Monday, December 31, 2012


In our family, we have always had two Christmas celebrations.  Gumpy is Norwegian and they always celebrate, with presents, on Christmas Eve.  So, this year we celebrated Christmas Eve at Dennis and Rita's house.  Jeff and Gail and Brian came too so it was a lovely family celebration.  You were 'Santa's Helper' and when I read out the names on the gifts, you gave them to the people.  You were a very good helper too!
On Chriatmas day, everybody came to our house.  Once again you were Santa's helper and while Brian called out the names on the presents you handed them out.

It was a lovely day so we set up a table under a gazebo on the front lawn and Gumpy, Coach and Jeff did the braai for lunch - which we didn't have until nearly 4 o'clock!  Everyone was swimming and having fun.
I made a 'baby in a fruit salad' in a watermelon and you just loved it!

It is nearly the end of 2012 and you have reached a number of milestones. 
You gave your 'Buboo' to the fairies
You have completed one year of pre-school
You can swim underwater
On the 16th December you were exactly 1m tall
You cut your hair yourself for the first time last week!
You are no longer afraid to pat the dogs although Carling still scares you
You have grown your own vegetables in your own veg garden
You were in your first bicycle rally race
I know that 2013 is going to be a wonderful year for you and for your Mom and Dad and I am so happy that I am here to share it with you. 

Friday, November 30, 2012


Hello Em,
Gumpy's cousins, Anthony and Carol, arrived from Australia today to spend some time with us so Carol came with me to your school concert.
Ant and Carol left South Africa 25 years ago to live in Australia and they have children and grandchildren there and in Tasmania.

This was your first Christmas concert at school - you were one of the shepherds.  It was a lovely concert, all about Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem, the star, no room at the inn and the birth of the baby Jesus.
I sat near the back with Carol so couldn't get any really nice photographs but Shay took some and will send them to me when she has time.  The only one that I can put here is a bit grainy and dark but you can see your shepherd's cloak and your long, blond ponytail.

After the concert we were allowed to meet you in your classroom where you handed over a gift you had made for your Mom and Dad.  It was a lovely calendar and Mrs Davey said that you had worked really hard on making it.
Father Christmas also visited your school and for the first time you weren't really afraid of him - even though it looks as though you are gritting your teeth in this photograph!
I am really looking forward to Christmas with you this year.  It will be the first Christmas that you really understand what it is all about. 
Big hugs my little angel - love you lots!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Hello my darling Em,

I loved having you sleep-over this weekend! 
You slept over once or twice when you were a baby and slept in a camp cot but you haven't slept over for a long time. 

Now that you are in your own bed, Mom and Dad allowed you to sleep over when they went to a wedding in the midlands. 

We put a matress down in our room - between the chest of drawers and a chair and padded with pillows.  It made a lovely snug bed for you. 
We played house, tea-party, drawing, cutting out and pasting, and even copied Mr Maker and made animal faces with floppy ears.

You had your dinner with Gumpy - chicken and potato wedges - and after your bath we lay down on your bed and I read you a story.  Then we switched off the light and within 10 minutes you were fast asleep.
I think you dream a lot because you spoke in your sleep and once you even shouted something.

At 4:50am I heard you calling for Mommy.  You were confused and had started walking to the door but I called you and you climbed into my bed.  I thought you might go back to sleep but you were wide awake by then and decided it was a good time to do puzzles and put lipstick on me and your doll Roxy. 

By 8am you were tired and you had a little nap while we were watching TV.  It was a lovely sunny day so we played in the garden, cleaned out the weir at the swimming-pool and did a concert under the Leopard tree.  You did ballet and I did rock 'n roll!

Mom and Dad came for you at mid-day and I missed you when you were gone. 

This painting was done by fingers and brushes.  You splashed paint onto a piece of paper and then you smeared it with your fingers.  I folded it over because there was too much paint on the paper.  When we opened the paper it revealed this lovely colourful butterfly!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Its not your birthday today but you had your party today because your real birthday is on Tuesday - 16th October.
Tammy decided to have two parties - a morning party for 10 little ones and their Mommies and a 12pm to 2pm party for the grand-parents, uncles and aunties. 
You had your Tinkerbell theme and all the little ones were given wings when they arrived and had their faces painted. 
By the time we got there, the sweeties and little cakes had been cleared away and more adult snacks had been laid out. 
I think you'd had a lot of sweet stuff because you were quite hyper when we arrived!  It was a lovely party and you showed me your new 3/4 bed (on the floor) that has replaced your baby cot.  My word, you are growing up quickly Em.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Gumpy and I were invited to attend the Grand-parent's Day concert at your school.  The children sang songs in their age groups.  You looked so sweet on the stage and you waved and called out to us!
The singing was a little bit high pitched and one little girl, louder than all the others, sounded as though she had been puffing on a helium balloon!
But it was a lovely morning, we had great snacks with tea, and we were able to buy books for the school and write your name in them.  And we visited your classroom and met your class mates.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Gumpy and I were invited to visit your school and watch you in a bicycle relay to raise funds.  The night before the the relay, Mom went to the garage to get your tricycle out and clean it only to find that it was gone.  They had a break-in a few weeks earlier and didn't realise at the time that you bike was one of the items stolen.  So, there was a big panic to rush out and buy you a new bike so that you could take part in the bicycle relay.

Granny Laura was there too and we were very proud of you when you completed all your laps - with the help of Mommy and Shay - and got a gold medal!


This is a photograph of you and your teacher, Mrs Davey.  When we play schools at home, you are always Mrs Davey and I am the children!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Hi Em,

We don't often have snow close to home so when we had a really cold snap recently and lost of snow in the midlands, Mark and Tammy couldn't resist taking you inlandto see the crucnch white stuff!

You weren't too sure about it and you didn't like sitting in it because you got a wet backside!

What a lovely experience for you!!  It might be a while before you have the opportunity to see snow again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sleepover and dandelions

Hello my darling Em,
About a month ago we had a final family get-together at Patty’s place. It was strange to see it so empty. We explained to you before we got there that Patty’s stuff was all gone and that her house was empty: we didn’t want you to get a fright when you arrived. We ordered pizza and ate on paper plates with paper serviettes because there was no crockery, glassware or cleaning up stuff there. It was quite fun and we laughed a lot and Patty was very present. I think she would have loved that we were there together.

Two weeks later, Tam and Mark went to a wedding in the midlands and because they were staying overnight, I had a sleep-over at your place. It was great fun. We played concerts. All the toys were on the couch and on chairs in front of the couch. We had different coloured paper tickets, popcorn, cold-drink and jelly beans for everyone. First you sang a song, then I sang a song. Then you did a dance and then I did a dance. Then you said a poem and then I said a poem. We even had an interval and went to play outside for a while. After the interval you acted like an animal and we had to guess what you were, and then it was my turn. It was great fun. 

In the morning we went for a walk around the block. You sat on every large boulder, hugged all the trees and picked the dandelions and a few flowers for your Mommy.  You had your shoes on with the prosthetic inserts and I think your feet got tired.

You don't often go for long walks so it was quite tiring for you and on the way back you wanted me to carry you. I carried you down the hill but you had to walk up the steep driveway to your home.  We had a nice rest sitting on the couch watching cbeebies.

A couple of weeks ago you had to go to Parklands for your Pamidronate infusion. Mom and Dad told us that you hardly cried when they put the needle in your hand. When we went to visit you, I told you that Gumpy was also going to be in hospital after the weekend and would also have a drip in his hand. "You must be brave, Gumpy." You said to him. "The doctor will give you a mozzie bite on your hand and then it will need a little plaster. But you mustn't cry because the doctor is trying to help you." We all just sat with tears in our eyes. 

You were on school holidays for three weeks and Mom did exciting things with you.  You even went to a big movie house and you enjoyed it - only had to go out once for a wee!

By the way, you are now just over a meter tall!  Fancy that!

I love you baby girl.  XXX

Friday, June 8, 2012

Three years and a half years old

Hello my darling Em,

I can't believe how much you have learned in just 3 and a half years!  From a tiny, helpless, pracitcally blind, toothless, uncordinated little scrap of life, you have become a thinking, talking, walking, curious, imaginative, bright young lady.  Besides knowing all the domestic animals you also recognize nearly all the African wild animals. 
Last month you went back to the Cheetah Rehab centre in Hluhluwe.  I told you that the Cheetah were going to be so happy to see you again and that they would say, "Hello Emily, thank you for coming back to see us."  You looked at me a bit strangely and said, "Granny.  Cheetahs can't talk, you know." 
Out of the mouths of babes!
A couple of weeks ago your step-granny visited you from the Dominican Republic. She is married to your Grand-father (Tammy's father). We all went to uShaka for dinner and to listen to Richard (your father's cousin from Johannesburg) and his school musicians playing the Marumba band, an orchestra and a choir. Young ladies at Moyo, a west African type restaurant, paint the faces of diners - usually little children - with white patterns and flowers. You were very proud of the flower painting on your face and showed everybody you saw
.  On the way out of the reaturant I asked the young lady if she would paint my face too - which she did.  When I walked outside, Tammy said to you, "OOh, Em - look at Granny's face!"  I bent down to show you my cheek and the look on your face was one of disbelief!  You looked at me and said, in an almost exasperated voice, "Granny!"  (You think I am eccentric enough as it is but you didn't exepct me to get a flower motif painted on my face!)
You have had an eye infection for some time and are now on a topical medicine for a moth to clear it up.  You've also had a cough and cold.  Whenever you get a cold, Mom gets one too. 
I hope you'll be better soon my darling.  I LOVE you!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Your Aunty Patty passed away

Hello darling Em,
Exactly a month ago today your aunt Patty - my beloved sister - passed away.  It was the weekend when we went to the Oaks.  Patty had a severe stroke at home and never woke up from a coma.  We had a memorial service for her but your Mom and Dad decided that you should not come because a lot of sad and crying people could upset and confuse you.

When Patty's ventilator was switched off, Mom explained to you that Patty was old, very sick and that she had died.  She said that Patty had gone away and that we would not be seeing her again.

The night she died we had everyone to dinner at our house.  You asked who was going to fetch Patty.  When Tammy reminded you that Patty had died, you said, "Oh no - not again!"

Today when you and your Mom and Dad came to Patty's place to help us clear out her stuff, I heard you laughing as your other Granny played with you and I could feel Patty smiling. 
Patty loved you very much.  She always called you 'My Princess'.  You loved Patty very much too and you were always concerned for her, and cared about her having her oxygen and who was going to give her a lift when we went out. 
It is really sad that you won't remember her but I would like you to know that nobody was more excited the day you were born - a little girl in our family full of males - a Princess!

Patty's little Muffin has gone to a lovely home, on a smallholding, where she has two brothers.  Beryl, the lady who gave Muffy a home, says that she is very happy.  She plays with her brothers, sleeps on the bed and goes out with them in the car.

You have always been afraid of dogs but you were better with Muffy because she was small and she was gentle.

I'm so pleased you had an Aunty Patty in your life, even if was for such a short time.  She loved you and you were very caring of her.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


On the 24th March we had a lovely overnight stay at The Oaks at Byrne guest farm.  Your Dad and Greg spent many happy childhood holidays there and we wanted you to experience it too.

Mark loved sitting on the 'gunda-gunda' and would spend hours pretending to drive it.  We couldn't believe it when we saw that it was still there - brightly coloured but with flat tyres of course!
You played with Samantha - a little girl whose Daddy also spent childhood holidays at the Oaks.

Gumpy took you to see the pigs and the horses and a donkey called Humphrey.
Children have their own diningroom but they made an exception for you to have breakfast and dinner with us in the adult dinigroom.  You enjoyed giving us each a toothpick from the holders on the tables around us!
After breakfast you went on a ride on Humphrey and gave him a pear to eat afterwards.
I've got a photograph of your Daddy on this swing when he was 18 months old!
We went to visit the little Byren church and read the names of the original settlers
in the church-yard cemetery.

Monday, February 27, 2012

You are a school-girl!!

Hello my darling Em,

I can't believe that you are now a school-girl.
One minute you were a helpless babe in arms and now you are this grown up little miss!
After a long search Mom found you a lovely school and you have learned to put your hand up when you want to go to the toilet; to say a prayer before your snack and lunch with your eyes closed and hands together, and to sing new songs.  You went on an outing to Mitchell park. 

Your carer is away so Michelle Deme has been your carer this month.
You get on very well with her and I think she is going to miss you when Shay comes back later this week.

My friend Isabel came to stay with me for three weeks in January.  I showed you her photograph a few times before she arrived and when she met you for the first time you met her as though you had known each other for years!  She brought you a lovely little dress and a some make up and nail polish and you had a great time doing each other's nails and brushing each other's hair. 
She couldn't believe how well you could swim - especially going under water!

On Valentine's day you went to school in pink and red - like a beautiful angel!

On Break-up day you went to school as a Lady-bug - a beautiful Lady bug!!