Friday, July 22, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle.

Today we reached another milestone - Niave learnt to ride her bike without training wheels! I thought it would take a lot longer, but she got on, I held her saddle for a few moments, let go and off she went!

It wasn't without it's difficulties though and there was a fair amount of frustration involved, a couple of scrapes and even some moments when you just had to bury your head!!

But, by the end of the afternoon, she was taking corners mounting driveways and even starting to turn in the road so I'm guessing we will be doing a lot more bike riding, it's SO much better without those noisy side wheels!

A happy little girl (still sporting her "scar" from yesterdays pirate party)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nelson Mandela Day 2011

The 18th of July is Nelson Mandela's birthday, it is now known internationally as "Nelson Mandela Day" and is celebrated in many different ways and places. One of the ways in which we South Africans are encouraged to celebrate it is by giving 67 minutes of our time to improve the world around us. This is a representation of the 67 years that Mr. Mandela spent working to make the world (especially S.A.) a better place including the 27 years he spent in jail.

Last year we took part for the first time by doing a litter patrol around the neighbourhood, it was a Sunday so my parents came along.

This year we went with some friends and collected litter again in the Plumstead area.

Gloves were a necessity! and with a bag in each hand we were off.
The kids were super enthusiastic, racing each other to be the one to pick up the piece of paper lying in the gutter! Singing and dancing as they went!

It's amazing just what you find, some is just incidental litter (if there is such a thing!) things that have inadvertently landed up blowing around or whatever, but a lot is deliberate, just thrown down without a thought.


We noticed a trend towards cigarette paraphernalia, cigarette boxes, match boxes and cigarette butts galore which leads one to make the assumption that smokers are litterbugs! Maybe an unfair one but the evidence speaks for itself...

We hope that our tiny dent is a start towards 7 more people in the world who won't litter and will encourage and teach others not to do so either.

Next year I'd like to get a bigger group together and cover a bigger area. Maybe we should do it on Earth Day too. Next year, if you have 67 minutes, why not start a litter patrol group in your area or if you can, join ours!

Happy Nelson Mandela Day and Happy 93rd Birthday Madiba!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

FEDANSA Western Cape World Trial Championship 2011.

Grant has recently taken up wheelchair dancing which he was introduced to through the
Chaeli Campaign. He has only been doing it for 6 - 8 weeks and today he took part in a competition!
It was quite a day, long and loud! But amazing to see some of these dancers. It is not a "disabled" event, he and about 7 others took part for the first time amongst hundreds of able bodied dancers, today was the first time this particular "association" - FEDANSA has had wheelchair participants.

Grant had to be there at 9:00 a.m and only danced for the first time at 4:30p.m.!! It is now 10:00p.m as I write this and he is still not home! He is dancing in the Ballroom division and Latin. I stayed to watch the ballroom but had to come home before the Latin, it is being videoed though so won't miss it completely.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the ballroom dances and dancers! Outfit no.1! It was unbelievably difficult to find a waistcoat that would fit as since he is now doing so much exercise his chest and arms are growing by the day! I must have tried at least 12 shops and had a tailor quote me R700.00 (a "reasonable price" apparently!) to have one made. But a very kind friend, Judy who is brilliant at all sorts of handcrafts, offered to make him one! What a life saver!They chose pink to match his wheels!! This is his dance partner, Chantal, she is a very good dancer and very patient with a very unconfident novice!Nicholas and Justine, Nicholas is visually impaired and Justine is one of the founding members of Chaeli Campaign. They did very well. Chaeli and Brandon danced in a different section as she has minimal use of her arms/upperbody. She is very graceful though and looked stunning. I don't know the names of these two dancers but they danced with Chaeli and Brandon.

Grant and Chantal.

Again, I don't know their names but they did very well.

On the left, Keegan and Chane. Keegan is the teacher of this little group and an S.A. champ!

Another pair from the Chaeli Campaign Sports and Recreation Club.
They were very well recieved and given a standing ovation!

I left them all ready in their Latin outfits, I'm dying to see the video.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yet another Niave-ism.

After her bath this evening, Niave waltzed into the kitchen examining herself and announced that she knows why she has boobies!
It's so that she can feed her babies when she is a mommy.
She wants to be a mommy but there's a problem, she doesn't know how to be a mommy and she doesn't know the way to the college!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another toothless wonder.

It's been a while since we had a "tooth" post, Abigail's tooth loss has slowed (although she apparently still has about 10 to go!) but a little earlier than expected Niave has joined the world of the gapped grins.

A couple of weeks ago she announced that she had a wiggly tooth, I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of her with all her teeth still in her mouth, here she is making sure you do see all of them!
She's been a little impatient about it and it's obviously become more and more annoying because she's been wishing and wishing for it to fall out, well, tonight it finally did.

There was much celebrating!

She had received a book for her birthday with a little bag inside for lost teeth, I had thought that the bag would be long missing by the time she lost her first tooth, how wrong I was.

She skipped straight off to find the book where the little pink bag was safely tucked inside and hung it with her tooth on her door handle.
So sweet.

It is now holding a green piece of money! Lucky for her the tooth fairy had no fives!!

It's a happy day and a sad one, there will be no more first teeth falling out, they grow up so fast, it's a cliche but so true.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Untrained children!

It is the winter holidays and being the winter holidays and being Cape Town it rains a lot.

Friday however was a day that the rain stayed away so we took the opportunity to visit the museum/planetarium but we rode into town by train - a couple of reasons, it's cheaper than driving and less stressful in some ways.

The trip there was uneventful and stress-free, the girls were so excited and loved seeing places that they knew through the window. After arriving in town we had a little walk up to the top of the Gardens to the museum, this took us quite a while as it was really busy and not only with people, Niave had a great time feeding the squirrels and we had to stop often!

Half way there we met the cutest family. A family of geese.

This protective mother has all but 1 of her 13 goslings huddled underneath her, dad is parading around in the background puffing out his chest in pride and 1 brave little guy is not fazed in the slightest by all the attention and is exploring merrily!

Just look at them all stuffed underneath there!!

We finally made it to the museum and had a look around, the whales are always a big hit and we found the Discovery Room open for the first time. Abigail found this extra tall chest of drawers very interesting with a different item in each drawer, Niave loved all the stuffed birds, I think we may have a taxidermist in the making!! She even kissed one! Eww!!

They both found this guy rather intriguing!

Especially his teeth. Apparently!!

After a little walk around we went to a show at the Planetarium called Davey Dragon goes to the Moon which was sweet. I nearly fell asleep! Not because it was boring, just because it was so peaceful and dark and those chairs recline so perfectly! But I didn't, I promise!

The trip back home was more eventful, we boarded our train without too much trouble and started on our journey, at about the 5th station, Rosebank, we stopped for about 20 minutes before people started to get up and enquire as to the problem, a train had broken down in front of us and we couldn't go any further. Now, this is not unusual for trains in South Africa, but for my children who have only ever been on a train recreationally it was all too much. Abigail was literally on the edge of her seat wanting to know what was happening, what was going to happen and what should we do. Niave was by now tired, hungry and b.o.r.e.d. Not a good combination in a 5 year old!

After a while we were told that we should cross the the other side as a train would be coming on that line. I'd already sent out an SOS to my mom but cancelled it after hearing we would be able to continue on the next train. However, the train arrived with it's occupants spilling out of the doors and the platform we were standing on was full, there was no way we would get on and being already around 5pm I wasn't keen to wait around for a train that was not bursting at the seams with people, so I sent out the SOS again and we made our way to the main road to meet my mom.

It was all fine in the end, we were tired, hungry and cold but we were safe and together.

It occurred to me that at Abigail's age I was catching the train on my own every day and in a situation where there was a problem or delay I just had to wait or make a plan to get myself where I wanted to be, and this in the age before cellphones! It made me realise again how different the world is now and how much our lives have changed in so many ways.

Maybe we'll just drive next time!!