Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife

Trouble ahead

At first I thought that Little OL just had a thing for “bad boys”…

First she was mad about Swiper from Dora, then it was Captain Hook and that was closely followed by the sorcerer Sophia the first but now she tells me that when she grows up she wants to be Captain Chantel DuBois – from Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.   

Yikes, I think we are in for some trouble ahead…..

Talking about girl or nice girls, I loved this post by Sleepless Nights?  Love it.  Especially the last line, I also want to be top shelf liquor……

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Starting young

I took a couple of days leave last week to spend the last few days of holidays with Little OL and boy was it FUN!  Time flew.  I am not sure I could ever be a “stay at home” mom, but days when I don’t have to go into work are pure joy.  (who am I kidding I could totally be a stay at home mom)

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While off I wanted to do some active stuff with Little OL – she is becoming a bit of a couch potato and I don’t like it.  Unfortunately during the holidays the nanny has been putting her in front of the TV and that is pretty much where she stays – given the option though she would rather be doing something else, so I made sure we did “something else”.

I roped my mom in and we went out.

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My mom is always up for a trip somewhere and on Thursday she suggested we go and climb Lady’s Slipper.  It is a hill just outside PE that my mom climbs regularly but I have never done before.  I was definitely keen!  It was awesome, we did not go all the way up, as I did not want to have to worry about Little OL and her safety, so as soon as it started getting a bit rocky and steep we stopped.  Saying that we still got more than ½ way up.  I loved it and Little OL is still bragging to anyone that will listen that she climbed a mountain.

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It was pretty cool having all 3 generations walking up the hill together and hopefully it was the first of many hikes that we will all do together.  My mom and I used to hike quite a bit together before Little OL was born, and now that she is getting older hopefully I will be able to get back into it.  I think I have mentioned before that for my mom’s 60th Birthday my mom, sister and I climbed Kilimanjaro…… Let’s see what Little OL and I will do to celebrate my 60th…. (thank fully still quite a few years away.

Kilimanjaro Summit 2005
Kilimanjaro Summit 2005

It felt really good to get my hiking boots on again!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Conversations with a 3 year old

3 is cute.  I love that she is now talking and I get a glimpse into what she is thinking.  It can however also be very frustrating when she thinks she knows everything and that she is right.  Sometimes though, even that can be very funny.

On our drive into school/work each day we pass a Mac Donald’s and from the road you are able to see the outside of the kiddies play area and climbing stuff.  A few times now Little OL has asked to go but I always so no.  She has not yet been to a Mac Donald’s and I don’t want to start something.  The conversation normally ends with me saying “We are NOT going to Mac Donald’s” Sometimes she insists a bit more, sometimes she leaves it.

On Saturday however the conversation went like this.

Little OL: “Mom, Donald’s”

Me: “We are not going to Mac Donald’s.  It is not nice and we are not going” (truth be told I am a bit of a sucker for their Quarter Pounder with cheese but I am not getting her hooked just yet)

Little OL: “It is nice!”

Me: “How do you know, you have never been”

Little OL: “I have”

Me: “No, you have not, It’s not nice, we are not going”

Little OL: “But I want to go, it is nice!  I want to see the animals”

Me: “What animals?  There are no animals at Mac Donald’s?”

Little OL: “There are!  At the back”

Me: “Little OL there are NO animals at Mac Donald’s”

Little OL: “There are” and then breaks into song “Old Mac Donald had a farm, ee-eye, ee-eye oh”

I probably should have pulled over, I was laughing so much.

Feeding a goat (not taken at Mac Donald's)
Feeding a goat (not taken at Mac Donald’s)
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running

Her first race – not quite according to plan

I signed Little OL up for her first running race this Workers Day. It was part of the Spar Ladies Race – which is on Saturday. This was organised for the girls that are too young to take part in that and was called the Little Ladies.  She loves running (see picture chasing bunnies HERE) and I figured she would easily manage 2 km.  Maybe not run the whole way, but definitely walk and run.  Quite often on a weekend, when I get back from a run, she insists that we go out for a run/walk around the block together.

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She was super excited about it. I told her about it on Monday and it is all she has been talking about. She proclaimed she was going to be the winner……  We did realise though that she does not really understand what a winner is when she told us that I would also be a winner.  We told her that everybody that does it will be a winner.

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On Wednesday morning she was up and dressed by 5:30 – the race only started at 9:00….. She even wanted her hair in ponies (apparently that is what you do when you run).  She knows what I wear when I go running, so my sister (who joined us) and I wore our normal running kit.  She even made me phone my sister to make sure she was awake and getting ready too….. (although I managed to get her to wait till just after 7 to make that phone call)

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The whole drive down there she was excited, the walk across the field to register she was excited…. And then the wheels fell off.  I think the number of people was just a bit overwhelming.  I ended up carrying her for the full 2km.  She would not even walk 2 meters never mind 2 km…..  Thanks to my sister for “running” with us, and my brother and his wife for supporting. Although they ended up walking the whole thing with us too.

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I must say though that the whole thing was great, there were a lot more people than I expected and each little girl received a really nice medal – which later on in the day Little OL was showing off with great pride.  I will try again at another race, but maybe one that is not quite as big.

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Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Plettenberg Bay

Dear Monkey Land

Dear Monkey Land

Just a heads up…. The troop of baboons that hangs around the entrance to your sanctuary is not very good for business.

Yours sincerely

Mrs OL

We spent the weekend in Plett.

Plett Lagoon at sunrise
Plett Lagoon at sunrise

On the way home we thought we might pop into Monkey Land so Little OL could see the monkeys.  You know how it goes, trying to distract her while in the shops… “Do you want to see the monkeys, should we go see the monkeys, that’s a good idea isn’t it?  If you are a good girl we will go to the monkeys.”  Yay, excitement all round, until about 400m from the entrance where they have a huge sign board with the prices.  Holy moly R240 per adult and well, I did not even read the kids prices….. (or the board properly it turns out)

Mr OL and I looked at each other; I asked if we really wanted to pay that much just to see some monkeys?  We drove on slowly for another 50m or so trying to decide what to do, I mean we had promised to show her some monkeys and could not really back out of it.  Then lo and behold a large troop of baboons!  Big ones, small ones, some sitting on the posts next to the road, the babies playing and chasing each other. Some in the trees and, some even crossing the road right in front of the car.  Ah… Monkey Land came to us… She will never know the difference, right?

“Look Little OL MONKEYS!  See, we told you we’d take you to see the monkeys……”

We sat and watched them play for a while and then we went and fed some goats.  Happiness all round.

Feeding goats
Feeding goats

The actual highlight of the weekend for Little OL – the Bunny Rabbits which provided lots of entertainment

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PS:  Just a side note to add, I have actually been to Monkey Land before, yes, paid and gone inside.  It is fantastic.  I actually have a HUGE phobia of monkeys and even I managed to walk through the whole sanctuary (quickly), I do believe it is worth it, however don’t think that Little OL would have appreciated it at this age.  I do see however on their webiste that there are other cheaper options.  I think the R240 must be a price for all 3 sanctuaries together.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Dogs, Family, Ordinarylife, Pets

A girl’s best friend

“Daisy is my friend”. This was proclaimed by Little OL over the weekend, but I am not so sure how Daisy feels about this.

Daisy is our Border Collie.  She has always been a loving and very gently little dog but when Little OL was born she went into a total sulk.  She moved to the top of the garden, only coming down for food. After 2 weeks she ventured closer but would still not “talk” or come to me.  For months after that if I was holding Little OL she would avoid me.  For the first 2 years of Little OL’s life she would make sure they were not in the same room, and if they accidently were she would run away with this look of absolute terror on her face as soon as she realised.  That was until she discovered that toddlers usually have something edible in their hands.  Since that discovery they have been “bonding”. It has taken a while, but over the past year they have been getting closer and closer.  Lately they have even been “hugging”.  I think it is a bit one sided but at least Daisy is not running away in terror any longer. In fact I caught her sheepishly looking like she might even be enjoying some of the attention.  Then this weekend Little OL proclaimed that they are “friends”.  It is quite an honour – the German Shepard Duke has not earned it yet. He is not her friend. But Daisy is….

I hope Daisy knows what she has let herself in for…..

Daisy and Duke
Daisy and Duke
Posted in Art, Baby OL, Children, Family, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Sketches

A Sketched Life

I love drawing! I like painting with oils too but I really love drawing, either with pen, pencil or charcoal.

I used to carry a sketch pad everywhere with me although I did not always use it as much as I would have liked. It was kind of like my running shoes, I had to have them close… just in case, but years could go by when I never used them.  In fact when I moved to London in my early twenties there were 3 things that I made sure I had packed.  My sleeping bag, my sketchpad and my running shoes (listed in order of most frequent use).  My backpack only weighed 14 kgs and contained everything I thought was important!

A few years later I when left London to backpack around New Zealand, I once again packed those three items, (although by then my backpack had probably doubled in weight). This time however I actually used my sketchpad quite a bit.  I found that I loved just sitting somewhere and sketching what I saw – I used pen.  One of my favourite days was spent in Christchurch in front of the cathedral just drawing.  After New Zealand I went to Australia for a year, followed by Sweden and I never really drew much while I was in either country.  I don’t know why I stopped…

When I returned to South Africa I started art classes, painting and drawing, but always from photographs, never just sitting somewhere and sketching what I saw. I realised that I missed it, I want to be able to do those quick sketches that capture people as they go about their day to day business, I want to be able to catch a glimpse of a place, using my sketchpad, and not just a camera.  At the moment though I am not quick enough, people move, I move, stuff happens.  Although as with everything I am sure it is all about practise.  So that is what I have decided to do.  I want to try to do a sketch a day.  Something small, something quick;  I can’t promise that it will be good, or accurate or even decipherable but I am sure that they will get better.  I found a website called Urban Sketchers and then bought their book The Art of Urban Sketching, it has really inspired me. So, to document my progress I have decided to start another blog, one just for my pictures and sketches.  I am hoping to see some progress, some improvement and hopefully some frequency…. I have called it “A Sketched Life”  Please click HERE if you are interested in seeing it.

Little OL sleeping
Little OL sleeping
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Children's Parties, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Its never too early right??

Ok, a snap poll….

1.  At what age do you start letting your kid decide on the theme of their own party….

(if you say anything younger than 13 I am not going to be happy)

That was question one, here is question 2 –

2.  How soon is too soon to start planning their next party…….

I might have already started planning Little OL’s 4th Birthday party.  Or at least – I think I have already decided on a theme for her 4th Birthday party and happily begun pinning away (and yes I know she has only just turned 3).

I did get her input – kind off… The conversation went something like this.

How about planes for your next party?…………………     (blank stare)

You love planes right?………………………………………..      (non-committal nod)

Planes would be fantastic wouldn’t they?…………….       (another non-committal nod)

Wow, that would be so cool – planes!…………………        (another blank stare)

So… I am taking that as a “yes” to planes – and the brainwashing has already begun.

HERE is a link to the my Pinterest board.

I do however realise that it is a year away and that she might put her foot down about the theme (or I might be bored with it) so yes, it might change between now and February 2014.

How awesome is this party – found over here http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2013/03/girly-airline-themed-5th-birthday-party.html  – go have a look.

Posted in Baby OL, Baking, Children, Cookies, Family, Food, Ordinarylife

3rd Birthday Party – Rainbow theme

Here are a couple (ok, a few more than a couple) of photo’s from Little OL’s 3rd Birthday party.

I have known what theme i wanted for her 3rd birthday for over a year.  In fact ever since I saw THIS and post by Sweetapolita.  Oh wow! I wanted to make that cake.  This from a girl who at time had NEVER made a cake from scratch.  As I knew what theme I wanted I have been preparing for a while, gathering ideas and odds and ends.  I bought the candles about 8 months ago, I knew if I left them I would never find them when I really wanted them.

Rainblow Balloon Banner
Rainblow Balloon Banner

Yes, I blew up all the balloons – phew there were a few light headed moments…..

The Colouring in station
The Colouring in station

I figured that not all the kids would want to play in the splash pool or slip ‘n slide so gave them something else to do – I also was worried that if it rained they would be very bored.  I sprayed masonite clip boards with a glitter varnish and put each kids name on them. The kids then got to take the boards home with them.  I also designed and printed off a whole lot of rainbow themed colouring in pages.

Party Boxes
Party Boxes

I made these boxes using my Silhoutte Cameo.  They were the first things I have made with it and it was much easier than I was expecting. The machine has been intimidating me….

Rainbow Jelly
Rainbow Jelly
Rainbow Cake Push Pops
Rainbow Cake Push Pops

I made these the same why that I did the cake.  Easy but pretty time consuming.

THE CAKE
THE CAKE
THE CAKE - a rainbow suprise
THE CAKE – a rainbow suprise
It was very popular.....
It was very popular…..
The Birthday Girl enjoy the splash pool
The Birthday Girl enjoy the splash pool