Category Archives: My Life

Sadly, 5 Country Mews is now off the Market

Back in April I announced that we had put our house up for sale and were indeed very excited at the prospect of moving back to Bellville. Six months later, cap in hand, I’m back to announce that in the end, the house failed to sell (in fact, interest was very, very low), and given our current poor financial state of affairs, we’ve had to contact Len and instruct him to withdraw the house from the market completely.

It’s maddening and saddening at the same time – I thought the house would sell pretty quickly, but at the same time, perhaps it was just as well that it didn’t, because quite frankly Chantelle’s little business isn’t doing nearly as well as what we had hoped it would (more on that later).

Still, it’s not to say that we won’t try again, once our position has stabilized and we have a little more money in the bank we will definitely restart the process – but for now we’re back to being full time Gordon’s Bay residents.

Ending off on a positive spin, at least now Emily will be getting plenty of glorious beach time this coming Summer season then!

5 country mews home

And Sometimes even Trained Mommies get it wrong! Part II

Almost exactly three years ago, Chantelle gnashed her teeth and threw her arms up into the air in exasperation after turning all of baby Jess’ clothes pink thanks to an errant red baby tracksuit pants that was in the wash.

This time around, all of baby Emily’s clothing is now blue (plus our bathroom mat), thanks to an errant navy blue baby pants that was in the washing machine.

Luckily, Emily happens to look cute no matter what she wears! :)

Oh, and just because our baby-toothed, solid food munching Emily doesn’t get all that much exposure on this here blog these days, here are a couple of photos of her chilling at the Baby Steps creche:

emily lotter at baby steps

emily lotter in her cot at baby steps

emily lotter with the other babies at baby steps

See, cute as a button, isn’t she?

(Extra note: Baby Steps is using preschool2me to provide us with daily reports these days, which means that we get treated to a new photo of Emily in her now natural habitat each and every day. Much more fun that the boring old book they used back in Jess’ time!)

The Second Court Summons lands at Country Mews

wooden-judge-hammer-gavelHaving bought our house back in 2010, it only took two years for the first court summons for one of the previous owners, Blanche Smit, to arrive. Par for the course, it’s taken another two years for the next court summons to arrive for our dear Ms B. Smit.

First time around it was Nedbank going after her, this time around it is Standard Bank. As with the last incident, I flat out refused to accept the documents that the Sheriff dropped off at our home, but as is the rules, he left it here anyway.

Two things that annoy me. One, the summons dropped off mentions that the first attempt was delivered here via registered post. It wasn’t, which then begs the question – just how reliable is registered post from the Post Office? Two, it was relatively simple for Chantelle to hop onto FaceBook and find Blanche Smit – surely the law firm handling this could achieve this as well? Heck, they have her ID number, surely they should be able to hold of her? (Looks like she just got married. I suspect the new hubby could be in for a bit of a shock when all of this does eventually catch up to her).

Anyway, in the hopes that a letter might get the lawyers to stop sending stuff to my home, I fired off this mail:

To whom it may concern,

With regards to the matter [5120570201379886] [NA078974], the court summons for Ms B Smit has been delivered by the Sheriff to an address where she is no longer present, and as such this summons has not being accepted by the current owners of the aforementioned address.

I, Craig Lotter, purchased the property at 5 Country Mews, Olienhout Road, Gordon’s Bay in 2010 from Michael Pottage and Blanche Smit. I do not know where either of them currently reside, but considering that I can find them with relative ease on Facebook, I’m sure that you could too.

Also, the summons was delivered to my address by the Sheriff, with an attachment saying that it had previously been delivered here via registered post. This is wrong as no such registered post was ever received here. Something also worth checking up with the Post Office.

Please detach the address of 5 Country Mews from the particulars of B. Smit as I am tired of getting notices related to her foolish and dishonest actions.

Regards,
Craig Lötter

Futile I realise, but satisfactory in a small way.

[UPDATE 2014-08-21]
Less futile than I thought. Received this in my inbox this morning:

Good day Sir,

Thank you for your advises herein and the inconvenience suffered by you.

Kindly note that we have removed your physical address from our systems.

We trust that you find the above information satisfactory to you.

Have to say, I’m impressed.

A Lotter Updates to Be Made

It has been a really, really long time since I dropped a personal post down in these pages. I don’t really have any usable excuse – two little girls keeps you pretty busy, and after a long day of desk-bound keyboard bashing work, followed by play time, supper time, and finally bed time, means that come the few hours before bed, I’d much rather do something else than spend even more time behind the keyboard. Still, it has been a long time and well, there’s loads of updates to deliver I guess.

jessica lotter

On Jessica, she’s absolutely flourishing at Vergeet-My-Nie playschool, turning into a real little girl who loves to play with her Barbies, has a fixation with all things My Little Pony, is fascinated by Teen Titans Go!, and is thoroughly enjoying her weekly ballet lesson. Make no mistake, she can get grumpy and tends to cry a lot if things don’t go her way, but that normalcy aside, she really is a little darling.

The bike riding isn’t really coming along, but that’s partly our fault – we don’t really practice very often with her. She still plays with the girls in the complex though, and I’ll often come home to find a small gaggle of girls having overrun the place!

Sadly, she has a cavity in her one tooth (confirmed by the dentist) which will have to be fixed sooner than later, but man, dentistry is expensive! Also, she’s inherited my overbite, meaning braces will most certainly be staring her down come her teenage future. Sigh.

emily lotter

Emily is just plain adorable! She smiles at anything and everything, and now that she has finally outgrown her bad reflux, she’s much, much easier for me to love even more (it grated me that every time I used to pick her up, she’d throw up on me. Sigh, the pleasures of being a daddy I suppose). Anyway, she now spends her days at Baby Steps creche (where Jess went), and it’s nice to see how well she is progressing in comparison to Jess at her age – Emily can sit independently (with pillows packer around her for just in case!), has been holding her own bottle during feeds for ages now, is eating solids like sweet potato and butternut, and has two nice and sharp, protruding teeth in her bottom jaw. (Funny, because she seems to take great pleasure in taking a nip at Chantelle’s nipple every now and then during breastfeeding!)

Oh, and you should see how she flaps her arms and legs and squeals in delight whenever she spots Chantelle for the first time in a little while! Too adorable for words! :)

(On the breastfeeding note, I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to live with that incessant groaning noise that Chantelle’s breast pump makes during her daily milk expression sessions! Still, it is a lot cheaper than formula, so I guess I can’t complain that much…)

chantelle lotter

Chantelle is keeping pretty busy, she successfully completed her wedding cake course presented by Angie Boyd of Vanilla House fame, and aside from being the primary caregiver of Emily and Jess outside of work hours, she is still keeping her little baking venture in the form of Chantelle’s Cupcakery alive and well.

Also, she’s joined an informal walking club here in Gordon’s Bay, and now quite happily does a handful of 7+ km walks every week!

On the baking business front, sadly it must be said that Chantelle’s Cupcakery is struggling somewhat in terms of finances. As it turns out, trading at the markets just isn’t so financially viable when it comes to cakes and cupcakes, and in addition to losing that business, the big contract with Sacred Ground deli was ended, picked up again, and then finally ended for good from their side, meaning a big income blow there as well.

Also, believe it or not, there is a lot of baking competition here in Gordon’s Bay, and it would seem that the local market just isn’t the right fit for what Chantelle does. Nevertheless, we do have some plans up our sleeves, and of course, a change of market may go a long way in turning things around financially. All that said and done, the good news is that Chantelle is already starting to see some traction on the wedding cake front – which is of course exciting news for the business.

craig lotter

As for me, on the work front I’m still battling as a DevOp/Team Manager on the Touchwork front, a task made harder by the recent loss of my senior development resource to takealot.com – honestly, I’ve been on this front for a while now, and I have to say, I’m beginning to tire of it.

Boring work stuff aside though, this year thus far has been pretty good in terms of family getaways (a good thing, because I enjoy getting away from the house) – and is about to get EVEN better for me with the “two brothers travel to Japan” adventure looming up just around the corner! (More of which I’ll detail in a separate post, promise.)

As I said at the start of this post though, two little girls tends to keep one pretty busy, meaning still no extramural activities for me (bad), and unfortunately this blasted dark all the time Winter mornings and evenings has meant a complete stall of exercise (even worse). Sigh.

I have interestingly enough being gaming a fair bit again, interesting because I had kind of gone off gaming, but obviously it’s a hobby good enough to fill that little hole left by the rather diminished social life I lead at the moment. On a different interests’ front, sadly, outside of the more mature DC animated movies which I still pick up and watch without fail, my love for animated fare hasn’t returned – meaning that I guess have to now accept the inevitable fact that I have matured to a point where I can no longer watch kiddies television and gain enjoyment from it. Sad. (That said, I am currently enjoying watching Teen Titans Go! with Jessica. It makes me chuckle. Don’t judge.)

Asset news? Well one positive is that our 2010 Hyundai Getz is almost completely paid off, in just less than two years before the original signed repayment term ends. This is of course great news in terms of interest saved and even better because of the incoming boost to our monthly finances once that monthly car repayment debit is no more. (Important because as mentioned earlier, Chantelle’s business that is not performing well for a while now).

On the moving back to Bellville front – sadly our house still hasn’t been sold, and it has to be said, we’re not seeing much foot traffic in the form of potential buyers at the moment. It could be that winter has chased everyone away, but the reality is that the property just isn’t proving popular with buyers, much to the bewilderment of Len our property agent in charge of selling the house. Hopefully spring/summer will heat things up again, but Chantelle and I have pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ll be in Gordon’s Bay for much of this year after all, so much so that I even went and put back up all the baking/braai room shelving that I had taken down in order to sell the house! (A project that takes the better part of a day I’ll have you know.)

Anyway, so that’s pretty much all the updates I think that needed to be given, meaning the only thing still to do is play catch up on all the photo galleries I avoided posting over the last couple of months!

craig, chantelle, jessica and emily lotter

(Eventually. This post took ages to churn out I’ll have you know!)

For Sale: 20″ Samsung SyncMaster SA300 LED PC Monitor – R650

Please note that this item has since been sold and is no longer available for purchase.

Having moved the household all onto laptops now, I no longer have a need for my standalone monitors, which means that for a measly R650, you can now be the proud owner of a nifty black 20″ Samsung SyncMaster SA300 LED PC Monitor – in perfect working condition and a great, shiny addition to your home workspace.

Ultra thin and lightweight, the SA300 monitor impresses with its clarity and brightness, with an unbelievably wide viewing angle that basically allows you to see what is being displayed on the screen no matter which angle you approach it from! According to its stats it is hugely power efficient, and like I mentioned before, Samsung’s dynamic contrast technology results in some of the brightest and most clear images that you can imagine for something NOT running in HD. It is in a widescreen format with suggested resolution running at 1600×900. Supports both D-SUB/VGA or DVI connectors, with both power cable and VGA display cable included.

For Sale 20 inch Samsung SyncMaster SA300 LED PC Monitor 1

Area of sale: Gordon’s Bay, South Africa

For Sale: 18.5″ LG Flatron E1941S-BN LCD PC Monitor – R500

Please note that this item has since been sold and is no longer available for purchase.

Having moved the household all onto laptops now, I no longer have a need for my standalone monitors, which means that for a measly R500, you can now be the proud owner of a nifty black 18.5″ LG Flatron E1941S-BN LCD PC Monitor – in perfect working condition and a great, shiny addition to your home workspace.

The display is a 47.0 cm (18.5 inch) Flat Panel Active matrix-TFT LCD, with Anti-Glare coating and a visible diagonal size of 47.0 cm. Standard D-SUB/VGA connector, with both power cable and VGA display cable included.

for sale lg flatron e1941s-bn lcd monitor

Area of sale: Gordon’s Bay, South Africa

Picking out a new Name

Found this interesting little note on my laptop, which indicates that we were pretty well prepared for the birth of our second child. Picking out a name is no easy task, primarily because you have to find a name that both parties actually like, and more importantly, can’t be made obvious fun of on the school playground.

These were the three picks (two girl, one boy) that Chantelle and I had primed and read to go for January this year:

  • Emily Jane Lötter
  • Megan Sierra Lötter
  • Ethan Grant Lötter

We went through the same process with Jessica funnily enough, though in that case we actually changed our decision right at the last minute after she was born – swapping Madison out in favour of Jessica!

This time around though, as you can see from the list, we obviously stuck to our guns and loaded the first pick – which is just as well really, because I really do like calling my little squishy milk gobbler, ‘Embels’!

emily lotter bouncing on jessica lotter

Photo Gallery: Chantelle and Jessica bake Biscuits (2014-06-08)

In preparation for our long weekend away at Piekenierskloof with the Montgomery Clan this weekend, Chantelle thought it a great idea to bake some biscuits for the trip. What made it an even better idea was that she decided that this was the perfect opportunity to bring Jess in on the fun as well!

IMG_20140608_153431

Needless to say, Jessica was super excited to help out Mommy in the kitchen, and once that apron was on there was no stopping her, nor her enthusiasm! Lots of fun was had, and as a cherry on the top – the biscuits came out awesome!

IMG_20140608_153813

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Throw Up… Meet Face

Ugh, well that was pretty gross. We’d just dressed up little Emily in her super cuddly and cute brown teddy bear suit, and while Chantelle was getting herself ready to head out with Em, I sat down with the little teddy bear for a quick play time session.

So there I was, sitting in the tub chair, bouncing little Em up and down on my tummy to her great delight, when I lifted her high in the air… where she promptly had a reflux throw up session which very accurately splashed down on my face.

Ick, ick, ick, ick, ickkkky!

Needless to say, I plonked Emily down on the nearest surface I could find and raced off to the basin in order to furiously get rid of my unwanted facial. Ugh.

Still, it could have been worse. Claire’s sister in-law has a similar story – except in her tale the vomit gets into Kirsty’s mouth!

(I hope you weren’t eating breakfast while reading that).

baby emily lotter in her teddy bear suit

Actually, it is a bit of a problem really, been like that since the start and could go on for as long as a year really. Emily suffers from quite bad reflux (gastro-oesophageal reflux) caused by essentially the little valve that stops flow back from the stomach not being fully formed yet. This means poor old Emily is constantly bringing up milk and stomach contents, meaning that she is always damp/soaked and never goes anywhere without a bib and a spit towel.

It is annoying and extremely frustrating for Chantelle and myself as parents, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to actually bother little Em in the slightest, so we’re grateful for that. Plus, it is a pretty common issue with babies, so it isn’t anything to stress about from our side either.

Still, I have to say, I can’t wait to be out of this particular set of woods…

baby emily lotter inheriting jessica's baby toy 1

baby emily lotter inheriting jessica's baby toy 2

Bonus content: The above photos do a great job of showing just how much of her full head of birth hair little Emily has already lost – at the height of her hair loss she was leaving little hairy worm trails in her bed as she moved around during the night – as well as her incredibly cute, rather large ears. In fact, ever since Rob pointed them out to me, I’ve been affectionately referring to her as my little ‘Big Ears’! (Much to the annoyance of Chantelle of course…)

Jessica the Ballerina

So now we have a ballerina in the family. On the insistence of Mom (a passionate ballerina in her youth), and with their help, Jessica is now excitedly twirling around the house on her tippy toes, arms outstretched in the air, overjoyed by the fact that from now on out, every Tuesday morning (the ballet extra mural class gets offered during the ‘school’ day), she gets to don her ballerina outfit and hit the floor in her very own dance shoes!

In other words, I’m expecting a barrage of extra cuteness when I get home after work from here on out.

jessica lotter in her ballet clothes 1

A useful tip if you live in the Helderberg area and your kid wants to do ballet – for the same price as what you would pay for mass produced ballet shoes that Mr Price Sport stocks, rather head over to Teplov, a Somerset West-based business started by former dancers which has been producing ballet shoes since 1979! They measure your child’s foot and if they don’t have the required size in stock, they go ahead and make it for you – at no additional cost!

jessica lotter in her ballet clothes 2

P.S. It was literally impossible to get Jessica to stand still so that I could take a photo of her in her ballet outfit. There two were the only usable photos out of the lot!