Saturday, 31 January 2009

It's tough when a piece of your heart is walking around outside your body....

That is one of my dear hubby's favourite sayings. I am sitting here tonight with my laptop, in bed as H is working late. I have the alarm system on (yeah, we live in a crime ridden country) and I am praying that once he finishes his work, he gets home safely. I am also getting up every 30 minutes or so to tend to a niggly Little man L who seems to be getting a cold. I have just propped up his matres and have already given him some paracetamol and nose decongestant. And I am so worried about him. My regular readers will know that this poor child is my little weak birdie - he is always the one that gets sick, he is also the low muscle tone and eye problems. A cold will turn into more in no time.

And then I think of how Jessica Kate must be feeling tonight A piece of her heart is dying - little Tuesday is dying. Please pray for the family.

Edit to add: I have just learnt that Tuesday passed away last night.

Friday, 30 January 2009

A quick update.

I have miles of stuff to blog about and many posts way behind their almost expiry date for being relevant at all, but I thought a quick update on us all is appropriate.

The charming and delightful hubby H has started a course at our local university in order to do a slight adjustment in his career path. I am all excited for him. He is really unhappy at his current job - yes, they are abusing him because he gets things done and the sucker he is, keeps on doing everything. He keeps on winning Employee of the year awards, to what benefit, I ask you? Well, maybe it is Calvinistic work ethic. But being a white male South Africa, jobs are not exactly jumping out at him. This will bring a whole new angle to his propositions. I will support him with all I can.

My mom - her eye has finally, after 5 operations and one consulting room procedure, been declared as saved. Now, for the knee replacement. Her appointment is in March.

Dear Lucy our nanny has still not found a room near to us to stay in for week nights. Currently she is sleeping in the room with The Little Miss for the 4 nights a week. This can not continue indefinitely. We have looked at another home to buy, but yes, not the best of economic time to do this. I actually fell in love with this house - needs a mile of work, but gosh, the kitchen! Well, just forget about it. I am actually aching for space to spread my wings in my house.

The Little Miss is loving her ballet and is starting with pottery classes next week. She has been kept behind for a quarter in the grade000 class to gain confidence (as she was the youngest in her class) and this is working so well.

Little Man C is running, not walking any more. He is growing so strong and heavy! He is building huge towers of blocks (something his brother's been doing for a while), up to 10 or 11 blocks.

Little Man L is slowly growing used to his glasses. We got the devastating news from the retina specialist that the growth of nerve sleeves behind his retina can not be fixed and that it will stay with him for life. Now we need to make the most of the sight he has in that eye and to keep the other as well as possible.

The Boys are having a check-up at the nurse on Wednesday so I will then give a 16 month report.

The In-laws are doing well. It is my MIL birthday today, but this is overshadowed by the death last night of H's uncle and her brother in law, George. Thank goodness we made a plan to see him in December when we were at the coast as he was already very weak. He has been battling emphysema for more than a year.

The Dubai in-laws are doing well - my BIL is currently on a 4 day visit to South-Africa for work and slept over with us on Wednesday evening. He will spend tonight with his parents (he flew over for a day).

And finally - me, myself, I spent yesterday in bed with a tummy bug. Not really well yet, but getting better. Now if I can only get rid of the aching body...

Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta

I have no idea what plant this is , but at the moment we have at least 20 blooms in yellow and orange in our garden, and each one is huge!

Pop over to Carries to see who else is showing off photos today.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Way back WHENsday: Our story, part 3.

I had a look at my wedding post yesterday and decided that it is high time to continue our story.

We had a lovely and relaxing honeymoon on the beautiful Comores islands. It was just perfect, completely out of reach of family and friends and like a dream come true. A real paradise and very romantic from a sunset cruise on a yacht to a beach dinner of caryfish by candlelight. The lake behind us is an old valcano crater.

We started looking for a house to buy soon after our wedding but only got the right place at the right price in the right area in August of 2001 and moved in on the 10th of October. It has always been my hubby's dream to have a Labrador and we decided that we could each get a dog of our choice, but we would do it about 6 months apart. I gave him the first option as my mind at that stage was not made up about which type of dog I wanted. We started scanning the newspapers for Labradors and on the 4th of November a little sand coloured furball ran straight into my arms at a breeder. We were lucky, it was a female like we wanted and not reserved by someone else. She slept in my arms all the way home and we became a family of 3. We named her "Moya" -meaning wind or spirit in Zulu. It seemed appropriate for a little dog that ran so fast. And it has proved itself very appropriate - she is an extremely athletic Labrador of the American breeding pattern and would have made an excellent gun dog if we had the knowledge and time to train her. We did train both our dogs with the clicker training method until level 2 and they are a joy to have.

I soon made up my mind to get a beagle as my choice of dog but as the time approached to start looking for my dog, I grew to love our Labrador more and more. What is not to love about a lab? Intelligent, loving and heaps pf character. So I changes my mind and started looking for a black or brown female - H decided that we wanted two girls. After extensive search H surprised me on the 28th of March 2002 (which happened to be the Thursday before Good Friday) with a little black bundle of fur. She was smaller and weaker than Moya was when we got her but immediately made her presence felt in the home. We named her Sibongile (or as we call her, Bongi) which means "To be thankful or grateful" in Tswana. It seemed apt to give that name to a dog that became part of our family in Easter.

So we had a couple of wonderful years, camping often (we have a very keen house and dog sitter) and also taking weekends and holidays often with the puppies. They became used to travel (Moya travelled to my In -laws at the age of 3 months - and 11 hour trip) and we had some great rips together. And yes, children were not on our minds at all - we after all decided not to have kids.

For some more Way-backs, head over to Cheryl's top play along.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Remember when...

Go over to Eli's lids - Kara's blog and link up your wedding post. I just love weddings, so go over there to read about many more. I'm linking!

Two for Twosday

The ever so charming and delightful H gave me the opportunity to spend Saturday night with a group of my friends while he stayed home with the kids. It was a special occasion as two of our friends were visiting from abroad - the one from the Netherlands(he immigrated a few years ago) and the other from Nigeria (where he is working on contract for a telecommunication company).We do not have a babysitter on a Saturday night, so we have sometimes literally play tag and give each other a chance to get out alone.

My friend Jewls' daughter Roule and her friend Michelle gave a performance of 2 songs to a group of 9 grown ups of which they only know me and another girl. They are only 11 years old, so I thought that they had heaps of courage and a lot of charm. They really warmed our hearts.

Pop over to Deanna's to see who else is playing along. You will find lots of great two-somes to warm your heart.

Monday, 26 January 2009

The princess had a great birthday - part 1

The Little Miss had a lovely extended birthday, mainly because hers was still in the school holidays and we postponed the actual celebrations to after the schools opened. Therefore I will do 3 posts just to re-cap what happened.
On her actual birthday, she crawled into our bed early, and we sang "Happy Birthday" and gave her her gifts from us.
She was delighted with the "Sleeping Beauty" and "Little Mermaid" DVDs that H got her.
And off course the princess dress, gloves, shoes and tiara that I got her was a hit.

Just look at our little Princess - the dress has 4 layers of material in the skirt and bead and flower details - she wore her dress to church. The two of us went to church as the Boys slept late and stayed with dad. In our church it is custom to sing to everybody that has their birthdays on the Sunday, and she was the only one present. So she had to get up on the bench and everyone sang to her. Many people, friends and strangers came over to give her some great wishes and blessings. She was thrilled with all the attention.

After church we met my mom at the Spur - South Africa's only real family restaurant. After lunch the staff came with an ice-cream with sparklers and sang Happy Birthday to her - but yes, mom's camera's battery was flat - so I missed that moment. But she had great fun.

The attendant at the play section painted her face like a cat to match her Hello Kitty outfit.

Dad and Little Man C.

Gran and The Little Miss.
Little man L and me - you can see he did not feel great. The tonsillitis was already creeping up on him.

Me and my little poppet.

She spent the rest of her day playing with Cinderella's Ballroom by Mega Blocks which she got from her brothers for her birthday. I can really recommend this to all moms with girls that love construction toys and off course, Disney's princesses. And the blocks fit with Lego's Duplo blocks!
And the very fancy baby doll gran gave her - very little interest! She is playing with her Barbies, but not at all with her baby dolls. Is this normal? Maybe later she will strat playing with her babies.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Phriday photo phinish phiesta

Some more moments from our December holiday - this is an Ostrich up close and personal - she ate out of my hand! The Ostrich is the world's biggest bird and is commercially farmed is South Africa for their excellent healthy meat, skin and feathers. It is also indigenous to South Africa and is represented in our National parks.

They are huge and can deliver a kick that have killed grown men, but these are in a touch farm and used to people (and behind wire!)

Head over to Candid Carrie for some more great Friday Fotos.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

What a busy day!

Yesterday was such a busy day! I had an almost full day of work and did some more.

The Little Miss had her first ballet lesson yesterday. I was so proud of my little girl - she showed heaps of confidence and just proceeded to do everything the teacher asked them to do. She was so eager to start and to ballet just like Barbie.

Learning to walk on tippy toes and curtsy.

Ready in front of the line to do her dance.

And what is cuter than a 4 year old in ballet gear.

And saying thanks to Grammy who is paying for the lessons and taking her every Wednesday.

Little man L got his glasses. And yes, by golly, he is wearing them! He does take them off now and again, but most of the time it is going well.

Our little professor.

We had a great good-bye dinner with friends Thomas and Sarita who are leaving for the US on Sunday for at least two years, possibly forever. He got a great offer form the Pennsylvania University in Hershey and she will have to learn to be a SAHM - she is currently an attorney.

The men having a cheers!

And what is better than a great cocktail?
We are already looking forward to their first holiday back in July.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Way back WHEN-sday.

To go with yesterday's Two for Tuesday, here is The Little Miss and her teacher Leah on her birthday celebration at school last year. Yes, she is wearing a sweater, it was cold and rainy. Exceptional for January.

And here is the "cake" in a bit more detail. I love to make birthday cakes. This was build out of cupcakes to make it easier to hand out at the school.
For some more trips down memory lane, head over to Twinfatuation.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

My little Braveheart.

Oh gosh guys, my heart is aching so much for my Little man L. Why does everything that goes wrong have to be with him? I wish I could give him a break but true to his personality he is taking it all in his stride.

We had him at a Strabism Eye specialist yesterday as the Paediatrician suspected that he has a "lazy eye" due to his low muscle tone. It turns out he has many more problems than just that. His one eye is -6 - guys, the glasses for that is like a coke bottle bottom. He had us looking through it to see how much he can actually see with that eye - like nothing! Just a blur of colour. His other eye is perfect. He also has the "sleeves" that cover the nerves to the retina growing over the retina and blocking about a third of the retina. This is the opposite of what happens to Hipotonic children - their "sleeves" stop too short and have to grow. We now have to take him to a retina specialist to confirm this. The course of action is glasses - they can only correct to a -3 as the correction is too big and the glasses will be too heavy for him. He will then be monitored to see if there is any improvement as well as if the nerves grow into the sleeves or they recede.

I will know more on Friday, but for now the challenge is to get a 15 month old to wear glasses and to stop his twin brother from pulling them off. As preparation while his glasses are being made, we are all wearing our glasses at home to show him that it is pretty normal to wear glasses. When he is older he will be able to wear one contact lens, but the doctor can really not predict what will happen in future. At least we know he has one good eye!

If I can once more ask your prayers for God to heal his eye, to rectify the retina. I know that a lot of children are dying and very sick (please continue praying for little Tuesday as I am), blind etc, but I also know that God in His grace can heal in infinite grace. Thanks for your love and support!

Two for Tuesday

I am busy doing posts for The Little Miss' birthday celebrations. But in the meantime ( as I am running around like a mad person), this is me and the Little Miss at her birthday celebration at school on Friday.

Go and have a look at Deanna's blog for more great Two-somes, Two-fers etc.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Phriday photo phinish phiesta

I have so many Photos to share after our holiday, but for today, let's stick with nature. Africa is known for many things - corrupt governments, crime and bribery and disease. But it is also known for it's friendly people, The Big 5 of game (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) and yes, the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

This was the sunset on the 2nd of January on the farm near Bethulie in the Free State through my creative lens:

And a more conventional view:

Pop over to Carries to play along with Friday photo finish - you often find lots of lovely pictures to look at.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

What's up?

Well, you may be asking that! I have returned to work on Monday after a 4 week holiday - our yearly summer break when the building industry closes. It was great, but tough. I have even more respect for you who are SAHM! I am truly exhausted after my 3 weeks of being this. Adding to that is 3 nights with very little sleep - Little man L has tonsillitis and Little man C might have the beginnings of asthma.

Over the holidays the plan was to catch up on some sleep, but alas! Did not happen. I tried to give H the chance in the very short week and a half he had his holiday and then never got the chance to do this myself - but that is another post on its own all together. And my excellent sleeper, The Little Miss was a very bad sleeper while we were on holiday. Ugh!

I am also busy with the preparations for her birthday party on Saturday which is turning out to be a huge affair. We are in the midst of making party boxes, decorations etc - but I love doing all this myself so I am not complaining - just tired. And the sweet hubby is so eager to help - he is truly a star!

Way back WHEN-sday

Today is "Back to school" day for all the children in the non-coastal provinces in South-Africa, and The Little Miss is no exception. She was quite keen to go when we were home but saying good-bye after a 5 week holiday and heaps of time with mom was tough.
Going back for Way back When-sday - The Little Miss' very first day at school in January 2007 - she was 2 years old and loved every minute of spending time with some new friends.

Have a look at Cheryl's for some more "Way- backs" and share your memories!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Two for Tuesday

I have so many great Twosomes after the holidays, but today, it is me and my little Princess, on the farm with the gorgeous Free state sunset behind us.
Have a look at Deanna's for some more great Twosomes and play along!

What a year 2008 has been!

2008 has been at the same time the most trying and also most amazing year of my life! It has certainly been the most exhaustive.

As a family we have survived the first year of raising twins and a 3 year old and we have finally snapped out of pure survival mode into doing more for ourselves and really living life again. Well, we hope to. That is our family's resolution for 2009.

On a personal level I have grown tremendously - I have experienced a huge growth in my dependency and love of God, I have grown as a mother and I have grown towards trying to take better care of myself on all levels. I am also 7 kg (15,4 pounds) lighter than I was before I became pregnant with the twins and am now in a relatively good weight ( last time I weighed this little was in the first year of our marriage), although not shape - gosh, if I could only move fat around I'd look great! I also read 21 books this year - it is down from my average of about 35 a year, but not bad for a working mom of 3, I think.

So, this was our year in pictures and words:

Started with a visit to the farm near Bethulie in the Free State.

The Boys were tiny tots and still shared a camping cot on holiday - Little man C on the left and L on the right.

The Little Miss had her 3rd birthday party with a butterfly theme.

The Boys both learned to roll and hold their toes and I had to give supplementary formula for the first time. They also sat in their Bumbo seats for the first time - we had to prop Little man L with a blanket.

We had a day trip to our local game reserve.

My mom celebrated her 72nd birthday.

The Boys grew in leaps and bounds.

The In-laws came to visit for Easter and H's birthday.

And we had a family get-together with my cousins on H's birthday.

I started this blog.

The Boys started on home-cooked solids.

The Boys had a week long hospital stay due to RSV and Bronchiolitus.

The Boys both cut their first teeth about 5 days apart. Little man L had his second hospital stay of 4 days.

And we celebrated becoming an aunt and uncle for the very first time when little Madelein was born.

Little Man C says "Mamma" - his first word and claps his hands

The In-laws came to visit on their way to and back from Dubai where they went to visit little Madelein.

H went on a hunting trip and I flew solo at home for the first time. Little man L said "Pappa" - his very first word and clapped his hands. We had to move The Boys' cribs apart and they slept not being able to touch each other for the very first time in their lives.

The Minivan became part of the family and twin prison got erected in anticipation of mobile babies.

Little man C crawled on the 10th of August after just a week of sliding.

The Little Miss drew her first recognisable drawings. Little man L started with physiotherapy and even The Little Miss' dolls did their exercises every day.


On the 4th of September Little Man L started leopard crawling well and at last he was mobile. Uncle Werner came for a quick visit from Dubai.

We attended SAMBA's Spring day at the Lory park Zoo. We are holding a Caracal kitten.

We had a lovely holiday at San Lameer.

We celebrated The Boys' first birthday.

On the 7th Little Man L did his first crawl at the Physiotherapist. At last we had two crawlers.

H led a trail in the Pilansberg National park and I flew solo again. On the 30th we got great news from the Neurologist for Little man L. The Little Miss and daddy build a birdhouse - the first of many craft projects.

On the 2nd Little Man C stands on his own.

And the Little Miss has her school concert.

On the 1st Little Man C took his first steps and on the 10th Little man L stood on his own.

On the 4th we celebrated my 40th birthday.

My BIL and SIL and little Madelein came for a visit. The 4 cousins together for the first time.

And we had a family get together with my cousins. The next generation in the picture.

We had a lovely holiday and celebrated Christmas at home.