28 Sep 2009

What I did while Germany was voting

Have to keep this short as my blasted computer isn't charging and I don't have much juice left!

Z spent the evening watching the results of the vote rolling in, I spent the evening in the kitchen playing with scraps of material left over from the girls duvets and this was the result.


And so you don't miss your C and E fix, some photos of the girls . Their hair is finally long enough to put a pony tail, of sorts, in.


I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to post again, I'll have to borrow Z's computer!

24 Sep 2009

Bad follows the good

So after my wonderful Tuesday, Wedensday turned out to be not so good! Our washing machine which has been suspect for a while, upped and died on me (in the middle of a wash of course)!

Now it would be difficult in the best of circumstances (basket of wet washing and pushing a twins pram is not something I'd particularly like to try) but I can't find a laundromat here. I have no idea what people without washing machines do- the only thing I've found is professional cleaning firms and I'm not paying those kind of prices! My landlady very nicely let us use her machine to finish yesterday's wash and said we can use it today as well, which is great as I had the girls in cloth nappies before the machine broke. I'm really hoping that we will have a new machine though by Monday at the latest, otherwise I'm going to be buried under a mountain of washing.

In the meantime disposables rule again!!

23 Sep 2009

Ahhhh, much better!

Yesterday was the third playgroup meeting and went much better than last week. Aside here: I debated taking some Febreze with me to the meeting as I was convinced the whole room would stink from Enya's efforts last time, but the air was surprisingly fresh. I also think someone else had a more successful turn at cleaning the chairs as they all looked remarkably clean.

Window hedgehogs

We made hedgehogs to hang in the window, the girls coloured/scribbled on the paper and then we cut it out and hung a paper ball in the middle of it and voila a hedgehog window decoration. There were fewer people there this week so the instructor was able to supervise Ciara and all in all made for a super morning. I'm so glad I signed us up for this group as the other moms are really nice and as they don't really know each other, it is not very cliquey (have I just made up that word?). Also there is a plan to the morning, it's not just a mommy's gossip session as the other groups we tried were.
The paw prints from last week before the chair cleaning session became necessary

For your added enjoyment here are so more photos from the past week
Schloss Bad Berleberg

Helping daddy with the firewood transport



PS gotta love it, Enya's newest word "goober" instead of "booger"

21 Sep 2009

Some new words have come in the last few days: shoes has metamorphisized into shu-shews, bud is bird and light (pronounced correctly). We often call the girls mucky puppies when they make a mess eating, to which they always respond "puppy". On Friday while we were driving home from the shops, Ciara suddenly started pointing at her ear saying "Ohr" (german for ear). Now we've taught them the body parts in english and they still only point to the parts and don't name them, so I don't know where it came from but hey it's a new word.

I had this weekend off from child care to do a refresher course in preparation for going back to work next year. I can't believe how the time is flying now! The course was really good and we even got to treat some patients yesterday. It was in a very picturesque old town with a beautiful schloss, not that we had a lot time off to look around! The family that lives in it is linked somehow to the Danish royal family and are titled themselves. Unfortunately they don't open their schloss to the public as I used to love visiting the stately homes in England.

Okay got to go, a little monster is calling me.

18 Sep 2009

Beautiful autumn days

We're having a golden autumn again (at least for the next few days) and loving every minute of it.

Yesterday after the girls midday nap we went for a walk in the woods near us (idiot me forgot the camera). I pushed the girls in the buggy until we reached the woods and then they walked until we got back to the road again, it was not much more than a kilometer but they managed most of the distance on foot. It was delightful to see them taking such interest in their surroundings, we even sat on the bench and listened to the wind blowing through the trees. Aside: only possible because I bribed them with raisins but it was still a beautiful PEACEFUL moment enjoying nature. I got stones,twigs and leaves brought to me for inspection and I even saw both girls purposefully standing on sticks (they were petrified of sticks earlier in the summer).

The girls even got to watch 2 horses in their paddock beside the path. I had to keep a tight grip on the terrible two as they were fascinated and Enya especially wanted to get even nearer than the one meter seperating us from the huge horses. Now I just have to find some accessible cows in our area as they now know the word "cow" and what the cow says but I'd love to show them a cow in real life. There is a huge difference between the tiny drawings or figures of animals and the sheer size and presence of them in real life. Unfortunately I have yet to find a proper petting farm/zoo in the area.

17 Sep 2009

Doo-doo finger

Here in Germany it is common to wag your index finger at a child when it is being told off, it's called the doo-doo finger. Both Z and I do this sometimes when we are joking around, but obviously we've been doing it way too often...as both girls now wave their index finger at me when I scold them. It has even got to the stage where if I tell Enya off for putting her feet on the table, Ciara starts waving her finger at Enya.

Unfortunately I haven't managed to capture it on film, as who has a camera at hand when they are telling their kids off.

In other news baked beans and maccaroni cheese are now the favourite dishes followed closley by salmon footballs and tofu with apple. We are pretty much puree free although meat still needs to be either processed (sausages yum!) or cooked very tender in stew etc. The only worry is that Ciara is starting to turn her nose up at anything that is green and vaguely healthy!

15 Sep 2009

nappy bag

Considering the size of my nappy bag you would think I had everything but the kitchen sink in it. Unfortunately I rarely seem to have what I need and am always very envious of other moms with their slim small nappy bags that seem to magically produce everything they (I) require- "clothes?... Here I have a pair of trackies and an extra pair of stockings!" or "a cup?... Here I always carry an extra just in case".

Today was a perfect example- we had the pay group again and today fingerpainting was on the agenda. I knew this was going to be a bit fraught but was looking forward to the experience as well. It started off okay as we got good handprints from Ciara and Enya but then Enya decided to taste test the paint. She didn't like the taste and pulled a horrible grimacing face and then suddenly upchucked part of her breakfast all over herself, the chair and her "painting". Needless to say in my huge bag were NO change of clothes, NO cloth to wipe the mess up with and unfortunately NO deodoriser for the room! The chair was covered in a coarse weave fabric that the more I rubbed to clean, the deeper the vomit seemed to penetrate. After cleaning Enya, the table and the chair up I thought I could relax, disaster conquered. But to round things off nicely, I then had a second chair to clean off. Despite me warning the instructor that she needed to keep a close eye on Ciara while I was repairing Enya's damage, Ciara managed to cover her chair in paint too. (We had an agreement when I signed up for this playgroup that the instructor would supervise one of the twins when an activity came up that required one on one interaction)

Thank goodness next week some activity with sewing is planned, apart from eating the needle not too much can go wrong there! (I assume the moms will sew fingerpuppets for the kids, something quick and easy)

14 Sep 2009

Sniffles

We're all down with the sniffles right now and with the weather here being so miserable and none of us sleeping well, we are all of us feeling a bit sorry for ourselves.



On the bright side I've finally finished the blanket for our landlady's eagerly awaited new grandchild, after umming and aahing about it for the last few months. I am now just awaiting the arrival announcement before handing it over, hopefully she likes it as the colours are based on the decoration scheme of the baby's bedroom.


Today I went back to the store where we'd bought the girls birthday present from in the mood for a fight (think tired, sick and extremely cranky). I'd been back there 4 weeks ago as the "birthday" kitchen we'd bought hadn't been complete and they were going to order the parts for me (it had been the last of it's kind in stock and they didn't know if they were going to get it again). Fast forward 4 weeks and having still heard nothing I was very sour, I rocked up there spoiling for a fight and the assistants suddenly couldn't have been more helpful (they must have an irate customer sensor). Everything was waiting including a complete set of accessories we didn't need and although they'd forgotten the tap, they'd had another delivery of the same kitchens so we got a tap out of one of the other boxes. They couldn't explain why I hadn't been contacted and told what was going on, so in apology I scored all the extra accessories (great as now I don't have to worry too much about things breaking or going missing).
The best thing about the whole experience was I never raised my voice or even really got a chance to complain, I stated my problem and the shop assistants ran about solving it for me. Perhaps german customer service isn't as bad as I've always thought!

10 Sep 2009

Kaputt spider

"KA-putt" and "peye-der" (spider) are the 2 newest words being uttered by the terrible two. Ciara delights in throwing everything on the floor and then stating "Ka-putt", not quite sure how we are going to manage this spell. I can't take all their toys away.

We have been practicing naming ourselves, you know Ciara, Enya, Mommy, daddy. They both will point to Enya if we ask where Enya is but they don't react when we ask where Ciara is. Ciara will in fact point at herself in the mirror and say "Enya". They refuse point blank to even say the name Ciara. I spoke to the play therapist about this today and she initially said maybe because it's harder to pronounce than Enya but kaputt is even harder and they manage that fine. I find this a bit ironic as I have tried so hard to treat them as individuals but they are still having a bit of an identity crisis. Neither girl will look at us immediately when we call their name and if we ask one to do something by name they both react. That being said if we ask name to give the other by name a cuddle they do react appropriately. I guess we just have to keep working on names.

They also are fascinated by building cranes right now and delight in pointing them out loudly to me everytime we drive past one, I now know where all the cranes in this area are! I believe they are going to be little tomboys as dolls are right now completely boring, cars and cranes and telephones are in.

9 Sep 2009

All about me

I'm feeling very virtuous. Having been guilted into it by my mother last night, I defrosted and cleaned my freezer this morning. Who cares that my dustballs are once again developing dustballs and that really the kids bedroom window is now opaque (they are always napping when I do windows- it's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!), I have a clean freezer!

8 Sep 2009

Home alone

Z vanished off to Budapest for 4 days so I've been home alone with the terrible two for the last few days, or not. I decided to risk driving up to friends in Muenster by myself with the girls and it worked a charm. I say risk driving up to Muenster as both girls have figured out how to get their shoulders out of the carseat straps and delight in doing this repeatedly. I have jerry rigged a breast strap so they can't thread their arms through anymore and am now waiting for their next trick. We had a lovely visit, we even all took a drive in one car (7 people in a Ford Galaxy) to go to the airport- four carseats in one car was a sight to behold, especially the 3 all in one row. It is getting easier to be alone for meals in the meantime but I do appreciate having some alternative "entertainment" for the girls apart from just me!

3 Romer kings all in a row


My nextdoor neighbour had a chat with me today about how I need to start leaving the girls to play by themselves (hello I'm trying to do that already) and how I must stop being Enya's "security blanket". Everytime something doesn't go Enya's way or Ciara steals her toy or hits her, Enya comes crying to me and I tend to pick her up and cuddle her (natural reaction I thought). However this mother of four is of the opinion that I am mollycoddling Enya and she needs to toughen up a bit and stand on her own two feet. I can see where she is coming from and I have already been trying to pull back a bit but I think she was a bit hard in her judgement of Enya. I hate how people come out with these unasked for criticisms, even though I know they are well meant. It makes me feel again like a kid in school being graded on how I'm doing as a parent.

On to a happier topic, we had our first morning at a new playgroup. This one is run by the council and is for 1-3 year olds. It was great fun with singing and NEW TOYS for the girls. As it was the first session of this term, the mom all got to drink coffee and eat breakfast together but we have been advised that in future we will spend the whole time interacting with the kids. Thank goodness, as the last groups we attended were more gossip sessions with the kids there almost only as accessories. I was really surprised at how well the girls participated as usually they have no patience with singing or activities that take longer than about 3 minutes. We've been told next week painting is on the cards so hopefully their interest continues and I have some lovely pictures to put in their art folders ;0).

The best part about today though was Ciara and Enya had a 3 hour nap at midday and I even got a one and a half hour nap in too. This meant we were all in a good mood come dinner time (no 4pm meltdown!!) and it made for a wonderfully relaxed meal, where I didn't get stressed at all regardless of how many times Ciara turned her cup over or spat her food out her mouth (my pet hate is when she plays with her chewed food and then throws it on the floor). I even got Ciara to put some apple in her mouth and suck on it. I gotta love this kid, she asks for apple the whole time but refuses to eat it in the non pureed form, even grated apple is suspect! Enya was so worried by the fact that Ciara seemed interested in the next apple slice that she landed up choking herself by stuffing a huge apple slice all at once in her mouth. Hopefully in the near future we will have 2 fruit eaters again.

4 Sep 2009

300th post....

...never thought I'd have so much to say!

We've had some doctors visits this week again, on Monday was the 2 year routine visit. I sometimes feel these are a waste of time, the doc is not really interested in investigating anything and seems to feel his job is just to reassure me everything is fine, "she fell on her head, don't worry babies bounce" (he did check her over) or "she's only drunk 100ml all day, if she's eating she'll get enough fluid from the purees" are 2 examples that immediately spring to mind. Although this time I mentioned in passing that Ciara only poos every 2-3 days AS SHE HAS BEEN DOING SINCE COMING HOME FROM HOSPITAL (and believe me I've mentioned this in semi hysterical tones to him several times before) and suddenly we need to give her lactalose to get her going once a day (I'll do it for 2-3 weeks and then no more!).

Both girls are smaller than I thought they were with Ciara only 88cm tall and Enya at 82cm- needless to say some of their dresses and trousers from last winter fit again this year! And both girls have tiny heads, Ciara's is 46 cm and Enya's is 42.5cm- their hats from last year will definitely fit again this year!

On Tuesday we had the appointment I've been dreading- the Eye Guy- remember him. I find him incredibly incommunicative and rude besides but he is the best guy in our region for premmie eye follow up. The other reason I so dread this visit is I'm just waiting for him to say our girls need glasses. The other premmies I follow are all getting them one by one, and with Z's family's eye history I know we will too, BUT I would like to delay it as long as possible as our girls don't like things on their faces, especially not glasses!

Anyways Eye Guy was looking quite well kept this time and we were out of there in one and a half hours, he even was reasonably friendly although as usual he didn't give me much info. Thankfully he has a new orthoptician and she explained to me what her findings were so I know a bit more. Both girls clearly saw the 3D images on the cards this time and had good range of eye movement, hopefully by next time they will be able to look more closely at how they are focusing, when the girls are able to point at named articles. Unfortunately we have to go back in 3 months time as they forgot to dilate the pupils for inspection of the retina this time and it needs to be checked every year (the last time they were dilated was Sept 08). SJOT!! Fun and games I tell you.

I have also signed the girls up for a mini club for 1-3 year olds once a week, again to get them out the house and in the company of other kids. I went to the orientation evening on Tuesday and the other moms seem nice, the teacher is very sweet and hopefully it will be fun for us all. The teacher emphasized that this is not a coffee morning where the moms sit and drink coffee while the kids play, we will be interacting and playing with the kids the whole time- she will take on one of my twins when one on one time is required. Ciara will probably be the willing victim again as Enya is still very anti strangers.

2 Sep 2009

Not so wordy Wedensday

I can't believe it is Wedensday already, this week is flying by!

For some reason I just can't motivate myself to blog although I've had lots to write about. On the weekend we had local elections and surprisingly even as a non german citizen I was allowed to vote for the local council, I'm obviously not allowed to in the national elections next month! Z and I decided to walk to the poll station with the kids and then continue on the 2 km to the nearest ice cream parlor for "lunch". It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed the walk especially the park we found on the way back home.
pushing the pram


finally independent on the park equipment


the monkey looks like she'll be mountain mad like her dad



She now goes down the slide by herself but she'll only go on her tummy


Our little carjacker


Ciara dressing up again- the positioning may need a bit more work but she knows where it goes!


Last but not least the results of that deadly silence when you just know they are up to no good!

What a night

Ciara decided at 11 pm last night that sleeping was for dumbos and proceeded to keep us all awake until 2am. I was partly to blame as I snuck in to tuck the girls in before I went to bed, as I always do, and must have woken her up. (aside: this is one of my favourite moments in the day, when they are both snuggled down fast asleep and I can sneak in, stroke their baby fine hair and soft skin and tuck them back up under their duvets).

I laid her back down tickled her cheek and gave her babee and the cow to cuddle and she seemed to settle down but after I left the room she proceeded to call intermittently until just after midnigt she started a full out hysterical crying fit. We went in twice to settle her down but as soon as we'd leave the room she'd start up again. In the end I went in and fetched her and cuddled with her on the rocker in the lounge while Z calmed Enya down and we landed up giving Ciara a dummy (GRRR! I thought we were done with the blasted things) to keep her quiet. Needless to say they have both crashed straight after breakfast this morning and I'm probably going to crash too when they have their midday nap later!