Week 2 | Living Arrows

I never need a reason to pick up the ‘big’ camera.  But I do forget to use it.  In the rush of every day life, grabbing my phone just seems to be a little easier.  I love Instagram and most of my daily life is posted there at @lovingthelittlethings.  But just sometimes you need those big camera images.

With the babies settled in a routine, it give me time to spend with Ruby.  She is smart, funny & a complete hoot.  She has a hilarious sense of humour and by the age of 2 had learnt sarcasm, a skill which has only improved over the years.
It feels good to catch up on cuddles.

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Sian - Glad you got to spend some quality time with Ruby. It’s a great photo, I love the light streaming in.

Natalie - Beautiful Shot Zoe! And I’ve loved following your guys journey together. Ruby reminds me a lot of my 4year old with the personality, sarcasm. Lovely post xx #livingarrows

FromMummytoMum - She is gorgeous! I love the lighting here!
I also always forget to use my big camera, but when I do use it I usually love what I capture.

   

Week 1/52 | Living Arrows

I’ve joined so many photography projects this year, I am really hoping to keep up with them all.  Living Arrows is one photo a week for the year.  Hopefully resulting in 52 beautiful images to treasure.  It’s so easy each day to leave the ‘big’ camera behind and snap away on the iphone.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone, so much that I am taking part in an Instagram 365 too.  But it’s so nice to catch these little moments between the babies.  I want to document it.  I want to capture those little things, that bond, those hugs, sleepy smiles… I know I will look back on these ordinary moments and they will be the things I remember.  I want to be able to show them how beautiful our life is.

I’m always telling my clients how important it is to have these moments recorded (and printed).  Because as cliche as it sounds, you don’t ever get these moments back.

So, I am ready.  Lets do this.  Bring it on 2015.

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Amber - Hi, fellow twin-mama! What a beautiful image – and so familiar to me, mine sleep just like that too.

Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy - This is so adorable. This is the first Living Arrows image and I’ve just been through 40 that made me ‘aww’ out loud. I so look forward to seeing your posts each week xxx

Natalie @ littlejampotlife - Lovely first post Zoë! I adore your updates of your beautiful family xx

Hayley at Shutterflies - What a beautiful first post, so happy to see you’d linked up with Living Arrows. The babies are just gorgeous, love your little boy’s red hair x

Aimee - This is too beautiful … and so fitting with your words. How sweet they are! x

Kimberly Temple - What a gorgeous picture, I have many a picture of my triplets like this. Now I’m lucky if I can get them all in the same shot! I’m so glad I found your lovely blog via living arrows :)

Mammasaurus - Ahhh this photo is just adorable x

   

Eat, Puke, Sleep, Cry, Repeat. | Routine

Twins.  Yikes.

For those who have twins, I could leave the blog post there and you would totally understand.  I had planned on monthly updates, showing the progress of the twins, telling you how I was getting on.  WRONG.  The babies had other plans.  17 weeks of being sick, catching colds, flu’s, bronchitis, RSV, conjunctivas… you name it, they had it.  I didn’t know if I was coming or going, I had to check more than once a day what day of the week it was.  Hot meals? Forget it, I couldn’t even get a cup of tea before it went cold. so you can imagine my excitement when I got 4.5 hours sleep.  Actual real, unbroken sleep. 4 and a half hours?  Is that it? believe me… it was like a full night in a swanky hotel after months of them both waking every hour. Each.  Sleep, no puke and babies who were smiling!  It was time for a little bit of a routine.

twins, sleep, routine, baby, naps, through, night, mum, babies, feeding, breast, weaning10731526_286446084879810_70675137_n

 I had read a lot of parenting books.  Some to me felt a little harsh and some…. I wondered if they even had kids.  Probably not.  Some were ok.  So, I scoured online, pinterest, google, websites and some good friends on twitter helped me out. I put a little ‘cheat sheet’ together from a load of different sources and worked around the babies until we had something that worked for everyone.  It’s a little trial and error and you have to pay attention to baby cues as well as getting the rest you need.  Then, throw in twins plus a pre-schooler… it’s a whole other ball game!

With twins you have two options, you can have them staggered, so your feeding one at a time and the other isn’t going mad because they are hungry, or you can have them on the same schedule.  Which is great if you have a little help.

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My husband works pretty early in the mornings, so he leaves before the first feed, and he isn’t home until just after tea time, so unless one of my lovely family members pop over, its just me and Ruby.  So we slightly stagger and mine are 10- 15 minutes apart.  I’m sharing my schedule with you and highlighting the times/routine that would be used for just one baby or twins on the same routine.

Schedule:

6:45am – I get up, have a cup of tea and prepare milk.

7:00am – Feeding time. I wake Harry, he’s always the fussy one, so its best to get him up first. I give him his milk first. Change him then pop him on the play mat.

7:15am – Emily’s turn for milk.  same again, change… play mat.

8:15am – I start to wind down, I turn any tv off.  And pop on some white noise in the bedroom.  So it can be heard and they know its nap time soon.

8:30am – (1 hour nap) I swaddle Harry, pop into the bedroom, which is in darkness.  I stand and have a cuddle.  No rocking (I feel it over stimulates them) I just have a cosy little hug.  Kiss on the head and I pop him in the cot. Awake.  (white noise is still playing).

8:45am – Emily’s turn.  Same, swaddle… hug… bed.

9:30am – Wake Harry & change.

9:45am – Wake Emily & change.

10:30 – Harry Feed.  This feed I give them both a pot of fruit, some puree apple & some milk. (if weaning).

10:45am – Emily feed.

12:00pm – Harry Nap (1.5 – 2 hours) Nap Time.

12:15pm – Emily Nap.  Same as before.  Swaddle, hug, bed.

2:00pm – Harry Feed.  Just milk.

2:15pm – Emily Feed.  Just Milk.

3:30pm – Harry Nap (1 hour) Nap.

3:45pm –  Emily Nap.

5:00pm – Puree food meal & 1/2 bottle of milk.

5:15pm – Emily food/milk.

5:30pm – Harry Mini Nap – 20-30 mins only.

5:45pm – Emily Mini Nap 20-30 mins only.

7:00pm – Dedtime routine. Bath, snuggles, white noise. massage.

7:30pm – Bedtime feed.

{10:30pm – dream feed, if needed.}

I know it seems like a lot of naps.  I thought so at first too.  But a little one so small is meant to have around 18 hours a day sleep.  12 at night and then the rest in the day.  I found short naps better, they were less grumpy and little bursts seemed to help.  The crazy half hour at 5:30pm seems like it would disrupt any sleeping at bedtime with it being so close, but believe me, I dropped it and keeping them awake until the 7:30pm bedtime made them grumpy.  It’s only been a around 10 days using this routine, but Emily now sleeps right through the night after her 7:45pm feed and Harry has slept right through for 4 nights.  Now… I am no expert, so if it doesn’t work for you, just adjust it and find what suits you and your little one.  I like to get up a little early and wake up properly before I have to wake any children and have that important hot cuppa.   It seems like a lot when its written down, but I found its really worth sticking with, those few hours are great for showering, cleaning up and catching up on work or blogging.

 Ruby goes to nursery at 8:30am, so it will have to be slightly adjusted for that in the new year when they start back  and they will have to nap in their pram for the drop off, but I would just continue the walk with them until it was time to wake them.  In less than 2 weeks I’ve seen a huge difference, they smile, they are content and aren’t crying for no reason.  I know if they are getting grumpy at a certain time, why that is and I know what they need without feeling hopeless.
For the first time I feel like I’ve got it down!

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If you try it out, and it works, I would love to hear!
Here’s to sleep!

Natalie @ Little Jam Pot Life Blog - Love this, and well done babies! Giving you some sleep! Phoenix is waking every two hours for the past two months, and unsettled some nights more so due to teething… poor mite. i am wiped out! hats off to you lady xx

   

5k ways with Nutella | Hot Chocolate

nutella, hot, chocolate, recipe, mug, cuppa, mummy, blog,  new, year, cosy, drink, marshmallow, foodographynutella, hot, chocolate, recipe, mug, cuppa, mummy, blog,  new, year, cosy, drink, marshmallow, foodography

It’s not secret that I love Nutella. It’s a little bit of an unhealthy obsession.  I realised it had gotten a little out of hand and I would volunteer to make dinner just so I could stand in the kitchen and eat it out the tub with a spoon.  For christmas I got 8 personalised tubs…. Yep.  Now as much as I would like to eat all those tubs, in secret, with a spoon… we all know thats just wrong.  But using Nutella in a recipe doesn’t really count does it?  I’m pretty sure I don’t need any more excuses to hide in the dark at 2am eating it from the jar.

So, with it being christmas, winter and all things festive.  Lets start with hot chocolate.

You will need some hot milk in your favourite cup, a nice big spoonful of Nutella and stir stir stir… thats it! It’s almost too easy.  Of course, get adding those marshmallows and maybe a little candy cane or cinnamon sprinkles if you want to go super festive.  I use an ice cube tray and pop in some Nutella with a spoon and freeze it for a few hours, add some marshmallows and simply pop those in your hot chocolate when friends visit over the holidays!

 

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*cosy socks @Asda | George

Natalie @ Little Jam Pot Life Blog - LOVE this! The photos look so romantic! nutella is amaze-balls. and those socks are super adorable, i have a pair myself ;) x

Oh and those spoons! ahhhh love them