Friday, July 30, 2010

Single parent

Things were just finalised today.

D is going to Botswana for 5 days of work. Shame - he's going to be working while sales staff get to have conference. In my company that means drinking and partying but his company is a lot more earnest about working hard :)

We were kind of happy about the opportunity but he is none too pleased as he has to leave home at 1:00 on Sunday to check in and catch his flight because he'll be missing time with the babies. Awww.

I am doing my thing of trying to stay positive!!!

Technically I can ask my MIL to help on Sunday but I won't. I am way too stubborn. Also to drive 45 minutes here and another 45 minutes back is just a huge waste of time. It's also more draining for me to have her here...

Anyone for a play date?

Next week the only thing I need to be concerned about is the wake-up as D normally gets up to give them their morning bottles. They're going to have to scream LOUD to rouse me from my deep sleep.

Of course, there'll be no gym for me next week but after the babies go sleep, I should be able to do my ab crunches, get some good work done and will (hopefully) probably get to bed earlier than I normally do as I'm not planning to cook at all since there are meals in the freezer.

D is not into technology so will not be taking a laptop or anything with him. He says when you write the whole day the last thing you want to be doing on your "off" time is write some more (I've tried many times to get him to blog as he's a brilliant writer).

Any other tips to survive the week?

P.S. I don't know how you guys do it who don't have hubbies around all the time. I would CRACK!

Despite having 33% body fat, yesterday was a surprisingly good day

I finally listened to that Satisfaction Finder audio and OH, it is good! So good I had to rewind about 3 times to re-listen to bits of it. (I listen to audios while driving)

Jen Louden is a gifted coach and I love hearing other people coach and then hearing the coachee (is this even a word?) have their aha's. Gives me thrills :)

Anyway, more on this next week when I've done processing it all but a quick revelation:

I've started thinking so much because I'm in coaching mode so I'm trying to do for me what I do for my clients.

it's not exactly bad but I can't be the best coach for me that I can be for others (objectivity and all that) so I'm about 95% decided to hire a life coach. I'm going with the flow (difficult for me) and accepting this is a new stage in my life and I'd like some support.

Already have a business coach but may transition to a speaking coach to focus specifically on the speaking side of my business. Let's see what Business Coach and I come up with next week - I can't wait!



Here's what I actually wanted to write about.

I had a fitness assessment yesterday with a biokineticist. I do these solely for the points (we get 7500 points and our goal is gold - what else? lol) which convert to HUGE discounts on holidays, hotels, etc. (all stuff we love).

A nice side benefit is you get your health checked out.

I did my first one in 2003 and the aim is two a year. Some years I manage them, some not. Last year I squeezed one in right at the end of my maternity leave (for the points, BABY!).

Unsurprisingly, my fitness sucks big time (poor! it's only ever been that bad the first year I had one done) BUT I rock on all the other aspects - excellent on the push-ups and flexibility, blood pressure, non-smoking and non-drinking.

And I got "good" for ab crunches and nutrition.

Strangely "acceptable" on weight but really it's not!

I had the sweetest guy in his 20's who definitely had the gift of encouragement because he told me I had high body fat in such a nice way I didn't even feel bad :)

I discussed with my boss this morning in our catch-up (we talk about rubbish all the time) and his body fat % is 18. I didn't give my shockingly high number - too embarrassed.

This weight thing is out of hand. I "only" have 4 kgs to lose and I'm 95% there on just biting the bullet and hiring a personal trainer for 3 months to get my butt in gear.

I really hate spending money on stuff I could do anyway (hey, is this how people feel about coaching? I often use the "personal trainer for your life" analogy to explain what I do) but the fact is, I'm not doing it and I need some accountability.

Then again, if I get a good bonus, I will have no excuse!

Do you exercise? What works for you?

P.S. I'm going to do 30 ab crunches a day for the month of August - when it starts feeling easy, I'll increase by 10 at a time. Wish me well...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rules for weekends

Two people recently told me that they have rules for weekends.

A friend who came to the babies' party said that she had to leave because she had another party to go to.

She then turned to another mutual friend and said, "don't you find that you have so many socials because of the kids?" (the mutual friend's kids are 2,5 and 4 months)

So the mutual friend says, "oh no, B & I have rules. we only do one plan per weekend day"

I then piped up and said, "we need to make some rules"!

In June, we could have been busy every single Sat and Sun. And when I say Sun, I mean besides church.

As it happened, we were only busy for 6 weekend days. Which is about 4 days too busy for us :)

Then another friend has yet to see my babies (other than photos) and they're nearly 13 months.

As an aside - what is it with photos?

Yet another friend said to me she hasn't felt compelled to come see the babies in the flesh because she sees pics on Facebook and the blog. My thing is if one person says it, more are thinking it so I'm sure there are others who feel the same.

Hmmm. I haven't quite worked out how I feel about it. I definitely don't want to "show off" my babies but they are very different in person and you get to see their personalities, how they and I interact, etc.

This friend (not the photo friend) then said that they have a rule of only one plan per weekend and she's booked up til the end of August. Their party is at end of August so if we go, I suppose we can kill two birds with one stone? Or maybe it was an excuse? LOL

I have definite rules during the week - no out of the house more than 3 times per week, whether gym, church stuff, supper with friends, etc. otherwise life is too hectic.

But I don't have weekend rules... yet!

Am I the only one without weekend rules? Please share what works (or doesn't work) for you and your family.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Party post number 3

Well, D turned 40 yesterday and said to me that he had an 8 out of 10 day.

That's BRILLIANT for D who is not a very excitable sort of guy.

I can't believe I'm married to a 40-year-old :) I feel like he's in a different league.... the 40's :) Sort of like when we met and I was 18 and he was 22.

For another 9 days we're 5 years apart.

Back to the party - I know none of you are interested in my life, just in the babies. *sigh*


D said Kendra has to wear a dress so dress it was. This is the dress my mother sent her...she looks a bit unsure because she doesn't usually wear dresses.

As for Connor, jeans and T-shirt so he was right at home.

Giving me a hug

This boy is the best hugger ever. It's SO lovely when I get home from work and I get long hugs. Kendra bounds up, gives me quick hugs and then she "tells" me she wants down and she's OFF.

That's D's sister in the background

this boy LOVES being outside - it's his favourite thing after water, with lights being a strong 3rd :)

If I just open the door to take the rubbish out (it's winter so the doors are mostly closed), his eyes get this glint and he races toward the door

Trying to take some family pics

Kendra saying hello

And they're OFF. Enough of this photo business - there's GRASS and STONES and LEAVES!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sleep is for babies

Sorry if this is showing up in your feed readers a million times. I'd scheduled it but it's suddenly not working and I am determined to get it right :)

I remember when "my friend with the twins" used to tell me about her girls not sleeping during the day, I really didn't take it all that seriously.

I think I even glibly said something like, "yes, I read (in one of my many baby books) that they drop a nap at age 1"

C then said, "but what if they've never napped well" or something like that.

Well, C's girls must have transmitted something to our (previously) good nappers as they've now decided that "sleep is for babies".

The multiples blog had a napping prompt a couple of weeks ago and I visited about 3 blogs before I got despondent. ALL these kids were sleeping 2 - 3 hours during the day!

Do you know what we could do with 2 - 3 hours????

I filed it all away in my mental rolodex to ask Dr S at their check-up.

And he said babies this age (Deanna, I decided that I'll do as you do and call them babies til they're 12 :)) need about 12 - 14 hours' sleep a day.

Since mine are sleeping 12 hours at night and then another hour afterwards before V arrives, Dr S said if I get another hour of napping out of them every day, we should count ourselves lucky.

Notice how I just glossed over this MOMENTOUS event that is called STTN???

I don't want to jinx it. As a Christian I know that's hogwash but really, can the babies read my mind?!

So we get one SHORT 30 - 45-minute nap in the mornings and that's it. I keep telling them they're from DNA where we LOVE OUR SLEEP but they're not having any of it. Maybe it's the grannies... both our mothers get up at the crack of dawn and are not really fond of sleep like their offspring.

How can anyone not love sleep?!

Kendra, however, loves sleeping in the car. She pops off the minute we're out of our suburb (2 minutes from home) so on the weekends she gets more sleep - on Sundays when we go to church, at least 2 X 25-minute sessions . Yesterday she had 3 because we went somewhere on the way home.

Connor slept for 40 minutes during church (until 11:35) and that was it until he fell asleep for the night at about 6:30.

Now you know why we're knackered.

How do your kids nap doing the day?

P.S. I still would not change this stage for that newborn stage EVER!
P.P.S. I'll be 36 next week. So is it 37 things you're supposed to do for the next year or 36?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Multiples and More

I'm the featured expert at Multiples and More today AND I'm doing a giveaway if you're interested.

Although, maybe you all know me too well???

There's a verse in the Bible that says Jesus couldn't do any miracles in his own town which I always think of because I imagine the people said, "Jesus? What? That guy? I knew him when he was this tall, doing this and that."

And that's why they couldn't receive their miracle from him. LOL

Isn't it fun living in my head?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hmmm, about a 7

they love that dangly thing on my bag
I promised I'd share what my week was like, so here goes.

Let's start with the ugly and then go to the bad and then the good.

Before I start, I heard this joke this week:

The good
Your wife's pregnant

The bad
It's triplets (not funny to an infertile)

The ugly
You had a vasectomy 5 years ago


The ugly

  • Bad, bad period pains. Throbbing like crazy so you can't think about anything.I think it only happens this badly every second month.
  • Fighting with (what seems like) every customer service rep imaginable. But really, I think I phoned about 6 different companies. Had to resort to going on for two of them. I hate it when no one takes responsibility. And then the one tells me, "I see you've been on hellopeter again" to which I said, "yes, because it's the only way someone actually returns my calls". Silence on other end. *sigh*
  • Situation at work - we've interviewed for a new PA and the person who didn't get the job got really "nothing" feedback from HR but then heard some really horrible things through the grapevine as to why she didn't get the job. Boss and I don't know how the gossip started as we both have zipped lips with staffing issues...but both of us were/ are LIVID!
  • Got absolutely NO sign-ups for a teleseminar I had planned. ZIP! Horrified but taking the Zen approach as in "if it's meant to be, it'll be".

The bad

  • Have made annual appt with gynae. It is a new gynae as my Dr C emigrated to New Zealand. He transferred his caseload to another guy but I don't want to go to him (a bit out of my way - I'm lazy, I like having my medical people literally 2 minutes away, not 15 minutes away). So sent about 5 emails back and forth just to get them to send my file to new guy. I have SUCH a lot of stuff going on (even before I knew I was infertile) that it will take about 30 mins just to go through all the operations.
  • Being behind at work again due to going to a conference mid-week.
  • I feel a little bit fragile emotionally when I get my period (not before, but during). The last time this happened I wrote it down and this week when I was feeling unloved and full of sass, I thought, "hey! it's because of my period" which is at least good to know. Still not nice to experience it as everything seems worse than it actually is. Can anyone relate?

The good

  • Fantastic conference on innovation of all things. Learned such a lot and best of all, I felt like I belonged, networking and doing my people thing :)
  • Also made two good connections for people who either might want to coach with me or get me in to speak. Yes, I've already followed up with them :)
  • In meeting with the unsuccessful candidate, I was very glad to hear that they (she and her manager) didn't for a minute think I'd actually said those things as "my integrity is unquestionable", thank God for that.
  • Got my performance appraisal done on our system. This is huge as I make copious notes so that I actually understand what the corporate speak means.
  • Also got lots more responsibility and opportunity to "showcase my skillset" (!) - which means chances to present at meetings, etc. so the bigwigs see more of me LOL (this stuff makes me giggle, honestly). It is also now an official part of my job to say no :) Seriously, everyone hates telling the people no to doing business. I have no problems with this and do it nicely but very firmly so I've taken it over. Let's see how that goes although just this week alone I have already turned down two opportunities.
  • On same day of the scheduled teleseminar, I got my BIGGEST coaching client yet. Biggest in terms of money. It actually is just a little bit scary to be getting such a lot of money from one client but HEY! it means she is serious and I can't wait to start working with her tomorrow.
  • The babies are seriously cuter than I ever imagined, FULL of spunk (not so nice during feeding times when they don't want my food) and best of all, I feel I'm coming into my own. D asked me tonight how I feel about my mothering and I said, "I think I'm doing an awesome job" after which we both laughed like crazy. But I do... yes, I literally never sit still these days while they're awake BUT the independence is just amazing and I LOVE IT!
This week we have D's 40th birthday on Tuesday, the babies' 12-month injections on Wednesday (I couldn't mess up D's bday if the babies were niggly) and my fitness assessment on Thursday (I am my heaviest ever). I also need to get to gym at least twice and get caught up on my work.

What do you have planned for this week? Yes, I really want to know.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On a scale of 1 to 10...

what would you rate this last week and, most important, why?

P.S. I'll share mine tomorrow :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sorry sorry sorry

for playing around with my settings.

Mandy H emailed me to say why is she getting weird redirect messages! OOPS!

This is why you should not do things you know nothing about (I have something coming up on Multiples and More and you will see exactly what I mean)!!!

Anyway, I fixed it.

But here's what I'm trying to do:

I want to type in and when the blog loads, I don't want to see the old leighloveslists address there anymore.

How do I do that?

I will be eternally grateful if you'll help someone who should not be messing with web stuff!

Party post number 2

View from kitchen end through the house to the sunroom - the babies race all the way down that lovely expanse of carpet. Drinks, etc. and the table has the sweet stuff (savoury stuff was outside)

We have a beautiful (new) carpet, thanks to my geyser bursting last year when I was 6 weeks pregnant and on holiday. Only thing is the carpet's leaves its natural fibres all over the babies' clothes.

Just the other day I threw out 2 pairs of tracksuit pants because they were seriously ugly and my boy looked like we couldn't afford some decent pants.

Front of house with the banner and balloons. Still my favourite part of it all (I am so easy to please).

Chairs, etc. and on the left, the babies' new swing and slide set

View from the other side - you can just spot the table with food near the kitchen door. And of course, baby laundry on the line. I still think it's cute.

my sister in law's cupcakes, ready to be iced and decorated

Inside table, half ready. The round green bucket has the polka dot party packs.

So I was a bit ticked off when my MIL arrived as she took over and didn't listen to what I said. Grrr. Like don't put out too much food all at once as I hate a cluttered table.

My natural tendency is to say my thing, if people ignore, so be it and I retreat. I do this at work too and it has twice been highlighted as a "development need" (don't you love corporate speak?!), at this company and the previous one. I just can't see the point of pushing if it's clear people are not listening.

Anyway, this is not good as I do the same at home. My MIL is on her mission and I'm on mine so I think "stuff this, life is too short" but inside I seethe. Hmmm, can anyone relate?

My plan was for people to help themselves to ALL the sweet things I had inside after we did the babies' cakes (oh my! soon I'll have to stop calling them babies!) but next thing you know, a plate of cupcakes was whipped outside.

People obviously helped themselves but not to ALL the sweet things I'd so lovingly baked/ prepared inside. Understandable - why should people go 10 steps into the house when there was sweet stuff right there. I was left with HEAPS of food afterwards despite piling some on the guests and V.

Also, then I didn't put out the tea/ coffee properly and that whole bit felt very disorganised to me. Granted, my friends just got on with it and helped themselves around my kitchen (I love when people do that, seriously!).

If there's ever a next time at my house, I need someone who doesn't mind conflict to help me "manage" the personalities. Candice? Robynne? :)

Otherwise, a party venue it is. Although the thought of that also makes me twitch just a little bit.

P.S. The sweetest thing was my friend's 12 year old saying to her mom that I'm creative and organised. Cheered me right up but I did think, "and everything didn't even go according to plan".

P.P.S. On this day a year ago, Connor was discharged from the hospital.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Confronting my mother

I don't know if there's anybody who LOVES or thrives on confrontation.

I don't mind it but that's because I hate the feeling more of having things unresolved.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, so remember my mother favours Kendra?

After the last incident, D and I decided that either both get something or no-one gets anything.

My brother came up to Jhb for a few days a few weeks ago and after unpacking his stuff, hands me a gift for K from my mother.

First thing I say, "where's Connor's?"

My mother didn't send anything for Connor!

I was incredulous. And gave my brother quite a stern talking-to. In hindsight he didn't deserve it but I said "you're old enough to ask where Connor's present is" and he agreed. But I don't blame him - he doesn't want all that hassle.

So he said he had money from her and instructions to buy some clothes for the babies' birthday.

I told him that he'd "better buy something for Connor first and then get something else" which he did, so technically all is well.

BUT... I need to have a talk to her.

And I'm dreading it. She is highly defensive over anything and will absolutely FREAK out. Either that or she will go all or nothing on me "well then I'll never buy them anything again". I can just hear it.

Why can't life be easy?

But I have to deal with it properly. We tried joking about it in December and that didn't work.

Do any of you have favouritism issues with grandparents and one kid over the other?

We have such a weird relationship. She's intensely private and will not discuss anything properly.

"How are you enjoying your new job?" "It's fine" "Fine how" "Just FINE!" (end of story)

And of course I hate superficial relationships so I find myself frustrated all the time. This is not just with me; she's the same with my siblings.

I think she still sees us as kids and that's why she refuses to engage properly. Strange thing is she has a much better relationship with my cousins than she does with us. Again, very frustrating.

And of course, I've never heard a "I'm proud of you" or anything like that. Something Dr Phil said years ago freed me up totally in this area - he said "sometimes you have to tell yourself what you wish you heard from others". Wise man, that Dr Phil.

What's your relationship like with your mother?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why you should not buy a phone that looks like a toy

This is all Connor's doing. He rips the phone off the telephone table (because he can reach it) and then they chew cords and the receiver.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Party post number 1

You have been so, so patient with me - finally I get to blog a bit about the party.

I've just spent ages compressing photos and uploading them to the blog and there are stacks. I'm in no mood to be decisive so I'm going to post them in separate posts.

We decided on a polka dot party so had round foods, round sweets, etc.

Very easy to do once you get focussed - suddenly you see round food everywhere.

Kendra wore a top with polka dots; I couldn't find anything for Connor so he went plain. I thought of putting some stickers on his top but thought better of it as everything goes in the mouth and I didn't feel like fishing stickers out of his mouth the whole afternoon.

I had very definite "ideas" about some things - I wanted a banner, balloons, two cakes and two songs (you know I have issues with "twins" - they are individuals and all that jazz...) - I didn't give two hoots about the rest.

And that's where the crazy started - I wanted to be the one to do their cakes.

Well, time kind of ran out because of work and such. My friend at work, Michelle, asked me on the Thursday if I was "all prepared".

I laughed because I was soooo not prepared. So much so that I seriously contemplated moving the party to another venue other than my house.

I wanted to buy cakes but D said it's got to "look homemade" and since none of the cakes at the home industry shop excited me, I was forced to bake the cakes.

Here's my kitchen (I have zero counter space) during the prep. I will be so, so glad when all these bottles disappear for good and I can reclaim my kitchen counter for food!

(By the way, I've already given away the baby bath and that z-shaped thing we used when they were babies)

Don't you love my red kettle? I seriously love it. I bought it to cheer myself up one day last year when I was feeling down and it makes me smile whenever I see it.

I cheated and did microwave cakes so it took about 10 minutes in total (my kind of baking) and I spread caramel all around and did K and C in Smarties (like M & M's).

Trust me, they certainly looked homemade :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Last week - crazy and wonderful, all at the same time

I honestly had a BALL last week.

Speaking is what I was created to do. I truly believe that.

And to think the teachers at school used to write in my reports, "Marcia is SUCH a good worker BUT... she talks too much".


I felt so rushed getting ready for this - rushing to get (new) suits altered, rushing to get my hair done, rushing to sound checks, etc.

But it was worth it.

The Jhb talk was the biggest and toughest (Joburg people are a tough crowd to please) but it was fabulous.

The organisers loved that I stayed on time and didn't mess up their schedule of events :)

I knew when I cracked that one that the others would be a breeze.

Then the next morning a major miracle happened - I managed to get showered, dressed and out the door in time to be at the airport at 6:50!!!

Amazing. Remember I usually sleep til 7:20.

They'd arranged valet parking for me and people, once you get used to this, it is heaven.

Especially at OR Tambo airport.

Especially for impatient people like me who can't be bothered to look for parking.

I phoned them on the way (set the phone ready on the passenger seat so all I had to do was press one button) to make sure someone was ready for me but that wasn't necessary.

All I had to do was drive up to domestic departures and a guy ran up to me, I signed something, handed over my car keys and walked into the building to check in.


When I got back, I called them once we landed (because the flight was early, again if your flight's on time, they will be there waiting with your CLEAN car - my car's never been that "loved" before) and soon after I stepped out the door, another guy came driving up.

Another bonus - it is bitterly cold in Jhb (Cat, I think I read on your blog that it's the coldest winter in how long???) so when my car got to me, it was warmed up (engine and inside) and I got my keys, jumped in and was on my way home.


I will always use this service from now onwards - talk about saving time!

Anyway, back to the talks.

Cape Town was FABULOUS. The driver forgot to collect me at the airport (some mix-up) but I forgot how friendly the Capetonians are and happily spent the time chatting to some locals and tourists.

The talk itself was great - I was even more on form than Jhb and the crowd was responsive and gave me great feedback, asked lots of questions afterward, etc.

Only thing - a very long day as I only got home at 8:30 pm but on the bright side, I used all that airport time to do TONS of work.

Thursday I was back at work where I was on such a speaking high I was all abuzz in our team meeting (my boss even said something!) and then I had my dreaded performance appraisal.

That was fine - I'm doing very well blah blah blah corporate speak... I expect a very good bonus as a result and will be FREAKED OUT if it doesn't happen.

And then Friday I flew to Durban. They hired a car for me this time - didn't want the same thing to happen (drivers getting mixed up) - and amazingly I didn't get lost!

The weather was SO WARM compared to up here and yet everyone down there was complaining bitterly about how cold it was. They would not survive one week up here :)

Again, GREAT talk and great people. Had lovely chats with the regional sales manager and others. It's amazing how people's perception change once they realise YOU are the speaker :) Suddenly you're The Expert. Too funny because I'm still me, still down to earth.

Dbn airport had no internet reception so I got almost no work done. I did, however, manage to buy my diary for the next 18 months (July - Dec 2011), a Moleskine.

And then.... a man from the plane hit on me! I couldn't believe it! D laughed when I told him the story because I've always been the same (I also turned him down at first). I simply said, no thanks, I'm not interested. All I want to do is get home to my family!

It was lovely to get home at a decent hour (just after 6:30 - babies already in bed though!) and spend some time with D.

The only bad thing about the whole week was this - if only I were thinner I'd have looked better in the pics. Quite honestly this was a chance to get some great professional pics for the website and ... I'm 5 kg overweight.

But really, as Mandy E said many posts ago, if that's all I have to complain about, then I'm a blessed woman!

I really am blessed - I got to share my message and my God-given gifts with 240 women and about 10 men this week and I feel so, so privileged!

P.S. The really fantastic thing, business-wise, is that this company is SO big and a real corporate GIANT that it is instant credibility. I can't wait to update my website.

P.P.S. I had to move out my half day coaching intensive with the business coach so it's now happening on my birthday. Although through all of this I already have gained such a lot of clarity that I just feel lighter. Will write more about my decisions in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm eating my words

Edited to add the red bits

SOOOOO many people have told me to "cherish every moment" and "they grow up so fast" and other such cliches and I honestly thought, "no way, I can't WAIT for them to be big".

But today we went to use some gift vouchers my kids got for birthday presents.

(as an aside, Kendra might have had the right idea to come early because the SALES are all on around their birthday :))

Anyway, we'll be going into summer soon so all the winter clothes are on sale and I bought clothes for next year.

I unpacked the clothes earlier and had a moment.

18 - 24 months looks SO BIG. I will have a REAL little boy then, not a baby.

As it is, he is already displaying VERY boyish behaviour. He is wild, fearless, loud and can now "run" away from me when I try to change his clothes - this is the latest biggest joke - if I packaged up those giggles, I could sell them to make people happy and be an instant millionaire.

I caught Connor with his hand on my phone today - my bedside table is not normally this messy - we had the kids in our bedroom and had to dump things here quickly - he is tall because this is a very high bedside table

this was last weekend - but this is how we find him all the time - standing

Kendra is also suddenly looking so big. She is tall but more than that, her facial expressions tell me that she's got things sussed out (do you say "sussed"?) and she knows exactly what we're thinking. Scary.

E.g. When I'm looking for Kendra, I generally walk around the house and say to V, "where's Kendra?" Well, she (K) figured out how to say "there". So now we think it's the cutest thing in the world to say to her, "where's Kendra?" and hear her say "there". She does this with "where's Daddy?" and "where's Connor?"

The other day I held her and Connor was right next to us and I said, "Kendra, where's Connor?"

Well, she looks at him and then looks back at me with this expression on her face like, "are you STUPID? he's RIGHT THERE!"

Maybe it's because I missed their bedtime twice this week - the only two times ever - but the next day they looked like big kids.

Anyway, I'm realising I'd better "cherish the moments" and all that jazz because they really DO grow up fast.

That's not to say I still can't wait until they can talk instead of screaming in frustration :)

P.S. More blogging this week - I am so behind but am at least caught up with my Google Reader.

Mandy, I found a definition for sussed!
Generally used as friendly replacement of "figured out", "worked out" or "done".

Friday, July 16, 2010

The last day of them being my babies

These millions of pics were taken on Tuesday 6th - the day before they turned 1.

I purposely put them in very baby-looking babygrows because I miss them looking like babies now and then!

Kendra with her weird hair

and Connor with his baby castanets (one day I'm going to freak them out and play my REAL castanets for them LOL)

Remember that order for baby stuff I was talking about last week?

Well, Mandy P, it was your comment that moved me into action.

Mandy said knowing the type of person I am, I won't be happy till I deal with it.

So I did.

First of all, I showed my colleages the other stuff - they said it was fine so I went with that.

I sent an email and told her that I'd debated about telling her but felt she needed to know and I focussed on how they could improve the items in question.

She was absolutely gracious in her response - these were new products to their initial offering but they'd rather have 100% satisfied customers so would I like them to redo the product or would I like my money back?

I opted for money back.

So I posted the stuff to them and they refunded the money plus postage.

A beautiful end to the story.
P.S. I'm at the airport, waiting for my flight to WARM Durban where I will do Talk 3.
What are you looking forward to today?

Thursday, July 15, 2010


An acquaintance popped into the family room at church on Sunday, happy as anything.

I asked her why she was so happy and she said, "we're having a baby-free weekend".

Her 20-month-old was staying with her mum for the weekend. She did say that this was only the second weekend ever that they'd spent apart, hence the happiness.

A second thing happened.

My friend, Caren, also has boy/ girl twins.

Recently her hubby went to my favourite country in the world, Ireland, for a week on business. While away, a very good friend of hers flew up from Dbn to help Caren take care of the twins.

When I read this on Facebook, I was amazed.

And even a bit jealous.

Because I can't imagine someone ever doing that for us.

I told D about Caren and he said, "nobody would ever do that for us".

I asked if it was me, if I'm too strict, etc.

And he says, "oh no, we just have selfish family!"


So to all of you who have very kind family members and friends who would take a baby/ ies for a night or a weekend, treasure them!

As for us, we'd better start saving hard for lots of babysitting money :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wayback Wednesday - Kendra eating chips!

Needless to say, my kids are actually NOT allowed to have chips/ potato crisps. This is their father's bad influence! He is a self-proclaimed chipaholic.

Are yours allowed to have chips? If yes, from what age?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One-year stats

So last week on the babies' birthday we took them to the paed.

He is wonderful! Incidentally, he's also the expert paediatrician that will be speaking at the BabySense seminars in September.

These were the only pics taken on their actual birthday - you can see they were in heaven crawling around on this clean, uncluttered floor without "hindrances".


10,4 kg (50th percentile)
Height 77 cm (75th percentile)
Head circumference 47,5 cm (75th percentile)


Weight 7,58 kg (something like 79 % of where she should be - great - she was 80% last time and is obviously very mobile)
Height 75 cm (50th percentile)
Head circumference 45,5 cm (50th percentile)

Kendra's still in Pampers 3 and is wearing 3 - 6 month vests but everything else 6 - 12 month, mainly for those long legs and arms.

Connor's in Pampers 4 and wears 6 - 12 month vests and some clothes (mainly bottoms). On the top he wears some 6 - 12 and lots of 12 - 18 months.

They are SO different in personality and in boy/ girl-ness :)

E.g. when they crawl into my study, Connor immediately heads for cords and is bent on destruction. He pushes my wastepaper basket holding all the rolls of wrapping paper over, yanks on any cords (I often find iBurst dangling as well as the mouse) and other such "boy" stuff.

Kendra, on the other hand, is inquisitive. She crawls to my bag and starts looking through it. She also loves playing with the sequins and embroidery on the edge of the duvet - pretty stuff :)


Kendra is still a good eater. I must say, this is by my definition (doesn't give us hassles generally). She is not interested in feeding herself - if we feed her with the spoon, she's happy. But when I give toast and other finger foods, she'll happily eat.


Thank goodness, he's stopped fighting so much with food. BUT he knows his mind. Although V started something with him that we also do on the weekends. If he doesn't like the look of something, he shakes his head no, no, NO.

So V says, "Connor, have a taste" and he will and then sometimes he continues, sometimes not.

We've found that he likes to mess in his food with spoons and hands and then eats much better.

My motto is "there's always milk" LOL

Things discussed

1. They are now allowed to have real milk :) He said we can give them low-fat too, but not skim milk. "Finish the fomula you have and then go straight onto fresh milk" Gosh - do I really have big kids?

2. They only need to have between 300 and 400 ml a day and he said not to get fixated on reducing a bottle; they will naturally start getting more of their nutrition from food and less from milk. So if they only drink 120 ml of a bottle for a few days, then we're to keep them on that and let the babies reduce their milk intake accordingly.

3. We can start seasoning their food with a tiny bit of salt (as I normally cook) but we're not to add salt afterwards (never do this).

4. We can stop the baby vitamins (ViDaylin) but I said I'd prefer to continue, at least through winter. Why mess with a winning formula? Although he said their diets are so varied and good (yay! at least I feed them lots of good food - why does everyone raise their eyes at the lentils?!) and that the vitamins and minerals will come from food.

5. Developmentally, they are JUST fine. I don't need to be concerned about anything. Speech (!) is fine, physically they're fine, everything is fine. In fact, he said they're doing much better than he expected.

6. I asked him about social development and he said with twins, they really don't need other kids until about 3. I said I was planning to put them in a playgroup at about 2 1/2 and he said, "perfect".

So next appt at 15 months.

But I need to make an appointment for the shots next week when things are less hectic. The clinic's already sent me a reminder ;)

I swear every appointment gets better and better. Despite the babies being stubborn, sassy and stroppy.

Do you also love your paed?

P.S. The one thing I forgot to ask about was the rear-facing car seat thing. I'm still not ready to move them around and haven't even THOUGHT of what type of chair,e tc. I might just delegate to D (he loves research, like you Saffy).

P.P.S. Today's talk went VERY well and it's the biggest of the three, so I'm a lot more relaxed for tomorrow and Friday. Of course in between this all, there is my work performance appraisal on Thursday. Ta da da dum!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Colder and colder

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any colder, it did.

When I walked out the door to get to my car this morning it was 2 degrees. It was the kind of cold that goes straight into your bones.

All the way driving to work the temperature didn’t rise higher than 2.5 degrees. That’s Celsius. Google tells me that’s 36.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember we’re not used to this kind of cold in Jhb.

What do you dress your babies in when it's this cold?

Mine are wearing long-sleeved bodyvests, leggings, long-sleeved tops, jerseys and jeans. I told V she may have to put another jersey over the existing jersey. The poor kids look like Michelin men. LOL

See, we can't have heaters on unless they're caged in their cots because they are oh so curious and touch EVERYTHING.

I was very good last night in that I made a list of “stuff to do on the computer” and stuck to my list in order of priority!

Blogging on this blog was unfortunately last on the list and I skipped it in favour of reading and sleep because my nose was pouring like a tap and I had to take a Degoran.

I need to talk about the party and the baby crabbiness……D and I both rated the party as an 8 out of 10 (we do this with everything – it’s a quick way to gauge the other’s reaction to events without misinterpretation of words :))

I am slightly anxious at the thought of all the early waking up this week to get to the airports and catch flights as I am SO not an early riser.

On Wed I have to leave home at around 6.15 *shudder* and on Friday a more reasonable 7.00.
On the bright side, lots of time for blogging so I should be all caught up soon.

Also, will I be as good when I'm up on stage as I would be if I'd had more sleep? Hmmm, only time will tell. Hopefully the adrenaline will carry me...

Today I have to fetch my pants from the tailor (no, I can’t hem!), get my hair done and prepare my talk for tomorrow. I did the handout last night so am about 50 - 60%% prepared with content.

I'm in the mood for warm, comfort food tonight. What are your suggestions for supper?

P.S. Deanna, my title is How to organise any space and as it’s a lighthearted talk, I’m demonstrating with a disorganised handbag.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's official - I'm fat

I went to a store to look for suits for the speaking gigs yesterday.

I don't have patience with browsing - I like to go in, find the stuff and get out. Very hunter-gatherer and un-female, I know.

Anyway, so I walk in and tell the first saleslady I see what I'm looking for.

She takes me to a section of clothes and says, "so you're a 10 on the top and what? A 14/ 16 on the bottom?"

I nearly died.

My current stuff I can't fit into is a 10 alround.

So I said, "No! If anything, I'm a 12 on the bottom"

She wouldn't be deterred so insisted I take a 12 AND 14 pants to the fitting room.

I was right though - the 12 fit me.

STILL - 12!!!

I need to get my FAT bottom to the gym a LOT in the next few weeks because this is now unacceptable!!!

And now, I need to go pin those pants and take them for hemming because I'm a shorty and everything is always too long!

P.S. 10 = size 34 and 12 = size 36

Hope you're having a better self-image day :)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Feeling just a tad overwhelmed

There are so many things WHIZZING through my mind at the moment that I can't concentrate properly on my work.

  1. babies' party tomorrow (I am fast leaning towards NEVER doing this again.....too much work ... I know, I know I need to focus on the goal)
  2. speaking gigs (can't find clothes - went to Eastgate last night so now starting to panic - would anyone notice if I just wore my maternity pants??? LOL)
  3. work, work, work (I am going to miss our work conference because of the speaking gigs which just kills me! I am all into VIBE and PASSION and I love this kind of thing at work. Feel terrible because my boss has been so wonderful about it. He said, "M, it's your passion. you have to do it") I also have that dreaded performance appraisal coming up - I hate those things because they're meaningless and they waste hours of my time - which I have to still prepare for. And I actually have a TON of stuff, all in progress, with OPEN loops. Next week is going to be hectic.
  4. messy house (I need to write about this! I feel like the babies' stuff is spilling into all areas and am not happy............). Also, very sad to say but I seriously miss Precious (my cleaning lady who stole money from us) because she cleaned exactly how I like it - thoroughly and she left my house looking as magazine-beautiful as possible :) I've had 4 people since her and none of them come close. I thought I could train the current one but it's getting clearer that it's not going to work. And my motto is "they work for me to make my life easier, not to cause me more stress"
  5. D's upcoming 40th

Besides all this stuff, I seriously don't have time to reply back to all the text and facebook and email messages from the babies' birthday.

That's not normally me but I did a blanket "thanks for all the wishes" on Facebook - hopefully you all understand???

Still those text messages are all in my inbox on my phone.

I have replied and thanked Roz for this one. This was our cutest birthday wish :) - aren't those cheeks gorgeous???

Some of you asked about the speaking...

I usually just take a day's leave to go do my thing. In this case, I have to fly to CT on Wed and to Dbn on Friday, so definitely out of office time. And I'll leave early on Tues and catch up at home that evening.

I'm speaking on something organising... lovely and vague.... have followed up with event planner because I gave them 4 topics and they're to choose 1. I obviously made them all sound too juicy :) hence the indecision.

Anyway, life is a bit hectic. I can't wait for the party to be over (and no, it is not all sorted by FAR!).

Next week Friday once I've checked into Dbn airport, I'll be able to relax and focus again.


What do you have planned for the weekend?

P.S. This is bringing up very interesting things in my mind. My dream has always been to jet around the country doing talks BUT this feels too hectic now. It may just be because this is all so last-minute and clashes with party prep .... I don't know.

Deanna, your post is making me think!!! Roz, am I thinking too much?

P.P.S. Now that I've made a list and cleared some of the noise, hopefully I can get some good work done!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gosh! Things are moving

The speaking gigs are confirmed.

They are paying me my 50% deposit as we speak (yay!).

After dithering a bit on what to charge (as I've been out of it for two years what with the IVFs, pregnancy and baby stages), I just decided on a number and stuck with it.

I think I may have been a bit too low as they were VERY excited and said "great! we'll see you at the briefing meeting".

So off I toodle to Large Corporate on Tuesday and it turns out the client plus the event planner both had me in mind (separately) which is great and a nice confidence booster for me. Lovely when whatever you're doing marketing-wise somehow all works out. Even if you don't quite know what that is...

Three events are Jhb, Cape Town and Durban - 150 people, 50 and 35 people respectively. NEXT week!

But this is an EASY one for me - I need virtually no preparation as they loved the first topic I suggested, I don't need to prepare a slide presentation or handouts. Easy-peasy!

I just show up and do my thing.

Only thing is... I fitted on all my suits and they look disgusting on me (why, oh why are my thighs so fat!) so I'll be shopping this weekend in addition to having the babies' party.

Jhb gals - where can I find a nice suit quickly? I'll probably start with Woolworths...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

They're 1

Do you know how we celebrated the babies' birthday?

We went to the paed!

Yes, that's how we roll around here.

I wouldn't take them for any injections on their birthday but the paed is so great and relaxed and affirming of our parenting skills (or lack thereof :)) that I love seeing him.

And to think I kind of hated him at first (based on the receptionists).

Will give you stats (the stuff I LIVE for) and all feedback later this week but need to get to bed now as I've been tidying my messy house since I put them to bed.

(We finally had the study painted - the funny green colour was "doctored" and is now a lovely, light green).

We had a very hectic day (normal baby life with all the eating and not napping and crawling around outside while Daddy assembled their swing and slide set) and I must confess I was not the most cheerful person.

Except with the babies.

As long-time readers know, my MIL is not the most hands-on person in the world and only does cutesy baby stuff, not the "grab the baby before he eats all my weeds" stuff). Oh well.

D and I only realised once they were in bed that we hadn't even taken one-year pics (!). Good thing I took TONS of "last day before you're 1" pics on Tuesday.

I can't believe I have one-year-olds. The last 7 months have FLOWN.

I was looking at pics on the computer that seemed recent and when I checked the date, it was three MONTHS ago.

Anyway, we had TONS of text messages, phone calls and emails - the babies are ten times more popular than D and me combined. Very sad.

The babies didn't seem to "twig" that this is a MOMENTOUS occasion and were their usual selves, babbling up a storm and stealing each other's toys.

D and I kept looking at them and then at each other, marvelling that WE MADE IT!

It only gets better from now, right?


By the way, I was wondering (aloud) why none of the family have offered to help with anything for the babies' party (mine is all in PE) and a friend (the one Kendra was smitten with) said, "they probably think you have it all covered".

Well! Not so but I do hate asking for help.

So I got D to ask SIL to make cupcakes and MIL to make some adult food :)

My dining room table is filled with party stuff - while I am not a fan of the clutter, I needed a place to put these things temporarily and also it helped me see what I still needed to get. In typical Marcia fashion, I bought too much food for the adults and not enough for the kids.

What kind of real food do children eat at parties?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Last night a year ago

my last preggy pic - 31w 2d :)

I had the weirdest feeling yesterday.

It felt like the day before the babies were born (even though it was the 5th not the 6th) because I did roughly the same things I normally do.

Went to work.

Went to gym (last year this was “went to antenatal class”)

Came home and prepared supper.

While I’m finishing up with supper (same supper, by the way, chicken stir fry with a satay sauce – yummy!), D comes into the kitchen and says, “we don’t want to get hooked on Survivor again, do we?”

To which I said, “of COURSE we do! It will be fitting because of last year”

So he sighed and we watched Survivor. Same as last year.

Had shower and went to bed after some work.

Only difference is instead of waters breaking at 12, a baby squawked in her sleep and settled down again.

Hey! It was Kendra last year too.

What a difference a year makes!

P.S. My one work friend had her baby yesterday (she was scheduled for a C-section on my babies’ birthday but he came early as I suspected) and this morning I phoned her.

While we were chatting, he started crying. You know the newborn cry. Oh! It was SO SWEET. I said as much but said I’m also happy it’s not ME! :)

Monday, July 05, 2010

I really hate to moan but...

I bought some baby stuff for a colleague's baby shower next week by email catalogue.

Is that what you call it when you get a brochure emailed to you and that's how you place your order?!

Anyway, turnaround was fantastic - only two days (and I ordered 7 items all in all - 4 for my kids and 3 for the baby shower) before I got the email saying they'd posted it.

Another 3 days from CT and it was here.


Only thing is I'm really not happy with the quality because of the amount I paid.

If I'd bought them at a shop, I'd have taken them back - no question!

But because it was posted I'm hesitating... and obviously I really don't feel like getting into it with the ladies...

I know I'm not happy and I even feel like I need to get my colleague something else as it doesn't feel right to give her those things. She is a person who is very generous and likes unique and different things which is precisely why I thought to get her something special (not the usual Woolies/ Edgars stuff).

Also, I'm happy-ish with 4 of the 7 items. Is it worth paying the postage and going through all that drama to get a refund? Then again, what would I do with the stuff?

I also love it when people show entrepreneurial spirit and do something with their passion so I hate to put a dampener on things...

What do you think? What would you do?

P.S. If memory serves me correctly, about 5 of my real-life friends were sent the email at the same time. Let me know if you ordered and if you liked your stuff!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

This is how I know it's bedtime for the babies

Today was a gorgeous, ice-cold day. On my side of Johannesburg, there were also beautiful grey skies.

A perfect day for soup.

We stopped off at the shops after church to get some more vegetables (I like lentil and vegetable soup) and while the babies were having lunch, I started the soup.

I usually cook it all up and leave it to cool before I puree it as I've burned my hand on the soup in the blender before.

This happened to be when the babies were having supper.

Is it just us or does it seem like they're always eating???!!! Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper.

Anyway, so I poured the soup into the blender, switched it on, happened to glance over at Connor who'd started SCREAMING in terror.

Oh my word!

I switched off the blender immediately but he was still inconsolable.

I don't know if the noise was too sudden for him or if he doesn't like the sound but he hates that blender!!!

Even after hugging, distracting, etc. he was still crying so I did the only thing I know for sure will make him happy again - took him for his bath.

To save time, we bathed both babies together but Connor was splashing so much, this time Kendra had a fright and started SOBBING.

She does this new thing where she sobs like her little heart is breaking. VERY cute but I'm sure she's also working it big time!

Well, I had to quickly clean her through all the tears, rush her out of there and get her dressed and in bed.

It is finally quiet and I can finally enjoy a nice cup of tea.

P.S. This pic was taken this morning (I feel so proud of myself for actually downloading pics on a Sunday evening!!!).

Kendra thinks raisins are the funniest things ever. I only put two at a time on her tray otherwise she throws them all around the kitchen (which, by the way, is ALSO huge fun for her) and every time I put the next two on her tray, she giggled so D took a pic.

P.P.S. D told me earlier that he's had enough. He is too old (!) to be getting up at night anymore (gosh! I laughed!) so if the kids wake before 5, that's it. They will just have to scream.

I'm totally fine with this idea in theory but let's see how long it lasts...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Bouncing back

Remember the post where I said I've been feeling so uncertain about things?

Well, I'm bouncing back, due to a number of things:

1. I subscribed to the comments on that fantastic post (have you read the comments?) and this one popped into my inbox:

''He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away ''

2. I've been sensing God say a couple of things to me, the gist of which is "I am enough". I then decided that I am what I am, and the babies really could do worse than me.

If I haven't a clue, so what? I'm sure they can figure out a lot of things by themselves and if not, well, the R100 I pay Sister Carla every month is money well spent to keep me on track.

I know this deep down but it all goes when I start thinking too much. I need to just go with what I feel more (it's hard for me being a T).

3. A friend also told me I'm thinking too much. I love the feedback. Thanks, R.

I'm trying to parent intentionally but there's a fine balance between being intentional and thinking too much.

4. Sadia mentioned that she keeps her eyes on their parenting goals.

What a great reminder!

Our parenting goals are to raise happy, healthy kids who are independent and well adjusted.

Kendra brushing her teeth

Happy Connor

Of everything, I probably value independence the most which is why I loved 6 months so much! And then it just gets better :)

Do you have parenting goals? What are some of your parenting goals?

P.S. Please keep me accountable and tell me when I'm thinking too much!


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