Monday, 31 December 2012

Looking back, and looking ahead to 2013


2012 was a great year! It was the year of being sorted!

Sort of... ;-) (Life happens!!)

There was a lot of new beginnings...

We started out with a student going off to Varsity, and then having to deal with initiation stuff which seemed a lot orientation! I felt like I had failed my child, especially since it lasted for the whole year! Next year is definitely going to be much better for her with no more of these practices, which I totally abhor!

The toddler also started at a new pre-primary school, and we know we have made the right choice of moving her! She is extremely happy where she is, and can't wait for a new year with a new teacher in the Dinosaurs' class.

The toddler is four now, and sometimes she is still the toddler, and sometimes we see some of the little girl she is becoming!

I made a few new year's resolutions this year, and some were met. I lost a few kilograms, but next year I have to make serious plans for dieting and exercising. We are also now card carrying members of Virgin Active, and next year you will be seeing more of us there! (Yeees! Of course!)

Hubby went to Mauritius which left me a bit lot envious, but we got to spend some time at the coast as well. The toddler loved the sea this time around!

We definitely need to go on more holidays to recharge and to enjoy our beautiful country!
I did not get to go to Cape Town for a weekend, so it's on my vision board for next year again!
We have an upcoming holiday in Mpumalanga, and we can't wait!

I have studies as a major goal listed for 2013, and maybe this year I can complete my Masters with a longitudal study! (Putting it out there, Universe!!)

I loved loved my iPad this year, and a whole new world opened up to me because of the possibilities with regards the education value of iPads for children. (I am still thinking of taking it up at my child's school - there are ways to put it in every child's hand!)

It has not been a year of any major upheavals or problems in our lives! Yes, we are lucky!
Boring is sooooo good!

We had a near death-defying accident on the highway two weeks ago, and we got away with only a bumper that needs repairs! Yes, we are lucky!

Careerwise it seems we both will have to look into some changes... You know when you have reached the tipping point! When you need new challenges...
2013 seems like a good year for changes in our careers!

I am still working on my goals and visions for 2013.
I believe that it helps in steering us in a definite direction!

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My best wishes for 2013! I hope all your dreams/goals come true!

What goals have you formulated for 2013?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Best of festive wishes!


I hope you had a great festive season with your loved ones!
We had such a great time with the families on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day!
This is what Christmas time is all about - spending time with the family! (Or that is what we think it is!)
Our little one had the best of times, and she was all wide-eyed about Father Christmas and the presents!
It's the start of another few years of Christmas traditions, such as a cup of milk and cookies for Father Christmas! (See photo)
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We are taking a break and chilling at the moment! 

Hope you are taking a rest as well?
Enjoy these special times with your families!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Finally, a Tinker Bell Party!


We pulled off a Tinker Bell Party with only a few friends.

Most of her friends are away on holiday already. (The problem of having a birthday so late in December...)

5 party packs with 5 fairy wands, and chocolate cupcakes with pink sprinkles!



That's all that was needed to have a Tinker Bell Fairy who loved feeling special for the day!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy 4th birthday


Happy fourth year, my little girl!

Together with your sister you are the the pivotal point of our existence!

You bring us so much joy and light!

May your day and life be filled with happiness and laughter!

----

She could not believe this morning it was finally her birthday!
She has been counting for so many days...

She can't wait for her "party"!
We invited a few friends who are still in the city to come over tonight!
(I hope it will fulfil all her year-long wishes of the Tinkerbell party... )

----

Best of wishes for your end-of-the-world final preparations!

We are going out in GRAND style!
With a Tinkerbell party! (*tongue-in-cheek*)

How are you planning to spend your last hours? :D

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Last day of being Three

A final toddler tantrum brewing (?)

Can I also call it the last day of the "Toddler"-phase?

I have been searching the developmental milestone sites, and it seems that the end of the toddler years is finally here.

Wow! Just like that we are passing another milestone!

Nooooo! 

Feeling quite sad about letting "The Toddler" go!
She has been so much fun and so exasperating and so lovable and so cute.
I hope there will be another few years of cuteness ahead!

She has been slotted in for the whole year with the four-year old's, and she was graded with all the four-year old's in her class.
She did not do too bad in her report card.
(Next year I will maybe go and ask about not getting a single top score of 4, but this year I will not worry about it!)

We still see a lot of toddler behaviour, especially those awesome tantrums, and hope that year four will have less of them! (Can I cross my fingers?)

There is much excitement in our house for the upcoming birthday.
She is counting the sleeps and told me to go and buy a chocolate cake with sprinkles, AND balloons!

That we will do!

Happy last day of  three, my little one!


The Preschooler is at hand!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Big Bug Expo

Big Bugs metal art by David Huni

The Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens has a Big Bug Expo currently on show in the gardens. It's been on for awhile, but we went exploring yesterday on the public holiday.
It will still be on until 6 January.

Looking to spot those bugs

It helped to get the Toddler to run from one "bug" to another, and it was big excitement when she spotted one that we missed earlier.



There is so much to do and explore in the Gardens. 
I plan to go there this holiday again, because we found new pathways that we did not see on earlier visits. 
It is not only the route straight to the waterfall that makes you feel like you got out in nature!


The play area stays a winner!


The Toddler Fashionista ensemble of yesterday: Her Madagascar dress she got passed on from her sister that was bought by Debbie many moons ago, and the UGG winter boots she got as a present from Wynand from San Antonio.

It does not help to tell her the clothes are going to be uncomfortable for a day out in the sun!
"Resistance is futile!"



Related posts:

"Mountain climbing" at the Botanical Gardens

Wordless Wednesday #139 - Tunnels at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

A 3-year old Princess


(I see I am blogging quite regularly about the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens! It really is a nice place to go with children! :D )


Travel Bag checklist - when travelling with little ones


I got this following checklist in my inbox, which I think is worth checking off just before going on on that much much much needed break.

After our accident on the highway on Saturday, I am crossing fingers and toes, hoping that we will still be able to go on that upcoming break. Our car doesn't look that bad, but we are not sure at this stage...

Sister Lilian suggests the following essentials for your travel bag for car and plane travels:

  • A bag of special little toys that are only used in the car. Make sure the same toy is not given on each journey
  • Music that soothes both little ones and their parents
  • Mobiles dangled from the roof of the car
  • A bunch of keys and a magnet are very useful for fascinating older babies endlessly
  • Older children respond well to recorded stories
  •  A change of clothes for inevitable spills and leaks
  • Pampers® nappies and wipes (Luckily this one is not on my list anymore)
  • Bottles and a non-spill cup
  • A security item from home like a blanket (also for warmth as flights can be very cold)
  • Rubbish bags
  • Baby food utensils and cups
  • Toys that baby hasn’t seen before
  • A jacket and cap for small babies
  • Healthy snacks like dried or fresh fruit
  • A dummy for those who make use of one

This list was sent by the good people of Pampers Premium Care
Pampers Premium Care


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Accident on the highway


Running a bit late, but not speeding.

We had to turn off the highway to fill up with petrol.

And then back on the road!



If we had put in petrol before the time?

If we did not make that stop at the shops?

If we had started our drive a second earlier?

If only we had taken the other highway?



Rain bursting through the clouds, and then some patches of less rain!

But everywhere the wet highway...

THEN: The bundling of cars, and then we see the car skidding on the highway. There are cars all around us, and this car is not going forward anymore.


It is skidding past us, and I watch the face of the lady in the passenger seat! It is a face of unbelief!

Hubby swerve and misses the car, and for a split second we think we have made it!

The car skids into the barrier on the side of the road, and comes skidding back again...

It is right in front of us, and I hear myself scream.

I am thinking that this is going to be bad!

The cars are coming from behind, and we are in the middle of the highway...

We hit the other car on the side with a loud sickening THUD!

Hubby keeps on saying we need to get out of there! I push the button for the hazard lights...


Somehow he manages to get our car around the car which has now come to a standstill in the middle of the highway!

He drives to the side of the road, and keeps driving forward, afraid of more accidents...

The Toddler is crying now. We say something to her to calm her down. We have been in an accident, but we are fine!

We both get out of the car and look at the damage. The bumper is dented, and the number plate is missing. But it doesn't look that bad! The car can still be driven!

We wait for the other car to come to the side of the road, which somehow it manages to do. It is not roadworthy anymore!

Hubby jumps out and the two drivers exchanges their business cards, and then he comes back and we drive back home. He doesn't want to stay there!

Not on the highway anymore, and the Toddler crying because we are not going to the party anymore...

--------

The driver of the other vehicle says that 3 more cars skidded there while they were waiting to be towed! If we had stayed there, we would have been hit...



We feel very lucky today!

We did not get hurt at all, and except for the schlepp of having a car fixed, we are fine today!



(This happened 6pm last night on the N1 between William Nicol and Rivonia)

Friday, 14 December 2012

The advent calender is a real winner


We made our second advent calender for the little one!

For a second year in a row I used Cat at Juggling Act of Life's details and printed out the calender.

She can't wait each morning to open the window.

Each night she spent a lot of time standing in front of the calender and speculating what is inside, and when she will be able to open it!

We bought some chocolates, and stickers, and a little doll with accessories that are scattered around the boxes.

The balloons seem to be a big hit, but the Hello Kitty tongue tattoos does not work, and only makes her tongue black, and leaving a slimy cardboard taste in the mouth.

(I should have started to search for little things a lot earlier... Next year!!)

Thanks again, Cat!


Related post:

The Christmas tree is up (the advent calender of 2011)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Child at work - send out the Mayday!


I am reeling after a morning spent with the Toddler in my office.

Hurricane Mieka did a good job of re-organizing my whole office.

I miss her, but not while I am trying to get some work done!
I am very impressed that I can show something for my day! (*pat on own shoulder*)

Luckily her dad came to fetch her at lunch-time!

How do working mothers do it?
I had done a previous post on taking the Toddler to work, but those tips lasted only for the first hour!

I think I need to go and search for tips of what to do with them at the office.
It should be a long list, because each activity lasts for only a few minutes.

Any tips for me?


Related posts: 

Wordless Wednesday #106 - Rough last day at the office!

Taking the Toddler to work



Monday, 10 December 2012

The Christmas tree & Lights


The Christmas tree went up this weekend.

This December feels like it is slipping by so fast!
I would have liked to put the tree up earlier...

Luckily the Toddler loved decorating it, and between her and her sister it went up in a jiffy!


Last night we went for our usual drive to the house with the most Christmas lights (Cnr of Appelblaar & Mopani in Randpark Ridge) we know in our area. They have even more lights up than the previous year!


I had a special day with the Toddler today. The school is closed, and we are struggling to make plans of what to do with her. Luckily there's a Granny and Grandpa, as well as my aunt. (Thank you! Thank you!)

It is a huge headache for working parents when schools are closed for the season!

Today made me realise of how much we are missing. There were so many sayings that I would have missed...

- Apparently she has two books of God. One of God, and one of Jesus.
- God loves children and wants to hug them. Adults just a little bit!
- We saw a car with pink wheels, and Jesus loves that person even more by given him/her the pink wheels.
- She wonders where God is staying, and if He is alone?
- The angels are getting old, and He is getting lonely!

I got to make a Christmas list of the things she wants from Father Christmas:

1. Ear rings (it involves ear piercings) > Where do we go to find a place that will shoot in both at the same time?
2. A new dress.
3. A tray with clay.
4. Make-up.
5. Leappad apps.
6. New shoes with heals.
7. A guitar.

It was a great day with my little one!

Related post:

Wordless Wednesday #150 - Christmas Tree Angel

The Christmas Tree is up






Sunday, 9 December 2012

Top 5 Apps for Busy Moms



I am always checking out new apps and got this guest post suggestion which I am happy to publish. Especially if it states  that it helps "busy moms.
(Although, I think it is an oxymoron! Do we get moms who are not busy?)

I have linked to the iTunes stores, but see most of these apps are avaliable on all devices.


The Top 5 Apps for Busy Moms

Our lives are much busier than they were even 20 years ago, and moms are busier than ever.
Many moms raise kids, work, and run their households, all while trying to live their own lives. Fortunately, cell phones are helpful for anyone with a life on the go. They help people stay connected, and with apps, help people complete their day to day tasks.

Thousands of cell phone apps exist that help people accomplish their goals, and here are the top 5 apps for busy moms like yourself.

The Weather Channel


It is pertinent for a busy mother to be prepared for anything. Every single mom should have the Weather Channel app - this is the perfect app to open up first thing in the morning. It allows you to display the current temperature, as well as the short- and long-term weather forecast. The app also allows you to get the weather forecast from wherever you are. Any busy mom who runs around all day needs to know the weather forecast in order to plan their (hopefully dry) day.

Cozi

This is a wonderful app for anyone who has a lot on their plate, but especially mothers. It's so useful that you may even end up grabbing for this app more often than you need the phone itself! It's great for making to-do lists, setting reminders, shopping lists & also the family calendar - this one is key too, because notice that it's for the family. This is different from most calendars, which are only meant for one person and their appointments.
 

Grocery iQ

This app is GREAT for mothers, especially because it's basically available on every platform you can imagine. It allows you to scan prices of products when shopping so that you can get clued in on what you're getting for your money. Is that cereal a bargain, or simply a crafty way of making it look like you're getting a steal? Find out with this app!
 

Whole Foods Market Recipes

Whole Foods Market Recipes is a terrific app for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy diet. The best thing about this app is the ability to sort based upon dietary preference. The user can sort for gluten free recipes, high fiber recipes and many other types. Kids are picky too, so luckily this app can make everyone happy, especially a busy mom cooking for many.

Kindle


The Kindle app is a great app for the busy mom. A lot of times moms do not have time to enjoy themselves. With the Kindle app, a mom can read her favorite books while waiting to pick up her kids or in those few precious minutes of alone time. The Kindle app is also great to read recipes, pdf files or magazines. Anyone on the go should look into the Kindle app, and perhaps the best thing about is that if you skip buying hard-copies of books, you have more room for storage and less to clean!

Thousands and thousands of applications exist for all phone platforms. There are also apps for all types of users and preferences. Nobody knows the importance of time management more than a single mom.


These apps will not only save a single mom time, they will also save her money!


Jessie Hughes writes about parenting, working from home and more. Her favourite piece is on the Top 10 iPhone Apps for Teachers.


Do you have any apps that you cannot live without?


Friday, 7 December 2012

We have a winner - Kodak canvas print!

This lovely canvas print goes to...

Kodak SA canvas print
TA-DA-DAM!


Drum rooooooooooll!



via Random.org:

                                      ADELE



Congratulations and enjoy!

Thanks again, Kodak!

Please send me your email to arrange the prize.  



Related post:

Just in time for Christmas - a Kodak canvas print #win                   

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Apple in Education


I never thought I would get as excited about a technology gadget as I have become about my iPad. The more you do with it, the more you realise how much can be done!

I am only limited by my own ignorance and technological inadequacies.

I have seen how creatively it can be used for children, especially after I won the invite to the Tech-Moms & Tech Savvy Kids event at the iStore.  I realised how valuable iPads for children can be used as a learning and educational tool!!

That's why I get so excited about the Apple in Education Awards 2012 that happened last week. I was extremely surprised at the number of entrants. It shows that Apple has made an amazing impact in the classroom in the short time of 2 years!


The facts and figures of the entries received: 

  • Grades R to 12 participated
  • 32 subjects were entered
  • 72 schools took part
  • 1028 projects were done for the competition
One of the most exciting announcements is that Apple is planning a new iPad app to be launched in January 2013. It is called ZABooks. It will be an iPad Textbook Store that will run separately from iBooks. They will have about 400 textbooks containing to the South African curriculum, and more will of course be added on.

We saw samples of some of the winning projects, and it is very inspiring already!

Congrats to all the winners, and especially Germiston High School who walked away with the iSchoolAfrica youth press team award.



My wish is that all schools in South Africa will start with implementing this in the classroom.

I think I need to make an appointment with the Principals of our pre-primary school as well as the primary school.

There are ways and means to put this in every child's hand!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A very important day


To a very important man in our lives!

40 Forty four O The Big 4

My wishes for you!

- That you will have many more adventures!

- That you will reach your ultimate goals in life!

- That you will have many lucky surprises in your life!

- Lots of Joy!!

- Happiness!

- Peace!

- Love!


Thank you for being a true millennium man and showing our daughters how a dad / husband / man should be!

We are extremely lucky to have you!

May you have a wonderful day / year / life!!


From your happy wife!

(Finally we share the same decade! ;-) )


Monday, 3 December 2012

Just in time for Christmas - a Kodak canvas print #win



I love a canvas print for all those cherished family moments!

I had just one made for Hubby for his upcoming 40th, and a win like this would have come in real handy! I am adding it to my list of What I want for Christmas!
I finally got one of our wedding photos on a canvas, and it looks stunning!

It is real easy to win this Kodak canvas print:

1) Like Kodak SA on Facebook;
2) Like MomAgain@40 on Facebook;
3) Comment on this blog post. Tell me what photo you would like on the canvas.
(Only open to South African readers)

I will announce the winner on Friday 7 December at 9 am.
It will be just in time to get your favourite photo on a canvas before Christmas for a present to yourself or some significant other!

Good luck!