Posts Tagged ‘driving’

After you ride off into the sunset.

October 25, 2011

When I lost (and kept off) 60 pounds in my life before babies, I remember the weirdest part of starting a new job was that these people had never known me as fat.

I was just a thin version of me.

Today I met a bunch of new people, and the weirdest thing was them never having known me in a wheelchair or on crutches.

I was just this walking, driving version of me.

It felt odd.

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More choo choo trains, mama.

October 21, 2011

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My first act as a car driver yesterday (well, after driving round the corner to playgroup in the morning just ’cause I could. Don’t worry. We are back to foot power next week!) was driving to our local train station.

Snort is very into trains, and Coconut likes them too. We sat on a bench and watched all the big, high speed trains zoom by.

I also coined a new phrase thus morning – ‘adventure hunt.’ By feet, bus, train, or car….going out into the world with no plans, stopping to explore and play when someplace catches our eye. This is a way of life for us, anyway, but everything within walking distance for us has been thoroughly examined, hiked, climbed.

I wonder what we’ll find today.

Relief.

October 12, 2011

I passed my driving test. Finally, at the age of 33, I can now legally drive alone here in Country B. I’ve been able to do so in Country A since I was 16…so this makes me feel more like an adult again.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take off my shirt as I appear to have sweated my way through it during the test. I probably passed due to my fragrant sex appeal.

WELL. Here I am. Alive.

May 14, 2011

I’m here, I’m alive, I am. I have been blogging since 1996 and literally have never gone longer than a week without posting. I guess I just blew that record out of the water.

What do you want to hear about? These are the things that have happened or are happening that I suspect I have yet to tell you:

– fighting with a mean old man in my neighborhood

– driving lessons

– the relation between the two

– winning a fake writing contest and getting so freaked out that I cannot bring myself to read the prize, two books, as they come from the publisher I hope to make my day job within the next few years

– the long-awaited appointment with a pelvic pain specialist and how he plans to give me my life back. Also how I hugged him. Also our international relations.

– telling some old guy Snort’s name and the guy being all, ‘So your mummy likes the Bible?’ and the fact that his name was Biblical is SO FAR OFF MY RADAR that I had no clue what he was talking about. I remained silent and looked at my shirt – no, Bollywood – and Snort’s shirt – pretty sure dinosaurs aren’t in the Bible – and just stayed silent some more while feeling hopelessly and adolescently out of the loop.

– trips to accident & emergency (Coco this time!)

– the fact that we are hiring a friend cum nanny cum mother’s helper for Friday mornings and MY GOD are nineteen year olds energetic

– my crazy ex-lesbian mummy stalker ‘friend’. Lots of updates there.

– Snort and Coconut stories in general

– ducks

I am just so tired, my friends. So tired.

Things are at a point where life with twins is getting slightly easier. I realise I am one of the freaks of nature who loves having twins and hasn’t ever gone through a very bad time of it. But there’s no denying it is more full on than anything I’ve ever experienced.

Now that things are edging towards the ‘manageable’ category, TMD and I are both more exhausted than we’ve ever been before. Like our bodies are taking advantage of the slight relaxation in life to fully experience the extreme exhaustion of the past (almost) two years.

That and I think I’m kinda low. Can’t pinpoint it, really, but the moody blues coupled with The Tired mean that when TMD gets home, I am off to bed. No blogging time. And I am literally never on the computer during the daytime.

Lesbian homesteader hero who wants to home educate, I want to email you. Mamacrow, I want to return your DVD. None of these things have been forgotten, but somehow downgraded by my addiction to mobile ebay and sleeping.

Mama needs wheels…no, not her wheelchair.

April 12, 2011

I need my license. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll know that I have had my driving license from Country A for 16 years. Almost 17. And that license? Non-transferable to Country B.

Country A’s attitude to driving, at least when I learned, was literally two driving lessons (with admonishments to keep up with the flow of traffic, even if that meant speeding), no practical test, and a theory/written test that featured questions like:

If a group of blind children are crossing the road, should you:

a) Speed up and scream out the window at them to get the hell out of the way.

b) Maintain your speed, but repeatedly flash your lights to let them know you are coming.

c) Slow and prepare to stop, making sure you don’t kill any kids.

Country B is a little more stick-up-the-butt. It requires a theory test (which is fairly hardcore), as well as a practical test that includes: knowing where shit is in the engine, being able to memorize a series of directions in a strange area and get to your destination, special maneuvers, and normal driving (with gears! GEARS.) Fine.

But maybe you bitches would like to put signs up with the speed limit every now and then. Just a suggestion. Otherwise hardened drivers like myself (who admittedly hasn’t driven in the ten years I’ve lived here) will speed the tiniest bit (multiple times) and ONE TIME not change gears when she should….thereby failing the test. And develop a phobia of ever trying again.

Hell, I’m getting chest pain just typing this.

Talking about it aloud literally makes me run for the toilet. If I want to avoid brown soup poop dripping down my legs, anyway.

Yeah, I get that everyone I’ve ever met failed the test at least once. Most people about three times. Fine. But I didn’t grow up with the attitude that failure was an expected and helpful way of life.  Magazines here mercilessly rip celebs apart (how DARE they try to make something of themselves! Uppity whores! They will be destroyed by their own pride soon!), while magazines in Country A are like, ‘Come on!! You are better than the celebs. You should BE a celeb. Get off your ass and make your dreams happen, or stop fucking whining!!!’

All of this contributing to my heart wrenching three hour out-of-control sobfest when I failed my test. I rescheduled. The second test was snowed out (.5 of an inch on the grass, occasional icy bits. Did I mention I grew up driving in two feet of snow? I had the homecourt advantage!). I rescheduled. The third test was a week after I was run over at six weeks pregnant.

Yeah.

I didn’t bother to reschedule because I was paranoid the stress would cause pregnancy problems. And the universe clearly didn’t want my ass driving.

Turns out it would be nice to be a grown up again. As life stands, I can only go places within a five to ten minute walking radius – on a good day. We’re pretty effectively locked into a life that is beginning to drive me crazy. Don’t get me wrong – there are very few places I would go alone with 20 month (as of yesterday) toddlers, but there are some.

Plus we could do normal things like get the fuck out of the house, go to doctor’s appointments, walk around air conditioned stores, etc.

This weekend I thought I saw Chunk, my driving instructor, on the side of the road walking a dog. I pointed him out and TMD said, ‘It’s a sign. Call him. Get your fucking license.’ (Sounding like a Country A magazine a bit.) She then pointed out we were driving behind two learner drivers.

Yesterday a twin mama (they are grown up now and my EXACT age) from freecycle came by to drop off a little plastic table and chairs for the babies. She started talking about how she couldn’t drive when her twins were little and it was horrific, so ten years later when she had  her next two kids (at my EXACT age), she decided to learn to drive because otherwise life was hell.

So she got her license at 33. I turn 33 in September. I’d like to have that fucker by then.

But either way, the universe probably won’t have any snow soon. And I’m unlikely to get run over because I never walk anywhere, and if I do I am now pretty conscientious about looking both ways before I cross the road (and am pounding that into Snort and Coconut).

So I emailed Chunk yesterday. Not heard back yet. I did get a call from an unknown number on my phone yesterday, but have been to puke scared to check if it was him and if he left a message. Come ON, though, I did suggest the best way to reach me was by text or email.

Maybe my driving phobia will evolve into social phobia as well. Ha. <— An attempt to be jovial, even as I will probably make Aussie check my voicemail for me today.

So. Operation Get A Life is in effect.I’m trying not to beat myself up with how I should have got the license before now, because summer would be an awesome time to already be driving. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I want Snort to start a football club soon, and Coconut gymnastics/dance. (Yes, gender stereotyping. Both will be doing both classes, but likewise Snort has a true love and freaky skill with ball-related sports, while Coconut has learned to climb a big soft block and summersalt off it!) Likewise I want to be able to get to home education meet ups, especially the group that meets in a different park or woodland each time.

Wish me luck.

Share stories of your horror driving tests and how you failed a million times and now it is all a distant memory. Please.

Mummy guilt.

January 10, 2011

For me, being a mother often comes along with a large helping of guilt. Have I spent too much time checking my facebook, to the detriment of my babies? Should we be using our fluoride baby toothpaste? Every time we use the inhaler on Snort, is it fucking him up? Are we neglectful because we haven’t made that first dentist appointment yet?

Everything seems to come along with a heavy weight of responsibility. And our lazy way of living – no doubt it offers some benefits to our kids, but it also means he’s not had a ‘real’ haircut and their toenails aren’t cut as often as they should be.

I try to be easy on myself. I look at how Coconut and Snort are developing – so sunny, easygoing, great senses of humour, curious, loving, smart, etc – and know that I am doing something very, very right.

The one major thing I’ve felt guilty about is my lack of a driver’s license. Yesterday erased that.

I say to you now, with authority:

There is no way one single person can take 16 month old twins out alone. No way, no how. Well, unless they were going to be strapped in a pushchair the entire time.

All the fun of going out is exploring, letting them wander round, etc. They have very different styles – we went to our local garden centre this weekend. Coconut walked round and round and round, never stopping. Snort was trying to climb on shelves, examining flower food, etc. You need two adults.

We play it one adult per baby at the minute, and when we’re out I never see TMD. The babies will inevitably run for opposite ends, and you need to keep such a close eye on them – especially Snort.

So my guilt about not driving? Very much minimized.

We are missing out on attending twins club or other baby/toddler focused activities which I could handle on my own, though. Still, one thing at a time.

Everything comes with a balance, with good and bad. Twins miss out on a lot of experiences singletons would have (like going out on errands regularly, walking everywhere, etc) but have a whole wealth of experiences a non-twin would never have. Each experience offers a lot of positives, a lot of opportunities. I think it’s about seeing those things for what they are.

And, you know, eventually getting over my fear of failure and getting my fucking license already. I have one for Country A – getting a license there is like learning how to pour milk on cereal. To get one in Country B, you need to learn how to thresh grain and make your own cereal, glaze ceramics so you have a bowl, save your money to buy the cow to milk it, etc etc. Also how to do metalworking so you can fashion a spoon. An engraved spoon. Made of sterling silver.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have two teething babies. Coconut’s whole shirt is soaking wet from the drool. She’s only got four teeth to go (not counting the two year molars) – all canines. I think two are trying to come through now. Snort is missing all canines and molars (I think). Teething only gets more and more fun the older they are.

Keepupdates.

August 31, 2010

My mom is arriving on Thursday and staying for a bit more than a week, so not sure how much updating there will be. I have a lot I want to write about, but I find the babies are needing/wanting more and more attention, so internet time is limited!

So much is going on. So much needs to be done.

Renewing my Country A passport, figuring out Snort’s many allergies and the return of worsening eczema, getting a Country B driving license (a whole post is needed for this one!), weaning off bottles, trying to not shriek every time I move (SPD bad today…I carried Snort up STAIRS yesterday. Ow.), find time to write, continue weight loss (a whole ‘nother post, with pics), achieve world domination, etc.

Yesterday morning we went to someone’s house, locally, with a bunch of bags and babies. This couple basically entertained our kids while we had the run of literally thousands of books, all for free. We got a nice haul, but WOW was this house fantastic. It was so huge, huge even by Country A standards. We also found out how much it was on the market for, and how much it sold for. In a curiously weird way it gave me hope, because it was not a million. The price was still unreachable and inconceivable for us, but maybe not for always. Just for right now.

It’s hard surviving on one salary. Every time someone gifts us with baby clothing or supplies in any way, it relieves a little of the pressure. Formula and diapers are still the main expenses, and holy jesus are they expensive!!

We’re doing okay, though, and even though we are poor by the standards of both our families (though of course how lucky we are to have a mortgage and a lovely flat, food to eat, heating to put on) this is what we choose. Snort and Coconut grow more every day, but they are still too little to even think about shipping off to daycare (for us, I judge other families not!). This is it, again for now: they will always be looked after in their own home by their own parents.

I do need to drive, though, so that we can take field trips and do stuff. And so that I can take them to their various appointments and TMD doesn’t have to keep juggling this with work – because from April? She may not have a job. I choose to stick my head in the sand about that, because we want to be able to continue to have one of us home with the babies – and she earns much more than I ever did.

Still, though. On this sunny morning it all seems okay.

Twins, lesbians, and SPD.

April 22, 2009

First things first: good news.

I went along to the local Twins Club meeting last week. It was lovely. One woman (who then gave me a ride home, bless her) had three month olds, and another had six month olds. I have never seen so many children in my freaking life. This club isn’t just twins – it’s anyone with multiples. I think everyone was a twin (or a sibling) but the number of children compared to the number of adults was staggering. Think I will be going back! Was useful to cuddle some babies and ooh and ah – and also get some advice about stuff.

So, that was step one in Creating A New Life for myself. Step two? TMD and I went round to that local lesbian family I told you about last weekend. Went by for just a cup of tea and ended up there for more than two hours – I think we were a mutual hit, with lots of friend-liking going on. The woman I’d been texting with (Lezzie #1 ?) is going to take me around to meet her friend with three year old twins.

This family we met lives literally around the corner from us. Perhaps Green was not wrong in saying our town was a hotbed for lesbianism? The best thing about this couple is that they are not social-heavy. They like to stay at home and only have a few really close friends. This is exactly how TMD and I are, so it bodes well for the future.

I do feel like I need to take steps to make myself a new life. Work is something of the semi-past, at least for the next year and a half or so. Making local connections is important, as if I was isolated at home with two babies I think it would be very difficult. Of course, there’s still the small matter of the fact that I don’t drive over here, but we’ll brush that under the carpet for now.

So: the not so good news. Went to the specialist physio yesterday – it was an hour and a half long appointment, which is unheard of in this land of ten minute doctor appointments. I have officially been diagnosed with SPD. The physio was quite gloomy about SPD, the chronic pain, and the fact that you can’t actually do anything to make it go away while you’re pregnant. She also asked if in lesbian relationships there was one more dominant, manly partner. Ha.

Um, anyway.

She’s put me back on crutches – and when she taught me to use them for SPD, she said I was a natural. I was like, ‘Well, I was on crutches for six or seven weeks not that long ago.’ TMD is horrified I brought another pair of crutches into the house, but I wanted the physio to size them for me properly. So anyone living locally who wants to crutches, you know where to get them!

I have more to say about the SPD, but that’s not for now. The physical assessment and exercising yesterday has left me in a good deal of pain, so I don’t want to sit up for too long. However, I AM tranferring all recent bump pics to the computer so they will be up today for sure.

Love to you all.

So full of words, but no titles.

March 22, 2009

Another sunny day. Let me say it again: I cannot wait until maternity leave. Not because I don’t love my fabulous and amazing job, but because I want to sit on my birthing ball in the garden. I want to sleep until I wake up (currently freakishly early – like 6:30 am) and then open all the windows and hang out with Marmite.

Weekends are always nice because TMD is here and we have yummy food, fun times, and togetherness. Maternity leave will be a bit different, but I’m so bloody achy that I can’t wait. My back is reaching a level of dysfunction I can’t fully describe – but know that every step I take results in a ‘clicking’ sensation there. And my hips! I had to sleep in my bumpband last night. I also sucked it up and ordered a maternity support belt (how big will my stomach get? I can’t conceive of it).

I never, ever order things that need to fit my body online because I need to try shit on! But this was 10.00 including shipping and I bought the biggest size they offered. I tried on a belt at a store yesterday that was for sizes 8-18 pre-pregnancy, and I swear to Jesus that thing wouldn’t fit around me. This new belt is in tiny size increments (12-14, 14-16, etc) so I think it’ll be more reasonable.

I keep thinking about driving tests with dread. I haven’t booked a new one. I look at all the monstrous fucking idiots in this country who have the ability to drive legally, and I feel like some giant loser because I failed the test. I think this feeling probably stems from the fact that I don’t fail at anything. Reality knows I’ve been driving for 15 years in another country where things are, to say the least, a bit different on the road. Anyway.

A friend from our camping days is coming up this afternoon. Should be very good to see her and pass on our how-to-get-knocked-up-if-you-are-a-dyke tips. I have lots of ’em. In her specific case, they revolve around recommending her to our clinic!! Those people really were the bomb…as was my super fertile body! I read blogs of fellow Sapphites trying to get pregnant with IUI, and the month-after-month devestation of getting their periods terrifies me.

Green asked if I would go back and do this for free with a friend, no crazy hormone shots, etc if I could rewind time. Absofuckinglutely not! IVF worked for us. The first month we tried to make A baby, we got TWO babies. It was less money than IUI as I donated eggs, I got to help another woman, and TMD and I have ended up with Mano and Torre. I would not change one single thing.

It’s nice to not have regrets in this area of my life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to shower now. I have to try to not lean in any direction that fucks with the ligament on the right side of my womb. She is an unhappy ligament and is letting me know it. Still, my ass is very happy on the birthing ball.  You can’t please everybody at once.

I think TMD and I are going to just buy a glider online today. Any recommendations of a good one are very appreciated. We may not live in your country, but glider goodness does exist here.

Okay. Can’t seem to stop typing for some reason. I guess I just feel fulfilled and exactly where I am supposed to be today. It’s….nice. Plain old fashioned happy.

I’m clearly not meant to go to work.

February 5, 2009

Jaysus baysus.

I decided to bite the bullet and go in to work this morning. It had snowed again in the night (this is absolutely unheard of in this little part of the world), but I thought as long as TMD could get me to the station things would be alright.

We got there, I bought my monthly pass, and then was told there were no trains today. I was also told that the next station along was working. I turned around to find TMD in the parking lot having an animated conversation with what must truly be the only gay black man in the village; she offered him a lift and we all set off for the next place.

Well.

When we got there, floods of people were coming out of the station. As I was obviously looking like some sort of invalid to take pity on, a nice lady came over and announced, ‘I hope you don’t want a train, dear. We’ve just been told that if you’re trying to go to the city, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY YOU CAN DO IT.” You can count on people from this country to almost take a weary joy in things going badly.

On a sunshiney day when things are perfect, people won’t even make eye contact – let alone willingly speak to you. On a drizzly day where snow and slush are everywhere, and they’ve just been told that their hopes of commuting into the city are for nought, everyone becomes best friends. They band together in their misery.

So I turned around, intending to call TMD to drive me home. My new gay black best friend suddenly appeared at my side and said, ‘I left my lunch in your car.’ So TMD turned around, came back to get us, etc. The man told me he had a female partner and my jaw dropped open, then we said our goodbyes.

TMD pulled into our drive, and then BLAM. A mystical carnival ride where the car slid sideways and slammed into the hedges. This meant we were both homebound, for the third time this week. A few hours, a quarter of a bag of potting soil, a little shovel to chip at ice, helpful critiques and suggestions from neighbors, and arm pumping glory later – the car is free.

What the fuck.

Thank god I’m originally from another country, a part of which is fucking snowy all the time (okay, in the winter, at least)  that my instincts kicked in. I was like some sort of snow-fighting Chuck Norris. Now we just have to battle the icy streets to get to the midwife’s appointment – she had better be there, damnit.

Much love to you all.

(So far my favourite moment of today is when the car moved three feet. I threw both my arms into the air and screamed, ‘Champions!’ not caring who saw me. This was especially nice as my jeans were rolled up to my knees, I was soaking wet, and I was fake ice skating on my gimp leg.)