Home sweet home

So, this was my day yesterday. It was the most perfect weather, nice and warm, and no wind to speak of. In the morning Zoe and I had a few errands to run while Ava slept. Zoe then went to my mom while I took Ava to our Toddler Workshop class. She absolutely loves it – a combination of sensory integration, gross motor activities, fine motor activities, then outdoor play (including art and water play) and then some music with gross motor and fine motor stuff. I suppose it’s the usual thing but she absolutely loves it. She and another little friend are a bit younger than the others (the rest are all over a year) but the time slot suits us and she seems to cope well enough.

After lunch and naps we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. So, Ava in the back pack, Zoe on her bike, the dogs (of course) and off we went to the beach. We walked/cycled along the path and then stopped off at one of our regular spots. Zoe then built sandcastles, Ava ate sand and played in the water (oops, no spare clothes) so she did it nude. Olive, our golden retriever, likes to dive out stones from the bottom of the sea, much to the amusement of anyone walking passed. It really was a wonderful afternoon and just so peaceful to sit on the beach, watching the sea, while they all played. I am so blessed to live in such a lovely place, so close to the beach. The sea is good for one’s soul. Chris then got home just before 5 and I went for a lovely run all along the beach. It was just stunning. Lots of people still swimming in the sea, kids still playing on the beach and people going for walks/runs/cycles/etc. Extremely good for one’s soul.

I will admit that I had a very tough time when Ava first arrived. We had just moved, so although my parents were here, close friends at that stage were few and far between. Chris was just getting started with his work and struggling to manage it all, as well as his suddenly increased responsibilities at home. Zoe was a very easy baby/toddler/child but Ava not so much at first and that didn’t do my type A personality much good. I was the main instigator behind our move to PE and I felt very responsible that Chris was struggling to settle into his work and that everything hadn’t just fallen into place as we’d expected. I felt so guilty towards Zoe for all the time that Ava was now taking up and on top of it all we all kept getting sick. Chris or Zoe would get something from work or school and then Ava and I would get it next. It was horrible, Ava got her first cold at 2 weeks and as soon as she got over it a week later the next one would start. This carried on till she was 4 months and since then, nothing, thank goodness. For a long time I wasn’t a very easy person to live with, Chris couldn’t do anything right and I definitely couldn’t see all the immeasurable blessings in my life.

I am astonished how that has all changed in a relatively short space of time. We moved into our own house in October, we got a full-time domestic/nanny who is brilliant so I can get out whenever I need to, I started running again, we had a brilliant summer with lots of time spent on the beach and swimming in the sea, we have a wonderful group of friends, Zoe’s  play school is great as it’s based at our church and lots of the young families at her school, are also at our church and some are even in our home group. I know I am very blessed. My husband has a job that he loves and that pays well enough that he doesn’t need to work too hard (usually home before 5pm and some days even before 4pm-does have to work on weekends and after hours at times, but still), I can stay at home with my precious little girls and have full-time help. My parents stay just around the corner and are very hands-on brilliant grandparents. They took the girls this afternoon so Chris and I could relax a bit, Zoe often sleeps over or goes to play and Ava will start to have sleep overs as well, starting this Friday. We are starting to do the things we want to, to our house, so that it will be more like we want and need. We have some wonderful holidays with good friends coming up (2 weekends away without kids!!!) and a week away at Buffalo Bay with all the kids. We’re going to lots of the World Cup Matches and I’m actually getting so excited about that.

Today is Freedom Day. I can’t believe that it’s already 16 years since I was in my 1st year at Stellenbosch. I was at a very new, happy and challenging stage of my life. 16 years later and I am again at a very happy and challenging stage of my life. Not sure what the next 16 years holds for me and SA (let’s just hope and pray old Julius Malema won’t feature at all) but I’m pretty optimistic.

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