Blue Moon

It’s been a while.  Far too long.  In January I started a post explaining how I planned to write at least one post a month in 2014.

Yeah.  That didn’t happen.  I mean, it’s already the end of February March!

And now it’s been so long that there is almost too much to say.  But I have to grab this moment because I am just overflowing with the amazing changes that the girls are going through and I can’t bear not to document it somewhere.

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Christmas was amazing.  It was so much fun with two 17 month olds.  But it’s since then that the girls have really blossomed.

Since Christmas their language has just exploded.  It started with them beginning to use words in other ways than just to name things. They learned opposites like hot and cold, up and down, light and dark.  They learned that by calling someone’s name they could summon them or get their attention and Claudia in particular learned that she could denote possession with somebody’s name – pointing at an object and saying, “Immie’s” or “Mummy’s”.

From that she started putting two words together.  No longer just “Immie’s”, it became “Immie’s cup”, “Mummy’s tea”, “Claudie’s shoes”.  And she understood how to say hello and goodbye to specific people by using their names.  She started saying things like “Thank you”, “Excuse me” and “Bless you” in their correct contexts.  She started using subjects and verbs and now she can be heard to say pretty much full sentences like the one she uttered this morning in the garden: “Claudie and Immie are swinging.”

Immie isn’t quite putting words together in this way, but her confidence is increasing.  Interestingly, when they were learning to walk, Imogen threw herself into it wholeheartedly whilst Claudia hung back and waited until she was really confident she could do it before letting go of the furniture.  Conversely with language, Claudia is steaming ahead, acting like a human echo machine and repeating everything she hears, constantly trying to communicate, whilst Imogen has fewer words and uses them more sparingly, but actually has clearer diction.  Their vocabulary is massive.  I have no idea how big it actually is, but they amaze me every day with the words and concepts they understand.

They recognise and name their toys and know the names of favourite books, even starting to “read”.  It is the cutest thing ever to watch them leaf through a book and give some indication of the understanding they have of what happens on each page.  Their capacity for memory astounds me.

Claudia likes to narrate everything she sees and does and every word or phrase ends with an exclamation mark. She can sort of count to ten if I say one first. She tends to skip five and seven but loves saying, “Eight, nine, TEN!” Immie can recognise pretty much every colour and enjoys pointing out the colours of everything she sees.

It’s weird being a parent, because on the one hand you know that the steps your child is making are something every single human since the dawn of time has been through, but it is still so fascinating to watch their language and understanding develop and grow.  The concepts they can now grasp are incredible and their memories continue to astound me.

Chatterboxes from Becoming Mums on Vimeo.

Of course this video just doesn’t do justice to the array of things they can say and do now, or how incredible it has been to witness each new skill, but it’s still pretty cute.

As you can see for the video (and may have seen on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook), Claudia broke her arm.  She fell off the sofa (Imogen may or may not have been involved) and we had a very long day at A&E, but she was so brave and barely cried at all.  Immie was almost more traumatised from being left at home with first a friend, then L, then Grandad, then Grandma as people rallied together to help us out.  She definitely missed her twin.  The cast should be coming off tomorrow and hopefully that will be our last trip to A&E for a very long time!

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This is Not a Blog Post

Basically this is me not writing a blog post to tell you that I don’t have time to write a blog post. (Time – or some other lame excuse; it just isn’t happening at the moment.)

There is so much I want to write about – things the girls have done, the way they are constantly changing, how much more in love with them I am every day, parenting decisions we are making as we roll along, feminism, politics, that debate between Peaches Geldof and Katie Hopkins, how mothers relate to one another – particularly when they disagree on a parenting style…

All of the words, I have them in my head. But yeah, these days there is not much chance of them finding their way onto a page. The girls don’t nap much and I do have chores to keep on top of when they give me a chance, which is really boring but true.

So apologies. I hope to find the time really soon. If you want to keep up with what the girls are doing, the best way is to follow my Instagram feed (@starrynite81) or check out When Sally Met Sally (whom I owe a post to before the month is out).

Thanks for sticking around despite my severe lack of input.

Now We Are One

It’s been over a month since I last posted and those who follow me on Twitter or Instagram will know I’ve been less prolific there too.

A lack of phone memory has slowed my contributions to Instagram. Seriously, my phone is so full, even after I deleted a whole ream of apps and whittled down my camera roll to just my absolute favourite pictures. You know how everyone keeps moaning about iOS 7? Well I have a different kind of pain because every time I even think about trying to install it, my phone just laughs at me.

Other than that, I’ve just been… Busy. The Head has decided to keep me on to continue to maintain the school website on a minimum contract that means I’m being paid for two days a month. This really means I need to put in that amount of time to the website otherwise I’m not really pulling my weight, and I need to be able to work on it as uninterrupted as possible, so nap times, evenings and weekends are being squeezed by my need to get that done. Besides which, I am nearing the end of the rehearsal period for the Shakespeare project I do with Year Six and that has taken up two afternoons a week since September.

Hopefully things will calm down a bit after half term, but in the meantime I wanted to put together a video of what the girls have been up to since their birthday. I always thought the biggest changes would come between 6 months and a year, as they went from laying to sitting to crawling to standing and walking. But I am constantly amazed by the changes that have occurred since they turned one. Their language skills and comprehension have come on in leaps and bounds and I just can’t believe how much they can say and understand – as well as the changes in their physical abilities that have come as they have mastered the art of walking – something that came a lot slower for Claudia, mostly out of a lack of confidence.

But as of the last two weeks I can finally say I truly have two toddlers. And here they are, just a small assortment of the things they can do now, 15 months today!

Now We Are One from Becoming Mums on Vimeo.

 

42 Days of Summer

The six week summer holiday is at an end. L goes back to work tomorrow and our time as a family of four goes back to being only evenings and weekends – at least until the end of October.

I started the summer holidays with two just-turned-one-year-olds and finish it with two toddlers heading towards 14 months old. Well, I say toddlers. Maybe one toddler and one cruiser-who-still-refuses-to-let-go-of-the-furniture-or-someone’s-hands (although she did stand unsupported and take two small steps on Wednesday – go Claudie!) is more accurate.

We have really enjoyed our weeks together and – unlike last summer holidays, when we were just grateful to survive – we have been out and about and had lots of fun together.

Let Claudia and Imogen be your guides…

We went to the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill and checked out the aquarium:

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We went on holiday to Swanage with our mummies and our Grandma and Grandad.  We played on the beach and went on a real steam train!

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Our mummies had a date for their second anniversary (we weren’t invited!):

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We went to Godstone Farm and played in the sandpit:

IMG_6207And saw some amazing animals:

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We had our jabs and spent some of our birthday money to make us feel better.  We had fun playing in the garden:

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 We visited our friends and had some playdates here too:

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We visited our Great Nana in Deal and tried out the Walmer paddling pool:

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We visited our Great Granny in Trowbridge and saw lots of family we haven’t seen in ages – including our cousins!

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We have had a wonderful 6 weeks with our beautiful, amazing babies.  They have come on leaps and bounds and can do so much.  They are a constant source of amusement and entertainment.  It’s just so much fun being together.

Roll on half term!

The Best Best Man’s Speech

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It’s been two years today since L and I tied the knot. The two best years of my life, no question.

As I write this (a couple of days in advance, obvs), she is outside, arranging some kind of surprise for me, whilst I am trying not to eat all of the Marks & Spencer Extremely Chocolatey Chocolate Orange Biscuits (she better hurry up and finish that phone call is all I’m saying).

I know I’ve got all soppy before about how amazing my wife is – and that’s still all true, of course, she’s the best wife and mother I know – but she’s not really one for soppiness. In fact, she would always, ALWAYS, pick a funny card over a soppy one, regardless of the occasion.

And with that in mind, I feel it is only right that I finally share what I truly believe to be the best Best Man’s Speech of all time. I know often at weddings the speeches are hilarious to people who know the bride and groom well, but require a level of insider knowledge in order to really appreciate their humour (indeed, Laura’s dad did a wonderful job with his Father of the Bride speech, but you would have to know a little about Laura to see the immense humour in her joining the Brownies expecting camping and adventure and instead being taught how to make flower arrangements), but somehow my brother managed to turn his Best Man’s Speech into a stand-up routine about lesbian weddings. It had all of our guests absolutely roaring with laughter and people still talk about it today.

So, in the hope that I haven’t built it up too much and left you with a sense of anticlimax, here it is:

The Best Best Man’s Speech (Ever!) from Becoming Mums on Vimeo.

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