Summer fun with the twins

This past week has been scorching hot. Well, scorching hot for the UK! We are used to lots of rain in Manchester and despite one thunderstorm it has been baking.

This is great news for the twins who can spend the whole day outside rather than climbing the walls inside at home. The warm weather makes it so much easier for me to entertain the twins, it is definitely a bonus living somewhere that is hot!

The twins have enjoyed playing with chunky chalk by drawing all over the stepping stones, walls, decking, me and the walls inside the house when I’m not looking. Yes the house is trashed.

My grandparents also bought them a sandpit this week, a Little Tikes Turtle sandpit. My dad bought some silver sand from the local merchants as it was cheaper than buying it from a toy shop. The girls haven’t been out of the sandpit since it arrived!

Phoebe and Tamsin also have a keen interest in the herbs I am growing in the garden. They love the mint and rosemary and constantly pull sprigs off to smell. They enjoyed helping me pull some of the mint up this week as I am having trouble controlling it. It is taking over the whole garden – I should have put it in a pot!

My brother Joe also bought the girls a treat this week – two HUGE teddy bears from Costco. I think he didn’t consider the fact I live in a small semi-detached house, however I found it hilarious that they take over the whole playroom. The girls absolutely love the teddies and enjoy jumping on them as well as chilling with them whilst having their milk. 

Take a look at the pics below, in particular my impressive chalk drawings!

Helping me pull out the uncontrollable mint

Helping me pull out the uncontrollable mint

I'm pretty happy with my chalk rainbow I have to say

I’m pretty happy with my chalk rainbow I have to say

...and my princess crown

…and my princess crown

A fish and flower also made an appearance

A fish and flower also made an appearance

Teddy cuddles

Teddy cuddles

First time on the train!

Last weekend me and Sam took the twins on their first train ride and their faces were hilarious.

We caught the train at Hazel Grove Station and getting the double buggy on was actually not as hard as I thought. Having said that Sam was pushing it so it was probably more difficult that it looked!

When the train started moving the twins panicked a bit as it made a loud noise but they were soon on the seats looking out the window pointing at everything.

They were fascinated at checking out the train passengers and they also attracted a few stares and smiles. The train inspector was even saying ‘ooh it’s twins. They look so identical!’

Going on the train is one thing I have never fancied doing myself but I think now I have done it with Sam I will be more daring and go on my own!

Walking up to the train with daddy

Walking up to the train with daddy

The train starts to move!

The train starts to move!

Tamsin always puts her loom band on half way up her arm for some reason. Cool toddler!

Tamsin always puts her loom band on half way up her arm for some reason. Cool toddler!

The dreaded sickness bug

Last week the twins went to their first festival, a little one in Hazel Grove called Headlands Festival.

They loved the music and playing with their cousins Marcy and Johnny. All the kids in our group flocked around the twins, children are fascinated with them and interestingly always get their names right. Young kids always know who is who, it is only adults that get confused!

A day or two after the festival Tamsin was struck with a nasty sickness bug. Probably caught from the festival….and it was horrendous. Phoebe was really upset Tamsin was being sick and was wretching next to her even though she wasn’t ill. Trying to settle Phoebe and look after Tamsin was tough and resulted in a long 24 hours.

Once Tamsin recovered, Phoebe fell ill with the sickness bug. Then me, then Sam and then my brother who was visiting from London on his first week off since Christmas! The girls are also teething so the combination was hard work. 

I have to say for myself, been violently sick whilst having a baby wriggle in your tummy was not the best feeling I have had. I almost didn’t make my 20 week scan due to feeling so weak but I dragged myself to it to check the baby was ok. All is good thank goodness.

So as we recovered from the bug we have done odd bits but nothing too extravagant. We visited Grandpa and Kerrie down in Telford where we went to a fab farm where the girls fed the goats. They loved it and giggled all the way round.

They helped my mum trim the hedge in her garden and visited a park in Wilmslow whilst Sam had a puncture repaired on our car.

My mum also gave the twins Play-doh for the first time much to their delight. They played with my brothers Danny and Joe. Danny is a professional model maker so as you can imagine his Play-doh figures were brilliant. My duck on the other hand was shocking. My Play-doh skills were more rusty than I thought and I am going to keep quiet that I have an A-Level in Art!

Listening to a band

Listening to a band

First time playing with Playdoh

First time playing with Play-doh

My brothers Danny and Joe

My brothers Danny and Joe

My duck!

My duck!

Danny just casually playing around with Jenga as he watches TV

Danny just casually playing around with Jenga as he watches TV

Playing in the park - they didn't like this swing!

Playing in the park – they didn’t like this swing!

Gardening with Grandma

Gardening with Grandma

Having a break!

Having a break!

The twins new fairy house

I have been excited to share with you this amazing fairy house that my Grandad has made for the twins!

It has taken a few months to make from scratch and my Grandad has been slaving away in his workshop (that he built himself of course) to get it finished in time for the summer.

I have been taking pictures along the way and it has been so interesting to see how it has been built. I originally saw the design on Pinterest and then my grandad added a few of his design ideas such as the copper gutters and window box.

Of course the twins absolutely love it and play with it most days in the herb garden. Actually herb garden sound quite posh, it is just a herb boarder in the garden!

Take a look at the pics below, I think it’s pretty impressive!

20140707-161842-58722485.jpg

20140707-161951-58791599.jpg

20140707-165513-60913411.jpg

20140707-165512-60912655.jpg

Am I the only one who doesn’t like being pregnant?

As you might have noticed I haven’t written a blog for a while and that is mainly because I have gone into hibernation since being pregnant.

To my surprise, this pregnancy has been a lot worse than my twin pregnancy. Considering I am only pregnant with one baby this time I just don’t know how!

I have had morning sickness, which I didn’t have with the twins. The tiredness this time round has been very difficult as well. A lot of people have said it is because I am running round after two toddlers but I don’t think I can blame them. I honestly think I would feel this awful if it was my first pregnancy.

I have been having a two hour nap when the twins have their nap in the afternoon and my god I have needed it. I have slacked on making their homemade food everyday and often found myself shoving some fish fingers in the oven instead. I simply don’t have the energy to cook.

I have also felt quite low with this pregnancy, again something I didn’t suffer from first time round. They do say every pregnancy is different!

I have also voiced my concerns about this pregnancy to the midwife since the twins were born at 29 weeks after my waters broke unexpectedly. I was referred to Stepping Hill Hospital to have a little counselling session with one of the doctors at the antenatal clinic.

I had questions such as:

What are the chances of me going into labour early again?

Will I be monitored more closely with this pregnancy?

Will I have extra scans?

What are the chances of me having pain relief this time? (The thought of no pain relief this time makes me panic)

I certainly have a negative association with giving birth after the last time was so traumatic. The doctor I spoke to was an American lady and she was lovely. She reassured me that I would be monitored more closely and has booked me in for a check up at 28 weeks and 36 weeks, which is great.

She also said there is no reason why I can’t ask for pain relief and the reason I wasn’t allowed any last time is because the twins arrived very quickly due to them being so small. Phew!

I love the Maternity Unit at Stepping Hill Hospital. The hospital always seems to get bad press but I have had such good experiences there. The staff are fantastic.

On the pregnancy front, I have decided I just don’t enjoy being pregnant. Lots of women do, saying they feel wonderful during pregnancy and have that amazing glow. Where my bloody glow is I have no idea as I currently look a character out of The Addams Family. Pregnancy for me is definitely a means to an end.

Anyway, to lighten up this blog the girls had their first haircut recently and were as good as gold. In fact, they loved it! I have kept their hair in an envelope for keepsake. Plus my poppa got a rare photo of them both looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. That never happens!

Phoebe giggling whilst having her first hair cut

Phoebe giggling whilst having her first hair cut

Tamsin enjoying a trim

Tamsin enjoying a trim

The twins visit Tatton Park

Last weekend I wanted to take the twins somewhere new. The only downside was the typical Manchester weather, lots and lots of rain!

I thought to myself the Swedish are known for being the outdoors type and take their kids out no matter what the weather is like, they just wrap up for the occasion. So I put the girls waterproof dungarees and coats on, and got out their wellies.

One thing I am finding with the girls is that they always have the correct gear to wear unlike me and Sam. We both seriously need to invest in some outdoor wear as we often come home drenched or freezing cold.

We decided to drive to Tatton Park in Knutsford, Cheshire and I am so happy we did. I had forgotten how amazing the place is. It is full of wildlife, I was even impressed with the trees that were hundreds of years old and many looked like a tree out of a Disney film.

We ended up being very lucky as the rain disappeared and the warm sun came out as soon as we arrived. We headed for Tatton Park’s farm and much to our delight we pretty much had the whole farm to ourselves except for two other couples with their kids.

Another reason why we were lucky was that one of the farm’s pigs had just given birth to 13 piglets the day before. We headed to the piggery first and thanks to the dreadful weather an hour before, we had it all to ourselves. Phoebe was quite scared of the pigs but I didn’t blame her, they were jumping up at us clearly very excited to see us. Either that or they thought the twins might be food!

One thing that did made make me laugh was that there was a huge pig called Tamzin in the piggery. Spelt with a ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ but I was surprised as I never come across the name Tamsin, which was one of the reasons why I liked the name as it is not that common.

Anyway, we finally reached Myrtle the pig and her 13 triplets. The girls were fascinated and had a few pictures taken with them. Well, Sam took a few!

I would say out of all the animals (donkeys, goats, hens, reindeers), the baby lambs were their favourite. They were so friendly and let the twins stroke them, which the girls absolutely loved. In fact, I have never seen their grins look so big.

The staff at the farm were very friendly and the twins got a free Lindt chocolate bunny on their way out in the gift shop. Even the man who took our parking fee at the entrance was very friendly and told us about the 13 piglets.

Tatton Park is great for walks and has some great events on throughout the year. We will certainly be visiting again this summer. I have my eye on the RHS Flower Show event!

Myrtle and her 13 piglets

Myrtle and her 13 piglets

Myrtle slept the whole time. Not surprised after giving birth to 13!

Myrtle slept the whole time. I’m not surprised after giving birth to 13!

Walking back after a nice couple of hours at Tatton Park's farm

Walking back after a nice couple of hours at Tatton Park’s farm

Splashing in the muddy puddles

Splashing in the muddy puddles

 

Geotagging: photos of your children

Writing this post has made me realise it is a sad sign of our times. The image above was tweeted this week on the Intego website.

I was made aware of geotagging a while back and I was surprised that all iPhones have this Geotag function automatically turned on and the user has to turn it off manually if they don’t want it.

The Geotag function adds the GPS location of where your picture was taken. This is something that doesn’t sit well with me when I take pictures of the twins, especially if I upload them to Facebook or Twitter.

I have turned off this feature on my iPhone and I just wanted to spread the word about it incase you wanted to do the same.

All you need to do is go to Settings on your iPhone, then Privacy and select Location Services. You can then turn off Camera and anything else on your list of apps. I have turned off my Facebook and Twitter apps as well just to be safe.

I would have thought this feature would be something you would have to activate yourself rather it being automatically on. Apple must think this feature has benefits but I am certainly not keen on it.

Either way spread the word, it’s one we should all know about.