Category Archives: Twins

Our Little Minions!

…Wake Up!

I have disappeared into a world of sleep deprivation and yarn. Since Christmas, Edwyn and Theodore have been teething and growing which means that we don’t get much sleep these days. In turn, my productive mind goes for the rhymic knitting strokes and not the cognitive thinking tasks like blogging or anything other than survival and knitting.

I think in the last week, my husband has really taught me that excuses are the real reason I have abandoned something that I truly enjoy doing, this blog. After all, he is writing a BOOK! Having children really does make you CHANGE. Parents are usually given a slow journey into parenthood. We were given the fast track pass. So, how do I set aside the excuses? By setting goals. I need my productive checklist to keep this mom on track.

For my Spring Time Challenge, I am setting a deadline for April 30th. This will be perfect timing as the buddies’ birthday is May 1st!

image1

My Spring Time Challenge

1. Europe Cooking Challenge – I will have completed at least 10 countries.

2. Knitting Projects – I will finish and share my slippers and the boys’ birthday gifts.

3. Photography Exploring – I will take at least 10 pictures of anything other than my sons, husband, or food. Hahaha. I want to learn more about light and color. Hopefully, I can stretch myself with this one.

So, what do you want to accomplish this season?

Squashy Breakfast

We had the pleasure of having my mother-in-law for the week. She came to send some much-loved time with the buddies. They loved every minute of it even with a gross cold that the boys have been fighting.

We got out of the house a few times which included a visit to Benson’s Park in Hudson, NH. If you have not visited I would highly recommend even with this cold weather approaching. Here are a few pictures of the family.

Cute Couple!
Cute Couple!
Sleepy buddies.
Sleepy buddies.
Mommy-Teddy time. While brother napped in the stroller.
Mommy-Teddy time. While brother napped in the stroller.
Brothers checking each other out. One of their favorite activities these days.
Brothers checking each other out. One of their favorite activities these days.

In other news, it is time for some squash. This week I attended my third MOPS International meeting and my group was assigned to bring breakfast. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to bring something different from the usual egg casserole. So, I turned to hash to do the job. The result was a very different but delicious concoction.

Chorizo and Squash Hash
Chorizo and Squash Hash

Chorizo and Squash Hash

1 tsp olive oil
8oz chorizo, diced
red onion, chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
8oz brussel sprout, thinly sliced (Any dark green would work)
1 delicata squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (You can eat the skin!)
tabasco, to taste

1. In a heavy skillet over medium heat add the oil and the chorizo. Cook the chorizo until golden brown. Drain the chorizo on a paper towel.
2. In the skillet, saute the onion, pepper, and brussel sprouts until everything is well browned. Set the veggies to the side.
3. Add more oil if needed. Saute the squash until browned. Add a splash or two of water to help the squash cook completely. It will take about 10 minutes.
4. When the squash is soft add in the rest of the ingredients and add the tabasco till it is just right for you.
5. Enjoy!

I baked this in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes with some cheese on top for the ladies. For David, I added a couple over easy eggs. Delicious! Who knew you could eat so many veggies for breakfast?

A Crazy Summer of Motherhood

What a crazy summer? I have gone through every emotion and every life moment in a matter of three months. The last year, I have been absent due to different changes and events happening in our lives. We found out we were pregnant in September, November brought the news of TWINS, January-April was prep for their arrival and our move back to the States, May brought the glorious mayhem of learning to be parents two times over, July brought a cancer diagnosis for one of the twins, August and September was the big battle and the big move.

If someone had told me the day I found out I was pregnant, waiting in that Starbucks bathroom for the blue lines to appear that a year from then I would be back living with my Mémère, with twin boys, and one of them would have cancer, I would have…done something…I don’t know what.
IMG_0011.JPG
This blog to me has always been an outlet for my expressive which is translated into food or work with my hands like needlework or art. Well, I have been using my hands for another purpose in my absence. I have been using them to feed, bathe, love on, wipe away tears, wipe away vomit, preform medical tasks, administer medications for the last five months and that is an extraordinary thing.

My life has morphed into something I never hoped it would be. However, I would not change it for the world. I have learned so much about myself as a believer and seen the future of my motherhood journey.

I am predicting that this blog will start to morph. It will start to evolve as I evolve into a mom. I never really thought about myself changing that much when I had children. But, now, I am understanding what women have been talking about for centuries. I will still be expressing myself through food and art but there may be a mommy blog or thought thrown in there. We will see and only time will tell.

If you would like to learn more about our summer, you can head over to our CaringBridge. David and I share more about our cancer journey with Eddy.

A Double Birth Story

It has been a crazy two months. I have heard and read many a birth stories and the overwhelming theme is they were not prepared for the unexpected. I was determined to mentally prepare for the unexpected. Well, some how that did not work. Go figure!

It all began on April 24 at my last scan to see our little munchkins for the last time before SEEing them. As usual, both buddies were breach. They had been breach the entire pregnancy except for TWIN 2 for a brief period of time. This led to my booking of a caesarean section at 37 weeks.

I was completely okay with this decision. I have had surgery a couple of times and I have never had an issue with recovery. If we were going to have a c-section, we also needed to do steroid injections to make sure that the babies lungs were developed enough. So, I had appointments for my injects for 29th and 30th with the section scheduled for the 1st. This was perfect because my mother was coming in from Boston on the 30th.

The 29th came around and I did my usual routine of waddling on to the bus and to the hospital. I received my first injection and then everything changed. My entire pregnancy my blood pressure had been elevated. It was never alarming and it was closely monitored. As usual, my bp was elevated. I just so happened to do a urine sample just in case the midwife wanted it. She didn’t mention anything about it so, I just offered it up. Couldn’t hurt. Well, for the first time I presented protein. This meant I was showing signs of preeclampsia.

I was booked into the hospital. This was sad and a little scary. I wasn’t prepared for this. My bags were already packed but I was not ready mentally, looking back. The goal at this point was to make it to my second injection and then to make it to May 1st. They kept an eye on my blood pressure and protein.

The 30th was a waiting game. David went with a friend to pick up my mom from the airport. I was hooked up to a double monitor to hear the babies. Which was like playing hide-n-go-seek for the first time. I received my second injection and I was able to relax a little after that point. It is important to note that we knew that TWIN 1 was considerably smaller than TWIN 2. So, I was looking forward to the steroids just to make sure both munchkins were ready.

May 1st was the day. We waited for our turn and at 11am they came to collect me for the surgery. I was prepped and ready to go. We had about 10 people in the theatre with us, each baby was given their own little team.

TWIN 1, Theodore, was born at 12:36pm. He was a tiny 4lb 2oz. He was meek and sleepy. There were concerns about his breathing and his weight. He didn’t cry once, which in hindsight relates to his personality. I gave a quick kiss and he was off to the Neo-Natal Unit to receive sugars. I was asked if we wanted to do bottle or cup feeds, I chose cup feeds. But, more on that in a later post. 10320424_584471154004_2757991784056980949_n Sleepy Teddy after being born.

TWIN 2, Edwyn, was born at 12:37pm. He was a “chunky” 7lb 2oz. He was a little more active than his brother but it took him a little bit to give us his first cry. David had a cuddle with him as I was being stitched up. 10325270_584471134044_1245010796203839670_n Edwyn and I in the theatre.

I was moved into a recovery room and was given Eddy to have some skin to skin and to start breastfeeding. A midwife supervised me as my little buddy moved around looking for my nipple. It was a great experience to see the natural instinct of my little buddy. This was a great bonding experience and all of my attention and focus was on him. From this physical interaction, I was in love. After about 30 minutes, I was moved up to the postnatal ward.

It was a bizarre day. I went from having a twin pregnancy and delivering twins to having a single baby. It was so hard to think about bonding with another baby because I barely got to see him. Here, I had Edwyn in my arms. I was able to kiss and hug and nurse him. I could barely think about going to see the other child that I had because I was already so attached to Eddy. When my mother arrived, David went down to see Teddy. David gave me a report on how he was doing and showed us a picture. But, in my mind he wasn’t really my baby.

David and Mom stayed for as long as they were allowed. When they had to leave there were many tears on my end. After about an hour, I finally mustered up the courage to stand up (my spinal had worn off) and in turn visit the Neo-Natal unit. I was wheeled down to the unit and saw our little “chicken wing” in the incubator. I was told he was doing great and that they just wanted to observe him until the morning and he would be with me. The nurse asked if I wanted to hold him and I timidly said yes. But, as soon as I had him in my arms, it was as if I had just given birth to him and they placed him in my arms. He was instantly mine. I talked to him the whole time and he just stared. He knew who I was and he liked me.

I sadly, had to part from my little buddy. I was exhausted by my day and if you have ever been in a Neo-Natal/NICU unit you will know it is a sauna. I left looking forward to seeing and holding him in the morning and sharing him with David and Mom. 10320419_584480056164_5672841939533694174_n Theodore in the Neo-Natal Unit.

The story continues…

Homemade Baby Linens

Over the past month, I have been finishing up the prep for our little minions’ arrival. I can not believe we are only three weeks away before they have their eviction date.

We have been blessed by family and friends in the States and our friends and communities here in Nottingham. We find ourselves in a weird situation, as we are first time parents which comes with a whole new stage of life. Expecting twins, double the stuff required. Moving in four/five months overseas, don’t want too much stuff to send back or get rid off. This is why I have only collected and received the absolute necessities for our minions.

Some of those necessities, I decided to make myself. Our former housemates left behind a large stash of fabric. So, I went to work and I thought I would share with you what I made.

homemade baby linens
Number 1: Sheets for our Arm’s Reach Co Sleeper
Number 2: Burp Cloths
Number 3: Cloth Wipes
Number 4: Knitted Chevron Blanket

Sheets were definitely on my priority list. A few months ago, I purchased an Arm’s Reach Co Sleeper for our little ones. The bed attaches to our bed to help make those late night feedings easier. Seeing as I am having two babies to grab, change, and feed, I wanted to make my life as easy as possible. The only problem with this lovely contraption is the sheets. It came with one fitted sheet and to buy an extra I was going to have to shell out £20 each. This was not going to work for my budget or the fact that there is twice the amount of baby to make a mess of things.

So, I basically made large pillowcases for the mattress with some cotton fabric. Nothing fancy. I did leave a little bit of a tongue from the top part of the sheet so it could be tucked underneath neatly. It is a great alternative to messing with the elastic for a fitted sheet. This technique will also work for pack n’ plays.
burp cloths
Burp Cloths were next. Twice the amount of spit ups in my future. I already have a few cloth diapers and muslins that will work well but I wanted to make a few to be on the safe side. So, I used some pretty Mexican themed cotton fabric on one side and terry cloth on the other. You could also use old towels but I had some terry cloth lying around. Nothing too hard. Sew wrong sides together except a small hole to turn it right side out. Press, press opening down, and sew around the edge to close. Done.
cloth wipes
Cloth wipes are a simple creation. They are even simpler than the burp cloths. It is best to use cotton flannel for this project. Cut, sew wrong sides together on three sides, turn right side out, press, press open end, sew shut. I will be using some of the bigger wipes as wash cloths for bath time but the rest you use like wipes. You can spray the bum with water and wipe clean with the cloth wipe.
chevron blanket
Last was a knitted blanket. What kind of mother would I be if I did not knit them a blanket? I settled for the trendy chevron pattern with a teal, grey, and light pink colors. I used Rico Design Essential Soft Merino Aran in colors 013, 095, 040. If you like the design you can check it out here on Ravelry. I plan on making another blanket but carpal tunnel has recently set in and knitting is not the best activity for it.

So, that is all. Next on my list of things to do is to pack those hospital bags. Ahhh, this is getting so real!

Nesting

As this pregnancy comes to an end, I find myself nesting and preparing. Every other day, I do a deep clean and purge on a specific room. I have found that if I clean and go full force one day, the next day I am paying for it. So, I plan on taking it slow. Thankfully, I have started early as I am at 33 weeks.

So far, I have done our bedroom. The Minions bed is set up and ready for them. My closet has had a seasonal change. My winter clothes have moved out and my spring clothes have moved back in. The boys’ clothes have been cleaned and folded and put away. My small stock pile of diapers and other accessories has been organized and labeled.

Next was our living room: I started a charity shop pile; and purged a lot of unnecessary items that I know I will not be using in the next six months. It is so nice and clean in both of these rooms. It makes me so happy and calms the worrying third trimester brain. Two rooms down and three more to go!

With the nesting also comes the preparation for the Minions. I plan on making a meal a week until the little ones arrive that can be halved and put into the freezer. This week, I made Greek turkey burgers and I thought I would share. They kind of remind me of if turkey burgers had a baby with spanakopita.

greek turkey burgers

Greek Turkey Burgers

1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cooked spinach, chopped and squeezed of all the water
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1 tbsp capers, chopped (optional)
1lb/500g ground turkey (thigh or breast meat works)

1. Sauté red onion in a tsp of olive oil over medium heat until soft.
2. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the onion and cook until fragrant. Move mix to a large bowl.
3. Mix spinach, feta, capers, and some pepper into the onion mix until well combined. Mix in ground turkey until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX!
4. Divide mix into eight equal portions and form into patties.
5. Heat a grill or cast iron pan over medium high heat with oil. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side.

I served our burgers with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki with lemon potatoes on the side. Or you could serve it with my halloumi and olive salad. I place four of the burgers in the freezer on parchment paper and when they are solid, I move them to a bag. To eat them later, leave them in your fridge overnight and cook accordingly. I would also recommend doing this with my Thai Turkey Meatball recipe. Either as meatballs or eight burgers.

One last tip from this nesting momma, label your freezer items! If you do not, you will not use that item. I know exactly what is in my freezer and how I will use it and when. Anyway, that is all from me today. Hope you enjoy my burgers! I feel another room calling!

My Last Mother’s Day

Sunday was Mother’s Day here in the UK. It was hard to comprehend that this would be my last Mother’s Day without my little Minions on the outside. There was this overwhelming sense of fullness both in my heart and in my belly.

We plan on celebrating American Mother’s Day this year as both my Minions and my mother will be here to celebrate it. I haven’t been with my Mother for Mother’s Day in eight years so it will be a really special day.baby laundryOur day was filled with baby laundry; Ticket to Ride: Europe; relaxation; and a lovely dinner. David cooked me a special dinner from a cookbook I gave him for Christmas. I made the dessert which is what we are talking about today.david's mother's day dinnerDinner was amazing! David made pork loin roast with a dried fruit and ale sauce; fried potatoes and chives; and homemade bread. I was glad I wasn’t supervising him because the amount of butter that he used was worrying, which made it that much more delicious. My dessert was the perfect accompaniment to David’s meal. Fruity and delicious! pear and pecan crumble
Pear and Pecan Crumble

6 small pears, peeled, cored, and cubed
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
2. Mix together pears, sugar, cornstarch, and pecans. Layer in a cake pan.
3. Stir together oats, brown sugar, flour, ginger, and salt. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the crumble mixture until well mixed.
4. Spread crumble topping on top of the pears.
5. Bake 30 minutes.
6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.