The Little Whiles
Crystal Cove | California | last days | new friends | shared loves | cool air | cold water | vegan treats | puddles | feathers | changing leaves | falling light | squeals | laughter | tales of travel | family | dreams | hugs | goodbyes.
Thank you for everything, beautiful girls. We miss you so. x
Tucked Away Under // GeneralSay Something Sweet
Last month, the twins turned one. ONE! How crazy is that? This has easily been the fastest, busiest, best twelve months of my life and for all of the changes the girls have brought to our days, it’s hard to even imagine a time before they were here. Like I’ve said before..I really did spend my entire pregnancy wondering how on Earth one does it. Twins. Two of them. How, even? It’s quite the victory to find out we actually can manage to feed, bathe, clothe and entertain two babies at once. Not only do we do it, we really enjoy it and while all the days end in exhaustion, there are very few that end in tears..contrary to what my fretful pregnancy brain had imagined. This probably comes down to the huge amount of help I still get and the fact I’ve adjusted to the idea of never sleeping a whole night again. We’re still breastfeeding which is another victory I’m so happy about – a year seemed so far away in those early, teary, teeth-clenching days.
Before I get all gloaty though, remember that one time we decided to go on a vacation? Like when people go off to Byron Bay for a week or something? No, no. Not anything like that. In November we trekked, all seven of us, to California. For nine weeks. You must understand that up until this point we had only taken both girls to the supermarket. Once. Oh, and once to the beach and a couple of doctor’s visits. As our departure date loomed closer I became prettty nervous about the whole shebang but we forged ahead..determined to see it through. Lo and behold, the flight over was so horrendous that the cabin crew handed us champagne as we stepped off. We should have taken this as a clear and ominous sign and scrambled for the next flight back but noooo..lets carry on, we said. It will be good for us, we said. It wasn’t. For a million billion reasons, it just wasn’t. But we stuck it out and we learned to cope with tricky scenarios far from home with very limited help. I don’t plan to repeat it any time soon.
Crazy long haul excursions aside, our days are pretty simple. The girls are getting back to their routine, happy to be hanging out at home again with Nanny fussing non-stop. It’s so, so much fun watching them grow together..they’re starting to play with one another and fight over things and try out the sympathy cry. They’re so close to walking and the idea of two heading in different directions is interesting but like everything else we’ve encountered this last year, I guess we’ll figure it out. Yes I am tired and I have so little time and I forget what a beauty salon looks like but I couldn’t be happier. I absolutely adore being a Mum to twins and having a crazy busy house. I’ve even managed to start shooting a little again and have some fun creative type things floating around in the recesses of my addled mind.
Speaking of feeling lucky, on the 8th of February we had a party. While it happened to be on the girl’s birthday, it was also a celebration of all of the days our girls have been with us and the journey we all traveled to meet them. For our nearest and dearest, a chance to say thank you for everything, both before our babies arrived and after. I really wanted it to be a day filled with love and thanks and happiness. In my wildest hopes, I also dreamed of the beautiful El Hogan being there to capture this day. And then guess what happened? El came along and did just that. Thank you, my dear friend. The feelings I have about our two darling girls and this day and the way in which you saw it are way, way too big to translate into words but hopefully you know. I’m so very grateful to have these images..they capture that which fills my heart every single day.
It’s been a wee while. Well in a normal World, it would be a while but down here in crazy town, it’s been the blink of an eye. Who knew that sitting in your lounge room semi dressed doing the baby shuffle for eight months could be so entertaining? There’s a million things I want to share about every amazing minute we’ve had with our sweet babies so, in random fashion..
I changed T2′s name.
Just in case you missed it and would then have no idea who I’m talking about in this post. I know I said I wouldn’t ever do such a thing but..ah well. So, Maeve. Such a lovely idea at the time. Until I saw her and got to know her and the idea of her being Maeve seemed more and more strange as each day passed. She just wasn’t a Maeve. My dilemma wasn’t helped by the fact that everyone else around here agreed so after a quick swicheroo of first and middle names, she became Emmeline Maeve. And because I’m greedy, I shorten to Mila Mae and have a few more of the names I love. More than all those though, she’s Mini. And it suits her most. Luella is still every bit Luella. Thank God.
This twin thing.
The idea of two babies at once is truly overwhelming. The reality of two babies at once is that you just get on with it. It literally is double everything which can feel like a lot some days, especially when one is attempting to function on the measliest of sleep. Eight months on though and it really feels like they’ve slotted into our family as if we were always waiting for them. Well I guess we were. And the doubles extend to the amazing bits too so it really is nothing and everything like I imagined. Life is funny like that – often the things we think we could never survive or do or cope with are actually, for the most part, survivable, doable and even very wonderful. Honestly. I’m not one to paint a pretend picture of perfect but I really am loving every bit of parenting right now. Which leads me to..
Can you even believe?
In my craziest of crazy wishes, even right back when I was pregnant for the first time, twin girls appeared there somewhere. By the time I was five years into IVF, I just wished for one baby anything. Girl, boy, guinea-pig. The beautiful clothes I’d begun gathering in 2007 for ‘the baby’ were relegated to a dusty bag in the back of the cupboard for ‘pretend baby’. Right alongside the hopes and expectations. I could never, ever have imagined these baby girls would actually become and I will never stop being amazed. Every single night in the small hours, half asleep and cradling one after the other, I marvel and I think of their sister and I feel that rush of gratitude and peace and all consuming love for their tiny selves. So no, I can’t even believe.
One of these things is not like the other.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be well aware of this fact. It’s rather amusing that these two babies are called twins – they are literally the opposite of one another. Tall/short, blonde/dark, lanky/bootylicious. Mila takes after Crayton and Lula is mine, all mine. Yay!
The kids are besotted.
Like, really really. They still fight over who’s held a baby the most each day and constantly hover and fuss over them. Mason calls them “my ladies” and told me today that he will be taking over the raising of them and that I will only be required for feeding. Ohhhkayy.
Speaking of feeding.
We’re still doing that. Aka can I put my bosoms away yet? I don’t normally bother unless Fedex is knocking at the door and even then it gets sketchy at times. I’m amazed we’re still demand breast-feeding and I’m pretty ecstatic about the fact. If we get to 1 year I’m going to start wearing my cape down to the grocery store.
I love my Mum.
Let it be said, I have a great husband who does more than his fair share. However, I’m pretty sure I could not have survived the pregnancy without Mum. I know for sure that I would not be enjoying these days anywhere near as much as I do without her. Beth is here distributing cuddles, dinners and clean sheets like nobodies business. It’s been the biggest gift to have her by my side – not just for a million practical reasons but to also share the best days of my life. And then there’s how besotted she is with them. If I said they all adore each other it would fall far short. Luella’s most used word is Nannannan and when I recently mentioned we may move cities one day Mum’s first response was “Don’t make me go for custody”. You get the picture.
We’ve parted ways.
After barely surviving on no sleep for many many months, I’ve finally got both babies into their own rooms and we’re all a lot better for it. Well actually that’s a lie. I just swapped two small ones for one bigger one and a dual set of baby monitors. Sleep is for the weak.
It’s entirely possible I’ve lost my mind.
No..I mean more than every other parent of multiples. The proof is in the fact I’ve booked to take us all the the USA at the end of this month. Crayton is literally having panic attacks about the flight. He wakes from sleep in a cold sweat babbling about blocked ears and business class. I’m not so concerned about the getting there – I’ve survived childbirth for longer – it’s the nine weeks of holidaying as a family of seven that has me spooked. I can’t even, I mean..I just have no idea. I’d arrange a nanny but she might run off with the babies. I know because Mum tells me so. Every single day.
I’m just so in love.
Oh I already said that? Just checking you knew.
Here’s a whole lot of iphone snaps which are a poor substitute for the big camera but as good as it’s going to get for at least a while yet :)
Tucked Away Under // GeneralSay Something Sweet
I’ve sat and wondered for some days just how to write about these images and what they mean to me but I can’t find the words. Or perhaps it’s that there are too many words. As I said to Anya, amidst a flood of tears after seeing them for the first time, I could never describe just what a gift they are to our whole family but especially to me. They are so incredibly beautiful in every way. The fragility and the perfection and the togetherness. But it’s not just that. They speak, in small whispers, of the very worst days of my life, and sing in glorious song of the very best.
These babies. Because of their sister. Because of one small moment in time that changed everything, and because of every moment after that spent trying for them. The enormity of that takes my breath. These images take my breath. Thank you, beautiful Anya. One thousand times over, thank you.
Tucked Away Under // FamilySay Something Sweet
Goodness. A month? Our little girls are now past full term! Their actual due date was last Saturday and all of a sudden they look like bigger babies. Well Luella does, Maeve is still quite teeny tiny but I have noticed her lungs have matured somewhat ;p I feel very behind with sharing of photos and updates – it’s just challenging, nay impossible, to find enough spare minutes in the day. Given the option of blogging (or eating, or conversation, or anything else really)..I’d rather sleep. Today however, I’ve had a total of 7 hours sleep over a 12 hour period and I’m feeling all Wonder Woman.
The girls are actually quite good .. just the usual newborn demands and the juggling of two which gets most interesting after dark as I take care of them myself through the night. Crayton sleeps in another room so at least one of us can function enough to manage the other three and get them to school on time. Kind of. This half crazy notion was actually my idea and mostly, it works well. It means a lot less bickering over who did what and who’s had less sleep. I just win on every count. Given the girls really just need me right now, or my bossoms, it does seem a little pointless to both be awake all night. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some horrifically sleep deprived moments between 3 and 4 am where I fantasize about throwing a bucket of cold water over my beloved.
The personalities of the girls are starting to show and we’re realizing just how very different they are. Luella is so laid back – she literally just eats and sleeps. She never cries unless she’s hungry and after meal time she’ll lay in her crib awake with no problem. And feeding her is a very orderly affair. Hop on, drink enthusiastically, hop off. Then sleep. Rinse and repeat. Physically, she’s very fair, strong and quite long. I’m half expecting her first language to be German.
Then there’s Maeve. Smaller, hairier and the opposite of chill. She’s making sure we get our moneys worth with shorter naps, longer feeds and a rather constant demand for cuddles. She’s a fussy eater and light sleeper. Feeding her is akin to a picnic in the park. No set time for lunch and no one’s in any hurry. Leave and come back later if you wish. Take a nap even. Lots of naps. Physically they are also different. Very different. As in Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins different. It’s harder to see in photos but close up, there is no mistaking one for the other.
It’s still so amazing to have two babies in our home and it’s been the most beautiful thing to see Luca Mason and Ivy completely dote on them. When I first began trying for another I so wanted a two year age gap, like the other four. When I missed that window and the gap began to widen considerably, I fretted a lot. I wondered how it would work, if it ever did happen..having older children and a tiny baby. Would they play together? Would the tiny baby end up feeling lonely? As it turned out, baby arrived with a friend anyhow but it’s also been such a bonus to discover how very much the older kids adore them. Sometimes keeping the unruly mob at bay requires more energy than the twins themselves.
I guess I can say that we’re getting the hang of this twin thing. I think. Each day is different and I constantly change how I’m doing things but we muddle through and the girls seem settled and happy. And, the best bit? I feel settled and happy. Sooo happy. I’m really thankful to be able to say that..for all my excitement and gratitude I still worried about how one actually manages two new babies. I’m so lucky to have a lot of help from Crayton and Mum every day so it never really gets overwhelming. Perspective is a funny thing though isn’t it? When I look back to having a singleton it seems so incredibly easy but I certainly didn’t think so then..quite the opposite. I do find it amazing how we adapt to different situations and cope..or even enjoy them..when they would have seemed near impossible in another life.
So here’s a lot of photos, taken in hospital in the days before coming home. (Luca had a cold so doesn’t feature in too many). The first three are iPhone snaps, taken the moment the boys and Ivy saw the babies for the first time :)
Tucked Away Under // FamilySay Something Sweet