Hannah’s ears

Hannah is a happy girl eighty percent of the time. That is unless her ears are causing her pain. Then she turns into Hannah the horrible. Not really. She is still a sweetie. But we don’t get much night sleep and she is generally a bit out if it and grumpy.

So because this my third trip to the paed ward for grommets I thought I’d jot a few thoughts down on the experience.

Expect to wait. Unfortunately this is just how it is. You will wait and the older the child the longer. So today we got here at 6:30 am but will only get seen to by around 12.

And considering the kids can’t eat or drink since the night before it is a very long time to wait. Poor kiddies are starving.

Bring stuff to do. I’m feeling just a little green with envy of the play dough, crayons, puzzles other mums have brought with. But generally a movie on the iPad is the best.

Expect a bit of a tantrum. Either before due to being so very hungry or after when the anesthetic wears off.

A few thoughts on this experience. And here is hoping this is my last visit.

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When Justin goes away

Justin travels. Not often maybe four or five times a year. But he does. And it can be quite a challenging time for me. I know that it is part of his work and what is required to support us and allow me to be home with our girls. But often I’ve caught myself thinking I wish I could be taking a break from it all or seeing a new part of the world.

I think the first thing I’ve had to do is change my perspective. Yes he does get to explore a bit, get a few nights of sleep and taste some interesting food. But I get the huge privilege of being home with our girls every day. Seeing them grow and spending time enjoying them. And this is perhaps the biggest privilege of all.

And then there are a few things I’ve decided to do to ensure that I’m a good mum while he is gone.

The first is to make sure I do that thing that keeps me sane. That gives me a break. And for me that is gym. At gym I don’t have anyone I’m responsible for. It is a time just for me. On my own. I have learnt the hard way that without this breather in my week I am not a good mum.

The second thing is to take an interest in what he is doing. So if he is playing golf have a look at the golf course or if traveling Wikipedia the place so that I get to experience a bit of it through him. Skype has also been great for this.

Thirdly I have found that time with him before he goes is so valuable. Time on our own. Sometimes this has meant leaving the girls to play or do their own thing so we can have coffee and chat. And allowing him to serve me when he is here so that I remember when he is gone that we are a team.

And fourthly and most importantly to keep praying for him. I think I’ve often seen his time away from us as a break from us. And to remember that it can be hard leaving us. That he misses us. And that being away he needs extra prayer to remain strong in Christ and to continue to hold on to his testimony in places where no one knows he is a Christ follower.

I am so grateful that he doesn’t travel more then what he does. But I’m starting to realise that when he is away I still have a role to play as his wife.

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Saturdays

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Saturdays are the one day of the week we don’t have anywhere to rush off too. If only the girls would learn to sleep in – we are still up at five, if we’re lucky six.

We do spend an occasional Saturday morning home playing, making a mess and eating pancakes. But often there is something we need from the shops or an errand to run. And my favorite mornings are those we find some where green to go explore. Mushroom park, Zoo lake, Johannesburg zoo.

Needless to stay by the time we head out we’ve been awake for a while. I do miss sleeping in but I also love early morning breakfasts and chats with my girls. Fortunately I am such a morning person. And thank goodness for that. This morning I fed Emma, got the girls their breakfast and changed dirty nappies before my morning tea.

I do love Saturdays. Mostly because Just is home and there is no where to rush to. A holiday-day in amongst busy weeks.

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A visit from Carmie

My sister came to stay. What a treat. And what was special is that she brought Caleb with. And we had such fun. Quite something having four kiddies in the house but such fun. What added to the madness with no power for a few days. So lots of cold wheatbix breakfasts and gas burner cups of tea to remember.

My girls were super excited to see their Aunty Carmie. Both of my girls ran into her arms. And Caleb. They couldn’t get enough of him. Showing him around the house and explaining to him where the chickens live.

I loved sharing everyday life with my sister. Chatting about parenting, being a wife, budgeting. There was so much to talk about. And doing it over coffee each day rather than a once a week phone call was amazing. It’s quite something sharing this journey of being a mum with your sister. I learnt so much from her. And many a time felt like the younger one.

Anyone who knows her will know her heart and to see it expressed in everyday life was such a privilege. Watching her head off to have a quiet time or teaching our kiddies about the lost sheep (snowflake) that the shepherd went to find in the bible. Seeing her worship God at church. Her passion is contagious. And her amazing energy and love for kids. She played endless games with them. Row, row, row your boat, twirling them on her back or rolling with them outside, building duplo towers, reading stories or making play dough biscuits. We loved sharing our space with her.

Every morning my girls went straight to find Caleb (Caneb). And what a sweet undemanding child he is. I loved picking him up, having cuddles and cherishing his still baby smell. What an easy eater he is. Actually he is easy mostly. Only crying occasionally for a bump or because he was missing his daddy. I will have the picture of him climbing into our bed for an Uncle Justin cuddle on their last morning in my mind for a while.

A highlight was tea with Aunty Lorraine. The kids got dressed up and drank tea out of tea cups while we tried to drink tea ourselves whilst keeping them relatively dry.

What a week to remember. I feel so sad we can’t share life more but so grateful to have had this time with her. Thanks for coming Carmie and thanks for the present mum and dad.

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Holiday in Cape Town

We’ve been in Joburg for two and a half years now. So much has happened in this time. New babies, new home, church, house… It has been an incredible journey. One only God could have taken us on. And I dare say I have also grown to love things about Joburg. It’s amazing weather and some really special friends. Joburg is in many ways home. But then so is Cape Town. So much is comfortable there. Like an old pair of jeans. But it’s not the familiarity or beauty that I miss the most its the people. I miss my family and friends. But I am going to stop before I start feeling to sad. I’d rather share about one amazing week spent there.

So our holiday started with a great flight. Thank goodness. I’m sure all the other gawking passengers were very grateful. We do look quite a sight waddling down the aisle with kiddies and bags overflowing from our arms.

After a great weekend in Bettie’s Bay we headed home to the mother city. And we were blessed with a few days of glorious weather. Wow. When Cape Town in beautiful in winter it really is amazing. We walked Sea Point, watched the sunset, and spent a special morning in the sand and waves at Muizenberg. What a great time. We also went to Ocean Basket at the Waterfront and coffee at Woolies in Cavvies. Such happy family moments.

One highlight for me was seeing my family. And we really made the most of the time. Cramming six months of catching up into a week. I got to have tea with my mum in the morning, proper coffee from my dad’s nespresso machine for tea and family meals around the table for supper. What else could a girl ask for. It was great getting to know Caleb (Carmie and Chris’ boy). What a sense of humor he has. And his expressions are priceless. The cousins started warming up to each other. Fighting over the swing, making mud pies and taking baths together. So sweet to watch. I grabbed moments with my family. Tea at Starlings with Carmen, tea with my mum and the Mugg and daddy hugs in front of the fire in the evenings. What a special time.

We did fit friends in. Not as many as we would have liked as is always the case. Time always fills up so quickly. But precious seeing peoples lives moving on.

Another highlight was the night Just and I had away from the chaos of our life. How special to be on ‘our own’ (Emma did come with). A much needed break to be together, think and chat about our life. And do so uninterrupted. I think this might become a ritual for us – a night away from it all.

On this trip Hannah called hot cross buns hot cross sponges, Katie started really talking and Emma smiled and chatted with us all.

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A weekend in Bettie’s Bay

Our much needed holiday started with a weekend in Bettie’s Bay with my fokes. It was so special spending time with them away from the business of life. And Bettie’s bay is such a restful place with only a coffee shop and place to buy milk and bread really. The girls had such fun exploring. Bouncing ping pong balls down the stairs. Playing sleep in the cupboards and sharing a bed for the first time. Not to mention Flopa playing horsie and nana picking flowers to show granny Pam. So many memories made for all of us.

The highlights for me were uninterrupted chats over tea with my fokes while the girls were sleeping. And a peaceful walk with Just. Last time we were away in Bettie’s Bay we were still living here in Cape Town. So it was a good time of reflection about the past two and a half years.

Unfortunately Katie stuck her finger in Just’s eye on our flight here which resulted in a torn cornea so he wasn’t able to surf. But he is making up for it today. Thank you Cape Town for giving us a gorgeous day!

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Craziness

Life feels quite busy at the moment. It’s not that we are out a lot or very popular. It’s the energy and demands of three little girls that fills our home.

Our girls are close in age and I so often get comments about it whilst I’m out. Are they twins? Are they all yours? You’ve got your hands full don’t you! I generally smile and agree with them, not quite sure what to reply.

Not only are they close, they also each have their own challenges. A super busy and adventurous Katie, a sensitive needing ‘quality time’ Hannah and newborn Emma.

But our life that may seem mad to others is normal to Just and I. Serving, giving and loving our three though demanding is such a privilege. I am very tired at night but go to bed satisfied with our life and the
fullness of it. I am grateful for each of them and most if all a hubby to share this craziness with.

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