Tag Archives: zandea stapelberg

A Busy Single Parent Weekend! My Life 13 DEC 2011

Whew, this weekend was another busy single parent weekend for me (actually, I don’t know when last we’ve actually had a quiet weekend come to think of it!), though in fairness Friday evening was pretty lame, what with me coming down with a bit of a cold and having to head off to bed pretty early on, meaning not much to report on there.

However Saturday it was up and at them, guns blazing, as I whisked Jessica off to Somerset Mall for some shopping and present purchasing after her usual breakfast and nap routine, before returning home for the big pack – with the assistance of a duly worried Mommy of course! From there it was off to Bellville for a quick stop in by Gran and Grandpa Lotter in order to drop off my torn karate pants in the hopes that a miracle can be worked, before picking up Ryan from his pad and then shooting through to Evan’s place to meet up with all the friends for a proper South African birthday braai, in celebration of Natasha’s 25th birthday!

At Natasha's birthday braai

As is customary for the days whenever Evan and Natasha organise a braai, the weather didn’t have a clue on what it wanted to do, but regardless of the undecided cloud cover, we all had a great time, enjoyed good food, and tucked into an even better dessert – a sumptuous Charlie’s Bakery chocolate birthday cake which Evan had organised earlier on in the week.

Thanks to my early morning commitments on Sunday, I had earlier made the decision to sleep over at Ryan’s place for the evening, the first ever evening that Jessie and I would spend away from Chantelle. As it turned out, we were off to a bad start when Jessie passed out on the way home from the braai, meaning that the normal evening routine was completely thrown in disarray which resulted in a much later than usual bedtime for my little princess. As for Ryan and myself (after Jessie was in bed), we dug out the XBOX controllers and got a fair bit of FIFA 11 in, with Ryan admittedly thrashing me, allowing me to win only two games out of the plus minus nine we played on the night, one in regulation time and one via penalty shootout (which never really counts according to our stats keeping). This was followed by a late night viewing of the frankly disappointing “Van Helsing: The London Assignment”, which proved enough to drive us both straight to bed.

Unfortunately for me though, despite how much I would have loved to get a good night’s rest, little Jess seemed determined that I would simply not have it this very night!

She started out the evening sleeping in the camping cot borrowed from my mom and dad, but after the first couple of restless wails that had me up and scrabbling to tend to her in the pitch dark without my glasses on, I resorted to removing her out of the cot and laying her beside me on the bed, where I proceeded to have a night of very light sleep, interrupted at regular intervals by the moaning and shifting around of my uncomfortable little one, all of which resulted in a very zombie-like Craig who arose at 06:00 for the usual morning feed routine the next day!

Shame, I now have full understanding and sympathy for my poor wifey who always seems so drained every morning! (The baby monitor isn’t enough to wake me, meaning that I’ve always enjoyed a proper night’s sleep while Chantelle has handled all that worrying and light sleeping stuff! :P)

At Zandea's birthday party

Anyway, Pops popped in for a quick visit after his and Ryan’s early morning gym session, after which I got everything packed in and ready to go, our next destination being Dean and Zania’s pad in Kraaifontein, for little Zandea’s 2nd birthday celebrations. Pleasingly, Jessica and I found Dean’s house first time around without getting lost, and even more pleasingly, our awesome gift of a colorful interactive children’s bible was very well received, both by the mommy and by my little godchild! :)

A lot of the guys who were there at Natasha’s birthday braai were again at Zandea’s colorful Barney birthday party, and so we all quickly fell back into conversation whilst tucking into the delightful party spread that Zania had come up with. Cute Barney cake candles were extinguished and we even got a visit (with gifts!) from Father Christmas, though to be honest, poor little Zandea could have done without the latter – she was absolutely terrified of Dean and his white beard!

Dean as Father Christmas

Anyway, Jess and I ended up being the last ones to leave, and then it was a race back home to Gordon’s Bay in order to get ready for the next birthday party on the list, namely little Annabella’s 1st birthday celebrated at Andrea and Albert’s beautiful house out in Strand. This time though Chantelle had organised to go with us (she took her afternoon split a little later than usual), meaning that for the first time this weekend, the Gordon’s Bay Lotter Clan was a complete unit at last!

Andy’s house was brimming with babies and toddlers when we got there, and Albert had seen to a fantastic array of eats to cater to both young and old. A smiley face cake completed the afternoon, with me on hand as the resident filmographer to capture Bella’s big moment of blowing (with a little help) out the candles.

Two hours flashed by, and seeing as Chantelle needed to get back to work, it was back home where I was once more abandoned with Jessie and I set about with unpacking from our epic single parent weekend and getting through the Sunday night routine.

So whew, this time I really can say I need another weekend just to recover from this one! :)

A Valentine’s Christening My Life 15 FEB 2010

Yay, Chantelle was off for a change, it was Valentine’s Day weekend, We were going away to Hermanus and most important of all little Zandea was being christened – how could one not start the weekend on such a high note? :)

Like I said, it was Zandea’s christening on Sunday and to make it all that more special, Dean and Zania decided to hold the christening at the same church where they got married two years ago, all the way out in Hermanus, Zania’s old hood. Of course, not ones to pass up a great opportunity for turning the event into a weekend away just for the fun of it, we unleashed Chantelle on the Internet and soon she had turned up a great looking place to stay – which then got converted into an even sweeter deal when she organised a guesthouse networking swap which meant that she and I got to stay the weekend in Hermanus for free while in return, the owner of that guesthouse gets to spend a weekend in the future at Gordon’s Beach Lodge at no charge. Great networking and strengthening of referral ties for the two managers and for me, the added bonus of some much needed pressure release off my poor little wallet, still feeling the stinging of the bashing it took with last week’s car saga!

Anyway, we only managed to get away from Gordon’s Bay pretty late on Friday evening after work, and eventually come 21:00 or so we landed in Hermanus, finding the Pebble Beach guesthouse, situated right next to the Hermanus golf club, easily enough thanks to Mr. TomTom’s unerring sense of direction.

Greeted on arrival by the friendly Francis, we stowed our bags in what can only be described as one of the most luxurious rooms I’ve been in and then darted out to grab a quick bite to eat at the local Spur – which surprisingly enough actually had other people still dining away by the time we got there! (Food wasn’t great though in case you are wondering)

After a fantastic night’s sleep (well for me in any event), the morning got underway with a fantastic breakfast served up by the great Pebble Beach team and with our tummies full and hunger sated, we headed out to Hermanus proper to do some stall browsing and hook up with Dean and Zania (and Zandea!) who were meeting up with us at Mugg & Bean for a drink. One successful visit later, and Chantelle and I were on our next mission, walking Hermanus flat in search of the elusive soft serve which simply put… couldn’t be found. (And no, we’re not talking about KFC or Steer imposter soft serves here – I’m talking about proper two tone, sugar cone stuff man!) Any how, with our walk not turning up anything we jumped into the car and headed down towards Onrus side but as you might have guessed, our search was just as fruitless, so with our heads hung low we turned around and returned to town – which made it all the more funnier when on entering the town and right across the road from where we were previously parked, Chantelle spotted the magical soft serve sign just sitting there minding its own business!

Overjoyed we parked and rushed down to the Princess Cafe, placed our order and then watched in horror as the poor soft serve machine sputtered into life, squirted out a couple of chocolate poo’s worth of ice cream and then promptly died, leaving us with little more than a brown twirly mess in a styrofoam cup. Shame, the girl serving us was very apologetic and as a result we didn’t pay anything for the ice cream we did manage to get out, but still I guess the little that we got was better than nothing in the end! :)

Back at the guesthouse, Chantelle was soon down and out for the count enjoying a rather lengthy afternoon nap while I set about enjoying the marvelous, black interior pool before stretching out and catching some rays on the soft grass. Next it was time for some R&R with a couple of the Ultimate Fantastic Four graphic novel, followed by the Stormers versus Lions game on Supersport, though I must admit to missing out rather large chunks of the latter thanks to my darn eyes that kept on falling closed!

The evening was spent for the most part in Panarottis, where we dined on some delicious pizza offerings (though it didn’t quite make up for the missed Cattle Baron, which would have been Chantelle’s supper treat had they not gone and closed down a couple of weeks prior to our visit!). Back home, I enjoyed a late night dip in the pool (Chantelle refused to join me for some reason – something about not having a bather with or something like that! :P) and while she enjoyed a lazy bath I got some solid reading time in again.

Oh, and we swapped Valentine’s gifts just before midnight – it seems like she just couldn’t wait to unleash the monstrous love bug stuffed animal she found upon me!

Sunday kicked off with a special Valentine’s Breakfast which basically was the same as the previous day’s breakfast but just with all the colour replaced with tones of red, white and pink – which was actually quite a cool little touch. Then a quick pack and settling of our little extras bill, we dashed off to the St. Peter’s stone church and grabbed our seats (actually, we accidentally stole the Church Warden’s reserved seats) and enjoyed the spectacle that saw little Zandea, who was VERY well behaved by the way, join the Christian family.

What was great was that Evan and Natasha, and Michelle and Damen had also made the drive through from Bellville on Sunday morning to attend the church service and following on from that, all of us met up at Zania’s mom’s house where we sat for the next couple of hours indulging in some awesome finger snacks and talking the day away. Chantelle and I eventually bid our farewell though (sorry for starting the mass exodus Dean!) and headed back to GB, where Chantelle naturally gave her new Coricraft friends a good testing out and I busied myself with setting up a whole lot of blog posts for the coming week.

The evening however saw us once again out of the door and out to the mall, where we enjoyed a great little Subway snack and then plonked ourselves down in our seats for the rather unentertaining (though it does have its moments) and long Valentine’s Day movie starring a host of A-list faces.

And that was pretty much that. A great weekend filled with friends, some driving and tons of R&R, meaning that I start this week in our newly renovated little shoebox feeling rather refreshed…

Related Link: http://www.pebblebeachguesthouse.com/

And You Question My Parenting Ability? My Life 08 FEB 2010

And you questioning my parenting ability? Little god daughter Zandea certainly doesn’t seem to think that I don’t have what it takes! See, see, photographic evidence that I don’t drop/break/disassemble everything I pick up! Besides, God-willing I’ll be a father sometime next year you know – and as you can see, some training for the event never hurt anybody! ;)

Apart from Chantelle’s top that is – that was completely icky drool covered when they pried Zandea off her!

That's me. The big one, not the little one.