Search This Blog

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bathing Baby Twins - what the books don't tell you!

Bathing twin babies can be quite a stressful experience.  Often small babies don’t like being dressed and undressed and whilst they can be content while in the water they may want to be wrapped and dried quickly once the bath experience is finished.

If you are experiencing this don’t panic – this stage will pass and soon your twins will be grumbling when removed from the bath because they are enjoying it so much.

To save money I would recommend that you don’t bother buying a baby bath.  I had one which I used a couple of times but I found that they are heavy to move when filled and awkward to fill and empty unless you stand it in the bath to use. 

There are a number of alternatives on the market but the cheap and easy alternative I found was to buy a baby bath sponge which you lay your baby on whilst in the regular bath.

I am a great advocate of doubling up on tasks where you can but I wouldn’t recommend that you try and bath both babies at the same time as it won’t be long until they are trying to roll.  A baby can become distressed very quickly in only a small amount of water so it is safer to concentrate on one baby at a time and have 2 hands available to help your little one out of trouble if required.  Needless to say, never leave your baby alone in the bath.

The other main reason not to bath both at the same time, is that once out of the water young babies can scream until they are dried and dressed, so it is much better to do this as quickly as possible.  If you have two wet babies one will inevitably have to wait while you deal with the first.

Many books on routines for babies recommend a bath as preparation and a cue to the baby that it is bedtime.  DO NOT LISTEN! - There are plenty of other things you can do to bring in bedtime cues other than a daily bath such as cuddles and a feed in a dimly lit room, perhaps some gentle music.  So I’d avoid making a bath a fundamental part of an evening routine unless you absolutely have to.  Babies do not become particularly dirty and the daily top and tail wash will be enough with a bath once or twice a week.  This is also much better for their skin as well particularly if they have eczema.

I didn’t use a daily evening bath within our bedtime routine and my twins have been excellent sleepers once the routine became established at around 8 weeks old.

You may find it easier to bath your babies in the morning when they are less tired and fretful or to bath each baby on a different day.

Once your babies are able to sit confidently then it becomes easier to bath both together.  Look out for longer length non-slip bath mats for in the bath and avoid oil based bath soaps as this can also make the bath slippery.

My final piece of advice when you get to this stage is to invest in a waterproof coat and hat as 2 babies splashing in the bath is great fun but can get very wet!  

Photo by flickr user Rebecca and Bernhard

Monday, 18 April 2011

3rd Birthday Treat - don't pay for a party

It was my youngest daughter's 3rd birthday today and we opted out of a 'proper' party for her.

Instead we spent the day yesterday at Greenwood Forest Park in Snowdonia (near Caernarfon).  Followed by a party tea, cake and candles with all her family.

The highlight of the day has to be this award winning eco park which is absolutely fantastic for children and is a full day out at a competitive price.  At 3 years old Josephine can pretty much take part in everything now.

There is only one small roller coaster which generates its own power and the rest of the activities don't allow the kids to be passive but encourage running, bouncing and playing.

There are 2 large play areas within the forest environment suitable for a younger and older age group, a large bouncing pillow, a jungle boat experience, a bare foot trail, archery, soft play for the under 3s, den building, moon karts and much more.  I think our family favourite is the great green run, a sledging activity on an artifical grass slope - it can go very fast and be enjoyed by young and old alike!

Take a picnic and lots of snacks as the children will be running around all day.

Well worth traveling too and one of many reasons to pick North West Wales as a holiday destination.

Josie absolutely adored her 'all day' party surrounded by her favourite people.  We also had party bags after our picnic lunch and several renditions of happy birthday after our take away treat.  Her face was a delight and I really don't think she would have had half as much fun with a gaggle of 3 year olds at a leisure centre - maybe next year.

To be recommended!

Sleeping Arrangements for your Baby Twins

Your twins will have spent 9 months (or thereabouts) together in an increasingly cosy environment and will be used to close contact with their sibling, so there is a school of thought that twins should be kept together for comfort when newborns.

When my twins were born, the staff at the hospital were keen for them to share a cot.  However, with my son born weighing 7lbs and with my daughter born weighing 5lb 10 there quite simply was not enough room!  So separate cots at the hospital it was!  They didn't seem particularly distraught at this development.

On returning home, rather than the expense and hazards of having 2 Moses baskets we had opted to have one of the cot beds in our bedroom (following the guidance that new babies should sleep in their parents bedrooms).

This worked really well and for a short time my babies slept side by side (see picture below - natey and kiera as very small babies).  They didn't disturb each other when crying in the night (most twins don't), and with a cot top changing unit everything and everyone was in one place within easy reach of the bed for night feeds.

(Top tip - place an extra sheet folded under their heads and then if either are sick / posset you can change that sheet rather than the whole bed which doesn't disturb them as much).

It didn't take long for them to grow too big to sleep side by side and as they became more active they would hit each other (I'd like to say by accident - but they do like to tease each other even now!).  The next step for us was to give them a place at each end of the cot.  As we had bought cot beds there was plenty of space and by sharing neither seemed too overwhelmed by the space.  This approach also avoided the problems that I know some parents have had moving their babies from a moses basket to a cot.

Similarly, they had no problem moving from our bedroom to their own (they shared for 3 1/2 years), perhaps because they had company during the transistion?

This worked well for us and I'd definately recommend saving money by not buying moses baskets which can then be used on some of the many other items that will be of use to you with newborn twin babies.

Good luck x

Friday, 15 April 2011

Choosing a double pram for twins - things to consider

Prams can be a big expense so it is important to try and get the right one for you and your family.  Plus with twins they are even more important, as carying 2 babies for any distance is not a practical option.

OK - so where do you start?

I'd suggest that you start by looking at your lifestyle.  Do you live in a town or a rural area?  Will you be walking a lot or in and out of the car?  Are you hoping to spend time browsing the shops?  Have you already got a toddler?

Probably one of the most important elements is the weight of the pram.  I used the pram for longer with the twins than with my 3rd child because of the safety aspect of keeping 2 young toddlers safe and your babies will soon grow!

If you live in a rural area you may want to consider an 'off road' pram which can cope with all sorts of terrain.  This may also be the right option if you are planning on walking a lot.

There is a lot to be said for a travel system i.e. pram and attachable car seats  - however, these are quite expensive and you will use the pram for a lot longer than you will use the 1st stage car seats.

Once you have worked out what you want then consider your budget.  The reason I haven't put this first is that your preferred option may be available second hand at a fraction of the cost.

I had a limited budget and started off with a Mclaren buggy and separate car seats - the economical choice.  I hated the pram - it was awkward to get up and down curbs, hard to push with any sort of shopping and heavy as the children grew bigger.  It also hated bumps!

I then saw an advert in the buy and sell for an off road twin Terrain Mountain Buggy.  These are a New Zealand make.  Whilst we weren't climbing mountains, the Mclaren wouldn't move across grass and felt every bump.  So we traveled 50 miles to see this pram.  When we arrived, I wasn't sure what to say (I'd never heard of Mountain Buggy) - it looked like a post office delivery cart (not helped by the fact that it was red and blue!!).  But once there, I was too polite not to buy it (not good, I know!).  However...........

........ it has been the best £200 I have ever spent!  (They retail new for £500 - £600).  The children were happy in it - they rocked (literally!).  It was very light (my friend is a childminder and after using mine has bought one and attached a buggy board so she can transport 3 children).  They have a single handle so you can push/steer with one hand and hold a child with the other.  You can also put it up with one hand and fold it down really easily.  You can take it over fields, pavements, in snow and it is narrow so you can get through shop door ways.  The fabric can be removed and is fully washable (very useful).

I didn't realise at the time that you can also purchase carrycots (single or doubles) and car seats attachments as well.

In fact I loved it so much I bought the company (actually I didn't, although I would have loved to) but I did go on and buy a single Urban Mountain Buggy for my youngest daughter.

And I resold it on ebay for not much less than I had originally bought it for - fantastic!

Looking at their website - they have a new model which looks great, although I don't know if it retains the features I loved so much on my Mountain Buggy Terrain.

As you can tell I am a Mountain Buggy  fan but I realise that it won't suit everyone.  So think about what you need and do your research.  There are plenty of sites which provide reviews which will help confirm your thoughts and try and think beyond the pretty fabric or a drink holder to the important factors, weight, size and suitability for you lifestyle!

Check out the Mumsnet review site, which incidentally gives the Mountain Buggy Terrain an overall score of 9.5 - so it's clearly not just me who is a fan!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The joy of twins - the school dance show

I finished work early yesterday to see the children in Year 2 (the year my twins are in) perform the dance that their classes had created for the local dance festival.

It brought tears to my eyes (which I have to say is relatively easy these days!).  I would love to know if this is a biological issue - when you give birth do you get injected with a big burst of sentiment? I never used to cry before I had children, well very rarely anyway.  Now, I only have to hear a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to end up in floods of tears. 

However, one of the bonuses of having twins was that I had someone to watch in each dance.  Whilst both classes of 6 year olds did a great job, I'm not sure I would have been particularly thrilled to watch a class of children I didn't know do a dance twice (mmm...they did it twice in case you missed any).

I got 2 kisses when the class exited, 2 smiling faces and 2 burst of pride when I watched them and it reminded me of how special it is to have twins.

Incidentally, there was a little boy in my son's class who had lost his mum to cancer about 6 weeks ago.  I also had tears for him (he looked like he was enjoying himself enormously, for which I was so pleased) but I also grieved for him and his mum who would never watch his shows again.  Too, too sad.

Moral of this story?  Even when times are tough (and with baby twins they can be at times) - try and value what you have.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Diary of a new blogger - 2nd week update

Last week I set myself some tasks to achieve with my new blog and I am pleased to say that I have conquered them all.  I am very proud of myself!

I have managed (with the use of the help topics) to set up a 'contact me' page.  Ok - so I'd love one of those pages with interactive boxes (I'm sure there will be a technical name for those!) but I'm happy enough with just an email address for contact purposes for now.  It was after all a triumph to create an additional page.

I have also managed to post my first photograph within a blog. I have used picasa and look, now I have also included my first link!

I have to say that I am so glad that I managed to conquer my desire to only set up my blog once I knew how to do everything - as I would never had taken the plunge.  Developing your blog over time and learning as you go really does seem to be the best approach (at least for a newbie!).

Now - tasks for next week?  Well, we are off camping next week so perhaps my next task should be to expand the content of my blog to share experiences on this and also activities with young children.

I think that I also need to become more sociable and follow some other relevant blogs so that I can learn more and maybe make some blogfriends!!

Wish me luck!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Taking your Twins home - advice on the early days

So - it's time to take your instant family home.  The following tips have been developed from my own experience of bringing my twins home and I hope may help you settle in together.

1.  Car seats - practise using your car seats when you buy them rather than when it is time to leave the hospital.  It will feel like a big deal leaving the hospital with your new family and the last thing you will want particularly if the weather is cold or wet is to take half an hour or more working out how to get the babies into the seats and then how to secure the seats into the car.  Even if it’s a seat you have used before it is worth familiarising yourself again with it.

2.  Additional Help -  Rope in as much help as possible for the early days and if you get a chance to sleep make the most of it.  People offer because they want to help, so don't feel guilty accepting!

3.  Ready Meals - Even if you normally enjoy wholesome, home cooked food do not worry about relying on frozen ready meals, take aways etc during the early weeks.  This need not be a permanent lifestyle choice.

If you'd rather avoid processed meals you could stock your freezer in advance of having the babies but remember that you may be caught on the hop if you go into labour early.  Also, towards the end of your pregnancy you are likely to feel big, cumbersome and tired and you may not feel able to spend hours cooking for the freezer.

4.  Snacks - Some days with newborns just don't go to plan!  Stock the cupboards in advance with easy snacks for grabbing if you aren't able to have a proper meal.  This is particularly important of you are breast feeding.  Dried and fresh fruit, marmite (or alternatives) for toast can be healthy options.  Eggs can also be great for a quick and healthy meal.

5.  Try and get dressed. -   In the early days of returning home it may be tempting to stay  in your nightie or pyjamas.  Whilst this isn’t a problem in itself you will feel so much better if you get dressed  each day - even if your day doesn’t go as normal.

6.  Consider introducing a routine - I’d highly recommend the ‘contented little baby book’ by Gina Ford, although after having my third child I would suggest using the timings as a guide rather than something to follow minute by minute. You can invent your own but in my experience babies (even little ones) do respond well to being guided into a routine and structure in their day.

With 2 babies it makes life an awful lot easier if you know what and when your babies need something.  Better still if they both have a nap at the same time - so can you!!  Having said that, I know some mums enjoy their babies sleeping at different times so that they can spend some time one to one with their new offspring.

7.  Night feeds - up to you but it makes sense to me to wake both babies if one wakes up for a feed (and either rope in dad to feed simultaneously or feed one after the other).  That way you will get a better night sleep and will have more energy the next day.  Generally speaking if one baby wakes in the night they won’t disturb the other (but of course, as with everything there are always a few exceptions to the rule!!).

I followed this and my twins have been excellent sleepers, sleeping through the night from about 3 months so from my experience I would totally recommend it. 

8.  Capturing those precious moments - they will not be little babies for very long so make sure you record those moments.  My top tip is to photograph your babies with a special teddy - it will look huge next to them.  Then repeat the photo at regular intervals - the teddy will act as a benchmark as to the size of your babies and their growth.  Not only will you enjoy looking back but your babies will love it to when they are bigger. 

 (From Left to Right: Teddy, Kiera dressed in the pawprint ensemble, Natey in white, Teddy - all just a few weeks old)

9 .  Find a local twins club - If there is a local twins club in your area then this is well worth exploring.  These can be a fantastic source of support, information and advice from people who understand entirely the challenges you are facing.  I have made a fantastic group of friends through our local twins club and we still keep in touch 6 years later.

10.  Let dad do his bit.   It is easy to feel that you can’t leave Dad in charge - he’ll never cope.  But he is as new to parenting twins as you are - he will cope but only if he is put in the position of having too.

If Dad is not around, then make sure you seek support from other sources.  The suggestion above to find a twins club or parenting group is likely to be even more important.

I hope that the points above will be of use to you - they are certainly things that I found useful or important. Please feel free to share any comments or advice that you have and I will add more suggestions on Twins and the First Year soon.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Diary of a new Blogger - 1 week in !

Well - I have now had a blog for just over a week although it seems so much longer!  I am really quite proud of myself as I am not a technology whiz kid but a working mum with an OK grasp of Microsoft packages.

On the one hand it has been relatively easy to set up a blog with Blogger, I have managed to post some blogs and I have also now set up an Adsense account, which supposedly can generate money from people clicking on adverts on your site.  I am not planning to retire on this but I am interested to see how it works.

On the downside, there are a number of things you should be able to do with Blogger which don't seem to work too well and I have spent a fair bit of time repeating the same actions in an attempt to, for instance, customise a template.  However, when I typed the problem into the help box I discovered that I am definitely not the only one.  I'm not complaining however as there are plenty of templates to select from (certainly enough for me as a first timer) and the site is free.

I love the stats section which tells you how many people have looked at the site and where they come from.  I've not had many views but there have been a couple of hits from Singapore and the United States.  It's true the world has shrunk with the advent of the Internet.  I only hope that the things I have posted have been of interest and not sounded awful!  Whilst, I'd really like to share information that is helpful for people, I guess that there is no point in becoming paranoid about what people across the globe I have never met might think.  There is enough stress in life without creating more!

Over the next week or so, it is my hope that I will be able to create some fixed pages and a contact me form and also learn how to include photos in my posts - wish me luck as this may not be as straight forward as I hope!!  Any advice would be gratefully received.

And if any of my posts are at all of interest please quash my paranoia and leave a comment!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Your twins have arrived - Congratulations!! More thoughts and tips.

Getting to know your new twin babies

1.  Congratulations if your babies are already here!  You will now start to notice how many sets of twins there are in the world - keep your eyes open and you will spot them everywhere.

2.  Don’t worry if it takes a while to love those little bundles.  It is an overwhelming experience and suddenly these 2 little people enter your life with a bang!  It will take time to get to know your new family but as a new parent of twins you will have less time than normal to get to know your baby as you will also have another baby to care for.  I promise it will come - give it time.

3.  I think the advice now from health visitors is to give babies dummies - these things seem to change with the wind.  However, assuming that your babies are not kept in the special care baby unit, I would certainly recommend whatever your views on dummies having 2 in your bag for the hospital just in case!

4.  Identifying Identicals!  At the hospital your little bundles of joy will have tags on so you will always know who is who.  However, once you go home the tags will come off so how are you going to make sure that you know which baby is which?  Newborns, even if identical may be quite different in size but this won’t last forever.  Once they start moving, which could be as early as 3 months rolling around it will be increasingly difficult to keep tabs on them.

You have the choice to dress them the same or differently.  Many people dress them differently but in similar clothes (I.e. same design t-shirt but different colours), other people go for completely different outfits whilst some people  love to dress their twins the same.

One top tip is to pick a colour for each child and use that in a t-shirt or other item of clothing, hair clip if a girl or dummy/hat etc.  This will also help other people know which is which.  You will need to be somewhat organised for this though.

4.  Don’t rule out breast feeding twins but don’t feel guilty if you can’t either.  One of my twin mum friend breast fed her twins for a year.  I managed 9 days (although I count it as 18 given there were 2 babies!).  If your babies are in the special care baby unit your choices will be different again.  I’d also recommend buying a box of formula and a steriliser even if you are planning to breast feed .  That way if it becomes too much and you decide you’d rather go with bottle feeding you have everything ready.

My twin mum friends and I also adopted different approaches to feeding.  Some fed one after the other whilst others (including myself) often fed them at the same time.  With bottle fed babies this can be done by propping your babies on a cushion or sitting them in their bouncy chairs for a feed but is not so easy if one suffers from wind as their companion will complain very loudly if you put their bottles down in order to pick one up to wind.  There are also ways to breastfeed 2 at once although this will take a bit of practice and it is hard to be discreet feeding this way.   The hospital should help you with this, although I sometimes felt that staff at the hospital were a bit rushed.

5.  Don’t rush home from the hospital under you are ready.  Unless they are desperate for the space, as a new mum to twins they are likely to be happy for you to stay until you are ready.  This will be different if you have a Cesarean as you have had a major operation and they will want to keep you in, probably for 5 days or so.

I stayed for 4 days and knew I was ready to go when everyone started getting on my nerves!!  However, before this the support and care provided by the hospital gave us the chance to learn get the hang of the baby thing without having to worry about cooking, cleaning etc.

More tips to come xx

Monday, 4 April 2011

Should we find more time to stop?

Yesterday was Mothering Sunday in the UK.  A national celebration to recognise the importance of mothers.  It is supposedly the one day of the year where mothers can put up their feet and be waited on.

Our plan this weekend was to have a nice breakfast (prepared by Niall, long-suffering father of the 3 musketeers)  before going for a walk around Llyn Crafnant, a very beautiful lake in Snowdonia.

Unfortunately, our house has been hit with stomach bugs and sickness, starting with my oldest daughter, Kiera in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Why do these things happen at night?  Is there a scientific reason or is it purely because it makes the rescue and clean up operation so much more gruesome when ever one is tired and it is dark?!

The sickness passed within a day, but,'ve guessed it - at 3.45am, and again at 4.45am on Mothering Sunday morning we were up stripping sheets and nightwear for Josie, the youngest member of our family. 

I then spent the day curled up on the sofa with a very clingy nearly 3 year old watching DVDs.  However, far from it ruining my day, I actually enjoyed the 'time out' of our normally active and full weekends and the unusual experience of a toddler staying still and wanting cuddles.

We are keen to encourage the children to be active and healthy and normally we try and build in a day of activity over the weekend, such as walking, cycling or swimming.  This is, of course, as well as the normal chores of cleaning, clothes washing and grocery shopping which as working parents we can't fit in during the week. 

However, this weekend despite the change of plan I really felt like my 'mothering' was needed and valued.  Whilst I wouldn't want to sit around every weekend, perhaps slowing down from time to time when needed is actually something we should do more often?  They aren't babies for long so let's not miss it because we are too busy.

That being said, after another disturbed night, I am pleased to say that my youngest offspring has found her spring again and is nearly back to normal!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

5 Further Top Tips and Truths for Twin Pregnancy and Birth

Following on from my previous blog.....

6.  Expect to lose a lot of weight when you give birth!  I lost 4 stone.  Not only are you carrying the weight of 2 babies but you will have more amniotic fluid, 2 cords and if they are non-identical 2 placentas.

7.  After the birth you will experience bleeding - this is a normal but not well publicised part of giving birth.  As with everything, after having twins you are likely to bleed more and for longer.  I’d recommend the disposal maternity knickers.  Who needs more washing when you have 2 new babies to get to know.

8.  Expect a lot of people in the labour room with you at the end as there are obviously 2 little bundles of joy to check, weigh etc.   I had a natural birth and it felt a little bit like being on centre stage at Wimbledon!   As well as 2 midwives, there was the consultant, a student doctor and the anaesthetist as I’d had an epidural. 

9.  From talking to my twin mum friends it seems that Cesarean births are quite common with twin births - so try and prepare for this.  At your first scan your babies will be named ‘Baby A’ and ‘Baby B’.  Baby A is the one nearest the exit!!  You will need at least Baby A to be head down a few weeks before your due date for a natural birth.  If Baby B is breech you may still be recommended to have a normal birth as the second baby can be manipulated into a head down position by the doctor after the first is born. 

You may be advised to have an epidural.  The reason I was given was that once Baby A is born, the second baby may turn into the breech position in the freedom of all that space - in which case the doctors will try and turn he/she back to the head down position.  Also if there is a problem at any point you will be ready for an emergency c-section.

10.  Rest, relax, enjoy every moment of the peace and quiet that you have during your pregnancy (assuming that this is your first pregnancy, if not you will already understand this).  If you want to spend the evening with your feet up watching trash on the TV please do it.  If you want to have a long soak in the bath and a nice meal - then enjoy!  These things will be hard to have once your bundles of joy arrive, although life will get back to normal (but not as you knew it) eventually!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

5 Top Twin Pregnancy and Birth Tips and Truths

Finding out I was expecting twins was to put it mildly a bit of a shock.  I had previously had an early miscarriage and when the ultrasound technician seemed to be taking an age to speak at my dating scan I had started to expect the worst.

My initial reaction was to burst into tears as I think that straightaway I had my first inkling that it might not be a walk in the park, my hubbie to be laughed (somewhat hysterically, now I think about it!).

If you are a first time parent to be or have recently given birth to twins please note that I have subsequently gone on to have another 'little angel' so despite the challenges and the work it can't be all bad can it?!

7 years ago when I found out that I was expecting twins I searched the Internet for information.  At that point there wasn't that much - it is much improved now I have to say.  I am sharing information and tips that I would have liked to have known and these are based on my experience and also those of close friends that I made through our local twins club.  As a result you have the benefit of 5 mums and 10 children - as you can imagine meeting up is always a lively affair!

Some of the tips will be practical but many will focus on the emotional element that is hard to understand unless you have experienced it yourself.

However, please note that I am not medically trained, a health visitor or proclaiming to be an expert.  I am a mum!  I am planning to post tips for the first 6 - 7 years of your parenthood experience (the extent of my experience to date) so please keep checking my blog if you find it helpful.

5 Top Twin Pregnancy Tips and Truths

1.  Don’t worry if you feel scared or overwhelmed at the news that you are expecting twins (rather than overjoyed) - this is quite natural.  After all the image you had of rocking your darling newborn baby in your arms has just been eradicated and replaced by 2 crying babies and 1 pair of arms (or at least that‘s how I felt!).  However, you can and will manage and will get an enormous amount of joy from them.

2.  You will grow faster than a normal singleton pregnancy - be prepared!  If you go full-term you  may find that you have a limited wardrobe as even maternity clothes may not fit.  I measured 38 weeks pregnant when I was 30 weeks and was the size of a rather large house by the end!  Fortunately, I had my twins in August and I had a very loose sun dress (not maternity) that I lived in.

Also, prepare yourself, strangers will ask when you are due from around 30 weeks…’ll get used to it!

3.  Working and being pregnant with 2 babies can take it’s toll.  Check your rights - as it may work better to be signed off by the doctor and receive sick pay rather than start your maternity leave early.  This way you'll be able to keep your maternity leave until your babies are here, assuming that you are planning to return to work.  As you will notice you get no additional benefits (literally) for having 2 or more babies - we must save employers a fortune by only taking maternity leave and pay once!

4.  I'm sure that you will be aware that twins can arrive early (but not always - I had mine at 39 weeks and 4 days).  It is worth preparing for this in a practical sense by ensuring that your nursery is ready sooner rather than later but it may also be worth visiting your local special care baby unit (SCBU) in advance.  Many of my twin mum friends had some involvement with SCBU and those who had visited beforehand  found their first visit less daunting.

Assuming that you go beyond about 34 weeks (which fingers crossed you will - most of my friends did) you will find that you are plagued by well meaning family ringing/popping round to find out if your new arrivals are on the way.  This can become infuriating as you become bigger, more uncomfortable and desperate yourself to go into labour but remember it is only because they are excited about meeting the new babies.

5.  The books suggest that Mums to be expecting twins can experience more intense pregnancy symptoms than a singleton pregnancy - but again this is not always true so don't worry if this isn't happening to you.  It does not mean that there is a problem with the pregnancy.  I was fortunate and didn’t experience morning sickness but did have tiredness in the early days, slight anaemia and swollen ankles from time to time.

I hope that this information is of use and not repeating what you already know - I guess if it does you will have stopped reading by now.  If you have any questions or feelings that you'd like to share please leave a comment, it would be great to hear from you x

Bargain Buys - Co-operative Toilet Tissue

I am on a mission to take control of my grocery budget which is spiraling out of control.  I'm sure I'm not the only person with this concern.

Whilst I recognise that I can't control the global economic market I can take a bit more responsibility for managing my activity within it.

One element of this is to keep an eye on special offers but to also remember that a bargain is only a bargain if you need it (not want it) in the first place!

I'm not a big fan of supermarkets, however, one of the more ethical in my opinion, is the co-operative.  If you have one near you then you may want to check out the great offer this week of 2 packs of 9 rolls of soft toilet tissue.  Normally a pack of 9 would cost you £4.75 whereas during this promotion 18 rolls (2 packs of 9) will cost £5.  This equates to £2.50 per pack beating even Home Bargains in the value stakes.  Better still they are responsibly sourced and in biodegradable packaging.

As a family of 5, I find that our toilet tissue consumption is sometimes quite frightening.  This is not helped by my newly toilet trained nearly 3 year old who is not known for her restraint in most things including her liberal use of toilet tissue.  And I find it even more frightening that I once again sound like my mother in the days when she took to rationing toilet paper to 2 sheets per wee. there's a thought!

A new blogger's diary - day 2

A very strange thing has happened since I decided to have a go at starting my own blog - my mind has gone into overdrive.

Throughout the day, I have had a constant internal dialogue running about even the most mundane activities wondering if this could form the basis of a blog.  To be honest it has been exhausting!  I am hoping that as my excitement dies down and I become used to the process, this mental chatter will come to an end.

Whilst this is quite amusing and likely to be a temporary occurance (I assume) it does make my heart go out to people with mental health problems where 'voices' are an unwanted and distressing part of life.  According to 'Mind', a leading mental health charity in England and Wales, one in four people are likely to experience a mental health problem each year.  Whilst this encapsulates a wide spectrum of problems and severity it is quite a shocking figure.

So rather than complain, I think I will have to keep a pen and paper with me at all times just in case I do find some interesting inspiration whilst hovering over the frozen peas at the supermarket or cleaning the toilet.

And maybe next time I have a clear out and have things to donate to charity I will remember this experience and support an organisation which provides much needed to support to people suffering from mental illness. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Inaugral Post

The last few years (OK 6 years if I'm being honest!) have been a bit of a whirlwind.  This has included the birth of my twins, learning which way is up with a baby (or babies), bereavement, going back to work, leaving work, moving house and county, having another baby and finding a job.  Whew!!  When you write it down you see what a lot you have actually done with your time.

However, with my youngest daughter coming up to her third birthday I feel that things are settling down and now I can maybe squeeze in some things for me.  And catching up with technology is on that list!

So....I have gathered courage and with the help of an e-blogger course from the littlemummy blog I am venturing into the world of blogging.  Please be warned though it is a weekly course and I have only received the first one so lots to learn - but look how far I have come already.  My first post!

If truth be told I have always harboured a desire to be a writer (I love books) and this feels like a step in that direction even if no one ever views it.

I'm not quite sure which direction this blog will take but my thoughts at this stage is that this is a blog which aims to support, encourage and inspire by sharing information and ideas.  I am hoping in the next few weeks to list top tips for parenting twins from pregnancy to the school years.

In these difficult economic times I think it would also be really valuable to share money saving tips, news and details on where to find those bargains.

Holiday season is also approaching and I'm keen to share what I know of family friendly places to visit and also learn where I could go next.

Finally, I am hoping to be able to showcase some inspirational ideas for business and lifestyle from real women across the country.  I think we should be careful that we don't spend our lives yearning for something else but on the other hand if there is something that you have always wanted to do then I hope that by sharing other people's experiences it may help you decide if and how you can give it a go.  Within the limits of life, love and the universe of course!!

Well, I am very proud to bring my first blog to a close and am excited to see what challenges tomorrow brings.

But first - is there a spell checker on this thing?????