Thursday 29 December 2011

A week of camping

We can't believe we have spent a week camping and hiking with The Toddler!

Even with her who freaks every time she sees a bug, and who does not want to shower...

We had lots of laughs with the Mieka-sayings:

- Every time a plane goes overhead, she says there goes Wynand, my brother, who came to visit from America.

- She sings her own 'Miekanese' songs (own made-up songs, some not even in recognizable language), and when I suggested that she will perhaps become a singer one day, she immediately retorted by saying: No, she is Mieka, not a singer!

- She asks questions the whole time, and Stian (my daughter's boyfriend) kept on saying he doesn't know. She says: "Nou WAT weet jy?" (What DO you know?) - very sarcastic!

It has been a wonderful relaxing break!

I don't want to go home tomorrow!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Camping with a toddler who is afraid of bugs

A toddler who is afraid of any crawling/flying/moving/not-moving thing-a-ma-bug...

We are being challenged to the extreme here while camping with The Toddler who is afraid of BUGS(or CRITTERS)!

She inspects the tent and the ground and flatly refuses to move until the "offending" creature has been removed!
Or she throws a huge tantrum--like shriek which makes everybody jump to help her out of her "predicament"...

She inspects the toilets and bathrooms and if any other life form is seen, it is tickets!
Forget it!
She is not going in there!

Camping without bugs! Not possible!

How do I get my urban toddler to relax in the outdoors?

Monday 26 December 2011

Xmas in the Bush

We had a bush Xmas this year!

We spend the previous Christmas season at home, and decided to do it differently this year. It does not feel like holiday when staying at home!

Mountain Sanctuary Park is our favourite camping place. No music are allowed! One of our pet peeves when camping... You do not want to listen to other people's music choices, especially when in the bush!
Now all we hear is the sounds from the bush!

*sigh* (Rest!)

The camp sites are big and well spaced! There are numerous hiking trials to rock pools, sliding pools and the Grotto (a cave).

My family and brother visiting from America stayed in a cabin here for the weekend, and we had a perfect lunch yesterday!

Christmas with family and in the bush... It was perfect!

Now for some more rest and reading and lazy afternoon napping... Heaven!!

Hope you are also having a lovely time?

Thursday 22 December 2011

A 3-year old Princess

Our little girl turned three yesterday! (So freaking crazy lightning speed fast!)

When we ask her how old she is, she still shows us four fingers, but I think it is in tune with her life!
Next year she is going to go to be with four-year old children in a new school...

I am beginning to think that it is not such a bad thing to have a birthday in December. We are on holiday, and there are presents all around!

She gets extra special attention!

The day started with presents...

It was followed by a walk at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

(We had a dark cloud hanging over the day following a phone call by the MIL to wish her granddaughter a happy birthday.
While she was speaking to me at the Gardens she started to scream! It was followed by silence!
It was extremely scary! With Hubby anxiously trying to phone his dad and mom...

It turns out she was hit over the head and robbed of her cell and hand bag! Back to reality!?
She's got a broken nose, but she will be okay. Scary stuff here!

We can't walk in the streets while talking on a cell...

We can't walk in the street! Period!)

Later on we had a party at one of or favourite places: Papachinos.

With pizza making...

The cake and candles

There was also another casualty on the day.
Friend Kyle broke a small bone in his foot while jumping down... (Boys...?)
Sorry, Kyle! Apparently it is three weeks in a cast!
Photo by his mom, Vicky

Luckily our fairy princess had a lovely time.

You are so cute, my little girl!
I hope I will remember how cute you are right now!

Happy birthday!!

Related post: 
Wordless Wednesday #107 - 3rd Birthday

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Christmas lights

Corner of Mopanie & Appelblaar in Randpark Ridge
We found this house of Christmas lights by word of mouth.
We were not the only ones stopping in the street and getting out with the kids...

Amazing that the lights can draw so much attention! It has been our second drive-by already this year!
The first time the Toddler was asleep by the time we got there.

She loved it, and we only got her back in the car when we promised a slow drive-by when leaving!

In South Africa it is not as commonplace to make up you house with lights at Christmas time.

Do you know of an other houses in Johannesburg looking like this?
(Please share the links.)

Monday 19 December 2011

Feeding the ducks at Rusty Hook

One of my happy childhood memories is feeding the ducks with my parents and grandparents at Florida Lake.

The excitement of a Sunday afternoon of collecting all the leftover bread and going for a ride to the lake...

Throwing bread crumbs to all the ducks that come swimming when they see that we have food...

That was fun!

Unfortunately Florida Lake is not a place that we want to go to any more. It feels unsafe, and the area has not been maintained. I do not know if there are still ducks in the area?

We found a place nearby which feels like getting a bit of nature, as well as giving the Toddler the opportunity to feed the ducks! At Rusty Hook.

I was a bit apprehensive that it would be "rusty", but it is a great restaurant and function venue in beautiful natural surroundings .

We will be back!

What childhood memories do you have of feeding the ducks?

Sunday 18 December 2011

Early Christmas

We had an early Christmas here. 

Part of the family is not going to be with us next week!

We had two days of family get-together events this weekend. 

This IS the festive season!

It is definitely part of the festive traditions that I want to impart on the Toddler:

-          It is a time of family and togetherness.
-          It is a time of giving.
-          It is a time of fun.
-          It is a time of love and peace and rest!
-          It is a time focusing on our children.
-          It is a time of reflection and renewal.
-          It is a time of telling stories.

The Toddler is going to have a week of presents with her birthday coming up on Wednesday...

What Christmas traditions are important to you?

Saturday 17 December 2011

Play ground friendships

Play ground politics can be a daunting venture for any little one...

Walking up to strangers and asking them to play with you!

Up until this day I haven't mastered the skill!
I was just too shy as a child, and I could usually be found hanging round my mother's knees...

That's why I am so extremely pleased that I have daughters who find it much easier to make new friends.
Maybe it is the day care that makes them used being around other children, but I suspect it is also their personalities that makes it easier on them...

Phew! I love it that they can make friends more easily than me!

There is nothing more important than having friends!

Tuesday 13 December 2011

My top 10 things to do during the holidays

It's the holidays! Finally!

Why did it feel like forever to get here?
Wednesday is my last day the office!

Tanya Kovarsky is hosting a camera give-away over at Dear Max, and we have to make a list of the top 10 things to do during the festive season. (*Thumbs* - I am feeling lucky!)

This is my list of the top 10 hings to do during the holiday season:
(Not in the order of importance)

- Sleep 

- Read through my stacks of books, and my new Kindle

- Rest Doing nothing!

- Spending quality time with my daughter going off to university

- Spending quality time with my toddler

- Dates with Hubby

- Camping

- Hiking

- Coffee catch-ups with friends

- De-cluttering (a little bit of work for me as well!)

What do you have on your list  for the holidays?


Monday 12 December 2011

Making smiles in Madagascar

Operation Smile. Madagascar Mission 2011. from Zute Lightfoot on Vimeo.
(Go to this link if it does not want to play: Operation Smile Madagascar Mission)

A friend of mine does volunteer work every year for Operation Smile. She helps with the filing of each and every case of a child that gets a smile being made during such a mission.
(See last year's guest post by her: Smiles for Kinshasha, by Karin D'Orville.)

It must be one of the most gratifying ways of doing volunteer work. Smiles are being "made" - children's faces and lives are changed in the time span of a day.
I can only imagine that it changes the whole family's lives who "suffers" with the child as well.

Karin notified me of the slideshow above which is about this year's  Mission to Madagascar. It gives a very insightful look into the way the missions operates and how it changes the lives of the children.
"Operation Smile provides free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. Operation Smile was in Madagascar for 10 days, the team was made up of 70 medical professionals from around the world all of whom had volunteered their time."
I cringed when they showed the people that gets turned away...
To wait for another year for a change to be able to have that most important operation!
That must be so frustrating!

I think Operation Smile is doing a wonderful job!

Thanks to all the volunteers and monetary contributors!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Photo report of a weekend in the mountains

The view kept changing
Cayley Lodge in the central Drakensberg

Miniature golf with my brother visiting from America
Rain curtain
Fun on the trampoline
I can still carry the load on a hike!

Friday 9 December 2011

My toddler hurts me

Dear Auntie

My toddler is nearly three and he is hurting me, almost on a daily basis!

He hurts me real bad. I’ve got bruises to show for it, especially on my arms.

He is a big boy and he pinches me, even in my face!

I have tried everything:

-    Talking to him.
-    Crying in front of him.
-    Ignoring the pinching and trying to focus his attention on something else.
-    Ignoring him.
-    Walking away.
-    Giving him a hiding.
-    Threatening him with no presents from Father Christmas.
-    Pinching him back.

I am not proud of all of it, but nothing seems to work!

I don’t know how to handle the situation anymore!

I try to be there for my child as much as possible. (I have been called a “helicopter” parent).

My son cannot complain about me not being there for him. He also does not allow for me to be too far away from him…

I sense that it has got something to do with insecurities…
Maybe because his father and I are divorced?

Am I a bad parent?

What have I done wrong?

Please help!

What do I do with my toddler who bullies his own mother?

Thursday 8 December 2011

Last last day

Presents for my teachers!
The final day at her day care...

It has been nearly three years that my toddler spend more of her time here during the day than I had to spent at my work-place. (I drop her off an hour before I start at work, and fetch her half an hour or more after work.)

She started here in the baby's section when she was nearly 5 months old, end now she is turning three...

For the most part, she has been very happy here, and I did not have problems leaving her here. She loves her teachers!

I don't think she realises that this is the last time... We tried telling her, but it has not clicked yet!

I am the one sad on her behalf!

She had friends here whom she spend many happy hours playing with...

The end of a chapter, and next year she will go to a "big school"! That's what we are going to call the new pre-primary school that she is going to next year!

I know that we are doing the right thing! There is going to be more structure, with qualified teachers!

An ending...

I don't like goodbyes!

Tuesday 6 December 2011

A time of the year...

When the streets are beckoning...
When the malls are beckoning...
When the paths in the woods needs to be explored...

When the mountains are calling...

What are you still doing at the office?

Monday 5 December 2011

Where are the stars?

Toddler talk:

The Toddler wanted to wear a fairy outfit with a fairy wand yesterday.

She was busy waving the wand furiously, and exclaimed:
"It is not making stars! Where are the stars?"

Sunday 4 December 2011

Hubby's BDay

Elise du Toit Photography
Hubby is celebrating his last year of 30s. Happy, happy birthday my dear husband!

I like  to point out that that he is still in his 30's! (While I have done the "cross-over" a couple of years back ;-) )
It gives me lots of bonus points!

A friend said today that I am very lucky to be be here!
Yes, I am! But I have made the choice to be here, and I did not stay in something that was bad!

I have met a soul mate and friend who makes life fun and worthwhile and great to come home to!
Each and every night!

Thank you, Hubby, for being in our lives and for all that you contribute to our family!

You are a great husband and father and cook and handyman and friend and provider and always ready for an adventure!

You are our Hero!
Hope you had a great birthday!

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