Thursday, 31 December 2009

Making the move

I had mixed feelings last night when we put E and A down for the night in the nursery rather than in our bedroom. I was actually quite surprised how sentimental I felt about having them in the room with us, and I really really missed them when I went to bed. I didn't realise how much I liked waking up and hearing them sleeping. On the flipside I'm very keen to reclaim our bedroom and it'll be lovely to be able to potter around our room in the evening with the light on, and read my book before I go to sleep.

Another dilemma we had was whether to sleep them in separate cots in the nursery (they sleep side-by-side in one cot at the moment, separated by a rolled up towel), but we decided to leave them together for now. One step at a time!

We toyed with the idea of having the monitor in our room, but as the nursery is right next door we decided to rely on hearing them naturally in the night. I woke to hear A chatting to himself about 4am and was getting myself ready to get up and feed him but he settled himself back to sleep and woke crying an hour later. He needed comforting a bit before I gave him his bottle - I'm not sure if he was upset about waking up and not hearing us sleeping? - but he was fine after that and greedily downed his bottle. Unfortunately E woke at the same time so Young Daddy had to get up too, but both babies settled back to sleep and amazingly didn't wake again until 8.15am - a record lie-in for us! I hope it wasn't because neither of us heard them crying earlier, but I'm pretty sure one of us would have stirred if one of the babies had been screaming. I'm totally prepared for the lovely lie-in to have been a one-off, but it was much appreciated today and I'm sure we'll get another one at some point in the future....

Present from Great Gran

One of the best presents the twins got this Christmas was these Taggies Take Along Taggie Hugs from their Great Gran (available from Kiddicare). I've often noticed that babies seem more interested in the labels on toys than the actual toy itself so the design of Taggies is perfect, with lots of labels in different designs. A and E love gripping and chewing the teether ring and the fleecy Taggie squeeks when squeezed. And I love it because it's machine-washable!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Chuckle brother

Mr A has discovered the giggles and it's giving us all lots of laughs. The other evening he had a little giggle when Young Daddy tickled him at bathtime, but last night he got a massive fit of giggles that had both Young Daddy and I crying with laughter! He often seems to have his happiest moments on the changing mat - I think he really likes the one-on-one attention in a quiet environment.

Raising genius babies

Young Daddy bought A and E the boxset of Baby Einstein DVDs for Christmas and we sat them down in front of Baby Santa on Boxing Day and Baby Beetoven yesterday. The loved it and sat through pretty much the whole thing. I always said that my children wouldn't be sat in front of the TV, but all those preconceptions have gone out of the window now we actually have babies. Now, anything that keeps them quiet is a welcome addition to the Young household! I will obviously be careful not to let them watch it too much, but it'll be really handy if it keeps them occupied long enough for me to do a couple of chores round the house.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Holding hands

 Mr A still resolutely ignores E when she tries to befriend him (she smiles and chats to him), but the babies have started to hold hands when they're close to each other now, which elicits a big chorus of 'aaaaahhhh', from those around them.

A white Christmas for E and A

Snow and ice didn't stop us making the journey up to County Durham on Christmas day to spend the day with the Young family. We had an amazingly quick journey - not many people on the roads at 5.45am on Christmas morning! The sun was shining by late morning when we arrived and the snowy views were absolutely stunning!

Predictably, E and A got the largest haul of presents under the tree and behaved impeccably all day, going down for their lunchtime nap in time for us to eat our lunch, and being very good-natured while we opened our presents. The only part of the day that they didn't enjoy was bathtime - I think it was one new thing too many for them. When they went down in the evening I was concerned that the long sleep on the journey up in the car would interfere with their sleep, but they did really well and each only woke once in the night. E even let Young Daddy give her her bottle at 11pm (I gave him my cardigan to drape over his shoulders so she could smell me and either that worked or she was just so tired she couldn't be bothered to argue!). The babies were in bed when we had a new dusting of snow, but it still means that their first Christmas was officially a white one.

Today was another gorgeous day and so we headed out for a walk in the snow this afternoon. Young Daddy and Uncle Sam took a baby each in the Baby Bjorns, and E and A both loved it, and stayed awake taking in the views for almost the whole time we were out. The fresh air also wore them out so they went down for an hour's afternoon nap, meaning their good moods lasted right up until bathtime (we opted to top and tail this evening rather than do a full bath, which seemd to work much better).

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Miss E leads 2-0

The battle of the bottle continued this evening. I smugly thought we'd regained the upper hand after I managed to put E down to bed after her bottle without having to breastfeed her to get her to settle. She fell asleep straightaway and I thankfully got into the bath, but less than 45 minutes later a familiar cry came through the monitor and though Young Daddy tried his hardest to rock her back to sleep, it wasn't until she'd had a couple of minutes on the boob that she settled again.

Young Daddy will get to spend a lot more time with A and E over Christmas, and hopefully that will mean we'll be able to crack E's clinginess. It's really easy for me to spend more time with E because I entertain her once she's finished breastfeeding, and Young Daddy and A do the same after he's had his bottle, but over the holidays we'll make sure to keep swapping babies!
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Scheduling nightmare

We committed the cardinel sin of twin care today by letting E and A start their day at significantly different times. Young Daddy got up with A at 6.30am this morning, and I tried to get some extra shut-eye while E slept - she didn't wake 'til 8.15am in the end. It was a bit short-sighted as I was then stuck with two babies on vastly different schedules for the day. E and A have been pretty well-behaved all day, but they have stuck to their normal routines (awake for 1.5-2 hours at a time and then a nap) which has meant that they haven't really slept or eaten at the same times all day - leaving me no time to myself.

On the upside, in a way I've quite enjoyed the day because I've had the opportunity to spend some really nice one-on-one time with both my babies. E and I had fun with Tuhami Mummy and baby Jacob when they popped round at lunchtime, and A and I had lots of smiles and laughs while E napped at lunchtime and this afternoon. Grandma and Grandpa Powell have always offered to look after one baby, while we spend quality time with the other but we've never really given the offer serious thought. I would definitely consider it after today so we'll have to plan in a time in the new year.

The life of Miss E

A while ago I wrote a post about E blowing a raspberry. Well it's now her absolute favourite thing to do! If she finds something funny or amusing she'll blow a big raspberry and some impressive bubbles. It's very cute, although the bubbles and dribble aren't so fun!
The cuteness makes up a little bit for her diva-like behaviour at the moment. She is going through a really clingy stage and doesn't like being held by anyone but Young Mummy (including Young Daddy), which is particularly annoying at this time of year when there's lots of socialising being done. We have also discovered that it's not the bottle she's refusing, it's being fed by Young Daddy! If I give her her bottle she'll feed happily, but the second I pass her to Young Daddy the screaming begins. We know we're going to have to have a big showdown with her sooner or later and not give in, but at the moment, sleep for us is so precious that we can't face doing it.

Another achievement by E this week was sleeping through. On Tuesday night she slept from 12.30 'til 7.30am which was a very very welcome surprise, as for the previous few mornings her wake-up time had been 5.30am, which definitely isn't a pleasant start to the day. This morning she woke up at 5.45am for a quick feed, but she settled back down and slept until 8.15am. Unfortunately this morning A decided that he wanted to get up at 6.30am (despite feeding at 4.30am). Oh the joys of twins!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Bah humbug

I've got to admit that I'm not really feeling the festive spirit this year. Christmas can be stressful and busy at the best of times, but add two 15-week-old babies and a large dose of sleep deprivation and it really starts to take its toll. Suddenly the seemingly endless tasks such as putting up decorations, buying presents, wrapping presents, sending cards, and packing to go away all feel too much, and more than a little overwhelming.

I know I should revel in the twins' first christmas but they don't have the slightest clue that December 25th is any different to any other day!
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Miss E 1, Young Parents 0

Last night, E insisted on being breastfed at every feed. She took 60ml from the bottle when Young Daddy did the 11pm feed, but refused to take anymore and wouldn't settle until eventually he gave in and got Young Mummy out of bed to finish the feed on the breast (15 mins later E was happily asleep back in her cot).

So, this evening, Young Mummy took on the bottle challenge and successfully got E to have a full feed. But it wasn't enough for Young E. Young Daddy took over winding her (to get her away from the boob) and she cried, and cried, and cried. Well, she cried for 15 minutes until we gave up and offered her the breast, where she promptly had a 20 second comfort suck and then allowed Young Daddy to put her to bed! It's a habit we're going to have to break if I ever want a night of freedom, but we weren't quite feeling up to it tonight. So for now, E is winning the battle of the bottle, but we shall start working on new tactics and come back fighting...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas parties

We've had a full weekend of Christmas parties. Yesterday, Grandma and Grandpa Powell had their annual open house, and Young Daddy, E, A and I went along for the afternoon. The babies did pretty well, but E got a bit overwhelmed by the number of people. When I went upstairs with her to a quiet room she was all smiles, but grizzled when she was back downstairs and wouldn't be held by anyone else but Young Daddy or me. But we really enjoyed introducing them to lots of new people - it was lovely to be able to show them off.

It was an early start today, as E woke at 5.15am for a feed and then decided she really didn't want to go back to bed! Mr A rose at 6am to join her so Young Daddy and I have been feeling a little jaded all day, although E did give me her first ever proper chuckle to make up for it. We were back over at Grandma and Grandpa Powell's for our family Christmas celebration (we're off up north to see the Young family for Christmas itself). Great Uncle Brian and Great Auntie Irena were visiting from Oxford, and it was great to see Adam (A and E's first cousin once removed). We missed his wife Alex as she was poorly at home, but A and E are looking forward to meeting her in the new year.

It was a lovely day and A and E got some fab Christmas presents - our favourites include their sheepskin booties, and a JellyKitten comforter for A. And Grandma and Grandpa Powell and Uncle Will all did a fantastic job of helping with A and E - thanks guys!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Feeding update

I'm not going to dwell on a summary of this week as I don't want to come across as constantly negative. So instead of writing another post about what a terrible day I've had (!) I shall give an update on our feeding situation.

I'm still breastfeeding E during the day (she has formula overnight) and she has good days and bad days. She fed really well yesterday and the signs are good so far for today! Because her weight gain has slowed down a bit the health visitor suggested that I top up her afternoon feeds with some formula, but I don't think this is workable. If I try giving E a bottle during the day, she is highly unimpressed, and she's even less impressed if it contains formula (she gives me the 'are you trying to poison me, mummy?' look). So I'm just going to try to encourage her to feed as much and as often as she likes from the boob and see how we get on.

Mr A is now solely formula fed as of this week (Aptamil, using Tommee Tippee bottles). I had been expressing a couple of times every evening to have enough to feed him with during the day, but I've been so exhausted recently it just seemed like one thing too much. There have also been a few occasions overnight when E has refused the bottle completely and I've needed to breastfeed her instead, and if I've expressed lots in the evening I find I don't have enough milk left to do this. I thought I would find the decision to stop giving A breastmilk a harder one to make, but in fact I haven't stressed about it at all. He's had 14 weeks of breastmilk and I think really I deserve a pat on the back for persevering so long!

It will be really interesting now to see how their behaviour and weight gain differs now that A is formula fed. But I guess you will never know whether there would have been a difference between them anyway, regardless of what they are fed.....

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Smashing plates

Ok, I admit it, I lost it today. After over five relentless hours with no let-up (nothing could make my babies happy this morning) I had to resort to smashing some crockery in the kitchen so that I wouldn't smash the baby monitor to smithereens! Listening to E refuse to settle for her lunchtime nap was the final straw. I did lose it in true Young Mummy style though, and carefully selected a chipped plate and two mugs we don't use to hurl against the wall! I don't know if that level of thought makes it better or worse?!

Eventually the monsters went down for their nap and slept for two and a half hours. They were in a slightly better mood when they woke up, but unfortunately this was short-lived. So all in all I would say I've had better days!

The importance of naps

I had one of those days yesterday that kept veering between being terrible and being lovely! The morning definitely fell into the 'terrible' category. After the morning feed, I packed E and A into their car seats and we drove over to meet Uncle Will for the first time. He's back from New Zealand on a flying visit and I couldn't wait to introduce his new niece and nephew to him. Unfortunately E and A didn't seem so keen to make a good first impression and spent almost the whole time we were there screaming, or threatening to scream! I popped out to fill the car up with petrol, leaving E and A with Grandpa and Uncle Will, but apparently A cried the whole time I was gone. The problem was that neither of them had had a long enough morning nap so they were exhausted. They were also hungry but were too tired and wound up to feed properly so we were caught in a miserable cycle. Eventually I managed to calm A down enough to get some milk in him and then he settled for a nap. E was rocked to sleep by Grandpa.

I drove home, but the babies woke when I stopped the car and then both of them treated me to full-on red-faced incandescent screaming at the same time. It's been a while since I've had to deal with this, and it brought my sense of panic and distress back immediately. I had to sit both babies on my lap, with E propped up on a cushion while I fed A. Faced with them still grizzling I decided to go to Baby Clinic to get them weighed so at least I was out of the house.

They behaved really well at clinic. Mr A went first and then fell asleep in his car seat while I was getting E weighed. E was looking sleepy so once we were back in the car I drove around a bit to get her off to sleep, then parked up outside the house and read my Grazia until my feet and hands were going numb (oh the joy of looking after babies in the winter!). I was convinced they would wake when I carried them into the car but someone up there was smiling on me and they didn't stir. When they eventually woke up they were in a lovely, happy mood and we had no tears at all until bedtime.

It really does go to prove how much they need their naps. I'm sure that when they were kicking off it was because they were exhausted. I need to work extra hard to make sure they get enough sleep and then hopefully we'll all be much happier.

Monday, 14 December 2009

A takes a dive

I had every parent's worst nightmare this morning when I dropped Mr A. Yes, I dropped him on the floor. On his head. We were in the kitchen and I popped him in the car seat while I made up his bottle. I picked up the seat, but the handle wasn't locked in place properly so the whole seat tipped forward and catapaulted A out. His face hit the floor first, and he started screaming (which was actually a relief, silence would have been too awful). He was pretty unhappy but I think it was actually me who was more upset. Young Daddy reassured me he was ok and so I sat down to give him his bottle and he quickly calmed himself down to feed.

A red lump came up just above his eyebrow, and although he seemed ok, I wasn't sure if I should get him seen by a doctor. I phoned NHS Direct and spoke to a nurse who advised me to see the GP today if possible and luckily I managed to get an appointment for this afternoon. In the meantime I kept an eye on A, and if anything he seemed happier than usual. We saw the doctor and he was really laid back and put my mind completely at rest. He told me it's a rite of passage to drop your baby! Apparently he dropped his daughter from his shoulders! Anyway, he was totally happy that A was fine so I was a happy mummy again.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We hosted a Christmas party today for our NCT friends. Although it meant quite a lot of cleaning and baking (we didn't do a lot of food, but I baked some brownies, gingerbread Christmas trees and melting moments and then we also had mince pies and mulled wine), it's been nice to get the house cleaned properly and fully decked out for the festive season. Once we'd got the Legends of Christmas album playing and my Jo Malone pine and eucalyptus candle burning, I was definitely feeling the Christmas spirit!

As a little extra, I bought some Mamas & Papas baby socks from Ebay to make a stocking for each of the babies. We filled it with a candy cane, chocolate and the other sock. The looked really cute hung under the mantelpiece and everyone loved them. We even managed to get a picture of all the babies together.

Swaddling here to stay

We experimented again on Friday night with putting E and A to bed without swaddling them. Cue two hours of screaming! A eventually settled, but E just got more and more worked up until she actually made herself sick. As soon as we swaddled her she calmed right down and we were able to put her to bed five minutes later. We weren't keen on the prospect of repeating the experience after every night feed so we swaddled A as well after the 11pm feed and the rest of the night went better.

I think we'll be sticking with the swaddling for a while longer. A manages to get his arms out of his, but it's pretty clear that they both need to be swaddled to get themselves off to sleep, and I don't see any harm in it for now.
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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Get well soon Uncle Sam!

E and A's Uncle Sam is really poorly, so we all hope he feels much better soon. xxxx

Still makes me giggle

Last night Young Daddy was feeding A and I was feeding E, when E pulled off the bottle, blew a raspberry and then laughed at herself. It made me giggle so much, but I had to keep it in (it was a night feed so we didn't want to encourage the babies to wake up too much), so I had tears rolling down my cheeks  as I laughed silently. Hilarious!

Lovely legs

My friend Powell Mummy sent me the link to these fab kids' leg warmers today. Available from BabyKind, they can be used on legs or arms and are great as an extra layer for keeping warm, or to protect little arms and legs when babies start to crawl. There are some fab patterns - I'm a big fan of stars so I think Pop Diva is my favourite design. A and E might not be crawling yet, but it seems rude not to purchase some, right?!

Ideal Home office visit

All my practise trips up to town paid off yesterday when E, A and I visited the Blue Fin Building to say hello to my friends at Ideal Home magazine. The train journey up there went really smoothly and we even had time for a bit of shopping in Tate Modern before meeting some of the team for lunch in Leon. Ellie and Bethan kindly helped out by giving A his bottle while I attempted to feed E. Unfortunately she was in one of her 'I don't want to eat' moods, and didn't feed well at all (think there was too much going on around us - lots of distractions!). This meant that she won the Grumpy Baby Award when we went up to the office to see everyone, and grizzled lots (not very nice in an open plan office!). Mr A behaved much better though, and was happy to be passed around so plenty of people could get their baby fix!

Both babies slept on the way back to City Thameslink station, and then, for the second time, E decided that she had to be fed immediately. I couldn't believe I was breastfeeding again on the platform, giving the city boys an eyeful once more! At least it meant both babies were quiet on the train home....

Monday, 7 December 2009

Domestic goddess wannabe

I've made a discovery this week - E and A will happily sit in their bouncy chairs in the kitchen while I cook or clean as long as I keep chatting to them. It sounds obvious, but this is really the first time I've been able to get on with something independently while the babies are awake! I don't have much time to think about recipes etc though, so this week I've made a chicken casserole, a big vat of bolognaise sauce and some surprisingly delicious chocolate brownies. Surprising because I realised once I'd started cooking that I was missing some of the ingredients so I had to ad lib a bit! But the end result was yummy and has fulfilled my much-needed late afternoon cake fix for a few days...

E's favourite toy

E is absolutely obsessed with the Gardenbug Wrist Rattle from Lamaze. The one she loves has the green face and orange wings, and if you put it on her wrist she just sits there and smiles and chats to it endlessly. Today I attached it to her car seat, and she fixed her gaze on it and smiled and cooed. It's great that it's such a small toy, as I think it's one I will definitely be adding to the keepsake box.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Who ate all the pies?

A weighs more than E! Having started off 1lb 7oz lighter than E, he now weighs 11lb 5oz and she's 11lb on the nose. I suspected as much, as I was sure he felt heavier, and I was right! I waited around to see the Health Visitor after having the babies weighed as I'd stored up a couple of questions...

A couple of nights this week, A has woken up a couple of hours after we've put them down to bed. There's no warning to him waking up, he has just started screaming at the top of his lungs, which is quite scary, and Young Daddy and I sprint upstairs to check everything is alright. We just need to hold him for about five minutes and he slowly calms down and then you can put him back down in his cot and he's back to sleep. It's really weird and is almost like he's having a night terror. The health visitor says it's probably a colicky pain that he feels suddenly, so we're going to give him Infacol again before the 6.30pm feed (we used to give Infacol at every feed but didn't think they needed it anymore).

I also asked about whether we should continue to swaddle A and E when they go to bed. The health visitor said not to, as they want to move around more now so last night we put them down in Gro-bags (baby sleeping bags) instead of their swaddle blankets. They woke up less than two hours later though, and the only thing that would calm them down was swaddling, and then they went straight back to sleep, so for now the swaddling is staying!

Although A's weight is really good, E's growth has slowed down, which is a bit of a worry. I breastfeed her during the day, whereas A takes expressed milk in a bottle, so I'm less sure how much she's taking when she feeds. She's been really fussy this week, and I've thought she probably isn't getting enough. It's really hard because she is much more patient than A and when he kicks off at feed time (which inevitably he does) I often focus on him, probably to the detriment of E. So it's a bit of a wake-up call to make sure I give her enough time and attention and really encourage her to take more at each feed.

I also think I need to be more aware of what I'm eating and drinking to make sure I'm producing as much milk as possible, as I've felt that my supply's been a bit low this week. I have a really good evening meal, but I don't think I'm eating enough at the start of the day as I'm always so busy I hardly have a chance to stop. I reckon I need to up my breakfast calories, add in a mid-morning snack and make sure I eat a decent lunch. I'm also going to drink more water during the day, as I reckon I'm probably quite dehydrated. Hopefully this will increase my milk supply. That should mean E is less fussy when feeding, and hopefully she'll drink more and her weight will pick up again.

So I had pie and chips for lunch, and I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty!!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Alien abduction

I got up with A to feed him at about 2.45am this morning and there was a really weird noise. At first I thought it must be next door's washing machine on its spin cycle, but it got louder and louder. I think it must have been a helicopter but it was so loud it had to have been flying really low, and I couldn't see anything when I looked out of the window. It hung around for ages, until I thought that A and I were going to be abducted by aliens! Obviously Young Daddy thought I was a complete loon when I told him about it - I almost gotvhim up, but I didn't think he'd appreciate a 2.45am wake-up call!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Making friends

E and A have been pretty oblivious to each other’s existence up until now, but they are definitely starting to notice each other. The other day, Young Daddy and I held the babies up to each other. Mr A resolutely looked away, but E was mesmerised and stared at A with a curious little smile on her face. Then A let out a cry and E burst into tears. Bless! But since then they are showing a lot more interest, and even A is looking at E now. It’s really sweet, and I can’t wait until they start interacting even more.

Ridiculous baby gym class

When I went along to the Lewisham-run twin club the other week with my fellow twin mum, Helen, we were encouraged to give the Baby Gym sessions a go, so we took ourselves there this week. I caught a glimpse of the room through the door, and immediately asked if the session was suitable for young babies. After being assured that it was, and that young babies attend all the time we both woke our babies and got them out of their pushchairs (Helen's twin girls are five months old). Once inside, I took in the small climbing frame, ball pond and trampoline and immediately realised the class was far from suitable for my little ones! There weren't even any mats to put the babies down on, just a few cushions dotted around for mums to sit on. Helen and I stayed just long enough for me to feed E and to avoid a heavy downpour outsidee and then we made a hasty getaway. Needless to say we won't be returning!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Christmas countdown

I love this calendar by Noix de Coc' (available from Bodie & Fou), but I don't have the spare pennies right now to treat myself to it. I think I might make my own version. I sent out flat-packed cake boxes with my wedding invites so that guests could bring their own fairy cakes, so I'll order some of the same boxes and they can be decorated. I'll be missing the cute wooden sticks but hey ho.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Lewisham hospital gets the thumbs down

Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust was rated as England's third worst trust for patient safety measures in a report out yesterday. I'm definitely glad I didn't know this before I went in for my Caesarean, or I might have been more nervous! I spent eight nights in Lewisham Hospital and my overall experience wasn't great. There were some fantastic individuals there, but everyone was severely overstretched and I didn't feel that I had any continuity of care. Maybe this recent report will prompt some change for the better.

No tears before bed

Mr A gets the 'best baby of the day' medal today for his exemplary behaviour at bathtime. I can officially announce that he has achieved his first tear-free bath ever! We've come close a number of times in the last few days, when he didn't cry until Young Daddy dressed him but today he didn't shed a single tear. So we're one step closer to swimming classes. Just E to crack now...

My NCT broodsheet (newsletter) arrived today and in it is an advert for underwater photographs. So cool - I'd love to get pics of E and A underwater. But the next photo session is in January and I think it's a bit too soon. I've decided to hold off booking swimming classes (due to start in January as well) as I don't think they'll enjoy them yet. So I'll wait for the next photo session, when I'm sure E and A will be happy water babies.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

West End babies

E and A made their first trip up to the West End today to do some Christmas shopping. Young Daddy carried Mr A in the baby bjorn, and I wheeled E in the single buggy, so that we didn't have to try to get the double pushchair round the shops! They were perfectly behaved throughout, and slept for the whole trip.

A has been giving us bigger and bigger smiles everyday and we're loving it. At the moment, the smiles come at slightly random moments, but he definitely treated Young Daddy to some beaming grins today. He's also a really chatter - he natters away to himself, especially after a feed. His favourite word at the moment is 'goo' and I just love it when he says it - it's just so cute!

We bottle-fed A all day to see if he was happier (I usually breastfeed him for a short while and then give him a top-up bottle as soon as he starts fussing,but this often leads to prolonged bouts of crying) and he did seem to be calmer in general. E, on the other hand, has decided that she'll do the fussing instead and hasn't fed well all day. I think my milk supply has been a bit low today (maybe because I'm tired? I hope it's not drying up), so E has had to work extra hard to feed, and she has not been impressed. We picked up some more of my special 'Mother's Helper' tea yesterday (supposed to aid milk production) so hopefully that will help get it going again. I got really emotional when Young Daddy questioned if E is starting to reject the breast like A has. I'm so keen to keep breastfeeding, but it's hard to know if I'm being selfish by keeping going. Would E and A be happier babies if I just switched to bottles? It's the question that goes round and round in my head constantly, but I haven't come up with an answer yet...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Happy 12 week birthday E & A!

Can't believe how quickly 12 weeks have flown past, and how much E and A have changed. They've been little angels today - bless them. xx

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A grown-up playmat

I've been looking for a large activity mat for E and A, as in the last couple of days A has seemed to really enjoy lying on his back and having a good kick around. I popped him on a pillow on the floor of the kitchen yesterday evening and it stopped his witching hour (post 4pm) screaming for a while and I even got some smiles out of him (he's been smiling so much more this week).

Having failed to find a mat that I really liked, I thought about buying a rug instead, but decided that it would just get covered in baby sick and would get ruined. Then I came up with the idea of using a bedspread. Cath Kidston immediately sprung to mind and once I'd checked that their bedspreads are machine-washable I was totally sold on the idea. It'll work as a large playmat when A and E are babies, but will still have a use once they've grown up a bit. I think it's a great solution, and I've already had E and A playing on it this evening.

Twins together

This evening, Young Daddy and I held E and A up to each other. A wasn't that interested, but E was absolutely mesmerised and stared at A with a curious smile on her face for ages. It was so cute - I really can't wait until they're properly aware of each other and can start interacting. A chats away to himself, so it will be funny to hear them chat to each other.

The good ol' days of Clothkits

I can remember visiting the Clothkits shop as a child, and it was a firm favourite with my mum, who was really disappointed when it closed. I've just discovered that the company was relaunched last year with a gorgeous collection of outfits to sew at home. Instead of following a paper pattern, the cutting lines are printed directly on the fabric for no-fuss sewing. Plus they do sewing workshops for kids and adults too. I've got to wait a little while until E and A are big enough for the clothes, but I'm looking forward to the day they are. Until then, I can get started with the toys, dolls and fab haberdashery offerings. Oh, and I could make myself something from the adult designs!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The perfect baby pic?

My friend Ellie has just emailed me a link to the Sadie Olive blog and there are some absolutely beautiful photographs on there of one very very cute baby. Team the cute baby with some gorgeous vintage suitcases and you get a perfect combination in my opinion!

I hate bin day

Negotiating the pavements with my double pushchair is challenging enough first thing in the morning, but add an obstacle course of wheelie bins and I definitely experience a sense of humour failure! After having to move countless bins on my early morning walk today, I decided to nominate Bin Day as my 'Most Hated Day of the Week'. Other nominations include Mondays (all of them), and Vaccinations Day (coming up next week). Nominations will stay open for a while before I announce the winner of the 'Most Hated Day' prize.
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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sickness strikes

Young Daddy has come down with a nasty stomach bug. Luckily for him, E, A and I were out most of the day today - we went up to Southbank again to meet a couple of NCT friends and visit the Christmas market. That meant that Young Daddy could sleep all day, although he was still feeling very poorly when we got home. He did his best to help with the evening routine - we skipped the bath and instead I gave E and A a quick sponge wash, but as soon as the babies were in bed, he quickly followed them.

I tried a different route up to town today that was much more successful than the one we took on Sunday. I ended up getting a train to City Thameslink (totally accessible, with a  lift from the platform to the concourse), and then walked through the City where I stuck out like a sore thumb in my parka and boots next to all the suits. The walk over Millenium Bridge to Tate Modern was so windy today I was a bit worried the whole pushchair would take off!

We all had lunch at Strada and the staff were really helpful and friendly, considering there were four babies to be fed, and three pushchairs to be accommodated. It was funny - I actually felt much more embarrassed getting out my bag of expressed breastmilk (to make up a bottle for A), than breastfeeding E. Silly, eh?

The market was a bit disappointing, and the most exciting stall was pick 'n' mix (we all indulged ourselves), and it didn't help that the babies were grizzling. Unfortunately E had not had a very good feed in Strada so her grumbling just got louder and louder on our way back to City Thameslink. I ended up having to feed her on the platform, whilst rocking A with my foot to try to keep him from crying. It was an interesting experience to say the least, but we made it home in one piece without any major meltdowns, so I think the trip can definitely be classed as a success.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Hairdryer heaven

I was out of ideas and at the end of my tether this morning with both babies crying. It was raining hard, my back was hurting too much to lug the car seats around and my hair was still wet from my shower. Then I remembered the magic effect of the hairdryer. I sat on the bed with a baby lying on either side of me and dried my hair. They stopped crying immediately and E even fell asleep. Now all I need to know is how long can a hairdryer run for before it explodes?

London calling

We made our first trip up to London yesterday so that Young Daddy could come with us. Our local station has no stair-free access so we walked to the next one down the line. E and A slept through their first ever train journey - I was definitely more excited than them!

It was strange walking along southbank, but having to negotiate a step-free route - my usual shortcuts are redundant for now. I'd seen online that Tate Modern has a baby room, so we headed there to feed the babies. Unfortunately it seemed to be a single room, and there was a long queue of people waiting to use it. I think the Tate could and should offer better facilities. I started to panic but we made our way back to Leon (where we'd had lunch) and fed E and A there over coffee in nice, relaxed surroundings.

The time flew and it was time to get the train home. It was here that my research let me down. We got off the train only to discover there was a flight of stairs to exit the station. Good thing Young Daddy was with us, or we'd have been stuck with my bad back. Next time I'll try a different route....

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Night smiles

E wouldn't settle down to sleep this evening, but it was hard to be cross with her when, whenever Young Daddy went in to settle her, she gave him the biggest beaming smile. Bless!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Another growth spurt? The eternal question..

I've had a nightmare day with Mr A today. He started the day ok, with a half-decent breastfeed and top-up bottle, and then slept until the next feed (we met a friend at Dulwich Park for a walk, tea and cake). But it was all downhill from 10.30am, when A teased me with a textbook 15 minute breastfeed, so that I was feeling all proud and happy. Then he unleashed his full temper and screamed non-stop for an hour, demanding two top-up bottles (60ml each, although he only had 20ml from the second). That didn't seem to make him any happier and I tried everything to get him to stop crying (we're talking full-on, red-faced, eyes closed screeching). Eventually he wore himself out and I put him to bed, where amazingly he did go to sleep.

I assumed he was just tired, but he woke up after his nap in just as bad a mood and wanting more and more milk. Unfortunately, whereas earlier E had been good as gold, giving me time to deal with A, this time she decided she wanted the attention too so she started playing up. Once I was fairly confident they had both had enough food (despite them both still crying), I bundled them into the pushchair and went for a walk with Tuhami Mummy. Young Daddy got back from work in good time, taking pity on me after my dejected phone calls all day, and took them off for another walk as soon as I got home to give me time to recover. But he wasn't out long before he was back with A in his arms, as he couldn't get him to stop crying. At 5.00pm A had 100ml bottle (after rejecting the boob), then at 6.30pm he necked another 150ml. So is this the 12-week growth spurt come a week early, or just a miserable A for a day? We'll probably never know for sure, but I hope tomorrow's better than today.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Under the sea

Met up with Hackers Mummy this afternoon for a trip to the Horniman Museum's aquarium. The babies seemed to love the dark of the aquarium and the lights and shapes in the tanks. A slept through the whole tour, but Max and E enjoyed looking at the fish. It would have been rude to have left without treating ourselves to the cafe and a slice of cake. A perfect afternoon out!

A was hungry when we got home, so I settled down to breastfeed him, fully expecting to have to give him his usual top-up bottle as soon as he started screaming (generally around five minutes into a feed). He didn't want to settle, so I tried a slightly different feeding position, where he was almost sitting, and he happily fed until he was full. No top-up bottle required. Of course we shall have to wait to see whether this was a lucky one-off or if I've managed to find a solution to his feeding problems. I'm sure he'll be back to his usual fussing tomorrow morning, so I'm trying not to get too excited about it.

Artists' temperaments

I'd been looking forward to our trip to All Fired Up ceramics cafe since we's first discussed it a few weeks ago, and the visit was timed perfectly as Granny Jill could come along to hold one of the twins. There was a huge choice of ceramics available to customise and I assembled a huge pile of things to do.

Max and Hacker Mummy went first and Max seemed to really enjoy getting his feet painted, as did Harris who went next. So even though Iris, when it was her turn, did not seem amused by the whole activity, I was still feeling pretty confident that E and A would do ok. The problem probably started when I had to wake them up from their nap for their turn, so already they weren't in the best moods, and as soon as the wet paint touched their feet they went ballistic! Granny Jill held A while I tried to persuade a screaming E to print her foot, and then we swapped over. We managed to do two tiles and a photo frame before giving up - the twins were really losing it. Once the babies had finally settled down (a feed did the trick!) and reassessed my pile of ceramics and opted only to attempt one more item - a mug for Young Daddy. We did this quickly, but gave up after that.

Unfortunately then we had to say goodbye to Granny Jill, who had to leave to get her train home. We miss you lots, Granny Jill! With E and A settled back down to sleep (E got comfy on Mummy Williamson for the afternoon, after Harris went off to spend the afternoon with his daddy), we had a really nice few hours chatting and decorating our pieces.

It was strange heading home on my own, as it's been so nice having someone else around for the last few days. It was all going well, and the twins (or 'The Dudes' as Young Daddy calls them) seemed to enjoy my rendition of various nursery rhymes for a while, before they decided that each of them would much prefer to have an all-out paddy. Nat King Cole, earplugs (for me), a couple of sips (swigs) of red wine (also for me), and one running hairdryer later I managed to calm them down, and we waited for a late Young Daddy without self-combusting. Just about.


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