Friday, 31 August 2012

Friday stuff

Firstly, thanks to all your kind comments yesterday- yes, I am still stressed to the point of nausea but I have left it in the hands of God.

Onto happier things - early this week I read so many weekend ideas and I committed to doing 3 (something amidst the stress of this morning I hugely regretted). Let's just say, we will see how it goes but I will try my bets.

Firstly Marcia and some other bloggers do monthly goals etc. I did it once but it totally stressed me out - I need more short term stuff. So when the idea of a weekend accountability list came up, it seemed like a good idea. Also taking into account that I got so much done last weekend - I framed the family gallery and brought it up to date, I tidied the medicine storage and threw out expired stuff and other more personal less home stuff. So my goals for this weekend are:
  1. Take good pictures of the boys playing rugby tomorrow. It may be a challenge as the Princess' ballet course is right in the middle of their game time but maybe.
  2. Swim with the kids at the gym
  3. Have flowers in the house for Spring day tomorrow.
  4. Get my pictures of the week up for Marcia's link up.
  5. Re organize and tidy and purge my clothes cupboard
  6. Re organize and tidy and purge my shoe cupboard
  7. Start on a mosaic cross for my moms friend who knitted lovely jerseys for the kids this winter.
  8. Bake something
I also happened upon Julia's Mama loves - a great idea me thinks, to inspire us all with some fresh ideas
Manic Mother

Let's talk sweets - that thing that kids love most of all and that we as parents possibly love most of all for ourselves, but not for our kids. As little ones I kept my kids totally aways from sweets, especially the Princess when typically first time mom I believed that no sweets was a great idea. Only to be totally embarrassed by the first real party we attended when she literally sat at the party table and ate as many sweets as she possibly could while all the other kids went to play.

I had a chat about that with our nursing sister who is a specialist in kiddies nutrition and she gave me her thoughts about sweets. She said that as we crave sweetness as adults, kids have a way stronger craving as their bodies use up energy on a much faster level than ours. The balance is to feed that craving with fruit and raisins etc for most days, but to allow sweets in limited quantities because totally avoiding sweets will compact the issue. She suggested a "sweeties day" a week - say Saturday when they can eat as much as they like, or alternatively small amounts spread though the week after say a well eaten dinner. But not every day. This was a better option for me simply because I could not imagine the over sugared sweetie day in the week.

She also said that kids feel they need to own something and that they often will finish all the sweets they get in one shot because they think they may never get to eat it if they do not eat it now. They need to know that mommy will keep it for them.

So without further ado, our system that we have been using with the kids from way back then (A was about 2 at the time) - thus been running for about 5 years. It works really well for us and I have often been complimented on how little sweets the kids actually eat at a party.
 Each kid get one little party bucket that I have kept from one of their own parties- in South Africa these are in common use but you can buy them at Plastic shops. All sweets that come home from parties, tuck shops, given by guests (we get a lot of that), are placed in here.

When a sweetie reward or treat is in order I let them choose something from their tubs. Sometimes I will put a limit on lollipops as these take long to eat so in the evenings I may say any sweet but a lollipop. If their tub fills up they have to go through it and donate what they do not want to me to create space for the new stuff. Recently there has also been a few lessons in economy when trading out started between the 3 kids. The idea is to add some sweets if the tubs ever empty out but I have only once ever had to do it for the boys and never for the Princess. Somehow there are always enough sweets - I guess our rate of sweets eating is not that high.

So what is your rules for sweets and do you have a system? 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Keep calm - deep breath!

So the school called - they want Mr L to come in for a day to be evaluated at the school, to see how he functions in a class.  My heart beat so fast, my hands are shaking, I feel like crying - ok, who do I kid, I cried.

On the minus side - he does not handle new places well, he does not like change. Evaluating him in these
circumstances is not ideal.
On the plus side - they did not say outright no
On the minus side - I have to drop him there and leave him there. They will phone me if he a huge problem arise and I need to pick him up.
On the plus side - Mr C can go with him and stay the day too. They will at the same time decide at which teacher he will be placed.
On the minus side - the teacher he knows (A's teacher of last year) has a very busy and disruptive class this year and she will not be able to do the evaluation
On the plus side - the teacher that he will be evaluated by is the headmistress and she is in our church and he knows her by sight. Her class is calm and relaxed.

So we will try to prepare him best we can - we will talk about going, his teacher and OT will too, I will take them there a few mornings to say hallo. In the end, it boils down to:
 Ps 46:10
Trust that God will keep His hand over all this and that the right decision will be made for our child. :Live in HOPE - my word for the year.
Prayers please!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Growing up

As parents we face many many obstacles over which we need to lead our children. Equipping them to cope with the big old world out there.When they are the tiny little people we bring home it's drinking, learning to eat, sit, crawl, walk. Simple things that feels rather overwhelming at the time. As they grow up we think the challenges get less, and to an extend they do. But some challenges just gets so much more difficult to handle, when we sit with our hands in our hair, trying to figure out how to lead our children past the obstacles, some created by themselves.

Yesterday I watched my Princess participating in the English schools of Pretoria speech festival. Yes, she is in an Afrikaans school but they are one of two in the city which offers English and Afrikaans first language - a choice you make in grade 4 and hence, these two schools participate with the English schools in the festival. She delivered her little poem faultlessly and I am so very very proud of her.

 How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
(By CS Lewis from Alice in Wonderland) 
She was followed by one of her best friends K who did so well too - she is a natural little actress and has a big sister that has been here before, parents that knows the details of the event, what the judges are looking for. (This is not and event co ordinated by the drama department but by the English department and we as parents rehearse the kids) Well our Princess got a gold+ - a wonderful achievement (with 2 other girls) - my heart burst with pride and joy. But her friend and 2 others that both have older siblings got gold++. The other 6 participants got golds. The adjudicator in her speech mentioned that the quality was exceptional and that she is astounded by how great the group has done taking into account that they are doing better than most of the English schools. And then my child cried. Cried because she did not get a gold++. Forgetting how great her own achievement was, she just focused on not being the very very best. All the other kids, even those that got gold were so happy with their achievements as they should rightly be, but nope, not ours.

I really did not know how to deal with this - we stress in our home that your best is good enough. That we value being a good friend and a kind and honest person more than being the very best,. She just cried and cried, not matter what I said. She refused to believe that she did well. Then we bumped into the drama teacher who asked why she was crying and consoled her and explained the exact thing I did minutes before, and she stopped crying - and actually smiled. I am really not sure how to deal with this - why does she believe her drama teacher and not me? Why is she so very hard on herself when we clearly are not? How do you keep the balance in teaching your children to do the best they can, to strive to give their best and be the best, but in the same breath teach them that their best may not always be the very best there is?

Being a parent is never easy, and I know that some challenges will get more (thinking ahead of teenage years to follow). But this one is tough for me to handle - keeping the balance of striving for your personal best, but learning to cope with the inevitable disappointment. Both Hunter and I had a talk with her last night but I think that we need to have another because I just today though of using the Olympic games as an angle. That silver is also great, a country wide achievement and that just participating is an achievement.

And so we learn with them - all the time.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Our life on Instagram - 3rd week in August 2012

We had a lovely, but very busy weekend - I feel rather exhausted today, but alas, onwards and upwards with a very busy week. L:ooking back on last week:

Day 33/365 It felt like Spring, it smelled like Spring.

Day 34/365 Watering the flowers - something the kids love to do, with a little too small bike in the background.

Day 35/365 Beautiful post sunrise colours.

Day 36/365 Bought my books for Bookclub in September and this beautiful Hope necklace - my word for the year - had to have it when I saw it.

Day 37/365 Drive- in night! First night that it was warm enough for us to vernture there. We all loved Ice Age 4!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Friday bits and pieces

So how is everyone? Gosh this week has flown by at a speed! Things have been hugely busy at work and everything is happening at a deadly pace. So what's going on?
  •  Hunter had a first aid course this week in the evenings so I have the bath and bedtime thing all on my own - it is tiring but it went well. I stand in awe every day at how single parents cope.
  • The weather is simply fantastic and we have an early Spring/ Summer around here. I know we will have a good cold front still some time in September but I am loving the heat.
  • The Princess is at her ballet exam course today and tomorrow and next weekend - one of the twice yearly ballet crunch times. She is being rather dedicated, which I love, by practicing to the DVD I took almost every evening. 
  • I bought the books for Booklclub this week and amongst them is the last "Spud" book in the series. Boy, am I enjoying it!
  • On Tuesday the school has English speech festival (one of only two Afrikaans schools in the city that participates in it) - she decided on her own that she will be reciting an English poem. She knows it well but I am afraid she is not as well rounded as for the drama because we are doing this on our. But I am sure it will go well enough and I know she will try her best.
  • I have ordered paint (we get a nice industry discount at one of the suppliers) and painting the interior of the house will start soon. I am still not 100% sure about the colour I chose with my favorite of -white colour (Plascon Tranquil) but it's just paint. We can always re paint.
  • I am on a mission to catch up on framing the family photograph gallery and will pick up the last prints today. Hopefully we will hang all on the weekend so that we can repaint the wall with anchors in tact.
  • I am enjoying our new/old vinyl record player so much. Over the weekend I plan to unpack our old vinyls.
  • With the nice weather we are thinking of opening the summer drive-in season tonight. Ice age 4 is showing and the Dark Knight - it remains to be seen if Hunter and I will actually stay awake for the Dark Knight but I have no problem leaving after Ice age. At R 65 for the whole family it is still a bargain.
  • Qphoto now has a Picassa photobook that has "lie flat" pages. I am very excited about this and have decided to see if I can take over the work I have done on our 2011 album to it or possibly re-do. I have only done January.
  • The school has requested L's last term report with his OT evaluation and the principal is reviewing his entry and placement with a teacher. I am a bit nervous about this as it's been a week and I have not heard anything. Let's hope no news is good news. In any event, the next step will be to have a meeting with us and his OT and not a flat out refusal. We might not even get to that. Lots of positive thoughts and prayers for that please.
  • Mr L has moved from phase 1 OT to phase 2 OT - so now we have homework (other than almost play things as previously)  to real paper work. In order to get this done I make 3 copies of everything and just let all 3 kids do it. It is of course well below the Princess' level, but she still enjoys "playing school" with them and almost assume a teacher role as she does it with them.
  • And I am planning a "There's no place like Space" party! Jip, the boys requested it. I am actually quite excited because "Space" is a great theme and I love non commercial (ie not Spiderman, Bob the builder etc) parties - apart from the Princess' 5th (it was a Hello Kitty Ballet - but I did none of the commercial stuff - made all myself) we have never had a commercial party in the family.
  • I need to tidy and clear my clothes cupboard for the summer stuff! Yeah summer.
  • Hunter brought me some Sally Williams chocolate covered nougat the last two nights. I think Nougat must be the very best in sweetness every.
SO what's happening in your life? Anything planned for the weekend?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

On milestones

We as parents often celebrate those big moments, those milestones that we wait for so long. That first tooth, well if you ask me the whole teething thing is no celebration. That first crawl - mobility at last to mommy's delight. To be replaced by urgent packing away of everything on eye level when baby gets the hang of standing. And talking - all 3 of mine followed that first "mama" or "papa" (yes, my Mr L said papa first - he is still daddy's boy though) with floods of words often talking together to my frustration. And so we continue - it seems those first ones, celebrated with zest often have negatives to them. Then there are the other big, only positive ones -like potty training, riding the bike without trainer wheels, brushing your own teeth and tying shoelaces. All onwards and upwards towards Independence.

But I do find that the other less big in anyone else's books are often the ones that makes me the happiest. Learning to pour your own juice without making a mess, making your own bed however shabby, being able to press play enter on the DVD remote, wiping your own bum. A big one for us was to teach them to play in their rooms after they wake up on weekends - giving us an hour or so to sleep a bit more. You know, those things that really makes my life easier.

So last night when, on asking if they want to shower, the boys enthusiastically said yes, and showered without a single tear and big talk of how big they are, I shed a tear of happiness. Both where so afraid of showering - it has taken us (especially Hunter) many many frustrating tries to get this achieved. To on their own prefer the shower is BIG! Yeah to easier camping, gymming etc. And much faster bath and bed times.
Any unusual milestones that you loved? Anything you are working on at the moment?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A morning at granny's house

My mom lives ina  retirement village - right at the dead end of a quiet little "street" that serves 8 units.. The perfect place to ride your bike (and yes, no helmets, but no traffic there). We spent a delightful morning with her the Saturday of the long weekend. Her garden is always fantastic.

One stem of orchids - the hearts pink or white. Fascinating.
So whic picture is your favorite? I love the first one.
  and Parenting by Dummies for Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Chickensoup for the body and soul

I grew up next to the Koffman family - we were totally Afrikaans, they were totally Dutch - only a few years in South Africa. Their daughter J and I were one year apart in school - we walked to school together and later rode our bikes. We spent afternoon by afternoon in each other's homes - doing homework together, playing together. The families was a sort of support system for each other with her spending many afternoons eating lunch at our place that my granny cooked - stews, boerewors, pancake, pumkin fritters - all those honest to goodness boerekos. In return I spent may evenings and Saturdays at their home, eating Dutch food - wonderful stuff like bolletjies en muis, poffertjies (like vetkoek with fruit in and sugar around), friet, Nasi goreng and many more delicacies. Oupa regularly made his klapperkoekjes - a recipe my mom still makes today. I also experienced the deliciousness of prawns with them, out to dinner on Friday nights at the Greek easy. It was good good times. Incredible how food plays such a huge part in the memories we keep.I remember their kitchen with the little pine table and chairs, filled with steam and wonderful treats. Well, my mom still sees Tannie Rita every Friday as she is still her hairdresser after all the years although J now lives in Nieu Zeeland and we basically have a Facebook friendship.A few weeks ago I asked for that very best of Dutch food memories - Dutch Chicken soup. I made it on the Friday of the long weekend and my family devoured it, including my boys who are not the biggest soup eaters.It is a wonderful rich and substantial soup and although Spring is just around the corner, the evenings are still cold enough and we will have another big cold front.

Dutch chicken soup
(I make this in my wonderful high pressure cooker -my favorite kitchen appliance at the moment- and the recipe is for a traditional pressure cooker - but she tells me if you want to do it on the stove top, you ave to add one more cup of water and stir a lot and regularly cook for a very long time)

5 Stems of celery
A hand full of fresh parsley
One whole chicken in pieces - remove the small bones from the wings and the breast section. Keep everything else.
1 packet of cream of chicken soup mixed with twice the amount of water the packet shows
1 tin of creamed mushrooms
Spaghetti of vermicelli to taste.
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Cut the celery in pieces, chop the parsley
Add to the pressure cooker with the chicken and the soup and water.
Cook for about 60 minutes in the pressure cooker until the chicken totally falls off the bones. Remove bones but keep skin in.
Add spaghetti or vermicelli to taste (the more you add the thicker the soup will taste), vinegar and the tin of mushrooms.
Cook on high pressure for another 30 minutes.
Remove all other bones.
Serve hot with fresh bread.

You can make this with about 6 - 8 skinless and boneless chicken breasts but I promise you it does not taste the same. The skin and bones add a richness and thickness (due to the gelatin in the bones) to the soup that you simply do not get with the low fat version.

Enjoy - and do tell me if you try this.
I would love to hear some of your childhood food memories

Monday, 20 August 2012

Our life on Instagram - 2nd week of August

Wow, today is just such a beautiful, perfect weather day. The weekend was rather good too although Saturday morning started out all cold and cloudy. So without further ado:
Day 26/365 I was "reading mom" at the Princess' class at school - these are some of the books we read. I was really impressed with the discipline in the class,
Day 27/365 Bookclub night at I's house - the little stove going strong. The food was stunning, the company good as always.
Day 28/365 Typical breakfast bowls - each their own choice.

Day 31/365 We spent a great evening with old friends, chatting away around a campfire. Lots of laughs about the crazy things we did and about how none of us thought Lenard Cohen's music was depro at all.
Day 32/365 The day we took out the old vinyl record player, re installed it and listened to vinyl's. The first one we played was Elton John's greatest hits.
 And as usual, some others to remember the week by, both from yesterday:
Church tannie cupcakes - really the best cupcakes ever. Real honest ordinary home baked cupcakes. Our church sells them every month for our charity projects to the great joy of all involved.
Yesterday was such a sunny, almost summery day - and yes, I am THAT mom that allows them to make a big muddy mess in the garden.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Lion's favorite things

Mr L's favorite list form October is here.
I have to add that this is the very first time that he has actually given me answers on questions like these. In the past I had to assess and give answers - this time he did all on his own. Some immediately, others after I gave him examples or options.

DVD:  Auto B Good - any one
Meal: "Worsie" -  boerewors (sausage) on the braai
Fruit: Pineapple and strawberries I swear he can eat half a pineapple at a time
Vegetable: Potato No surprise - he is not really into veggies yet but at least am eating all types now
Breakfast: Egg and toast or Coco pops
Drink: "Pienk melkies " - strawberry flavoured milk
Drinking yogurt flavour: Strawberry
Sweets: Chocolate -still our chocoholic
Chips/crisps: Cheese naks
Toy:  Spartan sword and shield - he took these to school yesterday for show and tell
Colour: Blue
 I also asked him his sister's additional questions:
Animal: Lion
Sea animal: Nemo! (clown fish)
Bird: Flamingo - they made a huge impression at the zoo
iPad app: " Spotty horse" - Make a scene - farmyard
Book: "Dinosaur sleep over"
Song: "Alles vir jou" van Lianie - May & Jay For the record - none of the parent's taste in music - very corny stuff
Extra mural activity: Rugga (rugby) and swimming
Current obsession: Cars, trucks and bulldozers

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Bear's favorite things

Mr C's previous list was also back in October.

DVD:  Wizard of Oz
Meal:a Apparently mash - a total surprise to me.
Fruit: Banana and apple - he is my "ordinary " fruit kid
Vegetable: Carrots - raw or cooked
Breakfast: Pro Nutro or green Ice age Oaties
Drink: Water and juice
Drinking yogurt flavour: Strawberry
Sweets: Chomps and marshmallow fish
Chips/crisps: Cheese curls
Toy:  Airoplane that makes an aanoying airoplane sound - he took it to school today for show and tell
Colour: Green
I also asked him his sister's additional questions:
Animal: Zebra and giraffe (not the band, the actual animals - there is an SA band called Zebra and giraffe)
Sea animal: Sea horses.
Bird: Swan
iPad app: Make a scene - farmyard
Book: "There's no place like Space" a Dr Seuss book
Song: Juiliette - the Afrispaans (Spanish) version of the Steve Hofmeyer song.Although I do not like Steve this is a great version of a cool song
Extra mural activity: Mickey Maths and pottery
Current obsession:Space - he can tell you all about planets, black holes etc.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Princess' favorite things

I thas been a while, well back in October last year, that I did a "favorite things" with the kids. Then I saw Jenty did it again so remembered about it. I took all the questions I did last time and then she added a few of her own.
DVD: Sound of music, Wizard of Oz , Mary Poppins, Annie and Never Ending Story  staying with the musicals
Meal: Braaivleis she is a meat baby and quiche a recent discovery at granny's
Fruit: Mango &  litchi
Vegetable: Red and yellow peppers, baby carrots, baby corn and coctail tomatoes. All eaten raw and preferred above fruit in her lunch box
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and toast and wheat bix flakes
Drink: Mango juice and hot chocolate
Drinking yogurt flavour: Ganadilla or strawberry
Sweets: Liquorice allsorts or those peanut sweets
Chips/crisps: Cheese naks
Toy:  Top Model books and Lego
Colour: Khaki green or so she says??.
Her additions:
Animal: Rhino - she is incredibly drawn to the fight for our rhinos. She is passionate about saving them
Sea animal: Dolphins, killer whales and great white sharks.
Bird: Penguins
iPad app: Angry birds
Leappad app: Pet Pad
Book: "Mia se ma " and National Geographic magazines - not the kiddies ones - old back issues of the original magazines
Song: Payphone by Maroon 5 and Rolling in the deep by Adele
Extra mural activity: Ballet, drama and hockey. Actually she says she also likes art and swimming annd netball- I see a busy life ahead
Current obsession: Egyptology

I love to do these with the kids - little reminders of how things change. So who is up to doing it too?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Have you seen today's Google doodle?

BTW - I love Google doodles - I sort of "collect" them - save the ones I love.
It would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday today. I had to smile and relive some beautiful moments in the lovely "Julie & Julia" movie - the glorious food, the wonderful outrageous way Julia Child talked, her courage and confidence, and the wonderful relationship between her and her hubby. It was such a great movie - I actually just want to see it again. (never mind the blogging was involved int he story line) And the food - glorious food. And so the mind drifted to other wonderful food movies that I loved.

I came out completely hungry and craving Chinese food after seeing "The Joy Luck Club". My, was it tasty - not only the food but the wonderful companionship between the women through the generations. Playing Mahjong over dishes fit for queens. Lovely food, great story. (Stunning book too if you ever want to read it)

In "Babettes feast" it was not only the wonderful feast that was such a pleasure on the eye but also the stunning scenery as two sisters make a feast for their village. I will never forget that festive table, literally overloaded with the best food ever.

Although "Fried green tomatoes at the Whistle stop cafe" was not technically a "food" movie I  loved the food in it. I have always wondered how friend green tomatoes actually taste - maybe it's time I tried. Lovely drama , great bit of mystery.

Hunter and I saw "Tortilla soup" one night - the story of a dad and his 3 daughters, and how relationships change as they grow up with the wonderful food and ritual around it as the stable point in the house. We came out craving Mexican, and anything else that looks tasty and spicy.

Possibly one of the most sensual movies I have ever seen has been "Like water for chocolate" - wow, South American passion also overflowing into the food. A feast for the eye and sense of taste. (The book is also a great read)

And then last, but certainly not least, the feast for every chocolate lover's eye - "Chocolat" - (forget that Johnny Depp is also there to feast the eyes on). Oh my word, those chocolates, pots of chocolate being stirred, fillings made. Plain wicked and very very tempting. Best seen with a Toblerone as companion. (btw - lovely lovely book)

There is nothing like a good food movie to bring the creative side to the front, and I do need some cooking inspiration right now.

So which of these movies did you like, or not. Any other good food movies out there to see?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Our life on Instagram - first week of August 2012

I had a glorious long weekend, so much so that I sort of feel a bit lost today at work and believe me, I can not afford it at the moment with all the work I have. But Hunter and I had a lovely date day on Thursday and Friday I was stay at home mom with and extra kid(a friend of A) - great to spend so much time with the kids but a bit sad to say that at times the day was tough. I did make chicken soup which came out divine and will also post you the recipe later. On Saturday Hunter had a work commitment and I took the kids to my mom (post to follow) - the weather was ok so we had fun outdoors and on Saturday night had friends over for rugby and a braai. I baked a honey cake which was also came out really great. Sunday was icy cold and we spent the day as a family - we went for a swim at the gym to counter the cabin fever and had a great afternoon nap all round.

So what was your weekend like?

Our week per Instagram last week:
Day 19/365 Monday 6 Aug - Olympic fever - she made a gymnast with pipe cleaners and feathers. Totally her own creative idea.
Day 21/365 Wednesday 8 Aug - We visited Decorex on the trade day - love dthis idea.
Day22/365 Thursday 9 Aug - Date day and our lovley meals at Cafeino

 As per usual I have a few others to share of the week and that I might not use in another post:
Snow flakes melted to perfect drops on our pansies
I got served a perfect cup of mud coffee on Friday.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The magic happens outside your comfort zone

Hunter and I did a deal with Lucy to work on Woman'sday and to then have today off. This gave the two of us the chance to spend a "date day" together very close to the anniversary of our engagement 12 years ago and her the chance to go home for a nice long weekend. The Princess was at a Technology course while the boys spend the day with Lucy.

The two of us had the most fantastic day- we started off by going to gym together- something we never get to do . I was planning to do a yoga class while he would go to a spinning class- both of us in our comfort zone types of exercise. Well, the roster was a bit upside down with the public holiday and after encouragement by H I made a split moment decision and went to
my very first spinning class. Spinning has always looked so totally intimidating to me, and gosh yes, it is tough going but I am super happy to say that I made it through the whole class and although I am really sore today I will do it again. Magic!

After that we ran some errands, did some shopping and then had a lovely lunch at a small Greek restaurant. I do love stepping out of the franchise, well known comfort zone eating places too and try somethibg new and Cafénio in Colbyn did not disappoint. It was one of the best meals I have had in a long time and we had such a lovely relaxing time chatting away and enjoying my free Womansday cuppacino . Magic!

A final rounding off is that we managed to get the boys to naps and we all had a gorgeous afternoon nap before I picked up the Princess at friends of ours.

A wonderful wonderful day I will cherish for a long time. Have you ever done a whole " date day"? I will certainly recommend it.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

It never rains but it snows!

Seeing random grown ups yesterday, laughing, dancing and standing with their tongs stuck out to catch the snow was priceless. In the space of seconds we all became kids again. The novelty of snow turned us all into a younger, more carefree version of ourselves. Oh for a snow day, however light it was. My kids all could not contain their breathless enthusiasm describing how they played in the snow, ran around and had fun.

To explain to those not familiar with our normal weather patterns - Pretoria has one of the most moderate Winter climates with normal temperatures between 3 and 21 degrees C . It snows once in about 100 years ( more often in neighboring Johannesburg and surrounds) . The last time it snowed here was back in 1920. And although at my office it was not much, near our home and at the schools the grass had a good thin snow covering. I am so glad all 3 kids got to experience it!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Our life in 365 on Instagram - end June/first week of August

So, what was your weekend like? We had a rather good one apart from two boys that really had it in for each other late yesterday afternoon. But let me share the past week with you.

Day 13/365 Tuesday 31/7/12 Tour to the //HAPO building - full post here.

Day 14/365 Wednesday 1/8/12 I attended the opening of Pretoria's GAP store - full post here.

Day 15/365 Thursday 2/8/12 The string of orchids my mom gave me catches the morning sunlight at about 6:50am.

Day 18/365 Sunday 5/8/12 The school had a family picnic to raise funds for our pool at the Voortrekker monument. Full post to follow but love this picture.
I also have to share a few that made it onto Instagram but not as THE photo of the day.
Our beautiful first born girl - almost 11 years and still have the energy of a puppy , well almost.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our day to day life. So how was your weekend?

Friday, 3 August 2012

National pride

South Africa is on a total high today after winning our third gold medal at the Olympics last night. It might not seem much for my overseas readers, but taking into account we won one silver in Beijing this is just fantastic. Add to that that only one of the wins (Cameron van den Burgh) was predicted and it makes it so much sweeter.

I just love the video of Chad le Clos' dad Bert - pure parenting proudness. But it is the commentators that really have me fascinated with all the mistakes they make in their excitement. Here in SA we generally hear the British commentators but I has a chance to hear the American commentary on the Le Clos race yesterday morning. Gosh, it was funny- as Chad won she said, "Oh and Michale Phelps makes a huge mistake"  And that's it - not someone else won very deservingly because he was the best on the day. To Phelps' credit after his very visible disappointment just after the race in the pool, he snapped back to be the perfect gentleman and looser (well, in my books a silver at the Olympics is anything but a looser). In an interview on the radio yesterday morning Bert le Clos told South Africa that Michael Phelps is the best mannered lad he has ever met and that his mom has raised him so well. Now that is the Olympic spirit.

Even more of a surprise was our coxless 4 rowers - somewhere along the line the commentator gets confused between South Africa (an outright surprise) and Australia (a possible winner) and commentates most of the way in the race accordingly .To his own surprise he realizes as the race completes that it is in fact South Africa that won and not Australia and you can hear the shock in his voice..

Steering on with the national pride idea, I think we have produced a building that deservedly needs it's place in the international Architectural scene.

On Tuesday morning I was privileged to be able to go on an architects only pre view of the new //HAPO exhibition space/museum being completed at Freedom park. It is a building that has sparked a lot of talk in South Africa and will only open to the public later this year. So I will share just a few pictures with you.

A very photogenic building and I would suggest a visit once it opens. From what we could see of some of the exhibits they were busy with it will be exciting and interactive with a children's garden and story tellers to lead you through. If you are in any way a photographer, do go - it is extremely photogenic.

PhotoStory Friday

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I rubbed shoulders with some celebs last night

I attended the opening of Pretoria's GAP store last night in Brooklyn Mall- only the 3rd in the country. Fashionistas were already asking to be let in the morning, but at 4:30 last night the doors opened to feature Christina Storm, Loui Fish and several others, being filmed by Fashion TV no less. The store is absolutely beautiful and the clothes, well, just stunning. I love that the girl range goes from 4 to 15 in the same beautiful florals etc. The GAP baby stuff is just breathtaking and I am incredibly happy that I have no babies to buy for because it will be so hard to resist.
Photo supplied by GAP

Photo supplied by GAP

As we left the store we were met by waiters with wonderful trays of awesome sweetness - macaroons, baby red velvet cupcakes, mini brownies and fruit.
Ah, and then there was the goody bag and my very own GAP T shirt, fragrance samples and a 20% off voucher until end August so I guess I will have to go shopping some time.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A day at the Pretoria zoo

I have promised a picture post from mid July of our day at the zoo. It was truly a great way to spend the last day of the school holidays. It was a nice and warm (not hot) day and was just perfect. As we had the grandparents with us we opted to rent golf carts and my, was that fun for the kids. We also took the Princess' friend K along - a great decision as everyone had a friend for company. But without further ado, as always , better told in pictures:
We all loved the Kodiak bears and the boys both declared them their favorites.
One of the zoo's top attractions - the Koala bears and my personal favorite.
Checking out the Hippos
And just because you all loved the leopard in my original post, another one of him. Miss K's favorite of the day.

The flamingos are just fascinating and beautiful
The Princess' favorite - the Komodo dragons - one of only a few zoos in the world to host them.
It was just the perfect end to the holidays and to our time with Ouma and Oupa. So have you been to your local zoo lately? Did you know that the Pretoria zoo is one of the top 10 zoos in the world taking into account not only the environment etc but also research and breeding programs?

  and Parenting by Dummies for Wordful Wednesday