Monday, May 25, 2015

This business of kiddies' restaurants

A few weeks ago on Instagram, I posted a pic of my kids at the Sp*r and I said something like you have to drag me there.


True.

There's two things: 1) the quality of food at that place has gone down dramatically over the years and yet the price has increased as dramatically

To be fair, my closest one is one of the best Sp*rs I have ever been at...and I will happily have a breakfast there on a Sat after gym (I say this but the last time was probably a year ago if not longer!).

2) and this is where people think I'm crazy... I really want to engage with my children, not have them off somewhere playing. I actually enjoy talking to the kids - they're funny, have interesting insights and observations and as far as I'm concerned, I don't get enough of them :)



I feel if we're paying good money (and a cheap meal for us these days runs at least R300 with 3 of us drinking water) then I want to have a good experience.

I want to not have to raise my voice just to be heard above the screaming kids and I want a hot, tasty meal, not something slapped together.

That was the first incident.

Then we went to Panar*tti about a week and a half later. I've since learned that they are part of the same group...aha!

Granted, it was G-stone which for me is practically hell on earth. That is the Sp*r I swore I would not go back to 5 years ago and I've kept to it.

The food was less than average and I may be cheap but it KILLS me to spend R90 on a pasta that is horrible. I could make it at home, and much nicer.

So that was incident two, and I declared that was that.


I refuse to go to restaurants just for the kids anymore. If I go to a place with a kiddies play area, they have to have decent food (like Bambanani).

My favourite Indian place, Thava in Norwood, sent us a Happy Anniversary email. I was DELIGHTED and so we made a booking and went for Mother's Day.

And it was lovely.



There were real tablecloths and not a crayon or colouring page in sight (that we didn't bring :)) We took a few things with us - one had a plain notebook and the other had a colouring book, with a few pencil crayons, and that was that. But mostly we chatted.

Connor tasted quite a few dishes but Kendra stuck to her Chicken Korma. I always get Chicken Biryani and D had two different tappas dishes.

I was/ am very happy.


This wasn't the first time - we've been there 4 times in total, 3 times with kids in tow. A few months ago we went to To Thai For which was also lovely and the kids behaved well.

I might sound like a fuddy-duddy but I believe that if you require more of children, they'll live up to that potential you see in them. Obviously we won't go out at 8pm when it's time for bed, or when they're crazy hungry - we set them up for success.


And now that we've had such great experiences, I'm not going back to the old way... unless it's for a quick Sat morning breakfast.

How do you feel about kiddies' restaurants?

PS D has none of my issues....when I did the jozimeetup talk, he happily took them for lunch at the Sp*r. He says he needs some peace and quiet from the Talkative Twins :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The last bits of autumn

This has been a very mild autumn indeed.

I'm not complaining because I like that we haven't had to use heaters yet or switch to winter bedding.

(we're doing that this week though)

Being me though, the electric blanket has been on for a good month or two already :)

And of course, I've been drinking lots of tea.

The temperature at work differs by maybe a degree or two so I'm still dressing exactly the same :)

Anyway, we're load-shedding in 9 minutes time so I want to go fry some eggs for supper.

Tomorrow after church we have a friend date that I can't WAIT for! Seriously!

What are you looking forward to doing tomorrow?

her shoes are much cuter than mine :)






a gust of wind blew all the leaves off the tree

lovely, moody skies!
PS I bought two new lipsticks today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lipstick, powder and paint

In this post earlier this year I spoke about my beauty routine.

Well, wouldn't you know it but they've done "something" to that Bold lipstick I normally wear because it's a touch too dark now.

Which is very, very annoying.

Because I look like a goth if I don't mix it with something else.

I don't like complex routines!

So I'm on a mission to find a new lipstick.



I bought this one from Rimmel, Heather Shimmer, for R90 (that's a lot of money for me!), but it's too pinky-coral.

I need a dusty-pink/ brown/ red...

I thought I'd pop into Edgars the other day when I was at the mall. Well. There is way too much out there and they're all too something. Too bright, too dark, too nude-y, too something.

So the search continues.

I have a feeling I'll find it when I'm not looking :)

But meanwhile, it's super annoying because I haven't felt myself with either the too dark or too pink lipstick.

I'm a lipstick girl so pray for the right colour to find me!

Meanwhile, what's your favourite brand and colour?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Updates of the party kind

You know how sometimes there's so much going on in your mind and you want to talk about it all but you don't know where to start?

Me too!

So for the moment let's talk about the party since it's safe and relatively boring :)


I think we’ve settled on a good compromise for the party.

Guests
 
Cat said in the comments on the last party post that her boys each have a guest list and no-one is allowed to mess with the other’s list. I thought that was brilliant because all twins are obviously different and so they will have mostly different friends.

I then announced this to my two who stared at me with big eyes and then both wanted to renegotiate their lists again. So we're 90% there.

D and I also get to have a joint list (for family) :)

Now I need to actually get my act together and somehow make an invite and send it out first week of June.

I thought some of you might want to see the menu from Harrie's Pancakes?
Theme

I know the party theme but this year I'm not sure if I want to buy a party printable pack because I'm not sure anything beyond the banner, goodie bag tags and cupcake toppers will be used. Oh, and the thank-you card and invite.

I found a lady on etsy and she has packs which I need to customise (because of the girl/ boy twin element)... total comes to $15, which is fine IF you use it, but I'm loathe to pay money for things I won't use.

The free stuff I could find online is more blah...

Anyway, we've decided on a date and now we need to just do it.

This birthday during the school holidays business is going to be interesting....let's see once we send the actual invites out. I have a venue in mind and if half the kids can't come, I can't see the point of paying when I have a perfectly functional house.


Skipping the party

I threw out the idea of skipping the party and just going on holiday and all 3 (D and the kids) said a resounding NO! I guess that's not going to fly around here.

It's also going to be our busiest time at work (year-end), I really need to write an industry exam and and and...


Which brings me to MY party, which will be less than a month after theirs.

Every year I say I won't do anything for my birthday and every year I change my mind!

Last year was a big one so I had the big lunch at my house AND a birthday on the beach (which I recommend every time).

This year I'm sadly not going to the beach and I'm definitely not having a big lunch, but maybe a little something with a few close friends?

I don't know?

Over to you.

Have you thought about this year's birthday? Do you want to share your plans?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friendship Friday - updates and such...

Gosh, I haven't done one of these for a while.


Can I just say again how utterly lovely it is to be asked instead of being the asker?

An instagram friend tagged two of us in a post and asked if we wanted to have a coffee. I was a bit taken aback because I had no idea the 3 of us all worked in the same area.

Well, we made it happen, went for lunch instead and it was just lovely.

I said this to her then but I'm saying again that it's so darn nice to be asked.


Then I wrote briefly about when I met up with Jeanette for lunch this day.


Another friend dropped something off with me one day at work and we had a fat chat in the parking lot. I love those unexpected moments during the day that energise me so.

I also had supper at a restaurant with two other friends.

Last Saturday it was the Jozimeetup where I saw a lot of old friends. Of course you can't talk properly at bigger functions but it's better than nothing.

BUT the best thing that day was something Laura said as she made my speaker introduction: Marcia is one of the most intentional people I know.

That is such a compliment to me, and I treasure your words, Laura.


Yesterday I had such a great chat with a work friend. Wow, she is such a good listener, asked just enough questions and before I knew it, a half hour had passed and we'd had true, meaningful connection.


And then today I finally (I say finally because we've been trying to get together for months) had lunch with an old work friend. We both forgot how great it is when we're together (we used to have lunch together at the other company at least once a month) and we've resolved to set this thing up as a recurring meeting.

he found me!
Last but not least, these pics were taken at yet another friend's house. Thank you again for your hospitality, Sam - we love spending time with you and your beautiful family :)

What's happening in your life with regard to friendship?

PS I'm not shy to say that my spreadsheet helps me remember and schedule friend dates. The work friend asked me about the spreadsheet and I said I know I'm going into OCD territory but I need all the help I can get!



Does anyone else have a spreadsheet?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day, love languages style!

This year I had a GREAT Mother's Day.

First of all, I forgot that it was Mother's Day (work is too busy but I think this is the new normal) and it took D asking me what I wanted the day to go to remind me.

I then forgot again til Saturday!

So I thought about it and my love languages are 1) words of affirmation and 2) acts of service.

29 April 2012


I told him I want cards with love notes and breakfast in bed while I read.

And I wanted to go out to eat, but not for Sunday lunch because I'm not crazy and I can't stand all the mothers out, cramped restaurants, bad service, too much noise and all that fuss.

No offence if you like that kind of thing - we are not the kind of people who like to do what everyone's doing.

On another note, when it was our 20-year anniversary, D teased me that morning and said with a straight face, "so should I do one of those soppy Facebook messages to you?!"

The place where I wanted to go was fully booked for Saturday night so D made a very early reservation for Sunday night.

The kids brought me the cards (tons of cards!) and they can write so it's all very special. Lots of "I love you sooooooo much" and hearts and pictures and ... my love tank was full!

And then I was told to stay right there and not move except to read (!!!), and they made me breakfast.

1 April 2015


We went to church as normal and home for lunch, and then the kids and D went to his mom for 3 hours (travel plus two hours there), I read mostly during this time but pottered just a little bit, then they were back and we went out.

It was just lovely.

A key was... I stayed off social media the whole day except for just a few minutes. That made all the difference, I think, that and getting my love in my love languages!

If you want to share, share about your Mother's Day. If you want to vent, go ahead and do that too :)

PS I am so hesitant to put this out there but I can't seem to fill a love languages workshop. I can't quite get my head around stopping before I've even begun so if you've considered attending, even for a fleeting second, and something stopped you, please comment anonymously (for your comfort) and let me know why. Or email me! It will help me tremendously.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Something cute I don't want to forget

I'm clearing off my phone at the moment because when I want to download books, it keeps telling me I have no space.

Anyway, I found a few gems from Dec....

These photos were from when we were on holiday in the Drakensberg.



A few days into our stay there, a new family moved in next door with two adorable boys. My kids were 5.5 at the time, their oldest was 5 and their youngest was 3 and a bit.

Adorable kids.


Kendra having tea with C2



Connor playing with C1

D walking 3 of the kids down to Movie Night :) (they were all back after less than an hour!)
One morning I vaguely heard some talking and then nothing for quite a while. This is not normal for my kids (the talking escalates) so eventually I tiptoed downstairs to check on them and found this:


Connor's empty bed...

Kendra's empty bed...

the sliding door standing open...
No kids anywhere.

I woke D and made him go find them. They were off playing somewhere with the kids from next door. Within sight of "the mom and dad". This is how Kendra referred to the parents...

I didn't freak (aren't you proud?) but when they all came back, I did tell them that while I appreciate them not waking us too early (we had that issue for the first few days), they still needed to come and whisper to either of us to tell us their plans and ask for permission.

Still, all that time they spent with the boys next door was extremely cute!

Would you have freaked out?

PS Apparently the boys knocked at the window to K's bedroom, and she said, "SHHH, you're going to wake my parents. I'll open for you!" (I hope this is not a sign of things to come!)

PPS Do you want to hear about Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Let's talk twin parties

So these kids are very different. They love each other dearly, and also fight like cat and dog sometimes.

Perfectly normal children.

But twins.

pic by Kendra :)

Up to now we've had one party for both (and a half birthday playdate/ party of sorts).

We're still debating whether to have one joint party or two little parties for the kids.

The thing is this - if we have two little parties, I'm having them at home but if we have one joint party, I have a GREAT idea in mind and it happens to be at a venue.

I introduced the party thing slowly and of course, one child wanted a joint one and one wanted separate.

So we gave it some space.



Then a few days ago I broached the subject again and this time I asked them to tell me who they wanted to invite.

Amazingly they each separately (I physically separate them because I don't want any of the "me too" behaviour) named 8 children.

8 different children!

8 kids invited means 4 - 5 pitch, especially since my kids have birthdays smack-bang in the middle of the school holidays.

"no more photos"
I made a new sheet in my party spreadsheet, and we colour-coded the kids' names in pink (Kendra's guests) and blue (Connor's guests) and green (my guests - me and D, granny and aunty C).

Then I brought the kids together into the same room, showed them the spreadsheet and there was DRAMA.
I don't want such-and-such at my party because he's mean.

And so on.

Dear Lord.

So I stopped the discussions and we will pick them up another day.

BUT if we (they!) can't agree on the kids to be invited, then we might just go the separate parties route.

How difficult can it be? :)

I adore this sulky pic so much - it speaks volumes :)

D says it's my own fault for giving them a choice but really, I LOVE that they are real little people with ideas and thoughts and opinions, and we can have consequences and object lessons and I'm scaring you away, right?

If we do separate parties, I'd do them both on one day - two birds with one stone and all that.... have the house a big mess on one day and it's done!

For the twin moms out there, whether you have same gender twins or not, do you plan to start doing separate parties anytime soon?

And for the rest of you, do you think I'm crazy?

PS it is exactly two months til these children turn 6!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Vulnerability hangover




So Queen Brene Brown (which is what Momastery's G calls her) has this delicious turn of phrase.

Vulnerability hangover.

This definition is from Brene's teachings:

“the feeling that sweeps over us after we feel the need to connect… and we share something deeply meaningful. Minutes, hours, or days later, we begin to feel regret sweep over us like a warm wave of nausea.”

Sometimes when you're vulnerable like that you're met with acceptance and acknowledgement which is really nice, and makes the sharing worth it. Like my one friend C and I when we both discovered the other was also infertile while chatting at work one day many years ago. Or I hope how I responded to a teacher I met at a school we visited last year.


But what about when there's crickets? Radio silence. Just nothing.

It is honestly one of the worst feelings in the world.

I had one of these vulnerability hangovers recently.

I had a perception of a situation and then received information that was very different to what I thought, which hurt me.

As I usually do, I took a full day and a half to think things through and process, and then I responded by being vulnerable and sharing from my heart.

And absolutely nothing was said about that sharing of my heart.

I felt awful, made another attempt and the awkwardness was worse, if possible.

So I have no easy how-tos on what to do when you're left dangling.

I thought about it and wondered if, in hindsight, I regretted opening my heart, and decided no. It's exactly how I felt then and I own my feelings (to speak a bit of psycho-babble).


But I will admit it's given me pause for the next time.

Maybe you've had a similar situation? 
Did it make you not want to be vulnerable again?

Saturday, May 02, 2015

What I've read - April edition - the grumpy version

I've not had a great reading month.

Yes, I managed to read/ listen to my 5 books but they've all been a 3 out of 5, and mostly unmemorable.


This screenshot is from my Goodreads account so the one on the right is the first of the month and I've just finished Thrive.

Lizzy and Jane
I'd heard a lot of good things about this author and... I wasn't bowled over so I won't read the other one a lot of people are talking about.

All for you
Normally I love this author but I did not love the characters at all, except maybe the grandma.

The difference a day makes
I always love this author's books too but this book irritated me. I HATED the dog (!) and the lady annoyed me too much.

The wildwater walking club
This author is the same person who wrote Must Love Dogs (John Cusack - who can do NO wrong in my eyes...;)) so I bought it. It was fine, light reading and did encourage me to get in my 10 000 steps a day. That said, I still haven't done 10 000 since finishing it. Ha!

Thrive
I heard Sheryl Sandberg interview Ariana about this book. The interview was amazing so I eventually bought it. The book went on too much about some things I'm not interested in (meditation!) and I increased the listening speed in two sections to make it go faster.... But it was probably the best one of the lot for this month.

On the bright side, I'm reading a Marisa de los Santos which I'm really enjoying so far (35% in) so there's that!

What are you reading?
What was the best thing you read/ listened to in April? (Book/ Blog/ Podcast/ Audio book)

PS I really want to get Katherine Center's new book next. Has anyone read it?

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