Friday, April 15, 2011


Last week Niave had a birthday and although I had bought her a few things over the last few months - books, a game a DVD and some new clothes, all she wanted in the whole world was Jessie and Bullseye (her 2 favourite characters from her favourite movie, Toy Story) the only problem was there were NO Jessie's or Bullseye's anywhere to be found in Cape Town - believe me I tried everywhere.

Most people would have given up and moved on to the next thing but no, not me, in desperation we looked online and found some at Argos (actually there were quite a few at a number of U.K. toy shops but the one we chose was from Argos). I made an urgent Skype call to my sister 4 days before the birthday day to try to arrange the quickest route to get it here.

There is an Argos close to where Bev lives so she very kindly went and bought it for us and made numerous trips to the post office to get it sent off (seems post office mentality is universal!).

Of course being only a couple of days till Niaves birthday it was never going to get here in time but we did at least have some other things for her to open on the day - not to mention all the other gifts she got from friends and family including this gorgeous Playmobil Nativity set from Ouma and Oupa, Niave had been eyeing it since January!!
So there was more than enough gift opening to make it feel like a birthday. The fact that her "real present" wasn't here wasn't too much of an issue, she took it very well and was excited that they were coming on an aeroplane.
Bev had also posted her a Jessie dress-up suit which was also due to arrive after the actual day.

But, never fear, my mom had made an outfit for her to wear to her party seeing as she was supposed to be Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl! We bought an ordinary white school shirt and my mom sewed/stuck the yellow and red trim on to look like Jessie's shirt, she was also able to find some cow print fabric to make the leg thingy's (I'm sure they have a name) which she just tied over her normal jeans and I found a hat at Yu-Tom, the local Chinese shop.She didn't know about the other suit until it arrived.

So, there have been many trips to the post office, many phone calls, many attempts to track and trace online and finally the waiting is over!!

On Tuesday parcel number 1 arrived! A Jessie suit!! She was thrilled!

And today we were able to collect the 2nd parcel - there was much excitement, a frenzy of paper ripping and a happy little girl:
It was worth the wait, they are very sweet. Thanks to Bev, Argos, The Royal Mail, the South African Post Office and the 1 and only helpful Capetonian toyshop assistant from Toyzone in Sable Square - I have never been inside your shop but I will make a point of going based purely on the service you gave over the phone which way outdid most of the in store service I got from other toy shops. And that brings to an end an extended fifth birthday!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Holidays.

The April Holidays have come and gone. Usually they're the Easter Holidays but this year Easter falls right at the end of April so they were just the April holidays!

It was a short and busy week, with Niave's birthday slap, bang in the middle.

Much of the time was taken up in preparation for her birthday and party but we did have some outings in between.

On the last day of last term we visited a little farmyardy place just down the road. I'd often driven past it but we'd never visited before. It is a sweet little place, quite rustic but has quite a few animals and they all look loved and cared for.

Abigail playing hide and seek with an Alpaca! She was hilarious, she would run straight into that bush and then "hide away" from whoever was following her! This waist-high-to-a-9-year old Shetland pony was the one that sent Niave into a complete foot stamping, eardrum-piercing scream of a tantrum!

She managed to hold the bunny and Guinea pigs without suffocating them - it was close, but she managed!! Abigail loved every minute, she could have stayed all day.

Later in the week we finally took a picnic and had an outing to the Greenpoint park which was established around the time of the World Cup last year.

It is a beautiful park with lots of wide open spaces to run and play, have a picnic or read a book. There is also a lot of water around to add to the atmosphere!

Some pictures:

We had our picnic in the shadow of the lighthouse, the girls took their Rollerblades and scooter along to use on the pathways.

We spent quite a while at the mini gym, a great alternative to the usual park apparatus as it can be used by both children and adults, most had a lower and higher version to accommodate different sizes.

This human clock was interesting, there is a diagram in the middle with the months of the year on it, you have to stand on the date that you are on and hold your arms up like Abigail is doing in this picture and the sun shows the time - like an enormous sundial really! Quite clever.

I didn't see many real fish but there were these pretty fake ones!And seeing as we were in Greenpoint and the Putt-Putt was just across the road we had a game. There were some interesting styles to say the least!!!

The first Saturday of every month is when you can head out to Parow for rides on mini trains at the Western Province Live Steamers Club. We've been a couple of times before.

The kids enjoyed it this time too despite a really loooong wait - it's definitely grown in popularity and the queues are longer than when we first started going but it quietened down as the afternoon drew on.

There is another Easter holiday coming up and hopefully time for some more fun in amongst the celebrations.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A "Jessie The Yodeling Cowgirl" Party!

"A what kind of party?" I hear you say, and if you've never watched the Toy Story trilogy you will definitely be wondering! (Are there really people out there who haven't seen Toy Story?)Well, we are rather obsessed over here, and one small girl particularly. SO when it came to deciding on a theme for her party it was a no brainer. Jessie is a cowgirl character in Toy Story alongside the main characters, Woody and Buzz, there is also a horse called Bullseye (or if you're Abigail, Boolsai!) and Niave just loves them! She can recite lines!
So after searching and searching for invites that had Jessie on them and not Woody and Buzz I decided I had to make my own. But I had some trouble finding a decent image as well! I was scanning fruit stick boxes people: it was sad!
Anyway, I eventually found a sweet picture and an invitation was prepared.

I had ummed and aaaahed about what sort of entertainment to provide, the obvious choice being horses. It is, however, an expensive thing to hire so in the end I went for the ride on horses that you find outside of shops and usually require coins to make them go (usually the exact coin that I don't have in my purse!!) but these do not require coins they have a button that just makes them go and go and go.

It was a good thing we couldn't afford the real kind because just a few days ago we went to a farmyardy sort of place and Niave had a complete meltdown over the teeny tiny Shetland ponies - she much preferred the fake kind!

We also did a few games:

Pin the Tail on Bullseye; Pass the (enormous) Parcel; Treasure Hunt (or mad Easter egg scramble as it turned out to be!)

and Lasso the Cactus!! (which is what they're doing in these pictures!)

In between there was lots of horse riding, tree climbing and all sorts of other fun.

This year she actually blew her candles out! Last year she was too terrified to go near them!
And we managed to get a half decent family picture too!
Some more views of the cake:

So, a good time was had by all and another 6 months till the next party which has already been sorted months ago - Pizza and DVD party for a 10 year old!! It seems to get easier as they get older.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Niave is 5.

Today Niave celebrates her fifth birthday. Wow. Five, I can't believe she is 5!

Niave has grown and changed so much in the last year.
We have seen her gain a lot more self-control, she is a meltdown kid and although she still has a fair amount of meltdown moments (like when a sweet little Shetland pony wants to say hello!) she is slowly learning how to control her emotions a little better.Niave is a climber, happiest when dangling from the highest branch or the tallest part of the jungle-gym. She loves to be outside. Water is her friend! From the smallest puddle to the biggest sea, she loves it all.She also loves puzzles and building blocks and has hundreds of soft toy friends that she plays with all the time, Beaky (a little duck) is still her firm favourite but she sleeps with about 20 soft toys every night - there's hardly room for her! And Memory Game! She is the undisputed queen, beats us all no contest!!She loves books and DVD's and can recite whole parts of some of her favourites (not sure I should be publicly advertising that!!), she and Abigail have a line from the Bee Movie that they just love to repeat over and over and also from Niaves all time favourite Toy Story (1, 2 and 3!!!)Her favourite books are the Ruby series about a little duck who looks just like Beaky and she loves the Little Bear series because it's about stuffed animals - her favourites!!She's not a very girlie girl and is at the moment obsessed with cowgirls (because of Jessie - the yodelling cowgirl - from Toy Story of course!) but loves to wear dresses too.She loves cars and dinosaurs, she seems to have past the fairy/princess phase already, 2nd children grow up much faster...

She is a strong willed child but has a great sense of humour. She really cracks us up with some of the things she comes out with.

Like most 5 year olds she likes to do things on her terms and digs her heels in when things don't go her way!

Anyway, today Niave is 5 and although it's a lot noisier since she arrived (like from the first second!!) we are very glad she is here.

Happy Birthday Niavie, may you have wonderful fifth year.