Sunday, September 29, 2013

Twelve? How did that happen?!

Today I have been a parent for 12 years.
It seems ages and like a flash all at the same time.
In another 12 years time Abigail will be an adult, possibly living far away, possibly finished studying something, possibly married, possibly a MOTHER - scary!

This is the start of her last year as a child although in many ways she is a teenager already.
A t-shirt she recently chose says it all - "Please don't interrupt me while I'm ignoring you!" -at least it says please!!

Just like the last 12 years, this phase of self-consciousness and embarrassment about everything will pass too quickly. At the end of June next year she will be half way through her school career, probably not soon enough for her but way too soon for me.

Abigail's loves: 





 Abigail's "hates":


talking in public 
(how embarrassing!),



How did this toothless wonder 
turn into 
this "grown up girl"?

The past 12 years have been a wonderful, interesting journey; may the next 12 years be the same.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

1Bedroom, 2 Days, 3 People on a mission!

To begin this story we have to go back, way back, before Niave was born.

When we first moved into our house Abigail, at 11 months old, had the room she is in now, but when Niave arrived she chose to move to the spare bedroom and give Niave her old bedroom, then along the way they had a time of sharing the bigger bedroom which didn't really work out and so Niave moved out into the smaller room and Abigail landed up back in her old room!

As a result the curtains, furniture and bedding were all mixed up and in the wrong places.
It was always on the list to get sorted but just never did until one day I decided enough is enough! If there's one thing I dislike more than mismatched linens it's non-functionality and that is just what Abigail's room was: a mess of non-functionalness!! (Sorry Renette, I know that's not actually a word!!)

So, with her birthday approaching and the realisation that she would be away this weekend I hatched a plan to give her bedroom a revamp as a surprise for her on her return, only problem being it would have to be a budget-style revamp as the coffers don't extend all that far!

I spent the last 2 weeks or so dashing about in every spare moment I had when they were not with me to source and price all the items I needed, I was very fortunate to get some good bargains and discounts and even a piece of furniture for free passed on from friends who no longer needed it.

So, Friday the 20th of September arrived and the hour of departure for camp drew near...finally I got to drop her off in Simonstown and head back to get started.

Just so you can appreciate the dramatic change here is a "before" picture: 

There is only 1 word: sad.

Okay, here's another... piles of junk everywhere!

The poor girl still had the faded curtains from when she was born!!!

Okay, so you can see the desperation!

First and foremost was the need for paint, Banana Milkshake may do when you're 1 but turning 12 - not so much, I found a really nice, inexpensive paint at Builder's Warehouse - R250 for 5L.

I went with a very neutral colour that will hopefully not date! Well, not as much as banana yellow anyway!

Next were bedding and curtains, really everything hinged on the duvet cover choice and after searching high and low I decided on this one:
I had to find something that was not too young, not too old and not too pink!
(Duvet cover and curtains from Sheraton - R380 altogether)

So with duvet cover in hand and curtains to match I could then start to look for some accessories. I found a blanket and floor rug at Mr. Price which rang up with a R40 discount - kaching!! Love that!!

I was hoping to be able to give the (very) old desk in her room a much needed coat of paint as well as the cupboard but as budget did not allow for that I just went with replacing all the doorknobs/handles with new and uniform ones - makes such a difference, I will still hopefully get to jazz up the desk but not this month!!

There is an old chair standing in Abigail's room that never really served much purpose other than to stack junk and the odd item of clothing en route to the washing machine, my mom found a really nice throw to go over it and voila, a chair to sit in, how functional!! 

Charly seems to like it already!

A few weeks ago I came across a chap who makes beaded items, he had some words - peace, hope, love etc. and I thought it might be nice to get Abigail's name done so I did!

Haven't quite decided where to hang it yet, it works well at the window with the light coming in but maybe it will move...

With Abs getting to be almost a teenager she really was/is in need of a dressing table of kinds, I found a lovely mirror and was going to recycle a shelf as a make-shift table until I was offered a workbench by friends who no longer needed theirs - very generous and it is just perfect.

With no built-in cupboards in her room, the extra storage space is going to be welcome, a couple of baskets should do the trick!

And so the (almost) finished "product":

 Just need a bedside lamp and 1 or 2 pictures and/or a pin board...but a major transformation nonetheless and a room, I think, very befitting of a 12 year old! 

And just because there are not nearly enough images in this post (!) here are some more:

Before :-(

After :-)

(Total cost: R1250.)

Just to say that I could not have done this, and certainly not in the record time of 1 night and 1 day, without the help of my parents, I think we are all going to ache all over tomorrow!

I can't wait to see Abigail's reaction, and remember, it's a surprise, so if you see her between now and tomorrow afternoon - shhhhh!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


A little bit of catching up is in order since I haven't posted since here goes:

During the June-July School Holidays we had the great joy of meeting up with an "old" friend!
My friend Cathy and I ended up having our first babies 3 months apart to the day and while Abigail and Tamsyn saw each other a fair amount up until the age of about 5 they hadn't seen each other for many years since. Cathy and her family recently moved to Canada but before their departure Tamsyn was able to come to Cape Town to spend time with her Grandparents and so the girls got together again. I had been a little concerned as at the age of almost 12 they could have been very different personalities, however, they got on like a house on fire! Anyone would have thought they had spent every day together!
"Old" friends!

On this particular day it was also Niave's first time ice-skating - on the big rink. Thank goodness for friends who are happy to hold the hand of small person while she finds her feet!

Another outing with Tamsyn was to Greenpoint Park on a wonderfully warm and sunny winters day.

It is nearly time for another school holiday but earlier in the term Abigail had to preserve something! We investigated various options and although her 1st choice was Biltong, the time frame didn't allow for that so we opted for jam instead. I was a little apprehensive, never having made jam before but I'm happy to say that it was relatively painless and really quite delicious...SO much better than store-bought, I am going to have to experiment with other fruits too!  

A couple of weekends ago we went for a walk in Tokai "forest" - it used to be a forest, now it is mostly fynbos but still lovely and almost more beautiful as with the pine trees removed other plants can actually grow. Even though we could see the snow on the mountains across the bay it turned into a lovely warm sunny day and the kids were stripping off their layers soon enough!

Having a rest!
 With the term winding down and it being the end of winter (haha), Niave took part in the Inter-schools Cross Country. True to form she came...second last!! It was a muddy, marshy track thanks to all the rain despite the beautiful sunny and even hot day that the event took place on. 

That lovely, hot sunny day was the calm before the storm as a few days later we were hit by a massive cold front. As a result of more than 30 hours non-stop rain there was major flooding all around the peninsula including my garden and the park over the road!

That brings us up to date...but now, ironing calls!