Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Monday, February 9, 2015

Almost 3 and a half!

Okay, so I haven't been a very good blogger of late...but gosh whoever said the twos are hard work, didn't know about the terrible threes! Wonderful and terrible really. Wonderful in that they are talking the hind leg off a donkey and the why's and where's and wonderful little toddler conversations have begun in earnest...and their little characters are blossoming out into the little people they are becoming which is wondrous to observe.  And terrible in that in this process of increased independence, there are all the new emotions trying to organise themselves "I want to do that myself" and "I don't want to do that but I don't know why" and "I am going to have a meltdown right now because I don't understand why I am SO FRUSTRATED" etc etc...exhausting and downright draining at times.  These outbursts are also often very amusing, but it is also so nice when they have eventually gone to sleep after a difficult day.

I have to honestly say that I am looking forward to four...although some parents have warned me that four is a little more tricky as this phase includes the "I know better than you" lol! Having said all of this, I still love every minute.  It is not always easy and despite trying so hard to present a calm controlled parental status - to show my kids that I am together and calm and understand that their meltdowns are nothing personal - I lose my cool sometimes - we are only human, right? In these moments when usually Rebecca is really pushing the boundaries, I have to consciously remind myself of the lesson I am trying to teach her when all I want to do is yell and threaten - which as I know now is the most unhelpful thing I could do.  Amazing how as parents we expect a three year old to be as reasonable as an adult when their brains are still developing. And then in response to this emotional toddler craziness, we act like crazy uncontrollable toddlers by yelling and threatening and sometimes giving a hiding - funny right? I do not wish to be this kind of parent so I do not spank them...but this takes conscious effort and reminding oneself when in the heat of the moment. It is so easy to fall into the parenting style of your own mother!

Too precious and loving pushing boundaries!
Anyway, I do not wish time away. Every minute of every day I still reflect on the journey to this point and of the incredible blessing that they have brought to us.

Despite the challenges of this age, I must seriously stress that they are as adorable and delightful as ever. I seldom tire of observing them and I love just hanging back watching them play or interact, listening to their little conversations and exchanges. They do argue and fight a bit but they really get on well, and play nicely together.

First day at Waldorf Playschool 
So small and off they go...
It was a momentous day two weeks ago, as they started Playschool at Waldorf! I really didn't expect them to respond with so much anxiety and I wasn't prepared to handle all the tears and misery - they were really anxious about me leaving them there - my heart! And I only had it for two days! Silvana, their adored Au Pair takes them and fetches them and it took a whole week of tears until they adjusted. Now they love it although Mondays are the hardest as apparently we had a few tears this morning still...but short lived and then they play happily. I can't believe my babies are at school!

We recently invested in some balance bikes - well I have never seen Finn so besotted with anything before - it was so cute. He even had to sleep with it at the bottom of his bed that night! He took to it immediately and they both zoom up and down all around the house without a problem.


So proud of their new bikes!
We decided to take them to see a little ballet at a theatre down the road - Les Silphides as they have both been quite taken by dancing and ballet recently. I bought Becky a little tutu ballet dress and she absolutely loved it. We told Finn that boy ballet dancers wear tights, so he rushed off to get a pair of his sister's tights...lol...too cute! Needless to say, we forgot that a three year old doesn't really know the difference between make-believe and real yet, so when the old male witch came out they both started crying and were absolutely terrified!  So we left the show early. Will wait for something more child friendly next time!

No words for how cute this is...
 

In just six months, we will be celebrating their fourth Birthday! We have lots of lovely mini breakaways planned for this year and our first camping trip in honour of their Birthday in September.
Soon, we will be tackling the night time nappy too but thought it best to get over the school anxiety first. They have not had one dry morning nappy ever despite going to the loo before bed, so I am not sure if they are ready yet.  But I suspect that a few wet nights and getting them up when we go to bed for a midnight wee may be needed to encourage them to have more bladder control - not sure...need to do some research.

There is too much to write about here and I do wish I could remember all the hundreds of special little happenings or sayings so I can record it all here, but too much to do, too little time...

Until the next post...



Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Beds

So finally we made the move to big beds!  I have been building up to this for a long time, getting them used to the idea and getting them excited about moving out of their cots into big boy and big girl beds. The transition went really smoothly with lots of excitement and not nearly as much mayhem as I anticipated. Seriously, I thought they would go crazy with the freedom, but I think we timed it perfectly in that they seem to know and accept when it is bedtime and when it is naptime. I do not think this would have been the case if we had moved them in their two's.
 

Perhaps this will change or they haven't completely realised that they can now basically do what they want when the door closes...we will see.  It helps that we have a camera in the room, so I can see exactly what is going on.  If they sit or stand up I call to them to lie down and they do. I hope this bit of bedtime hype is merely because of the novelty and will fade in time.


I was sad packing up their cots - really one of the last "baby" things they had, and yet despite this, I am also so ready for this next stage in their lives - from toddler to 7 years old. I remember meeting many a 4 year old and loving the age and the incredible little conversations you have with them. I am looking forward to this with Finn and Rebecca.  Already, I keep reminding myself to make a note of the spectacular things they say and observations they make...sometimes Henk and I will turn to each other and mouth 'OMG, did you just hear that! How did they know that?"

They love their new rooms and I loved putting it together for them. I really love the antique oak beds - a different shape for each of them. And the hand knotted cushions on the black and white rug...love! We still have an art deco cupboard that we are painting baby blue and fuchsia and a bright yellow bedside table in place of the kist...will take more pics when complete!







Monday, September 29, 2014

Birthdays, Bunnies and Balloons

We decided to celebrate their third Birthday with small gatherings of people closest to them and with family.  We woke them up on their Birthday morning with 3 balloons each which they loved and then had cupcakes and unwrapped presents with Silvana, their adored au pair and Noms, our wonderful housekeeper.

On the weekend, their Aunty Jen and cousin Abby arrived to stay for 2 weeks and so we had a little celebration braai with Aunty Nicky and Stef, Ilse, Arusha and Bodhi too. It was so special to see them interact with other kids.  There is no doubt that they are ready for school as they are keenly interested in other children so I am sure they are quite ready to start becoming more social. I didn't see them for hours as they were so busy playing. We had special bunny cakes made for them - a blue one for Finn and a pink one for Becky - on request. They loved them and ate most of the icing before we could cut it into slices.


There have been some classic sayings lately. Finn had been playing with his balloon and when I let Mala in from outside, he said to her "Mala, don't eat my Birthday!". And then, Silvana told Becky that as she was 3 now she needed to stop sucking on her dummy at which she responded that Finn had to throw away his thumb then, to which Finn said "I can't throw away my thumb, it is stuck" and "Mom, don't throw away my thumb hey".  Very amusing!

We just had the news that they have been accepted to Waldorf!  Very happy about this and even though it means more strain on our already tight disposable income due to the high school fees and we also have to keep our au pair - we really feel it is the right place for them to start their next phase of development. So from January they will be going to playschool for 4 days a week.  I will have to drop them off in the mornings, which means I will be at work 15- 30 mins late as I can only drop them off at 8h15 earliest - work will have to handle it - and then Silvana will pick them up at 12h30 and take them home for lunch and nap and afternoon playtime.

I am loving this phase and all the wonderful words and thoughts coming out of these little poppets' brains...so so so cute!







Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Now we are three!

Langebaan adventures
The twins turn three on Thursday! My last post referred to time speeding by, and how it has! I am amazed that we have arrived at this new milestone so quickly. The baby years seem well and truly over now and in some ways that is so sad - it went so fast I don't feel like I really had the chance to completely appreciate them as babies - In the day-to-day task of parenting twins, parents are mostly too busy just looking after their basic needs. With two it was difficult to fully indulge in the true one-on-one bonding experience and in some ways I mourn this lost opportunity. There is always another baby needing you too.
 
Now in the toddler years, they are increasingly demanding of your time as a mother, both wanting you all of the time, competing for uppie, for playtime, for attention.  It is rare that I can just spend quality time with one of them alone. And on that rare occasion, when we have split up to do just that, I feel as if a part of me is missing and that we should all be together.
 
Little beauty with flamingo feathers in her hair

Darling boy with those eyes
So my babies are growing up. And while part of me truly wishes I could have had another baby, I am also so excited by their increased independence on both a physical and emotional level. Their personalities are blossoming, their sense of humour unfolding and their physical bodies strengthening. It is simply wonderful to experience this. I take as many moments as I can to just watch them, to drink in the miracle that they are.
 
My memory taking of them in this way is so precious and absorbing that I often forget to capture them on other lasting mediums. Funny how I had so much time to video my family's children but not as much to video my own. I haven't even edited their first year video yet...I would like to do this soon as they are just at the age where they will be really interested in the journey from babies in NICU to their first Birthday.
 
Finn is a delightful, sweet, sensitive boy with a cheeky grin, a sense of humour and a keen curiosity. Rebecca is a determined, bright, sparkly darling of a girl with a love of reading, also curious and never wanting to be left out of anything. They are both caring, compassionate and protective of each other.  I expect this will intensify as they grow older and there are sure to be twin versus parent issues ahead of us I am sure. Their vocabulary is impressive, as is there understanding of concepts and structures of thought. We often find ourselves reeling at the observations they make at only two years old.
 
Beach adventures
We recently went for their Waldorf Playgroup interview and await to hear whether we have been accepted. If they are then next year, we start their education journey. It seems like yesterday that we applied for a place when they were only 6 months old. It is a wonderful environment for a child and we look forward to our journey there too.
 
Love my dog

Me too
What exciting times lie ahead! Oh the adventures we will have. The experiences we will share. The travels we will learn from...
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2 and a half!

The twins are almost 2 years and 8 months old...or 2 and a half if we still adjust!


This is how we role
I haven't posted in too long and time is tearing past. The twins are still getting cuter and cuter by the day, more vocal, more opinionated, more independant, more spirited, more wary, more observant...developing in leaps and bounds.  I am sure they are not supposed to be as articulate as they are at this age - very impressive really, their vocab is extensive.  They say words like "enourmous" and "shongololo" and "tremendous" and clearly too. The only pronounciation they seem to battle with so far is "th" and they say free instead of three. Of course we have been practising saying three as they turn three in just 4 months!!!  Still getting over the shock of that. Hey, I need to start planning their party yay!
 
Playing on the sculptures at Tokara
 We have had our fair share of the terrible twos in some ways - especially Becky who has had some good tantrums albeit shortlived mostly as she can be distracted out of them quite well. Finn gets quite physical and has bitten Becky a few times and pushes her over now and then. We started the naughty chair which works well but after reading 1-2-3 Magic, I am moving onto this discipline method with time out rather than "naughty" chair.  I have never really like calling it a "naughty" chair. The secret is not to be emotional or responsive towards the bad behaviour as this is rewarding the behaviour...tricky this as I find myself losing my temper when they so determinedly oppose me...I am still learning self control myself!!! Lol.  But I will keep trying to do it better.

Eating plums
I admit, I hope that the trantrums don't escalate in the threes. Other new rebellious behaviour is at naptimes, which makes us think that we are going to leave them in their cots until they don't fit anymore. Not always and never for the au pair, only me, but at some naptimes all hell breaks loose. You think they are going to settle down and the next minute they have jumped up, they strip their cots, throw everything on the floor including the mattresses and jump up and down like monkeys until they get tired. I usually intervene which makes them carry on more, so I really have to stop myself going into their room until they start crying for me. It is not that they are ready to stop napping as they really are tired and are impossible without a nap.

We recently put up an LED security camera in their room hooked up to a tv so we could see what actually goes on in there...well, it was partly hilarious, partly scary (as Finn was doing acrobatics trying to pull himself over into Becky's cot) and mostly infuriating (watching them trash their cots when they are supposed to be sleeping).  It seems as if Finn is the instigator and eggs Becky on.
Here is the proof of naptime mania...
 
Hmmmm trashing our cots instead of napping!
 Sigh, not sure how to handle this one, but based on our experiences going away for the weekend, if they were in big beds it would be ten times worse. They become raving lunatics when they have freedom to get up and play...I am dreading the day we move them to big beds and nightimes become manic...maybe by four they will have calmed down???? How do you get them to stay in bed when they have each other to play with?

Away in the Cederberg...bedtime was hectic!!!
On the subject of potty training...they are completely potty trained!! Yay, no more daytime nappies (only during nap but almost always dry) and then a nightime nappy.  Otherwise they are totally on top of it.  I am a bad mommy sometimes as I put on a nappy when I know we will be in the car for a long time or out at shops, I really shouldn't do this as it confuses them...must stop. And no more bottles either!  Totally off bottles yay...no more bottle cleaning! They really are becoming little kids now. The are growing tall - Finn is about 960cm and Becky 955cm - so both just under a meter.

Parenting twins is not for the faint-hearted indeed and you really need two fulltime parents to do it - in fact parenting itself is not for the fainthearted, but still loving it and wouldn't change anything for the world, apart from having a bit more time to enjoy them during the working week. In just 4 short months time we will be celebrating three years with our miracle twins - so special.







Monday, December 23, 2013

27 Months

This month, the twins are 27 months old.  They continue to suprise us daily with all the new things they are learning, too many new words for me to remember...The newest thing is "Mummy, what is this", then you say what it is and they repeat the word...to everything! Some of the more impressive verbal feats include words like Shongololo, Flaxseeds and Rhinocerous.

Finn bit Becky the other day and she is sporting a blue bite mark on her back. They continually test the boundaries around what is allowed and what isn't, and even when you say no, they carry on to see what you will do. This new trend is escalating and it has become necessary to introduce the naughty chair.  Only problem is the other twin delights in seeing the naughty one sent there and then asks to also sit on naughty chair. Sometimes they ask to sit on the naughty chair just for fun when the word naughty hasn't even been mentioned. Funny little people.

They are sleeping so well - Finn doesn't ever wake up anymore. So every night they go to sleep at 7pm and wake early at 6. When we check on them before going to sleep later, and move their little sleepy bodies into more comfortable positions and cover them up again, their little peaceful faces are so dear.

Yes, it is exhausting and tiring running around after two year olds, but their ernest little faces and cheeky grins are enough to melt my heart every day. Even in the peak of intense lack of patience and irritation sometimes, one little grin or "please mummy" makes me swoon with mummy love for these little poppets.

This will be their third Christmas with us and we have so much to be thankful for.  This journey is the best one of all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two Too Cute

Two cute
Well, this age is even more wonderful and every day brings new delights and amusement and frustration in varying degrees. The twins are learning new skills at lightning speed and are super sharp. They have started pushing boundaries, challenging authority and laughing in the face of danger (me in cross mode) but sometimes are so damn cute doing it that I have to resist the impulse to laugh.

They are talking so well linking concepts and words together so perfectly sometimes, I wonder if I heard right. They are up to 7 or more word sentences and can clearly articulate a wide variety of emotions, needs and wants. The latter most effectively of course - usually with accompanying whining or crying.

Finn has taken to stripping off his nappy at bedtime, then falling asleep and wetting the bed, so when I go in to check, I have to re-dress him in his sleep.  I have started taping his nappy down with duct tape - last night I did this for the first time and he looks at me and says "Finny not take nappy off" chuckle, "Finn has sticker, not Becky" chuckle chuckle...damn cute!

Those eyes....
Becky is quite officious with pointed finger telling Finn what to do and also says really long sentences like "Finny no, you naughty, take this there" and so on. She is so good at telling me if something is worrying her like "Mummy head sore" or "Mummy cookie sore put coconut oil on all better".  They are starting to grasp the understanding that they are seperate people but still say things like "mummy help you me".  They are learning their colours now and can count to 5 and sometimes to 10. They are both obsessed with playing in the garden, watering plants, eating catfood, drawing and wanting whatever the other one has.

Beauty
They are quick to hit each other but say sorry almost while doing it so we haven't started time outs as yet. They do play quite well together but also have many quarrels and often fight over the same toy - still learning the sharing thing.

Finn doesn't wake up anymore at night at all which is amazing and they are napping for about 2 hours during the day and then go to bed at 7pm until about 5h30/6am.  They have started chatting, shouting, playing and singing after we close their door at night but eventually fall asleep at about 8pm and so while they used to sleep for a full 12 hours, this has reduced to 10 hours now - I wonder if we should shorten their daynap or if this is just summer / light / normal.

All in all...loving every moment!!!