Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sounds from Saturday evening


Little Missy entertains us on a regular basis with her "songs" she makes up as she is singing them. It can go on for hours and hours... (Or so it feels, sometimes!)

I know we will miss these "creations" when she stops doing it!

It is not the Miekanese (her own language) of earlier, because we can now distinguish the English phrases, but it is still very cute!

(She is Afrikaans, but tries to sing most of her songs in English. Perhaps because we listen to mostly English music in the house?)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Nothing like a wedding


We had great excitement in our family the past week. We had a wedding!
Something that does not happen regularly any more, and Little Missy was asked to be a flower girl.
She was counting the days for weeks and weeks...

But she got a little bit apprehensive before the time because she is shy. We were worried that she would not walk when she was supposed to walk.


There was a struggle to get her hair in curls before the time, but she looked like a real fairy when all was done, especially after she got into the beautiful dress!

Flower girl transformation
The bride got dressed in a beautiful setting, with make-up artist B at work. All the maids of honours and the bridesmaids and special people loved getting his special attention.

B at work

B doing his magic
Little Missy came walking out with only a glimpse of a smile and she forgot to throw the flowers while walking... But I was so relieved that she did walk on her own!
She's growing up! Phew!


The bride looked stunning!
It was a fairy tale wedding!

We are taking notes for one day, far far into the future!
The Student has other plans before she will be doing the same! (She says!)

The venue, Shepstone Gardens, is a perfect place to have a function! The photo opportunities are endless, and there are surprise nooks and crannies everywhere.

The Bride with her father
My cousin is a lucky guy!
Bride and Bridegroom
Shepstone Gardens
Dancing
Cutting of the cake
The sweets table was a treat!
Photo Booth fun!
We were there!
Jano and Bronwyn, we wish you the very best in your marriage!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Soap box - Get out! Get out! Get out!


The ongoing Oscar Pistorius muder trial is a perfect example of what should not be happening in relationships. I have been giving unsolicited advice to anybody who's listening. My poor daughter especially, and she doesn't even need it! Sorry!

I still hear from my daughter that her fellow students and friends are staying in relationships that are degrading and unhappy. The girls keep on going back to their boyfriends who make them unhappy and make them feel less worthy!

My only advice is to walk away as soon as possible!
(I have personal experience - a previous life, a very very long time ago - and realised only afterwards that I should have seen the warning signs!)

You should not stay in a relationship where you are:
(Even if only for 10% of the time...)

- Feeling unsafe or scared.

- Being made to feel less worthy.

- Guns are recklessly used. 

- Extreme jealousy.

- Told what to wear and what to say and how to behave.

- Not treated like a lady!


I wish all the girls to know that it is up to them to change the situation.
You have the power to stop it by not accepting bad behaviour, and by getting out!


Related posts:

- Reasons why you should not stay

- Blog directory of healing through storytelling

- Rose with thorns


Picture: "Gun" Microsoft clip art

Monday, 17 March 2014

Lego happens on a Sunday


We were walking around in the mall on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We found the Lego shop, and Little Missy started to build immediately...

Lego spaceship?

The options are endless
It was very difficult to leave the shop. And not only for Little Missy...
Dad was "forced" to buy a small box.

And the rest of Sunday was spent building with the Lego.
It is always a good way to spend with Dad!


Friday, 14 March 2014

Meeting with the teacher


We finally made the appointment for a meeting with the teacher.

No, we can't just quickly pop in before or after school to talk to the teacher. It must be strictly by appointment. (If we had an opportunity to quickly ask how it was going, this would not have been necessary...)

I can understand that there are 24 children in the class and that it can be a bit hectic to accommodate each parent. In the meantime two months have passed in the new year, and we got some negative feedback from the Preschooler and it looked to us as if  GR R turned out to be a bit of a bummer.

We are very glad we had the meeting.
The teacher was a bit apprehensive about meeting with us. (She asked the Hubby before the time about the reason for the meeting.)
There was also another teacher sitting in in the meeting, taking notes and making some comments. (Apparently it is standard practise at the school.)

We took the stand that we do not get a chance to talk to the teacher, and our Little Missy seems a bit unsettled this year. Little Missy tells us that she wants to go back to the previous year's teacher and class. We wanted to know how she is doing in class? We also used the she-is-very-young-for-her-age-and-should-we-be-worried?-stance to address the issue.

That helped to break the ice.

We should not be worried at all!

Little Missy is doing very well in class:

  •     She is actively involved in classes
  •     She listens and tries on her own
  •     She has different friends in class each time (This was an eye-opener. Great to hear it is not only the one girl any more.)
  •     She only throws a tantrum when another child injures her. But it usually does not last long. (Phew!)
  •     She asks for help sometimes, but then she goes and complete the task on her own.
  •     She has a good report card coming up.
  •     No, the teacher does not foresee that she would be told to stay back for another year because of her age. She is not struggling at all!
The classes are a bit more structured than the previous year, and the teachers say that they get used to the structure after a while and won't feel as unsure as they feel in the beginning.

I am glad we made the appointment! 


Photo by Dad this morning at school.
The outfit selected by Little Missy, and not by Mom/Dad.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Definitely skipping the 50's

Google Doodle for my birthday

It was my birthday yesterday!

I usually take the day off on my birthday.
I love going for a breakfast on my birthday, and spending it with my family!
It is a tradition that I do not plan to change. I also take a day's leave on my husband's birthday.

We were talking about our ages in the car on the way to school. Little Missy did not exactly know what our ages mean. 47 is not a number she can comprehend yet! (Me neither!)
She was asking about other people's ages as well. We told her one of our friends is already over 50.

Little Missy: "50! When you are 50, you are a grandfather or a grandmother!"
Me: "I promise, when I have to turn 50 in three year's time, I will skip it!"
Little Missy: "Huh?"

Yes, I will!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Motherhood, Crazy Beautiful

Ghezzi is responsible for the guest post this week. She is a contributor (Mom blogger) at Pregg.net
She is a work at home mom. She does freelance writing and graphic designing. She has a 5 year old daughter who's doing well in preschool. She loves arts and crafts, surfing the internet and collecting scarfs.

Pregg.net is a blog for newbie parents as well as more experienced ones.
Pregg.net believes that parenting is something you never stop learning.

We all can attest to the crazy duality of being a mother. I love how she describes it!
Ghezzi
"The day that you found out you’re pregnant was one of the most momentous days of your life. The excitement is beyond compare and you are just too excited to know the gender of your baby. You spend time thinking and wishing that your baby must get your nose or your eyes, your lips and all beautiful facial features you have and those of your husband. The name has to be perfect and meaningful. Once you know the gender you go shopping for clothes and baby stuff right away. You picture everything to be beautiful.

Here comes the day of the baby’s arrival, and I'm sure you will never ever forget how labour pain feels like. It’s like a wrecking ball inside your tummy forcing to get out from your uterus. How you wish it could just be over. Good thing there is a method for painless birth but it’s not really 100% painless. It’s okay, if I were to ask, experiencing the pain of childbirth is beautiful, painfully but perfectly beautiful.

As your baby grows, month by month, you get to deal with their cuteness and funny antics, but don’t forget, you also must deal with their tantrums and their clinginess.  There are times you find yourself laughing hard because of the silly things they do, but there are times you find yourself crying when they get sick and you don’t know what to do. 

When your baby starts to socialize and join activities outside the house, you feel proud as a mom when they get recognized for an achievement or when they do something smart. But there are also countless times you want to cover your face with a paper bag when they do something embarrassing like saying out loud in public how important brushing your teeth is because if not, all your teeth will fall out And while saying those lines, you noticed your child is looking at the man near you with the exact description of what he was trying to say...

Oh Motherhood, crazy beautiful."

Ghezzi



Monday, 10 March 2014

Preschooler update

Red mouth after eating sherbet
She is the cutest and the funniest and the most loving little girl ever!

But she is also the most moody and sulky and difficult little girl ever!

We are really having a battle of wills with a five-year old in our house. The tantrum-two's got nothing on this age! (With hindsight: It was a breeze!)

Some of the latest in the life of our preschooler:

- "Lucky!" is a word she uses quite often!

- Other children are "lucky" who share the same name! She is the only one with her name in her school. ("sigh" We thought it was a bonus!)

- Her older sister is "lucky" to go to university where her sister has lots of friends staying with her, when she is all on her own at home!

- She is hungry all the time, but not for the food on her plate. The hunger especially gets to her at 8 pm when it is bed-time and then she can't sleep before she has another bowl of All Bran flakes.

- She is growing very fast now, and all her clothes are falling of her bum, because they have disappeared. She is shooting up like a string. We had to go and buy new shoes (a number 9) last week as well, because none of the old shoes fit any more.

- She was looking forward to Gr R with so much excitement, but it turned into a bummer for the first part. The teacher is not very welcoming, and it seems like a lot of work. She is yearning back to the previous year, and tells us that she does not want to go to school. (We have booked the appointment with the teacher this week!)

- We find her happily playing with other children, and not only just with the one little girl she used to prefer to play with!

- She constantly tells me that I am fat. Not like the other mums... But that she still loves me! (Keeping me grounded! Thank you!)

- Sometimes she kisses us!

- Sometimes she doesn't want kiss us!

-------------------------
Do you have the same experience with 5-year old's?

Friday, 7 March 2014

Find the Cutes Playtime - a fun activity book for children

Find the Cutes Playtime - Kickstarter Project
Vincent Noot, the illustrator of this wonderfully illustrated book, Find the Cutes Playtime, has answered a few questions about their fun activity book for children.


Reasons to buy this book



The world market is flooded with numerous children’s books, so if we wanted to make it big, we knew our book had to stand out. It had to have that extra something that makes you want it and be impressed with it, so that you recommend it to others personally and in reviews. You need to feel your money was worth it. So why buy “Find the Cutes - Playtime?” Because it’s not a regular children’s book.

- It keeps you and your children entertained for hours.
- The illustrations look beautiful.
- It’s cute and funny.
- It’s educational.

What is “Find the Cutes - Playtime” all about?

Children are creative. They have a huge imagination. In society today, despite all the technology and opportunities, the greatest happiness is often found in the home. Children give families that extra enthusiastic energy. “Find the Cutes - Playtime” is based on that concept. It sparks the imagination, stimulates dialogue without words, educates, entertains, and inspires. 



Who are the Cutes?



The Cutes are a family. Their last name is “Cute” and all the kids’ names start with a “C”: Carissa, Chaz, Cade, Cammy, and Cindy. The story is based on the “second-mom” phenomenon: As the oldest daughter you sometimes get to babysit your younger siblings a lot. That’s how it can work in bigger families. In every illustration I tried to show their innocence and playfulness.

What inspired you as an illustrator?



As a child, I was much intrigued by search books. I spent hours looking for the right characters and objects on every page. But I discovered there weren’t that many different ones out there. Over the years, I developed a unique cartoon style that I was able to use for several companies and assignments. Together with my ideas and the concept of a search book, my wife (then girlfriend) and I came up with a search book and a fun family as the main characters.

How did you come up with each page, and how long did it take to draw them?



Before each page, I brainstorm about as many creative, funny things that could happen. For example, I divided the Birthday Party page into section of balloons, ball pit, presents, etc. Children can be very silly. So I think of what they'd do with a balloon, like rubbing it over their hair, letting it go into the air, binding it to their ears, popping it, etc. Each page took almost 100 hours to sketch, draw, color on the computer, etc. Each person is hand-drawn and colored in Photoshop. My wife, Celestial, did most of the storytelling. The whole book took 1 year to finish. Some drawings are based on real events. Sometimes something funny that happened in our lives, comes back in the drawings. For instance, when I was dating my wife, we both took a bite of the same huge hotdog at the same time. So in the Swimming Pool page, I drew a boy and a girl eating a hotdog at the same time.

Who is the book for?


Children ages 3 and up. Adults could enjoy it too. With 12 pages of things to search for, kids could be entertained for hours. Not only are we going to make a book, but we are planning on making it a tablet game for the ipad, kindle, and other devices. That will be a stretch goal if we make it.

Are you on social media?

We have a website, www.findthecutes.com, which will be the means of selling our book once it’s updated with a payment system. We are also on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Feel free to look us up and follow us.

Are you going to make a sequel?

Yes. We are planning on an entire series of 10 books The next book will be called “Find the Cutes - Festival Fun” and will have fun search pages about Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, but also about the Tomato Festival in Spain, Songkran in Thailand, and Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. It will also have 12 pages and a storyline. We already started working on it.

When will it be available?


Find the Cutes Playtime Kickstarted project


The book is completed, so we now have a kickstarter campaign from March 1st until March 31st. 
This is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92560380/find-the-cutes-playtime?ref=discovery. You can sponsor/back our project in those 30 days and get discounts that way. We are getting the website www.findthecutes.com ready for ordering, so we are in the process of getting the book printed and attaching a payment system to the website. 

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at findthecutes@gmail.com or personally to my account at vincentnoot@gmail.com.






Illustrator: Vincent Noot

Disclaimer: I did not get the book or discount on putting up this guest post, but I really love the art work and the idea of the book.
I am also sharing most of the illustrations that Vincent Noot supplied to me, because it is really very beautiful! I hope they get to make it into an interactive app for the iPad, Kindle and other devices!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Traffic and floods - I wish there was an Auntie Traffic

My view each morning and night
I phoned my dear husband last night in traffic, after we had been moving two metres every two minutes, and there was no end in sight... He wanted to make a few suggestions of how to get out of there! But it was impossible! I was stuck in four lanes - which became two lanes, which became one lane - going very slowly towards a flooded area in the road on Barry Hertzog.

I said I was just complaining!
I just wanted to tell someone!


I wish there was an Auntie Traffic that I could direct my complaints to? @EWNTraffic and @PigSpotter and @TrafficSA just doesn't do it for you! The best is when they retweet one of our tweets, but most of the times it is the same as swearing through closed windows at the taxis coming past in the wrong lane and sneaking back in front of you! (Which happens every day in any case! Just more so when there are rains and floods and back-up traffic on the road.)

The flooded area on Barry Hertzog
We went through this water last night, and my car gave a little flicker, but it made it to the other side.
High five!
Never again! (If I can help it!)


Thanks for listening! I needed to get a complaint in somewhere!


How is your traffic each day?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Santana - an unexpected weekend

FNB Stadium
We got the Santana tickets on Friday from a colleague who could not go any more! 

As I was eyeing the concert since it was announced (but did not have the budget), and trying to win some tickets, we were more than excited!

Luckily The Student was home for the weekend and she could baby-sit Little Missy. They were both not impressed. The Student and Little Missy wanted to go as well! But I don't think Little Missy would have lasted for the whole evening...

It was rainy and it was cold! 
But it was more than worth it in the end!

Johnny Clegg took up the stage before Santana, and it was my first time that I saw him life and in action! We have been listening to him since we were at school, and he is still rocking it! He also got two acts with Carlos Santana in his show. Amazing!

Carlos Santana performed most of his well-known songs with two male singers on stage, accompanied by great musicians! Stunning! Stunning!

Our view from the stadium
Yes, we have evidence!
That was an unexpected treat for a rainy weekend! 

How was your weekend?