Thursday, 21 July 2016

Yaya Goes to Spain

Man, I love airports! But, boy, do they make me pine to travel!

My latest trip to CT International was just yesterday as we bid farewell to Yaya, who has left on a six-week-long pilgrimage of sorts to Spain to, among other things, walk the Camino de Santiago.

Yaya checking in - and already making conversation
Already anxious to board!
The rainy Cape Town view of the runway
Yaya's ride 
At last: going through security...

... and still giving instructions
There's no looking back now
El Camino's poster girl
Sam calling out to Yaya
Just making sure Yaya gets onto the plane
Waving our final farewells

This whole trip has been quite something from the start: after years of trying unsuccessfully to get my mother out of South Africa's borders, she basically just planned and booked this on a total whim at the start of this year. So despite this being her first oversees trip -  and a solo one at that - she has been handling things like a pro (well, except for the time she left her walking sticks in the car... and when she went in at the wrong gate - but we put that down to nerves!).

I think it's safe to say we all miss our Yaya already, but here's wishing her a wonderful time. It's such a treat to be able to visit another country, and live in and experience their language and culture, and it's a great opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. We know that she will love exploring, and suspect that upon her return, we won't ever again struggle to get her to travel!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Nothing highlights our extreme dependence on modern technology quite like having your server and internet access cut at school. To say that it renders me useless is an understatement. But at least I can blog.

The holidays have come and gone, and I find myself, once again, contemplating a career change to Home Executive. For those who think they know me well, this will come as a bit of a shock, as I am a self-proclaimed workaholic who is a much better mommy when working outside of the home. Or so I thought, anyway. Lately though, no matter how much my boys drive me up the pole during extended periods of alone time together, as soon as it’s over, I want it back.

I think I have gotten to the age where who I have is far more important than what I have. Right now my ideal would be for my kids to go to school and day-care from breakfast until lunch during which time I can work from and at home until I collect them. And then spend the entire afternoon playing and doing homework and living life. I don’t want to look back in five years’ time and feel like I missed it.

But then there are bill to pay and mouths to feed and the need to feel important and like I’m making a contribution to society… There’s a lot to pray and think about. I’m just putting it out there so that if/when this happens, no one can say they were caught off guard.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Surviving the Holidays

We’ve just come off a four week long mid-year holiday, and originally, because we didn’t do anything fancy, I thought we hadn’t done much. Turns out that is not the case at all.
Check out some of the things we were up to…

We had a birthday right at the start of the break. After a serious count down leading up to the big day, we started the first few weeks of being four with, “Mom, how many more sleeps until I’m five?”…

We had lots of treats that are usually only reserved for weekends. We went to the Spur for milkshakes, we got ice-cream, we even had McDonalds (well, Zac did anyway). Even the ban on screen-time was somewhat lifted so that we could watch movies at home together.

We had some good extended family time including our trip to Knysna to what Zac calls “our holiday house” – if only! And took a trip to Franschhoek to the Bastille Festival.

We had a few play dates and fun days, most notably taking Zac and Sam to the games arcade one afternoon. Firstly, I didn’t even know Zac could play most of those games; and then Sam – he was a total game head, shrieking with excitement as he went on the rides. It’s given me a sneak preview to life with two growing boys, and goodness, it’s bound to be fun!


Then Zac had a series of firsts:
His first movie theatre experience was when we went to see Finding Dory. We’d promised that he could go during the holidays, and he asked to have his friends along, so it ended up being Zac and three friends meeting at the cinema like teenagers! The theatre was so full we couldn’t even all get seats together, so Zac and his buddies sat with one of the moms in the one row, with the rest of the chaperones scattered all around. And from where I was sitting, I could hear the running commentary the kids were providing!

Then Zac had his first visit to the dentist. Thankfully he has great teeth, and it was uneventful. He said calmly as his teeth were checked and then polished, and thought it was the coolest thing to have a suction-pipe collect all his spit!

And in keeping with some back-to-school grooming, Zac also went to the barber for the first time. Until now, no one but family has cut his hair, and I was trying to convince him to come to the hairdresser with me. Then Garth needed his hair trimmed, so he simply took Zac along. I don’t know if Zac was in shock or what, but he sat dead-still on the barber chair as he watched his long curly locks being trimmed off – and then was quite pleased with the result!

But, you know, even better than all these cool things, we had the best time at home together. Obviously there was mandatory cleaning and sorting, blogging and photobook making that needed to be done, but in between: we chased each other around the house, tackled (and tickled) each other on the beds, baked, drew and coloured – and had plenty naps!

Oh I miss the holidays already…

Friday, 8 July 2016

Knysna Photo Update

After a glorious five days off the grid (well, away from social media and internet, anyway) we are back home and, with just a week before we return to school, already experiencing holiday withdrawal.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so, without further ado, here is the photo update of Knysna 2016:

This year we decided to try leaving in the early hours of Saturday morning, meaning we didn't have to put in leave for Friday, or rush there after work, and we could still enjoy a full day of holiday on Saturday. As a result, we all packed and stayed over at Papu and Yaya's the Friday night already. And we did not sleep. Instead, we danced and sang and basically went a little mental until our 03h00 departure!

There were 13 people in the bus, and it has to be mentioned: this is the first ever trip for which we have left Newmans on time. We do think it has a lot to do with the fact that, with us already there, we could encourage packing hours in advance. Anyway, we also made provision for multiple breastfeeding and toilet stops.

Saturday was pretty low key as a sick and grumpy Andel registered for the race and tried to self medicate enough for him to actually participate in the race. The rest of us spent the afternoon settling in. And on the Sunday we actually made it in time to see Andel finish (another first, as he usually finishes before we arrive!).

On Monday we went on a road trip to Plettenberg Bay, partly to see the sights, partly to lunch out, and partly to find more wood. The weather was (as it was for pretty much all of the weekend) beautiful!

This year we decided to stay an extra day into the festival week, trying to get the kids to experience more of the events and activities, so we spent most of Tuesday doing just that - and we all loved it!

As you can imagine, after four days of non-stop hustle and bustle, we were pretty exhausted come Tuesday night, and considering we had a relatively early departure the following day, we just took it easy as we got ready to return home.

And so on Wednesday morning we all crammed back into the bus, and bid farewell to beautiful Lake Brenton. The road trip was entertaining, as always, and we found a few new places and people to stop at during future trips.

So that's it for this year, and it went pretty well with Andel finishing 3rd in his group, and the rest of us managing not to kill him or each other. The jury is still out on whether we repeat this next year with the numbers getting increasingly larger, and the space in the bus increasingly smaller - but we'll let you know!