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twins

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/ Parenting/ Twins

I grow twins. What’s your superpower?

This day exactly one year ago, I found out I was pregnant. When that ‘pee on a stick’ came out positive, I was excited to go through a singleton pregnancy. I thought it would be amazing (and easier) to experience a singleton pregnancy after my twin pregnancy with the boys.
A day after I found out, morning sickness hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was morning sick when pregnant with the boys but not even remotely close to how sick I felt this time round. The way I explain it to my husband and friends who haven’t had babies or experienced bad morning sickness before…is that it feels like the WORST hangover in your life, where your head is spinning, your heart’s beating out of your chest, & you want to spew 24/7 even with an empty stomach. After 2 weeks of hardly eating or drinking, I ended up in hospital and was diagnosed with HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum). I hadn’t had an ultrasound yet, and I remember the doctors and nurses joking that I was pregnant with twins again…and we all laughed and laughed and laughed!! Well, a few days later I went and had my dating scan (the first scan of a pregnancy). @mrtwinsandablog didn’t come with me because we thought it would just be a standard scan showing us one baby. As the radiologist was about to do the ultrasound, I told him that I have twin boys, and that we only found out they were twins at 10 weeks (at our 6 week scan the report said there was 1 baby and a shadow showing indications of a blood clot or failed twin pregnancy). He was really quiet for a while and then he said I was having twins! And I laughed and laughed and laughed. I seriously thought he was joking, until he showed me the actual scan and I was like WTF! I didn’t even have the words in me to tell my husband on the phone that we were having ‘twins’ again – I just cried (and laughed) and said there were 2 babies in there! He was jumping up and down screaming in excitement, and was the one excited for all of us for most of the pregnancy (since I was mostly sick and feeling sorry for myself!)
Fast forward a year, and even now, looking at both sets of our twins before my very eyes, I still can’t believe it!!! And I just laugh and laugh and laugh!!
Babies/ Twins

The difference between DCDA and MODI Identical Twins

Up until Ethan & Harley were 10 months old, we thought they were fraternal (non identical) ‘DCDA’ twins – as they were in separate sacs/placentas. We could always tell them apart as to us they had a different head/face shape (Ethan’s head was more cone shaped after a natural birth as he was stuck there for a while clearing the path for Harley ) however our family/friends & strangers couldn’t tell them apart always asking if they were identical, and we kept explaining to everyone that they are siblings so of course they are going to look very similar!

Their milestones, height, and weight were eerily always nearly identical since birth so we decided to get a twin zygosity DNA test by EasyDNA when they were 10 months old just to be really sure. And what do you know, we found out they were in fact identical twins with identical DNA!

30% of ‘DCDA’ Dichorionic Diamniotic twins (separate sacs/placentas) are identical twins and the only way to confirm this is via a DNA test after they are born!

In comparison, Camilla & Madison are ‘MODI’ Monochorionic Diamniotic twins (2 sacs/1 placenta) so we knew very early on in the pregnancy that they were identical twins.

The way the placenta/sacs form for identical twins is determined at how early on the fertilised egg splits (ie. the boys fertilised egg split earlier than the girls).

Identical twins are not genetic, each pregnancy has the same random chance of creating them! The statistics for 2 sets of identical twins is about 1:100,000 and for 1 set of ID boys/1 set of ID girls is 1:200,000. And with that, we now have a complete family of 6! 👫

Baking/ Cake/ Chocolate/ Non Thermomix/ Thermomix/ Twins

Car Drip Cakes – Ethan and Harley’s 2nd Birthday Cake

Car Drip Cakes for my 2 year old car loving boys!!

I wanted to incorporate the fun look of a drip cake, with cars which the boys are loving right now! My husband had doubts of it looking like a ‘car’ whilst I was making this, but the end result turned out better than I thought, and the boys kept on pointing at their cakes very excitedly saying ‘CAR!’ so mission accomplished!! 🙂

These are the first cakes that I’ve made using ALL of my recipes which is exciting and special for myI boys!!

The cakes consist of Milo Fudge Cakes topped with Perfect Buttercream Icing, drizzled with White Chocolate Ganache, and decorated with Fruit Jelly Lolly wheels, silver sprinkles and gold leaf windows, and a chocolate smiley face.

A FEW DAYS BEFORE…

A few days before the boys birthday, I made 4 x Milo Fudge Cakes (I only needed 3, but made 1 spare) – each ‘car’ consisted of the Milo Fudge Cake baked in a loaf pan, and a 15cm round cake pan (cut in half for the top of the car shape). I cooked the cakes a few minutes longer so it was more like a Milo mudcake (less gooey fudgy) so that it was firm to decorate. Once the cakes were cooled, I double wrapped the cakes in plastic cling wrap, double wrapped them in foil, then popped in them in the freezer.

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TWO NIGHTS BEFORE…

I made 1 x batch of Fruit Jelly Lollies – I used apple and blackcurrant juice, added edible black glitter, and blue gel food colouring to make the jelly really dark. I then poured it into a silicon baking pan and set it in the fridge overnight.

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THE NIGHT BEFORE…

I made another 1 x batch of Fruit Jelly Lollies – this time with coconut water (so it was a light colour). I then used cookie cutters to cut out ‘E’, ‘H’ and ‘2’ from the dark blue/black glitter Fruit Jelly Lolly mixture. I then placed the cut out ‘E’, ‘H’ and ‘2’ into silicon muffin trays, and then poured the coconut water Fruit Jelly Lollies over them to set in the fridge. I could see the colouring spread into the light coloured coconut water jelly, however only the colouring spread into this, not the glitter, so the ‘E’, ‘H’ and ‘2’ were still quite visible.

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I took out the cakes from the freezer and decorated the cakes whilst frozen/defrosting. I cut the circle shaped cake in half with a large sharp knife. I attached the bottom loaf shaped cake to the cake tray with melted chocolate (so it doesn’t move around).

I then made 2 x batches of Perfect Buttercream Icing at a time (2 x batches per Car Drip Cake = 4 x batches in total for the 2 cakes) with Wilton ‘Teal’ Gel Food Colouring. I iced a ‘crumb layer’ of the cakes, and attached the cakes with a wooden skewer to keep them in place. I then placed the cakes to set in the fridge for an hour.

Once the crumb layer was firm, I iced another layer of buttercream icing, and smoothed the icing with a dough scraper (this took the looongest time out of everything!)

I then let the cakes set in the fridge overnight.

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IN THE MORNING…

I made the White Chocolate Ganache, and let it sit on the bench for about an hour to thicken. I then dripped it on the sides and middle of the cake with a metal teaspoon, then placed the cakes back in the fridge to set. I added white chocolate melts/dark chocolate chips for eyes, and dark chocolate piped on as a smily face. I then added silver sprinkles in the shape of windows, gold leaf on the drips inside the ‘windows’ and then attached the Fruit Jelly Lolly wheels with toothpicks.

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