Thursday, 29 April 2010

Hello? Is anyone out there?

Dear World,

I'm still here. Sorry? You didn't hear me? Let me say it a little louder for you. I'M STILL HERE!

When my babies reached six months, I did not drop off the planet, I did not move to Outer Mongolia, I did not change my telephone number, my email address is the same and the postman still visits my street.

Do I need to apologise for the fact that I dropped off the radar for a while because, you know, I HAVE TWINS, and my life has been turned upside down. Personally, I don't think so. 

What changes at six months? Why the sudden drying up of support and contact? Nothing's changed from where I'm standing. I'm still at home all day looking after two (admittedly gorgeous, but challenging) babies. Sure it's easier, but it's no walk in the park, it's not a holiday, I'm not skipping off into the sunshine without a care in the world. It's still bloody hard work and it would be nice to get a friendly call once in a while to cheer me up. Or get invited out so I can remember who I used to be.

I know, I know. You all have busy lives to lead. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. And I'd probably just bore you with tales of the babes if you did ring, or visit, or email. Because I have no life or interest outside babies, right?

No, really, I don't care. Not one bit. I'm not sitting here feeling sorry for myself. Wondering what I've done to offend you, or if I really am just too boring these days. Oh no I'm not. Well... maybe I am... just a little bit...

Please call, I miss you.

Young Mummy x

P.S. To my lovely friends that read this blog: none of the above is aimed at you, I promise. x

This post is written for this week's Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak. I chose prompt 5: Pick an emotion that best represents your state of mind right now. I'm feeling angry, in case you didn't guess.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Incredibles: a family portrait

This may look like any other family picture, snapped on my phone by a friend, but to me, this photo makes me feel invincible.

We went out of our safety zone, and the world didn't end. We survived, unscathed and exultant.

I constantly question whether things are possible with the babies. Can I make it to the shops? Can I eat lunch out at a restaurant? Could I go to that exhibition I've been dying to see? More often than not I am overwhelmed by the prospect of pushing my boundaries and I don't try these things. London can be a daunting place with a double buggy, and I often feel beaten by the hurdles it throws at me.

We had a friend running the Virgin London Marathon this year, and I'd been wondering all week about whether to go up and support her. I considered going alone, but didn't want to miss out on the precious family time we have at the weekend. Could we all go and watch the marathon together? Immediately I started thinking of reasons why not. It would be too busy. The journey's too difficult. The babies wouldn't nap. But Sunday morning dawned, and we decided impulsively to go for it. 'If it's a nightmare we can turn around and go straight home,' we reasoned.

And so we found ourselves on the DLR to the Cutty Sark, double buggy in tow, where we met up with friends, missing our runner by the tiniest of margins (about 30 secs). We hopped back onto the DLR to Limehouse, where we found a fantastic vantage point and we all (including Miss E and Mr A) cheered on the amazing runners streaming past us, including our friend who was going well. A pit stop for coffee and to use the facilities at a friend's flat nearby reenergised us, and we rejoined the group and made our way to Canary Wharf, cheering our runner on once again. We decided against carrying on with the others to Embankment, and instead headed home feeling elated and happy. The babies had grabbed cat naps here and there and had been on fantastic form all day. Sure they were grumpy at bedtime but it was more than worth it.

My confidence is sky high. The babies have proved themselves to be far more flexible than I give them credit for, and I'm going to capitalise on this new feeling and keep pushing myself to try new things.

And another result of all this positivity? I think I might enter next year's marathon...

Massive congratulations to my mate Nadia, and all the other incredible runners who took part in this year's marathon. Your dedication and stamina were inspiring. And a huge thank you to Geri, Rob and Lee for being so patient with us and for helping lug the buggy up and down steps and on and off trains. You're all stars! x

For Week 9 of The Gallery at Sticky Fingers. Theme: 'Portraits'

Monday, 26 April 2010

With a little help from my friends...

A few weeks ago I was invited to Huggies HQ for a brainstorming session with Kelly and Piran from A place of my own, and Vic and Mr A from Glowstars. It was the first blogging event I've been invited to and attended and it cheered me up no end to be out taking part in the grown-up world again. I took Miss E and Mr A along with me, and we all enjoyed doing something different and meeting new people. The brainstorming was fun, everyone made a great fuss of the babies and I came away with a smile on my face.

Now, there's rather a stir in the parenting blog community at the moment about the first mummy bloggers conference in July, called Cybermummy. I desperately wanted to go, but the tickets aren't cheap and as you might know, money's pretty tight round here right now. Young Daddy and I agreed that if I could make enough money selling some of our unwanted stuff on ebay, then I could use that money to fund my ticket.

So you can imagine my absolute delight when Huggies offered to sponsor me to go to Cybermummy! I can't wait to meet the people behind all the wonderful blogs I've been reading, and to get some invaluable tips and advice on blogging. I'm pretty new to all of this, and the learning curve is steep so I need all the help I can get. I have to admit, now the reality of going is sinking in, I am feeling more than a little nervous. It's going to be like the first day of school - what if no-one talks to me or wants sits next to me? It'll be nerve-racking walking through the door in the morning, but I'm hoping to try to meet up with someone enroute so I don't have to face the fear alone.

And anyway, a little bit of fear is a good thing because it will make me feel on top of the world when I conquer it...

Thank you Huggies. x

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Repetitive Brain Syndrome

What day is it? I'm never quite sure, as my days have started blurring together. My routine is like a stuck record - same thing over and over and over.

Get up.. feed the babies breakfast... put them down for a morning nap... shower... breakfast... wash up... get babies up... babies sit and play with toys in a bowl... lunch... more play (same toys) and watch Waybuloo...lunchtime nap... up and walk to the park... walk home... dinner... bath... bed... blogging/twitter. Put this on repeat and that's my week.

As a day it's not that bad, we have some fun, we get outside, but the repetition gets more than a little boring, not only for me, but I think the babies need some more variety to their playtime too. So I appealed to Twitter for new things to do with Mr A and Miss E and got some fantastic responses. @vwallop (It's a small world after all) suggested sitting the babies next to a bowl of water with toys in it, or giving them some newspaper to shred (or the phonebook is apparently very popular). @violetposy (Violet Posy) sent some links about heuristic play, and suggested finger painting and homemade playdough.

I tried out the water bowl idea and though it was a little wet (putting cups in the bowl was not one of my brightest moments), Miss E and Mr A did seem to really enjoy it. I also gave them a phonebook to tear up, but Miss E was just intent on eating small bits of paper so I might leave this one for a while.

Mr A and Miss E make a splash

I'm going to try to give our week some structure and create a bit of a timetable...

Monday - Sensory play (water, lights, textures, noises etc) or heuristic play (creating a 'treasure basket' - a collection of found and natural objects made from any material but plastic such as shells, egg boxes, wooden napkin rings, ribbons, leather purse, tea strainer, small mirror etc)
Tuesday - This is the day we used to go to Monkey Music, so I think this should be 'music day'. Sing some songs, play with some instruments, have a little dance about.
Wednesday - Art/crafts? Finger painting. Any other ideas?
Thursday - Need some ideas please!
Friday - Meet up with NCT friends

I think we'll always keep our afternoon walk, as it's great to get some fresh air and explore the park or surrounding area, but have you got any other great ideas for additional activities I can do with the babies?

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Your very own personal baby shopper

There's a new blog on the block. 'Oh not another one!' I hear you cry, but this one is different, believe me...

babystylefile is the brainchild of an uber-stylist-turned-new-mum Poppy Norton, who's on a mission to make hours trawling the internet for style-savvy products for babies and kids a distant memory. If you're sick of all the same-old same-old twee products out there, babystylefile is a must for you. Offering a great round-up of products ranging from dolls houses to change mats to laundry bins, this blog does all the hard work searching for well-designed products, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fab things that are out there if you know where to look. And if you manage to be on the hunt for a product that babystylefile hasn't covered (unlikely, but possible) just ping Poppy an email and she'll seek it out for you. Perfick.

What you waiting for? Go follow!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

We're on the move

I'm on borrowed time. Like a tiger waiting to pounce, Miss E is biding her time, patiently lingering until my back is turned so she can make her move. I am about to face life with a mobile baby.

She's done it in breakneck speed. It was only three weeks ago that she started rolling over, but almost as soon as she'd accomplished that, she focused all her efforts on moving with purpose. When she started to get herself up on her hands and knees and rock forwards and backwards I knew we didn't have long left until she was off.

But it's still taken me by surprise. She'd perfected backwards crawling (getting stuck under the sofa a few times - I laughed, she didn't!), and then today she suddenly mastered a forward movement. It's not pretty, it's somewhere between a proper crawl, a commano crawl, and an ape-like amble, but she pulls and drags herself bit by bit until she's where she wants to be.

And I have to own up, I was caught out twice on Monday when I wasn't watching properly and she took a couple of tumbles. The first off the sofa (it's pretty low so nothing too dramatic), but then she rolled off our bed (again I was very lucky and she was absolutely fine, just shocked and alarmed). She's just so quick and I'm too easily distracted.

I need to change my habits, become more watchful, be more cautious. And we have to work fast to provide a safe area for her to play in. We've moved the dining table into the kitchen so the dining area can become a playspace, and at the weekend we'll get to work making it as babyproof as we can. Something I read recommends getting down low for a baby's eye view so you can see the hazards for yourself - I'm thinking this could make an interesting vlog!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Counting the pennies

I know it's not really the done thing to talk about money, but we're a few months into statutory maternity pay here at the Young & Younger household, and things are starting to bite. Young Daddy and I have never been the most efficient budgeters, tending to live in the moment, rather than plan for the future, and we're paying the price now. We're living off dwindling savings, and though we know we need to stop burying our heads in the sand, we're a bit too scared to brush off our grown-up hats and talk about serious stuff.

I wouldn't say we're profligate - we don't spend, spend, spend. We buy the babies the absolute essentials in terms of clothing, relying on hand-me-downs from friends, though a lot of our parent mates are hanging onto their old baby clothes, ready for baby number two. I should probably start making clothes, but I'm not sure where I'd find the time.

Our food shopping is one area we could try to trim down. By planning our meals properly we wouldn't waste so much food. And we could definitely save some pennies by visiting a market once a week to get all our fruit and veg. Oh and growing some of our own is another good idea. The amount of food the babies need has taken us completely by surprise, and it seems we're steaming and pureeing an endless amount of fruit and veg.

I had to distract myself this afternoon. We would usually be spending it at our Monkey Music class, which the babies love, and I look forward to all week, but I've had to make the tough decision to drop it this term, and find a cheaper drop-in music class instead. We'll really miss our friends from the class, but it was something that had to be done and I know there are other local music classes out there that I'm sure we'll enjoy just as much.

With our typical rashness, we booked a holiday a few months ago to Sardinia in May. We naively chalked it up as a cheap getaway - the accommodation is practically free (long story), and we got dirt-cheap flights. But as usual, we hadn't thought about all those nasty little extras, which quickly add up. Two baby passports have added another £100, then we realised we would need to hire a car to get from the airport to the campsite, as jumping on an unreliable and long airport shuttle bus isn't really an option now we've got two young babies along for the ride. Plus the excess baggage costs (budget airline allowance doesn't come close to what we'll need to take), and buying the essential gear for the break and we're looking at a hefty final total. Lesson learnt. We'll be borrowing my parents' caravan and driving somewhere in the UK next year.

How do you manage to balance the books? Do you stick to a strict budget? Got any money-saving tips you'd like to share? Right now I'm off to fish down the back of the sofa for enough change to buy a lottery ticket....

Hey Mr Postman

This is the second month I've taken part in the Secret Post Club, a gift-swapping club organised by the brilliant Heather at Notes from Lapland. I had a knock on the door on Friday, and lo and behold it was my friendly postman with a package for me.

My parcel was from the lovely Dales Lass at Tales from the Dales and contained some wonderful goodies...

Dales Lass had obviously done her homework, and found out I'm a sweetie addict. She managed to pick some of my favourite sweets - strawberry laces and fizzy strawberry laces, which lasted...oh, all of about five minutes!

These gorgeous little wooden pegs, 'handcrafted by German artisans', are for me to use to display Mr A and Miss E's artwork, something I hope they produce in great abundance. Doing crafts with the kids is one of the mummy tasks I'm most looking forward so these are a perfect gift.

And finally this delicate, tiny, wooden mole (also by those clever German artisans). I've named him Morris, and his job is to encourage me to get gardening, because goodness knows my garden needs some love.

Many, many, thanks to Dales Lass for her thoughtful gifts. I love each and every one of them.

Monday, 19 April 2010

It takes time

The bound-to-be-published-soon writer Josie at Sleep is for the Weak, posted an evocative and powerful poem over the weekend, that really resonated with me...

I lie in sickly soft fluorescent glow,
numb in mind but not in bone.
Ten marathons run hard and long
in just one day and night.

My eyes are fixed on the plastic crib
for signs of life, for need. I do not know you
yet my every nerve is tuned
to each new foreign snuffle sound.

And then, a cry. I pounce
and join you in your wail as stitches pull,
looking down in shock at this strange weight
my arms have never known.

A red mouth opens wide with rage.
The blood-loss shakes me empty, cold.
This rigid, curled tight horror that you are.
My world turned inside-out.

The poem describes those first memories of her newborn baby, Kai, and the 'shock, fear, confusion and complete bewilderment at what on earth I was supposed to do with this thing that I had absolutely no understanding of.'

I have loved Miss E and Mr A since their arrival, but that love wasn't a peaceful, serene, all-encompassing love from the word go. It was a love accompanied by anger, frustration and fear. I was terrifed of spending time with these tiny beings, and was crippled by a suffocating feeling of dread at being left alone with them. Stress and anxiety were my constant companions. Six months marked a turning point, and I began to feel less afraid and more able to cope with each day. This is partly down to the routine we've settled into, which means that most of the time I can identify the reason for any upset - be it hunger, tiredness or boredom. The babies are happier to sit and play on their own without constantly needed my attention. And they are so entertaining. Most of the time they are happy babies, full of smiles, chuckles and quirky habits, likes and dislikes.

This last week I have been overwhelmed by a sudden crushing flood of love and pride for these little people. These feelings hit me just like humid air when stepping off a plane into a new, exotic country. Excitement, wonder, warmth and happiness merging together for an emotional high. I want to drink up every moment with them and have a constant urge to scoop them up and smother them with cuddles and kisses. I actually miss them when they sleep! Sure, I still have bad moments, but a smile or funny sound from one of them washes the negative feelings away instantly.

I'm beginning to feel like a real, grown-up mummy, and it's a damn good feeling.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Little Miss Sunshine

This video clip is for this week's Little Film Club over at It's a Mummy's Life. I chose the prompt, 'sunshine' because Miss E has been my Little Miss Sunshine this week, making me smile and laugh at her general cheeriness. I used to smack my lips for her because she thought it was hilarious, and this week she's started copying me - it's her new obsession.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Just Vlog It...The Final Vote

My little vlog on how to make bath fizzies has made it into the final three for this month's Just Vlog It challenge, so if you enjoyed it, please head over to Notes From Lapland to vote for me now - the voting is only open today!

Thanks x

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Gallery: Joy

I think my face says it all...

This post is for this week's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.
    The theme this week was 'Joy'.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Just Vlog It... Bathtime

As reigning Just Vlog It champion (the monthly vlogging challenge brought to you by Karin at Cafe Bebe and Heather from Notes from Lapland), I could hardly fail to defend my hard-won title this month. But I've been suffering from Brain Drain this week, and thinking up what to do for April's theme, 'make us something' had me stumped. I'm pretty creative most of the time, but could I think of a decent idea? No. Until I remembered a recipe for some fab and easy-peasy bath fizzies in last year's Ideal Home's Complete Guide to Christmas.

So here, ladies and gentlemen, with less than two hours to go until Just Vlog It's midnight deadline, I hope to make you relax, after you've made these bath fizzies.


What you need:
  • 100g cornflour
  • 300g bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g citric acid (I get mine from Amazon)
  • Essential oil
  • Small spray bottle
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Ice-cube tray 
This should make around 20-25 fizzies.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Little Film Club - Miss E at work

At least I can get my contribution to It's A Mummy's Life's Little Film Club ticked off my to-do list (even if this is about four days late). This is a video taken early in the morning, after an interrupted night's sleep. My main thought on it is, 'why did we ever think it was a good idea to buy that toy?'.

I think it goes well with the prompt 'interaction' (Miss E is interacting) and 'How to' (how to wind up your sleep-deprived parents).


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Weekend snapshots

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Lining up the excuses...

Young Mummy
Young & Younger

Dear Reader

Please accept my apologies. I'm suffering from a drought of blogging inspiration. It's been a couple of days since my last post about friendship, which got some really interesting comments, but I've drawn a blank since then. I have been tagged in a few memes recently, but I'm feeling like my noggin is stuffed to bursting point and my thoughts are a bit like the pureed mush I'm feeding the babies at the moment. Kind of like someone took the hand-blender to my brain. I can't even get my mind round the memes. Then there's Little Film Club and Just Vlog It to do and I haven't a clue where to start.

I can only offer the following excuses in my defence:

1) We've had some sleepless nights this week. Mr A has cut his first tooth (bottom left - woohoo, go Mr A!) and, unlike Miss E, this was not a fuss-free milestone for him. We were up with him most of Monday and Thursday nights. 'Pah!' I hear you cry. 'Only two nights of wakefulness?' But because we've become so used to uninterrupted nights, it's like my normal sleeping state has been all messed up. Some part of brain is now on constant 'baby alert' throughout the night so I am waking every hour, listening for noises from the nursery. I'm guessing this sleep-deprivation is the reason for that foggy feeling I can't seem to shake.

2) I've had the sniffles and my nose has been stuffed up. I suspect it's hayfever rather than a cold as I haven't really had any other symptoms, but it has made me feel a bit under par.

3) And finally, nap-time is all over the place. I'm sure this, too, is due to teething pain, but the babies' usually predictable sleep patterns have become completely erratic. This would be hard enough with one baby, but when two babies sleep at different times it's a killer, because you don't get any respite. I often write my blog posts when they nap, so without this opportunity, it's left until the evening, when I'm totally exhausted.

I can only promise that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Yours apologetically,

Young Mummy x

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Could you be my new best friend?

I packed up the picnic blanket and the babies on Tuesday afternoon and set off for a sunny afternoon in the park. It was the first time my NCT friends and I had entertained the babies outside and we had a wonderful time basking in the sunshine. When the babies tired, we packed up and headed off for a walk. As we left our picnic spot, a mum pushing baby twins in their pushchair pulled up, and started conversation with me. I was polite, but I didn't give her much time, although she seemed keen to have a proper chat. I shared the niceties - how old, what are their names, are they identical - and then smiled and rejoined my friends. The thought in my head, selfishly, was that I find it hard enough to keep in touch with the friends I already have, so I didn't need another one.

I couldn't shift that niggling feeling I get when I suspect I've upset someone. Now of course I'm not suggesting that she was devastated by my slight, but I could see that she was a bit deflated and I felt bad about that. See I know that feeling - being a new mum can be lonely, but being a new mum of twins, when it can be so difficult to get out of the house, is often especially isolating and making the effort to talk to a stranger takes some guts. As my friends peeled off to walk home, I decided to circuit the park a little longer (I needed the babies to nap anyway), and watch out for her.

It didn't take me long to spot her, and I stopped as she passed and struck up conversation again. She was perfectly nice, and keen to chat, and I enjoyed having some company while I walked. She goes along to the local twin-club meet-ups, something I've been meaning to do for oh, about the last seven months (!), so I'm sure our paths will cross again, but we didn't exchange details - she didn't ask and I didn't offer.

Should I have made more of an effort? Should I be more open to new friendships? I've been bowled over by the amazing friends I've made through my NCT classes, so am I missing out on other potentially great relationships? In the past I could be described as a 'friend hoarder' who went out of my way never to lose touch with anyone, no matter how much or how little we had in common. How do you know when you have 'enough' friends? Is it better to have a few great friends rather than a huge circle? And was I too quick to dismiss someone, based on a ten minute natter?

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wordless Wednesday - a mystery...

The babies were sat opposite each other, with a large bowl of toys between them. I left them playing happily, and came back into the room to find Miss E lying on her back, and Mr A putting on an innocent face...

...I have no idea how Miss E's sock ended up in his mouth!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Guest Post - On This Day Last Year

I was pleasantly flattered surprised to be asked to do a guest post for On This Day Last Year. It's up today, and is about, yes you've guessed it, what I was up to this day last year, so head over there and have a read...

Back to the real world

Funny how you can take an extra pair of hands for granted. Young Daddy's had the last week off to help celebrate my birthday and Easter. He headed back to the daily grind this morning and just three hours later I'm a worn-out, done-in, quivering wreck. My back hurts, my eyes are red and burning, and I feel like I could sleep for a week. If those darling babies don't take a long lunchtime nap I might just keel over.

And the babies haven't even been that difficult today.

I need to approach this like a sporting event that requires training. Must remember to take it slow and build up my stamina again. Get myself match-fit. Down lots of fluids (non-alcoholic would probably be best) and rest up when I can. It's time to switch the telly back on over lunch and catch up with some back episodes of Gilmore Girls (my guilty pleasure). And I'll reinstate my post-baby-bedtime bath.

I'm off to the park this afternoon to make the most of this glorious sunshine. That's if I can find the energy to walk there.....

Monday, 5 April 2010

Seven month update - we've survived!

Miss E and Mr A have just turned seven months, so it's about time for an update on how they're getting on. That old chestnut, 'the first six months are the hardest' is so very true, and the last month has felt like the fog is lifting at long last. No doubt this has something to do with the weather improving as Spring finally arrives, and the clocks changing so it's light after the babies have gone to bed in the evening (makes me feel like every daylight hour isn't taken up by being mummy), but I think there's also been a marked change in the babies who are definitely now 'settled babies' rather than 'newborns'.

We're racing ahead with traditional weaning, with a bit of baby-led weaning thrown in for good measure (Mr A loved devouring every broccoli floret he could get his little fists on yesterday at our Easter lunch). Last week saw us introduce protein for the first time, and chicken seems to be a big hit with both babies. I'm still finding feeding two babies stressful, but am finding strategies to manage the difficult moments (mainly the TV and. Miss E has joined Mr A in being bottle-fed after she rejected the breast, and life is definitely easier with both babies fed the same way.

We took the plunge and dropped the dream feed a few weeks ago. Although it was my favourite feed as it was a quiet and intimate moment with the babies, it has left us feeling much more free as the babies sleep from 7pm to 7am, and I think the babies sleep better and are more rested in the morning without it. It also means they're much more hungry for their breakfast.

Both Miss E and Mr A (Mr A claimed the prize for doing it first) easily flip from their backs to their fronts now, though they're not as proficient at rolling from their fronts to their backs. The first night they started doing this in bed happened to be my birthday, and I spent a sleepless night worrying about them sleeping on their fronts. Having done my research I'm not at all concerned about it anymore, and Miss E now sleeps on her front pretty much every night.

Their ability to sit up unaided has been a real revelation. They can now occupy themselves and are happy to sit and play with toys for increasingly long periods of time while I pop in and out and get on with blogging and twitter chores.

Miss E cut her first two teeth without any fuss this month (bottom front), both Mr A is still toothless. He's been pretty grizzly for the last few days (unusual for him) and is sucking his bottom gums like crazy so I hope it's not too long before a toothy peg makes its first appearance.

But the biggest and best thing this month is the fabulous little people I can see them becoming. They are sociable and happy (most of the time), greeting us, each other and strangers with huge smiles and laughter. They love practising all the things they've learned to do over the last month, especially sitting and rolling, and look to us for a round of applause when they do something they know is clever. The balance has finally tipped and we have many, many more good days than bad days and I just can't wait for the summer when we can get outdoors to play.

Happy birthday babies xx

Saturday, 3 April 2010

And so it begins...

We're finally reaching the stage I've been looking forward to since I found out I was expecting twins - they are starting to interact and amuse each other. They've been aware of each other for quite a while now and will try to eat the other baby's hands, but they didn't seem to be getting much from each other. But then last weekend they were lying next to one another in the cot in fits of chuckles. They've started making each other laugh and it makes me smile from ear to ear. Miss E was rubbing Mr A's head, and apparently it was the funniest thing either of them had ever experienced. Young Daddy managed to catch a bit of it on camera...

Both babies are also now pretty confident at sitting up unsupported (we still have a few topples but they're getting steadier every day). I sit them on the mat facing each other, with a bowl filled with toys between them and they work their way through the bowl, pulling out the toys they want to play with and then casting them aside (my role is to continually re-fill the bowl with toys). But a problem I wasn't expecting yet has already started to arise. They want the toy the other baby has. Miss E, whose grasping skills are a bit more advanced than Mr A's, has a habit of grabbing a toy from Mr A's hands, though he isn't always the innocent party by any means. He tried to tug a toy from her, and because she wouldn't let go (stubborn see, like me) she toppled over instead.

I haven't quite worked out yet how to react to and manage this situation. They're obviously too young to understand sharing, so I guess I'll just leave them to work it out in their own time. I don't want to hear myself saying, 'no', repeatedly already. I could give them separate bowls with their own set of toys, but I think it's better for them to learn to play together. It makes me incredibly happy and proud to see them enjoying each other's company.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Check out that surf

We had our first family holiday this week, even if it was only a couple of nights in Brighton. It was planned to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday and I've been looking forward to it for ages. We weren't that lucky with the weather for the first couple of days (think sleet, snow, and torrential rain) but the sun came out for us on the final day, and we were able to whisk the babies down to the beach for a few minutes, as I was desperate to show them the sea. It was pretty chilly though, with a biting wind so we didn't stay there for too long, just long enough to get a few pics to mark the occasion.

Miss E and I keeping warm

One of the highlights of the trip was Young Daddy and I's first chance to spend some proper time together without babies since their arrival nearly seven months ago. We headed into Brighton one lunchtime, leaving Grandma and Grandpa on baby duty for the afternoon. We did some shopping and had a lovely lunch together, and I have to be honest and say I didn't miss the babies. We didn't even talk about them that much, and just made the most of each other's company. Grandma and Grandpa were the perfect babysitters and apparently survived the whole four hours without any tears from either baby, so it was a big success all round.

Now we're looking forward to tomorrow evening, which will be our first night out together since babies, though I'll be sad to see the end of my birthday celebrations after that. I've managed to stretch them out for five days and I honestly think it's been one of the best birthdays ever. x

Thursday, 1 April 2010

I See, I Hear, I Feel Meme

I've been tagged over at the lovely Diary of a (not so) single mum in the 'I See, I Hear, I Feel Meme', originally created by Me plus 3 and Mr C!. This is a great meme as it's quick and simple to write, but gives you a great insight into one moment in time in the author's private world...

I see...
My filofax (dark red leather), open as I try to plan out the next few weeks. Two large crates of stuff I need to sell on ebay, to raise money for a ticket to Cybermummy (parent bloggers conference in July). An evergrowing list on the blackboard of foods the babies have tried, complete with little illustrations by me. Pages torn out from Grazia of goodies I'd love to buy, but never will. And a living room waiting to be tidied.

I hear...
Banging and crashing upstairs as my dad and Young Daddy get on with some well-overdue DIY jobs. The babies are having their lunchtime nap so I hope the noise doesn't wake them. My cat Lily pestering me for attention, as she always does the second the babies go to sleep. Me sniffing (got a lingering cold, should really find a tissue). Birds singing outside, reminding me it's Spring. Oh, and now a baby crying. Damn.

I feel...
Tired. The clocks went forward this morning and though it'll be lovely having lighter evenings, getting up this morning was tough. Guilty for blogging now when I should really be doing something useful like tidying up, or cleaning the kitchen. Headachey, I've got one I haven't been able to shift for the last five days and I'm getting fed up of it now. Tearful, because I stopped breastfeeding this week, and my body is awash with crazy hormones making me weep at the smallest thing.

Because I've got to dash off and see to a crying baby now I haven't got time to do the tags, so if this meme takes your fancy, please go ahead...


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