Reflecting on the last week(s)

DSC_0922I took this photo last night of the sun going down and the reflection from our living room window.

I thought it a good title to this post as we have had an interesting time, lately.

First, I want to thank all the people who wished me and Boeta good health, we are all better and feeling ready to take on the world again.

Mom is away for the week, we miss her and cannot wait for Friday to go and collect her at the airport again.

Last Friday we had expected a power cut again, something we are having to live with, because it is a near daily occurrence in South Africa at the moment. At 9 pm the power went….we did not get power again before Sunday, near midday. So for 48 hours we had to keep going with the toddler and being winter it becomes dark early in the evening. Here are some photo’s…

LOOK MOM….THE LIGHT IS OFF!

DSC_0782 DSC_0785FUNNNNN!DSC_0786Daddy had to try to keep his mobile working and much to the enjoyment of the family, got a kinetic power generator plugged in and winding the living daylights  out of it (look at him go) to charge his phone. At least daddy was warm (hot) and even worked up a sweat for half a bar of mobile power we guess.

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DSC_0859For the rest of the time it was torches and candles. we told stories and played games.

Boeta got to do more ART, which is his new phase now. He wants to do art and build puzzles.

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DSC_0958REFLECTING on BOETA

DSC_0933The little man still loves playing ball and with all the other speedy things he likes and the new art phase, the little man has grown some more since we arrived back from holiday. It is amazing what these outings do for his development. He is doing short sentences now and can say any word, parrot style, without knowing it’s meaning. For the most part it is his communication skills that we all find lots of benefit in now, as we are able to generate discussions, toddler style. Playing on the deck has evolved from mere kicking to dribbling, throwing and catching…we are working on the catching, 1 in 4 he actually catches. So…are you ready for some action….! HERE WE GO!

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THIS ONE HE DID CATCH!

FOCUS….

LOOK AT THE FOCUS!

We had some other visitors as well. A Mommy Southern Right Whale came past the house with her baby.

DSC_1021 DSC_1042What was interesting was the turning around on her back, belly up! Not sure if that is to allow the baby to suckle or just playing?

DSC_1072 DSC_1067 DSC_1077She lay like that for a while and the turned around again and swam off. I could not get a nice shot of the baby fin, sorry.

DSC_1058We are approaching full moon and it is called “The Sturgeon Moon“. Seems appropriate given the “large fish” we saw….

August: The Sturgeon Moon
The sturgeon, a large fish common to the Great Lakes and other nearby bodies of water, is most easily caught during this month. The reddish appearance of the moon through the frequent sultry haze of August also prompted a few ethnic groups to dub it the Red Moon. Other names included the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.

OK, so that was a “current” update, we will go on with the posts of the holiday from tomorrow. Thanks for visiting!

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First walk in the Karoo Heartland

Once we got offloaded and Boeta had his nap (Mom and Dad too), we decided toward late afternoon to take a walk on the farm. This was our reason for coming to this area, open spaces to let the little man run and explore. Sure enough, little man was off.

DSC_0212We decided to walk past the farmhouse and up the hill to get a nice view of the surrounds. As we got closer, someone came past with an old tractor to the great amusement of Boeta.

DSC_0196Some Kniphofia and other flowering plants in the farmyard.

DSC_0223 DSC_0225 DSC_0232As we walked through the farm gate, we took to the hill, following the road. Boeta was in another world, a new wonderful world with lots of…..rocks!!

DSC_0237 DSC_0239C’mon then, you two oldies….we need to get there, today!DSC_0243 DSC_0259 DSC_0270The view from the top of the little hill, guess it would qualify as open spaces!

DSC_0220 DSC_0247 DSC_0261We walked on and mom gave the little man a loving touch asking him if he liked this new holiday spot and if he was enjoying himself.

DSC_0278DSC_0285Daddy decided, enough with the walking on the farm road, let’s go off-road and really have fun. Mom was slightly apprehensive, but we took to the fields in any case.

DSC_0314Some lovely and interesting plants to be found. Nothing growing specifically high.

DSC_0326 DSC_0322 DSC_0288Every now and Boeta would lose his footing a little with his new 3rd outing boots, which ended up to be the most valuable addition to his wardrobe and he did not want to wear anything else and it saved on a few possible issues with thorns and prickly stuff you find from time to time.

DSC_0318 DSC_0307 DSC_0313 For daddy, it was the most anticipated week of the holiday. He wanted to spend time with his son and mom in the Karoo, as he was lucky enough to do for most of his childhood to late teens. This shot is sure one of the most special ones of that walk…..”pride“…..

DSC_0305It was getting late and we had to turn back and go light the barbecue for dinner. Everything basically worked with gas and candles. Magical. No other sounds of people, but us and the man (and his family) for miles around.

DSC_0332Boeta now took the lead as we walked back home with a proud mom and dad walking behind him, watching him just being a kid. BLISS!

Piano toddler x2 and giving grandparents a workout….

Some of the older followers may remember the little 9 month old loving the piano. Well, at nearly 2 years old he still loves the piano, but now he sits on his own and he can give a toddler version of piano performance. The perfect background to toddlerism, starting of with soft one note twinkle, slowly building up and then all hell breaks loose as we end with thunder and lightning.

DSC_0347 DSC_0348 DSC_0345 DSC_0344 DSC_0351He then decided to continue this thunderous end and charge poor grandma and grandpa, who seemed to enjoy his music so much.

DSC_0368If you charge grandma, she typically wants a kiss….”what’s wrong with women!?”

DSC_0364Now Grandpa is much more fun, he lifts and put me down so that I can do it again…and again.

DSC_0361 DSC_0363Grandpa had to go sit down and Boeta kept coming…

DSC_0365 DSC_0370Mom decided it is time to give Boeta’s grandparents a break and Boeta got his dinner while daddy lit a fire for our dinner.

DSC_0360This calmed the little man down and he decided to give the family another softer version, more a lullaby version of his piano skills. It was near bed-time after all. This time we started with thunder and lightning and ended with soft tones that had him fully immersed in the music, leaving a slightly stunned family.

DSC_0341 DSC_0340Who said you cannot have fun when it rains?

Look….Daddy!

DSC_0087Yesterday I was busy with something and the little man showed me a find. He was pretty excited about the find, because the birdie he saw was the first one he could mimic. Fortunately this expanded to other sounds, because these actually make pretty annoying sounds.

He was pointing at the bird and wanted me to confirm that is was in fact a Hadeda Ibis. I said yes, and he watched the Hadeda hunting for worms in the grass.

DSC_0098DSC_0106Annoying as they are, and no friend with an infant in the house. They have this thing of calling each other, constantly in communication in flight or when separated. So at nap times I ran out like I have lost my marbles chasing them away by throwing rocks and jumping up and down. After the first 6-8 months they took the hint and we saw them less and less, but they are back again and luckily less of an issue for the napping toddler.

DSC_0108DSC_0076Boeta stood there watching the bird and he now enjoys their presence with all the other birds that come to look for seeds in the garden. In fact the putting seeds out for the birds has become a high point for the little man.

DSC_0104We saw the Hadeda getting one worm and he seemed to have targeted another, but was left empty “billed”.

DSC_0110 DSC_0111DSC_0114Boeta also pointed out a Black-headed Heron that was sitting on a high point a few houses down.

DSC_0122We love his pure excitement when he sees birds and other wildlife for that matter, something we make a point to react on immediately when we see he is excited, making us excited in return. Fun!

Walking mom through the garden

Yesterday Boeta took mom through the garden. We are progressing nicely with the revamp and one aim is the placing of the animals in more open and sometimes accessible positions for him to find, touch and show to who ever is with him.

DSC_0093First stop is the water bowl and frog. If he gets the chance, he plays with the water. Then he says “owl” out loud and runs down the hill to the owl, sitting down in front of it.

DSC_0086Mom, being new to this exercise attempted to sit with him, not going to happen mom, he was up in a flash again and said “meerkat”, running to the spot where the meerkat family is situated.

DSC_0120 He then goes to the “new” part, where we are working, checking the progress, spins around saying “owl” and runs back up the hill.

DSC_0198DSC_0134He looks back just to make sure mom is following….

DSC_0136After sitting down in front of the owl again, waiting for mom to catch up, he is off again, further up the hill towards the frog and antelope.

DSC_0174 DSC_0177He makes a quick stop at the garden gnome, but never sits down, much more interested in the animals, the tortoise is next before the process starts all over again, mom in tow. They end at the meerkat and up we come again.

DSC_0253DSC_0270Every now and then some “live” animals make an appearance to his absolute delight. The agama lizards warmed up enough to appear from behind the bushes where they sleep.

DSC_0143 DSC_0106 DSC_0114We are pleased with the progress and result. Our main aim was to created a situation that could serve as an extra learning and activity platform for Boeta and he seems to really love “his” garden. Lots more to come. Time for tired parents to rest.

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Gardening Toddler

Daddy decided to lift the garden, cleaning out deep growing grass-roots and working in new soil and compost. Being so close to the ocean, also means we have beach sand for soil and it needed to be refreshed. Yesterday an area was done for replanting giving Boeta a great excuse to go play in the sand and help with the gardening. Daddy called him, put his gardening hat on and got his wheelbarrow. He told Boeta to go get his tools as we are going to do some planting. He was out of his skin with excitement.

DSC_0414 DSC_0416We started planting and we use the wheelbarrow to put selected plants in, then we push it close to the area and start planting. Initially it was Boeta’s job to bring the plants for daddy as he put them into the ground. He then decided to try a few himself, planting them upside down, roots in the air. Daddy showed him the correct way. The lizard is his favorite ornament in the garden and he helped putting it just right.

DSC_0418The idea of plants having to be covered with soil, stuck, and he then decided to add soil to every plant, just to be sure daddy did not miss some.

DSC_0485 DSC_0499 DSC_0504 DSC_0511The most important thing in the garden is one’s hat and losing it is not a good thing…the problem is to put it back, while one hand is loaded with soil…luckily, daddy was there to rescue the situation.

DSC_0530 DSC_0535Boeta really loved the play and learning session in the garden and soon he was walking around like a farmer investigating his crop, even learning the words “aloe” and “tag”.

DSC_0524We decided to end the session after about 2 hours and Boeta sat with daddy as they discussed what they did.

DSC_0440In this period of calm after a hard “days” work, Boeta decided to test the soil too! This was a less than good decision, clearly.

DSC_0434 We packed up, ready to go in and have something to drink and eat, having established that soil would not do.

DSC_0427Our neighbors saw us busy in the garden and being very fond of Boeta, they came over to see what was going on. They are Boeta’s favorite neighbors too.

DSC_0451 DSC_0453 DSC_0454 DSC_0462Boeta explained in a language still unrecognizable what we were doing and soon a game developed with the tags we use to mark the aloes.

DSC_0466 DSC_0475At the end of this session we went direct into bath mode. He had soil everywhere, but he was happy, very happy. It really is fun to play with your toddler in the garden, while also teaching them about plants and gardening.