Down on the Farm

After an awful lot of cold, wet and mushy weather, we have just enjoyed a weekend of wall to wall blue sky and sunshine. It’s been chilly but beautiful. As the boys napped on Saturday morning, we planned an afternoon out to make the most of the beautiful weather.

Most of our Saturday afternoons of late have tended to follow the same formula. It’s a pretty good formula. A nice walk followed by a coffee, sticky buns and twin bottles in a cosy coffee house. We love it. And so long as they get their bottle on time, the boys love nothing more than nosey-ing at all the goings-on in a busy coffee shop.

This weekend we decided we’d try our hand at a proper, baby-day out. So we decided to head to a little family-run open farm. So at the ripe old age of 13 months, we have now acquainted the twins with some real-life farm-yard animals. There were lots of smiles and appreciative noises and I think they enjoyed their first trip to the farm!

In a few weeks time, their Granda C will be in the full swing of his annual stint as a midwife as his flock start lambing. So there will be plenty more opportunities to get up close with nature. I’m looking forward to it anyway!

Here’s a few snaps from our little farmyard trip.

If you want to see more of my posts, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

   
    
    
    
 

Our First Birthday Photo Album

Better late than never. I just realised I never actually posted one of the most significant episodes in ‘Our Big Firsts’ series. Our big (not so much) first birthday! It is a tad late..

It also nearly didn’t happen. We have been contending with a lot of snot, chesty coughs and puke for what seems like forever. The boys just seem to pick up one bug after the next. I can’t wait for spring and summer. Hopefully the warmer air will help put all these colds to bed once and for all. But their birthday week was particularly bad. They were sick, I had the cold and Mr C was getting over a nasty flu. It wasn’t good timing. But we ploughed on!

I’m a firm believer in keeping birthday parties as small as possible, for as long as possible! So we just planned a lovely little afternoon tea with our families. I’m not sure how long we’ll get away with this but I don’t intend to hire out the local leisure centre anytime soon!

We feasted on delicate sandwiches, mini chocolate and raspberry scones, birthday cake and yummy malteaser buns. Not to forget the rose and prosecco bellinis for the adults! We weren’t simply celebrating the birthday of our beautiful miracle boys. We were also rejoicing that we had survived this far. We survived our first year as new parents with baby twins! We are super heroes!

Despite the sleepless nights and snot, we had a lovely afternoon and a lovely birthday week with the joys. With lots of present opening, silly party games and the obligatory birthday tea!

Here’s a few snaps from their 1st Birthday week.

    

    
  

If you want to see more of my posts, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Happy Birthday my beautiful little miracles

I can’t believe that we’ve had our babies for one whole year. I’ve been looking back at the thousands of photos that we’ve accumulated this year and I’ve been choking back the tears. They have come so far.

Benjamin was 3lbs 5oz when he was born. From day 1 he thrived, we watched him gradually put on ounce after ounce in the neonatal unit and 5 weeks after he was born, we got to bring him home. We were such proud parents. I was standing at the front of the hospital, waiting for Mr C to bring the car around beaming with pride. But one half of my heart was breaking, weeping for his little brother that we had to leave behind. One year on and Benjamin is such a little joy. He’s making lovely little sounds, learning to clap his hands and zipping around the kitchen in his car. Happy Birthday my beautiful Benjamin, I love you more than you’ll ever know.

 

Harry was a teeny 1lb and 12oz when we was born. He was a little fighter from the outset. His tiny, wrinkled little body, kicking away in the incubator. We were willing him to lie and sleep. To conserve his energy and to put on some weight. He had a long and fraught stay in hospital with two very serious bouts of infection and then open heart surgery. But he was our wonderful little fighter. With the help and care of so many fabulous doctors and nurses, he managed to make it home at 13 weeks, weighing only 4lbs. One year on and Harry is a live wire – he’s always ready for a giggle and loves nothing more than a house full of people. We were so proud when Harry managed to sit up on his own two weeks ago. He’s come so far and brought us so much joy. Happy Birthday my lovely Harry, I love you more than you’ll ever know.

  

I don’t think I could ever have anticipated the extent of love that I feel for these two little boys. From the second I heard their two beautiful little cries in the operating theatre, I was besotted. I love our little family. We’ve had so many simple moments of joy as we watch our babies grow and discover new things every  

If you want to see more of my posts, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.      

Linking up with #coolmumclub

Mummuddlingthrough

Twins in Christmas costume

Our First Family Christmas Photo Album

Last December we hardly dared imagine a Christmas with our babies. I was 26 weeks pregnant and it was five weeks after an extremely risky surgery on my placenta. We had so many hopes but we knew the risks were high.

Our babies had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a deadly disease that affects a small percentage of identical twin pregnancies. You can read all about my twin pregnancy here. Against all the odds, the boys made it through. They were very premature and very small but they made it.

And this year we had two 11 month old bundles of fun to spend Christmas with. Here’s a few snaps from the festive season!

 

I love the Christmas stocking tradition. My mum made the best stockings ever and I still got one until two years ago (!) when I got married and the mantle was passed to Mr C. He’s been doing a great job of carrying on the tradition. This is us hanging the twins’ stockings on Christmas Eve! I’m sure they didn’t really have a clue what was going on, but they made a fantastic attempt at joining in with Mummy and Daddy’s excitement.
  

On Christmas Eve, they gave us a rather fabulous gift of a full nights sleep! Unfortunately it was  one of the very few full nights sleep we saw over the two week holiday.

On Christmas morning, before we headed to Church, the boys came down to a bag of presents each to open and play with. The wrapping paper was definitely the biggest hit!

It’s been a really special time, sharing our celebration of the Christmas story and all that it means with our beautiful little miracles. 

 Our  First Family Christmas  Photo Album After our Christmas morning service  at Church, we headed up to my parents house. The boys are such sociable wee things and they  just love all the attention when there are plenty of grandparents , aunties, uncles and cousins around. 

The best purchase I made this Christmas were these high-chair toys. They kept the boys entertained the whole way through a delicious Christmas Lunch.

  

We had a lovely few weeks spending lots of time with the boys and with both sides of the family. I loved having Mr C at home for two weeks. Looking after baby twins is a lot easier with two pairs of hands!

 Our  First Family Christmas  Photo Album 

But just to keep it real (!) the photos don’t show everything and like every other parent at Christmas, there’s a lot of mania behind the scenes! 

They don’t show the hours that went into the planning and packing for a few nights away over Christmas and New Year. It doesn’t show the despair on our faces at 3am when the twins were both screaming and we just didn’t know how to settle them!Amplify the panic to settle screaming babies when they start to waken all of their little cousins who were staying in the same house. 

The last minute Christmas-shopping trips that needed to be fitted around the daily bottle, nap, meal schedules weren’t exactly straightforward.

 And there’s no photographic evidence of the number of coffees and the volume of under eye concealer that saw me through the last two weeks!!! But all things considered, it was pretty special really.

How was your Christmas? You can join in the conversation below or tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest if you’d like to see more posts. 

 Our  First Family Christmas  Photo Album 

I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays

Christmas – The Baby Edit

It’s 10 days until the Big Day. We’re slap bang in the midst of the hustle and bustle that is the run up to Christmas. And I love it!

Normally at this point I would have:

• been to the Christmas Market for Gluhwein and Bratwurst at least 8 times

• inspected a minimum of 25 Christmas trees before finding the perfect shape

• consumed an eye watering amount of heroes / celebrations / quality street in the seemingly unending office stash

• been to a few carol services and as a result been humming Christmas carols pretty much constantly

• danced like an eejit in the middle of the afternoon at the office Christmas Party. Lunchtime bubbles are not my friend

• written Christmas cards to everyone I know

• bought a few new Christmas clothes for all the Yuletide socialising

• rushed round the city centre shops like a woman possessed buying all my presents in my lunch hours

• enjoyed too many evenings where after-work Christmas drinks turned into dinner, dancing and trying to drag myself into work the next morning

This year has been somewhat different to say the least. Its our first Christmas with the twins. They are now almost 11 months old and an absolute delight. My run up to Christmas as a newish Mum has looked more like this:

• Pure delight when the twins learned how to clap along to Jingle Bells! Cue social media update that no-one (save their Daddy) is in anyway interested in!

• The silly Christmas jumper and old jeans has replaced the new LBD as de rigueur

• Getting very excited about the mums and tots Christmas Party. It’s the pinnacle of my social life these days! And then missing it because the babies were sick

• Looking after two babies who have been very sick with bronchiolitis and enjoying lots of sleepy cuddles by the fire

• Making mince pies at 730am in between twin bottles and breakfast!

• Realising that I have absolutely no time to buy Christmas presents and vowing that next year, I will have them all bought and wrapped in September!

• Sleepless nights are as a result of teething twins and not partying!

• Dressing the boys in the most gorgeous Christmas suits as soon as it hit December. They are super cute..


• Reading lots of ‘elf on the shelf’ blog posts and looking forward to joining in the fun when the boys are old enough!

• Making my first ever Christmas Cake and continuing the age-old tradition where each member of the family stirs the cake and makes a secret wish. I can’t confirm if the cake has magical powers just yet…

• Ditched Christmas Card writing. Something’s gotta go and this is it

• Finding lovely little gifts for the boys and looking forward to reading them their new books!

• Recording ‘Carols at Kings’ in the knowledge that actually making it to the Church Carol Service is slim

• Looking forward to a couple of days at my Mum’s over Christmas and lots more arms to help out with the boys! The joys of a large family…

• Buying my first ever copy of the Christmas Radio Times to see what TV delights are in store for us!

The biggest change is realising that all I really want for Christmas, I already have.

If you enjoyed this / found it useful, please share this post and maybe even tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays and #TheList

The List

Our Big Firsts – Joining a Parents and Tots Group

We did it. We left the house on a schedule, with no dedicated extra ‘help’ (aka Granny) and went to a parents and tots group. To most mums I doubt this sounds like an achievement but to me it really felt like something to celebrate!

I have to admit we had a pretty awful start to the day and I did consider canning the whole excursion. I went into planning mode the night before. I set their clothes out, restocked the baby bag, left the bottles ready to make up and worked out when I needed to leave to walk there for 930am. I was determined that we would have a smooth and flawless morning routine. The boys had other plans. Breakfast was a nightmare – H decided to clamp his mouth shut and not let a morsel past and B decided to blow bubbles with every mouthful, covering me, him and anything in a 1 metre radius in pear porridge. Fun. Then we moved into morning bottles. H was not a bit interested and with extreme amounts of faffing about I managed to get him to take 4oz. B drank up with gusto and then proceeded to puke his entire brekkie and feed over him, me and the sofa! So by 855am I had changed B twice, H once, got into my second set of clothes, fed 3 bottles, 2 spoon feeds, cleaned the sofa, put a wash on and changed 4 nappies! I was ready for a cuppa.

Anyways, we ploughed on and at 9am on the dot one of my mummy friends arrived at the door with her baby and toddler and we all headed off.

I’d avoided these sort of groups for months – the boys spent their first 5 and 12 weeks of life in various neonatal units and when they came home they were still very tiny (circa 4lbs) and very susceptible to infection. I was terrified of germs. I was nervous of any visitors and was tempted to spray them all in disinfectant as they crossed our threshold! We had been warned by the paediatrician to avoid bringing the twins to any large gatherings or even to the supermarket until they were significantly bigger. We brought them out for lots of walks but even then I insisted on putting their rain covers on the carrycots to avoid random people poking their hands in to the pram! I was a lioness defending her little cubs.

The other fairly obvious barrier to going out with baby twins is the adult to baby ratio. Two small babies and one adult is just not optimum! There are so many things that could go horribly wrong! I can just about make it work in my own house, where I have systems in place and all the equipment required. But solo outings terrify me!

So yes, going to a parents and tots group today was a big deal. I have to admit, when we first walked in my lioness radar was on full alert and I was trying to keep a smile on my face and carry on conversations whilst my inner monologue was going nuts….

– Oh no, do I need to lie them on these mats. What if they aren’t clean?

– What am I going to do if one if them is screaming when the other one is getting fed?

– I really hope they don’t vomit again…

– Am I increasing their risk of picking up some horrible illness?

– I don’t want them to pick up and suck all these toys. Germs, germs, germs..

– How am I going to join in on rhyme time in the next room? I can only lift one at a time…

Then I started chatting to another mummy and before long I had a lovely, hot cup of coffee in my hand! I started to relax and I really really enjoyed the morning. We didn’t do anything particularly exciting. The babies lay and kicked and cooed, loving all the attention and goings on. I got some help with feeding the boys. Thankfully neither of them showed off their skill at projectile vomiting. I had a good chat, met some new friends and had a lovely cup of coffee. One of the lovely helpers took one of my boys on their lap for song and rhyme time. And then we headed home. I think this may become the highlight of my weekly social calendar!!!!!

It was great to get out of the house and engage in some adult conversation – even if we did just talk about our babies! I think as the twins get older, it’ll be a great opportunity for them to have some social interaction and get their hands dirty on some fun craft projects.

So if like me, you’re a bit terrified of getting out there and joining a baby group, I’d really encourage you to do it. Whats the worst that can happen?

I’m linking this post up with #MarvMondays