Wander round Trerice | My National Trust |

This weekend it was beautifully sunny and we headed to Trerice near Newquay. When we first arrived there we had a picnic lunch – as we are trying to save money at the moment we always pack a picnic! It’s so expensive eating out and it’s just not something we can afford right now.

As we have National Trust memberships it’s effectively free for us to go to Trerice which is great.

After our lunch we went for a wander round the gardens. We really enjoyed playing the lawn games which they had there and the girls enjoyed rolling around on the grass for some reason!

There was a room in which you could try on some traditional clothing which, to be honest, I think I enjoyed more than the girls! You could also do some craft activities but the girls were a bit too young for that.

We then wandered around the house which was lovely. The girls were allowed to hold a big sword which was a bit scary!

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We then decided that we couldn’t resist the delicious looking lemon meringue pie, so we bought 1 piece to share between all 4 of us! It was actually nearly £5 for a piece so I’m glad we only went for 1! It was as delicious as it looked though.

Finally we had a bit more of a wander around the gardens which the girls absolutely loved. They love anything which gives them a chance to have a run round!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Trerice. It was much smaller than Lanhydrock but it was also way less crowded and had a much more chilled out atmosphere. The sun definitely helped the day be such a success.

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

Being mum: 4-6 months

So the girls are now half a year old. It seems as though its been so slow and fast at the same time. In my last update I spoke about my fears of 4 month sleep regression – let me tell you it hit us hard! We struggled for weeks and weeks and the sleep deprivation really got to us but eventually we got through it!

People also told us at the 4 month mark it would get easier and really it actually did. One of the things that made things slightly easier was buying a jumperoo second hand. Margot had really been struggling being independent and she absolutely loved playing in it which gave her more independence! The girls have also started going around 2.5 – 3 hours between milk feeds now which has definitely made it easier for me. They have also started on solid foods and we are doing baby led weaning which is fun but very messy! We have been getting out to more groups and tend to get out almost every day and we have started to walk to town and to tesco. We are getting so much more out of the girls now and their personalities are really starting to shine. They are so different to one another which is really interesting.

Being their mum in this time has been a complete and utter joy. Yes, it’s been difficult still. I’m not sure being a mum is ever going to be easy – especially being a mum of twins! The days are long but I’m trying to soak in every last moment because one day they won’t be all small and squishy anymore and I’ll be desperate for these times back!

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Our little Dotty is 5 months old today. I can’t believe how much she has developed in the last month… unfortunately she’s had a cold for the whole of it and is becoming known as “snotty Dotty” 🙊. Her favourite toy is still her hands and she also is partial to playing with a muslin cloth.. no matter how much mummy tries to persuade her to play with actual toys! She’s still very content to sit in her chair and spectate and this was what she did during her Christmas dinner! She has a really soft, sweet little voice and loves talking to people. She seems to have been teething for a while and constantly chewing her fingers though we have no teeth yet. Night times are hard with Dotty as she wakes up and is hard to settle back to sleep. She often ends up in mummy and daddy’s bed! She’s had her first time on an aeroplane and laughed the whole time. She’s starting to get a bit anxious around people she doesn’t know and she really likes holding her mummy and daddy’s hands. This month she also went to work with daddy and met all the people there! She has waved and rolled over from front to back and tummy time is now easy peasy for her. She is such a delight and we are so blessed to have her lovely little self!

 

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5 months of Margot. This month Margot has become quite the chatterbox and her vocabulary has now come to include screaming and shrieking (in joy)! She wakes up in such a good mood and is so happy to see her family! She’s finally starting to go 2 hours between feeds (only 3 months late!!) however she’s recently started being more wakeful in the night! She’s also becoming more independent thanks to the jumperoo which she loves and she also loves grabbing things and putting them in her mouth! She can now sit up on her own but flops down after a few seconds! She loves being played with and enjoys splashing in the bath! She has recently started to cry every time you put her down to sleep but soon settles. She now has 2-3 shorter naps during the day rather than one long one and she’s much less cranky! Margot is becoming even more of a joy to be around and we love watching her grow

 

 

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Half a year old! Dotty has come on in leaps and bounds this month … she can sit up for a few seconds at a time and as she still dislikes tummy time she will roll over on to her back straight away! She is either an absolute joy to be around or a right whinge bag! She is definitely a mummy’s girl and does not like it if mummy is not in her line of sight! She likes food too but can take or leave it… she gets very frustrated when she can’t get it in to her mouth and flaps her arm around in anger! She also enjoys clawing at faces and hair! She loves holding fabric either muslin cloths or blankets and has to sleep with her comforter over her face (meaning I’m constantly checking she’s not suffocating 😂). She loves playing with her daddy but he also knows exactly how to wind her up! She accidently said her first word “wiggle” this month and when she has her dummy in she constantly says “wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle”! They have both started sleeping in their own room and in separate cots but they’re pushed together so they can still be close! She’s quite laid back and a little lazy which is why she’s not usually the first to do things! Happy half birthday Dotty we love you so much

 

20170214_112150Happy half birthday my little nugget! (It was actually on Saturday but we were away and I did think to bring their cards!). Margot has now been abroad and is becoming a good little traveller, she is happy to sleep anywhere as long as she’s on her tummy! When she wakes up she does a little baby push up and looks around and once she spots you she has the most smiley face! This month she has suddenly started using a dummy and is kind of sleeping through the night but she stirs a lot for comfort. The loves grabbing and clawing at faces and shoving whatever she can in her mouth! She’s in love with food and will devour it within seconds (mostly smushing it all over her face). She loves playing with Daddy and he can make her giggle the most. She is still a milk fiend but can go longer between feeds if necessary. Margot loves chatting and discovering different pitches and decibels! She can sit up on her own for a few seconds and is desperately trying to crawl but she’s not quite there yet. She’s in 6-9 month clothing but it’s still quite baggy. We are so in love with you Margot!

 

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Barcelona with babies part 2

Day 3 was Sunday, we woke up early after a difficult with Margot and we decided that I would feed one of the girls and we would feed the other a bottle so we could get the show on the road a lot quicker!

After I’d fed and showered I headed to the bakery round the corner in the hopes of finding some churros. However, when I got to the bakery I realised there was no churros, so instead we tried a few different pastries.

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After this we knew the girls would be due for another feed fairly soon and instead of getting stuck at the apartment for another hour we decided to feed them in the park which was around 10 minutes from us called “Parc de la Ciutadella”. There was so much going on in the park with loads of street performers and a large fountain. We sat in the sunshine whilst I fed the girls and soaked it all in, we loved it!

After this we walked in to the city centre and to La Rambla, a famous street in Barcelona. At this point we were desperate for food ourselves so we found a restaurant called Ultramarinos. The food was amazing, I’d definitely recommend it! We then decided to go back to the apartment and get ourselves sorted to head over to the beach.

We then went over to the beach, it was really cold by this point but it was totally worth it! It was beautiful and a really lovely atmosphere!

Next up it was time for the finale – the Magic Fountain! We went over on the metro with the carriers. Unfortunately when we got there it was switched off! We found out that in winter the showtimes were only Friday and Saturday nights! We were so gutted and by the time we got back it was way past the girls’ bedtime and they were knackered.

The next morning it was time to go home! We had a lot of stress trying to get my phone back and getting everything sorted but thankfully we made it through check in by the skin of our teeth!

What an amazing trip! We had such a fantastic time… it was really hard work with the girls and not the travelling we were used to before the babies. We loved it though and we were so proud of how the girls were! We definitely realised that we want to carry on travelling!

I’m thinking of doing a post about tips for travelling with a baby (or 2!), let me know if you’d like that!

Kate-Sig-1

Barcelona with the babies

Last weekend we took the girlies on their first trip abroad! On Friday morning we headed over to Manchester airport and flew to Barcelona, Spain.

As we’d already travelled to Cornwall on a plane we had some idea as to how the airport would go and we were a bit more prepared!

I’m thinking of writing a blog on some tips about travelling with a baby/ babies/ twins and how we managed it. Let me know if you would like to read it!

We arrived at Barcelona and I foolishly was rushing to get off the plane and left my phone in the seat pocket! Thankfully I managed to get it back on our way home!

We eventually got a taxi and headed to our Air BnB. We were met by our host and we had a look round our apartment – we loved it. Josh headed out to get some supplies and by that time it was the girls’ bedtime so we settled in for the night.

The next morning we had a lazy morning with the girls, unfortunately it took us ages to get out of the apartment! Eventually we got out and went to La Sagrada Familia and did a bit of exploring round the area. Then we went and got a bit of food and headed back to the apartment to top the girls’ bellies up!

By this point we desperately wanted to see more sights but we had yet to have lunch and it was really late in the day. We decided to walk in to the centre via the Arc de Triomf to find a restaurant but after a lot of searching we just couldn’t find it! We ended up in a rubbish all you can eat place which we weren’t really happy with but by that time we were just so hungry! After that we headed back to the apartment to get the girls to bed.

So that’s the first two days of our trip! I’m going to write a separate post for days 3 & 4!

Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Kate-Sig-1

5 months of breastfeeding twins!

I make no secret that I’ve never been a very maternal person. That being said whenever I thought about having babies I always imagined breastfeeding them. I never particularly knew anyone closely who breastfed but I just thought it was natural and therefore it must be easy! 

When I got pregnant I started researching everything and hearing stories from mothers on their breastfeeding experiences. I started to realise it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought and for many people it’s huge struggle. I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I just decided to try as hard as I could and I asked Josh to encourage me and try not to let me give up! 

When everything went wrong with my birth plan and it all felt totally out of my control I was even more determined to get this one thing to go right. Thankfully Dorothy latched perfectly and got off to a fantastic start. Margot took a bit longer but eventually she got there too.

When we came home things got a lot harder. The girls were so small that they fed almost constantly. I felt trapped and glued to the sofa. I kept asking myself if I could really carry on ?! I thought that if I gave them formula things would be better and some of the load would come off me. It feels so intense when it all rests on your shoulders. 

I decided to give myself the goal of 3 months. If I fed them for 3 months I would feel I’d made it and I could stop without feeling guilty. I cried so much in those first three months but I finally made it and decided to keep going a bit longer. Many people told me at 4 months it started to get easier and I just prayed that this was the case because I couldn’t cope! 3 months turned in to 4 and now 4 in to 5 and I’m still going strong. My goal is now 6 months -when they start weaning but currently I feel like maybe carrying on for a year. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself so I’m just seeing how it goes.

There are days when it is so, so hard. It seems like all they want to do is feed and I get no respite. On those days I want to give up but I just take a deep breath and tell myself not to make any snap decisions because tomorrow could be a better day. It usually is. 

Since the girls were around 3 weeks old we have been giving them a bottle of expressed milk before bed. This was so that Josh could have some bonding time with them and also so they would find a routine and associate having a bottle with going to bed. It worked really well and from 8 weeks old we have had a bedtime routine down. They go to bed at 7 which is amazing as we get a bit of time together. We also introduced a dream feed of formula for a while to help them sleep longer as we were exhausted. After a while they started to refuse this as they were fast asleep and wouldn’t be disturbed so we have dropped that now.

In terms of formula, I’m not against giving it to them every now and then but really I prefer to give them breast milk. I have a huge stock pile in the freezer if I ever want to go out and also sometimes we use it on the weekends so I have more time to get ready. If we go away somewhere I generally have to give them formula for their bedtime bottle as I won’t have had time to express enough and I can’t really take my spare milk with me. We use HIPP organic milk as it’s supposed to taste the most like breast milk and our girls are very fussy! If we’re away I still pump regularly and hopefully I will build up enough of a supply that after a day or two we can get back to feeding them breast milk. I think being flexible is very key when breast feeding twins! 

Tandem feeding is something I get asked about a lot. I have tried it and did it quite a bit at the beginning but I have just decided it isn’t for me. With my girls they both feed for different amounts of time and tandem feeding makes it difficult to sit one up, burp and entertain them. Have you ever tried moving your arms without your boobs moving too?! As it is they feed generally one after the other so they are on a similar schedule if not exactly the same. It can be hard feeding one whilst the other is crying but it’s the plight of a twin mum from time to time. Single feeding also means I can focus all my attention on one baby and we have special bonding time. 

Breast feeding in public is always a tricky subject. Once the baby is latched on its fine as nobody can see anything but can be particularly awkward if they’re being fussy! I employ the tactic of pretending I’m not bothered when inside I’m mortified! At the end of the day it’s natural and it’s just how Dotty and Margot get their food. I have used breastfeeding rooms etc. but often I prefer just to find a coffee shop and feed there so I can chat and enjoy a coffee at the same time! Feeding when I’m out on my own is much harder as I have nobody to entertain the other twin – cue screaming! So if I go out alone I try to avoid it. Thankfully I’ve never had anyone get funny with me about feeding the girls… at the end of the day I don’t particularly want anyone to see my nips! So I will always be as discrete as possible and people should respect that. 

At 5 months the girls are FINALLY starting to go 2+ hours between feeds and where they were once feeding 12-15 times a day it’s now more like 5-7. Much more manageable. I imagined by this point we’d be on a strict routine but that hasn’t happened… I think with babies in the first year it’s better to just go with the flow (pardon the pun!) 

So there we have it. Still breastfeeding almost exclusively and no plans to stop yet. If you’re struggling with feeding take heart. It does get easier and it’s the best start in life for your precious baby!

10 things I’ve learned from having twins! 

4 months in I’m obsessed with my twins. Having twins is in a league of its own with the tiredness, hard work, nappies and feeding. But it’s also amazing in every way. I love feeling like we are super special and getting to have these two little best friends. I couldn’t imagine it any other way! I’ve decided to write 10 things I’ve learned along the way! 

1. Baby stuff will take over.

With two of everything you can pretty much guarantee your house will be overtaken. I hate clutter and I like my house tidy… yet I seem to be tidying multiple times a day & it’s never done! At the rate we get through clothes every cupboard is bursting! 

2. The washing never ends. 

Josh and I joke that we are living in a laundrette! I feel as though all I do is spray vanish on pooey vests and sleepsuits!

3. You become a celebrity 

People stop you in the street everywhere you go! You cannot go to the corner shop without talking to 10 people! It’s nice but sometimes can get a bit much when you’re stressed because you have 2 screaming babies and you’re trying to run all your errands! 

4. You can’t “nip” anywhere 

Before I had the babies I could nip to town or to tesco.. these days it’s a whole operation. Get both girls in to the car seats  (cue screaming) one in the car, strap them in, next one in and strapping in. Get the changing bag, get the pram in the boot… then do it all again on the other side!! 

5. You become a milk machine. 

Basically… all you do is breastfeed. 

6. The simplest of things become a luxury.

Showering, brushing of teeth, eating lunch and especially sleeping once seemed a necessity… now they are bonuses! 

7. You get used to hearing your baby cry. 

I imagine for mums of just one baby, when it cries they pretty much see to its needs straight away. With twins you’re split down the middle… you can’t unsettle one to settle the other so sometimes you unfortunately have to listen to them cry and wonder why you’re not helping them. It doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking though. 
8. You feel like you get half the time with each of them. 

Since you have to split the time in half between each of them you always feel as though you never can play with either of them enough, cuddle them enough or help their development enough! 

9. Double the hard work but double the love. 

You get double the first smiles, double the chuckles, the rolling over and all the first moments. You get double the pride in your babies and double the pure, perfect moments. 

10. Your heart swells larger than you could ever imagine. 

I always thought I wouldn’t be able to love my girls as much as I love the rest of my family or my husband. But the love I feel for my babies is beyond anything I could have expected. They are more incredible than words could say & I can never express the level of love I feel for them! I guess there was room left in my heart I never knew about!