The One About Underpants

I really want to preface this post by saying – yes, I will be talking about my underpants.

However, I think what’s important to clarify is this :  If you’re here because you did a hashtag search on underpants for reasons other than “I’m really that obsessed with one brand of underpants and I’ve been buying them for nearly 25 years and I’m gutted I can’t buy them here.”, this is your time to bow out of the post gracefully.   Thanks for the click! 😉 Continue reading The One About Underpants

The one about pockets.

I bought a dress the other day.  Hardly mind blowing, revolutionary stuff really, but bear with me.  I’ve started working again, and occasionally I want to do stuff like frocking up and looking like a human, rather than something that crawled out of suburbia, got dragged through a couple of hedges on the way and lost an argument with a couple of sassy 4 year olds that morning.  But enough about everyday life.

I bought a dress.  I’m very proud of this fact.  It was one of the first I’ve bought post babies, and I got excited about getting something new.  It’s something I own that I didn’t buy on a clearance rack because hey, it’s just going to be puked/boogered/stained on anyway.  I actually owned something NEW!  Without STAINS!  And I looked like a functioning member of society in it! Continue reading The one about pockets.

The one about how a week turns into a month turns into … well, you get the idea

A couple of months back I made a huge deal about how you should stay tuned, my blog was coming back … and how this year was going to be AWESOME because I was 40 and everything was under control.

And then… Life happened.

My girls started school, I started working, and all of a sudden life was lost under a massive cloak of ‘OH MY GOD I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME FOR SLEEP LET ALONE A BLOG!’ … and so I kind of let things lapse.

Continue reading The one about how a week turns into a month turns into … well, you get the idea

The one about coffee…

Anyone who knows me knows my love of coffee.  My best friend Michelle jokes that I know only 2 words in the morning – “Cof fee”

Today is one of those rare days where not even coffee is motivating me.  3 cups later and I’m still feeling lethargic and tired and not even ready to face the next hour, let alone grocery shopping and taking the monsters to kindy for another attempt at that drama.

So, whilst going to bed last night with a dream of writing the latest installment in the poo saga, as well as an update of all the things going on here … I won’t. I’m going to make cup number 4, and I’m going to try to wake up.


We’re pregnant! (AKA Oh S***! How not to react to the news you’re having twins).

By now you've all probably heard or seen the news that we're having identical twins early next year.  Yes, we are extremely happy, no, we don't know what they are yet, and really, we have no preference.  Healthy and happy is all we require.

It all started around the beginning of June.  Things really didn't feel, well, right.  It all began with an overwhelming desire to throw up every 5 minutes and a developing phobia of all things lemon scented. (Seriously, I had to change the toilet cleaner and the dishwashing liquid due to their ability to make me toss my cookies.).  So we did what anyone would do … and pee'd on a stick.  5 minutes and 2 pink lines later … Hooray!  Positive!  We're having a baby.

Things really didn't improve from there.  My ability to projectile vomit improved, as well as being able to balance an icecream bucket on my knees on the loo.  Food became a distant memory as I barely held onto water and rice cakes.  I struggled through my Dutch classes, trying desperately to stay awake and coherant to make the hour long trip by bus to Amsterdam.  I decided that by this stage (and by Dutch standards) I should mosey on down to the midwives at the local health centre for advice on what to do next. By this stage, I was convinced I was going to pass out in the street and be swept up by the overzealous street sweepers.

I met the midwives at 7 weeks pregnant, and was immediately whisked up to the hospital for an ultrasound.  I tried to call Marius, but he was in a meeting and so the poor man had about 4 missed calls and a half dozen desperate "CALL ME ASAP" sms messages on his phone.  He didn't get the message till after, but I was able to give him the news that our little parasite (at this stage, singular parasite – the other was tucked away behind their sibling in a bizarre game of uterine hide and seek) had a heartbeat and everything looked fine.  I was then booked in for a 10 week dating scan and another session with the midwives.

I should have had my suspicions up at the 10 week appointment with the midwife.  She had a poke and a prod, and measured me, and established 'Well, you're *around* 10 weeks."  Looking back – I should have probably sussed that *around* is ambiguous.  "Around 10 weeks" means anywhere from 9 weeks to "Whoa.  You've got 2 in there!"  To top it off, my paranoia was kicking in – having had one miscarriage your sensitivity is high, and my interpretation was 'OMG.  Doom and Gloom.  It's non viable.'

Luckily I had only a few days to wait till the dating scan.  I spent these days miserable, food deprived, nauseous and dwelling on the whole meaning of "Around 10 weeks".  By the time the appointment rolled around, I was convinced they would tell me it was a non-viable pregnancy and I would have the whole trauma of loss again.  This was to the point where poor Marius ran 10 minutes late to the time we said we would meet at the hospital – and I sobbed on him, then refused to speak to him for the remainder of the wait time.  In the mean time, I was pretty much hysterical – and then we got called into the room.

Anyone who tells you that early pregnancy ultrasounds are great is lying.  My experience was 'Go behind this curtain, take off your pants and then parade your bare bum across the room to the chair where you put your feet on the steps and spread 'em.'  The chosen device of torture is a long, thin wand with a condom like device over it, lubricated with that ice cold gel they use.  (Seriously, would it take much to warm that stuff????).  It is then inserted into places usually only used for fun … and a grainy image of the baby comes on the screen.  The technician probed and prodded for a few minutes (at this stage, I'm convinced that something is wrong!) when she said:

"So, they told you you're having a baby?"
(Me – a look of horror, Marius – somewhat amused).  "Yes, that's right."
"Ok, here it is.  And here is the other."
"OH MY F***ING GOD ARE YOU S****ING ME?" (sits upright and incurs a magic seeing eye dildo wand internal injury)
(Marius loses it at this stage and laughs at me)
"No, mevrouw, I'm not joking"

I then lost the ability to say any word other than "Twins".  Incoherently, I muttered the word over and over whilst the technician explained the change in procedure from that point on.  As they established that there was a 95% chance they were identical at that stage, I was suddenly deemed 'High Risk' and was placed under the care of a gynecologist at the hospital.  I was placed under the care of one of the resident twins specialists (forever referred to as 'Dr Hottie' due to his rather pleasant looks).  At this stage, I still lacked the ability to say anything sensible – Marius was leading me around practically holding me up – when the techician asked me if I needed anything, maybe a drink?  I replied that I was sure I wasn't allowed a vodka valium cocktail … and got a strange look.

The next part was keeping it quiet for a few weeks.  We decided that we would not tell the world until Marius came back from a scheduled work trip to Asia – and it was getting hard to keep telling people I was 'sick' and that the doctor was looking into it.  My ability to eat still was compromised, however as the doctor explained, this was going to cause no harm to the babies as they were parasites, and would take from me what they wanted. (A lifelong habit already started?) 9 kilos of weightloss later, and after making sure family and close friends knew, we announced the news to the rest of the world.

As we now look down the barrel of 16 weeks, the news has slowly kicked in.  We're now in the process of doing the renovations we have procrastinated about for 10 months, declaring to the world that these are going to be Primark and Ikea kids … because there's 2 of them, we halved the budget between them, and moaning about the cost of anything to do with twins.  I've signed up for as many free things as I can (in true Dutch fashion!) and  bemoaned the fact the free baby catalogues only come with one pair of free socks.  There should be a box you can tick on the online forms that says 'Yes, I'm having 2/3/4 etc."

Another update soon … 

The perils of fame

Having now established that we are here permanently, I've thrown myself into working with International Almere, an expat organisation devoted to helping people like myself ( I use that in an incredibly liberal sense!) meet and find a support network within the city I live and it's surrounds.

As most of you all know, being the shy, retiring flower I am, I'm extremely precious and don't like to intrude on people and my wallflower status really holds me back. HELLO! I'm HERE! LOVE ME! I've been to a few events and have infiltrated the ranks of the group accordingly.  One day, IA, the next, the WORLD! *muhahaha*  My official post within the group is Co-Director/Events, and I work with a great bunch of people in the day to day operations of this volunteer group.  It has raised my profile somewhat, and I'm always surprised when I go somewhere and introduce myself, and get a reply of "I know."

It has given me an outlet for my incredibly anal side, however, and I'm loving the fact that I can now feed my obsession with highlighters and post it notes and look all official like – and also have a swish title that goes with it.  (in my head).

Anyhow, recently I was interviewed for their website – and I thought I'd post the link here so you all can shake your heads at me :).