Archive for the ‘Surprise’ Category

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New things – Growth

19 February , 2017

So I don’t know about you, but I like to get into a bit of growth after a break up and really 3 days is more or less how long I allow myself to wallow in self pity before I put my game face back on. 

How hard did I wallow? Considering I made the cut myself? Well…I wallowed sufficiently, I guess. For the first 2 days I was only seen in puffy eyes and by the third day I was still pretty sad but at least I didn’t burst into tears every time someone asked me how I was doing.

I guess it also helped somewhat to see him look absolutely unbothered by it all. And you know, remembering how it started. How we used to chat almost through the night in the beginning…and then seeing that he’s been online until the wee hours of the morning. This from a guy who hardly saw 20:00 in the last year and a half. Well, I guess he’s back on the horse then…and it’s fine. Why wouldn’t it be? Just adds a bit of perspective for me.

I reckon in the next week or so the last of his stuff will have been carted away and then it will feel more like the clean break it is.

Anyhoo, back to new things…

The first “new” thing I’ve been tackling is a case of the bants. Techically I have now been banting for almost 4 weeks and it’s been mostly awesome. 

So far I’m down just over 4kg and 11cm round my waist. Ironically this is something Steve and I were going to do together, but all he gave up was Play energy drinks. 

Oh well, it’s all mine now then. 😛 (And I’ll grab it with both grubby little paws since I still want/need to shake somewhere between 10 and 15kg). 

Hats off to those of you have been on this band wagon for years. Turns out, you were on to a fabulous thing and I should have jumped on ages ago. Thanks for sharing your journeys.

And as you may or may not be aware, I have been unemployed since last year July. Economy is in the crapper and my contract just didn’t get renewed. 

So in November, after sending out enough CVs to really be sick and tired of it, I started doing some work from home. It’s not exactly what I saw myself doing to be honest, but it’s work. And I seem to be doing okay at it.

In February I started doing it permanently. It’s kind of killing me now, but there are parts of that I enjoy. I put in a bit of time in the mornings when I get up at 4. Then lots more after I drop Nicola at school. In the afternoons at 15:00 I pick her up again and then we chill and homework and dinner a bit. And by 21:00 I’m back at it untill somewhere between 00:00 and 03:00. Then up again at 4, rinse and repeat. 

Seriously, I am working my ass off and I can hardly keep up. I am hoping with my new drama free homelife, my focus will be a bit better and things will fall in place with a little less blood, sweat and tears from my side.

I do love the lack of traffic, and the super flexibility of this job.

Anyway, I am happy to be working again. It has suckef big time being dependent on the kindness and support of family and friends. But that too, I have appreciated greatly. I really feel that at this stage in my life, I shouldn’t need bail outs as often as I do.

And then lastly (for now at least), a stroke of luck (or destiny), has crossed paths with me. 

For SOoooooome time now, I have known that the little engine that could a.k.a Blue Tazz, needed replacing. But you know, unemployed people aren’t generally in a great position to go car shopping and really my head space was so full of shit that I didn’t really worry too much about it. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Out of the box isn’t really an option for me at the moment, but second hand I may be able to pull off. Only, I have a bit of a trust issue with second hand cars after what I went through with my first car (that tried to kill me!). 

So imagine how the heavens opened and angels sang on Friday, when I saw a friend who’s leaving the country advertised her car on fb! I know her, and I know her car, and I’m completely okay with it. 

So if all goes according to plan I will have a newer car by the end of this week! With aircon!!! And one whose roof doesn’t flap in the wind like a flag when I open the windows. 

You have no idea how exciting this for me! I have driven my trusty blue for close to 17 years. We have been PLACES, I tell you. Honestly, I’m going to miss it.

But this newer car feels like it’s been sent. It just feels right. I really saw myself in a red car next, but it turns out I was wrong. Because the one that finally spoke to me is silver. 

I can’t wait to see what adventures and new roads we hit first. 🙂

So, all things considered, I am doing just fine. How the heck are you?

Ps! Thanks and sorry to anyone who’s pics I’ve nicked off Pinterest for this post. 

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No…I’m not dead

14 September , 2016

There is actually so much that needs writing, but you know…if I’m not writing it, there’s probably a pretty good reason for it.

Today however, I do have something fit for sharing though: parenting hacks!

It’s been quite a ride, changing from a one parent one child household to a two parent three children one. Especially since we only have time share on two and when they’re not here there is obviously a whole other set of rules in their other house with their other parent, that we have no control over. Add to that, that we never actually know when they’ll be here – it gets kind of crazy.

It got to a stage where I felt like a hostage in my own house, cause these babies really bring out the worst in each other sometimes. Of course when you only have timeshare on the fruits of your loins, you don’t always want to be disciplining them and laying down the law…I mean really, who doesn’t want to be the fun parent?! But when it’s a free for all chaos spectacular…no one really ends up having fun. Well I know I wan’t having any.

We needed an action plan that would entail a lot less of me screaming like a banshee and bringing the thunder, and a lot less chaos!

I don’t know about you, but I have always found comfort in a good list. So that’s what we have now…sort of. 

Behold our magic white board on display in the playroom. On the left we have the hooligans listed by age. On a Wednesday each of them get credited with R20. Each time they break a rule (listed on the right), they lose R2. On the next Wednesday they get paid out the balance as a good behaviour bonus.

Occasionally we also have reward challenges to encourage something we want. As you can see, for instance, they’re all on R22 at the moment. They earned R1 each for picking up dog droppings, and then another R1 each for trying and eating all their dinner, which was something new (beef stroganoff). Next to their names you can see their previous Wednesday scores. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much sanity this has brought to our home! Worst/best case scenario R240 a month between the three of them…money well spent!

Next up…we all had our hands in our hair about missing hair brushes. Specifically Miss Erin’s. She has about 7 in and around the house, but because she likes to stroll and brush they end up nowhere to be founds when you need them, all the time.

Solution: we tied one to the bathroom door handle. It’s been there for about a month and a half now. 

This has made mornings much more pleasant!

Mealtimes are a general pain in the ass. I want to take our kids to a place where kids get one bowl of porridge a day and are happy and thankful about it. They all seem to think we run a restaurant!

Nicola is the only one of the three that eats vegetables, but she doesn’t eat anything with sauce or gravy. She won’t even look at jam of marmite. Scott seems to only eat yogurt, chips or bread at the moment…occasionally burny chips or chicken nuggets, and is more than happy to have only a big cup of oros for a meal, followed up by half a million half cups of hot chocolate. He will wake up everyone screaming at 2am for his next fix and no amount of discipline will make him desist once he has his mind set on it. Erin loves chicken steakletts, chicken nuggets and fish fingers, and chips. She doesn’t eat banana or anything strawberry flavoured. And other than apples the only other fruit she’ll have is red grapes. Also lots and lots of chocolate nesquick.

So we are piloting a new meal plan, because quite frankly we’re sick and tired of tip toeing the line between all their fusses. 

We came up with a list of things we think are suitable for dinners (all to be had with at least one vegetable of our choice – not written, but expressly noted). Each baby got a day to pick, Nicola got two because she’s here all the time. Steve and I got the weekend days. On Thursdays we are usually at my folks, or we’ll get take aways. 

They could pick off the list for their days. There will only be one meal cooked and eaten. Anyone who doesn’t eat the food will lose money on the board (I still have to add this rule), also they will not be getting anything else. 

I really hope this works. So far so good though. They were very enthusiastic about compiling the list and everyone ate what we made tonight. It’s a good start! 

What handy parenting tricks do you have up your sleeves? Tell meeeeeeee….please. Also clue me in on the reason why you came up with it to begin with if you can.

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So sweet…this is 5 (and a half)

29 July , 2015

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Yesterday I received a letter from the school about a cancer awareness day they will be having in August. They are going to sell bandannas, have some sort of word they’ll use for a coin-pledge, and there will be a wall of remembrance where you can stick photos, drawings or letters of loved ones that you’ve lost through cancer. They also sent through the proposed topics that they will be discussing with the children.

I quite like the idea, but I thought if would probably be a good idea to prep Nicola for the event, so that she known what to expect. I explained to her the day and the coins and more or less what cancer is and that there are different sorts…when we got to the bit about the wall and what it will be used for she pipes up with:

“Mamma, Oom Ben het kanker gehad, ne?” (Mommy, Uncle Ben had cancer didn’t he?)

“Ja Nicola, hy het. Hy het kolon kanker gehad. Weet jy wat ‘n kolon is?” (Yes Nicola, he did. He had colon cancer. Do you know what a colon is?) (followed by a bit on an explanantion from me)

“Ek sal ‘n prentjie van Oom Ben teken vir die muur.” (I’ll draw a picture of Uncle Ben for the wall)

“Mamma, weet jy…ek dink Nala is ook dood.” (Mommy, do you know…I think Nala also died) (a dog my folk my folks had a few years ago that had to be put down. Nicola was too young for the whole stare death in the face discussions – I felt – so we told her that Nala went to the Vet and they couldn’t fix her legs so they put her asleep, but that she wouldn’t be waking up)

“Ja Nicola, ek dink sy is.” (Yes Nicola, I think she is.)

“Watse blerrie veearts het ons haar na toe gevat anyway?! Hulle was veronderstel om haar beentjie reg te maak.” (What bloody vet did we take her too anyway?! They were supposed to fix her lille leg)

“Ek is nie seker nie Nicola” (I’m not sure Nicola)

“Dink jy Oom Ben en Nala speel nou saam in die hemel?” (Do you think Nala and Uncle Ben are playing together in heaven?)

“Miskien, ja…” (Maybe, yes…)

“Ek dink as hulle kan golf speel in die hemel, speel Oom Ben seker golf. Miskien kan Nala sy balle vir hom gaan haal?” (I think if they have golf in heaven, then Uncle Ben is probably playing golf. Maybe Nala can fetch his balls for him?)

“Mamma, in die hemel – moet mens elke dag skoon klere aantrek? Het hulle warm pajamas in die hemel ook? Dink jy Oom Ben het warm pajamas daar?” (Mommy, in heaven – do you have to put on clean clothes each day? Do they have warm pajamas in heaven? Do you think Uncle Ben has warm pajamas there?)

“Ek het regtig nie ‘n idea nie Nicola.” (I really don’t know Nicola)

“En Mamma! Weet jy? Ek het gister gebid vir die Here.” (And do you know Mommy, I prayed to God yesterday.)

“Dis mooi my liefie. Wat het jy gebid?” (That’s good my love. What did you pray?)

“Ek het gebid dat hy moet kom en die duiwel doodmaak sodat daai ou nie in mense se harte kan kom en hulle laat lelike en stoute goed doen nie.” (I prayed that he must come and kill the devil, so that that guy can’t get into people’s hearts and make them do ugly or naughty things)

Aaaawe sweet…isn’t she just adorable?!

I am so glad this little miracle is mine. 😀

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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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Sometimes quiet is good…

4 February , 2015

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I’ve been very quiet. Not the navel gazing, woe-is-me type of quite…nope. I’ve been the I-have-a-secret-happy kind of quiet. I haven’t been ready to talk about this until now. It’s just that I am so over the moon happy, and for once blogging has been the furthest thing from my mind. 😉

I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot of questions, and I’ll take a stab at answering them all (within reason). Just know that I am completely head-over-heels, Cloud9 and beyond happy, and that the feelings are mutual. It’s real. He’s here to stay. Life is grand and amazing.

I could go on and on about how fantastic and caring and amazing he is, and how special he makes me feel and how he treats me like the sun rises and sets by my whims (he does!)…and I probably will, so go ahead and brace yourself…but for now I am just going to sit here and grin like an idiot and walk around humming while my colleagues look at me like I’ve lost the plot.

Love…it really makes the world go round, doesn’t it?

😀

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Nicola is mad about him too, and makes the poor man read complicated Afrikaans stories to her…which he does beautifully.

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🙂

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A blurry photo, but you get the idea…I was being treated to dinner prepared by two of my most favourite people in the whole wide world.

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 Getting spoilt all the time…seriously…ALL the time!

Okay, so go ahead and fire away all your burning questions, or don’t and just be happy with me. I am having the time of my life either way. 😉

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Just peachy actually

4 November , 2014

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Polka, after the great flamingo hunt!

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Apparently the school asked the kids to wear hats on warm days, and this is the hat Nicola decided to go with.

On a hot day she even wears it indoors.

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Just look at that hair!

Nicola’s hair seems like it’s lost most of those curls, but when rain is on it’s way, there they are again. This doesn’t happen when I wash her hair…only when it rains or if we get close to the sea.

I jokingly said to my parents the other day that she’s a bit like a storm lily in that department. You can water them until you’re blue in the face but they only bloom when a storm is coming.

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At a little friend’s 1st birthday party. Nicola had a grand time! She made a new friend almost instantly, and she was laughing and giggling the entire day.

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Birthday boy with his mom and dad…and his awesome homemade ice cream cake. 🙂

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Feeding his mommy a plane – must be love!

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These two really enjoyed the ice cream cake. I think they each had three bowls full!

Thank goodness for GPS! On my way back home I got stuck in the coils of the R59 and the thing was happily recalculating ad infinitum, until it told me to make a U-turn on the highway. Hahaha! I suck at navigating. No doubt about that. Got home eventually, so all’s well that ends well. 😉

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Rain yesterday, with whatever causes ALL of the traffic lights to go belly up on Beyers Naudé and a few in town too, had me sitting in traffic for more than 2 hours last night. Grrr…so thanks Lamchop, you were my only giggle along the way. This is one of those number plates where you kind of wonder if the person picked it out themselves or someone did it for them, and what the story might be behind the chosen plate.

Other short rambles with no photos…

1) Oh yes! I almost forgot to tell you about the surprise I had on Friday. We were on our way home, and my parents were with us (my mom in my car, and my dad in theirs). Nicola fell asleep and my mom was propping up her head so that her neck wouldn’t take strain. We had just turned onto the last big road on our way home (80/90 km speed limit), when somebody all of a sudden spoke to me through my window. To my credit I didn’t flip the car in surprise, haha. A random stranger on a bike wanted to know if Nicola was okay. I said yes, and off he went. Not sure what he would have done if I said no, but I thought it was really sweet that he checked anyway. So thanks guy, that was refreshing and kind.

2) Polka, destroyer of potted plants and abandoned toys alike, has reached a new milestone in the number 2 department. Imagine my surprise when I was busy cleaning up her droppings with my little spade and one of them went CLUNK and stuck to the spade! She must have chewed a fridge magnet? I am not sure if this is more spectacular than the rhinestone incident or not, but it made me laugh…that’s for sure! Mentioned it to a colleague, and she started wondering if you could patent that with an electromagnetic sort of thing and make droppings collect themselves somehow. Uhm…hahaha…probably not, but just imagine it!

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Living in interesting times

6 October , 2014

Caught this driving in to work one morning – I’m more a close ups of leaves and gazillion photos of my loved ones type of photo taker, but it was pretty with the clouds and the light and the sky line the way it was. This stretch of road is what I like to think of as the final gauntlet of taxis before I get to the office. Drive it, and you will constantly be amazed and how very little people are bothered by the K53 or general rules of common sense and personal safety.

I guess you could say it makes you grateful to be alive in a way… 😉

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Cloud gazing…

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Gazed clouds from previous photo. Nicola of course thinks it’s hilarious that you can see a cloud burst if you look in the right spot.

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If you’re my fb buddy, you may have seen this already. Polka went for a parlour visit on Saturday. This is what the parlour calls a cowboy cut. I thought it was a schnauzer cut, but to clear up confusion I showed the manager a photo of more or less what I had in mind and this is what we ended up with. Too cute!

Oh, I have to tell you this: Nicola has picked up some Sotho at school, and when she moans at Polka for chewing something this is her language of choice. I don’t think Polka understands, although she might pick up on the sentiment expressed. I know I don’t understand most of it, but I do pick up a word here and there. She let rip with something-something, wena. I get the wena bit…means you. so I asked her what she was saying. She reckons she was telling Polka to stop. That’s not what I suspected she was saying, so I asked my dad to translate (he is somewhat fluent in it). It really meant I am going to hit you, which I guess implies the stop command – hahaha! The origin of this phrase appears to be one of the Teaching assistants at school, who didn’t realise she was giving Sotho lessons too – but who does now. 😉

She’s definitely got an ear for languages, this pink terrorist. Sunday night when we said goodbye to my folks, she wished my dad ” Bonsoir!”

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Nicola wants in on the photo op.

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Ouma bought Nicola this skirt and she LOVES it! Of course when you wear something like this, you have to dance everywhere you go. 😉

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Pensive in pink…

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We managed to work in a couple of quality naps over the weekend. We are all so very tired. Must be this time of the year, right?

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We were robbed (or surprise landscaped if you want to be polite) over the weekend.

Whilst we were out and about on Saturday the land-people came in unanounced and ripped out half the plants in the garden, including some new mini agapanthus plants I got as a gift from my dad a week ago. In their wake they left a few bunches of wild irises – which I loathe. There used to be two giant lavender bushes, three rose bushes and my agapanthus plants here. Grrr…

I threw a hissy fit of note Sunday morning after someone sent me a message to water the new plants. Calling me uninpressed would be the understatement of the year! My contract clearly stipulates that the flower beds are my problem intil I move out, which I pointed out…and you know, a phone call before would also have gone down a treat. The best was Sunday morning when one of the culprits came over, sort of expecting a thank you I gather. Yeah well, that didn’t go exactly as planned, ha! I would be very surprised if any surprise landscapers popped in again until we move.

I feel so angry and violated – a.k.a spitting mad  about this. I believe the time has definitely come for me to own instead of rent, once this contract is up.

Nicola is also very upset, and she wants me to set a trap to catch the plant thief – once we catch this scallywag she wants me to call the police. Also anything that can’t be found in the house, like a doll that was dragged under the bed for Polka chewing for instance, is now attributed to thrieves by Nicola. “Mom, I can’t fid my…(whatever). Do you think someone came in and stole it while we were gone?”

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It’s the season of Thunderstorms! Whoo-hoo! My favourite kind. This prediction/forecast was a bit premature though. At the time when I took it there was not even a wisp of a cloud in sight anywhere – but I like their enthusiasm 😉

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 The biggest news of the past week has to be secret place news though. Obviously I can’t get into detail, but let’s just say I was grinning from ear to ear Friday night. Ear.to.ear. I tell you! 😀 If I could do cartwheels, I’d be doing them all over the place.