31 August 2012

Opening Night is Finally Here!

Expressions 



Tonight is opening night for Faith! Her first dance show.  The last two weeks have been particularly gruelling and I have been awed by her determination and perseverance.

She is the youngest dancer to be in 3 different routines - she is doing 2 modern and 1 tap number. It has all been very secretive and I have not seen her in full make-up and costume so I cannot wait!

I look back at this little person who used to pitch a fit at the mall because it was all just too overwhelming and am gobsmacked by how many balls she manages to keep in the air these days, with minimal fallout. Truly remarkable.

I managed to sort through 5 boxes of junk in the garage this morning - I was so surprised when it took me only 20minutes!! I have been procrastinating for weeks... Next on the agenda is to sort out the paperwork / admin related to our personal stuff and the business. I think I need to procrastinate on that....until next week. >_<

Extremely miserable in Cape Town today; the girls have ended up scoring a day off for various reasons. They have just cleaned up the kitchen in order to enjoy the privilege of couch time and endless episodes of Once Upon A Time.

I am off to "class' now....joys of online learning is that I need not go out is this revolting weather but can simply grab a cuppa and pull the blanket a little tighter as I learn.

(ps - all the Ali E fans - she is offering her STORYOLOGY and FIVE classes for only $10 each at the moment)

30 August 2012

MiniVacs and Online Shopping

A spanner has been thrown in the works for our trip to Zanzibar....1Time flight carriers are folding which makes it far more tricky for us to ge there....looks like a flight to Dar Es Salaam and then a ferry across to Zanzibar....which could be kinda cool actually. We are looking at options.

The other consideration is going back to one of our favourite places on earth - the Drakensberg. We spent our honeymoon at Sani Pass Hotel and it would be awfully nostalgic to revisit 20 years later!

I have been hearing so much about Zando lately that I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Although I have been online shopping since I could type I have never bought clothing/shoes in this manner because it is such a mission to return stuff. Zando has been INCREDIBLE; I placed my order on Tuesday, received it yesterday and am returning it today. (They come and collect!) FREE deliveries and returns are key to a successful online retail store.

Yesterday morning Flowrs and I ambled through to Franschoek to go and meet a friend for breakfast - what a lovely way to spend a morning. Felt like a little mini-vac in the middle of a school week - can you say decadent?



Today I plan to potter and get some admin/paperwork filed. I may try steal an hour to peruse the material for a new online art class I am starting next week too. Let see how far I get!

27 August 2012

Monday Musings

Mondays and I have a love/hate relationship.

I struggle with the shock of having to wake up, communicate and function normally by 7am

BUT

I make a concerted effort as I know that within an hour I will have my house All To Myself for 5 sweet hours.

This morning, sun shine welcomed me and I needed to get outside! Thankfully I had a plan with a friend to do some gentle exercise (hah!) around Kalk Bay/Boyes Drive area. It was spectacularly beautiful and what a lovely way to catch up with a friend...and get the HR up a wee bit. Two birds one stone....a power hour indeed.

Jacobs Ladder certainly gave me pause today....eish!

This done I headed to my new favourite haunt, FLM*, to meet Farn for coffee (and I snuck in a mini brekky) Much swopping of weekend tidbits and a plan for a meaningful x-training session tomorrow.

I do want to up the anti on my activity as Russ and I plan to celebrate our 20th anniversary in Zanzibar this year....goodness knows I need to fill out my bikini is the RIGHT places as oppose to dripping over the edges!

This is pretty much what a romantic getaway looks like to me!



Weekend Round-Up

My overall impression of this weekend was one of much rest, relaxation and mooching around doing stuff we all enjoy. Each to their own - we pottered around the house engaging in whatever took our fancy.

Faith had dance rehearsal midmorning - that was the only reason I had to get out of my pjs' - during this time I took the opportunity to catch up with Kim B in Kalk Bay - much nattering despite heavy rains on the roof almost drowning us out! An  hour is never long enough so we made a plan to catch up some more this week!

A special bond...they calm each other.

Saturday afternoon we watched tons of Alias - we painted - the kids played ipad games and read books and pottered some more.

 On the left we have SpongeBobs sister....her proportions are all wrong....and on the left we have Welly Girl who I love except her braid is all kinds of wrong. I am not correcting anything - I am simply painting and 'embracing the imperfection' and it is NOT easy....but the more I persevere the easier it becomes and the more FUN it is.

One upside that I have found though is that painting eases headaches. How bizarre is that? Since I recovered from flu a while back I have been plagued by really nasty headaches and I have been on painkillers for a week....and while painting Welly Girl I noticed my headache had GONE; it has not returned since.

Sunday was more of the same - the highlight being my towel rails finally being put up in my bathroom....6 years it took but it only makes me "more" grateful!  Faith and I also watched some more of the SheARt tutorials and she has started to make her own on a large A3 canvas.

Faiths work-in-progress. Just love it.


 My kind of weekend from start to finish.

26 August 2012

Interview with a Tween

What is your favourite way to spend your free time?
Play imaginery games with my pets or lala loopsies

Vanilla or chocolate cake?
Chocolate

Your favourite superhero?
Underdog

Your fav girl name and boy name?
Genevieve and Jake

iPhone or iPad?
iPad

See the movie or read the book?
Read the book

There is a fire and you can only save 3 things....?
my toy box, the black bags with my animals and chocolate (her bear) - what a sneaky answer! ;-)

Place you want to visit most?
Paris

What do you think makes a good leader?
They have to be truthful.

Why do you think Mom and Dads need alone time?
So they can have their own private talks.

What 3 rules do you wish we didnt have at home?
bedtimes curfew, choc milk limit and tv limit

What was your saddest day ever?
When you gave Troy away (her incorrigible daschund)

What was your happiest day ever?
When Bronwyn and Rosslyn came to stay.

What one thing do ou think kidsneed from their parents?
LOVE

Do you like having siblings?    
  Yes, because you can play and torment them! hahahaha

What one thing do you need from me?
Friendliness

What one thing do you need from Dad?
Lying time   

Answers written in June by Rachel, age 11.

  

24 August 2012

Happy kid Happy Mom

It has been such a tough year for Faith in terms of school. Some of the relationships she has have challenged her almost beyond what she felt she could bear. There have been many tears, many prayers and many talks about how to journey through something that seems undo-able.

We went as far as to allow her to go and visit another brilliant local government school in our area, Fish Hoek Primary. She wanted to know what it would be like to be part of something BIG, something with so much to offer in terms of friendships, activities and extramurals. I think it was an excellent experience for her. She took it all in. She enjoyed it but ultimately she was able to see the value of the small school she is privileged enough to attend.


She has gone back, armed with knowledge and experience, with a completely different perspective. She is able to look at the pros and cons with maturity beyond her years and make the very best of each day.



I am insanely proud of her and so happy (such a lame word) that she has seemingly found her groove.

23 August 2012

Spiders and Holidays

On the worse note: Spiders.

I noticed on Sunday that Faith had a small irritation on her finger which she said was really sore to the touch. By Tuesday it was looking a bit funky but I stuck some antihistamine on it and hoped all would be well. She was not unwell in any way so I wasnt *too* concerned.

On Wednesday she came out of school in tears because her teacher has mentioned she should go see a doctor....and then had not let Faith phone me so my poor, sensitive beanie got herself in a terrible state worrying that her finger may fall off!

Suffice to say I took her straight to the doctor, saw a locum as my doc was out on housecalls. He didnt appear to be massively concerned - check all her vitals and sent us home with antibiotic and warning to come back the next day if it looked angrier.

Well. This afternoon it looked blerry awful. Faith and I took it in turns to try not to faint as I changed the plaster! We headed back to the doctor - this time I only wanted to see MY doctor....and true to form he made it all okay.

He  took one look at Faiths finger and made a joke - immediately she calmed down (as did I!). Probably not a violin spider bite but possibly......nonetheless a doozy....so we left with heavy guns antibacterial cream and we continue the antib's. Faith is happier knowing she will keep her finger.

In the car she said to me (even before we saw the doc)

"Mom, just so you know - NOTHING is stopping me from doing the show, even if I get bites all over my hand!"

She is a trooper, that is for sure!

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


On the happy note: HOLIDAYS

Russ has agreed to take 5 days leave during the school holidays. *faint* He is so in need of a holiday AWAY from Cape Town, an extended break not just a weekend. I do hope it all comes together.

I have been on the net and have found the perfect-ist place for our tribe. Gorgeous log cabins (with dstv!) on the shores of Lake Pleasant in Sedgefield. The surrounding area is beautiful for running, hiking and riding. The lake is perfect for swimming and canoeing....and so much more!

In less exciting news...I had my first run since my revolting bout of flu last week....and it was less than stellar. Granted it was a road run (bleh) but I only managed 3kms before I thought my chest would explode. Am rather bummed but I guess I will have to just be patient as I have been told it can take some time to regain cardio strength after flu.

Next week it is time to find a trail and RUN .... even if it is only 3kms - I am having severe withdrawals!


Difference of Opinion

A few days ago a topic arose that caused quite a stir. I was saying how I was keen to get Levi involved in mixed martial arts at our local gym - that I felt it was important for a boy to feel strong, to let off steam in a safe, controlled environment. I want him to get that opportunity to be wild, to wrestle and kick and punch and go mah-shoogah!   (especially living with 2 olders sisters....!)

It was at his request that I took him along to try out the class. He obviously LOVED it - what little boy wouldnt?




A debate arose and I was quite vocal on my opinion that I believe boys need to feel strong, powerful and that they are 'enough'. They need to feel like they could face up to another man and hold their own or protect those close to them.




The other side of the argument  came from, what I term 'christianese thesis' : that a boys' self esteem shouldnt be built on his physical prowess but on an 'inner self confidence which is instilled by ???'  No-one at the table could quite fill in  (?????) those blanks. 

The overwhelming response was that I was probably going to raise a bully. At this stage of the conversation I felt I should pull the handbrake - not one of the parties even have sons - the arguments presented were clearly laced with prejudice and possibly some past experiences that had been unpleasant.
 
I am under no illusion that just because Levi may one day be able to crack a wall with his forehead that he will be the most confident boy around.....however I am not deterred from trying to execute what I believe to be a reasonable course of action in attempting to facilitate a socially, physically, mentally and emotionally well-adjusted kid.

Isnt that what we are all trying to do with our children?

22 August 2012

Momentous Day

Yesterday was my Dad's 60th birthday. I call him my dad even though technically he is my stepdad; fact is he has been part of my life since I was 3yrs old so it would figure that the word {step} is hardly appropriate.

I am one of the lucky ones who has been blessed with TWO remarkable fathers...my other dad living in Mcgregor is also very much a part of my/our lives.

On Saturday night we had a family celebration with all my siblings and it was a great time of much laughter, debate, crazy gesticulations and nostalgia.

happy crazy talky interrupty family times




Breakfast with the birthday boy at EasyDig Cafe

Levi and Oupa christen the new chessboard

Grandkids celebrate with Oupa

 It also happens to be my folks' wedding anniversary...cant say for sure how many years...something like 36 methinks? Very grateful for the stellar model that they have presented over the years.


Happiness is an epic marriage - you can tell hey?

21 August 2012

Artist Love

I stumbled upon a new artist a few days ago. I am utterly IN LOVE with her work. My favourite piece is $3000 which means I will never own it but thankfully I can still look at it here on my blog.

Seriously - this is the type of work that would tempt me to part with long tom....unfortunately my husband does not see the 'value' in art so I am left to drool online.

Title: "At Last"
Original Oil Painting by ZsaZsa Bellagio
Medium: Oil on Board
Size: Extra Large 
Dimensions: Height: 4 feet Width: 4 Feet
Date: May 2012
 

Tween Insanity



OMISHATTERED nerves. Really? Seriously? Is this how it is going to be for the next FOREVER years? I am going to have to start growing weed in my back garden or something.The hormonal insanity in this house is off the charts.


Do you know that Rachel called me LAZY this morning? I made her school lunch and she didnt like it...wanted me to make her something else....of course I wouldnt....she called me lazy.

Part of me is awed that she would take me on. The other part of me thinks she may well have lost her mind.

Suffice to say Rachel will now be making her own school lunches FOREVER. Come to think of it, she will also be picking up all my chores for the next 5 days .... because, you know, I am lazy like that.

20 August 2012

Out and About

Last week was wet, windy and just miserable and I can say that I secretly applauded my body for choosing the worst week of the year to get ill.... I could, without guilt, stay in my bed for days on end.

That being said, by last night I was chomping at the bit. I managed to rope my mom in for a mall crawl this morning. Not before my weekly coffee date at FLM* with a friend....

I bought a lovely, casual yet sophisticated stipey top from Monsoon that I love! Must do a show n tell post one of these days. I also managed to find birthday presents for my Dad's 60th birthday tomorrow, which is NO MEAN FEAT! Eish, shopping for the men in my life can be epically tortuous.

I also had a rather exciting PO delivery today. I am utterly IN LOVE with K and Company's new SMASH book range.



It has taken the very simple concept of the large old scrapbook with the blue/green pages and turned it into an insanely BEAUTIFUL quirky and archival safe book. This is NOT  a scrapbook as we know them - its a SMASH book! Go take a look at this video (only 2mins)  to see how it can be used.....if you are a girl who like doodling,ephemera, lists, inspiration pics and other arb things then this book is for you! It is NOT a photo album vibe book.

The afternoon saw me doing the usual extramural run but I was prepared with my charged up, iTuned up iPad so I could watch me some Housewives of New York.

Ja, whatever, judge me, I dont care - I LOVE the Housewives (NY and OC only tho!)

Faith's dance show is only 10 days away now and the excitement in the house is palpable. She swings wildly from complaining about rehearsal and then comes home bouncing off the walls cos she cant wait for the big day.

Dance, much like art, definitely makes you happy.

17 August 2012

Where does it Go?

The time that is? I get home from school drops at about 815am. I put the kettle on, turn around and it's 1245pm. Tell me how this happens please?

I had every intention of being very productive today. I wanted to play in my studio and get through a pile of admin that has been neglected this past week. I wanted to just 'be normal' after spending a week in bed!

I did none of that. Instead I indulged my appetite...which has returned with aveangence....drank endless cups of tea and watched 5 episodes of Life Unexpected.

Not a bad way to spend a freezing winter morning but definitely unexpected. ;-)

Edited to add:  My pens arrived from Amazon today! Whoo hooo....maybe my mojo will creep steadily back now? I had a mission with customs but in the end they sent them to the local PO but stuck at extra R90 on as tax - bunch of sharks!!

16 August 2012

Back in the Land

I have been man down with flu for 5 days. I cannot remember feeling this rotten since I got so ill shortly after Faith was born. Ouch, its been awful.

I have to say I do have the most supportive family and friends. I was looked after like a queen and had umpteen phone calls and offers to ferry kids and do shopping and and and. I felt really special. And lucky. And totally humbled by the amazing people in my life.

Thankfully it has all abated (sans antibiotics) and I will be headed out on the school run tomorrow for the first time this week - I am so excited! Yes, its true, sometimes being ill can make you really treasure the little things ....

I am also looking forward to getting back into my studio and starting work on my Project 40 album. I havent given any thought to the format I want to use so I will spend tomorrow morning making an outlien and getting relevant supplies together so I can work on it consistently every time I have some free time.

13 August 2012

Mobile Posting

So I am testing out if blogging is not only possible but probable from my car. It needs to be easy...

I took myself off on an Artist Date last week and stumbled upon new treasures at our local nursery .


Just gorgeous eye candy everywhere you look!

01 August 2012

Magic!

There has been a flurry of creativity recently. We have decided to just throw caution to the wind and have fun with all the materials I have lying around the studio. For too long I have looked at them and prized them and felt I needed to *save* them for that one day when I did something *special* with them.

Well, no more. Now it is a matter of grab, stick, cut, scribble, draw, paint, sand ---- and stand back and look at what you made.


There is no required outcome. 

The only important part of this process is how it makes you *feel*.

I have seen that doing this with my girls decreases their moodiness considerably. Be they tired, grumpy, quarrelsome, bored or simply imposssible I stick a paint brush in one hand - modge in the other and tell them to go mad.

The results have been utterly remarkable. The girls instantly become happier, calmer, more thoughtful and considerate to one another.

It is really that simple.