Nightly rhythms

It appears that the dance is deep within my child and I am absolutely delighted! Oliver’s appreciation for music has taken on a whole new dimension in the last couple of weeks. We now have nightly dancing in the playroom where our once shy little boy who only danced when he thought no-one was looking gives us a performance of all his latest dance moves.

Dave and I often sit in wonderment with our mouths hanging ever so slightly ajar in watching this little person who only walked at 17 months, now so completely at one with his body and expressing himself so freely.

From deep shoulder moves, one foot spins, a collection of often bizarre steps, diversified hand movements and of course his interpretation of the moonwalk Oliver is slowly but surely becoming equipped to handle whatever 70’s or 80’s music throws at him.

For the majority of the last few weeks we have had to sit through Tears for Fears album Tears Roll Down night after night with Shout being the favourite song. Thankfully though we got to introduce a new album last night after Oliver asked for some new music (whoops of joy).

So Dave went off to pull out something from the CD drawer whilst I anxiously waited for the choice to be presented knowing that this would be something I would be listening to for a long time to come. Thankfully my husband is a wise man and he came back with an all time classic ABBA Greatest Hits. I can never get tired of ABBA πŸ™‚

Their music is the type that appeals to Oliver upbeat, energetic and filled with a variety of instruments. He took to it like a fish to water pulling out some new moves to celebrate the occasion!

Sitting there watching him I was struck by a sense of unreality. This was the music my Mom introduced me too and watched me dance to when I was young, shared with my Great Ouma (she played Thank You for the music on her record player), danced the night away to with my girlfriends so many memories and just one more very special one added.

The best Fathers Day gift!

What a wonderful Fathers Day we had today. Oliver and I started the morning bright and early, yes even before the sun was up, while Dad got the opportunity to have coffee in bed and lie in until after 8, and got spoilt with awesome gifts! Then we were off to meet the other Goodwins for a brunch at Mugg & Bean in Broadacres, a great venue offering good food and a fabulous play area with a small petting zoo.

We had a great morning together with Grandpa, Granny Lyn, Mike, Bonnie and girls. Talk at the table ranging from anaylsis of the Springbok game, kids stuff, work and all the rest.

Oliver and Dad on Fathers Day
Oliver and Dad on Fathers Day

Whilst there we bumped into old friends,Sandy and Keith and their two girls and ended up staying for lunch, well for Oliver anyway.

Broadacres has a special appeal for Dave and I as we got married at Buitengeluk which is situated in the gardens there. We took Oliver along to see the place we got married at which he found so interesting and led to discussions of who he was going to marry one day “when I’m big like you guys”. The list was hysterical ranging from his cousins to his Granny and eventually after explanations of how you can’t marry family members ending with his close friend Caitlin.

At home Dave and Oliver spent quality time doing boys stuff – chopping wood for the fire, riding bikes on the drive way, fixing imaginary generators and of course the afternoon nap!

Our day got better though becuase just before bedtime Oliver did his first poo in his toilet! Woo hoo! Finally, after doing it at school and Gagga’s house he has done one at home! Best Fathers Day gift ever!

But wait there’s more…

Walking into our bedroom tonight we found our special little boy cuddled up in our bed with the bedside lamp on. This after we left him tucked safe and sound in his bed. Lying on the pillow next to him was Dave’s Fathers Day card. Just too adorable! This was a first for him and I think an opportunity to make ‘Daddy’s Day’ last just a little longer.

Bokkie power

With Springbok mania gripping the country, I decided the time was right to introduce Oliver to the men behind the game that I am so passionate about. I heard that the Springboks were having an open training session at St Stithians, the school Dave teaches at and decided to take him along to see the Bokkies in action.

Our close friends the Kaufies have two boys who, through their Dad’s interest and growing involvement in the game (he is working towards becoming a provincial referee), are becoming certified rugby nuts. So, I let them know and arranged to meet them there.

A busy morning at work, followed by the mad rush that is the school run and then home to get all decked out in our Bokkie gear. There was much excitement and discussion around seeing ‘the men on the TV’. All efforts to teach Oliver the captains name and details of how the game is played were met with “But Mom are we going to see the animals?”.

It was incredible to arrive at Sts and see boys and girls of all sizes there to support the team, get autographs or just ogle the players – Patrick Lambie was a firm favourite with the girls! Also wonderful for the Kaufie boys and Oliver to get so close to the players.

The little guys in front of the Springbok bus
Oliver, Luke and Tyron in front of THE bus

I wish that I could report that we spent hours on the side of the field watching the Springboks going through their paces but the truth is I think we had about 15 minutes tops. Of more interest to our little guys were the massive Springbok bus, scrumming machines, TV cameras and running wild on the rugby field.

Boys hard at work on the scrumming machine
Scrumming is hard work!

So, maybe Oliver is still a little too young to appreciate live rugby but maybe when we sit down to watch the Springboks in action against England in the 2nd test on Saturday he will feel a little closer to the game and ultimately become a couch rugby enthusiast like his Mom!

Affordable family fun

With winter setting in this weekend, Sunday loomed ahead with not many solutions on how to keep an active three year old busy indoors for the day! Having read about, and heard from friends about Sci-Bono in Newtown, we decided to give it a go.

Not only was this to be our first trip to Sci-Bono but also

Oliver’s first journey to downtown Jo’burg and viewing of a city.

What an incredible day it turned out to be. Sci-Bono is an absolute must for kids of all ages. The range of activities is amazing. The biggest hit of all was the fully decked out construction site where Oliver reported to the site office for the required hard hat and neon bib, from there, he got to play with the foam bricks and cement using wheelbarrows, conveyor belts, cranes, earth moving equipment etc. The site was a hive of activity with kids of ages hard at work constructing the house in the frame provided.

Oliver in construction gear
Oliver ready to tackle the construction site

Across the three floors every imaginable science activity is available all linked to cause and effect which is right up Oliver’s alley. Oliver flew a plane in the flight simulator, drove a BMW, played virtual soccer, did tens of experiments, played music, flew a hot air balloon, learnt about white light and so much more.

We were so impressed not only by what was there, but the friendliness and knowledge of the staff and the price! Only R20 an adult and R10 a child and we spent over four hours there…cheapest outing ever!

The three of us had a ball and learnt a lot πŸ™‚ I would highly recommend a visit for all who haven’t been. Another bonus is great cappuccinos and lattes! But do take along some healthy snacks as only vending machine food available.

We decided that while we were downtown we would go up Carlton tower (the highest building in Jo’burg) something I haven’t done since I was a kid. For Dave it has special memories as his Mom (Granny Lyn) used to work on the 47th floor. Wow so incredible but a little scary to see the city from so high up. You can see as far as Soccer City and so cool to view Ellis Park fom a birds eye view.

Dad and Oliver at the top of Carlton Centre
Dad and Oliver at the top of Carlton Centre

So, if you feel like getting out there and doing something a little off the beaten track definitely make a trip downtown – we will certainly be back!

Musical moments

“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit and never dies”
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

This quote rings so true. For Dave and I music is such an important part of who we are and what has shaped us throughout our lives.

Dave has the holistic and more classical approach from learning to play piano by ear, singing solos in the St Albans school chapel, playing the guitar, compiling ditties of his own and appreciating music across all genres, even obscure Afrikaans rock.

For me music, singing and dancing are an integral part of who I am. I have always said that if school work was set to music I would have been an A+ student. From a young age I sang in the school choir and took part in musicals, as well as did every kind of dancing possible, ballet, modern, tap, Scottish, country I loved the the freedom of expression they all gave me. For music though, growing up in the 80’s, there is a clear winning genre – rock! Guns ‘n Roses, Violent Femmes, Pearljam, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Journey the list goes on…

This passion driven by each of us in our own way has come through in our little boy. He has a musical soul which he displays in his DJ antics at his CD player, the drums he plays made from all manner of kitchenware with wooden spoons as drumsticks, his unique dance moves and love of all music types always played as loudly as he can get away with.

I remember our home growing up being filled with music and it’s through my Dad that my love for, and appreciation of, music developed. Holiday road trips were made memorable by listening to cassette tapes of Paul Simon, The Eagles and loads more seventies and eighties stars. We took these songs and put on endless shows which my parents and extended group of family and friends supported wholeheartedly. I of course was always lead choreographer and singer!

We have already experienced one or two concerts with Oliver and friends and look forward to many years filled with loads more! What a joy to share your love of something with your child and to see how it manifests in them. Such a privilege!

Family fortunes

We are so blessed to have both mine and David’s family living near by, including our folks, siblings, nieces and nephews. Only when you have a child does this ‘gift’ become apparent because a gift is exactly what it is!

Oliver is lucky to be able to spend quality time with his Granny Lyn, Gagga and Grandpas weekly, as well as grow up with his four cousins as good friends. Important as for now he is an only child – the jury is still out on that one.

For Dave and I we have the luxury, flexibility and peace of mind of being able to have support in lifting to and from school and the odd night off every now and then which, as all parents know, is an absolute must!

Reflecting on the weekend that was, I saw just how this was all brought to home for us

Saturday morning saw Dave at a school function (he’s a teacher) and Oliver and I having breakfast with Gagga, Grandpa, Uncle Ryan, Nathan (4) and Gemma (2). Lots running, laughter and of course the inevitable favourite talk topic of all toddlers – pooh pooh!

Then we dropped Oliver off at Granny Lyn to stay the night as part of my Mothers Day gift were tickets to the stage production of Phantom of the Opera. The show was absolutely brilliant, SA cast were world class, set design fantastic but most importantly of all so nice to have some adult time!

We spent Sunday morning with Dave’s family at an impromptu flapjack breakfast (thanks Mike and Bonnie) and then ambled down en masse to the Arts in the Park at Lonehill Park which is also home to Oliver’s favourite playground housing a long tunnel slide.

In a world where so many families are scattered across the globe and have Skype relationships with one another, we are so very lucky to have an extended family that not only are geographically close but actually want to spend time together! Can’t put a price on that.

Goodwin and Helmand cousins
Oliver with his cousins from both sides

I count myself incredibly lucky to not only be able to share these special relationships across our families but also to have a wide and caring family circle for my little boy whom he can learn so much from!