Formerly - A look at the ups and downs of life with a double pushchair!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Precision timing - the Royals did it and so did we

The Royal Wedding day arrived and dear husband and I looked forward to watching it and hearing it - a challenge in a house of 4 children.

With the timetable scheduled weeks ago from Buckingham Palace we knew that we had to achieve quiet in the house for 11am. With no work and no school the kids remarkably all had a lie in until just after 8am. With the TV on in both the playroom and the lounge we started viewing the celebrations whilst feeding Baby A and Baby E their morning milk.

Boy in the middle woke up last and arrived downstairs in his pyjamas and dressing gown and asked if the "show" had already started.

We scheduled in breakfast for 6 of us and then Baby A and Baby E were dressed by their loyal attendant. Eldest daughter got herself dressed, took one of my hats and was collected by her chauffeur (thanks Dad) to be escorted to watch the wedding with Grandma and Grandpa.

Boy in the middle was dressed by his trusty page and then as 11am approached dear husband and I cunningly put the babies down for their sleep, handed my phone to boy in the middle so he could sit and play Angry Birds in peace without me confiscating the phone after 10 minutes.

We put the volume up on the tv, sat down and watched the whole event in silence. Every so often dear husband tried to persuade boy in the middle to glance up from the phone screen to watch the wedding and a part of history but each time he replied "Why should I?" and "No".

After the ceremony the girls woke up. They were placed in their open top carriage and driven round to Grandma and Grandpa for the Wedding breakfast and to watch the famous balcony kisses and see the fly past. Following this we made it round to Grandma N for an evaluation and afternoon tea.

Precision timing at its finest. What an achievement.

Many congrats to Princess Catherine and Prince William. Thanks for a lovely day.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Which one are you?

Over the long bank holiday and festive period we have spent lots of fun times together as a family of 6 along with extended friends and family. No longer spending the majority of the day on my own with the girls I have found myself clarifying and checking who is Baby A and who is Baby E a few times a day. Feeling the constant need to distinguish their individuality they have been dressed where possible in their traditional colours of Baby A in pink and Baby E in purple.

Last month at twins club this poem was given out and I feel it a fitting description on behalf of Baby A and Baby E.

Which one are you?
Look at me
Look at him
Just the same
Just my twin
Same hair, same eyes
Same face, same size
Same freckles, same nose
Same expression, same clothes
Same same same!

No I'm not
Nor am I
I'm me
So am I
Different thoughts, different dreams
Different plans, different schemes
Different likes, different hates
Different games, different mates

Two of us who look the same
 But both of us have got a name!

Written by David Harmer

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Which direction first?

As predicted we went back to buy shoes for Baby A today. One week exactly since Baby E got hers.

As a treat for the girls after exploring the shoe shop and licking all the mirrors and shuffling all the pairs of shoes I took them to the pet shop opposite. I thought it only fair to let them both get out of the stroller and get up close to the bunny rabbits. They were completely mesmerised for a good 5 minutes and then my worst nightmare began. Baby E is really fast on her feet now so she walked off towards the hamsters and within a second had turned a corner and was out of my direct line of vision. Baby A still a little tentative in her new shoes had to be quickly picked up so we could dash around the corner. Thoughts came back to my bag complete with wallet on the back of the stroller that I had abandoned, but I figured it was best to take care of the girls first.

I re-grouped the two girls and the stroller and we settled to watch the hamsters for a few seconds before Baby E saw the display of little packets of hamster and rabbit treats.  She proceeded to pull not just one or two but about eight packets off the shelf before I could stop her. Baby A meanwhile was having a chat with one of the bunnies again and was very animated with it. Baby E lost interest with the animals and was more keen on the packets of dog chews and treats that lined the shelves at perfect to reach toddler height.

I managed somehow to get both girls and the stroller over to the fish section but as they both turned and tried to wander off in opposite directions I knew that it was time to leave.  Loudly voicing their annoyance I quickly put them back in the stroller and headed for the exit and my car.

Ever since I found out I was expecting twins this was always the time I wondered about. How on earth will I ever go anywhere again with two girls who both wish to go in opposite directions? I guess I will either have to only take them to a safe confined space, take eldest daughter with me who is slightly more responsible than boy in the middle, or as I have learnt at twins club, I may actually have to invest in a couple of pairs of reins.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

One bunch or two?

It's now 5 days since Baby E got her pair of shoes, and not surprisingly we will be going back to the shoe shop this week as Baby A has now taken walking in her stride. Soon they will both of have shoes and although they will be different styles it will make them identical once more.

However this week I have come up with a new cunning plan. Whilst I am waiting to get Baby E's named identity bracelet fixed they have now reached the stage where they have enough hair that we need to tie up to keep it out of their eyes. It took eldest daughter 4.5 years to reach this stage (although she now has long thick curly hair I did at one point assume it would never grow) so they are doing very well.

Earlier today I spent a few hours searching through hundreds of clips and bobbles in eldest daughters room to find some small bobbles for the girls. I did find a few and then we got very creative. Baby E has a few more strands of hair on her head so now Baby A has one top knot and Baby E has two.

I was very proud of myself for achieving this and the girls looked extremely cute with their new styles. All was going very well until they went out for a walk in the stroller. Bored of their clip on toys they have really started playing together.  Baby A managed to pull out both bobbles from Baby E and then Baby E looked longingly at Baby A and thought about retaliation. She didn't (this time) and Baby A couldn't reach her own top knot. We didn't do badly - one out of three top knots stayed in and we didn't lose any bobbles (yet).

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Not so identical now...

Since they were born we have tried our hardest to ensure that Baby A and Baby E are very much individuals. Obviously we compare them - it's impossible not to. Just like we compare eldest daughter and boy in the middle. Everyone compares their own children.

With twins in the mix in our house we do try to remember that they are two little girls. They are inextricably  tied by a bond that the rest of us will never really be able to understand or break through but nevertheless two separate beings. From day one we have dressed them differently and watched them gradually change.

Baby E being the slightly larger at birth - that 3 ounces made a great difference, has always been the one to do everything first. I guess she is just making up for being born second. If she cut her first tooth on a Monday, by the following Monday Baby A cut her first tooth. Baby E rolled, sat up and crawled followed exactly a week later by her sister.

Now however as they have hit 15 months old the are finally developing their own personalities. Although 80% of the time they are the same, I can finally say yes and reassure anyone who asks that Baby A is the talker and Baby E is the walker.

Baby A has a huge repertoire of mama, night night, banana and more. Baby E says nothing.
Baby A still feels her knees are the best mode of transport and Baby E nearly runs.

Obviously having twins means they do generally do things at the same time. After all they eat together, play together and sleep together.

So I found myself out of my comfort zone with them yesterday. As I looked at their lovely leather pram shoes that they have had for 4 months, I noticed that there was barely any of the lilac colour left on Baby E's pair and there were holes in the soles of Baby A's. So armed with my TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth) discount card off I ventured to Clarks shoe shop.

And that's when reality sunk in. Baby E walked beautifully round the shop and I was able to choose her first pair of shoes. Choosing girls shoes is a joy at any age but especially this milestone first pair. Naturally my eye zoned in immediately to the lovely pink pair, but then I remembered that Baby A is my pink girl and I felt myself starting to panic. Would I have to buy Baby E a pair of red shoes? Worse than that did I have to buy a pair that flashed? Then finally I saw the pair in Baby E's trademark purple and I picked out the gorgous plum colour walking shoes. Baby E put them on, wondered what on earth they were, paused for a minute and then proudly stumbled around in them. Meanwhile baby A carried on crawling, had a lovely time pulling all the shoes off the shelves and got back in the stroller still wearing her pram shoes complete with holes.

For the past couple of weeks I had claimed that Baby E would just have to wait for shoes until Baby A was walking so I would only have to make this outing once. However as the days passed by, the sun has begun to shine and all they want to do is play in the garden I had to give in.  The shopping trip wasn't in any way stressful which is a relief as I know that I will be back in a week or so to purchase the pink pair.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

One of those days...

I took out a great insurance policy a few weeks ago - it's called a home emergency cover. I was sold on the policy as it only cost £75 for the year and it included cover in case amongst other disasters you manage to lock yourself out of the house. Having locked myself out once before and it costing £85 to re-gain entry I thought this was a great policy to have.

You can imagine where this blog is heading...

Dear husband and eldest daughter were out this morning. Baby A and Baby E were having their morning sleep and boy in the middle and I were getting lunch ready for guests. Once the babies woke up I gave them lunch, got them dressed and put them in the stroller as I had agreed to meet up with dear husband and eldest daughter. We were running late to meet them so I decided to leave my bag behind, but I grabbed my coat and the key, closed the front door and attempted to lock it. The key wouldn't turn so I tried a bit harder, wiggled the key, pulled it out a bit, tried again and that was when it dawned on me that my whole bunch of keys with car keys and spare keys was on the other side of the lock.

I had no bag, no belongings, no phone.  When I have locked myself out before I have jumped over the wall and let myself in through the back patio door. Only problem was I just had the single front door key with me. I was only going out for a few minutes so didn't bring anything else.

A few doors up the road lives a guy who runs his own security system company. He installs burglar alarms so I assumed he could burgle us back into our house. As I knocked on his door I remembered about our great insurance policy and then I tried to delve into the deepest part of my brain to drag out who it was with. I couldn't. My neighbour sympathetically acknowledged my predicament, but didn't have the magic locksmith tool and also didn't know who my insurance policy might be with.

By this point Baby A and Baby E were screaming in the stroller as they thought they were going for a walk so I decided to take the babies to meet up with dear husband and perhaps he would know the name of our insurer. He also couldn't remember. In the end my neighbour called his mate the locksmith who promised to be round within 30 minutes.

So for 30 minutes, the 6 of us, my mother in law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their kids all gathered in our driveway. Our house is on a corner and in that 30 minutes several friends passed the house, our immediate neighbours and their kids came out to play and I felt more and more foolish as dear husband felt the need to explain my stupidity to all our friends. My brother-in-law spent a considerable amount of time waggling a bent coat hanger through my letter box and there was a lot of discussion about sending one of the smaller boys up a ladder and through our bathroom window! Before long though we all cheered as the LOCKSMITH van drove down the road. He must always receive such a great welcome when he gets to a stranded client.

4 seconds later with his magic tool we were all back in the house. We are £85 worse off and now I have to have write a compelling letter and persuade our insurers to pay me back for this calamity. I now know who the insurance policy is with but I am thinking of putting up a sign in my hallway - not sure what it should say. Perhaps it should be a reminder to remove my keys on the way out, or alternatively it should be to greet me as I re-gain entry. After the stress I felt this morning, I think the poster that adorns the wall in a friends house would be fitting - "Keep Calm and Carry On".