Saturday, August 31, 2013

And... that was August

Well now, we had the iciest day ever. Absolutely freezing cold. FREEZING.

As a result, whiny kids at the zoo (well, one!).

To be fair, it really was quite unpleasant in that cold wind so I did what I do - I took pics of the things that were very pretty, like the absolutely gorgeous blue skies.

It seems like the colder it gets, the bluer those skies are.

As always, I feel SOOOO sorry both for people who are homeless and for those who can't afford proper heating and warm clothes.

But the good news is.....

I got 94% for my August goals.

Guys, I'm living proof that goal-setting works... even if only on the subconscious level.

I wrote that list, printed it and put it in my flipfile on the 5th Aug.

Sadly, only looked at it once and then didn't look at it again until tonight.

To be honest, I thought I was going to have 20% but as I went through the list with my trusty (yellow) highlighter, I got more and more excited.

94% - WOOHOO! And I didn't even count the extra 8 photo things I got done.

The best thing that happened this month aside from me turning 39 was me getting....10 photo projects done. By photo project I mean 1) 2012 photos Kendra, 2) 2012 photos Connor, etc. Have a few frames still to fill and 4 albums' Aug 2013 pics to complete and then will be totally up to date.

And we all know the worst thing that happened which we shall not name anymore since we've moved on :)

But enough of me, how was your August?

PS I have no age issues. The alternative to celebrating additional years is much worse!

Friday, August 30, 2013

{Friendship Friday} I'm in a weird friend space

Let me tell you - it's windy tonight. The wind is blowing in the cold front, I think.

It's been 24 - 26 degrees the entire week and tomorrow when we have our work's family day at the zoo, the temperatures are going to be at most 12.


They even sent out a mail to remind us to please dress warmly - us and our kiddos.

Success for me tomorrow will be connecting with a few colleagues, taking a few lovely photos of my kids (and at least one cool Instagram) and no meltdowns from me or the kids.

It's key to keep one's expectations low. None of this "fantasy family" business :)

The last time I took some beautiful photos at the zoo.... the babies were 2 years 9 months. Weren't they adorable?

Anyway, I'm in a weird friend space.

There are all these extremes going on:
  1. I'm really happy that some friendships are doing well
  2. I've had amazing support from all of you who comment and email me about the job - so grateful
  3. I'm reaching out to some new people too (having tea with one tomorrow :) and lunch with another sometime in Sept)
  4. some people are reaching out to me - it's like I almost don't have enough time to see everyone so feels like I'm blowing them off (there are three invites in my inbox right now that have been there for weeks)
  5. some are moving away or want to move away :( and I'm trying to guard my heart
  6. some are probably blowing me off

Let's talk about two friends in the last category.


Friend 1
These are/ were GOOD friends. An incident happened when they were at my house last year - their car was broken into. I was devastated, of course, and he was understandably very cross at the time but the car was insured so the incident was covered. He has a bit of a short fuse which is why we checked if things were ok later, and they said they were.

So we've invited them around and suggested going out about 4 times over the last year and every time they couldn't make it.

The last time I was a bit sneaky because up to then they always said they were "fine" so this time I said, "I know that K doesn't want to come to our place (as if it had been said!) so should we go to such and such place" and she said without missing a beat, "that sounds good. I'll come back to you". Of course I'm still waiting. But ha! there IS that still niggling. So I'm thinking it's him.

So really, what would you do? We have been friends for 12 years. This is not something to break a friendship. I have even thought of offering now (a year later) to pay the excess but it feels wrong to me like buying friendship... I don't know, just wrong.

And honestly, we have not had an incident at this house or in the street with friends' cars for the 7 years we'd lived here. Nothing in the last year since then either. So I don't feel we've been negligent in any way.

When D had a few people over for his birthday the other day, he hired an ADT guard for R700 to watch over the two cars outside (I think madness... but he wanted to have that peace of mind).

Have you had something like this happen? Outside of your control but obviously being blamed for it?

What do you think I should do?

Friend 2
This will have to wait - I didn't realise this post was getting so long and I have laundry to fold!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coping without Nanny S

This week the photo crazy has continued. #epsonmomsrock
I've been to CNA 4 times now and each time I've bought 3 packs of photo paper.... yes, over 600 photos have been printed and the printer ink is now done.

I'm waiting for the lady to come refill "my printer" so I can finish August.

BTW, scored points with the MIL because I printed a few pics of the kids for her ;)
It's been AMAZING having a photo printer so willing and able to just print anything I want.
I am about 30 minutes away from totally up to date and it feels fabulous.
That's how I've been rewarding myself at night...

Our routine without Nanny S has been a bit crazy. But we can do it (I didn't doubt it) if we relax about a later bedtime with the kids.

I gave everyone a talk on the weekend - that we ALL have to do extra - so the kids pack the dishes away while I clean the kitchen and do supper/ pack lunch, and then they each bring me a laundry basket, we sort, load the machine and one kid puts the washing powder and one kid does the vinegar (I use 1/4 cup of vinegar in place of fabric softener... no, it doesn't make your clothes smell like anything except "clean"), we then shower/ bath, dress, story, pray and bed. And then we eat and hang out laundry.

We have eaten out twice though (at the S.pur) and now I'm done for the year (I kind of hate it there...).

The laundry every night is kind-of doing my head in. It's never-ending..... I can't stand dirty piles so I'm putting in a load every night after work. Strangely, I don't mind piles of clean, folded laundry in the laundry area...
And with that, I have a load ready to hang out.

What's your worst chore?

Here are some more of the photo pages.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My food love language is "apple"

I often joke and say my love language is apple but it's true - I love, love, LOVE anything with apples.

Apples are my favourite fruits and I always have at least one in my bag.One day when I'm bored (HA!) I'll go through my pics and find pics of my hand with an apple in it. I can think of PLENTY!


So, of course, I love apple anything in a recipe. YUMMY!

Two months ago (I started writing a few weeks ago and then calculated and it's actually two months... gee, time flies), I went to a friend's for lunch and then I had another supper plan with other friends.

We had our lunch (late) and I started making moves to leave until one of my friend's other friends said, "but wait, you need to taste my apple tart" and of course, I screeched to a stop.

I had to leave so I got my piece to take away and when I eventually had it, OH MY WORD, so delicious.

The next day I contacted the lady and begged (!) for the recipe. She must think I'm mad but know this, if I have anything super delicious at your house, I will beg for the recipe, ok?

I still haven't made this myself but I've been handing out the recipe to all and sundry because it was just that good.

My colleague (the ISTP from yesterday's post) made this and also now can't stop raving (in an introverted fashion :)) about it.


What is your food love language? 

PS of course I also say that when God put cinnamon with apples, oh, man, heaven right there! :)

Quick flop-proof apple pie

1 tin pie apples (small.410g)
150ml milk
150ml cake flour
150ml castor sugar
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 round pie plate

Spray pie plate with spray & cook (Pam for the Americans)
Put pie apples in pie plate and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Place all dry ingredients in bowl.  (cake flour;castor sugar;baking powder)
Mix together milk & oil.
Make a well in dry ingredients and mix in milk & oil.Pour over pie apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake in a preheated oven = 180C (the lady didn't specify how long it had to bake. I'd say probably around 30 minutes but stay in your kitchen and organise while this is baking)
Serve hot with fresh whipped cream (I don't eat cream - delicious just as is)


PPS The italics are my contribution!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A very welcome gift

I'm back at "home base" every Friday which is in itself an absolute treat - internet, wifi, a beautiful building with gorgeous views, FRIENDS, coffee shop, etc.

The other day when I walked in, I found a parcel on my desk.

Recognised the handwriting and ripped it open to find a birthday gift from Mandy.

Oh, Mandy, you know my heart.

I squealed, put on the snood and I wore it the whole day! And other days since it has been cold enough to wear it.


the Miss Marcia always makes me smile

I've been put in charge of organising a farewell gift for my colleague who leaves on Friday. She's an ISTP.

I'm thinking of either an @Home/ Home, etc voucher (she moves into a new home this weekend) or a wallet & cell phone case, both of which she needs.

Are there any ISTPs reading? 
Which would you prefer?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Answering all the work questions and why I won't "just leave"

First of all, Nanny S was supposed to take her child back to Zim on Friday this week.

When she asked for leave, she mentioned that her father is very sick and "if something happened" she'd need to leave earlier.

Well, as it happens, she was here yesterday when she got the call. I heard her saying, "mama" and my heart sank.

Indeed, her dad had just died.

Amidst much crying, I sent her home immediately.

All that to say... this week is going to be interesting because of course my current job doesn't lead itself to deviations from the project plan!

Also, the veggies in my microwave just exploded, the power shut off for a moment and there's no sign of life from it. Soooo looks like I have to go buy a new microwave tomorrow.

But now, the work questions:

The big question is why don't I just leave. Well...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

This party was hard for me

This is that party where the kids wouldn't listen... at least I'm not the only one with non-listeners?

The party was also hard for me because I'd heard from the teacher before about how cliquey the girls in this class are but to see it played out is horrible.

On the bright side, Kendra couldn't care less about others and does her own thing.

The birthday girl and two friends were the "in crowd" and occasionally they'd get my friend's twins to play along but the main three were clearly in control.

My friend said to me that she and the teacher are working together with the one twin to not just let the birthday girl rule the roost. Apparently her normally very assertive and self-confident one totally lets the Queen Bee control play.

These 4-year-olds make me worry.

That's also where they all get the "I'm not your friend" thing which seriously, seriously makes me see RED! It's a hot button for me because I HATE that kind of meanness.

I'm sure my kids say these things too (okay, I don't think K does) but in my house I don't allow it. I put them in time-out because I think if we tolerate meanness at this level, they turn into horrible little people and I really want kind, caring children.

Enough from Miss Marcia's school of etiquette for today :)

Here are the pretty pictures.

I've decided to "loosely embrace" these kinds of horrible photos for now...

hugging my friend's one twin

spot the odd one out

Ta da!
PS I asked Connor on Thursday, "how was your day, Baby?" and he said, "terrible. No one wanted to play with me except Kendra" My heart breaks!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why I've been missing from the blog

I've been a busy little bee this week... both because I needed to cross things off my list and also because being busy means less time to dwell on "things"...

I had my 2nd book Kindle-ised at the beginning of this month, sent one correction back and then forgot about it. Eventually realised this is very much out of the ordinary for this lady so I chased up last week. She'd sent it but it got lost in cyberspace. Anyway, bam bam bam and the book is on Amazon ready for you all to buy... but please, only if you're interested in getting more organised. It's $1,99 for everyone else and somehow they add an additional $2 for South Africans! It looks great on the Kindle Fire previewer :) Again I say the admin in getting books wherever they're meant to go is worse than the writing of the thing... at least for me.

And then I've been printing up a storm with the Epson L800 #epsonmomsrock. So far I've printed 6 (for great grandmother) plus 76 Plett photos plus 52 weird, arty photos plus 36 party photos plus 7 for frames plus 6 project life. And then the 180 photo sheets I bought were done in addition to the few they sent with the printer.

It's been so satisfying getting my albums done - I will take photos of all the loveliness (and they are lovely, if I say so myself) tomorrow when the light is good.

I went to buy 150 more sheets this evening so let the games begin. I'm debating what to print this time - holiday photos from the UK and Ireland pre-kids? baby photos year 2- 3 (I haven't fancied them up yet). I definitely want to get some of my favourite landscape photos printed

You see, I only have the printer for another week so everything else has stopped around here.

I think I'll push through and get July - Dec of 2011 done and printed this weekend. EEEK (I really HATE looking at the days when my photos were so terrible!)

Okay, that's me.

What's up with you?
What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm in trouble at the school

First of all, I want to say a BIG thank you to all of you who read, commented and emailed to encourage me about the job. It means a whole lot to know that I have support here.

I want to answer all the comments (why don't I just resign seems a very common one?) but tonight I have a ton of work to do and I want to tell you how I got in trouble with the school.

Some background...

I have HUGE issues with sweets.

They get far too many sweets and sweet things at school (that will be another post later this week).

Then a week or two back a note arrives with an elaborate 8-week collection for various kinds of chocolates every week (every week!) until October when it will be the chocolate festival. All in the name of fundraising.

So on the back of my increasing frustration, I snapped and said to Nanny S, this is nonsense. No way.

And I blocked it out because I'm really too busy to faff with 6 Bar-ones and 6 chocolate milks on a weekly basis, per child.

I meant to deal with it head-on as is my style and amazingly, the planets aligned and just this morning, I emailed D to delegate the drafting of the email.

He was busy and just after Nanny S collects the kids, he gets an email which he forwarded to me.

How when they asked Nanny S where the chocolates are and she says I said this is nonsense.


So we drafted a nice email back to say something more tactful but that we are frustrated by the sweets in general and had we been less busy, we would have already brought it all to their attention..

Really, I'm also annoyed because which parent has the time for continuous faffing. I feel it would be more efficient (and efective) to get a monetary donation and then use their bulk buying power at Macro to get the things cheaper.

Of course we probably won't be going to the chocolate festival... unless I can leave the kids there for 3 hours afterwards.

Have you ever got in trouble at your children's school?
Am I being unreasonable about this fundraising?

PS I have a very low need for affiliation so I really don't care if the school hates me but of course, I have to be slightly tactful for the kids' sake.

Here are some pics of the kids - it's been two days without photos :)

she loves this little cardigan because it's like "Mummy's jerseys"

Monday, August 19, 2013

New week, new level of despair

My one colleague asked me to have tea with her on Friday so I knew something was up.

The introverts have almost never suggested anything like this :)

She told me that she told our manager she's going to leave and that she'll do the official letter this week.

It seems the bonus gave her some added buffer time so she's resigned without having anything else to go to.

Doesn't that tell you something???

I told her I was VERY happy for her but VERY sad for me. It takes some of the micromanaging pressure off me with two of us on that floor for the project manager to boss around.

One down, one to go.

This afternoon, I had a tiny gap while my useless computer was charging its even-more-useless battery so I quickly emailed to check yet again on feedback.

Well, this time, an hour later, the HR person mailed me back to say my application was unsuccessful.

And there it goes again - only one week tear-free.

This is how I define success at work - if I cried or not.

Isn't that totally pathetic?!

Last cry before this was last Monday.

I feel utterly devastated because this job was perfect for me.

So what are they looking for? Speaking totally objectively, my fit with that role was 100%. My ex-boss and my coach said so ;)

And of course, now I think I'll never get anything because if something was so tailor-made to me and I still didn't get it, what hope do I have?

I'm cried out for the moment so off to gym the minute D gets home.

Please cheer me up with some impossible situations that worked out okay.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

{15 minutes in my life} Seen around the city

A few weeks ago we had a meeting mid-morning at our head office so I jumped in the car with a colleague so I could take photos while she drove :)

It was such a treat for me.

did you notice the whole country stopped talking about Madiba after his birthday?

I hate this intersection - it is SO busy. I always choose another way rather than navigate this crazy.

going back to the CBD through Braamfontein

my favourite of this set

I love this pink building
Pritchard Street

Which is your favourite pic?

Do you ever get to take photos while someone else is driving?

I love it! Must do more often :)


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