Saturday, April 30, 2011

This week's self-care & books up for grabs

Well, as you know, this week we were in Dullstroom on holiday.

Being on holiday with kids is only a change of scenery but surprisingly, we all had a good time.

Despite the snotty noses and coughing.

And the vomiting. (K vomited a total of 4 times on holiday. Thank goodness for D because I am NOT good with the bodily fluids)

I think this age makes the difference.

I don't get easily phased by the tantrums as I have a heart of steel :) and the lovable part is just adorable.

I found myself saying to D all the time, "I can't BELIEVE how cute they are!"

They hug, kiss and are so tender with one another and with us (most of the time) and it's beautiful to see.

I may have had a tear in my eye a couple of times.

When one is crying, the other will go running to find that one to try and pet them.

(Claudia, I used one of your tricks and now find myself saying, "gentle hands, Connor, gentle hands")

Back to the me time:

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1. I read TWO books in two days. No, I can't believe it either. To be totally honest, I was about 40 pages into the John Grisham and a chapter into Crazy Love.

Still, TWO. Which means I've read 6 books for the month of April.

Speaking of reading, I'm still getting used to the Kindle and can only read samples on there before my eyes start burning.

2. Due to the non-internet thing, I literally checked to see if any sales came through and then I was off the computer. Bliss because I got to sleep more than enough despite the babies going to bed an hour later.

One night I organised my entire My Documents and backed up my computer. Also bliss because it's the kind of thing I have to put on my goals list and make my coach make me do it :)

3. I also met up with my 3rd blogger friend (I have 10 on my life list) - all 3 have been Americans :)

4. And today D and I went for an anniversary lunch and then I went shopping for a new duvet, new continental pillows and new curtains for the babies' room. I am a comfort gal through and through so I'm going to enjoy that duvet and pillow the whole of winter - YAY!

So that's me - as usual, a day late :)

How did you take care of yourself this week?


PS I have 6 books to sell. They are all new books, read once by me, a book freak!

Please offer me anything you like (plus postage - around R20 within SA and about double that overseas) and I'll get it off to you on Tuesday when I'm back at work. Or if I'm likely to see you soon, we can do the exchange then.

1. I'm not neat but I'm organized
2. The gifts of imperfection
3. We should do this more often
4. Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife
5. Stop fighting about money
6. There's a perfect little angel in every child :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

16 years


Today D and I celebrate 16 years of marriage.

WOW!

(Kate and Will picked a good date :))

It feels like 14 years still because the last two have been a blur.............

With my wedding posts the last two days, and all of your comments (thank you, as always), I got to thinking about our wedding.

D and I knew we were IT for each other about two weeks after we started going out.

I know it's hard to believe but I was a very stroppy person when I was younger.

If I didn't like something about a guy, that was it - off with him.

Terrible now that I think about it.

You all know the story about how we met.

Well, at the time I was going out with my one other serious boyfriend at the time. We'd started going out when I was 15, through the last two years of school and then a bit of university.

After we broke up, I had a 3-month fling with V which is another story altogether (can you believe we're FB friends now?!) and after that I said, "no more boys! I'm done until I turn 30".

I don't know where 30 came from - sounded like a good number and I was going to be a high-powered career woman with no time for boys.

You know how that goes though... when you say "no more _________" that's exactly what you get.

And D and I got together and serious FAST, but such bad timing - 6 weeks before exams.

Anyway, back to the wedding.

We wanted to get married a lot sooner but my mother didn't think it a good idea to just marry as I was young.

Eventually after a year, I wore her down, she signed the consent forms (I was under 21) and a month later we were married.

I was planning to buy a white suit from Edgars to get married in which nearly sent my mother over the edge and so I "allowed" my gran to make me a very plain and simple white dress.

I seriously didn't give two hoots about anything but who was marrying us and that we were getting married!

We did pray very seriously about who should marry us and our pastor's wife did the honours. It was a beautiful but very simple ceremony.

No entourage as I wanted all the attention to be on us.

My Dad walked me down the aisle, handed me to D and it was just the two of us before God and some family and friends (less than 50).

Perfect.

My hairdresser told me that I was the calmest bride she'd ever seen and I said something like, "what is there to be nervous about? I have absolutely no doubts about doing this"

We didn't have a professional photographer, formal reception (went to D's mom's house afterwards), formal flowers, cake, nothing.

My granny did me a bouquet, D's sister's boyfriend at the time (she had about 6 in the last 13 years) made our cake and my gran and the mothers made all the food.

Very casual.

The only thing I would do differently if I had to do it all again is have a photographer.

The rest was PERFECT for us.

Actually, I'm lying a bit. I would get married on the beach in a white flowing dress with a photographer but other than that, I would not change a thing.

D and I fit each other so well - I can think of a million things I love about him and since we've had the babies, I love him more.

I always knew he'd be a good father but I didn't know he'd be THIS good :) (I told him that today and he agrees with me!!!)

He gets me like no-one else on earth, can give me one look and I know what he's thinking and we really are very good together.

I think what makes our marriage good is that we truly are best friends and talk about everything. When he's down, I'm up; when I'm down, he's up. We have each other's back, and say it's us against the world!

Happy 16-year anniversary, D.

I love you so very much!

What would you change about your wedding day?


I obviously got married in the olden days of no digital camera so I don't have any pics to show you but picture a verrrrrrrrry young D & M :)

P.S. I had 332 posts in my Google Reader. I'm so tempted to just click "mark all as read" but I don't want to miss out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The wedding (part 2)

Part 1 here

The wedding was absolutely beautiful.

Lots of different things which I loved:
  • they cut the cake straight after the ceremony and after having a piece each, left us to finish it all while they went to take photos - LOVED this and the cake was a delicious, thick chocolate cake (I had a small piece)
  • only music was a violinist and a saxophonist (too cool - how is it that saxophone players always look so sexy?!) til the DJ started the dancing music
  • throwing of rose petals only happened after the cake thing as she didn't want flowers in her hair (I love this most of all because K appears to be so shy but she knows her own mind!)

All my crying...
  • K was raised by her grandmother and I started crying already when the grandmother walked into the church. K also looked like she'd been crying a bit.
  • The ceremony was so beautiful - simple but stunning and sophisticated - they wrote their own vows and spoke them with such purpose and passion. LOVE!
  • B's mom said in her speech, "it's easy to let go when you know it's the right girl at the right time. K, I'm delighted to welcome you to our family and I promise I will be a good MIL" :)
  • B's speech was SUCH a tribute to K (I cried and cried - I'm such a love language person) from when he first met her in Std 9 (Grade 11). They'd been best friends for years and years.
  • They did a video of their photos - from baby photos right up to latest holidays - it was BEAUTIFUL and I want a copy!
  • First dance - oh dear, the looks they exchanged. I do believe the wedding night was good ;)

Yes, I was a total sop.

Such young love, so perfect for each other (he is very serious and analytical - such a good, decent young man, and she is serious when she needs to be but so fun-loving and full of life - they are going to be fantastic parents one day) and I just LOVE watching that.

Now here's my stroke of genius: I've invited them to supper when they're back from honeymoon just before they jet off to London.

This is always what I miss about weddings - to properly engage with the couple because at the wedding it is useless to talk meaningfully. So this is going to be fabulous!

I know they won't remember a thing anyone said to them and rightly so :)

I must say, I enjoy weddings much more these days I actually have kids and don't have to avoid all the "so when are you two having children?" questions.

I also love the fact that we got married 16 years ago when the whole getting married thing was still cheap. If I had to get married now, I'd just elope :)

Do you like weddings? Do you cry?

What's the best part for you?

Did you have a big wedding?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Wedding (part 1) and some infertility experiences

First of all, thanks for all the lovely comments :)

I have not even read, let alone had the chance to comment (except for a quick one on Rebecca's post) but I'll catch up (kind-of) this weekend when I'm home and at least leave a comment here and there.

Today has been lovely but D and I have decided that Dullstroom is not very child-friendly. And the water sucks. Other than that we're having a good time :)

The place is full of these red trees (what are they called?) and the kids love them.



Tomorrow we're going through to Sabie to have lunch with a blogger friend travelling down from Mozambique. I can't WAIT! I have a big bag of goodies for her - I went a bit crazy because I know she loves organising too :)

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I've mentioned before that D and I used to pastor an area in our church many moons ago.

In 2000 and 2001 to be exact.

At the time we had 3 adult groups, 2 youth groups and a children's group in the area.

The two people who got married on Sunday was the children's group leader and a guy who used to attend the one youth group. The youth group met at his parents' home.

They were about 16/ 17 at the time - too cute!

Anyway, they were (and are) both lovely people to have in our area. Faithful (which is HUGE to me!), reliable and 100% committed to God.

We only pastored for 2 years because I hated it. I still don't know if it was the area, the way we did the pastoring in those days or what.

Anyhow, we then moved into my true passion, Passion Driven Ministries. After about a year, I was asked to take over the consultants' ministry and I happily agreed. As you know I like to be in charge of things...

I ran courses to train up consultants (people who helped the church people discover their passion, God-given gifts, etc. so that they'd know where best to serve in the church) and also actively consulted with people myself.

In the 7 years I was involved, I probably assessed (that's what we called it) about 500 people 1:1 personally - I just loved it so much. I still do. If you would ever like me to do this with you, you need only ask. I LOVE IT!

So after finishing school, those two (K & B) went to varsity and eventually came on my training and both became consultants.

I must confess I was quite the taskmaster because I really saw our work as so important - we had two hours to impact someone's life forever... (or that's how I saw the vision God gave me).

If we were slackers, people could end up in the wrong place, hating their ministry. But if we did our thing properly, they would be fulfilled, have joy and serve in their purpose.

During that time, two other couples met and got married. Isn't that cute? All through this ministry.

I got very close to each of my consultants and am happily still in contact with about 80 - 90% of them.

K & B are very, very precious to me - maybe because they were so young when we first met and we pastored them, or maybe through the consultants, who knows?

We've kept in contact all through the years - they both (individually sometimes but often together) have come for supper lots and when he's in the UK, we Skype, esp if he sees me online. She has lived in SA all this time except for her month-long trips over there and his month-long trips back here :)

So, long story short, at their wedding, aside from family, there were lots of church people. We used to pastor some of them actually.

Now here's the thing.

I had the opportunity to share my infertility experience with two different couples.

One of them was the other youth group leader, now married to a girl who used to be in his group :)

They've adopted a little girl because they're infertile and shared their frustrations with me about how racist people are (the little girl is black and they're white) and how a lot of people think adoption is 2nd prize (something which makes me see red!).

The other couple is still firmly in denial which I get because I was once there too. They are young and have been trying for 4 years.........

D said to me afterwards we were meant to be there because of those two instances.

Absolutely! And for the wedding, of course.

(part 2 tomorrow!)

Do you also believe that you can be in a certain place at the right time for a reason?

Any other questions about the ministry thing?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1 false start, 4 hours and 35 minutes

Well!

We eventually set off at 12:25 yesterday but we had to return some DVDs first.

We'd just dropped them off and come back in the general direction of the highway when there was a funny sound from the back seat.

I reached over and said, "what's wrong, baby?" and there was vomit all over the baby girl, her little dog (stuffed animal) and my hand.

We were able to pull over and clean her up a little but since we were about 10 minutes from home, we went back to clean her and pick up a few nice to haves that we'd forgotten.

And, of course, put the vomit-soaked clothes (and dog) in some water.

On the road again, there was much screaming, cries of "sore! sore!" and so on.

A little bit of sleep but not much.

We kept pulling over to try and ease the "sore" (K was sitting in a body vest and the seatbelt was the cause of the "sore"), feed, change, etc.

It was crazy.

I honestly thought the travelling would be easier the older they get but noooo.

Now that they can talk they can tell us everything they're not happy about.

And seems like there was plenty!

Eventually we pulled into Dullstroom at exactly 5 pm. 4 hours and 35 minutes later. 2 hours longer than it should have taken us.

Picked up keys and drove back up the road to this place.

While D was unloading the car and trailer, the kids ran loose (probably so glad to be FREE again) and I prepared their and our supper.

We fed and bathed them and they were finally in bed and sleeping just before 8 pm.

Remember our normal bedtime is 6-ish.

D and I were knackered and I could barely finish my supper as the headache from hell had started pounding.

I intended to blog but just about managed to crawl into my pjs and into bed.


Today we had a very lazy start (after they both woke before 5, they slept for a bit) and only had breakfast at 9. We did some walking and sightseeing and eating in Dullstroom and took LOTS of pics of cute things.

The problem with holidays is always, "so many places to eat; so little time" :)

I'm so pleased that I'm getting to the place where I don't have to have everything pretty I see. That's a change for me.

The journey to simplicity is working!

There are loads of cute buildings, and beautiful trees and skies, and I find people doing a double-take to see what it is that is so picture-worthy. And then it is "just a leaf" but to me, so, so gorgeous.

My boy was entranced with all the "red, orange and yellow" leaves and so was I :)

Behind me on the bed, D and K are reading and C is still finishing his afternoon nap.

I don't have iBurst connectivity so I'm typing this and I will use my SIM card to quickly go on and post it.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Going on holiday is hard work

It's 10:18 am and I've just finished my breakfast!

The children's clothes are packed, mine are packed and after I type this post, I'll pack my laptop, Kindle and all the chargers (cell phone and camera).

Then I need to pack toys for the kids and all our food.

I said to D earlier that it's SUCH hard work going on holiday but actually, it's the children who complicate things.

I can't afford to be all blase about things like I am with my own stuff.

I packed my things in 10 minutes last night - the children have had lists and lists of things.

Best I get moving while they're still napping :)

Hopefully there is iBurst connectivity in Dullstroom otherwise I'll just blog using my SIM card and have to catch up with commenting on the weekend.

We went to a FABULOUS wedding yesterday - I have SOOO much to tell you - I cried so much, met people I hadn't seen in 9 - 10 years, etc, etc.

But how was your Easter weekend?

PS the babies had chocolate for the first time yesterday and look, they (and I survived) :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Intentional cheating

Pic of my boss's socks - taken in a team meeting :)

This week I had a fairly busy week. It's always busy when the week is shortened and especially so when you're going on leave for 11 WHOLE DAYS!

Woohoo :)

We have such a lot of public holidays - Easter weekend, Freedom Day and Workers Day that if you took 3 days, you'd get 11 in total.

So of course, everybody and anybody will be on leave :)


Thankfully I have nothing serious on my plate for when I get back. Clients have all been briefed and I'm not even going to check my email.

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I did two good things for me this week:

1) I've been organising and planning my food a lot more. It's paid off because this morning my scale again said 1 kg lighter than last week but when I went to Weigh-Less, their scale said 1.2 kg down !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm over the moon. Clearly all the soup and herbal tea is working and I'm actually savouring any real mugs of tea (a real mug of tea is one with milk :)).

For the record, I'm no saint. In fact, I've probably cheated every day but I'm a lot more conscious about cheating.

Does that even make sense?

Let me explain.

I had some quiche and mini cheesecakes for someone's birthday at work. After two bites, I stopped eating the quiche as it just wasn't worth the cheat. The cheesecakes totally were worth it, though.

But I thought if I'm going to cheat then I need to thoroughly enjoy the food :)

I did the same thing today with a biscuit. Took a small bite and thought, "um, no. not worth it".

2) And then today I went to have my hair done. Long, long overdue but I had to dye my hair first before getting it blowdried properly.

Do you know how unattractive it is to have a 2 cm strip of grey at the roots?

While I was there, I was brave and asked her to cut some of the end off. Usually she cuts way too much for my liking but I took a deep breath and just went for it.

I don't want to get too excited but I'm in a good phase with my hair at the moment. It's growing nicely and I'm loving it.

Which helps with the bravery.

I'll ask D to take a pic...


And that's me - now I have to assemble the babies' Easter things.

I'm not into making gift-giving occasions out of every holiday but my mother specially EFT'd money into my account and told me to get something for the babies.

This is not like her normally so it means a lot to me.

I got pajamas for them because they (especially Kendra) love them. If it were up to me, I'd keep them looking like babies forever and have them in babygrows til they're 5 :).

They each got a pair of flannel hand-me-down (I love hand-me-downs, especially if I'm close to the people!) pjs and they look so cute in them.

So they're getting pajamas and a few Easter eggs from us.

What did you do for yourself this week?

Did you do Easter gifts for your kiddos? What did you get?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Babies 1 - Parents 0

Connor woke coughing before 5 on Thursday morning.

Kendra also had a slight cough so they both got medicine properly from Thursday after breakfast.

Because of that (and the holiday next week in a COLD place), I offered to stay home with the babies while D went to church.

Well, they refused to sleep at first and eventually K slept all of 30 minutes and C slept for 50 minutes til he fell out of his bed.

I must confess that during those short morning naps, I elected not to get showered and dressed but instead to attend to my house and set things right.

I felt like I was in heaven decluttering, organising and being productive.

Especially knowing it would stay this way for the next 11 days :)

I got a load of laundry done, 4 kitchen cupboards sorted and all the recipe books and flipfiles (folders with plastic sleeves).

I also cooked two meals - one for tonight (tuna and rice bake) and one for tomorrow (bacon and butternut bake).

BUT... the babies were in top form.

Running around like crazy, throwing tantrums every time I said no (I don't just say "no" - I do all the redirection and that type of thing first but they're stubborn like their parents...) and I wondered a couple of times if someone had slipped them some sugar.

As I said to D, "imagine if we gave them sweets?!" We would be KNACKERED!

I'm convinced it's the Demazin they're on.

According to the box it's supposed to make you drowsy but I noticed the last time that they were very hyperactive and it's the only thing I can think of.

Of course this afternoon they wouldn't sleep either.

I have a number of half-read books on my bedside table (for those who are friends with me on goodreads, when I have a long list of currently reading, it is true :)) and this crazy behaviour inspired me to finish There's a perfect little angel in every child.

I fell asleep but I'm about 10 - 15 pages from done.

This weekend I want to get another book finished because GoodReads told me I'm 2 books behind my goal - love it!

D just came to tell me that we have to get something else from the pharmacy tomorrow LOL

Babies 1 - Parents 0

How was your Good Friday?

PS I had 1.5 hot cross buns today. The children picked all the raisins out of the buns, ate those and then told me, "more bread" :)

PPS Pikitup ended their strike! Today just before 12 I heard the trucks coming down the street and I literally RAN outside to check that all our stuff was there (in pjs!) - freezer left wide open where I was busy organising it :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am clearly a genius

D's team at work have been having issues with finding a good manager.

Of course I could easily do it :) but I don't like the culture there.

Anyway, he was talking to me about why they can't find someone suitable (new ones come in, stay 3 months and they're off again) and I said, "oh, they should just get R"

R used to work there a gazillion years ago, managing another team and then left to have a baby and do her own thing.

But I remembered her as she is very similar to me in management style.

Well, what do you know????

He just sent me a mail.

R is coming back to be their new manager.

I sent him an email back saying, "I am clearly a genius" and he replied, "And don’t forget the strength of your humility!"

Ha!

But don't you love when things like this happen?!

Now if only I could foretell the next big business idea... then I'd really be a genius :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I can't stop staring at the pretty

I know I'm a very, very sad person but I can't stop clicking over to my blog and staring at the happiness :)

It is exactly the feeling I'd envisioned when I thought I wanted something simpler, sleeker, fresher.

It feels clean and uncluttered which is so me.


I was telling my work colleague earlier that I'm bringing back pretty to my home.

She laughed and said that only happened to her when her boys were 7 and 5.

I told her that I feel so frustrated when I leave my house all organised and in order on a Sunday night and Monday when I get home, things are put literally anywhere.
  • Toys do not belong on my kitchen table.
  • Notebooks do not belong on my dining room table.
  • Babies' clothes do not belong anywhere but in their bedroom or the laundry.
Quite honestly, I thought it was my high expectations of others which I'm working on (see 36 things list) but I'm not the only one.

Another colleague said she's had the same cleaning lady for 20 years and she STILL hasn't got it right with her.

She regularly finds toys on her decorative wall unit... :)

Anyway, that's why I decided to label everything in my house to within an inch of its life.

But I'm tying the labels on with ribbons to make them at least a little bit pretty.

Of course I wouldn't change a thing about the babies but I longingly think of the days when I was the only one messing around in the cupboards and knew if things were out of order, it was all me.

Now there's two other people messing around in my cupboards. Grrr.

On the bright side it doesn't take more than a few minutes to tidy up but still, frustrating to find it that way.

I don't know why people don't get that it's more work when you don't put something in the right place once and for all.

I'm going to give both V and Nester a good talking-to because really, I have better things to do with that extra 20 - 30 minutes a day, like read.

When did you bring pretty back to your home post kids? Do you freak when people mess with your cupboards?

P.S. Last night I was making tea in the kitchen and heard a thud.

No screaming but I went to the bedroom and found poor Connor had fallen out of his bed onto the pillows.

He was still fast asleep (and bad mother that I am, I first tried to take a picture but couldn't find the setting to put the flash back on - is that good or bad? - but picture a cute boy in red pj's lying sprawled on pillows next to the bed) and I then moved him back onto his bed which then woke him a little bit.

I'm telling myself it's all part of that letting go thing :) but it gave me such a fright.

PPS I still haven't decided to move or not to move the other blog back to blogger. I am such a wuss. I tried Windows Live Writer but it gives me an error at home when I say "run".

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Come on in

if you're reading this in your Google Reader, click on over and come see my new blog design.

Do you like?

I love it and Becky has been just fabulous - as you all know I can be a bit... um, how shall we say this... exacting at times.

But she got it!

Thanks so, so much, Becky :)

I love the freshness and it makes me feel happy.

Lord knows we could do with a bit of happy in Jhb at the moment seeing as Pikitup hasn't collected the rubbish for two weeks............... but that's a story for another day :)

I'm off to read my book!

Holidays



Now that the speaking commitments are over for the month, I can finally focus on our upcoming holiday (vacation). Last night's talk on organising your time went well but I had way too much info (this was a new take on my time talk so I was practising).

Anyway, back to the holidays.

So next week we are going to Dullstroom for 4 days.

Dullstroom and Clarens feel very similar (to me) in that they're both tiny towns but very, very cute :)

We went to Clarens last year and so this year it's time for Dullstroom.

Hopefully next year when the babies are a year older we can go further, maybe to the Drakensberg.

D and I LOVE this area of the country because of its lovely, crisp weather and it's so, so beautiful. We used to drive through Dullstroom to go to Sabie (Sabie is one of my favourite places - beautiful waterfalls, warm during the day at this time of year and lovely and cold at night) often for our anniversary (next week Friday - 16 years!).


We're staying in a two-bedroom, self-catering apartment in town.

I don't think I told you this before but after night 1 at the hotel in PE in December (terrible time getting the babies to sleep), I went to a computer shop and got the guy to transfer their sleep CD onto my netbook (it doesn't have a disc drive) and from then, no problems.

So hopefully sleep will not be a problem.

Here's how I like to spend holidays:

I like to do one activity (planned or not) every day but the rest of the time, I like lots of down time.

One of our most productive and yet restful holidays was Thailand - we had a tour every second day and then on the in between days, we'd laze at the hotel pool or the beach opposite our hotel and wander the streets doing a bit of shopping.

That is perfect for me.

D and I love, love, LOVE tours when we travel. Left to our own devices we'd laze far too much :)

I don't know what this says about me but here is a cool article on the Myers Briggs profiles and how you like to take your holidays.

Just enough so I don't feel like I could be doing this at home but still lots of resting.

However, with active toddlers, especially Connor who loves to RUN everywhere, I don't think I'm going to get much rest while they're awake unless we strap them into their car seats or eating seats in restaurants.

I am going to meet up with a blog friend who will travel about an hour or two.......... can't wait to meet her as I have HUGE respect for the work she's doing with orphanages in Mozambique!

So tell me, have you been to Dullstroom?

If yes, what do you recommend me do and where do we have to eat?



(Last time I asked about eating places and a friend pointed us to a fabulous place in Clarens where we practically camped out!)

Otherwise, what is your ideal TYPE of holiday? Lots of activities, lots of rest, seeing people, no people, tours/ no tours, lots of food/ lots of shopping???

PS Have a look at these pics that Jeanette (my fabulous photographer) took when she was in Dullstroom

Monday, April 18, 2011

6 years

This morning's presentation was...um.... interesting.

5 of us were supposed to present and when I arrived a few minutes late (rain = terrible traffic), there was only one other guy plus the person who was evaluating us.

So we went ahead.

The other guy was scheduled to be first and he took sweet forever. We each had 15 minutes plus 15 minutes for questions - his took 1 hour.

Eventually I couldn't stand it anymore and had to take out my diary (planner) to occupy myself.

What do you do when you're bored out of your mind? No, really, I want to know.

Eventually it was my turn and I made it in the time allotted.

The guy said we both did very well (but secretly I think the other guy was way too b-o-r-i-n-g with all the insurance-speak :) so that is that - I get my certificate.

One presentation down, one to go.

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In a strange twist of fate they sent out a mail a few weeks back asking if any of the management want to be mentors to other people. There is free coaching in a business context up for grabs too.

Of course I jumped on it immediately. I've coached my own staff at my previous company but that's it so this is right up my alley and I can't wait to start.

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And... today is my 6-year anniversary at this company. It is the longest I've officially been at any one place. Previous stints were 5 years 2 months and 5 years 1 month :)

I think I deserve a medal!

Okay, that's me for today. I have 22 minutes left (just for you, Andrea!) to return some phone calls before another meeting.

How are you doing today?

What are you doing for Easter? Have you finished decorating? ;)

Do you go to church, etc?


PS We are SO proud of our boy! He woke this morning without any falling out of the bed the entire 11.5 hours, asked for his bottle, and went back to sleep til 7. Then he woke, realised he has freedom and bounded out of bed ready to play. (I've tied ribbon to close their wardrobes as he is far too keen on helping me "organise" their clothes and linen)

PPS Interesting - our weather is like Scottish weather at the moment (misty, grey and cold as heck). My one friend, Roz, is there now and another work friend is going on 1 May. Maybe it's a sign??? :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We did it!

We (D) took off the one side from Connor's cot and it is now a toddler bed

Connor is not too impressed just yet and couldn't stop jumping on and off the "bed".

Kendra is over the moon however and immediately jumped on his bed and went to "sleep".

Too cute!

We've laid pillows next to the cot/bed and we will see... but there were no problems going to sleep earlier. We prayed, D read a book and then lights out and not a peep from either of them.

Because of this bed conversion, we moved their room around a bit and I love the new layout - will have to take pics.

I move on very quickly with stuff like this so I'm already thinking - does this mean we don't have to take two camp cots on holiday????

We have one and my friend, Caren, is lending me one of hers.

D's been having problems finding a place to rent a trailer (does anyone know of a place near my side of the world - Bedford/ East Rand?) - all the places want you to take it on Thursday and we're only leaving on Monday. Of course, we have no problem taking it on Thursday but they also want to charge us for those extra days.

I still have two more things to do before I can start getting excited about our little holiday - the presentation tomorrow morning and my monthly talk at the church tomorrow night.

Okay, got to go now - my 20 minutes are up (I was blog-surfing before posting) and I have hair dye on that needs to be rinsed off.

I have been going grey since I was 25....so it's all necessity and I dye my hair my natural colour, dark brown.

Do you dye your hair?


PS A cot is the same thing as a crib. A camp cot is a pack and play :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

7 Saturday snippets

  1. This morning at home when I weighed myself (in underwear) I was exactly a kg lighter than last week. When I got dressed in my winter clothes that kg (2.2 pounds) translated to an official 0.8 kg loss on the Weigh-Less scales. Yay!
  2. Things that are my friend - soup (lots of it - made another huge pot last night), herbal tea and tomatoes. Every day I probably have about 200g tomatoes.
  3. So you know I read lots of home and decor blogs? Are they just the 10% or does everyone in America "decorate for spring" with all the eggs? And does everyone have basements and attics because where oh where do you store all that seasonal decorating?
  4. D and I got V in and went for a lunch date by ourselves after doing some quick winter clothes shopping for my poor children. I bought stuff in the sales last year but turns out that wasn't such a good idea as all the stuff is still too big for them. Kendra can still wear some of last year's winter clothes. Pants are too short but jerseys and tops are okay. Connor has outgrown everything 12 - 18 months but is not big enough for 2 - 3 years so he got two tracksuits, two jerseys and some long-sleeved t-shirts.
  5. If I'm ever tempted to buy things at Ackermans again, will someone please slap me over the head. I say this everytime but it is SUCH a procedure to return things. I spent 15 minutes with the security guard at the door, 7 minutes in the queue and another 10 minutes with the cashier. All while D patiently waited for me at Mugg and Bean. The last time I had to return things the memory of the previous schlep was still fresh in my mind so I gave V the stuff (came to about R50) and said, "here's the slip, take these things back and get Wisdom 2 t-shirts with the money". Brilliant.
  6. I have been doing the budget this evening and .......... we are waaaayyyy overspending on our food. I need to introduce something soon because this is getting out of hand. This month is 4 days from over (I get paid on the 20th) and already we are 85% over budget. Part of it is Weigh-Less because buying TONS of fresh produce all the time is expensive but next month I am going to be super frugal, eat from the pantry and freezer and haul out all my tricks.
  7. I'm also trying to close all my accounts with the red bank. I've just put a ginormous amt of money into our bond from my one savings account. Now I only have one more savings account left with them. Let's see how many hoops they make me jump through this time. I closed my credit card last year and only managed it on the 3rd try and then only because of my complaint on hellopeter.com.

So do tell me - how long have you been with your current bank? And then please share one of your best tricks for controlling the food budget.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wordpress, work and ME time

Photobucket

Blogging


I have had such problems this week with my organising blog on Wordpress. I can only upload 1 pic at a time (is that right or is it something I'm doing?) and pics that I was uploading weren't showing on the post, but were on my dashboard.

My tech person eventually sent me a plug-in which works as long as I don't copy and paste the pic somewhere else. Mighty WP doesn't like that.

I switched to WP because at that time, Blogger didn't have the post scheduling things and I didn't have time to write new ones daily when the babies were little.

Anyway, I am THIS close to changing back. I just want to type a post easily, upload 4- 5 pics at a time, have the spacing look good, etc.

Sell me on WP somebody please!

Work

Yesterday my plans to work late bombed.

Well, I worked late but due to headache + lack of mojo, I only managed to do the outline of my presentation in the two hours I'd allowed.

That means Stress!!!

This morning I was going to work from home getting it all done but my kids were not letting me be so I trudged in to work.

Two hours later, presentation was all done.

I took a short break and then worked on a business case.

I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Absolutely no editing and overthinking.

This is key for me.

When I start to think too much the writing thing stops.

So on Monday after the presentation, I'll tidy up and prettify the business case (make proper headings, make sure the thing makes sense in a logical fashion, etc, etc) and then it is DONE!

Hallelujah.


Me time

1. I've been sneezing and had a runny nose the whole day. The minute that business case was done, I put on my out of office and was out of there.

That's self-care for me.

I came home to my beloved Degoran, water and bed. V kept the kids entertained so I could sleep for 2 hours and only woke me to let her out.

2. I had my full body massage on Tuesday and it was decadent. I have decided to get these from now onwards. Because of the cost though, I'll have to stretch them out a bit longer than every two weeks. You were all right - it was all done very professionally and yes, bra off but panties on.

3. I bought a Kindle. That's a post of its own but so far? loving it.

4. I had two non-cheating days on Weigh Less this week and am so proud of myself. Today I nearly made it but had half a small box of smarties. I figured rather Smarties than Woolworths "soetkoekies" (sugar cookies). Tomorrow is the weigh-in and I shall report back.

And now, I need to give feedback to the blog designer who is giving this blog and the organising one a makeover :) and then retire to my lovely warm bed with my book.

How have you taken care of yourself this week?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have a meeting in 32 minutes...

so this is going to be quick!

Tell me, what is the protocol - do you stir your cappuccino and then lick the cream off the spoon?

I don't lick teaspoons ever but maybe I'm wrong as all around me I see this licking the cream off the spoon....

Am I being too prissy? :)



Then I really must tell you about work.

A couple of things have changed:

1. I am finally at peace about my salary. Well, let's quickly clarify. Everyone in the world thinks they should be paid a bit more (I believe this too).

It's just that before I felt like I was being "shafted" (do you use that word) and was severely underpaid and had issues, etc.........

I had a discussion with my boss a few months back and basically (because it is a long story) in terms of our company's benchmarking, I'm underpaid but in terms of 90% of people doing similar jobs in SA, I'm not.

That explains why, when I get the newspaper and look for jobs, all the interesting ones (to me) are offering less money than I currently make.

So it all makes sense now.


2. We've restructured things in our team and there was an opportunity to do far more salesy/ deal-making things than what I'm accustomed to.

I jumped on it. Without a smidge of experience.

My view is "what's the worse that can happen?" and "there are tons of other lazier people in the world doing this and my passion and enthusiasm has got to count for something, right?"

No seriously, if I suck at it, then I have a discussion with the boss and I am confident enough in my abilities that I'll find something else within this place.

And then I'll know that sales is not for me. And that is that.

But I'm starting to think, "oh my word, what have I let myself in for?"

I'm going to ask for some proper training and coaching in the skills (because my personality does thrive on the goals and targets aspect of it) and hopefully I am at least okay within 6 months or so.

Otherwise, it'll be time to move to something else unless they create something specifically for me here.

Are you adventurous with tackling new things?

How are you doing today?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Of climbing, talking and bedtimes

So on Wednesday last week, I worked a bit late.

I phoned V and told her to give them their bedtime bottles if they asked.

When I got home, V told me that she put them both in one cot to drink their bottles and when she returned to get the empty bottles, Connor was back in his own cot.

!

I laughed (very) nervously and said, "his father is going to freak out!"

I got close to Connor's face and said, "Connor, you are not allowed to climb out of the cots. You need to ask us to come fetch you, okay?"

And he said, " ' kay".

But I was right - D about went crazy when he got home and heard this story.

He is much more overprotective than I am and padded the floor next to the cots with the camp cot mattress (I happen to think putting it there may encourage Connor to jump out).

Anyway, on Thursday when we took the babies for their 21-month check-up with Dr S, I mentioned that Connor climbed out of his cot the previous day.

Dr S said that it may be time to move them to beds and I said, "no, thank you, I'm not a fan of beds".

Connor goes, "FAN! FAN!" and makes the sound of the fan. (They and D love sound effects)

Oh the cuteness!

But I clarified that I love having them contained otherwise they'll run around the house while we're sleeping!

Tonight I was praying with them before bed.

Kendra is a girl who loves her hugs so I hug her tight while I pray.

Connor had been asking Kendra for the book she was reading and she didn't want to give it to him.

So while I was praying with Kendra, my back was turned to him (otherwise he talks to me throughout my prayer) and he climbed into her cot (in SECONDS), took the book and climbed back.

I was so shocked because he's so quick!

And I was praying!!!

Then it was his turn.

I pray long....what can I say, once I get going, I like to do a good job of it :) so I was saying something about "thank you Lord that Connor is an obedient boy" and he goes, "BEE! BEE! ZZZZZZZZZZZ"

:)

"Yes, Connor, that's how a bee goes but I was saying oBEdient" :)

And so ends tonight's cuteness.

When did you move your climbers to their own beds? How do you keep them in bed instead of running around the house?

I want to write much more but I have been going to bed far too late and tonight this is going to change :)

My happy medium is computer off at 10, tidy desk, work papers, pack bag til 10:30 and read til 11 - 11:30 and then lights out.

The last 3 nights lights out have been somewhere between 12:30 and 1:00 which is totally unacceptable. I have been a zombie from 2:30 and couldn't even properly write a business case tomorrow. Fortunately I have no client sessions tonight so I can get to bed nice and early.

What's your usual bedtime?

PS on the bright side, my weight is still the same since Monday so I haven't gained anything but I also haven't lost anything further.

PPS OHHHH, I nearly forgot, the massage was great. I'm only having these from now onwards :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Phones and massages



Two quick things:

Someone phoned me this morning and after she switched to her colleague's phone and we still had the problem, we figured out that it was MY phone giving the problems.

I logged a call telling them (you know with our quick emailing system) "people can't hear me when they phone me".

Wouldn't you know the telephony guy PHONES me and I answered instinctively (I also can't stand a ringing phone) and then he says, "Marcia, I can't hear you".

Well, exactly why I logged the call.

(I nearly slammed the phone against my head)

When I calmed down a few seconds later, I emailed him and told him nicely to please come up here....

Okay, so the phone's fixed if you want to chat.


Secondly, after Rebecca posted about a full body massage, I asked K, my beauty therapist to book one for me and that happens this afternoon.

I'm a bit scared at the .... well... full body part of it (I've only ever had back and neck massages and some others in Thailand, but that was Thailand where you're very scantily clad all the time anyway) but here we go, courage and all that word-of-the-year stuff.

So, have you had a full body massage? Did you enjoy it? Do you keep underwear on?

P.S. The pic has nothing to do with the post but I just love it. It's one of my favourite pics of London.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Instead of losing the kg like I wanted to...

I gained 0.8 kg!

I was so, so tempted not to go weigh on Saturday but I talked myself into going because I know I need the accountability.

The ladies did not look very impressed with me (trust me, I was also not very impressed with me either) and talked to me for a long time.

It was no surprise to me that I'd gained weight since I started because I was trying to do things my way.

Well, my way hasn't been working which is why I joined in the first place.

For those of you who have never been on Weigh-Less (lucky fish), this is how it works:

  • they give you a formula (5 complex carbs, 3 protein, etc, etc)
  • you have to eat everything within the day
  • you have to drink 2 L of water daily

I hadn't had all my water (have lapsed to around 1.5 L daily) and I was not eating the entire formula.

Oh, and I was still eating easter eggs, biscuits and sweets. Not a lot, but a treat a day adds up.

And, most important and crazy when you think of the type of person I am, I was not organised.

Last time round (5 years ago) when I lost my 5.2 kg or whatever it is I had to lose, I was extremely organised and I had the most consistent results in the group I was at. Not a big achievement because we were all major slackers but still :)

This time Weigh-Less has made it easy and organised everything for us. BUT that doesn't work for me because I hardly eat the foods on the menus provided. I don't like ham, pork, red meat and lots of those veggies.

And there is a TON of food to eat daily.

Last night at a few minutes to 12 when I was finally packing my lunch (I know it's bad but I was hooked on a personal finance site), I set everything out on the counter.

I would have gone to fetch my camera to take a few pics but it was late and I was lazy.

Basically instead of all my food fitting easily within my current lunch bag, I now take a big bag (tote) to work FILLED with food.

It's quite crazy to see me walking in every day with my bag of food.

The thing is, it's the right kind of food.

So here's what I'm doing differently this week. I'm sharing it here so I can come check back and remind myself and also it may help the 3 people reading who are also on Weigh-Less.

  1. On Saturday morning when I got the bad news, as I was walking to my car, I gave myself a pep talk along the lines of "there's nothing I can do about the past" blah blah (this stuff works for me!)
  2. I came home and took out a paper weekly planner and planned every meal for the whole week.
  3. Then I checked our pantry and fridge and made a shopping list.
  4. I went shopping for TONS of fresh fruit and veggies, so much so my fridge is far too full.
  5. On Sat afternoon I made a ginormous pot of soup with 1.2 kg of veggies (onions, carrots, butternut, broccoli and tomato) and 400 g lentils. That made 8 individual servings. 1 serve = 1.5 veg + 0.5 protein. I battle getting the veg and protein in so I'm basically having a bowl of soup every day.
  6. On the water front, I've been having herbal tea like crazy because it's cold and I want to be warm and we're restricted to 3 cups of decaf tea/ coffee daily. That has helped.
So far so good.

After two days the scale showed a 0.5 kg drop over the two days. Let's hope this continues because I have to lose that 0.8 this week.

There we go - my Weigh-Less story from week 1.

There is a lady in her 50s there who joined the week before I did. She's lost 1.8 kg both weeks. Inspiring but I will admit I am slightly jealous. She told me she doesn't cheat even a tiny bit. She sticks to that formula 100%.

I don't have self-control like that.

I had 2 biscuits tonight after supper and yesterday I had a slice of cake!

As you can see, I'm about 95% correct with the eating, with the odd treat thrown in here and there :)

Where are you on the scale? Are you a strict "stick to the rules" girl or do you enjoy treats?

P.S. Is it just me or is the blogosphere very quiet over the last couple of days?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cameraderie amongst mothers





About two weeks ago I returned from a meeting to a voicemail message:

A new twin mom from work wanted to know who my night nanny had been and if I'd recommend her.

(I'd recommend both of them but they are both in full-time day work now, the latter working for my friend, Eve, the single mom with twin boys)

I phoned her back (quickly I thought) and told her this but also gave her my agency's details.

We chit-chatted around this night nanny business for a bit (like, did I actually sleep or get up and help her? of COURSE I slept, I was paying for it and was hellishly sleep deprived) and then I did what I usually do:

"How are you really doing?"

She first said something about how you ALWAYS need two hands - true - and how there seems to be always one screaming - again, true.

And then I rested in the pause and she said, "did you cry every day?"

I was honest and said, "no" but then I added, "but I did feel that frustration and overwhelm and "what the hell was I thinking going through IVF for this"?

And she burst out crying.

I nearly did the same.

She sobbed and said that she cries daily. Sometimes many times a day.

How they were happy with their one child and how she's messed up their lives by wanting a sibling for her and going through this.

"And Marcia, this is why I was so scared to put back two embryos".

(true - she came to me before IVF3 and told me how she was so scared of transferring two embryos. I didn't have any advice because we only had two and I had the twin romance thing going on.)

When she stopped crying so much, I listened to her go on and on, and then we spoke nicely and I told her that there was no shame in going to see the doctor for some AD help, and that the main focus for the first couple of months is simply to survive.

Two people gave me this advice - se7en and a work colleague.

"Don't worry about falling in love with the babies, coping and loving the twin thing; just get through it for now", I said.

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

Today we had lunch with a friend from work (seriously, the nicest girl in the world and I have lots of nice friends) who I don't see anymore as we outsourced the admin in that area of the business and she's moved to the new administrator. Boo!

Our babies are a year apart, exactly. In fact, her D was due by Caesar on my babies' birthday but he came 2 days early because he didn't want to share :)

Anyway, she has another friend with twins and they were also there.

Well, this mother is very much like me.

No BS and tells it like it is.

Her girls were born at 33 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks.

She says after the first night of the babies being home, she said to her husband, "that's it, I can't do this. I'm done".

Our friend laughed but the two of us said, "we are sooooo not joking" :)

She's a SAHM and has 10.5 month-old girls. Very, very cute girls.

She's a self-proclaimed control freak - and yes, we saw this in action many times. I do love being around control freaks who are worse than I am because I appear positively laid back :)

Even D said, gosh, next to her, you are SOOOOOOOOOOO relaxed.

She said to me that she LOVED being around another twin mom because 1) at least she doesn't feel alone with the crazy chaos and 2) I gave her some inspiration (like my friend Carmen did for me many, many months ago).

And both her and my friend said they can't WAIT for their babies to be walking and talking, so for a change I had the most advanced babies :)

So there we go - I feel so privileged to be able to give other mothers (esp twin moms) just a teensy bit of comfort that they are not alone in the madness.

We do this in the blog world all the time (MandyE, I spoke about you today and how you inspired me with the reading thing) but it's different when you actually see and hear people interact with their kids.

This week I need to get moving again with my exercise - I only exercised twice last week - a dance class at the gym and once at home - and eat properly (more tomorrow on weigh-less).

I also need to stop procrastinating and put together a work presentation for the 18th - it's being critiqued by peers which is always the worst, don't you find?

How was your weekend? And what do you need to get sorted out this week?

PS. I just had a thought - I put on my Mondo list that I'd like similar people to come into my life. Could this be it? But isn't there some kind of friendship code about "poaching" friends? Have you ever met a friend through a friend? How did that work for you?

PPS this is my favourite pic of the day

Saturday, April 09, 2011

On a slightly morbid note...





Have you ever thought about dying?

And more importantly, what you would have want to have left in place for your kids?

We had our wills done recently (mine is finally signed after a few back and forth on some issues) but I was thinking.

Isn't that just the practical side of it?

There's so much more to life than money.

What about some of the emotional things you would like your kids to know?

The comments on Ask Moxie's post has some fabulous suggestions.

I want my kids to know that there's a me, not just their mother, but I'm their father's wife and I have thoughts and feelings and do other things besides that.

This blog is one way to do that. This is post 801, I have another two blogs with 515 and 804 (organising blog) posts respectively and after reading some comments on Moxie's blog, I'm going to pay someone to put all my recipes (from the 515 blog) on one blog.

Getting in more pictures is another. Esp with D.


(A couple of months ago D and I were hugging and kissing in the kitchen and the look Kendra gave us? Huge shocked eyes. Priceless! So we told her, "kissing is for us too, not just for them!")

What else?

Friday, April 08, 2011

5 love languages - this time for children

I really found this course outstanding and the lady was just fabulous.

Part 1

Part 2


Let me share the things that stood out to me as special.
  • There are separate love tanks for Mom and Dad (or Mom and Mom - Pufferfish :)) to fill - that's why mine go beserk on a Monday because they miss Daddy!!!
  • Their little love tanks empty out as they go into the world and that's why they need to be filled daily

Some signs of a full love tank are
  • singing and laughing
  • talking to themselves
  • playing independently
  • detaching easily (children's church!!!)

Signs of an empty love tank are
  • the opposite of the above points but
  • whining, crying, clinging, etc.
  • seemingly bad behaviour
Children are not able to ask for what they need (hmm, most of us don't do this either) so they act out by misbehaving.

She said that about 90% of the kids who come to her for behavioural issues are actually displaying love language issues.

!

Apparently if you do the love language thing consistently for a few weeks and the behaviour continues, then it is a behaviour thing.

She says we are wired for our love language preferences as we can often tell when the kids are babies.

True - Kendra always wanted to be held as a baby and now I know that her love language is physical touch. Even in the mornings she comes to me for hugs. Now she can talk she says "hug".

All children need all 5 love languages however. Just because a kid has a preference for one or two doesn't mean you neglect the other languages.

K - physical touch and words of affirmation
C - quality time and I think, acts of service (he is very good at doing stuff to help without being prompted. He shares ALWAYS with his sister, D and me, and often gets both water bottles and brings one to Kendra before having from his one)

My take-outs

Buy gifts according to their love language. E.g Lego and books for quality time kids.

For kids who have gifts as their love language, less is actually more because they will appreciate them more.

On parties
You know how we wait for the kids to go sleep so we can do things for the party?

She said that's for OUR benefit, not for the kids'.

They benefit and appreciate it more if they participate in the work and go through the process, especially quality time and acts of service kids.

Once the cake is baked, ice it together. Let them participate, etc.

And for gifts kids, reducing the party size is best for them because every person and every gift becomes 10 X more special. Aaaahhh. Too sweet.

She said her kids pack their own party packs and put out chairs and such...


Anyway, there was such a lot of valuable information (this is probably only about 10%). If you're in the Jhb area, don't even think about it - go!

If you're in Pta, also go or get a group together (I'm not sure what her minimums are) and she'll come do it for you.


Do you know your kids' love languages?

If you haven't told me yours yet, please take the quiz and let me know, esp. if I know you in real life.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

How would you caption this pic?

Love this pic of my two boys. It's in the hotel room from our holiday in December.

P.S. This is my 800th post :)

P.P.S. The babies are exactly 1 year 9 months today.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spunk and your 10%


I met the most fantastic woman today.

A broker, gorgeous, dressed beautifully and with the most excellent taste in handbags. :)

In fact, she walked into the meeting room, I said, "hi, I'm Marcia ____, lovely to meet you".
Then as she walked to her seat, I couldn't help but say, "OH! what a gorgeous handbag" and so we had an instant affinity.

Really, that handbag was stunning. An odd shade of blue (I love odd shades of anything) and the perfect size.

Yes, she was very attractive, good hair and clothes but the thing I love most (besides that handbag) is her spunk.

She said her piece (not always what we wanted to hear but that's okay) and said it passionately and full of vigour.

Spunky.

I think the thing I most relate to in people is the 10%.

I think we're mostly the same in a lot of ways - everybody wants to do good work, be happy, blah blah blah, but that 10% is where we set ourselves apart.

And if that 10% in other people is slightly mad, edgy, spunky or just plain weird, well then, I love it.

I work with an agency on my new product and there are 3 people I deal with. The one is quite normal and so we work together just fine, but not great.

The other two are very edgy. But not in that ad agency "look at me, I'm so cool" way which I can't stand. They have such fantastic chemistry that I just love to watch and observe them in action :)

After our first meeting with them I told my boss, "I've just met this woman who is mad as a hatter and... I LOVE HER!" The 3rd person appears quite normal but he throws in these comments that just kill me.

My point is that the thing I relate to is the 10%.

If I meet a whole bunch of people, I'm more likely to remember the person who was a bit out there or someone who said something different to what is the norm.

What about you?

Now here's the thing.

Yes, I have twins and only 1 in 80 people have twins (or whatever the current stats are) but I was me (and awesome in my way) before they came along, and I want to be identified for more than just having twins.

It's interesting because I find when I'm introduced to other people by a woman, that's one of the first things they say, "this is Marcia and she has TWINS!". This is what happened this morning so it's fresh.

I do get it in a way because this particular person says to me often, "I don't know how you do everything you do With Twins!!!" (like that, with exclamation marks)



If a man introduces me, they talk about my other awesomeness :) like my boss will say something about how I am the one "who will get this thing off the ground and make it happen" (he is sweet, isn't he?) or about my operational expertise or my "superb customer relationship skills".

It is so interesting!

Does this happen to you too?

But what I most want to know is this - what is the thing people are most likely to remember about you? In other words, what is your 10%?

P.S. It's a gorgeous, rainy, cold (freezing) day here today and of course, I'm hugely energised so let me get at the work. Hope you're enjoying the weather where you are.



P.P.S. Part of my 10% is that I notice and take pics of things like this :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My little drama queen

It all started with a pencil.

A very nice pencil (Roz, it's the one you gave me) but a pencil nonetheless.

Kendra always wakes up earlier than Connor so D and I have plenty of one-on-one time with her.

On Saturday afternoon she was sitting on my lap while I was responding to emails, "drawing" (scribbling in my notebook) with The Pencil.

Eventually she got bored with the drawing and went to see what D was up to in our bedroom. I told her to bring the pencil back but she refused.

I then went to our bedroom and decided to read with Kendra on the bed. She sat paging through a magazine (I actually love magazines because there are so many things for them to identify) while I got stuck into my book.

An aside - the weirdest thing happened yesterday. The last book I read was an Adriana Trigiani (my first) and then in the current book I'm reading, the character was also reading an Adriana Trigiani. Freaky.

She was clutching the red pencil all the time and then started nibbling on the eraser on the top. I told her, "no" and she ignored me so when she did it again, I took the pencil and said, "no, Kendra".

Well.

You should have heard the wailing. She cried so hard that eventually she was hiccupping (you know the cry?).

Of course I don't budge with these things so the pencil stayed out of her reach and I went back to reading my book.

D comes rushing in from wherever to see what was the matter.

Oh, I just said, "no" to Kendra.

That's the one thing.

Then the next morning I'm in the shower and Kendra's on our bed again.

D was getting dressed and his wallet was on the bed.

She starts taking all his cards out of his wallet.

He said, "no, Kendra" to her and she starts the wailing again.

My word!

With the hiccups and everything.

Good thing I was in the shower because I was laughing so hard at my little drama queen.

I hope this is not a regular thing because life is about to get noisy!

What do you do when they get irrational like this? How do you respond?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Quick question on wedding gifts

We're going to a wedding on Easter Sunday.

He lives in London and she's currently in South Africa and will obviously move to London with him after the wedding.

They've asked for cash since they don't want to be transporting stuff on the plane but I really don't like giving cash so I was thinking of a gift voucher.....

(they both love photos - he is like me and takes tons of pics of doors and windows :) In fact, I asked for some prints of some of his pics and framed them. They are now on my desk to inspire me - I'm looking at those gorgeous, turquoisey shutters now)

I wanted to give them a gift voucher to this place so they could get a nice framed canvas or metal canvas until I saw it's $45 shipping (same price as the gift voucher I wanted to get!) to the UK.

So now it becomes a bit unreasonable.

Anyway, so do you wise ladies have any good wedding gift ideas along those lines? (I'd want to spend about $50 total - R350)

{Friendship Friday} Advice from the most unlikely place

After my grumpiness on Friday, I rushed downstairs for a meeting.

I've fallen on those stairs before (twice!) so I only walk down the stairs if I'm wearing suitable shoes (not the sandals I was wearing when I fell).

Friday happened to be good shoe day and I walked downstairs.

Our CEO was speaking to two people on the stairs and as I passed them, I happened to hear him say this:

"Part of life is learning to deal with loss"

Wow, it just hit me.

I went to meet my visitors and while waiting for them to sign in, he (the CEO) passed me.

I stopped him and told him that I really needed to hear that.

He is a kind man and asked if everything is okay so I mumbled something about emotional stuff and friendships and "don't worry, it's really nothing" but of course, it is.

Still, he is a very kind man and so he smiled kindly and off I went to meet my clients and off he went to do CEO stuff.

But once I started processing it, I realised that it really is true.

I need to get over this.

There is a loss in the sense that I thought things would go one way with this group and now I need to deal with the loss of that vision/ idea that the second group was/ is as important as I think it is.

When we were all infertile, we made sure we were at the infertility group come hell or high water. Nothing stood in our way of those Monday night meetings, ever.

(I used to even move my coaching appointments, which is unheard of, for me)

A couple of friends from the group emailed me (they are all too chicken to leave comments - JOKING!) and told me it's not me, yada yada yada.

If I think about it intellectually, I know this to be true.

But still, these things hurt.

I do love when they challenge me though.

Of course there is a bit more to it than a few lines in a blog post.

However, this is my issue and I have to deal with it.

People have a right to attend functions they want to and not to attend functions they don't want to.

That is the truth of the matter.

I still don't know why these things bother me so much but they do.

Maybe it's that whole opening up thing? I'm all open and tender and easily hurt.

Anyway, that is it.

I am closing the chapter on this issue. I choose to not get offended anymore and I can also choose not to attend functions.

Things happen but how I choose to respond is all up to me.

Empowering!

What was the most unlikely advice you've ever received?
Or just give me your best thoughts on dealing with loss :) (MandyH I loved yours - "Just bleed and get over it.")

P.S. Last week MIL spent 2.5 hours with the babies. Things are looking up - in about 10 years time, we should be able to take a weekend away :)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Getting my craft on: no-sew handbag

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love handbags.

Kendra is already the same.

She loves dragging my handbag around (I only sometimes let her) but basically any bag is fair game.

When I recently cut a pair of their jeans into shorts (yes, nothing goes to waste here), I was about to toss the ends into the bin when I thought, "hmmm".

This is what happened in all of 5 minutes:


and here is Kendra modelling her bag. As you can see, she wouldn't even take it off her arm to build her puzzle.


I haven't sewn anything but hems and buttons for the last... oh, 25 years.

But I dream (dream!) of sewing cute things when I browse my "inspiration" blogs and see all the cuteness.

When I was decluttering the other day, I actually came across a pencil bag and ruler cover I made in the sewing years. Not great but by no means shabby. Maybe there's potential for me?

What if I bought a sewing machine and then lose interest after a month or two? I wish there were sewing machines to rent somewhere or maybe I should buy a really cheap one secondhand and practise on it?

These are the things I ponder, but maybe it's something I should put on my 37 things list :)

Do you sew? What kind of things do you make?

P.S. She keeps that cap on as much as she can. She absolutely LOVES it and even wants to nap with it.

P.S. I'd be a strictly straight-edge kind of girl if I had to sew.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The truth about me time

I've had a very, very busy March.

Much busier than I like it, quite honestly, with all the talks, socials, etc.

But that is all over and I couldn't be happier.

The truth is that when one thing in my life is too busy, other things suffer and my life feels out of balance.

Not a lot but I've worked SO hard over the years at getting that balance and yet, as you know, it's a constant juggling act.

So I hate when it feels like I'm regressing.

Thank goodness I can do a few minor tweaks and get it all on track quickly.

Photobucket


What works for me is being intentional, saying no to the right things and doing the rest as smart as I can.

Doing my work well, and giving it absolute focus so that when it's down time, I don't feel guilty about doing nothing.

It may not always sound like it but I'm an expert at doing nothing and lazing :)

So in March, my Wednesday night dance class and my reading suffered a bit.

I only read 2 books for March and finished the one I was aiming for to be number 3 this afternoon during the babies' nap.

The last time I was at my dance class was 16 Feb!


But what did I do for me this week?

1. Well, I had a manicure on Tuesday. Half of it is already off because of bathing the kids..........but it did look pretty for 4 whole days.

2. I finally opened a savings pocket from my one bank account with the turquoise bank :) and transferred money into that so it doesn't bother me in my main bank account. Done.

3. I also went through one of my shelves in my study, found some notebooks that I'd bought and didn't even use so took those back to CNA today and got........... R170 back in cold, hard cash. There was a bit of back-and-forth since they'd been bought more than a month ago but I stood my ground - I had cash slips and clearly the stuff had not even been touched. Eventually, she caved and refunded me. And now I need to stop spending.

4. But best of all, I joined Weigh-Less today. The group leader said to me, "are you the one who phoned me?" Yip, that was me. I probably sounded determined because I asked her my list of questions and told her I'd be there. I was unshowered but fresh-smelling (hey, it was early for me - 8.30). So according to me, I need to lose 5.4 kg (she would have been happy with 4.4). That's 12 pounds.

I've already cheated with one marshmallow Easter egg (I don't even like Beacon chocolate but those eggs are delicious) but on the bright side, I'd forgotten how MUCH you eat on Weigh-Less. When I made supper earlier, I looked at the mound of food and thought, "impossible" but I got through it.

I'm aiming for a 1 kg loss in week 1. I know I can do it :)

But enough of me, what did you do for yourself this week?

P.S. I have a quick post to do on another blog and then I'm off to bed with a new book. Heaven!

Friday, April 01, 2011

3 strikes and I'm officially grumpy

I do feel like I'm whinging a bit much these days but it's my blog and I need to get this stuff out.

At 9 am this morning I was already a victim of April Fools Day.

I drove into work and there were parking spaces blocked off, marked "reserved for exco" and one of the two main lifts also had a sign on it.

There is history here - at my first job (17 years ago) the rule was that if the CEO got in the lift, the rest had to get out so he could ride it up to his office all alone.

So obviously I thought, "stuff that" and got in the lift.

Strike 1.

Then I open my email and find one from my boss. Yesterday he announced some staff movements (two of them will be in a newly created team) and so this morning there's an email to them (copying the rest of us) that some members are unhappy that they still share our workspace and would like them to move urgently.

Background - we are VERY close and wonderful together!

So I email him back and say, "whaaaatttt?!" and that I have no issues with them being here and love them, etc, etc.

Then.... I find out it's a darn April Fool's joke.

And I feel like an idiot.

A little less so right this minute because 3 of us were caught out.

Strike 2.

And last, our baby fertility group has been bothering me a lot lately. Only a few people seem to want to come and of course, I'm the current organiser so I take these things personally.

D tells me people obviously don't want the support and I need to deal with it. I start to get over this (BIG for me!!!) but ...

Eventually someone else organises it and some more actually pitch.

Which really makes me take it personally.

Strike 3

I'm officially grumpy.


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