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Halloween and In Between

It’s been a long time since I last updated.  There is so much to say so it seems crazy that I haven’t blogged more frequently in the interim, but time is something I do not seem to have a surplus of.  Since I last blogged, on our wedding anniversary back in August, I have been involved in two plays with the local amateur dramatics company.  The first involved mostly sourcing props and helping out backstage, the second involved me playing the part of Emily Bronte!

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I loved it.  It was completely exhausting but lots of fun and amazing to do something just for me, that didn’t revolve around being a mum.  I am now having a bit of a break, but not a long one, as I start rehearsals for my next show in December and will be performing in February.

Alongside my thespian exploits, I am also now close to finishing my second children’s book.  Of course, I haven’t yet managed to find an agent or publisher for my first children’s book, but these are merely details.  This has, obviously, taken up quite a lot of my time too.  It is hard to justify blogging when it feels like every word needs to count towards the completion of a whole novel.  So consider yourselves lucky I can spare these few words now to share a bit about what we have been up to.

The girls had a Halloween party to go to on the 31st.  When asking them what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween, they answered “Room on the Broom” (a witch) and “her cat”.  Which was just about the cutest thing they could have said.  They looked totally amazing.

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They had an amazing time trick or treating for the first time (my first time too; I was never allowed as a child) with all their little friends and got a pretty amazing haul, which we may have helped them out with a little.

The next day we had a bit of an adventure when Immie sidled up to me to inform me that she didn’t have a pea up her nose!  Yeah.

So after a rather hysterical (in the sense that I just could not stop myself from laughing) call to 111, we ended up at A&E, which was actually the second visit to that hospital in one week for L and me, as I’d had day surgery for an umbilical hernia only 5 days earlier.  (Yeah, apparently if your belly button doesn’t just pop back in after pregnancy it’s a real thing that needs fixing.  You learn something new every day.)

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We rocked up to the hospital looking like we had escaped from a party in a fancy dress shop.  We were actually seen really quickly and were on our way again within an hour.  Imogen didn’t seem too bothered by the whole thing once we were there (she was quite anxious before we went and it took us a while to convince her we really did need to go).

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L was told by the nurse to try and blow the pea out by blowing into Immie’s mouth a la mouth to mouth resuscitation, but it was really wedged up there.  In the end, tweezers were required to remove what turned out to be quite a large pea (and thankfully only one!!).

Since then, things have returned much to normal as I’ve continued to recover from my surgery and the girls have carried on amazing us and surprising us day by day.  Their language and imagination just gets more and more sophisticated and is so entertaining.  The other day we were totally enchanted when Claudia actually started using different voices for the toys she was playing with for the first time.  It was amazing.

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Her Day

I could wax lyrical for paragraph after paragraph about how wonderful it is to be spending my first Mothers’ Day as a mummy.

But I don’t want to do that.

Instead, I want to take a moment to appreciate the best mummy I know: my wonderful wife.

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She (half) jokingly tells me all the time how lucky I am to have her and she doesn’t mean just as a wife, although obviously I am incredibly lucky to be married to her, but instead she means as half of our parenting team. And she’s right. I don’t know if it is because she is a woman or if it is just by virtue of being, wonderfully, her, but I know how fortunate I am when I hear my other friends with small babies talk about their own husbands and boyfriends.IMG_2505

I guess there is an element of the fact that we have two babies to look after instead of one, but she has never considered not getting up in the night and leaving it all to me. Whereas other “dads” have resumed their weekend golf days and nights out, my wonderful wife would never dream of missing out on time spent with the babies unless it was a break we were both being given together. My friends talk about how their partners can’t settle their babies and just seem to make them scream louder, whereas L seems to often have a more calming effect than I do – although of course the one area I do still trump her is that I have the “magic boobs”.

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She hates having to spend so much time away from us all. She calls herself the Strange Lady, saying how she only appears in the mornings and the evenings; she says the girls wonder who this strange lady is who only shows up twice a day. She jokes, but she worries that they don’t know her. She is reassured when a grandparent hands her back a squalling baby and she manages to settle them. Because of course they know her – they love her, it’s obvious.

I love the way the girls’ faces light up when she walks through the door. Whether she’s been out at work all day or is just coming back from the toilet, their little faces break out into wide grins and their eyes go straight to her.

I send her pictures and updates throughout the day. I tell her what we’re up to and send her messages from Claudia or Imogen explaining how the day is going and I know she checks her phone constantly – even sometimes when she shouldn’t – because she’s so eager to find out what we are doing or see another beautiful photo of her daughters.IMG_2559

She likes to remind me that I didn’t change a nappy for the first two weeks of the girls’ life. This is an outrageous lie! It was about four days and it was because after the birth I couldn’t get out of bed without it taking about five minutes or without help.

The birth was traumatic – probably more for her than for me – but she was amazing. As the midwife told the doctor she couldn’t stop the bleed, as I went pale and started throwing up, as the doctor called out for code red and the room flooded with people, as she thought she might lose the person in her life she loved the most (besides the two brand new babies who lay in a cot across the room), she just gripped my hand and told me to stay awake.

And then after, when I couldn’t get out of bed or walk across the room to pick up my crying babies, she was so attentive. Day and night she was there to hand me my daughters so that I could feed them. She changed their nappies and dressed them and swayed back and forth with them. All the things I couldn’t do. All I could do in those early days was feed them and everything else fell to her. Even once we were home, I was still on crutches and she still made sure I had everything I needed. She would hold a glass of water under my nose, with a straw sticking out, so I could have a drink whilst I fed the babies. She made sure I had enough to eat and prepared bottles and fed them when I was too exhausted.IMG_2600

So whilst I might argue that it certainly wasn’t two whole weeks that she changed every nappy for, I can’t fault the wonderful care she took of me and our daughters in those early days. And it’s never really stopped.

She misses us all so much when she’s at work and we miss her. When we worked out our finances and realised it made no sense for me to return to work permanently, she didn’t get annoyed that she has to work whilst I get to stay at home. Instead, she was pleased, happy that the girls would have a parent at home with them, instead of a childcare provider.

In the morning, she gets Immie up and changes her nappy. These days Immie often sleeps on her tummy and when her mummy goes in to see her, she lifts herself up on her arms and flaps her little legs inside her sleeping bag like a baby seal, giving her mummy a big beaming grin that says good morning. Some mornings at the weekend, I will go in to Immie instead, and L will snatch a couple of precious minutes with Claudia, who is sleeping in our bed pretty much full time at the moment. As she wakes she does the biggest stretches.IMG_1640

In the evening, L gives Claudie her bath. Now they are bigger we bath them together, but we still always bath the same baby. She splashes and shrieks with delight. She doesn’t mind getting water in her face, she just splashes away, soaking her mummies and her twin too.

If Immie wakes in the night, L goes in to her. IMG_3024 She gives her a bottle and they have a cuddle. Sometimes she sleeps right through and the next day L tells her that it’s okay to wake up, that she likes seeing her in the night for cuddles. She likes having Claudia in our bed too. She likes being able to look over at the two of us curled up together. She likes to kiss her bald head, which is rapidly becoming less and less bald.

She sings to the girls. Silly songs about poos and wees but they love it. She shakes her hair at them and they giggle and reach out and grab it.

She is so good to all three of us. We all light up when she walks in through the door in the evenings. I don’t know if my wife knows how truly amazing she really is and how much I really truly love her and what a totally brilliant mummy she is.

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I hope she knows now.

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Our merry little Christmas

Admittedly this should have been posted about two weeks ago, but although the girls were brilliantly behaved on Christmas day and we all had a wonderful time, since then any and all good sleeping habits have flown out the window so it’s been a struggle to get anything productive done at all.

Still, it would be remiss of me not to post the details of our Christmas, despite it now being the middle of January.

We left out a carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie and glass of Baileys for Father Christmas.

We hung the girls’ stockings off their cots and dressed them in their new Christmas pyjamas.

L and I enjoyed a glass of Baileys and a quiet evening and Claudia slept from about 11pm until 6am!  She must have known that Father Christmas wouldn’t come if she was awake.

In the morning we fed them and then opened their stockings.

After that we went downstairs and L and I opened our presents to one another.  We were then both able to take it in turns to shower and start to get things ready for the day.  L’s parents were first to arrive and we Skyped with L’s brother and his wife in Sydney.  We opened our presents from them over Skype and the girls tried on part of the outfits they had been bought by the Australian contingent.

Then my family arrived and we started getting ready for Christmas dinner.  L had promised “Turkey at two”, but in the grand tradition of Christmas dinners we didn’t start the main course until closer to 4pm.

After dinner we all opened our presents, including an absolute MOUNTAIN of gifts for the girls!

We had an amazing day.  The babies had cuddles with everyone and were really, really good.

Without a doubt the best Christmas ever!

Our wedding in pictures

Our photographer, the wonderfully talented Rich from The Other Day Photography, dropped our wedding album off yesterday evening.  It’s amazing.  I took it into work today and everyone was gushing all over it.  Not only do we have a fabulous album of selected prints, but Rich also brought round a memory stick of all the photos he took of the day, so I can finally post specific pictures and link to vendors with images so that the references make sense.

So, our wedding:

2pm Saturday 13th August, Rowhill Grange Hotel and Spa, Wilmington, Kent


We loved the fact that our ceremony could be outside under a gazebo (although I did have many weather-related panics in the days and weeks leading up to the big day) and the grounds are BEAUTIFUL and made for FABULOUS photographs!


Our music during the ceremony was provided by Stringendo string quartet, who also played whilst our guests arrived and then again during the photographs.  We walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, signed the register to the Flower Duet (AKA the British Airways music) and walked back up the aisle to All You Need Is Love.

Our flowers were by the amazing Floral Explosion and our bridesmaids’ dresses were Mori Lee.  The colour we chose for the bridesmaids is called ‘Metallic Sage’ and we were so relieved when we managed to find ties that matched for the men in the wedding party!  The maternity bridesmaid dress is by Dessy and is ‘Kiwi” colour.  Flowergirl dresses were from Next (9 year old) and Mamas and Papas (18 month old).  Our flowers were mostly greens, with creams and pinks scattered through, which, amazingly, matched the beautiful gardens and grounds at Rowhill so perfectly.


Floral explosion decorated the gazebo and aisle, and provided our centrepieces and other decoration inside the room where we had the wedding breakfast.  The mosaic vases we found in Selfridges and were one of the first things we bought.  They are made by Indian Ocean and we gave them as gifts to the bridesmaids afterwards.


Our dresses were Pronovias and we bought them in Harrods.  I know.  But we went for a bit of a laugh, thinking we’d get a glass of champagne (we were right) and ended up finding our dresses there.

Our hair and makeup were done by Nicola Beddoes, who was recommended to us by my mother-in-law’s hairdresser and did a brilliant job.  The tiaras were custom made by Beretun Designs.  I’d tried on untold amounts of tiaras, but nothing really made me go wow.  They were all just… tiaras.  But then I saw the asymmetrical starburst design by Beretun and knew I’d found my tiara.

Our seating plan, I mentioned in a previous post, was based on the theme of famous lesbians.  The food for the wedding breakfast was provided in-house at Rowhill and was beautiful, although neither of us ate as much as we would have liked as we were worrying about the speeches.

Our cake was absolutely outstanding.  One of the real indulgences of our wedding was the cake.  We saw it at a wedding fair and after that nothing compared, we had to go for it, despite the cost.  It was made by Linda Fripp and the three layers inside were devil’s food chocolate cake with raspberry and white chocolate ganache, strawberries and champagne, and apple, cinnamon and calvados.  It not only looked stupendous, but tasted absolutely divine!

The DJ was provided as part of the package we booked with Rowhill and he did a great job, keeping everyone dancing all night with a real range of music catering to our taste.  Our first dance was to ‘Parachute’ by Cheryl Cole, which had just been released around the time we got engaged and was very apt as everyone knows we both love Cheryl/Girls Aloud (although let’s not mention Ashley, okay?).

All in an an absolutely perfect day…

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