Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Concert done and dusted!

I don't know how the teachers do the yearly concerts...

They must have years and years and years of patience, to pull of the miracle of getting pre-primary children to sit quietly for longer than a hour.

The Toddler also got fed-up with all the daily practice for the concert, and did not want to go to school anymore.

Sigh of relief! They had the last day on Friday last week. The parents had their concert, and the grandparents on the Friday final.

I went to fetch the Toddler earlier, and while I was busy getting her stuff together, I heard the following in her class:




I did not see who the poor offending child was, and I felt sorry for him/her.

The very mild-mannered soft-spoken teacher (or so I thought!) had had enough!

I can't blame her, but maybe it is good the end of year is around the corner?

I went away quietly...

(Photo by grandfather James)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Going to the zoo Is a good second best

We were planning a camping weekend, but it did not pan out.
The Johannesburg Zoo was a good alternative for getting in touch with nature.

The giraffes were a firm favourite 
Quality time with my big sister
Posing in front of the gorillas
The lion right next to the window
We could not pass the rides at Joburg Zoo
with the inquisitive eyes of a toddler!

Related post:

The two-year old's first day at the zoo

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Going blind for the blind

I noticed a few things about being blind...
It was at a fundraising event for Egoli Blind, called Dinner in the Dark, on Friday evening.

We were blindfolded and had to eat our "dinner in the dark"!

Thoughts on being blind:

- I don't like being blind! (That's the point!)

- I get sleepy as soon as my eyes are not working.

- Conversation was hampered because I could not see the rest of the people at the table.

- Food tastes different when you can't see it.

- It was a whole negotiation to get my glass filled, and we did not know how to get the attention of the waiters. Keeping our hands in the air did not seem to work.

In the end there was a little lot of peeking happening, and we had great fun!

It made me aware of how difficult it must be to be in perpetual darkness, and to negotiate your way in a visual world.

I work with a blind colleague, and he makes it seem so easy!
He does not see anything as a barrier.
When something has to be done, he is off with only his walking cane in his hand!

Hats off to all the blind people who "see" and do everything!

I am copying the Mission of Egoli Blind, who are mainly operating in the southern Gauteng area of South Africa. They are on Facebook as well: Egoli Blind.

"In order to achieve its vision Egoli Blind provides the following to its members as well as the visually impaired community within its area of operation:
o Support to recently blinded people;o Assistance to visually impaired people with reference to job placement and the improvement of working conditions.o Advise people of and refer where necessary to rehabilitation facilities.o The collection and dissemination of information relevant to visually impaired people.o  Creating awareness among visually impaired people of the services provided by Blind SA i.e.:
  •  Braille training;
  •  Literature;
  •  Study bursaries;
  •  Loan facilities;
  •  Education;
  •   Employment and careers;
  •   Advocacy;
  •  Blindness-related information;
o Orientation and mobility;
  • Support to parents of visually impaired children ‘and’ visually impaired learners relating to educational matters;
  • Support to visually impaired senior citizens;
  • A forum for networking among visually impaired people;
  • Creating an awareness among the sighted public of blind people and blindness-related matters"

Monday, 22 October 2012

Annual Pink walk for breast cancer

The annual iTthemba Walkathon was again held in Johannesburg.

The family fun walk is a favourite of ours to attend.
It gets the family out in the outdoors and gives us a good exercise for a Sunday morning.
It also helps us to think we are doing our little bit for breast cancer awareness, as well as contributing to a good cause.

Ever since we got the scare when my daughter discovered the lump in her breast, we have become more aware of how important that check-up is. 18-year olds can get breast cancer!

I also have a colleague who went for her regular check-up just a week ago. She is completely clear after she had to go through a harrowing ordeal of a double mastectomy to save her from definite breast cancer in the future. Her story is here.
Now she does not have to worry about the C-sword hanging over her head, and she can plan her life with a long future ahead of her!

Not even the clouds or threats of thunderstorms could dampen  the walkers
Figures of 27 000-30 000 participants were mentioned
There was some enthusiastic walking by the Toddler,
but we  were glad we brought the stroller along

At the finish line!
Related posts:

iThemba Walkathon 2011

- iThemba Walk against breast cancer (2010)

- Breast cancer awareness

Friday, 19 October 2012

Morning's First Photo - Letter to my teacher

At 6 am this morning:
"No, Mom, you can't have the picture! This is for my teacher!"

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bum up and go the same as dealing with DV

I do not get bored with status updates about how many kilometres you have done, or how many press-ups you have done.

I get insanely, green, dark-green, purple jealous!!!

Because I know how pleased you are and should be about yourself!
And how much good you have packed into that exercise.

Meanwhile, back at the Bum in the chair, I am Slump-Sister!
And not feeling good at all about myself!

It struck me today that not exercising is the same as being stuck in domestic violence.

You are the only person that can change the situation!

- You can complain until your hair falls out and your toes turn orange. It will not change the situation.

- You can feel sorry for yourself. You can cry. It will not change the situation.

- You can tell the priest, the psychologist, your family and friends about your bum deal. It will not change the situation!

- You can stay! It will not change the situation!

How to deal with domestic violence:

- You need to make the ultimatums!
- You have to act if things does not change.
- You have to get out of there! 

Of course it is not easy, but is it possible.
Staying there is also a decision!


So, I lifted my bum today:

20 minutes of rolling hills on level 3 gave me 7 kilometres.
100 arm exercises (don't know what you call it), and 30 sit-ups!

Better than staying on my chair during lunch-time!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Movie Clip Monday #27 - Toddler singing "The Gingerbread Man"

The Toddler singing a song with an application on the "Lexy Tab", as she calls her Dad's Samsung Galaxy Tab.

"Crocodile, I am going to eat you..."

(Video by her big sister)

Friday, 12 October 2012

University initiation - How long should it last?

Initiation at university. 

We became aware this year of how prevalent it still is in our higher institutions of education. 

I felt in the beginning of the year that I had failed my child for allowing her to have to go through this type of treatment to have a place to stay while studying.

The worst. The initiation has still not ended. It is nearly end of the year, and the exams are around the corner. 

They are still being subjected to initiation practices. They have not been discharged from the practices, although all the rest of the residences have finished with these practices in August or earlier. 

My thoughts are that it should not happen at all, but at least that it should not be allowed to take as long as this. 
As far as I know the University has a policy that says that it should end at the end of August!

I think it is just a formal nod to bullies to continue with their bullying behaviour! 
The practice of initiation creates bullies! 

I am really not impressed! Every time my daughter thinks this is the evening that they are going to be discharged and that the practise would end...

Holding thumbs that it will be the end this weekend! 
I am sorry, my girl!

How long should it last, do you think?

(Photo taken last night)

Related posts:

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Toddler take on the Tinker Bell movie

Toddler face watching Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings
We had to take the Toddler to see the latest Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings at the movies.
Even a mom with a very busy boy told us that her son enjoyed the movie very much, and that we should  do our utmost to go and see the film.

Hubby says he would not have believed it that his only movie experience now is in the domain of fairies, but that's what you do when you have a toddler.

 She has a Tinkerbell fascination, and she is promising us a wonderful Tinkerbell party!

I asked the Toddler afterwards what she thought of the movie:

- She was a bit sad during the movie, especially when Tinker Bell got a broken wing.
- She did not like Periwinkle, Tinker Bell's sister.
- Why not?
   She does not look beautiful!
   She does not like her short hair.
   She does not like her white hair.

She watched the whole time, even while climbing the stairs.... (We had the cinema to ourselves last night.)

She did not keep on the 3D glasses for the duration of the whole movie, but longer than the previous movie experience.

Disney, you did a great job! Again!
Even Mom and Dad enjoyed the 77 minutes of fairies!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Bambanani - Heaven for parents

I don't know why it has taken us so long to check out Bambanani in Melville, especially since we are always looking for new places to take the Toddler while we are able to enjoy our meals!

(You can only go so much to Papachinos, where they don't mind to be rude because they are so popular!)

The entrance does not look impressive, but when inside it looks calm and serene, and next time we will definitely try out the tapas while sitting inside.

We tried the outdoor area underneath the trees, where there are a wide variety of play areas for the kids. I am amazed at how much they have packed into the small area. There are balls, and climbing equipment for the older kids. Underneath the patio is a whole world of play rooms, such as a fully equipped play kitchen.

There are child minders who also look after the little ones.

And they make a great cuppa! We are definitely going back!

Monday, 8 October 2012

iPads for children #iStoreMomsandKids

I had the good fortune to win an invite to the Tech-Moms & Tech Savvy Kids event at the iStore in Sandton on Friday. Thanks to Rattle and Mum!

We have the tablets at home, but we are still struggling through the maze of all the apps that are available. We are also not sure about the management of the tablets in the home.

I got a few pointers at the iStore that opened up my eyes to the possibilities for our children.
I could only jot down a few, because I had a toddler in tow who kept coming to swing on the doors and asking me to join her where they were being entertained by the friendly iStore people.

iPads for children from Pre-School to Secondary School:

- A study that has been done about the impact of iPads on learning has yielded a much higher result for children using the devices.
- iPads in kindergarten have also been successfully implemented in South Africa
- Parents should be comfortable with their decisions about daily screen time as well as be discerning about the apps.
- Management from parents are the most important factor in the use.
- iPads are starting to change the classroom - 200 schools in South Africa are already using iPads. (There are different funding models available).
- The applications are classified in manuals regarding primary school and secondary school.
- "Technology and media should not replace activities such as creative play, real-life exploration, physical activity, outdoor experiences, conversation, social interactions that are important for children's development." - Marli Hoffman
-  They are combining traditional teaching with new technology in pre-primary school.

- Benefits of iPads for Preschoolers:

  •  at ease with technology from a young age
  • promotes active & engaging learning
  • compliment traditional learning
  • adds another dimension
- The criteria for selecting an app:

  •  The outcome is important
  • Read the description
  • Age level
  • Read critiques
  • Become familiar with the app
- iPads in primary school. The teacher says they are "iPaddling along with their children", but it's all good. The children are teaching the teachers. 
- The children are making sense of their own world through the use of iPads, for example their own interests, research and basic presentations, as well as creating books. Keynote delivers amazing projects by the children.

Enough said! 
It seems I got more than a mouth-full about the positive impact of the iPad in education.

My Toddler did not need any convincing, and had a great time! 
An interactive Peter Rabbit being read to the children
Catching bubbles
Sliding down the slopes, with Emma & Melinda (Melinda's Memoirs Mumbled),
Max (Tanya's Dear Max) and Katie (Sue Stuart)
Mieka got grass burns on her bum for doing that... 
(Because she did not want to put on the leggings I wanted her to wear. *The best way of learning!*)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Reasons why I consumed a vampire book in a weekend

I struggle to read through a book, and sometimes it takes me months to finish one. I still need to finish the final Dragon Tattoo book in The Millennium Series... (I am going to!!)

But it is getting better with actually sitting down and reading! The Toddler can keep herself occupied for a while now, and when she sleeps, she is down for the night!

I have noticed that my reading has changed with the e-Reader. You search through the free ebooks, and get one which sounds a bit interesting...

And only after a few chapters you realize that it is a book about vampires, and now you have to see how it ends!

Especially since the heroine is a librarian who loves special collections of old manuscripts, and wears combat boots with pencil skirts. And dye her hair black, and works for a vampire!

Now it is only the first book in the Elemental Mysteries Book 1...
And the rest are not free!
Very slick, Amazon!

Have you also noticed a change in your reading material since having an e-Reader?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Nappies for those that do not get to grow out of it

We were just talking last night that it is been nearly a year that our little toddler has been nappy free.

 At that stage nobody was as surprised as the surprised mother that it went as smooth-sailing and that something just clicked!

It really puts a dent in your budget each month!

Stacey over at Living Lionhearts has worked out that she has spent nearly R27 000 for her Travis who is a special needs-child, and who is five and there is no end in sight!

She is supporting Nappy Run which starts in October until beginning of December.
Nappy Run 

The details:

" - The Nappy Run is a joint venture between the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) and the National Association of Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP).
 - The campaign runs from 1 October to 3 December.
 - This year, the Nappy Run aims to collect 400,000 nappies for children with disabilities.
 - You can drop off your donation of nappies at any of the 350+ Alpha Pharm pharmacies across the country.
 - On National Children’s Day (Saturday 3 November), the Nappy Run 5km ‘fun run’ is taking place at the Johannesburg Zoo, starting at 9am. You run with a ‘doek’! Entrance is a pack of nappies."

Stacey asks that you tweet her at @MissStaceyVee or email her when you have donated so that she can keep score for SA's mommy blogger community!

All the details are on her blog: Help us donate 10 000 nappies this year!

(Photo by Debbie Rogers - Mieka was about 5 months at the time)

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