- - two become four | a blog about our life with twins... and lots more

29 May 2011

Tilly - Bringer of Good Cheer

It has been a week of mostly sick and poo (and also excruciating sinuses for me) in our household. But thankfully one little star in particular has kept us sane and smiling throughout it all.

Tilly... who, on entering Grumps' house to be confronted with a stack of three tins off chocolates, exclaimed "Oh crikey!". Unfortunately for her they were all empty. We have absolutely no idea where she has picked up the expression, and none of us use it!

Tilly... who vomited silently all over herself (whilst lying on Daddy), surveyed her latest 'creation' and exclaimed "Cool!". Obviously a word that I use far too much, and definitely not the one we used at that moment in time!

Tilly... who did her first poo on the potty tonight! Go Tilly! My little girl is growing up so quickly. I can't believe it is only three months until her and Jasper turn 2. Where. Has. The. Time. Gone?

Thank you Tilly for brightening our week :)

Oh, and in case you are wondering... the other arm of her sleeve can be found here! It's way too small for her now but she obviously wanted to wear it. Who am I to deny the wishes of a poorly child!

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart 

27 May 2011

Wipe Out Waste with Johnson's Baby

Johnson's Baby Wipe Out Waste Launch

As a family with twin toddlers we get through a lot of baby wipes. But did you know that although the empty packets are recyclable, most councils do not have the facilities to recycle that particular type of plastic?

Earlier this week we headed to London for the launch event of Johnson's Baby's new Wipe Out Waste campaign in partnership with TerraCycle. As of this week, instead of throwing out those empty packets you can download a prepaid label and send them off to be 'upcycled' into a range of items, such as bibs and mouse mats, and help do your bit for the planet.

It's so easy:
  1. Collect your empty Johnson's Baby Wipes packs. For every one pack you send in, a charity of your choice will be creditted with 2p.
  2. Register online, download a prepaid label and send in your empty packs to TerraCycle.
  3. TerraCycle will upcycle the collected packs, transforming them into unique, stylish and eco-responsible products that you'll want to get your hands on.

The event was held at Maggie & Rose, an amazing members club for families in the Kensington area, where Tilly and Jasper were in their element! Well, Tilly definitely... it took a while for Jasper to feel comfortable, and even then he decided to have a bit of a tantrum for some bizarre, unknown reason! Tilly probably touched him or something! Anyway, the staff there are fabulous and treated them to an afternoon with a picnic lunch and plenty of crafting. So, all-in-all, a fabulous aftertoon and an exciting campaign. Do make sure to let everyone you know who has children.

Johnson's Baby Wipe Out Waste Launch

26 May 2011

Giveaway: 2 Annabel Karmel Weaning Bundles

Time's Up!

The winners of the weaning kits are #48 Nikki Keen and #60 Sunita Sohi

annabel karmel weaning bundle giveaway

I think Annabel Karmel must be the first name to fall from anyone's lips when discussing weaning recipes. The queen of baby care, and lifesaver of mothers across the world!

When I was younger my standard phrase when discussing recipes was "Delia says... ", this later became "Nigella says...", and now I am a mother it is more often than not "Annabel says..."! I love her books and pots - they have become a firm favourite in our household.

That's why I am super excited about this week's giveaway. To celebrate the launch of Annabel Karmel’s Organic Chilled Purees available in Sainsbury’s, Annabel is very generously giving two readers the chance to win an Annabel Karmel weaning bundle. The prize includes: Annabel's latest book; Weaning, Make It Easy Food Cube Tray and Make It Easy Stackable Weaning Pots.

Weaning includes 50 delicious, nutritious puree recipes and 3 menu planners that will show you exactly what to feed your baby, and when. Starting at the very beginning with basic, but crucial, details, such as what type of spoon to use and the time of day to first offer solids, and covering other common concerns like when to begin weaning, fussy eaters and the latest allergy advice. Input from the ‘Weaning Club’, parents of six babies who are expertly guided by Annabel through the weaning process, troubleshooting any problems they, and you may encounter along the way, will steer you and your baby along the right path to solid food.

Hmmm... Tilly and Jasper are just starting to go through their first fussy stage (I guess it had to happen eventually!), so I might have to think about this one for myself!

How To Enter

To enter simply head over to Annabel Karmel, take a look around, then come back to answer the question and fill in your details in this form. I've decided to make you work a bit harder for it this week by posing a slightly more challenging question... you will have to have a good read of the site to find the answer!

Contest ends at noon on Thursday, June 2nd.

By entering this competition you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.

Good luck!

21 May 2011

I like it!

There has been a lot of comment this week about the Israeli couple who have named their child 'Like' after the handy little Facebook button. Most of the press has been negative, so I thought I would throw my two-penneth into the ring.

I actually like it!

Yes, that's right. I like it!

It's unusual. It's short and snappy. And it's definitely 'of the moment', but not the kind of name that is going to find itself in the company of others with the same name - unlike Beyonce, Kylie, or whatever the favoured celebrity name is at the moment.

I admire the parents for choosing to name their daughter after something so notably now.

I love the Facebook like button. I don't know where I'd be without it!

In fact I miss it when I'm not on Facebook. How many times do you find yourself reading a text message, tweet, or email and find your right index finger twitching to click that lovely little button that isn't there?

Perhaps it's pure laziness, but to me the like button is the quick and easy way to let someone know that you agree with what they've said (wrote). No more needs to be said... you 'like' it. End of.

Why waste time typing out a reply concurring with the sender when you can do it with just one click of a button?

Like I said, perhaps I am just lazy. I like the like button. And I like the name.

Please feel free to 'like' this post if you agree :)

20 May 2011

Friday Find - Vintage Kit

I am completely in love with Vintage Kit. Just look at the dreamy cotton dresses that bring back nostalgic memories of the good old days when you would spend the whole of the summer playing outside... with boys. You'd ride around on bikes giving croggies to passengers, and run around the cul-de-sac in various states of undress and no-one would care. Ah... those were the days :)

Their vintage Disney range is fabulous too. I can just picture Tilly in the Thumper or Bambi dress, or Jasper in a pair of cute, denim dungarees!

19 May 2011

Distraction Techniques

I have actually managed to find something that will keep Tilly and Jasper completely entertained for a whole half hour!

It's amazing. Thirty minutes for me to get stuff done without worrying about little hands and feet getting in the way.

I can make an important phone call without the person on the other end of the line thinking that there is some kind of children's fight club going on in the background.

I can do the washing up without the fear that Tilly will, yet again, rifle through all of the kitchen drawers and leave various implements and utensils in random places around the house.

I can cook the dinner or have a quick shower (with the door open - the bathroom door is directly opposite the living room door) and not return to complete and utter devastation.

And my new-found secret weapon? The recording of The Gruffalo that has been sitting in our SKY+ box for over 2 years! Why didn't I think of it before?!

They sit transfixed. Tilly now even asks for 'Lello' to be put on. Although she could also be saying hello or yellow - they're all the same in Tilly-talk. Hello yellow Gruffalo :)

What distraction techniques do you use? Any other suggestions for alternatives to the Gruffalo... we've watched it 4 times today!

Giveaway: The Playwrap by Bondie Bird

Time's Up!

The winner of the Playwrap is #2 Sharon Donnelly

I am so excited about this week's giveaway. It's a fabulous new product designed by a mum of twins, and looks like an ideal way to entertain a little one. We were offered the opportunity to review one, but sadly I feel it is below the age-range of Tilly and Jasper now... so I asked if I could give my readers the chance to win one instead.

The Bondie Bird Playwrap™ has been designed to be worn around a carer’s shoulders - as well as plane seats, car windows etc. - the Playwrap provides a travel-friendly alternative to previously less portable play mats and cot, gym or bouncer mobiles and even comes with its own handy travel bag. Featuring interchangeable toys, textures and tones for rich and diverse development – it’s a multi-functional nursery accessory as mobile as mum.

A parent herself, Playwrap’s™ creator Francine Lyle comments, “The Playwrap™ was born out of a genuine need. As a mother of twins, I was always looking for easy and practical ways to stimulate my babies. When they outgrew the play mat, I struggled to find fun and different toys to stimulate them with. At 6 months, they were fascinated by my beaded necklace and by pulling my hair. I imagined something tactile and portable, which would give me the option of watching them up close while they explored. A patient aunt was coincidentally teaching me to sew and amongst the nappies and late nights I had my eureka Playwrap™ moment!”

Suitable for newborns - 18 months with a RRP of £28, the Bondie Bird Playwrap™ is available at selected branches of John Lewis, the NCT on-line store, a select number of other stockists, and on the Bondie Bird website.

How To Enter

To enter simply head over to Bondie Bird, take a look around, then come back to answer the question and fill in your details below.

Contest ends at noon on Thursday, May 26th.

By entering this competition you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.

18 May 2011

Love the outdoors? Love your hands? Here's a great competition for you...

Cuticura, the No.1 UK Hand Sanitiser, is holding a daily giveaway for the month of May. £100 of Snow+Rock vouchers are being given away daily to help promote their campaign for the great British outdoors.

Cuticura know that times are tough and every penny counts. The drop in disposable incomes has led parents to look for new, inexpensive ways to keep their families entertained. So they’re rediscovering – and falling in love all over again with - outdoors activities like picnicking, camping, hiking and biking. That’s why Cuticura is championing the outdoorsy lifestyle with its new Love Your Hands Outdoors campaign and competition.

All you need to do to enter is select your favourite outdoor activity and enter your details, and you can enter as many times as you like for each daily prize!

Perfect for hand hygiene on the go, Cuticura is a fast, effective and hygienic alternative when you can’t get to soap and water. It kills 99.99% of bacteria. Available in a range of convenient formats to fit easily into your handbag, glove compartment or your pocket. Suitable for the entire family.

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post in the form of product samples.

10 May 2011

I don't know about you but...

I wish Tesco, and in fact all supermarkets, had more double trolleys.

There have been quite a few times that I have turned up to our local Tesco and, after having spent a good while searching for double trolleys, got back in the car and driven home again on the verge of tears and seething with anger at the same time.

Other times I have had to enlist the help of a trolley attendant to assist in releasing the one available trolley from the front of the stack.

There have even been a few occasions when it has been quite easy to find a double trolley... but I could probably count that number of times on one hand.

Today I have had pretty much had enough. But what can I do? Protest by not using these supermarkets? Duh! That would leave us going hungry very quickly. Yes, we could order online and have it delivered but the cost of delivery is probably slightly more than it would cost in fuel, and pennies are everything to us at the moment. Besides, I actually enjoy grocery shopping (without Keith that is... and that's another post entirely, one that's been sat in my drafts folder for a little while!). It gives me a reason to get out of the house, and the twins love sitting in the trolley (when we can find one).

It's really not practical, or safe, to have to spend the first fifteen minutes of our outing searching for a trolley and leaving the twins in the car.

Why can't all trolleys be double trolleys? Surely the cost of an extra plastic seat would make little difference.

Or how about a separate bay for double trolleys so that it is quicker and easier to locate them?

I actually plucked up the courage to go in and complain to the manager, only to be told that 11 of their 12 double trolleys were currently out of order and the other one must be in use. Very helpful then. They did offer me the services of an assistant to accompany with another trolley. Which I declined. The thought of a complete stranger shadowing me while I did my shopping did not appeal in the mood I was in. The reaction of the twins would probably be just as bad as it would have meant one would be pushed around by the stranger... and how would I choose which one that should be anyway? The one with the stranger would end up screaming the place down and inevitably set the other one off, and just add even more stress to the situation.

So we ended up turning around and going home. Without any groceries. I probably cut my nose off to spite my face, but it was either that or burst into tears in public. I just want to do my shopping.

Do these supermarkets not realise that the number of multiple births are increasing year on year? I'm sure it's not just parents of multiples who struggle... is it really that uncommon to have two children under the age of three in a family?

So, to all you supermarkets out there I ask only one thing...

More double trolleys please.

If you'd like to read some other niggles and rants then head over to Oh Mammy's linky.

06 May 2011

Tilly says... "Always wear sunscreen"

Tilly is fast-becoming a little diva and with the recent beautiful weather we have been getting them into the habit of putting on sunscreen... and Tilly loves it! So she thought she would share with you her tips for keeping sun safe...

Always carry your sunscreen with you.

Apply often...

... and regularly!

Protect those parts not normally exposed (legs and tummies) by covering up or using a higher SPF.

Help others to make sure they are protected too.

Go out and enjoy the sun!

Is it better to be an older, or a younger Mum?

let's make babies
I'm not sure why I'm even contemplating this, as the thought of children had not even flickered across my mind until my adorable nephew was born in 2006.

Hmmm... the year I turned 30, and was at my Mum's a lot while I was suffering with depression - and it just so happened that she was looking after the adorable W a lot of the time I was there.

But tonight... well this morning (it is currently 3.25)... I am lying awake wondering what if I had wanted children sooner? Obviously ignoring the fact that I didn't even meet Keith until 2006 either... but how would things have been different?

I do keep thinking that it would be so much easier if I was ten years younger. Twenty-four, bringing up troublesome toddler twins doesn't sound half so terrifying. I wouldn't have been slightly overweight at the time of becoming pregnant. Instead I would be the perfect 8/10... bah, it pains me to even think about! And I bet losing the mummy tummy wouldn't be half the trouble it is when your metabolism has gone on a go-slow. And now I'm fast approaching middle-age with very little energy, and even less motivation to do anything about it. The twenty-four year-old me, with the twins in tow, would now just be approaching middle-age... hopefully still with a reasonable figure, and having got through all the sleepless nights that young children bring.

Then there's the confidence. The twenty-four year-old me is not too young, but not too old. Has lived life enough to know a fair amount about how to get by, and is happy to wing it if not. Life is an adventure, and everything will turn out fine. But the me of now is constantly worrying about how to get by, and working out all of the 'what ifs' and consequences of our actions... living in the now because there's less time to worry about the future. It needs to be sorted now before it's too late... everything we do needs to be scrutinised to make sure that it's for the best of the family. The me of now (now at 3.43) is thinking that the twenty-four year-old me (with twins in tow) would not have to worry so much about these things.

But then again, the twenty-four year-old me was less likely to have had twins... so for this I am grateful that the workings of my biological clock didn't kick into action until they did. It's tiring, I know. But I wouldn't go back and change things... I have two beautiful, if somewhat troublesome, toddlers to keep me busy.

What do you think would be best? Being a younger or older Mum? Would you go back and change things?

05 May 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

It's been an odd few weeks really. I don't know whether I'm coming or going, and neither do my moods... so it's time for me to take stock and focus on the good things again.

Things that have been mostly making me cheerful this week:

Her constant babbling and general defiance. She's so cute it's impossible not to laugh and smile with her. Her comprehension is just mind-blowing for a 20-month-old... yesterday I said to her "you've got a mischievous glint in your eye, little girl"... and her reaction? To rub her eyes to try to get the glint out of course!

My chunky little bundle of fun. Another Einstein in the making! Watched Tilly fall over, cry, and then Dad rush to get her... so what happens not even five minutes later? Jasper slowly positions himself where Tilly fell, and starts 'crying' with a big grin on his face! Magic!

The thoughtful little gestures that he makes, like picking up a super cool straw trilby for me for only 50p... or bringing home a bar of chocolate for me. I'm easy to please :)

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart 

04 May 2011

Conversations with Tilly


Mummy: Would you like soup for lunch today Tilly?

Tilly: No

Mummy: How about spaghetti?

Tilly: No

Mummy: Jacket potato?

Tilly: No

Mummy: What would you like for lunch?

Tilly: No

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Mummy (to a Tilly who is a little bit stinky and trying to pull her trousers down): Shall we go and change your nappy?

Tilly: No

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Mummy (to a Tilly who is stumbling around, almost asleep): Do you want a snooze Tilly?

Tilly: No

***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Mummy: Ooohhh, look at these cakes!

Tilly: Cakey!

Mummy: Would you like one?

Tilly: Yes

I. Give. Up!