Just Skip It!

Yesterday I went to an event on Cardiac health, and when we left we were each given a thank you gift, in this case it was a “Fit Body Box”.

FitBodyBox

Inside the box there’s a skipping rope, a pedometer, a scale and a tape measure that can also calculate your BMI.

FitBodyBoxContents

This morning I skipped. With the skipping rope. For the first time since I was in primary school.

I didn’t even manage 2 minutes before I had to stop – with the step-step style skipping not the two-feet-hopping type of skip – but considering my BMI is 37 and there are few things more uncomfortable than running or skipping with my boobs, I think its not a bad start.

Baby steps.

Or should I say, baby skips…?

😀

How To Arrange A Phenomenal Baby Shower

Whilst merrily cruising Pinterest this morning, I came across a number of pins about baby shower games and decorations.
I’ve organised and thrown several baby showers, and they were pretty cool if I say so myself. And in throwing those parties I learned a number of things about the guests and the moms-to-be.

The most important thing to me is to ASK the soon-to-be-mommy what kind of shower she would like! Keep it in mind if she’s not one for dress up and party games. Keeping the guests happy is secondary to making sure the mommy has happy memories. If the expectant couple would like a joint party- especially if its their first baby- then do that! Arrange the kind of bash where men and women will be comfortable in celebrating the new baby.
And in my humble opinion, baby showers are about celebrating the pending birth of every child, not just supplying a first-time mom with baby goodies.
Tradition be damned!

When it comes to surprising a mom-to-be with a baby shower, keep in mind that she is most likely nearing the end of her pregnancy, and whilst it may seem fun to do- she may not feel like she’s “glowing” and dressing her up like huge baby may not go down well…
You can surprise her with a theme and decorations and gifts, but at least give her a heads’ up on the date so she can put on some make up. She is most likely going to be photographed after all.

With party games, there is a long list that can make a shower fun for the guests and for mommy, like Don’t Say Baby and Mad Libs, but remember that if you want to play games and hand out prizes- quizzes and crosswords and puzzles mean someone is going to have to sit and check them in order to pick a winner- missing out on the fun whilst they do. Games where the guest of honour can quickly choose a winner are best.
And personally, my least favourite game is Guess Mom’s Measurements!

Keeping track of who brought what gift for mom and baby can be tricky. You can get someone to make notes as the gifts are opened but if you’re getting mommy to guess who its from or what is inside this could get confusing. The coolest shortcut I ever came up with was getting the guests to write down their gift’s contents in the guestbook along with their wishes and advice for mom and baby! That way there will be a proper record for mom to look back on and write thank you notes with.

For the guests, there really is only so many times you can say “Aaaawwww…” and “Thats so kyoooot…” whilst mommy unwraps her gifts!
Try mixing it up! This does mean you- as the organiser- may have to keep an eye on the proceedings and play the role of emcee, declaring it game time or  stopping the unwrapping process to get everyone to top up their refreshments. Even if you aren’t playing any games, taking a break to fill teacups and cake plates means people mingle a little and get to talk to the baby mommy.
And if you’re not big on “public speaking” then perhaps ask someone to do it for you.

A happy guest of honour and happy guests is the aim of the game! Good food and mingling is a HUGE step in the right direction- you don’t need expensive party favours and decorations if you get the balance right!

Merry Happy And All That Jazz!!

I love Christmas. The decorations, the songs, the family, the holiday, the giving, the sharing, the memories.

Our big Christmas tree in the living room – all tinsel and round baubles with some candy canes inbetween

Christmas has always been a big event in my family, on both my mom’s and dad’s side. A time spent with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We’d alternate and spend one year with my dad’s family and the following year with my mom’s family.
When I remember my childhood Christmases I think of slip-n-slides, horse riding, swimming in farm dams, motorbike riding, milking cows, hiking in the White Umfolozi gorge and roadtrips. I think of padkos, putting on concerts, waking up too early for the grown ups, Boney-M records, playing board games with my cousins, mountains of gifts under the tree and waiting (not so) patiently for whichever grampa we were visiting to wake up and hand out gifts. I remember having to take a pee next to a 2 lane highway on a trip to the coast. I remember my dad meticulously packing the car for six of us, and the boot on the van popping open, spilling our luggage across an intersection halfway to our destination. I remember our cars breaking down and I remember my daddy darling driving us halfway because he was working extra shifts, and being driven the rest of the way by our grandad with our dad then joining us in time for presents. I remember special Christmas parties with my Ouma and just her grandchildren, with her taking us to the snake park and the zoo and the ballet and pantomimes. And traditional Christmas turkey dinner with all the trimmings. And paper crowns and crackers. And nuts still in their shells.
And how strange it was the first time my parents and siblings went on holiday without me!
And creating our own traditions.

This year I even have a small tree in my kitchen!

You know, I spent more than ten years working for a company that didn’t allow its operational staff to take leave during its busiest business season, and I was down in the dumps for at least a month every year because I could never get over the feeling that I was missing out. I musta been a bitch to work with…
But oh how things have changed…
This will be my 7th Christmas holiday in a row, and the 6th Christmas spent with my darling Glugster. We don’t go overboard with Christmas gifts, but we do spend a lot of time with family and friends and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I hope that my knucklehead will one day have good memories of his Christmases.

 

My mommy & daddy darling’s Christmas tree – with some decorations older than I am and handled by several generations of our family!

My all time favourite Christmas song sung by ol’ blue eyes himself… I expect you to sing along y’hear!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Music composed by Hugh Martin, lyrics by Ralph Blane

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Annual Sibling Supper, Number Eleven!

On Friday night it was once again time for our annual Sibling Supper, where my three siblings and I get together for a bit of a Christmas celebration.
Since we’re all grown ups with our own families, we don’t always get to spend Christmas together. And because our family is a big one, we decided several years ago that we won’t all buy gifts for everyone in our “clan” because it gets insanely expensive.

So we have a “Sibling Supper” instead, and this year was our eleventh one!

Now, as a bit of a disclaimer, bear in mind when you read about our Christmas party and see pictures of our gifts- given and received- that taste is relative. Something I consider hideous may be seen as simply GAWjiss by someone else. By no means do we want to insult anyone’s taste when we label our gifts as horrendous and/ or kitsch. In fact, over the years we have each received something we actually rather liked, that was considered dreadful by the sibling who gave it away!
The funniest part is trying to explain the presence of these, um… atrocities… *coff* in your house for the following year! Some people like it, some people say they like it because they don’t know what to say, and some people flat ignore it rather than question it!

By ways of an explanation, here are the “rules” for the gifts we give:

  1. Give the most kitsch, kak, useless, ugly thing possible!
  2. The aim is not to splurge “money-wise”, cheap and nasty is the catch phrase.
  3. Size doesn’t matter.
  4. You then have to display the item you receive, in your house until it is replaced the following year with a new one.
  5. You may not “display” the item in the toilet window behind the curtains- it has to be prominently visible.
  6. If it breaks it has to be mended and put back on display, and it may not “get lost”.

I was looking back over the history of our sibling suppers, and by some miracle it seems I have never been the recipient of one of my brother’s dreadful gifts! My sister B has got her last SIX gifts from da Bruvva, sister C has received hers equally from the rest of us, and da Bruvva has also received gifts from all three of his sisters, but more from me than from sister B and sister C.
As a result, I received da Bruvva’s gift by default this year, and our mommy darling decided how the other three gifts were handed out- sister B and sister C switched gifts and da Bruvva and I switched gifts. That way it was still a random draw, but we didn’t pull names out of a Christmas stocking.

Sister C was our host this year, and she set a pretty table with candles and nuts to crack, and she served a delicious roast chicken with sister B’s rice and veggies and my salad. Da Bruvva brought ice cream for dessert and once again we didn’t get to the pudding, and for a starter of sorts I took along stuffed eggs and I made a salad.

We had great fun reminiscing and chatting as the chicken was carved and dinner served, and then we did the gift swop! Much hilarity ensued, and my gift (which da Bruvva got) was unanimously voted the worst which made me the winner!

Then we played Buzz on the PS2! It was so much fun! The characters you can choose from are very comical and we discovered that when the winner of each round is announced you can animate your character by pushing the buttons on your controller!

OMG! A #DKR Package From @AyobaMTN!

Thank goodness I had make up on!

Okay. So whilst my knucklehead may not agree with me if I claim to be a geek, I believe I am one… Gadgets have me doing my best Gollum impression, surfing the web is a necessity, and movies based on comic books are the AW-SUUUUM (use a sing-song voice for that part)!

I had a visit from a tuxedo’d courier- replete with white gloves- bearing a beribboned black box on a silver tray! And I said I was glad I had make up on because he was followed by a photographer! I had two crazy-excited Labrador puppies on leashes and my two older dogs were bouncing all over the place, and this guy in his white waistcoat maintained his dignity without flinching!

So what was inside the box, I hear you ask!?

Well, there was a personalised invitation to me and my “superhero husband” (with an instruction to find a sitter for our guide-dog puppies) to go and see The Dark Knight Rises at the uber snazzy Cine Prestige! To say I was squealing with delight is an understatement, and I know my superhero husband would have been far more effusive had he not had an office full of people able to hear his end of the conversation when I called him to tell him!

Also in the box was a bobble-head Batman! I’ve never had a bobble-head doll and now I have the coolest one ever! And naturally when my darling Glugster and my knucklehead got home from work we argued over who it would belong to!

I have decided its mine.

Of course.

I’ll tell you all about the movie and Ster Kinekor’s Cine Prestige next week!

Check out @AyobaMTN and The Dark Knight Rises, on Facebook.