Monday, October 31, 2011

Moving on and letting go

Tonight we had a meeting at Nellie's new school, in preparation for next year. It was a good meeting, very informative, but I found the first bit very hard. We took Nellie to meet her teacher, and see her classroom. She was so confident and happy for me to leave, that I nearly cried right there and then! I just know that I'm going to cry on the first day next year... I just know it! My baby is growing up, and becoming independent. While I know that's what is supposed to happen, it is a tearing, and it hurts.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I have an odd assortment of items on my bedside table - everything from various medications, kiddies toys, books, pens, drawings, kid's clothing, etc. Yesterday, Nathan came into my room and proceeded to point to each item on my bedside table in turn, asking what it was.

"What's that?" (pointing to deodorant) "Cream bar deodorant."
"What's that?" (pointing to Voltaren cream) "Voltaren."
What's that?" (pointing to two sachets of hand cream joined with a perforated join) "Cream"
(pause while he ponders this...)
"NO MOMMY! THAT'S CREAM (pointing to deodorant). THIS BOOK!"
He promptly picked them up, 'opened' the 'book', and walked away pretending to read the 'book'.

I cried with laughter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh boy!

You should be careful what you pray for... you might just get it!

When I was pregnant with Nathan, I prayed for a child who would restore my joy after losing Zoe. I prayed that he would do that for me, but also for everyone he met - that he would be an agent of the Lord, to bring true joy and healing into the lives of everyone he touched.

This past weekend, on one occasion he had run away from me, out into the road. Fortunately, the road was one of those where I'd been able to see the whole street in a single glance, so I knew he wasn't in immediate danger. However, I decided that I needed to enforce the principle that he needs to stop when I tell him to, or to come back to me when told to do so. We've started using the "I'm going to count to 3 and then [insert consequences here]" method with him.

"Nathan! I'm going to count to three and you need to come here to Mommy, otherwise I'm going to give you a hiding!"

Picture it - driveways all over the little Close, the nearest driveway bounded by a rolled down canvas awning. Nathan turned, grinned at me, then - 

"Yes Mommy, hiding!" So pleased with himself that he understood me, and that I want to play too.

He promptly disappears behind the awning. A split second later, he reappears at the other end by jumping out and shouting "TA DA!!"

I ask you - could you do anything other than fall about laughing?

Monday, October 17, 2011


I admit that I have a penchant for doomsday movies - anything from Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' to 'Day after Tomorrow'. I am, at heart, a pessimist, or maybe just a bit of a fatalist. I believe that climate change is something we're experiencing, and I believe it spells the end of civilisation as we know it. Quite why, or when it's going to happen, is still up for debate.

I accept that part of the reason is that there are simply too many human beings on this planet. Part of the reason is that we eat too much meat. Part of the reason has, however, nothing to do with humans. It's just about our earth being where it is in space and time, and this is part of the natural cycles of life.

I was therefore rather excited when DH brought '2012' home from the library - by the same director as 'Day after tomorrow', as it turns out - Roland Emmerich. For those who haven't seen it, all I will say about the story line is that the movie is based on the premise that a particularly large solar flare disrupts the earth's core, with disasterous results for all species on the earth.

The special effects are incredible! I would have loved to see it on the Big Screen - just for that. However, I found the story oddly disturbing in a way the others haven't been. I was touched by the human element in this movie. Throughout it I found myself wondering how I would cope, what I would do, especially as far as my kids were concerned, if something like that really started to occur. I was struck by the immense suffering and tragedy that would occur. I was traumatised by the thought of all the kids who would die in terror and pain; of the thought of my own kids dying in terror and pain.

I suppose that, so soon after 15 Oct (International Stillbirth awareness day), and having been so ill so recently, my emotional defenses were down. I was very upset though. Maybe, though, this movie just paints a more realistic picture, in this regard - maybe it's just better at the human element than previous movies in this genre.

It didn't help though, to have my hubbie at my side laughing with derision at various of the special effects - he tends to be very skeptical about things. For e.g. where the rest of us might have seen the crack appearing between God's finger and Adam's, in Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam' frescoe on the Cistene Chapel's ceiling, as a nice touch, he laughed with scorn at how cheesy he thought it was. On the bright side, I guess it kept me from becoming too morbid about things.

[But of course, for that, there's always chocolate. YUM! My friends know me well - earlier in the evening one had dropped by to bring me some, as a 'get well soon' present. What a lovely lady she is!]

Yet, my dreams last night were troubled by collapsing buildings, pathways, and roads up at UCT, where I was a mature student. If I remember correctly, in my dream I'd gone back to study my masters. (My hubbie had also gone back to studying full time, but I can't remember what.) In the midst of the dream, I knew I was dreaming, and was surprised how unafraid I was of the world caving in around me. Maybe, in the dream, because I knew I was dreaming, I felt invincible. Maybe I was just too wrapped up in my story line to really care about the buildings falling down around me. Or maybe it's just that fatalistic edge in me coming to the fore.

Monday, October 03, 2011

National pride

At bedtime, one of us will always sing a song to Nellie. One of her regular requests, and an all-time favourite, is the national anthem (go figure! What a patriot!). Needless to say, she was thrilled to BITS when we got to sing it for the first rugby game. Our church cancelled the second service and we all stayed to watch the game on the big screens. I recorded it for her (and for my amazing husband who was still standing in the queue to collect our boerie rolls). Although it's WELL after the event, I thought I would post it, because I love this country, and I love this song, and I love what this song represents for all South Africans.

Sadly though, I do not love the Bokke Jive... I just don't like the song, and so I haven't got into it at all, so I won't be recording it, nor will I be dancing it, nor will I be posting anything else about it. I think it doesn't come close to the soccer world cup Diski Dance, and even that wasn't the ... um... captivating dance (at least I learnt it though, and that made it more fun to hum along to).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Photo catch-up time

It's been such a LOOOOONG time since I posted some photos. I finally got around to getting them off my phone and so I thought I'd post a few.

This is one of a series of photos I've taken while taking the dogs for a walk. Don't we live in such a beautiful part of the world? I love CPT, and this is one reason why.

This photo was taken at Milnerton beach. My kids ADORE the waves (what kids don't??) This was the day I took the unintentional self-portrait (posted on FB around the time I took it). I love this one because of the contrast - my big girl is so little, and my little boy is so big! You can hardly see it in this photo, but the new stadium really does dominate the cityscape, and I think it's a rather pretty addition to the traditional cityscape.

Here's my little boy all growing up. He's being helpful, putting things on the checkout conveyor belt for us. He's entered that phase of life where being helpful is starting to be something he wants to be. (Of course, he is still a little terror at other times, point blank refusing to do whatever I tell him to do... sigh! I guess that's part of being a kid.)

And these are my other boys... Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee, Abstinence and Cell Phone (and yes, there is a story behind each of those names!). Towards the end of the term I was seconded away from chess to help run the DT system. I've managed these boys since I arrived at the school, so this was my 4th year of close relationships with them. It's only been a few weeks of me no longer being involved, and already I miss them like crazy! Thank God I still teach them, or I think I might go stir crazy! Whatever am I going to do at the end of next year when the elder three leave school for good???? 

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Edtechconf Extended @ Elkanah

The past two days have flown by in a blur! I've been to the first Edtechconf Extended events here in CPT, following their first national conference earlier in the year. Yet again, it's been an exciting time.

I've loved being able to spend time playing with techy stuff without feeling guilty that it's taking me away from my kids, or family. (It did though, because I was away from home for 2 days. Being away, though, means that I can't spend time with them, so it's okay for me to spend that time playing, if you see my logic.)

I've loved spending time with people who have the same passion as me, who know more than me, and less than me. It's been awesome connecting with folk and helping them figure some stuff out. It's been awesome learning stuff from others too.

It's exhausting though - my brain died sometime yesterday, and I'm only just starting to feel like I'm recovering. There is serious information overload involved! But there's coffee on tap, and plenty of good food, which means that at least you can feed ALL of you, not just your brain.

The challenge with all of these sorts of experiences though, is two-fold. Firstly, to sort through all the info you've received, and secondly, to work out which thing/ things you're going to implement. It's pointless going on a conference like this and coming away with nothing to implement.

I think the thing I've decided to try to implement is a PLN. It's something we've looked at in the past, and it's something I had hoped to build into our website redesign. It didn't happen though, and there isn't really money to design our own thing, so I was interested to really investigate what else is out there. Now that I have a better idea of what is possible, I want to really have a good think and play with them, to decide which one will best suit our purposes. Then, I want to implement it next year. (See, I'm trying to be realistic, and not an Ambitious Alice! :))

My current projects for the 4th term are to set up some forms on SurveyMonkey, to design a webquest and to look at putting together a geocaching activity around the school for my Gd 11s. So I figure that's plenty to be getting on with (especially as I have exams to set, a project report to write and some consultancy work to do as well!)

Only 3 days to relax though before I'm back at "work" - taking a school group up to Jo'burg for Eskom Expo. I hope it's worth it, because I will be really cheesed off if it's not enjoyable. I am going to be tired at the start of term as it is. I'm debating taking my laptop with me to try and squeeze some work in at other times to try and relieve the burden a bit once term starts. We'll see. I might be too tired.

Speaking of which - time for bed now. Sleep tight, Tweeties.