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

Archive for May, 2014

Raising Twin Toddlers in a 12th Floor Flat

When I dreamt of raising my family, I never pictured myself in a two-bedroomed apartment, 12 floors above Central London. But life happens and I count myself lucky to have my beautiful twinkles here, even if we have to be a little creative on how to entertain them when we’re at home.
I am a HUGE Pinterest fan, and keep looking at the lovely artsy things that mums have pinned on there showing what they have done with their youngsters, and I am looking forward to the day that my two can work slightly more independently and can follow instructions to make these gorgeous works of art! Until then, I wanted quick, simple ideas that toddlers can find fun, obviously won’t break the bank and don’t require a football pitch of space.
This first thing that we have found to do, and have done with Biscuit and Cracker (quite successfully if I say so myself) is bubble play.
We put down an old, clean shower curtain on the floor (these are inexpensive floor savers for all sorts of painting, water play, cooking and weaning), put their water/sand table in the middle with all their waterproof toys in. After this, I got a clean washing up bowl, put in a massive squeeze (I started off with a tablespoon) of washing up liquid and then added a cup of warm water. Then the fun happens- out came my electric hand mixer and I whisked away until my washing up bowl was full of the loveliest, solid bubbles. I scooped these into their water table and then made another couple of batches.
Both twins were really interested in the bubbles and finding their toys that were hiding at the bottom of them. We had buckets and spades for them and Biscuit, especially, loved scooping the bubbles out of the table into her bucket and then emptying it back out again. Cracker was more interested in making as much of a mess as possible throwing the bubbles everywhere, taking bubble-covered toys and putting them places they shouldn’t be and running around and slipping on the shower curtain. But they were just bubbles, so it was hardly a mess at all and he was having fun- the sole purpose of the idea!

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Cracker did get bored after about half an hour of playing and Rob had to then entertain him separately but Biscuit played solidly with the bubbles for about an hour and a half. We only had to stop because she was getting a little cold as she was soaked, and she got some bubbles in her eyes which really irritated them. As soon as we finished we jumped straight in a nice, warm shower to rinse them off and clear their eyes out.

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When we do this again I am going to use mild baby shampoo in order to protect their sensitive little eyes and skin. Plus this will make it smell much nicer than the slightly sickly sent of Fairy! We will also be able to pop some of the bubbles on their heads before we jump into the shower and that’s their hair done!!
Nothing was wasted either- Rob emptied the bubbles into our kitchen sink so we could do the washing up with it and all their toys were rinsed off after our shower and there they were, sparkling clean!
Let me know if you try this with your little ones at home, and if there are any variations/improvements that you can think of. Also, please let me know if you have any ideas that nearly two year old toddlers can do at home.

Thanks for reading!!

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Mama Knows Best

Apologies for my lack of contact with you lovely people and thanks for bearing with me.
As well as my university course becoming quite full on with multiple essays and long stretches on placement, my little Biscuit was quite poorly.
She is, thankfully, well on the mend now and like a different child than the pale, lethargic, wheezy creature that she became.

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Back in January she caught really bad bacterial tonsillitis, she was in too much pain to swallow anything at all. When our GP examined her, he didn’t even look in her throat and sent us on our way. The next day we took her to A&E where they prescribed her antibiotics and discharged us. She had barely recovered from this when she was struck down with a viral wheeze requiring admission to hospital and 2 hourly inhalers overnight. Less than a month later and then came an ambulance ride to hospital for another admission for viral wheeze, needing a nebuliser and then inhalers all night.
We thought she had turned the corner after this episode, but then she suddenly got poorly again. She was wheezing and struggling and really unsettled. Another ambulance ride to the hospital, this time straight into resus for back-to-back nebulisers and oxygen followed by two nights in the hospital for treatment.

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But this post isn’t about Biscuit’s trips to hospital. It’s about that mother’s instinct that tells you when something isn’t quite right. I had a niggly feeling about Biscuit’s health, a feeling that gave me sleepless nights and a ton of stress. She hadn’t put on any weight since December, was so pale she looked transparent and was always tired with big black bags under her eyes. My GP completely dismissed these symptoms and my niggly feeling, telling me that no-one would find anything wrong with her.
It may sound crazy, but her last trip into hospital may have been a good thing as it made people review her health and we were starting on longer-term treatment to treat the cause, not just the symptoms. We are also now under a consultant paediatrician to keep an eye on her I’m hoping that she will now start putting on weight and get stronger and be able to fight of these horrible viruses better.
So Mamas, and Papas too, if you have a feeling that one of your little ones isn’t quite right then listen to yourself and take them to your doctor, or talk to your health visitor and get someone to listen to you too.