Hi Friends!

It’s been quite a busy time since receiving the boys’ passports in Kiev! They have been inundated with new people, sights, sounds, smells, formula, time zones and experiences in the UK and USA. Yes!!! We are back at home in Florida and feeling AMAZING! The boys have handled everything like the little rock stars they are!

Here’s a summary of our time in the UK:

We arrived on the Saturday morning at Gatwick in London and checked into the airport hotel for the night. While babies hydrated with milk bottles, mama hydrated with a giant G&T & daddy ran around delivering the boys’ American visa application to the couriers.

After a hearty English breakfast we drove 4 hours to Vinny’s parents in the north of England. It was the first time that the boys had been in a car seat as Ukraine is not big on health & safety and our agency would not offer us any cars that would fit a car seat. The boys were not fans of the seats and a lot of crying and protesting went on in between feeding and naps. As soon as we hit Vinny’s home town of Yarm, the craziness began – daily a new group of grandma’s friends would stop by to check out the little Vinnies and shower them with a ton of presents and “oohs” and “Aahs”. We just managed to fit in a visit with family and a few of our friends too. The boys were a mix of emotions – excitement and adventure on the one hand and exhaustion and overloading of the brain synapses on the other!

They were continuously cuddled, talked to, played with, taken out and introduced to new things, such as dogs, which they chose to ignore and the baby bouncer (the ones that attach to the door frame) – this was probably the highlight of Max’s day! One of our many highlights, was meeting our friends’ girl twins. It was so much fun watching the four them! Alexei was a real ladies man while Max was whiny because he wasn’t getting all of the attention. Max is definitely an attention hog. Just like my Scruffy Cat, I’m sure he wishes that he was an only child most of the time. But, there were times when him and his brother would suddenly notice each other’s existence and then the screams of delight and the enormous smiles were to die for! They would look at each other with such amazement and wonder shutting out the rest of the world. Melts my heart!

I simply loved whizzing around in my iCandy stroller! What a huge difference between the gigantic ship we had in Kiev (that stroller was seriously longer than a Smart car!), which I couldn’t control at all, to this dainty little iCandy Apple 2 Pear stroller that is brilliant for twins! check out my little swirl with iCandy here.

At grandma’s house, Max discovered his love for a xylophone. We already know that Max loves music (played loud even), being sung to by daddy, being danced around by mommy or throwing his hands about to silly nursery rhymes, but his pure joy at seeing and hearing the musical notes of the xylophone put him in a whole different musical category. I’m so excited to see where this will lead.

Also while in the UK, the boys practiced their movements…these would be trying to do some sort of crawling (Alex stretches his arms out like he is swimming and Max lifts his little bottom but doesn’t go anywhere yet), sitting up (this is quite funny to see as Max looks like he is doing his daily gym exercises), constant attempts at rolling from back to belly – which eventually paid off for Max as he rolled twice on the last night in the UK – grabbing at various toys and the all important eye-movements…never taking their sights off their bottle of milk!

Other highlights (for dad), was a visit to Saltburn sea. This was not fun for mom as that coast does not have sparkling blue water, sandy beaches or any sort of warm weather. It was brown water, muddy beaches and icy cold winds. Mommy was not impressed, daddy was proud of his heritage and the boys slept through it. 

The boys also attended their first winter wonderland Christmas display. We were enchanted and overjoyed to finally have kids to take to these Christmassy events (as everyone who has ever suffered infertility will tell you – Christmas is a hated forced event that is filled with hordes of giggling children and broadly smiling parents that are extra reminders of your failure to produce any of these bubbling beauties). But this year is different. This year I was the giggling kid bursting with pride as I waltz around from display to display carrying one of my boys. They seemed mildly entertained. 

What the boys seemed to love more than the dazzling ‘snow’ and sparkling lights, were big hotel beds (as can be seen by the title picture).

And then 12 days later we were lugging all our oversized bags from the airport hotel to check-in, all the way fending off hordes of fascinated ladies who wanted to look at, touch and find out more about our twins! I felt like I should be doing a singing and dancing show, and well I practically did with my amazing stroller, making this whole business of twinning look easy while dad set about seeing to everything else.

The flight was the emptiest we had been on as everyone else was guzzling down their turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, so with an empty seat between us, no one behind us for the next 15 rows, our babies in bassinets in the bulkhead, we stretched out our legs smugly like we had just won the lottery and dreamed of our homecoming in Tampa! 

And that’s for the next blog post.

For a collection of photos from Max & Alex’s UK adventures, here’s a link to my you tube video.

Lots of love,

B, V, A & M xxx