Pic Of The Week 52-11

This slightly stalkerish homage is actually a tribute to my sister. My younger sibling, and outside of my marriage, my best friend, we’ve been through a lot together, both good and bad. To all the mums and dads out there dealing with children who can’t stand each other, take courage, have hope: My mother once threatened to lock us in a room with two knives and not open the door till only one of us came out. She didn’t do it, of course, but we didn’t get along very well as children.

This is possibly the “thing” we’ll miss the most when we return to England: Day trips, outings and time spent with our favourite (and only) sister and aunty.

Thanks for joining us for our pic of the week

How Do I Learn To Play?

I made an alarming and dreadful discovery recently: I don’t know how to play.

I’ve been trying to think about the games I used to play as a child, and I simply don’t remember any. What I do remember is running drills with my younger sister and brother, timing them to see how quickly they could be safely nestled in the bomb shelter with their creature comforts. Or when we no longer lived on the border and the war was over, I’d do timed drills with them to see how quickly they could get into their pre-approved hiding places at the top of the cupboard, just in case someone came into the house with the intent to do harm – we didn’t even have TV then, so who knows where my imagination came from!
Read more: How Do I Learn To Play?

Pic Of The Week 52-05

A lovely week for us, filled with family and free time too.

Here’s my dad with Ameli, having fun in the water fountains at a nearby shopping mall. It’s a great spot, really European in feel and people come with their children to play in the water. Great fun.

We went away for a week, and I took photos of my little girl. I can’t believe how amazingly she’s growing and the different characteristics coming to light in her face…

On the swings – I just love this picture.  Ready for bed, sun setting, an evening swing. She seems so casual and relaxed. Who couldn’t love it.

Thanks for joining us for our pics of the week.

Pic Of The Week 52-03

We went to a place called Warmbaths with my parents for the weekend. It’s a resort with a natural hot spring which bubbles up and is piped to the first pool, the hot bath, which is 42 degrees Celsius.  From there it goes to the next pool, where this picture was taken, and there it remains a balmy 32 – 34 degrees.

It’s then piped to the outside pools, where the fountains, super tubes, slides, tube ride, and so on are all done in water that slowly gets cooler as the pools go.  It’s such a fun place, and Ameli loved, loved, loved being in the water all weekend.  And boy, did we all sleep well after such mineral rich water?!  Bliss.

Warmbaths, Bella Bella
I adore my PlaySport for water shots, but I didn’t have it on the best setting for night time. Even so, a pretty picture of Ameli and her daddy night swimming.

365-291 to 365-297 A Week in Pictures

We have been exceptionally blessed this year with trips away and awesome adventures. This week was a perfect example of that as we went from the green winelands and coastal area of Gordon’s Bay in the Cape to the dry, hot bushveld. We had a fab time with my two grandmothers for the first half of the week, then a wonderful time with my parents for the second half.

Day 291 – Mist over the Mountains

Gordon’s Bay is in a half a basin, with the mountains making a ring around the one side and the ocean on the other side. It is simply beautiful, and often protected from the raging wind on the Cape. When the clouds roll over the mountains it is a spectacular sight. Sadly there’s a lot of crime and petty theft still, so carrying around a large camera isn’t a great idea, so most of my pictures when Ameli and I are out on our own are just phone pics.

Gordon's Bay

Day 292 – Penguins

My gran, Ameli and I drove to Betty’s Bay on a windy Cape day to see the penguins. They live in a ‘reserve’, where they are protected, although left to let nature take it’s course. It was beautiful. They are such entertaining creatures.

Betty's Bay Penguins

Day 293 – Great-Granny, Mama and Baby on the Beach

My Granny has featured often in these pages this year. It has been amazing to be able to spend so much time with her. I have been blessed. She has been my best friend for many years, and I have loved watching my daughter grow close to her too.

Day 294 – Play Park

Parks here are a bit different to the ones in the UK and in general not really geared at babies. Perhaps in other areas, but certainly not in this one! It’s all for bigger children. We still had a good time anyway.

Play Park

Day 295 – Welcome to the Bushveld, Baby

We returned from the Cape and the next day went to Dhikololo, a totally different experience, but just as intrinsically African. This is my dad and Ameli. He has wanted a grandchild for many, many years now, so this is pretty awesome for him. And its awesome for me to see them interacting. She’s a lucky girl, with four good men in her life who all love her.

Baby and Grandfather surveying the bushveld

Day 296 – Swimming at Dhikololo

Boy, but it is hot in the bushveld. Too hot even to be in the sun, so we spent many many hours in the in door pool. Ameli learned to go under the water, and she loved that. We would go under and she’d come up clapping! Too cute for words. I’m loving the Kodak Playsport, by the way, with which I was able to take pictures in and under the water. Here’s Ameli and me both closed eyed coming up out of the water, my dad and I under the water, Ameli sitting on the ledge between two pools with my dad and mother, and Ameli under water – smiling. Has to be one of my favourite pictures ever.

My Water Baby

Day 297 – Holiday Living

Another day another dollar, adventure. My dad and I went quadbiking around the game reserve. It was quite slow, but incredibly fun. We found great waterholes and so on that we could return to the next day. Oh, and my dad fed Ameli icecream. Tut tut.

Fun in the Sun

And that’s it from us for this week in pictures. Thank you so much for joining us!

What We Do

Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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With a baby just eight months old who has never seen a summer, and living in the United Kingdom where summer tends to only last a few days each year, ‘outdoor fun’ is often very limited for those who don’t like being cold and or wet.

This is something Martin, my husband, and I really struggle with as we both grew up in South Africa where life included hikes, camping, beaches and other outdoor pursuits nine months of the year. Leaving the house when the weather is by our definition miserable is a constant act of will.

Read more: What We Do

How to Keep Your Pre Baby Friends Post Baby

One of the primary difficulties in adjusting to life post baby is the apparent chasm that forms between the new mom and her old friends.  I myself felt this the first time my lovely group of friends descended on us post birth. In two weeks, it seemed as if I had lost any ability to think of anything other than my baby and I felt that there was suddenly no common ground.

There are obvious reasons for the loss of friends, post baby. Your schedules change. You’re free for lunches, not dinners, the ‘en-route home’ telephone time is now bath time, noisy restaurants or pre dinner drinks don’t suit a young child and theatres, cinemas, clubs and concerts are simply often not pushchair or carseat friendly.  It is so easy to let time pass, and valuable friendships fade away.

But there are ways of keeping your friends, by keeping a few pointers in mind…
Read more: How to Keep Your Pre Baby Friends Post Baby