Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sew Time!

Mom and I have been busy sewing these past two weeks and you would think we had completed a lot more projects than just a dress and a Quiet Book, but with Della Mae and Ava both needing adamant attention, we've only gotten so far.

When I first saw Della Mae's Quiet Book I was so jealous and sad that they didn't make one for Ava. I now know why! These little books aren't the easiest things to make. There are little eyes and ears that need to be cut out and sewn on. Then appliqued around each piece. I am actually glad they didn't make Ava's book because I appreciate it much more now that I see how much work goes into one of these little guys. Plus I get to spend time with my mom. My favorite part, other than spending time with my mom, was picking out the fabric for each little piece. Luckily my mom has a craft closet bigger than most peoples wardrobes. We followed the directions for the most part, but a lot of it comes from the creativity of my mom. So blessed that she enjoys making crafts. Wish I was a bit more creative but at least I try. Hopefully Ava will learn to sew and garden from her grandmother. This week we will be busy making one for my brother's baby due in August, little Lucien.

Here is Della Mae's Book

Ava's Book
While deciding on the fabric for Ava's Quiet Book, I came across the most beautiful material in my mom's scrap collection and decided Ava must have something out of this. It's a beautiful tie-dye with flowers, perfect for a dress. Unfortunately, I only had pieces of the fabric. I then got an idea, if I sewed the pieces together then I would have enough fabric to cut the pattern. What we have ended up with is a patchwork dress for Ava. I think it's too cute. Even made her a headband to match. Just wish Widespread Panic toured SA so I could take Ava to rock out in her dress. We will just have to do a little noodling around the house.

The hard workers

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ava at 2 Months

We are entering week three at the grandparents, so I thought it was imperative that I take Ava's two month birthday photo here in their garden. Ferns have always graced my parents and grandmother's houses. Inside and out. They even played a big part in the decorations for Della Mae's Tinkerbell birthday party yesterday. So here's Ava in the shade of the ferns in my parents front yard. I can't believe how fast time is flying by.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jogging with the Baby Jogger

Actually haven't gone jogging, walking with the Baby Jogger I have done.

The main task I gave the Skipper to do before little Ava's arrival was to help me find a stroller. Thankfully he likes wasting time on the internet just as much as I do. So he jumped on it. I think we spent a total of two full days watching youtube videos of stroller reviews. They are quite interesting.

When we finally stumbled upon the video for the Baby Jogger City Mini, we were blown away. A one handed close? This must be a joke. At only 16lbs, 7.25kgs it one of the lightest strollers in it's class. And the one handed close? We just couldn't get over it. So we bought one. Well actually, our BFF's Stacy and Chad got it for us as a gift. Thanks again guys! It's even small enough to fit in the over head compartment of an airplane, yet can hold a child up to 50lbs, 22.7kgs. It's so amazing.

Bringing it home to SA from the US was quite a story. Everyone kept asking where our baby was and I couldn't tell them in my belly. I had to lie to the flight attendant and tell her she was sick and coming with my parents. She misunderstood and thought the baby was coming on our flight. This lady kept quizzing me about what medication I gave her and when. I almost freaked out, I had no idea what to say. My lie kept getting bigger and bigger. Thankfully we then boarded I escaped the nosy attendant. 

Anyway, Skip and I actually nerd out over this thing. When in public we look to make sure people are watching then close it with one hand. That's how much we love it. We give demonstrations at our house for free. Just give us a call. Sort of kidding.

I found that they are available at almost every baby shop in the US, but I've only found them at Kid's Emporium (my favorite baby shop) here in South Africa.

The City Mini line is so cool celebrities even use them. Most of the photos below are of the City Mini Double which we will totally be buying in a few years.

I found all these photos on Baby Jogger's website.
Halle with her stone and black City Mini

Blair with her stone and black City Mini

Who doesn't know Julia?

Naomi and her man

Spiderman with his broad and brood

And the 2nd hottest dad on the plant, after the Skipper of course. Matt from Texas

Watch this video to see what I am raving about.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Scheepers Invasion

The Scheepers have landed in Louis Trichardt and will be invading the Kernodle household until the 16th of April! Along with the Hofmyer girls of course.

My parents moved to SA in August of 2009 after a visit from my mom that June. During her visit Della Mae was only three months old and I was busy planning our wedding. After my mom returned home she convinced my dad to leave everything behind and move to SA to be closer to my sister and I. Seeing as they were semi-retired and my dad has an obsession with hunting, it didn't take too much convincing to get him here.

They moved to Louis Trichardt, close to where Amanda lives with her family. LT is a small little town roughly four hours north of Pretoria, where we live. And by small, I mean small. Like 20 stop light small. Amanda lives even further on a farm, over the mountain the people say.

These next few weeks Amanda and Della Mae will also staying at my parents. It's so nice to spend time with Della Mae and get to know her. Hopefully she will remember us the next time we visit... DM has really surprised me this week. Not only is her vocabulary impressive, but she hasn't been that jealous of Ava and has been a big help. I really thought she would be a lot more jealous seeing that she is normally the center of attention in the Kernodle household. DM has been helping me bath Ava and will get her towel ready. I will lay out three outfits and she chooses which one Ava will wear that day. She hands me a diaper during changes. DM will even rub Ava's head while I rock her to sleep. One thing I need to remember is to close the lotion or it will be all over her, Ava and the room if I'm not careful. By my observations, Della Mae is going to be a great big sister and a really big help to her mommy. I can't wait to see her in action with Lily, Izzy, Isabella or Jane. What's her name going to be Amanda?!? We're all dying to know.

I've been busier than normal this week. Dad and I made two types of ice cream. Pecan and Banana, which was amazing and tasted a bit like banana nut bread. And Peach, with homemade canned Peaches from JW's mother. Both were Delicious. With a capital D! Skip says they were too sweet, but isn't ice cream supposed to be sweet? He is South African, so what does he know about ice cream? Wink, wink. Mom and I have been busy sewing for Ava. Amanda made a Quite Book for Della Mae that is just too cute. So, I am trying to make one for Ava. Also working on a dress for her. All will mom's help of course. Will let you know how they turn out.

Here are some pics from around the house this week.
Love this one.

This is what happens when you let Daddy dress your little girl.

Fresh lettuce outside the back door for fresh salad every night.

Grandma and Ava

BEWARE! These chickens attack! Ask Della Mae

A few chili's growing in Dad's garden.

Clive, the pet crow.

The dog and cat have a love hate relationship.

A few of the birds in their atrium.

Della and her meow.

These plants remind of something out of Avatar. They are huge.

I call this the camouflage tree.

Grandma holding her two little girls.

Hello baby.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Our Little Bird's Houses

In a previous post I mentioned my love of all things with birds and how it all began with Ava's nursery. Our house has extremely high, exposed beams which give it a bit of a rustic feel. Love it, but the black and white striped walls with pink accents that I had always envisioned for my daughter just wasn't going to work. So the search began.

Seeing as we live in South Africa the whole jungle animal theme is a bit cliché. Farm animals too boyish, I think. Fairies and princesses too girly for me. Even though my sisters would disagree and say I am very girly. I say, I'm not. Anyway. It's not that you have to have a theme, I just need something to work off of.

About the time we started planning, one of the only words my niece Della Mae could say was bird. Actually, the Afrikaan word voëls. Yes, she speaks Afrikaans and English. And so will Ava. So cute and cool! Well Della Mae's love for birds got me thinking. I always loved old antique bird cages but they will take up too much space. The wood ceilings made me think of a tree and then I got the idea of the bird houses. I just couldn't quite picture what I wanted, until the day I stumbled upon this amazing bedroom at Design*Sponge.
Best of Kids Rooms on Design*Sponge

This was exactly what I had in mind but needed this photo to make me see it clearly. One day Ava's room will look this funky, but until then it's just a little girly girl's nursery. Ava can be girly. We had a woman come and paint the tree and have been searching the globe for bird house's to go in Ava's room. Skip and I are having so much fun looking for them and each one has it's own story. Here is what we have so far.

I found her first bird house in Banner Elk, North Carolina on my BFF Stacy's bacherlorette party. Banner Elk is also the place where the Skipper proposed in 2008, so it's quite special to us.
We found number two in Cullinan, South Africa while celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary. Cullinan is known for it's diamond mining. Wikipedia says, the Cullinan diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g). 3,106.75 carats?! I told the Skipper I want one of those for our next anniversary.  Guess his response.
This one was given to us by one of my mother in law's oldest friends, Donsie. She had been meaning to make it into a mail box but decided Ava should have it instead. We thought so too.

This beauty was given to Ava by my dear friend Mia while I was in the hospital. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the flower arrangement she made with the bird house sitting on top. It was absolutely stunning. This girl has many, many talents.  Jealous.
This little gem was found while we were on our first family vacation. Natalie's gift shop in Margate has been open for 61 years. It's the cutest little shop right off Marine Drive. We searched the entire South Coast looking for a bird house and stumbled across this on our last day. Nice spotting Skippy. 

And here they all are. To the right you can see where the wall ends. The plan, we are still in the renovation process, is to build a ladder and make the loft look like a little house for our little bird.

If you ever come across a bird house that you think would fit in Ava's room, please feel free to send it to us. We would love to add it to her collection. So keep a look out!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

I cannot believe we have already arrived at March. Skip started working a desk job again on Monday. It's been so nice having him work from home this past month. He has been a HUGE help with Ava. I honestly think I am the luckiest girl in the world in marrying this man. He cooks, he cleans, helps with the baby and loves me for me! What more could a girl ask for?

Last week we took our first family vacation to Uvongo on the eastern coast of South Africa. It's almost tropical there. I've never seen so much vegetation at the coast before. Absolutely beautiful. However, it's much different than the Carolina coast. Rocks cover most of the coast line so you can only access the beach at certain places. The beach access by our house had a little cafe, outdoor showers and a pool. Which is all really nice, especially if you have small kids. Plus there was a shop to buy anything you may have forgotten. So smart. It was a shame they didn't sell new born bathing suits. Or one that makes my post-preggie body look remotely close to my pre-preggie body.

The one thing the beach, actually South Africa as a whole, is missing is a proper ice cream shop. I know of one Häagen-Dazs shop in Sandton City. The few other ice cream shops only serve soft serve, prepackaged or frozen yogurt. That's not what I want when I am craving ice cream. The Skipper says I am just another spoiled American when it comes to my demands for creamed ice. Well yes, I am proud to admit that I am. I like quality. Not strawberry ice cream the color of a pink highlighter. My wants are for vanilla ice cream with real strawberry chunks. And I am willing to pay top dollar for it. In October, I paid roughly $7 for a small bowl/cone thing while I was home. Chocolate, with Oreos and strawberry pieces. AMAZING. Definitely willing to pay R49 here for a small if it was quality ice cream.

Therefore, my new dream is to open a Cold Stone Creamery type shop here in SA. I mean their slogan isn't The Ultimate Ice Cream Experience for nothing. Skip said no. He and I both know I will become fatter than a house if I own my own ice cream shop. He also said no to a Dylan's Candy Bar. But a girl can dream right?

So I am screaming for proper ice cream! Guess I should just make some in the ice cream maker we got as a wedding gift... But who has time to do that?

To my defense, we have made French Silk Chocolate, Pecan, and Strawberry ice cream before. Plus a Passion Fruit frozen yogurt. It's just so time consuming!! And that's just me being a lazy American.

Here's a few of my favorite pics from our vacation.
Feeding in the park. Thank goodness for being prepared with a bottle. Not yet secure enough to just whip out one of the girls and feed in public.

Love this one. She looks so beautiful in her Ralph Lauren romper.
Ava already knows what a wonderful father she has. Look at the way she looks up at him.

Blurry, but I think that's what makes this photo great.

We found Oysters for cheaper than R18 a piece! How can Oysters be more expensive at the sea than in town??

The only photo of me on the beach or as close to the beach as I got. He should have blocked my belly, not my face.

The cutest little thing I've ever seen!

This guy has the life, an amazing Italian restaurant upstairs and his ocean front house downstairs with an herb and flower garden overlooking the ocean. Seriously, could life get any better?

Ava and I with my beautiful sister in law and her newest addition.

1st photo, the 1st day, on our 1st family vacation.

ps. Never ever try the Krusher ice cream at KFC. Just gross.
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