Friday, 30 March 2012

Oh it's Friday!

It's been so hectic around here that I have almost not noticed. But I am incredibly thankful it is Friday - a bit of rest and relaxation will be great. We have very little planned for the weekend  - just what I need. But lots of this and thats today:
  • The Princess is on holiday from this afternoon - her first in big school and as it is so short she will be spending it at home with a sleepover at gran's.
  • I am thankful for a reprieve from the endless remembering of acticvities, what to pack, what to remind of,early mornings to school.
  • She is at present sitting in the office, quietly drawing in her Top Model and Creative studio books. She loves being at the office and is really no fuss here
  • When I picked her up at shcool I had 3 moms asking for play dates over the holidays. The holiday is 4 non Easter Weekend days long and for 2 she is going to gran for a sleepover. Already the holiday is too short! LOL! 
  • I love my new AEG slow pressure/high pressure cooker and cooked 2 batches of venison stew on Wednesday night. One hour and the meat literally falls off the bones.I have managed to freeze 5 meals from the two batches for the family.
  • Today is real stew weather so we will have some of it from the freezer for dinner.Love the rain and coolness but thinking my boys might be cold at school without jackets. Luckily their are lots of blankeys at school and they are having a video day to day watching Hop and eating popcorn.
  • I am having creativity withdrawel - those Top Model books are looking very attractive right now. I think I should get a craft ready for the kids to do the weekend - I am missing our weekend crafts.
  • I am also missing my own crafting - maybe I should get the mosaics out tonight.
  • I am also not making much progress on reading and only read one and a half books this month. 
  • And I now have 334 unread posts in my Google reader. Sorry guys, am being a very poor blog buddy lately.
  • The Princess' class at school has started a closed group for the class - well, I was actually asked to create the group. I love seeing photos of events that I could not attend or the boys in the class' rugby and the teacher was one of the first to join. I am however rather shocked at how many parents claim to be technologically impaired and am not even on Facebook. I am actually going to help one of the moms over the phone to create a profile for her.
And with that, wishing you all a great and happy weekend!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Looking back, we had a fabolous weekend.

It was the last weekend of granny's visit and we made sure it was one to remember. The highlight being the Boys' school's annual sports day. A day that is filled to the brim with enthusiasm, energy and heaps of fun. All the parents and grandparents are encouraged to support the team their kids are in and in general the atmoshpere is loaded with fun with red, blue and yellow seen everywhere. It was great to have our granny from Port Elizabeth here to share in the fun. The Princess was delighted to be asked to participate as one of the grade R girls called in sick for the day.

Do your kids' school have a fun sports day? I just love this little tradition.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A weird out of sorts day

Cuppies supplied by our local Spar
 Yesterday was a golden day - just beautiful. On Tuesday night the hubby and I saw SafeHouse (granny babysat for us) and although very violent it was great seeing South Africa through CIA eyes - one staggers at the beauty of our country. After the hectic weekend of ballet followed by a Sunday lunch with family at our home, I really relished and needed the day of repose (we had a public holiday yesterday). It was also my dear hubby's birthday and we tried to spoil him as best we can with lots of little presents, including a new Stormers jersey. We had a great breakfast at our local Spur (who knew they have a great breakfast at a great price) after which there was some napping (while the birthday boy and our neighbour sorted out some trees that are seriously blocking our sun in the garden) and a visit to Hunters' aunt and uncle and a lovely swim and light dinner. It was a good day.

Today I am totally out of sorts - gee, technology is letting me down left, right and centre. My memory is letting me down, I forget to call people back. I can not find emails - can not remember what to do next. I feel totally lost. I have so much work there is no way that I should be blogging but I feel like my mind is in a total muddle and that maybe by blogging a bit I can clear it.BTW I am 248 items behind in my reader. I paid for stuff at Spar today and walked out without my shopping - only to discover it when I got to the car. And I did it twice in two days! I have also forgotten to pick up the gradener at home so best I run now and do it. Gosh, I hope I can get my mind together by tomorrow.

So what did you do wiht your bonus day yesterday?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Ballet concert 2012 done and dusted!

It was one very very busy weekend, but where we found last year totally exhausting, this year has been different. I think that experience has a lot to do with it. And the little ballerinas being a year bigger and having taken that leap to grade 1 and all that brings. We now also realize that you just camp out at the theater for the weekend and do not even try to go home between shows. It helps that we had a  much cooler dressing room and that the weather was also way cooler. We shared it with the grade 2 and 3 artists both ballet and hip hop.

 We go stocked with stuff to keep the ballerinas busy, stuff to keep us busy (that none of us touched btw - a lot of chatting and getting to know each other better rather happened) and stuff to eat. I also know all the moms this year and we put a great team effort together in terms of a make-up assembly line and some moms doing the hair that has a better hand at it. I ended up doing the eyebrows and eye lines for our little troop of 14. I also got dragged (rather willing but very scared) into a team effort to fill in for the professional photographer that dropped out at the last minute. But more about that in a later post.

The show was brilliant - every single item apart from three (Blue Danube for the adult ballet, classic for the little toddlers and 76 trombones for the grade 3's) was on modern popular music. The girls did fantastic this year - dancing their whole show all on their own with no direction by a teacher (jip, the RAD primary exam saw to the readiness of that little milestone) and apart from a costume failure the last night, our troop had a perfect run.

 But regardless, I have learned quite a few new things this year. (my tips from last year here)
  • The Michel Mercier brush was a life saver and if their sales at our local Dischem increase by 20 purchases this week it is solely thanks to me.
  • The most popular toys of the moment for girls between 6 and 9 is the Leappad or Leapster explorer and the Top Model series. I had no idea that there were so many different ones. The Princess got the dog one for her birthday and they negotiated with each other to do pages in each others books - brides, T shirts, Models, House, Farm, gosh, endless. But I do like it - it is creative, and sure keep them busy.
  • Most moms pack picnic lunches straight out of Woolworths - due to time constraints I also did partially. And the fact is that they do eat it.
  • By Saturday late afternoon most are eaten out with the picnic food and moms need coffee - so a run by some of the moms to the closest Mac Donalds saw to full ballerina tummies and caffeine refreshed moms.
  • Just when you thought you had the make-up covered (blue eye shadow, gold eye shadow, glitter in both colours, eyeliner and red lipstick) you get caught out by a switch of plan to bright pink lipstick. 
  • There will always be one mom that will have the right shade in her bag! This time it was Ronel with a whole palet of shades that the teacher choose from.
  • Friendships between moms and girls only improve by shared circumstances like these. There might be the odd irritation between the 7 year olds, but it is quickly resolved by sharing a mini burger or cocktail tomato.
  • The dance school rule of no sweets during the show pays off. We did allow them a teensy bit of sweetness after the shows but healthy food rules for good behavior and endurance

With being asked to take photos I had a unique chance to capture some of their action on stage as the parents are not allowed to take pictures inside.

During their Sister Act number

 In the grand finale with the big dancers

It is difficult to express how grateful one feels towards their great teachers. Heaps and heaps of time and effort go into a concert like this. Piles of patience with both children and parents. Logistics to sort out (like absconding photographers for instance) and leaking theater roofs. To create an event that will stay a highlight of their year every year. I am sure we will look back to this for years to come.

We are so proud of our little girl, who despite being very sick on Wednesday night and Thursday (missing school for the day) persisted with her participation. Never was there even a shadow of a doubt in her mind that she would pull through and perform and give her absolute best. 4 Great performances deserve a reward and in stead of the traditional flowers, she got something she totally adores. Jip, you've guessed it, a Top Model book I had hidden away for a while.

I have to share this one at Cheryl's because it really Makes my Monday.

Playing along with Cheryl.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mr Murphy and @%&$ happens

The poor little Princess! She is so excited and all practiced and ready for the big ballet recital and in the early morning hours the puking stated. And then the runny tummy. We decided that she should stay at home, at the same time spending a bit of quality time with Ouma. Just when we though we were out of the woods with a puke free morning, she started again. She is miserable and tired. So I called in the big guns medicine.

Here's hoping and praying that she will be fine by tomorrow. Or at least fine enough to dance. My poor little girl child. After all that dedication and anticipation.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

On moving forward.

We have certainly come very far in the last year. Looking back a year ago, at the start of Mr L's OT, I struggle to even remember how tough it was - somehow the brain blocks out the worst. The tantrums that we only see now and again on a very scaled down version was in full swing. There was almost no recognition of any abstract concepts like shapes and colours. The tiniest thing ticked him off. The isolation tent was in full use.We were so sleep deprived, I can hardly express how tired and totally exhausted we were (2 to 4 hours awake up to 5 nights a week). It was tough just to get to school and work and back, never mind potty training etc. Life was a huge struggle.

A year on and things have certainly changed a lot. He is fully potty trained, he is loving his school and can not wait for his weekly OT appointments. And lo and behold, I am almost scared to put it out there, but we are sleeping. At last after more than 4 and a half years. The last month has gone without one of L's classic SID kid total sleep failure nights.It is a huge thing in our lives! And I am so grateful, reading that a lot of SID kids only start sleeping through at about 6 - but we worked on it, believe me. We are still using Melatonin and rushing and compressing.

He is also learning his letters via letterland as the class proceeds (but have to mention that Mr C knows every single one of the alphabet) and although a lot of the time it is still difficult to get and hold his attention, we are certainly moving on towards better times. We have had a preliminary speech evaluation and in future we might have a stint of speech therapy. But we are moving full scale - to our target being sending them both to grade 1 at the same time at the same school. The alternatives just stress me out too much. To send him a year later (because we will not be able to hold back C who is at the moment testing a year ahead of age) to the same school has it's problems, to send him to a different school to catch up and later to the same school also has its issues. But both his OT , his current teacher and the head mistress of the school they will be attending next year for grade R(on the grounds of A's school) believes that a lot can happen in the next year and a half that could possibly just realize our dream of having him ready for main stream school on age.

O yes, it is indeed going well. He seem to progress in leaps, then stand still or even regress a bit, and then take another leap, rather than the steady development rate of our other kids. I know it is typical, but it both provides for huge stress and huge joy when achieving a new goal.

Monday, 12 March 2012

This week is going to rock...

my socks of, as well as the Princess'. Well, maybe her tights. You see, it's ballet concert week - that one week and weekend in the year that is filled with La Pebras gel, make up and costumes. And a lot of dedication from both tiny ballerinas and their moms (and dads and grans in the background). You may remember my post last year about the concert?

This year is based on well know music and almost all the numbers (including the ballet) is performed on modern music. It is always a great show to watch as the studio teaches ballet, modern, hip hop, spanish and ballroom. So the program is varied and entertaining.

As per usual we will be moving into the theater for basically the weekend with dress rehearsal on Friday afternoon and a show the evening and 2 shows on Saturday. Being a grade 1 is also the very first year where they are not only performing in their own number but also in the grand finale, which is a modern item so they all get the exposure to modern dancing and not just ballet. But this is not where the dedication starts and ends. Every Saturday morning  from the start of school this year has been filled with ballet practice. She has missed at least two parties and was late for another because of this, but we feel that being dedicated to an activity means working full out to achieving the best you can. The lessons in life this provides is obvious. This week sees practice from 4 to 7 today, tomorrow and Wednesday. We are going to have a very tired little girl by Sunday.

Add to this that work remains hectic and that I insist on taking Friday afternoon off to be with her (I think I can allow myself that luxury carrying the stress around of having your own business), the week is going to rock, in more ways that one.

So imagine how happy I am that my MIL is landing tonight for a 2 week visit! And no, those that are regular readers know that I love having her for a visit, I am not being cynical. I am truly so grateful for the extra hands and help she will be. Of course, it also gives her the chance to see her oldest grandchild performing for the first time - they are both so excited. In addition, we have a birthday on Wednesday to celebrate and next Saturday is the Boys' annual sports day which she will also attend.

So yes, a busy but exciting week ahead. What does the week hold for you?

Friday, 9 March 2012

It's Friday!

And believe me it could not come any sooner! In about 15 minutes I will switch off my computer and head home (to work there over the weekend - yes, the load is huge at the moment).

But let's take 5 minutes to re-cap last Friday when the Princess swam in the grade 1 gala. We were warned that they swim about 12 to 16 breadths of the pool and based our sponsorship on that. Just to be floored by our Princess who together with two classmates made for a new class record of 22 each! I am a very proud, but poor mom!

Penguin class masks

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I have to share this

As some of you may know, my word for the year is HOPE. Striving for happier, better times, but also working towards them.To have hope is not to have an empty yearning towards achieving the positive, but actively working towards that too.

Hence I am delighted to report that one of those seemingly small but in real practical terms huge things in our lives have been resolved. (There is a rather big one too but I am still too scared to tell you as Murphy reads this blog but I know some of you might guess it). There are no more tears at hair wash times. No more tears every morning untangling those little tresses of very fine hair while guiding them into a pony tail. In fact we have not used our special torture instrument called the de-tangling comb in over two weeks! Because we have this:

A Michel Mercier brush! Oh my word! It is magic. You get one for fine hair, one for normal and one for thick hair. It is really and truly the answer to my prayers. The Princess is even brushing her own hair - kid you not! This never happened before.

So this is my bit of a public service announcement ( neither Dischem or Michel Mercier is in any way involved with this)- available at Dischem at R150 each and choose the right one! There is a pamphlet that explains how to determine what type of hair you have.

I promise you tear free hair days - forever!