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Grade R Orientation Day Excitement

Last week Friday Logan had his little Grade R party at the school.  I have to admit I was very excited and normally this mean my expectation won’t be met and the whole experience will be kind of mediocre.  So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the school grounds an hour and a half later and I am positively bouncing up and down with sheer pleasure!

Lets start at the very beginning.

  1. We were given VIP parking, I kid you not, in the school grounds, under cover, with a security guard.
  2.  As soon as we got out of the car there was a pupil who greeted us and offered to escort us to the uniform shop, the school hall and or the meeting place for the Grade Rs
  3. We started at the staff room where we purchased and ordered some Grade R t-shirts.
  4. Here we were given a stationary pack – for free!  (no one said anything about his stationary being included)  How awesome!
  5. Logan was greeted by his teachers and entertained while Kobus and I made our way to the cooler school hall
  6. The event started at exactly the time it was said to start
  7. Instead of telling us all kinds of obituary things, like the importance of marking school stationary and clothing items.  The teachers showed an enormous amount of respect to each other and to their profession.  They showed us, in more than just words that their intentions are to set an amazing foundation for our kids’ education.

It isn’t often that one feel 100% confident in the choices you make.  But I can honestly say I know that I know that this is where Logan is meant to be next year and I cannot wait for him to thrive!

P.S.  As much as I love that the stationary pack was included (and am thankful) I am a bit bummed that I don’t get to go to the shops and purchase the stationary from a long list.  The awe of walking through rows and rows of stationary along with the frustration of not finding the right thing according to what is specified on the paper.  That to me marks the start of big school!

“What does your gut tell you?”

Yesterday Logan and I made our way to his primary school in order for him to be evaluated for Grade 1.  On arrival at the primary school, he was shipped away to the Grade R class and I was asked to stay in the reception area.

While waiting for them, my thoughts kept going back to the conversation I had with the school’s admissions administrator on Monday.  When she arranged the assessment, she added that their Grade R classes were full for 2012 and that Logan would need to go to the school across the road.  I was upset and mentioned that she was the person who told me to enroll him in Grade 1 and if he wasn’t ready that he would automatically be allocated a space in their Grade R class.  She was very apologetic about it and promised to make a plan if we needed the space.  Even after her reassurance, a little part of me was concerned that the evaluation would be compromised because of it.

Half an hour later, the Grade R teacher came to fetch me and I was lead to the Grade R class were the assessment was taking place.  What I am very pleased with was the question that followed:  “What does your gut tell you?”  I was completely honest in my reply and told them that I felt another year in Grade R would benefit Logan.

The teachers continued by discussing Logan’s answers with what they teach their Grade R’s.  They felt that Logan has a lot of potencial, however would like for him to have a stronger foundation.  Some of the examples they gave me where as follow:

  • They introduce concepts such as horizontal, diagonal and vertical in their teaching vocabulary.
  • Left and right is used when teaching them to write – when writing the letter “a” you start on the right hand side top corner.
  • The difference between top and above.
  • Instead of only teaching them the different shapes, they teach them the attributes of the different shapes. E.g. when a diamond is divided in 2, it gives you 2 triangles.
All in all I get the feeling that they are teaching them to think, instead of spoon feeding them the abc’s.
I am very happy to announce the school made a space for Logan in their Grade R class without any hassles.  And we have already received a second acceptance letter!

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. ~ Benjamin Franklin ~

When we moved house at the end of last year,  the intention was to stay a year.  The plan was to rent for another year and towards the end of this year to start looking for property to buy.  Our needs were pretty simple.  Two bedroom, two bathroom and a double garage.   

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Naturally being pregnant changes things quite a bit and as much as I would like to admit, a two bedroom house is not going to be big enough!  We have been very blessed and very lucky – we will be able to afford a bigger place from about July.  This leaves us with tight timing and lots to do:

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  • Starting the weekend and continuing over the next week and a bit, both the Beefmaster and I will be at home.  And we have made a decision to utilize the time we have for sorting out/ spring cleaning / starting to box the things we can.
  • Create a list of what is must have’s for the new house and what we are willing to compromise on.  We sort of know this off by heart, but I think writing these down – black on white will make the search a bit easier.
  • Realistically narrow down the areas that we want to stay in.  No point looking at a pretty house because it is pretty, when it is on the other side of Pretoria.**
  • Opt for a house we can grow into, rather than something that will end up being too small in a couple of year, when each boy wants his own room for example. 
  • Practise patience.  We will find something that will be perfect for us.  Keep patience and consistent in our search.
  • The Beefmaster and I both need to pull our weight in search of the house and keep open communication in this search.
  • Plan what we can, prepare where we can.  A nanny/ domestic for us is a biggy!  Our cleaning lady is too old to look after an infant and we have noticed that she is not managing.  So finding a some else suitable, is very important at the moment. 
  • Purchasing all the stuff a baby needs…  This does involve quite a bit of planning, however the plan for now is, to put  money aside instead of purchasing things that needs to be stored until we move. 
  • Timing for the items (cot/ compactum / linen)  made, in order for these to be delivered to the new house.

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In my next installment of the house – I think I may share the difference the Beefmaster and I have, when it comes to the new house. 

**  This is more me than the Beefmaster.  However the Beefmaster falls for every sales pitches.  I can see his eyes go all big and wow with what ever bull-shit they tell him.  I on the other hand question everything and know a sales pitch when I hear it!  I do tend to go overboard in search of perfect…  An example will definitely be, when we went in search of a wedding venue.  Poor man!

"it's the final countdown…"

Since accepting alternative employment closer to home, I have been counting down days. 

My countdown started at 5 weeks – that was 23 work days.   The past 5 weeks have been long weeks, time dragged and I thought it would never come!  For the most part I held my breath and pushed forward.   

I can finally say, the time has come.  The waiting has paid off:   I have 3 commutes and two working days left in and to Johannesburg. 

Followed by eleven days at home and then I start my new job!  Excitement, a  hint of nerves and a lot of anticipation.  I should really change my mindset to, take it as it comes – there will probably be things that will frustrate you from day 1.  And you will probably expect them to be more prepared for your arrival.  But this is the real world and not the world were things happen as I want them to! 

That is all.  My countdown is finally *almost* over.  The end is in reach.  I can see light at the end of the tunnel. 

P.S.  And I have learned my lesson.  Commuting is no fun.  No matter how positive you are about it.  It is no fun and it is not for me!

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Psycho-analysis + Brilliant Ideas = Perfect conclussion

Let me start by saying I am extremely excited about this pregnancy!  I talk, think and breathe this pregnancy and for the most part this has been the main reason for my lack of blogging – people do not want to hear about your pregnancy all-the-time. 

And yet as excited as I am about it, I am a little irritated by the timing!  (Probably still my own fault)   It feels like a little part of me is being bullied out of the white wedding I wanted.  Not that my whole relationship and or marriage  with the Beefmaster is based on the wedding day itself or by the photos they represent, but merely because like most female, I have been dreaming about this day for a while.  In being realistic about all this I can do one of the following:

  1. Get married before the baby arrives – which we have considered, however commuting / lack of resources (time & energy) and the need to assess our opportunity cost (i.e.  spend money on wedding or spend money on baby stuff)
  2. Get married after the baby arrives – means I have to wait waaaaay too long.   And it really means I have to do things differently from how I did it with my first-born which is really contradicting to how I want them done.  In plain English:  I need to do the responsible thing:  have a maintenance agreement in place and register baby in my surname.  Which means lots of admin to fix afterwards..
  3. Get married in a different way – Elope and get married.  Get married in court.  Have a tiny reception on a tight budget.   

[ believe it or not, all that was background information.  Just so you don’t get lost in my train of though ]

As for the psycho-analysis part, I think maybe a tiny part of me, wanted to have this wedding different, let’s call it out of sequence if you will …  I do not have a great relationship with my father.   And even though he would not have been the person who would have walked me down the aisle, a part of me, must be afraid of what he would think if he wasn’t asked to do this.   Or I tiny part of my doesn’t want to include him in my joyful day.  Or fear at the thought of him and my mother being at the same event – leaving the atmosphere completely awkward.    There really is a million different ways I can twist all this around in my head.  Fact remains things aren’t going to happen as nature intended it to happen.  And that is surprisingly okay!  (when I am not feeling a slight irritation, but then I am pregnant – it really is too be expected)

[psycho-analysis over and done]

Firstly to answer the question of how we will get married, it really is simple – we are planning to get married in an elopement, with only ourselves and the kids.  Something simple, elegant and pure.  (Shockingly, it is still in the planning process.)  After the baby is born we will have a more formal celebration with family and friends.  In an environment where we can declare our commitment in front of our families and celebrate life and family! 

Today while reading the millions of wedding related blog posts I am still gathering in my google reader,  I got the brilliant idea.  One of my favourite things about the whole wedding was the excitement.  The save the date cards.  The count down to the date.  The invitations.  Branding the day.  Building the excitement.  The magic that day holds in your heart.  The beauty of showing the love you share as man and woman to the people near your heart. 

This really cleared everything in my heart!  It is easy to translate my wedding excitement to the excitement of the day we will celebrate life, as a family.  With two people who love each other and who declare that they will raise their children in Christian home with Christian values.

A growing To-Do-List with value added energy!

This morning I had one to-do on my to-do-list for the day:

– Submit a claim to the medical aid for reimbursement

Seems kind of sad that there was a to-do list with only one item, but when you are pregnant and in may ways still in your first trimester mentality, even the little things seem like effort.  Luckily I’m in my second trimester and things are looking up:

  • I manage to finish reading a book I started 3 weeks ago – that is a long time for a quick read book!  (Saturday)
  • Set up an Twitter account and an email address (see the side bar) for this blog :)
  • Help the Beefmaster on Sunday, by holding sheep heads while he attempts to sheer 6 years worth of wild-wild wool. *
  • Started researching alternative gynaecologist at my preferred hospital.  I managed to find one that my medical aid prefers and I like.  Bonus is he is taking new patience.  Only down side is that he happens to be one of the Beefmaster’s clients.  So we may need to rethink this …  CAREFULLY!
  • Contacted our internet provider in order for them to help me configure the Macbook in order for me to install the needed software so I can safe the precious megs on my 3G.

Okay, so the list isn’t that long.  Only it makes me think of things I can do/ should be doing in order to make the list longer!  And that is great!

* Six years worth of wild-wild wool doesn’t sound too hectic until you try to sheer a sheep.  I thought hiring outside to have this done would be easier.  But the Beefmaster wanted to do it himself.  I will need to keep tract of the next sheer date and fill my calendar very quickly!   Maybe I should document the sheering process?  That could be a hell of a lot more fun?*