Naps

So the boys and I aren’t having the best time…. they are just not napping, what I consider correctly, and so have been a bit grumpy of late.

This mummy is tired, very tired!!  I loved that 2hr nap around lunch time, it broke up my day and gave me some much needed down time.  And I know that they still need some sort of nap as they look exhausted and get that over tired look if I don’t at least get them to have a short nap.

So we have gone from no nap at all, which was so so hard!!!  To both boys napping for under an hour at different times of the day.  So I’m still on duty all the time to look after one of the two.  To today when I finally got two children to nap at the same time, but it was for under an hour, so by the time I had something to eat and did some cleaning up there was still no down time for me.  And they were very needy when they were up, which is fine.  So it was yet another long day and my house looks like a bomb hit it, as we are in that stage of them running around and making a mess everywhere they go.

I guess my point is that sometimes you just have to keep trying.  I know that the boys still need one nap a day.  They are only 18 months and they get tired.  And it’s not just wishful thinking, we get the yawns and rubbing the eyes.  So I will persist in my old routine, and if they need to nap at different times I will adapt as I have this past week.  And if there is stuff all over my house well so be it.  It’s ridiculous to try and clean up after them constantly, and I can choose to relax or be a clean freak, guess what I pick!

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Liebster Award

leibster-award

So I have been blogging for a little while now and I feel like there is still so much I don’t know.  But another blogger has nominated me for a Liebster Award, which was so lovely of her, so a big thank you to Jody from Six Little Hearts, I am feeling very special today.

So what is a Liebster Award, it is a little award for bloggers with under 200 followers as a way to get to know each other and introduce other bloggers to each other and the wider community, and it is intended to be given to someone you believe deserves some recognition for their blogging.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

So part 1 – 11 things about me!  This is actually harder than I thought!

* I am actually an extremely private person – seems a bit silly as I do blog about my life, but there is a lot I don’t blog about, and a lot I don’t share with even those close to me.

* I have a serious problem with craft items – I see, I must buy.  My study is overflowing with projects and yet I still buy more.

* I love Cheesecake – seriously love, to the point where I am not allowed to buy it and when we do I’m not allowed near it as I would potentially eat it all in one sitting.  It’s just so delicious!!!

* I hate vacuuming.  I do it occasionally, when I absolutely have to, but there is just something about it that drives me nuts.

* My mum died before I was married or had children.  I miss her a lot but my family doesn’t really talk about her now which I find hard.

* I haven’t picked up and read a book since before I was pregnant.  I really missed reading for quite a while but now I just can’t seem to pick up a book.

* I’ve changed careers so many times and could literally do anything if I went back to work, but I can’t find a job that I would want to do!  If one of my dream jobs ever came up I’d go back to work part time.

* I don’t really eat chocolate.  I know I’m weird.  I do eat some chocolate – Lindt or Kinder Surprise (yes the most expensive or the kiddy chocolate) but even that is rare.  I just never got those chocolate type cravings.

* As well as the two boys we have two small dogs.  They were my first children and were so well behaved until a few months ago when they started acting out and they became outside pets.

* I never got to go on my honeymoon as we planned it for a year after our wedding.  Then after we’d paid for it and we’re about to get our travel shots we found out we were having the twins.  Honeymoon postponed indefinitely.  Still makes me sad.

* I don’t like twitter and I refuse to join.  I spend enough time on my laptop and phone and I don’t need another social media invading my life.

So onto the questions Jody has set for me:

1) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Geez, hard question!  I’d still live in Australia as I think we are very lucky here, but I think we would move to somewhere along the coast line.  When we got married we looked at living in Tasmania but there weren’t enough job opportunities, if I could I would move somewhere along the Great Ocean Road.

2) What do you love most about your life right now?  My kids.  They are my whole world and I honestly don’t know where I would be without them.

3) What are you carrying around in your handbag at this time?  So much junk!!  Nappies, wipes, curash, baby panadol, teething gel, fruit sticks, pens, tissues, nurofen, wallet, phone, keys, lip balm and I’m sure lots more.

4) Do you remember what prompted you to begin blogging?  I was lonely, on the verge of depression and needed something that was all about me!

5) An interesting fact about your ancestry?  My mums side of the family all come from Germany.

6) Your favourite colour is? Why?  Only one colour, probably bright pink, but I also love purple too and teal.  A bright pink is always a happy colour and it’s girlie, it just makes everything pop.

7) Summer or Winter?  Definitely winter.  I hate the hot weather, I break out in terrible heat rashes and have over heated during summer.  At least in winter you can put on more layers.  In summer there is only so much you can take off, and I’m no size 8 so I hate wearing my bathers!

8) How would you spend $2 million?  I would pay off our debts as well as my dads, buy my dad a little unit and buy us a house on the coast.  The rest would go into savings.

9) What is your favourite skincare / makeup product and why?  Honestly I don’t really wear make up or use skin products.  I know that I should and I do own some, but it really has slipped to the back of my mind being a stay at home mum.  When I remember I use Clinique’s range of skin care and I have a Thin Lizzy make up set which I find works really well on the rare occasion I do go out.

10) A character trait you have?  I’m sure I have lots but my main one is that I care too much.  I would do anything for those I love but I also take everything really personally, which does end up hurting me often.

11) What are you enjoying on television at present?  Masterchef, Great Australian Bake Off, Devious Maids, Hit the Floor and Twisted.  I watch a lot of shows online so generally seem the American shows before anyone here has even heard of them!

Question for my nominated bloggers –
1 – What is the hardest thing about having multiples?
2 – What is the best thing about having multiples?
3 – If you could go anywhere (child free) where would you go?
4 – What’s one thing you did pre-children that you would love to do again now?
5 – What is your favourite food?
6 – Who inspires you the most?
7 – What’s one skill you wish you had?
8 – What’s your one piece of advice for anyone about to have multiples?
9 – What is your favourite movie?
10 – How many children did you want originally?  And how many do you want now?
11 – What’s the most useless item you have bought in the last year?

And now my 11 nominees……

So now that you’ve all learnt a bit more about me, go and check out some other blogs.  They are all parents of multiples – twins and triplets!!

Awwwwww

So that may not have napped today and they may have been a bit of a handful but one of my boys fell asleep in my arms tonight and it was the sweetest moment!  He is not one to fall asleep in my arms and transferring him from the car to inside or the pram never works, he always wakes up and that’s it for him.  But tonight, after a few stories we had a little cuddle in the rocking chair and he snuggled in so I thought I’d just keep rocking and enjoy the moment and a few minutes later he was fast asleep.  After having a bit more cuddles with my sleeping boy I transferred him to his cot without a fuss.

Then it was on to the munchkin who was still running around his room laughing and playing, and we did our special kisses more than a few times, a few cuddles and then it was lights out.  Less than a minute of complaining from him, and I’d say within 20mins he too was asleep.

I feel so much better about life as a whole after my special time with the boys, so I just had to share!  Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.

tots

18 months old

18 months!

My babies are 18 months old today!  Where did the time go??

I love them more and more every day but I must say at the moment they are driving me mad!  They are into absolutely everything, one of them is constantly telling me no, and they either both complete ignore me when I tell them off or take it really, really badly resulting in tears.  And the last two days they have refused a day time nap.  This is surely just the start of things to come as they have well and truly hit toddler hood and have realised not only are they little individuals but just how much power they have.

I’m honestly not sure whether to be proud of them or be mad at them!!!  They are growing so fast that I feel a little as if I’m not ready.  I do miss those days of when they were babies, but now we have our own little things that I could never have done with them as babies.  We have created silly little games and special bed time kisses that make my heart so full.

 

I can not imagine my life without them, and despite all the stress of the last month, all the ups and downs, all the disappointments, all the anger and tears, they have been my one constant.  They don’t care that I’m not perfect, they just love me because I’m their mum and I make them feel special and safe.

So despite the fact they have refused a nap today, made an absolute mess, had a few minor meltdowns and been very cheeky, I am very happy that we have hit the 18 month milestone and that I got some extra time in for playing and relaxing with them.  Life may always be changing but my love for them will only grow stronger.

18 months

Fertility

So I have previously mentioned that as much as I love my gorgeous two boys, I really want another baby. My husband and I always had an idea of how many children we wanted and after having twins we did adjust that number and then when hubby lost his job we thought about it all over again, but the reality was that we both felt that our little family was not complete.

Unfortunately for us having another baby is not quite as simple as it seems.  We tried for a very long time to have our boys and were extremely lucky not to need IVF but we did need help and would have tried IVF if it had come to that.  In fact we were on the very start of that path when we found out I was pregnant.  We were lucky.  Fertility is a difficult path for so many couples and my heart aches for those who never get to make their baby dreams come true.  We were told that after having the boys it would be smooth sailing.  Unfortunately it’s not.  Although we shouldn’t need IVF that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  My timeline for our growing family has been thrown out the window and I am reassessing when is the right time to try.

When your trying for a baby you focus on the different stages.  I hated it.  It broke my heart every time we had to try again, and it is extremely emotionally and mentally draining.  But it’s not just hard on the wife, it’s also hard on the husband (or partner) and I think a lot of people forget that.  Including at times me!  Yes it is hard on a woman’s body, as well as her heart and mind, but its just as hard on your other half’s heart and mind.  And the majority of the love and care goes to the wife, which is understandable, but I think its important to remember that there are two people on the fertility journey.

The longer it takes to get pregnant the more of a toll it takes.  Relationships end up suffering not only between the couple but also outside relationships as no one quite understands and you can get wrapped up in your own little bubble.  It’s important to remember to nurture each other, make the time to still have fun and enjoy life and ignore all the ever so helpful people who tell you “it will happen when you stop trying.”  Just a note that is the worst thing you can ever say to someone who is trying for a baby!!!!  You are risking being defriended if you utter those words.  It’s not helpful but hurtful.  We aren’t trying so hard to have a baby because it is fun (ok well there is some fun involved), we are trying because we have decided that this is what we really want and we are trying to take control of that process.

We are lucky to live in a time when there are options available to help couples get pregnant and I for one am very grateful for that.  But it is no one elses business (unless you choose to share) how you conceived your child, and I will never understand people who think it is ok to ask complete strangers if they have had IVF, or those who judge others who have shared their IVF stories.  We all do what we need to do to make our dreams come true and I wish anyone who is currently trying for a baby all the best in their journey, as its not always an easy road.

Adapting

I love my beautiful boys, they are the cutest, sweetest, funniest little human beings I know, but today was one of the worst days I’ve had with them and I literally wanted to just walk out the door!  The reason it was so bad was because I had absolutely no idea what was wrong.  Usually they have a little scream and I quickly work out exactly what they want.  Today I felt completely lost.  It reminded me of those first few days after bringing the boys home and having to walk outside to get away from the screaming and take a deep breath.

Today, after trying everything, I had to put them in their cots.  After a few more minutes of screaming I could hear them happily chatting and playing like they normally do at nap times.  So I let them be, to have a bit of quiet time and me a little breathing space.

I still don’t know what their problem was exactly but I am guessing it was something to do with being a bit tired and things being not quite normal at home.  As adults we adapt to new situations quickly (or we put on the brave face and try to get on with it), but babies and toddlers can’t do that.  They don’t understand why things change or that everything is still ok.  It takes time for them to readjust and get comfortable again, for some this can take days, weeks and for others months.  I believe it all has to do with the temperament of the child.

So today was a bad day for the boys, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.  And if its not then maybe I as the adult needs to find a way to better adapt with this temporary phase of misbehaviour, tantrums and whininess and give the boys extra cuddles, kisses, love, compassion and understanding.

The reality of having twins – the first three months

twins - first

So here we go with the reality of having twins, this is all about those daunting first three months….

The first 3 months are rough, really rough.  Having twins means you are doing everything twice and if your lucky your twins will be in sync and you can do them both at the same time, but trust me this is not always the case.  My twins often woke up at different times during the night for a feed and people often say wake the other one up so you can feed them both at the same time, but that was neither helpful or practical for us, we went by the mantra ‘never wake a sleeping baby.’  They do go through periods of being in a rhythm and its wonderful, but I always found that trying to get them onto what I thought their schedule should be never worked (I actually physically hid all the parenting books I thought would be oh so helpful and stopped listening to others advice that came from a book).  Once I started following their schedule, they knew what they wanted and when, and once I knew the signs life became that little bit easier.  Actually once they both started sleeping through the night life became wonderful again!  That happened for us around the 4 month mark.

Unless you have family or friends who have had twins no-one will understand what you are going through and it will frustrate you constantly because you will get advice that worked for their singleton.  Having two 18 months apart is not the same as twins (I have no idea whether its harder or easier but it is NOT the same so please don’t say it is, its infuriating!!).  Unfortunately you need to learn to block out all the ‘noise’ because it can really get you down and fill you with self doubt.  I’ve felt it and I’ve seen it in other twin parents who feel the pressure of what all the single mothers around them did.  Twins are different and you will work out your own way to deal with it all.  If you need support there are twins groups out there, they can help.  If your in Australia you need to check out AMBA, in the UK there is TAMBA, in Canada there is MBC and in the USA there is NOMOTC.  I’m sure there’s lots more but they are great places to start for twins, triplets, or more!

If you haven’t already guessed it costs a fortune!  You need to buy two of all the essentials – car seats, cots, a double pram, high chairs, endless clothes and nappies, and don’t even ask how much formula you will go through if you can’t (or choose not to) breastfeed.  Having twins drains your bank account and will continue to do so (I’m guessing for the rest of my life).  There is nothing to hand down from the first born to the second born because they are twins.  I’ve heard of people buying two of each toy but really I’ve found its not worth the expense.  When my twins do want the same toy they always want exactly the same toy and an identical version will not do.  So save yourself the expense and buy different things.  You’ll either be a parent who wants to dress your twins in matching clothes or not.  Personally I hate matching clothes but we were given a lot of them, so there’s been a lot of smiling and saying how wonderful and putting one of the outfits aside for gifts in the future.

The boys can be challenging and I am often glad to get them down for their sleep!  But its other people that get to me the most.  The boys meltdowns and demands I can usually handle but others peoples opinions quite honestly drive me mad.  It is hard enough being a mum these days without the added pressure of not only friends and family but complete strangers weighing in on your families business.  From the first moment we stepped out of the house we got comments from complete strangers.  Yes there were lots of ‘how cute’ and ‘are they twins’ which can start to get annoying but its the other comments that really got to me.  People have no idea about boundaries, I got everything from ‘do twins run in your family’ (which is code for did you have IVF?) to blatantly asking if they were “test tube” babies.  And then there were the people grilling me on breastfeeding, I ended up lying and saying yes of course I was (I actually knew before the boys were born that I wouldn’t be able to but for those who tried really hard and couldn’t this would be awful!).  You will never be able to go anywhere in peace again.  And nothing will ever be quick!  But you do need to get out of the house in those first three months, not just for your own sanity but because your twins need to see the world.  A walk every so often can clear your mind and make you feel good.  It can also help your twins drift off to sleep or with the help of an ipod and some headphones drown out the crying.  Once a week I would beg my husband to take us to the shops for a coffee, it became our Thursday night ritual and I looked forward to it.  Find what works for you.

You can never just quickly dash to the shops, the time alone to get the boys ready to go out and pack their bag was long.  But you learn tricks to streamline the process and as they get older the items you need to pack really changes.  Then you have to get the twins in the car and at the other end you have to get them out of the car and into the pram and navigate with your double pram and hope that you fit down the aisles.  Really most shops are either completely not accessible, seriously just rule out anything that is not a department store, or a real maze as you navigate around displays and people.  Trust me its easier when they’re little, once they get to somewhere around the year old mark they work out that they can grab things off shelves.  And you have a double pram so good luck just walking down the middle of an aisle so they cant reach.  All I can say is distraction works well and you will know which child is less interested in pulling off all the price tags and every box that looks interesting.

Anyone who tells you it will get easier is out and out lying!  Twins don’t get easier, the battles you have with them just change.  Some things become easier, while new things that you never even thought of throw another large curveball into the mix.  But this is all the fun of being a parent.

To see more posts from this series, go here!