Monday, March 31, 2014

One quarter down

People, where is this year going?

(if you want to slap me, that's fine - I also get annoyed when people act like the year suddenly changes its order!)

But really, I said to D tonight, "3 months down and exactly what have I accomplished?"

Well, I trained a fabulous course at church and had a holiday in Ballito. That's it!

But soon this will all change.

I've just done my goals review (you know this is my favourite day of every month, when I see what got done and what didn't) and.............................. 98% accomplished.

Which just goes to show when you're sad, you can still be productive.

Or maybe when you're super productive, you may be running from the sadness.

Something like that. Or at least a mixture.

The most fun thing on that list was me taking up Spanish dance again. An expensive month but most of it is once-off. And now I will force myself to go because I hate wasting money :) Win-win.

Another fun thing was getting my 2013 Instagram album done, and I've also done Jan and Feb of this year. It's hugely satisfying when all the photo stuff gets done. Thank you to Epson for the loan of the printer #epsonmomsrock.

Last week I found out that a friend of mine got a new job within our company. She is a superstar but still. She spoke to a few people 6 weeks ago, and is starting her new job next week. There is no official role yet but she's off.

I really fought the jealousy hard. If I didn't like her so much, I would have been majorly ticked off.

I did tell her, "seriously, 6 weeks?! In this company???"

But she reminded me that actually her dissatisfaction started 18 months ago and she's been speaking to all these people ever since. She just happened on the right people 6 weeks ago.

Okay then.

Anyway, I have big plans this month. I can't WAIT for our holiday and i know we've only just come back 3 months ago but it feels like a year's gone by....

I'll have to tell you more about the goals later this week because I'm in a new book :)

(Amazon one-click buying is really bad for me. I'll need to put myself on a spending fast soon...)

How was your Monday?

PS the traffic into and out of the CBD was all kinds of awful.
PPS I put some new categories on the sidebar ------->>

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guess where I'm off to tomorrow?

As is custom in this line of work, I was pulled into a meeting and told I'm off current project and onto the next as of tomorrow (three days is a lot of notice!).

So tomorrow I'm headed back to the CBD on a new project.

I certainly hope the traffic is not too bad and that I acquire my city-driving skills (weaving in and out of lanes) quickly....

but I'm looking forward to having more freedom than a two-year-old,

this view

and meeting up with this friend for a good natter :)

my favourite photo of Louisa aside from the other one where she's pulling her tongue at me!

this is the photo I was referring to in the Milk Cafe post the other day - I LOVE THIS PHOTO

Hope you had a good weekend?

PS On the bright side I only worked 2 hours this weekend. I could have done more but sleep feels more important!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reasons I love the beach and ... next holiday


Okay, besides the normal stuff (gorgeous scenery, beautiful photos, sound of waves, etc.), I love the beach for a number of reasons:

1. Kendra's hair. Her hair immediately goes into gorgeous curls (I wish I had curls like hers). What's even more amazing is the MINUTE we get back to Jhb, it starts going straight and within a few hours it looks like normal (without washing, blow-drying or anything).This is fascinating. Mine is obviously much, MUCH better in Jhb (not so frizzy). Reason number 4356 I love living here.
my crazy curls
2. Both kids sleep so well. Man, it's amazing. They're out like lights for naps and for night-time sleep.

3. Connor's always had a good appetite. Actually both my kids eat really well. But Kendra! When we're at the beach, she starts asking for food (lunch) at 11:30 :) I love it. At home she takes her own sweet time eating but at the beach, food is served and polished off immediately.

Now, next holidays.

One of my goals this month was to at least decide on our holidays for the year... in principle.

Well, the Elephant in the Room is a deciding factor but I was adamant - end of April is non-negotiable.

We started looking at Clarens and I was going to look at Sabie next when a friend phoned and helped me organise 4 nights on a golf estate in the Drakensburg (we don't even play golf. Ha!).

He hadn't even finished talking when I said, "yes!!!" So it's booked and paid and now I have something to look forward to. The photos are STUNNING so I'm going to have lots of fun with my camera and I plan to read a LOT.

I can't wait!

she got into my lip gloss (those tubes of labello)
Anyone going away for Easter holidays? Or the week after that?

Friday, March 28, 2014

{Friendship Friday} Are you a typical woman?

Whenever I go to our pause area (granted, a lot of time it's to get a tea/ coffee/ water after a cry to help my eyes get less red), I usually run into these 3 girls.

The 3 girls are from one team and I swear they ALWAYS move around together.

Then one day I ran into the same group of 3 BOYS twice in one morning so I had to comment on it.

We had a laugh and were chatting about how women always go to the bathroom together, or shopping, etc.

I said, "that is SOOOOOO not me".

I never go to the bathroom with someone, I don't need to eat with anyone, I LOVE going to movies by myself (I really just go to some chick flick with my one friend because it's something we can do together) and I most especially like shopping by myself.

I LOVE taking just as much time in a shop as I need - whether it's 15 seconds or an hour :)

I personally think it's just because I'm so fiercely independent.

I actually only know one friend who is like me with shopping - she really considers it me time to just shop by herself for a couple of hours. Even pre-kids. I remember we used to meet for breakfast in between our infertility support and she'd always go very early to have at least an hour by herself to browse/ shop.

Nov 2012 (the period I refer to as Before the Job Crazy) - don't we all look happy?
I do love talking though :) and that's the one thing I LOVE doing with others. But I call it connecting :) :)

Tell me about your situation.

Do you like shopping, going to the bathroom, going to the movies, etc. with a friend, or are you happier by yourself?

PS Re photo above. Haven't seen Caren since November and Roz since January. WAAAAAAYYYYY too long!
PPS Julia wrote about her feelings here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shame, my poor babies

Yesterday after supper the kids asked for dessert.

(I made a pan of those no-bake cookies last week and they’re SOOOO sweet even with half the sugar so I give them a small piece… sometimes)

I said no, because you’re going to go crazy and then I’m not going to be able to finish my work tonight and tomorrow my boss will scream at me and make me cry………………

You had to see their horrified faces (TWINS!).

They then peppered me with all sorts of questions (does your boss only make you cry? etc.) 

Bottom line... I really need to watch what I say around them for fear of freaking them out.

Please, please keep praying - for clarity and always for peace. I feel more peace one way but of course my head is spinning out of control (hence all the praise and worship going on to quiet my crazy brain!).

Through Link.ed In of all places an ex-ex-ex colleague from AGES ago contacted me - they will need someone like me in about 6 months' time.... it's a small business but for very wealthy investors . I have no doubt they'll do well but I'm kind of hoping for something a teeny bit sooner.... :)

How can I pray for you?

PS I said to Julia today, I am NEVER choosing a word of the year again. Maybe the SHINE was from all the tears on my face nearly daily.

PPS Read this - a stop doing list - 3, 7, 8 and 14 are mine

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} One of my favourite places in Ballito

D and I usually sneak off to the Milk Cafe by ourselves but this year we took the babies with us for a special treat.

I love this place - the light (I always get amazing photos in there), the view, the pancakes, the free wifi :)

Enjoy seeing the Milk Cafe through my lens.

D and I went to Singapore in.......2004 and we bought these t-shirts then. D is still wearing his...

they changed their boxes! I prefer the tin (do any of you remember that tin?!). When I back up Feb photos, I'll pull that photo off the external hard drive - I love that photo!

view... there was an American man in the booth behind ours who was skyping with a friend and I remember him saying, "Peter! You won't believe where I'm at :) In a town on the coast of South Africa. It's BEEYOOTIFUL here - gorgeous weather, beautiful beaches, amazing" and right then, I looked out and thought, "he's RIGHT!" and took this photo :)

it was as good as it looks (D's)
downloading Kindle books with the free wifi :)

when life gives you lemons, eat them!

and by me, for what it's worth :)

And there you have it!

I can't wait to go back!

When's your next holiday?
Don't you love the light in these photos?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The importance of moving

I was deleting photos on the weekend and I noted something that I want to share with you:

The importance of moving around when you take photos.

These are all from my beach photo walk with the Se7en family.

This one is nice enough...
then I moved a bit and got this amazing one. The boys are in the same position - I moved around to get a different perspective. (Oy, there's a life lesson there!)

 And then again, this one is also nice.

 but this one makes my heart sing :)

I miss our photo Saturdays but one thing at a time, right. Zoom in on what's important right now :)

Do you move a lot when you're taking photos?

I found the post that made me think about getting out of snapshot mode. Here you go :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Very reluctantly pulling my head out of the sand about school!

Some of the getting out of limbo stuff kind-of happened and gave me a good kick-start.

Our pre-school goes up to Grade R so kids can stay there if the parents prefer... or go straight to Grade R at the school they'd go to for Grade 1.

We took K to an opthalmologist last year because D was worried about something she sometimes does with her one eye...(the doctor said there was no concern, just as I said) and in conversation, he said that his son stayed at the pre-school for Grade R and had some trouble adjusting when he went to Grade 1, so with his next one, he would put the child in Grade R at the school of choice to make the adjustment easier.

That was interesting for us to hear. Granted, a focus group of 1 but still.

(I really hate talking about schools since everyone has such strong opinions about it - it's like the breastfeeding/ bottle-feeding scenario X 100.... so I never consciously talk about it if I can help it)

So I emailed my friend with the twins and asked her if she was going to put the girls in a school next year or leave them at our pre-school.

She said she wants them to go to Grade R at the "big" school.

Anyway, in our discussions, she told me that a school in our suburb was having their open day. This was last Sat.

We went... met them there actually... and found that the mother of one of the kids in Connor's class is actually the one Grade R teacher. Her kids are a good ad for her because they're both really nice, well-mannered kids.

Visiting the school was a wonderful experience.

We were met at the gate by a lovely Grade 7 - well-spoken, friendly and unflustered despite us chasing after the kids every few minutes. This child escorted us around the school, to the Grade R classes, library, sports facilities and then to the hall for all the administration.

Each family was shown around by a Grade 7 and really, they were all lovely.

Both D and I had a really nice feeling about the school. Well-organised but still caring about the kids, etc.

So we're applying to this one.

For the benefit of my non-SA friends, a quick run-down as I understand it, because in "my day" and circumstances (coloured schooling in another province) things were not as crazy as they are here in Jhb and post 1994!!!

There are private schools - these cost a fortune but vary in their prices and beliefs. This stuff I know nothing about but apparently some are good if you're Catholic, some don't care about religion, some are focussed on well rounded kids, etc. Those who are experts on the private schools please comment!

There are some starting at R40 000 a year, some at the R70 000 mark (our nearest Christian private school) and some at R100 000 a year (very poncy one near my work).

I gather that the key benefit is a small children: teacher ratio. I heard from my friend that the school they have their hearts set on (private school) has a class size of 15 kids.

Then you get government schools and these vary all over the place too - really nice ones and some not-great ones.

The one we went to look at is subsidised about 50% by the government, and costs about R18 000 for the year. I can't remember the exact amount but I know it's less than what we currently pay.

Of course I'm not counting the extras but every school has these.

With one private school (poncy one near my work - Robyn, your friend's kid goes there :)) the extras were never optional, e.g. whether you like it or not, your child WILL come on a class trip and you WILL pay the R5000 even if your family has other commitments.......... actual experience from a colleague.

The school we looked at has a class size of 28.

We have to go see another government school in May (another really good one in the area) and we need to agree on a date to visit one private school (we missed the open day) - a Christian one but about 14 km away from our home. This is not a huge distance by Jhb standards but it is by mine (you all know I hate driving, traffic, etc.....)

The government schools have this "zoned" business. The street we live on runs across a main road. We are on the other side of the main road so we're 3 houses outside of the zone of the school we visited. Technically they have to take kids within the zone first (I think this is how it works???) and they can then consider those outside the zone if there are still places.

People are very passionate about these things.

I know one friend who really wanted her kids in a particular government school. They sold the house where they were living, consciously buying a house within the zone to make sure they get into the school. It worked - boy 1 is there already and boy 2 will go there next year.

Maybe I'm lazy, maybe I'm naive but I'm not willing to go to those lengths just for a school. Unless I love the house and was looking to move anyway.

I spoke to another colleague at work and she was saying things I actually believe too.

Her kids go to good government schools and she pays for extra maths tutoring for one son. Now that makes sense to me.

Pay R2000 a month and pay an extra R1000 for tutoring, rather than R6000 and you may still have to pay for that extra tutoring.

I'm also not convinced that what parents intend is necessarily what comes out of a private school, otherwise Excos of all companies would be privately schooled individuals, right?

I feel like I'm the only person who feels this way - we could pay for private schooling (if I remain employed :)) BUT I'm not sure that private schooling is all that great except for the smaller class size.

I actually want my kids to be exposed to lots of diversity - not only of race but also of class. It goes against everything inside me to think of them only associating with kids who've known every privilege in life...

Pre-1994 we all went to school with kids who looked exactly like we did. These days we're mixing in terms of race but now it's the haves and the have-nots.

I don't have the answers; I'm just sharing what's on my heart.

Anyway, where do you stand on all this stuff?
Where are your kids going to school? Are you sorted for next year?
How did you make the decision?

PS I do realise that no one school is going to completely satisfy me. Thank you, Julia, for that life lesson shared in Chef Pon's :)
PPS also, be gentle. I'm not judging anyone.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On the bright side...

I have/ had tons of work to do this weekend - 8 items to be exact.

I've only finished 4 of those (the most important for the project) and it took me 5 hours and D checked my stuff for about 45 mins this evening.

He's never done this for me before which shows me just how worried he is about me :o

Yes, he is AMAZING.

We have spoken and spoken and spoken some more this weekend, and we have a plan if I'm brave enough to go through with it.

I know I ask this far too much but please, please keep me covered in prayer. If I pop into your mind during the day, just have a quick chat to God for me :) Chances are I'm having a "moment".

And now I have to get to bed. This weekend was probably the worst long weekend ever - if I wasn't working, I was talking about work or it was on my mind so I couldn't properly relax.

But enough of me, how was YOUR long weekend?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Remember the night dread?

It doesn't feel that long ago when D and I used to NEVER go into the kids' room once they were sleeping for fear of waking them...

When we'd strain our ears to hear a little half cry and pray they wouldn't wake. 

And now, I go in once they're sleeping, switch on the light, get what I need, do things in their wardrobes without much of a stir.

 Of course I don't intentionally make a noise - that would just be silly!

Last night I was up late.... I did my Instagram photos for Jan and Feb, and I'm nearly done with Feb organising.

And Kendra wanders into the study at about 12:15 am.

She'd had a bad dream so I prayed for her and sent her back to bed.

When I went to bed about a half hour later, I found her IN OUR BED. It was okay for a few minutes but she kicks the duvet off and I need the duvet on (I need the weight of something on me to sleep) so I sent her back to her own bed.

She went without any trouble and went straight back to sleep.

This morning we had a milestone. The kids let us sleep til 9 am.

We've regularly gone past 8 for the last year or so because I've trained them to go have an apple from the fruit bowl if they're hungry and only come get us up for "real breakfast".

Aren't I clever?!

This morning, they got into my crafty stash, punched flower shapes from cardboard and affixed stickers. I think we should use those as gift tags - they look really, REALLY nice.

The point is... the kids are growing up.

We already battle to get Connor up for school - he LOVES his sleep like I do. We're both not morning people at all.

Soon there'll be teenagers wanting to sleep all day!!!

I still can't believe I have children 3 months away from being 5 years old. 5!

Do you have kids who love their sleep?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} on a Thursday...

because I had no words yesterday.

Only tears.

isn't this sad?

and this one!

My trick when the colour isn't great? Blackandwhite them :)

(I like these so much I may just blackandwhite everything in sight :))

(maybe I need a blackandwhite project... of weird photos....)

How are you doing? 

Tell me something fabulous!

I'll go first.

I finally got these books posted today - my post office was closed when I went on Saturday (reduced opening hours!) and I've been carrying them around in my car til today.

Posted off - YAY!

Happiness! Kids (and adults) can get reading soon :)

Speaking of which... I have big plans to read lots of lughthearted fun this weekend. Lord knows I could do with not crying.

PS Non-South African friends, it's Human Rights Day here tomorrow. Sadly, all I think is - YAY, no work!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lady check-up

Right, so this was the quickest gynae check-up ever.

Literally just a scan and blood pressure check up (100/60), glands, and so on.

So... last time I had two cysts - both 3.5 cm.

This time one has disappeared but the other is 3.94 cm. Despite me being on the patch to keep things in check.

He's added some more meds to the arsenal and I need to go back again in 3 months. And then "we will have to drain that cyst". He means laparoscopy. I checked.

So we had the talk about stress and... I cried.

Oh dear.

Not a good start.

But he was very kind and suggested that I get another job if this one is too stressful but probably not a good idea to just leave as that could increase the stress and grow the cyst/s.

(I look at my shine necklace every day and wonder if I actually heard God properly...)

That's why I went to Spanish dance again yesterday and I'm getting kitted out (shoes and skirt) so I can't chicken out :)

aside... in "my day" I'm sure I paid R80 for my skirt. These days........... R700! Shoes...........R500. I didn't even ask about castanets. Thank goodness I kept mine. But once I get good again, I want to buy some nice, expensive ones. The sound is much better on the decent ones. Again, in "my day" I think we paid about R40 - R50 for castanets. I see they're about R850 now.

I did one brave thing yesterday. I told new boss an abridged version of gynae events and that this is not good for my health. Full story here.

So I've yet to fill the prescription but I've got to get this stress sorted. Pronto.

Much as I sometimes daydream of lying around reading for a week solid, I know this is not the way to get that time out!

When was your last lady check-up?

PS interview wasn't great but D says keep thinking positive. So +ve it is.........


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