Archive | December, 2010

The Girls Half Christmas

29 Dec

OK technically it was the girls first Christmas but they’re totally not going to be able to remember it. I mean, come on- they’re only 5 months old! So… I’m calling it their Half Christmas, and next year I will count it as their first proper Christmas. 

Anyways, so their Half Christmas went something like this… All week we were at our families holiday house in a small river town, just chilling. So on Christmas Eve we slapped on the sunscreen and hats went for a nice walk on the beach.

This was the girls first time to the beach and even though we didn’t set them down on the sand or put their feet in the water, they LOVED the ocean. They just stared and stared with wide eyes. It was suuuuper cute!
Christmas day started with an experiment and new adventure- solid food. We decide a while ago to give them solids for the first time during this holiday cause we knew Gran and Gramps would appreciate being around for it. So myself, Husband, Granny and Gramps all crowded around the dining room table where the girls sat perched in their bumbo seats @ 7 am Christmas morn and here’s how it went…


Blake did pretty well for her very first time with solid foods. She did make a disgusted face at the taste of the rice cereal but she swallowed it none the less. Keena was not interested at all. She gave us The Vault treatment. What is The Vault you ask? It’s that super tight lip mouth pursing babies do when they WILL NOT open up. Prying open Keena’s mouth is about as easy as robbing the federal reserve bank. She hardly ever makes it easy on you when you try to feed her. See, she LOVED being breastfed and it took me 6 WEEKS to switch her over to a bottle and still… every time I give her her bottle she gives me up hill about it. She’s the silent but stubborn kind. So anyways, first rice cereal didn’t go down to well in her books. Most of it ended up all over her face.
Next we opened presents, starting with our Christmas crackers. They each got crowns.

(Keena in her cracker crown)

(Blake in her cracker crown)

Normally we have a massive Christmas lunch with cousins and aunts and uncles but due to various reasons, it was just myself, Husband, our girls and my in-laws this year so… in a shockingly nontraditional fashion we went to a hotel for lunch. Hey, don’t knock it until you have no cooking or dishes to do and can relax all day.  
So that’s more or less how the girls Half Christmas went. Next year I’m going crazy though. You just wait and see! But this year, Half Christmas was…


Plane Arriving from Blogville

26 Dec

I’m still new to this whole blog world. Sure I can write decent blogs but I’m still figuring out how to navigate the design of my template and follow others blogs and get people to stinkin’ follow mine! So since I started blogging a month ago or so, I’ve spent a lot of time fiddling with my blog and reading others. So much so that Husband jokes about me having an affair with my blog! Husband jokes about everything. 

So here we are, in the families holiday house on the river on Boxing day and I’m trying to finish my ‘Same Same but Different’ blog and Husband sends me this text message while standing 5 feet away from me: 

“We miss you here in PA. What time does your flight from Blogville arrive?”

I packed out laughing. Like I said… he jokes about everything. 

Same. Same… but different

26 Dec
I am a dictator about my girls routine. I’m learning to trust my instincts more and more and improvise when things don’t go accordingly but in general… I insist that my girls stick to their routine. And they must BOTH stick to the routine.
 In the first weeks home from the hospital after their birth this was my biggest mission because they’re two very different little people. Blake wanted to eat every 2.5 hours and Keena just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. So to get them in sync but kind of work with their natural body rhythms I had to stretch B out till 3 hours and wake Keena up. Took about three weeks but they sync’d up nicely.  But I was always firm- if one gets up, they both get up. If one eats- they both eat, and so on and so on.  It helps keep my sanity so that I’m, ideally & hopefully, not feeding and trying to get babies to sleep ALL DAY LONG. 
When they were about 8 weeks old came my first major decision to let them develop at their own pace but within the structure of the routine. It was scary for me but needed to be done.
Their night time sleeping patterns started to change and I could see I had to let them transition at their own pace, in their own way. Keena was sleeping for longer stints at nighttime but Blake was still waking up every 3-3.5 hours. So then I had to gamble… do I  A) wake & feed them both even though Keena’s sound asleep & risk having two wide awake babies on my hands afterwards or B) feed Blake and let Keena sleep, risking that she might wake up right after I feed B & want to be fed making me an all night feeding machine or even more complicated than that, wake up while I’m feeding B and my hands are already full? With multiples, it’s so easy to do everything the same, same, same. But as I said earlier, I have to constantly remember that they are two different individuals and need to be treated as such, especially in their development. So, I gambled on option A.
And it was a good thing that I did too! Took me about 3 weeks but I carried on feeding Blake when she woke at night and concentrated my efforts on getting Keena to sleep through. Once Keena was sleeping through, Blake had matured enough to accomplish this task as well.  Regardless, they always started the day at the same time and in the end they both made the transition and synced up totally again anyways.
Another smaller transition I had to make was how long they each stay awake.  After they eat it’s time to play. It varies from day to day which one it is but one of them always stays awake longer than the other and they never go down at the same time…and that’s ok. Again, they’re twins but very different people. 
And as always with children, things are changing again. This week the girls turned 21 weeks and are developing rapidly.  For the past 9 weeks they’ve been on a four hour routine and sleeping like machines. They’ve been taking two, 2 hour naps and one, 1.5 hour nap but… not any longer.  This is another one of those times were I must grin and bare them being slightly out of sync knowing that they’ll both develop eventually and until then… I juggle.
Blake has recently decided to drop her late afternoon while Keena still needs that nap. So now I have one baby sleeping from 5-6:30 & one wide awake. Keena will obviously, eventually also stay awake during this period but not just yet. Again, I must remind myself that, yes, they are twins but TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE and it’s ok that ones awake and ones asleep. They are still eating at the same time and they both still sleep through the night. And during transition times I’ve got to stay focused on the big picture. Eating at the same time and sleeping through the night is the big picture in terms of a routine.
I feel like I’m going to take this transition better than the last as now at least I have a history of transition victories to draw from. But it still freaks me out a bit… guess that’s normal… maybe?  Makes me feel better to think that at leastJ Either way, I have no choice. They’re growing up and developing with or without me! I just have to take a deep breath and juggle on.

Wanted: An Extra Pair of Hands

16 Dec
Ok, I could definitely think of a whole list of tasks to give these extra pair of hands however, at the moment the main job I’d pass onto them is… sign language.  Yes, sign language.

See, I’ve always wanted to teach my babies sign language. I firmly believe that we, brilliant adults, often under estimate the intelligence of babies and children. Just because a baby can’t speak does not mean that they don’t know what’s going on or don’t have things to say. I feel that sign language is a great vehicle for my babies to communicate with me while they do not have the skills to speak just yet. It uses their natural abilities and tendencies to increase the clarity of their daily communications and in turn cuts down on my frustration of me guessing what they need and of them being misunderstood.  

I could actually carry on on this topic and explain tons of reasons why sign language is very beneficial for hearing babies but I shall not diverge. From what I can pick up, baby sign language is a much more common in the US than it is here. Anytime I’ve mentioned that I want to teach the girls sign language, people here just look at me like I’m a nuts and some people have actually said “wait… like on Meet the Falkers?”. Meet the Falkers… that’s the only frame of reference I have to offer here because no one I’ve talked to has ever heard of it! So now I’m more determined than ever to show that it works and how beneficial it is but… I’m struggling to find the hands to sign! 

Signing in context is the the quickest and clearest way for the girls to grasp it. At the moment, I’m sticking with 4 signs I’m trying to teach them: 

Common theme: all of these revolve around feeding time… which is when my hands are more than occupied! Holding two baby bottles and signing at the same time doesn’t really work. Hence… the extra pair of hands wanted. 

Look, it’s not a strenuous job or anything. I just need someone to come stand by my side the whole feeding time and sign those for words when I say them. Not rocket science.

So… any takers?

I want signing babies.


Scarlett O’Hara Report Back

11 Dec

Well, that’s it. I finished Gone With the Wind this week. On the one hand I’m relieved to know how it all ended. But on the other hand… I’m absolutely devastated! The ending of that book is freaking tragic. I was so sad inside for days that I could only now get around to reporting back to you about the book. 

Way above and beyond the tragedy of Scarlett’s extremely late revelation is my suuuuper sadness for Rhett. 

That poor man. If he was alive right now, I’d give him a big hug. And as for Scarlett, she and I are definitely not BFF’s anymore. She is classic case of “pride comes before a fall”. Very upset with her. 

Anyways, just wanted you to know that the suspense is no longer killing me… just the knowledge of all the lives Scarlett hurt or ruined is. Plus now, I have to find something else to read while I express. Suggestions are welcome. Nothing as devastating as this though, please? I need a pick me up after this read. Or maybe I should stick to magazines for a while. There are no characters in magazines that I can get emotionally invested in, just to be let down. 
I get into my books- so shoot me? 

That’s just…


Domestically Deprived

11 Dec

Help! Life’s so tough. Yes, it’s definitely as bad as you are imagining…

MY MAID WENT HOME FOR A MONTH FOR CHRISTMAS AND NOW I HAVE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE! Ugh, can you imagine. The nerve of this woman leaving me, with my two little babies, to do all the laundry and dishes and dusting and mopping and, and, and…! What am I going to do? Oh the misery! Oh the strife! How will I ever carry on?
Ok, obviously I’m being quite dramatic. But seriously, my maid’s been gone 1 day and I miss her like crazy already! 

I have to laugh at myself because when I first moved to South Africa I was shocked to learn that everybody here has a maid. 

This is Africa and South Africa has a 50% unemployment rate so, employing a maid= putting food on another families table. 

Many people have a maid that comes once or twice a week but most families have a maid full time, 5 days a week. She’ll do all the house cleaning as well as laundry, ironing and other bits and pieces. Originally, I found it so odd that this person you don’t know comes into you space and fiddles with your things and folds the clothes in your closet and cleans your ball of hair out of your shower drain. I felt like I wanted to constantly follow her around and apologize for the dirt and mess. Oh and working from home has never helped anything. Every time the maid would come, there I’d be sitting, like usual, on my computer. I felt terrible that I sat on my bum while this person cleaned around me! And I could tell by the look on her face that she had no idea what I was doing or why I was always on my computer. 

Well, almost 4 years in, I do still find aspects of having a maid a little awkward but in general I have adjusted. Actually, I am spoiled to death to have someone clean my house top to bottom twice a week. And just so you don’t think I’m a total bum I do tidy up the house everyday and run at least one load of dishes in the dish washer in between her visits but still… how spoilt am I? So spoilt that I haven’t done a load of laundry in 9 months until today! And I can’t even remember the last time I cleaned my own bathroom. But alas… I have been abandoned for the holiday season. *sigh* Time to put on my dusty rubber gloves and get to cleanin’… if I still remember how. 

I definitely love my maid. I feel deprived without her. It’s amazing how much energy you have for your kids when someone else is cleaning your house:) I do realize I probably sound utterly pathetic to all my friends in the states who raise their kids and clean their own homes but…

Now you know my secret. A maid…

Our family breeds twins

3 Dec

No one ever believes me when I tell them this but… until this year neither Husband or I had any twins in our family. Well, I think Husbands Grandpa’s brothers were twins but he never met them and I don’t think they count.

And his male cousin overseas has SUPER cute 3 year old twin girls but they came from their moms side, as she has twins in her family.

Definitely none on my side. 

Anyways… I had the privilege of sharing my twin pregnancy with my sister in law who also had twins! Ten weeks after we had our girls, Husbands older brother and his wife welcomed a pigeon pair  into the world:) And on Sunday they were all in the same place at the same time for the for time ever! Without further ado, I give you… all the twins. 

 Oliver, Keena, Blake and Lily. Super cute right? I totally think so:)

For our family, twins is definitely…