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Sweeeeeet! I do a bit of work from home and the phone calls are almost impossible. The kids whine, ask for something, tell me they need to do a poo, cry or play with their noisiest toys. So the younger one gets put in his cot for a few minutes (he seems to enjoy it) and they older one gets lollies. Do you find you're more productive at home, or at the office? I find I get too distracted at home (washing to be done, kids need something, whatever) - at the office with nothing else to do (bliss!!!) I get a hell of a lot more done. But I like being there for the kids.

Working at your Mum's sounds awesome. I should try that. My mum, that is...not yours!

Oh, an I think twins shout more because they have competition. My first girl was soooooo quiet. But since my son has come along they are BOTH loud!

From my mom's house would def be my option. I popped into my mom's yesterday and by chance she had a pot of home made soup on the go. Hmmmm - delicious. Mom's toally rock!

PS - love you car. We have one too and I LOVE IT! Bryce points out the circle and triangle everytime he is in the front seat. (the door lock button and the hazzard lights.) My child - like yours - is a genius. :-)

Bianca, us too. My kids press the door lock and hazards buttons all the time!! Dont tell Marko though, they aren't supposed to be playing in the car.

DUDE. my child has one volume and i think it is permanantley stuck on TEN. my MIL is a schoolteacher and she always says that if you talk to kids quietly then they will be quiet in return but so far that hasnt worked. and for a while i thought he had a hearing problem but now i don't think he does. he's just LOUD. ALL THE TIME. sometimes it is fine and other days i am all like OH MY GOD WE HAVE ONLY BEEN AWAKE FIVE MINUTES CAN WE PLEASE HAVE QUIET UNTIL I'VE FINISHED BREAKFAST!?
and then i wonder where he gets it from.

Small children are the means by which energy is converted to noise.
I'm surprised all mothers don't become Quakers, just so they can go to meeting and have one hour of quiet a week.
Also, could I work at your mom's house? Sounds divine (what did she bake?).

I've just now remembered that we used to call ourselves The Loud Family.

Kids like to shout. I use the old daycare trick of speaking quieter and quieter until I'm almost whispering, they keep getting quieter too, it really works. Also, telling them I can't understand them if they shout works too (actually I tell them that monkeys scream and shout, and I don't speak monkey) A lot of times kids are shouting or talking loudly because there is too much ambient noise, and their young ears/minds are unable to tune it out, and they think they must shout over it. Turning off videos, TV, radio, loud annoying toys, and other background chatter tends to bring down the volume too.

Is that picture flipped, or do you drive on the wrong side of the road in SA? I had no idea...

ED, I think you mean the RIGHT (as in correct) side of the road? It is you crazy Americans who drive on the wrong side of the road.

Yes, we drive on the left. I think we do the same as the Brits? Don't they also drive on the left?

The poor American's get very flustered when they drive in South Africa because we firstly all drive manual / stick shift cars (apparently you don't?), and secondly we drive on the left.

I made a pitiful attempt at working from the house when the twins were 18 months old. NOT!!! Lost that job because of them being so distracting!

Re; the screaming... well, mine have decided it is very much fun to try to "Out Shout" each other at the dinner table. They are not saying anything at all. Just screaming to hear themselves scream. I am sensitive to noise (you have discussed this previously) and sometimes my eardrums actually start to vibrate and i wince at the noise level.
That's when i leave the kitchen and have to into another room away from them and their noise.
Not fun.

"Plus I always need to pee and then what to do I do with my laptop? I have to pack the whole thing up and take it with me."

I always work in a small, safe little coffeeshop with a crappy laptop no one would want, so I just get up, go and come back.

But, obviously not the option for everyone. Why don't you get a laptop lock? The laptop has a space for a laptop lock to plug into, a four digit code that you plug in, and then it works like a bike lcok, and you can attack it maybe to a table? Just an idea!

Tertia- Hello fellow IBM'er! I work for IBM here in the U.S., for the last 13 years, and I too work from home (mostly) and any other nook and crannie. The reason I stay is the flexibilty, and aren't we lucky?

Just wanted to say that I am not a regular commenter in your blog, but I've been reading here for a long time for your suberb writing (and humor!) Cheers!

It is funny to see a picture of the inside of your car-- at first I was thrown for a loop-- everything is backwards-- then I realized where it is you live...

How nice that you have such flexibility!

It is funny to see a picture of the inside of your car-- at first I was thrown for a loop-- everything is backwards-- then I realized where it is you live...

How nice that you have such flexibility!

My children shout, too. And there seems to be a direct relationship between the importance of the call and the volume of the shouting. Talking to my friend Jo? Not that loud; bearable. Talking to the doctor of one child who is very sick? The other two yell as if they're being eaten alive. And if I'm on a "phone tree," where I've had to enter my account number, and birthday, and press 1 for this and 2 for that and then it'll tell me what I want to know? They'll wait until the recording gets to the good part and all shriek at once like the rapture is upon us. SIGH...

My non-twin children are loud. Loud LOUD LOUDER! LOUDEST! I just want them to shut up sometimes.

I miss IBM.

I second Tamsen's suggestion about getting a laptop lock. All the students and researchers use them in the libraries here. Some people leave their locked laptops unattended for hours, but, then again, a big research library in Germany that requires an ID to enter and has guards is not exactly a hot-bed for theft. Even though those locks are not completely theft-proof, if you're only going to leave the computer alone for five minutes while you use the toilet it's perfect.

Also, there's a program for Apple computers called iAlertU that functions like a car alarm for your laptop. If someone touches the trackpad or keyboard or even moves it an alarm sounds and it uses the built-in camera to take a picture of who did it that it will then email to you (although I have yet to get the email function to work; they're still debugging the program).

We drive on the left in Australia too, so the car looked perfectly normal to me (no wait, it looked too clean come to think of it...)

Hi, Tertia. Another backward American here who had to double take at the position of the steering wheel. I personally love to drive the sticks, but no one buys them here because they don't hold their value. Everyone wants an automatic. Anyway, thought I'd move up from lurker status and say thank you for sharing how you work and play with twins. I've got 17 month old boy twins who I love dearly but wonder sometimes if I'm actually going to survive their childhood. So, the little tips like 'buy two of everything' really helps!

It is possible to rent an automatic car in South Africa-- I did it recently-- but you have to request it from the car rental agency and pay extra. Not everybody in South Africa drives manual/stick-- my aunt and uncle both have automatic cars, but they are a little unusual. You have to take your driving test in South Africa on an manual/stick, so everyone knows how (unlike in the US).

Driving on the other side of the road is scary at first but you get used to it after about 3 days. The most frustrating part is the fact that the windscreen wiper control and the turn signal control are on opposite sides of the steering wheel. So, I would try to indicate I was changing and then my wipers would come on instead! Oh the cursing that ensued! Fortunately I was in mellow Port Elizabeth and not in Jo'burg or Cape Town because those big city drivers would have run me over!

this is just me being an ol scaredy cat - is it safe for you to be sitting in your car, immersed in whats going on on your laptop? Is there any chance of a smash and grab?

Kids shout to get over the other kid(s) that is around. Mine do that to. Drives me nuts.

I do have a cable lock thingy (standard IBM issue as well, comes with the laptop) and I have actually done that before, but I am so paranoid someone will steal the whole table with my laptop attached. But yes, that is an option. Must do it more often.

what kind of phone ? the camera seems good. yes?
thanks-you make me laugh too-i loved the big nose photo.
i am the only one of 3 sisters who got the "distingusted nose"

my oldest child doesn't shout. he simply stares mindlessly at ... whatever he's starting at mindlessly. even covering his eyes (so he can stare mindlessly at the palms of my hands) doesn't work. child deliberately ignores me. so now to get his attention i grab him by a foot and (literally) drag him into another room. fun fun.

Be glad you can hear your child. Mine speaks very, very softly. I swear he does it to annoy me, so that I have to ask him, "Will you please repeat yourself?" multiple times. It ensures he has my full attention...

You are very lucky indeed. I would be scared of a hijacking in my car. LOL Love South Africa dammit. :o)

PS. Kids cannot TALK, it is impossible. They have to SHOUT.

My first thought when I saw the inside of your car wasn't about position of the steering wheel or any of that (I'm in the US, so I can see where this pic might throw quite a few), it was, "She is NOT driving and blogging! Please say no!" Haha, then I read how you were pulled over.

So very very proud of your responsibility-ness! I can tell you from observation here that there ARE people who would think nothing of opening their laptop and working on it while driving! EEKS!

Your car looks like it's a nice one.... even if it is backwards! ;)

My daughter is an only child (at least for another 6 months) and she has always shouted. No matter how quietly we talk to her (and no matter how quiet we keep the house) and how many times we explain that it's not nice to shout, it hurts our ears, etc, etc she still does it. I don't think she even understands that she is shouting, it's just the easiest way for her to get her thoughts out quickly I guess.

When I visited SA 2 summers ago, we met with a blogger friend and she took us somewhere in her car. The whole time I was in the front, I felt like I should've been driving since back home, that's the driver's seat. It was fun!

My daughter is extremely loud too. I think it's a kid thing, although some are definitely louder than others. My daughter's voice can always be heard above the other kids'.

teehee- i also have a loud child! i spend a lot of time suggesting gently that he lower the volume..
i would love to be able to work like that! you know, my boss is immensely tolerant and helpful and is more than willing to give me time off and such if its justified, and he doesn't make me feel guilty about it either! its amazing!

Yes, we do drive on the correct side of the road in the UK. Also, in response to someone further up, we have separate driving licenses here for automatic and manual driving. If you take the manual license, you can drive both but you can only drive an automatic if you have the automatic license. Also automatics drink a lot more petrol (about 20% springs to mind, but could be wrong) which is a serious concern for us when a litre (quart) of petrol costs nearly $2 US.

Mega is either yelling or whispering. I doubt that a normal volume exists for that child. Skeeter, who is not yet a year old, makes his horrendous noise that makes me think of a howler monkey. He makes that noise quite often. No wonder my head feels like exploding most days! I think my favorite time is right when the boys wake up. "NEEDA BI-PER MOMMA!" "Have it some breakfast?" "HAVE IT SOME!! SHARE MUMMA!!!" "Cookin'?" "HAVE IT SOME!!!" :-)

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