05 Winter wonderland? – dailyish updates from December 2015

31 December 2015

Happy New Year’s Eve

We’ve had a great last few days in Austin. The babes finally settled into a reasonable sleep pattern. 

Yesterday we visited the Capitol where I was a tour guide for 5 summers, and met up with my tour guide friend Susan.

   
    
 Then we went for dinner at Nick and Lauren’s new house in Elgin. 

  
We ended up spending the night and had a fabulous time over a little too much wine and scotch.

Today we went out to see Rosie and Tony and meet their two boys Tomas and Rafael. 

   
 
Then finally to introduce the twins to Shawn.

  
We saw the year out watching movies and eating steak and fudge with Mom and Jim.

2015 has been like no other year. I’m so looking forward to what 2016 brings. 

29 December 2015

Yesterday we went to Mom’s hospital and weighed the babies. Margot is now 14lb 3 and Isaac is 14lb 2. She’s over taking him! 

Then we went to Ten Thousand Villages. Amazing that their great great grandmother started that organisation.

Later we went to dinner at Gracie and Bob’s. Such a good night just chatting till midnight. 

  
We also met Sam Richards (in the left) who is Anne Richard’s granddaughter. 

Today we went to Zilker Park and met up with Alicia and her kids Megan and Anthony. 

  
It was nice to introduce the twins to the hike and bike trail. 

  
Patrick has also declared that grackles are basically just goth magpies!

  
27 December 2015

The day after the Boxing Day drive… 

This morning was Jim’s birthday. For his birthday he wanted to watch the twins open their Christmas presents. To be fair they mainly liked the wrapping paper.

   
   
Later we went out to Kris and Jean’s for a get together. We had such an awesome time. Then we went out for dinner with Shawn and finally to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Star Wars. It was amazing. 

25 December 2015

Christmas Day 

The babes’ first Christmas! We took it pretty easy but had a lovely Christmas dinner with the family. Grandma came over from the villa and we had turkey with all the trimmings! 

   
    
    
 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve

Yesterday was the drive to Kansas. The babes did a good job but probably slept too much as they had a horrible night last night. 

We had a great day in Heston with the family introducing the twins to their great grandparents and great uncle John and aunts Johanna and Laurel. Also Johanna’s daughters Jillian and Megan. 

  
We also went on a wintery walk round the arboretum with Grandpa. He was reminiscing about the causes and consequences of the Korean War. We took pictures is the scenery. 

   
 22 December 2015

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…

There is definitely no sleigh and no horse involved.

Last night we went to Gracie and Bob’s and saw Maddie and her boyfriend Jared. Inconceivably she is now 20.

   
 
Today we drove up to Fort Worth to Jim and Sandy and saw the extended Mitchell clan. The babes did reasonably well on the drive but had a piercing screaming meltdown around noon. Frankly I couldn’t blame them. 

It was amazing to see how grown up all the cousins were. Nearly all of them have children of their own now! 

To Kansas tomorrow… 

21 December 2015

Christmas has begun.

Friday we had a mad dash to get out of the house and to Claire’s for the day. We made it out by the skin of our teeth (Patrick’s hangover was a decided hinderence). In the end we had a great day with Claire and a lovely evening with Maddy and Rob. 

The flight on Saturday was significantly less awful than we’d feared. Though Isaac had a poonami all over Patrick’s shirt before we’d even left the runway.

The first night wasn’t so bad. We put them down at 6 this time and they slept till midnight (we went to bed at 8. Then there was a lot of screaming but they went down again till 3. Then screaming. Then slept till 6 am and from there we were on our normal schedule. 

We went to Zilker Park in the afternoon and caught up with friends from elementary school. Emma, Leslie, Beth, Hannah, Katie, Tawney, their kids and also Jane, Sheryl and Kathy! Shocking hoe much stayed the same even have 25 years (or so). 

  
Today has been a slow start. But we had a good night.

17 December 2015

Awful nights and the new best game 

It’s been a rough night… A rough morning and just generally a bit stressful. I read an article about how people only present the good parts of their life on social media. So in the spirit is honesty, we had a hideous night and morning. The kind where I end up in tears and just slightly hating the babies. 

Isaac was refusing to sleep last night so I had a couple hours in the chair with him. When we got up In the morning he was all smiley and happy. And I just couldn’t cope with him. I got them down for a nap, but that didn’t last long. 

The twins have started on the sibling rivalry. There is no better toy than the one your brother is playing with.

  
Luckily my former CABE colleague Kathy came to hang out with the babes and I got a chance to do some packing.

I have just realised today is basically the end of my maternity leave. Tomorrow is being spent with Clairr and P only has a half day of work… Then two weeks in Texas then the office… 

So strange. I took a walk round Finsbury Park and nearly cried. Am feeling surprisingly emotional about this. Suddenly. Maybe it’s not so surprising. 

I found myself really staring at the twins tonight. They’re still so little. They have these amazing grey eyes and I’m dying to see what colour they turn. Isaac’s hair seems to have a slightly reddish tinge… Today is the end of just the three of us. On our own. Everyday. 

And so that was the end is that chapter. Things will inevitably be different with Patrick at home and me at work. 

15 December 2015

Six months today! 

  
We seem to have inadvertently moved the twins into the nursery. We had put the travel the tents into our room to get them used to them, but then we ended up putting them in the cots in the nursery. 

The first couple of nights I ended up having them in the bed with me after a while but last night we had a minor breakthrough. 

They both woke up for a feed around 11 and then Isaac slept till 4, and Margot went through to 5:30. I got 5 hours of actual sleep in my own bed!! Hurrah!! 

Today we had Jess, Kerry, and Virginia over for coffee and mince pies. The twins were on good form and then had a nap. 

After they left we had a bit of a roll around. Literally in Margot’s case! She is so keen to be mobile!! 

  
Tonight is the Urbanistas Christmas drinks and I’m hoping to make it for a couple. 

14 December 2015

Final countdown

We had a really lovely weekend. The babies were great during the day. On Saturday our friends Sam and Sarah came over for lunch and the babes managed to sleep while we were eating. So it was like having an adult meal! 

Then we had a really chilled out Saturday night.

On Sunday morning Margot decided she would grab and eat fistfuls of left over Christmas pudding.

  
We then went for brunch at Izzy and Jonny’s. Felix has gotten so big! The babes managed to take a nap in their buggy while we had food. Again just fantastic.

Later we went to Alec and Cheryl’s Christmas on the Isthmus. Which was funny as I was pregnant at last year’s party. It’s definitely getting Christmasy. 

  
Today Abi came round and I ran around trying to get us organised for the imminent trip to Austin. 

11 December 2015

New clothes and new friends 

The babies have been wearing their 0-3 months clothes for quite some time, but as they turn 6 months on Tuesday (!!) I’ve broken out the 3-6 month clothes. 

It’s all a little big… But the babes don’t seem to mind. 

  
Today we met Dorothy and her daughter Charlotte. Dorothy is also Texan and went to UT Austin, Charlotte is also 6 months old so we had a lot in common. We sat in her kitchen and ate real chips and salsa drinking hibiscus tea. 

Sadly they are off to California for six months in January, but no doubt there will be much hanging out over the summer. 

Today Isaac (finally) discovered his toes.

  
Note that Margot is holding the other… 

Yesterday at Jammie’s the twins are banana, baguette, oat cake, cheddar and apple tart. Though Margot has been keen on food for months Isaac didn’t seem all that interested. But then it was like a switched was flipped inside him and he was super excited. So it looks like we’ve started solids.

9 December 2015

Sleepless in London

Margot has officially decided that sleeping through the night is for suckers and Isaac is on a nap strike. On Monday there was not a single moment when both of them were asleep. But despite that I was very productive, making a caraway tea cake and going dos a nice long walk. If I ever start a food blog it will be called ‘intrigued by caraway’. Such an interesting flavour.

Tuesday I started to panic about the amount of stuff to do before we head to Texas next week(!!!) so while Margot was sleeping Isaac and I cleaned out the fridge and freezer. I put him in a hat to prevent frostbite.

Today Juliet came early, 10 am, and so I managed to get up to Wood Green and do a few errands and then got a hair cut. The babies were excellent – and over lunch Margot decided to try gnocchi. 

Tomorrow we are off to Claire’s and then I am bravely driving back on my own so Patrick can go on a night out with his workmates. My turn next month! 

5 December 2015

Overall last night was pretty good. Though Margot and Isaac then decided to wake up at 4:30.

  
This was 5:30 after I’d fed them and given in and decided to get up.

We had lunch at my colleague’s house around the corner and then went to a Christmas party at another colleague’s house.

We then got stuck in the worst traffic ever… So the babes didn’t get fed and put to bed till 7pm. They went straight down without a fuss. Let’s hope it stays that way! 

4 December 2015

Happiness and Wonder

One of the things I can’t capture is all the expressions the twins make (despite having roughly 3,000 photos…). 

But two stand out. Isaac’s default setting seems to be slack jawed wonder. If you fly him over head, or sing him a silly song his eyes get all big and his mouth falls open as if to say ‘this is amazing! I never dreamed life could be as wonderful as this’. 

Similarly Margot’s default setting is unadulterated happieness, pure joy. Margot wakes up with a smile. When you walk over to her she grins and if she had a tail it would wag. You bounce her and she grins and laughs. Her smile takes up her whole face. 

Last night and today we had a pretty good time. Very little screaming, a reasonable amount of napping. Today was definitely one of those days when I get a little tear in my eye at how wonderful they are.

That said… Today Isaac headbutted my nose so hard (accidentally) that my nose bled. I really didn’t want to go to the hospital saying my five month old son broke my nose… 

3 December 2015

A couple of better days.

Wednesday the babies were on excellent form. We were playing on the floor in the morning I said ‘Margot’ and she rolled over and looked at me. I said her name again and she smiled. I said it again and she smiled again. I said ‘Isaac’ and she frowned looking confused. So I said ‘Margot’ and she smiled at me. Could totally be a coincidence of course. 

Isaac has still been having pretty rough nights so I try and focus on the cute times.

  
Margot had a long sleep in the morning. Isaac fell asleep on me…

  
And of course then Margot woke up in the creepiest way possible…

  
But I managed to put Isaac down and successfully retrieved Margot. 

 
Juliet came over in the afternoon. I invented possibly the most exciting Thanksgiving leftovers recipe – I turned candied yams into a spicy curried soup (note: be sure to pick off the marshmellows). 
Then for the eveing I went to an amazing dinner with the NCT girls in town. A couple of the guys came over here for pizza and beer. 

  
This morning though Isaac started screaming like a banshee first thing. So loudly that Patrick decided to stay home for the day. We all went down for a nap around 7:30 and slept till 10. 

Then we went to Ikea and excitingly bought high chairs. Came home and fell asleep on the sofa for an hour and a half. I suspect the babes and I are fighting off a cold.

They have been a bit restless going to sleep tonight but I continue to hope. 

1 December 2015

The best and worst of times. 

Today has genuinely been a mixed bag. The twins alternate from adorable to screaming… At the drop of a hat. 

This morning they were screaming the house down. But Danger Mouse instantly captivated them. 

  
For about 10 minutes. 

After the 10am feed we went for a walk through Finsbury Park. It was cold and blustery. But it was the first time in ages that we’d been out on our own. So I listened to a podcast about the history of Scotch Eggs and then Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Which seemed appropriate. Indeed the sun even made a much appreciated appearance on our way back.

  
The twins were looking adorable for about 5 minutes… 

  
But after the 2pm feed Margot had an impromptu snooze and Isaac had a very long scream. I ended up crying in the dressing room till Margot started screaming… 

I sometimes feel that I’m not cut out for this. I love them. Clearly. Most of the time they are absolutely wonderful. To the point that friends of ours think they are perfect babies. 

And yet, after a certain amount of screaming I lose my temper and yell. Even though I know they can’t understand me and the yelling will make no difference. 

Hopefully we’ll have a better day tomorrow. 

In more positive news, Margot’s rolling has been extremely good.

  
Though she does often get marooned on her tummy.

It’s interesting, we thought Isaac would develop gross motor skills first. But he is better with her hands, whereas Margot is rolling, sitting up to look at her feet… Desperate to eat food. But Isaac remains super cuddly.