It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Archive for March, 2014

Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You…

…well maybe not EVERYDAY but I certainly conquered my fear on Saturday when I clambered into the back of the smallest aircraft I had ever seen and squeezed onto the floor with 13 other people wearing the very latest in fashionable jumpsuits, hats, goggles and harnesses.
Let me get one thing straight, I hate flying. I even hate going onto one of those huge jets that whisks you away on holiday, most long haul flights I have taken have required a lot of rescue remedy to get me through them. So this mini plane with it’s teeny engine was not filling me with confidence, but I had made a promise to myself, the friends and family who sponsored me and to the amazing charity that is Saying Goodbye and I was not about to let anyone down. To tell you the truth after 15mins of spiralling upwards to a height of 12000 feet I was more than willing to jump out, just to get out of the plane!!
Skydiving is an absolutely amazing experience. From actually being told to scream your lungs out when you initially hurtle out at 200mph to the gorgeous views when your parachute opens, it is so cathartic and rejuvenating. I don’t think the smile has even been wiped off my face now, 4 days later! Plus, doing something for a charity that you know does such good work can never be bad.

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I would like to thank the Saying Goodbye team for providing me with the opportunity to do good work in this fantastic way and Skydive at Headcorn (especially my lovely instructor, Del) for looking after me so well on this, my day to remember.
If you would like to support this charity and sponsor me for my skydive then please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/charliisiddu1 x

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What’s In My Twin Changing Bag?

I love reading other Mummy blogs, it is always good to hear that it is not just you suffering through late night feeds, snotty/sickie babies or the total lack of social life. Today I have been inspired by the lovely Geek Chic Diary and her post What’s In My Changing Bag to empty my changing bag out and share with you all just what’s in there.

I know we’d all love the opportunity to have a quick look through other people’s handbags, from when I was tiny my mum’s and my gran’s were the objects of utter fascination for me. As we have our own little ones our beautiful handbags get swapped for changing bags more often than not and instead of having the luxury of colour co-ordination or making sure you pack just the right lip-gloss it’s about how many nappies can fit and where you can put their spare clothes.

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The Changing Bag
If you think about how much stuff is needed for a single baby, can you imagine how much stuff we tote around for the twinnies (or just what size of suitcase would be required for triplets or more)?! For the job of our changing bag, we knew we needed something large enough to carry things for both Biscuit and Cracker. On Twins UK we found our bag, the Almora PacaPod. The beauty of this bag is that it contains ‘pods’- zipped bags for either changing or feeding that can be removed separately from the bag, meaning that you don’t have to take the whole bag with you when you just need certain things.

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The Feeding Pod
When the twins were little we could fit two bottles of my milk in here: the feeding pod works to keep cool things cool. We used Mam anti-colic bottles for them as I liked how easy they were to clean and sterilise and the twins got on really well with their teats. Now they’re a lot bigger and off the milk we can fit in two sippy cups, plus bibs, cutlery and snacks for our outing. It helps that it is wipe-clean inside too!

The Changing Pod
It’s been a long time since the twins wore the same size nappy as each other- Cracker has always been the bigger of the two- and this has meant that we need to take enough nappies for each of them separately, this is normally about 3/4 each! Plus we have wipes, nappy bags, bum cream, hand sanitiser and a Spilly Spoon Ouch Pouch containing Calpol, plasters etc. The changing pod also comes with a little draw string bag to put dirty clothes in, not big enough for whole outfits, but handy for vests.

The Rest of the Bag
For a spare change of clothes, we use a Bambino Mio Nappy Bag. This is waterproof and easily squashes into the area between the two pods, if we didn’t require so many nappies it would definitely fit into the changing pod. We always take a spare outfit for each of the twins, you never know what might happen when you’re out and about.
The PacaPod comes with a little changing mat. Even when we’re somewhere with a baby changing station I use this changing mat to keep the twins as clean as possible. It folds up small to fit into the pocket in the front of the changing bag.
We can’t go anywhere without dummies and dummy wipes. My two are big fans of the dummy and generally have theirs attached to them when they’re in the sling or buggy. Having dummy wipes (found and bought at Superdrug, I think) meant it’s easy to clean on the go.
We always carry at least one muslin around with us. When they were tiny this was used for small vomits and dribble, now it can be anything from a towel, to a runny nose wipe, to covering a head of a sleeping baby in the sling.
A variety of small toys (like cars) and/or books. A bored, screaming child on any form of public transport or in any restaurant is sure to attract evil stares so being able to keep them entertained with the simplest of toy is so useful (nb this trick will only last for five minutes, maximum)!
I love Vaseline and we have a little tin of it in our bag whenever we go out. Mama can use it on her lips when they get dry from kissing the top of the bubba’s heads, it can also be used on bottoms, grazed knees and dry skin anywhere. Fantastic stuff!
All parents know how useful tissues are and I have a packet in our changing bag at all times.
You may laugh at the next item but, trust me, it’s so handy to have. We have two waterproof ponchos in the changing bag (the kind you see tourists wearing around London as soon as it starts spitting). If you are out and about and it starts tipping it down, the babies will keep nice and dry in the buggy with their rain covers on whilst you get absolutely soaked or you will all get soaked if they are in the sling. Get yourself a couple of the extra large ponchos and you will not only keep yourself dry while you push them home but it will be able to cover both of you if you are babywearing. I do tend to have my waterproof ‘mummy coat’ with me, but it doesn’t fold up anywhere near as small as a poncho does so if it’s a previously beautiful day then I might have left the coat at home but never the poncho!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little delve through my changing bag. I’ve shown you mine, what’s in yours?!

Jump For Love Skydive for Saying Goodbye UK

When I originally booked my Jump For Love for the amazing charity, Saying Goodbye (a division of the Mariposa Trust) it was booked for February. Then came those winter storms that brought 80mph winds and a flooded runway at Headcorn that delayed it slightly… until tomorrow in fact (gulp)!

This delay has meant that I have had more time to think about what on earth it is that I am doing as well as finding out more and more about what amazing work Saying Goodbye does and raise more and more money for them.

People may not have heard about Saying Goodbye, or the support it offers bereaved parents (who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, however long ago) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It is run by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates who started it after experiencing their own losses.

Working as first a children’s nurse and then a neonatal nurse means I have had first-hand experience at seeing the devastation caused by the loss of a child through illness or accident. I have seen how broken these families are when their little ones won’t be coming home with them. Through Saying Goodbye UK I have also learnt of the rates of stillbirth and miscarriage in the UK, a rarely discussed and more hidden aspect of baby loss.

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If this charity could support just one family through the worst time in their history, then surely it would be worthwhile? But it doesn’t, Saying Goodbye includes all families who are broken in this way. Their memorial services are open to anyone who has lost a child, in any way, at any time, however long ago it may have happened. They understand the pain doesn’t go away.

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I am absolutely petrified of flying, but as soon as Saying Goodbye asked people to do this Skydive for them I knew it was something that I wanted to be involved in. For the thousands of babies and children whose parents have empty arms and a heart full of tears, I wanted to support them and show them that they will not be forgotten.

My fundraising page is here, or you could undertake a challenge for them yourself…?!

Thank you for listening

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The Baby Show: all those extra bits and pieces!

This will be my last post about the fabulous gadgets, ideas, products and people that we have seen and met because of The Baby Show. Some products we knew about before visiting and used the opportunity to get to see them, try them and make final decisions. Some we had no idea that even existed, but boy are we glad they do and that we found them!

One genius product that many mums, and dads, already know about is the Spilly Spoon. This deceptively simple crocodile-shaped plastic spoon enables up to 10ml of medicine to be poured into it and yet not spill out when placed flat on a surface whilst you hunt down your little one to take it! Biscuit and Cracker used to be fine taking medicines and vitamins with a syringe but now they’re getting older and trying to gain more independence they started refusing to take it. Enter the Spilly Spoon!
The twinkles now happily sit there and ‘help’ by giving themselves their vitamins every night. It’s a good size for their little hands to grip and it is super easy to clean in the dishwasher. We went to the Baby Show in order to buy their Ouch Pouch (a handy little bag to keep your spilly spoon, medicine, plasters etc in for when you’re out and about). The good news for all you lovely people reading this is that they are now available to buy on their website.

One company that is indisputably popular and amazing is Gro. Selling products like grobags (sleeping bags recommended by The Lullaby Trust for safer sleeping), gro clocks (a sleeping aid to try and discourage those toddlers from early waking) and gro eggs (showing the temperature of your babies room). At the Baby shows they have fantastic show offers, as well as helpful and knowledgable staff to talk through the tog ratings and what all their wonderful gizmos do and how they’ll make your life so much easier.

Something that I had never heard about before walking past their stall at a Baby Show is the amazing Sucup. Invented by a Grandad of twins, this is a product that will help your little ones feed themselves things like porridge and yoghurt independently. It’s a plastic cup that you put the food in, pop the top on with the large straw attached and give them those foods that would normally get splattered all around your kitchen and person!!
The day we got these we tried them with the twins and they took to them straight away. Having two small children means that meal times can be quite hectic, especially when there was only one of me trying to help both of them eat. Having two Sucups enables both of them to eat their own porridge at their own pace while I can have my brekkie at the same time.

So there you have it, my recommendations from my numerous trips to the Baby Shows. This is not an extensive list of all the things that will be available for your perusal. If you find anything that you love then please let me know.