My Baby is Three

Booni, my baby…

I can’t believe you’re not a baby any more, and that you are now three years old! Where has the time gone?

Here’s wishing you a very Happy 3rd Birthday.

There is so much I want for you. And there is so much I want you to do.

BUT – I don’t want you to ever change. Keep being persistent. Keep pushing for what you want. Just remember that hands are for playing and hugging – not for hitting!

Don’t ever lose that glint in your eye. That glint is what makes you “you”.

I love you to the moon and back!

The Flipside

While I’m thrilled (and a little surprised) that Booni has adjusted to nursery so well and so quickly, there’s a flipside. Isn’t there always?

The flipside is that he’s become SUPER clingy. And although it’s to be expected, it’s driving me a bit nuts.

He wants me to carry him all the time. If I won’t carry him, he holds my hand and drags me to wherever he wants me to go. And he’s strong!

If I leave the room, he cries. And screams.

If I watch him playing in the garden (from the balcony) and I go inside, he cries.

If he’s hanging in my room and needs to go have a meal, a bath or whatever else, he cries.

I know he’ll be fine soon. But I’m going a bit bonkers.

Seven Days

It has been seven days since Booni started nursery – and I think we’re doing rather well!

He started on a Tuesday. And he cried – every day that week. And he cried when he saw me at pick-up. I spent the week picking him up about an hour and a half earlier – just while he got settled.

On Monday (April 11) he was excited to get dressed and go in the car. Once we arrived and he saw the nursery gates, he started whining a bit. And when I took him out of the car and walked through the gates, he started crying. Even though he was crying, he went to his teacher willingly. And he waved goodbye to me through his tears. When I picked him up, he was so happy to see me! He ran to me, laughing. I told him we needed to get his bag before we left. He dragged me over to his cubby-hole and got his bag out. It was a lovely sight.

On Tuesday (yesterday), again, he was thrilled to go. In the car I said to him, “Where are we going?” And he pointed to his lunch box. His face fell a bit when we arrived, but he didn’t make a sound. Usually I carry him, but yesterday I put him down and he held my hand and walked in. He saw his teacher and made a bee-line for her. She picked him up, hugged him and kissed him. He turned to look at me, I waved and his face fell again. Then he started pointing at the swing and his teacher went off with him. When I collected him (at normal pick-up time), he was tired! He saw me and started whining – but got his bag and left quite happily.

Today is Day Seven and we had the same again this morning. He saw his teacher and made his way straight to her. He took her hand. She picked him up and put him on the swing. He looked a bit wobbly when he turned and saw me, but I think he was ok.

He’s adjusted SO well, don’t you think? I’m so proud of him and I my heart feels so light when he doesn’t cry.

Is that a dumb thing to say?

Nineteen Months

My little Booni baby is 19 months old now. Where on earth has the time gone?!

He is (as I’m pretty sure I’ve said over and over again) so different to his brother! They are like chalk and cheese. Booni has ants in his pants. He can’t sit still – not even for a minute. Not even to watch television (I realise it’s not something I should be encouraging – but we all need a bit of peace and quiet). He is very, very active. He hits (out of excitement, I think) and he throws stuff (I’ve got bruises from various toys that have made contact when I couldn’t move out of the way fast enough) and he has to touch every thing. He has to be watched for every single second that he’s awake! He loves food and eating (just like his mama) and will try anything. Books we’ve had for years and years only made it through a day or two once Booni got his hands on them. I keep finding pages here and there. He is not speaking yet, but he communicates extremely well and he understands everything.

He’s like Animal from The Muppets. He’s like an exuberant puppy. He’s like a tornado or a hurricane. A bit like the Tasmanian Devil.

He’s hard work and he’s exhausting. But he’s hilarious! His expressions and gestures make everyone laugh. His incessant appetite is a pleasure to see. He’s a gorgeous, loveable boy.

So while I’ve been substituting, I’ve been leaving my gorgeous, loveable boy at home. He spent a couple of mornings a week with one friend and her son and a couple of other mornings with another friend and her son. So he was busy doing stuff – but he needed more.

He needs to get out of the house. He needs to be doing something at all times. He needs to be busy.

All. The. Time.

So I decided to start him in nursery. Vins was two when he started. But Booni is different and I think the structure would be good for him.

His first day was last Tuesday. He was SUPER excited to get dressed and get into the car. But once I handed him over, there were tears (his, not mine). And there were tears on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well. His teacher, however, said that he stops crying after a few minutes and is ok for the rest of the morning. The owners of the nursery tell me (every day) how naughty he is and how different he is to his brother (I’m not sure if this is something I want to hear every day). This morning he started whining when he saw the nursery gates. He went only to his teacher. And he cried – but only a little. So we’re getting somewhere.

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

(Almost) Time for a Holiday

I’m so knackered.

I wake up and count how many hours there are until I can go back to sleep again! And, I’ll have you know, that afternoon naps are a thing of the past (unfortunately).

At least Easter Break is happening from next Thursday – Hurrah! And I’m going to Dubai – Hurrah! Without children and LagosDad – Hurrah (kind of)!

Let me give you some back story on this…

So… one of my BFFs (H) has a big milestone birthday coming up at the end of May and she’s been talking about getting away for a girly weekend to celebrate. I can’t get away in May and she didn’t want to take time off work, so we decided to go over Easter weekend.

The next step was deciding where to go – Zanzibar? Istanbul? London? Paris? We both knew we wanted to shop a bit lot. Eat a lot. Chill a bit. We knew it was only for about four days, so nowhere too far away. Where would be best?

H decided on Dubai. Nooooo! How was I supposed to tell my parents that I was coming to Dubai for four days, not staying with them and not bringing their grandchildren? I tried to convince her to go to other places – but visas (expense of) were an issue and H just wasn’t having any of it. She had decided on Dubai. LagosDad, very sensibly, said that it was H’s birthday and that I had to go along with what she wanted!

I thought about taking the kids – leaving them with my parents for four days (with the nanny too) and then after H went back to Lagos, I’d move in with my parents. But it really wasn’t worth it. Easter break is only a week long and it was too much money to spend for four of us for only a week.

I thought about how to bring this up with my mum. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried so much because she wasn’t going to be there anyway! While I’m disappointed that I won’t see her, I won’t feel so guilty about not taking the children.

So, after all that, H and I leave next Thursday. S (another friend) will already be there and we’re going to spend four days in Dubai – shopping (first and foremost), eating (can’t wait to go to McDonalds), drinking excessively (maybe only on the first night, as we’re getting old now and our hangovers last about three days) and chilling (if we can tear ourselves away from the mall).

Do you think it’s strange that I’ve not mentioned my children or how I’m worried about leaving them and that I’ll miss them?

I will miss them. And I am a bit anxious about leaving them. But I REALLY need this break. And I know they will be well taken care of.

Vins has agreed to go to Easter Camp (he never ceases to amaze me) – so he’ll be busy every day. And Booni… Booni will have playdates.

See? We’re all good!

 

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!

The Nanny Diaries

I don’t often write about the children’s nanny – but I have to write about this.

Anyway, so our nanny (E) has been with us since Vins was six months old. She lives with us, in our home and sleeps in the children’s room. Vins is very attached to her. He adores her and she loves him. Knowing that she’s with him has allowed me to have a life of my own. I can go out during the day or night (not that I have anywhere particular to go – but at least I have the option!), meet friends or whatever.

She travels with us when we go on holiday, and she spent five months with us in London last year while we were waiting for Booni to arrive.

She goes on leave for a month every year (back to the Philippines). I HATE that month. But I’ve survived so far!

In March this year she was going for her annual leave. The immigration laws over here changed before she came back and we had to redo all her paperwork before she could return.

While E was away, Vins was very insecure – and became very clingy. Everything was ‘mama, mama, mama’. Only mama could bathe him, put him to sleep, drop him off at school, pick him up, etc.

Luckily we had another helper (T). She took over Booni completely. I was happy, Booni was happy, Vins was happy and T was happy.

Vins slowly became more accepting of other people helping him out. He let LagosDad brush his teeth for him every day. He eventually started sleeping downstairs with my in-laws. And he eventually started having breakfast with my father-in-law every morning. This was a huge relief for me.

I was feeling so stressed. Vins wouldn’t let me spend any time with Booni. I felt guilty that I wasn’t giving Booni the same input that Vins had his age. Going out at night was off the cards unless my in laws were home. Going out during the day was off the cards as I couldn’t leave both children at home. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had no idea when E would be back.

Do I sound very spoilt? I realise there are parents all over the world who do everything by themselves all the time, without any help. But this is what I’ve been used to.

Right before the boys’ birthdays I found out that T wasn’t the trustworthy person I thought she was. I found, in her bags, a whole bunch of the children’s clothes. Many of the clothes were brand new, with the tags still on. Some of the things weren’t new – but I was keeping them – either for Booni or for sentimental reasons. I found a pack of Booni’s spoons. A brand new tumbler, bowl and plate set and balloons that I’d bought for the party. Oh and E’s UGGS.

It was night when I checked her things (I’d received a tip-off). I took everything away and put it in my room. The next morning she obviously knew I’d been through her things but she didn’t say anything.

When I eventually spoke with her (when the children weren’t around), she started crying and apologising. She said she didn’t know what she was thinking and that it wouldn’t happen again. How many other things had she taken over the last few months? I asked her – she said nothing. But I know that’s not true.

My first instinct was to throw her out. I’d trusted her! I left Booni in Lagos with her (and LagosDad and my ins) and gone to London with Vins for two weeks!

I decided to give her another chance. How would I cope with the children? Especially with their birthdays and party coming up?

On the 11th T was going off and coming back the following evening. After another tip-off, I asked her to open all her bags and show me what was inside before she left. She showed me everything confidently and happily. Until I went back to the first bag she opened. I asked her to take out the plastic bag that was at the bottom of the bag. She did and told me it was clothes. The shape of the bag was oblong. So I asked her to open it. She did everything she could to delay the process. She pretended she couldn’t undo the knot she’d made at the top of the bag. She pretended she couldn’t find the scissors she needed to open the bag. I brought them to her. Once she undid the knot, she put the bag on the floor. I was carrying Booni at the time and told her that I couldn’t open the bag, so could she please open it and show me what was inside. She nudged the bag in my direction. I got a bit cross because I’d been waiting at least ten minutes to see what was inside (though I knew by now). She eventually showed me. It was a brand new pack of 52 Pampers. Not Pampers that Booni had outgrown (those are also easily accessible), but the 4+ size, which he’s currently wearing.

How could she do this to me again? How naive was I? I was so cross with myself.

I told her to pack up her things and leave. I watched her as she packed all her stuff and then I instructed the security not to let her back in the compound.

That was a terrible weekend for all of us. Vins was fine – my mother-in-law looked after him. He slept downstairs, ate downstairs and spent a lot of time with my in-laws.

Poor Booni, though. He was missing T a lot. He wasn’t used to me putting him to bed. I wasn’t used to putting him to bed. Or doing all the other things that T normally did for him. It took us both a couple of days (and a few VERY long nights) to readjust to each other.

And finally… on the 14th (five and a half months later), E came back! Vins was super excited. I didn’t tell him she was coming back (just in case something went wrong).

Vins is happy. Booni is used to her again and is happy. LagosDad is happy (I’m not bitching and moaning at/to him any more). And I’m ecstatic. I’d never have found the time to sit and write this post otherwise!

 

 

 

Bye, Curls!

We reached a real milestone on September 14th. That was the day of Booni’s munan.

I wasn’t as emotional about it as I was when we had to do it for Vins. And even the barber commented on it afterwards. He said I was much stronger this time than with Vins.

Booni cried. He screamed and he cried and he howled. He wasn’t in any pain, though. I think it was mainly because he had to be kept still for about twenty minutes. This is a feat that is practically impossible for him!

I had him in my lap – my legs keeping his still and my arms around him – keeping his upper body from moving. LagosDad had to hold his head still. It sounds cruel, doesn’t it? But it had to be done.

I miss his crazy curls. And somehow his bald head makes him look like more of a little boy than a baby. But I think he looks much cuter without the hair – you can really see his face now.

My gorgeous baby boy.

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You’re 1 Already!

My darling Booni,

I cannot believe that it’s been a whole year since you were born!
You have amazed me every day.
I love how you dance when you hear music.
I love how you roar like a little lion.
I love that you remind me of a puppy.
I love your wobbly steps.
I love your hugs and soppy kisses.
I love that you’re in all our lives.
Happy 1st Birthday.

Love,
Mama
x

It’s Time To PAW-TY

Booni is going to be ONE on Monday (31st August). HOW did that happen?

The following Monday, Vins will turn five. FIVE!!

After Vin’s 3rd birthday party, I decided I wouldn’t have any more parties. It’s just too stressful (and expensive).

Then I got pregnant. And very quickly realised that I’d have to do at least one more – for their first and fifth birthdays.

So this year, I’m doing a combined party for them. In the past Vin’s parties have been indoors and outdoors. However, all our new furniture arrived a few months ago and I refuse to have anyone inside! So it will all be outdoors.

Vins has been “planning” this party since March! We decided we’d go with the PAW Patrol theme. Booni, obviously has no say! He spent a couple of months looking at PAW Patrol cakes online and chose about a dozen different cakes that he liked.

I ordered all the return gifts in June – 60 of them. But the guest list keeps growing and growing and growing. Vin’s whole class, friends from his class last year who are in the other class this year, friends not from school, children whose parties they’ve been invited to and we need to return the invitation. The list doesn’t end. And I can’t cut it down without offending anyone. Oh well – the more the merrier! Let me be clear – I’m happy to have the kids – I’m just worried about not having enough return gifts.

I’m feeling a bit stressed about it all already as there’s so much to do. So far I’ve given out all most of the invitations, ordered the cake and cupcakes, booked the photographer and got the party planner.

This week I have to go to the market to get more balloons (no more helium balloons – I’ve learnt my lesson!), extra tableware, gift bags and some extra return gifts.

Keep you posted!

V&V 2