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 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.