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.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Musings

My week started something like this. After a mostly sleepless Sunday night, I slept solidly through my 4:45am bootcamp alarm, woke up late, and at some point in the already frantic morning managed to pour half a tube of Superglue over my left hand, and then about a third of what was left over my right. Luckily at this point the part of my brain that had actually already woken up screeched SPLAY YOUR FINGERS!! SPLAY SPLAY! which meant that I actually managed not to superglue parts of myself to other parts of myself. Small mercies.

(ahem. Thank you, Google. Petroleum jelly and a nail file did, in fact, do the trick).

We've had a week of it. Late nights, all three of us a bit under the weather, lots of things to tick off the To-Do list and some tough personal stuff for me to chew over.

The end result of a week's worth of mental ramblings. In no particular order.

Friendships, like any living thing, need room to breathe. To expand, and contract. This is okay, and should not be taken personally.

Routines are good for lots of things. But throwing them out the window every now and then to do something spontaneous makes the soul sing.

Children get older and parenting gets harder. But every time I put aside a knee-jerk parenting reaction in favour of slowing down and CHOOSING a response, I teach my daughter a valuable lesson. I only get this right about one in ten times, but I am getting there. Very.Slowly.

Gratitude. Thankfulness. An open heart, and a generous hand. These are things that remind me what it is to be human, to love, to make a difference. I mean - have you checked out Momastery this week?

Cutting, pasting and sticking. The best, and cheapest, therapy for the doldrums.

Cherishing small moments that weave themselves into the fabric of my life. Snuggles in the dark and whispered prayers with Immy. Freshly laundered towels and a warm bubble-bath for an aching body. The infectious excitement of an almost-four year old handing out her party invitations. Choosing to step off the guilt-trip train for missing an exercise session when I'm exhausted from sitting up with a sick child. That extra two hours sleep? Heaven.

Our week in pictures.

My most important job of the week. Party invitations and the title for her Christmas concert class poster.









These Santa - ears? Horns? Whatever. You get it.



This.



Christmas starbursts.



Cherry pie. Immy's job was to stone the cherries, and my baker-baker-pie-maker husband did the rest.



Christmas goodies. Boxes, tags, stamps, confetti. I'm collecting.



Two half-glasses of wine and 20 invitations later. Cheers.



It's a long day for us tomorrow. And mine starts at 4:45am.

Somebody around here has the right idea.



Goodnight.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Margaret Roberts Christmas

If you don't know what spekboom is, allow me to humbly share my recently gained knowledge. Spekboom is our very own proudly South African succulent that fights air pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen.

I know this only because we spent our Saturday at the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, where Immy was given a little spekboom tree to decorate and take home, along with two biscuits, a couple of tubs of icing and some sprinkles thrown in for good measure.

Our morning meandered along something like this.







After the tree decorating, it was time to receive a surprise gift from a very lovely and gentle Father Christmas. Turns out that she seems to prefer him as an abstract concept rather than an actual bearded man in a red suit.

She loved her gifts though.



My explanations of the right way up (see the side with all the holes?) fell on deaf ears. She played that thing through garden, hill and dale.



We explored. So many lovely things to stumble upon and enjoy.

A gossamer spider web glinting in the sun.



A fern garden.



A goblin, his frog and their own little story on a plaque.



A garden saint. She too, comes with her own story.



A tiny, tranquil chapel. With a sign outside the door that reads:

Welcome friend, from anywhere
Never mind the clothes you wear,
God looks on the inner heart,
Pray in peace, in love depart.





A collection of exquisitely beautiful fairies, handmade by Margaret and Sarah.



And a fairy swing in the most picture-perfect tree that you ever did see.



When we were tired, and hungry, we headed to the tea garden. Where Immy spotted a tree which led to the immediate discarding of fairy clothes in favour of more practical tree-climbing ones.



Tickle tickle. Which takes on a whole new meaning when lying bare-backed in the grass.



Be-winged and be-friended.



Off to the herb nursery, a daddy and his girl.







When we left, four hours had flown by. She fell asleep within minutes.

And my under-the-top, non-dramatic husband declared: That was very pleasant.

Which for him is the equivalent of two thumbs WAY HIGH while simultaneously doing a SIDE-HEEL-CLICK in the air.

We're off on a weekend trip tomorrow. Let the over-packing begin.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Just Home

A short post on our weekend. After a crazy week, we decided to cancel our plans (except for lunch with friends) and opted to stay in and recharge our batteries.

Some pictures of our home-grown weekend.

Outdoor painting.



A helping hand to get her started. Turning is still a manual process. Stop the bike (front wheel in the bush/through the gate/in the ditch), climb off, turn the handlebars to face the right direction and get back on again. Slow, but steady.





On Saturday, we had lunch with friends. The two girls were in their element. They disappeared into Maya's bedroom, where they dressed each other up and applied some shaky-looking makeup.



Ballerina princesses and mud pies. A perfect late-afternoon combination.







First sighting of Christmas lights.



Overcast weather and some indoor arts and crafts.







McDonald's backyard picnic. And a bit of ring bling.





New books. Green grass. Dappled light.



We're in the starting blocks for the final sprint to the end of the year. School concerts, holiday planning, party planning, Christmas festivities planning.

And a few things to sweeten life up. Like taking Immy to her first real ballet at the State Theatre.  A weekend away. Nights on the trampoline-turned-planetarium, with all three of us lying under the stars talking about constellations.

Just Home. With some imagination, it can be a pretty charming place too.