Being mum: 9-11 months

Hey everyone, I want to carry this series on but I just never found the time to do this age… so I’m just going to copy and paste their monthly Instagram post and make sure I do it properly next time!

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HAPPY 10 MONTHS DOTTY! Only 2 months away from 1!!! Sob!
This month Dots has mastered the art of clapping and she claps all the time! She’s not quite there with waving but often waves both hands in the air at once! She’s always getting up to mischief and rolling her way over to different places especially the fire place! Her favourite thing to find is power chords 😳. She has cut 2 new top teeth which brings her total to 4! Her hair is coming in thicker and she loves to hold your hands and be helped to walk around the room! She can be very fast! She still loves her water and eating lots of food including a new favourite, strawberries 🍓. She now weighs 17lb 13oz and is a dainty little thing sitting on the 25th centile. She is getting much better at sleeping and is getting in to more of a routine with her naps. She still isn’t crawling but it won’t be long now, she gets very frustrated that she can’t! She’s still very friendly and loves to charm anyone she meets! Love you Dotty Lou!68514248442db5bc74a56797e4ee0191c4c0d63a5188900d1aea2e4d02b0c263482f5b59

Margot is 10 months old!
This month Margot has become a lot more vocal, she’s constantly jabbering! She has learnt to repeat sounds such as kissy noises, raspberries and clicking her tongue on the roof of her mouth. She is extremely close to crawling and will get up on to her knees but is not quite there yet! She’s constantly rolling around her cot and we always find them both in completely random positions! She also attempts to pull herself up on things and loves standing up against the furniture. At her last weigh in she was a bit of a chunk at 19lb 13oz and is now on the 75th centile! Her hair is growing a lot and soon you may actually be able to see it on photos! She’s always been a really good sleeper but now she is developing a bit of separation anxiety which means she cries a lot at bed time! We love you Margot!!

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11 MONTHS OLD! (Yesterday)! Our babies are less than one month from being a YEAR!
Dotty has turned in to a little firecracker this month – she is a very chilled out and happy baby but she definitely has a bit of a temper and can bite on purpose and get very, very cross when things don’t go her way. She’s definitely not as meek & mild as she first comes across! She really enjoys talking and has a funny little whispery language that she uses. She almost always has her mouth open and is really smiley. She has got the cutest little top teeth with a gap that give the sweetest little smile. She is a really slow eater and if she’s not careful Margot gobbles all her food! She loves to try and get down by herself off the sofa and roll around to get toys. She went to the beach for the first time and kept trying to eat sand and stones. She’s confident and not really scared of anything, she’s a thrill seeker and is not phased by animals or people. She’s warming up to Margot and doesn’t cry every time she touches her anymore! She hates it when Daddy sneezes for some reason she bursts in to tears every time! She’s getting to grips with waving but is still not on the move yet! We can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

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MARGOT IS 11 MONTHS! The big news this month is that she’s learnt to crawl, though she’s not content with this and is constantly in the downward dog position trying to stand up. She can pull herself up on furniture now too. She has also learnt to clap which she loves showing off at every occasion! She may be bigger but she’s not braver, our girl is very cautious and wary of most everything the world has to offer. She was terrified of Fred the dog at first but now she won’t leave him or Alfie the cat alone! She’s a nature lover and is constantly eating leaves, mud and grass! She shovels food in to her mouth as quickly as anything and most of the time she doesn’t stop to chew! She has learnt how to growl recently and does it even to strangers! We think she sounds like something from the Walking Dead! She cries every time her grandma takes her glasses off and she’s very clingy to mummy still. Although daddy is her favourite play mate!
Exciting times ahead for you little one!

 

Kate-Sig-1

Getting to the bottom of baby changing

Hey guys!

Today’s post is something a little different for me, I have been working with the brand Direct 365 on something that is very important to me as a mum! I have been doing a little bit of market research on baby changing facilities and how they can be improved. I was sent out with the task of testing out different facilities and whether using them was a positive or negative experience for me.

First up, my sister came to stay and we went out for a bit of shopping. The first thing I noticed was that there were no baby changing facilities in any of the shops I went in! I understand, of course, that small stores don’t have toilets etc. But we went in to a really huge, two storey shop of a very well known brand and there was nothing! Considering they have lots of baby clothes and kids stuff on sale there it really shocked me!

After a spot of shopping we headed to a very well known coffee shop for a drink, the girls had their first ever babycinos but they just threw them all over the floor! Whilst we enjoyed our drinks I scanned the place for signposts to baby changing facilities and there were none. I saw a sign for toilets and assumed they would be in there with them.

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When I got in to the toilet area I saw that the baby changing was located in the female toilet and there wasn’t one in the men’s.

Once I got in to the room I noticed the smell straight away. It was disgusting and not somewhere you’d want to spend much time! There was just a fold down baby changing table which was less than a metre away from the toilet. There was space for your buggy in there though but it was quite tight.

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There were no sanitising facilities for the table and it didn’t look very clean at all. There was also no strap on the table to secure your baby and make sure they didn’t roll off.

There was nowhere in this facility for breastfeeding mothers to sit nor was there anywhere for me to put my changing bag. There was no stock of nappies in case you had forgotten yours.

There was also only a small sink and no hand sanitiser. I definitely think its beneficial to have hand sanitiser because if you can’t secure your baby on the table there would be no way of cleaning your hands at the sink properly. It would be really helpful to just be able to squirt a bit of sanitiser on your hands and be gone!

Even though I just took Dotty in in my arms, I tested out whether I could fit the double buggy through the door and thankfully I could!

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Apologies for the blurry image, my sister was embarrassed to take photos of me going in to the toilet!

A few days later I had a few bits and bobs to pick up from the supermarket so I thought I’d take the girls with me and we’d have lunch in the cafe too, it was a much more positive experience. To start with, the baby changing facility was clearly marked. It was in a separate room to any other toilet so it was accessible to both men and women.

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Once I got in to the room I noticed how big it was. There was plenty of room to manoeuvre even the double buggy around! It was also very clean in there and smelled fresh which was nice!

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There was also a separate toilet in this room which was good because I was able to go to the toilet myself without attempting to force the buggy through the door of the ladies! It also meant if I had an older child with me that we would be able to use this toilet for them too!

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There weren’t any spare nappies or wipes in this toilet but there was a sign that said the were available at customer services if we had run out which was great.

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There were no chairs for breastfeeding mothers however I do know that the cafe of the supermarket itself is breastfeeding friendly so that’s something at least. There was also a place for me to put the changing bag without it going on the floor and so it was easily accessible whilst I was changing Margot’s nappy!

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Unfortunately, there was no way to sanitise the changing table and so I had to put my own changing pad down. There was also no strap to secure Margot whilst I changed her nappy which meant had I not had the buggy with me there would have been no way of me actually using the facilities myself!

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The only other disappointing thing was that again there was no hand sanitiser. Also, there was only a hand dryer which was really loud, no paper! If anyone else has babies with a bit of a nervous disposition then you know hand dryers are definitely not what you want in a baby changing room!!

So there you have it. Two totally different experiences in two very well known companies. I was completely shocked at how rubbish the facilities were in the first place we went to. A good experience when changing your baby’s nappy totally affects your overall experience in said place. It’s hard enough for us mums (especially twin mums!!) to get out and about without the experience of changing our baby’s nappy becoming really difficult. And let me tell you, with twins nappy changing is something I have to do very often!

Direct 365 are a company who provide baby changing facilities for commercial places. They’ve released a few videos on their website showing what they think make good changing facilities in an effort to improve the spaces. Direct 365 provide really innovative equipment to create changing facilities at a really high standard. They have teamed up with myself and some other parenting bloggers to show the world just how necessary these improvements are.

This video is one of Direct365’s videos for this campaign – click here to see more!

Also, keep checking this post and my YouTube channel to see some behind the scenes footage of the research I did!

I hope you enjoyed this post – let me know what you think makes a good baby changing facility in the comments!Kate-Sig-1

Motherhood, one year on

Just over a year a go I became a mum to twins. In December 2015 I found out I was pregnant and it was totally unplanned, in fact it was something I really didn’t want at that time in my life. So now, after a year’s experience of motherhood under my belt, how do I really feel about it?

People may expect me to say that I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m so glad everything worked out the way it did. And whilst that’s true to an extent… there is still a lot I would change. I believe that everything happens for a reason, that ultimately, the life of my two daughters was planned and purposed by God. But that doesn’t mean that I get why right now. I kinda thought that once I had the girls there would be this “ohhh” moment where suddenly it all clicked and I realised why God had chosen now to bless me with these two precious people but in all honesty I still don’t know. I wouldn’t change Dorothy and Margot for absolutely anything, they are completely perfect. But the timing? Yes, that I would still change. In my worldly view I ask myself why. Why now? Why not at a time when I had more money, not at university, a few more years of marriage under my belt. Why not at a time when I’m a bit older and not always the youngest mum in the room. Why not at a time when my siblings have children and my babies can grow up with their cousins.

But I choose to have faith, I choose to believe that the reason why will become clear to me with time. Maybe that’s in a few months or twenty years, I don’t know. I trust in God’s timing above anything.

Motherhood suits me, though. I actually love it more than I ever thought possible. Out of everything in my life I ever thought I’d be good at, being a mum was never one of them. But I have actually surprised myself so much, the way I love my babies is so fierce, so selfless, so tireless. I could literally endure anything for them and I never knew I could feel like that. I never knew I could deny myself again and again, I never knew I could be this patient and constant. In a strange way they have given me a new found confidence in myself and who I am just by being their mum. I feel stronger and more content in myself than I ever have done. 

I recently got accepted on to an MA at a university. Unfortunately I had to give it up for now because I couldn’t get childcare sorted… I felt like I had lost so much when I gave that up but over the last few weeks I have realised that I’venot lost anything but gained everything. I am my children’s main carer and influence and if that means I can’t start a career til I’m 27 then how much have I actually lost?! I have given a few short years of my life to my children to shape their future and I can’t see anything negative about that.

So what’s motherhood like after a year? Pretty sh*tty at times. But also wonderful, exhilarating, funny, silly, messy, crazy, loud, beautiful and so much more.

Can’t wait to see what the next few years hold. 

Hi I’m Kate, and I’m a stay at home mum.

“So what are your plans about going back to work?”

I hear this a lot. People don’t think anything of it and nor should they. But for me it’s actually not that simple. For me there’s no “going back” to work because I never actually started working! I mean, I’ve obviously had jobs before when I was at college and uni but as I finished my degree I got pregnant and by the time I’d finished I was already heavily pregnant and had no hope of gaining employment!

So in August the girls were born and the last 10 months have been unbelievably intense. Yes, they would have been sweeter with a bit of maternity pay but I wouldn’t swap our time together for anything. Now the girls are coming up for a year, this would be the time to start looking to go back to work.

I’ve barely left the girls up to now. Other breastfeeding mums out there can vouch for the fact that when you’re breastfeeding, leaving your baby is way more trouble than it’s worth usually (hello lots of pumping, engorgement and leaky boobs!). The thought of putting them in to nursery scares me as they still feel so young to me. However I know they’d thrive with it deep down but the simple fact is I’d have to earn a heck of a lot to even make it worth putting them in childcare. Furthermore, I’d probably want to go back to work part time so I still got lots of time with the girls. I guess flexible hours are a lot easier to negotiate when you’re already employed rather than seeking new employment.

I want to have a career. In fact I never dreamed of having children but I always dreamed of having a career. But I don’t want to put my career above the girls. Right now, though it may seem self involved, I know the girls need me more than anyone. When they’re three years old they’ll go in to funded nursery and when they’re 4 they’ll be in school. I can’t bear to be parted with them so it seems when I add all these factors together that there’s only one option. Being a stay at home mum. 

If I’m honest I used to kinda look down on stay at home mums. That was before I found out just how hard being a parent actually is. Doing it all day every day with no break is relentless, frustrating and monotonous. But it also unbelievably rewarding, enjoyable and fun. The hard times are really, really hard but there are also the really good times of being able to just go out for coffees with people or take your kids for a picnic. The kind of thing you’d miss if you were working. I’m sure if you’re reading this and you’re not a parent you probably think “what is so hard about being a mum?!” Lol, well you just wait! I used to feel the same as you! I used to think being a stay at home mum was such an unfeminist option, so many women fought for the right to work and not have to give it up when they had children. But I see now that feminism is all about having the option to go back to work if you want to, and not if you don’t.

The way I see it is that this time with the girls is so unbelievably precious. It comes around once in a lifetime. Because the girls are twins I already kind of feel like I have half the time with them as it is and I want to treasure the time with them so much! 

I am still only 23, even if I wait 4 years to start working I’ll still be pretty young starting out in my career. I want a proper career that I love and not just settle for something because it’s what fits around nursery schedules! At least this way I haven’t had to have a career break, instead I can start my career in a really good position, knowing my girls are happy and settled!

In the future I may have to miss out on school trips, sports days or class assemblies and that’s why I’ve resolved to drink in these moments with my babies because they won’t last forever.

So no, I’m not going “back to work”. At the moment it’s not what works for our family. But I’ll keep on making my girls’ worlds go round and leave changing the rest of it for a few more years! 

STAYCATION: Our stay-at-home holiday together

As many people who read my blog will know, we love to travel! Last week we had a trip to Berlin booked Monday-Thursday, however on the Friday before, Dorothy was taken in to hospital by ambulance. She ended up staying in there until Sunday afternoon and we were advised against taking the trip. We were obviously devastated but we didn’t want to risk taking her and things got worse with the plane pressure or Margot got ill too. As it was, Margot did get ill on Monday night and we were able to take her to the GP and get her sorted on Tuesday morning. So we ended up being quite thankful that we didn’t go against the doctors’ advice!

As Josh had the week off work anyway, we decided to make the most of it. On the Monday we just got stuck in to tidying and cleaning and getting jobs done so we were free for the week ahead.

On Tuesday, we decided to head to Manchester. We went for lunch at the Anchor Coffee House in Moss Side. I used to park right by there in my second year for uni and walk down Oxford road to campus so we were very familiar with it! The food is amazing and we both had a lovely coffee called a cuban coffee which is made with condensed milk. The girls, of course, attracted a lot of attention!

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We then headed down Oxford Road to Whitworth Park and art gallery.

After that we walked past my old uni and then headed to Starbucks to feed the girls. It was that very Starbucks that Josh and I used to meet after I finished uni and do work together! It was nice to take the girls back to our old haunts and show them another part of Manchester!

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The next day, we decided to visit Chester Zoo. It was a pretty hot day and we were slightly worried about how the girls would cope. Unfortunately we stupidly booked holiday during half term. It was absolutely heaving there and getting a double buggy around was difficult enough without having to work our way through crowds of people! Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves, although the girls were thoroughly fed up by the end!

 

The next day was another quiet one, we just enjoyed the sunshine at our local park and got a coffee from a little coffee shop nearby. Then Daddy was sadly back to work! Thankfully he only has three weeks to go until we move!

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Obviously we were gutted not to be in Berlin but we still managed to have a lovely week together as a family.

Kate-Sig-1

Being mum: 4-6 months

So the girls are now half a year old. It seems as though its been so slow and fast at the same time. In my last update I spoke about my fears of 4 month sleep regression – let me tell you it hit us hard! We struggled for weeks and weeks and the sleep deprivation really got to us but eventually we got through it!

People also told us at the 4 month mark it would get easier and really it actually did. One of the things that made things slightly easier was buying a jumperoo second hand. Margot had really been struggling being independent and she absolutely loved playing in it which gave her more independence! The girls have also started going around 2.5 – 3 hours between milk feeds now which has definitely made it easier for me. They have also started on solid foods and we are doing baby led weaning which is fun but very messy! We have been getting out to more groups and tend to get out almost every day and we have started to walk to town and to tesco. We are getting so much more out of the girls now and their personalities are really starting to shine. They are so different to one another which is really interesting.

Being their mum in this time has been a complete and utter joy. Yes, it’s been difficult still. I’m not sure being a mum is ever going to be easy – especially being a mum of twins! The days are long but I’m trying to soak in every last moment because one day they won’t be all small and squishy anymore and I’ll be desperate for these times back!

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Our little Dotty is 5 months old today. I can’t believe how much she has developed in the last month… unfortunately she’s had a cold for the whole of it and is becoming known as “snotty Dotty” 🙊. Her favourite toy is still her hands and she also is partial to playing with a muslin cloth.. no matter how much mummy tries to persuade her to play with actual toys! She’s still very content to sit in her chair and spectate and this was what she did during her Christmas dinner! She has a really soft, sweet little voice and loves talking to people. She seems to have been teething for a while and constantly chewing her fingers though we have no teeth yet. Night times are hard with Dotty as she wakes up and is hard to settle back to sleep. She often ends up in mummy and daddy’s bed! She’s had her first time on an aeroplane and laughed the whole time. She’s starting to get a bit anxious around people she doesn’t know and she really likes holding her mummy and daddy’s hands. This month she also went to work with daddy and met all the people there! She has waved and rolled over from front to back and tummy time is now easy peasy for her. She is such a delight and we are so blessed to have her lovely little self!

 

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5 months of Margot. This month Margot has become quite the chatterbox and her vocabulary has now come to include screaming and shrieking (in joy)! She wakes up in such a good mood and is so happy to see her family! She’s finally starting to go 2 hours between feeds (only 3 months late!!) however she’s recently started being more wakeful in the night! She’s also becoming more independent thanks to the jumperoo which she loves and she also loves grabbing things and putting them in her mouth! She can now sit up on her own but flops down after a few seconds! She loves being played with and enjoys splashing in the bath! She has recently started to cry every time you put her down to sleep but soon settles. She now has 2-3 shorter naps during the day rather than one long one and she’s much less cranky! Margot is becoming even more of a joy to be around and we love watching her grow

 

 

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Half a year old! Dotty has come on in leaps and bounds this month … she can sit up for a few seconds at a time and as she still dislikes tummy time she will roll over on to her back straight away! She is either an absolute joy to be around or a right whinge bag! She is definitely a mummy’s girl and does not like it if mummy is not in her line of sight! She likes food too but can take or leave it… she gets very frustrated when she can’t get it in to her mouth and flaps her arm around in anger! She also enjoys clawing at faces and hair! She loves holding fabric either muslin cloths or blankets and has to sleep with her comforter over her face (meaning I’m constantly checking she’s not suffocating 😂). She loves playing with her daddy but he also knows exactly how to wind her up! She accidently said her first word “wiggle” this month and when she has her dummy in she constantly says “wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle”! They have both started sleeping in their own room and in separate cots but they’re pushed together so they can still be close! She’s quite laid back and a little lazy which is why she’s not usually the first to do things! Happy half birthday Dotty we love you so much

 

20170214_112150Happy half birthday my little nugget! (It was actually on Saturday but we were away and I did think to bring their cards!). Margot has now been abroad and is becoming a good little traveller, she is happy to sleep anywhere as long as she’s on her tummy! When she wakes up she does a little baby push up and looks around and once she spots you she has the most smiley face! This month she has suddenly started using a dummy and is kind of sleeping through the night but she stirs a lot for comfort. The loves grabbing and clawing at faces and shoving whatever she can in her mouth! She’s in love with food and will devour it within seconds (mostly smushing it all over her face). She loves playing with Daddy and he can make her giggle the most. She is still a milk fiend but can go longer between feeds if necessary. Margot loves chatting and discovering different pitches and decibels! She can sit up on her own for a few seconds and is desperately trying to crawl but she’s not quite there yet. She’s in 6-9 month clothing but it’s still quite baggy. We are so in love with you Margot!

 

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For my girls on your dedication 

Today my beautiful daughters are getting dedicated in church. If you don’t know what a dedication is, it’s similar to a christening. Instead of baptising as babies we believe you should have your own choice to be baptised when you’re ready. A dedication is a commitment from the parents to bring their children up in God’s ways and be an example of a Godly person to them. With that in mind I wanted to write a post to my girls on this special day. 

Dorothy and Margot, 

Today is a special day for you although you don’t yet know it. Today is your dedication and we’re so excited! You have gorgeous little outfits and a cake with your picture on. Your extended family are coming from far and wide.. from Cornwall, Kent, Bath and Wales among many other places. 

You’re three months old and right now everything about the world is new and exciting for you. Every day I watch you learn new things and take in more and more. At the moment the world is fun and there’s no sadness apart from when you’ve gone a few hours without milk. 

For your dedication the church leaders asked us to think about our dreams and desires for our children’s lives. Of course there are so many things we desire for you… health, safety, kindness etc. But  my biggest dream for you is that you will be adventurers all your lives. I want you to see all the continents of the world, swim in warm oceans, be close to wild animals and eat exotic food. I hope we can adventure together and travel as a family but I also hope you’ll experience some of it by yourself.  I also hope you’ll find adventure the mundane, the daily life; in school and swimming clubs and kids parties. But I truly hope that your biggest adventure will be your relationship with God and all that brings you.  I pray you will find God exciting and let him guide your lives and futures.

Life isn’t always fun an exciting. It can be hard sometimes and sometimes you will need someone to lean on. I pray that God will be your biggest source of comfort when you’re in pain and  the one who gives you strength. I pray that in the difficult times you will draw close to him. 

As you grow up I’d love you to be clever, creative, funny and talented. But most of all I want you to know the importance of being kind and loving others. I want you to see that as the most important thing you can do and your highest calling. I want you to love people fiercely regardless of their situation, their gender, class, religion, race or sexual orientation.  I pray that you will have room for everyone in your heart.

I pray you will be fierce women of God, not content to sit on the sidelines but wanting to get stuck in. I pray you’ll be strong willed and know your own mind but also adaptable and able to compromise. I pray you’ll be generous and selfless like your Daddy and put other people before you.

I don’t know how our lives are going to work out .. it’s a mystery. But I hope your Daddy and I can be examples to you of Godly people. I hope we can bring you up to know and love Jesus and one day you will make your own decisions to follow Him. 

I want you to know that whatever you do we will be your biggest supporters and we will always be cheering you on. 

I love you; my precious daughters. 

Love always, 

Your mummy xxxx 

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born in set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

“Train a child up in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6