Monthly Archives: January 2012

Buckets of fun

When Grace was a little baby we used to bath her in a tummy tub. Let's just say that bathing (or at least getting out) never really went well. Every night we had screaming, crying and highly stressed parents (just for clarity this was due to us and Grace rather than the tummy tub).

And yet interestingly Grace loves to sit in a bucket of water.


She wanted to wash her bunny today, so Donné set up a wash-and-go station. I'm not sure how long she was in the bucket before I came in after work, but she stayed there for at least another 15 minutes, just sitting, smiling and being happy in the water. It is quite amazing how calm and content she was to just sit.


Like mommy, like daddy, like daughter – watching videos while I send Gogo a video of Grace.


Homemade Finger Paints

After wanting to make Grace some homemade finger paints for a long time, I finally did it today.  I used the recipe from this blog and it came out really well.  Grace LOVED playing with the paint, she enjoyed the messiness of it, playing with it for much longer 
than she does ordinary finger paints.  I must admit I enjoyed the texture of the paint too and had fun spreading the paint with my hands.  I will definitely be making it again. 

She initially started off with the paintbrushes


But then really got into it


She even painted her hands.


The Giraffe House

Grace has been asking to see an, “Apie,” this last week, which translates to, “I want to go and see a giraffe.” So we set off for The Giraffe House (which is on the way to Stellenbosch) and had a great time at a really lovely “wildlife awareness centre” (as they call it).

Meeting Gerry the Giraffe


They have chosen a very particular mix of animals, the tallest mammal (giraffe), the largest African antelope (Eland), smallest African antelope (Blue Duiker), largest bird (ostrich) and so on.

Hello Eland


I really struggled to get a photo of the ostrich because the eland kept walking in front of me just as I would get focused on the ostrich. Before he got up the ostrich was puffing up his neck and making a honking noise (I’m not really sure how to describe it). The way the ostrich looked, puffing up his neck and then making the sound made me think of a bag pipe – probably not a good idea to go and squeeze the ostrich with the orange legs though….


“Ebra!” And the zebra was kind enough to making a puffing noise which made Grace giggle.


Super cute meerkat’s


Grace was really calm and allowed the goats to eat from her hand today. A month ago in PE the goats freaked her out, but these goats were much more calm. It probably helped that one was wondering around out of the pen.


They have animal encounters three times a day, which is a reptile show. We got to see (and in some cases touch) a padloper tortoise (smallest tortoise), a baboon spider, Madagascan hissing cockroaches, an African bull frog (which is huge), an American corn snake, and a python….an we touched all of them except for the spider.


We all really enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend it.


I have noticed it before, but today I got a mental hook on something that Grace does. If someone comes to visit, or if we go visit, Grace is often very clingy and quiet, just wanting to be held by us. She gradually warms up to the situation and people and sometimes there is a moment when she breaks through and really settles in to the situation.

There are two examples in particular that I can think of. One was today while Jason and Em were visiting. Grace knows them well but we have not seen them for a while, so Grace was very quiet and needy. Grace gradually eased into it, but at one point Em and I were holding a rope between us with a small plastic hoop on it. I lifted up the one side and the ring went sliding down the rope like a zip line. Grace thought that this was very funny and from that point on she really opened up and had some fun.

Another time was a while back when Ben and Fiona were visiting. Fiona let Grace pour some sand on her while sitting in the garden and from that point on she started having way more fun.

The situations made me think of icebreakers – it is almost as if Grace would benefit if we prepared or figured out a way to help her break the ice when she is being a bit shy. If we can time it right, and choose a good activity for the situation Grace might just settle into new environments and groups a bit faster.

Come to think of it, I would probably benefit from some icebreakers too – especially when going into a group of people that I don’t know well.

So nearly done

After a long break Grace is getting back into building puzzles and this round comes with new lingo, like, "Missing pieces," while pointing to everywhere that a piece might go (even when she has only built 4 pieces with 116 still to go).

While she was building today we were getting close to being finished and Grace chirps, "So nearly done!" I just wish I could convey the tone she said it with, it had so much character, "Sooo nearly done!" It had us laughing.

As a side note it is also quite interesting to see how her puzzle building has changed. She is a bit out of practice so it is going a bit slower overall, but in some ways she seems to place pieces a lot faster. She also appears to be getting fixated on finding a home for certain pieces which she did not really do before.

Blessings in business

A few things today reminded me of how blessed I have been in my business, so here are some things I am grateful for,

My clients that I work with are amazing people who have always treated me well – I am really grateful for them and the chance to work with them.

I have always been paid on time, for which I am truly grateful. This goes back to my clients being amazing people.

Work is coming in continuously – there is too much for me to handle alone. It is exciting and presents new challenges and opportunities. I am grateful that there is an abundance.

I am grateful that I get to do something which I love. I am grateful that I get to give my art to the world.

I am truly grateful for what I have. Thank you Lord, may I use it wisely.

Mind, Body, Soul

I met with one of my wise friends today. While she was discussing her children’s extramural activities, I commented that they were involved in such varied activities.  She told me that in her house she has a rule for extramural involvement.  They have to participate in:
  • One activity for the body
  • One activity for the mind and
  • One activity for the soul.

I really think that these are wise words not only for children but for everyone both young and old.  It is a wonderfully healthy way to live, so I’ve decided that my goal for 2012 is to set about making time for 3 different activities that fulfill my mind, body and soul to be completed during my free / leisure time.  Once I have decided what I plan to do I will write a follow up post.

We painted today and well lets just say seconds after this photo was taken disaster struck.  Needing to pee (ie Grace waited too long to tell me – waayy to much fun to go until it’s too late) with hands like that resulted in paint on my dress, her dress, the potty and who knows where else.  Only solution to dump her in the bath.  I can’t say I was a particularly happy mommy