30 Jul 2009


We got homework from play therapy again today: this week we have to practice sitting still when we sing nursery rhymes. Right now their favourite song is "wheels on the bus", with both Ciara and Enya occasionally making the hand movements to match (finger to mouth by ssh ssh ssh, rubbing eye by wah wah wah etc.) Unfortunately all the songs that get sung at play therapy are a) german and b)unknown to me, so we can't practice them at home which means the girls have no interest in them at play therapy.

Enya has made progress in some of the other skills we've been working on which means we get to ramp up the difficulty again. Yippee for Enya, unfortunately I couldn't find the little sticks she needs to start putting into a bottle, despite visiting 2 branches of the store where the therapist said they were available. So we might have to try with toothpicks instead, although then obviously very closely supervised!

I'm debating buying C and E some musical instruments for their birthday as they both love music and when the therapist brings out the drum, two small sets of eyes light up. I know they are still very young but why not encourage the interst if it is there (I may to reconsider my take on music class as well maybe!)

29 Jul 2009

New developments

It seems like the girls are going through another developmental spurt. Ciara has learnt to open doors which means yet again we've lost safe places. It uesd to be that anything we didn't want them to get hold of, we would put into our bedroom and close the door. Well that no longer works, witness me desperately searching for the till slip from our recently bought and now deceased coffee machine which Z had left on his bedside table. She also delights in slamming doors which means I have to invest in some door stoppers before we lose any fingers. Thank goodness when my parents were visiting, my dad fixed a child proof latch on our bathroom cupboard so I don't have to worry about the monsters getting into the detergents and cleaning supplies.

Talking about doors, we've had a couple of incidence where Ciara has locked us out. On the weekend she shut the terrace door while we were sitting with friends out on the patio. That is not bad but then she lifted the handle, locking the door. We didn't think she could do it so had no keys outside with us and no other way into the house. Thank goodness our friends 3 year old daughter was in the house too and she opened the door for us but it could have ended very badly (Enya was also in the house).

Then on Monday I was having a cleaning blitz of the kitchen and bedrooms, I'd hauled all our kitchen chairs into the entrance hall to wash the kitchen floor and was just starting our bedroom floor (directly opposite the kitchen across the hall), I'd shut the door to keep the monsters from sliding on the wet floor, when I heard something. I went to the door to see what the terrible two were up to and found I couldn't open the door. Ciara has slid a kitchen chair so the backrest was under the handle and I couldn't push it down. You can imagine my panic as I realised I didn't even have a phone with me to ring for help. Thankfully we live on the ground floor and our windows open such that I could get out it. I hopped out our bedroom window and ran to our landlady to see if I could get a house key, unfortunately she was out, as was her daughter who lives upstairs. As I ran back I glanced in the window by our front door to see Ciara disappearing into our bedroom. She'd obviously couldn't hear me and had gotten curious, she'd moved the chair again and opened the door. The end result is Z and I have decided we need a spare key somewhere outside so when this happens again (and it will, I don't doubt it!) we have another way in.

Still writing about Ciara (what can I say, she's had an eventful week so far), it finally happened last night. I went in to their room like I always do just before I go to bed to tuck them in again and stroke their sweet little heads. This time however Ciara was standing bolt upright by her cot side (she sometimes does this as when the bedroom door opens it wakes her up), I picked her up to lie her back down and noticed her babygro was open all the way down the front. When I started doing it up I realisied it was wet and her nappy was hanging at half mast, so of course I had to check her bed which was of course soaking wet. I knew it had to happen, I'm just glad we found out then and not in the morning. So we are now going to try 2 piece pj's as so far she hasn't started pulling her trousers down but press studs and zips she can undo!

Enya has put her first 2 word sentence together in the meantime. "Hallo mommy" while playing on the couch. I don't know if it was just fluke and then because I responded so positively with "hallo Enya" it got repeated over and over, or what, but we played that little game for 5 minutes or so before she got bored. I have to thank our toy phones for teaching the girls to say hello and bye bye. They both love to hold the phone to their ears and say hello or bye bye, just the rest of the conversation is still a bit lacking (although Enya does sometimes babble into the phone). Ciara even does bye bye with a wave and she is definitely using it appropriately, waving and bye bying strangers; birds; even her poo when we flush it away down the toilet (the poo, not the strangers, go down the loo ;0).

I'm now starting to relax about the whole speech thing, I think something has gone click in the last 2 weeks and they are slowly getting it!

27 Jul 2009

More words

Other words that I forgot to mention: both girls say "down" and "oh dear" with prompting. I have to celebrate every word!

Enya even said "two" today, but only if I said it first. We'll have to see if she says it tomorrow too.

24 Jul 2009


I did something really stupid yesterday. I had a look at the Baby Centre site at what 20 month olds are supposed to be up to. THe part that shocked me was that they said 20 month old toddlers should be putting 2 word sentences together.. uummmm, okay then.

I'm really delighted because our girls are finally saying some words, although they still often require prompting to speak and not just gesture. I still say that Enya is slightly ahead of Ciara verbally but Ciara is catching up fast.

Enya: mommy, daddy, up (to be picked up), bitte (wants something or to give us something), bye bye, ball (pronounced the german way), empty, all done, hello, tick tock, mine, Anna (Enya?), auto (car in german), eins (one in german)

Ciara: Mommy, daddy, up, bitte, ball, bye bye, all done, hiya, mine, tick tock, Anna, auto
only really with prompting

Wow listing it made me realise they actually can say quite a few words, I know Enya also understands a lot of words, for instance she can point to her ears, hair, mouth, nose, feet, fingers and belly button when asked. She can make several animal noises too, although she doesn't point to any animals when we show her a picture of them (except the butterfly). That is more our fault as we don't often look at books with the girls as they get bored very quickly or start to fight to get our undivided attention just for them.

Ciara doesn't point to anything except her nose when asked, and apart from hissing doesn't make any animal noises. My gut feeling is she has not yet made the full connection between verbalising and communicating and when she does there will be no holding her back!

23 Jul 2009

Happy birthday to me

I've had a surprisingly wonderful day today considering I really wasn't looking forward to this day (the big 3-5).

Z surprised me by letting me sleep in, we were really lucky as the girls slept in too (well 7:30 is sleeping in in our household). Of course when I realised how late it was I started rushing around like a mad thing. He let me continue flapping until after the girls were finished breakfast, when he told me he'd taken the day off to spend with us.

The girls had a 3 hour nap after breakfast while I just relaxed and enjoyed a quiet morning (Z did all the cleaning up, isn't he a honey!!). Then we all went out for lunch, where for the first time ever the girls just ate normal table foods, including meats, off our plates (usually meat is spat straight back at us as it's too much work to chew). After a relaxed leisurely lunch we went to a local toy store to find the girls their birthday present before driving home to enjoy a toasted cheese dinner and putting two exhausted toddlers to bed and now I'm just relaxing for the evening (woohoo, we're down to one extra long nap a day, finally!!).

Writing it down, it doesn't sound so special but it was a real family orientated day with no time pressures and exactly what we haven't been enjoying recently. It was the perfect day and therefore the perfect birthday.

PS. Mom I love my links and bracelet~ I'm going to have to watch out though as Ciara has already tried on the bracelet. She made a beeline straight for it when I opened my present this morning. Thank you very much.

20 Jul 2009

Where are my happy babies?

We are battling on with temper tantrums and screaming fits in the Z household.

Ciara is back to waking at 3 am (although yesterday it was Enya to give her her due too) and was not to be quietened, she stopped crying if I tickled her back but started again as soon as I stopped. I eventually left her to cry it out- around one hour later I finally got to sleep, I don't actually know when she stopped crying!

We had to wake the girls then this morning after their very disturbed night and I tried to keep them up after breakfast so they could only get one nap today but that wasn't happening! I might try not letting them have a midday nap anyway, because at nearly 2 years they should only need one nap and they wake up in such a rotten mood after a second nap that my gut feeling is they may be getting too much sleep. I will really miss the 2nd nap, as that is when I blog but heyho it has to go!!

Enya has in the last couple of weeks developed a high pitched yell which she uses everytime she doesn't get her way or feels frustrated, she is using it constantly right now. If she can't get a bottle lid to fit she yells, if I tell her no she yells, if I won't give her my knife she yells etc. etc. Ciara can do it too, but a) her cry isn't quite as piercing and b) she does it much less frequently. I'm going to mention this to the play therapist when we visit this week, see if she can add that to our list of goals- help Enya to control/work through her frustration constructively.

My darling daughters have also decided that their buggy is the worst form of torture ever. They want to walk (for 20m then they want to stand in front of their buggy and play with the straps) or run across the road. If I can keep the buggy moving it's usually not too bad (we try and outrun the crys!!) but stationary is way bad! If I could trust them to walk with me I swear I'd abandon this instrument of torture.

The only plus thing about the tantrums we've been having is, I've been getting more cuddles from my girls. They keep coming to me for comforting and cuddling which is always nice but I'd still like my happy babies back please!!

In a completely different direction: we weighed the girls this week and for the first time Enya is over the 10 percentile curve for her adjusted age- she is around the 25 percentile line (10,5 kg or 23 pounds, approx 80cm tall), Ciara is taking after her daddy and is plotting over the 90 percentile line (13.2kg or 29 pounds and approx 86cm). Hard to imagine they were born both barely on the 10 percentile curve! Although we now seem to be entering the "otherwise" toddler stage, with food refusals par excellance this last week, so I expect the weights to plateau until they master feeding themselves. I'm trying to relax and let them self regulate the amounts they eat and now that I know we are doing so well on the charts I think we have the leighway to let them experiment with what they need/want. I'm also trying to cut down on offering them biscuits as a snack, although Ciara refuses fresh fruit she will eat dried fruits instead.

I think I've babbled enough today so I'll stop typing and just wish you all a happy Monday!

17 Jul 2009

AWOL again

Sorry we were visiting friends up North last weekend and then had a friend, Julie, come to stay this week. We're really proud of Julie as she has just completed her first Ironman triathlon!!

We also had our first play therapy appointment yesterday, it was just questions about what Enya does, doesn't do, likes and doesn't like. It will however be a weekly appointment for the next little while. I had to laugh though, as during the appointment Enya was offered a bell in a tin which she proceeded to take out, but then immediately wanted to put the lid back on the tin. Variations on this theme happened several times during the appointment and it culminated with the therapist asking me if I always get the girls to help me tidy up (mostly yes). Enya also amply displayed her most recent tricks, one good, one not so good. She is now pointing with her index finger at objects (sometimes even objects we've named for her), she has also started banging her head on walls, furniture or floors if she doesn't get her own way. This is purely attention seeking (she watches us and stops if we leave the room or turn our backs on her) and the therapist fully agreed with our chosen response saying if we react it will be positive feedback for a negative action, if you know what I mean! Ciara has also done this a few times but Enya does it constantly. We're at 6 weeks and counting for a speech therapy appointment, although I'd rather not start until after next weeks physio check up is out the way anyway.

Just to round things off it looks like both girls are coming down with something, they've been off their food for the last few days and this morning Enya was wretching before she even got breakfast. She only drank 30ml of watered down milk (I know they shouldn't get milk if they are nauseous but my girls refuse all other liquids particulaly when they are ill) and ate 5 spoons of cereal. Cosidering that her mornng bottle is her main source of liquid for the day, today is not going to be pretty!

10 Jul 2009

B and J run

I've been resisting all week but after the grotty day I had yesterday (migraine all day) I think I'm going to have to take the girls for a grocery shop just so I can get my hands on some ice cream. Am I sad or what?

PS if anyone has any bright ideas regarding how to keep nappies on in bed I'm all ears. I'm thinking duct tape!!

9 Jul 2009


We have a stripper!

For the second time this morning I walked in to find a naked Ciara standing in bed. Thankfully althouh she removed her nappy she didn't pee in her bed but I'm sure that will come ;0). I'm going to have to find some zip up PJ's as she hasn't quite mastered full length zips yet.

In other news we have no hot water- our upstairs neighbours were messing around with their heaters and seem to have taken out the heating system (combined heating and hot water supply). I hope this gets fixed quickly as I'm getting tired of always having builders and repairmen here (our kitchen still isn't finished 6 weeks later!!)

PS Start play therapy next week but we're still waiting for our Speech therapy appointment. At the rate this is going we won't need it by the time we get to the top of the list.
PPS Enya can now say hello, Ciara is satisfied with a simple hi.

8 Jul 2009

Lunchtime fun...

When I opened the door this is what was in our drive!

We're gettin a carport built for us and after great fun helping to excavate the holes for the foundations (you should have seen the gravel nappies we've had) the foundations were finally poured today. I wish I'd had more hands that I could have filmed the girls reaction- they were both squealing and just wanted to run and investigate this huge machine, unfortunately my hands were occupied trying to hold the terrible two out of danger.

Speaking of terrible twos, can you believe they are going to be TWO years old in just over 5 weeks!! Z has alrady started teaching them to hold up 2 fingers. I'm baking a practice birthday cake ) to try to figure out how to make a half sphere cake - wish me luck!!

7 Jul 2009

another perfect day

Play with me mommy

A typical photo of Ciara at present, she loves the camera. She has gone around for the last few days with Z's ID card from the Bio trade fair around her neck. I think she thinks it is a necklace, she loves bracelets and handbags too- she is going to be very expensive in years to come!

On the seesaw with our landlady's granddaughter

Above are some of the photos I promised you yesterday (I need to get Z to do some photoshop editing on the others before I can post them).

Yesterday was a really great day, the girls are back to taking two 2 hour naps a day, so they are not as grumpy as they were last week. I also took them on a long walk to get out the house as I'm convinced half the trouble is they were bored. We walked to some local shops- about a half hour walk, longer as part of the walk is on a quiet track between fields where I let them out the pram so they could run around a bit. They were little angels and stayed on the path and even helped me push the pram.

When we got to the store I discovered they now stock Ben and Jerrys ice cream! I love B&J and one of the first things I did after arriving in Germany 6 years ago was check out the stores for it, no luck then but it is now available. I managed to resist the temptation to buy a tub as it was a really hot day and it was a long way home but I will be heading back to the shops soon to stock up the freezer;0).

I landed up busing home as my comfy shoes gave me blisters. Again this was a pleasant surprise as I had no trouble getting onto the bus with my twin buggy and there was even a space for prams or wheelchairs left open. I didn't even have to pay for the girls, aparently they only start paying from 6 years of age. I can see some adventures on the bus coming up.

6 Jul 2009

Family weekend

This past weekend was a real family weekend. I can't say that we did anything special but it was nonetheless a wonderful weekend. We barbequed on Saturday night, slept in late (well 8 am is late for us recently) on Sunday and then pancakes for brunch. The weather has been hot and sticky so we took most of our meals outside on the terrace, I love this.

Enya can now climb the ladder to the slide alone I just need to help her sit down on the slide. She can also climb up the front of the slide all the way to the top although I stand next to her for safety (Z and I decided they were both going to do it anyway so better that they learn to do it safely than we spend all our time stopping them and later they do it anyway and hurt themselves). Ciara only gets about halfway up the front of the slide and then collapses onto her tummy and slides down, she also can't manage the ladder as with the big cloth nappies on she is not flexible enough to get her foot up onto the next rung. But that's OK, she'd rather swing anyway!
( I was going to add some photos but blogger won't let me add photos today, I really hope this feature comes back, unlike my spell check which still is non functional!!)

3 Jul 2009

times they are a changing

Taking the chair for a walk

It's becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that I no longer have babies, that my little treasures are turning into proper little girls before my very eyes.

Since coming back from our holidays, we've had another spate of things changing to adapt to our "big girls". First of all dummies are a thing of the past now, for both girls. We decided this change was urgent while still on holiday as both girls were wandering around the whole day with a dummy in their mouths. Usually at home they only got a dummy in bed but on holiday they were so whingy we gave in and let them have a dummy outside of their cots. I'm happy to report this has been an incredibly painless change, if they do wake up in the night we just go in and tickle their backs for a few minutes and they drift off to sleep again- we haven't had to do this more than 2-3 times though as they usually settle by themselves after one or two crys.

The next change is we've removed the front bars from their highchairs. They were both climbing up the chairs and trying to climb into them over the bars and this was very scary to watch as they balance on one foot on a narrow area while lifting the other over *shudder*. They are both also so quick that I'd turn round for a blink of the eye and when I turned back, there they would be teetering on the highchair! With the bar gone they can still climb up but they don't have to do the balancing act to get in. We are also using the harnesses so they stay in the chair for the meal (thanks once again mom, for the harnesses!!) although my feeling is we won't need them for long. I have to laugh though when I start preparing the meal and both girls come into the kitchen and climb into their chairs, Ciara even trys to put on her bib while Enya has a couple of times tried to put on her harness!
Self feeding in the chair

I must say that the harness is very well accepted by both girls, we have no fighting when we put the harnesses on, rather the opposite, they love to get their harnesses put on as they know they are either going to be fed or we're going out.

The last change we have instituted is that we are starting to think about toilet training them. I know they are not yet really ready for this, but we want to get them used to sitting on the toilet/potty so they aren't scared of it. We're starting off by just putting them onto the training seat when we change their nappies and clapping and feting them when they sit on it for a couple of minutes. So far it's going very well, Enya was very suspicious at first but now sits quite happily, Ciara is not quite so sure but will stay for a couple of minutes before trying to climb down. I have the big girl underwear in the cupboard but think I will leave that for a couple of weeks still.
Loo time

Where have my little babies gone!!

2 Jul 2009

Continuing along the lines of my post from yesterday, another thing that has gotten more interesting (read challenging) now that the girls are older is shopping.

Admittedly I never did the weekly shop with the girls in tow (and still don't if I can possibly avoid it) but every now and then I have to go and pick up things that was forgotten during the normal grocery run. When the girls were babies I'd have one in a sling, one in the carseat in the trolley and all was good.

Now days I have one in the trolley seat, one sitting in the trolley and spend half my time rescuing the fruit from being trod on or the packets from being chewed or the milk from bring chucked down onto the floor. Thankfully Enya is very good about not trying to climb out the trolley and it is deep enough it is unlikely she will fall out accidently but it still makes even a quick shop more stressful than it used to be. (before anyone asks, no we don't have any twin/sibling trolleys in any of our local stores)

Clothes shopping (eg before our holiday) is a big NO NO! They hate it and are incredibly whingy from the moment we walk into the shop. They also try and pull everything off the hangers, which considering most shops walkways are barely wide enough for a twins buggy, are always in reach. Nope, clothes shopping is at this time not possible without at least 2 adults present.

Every cloud has a silver lining though so at least it's keeping me out the shops and spending money. Now if only internet shops didn't exist ;0).

More eating faces for family!

1 Jul 2009

Life with twins

I remember right at the beginning being told (and reading in the internet) that with twins the first year is hard but then it gets easier than it would be with a singleton. The theory was that twins will play together and therefore entertain each other. Well let me disillision you now, I've found this second year to be much harder than the first. Don't get me wrong there are definite highlights to this second year as well, but it has definitely been more work and less "selfish me" time and still twice as "hard" as it would be with a single toddler.

The first year is hard because of the lack of sleep with round the clock feedings and midnight wakings once they are suposedly sleeping through. But generally as long as the babies are getting fed, cuddled, have dry nappies and allowed to sleep they are generally content and "easy to please" and really in MHO not that much work. This all changes when they start moving about, suddenly you need to be making sure they are not getting into anything dangerous and have to provide a bit more on the entertainment front as they are no longer always asleep, but at that stage still not very hard to manage.

The reason I've found this second year so challenging is now they have more complex needs than just comfort, love, food and sleep. And unfortunately in a lot of cases they don't have the means to communicate these needs yet. This means multiple meltdowns when they don't get what they want, because we just don't know what it is they are looking for. They also are more mobile and into everything but have no sense of self preservation, this means when they are awake we have to be with them and can't do anything too involved chore wise due to the need to supervise constantly. THey also get bored very easily and so require more entertainment, the old myth that twins entertain each other- in our case it's rubbish. They steal each other's toys and copy each other but actual playing together doesn't come until later in their development (according to my milestone chart at about 3 years on average). This means we spend a lot of time mediating little wars.

Now again please don't get me wrong I love my twins and I wouldn't want to give either of them up but I would also like to set the record straight, twins don't suddenly get easier as they get older. They remain double the work of singletons but they also give double the joy and rewards! Watching them give each other a cuddle when the one is crying (only happens if the cause wasn't a toy war!!) or babbling to each other as seriously as though they were discussing world peace are very precious momoents and wouldn't be possible if they weren't both there.