Spirited Mama

YOU have got to take in the BAD to experience the GOOD

Category: Holidays (Page 1 of 2)

Year end drain and winding down…

clock

SO many of us are feeling that year end drain. I know I am and I know my family is too. Gone are the days when Dudie couldn’t wait for Santa to bring him an alarm clock – you know cos he started big school in 2016 (grade 1) and this clock would help him get ready for school every day. Yeah right! This Mama, aka Santa, stepped in and blessed him with an alarm clock. For the record that ship has sailed as the novelty wore off so quickly. No matter how many alarms were set, if he was tired he just would NOT get up. Fuck the alarm clock and all. He will not get done. He will moan and be difficult with each and every task staring him in the face. Until I lose my shit – then we argue and then he says Mom you’re being rude….the joys of parenting.

Whilst we face this year end drain and frantically trying to tie up loose ends, it is also the most wonderful time of the year. We are preparing for the festivities, for Christmas. The festive season is upon us. A time of joy, laughter, lazy days spent around the swimming pool…and lest we forget the final weeks before the resident alien arrives. This will be our last Christmas as a family of 3 because next year we will have another little boy joining our table.

My advice – cut yourself some slack. The kid made it through the year unscathed. And tonight we will shed a silent tear of pride as he owns that stage at his prize giving ceremony. We only have 3 days of grade 1 left. Go on have a drink or eat some cake cos I’m #30weekspregnant remember…10 more weeks…Somehow, I have a sneaky suspicion that the resident alien will arrive earlier. Let’s hope it’s not too early.

Happy festive prepping. We need to finish the baby nursery.

Spirited Mama

P.S. This morning conversation with Dudie

Dudie: Mom can you pray when you are dead?

Me: I don’t know, I’ve never been dead.

Recharge….

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I am writing this post whilst sitting on a blue bench at Uvongo Beach. It is a sunny but overcast breezy day at the ocean. The breeze is exactly what I need as I feel like I suddenly have hot flushes. The ocean spray feels soft and cooling on my sunkissed face.

It is magnificent. It is breath taking. It is GOD’s creation. And I am basking in its glow. I am humbled and grateful for a weekend of connecting with myself, Dude, Dudie and God. Somehow, spiritually I am at peace. I woke up everyday feeling extremely grateful for a new day, for our blessings but also just for another beautiful day.

Our car is packed to make our way back to Gauteng but we are not done with Kwazulu Natal just yet. As I write this post Dude and Dudie are fiahing from the pier. We are still on our way to Durban itself, for a stopover at UShaka. We can never be this close and NOT stop at Gorimas at UShaka. They have the yummiest butter biscuits as well as spices.

For now I am signing off to enjoy every bit of This magnificent view. To soak up the sun and to wet my feet in this warm ocean current. What a way to start a MONDAY. I feel alive.

Spirited Mama

P.S. Dude and I were having the discussion at the fireside lat night about how recharged we feel. He feels like he has been on holiday for six months.

This is how we roll. We take frequent breaks. Because we know how draining life can be. We often need a recharge. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of God’s grace.

Time-out

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We are off to the South Coast for a mini getaway. We NEED this. We NEED the time-out. We will be back on Monday – see how we just created our own long weekend in Spiritville.

Happy Friday!

Spirited Mama

 

How my GUESS watch saved me from a snake…

guess-watch

Yes, you read it right. This post is about how my GUESS watch saved me from a Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra.

So in 2015, we got lucky when I called a place for a last minute booking over the Easter break. I found it in the Dinokeng reserve. Now I have absolutely no qualms, even after this incident, with nature. I get that I am in the wild and in their territory and rightfully so I respect the wildlife. But fuck lately I am having more goosebumps and hair raising experiences than I would like….

Anyway, we were so chuffed to get this last minute booking. Arriving on Good Friday, to a place where you are told warned “Please close the gate after you enter the camp as the Big 5 roam free in the reserve”. Now, a rational person would have said fuck that I am heading back to civilisation, but NOT this Spirited family. No we will find these places. And we will conquer them.

We arrive and unpack. We are impressed for a Bush Camp. Only concern, the bathroom is sort of outside of the bedroom and kitchen. You need to step onto the porch to get to the bathroom door. Now  this doesn’t bother me but it sure bugs the hell out of Dude who is paralyzed at the mere sight of a spider, no matter what size. We decide to explore the camp and take a stroll across the lawn to the pool and recreation centre. This is about 500metres from our porch.

Inside the recreation centre we find a pool(snooker) table, table tennis, a tv area and a long dining room table…so I tell myself do not stick your hand into the pool table as you are out in the wild and need to be weary of snakes and spiders. I discover you can actually exit by the pool table as well.

Dude and I start playing table tennis. Dudie interjects and I say you play with Dad, I want to check that room past the tv. I walk past the front door where we had entered earlier and as I pass a huge gas heater I feel my left hand is wet. As if someone sprayed it with water…I stop and think that I just passed a gas heater, this whole camp is thatched roofs and if gas is leaking and a fire breaks out we are all fucked. So I backtrack…slowly walking backwards to check this gas heater. And right there on the floor next to the gas heater lies a Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra.

mfezi

MOTHERBUFFER! With my mind racing and me calculating that if I run around this fucking 12 seater table this snake can surely just slither underneath and stop me on the other side, or if I scream or startle the snake it will have a go at me…very calmly I say ” Dude, take Dudie and go out by the pool table. Dude, huh? I repeat myself but this time a bit louder and with more concern in my voice. As they exit, I calmly walk around this table so that I too exit at the pool table.

Once outside I was freaking out. We ran speed walked to the owner and informed him about the snake. He checked my hand and arm for any scratches or cuts and said Sussie jy is Fokken gelukkig hy hou van jou blink horlosie” (sister you are fucking lucky he likes your bling watch). So off he goes in search of this snake.

We did inform the other visitors who we met along the way not go to the recreation centre as there is a snake. We get there with the owner and already there are some guests who wanted to catch the snake. The owner goes inside and calls me to the door to check if the snake that he caught is in fact the right one. At this stage I am shitting myself thinking what do you mean the right one. I said yip it is without even looking.

He confirmed it was a Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra and guess what they spit from any position. They do not need to stand up or flair up to spray you with venom. Although, it’s more the bite that you need to be careful of. Sadly, he killed the snake as he says the camp is full and the snake has obviously settled there so if he leaves it the snake will most likely just come back. And it might not be a happy ending next time. Can I just say that although relieved I was very sad that they had to kill the snake. Dudie, up til today, is still pissed that the snake was killed. He asked the owner, do you think God is happy with you killing his creatures? There was a veterinary Doctor as well who agreed it was best to kill the snake.

After all that commotion we headed back to our chalet. Slightly more cautious being there. Feeling exposed and vulnerable. Dude goes to the bathroom, and starts cussing…well you guessed it. There was a spider in the bathroom. On the door that he just closed. The very same door that he needs to touch to get out of there. He only saw this spider once he decided to use the lavatory. I was beside myself with laughter. I rescued him, after I laughed and laughed and laughed…

That night we did not sleep much. Me worrying about snakes and Dude worrying about spiders. The next day we were scheduled to go on a game drive. We arrive at the pick up and the owner says “Sussie jy het my so laat skrik, Ek was bekommerd oor jou. Ek is Bly jy is ok” We had a lovely sunset drive but thankfully didn’t see the lions. I think I had enough of the wild for a while…

Last night there. We wake up and Dudie is covered in red spots. Like everywhere. We looked for snake and spider bites but nothing. Then put it down to sand fleas…but we packed our stuff and headed straight to Dischem in Pretoria, about an hours drive from the bush camp. The pharmacist was chilled so naturally we were chilled. Got some meds and went to the comfort of our snake free home.

The next day Dudie looked even worse. We headed to Pretoria East Hospital and the trauma Doctor on duty said it was some sort of virus that Dudie had. Gave stronger meds and sent us home. It took a few days to clear but thankfully he was good as new in no time.

Suddenly I remember why we haven’t been in the bushveld for a while.

Did you know that the Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra is considered the most dangerous after the Black Mamba?

I am so grateful for my bling GUESS watch because this snake thought it was my eyes and had a go at it. I am the person wearing a blinging GUESS watch in the bush. I also always wear my sunglasses…

Spirited Mama

Mabalingwe…is why I was off the radar for a while

mabalingwe

 

I was beside myself… I was literally trying to sit still as I typed this. I have anticipated this holiday for months. Along with the excitement it also brings great sadness that Mamma isn’t here to share it with us, well physically that is… She was the one who called me up in January and said “I really enjoyed spending my birthday with you guys (Dudie is on the 1st of October and Mamma on the 2nd) so I was thinking I want to spend my birthday with you guys again”. I said cool I will find a place for us… And I did. Mabalingwe it was. I booked and confirmed that we would the last week of September at Mabalingwe in anticipation of their respective birthdays…We arrived 26 September to beautiful chalet surrounded by the bushveld and nature. We did send Dude into the chalet to check that there were unwanted pets/wildlife/snakes in the chalet…Yes, we waited in the bakkie until he came back out to give us an all clear…One day I will tell you about how my Guess watch saved me from a Mozambiquan spitting cobra…I shit you not. True story but for another day.

Well you may or may not know that Mamma is sadly no longer with us as she was lost a very short, well from the time of diagnosis for the family, we really don’t know how long she knew about it, 8 day battle with CANCER! you can read about it here. I miss her dearly. I wish she was here.

We haven’t been to Mabalingwe since I was 7 months pregnant with Dudie, which was more than 7 years ago… I am really not sure why though but I do know that we had loads of fun the last time we were there. Like Dudie’s godparents probably conceived their first child there. LOL. We went up Vodacom hill, yes with me being 7 months pregnant and I even went on a game drive to the Lion Camp, all whilst I used most of the Chalet’s cushions to pack all around my pregnant self….However, this past week I was very lazy and very cautious NOT to have extreme activities….We spent the week just lazing around and enjoying the heat. Cooling off at the pool with some refreshing drinks and too much ice-cream…

It was a happy but also sad and emotional week as there were many moments where I caught myself staring out blankly and just having a quiet cry for Mamma…we saw lots of animals, loads of birds (OMg I am so impressed with Dudie who knows how to navigate through the bird book. This kid is damn good at spotting birds, and finding the correct bird in the book).

It is sad that Mabalingwe, like many places not just in Limpopo Province is suffering due to a lack of rain…the water levels are so low. The dams actually look empty.

Do you remember the old Castrol(Boet & Swaer) Ad? They made this ad at the Kalahari Oasis aka Bush Pub at Mabalingwe.

We discovered the BushPub on a previous visit and it is definitely a MuST stopover every time we are at Mabalingwe. This time however, we etched our names into the walls and forever left a little piece of ourselves there. They have scheduled game drives but you can and really should drive yourself through the bush as well. I find it very exhilarating….except I shouldn’t be the actual driver…

God willing we will be back to soak up some Mabalingwe again…

Spirited Mama

P.S. Some elephants went roque trying to break the water pump or filter or something to get some fresh water. They actually also broke into a private home to steal some food… The sound of these elephants approaching is insanely scary and yes it was pitch black outside as they decided it would be best to do the deed at night. SO we’re sitting on the porch and Dude is about to braai when we here the commotion…Dude says “It sure beats the hell out of PnP animal cards and sound readers…this shit is real….this is what the actual sounds are.

 

Hong Kong

We recently took some time out and went to Hong Kong for some R & R…..It was amazing and hot and wonderful. Filled with crazy adventures and my S Health App going bezerk at my daily step count cos whoa baby I must have clocked a month’s steps in 7 days….

We did fly out in business class and had those luxury lie flat beds…what a way to travel. If there is one thing that should be mandatory for a bucket list it would be to travel in business class on a long haul flight…Thank you for your hospitality SAA. <Sidebar – one day when I am big I want to travel in Upper class with Virgin or first class with Emirates…just for those PJs>

When we left SA it was Winter, when we arrived in Hong Kong it was full blown Summer, like 38 degrees and humid as hell Summer. We loved it though. We even loved the light afternoon showers on two days that cooled us down whilst shopping at the markets. The city came alive at night with its bright lights and the streets were buzzing with people. I was in awe at how at 11pm it seemed like it was possibly 4/5 PM…We travelled by bus/train/taxi…and yes it was surprisingly easy to find our way around the city and various islands.

The fruit in this place is absolutely amazing. As my resident Alien, aka new baby, is still killing me with the ALL DAY vomiting and morning sickness(yes I puke even through my prescribed meds) the sweet fruits like melons, pineapples and grapes brought some respite. I had actually forgotten what my first pregnancy was like until this morning sickness violently kicked in. Now before you go bonkers I did get an all clear from my doctor to travel beforehand and had to solemnly swear that I would eat only proper cooked foods and NO sushi…

We ended our holiday with a trip to Hong Kong DisneyLand. Now let me point out that it is a crap load of money just to enter the park but it is so worth it! Dudie kept saying it’s his bestest day ever.

We left Hong Kong with suitcases that were ready to pop, no literally. I had Dude sit on each and every bag as I closed it up before we left… I made them vow not to attempt to open those bags until we are back home in South Africa. We arrived back to whopping 4 degrees in Johannesburg.

Here’s to planning our next holiday…Dude is already thinking of island destinations to take a newborn…

Spirited Mama

P.S. So I took my shoes off for the duration of the return flight…an low and behold I could not get the damn shoes back on when we had to get off in Johannesburg. I was very close to just walking barefeet  cos I just could not get my swollen feet into the shoes. Note to self keep flipflops in carry on luggage next time.

Mauritius…

Right now I’m getting ready to handover my credit card to pay the accommodation I’ve booked in…. Mauritius….

Yes, whilst Winter is nearing I’m fitting on costumes. And looking for cute shorts and dresses and whatever else I can find that screams tropical island holiday. self- find a big floppy hat> I just need to get approval for my leave and we’ll be heading out in June. ****fingers crossed***

As a bonus the resort has a Kids club – now before you get that number for the welfare – we’re not wanting to leave child there all day everyday but we would like US some  adult time too. It’s suppose to be romantic.

Romantic + 3yr old = NOt POSSIBLE/ERROR/Try again in 18 years/malfunction

So on my to do list today is to:

1. Get leave approved

2. Pay accommodation

3. Breathe after payment has been approved and I view my bank statement

4. Do a happy dance

5. Pay fees for Dance Mouse – Oh yes, I forgot to mention that my child had a complete breakdown on the way to school the other day because I need to give him a letter… After 10minutes of crying/whining/etc and me trying to decipher his cryptic message it emerged that he wants to do Dance Mouse but I need to enrol him first. So I calmly told him that we will discuss this matter in the evening. We did. The child has won hand s down and will now be enrolling in Dance mouse too.

Happy Friday!!!

Spirited Mama

P.S. How lovely is the weather today??? Weird considering all the cold we’ve had the past few days…

 

Doctor Dentist dreams

So what does your offspring want to be when they grow up? Or should I ask what are your dreams for your offspring?

Dudie is 3 (Going on 16)turning 4 in October. He is obsessed with rocks/stones… This child collects rocks. He picks them up as he goes on his merry way and they generally end up in my bag/pockets or in Dude’s bakkie etc… But we have rocks from every place that child ha s been too. We sometimes keep the nice ones and sometimes chuck the normal ones into our garden. So we don’t really get rid of them but we redecorate the garden with them. We think he’ll do something in the lines of Archaeology/Geology, but we’ll see. He might just want to cash in on his trust fund… Note to self- start trust fund for Dudie!

Two weeks ago we had a family trip to the Dentist. Now, touch wood, to this very day I do not have a single filling in my mouth. I have all my own teeth. So I’m a happy camper thanks to a minimum of 2 annual trips for general checkups to the dentist all the days I spent under my parents roof. I wanted to preserve Dudie’s teeth and decided that a family trip was necessary. Dude is a bit reluctant a she always ends up making follow up appointments for a cavity/filling oor something…

The Dentist, I found a new one and I really think that we will stick with him for a while even though I have to pay them and then claim a refund from my medical aid – who short pays me R600 for our family trip!!!! Medical Aids suck – but then again I can’t imagine not having it either. The horror! I pay R5795 per month for the 3 of us. Every single month I die a little because quite frankly I could buy a new car/ second property/ have a holiday fund…. But then I console myself with the thought that we can utilise private facilities and that’s what I’m paying for… sigh…

I got the thumbs up from the Dentist. Dudie got a “well done Mom and Dad – this kids got no issues here”. Dude – had to make an appointment to redo a filling and fill a new tiny cavity. As we left – Dudie pipes up “Mamma, no sweets for Daddy” 🙂

Dudie has decided to be  a dentist when he grows up. He makes us sit on a little blue chair and he examines your mouth/teeth and then proceeds to brush/scratch/inspect with his tools (which is a makeup brush set- don’t fret it’s a spare one that is reserved for the dentist). On a different note, on Tuesday he told me he wants to be a doctor whilst we were lying on his bed having a bedtime chat. He then proceeded to stick a dolphin in my ear and a very hard plastic dolphin was lodged in  my right nostril too. I had to be very still so that the stuff would stay put during the exam else he had to re-insert it. And he is not very gentle. I prefer the Dentist child over the Doctor child…

Here’s to good teeth! Now get brushing. Dude says that I’ll brush my teeth away someday 🙂 I think 2minutes to brush is not enough time. I take more like 5 – 10 mins…

Spirited Mama

P.S. One of my best friend’s dad, he passed a way when we were only 7/8 yrs, used to tell me “Jy’s drie maar jou bek is sestien”!!! True story – whenever I see her mom she reminds me of this. Scary, how alike Dudie and I are… Even Dude says that we are so similar and that’s why we can get under each other’s skin…

P.P.S. Dudie gets a very limited amount of sweets. Even if he gets a small packet of sweets I remove half before he gets it. That way he think he finished all of it… Sneaky sneaky 🙂

 On Monday 1 April, we did a 5km fun walk/run at the Grove Mall in Lynnwood. We did it in 55 mins 🙂 Yay!!! we got our “A” into ‘G” and started. We are doing the next one on Saturday.

Tomorrow we’re doing the Mazda Athletics Club fun walk/run at 06:40am. Let’s see if we can improve the 55 mins….

Getting my Sudwala on…

We arrived in good health and ready for adventures…

on Tuesday, we left home j 5am, and of course i had to stop at McDonalds for my Cafe Latte, a large coffee for Dude and a hot chocolate for Dudie. Topped up with diesel and then we officially hit the road. What a drive….Dudie asked that his dad sits with him so I was the designated driver. It was  all good until just before Witbank. The mist was BAD!!!!!  And we had mist for most of the drive. In some instances it was so bad that i had zero visibility. In kid you not. The rear lights ob the cars ahead were not even visible.

but we made it by the grace of God. I kinda ignored the GPS and drove towards Nelspruit. I was starving and decided i need to find breakfast. And knowing Dude, if we got to the resort first, we wold unpack, settle, or make breakfast andbi really wasnt in the mood. I just wanted someone to serve me some breakfast. i pulled into the Ultra city but instead of a Wimpy breakfast, we opted for the Farmhouse coffee shop. Excellent choice. Yummy omlettes and full english breakfast. Slushpuppies and Cafe Mochas….Delicious

I must admit that i do love it when people announce your arrival but they have absolutely no idea who you are, they assume that you are the family booked in at Chalet 109 🙂 the lodge staff announced, welcome Spirited. family, as we walked in….we unpacked in record time, i unpack everything-food, clothes, shoes, toiletries…and set off to explore.

we visited the Sudwala Dinosaur park, had more slushpuppies(did I mention it’s scorching hot here), had a sneak peak of the caves but decided to do the caves another day.

This morning, i baked savoury muffins, we had a morning walk(all dressed up in our Mr Price Maxed apparel-lol), Dude and I had a 45 min squash game, played foosball, etc,etc,etc

Tonight, we’re tired but hoping to recharge for tomorrow. Adventure awaits. We’re off to Pilgrim’s Rest, Graskop, and the Panorama route. O yeah, we’re going to see if we can find out exactly where Jock of the Bushveld lived.

cheers for now,

Spirited Mama

Road trippin

Amongst all the craziness and business of life – We are going on a mini break!!!! Whoop Whoop!!!!

I’ve booked accommodation at Sudwala Lodge Mpumalanga.. Initially, I thought we might travel sans Dude, as he might NOT be getting leave… But he’s on leave too 🙂

This will only be my second trip to Mpumalanga and I’m totally elated with the thought of  a mini road trip. breakfast/lunches at the Food stops/Wimpy/Steers/etc (I’d be happy to have a pie and coke from the Garage too.) I’m making a list of things to do whilst we are in the are, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to share….

Dinosaurpark – a real must for all three of us 🙂

Sudwala Caves – although I don;t know if Dudie is going to “dig” this….

God’s window

The Kruger National Park – I’m so close how could I not go there….

I’m also taking our passports along just in case we decided to cross the border….

Any suggestions for “things to do”?

We’re counting down the sleeps and making big black “X” on the calendar days that have passed. Watch out MP, we’re coming for you…

Spirited Mama

P.S. Do we need to take malaria meds?

P.P.S. Other exciting news is that I’m planning our “Annual vacation for 2013”. It’s rather late as we said we’d do it early in the year, maybe March, but we’re going to Mauritius in June!!!!

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