Holiday Break

Friday, December 23, 2011
It seemed just a few weeks ago that I had my study break and now I am off on a holiday break.

This year, the family has decided to embark on a trip to a local destination. I don't want to mention the place yet so I can provide a little excitement and suspense for the posts when they appear on my blog.

I must say, this year's trip is very well deserved. It has been a great year, even better than the last. I am really looking forward to next year because I know it can only be better than this year's.

Don't worry, my dear readers. I will be back soon enough. I just need to gather blog materials. And have some ho-ho-ho!

2012, here we come!

Counting The Advent Days

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I decided that since Missy has started counting big numbers, it would be kinda cool for her to count the days 'till Christmas. To help her, we've bought her a chocolate advent calendar. Basically, for every day that passes in December, she opens one block (the date is printed outside the block) and eat a small chocolate that's hidden neatly inside the block.

I think this is quite a novel idea to get Missy excited for Christmas. The advent calendar counts up to the 24th. On the 25th, she won't be opening up a chocolate block, instead she'll be opening her Christmas presents.

Here's hoping that she'll love counting....and love her presents!

Missy Gets A Cycle Upgrade

Monday, December 19, 2011
Missy has had a bicycle since she was the tender age of 4. She used to ride it around our complex and play with the kid next door. But since she has not been riding it for a while, I thought this phase was over.

Recently, kid-next-door came over with a new bike and asked Missy to play with her. Imagine my surprise when I saw the 2 kids riding around the complex - neighbour kid had a brand new bicycle and my child was riding her wheel fit for a 4-year-old. What shame! Missy was literally slouching while riding her bike. What a neglectful parent I am! To think that this bicycle would last her throughout early to middle childhood and pre-adolescent years!

A week later, we decided to buy Missy her due - a brand new bicycle. Certainly an upgrade!

Tooth Fairy Down The Drain

Thursday, December 15, 2011
No, we did not just kill the Tooth Fairy. But in our little story, it could've gone bad but we've managed to keep believing in her for a few more years.

My youngest, aged cutely at around 7 and a half, came to me crying the one night. She was busy brushing her teeth when one of them accidentally fell down the drain as she was brushing. Take note that this is the age when teeth are brittle and highly likely to fall off. I tried to console her with a very adult approach of "these things happen" and told her to just sleep it off.

She found it hard to relax and kept thinking on about the tooth. She was worried that since her tooth is now somewhere at the bottom of the drain pipe, the Tooth Fairy might try and look for her tooth. Missy, knowing that the Tooth Fairy can't swim very well, thought that the Tooth Fairy might drown in her search. That would be the end of the Tooth Fairy and Missy would have been the cause of it all. Horror of horrors!

Mommy then explained that the tooth will not stay at the bottom of the drain. Instead, it will get washed away into the rivers and the seas and the oceans. But how will the Tooth Fairy find the tooth then, asked Missy? Mommy had to explain that Tooth Fairies have tooth radar and they are instantly drawn to fallen teeth. When the Tooth Fairy finds the tooth, she will then visit and leave some pennies.

Missy, still unsure if and when she was gonna get money for a missing tooth, took her plight to her older sister. Oldest suggested Missy write a note to the Tooth Fairy explaining what had happened.

"Dear Tooth Fairy, my name is Missy. I was brushing my teeth and my tooth fell into the drain. I hope you can find it and give me money in my shoe. Thank you. Love, Missy."

And true to form, the Tooth Fairy listened. The note was gone the next day. And there were some pennies left for Missy in her slippers. :-)

Note to readers: Wondering why she leaves her teeth in her slippers? See my previous post here.

Shared with all the other lovely moms at Mommy Moments this week. Especially our hostess, Chris, who celebrates her birthday today!

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Picking On A Strawberry

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
As there are real budget constraints when it comes to family trips, I am always on the lookout for things we could do as a family that won't cost a lot of money. We'd usually do one big holiday spree in a year and the rest of the time, it would be small excursions here and there just for family bonding.

On a recent occasion, the family had the opportunity to pick strawberries on a farm. I actually heard about this place from a friend of mine last year but the strawberry season was already over so I could only try it out this year. The strawberries finally came in season early October. And on one good, sunny Sunday, I dragged the family for a trek to Tangaroa Strawberry Farm.

The Tangaroa Strawberry Farm is situated less than one and a half hours away from Johannesburg. It is actually in the North West province on your way to Hartebeespoort Dam. I was actually nervous that we might have gone all the way there for nothing. But I was wrong.

Although the strawberries had a dry spell this year, there were enough strawberries to give the whole family some enjoyable, quality time. As the strawberries were not in abundance, we were advised to pick and eat them within the farm. The whole "pick and eat" deal was for the experience rather than anything else. But I've heard that on a good season, you are able to buy the strawberries that you've picked by the kilograms.

There were even some mulberry trees nearby. Funny, showing my ignorant side, I thought strawberries grew on trees, hahaha. I was very mistaken as the rows of strawberry plants reminded me of garden patches.

Picking the strawberries on the patch
Getting into the spirit of picking and eating

There were some mulberry trees too.

Wow! These black mulberries really look like blackberries!!!

After our little picking rendezvous, the family decided to stay on the farm for lunch. There was a restaurant by the parking lot and we had their specials of Chicken Schnitzel. For desserts, we had their specialty - the Stawberry Cheesecake.

You might ask what happens at Tangaroa when the strawberries are out of season? The farm doubles up as a spa and offers weekend getaway accommodation for people who want to take a break from the city all throughout the year.

The whole farm setting was serene, what with the restaurant by the lake and ducks swimming around. It was truly a nice, peaceful timeout for the family.

For more information, visit the Tangaroa website. Entrance to the farm costs R50 (around $6 - $7) each person, young and old.

Weighing In: Blood Analysis

Monday, December 12, 2011
Well, there's no better compliment than the one I recently got from a visit to the herbalist and natural doctor. (Who incidentally my hubby kept calling "The Medicine Man").

I scheduled to have a live blood analysis done. I thought this was the moment of reckoning. I had been on a weight loss diet for a while now and have started eating healthily. Even stomaching green leafy vegetables which I've never touched all through my life until recently. I really think that it is always good to know if there is something wrong with you so you are able to fix the situation before it becomes any worse. Plus I wanted to see the fruits of my labour.

I am very chuffed to announce that the results were good. These were how my blood cells looked although this photo is not mine.

My blood cells were very healthy and well-oxygenated. Which prompted the doctor to ask if I was a vegetarian. I was floored. My diet was obviously paying off. Although I might not be losing the weight much now, I've still got good blood cells to show for it.

In the words of Mr Medicine Man, my blood was in stellar condition. And so was I, after receiving that news!

Missy's Epidemic Badge

Friday, December 9, 2011
No, it's not a Girl Scout thing.

My youngest recently got a school badge for her academic results.

She was really proud to show it off, even calling it her "Epidemic" badge :-) Tee-hee.

Of course, the meaning of epidemic is not totally lost on me. An epidemic of Missy. Sure. It can happen. We are all suffering from it. Especially now that she's in that cute age of speaking her mind and saying whatever.

Spreading childhood cuteness at Mommy Moments this week.

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A Big Bite Of Sinful Delights

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
My eldest recently had a school art project where she had to produce a bigger version of her most loved chocolate bar. The "chocolate" needed more complexity than the project looked. She had to have the right watercolours, size, texture.

The whole class got into the project. And the results were amazing.

MZ with her gigantic choc bars!

My eldest was ecstatic with the "bars" as you can see from this pic!

Can you just imagine us having all these goodies bigger than super size? Simply sinful!

The Spur Birthday Experience

Monday, December 5, 2011
So my daughter's birthday wish came true. Aint' that a good feeling?

We celebrated her birthday yesterday and it went off without a hitch. It was great fun!

They ordered their food and played around the jungle gyms, mini-ferris wheel and swings and trampolins. They sang around the birthday cake and my child got to blow her candles.

Hubby and I, together with my eldest daughter and her boyfriend, were the adults manning the kids. We had 15 kids on our hands. They were really a handful.

So now it's official, Missy is 8!

Oops, only half the candles went out. Time for another blow...

Mommy "Pressure" Moments

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Boy, has my youngest laid it on thick! There is no bigger pressure in the world than mommy pressure.

My youngest had a school project a few weeks ago where she had to create a birthday invitation. She brought it home and showed it to me. Quite the right timing as well as her birthday was coming up.

Sample of Missy's invite
"A birthday invitation: You are invited to Missy's 8th birthday at the Spur on 5 December from 8:00. Please bring your costume."

I felt a slight pang of guilt. I have not given her a proper birthday party in the last few years. I felt scrutinised with some other type of peer pressure as my youngest looked at me expectingly. But of course I knew my youngest was not doing anything at all. The feeling was all in my head. I was ashamed in thinking that I've been depriving her of a birthday celebration befitting a young kid her age.

The next day I was on the phone to her venue of choice, the Spur.

The Spur is a South African steakhouse, specializing in steaks and grills. What was nice was that the Spur catered for kids' birthday parties. They had jungle gyms and a computer room/entertainment area for the kids to play in.

I was very lucky to have been able to book the venue the Sunday noon before my child's actual birthday, which was on a Monday. I think I would have been crushed more than her if I had not been able to book, knowing of course that I should have arranged this long ago.

I told my youngest that night. We worked on her birthday invitation. The real ones this time. She was ecstatic. And for a little while, mommy pressure was off until the next load :-)

Have you ever felt precious mommy pressure moments?

This post is shared with Mommy Moments this week.

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