What a hectic weekend. I’m not sure what happened to Saturday but Sunday was busy.
The Workaholic was in a three man kayak race for charity. His leg of the race was the third, from our local beach to the finish, a few bays around. We also fitted in breakfast out, swimming lessons, dog to the park and a trip to the hardware store, phew. But best of all I got an hours nap on my own, somewhere amongst all the chaos!
But back to why I started this post. I have recently become a member of Mommy Hot Spot, which I am very excited about. Mommy Hot Spot brings together mothers from all over the world and enables us to share ideas about being mommies/mummies. There is a Daddy’s corner too which is well worth checking out.
Their badge is over on the right hand side bar for future reference. If you like my blog you can vote everyday if you wish. But only once a day from each IP address please. When you click to vote you will be taken to the Mommy Hot Spot page and then you can check out all the latest news at the same time.
Hope you all had great weekends.
This afternoon two three year olds set up their baseball set with much excitement and anticipation
And then the game moved to another level
But finally it was resolved
It was so completely raining cats and dogs in Sydney this morning so the trek to preschool was anticipated to be a disaster (only by me of course). Much excitement was to be had with gumboots donned and umbrellas being lashed about in the back seat like something out of a Zorro film. (Who remembers Zorro?)
Then the threat had to come (from me of course). If the ladybird and Thomas the Tank Engine umbrellas did not stay still then they would be confiscated and put in the boot. That included poking me in the head, poking themselves or each other, oh, and the dog. Poor George. And, “gumboots must not be worn in preschool so you WILL change over to your shoes when we get there”. This was a directive rather than anything else, said in my very best serious tone. All agreed to comply instantly as umbrellas and gumboots are pre-schooler fashion accessories and nobody wants to lose that privilege. Everything went amazingly smoothly. Don’t get me wrong, I love “smooth”. But it seems to me that there are days when you think everything is going to go well and it inevitably doesn’t. Then there are the days like today where a difficult transition is handled by the twiddling two with much decorum. The hardest thing about raising children is not knowing what is going to happen next and never really being able to prepare yourself fully for it!
Adding to the mix this morning were the dress up clothes left on the couch last night (not mine). The Workaholic arrived home late from a conference in Victoria with clothing from a Hawaiian night (as you do!). By the time I ventured downstairs both were ensconced in full regalia. So cute but not as cute as George. I used to dress my cat when I was three so why not the dog. We didn’t take him to pre-school this morning looking like that of course, but probably only because the dress ups would have got horribly wet. Poor George! (again…)
Most of my friends in New Zealand have grown up children or teenagers and so are past toys. Well, actually I have been told that the toys just get smaller and more expensive as they get older, i.e. iphones, i-anythings
But I do have a few that frequented toy libraries when the children were younger. I always thought the toys that they got were fantastic and for a small fee you could get a really large toy for a week. Given that kids have a short attention span and get bored easily with their toys it was a no brainer that you would hire the bigger toys.
So I dutifully joined one of my local libraries and took the twins for their first visit. Of course they thought it was a play group and tried out all the toys which the owners didn’t seem to mind. I soon discovered that my idea of getting them to take turns choosing a toy each week wasn’t going to work. There were several meltdowns over whose turn it was before I started going on days they were at preschool.
I have been on a mission to find great puzzles as Little Miss in particular loves them. Pre-school also told me that puzzles help them with learning to space out words when they write (who would have thought). At the toy library I go to they have drawers of jigsaws and they are truly beautiful. Lovely wooden colourful puzzles, some that are two layered and even three layered. I have taken a few photos of my latest purchases. For about $2-3 rental each they are remarkable value for money and next week I can go and get some different ones. So makes sense to me. The train puzzle in the image below is $27 retail. Buying toys for twins can be an exceedingly expensive process.
I am not sure if those of you in the other Hemisphere have access to toy libraries but if you do check them out. You might be amazed at what you find.
The last few days it has been tummy bugs and colds all round for us. So far Master and I have managed to sidestep the bug but Miss hasn’t been so lucky. She recovered beautifully within 24 hours though. The Workaholic didn’t get off so lightly. He had to work from home yesterday so he didn’t spread it through the office (and rushing to the bathroom all day isn’t a good work look). Today he looks pale but is feeling better and trotted dutifully off to work this morning.
Anyway, it brought back memories of what it was like when the twins both had gastro when they were 8 months old. The Workaholic was away on a conference but luckily I didn’t get it until he got home. It was a bonus to have two cots so I could put two in one cot while I changed bedding in the other. Then I could leave one in the clean cot while I bathed the other at 2am. I then started thinking about all the baby things that I wish I had been told about as soon as the twins were born.
Here is a list of what I wish I knew from day one:
- Learn to wrap well and use 120cm x 120cm cotton stretchy wraps
- Buy two of the same cuddlies each. I had to send to London for a 2nd one for Master. You have a clean one while one is in the wash
- Buy different coloured pacifiers (dummies) for each twin then you never mix them up
- Watch the DBL (Dunstan Baby Language) video and watch out for the neh (naa) and the owh. It was easy to hear them. Made life a lot easier
- Have different coloured wash cloths for the bath
- Get two bath supports so you can use the family bath rather than lifting and emptying heavy baby baths
- Two different coloured bowls for feeding solids so you know how much each has eaten
- Put different coloured spots on milk bottles so you know who they belong to
- Keep a diary of feeds, sleeps and bathroom habits.
Another week nearly at an end. I think we will all need a low key weekend to recharge our batteries.
To all the Irish, happy St Patrick’s Day. We attended our good friends St Patrick’s Day party on Saturday night. It was great fun as all Irish events are. The band was fabulous and had everybody joining in with singing and drum beating. There was plenty of Guinness and Kilkenny to go around and the weather was fantastic. I still have my shamrock tattoo on my hand. The Workaholic’s wore off over the weekend – lucky because it was in the middle of his forehead.
Whenever we attend a party in this area it seems to be that at least half the guests are ex-pats and I include inter-state in that segment. Saturday night was no exception. There were Greeks, New Zealanders, English, Scottish, Irish, South Africans, Tasmanians, Queenslanders and that was just the people that I met. So we got to have a whinge about all the Australian things that annoy us. The biggest whinge on Saturday night appeared to be the cost of a sitter so guests could get to the party.
This is definitely a problem for all ex-pats and a topic that we think we know a lot about and spend far too much time debating. If we didn’t pay the fees though we wouldn’t go anywhere and that defeats the purpose of living in another country doesn’t it? Take for example a wedding that we have been invited to. It happens to be on a pre-school day so we can go to the wedding then pick up the twins and bring them home to the sitter who can do dinner, bed, bath while we go back to the reception (probably late). Its an expensive process if you have to buy a new dress, gift and childcare, but it is just what you have to do to feel part of society.
I think the best idea is to find a sitter who is reliable and never give his/her number to anybody else. That also was part of the conversation at the party. The fear of losing a sitter and how awful we feel that we don’t share numbers very often. It certainly takes a special person to do the nighttime routine for my two. They are constantly riling each other up and sometimes I am so wet during the bath that I might as well get in and join them. The sitter we have is great and I don’t know what we would do without her.
So sorry, no numbers today folks! You will have to ask me when I am in a more generous ex-pat mood!
When the babies were little (14 days old actually) one of my helpers recommended we keep a diary of their day. This was not any ordinary diary. My helper purchased an A4 business diary with full page days and she divided each day into two columns. She also bought a matching pack of sharpened pencils and an eraser. And so the twin diaries were born…
Some of the ladies in my mothers group are onto their second babies and so quite often our talk is about feeding and sleeping. I just can’t remember what I did when mine were little so I am pleased I have the diary to look back on. But………..I haven’t been able to bring myself to get it out. It was placed in the twins special keepsake box at the end of the first year. And is now probably buried beneath all the items I have thrown in over the last two years. Things like first paintings, first shoes, and my childhood bassinet blanket.
This diary holds some of the most amazing memories for me. It recorded their sleep times, food, play, outings and bathroom habits for the first year of their life. Nobody I know has done this and I am sure people thought I was crazy. But it helped me to keep track of the amount of fluid they were taking but in particular the amount of sleep they were getting. Teaching them to self settle seemed to take forever and a lot of time they would go to sleep at different times. Recording the exact time they slept meant I could remember who was getting what. You would be amazed how often you could forget who needed a bit more sleep because they had settled 20 minutes later than the other one. Every child is different but by keeping track of the amounts of milk taken I knew at the end of each day whether they were getting enough (within the guidelines anyway). You could the tell from the totals whether sleep was going to be affected at night. My memory in the first six months was particularly prone to fogginess and I never would have been able to remember it all.
So, I have been talking about getting this diary out of that box for the last 3 months but still haven’t done it. And I don’t really know why. I think it might have something to do with lack of time or maybe I am scared of the feelings it might evoke. During this time I suffered terribly from PND and part of my way of dealing with it was to invoke unbreakable routine to my day. It probably was good at the time as it turns out that the twins and I all benefited from the structure. I got well and they seemed happy most of the time as they slept and ate well. Remember, I also recorded the food they were eating too. Another problem I had during the fog was to remember what they had eaten the day before. This way I ensured balanced meals and lots of variety.
But, back to taking the diary out and looking to see how much milk they were drinking at night aged 15 weeks? Watch this space for Part Two.
On Sunday Master and Miss started their new swimming class. They are now Tadpoles having graduated from the toddler class. This really means that neither of us has to get in the pool with them any longer. Yippee for us!
It does mean though that they must wear swim caps and goggles and listen to everything that their new instructor says. Apparently this was easy for them without us in the pool! I marvelled that they even got out of the change room let alone into the pool without us. However, the Workaholic did realise half way through the lesson that he had put their goggles on upside down.
Did I feel unwanted? A little but most of me was extremely proud of their new found independence. And I will not miss having to get in the pool at 8.30am on a Sunday morning. Hark back to last Mothers Day when I was the only woman in the pool amongst a dozen dads. All the other mummies were probably still in bed having their breakfast on a tray. It is my turn this year…anybody listening.
This is the story of our first born. George arrived in our lives aged 8 weeks in March 2009. He was so gorgeous. Just a bundle of fluff and cheekiness. We picked him up at the airport and the first thing he did when he got home was to pee on my new carpet. He was forgiven immediately, how could you not, he was just so cute.
We raised George like a child, joined the early morning dog walking ranks, made friends at the dog park and tried to teach him manners. He acted like a spoilt brat, nearly strangled himself in excitement on early morning walks, ran off with other dogs balls at the park and had absolutely no manners, for the first two years anyway. Dog owners are very understanding people and we now have a babysitter for the twins out of it.
Then Master and Miss came along. George was very protective from day one. If anyone picked up a twin he would harass them until they put them down. They were his babies and he wanted to make sure they were never out of his sight. He hated the baby gates as it also kept him out of the lounge and bathrooms. But he loved going out for walks with the pram. He finally had to stop racing everywhere and learn to walk quietly beside the pram. He only stole one baby toy and took it out onto the lawn with a very forlorn look. His way of saying hey, don’t forget about me. Dogs have this magic innateness that tells them which toys are theirs and which are not.
He is now relegated to the trunk of the SUV instead of the back seat. But he does have his own air conditioning. He also gets to snoop in everyones bags including groceries. But just getting out and about with the family is exciting for him. He hates been left at home and our neighbours hate it too. The howling can get a bit much sometimes.
Master and Miss love chasing him around with a ball. They get a bit frustrated when he won’t give it back and even though there are two of them they still cannot corner him. He runs like the wind and sidesteps so well he really should apply to join the All Blacks! Trouble is he comes from Adelaide so AFL would probably be more his thing.
Last week the twins and I took him to the groomer for a summer cut. There was lots of excitement about leaving George there and would he have a nice day and would he make some new friends. “Just like being at daycare”, I explained to them. “Would he do some painting”? “What would be for his lunch”? The usual three year old questions.
This morning George and I went to the park after pre-school drop off and he ran like the wind while I fired off tennis balls with the ball thrower. Then he nearly drank the tap dry, greeted some friends, and then collapsed in the back of the car for a nice long sleep. His morning was ending with a lovely nap while mine was just beginning. Am I feeling a little jealous!
We all love George, a family’s best friend!