Monday, 27 May 2013

Staying in Umdloti, forever!

I have found the perfect place to stay!

Umdloti, with Ballito and Umhlanga a very short drive away on the Dolphin Coast.
It's a definite place to go!

The weather is warm and mild most of the time.
(They don't know what winter is!)

A view of the ocean, and the beach, and clouds and sky over an endless ocean.
With boats waiting on the horizon to go into Durban harbour...

There are malls in the vicinity, so as not to make me long for shopping destinations in big cities.
(I am prone to get withdrawal symptoms when I can't spot the nearest mall...
No problem here!)

And there are great coffee shops and seafood restaurants!
Double plus!

I don't think I ever want to go back again.
To the rat race in the city!

Signing out for a week, maybe more...

"Sigh"



(Until next time we go on holiday again...)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

iPads in Education - I want to be a teacher now!! #iPadSamG


Sam Gliksman
iPad in Education for Dummies

By now you know that I have an absolute passion for my iPad and for the use of the iPad in Education.

I am thinking of changing my career...
(Sometimes! No, lots of times! If only I were more adventurous!)
To be able to use this technology in teaching! It seems to me like it is the best time ever to be in teaching!

I had the extremely good fortune to be able to listen to Sam Gliksman talk about the use of iPad in Education. He is the author of iPad in Education for Dummies, and he is also an educational technology consultant for the last 20 years, an Aussie from America.

His website is here: Ipads in Education

The most important to remember is that Education is using iPads, and that the technology is not the goal! It stays education! It is about the development of a student-centered iPad learning environment.

Education of now has not stayed up to date. Children cites experiences of being bored and out-of-touch educational environments. Educational technology has not moved forward, but the business world and everything around us has moved on.
Children are disenfranchised and disengaged.

Children also learn very differently than we used to learn. Sam Gliksman showed us a video where we did not notice a man dressed in a guerilla suit because we were focusing on the white t-shirts handling the ball... (Okay, some did notice it, but I definitely did not the first time!)

Apparently the children see it, but they do not get the correct count as easily as the adults.

Children are multi-tasking, and absorbs images much more effectively. They are much better at adapting integrating media.
They need new skills and a new learning environment. That is where iPad fills the void.

"If we teach today as we taught yesterday,
we rob our children of tomorrow"
- Ancient Proverb

iPad has been in the game now for four years, to help achieve a successful learning environment.

The first 4 keys to a successful learning environment:

1. Solid Foundation
A reliable wireless network management structure which allows for yearly growth!

2. Sharing and communal learning
Apple TV is a wonderful application, but you are able to mirror the iPad through a laptop as well.

3. Communicate and prepare
Communicate your vision and direction to the teachers and the parents.

4. Share ... Carefully 
1 to 1 is preferably, but sharing devices are not insurmountable.

Sharing of content opens up a whole new learning environment on the iPad, where it is between students, teachers and students, and also with people outside the class.


The focus with the iPad should always be on the objective!
The teacher is not the expert, and it is not needed. 
He should only know what can be done, and give the students the freedom to do it! (Love this!!)

Encourage the unpredictable...

Investigate & analyse!

"The key to learning is to ask the right questions" - Einstein

We were shown a couple of examples of how students are incorporating the use of iPads in the classroom. Children building Mars rovers; Taking time lapse photography with the iPad of plants growing; Connecting with famous astronauts and authors through Twitter; A poetry jam with Garage Band; ... The possibilities are endless!

It is also possible to simulate frog dissections and star walks and to create ebooks and to investigate challenge based research...

Exciting!

The adoption rate for kids exhilarating! There are no impediments to children to use it!

-------------------


Michelle Lissos of Think Ahead Education Solutions  mentioned that there are now 200+ iPad schools in South Africa.

CAPS Workbooks are free on ZA Books.


The Apple in Education Competition was launched already for 2013 where creativity in the classroom
are rewarded.

There is an upcoming iPad journey workshop on 5-7 June where teachers and principals can get a hands-on workshop experience who are new to iPad.

There is also a special for teachers to buy an iPad and pay over 12 months, interest free!

---------------------

In the meantime I have talked to both our Pre-Primary School Head, and our future Primary School Head, and they are both very eager and open-minded towards the use of this technology!
Think Ahead did contact them about getting it started!
I am keeping my thumbs crossed!


Do your schools have implemented it already, and what are your experiences?


Related posts:

- Afrikaans op die iPad

- Even I can make sushi with an iPad

- Apple in Education 

- Excited about ZA Books


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The ultimate nightmare, or daymare should be more fitting!



Been there, done that, got the t-shirt....
Lice! 
And my head starts to itch already...

I have gone through it already with the first-born. The note in the school bag, the rush to the chemist, and the washing and the combing...
Later on we used to spray each time we washed the hair, and it kept the lice at bay...

But I am now feeling uncomfortable about it being too much pesticides... What with all the stuff we used to wash her hair with, and she sitting in the bath in it!
(Bad mother! I was working with the "best knowledge" I had at the time. I got the stuff at the chemist!)

So far we haven't had an episode with the Missy, and I hope it stays away!
I got an eco-friendly spray the other day at the hairdressers where Little Missy got her first haircut.
It doesn't smell very inviting, but hopefully it works!

The following guest post highlights the fact that it is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is just something that's need to be taken care of right away!


What to do When Your Child Gets Lice

The first thing you should do when your child comes home from school with lice or you get a phone call from another mom who tells you your child may have lice is not to panic!

Take a minute and think back to when you were a child. Do you remember your experience with lice? Chances are you do. Also remember children and lice go together like peanut butter and jelly, poor analogy probably but a very true one!

When your child gets lice consider it a milestone, one that will hopefully only happen once because let’s face it, lice are not much fun for your child or anyone they have come in contact with. Do not be embarrassed, almost every child has had or will get lice.

The first thing you need to do is check yourself, your spouse, and other children in the home to see if they too have lice. Then it is off to the drug store.Depending on how many of the family members have lice will depend on how many boxes of lice killing shampoo you need, buy one box per person.
Follow the instructions on the box and the lice should be gone with one treatment. Check your child again in 24 hours to make sure the lice are gone.

In the meantime, if your child has spent time with another child or you believe they may have picked the lice up at school or a birthday party you will need to make a few phone calls. Again do not be embarrassed just dial the number and talk to the school nurse or the parents of the other children.
In the event you child picked the lice up at school, the school nurse will go to your child’s class room or call the children down to the office and she/he will check the children to see if they too have the lice. 

If you think, your child picked the lice up from a party or friends you will want to call their parents and let them know. Chances are they already know. Just because you are the one making the phone call, does not mean your child gave the other children the lice. The same is true if a parent calls you, that does not mean their child started the lice-spreading event.It just means they are good parents, like you, and want to make sure you are aware of the situation. 

The next thing you need to do is fire up the washing machine. You will need to wash you child’s linens (lice crawl not fly or jump.) They could have crawled on to the bedding and not just the pillowcases.The same is true for any clothes your child has worn recently and towels and wash clothes. Use hot water and a good detergent and use the long cycle. Use hot to dry the lines and clothes as well.

The last thing you will need to do is replace all hairbrushes, combs and hair accessories your child may have worn prior to finding out about the lice. 


Tammy Mahan has been writing medical and health for over 20 years. Writing for Healthline.com allows her to share her medical knowledge with others.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Working Mother's Monday Blues


Miss the Little Miss today...
We had a whole weekend with her, and I always MISS her during the week!

We went to Skoobs, the ultimate bookish pleasure, at Montecasino yesterday. Dad spent some time with her in the children's book section.
We then all sat down with our books, and she paged through hers as well. Fetching new ones when she was finished with one...
She is a big girl already!


And today I miss her!

Luckily I have these questions to keep me occupied :-)
"Must we dance in the train?" (1-5-2013)
"Why do women have handbags and men don't? (1-5-2013)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Jon Bon Jovi rocked at Soccer City in Johannesburg - BB photo report

FNB Soccer Stadium

We bought the Jon Bon Jovi tickets last year already, so there was big excitement last weekend when it finally arrived!


D-Day!

We were not allowed cameras or tablets into the venue, so I had to rely on my very fickle BlackBerry for some photos! (Which died when Jon Bon Jovi came on stage.)

It felt like some sort of survival sitting up high in the icy cold - for hours and hours - but it was worth it!
Even the lung infection afterwards...

Jon Bon Jovi rocked and rocked for hours, and the crowd loved it!
They have a lot of stamina! I am impressed!
Groupies 
On our seats
Our view of the stage
Sunset at the FNB Stadium
Finally, Jon Bon Jovi!
 The two acts before Jon Bon Jovi also made us proud.
It was Daniel Baron and Elvis Blue.

I have an idea that the  sound quality is better higher up than standing in the Golden Circle, because we did not need any ear plugs. (Maybe I am just jealous! ;-) )

We left the stadium when they were performing the third encore, and we heard afterwards that they went on rocking past twelve. Luckily we were not stuck in traffic! Which we heard were a bit of a headache...

Jon Bon Jovi! You can!!



Thursday, 16 May 2013

No words

RIP Liam Buys
I have no words.
I know for sure that no words can make it better! Or find some sense in it.
A small baby, a life, a little person...
He was dead when born!
He had two moms waiting for him. Two moms who wanted to adopt him. Two moms waiting, and expecting, and planning!
Two moms who had to go to his funeral yesterday, without having seen him...
Two moms who are mourning the loss of him!

I can only put your name here, Liam Buys!
You will not be forgotten!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Questions for Mother's Day


We received this cute questions and answers for Mother's Day from the pre-primary school. It is very sweet!
It also reminded me of how the smallest things (seemingly), can be the most important to Little Missy. I will spend more time bathing and eating cookies with her! ;-)

(Translated)

How old is Mom?

10

What is Mom's favourite food?

Mushrooms and pasta 

What does Mom like to drink?

Wine and tea

What work does Mom do?

Computer work

How much money does Mom have?

60

What does Mom do when she rests?

She sits and lies on the coach and watch tv.

What does Mom watch on television?

Ice Age 

What clothes does Mom like to wear?

Dresses

What do you and Mom do together which is very special?

We bath together and we eat cookies



Related posts:

On Mother's Day

Too many Mother's Days

Mother's Day




Sunday, 12 May 2013

On Mother's Day



It is only being a mother, that you truly understand what your own mother has done for you!

Thank you, Mom!

- Thanks for being there for us. We could always count on you!
- Thanks for the wonderful example you have been of being a mother!
- Thanks for loving us!
- Thanks for being a great grandmother as well!

We are lucky to have you!

I am also thinking about all the Moms who desperately want to be Moms, but can't!
I am especially thinking about all the Moms who do not have their own biological children, but makes so much difference in the lives of children that they have adopted or are involved with!

And last, thinking of dear people who were waiting for that special child, wanting to adopt him, and the longed-for baby who died this week in childbirth!


Check out A Child After 40 Tribute album to Mothers over 40.

Friday, 10 May 2013

What are you going to become?


Some children know what they want to do and become with their lives from a very early age.

I asked Little Missy the same question the other day. Up until now Grade R is still the ultimate goal in Life...


She wants to become a house worker.

(Obviously I asked for an explanation.)

Because a house worker is in Grade R.

She learns the children how to write.

It is not being a person that cleans people's houses!


I tried to press the issue some more, to understand what she means.


I am going to become what I am going to become!

You have asked enough questions (VERY ANGRY)!


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Sofia the First is coming to our screens

A beautiful  little girl Sofia who suddenly find herself  being called a princess, with all the magic of Disney animation...

We saw the first episode Sofia the First: Once upon a Princess a while back.
It is an extremely enchanting story!
The 4-year old wanted to watch it over and over again!

The series premières this coming Saturday, 11 May, at 9:00 am on Disney Junior (DStv Channel 309).



The Press Release: 
"The animated television series  Sofia the First is set in the storybook world of Enchancia and tells the story of Princess Sofia, an adventurous little girl who is learning how to adjust to royal life after her mom marries the king and she becomes a princess overnight. Upon moving into the castle to live with her new family, including her step-father, King Roland II, and step-siblings Amber and James, Sofia quickly discovers that looking like a princess isn't all that difficult, but possessing the characteristics of a true princess – honesty, loyalty, courage, independence, compassion and grace – is what makes one truly royal. Helping her in her journey are the three headmistresses of Royal Pre Academy, Fauna, Flora and Merryweather (the beloved fairies seen in Disney's classic Sleeping Beauty); the royal steward, Baileywick; and a group of cute woodland creatures led by a wise-talking rabbit named Clover. Classic Disney Princesses Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Jasmine will make special appearances in event episodes to offer Sofia words of wisdom – princess to princess.
Created for kids age 2-7 and their families, the stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons for young children. While she lives in an enchanting fairytale world of castles, wizards and flying horses, Sofia remains a relatable peer-to-peer princess who is experiencing many of the same social situations as young viewers at home, including fitting in at school, building sibling relationships, making new friends, discovering how and when to be brave, learning the importance of telling the truth, and mastering new skills and good sportsmanship."


Ariel Winter is the voice of Sofia

I know of one Princess who will be watching. ;-)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Top Gun relived - with a KFC Big Movie Night


We went to our second KFC Big Movie Night here in Johannesburg.
It is free AND so much fun!


We got to relive Top Gun again. The 80s vibe, fashion style and storyline that does not have that much meat (compared to what we are used to now!), but still very enjoyable!
The little 4-year old boy of a friend stretched his arms and took off each time the fighter planes took off with pyrotechnics and firework displays! Which made Little Missy run too, as well.
We had trouble keeping the jackets and hats on them, because it was ice ice cold. I was still defrosting the next day, but we had to stay until the end!
The kids loved the goodie bags with all the flying toys! And dancing for prizes... And popcorn!
We also had fun in the photo and video booths.

KFC Big Movie Experience
I hope we can do it again, only in summer next time, please!


Related post:
A Big Movie experience - thanks to the Colonel

The Princess is on her way

On her way to rule the kingdom 

It happens each and every day.
The cuteness that she is!

I want to record everything she does, and says, but most of the time we have to smile (laugh inwardly, if we can manage it), and we forget about it.
Because the next day she is cute and funny all over with a new cute and funny!

She was making plans since yesterday...
When she got home, she made the paper crown all by herself.
She told me she wanted to wear a princess dress and shoes, and we had to set it aside last night.

I sneaked on a pair of boots this morning, but when she looked down and saw it... Instant disapproval! So the princess shoes (with the heels) are on, with back-up shoes again in the bag.
But I was adamant that the pants must stay on underneath the dress! It is cold here in the mornings!

Her dad says she walked all the way to class, very impressed with herself. (She usually wants to be carried)
Basking in the comments of the parents, and teachers...

Princess in the making!


Related post:

Princessionista

Monday, 6 May 2013

A certificate of bravery for a first haircut


Little Missy had her first haircut on Friday last week. She is 4 years and 4 months.

We love her long hair, but it has become unmanageable, with lots of tears when trying to comb out the tangles each day.
I have to plait her hair each night before she goes to bed. If not, we have to get rid of lots of mouse nests (as we call it) in the mornings.

We walked into Maddy Magoo (by Kids Emporium) on the West Rand (at Papachinos), and they could help us immediately.

We decided on the first cut haircut package, which includes a certificate of bravery, a lock of hair, and before and after photos on a disc. I am a sucker, but it is really very cute!

She was not convinced that the water would not
go into her eyes...
The smiles had to be coaxed 
The entertainment helps a great deal
Sitting upright got a bit of an ordeal!
The certificate of bravery should go to the hairdresser! The hairdresser had to go the extra mile to keep her sitting still, and that was only for a straight line cut! Also for taking photos. We got a disc of 15 photos, also one of her standing with mom and dad, with the new haircut!

The certificate should also go to the parents; for being a bit emotional about the first haircut and the first locks lying on the floor.

She looks grown-up already!

Her hair looks thicker, and it is definitely a better experience in the mornings!
It was worth it!


Related post

Hair brushing has become a breeze

Friday, 3 May 2013

enJoy


Week 5 of the Weekly Parenting Poetry Workshop by Lauren Wayne of Hobo Mama.
The theme for this week was Enjoy.


enJoy


              Fun
Play                      Laughter
               Love
                               giggle
                                     giggles
                                            giggling

Each day full
   SMILES

Life with you!

So much
HAPPINESS

and

JOY!

Little Missy
April 2013
(Instagram filter)


Related posts:


Trust

Hope

emerge

Preparing for you


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Gautrain from Rosebank to Hatfield


We celebrated 9 years of being married yesterday!
It has been so much fun, and I love how I still enjoy going home at night! We enjoy each other's company, and we love doing stuff together.
Thank you for being the perfect mate and pall and life partner! I am so lucky to have you in my life!


Yesterday we finally did the Gautrain trip to Pretoria. We got on at Rosebank, and stepped down in Hatfield. Little Missy loved it!



When the first train arrived, I could not see a "perfect spot" for us to sit, and we stepped out of the train.
Big mistake! You can't take your time getting on. We had to wait another 30 minutes, and I was not very popular!


The train ride to Hatfield just takes long enough for us to enjoy. About 30 minutes!
We could also step out and walk to Hatfield Plaza and Square where we found Cappellos to have lunch at. The service was not that great, because they forgot to put in Little Missy's order, but for the rest it was perfect!


This was definitely a great way to spend our anniversary!


Related posts:

Gautrain train trip - The Toddler's first

Movie Clip Monday #10 - Toddler on the Gautrain

Wordless Wednesday #177 - Waiting for the Gautrain