Friday, February 26, 2010

Jack Russels

When we were still thinking about the breed of dog to get J&C, everyone told us to stay away from Jack Russels because they are so active, destruction is their middle name.

We've had Lightning since the middle of January. He comes with a pedigree (grandsire from New Zealand nogal!) a mile long. The breeder told us that he'd paired his most docile male and female but that would be no guarantee that the puppy would be docile, he might just be Basement Cat's worst nightmare.

So far he has destroyed a couple of paper airplanes that J made for him, his worm is looking sadly worn (well what do you expect when it gets humped at every opportunity!), he is slowly pulling the fluff off a very old tennis ball and worked his way through his very first box of Beano treats. Oh and the ginger cat that used our backyard as his own personal toilet is leary of coming into our yard now.

I'm still waiting for the destruction to set in.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Learning to read / I am so proud!

When we relocated from Cape Town to Pretoria, C was 18 months old. She only spoke or responded in English. Afrikaans didn't even feature as a language. Within a year, J&C were speaking both languages quite confidently, due in part to the fact that we landed smack bang in the middle of Dutchman Territory, otherwise known as living behind the Boerewors Gordyn, and also due in part to the fact that all the schools in the area were Afrikaans. The two English ones closest to us had a waiting list as long as the flight back to Cape Town with no end in sight and the only other option, a private school, was and still is way too expensive for our budget.

Four years ago she started going to a preschool full time and last year she started grade 1, all in Afrikaans only schools. The English that they are taught is on the level of a second language, which is mostly only spoken in our home these days as almost everyone they know is Afrikaans. They only start learning about English later on this school year. Her English isn't great because she barely uses it.

At the beginning of this school year, her grade 2 teacher informed the parents that she encourages reading in a big way, being a huge fan of letting the kids read in their own time at home and to her as a way of expanding their vocabulary, using books of their own and school prescribed reading books. So far she's read 7 Afrikaans books.

Today she brought me a book looking for some help. Dr Seuss's TIME TO READ with DR SEUSS. A fairly easy reader for kids who speak and read Enlgish. She's been quietly spelling out English words for quite a while now it would seem as she started reading quite confidently, stumbling hear and there over an unfamiliar word.

I am so proud. She's teaching herself how to read in an almost foreign language and is doing damn well!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Family history

I'm researching Himself's distant family on The MIL's side. They have a really fascinating history.

Some time in 1862, a man jumped ship with his friend. The boat they were on was from the US, they didn't fancy spending any more time on it so they jumped overboard and swam into a new chapter in their family history.

After some weeks of travelling through the Cape Peninsula, Himself's great great (great?) grandfather and his shipmate found themselves on one side of Langebaan Lagoon. Himself's distant grandfather decided to row across, he wanted to see what was on the other side. There, he found himself a wife and a piece of earth to call his own. Five generations later, that piece of earth is now part of the West Coast National Park and his descendents have scattered to the far corners of the earth, with one great great great grandchild finding herself back on his home soil, the family having come full circle.

Now if only he hadn't thrown all correspondence with his family in the US away, we'd have known where he was born and who his brothers and sisters were.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I hate when people lie to me

I posted about Other C's labour and birth earlier this month so thought it would be cool if I sent her some flowers and champagne (yes, I know, no drinking if you breastfeed! I don't care, it's a great drink ;) ).

So off to a new florist last Tuesday I went. Spent R500 on flowers and champagne which to anyone's mind is quite a lot of money seeing as how the biggest bunch for new babies on the Interflora site is R309. (and now Himself can freak out for the expense.) Yes, she's part of Interflora, no don't worry it will be delivered by Friday the 12th.

And what happens? No delivery. I call on Saturday, some feeble excuse about a fax that was never received by the delivering florist. Can they deliver on Monday? Sure I say, no problem. Guess what happens? Oh yes, no delivery, again. So I tell her to cancel the order because by now I'm pissed, pissed that the florist in Cape Town stuffed up. She calls me back, the delivering florist says that the flowers are on the delivery vehicle. No I say, I want the order cancelled and I want my money back. She says I need to call the florist in Cape Town.

Now back up a minute here. I must call the florist and demand my money back? Come on please give me a break. I'm the client, I paid her. It's not my problem. No she says, the florist doesn't want to listen to her and won't pay her back. Ok, so sucker that I am, I call the florist in Cape Town.

The real story is that she is not part of Interflora so I have no fallback if there is an issue. She called on Friday afternoon (um wasn't she supposed to have made the delivery for Friday???) to confirm that there was going to be a faxed order, which they got, but the payment only came through on Monday afternoon long after their orders for delivery had gone out. I can't fault the delivering florist because he saw that she wasn't an approved Interflora dealer so he asked for payment upfront before delivery.

Interflora has her contact details and their lawyer will be contacting her to remove the Interflora sign.

I just hate when people lie about their total and utter incompetence.

Don't ever use Flowers Inclusive if you can possibly help it.

Other C finally got her flowers and champagne this afternoon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

So, that's the big 4-0 then.

Ja, the BIG 40 has come and gone. And, just like 30, I still feel the same. It didn't bother me nearly as much as 3 of my friends seem to be bothered. I'm officially the oldest in our group. Radioactive Friend turns 40 next. She's ok but antsy about it being a totally new decade. Beancounter just keeps burying her head in the sand. She's not quite living the reality of a soon to be 40 year old.

I told everyone I was celebrating the anniversary of my 21st birthday, more as a joke than anything else.

I'm quite looking forward to the next decade. I have a feeling great things are going to happen.

According to this site, 2010 will be my most financially rewarding year, I'll be at odds with Himself, doing some minor home renovations, I should really start up my yoga class again and I need to start making some shrewd business investments.

Guess I better get cracking on the stock market then...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Little itty bitty babies

Other C went into labour last night and had a little itty bitty tiny boy E this morning at 2.30am. I'm so stoked to be an aunt again! And that everything was perfect for her and The Hubster and Big Sis M. Congrats Other C! :)