Friday, December 31, 2010

Reverb - week 2



At this rate, this reverb thing is only going to be finished around mid-Jan. I hope to do better than that, though...


December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

Hmmm, difficult question and I'm sure other people would say different things but the first thing that came to mind was that I always try to encourage others and that I genuinely take an interest in other people.


December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I don't think anything "rocked my socks off" but I did enjoy Kirsten's baby shower the most this year. It was just so special to be hosting a baby shower for the most gracious person ever.

You can read more by clicking that link :)


December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Two come to mind...

One was to stop doing in-home organising sessions as I felt they took time away from my time with the babies.

The other was to rebrand. I feel so, so comfortable in my "new skin" with my brand spanking new website, photo and cards. And I do believe this positioned me well for the TV thing and much more in the new year.


December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

5 of those things are kg I want to lose :)

The other 6? drama, clutter, commitments that don't serve me, stress, clothes that don't look good on me and some email lists.

The physical stuff is easy for me to let go of; for the kg, I plan to hire a personal trainer the minute they are back from their holidays and the emotional stuff I'm really going to ask myself the hard questions - how is this serving me? is this aligned with my life goals and values? etc.

Hopefully the end result is a leaner me living a simpler and even more fulfilling life.


December 12 – Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

I always feel like I'm most integrated when I'm living my passion - so I'd say those moments when I'm coaching or speaking. Physically, when I'm playing with the babies and we're all having good family time. It's the small moments really. Like today, just playing and laughing with Kendra who is pulling out all the cuteness lately.


December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

My next step is to choose which goals I'm going to work on in the next 90 days and get to it.

Relationship with D - we've already planned dates for Jan and Feb

Weight - you know about the personal trainer. Am already eating better and will go back to gym next week, and...

I'm writing a BOOK!

Also thinking about buying a sewing machine to do REALLY simple things, like hemming jeans and sewing straight-edged items. How much do they cost these days anyway?

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

Sleep! Honestly, that's it. I kept thinking month in and month out, "surely this is the month they will start sleeping better" and eventually at 10 months it happened.

And I am oh-so-grateful, I can't tell you. I'm even more grateful that we didn't get used to it and then it went due to teething and illness. They sleep like logs now.

That's enough for now!

Are you reverbing? Share your links in the comments so I can come read your post (s).


P.S. These pics and the previous beach pics are from the beach photo shoot

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So let's talk about food and eating issues

Julia, if you're reading - no email address came through on your comment so I couldn't send you the link. Email me on marcia @ the123blog dot com and I'll sort you out :)

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There are two parts to this post - my views on the eating thing and then how these views seem to offend 90% of the population.

Let's start with my views, shall we?

I have very clear ideas (no kidding!) about what my kids can and can't eat.
  • No sugar
  • No added salt
  • No sweets - will allow the very occasional biscuit (cookie), cake (without icing) or muffin
  • No chocolates
  • No cooldrinks - juices diluted 1:3 and only about 100 ml a day. Water the rest of the time. (K actually flings the juice away - yes, we're working on the manners - because she prefers water like I do)
I know they technically can eat these things from a year onwards (and some people do even before that) but I'm of the opinion that if they don't know what they're missing, why mess with that?!

They're perfectly happy living in their sugar-free lives and I am living proof that sugar is very addictive. Once you start, it's hard to stop.

And God has provided lots of natural sugar in fruits. I still maintain there is nothing quite as good as a Granny Smith apple - seriously. Yummy! Or a juicy orange, mango or pineapple. Yum! And they eat plenty of fruits and raisins as snacks.

I also am not going to be a short-order cook whipping up many different meals so I have a rule for the babies - you can eat what I provide (and there are always choices within that meal - like carbs, protein, vegetables and fruit) or have a dry Provita.

Life is about choices, after all.

Sometimes they choose the Provita and happily eat carrots and some Provita instead of my (lovingly cooked) meal, which is fine with me. Honestly. There are some nights I also only want a slice of toast with a cup of soup, so I get it.

Also, you all know there is an obesity problem the world over due to overeating/ eating incorrect foods and lack of exercise. There is also a rise in childhood obesity and I just don't think that current trends of bad eating will help that problem go away.

I'm not entirely happy about my weight (those last 3 kg have to go next year - watch this space!) but mostly it doesn't define who I am - I know that that's about 5% of who Marcia is. And I don't talk about weight in front of the kids or much in front of D either. I don't think I have issues in this area besides the "who wouldn't love thinner thighs?" thing. LOL

Besides all that, a you just feel better when you eat better. Again, I'm living proof of that. I was on weigh-less in 2006 to lose a few kgs and never felt better. I still eat mostly the same (except for the odd cake now and again) and when we're away and are eating more junk than usual, I feel more sluggish and blah. That's why I tell everyone, go to Thailand for a holiday - the food is fantastic, healthy and you will look and feel great.

So that's all the background.

I'm fully aware that I'm unusual being so vigilant about what my babies eat and that 90% of those reading probably disagree with me. Have at it!

But I'm their mother and I honestly know this is best for them.

So I get really ticked off when...
  • people sneak "fun" food to the kids thinking it's cute
  • go on and on and on about how "deprived" the kids are
  • give me The Look and shake their heads
I do make different choices from a lot of people for my life and I don't tell them, "what you're doing is wrong for your life or kids" so why do they feel the need to tell me how wrong I am to feed my kids only healthy, nutrititious food.

I don't rip that sweet from your child's hand and give them an apple slice instead. Don't sneak chips and sweets to my kids.

Maybe it's that they think I'm depriving the kids of fun?

In the writing of this post, I just realised that I now have good answers ready when people ask me food questions or give me The Look.

"Don't say "shame" - they eat healthy, nutritious food 99% of the time. They are BLESSED!" :)

I realise I'm extreme but I'm very comfortable living on the edge of normal. But where on the spectrum do you fall?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My number 1 goal for next year




I spent much of today doing my annual review of my business and personal goals. Sobering stuff but not all bad.

Which is why it's so good to get things down.

My mind had made things worse than they were... maybe I'll share that in another post?

Anyway, my number 1 goal for 2011 is to reconnect properly with D, get our s*x life back and just have our fabulous marriage back where it used to be.

What's your number 1 goal?

Now I'm going to throw out last year's calendar and rubbish on my desk and pretty it up. I deserve a break after all that hard "work", don't I? :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to work


Last night I suddenly realised that I had ONE day before going back to work.

I made a list TWO pages long of things I wanted to do.

Somehow I got stuck into one of those items (sorting out my project 365 photos) and I'm nearly there.

Apologies for those of you who are friends with me on FB for the gazillion updates (my photo blog goes to FB automatically).


Tomorrow V is back from holiday (I hope!), that's if she arrived safely back from Zim.

My messages to her have been undelivering... so hopefully all is well.

D and I feel like rock stars because even to my very objective self, we've coped beautifully with not a stitch of help from anyone, and with sick babies. D is also sick and is going to the doctor tomorrow to get a sick note since he's also supposed to be back at work.

Oy!

Anyway, so we've been with the babies for 18 days on the trot.

The longest since my maternity leave for me, and he has never spent this much time with them.

The time with the babies and as a family has been so good - they are so, so cute, can communicate their needs and are generally 70% good, 30% spirited/ sassy. Which D constantly reminds me is what I prayed for as I said 100% good kids are boring.

Those words have come back to bite me...

The one thing I will not miss is feeding time. That's a post for another time but also the cleanup afterwards is just terrible. And I'm not lazy about cleaning.

Work it out - 18 days X 5 meals X 2 kids = way too much cleaning up

I have a confession - I've been skipping the afternoon snack for the last few days so that there's one less meal to clean up.

!

How V does it I don't know.

I guess you keep going because of the cuteness?

Anyway, my deadline is 10 pm tonight so off I go to get my beauty sleep :)

Have you made your menu plan for the week?

P.S. I write quite a popular blog on organising - if you're interested in following that one, leave a comment and I'll send you the link.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Excuse the blurry Christmas pics

See, here's why you need to download immediately and check the quality.

I am about a month late and am way too lazy to go around the house again, taking more pics.

Here's a collage...just because I've been playing in Picasa...


this is how I display my Christmas cards - pegged to a piece of ribbon. Looks very pretty when it dangles... is it me, or are people sending out fewer cards every year? We got 10 total and of those, 2 are from blog friends (thanks!), 1 from my coach :), 3 from family, 1 from pastors, 3 from friends. I sent out about 40.


the babies' stockings, not that I put anything in there or that I "do Santa" (topic for another post). look carefully... see the 3 candles in the middle of the two stockings? the beige ones were holding the stockings in place until Connor pulled at the stocking and the candle whacked him on the forehead - so D made another plan (Prestik)


angel from my friend, Roz :) poor thing had to perch on such a tiny tree but she did well, the angel, not Roz.


half the things are off the tree thanks to my little boy's exploring hands

this little guy lives on the babies' room door handle - Kendra loves this thing. She squeals with delight when we give it to her for hugs at every nappy change.


for this I consider myself pure genius, just MONTHS too slow. So simple and yet so powerful - red ribbon prevents the babies from getting into my sideboard, finally :)


I bought these hanging decorations last year, on a whim, for R20 each ($3). I got 2 that say Love and 2 that say Hope. When I went back, they were GONE. Out of stock. So glad I got them. I love them so much they stay up year round. Connor loves them too :)


that's our teeny-tiny Christmas tree. As a friend said, you just have to get used to "decorating UP"

this was me being creative. I saw something similar on one of these decorating blogs (which I'm addicted to, by the way, but only the imperfect ones).


this tiny tree used to live on my work desk til I couldn't be bothered anymore to be "that person" who always "does the celebrations". Again, a story for another post but I realised they don't take you seriously if you become defined by being that person... I made it festive, put it on a lovely mosaic platter that I never use and voila!


And that's it! I basically only "decorate" (and I use that word very, very loosely) the lounge and open-plan entrance way/ dining room area.

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd consider mine a 6.

Do you go ALL out? What's your number?

P.S. We went to the pharmacy instead and got some medicines. Connor has already had a coughing fit since going to sleep at 6 pm; not a peep from Kendra.

I think we're off to Casualty.

This is a bad weekend to get really sick. All the doctors are closed all of yesterday, today and tomorrow (all public holidays here in South Africa) and I can't wait anymore.

It feels like overkill because it's just a hacking cough (both, C worse) and nose pouring liquid (K) but it's either that or the pharmacist. And we've been doing cough syrup and Nurofen for days and days now.

Last night I waited up until I was too tired to keep my eyes open (11:20) because Connor was hacking away terribly. I had this fear that he'd stop breathing...

I am a total rule-follower with medicines and safety issues as there is no way I'm going to add feeling guilty to the mix of other emotions if something happens that is a side effect from over dosing.

So I picked him up, rocked him a bit and then he throws himself sideways which is his signal for "enough now, I want to go back to sleep".

I need to get dressed quickly so we're ready when they wake from their morning nap for our exciting post-Christmas adventures :)

On the bright side, we've now taught Kendra to wipe and blow her own nose. Those little hands are very cute.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from South Africa



I decided to forgo a longer blog post tonight because I've been tidying my study - I'm about 10 minutes from done.

Good times!

No, really, because I can't stand the mess anymore.

So, from the four of us here in Johannesburg, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

May the love of Jesus surround you this festive season.

P.S. It is blazing hot here - it's 10:49 pm and I'm still in shorts with the windows wide open :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two sick kids... and one of them is walking

Yes, I have two sick kids.

Connor and I had a terrible cough (the kind where you feel like you're going to vomit) on Monday. We went to get some cough medicine.

We were both fine on Tuesday. I've been fine since.

Yesterday Kendra woke with the cutest little raspy voice... which got worse through the day.

Last night she was up every 15 - 20 minutes...

Today hers was a bit better but Connor's cough came back.

We've been dosing both of them with Nurofen and the cough syrup.

D and I have been working in the study (I roped him into entering holiday expenses into my spreadsheet while I wrapped presents) and have heard Connor cough HORRIBLY twice now. I'm hoping it's all the phlegm coming loose and that it's not getting worse.

Kids! You just think everything's perfect and then there's another something.

I really have no desire to spend Christmas Eve at the wonderful hospital down the road.

On Christmas Day, we're going to D's sister after the babies wake from their morning naps where we will spend the day (thankfully I don't have to cook - we're doing drinks and dessert). We will bath them late afternoon after their supper and then come home to sleep in their own beds.

BTW, yesterday (!) D's sister asked what the kids would like for Christmas and D told her, "they'd love to spend two afternoons with their aunty". She says, "you mean babysitting? no way!" LOL

Are you all looking forward to Christmas? Not so much? What are your plans? Do you cook? Do you go to family? Do you go away to avoid the family drama? Spill!

P.S. Connor can walk - I forgot to mention - I would say it happened properly around Sun/ Mon. He is the cutest little drunk man ever and looks ever so proud of himself :) Kendra is now walking 80% of the time and climbing the other 20%. I turn my back for a second and she's up on the couches climbing onto the window sills and ottomans! I keep reminding myself that the Toddlersense people said climbing is GOOD :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The holiday, on a scale of 1 - 10 was a ...


First, a beach pic :)


Occasionally I like to dress them like "twins" - same colours but different shades, a girl and boy version. K is wearing a lighter shade of green with a heart-shaped button on the left; C is in lime-green, plain boy t-shirt. Both blue shorts, K's is denim.

This was our pram while we were delayed leaving Johannesburg. Please notice the little boy (I really have to stop calling them "the babies") on the right, barefoot and very happy to be free.

I think he'd made friends with everybody up and down the queue.

This one was taken in the week before we left - he now hangs onto the security guards as he climbs onto the window sill. My heart stops every time and I have to tell myself to remain calm. Eventually I told V, "if he falls, he falls. he needs to learn" to which I received a very shocked look :)


And then, again the cutest little girl in the world. Note the gorgeous grey skies in the background on a beautiful beach day. She loves that hat and ate sea sand from that very spade (maybe she thought it was an oversized spoon?)


D and I discussed the holiday - what was good, what could be improved, what was frustrating, etc. (we do this kind of thing with everything) and decided that it was a 7.

At first I said "MUCH better than Clarens" - I gave that holiday a 4 and really, the scenery and gorgeous quaint town brought it up from a 2.5 to a 4.`So much hard work!

So without any further ado, here is my summary:

Good things

1. Baby seat things - I seriously felt like a genius every time we hauled those things out. You can attach them in about 10 seconds and the babies adjusted to them very quickly (meal 2 or 3).
2. Getting my beach photo shoot (yes, the pics look gorgeous - more so the babies and D than me, but maybe I need to book Jeanette again soon for me - D says I am stark raving mad, but once you get hooked on really good photos, it's hard to feel satisfied with crappy ones)
3. We coped TONS better than we thought we would and the babies were MUCH better behaved.
4. They also ramped up the cuteness a lot because they're talking up a storm and are friendly to all and sundry (everybody in the hotel, parking lots, airport, etc).
5. Pre-planning Christmas presents and just going out to get them
6. My brother has stopped being moody - I actually said to him yesterday, "this year it was LOVELY spending time with you" :) I'm very naughty!
7. General family stuff.

Frustrating things

1. Not seeing my father - he was travelling for much of our time there
2. Not going to church and we had two weekends there.
3. Not seeing any old or new friends like Eve or Katherine (there was a get together on one of the only TWO beautiful beach days and there was no way I was missing that with the babies - I like to think I have my priorities straight :))
4. Kendra decided to go vegetarian for about a week. She just started eating meats again on Monday. How can you get full eating avo, bananas, carrots and pumpkin?! Thank goodness for cereal.
5. General family stuff - like how indecisive they all are. It drives me crazy normally, good thing I'm more relaxed on holiday. Also how nobody (except my brother) communicates properly - the topic of another blog post or maybe I should start a private blog like Rebecca's done?

Bad things

1. The wind - oh my word, I'd forgotten how bad it can be. I had a headache on day 1 from walking in the wind, so much so I had to take 2 Panado (that is serious medication for me :))
2. The rain...
3. The crazy amount of money we spent - I am firmly in denial and very reluctant to do the budget at the moment...
4. My mother was still showing favouritism to Kendra - that's again another blog post...
5. We watched my tv segment all together and nobody in my family said a single thing like "good job" or "I can't believe people actually take YOU seriously" :) or ANY thing.


In a nutshell, I loved being away but I love, love, love being back, not having to worry about if we have enough clothes for the babies, will the laundry get dry in time, etc.

I now need to plan the next trip otherwise I start getting all sad about how I "never" travel :)

Our next trip will probably be to a European destination for about 5 days where South African passport holders don't need a visa as I am dead lazy to go through all that schlep.

But one day when I stop being so lazy, I'll apply for a US visa and go to New York. Meanwhile, I live vicariously through other people.

My favourite type of holidays are either city holidays or beach holidays. Thailand was my best as it was simply too hot to go, go, go all the time (my default setting) and we relaxed the best there. And of course, the outstanding food always helps! I actually lost weight eating so healthy.

What kind of holidays are your favourites?

P.S. Home Affairs sent me a text to say my new passport's ready for collection so technically speaking, the next time I get one of those Flight Centre emails, I could book and go! Isn't it lovely to dream?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried

We had a bit of an Amazing Race scenario this morning. After I promised myself to never ever do this again after a nightmarish run at top speed by two unfit people (me and D) through Heathrow airport trying to catch our flight to Jhb.

I wish I were joking but the doors were literally closing as we ran through them.

We were those people whose names get announced on the intecom *blush*

Anyway, back to today.

We had to check in at 12:25. Final check-in is 12:55 and this is peak season at the coast so there are always hordes of people.

My sister had to come collect the car seats and take some of our luggage to the airport so we arranged to meet at 12:15 - the hotel was less than 5 minutes away.

I forgot she's on coastal time however and she pitches up at 12:35 after about 3 phone calls from me, "WHERE are you?"

"We're on our way."

And so it went on.

In case it is unclear she is a P. I'd forgotten this but I have made a mental note to tell her 30 minutes before the time I actually want her there, if there's ever a next time.

So we get close to the airport and D tells me we still need to fill the rental car with petrol.

I freak out! Wouldn't you?

Apparently they charge you more to fill the car than if you do it yourself so I insisted he first drop me and the babies, give me all the travel docs and let me do my persuasive thing if they didn't want to let me check him in too.

Meanwhile my sister took another route to the airport (don't ask me why!) and is nowhere to be found.

Also the photographer had agreed to meet us at the airport with the disc and prints (and me with his money). He also phones me on the way there - he ran out of petrol. I feel like the whole world is conspiring against me.

We arrange for him to post the stuff to me. He then phones back. Managed to push his bike to a petrol station and now has petrol so if we're still at the airport, could he still come? Yes.

Are you still with me?

I now have the ginormous twin pram with babies shouting "daddy, daddy" waiting for 1) D, 2) my luggage 3) photographer 4) my mother and brother to say goodbye

Gosh - I was STRESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fortunately the girl at the check-in counter was fantastic - checked all of us in with no problems at 12:55. While she was doing that, my BIL arrived with our luggage. In the nick of time.

Got boarding passes and then saw the photographer and then D.

Good thing I naturally have low blood pressure because I was hot and sweating and of course, not talking to D. Cross about the petrol!

The actual flight was worse coming home than going, both in terms of babies' behaviour and turbulence.

They moved us around so it was just our family in a row. Bad because the kids are familiar with us and were tossing food all over the place. I'd feel bad for the flight staff BUT I got severe attitude when I asked for a straw so I didn't feel in the least bit bad.

Once we landed however, everything went beautifully - our car was waiting (I used valet parking - WELL worth every rand) and our friend was waiting too, to take our luggage home.

I love travelling but I love love LOVE coming home.

So now the house is clean but there's stuff everywhere. One load of laundry is done and there's another 2 - 3 loads to go.

The babies were very cute when we got home - Kendra stood absolutely still next to a chair in my entrance way, completely silent, just staring, for a full 10 minutes. I think she was shell-shocked. :)

Connor leapt from D's arms and flew around the house, "discovering" his space again. When he happened upon his favourite car, he squealed with glee. Too sweet.

They were both asleep by 6:45 and I'm about to head to bed myself.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How light do you travel?

this was our luggage going to Ireland for a week


D and I just spent the last hour and a half packing our stuff as we fly back home tomorrow.

How is it that things multiply, change shape and just don't fit?!

On our way down, we checked 4 bags - 1 for D, me and the babies and a miscellaneous one with baby clothes for my sister. That was 56 kg.

I was horrified at how "heavy" we were despite our allowance being 80 kg.

When D and I last travelled to Ireland (23 weeks pregnant with the babies), I had a hand luggage suitcase weighing 8 kg and D had a normal one weighing about 15 kg. See pic.

Confession - that was the lightest I've ever travelled aside from 15,8 kg for 3 weeks in a UK winter the previous year. I'm still most proud of that.

See I'm that person who used to take 3 overnight bags to stay somewhere for 2 days. I'd always stand in the check-in queue at the airport, openly envious of those girls with one little bag (that's how it seemed to me anyway) and their handbag.

And then I was that person. :)

And now we're up by 33 kg. I'd like to blame it all on the babies but I can't - it seems I've given myself permission to cart a lot more rubbish around with me (in the name of "being prepared") and I don't like it.

I like to be a lean, mean travelling machine.

Going back we have 5 bags instead of 4 - the 5th one is some presents for the kids and so on...

All the bags are bulging - thank goodness we have those expandable suitcases and, I have to add, I normally don't even use the expandable portion.

Anyway, so what kind of packer are you?

Are you those girls at the airport with one bag or are you the post-baby me?

Puffer, I'd love it if you'd weigh in - you seem to be a master packer. How do you do it, especially with babies???

Sunday, December 19, 2010

162 and other snippets

There are 162 items in my Google Reader (after clearing about 50 last night) and I'm so, so tempted to just click "mark all as read".

Shall I do it?

Do you dare me?

However, I'm always scared I'll miss out on something... just call me Curious George. I'm probably showing my age but when I was little there was a programme on TV with a cute litle monkey called Curious George.

Maybe I'll compromise and just read the people's blogs who comment here (so I don't feel bad) and mark the rest as "read".

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Speaking about reading... I brought 4 books on holiday with me. I am still busy with number 1!!!

But I'm determined to finish it before we leave.

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Oh, this afternoon I had a look at the unedited proofs from the beach shoot and oh my, this is why I could not do this job. I just cannot see potential.

My brother and husband had to tell me (talk me down from the ledge) that the pics will be fine once they're edited.

Lord, I hope so.

Hair all over the place (mine), etc, etc.

We had to choose 20 or 25 images for editing (I can't remember and am determined not to go into my work email!) so I chose 25 and told him if the package is actually 20, to just take the 20 best :).

So we wait and see.

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We had our Christmas lunch today with my family (esp for us) and it was lovely. The babies are sitting and eating nicely in those baby seats (BTW, the link was in the comments if you wanted to order some) and we got to enjoy mostly hot food.

The best moment was when I gave my nephew his presents, one at a time, and when I gave him number 2 (I didn't have enough wrapping paper to do them together), he squealed, "I get TWO presents?" - too sweet! And he loved (genuinely as only a 3-year-old can) them both.

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Right, now I'm off to jump in the shower and then read my book.

How are you guys doing?

The beach photoshoot


Let me start off by saying I always realise when I'm back in my home town how fast and urgent and driven a place Joburg is. And how people are so relaxed (deep down I envy them) at the coast.

We'd tentatively arranged for a 5 pm photo shoot on Monday since the light would be best that time.

Well, you know my babies go to bed at 6pm and become really cranky in the half hour before.

I emailed him to tell him this and heard nothing so I was texting on the Sunday, phoning on the Monday (twice, all before 12) and the poor man was out of town (out of cell phone reception) all this time.

He eventually phones me, apologising. I was apologising too for "hounding him" as I called it.

Anyway, again, so relaxed and it was no problem to reschedule the shoot for Tuesday morning.

I like to think I'm led of God and this is a perfect example because Tuesday was the BEST weather for the 7 days we've been here.

We had no problems on Tuesday morning, were all dressed in jeans and grey t-shirts and this time I was very relaxed.

Let's attribute it to being at the beach and with all that wind, you're hanging onto babies and your cap so there's no time to stress about him getting the "perfect shot", etc.

D even commented afterwards that I didn't even try to control things. LOL

Yes, I was the epitome of Zen!

See the pic? My jeans were drenched, full of sand, my top was wet, my hair was a crazy mess because of the wind, I did nothing but run around after them, no relaxing with a book like in the past... but I didn't care.

Zen!

I still haven't seen any proofs but I assume they're alright as he told me he'd have a look when he got home and if the light was too harsh (because it got very bright very quickly - lovely for playing at the beach but not for gorgeous photos), he'd call to do another 30 minutes at another location of my choice.

I still haven't paid him! He wanted no deposit even though I insisted! I realised then that I was insisting to make myself feel better. He was not in the least bit concerned.

This is very unlike anybody in Jhb - nothing wrong with Jhb, it's just VERY different at the coast. I remember years ago we travelled to PE by car, took the car for a service as there was a special on, and there was something wrong with the credit card when we tried to pay. We envisioned the owner taking us to the bank to draw the money (as they would do in Jhb, but there you'd make your own way) but they just said, "next time you drive past (it was on a main road), bring the money. OH MY WORD. We were gobsmacked.

Anyway, so he was there with his one son who has the same first name as my boss, a fairly unusual name. The son was lovely and even looked after my kids for a bit while he took some pics of the two of us walking on the beach.

So D and I are waiting with bated breath... hopefully there are at least a couple that are worthy of printing on canvas :) There should be some cute ones of the kids as we took ours later that same day and they still looked cute.

P.S. I had some 2011 black and white calendars printed with 3 of our prof pics on them and they look stunning! I am now hooked on playing with the photos and will be visiting my local Kodak to see what else I can do with them.

P.P.S. The kids are about 70% there with the walking - they walk by themselves more than they crawl these days and Connor esp walks very confidently. I had a "moment" last night as he is getting to be a big boy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reverb - week 1

I stumbled upon this reverb thing on 2nd Dec, fully intending to start blogging but life got in the way.

Then I happened upon one of my favourite blogs, Ordinary Courage, and she did reverb one week at a time, which sounded brilliant to me and much more doable.

Except... I still haven't done it so here goes. I'm also considering it prep for my 2011 goal-sitting session.

From Gwen Bell: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the world to be that captures 2011?

I keep trying to think of a different word but if I'm to be 100% authentic, I feel disappointed. Disappointed in my work, disappointed with my business (despite the few flurries of goodness), disappointed with my weight and disappointed with some relationships in my life.

I think the word I'd like to capture next year would be courage or brave (what's the difference?). I have done quite a bit of stepping out and taking risks this year (applying for lots of jobs, having fearless conversations with people, being vulnerable here on the blog, putting in an offer on that house despite my serious aversion to debt) but I'd really like to step into my bravery more next year.

BTW, did you know that my name means brave and fearless?


From Leo Babauta: What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing - and can you eliminate it?

Well, difficult question this. I have honoured my writing this year. I'm really proud of this blog and how often I post. And even if no-one says anything, I know my writing has improved and so has my sanity!

That said, surfing the internet is hands down my biggest time waster.

From Ali Edwards: Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

This one is easy for me.

I always feel the most alive ever when I speak in front of large groups of people.

This year's "most alive" moment was when I did the talk for Big Corporate in Cape Town. The crowd was receptive and gave me great feedback both while I was talking and afterwards, I was in form, and it was just an all-round great experience.

I'm leaving it at that as I blogged it in detail in July.

From Jeffery Davis: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I cultivate a sense of wonder by always looking for the good around me. It sounds Pollyanna-ish but I really do try to see the beauty in everything.

It also helps to have two cute toddlers who are living, breathing, amazing miracles straight from God.

From Alice Bradley: What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Mmmm, long-time readers will know that letting go is very hard for me.

Very, very hard.

The biggest thing I let go of this year was the need to parent like other people. I honestly feel like I really settled into this mothering gig this year once I stopped comparing myself.

And how did that happen?

When I read that Motherstyles book.

Honestly, if you still haven't taken the quiz (find the link to my series of posts on the sidebar), do it - it will set you free.

I now realise exactly what my parenting strengths and struggles are and I'm okay with them.

If you read my 36 things list, you'll know that I am also working on letting go of my (sometimes high) expectations of others. It's a work in progress but I'm getting better at just accepting friendships for what they are and not trying to make them be what I want. Does that make sense?

From Gretchen Rubin: What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I made little gifts for some blog friends. I won't say what, just in case they're reading :)

From Caligator: Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Big question.

One of my values is connection and therefore community is very important to me.

The biggest community I have is all of you who read this blog. Especially those of you who take time out of your busy days to comment here and leave me snippets of yourself. Thank you - I truly, truly appreciate it.

The blogging community is also the one I'd like to connect with more deeply in 2011 but also the community of real life friends I have.

Now, over to you.

I would love, love, LOVE to read your answers to these questions on your blog.

Anybody up for the challenge?

Otherwise, I'd love to hear your comments on my answers :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Photo organising zen


Remember earlier this week when I blogged about the photos?

Well, Laura commented and we then went back and forth chatting a bit about photo organising.

I told her she should blog about her system and she said she had something in drafts. Wonderful!

And now I bring you... the system I would like to have...

Go read Laura's fantastic photo organising post.


What I do with my photos are:

  1. I print a very select few that make me smile - these go in frames on my desks at work and at home. Only thing is my desk is getting very busy. We also put the frames around the house but again, looking very busy so I want to do a wall of frames.
  2. I bought a digital photo frame a few months ago. I put some of our travel pics on there and some of the babies' pics and it is LOVELY to see the randomness of something that took my breath away (like Wicklow, Ireland) in the middle of the chaos that is mostly at my house. I'd like to say these pics often keep me sane and centred :)
  3. Blog them
  4. Facebook them (although I don't really like to put tons of the babies' pics there - who knows which per.verts are checking them out?! We all know people who seemed very respectable and are, in fact, very dodgy )
So...let's come clean.

I take about 300 - 400 a month (babies, skies, food, organising, other randomness), I delete a lot (blurry, dark, flash, etc.) and I end up keeping about 120 - 200. I am HORRIFIED at that amount because I thought I delete more.

How many photos do you take on average, every month? And of those, how many do you keep?


P.S. I've just decided to set a goal to keep only 150... when I get to that I'm going to work at it until I'm only keeping less than 100 :)

P.P.S. Do my kids not look very big all of a sudden?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hmmm, not prepared for this weather

As I type this the wind is howling outside the hotel.

We're on the 8th floor of a large hotel on the beachfront which means we are half way through our holiday and have 5 days to go.

Since we've been here we've had 2 okay days (not raining but not hot), 1 fantastic day (coincidentally the day of our photoshoot) and then lots of rain. And my friend Eve with the twin boys (she's also here on holiday) tells me this weather will be continuing until Saturday. Grrr.

Certainly puts a spanner in my works. We have loads of outdoor plans and a get together I want to attend but I'm not wasting the good weather when it happens (see how optimistic I am?).

Coastal rain is not the same as our wonderful Highveld thundershowers.

In Jhb, the days are very hot with a dry heat that I love and then we have a quick but very heavy thundershower every afternoon to cool things down. It's fantastic except if you're caught in those thundershowers in the traffic :)

Here at the coast, it's a lighter rain that just lasts forever. By forever I mean the whole darn day.

As a result, we are all out of clothes. I packed for warm to hot weather with two long-sleeved tops each IN CASE it got a bit cold.

Well, the "bit cold" has been the norm. The babies wore their shorts once since they got here - Tuesday morning.

So we've already done one load of laundry and now there are little vests, babygrows, tops and jeans ALL over the two hotel rooms :) And we probably should do a second load tomorrow except I'm loathe to add more laundry to this space.

My natural instinct is to go out and buy a few more things which I tried but... since it's summer here, there is NOTHING in the shops. I found some jeans for Kendra though.

I need to tell you about the photo shoot, a bit about the holiday and of course, the usual stuff that I always have to chat about (like how my kids went to DAYCARE!) but for now, I've promised myself that I need to answer emails because I have 31 in my inbox which is BAD for me.

Is anyone still reading? (seriously)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There's still time to send Christmas cards


I am the latest with my Christmas cards ever even though I started nearly a month ago on 18 November.

Currently, I'm in a very lovely coffee shop finishing up the last of them.

(Cat, if you're reading, do pop into Vovo Telo on Pickering Street in Newton Park)

I'm always on the look out for good things to do with photos.

I'm a very good deleter of photos - I probably take as much as the next person but I know I delete TONS.

My motto is the more I delete, the less I have to organised them :)

Obviously Christmas is an ideal time to use some of those photos for your Christmas cards.

I like sending ones with just one photo so that people can keep them on their fridge or in a frame (or at least this is what I tell myself).

But the ones where you can add lots of pics are a better option in terms of using up lots of your own pics, especially in the baby years where they change so quickly.

Recently I became hooked on photobooks.

My friend, Nat, showed me a beautiful one she had made, incorporating 3 different photo shoots - maternity, newborn baby and then, David just walking (or as I like to say, stumbling around like a drunk man :))

I've also seen a work colleague with a beautiful gift idea, wall calendars.

She took her husband's pics (he takes beautiful landscape photos) and did them in a calendar for their home and then she did ones of the kids for the grandparents, which were a huge hit, all year round.

If I were more organised and decisive about this year's photoshoot, I'd have done calendars for gifts.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Since I promised myself to not buy Christmas cards until the current stash is done, I'm going to use my 50 for blogging about this Shutterfly promotion to make thank-you cards. I send out TONS of thank-you cards every year and snap up any whenever I see them.

I'm going to use one of the professional pics (perhaps this one) and print blank cards that I will use as thank-you cards :)

What's your current favourite thing to do with photos?
And if you're a procrastinator, there's still time to get your Christmas (or New Year) cards out :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enough with the pink!




It is crazy windy here at the coast and the wind is chilly. Lovely when the sun's out but ice-cold the minute that wind starts blowing.

So tomorrow is going to be interesting as it's our photo shoot.

Yes, another one.

I didn't plan to have them 6 weeks apart but as I said before, I have dreamed of a beach photo shoot since I found out I was having twins.

And what are bonuses for, right?!

Speaking of bonuses, I am spending an insane amount of money and have already started compiling a mental "how to save more money on holiday next time" list.

For this photoshoot, we are wearing denims and grey t-shirts.

We were going to do the shoot this afternoon at 5 pm but I phoned the guy and told him my kids go to bed at 6 pm normally so are going to be super-crabby :)

Anyway, in anticipation, we dressed Connor in his grey t-shirt and oh my word, the little boy cuteness was too much. I had to bite those little arms.

I'm not the only one who does this, right?!

He then pulled over a mug of cold coffee on him and the carpet so aside from the house trauma, we had to go back out (in the WIND) and buy him another t-shirt and one for his sister.

I am so tired of all the pink (after 17 months!) and have decided that is that. I will not be buying pink for a loooong time so today I bought grey, yellow and red t-shirts, all for Kendra.

In other news, I am tired of being behind on my emails and text messages. I need to take an hour and just reply to everything.

I've also been planning to join a blog link up from 8 Dec. I know, I know, is there any point now? But I've been thinking through the post (do you also write them in your head first?) and I want to get it down. Maybe tomorrow?

I know you know this but it's so much harder looking after babies at other people's houses... I have MUCH less time on holiday than I do at home!

What are your tips when you get behind?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Travelling with twins

So yesterday was a crazy rush before leaving home. It's a wonder (well, actually my checklist helped) I remembered crucial things like my phone charger and camera cords.

But still no pics as I did budgets tonight so no time to blog properly.

Thank goodness I got V and Nester (yes, my cleaning lady's name really is Nester and yes, I do get a kick out of it!) in so the kids were done on time and the house is clean.

Although I've since remembered exactly WHY I'm a control freak with some things like packing - I wrote a list for V "5 short-sleeved vests, 2 pairs of jeans, etc." and the items where I wasn't specific like "pink Edgars sandals" are not the ones I would have chosen, so Kendra has one pair of jeans I'm happy with and the other is too short as those legs have grown.

Oh well.

See I only got to the shorts and t-shirt sets before my time ran out. Although those are super cute, all matched and in Ziplocs :)

Anyway, you want to know about the flights.

We got there in time, not too much, but enough in case there were roadworks on the highway.

The flight was delayed by nearly an hour. Thank God they kept us waiting outside the boarding gate in the terminal and not on the aeroplane because my kids would have gone stir crazy.

As it is, Connor made friends with all of the hundreds of people, crawling up and down the rows... Yes, he was filthy and very happy as kids should be.

Kendra stayed with me, only venturing a metre or two either way, but chatting to all and sundry.

Boys and girls are so different.

On the plane, K slept for 25 mins. C was awake the whole time. They both surpassed our expectations and were "good". Not angels, but good. In other words, no screaming, not too much wriggling.

We didn't even have to get out the toys and books - there was far too much already going on, like the boy next to me with his little electronic game. I am so uncool I don't even know what those things are called.

However, when we got to our destination it was FREEZING. Poor kids were dressed in Jhb weather and fortunately (!) their very resourceful mother threw in a tracksuit for each of them into my handbag.

I was so grateful for abit of spontaneity.

The minute we were in the terminal I dressed them warmly but they still had those cold little feet sticking out (I didn't think of socks).

Our rental car was sorted BUT when we (D) tried to attach the car seats, we (again D) found the seat belts weren't working properly in the back seat.

I then left D, moved the kids to my sister's car and we came to my mother's house to get started on the bedtime routine.

Which is how they only went to bed after 9. Over 3 hours later than normal.

We anticipated a later start because of the late bedtime but no, our kids are like the birds - 5:20 and they were up, chatting away, pumping those little fists and demanding milk.

So all in all, much better than we expected in terms of the babies' behaviour but much, much worse in terms of other travel hassles.

Of course, we were both knackered last night. D jumped straight into bed after a late supper (9pm) but I can't sleep with disorder so I sorted out the room where we're staying and got the babies things ready for the next day, as I usually do. I am not a morning person so milk bottles, water bottles and clothes are all prepared the night before.

It is now 11:00, my holiday deadline for the computer as I brought 4 books and I want to finish most of them, if not all.

How was your weekend?


P.S. The segment aired today - yes, hair was, in fact, terrible but am feeling okay as I seemed to make sense. Thanks to Dee and Caren for lovely, encouraging text messages :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How the holiday's going... in one sentence

Connor had his first Fizz Pop today (lollipop for those who are not South African), the rental car agency charged us an additional amount of R1200 (I will have to phone and fight with them tomorrow) and the babies went to bed more than 3 hours late, after 9pm!

More tomorrow :)

P.S. I'm busy unpacking and creating some order out of the chaos.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas presents for kids

So we spoke about the Christmas presents for big people.

Let's talk about Christmas present for the little ones.

MandyH posted this three weeks ago and I'm only now getting around to respond.

First, the background

I didn't grow up with a lot of Christmas gifts (I can only remember getting 1 gift) and I honestly didn't even know any different until I was about 9 or 10 years of age.

D and I used to buy about 5 things each for a good few years until it got awkward with the families. We'd all open one and then D and I were still at it while everyone else was done - terrible :)

One year we opened our gifts together, just the two of us, and then later did the family ones.

Then I got into the decluttering and simplifying mindset nearly 6 years ago. And now I believe that less is more, I really do.

I now prefer one thing I really love rather than 10 things I'm only lukewarm about. There's just more things to store! Or that you have to find a place for.

I get clients telling me they're thinking of moving because their house isn't big enough. I used to be one of those. And it's probably more accurate to say, "you have too much stuff" :)

Speaking of which, I need to declutter my study once again.

Now, the kids.

I honestly believe most kids have too much. And when there's too much, they're overwhelmed and don't really SEE any toys.

We see it with our kids and you know how minimalist I am with toys.

In fact, I may as well share this with you. I split all their current toys into two piles. I hid one pile away in one of those plastic storage containers and kept one pile out.

I changed them around after 4 weeks and it was like Christmas - they rediscovered all these "new" things and were in baby heaven :)

I've seen some things on the blogs about giving 3 gifts like Jesus got when He was born - lovely idea but even that's too much for me.

If they had 3 gifts total from everybody, that would be fabulous.

So I'm still undecided. Their father and I are book crazy (I declutter, he doesn't - in fact, I've just taken 13 off my bookshelf to go to the 2nd-hand store) and D bought them about 3 books each - we've given them one each and I think the other two should be Christmas presents.

They'll get gifts from the grandparents and our sisters and they don't need anything. Except money for education but let's not go there :)

D's mom has already bought them lots of clothes, half of which actually can't be worn OR exchanged as she insists on removing all the tags and I told her the last time I refuse to go again and try to explain to the people that yes, this item was actually bought at your store, on my MIL's word.

What are you doing about your kids and gifts?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

It finally arrived

Well, my parcel finally arrived after I had to pay an additional R336 in customs duties.

I haven't even had the time to query it yet but as I told MandyH, what can I do? I want the stuff!

Here is Kendra modelling her one. Her brother's one is blue and white. They are very sturdy and look like they're made very well. The best thing is they fold up really small, A5 size but not as wide.


The more observant of you will have noticed she's finally looking a bit girly around the hair.

That is totally by accident. I wear a headband when I need to hide the grey hair and she loves to fit it on, so I bought her her own one, only much cuter than my boring black one. Can you see the cute flower?

Now I only have to wait for another 3 parcels to arrive. *sigh*

Here's my personal to-do list before I go on leave:
  1. finish Christmas cards
  2. pack for babies - clothes, nappy/activity bags, bottles, sippy cups, utensils and some empty plastics to store food.
  3. pack for me - clothes, books, laptop, camera, cords
  4. pack girl baby clothes for my sister's baby arriving in March
  5. pack gift wrap bags for Christmas presents (I am a genius if I say so myself - I know exactly what I'm getting for everyone so when I get there, I will dash to the shops, get the stuff and wrap them).
  6. arrange for V and cleaning lady (in the pre-baby days, we'd clean the house before we left for holidays as I LOVE coming home to a clean house - it feels like a sanctuary. This year I'm getting V in to watch babies while we do last packing and tidying, and the cleaning lady will clean until we have to leave for the airport)
  7. arrange platinum parking (this R450 will be the best R450 I've ever spent, of that I have NO doubt)
  8. get hair done
  9. confirm photoshoot with photographer (he very kindly told me he's tentatively booked time for us for the next day too in case the weather doesn't co-operate)
I'd say I'm just about ready to go on leave.

At work, I'm basically up to date and will brief the boss on the non-up to date things. I will also get to find out my salary increase. Which will probably really get me in the mood to go on leave as I always think I should get more (!). This year when we got bonuses, I got a truly gigantic one (for the insurance industry) and it was the first time I didn't think I should have gotten more :)

Have I mentioned my family is having "Christmas" just for us on the Sunday before we leave for home? I love it - they know how much I love food!

I truly am tired of eating my own food and need a break. My intention is to take lots of walks with the babies to walk off the good food - my sister LOVES food even more than I do and loves trying new things too.

Tomorrow I will post Christmas pics :)

I'm at about a 7 now with prep for Christmas. How about you?

P.S. What is it with babies who don't want to "perform" on demand? Today my friend with the twins, C, stopped by and Connor only started speaking a MINUTE after she'd left. He was happily waving "bye-bye" once back inside, safe in his bedroom :) D says he's just like me LOL

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Perfect moms

So this colleague (not in our team - we really have LOVELY people) was chatting to me about something and we got onto the subject of daycare.

She asks if my kids go to daycare and I said no, Dr S said it's not really necessary until age 3 since they're twins.

She then goes, "oh, I disagree with that" in a really snooty and self-assured way.

What I wanted to say was, "and you're a children's expert?" (she has two kids) but what I said was, "well, he is their doctor and I trust him".

She believes children should go to daycare at age 2 so I said, "well, I don't even know if I can AFFORD to send mine at age 2, as you well know"

Subject closed. I'm underpaid and she is the HR person who has been involved in our salary discussions.

She looked a bit uncomfortable and then left.

I felt a teeny-tiny bit bad but really, I don't need all that smugness around me.

In SA, it's cheaper for a nanny to look after twins at home than to send the two of them to a daycare, at least in Jhb. And some of us do not have pots of money.

But I got thinking how she is SO perfect (this is just one such incident so I'm not solely referring to this one) and how that ILLUSION of perfection is SUCH a turn-off for me.

Not her necessarily but the concept of the perfect mother.

I think it's because I just can't relate to so-called perfect people.

Competimoms fall into this category too :)

I worked with a girl once, a very nice girl, but another one of those perfect people. We were pleasant with one another but never really went beyond superficiality.

Then she fell pregnant and really battled with morning sickness and the pregnancy. And when she started being more open and honest and, dare I say it, real about things, that's when I could relate to her as a proper person and not a doll.

There's a difference between wanting to do your best and wanting to appear perfect.

How do you feel about perfect people? Is it something you aspire to or are you turned off?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

17 months

I am so bad at these updates. I guess because I mainly blog about the mother stuff rather than the baby stuff.

Anyway, here goes:

Kendra


  1. has gotten really tall in the last couple of weeks, so much so that her jeans are now above her ankles :)
  2. Still wearing 6 - 12 month clothes but is finally in size 2 shoes.
  3. The nappies thing is mainly solved by Huggies 4. When this bag is finished though, I'm going to try Pampers 4 because it's just softer on their bums.
  4. Her hair is also growing and looks crazy most of the time because the minute we brush it she takes her hands and messes up the hair. She calls it brushing her hair. Although we've tried to do teeny-tiny little ponytails and those stayed in for about 10 minutes on Saturday, so we're getting there. 10 seconds to 10 minutes is a huge jump.
  5. Not walking unaided yet. I wondered how to judge what proper walking was until I saw the video on MandyH's blog, I thought, "aaah, now that's walking". She will still take 5 steps towards us but is very scared to go it alone if one of us is not there. Poor thing. Maybe it's just her personality?
  6. Says the following words - Daddy, there, (they tell me) Mummy (I've never heard it), Connor (nono), hello (to everyone in the street when we go for walks), bye-bye, no no no (!), go go go (this is from me - I say "let's go, let's go, let's go" then she says go go go :), down, light, ball, door, toes, shoes, knee, bag, cat, tweet-tweet, quack-quack, tor-tor (tortoise), more, car, star, hair, shhhh (when Connor's sleeping - I first said to her "shhh, Connor's sleeping" and now she shushes us if anyone's sleeping), thank you (very rarely) and then others that only we know she's saying those words - elbow, balloon, belly button (all sounds like bo-bo but the intonation is different and she points so you know what she's saying). She also says "good girl". 30 words!
  7. She is very affectionate and I love it. Wants kisses ALL the time and gives everybody (incl all the stuffed animals) hugs all the time. She hugs my leg while I'm talking to D or V, and then if I start patting her back, she pats my leg. Very cute.
  8. Oh, and she can sing "baa baa black sheep" - it's all baa baa baa baa, but the music is correct :) I just say, "Kendra, sing" and off she goes.
  9. We think her love language is words of affirmation because she LOVES it (beams) when we say, "good girl" (and of course, repeats it) or "clever girl". Too sweet!


Connor



  1. Also getting VERY tall. When he's all stretched out in his cot at night, he looks about 3. One morning I went into their room and he suddenly looked like a big boy. I love them learning new things but I do want to keep them this cute stage forever.
  2. He mainly wears 12 - 18 months on top and still wears some 6 - 12 months pants because he's gotten THIN. At 15 months he'd lost 160 g from 12 months and he's slimmed down some more because he's so active. It is very sad that he's starting to lose his babyness. At least he still has the gorgeous baby arms and hands.
  3. Still in Pampers 4+. No problems with his nappies.
  4. Also not walking unaided much. But he is brave and fearless and LOVES to walk while holding onto a finger. He will come to us over and over (poor thing) but his favourite thing is walking to Daddy. He squeals with delight when D grabs him and they laugh and have a good old time. Truth be told, I'm getting a little jealous because in the last few days, Daddy is Connor's favourite person on the planet. Everything is "Daddy, Daddy" and when I call him D, Connor and Kendra both repeat "D". Again, very cute.
  5. Connor's words - Daddy, Mummy (again, I never hear him but I have to trust D and V), Nenna (for Kendra), no no no no no (our boy has very firm boundaries - Connor, can Kendra play with ______ now? NO NO NO NO NO. Okay then!), go go go (ALLLLLLL the time, he goes to the pram and says go go go, that means, "it's time for our walk" or in the mornings from his cot "go go go " which means "dress me, it's time to play"), tweet-tweet, quack-quack, there, star, car, door, hello, bub-bye (he loves saying bub-bye - it is so sweet in the mornings). They love "there" - they get it from me because I'll pick them up out of the cot/ high chair/ car seat, etc. and put them down and say, "there" and now they started doing it too. 13 words!
  6. He loves the outside - the MINUTE I open the back door in the mornings he stands at the security gate and looks for birds, aeroplanes, etc. I must admit it's a trick I do when they start throwing a tantrum. I say, "shhh, can you hear the birds? Listen." They're forced to be quiet and listen and sometimes the birds oblige and tweet-tweet.
  7. This boy's love language is quality time! We don't have to do anything with him - he plays next to me on the bed or in the study and is happy as a clam. He's been fussing trying to go to bed for a few nights and tonight I took him from his cot, we went to the lounge and just sat and chatted for a bit (5 mins) and then when I said, "okay, baby, time to go to bed now" he went to bed without a murmur.



They have lots of teeth too - 4 molars are out for each baby but not the incisors?

Sleeping is still good (I'm almost scared to write that after reading Cat's post today) but with summer here and it getting lighter earlier, they've been waking closer to the 5:30 mark than the 6:00 one. Then again, we are just so happy about them sleeping we don't CARE!

They are getting very independent with the eating. They'll have some food with us feeding and then they want to feed themselves.

On Sunday they had bread with peanut butter for supper followed by carrots for dessert (I'm not joking - our kids pop carrots like sweets! We go through 1 kg of carrots a week, just for them - see what happens when they learn the word "more"). They ate about half as finger food and then started fussing. I had a brainwave and cut the bread into tiny bits and used plastic baby forks to spear them. They LOVED it and happily ate the rest like that. I'm being kept on my toes!

Anyway, that's enough for an update. I still have a professional blog to write too.

This is why one should update every month instead of every 2 - 3 months as I seem to do. Sorry I'm a slacker!

Also, I thought Connor had like 3 words and now I see he's on track for his 18 months as Dr S said 5 - 10 words by 18 months. Kendra is a big old chatterbox

What's news on your side of the world?

P.S. Tomorrow I want to write about "perfect" mothers.

P.P.S. Hayley, yes, I'm from PE.

(In all the excitement about the triplets yesterday, I forgot it was the 2-year anniversary of me triggering at Rod Stewart's concert. Good times!)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Triplets, blog designs, online shopping and a slightly unhealthy obsession with Billy Joel

My friend, Dee, who used to come to our infertility support group, had her 3 beautiful girls (I know they're beautiful because she is!) this morning.

I can't tell you how pleased I am that this story has ended well because she had been through hell on this infertility journey before this very successful pregnancy.

Congrats and all the best with this next stage :)

Dee is very clever and has employed an army of about 3 people besides her and Husband to help them with the babies and ensure she doesn't lose her mind. LOL

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Is it just me or do you also get taken in by seeing all these beautiful blog designs?

I click, click, click and before you know it, I'm scrolling through a designer's portfolio and clicking through on a contact form?!

I must stop the madness but...

I am on a waitlist for January - I'm going to get this one redesigned as well as my professional one. Can't wait!

I just figure, life is too short to have a plain and boring blog and really, R250 - R350 is nothing in the grand scheme of things, now is it? (that's how I justify purchases!)

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I'm starting to panic a little because the travel baby chair things I ordered for our holiday (vacation) has not arrived yet. Tomorrow it will have been 4 weeks........

I have TONS more online purchases arriving (okay, 3 more sets) and since this is number 1 in the queue, I'm not hopeful about the others...

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There's just something about Billy Joel. I love the way he writes songs.

It's like you're exactly there with him.

I was listening to The Innocent Man this morning in the car and then on the CD I have, Piano Man is next.

I mean, seriously - I can see that old man, John the bartender, "waitress is practising politics" and "they're sharing a drink they call loneliness"

I love it!!!

I dare you - go google Piano Man lyrics and see for yourself.

What's delighting you today?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

There's nothing quite like a deadline

The TV segment airs probably next Sunday and I gave out my new website during the interview so I am frantically rewriting copy.

I've narrowed my niche a lot more from what I used to do and the website represents me more. It seems to be working as I have tons more clients.

Only thing is I'm having to rewrite most of it.

So I've been emailing clients for testimonials, uploading new pics, checking links, etc, etc.

Dreadfully boring (for me) but I have outsourced everything else possible and now the rest is up to me. Only I can write what I do in a compelling and passionate fashion :)

Or at least at a reasonable cost.

I paid a girl to write some copy for me on one of my sales pages for my bestselling product since I figured I make lots of money off that page anyway and .............. no difference. Also it seemed she just made more subheadings out of my existing copy. I was very cross. I hate wasting money.

So unless I can pay thousands (I can't and won't) I will do it all myself.

Last night I spent about 3.5 hours writing, tweaking, working on the website and am happy to say I finished 6 pages.

I have 2 main pages to go and then there are 4 off of the one. Those will have to wait for tomorrow and Tuesday.

I was FINISHED last night and actually had to take a Norflex because my back was so sore. My eyes were too and I couldn't even read!

Today I honoured my body and rested.

Took babies to church, did a quick stop off at the Crazy Store for some "aeroplane toys" and then home. It was crazy hot so after lunch we put them down for a nap and you know what? K slept for 2 hours and C slept for 2 hours 10 minutes. Unheard of.

The best thing is D and I also slept for 2 hours. May this be the first of many, many Sunday naps.

When they woke we played "boats" which is where each child sits in a plastic storage container and a parent pulls them around the entrance hall. They love it and I just love their little giggles.

Yesterday afternoon we had our Fertility Babies Christmas Party. We held it at a pre-school (one of the moms owns it) so it was fabulous - toys, sandpit, see-saw, etc, etc.

We got to see all the babies (the oldest kids are a year older than mine so it's nice to see the future, although those kids are SO well behaved) and best of all, meet the husbands. The host is a single mom who used donor sperm. D is very impressed that someone would do this parenting thing alone. So am I. I said to him, "well, think of Eve. Single and with TWINS."

She also did party packs for the kids which I loved, loved, loved. Homemade playdough with a little roller and two cookie cutters and best of all (you know how much I love notes), a note from her child saying something like "I asked my mom to make some for you too and here's the recipe in case your mommy wants to make some for you". D and I both LOVED it!

I've just wrapped 10 Christmas gifts - yay! My study is still a mess as this is the dumping ground for everything we're taking on holiday but it will have to wait til later this week to get tidy.

So, how was your weekend? And what are you looking forward to this week?

This week I'm looking forward to finding out what salary increase they're giving me. I have a feeling it's going to be bad... on the bright side, I'll then be happy to escape and go on HOLIDAY!

Friday, December 03, 2010

I grew up in a __________ home

I read a post the other day that really made me think... a LOT.

She said that all testimonies start the same way:

I grew up in a _________ home.

It's our job to define that adjective and create it for our kids.

Which is so true.

So I've been thinking about this a lot, thinking about what it is I want our children to say about our home. What our parenting goals are.


I want them to say they grew up in a home where they always felt loved by us unconditionally, where they saw D & I loving each other, where they were encouraged to be themselves, where they knew they could come to us with anything, where they were happy, where we treated one another with kindness and respect and last but by no means least, where they knew that God was in charge and things would always work out okay.


What do you want your kids to say one day when they're grown up?

P.S. That blog is one I've been reading for years and years. All the other blogs I started reading "fell" off my Google Reader but that one has always stayed. She has triplets and through the IF I kept reading because it was my inspiration. I used to send links to my friend with the twins, C, and say, "this will be us one day, with cute kids like this" and it happened!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I survived the TV thing!

The cutest little girl in the world

I love squishing her!

Well, my hair was not looking the best it's ever looked but I was calm and centred when I got there and it was great.

(Thanks for your SMS, Caren - I appreciated it very much)

I wore black pants and a very un-Marcia-like top but it worked. I read in a recent book that because I'm a Choleric, I need to "soften" up my default setting of wearing black and red power suits (I squirmed when I read that because it is SO me).

So I wore a soft, chiffon-type top with ruffles (!) down the front. Very non-Marcia.

When I told D, "I bought a top that is the exact opposite of anything I'd ever buy, he described it to a T" - I love that he knows me so well LOL

I've said this before but it is SO wonderful working with professionals - I love it!

Everyone knew their place and did their thing beautifully.

The director was low-key and not overbearing, the sound guy was awesome, the camera guy was also fantastic and the presenter and I got on very well.

Her baby was born on my hubby's bday last year so my kids are 20 days older and we had tons to talk about, besides the time management.

The actual interview was great - she asked all the questions (very naturally and not forced at all) and I answered them all very nicely according to both the filming guy and the director.

They then filmed over my shoulder and some wide-angle shots, and then some footage of us walking on the balcony outside for intros, etc.

I love, love, LOVE anything "behind the scenes" so I was VERY intrigued to see exactly how they do things so there's continuity and how the hair must be "just so". Fascinating. I think I would be a good director actually. LOL

Do you also watch the "making of" clips on DVDs? Those are my favourites!

So it airs in a few weeks' time - eeek! {Is that apostrophe correct?}

And I can finally relax.

Although tonight's "relaxing" involved doing the budget.

I've made an appt with a financial planner for next week to come talk about updating our wills (Mash, I got scared silly after I read the article you posted on that online newspaper!) and seriously saving for the kids' education and boring things like that.

Now I've got to send a lovely thank-you email to those people and then off to bed.

How are you guys doing with Christmas prep? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being all done?
(I'm about a 6)

P.S. look at the beautiful jacarandas in the background - OH, I love them!

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