Thursday, 30 December 2010

The two-year old's first day at the Zoo

Holiday at home does not feel like holiday (I have been complaining), but we did a bit of local Zoo visiting today. It felt good to get out of the house and to leave the DIY list that gets bigger and bigger... (Like Hubby hammering in some nails for pictures, and the hammer head fell off on the tile. Now the tile needs to be replaced! “sigh”)

The Johannesburg Zoo is a great place to take a kid. The toddler is two already. We could have taken her a lot sooner! She had a blast.

I remember how the cages used to look at the Zoo when I was a child. It was all steel cages with cement floors. I used to be quite depressed after a visit to the Zoo. A lot has changed since then. Thankfully! Most of the enclosures are replicates of the natural habitats of the animals. There are glass panels to look through and more open spaces for the animals! It does not look like steel cages anymore!

The toddler wanted to move non-stop, and did not appreciate us stopping for coffee or lunch.  The toddler tantrum is getting a bit much nowadays. Especially when in public! Horrors when she goes into high pitch mode and throws the tantrum on the floor. At home we ignore. But it is very difficult when it happens in a restaurant... I cannot proclaim anymore - with a smug shoulder shrug - that we don’t have it as bad! Just tonight I thought my head was going to explode because of the loud piercing shriek when I washed the toddler’s hair! Yes, the Terrible Twos has arrived!

We saw most of the animals, such as elephants, giraffes, lions, snakes, owls... Mieka was not impressed with the Max the Gorilla statue (see photo top right hand corner), but had no problem with the “live” animals. It rained near lunch-time; with thunder and lightning. But luckily there are a lot of trees. And when the sun came out, it was a scorcher again!

We got in some much need exercise as well, and in the end we had to cut some corners. Our feet were killing us! We will definitely need to go back to check out the animals we have missed!

(Photo: My first attempt at a collage with my new Photoshop software.  It’s not very user-friendly, is it?)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Public Holiday - we lost track

Amazing: another Public Holiday! Whoopee!
I was preparing my lists of stuff to do when we realized we are not going to get all the shops and banks open.
Photos: Mieka playing in the garden yesterday.
Enjoy your day! :-)

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Sunday, 26 December 2010

The toddler and Christmas Two - report

It is actually the toddler’s 3rd Christmas, but she was only 4 days old on her first Christmas in 2008.

This year she knows the word “present”, and she knows what to do with a present! Taking off the wrapping and actually looking at what is underneath... The previous year the gift paper was enough to occupy her for hours! We are not getting away with less this year!

Not that we mind! Not at all! There is nothing nothing that beats the excitement of giving a present to your own children...

Christmas time traditions are an important part of creating a family culture.
Some traditions we are upholding:
  • Giving of presents to each other.  Yes, we are guilty of the Christmas gluttony of consumerism, but it is nice to be able to spoil each other! (We are really grateful that we are able to buy something for each other.)
          We spaced the toddler with regards her presents. We did not give all of it in one go. We also
           have two family gatherings where she gets presents from the family. (The lucky little fish!)
  • The Christmas tree – we put it up in the beginning of December, and the Christmas lights are flickering each night on the tree. The toddler told us regularly: “Kersboom” (Christmas tree)
  • Spending time with family. We had family gatherings on the 24th and 25th, with both sets of grandparents! The toddler loved playing with the nephews and niece, and she got a lot of attention from her grandparents!
It was a great time and we had lots of fun!

Today is a bit of a letdown. We look forward for so long to these days, and then it has passed already!  It leaves me with a bit of “Is this all/IT?” That’s why next year we are not going to be here! Holidays is better when you are not staying home, but spending it somewhere else!

I hope you had a great festival time, and that all your expectations came true?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Holidays at home does not feel like holiday

Next year I do not want to be here over the Christmas season:
  • It does not feel like holidays when you stay in your own home.
  • Looking at all the odd jobs that needs to get done does not make it feel like holidays.
  • I would definitely not need to iron while on holidays.
  • I’m sure the toddler wouldn’t have gotten sick when we were on holiday! (We had a quick visit to the doctor’s this afternoon...)
  • Rushing around for last-minute Christmas shopping is not fun while still at home.
  • I would not have spent two hours in the bank while on holiday.   
  • I would have been able to get some afternoon naps worked into the schedule while on holiday.
Yes, I am complaining!
Who else finds this time of the year a bit depressing and stressful?

Another new year’s resolution for next year: We are going away for the Christmas holiday in 2011! Some sea and sand will really do the trick... (Hint! HINT!)

Wordless Wednesday #56 - Christmas wishes

Have a happy, blessed, peaceful Christmas time!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Two Years Old

The Toddler is two years old today, and a little doll is always in her hand
She knew what to do with candles!

Playing with her tin tea set she got on her birthday

Playing on the jumping castle at Tres Joli

She loves the swings at Tres Jolie
Happy birthday, Mieka! It has been a great adventure for two years now!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Worse than a toddler

I saw the hash tag #worsethanatoddler on Twitter by 5minutesformom. I had to smirk smile at myself! It describes our dogs just as well! They are worse than the toddler!

And we have done it twice now! I don’t know where we got the romantic notion of a little dog that sits at our feet at night, and who comes when called, and go out and pee in the rain when ordered? Our dogs do not bark on cue! Never!

The new addition, the Miniature Yorkshire Terrier is extremely cute! He gets away with “murder” most of the time because of his cuteness. He wants to sit with us on the coaches, and we have caught him sleeping on it as well. He jumps like a regular little buck between the coaches. He is forever standing to attention for a scrap of food from the table, but turns his nose at his own food.

He does not do sleeping outside. We have relented every time, because he keeps on bumping against our security gate, and giving loud yelps!  He wants to sleep on beds, and it would have been fine. But he also lifts his leg in the house. I hope we can still teach him – he is an old man at 5/6 years of age!

Our other dog, Petite Peu, is not impressed with the new addition, and jealousy makes her keep guard 24/7 over Benji. To make sure that he does not get more attention than her... Not that Benji gets frazzled! He prances around like a Prince in the house!

The two humps each other every now and again. They are both neutered, so it must be something to do with being the top dog... I think?

In any case: The next time I hear about a dog that is looking for a house; I will be pressing the Forward button, and not Reply! You hear!

Another New Year’s resolution: Be careful of the Reply button!
What New Year’s resolutions do you have listed by now?

Movie Clip Monday #4 - Toddler drinking coffee

The toddler is drinking a cup of milk foam at the restaurant.

Linking up with Tasneem a MumDrum with her Movie Clip Mondays.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Nearly two

Our little toddler turns two in two days time! Unbelievable!

When birthdays come around, it makes you think of the time around the birth, and how excited we were to meet her! It was a very difficult time, mostly because of the sleep deprivation, but it was one of those truly awe inspiring live-changing events of our lives. I feel the same about the birth of the teen as well!
I will be writing Mieka’s birth story very soon. It needs to be written before we forget about it...

The toddler at two years of age:

  • She uses two to three word sentences. She repeats everything we say to her.
  • She loves loves playing with dolls. She spends the most of her time dressing (more undressing) the dolls, and wrapping them and cuddling them.
  • She climbs the stairs all by herself. We usually try to follow right behind her, but today she climbed them on her own. We got a big fright when we realised she went up to her big sister! Scary! But “tick” – She climbs the stairs!
  • She “makes coffee” for us with her stacking cups and stirs it with a hammer. (The tea set for her birthday is going to be a big hit!)
  • I have said before that I think the toddler is the cutest ever now at two! She wraps our faces in her hands, and gives us big kisses, and rolls her face over our faces! That is the most love –inspiring act that makes us want to eat her up as well!
  • Luckily it seems that the toddler is not a morning person.  She stays sleeping with us until eight over weekends or when we can.  (The next two weeks of holidays are definitely going to be bliss.) As long as she gets her “booby” she is fine!
  • Breastfeeding until she is two years of age. I have these goals when to stop breastfeeding, but it seems that BF just works better and better for us! I am just as surprised as everybody else that I am still breastfeeding the toddler. (Big smile!)
Code Name Mama asked last week on Twitter for one reason why we love being a parent, and I replied that I love seeing the new personality develops!  At two the personality is really starting to show! It definitely is an adventure!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve - first bee sting

This afternoon we had the most glorious time at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve near Muldersdrift on the West Rand. The weather played along very nicely for Hubby's end-of-year function.

The toddler got her first bee sting. She handled it very bravely when the teen came running with her with the stinger still attached to her foot. She just got a little bit excited, as the rest of us, when a bee landed on her face as well. Luckily her Dad sorted that bee, and got rid of the stinger very quickly. She was happily occupied for about half an hour when I gave her Rescue Cream to put on the swollen bite area. (Nothing that gets the toddler in one-track mode than a little bit of cream...)
I have not been to this Nature Reserve for many years, but it is definitely a place well worth visiting more than once. Not only can you drive around and watch animals like rhinos and bucks, but there is also lots of fun stuff for the kids to do!

Mieka and Dad had a swim, which she enjoyed very much.
There is a baby animal center, as well as reptiles to look at.
We got there when the baby lions were being fed, which was a huge bonus. They usually close the area at 4pm, but they let us stay to watch.
The bird wanted a piece of that snake, but no luck! Really funny to watch!
There is a restaurant as well on the premises, and the children all got an ice-cream at the end of the function.
I can definitely recommend it as a place to take the kids! Mieka could not get enough of seeing the rhinos, the hippos, baby lions, as well as the snakes. I wish we had more time than just this afternoon!

The best of all; she fell asleep almost at her usual time, and not a peep from her since...

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Sleep adventures

I have just spent an hour with the toddler on the bed, and now Dad is trying some more. Another hour has passed already, and we are still hearing the giggle from the bedroom...

Sleep stays an “adventure” every night! Sometime she announces that she is going to bed, and we have to move to walk with her up the steps. Even when it is before her bed time. We do try to keep to the bed times! Sometimes she asks for “booby” and falls asleep on the breast. And it’s easy...

But sometimes we get nights, like tonight, where nothing helps! Especially when we have decided to drink that second glass of wine... Murphy does keep his ears wide open, you know!

Nowadays she also wakes up with a scream when she sees we are not sleeping next to her!

Sorry, have to go make a bottle... Dad has just sent me a sms from the bedroom.

Fifty minutes later, but Little Miss and Dad are finally down for the night. I had to lie down as well. Yawn!
Who says that sleeping with the toddler is not a fun adventure? (Sarcastic smile)

Now all that’s left is get myself off to bed...

Good night!

(Photo: Mieka earlier today, fast asleep on the coach!)

Related posts:
Cuddle at bedtime or cry-it-out babbies
List of tactics to get them to sleep

Rain! on our public holiday

It’s been raining non-stop here since yesterday, and before that we had grizzly weather for longer than a week now. We love the rain, and welcome it! The earth needs it desperately!

But we go into complain mode when it seems that there is no end in sight. (We don’ know what we want, do we?)  I feel sorry for you in the Northern Hemisphere with the cold! Here we are used to long sunny days of sun during the December holidays and over Christmas!

We bought the toddler an umbrella yesterday, and she and Dad went out for a stroll in the rain this morning! It was a huge treat, and she did not want to come back in again... Love it when she enjoys something so much! She is taking an early morning nap now, which is a huge bonus! We are really chilling now...

Luckily it is a public holiday here today. One day less to worry about what to do with the toddler while working... And tomorrow is my last day. Whoohooo!

I love this time of the Year!
What are you doing with yourselves today?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Three days left – we can do this!

Mieka playing with the dog's bed this afternoon, and Benji, the new addition to our family
The holidays are three days away. We can smell it already!

I had my “shopping day” today. Once a year we get an extra shopping day, instead of our normal afternoon off a month. It is a huge bonus, and we plan long before the time on how to spend it.

We had some rainy weather the past couple of days which has been a huge relief. How I wished this morning that we did not make any plans... But the teen had me booked for a manicure at eight o’clock - a Christmas present from her. Guess what? We were on our way, and the friend (whom she wanted to support) cancelled on us! We could have spent a bit lot longer in bed!

We went to the shops and tried to do some Christmas shopping. It is very difficult with a busy toddler. It is not getting easier. No, she is getting busier, and we have to keep a constant watch! I have a renewed respect for ALL mothers who get their shopping done with toddlers in tow.

We could show some shopping bags at the end of our shopping excursion. Which I am very proud off! It feels like an accomplishment of sorts! (Huge smile!)

I also had an afternoon nap on this Monday afternoon with the toddler. It was one of the best afternoons in a very long time! Sleep is not overrated here! No, it is more precious than gold! And I could spend some time with the toddler. She is extremely cute nowadays. I think this is the cutest time in a child’s life!

When do you think are they their cutest?

Only Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday that lay ahead. Thursday is a public holiday here this week! Then HOLIDAYS and time with the family and toddler!

Related post:
Things to consider when shopping with the toddler

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The end of the school year for the toddler & report card

Friday was the last day of the school year for this year. It feels longer, because most children were already on “holiday” two weeks earlier. They just went to fetch their report cards on Friday. A logistic nightmare for working parents, of course...

The day care also closed for the year. The toddler has completed a whole year in her class.

The toddler got her report card:
  • She listens to her teacher.
  • Creative activities: She does finger pant; building with blocks; play with dolls.
  • Cleaning in class: She tries her best.  (Is there a child who eagerly helps with cleaning up?)
  • She has adapted very well in class.
  • Eating: Very well. She begins to eat on her own.
  • Friends: She prefers playing on her own.
  • Sharing of toys: She struggles with sharing of her toys. (This is especially hard for singletons. I know from previous experience with the teen...)
  • She knows all the parts of her body.
  • Extra commentary: "She is a very good little girl and loving towards her teachers. But she bites her friends when she does not get her own way. She loves playing in the sand pit. It is a pleasure to have her in class. She loves listening to stories"
The biting is a big concern. She does not bite us at home. I hope that enough positive reinforcement of good behaviour and a bit lot of pep talk will take care of this.

Things to focus on/learn for the New Year:
  • Sharing.
  • Not acting in a negative way (hitting and biting) when not getting her own way.
The biting issue rears its ugly head every now and again. *Sigh*

Related post:
Day care woes and first report card

Friday, 10 December 2010

The toddler blames the teen

I don’t know where she learns it, but as small as she is, she blames her sister, the Teen! For E-V-E-R-Y thing!

We hear:
“Nee, sussie, nee”! (No, sister, no!)
“Sussie”! (Sister!), or “Arnia!” – In a voice indicating guilt.

And then the teen is totally innocent!
She is not even near the indignant toddler.

We can’t help but laugh when this happens. I can just imagine how this type of behaviour must go on between siblings who are closer together in years...

Where on earth do they learn this? Where do they learn to play the innocent party?
 “It’s not me!  It’s her!”

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December: I love this time of the year

Reasons why December is the best time of the year:
  • It is summer with glorious weather and long sunny days.
  • Everyone is more relaxed.
  • We are beginning to get into the spirit of the festivities of Christmas time.
  • Traffic is great, because there is none!
  • I can sleep a bit longer in the mornings, because of less traffic.
  • Our holidays are around the corner.
  • We are on Holiday! Duh!
  • More time to spend with the family.
  • No more school. No taxiing!
  • Presents!
  • Time for looking ahead to a New Year which is just around the corner.
Why can’t it be December the whole year long?

What do you like about Decembers?

(Graphic: Microsoft Clip Art)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Just an ordinary mother

About Mommy blogs and the Internet. We know things we did not know we had to know about being mothers and parenting and babies and toddlers. And when we don’t know, we can ask a whole worldwide community of knowledgeable mothers! Mothers have so many choices now.

 I find myself feeling guilty most of the times when I read about all the high aspirations of parenting methods. There are the Authentic Parenting style, the Natural Parents, and the Attachment Parenting websites. Unschooling dot com and Gentle Disciplining. Code Name Mama has even decided not to expose her child to the whole Santa myth, and her arguments are very sane.

Then the guilt tripping sets in. Maybe we should do it another way!? The green parents also make me wish I could be a better greenie!

I try most of the times just to juggle being a mother, and to work as well!

Sometimes we are so tired when we get home, we declare it a McD’s night out. Horrors, yes! We feed our children a McDonald’s hamburger every now and then. I even ask for the toy that comes with the food because I think it is some of the cutest toys ever. Now I hear it encourages bad eating habits... Guilty!

We do Christmas with Santa because we think it is a whole lot of fun! And it cultivates a special family tradition for the little one.

Luckily we also get validation of some of our parenting styles. Sometimes when the baby (now toddler) is more in our bed, I think about all the benefits of co-sleeping and don’t stress about it. The same with spanking which we don’t do – gentle disciplining takes care of that!

The other day I thought to myself that one of my New Year’s resolutions should be that I should relax about my own parenting style. I am an ordinary mother trying to juggle life! I try to aspire to be more mother and parent and working mother, but I give myself permission to just be ordinary. Sometimes I will live up to my aspirations, sometimes not. I love reading and will keep on reading about all those great parenting styles!

Now I am an ordinary working mother. That is totally OKAY for me!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Movie Clip Monday #3 - Toddler demands to see self in clip

The toddler now understands perfectly when I take a picture or video clip of her. She demands to see herself immediately, not giving enough time to record a video clip.

Linking up with MumDrum and her Movie Clip Mondays.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A new addition to the family

We already have a dog. A dog that we thought is a Miniature Pinscher, but turned out to be something between a Dachshund and a Pug. She’s got all the irritating characteristics of all the breeds. For example the loudest bark ever for such a small dog, and she uses it All the Time!

But she’s our dog, and part of the family! We feel sorry for her being at home during the day when we are not around. Dries wanted to get another dog to keep her company, but I said that one was enough! Because Petite is definitely ENOUGH!

But the clicker dog trainer of earlier this year sent out an email earlier this week that her mother has to get rid of her dogs. One of the dogs is a Miniature Yorkshire Terrier! It stated that the dog works well with other dogs.

Guess what? We got ourselves a new addition to our family: Benji, the Miniature Yorkshire Terrier. Apparently there were ten responses of people who wanted to take the dog, and they selected us as the new family!

Now we’ve got another male in the house! (See also weekend photo of him sitting on my neck on the way back from his owner.)

He is the cutest most chilled-out dog ever. Petite Peu was a bit thrown by this small little thing prancing around, but Benji did not seem to be bothered at all. He spent the most of today marking his new territory. We did not know a small little dog could pee so much. He also marked the teen’s room! We think it is because Petite Peu had a few accidents there when she was younger...

Tomorrow our vet neighbour is going to clean his teeth, because he’s got the worst teeth ever! (Is that a flaw of the breed, or did he get too many snacks from the previous owner?)

Hope we haven’t got ourselves twice the dog trouble than before? Thumbs crossed!

But he is super cute, and the toddler is impressed with the dog that lets her stroke him, and does not want to chew and bite the whole time...

Weekend in pics - Hubby's BDay

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Friday, 3 December 2010

Mornings first photo at day care #5

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Little boys are a different species

I think all boys are made of something totally different than little girls. They are of a different species. My sister-in-law asked the other day if all boys are as busy as hers. I don’t have a boy, but I said yes immediately! When I compare my friends with their boys, and my girls and how they behave, I can only come to the conclusion that there is no comparison!

A little boy visited us the previous Friday with his mother. The children were playing in our vicinity, and they were as busy as little toddlers are supposed to be busy. We were watching them the whole time!

His mother noticed at one stage that he had a red mark on his cheek that was not there earlier in the day.  The mark became swollen, and we had to conclude that he must have burnt his cheek against the gas barbecue outside. Horrors! Luckily it was only a little burn, and by the next morning the mark was almost gone... But, horrors! It shows that we need to watch the boa boy much more closely!

The little man must have burnt himself when he went too near the barbecue. But we did not hear a peep or a squeal! Not a complaint! He just took it in his boy stride, and went on playing. Boys are usually much more interested in fires and barbecues...  For the rest of the evening we did not see him go near the barbecue!  Hopefully he learns a lesson! Hopefully!

The two toddlers are happy to play next to each other, and as long as there are two chairs or two of whatever toy then they get along just fine!

What is your experience with little boys? Are they really that different from girls? I think so!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Time for the soapbox – financial responsibilities

It is 16 days of No Violence against Women and Children-time again. Of course, Powerwoman has to get on her soapbox. Especially after I heard of another sorry excuse of a dad who does not take care of his financial responsibility towards his child...

As you all know by now, I feel very strongly about dads who use violence of any sort against their families. In another life in another time I was caught up in an emotional manipulative relationship! That’s why I have an X... The X also did not contribute financially towards his daughter up until today.

To withhold money from your wife and from your children is a form of violence. To manipulate your “loved ones” (do you really love them?) by threatening financial repercussions is VIOLENCE against them. To not pay for your child when you are divorced from the mother is violence against the mother AND his own child. His own flesh and blood!

The sorry-excuse-of-a -dad of a friend’s child only has to pay R300 South African rands (42.74 USD; 27.35 GBP) in a month. It only buys about one bag of nappies and a can of formula!  That is absolutely nothing. Then they don’t pay the maintenance, but complains about access to their children. And the poor mother has to juggle her finances, cope on her own with the child 24/7, AND has to be available for whenever the dad feels he wants to see the child...

Somewhere the equation does not add up!

When you decide to have a child, you also decide to take care of that child. Don’t you? But somehow it does not seem as logical for some people. They can just shrug it off, and say that “money does not have anything to do with love!” Yes, I have heard that argument a number of times! Unbelievable!

In these 16 days of no Violence against Women and Children I want people to also think of the financial violence that’s happening all around us. It does not show up in bruises, and tell-tale signs of domestic abuse. In the end it is violence in a very physical way! Children are deprived of the best we want to give them. They are deprived of opportunities because we can’t pay for everything! Our children are deprived in a very physical way!

Does it not make the sorry-excuses-for-dads feel guilty? I hope it does!

Related posts:
Soap Box tirades
Powerwoman on her soapbox again

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Having a baby sister

The teen about her relationship with the toddler:

23 months ago my dream came true, Mieka was born. I had always wished for a baby sis.

At first when I heard my mom was pregnant, I was like, “Oh my word!  I’m 15 and my mom is 40.” And I also thought that was a bit late to get another baby.

I was an only child and it wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of games that were hard to play; like catch. THAT WAS TIRING!!

When Mieka wants to play catch in a few years I would love to play, but will probably have back pain or something because of the age difference.
I love Mieka to bits and I will do anything for her. I will beat anyone who messes with her and I will even give up my afternoon naps to watch her.

A lot of teenagers are getting pregnant, not that I was planning to get a baby, but when Mieka came into the picture I realized that having a baby is very hard work. I have decided that if I planned on having a baby it would be in my 30’s.

I love walking with Mieka in the malls when my mom is not around, because people always look at you and think that Mieka is my baby. I once heard a woman saying to her friend that I was a slut. All I could do was smile at people’s perceptions.

All & all I love Mieka. She is the best thing that ever happened to me!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Movie Clip Monday #2 - Tiny gymnastics end-of-year fun

The toddler had her end-of year function with the tiny gymnastics (Tiny Tumbles). They had access to an entire hall of gymnastics equipment and toys! It was the best of fun ever!

I am linking up with MumDrum again with her Movie Clip Monday initiative. In the clip Mieka runs from one end of the trampoline to the other. She bumps into other toddlers, but gets up after the small altercation to carry on...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Red Beardy Man and a crying toddler

A year later, and the toddlers enjoy looking at Father Christmas from afar! Try putting them on his lap, and not one of the two year olds were impressed. Mieka kicked her legs and gave her shriek at the day care's Christmas Tree on Friday.
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It's totally okay! We don't want our kids sitting on the laps of strange looking old men, do we?

Related post of the previous year:
The Red Beardy Man

Friday, 26 November 2010

The year has gone swoooosh!

Arnia and the BF, Stian
I asked the teen to write me something of the past year, and her expectations of the following year.

The year has gone swoooosh!

This year I did grade 11 (standard 9) and what a year it was from projects to tests to hockey to keeping up a social life and having a bf.


Next year I will be doing Matric, the big and final year, but I still feel like a little kid and quite frankly I am scared of stepping up to the plate of being part of the eldest of the school.

A few highlights of this year:

  • We were at Umdloti, Durban, while the 2010 Soccer World Cup was on T.V.
  •  My boyfriend and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary and it was great.
  •  I played hockey and met a lot of new people and also got to rediscover old friends.
  •  My baby sister has crept so deep in my heart and I would do anything for her, even give up my afternoon naps.
A few highlights waiting for next year:
  • I am going on my long awaited French tour and afterward I am going to visit my aunt in London.
  • Every girl dreams about this day: The Prom Night! (I am already collecting photos for possible dresses)
I realized the other day that I still feel very young almost like a 12 year old that is still discovering the world and next year this time I will be thinking of university.

That’s a scary thought!                
Related posts:
The secret lives of teens 
Stressful teen years 
Teen in love

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Mornings first photo at day care #3

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The story of a little girl named Caitlin

Photo courtesy of Sherene Hustler of Inner Eye Photography
When you become a parent, you become even more aware of how precious a child is. And it touches you even more when you hear about children suffering, or hurting. This is the story of Caitlin, a 5-year old girl. She is also the daughter of Dries’s cousin, Michelle.

She was born prematurely with her twin sister at 30 weeks. There were complications such as stopping to breathe, struggling with reflux, and she contracted the Rotavirus at 7 months. At nine months Michelle’s niggling suspicions were confirmed that something was very wrong when she demanded answers. Up until then the paediatrician told her not to worry. Caitlin had undetected brain bleeding since birth which led to the fact that her entire motor section in her brain was gone.

The prognosis was very bad: acute cerebral palsy! Caitlin would only live until 15 years of age!

Michelle has not given up hope. To the contrary: she has been researching Caitlin’s condition and she has tried to get her the extra special care she needs. It is very difficult because she is single parent. Their hope is now focused on Neuro-endoscopic Autologous Stem Cell Implantation, which Caitlin has already been approved for at the X-Cell Centre in Germany. Michelle needs R300 000 for the trip and the medical procedures.

She is now bringing the plight of Catlin to everybody’s attention. The story of Caitlin has been published in People Magazine of this week.

Michelle has also started a Facebook fan page for Caitlin, called The Little Train who Can: Caitlin’s story so far. You can find more information about Caitlin and her condition on the page.

We are so blessed when we have healthy children. We believe that this little girl will also outlive her prognosis.

Miracles do happen every day, don’t they?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Mornings first photo at day care #2

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Clothes shopping with the teen - a No-No!

Remind me to never go clothes shopping with the teen.  It is only an exercise in frustration!

Whenever we go shopping for clothes for the teen, we usually end up with nothing. Only sometimes a clothing item gets thumbs up from the teen...

She is so picky and so fussy! All the pants and the skirts should sit on her hips, and when it doesn’t, she pulls it off to the hip level.  When I tell her it should be pulled up a bit, she retorts by saying that she will never wear it that way. Definitely not an eighties baby! We used to wear our skirts and pants just beneath our breasts.

The jeans should not make bags in front.  Most of the time I can’t even see the “bag” in front!

The worst part is that she looks very good in EVERY-THING she tries on. She still has the skinny body to look fantastic in almost anything! Why do we never appreciate our youthful bodies? Only to think back later on about our youthful skinny selves...

I cannot buy her any clothing item, because I do not want to waste my money and time. When she doesn’t like a clothing item, it does not get worn. Full stop! Never! Even when being nicely asked, or “threatened” because I have not seen the specific clothing item.

From now on I will let her find her own clothes. We do not agree on what is nice and what looks nice. Only sometimes!

Fortunately she manages to look good every time!  With no help – only sometimes – from the mother! (Wink smile!) The teen has her dress sense and style which is unique to her.  Luckily for the mother it is also not way out, or outrageous!

I always tell her that if she wears or looks funny, I will definitely capture it on camera. To keep it for that rainy day when we will need a laugh! (Not really! But I think it helps a bit to ward of bad teen wardrobes, don’t you?)

Next time I will rather go and drink a coffee, than go into a changing room with her...