Friday, January 31, 2014

{Friendship Friday} Robyn and the munchkins

Robyn and I first met in person on 30 Sept. I know that's the date because I remember being glad we could still squeeze it into the month despite a slight postponement to the original plan.

Then we tried to get the families together and that was impossible at the end of the year so I suggested we schedule it for this year.

Well, plan was set for a few weekends ago and they came over for lunch and a playdate.

There were a few episodes of not sharing and such.... but they eventually sorted it all out and by the end of the afternoon, were firm friends. As firm as 3 and 4-year-olds can be, that is.

Robyn's kids are SO well-mannered. I was chatting to D about L the other night and he said, "OHHHH, the well-mannered boy" so if that's the thing that sticks out, then you know. Miss H held her own with the older kids all too well and I do love a kid with some sass. She said to me, "no thanks, I don't want anything to drink, but I do want FOOD!" That's it, honey, you ask for what you want.

It was a delight to have them over and I can't wait to do it again.

my new dress and... gorgeous light!

You can read Robyn's version of the events here.

Funny, I have never invited kids over from the kids' classes but I do invite my friends and their kids over. Hmmm.

Do you invite kids over to play?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

School has already been "interesting" and we're only 5 days in.

I must say, I've felt so anxious about school this year.

1. The babies are growing up so fast. Look at these big kids!


2. Connor's issues with the teacher from last year
3. The fact that everybody keeps asking me "so where are you sending the kids next year" and I want to say "I'm going to unschool" just to keep people from going further with the topic that most annoys me, other than politics!

We had it in our head that if they did not put Connor in one particular class, we would pull them out of school but that morning as I was dressing and praying, I felt God say to me, "don't you trust me?" and do you know what, I didn't!


Barely two weeks out of 2013 and I was not trusting.

So we took them to school, they met their teachers and sure enough, Connor is with the stricter teacher of the two and Kendra has the fun, silly one.

But I felt okay with it and three hours later we went on holiday!


On Monday they went back... no problems. Tuesday Connor said nothing but Wed morning he was thrashing around on the floor not wanting to go to school.

This is technically the 4th day of the year so it is a problem. I had the day off from work to do errands (more on that on the organising blog next week because I was a machine!) so I asked him if he'd like me to take him to school later after he calmed down. D was not helping saying "come, I have to get to work, etc." (as we all do) so off went K with D, and C waited for me to get dressed to take him.


While we drove (all of 2 minutes, maybe 3 because there's traffic at that hour :0 :)), I asked him if he wants me to talk to the teacher and he said yes.

C Teacher J makes us write on 20 pages. (he says write for anything to do with paper - colour, write, draw)

Me I don't think so, I'm sure it's only one or two pages.

C No, Mummy, it's 20.

So we went and I had a chat with her. I decided to try a new approach this year - that of making the teacher my co-conspirator.

"This is what's happening. What are WE going to do about this?"

This is the part that freaks me out. D is also very cross.

She said she was expecting a difficult child based on what his teacher from last year told her but instead he has been a gem. Participates fully during class - asks and answers questions, sings along, does all his stuff nicely and the ONLY thing is he HATES anything creative. They have to do one thing a day - yesterday, cut out granny's head and C's head, paste on paper, draw bodies on both people and colour it all in.

This is a bit strange to me - he likes cutting and pasting, but I agree he has never liked colouring. (I also don't like colouring - I could never see the point. The figure is there already, what's the point of the colouring? :) Now what I did love was join the dots!)

I told her that, and she said it's probably because at school she's telling them what to do and at home with me, I let him do anything he wants with all the stuff. True.

(he doesn't like people to boss him around like one of his parents)

When I fetched them after school (I LOVE dropping and fetching them - LOVE LOVE LOVE it), I told Connor that we agreed he only had to do ONE page. He wasn't convinced and still had a moan.


Well, this morning we had Drama.

D had to force him to stay still in his car seat while he wailed and cried "I don't want to go to school".

D emailed me LATE (he'd only got in then) to say Connor had to be pried off of him.


I phoned the school later and apparently he eventually calmed down (this age is so difficult - they don't stop crying in 2 secs like when they were 2 - they have serious determination... and can keep going forever) and was a star.

I think we crushed his spirit and he was flat.

He told me this afternoon that his tummy hurts when he thinks of school.

Isn't that what anxiety in kids looks like? I think that's beautifully articulated.

Kendra of course is 100% fine!

I'm dreading tomorrow morning.

I know he's still in a period of adjustment (today was day 5) but how long can I let my boy go to school with a sore tummy?!

Have you experienced anything similar? What worked for you?

Do you have any bright ideas?

PS isn't the light fabulous in this set of photos? I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Great kid activity in Jhb - Sci-Bono Museum

If I say so myself, this was a great idea to take the kids to Sci-Bono on the 2nd:

  1. it was a dreadfully hot day so being inside an airconditioned building was divine
  2. it cost us R40 for the 4 of us - I still don't know how since the website says it's R35 per adult.... but I double-checked with the cashier and she assured me that was correct
  3. the kids were CAPTIVATED with all the displays and I must admit, my science nerd side came out fully to play. It was glorious for both kids and adults
  4. there's nothing they can break!!!! 
  5. we spent two hours there and still didn't get to even half of it (and in some sections, we kind of dragged them along to get them moving - puzzles :))
If you haven't yet been, do yourself a favour and go. Your kids will have a ball and so will you!

I loved this one!

D was the fastest reactor of all of us

D and I rocked this thing... okay, we didn't entirely follow instructions because you're not supposed to talk but that's part of our awesomeness!

leaving the city
Have you been to Sci-Bono yet?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bryan Adams, and how we maximise our concert experience

Apparently this was the 7th time Bryan Adams has been out to South Africa. I'm not quite sure where I was for times 1 - 6 but nevertheless, I'm SOOOOO glad we got to go this time.

The concert was BEYOND fabulous. Is there anything better than live music?!

We had fantastic seats - raised section but straight across from him - and we had decent people all around us.

D bought the Bare Bones CD and had been listening to prepare himself. Normally I will too so that it's more fun to sing along but this time I did nothing. We listened to a CD on the way there, on and off, while listening to the iphone lady direct us.

(I'm very scared of getting lost on the highways!)

He is amazing. Such a good voice and so good on that guitar!

I'm always so inspired by talented people and you know how I love to see people expressing their passion.

Love it!

I also unashamedly enjoy soppy love songs of which there were plenty. D asked me why I loved his so much when I make puking motions at Celine Dion other people singing love songs.

And I think it's the voice. That lovely raspy voice singing a love song - yes please!

I kind of love how there's almost nothing in these photos

Anyway, so here's what we do. After the concert, we play those CDs for a good week or two afterwards so altogether we have about a month of whichever artist it was. :)

My favourite songs that he did were a Kris Kristofferson one actually (I don't know the name but it was impromptu) and then "I still miss you...a little bit" and of course, Straight from the heart!

Do you have the Bare Bones CD? Which is your favourite Bryan Adams song? Have you seen him in concert?

PS I would definitely go see him again!

PS Lynette, happy birthday for yesterday! I got on FB so late it was already the next day. Belated but still very sincere love sent your way! XXX

Monday, January 27, 2014

{Messy Monday} Cooling off

I got this idea from my friend, Roz, who lets her girls cool off in one of those plastic clam shells. Water, a few bath toys and they're happy! We now do this regularly in the back garden - it's safe, I can keep an eye right out the kitchen and almost no schlep compared to the pool in the front. As you know, I'm a big believer in keeping things simple.

This was such a hot day that it was still boiling hot at about 4:30 pm so we filled the little frog (I bought it at Mr P Home about 3 years ago on sale for R20) with water and let them at it. They play in there happily for 30 - 60 minutes at a time, or until a fight breaks out. We're quite hardcore so if I said I'm taking you out if I hear you fighting again, that's what happens. Much wailing and knashing of teeth of course, but there it is.

yoghurt pops

telling each other secrets

more secrets - they even said "don't tell Mummy!!!"
How do you like to cool your kids off?


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