A Catch Up

I have neglected you all, haven’t I?

It’s ok – don’t feel bad.

I’ve neglected everyone over the last few weeks.

My home, my friends, my dog, LagosDad and yes, even my kids.

Why?

Because I’m back at school!

Since last September, I’ve been feeling a bit restless and discontent. As though there had to be more to life than playgroup, school runs and managing my home. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my children (mostly), but there’s more. Right?

Then I realised that I wanted to go back to school. I missed being in the classroom (And being surrounded by other people’s children!).

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be back full-time, so I applied for a job as a substitute teacher. I had an interview. And I didn’t hear anything for weeks.

Suddenly I got an email asking if I’d be interested in covering someone’s maternity leave in January for twelve weeks. EH? Really? Me? Which grade? Full-time?

I got in touch with the school immediately to say yes, I was interested. But I still didn’t get any more information. I had to come in the following week to meet with the middle school principal. Middle school? That sounded like quite big kids. And didn’t they have different teachers for each subject? Which subject would I have to teach? What if it was science? What if it was *gulp* math?

I Googled ‘middle school’ and found out the age of the students – yes, they were a bit older than the five to seven year olds I was used to. It was only the following week, when I had the meeting that all was revealed.

7th grade. Geography. Errr. Not my age range and not my subject. But I could do it.

So since November, I’ve been in and out of school. Sometimes they ring me in advance to cover for someone. But mostly they ring me at 6 am and ask me if I can come in that day. Since my aim is to get a full-time job, I’ve had to accept more often than I wanted to. I mean… SIX AM!

And since January 11th, I’ve been in full-time teaching geography to 7th graders. The hours are long – 7 am to 3.15 pm (but usually I get home at about 4 pm). I don’t see my children much (is it a terrible thing that although I feel guilty about it, I don’t mind that much?). It’s taken a lot of preparation and a lot of reading up and researching stuff – but I LOVE IT!

I Have To Have It!

I used to be quite a regular on Pinterest.

I was not, like other Pinterest users I know, pinning art and craft ideas, organisational stuff or home DIY projects. I was very busy pinning pictures of shoes, handbags, jewellery and furniture that I wanted. I eventually, out of guilt, created a ‘Kids’ board and started pinning nursery ideas and cute outfits and shoes.

I can’t remember why, but I lost interest and kind of forgot about it all – for a year or two at least!

And now I’ve rediscovered my love for it. My love for pinning expensive shoes and handbags, places I’ll probably never go to, make up I’ll never be able to do myself, stunning women with beautiful bodies I’ll never look like and jewellery that I’ll never have. Oh, and walk-in closets. Lots of walk-in closets! But you know what? It doesn’t matter! It actually makes me happy.

LagosDad gave me an iPhone for Christmas (yay!) and I absolutely love it. I’m also terrified of dropping it, banging it against something or Booni getting a hold of it and throwing it across the room. So I’ve been looking for a (not boring) cover for it. I found the most amazing covers on Pinterest.

There’s a huge selection available on Casetify – but I think the Monika Strigel collection is the best. Now… How can I get them here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrations

Vins: Mama, what celebrations are there in January?

Me: What do you mean?

Vins: You know there was Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. Are there any celebrations in January?

Me: Well, there’s new year’s day on January 1st. And another very special day in January. It’s mama and papa’s wedding anniversary. It will be our tenth, so that will be a celebration.

Vins: Oh. OK.

Silence for a few seconds.

Vins: Mama, when it’s yours and papa’s anniversary, can we go for pizza to Pizze Riah for dinner?

Me: Umm… Well… Usually mamas and papas go out by themselves for dinner on their anniversary.

Vins: But why?

Me: So they can spend some time alone together.

Vins: But mama! What about ME?!

Me: Maybe we can go there for lunch the next day, OK?

Vins: OK mama. But you’re still not going anywhere without me!

Sharing is Caring

(I’m writing this on my new phone – I’ve just switched from Samsung to iPhone, so please forgive any typos. I’m still trying to figure it all out!)

So on  Christmas day LagosDad and I were extremely tired and hungover. Vins being in and out of our room from 8 am didn’t help either!

After we opened our presents and had a little nap, we all went out for our traditional Christmas day Chinese lunch (don’t ask, it’s just what we do).

The manageress (is that even a word?) came to our table and said the children could have ice cream at the end of the meal. Vins was super excited until he realized they didn’t have any chocolate – only vanilla and strawberry.

He settled for vanilla and after a little taste, he decided he loved it. I asked him to share with Booni as I didn’t want either of them to have too much. Vins refused flatly. There was no way he was going to share.

So I ordered a little scoop of strawberry ice cream for Booni. By the time it arrived, Vins had finished his vanilla ice cream. He saw Booni have a taste of the strawberry. He saw that Booni loved it. His next words?

“Mama, I’m ready to share now!”

😂

Christmas Camp

I’d heard that there was going to be a Christmas Camp running over the holidays and thought it might be a good idea to send Vins. You know – keep him busy, maintain some routine, etc. Especially as I wasn’t going to be here for a couple of days of his holiday.
I suggested it to him and the conversation went like this…
Me: Vins would you like to go to Christmas camp?
Vins: What’s Christmas camp?
Me: It’s like the summer camp you went to – but over Christmas.
Vins: But Mama I like my school!
Me: This is when you have holiday from school.
Vins: Oh. Then… No, thank you.
Me: It will be so much fun, Vins!
Vins: I think I spend enough days in the year at school. Don’t you?

Errr. No.

Behaviour

I don’t know what it is – but Vins has really been playing up recently. It could be the lack of routine. It could be that he’s bored. It could be that he needs to be back in school. It could be that he’s at “that age”, or it could just be that he’s being an ass.

I’ve just given him a talking to about his behaviour, general lack of manners and respect for others. And I may have even threatened him with boarding school. I know – that was a terrible thing to do!

He was silent. He just stared at me. And then he left the room. I felt bad. He looked a bit shocked.

He came back a few minutes later, piece of paper in hand, and said…
“Mama, I’ve made you a behaviour chart. When you’re bad, I’ll give you a cross and when you’re good, I’ll give you a check.”

WTAF?

I stared at him dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say to him!

Eventually, I said, “That’s fine. But what will we do about your behaviour?”

He shrugged and walked off.

Lord help me.

I Went and I’m Back

So I went to Bali without LagosDad or the children. Vins wasn’t happy about it when I told him, but he was ok when I left.
It was so nice to be away and not have any responsibilities. But I really did miss them all. Also, there was no time to just chill! I got there on a Tuesday afternoon and all the wedding stuff started on the Friday morning and was non – stop until Sunday night. (You can see photos on Instagram  (@lagosmum) or #AnViLivedHappilyEverAfter)
During each flight I took, I thanked God that I decided not to take the kids. Eight hours from Lagos to Abu Dhabi. Eight hours from Abu Dhabi to Singapore and two and a half hours from Singapore to Bali. It was so… long. And uncomfortable! And a week later I did it again in reverse order. There was no way I’d have survived with the children. Nor would I have been able to watch all the movies that I did!
Anyway, so I’m back now. I got back on the 23rd. Vins was super clingy that day. And I was thrilled that Booni remembered me. He jumped straight into my arms and gave me lots of cuddles and kisses :)
I can’t believe that Christmas has come and gone as well!
Where is the time going?
I hope you’re all having a good time. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Myself

The following are things I’ve said over the last few months:

1. Ugh, I need a break from my kids.
2. I wish I could go on holiday by myself – no kids and no husband!
3. Of course they’ll be ok without me.
4. Babysitting is one of the perks of having in laws around all the time.
5. I really don’t want to fly with my boys.
6. I’d have no problem leaving them behind!

And this is what I’ve realised about myself:

1. I don’t want to go on holiday by myself.
2. I don’t want to go through a twenty hour journey on my own.
3. I do have a problem leaving them behind.
4. I’m all talk.

On My Own

My cousin is getting married next week. Her fairytale themed wedding (seriously) is in Bali. We’ve known this for months and have been hoping to go.
We didn’t book anything – LagosDad finds it impossible to plan ahead. And I’m a total forward planner! So the last few months have been full of uncertainty as to our plans this holiday.
We were going to go and take the kids. But it wasn’t really making any sense. Firstly, Vins gets airsick and wasn’t keen on taking 3 flights. Secondly, Booni has ants in his pants and I wasn’t keen on flying 20 hours with him. Thirdly, it’s kind of expensive to fly all the way there for a 3 day wedding and then endure the flights back. We thought about staying on for a bit and having a family holiday. We even thought about going to India afterwards (ugh – no thanks). Eventually we decided we wouldn’t take the children.
Then LagosDad and I thought about going on our own and hanging out there for a day or so before and after the wedding. But he couldn’t commit because of his work schedule.
My parents and aunt have messaged almost every day asking about our bookings! Our plans keep changing, so I didn’t want to say anything until I knew for certain.
So over the weekend, LagosDad told me he wouldn’t be able to get away – but that I should go ahead.
I’m going to Bali next week!
I haven’t told Vins yet. And I’ve not given my parents my dates yet – I’m waiting to purchase my ticket first.
I’m worried about leaving the boys. And I’m worried about getting everything ready for Christmas as I won’t be back until the 23rd.
I’m worried as I haven’t got the right clothes for a week in Bali and I’m worried about not really knowing any of the guests (apart from 5 or 6 of my cousins – who will know most of the other guests).
But mostly I’m worried about leaving my babies. LagosDad is here. My ins are here and the nanny is here. So in theory they should be ok…
Oh well. I’m going to Bali!

Bouncy Bouncy

Before Vins was born, I bought a Baby Bjorn bouncy chair for him. He didn’t really take to it much and we only used it a few times.
I was about to get rid of it a couple of years ago, but then discovered I was pregnant. So I kept it.
That chair has been a Godsend for us. Anytime Booni couldn’t sleep, we’d put him in the chair and bounce him. And within a few minutes (mostly), he’d fall asleep.
The drawback, because there’s always one, is that eventually became the only way he could fall asleep! Completely my fault, I know – but I’ll do just about anything for an easy life.
Today the shit has hit the fan. The frame of the chair snapped. We took it to the welder down the road, but he said he couldn’t fix it and told us to take it to another place. So I sent it to the other place, but the guy who would be able to fix it wasn’t there.
E (the nanny) and I thought that this might be a good time to wean him off the chair. You know… since we had no other choice.
It’s 11.08 pm and poor Booni is still screaming. And poor Vins has been woken a countless number of times. So Vins is passed out in our bed and Booni is still crying in his room.
I probably shouldn’t have let him get used to the chair! 🙈