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A cheeky trip to London

Me and my partner Sam decided to have a weekend away alone before baby number three arrives (six weeks to go – gulp). We chose London as I love walking round the markets picking up what Sam calls ‘tat’.

London is great for vintage finds and Sam always jokes I end up coming home with a weird looking door knob or something Alice in Wonderland related.

We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Islington and what a lovely hotel it was. The hotel manager Tom looked after us so well. He knew I was pregnant so kept sending up fruit and chocolate to our room for me. Such a lovely touch and kept me going whilst walking around London.

We saw the play The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre and I can honestly say I have never heard a crowd laugh as much as I did that night. Great show!

We also visited Borough Market and the Tower of London where there is currently an art installation by Paul Cummins called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red’. Each day volunteers are placing ceramic poppies in the ground to represent all the British soldiers that died in World War One 100 years ago.

“How many ceramic poppies is that?” I asked Sam. “888,246” Sam replied. I was shocked at that figure. A very moving piece of artwork.

We also went for some lovely food at the Hoxley and Porter restaurant in lslington. The restaurant theme was a 1920s train and the food was nothing short of amazing. I should have taken a picture of my food like all the Instagram lovers do, but I was so hungry it didn’t touch the sides! I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area.

What were the twins doing I hear you ask? They were at my parents having a whale of a time, as you can see from the picture!

Ted's Veg at Borough Market

Ted’s Veg at Borough Market

Borough Market: We bought some of these mushroom goodies for a family member

Borough Market: We bought some of these mushroom goodies for a family member

Smoking area at Borough Market - great idea!

Smoking area at Borough Market – great idea!

Poor photo skills from myself - the redness of the ceramic poppies is so bright it is breathtaking

Poor photo skills from myself – the redness of the ceramic poppies is so bright it is breathtaking

Alice in Wonderland brooch I picked up at Exmouth Market. Sam was right!

Alice in Wonderland brooch I picked up at Exmouth Market. Sam was right!

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The twins have a go at baking

I use the word ‘baking’ but really my first attempt was only chocolate crispy cakes with the twins! I thought it was a good tester to see if they liked it without it getting too chaotic.

Did they like it? It involved chocolate so of course they did. Their Aunty Nadia had just bought them some Cath Kidson aprons for their 2nd birthday and they love wearing them so I thought I would put them to good use.

The girls didn’t quite get the hang of breaking up the chocolate and putting it in the bowl. Instead they put the chocolate cubes in their mouth. They looked like they were in absolute heaven.

I was nervous about melting the chocolate in front of them as they have a habit of clinging to my legs shouting ‘Up!’ when I am near the cooker but I think they were still high on chocolate as I was melting it in the pan.

Adding the cornflakes made me laugh as their hands were straight in trying to scoff the warm chocolate coated flakes. They were really good at putting the cornflake mixture into the cake cases, something I thought they would struggle with.

To be honest I thought making the crispy cakes would be difficult whilst trying to keep both of them still but it ended up being really good fun. Plus there was no sick involved at the end, which I half expected after all the chocolate they ate!

No chocolate in the bowl yet...

No chocolate in the bowl yet…

With a little help from myself some made it in the bowl

With a little help from myself some made it in the bowl

Melting on the stove

Melting on the stove

Helping put the cake cases out

Helping put the cake cases out

Chocolate all melted, now for the messy bit...

Chocolate all melted, now for the messy bit…

Tamsin's favourite bit!

Tamsin’s favourite bit!

Phoebe liked this part too

Phoebe liked this part too

Germ control went out the window at this point

Germ control went out the window at this point

Putting the mixture in the cases

Putting the mixture in the cases

Licking the bowl, mummy's favourite bit!

Licking the bowl, mummy’s favourite bit!

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The twins turn two!

The fact the twins turned two last week totally baffled me. The last two years have flown by, full of drama and lots of fun!

The first two months of their lives involved being cooped up in Stepping Hill Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, then the fun started when we got home.

We decided not to have a party mainly because I am exhausted with this pregnancy and I was also slightly anxious in case I gave birth early again (this baby’s due date is the same as the twins!).

Grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins popped round to see the twins in the afternoon after we visited the Blue Planet Aquarium in the morning. My mum made an amazing zoo cake that the twins loved. I wasn’t expecting it as I only asked her the night before if she could make one as I totally forgot! Baby brain has officially kicked in.

The Blue Planet Aquarium was also a last minute decision. Phoebe and Tamsin loved the conveyor belt that took them through the shark section. They can now say the word ‘wow!’ which was said numerous times at this point of the tour. They also loved the huge spiders and started to sing ‘Incy wincy spider’.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the Blue Planet Aquarium. It was looking very tired and needs updating if you ask me. The girls were free, which was great but it still cost £30 for me and Sam.

It was a tick off the list and we probably won’t go back, but it has certainly given us an insight into how much day trips cost for families. When we will have to start paying for the twins it is going to cost a fortune.

Time to start saving now!

P.s Check out their first pair of Doc Martens!

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The twins meet Fred the tortoise

My partner Sam had many pets as a child but Fred always stood out as the unusual one. He is a tortoise that lives in the garden.

Sam’s family inherited Fred when they moved into a new house over 30 years ago. The information at that time was you shouldn’t move a tortoise from its habitat otherwise it will die so the Hadfield’s were happy to take on the role of looking after the new family member.

Sam once took Fred to a local tortoise fair and was told that Fred was actually a girl but the name has just stuck. In the summer she comes out of hibernation and casually strolls around Sam’s mum’s garden. She loves strawberries but can be caught munching on her own poo, which let’s be honest is fairly grim.

The twins were lucky enough to meet Fred at the weekend whilst they were out playing in the garden with their cousins Dennis and Eric. I have to say they were fascinated. For some reason the girls automatically wanted to put their foot on Fred and tried to press down on her shell so I had to watch them carefully so they didn’t hurt her.

I still find it strange that Sam has a family pet tortoise, it’s a pet you don’t tend to come across these days in terms of roaming free around a garden. Phoebe and Tamsin certainly enjoyed watching her!

Tamsin watching Fred head for the bushes

Tamsin watching Fred head for the bushes

Cousin Dennis getting involved in the action

Cousin Dennis getting involved in the action

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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

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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!

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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!