Saturday, October 15, 2011

City Rock.

During the holidays we were able to enjoy some time with my sister who was here from the UK for my mom's 70th birthday.

At home in England she takes part in a number of sports such as cycling, horse-riding and also rock climbing. So while she was here she was keen to take the girls to City Rock, Cape Town's indoor rock climbing center in Observatory.

They can climb from the age of 5 so Niave was just old enough, silly me thought she wouldn't cope with the rope climbing and so she spent the first part being very frustrated at not being able to climb as high as she wanted to go in the "bouldering" section, after a few tantrums and a couple of meltdowns we finally managed to convince her to wear the special shoes that they hire out and when she tried the rope climbing in the "auto-billet" section she was like a duck in water!! Niave is a climber and looked somewhat like a natural attached to that rope dangling half a metre above my head!

Abigail went straight to the auto-billet rope, she had been once before with a friend and felt comfortable there. She was exhausted at the end as she really had a good workout, her arms must have been aching!

It was very interesting to see the differences in personality, Niave gets frustrated, voices her frustration loudly but will NOT give up, Abigail persists quietly to a point and then wants to give up. She did very well though as Bev pushed her to persevere and she did - far more than she would have on her own.

It is a great outing if you have "climbers" and an excellent activity to develop shoulder girdle strength - a common area of concern with children who have low muscle tone and struggle to sit at a desk (i.e. the children who end up lying on their work!).

Some pictures:

Niave "bouldering"

Abigail - "roped up" and ready to go.

Bev and Abs having a go.

Spider girl!

Niave having a turn on the auto-billet rope - the picture of determination!

In this section Bev was attached to Abigail and "held" her up or brought her down manually as opposed to the auto-billet where it happens automatically - obviously!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three Score and Ten.

On the 1st of October my mom celebrated her 70th birthday. Quite remarkable seeing as she doesn't look a day over 60!! And still works a full day 7 days a week.

Never the less she was born in 1941 so that makes her 70.

When you think back to 1941 and what the world was like then it is easy to understand why many people from that era find today's world so confusing and overwhelming, they were born before television or FM radio, before penicillin or polio shots (not to mention the plethora of vaccines that is available today). They were born before computers and cellphones (never mind computers on cellphones!) before credit cards, laser beams and radar, even before the ballpoint pen!

Before dishwashers (!), tumble dryers, electric blankets and pantyhose!!

Before man walked on the moon.

They had never heard of house husbands or computer dating; dual careers or daycare; electric typewriters or artificial hearts, guys wearing earrings (let alone wearing earrings in your nose!) or... yoghurt!

Before pizza, McDonalds and instant coffee!

In those days grass was mowed, coke drunk and pot was something you cooked in.

They were born before commercial airlines and ATM's. Books were made of paper!

Wow, how things have changed! Some "older" people may feel overwhelmed but others like my mom take it all in their stride!

To celebrate this momentous occasion we had a lovely breakfast with family and friends at a lovely venue in Stellenbosch called Hudson's.

Some pictures of the day:

The beautiful venue:

The beautiful people!

And some of the wildlife right there on the farm:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Celebrating 10.

On the morning of her birthday Abigail woke bright and early - 5:15 to be exact! We managed to keep her at bay till 5:45 which is when I normally get up and she couldn't wait to get stuck into her gifts! With a bleary eyed sister and a comatose father next to her she unwrapped them in the semi-darkness of the morning and was overjoyed to find a big box of Playmobil inside as

well as a few other bits and bobs.

Most of their other Playmobil has been in much smaller boxes and required minimal if any assembly but not so this one - so there I was at 6a.m. putting together a "Vet" for the birthday girl!

Then it was off to school armed with an enormous tub of chocolate brownies which my sister helped her bake for the class.

Usually both my children's birthdays fall in the holidays but this year Abigail's was the day before schools closed. Seeing as there was no homework and the next day would be an undemanding one at school, we decided to spend the afternoon at the Greenpoint Park with some friends and family.

It had been decided a loooong time ago that she was going to have a Pizza and DVD party but we chose to keep that to just 6 friends from school, so we invited all her "outside" friends on Thursday, unfortunately many couldn't make it so it was just her 2 oldest friends Kelsey and Joanna and cousins Willow and Marley as well as aunties, uncles, Ouma's and Oupa's!

It was a very low-key affair, the kids brought their bikes and scooters and had a wonderful time exploring the pathways, Niave even managed to stay out of the water!!!

More presents and envelopes came her way as the day progressed and she ended up with R1000,00 in cash from various people - she knew exactly what she was going to buy - you guessed it: more Playmobil!! She also received beautiful clothes from Bev and real grown-up Scrabble from Ouma and Oupa as well as many books and other lovely things.

A very spoilt birthday girl indeed!!

The celebrations were not over however, Friday night brought 5 little girls from school to our house for pizza, popcorn a torch hunt and a DVD.

I had intended buying frozen pizza bases but then discovered that Pick 'n Pay sells fresh pizza dough for R10.00/kg and thought that was a bargain. That was until I tried to roll it out - not as easy as it looks! Thankfully these 70 year old arms were there to save the day!


The pizza's were a huge hit (one little girl said I should be a chef!!!). So with belly's full and candles blown... was time to hunt for sweet treasure in the dark and settle down for a DVD.

After weeks and weeks spent trying to find the right one it was unanimously decided it would be Tangled.

Probably one of the least stressful parties yet, it definitely gets easier as they get older.