Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slow going

I have come back to a busy week and am only now getting into the swing of things. The holiday was really fantastic and even though it was short, i felt that it was good for all of us. It got us away from the madness of every day life and it helped us to create some time together as a family. You really need to carve out family time in this mad world. I also love the fact that it created some positive memories for my children and exposed them to new things. These are some of the pictures from the cottage. The boys loved the ponies and Seth loved chasing the poor ducks!

But now we are back in the normal rut of life. Some useless information I would like to share:
  • I received my new bed. For the first time in my life i have a really good bed and it is amazing. I decided to get a King size bed and it is huge. I am also in love with my new goose down pillows and duvet and white cotton bedding. One down side - last night i felt like Jason was on the other side of the bed and we still ended up sleeping in the middle! But when the kids came through in the morning and we could all fit into the bed it was worth it.
  • I printed 87 photos from our long weekend! Yes, i have a scrapping addiction. I acknowledge it! I have managed to do about 5 pages already but am itching to finish the album. I just dont have time as usual.
  • I have finished my redwork xmas stitching and just need to stitch it up. I took out my sewing machine last night and looked at it briefly. Is that at least one step in the right direction?
  • I am thinking of my dear friend who has to go into hospital next week and have a hysterectomy. I am looking forward to seeing her this weekend.
Otherwise life is sailing along in its bumpy smooth fashion. We have had rain which was amazing and the garden is looking good. Everything is green and full of flowers. I am looking forward to a quiet weekend with lots of time to catch up and relax.

I wish you all well...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

East, west, home is best.....

We are back home after a wonderful break. It really was amazing and we all feel so much more alive and relaxed. The cottage was everything that it promised and more and our hosts, Caroline and Mark were very kind. It was private and so well equipped and was serviced daily - so no housework.

On the first day we went to the Magalies country festival, where we did all sorts of country festival things including wine tasting, cheese eating, home made beer drinking, camel riding, jumping castle jumping, market shopping, show watching and ice cream, hot dogs and chip eating. The next day we went to Maropeng, the cradle of mankind. For anyone who does not know what that is, check it out on - line. Africa is considered the cradle of all humanity, where the earliest humans evolved. Maropeng is a site that is dedicated to the fossils found in South Africa which led to this conclusion. It is an amazing site as it is not just focused on evolution and fossils but also understanding our planet and where we come from. There is a strong message that we are just animals, blimping on the radar BUT due to our ability to influence our environment we have the ability to do so much damage to the earth. The centre aims to educate humans on our responsibilies and how we need to care for our planet.

Our final day was one of real relaxation. We started the day at the cheese farm , where the kids could play in the playground and watch the ducks and the goats getting fed. They make amazing cheese, including one that has stinging nettles in it! (It does not sting at all!!) Then we went for lunch at a farm, called the African Pot. It is a resturant that is run from a lady's home and we were the only people there. We were treated like absolute kings! We were waited on hand and foot. The kids were totally pandered to, with one waitress allocated to play with them while we ate and the food was all handmade and really good. They go to chase the ducks and rabbits, look a the ground squirrels and the baby goats and harass the chickens.

In between all of this we spent our days braaing, taking long walks in the veld, reading and playing board games. It was really a breath of fresh air for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sweet spring day

Celebrating a sweet day and a sweet weekend:
  • A great kids birthday party yesterday where i got to chat to some like minded moms. One of which will be teaching Gabby next year.
  • A lovely outdoor saturday lunch at our benches and table under the tree. It was a great investment and has become our new favourite eating spot.
  • A fun night at the drive - in, with hot dogs, popcorn and chips. The kids loved going out in their gowns and slippers, with blankets and pillows on the back seat.
  • Early morning Sunday morning shopping that had be finding two great new craft books. I also found the throw that i was looking for on sale (From R249 to R160). It has little airplanes on it and looks fantastic in the playroom.
  • A great family lunch with my cousin and his wife. We were a great crowd. The boys were thoroughly indulged by their aunts and ate too much cake!
  • A quiet Sunday night to look forward to.
And in between all of this I managed to do 4 scrapbooking pages!!!

Did I mentioned that i love Spring!


Friday, September 18, 2009

We are okay!

Although the germs joined us again this week, we seem to be beating them more successfully in the warmth of spring. We had one miserable day and it has been better since then. We had a good night, where no-one woke up and everyone slept through, with no coughing fits.

We have a busy weekend. I have a birthday party this morning. Gabby actually got the invite but i asked the mom if i can bring Seth. She agreed but i was not sure if i read a bit of irritation in her voice? I felt bad but was really stuck as Jason was unable to look after him as he needs to go into the university. I tried to reassure her that he doesnt need a party pack or anything like that but will just really hang out with me. Then i made myself feel better by reminding myself of the five extra kids that arrived on the day of my boys birthday party last year. Seriously! Five! And i was the smiling, accommodating hostess with the mostest! Some were siblings, whose moms did not phone before hand and the one mom of two who forgot to RSVP but who wanted to come anyway! I would not do it at a party venue where there were costs invovld but as this is at her home, i feel less bad..... I coughed up lots of bucks on a large box of zoobs to make myself feel better!!!

Tomorrow we are going to my cousin for a braai and tonight we are hoping to go to the drive-in. I just have not mentioned it to the kids yet. I have learnt that once you tell the kids, it has to happen! It is cast in stone. I just want to guage the weather and their temperments tonight..

Today is my brother's birthday and i want to wish him a very happy 30th birthday. He is very dear to my heart and i wish that he was not 1000km's away and that i could spend the day with him and his family. But we are spending christmas and new years together! I will call him later. He is a notorious late waker-upper (since childhood)!

Finally i am in full swing planning our get away four day away weekend for next weekend. We are staying at a beautiful resort called stone hill in the magalies mountain. I want to get away and the best part is no TV! We are going to rest and i am plotting and scheming already. We are going to braai every night, take our board games along and make a fire every night. Just because we can. Add lots of outdoor hikes, a visit to the country festival, a visit to the Maropeng cradle of mankind, the cheese farm, the strawberry farm and we are going to have a great time. Of course mom needs to work out a new stitchery to take with. What a chore! :) I am including these pictures of the cottage we are renting. Anyone in Johannesburg can check out their website on It looks like just the country get away that we need!

So now after taking about my happily busy life, i am off to live it. Which starts with getting my brood out of bed, dressed and fed!

Best wishes

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Unwanted spring guests

The boys are sick. Seasonal conjunctivitis, rhinitis and tonsillitis. So this is just a short note to beg our sympathies. The unwanted guests are of course the allergies.

I walked out of the pharmacist with 8 medications between 2 kids. Then i had to get them home, fed and dosed with medication before leaving them with the nanny and returning to work. Are the black clouds making sense now?

I am just going to go and feel sorry for myself the rest of the day!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Sometimes there is a ray of light in the madness of parenting. Today was an example! I hate taking my kids to have their vaccinations, but they are a necessary evil. I dont mean to offend anyone who lands up on this blog, but i really have an issue with parents who dont vaccinate their kids. I believe that i am giving the best to my children by using medical science in their favour. Vaccinations have effectively wiped out so many illnesses. Here in South Africa, the state pays for most basic vaccinations but then you have to pay for the additional ones, such as Meningitis and Chicken Pox, which i did. But despite my belief in them, i hate taking the kids for their shots. So can you imagine my joy when the local clinic put a notice in my sons pouches at school that they will be coming to the school today and updating all the children's vaccinations. I just need to send the clinic cards. I need to pay in for the shots but it is still easier then getting off work and going. I also found that the kids do better with the shots at the school, perhaps because they are with their friends and there is a sense of shared suffering! There was an meningitis outbreak here a couple of months ago and they had the vaccination at the school. Gabby came home proudly showing me his "injury" and i had no complaints! So that is one thing off my never ending parental "to-do" list. You know, the one that gets longer and longer, no matter how much i do!!!!!

However, i am still thinking of them this morning and sending them some telepathic motherly love. Hope they get a lolly! Sometimes you need to be grateful for the little things!

On another note i have started to plot and scheme for the boys birthday party this year. I am thinking of a king Arthur (castle / knights / fair maiden) theme! And no, not just so that Mom and dad can dress up! Will keep you updated with the plans!


Saturday, September 12, 2009


I know this is my second child and i should be immune to the temper tantrums and such but i am really not! The thing is ... Gabby was never a temper tantrum thrower. He was more of a poor me, pitiful weeping kind of kid. Seth on the other hand lets everyone know about it when he is pissed off. And lately, most things make him mad. He likes the world to be just so, which includes his mother mind reading what he wants. If something goes wrong we have 5 seconds to figure it out and fix it otherwise, it is the full collapsing legs, crying show.

So after a day out shopping with the boys can someone tell me ..
  • Why a toddler who throws the free paper hat he got from the steak house at lunch time on the floor screams for 30 minutes when it breaks and you throw it in the bin?
  • Why he screams when you try to fit shoes onto him at the shop but then cries when you take them off?
  • Why he has a temper tantrum when you give him supper and refuse to give him more tomato sauce even though his plate is swimming in half a bottle?)
  • Why a potty training toddler tries to wee every 2 minutes and then screams the house down when his poor bladder wont comply?
  • Why my child insists on dragging my garden hose around the garden (literally up trees, around the jungle gym) and then screams every 5 minutes when it gets stuck?
So i do understand that it is hard to be two years old, BUT it is sometimes worse to be the mother of a two year old. The funniest thing is when my older son tells me : "Just ignore him, you are giving him attention". Words straight out of my mouth!

Just to give me hope i am posting this picture of Seth a year ago when he was little, cute, compliant and did not get say the word "No!" every two seconds. Lucky for him, his mother loves him!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

5 things that you didnt know about me...

I love discovering something about someone close to me that i didnt know, dont you?

It gives them a whole new dimension and you step back and say: "Wow, i didnt know that bout you! You? No! Who would have guessed!"

So old and new friends, I am going to share some things that you may not (or may!) know about me......
  1. My greatest fear was that i was not going to be able to have children. It plagued me for much of my teenagehood and young adulthood. My mother struggled to concieve and i was convinced it would apply to me to. Now that i have my children,my greatest fear is that something should happen to them.
  2. I like myself more at 32 then i did at 22. I wish i could you back to my 22 year old self and tell her that everything was going to be just fine. That many of the things that she worried about so terribly would not happen. Some of them would happen and she would cope just fine. I feel more able to embrace and celebrate my own strength now then when i was in my early twenties.
  3. I am afraid on some level to have a daughter. I had a very close and yet very damaging relationship with my mother. It is so much easier with my boys. I am afraid that if i ever had a daughter i would just pass on my hang ups. And i know that being a woman is hard. You feel more, hurt more, love more. I dont know if i can pass on that inheritance.
  4. I want to go to Russia. I want to kiss my husband on the steps of an old Russian church, with the sun shining on our faces.
  5. I find solitude comforting. I like being alone sometimes. I know that it may be because i have two kids under six who think that mom being alone is a sin. But i am genuinely comfortable in my skin
That was fun!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

spring fun

I had a crazy week. Nothing abnormal, just plain good old slog. The weather is still great here and we are eating outside every day. I suspect that we are going to have a very hot summer. It is already almost 30 here in the day. The boys have had two swims while i am still put off by the cold water. I need the water to be really warm before i get in.

So what has been happening in my life:
  • I got my gardener to put in all my annuals and a lot of sunflowers that i hope grow majestically. The garden is looking so good. Pics will follow soon.
  • I have finished my secret gift and just need to stitch it together.... will share as soon as i can.
  • I have started my mini quilt for christmas. I went into Woolies today and could not believe that they had xmas chocolates out on the counter! It is only September. Every year i make a decoration for the tree and would like to finisht the quilt early. Thankfully the whole family has their hand stitched stockings this year so i can do what i would like.
  • I am hoping to see my brother this weekend and go to the Irene craft market.
  • I am so happy formy dear friends, Johan and Jocelyn who welcomed their baby girl into their lives this week. She looks tiny. Were my boys ever that small? Little monsters that they are now.
  • Seth is talking more and more which is a great relief to me. Gabby was a child that spoke early and never stopped. Seth on the other hand does not like to talk at all. For a long time i swung between absolute panic and the urge to comfort myself that he will talk when he is ready. We took away the dummy a couple of weeks ago and what a change! He is really trying and not a day goes by when he doesnt say something new. I am so relieved. I am a real worry wart when it comes to the kids. And a word of advice if you are worried about something, dont go online. You are sure to find the one website that tells you that your child should be writing a novel at the age of four and saying 6 million words.
  • I am thinking of a dear, dear friend tonight and wishing that i could help her on her own journey, which of course i cant. Its hard to watch people you love struggle.
Wishing a good rest of the week.


Friday, September 4, 2009


Is exactly the space that i am in right now. I cant, in all honesty complain about anything right now. Not that it means that i dont. Of course i complain about little things like the dogs digging in my garden or my kids fighting or leaving the pot of rice on the stove and burning it. Silly, little things. But the big things are ok. The big things are good. Thats what's important. So, what is inspiring your friend to behave like a silly cheshire cat, with an grin plastered on her face? The following:

Why I am so "just fine" right now:
  • The weather is fabulous. Hot sunny African weather that simply embraces your soul. It changes the way that you interact with your environment, seeking any opportunity to go outside.
  • The kids are finally healthy, although Gabby has a lingering cough. I am stuffing them with the abundant fresh fruit and hoping that the vitamins will kick in.....
  • I have finished my crochet and packed it awy for a while and am making a beautiful gift that is a pleasure to make and to give. I cant share yet as i know she pops in here some times and i dont want to ruin the moment.... I also have a redwork xmas quilt all ready to go as soon as i am finished her present.
  • Jason and I got a day off to take a long weekend off at the end of the month. We are going on a family get away to the Magaliesberg (Magalies mountain) area. We managed to get wonderful accomodation in one of their small private stone cottages up in the hills so that we will be able to get away. I even splashed out and had the cotage cleaned daily, so no work for me! There is a country festival on that weekend. We also want to go strawberry picking, visit the cheese farm, eat out, cook under the stars, horse ride and just get away.
  • I am in a wonderful, I-am-in-love with my husband phase right now. Even if he tosses his clothes on the floor and wrestles with the boys before bedtime and then leaves me to get them to sleep (amongst other things.....). He makes me happy. He really does. He makes the kids so happy. I think that we make him happy too... a good space to be in.
  • Work is just so alright, right now. I have dealt with all the looming crises and am in a good space where i have not worked late the whole week.
  • I have stuck to my spring diet which is a bloody miracle. The thing is that i need to lose weight and i hate the idea of dieting... Can you see the problem? I have such a love affair with good food....... I am a real comfort eater and the problem gets so much worse in winter where i deal with my winter misery by snacking. But i have managed to stick to my non diet for a month now and have 5 kgs down to show for it. I am trying very hard not to think about being on diet. Otherwise i just get inspired to cheat! I am trying to reflect the positive seasonal energy of feeling good and renewed into my personal eating decisions. So hold thumbs for me!
I am sending you all good energy and wishing you a very good weekend....


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spring has sprung!

Happy, happy Spring day to all my friends in the Southern Hemisphere and happy, happy Fall day to those further North.

I wish you all of the following:
  • Dappled hot afternoons under comforting trees,
  • Kaleidoscopes of colours in your garden.
  • The sweet smell of Jasmine climbing on your fence.
  • The tart taste of fresh lemonade.
  • Scents of lawn mowing and braai.
  • Cool, blue water closing over your head.
  • Bare feet,legs and arms.
  • The smell of sunscreen
  • Endless, empty summer days.
  • New books to read on the grass
  • The embrace of still, hot air
  • The hum of summer fans in the evening
  • Glorious Johannesburg thunder and lightening storms
  • Open doors and windows
But most of all I wish you a joyous new season of rebirth, a celebration of renewal. I sent my boys to school with trays full of seedlings this morning to brighten their space and welcome the season. Perhaps a special spring supper is in order......