i’m not going to lie, it’s been tough

Children are a blessing. I won’t deny that. But I also won’t deny that they’re tough to deal with, especially in their first few months. Multiply that 1 baby by 2, and you have my current situation.

My mom-in-law was with us for the twins’ first 3 weeks of life, and for that I’m so grateful. She was such an incredible help, and very rarely did I have to deal with both babies. When she left to go back home, almost 1000km away I sort of lost it. All of a sudden I had to deal with both babies, at once! The lowest point was when the twins were 4 weeks old, and I didn’t know what I was doing, why I was doing it, and why the hell I’d decided to have another baby. My family was just perfect with the 3 of us in it, but I was adamant that we needed to add to it, and now I had these 2 little people that relied on me 100% and I thought I was losing my mind. I would definitely say that I had a bout of post-natal depression, but it was up to me to pull myself towards myself and get over it.

Luckily, this time around I did get over it very quickly. With my eldest daughter, it wasn’t so easy but I had a constant support system as we were living with my mom. This time around I had 2 babies and we were in our own home, and I was alone for all intents and purposes. In a few days I was almost back to normal, as I realized that no amount of “what if’s” were going to change my situation. I was a mom to twins, and they needed me. So I went into robot mode, and did the very best that I could, and knew how.

The twins are 8 weeks old this Thursday, and I can happily say that things are so much better, and I’m no longer in “robot mode”. I’m really enjoying them now, I’m enjoying being their mommy. I’m interacting with them more, talking to them, cooing and laughing, smiling and encouraging their personalities. Yes it’s been tough. Yes, I was depressed. Yes, I didn’t want them. Post pregnancy hormones are nasty buggars. It wasn’t a pleasant few weeks. But I feel like I’ve really got this now, and I’ve even managed to start to engage and interact more with my husband and eldest daughter again. For those first few weeks I locked myself away with my thoughts and loneliness, and it hurt me. It hurt my family. But this hasn’t exactly been a “normal” situation.

We are a family of 5 now, and I honestly can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.

Yes it’s been tough. But nothing worthwhile has ever been easy.

G

the man-cave

When we moved into our place at the end of August 2011, the upstairs became the husband’s ‘spot’ aka ‘the man-cave’. With his job he works out of home a lot, so his man-cave also incorporated his office. The man-cave consisted of a whole bunch of rubbish as far as I was concerned; bits and bobs, and stuff that should have never have been kept! I wouldn’t call the husband a hoarder, but he definitely has hoarding tendencies! He likes to keep things, because he knows he can use it at a later stage, even though it’s utter trash!

When we discovered that we were having twins, we made the decision to move our bedroom upstairs. Our house has 3 bedrooms; 2 downstairs and then the 1 upstairs which was the husband’s domain. The 2 rooms downstairs were too small to have us and the twins, or our daughter and the twins in it, so we decided to move all of our beds upstairs, so that the 5 of us would be sleeping upstairs. Our old bedroom became the spare room, and our daughter’s room became her playroom.

Looking back on what used to be upstairs, and what is upstairs now, I cannot help but giggle.

Remote control car parts have been replaced with breast pads, remote control airplane parts with nappies, screwdrivers with breast pumps, tool boxes with a cot, his mini car collection with baby clothes and his bathroom supply cupboard has been stacked with maternity pads and baby soap!

He’s taken it very well; his office is now in the front entrance of our house which we don’t use (our house was designed weirdly) and I’m presently sitting at his computer (albeit very uncomfortably) typing this post. His comfy desk chair has been replaced with a bar stool, as his computer now sits on the bar and no longer on his desk! The reason for this? There is simply no space! He doesn’t mind as he’s tall and lanky and it suits him, however I personally hate it! That’s also one of the reasons I haven’t been posting so much; I can’t stand sitting at his computer anymore!

We’ve been living here for the past 3 years and 7 months, and it’s only been in the last 3 months that I’ve actually utilised the upstairs of our house! It honestly did make more sense moving everything upstairs, as with the small bathroom that’s there, it does make the twins’ bath time a whole lot easier. If we were downstairs, I’d have to carry naked babies through the house once they were bathed!

I’m sure the husband will have a man-cave again.

Just not anytime soon!

G

naming the twins

What’s in a name?

The husband and I (although we rarely agree on much) agree on naming our children; no ‘funny, ridiculous’ names, no names that can be shortened to something horrible (kids can be nasty) and a name must be strong, something for our children to look up to.

In naming the twins, I chose the girl’s name, and he chose the boy’s name. I tried so hard to get him to go with my boy’s name, but alas, he didn’t! We named our son Alexander Philip, and our daughter Madeleine Elizabeth, all family names, and all strong names. We call them Alex and Maddie, as their legal names are just there for paperwork purposes. As much as I didn’t like Alexander to begin with, I’ve actually come around and I do like it now :) Not that it made any difference, as they have already been registered with those names!

Which brings me to what happened when we registered the twins; first off it took 4, yes 4 attempts to even get them registered, and then when I finally was successful, the rude Home Affairs woman misspelt his second name, spelling it Philip with 2 l’s instead of 1. So Phillip instead of Philip. It’s going to take 2 weeks to rectify, but what frustrates me is that I tried to look at her computer screen to ensure that she had typed it out correctly, and she was so rude to me, telling me that I wasn’t allowed to look at her computer screen, and that if everyone could look at it then she’d have a big screen! I then told her that I just wanted to make sure that she was spelling Philip correctly, to which she responded with “I can read”. Well quite honestly she couldn’t, because she spelt it wrong! So so annoying! Now it’s yet another trip to Home Affairs to get his correct birth certificate in about 2 weeks or so.

But, that has been the only grey spot in the last 2 weeks; long may it last!

G

the twins are here!

Thursday the 12th of February 2015, our lives changed, FOREVER!

Alexander Philip Stander arrived at 08h28 weighing 3.51kg, and Madeleine Elizabeth Stander arrived at 08h30 weighing 3.1kg.

I cannot explain how grateful I am that we were able to leave the hospital 4 days later, with both babies 100% healthy. I carried them to 38 weeks and 2 days which I’m sure had a lot to do with their healthy state, although I honestly don’t know how I did it! I don’t think that I’ve ever complained so much in my entire life before! I might make strong, healthy babies but it sure does take it out of me! I’m still struggling a bit with ligament pain, especially in my lower back and middle of my back as things try and go back to their ‘normal’ size, whatever that maybe! – but 99% of the swelling is gone, I have feet and toes again and once the pain in my fingers goes away I’ll be a happy chappie :)

My mom-in-law was here for the first 3 weeks and she left yesterday; yes I’m missing her! She was so much help; there’s nothing worse than having 2 screaming babies and not knowing how to appease both of them at once! I’m quite good at holding both of them, winding both of them and even feeding both of them, but it is still hard, especially when 1 of them just will not settle, and the majority of the time it’s Maddie!

I’m not going to attach any pictures to this post; if you’re so inclined head on over to my Instagram account the_wannabepoet as I post there regularly.

Hopefully I won’t neglect my blog anymore than what I have, but with 2 infants it does make it a little more difficult!

Chat soon
G

i don’t have a perfect child

Technically, no one has a perfect child. And I have always been the first to tell people that M-L isn’t perfect. Maybe I’m in the wrong. Because according to the parents of her now former crèche, L and I let her get away with anything and we don’t discipline her her, and are letting her run wild. I cannot even explain how this has infuriated me.

This whole situation started, well actually was brought to my attention 2 Sunday’s before Christmas, by not only a dear friend but also a fellow mom at M-L’s crèche. M-L had spent 3 days at her house as she is/was best friends with her son, and the crèche had closed for the year and we both thought that it would be great for the kids to spend some time together outside of school. Well the complaints about M-L started after the first day, primarily about her not listening and being very stubborn. Please take note that the nanny that my friend had only just recently hired is actually a chef by profession, and as far as I know, doesn’t really have any actual childcare experience. Apparently “nanny” just couldn’t handle M-L and was absolutely exhausted and had a bad headache by the end of the first day, all because of M-L, my 5 year old daughter. The second day was pretty much the same, and apparently on the last day, the Friday she was a little better. Anyway, I thought everything was fine, and even received an offer for M-L to go back to her friends house on the following Monday! Sunday came around, and I received a message from my friend, stating that M-L had destroyed her son’s trampoline, and she couldn’t believe how destructive she was and now that’s R2.5k wasted and she’s going to have to buy another trampoline. I was obviously shocked; M-L has been naughty in the past and has broken things, but how does a 5 year old destroy a trampoline? It later emerged that it was just the protective rubber stuff on the bars of the trampoline, and that the entire trampoline didn’t have to be replaced. What also wasn’t discussed, is that this trampoline is also an outdoor trampoline, thus the UV rays will degrade it. One just has to look at my neighbour’s trampoline for proof of that!

It ended up being a good 30-45mins of messaging, and it emerged that my friend believed that M-L has some underlying issues that L and I either don’t see, or are refusing to acknowledge. My friend pretty much said that we as M-L’s parents refuse to see that she isn’t perfect, and let her get away with whatever she wants. All of the other parents at the crèche see it, AND the teachers and principal. I was flabbergasted. It then emerged that M-L and her “issues” have been discussed with not only my friend, but with several other parents. Her “issues” have yet to be discussed with L and I, her parents. Anyway, I did manage to sort things out with my friend, only after L had gotten involved and actually made things worse (gotta love him for trying, and for standing up for M-L and I) and we ended the chat with her telling us the we were always welcome at her house, and with me thanking her for bringing these issues to my attention, and that I was going to be looking into them. I also said that for now, M-L wouldn’t go to her house without me, just to prevent anything from happening. All was well.

Monday the 29th of Decemeber, I received a text from my friend in the evening, ending our friendship completely, and her telling me never to contact her ever again. It was a serious WTF moment. Earlier that day, I had emailed the principal of M-L’s crèche, pretty much demanding answers as to why my daughter was discussed with every other parent at her school, except with me or L. When I texted my friend back asking what on earth had happened (we had had contact before the 29th; we sent each other lovely messages on Christmas Day) she reiterated all of the points that she had made 2 Sunday’s prior, saying that she didn’t need the load of rude and hurtful messages that were sent to her by L and I, when all she was trying to do was help. I was stunned. I never once sent her a rude or hurtful message. Every single one of my messages were polite and in the spirit of saving our friendship. L’s messages may have been abrupt and to the point, but hardly rude and hurtful. Plus we’d sorted all of this out, and now a week later she decides to end it all, again?! In the interim, she had unfriended and blocked me on Facebook. The unfriending hurt; the blocking felt like I’d fallen off a 100ft swing and had landed flat on my back, totally and utterly winded. Well the principal denied contacting my friend after I’d sent her the email, as I did ask, purely because I had mentioned names in my email to her. The principal also never actually answered my main question, which was why had M-L been discussed with everyone except L or/and I, her parents? The principal denied that M-L wasn’t ready for Grade R (big school) and stated that she was a lovely, wonderful, delightful child in her school. I then asked why did she, as the principal got frustrated when I queried with her some months back when M-L had hurt my friend’s child, but my friend had told me about it instead of me being told about the incident by someone in her school, ie: her, a teacher, a nanny etc. “Oh I wish she hadn’t told you as we dealt with it.” That was the principal’s response. I don’t care how small an issue a teacher thinks it may be; as M-L’s parents we need to know about these things! And especially seeing as this wasn’t a once off incident; M-L has apparently been disruptive, destructive, stubborn, doesn’t listen and can show bullying tendencies. None of which we as her parents we aware of, because the crèche that I entrusted her to, where she spent 85-90% of her time, didn’t feel it necessary to bring up these issues with us. On my last day of work last week Wednesday (New Years Eve) I replied to the principal’s response, saying that she hadn’t addressed or answered the issue at hand, and that we do require urgent feedback, as we want to send M-L to a child psychologist for an assessment and chat. To date I haven’t received a response.

It’s also been bugging me, well not so much bugging me, but I’ve been curious as to why I hadn’t seen the principal’s Facebook posts for the past week. I checked a short while earlier, and she too has unfriended me. Talk about taking the cowardly way out. Her unfriending me honestly doesn’t faze me that much, as she’s always pleading for fundraising etc at the crèche, but is always off on holidays and overseas trips and family weekends away blah blah blah but still. Instead of admitting that there is a serious lack of communication at her school, and that quite honestly her teachers doesn’t really give a damn, she’s chosen to run away from it, because hey, M-L isn’t going there this year.

I am not trying to remove mine and L’s responsibility as M-L’s parents here. We could have also been more perceptive, and instead of being so wrapped up in our own lives paid more attention to M-L. But honestly in the evenings and on the weekends, apart from ‘normal’ 5 year old behaviour, she was nowhere as ‘bad’ as the awful stories that I’ve heard in the past 3 weeks. At the end of the day, she is our daughter, and as much as I refer to her as my princess, she isn’t one, and I know that. But I also can’t believe that this little 5 year old girl is 100% responsible for the destruction of a trampoline, especially when she is not the only child to have used it in recent months. This little boy always has friends over and his trampoline is frequently used. Yes, she maybe did pull the rubber/foam protection stuff off of the bars, but I liken that to pulling the paper wrap off of crayons, like we’ve all done at one stage, and which M-L does as well! I am not saying that her behaviour was right, all I’m saying is that she’s 5 years old. She’s learning everyday about the consequences of her choices and decisions, and these holidays she has been grounded 3 times. Ok, only for 1-2 days at a time, but again, she’s only 5! Yes, we have also noticed her lack of listening skills, and we also believe that she may have some deep seated issue that references back to my car accident last July, of which she was a passenger. It was a very scary thing for a then 4 year old to have experienced. Then there’s the fact that in a month or so she’s getting 2 siblings! That’s gotta be hardcore for any child, especially a sensitive little 5 year old who has had mommy and daddy all to herself for so long, and now the house is full of baby things, and I have this huge tummy, and and and. I think sending her for a chat with the child psychologist will only do her good and if it comes back that she’s a happy, well adjusted 5 year old, then my friend, and that cliched, cliquey crèche can go and shove it. And if it comes back that there are some issues that we need to tackle, then I will forever be grateful to my friend for raising her concerns with me, even though it cost us our friendship, but the school can still go and suck it as they didn’t feel the need to discuss our child with us.

And no, the twins will not be attending that excuse for a crèche in 2016!

Happy new year everyone!

G

he’s a good man

The husband and I have a unique relationship. We’ve been together for 11 and a bit years; I’m 28 and he’s 33. He has travelled, I have not. He has had to provide for himself; I have always been under someone else’s roof. His nickname for me is “buzzard” and mine for him is “grumpy.” We have the most awful fights; fights that involve swearing, yelling, tears from both of us, and inevitably me considering leaving. But we always find our way back to one another.

Yesterday was not a good day for me. And it actually had nothing to do with him. It has been bugging me a bit as to why he phoned me so early yesterday morning; he phoned me at about 7:30am when we normally speak only at about 9-10am every morning. When I asked him this morning why he phoned me earlier than normal, he said this:

“I could tell that something wasn’t right with you. I needed to know if you were ok.”

Wow people. Just wow. That is not something he does. L is a complicated person at times, and can so often come across as a bit of an asshole to those that haven’t yet gotten to know him. He detests bullshit, and says it like it is. Tact, he has none. He is hard arsed, and a grumpy ass most days, especially in the mornings, and I do sometimes (read a lot of the time) question his love for me, because he doesn’t really show it. He is not a physical person in the sense of coming up to hug me, or just giving my shoulders a rub etc. Our non-intimate physical contact consists of a kiss in the morning when we wake up, a kiss when we get home from work, and a kiss before bed. That is how he shows his love. I’m a relatively affectionate person; at one stage he even referred to me as his “cling-on”! Late last week he came up to me in the kitchen and gave me a hug; a big bear hug and I actually can’t even tell you what I was doing or thinking, because I just stopped! That action simply took my breath away. I remember turning around to face him so that I could return his hug, and it was just wonderful. I then mentioned to him that we need to hug more, and he actually agreed!

I don’t know if it’s how he was brought up or wasn’t brought up, but his lack of loving emotions is something that has concerned me over the years. Let me rephrase; his lack of SHOWING his loving emotions. He very easily expresses his anger and frustration as I think we all do, but love, that’s a bit of a toughie for him. But by doing what he did yesterday; I kinda fell in love with him all over again. I want to throttle him on most days, at the best of times but he is a good man. We were chatting on the weekend, and I asked him that if he looked back to his life 15 years ago, if he thought that he would be here; (happily) married, a beautiful daughter, another 2 babies on the way, his own home (even though rented), his own car, and he simply replied, no. L has been through a lot in his life, especially in his teenage years, and is commonly referred to as the black sheep in his family. We each had such different upbringings; he rebelled, I didn’t. I respected curfews, he didn’t. He dropped out of school; I worked my ass off and got some damn respectable final marks. He tried ending his life. I had a pampered upbringing; he didn’t. Let me rephrase; pampered not in the sense that I had a silver spoon in my mouth, but I never really had to fend for myself. L has been on his own since 15, perhaps younger. But that’s the path that he chose. A section of that path was in a sense forced upon him, but he is ultimately responsible for the decision that he made in his younger years.

We have a far from perfect relationship, but the thought that I get to go home to him every afternoon, reassures me, calms me. Some days it does the complete opposite, like when I have to think of fluffy white unicorns farting glitter to prevent myself from throwing something at him, but the good, as scarce as it sometimes can be, holds so much more than the bad.

To quote the hilariously alcoholic gran in Spanglish

“There are worse things in life than realising that you love your husband.”

G

Yeah, I love him ;)

Yeah, I love him ;)

i had a *minor* meltdown this morning

To put you into context, I haven’t slept properly in 2 days. 48 hours. I am now at breaking point.

My Monday morning started like any other morning; alarm went off at 4am for me to put the geyser on, and again at 5am for me to get up. I was up at 5:10am not because I wanted to be or actually had to be (I did have to be) but because I had been 100% awake since 3am. The same thing happened on Saturday night. I am utterly exhausted. This is pretty much how both Saturday and Sunday night went, but last night I slept on the couch because it has been proving more comfortable than my bed lately:

*Went to bed just before 8pm.
*At 9:30pm considered watching tv. Decided against it.
*After dozing in and out due to the rabbits digging the crap out of their cages (we have a rabbit cage in our bedroom and downstairs in our lounge), at 11:45pm I get up (again; this is the 2nd or 3rd bathroom break), relieve myself and head back to bed.
*12:32am stares at me like a horror story. Cannot sleep. Get up to let dogs out to do their business, as well as do some business of my own. This is bathroom break 6 or 7 for me. I have at this point lost count.
*Managed to doze in and out due to rabbit noises, dog noises and me just being absolutely, 100% uncomfortable and in horrendous pain. Decide against anti inflammatories as my tummy doesn’t agree with them. This is now just after 1am.
*2am comes and goes; I have now hit bathroom break 9 or 10; again I have no idea. Have refilled the rabbits water bowls hoping they’ll stop digging the plastic bottoms of their cages; this works for about the 3mins that they take a water break.
*Just before 3am I’m up again for yet another bathroom break (I have not drunk ANY liquid of ANY form since before 8pm the previous evening) and decided to put the geyser on then, hoping I’ll get some sleep. Reset alarm for 5am.
*Like some sort of sick joke, my body clock wakes me from my highly uncomfortable doze just before 4am, because hey! It’s time to put the geyser on *sigh*
*Toss and turn until 5am, as well as make 2 or so more bathroom breaks, as well as fight for space on either my bed or couch with my little dog as she likes to curl up right by my feet. Which I love. When I’m asleep. Not awake.

Once I was up this morning, I did my usual; swept the floor of all of the sawdust that the rabbits inevitably kick out of their cages, opened the back door for the dogs, got my daughter’s bag packed for school, ran a bath, got dressed, woke my daughter up, got her into the bath, oversaw her getting dressed and brushing her teeth, ironed the husband’s work pants that he asked me to iron at 6:15am and I needed to get out of the house at 6:30am, changed my outfit as my maternity jeans (the really comfy ones) are actually a bit big in the waist and I was continually pulling them up, hauled M-L into the car with her school bag, ran back into the house for my cellphone on the kitchen counter, remembered to buy an electricity token otherwise we’d have run out, and off we went. Fetched my sister, got onto the freeway, dropped M-L at creche, decided to HELL with the preppy mothers at her school that refuse to park decently, thus I decided to park like a total b***h in the turnaround area because I am sick and tired of being one of the ONLY parents who actually respects the limited parking space, almost had words with an impatient mother who almost hit M-L with her car because she was in a rush to leave and was now trying to maneuver her way around my car, almost exploded (not quite like Mount Vesuvius but close) at the one teacher about the whole parking situation and how I’m the only parent who flipping respects everyone else and that I’ve had enough and screw them (I did apologise to her and I sent her a message – I hate taking my bad moods out on innocent bystanders!), dropped my sister off, drove into work and then as I was trying to park, L phoned me.

I burst into tears.

He was obviously concerned and asked me repeatedly what was wrong, to which I explained through huge gulps of tears and air, that I am utterly exhausted; I am now at breaking point and I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Women who breeze through their pregnancies – well SCREW THEM! I am so over the pain, the uncomfortableness, the exhaustion, the fact that I don’t have control over my body anymore! I then listed everything that had happened that morning, and how it took every ounce of strength left in me to not swear him something awful when he asked me to iron his pants, or when he asked me about the electricity. He then started laughing, which made me cry more and I told him that he wasn’t helping me. He then told me that he couldn’t hear me, and kept laughing, but he was trying not to. Anyway, I managed to calm down after he told me to just take a sick day and come home, and I told him that I couldn’t; it wasn’t right plus I just have to get through this month of work and then I’m on 4 months maternity leave.

I normally tolerate pain very well, but I think with me not sleeping well, it is only exacerbating it, making it out to be worse than what it is. My body is not tolerating the pain as well as it normally does. So the pain, mixed with never being comfortable, mixed with exhausted, has almost cracked me. Almost. I’m not loony yet.

But let’s see what tonight holds. If you never see a post from me again, you’ll know that I well and truly lost it!

G

PS: the paragraph where I just typed and typed everything that had happened to me after I woke up is SUPPOSED to be a bit of a jumbled read. ‘Cause that’s pretty much my brain right now.

PPS: the husband phoned me earlier to let me know that he has managed to make a plan, and the 2 rabbits’ cages that were inside the house, are now outside, undercover as we’ve been discussing for the past few months. This makes me very happy :)