Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thank You



G and I started a gratitude practice a while ago at bedtime. After story time we try to do mindful breathing into all the different parts of our bodies and at other times we send love to all our different body parts (depending on how the day was this relaxes us both, but of course some days it works better than other days). We then say thank you for anything we can think of. We both really enjoy this routine and when I forget, G usually reminds me that we still have to say thank you. Our "thank you" practice is a great way to end the day.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Camping at the foot of Jebel Hafeet


We have been looking forward to winter just so that we can go camping. I didn't really feel like going because I was coming down with a cold but in the end I'm glad we did. We had a relaxing, fun time.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Check Mate



Hershey kisses from the advent calender + imagination = a serious chess game

After check mate the chess pieces went for a wild surf.

Precious moments in time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Zentangles

Started Zentangling, it is positively addictive!



Love the quote on the site "Anything is possible......one stroke at a time."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wonder in Ordinary


  • “Do not ask your children
    to strive for extraordinary lives.
    Such striving may seem admirable,
    but it is the way of foolishness.
    Help them instead to find the wonder
    and the marvel of an ordinary life.
    Show them the joy of tasting
    tomatoes, apples and pears.
    Show them how to cry
    when pets and people die.
    Show them the infinite pleasure
    in the touch of a hand.
    And make the ordinary come alive for them.
    The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
    ― William Martin
I found this delightful poem on the blog Hands free Mama and just love it. 

  • It gives me endless joy when I see G enjoy an ordinary moment and we are fortunate to have many;
  • Wake up cuddles in the bed with Bella
  • Greeting the sun while we go downstairs
  • Squeezing in some play time before school
  • Spotting red cars on the way to school
  • Doing our goodbye routine - hug-kiss-jump-in-my-heart at school
  • Getting a surprise drawing of the day when I pick her up at school
  • Having lunch together
  • Playing outside - constructing a castle, climbing mountains, jump to the moon
  • Watering our sprouting garden
  • Closing our eyes for one or other surprise during the day (dress up giggles etc.)
  • Cooking dinner together
  • Doing our nails
  • Bath time fun
  • Bedtime stories and chats
  • Sending love to our whole bodies, from the toes to the top of the head
  • Saying a gratitude prayer
  • Going to sleep (still the most difficult part of the day)
And by the time the end of many ordinary days I can quite clearly see the extraordinary in that day.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dear Santa.....


G's picture letter to Santa Claus; her first wish is for Santa to bring Ouma Nokkie en Oupa Ben over for Xmas. Ouma is wearing a long dress with puffy sleeves, a hat and wearing high heels. Oupa is wearing jeans and has big shoes. Then a bike, a picture frame and a computer. Not sure where that came from. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Uniquely G Birthday Cake


Oh how G loves baking. I asked her if she wanted to bake a cake for her aunt's birthday and when I got the kitchen a bit later, she had all the ingredients and measuring cups on the table. She was very adamant about decorating the cake with pretzels while her dad and I tried to persuade her not to. She persisted and we gave in which was worth it when we saw how proud she was of the cake, and the best part is that her aunt loved it! 



Friday, December 6, 2013

Living a Great Life

Often when something hurtful happens I go into a tail spin. I start doubting myself, my decisions, my motivation, my inspiration, the purpose of life and sort of feel just like giving up altogether. But I can recognize it now and it is good to know that I am learning to keep facing and moving forward, while spending my time on what matters every day. I wish life experiences never had to hurt and I wish I never felt so sad but I can see how the dark times are really the times that force you to take stock of your choices and if you need to alter your direction. Thought I would share this little piece of wisdom from Gemma Stone

"Living a Great Life means that in everyday moments you show up for your future self. Small, positive changes made every day add up to large changes over time ::

Saying yes to what inspires you and no to what drains you.
Honoring your boundaries.
Finding the community you want to belong to.
Learning from the wisdom of others and sharing your own.
Doing less of what you don’t want to do.
Doing more of what you do want to do.
Cultivating the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that nourish you.  

Nurturing your Great Life isn't selfish; it's a gift you give to yourself, your loved ones, and the world.

As you live your Great Life,you help to tip our world in the direction of more greatness.

Your presence matters".



I am very grateful that inspiration is available whenever I need it. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A red hat

 

Julia and I went searching for veranda chairs for our new house in Woodstock.  We stumbled across this fabulous building called the African Co-op that was full of lovely stuff, locally made.  Lots of quirky ideas, pencil cases made out of Lays crisp bags that had been recycled and laminated with plastic – big globe lights made up of the colourful recycling of bright plastic containers – greens, blues, pinks and yellows.  There were vintage sections within the store selling lovely jewellery and quirky clothing.  In one of the stops we found a gorgeous red felt hat…I put it on Julia's head and simply knew it must be hers, but left it there…we kept looking in other places and found a white lacy skirt that she loved but that was too big – I could have easily taken in the elastic for her but also knew that she would be getting something similar at xmas from me – a white lacy dress I am jazzing up with sequins and beads to present with fairy wings as a fairy outfit.

So I asked her – if you could choose – would you have the red hat or the skirt….immediately without hesitation her face lit up and she said the red hat!  So we went back to the stall and picked it up and i put it on her head – she caught a ladies eye who pointed her out to her friend and said to me – she is so cute in that.  She turned out to be the owner of that particular stall – I asked if it was a vintage piece and she said that the hat wasn't she’d bought it for herself but didn’t feel it had suited her in the end – I love it – it reminds me of a pair of beautiful grey woollen felt slippers that had a ladybird on them when she was little!  It was just one of those special mother daughter days – we shared a giggle between ourselves with the hat on her head as we left the store!

And in case you are wondering why she is crossing her arms – those are her angel wings….its a Waldorf thing!  She got the most exquisite report today – not a proper mainstream one – it included a story written for Julia and us to read to her that Delia made up and encapsulated Julia's qualities, then a separate letter just for Nev and I…. on leaving school today Delia said the most beautiful thing to us – she said thank you for giving me such a special gift this year!…and she meant Julia.

I will scan the story and send it to you xo

 

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A Song in my Heart


The night we were camping in the garden, G was having so much fun and between every thing we were doing she said: "Mommy, I  have a song in my heart!". I suppose that translates to feeling quite happy. That was enough to put a song in my heart.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Camping out in our Garden

With it being winter now, we spend most of our day out in the garden. G have been "building" castles, houses and obstacle courses in the garden lately and when G asked if we could sleep in the garden we immediately pitched our tent and set up camp. The excitement was huge! I slept with earplugs and still woke several times from street noise, the early morning prayer call and a rooster, but G slept through it all. She slept better outside than she ever sleeps inside the house. Must be the fresh air. My only regret is that I never took a picture, we were too busy setting up camp, cooking and enjoying out outdoor adventure. I wouldn't hesitate one second doing it again.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Massage Guilt


I went for a massage today, a free one (pay for ten, get one free) and I actually felt guilty while having my feet washed before the massage. Don't get me wrong, I was over the moon that I was about to have a massage with my favourite Thai masseuse, Apple. Her massages are just so good, her hands (and elbows, feet and forearms) literally dance all over your body, always flowing, never stopping, being tough and hard the one moment and gentle the next. But as I sat with my feet in the water, a sudden wave of guilt washed over me, whispering: " Your friends are at work and you are having a massage. Your nanny is saving all her money to send her daughter to a private school in the Philipines and you are going for another massage. You can't afford to keep your nanny but you can afford a massage? Your mother would never have taken the time and money to spoil herself like this. What makes you so special that you should be having a massage this morning? If everybody else don't have the time or can't afford it, do you really think you should be doing this?"

I justified it to myself by saying: " I am nurturing myself and when I nurture myself, it benefits the people around me". That lasted for five minutes and then I started thinking: "Maybe your life be terrible in a years time and people will say it's OK that she had a massage once a week because now her life is pretty shitty, poor thing." How crazy is that? Do I have few issues around guilt or what?

So I turned to free virtual advice, courtesy of my absolute favourite, inspirational, self help guru,  Danielle LaPorte and found this article on her blog, You're going to feel guilty.

Sonja: Really? Really, really? It sucks. Interesting. Continue. 
Danielle: So how to vanquish the guilt? How to avoid guilt altogether so you can go get what you want? You can’t. You don’t. Guilt is part of the deal. You will experience guilt as you craft the life of your dreams. It’s part of your conscience, it’s the tension in “creative tension.”
Sonja: So now that I am taking action to create the feelings and life I desire, I am always going to feel guilty that my life is good? 
Danielle: The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough. It’s the price of admission to fulfillment.You’re going to feel guilty. Breathe. Keep going. Ultimately, we’re all better off if you let your heart take the lead.
Sonja: I can live with that. I will trust you on this. It will take some practice. It's all worth it. Thank you. Your wisdom resonates with me. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

What a Glorious Feelin'

      Singin' in the Rain by Gene Kelly

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain




The clouds opened at 11 in the morning, the thunderstorm stopped us in our tracks just as we were about to leave the house. Oh it was so amazing, to hear lightning and rain pouring down, to see lightning and rain pouring down...... I miss that the most about Pretoria than anything else combined.

The thunderstorm didn't last very long, not more than twenty minutes, but enough to flood the streets and our home. It took much longer than twenty minutes to clean up the water that seeped through every window on the west side of the house. G immediately rushed upstairs, got her water boots and umbrella and played in the rain.

Oh, how very grateful I am for a very timely and sorely missed thunderstorm. I was absolutely elated the whole day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beautiful Soup


"Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup! 
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish
Game, or any other dish? 
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?"

Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice in Wonderland’


I have been cooking a bit more since being at home and have made two lovely soups, a ham and pea soup and a carrot and coriander soup. I sort of impressed myself, it was very tasty indeed. I enjoyed everything about it, from chopping the vegetables to eating it. I got a real kick out of using the coriander out of my garden (bought a tray of full grown coriander at the farmer's market, but nevertheless, the tray of coriander has survived at home for a week). Now I am looking for more recipes with coriander. I am really looking forward to cooking the next soup.




Friday, November 22, 2013

Clay Play

Playing with clay is one of the best late-afernoon-pre-bathtime activities to do with G, I don't know if it is the tactile aspect of it, but it really slows her down. Here are pictures of one of our creations.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recycled Pajamas

I found this great idea on Pinterest about converting an old tank top into pajamas for little ones. Although it turned out to be a very frustrating sewing experience (trying to applique with stretch material without the proper sewing machine know how) G loved it and wants to wear it all the time. She gets a huge kick out of anything handmade. I would say that is definitely something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bloom True Intuitive Painting

I gave myself a resignation gift of an online intuitive painting course, Bloom True by Flora Bowley. I bought her book Brave Intuitive Painting a few years ago and just loved her style and process. The course is much about life as it is about intuitive painting and was a great fit for where I am in my life and what I have been paying attention too.

The timing would have been perfect if I left the hospital at the end of September as planned but because I stayed on until the end of October together with G's birthday party preparations, I couldn't keep up with the schedule. We do however have access to the course for another six months so I am just going to keep working at it. I have four layers on two canvases at the moment but they are both in the "ugly teenager phase", as Flora calls it. I let G do the first layers with me which was a lot of fun, but when it got to the third layer it wasn't that much fun anymore having her paint her own way. I will do the rest on my own :-)

Here are a few pictures of her doing part of the first layer, really getting into the painting, moving to music, lost in her own world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Post Card Swop

I took part in the big post card swop through Do what you love for life. The theme was celebrate and it had to have some stitching on the card. I used the teddy inks but mine did not turn out the way I envisioned at all, but in order to keep to the deadline and to let go of expectations and perfection, I sent it. Oh well, next year I will start earlier. I received a lovely embroidered post card in return.

It was great fun to be part of this global handmade and stitched post card swop.


Monday, November 18, 2013

An Up-cycled Jasmine Heart

I've been meaning to make some wire structures for creeper plants. Today we were clearing out the house and got rid off G's play tent that was in tatters. I used the wiring from the tent to shape the jasmine into a heart. I can't wait for it to start flowering. I love up-cycling and I love being at home!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

One Very Special Birthday


I had a lovely birthday this year. Many small gestures and surprises made it a very special day indeed, starting with a hug and kiss from my sleepy precious girl, followed with lovely handmade cards and gifts from G, flowers from our garden, a balloon, an almond-dried apricot-candle-face in my usual breakfast yogurt and massage vouchers, ensured that I started my day feeling very loved and appreciated. I needed nothing more but the surprises and pampering continued throughout the day. What a lovely birthday and what great feeling it is to feel the love surrounding me!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Love Note


G got stationary for her birthday and the first thing she wrote on it was a little love note," For you Mommy, because I love you sooooo much!" So very grateful to have my this little girl in my life.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am very lucky!

 

To have such a beautiful, playful, joyful and FUNNY daughter!

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Guided Meditation

I am so enjoying doing guided meditations and I would really like to do get to a point where it becomes part of my daily routine. I found this meditation on Dr. Northrup's site. She describes it as a healing exercise through Channeling in the Divine Feminine. I like her voice, it's soothing and strong and I just like the way you go through your body and send love to all the different body parts. I did it last night before I went to sleep. I was in such a deep state of relaxation as I drifted off.

Image by Shiloh Sophia


A Rainbow for me

I was driving home from work the other day and was totally lost in my thoughts, thinking about creative endeavors. A thought came out of nowhere about writing an inspirational book for children with real life stories about children that have demonstrated creativity and innovation and shared it with there communities. I was so deep in thought and when I came close to home, ready to turn into our road, I looked up and saw a rainbow just behind our house! It didn't rain but there were huge clouds in the sky with this rainbow. I couldn't believe it. It really felt like the rainbow was just for me, as if the universe was saying to me:"' Feel the love, trust your heart and amazing things will happen."


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Michael Oak Waldorf Annual Fair

 

I am grateful for all the love, care and community spirit of all parents and staff that has gone in to this years fair that will be on this Saturday.  Our class has been busy crafting all year, butterfly, fairy wings with hand beaded felted centres, crowns, capes, bunny hoods, staffs, wands and wizard sticks.  it’s been hard work but amazing in that such a community all has worked together to contribute to this event which is not only about raising funds for the school.  In addition it helps parents in a class to bond and get to know each other, it is great for the kids in that they see us working together with a common goal and observing us creating things as a team from natural resources, and it brings together (at the fair) a larger community of  people who end up supporting us by buying handmade craft, receiving gifts from of love (be it food, gifts of action (reiki, henna tattoos, massage, etc.) All to  promote care of the environment as well as sustainable living and community living.

Having said all that, I am also grateful that my work sewing 27 bunny, dragon, donkey, bear,mice hoods is done and dusted.  They will sell for R110  and are 100 per cent cotton.

 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Creative Inspiration

 

I fell in love with these amazing  hard cardboard wall decorations in a place called Guadalest in Spain.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could make a life size one for our girls?

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Being able to Read

I have been reading so much lately and it just all of a sudden struck me that being able to read is such a privilege. It is definitely something that I never think about, the ability to read. How very different my world would have been if I couldn't read beautiful poetry, uplifting stories and every thing in between. Can you imagine not being able to read?

Monday, October 21, 2013

So many Teachers

I am incredibly grateful for the many people in the world teaching what they are passionate about and know to be true for them. It feels like I have grown so much in the last two years and having life teachers out there, speaking from the heart and sharing what they have learned and what they have struggled with just fills my heart and help me to learn the lessons I need to learn.

I have three and a halve days left at work, and I am tired to my bones. I think I have neglected myself for such a long time that body is just saying: "NO MORE!" I am looking forward to many things once I stay at home but what I am looking forward to the most is taking care of myself, giving myself what I need. I really really need that. I need to fill my cup to the brim. I now understand that what I need, I can only give myself.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Coming Out of the Rabbit Hole

I've been underground for a while. :-) Grateful to see the sun again. Found this in my inbox last night, very appropriate.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Flamenco Dancers

 

We saw some live flamenco in Spain – there is a lot more to that story – anyway – Julia fell in love with flamenco.  When one of Petes guests at a dinner party fell in love with Julia and knew she loved flamenco (a Spanish local) she raced off and gave her this gift the very next day.  I don’t think I have ever seen Julia's face light up as it did that day with the surprise of it all. She just loved it – especially the shoes (another sad story, but will chat later).  I got all emotional seeing her in her heels and dress – a sign of the future years ahead, looking so grown up.  Her and I are going to explore flamenco dance lessons together – I bought castanets over!

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Natures Gifts

 

 

One of the things I love most about Julia is her love of nature and the joy she experiences when giving me gifts from nature like this pine cone in Spain from Finca el Otero which she decorated with red petals that had fallen on the ground – very rarely will she pick a flower – she uses what she finds on the ground – whether it be stones, shells, feathers, petals that are shrivelling up – I always bring them home and put them in water in a little egg cup or Chinese teacup!

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

So much for detoxing

 

I’m meant to be detoxing and before this trip had been on a strict no sugar, no preservatives, limit on a glass of wine 1 or twice a week and basically being pure and true to my health.  Well, that all went out the window on the aeroplane really.  I packed a whole lot of nuts for my bag and fruit to avoid the terrible plane food for most of the way here. My efforts continued until arriving at Finca El Otero where Pete served us breakfast most mornings ( we have cut down now as it was just too much). Breakfasts there consisted of a starter, fruit and yoghurt and freshly squeezed orange juice, followed by something cooked – tortilla, salmon muffin, etc.

Dinners we have only been eating very late – around 9pm to 10pm – way too late for me – but after the guests have been served starter main and dessert, only then can we sit down as a family together and chat over a meal.  Running a B & B is not for the faint hearted.

So there's has been, too much meat, home baked breads, local 70% chocolate, desserts every night.  Having said all that – the most wonderful food has been at Finca and the lunch we were invited to at Riola San Gabriel.  Other than that the local ‘tapas’ and food in restaurants has been very disappointing – maybe its because I live with amazing cooks around me right now – but it also seems to be a theme in small town Spain at the moment.  The bigger more populated cities I’m sure will be much better.  Right now I am snacking on a pre dinner snack of soft goats cheese with marinated Pimentos – dinner is being concocted as I write, baby calamari and baby clams in a tomato sauce to be served with some sautéed potatoes and watercress!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fans

 

There are fans all around in Spain to buy, symbolic of the nations famed Flamenco I would imagine, we bought a lovely one in a gallery in Cuenca to take home and frame in our new house.  It has a poem beautiful written on it by Pablo Neruda (the poet) which we will translate when we get a chance from Spanish to English – Julia wanted it to play with, but it was not a toy for her.  Walking the streets today on our first day here in Granada, we walked past an art shop that had blank white fans and asked Julia if she would like that to decorate in her own way instead of a floral one that she could choose if she wanted later.  She chose the first option!  The result is a beautiful rainbow fan – one of a Julia kind!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Travelling

 

Plenty of gratitude to be had on this holiday….especially to my brother in law and his partner in Alicante who have been perfect hosts at Finca el Otero www.fincaelotero.net  – their boutique B and B which is world class I might add.  We were also invited to an out of this world lunch at a palace like residence which just opened for guests this year – but the owners were away, so one of the 2 guys that managed the place invited us to lunch with about 18 guests in total.  The place is on the internet and you can check it out at www.riosangabriel.com – truely amazing and so inspiring – def will send and post photos on this blog.  Thats all for now  Adios xo

Friday, September 20, 2013

A summery treat

 

Relaxation comes in the form of a European holiday in Spain, staying in the premier suite at my brother in laws boutique B&B in Alicante – Finca del Otero – look it up on the net – its gorgeous here – our suite is on the top floor with a terrace and views looking over the olive groves and out to the Mediterranean sea. Julia has her own room and we are sleeping on luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets!  Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Little Crocodiles

 

I was having an afternoon rest and Julia comes up to me and says there is a little crocodile in the house . Lillian, our Malawian maid was downstairs and ironing so I told her I was resting and that of course there isn’t Julia – the next thing she comes again “…but mummy, come down, there really is a little crocodile downstairs – you know? the ones you like, Lillian swept it outside and now Canvas is playing with it” That got me up – now I knew what she was talking about – …went downstairs and there is Canvas our cat staring under the chair licking her lips at my favourite – a Cape Dwarf Chameleon,  I picked it up much to Lillian's wonder and Julia's….  It’s sticky hands clung to mine seemingly grateful for saving its precious little endangered life, from the mouth of my hungry cat….. (actually she isn’t ever hungry, she eats non-stop!)  Its tail curled around my finger gripping it.  We put it in a container and placed it in the next door neighbours garden to happily live its threatened existence.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A clay day with Julia

 

We had a beautiful day on Saturday afternoon, I had come home from painting after a week off feeling all inspired and really needing to create more…Nev and I had a deal that if he had Julia for the morning and went to the school craft day to make wizard sticks and I painted at Spencer Street Studios, then after art I would have Julia at home while he watched the rugby.

So I wanted to get creative with Jubes and asked her what she wanted – clay!  So we bought a bag of clay and set about it.  I set us up and said I would take us through a meditational inspiration where we would start with the ball of clay in our hands and with our eyes closed we would explore it with our fingers and thumbs, noticing everything about it and that we should let go of any ideas of what we wanted to make and let the clay speak to us….. Julia had wanted to make a mermaid but in the end her first thing was a sunflower, angel, fountain, dish, person in chair, tortoise and still she wanted more! – I stuck with the one piece for the full 2 hours or so and loved every moment of it (jubes couldn’t understand why I was only doing 1 piece!)– we whispered together as i’d explained it is best to work in silence to let our creative inner voices speak to us but there was lovely soft unintrusive music playing in the back ground – everything was quite until everything totally opposite came through the door in the form of a human boxer puppy – leaping with joy over a historical rugby win to Aussie  - the phone calls followed, the doors left open and crash  went my silent retreat and space and focus – It made me realise how so important it is to have a quiet time and space, a sacred retreat within your own home, away from noise, chaos and potential sudden intrusions into the personal space (not so much of your house or room)  but of your mind.

My clay process was amazing and I am going to post it on Sarahs Brainchild – it was amazing how as she developed i just had more and more ideas as to where she could go – i haven’t been deep in process like that for ages, if ever!..maybe it was because it was in my own space and time and it was my own process.

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Touch

 

It is one of the most simple and divine pleasures in the world and we all need it to survive – touch!  We are sensual beings and without it babies literally fail to thrive if not die, marriages fall apart….and mothers and children alike would never get the pleasures they do from simple twirling of hair and up-styles made of all the clips in Jubees bag – my oh my… my very own little hairdresser – maybe not!

And…it is so very cute when I am washing her back sometimes and she asks for her back to be scratched all over – “no there mum – and there – and a bit down …. a bit across”.  I can just feel her back in those moments – definitely know how she feels – There is nothing like a good histamine rush.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Big Week at Big School

Gabrielle started 'big" school on Sunday and I am so extremely thankful that we had a good start. I expected tears when I picked her up at the end of the first day but instead she greeted me with a big smile on her face and said she wanted to stay at the school. It's day three today, and so far, we both managed pretty well. My goodness, if I think how stressed I have been about the start of school, and for how long. The up side is that it we were very well prepared.



Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bewilderment

 

I am totally bewildered by Julia and need to get this down before I forget....she was a bit scared when I tucked her in tonight and as Nev wasn’t here I was happy to stay with her longer and said I would lie with her until she slept.....we’d heard a couple of noises in the house that i think triggered her feeling a bit scared.... anyway  - what proceeded was the most beautiful thing. She asked if she could sing me to sleep and herself I guess!...I’ve sung to her before but not for ages....anyway – I was listening to her for about 10 minutes I would say  with my eyes closed and hers were too and just wish I had it on tape – it was the same tune/melody over and over and repeated with different but also the same sequence every now and then of words. When she was singing, she would get to points where as she was making things up she would stumble on words and then start again – but all while her eyes were closed....here we go (i can’t remember exactly but will give you an idea!).......

“’…its time to go to bed now, its time to go to bed.....crystals rocks and stones its time to go to bed, fairies flowers every where they go to bed too, over mountains over rivers, over bridges too, daffodils are opening and lie in the ground,  mummy’s lying here, keeping me safe and warm, its time to go to sleep , over mountains rock and stocks over rivers too, crystals rocks . stones and mountains and fairies everywhere, silkworms go to sleep in their box, go to sleep...

.Oh i could go on and on and made mental notes not to forget certain phrases but I've captured parts in this – it was so special and for me the most amazing thing was that I used to hum myself to sleep and rock my head – she was also humming in between – all to the same melody like I used to!   If it wasn’t for Joe banging on the separation wood with his paw i think she would have sung herself to sleep and there were times she stopped then started again..but she woke as I was getting up to get Joe and I said that was so beautiful my darling and she said  ‘you stayed here for ages mummy’ and I said i loved it – you were singing me to sleep and kissed her – she said – I’m tired now, I’ll go to sleep – then I let Joe outside and came back in and she was humming to herself – the NZ national anthem which she hums quite often (from the rugby ) she does the SA one too – but she was just humming it – so gorgeous – talk about seeing yourself in your daughter – how delightful – all these years I thought I was weird for humming myself to sleep and now I think it is the most beautiful thing ever – well – she hasn’t done the head rocking part yet  - but even that I would love – a greater lesson in loving yourself which for me echoes the entry I made on self love  2 days ago – funny that, its just dawned on me – I met myself in my daughter tonight!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fairy Miracles

 

Well the magical fairy's have “resuscitated” the “sleeping” silk worms (i.e.; raised them from the dead) -  though in Julia’s world we shall continue to say that they were sleeping (despite being dead for a week now!) Just too sad to convince her –she was adamant they were just sleeping. So hero Nev to the rescue, he picked up the school leaflet and saw a mother advertising silk worms for free – i gathered more than 70 I would say – way too many to sustain with mulberry leaves once older but shall hatch a plan.  

Took them to school in Julia's silkworm box so that when she came out she could see that she was right all along, the worms had just been sleeping and the silkworm fairies had also waved their magic wand and created quite a few more!!!!  The joy on her face was worth it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dumping the Noisy Mind Monkeys

I started a practice of writing regularly recently, whatever is going on in my mind, I just write it all down (similar to the practice that Julia Cameron describes in The Artist's Way). I just ramble and I quite quickly get to around 1800 words ( I do it in Microsoft Word and I like to see how many words it is). I don't look at it again and I don't edit it. I literally just dump whatever is going through my mind. It is great, I feel lighter at the end of it and I know I could go back to it if I want to, not that I have wanted to.

Interestingly enough I just found this quote by Julia Cameron: “Procrastination is not Laziness", I tell him. "It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.” 

My first dumping sentence today was about my worst habit - PROCRASTINATION. I labelled it as fear when I wrote about it. It might be true that we have all the answers already, we just haven't taken the time to discover it.

Hooray to dumping - think it's a self care practice keeper!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Self Love

 

Imagine a time when we meet ourselves at the door, with elation, and invite ourselves in, to become reacquainted with this ‘stranger’ who has loved you all of your life. Derek Walcott, Poet

I loved reading this on the net when i was browsing – isn’t it so lovely, the idea of meeting yourself in the street or wherever and to find that this person (you) has loved you all your life regardless of what it is you do or say or know or don’t know.  To have such self acceptance where you can be exactly who you are without worrying about what other people may think but simply just be and take any reactions that may result (or not) as an opportunity for self learning or growth.

The same goes for my health and sense of wellbeing – it just does not make sense to put my self last, on the back burner, fizzing away to nothing.

It is from this day forward that I am focusing on the intention to love myself fully for who I am and to nurture and protect myself when need be.  I took action today by spending the whole day in bed  instead of getting up and forcing myself to do what I should do (art and physio – cancelled both for my wellbeing as well as being honest about my inability to take on more hoods to sew as I have just not got the energy right now)

Here is to loving ourselves and just giving ourselves a damned break!

Becoming an Early Bird




I got up this morning at five, did my favourite twenty minute yoga dvd by Rodney Yee and was dressed by six when my little monkey woke up. We spent a few minutes in bed reading stories and playing with Bella. That was a good start to the day.


I have been struggling to get up in the morning because I go to bed so late. I just love being up late at night with no one around me and it is a difficult habit to break. I avoided the computer last night, instead I did the Body Scan by John Kabat Zinn before going to sleep and I must say, I was in a very relaxed state before I went to sleep and felt quite refreshed when I woke up.

This night owl is going to change into an early bird, one day at a time.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Delicious Spring

Well that is not true in the UAE (autumn here) but it is a lovely morning here in the desert, with a welcome cool breeze. Would be great if this marks the end of summer.

Spring has always been my favourite time of the year as a kid,  the anticipation of the beauty that is on its way; fruit tree blossoms, green grass, rain. I used to sing this Afrikaans song "Dit is heerlike lente, die winter is verby!" which directly translates to " It is delicious spring, the winter is over".

I love spring even if I am not in the southern hemisphere to enjoy it.




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silk Worms

 

This is so cute but also a bit of a sad story – I had these silk worm eggs given to me from last year – they have a yearly life cycle and hatch around the same time each year into pupae which you then feed mulberry leaves to or beetroot leaves to allow them to grow fully into silk worms which then spin a silk cocoon – a gorgeous project for little children – so I stored the eggs away and had it in the back of my mind to get them out – knowing that it was around this time that they hatch – well – I got the sealed plastic bag out to put them in a cardboard box and arrrghhh the bag was full of both dead and alive pupae – so just before Julias bed time I started organising a shoe box to put them in which I lined so  they couldn’t get out the holes and Julia was just SOOOOO excited, it was delightful to see – made me want to cry with joy at how excited she was to have these silk worm pupae.  She gave up her bedtime story to stay up late to watch them moving and then we were all convinced that there was a tiny egg hatching and we watched that forever convinced it was moving (but later, the next day found it was not).  We labled the box Julia’s Silk Worms and she was just estatic!  Below  are some photos.

silk worms 002silk worms 009silk worms 011

silk worms 013

 

But alas, the next morning we awoke to find that none of the pupae were moving!  Julia said “they’re just sleeping!” which was heartbreaking.  She wanted to take them to school to show Delia anyway.

But on the way to school she said to Nev on the way – “they’re moving, they’re moving”!

Then last night there weren’t any again and so nev said perhaps they sleep at night!?

But today there are none moving – I may have to look into getting some somewhere in Cape Town – will keep you posted xo

Starry, Starry Times

We had great time making paper maché dolls for our colourful wigs. G was playing with clay this weekend and made a night sky, a little snake and several other animals. She went on to change it into a top for the doll. I was absolutely amazed. There are few things that I enjoy more than watching her come up with her own original ideas. 



She got glow-in-the-dark stars and a moon that we stuck on her shelve above her bed this week (even though it pains me to put stickers on furniture). We switch off the lights and watch the stars and the moon now every night and imagine we are outside (the real deal will be nicer, but it's pretty awesome to make up our own stories).

"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” Marcus Aurelius

I hope to be see the night sky in all its glory somewhere far away from the bright city lights in the distant future, hopefully when winter rolls around.