Friday, 31 December 2010

My most booooring Christmas holiday ever...

Well firstly Silke got ill with flu on the last week of school.  I took her to school, watched her coughing through her school play (luckily she was a sheep!), went home, school rang just before 12:00, went back, Silke insists on have her Christmas lunch, patient mummy hangs around for an hour waiting, take her home, go back to fetch Mieke, take Mieke to Kumon, drop her off at neighbour, took Silke to GP, GP says to go to hospital, drive to hospital in an hour due to snow blizzard, paed says she's okay - get home after 8:00pm.

On Friday I leave Silke with my neighbour, take Mieke to school and present her teacher with his leaving present.  Ask a friend to pick Mieke up from school as it starts to snow heavily.  She finds a feverish Mieke sleeping under the table.

So far it doesn't sound that boring though this was just the start.  Over the weekend I also start getting ill, so all three of us end up with shivering with really high fevers.  So the next three weeks of the Christmas holiday we spend either in bed or laying about lazily reading or watching TV.  We only went out shopping for Christmas lunch and to watch Despicable Me (fabulous!).  And to travel to Maidenhead by train to do our visa medicals.  Luckily the girls seemed to enjoy their presents and its still keeping them busy.

Its the first of January and nothing much has changed - we are better but still coughing daily and lounging about.  At least we are getting plenty of rest.  Though not really as its 01:36 and I'm still awake - aaaarrrggghh!!

Happy 2011 - things can only get better...

I've had my first good luck of 2011 - I did not end up in the loo at 12:00 am.  I nearly did - at 11:55 I had the urge to go and nearly nearly missed the countdown, but luckily I made it back to the lounge in time to watch the countdown on BBC1 with Werner and Mieke.  And have a glass of Prosecco (the English are very specific about the name of these things - I dare not call it champagne, though we did have real champagne at Christmas).

So its a good start.

But let me reflect on 2010 - to be honest it was not what I call a good year, not too terrible but not good either, rather mediocre:

My worst for 2010:
1. Snow when we got back from Cape Town in January, snow in February (I don't like snow.)

2. Silke ending up in hospital with pneumonia in March and diagnosed with ashtma which still causes me huge anxiety.

3. My friend's husband dying in October.

4. My other friends' partner left her.

5. My other friend left her husband.

6. Due to the economy we cannot sell our house for what we paid for it 3 years ago.

7. Australian exchange rate went from £1,60 to 60 pence - NOT GOOD.

8. Silke started school and I miss her.

9. I'm still in limbo and I'm starting to feel... old.

10. Snow and the coldest December on record.


1. We had a great holiday in South Africa and loved spending time with friends and family (well that was actually last year but it ended this year).

2. Mieke did really well in school and is in the 'gifted and talented' group for reading and writing.

3. We had a fantastic holiday in Le Marche, Italy and another amazing one in Amsterdam and Efteling, Holland - we are so lucky.

4. Our Australian visa application starting moving again at the end of the year and we are holding thumbs for a visa soon.

5. We had some great weekends away in the UK - on a farm on the Isle of Wight, London for Werner's birthday.

6.  Werner and I had our first night away for years on our own in London at the fabulous Chancery Court Hotel - it really was amazing (thanks to my mum in law Antoinette for babysitting).  We saw Colin Firth & Helen Boham Carter, saw a movie, had dinner at the most romantic restaurant and had fun shopping - on OUR OWN!

7.  My neighbour and friend is pregnant with her second baby.

8.  Even though its sad that my girls are growing up so quickly, we are having such fun as a family and growing closer together.

9.  Even though we don't have any family close by we are blessed with a network of friends who are always there to help out if I need them.

10.  Although the economy is down in the dumps it has not really affected us in our day to day life - touch wood...

So we have a lot to be thankful for.
Thank You.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Snowed In ... Again!!!

It feels like yesterday when we were last snowed in, but it was January so a while ago.  Although it started 30th November this year so way too early.

So this is a description of my slightly dismal but pleasantly peaceful week.

Monday - freezing cold, have coffee with friend in town.  Decide to do some shopping in Guildford and not to go to Woking to collect sledge which I ordered in anticipation of snow. 

Monday night at 11:30pm Mieke wakes me quietly and asks me to come to her room.  Shock and Horror!!  When my eyes adjust to the bright light I am faced with a nightmarish scene - the whole bed and child is covered in vomit!  I try to clean it up but the smell overwhelmes me and I run downstairs to the downstairs loo where I do the same thing!!  I realize that this will not do so I stuff some sweets in my mouth and cover it with a cloth.  I go for a second attempt... I pull of bedding and put child into bath, wash her hair and body and get her into clean pajamas.  She starts again!!!  Luckily we were still in the bathroom.

I change her bed and put a bucket next to it.  I wash dirty bedding and crawl back into bed again unable to sleep.  Half an hour later she has a go at the bucket a few times.  I get up and rinse bucket with Domestos.

Seemingly five minutes later she wakes me again with the happy news that she was sick in her bed again!!  I do the unthinkable and cover it with a towel and placing a pillow on the other side of the bed for her to sleep on...

Tuesday:  Wake up and happy news (for the kids not for me) - its SNOWING.  Shit why oh why didn't I go pick up the sledge yesterday.  Mieke is weak and sleepy but is still clean.  I leave her home with strick instructions to phone 999 if she feels really bad and drive Silke to school.  The road by the school is already icy so I park and walk to school arriving about half an hour late.  Silke tells everyone her sister is sick.

Get home and doctor Mieke with sips of water, rooibos tea, slices of banana and plain rice for lunch which seems to do the trick.  Snow starts to come down really heavy so I decide at around 14:15 to set off to get Silke.  Being paranoid I pack a few packets of biscuits.  Make it up to the start of Harvey Road but cars already bumping and sliding on hill - one poor girls sat crying in her car cause as soon as she moves it starts slipping.  Leave car where it is and walk to school with Mieke in blizzard.  Collect Silke and slide back down the hill in blizzard.  Turn car around carefully and slide down hill to join a queue of cars.  Wait for 20 minutes in unmoving queue while snow comes down heavily.  We all pray to God that we don't get stuck there forever and have the emergency biscuits.  It starts moving!!!  We get home 1,5 hours after we set off.

Thank goodness I went early because other mums who went later had a 2,5 hour journey.

Wednesday:  Snowed In - School closed, Werner stays home.  Mieke better but has a high fever and weird rash. 

I take a taxi to Reception class Christmas getogether at a pub in town.  I have some Prosecco and wine and enjoyed myself so much that I ignore the heavy snowfall outside.  Eventually phone taxi.  Taxi driver grumpy and drops me off on main road so I walk the rest of the way home.  Eery but unexpectantly lovely to walk in the middle of a snowy road with only my own footsteps and snow falling all around me.  And the wine helped me forget about the cold...

Thursday:  Snowed In - School closed.  Snows keeps coming the whole day. Venture outside with the kids for the first time.  Mieke's school friend and Mum joins us.  Silke meets a friend from pre-school.  Snow is too powdery for a snow man but apparently good for skiing and sledging (wish I fetched the thing on Monday!)  Ten minutes out and my feet are numb and Silke starts crying because its so cold and even though she desperately wanted to play with her friend she just couldn't stand it anymore.  We go indoors and have some hot chocolate...

Mieke walks off with friend for a sleepover.  I miss her dreadfully the rest of that and the next day...

Friday:  Snowed In - School closed.  School Christmas Fair postponed.  Decide to go to Sainsburys and Silke (after being housebound for a while) insists on coming along.  It takes me ages to sweep thick layer of snow off my car.  I rush back to the house nearly crying of the cold and summoning Werner to help.  He clears the car and we're off.

We spend most of the day and lots of money in Sainsburys.  Buying 12 bottles of wine, welly socks and slippers for the girls and long johns for me.  Buy some food.  Go home hours later....

Saturday:  Its Capgemini Consulting's Christmas Party at Somerset House in London!!  We were a bit worried that we might not be able to go and last year we missed it as we were in Cape Town.  But no more snow so off we went.  Main roads were okay and although some trains were cancelled we managed to get there on time.  Quite beautiful to watch the snow white landscape along the way.  We had a lot of fun skating and they had mini candyfloss and sweets on tap for the kids and mulled wine for us.  The kids saw Santa and Silke chose Sylvanian family kitty mum and baby and Mieke 'How to train your dragon' dvd. 

So both a busy and peaceful week.  We enjoyed not having to rush to school and activities and to do homework and Kumon (although we don't do a lot of that) and staying in our pajamas until the afternoon.

It was great!!!  Oh and the best news of all - on Tuesday morning we got a CASE OFFICER!! 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Exhaustion is....

Two Parent Consultations, two GCSE Maths exams and a very sad funeral of my friend's husband - all in this week.  My heart aches for her and her two little girls.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Watter paadjie om te stap...?

Nou dat die Ingelse weer die tyd teruggedraai het is dit al vieruur donker en dan begin die donkerte in my gemoed ook terugsluip.

Ons het vroeg die week gehoor dat ons Australiaanse visas dalk vinniger gaan kom as wat ons gedink het - miskien teen middel volgende jaar.  So binnekort gaan ons moet besluit - hier in Europa of daar in die verte...

Want alhoewel ek aan die begin (wel die eerste 3 jaar) baie gekerm het oor hier is dit nie so sleg nie.  My kinders geniet hulle skool alhoewel ek steeds dink dat Silke te klein is vir skool.  Ons verken die wereld sommer maklik.  Dis mooi groen. 

Maar ek wil 'n groter blyplek he, 'n huis vir my hart waar die kinders hulle maats na toe kan nooi en hulle lekker kan speel.  Met 'n hond en 'n kat en 'n groentetuin.

Ek wil die son op my vel voel en in die oggend net 'n sonrokkie aantrek en kaalvoet op die teels loop.

Miskien moet ons tog die nuwe wereld gaan verken...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Mieke turned 9, Halloween & Ouma came to visit

October was a very exciting month for us.  A little too much excitement but it was fun.

First Mieke had a Sleepover Party - her first ever and she was so excited.  She invited her 3 BFF (best friend forevers) and we had tea at Franky & Benny's, then went home where we made lovely smelling goodies including soap and fizzballs and lipbalm.  Then the girls played Wii Sing and at midnight they had a special South African midnight feast including flings, creamsoda, biltong, ice zoos, fizzers - mmmmm.

Then they were supposed to go to bed... but didn't.  Eventually it did happen between 2 and 4 am. I think.

But she had a lovely time so it was worth the pain!!

Then her granny Antoinette came to visit from South Africa.  It was halfterm holidays and Werner took some leave so we did loads of things - visited Arundel Castle, Wisley, Westfield London and Werner & I spent a night at the Marriott Chancery Court on our own - what a luxurious treat.

On Mieke's birthday we took the train and tube to the O2 and saw Disney on Ice which the girls loved.  Of course Silke had to have a crown with ears and they both got Stitch cups with rainbow slush in them.

Then at the weekend it was Halloween and I made ghost cupcakes and scary cookies. Silke went to a friends birthday party (her first ever without me) and then the kids went trick or treating with the neighbourhood dads. We had a small halloween party at my neighbours house and the next morning it was back to school!!

Antoinette went back last night and I feel kind of lonely now - will soon get back into my routine. Autumn is well underway and the autumn colours are amazing.

Then at the weekend it was Halloween and I made ghost cupcakes and scary cookies.  Silke went to a friends birthday party (her first ever without me) and then the kids went trick or treating with the neighbourhood dads.  We had a small halloween party at my neighbours house and the next morning it was back to school!!

Antoinette went back last night and I feel kind of lonely now - will soon get back into my routine.  Autumn is well underway and the autumn colours are amazing.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Kan ons asseblief tog iewers warmer heen trek??

Na 'n dol week het ek en my dogters vanaand 'Marley and me' gekyk en ek en Mieke het natuurlik ons oe uitgehuil op die einde en sy was baie kwaad dat ek so 'n hartseer fliek gekry het.  Silke was inteendeel glad nie hartseer nie maar het darem vir ons miniatuur toiletrolstukkies aangedra.

Wat my egter getref het van die fliek is hoe maklik die familie hulle self oppak en iewers anders heen trek wanneer hulle wil.  Groter huis, ander plek, elke drie jaar of so.

Wat presies is wat ons altyd in Suid Afrika gedoen het.  Elke twee jaar om die waarheid te se.  En selfs om hiernatoe te trek was easy peasy, neem besluit, kry werk, kry visa, vlieg Engeland toe, huur woonstel, koop huis(ie). 

Nou is dit amper vier jaar later en ons is 'stuck'.  Kan nie terug nie, kan nie vorentoe nie.  Meeste van die tyd is ek nogal tevrede met die stand van sake.  Maar dan kyk ek flieks van mense wat trek na warmer streke want hulle wil, na groter huise met swembaddens en honde.  En my kind kry 'n maatjie maar daar is nerens plek om regtig te speel nie, nie plek vir 'n swaai of 'n trampolien nie.  Dan trek my keel toe van benoudheid want hier sit ons nou en my kinders word groot en hulle mis uit op lekker kindwees.  Mis uit op boomklim en in jou eie swembad te swem en waatlemoen te eet en met jou hond te speel. 

En ja hulle geniet skool en dis seker nie regtig belangrik nie en ons het 'n huis en verken die wereld vol.  Dit moet tog genoeg wees, hoekom kan dit nie genoeg wees nie...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My Big Baby Girl at her new school and why I am both a terrible and an excellent mom (mum)

It was Silke's first day at school on Monday the 6th September.  She was crying because she leaned backwards and the door opened and she fell down.  I was crying because of all the reasons I listed below.

Of course she is doing fine, she is a cheerful little thing.  I miss her terribly and she also misses me a lot and I worry about her ashtma and her teacher probably think I am a paranoid lunatic.  Tonight was Phonics evening so afterwards I told the teacher why I am so particularly paranoid about Silke and she told me that she will be watching her carefully and that she can totally understand.  And even now when I talk about when Silke got pneumonia my heart starts racing and I feel really ill.  How odd....

But first of all I want to brag quite a bit.  Mieke got chosen as one of only 4 Year 4 children to take part in a workshop for 'gifted and talented writers' at Guildford High School.  They are going there for an hour every Tuesday for 6 weeks and are being tutored by the 6th form girls and they are writing a play and then on the last day they are performing it to us as a radio production.  I am so proud my heart just wants to burst.  Because I always knew she was really very clever.  When I could have conversations with her at 18 months, when she knew all her letters before she turned two, when  .... you get the idea.  But then she started school and she seemed to do quite ... average.

But then in Year 3 she started to do really well and even though she is still a bit iffy with maths I know now that she is as clever as I thought she was.

Silke is another story.  Which is why I felt like a dreadful mother today.  Because the teachers told us tonight to encourage our children whatever they do and not to put pressure on them and I have been doing just that.  Pushing her and making her feel disappointed if she doesn't get things right the first (or the second or the third) time like Mieke did.  Because at school they do the pushing, at home its my job to encourage.

I will try to do better tomorrow my lovely children.  I don't want you to ever be dismayed and dissapointed.  Not because of me....

Sunday, 5 September 2010

My baby girl is starting school tomorrow and my heart is aching

It feels terribly wrong to send her to school - to me she is just a bit more than a baby.  She still occasionally wets the bed, likes her 'pienk melkie' at night and still bursts into tears at the drop of a hat.

Who is going to cuddle her when she cries, who will protect her when the teacher ignores her, who will defend her when the kids annoy her.  Who will hover near the jungle gym to catch her just in case she falls and who will have her ashtma pump handy when she can't breathe?

Who will help her put on her socks the right way, who will remind her to wipe her bum and not to eat her peas with her hands?  Who will kiss it better when she gets hurt and cut her apple into pieces the way she likes it?

Not me anymore.... this mummy's heart is broken.  I will miss my little Silke Milke more than words can say.  I wish I could have just one more day.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Last Days and New Beginnings

I know I used this title on facebook (well if you didn't know now you do), but here are a few photos of my girls - Mieke's celebration day in her last few days of 3MG at Holy Trinity and Silke having fun and getting her 'Diploma' at preschool.   They are growing up so very quickly.


Silke who a week ago would not sit still for a second, is now colouring whole pictures inside the lines and actually using different colours!!  I was really worried about her not recognising some numbers and getting them mixed up (3 and 5) so I started Kumon and she is a star.  Does it every day and I discovered that even though she still mixes up 3 and 5 she has a really good pencil grip and is excellent at writing the numbers.  If she can remember what to write... but all in good time.  And so while many parents might think I'm nuts letting her do Kumon at age 4 at least I feel better that she is not the dufus I thought she was (sorry honey!!)

My girls' last ballet lessons for the year - Silke loves it but doesn't always do what she's supposed to and Mieke is still a bit shy and needs to gain some confidence.

We bought Silke's school uniform and she looks so BIG doesn't she?  But the uniform was removed promptly as apparently its 'uncomfortable'.  Hope it starts feeling comfy quite soon.


What a cutie - here's hoping her teacher finds her as irresistable as I do!!!

Friday, 16 July 2010

I don't like facebook anymore...

Cause I find out all the bad things which happen to friends of friends, or old friends from the past, which I would not have known about if it wasn't for facebook.

Ignorance really is bliss...

Luckily I have a four year old who always cheers me up.  She woke me up at 6am yesterday morning.  'Mummy I want a sheep.  I want to call him Baaaaaaab.'

Not today baby, not today - our garden is a little bit too small and we won't have enough grass for the sheep.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Some more Italy

It was only last month, but time got in the way and now it seems years ago...

After our 1,5 weeks at Il Tesoro, we packed up and drove 2 hours to Gabbice Monte, where we stayed at Hotel Posillipo.  This was a gorgeous surprise, on a hilltop, away from the action of the busy seaside resort of Gabicce Mare, a gorgeous hotel with amazing sea views from the room, restaurant, swimming pool...

The kids gave the sparkling pool one look and that was it - we spent the afternoon there annoying the adult guests who where looking longingly at the water but would rather endure the heat than take the plunge in the refreshing (i.e. chilly) pool.  Big Sissies I can say as I did take the plunge one day and swam with them and it was lovely.

We also spent a lot of time at the beach in Gabbice Mare - imagine playground, buckets and spades, umbrellas and sunbeds all on your stretch of beach - lovely!!  The kids spent hours hunting for clams and hermit crabs.  Breakfast at the hotel consisted of watermelon, kiwi, hot chocolate and cake (mostly) and on our little mountain was the best restaurant ever.  Imagine the most beautiful sea views while eating gnocchi with clams and prawns and drinking the local wine - yummy.  We should have spent more time here but it was really expensive staying in a hotel as we had to eat out the whole time, but it was magnificent.

Well that was our holiday in Italy, amazing but too long ago.  Where can we go next!!!

Otherwise I had I had a crappy Tuesday the 13th!!  It was Silke's sports day at pre-school and she didn't win a medal, which was a huge thing to her.  Only the biggest much older girl in her group won all the medals.  So my heart broke and my child cried and I crapped out the teachers.  Well sorry, I'm a mom I have to be protective of my little chick!!  But then I held my South African friend's newborn baby boy and it was so nice. 

And then when I fetched Mieke from a friend's house she told me that her teacher told her that she was so proud of her as she was doing so well!!  And she wrote the best piece ever about what she did yesterday at Fluffy Monday - so good in fact that her teacher showed it to the teacher who taught them on Fluffy about a certain artist and where he was from and the way he painted.  And she was also very impressed.  And Mieke got 3 stamps at school.  And that is one of the reasons why I love my blog because I can brag unashamedly!!!!