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Catch up of last week and a little ramble

16 March , 2015

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So I ended up wearing a dress on Thursday last week. No big whoop for a lot of people, but I don’t really do dresses, so around here it is kind of a big deal. Let’s blame it on laundry day, shall we? ;-)

The one guy at secret place had me in stitches with his comment though. He says to me that I have totally messed with his thinking again, so of course I asked why? he says he was just chatting to W the other day, about Steve and I, and they were wondering who would be wearing the pants in our relationship. He said his money was on me, because everyone knows I don’t do dresses, and since Steve is Scottish they figured he probably had a kilt…and then I turned up wearing a skirt and all bets were off again. Hahaha!

I don’t know why someone necessarily HAS to wear the proverbial pants, but on Thursday that definitely wasn’t me anyway. ;-)

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Uhuh…dream on buddy.

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Nicola and N (son of my parents’ neighbours) having the grandest time ever Saturday night. If you’re wondering about the laundry basket, they were trying to cage a poodle – as you do.

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Took this photo to use as a background some day…so fluffy!

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On Sunday we went for lunch to celebrate my mom’s upcoming birthday – look! Actual photographic proof that I was there too! Thanks K. :-)

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The kids…

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Nicola, getting some quality time in on Ouma’s lap.

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Nicola decided to go for some princess face paint. Big surprise to me, since she hates face paint – and I had to find a way to GET IT OFF roughly 5 minutes later, but it was cute while it lasted. ;-)

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What fun would it be to have a birthday lunch at Spur without springing a Spur birthday song on the birthday girl? I wouldn’t be able to tell you, I always rat them out to the waiters for a sing song and a sparkler. ;-)

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Nicola decided to help Polka bury a bone properly. Apparently our dog lacks the needed know how in this field and Nicola felt that it was her job to show her how it’s done. Not long after that, she also trained polka on how to dig up a buried bone. ;-)

Oh, yes – I wanted to mention that my current landlord (until next weekend anyway) is acting mighty shady. I’m pretty sure he is going to make off with my deposit in some way or another (I strongly suspect that he doesn’t have the money to pay me back). He’s switching the electricity off next week Friday, in what I assume is an effort to get me to move out sooner, he’s taking R650 off the deposit to do cleaning (as per the contract) but made it very clear that if he actually has to do any cleaning it will be more, and he’s installed cameras in my garden without telling me about it – right above my f-ing front foor! (If it wasn’t so nippy in the mornings I would be tempted to go and moon that camera one fine morning – I might still do that actually).  

I am working myself up into a richeous rage just thinking about it, but he told me that the previous tenant wanted her deposit back after she burned the carpet with cigarette butts and he threatened to shoot her in front of her child (this was obviously long after I found myself already contracting with the guy or I wouldn’t have signed at all).

I just want to be done with them to be honest. If I can move out effortlessly, that’s exactly what I’d like to do… but if he tries getting heavy handed with me, I’ll have to change my game I guess. *sigh* I’ll let you know how THAT plays out. There is a tipping point in this situation where I am not going to turn the other cheek anymore. I’d really like to not get there, if possible. If you’re into praying, pray for that please.

It’s not just me, right? This is a bit absurd as far as outlandish landlaord behaviour goes, right? Right?! What the hell is wrong with people?!

Ps! Did I tell you I was moving? Well, I am – or actually we are. :-D I am sooooo excited about this! Now to make all of our furniture fit into one house will be the next challenge. Between the two of us we have just shy of 10 couches, hahaha! That seems a bit excessive to me.

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Shitty photo, sorry…the plate says Dutchi and the sticker reads, Caution Mad Dutchman – haha, spotted in traffic this morning. ;-)

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Marshmallow’s baby shower

16 March , 2015

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I am behind on posting, again…oops! Oh well *shrug*

So last weekend was R & K’s baby shower for baby R. I’ll let the photos do most of the talking, but I think everyone who was there can agree that a good time was had by all.

Nicola picked out a whole bunch of things for Marshmallow herself, and I helped her make a special card too. She picked pirate themed stickers since they decided on a nautical themed baby room for the young man, and she wanted the following written in her card to R-baby.

“I can’t wait to see if you have hair!” and “Don’t hurt your mommy when you come out!” Love, Nicola. Hahaha! From the first moment that she found out R & K were having a baby she has been asking about the hair, so no surprise there – and the second one i though was just very sweet of her in general.

I hope they hang on to that card, it’s a special one! ;-)

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Ever heard of a diaper cake? Well, someone made them a diaper baby! It doesn’t really show all that well in the photo, but it’s pretty realistic in size and shape! So cute.

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We decorated a bit…

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All aboard!

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Nicola was a very eager little helper when it came to the opening of the presents. She is so excited about this baby, you just don’t know the half of it!

No one must even consider going to the shops or buying a thing, unless they are buying something for him too. And she has some very strong ideas about what he needs. Just a few days ago, she gave my mom a stern talking to because he doesn’t have winter pajamas…and how is he going to sleep if he doesn’t have fluffy winter pajamas for his poor little body to keep warm?!

Too cute I tell you!

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Steve got an itch to help my dad sand down the benches, and it turned into a major DIY project for all of us. The kids especially liked that they could help with screws and what-not. I got some really cute photos out of it too, so win-win all round. :-)

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Board games! I think this might be the first one Nicola plays without cheeting. I didn’t realise that she was ready for this now, because in the past she couldn’t stay interested long enough to play one round of snakes and ladders, so I haven’t really bothered too much with it. It looks like I might have to reconsider that now, and I couldn’t be happier.

We used to play loads of these games when we were kids, and I think you actually get a lot out of it when you do it as a family.

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Okay, this isn’t from the weekend…this is the playground at aftercare where Nicola is now. I just liked this photo so much, I had to share it. Remember i showed you the pace ship once before? Haha, well – Nicola tells me that she plays there now often…and then she stars singing, “We’re ah-ni-ma-niacs!” Except she leaves out the ah-ni- bit. ;-)

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Madam Butterfly at the office. She always, ALWAYS, has something butterfly-themed on. These nails were wow though, even for her.

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Still falling asleep in the car…poor baby. I am dreading winter this year a bit. It’s going to be hard getting this little one ready to go while it’s still dark every morning.

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Seen arounds – but no cars this time

11 March , 2015

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I’m still alive. ;-) And very happy. :-)

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Poor Nicola, she is sooo tired most days she falls asleep in the car on the way home. Her teacher actually came to talk to me about it, saying that I shouldn’t worry – they are all going through it. They are pushing them all really hard to get them ready for Gr1, and this happens every year.

I get it, sort of…but I am actually starting to worry. She is extremely tired ALL the time. I can’t just give her any old random multi vitamin because she may have a sensitivity to iron supplements…but I think I’m definitely going to get us both back on the Scott’s Emulsion. That seems to help ward off the winter sniffles at least.

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Ice cream…a little mid week reward.

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I am really loving mine… ;-)

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All of a sardine there’s a stand like this in our section of the secret place, and enough people who wear suits to justify it. Holey crap but it’s busy at work. I joke (or do I?) with new members who get on-boarded that one of our KPIs is nervous breakdowns per year. If you can’t clock two while carrying on at full speed you won’t make it around here.

I should probably up that number…

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A pretty sunset…

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Steve and I had to rescue the pool from drowning. Something’s gone pear-shaped on the pool pump set-up, which also drives the pump that clears the cover of rain water…so there we were McGuyvering the hell out of a Plan B, in the pouring rain. You know me, I like running around in the rain, but this was a little bit WET even for me.

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The transformation of Polka…

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Another pretty sunset…

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Crazy hair day at the Voortrekkers for Cansa, and can i just say wow to some of those do’s!

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Whoops!

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We unleashed a storm of balloons at secret place for people who have passed away or are currently fighting cancer. It looked mighty pretty!

After we let go, I turned to my one colleague and said, “That was lovely. Let’s try not to think of how many birds we just killed.” she laughed and said, “Uhm yes, or planes we crashed?”

But it really was pretty… those things really MOVE once you let them go, let me tell you!

How the hell are all of you? And what the heck is news in your neck of the woods?

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Fly by visits – whoosh!

23 February , 2015

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Vera must be one of my oldest and dearest friends. We’ve known each other from more or less Gr1! How we met is actually a pretty funny story…we apparently looked very similar (although we could never see the resemblance ourselves), and people kept confusing us for each other, so when we finally met that was more or less the main topic of conversation at the time.

I haven’t seen Vera for the last 10 or more years, since she now lives in the UK with her husband and son. So when she let me know that she would be passing through, I of course jumped at the opportunity to lay eyes (and hugs) on her! Who knows if I will get a chance again in the next 10 years, right?

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So glad I did! It was totally worth it.

They were only in JHB for a little bit more than an hour, as they had a stop over on their way to George. Jaco’s father (Vera’s father in law), passed away and they were on their way to his family to help wrap things up and to attend the funeral.

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Patrick, Vera and Jo (Vera’s mom). So funny…I was hovering around international arrivals, waiting for my friend to pop her head through those doors so that I could tackle her and give her a big squish, when suddenly I heard (after about half an hour of hovering in silence with more or less the same crowd throughout), “Hey! Wat maak jy hier?” Vera’s mom and I had been standing almost next to each other for ages without recognising one another, haha.

In my defence she had dark hair the last time I saw her! ;-)

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Wimpy lunch before they boarded their next plane. Hilarious listeining to Vera in a proper English accent talking to Patrick. I suppose after 10 years you’ll pick it up, whether you want to or not. Although she seems to be able to switch it on or off at will. I can’t get over it when it’s on though – too funny! Patrick is a very clever little boy, and probably the only kid in his neighbourhood who is also more or less fluent in Afrikaans. ;-)

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Ooh, and I got to take a trip in the Gautrain to the airport and back. I met a very nice lady on the way there who had something to do with selling books, and was on her way to see clients at the airport. Gosh, this woman has been just about everywhere in the world. We chatted for quite a bit. What a character! I actually wouldn’t mind running into her again – she was lots of fun to talk to and she knew all the best coffee spots at the airport and where you could find a decent smoking area that doesn’t smell like the bottom of an ashtray.

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Voortrekkers update

23 February , 2015

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I have very fond memories of going to Voortrekkers when I was a child. I mean seriously, what’s not to like?! We got to go on camps every school holiday, learn new things, get up to all sorts of mischief, and make friends for life along the way. Some of my fondest memories involve these camping trips and the people I got to know through them.

Naturally I would really like Nicola to have a chance to experience the same, so I’ve kind of strong armed her into it. Realistically I only have enough leave to almost cover one school holiday, and that will always be the December holiday since there is no aftercare in that one to take up the slack. So either I find something for her to do in the other school holidays or she will be experiencing extremely boring holidays for the next 13 years while I sit at work and she sits at aftercare during the day. In my opinion that is an awful way to spend a holiday!

The other plus point is obviously that it gives her a bit closer look at some of the cultural things and history of being Afrikaans. I got some of this out of it too, but mostly I was in it for the fun. ;-)

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The first few gatherings did not really blow Nicola’s hair back and she was desperately trying to wiggle her way out of it (sometimes by pretending to be a goat and eating my clothes along the way), but about 3 meetings in it looked like it’s finally starting to grow on her (thank goodness!).

Every morning she asks me if it’s Voortrekkers today…nope it’s not…only on Mondays. When a Monday rolls round she cheers enthusiastically about the fact that it’s finally a yes! I’m really relieved that she’s taken a liking to it, I am convinced that she is going to end up loving it as much as I did, if not more.

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I can’t remember how many meetings in this was, but they had a loom band competition for all the kids. You have never seen so many rubber bands in one place in your life! I think this might have been the one that turned it for her, because it became a lot easier to get her there after this meeting.

Most of children in her team are from her school, and even a few in her class. I am also hoping that this will be another channel for her to make friends…and a place where she can learn HOW to make friends in future. This isn’t something I ever battled with, so I am at a bit of a loss as to help her aquire that valuable skill. (Side Note: Her teacher at school tells me that she now in fact has two main friends in class – no1, the R-boy from her previous school who is so very attached to her, and no2, another R-boy who sits next to her in class…the teacher thinks it’s all super adorable and she specifically mentioned it to me because we had the lack of friend discussion a few weeks ago).

I’m sure I’ve told you before that I only let Nicola do one extra mural a year, so I think I may have to up it to two if I’m going to be picking this one on her behalf as an ongoing thing? This year it’s still fairly straight forward though, because the silly school has decided that all the GradeR activities happen in second break at school. I think she needs to eat her sandwich and chill with her pals in that time, so subsequently I’m not letting her do any of those activities…I’m pretty firm on this point. Extra murals should be after school, and NOT in break time!

What kinds of activities do your kids do, and how many do you think is ENOUGH? How do you get round to everything? (I’m slipping away a few minutes early every Monday so that I can get her to Voortrekkers on time – there is transport available, but I have issues letting my darling daughter get in the car with any random stranger…even for three or four blocks).

Ps! Some of the peeps reading here were in Voortrekkers with me, way back when. You might get a kick out of this next bit: there is a husband and wife combo in charge of Nicola’s team. It is traditional at Voortrekkers to refer to these people as Nig and Neef. A few weeks ago the wife part of the team wasn’t there and the husband part wrangles the 12 hooligans all by himself. Nicola insists on calling him Juffrou, I chuckle in my sleeve everytime she does it! Hahaha….to his credit he responds to it every single time! :lol:

 

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Bullet points update…

20 February , 2015
  • Everything is going really well. Seriously…extremely good on almost all fronts except work. Work is a mess due to the big secret mission on the go, and the absolute chaos that goes with it.
  • Remember I had such high hopes for the new captain, and all the new kids who started here with her? Yeah…dashed is a soft word for how those hopes are doing. I could tell you so many little things about that, but I won’t, because I still enjoy getting paid every month.
  • Health wise I seem to be in a bit of a dip at the moment. I guess because of the secret place shenanigans and the stress that goes with it, my system is a bit down and now I’m catching any super bug or half plague going around. This week’s flavour has been somewhere between a flu and a pneumonia sort of thing and I can’t emphasise this enough…I am really GATVOL of coughing myself awake at all hours. It can end now please. I’ve had enough. There is a lot of thinking that I need to do about the current situation, and how best to approach it.
  • The pink terrorist is doing great at big school. She tells me that she doesn’t have any friends, so naturally I’ve been a bit concerned about that – but I spoke to both her teacher and the lady at aftercare and they both reckon that she’s doing great and perfectly socialised with all the other hooligans there. I feel a bit better about it because in the mornings when I drop her off, there are sometimes up to three different little people queuing to give her a hug, so perhaps she is just being a bit dramatic about it? The aftercare lady says that Nicola has plenty of friends, but is clearly still taking auditions for the roll of Best Friend. She doesn’t have that one special someone that she always plays with, like she used to have with L-buddy at the previous school. Shame, she also told me that one of the boys in her class, R, is from her previous school and he only wants to play with her and only wants her to play with him…and that she finds it really annoying that he’s so clingy about it. It’s funny, because it’s ironic I guess? It’s kind of what she wants, just not from him specifically. That’s life for you right there, isn’t it? We’ve just talked about it and I stressed the firm but nice approach might be best?
  • As for the man in my life, couldn’t be better! :-) If I write about this again it will probably go behind a password though. Or private posts…haven’t decided yet. For now, just assume that everything is going spectacularly well, unless I tell you something to the contrary. SPECTACULARLY… :-D
  • Talking about password protected posts, I’ve been meaning to write about this. Actually I have already written about it, but the WordPress app ate my ramble post a few weeks ago and you never got to read it. You will be seeing very little open posts about Nicola from here on out. The reason being that she is now in big school, and I am sure that once her peers are let loose on google, she would much rather not have big chunks of her life “out there” for anyone to read. This is not just MY story, it’s her story too, and the plan has actually always been to scale down significantly on what I share once we hit school going age (well, it was my plan – I just never told you all about it).
  • This leaves me with a bit of a predicament when it comes to this blog. You know how much I love writing here and sharing our adventures, but realistically I have to now sensor what I write about school, I have to sensor what I write about work (this isn’t new), and as for my new love…he says he doesn’t mind my blogging at all, but still – you know? On the other end of all this self imposed hushing, I still want to be able to capture the memories, to have a more or less in tact record of all the major milestones that we have, the everyday joys and frustrations of life…so I can’t NOT write about it. Writing is my thing, I NEED to do it. Blogging is the platform, but writing is the thing. Half the fun in blogging is the interaction that you have with other bloggers, so if I stick every little thing behind a password then I’m taking that completely out of the equation anyway, aren’t I?
  • It’s a pickle…I’m still not sure what to do about it. I strongly suspect this blog in a similar form that it’s been in will either go offline completely or completely private. I can’t just post about traffic to keep the gremlins off my back, if you know what I mean? How bloody boring would that be for all of us? If this was a food blog, or a fashion blog or something similar, I could stick the private ones in private and let the main topic at hand stay out there – but this is a personal blog, and if you take all the personal out of the equation then all I can leave you with is the occasional rant about service or a few inspirational quotes every now and then. Meh…I’m still thinking about it. Tell me your suggestions in the comments section if you have two cents to spare.
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Protected: TSC – Part 6 – Panic attacks and whatnot

10 February , 2015

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