Monday, April 27, 2009

Career move!

While watching "The Sound of Music" for the I-don't-know-how-many-eth time this evening, Abigail had this to say:

"I am going to be an actor when I grow up. Will you buy all the DVD's I am in, Mom?
And I'm not getting married ... because I don't want to and I like my surname. It suits me. Like, um, "Abigail Stevens"? Yugh!"

So look out Broadway!! Although maybe it will be the West End as she has also "informed" me on more than 1 occasion that she is going to live in England when she grows up.

It will be interesting to see what actually happens...

Long weekend.

We have just had the 1st of 2 long weekends in a row, and this after a 4 day week due to elections on Wednesday, it's lovely to have a break but it does tend to then take longer to get back into the routine of school and work etc.

Anyway, I (along with Abigail, Niave and my parents) spent yesterday and today collecting autumn things for art activities at school. Yesterday was Grant's step-mom, Poppie's birthday and as she lives close by we took a walk around the neighbourhood collecting leaves, pods, sticks and all things "autumny" on our way to see her for her birthday. It was quite a task keeping track of Niave and I was quite exhausted by the time we got home. I have resolved to dig out the reins for any future such outings!

Today we went to a park in Dreyersdal rd, Bergvliet to collect pine cones. I noticed when I was there a few weeks ago that it has loads of tiny pine cones all over the ground.

The kids had fun on the see-saw in between the pine cone hunt.

The visit to the park was not complete without a tantrum from Niave about sitting in a swing with a bar across it! She eventually gave up and went without a swing rather than sit in the one with a bar! She has a very strong will - now I wonder where she gets that from???

Then we decided to pop in to "Die Oog" (The Eye), a duck pond just down the road from the park. We stopped to buy half a loaf of bread to feed the ducks (Niave tends to throw in slices rather than chunks!)

and it seems that squirrels do not only eat nuts and acorns!
This one is snacking on a piece of "stolen" white bread!

They also like the guava's on our tree in winter which is just as well as nobody else eats them and they do help with the picking up of squishy guava's job that is mine!
Well, back to school tomorrow, but only for 3 days!! What a life!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quotes from a 3 year old!

-The potatoes and onions in our house must have an axe to grind with the peas and carrots because they are, according to Niave, known as vengetables!

-The other day while the girls were playing dress-up, Abigail commented to Niave that she looked very pretty to which Niave replied: "*big sigh* No Abi, I am not pretty, I am perfect"!
Clearly we have some lessons in modesty to be learnt!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A visit to the Riding Center.

This week seems to have been a very long one.
A week which was part long-weekend, part holiday and part school.
And with all the public holidays and long-weekends/short weeks ahead it's probably not going to change any time soon!

Anyway, on Tuesday last week we went down to Hout Bay to the Riding Center to have pony rides. They were very accommodating, seeing as we arrived at the wrong time.

We had 4 riders: Abigail, Chiara, Niave and Willow. The 3 older girls all LOVE horses and were super-excited. It helps to have a visiting-horsemad-auntie because I just don't get horses!
The one I was left "in charge" of - Jasmine, would not listen to a thing I said! There was a lot of tugging and not a lot of trotting! Beverley comes along, makes some horse-code noise and away they go!!!

Abigail enjoyed her ride very much as I knew she would, she has loved horses since she before she was 2 and is very comfortable with them (like with the birds she does not get that from me, it's another trait that has osmosed over the continents!).

Niave is making progress in her relationship with horses. She actually sat on one and even walked a few meters. She looked very cute in her hat!
I just love this picture , Abigail looks like a seasoned cowboy - toothless grin and all!!

Afterwards they fed the horses some apple although Niave ate her entire bag herself!

It was a good outing - sponsored by said visiting-horsemad-auntie! Thanks Bev!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

After the race.

On Saturday after the race, we were invited for breakfast/brunch at Lynette and Derricks house (my mom's brother and sister-in-law). They live in Newlands close to where the race finished (and started) so it was a good idea! The kids absolutely LOVE going there - for a few reasons but the 2 main ones are "Big Tessa" and the garden.

Big Tessa is their German Shepherd (Small Tessa is my moms cross something or other!).

Abigail absolutely loves Tessa,

Niave is a bit more weary, after all they are about the same height!!
But after a while they get used to each other. They have a mutual love of all things watery!

The girls love to explore the garden which is really beautiful - lots of purple at the moment. It is really like an expedition for them as there are so many little pathways and bushes and interesting plants and trees.
We also got to chat to my cousin, who has recently immigrated to Australia. Skype is amazing!
While we were yacking and listening to all his tales of Oz, Niave had great fun with all the +/-35 year old Fisher Price toys that are still going strong and still very much enjoyed by the next generation.
And for some (i.e. the previous generation!) the strain of waking up at 4 a.m. two days in a row was just too much!!

Thanks for a lovely morning and a lovely breakfast.

Out of the mouths of babes!

Isn't it funny how children can sometimes make impossibly long words even longer and more impossible?!
So we had some "hittamopotamusses" floating in the bath this evening!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Oceans.

The Easter weekend has, for our family, always been synonymous with the Two Oceans Marathon. That is because we've been marshaling since I was about 12!

This year, however, we had a runner in the family!! My sister (the British one who weighs her potatoes individually at the supermarket!!!) took part in the half marathon for the first time.

For us this entailed waking up very early (4:45a.m. to be exact!) and heading off at 5:50a.m.- long before sunrise - to stand along the roadside to cheer her on.

For her it entailed waking up at 4:00a.m. and putting one foot in front of the other for 21km from Newlands through Constantia and up to the finish at UCT.

Here is the evidence that we were actually there:

Because despite the fact that we stood on the Main rd for about 40 minutes watching literally13000 runners go past and then outside Kirstenbosch for about an hour, we didn't see her pass us once!! We were all prepared with our 3-part sign saying "Go Bev Go" but it ended up in a crumpled ball in the bottom of the pram!!

She did really well finishing in 2hrs 38min.

Here she is sporting her medal:

Well done Bev, we'll see you at the Ultra next year!!!

Pigeon Pie, anyone?

If you're ever in need of pigeons for a pigeon pie, look no further than the Avenue in the Cape Town Gardens! They have to be the most well fed birds anywhere!! We were there yesterday for a family photo shoot and between 4 children they finished off a BIG bag of nuts, there were also a few squirrels but those birds are a greedy bunch!!BTW, I'm kidding about the pigeon pie!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Autumn at Kirstenbosch

This has to be at least the 3rd post about Kirstenbosch. But it is a beautiful place and so different at different times of the year.
It was a lovely, sunny day and we had beautiful views of
the gardens,

and the mountain.

(these pictures were both taken by Abigail)

We had a little picnic and then set off on a walk

and I discovered that sunset is a really beautiful time of the day to be there.
And now that the sun sets so much earlier it is more possible to be there at that time rather than in summer when the sun sets at 8 and we are at home trying to get little people to sleep in the broad daylight!!
There were wonderful autumn colours to see and textures to feel.

and a few interesting creatures - not least of all this fellow:

There wasn't a lot of water around - being the end of summer, but Niave managed to find some and climbed right in!!
Glad I wasn't the next person to use that water fountain!!

We managed to fit in tea and scones (thanks Bev!) and then home for supper, bath and bed.

Not a bad end to a day that started out rather trying and frustrating.


Niave has made a lot of progress in her swimming and has no fear at all of the water.
Check out this picture: that's her foot sticking out! The rest of her is under the water!!

Here's another one: diving for sunken fish!!

As I said - No fear!!

Abigail also started swimming with Jeanette this week, we've decided to keep her going through the winter as she's made such good progress at school.

She did very well and of course Aunty Bev (and Ouma) were there to watch!


This may very well be the year in which I make my very last purchase of a nappy. Ever. In my life!

Niave has been 95% potty trained since December/January but was having poo-refusal! i.e. refusing to poo on the loo. Her reason was always that she was "still little" and I'd say "when you are 3, you'll be big enough" well, true enough the day after her 3rd birthday it happened! And so now the only reason for a nappy is the bedtime milky bottle, as soon as we can chuck that we'll have about R200,00 extra each month!

This week also saw Niave gain control of another bodily function: blowing her nose! Something you probably take for granted but the delight on her face when she actually did it was priceless! So, it would seem that our little girl is growing up.

Monday, April 6, 2009

3 years old.

At midday on the 6 of April 2006 a little girl was born. Her name: Niave Megan Hutton.
She has been with us for 3 years and has certainly lived up to the meaning of her name which is "brightness". She is a real cutie but keeps us on our toes as well!!

From 0-3 in pictures from L - R.
Niave's 3rd birthday started at 1:30 a.m. when she woke up with what I suspect was croup. She had a barking cough and couldn't breathe properly. After we'd calmed her down she fell asleep on the couch where she slept for the rest of the night!When she woke up it was present time!

A pretty new dress,

the Heffalump DVD (from Abs)

and a garage from us - this little girl LOVES cars.

Then it was a mad rush to get everyone ready for Peter Rabbit at the Artscape.

No pictures allowed but it was very sweet. Mr McGregor (or Mr. Rake as Niave calls him!)was a bit scary but not too bad.

This afternoon we had to visit the doctor to check out her chest etc. and then it was back to Ouma's house for MORE presents and candles of course (we did the birthday cake on Saturday at her party but I thought we should sing to her on the day too).

She was very spoilt (again!) with a super construction set from Ouma and Oupa and a Beatrix Potter DVD and Peter Rabbit soft toy from Aunty Bev.
So, of course, poor old, faithful Beaky has been left out in the cold again and 2 Peter rabbits (Abigail's and Niave's) are tucked up warm in bed!

All in all a Happy 3rd Birthday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Humpty Dumpty Party!

Today we celebrated Niave's 3rd birthday (which is on Monday) with a nursery rhyme party.

She "ordered" her Humpty Dumpty cake in August last year and there was no wavering on it at all so a nursery rhyme party it had to be. And it was actually quite a lot of fun to organise and I think the kids all had fun too!
There was a lot of baking to be done and with baking comes licking the bowl - this year she managed it all on her own!!

The morning dawned ominously cloudy after a huge thunder storm over night and quite a lot of rain.

I told myself that it had rained itself out overnight - but I was horribly misled!! The heavens opened about 45 minutes before the party but fortunately it didn't last too long and it turned out fine and actually quite hot. In fact it was so hot I was like a ripe tomato by the end!

The children all got busy with a craft as they arrived - Humpty Dumpty's of course!
Then they had to find Little Bo Peep's sheep which were lost in my garden! After which they received a party box which they filled with treats while helping me complete some nursery rhymes. So they got a marshmallow mouse for Hickory Dickory Dock, a ladybird cupcake for Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home and moon shaped biscuits for Hey diddle diddle etc. etc. etc.

We did some party games:


Jack and Jill's bucket race

and musical bumps:

After all the fun and games it was time for the cake! Niave was a little shy and needed some "help" blowing out her candles!!

She received many lovely presents and had great fun playing with them for the rest of the afternoon. She is now fast asleep, completely finished because as she often says "*sigh* I've had a busy day"!