Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wherein I admit some personal shortcomings...

So I have suddenly noticed a weird pattern here at the homestead and I am not liking the picture that it paints.

It seems I have developed a strange and alarmingly annoying habit of being grumpy on a Saturday. I'm not sure when this started, or why but looking back over the last few weeks (as far back as my poor, challenged memory goes) Saturdays are the days when I am most likely to zip on the doberman suit and develop fish-wife like tendencies.

It seems that despite Saturdays being the very best day of the week when I was in my twenties, it is now the day when I want to get the most done and am most inclined to become irritable with those around me. Of course this general grumpiness carries over to the kids as well and I think that may be at least part of the reason why Saturdays are so much more tiring and fraught than Sundays.

Yesterday the boys and I kept bumping heads. We had several potty accidents (read: crappy pants *sigh*), complete selective hearing and some very confrontational 'moments'. This, added to my desire to get some shit done meant that even nap time was disrupted and we were all completed exhausted at the end of the day.

Today started out so much better with no potty accidents and we even left the house for 2 hours to go to a birthday party! Despite copious amounts of chocolate, sugar and other party specific junk food we still managed to get home, have a nap, play in the garden and go to sleep with no hitches at all. Not only that, I also managed to get a couple of the chairs repainted so it wasn't as if they had my undivided attention.

The childminder was at the party and we were chatting about it and she thinks that it may also be that they find Saturdays a bit weird because they're between routines but we'll see because the childminder is on leave this week so between us, the RO and I are SAHP's. Watch this space folks 'cause who knows what this week will bring!


Friday, May 22, 2009

IComWeLeave May

Hello and welcome to all the ICWLers, please remember to leave a link to your blog if you're not on blogger so that I can follow you around ;-)..

I had already composed a decent introduction post for a previous month but things have moved on since then and so I can't in good faith use it so I shall try again.

I am the Villagepig, so named because it is the English translation of the Welsh name for our house. I am not trying to be self deprecating although sometimes that does happen anyway. I am a mother to twin boys. I had a horrible and very difficult pregnancy, post natal depression and have only recently actually started to enjoy parenthood in the conventional manner.

For a large proportion of you the above paragraph will probably be a bit like chewing and swallowing glass because for you, pregnancy is the prize, the difficult and elusive culmination of years of failed conceptions. I really wish that it wasn't so and I wish that I could do more to try and help alleviate some of the pain. I tried to become an egg donor but it seems that it wasn't to be and I have recently been told that I have low ovarian reserve and am a candidate for early onset of menopause. Oh joy doesn't that sound like fun?

I have chosen not to dwell on the future because I am more of an 'in the moment' kind of gal but I needed to say all this because I had so hoped to be able to provide an example for other fertile's to follow and I didn't want anyone to feel that I had made claims that I wasn't ever going to fulfill.

Thank you for visiting and for (hopefully) commenting. I will do my very best to visit all of you as well and have no doubt that we will all find some new inspiration along the way.

Happy ICWL!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Rare moments of calm...

So beautiful that they make my heart hurt!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I told you so!

See, just as I said - you think you have it all worked out and then you realise that you have absolutely no idea!

So my post on Saturday was pretty deep right? That's because Saturday was d.i.f.f.i.c.u.l.t! Mainly due to the potty training but not helped but crappy weather (rain!) and general crabbiness.

Sunday morning dawned bright and early because for some reason the boys always get up early on the week-end but they were both in the most delightful mood. Nath came prancing in and announced that his brother was really nice and could he have a cuddle. Tell me anyone who can be grouchy after that.

The morning started well and just got better. The boys went onto the potty immediately and didn't have a single accident all day long. We have introduced the reward scheme (thanks Penny!) and it does seem to have clicked. Even the childminder was impressed because they didn't have a nappy at all today and were perfectly dry, so much so that she is taking them to the library tomorrow wearing only underpants! Well possibly trousers, a shirt, socks and shoes as well but that's all honest ;-)

So what can I say? They can be truly delightful when they want to be and today.... I love them very much.


p.s. have had a good day all round because I have last half a stone over the last 4 weeks, something I plan to continue doing especially if I can remember to take my damn thyroxine!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Humble Pie - The truth about parenting...

The only constant truth about parenting is that it never works out the way you expect it to so just as you think you have it sussed, the next stage starts and the 'fumbling around in the dark' bit starts all over again. This for me is the one aspect of it which makes it equally the most rewarding and humbling experience of my life.

Nothing about being a parent is as I expected it to be. I guess that we all have an idea of the type of parent that we aspire to be but this image is so much clearer before the reality of being one clouds the view. I have discovered that there are fundamental parts of my personality which have changed and which have had a positive, if bewildering affect on me as an individual.

In my pre-children years I was very spontaneous and my idea of routine was to not have one and to reinvent myself over and over. I loved to move, to change my hair and my style as often as I wanted but when I think back to those days now they're alien to me and I can't figure out how (or if) I was ever fulfilled.

Perhaps the truth is that routine is the corner stone for the bewildered parent, it is the foundation that substitutes for the lost family circle because it brings familiarity and comfort. The problem is that with children, especially when they're young the routine has to grow and change to accommodate their development and for the bewildered parent this brings unfamiliar territory.

I love the routine that we have built for the boys. We're not hugely strict about most things but we're pretty vigilant about when they eat, nap and especially when they go to bed. Built into this daily routine is all the little things which have evolved either through desire or necessity but all of them at some point face the prospect of ending. We are going through one of those transitions at the moment and I am having to face my personal shortcomings through the process.

I appealed for some advice about potty training twins a while back and a very good friend sent me some excellent advice. We tried but ultimately it was our childminder who really instigated the change and we're following her lead. The problem is that I find frustration and impatience bubbling up and over far more than I am comfortable with as we struggle to balance fair consistency with the practical issues which inevitably come up.

I really wish that I was more patient and more consistent but honestly I am just doing whatever is necessary to get to through this stage to the brief island of calm before the next stage kicks in.

Eish! The toddler years are so tiring!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What would you do?

There are many things that I generally don't post about here for fear of repercussions. I don't post about work and I don't usually write about family because out of context things can be misinterpreted which leads to misunderstandings which leads to fights... But something happened over the last few days and I can't quite decide whether I am overreacting or reasonably pissed off.

See, I have siblings, younger ones who all live back home and who all live with my parents. They're not children, they are all in their twenties, capable, smart individuals with it seems zero ambition. I want more than anything to be confident that they are looking forward and aspiring towards something because above all else, I despise complacency.

As a South African living in another country it is difficult for me to express this opinion without those living back home becoming upset because they feel that I can't possibly know how hard it is for them and I imagine that they think that it was so much easier for me when I was starting out. The thing is that whether it is harder or not is entirely irrelevant because the situation back home is what it is and only hard work and perseverance will change the circumstances. I have tried to help in any way that I can. I am adept at finding solutions, it is what I do so when a problem presents its self I make it my mission to find as many potential answers as I can but it seems that either they're inappropriate answers or they're just not welcome and this is where my dilemma comes in.

I have some very successful and capable friends back home, many of whom have built careers in a difficult economy and I recently heard about a vacancy working with one of these friends. To say it was a fantastic opportunity would be to put it mildly. A small, fun, successful organisation with strong community ties and an excellent track record for employee satisfaction. Perhaps naively I thought of the my oldest, younger sister. She has the skills, the ability and the reliability to make the most of the position and to turn it into something great. I immediately informed her of the position and suggested that she e-mail her CV across because I know that all 3 of them are 'looking' for jobs and that she especially would like to get back into work.

That was Monday and when I hadn't heard anything from her this morning I sent her a text asking what was happening. Her response was that she had decided not to send it and that she was going to try another company instead. It was around this time that I got really, really angry. I was angry not only at the fact that she hadn't let me or my friend know that she wasn't sending her CV but also that she was throwing something away with such amazing potential. In a scarce job market it is a real miracle to find a position opening up which has all the makings of a career and I just cannot get my head around why someone would turn that opportunity down especially when they have no firm prospects to speak of.

Up until that point I think I had every right to be angry and to express that anger but unfortunately I did what I do, I took it too far. I was so frustrated, annoyed and embarrassed that I involved my parents and went so far as to say that I am done helping any of them (the kids). With hindsight perhaps this was unfair, they are after all adults now, fully capable of making their own decisions but I just don't see any evidence that they are and it really scares me because life is passing them by and they'll be 30 before they realise it has happened.

It is possible that they may read this, and they may get angry in return (if they aren't already, I think my parents were planning on 'talking' to them this evening) and I don't want there to be anger between us but I also don't want them to think that it is ok to continue as they are. Is it wrong to want to be proud of them? To be able to look at them and think that they have fought and cried and deserved everything that they have? The sad truth is that right now I am not proud of them and that really breaks my heart.

I am sure that there are those who will think that I am being to harsh and they may be right but the point is not that I want them to be rich or successful but rather that they are exposing themselves to risk, to life, to lessons rather than cruising along the path of least resistance.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

OMG You Rock 2009!!!!

It has been a difficult week what with the house full of illness, grumpiness and general rubbishness BUT knowing full well that today would come has made it all the more manageable. Given that it isn't Mothers Day in the UK (ours was about a month ago) it is ALL about the rocking ;-)

My package arrived on Friday form the lovely and wonderful Ali of CysterAct fame. It has taken ALL of my willpower (what little exists) to wait until today to open it up. I LOVE my present and I am amazed that Ali was able to discern that it would be so appropriate?

At the top of the picture you can see my sorry excuse for recipe books. Basically an accumulation of recipes all they way from back at school through to now. Even more sad is the fact that I very rarely refer to them. At the bottom of the picture is my lovely present from Ali, it is a recipe organiser split into different areas (Starters, mains, desserts, baking etc)...

Above you can see that all the recipes I have are typed out so I may have to cut them out and glue them into the new book. Not as pretty as copying them out by hand but far more likely to be done and completed!

Above you can see the inside cover, what you can't see (very lazy me because I used my phone to take the pics instead of my proper camera) is the lovely inscription..... Above the book is the most fantastic card which given its unique nature must be yet another illustration of Ali's resourceful and creative nature and I will cherise the kind words contained within!

Now onto the aim of the day... The lovely Liv created the idea because she (and I agree) felt that we all needed to take a moment to recognise our own greatness as well as those of our fellow bloggers most especially though it is too honour all those wonderful men and woman who have experienced the most intense of heartache in their quest to expand their families. What a wonderful and remarkeable idea it was too because here we all are in our different little corners of the world with a little something to remind us that not only are we great individually but collectively we are a force to be reckond with.

I wish that the heartache could be iradicated and everyone could experience the trials of parenthood but I hope that just for one day at least you can all let the little glimmer of hope flare.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

An unexpected end...

I know that I promised some further egg donation updates and I have several 'typed' up in my head ready to go but now, I'm not sure they will ever come to light because there has been a new and unexpected turn of events which has really changed everything.

I have alluded to the fact that the hospital that I have been 'allocated' to hasn't been very efficient in their approach to altruistic donation and had sent a long letter outlining all the issues to the head consultant, hoping to help them improve the process. I sent the letter several weeks ago and have been waiting for a response (and a date for my cycle to start). On Friday I received a call from the consultant's P.A. asking me to meet with her today which I agreed too thinking it would be predominantly about the administrative issues.

One of the issues that I have had with the hospital is the lack of communication. After every set of blood tests I dutifully waited for the letter/phonecall which I had been promised would follow and on all occasions I had to chase them myself. The last test that was done was the AMH and I have tried on several occasions to get an update on the results. A few weeks ago I finally managed to get them to give me a summation of the results and was told that my fertility was average. Not high, not low, just average and that the 'age' of my equipment appeared consistent with my real age (in fact the words slightly younger were uttered and not by me). Not being an expert in the lingo in this area I believed them, I mean who wouldn't?

Anyway so today I dutifully turned up for this meeting with the consultant. I was on time and prepared (she was late, although she said the admin office hadn't informed her that I had arrived) for a discussion pertaining to process. What actually happened took me completely by surprise because she pulled out the results of my AMH test and showed me that in fact I am in the 'low fertility' category and not viable as a donor. She went on to suggest that if the RO and I wanted any more children that we should try immediately and expect that we would need help!

Thankfully the RO and I are content with what we have but I am gutted that after 8 months of preparation I have gone from potential donor to potential recipient. I am not upset for me so much as for the women I had hoped to help and I can't help but feel cheated by the system for leading me to believe that things were different to what they are.


Friday, May 01, 2009


Thank you to everyone who commented on my Monday post, I am surprised by how many of you have been worried about coping after the birth of your babies. To be honest, I can't even remember that time, I was far too preoccupied with getting them out in a healthy state! Since you all took the time to comment I thought I would return the favour so here goes;

C Lo said, 'The biggest skill I've picked up as a parent is letting go of the small stuff and truly recognizing what the small stuff is. :)'

I really admire this skill and am working on acquiring it for myself. Generally in life I can do this but I struggle when it comes to the kids. I really hate when I get all worked up over something trivial and let it affect my mood. An excellent skill C Lo, you're right to be proud of it!


Cassandra said, 'I can't believe you iron the boys' clothes!

I used to have things somewhat under control but since being pregnant, lazy has taken on new meaning! You'll have to wait for the report on my skills until the babies arrive.

I do iron the boys clothes, along with ours. It was soo difficult at first but once I got into the habit I realised that *I* love the feel of ironed clothing when I put them on and so I expect that my RO & the boys will to. Even if they don't care, I do like that they're all neat when I take them out in public ;-).

As for being lazy when you're pregnant, it is not only expected, it is mandatory! All bets are off during pregnancy so don't be too hard on yourself.


Parenthood for Me said, 'It's amazing the things you can cram into a day when your time is precious. I also used to hate yard work but am now really looking forward to creating our gardens and planting veggies and fruit gardens to tend to with my son.'

It's true! And I don't think that this tendency to add things to the 'To Do' list ever diminishes. Instead I think that as the kids get older and some of the daily slog starts to taper off, we as parents fill that downtime with other things - probably the reason why most retired people have immaculate homes and gardens! :-)


Mrs. Gamgee said, 'There are days when I wonder if I will be able to handle being a parent for that very reason, but I know that when it happens those impulses just sort of kick in. I'm looking forward to the day that I can look back and laugh at my laziness :)'

Not only will you laugh, you will be incredulous about it! The RO and I have come to believe that boredom and laziness are both luxuries of pre-parenthood. We never have time to be bored these days, too much to do ;-).


Fat Chick said, 'I'm really banking on #1, because I'm always late for work....'

HaHaHa, I'm not making any promises, I suspect that having a very hands-on and willing husband plays a big part of it ;-).


Jill said, 'not a parent yet, but that first paragraph is TOTALLY me and my Hubs :) Thank you for giving me hope that I will be able to get all of that stuff done if/when we have kids :)'

Enjoy it! In fact I say that you should embrace your inner lazy, procrastinating self and give it FULL reign ;-).


Serendipity said, 'I agree 100% with Mrs Gamgee, I worry a lot about how we're going to handle things once I had to go back to work, good to see that it seems to come naturally!'

Well, the hard work comes first and the naturally part follows. The good news is that you won't realise that it is hardwork at the time because you'll be too sleep deprived to spare any thoughts for the tasks you're completing.

Seriously though, the main thing to realise is that you will never accomplish everything on your own so be aware of your limitations, ask for help all the time and be PROUD of all the things you do, even if at first you don't do them perfectly!


*IMHE = In My Humble Experience