Voting day

Today we voted in the local elections and until now it’s never been a big thing for us, but now that we have twitter etc it’s amazing how important it’s become and I absolutely love it!
I refuse to raise apathetic children and will do my best to encourage them to vote, always.
Etienne and I voted in shifts (him in the morning and me late avie as the queues were hectic mid-morning) and we went to friends for lunch. These friends moved to Cape Town recently and are expecting their first baby. Their house is beautifully pristine and nothing has been moved to adult eye-level yet. There are no unidentified stains on their carpets and furniture, their house doesn’t smell like pee and they have lovely, non-functional, purely decorative stuff on low tables. I don’t know whether I should feel sorry for them or envy them. But they are such nice people I might just invite them over to shock them into what lies ahead
There were quite a few adults and children running around and for a brief, slightly inebriated moment I sat back and realised that these kind of gatherings makes life special.
Tonight I am feeling lucky and blessed and full of gratitude for all the amazing people in my life.
Thank you!
Ps, just to prove I did vote:

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Babyshower Bliss

I was lucky enough to crack the nod to one of my favourite people, Daniel’s teacher Kerry’s baby shower today.

When I received my invite I was a little miffed because the instruction was to only buy books as gifts. I mean, what are baby showers for if not for oohing and aahing at cute baby stuff? But, for once I behaved and did as I was told.

And what a fantastic idea! This little boy received some amazing books today, so very sweet.

Kerry will be one of those people I hope Daniel will remember as one of his favourite teachers for the rest of his life. She has been a beacon of light and support in the last 2 years. Through all the milestones of Daniel’s in this time she’s been there to explain and support and offer advice.

She has been direct when I needed a whack on the head and soft and subtle when she knew Daniel has needed it. She has been an extension of our parenting philosophy and when we have been ready to throw the towel in with bad habits/night nappies/whining/bullying she pulled us through.

She is now going off to have her own little boy and we are sad that we won’t see her every day but really happy that she is being blessed with being the Fabulous Mom she will most definitely be.

All the best Kerry, we love you to bits!!

A pic of the books:

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A pic of Kerry and me:

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My spectacular weekend

I’m sitting here sucking on my special Easter Bunny chocolate with popping candy, clutching a well-deserved glass of wine and pondering the long weekend.

And wondering what I actually did this weekend.  Sure, I met some great people at a tweet-up on Friday morning that I’ve been dying to meet for ages, we had friends over for supper on Saturday night, all the Grandparents over for Easter Sunday lunch and popped out for an Easter Egg hunt this morning with friends.

But we didn’t really go anywhere or do anything spectacular.   We had a weekend of lolling around the house like sloths and spending time with the kids.  We took naps and turns to sleep in.  We ate really simple and easy food.  We read our books.  We watched the rain.

And that’s just perfect.  We had a perfect weekend.  Just what we needed.

Oh. I almost forgot.  Daniel had this weird thing going on with his neck along with tonsillitis and ear infection.  The side of his head was almost touching his shoulder and we initially thought it might be mumps (Wednesday and Thursday) then we thought he was being a drama queen (Friday, and in all fairness it looked like his neck wasn’t stiff the whole time), but by Saturday we were really worried so I took him to the doctor on Saturday morning.  Turns out the little guy had a hectic muscle spasm.  Bad, Bad Parents.

I’m off to work tomorrow but off again on Wednesday, loving this short week and another long weekend, woohoo!!

ps I didn’t do Meat-free Monday today.  Etienne made a pasta dish with leftovers (yes, I ate leftovers, I can hear you gasp!) and it had pork in it.  And it was delicious!

pps I finished a book called “City of Bones” this weekend by Cassandra Clare and it was perfect escapism.  I don’t normally enjoy fantasy-type books but this was just what I needed, loved it!

The fundamental difference between men and women

is not not asking for directions.

It’s not being good at organising.

Point in case:

Etienne and Daniel are leaving early tomorrow morning to go fishing and staying over with 2 other guys and their boys.  It’s the first time ever we’ve really had fun with the kids apart from each other and I’m really looking forward to bonding with my girls.  It’s been a long, long week and I’m still getting my work-groove on.

Anyhoo.  I get home tonight and there’s some stuff on the counter that’s going with the boys.  Here is the conversation:

  • Me: “what are you doing for supper tomorrow night?”
  • Etienne:  “Having a braai”
  • Me: “who’s taking what?”
  • Etienne: “I don’t know, but I bought mielies and meat and garlic bread”
  • Me: “Why don’t you just call and ask?”
  • Etienne: “No”

5 minutes later we are talking about packing and we have this conversation:

  • Etienne: “…and I’ll pack the sleeping bags and towels”
  • Me: “Isn’t there bedding?”
  • Etienne: “I don’t know”
  • Me: “Why don’t you just call and ask?”
  • Etienne: “No”

I know I’m slightly anal retentive about who’s taking what, where am I going to sleep, what will it look like and how long will it take to get there.  I like to manage my own expectations (so to speak), so I’m always amused at how guys in general and my darling, darling husband in particular is so relaxed about these things.

God forbid they should have to ask for directions..

The Man

Jack the day we got him

In September last year we adopted Jack.  Jack was meant to be a ‘small dog’ for Daniel.  Suffice it to say that, because he is a dog of Pavement Origin, he is now thigh height and about 9 months old.  I shudder to think.

Jack likes to make us think that he isn’t clever.  Jack likes to lie in the girls’ room in the sun in the morning with the cat.  Jack likes to eat food off the table and out of children’s hands.  Jack loves digging up the same flower pot every day, despite heavy stones that are meant to deter him.  Jack will eat almost anything that doesn’t closely resemble broccoli.  Jack also likes to snack on the cat’s food when passing by.

Jack is also a real wuss.  He has never allowed us to put a choke chain of any shape or form around his neck and when we bought him a harness he was not impressed.  When we put it on him the first few times he would just roll over and lie on the ground.  Not very encouraging then.

I had 30 minutes to do a quick walk this morning, looked at him and thought HA I’m going to give it a bash.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no special dog person.  In fact, when patience gets allocated in this house he is pretty far down the line.

So, I lure him to the gate, spend 3 minutes figuring out the harness, only for him to slip out of the bloody thing and I spend another 3 minutes trying to re-attach.  After much clucking and whistling he eventually leopard crawls out the gate.  And stops.

5 steps on the driveway and onto the sidewalk where we have a large tree he flops down on the ground, sniffing away and crawling toward the tree with me coaxing him to get up and walkies.  Spectacularly unsuccessfully of course.  And every time a car drives by he cowers, poor guy.

He eventually crawled up to the next tree and the tree thereafter, never actually walking.  Every now again he would tease me and I would think we might hit the tar, but alas.

I eventually managed to turn him around and sweet-talk him down the hill where he found a lovely little patch of flowers and made himself very comfortable.  It took all my will-power not to scream and drag him back up the hill and into our gate but I sweetly chatted to him all the while praying that the neighbours aren’t watching and laughing hysterically.  Even the cars that drove by looked at us funny.

All of that took exactly 30 minutes.

Imagine my surprise when I get home this afternoon and open the garage door for Mr to come dashing out and strutting around like he is The Man.  He’s even found his voice all of a sudden and now thinks he’s a real guard dog.

So I guess I’ll give it another bash in the morning.

Sigh.

Things I should be doing right now

At Bookclub last night my friend Tertia said I should stop blogging recipes otherwise she’s going to stop reading.  And then she called me anal, but that’s a whole other story (pot-kettle-black, say no more) Gmpf

So, just for the record, even though I want to blog about that fabulous Chicken Pie recipe I made up all by myself (wink wink) I won’t do it and I only blog food for Meat Free Mondays.  Capisce?

Maybe it’s my own fault for being such an errant blogger lately and I apologise for this.  It occurred to me that if I spent more time blogging about life and less about food the food stuff wouldn’t seem so much.

Anyhoo, the Sussies (Mignon and Isabel) are turning 3 on Saturday and as usual I have taken on something I have never tried before: fabric painting.  No, I’m not saying what it is yet in the hope I don’t eff it up.  My parents have gone away so my Mom’s not here to help, but at least this time it’s in the afternoon. So hopefully my sister who offered to help won’t pitch up drunk again. (another long story, but at least I have my own expectations firmly in check this time)

Today I have to print out photos for the birthday posters for school tomorrow (more on that tomorrow), bake cake for school for tomorrow, go for an interview and conduct 2 of my own.  Tomorrow is bakebakebakebakebake and then decoratedecoratedecorate until the cows come home.  I’m also hoping that that won’t end in tears as I am baking the actual birthday cake for the first time EVER.  (normally I buy the sheets from Pick and Pay and just slap some icing on or I make my Mother bake and my friendly neighbour do the icing).  And inbetween I have to figure out this fabric painting thing.  And get Etienne to sort out the other odds and ends, which he’s really good at!

BUT the great news is that my dear friend Catherine has offered to photograph the party, which has taken such a weight off my shoulders.  On condition that she leaves me out most of the shots.  Just so you know how fabulous she is, here are some pics she took of the kids for Christmas last year:

 

 

 

 

 

(Isabel was wearing purple top and Mignon in white)

Can’t wait!!

Reality bites

This morning I did what I do every morning first thing and checked twitter (can you say addict?).  I woke up to the horror of the earthquake in Christchurch.

We have a good friend that lives there with his wife and baby boy.  He called us last week to have a catch-up and ask for advice about reflux  as they are really battling.  He also mentioned in passing that they were finally going to have their house fixed after the damage of the December Earthquake.

Tonight he doesn’t have a house and neither does his parents.  In fact, they have nothing.  Everything is destroyed.

But they are all alive.  Shocked and devastated, but alive.

Dear friend, we send you all our love and strength and wish we could offer you our home and all our stuff to share.  We have you in our thoughts constantly and wish you were just down the road so we could do something physical to help!

Overdue weekend post

This past weekend (that started on Friday morning) we squeezed in so much fun it felt like it should have lasted for at least a week!

It was Etienne’s birthday on Friday and we were staying over in town for the U2 concert on Friday night, our first night away from all the kids.  How sad is that?  They were at home with Angie, our superhero and the only person able to take care of our mad bunch.

By now you would have seen all the comments about the Cape Town concert ranging from bad sound to too many smokers, so I won’t bore you with that.  I will say that it was a very long, hot day, but well worth it.  The fan walk was amazing as always, here’s a pic of Etienne in front of one of the big posters on the way:

I never ever post pictures of myself, but just to give you an idea, my hair was beautifully straight and I was wearing actual makeup when we left the apartment and here we are, Etienne looking beautiful and me, well, no makeup and ‘minced’ hair.  Oh well.

On Saturday we headed through to Kleinmond where Etienne’s BFF is spending some of his honeymoon with his folks that retired there.  He lives in Taiwan and got married in the Philippines recently to his lovely wife that Daniel calls ‘the little girl’ because she is so petite.  To say our kids were spoilt is the understatement of the century.  They were doted on by everyone from the minute they set foot in the door and rewarded us by being pretty well-behaved (well, most of the time anyway).

Here is a pic of our walk on the beach:

Our friend’s Dad also plays the keyboard and he entertained the kids for ages, check out this little video of Mignon playing and Isabel and Daniel dancing.  I’m so glad I caught it!

My humble thoughts on Steve Hofmeyr

I’m no political satirist or activist.  But I am a Mom and I am Afrikaans and I do have some thoughts and concerns I would like to share.

It was with great interest I followed Steve Hofmeyr’s reaction on Bono’s comments over the weekend and the ‘shocking’ admission today that it was all a publicity stunt.

I get that he felt the need to share that he dumped his R5000 tickets and had a good giggle at the ensuing remarks on twitter.  But I was a little annoyed at the Neil Diamond remark (‘All I ask is that Neil Diamond keeps his political trap shut until after Sweet Carolina’)  Was this not a tad out of line?

He then proceeded to post a picture of himself and his boys having sushi instead of going to the U2 concert.  I’m curious, did he call up his ex-wife and say ‘Hi, I’m taking the boys out for sushi instead of going to U2 so I can take a pic and stick it on twitter so everyone can see that I’m a fabulous Dad and that I gave old Bono the middle finger’

I wonder if it occurred to him to that he might be using them for his own agenda?  It did to me.

I wonder if Steve has ever been to Ireland?  Whether he has been to Belfast?  I wonder what he actually knows of their ‘troubles’?  I doubt if he is in any position to judge them and their version of the struggle.

I also see that he is very active within Afriforum.  I wonder if, in his opinion, there is a difference between being Afrikaans and being an Afrikaner? (and lets not even get into who qualifies as Africans and who not, we’ll be here forever).  I think he does think there is a difference.  I think that, despite all his statements to the contrary, he does judge people according to race and colour.

As his twitter bio suggests, he is an ‘angry activist’.  Surely this suggests that in his mind some people are excluded from being Afrikaners, as opposed to being Afrikaans?

Interestingly enough I cannot help but notice that the photos on the Afriforum Facebook page are exclusively of white people.  Does this not worry you just a teeny weeny bit?

I get that he feels he has a duty and I respect his choices and that he wants to use his ‘fame’ to do so.  I also get that Bono probably spoke out of turn, but I do think a lot of people chose to take what he said out of context.

Organisations such as Afriforum and opposition parties such as the DA are neccessary in my very humble opinion as it helps keep people honest, and I appreciate that they are taking this whole “kill the Boer” issue to the Courts, but where is the line between making a point and leaning ever so slightly towards being militant and exclusive.  Is Steve not doing exactly what Malema is doing, just in reverse?

I live in deep dark Cape Town and I suspect things are slightly different here than in Blue Bull country.  Here we embrace people that are Afrikaans, regardless of what their colour is.

We even love saying Jou Ma se …..

With meaning.

Whoosh

Now that I’m spending so much quality time at home I’m always amazed at how a day can fly.
Get up, kick kids out of bed, drop kids off at school, go for a walk, read emails, tweet, make calls, tweet, do washing, pop to shops, do more work stuff, tweet, BAM time to fetch kids and start evening mayhem.
I often find myself trying to explain to Etienne what I achieved in a day, but feel like I didn’t. Not really anything useful anyway. Or really grownup and adding to society at least. This must change. Soon.
Sorry for being a little cryptic…

Ps I typed this post on my phone so I have no idea what it will look like..
Pps no party theme today as I hardly saw the kiddywinks, I had to run off to a PTA meeting. And tomorrow night is bookclub.