Matching pears 

I never thought I’d be a mum who dresses her children the same, but occasionally I just can’t resist it! Iris and Astrid were lying together on the floor at my Grampy’s house today, Iris chatting away to her little sister, and I got some lovely pictures. I just had to pop them here to look back on. I can’t believe Astrid is seven weeks old tomorrow!  

    
    
   

My mum bought the pears leggings and cardigans from TU at Sainsburys, in case anybody was wondering. 

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Our week in pictures #15

Well it’s been a much better week than the last one, which is definitely a huge relief. It’s still had its moments though. I think I’m feeling a little bit blue, and I need to fight it because LIFE IS GOOD. 

After writing my last weekly update we trundled off in the pouring rain to the sling meet. I so love our local babywearing group! I sold the first woven sling I bought, back when Iris was really tiny. I feel a bit sad about it, but I never use it anymore. I have prettier slings now, and it’s too long for me anyway. I made up for it by buying a brand new sling. A gorgeous Firespiral in greeny-grey that has been converted into a ring sling. It’s amazing for getting babies up and down quickly, and I’ve already used it for both kiddos. My sister used it with my niece who is nearly 4! I even managed to walk around breastfeeding Astrid in it at the weekend. Definitely a good purchase. 

On Saturday we got up early and headed off to Bristol for a cafe breakfast with my closest friends (I miss you guys so very much!). Our kids played with their kids and we all had a great time. Then we met my sister and her family at Bristol Zoo. I absolutely love Bristol Zoo. I worked there years ago and miss it very much. I know people complain because it doesn’t have very many big animals but I can only see that as a good thing. The little creatures are just as much fun. We particularly like Bug World! Iris is a huge fan of the aquariums and aviaries. It was cold and wet, and we forgot the rain cover for the new pushchair, but we had a really fantastic day. There’s nothing I love more than seeing all of the kids together having fun. We stopped for Nandos on the way home, and it was the perfect way to end a fun day. A great early birthday treat for me! 

Sunday was spent visiting Grandma, where we had lunch in a lovely cafe followed by enormous slices of cake. Then we took the big two back to their mum. Sometimes it feels like they’ve only been with us for 5 minutes and we all feel quite sad when they’ve gone. Iris has learnt to say the biggest one’s name and keeps repeating it as if that’ll make her reappear. 

On Monday I turned 31 and it was not my best birthday ever. Looking back from the other end of the week I can see that I’d just let everything get on top of me. A busy weekend meant the house was trashed, I hadn’t slept, the babies were shouty, and I was completely overwhelmed. I just felt like crap. I definitely need to take better care of myself. Trevor took Iris out to the supermarket for a bit and me and Astrid went to bed. I felt a bit better and Trevor produced an enormous chocolate cake. After a big slice and a gin and tonic, my birthday was looking up a bit. I have the best boyfriend ever! 

On Tuesday I really wanted to spend my birthday money. I totally forgot that a new playgroup started in the village and took the  bus to one in town. Then I went shopping. And bought nothing. I’m terrible at buying clothes and shoes. I desperately need them but I can’t decide what I like and what suits me. My body has changed so much and I haven’t changed my wardrobe with it. I’m so confused about what to wear that I just give up. I need help! Instead I used some of Iris’s Christmas money to buy some new wooden puzzles. 

On Wednesday we went to crochet club again, but it wasn’t as cheerful as usual. A friend’s little baby boy is in hospital with meningitis, and we’re all worried sick. I cannot begin to imagine how they are feeling. I’m terrified and he’s not my baby. It’s just awful. I hope he recovers fully and quickly. 

Yesterday I got my haircut, while Trevor pushed the girls around the park trying to keep them asleep! Then we went to breastfeeding support group, where we all talked about meningitis and how terrifying it is. Iris had fun running up and down with her friends. 

Today is a pyjama day. The health visitor came to check up on Astrid, then we came upstairs where I am writing this in the middle of my bed with a sleeping baby on either side of me. A friend is coming over for a cuppa in a while. In the meantime I’m enjoying a moment of quiet. 

It’s Friday! Have a good weekend!   

        

    
    
  

   
   

  

     

    
  

    
  

    
  

31

Yesterday I turned 31. It’s no big deal. I didn’t care much about turning 30, so 31 means nothing to me. 

It wasn’t my best birthday ever. 
The way I spent it seems to say a lot about who I have become. And I need to work on it. 

I did the housework. Or rather, I tried to do the housework while looking after two small but very demanding girls. We had a busy weekend and the house was trashed. After spending the whole day on it, it looked exactly the same. I achieved the sum total of nothing whatsoever. 

I was shattered too. I hadn’t slept. I haven’t slept in months and months and months. My skin is pale apart from the huge dark circles under my eyes. My hair is long and scraggly with a million split ends, and is several different colours from using whatever dye is on offer then letting it fade completely before doing it again. I have an enormous mouth ulcer that formed after Iris head butted me and my wonky teeth cut into my lip. My lips are chapped and sore. My skin is dry and tight. My jeans that fit a couple of weeks ago now don’t fit, and all I eat is Nutella on toast. 

I feel like crap. 

I’m clearly very run down. I’m not taking care of myself at all. I could probably do with some vitamins and definitely an iron supplement. 

It’s probably all pretty normal stuff for somebody who has had two babies ridiculously close together. I’m not sure it’s normal for every single part of me to ache and throb. 

I’m so tired. 

Today I bought some make up. I’m seriously considering buying one of those pinafore dresses that seem to be the latest trend. 

I’m going to get my hair cut, start taking supplements and have a chat with my GP about feeling fed up all of the time. 

I’m giving up Nutella. 

I’m 31, and it’s about time I got the hang of looking after myself. 

Astrid at six weeks 

  A week of trapped wind, crying and cluster feeding brings Astrid up to six weeks. It’s been a really long week, and I’m struggling a bit. Iris has missed out while Astrid needs constant attention and I feel really terrible about it. I’ve been thinking back to when Iris was tiny to remind me that this hard bit doesn’t last. Soon enough they’re sitting up and playing and you miss the tiny newborn stage. She’s my last baby and I need to enjoy it, even the difficult bits, no matter how hard it is. 

Exhausting as it is, it’s wonderful too. In a week of tears and screaming, Astrid smiled her first smiles and made it all worth while. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t capture the full grin on camera. My phone always seems to be just out of reach, or Astrid moves and the picture blurs.  

 The cough has improved, but is still with us. It doesn’t seem to bother Astrid as much as it bothers me, thankfully. I’m sure it’s not normal to have a cough for the whole first six weeks of your life, so I may just take her back to the GP this week. The health visitor didn’t come this week. She’s not coming weekly anymore as Astrid is gaining weight so well. This does mean I don’t know what she currently weighs, but she’s certainly grown and feels heavier in my arms! Feeding is going well still, and Astrid has barely stopped this week. It feels like there’s barely five minutes in between, which is exhausting, but I know it’s a good thing. 
I’ve been putting a tiny bit of Iris’s Aveeno cream on Astrid’s face each day, and the dry spots have almost completely cleared up. The eyebrow cradle cap has too. She’s looking much smoother and healthier!

This week our double pushchair arrived and Astrid had her first trip out not in a sling, which went well. I also sold the first woven sling I bought when Iris was tiny, and bought a beautiful Firespiral ring sling. It’s so quick and easy to get Astrid is and out of and I even managed to breastfeed her in it while walking around Bristol Zoo yesterday! 

I’m hoping the week ahead is an easier one and I get back to feeling like I’ve got a good grip on the organisation required to manage two small people’s needs!  

 

Iris at 20 months 

For some reason 20 months feels like a big milestone. My one-year-old is actually nearly two, and has changed so much recently I can barely keep up.  
I thought of Iris as still a baby right up until Astrid came along, and now she just seems so grown up. I’ve suddenly realised how much she understands and how much she can do independently. 
Yesterday the Timehop app gave me a video of Iris trying to crawl. A year ago. How can she have learnt to crawl, walk, run, dance and jump? All in just a year? She’s said her first word, her first sentence. She knows exactly what she wants and exactly how to ask for it.   
There has never been a more adoring big sister. She’s forever waking Astrid up by holding her hand or stroking her hair. She likes to check Astrid has all of her body parts on a regular basis. “She got hands”. “She got bum”. “She got nose”. It’s my favourite thing ever. When Astrid cries she says “aww baby, s’ok” then points at me and says “booby”. Haha! She plants soppy kisses on her head and sometimes squeezes her just a little bit too tight.   
Iris still eats like a horse and will eat most things. I’m still not sure I could cope with a fussy eater so I hope Astrid is the same. Iris has phases of becoming obsessed with one particular food and eating loads of it until she goes off it and doesn’t want it anymore. I do that too, so I know where she gets that from! Recently it was blueberries, and they made her poo purple. Revolting!   
I feared her good sleep habits might be ruined by having a newborn in the room, but it’s been ok. Iris has even made the decision to sleep in her own bed (a cot at the end of our bed) a few times. I’m not pushing it because it’ll feel like I’m pushing her out to make a space for the baby. We did buy her some Twirlywoos bedding to celebrate this milestone though!   
I’m relieved to find that Iris now knows who my family are. We don’t see them all that often and she never remembered them. Now she knows exactly who Nanny, Auntie Kaytee and her cousins are! Partly because we’ve seen more of them lately, but also because she has developed her memory. She knows Trevor’s mum is grandma too, and often pretends to ring her on the phone (or the tv remote).   
My poor outdoors girl has had to spend an awful lot of time indoors recently, thanks to the baby arriving and the rain pouring constantly for months on end. We’ve had some bright but freezing days lately, so I’ve grabbed the opportunity to wrap her up warm and take her out with her bike. She gets restless and frustrated at home, so hopefully Spring will be along soon and we can spend our days in the park once more.   
We’re using the last bag of hand-me-down clothes that I packed into sizes when I was pregnant the first time. Pretty soon we’ll have to actually start buying Iris clothes! She’s wearing 18-24 months and some age 2-3. I keep putting Astrid in tiny outfits that Iris used to wear, and I can’t believe how much she has grown! She was smaller than Astrid is too, and that just blows my mind!   
We’ll be planning a 2nd birthday before we know it now, and that just doesn’t seem possible. All those times that my parents told me time flies by too quickly when you have kids, and now I know exactly what they’re talking about.   
Iris. You’re a big bit awesome. 

Our week in pictures #14

It’s been a real toughie, this week. I’m so exhausted I just want to cry or get drunk.  I definitely need chocolate. 

The weekend was nice. We took Iris to the new ice cream parlour that has opened nearby and it was fabulous! Trevor watched quite a lot of rugby, and we had Iris’s feet measured for new shoes. Whenever she wears them she says they are hot and blows on them. I’m not really sure what to make of that. 

Monday and Tuesday were dreadful. Apart from a sunny but cold walk with the dog and the ToddleBike, we did nothing. Astrid cried all day long and I couldn’t calm her down. I couldn’t shower or eat or play with Iris. It was exhausting. Meanwhile Iris had constipation and kept getting upset. 

We managed lunch out and crochet club on Wednesday but only just. It was another hard exhausting day. In the evening Trevor picked up our new pushchair and we put it together. I’ve been excited for is arrival so it brightened up a bad day a little bit. 

Yesterday we got to breastfeeding group, but it was a struggle. The morning was awful and I nearly gave up. How do you get three of you ready and out of the house when you have a baby who screams constantly and a wild toddler who causes chaos? I can’t figure it out at the moment. 

Bedtime has been hard too. Trevor hasn’t been getting home in time, and I’m not sure how to get Iris to sleep while Astrid screams. It’s just not possible. 

Thank goodness it’s finally Friday. 

We have plans this weekend to celebrate my birthday, which is on Monday. I don’t really want to do any of it right now. I’d just like some time alone and a pint of gin. 

  
    
    
    
  

    
  

   

 

Sore bums and sore heads

It’s been a little quiet here because it’s been a little noisy in my life. 

Having two children under two is incredibly hard work. I knew it would be and I am not surprised. It’s no more difficult than I anticipated. 

My head hurts. Trev hasn’t been home in time to help with bedtime for days, and Astrid keeps screaming and screaming and nothing calms her down. Iris has been suffering with constipation and keeps crying and saying ‘poo hurts’.  She wakes up several times a night, very briefly, to cry out. 

I have a million things to do, including finishing several blog posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder for quite a while. 

I just can’t do it. There’s no time. 

So forgive me, while I get better at this, for being so quiet. Don’t go away. I’ll be back when Iris has done her poo, Astrid has finally burped and my headache has gone away. 

In the meantime Peppa Pig will be parenting Iris for me while I beg Astrid to just be quiet for just five minutes pretty please. 

  
PS: Our new pushchair finally arrived and the rainbow colours have brightened things up just a little bit!