Friday, 15 June 2018

Family Bucket List: Term 2

It's report time again! Here is how we are fairing on our family bucket list for the first half of the year. I'm pleased to say there are a good couple we achieved in Term 1 already, so this is an update on what we have left.

Goal: Try camping alone as a family, in a tent
Progress: Slow
Comment: We wanted to do this late April, but the had a family engagement happen on the same weekend. We'll have to try Spring, if possible!

Goal: Play more family games
Progress: On track
Comment: Winter has helped us to make more of the time we have together indoors. UNO and other games have made a re-appearance in our living room!

Goal: Eat less bread
Progress: On track
Comment: I have decided to lower my carb intake and reduce the amount of bread I eat. I'd like to get back to eating no bread, but while I'm still nursing Bayley I'm willing to sacrifice the bod for the baby.

Goal: Explore a different part of South Africa
Progress:Far behind
Comment: I'm not sure we're going to get this one done with all the other travel related things we're meant to do. Maybe we can make the most of being in the Garden Route in July and make that count?

Goal: Make Bayley's baby book
Progress: On track
Comment: I've been making notes of milestones and keeping all the special pics as she develops. The book making process itself is going to take a while though; it always does. I'm going to target September holidays for this.

Goal: Send Isla and Luke a postcard each month
Progress: Failed
Comment: We have not sent a single postcard. I could blame the price of postcards or the unreliability of the SA postal service, but truthfully, I think even if these elements were in our favour, I'd still struggle to get it done.

Goals: Cook Christmas lunch + travel overseas + visit the Weber and Graham families
Progress: On track
Comment: Yes, we are set to do all of this, in December, in the UK. Woohoo!

Goals: Create a wall garden + grow herbs
Progress: Slow
Comment: I really want to do this, but not even Checkers' Little Garden is helping here. I need someone who is better with DIY than Andel and I are.

Goal: Do more promenade or trail walks together
Progress: Slow
Comment: We didn't do enough of this while we could, and now it's raining (thankfully!) so we are attempting a variation on this, and are going to start doing a family swim session each weekend. Assuming I can get into my costume...

Goal: Learn more about nature and animals
Progress: Slow
Comment: I'm not deliberate enough about this - but I have a plan! This holiday, we're going to try spend more time focusing on achieving this by doing things like visiting the museum or the aquarium etc. My kids are super keen, and so am I!

Goal: Practise not raising our voices when we speak to each other
Progress: Steady
Comment: We don't have this down yet, but we are a lot more mindful about it, and are reminding each other that added volume is not always necessary or effective.

All in all, I'm actually quite pleasantly surprised by how we're faring. Apart from one or two irrecoverable fails, we're actually progressing quite nicely. And now that I've done this exercise of checking up, I'm actually super keen to start ticking some more things off the list!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A Surprise Sadness

I have to admit, I wasn't so keen when we initially got her. She was unexpected, she was expensive, and she came at the cost of my other baby. I didn't really think that I'd become attached, or that I would be so sad to say goodbye.

But thinking back over the years, as we have built a life together, we have banked many memories, and our black 2006 Avant Garde Mercedes C200 Sportswagon was part of many of them.

She first greeted me as a student teacher. I had literally been dropped at school with one car (my beloved Opel Corsa, made redundant by its two doors and our growing family), and was collected by another. She seemed a little too fancy for my liking, but Andel loved the German engineering and sixth gear, and the luxury and comfort of traveling in her grew on me. She allowed me to change baby Zac's nappy in the roomy boot, and safely raced us to the hospital later that year (and a couple more times thereafter) when Zac needed oxygen (or Sam took one of his many tumbles).

She reminded us that we were now a family. She took us to too many house viewings than we could care to admit, and carted carloads of boxes in many trips when we bought our new home. She faithfully transported Sam home after he was born, and miraculously made space for a third person on the back seat once Bayley arrived. She loaded sports balls, push-bikes, twin-prams, baby bags, and Andel's beloved Scott with ease - and we never had to keep our groceries at our feet!

Her greatest feat, however, was when she kept us safe on Sunday 13 May 2018 at 20h30 when we were hit by a wreckless drunk driver on our way home. We were all in the car, and - minus the whiplash - not seriously harmed. If you were to look at her, the damage looks minimal. But, the car has legitimately been written off, and all the experts agree, had we been in a different car, we may have been telling a different story.

To be honest, she has grown to feel as much a part of our family as the humans who for the last five years have been riding in her, and seeing her being towed away on the flatbed last night left us all feeling a little sad.

Perhaps (in an attempt to find some silver lining) it is better that while we can't keep her; neither can anyone else. This way she will always stay our Beaute Noire.