Back from holiday – elbow pains…

I apologise for the silence here. There was a school holiday in Belgium and we took the boys to a holiday park last week. We had a great time, although with every holiday we somehow don’t end up very rested. Haha, as if!

It was the first time we did not use our buggy at all, we walked everywhere with the boys and they did really well. I did discover something interesting though. You can have muscle ache in your elbows!

It took me a while to figure out how this came about. But in the end the answer was simple. It was the walking of course, one boy on each side holding my hand. You’re not just dragging them because they walk slower… when they get in a mood and don’t want to walk (faster) they will work against you and pull. So this week no pain in my shoulders due to pushing a heavy buggy, no, this week my elbows had their turn… 

The twin shopping trolley

I first heard about twin-shopping-trolleys in a Facebookgroup for twin moms in the Netherlands. More and more moms seem to have asked their local supermarket for one and all over the Netherlands they appeared in the supermarkets. Sadly nothing like this ever happens in the customer-unfriendly supermarkets of Brussels.
So when I visited the Netherlands I was so glad to actually spot a twin trolley and use it before the boys will be too big. I really loved it!

So a big THANK YOU to all the Dutch supermarkets making the life of twin moms easier.

(Our boys liked it a lot but actually prefer walking around the supermarket themselves now…)

Car free Sunday in Brussels

Car free Sunday is not my favourite event in Brussels. Mainly because it always happens in the weekend around my birthday, which means it’s really difficult for my family from the Netherlands to visit.
This year our boys could really enjoy the car free aspect for the first time though. They were big enough to go out ‘cycling’. So far they were not that great at cycling, but now that they had some space they suddenly understood the balancing a bit better and managed to gain some speed.

That said, it was surprising and sad to see how many cars (mainly foreign licence plates) were still driving around the city center. We quickly gave up on the bigger streets and had them drive on the sidewalk again.

© Carien Touwen 2017

Sarcasm does not work

Dinner at home:

When one of the boys spills some yoghurt on the table, I tell him to sweep it up with his finger and lick it off. Enthusiastically he follows my advice, but when he see his ‘dirty’ finger, he has a change of heart.
‘Mommy lick it, clean it mommy please,’ he suddenly pleads with tears in his eyes.

Going out for dinner:

Surprise, surprise… the boys spill some food. I say nothing. Now they decide they do want to get the food of the table. First they use a spoon, then their finger, and apparently it’s great, so they spill some more food to sweep and lick.  Sigh. (Do they not understand that a table at home is completely different from any other table?)
So this frustrated mommy exclaims: ‘Yikes!  Why don’t you lick the whole table while you’re at it!’
And so they do.

© Carien Touwen 2017

Time for me

So the other week I had some time to go shopping. I felt I could use some new shirts and some time to myself.
More than an hour of going in and out of shops later, I realised I had not been looking at lady’s clothes at all. I had seen great shoes for twin A, a cute hat for twin B and bought some new socks for the both of them. I had also been looking at backpacks and lunch boxes for school. Then I saw some really cute shirts, for them of course.
But what about me, I thought a bit later, while wandering the pyjama department. O, that looks great: Nijntje (Miffy), Minnie Mouse and stars. The boys would really like me wearing those.
Wait a minute! I have never looked at Minnie Mouse in my life and now I am suddenly considering pyjamas like that, just because the boys like mice and rabbits? That was just too ridiculous. I fled the scene, quickly paid for the boys’ new shirts and ran to a café. Apparently ‘shopping for me’ is something I have to re-learn.

© Carien Touwen 2017

Indian food

Going out to dinner with the boys can be a lot of fun. We got a list of restaurants and cafe’s we know they like and usually we go to one of those places. But some days we feel brave and try to expand our list. Most of the times I research this carefully and make sure that there is something for the kids to do and to eat. Sometimes I don’t think enough and we just do it…

So earlier this week we went to an Indian restaurant. Silly me forgot to bring some books, crayons and paper, so entertainment for the twins was not easily found. Luckily serviettes and spoons kept them busy till the papadums were put on the tables. The boys absolutely loved them, especially with the yoghurt sauce. That was as far as our succes went…

We had ordered some veggie samosas, thinking they would be a nice and mild dinner for them, but they did not like the spices in there at all. One of the boys even started crying when he had some in his mouth…
We had ordered mild curries to share with them, but after the samosas he did not dare to try anything. Luckily we ordered lots of naan and once he tasted that, he was okay to eat it, but anything that looked more coloured than the bread, he refused.
Our other boy did try a few things, but he got rather red from eating the spices. I felt a bit worried so we decided to give him naan as well. We ate our curry’s quickly, but not quick enough.
“Mom,” they said. “This is NOT a nice cafe. Can we go somewhere else?”
No need to explain that things only got worse after that…

Lesson learned: our next craving for Indian food has to be saved for date night..

© Carien Touwen 2017

Welcome to TwinTales!

Welcome to Twintales! My name is Carien and I am a mother of non-identical twin boys born in 2015. The first two years after they were born I was not able to do much besides taking care of them. It was great spending so much time with them, but I also was always tired and my body was (and still) is not 100% recovered from the pregnancy and birth. Even writing was too much then. Luckily I made lots of notes, so now that I feel better again I can start sharing my experiences from then and now.

On this website I will share my thoughts, our adventures and everything else that seems worth sharing or discussing regarding raising children, but also the consequences of that for your body, mental health and social life. Not everything has to change when you have kids, but a lot usually does.

We live in Brussels (Belgium) and are raising our boys bilingual. I speak English and my partner speaks Dutch to them. Two years down the line I can say this: it’s easier for them than it is for me!

This website is not specifically aimed at parents of twins, although there will be quite a few anecdotes regarding things that only happen with twins. I am sure this website will speak to all parents (-to be) as I often feel that having two kids whom are exactly the same age means you will experience everything there is to experience at a certain age… When I hear another mom telling me about her child I usually think; hey, one of my boys did or does that as well. When one twin sleeps trough the night, usually the other one does not, if you get what I mean… No child is the same, that is for sure, and having twins is double trouble and double the fun.

Enjoy our adventures and share in our exhaustion 😉