178 weeks and 1 day| {Siblings July}

Siblings July 2016

Gosh, what a month for my little pair of siblings!

Lots of ‘firsts’ for them in July.

First proper family holiday, the first time on a plane, first time abroad… I could go on and on.

There have been a LOT of first experiences; sailing, kayaking, windsurfing. An awful lot of lovely for my two little man-cubs.

I’m so, so happy that their very first holiday was so memorable.

I have memories from as young 18 months of age so I KNOW that they will remember some of the amazing things that we did during our time with Mark Warner in Sardinia.

Siblings July 2016
Bertie Bean

The other huge thing to mention is that Bertie has finally started his potty training.

Wooo-hooo!

After still not really showing any clear signs of being ‘ready’, I decided to take the bull by the horns and — with the invaluable help and advice from the boys’ pre-school — we made a start the week before we went on holiday.

It was a much easier process than I’d anticipated, to be honest, and he was really, really quick to get to grips with it.

OK, he had some accidents — some big some small — but now (almost four weeks on) he’s totally got it. At Camp Bestival, over the weekend, he stayed completely dry. And, even for a seasoned veteran, going to the loo in a festival toilet is not the best experience sometimes!! ;)

I think that going on holiday really helped, to be honest. The fact that we were together for a lot of the time was a definite advantage.

Since we’ve been home, even his overnight pull-ups are dry in the morning and he asks to use the loo when he wakes up. Clever little sausage — so very proud of him.

And proud too of his lovely twin, who was SO helpful in aiding his brother.

Siblings July 2016
Cosmo Bear

The pre-school said that Cosmo was often heard asking Bertie if he needed a wee!!!

Little things like that make me so proud. It’s incredibly sweet to see how their relationship is evolving and their gorgeous ‘twinness’ is such a precious thing to see.

They can both count up to 20 (with a bit of help) and Bertie’s speech is coming along in leaps and bounds now. Sometimes his pronunciation is a bit out but he’s a proper little chatterbox, which is lovely.

All in all, my two little friends had an amazing month.

And August is gearing up to be just as special. Watch this space :)

Siblings July 2016
Siblings July 2016 – Loving Cosmo’s catalogue pose!!
Siblings July 2016
Siblings July 2016 | My beautiful pair
Siblings July 2016
Tiny surf dude
Siblings July 2016
Miami Nice
Siblings July 2016
Siblings July 2016 | My Boys

Many thanks to River Island for the boys’ gorgeous outfits. I’m SO impressed with their kids’ ranges — the clothes are fab quality and super-cool. Love them :)

This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words and lifestyle images are entirely my own.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}

Siblings-2016-June-Cuddles

171 weeks. Or three years and three months.

I’ve noticed another huge change, literally, in the last week or so.

The toddlers have gone.

The toddlers have left the building.

The boys were getting ready for bed a couple of nights ago — running around in their nighttime pull-ups — and they looked like GIANT babies. But not babies.

Children.

It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Like this transition has passed me by and I haven’t realised — until now — that the babies I brought home from hospital have grown up!

I remember when they lost their newborn looks and turned into chunky, apple-cheeked, babies. Then again, when that phase ended and they turned into stocky, tottering little toddlers.

And now they’ve morphed into little boys.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}
171 weeks | {Siblings June}

We are living, cheek by jowel, with them every day but we don’t notice these changes until they’ve happened.

Then all of a sudden, it’s like we’re seeing them with new eyes. One minute they leave the room, and the next, they come in looking like a different person.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post to be honest. Albeit that I’m feeling a bit tired and emotional.

There have been so many changes over the last couple of months. Since they started pre-school, in April, they’ve become much more independent, much stronger willed and much more worldly-wise than before.

The nursery that we send them to is incredible — the staff there are fabulous — and they are teaching them so many amazing things. Last week, the topic was ‘Castles and Knights’. They made shields and all Cosmo wanted to talk about was castles and ‘draw-bridges that keep the baddies out’.

Wow. He’s three!

I’m sure I didn’t learn about things like that until I went to primary school.

It makes me so proud to hear them chattering to each other. I love listening to their conversations. Darling little sing-song voices, jabbering away. Both of them as bossy as each other; both trying to be top dog.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}
Cosmo at 171 weeks

Cosmo has got amazing recall — just like his daddy. Tell him something just once and it will be lodged, inside his brain, until the next time he’s asked about it.

He astounds me with his knowledge — and his incredible diction. His grasp on the English language is extraordinary for a three year old.

And Bertie. My little birdy. He’s so sweet and loving.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}
Bertie at 171 weeks

He makes my heart swell with his aptitude for drawing and anything creative.

His key-worker at nursery was so excited a few weeks ago. I went to pick them up and she couldn’t wait to show me how he’d traced his name so beautifully. She said that his pincer grip is amazing for a little one of his age — a little high but amazing — and went on to say that his level of writing skill is akin to that of a reception class child.

I was so proud and also a bit embarrassed that I didn’t know this already. Annoyed with myself that I am not more aware of these childhood benchmarks.

I don’t ever want to take for granted how far they’ve come.

How far we’ve all come.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}
171 weeks | {Siblings June}

If I cast my mind back to when my boy and I were trying to conceive; month after month, unsuccessfully trying so very hard to become parents. Motherhood seemed like an unattainable goal. Like a mirage almost.

I used to dream about my babies — about my children. I would picture them; practical and logical like their daddy, creative and artistic like me.

I would wish for them — with every single fibre of my being — so that my whole body ached and my eyes stung with tears.

And now here they are. Exactly as I wished.

My gorgeous, clever, funny little boys.

I don’t think I’ll ever really feel as though I’m fully awake, ever again, to be honest. It all feels like a beautiful, surreal dream.

171 weeks | {Siblings June}
Best thing ever | {Siblings June}

162 weeks and 1 day | At the allotment {Siblings April}

Siblings at the allotment {April}

So we’re mid through April and what a busy, busy month we’ve all had already.

From the 1st of the month, my tiny boys moved up from the ‘two’s room’ — to pre-school —  and started doing 4 long mornings a week, instead of 2.

But this week one of our cars has been at the mechanic’s (having some major work done — yawn) so the boys have done three full days — from 9am until 5.45pm.

It’s a long old week for two little tots who are used to being at home every afternoon.

They don’t tend to have a nap every day anymore but they do go down for a couple of hours every other day — or when they look like they need it — so a full day at nursery has been a bit of a shock to the system. I’m grateful that it’s just a temporary thing, to be honest. We’re so fortunate that I work from home.

It’s been a busy month for us too; I mentioned in my styling the seasons post that my in-laws have just moved out of their home of 25 years, so we’ve been backwards and forwards — for various reasons — and even left the boys with their nana and papa for a weekend.

Which they loved!

They’re obsessed with my mum and dad. Never mentioned singly, the boys call them ‘nanaandpapa’ as if they were a single entity. Which I suppose they are.

There have been lots of other changes too.

They look taller and leaner for a start; the baby podge is almost gone and the chunky toddlers are being replaced by proper little boys.

Plus Cosmo has totally cracked the potty training (with no help from me I might add).

At the allotment
Cosmo at the allotment

He’d been doing pretty well anyway — wearing pants during the day and asking to use the potty or toilet if he needed to — but at Easter when we drove up to Yorkshire he had pull-ups on in the car (for the long journey) but didn’t want to wee in the them and demanded we stop and find a loo!!

Amazing.

Particularly when Bertie shows no interest at all in getting out of nappies. I’ve tried coaxing, bartering, pleading with him. Nothing seems to make him want to make a start. He’ll ask to use the potty for the occasional wee, but that’s it.

Siblings_April_Bertie
Bertie — deep in thought

I guess I’m not keen to hurry him into it though.

The nursery mentioned that he’s one of the few children in the pre-school who’s still in nappies. And to that I just shrug. He’s a little boy, who’s just turned three, and I think there’s plenty of time for him to get to grips with potty training.

Although if he’s still resisting once the summer arrives, I will might give him a gentle nudge. It will certainly be easier to deal with when the sun is shining ;)

I can’t believe that yesterday marks a whole month since they turned 3! It’s passed so quickly — it feels like just last weekend that we had their pirate party!

Their monthly photos for April were taken down at our allotment last night.

It was such a beautiful evening and my boy wanted to check that the birds hadn’t dug up his onions, so we went en-masse to keep him company.

At the allotment
My three boys at the allotment
At the allotment
Saying hi to the wildlife
At the allotment
How now brown cow
At the allotment
England’s green and pleasant land — the view from our allotment

It was so gorgeous.

Beautiful golden light bathing the fields surrounding the allotment, some friendly cows coming over to investigate, and all the time the air was heavy with birdsong, as our feathered friends came home to roost for the night.

I love where we live. I love the fact that we can walk out of our front door and, in minutes, be surrounded by rolling hills.

And I love the fact that my tiny sons will grow up in this beautiful environment.

I watched them for ages; running up and down the allotment, laughing and playing. They are lucky indeed. Not only are they privileged to grow up in this beautiful country — I’ve spoken about my thoughts on that before — but they’re immensely lucky to be born with a built-in playmate.

Listening to them laugh is music to my ears. I can’t think of a more beautiful sound.

 

At the allotment
My pair of little nutters
At the allotment
My loves — Siblings in April

155 and 1 day | Siblings in February

In less than a month’s time our boys will be turning three.

In 17 days time, to be precise.

No longer babies, in the literal sense, my two tiny man-cubs are now little boys.

Their daddy and I have been privileged to watch these two humans be born into the world — two ruby-red scraps of bone and skin — weighing less than 6lb each. We’ve seen them grow and change, day by day.

Marvelling at how the sanguine, bird-like bird limbs have transformed into chubby, strong little arms and legs.

Applauding every milestone, every new achievement.

We’ve been frightened for their health; particularly when Bertie wouldn’t wake up to feed, in the very early days, and nearly had to go back into hospital to be tube fed.

No-one tells you how hard it can be to rouse a lethargic, premature baby, who desperately needs milk in order to stay alive.

Or the terror when I realised he was allergic to egg; which resulted in a trip in the back of an ambulance; blue lights flashing.

Ditto when Cosmo almost choked on a small piece of tinfoil.

It’s extraordinary how quickly the protective parental instinct kicks in, once you have children. A fierce lioness, inside me, that I never knew existed.

Even more extraordinary is how much love you can feel for such a small person. How much impact they can have on your lives, before you’ve even met them.

I loved them even before they were born.

And now I watch them, eating, sleeping, fighting, playing.

And I love them even more.

My little Siblings in February
Siblings in February — Cosmo Bear
My little Siblings in February
Siblings in February — Bear hug.
My little Siblings in February
Siblings in February — two little heads together.
My little Siblings in February
My little Siblings in February — brotherly love

149 weeks | 2 years and 10 months old | Siblings January

2 years and 10 months old today. In just 2 months time we’ll be celebrating the BIG THREE!

How did that happen??

It literally feels like only last weekend that I had them. How can my tiny newborn babies nearly be three years old? Crazy.

So what’s been happening over the last month? Well, we’ve seen lots of new developments; some that are absolutely lovely, others not so much.

My favourite new thing is seeing them practice imaginative play. There’s generally a lot of shrieking — and roaring — involved. Shouts of:

‘It’s a tiger! Quick mummy — let’s hide!! We need to hide from the tiger!!!’

followed by one of them (generally Bertie) crawling around on the floor, growling like a big cat.

This is such a lovely thing to see. I love seeing how vast and colourful their imaginations are — already, at this young age — and it’s also really heartwarming to see them playing together in this way.

Cosmo was playing with a little digger we’d bought him for Christmas, at the breakfast table the other day, using it to push a cereal box along. The whole time, he was chattering away in his little sing-song voice. Totally oblivious to anything apart from the task in hand.

‘The digger pushes the rock out of the way. The digger is digging up the road.’

twins at 2 years and 10 months old
Cosmo at 2 years and 10 months old

My boy and I were both staring at him; marvelling at how much he’s come on in just a couple of months or so. It was SO lovely to witness.

Then at nursery today, his key worker suggested that he’s now ready to wear pants.

Cosmo has been SO good at using the potty and she said that, when they change the kids at 10.30am, he’s been dry every-time recently.

I can hold my hands up and say that I’ve been a lot more reticent about potty training than he has! He’s almost been doing it with no input from me at all. I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and take the advice of his key-worker.

Starting from next week, pants are in, nappies out.

Wish me luck! ;)

His twin shows no sign of potty training any time soon, thankfully! In the last week, he has agreed to ‘sit’ on the loo seat or potty — which is an enormous leap forward. Previously, when he’s been asked if he’s like to take a seat on the potty, it’s been met with a vigorous shake of the head — NO!

In some ways, it’s good that this development is staggered — I’m not sure I could cope with two kids potty training simultaneously!

On the plus side, Bertie’s speech is coming on in leaps and bounds. I’m not so worried about this now as, over the last couple of months, it’s been really noticeable how many new words he’s begun to use. He mimics us and will try to pronounce different words too. Really fantastic. And a little bit of a relief too, if I’m honest.

Plus he is the master of forward rolls. This development is nothing short of amazing. Perfect every time — I think this boy’s destined to be an Olympic gymnast ;)

twins at 2 years and 10 months old
Bertie at 2 years and 10 months old

Not so good have been the ENORMOUS tantrums. He is so incredibly independent. If he wants to do something himself, you’ll be met with utter defiance and the immortal words:

My do it’

He’s regularly been known to get out of the car seat — and out of the car — just so he can get back in, all by himself.

Time consuming. Yes.

Frustrating. Yes.

But in an odd way, I actually revel in the fact that he’s making his mark and beginning to exert his authority. It shows that he’s learning and growing and — even though it can be utterly exhausting at times (and upsetting to have our requests met with such open resistance) it’s also a positive thing.

I look at these two amazing little creatures and feel so fortunate to be part of their lives. Their daddy and I, literally, have the best seats in the house, when it comes to watching them grow.

They’re funny and intelligent — and so loving. I love these faces more than I can say.

It could have been so different. Lucky doesn’t even come close.

twins at 2 years and 10 months old
Siblings in January
twins at 2 years and 10 months old
Bertie and Cosmo at 2 years and 10 months old

Linking up with:

Lucy at Dear Beautiful for #Siblings
Steph at 139a for #PoCoLo

145 weeks and 2 days | Siblings in December

The last Siblings post of the year — and a little bit later than originally planned too. Our two little twin siblings in December — what have they been up to?

As ever, this time of year is so ridiculously frantic. My mind has been all over the place; I’ve been designing new papercuts for my shop, finishing off orders for Not On The High Street, whilst trying to get organised for Christmas.

The blog has had to join the queue, in order of priorities, so things have slid a little. Everything seems to be a priority at the moment — the deadline to get most things done is next Monday — there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day!

As ever, these photos were taken on 13th.

Even though I haven’t managed to put them in a blog post, I haven’t missed the monthly photo — taken on the same day each month — since they were born.

That said, they’re very grainy! I almost forgot what day it was and only remembered at around ten-to-four, in the afternoon. The light was all but gone, so the quality is pretty awful but, as ever, quality aside, they do give a clear(ish) pictorial reference of my darlings. Blurry and grainy but their laughter and animated faces have been captured — and preserved — forever.

Siblings in December
Siblings in December | Momo tickled by something his brother has said
Siblings in December
Siblings in December | Two tiny boys and big man shaped boy.
Siblings in December
Siblings in December | Fun and laughter

This month has been SO fun!

There has been a lot of chat about Santa Claus. Even though it’s their third Christmas, it’s the first year that the boys really have any notion of what’s going on.

The first Christmas they were just 9 months old. It was our first as a family of 4 and I was beside myself that we had two squashy little babies to celebrate with.

The second, they were 21 months. A little more interactive but they were still learning words and didn’t understand the notion of Christmas at all. It just passed in a happy, twinkly blur.

Although, even now, I don’t think they’re really sure. We keep chatting about Father Christmas — and looking at pictures together — but I’m not entirely convinced that they understand what we’re talking about. Although they are picking up on the happy vibes and were so excited when we fetched the tree and saw the reindeers.

I love this time of year and my excitement is definitely rubbing off on them — it’s contagious!

I’ve just sat down for half an hour whilst my boy is making the supper (lucky girl I am) and sorted out the photos from the last 12 months.

Extraordinary to think that in a few days time we’ll be welcoming another year.

Scary that the boys will be leaving behind ‘The Two’s Room’ and moving up to the ‘Pre-School’ in March. My babies are growing so fast.

Here is a little look back over the last 12 months.

Siblings in December
The changing faces of Bertie and Cosmo in 2015

This year has been a blast. To hear their little sing-song voices speak proper sentences for the first time has been amazing. I’m so very proud of my little charges.

And now I’m looking forward to the next twelve.

Another four seasons of adventures with my tiny boys. Another year of lovely milestones and exciting challenges as a mama of twins.

Bring it on. I’m ready for you.

141 weeks | Siblings November

A little bit late with this month’s Siblings post!

I managed to take the photographs and post them on my Facebook — which is something that I’ve done since the boys were first born — but this is the first opportunity I’ve had, to sit down and write a proper update on what’s been happening!

This month has seen lots of changes. My boys are now 2 years and 8 months old — well over the half-way mark to the next big milestone — and we’ve started seeing some really interesting changes, since last month’s update.

Bertie’s speech is really starting to come on. He’s still not as accomplished as his very chatty twin (in this department)  but he’s really beginning to make himself known and I’ve noticed that he’s beginning to form his words much better now.

The other thing I’ve noticed — and have been absolutely tickled by — is the fact that Cosmo has started to role-play. This is a really new development. He and Bertie have always played together but over the last few weeks have been a lot of complicated games, involving hiding from tigers, getting on planes, hanging out in swimming pools —

‘I’m swimming in the water mummy!’

— whilst thrashing about on the floor.

Not to mention my very favourite role-play, which happened yesterday. Cosmo had a plastic wand and was pretending to cast spells with it with it. He told me it was like Nanny Plum’s wand and kept saying:

‘Abbacadabba —  I turn you into a frog!’ then tapped me on the shoulder — to which I replied:

‘Gribbit, gribbit — oh no! You’ve turn me into a frog?! Quickly turn me back in to mummy!’

He tapped me on the shoulder again — ‘You’re mummy again’.

Then again:

Abbacadabba —  I turn you into a rabbit!’ then tapped me on the shoulder — to which I would twitch my nose — and so on.

This went on for quite sometime. I was a frog, a rabbit, a bird, a horse, a sheep… it was amazing to see this little boy’s imagination working in such a collaborative and fun way! This is such a lovely development. So sweet to be able to play together in this way — I love it!

The last development, in this month’s round-up, is that the boys have made the transition from a Gro-Bag to a duvet and pillow! We had a few sleepless nights with Cosmo (after Halloween — note to self, no scary make-up or masks next year) and decided that the bag was looking a little too small. Instead of replacing it with a bigger size, we bought little bedding sets from IKEA.

These were greeted with mucho enthusiasm! The boys LOVE their new bed set up.

We’re still not any nearer to taking the bars off the cots — which suits me perfectly — but they’re getting used to having ‘grown up’ bedding, for when we do. Plus, the biggest bonus? Normal service has now resumed and he’s sleeping peacefully through the night once more ;)

I’ll post a little nursery update soon; we’ve a couple of additions — since I created the nursery room tour — so it’s quite nice to see how their room is evolving.

I’ll leave you with the pics I took on the 13th. Love these little faces more than I can possibly say!

siblings

siblings

siblings
My siblings in November
dear beautiful

135 weeks and 6 days | 2 years and 7 months old | Siblings October

siblings5

Sometimes I forget that I have ‘twins’.

That may sound a bit odd — given the fact that I do — but most of the time my boys are so different I just see them as little individuals.

From the moment they were born their personalities were so very defined.

Bertie. Quiet and thoughtful.

Watching — taking everything in. Wanting to see how things work — take things apart. Carrying armfuls of ‘treasure’ around.

He’s a bit of a hoarder; we’ve always called him ‘Mr Trebus‘ after the old gentleman who appeared on that TV programme — Life Of Grime — whose house was literally being held up by newspapers.

siblings4
Bertie with his plastic tomato — as you do…
siblings6
Cosmo — shouting through the letter box ‘HELLO IS ANYONE THERE?’

Cosmo. Vocal. Emotionally intelligent. Desperate to chat — to be involved with whatever we’re doing.

Always a little ahead of his brother, in reaching the developmental milestones; he’s striding ahead with potty-training and is so quick to pick up new things.

All in all they’ve been different — not only in looks — from the very first moment we clapped eyes on them.

2 years and 7 months old
Peas in a pod — 2 years and 7 months old today
2 years and 7 months old
The same, yet different — 2 years and 7 months old today

Then every so often, something will happen that will serve as a gentle reminder of their ‘twinness’.

The angle of their heads as they play.

Seeing them running around, they mirror each other sometimes. Not sure whether it’s intentional but it looks to be the most natural thing in the world. Totally unstaged. And it’s so lovely to witness.

I had to ask Cosmo — for the first time — the other day what his brother was saying.

Bert was repeating something, again and again, and I just didn’t understand.

So I said to Cosmo — ‘what did he say?’

He looked at me with a totally level gaze and just told me — in plain English— what I needed to know. I had *almost* thought that he would shrug his shoulders and say ‘I don’t know’.

But of course he knew.

Of course he knows what his twin is saying. Is thinking and feeling. They may look very different — and may have toally different skill sets but they are like little peas in a pod.

My two little sons.

Two sides of the same coin.

130 weeks and 4 days | Happy half year birthday! | Siblings {September}

My darling boys — happy half year birthday!

Another midway mark reached and we’re hurtling towards another huge, annual milestone.

It’s impossible to ring all of the extraordinary changes we’ve witnessed over the last 2 and a half years. From the moment you were born, you’ve altered our lives in the best way imaginable. Watching you change and grow is a privilege I’ll never, ever take for granted.

Two, brand new, perfect little humans. Fresh little lives — like tiny sponges — waiting to soak up new sights and sounds. It’s been incredible, watching you both develop. It’s made me look at the world with new eyes. Experiencing things with you for the first time has been magical.

Our tiny twin man-cubs. So, so different in every way, yet oddly similar. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is either. The tilt of your heads? A cheeky glance? Inherent defiance? Probably all of those things.

You’re intrinsically linked by an invisible thread, bonding you together. My twins. Our sons.

Mama loves you more than words can say.