Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The day after the birthday!!

Today we went to the MTN Sceincentre at Canal Walk. It is a great place where the kids (and adults!) get to look at, do, build and learn about all sorts of scientific things. it's a lot of fun and one of our favourite outings. Abigail has been a couple of times before but today was Niave's first time. She enjoyed it especially the "river" where they have water experiments etc.

I left early with Niave as she was tired and Abigail stayed on with her friend Bryce. His mom said she would bring her home.

When they arrived, Bryce was very excited to see Abs new bike and have a ride.
He's a keen cyclist and could ride without side wheels at a very young age.
Anyway, he had a turn and then Abs got on and started down the road - we live in a cul de sac so there's not a lot of cars and they only come from 1 side so it's easy to watch for them.
Bryce started running behind the bike and tripped, when he fell and started crying Abigail turned to see what had happened and then she fell.

She banged her face on the curb and has a black eye and grazed cheek.

Bryce had a cut on his hand.
So there was much crying and putting on ice packs and even a bit of Panado and she is feeling much better now, unfortunately it doesn't look too good, but we're trying not to tell her that!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Growing Popcorn 3

It is growing! We now have shoots of about 1cm or so.
We're well on our way to supplying the local shops!
It's amazing how growing seeds is so fascinating for children, we've grown seeds a few times but it is just as exciting for them each time even though sometimes it's just birdseed and not really very interesting or pretty.
Just the fact that you can put a tiny seed into some soil, water it and it grows!
It's amazing!!
Of course it is, but we adults sometimes take these things for granted.
I mean to think an entire Oak tree is "contained" in 1 small acorn!
Gods creation is amazing!
Let's not forget that!

The birthday day

Well, despite the wonderful warm, sunny day we had yesterday, the rain was back today!
This morning we woke later than usual, as it is school holidays. My sister called at 7:30ish when we were all still in bed except for Grant. She wanted to speak to Abs before she left for school, not realising it was holidays! Well if it was early for us it was earlier for her as she is an hour behind us, so thanks Bev for waking up at the crack of dawn to be the first well-wisher of the day!
After that it was time for MORE presents! Yesterday she opened 2 laundry baskets full!
So a very sleepy Abigail (she takes a long time to wake up in the morning!) was ushered into the lounge and handed a present by Niave who only wanted to open the present herself!

Niave's present to Abigail was...

A bicycle helmet and basket!

We could see she was a little confused as to whether it was for her old bike or a new one!! But we kept her guessing, we told her that maybe there was anew bike hidden somewhere in the house!She started looking......in the office, but it wasn't there!

On the stoep next to all the other wheel toys?Nope! After a little help she found it in the outside shower! There is a little piece of the handle bar sticking out behind her - can you tell that she is not quite awake yet?!

And here it is! She was very happy with it, even though she hasn't smiled yet! (this is all pre-breakfast so we haven't had anything to perk up the blood-sugar level!)

Unfortunately it was - you guessed it - raining, so we couldn't go outside for a test run.

No sooner had we finished looking over the bike when the doorbell rang! More visitors bearing gifts!

Ouma and Oupa arrived bright and early with a big box.

By now we had managed to eat a medium sized bowl of Coco-Pops so we were a little perkier! She couldn't wait to see what was inside the box!






CD player!! Can you tell how impressed she is?!

She was beaming from ear to ear!

When all the excitement was over we got ready for the next part of the day which was a trip to the Ice Station to go ice skating. I had invited 2 friends to join us so there was more fun in store!!

The rain was really quite bad on the drive there and the traffic was also bad due to an accident involving a truck so it took us a little while to get there. But with lots of socks inside the "lovely" boots, they took to the ice! Kelsey went straight in like a pro and Joanna got going pretty quickly too. Abigail who has only skated once before when she was about 3 was a little more nervous but had fun anyway.

The Ice Station, at Grand West is a lot better than were we used to ice skate at the old Good Wood rink and not a bad price, the small rink is R15,00 for an unlimited amount of time! Not bad if you ask me.

Kelsey was very at home on the ice and enjoyed every minute even though she got a blister! Those boots are not the most comfortable. Abs and Jo were a little slower.

Ice skating is obviously hard work because they each had 2 bowls of hot chips and some other snacks along the way!

3 monkeys on a bench! and of course Lilly had to come along too, all decked out in her new outfit - a birthday gift!

Well, after 2 hours of skating and eating, eating and skating we handed back our boots and headed back out into the rain and the traffic which was not much better.

Once home the girls had a great time going through all the gifts and getting stuck into some of the crafty things and just playing in general.

I bought ice cream suckers for the party but forgot to give them out - the usual story, so they had some of those even though it was still raining and very cold.

At last the rain stopped and we could go outside for a ride. Some on old bikes and some on new!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abigail turns 7

On Saturday the 29th of September 2001 a little girl was born at the Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont, Cape Town.
We named her Abigail Melissa Hutton. Abigail meaning "father's joy" and Melissa meaning "bee" which is the greek version of my name Debbie meaning "bee" in Hebrew.
She was expected to arrive on the 6th of October but came early after what I thought was a tummy bug but was actually labour!

She was born by emergency C-section at 6:40am weighing 3,6kg's.

Looking back I can't believe seven years have passed and our little baby girl is in Big school!

This year, her 7th, has been quite a busy one for Abigail.

She has learn't to read, learn't to tie her shoelaces, learn't to add and subtract and count in 2's; 5's and 10's, she has lost 2 teeth (and another on it's way) and she has learn't to sleep in her own bed!!

We are very proud of all the things she has accomplished this year (not least the last one!!) and we know that she will continue to learn and grow and do new things each and every year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABIGAIL, we hope you have a very special day.

Abigail's Party

Tomorrow Abigail turns 7, so today we had a party for her in the park close to our house.
The theme for the party was "Olympics" as it was while the Olympics were in full swing that we were deciding on dates etc.
So the original plan was for me to run the party and do "sports activities" like "Bean Bag Shot -put" etc.

This was all coming together nicely when the weather forecast predicted rain -surprise, surprise! So in a desperate attempt to find an alternative venue I came across the Clamber Club website. They are a franchise business that run movement classes/programmes for kids and they also do parties. (It's much bigger in Gauteng, the only franchise in C.T. is in the Northern Suburbs.)
Anyway, one look at their website and my ideas faded into the background.

After much deliberation and "discussion"! we decided to hire them and move the party to sunny Sunday.
Well, all I can say is: "what an awesome party"! It really was worth every cent. The kids had an absolute ball and were busy, busy, busy from beginning to end. And I was more free to take pictures and do other things that I wouldn't have been able to do had I been doing the games myself.
Even the adults got involved and it seems as though a good time was had by all.

On Saturday I was a baker: Cupcakes,

birthday cake

and some eats for mom's and dad's, granny's and grampa's as well.

I went to bed last feeling like there was something else I should be doing but it was all done!

Today we had to haul tables and chairs and all sorts of eats and drinks across to the park, fortunately it's not too far away!
And then the fun and games could begin:-

They climbed, jumped, hopped, crawled, ran, caught, rolled, balanced, jiggled and wriggled non-stop.

Then it was a gold medal for everyone and a party pack before going home.
When all the fun was over, we headed home to clean up and open presents. Wow, Abigail was really spoilt with some really beautiful gifts.

At last everyone is in bed, asleep! It has been a wonderful, exciting but tiring day.

These are 2 of my favourite pics of the day (even though they are slightly out of focus!) you can just see how much fun she is having!

There were some other photographers there too and I can't wait to see their snaps, so watch this space for edits and additional photo's!

Friday, September 26, 2008

So, what has Niave been doing this week?

Well, she was very busy! Feeding her baby - sand porridge, yum yum!

And she loves to read so she did some of that, this weeks favourites are "What will I be?" about life cycles (caterpillars, tadpoles etc.) and also "Where do I live?" and "Who is my mommy?" from the same series, they are very sweet "peep-through" books.

She did some motorbike riding, including a few flips over the handle bars but came up none the worse for wear!

She had a teddybear's picnic at school with all her friends.

And she hugged her big sister! So nice to know that although they squabble, they do love each other!

In between she spent some time with Ouma and Oupa so we could do some birthday shopping.

We've had a few late nights with her this week as when she sleeps during the day, even though she's tired enough to warrant a daytime sleep, she is awake until 10pm some nights! She's not roaming around the house although I do have to take her back to bed from time to time. She goes to bed at the usual time, sometimes 8pm if she's slept late in the afternoon and than sits in her bed chatting in the darkness and "reading" to Beaky (her fluffy yellow duck that is her favourite toy). Today she missed her afternoon sleep and so was in bed by 6:30pm and is now in dreamland and it's only 8:30!

Niave says some funny things and this weeks "quote" came last night, we got back from my parents quite late at about 9:15pm after my function in Hout Bay (they went to my parents for supper), I was busy getting her bottle ready when she lay down on the floor and started "snoring" (she can do quite a good pretend snore!) and she said "Mommy, when I go to sleep I will turn into a party flower"! I have no idea! But I had a good chuckle.

That was Niave's week.

Principal's award!

Today was the last day of the term. At Abigail's school, on the last day, they have a special assembly and usually hand out awards etc.

One of the awards is the Principal's Award, awarded to one child in each grade for their acheivement that term.

Well Abigail got the award for Grade 1 this term!!

She was very surprised and told me afterwards that she was shaking!!

Here she is getting her award.

And here is the certificate.

They always end off by singing the school song which gives me goosebumps every time, today was no different!

Last night I attended the 40th birthday celebration of Valley Pre-primary School, where I used to teach until the end of 2005. It was very special and strange to be on the "outside" of proceedings, as before I would've been involved in the preparations etc.

Anyway instead singing Happy Birthday when they cut the cake we all had to sing the school song, that gave me goosebumps too and not because it was freezing - but it was! It was held outside in what would have been a lovely setting with lanterns in the trees etc. but there was a howling wind which made it a bit chilly.

Apart from having time to catch with people I haven't seen in years, teachers, parents and others, I came away feeling very encouraged as we heard the story of how Valley began. I have of course heard the story before, more than once, but this time I had a different perspective. Here's the story: Valley started in 1968 in a corrugated iron "building" close to the beachfront. They had about 20 children. Now Valley is the best pre-primary in Hout Bay (I'm not at all biased!) and they have an annual enrolment of 120 children with a looooong waiting list.

So it made me think that maybe one day my little school will grow into a bigger school and be a fully-fledged pre-primary school!

Well, maybe one day!!

Growing popcorn 2

A few days ago Abigail planted some mielie seeds (popcorn kernels) and put them on the windowsill to soak up some sun! (See Growing popcorn for that story.)
Well we haven't had much sun but at last, after a few more days than I thought it would take, there are signs of life! Very small signs, but signs just the same!

I know it's difficult to tell, but those 2 white wormy sort of things are the start of little shoots! As I said we've had a very late spring so they're s-l-o-w-l-y trying to creep out of their warm home into the big wide world!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Growing popcorn!

A few days ago Abigail and I had a craving for popcorn.
So we decided to make a really big bowl of the stuff and watch a DVD in peace while Niave was asleep.
You'd think it was a simple thing - making popcorn! But not so!!
While we were waiting for it to pop, Abigail wanted to know "what will grow if you plant a "mielie" (corn) seed?" So we had a discussion about planting and growing and mielies (corn) and then of course we had to plant some!
So here she is with her tray of newly planted mielie seeds which are now basking on the windowsill in the not-so-spring sunshine (if only spring would arrive) and we are waiting for them to grow.
Then, I am told by the youngest entrepeneur, we can sell the mielies (corn on the cob) to the shop for R400,00!!
Well we got to have our popcorn until Niave woke up and the entire contents of the bowl landed on the floor! Fortunately we'd all had our fill by then.
Niave has never really caught onto the term "popcorn" so according to her we had "lots of acorns on the floor mommy"!
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Monday, September 15, 2008


How is it that children can adamantly not like a particular item of food their whole life and then one day just love it?!

I remember doing that with peanut butter.

As a child I could not bare even the smell of the stuff, then one day in high school I came home one afternoon and couldn't get the peanut butter sarmie made quickly enough and from that day I've been a peanut butter eater!

Tonight, Niave had very little for supper. Not from lack of offers and options but she's not been eating well lately and when she's in one of those moods if it's not noodles it's not on!
Tonight it was not noodles.

So at bedtime she was suddenly hungry and asking for all sorts of things from biscuits to Bovril toast etc. etc. I was not about to make another "meal" or give her biscuits so I offered her a banana.
She was just about to reject that idea when Abigail (a confirmed banana hater) came scooting into the kitchen with these words "can I have one?"!

I couldn't hide my surprise as I've often tried to get her to try a banana without success. She would practically gag at the sight of them.
Well, at that Niave also obviously wanted a banana and the 2 of them had 1 and half each!
(So much for not eating banana's too close to bed time! We shoved them in!)

Then my shock and amazement continued when Abigail said "Mommy, pleeeease can I have a banana in my lunch box tomorrow?"! Well, if only we hadn't just eaten them all "Yes, you most certainly may!!

Bananas are great lunch box fruit, all self-contained and in it's own package - I love it!

2 monkeys eating bananas!!

Castles and puzzles!

On Sunday morning I woke up feeling not-so-rested after having had a bad night with Niave (we've put it down to 2 year old molars coming through because no virus, fever or rash has developed after a week of being really miserable) anyway at 7:22 am my kids were ready to start the day and needless to say I was not!

Grant recognised this and despite having been up working since early hours himself, he put me back to bed for 2 hours sleep while he entertained the kids.

When I surfaced at exactly 9:20 am I was greeted by 2 very excited little girls who couldn't wait to show me their game - "Castles"!

On Saturday night I had whipped the washing off the line in anticipation of the pending storm that was set to hit (and did) during the night. I hadn't had time to do anything with it so it lay in an ENORMOUS pile on a chair in the lounge.

The game was that when Grant said "castle" they had to climb the pile of washing and when he said "puzzle" they had to jump down and put some of the pieces into the puzzle they were doing!

Of course this went on for a good amount of time, so much so that the chair had quite a dent in it by the end!

Who would have thought that an untidy pile of washing could bring so much fun and excitement!!

"Who's the king of the castle?"!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I realise that out of the 2 posts I have done on this blog both have been exclusively about Abigail and I feel I have neglected my other little one, so this post is dedicated to Niave!
Niave is 2 and a half and very busy! Here are some of the things she loves to do:

She loves to climb - jungle gyms, furniture, walls, tables, burglar bars - and tree stumps!

She likes to draw - anywhere on anything! No, actually she is very good and knows that she should "only draw on paper" but she also loves "writing" on Daddy's whiteboard!

She loves books and especially snuggling up on a winters day to read one! Her favourite at the moment is "Ten Sleepy Sheep", she even sleeps with it next to her on the pillow!Her all time favourites are Spot, Noddy and Humpty Dumpty.

She loves to mess especially with mud, water, food and paint! Sometimes the paint becomes the food!

She loves to put things on her head! Towels, blankets, hats, sunglasses and even wet dish cloths!!

She loves splashing in puddles!

She loves ice-cream suckers!!

She LOVES building puzzles! That is her favourite thing to do and she's pretty good at it too!

...and she loves swimming. (Haven't done that for a while but we're looking forward to summer!)

Well, that is a little bit about our Niavie!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eisteddfod Day!

Today was the day of the eisteddfod! Abigail has been practicing and practicing for this day and she did very well. It was all quite new for all of us as I had to do the hair and make-up to perfection and that is not exactly my forte!
She got High Merit which was great, personally I wouldn't even have had the guts to get on the stage so we are very proud of her.

The hair and make-up done, ready to go.

The hairstyle from the back.

The highlight of the day for Abigail however, came after the eisteddfod.
She has been saving her pocket money for months as she has been desperate for a Build-a-Bear! As they are so expensive we told her she would have to save up and she did a really good job! She saved over R200,00 (with a little extra help from Ouma!) and we said we'd add in R100,00.
For the past few weeks she has been asking "when can I get my Build-a-Bear?" almost daily and I have been very vague about the answer since we decided to take her as a treat after her eisteddfod. The venue was in Sea Point so it was nice and close to the Waterfront where they have a Build-a-Bear shop.

She was SUPER excited about it and I must say they really make it fun for them.

It is a really expensive shop, the clothes and accessories cost more than clothes for children but the staff put a lot of effort into making the experience special for them.

Here's the procedure:

Step 1: Choose your "Bear"

We chose a bunny.

Step 2: Choose a sound.

(There is a growl, a lullaby, and various others, we chose an "I love You" sound.)

Step 3: Fill the "Bear" (Bunny) with stuffing.

You get to choose between soft, cuddly or hard!

Then the helper attaches the "Bear" to the stuffing machine and you have to press down the pedal.

Step 4: Put the heart inside.

(This part was very sweet, she told Abigail to hug it and kiss it so that her Bunny would know she loves her!)

Step 5: Sew up your "Bear".

Step 6: Wash your "Bear"! (in a waterless shower!)

Step 7: Choose some clothes and get her dressed.

(this was the part Abigail was looking forward to the most!)

Step 8: Let her have a look in the mirror!

Step 9: Create a birth Certificate! (Abigail named her Bunny "Lilly")

Step 10: Pay the hefty fee and off you go!

So that was our day! Everybody is asleep now and that is where I must be off to too!