Sunday, October 31, 2010

The photo shoot


We had the photo shoot yesterday morning and it was WONDERFUL.

I was reminded again why I like this type of relaxed and easy session:

You do your thing (kissing and playing with babies) and the photographer does their thing.

No worrying (or at least too much) about if the kids are smiling, if everyone is looking in the same direction, etc.

And of course, I don't know how or why people do studio-style photoshoots with kids at this very wriggly stage. As far as I'm concerned, once they're crawling, it's a lost cause :)

The weather was perfect (seriously) and the views were breathtaking. I said to D in the car home afterwards, I almost don't even care what the photos look like because I so enjoyed just being outside, gazing upon the beauty of our surroundings (I can't rave about it enough) - views of Jhb, jacarandas, rocks, trees, etc.

I do LOVE the sneak peek and we can't wait to see it all.

Everybody and I mean EVERYBODY will be getting photos for Christmas :)

Do you want to see?

I'm putting the link in the comments just in case it would create a permalink back to the blog. I don't want most people who know me in real life to find this blog. If you know about stuff like that, tell me please.

P.S. In other news, Connor took his first steps today. Who knows what that means as Kendra took hers about 3 months ago :)

P.P.S. Am I the only one who doesn't do Halloween? South Africans aren't big into it but I've noticed over the last couple of years as we become more American, we've been picking up more and more of the traditions. I still don't.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My kitchen looks like a pharmacy

Kendra's evening dosages


they both LOVE their medicine

MandyE and I decided it's because they don't get sweets :)


My charts - when I got home from work on Monday there were three packets FULL of medicine for D, Kendra and Connor.

It took me 15 minutes to go through each bottle and make these charts so I knew which baby had to have which medicine.

And so that it was easier for D and Nanny V too.

I then got 3 baskets - one each for K & C, and one for joint medicines. May be overkill but I'm petrified of overdosage, especially after running around after these two the whole day.

P.S. The charts are for Roz :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Let's talk tantrums


Is it not supposed to be the terrible TWOs?

I honestly had a huge shock when the babies started throwing tantrums about 2 - 3 months ago.

What on earth, babies?

Don't you know it's the terrible twos?

And by the way, you're two months premature!

I have to tell you that I can't stand the screaming. But I do not give in. D, on the other hand, is a lot softer than I am and Kendra knows this.

When I'm around, I can tell him, "she's working you" because it's strange but men don't know when they're being manipulated.

Anyhow.

Connor throws tantrums when he wants to go into my bedroom/ the study/ the bathroom but I have rules - "no kids in the bathroom without me, D or V, no matter how LOUD you scream".

Kendra throws tantrums when I say no to her - hates hearing no (!). Usually it's because she's opened drawers or cupboards and wants to throw my crockery onto the carpet or fling my neatly folded tablecloths, placemats, etc ALL over the dining room.

What seems to work most of the time is a firm "no" and then either distraction "oh look, there's a bird" or just ignoring them and walking away. The crying continues for about 10 seconds and stops because I'm in another part of the house by then.

It's very tempting sometimes to give in just to stop the screaming because Connor screams really loud while Kendra screams at a really high pitch.

I joked the other day that her scream is like that scripture in the Bible, Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow."

That's how she screams - piercing!

I know that I'm consistent but as for D and V? Who knows? I have my suspicions but I've told V my views on the subject and I trust her to get on with it. Although she is very soft...

At the moment I think I've figured them out but I know the tantrum success will be short-lived because they'll try some new tricks. I know this is normal baby behaviour just to keep me on my toes and keep the baby books people in business :)

So how do you handle the tantrums in your house? Are you the soft one?

P.S. Some feedback on other things I've posted about
  • We've had no biting for 17 whole days.
  • I decided to use Rebecca's tactic when leaving for work to avoid the crying. I say a quick "bye", act all cheerful and LEAVE. They don't even have a chance to realise I'm going before I'm gone. It also works well when they're playing or reading.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The travel bug

Timoleague, Co Cork, Ireland, 2008


Overcast, grey skies.

Rainy weather.

Mmmmm. Heaven.

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

D taught Connor to make the sound thunder makes so this morning when Connor woke (at 6:45!!!), he showed D the rain and made thunder sounds.

Gosh - the kids are SOOOOOOOOO cute these days.

Kendra is scaring me with how verbal she is. She talks a lot and learns words so quickly and best of all, remembers them. Which means I'll have to start thinking more about what I say.

It kind of makes my heart sore - I want to bottle up the cuteness and just hang onto it.

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

The office is mostly empty with people in meetings and I am enjoying catching up and being productive again.

Yesterday's strat was lovely - I took pics but didn't bring the cord so they are still on my camera.

My goal for the strat process was to make myself more visible to senior management. I know, I know, a bit mercenary but apparently no one's looking out for me except me.

So I forced myself to start conversations with "strangers" and found lots of common ground and really nice people, for the most part.

I was also nominated to present our group's discussions twice and instead of protesting, I made the most of it and did my thing.

I think I did what I set out to achieve, as much as you can in a group setting with a totally different purpose :)

I also actually learned a lot about taking photos! That's another post because the actual message was about possibility thinking and look what I got out of it :)

Speaking of which, they mentioned a book called the top 100 business books of all time. Basically they summarise the key points from each book in one page so you don't have to read the whole thing.

Hmmm.

Fantastic except for the fact that I often get very different insights from a book than what everybody else gets.

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


Like Eat Pray Love.

Yes, I get the fact that she was on a journey (spiritual) and whatnot. And that it's indulgent to take a year off.

However, why not?

If you have the means, go for it.

Even if you don't have the means but it's a burning desire, do what you can.

I would LOVE love LOVE to live in another country and submerge myself in that country's culture for TWO years. It's on my life list.

I've been to 8 other countries and in my view, it's not enough. I have lots of travel inside me that I can't wait to still do.

I read on Small Notebook.org how her husband resigned from his job and they're taking a year off to travel while he's still young enough to enjoy it.

I LOVE that idea so much. I sent it to my friend, Nat, and we had a chat about it.

Back to the book...

I just loved the beautiful writing. I don't agree with her values or everything but so what? I don't agree with lots of other people's values but I can appreciate the positives in everyone.

What's your take on this?

There are also mixed reviews about the movie. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Do you enjoy travel?

What exactly do you love about travel? If money (or carting a truckload of stuff with you) weren't an issue, what are the top 5 places you'd visit next?

Mine are New York City, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Brazil and Singapore (again - what can I say, I loved Singapore)

P.S. If you wonder why I always show you pics from the UK, Scotland, Ireland, it's because they're usually the only ones I have on my flash drive. Also, why not?! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is my Pampers loyalty misplaced?


As you all know, I am quite firmly a Pampers gal.

My kids used Huggies Preemie nappies but the minute those were outgrown we have always been Pampers people.

I just don't believe in creating more work *laundry* for me (or V) by saving a few cents on the cheaper nappies that I found leaked.

Anyway, Kendra wears Pampers 3 during the day but at night we put her in Pampers 4+ (simply because that's what Connor wears).

Every single morning for I don't know how long she is wet when they wake. Wet as in vest and sometimes even babygrow.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to give her a quick bath in the basin to get the smell of pee off her.

I've tried all sorts of things - reducing her bedtime bottle to a measly 125 ml (shame, poor thing), giving her absolutely no water after 4:30, etc.

Connor is ALWAYS dry no matter how much water he drinks and he has 150 ml at bedtime.

I don't know why I'm so slow but I finally realised that there is either something wrong with Kendra (excessive peeing?) or the nappies.

Don't Pampers have some sort of claim that they're supposed to last 12 hours?


Is it because she's wearing a nappy that's too big? We put it on securely.

What do you think is the problem?


P.S. These pics were taken at 9 months, a few days before Connor started crawling properly on hands and knees. Isn't he just the perfect ad for nappies?

I can't believe they look so different here (more babyish) - this is what people mean when they say time goes too fast!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I need fashion advice

Well, we've had day 1 of the dreaded strat and it hasn't been as bad as I thought.

I'm terrible - yesterday when I left the office, our PA said, "enjoy the strat" and I said, "um, I don't think I will but thanks anyway" LOL

I got myself in a good mood by listening to Billy Joel on the way over. Gosh, I LOVE THAT MAN.

And... I was pleasantly surprised.

The facilitator is someone we don't normally use which I think is good. It really helped with the egos in the room... we had some of the "everyone trying to be clever" but it really was not bad at all.

A colleague, however, just sent me a LONG email telling me everything the guy did badly. I don't think it was that bad. Yes, he did have some outdated info but that's the worse thing.

Anyway.......... I need to get to bed because tomorrow is day 2. I will take some pics of the beautiful venue!

On the bright side...
  1. The babies are getting better. Yes, they are on antibiotics - a whole load of them, and different stuff for K and for C. I, of course, have a chart of who gets how much of what, when.
  2. I've just come home from seeing a friend who turned 40 today! We couldn't go to her party on Sat because we don't have babysitters. Boo-hoo.
  3. Only 4 more days until our photo shoot.... and Crowded House. The photographer told me to wear accessories but I'm not an accessories gal. I will wear my handstamped jewellery and my pearl earrings and that will have to be that. I got D to take this pic to try get me in the mood. And because I'm real, I will tell you that I cropped out my belly because it looked too fat. Do you think she'll be willing to only take pics from the ribs upwards? :)


Now, important fashion/ styling questions.

We are having an outdoor shoot on grass, etc.

Shall I wear bright pink or bright purple? I'm going to put K in pink, C in blue, D wants blue (I want him to wear orange).......

Also, should we all go barefoot, or wear sandals?

I'm also having some nice ones done of me for the website and I will wear black on the top for that because I need all the slimming help I can get as I've only lost 0.5 kg over the last couple of months.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10 good things about having twins

Scottish people sunbathing in 15 degree weather - poor things :)

Ducks in Scotland

Now that the craziness of newborns is well past, I must say that I love having twins.

I love having boy/ girl twins too but that's a topic for another post.

Some reasons off the top of my head:
  1. the newborn stage ONCE (yes, it was triple crazy because it's not just double the work as I thought it would be) because once it's over, it's OVER)
  2. double the cuteness
  3. double the laughs
  4. they have a friend and playmate, right there (love hearing them talk and laugh with one another so much so I'm wondering if we ever actually need a bigger house, again that's a title for another post)
  5. we finish food quicker (this is a plus for me; I hate half-eaten anything, so one banana between twins? Love it. Also I get bored so I love cooking new food all the time)
  6. we order one kid meal when we eat out and only leave two chips (French fries)
  7. we each have a baby to play with
  8. one baby is always a "control" (I studied science and when you do experiments, there is a control and then your experiment) and behaves somewhat like what the books say they should behave. Please note that the control is never the same baby, two instances in a row.
  9. when one baby is crabby, the other usually wants to indulge my hugs and kisses, photos, etc. But the BEST reason.......
  10. People think you're a rock star.
These days I feel a bit guilty when people say, "they must be such a lot of work. I can barely cope and I have one" and I say, "um, yes"

But really what I want to say is, "I LOVE THIS STAGE (just like that, in caps). It is busy as all get out but I would not swop these active, boisterous, curious, hands-in-everything babies for ANYTHING"


So, I have two sick babies (which is one bad thing about having twins but let's keep this positive) and we went to the doctor (not the paed) this morning.

Both have ear infections and non-clear lungs, Connor very mild but Kendra quite serious so we have to watch her closely and if she's not better by Thursday, she goes back. Connor should be 100% fine by then.

The doctor has a 8 1/2 month-old baby girl so she was one of those raving about how awesome we're doing.

I am not modest if I feel like I've accomplished something fantastic but I really don't think we're doing all that fantastic (we're just doing what we have to do). At this point my coach tells me, "yes, while working FT and running a business, running a house, cooking and being married, and blogging on two blogs, blah blah blah", but this is me - I like to be busy.

While it's nice to know professionals think we're doing a great job and we do take what people say and give ourselves a very quick pat on the back before running after Connor :), doesn't it just come with the territory?

Would you consider yourself a modest person? Really? :) Otherwise, what is your favourite baby/ child stage?

P.S. Moms of twins, share your best reasons in the comments

P.P.S. I had a long chat with my friend, M, last night and she was absolutely glad we didn't come (although she did go on and on about all the food she'd prepared because she only retrieved my msg at 10:30 Sat pm ...) as M "picks up anything going around" LOL

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In which my J side comes out to play


The babies are sick.

D and I were just talking about how different they are when they're not well.

Connor is exactly like me. He just carries on being himself, while the liquid pours from his nose and occasionally coughs, but is just the same.

Noisy. Boisterous. Active.

Kendra, on the other hand, is just like D. She acts as if she's dying.

Cries pitifully. Wants to be held all the time. Sobs as if her heart's breaking. Lies in her cot sucking that dummy!

I have patience for that up to a point (because it is SO lovely when they snuggle with you) and then her father has to step in.

As I write this, they're having their morning nap.

Since the weather got very hot, they've been sleeping longer so I can expect at least an hour, more likely 90 mins from Connor; Kendra an hour but if she starts coughing, she'll wake herself up.

We're then supposed to get ready for church but we won't be going since I don't believe in infecting people unnecessarily. If that's different from how you operate, please share your thoughts - maybe there's something I'm missing because I often see sick babies out and about and wonder about it. This is a safe place to air our differences.

And then we had a lunch date with my friend, M and her baby, also M. The babies' "triplet" friend who was born 6 hours before mine were born, also at 32 weeks.

We are obviously not going to lunch either but this is where I really saw my J manifesting yesterday.

I know (in my head) that the babies are not well, we're not 100% either and most of all, baby M does not need any more troubles. She's on 4 different sets of medications - seizures, whatnot and if anything happens, they have to weigh up any new meds in the light of all the existing stuff. Big Schlep.

But I like things to go according to plan. Sticking with my commitments. Having things go according to schedule.

We've had this lunch scheduled for a few weeks already and we've both been looking forward to connecting with one another.

Chances are, M's bought extra food too and may have started preparing some of it by the time I called her late yesterday afternoon.

So you see why I hate not following through.

Grrr.

Anyway, I do realise this is the cross a J mom has to bear.

And I have generally healthy babies (I'm wondering if the formula added to their good health - since we're on 100% cow's milk, they've picked up more things. Or is that just coincidence?) so what am I on about?

As for me and D?

I took some Degoran on Friday night and slept for 10 hours straight! Got better through the day yesterday and am about 90% fine now.

D's throat is still sore and of course, he can't wait to go to the doctor's tomorrow. I don't believe in going to the doctor for a cold but D is a man and loves antibiotics (I have never been on antibiotics!!!).

What are you like when you're sick? And your partner?

Friday, October 22, 2010

My work week was a 7

I am finally feeling totally okay at work (not overwhelmed, able to deliver excellent service and go above and beyond, which is what I thrive on) and by this time next week, I'll be feeling even better because our strat will be done.

The strat is next Tues and Wed. I usually hate these things because it's a lot of loud-mouthed people in a room, all trying to be cleverer than the next one. Except for the one or two of us who literally just roll our eyes at the childishness of it all. I am always amazed at how grown, professional people who work in corporate can revert to childish behaviour, just better articulated.

Yesterday we had some final strat prep work and two of the people were clearly ticked off at one another. I'm not the most intuitive so I eventually thought, "nooooo, maybe I'm just imagining it?" but it turns out not.

After the meeting, the new lady says to us after two people had run off to other meetings, "was it just me or did those two have vibes going on?"

Another lady and I said together, "I picked up vibes between you and person 1".

She didn't even notice but I thought this is my chance so I said, "I don't think what you did was wrong; it was the way that you did it that made me feel uncomfortable as I feel it should have been dealt with afterwards"

!

Hey, if you ask for my feedback, I will give it to you.

She took that advice and I actually saw the two of them chatting afterwards.

I hope there's not a lot more of that corporate bickering going on Tues and Wed!


In other news, I organised a work baby shower and it all went well.

Stress!!! I'm good at the organising but not at the making things look pretty so all the food was there, balloons, whatnot, but fortunately a team member came to my rescue and made things look pretty.

The one thing I do like to do is make things special in some way so I got all the people to write messages in a little journal instead of cards. Shame - the girl cried when she saw it and said she was so touched, so all that hounding people to come write in the book for the last week/ 10 days was all worthwhile.


And then finally, as I was leaving work today, I ran into the girl I had coffee with last week. She had an interview with him today and said to me, "even if it doesn't work out, I felt so confident in my awesomeness (as you would say, Marcia!)"

:)

I LOVE IT! Love that she remembered what I told her, love that she had a good interview, but best of all, love that she thinks she's awesome.

So I left work on a total high this afternoon.

How was your week? I wouldn't ask if I didn't want to know!

P.S. After the baby shower, I vegged out for about an hour reading a lovely blog which I never would have found if she hadn't commented on my Amazing Race post earlier this week. Yes, we're different in the lesbian/ straight, SAHM/ working fulltime thing but I SO get her writing and posts on parenting. Go over and make friends with a fellow twin mom who lives in a city on my life list :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I was clearing out some stuff



and look what I found.

Can you see on the notes, "pay Vit.alab" and "phone VL - cetrotide"?

Two years ago, around this time, actually a month later, I was getting ready for my 2nd IVF.

Pay VL was to pay R14 000 for the "facility fee" and I obviously had a question about the cetrotide

How fitting to find these because exactly two years ago, on 21 October, I was sick as a dog, I thought obviously pregnant, but really, that was my chemical pregnancy.

When I first found out I was pregnant - 20 Oct 2008

The start of the end

The end

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's pretend that I'm an adventurous sort of person

Today I thought I'd talk about something light, 'cos Lord knows I need it.

Our PA is off sick and the new 2nd in charge has been bossing me around like crazy to help her with things and I have issues - I hate taking orders from people.

Laugh all you want - D also had a good laugh when I told him this evening.

Add to that the fact that organising a colleague's baby shower has fallen on me (how do these things happen?!) and I can't even get the work I'm paid to do, done!

Freaks me out.

Nevertheless, I just did some awesome work and finally finished a major business project that's been in the making for the last two months and I feel free as a bird!


Okay, onto the topic.

I love, love, love The Amazing Race.

It is THE BEST reality tv (for me - maybe you like all that backstabbing on the other shows? I hate it) because there's nothing like racing against yourself, using your own intelligence, travel.... (*drool*)

Well, except for what I like to call The Great Equaliser that is the Airport.

Nevertheless.

I've always imagined what it would be like to participate in The Amazing Race.

Assuming that I could swim and possessed the stomach for leaping off the sides of buildings, and so on.

At one point D & I vaguely entertained the idea that we'd be a good team. We are a good life team, just not with competitive things. I am far too competitive and before long, I'd be barking orders at him and he'd be telling me to slow down.

We quickly realised that to have a good marriage, best not to put us in situations like that.

Same reason why I could never work with D, as in run a business together, etc. I like things done yesterday and he likes to get to them in his own sweet time.

For a long time, I said that my BFF Melody and I would be perfect teammates. Until she dumped me. That's a story for another day - Deanna, remind me :)

So I haven't had an imaginary Amazing Race teammate for years and years.

On Monday night, I asked D, "who would be your ideal AR teammate?"

I thought he'd mention our friend in Ireland as they get along great but are just different enough.

Do you know what he said?

"One of your infertility friends"

I said, "WHAT???!!!"

He says, "because they're such kind people" and I'm at a tender place in my life where I need kindness"

Aaawwwww.

Of course I said, "well, then who?"

And he said.........

"Natalie!" (she of the preggy gorgeousness)

LOL - good thing I have high self-esteem.

Strangely enough, Natalie is who I would pick but not for reasons of kindness.

N is the exact opposite of me on Myers Briggs (INFP) to my ESTJ and I just thought we'd have all bases covered.

So Nat, if there is ever a chance to do Amazing Race (and assuming I ever become adventurous), you're IT!

Who is your ideal Amazing Race teammate?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Secrets & trust

I ended Friday last week on a great note.

Our HR person asked me if it would be alright if they referred someone to me who was thinking of making a career change.

Of course it was okay.

So this lady and I had coffee on Friday afternoon and it was so good for a number of different reasons:

  1. I like being the person that people refer other people to :)
  2. The actual conversation, as far as her career, was good and I saw she had a number of aha moments. It's like coaching for me; it comes so naturally for me to join the dots.
  3. She seemed to instinctively know she could trust me implicitly and spilled quite a bit about her life, both career and personal.
  4. I had a brainwave about 3/4 through - she would be perfect for the role that I declined so I got back to my desk, emailed the guy and told him "I have someone who I think will be really good in that role", connected them and she has since sent him her CV. And here's the best...
  5. She thanked me at the end of our conversation and said it meant so much more to her than just a career talk because I'm so inspiring. Well, that just made my day and I practically skipped up the stairs.
Good times! I love making time for people.

Now let's talk about secrets...

If there's one quality I can absolutely claim, it's that I am Fort Knox with people's secrets. I won't even share with D unless the person said it was okay.

I've found that in the corporate world, you can trust virtually nobody. If I sound jaded, it's because I am :)

I personally have become very guarded about sharing anything significant with other people because although I mostly have good people instincts, I'm still wary because my (very) trusting nature has been burned in the past, big time.

But enough about me, can you keep a secret? And do you trust easily?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Honesty


I was reading a blog by a pregnant woman who's been getting some extremely honest advice.

Either Canadians are a lot more honest than South Africans or I associate with people who just can't be brutally honest.

I've spoken before about how I felt lied to by such a lot of people who just acted as if everything motherhood was a breeze.

One friend said to me one day, "but honestly, Marcia, did you and (insert name of other mutual friend here) really think having a baby was going to be easy?"

And I said, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

Yes, I was deluded. I felt sure that since I was/ am super organised, a hard worker, energetic, etc. this motherhood thing would be a breeze.

We harboured romantic views of the babies in the cots, sweetly sleeping and not SCREAMING! LOL

There was only one woman who was honest with me, a twin mom at my work.

When I told her I was pregnant with twins, I rubbed my preggy belly and smiled the smile of advertisements and she said, "my husband nearly had a nervous breakdown when they were 8 months"

I laughed and she said, "I'm not even joking".

When I got back to work after my maternity leave, I asked the two mothers who were in the office at the time why they lied and didn't tell me the truth about the craziness, sleep deprivation, etc.

The one said, "but you wouldn't have believed us"

And I'm afraid that is probably true.

Although it would have been nice to at least know that I wasn't going crazy being the only person who was going off her head because of two, really tiny, screaming babies.

These days I am honest with pregnant people but I do tell them that it's normal to not "take to it" immediately and that it's just about survival for the first 3 months or longer (as I experienced).

A colleague of mine said her friends say she's scaring them when she's honest but she said "rather that than be lied to like others have done to me"

So, where do you fall on the honesty spectrum?

Do you just smile and let the new moms figure it out themselves or do you feel that it's kind of your duty to let them know it's not all sunshine and roses?

P.S. As I've said before, I love the babies, just not the newborn stage.

P.P.S. Another colleague of mine (yes, I work with a very fertile bunch) is 36 w pregnant and said she's petrified of the newborn thing as she remembers it so well. This 2nd baby was not planned by them (I believe all babies are planned by God).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dummies/ pacifiers

As with much of this motherhood thing, I didn't have very strong feelings about all the peripherals like dummies.

When we got our hospital list, they specified "dummies" so I threw them in and quickly found once the babies were born that the nurses in the NICU LOVED the dummies.

So my babies became very used to using dummies.

I didn't think anything of it until one day when I either sent a pic to friends or posted on the blog (can't remember. does it matter?) and my friend, Nat, said something about Connor always having that dummy in his mouth.

It was not said in a rude way and Nat, I definitely didn't think anything of it.

BUT I suddenly thought, "that's TRUE! He DOES always have that dummy in his mouth" so I decided on some dummy rules.

My rules then and now are: NO dummies unless you're going to sleep. For naps or bedtime.

That's it.

I didn't want these kids crawling around with dummies in their mouths nor did I want kids talking to me, their words blurred because of dummies.

It was no big deal getting them to "agree" to my rules.

We just immediately remove the dummy when we take them from the cots and they're not allowed to have it anywhere else.

Only problem is - they've realised that other kids don't live by the same rules.

When we're at church and Connor spies another baby with a dummy, he gets this glint in his eye and charges over to the baby.

Most times I catch him in time but he's getting faster and I'm getting older so there have been a couple of occasions where he has had to be pried away from another baby's dummy.

And then he gives me this look like, "why does HE get to have a dummy but I can't?"

Gosh, is this the start?

There will be many more occasions when we'll have to have the discussion about sweets/ TV/ lots of toys/ etc.

Already, I've had to tell mine in church, "No, you're not allowed chips".

BTW, is it a breastfeeding/ bottle feeding thing? I have only two friends who breastfed and both their kids don't want dummies.

So, what's your take on dummies? Do you allow/ not? When? How? Am I a mean mom?

P.S. Had lunch with MIL today. Very exhausting as she is a believer that children must "learn" not to touch while seeing all the lovely tempting things....which means D and I had to do a "no, Connor, don't touch" the whole afternoon. Connor usually grabs things as he's taller and then they both play with the stuff.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Biting, baking and beautiful friends

Thank you for all your lovely and very helpful comments on yesterday's travel post.

D says he's still Super Scared of flying with these two because "our kids don't even want to sit still in church"

I said, "they are NORMAL babies and if people don't realise that, too bad"

I hope the bravado holds up when we're actually on the plane.

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

After the biting incident on Saturday, Kendra bit both Connor and me again on Tuesday.

Connor is now sporting a lovely, purple bruise on his left forearm (did you hear his screams in Jhb at around 8 am? lol). My shoulder is okay because I had my work clothes on and her teeth didn't get through.

I was just a little bit scared that she'd bite her little friend, David, today as my beautiful friend, Nat, came to visit. I don't want K's biting to affect our relationship!

Nat is pregnant with number 2 (brave, brave woman) and is looking really beautiful - oh I do miss the preggo hormones for the hair and skin!

Fortunately, we had no biting incidents and the kids seemed to play together okay.

As for us, we had a lovely time (always too short) and I even made an apple pie. Yum. I love anything with apples and cinnamon. God truly knew what He was doing when he made apples and cinnamon - is there anything better?!

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

I really hope I'm not jinxing this "no biting" streak by writing this post .........

Does anyone else's kids bite? How did you get them to stop? Did they listen???

Alright, I'm off to bed now to READ. I'm nearly done with book 3 and as you know, my reading goal every month is 5 books.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Travelling with twin toddlers


We are going to my city of birth in December.

I wanted a beach holiday with the babies and I have now booked flights.

Nothing else but flights and photographer.

Reminds me of how I "prepared" for the babies' room.

I clearly have my priorities straight.

The thing is, I am overwhelmed with the logistics of it all.

Let's take a very short part of the trip - the ride to the airport.

In the pre-babies stage, D and I would get his mother to drop us off (for long trips) and for the 3 or 4-day ones, we'd drive our car to the airport and leave it there.

Now, there are babies, us, a pram, at least 3 suitcases, and hand luggage which will include the nappy bag.

We both have small cars and if the pram's in the car, there's no space for much else. Certainly not 3 suitcases.

Normally people would say, "get a bigger car" but they don't know me. I don't believe in buying big for occasional events. I have debt issues.

So looks like we will drive our car to the airport and someone (?) will have to bring our suitcases too.

My sister will have to meet us at the airport with the car seats for the rental car (which we have not rented yet), the camp cots (pack and plays) will be delivered (which we have also not rented yet) and then the fun starts.

What are your favourite tips for travelling with babies/ toddlers? How do you keep wriggly kids on your lap for 2 hours? What's the one thing I have to remember? (everyone usually has a "if you remember nothing else, remember this...)

P.S. Notice how I just skimmed over the fact that we're FLYING with babies. I am slightly terrified. At least we do baby sign language - hopefully they can tell me what they want instead of the screaming!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rainy days

I've been feeling blah.

Like a balloon a few days after the party, all deflated and without energy.

I know intellectually that a large part of it is the end-of-year tiredness.

But also there's the job thing, the business thing and other personal stuff.

Too much busyness and not enough connection time.

I'm having my website redesigned and I am just a little bit scared. Okay, I lied. A lot scared.

The lady has sent me 3 banners so far, all of which are SO not me. I'm communicating as best I can without being rude and outright saying, "I hate it!"

I've never had this before. Usually one I don't like and then after I give feedback, we're back on track.

Last night after I gave feedback on design number 3, I quickly shut down my computer so that I don't have to see anything come back.

And then I prayed because seriously, God needs to intervene here.

Any designers reading? Do you have tips for me to communicate better with her? I've spoken about fonts, styles, colours, look and feel I'm going for. I honestly don't know what else to say. I gave examples of sites I loved, what I do like about my current site, what I don't. What else?

This morning I woke up to a clap of thunder.

It is POURING here today and as long-time readers know, I love the rain. I love grey skies. I love cold weather.

This is God giving me something to rejoice in today.

To meet Him halfway, I decided to take a different way to work, a slightly longer, much more scenic route.

I put on some worship music (my favourite is anything unplugged, live recordings with male voices), loud, and enjoyed the beauty.

I really should have pulled over to take some pics because it was just gorgeous.

I was in the depths of infertility when I first heard Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah say something about appreciating small things in life, like when you go to the mailbox, really feel the sun on your body and soak it in.

I love hearing writers speak as they have a way of articulating everyday things and feelings so beautifully.

I determined then to start enjoying really small things since the big things like babies were out of my reach.

And this morning, driving in no traffic while there was a slight drizzle, listening to The Plain Truth worship God, looking at the trees, the views, the grey skies. Mmmm, it just filled me up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I really am speechless


Taken on 7 October last year.

Babies were exactly 3 months old and I only had 900 measly grams to lose before reaching pre-preg weight.

I am 3.4 kilos heavier now.

This is pathetic!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't count your chickens

Remember I had that meeting with the big boss of that new dept?

It went well and they said they'd come back to me.

We spoke on Friday 1st and talked through a verbal offer.

I came back on the Monday and told them to go ahead with the letter and whatnot after seeing a dummy payslip.

After 4 days of waiting (yes, I'm slow) I figured something must be up so sent through a mail.

Get a meeting invite from HR as a response which can only mean bad things.

Long story short...

my non-negotiable, the increased job grade (and a resultant effect, increased salary), is a no-go.

I was, and still am, very disappointed. Especially since I thought the paperwork was

I absolutely believe that all of these "internal policies" would be a non-issue if I was a candidate outside the company.

For now, my best bet is sticking with my team.

I actually had the news on Friday already but it takes me time to process through things and think them all through.

Of course I sent the appropriate, professional email to all concerned to thank them, blah blah blah, to keep the doors open... but still, disappointed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How I met my husband

Scotland - one of my favourite pics of us ever, on top of the Stirling Jail,
taken by a blog friend (now a real friend)

A Sunday morning in London, on our way to church

In our friends' apartment in Liverpool

Cork, Ireland

I was in the shower and heard my name being called on the intecom.

I towelled off as best I could, put on a towelling dressing gown, wrapped another towel around my wet hair and went upstairs.

And there he was - D.

He said something like, "I heard from some of the girls in your res that you do ballet."

Yes...

"Well, I'm filming a music video and I'd like you to dance for me"

Of course I thought he was a pervert so I said, "definitely not".

At the time I also thought that I was "so unfit" because I hadn't danced for 3 or 4 months.

Ha! I was actually still in peak physical condition - 17 years old and in shape.

So that was how we met.

Long story short we then knew each other by sight, he started sitting at the same dining table, we went to a movie as friends on 10 October and in the early hours of the morning on 11th, we started "going out".

That was 18 years ago today.

I've been together with D for half my life and he's my very best friend. He knows and gets me like no-one else (except God).

I would NEVER have thought I'd travel this journey. On a very basic level, I wouldn't even be living in this city if it weren't for him. Yes, I moved her for love :)

So how did you meet your husband?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The babies have super powers


I honestly think the babies have super powers.

Yesterday at the Toddler Sense seminar they spoke about feeding & sleeping problems, behaviour issues, etc. The babies clearly knew about the topics under discussion because they decided to test me this weekend.

As an aside, I went to visit a friend straight afterwards (the one we had the baby shower for) and her beautiful little boy.

How do some people manage to look utterly gorgeous two weeks after having a new baby?! The house was spotless, baby was sleeping through all our talking and all you could hear were the birds chirping ("tweet tweet" as Kendra would say) :)

When I got home, I was not feeling well at all as I had an upset tummy. I think it was something I ate.

Anyway, so I lay on the couch while the babies whizzed around the lounge, crawling, standing, cruising, coming to poke me and then off again. They like one of us to just BE there even if we're not actively doing anything with them.

I'd changed into shorts since it was 31.5 degrees (89 degrees Fahrenheit - I know, I felt like I was dying of the heat) and suddenly Kendra leans in and gives me a big bite on the thigh. I yelped and honestly, my first instinct was to bite her back.

"Oh gosh, what did the lady say about biting again????!!!"

So I grabbed her, lifted her so our faces were level and I said, "no, Kendra, no biting. We don't bite". I put her down gently and walked away to calm down.

After a few minutes, I was back on the couch.

As an aside, I can't remember the last time I just LAY on the couch, without doing a thing, no reading, no nothing.

So Kendra loves kissing.

I take all the blame because I taught the babies to kiss. Kissing is a very important part of our household :)

She usually kisses me, then kisses D, and if Connor's around, she leans in for a kiss with him too. Incidentally, he is only compliant with her kissing him, nobody else.

This time she leaned in for a kiss with Connor, he moved away because he didn't want to kiss (very unusual) and then she got cross so she leaned in and bit him on his lovely fleshy forearm.

Connor cried out and looked at me like, "are you going to LET her get away with that?!"

Oh no, I'm not.

So I tried the Toddler Sense thing again - this time I said NO to her and turned to Connor, making sure he's alright and gave him some extra kisses :)

That was yesterday.

Today both babies decided that eating is for the birds, Kendra more so than Connor.

She'd have a spoon or two and then shake her head vigorously when we approached with spoon 3. Connor ate about half what he normally does.

I was VERY Zen about it as I remembered the lady said toddlers can eat a bite of a sandwich, one grape, a bite of cheese and consider that a meal. Also it is VERY hot and while I'm not one of those people who loses their appetite when it's hot (as you can clearly see), I know some do. Who knows? Maybe my kids are like that?

I was like, "clearly you two aren't hungry" and started packing up the food.

D was so worried about them not eating enough that he peeled a carrot, sliced it into rounds and cooked it for Kendra. Kendra's favourite food is carrots. She probably has one every night with her supper. I also think it's weird but it's been happening for about 2 months now.

She ate about half the carrot and that was that.

So we wait and see. What will they try tomorrow?

This should be an interesting week. My study will be painted "whispering green" tomorrow - can't wait! I am basically up to date at work again so can finalise holiday plans! I also have some other work news.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Something strange is happening

I've written before about how V sometimes comes in on a Saturday if I have an event to go to or if D and I need to run lots of errands quickly.

As you know, quick errands and babies do not go together in the same sentence.

Nevertheless, the last time we did one of these babysitting days, a few Saturdays ago, I actually felt guilty leaving them at home with V.

It is VERY strange because:

1. I don't generally feel guilty
2. It felt like they should be with us because we're a family!

What's that all about?

I suppose I'm just delayed and the rest of the world felt like this from the beginning whereas I just wanted to escape?

Coupled with this guilt thing, I'm finding that I'm being a lot more intentional with my time.

I'm really thinking hard about whether I want to spend (waking) time away from the babies and if I do, then I want my time away from them to count.

Quick example...

I went to a women's event last Sat that was hosted by our church. The theme was romance so I thought, "great. we could do with some jazzing up" and I went.

Well, the theme should have been "God as the great Romancer" or something like that because there was not a single thing about marriage, etc. and I was very cross.

I found myself resenting the time I was spending away from the babies and after I wallowed a little, I gave myself a talking-to and determined to get as much as I could, since I was there.

Still...

We have a thing going on in our Fertility Babies group where it's "moms only" for two groups, and then for the 3rd one, we can bring babies with us.

Technically speaking, that is.

As in it's never happened with me.

I didn't take the babies for the first two and then felt so "out" I just stopped going to the "with babies" groups.

But I think I'm finally getting why the other mothers want their babies with them.

I think I'd have no qualms about it if we had the meetings at night and maybe shared supper together. Kind of like a book club, but for ex-infertiles :)

Because I have absolutely no second thoughts going to gym or movies or coaching... but only once the babies are asleep.

Does this seem weird to you? Anyone relate?

P.S. Toddler Sense was very interesting!
P.P.S. Katherine, I thought of you running your race as I drove to the seminar this morning :)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why everyone should have a Dr S

So, the 15-month check up

Connor

Weight 10.8 kg (23.8 lbs - just for you, Heather)
Height 82 cm
Head circumference 48 cm

Connor has now "slimmed down" as Dr S put it because he's so active. He is slightly BELOW the 50th percentile for weight (I never thought I'd write that :)) but still on 75th for height and HC.

Kendra

Weight 8.04 kg (17.7 lbs)
Height 78 cm
Head circumference 46 cm

Kendra is on 78% of where she should have been, blah blah blah, but basically still makes a perfect curve from where she was at birth.

She is on 50th for height and HC, so is still super skinny but at least won't be the shorty in the class *ahem*




So here are all the questions I had for the good Dr S.

What is this obsession with sippy cups and straws?

My kids will only take water or diluted juice in a sippy cup. Remember the screaming when I dared give them milk in their sippy cups? And of course I haven't even bothered with straws.

Anyway, so Dr S said there is no rush for anything. Some kids never take to anything other than bottles and it's all normal. Some kids go until 5 or 6 with their bottles (I'm tempted to say "no child of mine" but I know how that works out and don't want to jinx them, not that I believe in jinxing :))

He said the bottles are clearly part of their bedtime association and they will give it up when they're ready.

They're clearly not ready.

He also said (and this is why I love him) you can go all Tough Commando on them and "get it done" but why? You upset yourself, the kids, everyone and it's not even a proper issue.

The main thing is that they have milk, not how they get it in.

Oh I love that so much.

Kendra seems to have changed personality since the fever. She seems to be more timid, delicate, introverted almost and we were wondering what on earth's going on.

As I write this, she has now had 3 fevers. Thankfully, I am now a Zen mom (stop laughing) so I gracefully dealt with fevers 2 and 3, thanks to the Dr S's advice at the Babysense seminar.

He said that it's probably coincidental (I told D he'd say this) and her personality (both of theirs actually) is developing all the time. Also, she is a girl and they do tend (I'm not generalising but I do have a boy too and I clearly see the difference) to be more, well, girly. Not so fearless.

As mother of twins, I already know they keep switching so one particular child is never the "good one" or the "quiet one" - I actually love how they do that to prevent us from labelling them.

It's a cool child trick, don't you think?

Some more pics D took on Wed
I love this one. It looks like we're having a conversation. I dream of having conversations (proper ones) with my kids one day.



climbing all over me


And then the last thing we discussed with him, the walking or not walking, as the case may be

I honestly have no issues with them not walking.

I'll be concerned on 7 January next year, their 18-month birthday, because the average age for kids to start walking is 9 - 18 months.

But here's the thing, Kendra has been crawling for 7 - 8 months, and Connor for 5 months.

My question to him, isn't that a bit long to be crawling?

On the contrary, said he, we LOVE it when kids crawl for a long time. Who knew?

And remember they're technically only 13 months old.

Crawling is very good for a whole host of developmental reasons. The longer they crawl, the better. I switched off at this point.

But Kendra took lots of steps at 13 months and since the fever, nothing.

He said one of his daughters did the same thing. Took steps and then flatly refused for about 3 months before she started walking at 16 months.

Sounding very much like Kendra.

Connor will do nothing he doesn't want to do. We are slightly apprehensive about the future. Will have to learn how to use his love language to motivate him.

Bottom line, again, they will walk when they're ready (I said I have no doubt of that).

Their legs look fine (muscle tone and whatnot), they seem strong and this is where they did some tricks for the good doctor.

Kendra took a chair and started walking around with it. She has a new cute thing she does, saving me lots of money, not having to buy a walker. She takes a stool I have in my kitchen and pushes it around the kitchen while walking.

Connor was cruising around his consulting room, all one-handed, doing some baby signs (duck - gosh, they love ducks!) and TALKING (loud and excited).

When we left I told D why I like Dr S so much - I find him so affirming and encouraging.

There's so much out there of things you should be doing and things you should not be doing and at the end of the day, not that many people saying, "you're doing a great job"

So that's my very long story of why everyone needs a Dr S.

What are you up to this weekend? I'm going to the ToddlerSense seminar!

P.S. I really want to know what you're up to this weekend.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

My babies are 15 months old

I mentioned my challenges with getting the kids photographed.

Technically the pics were taken yesterday but D was around so I roped him in. And still it was a mission and a half (the photographer has her work cut out for her with these two!)

Here is proof:

no, I don't know what I was trying to say...

trying to switch the numbers around so it showed 15 instead of 51...

Connor's having none of that...

so we changed positions

nope, this is not working. And he's off!
And that's how it goes around our parts.

I took the day off yesterday and I now believe that Wednesdays should be public holidays at least once a month.

Tuesday night felt like "mini Friday" so I stayed up late, reading.

Best of all, V came to work as normal so the day was ALL fun because the adults outnumbered the babies :)

We went to Wonderful Dr S for our 15-month check-up where they showed off some of their tricks.

I like to think he was as amused as we were.

I also told him his talk at the Babysense seminar was fantastic - he seemed to like that :)

We then went to Sister Carla for their vaccinations.

The babies AMAZED me. They literally just flinched with the MMR shot and just one quick cry from Connor and about a 5-second cry from Kendra for the Prevenar injection.

That was the good part.

The bad part........ R960 for paed (no problem - my brilliant paed is very reasonable for Jhb standards) but R1706 for the vaccinations. GOSH!

So much for being totally on top of the money. This blows the budget right out. Our medical aid ran out in August so we're paying everything cash now.

Again, the good part. Next vaccinations at 18 months and then NOTHING til they're 6. I can't wait :)

We then took the babies home, had some down time and then went out for some shopping and a lunch date.

I'm on a mission to find a list of all eating places that have "proper high chairs" with trays as I HATE those things that hang off tables because they can still grab at my food. Pleased to say that Ocean Basket and Wimpy are on my Approved list.

D and I then drove around Fancy Suburb near ours admiring all the mansions :) and then came home to play with the babies and help V with the baths.

I actually forced myself to go to gym......and amazingly had a fantastic time. I think I'm getting fitter! My tummy seems to be less flabby although the bum and thighs are still the same.......

Anyway, it was a lovely day.

How was your day? And if you live in SA, please tell me which eating places have proper high chairs.

P.S. Will write proper post on the actual paed appointment as there is a LOT I want to discuss with you.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blame is a terrible thing

I mentioned before that once upon a time (2000 - 2001) we pastored an area in our church.

One of our cell groups was a youth cell group and the cell leader and I are still very good friends today.

So, as Facebook goes, I am friends with most of the people who used to be in her youth cell group and the one girl is now married and when we became FB friends, she contacted me because she was also pregnant with twins, twin boys, and wanted some advice.

Anyway, we chatted back and forth, as you do, and then she also had her babies at 32 weeks. What are the chances?!

So I wrote on her wall, etc, etc.

Well, months pass and I was thinking of her. I go to her wall and see all this "my condolences" talk and I freak out.

I message my cell leader friend and say, "what on EARTH happened?"

Turns out after they both came home after about 5 - 6 weeks in NICU, one baby died about 4 weeks later due to SIDS.

I was floored.

I got her number and tried to call her because instinctively I knew she's blaming herself and that's going to be difficult (impossible!) to get over.

Also, sometimes Christian people can be a bit too "spiritual" (I'm Christian, I can say this LOL) and not very practical, like with me and the infertility. They'll all talk about faith and not deal with her feelings and emotions.

I couldn't get through and kept getting weird tones - maybe she cancelled SIM card?

I then ran into my friend at the gym (one good thing about going, you catch up with all sorts of people) and we got chatting and she said exactly what I'd been thinking - this girl blames herself terribly and will not talk to anyone, not even her hubby.

I decided enough of the wishy-washy, I'm going to message her through FB. So I did.

I just prayed for God to guide me, to use the right words, etc.

She wrote back almost immediately and said she is definitely to blame, she should have known better, etc. And no, she does not want to talk but thanks for caring. Oh, and she is done with being a Christian as her faith has been destroyed.

I respect that but I know and can just sense through her words how deep she's hurting. I can't even imagine going through that.

I heard Dr Phil say once that you can only blame yourself if you had the intention to do whatever happened.

All of that to say, please will you say a prayer for a hurting mom of twins, who now only has one baby on earth.

What else can I do?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Blog stats and other boring things

I just happened to go through the blog stats again.

It's all kinds of interesting.

The highest search terms are

preparing for IVF :(
I've been spotting for a week :( and
Infertility and the Christian

May I never forget!

Some of my highest viewed posts have the least comments. What does that mean?

From your point of view, who on earth knows?!

But from my point of view, at least I didn't waste time writing the post. You read even though you didn't feel strongly enough to say hello :)

Do you check blog stats?

P.S. This is only the 2nd time ever that I've checked stats this year! *bad blogger*

Update on my 36 things list

Well, September was crazy but that's no excuse.

LauraC commented on my first post and said I should categorise the list and then tackle a few every month.

Brilliant idea but I haven't done it yet :)

I will do, sooooooooon.

Things going well
  1. reading 5 books a month. I must confess, I'm cheating slightly because I find that to get number 5 in, I have to pick something half-read just to make my quota :)
  2. developing my photo system - it's still a huge schlep and I've realised the only thing that will change this is either to take fewer photos or delete more so the process can go faster. this is taking a full evening every 2 weeks and in my view, that's too much.
  3. beach holiday is booked
  4. as are the photoshoots
  5. 29 gifts - this is going fantastic
  6. getting hair done - pure necessity!
  7. decluttering clothes
  8. lunch with friends - I am being really intentional about this and it's paying off. I'm able to connect properly (in a gaggle of girls, it's near impossible :))
  9. I've done a roast chicken again and this time it was good. Next up... meat.
  10. I had two sessions with a life coach which were really illuminating. It's crazy - I coach people and coach them well and yet I still have some blinkers on about my own life.
Things that need a lot more work
  1. living a simpler life - there are so many pretty things out there and it's taking real self-control to (sometimes) restrain myself. E.g. I don't need any more bags, certainly no more red bags, but this beautiful red bag called out to me on Saturday and you know what? I don't actually regret buying it. It's not only about material things but the other stuff deserves a whole separate post.
  2. lowering expectations of myself and others - it seems I still think I'm Superwoman and can do everything I want to. I really have to limit my computer time to a maximum of 2 hours at night otherwise nothing else gets done, like the reading thing and spending time with D thing :)
Things going badly

  1. massage - I have skipped my massage for two months now but I have a discount voucher so will definitely go in October
  2. the weight thing. I am 0.5 kg heavier than I was when I started this weight loss thing 7 weeks ago.
  3. the gym thing. I really can only make it to gym two nights a week because I have a business to run too and D also needs to go to gym some nights.
  4. making money from business blogging. I worked it out and my BlogHer earnings are absolutely pathetic. I make something like R30 an hour spent on blogging. Crazy - if i didn't get so much traffic, I'd self-coach myself to stop that blog. So I booked a coaching session with a blog coach for my business blog to see how I can make more money from it.

Main lesson
learned

Stop getting on computer so much!

Do you have monthly and weekly lists? How do you make sure you get them done? Do you also think you're Superwoman?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Crying babies

A few months ago my friend, Sasha, asked me if the kids don't cry when I leave for work.

And I said, "no, never. should they?" :)

There was a really fleeting moment when I thought, "hmm, maybe there's something wrong with them?" but mostly I thought, "thank goodness they're so secure with V".

Well, friends, that has all changed.

The last two weeks Connor has HOWLED when I leave.

Usually they're playing near the door anyway and I say "bye", Kendra waves, Connor ignores me and I leave.

These days Connor starts crying like his whole life has just ended.

I didn't realise how bad it was because V didn't tell me but on Saturday, I went to a women's conference at our church and D looked after the babies in the morning.

When I got there I phoned D (I always do that because I am very good at getting lost) and he told me that Connor WAILED for 5 minutes non-stop after I left.

!

Well, I got home at about 3 and after playing with the babies, I wanted to dash out quickly to return some things so I took Connor to V and told her I wasn't going to say "bye" but would just leave quietly.

So Connor was fine.

Kendra, on the other hand, was playing in the sunroom. I pulled the security gate closed and the two of us played kissing games through the security bars.

Eventually I said "bye" and got in my car to leave.

Complete meltdown, this time by Kendra.

Oh my word.

Looks like this is the new thing because this morning the same thing happened.

I started reversing my car down the driveway and both of them held onto the security gates, WAILING!

They are making it very hard to leave.

Do you have this going on? How do you deal with it? Does it help to kiss and hug a lot before or does it make it worse?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Crazy work overwhelm

I know you're tired of hearing me say how much work I have and how busy it all is.

I had a catch-up with my boss on Friday and told him this is getting ridiculous and I will have to learn to say no.

My to-do list system looks like this:

  1. Every day at the end of the day I write down things I need to do the following day.
  2. Then the next morning, I start working.
  3. As I complete items, I highlight the items. I like highlighting so I can still see what's there yet I have the satisfaction of crossing things off.
  4. Usually, everything gets done or at most, 1 or 2 things need to be carried over.
  5. I don't bother to rewrite those; I just do them together with the current day's work.
BUT...

The system hasn't been working well because I am way too busy.

So I have pages and pages and pages of non-highlighted work :)

Which is freaking me out.

This is not me.

I actually, in a moment of madness, considered taking a day or two's leave so that I'm out of the office, just to catch up on everything and get back on track.

When I realised how crazy that is, I decided I have to start saying no more to The New Person, even if I no longer come across as "superwoman" to her.

I've been staying late, working from home, all the usual tricks...

The boss asked if I'm not overreacting too soon.

I said "no" because I am VERY good at working quickly and effectively and there is just too much "not in my skill set" stuff which is slowing me WAY down.

One set of work is 80% done and things should start easing off IF I stay completely focussed this coming week.

I've also taken a day's leave on Wed to take the kids to the paed and the nurse, and for a date afternoon with D :)

I know it's not true but whenever I'm in a work funk, it always seems like everyone else is just cruising along and that no-one has as much work as I do :)

Any advice?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My photography obsession

You know how if you don't have nice legs/ b**bs/ hair, etc you kind-of check out other girls' legs/ b**bs/ hair all the time just to at least have a look at what's not going on over at your place?

Anyway, I think that's why I'm so obsessed with beautiful photos.

Because they're not going on over at my place.

I know them when I see them but I can't somehow make "it" happen when I take them, 95% of the time.

Occasionally, I'll get one I love and then it's like I just won the lottery.

Which is why I will be taking a photography class over the next year.

I doubt that I'll ever take fantastic shots but if I could be happier with most of my photos, the time and financial investment will be worth it.

I subscribe to a number of blogs, some specifically professional photographers, but others just take photos I love.

Like photos of food.

Oh my word - food and photos in the same place = heaven :)

By the way, I am usually the person at an event taking pics of the food and not the people, which I only realise once I download.

I think it's because I'm a blogger.

Nevertheless...

I have not 1, but 2 photo shoots booked with professional photographers in the next 3 months.

I originally thought the babies would walk sooner since they were both crawling properly two months before their 1st birthday so was waiting for "walking" pics.

How long do babies crawl, on average, before they walk?

Connor's been crawling for over 5 months and Kendra 7 - 8 months!

When the walking wasn't happening, I thought, "we really have to get the cuteness captured" because the babies are INCREDIBLY cute right now and I have given up on getting any decent pics myself. I can't even get both of them in the same frame these days - they're just too active.

They hear the camera being turned on, charge for it and use me as an obstacle course to get to the camera.

So I decided "that's what bonuses are for" (this is how I justify spending large chunks of money) and booked a lifestyle photo shoot for Sat 30th Oct with Jeanette Verster (I can't WAIT!) and a beach shoot for December when we're on holiday (vacation) in PE.

Since I first found out I was having twins, I have dreamed of having a beach photo shoot with cute babies so that is my indulgence. I love waves, water, sand and the edginess of rocks and a pier :)

Do you know how I found the PE photographer? I wrote to a blog friend and she recommended Ian Fairley. Another reason why I love blogging.

I am not a fan of studio photography generally (I don't like anything too "perfect"), but especially for this wriggly stage. I'm also not a fan of paying for equipment my kids have trashed. When I say "kids", I mean Connor :)

Four weeks to photo shoot 1 and I'm starting to panic just a little bit at the thought of photos of me because the weight is not quite moving.

But I'm sticking to my plan so let's see how that goes...

What kind of clothes should we wear? I'm not into matchy-matchy (in case you didn't know that yet) but I don't want it to look crazy busy either...

It's summer here and the shoot will be at my work, outside in the beautiful gardens and surrounded by gorgeous, old buildings that are now a heritage site and remind me of the place D and I met and fell in love. Aaawwww :)

P.S. Excuse the link fest, but I thought you may want to see what I'm after...

Friday, October 01, 2010

My words...


Remember the personal branding exercise?

Well, I totally forgot to share the words with you that I'd received from some friends and work colleagues.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Fabulous
  • Reliable
  • Phenomenal (ex-boss!)
  • Competent
  • Passionate (ex-boss!)
  • Efficient
  • Intentional (my favourite word of the lot)
  • Dynamic
  • Determined
  • Organised
  • Sorted
  • Vivacious
  • Accommodating
  • Super-efficient
  • Sincere

Did you do this exercise?

The lady who did the course (who coincidentally also has twins) said that she asked her girls to describe her in one word and they said, "rushed". She was horrified so has been working on her personal brand with her girls too.

What's the one word the people who know you best would use to describe you?

P.S. Can you guess which word is from current boss? LOL

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