30 April 2011

Just Chilling Part Deux

 It was a good day. :-)


Setting up her world

Playing armies while waiting for paintwork to dry

Her completed scrapbook layout

Bedtime stories care of Honey - very precious.


Am now going to try get to sleep before 1am...something I havent managed to do since the man left town a few days ago. *yawn*. Not easy doing the single parent thing hey? I miss him muchly.

Just Chilling (NOT chillaxing mmkay?)

I plan to spend today hanging out with my kids. Was thinking I spend way to much time getting them to occupy themselves.

They all want to scrapbook again....well, alrighty then. Will light the fire and do just that!

Pop over here to read an amusing post from Allie - featuring her babysitting my kids while my sis and I attended the RW. :-)

29 April 2011

Flyby

Really? How can it be so long since my last post?

I dont have time to post now either because of course I am off to watch *The Wedding*.

To be honest I zero interest in this wedding but when a good friend invited me to High Tea at her home to hang out with some other stellar peeps I just knew it was going to be good. The wedding may even prove entertaining too.

23 April 2011

Of snoozes and runs

That is pretty much what has been happening this long weekend in Mcgregor. Snoozing and running. With some eating, chatting, technology sharing and child entertainment scattered inbetween.

It has been truly blissful, the weather is pretty warm but not unbearable. The kids are pottering around, watching tv or swimming.

The best part of my weekend has to be the running. With my man nogal. I havent run in a l o n g time. My knee injury followed by the vertigo saga put paid to that passion of mine.



I have started slowly and its been awesome. Running here in Mcgregor is such a different vibe to city/suburb/treadmill running. I feel like I could run forever. :-) It also helps to have discovered the most amazing app called imapmyrun .

This app lets you record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your data to any of the MapMyFITNESS websites where you can view your route, workout data, and comprehensive workout history

Perfect for a light-weight running geek like me. :-)

I need to rest up tomorrow tho cos after tonights offroad run my knee definitely felt tweaky - iced and arnica hopefully will do the trick.

21 April 2011

Moms and Sons

(circa 2009)


What is it about little boys? I absolutely love and adore my girls but there is something truly unique about my affection for my son.


'Mom, when I grow up can I marry you?'

and

'Mom, when I am big I will build my house next to yours so
we can still be together okay?'




I never want to forget these tender moments with him because I know all too well that these will be few and far between in the years to come.

(circa 2011)


My heart is tied to this little man. Bless him.

20 April 2011

My Life Circa 2009

I wrote the post below in November 2009. The central idea remains the same but it is so interesting to read the fine print and see how my daily challenges have changed 18month later.

******************************************

Within this last week I have had encounters/catch-ups with people I have not seen in a year or three. On both occasions I was asked the question that {now} strikes fear into my heart...

' So Mel, what's up with you, how are you spending time these days?'

Or my personal favourite...

' Mel - tell me something new and exciting in your life?'

In my former life I always had something going on. Something exciting, new and challenging. My life was always in flux; we were travelling, holidaying, changing jobs, meeting new people and a myriad of other *exciting stuff*.

Each time I am asked this question I pause and kinda grin (inside my head) and wonder if I should share:

  • that our home is now a nappy free zone but Hooli is still way keen on his tea bottle
  • that Lulu's aversion to change and pre-disposition to sensory overload has reared its head and making my life incredibly difficult.
  • that the sibling rivalry from Honey toward Lulu is at its worst and there are days I want to just lie down and weep.
  • that sometimes my anxiety around my kids health and future feels debilitating.
  • how I am happily managing to carve out an hour a day for me to just *be*
  • how my kids are finally taking their dirty dishes to the kitchen without me nagging (this has taken years!)
  • how having sliding doors on my car has changed my life
  • how Honey has progressed in confidence to the point where she was a finalist in a poetry competition and had to say her poem in front of the whole school
  • how having only ONE WELL BEHAVED dog has eased my stress significantly
  • how challenging it is to teach a boy to speak his feeling instead of moer-ing his sisters
  • learning to address constant teasing / jibing without feeling like a referee
  • how being a mom and wife is considerably more challenging than I had anticipated.
  • that sometimes the urge to be irresponsible and selfish is overwhelming
  • that seeing my 3 kids healthy and happy is probably my single greatest joy
  • that lying with Honey in the evenings, hearing stories from her day at school, has drawn us that much closer.
  • trying to show each kid that they are loved for who they are is not as simple as it sounds
Yes - all this stuff and tons more. Usually in one day. That is what makes up the fabric of my life now, but I dont ever say this. Of course not.

I just smile and say ..

"Ag you know, parenthood!"

19 April 2011

Tween Tantrums

I occasionally watch Super Nanny - that young british chick that gets kids sorted and parents back in control. I can honestly say that I have shed a tear or two as I have watched parents beyond themselves with out of control kids.

Yesterday all three of my kids watched with me. Riveted. It was such an interesting experience hearing their thoughts about the show. They clearly picked up the fathers favouritism for the young (out of conrol) daughter and his stern/angry demenour with his older son.

Funnily enough I had a rare supernanny moment of my own last night....

Honey was about to play computer games when I reminded her she had not practised her piano piece. She insisted she knew it (which she did) but I told her she has to practise daily. End of story.

The was much wailing, stomping and yelling. And then some more. And then the ineviatable

" You're the worst Mom, everrrr. I am not coming downstairs, everrrrr,
no matter how hungry I get!"


and then...

"And I am quitting piano. I hate it, you cant make me keep doing it."

After 10minutes (all I require for piano daily) I went upstairs and spoke to her calmly.
Within 5 minutes she was downstairs eating supper with a big smile on her face. The best part?

She spontaneously came up to me, gave me a huge hug and apologised for her behaviour.

I realise as she is getting older I am going to have to begin to respect her privacy - I wont be able to share stuff like this with my cyberbuds, but for now I celebrate these small victories that are the milestones for future success.

18 April 2011

Books and More Books

My kids are voracious book lovers / readers.


Honey devours books. She is like me in that she is a nighttime reader...she doesnt read during the day but often I will find her, torch under the covers, stealing minutes instead of sleeping.



She also loves to *own* books. She likes to read them and then put them on her shelf. Sometimes she even writes a review about them!

It is, however, an expensive hobby! I have had to look at other ways to find books for her to own.



Enter 'Help the Rural Child' charity bookstore. What a treasure trove Hooli and I found in this store.

We found around 12 titles for under R150 - now that is a bargain. I also went to a bookstore in our area that was closing and found a wonderful series of books for tween girls at R5 each.

We now have a healthy library of our own and it should last us at least 6 months!

14 April 2011

Moments with a Tween


I love this picture that my man surreptitiously snapped as we left for our run last night.

Honey is showing a keen interest in fitness and exercise. She even came and did a workout with OMS and I during the school holiday and loved it....in fact she wants a 'fitness party'. :-)

Am wondering how much it is to do with the actual exercise and how much it is to do with spending ALONE time with me, engaging in something she knows that I value .

Either way I love this time with her; it is yet another fabulous opportunity we use to talk about life and growing up.

13 April 2011

Random Updates

Me:

Studies are going very well, apart from the fact that I made a decision to abandon Assignment 6 to spend time with my family instead. It has been a very interesting look into the world of online marketing and has shown me a whole world I have been lusting to understand more. This week we are looking at Social Media and Viral Marketing.

Kids:

All happy and settled. Honey has dealt with her fears/anxieties without the need for outside counsel. It was a real journey for the two of us to walk the road and I am sure it is going to be something that crops up from time to time. I have learnt so much about myself while trying to navigate her heart in this time.

They are all thoroughly enjoying the new scrap book area - the computer has been laid to rest in favour of paper and glue.



Bunnies:




Baby bunnies off to pet shop today. Hooray, although they have given the kids hours of delight.

Photo Shoot:

We had a free photo shoot at fuji on Saturday and I viewed the pictures today. They are beautiful, energetic and really captured the joy of my kids. I walked away with my free photo and will consider printing something later this year. They do hold your prints for 12months.

Garden/House:



We are busy digging up our yard and laying patios - one small one (more of a walkway) in front of the playroom and one large one outside the lounge. It has been a long time coming. It is all possible as we have done a trade exchange with our handyman....he gets our 1988 4x4 Nissan Patrol for doing all work listed (and there is a loooong list) . So we just supply him and he will work and work. And I will be smiling soon. We have been in our house for 5yrs this August and I have been a Patient Penelope waiting to get things finished.

The Man:


He is in a transition time. His renewable energy business is taking off fast and he has secured some really large clients. For all these years he has been working his *day job* and doing the renewable stuff on the side. It is becoming increasinly difficult to do this. Over the coming months he will be making the transition to cut down his consulting at the City of CT and move to spend more hours on Ruach Consulting. Exciting but scary stuff. I will be beginning to also transition from woman of leisure to 'woman of not-so-much-leisure' as I help him administratively with the business.

What's up with you?

11 April 2011

Let's Talk Courage

Have you ever been called courageous? I have. And I have laughed it off.

Truth be told, I am a coward. Many, many things scare the whatzit out of me. Most of them are things I make up in my mind and I hate that. I am very far from courageous or so I thought until I began to understand what courage really is.

  1. Courage can be asking forgiveness. Or courage can mean offering it.
  2. Courage can mean honoring your true feelings or openly accepting the feelings of another (no matter how uncomfortable those feelings are).
  3. Courage can mean asking a question. Or hearing an answer.
  4. Courage can mean facing the moment when it didn't turn out the way you had planned.
  5. Courage can mean allowing yourself to feel pain and then moving beyond it.

There are infinite ways to be courageous. Even when we feel lost and powerless. A great truth to teach our kids.

* based on and adapted from a list I found here


10 April 2011

Of Weekends and Wonderfulness

Some weekends suck. And some weekends just rock. Fortunately this one was the latter.

It started out with an impromptu decision to get a sitter and head out to see The Kings Speech. I have been putting off seeing this movie because it looks boring. I go to the movies to be thoroughly entertained, to escape. I generally avoid movies that may actually educate me. ;-)

I had no prior knowledge of the story line whatsoever. I even packed my kindle (and smartphone of course) in case I got bored...I was extremely relieved to be thoroughly riveted from start to finish. If you havent seen it - GO.

Saturday morning found us doing a free family photo shoot with Fuji - loads of fun. The talented photographer really handled the kids well and got the best from them. As we left they gave me a viewing date and price list. Let us just say I will be popping back, getting my free framed print and waving them goodbye. (R3K if I just want the images on disc!)

Spent the better part of the day chilling at home, then took kids to the park and out for dinner....then another impromptu decision to go to the Kalk Bay Theatre. The kids were not impressed being stuck with a sitter two nights in a row but what a treat for us! We saw Love at First Fight - the best piece of live entertainment I have seen in some time.

Sunday morning we spent trailing various hardware stores looking for a particular type of fencing...no joy. We are building a separate enclosure for the bunnies to begin to put a stop to all the forn*ication going on in our yard!

We were all looking forward to seeing Rio in 3D this afternoon but the boys ended up going without us gals. Unfortunately, due to some rather dismal choices the girls made this weekend, we felt it best to relieve them of the pleasure of the movie this afternoon. Not fun for any of us but very necessary.

Despite that little blip we all had fabulous weekend! Now to try get over the horror of waking up at 0645 tomorrow morning and doing the school run....bleh.

08 April 2011

10 Rules for My Girls


1. When on a dinner date, order the steak. Guys dig girls who eat real food.

2. Never make fun of your brother in front of other girls.

3. Let your date be the guy. Chivalry is not dead or outdated.

5. Yes, your skirt is too short.

6. Beware of men with accents. It does not make them more sophisticated.

7. Be loyal to your friends. Always.

8. You dont need to do anything to *prove* you like him. Ever.

9. Ride a bicycle. Rollerblade. Surf. Picnic. Hike. Jetski. But no skydiving while I am alive.

10. Dance with your dad. And not just on your wedding day.


(based on and adapted from a list I found here)

07 April 2011

Tattoo Taboo?

I have often dabbled with the thought of a tattoo. Something small, subtle and meaningful. I was quite keen on a wrist tattoo in white ink but then had 3 kids and ran out of wrists. :-)

Last night I had a dream that I was being tattoo-ed. I think it was a dragon or a chameleon. The tat was supposed to be small, on my ankle - all of a sudden I noticed he was doing it huge, on my shin!

My horror was overwhelming as I realised that this could not be undone. I was marked for life with this thing. I was so panicked and grief-stricken at the decision I had made and the mistake he had made.

My relief upon waking was monumental. I will never have the indecision again. To tat or not to tat is not a question I will ever be asking myself again.

Do you have any tattoos?

06 April 2011

Being Present

I read this post by A Different Drumbeat tonight and was struck by how true it rang for me.

I am a stay-at-home parent. I do not want to go outside my home to earn a living. I have chosen this life and I love it. The truth of the matter, though, is that while I am home with my kids I am not always present with my kids.

They play and chat to me. While I read.
They jump on the trampoline. While I interact with other parties on my cellphone.
They talk to me. While I websurf.

I am not saying I feel huge guilt here. More awareness, yes. Guilt no. I do not think my children need my undivided attention 3 hours a day. I am entitled to time to do my own thing and engage my own interests, however I am becoming aware that I seldom do ONE thing at a time.

I am beginning to view multi-tasking as a curse. Not a talent.

Tonight I lay with Honey in her bed for almost an hour. I never (okay, very seldom) do that. Tonight I learnt that she loves playing with her sister but doesnt like to admit it out loud too often. Tonight I learnt that sometimes her two best friends gang up on her. Tonight I learnt she said something to a friend that she regretted. Tonight she revealed so much to me because I was fully present.

'Thank you mom, thank you for listening to me.'
she whispered as I left her room.

Tonight I learnt that Being Present is one of the greatest gifts I can give my children.

05 April 2011

Paper n Glue

I stumbled upon this layout I did of Hooli about 2 yrs ago. It is really one of my alltime favourites and it certainly captured who he was at that time in his young life.


Blogging is cool but documenting your life with paper, glue and photos is something very special. I have missed it.

My kids have been paging through their albums and are literally begging me to continue - for them it is far more appealing looking through those albums than my blogging books.

I remember when they were tiny and I was DESPARATE for them to grow up so we could be creative together - to create albums as a family. Now is that time. It is here and I almost missed it.

I will be resurrecting my ScrapFan blog too - all new LO's will be posted there.

Yayness. :-)

03 April 2011

Living Life





I have come to a somewhat blinding realisation.

My kids are growing up and doing less *insane and mind-numbingly annoying* things for me to blog about....ho hum.


I have been reading through my original blog from 2007 and have been blown away by the fodder with which I was provided by my then 1,3 and 6 year old. Gosh, my days were like a reality show - full of amusing chaos, carnage and craziness.

Nowadays it is not uncommon for me to have my charming lad set the table for dinner....


and find these two playing for hours together with all kinds of new games being created daily.



Now let me hasten to add that I am not angling for any chaos, carnage or craziness. I will settle quite happily for Walton-style normality.

Friday night we took them sprogs off to see HOP, they thoroughly enjoyed it and I enjoyed the soundtrack. I dont really *do* kids movies (was scarred for life recently by Rango and before that by The Bee Movie) but this one was doable. Discovery offers free movies for kids before 7pm so we are trying to go every Friday evening if there is a suitable show.

Saturday saw me pottering around the house. My pottering generally makes the family nervous because I tend to end up on a mission, sorting and decluttering. It can sometimes get ugly. Happy to say no casualties this weekend. Unless you count a tired old chest of drawers that has been unceremoniously dragged into the garage and is currently undergoing reconstructive painting.

Sunday found me pounding the treadmill. Bleh. But necessary. The day was rescued by an epic walk on Noordhoek beach - balm for the soul that place.

My kids continue to enchant me. Although they annoyed me at least 12 times this weekend (mainly around those damn bunnies!) my overwhelming feeling is true contentment as I watch them spend hours playing together. They are truly in a good space and for that I am truly grateful.