Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Tenants, Trail Running, Training, Training, Women

A quick catch up

My poor blog – so neglected…..

I start a post in my mind and then stop.  Too much information, too boring, said already or whatever the reason the thought gets ditched.

So, I am writing this one, one not thought out ahead of time.  I have nothing much to say but so what…. Here is a basic update of what is happening in my Ordinary Life.

  • I am still doing the Art Techniques course through Coursera.org and loving it.  I don’t feel that I always have enough time to do the art project but you only are required to do 2 to pass and I have already done two, so am not too concerned if I miss a week here or there.  I am just completing all the theory quizzes and that will be enough.  Here is a picture I drew (the London taxi) for one of the assignments, the topic was “Mail Art”

Mail Art

  • I am driving Mr OL batty with thoughts of trying to start (another) business.  I constantly have ideas in my head but generally they don’t get much further than the planning stages
  • I bought another property – think I already mentioned this – and have since found out that the tenants that I was led to believe were “good” have not paid rent in 5 months.  I am hoping that the current owner gets rid of them before I take over.  I am sure that it is a breach of contract or something if he said that they were paying when I signed for it but they were not???  Any ideas?
  • My foot is …. I am actually not sure.  All I do know is that I still can’t run.  I am going to take 6 weeks off and then hope for the best.  We do know that there is no muscle damage, no tendonitis, no ligament damage and nothing else that can be seen in x-rays or an ultra-sound.  These however do not rule out a stress fracture.  In the meantime I am going to go for Gait Analysis because something I am doing has caused this.  I am also going for massages (yay) and to the chiropractor who is doing dry needling as my muscles in my legs are in knots.  I am hoping that this all makes me stronger. I am also trying to stretch in.  I really need to get in the pool and on my bicycle…..
  • I am having a serious case of “mommy guilt” at the moment.  Next weekend I was due to go to the Knysna Oyster Festival to run the HoutKapper Trail… Mr and Little OL were going to stay behind in PE.  Now obviously the running is out – however I have already sorted out my accommodation….. So…….  A weekend away sans husband and kiddy????  I am going to go but why do I feel so guilty about going away by myself for the weekend?  My mom, brother, sister and a multitude of my friends are all going, Mr OL does not want to go….urgh!  Would you feel guilty?

Wow, for a post that I did not think about I sure had a lot to write.

Oh, yes – MR OL surprised me with an Asus Transformer – well, he actually surprised me by asking if I would like an iPad Mini – I said no.  After he got over the initial shock I explained why.  So he helped me get the Transformer instead.  I LOVE IT!

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, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

I have been told she is now 18

At each stage/age of Little OL’s life I have said that “I LOVE this age”.  I always thought that I would prefer just to be given a 2 year old so it came as a total surprise that I would even remotely enjoy the baby stage but I did.

So, as she gets older and changes, grows up and becomes a little girl I once again have to say “I LOVE this age”  I must however put in a little addition – I LOVE this age….90% of the time.  The other 10% I want to run away screaming.

Boy – the 3’s are tough.  (I am assuming it is an age thing and not just the fact that we are the only parents that have an absolute little terrorist on our hands at least 10% of the time – please tell me we are not the only ones…….)  Anyway, I love the fact that she is growing up; the things she does and says are so flipping cute.  I love that we can have conversations about random stuff, go out together, play pretend and that she loves helping me.  I love that in the morning she will open the curtains and say “Mom it’s a beautiful day?” even if it is not.   I love that she can be kind and thoughtful and caring.  And then she is not….

I don’t like the screaming, lying on the floor hitting anyone in sight, little monster that happens at the flip of a switch. (and back again as soon as she realises she is not getting her way).  She will go from laughing to crying and back to laughing quicker than you can say “Time Out”.  Academy Awards have been won for lesser performances!

I also don’t like that she want to grow up so quickly.  I have been informed that I need to give her my car keys and money as she needs to go to the shops – alone!  She’ll drive…. I told her that was not happening until she was 18 and had a licence – apparently she is already 18 – or so I am being told.

Potato Stamping
Potato Stamping

10 or so minutes later the potato stamping turned into potato throwing…..

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, 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, Family, Gardening, Ordinarylife, Parenting

How much do you outsource?

I am not talking at work.   I am talking about stuff around the house, personal stuff and for your kids.  Stuff that the mom traditionally used to do.  Would you outsource more if you weren’t restricted by finances or a weird sense of mommy guilt or do you enjoy doing the all stuff you do?

This conversation has come up in our family lately.  Especially with Little OL’s birthday party.  I did it all myself, designed and made the invitations and printables, made the cakes, biscuits and everything else, including the party boxes.  I even blew up all the balloons.  I however LOVE doing all that stuff (well maybe not the balloons part).  I love creating stuff, making stuff and being busy.  Mr OL on the other hands says he would gladly pay somebody to do it all.  He would prefer just arrive on the day.  I have told him that when all she wants to do is go to the Spur or something similar then he and his wallet are on duty.

It got me thinking about other aspects of my life.  How much do I outsource and if I outsourced more would it simplify my life and let me get on with doing more stuff I enjoyed or do I really enjoy what it is that I do anyway?  I do have a lady that cleans my house; she comes 4 days a week.  She does all the cleaning, laundry, ironing etc.  But, I have been wondering if I could utilise her time better for example by getting her to prepare the veggies for the evening meal?  We also have a garden service that mows our lawn and have had a gardener every other weekend.  (He went and got a full time job and we have not found another).

Then there is Little OL’s After Care, I work full time so am in an essence outsourcing the care of my child, prior to her going to day care / school we had a full time nanny/domestic.

There are so many services out there, au pairs, night nurses, transport to after school activities, pre-packed lunches, party planners, pool cleaners – the list is endless.  How many of these kinds of services do you use or plan to use as your child gets older or do you feel it your responsibility where feasible to do as much of it as possible?

 

PS:  Sorry about the overuse of the word “outsource”.  It’s a hot topic at work too.

Posted in Family, Feb Blog Challange, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

3 Significant memories

3 Significant memories from my childhood.

This one is difficult – my memory is shocking…..

That and the stuff I do remember I am not sure if it could be considered significant!  Awesome yes, but I believe I had a pretty Ordinary Life, just the usual kid stuff.  Thankfully no major drama’s.

I guess the actually only significant memory in my life was the birth of my sister – I was nearly 10 when she was born and I could not imagine my life now without her.

There are some memories that stand out, but for the life of my I don’t know why.

  1. When I was at nursery school, so about 4 one of the girls in my class came back to school after spending a bit of time in hospital.  I remember standing with a group of girls discussing it and asking her how it was. The only thing I remember her saying was that she had to pee with a stick – from her description I now think she had a catheter, but at the time it horrified me.
  2. I was about 5 when my family started shopping around for a caravan….. We went to this one place and they had a tiny caravan.  The perfect size for a 5 year old!  I begged and pleaded – obviously I never got it but I do recall my dad saying that when I was old enough to buy my first car he would buy me that caravan.  I am still waiting – I do remind him from time to time but no joy.
  3. This is not really a memory of an event, but ever since I can remember my parents have said for my 21st I could either have a party or a present.  I had no interest in a party and desperately wanted a flight to London!  Even before I hit high school.  It was just something that I knew I wanted.  I don’t think they expected me to stay away for 6 years though….

It is funny, after I finished writing this other memories came to mind…. When I was about 11 I ordered a steak from a restuarant “medium rare” – the restuarant cooked it” Well Done”.  I was not happy and my dad said I should call the waitress and send it back if I wanted to as it was not what I had requested.  I did, but the waitress did not want to take it back and said to my parents that she had asked the kitchen to make it that way as “all children eat their steaks well done”.  The reason I remember this is that my dad stood up for me.  He asked the waitress how I had asked for it, and if it was cooked as I requested.  He made them get me a steak cooked the way I wanted.  I was a happy bunny.  I now eat my steak Blue or Rare.

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Sometimes luck has everything to do with it.

This week has calmed down again, but at the moment I kind of feel that everything is just getting a little bit out of control.

Last week my dad had a stroke – very minor and we were VERY lucky.  It could have been so much worse.  Thankfully my brother had somebody working at my dad’s house that my dad was supposed to open up for.  When my dad did not open he called my brother.  My brother then phoned my dad who insisted he was fine and would open up in a few minutes.  He said this each time my brother phoned.  My brother phoned 5 times!  Thankfully his painter kept phoning him back and telling him that my dad had not opened.  Even when my brother when around there my dad said he would open and did not.  My brother eventually told him that he had 5 minutes to open the door or he was breaking in.  He broke in!

We hate to think what could have happened had we not had that painter there.  My dad was unable to get up out of his chair, but kept telling us over the phone that he was fine – and he sounded fine.  I have told him that next time he tells me he is fine over the phone I am rushing over there straight away.  Normally when you phone to find out how he is he moans about this or that or need this or help with that. The one time he does actually require help he says he is fine.

He spent a few nights in hospital but is back at home again.  He has refused to come and stay at my place, even for a few nights. We have him on a waiting list for an Old Age Home, but he has been on their emergency list for nearly 2 years now….. We are also going to arrange a carer a few hours a day from Algoa Bay Council for the aged, so hopefully that is sorted by next week.

It is a tough one, getting old sucks and seeing your parents get old sucks even more.

I am very fortunate though to have both my siblings in the same town and to have my brother who has taken on so much of this.  How he remains so patient with my dad is beyond me.

This photo was taken at my brother’s wedding in 2009 – yes, I was pregnant at the time.

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

Its not easy

I generally love being a working woman.  I get satisfaction from bringing in my “own” money and from the interaction with my peers. Especially when asked for my opinion or for advice.  I feel equal in my relationship and that I don’t have to answer to Mr OL on how I spend “my” money.  (Not that I feel a SAHM/D should either – another debate) However at the moment I am really battling with the conflict of being a full time working woman and a mom.

Little OL loves her new pre-school but I am finding that having her in the after-care is making the day just too long for her.  Last year she was a day care till 5 as well, but it was geared towards the younger kids. They had strict nap times and (I believe) that they ensured they all ate – although I did have my doubts that she ate everything they said she did.  She’s never been the biggest eater.

Now, every day her lunch boxes are coming back untouched or pretty close to it.  I am trying all her favourites but no joy.  I would not stress too much about this, but she is also not napping at the school and so comes home exhausted and falls asleep in the car.  The first day I woke her but that was a total disaster, now I just put her to bed. She sleeps through – yip, over 13 hours straight.  The problem is that she is then also skipping dinner.  I need to get food in the child at some stage!

I have spoken to the school and we are trying different options.  Yesterday was better and she did actually nap at school and so was awake for dinner. Happiness, but generally this is making me question my reasons for working full day.  I know that this is something that gets worse not better.  As she gets older she is going to need me more and more in the afternoons – what with homework, after school activities etc.

Unfortunately even going half day is not really an option at the moment though so it is just something I (and all the other full time working parents) am going to have to deal with.  It sucks!