Down on the Farm

After an awful lot of cold, wet and mushy weather, we have just enjoyed a weekend of wall to wall blue sky and sunshine. It’s been chilly but beautiful. As the boys napped on Saturday morning, we planned an afternoon out to make the most of the beautiful weather.

Most of our Saturday afternoons of late have tended to follow the same formula. It’s a pretty good formula. A nice walk followed by a coffee, sticky buns and twin bottles in a cosy coffee house. We love it. And so long as they get their bottle on time, the boys love nothing more than nosey-ing at all the goings-on in a busy coffee shop.

This weekend we decided we’d try our hand at a proper, baby-day out. So we decided to head to a little family-run open farm. So at the ripe old age of 13 months, we have now acquainted the twins with some real-life farm-yard animals. There were lots of smiles and appreciative noises and I think they enjoyed their first trip to the farm!

In a few weeks time, their Granda C will be in the full swing of his annual stint as a midwife as his flock start lambing. So there will be plenty more opportunities to get up close with nature. I’m looking forward to it anyway!

Here’s a few snaps from our little farmyard trip.

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Surviving your first year with twins!

The key word here is survive. The first year isn’t going to be easy. There’ll be bucketloads of lovely moments with your babies but there will also be a heck of a lot of sleepless nights, tears and enough dirty washing to cover a small country. You don’t have to be super-mum, you just need to make it through!  

1. Organise as much extra help as possible for the early days. My mum, sisters, best friends, aunties and cousins were life-savers in those first few months.

2. If someone offers to bring you food, do the washing or clean your bathroom, accept with pleasure.

3. The first day that you have two babies to look after on your own will be terrifying. It will be. But you will get through it and you might even enjoy some of it!

4. Make sure you have adequate supplies of tea, coffee and chocolate. If you manage to get the twins to nap together, you absolutely must take a break. This is mandatory. Especially when you spend half the night pacing the floorboards with a baby on your shoulder.

5. You only have two arms. Sometimes you just can’t keep both babies happy at once. A few tears are inevitable and you absolutely can’t feel guilty about that. Although you probably will.

6. The guilt that comes with being a twin mum sucks. Get over it as soon as you possibly can. I’m still working on this one. And failing miserably. Every time I pick one of them up, the other one looks up at me with gorgeous big puppy dog eyes that say “remember me? I want a cuddle too..” It’s a minefield.

7. The only sort of visitors that are welcome for the first 6 months, are the sort that bring the dinner with them and offer to do a few loads of washing! Don’t feel like you need to be the hostess. You have two babies to look after. That’s enough.

8. Invest in a baby-gym. Preferably one with music and lights. You need something to occupy one baby whilst you feed/change/calm the other one! We have the Fisher Price Jungle play mat and at 13 months, the twins are still loving it.

9. Invest in a good twin pram that you are comfortable pushing. Sometimes the best way to deal with two upset babies on your own is to pop them in the pram and go for a walk. You can read my review of the Uppababy Vista 2015 here.

10. Invest in a changing table for the room you spend most of your time in. I have a changing station in our kitchen/living area with everything I need to hand – nappies, wipes, clothes, bibs, muslins etc. This is a life-saver in vomit/poo crisis times!

11. Organisation is essential. Spend a few minutes every day organising yourself – restock the changing table, put away freshly washed baby clothes and make sure all your feeding equipment is ready to go.

12. Work out a routine that works for you and the babies and stick to it. You can read my post on establishing a routine with twins here. This is a game changer. Having an hour in the morning whilst they nap is bliss!

13. Fill your freezer with home-made tasty food that you just have to heat up. Otherwise you will resort to toast and takeaways for sustenance.

14. If you are bottle-feeding or combi- feeding, buy a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. This is one of the best baby purchases we have made. It’s so easy to use and removes all the faff of boiling water and waiting for 30 mins for it to cool. You can read my review here if you are thinking about buying one.

15. Start doing your grocery shopping online! Bulk ordering all the nappies, milk etc and having them delivered to your door saves so much time.

16. Know your limits. I find that it takes pretty much all my energy to simply look after the babies and do all the basic jobs to keep the house ticking over. This probably isn’t the best time to stick into redecorating or landscaping your garden.

17. Once you have built up a bit of confidence looking after the babies on your own, consider joining a mums and tots group. This feels like a serious undertaking with two babies but it’s great to get out of the house and get some adult conversation!

18. If at all possible, get yourself a tumble-drier. Especially, if you have vomity babies, like we do!

19. Get to know some other twin mums. It’s great to chat with someone else who properly understands what it’s like to have two babies at once. Someone who understands double night feeds, weaning in stereo and having to work out how to carry two babies at once. Sometimes you just need a good moan and its better with someone who gets it.

20. Enjoy as much of it as you possibly can! Our boys are almost 13 months now and looking after their every need is blooming hard work. But it’s so much fun.

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Happy Birthday my beautiful little miracles

I can’t believe that we’ve had our babies for one whole year. I’ve been looking back at the thousands of photos that we’ve accumulated this year and I’ve been choking back the tears. They have come so far.

Benjamin was 3lbs 5oz when he was born. From day 1 he thrived, we watched him gradually put on ounce after ounce in the neonatal unit and 5 weeks after he was born, we got to bring him home. We were such proud parents. I was standing at the front of the hospital, waiting for Mr C to bring the car around beaming with pride. But one half of my heart was breaking, weeping for his little brother that we had to leave behind. One year on and Benjamin is such a little joy. He’s making lovely little sounds, learning to clap his hands and zipping around the kitchen in his car. Happy Birthday my beautiful Benjamin, I love you more than you’ll ever know.

 

Harry was a teeny 1lb and 12oz when we was born. He was a little fighter from the outset. His tiny, wrinkled little body, kicking away in the incubator. We were willing him to lie and sleep. To conserve his energy and to put on some weight. He had a long and fraught stay in hospital with two very serious bouts of infection and then open heart surgery. But he was our wonderful little fighter. With the help and care of so many fabulous doctors and nurses, he managed to make it home at 13 weeks, weighing only 4lbs. One year on and Harry is a live wire – he’s always ready for a giggle and loves nothing more than a house full of people. We were so proud when Harry managed to sit up on his own two weeks ago. He’s come so far and brought us so much joy. Happy Birthday my lovely Harry, I love you more than you’ll ever know.

  

I don’t think I could ever have anticipated the extent of love that I feel for these two little boys. From the second I heard their two beautiful little cries in the operating theatre, I was besotted. I love our little family. We’ve had so many simple moments of joy as we watch our babies grow and discover new things every  

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Mummuddlingthrough

Position Vacant: Night Nanny Required

My little twin boys are so happy, content and full of fun. I love spending my days playing with them, pulling silly faces, reading endless books and getting covered in baby mush at every feed. That is, up until it hits 7pm.   

From about 6 -10 months the boys slept so well. We’d pop them up to bed at 7pm and with a few shushes and strokes to their head they were off to sleep. Then we’d settle down to some dinner, clear up and get things ready for the next morning. Flopping unto the sofa around 9pm to relax for an hour before bed. I felt a teeny bit guilty for loving having our evenings back. But I did love it. I needed it. 

Now I am mourning their loss. They’ve now been gone for two whole months. Hopefully not forever. 

When the clock strikes seven, the twins morph into little sleep stealing gremlins. Gone are my super cute, happy boys. Hello crazy babies.  

They seem sleepy right up until they hit the cot mattress. Then all of a sudden they wake up and the baby gymnastics start in their cots. So it’s time. We need a night nanny.  

Position Vacant: Night Nanny*

Essential Criteria:

• You’ll have elastic arms and a stretchy back to stand in between two cots and stroke two heads at once

• An appreciation for the French Grey paint on the back wall of the nursery is a must. You’re going to be looking at it a lot

• You’ll need to understand this equation and ensure your response times are quick enough to avoid its development: A crying baby = a coughing baby = a vomiting baby = a baby that wakes his brother = two crying, babies, covered in vomit = two more baths = two more bottle feeds = two babies that need settled to sleep again in two clean cots

• You’ll have arms that can carry at least one baby for hours at at time while you pace up and down the room in the hope that sleep will eventually come 

• The ability to survive on less than 3 hours of undisturbed sleep per night

Desirable Criteria: 

• The magical ability to teach our babies how to sleep

That is it, if you can do that, you’re hired 

*Unfortunately this advert and the funds to support it, exist purely in my imagination. So if you do happen to have any ideas of how we can get our twins to sleep, please join the conversation below. All weird and wonderful suggestions welcome! Please.

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I’m linking this post up with #MarvMondays  

Weaning twins – How to spoon feed on your own!

We have regular follow up appointments at the paediatric hospital to monitor the twins’ growth and development because they were so premature. When they were 4 months old (1 month corrected) the paediatrician asked if I’d thought about starting to wean them. I nearly choked. They were tiny – I think at the time they weighed about 6 and 9lbs respectively. They could have been new-born babies… 

I had a good chat with the consultant and she explained that they like to take quite an aggressive approach to feeding with low birthweight babies. I smiled and nodded and went home and did some research of my own. I decided to wait a while before I started the boys on solid food. And I’m very very glad I did! I waited until they were 24 weeks and even that felt very early as technically they were only 14 weeks. 

As a first time mum I was quite daunted by the whole weaning thing. I felt like I had just about nailed the process for managing to bottle feed the twins on my own and now I had to re-think their whole routine and work out how to fit in (very-slow) spoon feeds. To top it all off, the twins had quite bad reflux and were horrendous projectile vomiters! The number of times I spent ages feeding the boys my lovely home-made baby purees only to have it puked all over me and everything nearby, 20 minutes later. 

I hated that there was no clear ‘how to’ manual. I wanted to know what to feed, how often, how much, if I should reduce their their milk intake etc etc. But every book I read only gave rough guidelines… In the end, I relied pretty heavily on a mixture of weaning methods and recipes from Annabel Karmel and Gina Forde until I found what worked best for us. 

We started weaning over the summer months when my husband was off work for the school holidays. I was terrified of having two babies choking at the same time and wanted a bit of help to get started. When he went back to work, I was quite nervous about doing all the feeds myself. But I got there!  

  

Here’s my top tips on feeding two babies yourself: 

• Try and find a comfortable way to sit for the feeding sessions. This is so important.Each feed could take you up to an hour for the first few weeks. And that’s a lot of time spent in the same position every day. For about the first 3 months of weaning, I had to feed the twins in their bouncer seats as they were just too small to sit up in a high chair. It wrecked my back and I wish that we’d invested in high chairs suitable from birth (they tilt back) from the start. Once we moved them into proper high chairs, it was so much easier.

  • If at all possible, feed them both at the same time. This means that you can prepare the food and have it heated up at the same time and you don’t have to go through that ritual twice. For the first few months I had to feed the boys one at a time as they got very distracted unless you gave them your full attention, and stopped eating. Once they got a bit bigger and they were used to spoon feeds, I started to feed them together. I just alternated mouthfuls. This works quite well as they have time to chew up their food as you feed their twin. 

• Leave yourself plenty of time. Trying to spoon feed two babies when you’re under pressure for time is a bad idea! I think they can sense that you are in a rush (!) and so everything that possibly could go wrong, does. If you are relaxed, hopefully that will make for calmer babies that want to eat their meal. 

• Invest in a split bowl. This is the best £5 I have ever spent on a baby product. It’s so much easier and quicker than having to switch between bowls for each spoonful. Get a nice deep bowl, so the spoons don’t fall out when you switch.

  • Two coverall feeding bibs are a must. Unless you want to have the washing machine on four times a day, instead of two! 

  • Two babies.Two spoons. I always try and make sure they have their own soon – they pick up enough coughs and colds and any effort I can make to limit that is definitively worth it. 

• Before you start, make sure you have all the essentials within arms reach. For me, that’s baby coverall bibs, kitchen roll, baby wipes and sippy cups. 

  • The freezer is your best friend. I rarely make their meals up just before they eat them. I make big batches of chicken, beef or fish based baby food and freeze them in individual portions. I also make a batch of vegetable mashes and every night, I lift out a protein portion and a vegetable portion to defrost overnight in the fridge. That means you can spend a few hours a week cooking and have tasty, home made food everyday.

  • Don’t feel bad about feeding pouches of bought baby food when you need to! I recently started using a lot of pre made fruit purees and the boys love them. I couldn’t keep up to the number of apples and pears that needed peeled on a weekly basis!

  • There will be days when one or both of them will just decide that they don’t want to eat. Don’t stress and just give them a bit of whatever it is they want –when our two are being fussy, the only thing they won’t refuse is fruit purée and yoghurt! Teething babies do not make good eaters. As long as they are getting plenty of milk, don’t worry about the odd ‘off’ day. 

I really didn’t enjoy the early stages of weaning – it’s depressing when you feel like you throw out more food than gets fed! But now I love mealtimes with the boys. They love their food and generally we have lots of fun in the highchairs. It’s a lot of mess. And I get really sick of cleaning the floor. But the giggles make their food smeared faces look very very cute! Have you enjoyed the weaning process or are you fed up with the mess?!

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Twins By Numbers

We’re going to be celebrating the boy’s 1st Birthday next week.That means we’ve had two babies for 12 whole months. I can’t quite believe it. Here’s our year in numbers: 

1 blue line

150+ dry crackers consumed

13 suspicious co-workers

1 very large bump

21 weeks until we knew we were having twins

2 petrified parents to be

1 deadly disease

1 emergency in-utero laser surgery in London

2.5 litres of amniotic fluid drained from my womb

2 little miracles

19 agonising antenatal appointments

775 approximate number of times I googled TTTS

8 trips to the toilet every night

72 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy watched post surgery

55 pear picking porky ice-lollies licked

2 steroid injections to help mature two tiny sets of lungs

22 hospital staff present in the delivery suite

2 beautiful baby boys born

10 weeks too early

1 besotted new mum

1 very proud new dad

2 little cosy incubators

0 cuddles with my babies on the day they were born

10 beeping monitors in NICU

2 beautiful faces

4 little hands for mummy to hold through the portholes

5 long weeks of going home every night without my beautiful babies

14 hours a day spent in an armchair in the neonatal unit

1 bittersweet night of bringing my eldest twin home

8 more heart-breaking weeks of leaving my little twin on his own in a hospital ward

4 return trips to ICU for Harry when he picked up infections and struggled to breathe

1 awful moment when the cardiologist told me that Harry needed open heart surgery

4 the number of lbs Harry needed to weigh before they would operate

2 air ambulance journeys for our little family

10 days spent in Westminster at Evelina Children’s Hospital

1 celebrity paediatrician – CBEEBIES Dr Ranj!

4 painful hours waiting whilst Harry was in surgery

48hrs post op spent sucking Daddy’s finger before Harry was allowed food

1 amazing day when we reunited our little family at home

2 happy little brothers

16 bottles a day for the first 4 months

4 nightly feeding sessions

2200+ bottles made in the first year

200+ projectile vomits over a 3 month period

1 very exasperated mum, dripping with puke

60 loads of washing each month

6400+ smiles from 2 very happy babies

5,824 nappy changes in the first year

32 baby books that elicit squeals of delight everyday

1,134 messy spoon feeds

4 little teeth that have made it through

Endless cuddles

2 bundles of joy

2 permanently shattered but very happy parents

12 months that have totally changed our lives forever

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I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays

Our Routine with Baby Twins

Warning: Please stop reading now if you don’t have one or more babies. This post will bore you to tears. We, parents of young babies, are obsessed with getting a baby routine that works for us and we will talk about it a lot. That’s just the way it is.   

Throughout my pregnancy, I did lots reading to prepare as much as I could for the twins’ arrival. One day I was persuaded by the no routine, baby-led approach to sleeping and feeding. The next, I was won over to the idea of implementing a fairly strict routine.

I was pretty terrified by the whole prospect of managing two babies on my own!

When the boys arrived and we finally brought them home, I soon realised that you can do all the reading in the world but when you have twin babies both screaming for food, cuddles or their nappy to be changed, I reckon most people (like me) just wing it in the early days.

That worked well enough when they were very young but as the boys got bigger, they weren’t as happy to wait to be fed when they got hungry and one would be getting upset as I fed his brother. So I tried to move to more of a structured routine in an attempt to pre-empt what they needed before they got upset.

Most parents find that they work out their own little routine but I found it really useful to read up on how what worked well for other people. So that’s why I’m sharing what’s worked well for us.  These are the routines that we fell into:

Newborn to 4 months routine

At this stage we only focused on a feeding routine. The babies slept when and if they wanted around the feeds. I kept the double pram with carrycots in our kitchen/living-room and they napped in the pram throughout the day. I woke them up if they were sleeping at a daytime or evening feed time. This is a bit controversial. For some, the idea of waking a sleeping baby is unthinkable. But with twins, you have to find what works for you and stick with it.

Our feed-times were

• Day-time: 7am, 10am, 1pm and 4pm during the day

• Evening: We cluster fed every two hours at 6pm, 8pm and the last feed at 10pm

• Night-time: I fed on demand at night-time.

Up until 12 weeks, this usually meant a feed at 1am and 4am. By about 12 weeks, they were managing to sleep through the night with only one night-time feed. My larger twin slept through the night from about 16 weeks and his brother slept through from about 20 weeks.

It’s always hard to know how much milk to offer and there’s not a stack of guidance available. I didn’t find the guides on the milk cartons terribly helpful. I generally worked to 2.5fl oz per lb. So when my babies weighed 5 lbs, I would aim to feed them a minimum of 12.5 oz over the course of the day.

Best case scenario is that you have two adults for each feed-time! In the first few weeks, I had a lot of help and often had a spare pair of hands to help with a feed. However, fairly quickly I had to get used to managing on my own during the day. I never really attempted to tandem feed because I wanted to get that 1:1 bonding time with each of my babies throughout the day. I would just place one baby on the play gym, positioned so they could see me whilst I fed and burped his brother.

If the baby on the play gym wasn’t happy and I couldn’t calm them with my singing (poor baby!) or a dummy, then I sometimes split the feeds. I would feed half a bottle to baby 1 then I’d swap babies and do the same for baby 2. Then repeat to finish off both feeds. One of my twins (I’ll not say who!) generally always needed to be fed first – he just wasn’t happy to lie and kick once he saw a bottle! Don’t feel bad if this is same with you – they will both get fed and it just makes it easier if you feed the fussier baby first!

 I should also mention that my boys were bottle fed (breast milk + formula) from the outset. The combination of a 10 week early delivery, weeks of tube-feeding, long stays in neonatal and heart-surgery meant that my plans to breastfeed were thwarted from the outset. I’ll keep the breast/bottle trauma for another post!

Thankfully I did have quite a lot of help in those first few months – mainly from my mum but also from an army of sisters, friends, aunties and cousins! The more help you can line up, the better!

4 months to 6 months routine

At around 4 months, the boys had stopped napping so easily in the pram and had started to fall asleep only when we went out for a walk. This wasn’t great for me as I needed some time in the house, when the twins were sleeping so that I could wash bottles, clothes and most importantly grab a cup of tea! So I introduced a morning sleep time, when I purposefully put them down for a nap. It took quite a few attempts to get it working and sometimes they’d be asleep in their bouncer seats before I managed to get them into their cots!

Nap-times:

• Morning: 8:30am to 9:30am – I put them into their cots for a nap

• Afternoon: I just let them have a nap in the pram when we went for a walk

At 4 months, I started to stretch out their feed-times, so they were taking bigger but less frequent feeds.

Our feed times were:

• Day-time: 7am, 10:30am, 1:30pm and 4:30pm

• Evening: 6:30pm

• Night-time: I fed on demand at night-time. My larger twin slept through the night from about 16 weeks and his brother slept through from about 20 weeks.

Knowing when to stop night-tIme feeds can be difficult. We stopped when we realised that it was simply a ‘comfort-suck.’ They’d have a few mouthfuls and then they were happy to settle back to sleep. When this happened, we simply gave them a dummy and they settled back to sleep. And that was the end of night feeding!

6 months to 10 months routine

With twins, you will spend a lot of your day feeding. But when you introduce weaning into the routine, you’ll start to wonder when you managed to fit anything else into your day! On top of what already seems like a mountain of jobs, you now need to make baby purees, clean up the mess and still feed the babies 4 bottles a day, each! Madness.

We’ve now managed to get into a routine that works for us all (well, most days anyway!). The boys are eating well and getting a good amount of sleep. We’ve had a few ‘bad’ weeks of sleep recently but that’s mostly been down to chest infections and teeth pushing through..

This is how are day looks with bottles, spoon feeds and naps

Bottle Feeds: 7am, 11am, 3pm, 6:30pm

Spoon Feeds: 8am, 12pm, 4:30/5pm

Nap-times: 9:15am – 10:15am, 12:45pm – 2:00pm

Bed-time at 7:15pm

There’s not a heck of a lot of time for much else!

The nap times are a bit erratic sometimes. Occasionally, they’ll sleep a bit longer in the morning and then not want an afternoon nap. I keep to the routines as much as possible and flex them a bit when we have outings and appointments etc.

11 months onwards

The boys are now 11 months and over the last few weeks, our routine has evolved again as they have become more interested in their solid meals and less interested in their bottles. I’ve dropped one of their morning feeds and adjusted their nap times to suit.

This is how are day now looks with bottles, spoon feeds and naps

Spoon Feeds: 7am, 12pm, 4:30/5pm

Bottle Feeds: 9am, 2pm, 6:30pm

Nap-times: 9:30am – 11:00am, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Bed-time at 7:15pm

The twins are currently 11 months old so I’ll update this post as our routines evolve. I think the next change will probably be to drop the morning sleep and increase the afternoon sleep. Although this may not happen for another few months!

Our twins were 10 weeks premature so you may find that your babies move though these routines a little quicker.

Do you prefer to have a routine or go with a baby-led approach? Any tips much appreciated, go on, leave a comment!

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I’m linking up with  #MarvMondays and #coolmumclub

Mummuddlingthrough

Review of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep

When I was pregnant, I never even considered buying this as I had intended to breastfeed the twins. I read up on tandem breastfeeding techniques, bought a twin breastfeeding support pillow, watched lots of how-to clips and prepared for myself for a lot of time spent on the sofa! Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out like this. 

The boys were born very prematurely at 30 weeks, they were tiny and they were fed through a tube for 4 weeks (Benjamin) and 6 weeks (Harry.) They were so tiny that the logistics of breastfeeding was very difficult – they got tired very quickly and their little mouths were just too small. I expressed for the first 8 weeks but this also proved very difficult as despite pumping every 2 hours, my milk never properly came in. I was expressing maybe 20-30ml with each attempt. 

When we finally made the move to formula, some of the nurses in the neonatal unit told me about the Tommee Tippee perfect prep. I did some research and bought one before the boys arrived home. I never looked back and it is my second most useful / favourite baby purchase. First place is reserved for my pram – I love it! (You can read my review of the Uppababy Vista here!) 

So far, I think I’ve made about 2000 bottles for the twins over the course of the last 11 months! I miss it every time we stay over somewhere and I have to make a bottle the old-fashioned way!  

   

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep – Reasons I love it 

• You can make a bottle in 2 minutes, at exactly the right temperature, ready to feed 

• It is so easy and straightforward to operate. My mum, who is a complete technophobe, has no difficulty using it! 

• You know that the bottle is exactly the right temperature. I find it hard to heat up feeds and know exactly when it is ready. The fear of scalding your baby is gone 

• When you are up multiple times in the night, this machine keeps the time you are out of bed to an absolute minimum 

• You can make a bottle with one hand – this is really important when you permanently have a baby on your hip!

 • You can use the machine with lots of different types of bottles – I use it with both Tommee Tippee and NUK bottles 

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep – A few niggles 

• The only thing I have found a tiny bit frustrating is the loud beep that comes from the machine when it is time to add the formula. It’s no issue during the day but I think it startled the babies a little when we were getting up for night feeds 

• You do need to order replacement filters for the machine – I’ve had to do this every 3 or 4 months but my usage is particularly high as I have twins. This isn’t really a niggle – just something you should take into account when purchasing 

In my opinion, this is a necessity for twin mums!! And a very handy piece of kit for anyone else! 

If you enjoyed this / found it useful, please share this post and maybe even tweet me and let me know! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

**Please note, I have not been asked to provide a review of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep and I purchased this machine myself. All views are my own.**

We're going on an adventure

Christmas – The Baby Edit

It’s 10 days until the Big Day. We’re slap bang in the midst of the hustle and bustle that is the run up to Christmas. And I love it!

Normally at this point I would have:

• been to the Christmas Market for Gluhwein and Bratwurst at least 8 times

• inspected a minimum of 25 Christmas trees before finding the perfect shape

• consumed an eye watering amount of heroes / celebrations / quality street in the seemingly unending office stash

• been to a few carol services and as a result been humming Christmas carols pretty much constantly

• danced like an eejit in the middle of the afternoon at the office Christmas Party. Lunchtime bubbles are not my friend

• written Christmas cards to everyone I know

• bought a few new Christmas clothes for all the Yuletide socialising

• rushed round the city centre shops like a woman possessed buying all my presents in my lunch hours

• enjoyed too many evenings where after-work Christmas drinks turned into dinner, dancing and trying to drag myself into work the next morning

This year has been somewhat different to say the least. Its our first Christmas with the twins. They are now almost 11 months old and an absolute delight. My run up to Christmas as a newish Mum has looked more like this:

• Pure delight when the twins learned how to clap along to Jingle Bells! Cue social media update that no-one (save their Daddy) is in anyway interested in!

• The silly Christmas jumper and old jeans has replaced the new LBD as de rigueur

• Getting very excited about the mums and tots Christmas Party. It’s the pinnacle of my social life these days! And then missing it because the babies were sick

• Looking after two babies who have been very sick with bronchiolitis and enjoying lots of sleepy cuddles by the fire

• Making mince pies at 730am in between twin bottles and breakfast!

• Realising that I have absolutely no time to buy Christmas presents and vowing that next year, I will have them all bought and wrapped in September!

• Sleepless nights are as a result of teething twins and not partying!

• Dressing the boys in the most gorgeous Christmas suits as soon as it hit December. They are super cute..


• Reading lots of ‘elf on the shelf’ blog posts and looking forward to joining in the fun when the boys are old enough!

• Making my first ever Christmas Cake and continuing the age-old tradition where each member of the family stirs the cake and makes a secret wish. I can’t confirm if the cake has magical powers just yet…

• Ditched Christmas Card writing. Something’s gotta go and this is it

• Finding lovely little gifts for the boys and looking forward to reading them their new books!

• Recording ‘Carols at Kings’ in the knowledge that actually making it to the Church Carol Service is slim

• Looking forward to a couple of days at my Mum’s over Christmas and lots more arms to help out with the boys! The joys of a large family…

• Buying my first ever copy of the Christmas Radio Times to see what TV delights are in store for us!

The biggest change is realising that all I really want for Christmas, I already have.

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Review of the Uppababy Vista 2015

Twin Mum Review of the Uppababy Vista 2015

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant with twins (at 21 weeks!) I spent a lot of time researching the best twin pram on the market. There’s not a huge choice of prams that are suitable for twins so the search was narrowed down pretty quickly to:

• UppaBaby Vista 2015
• iCandy Peach Twin
• Bugaboo Donkey Twin
• BabyJogger City Mini Double
• Out and About Nipper Double

The first decision was whether to buy a ‘side by side’ or an ‘in-line’ pram. I tried out the 3 ‘side by side’ prams in-store and read lots of online reviews. I quickly decided that they were just too bulky and unmanageable. None of them would have fitted through our front door whilst assembled and we would have trouble getting around any of our local shops. That meant our choice was down to the Uppababy Vista or the iCandy Peach. Both of which are very popular prams for singleton babies but also have the ability to convert into a twin.

At the outset, the Uppababy Vista probably had a slight advantage as I had heard so many first hand positive views on this pram from friends and family that had bought one. When I thought I was only expecting one baby, I was definitely intending on buying it! So when I found out we were expecting twins (at 20 weeks!) I was really pleased to learn that Uppababy were releasing the new Vista in early 2015 which could be configured for twins.

I tried both prams out and I really loved them both, both looked fantastic and were nice to push, with really comfy looking carrycots and seats. It was a hard decision but I opted for the Uppababy Vista in the end, mainly for its comparative ease to put up and down.

  
 

Best Features of the Uppababy Vista 2015

After 10 months of use, I absolutely love this pram. Here’s some of the reasons why:
• The carrycots were fantastic when the babies were small. They napped in them all day and because of the breathable base, they could even sleep in them overnight if we went away.

  
• The inner lining of the carrycot is soft and cosy. Most importantly, it’s fully washable. The entire lining of the carrycot can be removed for washing. We had two refluxy babies that vomited a lot so this was very useful. They washed up really well each time and it was fairly straightforward to put the lining back in.

• The carrycots are larger than normal and the babies were in the cots until they were about 6 months old.

• The rain-covers for the carrycots are really easy to pop on and off and there are two handy pouches in the basket where you can store them.

• Really comfortable to push. I walk about 3 miles a day with the boys and have always found the Uppababy vista very comfortable to push. The wheels are very sturdy and easy to manoeuvre.

• Large basket for picking up daily essentials. The basket space is restricted by the second carrycot/seat but it’s still larger than most prams.

• My husband is very tall (6’5) so the extendable handle was a big selling point. It extends with one simple click and makes pushing the pram very comfortable for him too.

• Easy to manoeuvre around our local shops and coffee houses. I can even manage to get a twin pram on and off the bus when I want to ditch the car!

• The twins are now in the pram seats and they love them. The straps are easy to use and the seats are nice and deep.

  
The pram seats are so easy to change position – you can do it with one hand. They fully recline when you want your baby to sleep.

• The brake on the pram is very easy to operate, it’s even flip flop friendly!

• The car-seat adaptors are very useful indeed for short trips when you don’t went to haul two carrycots with you!

• After 10 months of heavy use, it still looks brand new with the exception of a few small scratches.

Niggles of the Uppababy Vista 2015
My one and only small gripe is that I don’t like the rain–covers for the pram seats. They go on and off easily but they are not great quality. Just a little too flimsy. My twins like to poke their fingers through the air holes in the rain-cover and I don’t think it’ll be long before there is a tear in the cover. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the pram which is evidently built to last with a sturdy frame and parts.

Uppababy Vista 2015 – Should you buy it?

Buying a twin pram is a big decision, requiring serious expenditure so make sure you know what features you want before you commit! After 10 months of constant use, I would whole heartedly recommend the UppaBaby Vista. I love it and am absolutely convinced I made the right purchase.

**Please note, I have not been asked to provide a review of the UppaBaby vista and I purchased this pram myself. All views are my own.**

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