Friday, 28 June 2013

Flashback Friday - unearthing the photos that were not stolen

I am still reeling after the robbery the previous week at our house. We thought we were safe, until we found out that we were not!

We are still discovering precious keepsakes that were stolen, and won't be replaced.

But I am still so hit-over-the-head upset with myself for not backing up the photos from my computer. I had everything filed and sorted in the "Library", and was regularly uploading from my camera, phone and iPad. But I did not back it up from there. WHY?

I haven't looked at what is still backed-up on our hard drive, but I am sure it is nothing from this year.
It is times like these I am grateful for Facebook and my blog for some of the photos that I have uploaded. But I had tons more...

I saw a post by Laura of Harassed Mom today of Flashback Friday, and decided it was a good time to see what is still left on my work computer. Although I haven't uploaded private photos here in quite a while...

I found this photo of 10 years back. The Pre-Teen was 10 years at that stage.

She turns 20 in a week's time! 
One of the photos that would have been lost,
taken in 2013

A few photos from Debbie's camera in December 2009.

Just a few days after the little one was born.

We were dead tired at that stage,
but looking at the photo it does not reflect it at all!

A kiss from my big sister.
 She must be over 6 months old, but I do not see a date on the photo.

Playing with an old doll at Grandma's house
And the most dated "photos" of our Little One.
The little one at 30 weeks
(all my scans are here)

I am of the opinion that you can't have too many photos of your little ones!

I hope you are backing up your photos and videos now?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Who reads those school newsletters?

I had "done" a survey on my blog, but it was my bad that I did not post or shared it on my social networks for more responses.
 (I had a bit of a fun with SurveyMonkey, to see how it works...)

 And also to see what happens with those newsletters?

 I had five responses, of which one is my own. (Truly a very inclusive kind of result ;-) )

 Ta-dam:

The comments on How many Dads read the newsletters also gravitated towards a certain response, but unfortunately I can't make a definite conclusion from this!


Who reads the school newsletters?


Related post:

How many dads read the newsletters from school?

Four and a half years



 I used to post each month on the 21st a monthly update, but the 21st days of each month are passing too quickly...
She's getting bigger! Too soon!

Little Missy is her own personality, and it is such a blessing to see her becoming her own person.

She still wants to be carried, and that's why we have to get a shopping cart.
(She is four; sometimes small, and sometimes big!)
15 kilograms are heavy, especially if she is all over the place.
Look there!
What's that?
Why are they wearing that?


She also does not want to sit in the chair, but at the back of the shopping cart, or standing on the front, holding.
Or being pulled like a roller-blader all over the shopping mall floors. (See the Vine above)
Anything, but walking...
Walking on her own needs creativity with racing from one shop to another, or seeing who gets where first!

I have a friend who still has to carry her 25 kilograms 4-year old! We consider ourselves lucky :D

Do you also struggle with getting them to walk on their own, or should I start worrying?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Creative and fun ways to get your kids up and active

I was sent this guest post by Ivy Delfin, because I posted a trampoline photo.

I was intrigued by the videos of "exercise heaven" (my phrase) after I looked at some of the videos about BounceInc.

Why don't somebody bring this to South Africa?


For kids, exercise means playing and being physically active. Kids exercise when they have gym class at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag. But once they’re at home and on holidays, it can be difficult to get them to leave the couch when video games are enticing.

Active kids enjoy a range of health benefits such as stronger muscles and bones, less chance of becoming overweight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a better, healthier outlook on life. There are 4 different types of exercise that kids should focus on. Aerobic activity gets their heart pumping and lungs working harder, it also releases those feel good chemicals! Muscle strengthening obvious works the muscles and gets them working a little harder. Bone strengthening exercises like jumping helps them grow and keep them strong. Finally, stretches make their muscles more flexible, helping them reach and bend and turn better, it also helps to avoid injury. It is important to encourage your kids to get up and get active to keep them healthy and fit, and it feeds their natural curiosity of the world but being out and about.

There are a bunch of ways you can encourage your kids to get active, if they are reluctant you will have to make the activity seem particularly exciting. Play hopscotch with them or practice skip rope. Involve yourself in the activity so they know that they have your full support and attention. You could take them for a day trip out to an area where you can do a light hike together and explore nature, teaching them about the forest at the same time. Have a dance party in their room, fairy lights are affordable and easy to come by and make a great DIY disco. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself, they will be glad that you are involved and taking the time to play with them. Get them to put on their favourite songs and get the lights flashing, dancing is a great fun way to get active without even knowing it!

During the holidays especially there are often organizations that offer activities that your children and family can enjoy. One place that is open all year round is BOUNCEinc, they offer a series of trampolines where your kids can jump and play for hours in a fun and safe environment. Jumping is an excellent form or exercise, and something that kids are often very good at but often don’t realize it’s helping them keep fit.

 Play is a really important component of a child’s life, so incorporating as much active play as possible is going to positively impact their outlook on life and create long lasting happy memories.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mid-year report


Little Missy is doing well at school!
I was totally surprised to learn that she can say all the months of the year! (We did not think to start teaching her ourselves, and here she is doing it.)

We still need to focus on concentration and listening skills!
So we got lists of stuff to do at home!

But she got a mention for her creative work!
------
She has been approved for Grade R, and I felt like dancing! I don't know what we would have done if otherwise...
Happy holidays! For the lucky ones! (Not us! :-()
-----
Please hold thumbs for The Student who is writing 2 subjects tomorrow! Thinking if you!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

You think you are safe

Until you are not, anymore!

 

My husband came home yesterday, to see a camera on a couch where it is not supposed to be. Only to find that we have been burgled, and that he must have surprised them...

 

It seems they came through a small opening in the window. Without breaking it, and closing it again! Thanks, burglars!

With the exception of my jewelry, they did not make a mess. They took out the laptops and cameras out of their bags, and meticulously sorted through my jewelry and only took some stuff!

 

It's the second burglary (14 years back in a different place) that they haven't taken my pearls, and my silver.

That's the way to go, apparently! With pearls and silver!

 

We thought we were okay after we had put in extra steel gates, and burglar bars when we moved in. Also because we are living in a complex, irritatingly squashed in next to each other!

 

It doesn't help!

How do they get in through the security gates?

Why did nobody see them?

Is it an inside job? (Most probably)

 

I was extremely impressed with the police coming out within about two hours last night, and taking the statement. And we have a case number already! Thumbs up to Constable Monwametsi and Constable Mulondo of the Honeydew Police Station.

 

I am now waiting for finger prints to be taken, and or extra burglar bars to be put in throughout the house.

 

With a pepper spray in my hand, and jumping each time I hear something creak outside...

 

O, and hitting my head because I did not back-up my photos for quite a while. I hope it was in 2912? (Idiot!)

 

Back up those photos now!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Video of Tiny Tumbles classes through Animoto

Tiny Tumbles

I have been playing around with applications on my mobile for an online mobile librarian course. (ANZ 23 Mobile Things).

I love this for a quick and sleek professional video made from your photos or videos on your mobile.
It is available on Android and on iOS, but unfortunately not on Blackberry.


Friday, 14 June 2013

The greatest Dad in the whole wide world





This year's Father's Day is coming up again, and we are grateful to have this man in our lives...

I have my own great dad who showed us how it should be done! Thanks, Dad!

That made me search for the same, and I was not disappointed!

Little Missy cried crocodile tears this morning when her dad had left already. He usually drops her off in the mornings.
"He did not give me a kiss! He did not give me a hug!" (Although he did, but she was still sleeping.)
"He must fetch me this afternoon!"


Thanks for:

- Making Little Missy All Bran Flakes just the way she likes it, each morning, and making sure she gets in something before school;

- Taking her to the family toilet when we are out and about, or still wiping her bum at home;

- Reading her a story or more, each time at bedtime;

- Making great dinners, and "helping" her to eat (on her request);

- Playing ball / puzzles / riding on her bicycle etc. with her;

- Wiping the tears;

- Putting on plasters;

- Fixing the broken toys;

- Watching Ice Age 4 for the 50th time with her; 

- Picking her up, and carrying her around, until the sweat is dripping from his face;

- Helping to pay for those extra, extra music and ball classes at school, jus because she asked;

- Combing and making ponytails (and doing a great job at it);

- Helping with bath time, and helping with brushing of the teeth;

- Giving lots of hugs and kisses;

- Taxiing The Student back and forth to University, or dropping off somewhere;

- Sometimes throwing in extra pocket money;

- Always willing to help!


Your daughters know what a great man should be, and they will go searching for that again!

Thank you, each and every day!





Thursday, 13 June 2013

Vine - A great app capturing those special moments



 This is one of those fun apps that also comes in very handy, capturing all the best moments of the little ones, and being able to share it immediately!
You can email, or share to Facebook and Twitter, as well as embed it on websites and blogs.

Vine is available on iOS and since June 2013 also available on Android.

It only captures 6 seconds, and it loops continuously in the playback.

I found it through librarians busy learning mobile, and are having lots of fun exploring it!


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

How to stay in the good books of the MIL

One day I am going to be a MIL as well, and thought about the things in life that would make me appreciate my son-in-laws. 
Unfortunately (fortunately?) no daughter-in-laws for me...

MIL good books' list:

Son-in-laws...

- Makes my daughters happy! (Very important!)

- Makes their children happy!

- Do their share with regards parenting and the household at their place!

- Compliments. Any, but specifically about how well I have raised my kids. 
   Also about how good/nutritious/healthy/tasty my food is! (Just a bonus! ;-))

- Love my interactions with, and give plenty of opportunity for me to look after my grandchildren.
  
- Invites me regularly for a visit, or an outing. Going to a restaurant count as an outing as well.

- Welcomes any invitations for a visit to my place.

- Helps with DIY issues at my place. 

- Keep me in the loop with what is happening in their lives. (On the flip side: I should make sure that I stay interested in their lives!)


I hope that my own health and the head will stay compos mentis for me to enjoy the next phase, which is still a few years (decades with number two) on the horizon. 

What would make you give extra bonus points to the son- and daughter-in-laws?




Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with my own MIL, or the MM.


Monday, 10 June 2013

The Jozi Red Bus with a GeePee card



I was so lucky to win a place on the City Sightseeing Red Jozi Bus through Tanya Kovarsky's blog, Rattle and Mum.

They have just launched the "I'm a GeePee" card, which enables one adult ticket two kid's tickets for free!

I have looked into the Red Bus rides before, but have been reluctant because I thought it would become quite expensive if you get off at all the stops.
I have now realized that it is only possible to do about one or two stops in a day.

That means we will be going on a number of these rides!
I want to check out all the stops, and spend some time there.

It is fantastic to drive through the city, with running commentary (in a selection of 10 different languages, with kids commentary as well) about the history and the buildings, without worrying about the destinations, or where to park.
I also love the top vantage point on the bus, looking down on Johannesburg street live. 
It is so vibrant and bright and jostling city! Especially on a Saturday!

The Joburg Red Bus stops at Gandhi Square, the Roof of Africa at the Carlton Centre, the James 
Hall Transport Museum, the Apartheid Museum, Gold Reef City, the Mining District, the World of Beer, Newtown Precinct, the Origins Centre, Wits Campus, Braamfontein and Constitution Hill. 

City Sightseeing Joburg operates on a Hop-On, Hop-Off basis, which means you can get off the bus at any of the designated stops along the route and then jump back on to a later bus at your leisure.  

Definitely a number of places to go with the kids!

Museum Africa
(The only place we got off on this ride)
Little Missy kept us busy... wanting to be caried

Mandela Bridge

Constitution Hill

What a great ride!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Carcussions



The discussions in the car on the way home in the afternoons are priceless.

The day before yesterday:

Little Missy: "I am left-handed now. I am cutting with my left hand."

Me: That is not a good idea. You are right-handed, and it is much better to be right-handed."
(Making a mental note to check with the teacher with the next report feedback. Just in case she has been trying to cut with her left hand...)

Little Missy: "I prayed to Jesus to swap my hands, and I am now left-handed."

Me: "It is very difficult for people who are left-handed, because everything is always for right-handed people..."

Little Missy: "I want to be left-handed."

Me: "ehhh..."

Little Missy: "I will pray for your hands to be swapped as well. Then you will be left-handed as well!"

Me: "Please don't do that! I want to be right-handed!"

Little Missy: "I'll pray for Dad to be left-handed."

Me: "I don't think Dad wants to be left-handed. Rather not!"

Little Missy: "He won't know that I have prayed for his hands to be swapped."

Me: "Rather not..."

Little Missy: "I'll pray for my sister, Grandma, etc..." (going through the whole family tree)

---


Yesterday:

She is non-stop busy asking for us to translate songs to Afrikaans.
I put on an Afrikaans radio station to get a bit of a translation breather, and there was an Afrikaans song about broken hearts.
The guy was singing that he stands in the dark, waiting for his love.

Little Missy: "Why does he stand in the dark?"

Me: "It seems he is a bit stupid. He should rather stay in his house." (Bad answer. Bad parenting moment.)

Little Missy: "You are not allowed to say stupid! You are hurting my little heart!" (The "stupid"rule comes from school, I think!)

Me: "I am sorry! I won't say it again!"

Little Missy: (Crying. For real!) "You must never say stupid!"

Me: "I am terribly sorry!"

Little Missy: "It is very scary in the dark. There are dragons and shadows of dragons. It is very scary!"
---

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Poll - How many dads read the newsletters from school?

Do you find that mothers are the only ones making sure that the newsletters are read?
Are mothers the ones that are checking in with the school's calender?
Are mother's the ones that make sure they keep tab on what is happening on a day-to-day in the child's life and classroom?

Has this changed at all?
I would love to hear how it is done now! I will give feedback here. I will keep it open for a week, until Friday the 14th of June.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Results here:

Who reads those school newsletters?



Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Exams and missing times


We are not seeing The Student that much these days, as she is busy with exams, and she could not join us for the most recent holiday in Umdloti.

Little Missy cries and complains almost every day about missing her sister.
"Dit vat té lank!" (It takes too long!)

She has been drawing pictures for her sister, and taken a shell and other paraphernalia as gifts to her  to put in her room.

We miss her too...

Each time we do something as a family; we think of her and we know that she would have enjoyed being there as well.

Last night on the phone I heard her voice was near tears.
The exams are tough, and there is not much a Mom can do!
Only sympathies and suggestions of how to tackle a huge workload!

I hope it goes well with the exams!


This year has been much better without initiation demands at university, and she has much more freedom with going out. We can see that she is enjoying it!

We love it that she enjoying her young life!


Vasbyt!

Best wishes to all the Moms students doing exams!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Reflection on a holiday


This past week has been an absolute breather, and we skipped some of the winter chill in Gauteng.

I have decided again that I want to stay in Umdloti, forever!, but here we are back to start the hectic race again tomorrow... (Sad face!)

Our Little Missy had her best holiday yet! Before she was not impressed with the sand and the sea, and she wanted to stay in her dad's arms.
This year she loved it. Much, much more... (Although Dad had his share in having to stay very close!)

She got a roll the first day, and with high tide she was still watching the waves coming in...
But for the rest she had no stop on her!
She wanted to swim, and play on the beach, and play with the Frisbee, and build sand castles, and walk on the rocks, and watch the little creatures of the rock pools...


We went to the harbour as well, and got a ride in the Durban Harbour among the huge cargo ships.
I was very impressed that we could go the Wilson's Wharf and find a boat for a ride on a Thursday! Definitely a place to go!

Afterwards the Little One told us that she found it a bit boring... I think she felt a little bit sea sick because she was looking too much at the waves. But we loved the half hour ride, which seems more than enough to get enough photos, and getting some important information about the size of those cargo ships! (We had a very talkative captain...)
The ships are BIG up close!

I definitely want to go again. There's Ballito, and Umhlanga to explore some more. Not that there's not enough to do in Umdloti...

There's Cafe Java for lovely breakfasts and wraps, and The Bush Tavern for great seafood and Bush Bunnies. We still need to check out the other restaurants. Not enough money time!

The Galley in Ballito

We love The Galley in Ballito, with its view and it's food!
We went there twice during the holiday.

Umdloti beach


I love a sea holiday!

What are your most favorite holiday destination?