A few twin Mommies have got together and created this great idea where every week (I think) they have a different topic and everyone can take part by simply blogging about the topic and then adding a link on the hosts website. This blog hop is hosted by Blessed with Two so head on over and have a look.
The Hope Babes are now eight months old and getting out with them is getting easier and more fun.
From 10 days old we have gone to the in-laws every Friday night for a braai (bbq) and so we have become fairly good at managing them for an evening outing to family. Of course in the beginning it was crazy how much stuff we took with us. I have an awesome nappy bag (although the zips are starting to break which is a pain in the backside) which is ALWAYS packed at the door and ready to grab on the way out. In the bag I have nappies, wipes, bum cream, hand disinfectant, a change of clothes for each, a burper (cloth nappy) for each, some meds and a few small toys. Up until about 6 months we took our oversized carry cots (see picture below) along with us for them to sleep in. Until about 2 months they slept in one together then each needed one, now they have outgrown them and crawl out of them if awake, but we did use them for an outing a friend last week, but had to put the kids down asleep. Since six months my MIL has two camp cots in her spare room for the kids (one she had for my niece and another borrowed from someone). Then we have a bag of bedtime goodies, including their sleeping bags, Jade’s bunny, Jed’s bunny with dummy attached to ear and the monitor. And for the braai we simply throw in 2 bottles. So an evening at the in-laws is now a simple event. The kids normally (although we have had a couple of nights where Pudding stayed up), play for a bit, then have their bottles about half an hour later than usual (around 6.30) and are typically put down to sleep just like at home. When we head home, our sleeping bags have an arrangement which means you can leave them in the bags and still clip them safely into the car seats. They do wake up on the way home, but go straight back to sleep when put into their cots at home.
For outings to the shops I grab the nappy bag and the pram and a small cooler bag with food and hit the road. I try to only head out after their morning nap so they are not grizzly and have at least had one good sleep before all the stimulation. They really seem to love getting out and Pudding especially just LOVES watching people. Sausage is happy so long as we take a break (good opportunity for a coffee and cake) and give him a chance to jump. They are now reaching the stage where they want to touch everything so have started grabbing clothes off the rails as we go by, so we need to watch them (especially Sausage) like a hawk. I am yet to do grocery shopping with both of them, but love to take just one with me for a grocery shop as a little one on one time. Sausage especially seems to love the car type seats over the trolley as he is high up and can make eye contact with everyone and smile his charming little smile. Ready for an outing in our pram
As for the car seats, up to 9kgs they were in the rear facing picallos and Pudding hated it. I had a screaming frothing at the mouth little girl everytime I took her anywhere. She screamed all the way there and all the way back. Very stressful to say the least. So as soon as they hit the 9kg mark we got them forward facing seats and Pudding is a whole different little girl who chats away and kicks her feet in delight. Sausage always was great in the car, not go to sleep great, but easy going.
We took a week’s holiday at 6 moths which we refer to the as anti-holiday as both babes cut both bottom teeth in the same week. It was hell. And if you could see just how much stuff we packed to take with us you would kill yourself laughing. We have a trailer which was packed full. 2 camp cots, 2 high seats (totally extreme we know, but it did mean we were comfortable in the rented house), 2 full bags of nappies, wipes, and all their frozen foods (I just don’t like the jar stuff and would much rather they eat properly, so we took the whole lot with us), 2 tins of formula (Sausage’s soya, Pudding’s normal) and my breast pump (I was still feeding at that stage. And toys and the usual stuff. Mom and Dad were packed in a small suitcase together and all the rest of the space was for twin stuff. I will totally admit we went totally over the top, but in light of hte fact that we were operating that whole holiday on practically NO sleep, I am so glad we did as being totally comfortable with everything else made it easier. For the long drive up to the place we were staying I resorted to crushing a rescue tablet and giving it to Pudding to help ease her screaming in the car. It worked really well on the way up with her only starting to scream the last 15minutes and on the way back we broke up the journey with a meal at our favourite beach and they were both good as gold. Again we did time the drive in both directions to their nap times in the hopes they would sleep.
From the earliest days the twins have been out for breakfast and lunch with us loads. Some days it is crazy with them wanting to be in arms all the time, or now wanting to climb all over everything, and you end up eating one at a time or with a baby on your hands, but mostly it is such a pleasure to get out the house and do ‘normal’ stuff with them, even if it is a little hectic and we get home exhausted. I am very strict about evening routine and they typically go to sleep so early (6.30) so night’s out with them have seemed a step too far. I also think that there are places it is inappropriate to take little kids to. When I go out for a nice meal at a nice restaurant I do not want to hear the babies at the table next door crying or banging on things the whole way through my meal. There have been a number of times my SIL takes my niece out with us that I think is totally inappropriate. Anyway on Mother’s Day we tried our first evening meal out with them. Went to the local Bossa Nova (a great family restaurant with a kiddies play area). We went early, fed the kids at the restaurant and Sausage went straight to sleep, Pudding however as always was for too interested in everything new to sleep. Sausage woke up a while later and carried on playing too. So they had a late night that night, but it is so rare that it wasn’t a problem. We have been back to Bossa Nova since then and the twins were both little angels going to sleep in their pram after they had their bottles, leaving us adults to eat a peaceful meal.
For me it has been great to get out the house tonnes with the kids as I think it gives them different stimulation and gets them used to the way life is.