29 Jan 2010

Not staged I promise

I came in from shovelling snow this morning (we've had a deluge of snow the last few days, it's about hip high on Enya but that is another story!) and when I walked into the lounge where the terrible two were playing, Enya demanded my jacket... she wanted to put it on. Of course, what monkey sees monkey does... Ciara then demanded the jacket too, thankfully I could fob her off with another jacket.

That kept them quiet for a couple of minutes then the jackets were shrugged off and instead I found them doing this....

Twins, gotta love 'em!!

Who needs a christmas tree?

28 Jan 2010

Too much praise?

We (ok I) tend to always try verbal positive reinforcements for new actions or achievements. For example if the girls do what I tell them or perform a new skill, it is usually followed by a "well done C or E, you did good" (no nitpicking about the bad grammer ;0)). I think I may have been overdoing it though...

.. last night after the girls' bath we had a quick session of stand up, sit down, lie down, jump on the spot. Do you also play this game, it's a precursor to Simon says? Anyway both girls were really good about doing the actions described, so of course they got lots of praise.

Fast forward about an hour to after dinner time but still too early to go to bed and they were allowed as a rare treat to sit down on the couch and watch some TV (TV is the treat, sitting on the couch is an everyday event ;0)). Ciara decided to jump around on the sofa and got told off as she was bouncing on to Enya. She then, watching my expression, bounced some more and then she started clapping her hands and came out with "well done Ciara, well done" grinning all the while. I know I shouldn't have laughed but it was so unexpected and at the same time so appropriate that I couldn't help myself.

27 Jan 2010


I'm feeling excited and a little bit nervous, in less than 2 weeks I'm going for away for 3 weeks on a mother child "Kur". Basically it's a 3 week break from the everyday stresses, in a clinic that specializes in preemies and their exhausted mothers. I've been running on empty for a while now and my GP agreed this would be a good start to getting me fit to go back to work in 6 months time (Have I mentioned C and E start Kindergarten at the beginning of August).

The girls come with and will also be patients, the only treatment I'm sure that they will be getting is individual play therapy sessions (here they share their sessions with each other). Unfortunately they don't have a speech therapist on staff although they have said they will get a nutritionist to speak to me instead, to give me ideas how to help Enya progress with her eating. There is also child care there which means that they will be getting their first exposure to playing with other children without a parent being present. Good preparation for Kindergarten!

On my side I have no idea what treatments are being lined up for me although massage and a preemie support group have been mentioned. I'm just looking forward to having a bit of downtime. The clinic is based in the German Alps and Z will be coming down for at least the last 2 weeks so that he too can get away from it all briefly. Maybe we will even get to do a bit of hill walking together, something we haven't managed to do together since my pregnancy. I do miss having alone time with Z and I think our marriage suffers because of it too!

In the meantime I've started writing a new packing list so I don't forget anything essential and am now counting the days until our Kur starts.

25 Jan 2010

Got ya

Enya's new favorite game is running away from us, shrieking "got ya" all the way down the passage. This game is repeated umpteen times a day and laughter abounds. Now I just have to teach her to say "catch me".

Ciara on the otherhand has actually started referring to herself as "monster". This morning when she spilt her cup of milk on the floor, she even called herself naughty monster. Methinks I need to find some new nicknames for my darlings!

Over the last 2 weeks or so I have noticed a trend developing, a wonderful trend! The girls are finally playing together without needing my attention every few minutes. I timed it this morning and they played together in their room for 24 minutes before they came to find me. I love this age!!

24 Jan 2010

Auto repair shop

You mean you don't have your own repair shop?



22 Jan 2010


This morning while changng Ciara's nappy I was summoned by increasingly frantic crys from Enya to their bedroom. She'd climbed up the side of Ciara's cot and was now balanced precariously on top and too scared to go either forwards or back down. I must add here yesterday they were using their chairs to get high enough to get their legs over- I took the chairs away, so instead they used their bobby cars, I took them away so then they started using their rocking snail- what can I say they were determined!

My compromise was to take a couple of bars out from each cot side so they can now get in without climbing up and over. Of course later this morning I got a 4 minute video (I wish I knew how to load video up so you could all appreciate it) of them climbing up over the cot side, launching themselves into the cot and then crawling out through the opening on the other side. Rinse lather and repeat. Who needs a playground!!

The bars will go back in for naps and night time so hopefully this will enable us to keep the cots for a bit longer. I live in hope!!

21 Jan 2010


I love Strelizias, they remind me of home. We bought a small plant when we moved the year before the girls were born but until this year it had never flowered. However this winter it finally developed two flower buds and at the height of our recent snow, the buds opened. Now that is a contradiction, Strelizia flowers and snow, if ever I saw one..

20 Jan 2010

Decisions decisions....

Z and I want to keep the girls in their cots for a bit longer as we both feel once they are in their toddler beds it's going to be difficult to get them to stay there, BUT yesterday I must have fished them 3 times out of a cot. Yup, they have learnt how to climb into their cots!

It all started when we went to Muenster over New Years to visit S and T with their two older boys (3 and 5 [+one on the way;0)]). They still have a cot in the boys room and all 4 kids delighted in climbing from Linus's (one of the boys) bed into the cot and out again. They must have been at for about half an hour, laughing the whole time.

Fast forward 3 weeks and the terrible two are using their chairs to get over the side of the cot (I haven't actually caught them in the act to see exactly how they land on the other side) and I'll find them both laughing and jumping around, usually in Enya's cot. I believe the only reason they haven't tried climbing out the cot yet is because their room is very dark at night and during nap time.

Which brings me to the title of this post, do we convert to toddler beds already, knowing that we are probably going to have a battle to keep them in their beds. Or do we wait a bit longer until they start potty training (hopefully this spring) and run the risk that they actually climb out their cots? Decisions decisions indeed!

19 Jan 2010


Nothing new to say today so instead miscellaneous pictures for your viewing pleasure! Given that Ciara has been predominant in recent posts most of the photos are of Enya.



"My lion"


Walking in daddy's shoes Enya new favorite activity

18 Jan 2010

Snowy Sunday

We tried sledding already last year but at that stage the girls were in retrospect too young. This year it went much better although the weather was not as good. We were supposed to have heavy snowfall overnight between Saturday and Sunday, which in the event didn't happen, but we still stuck with our plan to go sledding again on Sunday. Unfortunately when we finally got to the ski and sledding area (about 45min drive from home) it started to rain but having driven all that way we weren't just going to turn around and go home.
The less steep skiing slope

After renting our sleds the rain had pretty much died down, so off we went to the sledding slope. The girls are now able to sit unsupported on the sleds and we could pull them along behind us, much easier than trying to carry them especially now that they weigh so much more. We joined a surprisingly short queue for the lift to the top of the sledding slope, the girls were fascinated and kept refering to the lift as a train and making toot toot noises (Lift was on a track and little 4 seater cars on it). The slope was as steep as I remembered it and I once again opted for the alternative slope which in the end was even steeper as it has a new end route. Z of course went barreling down the main slope with Ciara laughing the whole way down. We thn swopped daughters and I walked halfway up the slope with Ciara while Z did the main slope in it's entirity with Enya. At this point it really began throwing it down (sleeting) so we retired to the bistro by the renting office and had a leisurely drink there while the girls ran around madly, having a ball. We then decided the weather wasn't going to get any better so we packed up and went home. Hopefully we'll get another chance to go sledding agin this year as both girls really enjoy it.
Z and his sledding girls

Unfortunately we've discovered that the windy Wittgensteiner roads do not agree at all with Enya and after a puke fest we were very glad to finally get home. This does not bode well for the 5-6 hour drive I have alone with the girls next month- most of it will be on the Autobahn but some of it will be on windy back roads too. Yesterday Z was able to sit in the back and see to Enya but next month I'll be alone.

15 Jan 2010

Bottles gone, dummies not so much

As previously mentioned Ciara no longer gets a bottle and I'm overjoyed the time of bottle washing is nearly over*.

Unfortunately Ciara still gets her dummy when she goes to bed. We had completely weaned her off the dummy after our holiday in Turkey last year but while I was away in Houston at the end of the year she was ill and not sleeping well so got her dummy to comfort her. Since then she won't go to sleep unless she has AT LEAST 2 dummies (one in her mouth and one in her hand). She is really good about giving them to us as soon as we come in to the room to take her out the cot when her sleep is over, but is also very insistent on having her dummies as soon as she is in her cot. We even leave them in easy reach of the kids during the day and they both know where they are, however they leave them mostly alone until it's " 'leeping time".

*Thankfully both Ciara and Enya like giving and receiving cuddles so giving up bottles doesn't mean I have to give up cuddling with them in my lap, otherwise they may still have been bottlefed when they went to school!

14 Jan 2010

Re the no shouting challenge

Oops forgot to update about this....

I didn't quite make it for 30 days with absolutely no shouting, but it has dramatically reduced. One thing that has become crystal clear to me in this time is that when I don't get at least 8 hours sleep at night I become very irritable and it's harder to rein the shouting back. So I'm now trying to do early nights.

THe girls on the other hand still need 12 hours overnight and are down to one nap during the day (usually around 2 hours long when the blasted neighbours don't go stamping up the stairs that goes right outside their window). I'm dreading them giving up this nap as it is right now my only chance to catch up on blogs, housework and reading.

Last but not least does anyone have a good recipe for getting kids to eat veggies- it is incredibly (and unfortunately increasingly) difficult to get Ciara to eat any veg at all and I'd love a few new ideas to play around with.

13 Jan 2010


What we won't be seeing again (I hope).
Yup, Ciara has not had a bottle in 3 days and I'm going to do my utmost to ensure she doesn't get one again!! She is drinking like a champion from a cup, so long as we supervise her closely so that she doesn't get a chance to knock it across the table. Unfortunately Enya doesn't drink enough from a cup for us to get rid of her morning bottle. The 300ml of milk she drinks from her bottle is pretty much all she drinks at all, she will only take one or two sips, if at all, when a cup is offered. I can't wait to be rid of these blasted bottles forever!!

My darling oldest daughter thought she would give me a hand this morning while I was in the shower and very kindly loaded the washing machine for me.
No your eyes are not deceiving you, it is full of clean fresh disposable nappies. She then very nicely helped me by unloading the nappies again, although I had to put them away;0).

11 Jan 2010

Snow chaos

From about Wedensday last week we were being warned about the low pressure system Daisy and the havoc she was going to wreak last Saturday. People were advised to stock up essentials and not to leave their houses, they even had an hour special report on TV about what was expected. Needless to say the expected snow chaos did not arrive for most of us (it did hit a few parts of northern Germany), although we did get a light dusting of snow.

The fresh snow was however very appealing, so much so that on Sunday we went for a lovely walk in the forest with friends. Our friends had a sled for their daughter that was big enough that all 3 girls could fit on so off we wandered pulling the girls behind us. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera as it was really cute (which reminds me I have to recharge the batteries), not least when the girls (one or all) fell off the sled. Enya again refused to keep her mitts on and then kept crying everytime her hands got snow on. Ciara, kept walking in the opposite direction from that we were going, if she wasn't on the sled and both girls had a meltdown at the Forest coffee house when we stopped for a bite to eat and a cup of something hot. Despite all this and the final meltdown when we got to the car and frozen fingers and feet started thawing, the day was fun and may even be repeated (someday). The final meltdown even ended quickly when I covered Enya with my coat to warm her up, and tickled her head (she's her mothers child-she loves her hair being stroked). It was really cute as both girls kept saying "tickle" everytime I attempted to stop during the drive home, so I landed up tickling both girls all the way home after our walk. Numb arms to match their numb fingers!

7 Jan 2010

And the crowning moment....

was when I opened a demand for over 1200 euros in tax (pay up front tax for a consulting contract that had been cancelled- we won't need to pay it but the adrenaline hit nonetheless).

I'm going to bed now!!

one of those days...

... where you just want to go back to bed!

It started at 4:30am when I got up to take my sister to the airport (normally an hour drive away) and looked outside to see it had snowed again overnight. That in itself is not too bad but that the snowploughs hadn't been out yet was. The Autobahn (motorway) was at least ploughed (a single lane) and people were all being sensible, driving at 80-90km/h compared to the usual 140-160km/h so that was a positive.

The drive home was better as by then the ploughs had been out in force although it was still a slow drive (one and a half hours), this meant I was late getting home and due to the snow I still had to take Z into work- our second car doesn't have winter tyres. We got a call shortly after I arrived to say that my sister is sitting fast in the airport as her flight had been cancelled, she was hoping to get out on a later flight by another airline. Thankfully she had booked her flight out of London to the States for tomorrow so she still has a bit of leeway but still. I couldn't even go and take her into Cologne for the rest of the time as C and E had an appointment this morning and after it's too late. Therapy went well with C and E but after I thought I'd just pop into the shops to see if I could find winter boots for Enya. While reversing into a parking space I nudged the car behind me- no damage but I left my info with the other driver (I've also taken pictures of the other car showing there is no damage). In the stress after the accident I forgot to put the parking ticket onto the dashboard so when I returned to the car after a unsuccessful shoe shopping expedition I had a parking ticket.

On the way home the girls then fell asleep in the car despite my best efforts. As usual, as soon as I tried to get them out the car after we got home, they woke up. Enya settled right down back to sleep when I got her into bed but Ciara screamed for about an hour before finally settling down. Before anyone thinks I'm mean she was exhausted but just couldn't settle.

Z is going to have to work late tonight because he started so late this morning, but for the last few days the girls have been impossible from about 4pm as they are hungry and tired- we've been putting them down around 6pm. This means I'm going to have to drag them dressed in their PJ's and very cranky to fetch Z as we have no babysitter.

And I'm also feeling very weary after my early morning so YES I want to go back to bed!

3 Jan 2010

Onward in 2010

Does everyone else have the feeling that time speeds up as you get older! I can't believe the girls are already over 2 years old and 2009 seems to have come and gone in a blink of an eye.

My sister (the american one) is here for a brief visit after visiting my folks for Christmas. She last saw C and E when they just turned one so she can't believe how mch they've grown. These first 2 years are magic as the babies change so quickly. We were looking at photos from the beginning of 2009 and Ciara in particular has changed so much. She is no longer a baby or even a toddler, she has metamorphosised (is that even a word?) into a little girl.

Enya still has a look of a toddler about her, the terminal cuteness of a toddler I mean. When we were up in Muenster the 2 boys (3 and 5 years old) kept fighting over who could sit next to Enya and who was Enya's friend- Ciara they couldn't care less about. Unfortunately they kept wanting to touch Enya or to give her a hug and so she kept running to me to get away from them (she is very cuddily with Z and I but needs time to warm up to strangers, even other kids).

Oh well, onward into 2010. May it treat us all well!!