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Babies/ Parenting/ Twins

My Top Tips for New Twin Parents

As a fumble my way through my 4 years of motherhood, I have no idea & will never know about what it’s like to have a singleton baby. I only know how to look after/be pregnant with/give birth to 2 babies at once! Nearing the girls’ 1st birthday & the boys’ 4th birthday in a few weeks, I am one of the lucky few in this world who has gotten to experience twins more than once! The first year of being a parent to newborn twins is one the hardest, as you get used to the routine & changes in your life (& relationship) with 2 little ones the same age. Some days I feel like I can run the world, other days I can’t stop thinking about my pre-kid life, pre-kid bod, and all that sleep & spare time I used to take for granted! But I have been a twin mum for nearly 4 years, have nearly ‘survived’ 2 sets of twins for a year, still love my husband Mr Twins and A Blog (Mr ‘Super Sperm’) more than ever & life is complete with the 6 of us! Here are my top tips for new twin parents:

• Lower your expectations with cooking, cleaning and your appearance. There is light at the end of the tunnel once you get through the newborn blur.

• Don’t be a hero – take any help that is offered.

• Unless one baby is sick, I let them share bottles, dummies and once they start solids they share the same spoon/bowl of food – it reduces washing and wastage and they are in each others faces and mouths anyway!

• I wear tracksuits for PJs so I don’t have to change out of my ‘PJs’ during the day when people pop in for a visit or if I get the mail #mumhack

• Try to schedule the babies together – feed tandem or 1 right after another to maximise your rest time between (when one wakes up to feed, wake the other one up to feed).

• Lack of sleep = bad moods in the house = a competition/comparison of whos turn is it for the next feed, nappy change, cuddle, bath, sleep in, clean the bottles, cook dinner, do the laundry, take the bins out etc etc… this time shall pass and you’ll love each other even more after getting through this chapter together! #goteam

• Expect to be a celebrity at the shops. Be ready to swat away peoples hands from touching them or get ready the hand sanitizer gel and baby wipes! Also, don’t expect a ‘quick trip’ to the shops unless you can leave the babies at home!

• I indulge in nice shower body washes, soaps and shampoo as usually shower time is the only ‘me’ time I get in the day and I love to feel a million bucks at least once in the day (and when I actually get the chance to have a shower and wash my hair!)

• I love my Bugaboo Donkey pram (have used the same pram for both sets of twins) but if you have older kids, baby wearing is essential! We used Baby Bjorns for the boys when they were younger and carried 1 each, but now we have a 2 kid per adult ratio! I love tandem wearing the girls (or I baby wear one and carry the other one on my hip). I loved using the Weego twin baby carrier when the girls were newborns to 6 months, and now love the @twingo baby carrier (thanks Things for Twins!). Both are very easy to use on your own, I use them for quick trips, places which are not pram friendly, hanging out the laundry or going for walks with the boys.

• Join up to your local Multiple Births Club and find a local mums group on Facebook. I wasn’t part of any of these groups when I had the boys as my attitude was #aintnobodygottimefordat and ‘I had enough friends and I didn’t need to make anymore friends’! BUT I have found myself to be much happier this time round during my maternity leave, and I owe that to having a mum tribe. Whilst I was pregnant with the girls I joined my local Multiple Births Club and a Facebook group of local mums with babies due the same time and it is LIFE CHANGING. It is great to have an online support network & meet up with mums going through the same stuff as you, you are never alone in this journey. The pros of social media is that there is always someone you can chat to 24/7 – if you’re up at 3am with a 3 week old (or 3 year old!), chances are that someone else is too! Having young kids can be lonely and isolating with the same routine day in day out! #groundhogday I hear mums groups is a lot like online dating (I found my Mr before online dating was around so never got to experience that excitement!) but we are all human so you will click with some people more than others – sometimes it takes a while to find those connections, but it is a great way to find long lasting friendships with people who get it and get you!! (If you’re reading this: you know who you are 😘) Lesson: you can never have too many friends! #youarenotalone

• Most importantly, have fun, treasure every teeny tiny baby moment and take lots of photos! It is tiring, hard work, and when people say ‘you must have your hands full’ – well yes, they are literally full!! I enjoyed the newborn stage with the girls much more than with the boys as I knew how quickly that time goes and how fast they grow right in front of your very eyes! And if you’re more organised than me make sure you label all your photos so you know who’s who when you look back at the photos!!

Babies/ Parenting/ Toddlers/ Twins

Twin Milestones

The first year of a baby’s life is full of milestones – first smile, sleeping through the night, rolling, solids & trying different foods, teeth, crawling, words, standing, walking etc.

When it comes to twins, there are a few special twin milestones:

  • Levels of interaction 🤝 such as the first time touching, holding hands, laughing together, biting & chatting with each other; and
  • Game changers 👊 such as their first bath together in the big bath, sitting in the trolley together, and sleeping in their own cot. 

These 9 month old sleeping beauties have been sharing a cot up until the weekend where they finally moved into their own cots! The boys moved into separate cots at 6 months as they were big babies and started their wrestling early 🤼‍♂️. The girls were happy sharing cots with each other & enjoyed each others warmth until last week where one would climb on top of the other in the middle of the night trying to wake up them up to play!

With the boys, and now the girls we put their cots side by side so their twin is closeby and just a reach away! The boys loved playing with each other through the railings and the girls are already standing facing each other to chat & touch each other through the railings when they wake up 😍

What other ‘twin milestones’ can you think of??

Babies/ Fashion

Louboutin Made Me Do It

I used to be that cool trendy chick with a huge high heel collection! I lived and breathed in my 12cm high stilettos and saved up to buy my first (and only) pair of Jimmy Choos when I was 21!! Now I live in thongs and sneakers, and my friends don’t recognise me if I wear anything higher than 2 inches!! I have zero tolerance for foot discomfort now 😂

These were one of my favourite pairs of heels – my red suede boots from my former life 😢👢👠 and Camilla & Madison will be the next ones to be wearing these ‘vintage’ boots (if they aren’t too uncool in 15 years!)!!

These Diddima rompers remind me of my former glamorous life! 😍👠💄

Anyone else hang up their hot sexy heels for thongs and sneakers?

Baby Food/ Healthy/ Thermomix

Easy Fruit Puree

I’ve always made my fruit purees by steaming it first, then blitzing it in the bowl. But this method is waaaaaaay easier, less washing up, and keeps ALL the nutrients in there, rather than it dripping into the water for the steaming. I keep telling myself WHY DID I NOT DO THIS EARLIER when the boys were on their purees!

I love bulk making and this is a great way to use up the boy’s toddler bitten apples, and random bits of fruit lying around. This is great for baby food, kids or adults to eat plain, with cereal, yoghurt, sandwich spread (instead of jam), in smoothies, or you can even use this with all apples in their for apple sauce to go with your pork roast. You can use 1 type of fruit, or a mix of fruit i.e. apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, berries, and denser melons like rockmelon and honeydew.

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Easy Fruit Puree

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1000 grams fruit (cored and quartered)
  • 30 grams water

Instructions

1

Add all ingredients in bowl.

2

Cook 15 minutes/100 degrees/Speed 1.

3

Blitz 1 minute/Speed 9 (slowly and progressively increasing the speed from 1 to 9).

4

Cool and store in fridge or freezer.

Notes

This can be kept in the fridge for a few days, or it freezes really well in ice cube trays or reusable food pouches. When frozen, take out and defrost over a few hours or in the microwave when needed. I usually freeze in Sinchies, or ice cube trays and decant them into labelled ziplock bags.

Baby Food/ Dessert/ Thermomix

Apple and Maple Custard

This is a beautiful twist on the usual custard recipe, adding apples throughout the custard. Great for when you feel like custard, but you really should eat your fruit – so why not combine the two!? This has beautiful small pieces of apple which creates a beautiful texture with the smooth creamy custard, and it pairs really well with maple syrup. This is perfect for toddlers/kids especially in reusable food pouches, or you can puree it for baby food (also this is great for older babies when introducing textures).

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Add apples to bowl.

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Blitz 3 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down.

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Add maple syrup, milk, cornflour and eggs.

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Cook 6 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 3.

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Apple and Maple Custard

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 x apples (quartered and cored)
  • 80 grams maple syrup
  • 500 grams milk
  • 30 grams cornflour
  • 2 x eggs

Instructions

1

Add apples to bowl.

2

Blitz 3 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down.

3

Add maple syrup, milk, cornflour and eggs.

4

Cook 6 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 3.

Notes

This has small pieces of apple throughout, if you prefer a smoother texture (i.e. for baby food or to 'hide' the apples), puree the custard - 30 seconds/Speed 9 (slowly turning the dial progressively from Speed 0 to 9).

Uncategorized

2 Ingredient Slime Putty

This is a mix between slime and putty. It feels like a light fluffy putty but if you wait a few minutes, it spreads out like slime! This is great for sensory play for babies, toddlers and kids!

This has only 2 ingredients – cornflour and shampoo! I use kids shampoo as it is non toxic (since kids have it all over their heads and faces), and it smells nice! PLUS it is sooo easy to clean out of the kids fingers, hair and clothes, and they smell like beautiful clean kids after it! 🙂

The shampoo I use doesn’t have a colour, so I added food colouring to half of the batch so the boys could squish the colours together.

My ‘neat’ twin Ethan only played with this with 1 hand and got over it after 10 minutes, however my ‘messy’ twin Harley LOVED this, really got into it and is something that would entertain him for hours! Either way, it is a great activity for them, and gives me a moment of quiet time to have a coffee!! 🙂

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Add all ingredients to bowl.

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Mix 10 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape down.
Mix a further 15 seconds/Speed 4.

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Optional – add food colouring – I spoon out half the mixture and colour the other half (mix for a further 10 seconds/Speed 4)

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Feels like putty…

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After a few minutes it spreads like slime!

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2 Ingredient Slime Putty

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 190 grams cornflour
  • 150 grams kids shampoo
  • (Optional) food colouring

Instructions

1

METHOD (THERMOMIX):

2

Add all ingredients to bowl.

3

Mix 10 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape down.

4

Mix a further 15 seconds/Speed 4.

5

Spoon out and play!

6

METHOD (1 BOWL):

7

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl.

8

Mix with a spoon and fingers until all combined.

9

Spoon out and play!

Notes

Depending on the type of shampoo you use, you have have to add a little bit more or less shampoo/cornflour in the mix! Experiment and have a go - however if you use more cornflour it will be more putty-ish, and if you use more shampoo it will be more slime-ish!

 

Baby Food/ Dessert/ Healthy/ Icecream/ Non Thermomix/ Thermomix/ Twins

Milo Ice Blocks

We love ice blocks! These are actually the first lot of ice blocks I’ve given the boys. They are nearly 18 months, so I thought it was about time, especially given the heatwave Sydney has had this week! And they looooved them!
I used Décor Likety Sips Ice Block moulds ( 
http://www.decor.com.au/product/lickety-sips/), however you can use any type, any brand, but these measurements fill the 4 x iceblock moulds EXACTLY!
If you use other ice block moulds, make the ice blocks as per the following recipe and if it needs a bit more filling, top up with more milk.

 

Pour into moulds
Freeze overnight
Freeze overnight
Serve dipped in extra Milo (optional)
Milo Ice Blocks
Messy boys!
Milo coma!

Milo Ice Blocks

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300 grams milk (any type - I use A2 Full Cream)
  • 75 grams Milo

Instructions

1

Method (Thermomix)

2

Add all ingredients into bowl. Mix 40 seconds/50 degrees/Speed 4.

3

Pour into ice block moulds and freeze overnight.

4

Method (Stovetop)

5

Add all ingredients into a small pot. Stir with a whisk/spatula until Milo and milk have mixed together into a chocolate milk.

6

Pour into ice block moulds and freeze overnight.

Baby Food/ Breakfast/ Kids in the Kitchen/ Main Meal/ Non Thermomix/ Snacks/ Thermomix/ Twins

Finger Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Here are my ‘tried and tested’ list of finger foods for my boys!
When Ethan and Harley started to want to eat themselves, I did a lot of online and book research for finger food ideas. My boys are HUGE for their age, and looove their food. They are not fussy (…most of the time) and have no food intolerances which makes it really easy for me to prepare their meals! My rule is to have the most colourful ‘tasting’ plate of foods so the boys experience a variety of different foods, textures, smells and flavours. I’ve read that a colourful plate of food is a nutritious one! So I make sure I cover lots of food colours in the meals the boys eat (except for when we are out and using the pram!). I’ve also read that the more variety of foods you give a baby when they are young, the less fussy they will be when they grow older (this isn’t tried and tested yet, so *fingers crossed*)!
 
Thermotwinning’s Finger Food Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
Koala sandwich with Mayvers Super Spread on a bed of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, babybel cheese, steamed broccoli and carrot, strawberries (quartered), hard boiled egg, and pizza pockets 
The boys with their ‘pram friendly’ finger foods (i.e. nothing juicy or coloured like vegemite, tomatoes, berries, watermelon etc)
Dinosaur sandwich with cream cheese on a bed of baby spinach, cheese and crackers, dried apricots, freeze dried apple, and whole orange and poppyseed muffin with almond and chia seeds 
Another ‘pram friendly’ lunch box
Cheese and bacon rolls, sweet eating cucumber, tasty cheese, mini fruit balls, pear and crackers
BREAKFAST:

Pancakes/waffles – these are some that I make that freezes and reheats well:
– Pumpkin Pancakes (The boys fave!!)
– Sweet Potato Waffles 
– Berry Coconut Flour Pancakes 

Wholemeal sandwich, toast or Cruskits with the following spreads:
– Baby purees including fruit purees (instead of jam)
– Vegemite
– Mayvers Super Spread (can be found with the peanut butter section/organics section)
– Cream cheese
– Avocado
– Mashed banana
– Jam

Raisin Toast (there is a wholemeal version available) – freezes and reheats well

Scrambled eggs – in a bowl, add egg(s) (about 1 per child) + a splash of milk + a small handful of grated tasty cheese – microwave 1 minute on high, stir, then microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until cooked. Leave to cool for a few minutes – the tasty cheese gives it some flavour and also helps the egg firm up so it is easier to grip (my husband’s trick! he makes it for the boys on the days I’m at work) – goes well with vegemite on toast!

Sultana Bran Buds (link here) or similar type bite sized cereals (soaked in some milk to soften)

***With a spoon:

MAIN MEALS:

Wholemeal sandwich, toast or Cruskits with the following spreads:
– Baby purees including fruit purees (instead of jam) and savoury ‘main meal’ ones
– Vegemite
– Cream cheese
– Mayvers Super Spread (can be found with the peanut butter section/organics section)
– ‘The Laughing Cow’ cheese triangles – squished and spread 
– Cream cheese mixed with sardines (super nutritious but best left to eat at home as it‘s a bit on the nose!) my boys love this!
– Vegemite and sliced tasty cheese
– Avocado
– Mashed banana
– Jam 

Wholemeal Toast Cheesy Melts – I use one or some of these toppings and top it with a piece of sliced tasty cheese and pop it in the air fryer or grill for 5 minutes/180 degrees
– Tinned tuna
– Ham
– Scrambled eggs
– Tomatoes
– Tinned red salmon
– Avocado
– Bolognese sauce
– Gourmet sausages cut up into small pieces
– Roast/poached chicken (shredded)
– Leftover meat diced into small pieces

Pizza Pockets (link here– freezes and reheats well

Pasta – any type, I usually use elbow pasta, macaroni or small sea shells as they are easy to pick up – freezes and reheats well. I generally use a cheesy white sauce base, vegetable puree, or tomato based sauce for the pasta sauce with the following fillings:
– Tinned red salmon
– Fresh salmon (de-skinned and de-boned)
– White fish like Ling or Barramundi (de-skinned and de-boned)
– Bacon/ham
– Chicken Thigh Fillets (they have more nutrients than breast fillets)
– Pork, chicken or Beef mince
– Peas
– Broccoli
– Sweet Potato
– Pumpkin
– Carrots
– Zucchini
– Frozen Veg i.e. peas and carrot
– Or cooked pasta with grated cheese melted on top (easy and not messy if you’re out!)

Some of the boys’ fave pasta recipes:

Meatballs – Any combo of chicken/pork/beef mince + hidden blitzed up veggies – freezes and reheats well

 
Salmon Patties – I use a recipe from the Thermomix Cooking for your Baby and Toddler book – however this is a great Salmon Rissole recipe – freezes and reheats well
 
Risotto or Pasta Muffin Cups – With any risotto or pasta recipe, just place in muffin tins and top with tasty or cheddar cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes/180 degrees until cheese is melted and golden. Skinnymixer’s Risotto Frittata is a great recipe – freezes and reheats well

Hot Dog Buns (Chinese Sausage Rolls) (link here) – freezes and defrosts well

Sushi – This is great for older babies if you’re out and need to takeaway something for them. My boys love the mini ones and make sure you don’t get the raw fillings, so I usually get avocado, tuna, cucumber, or egg ones. The sushi rice is really sticky so I find it really easy to clean up after them! You can make Sushi yourself – this is a great recipe – Thermobexta’s Egg and Avocado Sushi
 
Thermomumma’s Garlic, Cheese and Spinach Naan (link here) – freezes and reheats well
 
***With a spoon/fork:
VEGETABLES:

Sweet eating cucumbers (halved or quartered lengthwise) – these are mini cucumbers you can get at green grocers, Coles/Woolies and Aldi – usually in the refrigerated vegetable section with the lettuce

Cherry/grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise) – the boys fave are the Gold Sweet Eating Grape tomatoes (they are orange in colour) these are the ones from Coles, they are sweeter than normal Cherry tomatoes which can sometimes be quite tarte

Steamed carrots and green beans (cut in half, then quartered lengthwise) – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually make about 2 carrots and a handful of beans then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 16 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Steamed Broccoli Trees – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually cut 1 lot of broccoli then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 12 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Steamed Zucchini – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place carrots into steaming basket (I usually cut 2 lots of zucchini then place in fridge to use as needed), then steam 9 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Sweet potato (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Pumpkin (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Potato (roasted/air fried/steamed)

Lettuce/spinach leaves (any type though I steer clear of the bitter ones like rocket)

Cooked peas – Fresh, frozen or dehydrated

Capsicum (Cut into sticks)

FRUIT:

Apples (quartered, cored, then each quarter cut into 3 wedges) I leave the skin on as it has a lot of vitamins/nutrition in it, or else there are ‘kid’s lunchbox’ apples which are smaller which my boys love to use their teeth and bite into!

Pears (quartered, cored, then each quarter cut into 3 wedges) I leave the skin on as above

Seedless Watermelon
(cut into small pieces (one of the boys faves but I leave it for home as it is so messy!)


Blueberries

Strawberries
 (halved or quartered)

Grapes (halved lengthwise)

Bananas

White or Yellow Peaches

White or Yellow Nectarines

Mango

Kiwifruit

SNACKS/DESSERT:

BLISS BALLS:
(Fridge or freezer)

SLICES/BARS/BROWNIES:

(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

MUFFINS/CUPCAKES:
(Freezes and defrosts well)
 

COOKIES/BISCUITS:
(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

BREAD/CAKE:
(Freezes and defrosts well)

 

SWEETS:
(Keeps in fridge for a few weeks)

 

SAVOURY:


Hard Boiled Eggs – Fill bowl with water just above the blades, place eggs into steaming basket – cook 15 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1
Tasty or cheddar cheese – pre-sliced/cut into thin pieces
Cheese sticks (these are softer, I would wait to introduce it around 10 months as I found the boys would squish it in their hands and smoosh it everywhere before it got to their mouths)

Babybel Cheese

Deli meats – ham, turkey, Skinnymixers Lunchbox Chicken Loaf

Shredded chicken (poached, roasted)

Crackers – Jatz, Ritz etc

Arnott’s Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits

Fruit straps (100% dehydrated fruit) I have made them like the Strawberry Chips but they have a really short shelf life when homemade (when the boys are older and eat more it’ll better!) but my recent fave are Annie’s Fruit Straps as they are great to leave in the baby bag
Mini Fruit Balls (link here) – can be frozen and defrosted

Cruskits – These are a great alternative to the ‘baby section’ rice crackers which are sooooo $$$$$$ which I use for snacks when we go out

Dried apricots
 
Dried apples

Sultanas 

Tinned pineapple pieces

Freeze dried fruit (I buy mine from Costco, Bellamy’s Organic also have some)

Veggie Straws (I also buy these from Costco but you can get them from the heath food section)
Skinnymixer’s Cheesy Pumpkin Puffs (link here) – freezes and reheats well

***With a spoon:
DRINKS:
Getting into their pizza pockets!
Wholemeal toast cheesy melt with Bolognese sauce #nomnomnom
 
 
Christmas/ Craft/ Non Thermomix/ Thermomix/ Twins

Advent Calendar for 1 year olds

After years of searching, I’ve finally found a wooden Advent Calendar that I am in love with!!! I got this beauty from Target!
As the boys are still young for little toys like yoyos, lollies/chocolates, activities like Christmas light watching (the boys are in bed before it’s dark!), this is my 25 days of Christmas advent Calendar activities suitable for 15 month old toddlers (and the family)!!
1. Take photos with Santa
2. Start wearing Christmas Pyjamas
3. Finger paint Christmas cards/wrapping paper
4. Read Christmas stories
5. Feed the birds some bird seed
6. Make salt dough hand print Christmas ornaments
7. Sing and dance to Christmas carols
8. Take Christmas themed photos at home
9. Make homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows (their first taste of hot chocolate!) https://thermobexta.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/thermobextas-heartwarming-hot-chocolate/
10. Check out Christmas displays at a shopping centre
11. Stocking game – place toys in Christmas stockings and get them to pull them out one by one to play with
12. Have a picnic in the backyard with Christmas themed food
13. Go the beach and make sandcastles
14. Make little canvas paintings for presents – use painters tape, and tape a shape/initial on a canvas, and finger print on top – when dry, peel off the painters tape!
15. Play with bubbles
16. Make easy ‘snow globes’ for presents
17. Make Christmas shapes out of red and green playdough
18. Feed the fish some bread
19. Run in the sprinklers in the garden
20. Play with Christmas stickers
22. Play with red and green balloons
25. Take family photos in front of the tree and open presents!!
I cut out little cards to write the activities on to put inside the Advent Calendar boxes – Christmas shapes – I placed 3 colours of paper together and cut them together once to save time!
Write the No.’s 1 to 25 onto the shapes
Write down the activities (see my list above)
Place them in the corresponding box
Advent Calendar all ready to go for December!!