A couple of months ago I finally accepted a referral for Lucas to see the speech and language therapist. Typically the very next day he spoke to me more than ever before. So many phrases came out I was totally amazed, it was incredible! I kept the appointment just to get a second opinion but the therapist was really happy with him and he’s been discharged without any need for further appointments. Even though he has developed slower he is still within a normal ability for his age. My main concern was that he would say a few words then plateau for several months but the last three months he has just been picked up the pace. Part of it seems to have stemmed from the arrival of his little brothers as he no longer has my undivided attention and has to fight to tell me what he wants.
The thing I love most about his new grasp on language is that I gives me an open window into his imaginative toddler world. He has always chattered when playing, mostly gibberish, but now he is able to tell me what he is doing and more importantly, instruct me! He’s putting words together more often and everyday he will come out with something that amazes me. I wonder were he picks up all his little ideas from; what goes through his mind to bring out this wonderful world. Just this week he got a little playhouse for the garden and after I attached some bunting he declared it a ‘party house’ and said ‘party day, my party day’ then sat inside saying ‘Happy Birthday’. It fascinates me how his brain links all these things together and now he can tell us all about what goes through his mind.
The littlest things he does I find amazing; he ties a ribbon round his foot and tells me he’s ‘being a Doctor’, he looked though some toy binoculars at night and told me he could see Katie Morag. I could listen to him talk all day; he runs up and down our hall playing with his imaginary friend Simba and I stand in the kitchen quietly watching and smiling, not wanting to interrupt his little world. There is still a lot we don’t understand so we have to play guessing games to what he is saying; when we get it right his face lights up and enthusiastically says ‘yaww’. He started to say Mummy and Daddy just a couple of months ago; it is probably the best thing to hear him say ‘mornin Mummy’ when I go to get him up and ‘read it Mummy’ when it’s story time before bed. He talks to the babies and will go to tell them ‘it’s alright’ when they are crying or clearly let them know which toys are for them!
He picks out his stories and tells us what is happening as he sees it. He quite clearly lets us know exactly what he wants to do, what he expects us to do and we get a lot of ‘NO’s’ when we get it wrong. I’m hoping to catch some of his chatter on film soon as there will probably come a time when he will never shut up and I won’t clearly remember how special this time is. We’ve waited so long for this, sometimes he will say something and my and husband catch each others eye and smile in wonder. It’s just incredible to watch this little person grow up.
I have been eager to have a go at making our own chocolate Easter Eggs, it always looks like great (and messy) fun. In perfect time Waitrose very kindly provided us with some chocolate Easter Egg moulds and lots of goodies to make and decorate them with. I knew this was going to be a good activity for Lucas when I opened the box and he spent quite some time looking at the different tubs of decorations; he just couldn’t pick a favourite so we had a little test of some. The butterscotch was a hit and I loved the honeycomb pieces; I couldn’t quite persuade him to test some popping candy but me and my husband were quite excited about that one! After lots of taste testing and deliberation he narrowed his favourites down to sprinkles, lots of sprinkles, jelly tots and wafer butterflies.
Waitrose have provided some easy to follow instructions and tips that I would really recommend taking a look at to give you some inspiration. Now, having never done this before we did have a tester egg that failed (although hubby quite happily ate it in pieces as it was dark chocolate and honeycomb!) The next attempt with milk chocolate was a success, I personally found the milk chocolate easier to fill the moulds with as it is thicker. I used the back of a spoon to smooth the chocolate over the moulds and built up the three layers, chilling in the fridge between each layer. We discovered that the edges of the egg needed to be quite thick to be able to prise it away from the mould in one piece so after the eggs had chilled for a couple of minutes I smoothed the chocolate further up towards the edges while it was still tacky. Then I let it chill in the moulds for a good hour before melting some more chocolate to stick the two halves together with. I decided to do these final stages while Lucas was in bed as he was impatiently prodding the egg to try and eat the chocolate!
In the morning he came downstairs to a beautifully complete chocolate egg and I let him loose on his decorations! I dotted bits of melted chocolate all over the egg and let him stick what he wanted to it and then finally came the sprinkles…by far the most fun in Lucas’ eyes. You WILL need to hoover after this but I promise it is worth it!
I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the finished egg, I love the colours and Lucas had so much fun making it. This will be a lovely Easter tradition we can start, and hopefully perfect as the years go on. As he gets older there is so many fun activities we can do together and Waitrose have provided some great inspiration for this Easter. If the egg lasts it will be the Pièce de Résistance in our Easter Egg hunt on Sunday. This has been a great way to get creative in the kitchen and it will be especially good to be able to tuck into the finished product. As nice as Lucas’ looks I’ve really got my heart set on a more luxurious butterscotch creation so I think I’ll have another go in peace when all the littles are all in bed!
You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front. No particular reason; just a whole lot of life getting in the way. I knew it would always be tough to keep up while the twins are little; my husband has been busy in work, we’ve both been busy with all three boys and I’ve been building up to being a bridesmaid for my very best friend’s wedding. My husband now has some time off, we had the most fantastic day (and night from what I remember) at the wedding and we’re looking forward to just being together and taking some time to recharge. My days are so non-stop that I totally crash out in the evening but there is so much I’m desperate to write about though that I really need to get down to business! This week should give me some more time to write; in the meantime I thought I’d share a few photos of my life lately!
As you can see, it isn’t very easy to get photos of these two in our house! The photos are the reason I get behind on these little updates; trying to get both babies in a reasonably good mood, dressed in nice clothes and in a tidyish corner of the house can be quite difficult. Add to that a curious, energetic two year old and I just give up most days. Poor Brandon in looking so tired on these photos, he was ready for his nap but was still quite happy to have a quiet moment so I could snap away.
They are due a weigh in next week but just looking at them I can see they are coming along brilliantly. They are actually exactly three months old today but they have only just gone into 0-3 months clothes however their long legs mean I can get away with 3-6 in trousers. To me they look so big now, especially compared to when they were born but I suppose they are still quite small compared to other babies.
We have really settled into a little routine so much so that I can find it difficult at weekends when it all goes to pot. They will sleep from after their 10.30pm feed through to around 6am which has made a massive difference to all of us. They just did it themselves and I couldn’t believe it when we woke up without a feed in the night, I actually asked my husband if we had been up and I’d forgotten!
They are both incredibly happy babies, such a joy to be with and even in the middle of crying will often stop to flash you a smile, before starting up crying again! They love to be in the bath and will happily sit in their splashing and gurgling away; I sometimes stick them in the bath early just because they enjoy it so much and it calms them down in that terrible hour before bedtime. We have these great baby bath chairs that I can put in the big bath so I can bath them on my own if my husband isn’t home from work.
They have started to smile and gurgle at Lucas this week which is lovely but I still have to watch him like a hawk because he does have a tendency to attack their feet. He loves to be near them and touch them but it’s hard to restrain him when he gets too excited and I have to remind him that they are little. I think he is so used to wrestling with his cousins it’s hard for him to understand to be careful with these two.
Arthur will roll over to his side now and Brandon is just starting to make the move to. I’m trying to get them both to do tummy time but it never seems to be very successful, I probably managed maybe two minutes with Brandon and Arthur is just not having it at all! They are starting to take notice of toys around them and are holding their hands in front of their faces and studying them. There is so much I have forgotten about baby development and I’m just taking it all as it comes this time, it’s so lovely to watch them change and grow; getting that little bit nearer to being little boys!
I don’t think I’ve done one of these since before the little duo came along! I think when you have a newborn all time for yourself is gone so I didn’t really have much to write about that wasn’t baby related. I’m starting to get some time back and I have finished my first book of the year so it seemed a good time to start these up again. You can see my first, A Little Bit Lately post here to find out more about it. These have been inspired by Sometimes Sweet’s Currently posts so check her out if you like it! Also please stop by But Why Mummy Why who has a wonderful ‘Love The Little Things’ linky.
Feeling pretty proud that I’m nearly three months into my twins lives and I have managed to read one whole book from start to finish! My concentration levels have plummeted and I just can’t seem to set my mind to anything when I have babies to focus on but the last few weeks the real world has started coming back to me. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (a Christmas present from my lovely husband) and loved every minute of it. My best friend is getting married soon and she had her hen weekend in York. Obviously I couldn’t go for the whole weekend but I managed to make it over for the Saturday to enjoy the shenanigans and that meant a two hour train journey each way, and that meant a chance to read! I finished my book on the train journey…it was a good day.
Again, a sign of my terrible concentration I am watching such mindless TV, Netflix is my friend! We started Breaking Bad, a little bit late to the party but I just love it. There are so many series I need to finish, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, The Walking Dead. Instead I find myself watching Brothers and Sisters and even worse, The Vampire Diaries! I love that I can just totally switch off and watch some crap TV for an hour.
The train journey also gave me a chance to get the ipod out so there was a few random shuffles which threw out some old favourites. There was a real mix, Lissie, Skunk Anansie, Rage Against The Machine, REM, Lana Del Ray and every now and then a Disney song, I can’t escape being a Mother for long!
I’m really getting in to crocheting! My mother-on-law showed me how do it last year, I really enjoyed it but just messed around with little bits. I’ve started a proper blanket now made up of Granny Squares and I’m loving it so much, I find it really relaxing even if it does take me a while. I can’t wait to get started on something else, I’m hoping to branch out into more adventurous items.
How I am ever going to get out and about properly with Lucas and the twins?! I really want to get back to our playgroup after Easter, I’m determined to give it a go! I’ve really missed meeting up with the other mums and they have all been great coming to visit me and keeping in touch but it isn’t the same as getting out the house. I feel like I’ve made some lovely friends there and it’s great for Lucas too. My mother-in-law is taking him at the moment but I’m itching to get back, I just don’t think I have enough hands for all three kids outside the comfort of my own home. I’m just going to try it, what the worst that can happen?!
As soon as you have a baby everyone wants to know how they are sleeping, how much sleep do they get, how long do they go overnight and how much sleep do you get? There are all common questions that everyone want to ask a sleep deprived mother of a newborn, I’ve even found myself doing it! I remember people asking me with Lucas, ‘Is he a good sleeper?’ and I’d say ‘No, Terrible!’ because in those early weeks I felt like I was getting no sleep, I remember some nights counting a couple of hours overall as a good night. It seemed to last forever when in actuality it was only a couple of months. This time round it has seemed easier; I don’t know whether it is that I knew what was coming and I was ready for the sleep deprivation or maybe just that I had a better idea of what worked and what didn’t but it does seem like these two little guys are great little sleepers.
I tried to get into good habits from the start, but to be fair a lot of that was just circumstantial. I didn’t have the time to rock two babies to sleep or to let them curl up and nap on me (as much as I love it). They were in their own room quite early on but that was mostly due to there being no space in our bedroom. They also had a bedtime routine early on because Lucas does and it was easier to do it all in one and get them all down together.
At the start of February I starting keeping my sleep diary for Kiddicare and in my first post I talked about the sleep techniques that worked for us. I kept track of both the boys sleeping and waking hours and their moods and the same for me. At first it seemed all over the place but gradually they started to get into a routine. Part way through we adjusted to try and have just one feed in the wee hours of the night and after a few rocky days it worked. They were piling the weight on so we knew they we were getting enough food and they seemed apathetic towards their first feed in the morning, showing signs they were ready to have less milk overnight. Towards the end of the diary they had really settled, they seemed to have happier periods and napped for longer which seemed to help them sleep for several hours overnight.
Just as I finished the sleep diary the momentous night happened, we fed them at 10.30 as usual, put them down and they drifted off straight away. Next thing we knew it was 6.00 am; they hadn’t woke for their feed! We both woke with a start when we realised and peeped into their room to check on them; both happily fast asleep…ahh bliss! Since them there have been several nights that they’ve done the same and I can’t quite believe they have just done it on their own. I feel like all the hard work of sticking to the same bedtime, keeping the routine and feeding times the same has really paid off. They are in bed by 7pm, sleep until 10.30pm, feed, and then wake anytime between 5.30am and 7.00am. They are so content in the day; we try and stick to regular naptimes depending where we are and it really seems to bring out the best in them. They are full of smiles and gurgles when they wake and it makes me happy to see them so happy. It feels like a massive achievement; I remember feeling the same with Lucas that I had managed the impossible, that they know night time is for sleeping. That first time I get an uninterrupted nights sleep I face the next day with a real spring in my step!
I feel like I haven’t really had a handle on this last week; things seemed to be slipping out of my control and it feels like I’m always playing catch up. I think that on the whole having the twins has been easier than I expected but every now and then things catch up with me and I feel like I can’t give enough to each child. It always seems to be Lucas who bears the brunt of it because he is the most independent.
The last few weeks we’ve had moments of the terrible twos; complete meltdowns happen before our eyes over the most unbelievable things. Socks and pyjamas seem to have been problems this week; utter horror at any socks I offer him and the cries when I just pick a pair from him to wear. Every set of pyjamas I get out are met with the same hysterics and I could go on. I feel like I’m looking for my happy little boy and wishing that this phase would just end but then there is the awful guilt that part of it is my fault; he has been truly amazing with the twins arrival but I think the novelty is wearing off. He is still brilliant with the babies but it seems like I only ever say, ‘no’ or ‘wait a moment’ or ‘I’ll just do this then I’ll play’ and it has left him well and truly fed up and determined to cause havoc. Would this phase have happened anyway…probably? It just seems harder to deal with when I don’t get to spend that quality time with him.
He gets out and about a lot with family and I know he is well behaved for them. I felt like this week has been almost a cry for help! He wants to spend some time with me out and about, not stuck in the house while I busy around him occasionally grabbing five minutes to play. I knew that we needed to put some time aside for him and get out the house. Even so we didn’t do anything wildly exciting but it has seemed to do the trick for all of us. He had his first hairdressers haircut booked for Saturday morning. Of course I was dreading it so we’d had a chat about being good at the hairdressers and I shamelessly offered the lure of a treat if he was good.
As always he surprises me when I least expect it; he woke up the happiest he’s been in a few days and was brilliant in the hairdressers. My mum came round to watch the twins and we took him out to get his treat (a train and a mad run round the toy shop) and stopped for lunch with just the three of us. He behaved perfectly and I couldn’t have been more proud of him; we spent lunch playing with his new train, chatting about all sorts and sharing a ice cream. We snapped a few (terrible quality) iPhone photos but they’ve captured the day and that’s all that counts. Before bed I told him what a lovely day I had had and asked if he had had a nice day. ‘Yeah’ was all he said before the best bedtime, story time and lovely cuddles we’ve had in weeks. A day like this reminds me why I keep going through the tough weeks, my love for him is endless.
Since those first glimmers of smiles around 6 weeks I seem to spend a lot of my time hovering over the twins with my phone trying the capture the beautiful image that I can see when they finally let that grin take over their little faces. The first weeks with any baby seem endless and with two it is a constant cycle of feeds, changes, sleeping but then come those moments when their waking hours and filled with curious eyes watching, spontaneous smiles and the beginnings of gurgles as they make sense of the world and people around them. It’s no secret that this is the most amazing time for a parent, the moment when everything is worth it; the exhaustion, night feeds, all the tough bits seem that bit easier when your face is the one that your baby looks for above all others, when your voice is the one they move their head to follow and when your daft faces and silly voices are the things that can make them beam. It feels so needed; that little confirmation that you are doing the right thing, that you are their everything and that the bond you feel is totally real.
While trying to capture the precious smile I’m also treated to the funniest of faces, how could I not share?!
Having newborn babies over the winter period means that whenever we leave the house there are lots of layers, blankets, hats and little mittens. Luckily a lovely little package arrived from Wauwaa with two adorable Zip Zap cardigans perfect for two adorable little boys. They couldn’t have arrived at a better time and we love how they look on the twins. They are really chunky and look so warm; the boys are always so snug when they are wearing them, they fasten right up under those teeny chins and the hoods mean I can cover their tiny heads without struggling to find a hat that stays on. All of the family have commented on how nice they are and can’t resist having a feel of the gorgeous cable knit.
I think the boys just look super cute in them, I just love the little double breasted front. Unfortunately, Brandon wasn’t playing ball for his photo but Arthur was more than happy to model his cardigan!
Wauwaa is a brilliant one stop shop for all parents and parents-to-be; they have a fabulous shop featuring some really unique brands, real life videos and heaps of advice and tips. I love the funny videos from real life parents and having a browse through the online shop.
Disclaimer – We were sent the Zip Zap cardigans free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Although spending a little time baking with Lucas is completely ordinary it is also totally special as it’s something we manage to do just the two of us; a quick 15 minutes stolen when two little brothers are peacefully sleeping. As soon as he sees me setting up for baking he starts pestering, ‘get chair, get chair’ and he sets him self up in a prime position. He helps with measuring, the mixing and loves dolloping cookie dough onto the baking trays. All the way through this I am constantly telling him he can’t eat the mix…YET! I see him pretend to mix then look at me as he slowly lifts the spoon away from the bowl and towards his mouth then his confusion when I tell him he must finish the baking. Then finally that glorious moment when I have scraped out the last of the mixture, popped the baking trays in the oven and hand over the spoon. ‘Wowww’ is what I hear while he dances in excitement, hopping from one foot to the other while gripping the spoon for fear I will change my mind and take it from him. Instead I sneakily run off with the whisks before he can get to them too!