Pic Of The Week – Week 51 – Christmas Time, Mistletoe And Wine

Well, there hasn’t been much mistletoe or wine, truth be told, but there has been plenty fun and game. I find it rather hard to get my head around the fact that it’s the last week of 2011.  Where exactly has this year gone?! Well, it’s the second last Pic of the Week, since I run these a week behind and all and it’s been a great week.

We’ve painted baubles, we’ve painted an empty jar that now houses chalk and crayon bits, and glued Christmassy stickers on Christmassy shapes.

We also made biscuits:

The most precious part of this last series of pictures, to me, is that a few days later I was busy cooking breakfast and had shut the kitchen door. Ameli wanted to come in and started knocking on the door. I opened it and she stood there, looking up at me and said, “Mama, I want to come in. I want to learn.”

 

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Pic Of The Week – Week 50 – Tree Decorating

I had such fun putting up the Christmas tree with Ameli. It’s the first time she’s really been able to help or shown an interest, which made it all the more exciting for both of us. She’s become so expressive in her language usage and her understanding of things, and it’s just been an amazing time – her Daddy and I often just look at each other and shake our heads. How she understands so much is almost beyond me.Read more: Pic Of The Week – Week 50 – Tree Decorating

Pic Of The Week – Week 49 – Getting Festive

 

Ooooh…. We’re getting festive here! I blame all the end of year Christmas parties, and use the term blame very loosely.

Our Natural Parenting toddler group, Budding Babes had a fancy dress Christmas Party and I had managed to pick this dress up at a Charity Sale for £2 earlier in the year, so she went as Mrs Clause. The shawl is from a wedding she was a flower girl at last year, so it all worked together nicely.

In the box picture she was helping us set the photos with Santa scene  at the NCT Christmas Party and finally, even Mrs Clause needs a nap with her daddy sometimes!

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Pic Of The Week – Week 48 – Sculpture Park

I try to get Ameli out of the house every day, because if I don’t she climbs the walls and wrecks the house. Some days we have playgroups, story time or just go to soft play, but whenever the weather is good, we try to get outdoors and expose the tips of our fingers and our eyeballs to some Vitamin D. (That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.)

This week we discovered a  Sculpture Park full of amazing – and some rather random – art work.  Ameli loved it. We spent more than two hours walking around by which time I was exhausted and ready to leave, but she was having none of it. I ended up chasing a two year old in and out of trees and around bits of metal and glass worth multiple thousands of pounds. I think we’ll return with Daddy next time!

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Pic Of The Week – Week 45 – Guy Fawkes And Fireworks

It was Guy Fawkes on the 5th of November – remember, remember?

Anyway, we don’t get to go out at night as a family often, it’s usually one of us that goes out and the other stays home with Ameli, so it was lovely to have an opportunity to go out together.Read more: Pic Of The Week – Week 45 – Guy Fawkes And Fireworks

Pic Of The Week – Week 44 – Play Parties

We’ve been so busy recently, and this particular week really topped it off, what with two trips to London in amidst the rest of it all.

Our first visit was to meet with the team from gNappies who came over from the US to visit as gNappies are being properly launched in the UK. I reviewed them about a year ago, and have been using gNappies, and love them, so I was excited to meet the team.

We met the ladies in the first picture: Kim Graham-Nye, Michelle Carver Schnoor, Jolynn Mitchell (who we didn’t meet) and Kelli McKee, and they were just so lovely, I kind of wished I could join their team just so I could talk to them every day. They also took so well to Ameli, she was completely at ease with them all.

The second picture is one of Michael from Baby Naturals – sharing a concoction of late foam and water, and a little bit of Rooibos tea from Ameli’s sippy cup with her.

Next is Michelle, a fellow Hyperemesis Sufferer, it turns out with Ameli and her now infamous ‘cheese face’ and myself.

And the main picture is one that’s really special to me: Ameli was drawing on some paper when this little girl arrived, and whereas she’s normally really possessive and not at all keen on sharing, she walked over to this girl, gave her the paper and some pens and said ‘Do you want to draw?’ They promptly lay down together and drew for probably half an hour. It was so sweet and I felt really proud of her!

The next trip to London was two days later – we went to a Fisher Price Play Party, which was great fun, if a little frightening for me (I’m not a fan of noisy toys, and I’m clearly in the minority as Ameli walked in there and disappeared, surfacing only when she saw me eating a snack and decided she wanted some herself.

In the pictures below are Hayley from Simply Hayley who kindly gave me some pregnancy fitness DVD’s that I’ve been diligently staring at, threatening to pop them in the actual DVD player some time soon, and the super sweet and suffering from bump envy Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings. (Pippa was the first ever person who came up to me saying “Are you Luschka from Diary of a First Child?” When I said yes she said she was star struck and didn’t know what to say. That makes me laugh whenever I see her – considering she’s won repeated awards on her blog since, and I feel the tables have somewhat turned. She’s blogebrity now.)
P.S. You can actually see I’m pregnant now, right? Not just fat anymore!

Bottom left is Ameli engrossed in something, finally having torn herself away from the Mickey Mouse dancing toy that she refused to let anyone else play with for most of the day!

Bottom right is Dr Deborah Weber who explained some of the work, research and study that goes into creating toys for the Fisher Price brand. She showed us images of their research centre – seriously the coolest playgroup ever.

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Pic Of The Week 38 – Yummy Curry

I’ve never been a curry fan. I’ve only ever once eaten food at an Indian restaurant. I just don’t like it. The same can be said for spicy things. I love Thai food, but not if it’s spicy. Black pepper is as hot as I go. Then I fell pregnant with Ameli and when I finally could eat again, around 20 weeks, I started wanting chilli flakes on everything. I mean, I even put it on my omelettes! After Ameli’s birth, my food preferences went more or less back to ‘normal’ with the exception that I now quite like slightly spicy food.
Read more: Pic Of The Week 38 – Yummy Curry

Pic Of The Week 37 – Moments

I’ve called this collage of pictures ‘Moments’ because that’s what each of them  represents to me: the moments where my family see, love and treasure Ameli. Those ‘last’ moments. The ‘goodbye’ moments. Bittersweet, but beautiful.

 

Top Left: Ameli gives (my) Granny a cuddle Top Right: Ameli and my dad at t Bikini Beach in Gordon’s Bay Centre Left: Ameli drives a London Bus in the games arcade – one of her favourite things to do in Pretoria Centre Left: Ameli and Deshaine, my sister, at the playground in Menlyn. Precious moments, building memories  Bottom Left: Back at the games arcade (about £4.50 for a good half an hour’s fun… love it) with my sister and mother, Nanna. Great fun. Bottom Right: Ameli with aunty D again (Deshaine) colouring in… lovely.

Click on the image to see a larger version

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Pic Of The Week – Week 36

This was one of those weeks where really, I need a gallery to show you all the lovely pictures. Instead, however, I’ve picked four out of the bunch to give you a taste.

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)

Top left: Aunty Deshaine, Granny (maternal grandmother) and Ameli on the beach in Strand, Cape Town, looking at shells and washing them off in the pools.

Top right: Ameli and me in Springbok, Namaqualand, a place in South Africa renown for it’s fields upon fields of blossoming wild flowers each year.

Bottom left: Ameli and Aunty Deshaine doing the ‘make your own’ kids pizza at Papachino’s in Pretoria, South Africa.

Bottom right: Seasoned traveller, Ameli heading towards Cape Town airport with Oupa (my dad) and Nana (my mother), straddling the luggage, bronco-style.

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Pic Of The Week – Week 35

There’s this place in Namibia called Luderitz. We’d never been there before this trip because there’s no real reason to go there and there’s no way through – it’s a three hour trip there, through desert and nothing and a three hour trip back through the same. It’s an incredible trip though and an incredible journey.

Nearby is Agate Be ach, one of the most incredible places I’ve been. It’s a pebble beach, but not pebble like in the UK. Each of the stones are semi-precious, and as it’s in a restricted area, you’re not allowed to remove anything off the beach as it could contain diamonds.

It’s also the first time I’ve ever seen such a high concentration of whole shells in one place.  It was beautiful.

 

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