Wednesday, 22 December 2010

For good measure

Les Noisy Ones. ;-)


Whoa! As I read this back before hitting ‘publish’ I realise it is a loooong post. Apparently a lot going on these days. Don’t bother to read it all if you don’t feel like it. It’s just what has been going on in my little corner. :-)

The guy and I are getting tired now. The kiddies are 5 months and I have been working three days since October. I get up at six on Wednesday in order to get the kiddies (and me) ready to take them to daycare. We have several inches of snow now so I’m literally plowing the big baby carriage through the snow. At the end of the day we bring them to my parents’ house where they spend the night (and we SLEEP during ours) and my parents don’t need to get through traffic to get to us in the morning of Thursday when they babysit. The night’s sleep is great but on Thursday I end up missing the kiddies a lot so I am always happy to see them again on Thursday evening.

These past few days, maybe a week, have shown that the ladies are getting older. More specifically, their brains are making the connection between cause and effect that was not there before. On one hand, that is amazing and wonderful and all that. On the other hand, it means that they realise that they can manipulate situations with their behaviour. “If I do this, then that happens!” More specifically, the kiddies won’t go to sleep because calling out will bring papa and mama to their room to tuck them in again and that is such great fun! Argh. By the time one realises it is not working anymore, the other one hasn’t caught on yet and so they keep each other awake. And us. Plus the whole shebang is repeated at… (wait for it…) four in the morning. I am a lousy sleeper anyway so I have been living on about two hours a night for the past four or five days. I think I will collapse today somewhere halfway a project report. This morning, after two hours of calling and crying and screaming from two disgruntled young critters, it was time for me to get up anyway. I was not pleased with them.

That said: I only whinge and whine here because this is my place to whinge and whine. I don’t do this in real life. In real life I don’t like parents who bitch about how annoying their kids are with their sleeping and eating problems etc. That happens a lot! I notice that it is often expected of me as a new parent to complain to other parents. Like it is some kind of professional code among mothers to bitch and moan about how the children changed their lives and how they don’t behave sensibly etc. Only to close off the rant with “but you get so much in return you know?” Maybe, just maybe, they should put that in front of the whole monologue – it might change the whole thing.


Sleeping: a new policy is called for, methinks. Recently the guy and me have gotten used to responding to a kiddie’s cry in the night immediately, if only because it often happens that one wakes up the other. As described above, changing this policy is not easy because ignoring them does not bring about the desired effect yet. We’ll hang on and hope like hell it will get better. Also we have been trying to keep quiet in the evenings after putting them to bed but so far this only meant that they have been noisy themselves. We tried of course to be quiet so they would sleep but now we realised that maybe they are noisy because we are quiet – some time ago we would just talk, have the tv on, etc. and they would go to sleep. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation between these but we’re going to give that a try. The pudding for proof will be Christmas. We’re spending Christmas at my brother’s. We’re taking the kiddies and putting them to bed there. They have three kids who are usually noisy and very, um, active which is normal for kids aged 8, 6 and 3. I hope that will work out.

Hey, at least Lisa is eating again! For a while she refused anything more than 50 cc which is not nearly enough. Now she is eating 150 to 200 cc per feeding so that’s good. We learned that if she starts pulling the “nodontwannaeat!” thing again we’ll just wait it out. She’ll get back on.

Further news: as I said we have several inches of snow here in the Netherlands. Now for you folks in Canada and large parts of the US this may not be anything special but I can tell you that for us Dutchies it is. Big time. We usually have a kind of moderate weather with temperatures between 0 and 25 degrees C and rainy so a week of heavy snow and freezing too – it is remarkable. As a consequence society as we know it comes to a complete halt. Trains no longer go, traffic forms a big fat jam the size of a small country (oh wait, that would be our whole country…) and people are advised to stay indoors. It’s insane.

The snow brings more than chaos however. It brings a beauty that is sometimes literally breathtaking. I was working in the centre of Amsterdam on Friday when the heaviest snow came down. My office is close to Dam Square. It looks out over the old rooftops in the centre and towards the seventeenth century canals area. Church spires, tiled roofs, everything covered in a soft blanket of snow. When I stepped outside into the street which is usually messy and noisy and packed with tourists, everything was soft and quiet. There was ten inches of snow on everything, including bikes parked everywhere. I decided not to bet on trams anymore and walked home. On my way I passed the canals (now Unesco World Heritage) and part of the Jordaan area. Good gods, that was beautiful! Here is a picture of the Bloemgracht. :) What you don't see is the fire truck stuck on the other end of the canal, unable to tackle the bridge. I met three of those on my way.
So when I got home I was cold and exhausted from dragging my feet through the snow but also delighted with the place where I live. I dropped off my heavy backpack and headed out the door again to go pick up the kiddies from daycare. On my way out I ran into the boy next door who had walked home from school. He looked exactly the way I felt. I told him I had to go out to pick up the kiddies and jokingly invited him to join me – and he actually hesitated. He is a great kid and absolutely in love with the kiddies. He is thirteen or fourteen and in keeping with his age plays the ‘tough guy’ act but ask him to do anything with the kiddies and he melts and lights up at the same time. So sweet. He didn’t join me in the end. Poor kid deserved to curl up on the couch after a school day like that anyway.

So now I am at work, have a ton of stuff to do, and can’t be bothered. I need to do things but more than that I need sleep. Maybe what I really need is a bit of coffee, some banter with my friend Rob, and then kicking my ass into gear. I will now do just that.*

Thanks for listening. :)

*If anyone from works reads this: sue me! ;-) Why are you reading this now anyway? You should be working too!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

African Babes

It is now quite some time ago that I received a package from South Africa from a friend. In it were two beautiful little outfits for the kiddies, with fun colours and animals on them. I promised her I would make pictures but it took me too too long to do so. When I finally did get to making them, I didn't upload them for a while, then went and lost my camera for a months, etc. etc. blah blah. So these are pictures made on September 26 (!): Esmée on both of them because at the time Lisa was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her up.

Thank you A, you are absolutely wonderful! And so are the clothes. The kiddies are still wearing them although the pants are now a bit too short. Lisa is not growing as fast as her sis so she enjoys them a bit longer. Doesn't Es look marvellous as an African Babe? :-)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Thank you Abs for this wonderful video

I will certainly use the "Great job, here's your cookie" line the next opportunity I get.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Just a little rant, please forgive me

Twins get you reactions from people. It happens. Apparently it is unusual enough to make people stop and stare, and come over and comment. Apart from endeared smiles, what I got a lot – and I mean A LOT! – is people telling me that it must be hard, twins.

This in me triggers a variety of responses. Let’s sum some up, in a random order.

1 – *Gee thanks! And how will this make me feel any better, please?* This is my reality and whinging and whining about it will not change it in any way. Besides: I do not wish to change anything about this situation. I like this situation. I wished and worked pretty hard for this, I am enjoying every single moment of it.

2 – *So?* It seems that this reaction is designed to serve no other purpose than to press upon me my serious misfortune of bearing twins instead of just one baby like sensible people do. I must be mad but I actually like having twins. I think it is really nice. If it means hard work then so be it.

3 – (This is a nasty one:) *If you think this is hard, then your single kid must be an absolute nightmare.* You see, twins is only hard if you think it will be hard. For me, I don’t know any better so for me, having twins is the same as ‘just’ having kids. From what I hear from pretty much all new parents, it is never ever ever like you’ll get a lot of sleep anyway. My kiddies are really sweet and I love them to bits. Sure they cry sometimes and sure I want to paste them behind the wallpaper sometimes but oh sweet lords and ladies: I will be the absolute last to complain. As should you be, shocked parent of only one, since you knew what you were getting yourself into. Or you should have known anyway before you decided to have kids.

4 - *Do I look like a wreck to you?* Seriously, do I? Because you are pretty much telling me that my body must be worn out now and my mind gone blunt. Guess what? My body is absolutely fine, I do whatever I like with it and I think it looks good too. At least I like to think of my mind as as sharp as ever. What do you think?

5 - *Did you even look at their little faces?* Do they remind you of hard work and suffering, or do they look like the faces of beautiful little miracles to you? Because they do to me, especially – but not only – when they smile. How can you look at my precious kiddies and think only of the hard work they cause?

And yet I smile and tell people that it’s okay. I treasure those instances when someone comes up to me and tells me “Congratulations, such beautiful babies, you are truly blessed”. “Thank you,” I tell them, “I think so too.”