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Just To…Be…

12 Jul

As we nestle ourselves in the comfort of a new week; the cogs in the household wheels slowly turn again in predictable motion; the horrendous events of last week slowly whisper away with the winter wind.

But as I sit here relishing the fact that the twinlets are healthy again; that they have returned to their usual playful, cheery dispositions; I want to make sure that I record the positives as well as the hardships.

I don’t want to turn back in months, or even years from now, to only remember those challenging moments.

Those times when the green-horn mother in me was losing her head and in desperate search for some patience and sanity.

Because sometimes, that’s how we approach life; only being impacted by the difficult; only to forget what it means to enjoy the ordinary.

But like a subtle season change or when the ocean changes its tide, last Friday saw the last of the chaos.  It magically disappeared, leaving the afternoon with some serenity and peace.

After their afternoon nap, the sun was still shining brightly – inviting us to play outdoors.  And from there, everything fell in its rightful place.

The boys didn’t cry or wail like they usually do when waking from their sleepy mode.

And for the first time – in what seemed forever – I took the twinlets to one of their favourite playgrounds.

We played on the slide, they pointed and marvelled at the birds.  After almost two weeks of dreadful colds and coughs, I could see the light back in their eyes.

At the park, there are two swings – one baby one with back support and a safety chain and also a normal one for bigger kids.

I strapped Little K in the baby swing and held Little N on my lap as we swung next to him.

Suddenly, there was a calmness.  With just the gentle sway of the three of us.  Basking in the winter sun.

The boys were unusually quiet.  But as I could feel Little N sink deeper into my lap and looked down to see his eyes blinking slowly, I knew he was just relaxing.

Little K was looking up in the sky.  Studying his recent favourite find – aeroplanes.  Occasionally pointing but also just happy and content.

They were both letting the gentle momentum take control.

Knowing that the moment was perfect for it, I even began singing an Indonesian nursery rhyme.

And you know what ?  It just completed everything.

I suddenly remembered what it was like to just be.

To stop being muddled by the madness of motherhood.  To stop being frustrated by my children who don’t even understand their own frustrations.

In that brief point of time, I made sure I grasped onto the beauty of being a mum to my two beloved boys.

A New Lease On Life…

11 Jul

With my hair straightened and blow-dried, I precariously applied a light coat of lip gloss.  I studied myself in the mirror one last time and thought, “Hmm…not too bad, girlfriend.”

The meticulous preparation and the subtle pep talk to self was reminiscent of being single and first dates.  But it wasn’t.  Instead, I left the bathroom and went to find my husband to ask for his opinion.

“Wow !  You look like a brand new person…” he beamed.

The moment his face lit up when I walked into the room, I knew I hadn’t just been placing tabs on myself.

I knew I felt good.  I knew I felt confident and comfortable in my skin.

But he proved that it was also visible.

The new me.

Walking to the bus stop, waiting in anticipation, I was eager to meet up with my newly acquainted friends.

I believe that people step into your life at the right time for the right reasons.  I found it to be true when meeting my husband.

Having only met these ladies once before, we established a connection in the first instance.  So much so that I went home not being able to sleep – my head whirling with the possibilities of where the friendship could take us.

The only natural progression was to see them again soon after.  To be absolutely sure we were on the same page.  That the initial profound conversations were not a fluke.

And they weren’t.

We immediately picked up where we left off – sharing secrets, trading stories, planning goals together.

It had been awhile since I felt involved.  Where my opinion mattered.  Where my past experiences in the corporate world were considered valuable.  An asset, even.  Delving into the conversations – feeding off from each other’s excitement and passion – I felt alive again.

I know I never died.

This is not to claim that my roles as a wife and mother are unsatisfying.  Or that my existing long-term relationships and friendships are inadequate.  Getting caught in the humdrum of life, sometimes there is little time left for family and a handful of friends.

So, how is it possible that I establish a new circle ?

Where did the need come from ?

The unquenchable search to figure out my purpose in life beyond motherhood.

That it is possible to find an even newer lease on life…

To Assume, Or Not To Assume; It’s Never A Question

30 Jun

Back in the day when I was fighting my way through the crazy corporate jungle which was full of bigger -than-their -BMW’s-business egos (compensating for their insecurities and other “shortcomings), I had many an idiot of a boss.  One in particular.

But, ironically, this is the idiot that left one piece of advice that has always stayed with me:

“Never assume.”

This man doesn’t deserve any more of a mention but the other day those words struck a chord.

Waiting in line for my much-needed coffee, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and while pointing to the twinlets said, “Oh, please do tell me some of your nanny friends so I can refer either you or them to my daughter.  She’s looking for someone at the moment…and you seem to be doing a fabulous job with those twins…”

“Haha, I should think so.  After all, I am their mother…” I replied, trying to contain my urge to whack the tactless lady in the head.

Arriving at playgroup, I told the other mums about my run-in.  One mum knew exactly where I was coming from.  She is Hungarian; Her husband is of Filipino background; Their little boy is his dad’s mini-me.

Another mum made an interesting point.

“She just should’ve just asked straight up if they were yours.  At least she could’ve saved herself the embarrassment.”

And although I almost despise being asked that question too (It’s up there with “Are they IVF ?”), I think my mum friend is right.

I started thinking about assumptions and tried to recall a time where they have every played a positive role.

Being an Indonesian born Australian, I’ve been dumped with a few in my life.

There was the time a QANTAS flight attendant was frustrated with all the Indonesian passengers who couldn’t speak (shock !  horror !) English on a flight from Jakarta to Sydney.  Getting peeved at having to repeatedly explain that the dinner choices were either fish or chicken, by the time he came around to me, he spoke so slowly and yet in an impatient and rude manner.

I turned on my thickest of Aussie accents and twang:  “Um, dunno.  Maybe the chicken, but what’s in the fish ?”

I’ll never forget his look of shame and his lame attempt to explain his bad behaviour.

Then there was the awful time when my dad had a seizure in the middle of a road trip and we had to race him to the nearest hospital.  While waiting for his CT scan results in the emergency room, a nurse started speaking candidly to his colleague about my dad’s condition, thinking he and his family who were in the room didn’t speak English.

There will always be morons in this world.  There’s no denying that.

But I think assumptions can be prevented.  (And likewise, I definitely need some hard-up lessons of my own).

Perhaps, we could argue that they aren’t as severe as unsolicited judgements or criticisms.  One could even see them as harmless.

Yet, my life experiences tell me differently.  I think assumptions can be the root and the stem of the yuckiness and negativity of close-mindedness and prejudice.

Feel free to correct me, if I’m wrong.

Anywhoooo…ending on a lighter note.

Here is the latest photo of me and the twinlets:

Please, please, pretty please tell me that  you can see a teeny tiny resemblence of me in them.

The flat nose ?  The squidgy lips ? Anything ?

Lies and far-stretched truths will be happily accepted 🙂

“So, you guys going in for another round ???”

27 Jun

It’s a question I get asked a lot these days.

Random people tend to particularly like asking while I’m dealing with a twinlet tantrum or chasing them as they run in opposite directions.

“Haha !  Depends on the day you ask me !”  I manage to force a fake laugh as I scurry away, trying to catch one.

It seems to be a bit of entertainment for some people; seeing if a parent of twinlets would dare want any more.

It’s like they’re asking if I’m up for some more torture; wanting to see if I’m crazy enough to experience another dose and a half of sleep deprivation.

“What if you have another set of twins ???” is the next favourite line.

Yet, none of these people know that I would love to have another.  And if we had another set of twins – God help me – I know we would somehow manage.  There’s plenty of love in this house for more.

But there’s a few factors to consider.

First and foremost is finding the blessed time AND energy to procreate.  Have I mentioned how dawg-gone friggin’ exhausted I am these days ???

Hubby's response after asking him if there was going to be any bedroom action later...

The other important point is the fact that I’m around the corner from the 40’s shop.  And I’m not sure whether by the time I get there, the baby producing aisle will still be open and available.  Know what I’m sayin’ ?

Even if we just put aside that second issue for just a moment and focus on trying to find some time for a bit of bow-chica-bow-wow in the bedroom.

The whole process has become so clinical and almost unromantic…it’s actually laughable.

Two weeks after “Flow’s Come To Town” I promptly let my husband know that I’m ovulating.  (Well, I think I am, anyway…).

The moment the sentence leaves my mouth, I realise how far we’ve come from our raunchy-can’t-keep-our-hands-off-each-other-child-free days.

How did we get to this stage of such complacent abstinence ?

A couple of months ago, I decided to head to bed early.  It was my cue to let my beloved know I was *ahem* ready.

A couple of hours later, the light finally switches on in Hubby’s head and he manages to tear himself away from the telly and makes himself to the bedroom .

By this time, I am well and truly in the depths of the slumberland forest.

Hubby tried a couple of his “special” moves to wake me but in the midst of deep sleep…I pushed him away.

“Sorry, Lovey…I’m just too tired,” I apparently mumbled in my sleep-talk.

Yikes !

I NEVER say no to a bit of bedroom action !!!

At the same token, there have been a few momentous occasions where I – the obvious sex goddess that I am – have also been (Shock, horror !) rejected due to sheer exhaustion.

So all this push-pull activity in the bedroom is surely telling us something.

I’m not ready.

Neither is Hubby.

But, with the odds starting to stack up against me in the baby stakes, I wonder if we will ever have the chance to be.

I guess I just have to leave it in the hands of Whoever.

Happy to have another.

Feeling extremely blessed with two.

Things I Know

24 Jun

What ?  Are you kidding me ?  It’s that time of the week…already ???  Oh well, okay.  If you say so…

Happy Friday, my lovelies !

w

Playing in the Puddles

13 Jun

Despite being a staunch republican (the Australian anti-royalist type, not the American right-winged kind), I do love a long weekend.

And although the Queen’s Birthday comes at a non-eventful time of the year weatherwise (Rain, rain and more rain), who’s gonna say no to an extra day off ?  Even for a mum who’s job is 24 x 7, anyway.

This time last year, I was in such a hormonal daze, I honestly don’t remember how we spent the weekend.  I’m sure it included three hourly breast feeds, maybe a recovery from nipple thrush and definitely sleep deprivation.

So, this weekend we took advantage of finally breaking from the chains of in-house confinement.  We even braved the cold, wet windy weather to go ahead with a day trip to the south coast.

In fact, we made sure we were well prepared.

As pragmatic mountain trekkers and  inhabitants of cold climates will tell you, as long as you’re well equipped and appropriately attired, then the weather shouldn’t be an obstacle.

It’s all about water-proofing and layering.

And the end result ?  Two little eskimos – a blue and a red one.

Happily jumping in the puddles, slipping and sliding their way through a soaking and slippery playground.

During the brief intervals of the dancing in the rain, I managed to catch up with old uni friends who I haven’t seen in a lifetime.

Seriously.  With one friend, we couldn’t place the exact time we last saw each other.  Japan ?  Australia ?  It was never concluded.

So, hip, hip hooray for *ahem* non-important public holidays.

Yay for rare opportunities to catch up with dear old friends and their growing families.

God save the Queen, indeed.

Pumpkin Soup and Scones

30 May

Maybe it was because I didn’t have their cribs next to me during those initial days.  Or the fact that when first born, I only had them on my chest for a brief moment before they were placed in humidicribs, to be whisked away to the nursery.  Perhaps it was the fact that the first two weeks of their lives, they were under the care of midwives and doctors helping them get stronger and bigger in the nursery instead of being at home with us.

With an offbeat start , for perhaps the first six months –  being a mum to twins – was surreal.

Despite being positioned and locked in the famous rugby hold for their breast feeds (in the end, it was almost like riding a bike…almost) I would often have to pause.  I would look down at that blue breastfeeding pillow and confirm that yes, indeed there were two helpless little faces staring back at me.

Even during these moments of obvious reality, I would turn to Hubby and in a daze would say, “You know, it still doesn’t feel like their my children.  I still think I’m just baby-sitting.  Waiting for the real parents to come and pick them up.”

And for those first six months it was all about keeping two little beings fed.  Keeping them warm.  Making sure they didn’t get sick.

The days of routine and fulfilling basic parental duties blurred into each other.

Hence, the need to start this blog.

I would wonder when the Groundhog Days would be over.  Yet, while busily pondering, the shift seems to have already happened.

Somewhere along the journey, the lift in change carried us through what was mundane and into days of bubbly interaction, lively jibber-jabber conversations and involuntarily sweet butterfly kisses.

Arriving into this new season of pumpkin soup and scones, we have also indeed nestled further into family life – filled with colour, variety and a different, even more delightful joy.

Last Saturday, the twinlets turned 16 months.  It had completely slipped my mind.

I laughed remembering my distorted thoughts of who the twinlets belonged – or didn’t – belong to.

I’ve stopped pinching myself.

It’s definite.  It’s real.

No one’s coming to pick them up.

No one’s relieving me from baby-sitting obligations.

Because yup, they are mine.

Both mine.

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