Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too much afternoon!

When I pass out I do it in style!!!
This is what I found when it got too quiet this evening. After an afternoon of sand and water play and sliding down the slide into a mudbath at the bottom it was just too much to stay awake:-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

According to Niave...

...mashed potatoes are two separate dishes: "mash" and "tatoes"!

Abigail's new thing is...

making tea!
Pot after pot after pot! For anyone who will drink it - in fact for nobody at all!
Good thing is she can do the whole deal from beginning to end, even the hot bit without needing to visit the emergency room and the tea is even drinkable:-)

The weekend ad(d)-nauseum!!

This past weekend was not one of my best.

It started on Wednesday after the prize-giving, I felt really tired and by that night all my joints and lower back were sore. I went to bed really early as I couldn't keep my eyes open!
Thursday was really hot so that didn't help the tiredness and Thursdays are generally very busy so after all the rushing around by 2:30 I was feeling really grim:(
I just made it home and went straight to lie down as I was feeling really nauseous.
The funny part of the story was that on the way home we had been listening to the news of a devastating fire in Hout Bay that destroyed at least 50 shacks (that wasn't the funny part), when I stepped out of the car at home I thought "gee, we can smell the fire all the way over here" only to find my husband had lit a fire to braai the sausage I had taken out for supper! Now this may not seem like a big deal to you but believe me it is for us!
Grant used to be the "braai guy" (we have a friend who was the "potjie boytjie"!) but since being in a wheelchair braai's are a bit awkward and we really need to have one custom made, but he felt like having a braai so he put up with the pain and we ended up having sausage and pork chops! That was a huge relief to me because the last thing I felt like doing was cooking.

Friday was no better and I ended up getting sick at school. Not fun. The kids were so sweet, we spent most of the morning inside as I just couldn't bear the heat. They really love being outside but they didn't complain at all. I managed to make it to 12:00 and went straight inside to lie down.

This was not how I planned this weekend at all. Abigail had a dancing show on Friday night and a camp out on Saturday and the way I felt I didn't think I would make either.

Grant had managed to get Niave to sleep which is not usually an easy task and my parents fetched her for swimming shortly after she woke up so I didn't have to hop up every 5 minutes to check what sort of havoc she was causing!! (She can cause some havoc!!)

The next task was to get Abigail's hair and make-up done and get her and us to the school by 5:15. Well, we managed and I even managed to stay for the entire show which I wasn't counting on so that was really good as it is was a brilliant show. These kids are amazing.

Here is a picture of what Abs costume looked like. (We weren't allowed to take pic's of the actual show, there was a professional photographer.)

(you can see how off balance I must have been, it's a dreadful photo! Out of focus and all!!)

On Saturday morning I woke up feeling a little better but by lunch time I was flat on my back again. So the camp out was definitely off. Abigail was so disappointed that my Dad agreed to camp out in the back garden with her.

We only found out the next morning that the whole event was cancelled due to wind and rain predicted for overnight! So she had her camp out anyway!! Niave also spent the night (not in the tent!) so I had a slow morning on Sunday which helped a lot. I felt a bit more normal but not quite right.

This morning Abigail had to go to school dressed as a character from a book. No prizes for guessing what Abigail chose... Snow White of course and she was well kitted out thanks to Bev and Marks and Spencer's!!

They had visits from South African authors and did some related activities which I am still trying to get out of her!! She ended off the day with an end-of-year dancing party with swimming and lots to eat!!

I went off to the doctor this afternoon to get to the bottom of the nausea and it is, apparently, a virus affecting the vestibular area of the middle ear.
Some great anti-nausea tablets and I feel normal again!!
Ugh, there is nothing worse than nausea!
A big THANK YOU to Ouma and Oupa for saving the weekend! It would have been a disaster without you:)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Abigail's Awards Ceremony

Today was the Awards Ceremony at Greenfield for the grade 1-3's.
Each child receives a certificate for the areas in which they have achieved or shown progress. Some are awarded extra things like colours if they have done well in an extra mural e.g gymnastics, dancing etc.

This is a far cry from the prize givings of yester-year where a select few were awarded prizes and the rest of us had to sit through the l-o-o-o-o-n-g ceremony.
My experience of receiving prizes and certificates is very limited!! Let me tell you the story, it's both sad and humorous!
Throughout my primary school career I never received a cup or certificate or anything - I wasn't very good at anything except causing trouble!!
Then in std 5 (grade 7) we all had to take part in the Scholar Patrol to help our fellow pupils cross the road from Harfield rd station safely.
At the end of that year, at final assembly, every std 5 girl was awarded a certificate for their involvement in this duty.
Imagine my excitement when I realized I was FINALLY going to have a certificate to my name!
Each girl was called up to receive theirs - but my name wasn't called. At the end I was left standing at the back of the hall -the only std 5 girl, all alone.
My certificate was stuck inside the envelope and nobody realized!
I did get it in the end but not up on the stage like everybody else!!
Anyway, I'm very glad that these days teachers realize they need to acknowledge everybody -even if finding something positive is very hard!

Here is Abigail receiving her award.

Some of the grade 1's displaying their certificates.

The certificate!

That was the first event in a very busy week!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

There were 2 in the bed and the little 1 said "move over"!

Earlier this evening Niave was hopping out of bed instead of sleeping.
I found her on the floor in the passage once, on the kitchen floor once and on route to somewhere a couple of times!
After the 4th or 5th time the wooden spoon came out and was carefully placed on the kitchen counter as a consequence for the next trip down the passage.

After that I got busy on the computer and as it was quiet - no little footsteps to be heard, I assumed she'd finally gone off to sleep.

So, while waiting for the "dog tricks" pictures to upload I wandered into her bedroom thinking I'd find her fast asleep and looking angelic as children tend to look in their sleep.
This is what I found:

No Niave!

At first I was a bit worried, where could she have disappeared to?

However, on further investigation into all the other rooms this is where I found her:

Oh well, at least she was asleep, even if it was in the wrong bed:-)

This weekend...

...started with Niave and a croup-like cough on Friday night.
She was up about 4 times between 6 and 10 with a barking cough and gasping for breaths which just didn't seem to get anything into her lungs. Poor little sausage, we had her in the bathroom with the steam from the shower but that didn't help too much. Once she calmed down it would get better until an hour later and then we'd start all over again.
Anyway, we went off to the doctor on Saturday morning for some Celestamine and that sorted out the croup/cough but hasn't done much for the trail of green slime coming out of her nose!

After Abigail's party in the morning we went to Ouma and Oupa for the afternoon.
My Mom suggested that we put up some obstacle-course-type things and try to teach the dogs to do "tricks"! (she'd been watching an animal programme on DSTV that inspired her!)
Abigail didn't need to be asked twice!! They set up a ramp and balance beam and a jump.
The dogs weren't too co-operative and just a little confused:-) Tessa eventually did a jump or 2 but Taffy wasn't having any of the silly antics, he just wanted the sausage bits we were using as rewards.

Niave was quite keen to do some tricks and the ramp turned into a slide which kept Abigail occupied well into the evening.

Not feeling too well, Niave would crash out on the couch every now and then to watch "Charlie and Lola" or "Biglittlecook" (Big cook, Little cook!) for a while before the next bout of energy.

Abigail and her best friend Tessa

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More entries for the dictionary...

This morning Abigail had - you guessed it - a party! It seems that the Obstetricians/Midwives must be very busy between September and December judging by the number of birthdays there are!
Anyway, for this party we had to go to Cavendish (actually Stadium on Main but we parked at Cavendish), I have a habit of losing parking tickets. Not the kind you get for parking in the wrong place -never had one of those, the kind you get for wanting to park in the right place!

We have many-a-time had to push the little button that says "HELP" to say that we have (again!) lost our ticket! Much to Abigail's horror.

So, whenever we get the ticket out of the machine she's always thinking of "good" or "clever" places to keep it until our departure (little does she know there is no place "good" or "clever" enough for forgetful me).

When we got our ticket today she said in a very Mommy voice: "Now, put it in your purse, because you know Mom, you are very losable"!

Seems we have a walking dictionary in our midst!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Frame of reference!

Usually driving in our car means listening to "The wheels on the bus" or some other CD for under 6 year olds. Niave is not a very happy passenger so to encourage compliance (i.e. sitting on the seat!) we more often than not give in to her demands for "songs on" - by which she means her songs!

Yesterday, however, we were listening to Josh Groban - which was quite an occasion in our car!
After a few tracks I heard the call for "songs on" but the song playing at the time was "You raise me up" -the sole reason for buying the CD in the first place, so I said she needed to wait till it was finished. After another minute or so she said "what's this song called Mommy?" and I told her.

Today while driving home from fetching Abigail at school the CD was playing again (a different track) and Niave announced from the back "Abi, this song's called 'Can you pick me up?'"!!!

We all had a good chuckle:-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Abigail has been helping out a lot in the kitchen lately.

Sometimes she helps chop the vegetables,

she made scrambled eggs - a few times

and did some stir-fry.

Now just look what we cooked up for supper tonight:

Pork sausages and blue goop!

I'm joking!!
Here's the real story...

Abigail and Niave have somehow had a constant supply of play dough -the bought kind, given to them by various people at various times over the last 6 or so years.
I don't believe in bought play dough!!
But since they've had it given to them it's let me off the hook.
I do make a fair amount of play dough for school.

In the last few weeks all of the bought play dough has come to the end of it's life. And Abigail has been begging me to make some for them.
Sunday night was going to be the night because the school dough was in desperate need of replacement (you don't even want to know what children do to play dough! Lets just say that when they are sitting sweetly at the play dough table and happen to sneeze, guess what is perfectly positioned to catch the spray? Yup, you guessed it!)
So, on Sunday night we were all set to make a double batch - 1 for school and 1 for home - only to discover I only had 3 cups of flour left and not 4!
So we made the school dough because as I said it was DESPERATE! The deal was she would help me with that dough and we would make hers on Monday. Well we made it today:-)

I have to say that this is the best play dough recipe you'll ever find anywhere - guaranteed.
It comes out of The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Arts and Crafts book - a BRILLIANT book!

Here is the recipe in case you have a need for play dough:

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups water
food colouring

Put all the ingredients in a pot and mix together.
Cook on a medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes stirring CONSTANTLY until it becomes stiff.
Store in an airtight container.

It really is quite simple!
Your arm will be ready to fall off after all the stirring but it's worth it, just look at the joy:

Goodness, who would have thought there'd be so much to say in a post about play dough!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Niave's Cockney Slang!

Niave has invented her own nonsense language and comes out with the strangest things sometimes. Now you may or may not know that Niave doesn't really need her own language as she is pretty proficient in the english language, but she has invented one none-the-less!

Sometimes it's really irritating as she goes on and on and on...and on with this new nonsense word or phrase that she has made up and likes the sound of and it drives us all crazy!
But sometimes it's really funny like the time I asked her where she had put something (I can't remember what, but lets just say it was her juice). The conversation went like this:
Me:"Niave, where is your juice"?
Niave: "It's in the Glendy Glook"
This reply was given so matter-of-factly as if she was saying something very ordinary like "it's in the kitchen" and when I asked her "Where is the glendy glook?" without any hesitation she took me to the lounge!

She's a funny little girl!

The Church Family Braai - 2008

Today we went to the Church Family Braai in Tokai forest. I remember going to church braai's when I was a child, also in Tokai forest but today we were in a different section, a sort of "private" area just above the Manor House.

It was a lovely day for it as the wind abated and the sun shone!(never a guarantee in Cape Town!)
There was a great turnout, probably double the amount of people that were there the last time we went (either last year or the year before, I forget!).

The church supplies the fires so we took along some meat, cool drinks and salads and there is "communal" dessert - everybody brings something to contribute (actually there is also communal salad, but I prefer to take my own!!).

So, while the men braaied, the ladies chatted and "entertained" the children.

After lunch it was time for fun and games! The children took part in sack races and 3-legged races and the annual tug-of-war.

There was also lots of other activity, lots of tree-climbing and lots of bike-riding, Abigail started out on a ride with 2 dads and some of the boys along the gravel road that goes up past the arboretum into the forest, but she was a bit nervous about it and so decided rather to stay and take part in the games.

Some of the climbers!

It was a good day with friends and everybody - young and old (the youngest was 2 months and the oldest probably 70-something!) had an enjoyable time.

Of course, after a day like that and no sleep for a certain young lady, we have the inevitable melt-down, but we managed to get through supper and have a bath at least and now she is tucked up in bed with her milky bottle! (Can you hear that? It's a sigh of relief!!)

And so another week of November has come to an end, Abigail now has 4 weeks left of grade 1!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The things children say!

Yesterday afternoon Abigail spent 2 hours riding bikes with Kelsey (while I spent 2 hours weeding in the front garden!).
When she came back inside she went straight to the fridge, grabbed the juice and said: "I'm so thirsty I could drink a whole boulder of juice"!
That's one to add to the English books!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Party, Party, Party!

This week-end was another bumper party one!
We had 3 parties in total, 1 that Niave went to, 1 that Abigail went to and 1 that they both went to!

On Saturday it was Kaira's 3rd birthday. The sweetest little girl with the most gorgeous red hair you've ever seen. She had a bug theme so the kids did buggy games and got buggy prizes and even ate buggy food (not real bugs!) Niave managed to make her way through 4 ladybird cupcakes!! She was so excited about this party. On Friday she told evreyone who crossed her path "It's Kaira's party tomorrow. Not MY party, not ABI'S party, not YOUR party - KAIRA'S party" (with great emphasis on the words in caps!)

They had a great time, well done to Renette and Jordan for all the effort they put in.

Here is an idea of what Niave got up to.

In the afternoon Abigail had a Teddy Bears Picnic party in Keurboom park. I didn't take any pictures, partly because I didn't take my camera and partly because I wasn't there! I took the opportunity to pop into Cavendish -on my own!!

Today it was Rachel's 3rd birthday, Niave's friend but Abigail tagged along. It was at the Adventure Animal Farm in Phillipi and when she heard there would be pony rides she wasn't going to miss out! The farm is great, very rustic and farmy (!) but they have loads of animals: chickens, ducks, bunnies, guinea pigs, pigs, porcupines, jackals, ostriches, springbok, sheep, goats, horses, blue cranes, a lynx, peacocks, turkeys and some others.

They also have a play area with quite big jungle gyms, swings and a trampoline, all in all - a lot to keep them occupied and interested. The entrance fee is not too bad, the kids were paid for so I only had to pay for myself and that was R20,00 and that includes a bucket of animal food -carrots and bunny food, the little ones looked so sweet carrying their buckets of food around. Niave insisted on throwing her carrots into the duck pond which was being "guarded" by a pair of angry-ish geese who had eggs close by.

The kids had a great time and were absolutely tired out by the time we got home. Niave just managed to make it through her supper.

Here are some pictures of the day.

Well, that was our "party" week-end. You'd think the week-ends might get less hectic from here on out - but you'd be wrong! On 1 week-end coming up Abigail has a dancing show and a camp- out 2 nights in a row!

Roll on December holidays!!