asked for my gynea's name. I can not wipe the smile off my face - you see, I just can not stop saying that. We celebrated by having date night and going out for a nice bottle of South African Souvignon blanc and a seafood platter for 2. For interest sake, we saw 5 people dressed up for Halloween. Not big at all here. I hope yours were great - I will try to have a look at all the photos asap.