Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who Dunnit?

Last night Sean and I were cooking supper together and Shannon was sitting on the counter overseeing operations. Preparing a chicken for rotisserie, I opened the drawer to get out some string and the ball was all unravelled and knotted. So I asked Shannon: "who do you think did this to the string?" knowing full well that it was madam herself, to which she replied "Daddy did it!" In mock horror, Sean staggered around the kitchen wounded and called for a fair trial. He said with great sincerity to Shannon: "hold up your right hand and repeat after me... (she held up her right hand but was unforthcoming with the oath) I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Dolly!" I could not breath for giggling, it is so much fun being part of this mad trio!

On Sunday night, Poppet was in a bit of a state having been a bit fluey all weekend and having not slept all day. So anyway she fell asleep at about 5pm and, barring a small partially awake interlude for supper, we thought she was down for the night. Bearing in mind how cute she is especially when she is asleep we had left her on the couch while we were having our supper. Even in her sleep Shannon is a clown... she stirred and sat up, looked straight at me and said in a very posh voice "hellooo" then lay back down, stuck her leg in the air, pointed her toes and said "look at me" in the same posh voice, and promptly fell back to sleep. Even the noisy laughter from Sean and I did not wake her again! I have heard that the reason children need so much sleep is so there is plenty of time to remind their parents that they are cute and not just monsters as they can be when they are awake - consider us reminded!

NORBERT UPDATE: Norbert's top leaf is going yellow - apparently he needs plant food! I am off to buy plant food today!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The mangy monkeys carried him off!

That, for anyone unfamiliar with the Jungle Book, is what Baloo says to Bagheera about Mowgli!

I digress.

Shannon was off school today in the attempt to prevent her cold from becoming anything more serious, as it did the last time - we'll see! So we spent the day pottering around together which inevitably resulted in a couple of 3 year old logic moments. Here is my favorite:

We are the (disgruntled) neighbours of a rather large troupe of monkeys who have decided that our complex makes for the best shopping mall in the area. Kitchen doors and windows are invariably left open for beautiful fresh highland air, and this seems to be open season for the monkeys. I don't like monkeys. My kitchen windows are rarely open more than a crack and if I see one monkey the door remains shut fast!

Nonetheless, this afternoon I was hanging out laundry with Shannon's 'help' when the monkeys came to shop. Our neighbour uses the monkeys for target practice in the art of shoe throwing and throughout their visit 3 separate occurences culminated in Shannon's interesting observation. Firstly said neighbour hit one of his targets and we saw the monkey limping off in disgust; secondly we saw a monkey with only half a tail (presumably caused by a fight with another monkey); thirdly Shannon began to think. Then she spoke: "Mommy Brian took the monkey's tail." *pause for further consideration* Then with a fair amount of indignation: "He has to give it back, hey Mommy!" I am sure this is one of those times I was NOT supposed to giggle. Hopeless, I am.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who stole my heater?

Anyone who knows me knows only too well that I cannot stand to be cold. So as you can imagine I am feeling pretty miz at the moment as it is FREEZING! We in waterfall are not really equipped to deal with the cold: no central heaters in fact! And I for one don't get warm simply by application of more clothes! What stops exposed face and hands from making the rest of me freezing too? I think we should have a global meeting, find people who like the heat and let them work through the heat of summer, people who like the cold and let them work throughout winter, and introduce hibernation in the interim so that we can miss the discomfort of our less favoured season! OK so sometimes I live in fantasy land but so what - it warms me up thinking about it!

The other thing that keeps me warm in winter is the giggles caused by the comedienne in our household - Shannon. 'Now what!' is Poppets new favourite phrase and she slips it in wherever she thinks she can get away with it, often with hilarious consequences! So yesterday, Sean was working on the computer which, according to Shannon, is where Mommy works! Daddy works in the garage or at the Stables! Shannon said "Daddy is supposed to be working...Now what?" I could do nothing but giggle while Sean tried to get out of that one!

The other time Sean and I came off second best was when Shannon was eating toast and bovril - her favorite! She has a cloth next to her as she doesn't like the bovril on her fingers (!) Anyway, she got the bright idea that if she wiped the toast it would solve the problem once and for all and looked at us in total bemusement when we tried (VERY unsuccessfully through the giggles) to put an end to her brilliant plan!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Aftermath...

Bulls Survive Shark Attack!

Well, result notwithstanding, Sean and I and a good few of our friends had a BRILLIANT time at the rugby! The specacular view that we had from our seats made for a real close up of a hard fought (error filled!) game with lots of controlled aggression, a blind ref, and PLENTY of atmosphere!

The stands were at once filled with black and white which would vanish at the turn of play to be replaced with a wall of blue. A continual cacophony of raised voices cheered on either side leaving most people hoarse. The final minutes saw Sharks fans change from wild animation to stunned disbelief as the Bulls fans erupted with ecstatic triumphant roars.

So this is now history - The first South African team EVER to win the Super 14 on South African Soil are the Blue Bulls not the Sharks!

Well, as my positive thinking buddy said... South Africa won in the end!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Road Signs Revisited!!!

My Father-in-law (the avid rugby fan of my previous blog) has an uncanny ability to make me giggle! In response to a previous post regarding road signs in Southern Africa he sent me these from overseas... I hope they brighten your day too!!!

This one says: "Also the bridge is out ahead" at the bottom (!)


Who do they intend to charge?

Hmmmm makes you wonder eh?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Tribute to Dean...(and the universe?)

A friend said to me not long ago that, with enough positive thought, the universe will always provide! Well I spent some energy in positive thought towards the acquisition of some decent tickets to the Final of the Super 14 Rugby which, as luck would have it, (not to mentions blood, sweat and tears on the part of our Sharks!) is to be held at none other than the Shark Tank in Durban (In laymans terms: our rugby team is playing a home final this weekend!).

Now, I married into a family of rugby FANATICS! Sean, his brother Dean, and their father Harry, are probably the most avid rugby fans I have ever met. They wouldn't miss the opportunity to watch rugby for ANYTHING! I suppose it was a fairly safe assumption, based on history, that the Sharks would not make it to the final and even if they did that they would not be playing at home! Well they did, and they are... Dean has season tickets 2 rows from the field right near the tunnel! Dean & Tracey are going away for the weekend! Sean and I are going to the rugby!

Thank you Dean & Tracey (and the universe?) Sean and I are eternally grateful - to all you other rugby fans out there please look out for Sean and I as the players run onto the may catch a glimpse of us in our FANTASTIC seats!

The thing about birthdays.... that we - not including the Royal we - only have one a year and it is on a certain date and there is not much that can be done about that! The problem with this organised event occurs when you are coming up for your 3rd birthday.

Shannon's birthday is almost exactly halfway through the year, which means that a good deal of her friend's parties are before hers. Now being Shannon and being nearly 3 means that for the last couple of weeks the little madam has being telling everyone that: "today is my birthday and I am having my own cake!" Not to mention that whenever she sees a cake she wants to know if it is her birthday cake! We have told her that her birthday is in June - that means nothing when you are 3! In fact it encourages a nearly 3 year old to believe that you are slightly insane!

We discovered the other day that any fears we had of Shannon lacking the confidence to stand up for herself and stake her claim on things are TOTALLY unnecessary: Sean dropped Shannon off at school on Monday and she was a little sad because her best friend Ashleigh had not arrived yet. To take her mind off this Sean took her outside to see the school bunny who was playing with some of the older children in the courtyard. Shannon leapt out of Sean's arms, ran toward the bunny yelling "MY BUNNY" and scattered all the older kids away from the bunny! Her teacher understated: "She is a little bossy!" and Sean had to tell Poppet the finer points of bunny ownership and the virtue of sharing!

I know I am EXTREMELY biased but I am secretly proud of her and think it is exceptionally cute albeit VERY bossy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Comedy of Road Signs!

I have always been amused (strange I know so just leave it) by the road signs that we see as we drive around our interesting continent. The first time I noticed the funny side of road signs was when we were Zimbabwe MANY years ago, when my Dad said "look out, look out", as he likes to do when some amusing thing calls for it, and we all said "what, what" as we do, and he said "look - dangerous men at work!" which was what the sign said. The men themselves looked fairly innocuous and, in fact, were having a tea break or some such (in)activity that involved lying on the grass rather than actually working!

The other sign that has kept me entertained over the decades (*sigh* scary when you can refer to your life in decades!) is also commonly seen in Zim and that is the one that depicts the hazard of elephants crossing the road - not many countries around the world can claim to have THAT sign on their roads!

Most recently I have HAD to giggle (for fear of crying if not) at the ACTUAL REAL TRIANGLE ROAD SIGNS that say:

Fill them so you don't have to warn us about them! These signs are not on small side roads in the country but IN THE MIDDLE OF DURBAN! Fill! Them!

*pause while I get off my soapbox*

Incidentally according to Shannon - on a COMPLETELY different subject - her cousin Kyle, who she misses greatly as he is in Chicago, has: "gone in the plane to cocoa" and every time a plane flies over she says “there’s Kyle, he’s coming to see me just now!”

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The art of language.

At bed time, more often than not, Shannon gets to choose a story which I read to her and then she takes to bed to 'read'! I am a teensie bit bored of the same stories over and over again so this evening I chose Pinnochio! Shannon loved the story and asked questions about it all the way through. I think she was doing this to hide the fact that she was trying to roll the name Pinnochio off her tongue. She didn't quite manage: "Mommy what is Noakipoe doing there?" So Noakipoe he will remain!

On the subject, Shannon loves to play outside. A couple of weeks ago when she asked to go outside, I told her she couldn't because it was raining. Shannon ran to the window and looked out. Then she came stomping back to me and said: "It is not raining on the grandah Mommy so I can ride my bike!" Once again I was left speechless and Shannon went to ride her bike on the grandah!

Last night Shannon had Amy and I rolling with laughter after we had been watching a daddy longlegs flying around. Kim came and knocked on the door so Shannon went running to fetch her to: "come quickly! Come see the daddy fly!"

After Pinnochio this evening, Shannon was going to make her bedtime wee and as she was about to settle herself she was muttering "poor Noakipoe" as she sat down she missed her target and landed on the floor and said: poor Shannon!"

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shameless advertising...

There are some fabulous self employed, work from home Moms (and Moms to be) in my circle of friends and I believe this is the way of the new Mom generation! Not to mention the self employed Dads, and the return of the family business run by both Mom and Dad - our kids have the greatest opportunities yet for the future! And all the generations before us have been building the way for it to be possible for our generation to achieve this (even if they were unaware that they were laying this particular path!).

Society took a hairpin bend at an alarming speed a couple of decades ago (the consequence of many years of women fighting against gender oppression)when the necessity for two income households became the norm. Women wanted to get out into the work place and stake their claim over any job or career they felt they wanted! Consequently careers became first priority and in a lot of cases family was planned for later in life once the career was firmly established! Thanks to these career driven women and the supportive men in their lives we are now able to take another step in the development of the human race. Now, it seems, many of us want parenthood and careers to go hand in hand and so we have become part of the own-business, work-from-home, mother/father/parent generation with the potential (I say potential because it always takes AGES to get the money rolling in!) to earn what we are worth while playing taxi driver, homework tutor and after school carer to our own offspring, and to set a precedent for the future of parethood and careers! Here are some examples of work-from-home moms and dads (of which there are many more) in my circle of friends... one of whom being yours truly!

Firstly, Mom-to-be (next month) Susie Clulow, started an online wedding gift business at the beginning of this year and I think it is fabulous! Susie showcases a whole range of wedding gifts that can be ordered online or over the phone and arrive wrapped and ready to be handed over! To see more about this FABULOUS service go to House of Gifts and check out her site!

Secondly, Mother of two Vanessa Davies bought Art Incentive in September last year and is running it with her Hubby and sister from home in Bothas Hill. They print art and photography onto many different media including fine art canvas - the finished product is BEAUTIFUL and a must for everybody's home! Check out Art Incentive for more information.

My dear husband and daddy to Shannon, is the highly skilled framer of these pictures on canvas, as well as coffee shop owner and property broker (we are trying to whittle it down to one job so that he has a bit more free time - this self-employed option can be VERY time consuming!)

Last but not least (of course) is moi! Mother to the adorable Shannon, I am about to launch Remedial Resources which is a website for parents of children with learning difficulties - watch this space - and is an add on to my Audiblox teaching and Psychology degree research!

Here's to the work from home parent generation!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

This 'n that...

We have been trying to get Shannon to learn to take a little bit of responsibility for her things such as putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket and helping me to make her bed in the morning. There is some sound philosophy behind this idea but at the moment I am not quite sure what that is! I digress. The thing is, that these are recurring tasks that happen with great regularity. Like every day. So this morning when I was making her bed I asked for her help to which she replied "I already did it yesterday!" Which was true! So she had a good argument from the point of view of a nearly-three-year-old. She looked at me as if I were insane when I started to explain that this was one of those recurring jobs, and stomped off to 'help' Daddy with the dishes... this is more like having a bath as she ends up with more water on her than in the sink!

The other Shannon giggle this week happened at her first Catrobatkidz lesson at school. they were doing a balancing exercise whereby they had to stand on a board attached to something unstable and try to maintain their balance. Well Shannon's teacher said she couldn't do it... she was laughing too much. Shannon thought all the other children looked so funny falling all over the place that she got the giggles and was incapable of balancing on her own two feet let alone this wobbly board! My sense of humor reincarnate!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

FIVE AM (and I don't mean a radio station)

This is the time of day I refer to as Stupid o'clock; it is a time when we should all be oblivious to the world - ESPECIALLY in winter when it is dark - and warmly tucked up in our comfy beds! Unfortunately for many citizens of the world this is a time to get up through necessity. Like me!

ACTUALLY it is not NECESSARY it is SHANNON! Yes, she has decided that she wants breakfast at 5am! It is all I can do to coax her into our bed for half an hour of extra sleep (read kick boxing) before I drag myself up to make breakfast and chatter about all things irrelevant and 3-year-old-ish. The silver lining (every cloud has one, of this I am CONVINCED - more on this another time!) in this instance is that I don't have to give sensible answers as the more befuddled I sound the more Shannon enjoys her morning!

Now, I believe I am a morning person, happy to get up and get going as soon as it gets light! No problem to function on all cylinders in daylight. But Stupid o'clock! It's dark! I want my duvet! Help! There has to be a switch on the body clock to change my 'alert' time, and I have to be able to switch it but NOBODY WILL TELL ME WHERE IT IS! I am like one of those battery chickens: turn the light on and I wake up - when it is dark I sleeeeeeeeep!

I feed her, you know. (Shannon that is) She has a huge supper at about 6pm and usually a yogurt or banana before bed at 7pm. She is regularly dewormed. She has an appetite like an Elephant and seems to grow straight up only. *Sigh* do Mommys ever get a lie in ever again. It's not that Sean WON'T help - its that Shannon won't let him - Rod for my ownback I know, but I LOVE being the most important person in her life ... just not at 5am!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On Coffee Shops and Lemon Trees...

In an earlier post I said I was trying to remember to send my dear husband down to his shop, camera in hand, in order to furnish me with a couple of photos. So on Sunday last we remembered and put the camera by the door with his Important Bag, containing his necessities for the day, so he wouldn't forget any of it. He forgot all of it! Observant me (!) only noticed about 45mins later by which time dh was already in Durban with everything bar bag and camera! So as the caring and considerate wife that I am (!), I jumped in my car and headed off after him to deliver the Important Bag and take the pictures!

So here are Shannon and I enjoying a refreshing Chocolate milk and horlicks milkshake respectively outside the infamous O'Hendry's Coffee Shop!

And dh himself (more commonly known as Sean) serving coffee!!!

Sean's coffee shop is at the Stables Market in Durban - which means, yes, that all the market stalls are IN the STABLES. Very quaint and - at the moment - well worth the visit!

As for Norbert, he has grown yet another leaf and is flourishing in his spot on our kitchen windowsill. He is just growing straight up and I would quite like him to grow outwards a bit, but I can only assume that will happen in due course. I am also considering turning him into a Bonsai version of himself - Not that I know where to begin, though I am sure Google or Wikipedia will lend a hand in that department! As for the rest of us Sean and I are growing outwards quite nicely though I would prefer we stop and thinned out a bit, and Shannon is shooting straight upwards in the same manner as Norbert!

Big words like marmalade!

Shannon is fast closing in on the beginning of her fourth year of being Shannon! Now from where I stand this is a TERRIFYING thought!!! How is it possible that 3 years of being a Mom have already passed??? I still do not feel worthy of the title 'Mother' as I am not convinced thay I am a grown-up yet, but then does anyone ever really feel like a grown-up. I sense that my baby is growing up faster than even I give her credit for...

So yesterday (or today if you go by blogspot time which exists somewhere in America I suppose) Shannon and I arrived home from school, got out the car and started searching for the young lady's water bottle which she had dropped on the journey! Well, Shannon found it eventually, and then promptly dropped it so it rolled under the car. To this she exclaimed: "We probably can't get it, hey Mommy" followed shortly by "Now it is thoroughly lost Mommy!" What was I supposed to say then? Shannon wasn't finished: "Actually is under the car Mommy!" came next. I galantly tried not to dissovle with laughter at her seriousness or faint from shock at her exercise in testing words out for size! A child after my own heart!

Shannon stayed on a roll in the comedy department as she completely floored Sean and I at bed time. She went to bed at 7pm as normal with the usual vague complaints about not being tired and having work to do; Sean and I had relaxed for the evening content that Poppet would soon be asleep. After about 20mins silence from the young lady her little head popped round the corner to inform us that she'd "had a nice sleep Mommy and it would be nice to get up now please!" Help - please send more anti-cuteness potion!

Still no feeling of being a grown up... just seems like a good joke is being played on Sean and I and that someone is watching at a distance enjoying our hopeless giggling in place of parental guidance and a little discipline! I take no responsiblity for the result! Hmm maybe that is where I am going wrong!