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!

Vanished

I’ve mentioned once or twice in previous posts that I had some issues at the beginning of my pregnancy.

I wasn’t ready to share before, but I guess I am now…

I found out we were expecting a couple of days after Christmas day.  Although I was super excited, I was a bit nervous as LagosDad and I were booked to go to Bali from Dubai on January 1st for ten days.  It’s a really, really long flight and I knew we’d be on our feet and very busy while we were there, and everyone always says not to fly long haul in your first trimester, etc.  We talked about it a little bit – Should we go?  Should we not?  But we decided we’d just go for it – everything was already booked and paid for.

We went back to Dubai on the 10th and were meant to leave for Lagos on the 12th night/13th morning.  I was exhausted after the very long flights.  On the 11th I went for a mani and pedi with my mum.  I didn’t want to go because I was so tired – but I knew I wouldn’t get another chance and I desperately needed one.

We were on our way home from the salon when I started feeling… damp.  I was pretty sure I was bleeding. That was confirmed once we got home and it was quite heavy. I was six weeks and six days pregnant at that time.

I was a mess.  And poor V – he wouldn’t leave my side as he was afraid I’d disappear again – didn’t know what was going on.

My sister made a few calls and advised us to go to A&E at Medcare Hospital.  She stepped in and took over V – he was very happy to go to the mall with her (thank God).

I went with my mum and LagosDad.  I didn’t have to wait too long before I was seen.  The doctor was very nice – she calmed me down quite quickly.  She told me it was a threatened miscarriage, but that there were a number of positive signs that indicated that the baby would be ok.  She gave me some medication, an injection and told me to wait and have an ultrasound (The sonographer said baby was fine – but that he could see some bleeding).  She also made an appointment for me to see a specialist towards the end of the following week.

The bleeding subsided over the next few days – but it didn’t stop.

I was nervous about my appointment with the specialist (at the same hospital) – I didn’t know what she was going to say.  I was scared the baby wasn’t ‘there’ any more.  She did a scan, saw what was going on and said the bleeding was due to either a. a hematoma or b. a vanishing twin.  But the heartbeat of the ‘remaining’ fetus was strong.  She also told me that this had absolutely nothing to do with flying, which was a relief.

I was so glad the baby was ok and would be ok.  I had to Google ‘vanishing twin’ on my way home and then I wasn’t sure how I felt.  I didn’t know how to feel.  I cried a bit when I told LagosDad what she’d said (he’d gone back to Lagos already).  I felt loss.  But then I thought it was wrong for me to feel that way when I didn’t even know that there could have been a twin.

She told me to come back the following week and she would know for certain.  She also said the bleeding would stop in the next few days.

I have to admit – that although I knew it wasn’t possible, I kind of hoped that when I went back the next week she’d do a scan and tell me there were still two babies and two strong heartbeats and that she’d made a mistake.  It was futile I know.  A waste of time and energy – but I still hoped.

When I went back a week later, the doctor was able to confirm that the bleeding was definitely due to a vanishing twin.

I think I realised at that time that I should just be grateful.  Very, very grateful that at least the one baby was ok.  It had taken us so long (again) to get pregnant – at least we were getting the baby we wanted.

Does that make sense?

Does it sound selfish?

Mmmm…  I’m not really sure how to end this – so I’ll leave it at that.

 

Finally!

I’m finally back.

Not that I’ve been anywhere for a while.

So LagosDad and I went to Bali as planned at the beginning of January.  V was absolutely fine with my parents, sister and nanny.  I believe he had the odd tantrum or two, but nothing unusual there.

Bali was fantastic.  We went to buy furniture – so we were on buying trips from morning until night.  It was a shame that we didn’t get to appreciate the hotel and the fact that we were upgraded to a suite!

We were meant to leave for Lagos two days after getting back to Dubai.  But V and I delayed a couple of weeks.

We had some renovation work happening in our house – and the kitchen wasn’t ready yet.  And our downstairs TV room and bar was being converted into a bedroom and TV room for my in laws.  Yes.  My in laws have moved in.  I don’t want to talk about it right now.  More on that another day.

And other news?  See picture below.

Image

Yes.

FINALLY!

V is going to be a big brother!

Catching Up

It’s been ages, hasn’t it?

I’ve been a bit lazy about updating my blog since I left Lagos – but I can’t put it off any longer!

You saw my last post, right?  About leaving Lagos?

Well – lots to report!

1. I don’t know if you know this or not – but Motilium does NOT help with airsickness.  Not in V’s case, anyway.  As with our previous flights, he slept for a bit and woke up whining.  He woke as the meals were being cleared.  I honestly think it’s the smell of all the food that makes him feel queasy.  He started throwing up when there was three hours left of the flight.  This is pretty much the same as the last two flights.  Maybe next time I should find some medication to knock him out for the whole eight hours?  Once we got home (at about 4 am), he decided he was hungry and wanted an egg and chocolate milk.  He ate so fast – he projectile vomited all over the kitchen!  My mum was thrilled.  Not.

2. It took him a little longer to ‘settle in’ this time.  About three days.  He wouldn’t communicate with my parents or my sister much at all.  His tantrums were frequent and loud.  My mother said they were ‘excessive’ (implying it was all my fault).  On the third or fourth day he had a slight temperature – slept all afternoon and woke as a different child.  Smiling, laughing and affectionate with the others and not only me!

3. We were in Dubai for Christmas last year as well.  Last year, if the ‘S’ word (Santa) was said, there would have been meltdowns.  V was terrified of him!  Pictures, statues – the whole lot.  This year was a different story.  He talked about Santa a lot.  We wrote Santa a letter, Santa wrote back, V knew he was going to get a gift, etc.  So I decided I’d take him to SEE Santa.  We went to Wafi City Mall.  I’d heard that the grotto there was fabulous – so that’s where I was going to take V.  The queue was very long – but we finally made it to the front!  It cost 60 dirhams per child (that’s about $19) and it included a gift from Santa and a photo.  V got more and more tired (and hungry) as we waited in the line, but he managed not to have a total meltdown.  Before seeing Santa, we had to wait in a little area that had been decorated with elves, Christmas trees, snow, presents, etc.  V was frightened of the reindeer that moved its head – but as we got closer, he didn’t mind it so much.  I was nervous as I didn’t know how V was going to react when he actually saw Santa.  I needn’t have worried.  He was shy.  But he sat on Santa’s lap and told him that he wanted a bus for Christmas (he was a bit disappointed that he got a rag doll instead).  I swear, I had tears in my eyes when we came out of there.  I couldn’t believe it.  Was this my child?

4. V loves Barney.  You know that already, right?  However, he’s always been scared of people in those big Barney costumes (or any other character costumes).  This doesn’t work well when we go to birthday parties where they have ‘characters’.  One of the last parties we went to, they had someone dressed up as Simba.  V freaked.  Anyway, so once I got to Dubai, I saw that there was going to be a Barney show at the Dubai Marina Mall.  It’s not exactly close to us, but I decided I was going to take V and he was going to like it – whether he liked it or not.  I kept talking about the show and how much fun it was going to be – and he got excited about it.  Come ‘SHOW DAY’, we took the Metro (because V was dying to go on the Metro) and got to the mall just in time.  I’d never been to one of these shows before – so I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t even know where the show was going to be.  As we walked into the mall, there was a stage right in front of us.  There was a small area around the stage that was cordoned off and there were people EVERYWHERE.  The cordoned-off area was for the children – and no adults were allowed to sit inside with the kids.  Eh?  My friend and I took V and her son in to settle them (because that was allowed).  We sat them down – though they fussed a bit and didn’t want us to go.  But they stayed.  V’s friend came out crying a few minutes later – he didn’t want to stay.  And I started worrying about V.  How would he sit alone?  He’s scared of these big character people, what will he do?  What if he cries?  I moved round and positioned myself (among buggies, nannies, babies and other mums) so I could see him.  He didn’t see me at first, so I was able to watch him.  He was a little scared when Barney came out – I couldn’t see that from the way he was sitting and his fingers were over his mouth – but it was only for a minute or two.  And then he was fine!  He caught sight of me and I saw this made him more confident.  He didn’t sing to any of the songs, but he did follow instructions (for once) and close his eyes when Barney told all the children to.  Honestly – I don’t know if I’ve been prouder.  I may have cried *embarrassed face* The only downsides were… a) The sound system was crap.  And b) When the show ended, there was no system for going in and getting your child.  The security just lifted all the ropes out of the way, and adults and children were free to move in or out of the area.  This is something they definitely have to think about and come up with some sort of system!

5.  And lastly…  Today is New Year’s Day.  And LagosDad and I are in Doha airport in the lounge waiting for our flight to Bali.  V is in Dubai with my parents.  He was kind of ok about us leaving – we didn’t tell him where we were going or that we were going by airplane, or he’d never have let us leave.  The last time I left V was 18 months ago.  I went to London for a week and left him with LagosDad in Lagos.  He doesn’t remember that.  And this is the first time we are both leaving him.  He has an exciting few days planned – my dad is taking him to the airport tomorrow to have ice cream and watch the planes take off and land (V’s idea of heaven).  My sister is going to take him to a new wildlife park over the weekend.  My mum will take him to the pet shop every couple of days (he likes to go and see the animals).  And then we’ll be back.  We’re not even there yet and I miss him already.

My son – my darling boy – I can’t believe how much progress he’s made in recent months.  I could make a list here – but I won’t bore you to death.

I’ve got photos – but I’m using LagosDad’s laptop – so will include at some point!

Happy New Year everyone!

Paintings

While we were in Bali last year, LagosDad and I bought six new paintings for our home.  I left them rolled up in their containers.  We always said we’d have them stretched and/or framed after we painted our downstairs.

A year later and we still haven’t painted downstairs and the paintings were still rolled up!

A friend told us a few weeks ago that we’d better unroll them as the paint might crack.  As soon as we got home from that dinner we opened them all up and checked them.  They’re all fine, thank God.

Now that they were unrolled, I wanted to get them stretched and/or framed.  I asked several people where they went or who did theirs for them.  All the paintings we’ve had done previously don’t sit properly against the wall as the wood has become warped.

1. People who asked carpenters to make the frames for them weren’t too happy with the job that had been done.  One friend said she even sat there and measured the wood, etc for her carpenter to make sure he got it right.  I can barely tell one end of a tape measure from the other – so this was not going to work for me.

2. Another friend suggested a frame shop – owned by her friend’s family.  This sounded like a plan.  I set off one morning, arrived in the area where the store is and drove around in circles for forty minutes as I couldn’t find it.

3. On the way back from Number 2 (above), I came across an art shop in Ikoyi.  This place was also suggested to me.  I had gone to look for it before, but didn’t find it.

So I stopped and took my paintings inside.

Two ladies work in the store.  Lady 1 (L1) stood immediately and came to help me with the paintings and asked what I wanted to do, etc.  Lady 2 (L2) sat slumped over the desk, head resting on arms.  She made no attempt to move.

L1 told me they couldn’t tell me how much it would cost to stretch the paintings until she knew the size of them all.  She then unrolled them, one-by-one, and measured them.  L2 was still sat at the desk.  Her job was to write the size of each painting on a bit of masking tape and stick it on the back of each painting.

Each time L1 gave L2 a measurement to write down, she wrote down the wrong thing.  Or she didn’t hear her.  Or she couldn’t be arsed.  I don’t know.

This continued for all six paintings.

After the measurements were done, I approached the desk so that L1 could get the calculator out and figure out the cost.  As I stood at the desk, L2 started tearing up bits of paper, rolling them up into little balls and throwing them at L1.

WTF was going on?

I just kept staring at L2.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  If this is how she wants to behave when they’re on their own, that’s just fine.  But when there are customers around?  This was unacceptable.

After receiving the quote, I rolled up my paintings and took them home (I had to clear the cost with LagosDad first).

I went back a few days later to give the paintings in to be stretched.

Thankfully L2 would have nothing to do with the process.  Having said that, she was reasonably professional during my second visit.

On Wednesday I got a phone call.  I couldn’t hear a damn thing the woman was saying because someone was singing (very loudly and very out of tune) in the background.  She kept trying to tell me where she was calling from and that my paintings were ready.  I told her, “I can’t hear you because someone (I bet it was L2) is singing in the background!”  She just talked louder.

On Thursday I went to collect them.  I got there at 10.30am.  L1 was waiting outside.  L2 had the key for the store and was still on her way.  They are meant to open at 9am.  I know that public transport is a problem here.  And getting around isn’t easy – but L2 didn’t arrive until nearly 11am!

Another guy was waiting to buy masking tape and some paper or something.  It took L2 ten minutes to write the invoice!

Anyway, I paid the balance of my bill, took my paintings and left.  They’ve actually done a really good job, as well.  (I have to give credit where it’s due!)

I forgot how beautiful they are.  Two of them are LagosDad’s choice – I wonder if you can work out which ones…?

Painting 1
Painting 1
Painting 2
Painting 2

 

Painting 3
Painting 3
Painting 4
Painting 4
Painting 5
Painting 5
Painting 6
Painting 6

 

Improvements

My son never ceases to amaze me.  I’ve said it before, I know.  But I just have to say it again!

In my last post, I was moaning about all the things V wouldn’t do.  He wouldn’t walk in the sand, he wouldn’t get in the pool, he wouldn’t wear a hat, he wouldn’t try new food, he wouldn’t put on his swimming shorts.  You get where I’m going, right?

That was all during the first two weeks in Bali.  

After that…

He tried eating new things – and ate soup and noodles again.  He even said, ‘NUMMY!’ after each bite 🙂

By the end of our holiday, he was not only in his swimming shorts.  He was also in arm-bands AND he wasn’t just on the steps.  He was in the middle of the swimming pool, not being held and splashing about by himself!  He was even jumping off the side into my arms.  

And he’s started talking so much – I  can’t get him to stop!