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First Hours (F)

I can’t remember much about the first few hours after the boys were born. When I think about it now…

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Exit Strategy (E)

Exit Strategy (E)


The Great Escape, an Exit Strategy!

This time last year my hubby and I were sitting down to a glass of wine on a Saturday evening.  The boys were in their cots but not yet asleep.

Suddenly we heard both boys roaring with laughter.  Don’t get me wrong, we are used to hearing the boys chat with each other as they fall asleep, but this was different.

We have a baby-cam set up in the boys’ nursery, so my hubby switched on the camera.  What he saw was not good news.  Bob L had a cot exit strategy!  We knew this day would come; it was only a matter of time.

So what was the exit strategy?

It was double over the cot bars and dive out of the cot…head first!  He then used the two cots to propel himself into his brother’s cot.  Both boys were beside themselves with laughter.  We realised that there was no way they were going to sleep with the promise of this kind of shenanigans going on.  Also I was beside myself with worry that he might break his neck.

The next day we realised we had no choice.  We had to make the plunge.  We had to swap for the dreaded big boy beds – argh!!!

Ikea is a parent’s best friend at times like this, with functional and attractive beds at affordable prices.

The next evening we entered into big boy bed territory.  The boys loved their beds.  They felt they were very grown up and were very excited.

Bob D was excellent; he has never tried to leave his bed.  I don’t know whether he feels he isn’t allowed to or whether he is less interested in the freedom than his brother.  Even now, at three and a half years old he still hasn’t realised he can leave his room.

Bob L is a bit more of an adventurer.  This transition started the beginning of popping down stairs to see us after bedtime.  There are so many funny storied about this it will provide material for a separate post.

They transitioned fairly easily though, on the whole.  What we didn’t know was that this was the beginning of the end for nap time – big sobs!

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Dysplasia (D)

Dysplasia (D)

The Fear of Dysplasia.

At Bob L’s six-week-check, the doctor identified that he did not have the full, normal range of movement in his hip.

She said that it was unlikely to be much to worry about, but it was best that we get it checked out by a specialist at the hospital.

A few weeks later, we were sent a letter to take him along to an appointment.  There they scanned his hip, both sides, to see what was going on.  That day he was diagnosed with Dysplasia of the left hip.  His hip was not fully formed.  We were told he would have to wear a Pavlik Harness for the foreseeable future.

A visual guide to the pavlik harness which treats dysplasia

The Pavlik Harness is designed to ensure a baby’s hips are positioned properly in the joint. It is considered to be pain free and is usually used as treatment for babies.  Both hips had to be secured, unfortunately, as there is no harness available for just the one hip.    The harness ensures the hip is aligned and stable, giving the hip a better chance to develop and grow normally.

The harness was a hard thing for me to get my head around.  I wasn’t allowed to remove it.  Ever.  He was not allowed a bath.  I was not allowed to baby wear and have him in a sling.  I felt like I was missing out hugely on bonding with my baby.  Thankfully, looking back on it all now, it has not affected our bond at all.  But I didn’t know that at the time.

There are some things in motherhood that you just have to do, for your children’s own good.  This was one of those occasions.  We were assured this was for the best so there was no debate.

If we had left it, or if this had not been caught until he was a lot older, then it would likely have needed surgery to fix it.  That is not something we would have wanted to risk.

So my little boy was all strapped up.  He wore the harness for 10 weeks.  From what I understand we were lucky, some children have to wear it a lot longer.  We were told on my birthday that the harness had been a success and that he could take the harness off.  BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!

He has still had to go back for scans as he got older to check that everything was progressing the way it should.  Everything has been fine with these so far.  His last scan will be when he is five.  If that is ok he will be discharged for good.

I often wonder if having HELLP syndrome caused this?  Did he stop developing in my womb?  We know that Bob L, in particular, was a lot smaller than expected.  I will never know the answer to this.



Constance (C)

Constance (C)

Constance – The German Riviera

Last year my family and I took advantage of living in Germany and went on vacation locally, deciding on Ferienpark Orsingen, near Lake Constance (Bodensee). The region has many wellness hotels and spa resorts, with hotels in Überlingen and Meersburg offering sauna and soothing ‘Hot Stone’ treatments. However, this family friendly campsite, of which there are many in and around the area, was ideal for a family with three-year-old twin boys.

Lake Constance, considered the German Riviera, lying below the northern edge of the Alps, is by far the largest lake in Germany. Bordering Austria and Switzerland, Lake Constance has plenty to offer, striking scenery and family friendly attitude, combined with plenty of activities for all ages, provides a perfect backdrop for an enjoyable holiday.

Lake Constance and the city of Konstanz is stunning, with Lake Constance’s majestic expanse of water encompassing 270 kilometers of shoreline.

We were lucky to choose a week where Germany was hit by a heat-wave, although summer temperatures often reach the 30s in this part of Germany. On our first night, once settled and the children asleep, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset, glass of wine in hand.

The view from our mobile home on the first night.

Much to our boys’ excitement we hired a boat on our first day, a popular activity with tourists. Rather than go for the extravagant yacht or expensive speedboat, we went for a leisurely pedalo (although not so leisurely for my husband who had to drive). With the blue lake surrounding us, large boats passing us by and quacking ducks providing a soundtrack to our journey, it was a wonderful experience. Afterwards we visited a local cafe to sample delicious ice cream and to cool off.

Lake Constance is known for its water sports.  Whether you enjoy sailing, surfing or swimming, there is a no more beautiful spot, with stunning views of the Alps. However, we decided to relax instead, with a cold beer, soaking up the sun on one of the man-made beaches surrounding the lake.

With its wide variety of excellent locally sourced restaurants and wine cellars, we had the opportunity to sample the delicious, fresh-water white fish ‘Felchen’, which wonderfully complements the local white wine, Müller-Thargau. The mild climate in the area is perfect for grapes, one of the many wine festivals being a summer highlight.

While there we visited nearby Switzerland where Schloss (castle) Laufen, a Swiss Heritage site of national significance, stands grandly over the breathtaking Rheinfall, the largest plain waterfall in Europe. After walking through the pretty castle entrance, stairs took us down the side of the waterfall, leading to spectacular views; thankfully there is a lift back up to the entrance. If you feel brave, you can take a boat trip to the bottom of the waterfall to seek a better view, something we thought better of with two toddlers in tow.

The rush of a waterfall!

On our last day we visited the small town of Meersburg. This medieval city, situated in Baden-Württemberg, is picturesque and bustling. Meersburg had a slightly more touristy feel, with little shops selling souvenirs lining up along the lake, alongside eateries and drinking establishments. We stopped for ice-cream at a lovely restaurant on the seafront which, although slightly more expensive, provided stunning views of the lake.

Trips to Lake Constance are not restricted to summertime.  Autumn is also a lovely time to visit Lake Constance.  It is less busy, the weather is still very pleasant and the many apple orchards are harvested then.

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and highly recommend this often overlooked, by Brits anyway, paradise.






Twins and Tricycles – 30 DBC

Twins and Tricycles – 30 DBC
30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day 30

Share a funny YouTube Video

This is my favourite YouTube video.  I am massively biased because the stars of the show are my monkeys (not to mention the hubby and me).  They were just approaching their first birthday when this was made.

Our family has some incredibly talented people in it.  My brother and sister-in-law   especially so.  My sister-in-law works in film and TV as a Director, Art Director and Producer; my brother-in-law is a script writer and composer.  A few years ago they decided to fulfil their dream and make their own feature film. To fund this, they sold their house.  The award-winning film was called Dimensions.  It is an amazing demonstration of what you can do if you set your mind to something.  I strongly recommend you check it out.

In the summer of 2013, they decided to make Bob L and Bob D a video for their first birthday and this is the result.  What a great present. They can treasure it forever.  After all,  who wouldn’t want to be in their own version of Steve McQueen’s classic, Bullitt?

This post sees the end of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  I hope you have enjoyed reading it, as much as I have enjoyed writing it.