The book I’m currently tasked with reading to Jessica each and every night before bed is a cute kiddie’s tale entitled Quacky Quack-Quack! by children’s writer Ian Whybrow, the same guy who brought us all those Harry and the Dinosaurs titles.
Originally released back in 1991, Quacky Quack-Quack! tells the rhyming tale of a little baby whose mommy had given him some bread to feed to the ducks. However, he opted to eat the bread instead, thereby causing a right proper rumpus to ensue!
It’s a silly little story that encourages the kids to make all kinds of animal noises, like the quacks of ducks, the honks of geese, the eeauw of donkeys, and of course, the roar of lions in the zoo!
Artist Russell Ayto provides the visuals for this rhyming tale, and unfortunately I have to say, I’m not particularly keen on the visuals. The art is slightly too abstract for my liking and not polished enough, though that said Jess doesn’t appear to have too much difficulty in identifying her favourite animals!
Jess loves it enough to make me read it to her every night, meaning that it must be good enough then to recommend to you! :)
Related Link: http://www.goodreads.com
I’ve been a bit slack on the weekend updates again I see, so just in case you were wondering what the Lotter Clan has been up to over the past two weekends, never fear, for the info is here!
Two weeks ago I capped off a busy work week with my bi-monthly release notes send out and then headed off back home only to find Chantelle and Cheryl still furiously busy in the kitchen, pumping out baked produce in readiness for the Saturday market stall at Willowbridge. Monty was happily entertaining Jessica, and after a delicious curry for supper, we let the ladies get back to their work while we continued to entertain and eventually tire out Miss Jessica.
Eventually the market work was done and Cheryl and Monty returned home to Bellville, leaving a pretty tired Chantelle ready to tackle the next project, a beautiful pink baby shower cake while I set about teaming up with Ryan over XBOX Live to take another stab at the explosive and enjoyable Crackdown co-op campaign.
Saturday saw Chantelle out early as she headed over to Willowbridge to run (with Cheryl) our very first stall at Willowbridge (we’re now back permanently, meaning you can catch us each and every Saturday at the Willowbridge Slow Market from 09:30 to 14:00), leaving Jessica and me to mind the house, get up to all sorts of mischief and await the arrival of the lady to pick up her Baby Shower Cake.
After the pickup Jess and I headed out to the Somerset Mall to take care of a few shopping errands, ending off with a stroll around Stodels, making sure that after the business end of our visit had concluded, we still had enough time to stay and play a bit on their slides and wooden climbing frame. For lunch I treated little Jess to some McDonalds (the Happy Meal Purple Minion toy was the target), and after a quick detour to Benbel on Monty’s behalf, she and I packed our bags and headed off to Bellville, first meeting up with Chantelle at Dean’s place for a visit with Zania, little Zandea, Damen, Michelle and little Logan, followed by some time with the Montgomery Clan (we were sleeping over for the night), from which Chantelle and I eventually snuck away to Tygervalley for a date night, first taking in the very amusing Despicable Me 2 at Ster-Kinekor, followed by a mouthwatering delicious supper of pizza at Panarottis.
We didn’t stick around in Bellville on Sunday morning, instead returning to Gordon’s Bay fairly early on, allowing me to get cracking with some DIY (taking down the punching bag, filling holes in the lawn and painting the exterior wall) while Chantelle got her hands dirty in the kitchen for the Monday Sacred Ground Deli order.
Not that it was all work mind you – I did make some time for Assassin’s Creed and Crackdown in terms of gaming, as well as taking in a couple of episodes of the thoroughly enjoyable Community (I’m currently on Season 1), as well as an impromptu trip to the beach with Jess, where we enjoyed an hour of so of filling up buckets and tossing sand on one another!
So yeah, a pretty enjoyable weekend with pretty decent weather in other words!
Last weekend obviously had the extra bonus of Friday being a public holiday (Women’s Day), meaning that once again Jessica and I found ourselves making the most of our day off together. While Chantelle and Olga happily baked cupcakes and what not in the kitchen, Jess and I undertook the mission of Theo’s Mall Coffee Shop cupcake delivery, after which we took the time to waddle around the mall, the end result being a brand new book for Jess and a nice bag of salted peanuts and raisins for me. (I suspect Jess loved her book more than I loved my peanuts!)
Unfortunately Chantelle had to leave for her delivery in Franschhoek, meaning that after Jess and I had dropped off Olga after her half day of work, we were free to play, part of which included a fun visit to the duck pond in Strand, where Jessica very happily started the session off by giving strict eating instructions to the first group of ducks that she encountered, before eventually running for her life as some of the bigger geese started to get a little too friendly with the chunks of bread in her hand!
The evening was made up of fingerpainting for Jess, blogging and Crackdown with Ryan for me, and after our impromptu KFC supper, poor Chantelle was back in the kitchen, this time finishing up all the cupcakes and cake required for Saturday’s market stall.
Saturday was an early start for us, as Chantelle, Jess and I departed for Bellville, first stopping off at the Montgomery Clan stronghold to drop off Jess and pick up the packaging and stall display materials, before heading over to Willowbridge in order to set up our stall and start trading! Pleasingly, despite the reduced foot traffic thanks to the long weekend and various other distractions that the weekend was offering, we still made well over a R1,000 worth of sales over the course of the day, meaning that I’m pretty pleased how my first day back at the markets had gone. (Plus, it was pretty nice to catch up with all the old trader faces which I haven’t seen for about year or so!)
Chantelle had Jess for the afternoon following the market, and so she and the little one headed off to Kid Station, the kid’s hair salon situated in Tyger Manor, for Jessica’s very first ever hair cut, the end result being a very cute little blonde bob, without any of those eina curls to bother her any more! (Apparently Jessica was really well behaved and sat perfectly still for the haircut, making her even more so super deserving of the fun little “Certificate of Bravery” she received at the end of the ordeal!).
I on the other hand had organised a proper FIFA Foursome guy’s evening for the remainder of Saturday and as such, found myself playing FIFA 13 on the XBOX with Damen, Evan and Ryan for just short of nine straight hours, only taking a few short breaks here and there, including a quick stop for some St. Elmo’s Pizza. Seriously, nine hours of intense and VERY competitive virtual soccer (it probably was a little overboard, but hey, we haven’t done it in such a long time that it was worth it!). Anyway, I eventually called it a night just before 01:00, making the long drive back home to Gordon’s Bay where I very quickly slumped into bed for some well deserved rest time!
Up until now, despite the heavy snow on the mountain tops around us, weather had been pretty good for our weekend escapades, but that had to eventually give way, and it did for Sunday, meaning that the day was pretty much spent indoors, Chantelle sleeping most of it away on the couch while Jessica assisted me in some sorting and tossing out of stuff around the house. The day at home was only punctuated by a quick trip out to Pick ‘n Pay for Jess and me to pick up some braai stuff, which of course translates directly into the fact that I spent the afternoon behind the coals preparing a rather delicious braai of chicken, pork and venison sausage!
Lots of television, lots of play time, and then a little icky clean up, some blogging and a little Community Season 1, was pretty much my Sunday in a nutshell.
Still, it was a long weekend so I can’t exactly complain! :)
A weekend or two ago, Chantelle and I took Jessica through to the local duck pond in Strand to feed the ducks and geese.
Jessica was in for a big surprise when a rather bold Egyptian Goose grabbed the full slice of bread straight out from her hand, and then of course I had a great deal of fun getting the flock to chase little Jess around, which it turns out she quite enjoyed!
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Oh dear. This happened a couple of weeks ago, but boy does it easily slip into second spot on my world’s worst dad moments list. And to be fair, it should firmly feature as Ryan’s first world’s worst uncle moment too! (Just in case you’re wondering what was my first world’s worst dad moment, then undoubtedly it would have to have been that time when I accidentally spilled scalding hot water from my coffee mug over mini Jessica, back when she was still just a couple of months old – thank goodness nothing serious came out of that, other than me feeling like an extremely horrible and useless dad of course).
Anyway, after a fantastic Sunday afternoon spent with my family at Mom and Dad’s pad whilst Chantelle was out watching a theatre show with her family, I decided to cap the day off with a visit to the local duck pond. Jessica and I made the stop off for some bread, and through some surprise circumstances, ended up at Sonstraal Dam with the full roster of Mom, Dad, Ryan, Monty, Cheryl, Chantelle and Robert in attendance, where we then proceeded to feed the ducks and enjoy the fresh, albeit a little chilly, outdoor air.
After all the bread had been gobbled up by the hordes of ducks and Egyptian geese that had descended upon us, Ryan and I thought it would be a good idea to entertain Jessica by walking with her hand in hand and swinging her up into the air we went along. This was coming along swimmingly, and Jessica would giggle in glee as we swung her upwards into the sky after every count of 3, until that infamous and regrettable moment when both Ryan and I simultaneously lost grip on Jessica’s hands at the start of an upward swing, with the result being my daughter flying face first into the gravel before us.
Blood, tears and a very angry wife, not to mention a deep feeling of shame.
So yes, definitely second in my probably yet to be finished list of World’s Worst Dad moments.
(The creche asked about the scab and the bump the next morning mind you. And my colleagues laughed and made fun of me. Sigh, not my best of moments as a daddy then. Luckily for me, Jessica has a particularly short memory, and quickly got back into the “swing” of things. Snigger. See what I did there?)
Chantelle was back on duty for this weekend past, and for a change, Jessica and I stayed planted firmly in Gordon’s Bay for the duration of the weekend! Not that we didn’t achieve much mind you… just look at this list! :)
In terms of entertainment the two of us worked our way through the animated Doctor Strange movie, Tekkonkinkreet, the Iron Giant, and the remaining couple episodes of the Marvel Anime: Blade series, as well as all the South Africa versus Sri Lanka one day cricket action.
(We even put in a little bit of Darksiders on the XBOX for good measure on Sunday!)
We went for our second ever swim in the sea on Saturday, we designed, printed, and placed a whole lot of fliers for Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes venture, we shopped at the mall for a new monitor for Daddy’s office, we read storybooks, and we fed the ducks and geese at the Strand duck pond.
(Mommy got a little scared when the Egyptian Geese got a little too close for comfort. This might have had something to do with the fact that Daddy kept tossing chunks of bread at her feet.)
We did lots and lots of household chores, we baked a chocolate cake for Mommy, we fixed the towel rails in the bathroom, and of course we constantly tidied up after ourselves.
Whew, talk about productive.
Needless to say, both Jessica and I enjoyed the little break from the daily grind! ;)
Ugh, it had to eventually come to an end, but of Tuesday 3rd of January 2012, I find myself firmly back behind the keyboard, banging out fresh new SurveyThumb code for my wage masters over at Touchwork. In truth, I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks or so off, having spent a lot of time with family and friends, and just generally unwinding as I recharged my batteries in full preparation for 2012!
New Year’s Weekend was very much a Northern Suburbs affair, with Jessie and I traveling through on the Friday to my mom’s place in Bellville, where the three of us spent a lovely day in and out of the pool, despite the nasty little wind that kept popping up and threatening to drive us away. The evening on the other hand was spent back home in the company of wifey, where we got together to enjoy a delicious homemade pizza over a Eagles DVD after a successful putting Jessica to bed routine!
Saturday was literally Braai Day, and after packing both of our little cars to the brim with all of Jessica’s hardware and software, we sped off back to Bellville in order to offload the little one with all her belongings at the Montgomery Clan stronghold, where she’ll be spending the next two weeks with Ouma and Oupa until the Baby Steps daycare reopens mid January. After settling her in with Cheryl, and then promptly grabbing her away again, it was a quick stop off at the local Spar for supplies, before hitting the N1 to Kraaifontein, where Jessie, Chantelle and I joined up with Damen and Michelle, as well as the rest of our friends who had made the trip through for an afternoon New Year’s braai.
With Damen elected tongmaster and stuck behind the raging fire, the rest of the boys dug out a tennis ball and plank, and proceeded to carefully destroy Damen’s backyard with a hearty round of cricket (in a very confined space). Food was eventually served, before the boys once again peeled off from the womenfolk, picked up the XBOX controllers and proceeded to smash each other with a few rounds of FIFA 11.
From there it was back to Bellville as this time we properly managed to leave Jessie behind with Ouma and Oupa, as Chantelle and I headed out back into the breach, this time to Zevenwacht Wine Estate in Kuilsriver, where we joined up with Malcolm, Andri, Michelle, braai master Gary and all of their collective kids at the Ollewage’s swanky pad. There we enjoyed a fantastic evening of good company, good stories and even better food, making it all the way through to midnight for that all important countdown and many ‘happy happy’ wishes!
Finally, it was back to the Montgomery Stronghold in Bellville, where a tired but happy Craig and Chantelle hit the sack for some well-deserved shuteye, the first of 2012!
Sunday was a delayed start for Chantelle who slept in thanks to a massive headache, but when Jessica and I did eventually manage to get mommy out of bed, we persuaded her plus Ouma to join us for a walk around Sonstraal Dam in Eversdal in order to feed the multitude of Egyptian Geese and ducks that call that spot home. After a successful stroll and having depleted our loaf of fresh white bread, we beat a hasty retreat from the busy feathered fiends, heading off to Tyger Manor McDonalds, where Robert joined us so that I could treat everyone to some McDonalds as a late lunch.
From there Jessica, Chantelle and myself shot off to my folks, dropping in at the perfect time to catch both Great Grans (plus Ryan) at Mom and Dad’s pad. More visiting was had, a watermelon devoured, and then it was finally back to the Montgomery Clan where we handed over Jessica to an excited Cheryl and Monty, before hitting the long road back to Gordon’s Bay, and more importantly, our awesome bed!
So yeah, a pretty good New Year’s Weekend after all then I reckon! ;)
I’ve always loved heading over to Sonstraal Dam in Eversdal, armed with bread in hand and on a mission to feed the variety of ducks and geese that inhabit the dam. Now I get to pass on this tradition to my daughter, and seeing as this little outing makes for quite the nice pram stroll, I even invited both Mommy and Ouma to join us! ;)
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