Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mummy & Daddy Get Married

When we lecture you that you really should be married before you have children just point us to this webpage. Well, we'll reply, as long as you're as old as we were (37 or 38 ish) you'll have our blessing. Until then, don't do as we do but as we say, children.

A few people asked if you would be our page boy and bridesmaid but given you were just taking your first few steps (Oscar) and you were only walking while hanging onto something (Caitlin), I don't think you would have made it to the altar before tea.

It was an idyllic day in Dorset. Folke looked amazing, the sun shone, the Pimm's flowed, it all went too quickly (everyone warned us that would happen). The best men - Tris & Ollie - did a brilliant speech which made Mummy look very good. All about how Daddy has spent the last decade or so trying to get her to go out with him, very amusingly tied in with Take That's history of hits. Loved it.

After a few more days in Folke we dropped you off at your Grandma's in Cardiff and headed to New York for honeymoon part I (without you, sorry about that). It was wonderful. We stayed at Crosby Street Hotel in Soho / Little Italy, hung out in gastropubs and generally reverted back to pre-babies life surprisingly easily.

We get to go on honeymoon part II (with babies) next week. Not quite as exotic as NYC - we're taking you to Ireland and possibly the Lake District - but at least it's a family holiday this time.

There is some debate about how wise it is to drive around the UK and Ireland with a pair of babies who don't especially enjoy sitting still for hours (especially our girl who is quite vocal about her dislike of the car seat). Hmm, turn up the music - Rastamouse anyone?
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A tight squeeze

I'm sure I'll look back on these days and wonder how we lived in a 2 bedroom flat with no outside space and 2 little people. Downsizing is never easy when you've got a growing family. It's the outside space I really miss. Not that we'd spend much time in the garden in the old house. The bit I miss is being able to get out when the babies are screaming. Taking them outside during a fit of hysteria is an instant cure for deafening cries. 'Look at this leaf', or 'see the aeroplane' always work well. Just the change of scene seems to do the trick. No such luck in our current home where you'd have to go down 2 flights of stairs to reach the street - and then I'd have to face strange looks from the neighbours as I try not to scream back at the little monster... which of course means leaving one of the babies upstairs to fend for themselves (or help themselves to harmful substances in the kitchen cupboards).

So we're already looking for a new place - just as soon as we've got married and sold 2 flats. Oh and between future husband and myself we're going to have to agree on where the new marital home should be. For him it's the Chilterns (based purely on mountain biking preferences). For me it's West London (largely for social reasons - I'm scared moving to the sticks will bring out the social recluse in me). There's also the journeys we make: Dorset, Cardiff, Ireland, all westbound, it makes sense to be west. It has occured to me that this could be one of those things that you should agree on before committing to a lifetime together. Then again we're pretty committed already.

House hunting is at the very early stages, it basically consists of Ade sending me a link to a house near Maidenhead, me sending him onen to a (much better) house in Chiswick. I'd call it stalemate so far.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Oscar and Caitlin in one shot

The general advice is not to work with animals or children and as an amateur photographer I can't help agreeing. Trouble is, they move around a lot.

This is as close as I have got to a picture of Oscar and Caitlin in the same frame. Daddy is clearly oblivious to my efforts.

It's surprising the amount of parents/grandparents/siblings of twins you meet. And it always supplies a reliable source of conversation.

Buying food in Barnes the other Sunday, on the way to Richmond Park, a lovely lady not only gave me free samples of banoffi pie but also explained that twins ran in her family. Her brother, a twin, had just had twins of his own.

Later that day in the park Oscar crawled over to the next picnic rug - clearly a better choice of sandwich over there - where there too were boy-girl twins, but aged 3. This, I've been reassured by many a passing twin parent, is a golden age when things get better. But no, sadly Richmond Park twins mummy didn't agree. And in one brief moment she wiped out the hope that I'd been clinging onto that, in 2 years time, I'll 'reap the rewards' of having twins. Dream on.

But, of course, there are already rewards (admittedly, ones I can only see if I have a nap during the day). Things like they way they giggle, especially with excessive tickling; they way they interact with each other (when they're not fighting over the favourite walker toy); and, increasingly, the arms outstretched, requests for picking up and cuddling. Awww.
Posted by Picasa

Oscar and his dad

I couldn't post just one picture of Caitlin aged 1 without showing you what Oscar looks like on his very first birthday.

This is a pretty typical morning at 28 Brackenbury Road. Daddy and Oscar still in their PJs, Oscar trying to get Daddy's attention, Daddy getting distracted by a cup of tea and computer.
Posted by Picasa

Now we are one

Hard to believe a year has gone by - and almost as long since my last post.

It's gone so quickly. And yet so slowly.

Oscar and Caitlin have grown (obviously) but they're also just about walking (while hanging onto something) and talking (in a language only they can understand). Still, they're practically toddlers now.

The absence of any entries since Christmas (Christmas!) is largely down to the fact that - newsflash! - I have twins.

This means: 1) early mornings, 5.30am is pretty typical; 2) exhaustion (see entry 1); 3) a new perspective on work - this has become a 'holiday', or at least a break from doing something much harder; 4) time flies and you get nothing done.

We are also about 3 weeks away from getting married so there's a bit of organising to do there. We finally booked some speakers and something to plug the iPod into so at least there'll be music (and love and romance, let's face the music...)

We had a mini birthday party on 29th June with tea, jelly and cake. Around 17 of us marked the landmark birthday - 10 adults, 7 kids - with all of us just about squeezing into Ade's flat.

Ah yes, Ade's flat... we're back in West London, in Brackenbury Road, the very flat we left almost a year ago to the day, 3 weeks before Oscar and Caitlin were born.

So it's been a busy year: 2 babies, 2 house moves, 1 change of government (welcome to No. 10, Mr Cameron), and with a bit of luck, 1 wedding.

Happy Birthday Oscar and Caitlin!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I Might Be Biased...

...but sometimes I think I have the most beautiful children in the whole world.

I'm sure every parent thinks this at some point. It's an overwhelming feeling of pure, simple love. Sure, it may only be because nature had to come up with a way to prevent cavemen from eating their young. Whatever the reason, it comes in kind of handy when you're having a 'can't take it any more moment' that you can look at them not long after and think they're they most beautiful people you've ever seen.

One of the things I love about having kids is that you can live in a city like London - big, impersonal place - and people who would previously have blanked you (no eye contact, unless you're a nutter) are suddenly happy to talk to you. I'm not sure if this is because having children shows you're not an axe murderer (not necessarily true), or because the babes are an ice breaker.

Either way, it opens up a whole new perspective on the city/life/the world. The best bit is you get to meet new people on a daily basis - on the bus, at the doctors, in the park, everywhere. People are more interesting and interested than you'd imagine. It's eye opening.

Our First Christmas

It was a while ago now but it's definitely worth documenting the twins' first Christmas. They had a white one too. We were properly snow covered in Cardiff. A highlight was tabogganing (sadly the babies were a bit young to fully appreciate this bit).

Poor things were subjected to being dressed up for the day as Father Christmas (Oscar) and Chief Elf (Caitlin). It was all Uncle Richard's idea and if he has his way they'll be wearing ridiculous outfits for Christmas until they're old enough to say 'no' (and get away with it).

Notable First Christmas presents included some lovely HABA wooden toys from Nanny Di (lovely, lovely Nanny Di who we love and miss), Gap outfits from Uncle Rich and far too many things to list here from Uncle Matt and Auntie Liz. Among the huge bag of goodies, the story about Oscar bear and Ollie bear is a particular favourite (and very apt given Ollie is Oscar's cousin).

Thoughts of giving the babies a mashed up version of what the adults were eating on Christmas Day didn't quite materialise as both Oscar and Caitlin had severe tummy bugs which meant they were on nothing but milk for two weeks. Still, they seemed to enjoy their First Christmas.