Friday, May 31, 2013

Ups and downs the last two days

This is post 1600!

Yesterday and today was our MBTI workshop.

It was mostly good but also really difficult being the only extrovert in a roomful of introverts besides the manager.

You see, I've been battling a bit with how nobody talks AT ALL.

But it was kind-of validated that I bring a good balance to the team with my different-ness.

I'm not sure about that yet because it almost feels like they don't really want to be a part of the greater company and I am very firmly of the opposite mindset. You all know how proud I am to work at my secret company.

After the day's work, we went out for supper. Food was good but I'm not a fan of this communal dish business, I like my own plate and don't like to feel like I have to keep paying attention to the food otherwise it's all gone.

I chatted very nicely to two team members and then another two. However, I realised I'm getting old because the noise was too much yet... it didn't seem to be bothering anyone else!

Today was a different matter.

When trying to contribute to the conversation at one point, I was told by a team member to keep quiet because he'd directed the question to another person. Valid, but I felt chastised like a child and worse... no one said anything like, "that's a bit rude" or something.

Later in the morning I tried to say something again and was interrupted. That wasn't a problem but usually afterward, someone will say, "oh Marcia had something she wanted to say..." and nobody did.

I guess what I'm saying is I didn't feel heard.

In the afternoon we had to do an exercise on Johari's Window and share in pairs how we perceive that person. The first one was fine, more or less what I expected except she said I was too loud (!) but this is from an extreme extrovert so there's that, the second one had only nice things to say (lovely guy), and then while we were finishing, I heard the first person from this morning saying to the facilitator, "I'll go with Marcia next" which made me tense up a bit and turns out, with good reason.

My feedback was all positive and I said that I appreciated his email the other day but he may want to just watch his words because I didn't know how to take it. Like this - you did some good work today because you didn't make too many mistakes. Now how would you take that? It's sort of a backhanded compliment, isn't it?

Well, he then gave me lots more feedback exactly like that and I found myself blinking away tears and grabbing my water just to not cry. I was devastated. Some valid points in there but the way it was delivered crushed me. And apparently I have no sense of urgency. I said, "I have honestly never been accused of that....ever" and it was said like that's a problem.

Last person was just lovely and unexpected. I thought she'd be tougher but she was nothing but complimentary - never seen a person more comfortable in their skin, so good at the people thing in secret company, etc.

And honestly, I needed that.

Then there was a wrap-up and I hoofed it out of there where normally I chit-chat a bit.

Of course I did my usual thing which is to cry in the car while driving home. Right this minute I'm sitting here with eyes very swollen from all that crying.

Why did this upset me so?

I need to be heard
I feel like they think I'm useless
I feel like they're chatting all behind my back
Nobody stood up for me

Thanks for listening - I needed to get that out.

How was your week?

PS I have two books to finish tonight to reach my reading goal. Let's see how that goes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The dreaded self-portrait... not so dreaded anymore

Last year I really battled with The Self-Portrait.

Do you remember how I had to get silly to actually get a few pics I liked?

These days I'm obviously most happy with my feet shots :) but let's face it, those are easy. And it's easy to get gorgeous pics. Two secs to compose the pic and gorgeousness!

one of my favourites captured recently with my iphone - I can't stop taking pics of leaves, people!
I've also tried to get interesting shadow pics...

Connor and me at the gym - cute, hey?

Because these arm-outstretched-in-the-front just get boring after awhile. Although I must say, I still take most of the pics of me and the kids like this.

Ballito.... oh how I miss you :)

I feel like there's a measure of control to the shot rather than depending on an unrealiable timer. This is obviously one of the nicest self-portraits of me and the kids....

and an imperfect pic with the iphone in bad light

I've also grown to love hand shots. Best I start putting cream on my hands - they say you can always tell a woman's age by how her hands look!
tanned hands in Ballito
one of the first 10 pics with the 50 mm lens, and one of my favourites

 and then there's this one of the cucumbers that you all loved, taken in bad light, nogal :)

I've not mastered the timer pics AT all so I have no cool Superhero pics of me jumping, despite me desperately wanting a cool jump pic. I blame it on my bad reflexes!

But I have stepped out of my box more with these sorts of pics - the slightly interesting, off-camera pics.

This one is my favourite favourite! Taken on Easter Sunday.

I have another batch to look through from last weekend - I was playing with self-portraits because the light was just GORGEOUSSSSSSSS in the study so I was snapping away. (527 pics is what I started with, not all of me - I'm not that vain!!!) And of course, dragged the kids in away from Lego to take pics with me.

Look out for those in a few weeks' time.

So tell me, which is your favourite?
Can I dare you to put a self portrait of your face on your blog? Who's up for the challenge?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The twins 4th party - part 2

Updates on the introvert/ party planning thing:

Well, I asked her exactly what was the problem and she told me she doesn't want to talk to lots of people (!) which I get because people go all happy and in-your-face (I'm one of them) and it can be overwhelming for a nearly 4-year-old little girl.

So I told her, "okay Baby, you know it's good manners to say hello nicely but then you don't have to talk to lots of people if you don't want to" and she was happy with that.

I told D to not bring it up again in case she changes her mind :) :) The party venue is huge and spread out so she could happily play with just a few kids for the entire time.


 So, time for proper party planning!
  1. I have had the theme for about two years and spent a good two hours Pinteresting (the new word for googling) the other night getting further ideas. I even have a secret party board :)
  2. Party printables were bought in Jan... (I know, I'm an eager beaver!)
  3. My personal trainer is as into this as I am and told me last week where I could get stuff for the party - I love it!!!
  4. A blog friend guessed the theme and also sent me some lovely idea pics but those are maybe too Martha Stewart for me ;)
  5. I've decided I'm going to discuss with D where we could use help (always with the cake!) and see if the in-laws want to participate


Last year I had their party in the morning.

Pros - over by lunch so place was cleaned pronto and the weekend still stretched ahead of us; 98% of the kids were still in good moods so very little tantruming
Cons - rush to get ready, it is winter and was FREEZING (seriously - I think the high was 10 degrees that day), light was terrible and my pics were horrible!

I'm debating whether to do a 9 - 12 pm or a 2 - 5 pm party this year.

Actually, I may just have talked myself into a warmer 2 - 5 pm party because seriously, it was COLD.

But what do you think, morning or afternoon party and why?

PS lovely hello stamp from Jayme. I screamed when I got a package from her. More in another post!
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Monday, May 27, 2013

{Messy Monday} Monogram buttons

Remember this monogram I did with buttons?

The kids were all over that so when I saw some wooden letters at Mr Price Home, I checked if they had both a K and C and bought them.

Mind you, this would make an awesome gift for the 4-year-old set:
  • pack of buttons  R10
  • wooden letter     R15
  • glue                    R10 - R15 (I like the blue Bostik which is on the more expensive side but I know once it's glued, it never comes loose)  

I directed the kids a bit.... I squeezed the glue because I wanted them to do a section at a time, and they arranged their buttons as they wished.

Do you see Kendra's flower right in the middle of her K? That's a flower from a hair grip - I kept it (hoarded) thinking we would use it for something and of course, she was delighted to have it.

They did a great job if I say so myself - the hardest part was leaving them to dry completely.

And this entire process took about 20 minutes, so the perfect attention span for my kids.

Best... I managed to take some cute kids while they were attaching their buttons.

most important part of crafting is TIDYING up :)
Tell me about some cute kid things you've done recently... suitable for indoors. 
PS I can give my kids scissors and paper and they're in cutting heaven. Or I hand them scrap paper with visio drawings and tell them to cut out the shapes :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Outtakes

Well, we had a very nice weekend.

The babies are at a really cute stage. I don't say this often so you should know it's true.

They're really just being lovely - very sweet to each other, good independent (bad independent was that "I do it myself" stage) and the language is amazing. They're thinking (mostly) logically and are using their words nicely.

Nanny S has the day off tomorrow to attend to personal things so she came in to babysit for a few hours yesterday afternoon while D and I went to see a movie.

I think it's only the second one I've seen this year! (First was the Silver Linings Playbook)

How often do you go to the movies?

Anyway we saw This is 40 which we both enjoyed very much. More drama than I generally like which is not saying much because I like happy, skippy movies, thankyouverymuch.

But more important, it really made us realise some things.

I'm being mysterious because I want you to go watch it and then we can chat. Have you seen it yet? What did you think?


Speaking of sweets, the (new) church ladies gave my kids a lollipop each plus chips plus sweet biscuits so it was "fun" this afternoon with them not sleeping. The lady meant well and I had to assure her that it was "fine" (I arrived to collect them and saw these big lollipops in their mouths. Of course I said, "what is that in your mouths?!" in That Voice) but in future, my kids are Not Allowed any sweets unless I give it to them.

I left them all "sleeping" after lunch today and went to look at getting clothes for the party and pricing party bag stuff (I never give sweets; I have specific things in mind).

When I got back after an hour (nothing bought although I did get a nice new cover for my iphone), the babies were jumping around being naughty and D looked very tired.

So I said, "come! Let's go outside and take pics" -----> this is for the party invite (YESSS, I'm getting organised).

I can't show you the actuals but these were a few after we finished.

And can I just say, this white wall in my garden is So Darn Useful :)

pic by Connor

pic by Kendra
This week I first have a really boring few days - I'm doing a little work on another project, all excel-based which is the type of thing where I want to stab sharp objects into my eyes.

And then.... ta da da dum.... we have an MBTI workshop on Thurs and Fri. I can't wait for that - you know this, of course. We even have homework :) :)

I want to write more but I need to get to bed. However, I will leave you with this - I'm the only E in that whole team.....yes!

So what are you looking forward to this week?

The pink shoes

I had a pair of red suede shoes ages ago.

When I was at university actually.

I loved those red shoes. It had navy blue trim so was perfect to wear with blue jeans.
I remember walking around Grahamstown (Rhodes) with those shoes - they were very special to me.

When I moved up to Jhb my mother posted me a box of stuff I left behind and the red shoes were in this box.

Can you guess what happened?

Yes, the box never arrived.

This was a good 20 years ago when the post office was even more terrible than it is now so even though the box was insured, etc. there just was no resolution to the "case".

And really, since that day I've been on the lookout for another pair of red suede shoes.

However, on Friday night I went to return a TON of clothes to Pick and Pay. D sees things, buys and then when I tell him to return them because we already have whatever, he can't be bothered, the things lose value when the seasons change and so on.....

So I wanted to return all the stuff while I could still get a refund at the correct price.

I went looking at the shoes and saw PINK suede ankle shoes.

They looked nice so I took them.

To be honest, I thought they might make pretty pictures when I take pics of my feet!!!!

(I was right)

But these shoes are so comfortable - I love them.

They might just be my replacement red suede shoes.

However, if you see some red suede shoes somewhere in a size 3, tell me - I would love to get them!

Do you have an item of clothing that's special to you like my red shoes?

PS story of the leaves to follow - it was GREAT!

Friday, May 24, 2013

{Friendship Friday } different strokes for different folks

My kids are at an age where they're questioning things a lot.

When they were little, they didn't have the verbal skills to do so but those eyes said it all.

I remember when we'd be out and see other kids who were walking around with dummies. They'd give me The Look as if to say, "how come they're allowed to have their dummies during the day but we can't?"

Now they outright ask me why other kids are allowed lots of sweets, etc.

My ex-boss once told me her son said the same thing to her (but loud in front of other people - fortunately random people, not friends), "Mommy (they say Mommy, not Mummy), why do those mothers allow their kids to have so many sweets?"

She said she about died of embarrassment but she's quick with responses so was able to recover in time.

My standard response is... "in our family, we ______". For the sweets, "in our family, we only allow sweets as a treat now and again" and I refer them to the food triangle with the verrrrry tippy top of the triangle for "non-nutritional food".

Connor's said to me in Clicks before, "when we're big, can we have as many sweets as we like?" and I've replied, "you CAN but Daddy and I hope you'll make better choices than that" :)

and the ladies in the queue smile to themselves.


I get the same questions at church about why other kids are walking on chairs and so on (confession - this is one of my pet peeves and I absolutely don't allow it)...

I've seen when we're around my friends' kids how those kids' eyes get big when they hear me remind my two of our family rules. I have lots of rules about eating and how they eat.

And actually, that paid off a few weeks back because an elderly couple in the restaurant leaned over and told me how well-mannered and pleasant my kids are!

My tip - as we're driving wherever, I say, "now babies, when we get to the restaurant, what kind of behaviour do we expect?"

And they tell me everything - bums on chairs, eating nicely, no tantrums, listen nicely.

What are some of your rules that your friends don't have?
How have you explained them to your kids?

PS I have nothing planned for the weekend except a date with D. I do want to drive past a tree I've been drooling over.... to get some pics of the leaves, and of my feet in the leaves.

Here's how I know I'm crazy: last week I actually considered pulling over, tossing the bag of leaves in my car and driving away so I could toss the leaves in my garden and take MILLIONS of gorgeous autumn pics!

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Separate parties for 4-year-old twins?

So my goals for May as far as the party is concerned were to do the guest list and book the venue.


However, I seem to have ended up with a first pass list of 30 kids....

On the one hand I justify it saying "well, I'm hiring a venue so it doesn't matter" (one price for as many kids as you want) and on the other hand, there's Kendra.


Kendra told me she only wants 4 kids there.

You see, she's an introvert and is really much better with a smaller crowd.

Then I said, "what about so and so?" and she said, "oh yes, them too" and then I tested and said, "and these two?" and she said "YESSSS" so I realised I have lots more work to do with her because including her and Connor, there were 10 kids total.

In essence, she wants Connor to have a party and then she wants to have a separate party which sounds more like a playdate to me, with only 4 kids.

I get her, I really do, and if the friends were separate, I'd be totally game for that (more parties = more fun) but 4 little girls are not going to come out twice for the same set of twins.


Still, it's her birthday too...
I need to narrow down that list (or do I?) because after the RSVPs roll in (or to be fair, chase down the RSVPs), we'll be down to about 20 kids, which is a much more respectable number.
When do you start doing separate parties for twins? Have you thought about it at all?
What do you think we should do?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{Wordless Wednesday} Autumn walk

This particular day it was FREEZING and very close to sunset but I'd promised the kids a walk so off we went.

I do love that going for a walk with me is a treat and I'm going to enjoy it as long as I can. And that it requires almost no effort other than going for a pee before we set off.

The kids always collect branches, pods, stones, leaves, etc. on the way but since I don't allow those things in my house, my top step always looks like someone's building a shrine :)

I only went out with the 50 mm lens so that's why there's some blur in the pics :( This is my attempt to break loose and trying new things, making mistakes, and so on.....)

spot the moon

How often do you go for walks with your kids?


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