Simple pleasures

Have you ever noticed how little people are excited by the simplest, most ordinary things? A stone on the pavement, a seed, a piece of fluff, a sticker, a piece of cement from my fireplace…

A few weeks ago in preparation for Easter I adorned the house with fuzzy chicks and speckled eggs, M fell instantly in love with two unsuspecting chicks.  All day long they were carried around and popped in and out of a plastic egg from an egg hunt.  Come bath time the twin chicks remained in her possession.  Refusing to hand them over gradually the fuzzy chicks lost eyes, beaks and finally legs to the bottom of the bath until they became two balls of soggy yellow fluff.  The love remained, they were dried and were taken up to bed.  For days these yellow lumps were played with while the mass of toys sat silently in the toy box awaiting their turn.

Last week was full of these simple pleasures.  On Saturday E and M took great pleasure in running in an open space.

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While gardening E and M discovered snowdrop seed pods, named “peeeesssssssss…”, they do look like peas though I doubt they taste so nice.  These little seeds were collected in little hands and were treasured.

On Thursday it was the pink spotty cool bag, who knew carrying around a little cool bag could bring so much joy?…

But when you think about it it’s not the big expensive things that you treasure the most, the grand gestures, it’s the little, thoughtful, simple things. A hot drink in front of the fire when it is snowing outside, the first daffodil, a plant from a friend when you are having a rubbish day, a homemade cake, a special photograph, a pretty button, a new copy of Country Living magazine through the door, an undisturbed hour of crafting time…2015-01-27 14.03.10

This year I have made a special effort to spend time doing the simple things that I love, life is too short to waste it getting other things out the way first.  Most days I treat myself to an hour of naptime crafting, making an abundance of crochet flowers, crochet doilies, a wooden bead and flower necklace for little M, a head warmer, a fabric infinity scarf, stuffed toys, lavender scented hearts and bunnies, freehand machine embroidered pictures and my most time consuming project by far a spring wreath with crocheted flowers, chicken feathers, hand painted and hand speckled eggs… phew!daffs2015-02-23 08.21.20

Feeling a little bit pleased with myself...

Feeling a little bit pleased with myself…

I must add that while I take this precious time I am also doing something useful, as most of my crafty creations are wrapped up and given to my friends and family, hopefully spreading those simple pleasures a little further…

 

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A typical day for E and M

Written at 8 months old

00:00 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
03:15 E wakes in need of a mummy cuddle and dummy
03:20-05:00 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
05:00 E wakes in need of a dummy
05:00-06:15 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
06:15-06:45 E and M chat (Mummy and Daddy moan about the time)
06:45-07:15 E and M are changed and dressed (Daddy gets ready for work, lets the chickens out, feeds the cats and makes breakfast)
07:15-07:45 E is fed porridge and bottle fed, M is breastfed, fed porridge and bottle fed.
07:45-08:00 E and M play in their bouncy chairs (Mummy and Daddy eat breakfast)
08:00-08:30 E and M are changed, placed in sleeping bags and hats in their cots, are bottle fed, rocked, given dummies and teddies (Daddy goes to work)
08:30-09.30 E and M sleep to the sound of twinkle twinkle little star (Mummy showers, dresses and catches up with household chores to the sound of twinkle twinkle little star on the baby monitor)
09:30 E wakes calling “Meme”, “Dada” and “Bebe”, M is woken by the chatting.
09:30-10:00 E and M are removed from sleeping bags and cots. They are sat on Mummy and Daddy’s bed to play to the sound of the hairdryer.
10:00-10:45 E and M play sitting on their mat in the front room surrounded by cushions to the sound of Mummy catching up with household chores.
10:45-11:00 E and M make stacking cup towers with Mummy and practice knocking them down.
11:00 E has his medicine
11:00-11:30 E and M play sitting on their mat in the front room surrounded by cushions to the sound of Mummy setting up and preparing lunch.
11:30-12:00 E and M have finger food and pureed food in their highchairs
12:00-12:15 E and M are bottle fed in their bouncy chairs
12:15-12:45 E and M are changed, placed in sleeping bags and hats in their cots, are bottle fed, given dummies and teddies.
12:45-13:45 E and M sleep (Mummy tidies E and M’s lunch away and then has her lunch)
13:45 E wakes and is taken down stairs
13:45-14:15 E plays on the sofa with Mummy, M sleeps
14:15-14:30 E and Mummy visit the cats and chickens in the garden, M sleeps
14:30 E is changed, M sleeps
14:30-14:45 E plays lying on his mat in the front room to the sound of Mummy catching up with household chores.
14:45-15:00 E plays in his rocking horse in the dining room to the sound of Mummy catching up with household chores. M wakes and is brought downstairs.
15:00-17:00 E and M are dressed in their snowsuits and E, M and Mummy go for a walk.
17:00-17:30 E and M have finger food and pureed food in their highchairs. (Daddy comes home)
17:30-18:00 E and M are bottle fed
18:00-18:30 E and M are changed and bathed (Mummy prepares upstairs for bedtime and tops up bottles)
18:30-19:00 E and M are moisturised, dressed and placed in their sleeping bags. E is bottle fed and placed in his cot with a dummy and teddy. M is breast fed, bottle fed and placed in her cot with a dummy and teddy.
19:00-22:00 E and M sleep to the sound of Mummy and Daddy catching up with household chores (feeding the cats, shutting chickens in, washing, sterilising and filling bottles and locking up), cooking and eating (and compulsory watching of pre-recorded neighbours).
22:00-00:00 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep, at last!)
NB
-Timings are subject to change resulting in only 3 hours of sleep and missed meal times.

A typical day for E and M

Written at 8 days old

00:00 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
01:00-02:00 E breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed, M is bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
02:00-03:00 E and M grizzle to the sound of white noise
03:00-05:00 E and M sleep to the sound of white noise (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
05:00-06:00 E and M bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
06:00-07:30 E and M sleep to the sound of white noise (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
07:30-09:00 E and M breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
09:00-10:30 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep)
10:30-11.30 E and M breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
11.30-13.30 E and M sleep to the sound of Mummy and Daddy catching up with household chores, showering and attempting to eat.
13:30-14:30 E and M breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
14:30 E has his nails clipped and filed
14:30-17:30 E and M sleep to the sound of Mummy and Daddy catching up with household chores.
17:30-18:00 E and M have a bath
18:00-19:00 E and M breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
19:00-21:00 E and M sleep to the sound of Mummy and Daddy catching up with household chores (watering the garden, feeding the cats, collecting the eggs, locking up), cooking and eating (and compulsory watching of pre-recorded neighbours).
21:00-22:00 E and M breastfed, bottle fed, burped and changed to the whirring of the double electric breast pump and bottle steriliser.
22:00-23:00 E and M grizzle to the sound of white noise, given top ups of milk, burped and changed
23:00-00:00 E and M sleep (Mummy and Daddy also sleep, at last!)

NB
-Timings are subject to change resulting in only 1 hour of sleep and missed meal times.
-Supporting documents are available on request detailing amount of time breast feeding, quantity of expressed and formula milk consumed and nappy contents and colour.

Z is for ZZZZ…

Wouldn’t that be nice! There is often a reason for one or both to be keeping you up, unfortunately the reason is rarely clear or easily solved.  Don’t count on it!

At least some of us are getting some zzz... maybe sleeping outside is the answer!?!

At least some of us are getting some zzzz… maybe sleeping outside is the answer!?!

So we have come to the end of my list of multiple must-knows and must-haves.  It took me over six months to write the draft list and I’m sure I will keep thinking of things to add, but I’ve run out of letters…. I hope our experiences will help others about to embark on a double adventure.

Being a multiple mummy is a challenging experience and not something that everyone will understand but it is also an incredible experience.  How lucky am I to meet both my babies at the same time, to see them grow up alongside each other and always have double the cuddles!

Y is for Yearbook

Try and keep a record of the early days, routines, feeding, sleeping and milestones.  It is amazing to look back at how far you have all come, it is a rollercoaster of a year but you did it!  I don’t feel it has got easier since reaching the first year milestone but the challenges are different, I continue to record so I can look back each year.

X is for X-ray vision and eyes behind your back…

… two little people can get up to a lot when you are not paying attention.

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Emptying kitchen drawers

I could add so many more…

W is for washing machine/ tumble dryer, dishwasher… helpful machines!

If you can fit them in, just do it, you won’t regret it!

I was very fortunate to have helpful relatives who helped with chores on their visits and a very kind mummy who would take away loads of dirty washing and return it lovely and clean, the washing line was always full but the arrival of a tumble dryer was something to rejoice in.

The twins were born during a very hot summer, with a garden that needed regular watering, cats to take care of and a sick chicken there was little time for washing up.  We do not have a dishwasher and I breastfed, expressed and bottle fed so we made a lot of washing up, getting though more than 14 bottles per day.  In the early days after the middle of the night feeds and expression we would place the twins in the cots for their next lot of sleep and we would go down stairs and wash up, sterilise pump and bottles and filled them with sterile water in preparation for the next day before returning to bed for the hour or so of sleep before the next wake up.  We got a dishwasher when the twins were 15 months, it has changed my life!

More quality time together! Playing pictionary, I draw they tell me what it is...

These time saving machines mean more quality time together! Playing pictionary.  I draw and they tell me what it is…

V is for Vanish

Remove twins before placing clothes and vanish in the machine!

Remove twins before placing clothes and vanish in the machine!

Twice the babies equals twice as many stained bibs and clothes.  Washing up liquid followed by air drying in the sun does a fantastic job of dealing with the result of leaky nappies however sometimes vanish is absolutely necessary, A stockpiles it!

U is for Unique bottles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFind a way to distinguish between your twins bottles; different colours, or a blob of different coloured nail polish on the bottom or if you are a bit crafty and have lots of beads lying around make little bracelets for your bottles.  I had two sets of bottle bracelets, one set for going out and one for in the house, a blue for E and a pink for M.  When they were little it helped me keep record of what each of them was drinking, if one was sick they didn’t share bottles and until E was about 8 months he had reflux so often had special milk or things added to his milk so we didn’t want to mix them up.  Needless to say though, bottle bracelets are not suitable for leaving with your babies alone.