Saturday, November 27, 2010


A couple of weeks ago Niave had a visit to the dentist.
Because she needed about 4 fillings we decided to do them under general anaesthetic.
And today was the day.

It was an early wake up (especially for a rainy Saturday) as we had to be there at 7 a.m.

Neither of our children have ever had an operation/procedure that required anaesthetic or hospital admission before so it was a new experience for all of us. It was also at a new medical center in Rondebosch that we'd never been to before so it was a maiden voyage in many ways!

She was quite happy and co-operative for most of the time leading up to the theatre. She let them take her temperature, blood pressure etc. quite happily. Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long so there wasn't time for her to get bored or too anxious.
There was time to watch some T.V. though!!

One parent is allowed to accompany them to theatre, that honour was bestowed on me!

Only once she was on the theatre table and had a gas mask over her face did she kick up a fuss - and who could blame her really! Anyway, a few seconds later she was asleep.

When she came out however it was a slightly different story.

I had gone to buy coffee and taken longer than I expected so I returned to a screaming child in her dads arms, disorientated and very unhappy. She was thrashing around and in the process knocked my camera off the table, and guess what it does not bounce! It is dead.

It took a little while but before long we were ready to go. Fortunately, as it was just fillings there was no pain. There were 2 other little girls there about 4 and 6 who had their tonsils out. I felt for them, they were spewing blood and were not happy campers at all. I remember it oh so well.

Anyway, we were so proud of her, she coped really well and once again showed us that she is growing up and developing more and more self control.

Award Ceremony 2010.

On Wednesday the grade 1's, 2's and 3's had their Award Ceremony, better known as Prize Giving!
Each child receives an award, a certificate, that is personalised about their academic performance, personality/character and sports achievement or involvement.

Abigail received a lovely certificate which read:

"Certificate of Merit for Academic Achievement, Reliability and Responsibility and Participation in Sport."

I had a little chuckle because this week we've been having some issues around responsibility at home, so I was glad to see it is a different story at school.
It has been a good year for her and now we take the big step to grade 3, exciting and scary!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

1, 2, 3, PLAYBALL!

This year was Niaves first year of extramurals, ballet and Playball.
Playball is a wonderful ball skills/gross motor development programme offered at most pre-schools.

It seems that even in this day and age stereotypes abound as just like there was only 1 boy in her ballet class (you do need the boys in ballet you know) she was the only girl in her Playball group.

Anyway, today was the last Playball day of the year so parents were invited to come along and join in the fun.

Most extramurals will have "watching day" at the end of the term/season/year but with Playball there is no watching - only doing!! Each child paired up with their parent and we did the games/activities together. It was fun.

Then they were each awarded with a certificate and a smiley face ball.

My camera's flash is broken so it wasn't playing the game but I did manage this 1 half decent picture! They had to stand on the star and shake hands with their coach and everybody had to clap for them, it was very sweet.

(It reminded me of Abigail at 4 and a bit getting her first certificates, she called them ferticiates!!)
1 thing to tick off on the loooong list of things to do at this very busy time of year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A family of fish!

Grant recently joined the gym. It is part of his fitness plan to start doing para-sports, he has cycling and rowing on his agenda.

He has started off with swimming and amazed us all by getting in the pool after about 8 years of no swimming and did a kilometer in just over 30 minutes - with no kicking!! It is in his blood! Anyway he has been enjoying it very much:
After joining up he discovered that for a very small fee the children can use the swimming pool as long as he is there. Abigail has been with him a couple of times and had a great time swimming lengths with him.

Niave's nose was a little out of joint at this and so she now has a card too. We all went yesterday and I watched the girls in the small pool while Grant did his thing in the big pool.

Well, you couldn't have found 2 happier children anywhere!

Niave did really well and I think she will be "swimming" in no time. Her "formal" lessons have given her a good grounding and I think given the time and space to do her own thing she will get there quickly, she is so confident in the water - no fear!
You've heard of butterfly? Well this is called spider, it is a new technique - quite complicated, you move mostly backwards!!

Abigail is also happiest in water so they had a grand old time, we were there quite late so for most of the time they had the pool to themselves.
I can see I am going to be spending many an hour sitting beside the pool watching a small girl swim.

Ballerina girl.

Yesterday saw the much anticipated Ballet Show that Niave has been looking forward to all year. We were a bit apprehensive as to how she would cope on the day after the less than enthusiastic sports day a couple of weeks ago.
It wasn't a concert as such, more a display of what they have learnt through the year.

She had to be there 45 minutes before her time slot to have her hair done etc.

We were encouraged to drop them off in the "dressing room" hall to make the separation easier. Niave still has trouble separating at school so I thought we were in for tears but she was absolutely fine - they'd been well prepared by their teacher.

When she appeared on stage I hardly recognised her!She looked so different with her hair in a ballet bun and a little bit of make-up on. I had to double check that I was in fact photographing the right child!!

She did really well, they were on stage for quite a while and she kept it together for the "entire performance"! Of course there was the time (about 5 minutes into their display) that she suddenly got this look of absolute desperation and urgency on her face while hesitantly grabbing her crotch!! She needed to wee. Yes, of course she needed to wee, Niave needs to wee everywhere. At the beach, at the park, on almost every shopping trip so why should a stage appearance be any different!!
(It is captured at the end of one of the video clips but it is too big to upload)

Anyway, Linda (her ballet teacher) was very calm and took her off to the loo and then it was on with the show.

It was very sweet and took me back to when Abigail had done a similar display at the same venue when she was about 5. She wouldn't be caught dead in a ballet tutu now!!

I love this picture. It's the last "move" of the display, it was supposed to be only the Barkly House girls (there were 2 schools represented in her slot) but the little girl in the middle (on Niaves right) is not from her school. She didn't seem to notice that she wasn't dancing with her friends but Niave was thoroughly unimpressed and kept glaring at her! She was in her way and cramping her style - in more ways than one! But she didn't push her out the way or yell or shout, she just quietly (but grumpily) carried on with her cramped dance! Another moment of better self control, we're getting there - baby steps!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First beach outing of the season.

This week has been hot. Windy but hot.
Yesterday, because I couldn't stand another day of two whining voices asking "where can we swim?" I decided to take a drive to St. James beach for the afternoon.

It had started out as a relatively windless day but by the time we had all our buckets in a row the wind had come up so I was doubtful that they would actually swim. But when we got there it wasn't too bad and of course they did swim!

I have a case of laryngitis so I wasn't in the mood to climb rocks or even get sandy feet so I plonked myself down in one spot and I didn't move! I gave directions and instructions from afar, using sign language!!

I realised that we've entered a new phase, Niave can now listen to instructions from afar!

She doesn't need so much of the physical presence (or restraint!) as she did a year ago.

They spent a lot of time in the tidal pool, Abigail swimming and Niave rowing herself with her net(!) from one side to the other.

They had a brief visit to the rocks to collect shells and then it was time to go home.

Some pictures:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Botonist in the making - I think not!!

We have a patch of Agapanthus plants on our verge.For most of the year these indigenous plants are nothing more than long green leaves providing a home and breeding ground for hundreds of snails (and wonderful hiding places for bunnies!) but come November/December they start to flower and have beautiful, big, blue blooms.

Ours are always a little slow, I think they flower according to how they are watered and in this garden the watering is pretty erratic and so the flowering!

Anyway, on arriving home from school today Niave noticed this one:

and gasped with great astonishment "mom, look at this, I can't believe it's hatching"!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A few weeks ago I saw that the show Annie was due to be on at the Cape Town theatre/opera house known as Artscape.

To cut a long story short I had a contact that enabled me to get tickets for R100.00 each and I ended up arranging tickets for 39 people!!!

It was a much anticipated event in our house and there was much excitement when the day finally arrived.

But with the arrival of the day there was also the arrival of the stomach bug.

Grant had been down with it during the week and on Friday afternoon I had a terrible headache of migraine proportions. Needless to say by lunch time yesterday I was not feeling well at all.

And so, I ended up missing the show, my dad took my ticket, my mom was coming with anyway.

It was a long show, almost 3 hours but by all accounts it was well done and very enjoyable, I think Niave was probably a bit too young for the length of the show but we were serenaded with "The sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow..." from the bathtub so she must have enjoyed it.

Abigail loved it and wanted to know when she can be in an Annie show!!

These pictures, from the programme give you an idea, so if you live in Cape Town get down to the Artscape for an enjoyable show, I'm really sad I couldn't be there but I didn't think they'd appreciate me puking on the carpet!!

My children, especially Abigail are very intrigued by orphan stories - and there are many of them, it seems the story of Annie and her quest to find her parents is timeless and one that will be enjoyed for many generations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Operation: Dentist.

Quite a few months ago (maybe even a year) Niave had a sore tooth. We took her off for her first visit to the dentist but it didn't go very well. Let's just say she was not particularly co-operative! However, in the 2 and a half seconds that she kept her mouth open he was able to see that there were quite a few, um, what shall we say, problems!

It was decided then that he would need to do what he needed to do under general anaesthetic but it was difficult to find a theatre and a date and in the meantime she stopped complaining and so the whole thing was put on hold.

Recently she started complaining again and so today we went for Round 2!

The funny thing is that everyone (including us) assumes she is scared of the dentist for the reasons that adults don't like going - drills, injections etc. but she doesn't know about that, the reason she doesn't like the dentist is because she doesn't like the taste of his gloves!!!

She wasn't too partial to the mask either, so a quick chat to the receptionist and he appeared maskless and gloveless for our appointment:-)

Of course she is a whole lot older now and has much more self control, not nearly as prone to raging fits of screaming as she used to be!

Anyway, she hopped up onto the chair and held her jaws open big and wide!

It is not a happy tale, there is something wrong with nearly every tooth, mostly milk spots but also a few holes. It's totally my fault for letting her fall asleep with a milky bottle for two years of her life.

Anyway, a date has been booked and we will have our first visit to "hospital" - not so sure how much self control will displayed on that this space!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


On Friday the Carter - Hutton clan needed an outing! We decided to visit Groot Constantia for a run and a play on the huge open lawns there. We also went for a stroll through the vineyards - the first time I've ever done that, I am ashamed to say.

While we were there Bryce noticed this in the sky:

A distinct halo around the sun.

We were quite amazed and took a few pics. Being into the sun you can't look at it for long and I wasn't sure if my camera would cope but they didn't come out too badly.

Lisa, the diligent lady that she is, Googled it and found out that it is an atmospheric phenomenon called a sundog that occurs as a result of high cirrus clouds passing over. In this case those clouds are apparently in Botswana! It is fairly uncommon.
In the article I read earlier it also talks about ice particles with the cirrus clouds, anyway, it was quite amazing to see.

Some other pics of the day:

About 5 minutes after arriving Niave's shoes looked like this:

Bunny in the Bushes.

If you have a daughter between the ages of 6 and 10, you may think that this is another title in the Lucy Daniels Animal Ark series, but no.
It is another chapter in the Debbie Hutton Never a Dull Moment series.

Let me tell you the tale.

Yesterday I fetched Niave from school at 12:30 and went shopping for a pair of slip-slops and some shorts. I don't know why it is SO hard to find clothes for my children, but we found something (nothing great, but something) in the 5th shop we tried! So by the time it was grocery shopping time I was all shopped out. Then I found the shop I wanted to shop in in complete chaos due to a strike. I gave up on that idea and went to a more expensive shop and bought less than what I wanted/needed for more than I hoped to pay!

Then it was a rush to fetch Abigail from swimming. We had a brief "visit" at home before we were off again to give my mom a lift home from work. I had devised a plan to leave the girls with her so that I could accomplish a few more tasks without whining children at suicide hour, so I left them there with supper and pyjama's and headed for the library and then to a different branch of the supermarket I'd been to earlier to complete the shopping that I wasn't able to do.

I arrived back at my mom at around 6:15pm - children fed and bathed and ready to be taken home and popped into bed.

At 6:16pm my cellphone rang. It was Grant, he had arrived home and thought he would not be able to get in because he is not able to get to the alarm panel in time to disarm it, but I'd planned for that too and happily informed him that I'd left the alarm off. Everyone happy.

6:17pm My cellphone rings again. Grant's words "You're not going to believe it" immediately led me to think we'd had a break in as a result of the alarm not being set, but thankfully that was NOT the case.

He'd called to tell me there was a bunny hopping around our front garden.

We don't have a bunny.

So, back into the car I got and spent the next 45 minutes to an hour chasing a bunny and trying to catch it.

It is very difficult for 1 person to catch a bunny! Even with a lot of carrots as bait! SO we called for reinforcements, our neighbour Racquel came over armed with a box and a carrot!

In the meantime we called our local vet to see if somebody there could assist us, they couldn't other than to give us the number of a person who had reported a missing rabbit.

Keeping a close eye on the bunny sitting happily in the corner between the agapanthus we made the call. An elated lady on the other end leaped into her car and arrived a few minutes later.

By then there were 4 of us so we were able to catch it, she then discovered it was NOT her beloved "Lulibell" (Tallulah!). I ask you, how many lost bunnies could there be in Plumstead?! Anyway, she managed to calm her down and said she would keep her in case anybody came forward to claim her. We let the vet know too so that they could keep an ear open for any other reports of a missing rabbit!!

We eventually got home at something to 8. And just when I thought I'd planned everything for a smooth evening!!!

I'm hoping tonight will not bring anymore small creatures to explore our garden at dusk but, you just never know, do you?! What I do know is that there were some happy squirrles in my garden this morning!!