One to two

With Kate Middleton due to have her second child any day, there has been a tonne of advice about going from one to two children.

It has taken me back to my early days with my mother’s group when I first had the twins.

Okay, well I had two children right off the bat but had I not had twins, I may have shared the anxieties many of the women in my mother’s group. [Don’t get me wrong – I still had anxieties, ‘wow, how am I going to cope with twins?’]

The mum’s in my group wondered: How were they going to manage going from being mum to one, to mum to two and still leave the house?

How would they get out the door weighed down with enough stuff to appear as if they were leaving home never to return?

How would they get their older child off to school when new bub is napping?

They were all so worried that the difficulty factor would be so overwhelming it would be easier to just stay in.

New baby with his brother

New baby with his brother

Below is a great quote from Mindy @ Keeper of the Home.

“I have accepted the fact that I will need to find a new normal!  I’m still working toward what that is going to look like, but I know that we will get eventually there.  And although there are days that are tough, when I look at these two sweet babies of mine I know that it is oh so worth it!” 

 

Well, I can tell you from navigating all those challenges but without a running start, that you will do it.

Of course Kate will probably have a nanny for each child making life a tad easier.

For the rest of us mere mortals, I would share my own experience. I remember when I was worried about how I would cope with the twins.

I did stay in the house for a bit and was very concerned that I might not be able to work my pram. What if there was an issue? I would be on my own! I practiced putting the pram up and down in the house and when I was confident I ventured out with the babies.

It did not matter if it was to window shop at a major shopping centre or just chill under a tree at the park. We were out of the house and for me that felt like a success.

I had the pram in the boot, I strapped kids in car then once we arrived at our destination I somehow managed to assemble the pram and get two babies onboard.  When that mission was accomplished, I was on top of the world.

If you had seen me then, you would have spotted a woman walking around the shopping centre with a big smile plastered on her face. I know it was a small thing to do in the scheme of life, but I thought it was an amazing accomplishment. I got out of the house with two babies! Yeah, Me!

“Children reinvent your world for you”
Susan Sarandon

 

Sibling Love

Sibling Love

I have spoken to many mum’s bracing themselves for the shock of having two children.

Reading about Kate’s impending birth – and the interesting Women’s Weekly cover all about how George will cope (anyone else think that a bit odd?) it hit me, I have no concept of having one child.

However, for those about to know what caring for two children is like, here is my two cents for what it’s worth:

  • It’s okay to feel a bit daunted
  • It is hard but it won’t be hard for long. You got number one to sleep through the night and got him/her potty trained. That part for me was fun –double the challenge but once we were through it, we were done. Bravo.
  • Soon your little baby will sleep longer and you will get more rest. It will all just work fine.
  • Remind yourself that you did it once and you can do it again.
  • Having a schedule is great too. Make sure that the baby sleeps and eats at certain times.
  • The new baby has to adjust to life in your house, if you have some noise don’t suddenly become a super quiet household due to your new little person. I know sleeping time needs to be quite but you have to live life as well. A little bit of noise will not hurt, as long as it is within reason. I think the baby will adjust.
  • Don’t forget playtime and having a bit of sunshine does help you feel good and helps baby as well. Make sure to pick the safe times in the day to be out and about.

Having two kids is great; they can play together and will hopefully be great company for each other. It is nice that we have given each child a sister and having that support is lovely in life.

The most important thing I think is: Getting out and about

I must say the biggest challenge is getting out of the house and to all the normal appointments that you keep. Just putting yourself out there no matter how small the step is a wonderful achievement.

You should have been a fly on the wall when I managed to get kids in the crèche at the gym and be in an aqua aerobics class, now I felt that this was deserving of an award! Have you done something similar that you were super proud of when the kids were babies?

Not only did I get two kids fed, dressed and in the car. We arrived at the gym at the right time, I got them into care and I made my exercise class. Again I was the mad woman in the pool smiling at how brilliant this all was. I might have looked strange, but I did not care. I was at the gym. I was exercising and I got there with little babies with me. I was very happy! Did you have moments like this?

Getting out and about with your new baby

Getting out and about with your new baby

Are you about to have your second child?

Have you had other mums or parents confide or seek advice on having two kids rather than one? Let us know.

“Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last”
Charles Dickens

 

I do wish Kate Middleton well and hope all goes well for baby number two. Also if anyone else is set to have their second, third or more I wish you all well too.

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ANZAC Biscuits

I know yesterday was ANZAC Day and I did make the biscuits then, however it was for a very late afternoon tea. Also due to not enough trays to put in the oven baking took longer than expected.

I used the ANZAC Biscuit recipe from the Wiki Cookbook – ANZAC Biscuits, however if you wish to do the more traditional method it is available from The Australian War Memorial Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits

Ready to add the coconut

Ready to add the coconut

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain (non-self raising) flour
  • 1 cup white or brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup (cane syrup) or honey
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 cups rolled or instant oats
  • 225 grams butter or margarine
All the dry ingredients

All the dry ingredients

I melted the butter and golden syrup in the microwave.  The recipe wanted you to do it in a saucepan but I think you could do it either way.

I melted the butter and golden syrup in the microwave. The recipe wanted you to do it in a saucepan but I think you could do it either way.

Method

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and melt the syrup and butter in a saucepan. Add the baking soda and water to the syrup mix.
  2. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, adding water if necessary.
  3. Separate and roll the mixture into small balls, and flatten them on oven trays.
  4. Bake at 150°C (300°F) for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

The finished biscuits are quite chewy and crisp, and have a long shelf-life.

Kids helped me make this batch. All ready to go in the oven.

Kids helped me make this batch. All ready to go in the oven.

All cooked and ready to eat. They were very yummy! We did not have a huge dinner due to the ANZAC biscuit afternoon tea.

All cooked and ready to eat. They were very yummy! We did not have a huge dinner due to the ANZAC biscuit afternoon tea.

Did you make ANZAC Biscuits yesterday? Were they yummy? Did you make heaps? I have a huge box of them and I think they will be treats in lunches for weeks to come.

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Small minds learn fast

Neuroscientists all over the world agree with something kindergarten teachers have known for decades: most of our brain development happens in the first five years of our lives.

In fact, according to international research, around 80% of our brain has already developed before we start school, and that our learning experiences in that time can make an enormous difference to our lives.

Children learning how to cut out shapes and to use in craft projects.

Children learning how to cut out shapes and to use in craft projects.

Nicole Sanders, Centre Director at Goodstart Early Learning, believes this is why parents should put the same time and effort into choosing childcare, as they put into choosing their child’s secondary school.

“Just think about how much children learn in their first five years, “she said.

“Not just to talk and walk, but to create, achieve, reason and empathise too. They learn to get along with others and to stand on their own two feet as unique individuals too. All these skills are fundamental platforms on which their later learning is built. The stronger these foundations are, the more successful learning will be at school and beyond.”

Scientists have found that positive early learning experiences can build a greater number of more complex pathways in the brain. These pathways provide the base for the brain’s organisational development and functioning throughout life. They have a direct impact not just on how children develop learning skills, but on their social and emotional development as well.

Findings like these have created a growing interest in the quality of early childhood education, and the Australian Government has established the National Quality Framework to ensure improved early learning and safety standards in the early learning and childcare sector.

“Within this, is the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which guides us in developing a quality early learning curriculum,” said Ms Sanders.

The focus on early learning outcomes has placed a focus on those who are caring for children in those early years too. Early childhood teachers and educators are now required to hold formal qualifications from a university or approved training organisation.

According to Ms Sanders, this is an important step in improving standards in the sector, and one that will help parents feel more confident about choosing childcare for the their children.

Enjoying painting and being creative

Enjoying painting and being creative

When I was looking at care options for the twins, I wanted to make sure that they were stimulated mentally and physically. I did not want them to just be babysat as Ms Sanders explains. The child care centre that the girls went to had a dedicated early childcare teacher that gave children skills and helped them learn before they started school.

We also had a big decision in regards to pre-school for the twins.  There was much umming and erring about what to do and where to send them. We decided on a Monterssori Pre-school due to their curriculum and way of teaching. This pre-school taught the beginnings of maths, and science. The girl’s sewed buttons, took responsibility for cleaning up after themselves and learnt words, letters and numbers as well. It was all aimed at their level and of course copious amounts of artwork came home every day.

Kids are curious creatures and feeding this curiosity early is a must. As Ms Sanders points out, the first five years of your child’s learning is the most crucial and important. This is where building blocks are formed so that your child can learn other things easily.

“If you want to be assured that your child is not merely being ‘babysat’ while in care, look for a childcare provider that has adopted the National Quality Standards (NQS)” she said. To find out more about the NQS Click Here

“It means that the centre has a strong early learning focus, that set standards are in place, that the staff are qualified and that your child is getting the best possible start in life.”

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for National Quality Standards. I am a big believer in education and getting to kids early is key. Who knows what these little people will become… maybe they will be the next leaders of our country? The next PM?

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