Posted by: livinglifeforward | February 1, 2010

A year in review – 2009

What a whirlwind last year was.  I can’t believe I dropped Josh off at school for the first time  in January last year and watched with a heavy heart as he walked away from being under my care.  We have had loads of firsts….First sports day, first grannies tea and just recently, first concert.

His key role in the concert was…wait for it….a “dish”  Yup, from the rhyme “the dish ran away with the spoon”.  He changed history though and proved that it was not the dish that ran away with the spoon but in fact the spoon who ran away with the dish! Can’t blame the spoon really, he was looking pretty dishy.

Josh the Dish and Adeley the rabit

He has been fortunate enough to have done gymnastics at the school this year which, according to his report, he’s loved.  Annother new activity on his ever increasing social calendar is swimming lessons.   I can finally sit by the side of the pool and watch him paddle around on his own which is very encouraging.  I know he’s nowhere near totally safe yet but he’s more capable than he ever was.

We celebrated his third birthday this year and he is yet to master holding up 3 fingers… but continues to say he’s only two years old.   He swings from being strongly independant and using the phrase. “I can do it all by myself!” and then crawling into my arms and pretending to be a baby.  I must admit to quite enjoying his baby moments as it invariably involves loads of cuddles.

I recently visited a friend of mine with a little girl, Joanna, who’s not quite 3 and Jonathan who’s turning 1 soon.  A mom with two children under the age of 3 has gotta be looked up to…..or admitted into an asylum!  Joanna gave Josh the once over as he got out of the bath and announced, “Josh, you have a Penis!”.  I must admit to being caught totally off guard and being speechless for a moment.  My friends believe strongly in using the correct terms for anatomy.  Josh looked all over his body and wondered what the heck she was referring to.  “No,  it’s a winky”, he announced when he discovered the source of her interest. 🙂

He has amazed us with his ability on the computer.  Confidently opening and closing programs, choosing his favourite YouTube videos or navigating around his games.  I’ve recently upgraded my pc so he’ll be getting his own pc to experiment with shortly.

Something one comes to terms with as a mom is the end of naps on weekends and private bath times.  Those days of lying in the bath quietly reading a book with bubble bath and oils surrounding me are long gone and in their place is a quick shower with Josh shouting over the sound of the water trying to tell me a story through the shower door.  The one good part about the shower experience is there’s someone there to pass you a towel before you even get out into the cold air.  This Josh does each and every shower time with great glee as he loves being “a helper”.  Recently I had a shower while he was busy playing with some toys just outside the door.  I finished my shower and said, “Josh, please pass me a towel.”  He looked up and said “no, do it yourself, I’m busy.”  Ok……I guess my time of being treated to a few luxuries are over so I got my own towel to which he chirped, “good for you mom, you did it all by yourself”.  Hmmmm…..

As a mom of a boy I’ve learnt a great deal about things I had no intention of learning about.  I won’t go into too many details but it includes way too much knowledge about going to the loo and the ability to aim into the toilet and my personal favourite, Josh standing in the lounge with his undies down and staring at his….”Winky” exclaiming….”Look mom, it’s getting BIG!”

We celebrated Christmas differently this year which was fun.  Biscuits and a glass of milk was left out for Santa and his Christmas stocking was filled on Christmas Eve when Santa fills in the middle of the night.  We put out the family nativity scene and have explained the Christmas story to Josh and I think he sort of got it.  It’s been fun and exciting to start new traditions and take Christmas back to the basics again…the mystery, excitement and magic that only a child can re-awaken in us.

After doing “Opposites” with Josh at home he opened his Christmas presents and asked his dad….”what’s the opposite of “sharing is caring””?  It’s amazing how he can test the boundaries already :-).

We have also had to decide on a primary school for Josh.  He’s booked into Trinity House but for several reasons we are not happy with our original choice and needed a plan B.  We found a lovely school called: North West Christian school.  He’ll be heading there for Grade 1 and will probably join Trinity for high school.

Steve and I have had a tough year and I happily closed the door on 2009.  Steve has a new business ventures doing something he loves….working with Motorcycles.  He will be running a company that produces and equipps touring bikes with specialised equipment and accessories.  He’ll also continue his off road motorcycle training from the same company.  It’s hugely exciting and he has enthusiastically dived right into it.

My business had a boom year in 2009 and kept me up late nights and early mornings.  I’ve slowed down for Jan but ready to put in some serious time to get new clients for 2010.  I’m taking it a bit easier this year though and focusing on a more balanced lifestyle.  Heading to the gym will be the first step!

Michael and Natasha have a hectic social calendar so I don’t get to see much of them.  Michael has started a new “brother date” tradition that allows him time with Josh once a month.  His last event was a day out at Fourways mall playing miniture golf and sharing a waffle after.  Josh loves his big brother so this is a huge hit and a tradition I’ll actively encourage.

Charisse has changed from being the student in the family to joining the ranks of the working world.  She has thrown herself into her job at Discovery in one of their brokerages as a Business consultant and does a whole heap of marketing and admin that she’s never had any experience in but seems to be taking it all in her stride and climbing the corporate ladder fast and furiously.

Recently we had a picnic on some rocks overlooking a dam.  Josh played on his own climbing up and down the rocks and nibbling on the snacks and then made his way to our rock.  He climbed up behind us and wrapped his one arm around Steve’s neck and the other arm around my neck and pulled us close to him…”I love you guys.” he said as he cuddled close.  We sat watching the sun going down with our little boy holding us closely and telling us over and over that he loved us both and I realised again…what’s really important.

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Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | November 19, 2009

Eilertsen family council report part 1

Last weekend we had the first Eilertsen family council. The aim is to create myth, legend, identity and family unity. Present were Steve, Caz, Josh, Mike, Natashia, Charisse, Cherie and Granny Dercksen. The event was held at HollyBrooke Farm in the Magaliesburg outside Johannesburg, South Africa.

The end started off will a mighty bang as Granny fell and broke her arm in two places. She was taken to hospital via ambulance which Cherie accompanied. She had surgery the next day and is now doing well even although she is in a lot of pain. The rest of us not to be deterred from a plan that we felt was both important and significant soldiered on.

After a braai supper the council started with the official lighting of the bonfire from the North, South, East and West signifying the arrival of family members from all directions to fulfill a common cause.

The draft family declaration was read by all. After that each member presented their own ‘stuff’ i.e. a picture and object of great personal significance, an old family story and finally a telling of their own story; their past, present and future. The accounts were intimate and immediately created a deeper bond and understanding between all present.

The chalet on Hollybrooke Farm Magaliesburg, South Africa

Joshua starts to learn the 'ways' - making potbrood (pot bread)

African sunset

A lot of work still needs to be done but this was a great start to a new and significant family bonding tradition.

Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | July 22, 2009

Bath time from hell.

Beware age restriction: Anyone between 20 and 30 without children may find this narration offensive and put them off having children forever!

Bath time from hell

Bath time from hell

I am as sick as a dog; stuffy nose, achy body, burning throat and very grumpy. It’s 5pm and I sneak into the bathroom and close the door for an hour of therapy.

I eyeball the tub. It hasn’t been cleaned since Josh bathed last night. The bottom is littered with the evidence of last night’s meal; a chop bone, a spaghetti string, a few peas, a crust of bread and a layer of oil make up the perfectly balanced meal; we are great parents!

I clean it, add Vicks Vapour rub to the water, and turn on the wall heater. The water is hot and the  steam fills the room to veil my aching body. I close my eyes.

“Hallo Dad.” It’s Josh, our pet three-year-old.

“Can I bath with you dad?”

“No, I’m sick.”

“Please daddy?”

“No you cannot!”

“Those are ugly words!” He grumbles.

“Daddy is not feeling well and I don’t want to make you sick my boy.” I attempt a gentler approach.

“I’m sick too Daddy!” A thick brown mucus bubble hangs out his nostril. I dry my hands and fumble for a toilet roll. “Blow . . . hard!” I command. I feel a mucus spray cover my naked hand as the toilet paper is blown across the room. I clean my hand in the bath water wishing that the hand basin was closer. Mucus to water, probably three parts per million I estimate as I eye the brimming bath. Probably meets some international standard I muse and I settle back down.

“I get you some toys Daddy,” Joshua offers, reaching for a huge plastic container of assorted bath toys.

“I don’t want any toys my boy.”

It begins to rain toys. Soon I feel as if I’m bathing among the flotsam and jetsam of a wrecked ship. I pick of one that is lying on my chest. It spews icy cold water from some forgotten era all over heaving chest. I comfort myself with “Four parts per million.”

“Which toy do you want daddy?”

“I don’t want any toys my boy.”

“What about cups?” he offers.

“I don’t want any cups my boy,” I say and close my eyes. Water starts to land on my head as Josh gives a hearty rendition of ‘Its raining, its pouring, the old man is snoring.’ ” I open my eyes to find a large cup with holes in the bottom above my head.

“I DON’T WANT TOYS!” I yell.

“Those are naughty words.” Joshua chides and tosses the cup back into the bath.

“Let’s play music,” he suggests brightly. We put together the eight pieces making up a floating xylophone. I hold it while he begins a delicate symphony of tinkley sounds. He’s talented and I may yet get something out of this human investment some day. His efforts moves towards a climax, his  arms blurring as he pounds the hapless instrument – one of the sticks breaks.

“What happened Daddy?” He asks with a small frown as he examined the two pieces in his hands.

“It broke.” I announced with an element of finality totally lost on him. He tosses the two sharp pieces into the bath. I try to make a mental note of them in my foggy brain.

“Let’s paint.” He says starting a new chapter of an old, tattered and tired book.

“I don’t want to paint. Dad’s sick.”

“Here is a brush for you,” he offers me a small brush

“I don’t want to paint.”

“I’ll use the BIG one,” he announces with enthusiasm as he sets up the water colour tray on the side of the bath. Within seconds the side of bath is covered in livid bright primary colours that start to run down the sides and into the water. The brush is a blur of movement, colour and paint; also generous cleaning in my bath water, which rapidly starts to change colour.

“Ten parts per million.” I moan feebly to no-one in particular.

The red soon becomes the favourite and he eyes my chest. Lying in a sea of floating plastic toys, in water that no respectable person would bath in, I resign myself to my fate. Soon my chest is a scene from a murder movie with bright red slashes everywhere.

“Lets’ paint your winkey!” he suggests brightly.

Ok, that’s it. I’m DONE here. I stagger to my feet and start to dry myself.

“That was fun daddy!” he says beaming up at me.

“You get in and play some more,” I suggest.

“No, daddy the water is too yucky!” He says wrinkling up his nose.

Oh, well there is always Ice Age on DVD

Oh, well there is always Ice Age on DVD

Posted by: livinglifeforward | July 11, 2009

Joshua Update – Winter wonders

topHi all

Joshua is now 3!  Wow….I sometimes have to stop myself from the hustle and bustle of life and just stare at him.  Capture him in my mind as the little boy he is now, knowing that even next week, he’ll be different.

I must admit that in the 3 years there were times that seemed to crawl by.  The first 3 months of his life being the time that pops into my mind but there were others.  Now, time is racing on and I often have to stop and savour what we have.  I’m so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a mom and even more blessed to have Josh to experience this time with.

Josh loves bathtime

Josh loves bathtime

Since I last wrote Josh has been attending Nursery school since January this year and is now very involved in the activities and the new friends.  We discovered all kinds of personality traits about him since he started at school.  He connects with one or two people and doesn’t like too many kids around him at the same time.  He’ll pull Adeley aside and play with her and get very upset when she plays with other kids.  He became very attached to his teacher (Mandy) who started off the year and took about 2 months to get used to Teacher Anthea when Mandy suddenly left.  He enjoys school but given the opportunity he will happily skip it and stay home with Patience (child minder).

Bathtime

We recieved his report at our very first parents evening a few weeks ago.  Steve calls it his BUT report.  Josh listens attentively BUT is easily distracted.  Josh can do all the puzzles and activities BUT gets frustrated.  It seems he’s coping well with school BUT we have been warned that he’s a “free spirit” and may not cope with a very structured academic enviroment.  ie, Trinity House (private school) that we have booked him into for Grade 1.  We were a little concerned about it right from the time we registed him.  Steve and I being creative people does not give Josh much hope of being happy in a rigid structured system where everybody is made of ‘tikky-tacky and they all look just the same’!
HomeParty3

Joshies birthday party at home

HomeParty1

Josh celebrated his birthday at home on the 25th May with friends and family and then had a great party a week later with everyone bringing their picnic blanket and joining us a the Mini railways.  The trains kept the kids entertained while the adults caught up.  I must admit that I had a bad dose of flu and felt terrible the day before but made it through just the same.  It went surprisingly well but I was happy to crawl into bed later in the afternoon and hand Josh over to Steve with way too much sugar in his system and enough presents to keep him excited for months!  Thanks to EVERYONE for joining us and for the lovely gifts.

Trainparty1

Trainparty2

Some of the guests at the party.

Some of the guests at the party.

I tried to get some more structure in our lives and created “family night”.  Friday night, roast chicken and bread rolls will be served while we watch a DVD and chill out on the couch.  As with all my routines I quickly realised that I rebel against the very routines I create.  I now dislike roast chicken intensly and purposely get DVD’s out on Thursday so that we can do something different on Friday nights.  Oh heck – I’m my own worst enemy!

So…tonight is Friday and we are having Pizza!

I’m loving my time with Josh.  He’s so chatty and yes, he tires me out quickly but I love the fact that he is more independant.  He is now in the process of being potty trained which has created a new level of indepence for him.  He took to the peeing in the loo very quickly but is yet to master a poo in the loo.  He hides under a table and goes very quiet for awhile.  I know within 5 minutes of total silence in the house what he’s up to and head off to the bathroom with clean undies and wet wipes.  If I ask him what he’s doing and why not come to the loo to do it there, he tells me to leave him alone.  I’m going to start bribary next unless someone has a better idea.

As for the rest of the family.

Steve and Josh at Bramasole - a weekend away in Magoebaskloof

Steve and Josh at Bramasole - a weekend away in Magoebaskloof

Steve completed the 20 week prison programme at the Krugersdorp maximum security prison.  He had a graduation ceremony for the guys which was a lunch served in courtyard area (FREEZING).  The inmates had an opportunity to express what they had learnt in the course which was really interesting.  I sat next to a  guy who had been the sole survivor in an armed robbery that was interrupted by the police.  Steve said this guy had started off being as tough as nails and not trusting a soul.  He spent alot of the course just shaking his head or holding it in his hands.  I think alot of stuff really hit home to him and drew him out of a life-long way of thinking.  Challenging him in every aspect.  There was a guy who had murdered his wife during a very intense fight and was so resentful of the 10 minutes that it took for him to lose his cool and act in a way that he never thought he was capable of.  He was quiet, respectful man, wise and with such a soft character it was hard to believe what he’d done.  Lunch with murderers, armed robbers and paedophiles went surprisingly well and I felt so overwhelmed by the mixture of emotions I experienced while there.  Steve will write about his experiences soon and I’ll upload it.  He’s hoping to go back again to complete a second programme with a new group at the same prison.

Bramsole

Magoebaskloof weekend. Taking a walk with Keland and Ashley - Robin and Mel's two children.

Magoebaskloof.Taking a walk with Kelland and Ashley - Robin and Mel's two children

Michael is recovering well from his Monticasino Hot Air Balloon accident.  His bruising has gone down but he has a few lumps that have grown in the bruise that may have to be drained or surgically removed at some point.  He has taken legal action against the balloon owner, Absa and Monti but I have no updates on what’s happening, if anything, with that.

Monti casino balloon accident

Monti casino balloon accident

The new lady in his life is Natasha.  She’s full of fun and easy to get along with and very beautiful.  They compliment each other well and I watch on hopefully that this is true love.  Michael is keen to start a family which excites me as I know he’ll make a superb father.  It’s very early days for their relationship though, so I’m sure having babies is not quite on the radar for them for quite some time.  Michael continues to run Live Out Loud magazine and Boiling Point.  Live Out Loud is now available at Woolworths stores so watch out for them!

Mike had a very real and life changing experience at the Mighty Men Conference. His new found relationship with God is a significant turning point for him. We are both thankful and delighted at his new spiritual journey.

kids

Charisse has surprised everyone and is enthusiasitically involved in her new job.  She is now working for Discovery Health in one of their broker firms as a broker consultant.  Yes, a far cry from Criminology….or maybe not :-).  It’s long hours and hard work but an excellent salary and business experience that will get her foot in the door of a whole new world of possibilities.  She was sad to move out of her digs with friends in Pretoria as it marked the end of student life and her very enjoyable time in Pretoria University.    She’s now living with her mom in Dainfern and has just been allowed to take over the west wing as her own separate area.

On a personal note, she’s grown up enormously over the last year and I find a new person emmerging.  Loving her confidence and strong independence and also enjoying a very deep sensitive side that reads situations and people deeply and well. Her spiritual life continues to florish with a very intimate walk with God.

I’ve been putting my head down and working hard for the last few months.  With the recession, people are focused on marketing strategies and my business is booming.  With the property industry being in the slumps and Steve having to take cuts on his salary to keep the company running costs lower, my business boom has been a blessing – as always God’s perfect timing. It’s been tough for both of us but we have just treasured what we have and take one month at a time.  As one business dies so annother one is birthed and opportunities abound in even this market.  God willing, we will continue to find them.

JustJosh

A blessing for you all:

May today there be Peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinate possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content.
Let his presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

With all our love

Steve, Carole and Joshua

Posted by: kitchencabinet100 | May 28, 2009

Montecasino Helium Balloon Accident

Mike had to be taken back to hospital today to be checked for internal bleeding. Thankfully  the affected organs are only bruised and swollen but not ruptured. He continues however to be in extreme pain and is only likely to return to work on Monday. His ankle, hip and left arm are black and blue and very swollen.

This is two days after the accident in which the steel cage below the Absa branded helium balloon swung about so violently that Mike and Natasha were injured.

The cause of the incident? Who knows? When liability is involved the facts become difficult to assertain.

Posted by: livinglifeforward | May 10, 2009

Jets and Jewels – Live Out Loud – ExecuJet Function

Held at one of the ExecuJet hanger, Lanseria Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 May 2009

The day arrived, 10 May 2009, the famous Jets & Jewels event held by Michael’s magazine Live Out Loud in partnership with ExecuJet was being held at Lanseria airport.  With a guest list of over 600 dignitaries and of course …us, and a price tag in the millions to put it all together, we dug deep into our cupboards, borrowed from neighbours and came up with some snazzy outfits that would allow us safe passage into this prestigious event.

Michael had been telling us about the finer details for weeks with great excitement. We were given strict instructions that this was one that we had a responsibility to be at.  To be honest, Steve and I are not very into the glitz and glamour world and dragged our feet a bit at the thought of having to attend on such a freezing cold evening. Hot choc and DVD’s sounded like a better option.  But, it was not negotiable and so we arranged babysitters for Josh and headed out to Lanseria.

Wow!  Was my first impression as we pulled into the car park and spotted the first of many cars by Maserati, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce parked in and around the venue.  We were met by staff dressed in red and black formal wear offering to cater to our every need.  “May I take your coat?”, “Would you like a glass of champagne?” – the kind of treatment you are not used to unless you frequent five-star resorts on a regular basis.

With a glass of real champagne in hand we were led past some luxurious private jets and into the main event.  How snazzy can a aeroplane hangar be….well, incredibly awesome!  Wow!  Breathtaking!  With what looked like white tiled floors, white fabric draped on all the walls, a white stage lit from beneath and above and a private Jet and Rolls Royce parked in the centre, it clearly was going to be quite an event.

One of the glasses of champagne had a real diamond in compliments of Arthur Kaplin – sadly not ours! The young man who won it gave it to his mom for Mother’s Day.

The food done by Franz Catering was delicious, served by white-masked waiters in tuxedos who were constantly tempting you with more.  We drank cocktails from the one bar, champagne from the other and didn’t even try out the wine, beer and whiskey bars scattered around. These were provided by Bar Code, Benguelacove Wines, Brandhouse Premium Whiskeys and SAB.

There was a string quartet playing for awhile followed by a pianist on the grand piano found in one section of the hangar, right next to one of many sets of the white leather lounge suites sponsored by Bakos Brothers.

The day before the event the lighting rig from Multimedia Staging proved to be too heavy for the roof trusses and engineers had to be called in to ensure that the load was correctly distributed. Eventually the lighting and sound problems were sorted, giving the event the technical support it needed. Additional lighting in the form of exquisite chandeliers were by Limelight Design.

We had a private tour of a luxurious charter Jet that reminded me of the Rolls Royce parked just outside.  Cream leather interior seated 8 people comfortably with 5 star catering and chairs that turned into full length beds to sleep it’s occupants should they be flying to London overnight.  I sat in the cockpit and marveled at all the buttons, lights, screens and the whole vibe of being in the driving seat of something that costs more than I could ever imagine to make in a lifetime.

A Jet landed just outside the hangar and models (Thulani Brand Ambassadors) were wearing the latest designs from Leivsons (Hugo Boss, Boss, Armani and La Coste).  There were pillars with ladies draped in jewels who would stand like statues until you approached and then swooped down to show off their diamond rings, watches and chunky jeweled necklaces. These were provided by World’s Finest Jewellery and Athur Kaplans.

Colin Moss was the MC for the event and lightened the mood with his lighthearted humour.  Michael came out on stage dressed in a black suit, black shirt and shiny red tie and made a short welcome speech, thank you’s to sponsors and an introduction to the Live Out Loud magazine – he did a great job and spoke very well, relaxed and in control.

A dancer took over the stage and did a routine climbing up two pieces of white fabric draped from the ceiling.  Everything about the event was just perfect, five-star and luxurious.

The Live Out Loud lady staff  looked amazing dressed in designer outfits sponsored by Cheerine Anderson.  The staff really need to be congratulated for working so hard and putting the event together, I was amazed at the end product and know there was quite a bit of last minute panic behind the scenes but it was smooth sailing on the day.

It was a lovely evening and a real treat.  Steve just smiled with so much pride as he watched Michael on stage.  We were all very proud of Mike and marvelled that he’s only 27.  What makes it more incredible is that after such a larney event on the Saturday night, Michael arrived dressed as Barney, dancing and singing Barney’s theme songs to entertain Josh and his friends the very next morning at our home!

We are so proud of you Mike.

Report by Carole and Steve Eilertsen – Mike’s parents.

Other sponsors were: Chrysalis Products, Gorgeous and Tanaz, Proteia Coin Security, Legends Golf Course, Multimedia Staging, Investic, Bombardier, Amouage, Lovemore Music, Viglietti Motors and Status Luxury

To view the slide show, click on the “View all images” below. Once it has loaded you can toggle between gallery view (no music) and slide show view (with music) – top right hand side

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