Thursday, September 18, 2008


Does my daughter suffer from Nomatophobia? (that is the fear of names, in her case her own name).

Okay, so maybe not actually suffering from it but, okay let me stop right there and tell you what this is all about.

The other day the kids were playing in the park and I over heard some of the girls call Riley "Caroline". At first I thought I miss heard but then I heard it from another girl. Still I thought they must just have confused her with her friend.

Then this afternoon Riley walked down to the shop with me and on the way back a little girl said "hello Caroline" and Riley answered back. So when we walk on back home I ask her about this. Turns out, Riley has been telling kids that her name is Caroline cause it's a far nicer name than Riley, and she would have liked it far better if we had called her Caroline.

Well, I tried to explain to her that grandpapa's Harley is called Caroline, so we couldn't call her Caroline and besides, we wanted to call her Riley. Riley is unique and pretty and very few girls are called Riley. Also, if she doesn't like Riley she has a middle name, Catherine or Cat, which she can use if she really doesn't like Riley. But, there you go, she likes Caroline and wants people to call her that, at least for now.

To be fair, I don't use the name my parents gave me. Only, well because to be called Marie-Jeanne in Belgium, is the equivalent of being called Gertruida Johanna in South Africa (my apologies to anyone called Gertruida Johanna or any version of it. I know you didn't chose your name either). So, I use a version of the name my mom and my aunt call me, Mary-Jo which, has been shortened to Jo. My parents totally understand where I'm coming from since my mom also got very traditional South African names (Alberta Hendrika), luckily for her, her mom decided to call her Alta.

So, here we are 3 generations of women, all not using our "birth" names. What does it say about us? Not much other than the fact that even though our parents like Riley's parents thought they were doing a pretty good job when they chose names, it doesn't mean we're going to like them.

Do you use the name your parents "saddled" you with? Or do you love your name and thinks it suits you to a "t", let me know.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I think I'll just sulk for a while

You will not believe what my darling son told me tonight, I still can't believe it and his dad thinks it was very funny.

"Mommy, you are going to have another baby" "Why?" I asked very surprised by his comment, "in your bum" ha ha " cause it's so big"

So excuse me while I sulk for a while, obviously going to the gym is not paying off.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bowling with the 6 year olds

Phew, 1 party down 1 more to go. At least I have a couple of weeks before the next one.

We took Riley, 5 of her school friends, her cousin Brandon & Rourke Ten Pin Bowling. On the one had it's easier than having a party at home but trying to keep 8 kids busy and off the furniture of the bowling alley, while all the while they speak French vs my English, is quite a challenge. But it was fun as well, they get really excited even if they only hit one pin and get really excited whenever anyone hits anything.

One thing that I've found very funny is the number of times they have to go to the toilet. They all went to the toilet at least 3 times within 1½ hours. And they don't go alone, they go in little packs. They talk & giggle a lot too.
There's the little diva, dressed in a pink dress, pink leggings and pink shoes. She's got her handbag & cell phone and actually phoned home after 45 min to give feedback. She's even more bossy than Riley.
There's the curious girl who has a million questions about everything, from how the balls get back to them, to why do they get to play with a railing while Tracey and I don't.
There is one little girl who is a little bit of an outsider but never the less, makes sure that the other girls don't forget about her.
The one little girl is the second youngest of 6 kids and quite happy to just do her thing and talks the hind leg off a donkey, or should I say, off Tracey.
Then there is the best friend, she and Riley sat under the table looking at a book about horses which she got Riley and walk hand-in-hand down to the Pizza Hut.

Riley told me tonight that it was the best day ever and she would love to have it over again and again. I think I can wait until next year but then we'll do it again and hope that it will be the best day ever, again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Random ramblings

I have very little to blog about tonight, really my life is rather dull at the moment. I go to work, I come back home and & try to stay on top of the washing and tidying, and general up keep of my family. In between all of that I try to find some time to relax and do some reading.

Rourke has been asking a million questions and if he's not happy with the answer he just keeps on asking. Like tonight, he wanted to know from me why Bumblebee (character from Transformers, which he has a dinky toy version of) is fat? I mean, I really don't know. It could be because he is a camaro which transforms into a robot, so yes, that might make you a bit heavy.,but according to Tiger that is not a good enough answer, so he just keeps on asking me, thinking that in the end I might just give in and give him the "right" answer. There is no outsmarting him by telling him that I just don't know the answer and that he should ask his dad because that, is not a good answer either. So he just starts asking even more questions about Bumblebee like why is he so fast? why is he a robot etc etc etc.

(for pictures of Bumblebee click on the link, if not interested, just skip and read on),

Then Riley is drawing, and dancing, and talking non-bloody- stop. Really, this child never ever stops talking.

Brad's been stomping around the house as well, he's working waaaay too hard. He's renovating a friends house and it's turned out to be a far bigger job than anticipated. He's juggling this as well as picking the kids up at 3, and managing the pub and playing rugby.

Speaking about rugby, he came home last night telling me that he had to visit the emergency room. The good news it, it wasn't one of his knees (thank goodness about that, don't think I could handle another broken knee). He had a hole in the top of his head, not huge but quite deep. The strange thing is what they did, they didn't put stitches in his head, or a staple, they poured glue down the hole. Glue!!! I ask you? what is this world coming too?

Anyhoo, I have some more boring things to do, like hang out the washing, ensuring that Brad has clean dry clothes for rugby practice tomorrow. Hope he won't need another visit to the er.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Question on my mind

This is not a blog about the kids or anything like that. I'm just telling you about this questions I would love to have answered, because in my mind it just does not seem possible:

How do you stay skinny if you eat a foot long baguette every day for lunch???

I wish I knew the secret for just about every Belgian women I know and or see at lunch times eat bread for lunch everyday yet stay skinny!!!

Aah for a great big peanut butter syrup sandwich, which does not go straight to my thighs!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The "Cosmic Twins" turn 6

Just a couple photo's of Riley's party with her "cosmic twin" Allanah.
Can't believe the girls are 6

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Super Mom? I think NOT!

I was being super mom last night. Came home cooked dinner plus two extra lasagne's to be put in the freezer for future use. I bathed both kids, caught up on what happened during the day, check with Brad on what was new in his world etc etc etc...

I put them to bed (the kids, not Brad), read a bed time story, house hunted on the internet with Brad. O I also did a load of washing and hang it out to dry. Cleaned the kitchen (including the dishes).

Now, I realize that most of you would think and or assume that all of this is run of the mill for every mother. BUT, Do not be fooled into thinking for one moment that I'm your run of the mill mother. If I manage to do ½ of this I am proud.

Today was a different story, I went to the gym after work, came home and fed my family in procession. Rourke was asleep, Brad was off to rugby & Riley was starving so she ate her school sandwiches (which would explain why she was starving, she gets a packed lunch for a reason).

Now I'm shouting at them to go to bed, and stop asking for things which they are just to lazy to get for themselves. See, I knew being super mom last night was not going to last ... it just makes the next night seem like hell.

Tomorrow night I have to bake a cake & make up party packets to send to school with Riley for her looong awaited birthday. After hearing about it for the past year I wonder what she is going to "fixate" on next. Will keep you posted.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back to School

Today was the big day: Riley started 1st Grade. I can't believe how time has flown. Just the other day we brought this (not so pretty) tiny screaming bundle of joy home and this morning she started a brand new stage of her life. She really is a big girl now.

She woke up at 4 o clock this morning wanting to know if it was time to get up yet, yes, I'd say she was excited about going to school. She even managed to get dressed without any fuss & was very worried that her dad would not wake up in time to take her to school on time.

The moment I walked through the door this evening she was beaming and bursting with excitement to tell me how fantastic it was. All her friends are back at school, her teacher is very nice & tomorrow they are going to the chocolate factory. Her teacher also said that she has to do her home work every night and that she has to go to bed early (to think I've been saying it all along yet she never gets so excited when I tell her that).

She also came home with a 5 page list of instructions for us from her teacher. Brad took it to work tonight to have it translated for us, by a friend.

Rourke also enjoyed being back at school. He has the same teacher as last year so there has been very little change for him.

In short, I would say today was an all round success. I started working in my new team today and even though the work might as well be in Greek I'm sure I'll catch on in no time.

PS. I also found a house I really like (we've decided to rent as buying is just out of the question at the moment & we really need to get a bigger place). Now all I have to do is convince Brad that this is the house for us.