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
Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

I’m a vegetarian (or ‘pain in the arse’ as my husband lovingly refers to me). I have been since I saw a horrific video about how food gets on to our plates at school aged 10. Possibly not the best video to show a bunch of impressionable 10 year olds but, that’s not the point of this post!

G is a true cave man and would eat just meat and only meat all day long! He’s only made happier by being able to cook his mountain of meat on the barbecue which doesn’t happen very often due to the great British weather!

Whether our children eat meat is something we are quite often asked and probably something G was worried about when I started weaning our eldest.

Everyone seems really shocked that our children all eat meat. It wasn’t even a conversation that G and myself had as it got closer to weaning time. Our children will be meat eaters until they are old enough to make their own informed choice.

It’s not up to me to push my beliefs onto my children. Eventually they will be old enough to decide what they want to do and we will both support their decision (although Daddy has threatened to have any vegetarian children banished!).

It also doesn’t make me a half-baked vegetarian as I am so often accused! I eat rabbit food to save the animals but I am not a pushy animal rights activist who thinks meat eaters are evil. I can still be a vegetarian but live amongst meat eaters.

I’m sure everybody thought it was a fad when I gave up meat and, as awful as this sounds, that is probably what I will think if any of mine go vegetarian. I will support them none the less and, they can join me with my bean casserole for dinner but, I bet they miss bacon within a week!

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
5 Great Things About My March

5 Great Things About My March

1. A spa day
My best friend was 30 before Christmas so I decided to spoil her with a voucher for a spa day. I thought it would be rude for her to go on her own so I booked myself in too! We don’t see each other nearly enough now we have children so I’m really looking forward to our day together.

2. Restarting my pilates class
I love pilates even though I’m not very good at it! I enjoy an hour of total silence and relaxation. It’s been 6 months since my c-section now so, I feel ready to go back and hopefully get my waist back again.

3. Mothers Day
I’m a complete sucker for a hand crafted card from my children. I cannot wait for this year’s creation. I’m hoping we might be able to manage a nice family day out somewhere. The children keep nagging us for a trip to the beach.

4. British Summer Time starting
I know we lose an hour in bed, which is critical when you’re a parent, but I’m so looking forward to the lighter days. I can’t wait to get out in the garden and go to the park more often.

5. The twins first swim
We finally have a weekend free to take the kids swimming. Both of our boys went swimming from about 4 weeks old and we had planned to do the same with the girls. But, firstly we couldn’t find a pool that would let us take all 4 children in and when we did, the girls were too poorly to go. Really looking forward to introducing them to the water and hoping for not too many tears!

The Weaning Adventures – Starting Out

The Weaning Adventures – Starting Out

We have been weaning the twins for about 3 weeks now and to be honest, it’s not going great.

We started weaning both the boys before 6 months (naughty Mummy!) and they demolished their meals almost from day 1. I’m sure they would have licked the bowls clean given half a chance! But the girls just don’t seem interested. They’ve never really been hungry babies. If they took 4 x 8oz bottles a day we were lucky.

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I’ve tried weaning them the same way I did the boys, starting off with vegetable purees but they pull faces like I’m trying to poison them and shower me with the offending food! Neither of which is a cool look!

So, I have done what I always said I would never do and moved to the sweeter purees and banana porridge. I’m not sure if it’s a myth to make you feel like a terrible parent but, I was always told not to start weaning on fruits as you give baby a sweet tooth.

They are starting to eat some fruity puree but they never really eat a lot and most of it ends up dribbled down their faces. They just don’t seem overly bothered by food yet.

I have considered if I should go down the baby led weaning (BLW) route. They would then be able to decide what they eat and how much but I think not knowing how much they have eaten would stress me out. Plus, I’m not sure I could deal with the mess. B and O make enough mess on their own without adding in 2 babies hurling food everywhere! I already feel like I’m forever sweeping up food debris.

For now we will persevere with the purees and see how it goes. They are still really young and quite small so I think it’s just taking them a bit longer than most. We have their new high chairs coming next week so maybe that will improve the feeding. I’m sure they won’t want to drink just milk for the rest of their lives!

You would never believe I’ve done this twice before!

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

I’ve never really been one for strict routines. When the boys were babies, we used to go with the flow and most of the time it worked really well. It meant we could go out and about without it interfering with nap or feed time too much. I have friends with very strict routines and they allow themselves almost no freedom. They cannot come out at certain times of the day and I didn’t want to become like that.

When the twins came along, we decided that things had to change. No longer could we use a baby led approach as there were now far too many babies in the house! So, we adopted a routine and it has been working pretty well. The routine does have flexibility so we are not completely housebound and the routine is relaxing slightly as everyone gets older. Here is a day in my life.

Our days usually start about the same time and if we go out for the day we try to travel at nap time.

7.30 am – wakey, wakey, rise and shine. Anybody who is not already awake gets woken. First job of the day is a production line of nappy changes!

8.00 am – feeding of the masses. It’s breakfast time for the boys while I make the girls bottles.

8.30 am – baby feeding time. I’ve mastered the art of feeding both at the same time so this has halved the amount of time taken. The boys tend to watch a bit of Cbeebies while I do this.

9.00 am – activity time or off to nursery on a Thursday and Friday. I try and set an activity up for the boys so I can grab a few minutes to do something like tummy time with the girls. On a Tuesday my lovely Home Start volunteer comes around this time and entertains the boys. They love having someone different to play with.

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10.00 am – twin nap time. Parenting suddenly gets so much easier when there’s only 2! I realise how easy life was with just 2! I’ll try and play a game with the boys while their sisters are asleep so they get a little bit more of Mummy’s attention.

12.00 noon – lunch time for the biggest ones and around the time the twins usually wake. I feed the biggest ones and myself first while the girls have a kick around on the floor (it’s the safest time).

12.30 pm – solid food time for the girls. Before I clear up too much I let them add to the decoration on the floor!

1.00 pm – clear away lunch items and load the dishwasher. Make bottles for the girls and carry on feeding. After lunch is quiet hour for the boys. We try to watch a film and have a few minutes peace, quiet and rest.

2.00 pm – it’s girlie nap time again so once they are asleep I have time to play with the boys. We tend to try do something active like put on music and dance around like nutters or go play in the garden. One afternoon, a few weeks ago, we played in the snow and last week we planted all our spring bulbs.

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3.30 pm – the twins are usually awake by now. I’ll get them out their cot and bring them down to play with the boys. They love playing with their sisters and can often be found waving a rattle in their face or kissing them. That’s probably how the girls get poorly so often!

4.00 pm – it’s bottle time again. Sometimes the boys like to help otherwise they are left to their own devices for half an hour while I feed. We’ll probably have Cbeebies on or they’ll play their new favourite game, supermarkets.

5.00 pm – it’s time to start thinking about dinner and battling to keep O awake. He dropped his nap around his 1st birthday and refuses to have it even though he needs it. This means that from late afternoon, if we have been busy, he gets very sleepy. If he naps we wouldn’t be able to get him to bed at night so have to keep him awake!

5.45 pm – dinner time. Feeding time at the zoo begins all over again!

6.30 pm – Daddy is home just in time for bath and bed. The boys have to tidy up all their toys before they go up to bed. Luckily O is a bit of a clean freak and loves a good tidy!

7.00 pm – I change and feed the girls while Daddy does the boys bedtime story. Usually everyone is sound asleep by 7.30 and I collapse in a heap, satisfied that I did a fairly good job keeping everyone alive! Actually, scrap the collapsing in a heap. I start the household chores otherwise they would never get done.

Our IVF Journey: All the fun of living life with twins
Every Mums Favourite job – Buying A New Pushchair

Every Mums Favourite job – Buying A New Pushchair

With 3 children under 2, the job of finding a pushchair was always going to be a toughie. Do we try find a triple buggy that’s suitable from birth? Do we go for a double buggy for a twin and the 2 year old plus a sling? Do we go for a double buggy and a buggy board?

Living near the home of Kiddicare meant we could go and test drive pretty much every buggy under the sun. The triple buggy was ruled out straight away. It was far too wide and like driving an oil tanker! Who designs these things??

We looked at several double buggies from Britax, ICandy, Obaby, BabyStyle, Out and About, Phil and Teds etc. The one that we came back to again and again was the Britax B Dual. Not the top rated buggy by twin parents but a winner for us.

It was important for me to have a buggy that you could attach 2 car seats to. This was the only way I could see me getting out the house on my own without spending 3 hours building a pushchair and loading it with babies. I also liked the variety of ways it could be used. I can have both twins on it or my 2 year old with one of the twins.

I’m not one of these parents who thinks one of their children will get a complex if they get the bottom seat on a double buggy. Baby stacking is the way forward!

Britax also did Isofix bases and car seats which when you’re trying to load 4 small people into a car is a massive time saver. I really don’t know how I survived having other babies without Isofix seats! I must have wasted hours of my life belting car seats in!

So, now this enormous hulk of black pushchair resides in my garage along with the ton of accessories that come with it. I cannot wait to try it out!

20 weeks

20 weeks

March 2014

Our families are still finding the fact we are having twins highly hilarious! Not sure why it’s so funny. We also still haven’t told our 3 years old that he’s going to be a big brother again. After our 12 week scan we Googled twin pregnancy and found all these doom and gloom stories. Even though we were expecting DCDA (non identical) twins, possibly the safest twin pregnancy, we still decided it was a good idea to keep it from B for a bit longer.

Today was our 20 week scan and aside from seeing our gorgeous babies again and hoping they were healthy, we desperately wanted to know what sex they were. As a Mum of 2 boys already, I was desperately hoping for a little pink bundle but, with Gs genetic line, I was pretty certain we were in for 2 more boys. I was so certain that I even had plans in my head for my ‘Mum Cave’ at the bottom of the garden. There I could relax in my pink, fluffy armchair with a large glass of wine at the end of the day!

The scan went really well and I’m very pleased to report that the 4under4madness house will be evened up nicely with the arrival of 2 baby girls. Tears rolled down my face for the entire scan after she told us and I can report there were 2 very excited Nannas when they heard!

Pink shopping here I come!