Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hand-me-downs

I love hand-me-downs. I find it very special to wear clothes that other people has worn at some stage. I love to dress my Toddler in hand-me-down clothes. Every time when I use the clothes again, I think of the people that have worn it before us, and it makes me cherish it even more… There is history in every piece of clothing!


The clothes that the Toddler is wearing in the photos have been made by a friend’s mother. Her children have worn the clothes, and then it was passed to us! I have a couple of sets with the little dresses, and matching pants underneath (not seen in the photo)! There is something very special about these clothes. They are unique and handmade! With love!

I also hand me down with the same attitude. I appreciate people who appreciate where the clothes are coming from. Who shows some respect for the *love* that comes with the clothes! To appreciate that somebody has given us the clothes, or that we have bought it with love; and have worn it with love…

It is also a very green thing to do: To wear hand-me-downs, instead of buying only new clothes. And of course, to give it to somebody else after we have used it! I can tick one mark at least in the Green Living block. (Wink smile)

What is your opinion of hand-me-downs?

Putting a paper nappy on my doll!
Related post:
Letting go of the cute clothes

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cherry on Top Coffee Shop

I was invited to a breakfast at a lovely place on Saturday morning: Cherry on Top. It is situated in suburban Kenmare, on the West Rand, in Krugersdorp. The photos tell some of the story.  A house and gardens have been transformed into a picturesque setting for a memorable meeting place with friends and family.

We had egg-and-bacon baskets, which look like beautiful arrangements, and afterwards we had mouth-watering cake! I can only attest for these two items on the menu... It is divine!

It is a great place to take the little ones.

There are so many great places on our side of the world... I am going back to look at the menu again!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Off she goes...

The Teen is on a French Tour since Friday evening! I have had one sms from her since then! I presume she is having the best time of her life!

The rest I had some information from another mother... They had missed their connecting flight, but apparently that was not something big to complain about...

I had to wipe a few tears on Friday, to which the Teen was very surprised! Even the Toddler had a crying fit when she realised the Teen was leaving... For real! But The Teen was all smiles!

When I told The Teen that I am not going to sms her every day, because of the cost involved...What did she say. "Please not! Heaven forbid!"

*sigh* I am getting a mini exercise in how it feels when they go off into the big wide world?
It seems my job is done!
The French students on Friday at the airport
Related posts:
French Tour

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Earth hour 2011 in Johannesburg

On Saturday at 20:30 it was Earth hour across the Globe! We also switched off the lights for the hour! In Johannesburg, South Africa. #earthhour

We listened to a cello and violin impromptu concerto by a friend and her daughter at candlelight!

I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening.

I must admit that we forgot a light on in an upstairs bedroom, and we only saw it at the end of the hour. Sorry Earth hour, but it must still count that we have switched off the rest of the lights? Next time we will do it better!

The Toddler was extremely impressed with the music, especially when she also got a turn on the violin. She kept on saying “my beurt” (my turn)... And she was allowed to try again and again!
Hopefully she turns out to be more musical than the rest of the family!

Friday, 25 March 2011

I forgot 27 months!

It’s official! The Toddler is a month older, and I forgot about it on the day. I know what it means: she is a big girl now, and it’s not necessary to count every month as it passes...

When they get born, you count day by day. Then it’s week by week! Until it becomes months! I guess we are nearing the year markers now... Very sad that it goes by too fast!

The photo was taken at her day care on Friday last week. She gave them all smiles for the photo shoot. They just had to convince her each time to take away her hands. She tends to put them up in front of her face, such as the photo on Wednesday morning at day care.

I love this age! It is such a wonderful creative age where they sponge up everything around them.

It is also a most exasperating time, because the Toddler wants to do everything herself, and she knows how to say NO!  She exercises these new skills all-the-time! I am getting used to frowns in supermarkets. It’s a skill I am perfecting at the moment. Smile, and continues to shop and push a screaming/demanding toddler through the aisles. Great fun, I tell you!

A little friend of Mieka’s came to visit tonight, and he exhibits exactly the same characteristics of our Toddler. I thought afterwards that he was very tiring, and that I really feel sorry for his mother.

And then it hit me: She is probably thinking the same of our toddler!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Advice to a teen going on a Paris/London tour

It has finally arrived. The Teen is nearly on her way to Paris and London. The excitement has finally caught on, and we are super excited with her! It is going to be the best ever holiday!


As a mom I am a bit (a lot, actually!!) worried, and I am thinking of all the things I should tell/warn my daughter before she goes.

I got some advice on Tuesday’s post, as well as on Twitter:

Ronel (my sister):
  • Don't spend all your time overseas in shops, but walk, walk, walk and see all the sights and don't wait for another time.
  • Take lots of photos!
  • Take time to chat with the locals.
  • Hear the sounds and listen to the music.
  • You can sleep when back home again.
  • Enjoy!!
@Mauruschka:
  • Don’t take a red rose flower from a young French guy or any person… they target people and then…just tell her not to take it (Apparently it is not urban legend, but reality. I had to ask.)
  • When someone offers you a bracelet, say no, even if they offer it for free, say no!
My own advice:
  • Be always aware of the surroundings, and do not go where it feels unsafe. Gut feelings should never be underestimated!
  • Also to stay in groups, or in pairs! Always let someone know where you are.
  • Do not try to buy stuff for everybody, but rather spend money on experiences and places to see. Buy something special for yourself!

A colleague's suggestion:
  •  Do not drink too much cooldrink/bubbly (hope not!) in the plane, but rather stay with water. It helps against jet-lag!
I hope we’ve got it covered?

My best wishes are going with you, Arnia, and we will miss you!

Love, Mom!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Tuesday after a long weekend

The feeling you have after you have been woken from a very good dream and you don’t want to open your eyes… That is the feeling I have today after a great weekend! We had an extra public holiday yesterday.


There is nothing that feels as good as when you know you don’t have to get up early on Monday morning! Not even Friday evenings can be as good as a Sunday without a Monday…

The rainy season is not yet over on this side of the world, but we saw some lovely sun this weekend as well. It was great staying at home. We only did the Gautrain trip, and spend some time searching for patio sets… Unfortunately our taste does not fit our “patio”, and I think we will wait until we have the bigger “palace”! Always nice dreaming, though… (wink smile)

Hubby put up a permanent gazebo, and thoroughly enjoyed braaiing (barbeque) outside! I want to die and go to lazing-in-the-sun-and-braai-and-red-wine-heaven! No singing in the choir for me, thanks! This is much better!

The Teen had her own busy life to attend to this weekend. How do you know you have a Teen in your life? When her door is closed when she is there, and it is open when she is not! But it is not as bad as it seems! Really! (tongue-in-cheek)

But I was beginning to think about the French tour that is just around the corner, and how we are going to miss her. Up until now we have been stressing about getting everything done, but now I am going to stress about letting her go… Already working on a couple of speeches in my head before she goes!

What advice should I give the Teen about going overseas?

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gautrain train trip – The Toddler’s first

It was our first trip on the Gautrain today as well. Everybody has been on the Gautrain already... We took the train from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport and back. Gautrain is South Africa’s very fast and reliable first-world train service. The first part of the project was completed last year.

The Toddler loved it, and as we were driving home, she wanted to have some more. I told her we would definitely do it another day. She said: “No, not another day, but again today!”

It was her first experience on a train. There are no more the clickety-clack sounds of the wheels on the tracks. No, it is a smooth and fast glide in a very short space of time. Also no more the choo-choo’s of the steam train. It is only the announcements over the intercom! 

But we loved the sleek design of the train, the nice seats, the ample security (we felt very safe), the stylish underground platform, and the smooth fast glide! I wish I had somewhere to go today! The other passengers with their suitcases on their way to the airport made me quite envious... 

We definitely need new train songs! Any suggestions?

Related post:
Movie Clip Monday #10 - Gautrain

Friday, 18 March 2011

Toddler word creations: Flying House Bow

I want to record all the creative words that the Toddler uses while she acquires language. Her first language is Afrikaans, and it is not always possible to get the same connotation when trying to translate to English.

You tend to forget the cute word usage, as well as how they combine different word meanings.

(Don’t forget to write down these cute words. It stays a source of great delight when reading it back years later... Wink smile)

The Toddler came up with “vlieghuisboog” on Wednesday. “Vlieghuis” is her word for airplane. Literally translated it means “flying house”. In Afrikaans it should be “vliegtuig”, but no matter how many times we have tried to correct her, she still uses the same word.

We saw a rainbow (Afrikaans: reĆ«nboog), and showed it to her. The next moment she came up with this word: “vlieghuisboog” – “flying house bow”!
It just shows how the little mind works…

Cute! (I am allowed to say it!)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Are we allowed to say our children are cute?

Of course, yes!


I used to get irritated by parents telling me about their kids and how wonderful/cute/clever/funny they are. I would think to myself: they are the parents and they had a hand in it. They are surely just bragging!

Now I know better! We as parents are the ones that are the most amazed at our kids! We can’t believe they are as wonderful/cute/clever/funny as they are. Where did it happen? Not because of us?

Most of the times we are just asking ourselves! Where did she learn this? We had no hand in it! We did not model this behavior!

It surprises us endlessly that we have these amazing human beings within our midst! There is nothing that makes us more boring enlightened talkers than speaking about our kids!

I promise I will listen to all of your cute! children’s stories, because I know now that your children are really really very cute! Because my kid is! ;-)

What do you think? Are we allowed to say our children are cute?

Morning's first photo at day care #17

It's Thursday! It does not look like I was a ball of beans last night, does it?
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A GPS for my head as well, please!

I am one of those who cannot find my inner compass, I don’t have one, and it is not something that you can learn to do. I always walk/drive in the wrong direction. Although I know it, I still convince myself that it is the right direction.

I even got lost with my new all-time favourite present, my Garmin Nuvi, last week. Hubby gave it to me on Valentine’s Day, and it is sure the most thoughtful present ever... Me and Auntie Garmin bond every day while I try out new routes on my way to work.  The traffic is extremely bad at the moment! I launch myself into the suburbs, while Auntie Garmin recalculates and tries to get me back on the main route. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, like last week, I realize that I have strayed too far...

But it sure is very nice to just follow the voice! Auntie Garmin directed us to Sandton City today when the Teen and I had to go and submit her visa application. She got us there without a hitch! It was another story altogether finding the offices in that huge Mall. At one stage a guard had us up on the roof to show us where the building was where we should go. Not that it really helped. The Teen also do not have a compass. But between us we got there somehow...  (*sigh of relief!*)

I need that GPS for my head as well, please!

The last visa application is in; now only 11 days before the French Tour! Thumbs crossed!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Movie Clip Monday #9 - Tiny gymnast in leotard



 Tiny Tumbles with Tammy Smith
The enjoyment the Toddler gets out of the tiny gymnastics is such a pleasure. Forgive me for uploading another video. She got a new leotard to wear as well, as she looks very cute in it.

Watch how all the toddlers get side-tracked, and have to be redirected to focus. No mystery why Tammy's voice is as shrill as it is.It is very difficult to keep the attention.

Funny anecdote:The little guy in front insisted he cannot proceed until Mieka comes and stand behind him with her hands on his hips. Then he starts climbing! Nobody instructed them to proceed with hands on hips!

Linking up with MumDrum with her idea of Movie Clip Mondays.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Perfect weekend

We saw this beautiful sunset tonight when we went for a quick walk through our suburb. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

It was my birthday on Saturday!  Shhh... Enough said! Maybe next year I’ll acknowledge the dreadful year added up on my biological clock! It is especially bad when your grandmother tell you that you are now very old...

We had a great time with the Toddler and spending time with friends and family! It is only now that I realize: I am officially a year olderShriek! (wink smile!)

Luckily I was spoilt rotten! And the weather is very good to me this year! It is hot HOT here in South Africa. Usually by this time in the year it is beginning to get cold and turning into autumn. No sign of it on this side...

I hope you had a great weekend as well?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Morning's first photo at day care #16

Luckily I got a little bit of a smile from the Toddler before I left her. She actually told me she wanted to cry... I suspect she is not feeling 100%, and she was a bit fragile this morning when we woke her.
It is Friday! Miracles happen! Every week! Enjoy yours!
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Ice-cream and Yogurt

I had very specific cravings with my pregnancy: ice-cream and yogurt! E-v-e-r-y day!

Hubby had to drive many nights to the shops to buy us ice-cream. (And he did! Maybe the whining also had something to do with it? Thank you, thank you, Hubby!)

And every morning while I was stuck in traffic it was that Yogi-sip I was thinking of buying at the coffee shop... Yogi-sip was like coffee to me during my pregnancy!  And the disappointment if there was no yogi-sip available... That bubble brain of mine only had one thought for the day: “YOGI-SIP!”

How much of those cravings do we carry over on our children? That’s what I am contemplating with the Toddler who absolutely loves yogurt and ice-cream. This afternoon she made us open the fridge again and again to check for yogurt, and there was none... (We did not do grocery shopping last weekend, only a few really essential items.)

We found half a Hello Kitty ice-cream cup in the fridge, but it was not enough.  At long last we gave her some All Bran flakes with milk, and she had one and a half bowl. Enough for her not to want to eat over dinner...

The clincher came when we were walking in the nearby Mall, on our way home. She was pulling along her trolley bag, but the next moment she gave a shriek and threw it down! A young guy was walking past us with an ice-cream in the hand.  She yelled “roomys” (ice-cream) and ran to the ice-cream kiosk nearby! How does she know this is where the ice-cream comes from? She knows! Shame, and she did not get that ice-cream tonight... Now I feel bad while busy writing this!

But she had had enough! I feel "bad parent" enough by feeding her half an ice-cream and cereal for dinner tonight. An ice-cream would have been too much? (But I know how I would have felt when I did not get that ice-cream!)

Do you also find that your children loves the same things you craved for, or is it just generic that children loves ice-cream and yogurt?
What cravings did you have?

Wordless Wednesday #67 - Toddler with her dog

Monday, 7 March 2011

Toddler meltdown in a public place


We had an incident of toddler meltdown at a restaurant over the weekend. The Tantrum reared its ugly head when the Toddler wanted to hold a glass of ice; not happy with one ice cube only!

We tried to divert her attention, and made a few jokes. Luckily it did not last for too long.

When I looked at the photos again, I saw the bothered faces in the background.  Not impressed at all!




Related posts:
Adult tantrums
How to survive the terrible tantrum
Taking the toddler to places and the T-dance

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Dream Circus – The Toddler’s first

The Circus is as exciting as ever. A circus, called Dream Circus, parked on local school grounds here, and we got the whole deal with popcorn and lights!

It was the Toddler’s first! We struggled to get her off her chair in the beginning because she was apparently under the impression that it is “show” enough to be able to sit on her own chair – happily clapping along.

When we got her standing to be able to see, the clown came too near to our side, and she was not impressed with him for the rest of the show...  I can’t blame her. The clown was scary to me too...

Luckily Circus does not mean big animals anymore. It is only dogs, doves and a really big snake. The acrobats and the trapeze artists are very good.

The highlight of the show was the highlight – the strong man act: throwing and catching of three heavy heavy copper (?) balls.  A muscle-builder from the audience struggled to pick up the balls, where two of them were picked up by Mr Strong Man’s pinkie.  It was announced as the Award Winner of the International Circus Star Award.

Entertainment at its best! I will definitely take the Toddler again!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Our furry dog - update

Benji, our Miniature Yorkshire Terrier
We got the cute Miniature Yorkshire Terrier in December last year. It turns out that he was more than we envisaged! Don't we all! #worsethanatoddler is stil the best description for our furry pet!

But we have all settled into a nice routine now. Benji has become accustomed to sleeping outside. He had a cosy deal with The Teen, sleeping on her bed.But the nightly pees and poohs became too much!
Hubby also said enough was enough when Benji was downgraded to the kitchen, and he was left cleaning it every morning...

We had a few nights of barking and bumping against the door. But now our little guy is "happily" (WE are the happy ones) sleeping outside with our other dog.

The two have grown accustomed to each other as well, and most days are spent with Petite Peu (cross breed Dachshund and other ) "grooming" Benji around the face. Benji enjoys it, and turns over on his back while Petite gives him smal bites. We get irritated by it; but I have caught Benji going to ask for the attention from the other one...

Our vet neighbour took him for his monthly groom and cut on Monday, and he looks very cute. A bit strange with the Schnauzer cut, but it is too hot here for the normal Miniature Yorkshire cut. And he will get too dirty as well with too long hair...

I got an sms from his previous owner enquiring about him yesterday, and all of a sudden I could not imagine giving him back! Yes, he has grown on us, and is part of the family as well!
Benji sleep-hanging from his bed in the evenings


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Twitterquette

5 Twitter updates in my time line that I find very irritating:
 
  • Monosyllabic yes’s or no’s! Or any other mono exclamations.
          @quette No! – No what?
  • Private discussions, such as organizing play dates. (That’s why there is DMs.)
           @quette Are you free on Saturday? – Why do we want to see this?    
  • Replies that do not include a hint of what the conversation is about.
          @quette it sure is a good thing that it turned out this way. – What? Who? How?
  • Hinting at some sort of personal disaster, and letting it hang.
          @quette OMG! – WTF?
  • Not acknowledging a reply when you requested some sort of feedback.
          “     “ - Why did I bother?

These are some of the things that irk me endlessly.
What are your pet peeves on Twitter?


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Doppio Zero, a nice place to take the toddler

Doppio Zero, Bell Air Mall in Nothriding
Strange how our choice of restaurants have changed with the Toddler. Our main focus is on going to a place where there is a play area for the Toddler as well!

We have find a new favourite place. The play area is a definite winner. And best of all: We can sit next to the play area, and enjoy a wonderful meal. Because the food is excellent at Doppio Zero! I have commented in a previous post about how much I like the restaurant.

What I also like is the way the play area is enclosed, and the play equipment is for babies and smaller children. I saw a note up that they also do parties for children. (Make a note!) It is just a bummer to see how the Mall has lost business because of bad management. Still a lovely place, but a lot of the shops had to close its doors...

The Toddler had a ball tonight.