Archive for the Family Category

Entering 2010 with a bang!

Posted in Family, General, Photography with tags , , , , , , on Friday, 1 January 2010 by Deems

While we spent new year’s eve with family quietly at home, others, around the world, celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. And in typical Boston.com Big Picture fashion they’ve put together another great collection of photos from around the world – enjoy!

People all around the world gathered in groups large and small last night to usher out the previous year, and welcome the arrival of 2010. Under a rare New Year’s Eve Blue Moon, crowds watched fireworks, cheered, made resolutions, and counted down to midnight. 2010 is the year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac, signifying a year of bravery and courage. Collected here are some photographs of people across the earth as they welcomed the new year in many different ways. (38 photos total) – source Boston.com

Fireworks from the Space Needle light up downtown Seattle, Washington to bring in the new year, as seen from Kerry Park, Friday, Jan. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Cliff DesPeaux)

Merry Christmas

Posted in Family, General with tags , , on Friday, 25 December 2009 by Deems

Spent the evening last night with family stuffing ourselves and kids opening presents. This afternoon is a repeat of yesterday with the other half of the family.

Here’s just a quick message to all of you hoping you and yours have a wonderful Christmas! Be safe!

Little Miss Christmas

Posted in Family, General, Photography with tags , , , , , on Monday, 26 October 2009 by Deems

This was taken recently at Rebecca’s creche.

rebecca_2009_creche_photo

If today was your last day?

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , , , , on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 by Deems

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?
– Chad Kroeger, Nickleback

My mom has been up away for about a week and a half now to be at the bedside of her eldest sister who was in hospital. She had malignant growths removed from her bowels and after surgery became more ill from a hospital virus she contracted. Her organs started to fail and she was placed in a medically induced coma as her body was to week to cope. For a period of time she was on a ventialtor as well as she could no longer breathe on her own.

My mom, her sister, younger brother and her mom (my gran is 92 by the way) have been going every day to the hospital and back to be at her bedside and to motivate her to fight and get better. Last week however they were told that she might not make past midweek. So the family has been preparing itself for the worst. A priest was also called in to say a few prayers.

A specialist told the family that she was not brain dead so they couldn’t legally turn off the machines and let her go. Over the weekend she stabilised so that she could be removed form the ventilator however still in an induced coma.

While all this is happening my cousin (daughter of the second eldest sister) is 39 weeks pregnant and just about ready to pop! Understandably her mom is being tugged between her sister’s condition and the miracle of her daughter’s pending birth. Not a situation I would wish upon my worst enemy.

I spoke to my mom again last night and she said that she spoke to her sister and commanded her to wake up and wish her for her birthday (yeah it was my mom’s birthday yesterday – she turned 60). After she left the room my aunt’s daughter-in-law noticed tears streaming from her eyes while she lay in a coma on the bed. I guess it must be true that we can sub-consciously hear people while in a coma.

This morning around 2am my aunt passed away. I guess she tried to hold on just a little bit longer so as not to leave my mom with the reminder on her birthday each year about her sister’s passing and not on the day her neice would give birth to her first-born. I really feel for my gran who I couldn’t imagine what she must be going through – as parents we should never be in a position that we should have to bury our children, especially not at the age of 92!

And so with the passing of one life the balance must be restored – any day now my cousin will give birth to their child and the ying-yang will be in balance once again.

Here’s the video to the Nickleback lyrics I was referring to at the beginning of this post. Remember, live your life to the fullest because today might be your last day. Rest in peace, aunt Pieta.

10 years on – through the looking glass

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , , on Friday, 25 September 2009 by Deems

If you’d asked me 10 years ago where I thought I’d be today I probably wouldn’t be able to picture my life quite like this – I know I had aspirations of getting to this point one day but that’s all they were back then.

About 11 years and 6 months ago my life changed, in a blink of an eye. I met someone with whom I began a new chapter, in fact, a few new chapters. I convinced her to move with me to the UK where we made London our home a year after we met. Six months later we returned and got married.

We went back to London where we lived and worked for another 3 years. Somewhere along the way we did some travelling in and around the UK, Portugal, Greece, France and Mexico.

And then another chapter began, Melissa was born. Four months later we packed up our belongings, shipped them off to South Africa in a container and flew back to Cape Town.

Yet again another chapter began, our family and life back in Cape Town. As the years went by so did the changing of jobs, meeting new people, making new friends. And almost 4 years later our lives took another turn, for the better, Rebecca was born. That was a little over 3 years ago now.

It almost feels like it was only yesterday that I met Dina, and look how much has happened and how much time has passed.

And so that brings me to today, the 25th of September, 2009. Ten years on, so much has happened and so much that I’m grateful for.

Dina, Melissa and Rebecca – I love you. Thank you for being a part of my life and letting me be a part of yours. May there be many such milestones ahead and many more joyous times.

To my friends and family – thanks for being there for us too, in good times and bad.

Right now, as of the (automated) time this post goes live, I’ll either be lying next to Dina in our lodge at Monkey Valley (where we spent our honeymoon, 10 years ago), in Noordhoek, or having breakfast – enjoy the weekend, I know we will.

Kids and technology

Posted in Family, General, Technology with tags , , , on Sunday, 16 August 2009 by Deems

It’s a topic that’s been in the news for a long time and almost always with negative connotations. Kids playing games with violence in them turning violent and becoming disobedient. But there are positive outcomes too.

I was watching in amazement at my youngest daughter, yesterday, as she was playing Mahjong Solitaire (not to be confused with the actual Mahjong game). But it’s just a pattern-matching game, you might say. Except there are quite a number of various patterns on the tiles, some look similar to others and in various colours, so not always so simple to find the matching tiles.

But it’s not only the fact that she can manage to finish some of the levels on her own but that she has already figured out how to navigate the various menus to start a new game or exit the game and start another one. I think we need to be worried once she figures out how to use Windows Explorer!

Oh, did I mention, she only turned 3 last month? Yup. Think back to when you were a kid at that age. Would we too have been able to so quickly grasp those concepts that some just can’t get. Remember it’s not just the fact that she manages to find the matching pairs but at the same time she’s moving the mouse around which in turn moves the mouse cursor to where she wants it to be as well as clicking the mouse button at the right time.

I’ve been working with computers for the last 24 years and pretty much take the act of using a keyboard without looking at the keys and using a mouse to navigate around a website or application for granted. But take two minutes and just think about all those neurons firing in your brain to be able to make all those connections and make us do the things we do and then think of all of that happening in a three year old’s brain.

Our eldest was also a semi-pro using the computer when she was her sister’s age. Now that she’s in grade 1 and quickly learning to read more and more her computer use is going to get better and most likely more frequent. Good thing I’ve been systematically keeping tabs on the various technologies out there which I will have to implement once the kids start using the computers more regularly. As technology advances I think too our kids are getting smarter and smarter. One of these days we’ll have a generation of toddlers that will be re-programming our VCRs (sheesh giving away my age there), erm, I mean PVRs and understanding what they’re doing not just randomly pressing buttons or hiding jam-sandwiches or keys where they shouldn’t go!

RIP Snowy

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , on Saturday, 25 July 2009 by Deems

Woke up this morning to prepare Melissa for Sunday school classes and as I looked out the back-door window I noticed one of our two rabbits lying on the grass. But something looked out of place, she was lying on her side as opposed to on her stomach or curled up. And they never slept out in the open in winter, only in their hutch.

I went outside to pick her up but only felt a lifeless, yet still somewhat warm, body of Snowey. She didn’t appear to have any broken limbs or any lacerations. There wasn’t any blood anywhere which, to my untrained eye, lead me to believe she probably died of natural causes or a heart-attack maybe, although she was only a little over 3 years old (we got them just before Rebecca was born, so that Melissa wouldn’t feel too left out since mommy was about to have a baby). Snowy had a set of 7 babies about 6 month after we got them and we had the male, Spikey, fixed shortly thereafter. Both rabbits have been healthy up until now and there’s been no change in their diet or health.

So upon Melissa’s request this morning we had an impromptu burial, hand-made cross and all for Snowy. RIP.

New addition to the family

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , , on Thursday, 21 May 2009 by Deems

We now have two rabbits (Spikey and Snowey), a Golden Retriever (Max), a cat (Spookie) and now my wife’s Mother’s Day present has arrived, Laki, the orange Canary!

laki_canary

Kids in a tree

Posted in Family, General, Photography with tags , , , on Tuesday, 12 May 2009 by Deems

Two of my kids, sitting in a tree, s.. m.. i.. l.. i.. n.. g! They grow up so fast, don’t they?

kids_in_a_tree

Taken on Sunday, while celebrating Mother's Day at my brother's place.

 

End of April ramblings

Posted in Family, General with tags , , , on Friday, 1 May 2009 by Deems

So we’re in to the 5th month of 2009 – how did we get here so quickly? It was just the other day New Years day and look where we are now. People laugh at me when I say after January, six months of the year are gone!

April’s been a busy month, rushing to get my project at work launched (which we did last week) before going on leave. Perfectly timed, yes, since this week, in South Africa, this past Monday and tomorrow (erm, today), Friday, are public holidays – so a 9-days off for only 3 days worth of leave.

I’ve tried to do as little as possible on my time off, which includes sleeping in some mornings (after helping Dina with the kids) and just bumming about, checking my RSS feeds, posting a few blog posts and playing some CS.

Speaking of CS, you have the option to either play on a Counter Terrorist or Terrorist team – so, what does it say about me if I do better playing as a Terrorist (uh-oh, I said Terrorist 3 times already, make that 4, on my blog post – the FBI, CIA and Interpol will have a field day with me today)?

Rebecca, our youngest (almost 3) has been taking swimming lessons for a couple months now (they pick the kids up from the creche and take them for swimming lessons and bring them back) and I really wanted to see for myself what it was like and how she was handling it – she’s always excited about it when we ask her how it went. So I tagged along yesterday when they picked up the kids.

It’s quite an experience – but the kids all seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves. They all dash off to one end of the pool where the benches are and begin to strip – right down to their birthday-suits. Then they run off to the other side of the pool where two staff members help them get into their swimming costumes – shame has no place here! They then each wait their turn as 3 teachers in the pool take them for their lessons – the younger kids get individual attention and the older ones that can keep themselves afloat are taught in groups. It looked like so much fun, I found myself feeling a little envious. It’s a heated and indoor pool so they can teach the kids all year round, which makes for an excellent business. They teach the kids very early on what it’s like going completely underwater and getting to the side quickly to get out – in case they ever fall in – and it also helps getting rid of that fear of their head/face going in the water. Rebecca’s coming along nicely and we’re hoping to get a spot for Melissa our eldest (almost 7) soon as the space for the older kids was already full when we wanted to book her in too. For me, being able to swim is an important life-lesson, which I feel is a must for everyone.

Today I picked up Melissa after school and took her to her weekly ballroom/Latin dance classes and I was mighty impressed (and again a little envious). Melissa has taken to dancing just like she took to water when she first swam. She listens carefully to what her instructor, Andre says and she picks up the steps very quickly – that little sponge of a brain of hers absorbs almost everything and it amazes me at how many steps she remembers.

She went through a number of her dances (boogie, cha-cha, jive, tango, waltz, foxtrot, jazz, 2-step, box rumba)  today doing level 1 and 2 steps. She should be doing her level-2 exam in June or July and then she can start learning level 3 steps and work on her styling. We only got about half-way through level-3 steps when we gave up our contract so that Melissa could go and dance instead. Check out her previous match-dance if you’ve not seen it already which took place last year (and here were her results).

This evening I helped Dina with some “remodeling” in Rebecca’s room to make more practical cupboard space. Tomorrow should hopefully be a chilled and relaxing day since the grandparents picked up the kids this afternoon so at least we can sleep in tomorrow morning without worrying about the kids waking us up early. Saturday we’re going to do a little wine-tasting with friends, so we’re all looking forward to that which will be concluded with lunch at one of the wine-farms. Not sure yet what Sunday will bring. 

That is all :)

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