Tag Archives: Christmas

On the 4th day of Christmas.

Things are hectic.

There’s been a lot going on. At home and at work – it has just been all systems go. It’s like this every year so I don’t know why it takes me by surprise every time but THIS year it just seems to be that much more hectic. There’s been lots to blog about, but finding the time to pen it all down is becoming increasingly more difficult as we get closer to the holidays.

1. First on the list – I got a new boss. This, too, shouldn’t surprise me. In our business senior management move around a lot. I’ve had three bosses in three years. One French, one German (although born South African) and my new boss is American. It does mean getting use to a new management style, getting used to his quirks, his likes and dislikes and starting all over again with “trying to be nice” – I’m a personal assistant so my boss and I really need to gel in order to make my day job work for me. It does get a bit tiring having to constantly adjust to a new way of doing things, but I guess it keeps my work interesting. I met him last week and it’s just been a constant rush of getting him settled.

2. We have been to Durban three times in three months – that’s once a month of sitting in a car with two toddlers for approximately 6 hours at a stretch. And then still the return trip. None of these trips have been for fun. Well, we’ve had fun but what I mean is we’ve had to attend family functions or weddings – not a holiday as such. So this last weekend we left at 9pm on Friday night because the husband had a work function he couldn’t miss. We arrived after 3am. It was exhausting, even though I think I slept for the better part of the journey. I tried to stay awake to keep the driver company but my head was lolling so badly that I thought it may fall off my shoulders so I had to close my eyes. On just a few hours sleep we had to attend the wedding – but the best part was that I was the MC at said wedding. My first live gig. Ha. After I got over my nerves, I actually had fun with it. I’m going to start stalking the few unmarried friends I have to employ me for their pending nuptials. But seriously, it’s hard work – prepping for the day, and my nerves were a bit fragile at the prospect of messing up THE most important day in these people’s lives with a bad joke. So I was stressing over this for a while.

3. We attended a really cool theatrical play at church – How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was brilliant and Liam loved it – except the carol singing in between, he just wanted to see the Grinch. Which brings me to the subject of Christmas. I really want the kids to experience Christmas the way I did as a child. Christmas was big for us, we would either be in Cape Town with my grandparents or at home with all our cousins and family friends– but regardless of where we were, it was a huge affair. My sister and I dressed in our matching dresses, lots of baking, lots of food and ginger beer and Gatti’s ice cream. Both my parents were teachers so we were never bored stiff at home with the helpers while our parents worked, we were out and about – doing fun holiday stuff. Christmas was really time set apart from the rest of the boring year. I looked forward to it all year long: Boney M on the stereo, having an afternoon nap so we’d be awake for midnight mass, shaking the gifts under the tree and reading how many presents were for you and complaining when someone had more gifts than you did. My parents used to put gifts under the tree from early in the season, and of course Santa used to bring on Christmas eve as well. I can’t remember when I stopped believing in Father Christmas. My mother used to always remind us that Christmas was about Jesus’ birthday so we took the whole nativity very seriously but hey, I still laid out the cookies and milk for Santa! So yes, back to the future, I want my kids to feel the same sort of excitement I did as a child. So our decorations are up, our Woolies Advent Calendars are out, Boney M has been downloaded and I’m hoping to start on the baking next week – more because I’ve decided on home baked goods as part of the teachers’ gifts this year but also to get into the mood.

4. Seeing everyone. Earlier this year, I said how I wanted to make more time for family and friends and really keep in touch with everyone I consider dear. This is great in theory, but really we have been so busy breakfasting, lunching, dining, schmoozing, impromptu get-together-ing – that really I am quite shattered from all the festivities. And it feels good, don’t get me wrong, but I’m tired of always having something on. I can’t remember the last weekend we just sat at home alone, with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I’m looking forward to the holidays where I have very little planned. I can’t wait to have nothing to do. Seriously. And to give the entertaining and even been entertained a break. Who would have thought I would have said that? Me, who loves to be surrounded by people and noise. This year has clearly been a long one for me!

But before anything dies down I still have a long list of things to complete.. presents to buy, teachers to thank, school concerts to watch, more parties to attend. The one thing I really want to do this December is that gratitude journal that most of blog-land did in November. I think I will start tomorrow. Being grateful helps put everything into perspective, even the craziness.

I hope you are not being bowled over by the busyness of the year coming to a close? xxx

Blogger’s Secret Santa

The Stiletto Mum is kindly organizing this year’s Blogger Secret Santa. Thank goodness she took this task upon herself, because at least I will be guaranteed one gift this year, just in case I don’t make Santa’s good list. And with all the talks from the Minister of Finance in my house about cut backs and preparing ourselves for leaner times, I doubt I’m getting the liposuction I requested.

Anyway, this year you don’t even need to be a blogger to participate, as explained on Charlotte’s blog post. So if you fancy a little gift giving and more importantly receiving, pop on over to her blog and get yourself signed up. You have until the 16th November to enter. You only need spend R100 on the gift, so it won’t break the piggy bank and who doesn’t like getting a nice little parcel in the post, go on, you know you want to.

So we were asked to jot down  a few of the things we love, in order to make our Secret Santa’s job a bit easier. I’m a simple girl, so R100 can buy me a lot, especially if you shop at China Mall, you know what I’m saying. NO, don’t worry I won’t buy your gift from China Mall… well maybe I will. They got some good stuff on that side of town.

I’m sitting here wrecking my brain for things I love, but being a simple girl I love everything. Except those pedicure sets from Clicks. Or candles. I love candles but I have a Butler’s Tray full of candles in every scent and colour that I have collected over the years and never used because I’m too terrified that one of the kids will use the burning candle to burn down the house. The only time I light candles is when load shedding is in progress or when I can’t find the birthday candles and someone needs to blow on their birthday or when I’m trying to seduce my husband – doesn’t happen often. So let’s hold off on the candles this year. I don’t like receiving makeup of any sort purely because I work for a beauty company and I can steal that sort of stuff if I need to, I mean it’s sad to get a gift and it’s something you could get for free anyway, right? I don’t like receiving anything that is not gender or age specific to ME – like last year when my husband got that awesome shaving set and he freaked out when he caught me shaving my legs with it, he was throwing a hissy about it being HIS gift and how nothing was sacred anymore. So I don’t want to receive anything that he could use because I know he still carries this grudge. And nothing that my kids can use, because they think that anything gift wrapped and sparkly must be for them, so I need them to be thoroughly disappointed when they open this particular package, so no cute cuddly stuff please.

I think that about covers it, I love everything else! Plain and simple! I’ve got a new house so I love receiving house stuff – photo frames, salad bowls, charcoal and firelighters – you know stuff that I can use around the house. I like to smell nice so lotions and potions will go down a treat. I like to look nice, especially in silver costume jewellery. I like bright colours because I think they liven up my rather sallow complexion – seriously, I am the whitest Coloured person I know. Sad face 😦  So I like to liven up my look with a bright scarf or a pair of bright sunnies.

All of the above can be purchased at your local Mr Price for under 100 bucks. Except the charcoal and firelighters – those you can get at your local petrol station.


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

With only something like 60 odd days left until Christmas, I guess it’s time to haul out the dusty Christmas decoration box and fake tree. I like to put my tree up mid November, so as to prolong the Christmas cheer for the kids, and to build anticipation levels to breaking point so that on Christmas morning they are positively freaking out with excitement. There’s nothing like a little kid’s unadulterated joy on Christmas morning, I may have another kid just to experience this joy again. No, I won’t don’t be silly. But really, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to watch them brim over with happiness on Christmas morning. When they still believe that Father Christmas comes down the chimney, thank goodness we actually have a fireplace this year so I won’t be asked a million questions about how FC is actually going to get into the house. Last year Liam was pretty upset that we didn’t have a chimney and was very concerned about FC’s visit. Hopefully by the time Liam and Hannah read this, they would have discovered that FC doesn’t really exist, or else I have just blown it, haven’t I? Sorry kids.

Anyway, this year I want to go all out and dolly up the house with lights and green and red stuff everywhere. I want Boney M to be blasting out of the speakers until the neighbour’s dog is whining along. I want to start baking Christmas cookies and hanging out the loot Stockings (without the loot just yet) and Feliz Navidad myself into a Christmas Coma. Liam’s school put their decorations up last week, and of course they have been rehearsing for the Christmas concert, so he is well into the Christmas Spirit already. I want to get cracking on my Christmas shopping now, so I can enjoy the festive season away from busy malls and desperate shoppers looking for last minute gifts and last minute gammon.

So remember last year and this post? Liam refused to ride his big boy Barney bike – maybe he wasn’t ready, maybe it didn’t make enough noise as the black plastic one did – I’m not sure, but fast forward a year, and he is begging for a bicycle. Hannah just mimics Liam so she is asking for a bike as well, but I know she is going to lose her mind when she sees the play house I have in mind for her. We’ve drawn names to buy for one adult in the family: I love this method, its cost effective and it means there’s no pressure to waste your entire bonus on Christmas presents. And for everyone else we want to spoil, I’m visiting the Consol store and getting pretty jars for the cookies the kids will be baking. Gifts sorted.

We will be building our hampers for our usual charities, and this year Liam is more aware of helping people so I think they will enjoy getting more involved with spreading cheer to those who are less fortunate. Already, the kids are cleaning us out of tinned and dry goods at home, as both church and school are running food drives for Christmas hampers and we are asked to donate as much and as often as we can. My kids have made it their life’s ambition to fill the food bins, much to the detriment of my own grocery cupboards.

I love this time of year! Our diaries are bursting at the seams with events we need to attend – some at church, some at school, some at work and of course some in our social circle. And even though I complain, I secretly love the hustle and bustle that comes with the silly season. I hope FC has a big fat pressie with my name on it.

Beep Beep

While I enjoyed myself at our work Christmas party last night, the hubby took care of Hannah (Liam is still in Durban with Gran and Pa and only comes back on Sunday). As always, I let him know that I had arrived safely at the venue, I answered all the necessary questions about where we’d parked, what time I’d be leaving, what he needed to feed Hannah and what pyjamas to change her into after her bath. That should have been that. Our next communication should have been when I was about to leave the party, to inform him that I was on my way. But no. 

You know those people who are constantly on their phones, whether browsing the net, catching up on social networks, BBM’ing or whatever? Those annoying people who you can’t have a decent conversation with because they are so glued to their cell phones. Well I was one of those people last night. I received a running commentary from the husband about each and every detail of his evening with Hannah. I may as well have been there! Now don’t get me wrong, I like to be kept informed of my children’s whereabouts if I am not with them, but if there’s anyone I trust with my babies, it’s my hubby and I don’t expect or need to be filled in on every wet diaper or baby fart. I tried to gently let him down without making it sound like I was having too much of a good time to be worried about responding to his messages, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. And I don’t like not responding because that’s just rude. But seriously, I spent more time responding to messages than I did socialising, and we were at a comedy show, everything was dark except for the stage and the glow from my ever beeping cell phone. He even sent photos of Hannah in the bath, Hannah laying on the bed, Hannah sucking her bottle. O.M.G. 

Then it got me thinking… is this how I am when he is away from us? Am I a hubby-stalker? I know I get highly annoyed when he doesn’t respond to my messages within 0.3 seconds of receiving them, and I don’t accept driving, or socialising or being on the toilet as an excuse for not responding (when I say jump, you say how high). But do I behave like this? Is this learned behaviour from me? How annoying! I had to wait for him to go to bed last night to get some reprieve and enjoy the party!  

Of course when I got home, I teased him relentlessly. He said I was exactly the same when he was out and he was giving me some of my own medicine. Me? No way! Ok yes, maybe a little. We agreed that the point of a night off was to get away from it ALL, especially the baby talk, and unless there was an extreme emergency, we’d lay off the constant messaging. Let’s see how this goes the next time he has an appointment on his own…

On a separate note, Hannah did seem to have herself a ball with Daddy..

Caught in the act!
Say Cheese!
I'm busy, do you mind?

Hello December…eeeek!

Christmas is around the corner. Unbelievable. That means the holidays are just around the corner. Unbelievable. That means I’ve missed that gap where normal people work out and diet in order to get their bikini bodies ready. Believable. I miss that gap every year. But anyway, this post isn’t about my bikini body.. or lack thereof. This post is about the HOLIDAYS BEEN RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AND I AM NOT READY! Don’t get me wrong, I am MORE than ready for the holidays, bring it on, I have been waiting since 3rd January 2011 (the day I went back to work this year) for the holidays. What I am not ready for is the festivities that go along with the Christmas holidays… 

Usually by this time of the year, I have compiled a festive to-do list, and have successfully ticked off a few things like gifts for school teachers, or cute Consol glass jars bought for the cookies that I never get around to making, or activities for the kids to do in and around Joburg before we actually leave to go on REAL holiday. But this year I don’t even have a list. I have all these thoughts and reminders swimming around in my head, but have very little physical evidence of the mountain of things I need to get through before Santa comes down the chimney. 

But really, is it just me or is time flying? I make a note to do something, and when I look at the note again, it’s like two weeks later and I’ve missed the deadline. When I look at my kids, I think to myself where was I when you learned to do that, or speak so well, or grow a whole personality? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was burping my newborn, and now she rolls her eyes at me and tells me NO when I ask her to give me some love. Not to mention Liam who can say the days of the week, and the months of the year and count to twenty! When did he get so big and so smart? Anyway, the point is, time goes so quickly that I actually cannot seem to keep up. I am way behind on my preparations and feel bad for all the empty Christmas promises I have made to the kids. Liam has been asking me when-when-when-when (in a whiny two year old voice) are we going to put up the “Kwismas” tree, and why-why-why-why (same voice) can’t we go on our road trip NOW. The rate I am going, we may only go on our REAL holiday closer to Easter and not before the New Year as planned. 

With all this playing heavily on my mind and with the clock ticking, this is my written pledge to get cracking. The Christmas tree will be put up before the weekend. As the hubby goes on holiday before I do, I will have an agenda for the three of them typed up with pictures and smiley faces to keep them busy while I am still at work. I will put on my game face and protective body gear and start shopping for Christmas gifts. Contrary to popular belief, not all women enjoy shopping. I, being one of those who detest being in a mall looking for gifts on a budget. Perhaps if I had a limitless amount of money that just regenerated itself in my purse every time it was nearing depletion, then shopping wouldn’t be such a pain. But trying to find 512 gifts for everyone, on a budget of about R2.05 would turn anyone off shopping. And besides the budget, I suck at choosing gifts! I will walk around the whole mall, wringing my hands in anxiety, wondering if I should go with the blue t-shirt or the red slops or the lip gloss and then settle for the brown purse which was the first item I looked at 4 ½ hours ago. It’s so frustrating!!! The only little people I enjoy shopping for are my babies, I know them inside out, I know exactly what makes those little tickers speed up in excitement, so they are easy peasy to shop for. But this I pledge, to get moving on the gift shopping. I’m going to start preparing for our road trip now, so that it isn’t all a mad rush between Christmas and New Year trying to organise everything for our departure, instead of enjoying those days with the kids and family. I’m going to start tying up loose ends at work NOW, to avoid those dreaded calls during the holidays that start with “…so I know you are on holiday but do you think you could help me with…” And most importantly I am going to buy my Woolies gammon and mince pies (they do freeze) and Christmas bonbons NOW, because it sucks to be that person on Christmas Eve looking at an empty shelf in the fourth shop you have tried. Been there! 

The run up to Christmas is as much fun as the holiday itself and most importantly, I want to create that festive buzz for my babies. I want them to understand the true meaning of Christmas, that Jesus is the “reason for the season,” I want to get them all excited about opening pressies and baking cookies and looking forward to a holiday together faaaar away from our house, as Liam always puts it.

 So here I go! There are lists to be made, gifts to buy, babies imaginations to crank up – it’s going to be awesome! Hello December!

To poke, or not to poke..

So I have a small dilemma..

We pierced Hannah’s ears when she was about 6 months old. I received serious flack from “well meaning” folks – some who didn’t even have kids, or even a dog for that matter – about what a BAD mother I was for making this horrible choice for my daughter, and how would I like it if someone poked me through the flesh, without my consent (I won’t even answer that, my kids will read this one day).  Even complete strangers who would stop to ga-ga-goo-goo over Hannah, would cluck in disapproval when they noticed her shiny gold studs. Yeh, that’s right, I let some strange lady bust a cap in my baby’s ears. Anyway, the ear piercing experience wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but it wasn’t like a scene from a horror movie either. I think she took it like a (wo)man. She looked gorgeous with her bling, her ear lobes healed beautifully and that was that.

Well not exactly.

Sometime within the 6-week-do-not-remove-the-earring stage, one of her earrings fell out. We searched high and low for it; I had Zoleka on high earring alert every time she swept or mopped the floor, even though we could have lost that earring anywhere. I didn’t want to pop just any stud into that hole, so I left it, with every intention of getting a new pair. What I really wanted was to find the exact same pair so that I wouldn’t have to take the other earring out because that part totally freaked me out, more than having to jam a new earring in. Alas, I couldn’t find the same pair, I tried many stores, I even put it on order and hey, now that I think about it, that store never did call me back… and.. well… the truth is… almost 11 months later, my daughter is still rocking one earring.

My sister, totally annoyed that it had taken me so long to solve this problem, eventually pierced a brush bristle through the hole to verify that it was still open, and forced me to buy a pair – ANY pair, which I did. But would you believe it, it fell out again shortly thereafter, maybe it’s her ear, not the earring? Anyway, I try to cover it up with a well positioned lock of hair, and in winter with a cute fluffy cap, however as she grows older, she is starting to look a bit weird with this one earring. Perhaps it wouldn’t look so bad if her name was Billy Jean or Apple or Green Pea or something wonderfully weird and bizarre, but she’s just plain ‘ol Hannah with one earring in her ear, and quite frankly I am quite tired of explaining why she only has one earring, since it’s not exactly an exciting story, like the dog ate it.

Right, so back to my dilemma. The hole now appears to be closed. I tried the brush bristle trick with no luck. This means one of two options for us. Do I take her to be re-poked? Or do I just admit defeat, and take the other one out and let her decide for herself when she is older if she wants earrings or not? I am all for ear piercing; my concern is that she is much older now, much more aware of her surroundings and I feel bad about purposely inflicting pain on her when she is that much more aware. Also, she’s now at the age where she simply CANNOT leave things be.. that curious toddler stage where they have to touch everything, and I fear that she will tug on her ear endlessly and hinder the healing process. Or she may just yelp for those three minutes and be A-OK thereafter? Who knows!

My husband is no help at all. He says he likes her with one earring. Whatever. He just can’t bear the thought of his darling daughter crying in agony. Man up please. I need to make a decision before Christmas, because we definitely can’t have the one-earring-wonder, spoiling our Christmas card.