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Tag Archives: Grandfather

Hobbyist

It has occurred to me lately that having developed this nail hobby is not completely unexpected. My grandfather was an avid hobbyist. He was a lithographer by trade. One of the best in South Africa at one point! He had a loads of hobbies. It drove my grandmother absolutely batshit! I think if he was a Disney fairy, he would be a tinker fairy 🙂

His first love and hobby that he never quit was hiking. He often went for hikes and at one point he used to take the youth from church for hikes as well. He loved nature. He loved walks on the beach. He also did bird watching at some point and dabbled in photography. He researched World War II. He did wood work and collected figurines. At one point he collected Lord Of The Rings led figurines which I inherited. He had bought the Lord Of The Rings books for me one Christmas after I showed an interest. He also took me to a class one Saturday where we learned to paint ceramic statues. I painted quite a few of them and kept some of them, unfortunately when my mother lost all her furniture and belongings some of my things (statues included) were also lost. My grandfather also collected stamps, glasses, limited edition cans that he printed at work, books and built model ships and airplanes. He used to do tapestries, paint by numbers and decoupage. He built large puzzles on the dining room table with thousands of pieces.

He didn’t always finish all the projects he started, but he tried his hand at almost everything short of painting his nails 😛 Sometimes when I’m blogging about my nails, dreaming up designs or taking photographs I think of him. I wonder if he would be proud of me and my hobby. I wonder if he would have tried to participate in some way or encouraged me to do things.

All I’m trying to say it that I’m not sure why I am surprised that I have taken up this hobby and run with it to the extent that I have. Being a hobbyist is in my blood!

Wedding at Hathersage

On Saturday Rudi and I attended a wedding that I have been looking forward to for a very long time. A few years ago I was reunited with my paternal family including my father’s half brother, Hentie. Even though he is my uncle, there is only a 7 year age difference between us, so when I was little we used to play together and are socially on a similar level. I was so glad we were invited! I have been waiting for the couple to get married since he popped the question. I am just so happy for them. I liked his wife from the first time I met her. She really is a gem and also really gorgeous (I’ll find something wrong with her at some point…she’s can’t have everything 😉 ) It is also the first wedding we have been to in about 4 years.

 

Anyhow, the wedding was at Hathersage in Somerset West. What a gorgeous venue! The weather was dodgy all week, but when Saturday dawned it was a stunning day. The ceremony was held outside at the venue. The bride looked absolutely amazing. The ceremony was lovely. The pastor threw in a few jokes which is always nice and keeps the guests on their toes.

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I am so happy for them! Don’t they make a lovely couple? I was pleasantly surprised to see even more family that I have not seen since I was a little girl! My aunt was there with her husband and 3 children, 2 of whom I had never met. I wasn’t even aware of their existence till I reunited with this side of the family. My paternal grandmother and grandfather who moved 2 000 km away about 6 months ago were also there. I was so happy I got to see them again. My grandmother has officially been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it is really starting to show 🙁 She seemed disoriented a lot of the time. She just seemed so lost and it broke my heart. On the other hand my grandfather who has been receiving chemotherapy for stomach cancer got good news from the doctor saying he does not require chemo anymore. So awesome! It was very hard to say goodbye to them. Realistically I will never see them again and it is a bitter pill to swallow.

After the ceremony while the registers were being signed we collected bubbles and dried flowers to shower the new couple with as they walked past us on their way to take photos. We enjoyed some champagne and finger food offered to us by waitrons circulating with platters. We gathered in the venue, the tables were beautifully decorated. Simple, elegant and understated. The colour scheme was black, white and silver.

 

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The food was absolutely delicious! We loved *everything*. If we were eating at a restaurant I would go back there again. I also received the best wedding favour ever! The bride hand picked each wedding favour for the ladies. We all received a different one. I am SO in love with the one she chose for me and knowing she chose it especially for me makes it so special.

 

 

I mean, really. So stunning. I will treasure it! We had such a good time. Rudi and I even danced together for the first time in aaaages. We don’t get to go out alone much. We don’t have family that can just watch the kids for us any time and babysitters aren’t always readily available unless we can pay them, so an evening out gets very expensive quite quickly. We were more than willing to make an exception for this occasion though! The kids stayed with the day mother’s daughter and grandchildren while we partied till midnight. We got pictures of the girls teaching Elijah netball and playing dress up with Gabby. It was so cute!

 

 

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It was just such a wonderful event and day. While we were at the wedding I received a notification from Facebook and found out one of my friends had given birth to her baby. I was elated! They decided not to find out what the gender of their baby was, so everyone was waiting with bated breath to find out if they were having a boy or a girl. It’s a girl! She is also breastfeeding her baby and I hope to be able to support her and help her if she needs it.

 

Thanks so much to Hentie and Karen for sharing their special day with us!

Happy Birthday, Jamie

It is that time of the year again. Where celebrations of Diwali and Guy Fawkes happen around the country, but where our family takes some time out to celebrate Jamie’s birthday.

 

Today used to be an extremely sad day for me. It would loom for weeks and I would spend the good part of the day in tears, but time has brought healing to my heart. I no longer dread the 5th of November. Being blessed with two beautiful children has helped the healing process. I am ever grateful for that, but Jamie will not be forgotten. She was the one that started it all and the one who shifted my mind into mother mode, paving the way for her future siblings. Before Jamie I did not yearn for a child. I didn’t particularly want children, but Rudi did. Jamie opened up my heart to the possibility of being more than just who I was, to being a mother and set my biological clock to ticking.

 

I can’t speak of her personality or post a photo of her and sometimes I wonder if it is easier to have no living memories of her, all I can say is how she changed my life. She made me realize how strong and resilient I can be. She taught me that I can make hard decisions and that I can put my faith in God. She awakened the mother in me.

 

Now she is with my grandfather and I know that they would not want me to be sad. They would want me to be happy and pour my love into our family. That is exactly what I will do.

 

I can’t believe it has been 5 whole years since the most traumatic day of my life. 5 years that have been filled with tears, sadness, joy and laughter. Blessed with two beautiful new souls to care for. Jamie will always hold a special place in my heart for the role she played in my life and we will never forget her.

 

Happy birthday, angel x

Letting Go

This November it will be 3 years since my grandfather passed away.

 

It all really feels like it happened a long time ago. Although 3 years flashes by in the wink of an eye, it just feels like so much water has flowed underneath the bridge since then. Babyice was just 10 months old when it happened. He is a boy now. PrincessIce was conceived, carried and birthed while her brother grew up. As far as life goes, a lot has happened since he left us. I remember him saying to me once that we will forget about him once he is gone. He was already sick when he said this. I assured him he would not be forgotten. And he won’t.

 

Leebeesa’s aunt procured a Livestrong bracelet for my grandfather after he was diagnosed. You couldn’t just find them anywhere anymore. We thought it would be something nice for him to wear, to encourage him during his treatments. He wore the bracelet proudly. He rapidly deteriorated and when he became gravely ill he was given morphine to help for the pain and to keep him more comfortable. I lost my grandfather to the drugs then. He often looked panicked (probably paranoid) and would say strange things as he hallucinated. He once asked me to help him die. Have I ever told you that? On the one hand I wish I could of (legalities aside), on the other I never could. The Livestrong bracelet started to irritate him. He didn’t like things touching his skin and was annoyed by sounds and light. More side effects from the drugs I assume. I took the bracelet from his arm and put it on my own. I told him I would wear it in solidarity, on his behalf. I have been wearing it ever since. I only took it off for a few minutes for the Cosmo cover shoot I did, once the photo was taken I put it back on. Other than that I don’t recall taking it off at all.

 

 

Of course after the Lance Armstrong scandal hit the news some silly people were “shocked” that I was still wearing it. As if me wearing it had anything to do with Lance Armstrong. It didn’t. I was wearing it for my Oupa.

 

 

Almost 3 years later,  I feel like it is time to take it off. I don’t need the bracelet to remember him. In fact, looking at it isn’t what reminds me of him. I think of him when the clouds are particularly beautiful. He once said if he could have a job in heaven, he would like to design the clouds. I think of him when I see beautiful things in nature like waterfalls or butterflies. He used to love nature and went on hikes regularly to be outdoors. I think of him when I wear the gold pendant he bought me. I think of him when someone talks about WWII or Marilyn Monroe. I think of him when Babyice does something particularly cute or even naughty and how much he would of enjoyed spending time with him if he had gotten the chance. Sometimes I look at PrincessIce and wonder if he had a hand in picking her for our family. This yellow piece of plastic is not what reminds me of him.

 

 

For a long time I somehow thought that taking it off would be some kind of betrayal to him, or his memory. I realize now how silly that is. So it is time to take it off. In some ways I am really glad to be liberated of it. It’s not exactly a beautiful accessory. I’ll put it somewhere safe.

 

Finally, letting it go.

 

 

Livestrong

Livestrong Bracelet

 

P.S. I wrote this post a few days ago and didn’t actually take the bracelet off. The post was scheduled to release today. Last night Babyice asked me if he could wear it and it occurred to me that I was meant to take it off already. I gave it to him to play with. He figured it made a great chew toy. Luckily it’s hardy. This morning I put it in my jewellery box. Strange how things happen sometimes. Perhaps a sign that it is okay and it really was the right time. Do you believe in co-incidence?

From Ashes to Forest…

Saturday was pretty uneventful, unless you live in my region and you are a rugby fan. Our team won the provincial championships (also known as the Currie Cup) for the first time in 11 years. I believe there was much fanfare and celebration afterwards. The only thing the rugby meant for me was that my landlord “couldn’t” come out to fix our leaking kitchen sink and would come through on Sunday.

 

 

On Sunday I woke up and made breakfast for the family. After eating my own breakfast I suddenly felt so completely drained that I didn’t even have the energy to get up and brush my teeth. I tried to get up a few times to get ready for church, but could not muster enough juice to do it. I was worried that I would not be able to gather the strength to go and scatter my grandfather’s ashes as intended. We decided to skip church and I lay down and rested for a while. By the time my grandmother phoned to find out why we weren’t in church and whether we were still on for later, I felt much better. I managed to get up and get dressed to head out to Newlands Forest.

 

 

We got a bit lost looking for Newlands Forest. Somehow we found it though and we set off. My grandmother can’t walk very far, definitely not uphill on a hiking trail. I was determined to be there though. My uncle said a few words and a prayer. He had us all in tears. My aunt decided to stay with my grandmother and my cousin did too. Lazy buggers. So off we went. We walked up to the path until we came to a stream. I thought about scattering the ashes into the stream, but apparently people drink out of it so we did not. I actually hope people don’t drink out of it because we saw a few dogs taking a lovely dip in there 😛 There were a LOT of people walking their dogs. We walked past a beautiful path surrounded by ferns, but Rudi felt we had not gone far enough and we carried on walking up to the first ‘gate’ into the forest. I didn’t see anything too promising up ahead so I suggested we go back to the beautiful pathway we had seen earlier. Considering I was the only blood relative other than Babyice on this trip, I kind of had the last say on it so we headed back down.

 

 

 

We walked back down to the pathway and headed down through the ferns. Before long I found a beautiful clearing overlooking the stream that had some mottled sunlight filtering through the trees. It was a gorgeous spot and I was drawn to it. We unscrewed the box and started scattering the ashes. I was very surprised. How many ashes do you think you could fit into such a small box?

 

 

Ashes

Bottom of the box

 

 

You would be surprised! We scattered ashes all around the clearing and before long everything was covered in ash and we still had half a box of ash left! We decided to scatter the remaining ashes up along the pathway between the ferns on the way back and even that took some doing! I think I said ‘Sheesh there are a lot of ashes!’ and Rudi replied ‘Well, there was a lot of Oupa’. I guess he had a point.

 

 

 

In the end if felt really good to put him to rest and to carry out one of his final wishes. Newlands Forest was one of his favourite places in the world. It really is beautiful and I can understand why he loved going there. I’m just glad we were able to find where he wanted us to be. It never occurred to me to take a photo of the actual place the ashes were scattered. I guess I got caught up in the moment…perhaps that is the way it was meant to be. So that he can rest in peace.

 

 

We found the right place 🙂

 

 

 

After our emotional morning we all went to the in laws for a braai. I had to leave to meet our landlord to come and fix our kitchen sink which had started leaking really badly into the cupboard underneath. He came and replaced all the pipes and the leak seems to be fixed now. As long as we don’t knock the pipes underneath the cupboard around too much. We store our pots in there so that might pose a bit of a problem, but we’ll be careful. Our extractor fan above the stove has also been giving us some issues. He reckoned that it needs a really good clean and hopes it will sort out the problems we have with it. Before I knew it he had the extractor fan under his arm and off he went!

 

 

 

We also had Babyice’s hair cut this weekend. Even though we gave him the medicine prescribed by the doctor again in the morning, he refused to get his hair cut. At one stage the entire salon burst out laughing when the screaming/crying toddler wriggled out of Rudi’s arms and bolted straight out of the door! Rudi dragged him back in, but we were having no success. Before long the owner of the salon grabbed Elijah by the hand and said ‘Come, let’s go buy an ice-cream’ and they did exactly that. The ice-cream distracted him enough to get the haircut started, but soon he started to become upset again. She then handed him a spray bottle with water in and soon she looked as though she had taken a dip in the pool! He enjoyed spraying all of us in turn and was laughing and crying at the same time. Somehow we managed to get it all done to the best of their ability. If the salon owner had not taken the time or been interested in helping us we probably would of walked out there sans haircut. I was very grateful to her. She even refused to put the ice-cream on the bill, although the haircut wasn’t cheap at R75.00 a pop. Maybe one day we can graduate to using the shaver on him again thereby stretching the time between visits. We didn’t even get to put a cape on him and the hair on his skin really freaks him out. He also get really hysterical when you’re anywhere near his ears. The hairdresser suggested he might have sensory issues (her son had and she used to have to sit on top of him when she cut his hair). I never thought about it before, but he did complain about a clothing label the other day, saying it was hurting him. Only a specific one though, he is fine with the others…so I don’t know. I’ll keep an eye on him. Anyone know of anything else I should look out for?

 

 

Otherwise I think I might have overdone it a bit hiking up into Newlands yesterday. The ligaments carrying my tummy are extremely tender.

Into the wind…

We are fast approaching November, or my “death month”. On the 5th of November it will be 4 years since Jamie died. Four. It seems like such a long time ago, yet still so recent. On the 17th it will be two years since my grandfather passed away. Sometimes it is like he isn’t gone. Sometimes I feel like he is just a phone call away, but of course that is not the case and I soon remember that.

 

 

 

Before he died he asked us to scatter his ashes in Newlands Forest. My grandfather was an avid hiker. Out of all the hobbies he took on in his lifetime, this was one that was consistent throughout. He loved nature and bird watching. When I was a little girl he often used to take me with him. He liked to tell the story of a trip we took when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We were walking a long a path and I was complaining a lot. He tried to ignore my whining for the longest time, putting it down to me being a toddler.  I continued complaining though and eventually he couldn’t take it anymore. He started looking behind him while we were walking (not a very safe thing to do on a hike!). Obviously I was a lot shorter than him, he was quite a tall man. After observing for a while he realized that he was brushing the bushes forward with his legs and they kept smacking me in the face! He laughed about this encounter until the day he died. Obviously I wasn’t very good at articulating why I was unhappy 😉

 

 

But I digress. On Sunday we will finally be going to scatter his ashes as per his wishes. Why did we wait so long? I’m not sure. There were times where we used the weather as an excuse and times my grandmother just burst into tears when we discussed it. Like she wasn’t ready to let go. Then there were times when our lives were just too busy. My grandmother  also brought it up often though. Rudi brought it up this time. He said to me yesterday that we’re having nice weather this weekend, why don’t we go to Newlands on Sunday? So I phoned up the family and suggested it and everybody is available. Rudi also suggested we all have a braai at our place afterwards.

 

 

I am not sure how far into the forest I will get. My back and hips have not been playing nice lately and sometimes walking can be painful. I hope to find a nice place. Can we pray for no wind on Sunday please? Don’t need my grandfather blowing all over the place and potentially ending up in my hair and going home with me and down the drain, you know?

 

 

I’ll be glad to finally put him to rest and to have his wishes fulfilled.

Catch up

You would swear I have nothing to blog about. Where to start?

 

I got my specs…a while ago actually. They need to be adjusted slightly. I haven’t started wearing them yet. I need to go back to the optometrist to check out how my eyes are doing with the new contact lenses she has me trying out. I’ll have them adjusted when I go. Perhaps I should make a turn there this afternoon. I promised a picture:

 

New specs

 

Frame

 

I think I chose a nice frame and that they suit me. I wore them to work once on a weekend. Nobody even flinched. I am yet to test the waters when everyone is here.

 

My skin is looking heaps better! It took just over a week for me to look at it and say that there is a big improvement. It is most definitely the new skin regime that is bearing fruit. Over the weekend I was a bit lax and skipped either my morning/evening routine on alternate days and my skin broke out again. I have since been doing it religiously and it started paying off. Those extra few minutes that it takes are really, really worth it. I feel a LOT less self conscious about my skin. I’ve even contemplated going back to The Body Shop and finding more products. I only have a face wash, toner and day cream now. I was thinking to perhaps get something for the evening and maybe an eye cream. The products obviously work and they don’t cost nearly as much as you would pay for something from a cosmetic house. I am very impressed. I also read on baby centre that you should be very gentle with your skin. The first thing you want to do when your skin breaks out is to scrub it. Like that will take the ugly away. The advice there is not to scrub or exfoliate or rub hard, but to dab and rinse and pat your skin. I have been following that advice and it is working for me. They also make mention that the hormones causing bad skin can come and go during pregnancy, but I’m not getting any younger and looking after my skin is something I should have been doing for a long time.

 

On Sunday morning Babyice woke up with a fever of 39 degrees. We medicated him and he was fine for most of the day. Around 18:00 his fever spiked again and almost hit 40. Panic stations. You all know how fevers freak me out and this was no different. Babyice actually had chills from the fever and that made me even more panicky. I’ve never had to deal with chills before. I may have started crying. Rudi was not impressed (with me crying). We popped him into a lukewarm bath and I gave him a Voltaren suppository. We managed to break the fever, but knew that we had to be on standby for another possible spike. I didn’t want to give him Stopayne (which had kept his fever under control since the morning) because I was afraid it would put him in too deep a sleep to rouse us if something went wrong. At 00:40 he spiked again. 39.9. We made a judgment call. I gave him Stopayne and we took him to the emergency room. I almost bolted for the door while we were waiting to see the doctor since he started to feel cooler, but by the time I had mentioned it to Rudi the doctor came out and picked up his file. I was right, his fever had broken. It was probably a combination of the Stopayne and cold air to and from the car. He didn’t spike again. So in hindsight we could have skipped the trip to the emergency room and saved a bunch of money by taking him to his regular GP later in the day. He was diagnosed with another throat infection and sinusitis. I suspect that the throat infections are stemming from his two year molars erupting, but I could be wrong.  I felt so ill when we got home from the emergency room and struggled to go sleep. My poor baby. He is doing much better now though. The doctor gave him a really high dosage of antibiotics and we’re feeding him plenty of probiotics to help. I have learnt that Stopayne REALLY klaps a fever. Yes, I am aware that it has Codeine in it and we use it for emergencies. It is not his regular fever medication, but when fevers soar so close to 40, I am completely comfortable using something that works for us.

 

Today is my grandfather’s birthday. He would of been 72. I still miss him so much. Very much. I remember the last birthday he was still with us. It was a Sunday. They called him up to the altar at church and the congregation sang for him. I stood at the back of the church and cried. I knew it would be his last birthday with us. The doctors had already told him there was nothing more that they can do for him. 5 months and 4 days after that day he was gone. I called my grandmother earlier to see how she is doing. I think she forgot it is his birthday. She didn’t mention it. She is still prone to cry when she thinks of him, understandably so. I didn’t have the heart to remind her. I wasn’t even there to comfort her. So I just checked how she was and she says she is doing fine. I have been okay today. Although I have found myself on the verge of tears each time I think about it. I have managed not to break down into the ugly cry. So time heals our hearts. As Leebeesa said, my Oupa wouldn’t want me to be sad. He would want me to remember him fondly. I know that. It is easier said than done sometimes though and my heart still aches and my eyes still leak.

 

The pregnancy is going well I suppose. There is always that uncertainty between gynae appointments and actually seeing the baby and how much it has grown and how it has developed. I still suffer from all day sickness most every day. I cannot stand the smell of coffee and won’t attempt to drink it. I have a bad taste in my mouth all the time, which contributes to my nausea and I find that sucking a sweet helps me feel better temporarily. Not great for the hips. I don’t do ginger. I know it is supposed to help, but it doesn’t for me. On Friday I will be 10 weeks, hopefully just two more weeks of nausea to suffer through. My tummy has popped out. Strangely the part of my stomach above my belly button, nowhere near where my uterus is at the moment. Maybe it’s the sweets!

 

To end off…this is what is happening while I am getting ready for work in the mornings (I get up the earliest):

 

Buggers. Cute buggers.

Sadness and Confirmation

Since last week Thursday I have carried Angel‘s family in my thoughts and prayers. Her nephew, Nathan, tragically passed away in a car accident last week. He was not yet 8 years old. Nathan was a special boy and he was very close to Angel. His passing hit me a lot harder than I would expect. I had never met Nathan, but Angel had told me about him. She described his lust for life and what a wonderful light he was to everyone that met him. I remember hearing him on the radio one day. The radio station gave him tickets to see his favourite rugby team with his father (Angel’s brother) and he asked them to play his favourite song at the time, De La Rey. Nathan also represented something special to me in my own life and his passing stirred emotions in me that I did not expect and I found myself crying at my desk at work on Friday morning. Nathan represented to me what Jamie could have possibly been. I know that they are vastly different and that Jamie likely would not have survived to term or long after birth, but when I think of her, I picture her to be like Nathan. A bright spark in a dark world. Now they are together in the same place and I hope that they find each other. This morning we received more sad news at work. A friend and colleague’s father passed away this morning. I hope that this is the last of the sadness and that everyone currently grieving are supported by their loved ones.

 

On Friday Leebeesa came to babysit for us so that Rudi and I could go and watch Titanic in 3D. We went for a pizza before the movie and I was so full I couldn’t even finish my popcorn 3 hours later.  There were quite a few added scenes at the end after the ship started sinking. 3D for 3 hours gave Rudi and myself a headache though. I also realized how your priorities change in life as you get older. I was a teenager when the movie was released and at that time losing the love of your life was the most tragic thing that could happen to you. I bawled my eyes out when she ‘let go’. On Friday, however, the tears were conjured by the children that suffered and the families that were split up. It really was a terrible tragedy.

 

On Saturday I wasn’t feeling very well. I did as little as possible, but was obliged to bake cupcakes for the following day. I had a runny tummy with tummy cramps and later nausea. Usually we do housework on a Saturday, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything. Luckily I started feeling better by Sunday.

 

Yesterday my counsin was confirmed in our faith. My grandmother asked me to bake cupcakes for the tea after the confirmation. I could not think what had possessed her to do such a thing. If you ask me, my attempts at baking and icing have been tremendous failures, but I complied to try and contribute to the event which my aunt was very excited about:

 

Confirmation Cupcakes

 

I ASTOUNDED myself! These didn’t turn out too badly AT ALL! 😀 My grandmother purchased the plastic icing decorations, but I baked and iced them all by myself 😀 I guess I have no excuse but to bake for Babyice’s birthday next year 🙂 The confirmation went well and my cousin’s father made a very moving speech at his tea afterwards. My grandmother was sad that my grandfather was not there to witness his only grandson get confirmed, but I knew that he was there. Near the end of the service we sang a hymn which has always been a sign for me. The lyrics of the hymn at the chorus say ‘It is well with my soul’. It is a beautiful, touching piece of music and when that hymn was the chosen one I knew that my grandfather had come to see. It was a wonderful moment.

 

Potty training went okay this weekend. We’re still having no joy with the poo. Saturday was accident free and on Sunday Babyice insisted on not wearing a nappy when we went to church. We carted his toilet seat ring around with us and took him to the toilet every now and then. Everything was going very well until we left the confirmation tea and stopped at the shop. Rudi found him standing with pee dripping down his leg in the Spar. That was the only accident we had on Sunday though. The day mother says he made a poo in the potty this morning. I hope that he starts getting the hang of it this week. That would be awesome. Babyice also skipped both his naps this weekend. We had quite a miserable toddler on our hands last night and getting him to sleep was no easy task, but Rudi eventually managed to get him sleeping by lying down next to him for a while.

 

 

I broke up with my Blackberry over the weekend. I took Rudi’s upgrade phone (A Samsung Galaxy Ace) and am now living in a world of Android and charged data. It is taking some getting used to and I am chowing through data at an alarming rate, but I am sure that I will start managing my data better when I’ve had the phone for longer. Rudi is happy since he now has his grubby paws on my coveted Blackberry and he doesn’t have to constantly monitor his data. Win win.

Weekend in Gordon’s Bay

We spent the weekend with my grandparents (my biological father’s mother and his stepfather, whom I have always known as my grandfather). When we reunited with them last year my grandmother said she would love to have us for a weekend. Even though we were willing to drive through for a day, she seemed to insist on us sleeping over, so we set aside a weekend for it.

 

It was really lovely to be there with them again. They opened up their home and we were told to make ourselves comfortable and treat it like our own home, which we did. We arrived Saturday morning and my grandmother had prepared a lovely meal for us. She had made cottage pie (which Rudi LOVES), a curry noodle salad (which *I* LOVE) with a green salad. She couldn’t possibly have an idea about our food preferences as I haven’t eaten anything she has made for about 20 years. Somehow she got it spot on!

 

It was very hot in Gordon’s Bay on Saturday. We went to the beach, but when we got there everyone was standing out of the water as there had been a shark warning. We weren’t even there for 10 minutes when people started getting bored and venturing back out into the water. Babyice LOVED jumping into the little waves breaking on the shore, even though he thought running away from the “water coming” was funny at first. We helped him build a sandcastle, but he wasn’t too interested in that. He would much rather run in the water. That child LOVES water. Rudi bought us all a chocolate ice cream which we enjoyed on the beach. We went rather late in the afternoon and it soon got a bit boring and we decided to go back.

 

I was lying on the floor (trying to escape the rising heat) and noticed that my grandparents had an air conditioning unit up against the wall. I enquired as to why it wasn’t on and they said it hadn’t been working for about two years. This piqued Rudi’s interest, since he had worked in the industry for a while. He promptly started fiddling with it, went outside to check the condenser, etc. Within about half an hour we were sitting in an air conditioned room! My grandparents could have kissed his feet! He was most certainly the hero of the day. We were all very grateful for the relief from the heat!

 

After Babyice had been put to bed, (which was a triumph in itself since he had had his afternoon nap really late and bad mommy left his dummy at home) we whiled away the time with one of my grandparent’s favourite hobbies, cards! They taught us a game they often play. It was very easy to learn and we soon started getting competitive. When we looked again it was 23:00! We said we would quit around 23:00, but ended up playing a bit longer since we were having a good time. At the end of the night when all the scores were tallied up, I had won! I was quite chuffed 😀

 

To be honest we didn’t sleep very well. We slept on a double bed, with Babyice on the floor. We made his a nice comfortable bed on the floor with a thick duvet. There definitely wasn’t enough space for 3 of us on a double! I think the unfamiliar surroundings and heat both contributed to us not being able to sleep. Babyice didn’t seem to mind. He was his restless self, rolling around all night, but he didn’t wake up at all. We woke up less than refreshed, but we didn’t let that stop us from having another lovely day.

 

My grandmother served us a lovely lunch and while Babyice napped (after being driven to sleep in the car), we played cards again. This time the professionals annihilated us and Rudi and I ended up in the last and second last places. All too soon it was time for us to go home again. I wasn’t particularly sad, since I had missed my bed, but in a sense it made my heart sore. They are not getting any younger. My grandfather had to have bypass surgery last year. The scan they showed me of how his artery looked when he had the heart attack was scary! Even for a layman. He has also had two black outs recently which resulted in bad falls. He has low blood pressure too.  I hope that I can see them regularly now before it is too late. My grandmother says she misses my father very much. She doesn’t really hear from him at all. It doesn’t seem that they will be my link to him, should I wish to pursue seeing him again.

 

We had a lovely, relaxed weekend. It was very nice spending time with them. I know they appreciated getting to know me as an adult and to meet my family.

Christmas 2011

Christmas this year was okay. As per tradition my family came over on Christmas Eve to socialize a little and unwrap gifts. I’m not sure why we still decided to do this, despite us all being together again on Christmas day.  We decided to make boerewors rolls since Rudi insisted on making a fire. We all know how our cavemen love a good fire 😉

 

 

Anyway, everyone came over and shortly after everyone had arrived Babyice picked up a gift, brought it to me and said ‘Open?’. We decided there was no use delaying it and allowed him to start unwrapping gifts. Sometimes he requested a little help getting started. He wasn’t quite sure where to tear at the paper when it was all completely wrapped up, but once you got a little tear in there he knew exactly what to do. Sometimes he would tear and a tiny piece of paper would come off, prompting us to jeer about being there till next year. He also insisted on unwrapping ALL the gifts, even those intended for Rudi’s parents who we would only see the next day. He actually did get bored of all the unwrapping, which was a bit unfortunate as I was saving the Barney stuffed animal Nellie sent him from Port Elizabeth for last. I eventually managed to convince him to unwrap it and he was very pleased with the contents 😀 He is so very cute when unwrapping gifts. I’m not sure where he observed this, but he’ll tear at the paper and once whatever is inside has been partially revealed he will look up, make his mouth into a perfect little “O” and gasp. It is too cute to behold 🙂

 

I finished preparing the trifle for Christmas Day while the family was visiting. I made a huge trifle which took up an entire shelf in the fridge. The last time I made a trifle it didn’t turn out so well. I had put sherry in the sponge cake and it was very overpowering. I didn’t like it. I decided to skip the sherry this year though and set the jelly in the sponge cake. We attended church the next morning and went home to fetch the trifle and potato salad I had made. I had only gotten around to making the potato salad in the morning before church since I was wiped out the night before from having the family over. It was just as well though since there wasn’t space for it in the fridge. We all gathered at the in laws for our Christmas lunch. We had planned to have a spit braai, but because there weren’t enough people coming to justify and entire lamb, we changed the plans to a regular braai. My grandmother had mentioned that she really felt like leg of lamb and roast potatoes, so my mother in law made that AND two chickens. The braai just wasn’t happening fast enough and everybody was hungry, so we ended up eating the leg of lamb and chicken with the salads for lunch.

 

 

The pool at the in law’s had packed up about 3 weeks before Christmas. Rudi had spent a few evenings there trying to fix it. 3 pool pumps and 3 weeks later the pool still wasn’t fixed. I was quite annoyed since part of the reason we decided to have Christmas at the in laws was because they have a pool and it would probably be good swimming weather. The water was still green on Christmas day, although slightly better than it had been. The kids decided they didn’t care and dove in. Of course Babyice also wanted to swim and Rudi got in with him and later my mother in law. I wouldn’t have wanted to swim in the green water (if I cannot see through it, I won’t get into it) and was fortunate enough to have a female excuse as to why I could not swim. After the swimming activities Babyice came out of the pool with blue lips and shivering like it was -10 degrees. Shame. I quickly peeled off his wet costume and dressed him and he was a happy chap again soon.

 

 

The boys eventually got their bums into gear and got the braai going, which resulted in a second lunch/early dinner. I just had the the steak that we brought for the braai with some Ina Paarman cheese sauce. It was very yum! My trifle was absolutely delicious! It tasted precisely like my grandmother’s always used to. The trifle was *huge* and it was practically polished:

 

 

Strawberry jam and jelly set into the sponge

 

 

Ta da!

 

All in all we had a nice day. No fights, no drama. This was probably because I completely ignored requests from My Evil Mother this year. She enquired where we would be and what we would be doing. I ignored her. She then started guilt tripping me, I ignored her. It seems I have accidentally deleted her messages. They were scripted along the lines of ‘If your Oupa was still here you would not be treating me this way. You have green corn on your fields and you are preventing me from loving him’ blah blah blah. To be honest, I did feel guilty. I do not, however, think she would have added any value or Christmas cheer to our day. In fact, she would probably have made it awkward and difficult for everyone. I meant to wish her for Christmas all day, but it would seem I had gotten so used to ignoring her and putting her out of my mind that I completely forgot. Then I felt guilty about that. She did wish my grandmother via SMS, but not me. Perhaps I shouldn’t feel guilty. I don’t know. Whatever.

 

 

Even though we had a nice day, I was quite sad during the course of the morning. I missed my Oupa and wished he was there still. Babyice was riding around on the black bike he bought him for his very first Christmas. At least he got to enjoy the ‘real’ party.

 

 

Unfortunately the Christmas pictures are on my ‘proper’ camera and I still need to download them. I will try to do this soon, but it probably won’t be before we come back from our holiday next week.

 

 

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