14 October 2012

In our space

The no-maid thing has had some strong reactions from some of you but what you have to remember is I dont work full-time. I actually do have the time to manage my own home. And I do have kids old enough to pull their weight.

This would never have been possible a few years ago. Even though I loathe housework I do enjoy the solitude and independence...not having anyone in my house --- I will take the trade-off anyday!
Levi shows Russ his holiday album
 Saturday mornings are proving a lot less fun than in the past though. Russ and I had a great habit of taking off for a run and grabbing a coffee. That can no longer happen. Now we wake up and do 1hr of chores and then the weekend is ours. While I can see the benefit of this routine the kids are proving a hard-sell. >_< 
My nice clean kitchen at 740am. Makes me happy!

Yesterday, after chores, I took them along to the gym as Virgin is now offering a Family '24' class at 11h30. The class is fast paced 30sec movement 30s rest for 24 minutes. No choreography, just simply strength training stuff. The kids LOVED it and we will definitely go again despite the fact that we were the only people there!  Hopefully the class will gain popularity otherwise I cant see them continuing it.

I was pretty impressed with their endurance!

In other news I have decided to make all presents this Christmas. My family should be nervous and begin practising their fake smiles. My mom assures me that handmade gifts from her children, be they 5 or 45 years old, still hold the same kind of value! ;-)

Playing with clay
 Levi is suddenly realising that next year everything changes. He goes to Grade 1 and life at Cherrywood is no longer. How I will miss this amazing little school, such solid teaching and old school activities. I love that I discovered Gill when Levi was just 3 and that he has had so many years under her care.

Jump rope at Levis school - brings back memories

my sis and I went to see Sugarman...dressed rather similarly!

'oppa gangnam style' goes viral and we all have a good laugh

An average Friday afternoon - Faith reading and Levi n Gabe up to something!

Thats us for now. I am so behind in my 31 Days as I cannot write while on holiday/with people in the house. I am determined to finish it though and will aim at doing 3 pieces a day next week!

08 October 2012

Switching Gears

We are back from a stunning holiday. The kids are back at school and Russ is back at work. This morning I had to take stock of what this last term holds and how I am going to juggle the demands on all of us.

It is an exceptionally busy term. If I look at my calendar for too long I feel a very deep sense of panic and somehow I just have to make it all work.

Without a domestic worker to help with the house and the kids.

I had Milcah working with us for 3.5yrs. Never missed a day or ran out of airtime or came to work late. The epitome of loyal and trustworthy.

Apparently not so much. We parted company (on good terms) mid September. I was gutted, she was ashamed and devastated but such is life and now we move on.

I have realised that I do not need help 3 times a week. It was a luxury for us - more to help her financially.

I have managed for this last 3 weeks on my own but it is not sustainable. I will turn into a mad, scary dragon-like crazy lady if forced to do this daily. Just vacuuming and mopping takes most of the morning!

I have found help. Just 4 hours a week to do heavy stuff.  She speaks no English which some would find a problem but I choose to see the advantages. I simply showed her what I want done - very basic stuff, nothing personal......This morning she managed to vacuum, mop and iron. And that took 4 hours. Eish.

The kids have been well-trained though - last December we were without help for 2 months and they were taught how to do basic chores and we have kept that momentum. The day-to-day stuff like dishes, laundry, poo-patrol, surfaces, beds etc are all taken care of by them with my assistance at

Bickering kids get doled out the worst chores!!

Levi trades tv time for chores - washing windows, sweeping the patio and clearning the car are his favourites. Faith was born helpful so she will do stuff without me even asking (!!!) . This morning she unpacked the dishwasher before school. (again  !!!!)

My pre-teen, bless her, has my genes. Bone frikkin' idle; but learning fast that not pulling her weight is going to hurt somewhere, somehow.

The other major change for the kids is that their afternoons are all toasted now. They ALL have to come to every extramural because there is no-one home to watch over them. This is a bummer but with some careful planning, a bit of iniative and a good attitude we can make it work for us.

04 October 2012

Almost Home

Plett Game Reserve

We are at the tail-end of a wonderful holiday. All of you will have seen the updates/photos on facebook so will know that it has been a simply incredible experience.

The kids are older. This makes the WORLD of difference.

Storms River

 Everyday we were able to adventure out without worrying about juice bottles, naps, changes of clothing or entertainment and snacks for the car. It was a matter of wake up, have breakfast, get in the car and GO.

Knysna Elephant Park

We returned home each afternoon, tired but exhilarated. We spent the late afternoons and evenings either reading or watching a movie/series.

What makes holidays work now is that we are all on the same page. We can enjoy similar activities and downtime is expected and enjoyed.

Tsitsikamma Ziplining Adventures

My only regret is that we didnt get to the beaches....we just didnt have the time as we packed so much into each day. I would have loved to spend more time hiking and walking on the beach. Fortunately Russ and I are headed that way again next month for our anniversary so I will get my wish!

We are leaving Mcgregor this evening - back to reality but I am not deterred. For the first time I am returning from a holiday to my regular life refreshed and ready to take on Term 4!