Chantelle bought Jessie this awesome little inflatable pool, the perfect way for our little baby to cool down in on a hot summer’s day!
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! ;)
The great thing of living here in Gordon’s Bay is of course being so close to the sea. Which of course means that it is no real surprise that Jessica finally got to enjoy her first proper swim in the sea at last – even if Mommy was stuck at work and thus wasn’t around to witness it! (Sorry love)
Last Thursday, after another boiling hot day following this unforgiving heatwave Cape Town has been suffering under as of late, I finished up the last of my SVN commits from home for the day, and jumped in the car to go and pick Jessica up from the day care.
Escaping the fight that was breaking out between Baby Steps owner and the neighbour across the road, and always looking to kill some time before the whole evening routine anyway, I decided to take Jessie out to Main Beach for a bit of a stroll along the sand and sea, something she has come to really enjoy the few times I’ve taken her before. Anyway, when we arrived, we arrived to the most gorgeous of scenes, perfect weather, low-tide, not a breath of wind, not too many people to content with, and most important of all, calm, lukewarm water.
Right there and then I made the decision to run back to the car and make a quick return trip to the house for our swimsuits, and ten minutes later, Jessica in her luminous pink swimsuit and me in my swimming trunks, were throwing down our towels and making a beeline straight for the water.
And as I would have expected from my water-loving child who will never say no to a swim in the pool, Jessica absolutely loved every minute of it, clinging to her dad, kicking about, splashing the ripples and even going underwater (with some help from dad of course!).
We spent a good 30 to 40 minutes playing together in the water, and after we were well and truly cooled down, we finally made our exit just as a light wind started to rear its head, heading back home for a quick jump into the shower, followed by supper, milk session, and then of course falling asleep on Daddy’s chest before relocation to the cot time!
Oh, but I did forget to mention that in amongst all of that, the swim had tired young Jess Jess out so much that she fell asleep for a 30 minute nap in her feeding chair – while I was still in the process of feeding her!
Hmm, I’d better remember that one for next time then… :)
Yay, finally Jessica is back with us, and everything is back to normal, routine and all! :)
With creché opening on Monday, this was the last week of Jessica staying with Oupa and Ouma, and to be honest, it was becoming quite tough without my little one back home with me, so by the end of the week I was seriously looking forward to finally reclaiming my daughter. However, before that, Chantelle wanted us to enjoy one last date night before the routine was back in full swing, meaning that Friday evening was spent at Somerset Mall, where we enjoyed a quiet dinner in one another’s company at the Spur, before moving on to watch the thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows.
Seeing as I am currently dragging Chantelle off on hour long walks as of late, Saturday morning unsurprisingly kicked off with yet another of our treks to the beach and back, though this one had a slight interruption as we came across a beach blockaded with bicycles and people in wetsuits – this year’s big Totalsports Terra Firma multi-discipline event thingie was in full swing in Gordon’s Bay of all places!
As a further surprise, we bumped into both my now ex-colleague David Fox (who was partaking in the event) and my ex-karate training partner James Wayne (who wasn’t partaking, but was there for the photo opportunities). After losing a bit of time in catching up with everyone, Chantelle and I then had to dash back to the house, where we had just enough time for a quick shower and change of clothes before leaping into our cars and racing off to Joostenbergvlaktes along the N1, to meet up with both sets of grandparents, plus one Jessie, for breakfast at the always pleasant Bamboo Gardens restaurant, situated in the heart of the awesome Cape Garden Centre.
Breakfast was a leisurely but delicious affair, and Jessie enjoyed the after entertainment, as we let her touch a bunny rabbit, play with a Jack Russell puppy, and stare at a mean tempered Shetland pony on our way out.
From there it was a return down the N1 to the Montgomery Clan Stronghold, where we set about getting the debriefing from Ouma and Oupa, and launching into the arduous task of packing all of Jessie’s belongings and accessories back into the two cars, before heading off to the next stop for the day, that being my folk’s pad, where we enjoyed a lovely outdoor lunch and an even lovelier time in the pool, with pretty much the whole family (including Chantelle), getting in on the wet action!
Sunday was a completely different story though, with Chantelle and I opting to spend the day as hermits, enjoying some much needed alone time with just the three of us at home. We did venture out for lunch at Hagglunds, but this was kept pretty short thanks to a combination of sweltering heat and a niggly Jessica. Other than that, it was pretty much a case of unpacking, settling in, and getting everything ready for the about to commence routine.
So yeah, a mixed weekend of entertainment, family and food, but certainly an enjoyable way to properly cap off the holiday season and now fully rejoin the daily grind, routine and all!
Having not seen Jessica for a whole week now was simply far too much, so for this weekend past I hatched a plan which saw me spend time with her both Saturday and Sunday, thereby scratching the itch and making it a little easier to make it through the next week that she continues her stay with Oupa and Ouma out in Bellville, whilst the creché remains closed for their year-end break.10
Whilst Friday night was pretty much dominated by the awesome XBOX 360 game that is Vanquish (Chantelle is working bloody late at the guest house at the moment, stupid In Season period!), Saturday was a different story, when after a decent sleep I arose and gathered everything I needed for my morning outing.
My plans did receive a little bit of a setback when I realised that I had allowed Chantelle to go into work with her car instead of mine, a problem because my baby car seat is currently inhabiting Monty’s Tucson, thus of no use to me. Luckily this was easily resolved by a quick trip through to the guest house where I switched keys with Chantelle, jumping into her little green Getz and shooting through to Bellville where I met up with Pops and Ryan at the Bellville Lotter Stronghold.
A quick check and pack of the boot, and we were off in Dad’s Lexus SUV, heading straight to Wagner’s Golf Academy in Durbanville, where our mission for the afternoon would be a full 18 holes of their not quite so easy and fairly technical little mashie course.
Seeing as neither Ryan nor Dad have ever played at Wagner’s before, I was at a slight advantage having played there once before (in my previous disastrous outing with Robert where he wiped the floor with me as I continued to whack, and lose, balls left, right and centre!), a fact that I seemingly made use of as I managed to win the first nine holes by a shot and tie for first on the back nine, making me overall winner of the day (with dispute coming from Ryan’s corner. In case you’re wondering, the score was a not so stellar 39 on the front and 40 on the back. Luckily for me, neither Ryan nor Dad fired on all cylinders from the get go!).
Last time I tried to play everything with my pitching wedge, a problem because I wasn’t able to extract much lift out of it. This time however it was sand wedge pretty much all of the way, generating enough loft for me and leading to some pretty nice shots, backed up with putting which for a change wasn’t too horrible at all! For the three hours that we were there in the light breeze and blistering sun, I only managed to lose a single ball, something I’m quite chuffed when taking my last visit to Wagners in consideration!
Anyway, following our successful late morning/afternoon out, next stop for me was a pick up of Jessica from Oupa and Ouma’s house, where I was quite pleased to find that Jess still remembered her old man, breaking into a huge smile when I walked in by the door. (Apparently, she didn’t do this when Chantelle went to visit her during the week, going even so far to get a little upset when Mommy wanted to hold her! Shame, Chantelle was pretty devastated about that!)
Back at my folks’ place, it was a quick bite to eat, before a change into swimming costumes for the whole family, and into the pool where Mom, Pops, Ryan, Jessie and I had a complete ball, frolicking around in the water for well over an hour!
A yoghurt later and it was out for the count for a now dry but exhausted Jessica, while the folks and I wiled away the afternoon by watching golf and tennis, waiting for the little one to wake up so that we could get free (and cute) entertainment once more!
As all good things tend to do, the day did eventually come to an end, and so I dutifully deposited young Jess Jess back with Oupa and Ouma, before hitting the road back to Gordon’s Bay, where I patiently waited the late return of Chantelle from work (with more Vanquish).
Sunday was braai day, as Monty, Cheryl and Rob brought Jessica through to come and braai with us in the early afternoon during Chantelle’s split. Once again it was a scorcher of a day, and for some or other reason I made the silly mistake of braaing using the inside braai. Not my brightest of moments and needless to say, I suffered for it! :)
Anyway, regardless of that, the meat came out delicious as we crowded around the little air conditioner in the lounge, enjoying a great meal and great company, as well as exceptional entertainment courtesy of the always cute as a button Jess!
Eventually it all had to come to an end though, as Chantelle returned to work for her late shift, sparking the return of the Montgomery Clan with Jessica to Bellville, leaving me on mop up duty and then with just enough time to blast away plenty more Russian RIs in the excellent Vanquish on the XBOX 360! (Oh, and maybe I squeezed in a bit of blogging here and there as well.)
So yeah, after reading all of the above, definitely a good weekend that was had, even if wifey was on duty for most of it! :)
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! ;)
Here’s an interesting note. Despite the fact that almost everyone always talks about Boxing day as being the public holiday directly following Christmas, officially its name has been Day of Goodwill since 1980 already!
Anyway, moving right along, I did in fact enjoy a pretty awesome Day of Goodwill 2011, despite the fact that wifey was working. It kicked off in the morning, as I got on with the packing while Jessie finished her breakfast routine, before the two of us shot through to Bellville, with the little cupcake enjoying her morning snooze in the comfort of her baby seat. In Bellville I met up with my folks at the Bellville Methodist Church, where the hall was subsequently unlocked and the people streamed in for a morning of badminton in what can only be described as sweltering sauna conditions! It was very much a Montagu and Lotter clan event, and in total there were about six active players on the morning, which meant plenty of game time for the full 2 hour period that we played.
With Granny and plenty of others there to keep Jessica entertained, daddy got to thoroughly enjoy himself knocking the shuttlecock around the court, something he hasn’t done in what feels like years! (You should have seen the amount of dust I had to blow off my racquet cover when I finally found it at the back of the storage cupboard!)
Eventually it was time to head home to start the afternoon routine with Jess, and so Mom and I headed off to their pad while Dad went out to scrounge up some food for lunch. With Jessie seen to and ready for her nap, Mom, Dad and I sat down and enjoyed a light lunch together outside on what really was a beautiful Summer’s day.
Now Dad and I had already seen fit to get rid of all the sweat from the morning’s play by taking a quick dip in the pool before lunch, but because this had been my big plan for the day, there was definitely no way I wasn’t going back in – all I needed was Jessica to wake up, so that I could plonk her into her swimming gear and then lather her up with some sunblock!
It took a little while to get my pink munchkin used to the water temperature (she normally swims in a heated pool), but once she was ready, I got into the pool and Dad passed her to me, marking the very first time little Jessie has been in Grandpa and Gran’s pool! :)
I’m not sure how long we played in the water for, but it felt like absolute ages, as Grandpa joined in on the fun and games, after passing along the camera to Granny who happily snapped photos from a safe and dry distance!
Ryan eventually stopped by as well, though not in time to join us in the water, but definitely in time for the big presents reveal, as we (and it was probably more Mom than anyone else!) happily worked through opening up Jessie’s huge stash of presents she had received from everyone for Christmas for her!
With the presents exchanged and snack time out of the way, it was time to bundle Jess back into the car and head off home to Gordon’s Bay, with her again enjoying a nice long snooze in the baby seat while daddy drove the boring trip all on his lonesome! Back home we met up with Chantelle who had been on a cleaning drive, and after the whole bed time routine for Jess, we quickly whipped up some chicken burgers for supper, before falling back on the sofa and enjoying the thoroughly delightful Tangled which I had rented from Mr. Video a little bit earlier!
So yup, definitely a good Day of Goodwill then! :)
It would appear that Jessica loves the water, as noted by the fact that she starts crying when taken out of the bath, or removed from the shower (yes, she now showers with Chantelle every now and then), or lifted out of the swimming pool.
Wait a minute. Back up there Mr. Narrator. Did you just say pool?
Yup, I said pool. Monday was the official start of Jessica’s career in swimming, with the ultimate goal being of course her role as a top paid swimsuit model who jets around the world and happens to takes her folks along for the ride. But I digress. Anyway, Chantelle and some of the other mommies from the Mommies Club that she now and then attends decided that the time was now right for swimming lessons, and thus it came about that we signed up our little dribble monster at the Blowfish Swimming school in the Strand.
There was a fair bit of scrambling around to get the necessary items like a swimming nappy, baby swimming costume and of course some swimming attire for the big girl accompanying the little girl in the pool, but as per usual Chantelle’s fine administrative skills meant that come Monday the two Lotter girls were ready for some wet and splashy action!
The school is situated in residential Strand and the pool itself is a marvelous temperature controlled indoor pool with all the necessary equipment, layout and what-not required. Apparently the instructor is fabulous and by all accounts, Chantelle, Jessie, Andy and Annabella all enjoyed their outing tremendously! (I’m jealous, because I didn’t get to attend).
Between the two adults, a handful of pictures and short video clips were captured, and seeing as I’m not a particularly greedy man, I thought it prudent to post them up here and thus share with the rest of you lot! :P
A before shot:
An in the pool shot (Jessica is in the pink!):
And some photos. Note that the only pictures I have are these two and the one a little higher up in this post. Hopefully I’ll get the girls to give me a little bit more material to work with next week! *hint hint* :P
In summary: Looks like they had loads of fun while I was stuck at work. Luckily buggers! ;)
2014-01-20 UPDATE: After numerous people contacting me for a contact number for Blowfish Swimming School, my wife went and dug up the number that we used when we were still utilizing their services a couple of years ago: Anke – 082 900 7614. Hopefully that helps.