It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Archive for February, 2015

Trendy Tot Thursday (19/02/2015)

What a winter. Everyone I know is, or has been, poorly in some way or another. In our house if it’s not Bsicuit, it’s been Cracker and if it’s neither of the twinks it’s Rob and/or I. Hopefully with sunnier days around the corner (see how optimistic I’m being this morning) things should improve. I hope you and your have been okay recently and, if not, things are improving.

You’ll have to excuse the picture of Biscuit this week. Luckily she is too young to start vetoing the ones I take of her! She was very tired (as you will see) patiently waiting for Cracker to have his hair cut, but still looked very trendy!

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She is wearing a beautiful little dress from George at Asda. It came as a set with a pair of pink leggings and was given to her by her lovely Auntie Suezzles. Her grey t-shirt underneath is actually one of Crackers from Mini Club at Boots and her tights, obviously, are Slugs and Snails. You can just see her Clarks boots at the bottom of the shot, almost daily wear for 3 or 4 months and they’re still going strong!

Cracker was a lot happier to pose for his photo this week!

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His outfit is a mismatch of different outfits! His long-sleeved t-shirt is from Mini Club at Boots, his polo shirt is from M & Co and his tracksuit trousers are from Mark and Spencer. He was happy wearing them all at once as they are all dead comfy and they look lovely.

I hope you enjoy reading our Trendy Tot Thursday as much as I enjoyed writing it! Check out The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for more!

Hope to see you again next week for another Trendy Tot Thursday, and please feel free to stop by and say ‘hi’ whenever you have time!

Trendy Tot Thursday (12/02/2015)

Good morning! Hope you’re all okay this rather grey Sunday morning. We’re back after last week’s unscheduled trip to hospital with Biscuit. She’s now recovering and improving everyday.

Biscuit’s outfit this week is, I have to admit, a few weeks old. She still isn’t herself so she’s been wearing a lot of pyjamas. Plus, I haven’t wanted to take her picture when she’s not feeling great. This picture was taken at her Nonna’s house when we were in Italy in January.

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Her gorgeous smock dress is from Marks and Spencers. It is such nice, soft material with beautiful decoration on it. It came in a 2-piece with lovely flowery leggings but she is such a skinny Minnie that they fall straight off her! So instead I teamed it with a pair of Storm Slugs and Snails tights. If you have ever read our Trendy Tot Thursday, you know that these tights go with absolutely everything and are super comfortable for little legs and feet.

Cracker thankfully avoided getting so poorly, but he has been super cuddly this week as he hates being apart from Biscuit. This has meant that tracksuits are the order of the day. Perfect for snuggling (and for climbing and playing when he’s had enough of cuddling).

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Cracker’s Converse outfit is a super comfortable pair of tracksuit trousers and a super soft long-sleeved t-shirt. I got it from T K Maxx. He likes the shoe design on the front and I like how generous their sizing is! A lot of Cracker’s trousers seem to end just above the ankle but these ones are long enough without then being huge at the waist.

I hope you enjoy reading our Trendy Tot Thursday as much as I enjoyed writing it! Check out The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for more!

Hope to see you again next week for another Trendy Tot Thursday, and please feel free to stop by and say ‘hi’ whenever you have time!

How Things Have Changed (Valentine’s Day with Twin Toddlers)

My husband is Italian. They do romance really well, they’re famous for it!

In the old days we did Valentine’s. We’ve done the big meals out and the cosy dinner at home. We’ve given thoughtful presents and ensured that we book the time off work to spend together.

And then there were four of us. Once children come along, particularly two at the same time, it is often hard to take time out and remind yourselves that you were a couple before your family grew. Rob and I are not particularly good at this. We both work full time (different hours too) and have two energetic and lively two-and-a-half year olds to entertain when we’re home. Trust me when I tell you that most nights we are too exhausted to even want to go out for a meal, even with all the offers of babysitting help from friends and family. We went out for a quick bite to eat one night in Italy, leaving the sleeping twins with Nonna and Zia, and we were home by 9 absolutely shattered!

Plus your new life means you enjoy different things. As someone who really, really loved lie-ins before having children I would never have believed you telling me that I like getting up and out early and being the first family at the zoo, or the aquarium! Flashy meals and nights out dancing and drinking don’t hold the same appeal for me as they once did. I am much happier snuggled on a sofa with Rob, Biscuit, Cracker and our cat, eating popcorn and watching Disney films (God, what has happened to me)!

Rob brought Biscuit and Cracker to pick me up from work on Friday. They got to see my office and my desk etc, and to meet one of the lovely people I work with. We then got the bus home as a family and I had people to chat to instead of doing the typical London commute where you don’t even look at anyone else! We got off the bus early so we could have a bit of a walk and then made the decision to go for a meal at our local Italian restaurant. Seeing the twins sitting nicely at the table, eating their dinner and playing made me so happy.

Valentine’s Day isn’t about romance and big expensive gestures. It’s about spending time with the people you love and appreciating what you have. And that’s exactly what I got to do, there just happened to have been four of us there!!

Thanks for reading x

Holidaying with Twin Toddlers… The Journey!

In January we took on the, seemingly, mammoth task of taking Biscuit and Cracker, our two-and-a-half year old twins, on holiday to Rob’s family home in Italy.

This meant that I would have to pack enough clothes, toys and toiletries for the four of us in a mixture of carry on and hand luggage and then we would need to transport said luggage and said children to the airport to catch our flight. Due to this, we also made the decision to leave their buggies at home. We just didn’t have enough hands!

Our journey involved an hour on the London Underground (luckily at 7am on a Saturday when it is relatively empty), a two hour wait at the airport and then a two-and-a-half hour flight to Pisa before being collected by Rob’s family. This is a long day for anyone, but for toddlers who don’t understand what is going on and who are woefully out of routine by this point it could be a recipe for disaster.

We flew British Airways, their luggage allowance means they’re a good choice for people flying with children. It was slightly annoying that now the twins are over two, they have to pay pretty much full price. Obviously this means that they get their own seat, but they most definitely didn’t need the 23kg check-in allowance and the two items of hand luggage! The other irritating thing is that when they’re little you can choose your seats, for free, at time of booking. Now they’re that bit older we would have had to pay to choose our seats or wait until five days before the flight and BA would try to seat us together. Surely it’s more important, if travelling with independently-seated toddlers, that these families should be able to ensure they sit together? On the way out it worked out fine, flying back BA seated Rob, Biscuit and myself in three seats together and Cracker on his own in the row in front…. Sensible? Not in the slightest, especially as they have it noted down in front of them how old he is.

At least our bags made it to Italy with us though (we have experienced our bags going on a far more roundabout journey to our destination than we took and that is not a pleasant thing). Unfortunately on the way home some bright spark took one of our suitcases home and left hers on the carousel instead. Although my nerves took a shredding thinking of all the stuff in that suitcase (like Cracker’s beloved cars and pretty much all their clothes) in case we didn’t get it back, thankfully the very helpful Gary in Customer Services located the bright spark and our suitcase was couriered to us 15 or so hours later. That very same day I went out and purchased a bright neon bag strap and luggage tag to put on our plain suitcase for next time we travel, lesson learned!

Our first challenge was the journey itself. Cracker gets extremely travel-sick. He has thrown up on trains, on five minute car rides, and we knew that we had to plan for this. He wore travel bands (something I have always done on a journey of any length) and he had anti-sickness drugs from the GP. Coupling this with a bland breakfast and restriction of juice, we managed to arrive in Tuscany vomit-free! I did have a large number of sick-bags with me (purchased from Amazon) which we held out to him a lot. We are waiting until he gets old enough to be able to tell us when he’s feeling poorly, hopefully that will make things easier.

Distraction also helps. Rob and I loaded both of our tablets up with children’s films and TV programmes, as well as packing their little bags with favourite toys. A friend of mine gave me the handy hint of “never underestimate the power of food” so we took plenty of little snacks with us (I.e. Breadsticks, raisins, crackers, etc) and offered them these when they were looking particularly fed up. Plus having ‘sucky sweets’ for take-off and landing helps with painful ears. Biscuit and Cracker do not often get sweets, but I figured the benefits outweighed the risks this time!

We were lucky. Both Biscuit and Cracker, on both flying out and back, were very good. We were the only people on board with children, so any noise and disruption would have been easy for people to locate! But they didn’t cry, whinge or (thank goodness) scream! Yes, they fidgeted, played with the tray table and swapped seats a number of times but I know plenty of adults who’d do that too!

So journeying with twin toddlers is possible! Who’d have thought it! Thanks for reading x

Next time: what we took with us (both useful and useless)!

Why We Were Missing!

I don’t know if anyone was wondering why we missed last week’s Trendy Tot Thursday, as we have been involved every week since it started back in July 2014.

I am normally a little delayed in posting our entry due to work commitments etc so they come out at the weekend.

Unfortunately last weekend was spent with little Biscuit being very poorly and getting admitted to hospital with pneumonia. And whilst she looked incredibly cute, I don’t think a cannula for antibiotics could be classed as “trendy”!

I have previously posted that Biscuit had been ill before, but even that coupled with years of experience on the other side of the uniform will never prepare me for the horrible feeling when one of my kiddies is poorly. Combine that with the worry you have leaving another at home with friends or family and you have a very stressful time.

Thankfully, after a weekend of strong antibiotics and regular pain relief, Biscuit was well enough to continue her recovery at home and she is much, much better. Cracker also needed lots of TLC after Biscuit was admitted as he was worried about her, and also had his schedule disrupted. Cuddles all round this week!

Anyway, thank you for baring with us. Hopefully normal service will be resumed this week, although we haven’t really been anyway so we’ve been trendy at home.

What January Meant For Us!

Wow, we’re already in the second month of 2015. It’s crazy how quickly we speed through our lives with family and friends, home and work, and all the other things that make up being an adult.

2014 flashed by for me and so, this year, I wanted to take a moment each month to reflect on what has happened for us, as a family. Big things may not have occurred, but it is all about those little things as well.

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After 12 hard months, I completed my degree. It was an uphill struggle at times but I used the biggest challenge, having twin toddlers, as my greatest motivation- I did it for Biscuit and Cracker and have come out with a 2:1!

I turned 31. I have always loved birthdays and have counted down to them and made a big deal, but now I am 31. That means I am officially IN my thirties… This is not good for my morale!

We went on holiday. We took Biscuit and Cracker to visit their Nonna and Zia, as well as many other extended members of family and friends. They were amazing, both on the flights and with the change of routine. Plus hearing their Italian improve so much during the week was fantastic.

Biscuit and Cracker’s language skills have taken a massive bound forward- they speak in sentences and put words together. They surprise me every day with their level of understanding if we ask them to do/get something. They are definitely no longer babies, but growing-up. A colleague of mine told me this week that this is the time we see all the hard work we put in through all those months come to fruition- all the reading we do with them, and the speaking and the singing. It all helps.

I have cleaned the kitchen. Why is this on the list? You may ask! Well with my degree course I haven’t had time to call my own all year. All evening and weekends were taken up with reading and reflections, or spending time with the twins so they didn’t forget who I was. Even annual leave meant that I had essays etc due and had to use that time to so research and write. This weekend has been the first weekend in 12 months that I haven’t HAD to do something. So I cleaned the kitchen, and actually felt good about doing it!!

So there it is, five simple things that remind me that January wasn’t simply 31 days to rush through, but it was a month that really counts, with things that really matter.

What things happened to you and yours in the first month of 2015? Please tell me and we’ll celebrate them together!

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