Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Officially unemployed

The last matric paper was written yesterday!
Finished! Done! Final! Never again!

"Ma skryf matriek" has come to an end!

The last day of school clothes!
The end of an era!
The closing of a chapter!
The reaching of a gynormous milestone!

(It is a bit sad! For me!)

My daughter is moving on!

They have a joke going around that they are now "officially unemployed"!

But she is sorted for next year! Can I call her a "student" now?

The registrations for university has been done! The first payments (ouch!) have been done!

She is on her way...

I am so proud and so happy for her!

It happened so quickly!
(Much too soon for this mother...)



Photo: Patrick Pretorius at Photostyle.




Stuff you would think that should not be around by age 3

Don’t we all smile to ourselves when we realize that our preconceived ideas about time-spans and our children does not comply with the books?

And why should it?

Things I thought that would not be around by age three:

-    Breastfeeding. I wished to get past the first six weeks, and here I am at nearly three...
I still wish to continue, but it seems that it is sadly going to come to an end because of the cholesterol issue. (I feel very sad about this! How am I going to tell the face it is finished?)

-    The bottle is also a firm favourite when she wants her Nido milk. We have about one working bottle left at his stage.

-    The donut. For playing, sleeping, eating, drinking, watching television and doing acrobatics... It gets used for everything. (One of the must-have items when buying for baby!)

-    The potty – it only go dumped two weeks back, but we still use it as a stepping stool for the toilet and for washing hands.


What have you used for much longer?

Monday, 28 November 2011

You cannot have too much photos of your children

In the studio
You would think that by taking pictures of the Toddler every snap we can, we would feel satisfied about the amount...

But I have found that you can never have too much photos of your children.

There is always that search for the picture or the perfect pose.

What did they do in the age before digital? It seems unimaginable by now...

I try to take at least one photo of the Toddler each day, if only for the Mornings' first photo. I love it that I can take photos on my cell as well.

I go back and look at it during the day at work. Especially on a Monday when we had such a good time together during the weekend and I miss my little one!

We were at a photo shoot yesterday. Luckily my sister-in-law Elise wants to make some Christmas presents with family photos!  Can’t wait...


How much photos do you take of your children in a week?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Benji Boytjie

There was a huge adjustment phase with our Miniature Yorkshire Terrier, but WE have adapted!

He walks around unfazed by any commotion going on around him...

We get upset about his bad toilet manners, but it doesn't make a dent in his behaviour. 
He does not DO grass! Period! Accept it!
It is only Hubby who still curses every time  he has to scoop up the "jewels" from our patio...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (I know! How lucky can you get?)


Seven years multiplied by seven makes him forty nine years!
He is the oldest resident in this house!

King of the Castle and Mr Cool!

He's got the other dog grooming him the whole day long.
Petite Peu bites-bites him around his face. He loves it!!
If you know the reason for this, please tell us.
(It's the same behaviour we see in monkeys grooming each other.)
The tongue hanging out because of pure pleasure





Benjamin got his "summer cut" today, and the toddler allowed him extra time next to her...


How can we give such a boytjie away?






Related post:
Our furry dog - update

Friday, 25 November 2011

Thursday photos - clouds & ice-cream

Johannesburg traffic on Beyers Naude
I had a bit of a traffic fail yesterday when I decided on a whim to drive another route to work...
There is a reason why we take the suburb routes to work in the mornings. The rest of the roads are a no-go! A murdering-no-go-not-moving-hell!

I had to turn back and go my usual route.
(I will not do it again!)

I love the clouds, especially now with the heavy downpours we have. See also the photos taken yesterday afternoon of the clouds from the University of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg city in the background
University of Johannesburg - Auckland Park campus
Another photo taken from the bridge from UJ over Kingsway
As I spend most of my working days indoors (without a view on the world), I love it when I have an opportunity to be outside.
 Although we are in the city, we can still enjoy a bit of Mother Nature, can't we?

Clouds are one of my favourite things to look at!
What do you love looking at in nature?

____________

And we had a perfect ending to the day.
Totally unrelated, but also totally worth it!
Ice-cream at Milky Lane


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Blog Award - 7 things

Blog Award passed on by Mommygosleepynow
Mommygosleepynow over at Cinderella Trippin' passed on this Blog Award last week.

I have been enjoying her quirky humour for a while now, and there's nothing that deals with the loss of blojo (also one of her posts) better than accepting an award.
(Point 9 or 10 on her list, maybe? She ran out of fodder for her top 10 tips...)

The rules are easy (I like easy!):

Tell 7 things about yourself!
Pass it onto 15 others.

7 things:

1.  I got a sky high cholesterol score, and need to get a fasting score tomorrow morning before the doctor decides if I need to go on meds. (I don't want to!)
2. I am very easy with regards clothes buying. If it fits, I buy and go!
3. I have to colour my hair, because I am grey. I have been doing it since I was 26.
4. I love my coffee! I drink it with milk, and no sugar! (I probably drink too much of it!)
5. I love red wine! (That you most probably know by now). I will drink white wine, but only if there is no red wine left!
6. I love the fact that I have two daughters.
7. I think I was very lucky second time around getting the perfect Hubby.


15 Bloggesses who blog: (I used the first 15 on my blog list last night)


Dizzy C's Little Book Blog
Jemikaan 
The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom
Authentic Parenting
Raising men
Code Name: Mama
Harassed Mom
Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog
Motherhood Later than Sooner
Juggling Act of Life
Hobo Mama
A work in progress
Diaries of a white mother raising a black baby
Dear Max
MumDrum

Feel free to pass it on!

Have a happy Thursday!

What don't I know about you?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Nobody as surprised as the surprised mother

I wanted to write the blog post last night, but we had a sleep fail night, and the off switch did not work, except for both parents! (Nothing new!)
We staggered out of our room after 11 last night, with washing that still needed to be hanged, and the lights to be switched off in the rest of the house... (No wonder I don't get time to read!)

The Toddler was 35 months yesterday. 3 is a month away.
And.... Ta-da-ta-dum!-ta-dum! is nappy free.
She announced last Thursday evening that she did not want to have a nappy on at bed-time, and that was it!
The status update on Friday
about the first nappy-free night at MomAgain@40 FB page

She is wearing panties 24-7, and she tells us when she wants to go...

Nobody is as surprised as me!
Something just clicked!

I was beginning to worry about the deadline of next year and the new school...She is supposed to be potty trained by then.

It just shows you! All in their own time...
"I can do it!"
It dawned on us last night! We don't need to buy those expensive pull-ups or Pampers or Huggies... anymore!
*Happy dance!*

Related posts:
Up close with the toilet
Potty training - report back
Wordless Wednesday #69 - More uses for the potty

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The best present ever from Father Christmas

We thought that this year would be different. She is nearly 3 and the promise of a Father Christmas with presents made her very excited before the time...

But when the Toddler's name was called, she refused and screamed again! (I did not even get a photo with her near Father Christmas, because she was clinging to me and pulling me in the other direction!)

Shame, even Father Christmas asked me if it's the beard...

Maybe next year?

But she loves her present from Father Christmas. It is the perfect gift for a little princess!
The Toddler has been walking around all weekend with the dress-up shoes and her tiara.
With the the friends waiting for Father Christmas


The previous year's posts about Father Christmas:

The red beardy man a a crying toddler

The red beardy man


Friday, 18 November 2011

Reasons why you should not stay

It is time to Speak Out #SpeakOut
I have committed to take part in the worldwide Speak Out campaign organized by Kirstin at Wanderlust_Lust.

Speak Out is an "event is to bring awareness to the cause and encourage victims of domestic violence to speak out and seek help"
Domestic violence  is a "silent" type of violence. To the outside world it is not always visible.
The victims sometimes believe the abuser that they had a part in their abuser acting out on his frustration.... They also feel ashamed to admit that the situation is a situation of domestic violence.

In a previous life I was in an emotional abusive situation where it took me very long to realize that I could not change the situation or the person. I could only  change myself, and save us from having to live in an emotional roller coaster that went nowhere but down...

I came to the realization that a person very seldom change, and 99% of the time it is not worth to try and stay in a situation that is not healthy or safe for you and the children.
I now advise anyone to get out sooner rather than later. The violence escalates, and your safety gets more precarious with time...

Reasons why you should not stay:

- You are worth more than he has made you come to believe!
- You owe it to yourself and your children to be happy. (If one person affects the emotional and physical well-being of the other people around him in a negative way, does it make sense to stay with him?)
- Your children are entitled to be happy!
- You and your children should be able to feel safe in your own home. 
- You owe it to your children to show them that this is not acceptable behaviour!
- You should not have to tippy-toe around a person!
- You are entitled to peace in your own home.
- You should not have to feel unworthy/unloved/incapable/diminished in your role as wife, mother and partner.
- It is definitely not your fault! (If you are made to believe it is, it is time to re-evaluate your situation!)
- Next time is worse than the previous incident! (Get out!)
- The "sorry" is not reflected in behaviour, or only for a very short period!
- When there is always somebody to blame, and responsibility for own bad behaviour is not acknowledged!
- You want to stay alive! You want your children to stay alive!
- You should not become and feel depressed because of another person and his actions.
- When you find that your future looks bleak with this person!

Get out! Get out! Get out!


Please do not feel that you have made you bed and you have to lie in it!

You have the power to say no, to speak out about it, and to get out of there!
Your family and your friends and people around you will help you!
There are many organizations who will help you!

Reach out and get out! Domestic violence is not acceptable!

Thanks to Kristin who has organized #SpeakOut.
She has put up a linky with all the powerful posts from around the world.
She has included links when you are in an abusive relationship right now.

Do you have more reasons why she should not stay?

Ad2

Thursday, 17 November 2011

McD's and us


I have a confession to make. We do McD’s, and we like it!

We have a history with McD’s, even from the days when they were still called McDonald’s. 

My eldest daughter and I had a weekly appointment with McD’s after we started a new life on our own.  She was six and one of her favourite play places where McD’s. I was busy studying and could take my text book with to read while she was playing. It was a perfect arrangement. 

We had a standard order. A Happy Meal and a junior burger and fries for me. We shared the drink. It was a measly R28 (the worth of about $4) each week.  And of course the McDonald’s toy which came with each order...

It started with a Thursday or Friday end-of-the-week-not-in-the-mood-to-make-dinner, and sometimes we had a McD’s day on a Monday already... 

We have a box full of McD’s toys collected over the years. There is some great stuff, like the Buzz Light Year which the Toddler loves playing with! The nephews love playing with that box, and we have a secret joke between us to see how long they take before they ask for the box when they arrive... (Their standard opening line involves the McD’s box!)

-

Hubby does not share our enthusiasm about McD’s, but we sometimes convince him that it is a perfect night for it. Especially when the budget is running on empty and inspiration for dinner is lacking...

We have a nearby McCafe which does not have a play area, and while the Toddler does not complain, we prefer to go there. The play places needs a constant watchful eye, and the older kids can be quite rough... I don’t know how long we will still be able to get away with it, because the Toddler enquired tonight about a play area...
Love the chairs. This is our favourite spot in our local McCafe

I love the cappuccinos at the new McCafe’s, and we still order our Happy Meals.  The Toddler prefers the chicken nuggets. 
They've got WiFi

On the scale of healthy it can’t be too high on up, but once in a while it can’t be that bad?

Please tell me I am not the only one subjecting my family to McD’s? 

Or the only one actually enjoying going there and eating the food?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Safe toddler play

When your toddler is nearing the age of three, you would think that we have "safe" covered by now.

Luckily we have a toddler who does not "disappear", or explore that much on her own.
She makes sure that she stays in our vicinity.
I try to think of it as a "bonus", especially after reading 10 Commandments for Safe Toddler Play.


There are still issues we need to be aware of...

One of the points covers the issue of  hinged toy box lids.
We have two of those in our living area to get rid of some of the toy clutter.
(It has fallen on the toddler's head already.)
We thought it was a good idea...



What do you do with toys in the living room spaces?





Up close with the toilet

Another title: Potty training adventures

There is nothing like potty training to get you up close and personal with a toilet...

A toddler has intense fascination with a toilet, and there is nothing more exhilarating than flushing it. (Woot-woot! squeamish parents!)

I am of the opinion that you should spend as less time as possible on a toilet, and get finished with your business... Well, quickly! There is the minor fact of germs and multiplying...

That’s why I still don’t understand why people would want to read while there. It’s the germs multiplying, people! Take into account that if the previous occupant flushed the toilet while the seat was not closed... More germs multiplying all around... 

(Not to mention those magazines stacked up in toilets... Germ palaces?)

(Maybe it’s just me, or I have watched far too much of The Doctors!)

But potty training brings the toilet very close:
-    The toddler touches the seat with both hands while getting on. (I can do this myself, Mom!)
-    She sits with both hands on the seat.
-    She even checks inside the bowl...
-    She comments about anything landing in the bowl!
-    She lingers while sitting there...
-    She wants to flush immediately! (Please close that seat, Love!)

Potty training is teaching me a few things as well! Patience is definitely one of them!

Luckily we can wash our hands afterwards. Also something the toddler enjoys immensely...
And the promise of washing hands also helps to move things along considerably!

We have been very lucky the last two weeks! Fingers crossed! (Don’t tell Murphy...)
It seems the Toddler will be potty trained by next year. Err.. Toilet Trained!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Best time of the year

Jacarandas & Johannesburg city in the distance
The sun is blazing here each day! It is hot hot HOT, and I love it! It is truly summer here!
You can give me hot any time. I don't like winter and grey and cold!

Driving to work each day, I am confronted by the Jacarandas in full bloom each day.
Johannesburg is lovely this time of the year!

December and Christmas is around the corner, and we are beginning to look forward to holidays.
The plans have been made for lots of get-togethers and parties and family gatherings!
(I am even contemplating a small party for the Toddler on her birthday...)

My brother is going to visit us from America. We can't wait to see him again!

We spend each evening outside. Watching the sun set!

The Toddler plays ball, and we - mostly Dad and me, because her sister is learning for the final exams - has to play along!

Especially her most recent games of make-believe.
Her favourite is going to Kyle's party now!
She "fasten" our seat-belts and "drives" us to his party, where we "do" all the fun  party stuff, such as "eating" cake, and "jumping" on the jumping-castle.

One of the "games" she plays outside:
Exercising, but getting very upset that the dogs take up her exercise mat space...


Do you like this time of the year? If not, why not?

I am grateful for the best time of the year. Linking up with Maxabella's
"I'm grateful for..."

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The story of the angel vs the sheep

The Toddler is still upset that she was cast in the role of an angel.
See Wordless Wednesday #101 of yesterday as well for two more photos. 

She wanted to be a sheep...
(Light bulb! That's why she told us before the time that she was going to be a sheep: "A night at the ballet")

She told me last night that the teacher would not dress her in the sheep clothes for the concert.
I should definitely go and give the teacher a hiding (her words!)

The concert took place two weeks back already, but she is still unhappy about the fact...


Disappointments start much too early in one's life!
Photos here by Jaqueline of JPhoto


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Changing her mind

The Toddler changes her mind constantly!
It is a given!

She doesn’t want to eat her food, but when asked if we can give it to the dogs, we get an emphatic “NO!”

She gives us the exact opposite of what we ask of her.

“No!”

(Wait for it....wait for it...)

“Yes!”

The question usually takes a while to register, and normal toddler-response is a “No!”

Do you want to play with the ball?

“No!”
...
“I want to play with the ball!” (Whine!-voice)



We can use it to our advantage. (Sly grin)

We plant the seed of the required action by asking her a question.

The “No!” follows.

It helps to sell it a bit more, and then leave it and wait for her to respond otherwise!
(It really works!)
 

Sometimes it takes a bit longer. Sometimes it takes months for her to change her mind...

The Toddler now wants to wash her hair every day. And she wants to lie down on her back in the bath.
Before it was a struggle for months to get her to wash her hair, and she used to complain bitterly!
We don’t know what made her change her mind, but we are grateful for every small gesture that makes it easier on all of us...


Ah, what is the good of a mind...?

Monday, 7 November 2011

A dinosaurus party

Annie's Barnyard in Fourways
The Toddler's idea of a party was dancing with her sister...
That's what she kept on telling us when we told her we are going to Kyle's party on Saturday!
(The two previous adult parties that she attended with us included dancing, but with disco lights...)

Former children's parties doesn't count, as it did not get assimilated in her conscious little brain!

I was worried about going to a children's party myself, but it turned out to be great fun taking pictures and seeing how much the children enjoyed themselves. They actually kept us so busy, that we did not have time to ponder on the enjoyment of children's parties.

The Dinosaurus Party of Saturday is a party not easily forgotten:

All kinds of animals, such as sheep & swans to look at.
A grass-cutter which pulled some of the bigger children,
but it was fine for the younger ones to sit on
Swings

Trampoline

Alfonso the Conjurer with the birthday boy doing a trick

Face paint by Alfonso
The Toddler refused each time when it was her turn...

The party sweets

Dinosaur play
Dinosaurus cake

Eating cake with friends
Balloon sword
That was a hectic party!

How am I going to live up to this? (Ka-ching!)