Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Perfection is overrated

So do you remember this photo shoot?

Well, I got the disc today and I have mixed feelings:
  • on the one hand, I'm thrilled that there are a few good ones in there
  • on the other hand, I have some snippets recorded for posterity of just how bad that day was and it brought ALL those emotions back
  • I really should get my hair coloured before any shoot!

this is a really nice one

this is at the end of the shoot when the kids wanted NOTHING to do with me. Poor Bronwyn tried to rescue the shoot by having me cling to D but I know what was going on so this pic makes me sad...
look at this - Kendra only wants Daddy, I'm distraught, D's being the solid rock and Connor's disengaged

as you can see, Connor is also done! Look at my face - tells the whole story!

I know there are bigger things in life to worry about but I just wanted to write a post because I'm not always happy about how things turn out and I do like a balanced view, not just the "perfect" pictures.

Perfection is overrated, right?

Do you prefer to show a view of only the good to the world, or a more balanced but honest view?

By the way, I just remembered something I read, again on Simple Mom.

She said that with the advent of the internet and blogs, it's become easier to portray the not-so-nice stuff.

I didn't read all the comments but somewhere along the top, someone said what I think - on the contrary, it's become harder to portray the imperfection.

Personally, I think just looking and reading all the blogs (and especially Facebook, but that's another post for another day) makes it seem like other people's lives are perfect.

In our minds we can logically think that cannot be so... but when people share only the wonderful things, it's hard not to compare your lot in life with theirs and think you're lacking.

Agree? Disagree?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday titbits

  • Today we had no power at work. It wasn't a bad thing because I was in a meeting (workshop) for most of the day but it finished early and still no power. Our generators were working but something was wrong with our servers (you have to know I go blah blah blah in my head when it's techie talk) which means no computers or phones. I stuck around for all of 50 minutes before I left. I was home at 3 pm - oh, this is the life :)
  •  I did the other 5 photobooks - gosh, before you know it, I'll be a photobook-making genius. I actually found this software MUCH friendlier than the other one ( and best of all, I can drop off the disc and collect my books from a shop at the mall near me. I am SO GLAD they are done. I now need to stop buying Groupons.
  •  Our project manager for my big project resigned and walked out on the same day (Wed last week). Our project is priority in the organisation so they got a new one in pronto. I'm still figuring out if I like him or not. After yesterday's meeting I was not impressed. Slightly more impressed today so hopefully he grows on me. The other lady was superb so she has set the bar very, very high.
  • I'm getting my hair re-Brazilianised on Thursday. I can't wait to have un-frizzy hair again. And I'm missing our year-end function to do it. Not the team one, the company one where the ceo tells us thank-you and all that jazz. This is my treat as it will be my boss's first day in his new job. *sigh*
  • I told my kids to declutter their books and tell me which ones I could give to other boys and girls. Well, my heart was broken because they tossed aside 3 of the 4 Bible stories (Jonah is still Connor's favourite). I don't think Connor was thinking clearly. I put the books in my study and they've already asked (Kendra) for Daniel so out he came. Let's hope they ask for the other 2 books quickly.
  • My first posted Christmas card has arrived at its destination and I got a LOVELY email today thanking me for it. Now that's what it's all about. Call me shallow but I love getting nice thank-you notes when I send people things.
  • Tonight I wrote an article (it was on my October and November list) and I was an absolute idiot as I closed Word without saving! 483 words down the drain. I screamed! I was SO cross. I've never lost work through my own stupidity before. D told me to focus and just get it done...again, so I did exactly that while he made me a nice big mug of tea.
  • And have I mentioned? Our holiday is booked! We'll be going when all the kids go back to school. The grannies still have to sort out their flights but that is not my concern...

How was your Tuesday?

PS do you like these random posts? I personally LOVE them on others' blogs.
PPS MandyE, glad those cigarette pics made you laugh :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

a funny thing happened - iPads and Sting

the space where the "magic" happens :)

taken for MandyE - I was trying to get the cigarette holder that used to hold my ribbons

that is the cupboard I want to have painted - no, I'm not prepared to do it myself

guest bed

Take 1

I'm hearing and seeing a lot about little kids who have their own iPads or similar devices.

So I asked the new boss lady, "L, do your kids also have iPads?"

She laughed. A bit too raucously for my liking, but there you have it.

"Marcia, they're not even allowed to watch TV, let alone have any sort of computer"


(in case you couldn't guess, I feel the same)

and then.... take 2


Sting is coming to our shores in March next year.

I'm subscribed to the concert emails, most of which go right over my head as I've never even heard of these people (the 90s were a blur of studying, moving to Jhb, getting married and church, lots of church).

However when the Sting email came out, I squealed.

Do you know that when we were dating, D wrote me a love song set to Moon over Bourbon Street?           *swoon*

I said to them today, "so who's going to the Sting concert?"

Someone shouted over our partitions, "only you and L. Apparently he's the only man she'd leave her husband for"


And then of course, people are like, "what does he sing anyway?"

Oh my heart!

I had to play DJ and google You Tube videos for a good 20 minutes.

Let's call it "relationship building".

So, do your kids have iPads?

And more importantly, would you go to a Sting concert? South Africans, are you going to the concert next year?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Can you believe November's nearly over?

Before the month is up I still need to:
  1. meet Hayley
  2. write an article 
  3. go to gym once more
  4. get the overseas Christmas cards out and in the mail

What are your must dos before the month is up?


I decided I need to make a list of crafty things I want to/ need to use, e.g. all the different punches, felt, foam, stamps, etc.

So today I wanted to get some red ribbon. I bought a lovely new roll recently but gifted it to a friend on the spur of the moment.

I was fully prepared to take a child with me but we decided to let them nap instead.

I ended up getting 6 rolls of gorgeous, shiny, satin ribbon and while I was at it, some cardboard (for my year in review book) and other odds and ends.

I thought I'd go back home and see if the kids were awake so I could take one with me to go swipe my card at the gym.

They were sleeping, D was reading on the bed and the whole house looked so peaceful I decided to read too.

Eventually they woke and all of us took a drive to the gym (I know, hugely exciting), Connor and I went to swipe my card, and I enquired about gym for babies.

Turns out on my medical aid plan, it would cost R125 per month for gym for the two babies :)

D and I think this is fabulous value for money IF we use it.

I'm thinking even if we just go once on a Sat or Sun as a family and let the kids run wild there for an hour, that's hella cheap babysitting!!!

So I think we'll do it.

We went to get soft serve cones on the way home - one each for us, and one for the babies to share since they don't normally get ice-cream.

We had our treats after their supper and they were delicious!


A customer bought one of my products last week. She's obviously been digging into everything I have on offer because she emailed me this morning to say one of my links is broken. Not a link for the product she bought but some free things I have elsewhere on the internet.

Well............ you guessed it................. not broken but hacked, again!

My heart didn't even race. I am cool as a cucumber. Honestly.

I mailed her the actual files from elsewhere but I am deleting the one website.

Tomorrow I'll upload the two products (about 30 files in total) to my main website and then DELETE!

I've also emailed my virtual assistant to see where all the references to that site are on the internet, and then change the link to the main website link.

I think that's it - can any of you think of anything else I need to do?

A lovely coincidence - that particular domain registration is up for renewal on 10 Dec, so this is all happening just in time.


So how was your weekend?

Is your Christmas tree up yet?

I'm about 25% done with cards, 20% with gifts (have already given out 4 and am 4 pages into my 24 page photo book that everyone is getting!) and 0% on decor, but this is easy - I can do it in an hour.

How far are you with Christmas stuff?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our first pantomime with kids

The company I work for books out two full shows of the pantomime every year as our family day event.

We've had a date with friends of ours since JULY and this was the same Saturday as the panto.

Isn't that usually the case?

Things like this are very simple in my mind - the event that was booked first is the one you go to but D really, really loves the panto so I put my name down for tickets hoping that somehow things would all work out.

Closer to the time I had a brilliant idea.

We'd go to the first half of the show until intermission .... and then shoot through to Pretoria.

So that's exactly what we did.

D prepped them for a few days beforehand telling them there'll be lights and music and lots of people singing and dancing and loud sounds.

Kendra told him, "NO loud music" :)

This year's show is Cinderella - they have no idea who Cinderella is. They actually have no idea who any famous characters are which is exactly how I like it.

I will keep the marketing machine away from them for as long as possible. :)

So this week we quickly told them the story and today at the panto we discovered that they are now obsessed with the ugly stepsisters. I actually don't like talk of ugly!!!!

(For the party two weeks ago I had to email my friend and say "what exactly is that theme and don't laugh!" It was "in the night garden" or something like that. *ahem*)

We were seated right at the back (thank goodness) because when the children got antsy, we were only disturbing the family in front of us.

They were entranced by the lights mainly and the ugly stepsisters who were "naughty because they smacked Cinderella and told her no she couldn't come to the party (Prince Charming's ball)".

All in all, not too bad an experience.

I expected it to be much worse and thought we'd have to leave after 20 minutes but we only had one time-out (yes, we took the offender outside the theatre for time-out) and then a well-behaved child.

We each got snack packs with far too much food. I only gave the kids one packet of mini cheddars and half a 125 ml fruit juice between the two of them.

The babies also each received a beautiful Cinderella book.

D's efforts to contain them
during intermission

this was what all the fuss and bother at the window was about - beautiful!
And after that we also had a lovely afternoon with our friends.
I always feel so comfortable at their house because they are minimalists and therefore there is nothing around for the kids to break :)
Connor especially was totally enamoured with their dog and we had to keep saying, "gentle hands, Connor" (Claudia, I totally stole that from you and it works).
We only left at 6, got home at about 6:40 and the kids told me they wanted to skip supper and baths.... and I let them!
No-one ever died from missing a meal, right?
They only wanted their milk so after their bottles, they jumped into their pyjamas and were fast asleep.
I'm not a fan of two plans on one day so it was a very full but nevertheless rewarding day.
How was your Saturday?

Would you do time-out even in a public place?

What do you do if you have two invites for the exact same date and time?

Friday, November 25, 2011

So that's why handmade stuff costs so much


So I had all these bright ideas to make a handmade gift to give to my infertility support group recipient.

I also had to prepare some gifts for people I will probably not see before Christmas.

For the friend gifts, I made one batch of peanut butter chocolate cookies (delish!) - I get 30 - and so each of the 3 people got 10 in a scrapbook-paper-wrapped small formula can with a ribbon, a "from the kitchen of ....." tag and a cupcake tag on the top :)

Sadly there are no pics but they looked cute enough.

And then I thought it would be quick to throw a mini scrapbook together.

All I can say is... I am either deranged or very ambitious in my thinking.

I'd had some 12 X 12 chipboard covers cut into 6 X 6 at work as well as some papers and I honestly thought the cutting would be the main time culprit.

How to make a year in review mini book:

What I used
  • 2 chipboard covers
  • 2 binder rings
  • washi tape
  • free printable quotes from internet - one for cover, some for random placement
  • lined paper in 3 different colours - yellow, green and pink
  • scrapbook paper
  • some other bits and bobs
  • stickers
  • ribbon

What I did

  • I arranged a 2-page spread for each month
  • Put numbered stickers on each page - 1 to 12
  • Arranged co-ordinating scrapbook paper - yellowish opposite yellow, etc.
  • I decided once I'd started that the book felt too flimsy so I pasted each of those papers together to be sturdier. It took l-o-n-g.
  • Punched all the paper and the other quote inserts
  • Inserted binder rings
  • Put ribbon around the binder rings
  • Decorated cover with printable quote, washi tape, a handmade for you by Marcia tag on the back

Here's the thing - all of that took about 2 hours and I only finished at 12:30 am!!!

I was knackered.

Thursday I got home, started attending to emails while D played with the babies and at 6:45 I think, ever so casually, "C's coming to collect me at 7".


Present not wrapped, card (instructions) not done, nothing.

Fortunately I'm relatively organised in here.

For me, pressure's a good thing with writing because I wrote out a very long card (quite a nice one) in about 2 minutes flat, straight from the heart.

In addition to the year in review book, I also made a bit of a creativity pack. Two notebooks, 12 strips of decorative tape (that I made myself - I'm starting to rock this thing - I really need to blog it), fabric tape, about 10 two-inch circles and some flower shapes too, and a glue stick :)

My gift went to someone I don't know but apparently (she could have been lying though, whoever knows?!) it meant something to her. Or maybe she just liked my note.

Can you tell I really liked my note? :)

So this week I had 1) one night of baking and crafting and 2) one night of catching up with friends.

It was a wolnderful evening, although verrrrry cold and slightly weird (for me, at least). We were so involved in the group for so long (especially me and C) and yet there are all these new girls who we don't know.

A lovely thing happened yesterday too - the one girl who, at the talk I did in March, said, "what good can come of ICSI'd eggs?", fell pregnant and had her baby yesterday after 9 years of infertility.


There is NEVER enough time to chat to everyone - my friend Nat had to say to me, "can you please sit next to me at dinner (I say "supper") so we can catch up?".

C & I only left at 11 and were home by 11:29!

I don't even have one picture of any of the crafts, Christmas function, NOTHING.

 All that means is I'll have to do another one at some point and actually take pictures

Linking up to MandyE's 52 weeks of me post :)

What did you do for you this week?

And do you say supper or dinner? :)

PS I read on Annie Blogs (the courage blog) about some Scottish phrases she picked up while living there. D and I had a lovely time reminiscing now. He says a very South African Scottish thing to say is "Hen" or "Pet" as a term of endearment. Strange because we didn't hear one person say Hen or Pet to us while there! Ha!

Can you think of any foreign words or phrases you've adopted since hearing them? Now and again, I like to pretend I'm in Dublin in a Sheila O'Flanagan novel and I say, "I'm gasping for a cup of tea" :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and our Virtual Craft Day - cupcake framed print

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in the US - hope you have a wonderful day of family and food :)

I have a love affair with mashed potato so I'm just a little bit jealous :)

I am so proud of myself - I downloaded, installed and actually used a non-standard computer font in the pic above!

It's here - the virtual craft day.

I was able to make my two crafts largely because you guys had such good ideas on the ideas post.

The cupcakes look incredibly cute when they're all pasted onto the page but I realised I actually don't have patience for these fiddly sorts of things :) I might even sell my nearly unused cupcake punch. Any takers?

So here's my cupcake framed print which will go in the kitchen.

I chose that blue because it's a fun accent colour.

How to do
  1. Take a standard 10 X 15 frame and cut white project board (I wanted a sturdier base) according to the paper inside the frame
  2. Choose two (or more) colours of cupcakes. I chose just two because I prefer things simple.
  3. Arrange them on the page before you start pasting them down.
  4. Paste, let dry and put in frame.

Voila - you're done!

I tried to take a pic of the other stuff last night but the pics were terrible and blurry due to the light.

So let the games begin.

Please link up anything you made over the last month and when you write your blog post, please link back to this specific post. Thanks :)

It's also helpful if you put the name of the craft in the name box (e.g. cupcake framed print) so people know what they're coming to see.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Can you say hectic?

I had one of those days today where I was only at my desk for about 30 minutes.
And not even all in one stretch.
Meetings, meetings, meetings.
Running, running, running.
My friend, Caren, phoned me at one point and I was like, "oh, did I not send you that email?" Checked in my drafts and I was still busy typing it. Oy!
Realising that the meeting you need to be at in 2 minutes is in the other building at least 5 minutes away.
Yes, I sprinted up there and I even broke rules (ignored construction worker's blocked off areas to get there quicker).
But on the whole it was a good day.
I had my performance appraisal and my boss joked and says in the general office, "Marcia, we  really don't need to do this. All you need to know is you're doing great and you still have a job. As for the rest of you, the conversations might need to be longer." hahaha
LOL everybody laughed
What the ___?
But it really was just that easy a conversation.
We had a quick conversation and then talked nonsense which is how I like it. I'm far too cynical to think there is any point to these PAs.
Tomorrow looks like more of the same running except I won't even have 5 minutes at my desk but blessedly, Friday is totally clear. Yay!
I now need to do the gift for the very blessed person from our Infertility Support group and continue to write out cards :)

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the Virtual Craft Day!
How was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, Christmas cards

I had my Christmas workshop at the church last night and it was a disaster in terms of attendance.

Even now, I'm still very disappointed in the turnout especially since it could have been awesome if we had more people.

Nevertheless, doing all the prep and updating the Christmas Planner I give to clients at this time of year has got me revved up and raring to go.

I learnt a couple of things at last night's session that surprised me:

1. nobody sends Christmas cards anymore (actually, I lie. I did know this because I send probably 3 - 4 times as much as I get. A friend and I are going to keep track this year, just for fun. Please don't change your normal behaviour for my benefit - you will skew the results :))

2. people are scared to tell their families they want to create their own traditions so they go along with the plans, but don't enjoy the rushing around and the stress

3. one guy told me I'm not the "homeschooling type. that's got nothing to do with Christmas but it made me laugh. I should have told him that I'm actually very crunchy and granola :)

4. people spend a lot more on gifts than we do (actually, I knew this too. One of the commenters over at Simple Mom said something like "we're being really frugal this Christmas and have limited ourselves to $1000. I thought, "R8000? I would never spend that!" I would probably not even spend R2500. Then again we plan carefully the whole year.)

Do you relate to any of these points? 

Agree, disagree? 

Onto the Christmas cards... I made my list of people to send cards to this year.

I know I should keep the list in excel or something but there's nothing quite like a handwritten list for me.

Last year I made a rule to not buy anymore Christmas cards til my stash was used up. It was hard, so very hard, because I love stationery and my drawer is always full of cards.


newly organised as of Saturday evening

Well, after counting up all the names and checking my stash, I still didn't need to buy any but I bought a set of 8 standard-sized cards to make it easier to post overseas.

I still have about 20 - 30 left, but they're all odd sizes. The photos are printed although I have to go get a bit more done.

I write all the addresses on the cards or just the names if I'm going to see the people and then I start the process.

At the moment I have 21 names - I'm sure I'll remember a couple more as I go along. So far exactly 1 is done.

The kids are helping by writing their own messages in the cards too. I'll take a picture when they do their next batch.

I've decided this is one of our traditions. I'm a card-writing person, big-time, and already the kids love to come "write their names" while sitting on my lap in the study.

yellow basket from Pep (about R22)

from the front - one overseas card addressed
from the side - excuse the flash. If I waited for daylight to get any photos done, we'd still be waiting two months later and I'm letting go of excuses and perfectionism!

So that's me for now. The aim is to get about a third done this week, some more on the weekend and finish them by end November.

Do you do Christmas cards? Only for overseas people or for locals too? Do you revise your list every year according to who gave you a card? ;)

PS Tomorrow is my performance appraisal, the last one (for now - look at me, all optimistic) with my boss.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Divide and conquer

After Saturday's craziness, I said to D that I needed to do something fun out to balance the two experiences.
Of course the last thing he felt like doing was being out so once we came back home from church, we split up.
Connor and I went shopping while Kendra and D stayed at home watching cricket.
I highly recommend it if you don't do this often - the kids are ANGELS when they're not competing for attention and it reminds you of why you had them in the first place :)
We went to the gym to swipe my card (I'm still being lazy and not going... and my butt is showing it), then went to buy new pillows.
I think very carefully about clothes purchases (except handbags) but I don't even think for 10 seconds about my creature comforts. I just realised this week that my pillows are annoying me so off we went.
We bought 4. Connor chose pillowcases for the two of them (white with blue and pink dots) and fortunately Kendra liked hers too when we got home.
I put their new pillowcases on the new pillows and in their beds and the two of them were SO sweet. They flung themselves onto the pillows and rolled around on them, totally savouring the experience, all while going "mmmmmm".
I told D, "these are definitely my kids".
Seriously, they were OVER THE MOON. They thanked me so nicely for their new pillows!
Such easy kids. This suits me down to the ground - I'll happily buy linen over toys any day :)
Connor had a peanut butter sandwich in the car but I ordered French toast with syrup (yum!) for me so he could eat too. He had about half a slice and then that toy with all the beads tempted him again.
He was amazingly well-behaved (and super cute talking to everyone) except for about 30 seconds when I had to strap him in his car seat. Has anyone else's kids suddenly started HATING car seats? He SCREAMS at the top of his voice, "no Mummy, no Mummy, NO MUMMY. WAAAAHHHHHHHH!"
I actually looked around the parking lot to see if anyone thought I was killing him!
Ten seconds into the drive he's happy again but it's nerve-wracking especially as you know I don't like paying any extra for parking and I had this vision of my 15 minutes' grace running out (since I'd already paid for my parking) and having to do the whole rigmarole again.
When we got home, D and Kendra were happily watching cricket (there is nothing as cute) while eating peanuts.
It was just what we needed - some calm and one-on-one time with the kids - to restore our frazzled nerves.
By the way, an interesting thing is happening. Kendra is getting more and more "into me". I think she's starting to become more aware of her girliness? because she wants to see what I wear in the mornings, watch me do make-up, wants cream, etc.
D has two belts he uses for work - Kendra says to him the other day, "no, Daddy, Kendra no like this belt"! Miss Bossyboots! D goes, "Kendra, at some point I do have to wear this belt" LOL
This morning she says to me, "Mummy, what's Connor's fish doing in Mummy's bedroom?" (good question, Baby - every evening the bedroom is kid clutter-free and every morning I find an assortment of toys as if I want to play with all that stuff).
So that, finally, was our weekend.
How was your weekend?
Do you go on one-on-one dates with your kids?
PS I need to do another Nanny V update. D and I have decided to speak to her once and for all properly. He is not happy about her son going to Zimbabwe. Also with us now reporting to my new lady boss from next week, I can't be waltzing in there at 9/ 9:30 anymore...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've got to say...

Thank you for all your comments on the previous post.

After reading them I felt like I was throwing my friend under the bus so thought I should write a bit of a follow-up.

The wedding invite did say "no children" but she phoned me even before it arrived to say I could bring mine because I don't have a live-in nanny and her siblings would be bringing their kids too.

The thing is mine were the youngest there. Her one son is 10 days older than my two but she brought her nanny to the wedding so he had one person looking after him (outside) all the time.

I do think it wasn't just my kids misbehaving - it was a combination of the heat, ALL the people, the noise, etc.

And now I've learnt something - they are too young to take to weddings!!!

Moving on...

(the most annoying thing has happened - my v on the keyboard is very sticky so I type, look back and see "moing on" and have to POUND at the darn keyboard. I'll have to get some stuff at work and scrub out the keys)

I did two things yesterday I'm very chuffed about.

Do you use the word "chuffed"?

I always feel so very hippyish when I say that word as I learnt it at Rhodes University. Another word I learnt is "kif" as in "cool" or "rad" (I know, I should stop - I'm ageing myself...)

1. My friend and her husband were married traditionally 3 years ago - this is their white (western) wedding.

They are very well-off (about 6 years ago she was already earning more than the salary level I may just hit on 1 Dec - let's all hope and pray! - by the way, do you and your friends discuss salaries and such? I do with some of mine :)) so of course they have a house (GORGEOUS!) totally furnished and need nothing.

The problem is what do you get a couple like this for their wedding???

Well, I thought and thought, and thought some more and eventually it hit me - a family photo shoot. She always LOVES mine and keeps saying, "I really should get some done" and doesn't do it.

My first prize would be to buy a Jeanette photo shoot but alas, I can't even afford the standard ones anymore (in a strange twist of fate, I'm the one who told her to raise her rates when I coached her LOL - she is still worth every penny though, trust me!) so I had to look around for alternatives.

I eventually found a girl in Pta and negotiated a mini shoot out of her with 10 edited pics for just R250.


Happiness :)

I then bought two photo frames in her house's style (all browns and oranges). In the one frame I wrote "Two together are better than one" (from Ecclesiastes 4:9) and in the other I wrote the details of the gift voucher.

I'm smiling again thinking of it.

I do love it when planning and thought pays off :)

(sorry, I didn't take a pic)

2. As we were running out the door yesterday, I grabbed a pair of flat black flip flops (nice ones, not the spongy sort) just in case the heels proved to be too much at the wedding after running around with the babies.

When we decided to leave, we felt a drop or two of rain.

I whipped off the heels, put on the flip flops and ran to the car with Kendra in my arms, just in time before the heavens opened.

I love it - the timing was perfect and I know I only managed to run that fast because my shoes were flat :)

By the way, I have a bit of a love affair with flip flops. I really need to stop buying them. My only filter is that it must have a very slight heel, even if just a few mm.

Then, some interesting wedding trivia about me:

I've never been a bridesmaid.

Are you gasping in horror?

I have a friend who has been one about 27 times :) if not more. Please correct me, Roz.

And before you feel sorry for me, please DON'T. I hate all that fuss and bother. I like seeing it for other people but not for me, thanks :) I'm the one who got married in the plainest ceremony (but one of the most meaningful, so the friends told me) - just me and D, no attendants, not even one.

So how many times have you been a bridesmaid?

What are your favourite wedding gifts?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh My Word, our first wedding with kids

One of my friends got married today in Pretoria.

It is hot as hell in Jhb and even hotter in Pretoria. I've said it a million times, "I don't know how those people cope!"

We were considering letting V come in to babysit for the afternoon but she can't leave later than 6pm otherwise won't find transport home which means we would have had to leave at 5pm from Pta.

Since the wedding started at 3, that seemed silly.

So we took them with us.

They were all excited to go to a wedding (their first) and they looked very cute - a pity I got about 3 photos since both D and I were too busy chasing after those two.

I think they sat still in the chapel for about 10 minutes before Connor started going crazy.

It was very hot inside and he (like me) doesn't like the heat.

So D took him outside to let him stretch his legs.

Well, he never made it back.

Kendra and I sat and listened to about 80% of it thanks to the book and crayons I had in my bag. But then she'd had enough too so now both our kids were running around outside with their parents in hot pursuit.

In the heat! In heels! In a tight skirt (because I've put on a kg somewhere - I need to stop my Monday evening baking)!

I heard the crucial bits - the vows, etc - and afterwards managed to say congrats to both of them, and her mother. I met her mother 19 years ago............... had never met the sister or brother but both of them came to me and said, "you must be Marcia". I checked just in case we'd met but they said I still look the same as the pics of us together at 17/ 18 years :)

And here is wher it went south, fast.

They told us that they were going to take pics and we could have something to drink.

The venue was very disorganised (Deja Vu, Laura), not enough waiters and remember it was HOT so lots of disgruntled people.

Add to this that we weren't allowed into the reception area because they were still putting the last touches up. Crazy.

So I parked my behind on a stair and eventually D followed suit.

Our kids got bored and were getting hungry so started throwing tantrums when I said they couldn't just run anywhere.

They literally listened maybe 10% of the time we spoke to them - there were too many people and I also felt like I couldn't just start counting because by that time they'd be off in a forbidden place causing havoc so we had to run after them and grab them before they 1) pulled glasses off the tables 2) ran out into the road 3) messed with the sprinkler systems 4) wrote with crayons on the paved patios.....

I had water (always have), a yoghurt, one pumpkin muffin and 2 ProVita for each of the kids.

Connor told me, "Mummy, want food. Hungry." Uh oh.

I gave him the yoghurt and the 2 ProVita.

Kendra then followed suit.

We waited outside for about 1.5 hours with me getting more and more shrill with the kids.

Eventually they returned, we went in and we looked at the order of events.

D then said, "I think we should go" but I felt like we'd waited so long and I wanted food!

Kendra then said, "Daddy! Kendra want food!" and I quickly hauled out the pumpkin muffins which they polished off.

The kids were crabby, hungry, and Connor said, "Connor tired. Want bed"

This boy almost never asks to go sleep so I knew.

D and I exchanged a look and we started packing up.

We left at eactly 6 pm and on the way home, stopped at a McDonalds (I haven't had McD for about a year - I may have had a cone more recently though) for supper.

D and I had shovelled in a starter (savoury pancake), Kendra had some but Connor didn't want any.

So they had chicken nuggets and chips tonight. Their first takeaways. Hmm, not a milestone I want to really note down but there you go.

We dumped them in the bath when we got home because they were filthy and needed to calm down. I gave them bottles and they were out like lights.

I do hope tomorrow is better - you can be sure we're going to stick to our normal routine of church, a nappy run and home so they can get back to being the children they normally are.

As I've been blogging I just had my first cup of tea for the day and it was DIVINE.

I'm going to get started on my Christmas lists now and by the way, D overruled me - he says we're DEFINITELY getting them presents so I said, "no problem. that's now on your list" Teehee.

But enough about me... how was your Saturday?

And seriously, you guys in Pretoria, what do you do to cope with that heat? Airconned houses? Live in the swimming pool, what?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cupcakes! - an artsy-craftsy five on Friday

1. I love it when people remind me of things. I really do :)

So someone mailed me to check if we're still doing the virtual craft day this month and the answer is ...


Save the date for the link-up  - Thurs 24th.

Remember you don't have to actually create the thing on the day - anytime in November will do.

Are you ready???

2. So I have this cute cupcake punch and I need to use it a lot to make the cost per use go down. As it stands, I've only made 4 cards with it, not very fancy ones either, so one card cost R25 - R30, which is not acceptable :)

I want to make one of these... and make some more cupcake cards. If you see any ideas while you're blog surfing, or pinning, please send them to me! Thank you :)

3. We have our infertility support group Christmas function on Thursday night. I really, really, really want to make a gift for someone. It would help if I knew who mine would go to but I won't. We assign each gift a number and you draw a gift. Any ideas??? The gift should be in the region of R80 ($10).

4. I'm drooling a little bit at all the "I'm making all handmade gifts for Christmas" sentiments I'm seeing all over the blogs. Sadly, in my part of the woods, handmade does not go down all that well :(

I'm not too sad because I can only do (very limited) computer and paper crafts. But wait! Do photo crafts count? I am doing some things with our Newtown photo shoot.

5. I've realised that I need to buck up and get organised for Christmas. I haven't even made a Christmas card list, let alone started writing them all out. Usually by this time of year my cards are nearly all written out as I start posting the overseas cards. Of course that means aside from the 5 groupons I've bought for the mini photo books (really mini - soft cover), I've done nothing.

I'm not planning to get the kids anything (are you horrified?!) because there are birthday things we bought for them that we STILL have not given to them to play with. My MIL asked last weekend, "where are those backpacks SIL bought for the kids?" I said, "oh I haven't even taken them out yet - they already have two each". Silence...

By the end of this month I need to be done with my last book changes... hopefully that will happen but I'm finally SUPER excited. I have a title I'm happy with and that I think represents me well and I can't wait to see my book on the Kindle. Remember you need to all buy a copy if you're remotely interested in organising :)

So how's your week been?

Where's your crafty quotient at the moment? For November, mine is a 2!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Okay so I can finally talk

The reason I was crying, etc. for hours last Thursday at work is ....

my boss is leaving me!

Okay that's a bit melodramatic but it's true.

Last week Thursday we had a team meeting and 15 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to end, he says, "we'll have to hold over the rest of the items til next time because there's something important I have to discuss with you".

In typical team style, we start talking rubbish, guessing what it is and he starts getting super serious.

I start getting a bad feeling.

He first tells us about some internal changes (which I did know about - yay!) but then announces that he's been shortlisted for a position elsewhere in the company and will probably get it.

His position will be up for grabs and his second-in-charge (new lady who started with us last Sept) is also the preferential candidate and will probably get his job but of course, anyone is welcome to apply.

So he says, "did anyone have an idea?" and one person (the one who complains about her husband a lot) says "yes, I had a feeling something was up". I am 80% sure she's lying just to appear "in the know" (don't you hate corporate sometimes?!)

Another says "yes" - I trust her and know she didn't lie.

No one else answers except me and so I say (this is where it's bad to be an extrovert as you just say whatever's on your mind), "well, I had NO IDEA!"

Everyone laughs.

Some chit-chat ensues - it's as if from a distance because I truly am in shock - and finally he says, "if any of you want to chat to me, of course I'm available" so again I say (why don't I have filters?!), "Liz, please book time for me in his diary" and again they think I'm joking.

I was so not joking.

I told you I had a few minutes at my desk and then had to go to an outside meeting.

Soooo upset. Crying, thinking, crying, more thinking.

I even got a bit lost going there (no, I still don't have GPS) and didn't even mind because it gave me more time to cry in the car.

I am such a saddo.

I spoke through some of my issues with the soon-to-be new manager at our meeting. Initiated by her.

We work together well. She is highly demanding though and I've had to manage her expectations a couple of times. But this is good because we get one another now.

However, I have serious baggage.

I worked with someone at a previous company (wonderful working relationship) and then had to report to him when another wonderful boss left me (for Australia, no less!) and things literally hit the fan.

He was the same but not good manager material as he wanted to be friends with everyone and wasn't managing/ leading properly. As we all know, if you lead a team, you can't be a people-pleaser. Some will walk all over you and some (like me) will totally lose respect for you.

As an aside, my longest ever performance appraisal was with him. I fought for my rankings for about 4 hours with him once, but that was the first one, and the stage had to be set up properly. I don't take vagueness when it comes to my deliverables and competence.

So I'm slightly wary about now reporting to the new lady. I told my boss (only for another 13 days!) this story so he is aware of my issues.

Our PA set up a meeting for me the next day (yay!) and it was a good meeting since I was much calmer (all cried out) and had gone through some of it with New Lady, and D, so my thoughts were clearer.

I really was worried about my instincts because I thought I'm losing my touch if everybody knew. Turns out only two people knew - New Lady and the one colleage because someone asked her something outright. My instincts were right about the other lady wanting to appear in the know.

Best of all, he said he was approached and asked to apply for the position (which made him think "are they unhappy with the way I'm running the dept?" - we all have issues) - he wasn't unhappy with us. Somehow this makes me feel better. How weird am I!

I reminded him that two years ago when he was seconded to something else while I was on maternity leave two years ago, we had an agreement that if he moves, I move with him too :)

Seriously, what he's going to be doing is in marketing around authenticity/ consistency and other very exciting things that I would love to be a part of, so I told him (and gave him some teaser ideas so he knows this is a passion of mine) yes, I would absolutely be ready to move.

I told him (again) that my work environment (people and other) are verrrrrrry important to me and I want to say, once again, because I write these things in the cards for Bosses Day and his birthday, that he is an awesome boss - supportive, encouraging, always has my back, thinks I am awesome, etc.

He made me promise to not just go look for a new job if I'm unhappy once the changes take effect because there is definitely space in the organisation for my skills.

So that's where we are.

The official announcement came out today and again I'm sad. Because now it's not just a 90% possibility, it has happened.

You'll be proud to know I actually said to him in front of 3 team members (again, where are my filters?!), "I will be big about this", went over to him, kissed him and said, "congratulations on your new role!"

You'll also be proud to know I didn't cry... although I am close again.

I think everyone around here  knows I'm the hardest hit by this because I work closest with him and we've been together from the very beginning of this dept (6 years). I was working with him even before his son was born... he's now 6 years old.

He really is the best boss I have ever had. Second on the list is the one who moved to Australia (that one was the same but stretched me a bit more so I grew a LOT working for him).

What do you think? Do you think I'm overreacting? Are my concerns about New Lady valid?

Who was the best boss you ever had?

to cheer myself up, here are some pics from Ireland 2009. At one point on the tour, I said, "no more walking" (remember I was 23 weeks pregnant with the twins), I had a cup of tea and D went exploring with the camera.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

not-so Wordless Wednesday... and love languages

First of all, I am blushing at all the lovely comments on my last post!

I really wasn't fishing for compliments - I really just wanted to know which posts resonated best with you - and I was smiling from ear to ear at your kind words.

Thank you very much for speaking my love language!

Especially to those of you who don't normally comment :)

Also, my internet is messing around with me at home and last night I could not get into my emails at all so I'm behind with everything but I am using the time constructively by working on my book.

Do you have any idea how expensive it is to write a book?!

Still, it's life list stuff so has to be done.

You're all going to have to buy a copy on the Kindle :)


So I'm up to date with my photo organising - and I've even done a week of November. I know - hard to believe!!! I found some cute ones to share with you :)

These were taken at Egoli. Only taken two months ago and already Connor looks different.

By the way, the photographer emailed me and said there are LOTS of stunning pics. I won't believe it til I see it :)

I should get a sneak peek tomorrow and the disc next week.

How's your Wednesday been?


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