December 31, 2023

Line a day journal and a 2024 goal

Today is the end of my 3rd year of line a day journaling.  

Here is the entry from 2021: I am so glad I'm not pregnant and no newborns.  First time since 2016/2017... 2022 will be better than 2021, and 2021 was better than 2020

And 2022: 2022 was better than 2021... 2023 should be an interesting year.  Is there a 3rd kid? am I that nuts? I love sleep

In case you wonder, I do sleep about 7 hours a night now, just in 2-3 hour chunks with 1-2 hours of awake time inbetween.  The sleep is actually not the worst bit of this newborn twin thing, I think the cyring is.  It's impossible to soothe two babies. I chose not to quantify how much crying I experience right now, but this is the last crying baby experience I will have! The babies are currently two months old, which means there's one more month of the worst times before they maybe start to get better?  

Andy has a theory that even though 12 weeks is when babies start to get better, 12 weeks is the lowest point for new parents because you realize just how exhausted you are from 12 weeks of babies.

If you've had babies, do you remember the first 12 weeks fondly? and do you remember experiencing the first 12 weeks fondly?  Those are two separate questions.

I have a coupe of low key goals for next year, but the one I am most excited about is that by December 2024 I want to only own clothes that fit.  No more maternity clothes, no more in-between clothes.  No more nursing clothes. Just clothes that fit me, as I am in December 2024.  

I have been saving all sizes of pregnancy and post pregnancy since 2018 and I am so excited to see all if it leave my house by December 2024.  I can also get rid of jeans that are too big or too small.  I want to open my closet to see all of my clothes, and have everything in it look and feel good.

December 29, 2023

Going in the right order and decluttering and tiny babies.

I really like the Lazy Genious Podcast.  I enjoyed the book too - great principles to go by.  It made me realize another reason I struggle with babytimes - I am generally really good at following her rule of "go in the right order".  But, with babies, it's so hard to figure out the right order.  Last night I left two almost asleep babies with Andy while I came downstairs to finish the house.  The "right order" would be cleaning lounge (easy), Dining room (middle-easy) then kitchen (because lots of things from the lounge and dining room need to go elsewhere, including the kitchen.  However, what if I only have 10 minutes?  The kitchen is arguably the  most important (because the dishwasher needs running and food needs putting away) but doing that first and then having time to do the lounge and dining room will make the whole process take longer.  Also, what if I want a snack?  Previously the right order was clean then snack, but now snack trumps clean... or does it?  

As another example - our house is currently exploding with stuff.  I need to get some clothes to the baby bank (donation center for baby things) to drop off, but every week the babies grow out of more things.  I also need to get the size 2-3 clothes out of Lilah and Isaac's room as Lilah is definitely in 3-4.  The right order would be to declutter first, then put their new/next size in.  But I do not have the ability to go to the baby bank. So things are coming into our house faster than they are leaving.  I do not like it.  

I did realize that we have 1 large box of each of the following:

0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months, 2-3 years, 3-4years, and 4-5 years.  The good news is that in one year we should be done with FOUR BOXES and only have created one more (5-6).  Horray!

Speaking of the right order, I am currently posting while Nora is asleep in the pram (fitfully, and requiring strategic rocking) and Audrey is in a wrap on me (because she never naps and is soooo tired).  In the time it took to post this I could have unpacked their 3-6 month clothes into their next-size drawer.  Or, Nora could have woken up while I was upstairs and then I wouldn't have clothes done or a blog post written.  

It's almost time for babies to wake up.  Perhaps the right order for now is watching more Ugly Betty while rocking the pram.

December 27, 2023

Goals time! a 2023 year in review

I've managed to do a tiny amount of thinking about 2024 goals, mostly because I am enjoying imagining what I want my life to be like next December.  

Last year I had a lot of goals, and looking back I achieved many of them.  I'm not going to run down every one here (there were a lot!) but let's look at some big wins and misses shall we?

Wins:

  • We finally wrote our will! We haven't yet told everyone in the will the details of the will, or where to find the will, but we wrote it.  Goal for 2024 is to actually send the email to everyone.
  • I ran a 5k. It was very slow, but I did it
  • I got British citizenship
  • We threw a party for our friends (it was Isaac's 5th birthday, but it counts!)
  • I continued blogging
  • I watched two movies (goal was to watch 1) - Glass Onion and the Weird Al story
  • I read 60 books (goal was 50). A lot of my book reading happened in 3rd tri pregnancy when i couldn't sleep between 11pm and 4am every day, so although this seems like an accomplishment I don't feel the need to repeat it, at least in the way it was achieved this year)
  • Send holiday cards was the goal - we did birth announcements instead (that counts, right?)
  • I continued the kids photo albums and the family photo albums.  I started the Audrey & Nora albums - for at least the first year of life the twins are getting the same album.  Sorry twin blog readers if this doesn't seem fair, but they don't really do much without each other right now.
  • I continued our monthly budget tracking

Not yets/Not evers:

  • Potty train Lilah - this was going well until Isaac started school and we had twin babies.  She knows how to use the toilet, and she uses the toilet in nursery, but at home she likes nappies and we are going with it for now (she still uses the toilet for the important thing... three year olds have higher standards than babies
  • Regular Yoga practice.  I did some yoga, then got pregnant. I think I would be a better person if I did more yoga, but I'm not sure this is the year of yoga either.
  • Learn more about ACT.  I got some books on this and then I didn't bother reading them. I think I would rather read around it than actually learn it.
  • See a show. We did not do this.  I was too pregnant at the end of the year, and I have to both find the show and find the childcare.  Sadly I'm not sure 2024 will be the year for this either.  Someday!
  • Visit 4 castles.  I don't think this happened.  It turns out I like the idea of visiting castles more than I like visiting them.  Also, we only have 3 interesting castles around us, and I end up visiting the same ones all the time.  Someday I will go on a big castle tour with Isaac to further away and more interesting castles.
  • Read one professional development book a month.  This is a lot of professional development.  I did not do this, but I read some.  

I had some major wins this year, and some minor "maybe later/maybe nevers".  The citizenship and will are two pretty major accomplishments - both happened early in the year.  Obviously having twin babies is a pretty big accomplishment as well... but I think surviving 8 weeks with baby twins is a bigger accomplishment than actually giving birth to them. 

December 25, 2023

Christmas morning random thoughts

7am appears to be my blogging time. I’ll take it!

(Isaac putting together his Hannukah Lego)

It’s Christmas morning and I am currently in bed with Nora sleeping on me and Audrey grumbling (but I think sleeping) in the bedside cot. Since the horror of two nights ago the babies have slept pretty well for two nights… so well that last night their second feed moved from 5am to 6:15 which put it a bit too close to their wake up (7:30) but too far from their wake up time to actually let them wake up. Hence… being stuck. And writing a blog.

And yes, I am aware that I might seem like a loony tune with my talk of baby wake up times and schedules. This is not something I did with either Isaac or Lilah. But I have too many kids and too many babies to be schedule-less so we have a defined start to babies day and a defined routine to their day. Otherwise it work be chaos… or even more chaos. If that’s possible.

For whatever reason this is the first Christmas where we are really doing Christmas things. I blame Lilah - she is far too observant. When Isaac was 3 he wanted grapes and banana for Christmas. We went to Sainsbury’s and bought them both. He had other presents and the first thing he opened was a book, which caused him to start wailing because he wanted grapes and banana. We directed him to grapes and banana and he opened it, then wanted to eat it right away. 

This year Lilah is 3 and she has told us that she wants Santa to bring her a baby dolls house and a scooter. We are in the interesting position of trying to decide what our family Christmas traditions will be. I don’t want to do Santa - it’s not something I grew up with. I grew up with only Hannukah. I love Christmas lights and trees and the festivities of Christmas but the actual day has little meaning to me. Andy didn’t do Santa as a kid either, but he did not go to the same nursery and school the kids did. Nursery and school are very into the Santa thing.

My idea is to tell the kids that Santa only visits people who haven’t had 8 presents for Hannukah already. I think that’s very fair. 

The kids have a couple of small things under the tree - a megasketcher for lilah and Lego for Isaac, plus 2 games we found at the charity shop. Hopefully we can open some presents this morning but after I get downstairs, as much as cuddling babies is nice I’m a bit sad to miss the kids first cognisant Christmas morning.

There is always next year! This year has felt like A trial for next years Christmas. I’ve been able to do so little. Next year I want to eat far more mince pies. I want to do more Christmas kid art, go to Christmas fayre and tree lightings and carols.  I want to see more friends. I want to look at more Christmas lights. 

I want to be remembering baby time with the glow of not experiencing it. And hopefully I’ll be enjoying the chaos of two 14 month olds (omg we are going to have to fortify our house) and a 4 and 6 year old. I think next year will be fun

December 23, 2023

A Night in the Life

Inspired by Birchies “day in the life posts” I present, a night in the life of 7 week old twins:

6:30pm Give babies their final feed. burp, change nappies, put on white noise... settle to sleep. 

7:15 - Go downstairs to start cleaning up from dinner and a quick tidy for the day. We had soup, bread and cheese for dinner and found out Isaac likes tomato soup!  Yay. Also, I love our dishwasher.

7:30 - Babies are already up again so Andy goes upstairs to settle.

7:45 - I finish downstairs and brush teeth. Check on Andy who has started the evening bottle. Help with nappy changes and burps until babies almost asleep

8:15 - head upstairs to guest bed and fall asleep super quick. 

12:30 - Andy comes to get me. Feed babies and burp and rock back to sleep.

1:45 babies are still awake (it’s very hard to settle two babies at once) so I wake up Andy for help. Andy comes to help settle

2:30 Andy puts an asleep Nora in the cot. Audrey is still upset so I continue soothing. Andy goes back to bed

3:00 I get both twins asleep in their cot.

3:30 both babies wake up - it's time for their next feed. Fun fact - baby feeds are timed from the start of one feed to the start of the next and 3 hours is a pretty age appropriate gap but pretty brutal too. I eat a mini cliff peanut bar to keep awake while feeding (and because they are delicious).  I have peanut butter ones and macadamia nut ones.  Peppermint are my favourite but they have caffeine, which I don't need at 3:30am.

4:15 Finish burps, nappy changes, and settle babies back in their cot. I fall asleep quickly and have weird dreams.

4:45 Audrey is awake. She needs a #2 but can’t make it happen. She is very distressed, and I do understand.  It's a rough situation. I eat a natures valley granola bar while soothing her because food is the next best thing to sleep.

5:15 - I get Audrey back to sleep. I have very weird dreams until...

6:00 - Isaac comes in my room and says he had an accident. He climbs in my bed and I say “shhh” hoping he will fall asleep.

6:10 - Lilah comes in my room looking for Isaac. I take them both back to their room. I can’t find any wet oh Isaac’s bed so it may have been a dream? I tell both of them they need to sleep until 6:20 - I can hear Audrey crying again next door

6:30 - I get Audrey settled on me. I don’t seep with babies on me so I watch some ugly betty. I also know Isaac and Lilah will be awake any minute so no point trying to sleep again now/

6:45 - Andy is awake and I give him a rundown of my night and take some aspirin for the headache I unsurprisingly developed overnight.

7:00 - I decide to write a blog post. Audrey is fast asleep on me. Nora is huffing and puffing in the cot. And at 7:30 it’s time to wake up the twins and start our day.


The darkest nights are pretty dark. I keep an phone note called “the night is dark and full of terrors” where I write down nights like last night. That’s not every night for me.. that was worse than recent… but I will be very happy to be on the other side of this baby phase.


Also, how did I not watch Ugly Betty before? That show is great. I love so many of the cast! I know there’s better English than that sentence but forgive me, I am tired.


Here’s the night gremlins looking less gremlin:

December 18, 2023

Plans, Routines, Adjustments

Today we are 7 week into this twin baby thing.  

I was told that twin families are exceptionally organized and I thought "hey, I can do that!" but some of the things we've had to change actually involve less organization.  Here are some recent changes:

FLOM: we don't have evenings anymore (I feed babies at 6pm, come downstairs to help with clear up at 7, and go to bed at 8) so we do a truncated FLOM on Thursdays.  We also use FLOM to review everything we can't in the week since we so rarely get a chance to casually sort out anything midweek.  So the Any Other Business topics can range from "should I buy reduced sugar ketchup or regular ketchup (sweeteners? Sugar? chemicals? akk!)" to "What is the plan for Christmas"  

Lunches: Isaac loved packed lunches.  I think it's partly due to the hip Planet Box lunch boxes we bought, and partially because school lunches included vegetables.  In Wales they brought in free school lunches for all primary age kids this year, but when Isaac requested packed lunch we started packing lunch in the  morning.  Turns out, it was too much.  Last week I told Isaac he was having school lunch now.  Not packing lunches has massively improved our morning

Hummus: we eat a lot of hummus. I like to make my own because it's super easy and fairly cheap.  Tahini, Chickpeas, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Salt, Olive Oil.  I could make hummus in less than 5 minutes.  I didn't mind if the kids ate it by the spoonful.  However... it was too much. So now we buy store bought hummus.  It's got a few more ingredients.  It's ok.

Laundry: Everything goes in at 40 now.  Everything gets tumble dried.  If it doesn't survive... oh well.  I only wear breastfeeding tops anyways now and this is the last time I'll need them and I only plan to wear them for another few months.  We do 1-2 loads a day (1 if by myself, 2 if I have help).  I don't have time for sorting or hanging.

Meal Plan: We don't plan meals to days anymore.  Every day is something from the freezer (We are still eating food provided by friends, and our meal box from Cook), and once a week Andy *maybe* makes something like pasta carbonara or scrambled eggs.  Kids are eating the following on rotation for every meal:
Starch: Potato/Pasta/Bread.
Protein: Fish Fingers/Chicken Nuggets/Beans/Eggs. 
Other: Fruit.

Hair: I'm not going to even comment on my current hair situation. Lilah captured it pretty well in this drawing:

(also, proofreading.  I wasn't great before, but thanks for sticking with my atrocious typo-heavy blog!)

December 16, 2023

Saturday rambling

I finished two books recently.  The audio of Tom Lake was AMAZING.  Meryl Streep is amazing.  I'm not sure if I'm biased beause it's recent or because it is all the rage on the internets right now but Tom Lake is one of my favourite books this year and definitely my favorite audiobook.

I also read Yellowface.  Interesting read.  Not the best thing ever but certainly thought provoking.  Good characters too.  I'm wondering if the Poppy War trilogy is worth reading too?  Also how is the author (RF Kuang) only 27 years old??  Cambridge, Yale, and Oxford Educated.  Some people are a different calibre of human.

I'm now at 59 books for the year and almost done with American Royals IV so this will be a 60 book year.  I wonder what next year will bring?

I'm starting to cultivate my TBR list for 2024.  Loving all the best-of lists that people are posting.

Also, it's a weekend.  This morning I left the twins with Andy and went to the store with Lilah to buy nappies.  They grew into size 1 slowly and out quickly.  I think this is what babies do.. move quickly and then slowly.  It wasn't the most exciting outing but it was great to get away from babies for a while.  Two babies every day is a lot of babies for a lot of days.

Tomorrow Isaac and Lilah have a playdate at a friend's house and Andy and I are home with twins. We could do anything??!  Well, anything within a 3 hour cycle of feeds.

Isaac is currently using star stickers and washi tape to decorate a nappy box.  Lilah is driving a lego car across a twin feeding pillow.  Andy took the twins out for a walk.  And I got a blog post written!

Better than yesterday, when kids were chaos and Dolly (Lilah) knocked over the Christmas tree.  This is why we got a small tree and decorated it with cheap plastic decorations of no sentimental value:

Happy Saturday!


December 14, 2023

Thursday: Sleep, Hannukah, tired thoughts.

Currently spending a lot of time managing other people's sleep.  I am interested in baby sleep and I was super excited to implement everything I've learned about sleep on this third baby.  Twins has thrown me for a loop.  I'm fairly sure I could have either one of these babies on a pretty OK schedule by now... but the double schedule is eluding me.  So my days look like this:

7:30 Wake up, feed babies
8:00 Babies awake time
8:30 spend a huge amount of time trying to get them to sleep and keep them to sleep.  Stand rocking pram for up to 2 hours
10:00(ish) Feed babies
11:00 try to get babies to sleep.  Stand rocking pram for up to 2 hours

Repeat repeat repeat. Are my arms going to be strong from all this back and forth pram rocking?

Unfortunately when alone I can't really put one baby to sleep then play with the other.  I can't change one baby while feeding the other.  So even though my current option of endless pram rocking while staring out the window and listening to podcasts kind of sucks, it seems better than most other options I can think of.

I do think that if Andy was on partnerity leave right now I would have little trouble returning to work (at home.  Not an office. And with a flexible schedule to accommodate feedings).  I am aware this is a short time, but I miss using my brain for more than counting time between feeds and tracking sleep and calculating what time the last wake up should be to make a 7pm beditme.  

I dropped lilah off at her monday play group (20 minute walk way) and managed to get the babies and the bike back home with this nifty set up.

The kids are still loving Hannukah:
Tonight is the last night, and Isaac is getting a lego set.  Lilah is getting a kickboard, which she will love if we ever make it swimming again.  How does one go swimming with 4 children?  How do two go swimming with 4 children?? 

I should probably have gotten a back-up gift as it turns out some of the things I had picked up for Lilah are wholly unsuitable for her.  I sometimes forget that she is only 3, and cannot do everything Isaac can.  Oops.

Also, my last post was very nice and very positive.  It was written after I had a chunk of sleep.  We have had some not so good sleep, including a 24 hour sickness bug for Andy which meant a full 24 hours of twins for me.  I don't even have time to post during these bits, but those posts I don't write would not be as positive as the ones I do.

I am lucky and grateful that I get such a long maternity leave. I wish Andy was able to take a long paternity leave too.  Two parents and two babies is much more optimal than one parent and two babies.

December 10, 2023

Christmas film countdown: Christmas at the Drive In

Winnie from the wonder years in a Christmas movie? Yes please! Also she looks cute with dark hair, maybe I should dye my hair dark? Why do most Christmas protagonists have blonde hair? And also there aren’t any gingers in Christmas movies - is this because their hair clashes with the abundance of red?  This film was as cute as all the others. Nothing I have watched this year is worth watching again.  

I give this film two Christmas trees: πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Also, Laura Vanderkam had a great short podcast called “someday you’ll be telling this story” and it definitely resonated wirh me. Someday I won’t be awake with babies every night from 3am onwards. Some day I won’t be changing a crying baby on the floor while another baby cries next to me. Someday I’ll think “wow, twin newborns was so hard. How did we do that?” Someday I’ll take a shower when I want to, not when carefully scheduled into a weekend or when Andy can sneak a long tea break. 

More often than not, when my mind start to wander, it wanders in a direction of gratitude. These are a lot of babies, but how lucky am I to get grocery delivery? To have a house stocked with food? To afford to heat my house? To have healthy children? To have Managed birthing 4 children without needing a Caesarean?  How lucky that Andy and I both like an organised house. That we have a dishwasher. That our kids are generally good. That we have friends to drop off food. That if we need something desperately I know we have a community here to help us. 

I know this is a learned behaviour, I wonder if this is just how we think as we get older or whether all the books on gratitude and mental fortitude have rewired me in this way.

I remember learning about abundance mentality and how that makes for a better lived experience than scarcity mentality. Joyful by Ingrid Ferrell Lee has stuck with me - she noted we like visions of abundance in our environment. We like bubbles and snowflakes and filled jars and twinkles lights. Abundance - multiple similar things - make people happy.

What could be more abundant than twins?

December 8, 2023

5 on a Friday

Babies: the internet tells me that 6 weeks old is peak crying. I hope so. There is a lot of crying now.  The internet says 6 weeks is a growth spurt and they do lots of eating. They are definitely doing lots of eating now. I hope the internet is right.  In the meantime I’m even less mobile than I was last week (which was not very mobile)

Hannukah it’s Hannukah! I managed to get 8 presents for each kid, plus 3 combined presents. They are getting a yoto box to share, which seems like a crazy expensive present but also I am really into the screen free entertainment gifts. It’s basically a fake cd player for books on tape.  

With kid gifts I realised that I should take the toy out of its packaging before I give it to the kids. Kids get no joy from watching me read instructions.  Yesterday the kids each got second hand books and some stickers. They loved it. Tonight they got a disco ball I bought for £5 second hand and a colouring book I also bought from the charity shop for £1 each (nothing had been coloured)

Food we have decided it’s impossible to cook anything so we are only eating freezer leftovers. Tonight we had leftover taco mix in wraps. The day before it was fish pie. Kids are eating a rotation of potatoes and pasta with beans or chicken nuggets or fish fingers. We eat a lot of fruit. I also eat snack bars every night and am currently rationing a selection of mini cliff bars. Turns out chocolate coins make a good 4am snack too.

Reading I have started reading again. I was put off because I didn’t feel I would finish my library books before they were due however I decided to start and then put them on hold again later if needed. Currently listening to Tom Lake which is as good as the internet led me to believe it would be. I have YellowFace on Kindle which I am also enjoying, but I will likely not finish it during the loan period. I am also getting though American Royals book 4 which I got from my local library. If I finish al 3 this month that would make this a 60 book year. But I may not and I’m not pressuring myself to finish.

Forgetting Everything. I sent a card to the wrong zip code. I ordered Christmas presents for family in the USA then forgot to send it to the USA. I packed Isaac yogurt for lunch but forgot a spoon. Yesterday we forgot his whole backpack. I didn’t charge the baby sound machine again tonight. I forgot to reschedule my grocery order for the morning time slot today so it’s coming tomorrow instead. None of these are major of course. All of them make me look forward to the time when my brain works again.


December 5, 2023

Christmas Movie Countdown: B&B merry

No one is getting much sleep at the moment. We have passed a new parenting milestone here… on Thursday just after settling babies at 2am my bedroom door burst open and the five year old yelled “I’m going to be sick” and proceeded to be sick on my floor. I run upstairs to get Andy while holding a baby and trying to be nice to the upset 5 year old but also keeping distance from germs… and mentally lamenting the fact that the toilet was equidistant to the bedroom carpet and I really would have preferred Isaac use the toilet. Oh well… our new carpets were going to be less new someday.

Isaac was mostly better by 5am but usually 2-5 is my sleep time. Fast forward to Monday… Andy came upstairs to get me at 11pm (we split sleep and twins right now, I sleep from around 9 to midnight and Andy gets the midnight till kid wake up shift) carrying a baby who hasn’t settled and informing me that the three year old has been sick in her bed. I thought I was going to be feeding a baby to sleep, instead I was changing a bed and consoling the three year old… while trying to keep distance and wash my hands a lot.

She was up from 11Pm to 6am. There was very very little sleep. I started laundry at 2am. Thank god for the drier. It was only after the 2nd sheet change that I remembered we could put a towel down on the bed rather than new sheets each time. Thankfully L seems on the mend now too.

And then there has just been bad nights of baby sleep. Babies up every two hours… but alternating hours. With twins, one sleeping baby is no sleeping babies.

So in 20 to 30 minute chunks, spread out 2-4 times a night, I have really been getting through the Christmas line up.

B&B Merry

I thought this was the squeaky girl from Superstore and the boy from A Christmas Wish for Daisy but it turns out everyone just looks the same. This movie had some amazing dialogue like
Boy: when my dad died I decided to take over the B&H
Girl: sounds like it had been a really hard time for your family
Boy: thank you for recognising that

I need to incorporate “thank you for recognising that” more.

This movie was nice because there basically was no drama at all. It was just watching a bunch of pretty people do nice stuff. Lots of trees. Lots of Christmas decorations. Lots of tiny problems all solved by a Christmas dance. 

I give this movie two Christmas treesπŸŽ„πŸŽ„

December 3, 2023

Christmas movie Countdown: A Castle For Christmas and Father Christmas is Back

A castle for Christmas

Brooke shields and Westley from The Princess Bride? Yes please! Were any of the Scottish characters played by Scottish actors? I don’t know. 

Christmas tree rating πŸŽ„πŸŽ„


Father Christmas is Back

Fraser playing John Cleese’s brother? I’m in. I thought it was bad acting but then I realised it was an intentional style. 

Christmas tree rating πŸŽ„πŸŽ„


December 2, 2023

On having it all.

Today I made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, which we served with apples and yogurt.  Then I used the rest of the canned pumpkin to make pumpkin muffins for Isaac to eat in school.  For lunch kids had scrambled eggs in tortillas.  Andy is currently making this enchilada sauce for this quinoa bake we are having tomorrow.

As I did this cooking explosion I realized that if I had Instagram I might be a person who looks like they have it all together with tiny babies.  A relatively clean house! A decorated christmas tree! Home-cooked meals for all the kids! Babies napping on a rough schedule! Laundry don every day!

However I have also decided intentionally not to do things.  I haven't driven anywhere with the twins.  I haven't taken them further than the local village (15 minute walk).  I haven't dressed them in anything more than one piece sleep-suits.  I haven't had many visitors.  I haven't signed up for baby classes.  I haven't been to a cafe or had a meal or drink siting down outside my house.  I haven't tried to tandem baby-wear. I haven't fed them outside the home.  I haven't tried to do any exercise. 

When people have come by they've often remarked on how tidy my house is, and I've joked that if you take away sleep and work and leaving the house then it's fairly easy to keep a tidy home.  But all these things are trade offs.  I can think of a million things I'm not doing for every 1 thing I am.

Anyways, I'm glad I don't use Instagram.

Now that you know everything we don't do, here are some photos of our recent adventures to set up a Christmas tree




November 30, 2023

Christmas film countdown: Christmas with the Coopers

Today’s review is Christmas at the Coopers. 


Diane Keaton is great. The whole cast is great.  I’m not sure I get the genre of “families that break down over Christmas” as a Christmas film.  This movie had a good amount of people from The Office and I like The Office.  I didn’t end the film feeling particularly festive or Christmassy.

Maybe that’s because my nights currently involve around 2-4 hours of sleep broken into 2-3 chunks?

I’m still sort of embracing “reflection season” and whenever I think of something I wish we could do this year but can’t I write it on next years Christmas list.

The one thing I haven’t figured out how to do with twins yet is leave the house in the car. My world has become very small. I have walked our neighbourhood every day it hasn’t rained… but now I’m getting flashbacks of Covid lockdown rules and I don’t want to relive that either.

But back to this film. It was fine if you want a good ensemble cast experiencing a series of relationship break ups around Christmas, some of which are resolved with kissing.

I give this film three Christmas trees - entirely due to the cast: πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„


November 27, 2023

Babies and Time.

I realized I started this blog wanting to talk about women and technology and time and I'm currently talking a lot about babies.  Mostly because I cannot really string a coherent thought together.  However... I will try!

One topic that emerges repeatedly in discussions of women's labour is the notion that women's work is the mental load and the all encompassing bits of keeping a household running. Men block their work into chunks... women consider the million tiny and unrecognized pieces of daily life.  The common trope is that men mow the lawn - a project that may take a good hour but can be done anytime.  Women pick kids up from school, or pickup a sick kid, or remember to get bin bags, or remember to pack the right lunch or to get teacher gifts... projects that take a similar amount of time to mowing the lawn but do so via tiny fragments of time.

Babies are this.  My entire day (24 hours) is now reduced to 2-3 hour intervals between feeds.  I know when the babies need to go to sleep.  I try and fit a task or two into the potential naps.. naps which last 30 minutes to 2 hours randomly.  At night they will be awake 1 to 10 times for 1 to 10 hours. 

Babies (and children) shatter time into thousands of pieces.

Andy's time is definitely shattered too. He's not doing much fun stuff now either.  We are both in full on newborn triage mode, while also watching the big two and trying to keep them fed and moderately happy. But while his time has been fractured it's not quite as fractured as mine, because I am around these babies 24/7 and he has the opportunity to... do things.  Take the big kids to the bike park.  Go to work for the day.  

I am not trying to complain about this split - it's just different.  It's different because I'm the one at home.  Maybe it's different because I'm the mom?  It's different because of our feeding choices.  But it's still different.

I think the trouble comes when the split doesn't right itself later.  It's very easy to take this new small world of hours and minutes and make this my reality long term. It's hard to realize when life has changed and when the mechanisms needed for survival are not as needed anymore.  

I am acutely aware of my time now - but I wasn't aware of it five years ago.  If I hadn't stumbled upon the gender split thinkers and time management thinkers in 2021 I may still be living life in 2 hour increments from Isaac baby times.

Also, as I think about goals. just because something is hard doesn't mean it needs changing.  The current situation is hard.  It will eventually be less hard.  I am looking forward to using November 2024 to reflect on where my time is going and what I want for 2025.  

4 Weeks old today:

November 26, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Best.Christmas.Ever

Andy and I have a routine for night feeds and twins that was working well for a few days. I go to bed around 8:30pm and Andy gives twins a bottle, then wakes me up when they get hungry for their first feed. A few nights ago this was 3am! I had 6 hours of sleep!

Unfortunately tonight one twin did not settle from bottle to midnight. Andy got me at 12 and so my sleep was from 9-12. Now it’s 4am. I’ve read every NaBloPoMo blog. My Feedly is empty. I checked the news (why? Sad!). And I decided to get out of the Netflix romance algorithm so found Best. Christmas. Ever.

This film was fine. It wasn’t a romance. I like that Christmas films include STEM women and diverse casts now. This wasn’t particularly funny or memorable but if your stuck holding a Newborn that won’t seep in a bedside cot and will only sleep on you at night and you need to pass 7 hours until morning then I would definitely recommend this film as a way to pass 1 hour 40 minutes.

Now it’s 3 hours till morning… although sleepless daytime is not any different than sleepless night really, and sometimes harder due to energetic kids. Luckily babies are so random that when we do the same thing tomorrow they might sleep longer. Or less long. There is no cause and effect. 

I give this film 2 Christmas trees πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„

November 25, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: A Christmas Miracle for Daisy

Babies are not sleeping well. Actually, one baby is sleeping well and one baby is not and it’s not the same one each night. On the plus side I am really churning through the Netflix Christmas spread.

This is a classic cliche Christmas movie. Every house has so much decoration! So many wreaths! Everyone has massive kitchens. Also, how does a guy who just moved to a new town know enough people to throw a Christmas party?  Because that’s what happens in this film. 

I am wondering if al Netflix Christmas films will soon be written by ChatGBT? Or are they already written by AI? 

I give this film 2 Christmas trees πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„

(because it was better than Angel Falls Christmas, which has been demoted to 1 Christmas tree rating): 

 

November 24, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Angel Falls Christmas

 For my second Christmas film I watched Angel Falls Christmas.

This was a straight up Christmas cliche movie, including weird ad breaks where people would stare meaningfully at each other or at the sky. The pros add that chad Michael Murray is nice on the eyes. The cons are the acting and the story line. And the premise. “Female doctor works to hard”? Hmm. But there was a lot of Christmas… all the Christmas… so if your looking for Christmas movie that literally has every Christmas movie thing in it (cookies! Santa! Trees! Giant houses with Christmas stuff everywhere!) then this is the perfect film for you.

I give this film one Christmas tree. πŸŽ„
(And I upgrade Office Christmas Party to 4. I am aware this rating scale makes no sense at all) 

November 23, 2023

Thanks for thanksgiving!



Thanksgiving is not really a big deal in the uk (it’s not a national day of mourning either) but this year we did manage a thanksgiving dinner on thanksgiving! Normally we celebrate in the weekend as everyone is in work in Thursday.  Since my mom is here and I’m on maternity leave we had our meal today. 

Thansgiving is my favourite holiday. Just food, family, and friends.no presents and no/minimal decorations. Lots of being thankful and lots of positive reflections. And I have a lot to be thankful for but it’s all rather cliche.

We picked Isaac up after school (instead of going to wraparound care) and lilah came home early from nursery. For kid snack I managed to make this charcuterie board which the kids (and I) loved:

Kids love well presented food.  I often forget this.  Also, one of my goals for 2024 is to make more charcuterie boards.

And then we had thanksgiving! An American friend of ours joined us and we made the following:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Cornbread
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Devilled eggs
  • Sausage and chestnut stuffing
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie
I used the pumpkin pie recipe from trader Joes website and it was so good! It called for butter as well as evaporated milk. Yum.

I definitely went more out for last years thanksgiving, but I didn’t have newborn twins then.  And I have years of tasty thanksgivings ahead of me. For a thanksgiving with newborn twins this was pretty good.



November 22, 2023

Christmas Film Countdown: Office Christmas Party

These twins are by 3rd & 4th autumn babies, which means I’ve spent nights shushing and feeding babies for 2 of the last 5 holiday seasons. In 2018 I decided to start watching Christmas movies on Netflix during night feeds, and with lilah in 2020 I watched even more. Normally I wait until December to start, but the Netflix recommendations are already here and I don’t sleep between 2am and 7am so I just finished my first Christmas movie of 2023:


Office Christmas Party. This was surprisingly enjoyable! I was going to comment that Netflix had scored a pretty epic cast for this one but I think this may have actually been a real movie (from 2016) not a Netflix original, which probably explains the cast. 

It also had a number of different female characters in it, not all of whom thought about men all the time. It just barely passed the Bechdel test.  Jennifer Aniston is great. I thought it was somewhat funny and somewhat entertaining but the cast pulled it all together for me.

I give this film three Christmas trees. πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

November 21, 2023

Not rocking it.


Today had some fails. I managed to stay cool for about 90% of the day, but the post dinner pre bedtime tired kids did me in at the end and if I was in nursery I’m sure I would have gotten a yellow card for unkind words.

Today I haven’t managed to get babies to sleep anywhere but on me. There is a chance this couch cushion is now permanently moulded to me. I did try to put babies down multiple times… but Audrey was not keen on the pram. Nora was happy to sleep though, but with twins, one sleeping baby is no sleeping babies.

I chopped chicken and peppers for fajitas while rocking the pram with my foot.  I spent a lot of time sitting down today and wishing I could do something… anything. And now, at almost 8pm, I am still sitting down.  Soon I will get at up and go to bed.

Our baby announcements arrived today. And I spelled one of the babies names wrong. So I have re-ordered them at a cost of another £30.  

Baby names correct: Audrey Yael and Nora Bronwyn

Baby name in card: Audrey Yael and Nora Brownyn 

Oops.

It wasn’t all bad. Other things:
  •  I went for a walk (although mistimed and Nora got hungry and started crying and I tried to run home to feed but I am very out of shape and also had two babies three weeks ago so running is hard).
  •  I picked up Isaac from school (although Audrey was crying the whole walk while Nora slept).
  •  I got freezer burned fish cakes from the freezer to defrost for tomorrow dinner (someone left the freezer door slightly open and it’s now filled with ice and I have no idea when I’ll get a chance to defrost it)
  • The cleaner came and the house is clean and I remembered to pay her. 
  • Andy registered the kids births and got their birth certificates (he spelled their names right)

November 20, 2023

Things that are good.

Babies We are getting into a feeding/sleeping routine with the twins.  Andy does the start of the night (including their one bottle) and I do the second half.  This works well for me because I love a 7:30 bedtime.  Last night I slept from 9pm to 2am.  I was up for much of the rest of the night but 5 hours is about as much sleep as anyone with a three week old can expect to get so I am very happy with this.  And, someday, I will sleep 8 hours a night again.

Shoes My life is massively improved with the addition of... CROCS.

I know, welcome to 2010 (??).  I spend so much time walking from my house to the garage to get laundry and each time I had to either put on shoes or put on welly boots and neither was super easy.  I didn't like storing welly boots by the back door (right next to the dining table, and always in the way) and now I can just slip on crocs to get outside quickly.  Also, these are knock-off crocs in a childs size 7, which means they were £12 instead of the adult pair which were £40.  I forget I can buy childs sized shoes and need to do this more (I'm a US size 7, but I think childs sizes go to US adult size 7.5 here? )

Food We are finally finishing the last of the food we were given after babies. I love the US meal trains but it's not a thing over here, thankfully we have very generous friends! I enjoyed the last of our friends lasagna for my 10am lunch and a peanut butter chocolate cookie for snack... now we can start raiding the freezer next if needed.  We did manage to make a roast chicken dinner yesterday so have stocked the fridge with leftovers from that.  All it takes to make a homecooked roast chicken dinner with newborn twins is two parents at home all day and help from grandma.  Easy peasy.

Reading I finished a book!  It was a 4 hour audiobook of short stories which probably intertwined more than my sleepy brain realized, but I enjoyed it anyways.  

I've checked out Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus which is 15 hours long and will see how far I get with it.  I also have a paperback copy of American Royals 4: Reign which I am excited to read but haven't figured out how to read a book and hold or feed twins so not sure if I'll actually be able to read it... but I was very excited that my library had it already!

November 17, 2023

5 on a Friday - one handed typing edition

1 - The twins are back at birth weight, which is good news and means they are finally getting bigger.  So far they have one 4oz bottle of formula every evening but otherwise it’s just me feeding them…  I am a big fan of breastfeeding (for my own babies - you do you for yours!) and I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far. 

2 - Isaac was off school today due to tummy troubles. He and lilah were really fun to hang out with. We did “glueing” in the morning which is their favourite arts and crafts activity… just gluing stuff onto other stuff.  

3 - we interviewed a nanny today and I really liked her. I can’t decide if we need to interview more people or if I should just say “you seem great let’s do it” I’ve never had or hired a nanny before so I’ve got no real idea what I’m looking for, she has all the experience and qualifications and registrations. And she’s a hobbyist cyclist. And she is screen free. 

4 - I have gone for a walk almost every day this week. Today we even managed a walk with the baby shade down and both twins got some sun! Nora is vaguely jaundiced so trying to get her in sunlight during Welsh winter is tricky at best. Another storm is coming this weekend so conscious that I need to get out while I can.

5 - kids costume box is a source of perpetual joy

November 16, 2023

Lowered expectations

 Does anyone remember the show Mad TV where they had a fake dating ad for “Lowered Expectations”?

Two and a half weeks into this twin thing and here are my current lowered expectations:

Baths. Kids don’t really need baths. We used to do daily or every other day. Now… it’s when they’re really mucky. The twins have each had one bath since they were born.

Kid dinner. Kids have had pasta or jacket potatoes for 90% of the dinners since twins were born.

Reading. I don’t read anymore. I started an audiobook yesterday. I’ll be surprised if I get through one book this month

Cooking. Wonderful friends and family have made us every meal except one slow cooker chilli which I made with Andy on a weekend.

To dos. My to do list is all necessary things and all aspirational. I’ve never managed to put away clean laundry the same day it was washed. I do one load of laundry a day. I run the dishwasher. And everything else… doesn’t get done. Andy or I do a 20 minute sweep of the house every evening to put things away, but I’ve hoovered once. 

Diet. I’m hungry and I’m eating everything. Often I eat a cliff bar at night. Sometimes a kind bar too. Today I ate two doughnuts. I also eat cheese and crackers and hummus and basically whatever I’m craving. I had spaghetti with marinara sauce at 10am.

Two  weeks old.

November 14, 2023

Up all night

 I think I’m giving a rather distorted positive view of twin baby life here.  Mostly because I have been writing posts on my computer, which means in order to write posts the babies need to be asleep, which means I have some me time and reflection time and then I feel genuinely positive about the whole situation.  Who can argue with this:

For some perspective shift, it is currently 7:45am. The 3 year old came into our room crying at 7am. Nora and Audrey fed at 5 am but were very grumpy the whole time.  One of them was awake from 1am to 3:30am and I’m not sure which one. Nora was not feeding well. We did lots of nappies all night. Babies had their bottles at 10pm but didn’t finish till 11:30 so I was awake then too. They went straight into bottles from last feed as one of them didn’t fall asleep after the 8pm feed. 

Now this is probably complicated to read because it’s gone backwards in time, but from what I can tell I sept at most from 11:30pm to 1:00am and 5:30am to 7:00am

Andy was up the same, because with two babies there are two sets of feeding and burping and wailing and nappies and even when they are on the same schedule it’s not possible to change two nappies at once. Or they need different burps. Or different lengths of feed.

Now the 3 and 5 year old are 60% playing with Lego and 40% fighting and it’s already 7:50am and it’s going to be a push to get the 5 year old to school on time (8:55).  Luckily the 3 year old goes to nursery and doesn’t have to go arrive at any specific time so we can drop her off whenever.

The problem with nights like this is that there’s no reason it happened and no reason it won’t happen again. This is something planner me really doesn’t like. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of  insanity and also the defining feature of newborn life. 

November 13, 2023

Timing and Schedules

One of the weirdest parts of newborn life / maternity leave is being suddenly so disjointed from the schedules and rhythms that formerly tied everything together.  The obvious lack is the work day - no more 9-5, no more colleagues, no more teams messages.  But it's also so easy to forget what day it is when most days are roughly the same.  

At 3pm every day I am ready for a nap.  

I want to make plans with people, but one thing I haven't figured out how to do is leave the house at any specified time.  Today I finally sent some "hey, do you want to come hang out?" messages to friends who I am close enough to that I know they won't mind sitting in my house and making me food while babies feed.  

When I was on maternity leave last time I was desperate to see people and have play dates on weekends and didn’t understand why everyone else was so much more content than me. As soon as I started work my desire for play dates at 9am on Saturday was gone - I was getting my social fill from work. I suddenly realised why other people were less keen on the 9am play date.

I am two weeks into this adventure though, and very aware that kids change all the time and babies even more so. So I am trying to take it easy, while also very aware that I currently exist in a slightly off kilter temporality.

Life is odd when monitored in time between feeds and naps. It’s 4:30pm and my “to do” list still includes “brush teeth” and “take vitamin”.  I’m aware than very soon I won’t remember if I took my vitamin, but I’ll definitely remember holding these babies who are currently as small as they will ever be 

November 10, 2023

Screens, Books, Food, Books

 I am typing this one handed while Audrey sleeps on my left arm.  Nora is in the downstairs cot. I could try and put them together, but for the sake of one hand why bother?

Screens: I switched back to smart phone and my screen time is already over 3 hours a day on average.  However I'm not sure what the right amount of screen time is - I'm getting through the Netflix show Glamorous during night feeds.  I finished Dynasty - the closest I've ever come to watching a soap opera. I started  That 80's show but it's not very good... however I love the cameos.  Makes me miss Fuller House. Remember when Wilmer Valderrama dated Lindsey Lohan?

I'm also on feedly a lot but on BBC news more than I should be.  I'm giving myself phone grace for now... but it's amazing to see how quickly those numbers can increase.

Books: I enjoyed the audiobook for ultra processed people. I'm sure the same info was relayed in podcast and in the BBC documentary but the book definitely encouraged me to think about food more.  The premise of the book is that ultra processed food is designed to make people eat more and that we are basically turning "food" into "not food" by the amount of additives and processing we do.  I do feel like this might be the missing link between the fuck it diet book and general health books. 

Food: My mom recently brought us bagel crackers from trader Joes and I forgot how insane ingredients lists can be:
I think the UK is either generally better about big weird ingredients lists, or maybe I just don't go down certain isles, but one of the privileges of my current situation is that I can afford to buy real food.  We received a box of Malteasers as a baby present and we decided to give it to the food bank - if I want chocolate (which I do!) I will just eat normal chocolate.  Not this:
I do love a Tonys Chocolony bar:
Although it does have emulsifier, which makes it processed, it definitely has fewer weird things than the Malteasers.

Books Anyways, I need to get a new audio book soon.  I have a copy of "Wild" from the library but it's 13 hours long and I'm worried I won't finish it by the time it's due - which means I haven't started it - which means it's due sooner.  I find myself in a weird reading space where I can't have anything too thoughtful, or too floofy.  I need a break from the Emily Henry books... I enjoyed Beach Read but I'm can't do too many Emily Henry in a row.  I'm not sure what book I *want* to read right now - maybe sci-fi?  Ideally about 6-7 hours long on audio?  

I'm at 55 books for the year, but I get a sense my reading will be slowing down a lot now.  I struggle not to fall asleep to audiobooks right now, which also makes reading harder.  And my eyes don't focus well enough at night for actual reading... because I am very tired.

Summary: that's my life now.  Babies, feeding, sleeping, nappies, being tired, eating food.  It's not too bad (but could use more sleep).

November 5, 2023

What a difference a week makes - gratitude thoughts.

Since the twins were born on Monday it appears that today is the last day of our first week as a family of 6.  It's definitely not been the easiest or most restful week, but it's still exciting and I am being careful to remind myself that I will never have this moment again.  I will never have a 6 day old baby again.  When they stayed up ALL NIGHT on day 2 I reminded myself that I would never stay up all night with a 2 day old baby again.  

After both Isaac and Lilah were born I knew we wanted one more, so I don't remember this feeling of appreciating the moments.  Also, they were 22 months apart and Isaac was a fairly needy non-verbal 2 year old at the time, which is wholly different than the incredibly self sufficient 5 year old he is now.  Lilah is a highly verbal 3 year old who is too clever for me in my sleep deprived state, but can also be very sweet and helpful when so inclined.  I can see why 3 years may be a better age gap for ones sanity (twins aside). 

I am also glad I am not in so much pain anymore - I didn't realize the constant low level pain of carrying twins to 38 weeks combined with the acute pains of trying to roll over or stand up or sit down.  Chronic pain would be really hard to cope with and stay normal/nice.  I will need to do some physical therapy/rehab to sort out whatever my core/pelvis/back situation is... carrying around 16lbs of baby & baby stuff (plus all the other pregnancy weight) has definitely misaligned some things. 

Other gratitude:
I am glad I can wear my normal pajamas again.  I love soft pajamas bottoms.

I am glad I can get rid of my maternity clothes - I have piles to sort through when I can but right now I'm happy it's out of my drawers.  Goodbye maternity clothes!

I am glad that we have friends who have dropped food presents to us. We don't need anything for the babies but oh my do I love food.

And I am glad it's NaBloPoMo!  


There is so much good blogging around the internet and it's awesome for me to have reading material for all hours of night and day.  I am using feedly to follow all your blogs so apologies I cannot comment, but I am already loving so many of the posts.  It's nice to follow the wider world of blogging from the startlingly condensed world of newborns.  

November 2, 2023

How to have a Baby - an update from a not pregnant person

When very pregnant, there is a feeling that each pregnant thing one does is "the thing" that will make the baby/babies come.

With Lilah I remember cleaning the car and thinking "This is it!" and then she didn't come.  With Isaac I went to the gym and sat on a recumbent bike and thought "This is it!" and then he didn't come.  With these babies I had done so many "This is it!" things that I lost count.  

So it turns out, the "this is it!" thing was complaining on the internet.

After the last post I had a call from my midwife at 9:45 saying they were ready for me and how quick could I get there.  I called grandma to come watch kids, I called Andy who was at swim lessons with Isaac, and I got our stuff packed and ready to go.  I made two sandwiches (salmon and cream cheese!) and got to the hospital for 10:30.  By 11am I was in my room and at 12:00 my waters were broken and I was left alone with Andy.

Then a bunch of stuff happened and it was all generally awesome and as hoped for.  I had the most amazing midwives (UK maternity nurses - they are medically trained at hospital) who unfortunately finished shift at 7pm... but my new midwives were also amazing.  The babies were born at 8:30 and 8:45pm with the easiest delivery of all three pregnancies.  There were lots of people in the room but no baby doctors or support was needed for either baby. It's hard to compare a home birth (Lilah) to an epidural in hospital, but in terms of the after recovery this was definitely the easiest.  

It could be also that delivering two 6.5 pound babies is also just easier than one 8 pound baby.  And also, first babies are worst babies when it comes to labour.  It's rather unfair - second babies and onward are almost fun (in memory).  

Now we are a family of 6.  Isaac and Lilah are so excited with their new sisters Nora and Audrey.  I'm not sticking any photos up yet because there are very few times where news is ones own and photos are ones own.  For right now, these twins are ours and we are enjoying every minute.  Except the minutes of awake-ness between 9pm and 6am.  But thankfully I forget those hours surprisingly quickly.  And my remembering self is enjoying this immensely.  

October 30, 2023

How not to have a baby - an update from a very pregnant person.

Last weekend I thought I was enjoying the last weekend as a family of 4.  But, it appears I am always surprised by the NHS processes and baby having processes over here. My induction was scheduled for Friday - that was as far as my consultant advised I wait to have twins (37 weeks 5 days). 

At 2pm they hospital called to say delivery were full.  Instead I went in on Saturday for a check, where they told me they were still full.  They said I would be called on Sunday morning... so I went in Sunday morning to wait.  And wait.  And then I went home at 4pm.  They called at 9pm to say they were still full.

Unfortunately we used all our scheduled childcare as I didn't realize that induction on Friday could result in being still pregnant at home on Monday.  Now we wait to see when they have space... I am apparently one of the rare people who go to over 38 weeks pregnant with twins.  

In good news, Friday night was great as both kids were at sleepovers so Andy and I picked up pizza and ate at home by ourselves.  No bedtime shuffle - we finished dinner and then watched "Get Smart" which was not as bad as I expected.  Low expectations possibly helped. 
I would feel better about this whole situation if the doctors hadn't spent most of the pregnancy telling me that it's best to deliver twins before 38 weeks.  But there's not much to be done - babies will come when they are ready and if the hospital isn't worried then I don't really have any choice but to wait.

Isaac has his first swim lesson today - he's doing a short course of daily lessons as it's fall half term so no school for a week.  Andy started his two weeks of paternity leave today since I can't watch two kids by myself and Isaac is off school.  If we haven't had babies soon he may go back to work and switch his paternity to unpaid leave until the babies are born.

In the interim we have a Monday to fill with family fun as neither kid has childcare.

The clocks went back on Saturday night, but because the kids had such exciting weekends of sleepover and playdates they were completely exhausted on Sunday and fell asleep by 6pm.  Which of course meant they were up at 5:30am... which is fine.  But it does make the morning a bit looooong.

This morning we decided to carve pumpkins - I didn't think I would get to carve pumpkins this year but horray, it's worked in my favor!