Saturday, February 27, 2010

*ahem* the weight gain

I still believe that some of the extra weight I'm lugging around has to do with my hormones but I've realised that nutrition and exercise (or lack thereof) also plays a part.

I used to belong to weigh-less about 4 years ago (in those days I wanted to lose about 5 kg and get to 52 kg - I made it to 54 kg and then stopped because our group leader left and it was too much of a schlep to find a new group) - in fact, that was the reason I could wear those short shorts in Thailand.

I still have the book and actually, we still eat the same way. I just don't weigh everything obsessively like I used to.

BUT when the weight started piling on, I hauled out the book and figured out what I'm doing wrong:

  • I don't eat enough protein (most days have 2 portions when i should have 3) - need to add another low-fat portion. The easiest for me is something like lentils, chick peas, kidney beans or cheese
  • I don't eat enough vegetables - again need to add a portion as I do have two portions easily
  • My carb portions are too big in the evening (this has always been my downfall) - do you know what 140 grams of pasta or rice look like? Tiny! And that's two complex carbs.

So I'm trying but it's going too slow for me - only have had about a 0.5 kg loss in 3 weeks. I know if I do it properly I can lose that in one week.

When I was on WL before, I had an excel spreadsheet that I used to plan a week's meals at a time. It would tell me where I wasn't eating enough so I knew I had to add more of this or that.

The thing with Weigh-Less is if you follow the formula, it works. You can't eat some of it; you have to eat it all. Most people think the less food you eat, the better but that's just not true.


The meal above?

2 complex carbs (Weigh-Less wraps), 2 protein (100 g lean, skinless chicken and 20 g cheese), 2 veg (onions, tomatoes, lettuce, grated carrots), 1 fat (1 Tbsp olive oil to stirfry the chicken).

I need to look through my back-up discs to find that spreadsheet!

Of course there's also the exercise thing. Two people recently have told me I need to exercise more if I want to lose weight - the biokineticist and doctor who are based at our work.

I know this but I HAVE TWINS! Oy!

Just getting to the gym twice a week is a miracle in itself. But I suppose I could do some weights here at home while I watch the Bold and the Beautiful :), my relaxation.

I don't want to make excuses for my weight because then I'll get used to being this size. Yes, I have had a twin pregnancy but so what - if Heather can look fabulous, then so can I :)

I still have not bought any new clothes and I don't intend to...

So I'm at 62,5 now - I want to get down to pre-fertility meds weight of 57 kg. Of course I'd be in heaven if ever I could get down to 55 kg again but as the doctor told me, I'm OLD and my metabolism is slow...

Is anyone else out there wanting to lose some weight?
I want to check in with someone every week (it's a bit boring to write about my eating on the blog all the time..........)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Connor's antics

see the scratch on his nose



  1. Connor finally "twigged" (do you say twigged where you live?) that rolling means he can move and he is now rolling up a storm - front to back, back to front, every which way.
  2. Not in the slightest bit interested in crawling; instead he's working on the sitting. Every day he seems to sit better - I can leave him without support longer and longer.
  3. He's been able to hold his own bottle for ages but is really only motivated to do so when either I'm too slow and he's starving (like when he's been sleeping past his feed time) or during the day when he's all pleasant and charming. At night he's lazy - he literally lays with his arms down at his side and wants us to hold his bottle.
  4. He still has his two teeth and loves biting any fingers he can find, except his own. His toes are fair game though.
  5. He suddenly went off his veggies - I think he got bored because he still ate the fruit, yoghurt and cereal - but the MINUTE I introduced Annabel Karmel he was into his food all again. I reduced the portions a bit since we now eat protein and that has helped. We also take whatever food he doesn't finish and mix it into his cereal which he then polishes off. He LOVES his cereal.
  6. Connor is still a lovely, laidback, happy baby 95% of the time; the rest of the time he can get quite grumpy, just like his father! He so loves hugging and snuggling - oh, it's LOVELY. Sometimes I don't want to put him down.
  7. He seems to be stretching his awake time to the two-hour mark. We are still highly vigilant because we do not like to see the craziness come out if he gets overtired.
  8. At night he wakes crying (for a bottle I think) but during the day he wakes, amuses himself for a bit (rolling around his cot and playing with the stuffed animals) and only when bored or hungry, cries for us.
  9. After any night feeds, he falls asleep immediately. I don't do any patting, shh-ing, rocking, nothing!
  10. Connor seems to be more into Kendra than she is into him.
  11. He loves being outside. I've started putting him in the walker just inside the open kitchen door after feeding him. He loves looking at the trees, grass, leaves. But the best is when he and D go sit at the pool - they're exactly the same - very laid-back so they sit in silence for 10 - 15 minutes at a time, just having quality time. It's too sweet.
  12. He is ALL BOY - which I absolutely love - eats like a boy (messy), grunts like a boy and is WILD. He also has scratches on his face all the time even though we keep his nails short.
  13. One day I sang "Wild Thing" by The Troggs to him and he laughed. So that's our song because he's my wild boy.

    To think I didn't know what I'd do with a boy! I love having one of each - they are so different!
look at my smiling baby boy - we have hours of fun talking and laughing while Kendra crawls all over us :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

blog stuff

ooooh *squeal* I see Blogger now has pages - I am BEYOND excited

I've done About Me and Why 123 blog pages.

What else do you think I should put there?

Help - what do I do with all the old baby bottles?



As you know, our babies are formula-fed.

They are now using big bottles so I have a stash of little ones (125 ml) and I have no idea what to do with them.

And no, I really don't want to just throw them away.... I really like re-using stuff. Even though they weren't expensive.

I've only had two ideas to recycle them so far:

  1. I filled one with tiny sweets, tied a bow around the neck and gave it to a friend with a "congratulations on your pregnancy" tag. It looked very cute - I should have taken a pic. Strangely I don't mind if OTHER people throw them away :)
  2. Home-made toys - got this idea from Andrea's blog - will fill some with pasta shapes, lentils, etc.

What else? Mandy P? Anyone?


**************************************

I saw a cute utensil holder that I was sure I could put to use somewhere but as I couldn't think of it in the store I started to leave.

I have a "rule" that if we don't know where something will go, we don't buy it. It doesn't always work but I will say that in 95% of cases I do actually follow my own rules :)

Anyway, I was about to leave when I got it - it can hold their bath toys! I don't like those mesh things you attach to the bathroom tiles - to me it feels messy. No offence if you use them.

So I went back to buy it. And here's what it looks like:


It's actually perfect because
  • the water can drain easily
  • it takes up very little space because it's tall and thin
  • it's cheap (R14,99 at Pep stores/ $2)
  • when the container gets too full some of the toys must go (another one of my rules - if it doesn't fit in the container, we declutter until it does)
What do you do with the bath toys?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What Kendra's up to these days



this is D feeding her; she grabbed and then smeared all over her face, things she never does with Nanny V or with me. Upside down bib is a tip from my sister, messy veggies rinse off easily

this was a few weeks ago - those teeth are properly out

Ooops - I totally forgot that I said I'd post on what the kids are doing these days.

  1. Figured out crawling. Still a lot of rocking and only one or two actual forward movements of the knees.
  2. She's also doing lots of push-ups and has abs of steel :)
  3. Has two teeth on the bottom.
  4. She's very intense but smiles easily and laughs a lot, especially when playing with her father. Her little giggles are the sweetest things ever. I really must find the video and post it.
  5. She gets frustrated quickly (you can see she wants to MOVE MOVE MOVE) and lets us know by screaming that her legs are not doing what she wants NOW.
  6. This girl will walk well before her first birthday, of that I have no doubt. She already tries to pull herself up and has strong little legs. We are, of course, in absolutely no hurry for the walking.
  7. Her hair seems to be growing too - not wildly so - but hair nonetheless (their father's genes as I was bald until I was two)
  8. Talking up a storm now. She doesn't wake screaming very often - she'll wake and start chatting away while still in her cot (very, very cute- it's as if she's talking to the teddy bears, or a reluctant Connor).
  9. At night when we feed her, if she's decided she's had enough, she moves her head so the bottle falls out and flips over (while still in our arms). That's our signal to put her back to bed.
  10. She does the same if we put her to bed with a bottle. When she's done, she rolls over and sleeps. Lovely!
  11. She can hold her own bottle! She clutches it like it's a matter of life or death - very intense is our Kendra.
  12. Has also discovered her toes but not too keen on them - prefers to be on her tummy "crawling" or doing push-ups.
  13. It's impossible to change her nappy or clothes without a struggle. The minute she's placed on her back she's OFF - I've taken to giving her a bath toy (as they only see these for about 5 minutes a day so they're a novelty) so I can change her in peace.
  14. Eats beautifully. These days she eats better than Connor. She's so cute with her little mouth opening and closing. She definitely prefers the fruit and plain yoghurt but eats the veggies and cereal equally well.
  15. Has bitten her brother on the foot!
  16. She is very girly - delicate-looking (definitely can hold her own) and dainty, and already has good fine motor skills. Either that or she wants my earrings and necklace :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Conversations at birthday party

So D was telling me about another conversation he had at my friend's kids' birthday party

Stranger: Who's this?

D: This is Connor.

Stranger: Is he your son?

D: Yes

Stranger: How old is he?

D: 7 months

Stranger: And who's that?

D: Oh, that's Kendra.

Stranger: And how old is she?

D: Also 7 months

Stranger: Are they twins?

D: Yes

Stranger: Took me some time, didn't it?

D: *laughs*

MEN! Can't they just talk?!

Night dread



Night dread is that feeling of anxiety you get from around 4 pm or 5 pm as night approaches, knowing that, first of all, suicide hour is just about upon you and then, that you'll be dealing with one or more screaming babies for hours on end.

Not only that but once they eventually fall asleep, one or both of you will be getting up a combined total of 6 times a night, wake up the next morning knackered. Then, forget about it because your brain's total mush only to have the night dread creep up on you again at 4pm.
Has anyone else experienced this?

For a good few months, probably up until 12 weeks or so, I experienced what I call night dread.

I would literally feel the muscles in my neck and shoulders get tense.

Then we got better at handling them, certainly more confident, and also they started behaving better - not so much crying and they'd go straight to sleep after feeds.

And the night dread faded.

D figured out that Kendra liked to drink two bottles, one hour after the other, in her cot, and after this that she wanted to be turned onto her tummy to sleep. And then she'd sleep 6 - 7 hours straight.

Connor would start yawning, we'd put him on his tummy, put his dummy in his mouth and he'd sleep without so much as a peep, also for 6 - 7 hours.

They each went through a bit of a wobble once they could roll, mainly Kendra. We'd find K on her back but unable to sleep so we'd have to apply deep pressure (hold her down!) and let her ease into sleep. Connor just falls asleep on his back.

I really thought the whole night dread thing was in the past.

BUT two things have since happened:

  1. Two weeks ago they had their 7-month sleep regression.
  2. They (mostly Connor) now cry when I put them down to sleep at night and OH MY WORD it drives me BONKERS.

Last Sunday night I'd had it and we decided to let them (they were both crying that night) cry it out. They'd both been fed, changed, etc, etc.

Here's how long they cried:

Sunday - C 90 mins, K 30 mins
Mon - C 15 mins, K 2 mins
Tues - C 5 mins
Wed - C 2 mins
Thurs - C ups the ante and goes for 20 mins
Fri - 9 mins, stops and then another 30 mins
Sat - 20 mins
Sunday - NOTHING
Monday (yesterday) - C 40 mins, K 2 mins here and there, about 3 - 4 times

(I was fully intending to bunk gym BUT I was so stressed I NEEDED the workout. Of course I got back and they were all cute-looking in their cots, like there'd been no crying the whole day)

We have made some mistakes - the first night I went in to try and comfort them/ check that they were still okay which made Connor MORE crazy, if that's even possible.

Now we stay out and he literally screams the house down. It's quite amazing how persistent he is - when I think the crying is abating, it's almost as if he remembers why he started crying, feels sorry for himself and starts all over again.

I fully expect someone to ring my intercom and announce they're from Child Welfare as there's been a report of babies screaming uncontrollably.

Is this crying not supposed to fade away to nothing? How long do I carry on?

(D asked me this question so I said I'll ask the internet :))

Eventually they wake for feeds (these days at around 11pm, even with the solids & the protein, and then again around 3 - 4 am) and we do our thing as if the earlier episodes never happened. They have their bottles, we change nappy if necessary and they go back to sleep with not a peep. In the mornings they're their normal selves, chatty, happy, smiling, gurgling babies.

So it's literally just this 5 - 5:30 craziness. I've tried to move the bedtimes - it makes it worse so I've accepted that these kids like to go to bed between 5 & 6 and leave it at that.

All that to say, afternoon dread is the new night dread!

P.S. My etsy stuff arrived yesterday and I love my things. I'll post a pic of my favourite piece.

P.P.S. This post is for SteadyMom's 30-minute blog challenge

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thailand

I was listening to “Just the way you are” on a Billy Joel CD yesterday and remembered a cute story that I wanted to share with you.

We went on a holiday to Phuket, Thailand in Sept 2006 and stayed at a gorgeous hotel on the beachfront with a gazillion stairs leading up to our floor. Yes, I’m serious. Look...

I have never eaten so well on holiday before (have I mentioned I’m fussy about healthy food?!) and the only reason I returned home at the same weight? Those 6 flights of stairs up the hill!

Back to the food…Thailand was where I fell in love with Chicken Mussamen Curry (yum, yum and some more yum) and also where I learned to be more adventurous with my stir-fries.

How far can you go wrong?!

Anyway, our days were typically wake up and run down to breakfast (we’re late sleepers). Drag ourselves up the hill (only 4 flights this time) to either get ready for an organized tour or get book, suntan lotion and water for the pool. We like to alternate on holidays – day out, day lazing, day out, day lazing. Otherwise I feel exhausted when I get back and then I need a holiday from the holiday.

Have lunch…. More lazing….and reading….very low-key as the heat is not conducive to running around like a holiday in a colder place.

Around 4 – 5pm, we’d go to the room, shower and get ready for the evening. Everybody on the island (looked like) went walking in the streets looking for a place to have supper – there are so many great places that it was an adventure every night to try something new.

After the feast (it also helped that this was the one place where our currency (Rand) was stronger than the Baht), we’d walk the streets some more, shop a bit (souvenirs and such) and then go for a massage (again, stronger currency – worked out to about R40 – R50/ $5 - $6 for a one-hour massage) and then back to the hotel.

While climbing the stairs one evening, we heard live singing. I’m a sucker for live anything J so we went to peek into the dining area.

Turns out the guy was just about finishing and there were only about two other couples left lingering.

He spotted us and asked me, “what’s your request?”

Since the setting was all low-lights and romantic, the first thing that popped into my head was Billy Joel’s, “just the way you are” since this is one of our top 10 romantic songs.

Well, he did it BEAUTIFULLY – it was soooo great. A man singing just for us.

I was DELIGHTED (I am easily delighted by small things!) and tipped him well!

So now whenever I hear that song I think about that beautiful, warm evening in Thailand.

*sigh*

(I got an email from Flight Centre last week with a flight special to Phuket and I was THIS close to booking – crazy thoughts!)

Can you guess some of the other songs on our top 10 list?

(I'll post the full list later this week)

What’s on your top 10 romantic songs list? Do you even have a list?

P.S. If you want to see some pics of our Thailand holiday (and a much thinner me), go here. I’m actually amazed this story’s nowhere to be found. That and the fact we were so obviously in the infertility denial phase and simply having fun!

P.P.S. I'm trying things out so I posted this from email - hence different font :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Travelling with twins and a second birthday party






I wrote a blog post that is scheduled to publish tomorrow about how D and I used to travel before babies.

We LOVE travelling so no surprise that I started thinking a lot about travelling after writing that post.

It also doesn't help when you keep getting Flight Centre's newsletter in your inbox!

One of my goals for this year is to take a holiday (vacation) as a family. At the time I was doing the goal-setting (nearly two months ago), it was still a very scary thought.

But now I've been thinking about it some more it doesn't quite scare me that much.

I've been having some deep revelations (ha!) lately about all things parenting........ and basically I'm at the point where it's all about attitude, doing what you can to prepare and then going with the flow.

That said, there are certain things I know for a fact I'll need to have in place WHEN (not if) we travel later this year.


This is what I'm thinking to ease us into travelling with babies:

Definitely somewhere local so the flight's not longer than two hours - I'm thinking Knysna, Plett, somewhere along the Garden Route...

Our last visit to Knysna - May 2007 for 12-year wedding anniversary
This was the view from our chalet


Breakfast was delivered to us every morning and we'd look out on that view. Notice I told D to take pics of the food not of me as I was in pj's :)


Self-catering flat so we have kitchen and laundry facilities, or a hotel with a fridge in the room

No high expectations - I will consider it successful if we make it there and back in one piece and get a couple of good photos at the beach.


Other ramdomness:

We went to our SECOND birthday party today. Thank goodness no mommy-comparing-milestones talk although I must confess I only spoke to two other young mommies. The strangest thing is D was engaged in some daddy-comparing talk about reflux and teeth :) Apparently a baby who's a year old has no teeth. When we got home and he told me (you know how you do that whole comparing thing afterwards) I was like "so? he's working on something else" My, my, I've come a long, long way!

The babies were much better behaved than at their first party; this time the meltdown only happened after two hours! We literally got to the car and Connor was out like a light. Poor boy was exhausted by all the PEOPLE like his daddy :)

After the cake was cut, my friend, C, said thank you to everyone for coming and then said something so beautiful I cried (behind my sunglasses). "I never imagined that we'd ever have a day like this because I didn't think I'd ever have children" Paraphrased but you get the gist. Beautiful.

Home for "supper" (I still get a kick out of them having supper at 4 - 4:30 like old people :)) and baths and I expect them to sleep beautifully tonight after all that activity - church AND a social :)

Speaking of church, it gets better every time we go. We have not had anymore rude comments, typical, just as we decide what to say to people!

How was your weekend?

Edited to add
P.S. I'd just hit publish (9pm) when Kendra cried and woke Connor - so much for sleeping beautifully!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Redefining success


Remember when I wrote the post on balancing work, life and the babies?

I mentioned then that I've been thinking a lot about what success means to me, both in a life context and also with the babies.

The last time I did this exercise properly was probably about 6 - 7 years ago.

If anyone wants to play along, you simply ask yourself, "what does success mean to ME?" and start writing. Or typing. Whichever suits you.

I do it a little bit more in detail with clients to really flesh things out but you get the gist of it.

I've just looked at the little paragraph I wrote then (6 - 7 years ago) and I've pretty much lived it.

This was my last sentence:

To coach and help people reach their goals and put action plans in place to organise and simplify their lives.

Wow. That's exactly my business and I haven't even really thought about it much since.

Now with the addition of the babies, some things have changed. My thoughts are not so self-centred which is also why it's so hard to feel together all the time.

So I also have a coach (most coaches do) and was chatting about this stuff with her. I then had an action plan for that week to write out what success meant for my life and business.

i'm not all introspective normally but once I get going and can tap into my thinking side, then it's like it all gushes out. Can you relate?

And gush it did.

I FILLED 1 ½ A5 pages in my notebook on the general success stuff and another page just on business.

Some big differences are:
  • I'm more focussed on D, babies and our family (obviously). I didn't realise I had such opinions or thoughts till they came out though.
  • my home is very important to me and, as such, I need to have things organised and in order. part of my definition for an ordered home is providing healthy, nutritious meals for my family.
  • even though I have the business on the side, I still want to have rewarding work where I use my gifts and talents

I won't bore you with the business stuff except to say this:

There is not much in life I enjoy more than speaking in front of large groups of people. I absolutely love it. I prefer live talks but have come to love the convenience of teleseminars.

I did my last talk when I was 11 weeks pregnant and stopped taking bookings afterward because I was so out of breath and felt it wasn't portraying me at my best.

That was a whole year ago.

So that's DEFINITELY on my business list - I want to really develop the speaking side of my business again.

Well, what do you know? An old coaching client visited me yesterday and wants me to come do talks to her women's group at church on self-confidence and boundary issues, etc. Of course I jumped at the chance. Dipping my toes back into the water.

Now that I've done the whole exercise, I'm busy working on my vision board. This will probably take months to complete but just the mere fact that it's on the radar means that I'm focussed on it.

So what does all of this mean?


  1. I need to learn that good enough is okay. Yes, I'd like to always have a warm, freshly-cooked meal on the table but my freezer meals are good enough.
  2. I am not lazy nor a bad mother if I get Nanny V in on a Saturday morning and go out to breakfast with my husband to talk like we used to. I also don't have to make excuses to do so. Because a great marriage is very high on my definition of success list and caring what people think is about number 257 :)
  3. It means that when I feel overwhelmed, I can choose to freak out or I can choose a different path and some constructive action. Like making a list.
  4. When I'm faced with choices I need to evaluate them against MY definition of success.
  5. I need to put relax-type activities on my to-do list as they really don't come easy to me. One afternoon this last weekend I read and then napped for 20 minutes instead of running around working in the house. It felt heavenly.
  6. I told Nanny Viola that she's allowed to not iron the babies laundry because I don't want to see piles of clothes to be ironed as they stress me out. An unironed romper, however, doesn't phase me in the least bit.

My friend, Natalie, and I talk a lot about living intentionally. I totally think she rocks at this. She even has her bucket list all done.

When I'm tempted to drift along and just let the things of this world sweep me along, I think about her and tell myself to live intentionally according to my definition of success.

And that's why a corner of my bedroom floor was in a mess for a few days because I'd chosen to spend that time on the floor kissing and playing with the babies.

What does success mean to you?

(if you'd like to write about it on your own blog, please do and link back here so we can all read it :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

behind the scenes


People have been asking me some questions when I reply to their comments.

(by the way, if you have a blogger account, please go to your profile and check/ tick the box that says "show email address". What then happens is if you leave a comment, it comes through to my email and I can respond directly to you and we can have a nice CHAT :))

Okay then, moving along.

Baby monitoring in South Africa

Obviously if you're seeing the paediatrician, they always weigh and measure the baby.

Outside of those appointments, many of the big pharmacies have a little clinic (one teeny, tiny room) with a nurse who does wellness checks (all the stats), immunisations and also other things like flu vaccinations, cholesterol, blood sugar and BP checks. Nothing is free - the wellness checks at Dischem cost me R45 per baby and I've had my BP checked before at a Clicks pharmacy for R25.

Many of the larger companies (or maybe it's just insurance? because we have doctors who work in underwriting) also have on-site clinics operating at certain hours for staff to use (this is totally free where I work). I can literally walk 5 minutes to the other side of the property and get a cholesterol, blood sugar or BP check every week if I wanted to do so. When I was pregnant and had my one sick day, this is the nurse who checked my BP for me and told me to go home.

Back to the baby checks.

In some medical practices there are also nurses who do wellness checks and immunisations for babies. These are often more expensive but still cheaper than going to the paed.

We're now going to a new nurse who charged us R100 for the consultation but for twins, doesn't charge a double consult fee. This is unusual but I don't argue - less out of our medical savings account.

I prefer the environment of this small medical centre (4 GP's, podiatrist, psychologist and the baby nurse) to the craziness of Dischem.

What I've explained above is all PRIVATE health care for the 15% of South Africans (it may be less) who do have private medical aids.

I don't have any experience about the government hospitals and clinics except that the clinics are completely free IF you're prepared to sit and queue for hours and hours on end.

Our national health is not great. Just the mention of going to a "government hospital" sends shudders through us privileged folk :)

Yes, I moan about this and that, but I do know that I am extremely privileged to be able to afford a private medical aid. If we didn't have it, I dread to think what would have happened with C & K and the NICU.

Let me know in the comments if you want more detail on anything.

Now the baby food.

This is the book I bought at Sadia's recommendation and........... I'm loving it!

I'd never heard of Annabel Karmel before but she is genius.

As I was reading I realised that my kids have been eating really boring food!

On Monday I cooked up some chicken (with carrots, sweet potato) and pureed it like crazy as I was so scared they'd choke.

Tuesday morning they had this for breakfast (yes, my kids are weird - they like their veggies in the morning and their cereal in the afternoon) and.........

Kendra pulled her face as she does with all new food but she still eats it.

Connor? Connor loved it. He literally SMACKED HIS LIPS. Too cute - D and I left late so that we could see them have their first taste of chicken.

I asked Nanny Viola how they've been enjoying the chicken and she says "they LOVE it" :)

I'm trying a new recipe every few days - a different chicken one today - but I expect to have similar reactions.

I can't tell you all the differences she recommends (too many) but I do believe you should get her book if you don't intend to buy jarred baby food (a huge ripoff in my view).

South Africans - I ordered mine from Kalahari.net and it arrived on my (work) doorstep within 5 days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What do you spend on nappies every month?


Oh, nappies = diapers :)

We had such fun with the cost of formula post that I thought we should do another one of these.

Kendra currently wears Pampers 2. Can you believe she only went into them at 6 months?! I could have kept her in Pampers 1 for another week or so but I liked the neatness of it being exactly 6 months.

Connor's wearing Pampers 3 but this is probably the last bag he'll use as he needs to move to Pampers 4.

We've discussed my addiction to Pampers before - I can't even THINK about putting them in something else.

Now let's talk money.

I buy their nappies at Toys R Us. They've had a special for the last couple of months where a jumbo pack costs R162. It usually costs R215 so big saving.

The babies each go through about two bags a month. If you're interested, K's has 94 and C's 82.

During the day we change their nappy every 3 - 4 hours, sometimes longer if they're napping, but always immediately if they make a poo! I'll confess that with big poos, I just dump the baby in the bath - can't be bothered to wipe all that :)

At night we play it by ear. If the nappy looks full we change, otherwise we rather let them go to sleep. One thing I will brag about with my babies - they are like DOLLS in the middle of the night. Not a peep out of them once they're fed. Plop them down and they're asleep. No rocking, patting, nothing. Again, if there's a poo, immediate change.

Back to the nappies.

So for the month, they cost R650 on special and R860 normal price. Big difference.

To make it easier to compare, let's assume the R/ US$ is still R7,50 to $1. Technically it's around R7,71 (as I was driving home from gym today).

Then we spend $87 on nappies every month.

Is that a bargain? What do you pay for nappies/ diapers in your side of the world? Also how often do you change your baby (ies) ?

P.S. I'm particularly interested to hear from those who cloth diaper.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The "twins"






I ran a ministry at our church for seven years where we helped members to find their unique God-given passion and gifts.

I considered it a real honour and privilege to go through that process with people and have them say things like "so that's why I'm like that; I never understood it before but it all makes sense now".

Loved it! There's very little that puts me on a natural high like helping people find their gifts and passions.

Maybe it stems from there but wherever it comes from, I am passionate about people knowing that they are unique and special just as they are.

That they don't have to be one bit different or try and change one facet of their personality to fit in.

So then I have twins and I find people just lump them together. Which, as you can now understand, drives me a whole lot crazy.

Of course they also compare them - aside from the rather obvious size issues, they're both working on different skills all the time so yes, K crawled first but C had the first tooth. K rolled first but C sleeps better. And so on.

It's nothing personal; it's obviously my issue rather than anyone else's.

It does help that I have boy/ girl twins. I imagine it would be worse with two girls or two boys because then they'd really be compared with one another.

I don't even call them "the twins" - when I phone the doctor for an appointment, I say "it's M, Kendra and Connor's mother". Sometimes I have to explain that they're twins (date of birth issues) and I reluctantly admit it :)

I want them to have their individual identities and know that they're each special to God and to us.

They each have special gifts, talents and very different and unique personalities.

They just happened to be born at the same time.

Now here's something else too - I obviously get this question a lot.

"How are the twins?"

And I honestly don't know what to say so I say..

"The babies are fine" or "Kendra and Connor are growing nicely". Something that differentiates them but also a very general answer.

Because I find most people don't want to know how they're REALLY doing. And as you know by now, I'm very literal.

So if you ask me how I'm doing I'll tell you I'm having the DAY FROM HELL or that I seriously am in love with those grey skies outside :)

And it's the same if I ask someone how they're doing. I really do want to know otherwise I wouldn't ask.

The truth is the babies are growing and developing so quickly every day but who's really interested in the detail, except people going through the same stuff?

Over to you!

What do you say when people ask after you, your husband or your child(ren)? Do you say, "oh, the twins are fine", do you give a detailed answer, or somewhere in between?



P.S. This is my post for Steadymom's 30-minute blog challenge.

P.P.S. My friend, C's twin girls are one year old today. At that time I was 12 weeks pregnant and we then had to start telling the families.

Monday, February 15, 2010

7-month stats and a cute video

video

I'm late as usual posting about their stats - I need to do a thing on the sidebar like I see on some of the blogs so I don't forget :)

We went to see a nurse just up the road - I can kick myself for not discovering her sooner. Eve - it's on Kloof Road. Lovely environment, not hectic like at the pharmacy I used to take them to get weighed, etc, etc.

While I was completing the form (they gave me two forms to complete but I was my usual stroppy self and told the girl to photocopy the one, staple it to the other and just change the baby's name and birthweight), Connor was flirting with one of the receptionists.

Seriously, he was smiling and even twisted his body and nearly flung himself out of my arms to keep her in his line of sight. Cute, but is this a sign of the future???

Connor

Height - 68 cm

Weight - 8.47 kg (he'd lost some weight in the two weeks since I'd weighed him, probably from all the rolling around)

Head circumference - 44.3 cm

If he was a normal 7-month-old baby, he'd be in the 50th percentiles. Using his corrected age of 5 months, he's in the 75th for height and the 95th for weight!

Kendra

Height - 63 cm

Weight - 5.76 kg (she is WAY too active to actually keep any weight on because these days she eats better than Connor)

Head circumference - 42.8 cm

Kendra is on less than the 5th percentiles for both weight and height - I don't even bother to get all the detailed stats anymore as the paed said she is on her own growth chart. Sounds a bit like, "she is on her own mission" which is also true :)

Basically they're doing well and everyone is very happy with how nicely they're eating. She also checked that they're both on vitamins with iron since they're prem (yes, on ViDaylin every single day since the day they were born).

That's it for another month.

I'm going to do a separate post on what they're up to as I started and I see there's a lot!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why I suck at crying it out & professional photos

Just a few hours ago, the babies were fed, had clean nappies and should have gone off to sleep no problem.

Except they didn't.

I decided to let them cry it out. For some reason it's harder when both of us are here?

Within minutes I was in there, just to check on them, and before I'd even had a coherent thought, Connor was in my arms!

I realised what I'd done so calmed him and put him down again.

He then went totally beserk.

Oh, it breaks my heart.

Then I left them to both cry for 30 minutes...

Went to check again - this does the opposite for my kids than what the books say it should do, which is calm them that their mother is there and hasn't deserted them.

They go CRAZY, as if they're saying, "WHY aren't you picking me up???"

Anyway, Kendra soon calmed down and fell asleep but Connor screamed for another hour.

Yes, one and a half hours in total.

Fun times.

At 7 pm on the dot he stopped crying and was out like a light.

I've peeked in on him twice since and he's in the exact same position - squeezed into a corner of his cot, looking cute as anything.

Other than that episode, we had a lovely Valentine's Day.

I woke late to smiling, gurgling babies. I stay up later and D gets up with them around 6. They took a shower with D today - MUCH quicker to clean them that way than in the bath :)

We did our thing until their granny arrived. This time D prepped her and said she could only stay for 2 hours because we were going out (it was true!).

I went to do some food shopping (for the fun baby food recipes) and also picked up some babygrows (I see they now call them "sleepsuits") for them, and then returned home to fetch D and the babies so we could go out for lunch.

Had a quick lunch, home for naps all round, etc.

Very relaxing.

Oh, we don't do an expensive Valentine's - D got me flowers and I got him a mug - but I do believe in using any opportunity to celebrate love.

Speaking of love, I LOVE these pics from that same photo shoot in November.


What did you do for Valentine's?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Like a list, only more wordy

Gee what a week.

The sleep issues continue but thanks to some of the comments on the sleep post, I immediately introduced lentils to both of them and saw an immediate improvement in their sleep (both only waking up twice a night now).

Loved reading this post and even cried a little, sap that I am.

Had a HORRIBLE day at work on Thursday - my access disc was "dead" and I had a wonderful time holding up a queue of cars behind me (that, in itself, doesn't bother me - it's the people shouting out "helpful" comments like "turn the disc around" and "swipe the middle of the card". Grrrr), my lipstick fell down the drain (a brand new one) and I had to drive to a meeting I was not prepared for to a place I'd never been (I do not deal well with the unknown).

Fortunately, the meeting was great, I could actually add value which made the huge schlep worthwhile. I took the opportunity to go straight home afterwards, thus arriving home an hour earlier.

Kendra is now crawling. I mentioned before that she is Spirited so she screams if anything doesn't go her way - she's impatient to go places, almost like her body's holding her back and after an effort or two, she screeches because she can't move as fast as she'd like. Oh, we are in for fun times around here. I've bought plug covers and those plastic corners for the tables and now D has to do his man stuff to babyproof the place.

Connor finally got that rolling means he can go places. I saw the cutest thing in the world (of course I'm biased) when I peeked in on him last night and saw him all sprawled out on his back (he hasn't slept on his back since he was about 9 weeks old) with his arms above his head. He looked a bit like someone dancing :)

My book arrived! Sadia referenced the Annabel Karmel baby food book in one of my baby food posts. I swear I wanted to start cooking just from looking at the pics. I've bought the stuff and will cook a recipe with chicken this week. I've already learned such a lot - mainly that my poor kids are eating seriously boring food and baby food can be a lot more exciting.

Have had the most terrible internet week EVER. Don't I sound like a drama queen?! 1 - 1.5 hours to work on your business + S L O W internet = HUGE frustration. I've phoned the ISP twice, they tell me the same rubbish (everything is fine on our side, reboot, unplug the modem, blah blah blah) which of course I've already done a gazillion times and STILL 5 - 10% connectivity. Miraculously it's been around 50% since Friday afternoon so not great, but manageable. Finally had a chance to catch up on posting my Project 365 pics.

And now, some cute pics from church last weekend.

we'd rather have her sleeping than screaming :)


she is OUT!

I think Connor's trying to tell me something

look how tall he's getting

these are Connor's toes sticking out of the blanket when he fell asleep

How has your week been?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some more weird stuff about me


Sabine gave me a Beautiful Blogger award ages ago (actually it was only a week ago which just goes to show how tired I am) and I tried my hardest to post last night but am having terrible internet problems which of course, messes up my new, shiny schedule big time.

On the bright side, I managed to make it to bed by 11:00.

So here's what you need to do:


Thank the person who nominated you and copy the award in your blog
Link the person who nominated you for this award
Share seven interesting things about yourself
Nominate seven fellow bloggers and add the links to their blogs


Here are my 7 (interesting) facts


1. I obsessively take pictures of food, especially pretty food. I have been known to take tons of food pics and forget to take pics of PEOPLE! When we travel, you can be sure there'll be pics of all the food we eat :)


2. I love, love, LOVE grey skies. Which is why I soooo loved Ireland. Talk about heaven. And you know the obsessive picture-taking didn't stop anytime soon. Confession - I have a folder called "skies" on my computer. Okay then, moving along.


3. I know there are bigger problems in life but I seriously wonder if we'll ever sleep again. I think if I figure this stuff out I will be a sleep expert. First email consult revealed nothing new to me, have one left, and am now considering getting a private consult with people who specialise in sleep here. Only thing is the lady put me off a bit when I "phoned" (just for you, Mandy) her as she said twins or not, we do exactly the same thing. Hmmm.

4. I have an obsession with handbags - I probably have around 25. BUT before you fall off your chair, I do declutter them regularly. In fact, just this week I brought 4 to work to sell to other handbag crazies like me.


5. I've made peace with the fact that I can't relax if the house is a mess. Seriously. Even if it's a quick 10-minute tidy, it makes me feel better. Is anyone else like this? BTW, I don't care if it's necessarily clean, just neat and in order :)


6. I never, ever, ever change my earrings. I wear pearls in my ears and that's it. I'll probably only change when I get a new pair of studs.


7. I order the same thing at restaurants again and again. I don't see the point of being disappointed in new dishes and would much rather enjoy something familiar. The dish depends on the restaurant though - at Thai places (my absolute favourite), I order Chicken Mussamen Curry, at Italian places, I order Fettucine Alfredo and when I'm feeling like I need some spinach, the one with chicken and spinach, etc.


I'm nominating

Mandy

Saffy

Heather

Mandibula

Rebecca

Jennifer

Deanna


and YOU. If you want to share some "interesting" facts, please go right ahead!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Balancing work, home and the babies

I love my red kitchen scale with a passion :)


Hmmm, so I've been back at work for just about two months now and as Saffy reminded me in a comment on a post a few days ago, it's time for an update.

The truth is that nothing is getting done to my high standards simply because there is not enough time.

I'm making BIG friends with "good enough" and having to do lots of self-coaching on myself.

I tell myself, "if I were coaching one of my clients what would I say?" and then I try to actually do it.

So I would say to clients (besides more specific guidance)...

• get as organised as possible
• get very clear on boundaries and keep saying no to non-essentials
• be very focussed... and the biggie...
• redefine your success

Get organised

I am one of the most organised people I know so this is probably the easiest one on my list.

Still I'm not as organised as I'd like to be.

E.g. before I used to check through kitchen cupboards on a weekly basis. Now I'm getting to it either when it drives me nuts or when I actually have a few minutes in the kitchen waiting for something to finish cooking and there are no bottles/ baby stuff to attend to. I have to stay in the kitchen while cooking because I get sidetracked if I leave the general area and then the food burns!

I'm still doing a weekly menu plan, grocery shop (well, that's D's responsibility) and am planning my weeks and days.

But then again, not cooking as much as I'd like although I do a big cook with 2 - 3 (4-portion) meals every couple of weekends.

What are your tips?

Set strong boundaries and say no


Usually I'm outstanding at protecting my time and energy (hey, I coach time management) BUT the family thing throws a huge spanner in the works. I would like to say "no you can't come visit, we're knackered" but then again, the grandmother deserves to see her grandchildren...

She comes every second week but stays for 6 hours at a time which just about does me in. I don't mind a weekly visit even but I feel 1 - 1 1/2 hours and then she needs to go. That's way easier for me to handle but of course, how do you communicate this? D agrees with me but says I'm putting him in a position. True.

Any suggestions?

With my business, I've totally stopped taking on clients and projects that I don't REALLY LOVE and want to do. And am getting really quick with my rejection emails :) because I get a lot of "would you like to do this JV with me?"-type things. Before I had the luxury of crafting a beautiful email but now, two sentences and I'm free!

I was chatting to my friend, Nat, who is SO great at this boundary thing since having her baby and she said something to me which stuck - it's about being more intentional in life. I love that.

Focus

I'm depending more and more on my little kitchen timer to keep me on track when I'm on the computer so I don't wander off and spend more time than I have when I should be sleeping.

My new rule is in bed by 11:00 (as at yesterday). Well, computer was off at 10:30 but only in bed at about 11.15. Still, better than before.

Redefine your success

I have lots to say about this with regards to work, babies, etc. so will leave it for another post. All along the "good enough" theme though.

I'm letting all of this marinate inside while I ponder these things ... (very woo-woo for me!) but I do need to write out a new success paragraph for my life and then the business, and make some new vision boards (now that's more like me!).

In closing (gee, this sounds like a business proposal)

  • I think the quest for balance thing is a constant challenge.
  • With the babies sleeping worse than they have been, I find I'm knackered in the mornings, get to work late with red eyes and messier hair than usual, and then do my thing fast and super-productive (the only good thing because I feel guilty). So am working more effectively (for how long though?!) but feel terrible and as a result, don't want to cook, clean, go to gym but I drag myself there anyway.
  • I don't have any of that "missing the babies" thing going on because I think like a man - when I'm at work, I'm at work mentally.
  • I also don't feel guilty once I leave work because I should be doing x and y at work. I've said before, the MINUTE I walk across that bridge (between my department and the lifts (elevators)), I'm thinking about what I need to do on the way home or at home. Lest you think I'm cold (hmm, probably am), that's when I start thinking about the babies.
  • I do feel like I'm ON THE GO all the time so once I became aware of this feeling, I consciously took time out last night (that's why I didn't blog) to veg and watch The Bold and The Beautiful (I don't want to hear it, people!) and a taped Oprah (we still live in the age of the video - I can't see the point of upgrading if my existing system works just fine :)) once the babies were asleep.

That's me - how are you doing the work-life balance, or life-babies balance, or just a general balancing act?

As usual, ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer you there too.

P.S. The reason I love Steadymom's 30-minute blog challenge is that it forces me to just get it all out instead of over-thinking my post :)

P.P.S. No cereal in last night's bottles and no change except Connor only woke twice!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

7 months sleep regression



We were getting into a really good routine where Connor was only waking once and Kendra twice every night.

For some of you that might be horrific but that's bliss to us.

Okay, maybe not BLISS, but let's say, manageable!

It started at exactly 6 months but wasn't consistent. I just counted in The Notebook

Connor's awake times...........Frequency
1........................................................11
2........................................................16
3........................................................5

(3 of those 5 times was in the last 4 days!)

Kendra's awake times...........Frequency
1........................................................3
2........................................................13
3........................................................15


Three days ago the "good sleeping" stopped.

Coincidentally it happened right after I told a work colleague that the sleeping was really getting much better - ha!

Then I spoke to another friend who said she put cereal in her girls' bottles and that worked. So of course I tried it.

No change.

If anything, they woke EARLIER in the evening than before. Grrr.

I've noticed that if they sleep the first stretch really long like 7 - 8 hours, then they only wake once (Connor) or twice (Kendra).

When they have a short first sleep (around 5 hours) it's like it sets a pattern of quick sleeps - we've even had them waking every two hours.

Which totally knackers me since I'm so old.

I bought an e-book on the internet a few weeks ago on Sleep (what else?!) and as part of the cost, you get two free email consults, so I've been compiling my questions as I don't want to waste them, but also decided to quickly google this cereal in the bottle business and I found this 3-pager, http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/content/cerealinbottle.pdf

Bottom line - there's no correlation between the cereal in the bottle and sleeping better.

Hmmm, my babies are textbook cases. So after tonight (I'd already made their "going to sleep" bottles with cereal), no more.

So here are the questions I'm about to email the lady.

  • why is it that C is so big yet is still hungry at night? (I can hear his stomach growling - there is NO doubt that he's starving)
  • how do I get him back to sleep without feeding when K wakes him?
  • why do they not wake at the same time every night (not the two babies waking at the same time, but each baby wakes at different times every night)? I'd love to reduce the amount of milk in the, let's say "4 am" bottle, but the 4 am bottle could be at 2, 3, 4:30, anytime.
  • how do you get that first stretch of sleep to consistently be longer?

I was actually thinking about why I blog and ask your advice vs googling and the answer is........ when you google, you find case studies and averages which, I'm sorry to say, have never applied to my kids, but with you guys, you find actual, real live examples of things that are working. Yay!

So would love to hear your insights :)


P.S. I'm way too scared to let them cry it out. Simply because the day before C's second tooth arrived (Sat 23 Jan), C wouldn't settle and go to sleep and he cried for two hours straight. My heart can't stand the screaming so eventually we gave him some Baby Panado and he calmed down enough to sleep. Remember this is my "easy" baby so imagine Kendra!

I have no problem letting them cry once I've tried to soothe them and I know they're not hungry, wet or too hot/ cold. But not just "cold".

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Playing around with Picasa


These were taken in Dublin, Ireland, in April 2009
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 05, 2010

Finally, a video

Hi all, I'd like you to meet Connor

I think I was trying to capture him doing something cute but alas, he stops the MINUTE he sees the camera.

In the background you can hear Kendra squealing. She's such a girl :)

video

By the way, I also stop talking when I start "filming" as I'm only too aware my voice goes all high-pitched and weird when talking to the babies. It is the freakiest thing :)

P.S. Now that I've figured out this video thing, you can expect a bit more. Will have to get Kendra's one up next.

P.P.S. Taken 28th Jan

Thursday, February 04, 2010

More on making my own baby food



The method

I'm quite the obsessive when it comes to baby food (I only realised this after speaking to other mothers) so I wrote down the 5 yellow veggies (pumpkin, butternut, sweet potato, carrots and gem squash) and did a little table in the front of their notebook.

I then mark off when each child has successfully had 4 days of that vegetable.

To date, they are both okay with all 5.

Kendra seems to like carrots the most and Connor favours butternut and gem squash.

I don't take nonsense from them though; they both need to eat everything whether they like it or not. I don't force feed but I do a whole song and dance (literally) because I am not going to be cooking 3 different meals when they can eat our food. No way!

And so far, they eat everything - they gobble their favourites faster than the rest but they eat everything.

I've just started introducing green veggies this week - I mixed broccoli and butternut which was a hit with both kids.

Tried peas with Connor on Monday and he HATED them (don't blame him, actually, I don't eat peas either).

Once we knew that they were okay with a particular veg, I started mixing up two of a particular yellow veg, all the time keeping careful notes, like carrots and sweet potato, gem squash and carrots, etc.

* By the way, be warned that carrots will stain your lovely baby utensils horribly.


How we cook and puree the veggies

Viola peels and cooks the vegetables for me while I'm at work. We boil them in a pot with a bit of water, just enough until soft (to retain nutrients).

I then use a stick blender to puree the veggies. I find that I have to add about 60 ml cool, boiled water (about 2 oz) to about 500 g veggies (half a pound). Start there and adjust the water as necessary. Otherwise it seems as if the veggies are too solid and they're more likely to choke.

You'll have to add a lot more water in the beginning when they first start having veggies. As I mentioned before, the paed said to not go too fine for too long otherwise they'll gag if there's the slightest lumps in food afterwards. Again, not having that kind of fussiness.

The easiest way to cook gemsquash
  • Stab the hard outer skin about 5 - 6 times with a sharp knife, preferably after you're stressed, so you really get out your frustrations.
  • Place in a plastic bag (we use old bread bags) and microwave on high for about 5 - 7 minutes (that's for 3 medium-sized gems).
  • Once cooked and cooled, slice open, scoop out the pips, add a tiny bit of water and mash with a spoon or fork.

Another of my quirks - I LOVE the smell of cooked gemsquash but also don't eat it.

Sidenote - Kendra is eating BEAUTIFULLY these days. Kendra! I never would have believed it.

She is such a little girl, all dainty and neat and even opens her mouth when she's finished a bite. Too cute! Basically she's as clean at the end as when we start feeding whereas Connor is such a messy boy (I love it!). I took a photo this week of the butternut ALL over his face. Will blog.

Cooking the fruit

We do it in much the same way as the veggies - peel, boil in a tiny bit of water, puree. So far we've only given Connor apples, pears and bananas. Kendra started on bananas this week.

Bananas are easy as you just mash, no cooking, so they're also my fruit of choice if we're out. When avocado pears go on special, I'll be trying those too. Someone at work told me to also give them mangoes and papaya - yummy!

I don't like them to have a lot of fruit as it's sweet, so they both only get about 50 - 60 g (I can't remember - made a gigantic load about two weeks ago and we're still going through all that) plus two heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt. Again, I don't want them getting used to sweet things.

Yes, I will be one of those "no sweets or chocolates for my kids" mothers.


Storing it

I happen to have a storage container obsession and had quite a bit of these small plastic containers lying around, all brand new and unused and perfect for the babies' food.

Kendra is eating a lot more than when I first posted so she now also gets the big containers.

Kendra started with about 50 g food (I am precise - I use a kitchen scale and weigh everything - it makes it easier for me as I'm a black and white sort of person) and is now eating 70g. Connor has 100 g.

I started small (even with Connor) because I hate wasting food. If they polished it off and still seemed hungry then I increased the portion gradually until they look happy.

The babies "tell" you when they're done eating by trying to escape the spoon.

* A word of advice - label your food. After it's all frozen, the food all looks the same. I use masking tape and a permanent marker. Masking tape is cheap, lasts forever and peels off easily when you need to re-label the containers.


Defrosting

In the evening while preparing/ heating supper, I make up their bottles for the night and the next morning's first one so there isn't a big rush if V is a bit late. I can't STAND a baby screaming for food.

That's when I take out the frozen food portions for each baby for the next day and put into the fridge to defrost overnight.


*************

I think that's it!

Please ask questions in the comments and I'll keep editing until I answer all questions :)

Also, to the others who make their own baby food (Heather, Saffy, etc.) please share your tips!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Nanny Viola


I just love the way Mommy Esq calls her nanny "Nanny April". We call ours "V".

I've been back at work now for two whole months, except for the one week's leave I took after New Year's.

I'm working a reduced day at the office so arrive home around 3 - 3:30 and usually one of the babies is asleep and the other is having a bath.

The babies are usually happy to see me and smiling/ giggly, etc.

Until a fateful day about two weeks ago.

Nanny Viola (don't you love it?!) was holding Kendra and after I'd washed my hands (yes, I still wash my hands - we're indoctrinated by those weeks in NICU), I went to fetch Kendra for our usual hugs and cuddles.

But she TURNED away and wouldn't come to me!

V is very sweet (doesn't she look sweet?) and said to Kendra, "go to Mummy" and other such things. But no.

My baby girl was soooo off me.

Not a smile from her, nothing.

I pretended things were fine and moved on doing my other stuff and much later, K warmed up to me again.

Either that, or she just wanted someone to hold her.

But no warmth or smiles!!!

When she woke at 11pm she gave me big smiles again so all was well.

However, this business has been repeating itself. Thankfully not daily but enough to worry a bit. D says it's normal; they're with V more than anyone else during the week.

That's true but STILL.

She loves V more than me! Granted, V has TONS more patience than I do and therefore indulges her a lot more than we do.

I told her yesterday, "no rocking K to sleep; we don't do it and I don't want her thinking that's the way things get done". You know what she said? "I was feeling sorry for her because she hasn't been feeling well. Awwww.

Thankfully, Connor is his same steady self. Always pleased to see me, full of smiles and hugs. Today he was so excited to see me he grabbed at my necklace (the pink and white one you made me, Caroline), broke it and there were beads EVERYWHERE.

D also says Kendra is stroppy (true! except now I have a new adjective to describe her - Spirited as per Baby Whisperer!) and is likely to be a bit more moody.

On the bright side, I would much rather have her love the nanny than be scared of her.

Some people have been asking how Viola's working out and so on.

She is great. We still trust her 100% with the kids, she has so much patience (she was first in the queue when God was handing out patience and I was number 100) and HER eyes also light up when she sees them in the mornings.

She's also proud of their little milestones and tells me eagerly when I get home, "Connor rolled today" or "Kendra ate ALL her broccoli", etc. It feels like the 3 of us parent the babies together which I do like.

The only negative thing is that she's still a bit slow with the baby laundry so things take maybe a day or two longer to get done than I'd like but that issue is SO SMALL in the grand scheme of things that I really don't care about it. I have told her, "I don't want to see it" so the dirty baby laundry hides in our laundry, I don't see it and I stay happy :)

In case you didn't know, laundry is probably the thing I hate the most of all household chores. Seriously. It's NEVER-ENDING!

What's your worse chore?

Anyway, so that's the latest on Nanny Viola. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments and I'll answer them there too.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

money and other randomness

I just finished doing our January budget and am happy to report that things are looking up!

I never thought I'd be happy to be paying R5 500 a month on babies but when you put it in context it looks great.

We've now had 6 full months of baby expenses and I'm horrified to say we've spent R52 500.

That's $7 000.

Horrified!

Only God knows where all that money came from because it's definitely not in our monthly expense budget. Oh yes, that's right - my annual bonus at work and a depleted joint savings account!

We had 3 months of between R10 and R12 000 (the night nanny months) but thank God those days are over.

I still exceeded the budget by a couple of hundred but I'm thinking I may have to adjust the budget.

This month I paid the nanny overtime to come in two Saturdays for a few hours each time. This was so I could get some work done and that worked out quite well.

She's also keen (more money for her) so it's win-win.

I may have to do this for a few months while I find my groove working/ babies/ business because I'm getting behind on my household stuff and my freezer meals are running out.


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Cooked up a storm today - mostly baby food (there are now 22 baby meal portions in my freezer, neatly labelled of course) but also some Weigh-Less meals for me. Was totally inspired reading about Sarah's weight loss today and had to get moving on the food while still motivated.


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The other night I decided I needed a treat and ordered myself (and a friend, but she doesn't know) some jewellery on Etsy. Can't WAIT for the pieces to arrive.


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Am reading the Baby Whisperer. Why, oh why, did I not read this book sooner? Am LOVING it.


So... are you having a good week thus far?


P.S. Have decided to go to the Elton John concert - after all, it's on my life list! :)

P.P.S. It's POURING with rain as I type this - LOVELY - and now I'm off to bed.

P.P.P.S. Must blog about the nanny!

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