29 Jun 2009

Honey, we're hoooommme...

...and we even made it all in one piece and mostly sane!

The first couple of days were hellish and I just wanted to come home but it got better!! Although at the end of the holiday both Z and I agreed the holiday was one year too early for the girls. It took them awhile to get used to the new rountine and enviroment and until they did they were impossible and we spent most of the time running after them or trying to keep them out of things- in a year's time they would be a bit more aware of danger and other peoples belongings and would be able to communicate their needs/wants without always crying. It made for a not very relaxed holiday and we came back needing a holiday to recover but I'm assured by family and friends that that is normal for holidays with children.

The temperatures were in the upper 30's (°C obviously) and it was really humid as well which made it fairly unbearable. Although our hotel apartment had air conditioning we could only turn it on when we were in the there, as the room key had a plug attached necessary to turn on the electricity in the rooms. The best thing we did was about 3 days into our holiday we lost our key, the replacement key cost us €30 but the plug was loose so we could cool the apartment down before naps and night time which meant the girls slept better and weren't quite so irritable. Unfortunately the air conditioning was in our bedroom while the girls slept in the lounge in cots, we froze at nights (I literally slept under a thick wool blanket while Z caught a cold), while the girls slept just in shorts and were still restless as they were too warm. Next time I go to the Mediterrean I refuse to go any later than May as it gets too sticky hot for me!

Turkey itself was lovely and the people are baby mad, our girls have never been kissed so much (well not from strangers anyway) as they were on holiday, thank goodness JS had warned me or I might have got defensive initially. Even the young men in their early twenties would smile at our girls and chuck their cheeks, it was amazing to see.

We didn't get to do much exploring but did get a couple of visits into the local towns, Alanya was amazing with it's huge fort complex on the hillside and old roman shipbuilding yard built into caves at the bottom of the cliff face. Unfortunately it was too hot to spend more than a late afternoon exploring the ruins and we didn't even get to explore the facinating shops and stalls lining descent road from the hilltop. Konakli where our hotel was, was not very interesting as it was very touristy. All the shops were full of cheap ripoffs of named brands and not very cheap at that.
Basilica in the fort complex

We also went to Side which I loved, again we only spent a few hours here but I loved the way the new city is built amongst the roman ruins, it was just a pity we couldn't explore more as it was not very pram friendly. The best part of Side was the Temple on the beachfront.
Apollo temple in Side

The girls loved the water although it did take Enya a few days to warm up to it and she never liked the sea with it's waves. Ciara loved it all, she didn't even mind being bowled over by the waves while playing with gravel at the surf line. We didn't spend much time on the beach though as it was too stressful keeping the girls from eating the sand and gravel (and unfortunately cigerette butts) that made up the beach. On the last day we even took the girls on the big slides at the hotel complex which they thoroughly enjoyed!!
Enya and I on the big slide

Enya and her shades Our girls had to have been the most uncool kids in the pool, these photos will be bribe worthy in 16 years time!

Ciara refused to wear her sunglasses

I had been warned in the internet reviews that the food in the hotel was not suitable for young children, what a load of rubbish! I'm very grateful that I had my puree stick with though as Enya got very lazy after a couple of days and refused all table foods even bread, but ate the foods pureed with gusto. In one sitting we even got down about 400g of food with not a hint of protest or distraction required (at home she eats about 200g max). Ciara was Ciara and just ate everything and came back wanting more. The staff at the hotel were fantastic and couldn't do enough to help us, we were spoilt and I unfortunately have managed to put on a kilo or three due to the fantastic food we were offered. What really amazed me though was the effort that went into decorating the buffet tables- they have some real artists on their team.
Table decorations

Enya's cot

PS is that not the ugliest doll you have ever seen? The girls love them though and that's what counts.

Lastly a gratutious Ciara photo showing her pulling her latest face, to balance things out as Enya has had so many photos already in this post.

10 Jun 2009

The holiday

I should be a lot more excited about going on holiday, to be honest I think I'm fairly dreading it! We are going away with another family and it was all booked in November last year. What has changed in the meantime is that the other woman, JS, is pregnant. If you can remember I posted in November about her crying because it didn't work the first month, well it took her 4 months! She is now 4 months pregnant and has the pretty much the same due date that I would have had with my girls. She is understandably very happy and keeps wanting to talk about her pregnancy and it's various symptoms with me. I CANNOT handle this for 2 weeks!! However as we booked this holiday together Z is going to insist on spending most of the time with the other family.

On the same note Z and I had the TALK again last night, you know the one about having another child. He is still adament he wants no more children. My heart is breaking.

I REALLY don't want this holiday!

9 Jun 2009


Before I got married packing was something that was done at the last minute and if anything was forgotten, well that is what a credit card is for, isn't it! THEN I met Z!!

Now I have a 3 page list with blocks to check when things are packed, I started packing nearly a week before we fly and I'm taking everything except the kitchen sink with us (it was too heavy!). The airline is not helping us as they gave the girls a 20kg luggage allowance each, even though they don't have a seat (yup 3 hour flight with 2 squirmy toddlers on our laps). That means folks, we are allowed to pack EIGHTY KILOS for our holiday. The scary thing is I think we are going to come close to our limit!! Little people sure need a lot of stuff. Before anyone suggests it, no we are not taking all our nappies with us, we'll buy when we're in Turkey.

Remember my last update on new tricks, well here are the latest from Ciara:
Conquering the high chair

Who needs shoulder straps in the car seat

And because it's my blog and I can,
Ciara and Enya in their high chairs

me and my girls

they really didn't want a picture with their mother!!

6 Jun 2009

Countdown to our holiday

Can you believe in less than 6 days we are going on holiday. Needless to say today was spent getting all the things we needed (not so much for the girls but for Z and I) so it can be washed before we leave. I refuse to go clothes shopping alone with the girls as they have no patience, so I land up just grabbing stuff to try on at home and then land up returning it the next week.

I'm still a bit concerned with how C and E are going to manage the meals there but if all else fails I'm sure they have yoghurt and fruit in Turkey too! Happily dropping down to one bottle has been a great success with both girls now finishing a 300ml bottle each in the morning and eating more at the other mealtimes too. They are also wanting lots more water at other times during the day. Now I just have to really gather my courage and drop the last bottle too (not before our holiday though!!).

C and E have learnt a few new tricks in the past week, Ciara has been shaking her head for over a year but now Enya is doing it too. Unfortunately they are not doing it to indicate no, rather just for the sensation and the reaction they get. They also both nod their head, usually just after they've shaken it so again not with any meaning. The funniest trick though is Enya "head bangs" everytime she is sitting and some music comes on, it makes driving in the car with the radio on very entertaining(not least for the people in cars next to us who suddenly see a child and the driver too suddenly start head banging). Ciara on the other hand has mastered climbing into her high chair alone, she usually trys to sit down facing backwards but she manages to climb up and in all by herself.

5 Jun 2009

lose one, gain one

...is a fair summary of our visit to the preemie follow up clinic yesterday.

The Doc was very impressed with the progress Enya has made and agrees with the plans we have in situ for monitoring appointments with the physio. She also agreed to Enya continuing the play therapy (although we are on the waiting list and will now probably only get seen towards the end of the year). Her comment here was that Enya needs it not because she is delayed but more because she is so distractable and all over the place. She has difficulty settling down and concentrating on one toy or task.

While we were already there, I thought I would raise the point of Enya's eating, as she is still pocketing her food and it can take her ages- minutes- to swallow a mouthful of food (not so much purees, they go down as easy as water, which is why they are still on the menu). The doc has referred us back to the speech therapist (ST) for a review at how Enya is eating. I may just use the time before we get our appointment (another waiting list, last time it took us nearly 2 months before Enya was seen)to go to a ST away from the Kinderklinik, as the therapist we had there was less than useless.

Thankfully the doc saw no need for the girls to have any hearing tests or ST for their speech even though they are still very limited in what they actually say.

4 Jun 2009

Enya did it

She did so well at physio yesterday that we're having a summer break! We go back in about 7 weeks for a check up and if she is maintaining the progress she made so far and continuing her development alone we won't need any more physio (although we may keep having check ups at regular intervals)!! I'm obviously delighted and I think Enya will be too, no more fights on top of the washing machine for us over summer (we have our changing mat on the machine and that's where we did physio too, as it is the right height and padded).

In other news they have both learnt to climb a ladder this past week. Our neighbour has a ladder set up for her granddaughter (Anna) to reach her slide and after watching her do it, both my girls decided to give it a try. Enya manages better than Ciara as she is more flexible and has less weight to heave up, but Ciara can do the first 2 rungs as well (then she freezes, I think she may have a little fear of heights as she does the same when she climbs the open metal grate stairs to our overhead neighbours). I want to take the ladder away but C and E also saw Anna running up the actual slide and if the ladder isn't there they try climb up the front of the slide too, Enya has managed halfway up the slide when Ciara distracted me for a second. Twins teamwork I tell you!

For today we have an exciting outing to the Preemie neurodevelopmantal clinic planned, this is the extra appointment Enya got after the last routine check up, where the doc freaked out about Enya's walking. She insisted on a 3 month follow up with a view to involving other specialities if Enya didn't improve- I'm really hoping she is impressed with Enya's progress as we all are. I saw some video from March last night and Enya has a much more stable and normal gait pattern now, even her tummy isn't as protuberent anymore. She will also get weighed and I'm quite intrigued what the scales say (I packed our scales away over a month ago), I doubt she has put on any weight but lets wait (weight ;0)) and see.

PS I bit the bullet and cut out the evening bottles, they are drinking well during the day even if they refuse everything but water. We'll see how things go for the next few days.

2 Jun 2009

Goodbye Neurologist

Ciara has been discharged (finally) from neurology. We had been going back for 6 monthly control EEG's and developmental checks at our local paediatric neurology practice, following both girls being put onto phenoba.rbitol in the weeks after they were born. They were only on it for 6 weeks thank goodness and we have had no signs of any seizures since they came off it, but as they were so preemie and had suspected seizures initially the neurologists wanted to follow them up closely.

The doc still wants to see Enya in December as she still sees "deficits" although she was very surprised to hear Enya was still recieving physio. I'm just really hoping we don't need to do another EEG as the girls are getting harder and harder to contain for the 8 minutes recording time- Ciara had hands like an octopus trying to get at all the wires on her head, Enya was calmer but still not easy.

I'm trying to decide if I should tempt fate and mention how long we've been vomit free (excluding the tummy bug vomits which don't count!) but I think I'll keep quiet, let sleeping dogs lie and all that!! Enya is losing all interest in her bottles (I know I should stop giving them but until last week they were not drinking enough from a sippy during the day for me to feel comfortable doing that, they also only drink water from their sippys). I think I'll try dropping the evening bottle first as Enya shows the least interest in that one, although we may have trouble convincing Ciara of this plan, she will quite happily drink 300ml from her bottle in one sitting.

Cooking lessons

Z is determined that C and E are not going to be as handicapped in the kitchen as their mother is. I can only cook if I've got a recipe to follow, Z cooks more from instinct and experience. One guess hwo usually cooks in our household!
Enya learning to make rhubarb crumble Bed shots
Enya, she always pulls off her left sock during her naptime