The dark

My mind has been dark the last few weeks.

A new year and so much to look forward to and yet I feel like I have been wading through quicksand or stuck in a thick soupy fog.

Its been 10 years since my dad died, 2 years since my grandmother passed away and a year since my brother left us.

It feels like just yesterday, like a blink and here I am.

My uncle has cancer.  He cant beat it, no matter how hard he tries or how much we will it.

I feel like curling up in bed, pulling the covers over my head and never coming out.

And then I look at my husband, my beautiful children, my amazing life and I get up,  I look to the sun and I carry on!

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

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Nursery school!

After a little bit of confusion regarding when Aaron was supposed to start school, we finally started today!

Yesterday we met Nana (my mom) at Woolies so we could buy a new school bag, we couldnt find a Ben Ten bag but we found another superhero one that came with a squeezy juice bottle and Aaron was very happy with it.  I also got him his very own thermal lunch box.

He went to sleep last night chattering about ‘big’ school and his teacher and all the friends he will make.

This morning he got dressed, ate breakfast and was super excited to go to school.

I have to admit that I was preparing myself for drama.  A small #AaronTantrum perhaps or at least tears and feet dragging when it came time to go to school.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how cool, calm and collected my big boy was.

When we got to school he couldnt wait to show his new bag to everyone, the security guard, the moms and dads and the other kids.

He didnt even want to hold my hand which made me want to cry a little but I was strong and held back the tears with a big goofy grin instead.

We found his classroom and the teacher showed us his locker and his towel in the bathroom and then we sat down to play with a little boy called Sam.  There was also a little girl whose name is Erin and the two of them found it very amusing that they have the same name.  The one little girl that was at play school with him arrived and came to sit with us.

After a few minutes I told Aaron that I needed to go to work and he hugged me and off he went to do a puzzle.  Not a care in the world.

Im so happy.  He is such a confident little boy and I just know he is going to have such a great time at ‘big’ school.

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I’m an #HPmum – Part 2

First off, my apologies for the delay!

Lets get to it shall we?

One of the things that made me bounce when HP asked if I wanted to review the machine was the ability to print from any computer via email.  Email?  Yup, email.  You can email a document from any machine anywhere in the world to the unique email address you crate for the printer!  It took all of 10 minutes to create the email address and once that was done I could print from anywhere and the pages were waiting for me when I got home.  For someone like me who forgets what I did 5 minutes ago this is a huge thing, I think about printing a document, I print it. Easy peasy.  I could also tell Paul to email a document directly to the printer instead of waiting for it to come through my email then printing, saves a lot of time 🙂

Oh, one of the nicest features is the Facebook application.  You get a unique code, you enter the code into Facebook and wham bam thank you ma’am, you can see all your albums directly on the printer and then choose which pictures you want to print (especially helpful if you have lost the original images on your computer, hypothetically speaking of course).

The machine also connects to a host of other web apps such as Crayola, DreamWorks, HP Quick Forms, Web Sudoku and so many more.

Aaron and I printed out colouring pages from Crayola.  We printed Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon masks, colouring pages, door hangers and character models from Dream Works as well as super cool paper airplanes that we cut out and folded together.

Here are some of the cool crafts we made!

Crafts print out in full colour with instructions!

Lots of cutting

3D!

There are about 5 different paper plane designs

I cannot tell you how many of these we have made in the last 2 months!!

Just for fun 🙂 Cute mini fortune cookies and take out box

My entire family has made such good use of this machine.  From keeping Aaron entertained to Paul sending me important documents to scanning my paperwork and printing photos to keep the grandmas happy.

I can highly recommend this as a great home printer!

The HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One printer is available at all good computer and electronic stores at a recommended retail price of R1899.00

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I’m an #HPmum

At the beginning of December HP asked me to test out their new Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One printer.

We don’t have a printer at home so I jumped at the chance to test this one out.

In short, I fell in love.

Lets get the technical stuff out of the way first shall we?

All in one:

Print. Scan. Copy. eFax. Web. – It does everything (well almost, a cup of coffee would be nice)

Dimensions:

45.5cm (w) x 45cm (d) x 22cm (h) – Compact and pretty, it fits perfectly on my home desk.

Print Speed:

From 13.5ppm up to 34ppm black and from 9ppm up to 33ppm colour – Super fast!

Connectivity:

Integrated WiFi and USB High Speed – Fantastic for my home where our router is in our bedroom not near my home desk.

Ink:

The Photosmart 7510 uses 5 individual cartridges – HP 178 Black, Photo, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow – They also come in XL

Now, on to the fun stuff, what I managed to do with this fantastic machine 🙂  After writing up this post, I realised I had a lot to say, so I will be breaking it up into a few parts… This is Part 1

First of all, setting up the machine took us no more than 10 minutes.  And part of that was me trying to remember what the hell my WiFi password was.

The 10.9cm touch screen was a breeze to use and once we had connected to the WiFi we started having fun.

The first thing I did was test out the photo printing.

Holy moly!  Who needs to go to a lab to print photos?  It was so easy and quick.  The photos are beautiful.  I used the HP Premium Plus and HP Advanced paper that came in my press kit.  You wouldn’t know they were printed on a home printer.

It certainly made printing photos of the kids for my mom and mom in law a breeze.  We also got to put up new photos on our photo wall within days of taking the pics, it usually takes us years (no jokes) because its a pain to go and have them printed.

The next thing I tried out was the scan function.

It took me a while to figure out how to scan using my Mac, and I realised in the end it was a connectivity issue (make sure WiFi is on!) but once I had it figured it was so simple.

You can scan single images from the glass or multiple page documents from the document feed on top of the machine.  The document feed takes up to 25 pages at a time and scans double sided too.  Scanning was very quick and the scanned image was clear and colour perfect.

The one feature I didnt try is the eFax function.  Mostly because I cannot think of a single person or instance where I would need to send a fax.  That being said, had I needed to send a fax I would need to set up my online fax service with HP’s 3rd party provider, eFax.  This can all be done from the printer itself.  The first 20 pages sent and the first 20 pages received are free!

Look out for Part 2 tomorrow where I talk about emailing documents to the printer from wherever I am (I know right, so much fun!) and I will also show you some of the amazing projects and crafts Aaron and I made using the HP Photosmart printer!

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Projects for 2012

I am an avid Pinner.  I can spend hours browsing the boards and repinning everything and anything.

One of the boards I have is crafts and I am determined to complete at least a few of the projects I have pinned.

This one is going to definitely happen on payday this month!

I also have a ton of old formula cans and have been collecting all the tin and cans that we use  and I want to do a few of these in my garden.

These are the two projects I want to start with.  Once I have completed them I will add some more.  baby steps right?

*Click the images for more information on each project, all images from Pinterest!*

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Trouble spelt f.a.i.t.h.

Boy oh boy.

Aaron was a really well behaved baby.

He tried opening a few cupboards, we got cupboard locks and left one open for him and filled it with tupperware and plastic stuff.  He knew that this was his cupboard and for the most part he left the others alone.

He never threw things in the toilet, he never climbed out his cot, he did occasionally draw on the tv or on a wall and he did shove a few straws down the sink drain but all in all he hardly ever got into trouble.

Faith on the other hand…

She is so adventurous, she opens and closes everything, she goes straight for the plugs and gets into everything she shouldn’t.

Including the toilet this afternoon.  I caught her red pink handed with her hands in the toilet bowl, newly cleaned with Toilet Duck (thank heavens I know the bowl was clean).  She threw such a hissy fit when I took her away from the toilet but got over it pretty quickly when I washed her hands under the tap and then got pissed off again when I wouldn’t let her carry on playing with the water in the sink.

I think this one is going to keep us on our toes!

About two minutes after I posted this a turned around and found this!

Juice is far more fun on me and the floor than in the bottle!

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6am

Faith pretty much slept through last night.  Yay!

It did mean that she woke me up at 5am for a bottle but I managed to get her to go back to sleep.  Yay!

That meant that if I went back to sleep I would be a very grumpy Gina when I woke up later, so here I am, 6am, coffee made, laptop on, getting ready to tackle my first day back at work in almost 4 weeks.  Yay!  Maybe… Kind of…  Ok, Yay!!!

I must admit I was pretty clever going back to work today, not yesterday, you see, today is my half day, so I get to ease back into things.  I do have to go do the monthly grocery shop after work though but I think thats a fair trade.

Oh, and after that, once it cools down a little, I am going to attempt a run.  I have been seeing all the Twitter runners talking about their training and races and I have felt the urge to get on the road and run too.

Dont get too excited though, just climbing a flight of stairs leaves me breathless and exhausted, my cardio ability is severely lacking!  I do however need to exercise and I know that I will not use a gym contract to its full potential, running seems like a decent alternative.  I dont have to pay a membership fee , I dont have to go a minimum amount of times a month, I can run whenever suits me.

So wish me luck!

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Sci-Bono outing of awesomeness!

Yesterday we took the kids into Newtown to visit the Sci-Bono museum.

I cannot get over how much fun we all had, especially Aaron.  So much fun in fact, that he didnt want to leave.  We had to promise him that we would come back on the weekend!

Oh and not only is Sci-Bono fun its also a really cheap family outing.  Adults are R20, kids are R10 and kids under 6 are free!

We landed up spending almost 2 and a half hours wandering around and we didnt even come close to seeing everything.

 

I had so much fun explaining how the mini experiments worked to Aaron.  Watching his face as he saw what I told him actually happen was awesome.

 

We watched a science demonstration.  The lady who did the demos was fantastic.  The kids (and adults) were laughing and shouting and most of all learning.

 

(Had to put this pic in, just look at that curl!)

We had such a fun day, the time literally ran away from us.  Aaron is still talking about all the things he saw and did.  Cannot wait to go back!

 

*most pictures were taken by Paul, some by me on his camera and some by me on the iPhone (Im sure you can tell which).

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Happy Holidays

We spent this afternoon at family.  We ate, swam, ate some more.  The kids had a blast playing together.

From our family to your, we hope you have had a happy and peaceful holiday weekend 🙂

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Everyone can sing!

I read this post over at Cinderella Trippin’ and it reminded me of a talk I went to a few (ok, maybe 10) years ago.

I had recently been held at gun point in the house I was living in.  I was shaken and scared and wanted to curl into a little ball and never come out.  My mom took me to a talk given by Alison.  You may recall her story from about 17 years ago.  She was raped, disemboweled, had her throat cut and was left for dead.  She survived! In every sense of the word.  I wont re-tell her story here, you can get her book for a truly inspirational read.

What I will tell you is how she opened that talk.  Something that has stuck with me this whole time.

Alison gave that talk in a school hall, there were adults, teenagers, children.  People that had been through unspeakable horror and their families too.

Alison stood in front of us and she said the following: “If you can sing, raise your hand.”

A handfull of adults put their hands up, every single child (they were all sitting on the floor in the front) stuck their hands in the air.

Alison pointed this out to us and said that she never asked if we could sing well, just if we could sing.  We should all have put our hands up.

The point she was making is that somewhere along the road to growing up, we become jaded, we stop believing we can do things, just because we cant do them well.  We see doing something well or correctly through the eyes of other people, ‘experts’ if you will, when we should be our own critics, our own experts, our own judges.  We have unimaginable power to do anything we set our minds to!

You may not paint like Picasso or sing like Michael Buble, or swim like Ryk Neethling but you CAN paint, you CAN sing, you CAN swim.

I think that sometimes we are too hard on ourselves.  We demand perfection in every aspect of our lives.  But we are not perfect, we are unique and that what makes us special.

I think that this will be my new years resolution.  To not be so hard on myself, to not demand perfection.  To paint and sing and swim just for the hell of it and not for anyones approval.

P.s. I have first dibs on the painting of the polka dot heals if it is ever for sale!

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