27 Oct 2009

living it up

I'm having a great time here in Houston, it's been lovely seeing my sister and exploring a new city. What I love best about a new country is that it makes even going to the grocery store an adventure. Surprisingly I'm not as "childsick" as I expected to be, perhaps because I'm phoning home everyday for updates and because I know Z is a devoted and gifted dad.

In the time I've been away though, Ciara has learnt how to climb out of her cot! We were really hoping that would take a little while longer to happen as there is no way the girls will stay in a toddler bed yet.

I'm now off to the gym to conquer the treadmill again (have to work off all those restaurant lunches somehow) and tomorrow we will be visiting a renaissance fair.

I can't believe my holiday is already half over! At the same time I also have going home to look forward to :0)

21 Oct 2009

One more sleep

Today it has really hit home that I only have another 10 hours of my daughters awake and then I don't see them for a LONG time *gulp*. We are leaving really early for the airport tomorrow and my mom offered to stay with the girls so we didn't need to wake them at some ungodly hour too. That's good, except it means I won't see my darling munchkins tomorrow and will have to say my goodbyes tonight *sniff*. I pick my mom up this evening from the airport as she is coming for 10 days to assit Z which we both really appreciate, thanks mom!

I also finally finished the next duvet cover for Ciara, it's taken me a couple of months and if I don't get a move on Enya will have outgrown her cot before I finish hers too.

Voila the new duvet cover

Hand embroidered butterfly

PS don't look at all the toys in the bed, I swear they are breeding as everytime I change the bed there are more of them to move around!

18 Oct 2009

4 sleeps to go!

Only THREE more days and then I'm flying on a jet plane (okay no jets, I'm flying good old BA).

Right now I'm alternating between really looking forward to the trip and dreading it. Looking forward to having a real holiday with no resposibility for the first time in 2 and a bit years and dreading being away from my family. There have only been a couple of days since the girls were born where I haven't seen them and those were all when they were still residents in the NICU. Hopefully I won't get too homesick (childsick?) while I'm away;0).

We landed up buying a second bobby car as the fighting has gotten out of hand with both girls wanting to ride it simultaneously. Now we just have to watch out for flying bobby cars when navigating our corridor, as Ciara and Enya love to chase each other around the flat on them.

At least giggles abound during the bobby car races which is more than I can say for other times of the day. Both girls are cutting canines and where the other teeth seem to have come through almost without us noticing them at all, the canines are the pits. At least Ciara now has all four and Enya only has 2 to go.

16 Oct 2009

Part two of the swop is finished

Our new bedroom is officially finished. We've reassembled our cupboard and hung our pictures even. I can't understand now looking at the finished products why we didn't do this ages ago. The girls, after a few problems at the beginning, are enjoying their room just for them. I'm enjoying not having to yell at them for attacking the files or the computer, finally we have a room that is safe for them to play alone in. The fact that it is just across from the kitchen just makes it even better. Now they just need to learn to play without me being present!

The girls room just needs the new curtains (on order), a carpet (still looking) and a wall needs to be repainted (this weekend) and then it will be all finished too. We have their old foam block mat from when they were babies as floor cover in the interim and I now remember why I packed it away. They delight in dismanteling it and scattering it around the house. Hopefully the new carpet will be found soonest!
The only photo on my computer of the foam block mat- Ciara a year ago, the first time she held her own bottle!

15 Oct 2009

play therapy swing

Ciara in the swing

The whole swing in profile

This is mostly for my mom, who quite rightly didn't understand my explaination of what the swing looked like. Enya usually hates all play ground swings but loves this one at play therapy. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of Enya lying back all relaxed in it as I had to distract Ciara with the mini carousel. Ciara would have otherwise hogged the swing-she is a huge swing fan and doesn't like to share it with her sister!

Word of the day is sista (sister).

14 Oct 2009

Sleeping babies

One advantage of the new room for Ciara and Enya is that they seem to sleep longer (when they finally go to sleep). This means this morning for the first time in ages I managed to get a shot of sleeping children. These are their typical sleeping positions.

Ciara with her bum in the air and her baby in reach

Enya spreadeagled, thumb in mouth and clutching her Cuski

The girls having discovered the word booger (or goober in Enya's case) have decided when we clean their ears, we're removing ear goobers (boogers). They find this fascinating, so facinating in fact they keep going after the earbuds to try fish out some goobers themselves. None of these photos were staged and yes I have now put the earbuds out of reach, although not as safe as I would like as the girls have discovered pushing a chair up to the furniture allows them to reach just about everywhere. My safe spots have pretty much all vanished now!

Here let me clean that for you

Enya: "Look, this is how to do it properly mommy!"

Last but not least our first attempt at watching a movie (Ice.age) with the girls- they lasted until the squirrelly thing got squashed and then proceeded to take their chairs for a walk.

13 Oct 2009

Still painting

Today I'm doing touch ups and this evening we're going to paint the accents in our new bedroom. Only one more night on the lounge floor and then hopefully we can start reassembling furniture and emptying all the clothes out our bath (what, it is somewhere out of reach of Ciara and Enya and out of our way so we don't have to keep moving it). Hopefully tomorrow we will be in our new bedroom come study.

The girls change over to their new room was quick but not exactly painless, they don't tend to sleep well in a strange enviroment and the new room took some getting used to (first night it took an hour of rocking and singing before finally the dummy tipped Ciara over the edge into sleeping). Thankfully last night was more like normal: kiss them goodnight, close the door, 5 minutes babbling to each other, the musical toys being activated a couple of times and then blessed silence until this morning at 7 o'clock.

New words from Ciara and Enya: wowie (lorry), Egil (german for hedgehog) and how du u du (How do you do- with a hand shake) the play therapist started it and both girls love to do it. I've even found them shaking each others hand saying "hello, how do you do" to each other.

12 Oct 2009

changing rooms

We've had a very productive weekend. Last week we began discussing swopping bedrooms with the girls. They had the larger room but had to share it with the study, which because they are such light sleepers and sleep so much meant we never got to use the study. Witness Z bought a desktop computer at the beginning of this year and it is still not set up, it's easier for him to use his laptop than disturb the girls sleeping. Our room was smaller and colder but could be made just for them which means there wouldn't be all those lovely files to pull apart or buttons to press. So the decision was made to swop.

Part one of the swop was completed this weekend, we dismanteled our furniture (it's now scatterd in piles all over the house) and painted their room and moved all their furniture in. They've still got their butterflies on the walls, we just chose a softer yellow as the background. Now we just need to buy new curtains and stars to stick on the ceiling and their room will be finished.

Part two has also been started: we've covered the bright yellow paint in the girls' old room with an undercoat and after I buy the (correct)new paint today we will hopefully be able to finish up our new room in the next few days. We would have been futher along but we bought the wrong colour on Saturday, which we realised immediately but the shop assistant was so rude about it that we left without buying the correct colour. My mom would say we cut off our noses to spite our face but the shop assistant was a nasty piece of work. At least the wrong colour covered so well we only needed to paint one layer of the undercoat.

I will post pictures when it is completed. An end to my computer problems is in sight, with the new room I will have access to the new desktop computer.

9 Oct 2009

PS bookshops

What I'm most looking forward to (apart from seeing my sister of course) is bookshops filled with english books. I order regularly from Amazon but it's not the same as going into a bookshop and having shelves and shelves full of lovely new books to browse through! The bookshops here have a very limited selection of english books (although thank goodness I'm not french or spanish as their choice is even more limited) and while I can read german it requires more effort and I read for relaxation.

Less than 2 weeks

It is now less than 2 weeks until I go visit my sister in Houston, Texas. I'm so excited! My mom is coming for a week and a half to give Z a hand (thanks mom) and then Z has 2 days alone with Ciara and Enya all to himself. I know I'll miss the girls horribly while I'm away as the longest I've been away from them since they were born is 24 hours. When I've worked, after 5 hours I start to get antsy and just want to go home to my babies. However it will be good for me to get away and just be me, not the mommy. I also think it will be good for Z to have some time without me there, he then gets to be the PARENT making all the decisions. I try not to but I have my own way of doing things and as always when someone (Z) messes with a working system, I interfere. This understandably bugs Z as he is a very involved father, but somehow I just can't help myself.

So far we have plans to visit the Kennedy Space Centre (EDITED: sorry I meant to write Johnson Space Centre) and I plan on finally seeing what is so great about Target, I keep reading about it in all the other blogs and now want to see for myself if the reputation is warrented. Other than that relaxation and good eating is on the plan. Any recommendations for sight seeing or restuarants will be gladly accepted.

Jax, can't wait to see you. Thirteen sleeps and counting!!

6 Oct 2009

Another nice not so nice day

If you aren't confused you ought to be. The "not so nice" refers to the horrible waether we're having, I hate drizzle!

We had another nice play group meeting today, I am so glad I signed us up for this. It is wonderful to see the way the girls are developing just by watching how they behave during these sessions. Initially they were not at all interested when we had the song circle. The other kids all sat by their moms and at least watched what was going on, my girls ... not so much, they were running around and playing. Now after 5sessions they sit beside me and the instructor (or beside JS, a friend who is also attending with her 3 year old daughter) nad paying attention. Enya even trys to imitate the hand actions when we are singing the songs. I don't think this is just due to the play group I think it is the combination of the play group and the play therapy together. Our main emphasis in play therapy remains getting the girls to focus on an activity and not just flit from one thing to another, from one toy to another, and it seems to be having an effect. They also play with their toys for longer and more productively now i.e. playing rather than just banging toys together and then throwing them on the floor. Even their drawing has shown an improvement in the past few weeks with Ciara now actually making pictures rather than a few hesiant lines on a page (I'll post an artwork tomorrow). Enya unfortunately still prefers chewing on the crayons but will ususally make a few lines on the page as well which is also an improvement.

5 Oct 2009

Loads and loads of washing

Our new washing machine arrived on Friday. I offered a fond farewell to our old non functioning washer before it was lugged out to the lorry and then the delivery men installed the shiny new washing machine and the gleaming new tumble dryer (that's what I call service!). After a quick skim of the instruction manual the first load was swishing.

I can't believe the difference the new machine has made, our old machine had obviously been operating sub optimally for months (years?). I'm also really enjoying having a tumble dryer. Up to now I could only do one load of washing a day or 2 washes if it was a hot summer day and I started the first wash before the girls breakfast (I had to turn the washing machine off when the girls were sleeping as otherwise it woke them when it spun-no longer a problem!!). I did 5 loads of washing in the first 2 days and had no space problems drying it all as most of our stuff can go in the dryer, only the girls clothes tend to need line drying.

Of course Enya had to overflow her nappy last night, soaking her PJ's and bed. I was all caught up with my washing, now I have another load to go!

Did I mention I love my tumble dryer, after 6 loads of washing I only have one basket of ironing to do and most of that is because I line dried one load of washing, rather than staying up late on Friday night to wait for the dryer to finish.