My husband and I are always looking for fun things to do in this “young kids phase” of our marriage and I am in the process of changing my wardrobe for the season.
I am the master of de-cluttering and I am very, very often throwing things out, by throwing out I mean gifting to others. I’m not so great with fashion and like most women I find myself standing in front of a full wardrobe with nothing to wear.
I sometimes reach the end of a season with clothes that still have their tags on. I’m a lover of all things black and comfortable.
I asked my husband if he would be keen to dress me for a week. He was very keen.
I set up some rules and did some preparation.
I tidied my cupboards to make his selection process a bit easier.
I showed him where everything is:
Skirts packed separately, pants, jackets, shoes, skirts, accessories, jewellery, handbags, specs or contact lenses and so on. (I think he forgot about the box of earrings, haha. I hardly ever wear them anyway)
I printed my diary with a weather forecast for the week. As with any mother or anyone for that matter, your diary is subject to change so I pasted it in the bathroom and any changes were to be indicated in pen.
This was a very, very funny exercise and we had so much fun!
7 – 17 Degrees
Meeting with Jellycat and Matchstick Monkey
Décor Shopping, Rosebank Mall
Sensory play activity with Poppet
Working from home
I had to postpone my meeting with Jellycat and Matchstick Monkey as I had a doctor’s appointment for Poppet, she had croup the week prior to this and needed to be checked out if she was recovered properly but I cancelled the doctor’s appointment as she was better and I decided to keep her home from school for another week for optimum recovery.
I was taught not to wear more than 3 colours together. My late grandmother taught me to dress for the season, not the weather. This doesn’t mean you have to freeze or sweat, it just means that your appearance resembles the season, the colours and textures, so you layer or whatever to accommodate the weather. She also taught me that my handbag has to match my shoes and not the dress for example. This might be old fashioned but I like it, even though I don’t always stick to it.
I think the scarf and bead combination is an over kill, I would have omitted that and would probably have worn something longer underneath the jersey. I always do that to flatter my hips and thighs. But it takes someone who loves our bodies the way they are to show us a different way.
Perhaps I would have chosen a burgundy scarf as well.
Monday’s outfit was super comfy and warm; I still wear so much of my preggy clothes. Leggings are just the bomb for moms on the go.
My husband bought these burgundy boots for me when I was pregnant. They are one size too big, I almost went two shoe sizes up when I was pregnant. These boots are perfectly comfortable whether I’m wearing no socks or even the thick Heat Holders from Dischem. They are handmade in Cape Town.
What would I have done differently?
I love all these items on their own but I would never have put them together like this. I don’t particularly like the beads around my neck, those were an impulse buy and I always used to make this mistake. I love beads and they look so lovely on other people but they really don’t suit me.
6 – 17 Degrees. 15% Light Rain.
Meeting with Impressionant Events.
Working on Web Content from home and Design Quarter
And I present to you more beads…
All the beads are promptly going into the gifting basket thanks to this exercise.
I absolutely love this jersey. I bought it recently and this just happened to be the first time to wear it. It’s super soft, I felt like the original Bashful Bunny straight from Jellycat London.
Something I did not do before this, was sort through things that don’t fit me properly anymore. These tights were SO uncomfortable around my waist. So, I spent the whole of Tuesday in tights that literally took my breath away. I recommend you sort through things that no longer fit before your husband selects a pair of jeans that are two sizes too small or big. My rules were that I wasn’t allowed to change anything that he laid out on the bed for me to wear and I also wouldn’t be in the room while he made the selection.
He revealed the outfit to me in the morning and then my reaction was a surprise. And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
I don’t often wear this handbag, it’s not quite tan, but a bit carrot-tan-like and I just don’t have colours to go with it but I guess it goes with a more burnt orange tint which is not my colour. I’ll have to give this bag some thought.
The skirt I had made.
I bought a black skirt very similar to this cut when I was living in the Middle East. I consider myself to be deeply spiritual and Religion and Politics are at the top of my Interests list.
All Religion, I am particularly fascinated by Islam and as a result knowledgeable in the way they live and practice, hence the choice of the Middle East. A Muslim client of mine also gave me the Quran in Afrikaans about 10 years ago.
I embarked on my own journey of “Eat Pray Love” inspired by author Elizabeth Gilbert after reading the book. The movie was, in my opinion, a really poor interpretation of the book. So I started in the Middle East, then went to Kenya and there my mission was cut short after four months due to the Al Shabaab terrorist attacks. After dodging enough bombs I returned to South Africa. The Universe is always in perfect order though, little did I know that the end of this journey would be right under my doorstep in Johannesburg where I would finally fall in love. I went to Cape Town on a final spiritual retreat, returned to Joburg to start a new job in digital medical media (I have a passion for medicine too, I’m known as the family pharmacist) and then I met my husband one Saturday morning when my dad and I went to watch the rugby at a pub in Bryanston. Rugby is another passion of mine.
Embarking on a personal take on “Eat Pray Love” was not as easy as it appeared to be from my interpretation of the book. Perhaps I am a bit closer to my family than the author. When you consciously decide to indulge in food and alcohol (I gained 30kg) your family members and parents in particular just see a child falling off the rails. Nobody has any understanding of your personal attempt in a journey of going to extremes to find yourself and what it is that you really, really, really want for yourself in life.
As parents and co-parents, we have children in our nests for 18 years and we know best or so we believe in order to give them the best we possibly can. When they leave the nest, we make our assumptions about their choices based on “facts”, made up in our minds, and we come to conclusions that they are making the wrong decisions and we can only leave them to live their own lives.
I seem to believe that is not really the case. We have no facts because we aren’t “in it”, just like the marriage of a friend or any other situation of someone else, we believe only what we see and assume. I learnt this lesson with my sister, once they leave that nest, we do not have any facts whatsoever, period. We are sometimes misled by our own interpretation.
This is a side-effect of empty nest syndrome that affects the lives of some parents until the day they die. (There are of course exceptions with domestic violence, etc.)
My own parents weren’t “in it” on my journey just like I am not “in it” on my half sister/half daughter’s journey.
Just because we as parents are right, does not mean that our children are wrong. They simply have not seen life from our side.
From Dubai to Nairobi to Cape Town to Joburg I searched, I prayed/meditated, I ate, I drank only to find that all the answers were in the present moment.
It was so worth it!
Among other things, I found the black skirt in Dubai, which has subsequently been gifted. The fabric is like a stretchy t-shirt material and black is my favourite colour. Work attire in Dubai is formal despite the weather. The black skirt was perfect for my overweight, plump and voluptuous figure.
After 3 years of wearing the black skirt at least once a week it was totally expired. My favourite skirt was due to be gifted and I was distraught.
When I was pregnant I bought a few bibs from Eat Play Love for the Poppet online. They included a blanket-like swaddle kind of thing that must have been an off-cut as a “Thank You” and the fabric was very similar to the stretchy cotton of my favourite, black, expired skirt. It had this lace print on it, but in a lilac colour that I wouldn’t normally choose for myself. I am like a moth to a flame when it comes to lace!
I don’t consider myself to be “on trend” and often can’t find what I have in mind in the shops so I have clothes made.
So, this blanket-like-swaddle-thing came with me to my tailor with my favourite expired skirt and I had a black skirt made as well as this one that my husband chose for Tuesday.
I have never worn it since I don’t have anything to match this lilac colour (or so I thought) and it’s not as slimming as the black one so it’s natural to reach for black instead.
I think it’s not too bad with grey and will probably work with black and charcoal too so I will definitely wear it more often now.
7 – 18 Degrees. No Rain.
Meeting with Bugs Unlimited
Poppet’s Messy Mee Play Class at Bub Hub
Working on web Content from Bryanston Centre
I didn’t take Poppet to Messy Mee during this particular week as we were keeping her home to recover properly and also to protect the other kiddos.
I see too many colours going on here, but I must say my husband really surprised me. I never thought he would be able to put outfits like some of these together.
This fluffy scarf and this reversible leather hand bag are two of my favourites.
What would I have done differently?
I would probably have stuck to olive green and navy for this outfit with only the boots in brown.
We have a little family meeting after work every single day without fail. We pour a drink, put the Poppet in her hammock and chat about our day, highs and lows, we voice our gratitude and share whatever we found was a bit difficult.
My husband and I have completely different backgrounds in business with strengths and weaknesses on different subjects, both having worked in corporate and small businesses, media and publishing and we share an inherent passion for sales and marketing.
My husband owns a printing business, he doesn’t have a press, it’s based on a print management model.
I’m a waffler, seldom stick to the subject at hand and I’m fortunate that my husband is very interested to hear about the finest detail of what happened in my day.
Both of us work from home.
He leaves home at 06:00 on a Wednesday morning. He belongs to BNI (Business Networking International). Wednesday mornings our whole household is up with the sparrows.
On this particular Wednesday, more so than others, there were just not enough hours in the day. I’ve been trying to knuckle down to get my website up and running, chasing deadlines (which I set for myself) and it’s been tough but a whole lot of fun!
On Wednesday night I worked past midnight into Thursday morning.
This resulted in missing our family time meeting on Wednesday, we missed it every day until Saturday so on Saturday night we had a nice and long chill out session on the balcony to finally catch up.
My time with my family is so important to me and this is why I am still not giving in to requests for a live weekly Facebook chat.
I try to be done with electronic devices by 5 PM and just enjoy my family. No camera day is my favourite day and I love our weekends away where we have no signal.
There’s no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you that you will find a better connection.
6 – 18 Degrees. No Rain.
Mama Magic Expo.
Working on Web Content from home and out and about.
This did not happen. I got up so tired from working past midnight I was desperately considering a pajama day but for the purposes of this exercise I opted for no make-up and no bra day instead.
The Poppet was enjoying pajama day every day this week as she was in recovery mode.
I swopped Thursday and Friday to go to the Expo the following day. Thank goodness it wasn’t a one day only event.
Working from home was the best I could do.
These leggings are a comfort favourite. The jersey is from last winter, I also wore it when I was pregnant and I think it’s a bit stretched and expired. It will go into the gifting basket now. The scarf is actually a summer scarf that my husband bought for me when we were on honeymoon. The necklace-sort-of-thing is a beautiful crochet and button ensemble that I would never pair with this pajama-like outfit. I love most things crochet and knitted, I’m trying to teach myself to do it, just for fun.
6 – 18 Degrees. No Rain.
Working on Web Content from home and out and about.
I went to Mama Magic to make up for Thursday and it was great fun.
Originally I would have spent half the day working from home and the other half out. My husband, Charity and I all work from home and I find that I get much more done when I’m out. I think it’s the same for my husband. Working from home is easier said than done. Especially if there are 3 of you in a small space plus a baby. We end up asking each other questions all the time and interrupting each other’s work. I get questions like “Must I take my antibiotic or my probiotic first?”, “Should I change the bedding today?” If I’m not there, things just happen. They don’t really need me there and they are perfectly capable of making all the decisions and finding stuff but when I’m there it’s easier to ask the mommy where the backup charger is than to actually look for it. I do the same to them. If they’re there I ask them, if they’re not, I’ll find it myself.
That said, the family is never an interruption of work because they are the most important work but getting through your stuff with an average of 5 questions per hour and no questions at all makes a big difference.
But, when I go and work out, I miss them. I miss getting up to play with Poppet for half an hour or having lunch with my husband. I try to balance it but this particular week was an exception for the website to launch.
My husband is super supportive and understanding and it goes both ways. There are times when he has a project that requires extra time and we both just make it happen, keeping in mind that family is first and we are mindful of things like missing family time meeting.
My husband usually does bath time with Poppet and puts her down, but because I was at the Expo all day I spent some time with her in the nursery and gave her a bath before he put her down.
We proceeded to pour drinks and go for a mini date night on the balcony with baby monitor in tow.
By 19:30 she started vomiting and I mean vomiting. Every 20 minutes, until it was on the hour.
My husband and I are such a winning team, one over the bath with the baby, one cleaning the bedroom while the other cleans the baby, then one on rinsing duty and the next load of laundry. At one stage he was holding her over the bath while I was in tears and helpless on the floor, this was round 6 when he eventually told me to leave the bathroom and rather stick to the laundry production line and he will bring her for me to clean when she’s done.
By the time we put her down again in a spotless cot with the very last clean sheet and sleeping bag, we were both on the kitchen floor, staring at the miraculous invention that is the washing machine, pretty much covered in vomit.
We just burst out laughing. There is truly a beauty to be found in every moment of parenting.
By this time, I started wondering what we were going to do next because our batteries were running flat. Perhaps it’s a better idea for one parent to do the night shift in these cases and sleep when the other one takes over?
By sunrise, I contacted our superstar Charity and gathered the troops for the battlefield.
7 – 20 Degrees. Sunny.
Blogging from Design Quarter
This did not happen.
Here I am on Saturday morning sporting Friday’s makeup, smelling of vomit but at least my husband chose a super comfy outfit and a rather nice embroidered top. I just love embroidery, this one is machine embroidered.
We had a baby with viral gastro and I started gathering troops for dehydration prevention.
Dehydration is not something that I play with, especially not in a baby and I was tempted to have her admitted to prevent this instead of treating it. Since there was no sign of diarrhoea (at that stage) and it was still early I made an emergency appointment with the doc first.
I stopped counting the number of times we bathed the baby and Ian and I at least changed into clean clothes (again) before going to the doctor at 09:00.
So on Saturday, after I had not yet had my shower, this is the outfit my husband chose for me.
We got some really helpful instructions from the doctor and an hourly call from the GP for us to report on the latest after she spoke to the Paediatrician so she could advise whether the Paed would have to admit her or not. The Poppet was only very mildly dehydrated at the time that the doc saw her and they were confident that we would be able to get the fluid up ourselves. I was keen to admit for prevention but it can be very traumatic for them at this age because they don’t understand the concept of lying still so a hydration drip can do its magic.
By midday, the diarrhoea started so we had a clear diagnosis of viral gastro but by this time she had kept enough fluid down.
This means that by 12:00 my embroidered top had joined the laundry party and I was into the next outfit. I think my husband was only too happy that he only had to choose one outfit per day.
By 13:00 she had some food and this thankfully stayed down too.
Charity came to save the day so we had all hands on deck to lie down, stroke hair, read books, attempt a little game and provide comfort.
By 19:00 she was fast asleep with a full tummy and we had Charity there to be on night duty and alert us but thankfully we were out of the dehydration danger zone.
We all had lovely, lovely, very well deserved showers (Clean Running Water was at the top of the gratitude list on Saturday) and Ian cooked a beautiful supper.
My husband and I had a movie night in the bedroom, passed out and woke up to a friendly baby who slept through the night and was recovered from a 24h gastro bug.
In the newborn phase, I consciously made time for a shower at least once a day. I have heard that this is important for moms suffering PND too. I missed my shower on one day, she was 13 days old and that was a long day, only because I never showered. Let’s face it, moms, you’re sore, you’re bleeding like a pig, your brand new precious bundle has hit your house like a tsunami and when you’re feeling overwhelmed the simple pleasure of a shower can make you feel like a million bucks and ready to take on the world, no matter how tired you are.
7 – 20 Degrees. Sunny.
Blogging from Design Quarter
I bought this skirt on sale from MIMCO, it’s a lovely knitted fabric and so nice and warm. I have a similar one in black, and tend to reach for the black one.
My husband said; “If it weren’t for me babe, this skirt would still have the tag on at the end of the season”. He’s probably right.
What would I have done differently?
I would never pair that scarf with that top. The textures are too different. Fluffy casual scarf with formal kinda lacy top? I love you babe but no.
Normally I would rather wear a black skirt with a grey top and if I were wearing a grey skirt I would probably wear grey on top too and a different colour accessory or jacket.
The boots are more than 10 years old and the softest leather ever. I’ve had them resoled twice. I just love Ian’s choice of hand bag for this outfit, I would never have thought of that myself.
It’s so nice to reflect on a week and feel that life is back to normal now that your baby is well again. But looking back at the week, that is pretty much what life is about, isn’t it?
That was a perfectly normal week as life presents itself in the most beautiful ways with it’s ups and downs like waves of the ocean.
And tomorrow is Monday, our favourite day of the week. Roll on Monday.
And Make Monday Matter.
Things I did NOT do in this little dressing game;
- Tell my husband that his selections sucked
- Tell him what I would have done differently
- Tell him that he forgot to look at all the bags/jewels, etc.
- Pack away things that no longer fit (wish I did, especially for Tuesday)
- Tell other people that my husband dressed me
Things I DID do in this dressing game;
- Laughed A LOT
- Had fun with my husband
- Tidied my cupboard
- Started with a full laundry basket, so most of my favourites would not feature
- Found out what more I need for the season (from my husband’s mouth)
- Praised my husband for his great ideas that I would never have thought of myself
- Share it to possibly inspire another mom to do the same, we can learn from our partners, yes, about fashion, about our bodies!
I hope he gives me the opportunity to dress him for a week too! He too has a lot in his wardrobe that he doesn’t wear.
With Love and Gratitude,