Sunday, 15 December 2013

Today you are four

Dear Immy,

On a sunny Tuesday afternoon four years ago today, your daddy and I folded up our old life neatly and tucked it away forever. You came into the world and time breathed deeply and a mommy and a daddy were born.

Today you are four.

We had a small celebration at home for you - with all your favourite people who love you most in the world.

Yesterday we baked cupcakes, and you decorated them. Last night while you slept, I cut out heart bunting and wrapped your presents and marvelled at four years gone by.

You had a birthday visit from the fairies. They haven't dropped by for a while, but they left you some beautiful fairy treasures: special magic fairy dust and a beautiful ballerina ornament, all yours - for our Christmas tree.

I think your favourite present was your tent. We spent most of the morning in it.

Today you are four.

You are cheerful, energetic, and wildly enthusiastic about everything. You love to sing. You laugh easily, and often. The sound of it is like warm liquid sunshine, and the feel of it is even better.

You have a gentle and generous heart. You always give your things away - sweets, toys, anything.

You love to accessorise. A shoelace tucked into your alice band. A bangle worn above your elbow. Rings and wings and fairy things.

You love to run, climb, jump, swing and swim. If you struggle with something, you walk away for a while. I know you will try again when the time is right, and it'll be plain sailing from there.

Every night at bedtime, we lie together and whisper in the dark. Sometimes you ask me to say a prayer for you. Sometimes we sing, and sometimes we talk about the best parts of our day. I hope we can do this as you grow older and the world becomes a more bewildering place for you to navigate.

You're my best girl.

Happy fourth birthday. Life with you is an unending adventure.

Love you forever.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Celebrating Four

On Saturday I leapt out of bed at 6:20am and inched the curtains open - fully expecting to see green grass sparkling in the sunshine after an entire week of rain. Instead, the world was grey. GREY. And I willed it not to rain for Immy's party and got on with the business of getting everything ready.

Her party requests were simple. She wanted her school friends there. She wanted a 'real' Dora cake (the not-real version being an ice-cream cake). And she wanted Dora 'blow things'.

Done, done and done.

My cute glass vases blew over one by one, resulting in lilac cascades on the tablecloths. The balloons had to be held down with bricks. The paper plates frisbeed off the table and had to be stacked up in a pile.

But it didn't rain.

Our girl's perfect, happy day in pictures.

Some got the 'strike-a-pose' memo. But not all.

This. A free smile-out-loud for you.

Dora blow things? Nailed it.

After the cake was eaten and the kids were working off their excess energy on the jumping castle, Immy sidled up to me, gave me a dazzling smile and proclaimed: Mommy. I got birthday cake FIRST.

Meerkats. Fascinating. And smelly. Like SUPER smelly.


Note to self.

Kids? They don't notice bad weather. And wind. If there are friends - and a real cake of course - it's perfection.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela: 1918-2013

Late last night, the heart of our country stopped beating.

I have read quotes and listened to hundreds of tributes all day, trying to find some small way to put into words the life and legacy of a man beloved by all.

And then I stumbled on a quote of his, which so beautifully captures the spirit of the man we called president, father, friend.

"I would like it to be said that, 'Here lies a man who has done his duty on earth.' That is all."

What an honour to have shared this extraordinary time in history with a leader such as this.

 May you rest in peace, Tata. Your long walk has ended at last.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Mixed Bag

The air itself feels light, buoyant with the anticipation of holiday freedom and celebrations to come. We are so looking forward to the next few weeks.

In the meantime, a little bit of the nothings and everythings we have been enjoying lately.

Her first ballet recital.  My mom cried through the whole thing.

She was beautiful. Graceful and poised. Which is a whole different side of my rough-and-tumble, fearless girl. My heart spiralled and twirled with every first position, every pliƩ, every tippy-toe run.

Outdoor pursuits. This puzzle always comes with a request for help. Because this one is very tricky, Mom.

We spent a good part of the weekend washing old teddy bears, and dolls clothes, and wiping grubby toys. She chose which toys she wanted to give away, and I cleaned them up in preparation for delivery to a local children's home. She is so excited by this. On the way home from school yesterday, she declared that we should give away all her birthday things too when she gets them.

But just not my books and my pencils, Mom.

There were, of course, some minor distractions along the way. Forgotten toys that suddenly held an inexplicable charm. Like this ancient etch-a-sketch.

Boney M. Her absolute favourite is Mary's Boy Child. The words are a bit iffy, but the tune is always spot on. Singing always accompanies drawing.

Routine Monday evenings with a little bit of festive magic. Christmas candles and tulips and Frank Sinatra with supper.

Christmas-tree shadows.

Ice-cream. And plaits.

And jumping for joy.

And my top 3 favourite things of the week.

1. Her birthday book: On the Night You Were Born. It arrived today, and it's just perfect.

On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the starts peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,
'Life will never be the same.'

Because there had never been anyone like you...
ever in the world.

2. Dreams. This KitchenAid makes my heart beat faster.

And number 3. This music video. This SONG.

The cherry on top of a week of happies.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sun City weekend

This post is slightly overdue, considering we have been back from our brief weekend getaway for almost two weeks.

I'm not entirely sure why, but we decided that a weekend break just before our December holiday seemed like a great idea. And yes. By we, I again mean totally me. Rob and Immy most often just come along for the ride.

Beautiful pools, a play area for kids, The Valley of Waves and waiters bearing trays of adult beverages. Sun City. It just never gets old.

There was an awful lot of water-running.

And sliding.

And general splashiness.

Other amusements were to be found along the way. A huge leaf. And a bucket and spade.

When we weren't hanging out here, we were lounging around at the hotel pool. Rob was issued strict instructions to throw her high in the air, and not catch her because she wants to go under the water all the time.

Swimming rocks her world.

There were also calmer pursuits. An early evening walk down to the dam to watch the birds settle and the moon rise.

On Sunday morning after breakfast we headed off for a final swim before checking out and heading home. I was dead keen on going to the Butterfly Sanctuary, which we did. Total number of butterflies in the sanctuary? About 3. Turns out it's not breeding season. Still - our guide was super lovely, and Immy was very taken with the koi fish in the pond.

Plus this little guy stayed really still for me so that I could take just one photo.

Holidays are around the corner, and my Christmas gifts are sorted. A few evenings of online shopping earlier this month, and I am smiling all the way through my brown-paper and red ribbons wrapping.

21 sleeps until we leave for holidays.

High-fiving summer all the way.