Monday, September 30, 2013

Iphoneography indecision

So there's an iphoneography competition going on and I want to enter a few of mine but I don't even know where to start for three reasons:

1. I heard that last year, they received about twenty-something entries on day 1. This year they received hundreds. So really, who wants to look through another 5?

2. I definitely think francois_72 has some of the best iphoneography out there. Once his 5 are in, is there any hope for the rest of us? :)

3. Seriously, where to start? You all know I love sunsets, the view from work, the city, the beach........

If there were any of my iphone pics that made you think MMMMM, that's nice let me know so I can get cracking :)

Who else is entering???
How difficult was it for you?

PS statigram is not helping since my instagram photos with the most likes are really arbitrary photos I don't even really like........... :(
PPS don't look at your "lost followers" - I'm quite devastated!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Retail therapy

Last night I decided to do the budget because there were too many receipts on my desk and they were driving me mad.

Do you know what I realised?

Some of that lost week was because of a really difficult conversation (at work, of course!) and me going out doing lots of (emotional) retail therapy.

However, this particular retail therapy was good for a change because I went WILD shopping for Santa Shoeboxes.

*Tip - when you're buying for 12 kids, make a spreadsheet and take a list with you to the shops.

I ended up just tossing things in (I knew I had some things from when I asked people to give me a few SS items for birthday presents) recklessly and once all the boxes were finally packed, I had lots to return. I packed all the boxes really full but still, lots.

Turns out I ended up doing 4 shopping trips because I first registered for 5 kids, then another 5 kids, and then the last 2 kids.

I decorated the last two boxes last Monday while watching The Amazing Race so we are now good to go.

Thanks again to you, Mandy, for your generous donation.

As for this coming week...

  • It's the end of Sept. I can't believe it - officially we're on the brink of the last quarter of the year!
  • On Tuesday, I'll have my 6-month anniversary in this current job which means I need to increase my prayers a lot. Sadly, my tenure will then not be the shortest as I'd hoped to set a new record ;) Next shortest tenure is 9 months!
  • Well, the wind's picked up and I believe it's going to be something like a HIGH of 17 degrees tomorrow. Yes, I'm going to freeze my butt off.

Are you looking forward to October?
How often do you budget?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My new study

Well now.

I showed you the kids' new bedroom so now it's time to show you my new study. Which is almost two months old but who's counting?

normally I'm not one for bits and bobs but I just love this tabletop, at least for now. It actually changes all the time.If I don't watch out, I'll soon be The Nester :)
for reading - and a space to chat

these pics were taken in winter - heater and pashmina are out
where the magic happens. But no internet magic over here. That's a birthday card from Mandy
the camera lives in that heart wicker basket
Santa Shoebox contents ready for packing - it's all packed now!
I extend that table when the kids need to write/ colour/ etc. while I'm doing my own computer stuff
the untidy corner on the right's been fixed :)
What do you think?

I love it! I love that it's smaller so I have a natural impetus to TOSS. I tossed out a ton of stuff already and I want to do some more!

Where do you blog?

Friday, September 27, 2013

What a week!

I'm really scratching the bottom of the barrel for some photos for this post because, remember, I lost a week.

 - bought 3 pairs of sandals this week - I will take at least one pair back. I was in Pick and Pay and they have such a lot of loveliness (including some that look exactly like the R125 pair I bought at Woolies last year... for R50). I couldn't decide which colour to get and the store was closing so I took them all :) I have since decided on the blue ones. Pics in future posts when I can be bothered to take photos.

- went to our church conference twice. It was so good to immerse myself in the Word for a change. 

 - went to gym twice this week - I walked out of the one class though because it was SUPER freezing and the instructor was having her own dance-a-thon without bothering to ... instruct. The second was a session with my old personal trainer. OH MAN, it felt so good to have some of my old normalcy back.

there's that lovely photo.

- finished working in the CBD. I will miss walking around but I will definitely not miss people dashing in front of your car even when it's green for you, traffic lights out for 6 - 8 weeks at a time, ginormous potholes for the last two weeks and most of all, having to leave at 7 in the mornings. I will also miss working with the people there (well, most of them) but mostly happy to leave that behind. Yes, still big elephant in the room but I really don't feel like speaking about it. I will do a general work post soonish.

some iphone photos I collaged and printed

- took the kids to school this morning and it was SUCH a treat for both them and me. I didn't get any nonsense about rules. In fact, C told me he had things in the classroom to show me and K was quick to jump on that bandwagon too. I loved it. This is what it's all about :)

- ran out of data on my iphone (I have a package of 350 MB a month) for the first time ever. Today actually. So I'm going to Instagram sparingly until Monday :) because I'm too cheap to pay a lot extra. I call it being sensible :)

oh, how I love water!
 - had three socials with friends (!) - Friday, Saturday and last night. I realised I'm really not happy if I'm cold. It becomes all I can think about. The Saturday one was lovely... when I focussed on the purpose of the event but really, it was very cold!

- today we went to party 1 of the weekend. I ran into a girl at the tea-making station and it was amazing how God used me to encourage her. I know this not because I'm super-spiritual but because she told me she really needed to hear what I said... right then. Yes!

So how was your week? What were one or two highlights or lowlights?

this week has been holiday club at the kids' school. Do you know what the best part of holiday club is? No art coming home!!! Am I mean?
This weekend I plan to finish at least one book (to make it 4) but hopefully two to end with my goal fully accomplished for the month.

I'm reading My One Word (amazing - and this was way before the internet scrapbooking people made it famous) and Carry on, warrior (which is feeling too much right this minute) at the moment.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I've lost a week

Wicklow, Ireland - April 2009

I was talking to D on Sunday, telling him I'd ONLY read 2 books for the month so far which feels impossible but is true.

The first book took 15 days to finish. 15 DAYS!

I said it feels like I've lost a week.

And then I did what I normally do to figure out what I was doing... I checked my photos and indeed, I have lost a week.

First photos on the big camera are a few on 7 Sept and a whole pile on the 8th.

What on earth?!

Was I crying for an entire week?

It feels very creepy to have my life pass me by... and yet I know a lot of people live like this.

This business of living without intention is not good.

Anyway, did you "feel" every day of September or did you also lose a few days this month?

PS I've now read three books. Book number 3 was read in one day - it was so fabulous it deserves its own (gushing) post :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to do the school drop-off

This little one is getting very cute. So is her brother actually.

The other day D had an early meeting so I took them to school. I was an hour "late" but it was divine. 

I like to drive one way and D always drives another way.

I asked the kids - Babies, which way do I need to go? and Connor directed me.

You go this way, Mummy, and then there where you see orange, you go this way (showing me LEFT with his hand).

When we got to school, I opened the door on my side and he says, "Daddy doesn't let us get out this side" (the side nearest the road).

Clearly D has more rules than I do!

So I walked them through the gate and up to the building.


I started going through the door as I usually do and Kendra stopped me in my tracks.

Kendra You need to stay here and give us hugs, and then go.

Me What? I’m not allowed to come in anymore? 

Kendra No, Mummy. Stay there and then after the hugs, you go.


Cute but sad, all at the same time.

But she does like everything just so. Just like her father :)

Do your kids also have rules for you?  Are you still allowed to kiss and hug?

Monday, September 23, 2013

birthday party RSVPs and gifts

So remember how I wanted to make friends at the kids' school?

Yes.... not so much.

There are a few nice ladies but nobody really seemed keen for new friends even though I could see who I'd get on with.

All fine because we're all busy and a number of their kids have been at the school a year or two already.

So now we have a new system:

I asked K who she wanted at their party. She gave me four names and I wrote them down.

I then asked C and he gave me two names, one of which was the same kid as K named.

We invited all these children and 4 of the 5 accepted.

We've since been invited to another 4 parties across the two classes.

Two of the kids came to ours so we accepted.

I've never even heard C speak of the one child so I just said no to that one, and then the other day, we got another invite.

Me Connor, do you want to go to S's party?

Connor No thanks, Mummy, he's not my friend. (not in a mean way, just very factually, which I believe because he's spoken about this kid about 3 times, and all the times it was in a S was crying today kind of way)

D then suggested we hang onto the invite in case he changes his mind. I said, "no thank you, I'm not forcing the issue. Also the mother will appreciate a swift RSVP, I know I would".

So I sent her an email and she sent me a reply thanking me for my quick response :)


What's your modus operandi for birthday party RSVPs?
Are your kids fairly certain if they want to go, or do you always go if you're free?

(I'm trying to teach them the value of a well thought-out decision - we've had some tears when they realised that sometimes instant gratification is not so good :))

PS if you don't go, do you send a gift? I don't...only if we RSVPd yes and can't go due to sickness.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday night ramblings

The story of the missing lens cap

I seem to keep losing my lens cap.

I usually find it in the house after a day or two but the first time I didn't find it at all was after we spent the day at the Lion and Rhino park with Heather and family.

I even asked Jeanette where one buys them (any camera shop, it turns out) and was about to buy another when I had my car cleaned on the inside (it usually only needs cleaning on the inside maybe 3 - 4 times a year, usually during the rainy season) and the lens cap was right in the front. YAY!

Sadly, I lost it properly the day of my birthday lunch when I took out the camera to take photos of the food. The pics are not worth it!

I phoned the manager and even went back myself to check those cushions (yes, I did!) - no lens cap.

So today I went to Eastgate and bought one for R70. Rip-off but I had to remind myself if the lens gets messed up, it will cost FAR more than a mere R70.

I've since washi taped it and it looks very happy, all in an effort to not misplace it again!

Pottering around

Yesterday we went to gym in the morning, our new family tradition which is still being ironed out and so I've been skipping Weigh-Less and getting fatter. But yesterday I went to WL (0.8 kg up from the last up 3 weeks ago) with Connor and we met them there.

Home - pottering about, cooking, baking with kids, sorting the last of the winter clothes for K. Most are ready for a smaller girl with only a small boxful of things ready for next year. Our gardener's got a little girl who's 2.5 at the moment so she will get a lot of the things. I love it - a lot of K's clothes from this winter came from Roz's girls so we're moving them onto a 3rd wearing :)

I'm doing C's clothes tomorrow - will have to bribe him, of course.

We went to a 20th wedding celebration/ vow renewal (they have their actual anniversary on my birthday, postponed their celebration by 6 weeks to "definite" warm weather and of course, Jhb was FREEZING this weekend) last night - more on this when I post photos.


I can't fully express to you how much I love being on leave. I seriously LIVE for days off. If only I had the temperament to be a teacher and get all that leave....

We have Heritage Day on Tuesday and of course, in my view it's a sin to not take the Monday as leave. But.... it was heavy negotiation getting that day off. *sigh*

I have to run an errand or two in the morning, and then D and I are going to church!

Are you off tomorrow?
What are your plans?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Totally up to date

I have to take a few minutes to just REVEL in the fact that I'm totally up to date with photo printing.

This is one of the few areas of my life that is AMAZING right now and I'm going to enjoy it :) Thanks again to the good folk at Epson. #epsonmomsrock

I literally have to print 18 photos at the end of the month which is what I need to do every month to stay current: 
  • 4 for the "baby book" which is an album for us of the babies 
  • 4 of K for her book 
  • 4 of C for his book 
  • 6 Project Life for September 

Of course there are always my projects to do - gifts for friends, etc.

Add caption
only one card of journalling for Aug PL
just photos

If you look very closely especially at "my walkway" you'll see the colour started running out. Eileen had been warning me for a few days already but I didn't see any change in the print quality until these 6.

Eileen's the printer, by the way. I always get this image of a solid, no-nonsense girl when I hear the name Eileen, and at the same time, SUPER competent.

That's exactly what the printer was like. She diligently printed HUNDREDS of photos for me without complaint and got me up to date.

I would buy one in a heartbeat IF it was a tiny bit smaller. My house is a normal size for this area - 3 bed, 2 bath - which means we don't have extra space most of the time. However, I'm thinking about it. If I had a nice shelf where Eileen could live forever.... well now, we'd have some fun, wouldn't we?

The Epson L800 really was amazing - the print quality is outstanding and is photo lab worthy. My MIL thought I'd schlepped to the mall to print a few photos for her.

In typical nerdy fashion, I started calculating how much money I saved by having the use of the printer.

I spent R650 on photo paper and printed 652 photos (coincidence :)). Even with the 30% discount I get from my normal photo lab when I print over 100 photos at a time, I still saved R1689. YES. Isn't that amazing?!

The main things were the baby books from ages 2 - 4, and the combined album for that same period. And then Plett photos, birthday photos and my weird pics album. And then I played - I printed photos for all the frames I had lying around (the frames are still laying around in my study - one thing at a time), some for the granny and great-granny, and then it was time to update my August pics and the ink finally ran out while doing Project Life :) PERFECT timing.

I will say this - I do realise that I was on such a mission precisely because I had the two-week deadline so I did nothing much during that time but sort and print photos. Most nights even instead of reading or bothersome things like cooking :)

It was all worth it, wouldn't you agree?

Do you print photos?

PS Now that I'm up to date, I don't ever want to be behind again!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      #epsonmomsrock

Friday, September 20, 2013

{Friendship Friday} Weird friend space #2

I almost forgot to finish up and write about the weird friend space thing.

I realise I'm a tad sensitive at the moment so you tell me if I'm over-reacting.

Most people in my circle of friends are working mothers. Working, not from home, or extremely flexi-time but proper, in an office, 8 - 5 kind of work.

What that means is that unless you work near each other and have the luxury of a mid-week lunch, if you're going to get together, it'll either be at night once kids are down/ other parent is babysitting, or on a weekend.


With my situation, I can see people in town M - T or on a Friday at the head office, otherwise some evenings (if arranged well in advance) or weekends.


I've tried to make Sat plans with a certain friend, even offering for all of us to come WITH food to their place if it will make it easier.

That wasn't met with much... enthusiasm.

A couple of invites to "neutral-venue" events like birthdays and there was a suggestion from her to meet her during the work day for tea at her house because Saturdays are family time.

To be honest, I was cross at first because this is not a new friend and she knows I work.
Saturdays are also family time for me but now and again, we're happy to do friend time with kids playing.

When I calmed down a bit, I realised this might be a gentle "blowing me off" tactic. I also realised that I'm actually more hurt than angry because I thought we meant more to each other. I suppose I take these things to heart because I invest heavily into my friendships (connection!) and I'd like others to reciprocate too.

At some point, because I really don't have much mental energy for additional emotions, I need to be brave and have a conversation.

What do you think is really going on over here?
Do you other working moms ever have the same problem? Parties are another story! Do people intentionally have these weekday parties to cut us out?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I think it's time for no more naps

Do you see this little monkey?

He and his sister have been jumping around (literally) for about 1 - 2 hours after lights off the last  couple of weeks.

D and I have tried to deny it but I'm afraid we finally decided - no more naps during the week. On Tuesday they went silent at 9.35!!!

Some of you don't have a problem with this... My oldest friend has had her child up and about his whole life til 11 ish. I was horrified when I heard. Not for any parental judgement but "when do you have your me time?"

coming to "visit" me in the study "just for a little bit, Mummy"
So it's time to get hard-core around here. They will hopefully not be total crazies when I get home and we can put them to bed at 7 - bliss.

another evening when they decided to sleep on mattresses (the crib mattresses) on the floor, for fun! This is as close to camping as we get around here.
Any tips for the transition?
Is there anyone with 4 year olds who still nap?

PS I realise I owe you an update on the school stuff!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The coldest day for an outing

It should have been an amazing day.

The previous Sunday we had beautiful weather which continued right up until Friday.

And then the next morning was the craziest, coldest weather ever.

My kids never moan about the weather but K was "my face is cold, my fingers are cold (through gloves), my this is cold, my that is cold" - pitiful.

But we'd RSVPd and I hate flakey people, so off we went.

unhappy camper

clearly miserable

their gloves weren't in their bags so I had to donate one to each child and both hands were in the one glove

selfie, just to prove I was actually there!
Obviously I have lots more but our company branding was EVERYWHERE so I had to choose carefully.

 Which is your favourite?


Related Posts with Thumbnails