A South African, married to an American, finally adapting to my adopted country. I love life, laughter, good friends and the warmth that my two kids have filled me with. I glory in the colors of my life and am grateful for the gray days as they allow me to appreciate the rainbows.

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Location: New York, United States

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ten Cents

A real Nikki-ism.... lol. Nikki comes to me today and says that she learned about ten cents today at school. I said that was wonderful, did you know that you can also call ten cents a dime. She says really? You can call your nose, mouth, eyes, ears and arms a dime?? I started laughing. No Nikki I said, you mean you learned about your 5 senses. Only my child would make a profit on the senses :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Priceless indeed.....

I had to share this with you. Ryan will never forgive me but I have to anyway. Ry is in Grade 2. She brought home math homework the otherday. One of the questions was something along the lines of..... Mary's mother gave her 50 cents for taking out the garbage. Mary wants to buy a toy for 20 cents and an ice cream for 30 cents. Does she have enough money to buy the items? Yes or no? Explain your answer. Ry writes Yes and then explains it as follows..... She could buy both things because I sat here for a very long time and thought about it.

Priceless indeed. Me I want to go shopping with Mary, sounds like she knows where all the good deals are.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Our annual family portrait. Check out the Ry and Nikki link for more pics of them, including Ry's horseriding photos.
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Thursday, November 24, 2005


Today was Thanksgiving. In truth my cup does runneth over. I do thank G-d every single day for the blessings in my life. I am fortunate to spend many days by myself driving through beautiful countryside to closings, people envision New York as just Manhattan but that is only the city. The rest of it is hills and trees and water and lots of unbelievable beauty that takes my breath away. I have one drive to my biggest client that is about an hour away. It is just gorgeous, in the town of St. James. I drive along winding roads with trees all around it. Watching the leaves change colour and it warms my soul. I chat to G-d as I drive at least once a day, to thank him for all that is good in my life, and there is a lot.

I am grateful for Josh and all that he does. How he puts up with me I will never know. My friend Loren was here glowing over how much Jeff had done that day in the house, things J does on a daily basis that I take for granted. I am amazed when I hear from other wives how little their husbands are prepared to do and how much J does. He cooks, cleans, does laundry, watches the kids so I can go out with my friends. He includes the kids in all that he does whether it be cooking or working on the landrover. He is a great husband and a great dad. Today he cooked a feast of note, took him two days to make everything. He was up at 6am to start the Turkey, he roasted it on the BBQ/braai. He made so many courses and dishes that we all declared a truce and pushed ourselves away from the table just stuffed to the gills. My folks were there as were J's dad, stepmom and J's best friend Bob.

I am grateful to my folks for giving up so much to be able to be a part of our lives. They have never stopped putting their kids first and I am so grateful and feel so lucky to have had these kind, loving people to guide me in my life. Nothing is ever too much and they are always on hand with sound advice and a way to make things happen. Anything.

I am grateful to the two little people who occupy such a large part of my heart. How did I get so lucky to get hugs and kisses every day??

I am grateful that not only do I like my in-laws but that I love them. They are wonderful people who really care about us and try to their best for our kids and for J and I.

I am grateful to all my friends around the world, some I have known for ever, others I feel as if I have.

I am grateful to have my sisters, nephews and my cousins. How lucky to love and be loved.

The kids made placemats for all our guests. We typed what they are thankful for (they dictated it to me) and they decorated the placemats. Here is what they wrote....

I am thankful for Oupa because…….

He is such a great grandpa. He takes us out and spoils us like crazy. We love Oupa. He lets me sleep over at his house and takes me out for dinner. He is the best. Love, Ryan

I love Oupa. Because he takes me out to buy birthday presents whenever I go to his house he lets me and Ryan have ice cream and other special treats. He is the best Oupa. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Gugga because…………..

She tells Diane to take me out to the movies or to do a craft or to buy a thing for my scrapbook. She let me go see Chicken Little. You can never get another Gugga as special as she is. I love her. She lets us watch TV on her bed. She takes me swimming and we have lots of sleepovers at her house. Love, Ryan

She is special to me. She lets me play in her pool. She takes me out to the Diner. She is my Gugga Goo Goo and I love her. We have lots of fun together. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Grandpa Ralph because………….

I love Grandpa because he does most of the things I like. He brings me fishing, he brings me to stores, he loves to laugh. He is crazy about me. He gives me big, big kisses and hugs all the time. Love, Ryan.

I love him and he is the sweetest Grandpa ever. Grandpa lets me jump on him. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Grammy Leslie because…………..

She brings me to special places. She loves me so much and I love her. We play in the dollhouse and that is fun. I am so lucky to have her as my grandma. Love, Ryan

I love her. She kisses me every time she sees me. We do lots of arts and crafts together. She lets me go out somewhere. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Daddy because………….

He is my dad and he is so special to me. He brings me to work with him. He loves the color purple and he is the best dad. I sit on the swing and cuddle with him. He is very strong and I love him. Love, Ryan

I love him so much. He is special to me and plays Mojo Jojo. He is so sweet and special to me. We work on the lambrover. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Mommy because ……………..

She is brings me to special places and she spoils me. She loves me so much and I love her too. I love to shnuggle my mommy. Love, Ryan

I love mommy more then she loves me. She spoils me up. She makes me go crazy all the time and I make her laugh all the time. We go out with each other to the Diner. I like to paint with her. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Uncle Bob because…….

He likes my dad and is one of his best friends. He likes us too. Love, Ryan

He is a sweet guy. He is friends with my dad. Love, Nikki

I am thankful for Ryan because …………………..

She is my nice big sister. She is my bestest sister, she plays with me a lot. She is a nice girl. We play tag outside. Love, Nikki

She is a wonderful girl who is very kind. She is so creative and does amazing art projects. She makes me very proud and I love her very much. I love to shnuggle and kiss her. Love, Mommy

She is a wonderful, sweet and considerate and adoring girl. I love her very much. Love, Daddy

I am thankful for Nikki because ……………….

She is my sister. She makes silly faces and pictures. She likes me. We play games. Love, Ryan

She is a wonderful friend and is kind. She gets serious cases of mommy-kiss-a-litis and is such a great shnuggler. She is a great listener and I am proud of her. I love her more then she loves me. Love, Mommy

She is funny. A good sharer and I love her. Love, Daddy

Hope you hug all those you love and that you have plenty to be thankful for!

Gugga and Grammy Leslie
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Gugga and nIkki
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Grandpa Ralph and Oupa
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Ryan and Grammy Leslie (J's stepmom)
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Ryan and Uncle Bob
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Our dining room all decked out
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Family Ties

Here are some pics of my sister and her two boys. Nikki has the habit of assigning Nick Names to people (hmmm guess I could call them Nikki names). She Rhymmes everything ... Gary Barry, Joey Boey, Aunty Baby instead of Heidi (prounounced Hay-dee). Too much I swear. I get e-mails from herteacher saying how hard it is for her not to laugh all day at the antics of my junior comedian. She is a riot and knows just how to work a room. Billy Crystal watch out.

Unfortunately Heid and the boys live in Florida, the kids all adore each other and I have to say those boys are so divine. We are heading down there in a few weeks for a two week vacation that will be split between Josh's dad and my sister. Warm weather here I come :)

Nikki Center Stage
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Heid her two boys and her hubby
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Gary Barry
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Delicious Joey Boey
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Just for laughs.... these made me smile

Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you're in bed with a relative.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it So I said "Implants?" She hit me.

How come we choose from just two people to run for president and fifty for Miss America?

A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where did the time go???

Sheesh been a week since my last post. Good but busy filled with friends and family. Way too much food. My friend Loren brought her two girls over for Shabbat dinner - really was divine, the kids put on a show which can be seen on the kids picture link. it was really cute.

Saturday Ry got back on her horse after being thrown the week before, I was really proud of her, she is amazing. She just propels herself forward. We went to Darren and Laura that night for a feast of note, my cuzzie is such an unbelievable cook (cooker as Ryan would say) and its great seeing all the lirrel 'uns interact. Takes me back to when we were kids, guess our folks must have felt the same way seeing us play with our cousins.

Sunday we discovered the best cold weather plan, we met two other families, Sal, Suzanne and their boys and Julie and her daughter for bowling. It was the best time, the kids had a jol and it was the first playdate that all the grown us could actually sit and relax. No mess to clean up and the kids had a blast. I think they will be able to bowl pro by the end of the winter. We then went to a little airplain museaum at the Republic airport. It is run by a few vets who had seen heavy fire, gone through hectic experiences but were still completely unprepared for 5 kids to run at full speed through their museum. Think they would have rather sat in a foxhole roasting rats then have to deal with our brood. The kids had a blast and I think the admission to the museum tripled the next day to keep kids out :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Montreal Pictures

See The 7th of November post for details of the trip.

Josh and his landrover pic
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Josh and his landrover
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Old City
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Old Montreal
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Josh at a confession booth at the Basilica
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St Joseph's Oratory on top of Mount Royal
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Notre-Dame basilica Gothic Revival architecture. Beautiful church - not sure if you can make out the details on this staicase which was just breath taking.
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lisa and the kiddies
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My cousin Lisa's sweeties, Dean and Jamie. Lisa and I are 6 months apart in age and have grown up close as sisters. Love these kidlets just wish they did not live so far away.
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Monday, November 07, 2005

Montreal needs to get over the fact that it is Paris's illegitimate child....

Josh and I have been hanging over the edge of a cliff for a while. Too many balls in the air we could barely keep track of them let alone each other. Josh asked me how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. I told him I just wnated to get away, go to a spa, somewhere where I could get my head around all I need to and just reconnect with myself and if he chose to join me then with him as well. He said he would come provided we stay in the States so he could be in cellphone contact for work and somewhere where it will not cost an untold fortune. I really wanted Europe. American Airlines has these great travel deals and Montreal happened to be one of them. I had always heard that Montreal was the closest North America had to Europe - it sounded perfect. We were too tired to research. Could not make a plan. Lets just do it we said. So we did. We could not think past the week ahead. Organize the kids, playdates, Ryan's food, oh Ryan's food that in itself is a mission. Got everything squared away. My dad drove us the airport to board a very tiny plane (did I happen to mention that for someone who has travelled as much as I have that I am the WORST traveller known to man and get motion sickness just watching my kids on the carousel), now this teeny tine plane had only 3 seats across - can seat 45 passangers - oy friggin' vey. A rather thin woman wanted to move seats and the air hostess told her she could not leave her seat as the plane was balanced. There's a vote of confidence for you. I sat emersed in my book, enjoying the novelty of being able to read and knowing that I could pretend I was anywhere other then where I was.

We landed safe and sound. Headed for Sheraton Le Center, a beautiful hotel rigt in the heart of downtown Montreal, a stone throw from the Old City and a block away from Catherine's Str, the main shopping drag. We checked into the hotel, asked the conceirge to direct us to a French restaurant. We did not follow his directions that well, either his english was not that great or we missed soemthing, but we ended up at this charming Belgium restaurant. We had a superb meal, one of many. The waitress was a dolland introduced us to Canada's system of adding 15% on top of EVERYTHING!!! I guess it explained the surliness and unfriendliness we encountered for the rest of our trip. Montreal needs to dust off its welcome mat and bop a few of its citizens on the head in the process. I think being English was a definite factor but walking along with my rather loud New York hubby was no asset at all. We encountered rude and obnoxious people wherever we went. Boy do New Yorkers have the wrong reputation. We were denied tables inside a restaurant. Had the rudest waitresses serve us that I have ever had. It soured some of the city for us. There were some sweet, kind folk too. But the mean souls are the ones who stuck and there were just so many, really could have put a damper on our trip if we allowed it.

But we feasted and slept. The hotel was gorgeous, they bumped us up to a huge room with a king size bed. it was really lovely. The food is exquisite and we tried a lot of it. The clothing gorgeous but really not in the budget. If I were a fur person I would have gone nuts as it is the fur capital of the world. Not my thing. Friday morning we did a bus tour, got an over view of the city. Who knew Montreal was an island? The Old Town is charming and the city is clean, the only clutter on the sidewalk are the tons of homeless people. there are so many. Very sad to see. They were the politest people we encountered.

I think living in a large city jades one a bit as their art museum could fit into a corner of the MET, NY is a tough city to compete with as it really does offer something for everyone. Living on Broadways doorstep, their theatre did not call us. We walked and walked, something we have not done since we moved out of Manhattan. It was wonderful being together, reconnecting and rekindling. Remembering who we are as a couple, we lose sight of that a lot when we are in the day to day rush that is our lives.

Josh and I parted ways on Saturday, I wanted to see what all the shopping was about and he wanted to see some more of the gorgeous churches in the area. We both enjoyed our day exploring different parts of the city. We went to yet another romantic french bistro for dinner, 5 pounds heavier we walked back to the hotel.
In between calls from the girls. Mommy I miss you so much Nikki sobs, come home now, 4 sleeps is too many. Come home (more tears and sobs). Ryan gets on the phone. Note I had just spoken to my mom who tells me all is well, the kids are fine, nothing to report. Mommy, Ry says, I fell off Rosie today (she goes to horse riding on a Saturday and rides a horse named Rosie), stopped in my tracks, are you ok my love?? Yes she says. Do you have any boo boo's? No she says? Did you get back on Rosie I say?? Yes she says. Give me Gugga I say. You didn't think that was important?? Did you take for an x-ray? is she concussed, ok take her to PM Pediatrics - not the hospital. Tammy she says, I have brought up 3 kids and you all turned out ok, I think I can handle it. I take off the mental check list forget about catching the first flight home. Thank G-d for my folks. My mom made a Disneyland of their own for the kids, crafts and lots of fun stuff. They had a ball. We always call weekends at my parents house, Camp Ruth, my mom runs those kids around all day, I wish I had half her energy.

Sunday I went off to the spa for treatment, had such a great massage, an hour of swedish and half an hour of shiatsu, heaven!!!! Another romp around the old town, walking along the port, watching some buskers. Eating ice cream in the really brisk weather. Heaven. Another french bistro.

Monday morning it is cold, I mean bbbbrrrrrr cold. We look at eachother, pack our bags and head for the airport, going standby for an earlier flight. I need to see my girls, Josh is itching to go back to work. The balls are all still up in the air.

Funny thing coincidences. If you believe in them. Our conveyer belt for our luggage was not working, we walked around the airport until we found the right place at the precise moment a friend I have not seen in a long time was making a connection to London. Brian (Katzen) and I have known eachother since Habonim camp, 1986. We were both at UCT (he is a year or 2 older then me) and we really became good friends when he moved to Johannesburg after I had moved back. He, Shelly Klein and I would do loads of fun stuff together. he moved to LA a few months after I came to the states. I camped out in his apartment for a few days with a few friends. Actually went apartment hunting with him. We lost touch. He now lives in London, married with a daughter. Split second timing - exchanged cards. It will be good to catch up. Old friends are the best kind to have!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

6 a.m.

6 a.m. is really early for me. I am not a morning person and I need tons of sleep to function. My kids however do not share my point of view. When Ry was born, Josh and I made the decision to put them to bed early so that they could get enough sleep and he and I could get some time to spend together. We knew they trade off was early mornings. By 6am I have two warm, wiggly bodies shnuggled right next to me. It is one of the most delicious moments of my day and I truly cherish it. I guess it would be just as special at 7pm but hey what is one to do. The kids know it is not time for a lively debate and they can lie and kiss and cuddle as long as they want but if they get rowdy its out of there and time for them to get ready for school. Hey, I wasn't kidding, I really am not a morning person.

Today I was woken up to a little whisper, by a little girl with a little voice. Who's the birthday girl she asked. Glazed eyes see a mass of curls and pearly white teeth. I have birthday kisses for the birthday girl she says. I smile back as she proceeds to cover my face with tiny wet kisses. What a great way to celebrate my day. How did I get so lucky? Feel so blessed. Birthday kisses at 6 a.m. a delicious treat!!! Josh waited until 7am before he left (he is usually at work by 7am) so we could have family shnuggle time. I feel very fortunate to feel so loved, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this is what love was all about.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Its been a week since my last confession and oh my have I sinned. Its been a decadent week of exquisite french cuisine, great company, lots of events and of course Halloween. One tries to look past the fact that it is just a pagan holiday and just get into the pure revellery of being a kid. Mounds of candy. Dawn had so rightly said, no wonder our kids are so confused, all year we tell them not to talk to stranger or take candy from people they don't know. Then for one blissfull day throw caution to the wind, eat as much sugar as you can while you take candy from strangers who look pretty strange.

My only down point in the week was when I did a class trip for Nikki's class to the Queens County Museum. The kids fed animals, went on hayrides, picked pumpkins and all that fun stuff, They had a great time. Nikki loved having me there, except when she got caught in a stampede of sheep and I had a quivering coconut hanging on to me for dear life (do sheep actually stampede??) The hard part for me was dealing with the nasty mothers, one of whom is my next door neighbour who was super sweet when she had to dig up my lawn to put in her swimming pool but the rest of the time does not see me. I swear I am completely invisible to her and her cronies. I try not to let it get to me, and I swear for the first three hours of the trip I did not, but that final hour, it was just so hard. They are like the kids I have never known, mean, mean, mean. I felt like I was on the set of mean girls or beverly hills 90210. I came back so deflated and am thankful to Dawn for her Dawn-isms which just helped me put it all perspective. I know it is not me, and that it is some insecurity that they have. I could never fathom being so mean to anyone that I have not dated :) Funny what makes the world tick.

Friday night was the school Halloween party which I must say is sheer torture for me, having to face these b*****'s is just really not my thang, but I do it for the kids and they had an awesome time. I ran the school halloween party last year, this year my friend Lori did a stellar job. My favourite part was a t the end of the evening when the principal came to congradulate me on a great job. Lori and I were laughing over how I got full credit for something that I was not even involved in!

Saturday night the kids slept at my folks and we went out with three other couples, my friends Debie, Lisa and their husbands (both named Kevin) and my cousin Darren and his wife Laura. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much in one evening. I must say the food was outstanding!!! Here's the restaurants website if it interests you Look at it at your own risk. The food is really incredible.

Sunday we picked the kids up, did the soccer thing and then met Darren and Laura, their kids and her sister's family to go pumpkin pickin at Schmidtts Farms. The weather was unbelievable and the place was just packed. The kids had a great time and we will be eating pumpkin for the next 10 years :) My folks came over for one of Josh's unbelievable BBQ's (braais)

Monday was Halloween. After a hectic day at work, I dashed home to meet the kids and hit the streets, we met up with a friend and her daughter and another friends daughter to see how much candy they could eat. I kept up with them every step of the way unfortunately. We raided the kids goody bags and had a great time. Pulled them off the sugar high and sent them to bed. 5 pounds heavier but happy :)

Happy Halloween!!!!

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