Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - K's party

I can't tell you how much the kids were looking forward to this party.

Even "I want to carry the present"

No, ME!!!!

No, Connor, K's in MY class.

Dear Lord! #thisisfour

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this party because it was at home, such a rarity these days. There's just such a different vibe compared to a venue. A lot crazier but such fun.

This was the third at-home party in about 3 weeks and I must say, it convinced me. Next year we're definitely having ours at home. It will be cosy, crazy but much more my style!

pic by Connor

Connor's new smile!

Your favourite photo? 

Mine is the second last one of Connor's serious face.

PS my actual favourite is one I took of the birthday boy.
PPS pray for me tomorrow afternoon - there is a 360 segment to the proceedings and I'm dreading it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

So, it's Halloween on Thursday and thoughts on princesses

I've written enough on here about my feelings about Halloween.

Anyway, so the kids have to dress up at school and go trick-or-treating. Of course, we don't celebrate Halloween so what to do?!

Laura, I know you're rolling your eyes but we really feel that we have to be non-negotiable on any values-based issues.

The kids will therefore be staying home. We had a meeting at the school last week or the week before (I don't even know where I'm at these days) to discuss a few things.

Our stance is not that we want things done our way. It's that there are things that we agree with (no problem there), things we disagree with but are no big deal (we let slide), and then the biggie, things we disagree with and that we can't just let slide because it's a values-based issue for us.

They did say that children don't like to be different from their peers. That's well and good but I'm afraid there will always be something so my kids better get used to it now. Our job is to equip them to speak confidently about the reasons we do things our way.

They'll already tell you why we don't eat lots of sweets (rotten teeth, empty calories and sore tummies). We do allow sweet treats (cake, etc.) but in moderation.
They said that was fine but that they ask the kids to be kept home on those days.

In other news, D bought the kids some books the other day. A princess one for K and something normal for C.

Well, I happened to be sorting their clothes during storytime the other evening when I heard this...

"It was the best day of her life. It was her wedding day!"

D stopped me just in time before I had a total, feminist freak-out. That got to me on way too many levels.
  1. first of all, marriage is more important than the wedding day???
  2. a girl's whole life should not be centred around a wedding.
  3. really? the best day of your life was your wedding day?
No offence to those of you who agree with that statement! For me, there's more to life.

K asked me which is my favourite princess and I had to be honest and say, "I'm not really into princesses, Baby." (I had to stop myself from adding ... "but let me tell you about Sheryl Sandberg")

Share your thoughts on princesses!

PS We have a two-day thing on Thurs and Fri. Remember what happened the last time? I'm already starting to get anxious.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I was bored/ procrastinating one night...

Kendra - Jan to Sept 2013
Connor - Jan to Oct 2013
The many faces of the babies :)

In other news, none of my iphotos were selected to be displayed (I really don't mind - big problem/ small problem....). However I know Laura has TWO that were selected and Jeanette has one, so yay to them.

Are you going to the iphoneography event on Thursday? (I'm not!)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's all in the eyes

We were messing around taking pictures about two weeks ago and one of the kids took this one. I think it was Kendra since the two of us are most likely to be talking lovey-dovey to one another :)

And am I imagining it or are my eyes happy here?

Normally I have fantastic weekends - I cook/ organise, do projects, play with the kids, read a lot and totally forget about work til Sunday night.

Last weekend we had friends over that we hadn't seen for 7 months so I had to tell them the whole sorry story plus other work things I haven't said on the blog. So of course, that night I had a bad work dream.

Aside - I never remember dreams and I don't think I've dreamt about work more than a couple of times over the last 18 years.

Then on Saturday we met Laura for lunch, and she asked if she was allowed to ask about "the dreaded W" and I said no but I gave her a quick round-up. Again, bad work dreams on Saturday night.

Sunday was no talking about work but I knew I had a meeting with him on Tuesday so I prepared for that (about an hour - isn't this mad?) in the afternoon which started the Sunday Night Dread.

I had a very open and really insightful meeting with ex-boss on Tues. Long story short, she told me to take back my power :)

Three of you knew about a meeting I had on Friday. I was so anxious my stomach was in knots (this is not me at all) so I asked you to pray. Thank you so much for that - the meeting was about 70% successful thanks to the two hours' prep I had to do. I didn't cry (YAY!) and I was mostly able to remain logical and coherent.

This weekend I was determined to not even think about it. It worked and we've had a great weekend.

If you're still praying, please pray for me to keep my mouth shut about everything, even "small talk".  I'm an extrovert and it's really, really hard for me.

Thank you friends!

So tell me about something fun you did on the weekend.

PS Connor and I did a photo walk which was, seriously, all kinds of fun. He even made me walk all the way down one street just to take a photo of a lamp post :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Shopping

I was never one of those people who shopped at The B.ody S.hop.

But then a hairdresser who did one of my Brazilian Blow waves told me I could buy the fancy expensive stuff OR just buy any shampoo at the Bo.dy Sh.op because their products are all sulphate-free.

I tried one bottle (R75 compared to the usual R30 – R40 I’m used to spending) and my hair was indeed “lovely”. Success! I also don’t mind paying more if the thing does work.

Only thing is along the way I seem to have gotten a bit hooked.

First they reeled me in with a big discount when I shopped there the first time and strangely (or not so strangely if you’re the paranoid type), just when I need a refill, they “very kindly” send me sale reminders or cash-back vouchers (am a BIG FAN of the cash-back voucher!).

I now use the shampoo, the curl boost and some other Brazil nut product that I use like a leave-in conditioner.

About six weeks ago, I popped in and picked up a moisturiser on a whim. When Roz and I had supper, she said how nice my skin was looking. I thought I’d done nothing new but actually I had been using this stuff for a few days.

I got my latest cash-back voucher this week and today I popped in for the cleanser that goes along with the moisturiser. Plus some more of all the other stuff I already use.

That’s how they hook you!

Interestingly though, I’m still spending less than I do at C.licks because the price of the products is still crazy expensive (for ME!) so I do consider the purchases there carefully whereas at C.licks I just toss in anything and I'm still surprised at the till when they ring up the total which is hundreds of rands.

Do you have a product you've recently started using that you LOVE?

While we’re on the subject of shopping, I’ve now had 3 incidents from the group buying places where I need to complain. Is this the end for me? 

  • I bought an iphone lens that attaches to the iphone. The magnet was so weak that when you removed the lens cap, the entire lens detached from the phone….. Da.ddy’s d.eals refunded my R199.
  • I was also refunded on some photo canvas deals before I could redeem them – apparently about 50% of the people complained about the quality. 
  • I ordered a buttercup yellow wallet months ago. Wrote to them to ask where it was a few weeks ago as it had been nearly 6 weeks… and finally this week got it. But it’s bright neon lime-green plus it looks cheap. So I’m returning it. (have just formally lodged a complaint)

And, on the flip side, have you had to return some things recently? Do you shop from Wi.count, Gr.oupon and Da.ddy's

PS this was supposed to be a 6 on Sat-type post til I realised how much i'm talking about TBS.

Friday, October 25, 2013

{Friendship Friday} 1.5 weeks, 3 lovely ladies

I realised I better start catching up otherwise I'll remember nothing! So I had three friend dates with 3 lovely ladies recently, all in the space of 11 days - it feels like the period was shorter though.

Caren and I decided to go to Koi one Friday night (because I said "but we always go to Doppio Zero) and we were so unimpressed by the quality of the food for those prices we decided we're not going back.

That's Chicken Pad Thai, by the way. And the lovely Caren.

Despite that.... the company was lovely and it was amazing to catch up properly again. What was freaky though was how one minute the weather was all summery and lovely, and minutes later, the wind picked up something crazy and they had to come close the windows near us. It was the end of the evening anyway, so we quickly settled the bill because we're girls and didn't want to get cold. Especially Caren in that lovely short-sleeved dress.


6 days later, Roz and I met for an early supper at........... Doppio Zero! Turns out there's a reason we always go there :)

I love early suppers because I'm home before 9 and not too knackered.

But this time, Roz's food was too oily and actually mine was too but I was too busy yapping away to properly notice. When I got home and checked the takeaway container, there was a pool of oil. Ugh. Anyway, no hassle because when I ate the leftovers, I poured all the oil off the pasta.

Again, we were chatting so much the time just flew by. It's such a blessing to spend time with good friends and be able to talk both work and kid stuff. I love our times together.

All I got a photo of was our water... :)


And then Robyn.

Robyn!!! From the first moment I first read Robyn's blog, I knew we'd get along famously.

I set a goal for Sept to meet up with her and first we were going to do Bambanani, family style.

(aside - both Robyn and Laura told me they don't love Bambanani - I'm horrified - I love it!)

Long story short, changes to her husband's job so we made this a girls night out only.

So she sends me a msg to say she's on her way to the doctor with the kids and is going to be 30 mins late. No problem as I carried on working.

Suddenly another message - "once I'm on Glenhove, which way do I go because I'm on Glenhove right now"!!!

Well, I hoofed it out of there. Glenhove is two minutes away (plus parking) from the restaurant.

She was on time and I was late.

Then another msg (she's fast with those fingers).... the doppio zero's closed. I thought she was in the wrong place but no, it was indeed closed.

The same place Roz and I were at 4 days earlier!!!

So Fishmonger it was, and it was lovely. LOVELY.

We shared deep, DEEP from our hearts. She's the only one who knows probably everything about the entire God/ job thing.

It was really lovely and I can't wait to get together with her again.

I just realised Robyn may have unconsciously fuelled my thing for the infinity scarf. I wasn't aware because of all the talking but here it is! Love that scarf.

I've been busy, it seems :)

How are you doing with friend socials at the moment?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunset on the way home

On the way home from friends a few weeks ago, I saw this sunset.

Usually when I see beautiful sunsets, I'm either driving or don't have a "decent" camera with me but this time, I had my big camera in the front of the car (being Jhb, it's wise to keep your things in the boot so you're not a target for smash-and-grab incidents).

And so I, in turn, gasped and snapped :)

don't you love "natural" black and white photos (with a hint of pink)?
Mandy, this one reminds me of you :)

Seriously... beautiful! I say this often but we really do have the best sunsets in Jhb. I can't explain it scientifically but at the coast, the clouds are all fuzzy and pastel-ish and up here, everything is big, bold, dramatic :)

Which is your favourite photo?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tackle it Tuesday - photo wall

Years ago when I first started blogging in 2006, I participated in this meme over on my Organising blog called Tackle it Tuesday.

It was great because it forced me to do something "organising" every week.

Anyway, this wasn't done on a Tuesday but I'm super excited to have these UP and ON THE WALLS!

All pics printed by Eileen, my loan Epson printer #epsonmomsrock

I've always wanted a black and white wall of photos so I took mostly iphone photos and then a collage I made ages ago from the NYC photos, put them all in identical frames and up and on the wall with velcro. (Mandy, I've only just finished using all those 3m command hooks from ... was it 2 or 3 years ago?)

Seriously, velcro. I bought a box for R95 from the hardware store. And it actually works. Stick one piece to the wall, one piece to your frame and attach. Each little square is supposed to be able to hold 800g. These frames were about 500g each.


NYC pics from the Canon

my reflection but I just wanted to show you the 3 next to each other
and these two are to the right of my desk. Those lines are the reflection from the wardrobe.
What did you tackle today?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's talk about these school photos

So we got some forms from the school talking about all the photo packages and whatnot.

Seriously, are these the prices of school photos?

Also, I'm realising I'm becoming cheap because I feel quite reluctant to pay for photos I think I'll probably not be wild about.

Jeanette, do you just suck it up and pay?

Granted, the photos taken at the school so far this year have been less than stellar.

I'm also not keen on paying for photos that look like this. In that case, I'll take them for free :)

I call this set of photos "this is 4"!

27 July
28 Sept

10 Aug

One other thing - we're asked to order our package before the photo day! I wrote a note in the school bags to say "I can't order if I haven't seen proofs". I'm sure I'm the only mother who did this!

Edited - yes, the school phoned me and told me I'm the only mother to do this and everywhere in Jhb this is how it's done!

What's the situation at your school?

What do you typically do?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today a year ago

A year ago today we had a photo shoot.

Look at how the babies have changed.

It was a gorgeous day. Our shoot was scheduled for 11 am and we finished at midday.

I remember asking the lady if she was done for the day and it turned out she was actually travelling to our side of the world for her next shoot.

Well. That was the day we had those terrible, freak hail storms that wrecked so many homes and cars in the east of Jhb. People waited for months just to get their claims assessed. I went to that Love Languages facilitation training mid-Nov and the trainer still hadn't had an
assessor out. The companies just couldn't cope with the "catastrophe".

Anyway, today it's freezing again - a high of 15 - together with the rain, and it looks like it's going to be this way for the entire week.

The guys in CT might be used to this but we're not, and so I'm wondering what the traffic will be like tomorrow..........

In case you couldn't tell, I took those 3 photos :)

I mentioned to D today that we had a freaky cold couple of days last Oct too and here is the photo I dug up - 28 October. I only knew because I remembered these photos.

Anyway, in other news, I've booked a mini photo shoot in two week's time. I never think about these things properly until all the arrangements are done but........... I'm still 4 kg away from my goal weight, am flabby (do you think I can get my abs back in two weeks? Me neither) and have no time to book a Brazilian blowave before then! Not to mention the sad eyes :( Do you think she can take all the photos from very far away? ;)

Of course I'm all out of Ideas and Props and Colour Schemes. (I'm leaning towards grey again like with the Newtown shoot 2011, otherwise known as the day after the visit to  casualty at 1 am with twin babies in tow just before my gall bladder op)

Let's see how it goes but I want to haul the kids to my work's premises next weekend to take some photos for two reasons - 1) jacarandas and 2) in case it all goes pear-shaped... :(

Moving on.

We had a great day today and yesterday from 12 pm. The morning was so bad it was just crazy. About 6 time-outs between the two of them in 4 hours, extreme wailing and whining and I was this ready to phone Nanny S and ask her to babysit. More on that in a few weeks (I'm getting behind on the photos - reminds me of you, Louisa :)) because I actually have
photos and not just an Instagram like I did the last 3 times!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hypothetical future baby

A few weeks ago I was contemplating going on the ADs because of the work thing and the resultant crying thing.

Well, in church during the announcements, I was scrolling through my phone's calendar looking for a suitable time to go to the GP and get a prescription when I felt a clear NO from God... for me.

Ok, what then?

And then I got a whole download which I just wrote and wrote in my notebook.

One of those things was to do a light social media fast with no blogging or reading blogs in the evenings.

And no fiction for at least a week.


I have to force myself to read non-fiction otherwise I'd happily read fiction forever. I think that was part of it - that reading non-fiction would not take away from my Bible reading time whereas I know myself and fiction would, because I get "lost" in stories very quickly.

Part of the divine download was a very specific instruction about WHICH book to read first, so I got stuck into that one (Unglued!).

God is hilarious sometimes.

And then the next was My One Word.

Then I glanced at my Kindle and this one jumped out at me next. Hypothetical Future Baby.

 Hypothetical Future Baby; An Unsentimental Adoption Memoir

Well. I only had the Kindle sample downloaded at the time because, to be very honest, I thought the book would be too much adoption-ese.

But I started reading and I was instantly hooked. And then bought the full version.

I've linked to at least 3 of Claudia's blog posts before (the latest was how she and I do parties so differently :)) and I'm a huge, huge fan both of her and her writing, so I knew the writing would be good.

However... I've been getting more and more disillusioned with the blog-to-book phenomenon because while many of these blogs are amusing and entertaining, they just don't translate well to book form. Or an editor isn't being hard enough.

But that's me... and I'm happy to discuss via email but I don't like badmouthing authors because at least they've got off their behinds and applied themselves to Something.


Claudia's book is a real book with none of the blog-to-book awkwardness. It will totally hook you from the minute you start reading until you're done.

I started reading when I woke up on that day before the public holiday (23 Sept) and I could not put it down. Literally.

I was still in bed at 11 am reading and letting my children run wild.

And while there were adoption elements, of course, it was just so well-written that it was the story. The timing/ pace was just right - in other words, she condensed the bits that would prove excruciating when one goes through them but gives you all the detail you want at the exciting bits. Just like the movies :)

I finished the book that very same day once we got home from church.

So there's three things I want to say:

1. I'm ridiculously proud of my blog friend. She did an AMAZING job with this book. Amazing!
2. I loved, loved, loved reading all the back story - I'm a sucker for the "how we met" bits of any of my friends. Claudia and I "met" when I read a comment she left on Mo and Will's blog, and I went over to comment on hers and say "hi, I'm also a mother of boy/ girl twins" and that's how it started as these internet things do.
3. Reading the book helped me to process some more of those infertile feelings I've probably stuffed away but most of all, I just loved the solid thread of God throughout.


4. the book is very funny in that understated British way :)

I can't wait to read the next one... hopefully she's thinking about writing how they're raising their boy/ girl twins *hint hint*

What are you reading at the moment?
Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
What's God been saying to you lately? (pray hard for Marcia? haha!)

PS if you want to see the books I've read/ am reading, you can follow me on Goodreads. I seriously love Goodreads as much as I used to love Google Reader :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I have no words

My PA was 2.5 hours today, 2.5 hours of torture. It's supposed to be 1.5 hours.

I didn't cry in front of him but my eyes certainly filled with water a lot today.

I am finished. Exhausted.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - everyday moments

Julia, you were right on the money in the last post - it's also what I'm not saying :0

Anyway, I made the big mistake tonight of putting Bl.oom on my Goodreads as I'm currently reading it and happened to click through to a review.

And read most of 148 comments.

I feel ill at the hate. Jeepers.

I will post more when I'm done.

But for now, here are some everyday moments :)

some Project Life cards from the Turquoise range. I must be the only one that gets bored halfway through? I needed some vibrant colour again instead of the muted Seafoam colours
this is exactly what my desk looks like when I'm "busy" - diary, nail polish, pencil bag and a few bits and bobs.
found this in a corner and resurrected it. I love it!
bedside table which has since been tidied. CDs from car - can you see Billy Joel right at the bottom? It's time to change it out!
A little beaded ring I bought in Australia in...2004!
wearing that nail polish above. It's called Pilates Hottie by Essie and I bought it in NYC at my favourite Duane Reede :)
I need to get to bed but my perf.ormance app.raisal happens tomorrow from 9 - 10.30.

Please pray for these 3 things:

  1. me not to cry or freak out
  2. my brain to stay calm and clear-thinking
  3. courage to state my case (I'm a shell of myself, people)
Thank you!

Now, let me know in the comments how I can pray for you.


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