Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

Weaning Decisions – Meat Or No Meat?

I’m a vegetarian (or ‘pain in the arse’ as my husband lovingly refers to me). I have been since I saw a horrific video about how food gets on to our plates at school aged 10. Possibly not the best video to show a bunch of impressionable 10 year olds but, that’s not the point of this post!

G is a true cave man and would eat just meat and only meat all day long! He’s only made happier by being able to cook his mountain of meat on the barbecue which doesn’t happen very often due to the great British weather!

Whether our children eat meat is something we are quite often asked and probably something G was worried about when I started weaning our eldest.

Everyone seems really shocked that our children all eat meat. It wasn’t even a conversation that G and myself had as it got closer to weaning time. Our children will be meat eaters until they are old enough to make their own informed choice.

It’s not up to me to push my beliefs onto my children. Eventually they will be old enough to decide what they want to do and we will both support their decision (although Daddy has threatened to have any vegetarian children banished!).

It also doesn’t make me a half-baked vegetarian as I am so often accused! I eat rabbit food to save the animals but I am not a pushy animal rights activist who thinks meat eaters are evil. I can still be a vegetarian but live amongst meat eaters.

I’m sure everybody thought it was a fad when I gave up meat and, as awful as this sounds, that is probably what I will think if any of mine go vegetarian. I will support them none the less and, they can join me with my bean casserole for dinner but, I bet they miss bacon within a week!

If I Could Turn Back Time…

If I Could Turn Back Time…

I would go back to a time when I only had 1 child and enjoy the experience properly.

Now I have 4 children, every little outing seems an effort and sometimes we spend longer getting ready than we are out for. I only now really appreciate how easy it is to just take 1 or 2 children out and about.

I really regret not going out to baby groups and walking lots with the pushchair. I almost hid myself away as I think I was a bit scared. Scared of what would happen if my baby screamed the place down, had a poosplosion or wouldn’t nap while I was out.

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I missed out on forming lots of Mummy friendships as I never went to groups. I lost touch with most of the other Mums from my NCT group as I was too frightened to take my baby out.

Now I think nothing of taking the babies out to lunch with us and taking them to a friends house seems a doddle! I bundle the twins in the pushchair and head out for a walk to the shops or a coffee on nursery days.

It’s amazing how much your perception of these tasks changes as you have more children. When you have your first baby, the two of you are learning from day one. You change your entire life to fit around this small person. Everything is a new experience and a mental barrier to overcome. I obviously failed to do this as quickly as others but, now I have 4 children, nothing fazes me. I have to get on with my life and the new babies have had to fit around it. I do however reserve the right to change my views on this when all 4 of my children are walking!

I also miss the ability to have an afternoon nap! I never used to take advantage of this when B was born – how foolish of me! O never slept as a baby so when he did, if it by some miracle coincided with B having a nap, I would spend the time tidying the bomb site that was our house. Now, I’m so exhausted that a nap most days would be amazing! But, if I did happen to nod off on the sofa after a particularly carb heavy lunch (and trust me it has happened), I’m usually awoken by a boy launching themself at me off the arm of the sofa! They use me as a crash mat. I didn’t realise that was in the job description.

I do not for one second regret having any of my beautiful babies but, I wish I had done things differently. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you are a first time Mummy reading this, my biggest advice would be, don’t be afraid to do anything or go anywhere with your baby. Enjoy every second of having this amazing little person. Time passes too quickly and before you know it, you have more babies and then everything is an effort!

If you could turn back time, what would you do different with your children?

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

A Day In The Life Of A Mum To 4

I’ve never really been one for strict routines. When the boys were babies, we used to go with the flow and most of the time it worked really well. It meant we could go out and about without it interfering with nap or feed time too much. I have friends with very strict routines and they allow themselves almost no freedom. They cannot come out at certain times of the day and I didn’t want to become like that.

When the twins came along, we decided that things had to change. No longer could we use a baby led approach as there were now far too many babies in the house! So, we adopted a routine and it has been working pretty well. The routine does have flexibility so we are not completely housebound and the routine is relaxing slightly as everyone gets older. Here is a day in my life.

Our days usually start about the same time and if we go out for the day we try to travel at nap time.

7.30 am – wakey, wakey, rise and shine. Anybody who is not already awake gets woken. First job of the day is a production line of nappy changes!

8.00 am – feeding of the masses. It’s breakfast time for the boys while I make the girls bottles.

8.30 am – baby feeding time. I’ve mastered the art of feeding both at the same time so this has halved the amount of time taken. The boys tend to watch a bit of Cbeebies while I do this.

9.00 am – activity time or off to nursery on a Thursday and Friday. I try and set an activity up for the boys so I can grab a few minutes to do something like tummy time with the girls. On a Tuesday my lovely Home Start volunteer comes around this time and entertains the boys. They love having someone different to play with.

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10.00 am – twin nap time. Parenting suddenly gets so much easier when there’s only 2! I realise how easy life was with just 2! I’ll try and play a game with the boys while their sisters are asleep so they get a little bit more of Mummy’s attention.

12.00 noon – lunch time for the biggest ones and around the time the twins usually wake. I feed the biggest ones and myself first while the girls have a kick around on the floor (it’s the safest time).

12.30 pm – solid food time for the girls. Before I clear up too much I let them add to the decoration on the floor!

1.00 pm – clear away lunch items and load the dishwasher. Make bottles for the girls and carry on feeding. After lunch is quiet hour for the boys. We try to watch a film and have a few minutes peace, quiet and rest.

2.00 pm – it’s girlie nap time again so once they are asleep I have time to play with the boys. We tend to try do something active like put on music and dance around like nutters or go play in the garden. One afternoon, a few weeks ago, we played in the snow and last week we planted all our spring bulbs.

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3.30 pm – the twins are usually awake by now. I’ll get them out their cot and bring them down to play with the boys. They love playing with their sisters and can often be found waving a rattle in their face or kissing them. That’s probably how the girls get poorly so often!

4.00 pm – it’s bottle time again. Sometimes the boys like to help otherwise they are left to their own devices for half an hour while I feed. We’ll probably have Cbeebies on or they’ll play their new favourite game, supermarkets.

5.00 pm – it’s time to start thinking about dinner and battling to keep O awake. He dropped his nap around his 1st birthday and refuses to have it even though he needs it. This means that from late afternoon, if we have been busy, he gets very sleepy. If he naps we wouldn’t be able to get him to bed at night so have to keep him awake!

5.45 pm – dinner time. Feeding time at the zoo begins all over again!

6.30 pm – Daddy is home just in time for bath and bed. The boys have to tidy up all their toys before they go up to bed. Luckily O is a bit of a clean freak and loves a good tidy!

7.00 pm – I change and feed the girls while Daddy does the boys bedtime story. Usually everyone is sound asleep by 7.30 and I collapse in a heap, satisfied that I did a fairly good job keeping everyone alive! Actually, scrap the collapsing in a heap. I start the household chores otherwise they would never get done.

Our IVF Journey: All the fun of living life with twins
An Unexpected Arrival – My Second Birth Story

An Unexpected Arrival – My Second Birth Story

November 2012

I had an amazing, if slightly unexpected second labour. My waters went on my due date as I opened the front door to some trick or treaters. They were probably just expecting some sweets but were confronted by a slightly shocked, heavily pregnant woman weeing herself!!

We packed B off to my parents and waited for my contractions to start. My waters went first in my last labour and contractions started about 4 hours later and that was pretty much what I expected this time.

Nothing happened and I got up the next morning feeling really upset knowing I’d have to be induced that evening. We spent the day just pottering around watching films while I bounced on my ball trying to get my contractions started. G fixed my laptop and early in the afternoon I decided to have a little nap to build up my energy for induction.

I woke up about 4.30 and went to the toilet. All of a sudden my contractions started coming really strong and every 3 minutes. We called the hospital as my first labour was relatively quick so I was advised to go to the hospital early this time. The hospital were really busy and held hubby on the phone for ages while they decided if they had room for me!

They finally gave us the go ahead to come in after questioning for ages if I really needed to go to hospital yet so, I started to get dressed to go. I had been a very classy, half undressed pregnant lady all day! I got one leg into my jeans and told hubby I had to push!

He rang delivery straight back and said we weren’t going to make it as I needed to push. The midwife didn’t believe him until she heard me having a contraction in the background! She immediately sent out a blue light ambulance who got to us within 15 minutes and a midwife who was about 10 minutes behind them. The paramedics gave me gas and air which I promptly broke within 20 seconds! They couldn’t do anything else and even asked hubby to check if he could see the head! They actually went and waited in our hall while hubby looked. When the midwife arrived she sauntered in as though she had all the time in the world. She had just enough time to get her gloves on before I yelled “ring of fire” and the whole of O popped out in one go!! The midwife had only just got on the floor to examine me and G said she only just saved O from dropping on the floor.

O arrived at 6pm, less than 90 minutes after my first contraction!! I think I’d been holding him in waiting for help to arrive. I’m sure G would have made a fantastic substitute midwife but I didn’t want him to have that responsibility in case something went wrong. Think everyone was a bit shocked how quickly it happened.

I had no intention of having a home birth but it was really lovely. The paramedics stayed for an hour and the midwife for 2 while she did her paperwork. Daddy had lovely cuddles while I had a bath and then the 3 of us snuggled down for a takeaway in our bed. A really lovely end.

Product Review – Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep

Product Review – Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep

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My Perfect Prep in prime position in my kitchen!

There is nothing more upsetting than listening to your baby scream for food while you desperately try to cool down a volcanic bottle of milk under the cold tap. Now multiply that by 2 and that was how I envisioned our first few weeks with the twins would go.
We had heard about this miracle product with our last baby but at the time it was brand new and very expensive. It also seemed like an unnecessary luxury when a flask of cooled boiled water had always sufficed.

With twins plus other small, attention seeking children in the house, anything that can save time while leaving you a spare hand is invaluable.

The Perfect Prep creates the ready to drink bottle of milk in under 2 minutes. Firstly, it gives you a shot of boiling water to sterilise the milk powder. Once you’ve added your powder, the machine tops up the bottle to your desired number of ounces with cold filtered water. You add the lid, give it a shake and voila, one perfect temperature bottle.

The Perfect Prep requires a filter which needs changing occasionally. The machine gives you a red light warning when the filter is running out, then a flashing red light when the filter is completely out so you don’t need to change it immediately the light comes on.

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Perfect Prep Filter

Filters cost around £8 and can be purchased from most baby retailers. The packaging states it lasts up to 3 months. We are on filter 3 now after six months of use which I don’t think is too bad given the amount of bottles we make.

The only downside to this machine is the ear splitting beep the machine gives out several times during its cycle. I can understand the need to warn people that boiling water has been produced but, this product goes into houses with small children where, waking a sleeping baby is a deadly sin! Tone it down just a little bit please Tommee Tippee!

This is definitely the best baby purchase we have ever made and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other expectant parents for a single or multiple babies.

Retailer – Amazon
Price – £55
Purchased – June 2014

A Twinnie Birth Story

A Twinnie Birth Story

It had been a very stressful few weeks with my body beginning to fail. I’ve had gestational diabetes, obstetric cholostasis, massive fluid retention and suspected pre-eclampsia but I am very proud to announce that my 2 beautiful baby girls arrived safely via a planned sunroof exit at 38 weeks and 4 days.

I have felt no end of guilt for the final few weeks as I’ve barely been able to move from the sofa. My two lovely boys have watched ridiculous amounts of television and entertained themselves beautifully and for that I am forever grateful. They have meant these last few stressful weeks passed as easily as possible. I’ve promised the boys that once Mummy was better she would try and be a proper Mummy again.

My plan was never to have a c-section but nature has a strange way of telling you to do something for the best. I was absolutely heartbroken when we went for our final scan and twin 1 was still flexed breech. I remember the snotty, sobbing mess I became in my consultants office. Not a good look! All along we had planned a breech delivery of both twins but now number 1 had her knees out, our plan went out the window. She was not budging!

I came home and got straight on Facebook to my Mummy friends looking for words of reassurance. They all spoke really positively about c-section and how I didn’t need to feel like a failure. It can still be special.

After my initial heartbreak at needing a c-section, I am pleased to report that I really enjoyed the experience. That sounds really strange as it’s such a major operation but, it’s true. My consultant could see how upset I was and planned to give me as natural section as possible. I had my husband with me the whole time which is a good job as I’m terrified of needles and was not looking forward to the spinal. He held my hand and tried his best to distract me while the job was done.

Twin 1 (also known as the problem child for being the cause of my c-section) arrived straight onto my chest where I got my first cuddle of her while they cut her cord. The plan had been to give me a few minutes with twin 1 before her sister made her big arrival but my placenta had other ideas. It started to come away so twin 1 was quickly passed to Dad before a second slimey baby was placed on my chest. At just 2 minutes apart and weighing 7lb 5oz and 7lb, my beautiful twins I and L had entered the world.
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My twins never left my side and I’m over the moon about that. Since discovering we were expecting twins, my biggest fears had been premature arrival and stays on special care. I gave birth to 2 average size singleton babies, not the scrappy and fragile little twins I imagined. I am so grateful that my body did it’s job and cooked these twins for long enough.

Binky Linky
Happy Half Birthday

Happy Half Birthday

Today the girls are 6 months old. How on earth did that happen so quickly? It only seems like yesterday that these 2 slimey and wrinkly babies were deposited on me and now they are twice the size and starting to get on the move.
These are definitely my last babies and I don’t want any more but, I still feel sad that I’ll never have those first magic cuddles and smell that newborn smell again. Let’s hope I get some nieces and nephews soon!!
So, to celebrate the girls half birthday, the boys have decided they want to do some baking. I have found a lovely 2 ingredient recipe for chocolate brownies that even the boys can’t mess up. I shall be back with the results later!

The Weaning Adventures

The Weaning Adventures

The girls have reached the ripe old age of 6 months so the job that I have been putting off for so long, must now be done!

Weaning 1 child was a doddle. A stressful, messy doddle at times but nothing that couldn’t be coped with! Two children at the same time just fills me with horror. Trails of food going in opposite directions, creating a larger area of destruction plus 2 bodies to get from kitchen to bathroom without dripping on the carpet. I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it.

Every Mums Favourite job – Buying A New Pushchair

Every Mums Favourite job – Buying A New Pushchair

With 3 children under 2, the job of finding a pushchair was always going to be a toughie. Do we try find a triple buggy that’s suitable from birth? Do we go for a double buggy for a twin and the 2 year old plus a sling? Do we go for a double buggy and a buggy board?

Living near the home of Kiddicare meant we could go and test drive pretty much every buggy under the sun. The triple buggy was ruled out straight away. It was far too wide and like driving an oil tanker! Who designs these things??

We looked at several double buggies from Britax, ICandy, Obaby, BabyStyle, Out and About, Phil and Teds etc. The one that we came back to again and again was the Britax B Dual. Not the top rated buggy by twin parents but a winner for us.

It was important for me to have a buggy that you could attach 2 car seats to. This was the only way I could see me getting out the house on my own without spending 3 hours building a pushchair and loading it with babies. I also liked the variety of ways it could be used. I can have both twins on it or my 2 year old with one of the twins.

I’m not one of these parents who thinks one of their children will get a complex if they get the bottom seat on a double buggy. Baby stacking is the way forward!

Britax also did Isofix bases and car seats which when you’re trying to load 4 small people into a car is a massive time saver. I really don’t know how I survived having other babies without Isofix seats! I must have wasted hours of my life belting car seats in!

So, now this enormous hulk of black pushchair resides in my garage along with the ton of accessories that come with it. I cannot wait to try it out!

20 weeks

20 weeks

March 2014

Our families are still finding the fact we are having twins highly hilarious! Not sure why it’s so funny. We also still haven’t told our 3 years old that he’s going to be a big brother again. After our 12 week scan we Googled twin pregnancy and found all these doom and gloom stories. Even though we were expecting DCDA (non identical) twins, possibly the safest twin pregnancy, we still decided it was a good idea to keep it from B for a bit longer.

Today was our 20 week scan and aside from seeing our gorgeous babies again and hoping they were healthy, we desperately wanted to know what sex they were. As a Mum of 2 boys already, I was desperately hoping for a little pink bundle but, with Gs genetic line, I was pretty certain we were in for 2 more boys. I was so certain that I even had plans in my head for my ‘Mum Cave’ at the bottom of the garden. There I could relax in my pink, fluffy armchair with a large glass of wine at the end of the day!

The scan went really well and I’m very pleased to report that the 4under4madness house will be evened up nicely with the arrival of 2 baby girls. Tears rolled down my face for the entire scan after she told us and I can report there were 2 very excited Nannas when they heard!

Pink shopping here I come!