Saturday, November 28, 2009


You know those personality tests you take at work that talk about natural and adapted tendencies?

When I'm strung out, stressed, etc. my natural tendency is to go into my cave and hide. I do not reach out easily, especially to ask for help.

I'm seriously bad at that.

(In the beginning with the babies, my MIL used to say to phone her if I needed help. Of course I did but I would NEVER phone. I still won't)

Apparently, the ESTJ (that's me) highly values competence in herself and others so that's why they don't easily ask for help .

Yes, I know, easy excuse :)

Yet I have no problem delegating and bossing people around if I'm paying them.


Mo, maybe you can shed some light on my weird personality!

The strange thing is if someone asks how I'm doing and I see that they genuinely care (not those "how are you?" questions where they just want to hear "fine") I will spill all!

So if I've spilled all to you, I think that you really care and want to know :)

Which is another reason I love to blog because it's easier for me to ask for advice/ help on the internet than in real life.

This week has been hard.

I have not felt like me at all. And I have ignored all text messages and emails except for one or two.

I'm feeling much, much better though.

The nanny's phone was indeed stolen as I suspected (my husband called me Sherlock when I told him) and the minute she got the offer from the agent she accepted. And offered to start today (Saturday) so that we could get the training started.

As I type, she's busy playing with the babies.

I told C that I'd found a new nanny even though she hadn't yet accepted so that we could start her notice period (a week) immediately. Last night was her last time with us for the moment but she has to come back for one night in December if she wants her full November salary.

What are you like when you're stressed, overwhelmed, etc. Do you ask for help easily? Or do you go into your cave?

P.S. Kendra, 20 weeks

P.P.S Must tell you about my telephone catch-up with my wonderful boss.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I'm thankful for...

Even though I'm South African, I've really been enjoying reading the Thanksgiving posts around the blogosphere and I thought I should participate. Especially in light of yesterday's post.

Today I'm thankful for:

  • my two beautiful, healthy children
doesn't K look naughty?

it's the angle; he's not really that huge!

she sticks her hand near his mouth so...

he's "well, if you insist on putting your hand near my mouth, then I'm going to suck it"
Look at K's surprised expression
  • the best husband in the world
  • God, who supplies my every need
  • finding a new nanny (even though she still has to accept the offer and come start work)
  • a fantastic catch-up session with my wonderful boss who is so intuitive and knows what's going on with me even if I don't!
  • friends who comment on Facebook to cheer me up and who check on me regularly, rain or sunshine
  • my kitchen that is finally repainted after being grey for months since I burnt something I was cooking while pregnant (true! Natalie has seen it)
  • Rod Stewart who never fails to cheer me up with his raspy voice.
  • a brilliant web designer who fixes up all my mistakes when I "play around" with my site and stuff up something
  • only having another 0.5 kg to lose of the preggy weight

What are you thankful for?

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all my US blog buddies. Enjoy the turkey :) (it's ALWAYS about the food with me!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Strung out

That's how I'm feeling.

On edge, irritable, close to tears, stressed.

And very alone.

Last night I realised that I'm pre-menstrual. I'm thinking these new hormonal feelings are one of two things:
  • either because of the new birth control pills or
  • because I'm going back to work in two weeks
Could be either option or both because I'm normally very even-tempered and realistic about things so it's got to be something else. I usually go into problem-solver mode when I'm stressed otherwise I'd crack in my job :)

Also I've figured out why it's so difficult to go back to work after maternity leave. It's because the children finally get CUTE! And responsive.

Even my stroppy child, Kendra, has been rewarding me with lots of beautiful smiles and talking back to me.

Connor's always been very verbal and chats up a storm with me all the time. As my MIL says, "he only has eyes for his mother". Very complimentary but also scary because I don't want to be the only one who can comfort him...

I have such a lot to say (lots of noise in my head) and don't quite know where to start so let's do some bullets:
  1. finished chapter 1 of sleep sense last night - all about how sleep works. I learned why the babies sometimes only sleep for 45 minutes.
  2. very inspired by Mo's weight loss plan. STILL have my 0.5 kg to go - no surprise as I've been to gym twice this whole month and have not changed my eating habits at all.
  3. Connor's started cereal. While he loves it, it's not quite doing what I thought I would. Night 1 he slept for 9 hours, then totally normal sleep for next 13 days. Then I increased to 2 tablespoons, again two nights of 7 hour stretches and the last two nights normal sleep again (4 hours).
  4. I don't know how people "know" what to do with all this stuff - solids, sleep, stimulating them. I honestly feel like such a loser. They've had their pram for 9 weeks and we've been out 3 times. I'm too scared to take them out.
  5. The babies still have not been to church. Beautiful. In 20 weeks!
  6. Have a telephone meeting with my boss this afternoon. Hope it is all good - need to find out if I'll be in the same department or not when I get back.
  7. 3 ladies pitched for interviews. In addition to last week's 2 so I had 5 to choose from in total. The last lady of the day was just delightful! Contacted agent to make her an offer (way above what she wanted), the agent's contacted her but no response yet. Why must everything be so hard?

And now I'm crying again. I think I need to go to gym just to get out of the house, get a different perspective and try to get rid of the stress.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I cracked

I cracked and bought another 4 baby books.

I was specifically looking for Twelve Hours Sleep in Twelve Weeks (or whatever it's called) and I eventually found another by the same author.... and then it said on Amazon "people who bought this also bought..." and before I knew it, I had 3 in my basket.

Then I wised up and looked on a local Amazon-type website, and bought all of them through there.

So I should have my books in a week's time.

But then...

I went to buy Pampers. Oh, huge excitement - Connor is now in Pampers 3 (Kendra is still in Pampers 1 - but I don't complain as those packs are obviously cheaper).

And as I was standing in the queue to pay I happened to glance around and my eyes fell on Sleep Sense, the same authors of Baby Sense.

So I thought what the hell and threw it in too.

And just like that, my books on babies and sleeping DOUBLED!

(I'm going to jump into bed now and get reading :))

Monday, November 23, 2009


The existing nanny, C

Last night I cried for the first time in about 10 weeks.

I just felt so overwhelmed by this nanny business. Or rather, lack of nanny business.

Especially since I go back to work on Thursday 3 Dec. I emailed my boss and all is set!

After I emailed the agent on 9th Nov, I kept emailing, but each time I put a slightly different spin on it so she wouldn't think I was a total nag.

I don't think it worked.

Anyway, long story short, but on the weekend before, I sent my old night nanny a text to ask her if she knew anyone who would be interested.

Confession - I was secretly hoping she'd say "I'm interested and will ditch my new job because I love your babies so much".

She phoned me to give me her friend's details and I interviewed said friend last Monday - nothing wrong, just no specific nanny experience although she has 3 kids and is looking after her grandchild now.

Eventually I cracked on the Tuesday and sent the agent a text saying what is going on? etc, etc.

She also has twins and said that the whole family had been sick with gastro but she would do her best to arrange interviews for the following afternoon.

Well, 3 ladies were supposed to arrive at 3 to be interviewed. Only 1 pitched and of course, then I don't want to see the others because if they're this lax about an interview, I can only imagine the attitude about actual work.

The lady was also fine. I wouldn't have a problem with her; just not wowed.

Again nothing from the agency which led to my "breakdown" last night.

Also, must confess I'm getting to a point where all the happy happy updates on Facebook are driving me nuts! Because I know things are not all sunshine and roses. I suppose it goes with how I like people to be authentic.

Oh, I then posted a real status update on FB and got some lovely comments and emails from my real friends :)

C with Kendra - yes, she's in blue - now wearing all Connor's clothes

I sent the agent a long email about how I was feeling (since we found the first nanny through her we've built up a bit of a friendship since we both have twins and both had the whole NICU experience) and I hoped she didn't mind but I'd been through her site and found 10 people who I'd like to interview.

But, I said to her, please make sure they can be here at 7am first before they even think of coming for an interview.

So she sent out the invites - will let me know later this evening who will be coming - I said I'll see 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

It's going to be a madhouse if they all pitch up. But I've gotten organised properly as if for work - written out my list of interview questions and hopefully I will stick to the script and stay on track.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Questions about photos on Facebook

So two things:

I take tons of photos every week because I'm a bad photographer and I know if I take, let's say 5 - 10, there's bound to be at least one good one in the batch. The problem is the babies move so quickly and while I intended one thing, they've done 3 - 4 cute things while I'm snapping away.

Which results in tons of photos on my hard drive that need to be organised.

Especially since I take pics with two cameras. One is very good for day shots and I haven't figured out how to take good night pics so I still use my old Kodak for the night shots.

I'm organising mine this way at the moment.
  • I download at least once every two weeks.
  • I then make folders titled "19 weeks 17 -23 Nov", etc.
  • I drag the photos into the relevant folders first so I don't feel overwhelmed by all that work.
  • Then I go into each folder and delete those I don't want.
  • While I'm doing that, I compress the ones I want to blog. I do a Save As and put them in a separate "to blog" folder. Then I delete from that folder as I blog them because the original is saved in the weekly folders.

So how do you organise your pics on your computer?

Also, here's a touchy subject.

If you're a friend of mine, you'll see I have some of D & me on holiday in years past, and just this week I put my preggy pics on there. I made the latest album private so only friends could view but you know FB, every Tom Dick and Harry is your friend. Or is that just me?

I am getting pickier but in the beginning I just accepted friend requests from anyone. Now if people are annoying or I can see I don't gel with them, I unfriend, but the fact is there are hundreds of people who aren't really friends of mine.

So I'm thinking about the babies... on the one hand I do want to make albums and put some of their pics there. But on the other hand, what about the privacy issue? Funny, I feel no such qualms about the blog! Ha!

What do you think I should do? Do you have lots of pics of your kids on Facebook?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We survived!

Today we went for a baby photo shoot in Pretoria, about an hour's drive from our home.

I'd originally scheduled to have a maternity shoot at 34 weeks with the same photographer but then of course, the babies arrived early.

I then told her I'd do the shoot when they were 4 months (I don't know where that number came from but I had this "4 months" in mind all along) and before you know it, they were 4 months, I hadn't booked the shoot.

We only had to wait two weeks for today's appointment.

I was very tempted to cancel because it's been FREEZING cold here, around 15 degrees Celsius. And naked babies at shoots = colds = lots of money which I'm trying not to spend. But she assured me that she has a heated studio, etc.

This was last week Friday....

and this was yesterday... see the thick winter clothes (they have blankets over them because our house is cold!)

Anyway, we didn't have to take any clothes for the babies because they were naked in all the shots (very cute) and we wore black.

We survived and the babies were very good except BOTH of them peed on her black cloths and on us. She said these were the best twins she's ever photographed (of course D beamed with pride but I'm so cynical I said to him that she probably says the same thing to every set of parents)!

But then came the difficult part - she took 650 pics in total and we had to sift through all of those to get to 30 (that was the package we chose) while jiggling babies on our laps.

Not fun.

An hour and a half later we were done.

I'm very proud of us though because independently, we're both really quick decision-makers (me more so than him) but it's that compromise thing............

Now we wait - takes a couple of weeks to edit the photos and whatnot - and then we get them.

That's the big event of the weekend; tomorrow we'll be in this cold house supervising painters!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dare I say it?

I'm missing something about the newborn stage!

: o)

The babies don't want to be held like "real babies" anymore.

You're thinking, what are real babies?

Like this.

He was only letting me hold him like this because he was extremely tired, too tired to fight me off.

Kendra is just the same - will stay in this position as long as she's having her bottle and then must go upright. No time for cuddles!

So there we have it - I do miss holding them like this. When they were real babies, they let me hold them like this ALL the time and I realise now that I loved it.

P.S Excuse the bad hair and no make-up but I said to D to quickly grab the camera and take a pic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is it REALLY?

Why is it that things start going better?

Does looking after babies actually get easier?

Do we just get more used to them?

Is it a confidence thing?

I remember someone saying to me in the very early stages that you get used to living on only a couple of hours of broken sleep so it's not that the situation actually improves; our ability to adapt just gets better.

Is that it?

What do you think?

P.S. Strange that I should post this today because I have had the day from hell. Not the poor babies, but my nanny is driving me NUTS! I was THIS close to telling her to just take her things and go!

P.P.S. Interviewed two ladies for the position so far. Two to go!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So, the 4-month check-up

They were 4 months on Sat 7th and we had our check-up the day before. I'm funny like that; I like the dates very close together.

Imagine how happy I'll be at their next appointment in January when I can make their 6-month appointment on the actual day!

It's the small things in life, isn't it? :)

Anyway, my paed has a little girl (16 months) and we were told at the appt she's 17 weeks pregnant with number 2 (also a girl). Incidentally, the babies were 17 weeks that week too so it's a nice way for me to keep track of her pregnancy.

So she works from 10am to 1pm - don't you love that? - and we always take the first appointment of the day. I just don't see the point of waiting with twins.... when one of them screams!

With all due respect to Kendra, she's stopped the excessive screaming. Looks like the paed was right - she grew out of it. She still has a Very Healthy pair of lungs but these days they're used for a real reason like hunger or tiredness.

Moving along.

D comes with me because he LOVES these appointments. It's actually quite funny - days before he starts adding questions to my list in anticipation of the appointment.

It also helps that we really really really love our paed.

Starting with Connor

He weighed 6,2 kg and is 63 cm tall - a very big boy. If we adjust his age, he's on 73rd percentile for weight and 93rd for height. But if we consider him an actual 4-month-old baby, then he's on the 50-something percentiles for height and weight. (I stopped listening to the details when I heard how well he's doing because I was just BEAMING - it's like I'm doing the growing :))

We didn't have lots of questions about Connor - only the usual suspects - yip, eating and sleeping.

She told us (as you all did) that the babies are doing JUST FINE and that it is rare for babies to sleep through at 4 months, especially since these are actually 2 months. She feels it's good that they're sleeping longer stretches (K 6 hours and then 3 - 4 hours and C 5 hours and 4 hours) at night. And to just relax about it as much as you can relax when you just want to sleep.........

Also he will eat when he's hungry - looking at him he's clearly not starving :)

One thing I liked is she said babies can eat from 120 - 150 ml per kilogram of body weight, so not to stress if the boy doesn't have his full 900 ml a day.

He was also constipated so we discussed some solutions but in the deep recesses of my mind, I'd remembered a sugar water trick she mentioned AGES ago and just that morning I gave him 25 ml and lo and behold, when we got back home we were rewarded with a poo! Well done!

But the best news of all - he was pronounced ready for cereal, one tablespoon every night! She warned me that he will drink even less milk.

Now onto Kendra.

Kendra weighed 4,2 kg and is 57 cm tall. If we consider her an actual 4-month-old baby, then she's on the 3rd percentile for weight.

Which we know since she is tiny and light as a feather. I call her my little baby doll.

The paed is not at all concerned about her because she's not vomiting, no diarrhoea, is eating nicely now and is perfect in every other way. I'm small, D's tall and thin and in fact, Kendra is just like him. She said K probably has a really high metabolism because I took The Notebook with us to prove how much she's been eating.

Funny thing is on the Monday before the appt it's like Kendra suddenly realised that we have a Doctor's Appt on Friday so she started chowing down in earnest :) Over 600ml for many days since then and she's even done some 700 ml days (she's supposed to have 630ml).

We also spoke to her because K fell off the couch - oh, didn't I mention that? :) - and we didn't take her in to get checked. We monitored her really close for the next 24 hours but she was exactly the same as she usually is so I didn't feel the need. She cried but then calmed down when I held her, the same as when she wakes up to be fed, etc, etc.

I said that I didn't want to be one of those mothers who is at the doctor's rooms every day for the silliest things. She said that was fine because the couch was low and she fell on blankets, etc.

Right! Time is up as this is my 30-minute post for the blog challenge.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How I find the time to blog

this boy does not like the camera :)

doesn't K look shocked? Maybe it's at my hair!

So many people have asked me how I find the time to blog, especially with two babies.

Well, let's put it this way...

I strongly believe that if you want to do something badly enough (anything, not just blogging), you'll make the time.

Like gym... clearly I don't want to do it badly enough :)

Moving along.

So blogging is very important to me because of 6 reasons:

  1. it gets the noise out of my head and onto "paper" since I'm not too fond of actual pen and paper journalling (it's the S from that ESTJ thing)
  2. it's free therapy :)
  3. I really have a lot to say and ask - right now if I were to make a list (and I'll be honest, I do actually have a list of things to blog), it would probably have about 5 - 7 blog topics on it at any one time
  4. I love connecting with people from all over the world - this is what gets me through sometimes... just this morning at around 3 - 4 am, I was thinking I'm not the only mother feeding her baby in the wee small hours of the night which cheered me up just a little bit :)
  5. I like the relative anonymity - most people don't know about this blog - so I can say what I like and be brutally honest
  6. it's a record of what I'm going through with the babies - milestones and such... (we're leaving in just a few minutes to get their last vaccinations for awhile - yayy can save money! - and I'm dreading the milestones questions)

Why do you blog? (if you blog)


What draws you to read a particular blog? (for me, the more real the person gets, the better. I'm not too fond of the extremely cutesy blogs; it feels inauthentic and I just can't relate!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My tank is full

D & C staring at the hail
Yesterday was the first meeting of the Fertility Babies group.

We are all infertile people from our infertility support group who now have babies. I believe there are something like 28 babies born in that group over the last 2 1/2 years.

We have tons of people which is sooooooo inspiring but only 5 of us could make it. 1 was then stuck in the awful, awful Jhb traffic so she turned around and went right back home :) If all 5 of us had been there with babies, there would have been 10 babies as we all have twins LOL

We decided that we could bring kids and so one person brought her 17-month old boy/ girl twins. And the host was my friend, C, with her twin girls.

D dropped me off and we brought Connor and Kendra in for about 30 - 45 mins until Crabby Connor emerged (when he needs to sleep, he NEEDS to sleep) and they were sent back home.

(I personally am not crazy enough to bring my kids as I'll be running around non-stop)

Back to the 17-month olds.... My word, they are gorgeous! But not only that, they were an inspiration to me.

I've said many times before that I'm not a fan of the newborn stage. And even though mine are now 4 months old, they're really still only 2 months (adjusted).

So while they're now easier (eat quicker, sleep a TINY bit longer, smile a lot, etc.) I still can't wait for them to WALK and TALK and be little people I can interact with.

Seeing these two gave me so much hope because they were also born at 32 - 33 weeks and they are PERFECT! Just perfect.

However, I came home and said to D that I'm inspired by them, etc. and he says, "you really don't think ours are going to turn out like that, do you?"

I asked him what he meant and he says, "they are SOOOO sweet and well behaved; ours will be a lot naughtier".

Hmmm, probably true. Also I have ALWAYS said I want 80% good kids, 20% sassy!

So my tank is full - I love sharing and connecting with people!

D & K - talking to one another
(I was sorting out their clothes)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baby book obsession

Okay, so here's the bedside table I was telling you all about.

I'm actually surprised it didn't topple over

close-up view - the shiny one is my Bible. I'm ashamed to say it's so low down the pack...

sorting into piles - from top left, clockwise: things to be filed/ put back on bookshelf, things I'm actually reading, stuff I haven't even started reading, pile of baby books I'm currently reading (4), my to-do lists and baby journals.

I love a clean slate to work with - my friend, Robz, gave that teddy to me after my first failed IVF

Neat again. Notice I put my Bible on top but am ashamed to say it's under a pile of books again.

Our paediatrician LOVES one of the books in that pile, Baby Sense, and always mentions something from the book at our appointments. I must say I love it too.

After we had their four-month check-up (oh my word, I just realised I didn't blog about that!), I decided to stick with and finish that book first.

So far so good.

Are you reading any good baby books? Which are your favourites?

P.S. The reason I'm so obsessed with the sleep is that our days of night nannying come to an end mid-Dec. The money has run out :(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to work - part 3

Last week I realised that I had exactly 6 weeks before I returned to work and I had a mini freak-out.

So I made a list (!) of things I still wanted to do while on maternity leave, like …

• driver’s licence renewal
• paint outside of house (of course, not me!)
• two business projects (more on this later)
• photo shoot for babies and of course...
• get the babies sleeping through the night

Never let it be said that I aim low!

The thing is when I envisioned my maternity leave once the nanny started (she only started when the babies were 8 weeks old) I thought there was going to be lots of going to the gym during the day, meeting friends for lunch, going to the shops, etc.

The truth is that I pushed myself hard with the gym for two weeks, buggered up my knees and then didn’t go for a month, and now I consider myself a rock star if I manage to go once a week.

(went this morning so that burden is off my neck for this week – still not at pre-preg weight – have about 0.5 kg to go now)

Also, I have met a grand total of ONE friend for lunch! Visited two friends and been visited by three but that’s it!

And of course, because the babies are so expensive, I’ve been staying out of the shops for the most part because you can’t buy what you don’t see.

I even throw away the free newspaper with all the store pamphlets so I’m not tempted. Am trying to be very good with money. This month for the first time since they’re born, I hope to spend less than R10 000. So please babies, no one is allowed to get sick!

For the most part, I don’t know what I get up to during the day. So last week I started keeping a time log.

And surprise, surprise, most of the time I waste is when I “get lost” on the computer. There are things that take some time like cooking and so on, but those are kind of planned.

Now that I’m more aware of my time I’ve been much better. And am ploughing through my list.

Last week I already went and did the driver's licence - took a grand total of 20 minutes so was very, very impressed!

So, things I will miss when I go back to work:

  • Sleeping late in the mornings
  • Lounging around in my pajamas until I feel the need to get dressed
  • Spending time with the babies
  • Having the luxury of driving places only when there’s no traffic
  • Going to the gym in the middle of the day
  • Visiting with friends who stay at home (I only, know 3, but there you go)
  • (Technically) having the ability to go shopping, browsing, etc. for hours

Things I’m looking forward to:
  • Big people interaction
  • Talking rubbish with my colleagues (or what I call building relationships :))
  • My clients
  • Being valued for my brain
  • Being productive and getting things done

Whatever your situation might be, what do you miss most about working or about staying at home?

This post was written yesterday but I'm only posting today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back to work - part 2

Because of my infertility and the long, LONG road it took to actually get pregnant and stay pregnant and then take home LIVE babies (Dr G always told me “our goal is a live, take-home baby” which is so true, not just getting pregnant), I initially thought I’d want nothing more than to stay at home and gaze into their adorable little faces.

My husband who knows me SOOOOOOOOO well said to me around the 6th or 7th month that he didn’t think my basic personality would change just because we were having babies or because of the infertility.

(My basic personality is a highly-driven, go-getter type one, always achieving, etc.)

Since I was high on the preggy hormones I said I really didn’t know what I wanted to do but "we’ll have to see".

Then my fabulous boss (ML, don’t show him that post!) told me once after a meeting that our Big Boss wanted to know if I was coming back to work after the babies were born.

I told him I had no choice because we need the money. Right.

I thought I should be honest with him about my feelings (since he’s so great and all) so I said that I’d been thinking of going half day once they were here and he said he had no problem with that as I probably would still be as productive!

It’s probably true since I do talk a lot of nonsense during work times. I am that person in the team who is all about the team lunches, going for coffees, checking up on the sick people, asking after the family, etc. But only after the work is done!!!! Am highly task-structured.

I did tell him that I just wasn’t sure how this whole baby thing would work out and would he please just go with the flow because isn’t that how my whole baby journey has been?!

Of course he laughed and said yes.

So the babies came home, reality set in and even now that they’re cute as buttons, I realised that my husband is right – my personality has NOT changed.

I still want to work. I still NEED to work.

I still want to interact with clients.

I work for an insurance company as a Relationship and Operations Manager in a business development team.

This position is absolutely perfect for my ESTJ-ness. Perfect.

About 40 – 50% of the time I deal with people – clients, internal people, team members on different projects, and the rest of the time I faff around. Only joking! I get the deals that we sign up implemented in the company so the things can start making us money.

There are lots of departments I deal with, hundreds of tasks and I’m great at co-ordinating all those details and getting things done by bossing people about. In a nice way, of course, but I don’t stand nonsense, because I’m harder on me by FAR than I am on other people.

I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I will be a better mother to them if I get out of the house on a daily basis so I can miss them and look forward to coming back home.

Does that sound weird?

The half day thing (5 hours a day) would be great as I’d be stimulated, nicely stressed, interacting with people, etc. and still have time to play with babies, cook, and have time with D.

Only thing is because they’re so expensive, we can’t afford the half day salary. I checked and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the amount!!!

So I’m thinking of a 6 hour a day scenario… if my company even does that sort of thing. Otherwise will have to work full day (am not prepared to be stressed about money) and try and split up the day – 6 hours in office, 1,5 – 2 at night when babies are asleep.

Will have to make a meeting with my boss and the big boss to discuss all these things sometime this month.

Lots more to say but again, time is up as this is my 30-minute post for the blog challenge.

Monday, November 09, 2009

nanny drama - does it ever end?

I mentioned in my last post that I'd write about the nannies on Friday, fully forgetting that I'm alone with the babies and there is no time to blog :)

I swear, my life just has one drama after another. Does anyone else feel like that?

So we had a day nanny Mon - Thurs and Friday nights, and a night nanny Mon and Thurs.

The night nanny, Mabel, then told me that since our contract was coming to an end in November, she approached an agency to find her full-time work from December.

Fair enough (and I loved her openness - you'll see why later).

She also wanted me to give her a reference which I was happy to do.

Agency phones, I give reference, apparently a beautiful one because two days later she has a full-time job!

But...they want her to start immediately.

However, she tells me she can do both jobs. Um, no, not with a livewire like Kendra! Yes, I can. No, you can't.

After lots of to and fro, my clever husband asked, "Mabel, exactly what are you concerned about?"

She says that we took a chance giving her a job when she was desperate for work and she doesn't want to leave us in the lurch. Also, she is very fond of the twins and will miss them.

So we compromised - while the agency was finding us a new night nanny she would continue to work nights here, and after the replacement nanny was found, she'd go back to babysitting for us on Saturday evenings.


Except not so much.

The first Monday night/ Tues am she had to leave at 5.30 to get to her new job by 8:00. We didn't know so were awakened by the knocking at our bedroom door.

Thursday night was much better - this time she only left 30 mins before but because she got ready at our house, D had to look after a baby from 6:00.

Then the following Monday she was sick and I started putting pressure on the agency who sent me two ladies to interview on the Wed. We were so sleep deprived by this point that I told the one to come back that night.

So that's sorted - new night nanny til end Dec and Mabel on Saturdays.

I've gotten even more bolshy if that's even possible and am super strict with the new nanny. I found in the beginning with both nannies I was almost walking on eggshells with them. Now I know if I'm not happy it will drive me crazy so I'm very exacting!

Now onto the day nanny.

I've felt for some time that she doesn't enjoy the job because of me (see above - very fussy mother) or Kendra (screaming) or whatever! Everybody loves Connor because he's an easy child so I knew he wasn't the problem. And D only sees her when she's on time which is hardly ever. Moving on.

I'd asked her from the time she started how things were going, if there were any problems, etc. She always said "everything's fine" but I could see they're not!

Very frustrating because I like openness.

Back to the punctuality. She's supposed to start at 8:00 while I'm on maternity leave and then at 7:00 when I go back to work.

Well, in a 5-day week, she's on time once, maybe twice if I'm lucky, about 5 - 10 minutes later two days and very late (30 minutes) the 5th day.

I'd spoken to her about this before, seriously, not just a "oh, was the bus late?" and she said she'd resorted to taking the bus because taxis were working out too expensive.

So last week Wed after discussing with D and playing with the numbers, we offered her a higher salary on the proviso that she is here at 7 and does some light cleaning (dishes, sweeping, etc.) while the babies are sleeping.

Well, I told her to think about it and tell me the next day. She says not a word to me on Thurs or on Friday.

Although we had an incident on Friday so that I can understand.

Third Day had a concert in Pretoria (about an hour outside Jhb) and we'd arranged to go with friends so I asked her to be here at 6pm instead of 7pm. She pitches up at 6.41.

I was livid! Not only are we put out, but our friends are too. And we missed about 30 minutes of the show which is NOT on.

She sent me a text at about 6.05 saying she was still in town waiting for the bus to get to us. I sent one back immediately saying "please take a taxi. we need to leave NOW!"

Anyway, friends were there so not good to air your dirty laundry in public. Especially since we were supposed to be having FUN.

So I sucked it up, focussed on the good things and we ended up having a fabulous time.

Incidentally, that was 6 Nov. The last concert we went to was Rod Stewart on 6 Dec where I did my trigger shot!

This morning I'd planned to have a proper chat and do the whole "if this happens again" hardcore manager bit when she was late again. 8.31!

D said am I not overreacting. No because when I have an 8:00 meeting I can and WILL not be late because of other people. Women already have to work harder than men, especially mothers. I don't want to be one of those women where, if they're late or leave early, the guys knowingly say "oh, is her child sick AGAIN?" Grrrr - drives me nuts.

Also, I read on a blog somewhere about daycare/ nannies that the biggest mistake she made was in not firing quickly enough if the fit was not right. So I thought enough with this eggshell-walking and I'll deal with these problems properly.

I asked what the problem was and the bus was stuck in traffic. Well then get an earlier bus. She did - this was the 6.30 bus.

Then only did she say that she can only leave her daughter at pre-school at 6.30 so that's the earliest she can leave.

OH MY WORD - why didn't you say something earlier, as in months ago when I told you about the 7:00 thing?

Anyway, then SHE says to me, "I think you should ask Ruth (agent) to get me a job closer to home and then she can get you someone else".

Of course I immediately agreed and not 15 minutes later had sent off an email to Ruth.

So now I start interviewing AGAIN!

Am I the only one who has this kind of drama all the time???

Saturday, November 07, 2009

4 months

Wow, we've come a long way.

At one month, Connor had been home 2 weeks and Kendra 4 days and when she arrived, all hell broke loose.

I was severely sleep deprived and I remember starting sentences and not remembering what I was saying half way through.

Two months in, the nanny had started and my days got a bit easier because I didn't have to do the babies' laundry and bottles during the days anymore.

Three months in, I can safely say I started enjoying them.

Connor discovering he can suck his fist

A sleepy Kendra

Look at their legs!

And now, at four months, the babies are healthy, they're growing nicely and just need to start sleeping better :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fine, I'll relax

First off, thanks for all the great comments on yesterday's post!

Leah, D also told me to relax.... so relax I will.

I will relax, I will relax, I will relax :)

Seriously, it's terrible when you're a control freak and you can't control things!!! I should have had a taste of it with the infertility but no.....

I'm fast realising that this whole motherhood thing feels like a big competition (maybe competition's not the right word?) and I feel like it's my fault my babies are starting off right at the back of the queue because I had them so early.

I was reading in one of those books (I will not say which one since I see you all get very passionate about some books which shall remain nameless :)) that with a twin pregnancy, if you gain enough weight early on, it prevents premature labour and other complications in most instances.

And then I kicked myself for only gaining 10,9 kg.

I can't believe I'm learning these things now for the first time. Does everybody know this stuff except me?

I had read in What to expect that the recommended weight gain for a twin pregnancy is 16 - 20 kg (35 - 45 pounds). That's it.

Maybe I'm slow but I understood that to mean you "shouldn't be putting on more weight than that", not that "this is what you should be putting on".

Now I feel guilty for not gaining enough ... not that I did anything to lose weight or eat healthy because I still don't know how people control their eating during pregnancy. My body had a life (two lives) of its own - I craved fruits and veggies during the first trimester and could not eat a chocolate or anything unhealthy.

Oh well.... as I said, I have issues!

You were all right - I can't force them to eat if they're not hungry and they're not.

We learned all the tricks in the NICU - twisting the bottle, tapping it, stroking their cheeks, under their chin, etc. and about 5% of the time it works because, as you say, if he's hungry, he eats; if he's not, he doesn't. Simple :)

Anyway, have to go chat to the new night nanny now. Will tell you all about the nannies tomorrow. So much to say, so little time!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Need your advice - feeding and sleeping

I took a photo of my bedside table yesterday before I decluttered it because it was ridiculous.

Ridiculous because I've been going into every bookstore and buying sleep and baby books like crazy. I have spent thousands of rands.

In my current reading pile I had FOUR books.

too lazy now but will upload later...

Anyway, the main thing I gather from all of these people is if you want your babies to sleep more during the night, you've got to get them to feed enough during the day.

Right, not a difficult concept.

BUT how, dear friends, do you do that?

Connor is about 6kg so should be having 900 ml a day.

He is kind of there... or at least around the high 800's every day for the last two weeks.

But he will ONLY eat if he's hungry. Don't you wish we were the same? I wouldn't have to deal with my emotional eating of chocolates and other wrong foods!!!

Anyway, back to the story.

If he's done, he simply stops, spits out the teat (nipple) and that's that. No amount of encouraging him will get him to take 1ml more.

Kendra is the same with eating, but more stubborn as she will scream if you try to feed her when she is NOT HUNGRY, Mummy, so I tend to use Connor for all my experiments as he refuses quietly :)

His feeding schedule looks something like this:

12:20 140 ml there'd been 5hr 20 from last feed to this one
04:30 85 ml
07:10 50 ml
09:10 100 ml
11:15 90 ml
14:05 105 ml
14:30 20 ml this is me, when I know he's going to go sleep, trying to get more food in him
17:40 90 ml
18:45 70 ml
22:30 125 ml

total for day 875ml

all this information is courtesy of The Notebook, without which I wouldn't know what they're eating and when.

Okay, so I would love to know HOW I get them to eat more during the day?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Confession time - we have no bedtime routine

Okay, I'm stumped.

I read in all the books and on everybody's blogs how they have this bedtime routine and here's my confession - we have none.

The only thing we do differently (obviously) is close the curtains and turn on the lights in their room :)

I'd heard that bathing is supposed to soothe your baby and make them feel ready for bed.

Well, we tried it for a few nights but our babies just woke up MORE. And we don't need MORE awake babies at night, thank you very much.

So since that wasn't working, we moved bath time to around 3pm since that's the most convenient for us! I will admit we last tried the bedtime bath probably 8 weeks ago so maybe we should try it again?

When they wake for the feed around 7-ish (see? very vague. they wake when they're hungry :)), I feed, change nappy and if they were in short-sleeved clothes, I change them to long-sleeved towelling babygrows (or sleepsuits, as I saw recently in an Edgars brochure) so they'll be warmer and sleep better. And when I put them down again, I add another blanket since it's night time.

That's it.

That's the extent of our night time routine.

No bathing, singing, reading, praying (except under my breath that they'll sleep for a good 5 - 6 hours), nothing!

Mine is just as boring - mug of tea, into bed, read as long as tea lasts, lights out and deep slumber until I hear a baby cry!

Okay, so what's your bedtime routine?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

Things are actually looking up.

I almost feel like I shouldn't write this post in case I jinx things. Then again I don't actually believe in jinxing...

But I've been putting it off for weeks now.

I don't know the exact moment it happened but a good few weeks ago, around the 10-week mark, I suddenly realised, "I actually enjoy being with these babies".

(1) Finally I was experiencing the feeling that everybody was talking about - the enjoyment of having the babies.

It took a long time in coming and I really wondered if I'd have to wait until they were a year.... or two....

And I've been really, really enjoying them the last two weeks or so. On Tuesday, they'll be 17 weeks old!

K having a bath - nervous nelly

(2) They both first smiled at 9 weeks and then nothing major (well, that I saw. maybe they saved it for their daddy or the nanny) for weeks except when we worked really, really hard and they'd grace us with one just to keep us sane.

I swear these kids know how to keep you on your toes.

Well, since week 15, we've been getting lots of smiles every day. And who can be grumpy at 3am while changing a stinky poo nappy when you get a beautiful smile?

And this last week, Connor's been gurgling and cooing which is too sweet.

I know you want to hear about the sleep! That's a whole other post all on its own because I have issues!

Connor hates it when I keep clicking away - have to wait til he's sleeping :)

(3) Kendra was sick three weeks ago so the doctor said we could give her Baby Panado for 2 - 3 nights. I did so the first night and she went 6 hours between feeds!

After that act of brilliance you almost want to keep doing it just to keep them sleeping.


But it did give me hope that she could go longer than 3 hours - she never had before.

Then the next week, without the Baby Panado, she did the 6-hour stint for two nights running, and then did 2 X 5-hour stints the nights after that.

After those first good sessions (which are from about 6 - 7pm), there's a shorter one of either 3 or 4 hours.

A thoughtful Kendra

Those of you who have babies sleeping through are thinking so what? but for us, that is HUGE! Even an hour longer than scheduled is excellent for us (and for my immune system).

Connor has managed one 6-hour stint ever in his life, but regularly has a 5-hour session followed by a 4 - 4,5 hour session.

C - sucking his fist

I've just been reading through The Notebook and I see they sleep better for us than they do for the night nanny! Yay, babies. They know their parents' savings account is just about out of money for a night nanny.

One last thing... perspective is a wonderful thing. I had lunch with my friend from the NICU on Wednesday and when she was telling me how her little one is doing (lots of medical issues - also born at 32 weeks like my two), I really got so grateful that my two are healthy.

So we're not sleeping quite as much as we'd like to (my goal is 2 X 6-hour stints), so my bank account is basically empty, so I have nanny issues (I should say control issues!), so Kendra is a fussy eater but the babies are healthy and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Anyway, the point of all that rambling is that the babies are responding more to us which is great! And they're sleeping slightly better which is even more great!

So all in all, either things are looking up or my attitude is better :)

How are you doing?


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