The twins turn 1!

Hey everyone!

I am really trying to get back in to the flow of blogging more regularly but life just seems so busy at the moment with moving house, visitors, weddings and everything else! It was the twins’ first birthday a couple of weeks a go so I wanted to share what we got up to on the day!

I can’t believe that the girls are now one year old, you can see the letters I wrote to Dotty and Margot for their first birthday by clicking the link on their names! The day wasn’t really what I had planned, originally I’d wanted to plan a lovely party with a teddy bear picnic theme out in the garden. I was going to invite a few new people that we have met whilst living here and Josh’s family were coming to visit. However, due to the building work we were unable to have guests come and stay as there was no spare rooms and we didn’t move in to our cottage until the night before. Also, because we couldn’t rely on the weather being nice and there was no bad weather alternative a party was out of the question! Needless to say I’m excited to plan their second birthday party now!

The day started with our usual routine, we bought them a number 1 helium balloon from Asda and I customised their vest with a floral “1” which I bought from Etsy shop craisymissdaisy and ironed them on. I really love how they turned out!

Our celebrations began with breakfast at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery cafe. Its in Lostwithiel which is very local to us and is an absolutely lovely place. I’ve had afternoon tea there before which was lovely and the breakfast was great too. The girls had their first ever cooked breakfast which they really enjoyed!

Once we got home the girls opened their cards and presents. My sister, who had come up from London, bought them a slide which they loved! They got lots of other bits and pieces including a ball pit, clothes, vouchers and a seesaw but Josh and I personally didn’t really get them anything. We asked their close family (Grandparents, aunties and great grandparents) to write them a hand written letter as a keepsake. I just don’t really feel the need to spoil them and get them lots of presents for their birthday as I believe its important to teach them that presents aren’t the most important thing. They get everything they could possibly want or need throughout the year as and when they need it and I want their birthdays to be about making memories more than anything else! That said, I’m extremely grateful for the presents they did get!

We decided to do a cake smash for the girls. We baked individual sponges in a number 1 tin and then I iced them with pink icing, sprinkles and glitter! At first, the girls were quite overwhelmed and even cried a few times because everyone was looking at them and laughing! They both had different tactics when eating the cake, Dotty just went for it and Margot was going slow and steady, trying to eat as much as she could without us noticing! Of course we didn’t let them eat the whole cake – it was way too much sugar! If you know me you know I am quite keen to keep the girls as sugar and salt free as possible but for their first birthday I made an exception!

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Their main cake that everyone got to eat was made by yours truly. I absolutely love baking and I had a particular idea in mind of what I wanted their cake to look like. Naked cakes are actually pretty easy to make look good because you just shove a load of fruit and flowers on it and it makes it look fab! Their cake topper was from the Etsy store RachelEmmaStudio which I have kept for next year too!

I did a teddy bear themed afternoon tea but it wasn’t as much as I would have want. We cut out some teddy bear sandwiches for the girls and of course the classic pombears! Next up it was time to put the girls to bed with their new cushions from the Duchy!

Finally, the next day I took some pictures with the girls final age milestone card! We got these cards from mushymoments on amazon and absolutely love them!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the girls’ first birthday.

Kate-Sig-1

Dear Margot, on your first birthday.

For my girls on their first birthday I have decided to write them a letter in digital form. As they get absolutely everything together I thought I would write them individually. I’d like this to be a tradition but I don’t know if I’ll manage to write one each year. So I’ll start with year 1 and see how I go!

Dear Margot,

I can’t believe you are one year old! I can still clearly remember your birth, when they brought you round to me I could instantly see the similarities from your scan! Even in the womb you showed your personality, you were always cheeky and wiggling around so we couldn’t get a good picture! You kept moving the wrong way so we couldn’t see if you were a boy or a girl at one point!

Since birth, you’ve always been the more high maintenance baby. You were taken in to special care for the first day because you had trouble with your blood sugar being too low. Then you found it hard to feed and you lost nearly 10% of your birth weight! It took you ages to regain it but gradually you got the hang of feeding. After that you started wanting feeding up to 15 times a day! You cruised up centile after centile and it didn’t change when you started on solid food. You’re definitely a food lover and you’ll eat whenever, wherever, trying to shove as much as humanly possible in your mouth at any given time!

You’ve also been more needy and clingy to me, at first you always wanted to be held and then it was always wanting to be played and interacted with and you don’t really like being in your pram! Since you’ve learnt to crawl you’ve got a lot more independent and are enjoying exploring the world but you often look back to mum and dad for reassurance.

Sleep wise you struggled to begin with. One night about a week in, daddy had to take you out in the car and drive around to get you to settle. It was partly because you wouldn’t take a dummy for the first 5 months and we could only soothe you with white noise. You also began sleeping on your belly at 5 weeks which showed us a dramatic improvement in your sleep! It’s not recommended for young babies but it definitely worked for you! Now you can roll, you wiggle around and constantly in your sleep!

You are a loud, chatty baby and constantly jabbering. You love to hear the sound of your own voice. Because you’re loud, it may seem like you’re confident but you’re actually a fairly sensitive soul. When you were really little you used to cry at every loud noise! You don’t like being passed around to people and being held by people you don’t know and you are very shy in certain situations. Once you feel comfortable with someone you really open up and get really confident and chatty!

You are always on the move and constantly pulling yourself up on to different things. You always absolutely hated being laid down and you wouldn’t go in your pram without screaming. Things got a lot easier for me when you could sit up because you became a bit more independent and were happy to play on your own a lot more.

You’ve been quite an afflicted baby, for a while you always seemed grumpy and tired. So when we found out you had anaemia it all started to make sense and you became much more full of beans! You’ve also struggled with eczema which you scratch so much it makes you bleed. We’ve tried every remedy going and still so far nothing is working! But I must say it’s kind of cute in away to watch you scratch your back on stuff like Baloo from the jungle book!

Margot you bring everyone so much joy and I can’t wait to watch you grow and develop as the years go by!

All my love forever,

Mummy

Dear Dorothy, on your first birthday.

For my girls on their first birthday I have decided to write them a letter in digital form. As they get absolutely everything together I thought I would write them individually. I’d like this to be a tradition but I don’t know if I’ll manage to write one each year. So I’ll start with year 1 and see how I go!

Dear Dorothy,

Happy first birthday Dotty. I can’t believe you’re already one. It doesn’t feel like a year a go that I felt your tiny body in my arms for the first time, your brand new skin on my skin. I can still see the image of you being brought round to me during the surgery, you were wrapped in a towel all snug and warm and I could barely believe you were here.

We waited until we knew your weights until we named you as we wanted you, the smaller twin, to be our “little Dot”. As the first few weeks went by you grew bigger than your sister for a little while as she struggled to feed. However she soon surpassed you weight wise as you were our little dinky Dotty. Even now you’re a bit smaller and you have a much smaller appetite. Nevertheless, you have never fluctuated from your perfect growth line.

As babies go, you’ve always been extremely easy going. You only ever cry for a reason like you’re hungry or need a nappy change. You’ve always been content to just lie and play on your own, in the early days I’d pop you under your play gym for stimulation and you’d just fall asleep! Even though you’ve never been demanding for attention, you’ve always loved a cuddle and you used to remind me of a little baby koala bear snuggling in.

Sleep wise you’ve had your difficulties. I used to have to sit and bounce you to sleep in your car seat or bouncer because I couldn’t put you down in your cot. You really resisted having a bedtime at night too and it used to take us hours to settle you! Even now you often get very upset when we put you down in your cot. You also used to struggle a lot with wind and used to thrash around and get absolutely distraught because you had a bad tummy ache which was really upsetting!

Although you’re a bit quieter than Margot, you are way more fiesty! You get angry very easily and attempt to bite mummy and daddy if they do something that annoys you. You also have this sweet whispery language that you communicate in… I’ll be interested to see this time next year how much you’re talking because you don’t say much now!

You’re cheeky and mischievous and always getting up to something. You absolutely love read and flicking through a book is one of your favourite things! I often find you sat up in the morning flicking through a book.

You find Margot funny at a distance. However, if she comes too close or starts grabbing you, you get very cross! The tables are turned when you get your hands on her and she is very tolerant of you! You have the most gorgeous giggle and it takes a bit of work to get one out of you but it is just the most wonderful sound!

You are very active and love bouncing.  When you were 5 months we bought you both a jumperoo, at first you weren’t bothered but once you realised you could bounce you became obsessed with it! And whenever you were held in the arms of anyone you forced them to bounce you up and down!

You’ve been quite slow at getting moving! You’ve only been crawling a few weeks but you’re so quick now! Which only adds to the mischief you get up to! You’ve been behind Margot a little developmentally but you were the first to roll and to laugh! You’re so friendly and would sit and play with any adult but you’re not bothered by other babies. Mummy and daddy are by far your favourite though and daddy just constantly cracks you up!

You are just an absolute joy and delight to be around. Being your mum has been truly fantastic and I look forward to us being best friends in all the years to come.

All my love forever,

Mummy

BREASTFEEDING TWINS: What’s it really like?

I have now nearly completed a year of breastfeeding my girls. I never really thought I would get to this stage… especially in the beginning. I’ve written about my experience before on my blog, which you can read here . At the point of my previous blog I had been feeding for 5 months … at the time I was thinking that I would carry on to six months and take it from there. I decided to keep going and the only time I ever considered stopping was during the biting stage!

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m so proud of myself for everything I have achieved. I know breastfeeding doesn’t work out for everyone, but for me it did and I’m so grateful. Breastfeeding is hard work, especially in the beginning. If you’re a twin mum, like me, just starting out on your journey, then I want to encourage you to keep going! It is hard in the beginning but believe me when I say it does get easier. I went through months of the girls feeding almost constantly. They would each feed for forty minutes, have a one hour break and feed again! So I essentially got 20 minutes to myself every now and then! Of course, they occasionally had longer periods of sleep but they were few and far between! Eventually, they began to go longer and longer between feeds and when they went on to solid foods they gradually dropped feeds. Their feeds also got quicker and more efficient to the point where they now feed for less than 5 minutes!

Now, at 11 months old they only feed when they wake up in the morning or when they go to bed at night. Its so much easier, if I was working it would also mean I wouldn’t have to pump and I can go out for the whole day too now. I know that when you’re in those beginning stages it feels never ending but I hope this encourages you!

This wee is breastfeeding awareness week and in the United Kingdom we have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates across the whole of Europe! Apparently (don’t quote me on these figures) only around 23% of twin mums end up breastfeeding! Breastfeeding twins can be really daunting and difficult and I’m sure the lack of positive success stories out there add to that. I want my story to encourage an expectant twin mum out there! Successfully breastfeeding takes an element of luck and a whole heap of determination… but it can be the most beautiful and wonderful journey! When I look down at those pairs of blue eyes staring up at me it just fills my heart with so much joy. It’s the most perfect, heart-warming feeling knowing that after you’ve grown them inside you for 37 weeks, your body still continues to grow and nourish them.

I may be coming to the end of my breastfeeding journey now and who knows if we’ll even have any more children. But I will always look back on these times of nursing my babies with so much joy. Be it those months of being glued to the sofa, the sitting in restaurants and cafes avoiding eye contact with people or the few minutes I get one on one with my babies now. I may not have loved every minute, but I don’t have a single regret.

Good luck with whatever way you choose to feed your baby.

Kate-Sig-1