Twin Birthday Etiquette

Twin Birthday Etiquette

I’m not really too sure how to write this and I don’t want to come across as ungrateful but, I want to share my first big twin dilemma with you.

How would you feel if your twins were given a joint birthday card? This is the exact situation we found ourselves in just a few weeks ago on our girls 1st birthday. I know they’re only 1 and they’ll never remember it but it’s really annoyed me and I feel it needs to be addressed before it becomes a regular thing.

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I’ve always made an effort to make sure the girls are treated as 2 separate people. I know that’s hard when they’re small but it’s something we will make sure we do more as they grow up. We don’t want them to be viewed as “The Twins” as that’s almost implying they are 1 person. What we buy or give to 1, we are very careful to make sure we give the same to the other. Almost exactly as you would treat any other siblings.

The card was sent by a very close family member which I think has made me more annoyed. These are the people who see the girls on a regular basis and know we want them treated as individuals.

It was the same family member who just a few days before their birthday, called me and asked whether we wanted them to have the same present or different as they “didn’t want there to be an argument “. Had they been a bit older, there would have been an argument over the card instead.

I wouldn’t send a joint birthday card to other siblings so why are twins any different? They are 2 separate people so surely they deserve a card each? What will happen when the move out and live separately? Will they only get half a card each or does buying 2 stamps defeat the object?

The offending family member just happens to share his birthday with another member of the family. Guess what he’s going to be getting for his birthday? If you guessed a joint card, you get a gold star!

To mums of older twins, am I going to be forever fighting for I and L to be seen as individuals or will they always be seen as one?

”Twinkly
One Year On With Twins

One Year On With Twins

This week we celebrated our twin girls 1st birthday. We survived our first year of being a family of six and managed to keep 2 babies alive at the same time.

We’ve had a really great time and the girls managed to string their birthday celebrations out for 5 days with parties and a day out at the seaside. Talk about little princesses!

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This week has got me reminiscing and remembering back to being told we were expecting twins. After the initial shock dispersed, the panic set in. Although I had done this ‘having a baby’ thing before, I now had to do it with 2 babies at the same time!

I have a few friends who are twin parents so I turned to them for help. They all agreed on one point, how hard the first year is particularly if you end up with a stay in SCBU. I was literally horrified at how difficult raising twins sounded. I wondered how on earth people manage to get twins past their 1st birthday if it’s that hard!

Thankfully our twins arrived at 38+5 weighing in at a whopping 7lb 5oz and 7lb so we got home straight away. We were also blessed with 2 of the most laid back little girls I have ever met. After having had 2 boys born full of energy, they were a welcome relief. They love a routine, go to sleep without too much of a fuss and still nap. It’s probably a good job as I sometimes struggle to give them the attention they need with the 2 other whirlwinds around!

We’ve had one of the most exciting years ever. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy but it’s not been half as bad as I was expecting. There have been days when I’ve wanted to give all the children away but they usually get forgotten about when they come running at me for a hug or pile into my bed in the morning for a snuggle. We’ve also had days where we’ve had so much fun, I almost didn’t want to put the children to bed.

I think the real challenge now begins! Both of the twins are on the move and one of them is up on her feet. In a few short months, I will have 2 toddlers who want to try and walk everywhere and refusing to use the pushchair. This will no doubt be nicely timed to coincide with us all having to do the school run for the first time!

I am so much more nervous about having to shepherd 4 small children along the half a mile walk to school before 9am than keeping newborn twins alive!

I cannot wait to see what amazing things we get up to over the next year. I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops and how much mischief they can get into together. Wish me luck!

Mummascribbles
Babywearing Through London

Babywearing Through London

We were brave and took the plunge taking 4 small people on public transport into London for the day.

Hubby thought it would be easy. Strap the 2 babies into the pushchair with the older 2 walking and off we go. What he didn’t factor in was 1. our double pushchair is massive so couldn’t really be kept up on the tube and 2. our destination (Oxford Circus) had no step free access. We could have planned our journey using only step free stations but at just 2 years old, O struggles with walking long distances.

The only answer to this dilemma was to use my baby carriers. This was no problem for me as I love carrying my babies but hubby has always been reluctant. He still brings up the cost of my double pushchair everytime I mention I’ve used the carrier!

I have 2 baby carriers. I bought a stretchy Calin Bleu wrap when the girls were first born. It was fab and I even mastered putting both girls in it. Eventually though, I got bored of time consuming wrapping and I decided I needed buckles. A Rose and Rebellion soon arrived and I was in love. It was so much easier to put on and the kids didn’t get bored waiting!

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We kitted up on the train just before we arrived into Finsbury Park Station. I took the wrap with our smaller twin. It wasn’t going to be ideal as she’s probably too heavy (16lb 7ozs) but to be honest, now she’s bigger, I found she fitted better. I felt like it was tighter on her but that was probably just my poor, beginner wrapping skills! To be fair, my wrapping skills haven’t improved to much!

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Finsbury Park station is all steps down onto the underground and this would have been our first major challenge. Instead, we managed to get all 6 of us down onto the underground platform fairly quickly. The only drawback hubby mentioned was not being able to see the stairs as we went down with a baby strapped to his front and guiding a toddler.

We got on and off the tube with ease and, to my shock, people even offered us seats on the train!

We arrived at our destination probably more sweaty than if we had the pushchair but a hell of a lot less stressed! It made the whole day out so much easier and the boys were superstars.

The biggest drawback was not being able to run through Kings Cross station. It was touch and go but, after dragging 2 very tired boys across the station, we made our train home with about 10 seconds to spare.

This little trip has thrown up some revelations. My wrapping can’t be too bad as I was really comfy all day and Daddy has discovered that he loves carrying as well. I fell asleep on her Daddy almost as soon as she went in the carrier and he loved having sleepy snuggles. He loved it so much that he’s wanted to carry her since and has even agreed I can buy another buckle carrier.

Now to decide which buckles I want next. I love my R&R but willing to try anything. Any suggestions?

Mami 2 Five
Mummascribbles
Final Firsts

Final Firsts

I love babies. If we were rich and didn’t keep doubling everytime I fall pregnant, I would keep having babies. The twins are most definitely my last babies though. They are already an added addition to my “last baby” that I had nearly 3 years ago so, definitely no more.

The realisation that there are to be no more squishy newborns in our house also brings with it the sad realisation that we are seeing our final firsts.

The twins are 10 months now and in the last week, the baby of the house has sprouted her first tooth. With the celebration of the fact she wasn’t going to be gummy forever also came the crushing sadness of never making this discovery again. All my children have teeth now and this is another milestone we won’t be seeing again.

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It’s for this very reason, selfish as it may seem,that I am in no hurry for my babies to grow up. When B was born, we couldn’t wait for him to sit up, crawl and learn to walk but this time we are so happy to wait.

How can I feel so sad when I know we are going to have so many more exciting things to look forward to as the children grow up? I’m looking forward to first days at school, first school plays and our first family holiday. But, my children are growing out of the phase where they do something new and amazing every day. The fast learning of a baby is disappearing and they get more independent and need me less.

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I am definitely going to be one of these Mums that gets ’empty nest’ syndrome. With all my children so close in age this could happen all of a sudden!

Why can’t these little people stay small forever? The twins are at such a lovely age at the moment. They smile for everybody, entertain themselves but are still happy to play with you and, the biggest one, they don’t answer me back!

In the meantime I shall have to hope I get some nieces and nephews in the near future so I can still have those lovely cuddles and remind myself how lovely my kids used to be!

Mami 2 Five
Development Differences

Development Differences

Having twins after singletons has been a really interesting learning experience. While I was pregnant with the twins, I often wondered if they would do things at almost exactly the same time. How they would develop and if they would be really similar or like chalk and cheese.

I’ll admit to being a competitive Mum with our first. I thought he was awesome and was doing things super quickly. Everything he did was amazing and I boasted about it to everyone just because he was my first. It terms of development, he was probably pretty average! Smiling at 6 weeks, crawling at 6 months and walking at a year.

With our second, we did things completely differently. He was breastfed, weaned later, carried in a sling and his development was much quicker. Too quick in fact as he was far too mobile for my liking by 6 months old!

Our twins are non identical so are no more alike than any other siblings but, the difference in their development is phenomenal. I try to do everything exactly the same with them. I play with them together, they are fed together, they go everywhere together etc yet this development gap has opened.

Here is our current development update.

Smiling
L is a really smiley baby and was the first one to master smiling. I on the other hand is a much more serious and almost brooding baby. She always looks like she’s pondering the meaning of life rather than encouraging her Mummy when she pulls funny faces!

I first smile – 8 weeks
L first smile – 6 weeks

Rolling
L took weeks and weeks to master rolling. She would get right up on her side but not be able to move her arm out the way and scream in frustration. I just used to lay there on the floor and not do anything. Then one day she just rolled and bam, checked off her list of things to do and never do again!

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I first roll – 6 months
L first roll – 7 months

Crawling
This is our latest development and the one that concerns me the most. With older brothers, that leave small toys everywhere, I need eyes in the back of my head! Thankfully the lazy one has yet to master this.

I crawling – probably never
L crawling – 8 months

Weight Gain
Both were born weighing roughly the same, 7lb 5oz and 7lb. I loves her food and will chug a bottle in 2 seconds flat whereas L is a grazer and would rather have lots of little bottles. They were last weighed at 34 weeks and the gap has really widened.

I weighs – 17lb
L weighs – 14lb 9ozs

Teeth
We’ve had lots of episodes of red cheeks, enough dribble to flood us out and our fingers being used as chew toys but only I has any teeth.

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I first tooth – 6 months
L first tooth – non-existent

I’m so looking forward to watching their continued development. I’m trying not to compare them but I sometimes worry when one doesn’t do something that the other can. I do believe though that all babies are different and will do things in their own way and in their own time.

But, is it nature or nuture that defines our babies development?

Mami 2 Five
Christening Fashion

Christening Fashion

My spotty little twin girls are being christened on Sunday. Both of my boys have been christened in my gown which is about 50 years old now and, started its life as my Aunts wedding dress.

Our original plan was to use my gown and try find the one my husband was christened in as well but, that appears to have been lost over the years.

It didn’t seem fair for one twin to have an antique and the other to have a new one so we have bought matching dresses for them to wear.

There are so many beautiful christening dresses available to buy ranging from pure silk creations in the hundreds of pounds to the cheaper supermarket versions.

We fell in love with a gorgeous long tiered dress from Next but it was unfortunately sold out in the girls size. I was a bit disappointed until I found this much nicer substitute.

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This stunning dress is part of the F+F Signature range from Tesco and was the bargain price of £16. I completely fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

I’m going to pair it with this lovely light pink shrug from Mothercare to keep their chubby little arms warm and cream tights.

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Really looking forward to the girls special day. Just got to find the perfect dress for me to wear now and cook a whole heap of food!

If I Could Turn Back Time…

If I Could Turn Back Time…

I would go back to a time when I only had 1 child and enjoy the experience properly.

Now I have 4 children, every little outing seems an effort and sometimes we spend longer getting ready than we are out for. I only now really appreciate how easy it is to just take 1 or 2 children out and about.

I really regret not going out to baby groups and walking lots with the pushchair. I almost hid myself away as I think I was a bit scared. Scared of what would happen if my baby screamed the place down, had a poosplosion or wouldn’t nap while I was out.

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I missed out on forming lots of Mummy friendships as I never went to groups. I lost touch with most of the other Mums from my NCT group as I was too frightened to take my baby out.

Now I think nothing of taking the babies out to lunch with us and taking them to a friends house seems a doddle! I bundle the twins in the pushchair and head out for a walk to the shops or a coffee on nursery days.

It’s amazing how much your perception of these tasks changes as you have more children. When you have your first baby, the two of you are learning from day one. You change your entire life to fit around this small person. Everything is a new experience and a mental barrier to overcome. I obviously failed to do this as quickly as others but, now I have 4 children, nothing fazes me. I have to get on with my life and the new babies have had to fit around it. I do however reserve the right to change my views on this when all 4 of my children are walking!

I also miss the ability to have an afternoon nap! I never used to take advantage of this when B was born – how foolish of me! O never slept as a baby so when he did, if it by some miracle coincided with B having a nap, I would spend the time tidying the bomb site that was our house. Now, I’m so exhausted that a nap most days would be amazing! But, if I did happen to nod off on the sofa after a particularly carb heavy lunch (and trust me it has happened), I’m usually awoken by a boy launching themself at me off the arm of the sofa! They use me as a crash mat. I didn’t realise that was in the job description.

I do not for one second regret having any of my beautiful babies but, I wish I had done things differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you are a first time Mummy reading this, my biggest advice would be, don’t be afraid to do anything or go anywhere with your baby. Enjoy every second of having this amazing little person. Time passes too quickly and before you know it, you have more babies and then everything is an effort!

If you could turn back time, what would you do different with your children?

The Trials And Tribulations Of Chickenpox

The Trials And Tribulations Of Chickenpox

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will probably be sick of me droning on about chickenpox by now. We are on day 21 and we currently have 1 recovered plus 3 infected!

I feel like we’re living in an episode of The Walking Dead. Anyone who hears you have chickenpox suddenly cuts you off and almost runs away screaming! I though chickenpox was an illness that most parents wanted their children to catch but people are almost afraid of us at the moment!

The last 21 days have been horrid. The oldest one sailed through chickenpox. He got a good covering but wasn’t head to toe in spots. With a dose of good old Piriton at bedtime, I didn’t hear a single complaint from him. Apart from a few scabs remaining, he has recovered and it looks like he’ll be scar free – hooray!

We had just been released back onto society when the smallest boy caught it followed the day after by his sisters. This happened on Good Friday and all our family who were due to be visiting over Easter, suddenly cancelled because they didn’t want to catch shingles! I thought it was fairly common knowledge that you couldn’t catch shingles. We did manage to persuade some of them to come after bombarding them with numerous sites explaining you can’t catch shingles. Good job really as I had enough food to feed the 5000 and nowhere to store it!

O is completely covered in chickenpox. I don’t think there is a patch of his body that hasn’t got a spot on it. He is really bad in his nappy area and I think they’re going to take forever to heal.

There must be a really large outbreak at the moment as it is impossible to get any of your traditional remedies such as calamine lotion. We have been using Virasoothe on the spots and it seems to be easing the itching. We’ve also tried the bi-carb baths which worked wonders drying the boys spots out.

What has upset me the most though is my babies being poorly. They’re only 8 months old and I in particular, is absolutely covered in spots and there is very little I can do to help her as she’s too young for magic Piriton. She just looks so sad and it’s heartbreaking to see them covered in so many spots and getting frustrated with the scratch mitts. I was really hoping they would escape it as I would have liked them just a bit older when they caught it. They’re still too fresh and new to be plague covered. Thankfully, it’s not disturbing their sleep so at least we don’t have sleep deprivation to deal with as well.

The only saving grace is that we’ll get through this and never have to do it again. It’s all out the way in one (very long house arrest) go and I’ll never have to worry when the chickenpox sign next goes up on the nursery door.

I’m hoping to be able to wash the red cross off our front door in the next few days and rejoin society!

A Week Of Chickenpox Crafts

A Week Of Chickenpox Crafts

Chickenpox has finally arrived. We’ve had a few brushes with infected children in the past and never been “lucky” enough to catch it! This time the biggest one has brought it into the house.

I always hoped we’d get it before the twins arrived so I wouldn’t have to deal with 4 infections at once but it looks like that is my destiny.

Monday
The boys just fancied colouring in today. Nothing too exciting as I think he was feeling pretty sorry for himself. I thought I’d join in with the activity too! It would be rude not to and I find it strangely therapeutic.

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Tuesday
I bought some picture beads a few weeks ago as an emergency activity for a rainy day. Today was the rainy day. B loved this an spent well over an hour designing a star. O on the other hand just wanted to stick his clammy hand into the beads and spread them everywhere!

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Wednesday
A seasonal activity today with the creation of chocolate easter nests. This didn’t go quite as planned and most of the Mini Eggs got consumed before they got onto the nests! Tears were shed.

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Thursday
A day off childcare for me – well, sort of. The boys normally go to nursery today then onto their grandparents for a few hours. No nursery this week for B but the grandparents still agreed to have him.

Friday
Craft of today was salt dough. We made hand and footprints that I can hang around the house and remember how small my children once were.
The boys loved this as it involved getting pretty messy and watching Mummy stress as little bit of dough end up everywhere!

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I think we’ve managed to avoid too much boredom this week. Now is the countdown to see if the other 3 catch it and we have to get crafty again!

Linked up with Let Kids Be Kids and Sunday Stars