Browsing Tag:

baby

Baby Food/ Baking/ Cookies/ Healthy/ Non Thermomix/ Snacks/ Thermomix

Egg Free Oat Cookies

I made these cookies especially for the girls (and also for the rest of the family) but particularly as I have been short of time/lazy and buying the girls their special and very $$$ baby friendly cookies from the baby food aisle! The are a firm and crunch cookie, very moreish, and perfect for lunchboxes!

Egg Free Oat Cookies

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water
  • 120 grams butter
  • 80 grams coconut sugar
  • 130 grams oats
  • 130 grams wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

1

Method (THERMOMIX):

2

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

3

Add the chia seeds and water into a small bowl, stir and let it sit for at least 15 minutes (it should form a gel texture).

4

Add butter and sugar to bowl. Melt 3 minutes/50 degrees/Speed 2.

5

Add oats, flour, vanilla, salt and chia seed mixture to bowl. Mix 10 seconds/Speed 4.

6

Roll into teaspoon sized balls and press down with a fork.

7

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned.

8

Method (REGULAR):

9

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

10

Add the chia seeds and water into a small bowl, stir and let it sit for at least 15 minutes (it should form a gel texture).

11

Place butter and sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Stir on low to medium heat until combined & melted. Remove from the stovetop.

12

Add oats, flour, vanilla, salt and chia seed mixture to bowl. Mix until well combined.

13

Roll into teaspoon sized balls and press down with a fork.

14

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned.

Notes

*Great for freezing. **Store in an airtight container. ***You can use 1 egg instead of the chia seed + water mixture.

Babies/ Parenting/ Photography/ Twins

Camilla and Madison’s Cake Smash

For Camilla and Madison’s first birthday, the amazingly talented Amelia from Cherry On Top Photography generously gifted a cake smash session for the girls. It was the best day ever for the girls having their first taste of cake and icing!! They definitely love cake just like mummy!!

I am soooo IN LOVE with these beautiful photos that have captured the girls perfectly! In all the photos it is Camilla (left) and Madison (right). Amelia captured their personalities perfectly and the photos were the first time they had ever sat on their bottom (they only ever sat with W shaped legs before this!).

If you are in Sydney, especially in the Hills District area, I highly recommend Cherry On Top Photography! As you can see, Amelia’s photos are gorgeous, she is a natural with the babies and it was such a fun, smooth running and enjoyable session!

Website: https://cherryontopphotography.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cherryontopphotography/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cherryontopphotography/

PS. I used the same backdrop for the girls birthday party and smash cake. It is a hula hoop I bought from Kmart, wrapped ribbon around it and I tied the ONE balloon & some fake greens onto it with fishing line. I cut up a bouquet of fake flowers and glued them on with a hot glue gun to change it up for the smash cake and to go with the pink floral theme. I was going to unravel it all for the boys to play with the hula hoop but now I’m keeping the frame as is and changing the middle number for the girls birthday each year! 💖💖

As much as I love making cakes for my boys, I am over the moon to make OTT girly girl cakes for my girls! The cakes I made for the girls’ smash cake session were using my Perfect Buttercream Icing and Eggless Vanilla Cake recipes. For the buttercream I used 5 different colours & piping nozzles – it pipes beautifully especially using the tricky russian icing tips! The cakes were eggless as the girls had been getting a localised reaction from egg around their mouths – their mouths get red for about an hour then it disappears. I know some people can be allergic/not allergic to eggs cooked in different ways but the girls hadn’t tried cake before (let alone cake with egg in it) so I didn’t want to take that risk with these precious photos taken! 

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/ lifestyle/ Parenting/ Twins

Tips to Relieve a Sick Snotty Baby

Madison

Camilla

Can you believe these happy faces were sooooo miserable and sick that they were in the ER just 4 days ago?

Mr Twins and A Blog received some great tips from a very helpful ER Doctor when he took the girls into the hospital (I was already in hospital with Ethan). We have been using these tips & tricks on the girls & they have both gotten better exponentially in the last few days! We have always used the steam shower, fess & snot sucker with our sick babies, but never thought to do it in this order & routine. This has helped us heaps & I am sharing our success to help your sick bubbas too!

FYI: If you hate snot talk, scroll on by! 👃🤧

Tips to relieve a snotty sick baby:

👇👇Do all milk feeds in the shower👇👇

Spray Fess spray (saline spray) into bubs nostrils & wait for a minute. Even if it is wet sloppy snot just spray it in there to loosen everything deep in their sinus (I used to only use the Fess if it was a drier snot but now use it even when they have wet drippy snot too)

Close the bathroom door, direct the shower head to the wall & turn the hot water on in the shower. Whilst the steam builds up, you can feed bubs some milk for a few mins while you wait for the Fess to settle them, or just go right in and suck the sh#t out of their noses with the snot sucker (aka Nasal Oral Aspirator – we use the Neilmed Naspira but I have heard NoseFrida is also great!) Yep the babies won’t like it & will most likely protest and flail around, but they’ll be happy and smiling when they can breathe after it! Just suck out as much snot as you can until no more snot comes out. It is all that yucky snot that us adults can blow out easily into a tissue but drips down into their sinus. The snot is also full of all the gross yucky germs that we want to get out of their body, so the more we can get that sh#t out, the better!

Now that the shower is steamed up, either stand inside the shower (@mrtwinsandablog does this) or place a stool in the doorway of the shower (I do this as the girls are too heavy for me to stand & feed for long periods) & feed them their milk whilst heads inside the steamed up shower space. Drinking the milk in the steam forces them to use their nose to breathe and clears their airways. The warm steam is also really comforting and helps them to sleep too.

We have been doing this with every single milk feed, including all the crazy night feeds whilst they’ve been sick and after weeks of snotty noses, they have been snot free & back to their happy selves today!

@mrtwinsandablog has also made a video on his Instagram page about it so check it out especially for those of you who are more visual!

What other tips & tricks have you found that has helped your sick bubbas?

Sick bubba photos from the past few weeks:

Babies/ Baby Food/ Breakfast/ Healthy/ Thermomix

Baby Pear Porridge

This is a variation of my Pear Porridge which is very baby friendly! I have been making this for the girls for their breakfast from when they turned 6 months old. It freezes and reheats really well and has an amazing smooth and creamy texture for a ‘baby puree’! This has been the girls all time favourite meal and is also my go to meal for them when they are sick as it’s delicious and nutricious!

For the rest of the family, I recommend trying my Pear Porridge (if you haven’t already!) It is a regular breakfast for myself, my husband and the boys in the cooler months!

 

Baby Pear Porridge

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 13 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 x pears (quartered and cored)
  • 40 grams oats
  • 10 grams desiccated coconut
  • 300 grams milk

Instructions

1

Add the pears to the bowl.

2

Blitz - 2 seconds/Speed 5.

3

Add the rest of the ingredients.

4

Cook - 13 minutes/90 degrees/Speed 2.

Notes

*For a smoother texture for younger babies, blitz an extra 3 seconds/Speed 5 after cooking. **For variations - add a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste/extract, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. ***Freezes/refrigerates and reheats well.

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

Baby Sensory Shaker Bottles

This morning the boys made sensory shaker bottles for their baby sisters!

Three years ago I made a water + food colouring version when the boys were this age however the water made it too heavy for the babies to lift up and shake, and I was always paranoid it would be stepped/sat on & leak coloured water! So today we did a dry version which was a fun craft activity for the boys! They absolutely loved making a little present for their sisters!

You can use whatever you have at home, but we used:

Clear plastic bottles with labels removed (an apple cider vinegar bottle and a juice bottle)
Rice
Red lentils
Beads
Sequins
Glitter
Pom poms
Coloured pipe cleaners
Foam shapes
Ribbon
Electric tape to secure the bottle cap (so it can’t be accidentally opened)

The girls are loving their bottles and the boys are having fun with them just as much as the babies so looks like we will have to make more!

Let me know if you make one for your little one(s)!!

Babies/ Parenting/ Photography

Baby Photo Tips

As some of you may know I love taking photos of my kids and post them on my Facebook pages (‘Thermotwinning’, ‘Twins and a Blog’ and my personal page) and my ‘Twins and a Blog’ Instagram account. I’m not a professional photographer, I have never done any photography course – these tips are just from my own personal experience!  I use social media as a tool to journal and be my photo album to look back at photos of my life and family. Taking pics of my bubbas is one of my favourite things to do! I took heeaaaps of daily photos of my boys since birth and have learnt aaaaallot in the past 3 years (especially having to get that perfect shot of BOTH of them!). I also love printing my photos into huge canvas prints around my house!

Everyone has different likes and tastes with their photos – I prefer portrait type photos (rather than ‘arty’ ones) as I love looking back and clearly seeing my babies faces. I took weekly photos of my boys for their first year, and have been doing the same for the girls (though their photos are more like every day to get through their gazillion outfits!)  – so it has been great to look back at my boys photos and compare them with the girls at the same age!

The easiest time to get in pics is before your bubs gets too mobile! Here are my tips for a perfect baby pic:


Use a firm but comfy flat surface on the floor. (In my opinion) the floor gets the most flattering angle for a baby if you take the photos right above their head & body as a birds eye view. Lie your bubs on a thick mat, sheepskin or a few folded blankets on the floor (keep it an even surface). I find it’s hard to get a good angle & they sink in too much if they are placed on a bed or couch.

Getting bubs to smile & look at the camera. Sometimes I have my phone in my right hand and shake a toy in my left hand right above my phone to gauge their attention. Most of the time I put my face right under my phone as I take multiple photos and make funny faces and voices to get them to smile.

Take photos about 30 mins after a feed – so they’re not hungry but also not regurgitating milk out the sides of their mouths.

Natural light – choose your spot. Use a bright spot in your house with natural ambient light from your windows but not direct sunlight (which then causes too many shadows). Have the top of their heads/sides of their body towards the light (i.e. don’t put yourself between the bubs and the light or it will get extra shadow). My favourite spot in my house is in the lounge room, a few metres away from the windows, with the curtains half closed (so it’s not too bright, but enough to get natural light in).

Use your phone – don’t bother with fancy cameras. I have always used my phone to take photos of my kids (I’ve always used a Samsung Android phone, I’m currently using a Samsung S8+). Not only is your phone easy to get out and snap away, but the quality of photos from phones amazing these days. With babies you have to be quick and phone’s take photos in an instant – I find there is tiny bit a lag/delay with shots if using a proper camera, and milliseconds count when you want to capture a smile or non kicking legs!

Take gazillion photos! With the digital age it costs nothing to take gazillion photos! I take about 50 – 100 photos for the 1 shot I post. I then go back into my phone, choose a few best photos with smiles and non blurry arms/legs from them moving, then delete the rest.

Edit your photo. Don’t worry about getting the unfolded clothes & toys lying next to bubs in the image. Crop the photo around your bubs and mat. I personally prefer portrait type shots (not arty shots) so I can look back and see their faces with how I remember them. And I also don’t like super duper filters – babies are so perfect you don’t need those full on filters! I usually just brighten & highlight the photo to reduce any shadows. If I do use a filter it is a ‘portrait’ filter on an app called ‘Snapseed’ (but it gets quite dark so I brighten  it up alot after that)

….And don’t forget the toddlers!
My only tip for taking photos for toddlers is BRIBERY! Most times my boys will voluntarily pose for pics for me or even ask me to take pics of them (trained them since birth lol!) but for the other times I have a secret stash of M & Ms which works a treat!
Good luck and happy snapping! Post/send me your baby spam if you give these 👆 a go!!

Love Sophia x

Christmas/ Craft/ Twins

Christmas Paddlepop Stick Ornaments

I LOVE craft and I LOVE Christmas! It’s exciting that the boys are at an age where they can enjoy craft! The boys really enjoyed making these and it was the first time they used PVA glue to stick things on!

This is an easy Christmas ornament which I have been giving as presents to my friends and family. The size of the loop is a perfect size for the boys to be able to place the ornaments easily and proudly onto the tree themselves. 🙂 🙂

YOU NEED:

  • Paddlepop sticks (coloured or plain)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • String (cut into the length of a paddlepop stick)
  • Scissors (to cut the string ^^)
  • PVA glue (for the kids to use)
  • Buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms to decorate

ASSEMBLY:

Adults/older kids

  1. Stick together 3 x paddlepop sticks with a hot glue gun to form a triangle shape.
  2. Loop the string together and stick on both ends of the string to one of the corners of the triangle.

Kids

  1. Use a paddlepop stick to dip into PVA glue and spread onto the paddlepop stick triangle.
  2. Decorate with buttons, wooden shapes and pom poms.

Note: I found the pom poms a little harder to stick on, so I had to restick a few with the hot glue gun.

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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.