Monday, 31 October 2011

Remember that first one,

your first LP, or in my case, seven single you bought? Gosh, excited to take it home. Putting it on the record player, moving the needle carefully over the vinyl, and waiting for the music to fill the air.I vividly remember my first - bought at the OK bazaars in Waverley. I begged my mom and she gave in and I skipped home with "I have a dream" in my 10 year old little paws - it must have been around 1979/1980. I sang out loud with Abba, I loved it. My cousin and I had fights over the correct words for the song,  and honestly, I would have to Google it to make sure. A few years later I bought my first LP with my own money - "Baby Makes her Blue Jeans talk" by Dr Hook - another great memory of tight high wasted Nine big boys jeans and paisley shirts.

Now the Princess was quite a follower of the previous season of Idols SA - somehow the last one was not followed as much. But she is an Elvis Blue fan - from early on she loved him and my, was her day made when he won. On Friday nights we cuddle and watch "Noot vir Noot" (a local music quiz show we both love - yes, I do admit it, that features a guest artist every episode) and much to her delight Elvis Blue featured. Oh my word - she moved to the Ottoman right in front of the TV and watched. I remarked that we should really buy his album an support a great local artist. On Saturday morning at the shops she saw it on the shelf, and mommy gave in - well, I would admit to enjoying the Cd tremendously. In the car, I had to put it on and immediately play her favorite, Lighthouse. And she sang, and loved it. I am wondering if she will remember this as fondly as I remember "I have a dream".
So what was that first song you bought? That first great music memory?

Friday, 28 October 2011

It's THAT time of the year again....

The time when Pretoria dresses herself in purple Jacarandas to the tourists' delight and my sinus' disaster. But yes, it is pretty and does warm most hearts every year.

To me it always signals the beginning of the end of the year - the start of the silly season, hectic programs and trying to fit everything in. I have been rather down - no , rather make it anxious the last couple of weeks - I am totally stressed (mostly about work) and the year has really been one of our toughest ever. I can feel the dark wolf chomping at my heels but am more determined than ever to win him on my own.The realization hit me today that in 6 weeks time we will be closing the office for the builders holidays - and anxiety about everything that needs to get done before then. In 8 weeks time it is Christmas and this year, I am slacking with the present department - only some stocking fillers bought and something for our little cousin. But we will be home for Christmas and I am looking forward to that. In 7 weeks time we are going on holiday - now there's a light point in all this. Another light point is this:

The Princess with her graduation invitation. Yes, without a doubt, we will be proud grade 1 parents next year. And to come back to this post, big and proud to be graduating, but clutching Blanky Bear - her little security object, that now gets stored in her memory box, but taken out again now and again for some comfort.
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Thursday, 27 October 2011

I had it!

With the constant fighting, bickering, crying. Over who chooses which DVD, get's out of the bath first or last or whatever, chooses the Bible story - I can go on and on. Constantly being accused of choosing a favorite.Of not remembering who last choose or did what.

So I took a page out of the school's book - we now have someone that is the "engine" of the day - they get to make the choices, they get to go first or last or whatever the issue might be. It is only our 4th day on it but I have to say that it worked like magic.I even had to make the rule that whoever is the engine can move the rocket ship in the morning.
So what's your magic tips for peace in the home?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The ambiguity of being 6

Mostly she is mommy's big girl, my helper and the one I can rely on to be more flexible in most situations. On Saturday she joined me for my Zumba class - the instructor announced a few weeks ago that on Saturday mornings girls over 5 are welcome to join.  They were 3 - the one 5 and the other I would guess about 9 or 10. And they had fun.And she did most of the workout not sitting out one moment- the challenge was mainly moving between the flowingness of ballet to the rhythm of the Latin steps. She does her school work with confidence, she plays her Netball and is apparently quite the goal shooter and is getting more and more independent - this morning she helped C to pour his second bowl of breakfast. She opened her book pack for grade 1 this morning (we were at the info evening last night - lots of emotions) and oohed and ahhed over every pencil and bag - excited for all it will hold.On Saturday night she and Hunter watched the whole of Lion King - until very late and although she was sad to see Mufasa die, she was not scared. She danced her first ballet exam with huge confidence. She is taking more and more responsibility for her siblings  In fact, sometimes one has to stop her from being a "little mommy" and taking too much on herself. After all she is not the adult. She is only 6.

Which I clearly saw yesterday too. When I told her the morning that we were going to the grade 1 evening the night and Lucy will be looking after them she cried. And cried. And cried some more. None of the boys were upset at all. Picking her up after school she cried again. And refused to tell me about her day. Apparently mommy is not allowed to go anywhere - daddy is ok -he can go, but mommy not. Mommy goes to bookclub too many times (it's once a month) and to girls craft night too much (once a month too - been there only twice) and out with daddy too much (we are lucky if it's once a month). So someone told me that we spoiled her by not going out and away enough. Really, I do not think it is spoiling your child by being with them - rather, maybe just a case of not used to us being away. Something she has to get used to. When I left last night it was a shower of tears again. And anger.

I will chalk it up to the ambiguity of being 6 - being on the threshold of going to big school - that first step of really growing up. But still wanting to feel sheltered and be mommy and daddy's little Princess.

It's really tough to grow up - but we are enjoying the ride, be it with tear filled eyes.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

And just like that!

Disqus is gone! At last I emailed their help desk, who first showed me that Disqus was in fact working properly on my blog and then helped me to remove it. So it's gone! So Blogger, please give us a way to comment on our comments and I will be a happy person. The main reason for removing it remains that a lot of bloggers have told me that they struggle to comment or that Disqus takes ages to load. With 45 pageviews for a post and only 8 comments, I can believe it's true! So here goes people - now is the time to emerge from your quietness and comment to heart's content. No more excuses - it's de-lurk day.!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Learning takes place in life, not just at school

On Wednesday the Princess danced her Royal Academy of Dance Primary Ballet exam. I found the whole idea slightly stressful (but I do find that most things stress me out a bit at the moment) - she, on the other hand, apart from a bit of worry a week before, did not. In fact, as I photographed her little group just before they entered the studio, she was relaxed and smiling. Good preparation goes a long way.
While they were dancing away (they were the last group of the afternoon), we had tea with their teacher and had a chat about the value of the exams - why do we do it? After all, most of the girls will never be ballerinas. A mom mentioned poise, grace and stature, another the value of learning to follow directions closely and paying attention - something one of the grade 1 teachers mentioned at the open day of her new school. (She mentioned the ballet girls and the karate and judo kids for interest). The teacher mentioned another aspect specifically pertaining to the exams - the value of doing your first test or exam outside the school environment. Learning to cope with hard work and stress before actually going to "big school".  Whatever your motivation may be, extra mural activities does add to the learning environment.

The girls returned smiling and excited and the Princess proclaimed that she will do her exam again tomorrow if she can. Such enthusiasm. Proud mommy moment.

As we drove home the first big storm with hail of the summer hit us. Gosh, it was huge.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Thursday bits and pieces

  • I am taking a sanity day tomorrow - work is hectic at the moment but one day less will not make that much difference. I just need a bit of time for myself. I am going to see Leon's play therapist in the morning for feedback - try and make a gym visit and meet old friends for morning tea. Then some sleep me thinks. Just a bit of a breather.
  • The Princess loved her ballet exam yesterday - funny girl! But I am grateful that her firs step into the world of tests and exams was positive. 
  • We had an impromptu date night last night - it was lovely. And perfect. And great to spend a bit of time just the two of us.
  • I need to decide which books to buy for bookclub for November - any recommendations?
  • The year is speeding to an end and for once I have not yet bought a single Christmas present. I do not have many to do, but I often start early. I do have a brilliant idea for the grandparents which I need to bounce off Hunter tonight.
  • Our silkworms are huge fat monsters this year - thank heavens spinning has started in all earnest as they are getting a tad gross.
  • We have a brilliant new recycling company in our area - they pick up all recyclables at the curbside in their bags that they replace every Monday as long as the items are clean and dry. Recycling made super easy and convenient.
  • I so love my iphone. 
  • I have at last started to use Google reader - and am loving it. I am slowly adding blogs so pleas cut me some time if I have not commented on yours for a while
  • I can not get rid of DISQUS. I tried to delete it again - it told me it can take up to 48 hours once again, more than that has gone, and still I have it....never, never add it! Nice is it may be.
  • And for your entertainment - the kids have a new game called - "Presenting" - that they made up - it basically consists of them dressing up and shouting "Presenting" and we clapping our hands and taking photos (some rather blurred as presenting is accompanied with dancing etc)
So what's happening on your corner of the world.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sometimes the city gets to us all

and then it's good to have a breather in one of our green city lungs. On Sunday afternoon we went for a walk around the dam (and a swim for the puppies) - some walked with joy, others lagged behind, but a break out of the ordinary to nature, how contained, is always good.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

What I did not include

in yesterday's post, for the fear that Mr Murphy is reading this blog, is that up to last night, Little Man L slept through for 7 nights. It is a first this year. Wow! Secretly that was my biggest milestone. But now I know that Murphy can read minds too.

Just to be shattered last night by first, him falling out of his bed, then the Princess with a puking incident, and then him waking again at 2 and only falling asleep after 5. Gee, am I wiped - totally. I am teary, tired, irritated and want to eat everything I am not allowed to eat - Bar One and Coke combination would have gone down so well today. It would certainly have helped me to be a wee bit more alert.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Do you know how I know the kids are really growing up fast?

Was it the fact that I had the easiest Birthday party ever with the 3 of them? Only opening a drink now and again and for the rest they played and played.

Was it Little Man C taking the hand of a crying boy on Saturday to console him and play with him and making a new friend all on his own?

Was it the great evening we had "camping" downstairs and sleeping in front of the TV on Saturday night?

Was it Little Man L joining the kids in the front of the church with so much confidence? Singing along on top of his voice with praise and worship?

Was it a little girl spotting shoes in Pick 'n Pay and saying with a very authoritive voice - "Mamma, dis net my styl" (Mommy, It's just my style?) With luck they cost a mere R29,99 and made her very very happy.

Was it the realization on Sunday that I only need to buy night nappies for one kids - we are done with the rest?

Nope, it was the cry free hair cut and hair wash episode last night. For the amount of trauma this has brought through the years I almost can not believe we have reached this milestone. Sjoe, that is a biggy!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Little Man C's favorite things right now are:

DVD:  Anything by Andre Rieu (yes I know - a bit weird) and Happy Feet
Meal: Spaghetti bolognaise and two minute noodles 
Fruit: Banana, apples and naartjies
Vegetable: Any form of pumpkin
Breakfast: Oaties or mini wheat bix
Drink: Water.
Drinking yogurt flavour: Strawberry
Sweets: Fizz pops and fizzers
Chips/crisps: Ordinary potato chips - he calls them "leeutjie chips" to the Simba lion on them
Toy: Puzzles and drawing/colouring
Colour: Red

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Little man L's favorite things right now are:

DVD: Cars, Bob the builder and Thomas the Train
Meal: Braaivleis, Fish and chips and two minute noodles
Fruit: Pineapple, strawberries and paw paw
Vegetable: Very few - in fact, he will remove them from his food but he likes raw cucumber
Breakfast: Tasty wheat porridge
Drink: Chocolate milk
Drinking yogurt flavour: Peach and Apricot
Sweets: Chomps and Jelly Tots - and any chocolate - he is quite the chocoholic
Chips/crisps: Nik naks or Cheese naks (which he calls "mannetjies chipsies" - to the man on the Nik Naks pack)
Toy: Anything with wheels
Colour: I actually do not know but as I have colour coded them from birth he tends to choose everything in blue which is "his" colour.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Her favorite things right now are:

DVD: Sound of music, Wizard of Oz and Mamma Mia (do I see a trend of musicals?)
Meal: Braaivleis, calamari and tomato soup
Fruit: Mango, litchi and watermelon
Vegetable: Red or yellow peppers - raw, eaten like an apple
Breakfast: All bran flakes
Drink: Sprite zero - I am not happy about this as I try to avoid apartane for the kids etc, but it's all I am drinking at the moment
Drinking yogurt flavour: Ganadilla
Sweets: Sugus or liquorice allsorts
Chips/crisps: Big corn bites or fritos or Ghost Pops
Toy: My little Pet shop
Colour: Pink.

I am going to do these from time to time to remember my kids' favorites years on

Monday, 10 October 2011

Some sort of catch up

Its' been a while since I posted anything of much importance here, but a lot has been going on in my life. At the same time, my apologies too as I have not much in terms of blogs in a while or left comments. But here goes:

    My 25 year Matric reunion is over and done with. I helped to organize it and have regretted the decision to help plenty of times, but at the end, I am glad I did. It provided a lot of happiness to a lot of people. I will do a post later but I am at the same time totally amazed at how much people change and how little people change in 25 years.

    Little man L is doing fine - he had a crappy Saturday and a worst Sunday but today he seems fine. All the anti-biotics (two courses in a row) wrecked havoc on his tummy, but he was also just miserable, slept crappy at night and a lot in the day. I am so glad this is over - well, mostly.

    I am heading into very busy times at work - I am at the same time very grateful for work as our industry is under great economic strain, but on the other hand rather daunted by the task at hand.

    Tomorrow night is bookclub - always a highlight in my month.It will be the first month ever where I did not read a single bookclub book! Luckily the girls are super relaxed about this - so no problem.

    On Wednesday night I will be presenting the craft for "Mom's night out" at the Boys' school. I am doing mosaics and have been cutting tiles yesterday as I have only two cutters so we need to pre-cut enough for the girls to just make something, similar to a kit.

    I have finished my big mosaic project I have been busy with for ages - am going to grout it tonight and will show it soon.

    It is going rather well with the diet/life style adjustment - my cholesterol is not under the 4 mark yet, despite the medication and diet, but should be when I see her next.After 3 weeks on it I have lost half a percentage of fat and 1,7kg (but the important part is of course not weight - that is a by product). I am also a size down on pants.

    I am going to a coffe shop to have a cup and read for lunch today - I just need a bit of time away from everybody -some quiet time.

    My sinuses are  feeling the newly emerging Jacaranda flowers. Not good news.

    I love my iphone 4! It was such a great decision. That's all.

    And I do not love blogger that is not allowing me to post this! Or save it.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

I just need to mention....

that moving from the right to the left is rather daunting.
Forgetting now that until a few months ago I had a rather smarter Nokia. So yes, I did choose an iphone and please excuse me while I am trying to train my fingers to swipe, click and pinch on a screen.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I am often surprised by the resilience of my children.

As was proofed yesterday once again when Little man L went in to have his tonsils removed.

He refuse the pre-med.
He refused to have the tags on his arm - we added them to his leg at the very last minute
And he had a huge tantrum about putting the theatre "dress" on. In fact, when he came to he immediately asked where his clothes were.
When he came to, he immediately pulled out his drip - causing a few moments of drama.
Then he had some pain meds and he and Dino and Bunny napped for close to one and a half hours.
After which he immediately tried to yank those tags off and wanted to dress and devoured jelly, ice cream, salty chips and a tin of Coke - all supplied in a cute hospital version of a party pack.
And we were home by 12:00.
It all went fine and today he is playing very happily at home. I am so thankful!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

So how did I do on the September goals.

So how did I do with the September goals? It really stressed me out to have them logged here - maybe I was just very stressed in general, but  let's see:
  1. Read "The Happiness" project and get as much as possible out of the book. ( About 2/3 read and loving it - getting heaps out of it)
  2. Read two other books to make my monthly 3 books goal. Finished "Belong to me on 6/9 had a crappy reading month - in general I do read3 books a month.
  3. Go to the dietician and get sorted on the diet I need to have - I still need to tell you guys why I am doing this but rest assured - this is not going to become a diet blog. Done 8/9
  4. Plan The Boys' birthday party and do it! This is going to be small and low key so not too much planning there. Booked 9/9 Party packs and favors bought 10/09 Invites sent 13/9
  5. Discuss their little school party with the teacher and make a date for it. (their real birthday is on a Sunday this year) Done 7/9 Party to be on 22/9 Party packs bought 10/09
  6. Send the beanies off to Pink Hair Girl. Done 6/9
  7. Send the parcel to our little cousin in Cape Town - belated birthday gift. No need to do - my BIL was here for a brief visit.
  8. Send my gift exchange parcel. 14/9
  9. Make Thank You cards for the knitting ladies that knitted the beanie for me. We sent of 44 at the end!
  10. Make kiddie birthday cards 
  11. Do one craft with the kids per weekend and publish here- 1st one done this Sunday (3/9) Did not do rest of the weekends.
  12. Tidy my shoes and the last of my clothes and put in charity bag to donate
  13. Sort out the rest of the Princess' clothes and put in charity bag to donate 11/9
  14. Sort out boys clothes for summer and put in charity bag to donate (also check some winter stuff that can be donated) 12/9
  15. Tidy glass desk are in the dining room.
  16. Go to zumba at least twice and to gym at least 3 times a week. Total fail!
  17. Sort out with Lucy re sick leave etc. This is a whole story on it's own and I am now done with this
  18. Complete my 2008 photobook in order to use the voucher I have 29/09
  19. If possible do a 2007 book to use my friend's voucher she is not going to use.
  20. Go to the moms night out at the school again. Is only going to be next week and I am not only going, I am hosting a mosaic craft one.
  21. And I am editing this to add a BIG one - get the Boys back to their own room and to actually sleep in their own room. This has actually been a much bigger succes and way easier than I thought!  A big yeah!
So all in all 11 out of 21 and two halves - so make it 12 - which is 57% - maybe not so bad.
Am I going to do it again? Well, yes, I think I just might. But I have decided to keep it to 20 maximum -which is a lot really! Maybe I should limit to 10 and then record extras?

    Monday, 3 October 2011

    A tough weekend = great progress

    This weekend has been super tough - one of those that leave you out of breath and exhausted on so many levels. And last night L had a "epic sleep failure night" - awake from 1 to 4 but these are happening less and less often. I am hoping that the tonsils removal tomorrow will also help in the nighttime waking department. But yes, possibly this week will be on the tough side too.

    I haven't talked much about it but our dear Little man L at all of 4 years old is not potty trained. He has been no 1 at school, but has refused at home. No 2 - nope, nowhere. Hence on recommendation fo his OT we went to a play therapist to assist. I am really in the dark as to what she is doing and that it helps at all, but we do talk about his with him etc. The theory runs that it is a control issue but also sensory for SID kids.

    After an exhaustive Saturday with nappies etc we went ahead yesterday and just did it - took away his nappy (which I then realized he has grown attached to - those cute dinosaur pull up ones) and payed very close attention to him to get him to the toilet in time. At first he fought us and did not want to put on underpants. He also fought every time we took him. Later he agreed to a pair of Lightening MacQueen undies (if there is any character that will get him to wear undies it will be this red car) and started to go himself. All and all only one major slip but we were all rather frayed at the edges by the end of the day. Today I am tired, but positive.
    I have no problem keeping a kid in night nappies for a while- not forever, but a while - I check at wake time in the mornings and see if the nappy is dry - if it is for a few days we proceed to night times without. Neither the Princess or C ever had a slip at night due to this approach.

    He went willingly to school today with his undies (several spares and pants in the bag) and a nappy for sleep time. Just a few minutes ago I phoned and no accidents yet! Please, please may this be the break through! No regression again. Done and dusted! Thanks to my hubby who has played a huge roll in all of this.

    And I hate those pull up nappies - I am convinced it is a ploy by the nappy manufacturers to get kids to wear nappies longer - why not make them ugly and not attractive?