Monday, 29 November 2010


Im convinced that the older you get, as each year you live progressively becomes a smaller and smaller fraction of your life, so they pass faster. Each year really does seem to fly by quicker that the previous one. Even the weeks are melting into one.

Asher's last night being 0. 

You know when your best friend posts about your baby's first birthday before you do that you've been slack. Well, Jules beat me to it. SO here I am playing catch up.

When you invite all 8 babies your little one's age to a party, you really dont think they will all make it. When they do, along with their Mummy, Daddy and sibling, your November townhouse livingroom party may start to feel like a ludicrous idea.

At least one baby will sit down ON a plate of food. 

This was my two year old's first party that he has been old enough to understand that those big packages are in fact gifts - wonderful fun toys that we want to unwrap, and that cake is sweet and tasty and candles are for blowing it. So predictably, he thought it was HIS party!

Asher is quite happy to let his brother take care of the dirty work for him.

Our in-house pyrotechnologist was sorely disappointed that there was only ONE candle to blow out. 

Needless to say, it was chaos. There was a LOT of mess. A LOT of noise. But they all seemed to really have fun!

 A stolen moment with my Love. 

Even Asher's God Parents (Tom and Chelsea) who you may remember from my previous posts,  made it with baby Lucas. Her mum is over from Australia and, as you can see below, she is just LOVING being with her babies.

The theme was a teddy bear's picnic. November isnt the best time of year for a picnic, but we made do!

Sweet Jules saw through my vision of a teddy bear cut out to keep memories of our guests. She painted away merrily downstairs as guests arrived. Isnt she brilliant?

 Jules and JoJo

Sweet Jules (top pic) and amazing JoJo (bottom pic) are two of my oldest friends from SA who are both living close to me in London for the time being. There is nothing like friends with history. They both have unbelievable capacity and time for my babies. They afford us date nights, let me steal their gorgeous non-mummy clothes and they LOVE my babies even when they are grubby and stinky.

Birthday boy

As any Mom who reads this will know, the first year of your second baby's life goes by in a heart beat! Its been a time filled with JOY and love and litte Asher Keith, who's name means blessing in the midst of a battle field, has truly lived up to it!

Now, given we live in a backwards country that (even though we get it every year) doesnt know how to deal with even an inch of snow, im off to grocery shop and stock my larder. Hopefully I'll get to posting some winter warming recipes for you soon. 


Thursday, 18 November 2010

24 hours

Over the past 24hrs I have received news that I thought, if ever I were to receive, would stop my world spinning in an instant. I thought, that on hearing such news, the ache would be paralysing to my core. That only involuntary actions would persist. Heart beat. Breath. Tears.

Maybe its the fact that we have had news of an eventuality, rather than something thats already over and done. Maybe its that we still hold hope, and hope has overcome the paralysis for now, and numbed the ache.

Maybe its that for all of us, death is an eventuality, and knowing this, I have spend most of my recolectable life reasoning through and preparing for such an eventuality. In doing so I have come to one conclusion. One conviction.

He created us. He predestined the day we would be born, and the day we would die. He knows it all. He knows of our Hope. He knows all of our fears. And as mere mortals we can not decide when these things happen. This brings me peace and joy. And Peace, Joy and Hope fend off that paralysis. They keep the world spinning.  He keeps the world spinning.

Just as He will keep MY world spinning, when the eventuality eventually arises. Just as He will keep me filled with Peace and Joy in my time of sorrow. Because He is my Heavenly Father, and if He chooses to take away my earthly one sooner than I can care to understand, I know He will be there. He will continue to provide. He will continue to love, to comfort and to nurture me and my family. He will bind me up and heal my wounds. Because He loves me fiercely. And He only gives good gifts to His children.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Happily ever after!

Today, Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged. "Say WHAT???" or say WHO my American friends ask.  Our Price, marrying the real love of his life. Yay.

Im sure the Royal hysteria is only going to mount, but for now I feel small sense of joy for them. We will pray for them, that there private lives would be rich and real. That that would be bigger than everything else they are going to have to put up with.

They will one day be the King and Queen of the United Kingdom. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could have a genuine love filled marriage that will honestly last till death do they part? 2 hours after their engagement was announced the press was printing stories about pre-nups and divorce lawyers. Can you imagine starting your life together with that sort of press?

Here's hoping that they have found something real. That they will be an example. A GOOD example. Here's hoping he is sweeping her off her feet for a proper Happily Ever After. One that will last forever.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Under pants

We've gone down the rabbit hole. I certainly didnt plan on us being this far down the road of the big P.T. at the start of a freezing winter with a two and a nearly half year old who does talk yet. How do you potty train a child who cant TALK??? Well, I think the simple answer is - you dont! HE decided he wants to sit on the toilet rather than wear a nappy. HE decided that he was ready to make a wee in the toilet. HE has decided to potty train himself.

Today I bought underpants. Tiny little undies with a monkey print. I was simultaneously over the moon and as low as a lead balloon. My baby is growing up. But they are the CUTEST, TINIEST little underpants ever. It kinda makes it all ok!

Im not really sure what Im doing. Ive never potty trained a toddler before. Im glad that he seems to be really loving his undies, and seems very happy to sit on the toilet. He seems to know what he is doing. Im learning to trust this little person. Trusting that he knows what he needs. Trusting that he will find a way tell me.

On afternoon one, hours one and two of being in undies, after two successful loo runs (plus a number more false alarms!) and no accidents, Im please to say that we seem to be going down an unexpected and exciting road together... My little boy has shown me he is ready, Im not going to hold him back!

So much for waiting till summer... Im following my little white rabbit, and down the hole we go... Hopefully the free-fall will be short lived.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Understanding John

My Nana used to listen to John Denver. Im sure she still does, although, I believe the CD sitting in the pile in front of me may, in fact, be hers. So maybe she doesn't listen to John anymore. Either way, his melodies are synonymous with the picture in my head, of the beautiful Rockies.


I had never put them on my bucket list. Colorado just wasnt THAT high up on my list of places to go, until I had people to see. My sister has been there for nearly two years now, and the very most surprising and pleasant part of my visit was really falling IN LOVE with the Rockies. I mean, really. My mouth went a little dry the first time I saw them.


 My heart raced as we drove for hours into them. I felt a warm glow all over sitting at breakfast watching the snowy continental divide peak through the clouds. I felt an ache deep in my chest the last evening I spent in the mountains watching the most exquisite sunset. My most exciting moments of the trip were either directly about or surrounded by the Rocky Mountains.

You'd be embarrassed for me if you knew how excited I was to finally see beyond the "flat irons".


I felt sick in the pit of my stomach as I turned back, one last time, to look at the snow covered range at sunset as we drove into Denver International off the I25, knowing that by the time our plane took off, the sun would have tucked itself away behind them until tomorrow. By "tomorrow" I'd be in London.

The hardest part of leaving Colorado was bidding farewell to the Rockies. "BUT your SISTER!?" you yell! My sister, friends, I will see again. Probably in South Africa. Maybe in London. But its very unlikely I will see her again in Colorado. And its very probable that, like young summer love, my romance with the Rocky Mountains may live on only as a memory etched into my soul.



I dont know what about them enraptured me so. Their majesty made me feel safe. Secure. At peace. That much closer to God.  If He could create these, and hold them in His palm, oh how safe are we beloved! On my last night He offered this up.

In the words of dear John, cos he really did put it best - I felt I was home - to a place I'd never been before... I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky. Their shadow from the starlight, really is softer than a lullaby. And I did feel high, Rocky Mountain High.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lay their sweet heads down...

I always longed for sons. I knew that I wanted them close together. I knew that they would be wonderful friends. I imagined the wrestling and the play fighting and banter. I didnt have to wait long at all for my first son to be born - I fell pregnant with the next one 7months later. I knew in my heart of hearts that he, too, was a boy. Everything had happened on earth as it had in my head heaven.

Not long after, the reality of two sons (one of whom is a climber, adrenaline seeking little junky), 16 months apart, began to set in. I spend most of my day preparing, feeding and cleaning up after meals. Preparing bottles. Policing them to sleep. When Asher was born Levi was so gentle and loving and kind, and for the first four months or so showed him a lot of attention. Then they both seemed forget the other existed, with the exception of the hours of spurring screeching on by echoing their brothers moans.

I had days, LOTS of days where I thought WHAT HAVE I DONE? Most of them were wonderful, dont get me wrong. But boy o, did I have days. I saw very little fruit. My head heaven certainly was not happening on earth!

Then today it happened. In the midst of making up Levi's new big boy bed, and trying to get some photos of said bed for you, the most beautiful thing happened. Head heaven happened on earth. My babies became brothers. They shared brotherly love. They chatted. They wrestled. They cuddled. They loved. Love covers all sins. I knew that. Who knew that two little peoples love for each other could cloud over some of the toughest months of my life, just like that - in an instant.

Everytime I see our bargain cushions now, I will be reminded. Love. Brotherly love that will see them through their lives. A fellowship few men get to experience. While cost may be great now the reward once again seems greater - and for the first time in months, tangible!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Working on the weekend!

Its hardly a big project, but the results will be life changing. No, really. Tonight I'm working on Levi's little duvet cover. We are converting his cot to a bed tomorrow and giving him his freedom. Kinda. He already HAS his freedom - he sniffed it once and grabbed onto it with both hands and never let go, he was 16months old at the time - he has been climbing in and out of his cot, in his sleeping bag, all the time for 14months. We are just making him more safe by removing the bars and giving him the opportunity to be a big boy, to make good choices... Like sleep! Im realising that persisting with putting him into the cot, isnt going to keep him there. I think 14 months of trying is, well, adequate!

He has taken to napping on my bed in the afternoon - he LOVES the duvet, the pillows, the plushness. He is a little creature of comfort - for sure. SO rather than throwing him onto a prison style bare mattressed bed in a sleeping bag, I thought I would make him a mini version of our bed - in both style and comfort!

Given that I have finally "completed" the nursery, I wanted something that would add to it, rather than take away from its loveliness. SO I'm putting together a little cowboy duvet set for him. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to show you the finished product!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Nursery - at last!

After fighting with a broken blog and then giving up, and then going on holiday to America, I have returned to find that blogger has been updated (hooraaah!) and I can edit things easily and freely without having to rope the tech savy tri-corn in. JOY! SO, now that I have worked out how to have larger format photos (because in the case of pictures bigger really IS better). I can now finally share with you what the nursery is looking like - the first room in the house to be close to completion. 


This is the nursery when it was just home to little Levi, before his brother joined in to bunk. 


Arm chair came in our container from SA, the LOVE pillow is from Primark. Cribs are from e-bay.

The drawers belonged to my Edwardian dressing table, but the mirror had sadly broken and the piece was well past its best. The bookshelf was purchased off ebay as is for £5 and collected from under 2miles away. 

An old wooden milk bottle crate now stores their shoes. 

I have had the hot air balloons in Levi's room since he was born. I was worried about having to recover the arm chair and im so surprised and excited that it works so well as it is.

Looking out from Asher's cot.

Looking back towards Asher's cot.

All in all I'm really pleased with how this has worked out. I spent very little and mainly repurposed what I had (even the rug was out of shed, it used to be in my old livingroom). Id really like to hang some pictures on the wall but as we are renting Im not sure thats going to happen!

Next projects - dining room and living room - all to be done before Christmas!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Vicki turns 21

Every culture has their big birthday. For some its 13, others wait for that sweet 16 or the big 18. In South Africa, your big celebration comes when turn 21. Your parents pull out photos of your life to up that point - friends and family tell embarrassing stories, and then inevitably it gets serious at some point in the flurry of speeches and the people around you tell you how much they love you, remind you of how much you've achieved in your short 21 years on planet earth, your mum cries, you cry. Everyone hugs. Its big - and its all about close friends and family, celebrating along side you.

My baby sister just turned 21 this October. She's the kinda gal who has looked forward to this day for years. Sadly, she wasnt home this October. She is finishing up her au-pair contract in Superior, Colorado. SO being her big sister, I took my precious Boy cargo and headed west, to the United States!

We celebrated in style with her lovely host family and amazing boyfriend. I got to make a trip to I Heart Walmart to buy and decorate a cake plate, a trip to Heavenly Whole Foods to get what I needed to make her a sweet cake and to buy general supplies and then we headed home to bake up a little storm.

It was the loveliest day. We opened gifts over Skype with family 9319 miles away and then when babies awoke from nap time we had an English Tea Party.

 She wanted a Hello Kitty cake. I refused. A gingham garland from Walmart and a glue gun turned a $4 glass cake plate into something a little more special.

Some dalia's from WholeFoods Market made her cake pretty in pink. The paisley table cloth runner was just 2yards of folded fabric, also from Walmart, $3.50 a yard, overlaid with sage green netting with tiny pink roses sewn on. 

It wasnt what she'd dreamed of for years. Cordial stood in for champagne and knock knock jokes for speeches. But we laughed, we ate, we loved.

We made precious memories that we will both cherish forever. And we made GREAT cake.
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