Weaning two boob loving boys

Weaning was something I was worried about but looking forward too all at the same time. After a few initial bumps in the road I found the process of breast-feeding reasonably easy, but didn't really enjoy like a lot of mums do. The boys were two hourly feeders for a long time and I felt like I constantly had them attached to me, for them then to go and puke all that milk back up - thanks reflux! I basically felt like I was on a roundabout of feeding that I couldn't get off. So after 6 months I was done with it, I wanted to get to a year but it just wasn't something that made me happy anymore.  I was told the easiest way to wean was to drop a feed every week/few days or day, whatever time frame worked with you. I started with the night-time feeds as those I already liked to share with Jay by pumping and us feeding them with bottles, it also one of the feeds that is "most comforting" to the boys, so would be the hardest to get them to give up if I left that till last. Over the course of their sixth month I dropped a feed once a week till eventually I was just feeding them in the morning. The morning feeds lasted for a few weeks then one day they just weren't interested in the boob anymore and that's it, off they went on their happy way to their new relationship with the bottle...and OH MY is it a deep and loving relationship!

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I have to say it was a relief when it was done and it wasn't a battle, I had had enough battles with Collic and Reflux! So nice to have some personal space back and not two wriggly babies grappling for my boobs!

The boys are 2.5 now and for the last 2 years those Nuggets have LOVED their bottles. More than they loved my boobs, which was another huge love at that! Bot Bot's as they are commonly referred to in our household have been a life saver in so many situations.

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From 6 months till a year the boys drank Heinz Nuture formula, but as you know it's expensive so as soon as they hit 1 I moved them onto cows milk. We were lucky again the boys loved cows milk and were happy to ditch the formula right away. We started the boys on Silver Top Anchor milk as it is partially non-homogenised, which means it's closer to it's original form and full of fat, great for growing boys! Farmer backgrounds on Jay's side of the family were very happy with this decesion as it wasn't something that had occured to me utnill they mentioned it.

 

 

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At about a year and a half I toyed with the idea of dropping bottles all together, all the articles I read said it would be easiest to do it at this stage rather than waiting and that they didn't need them anymore. BUT I was far too scared to do it, the bottle was such a source of comfort for them. If they woke in the night and I couldn't settle them (which was very often) the bottle would calm them right down and off they would go back to sleep. Who wants to give that up? Not this twin mama, sleep and calming tools are so important to me! Looking back now we probably should have done it, as the boys are still obsessed with their bottles and there is no way we will be getting rid of them anytime soon.Which makes me feel guilty like I didn't make the right decesion and I should have gone through the hard yards then, as now it will be MUCH harder as they can talk and demand a Bot Bot.  The boys go through on average between 9-11 litres of milk a week! We have a second fridge in the garage that is devoted to holding all their milk. We moved to Anchor Blue when they hit 2 as they decided they liked to have their milk cold (fussy little men) if they had it during the day. The fatty cream in the Silver Top meant that it wouldn't flow through they bottles if it wasn't warm.

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Bottles is one of those crutches they have now that I flip-flop between feeling bad about or not caring. I mean it's a great way for them to get a big dose of calcium, when they are whiny and having an off day I can give them a bottle and get 10 minutes of peace (great for my sanity), it settles them in the night if they are having a bad sleep and well, we never had dummies so it's not like they have lots of other crutches we have to get rid of. But at the same time I stress about it thinking are they too old to be having bottles, is it bad for their teeth,  the added cost to our weekly shops, cleaning all the bloody bottles, is it just a habit and could it get worse? I just generally have the typical mum guilt thinking the main reasons I want to keep the bottles is because it makes MY life better. Funny the internal battles we have right?  Doesn't make it any easier when you get the "oh they are still having bottles!" comments!

So for now the bot bots stay, screw what people think as they do make my life easier and the boys love them. Can't be that bad right?  Have you had bottle loving kids and how did you get them off them? Weaning from bottles is going to be way harder than it was weaning from the boobs!

Go the Fuck to Sleep Part Two

What the actual fuck is going on right now with the Nuggets sleep? Well I do kinda know, they are playing with the idea that they don't want to nap during the day, but they/we aren't ready! They refused one the other day and 1.5 hours later were fast asleep on the couch!  The reason why I only kinda know, is they haven't slept through the night in months! This was when they were still happily napping during the day. So I feel like there is somehow two separate issues going on right now? IMG_8295

It all started about 5 months ago, we used to pop the boys into bed and they would grizzle for a little bit and then off to la la land they would go. Look they weren't GREAT sleepers, hello 5-6am wake up times. But they consistently went to sleep easily and slept through, or if they did wake they would grizzle for a minute and then self settle easy peasy. Then it happened, one night they got out of bed, lay on their backs and start kicking the fucking door! As I have said any times before, man they can be tiny assholes! Now before you think it, why don't I persist and tell those tiny a holes not to kick the door. May I add it sounds like the door is about to break in, it is so fucking loud. You wouldn't believe it! Anyway we have done the persistence of moving them back to bed, telling off, being nice about it, ignoring it, giving them the grumpy voice. We did it all, they did not stop kicking that door in  as soon as we left the room! Every night after anywhere between 5-15 minutes they would finally give in and off they would go to bed. That's till they woke up again and it started all over again. It literally has been a nightmare. What could get worse you wonder? Moving house!

We went away to Bali for my birthday and moved the day we got back. The boys couldn't get out of their old room, as the door handles were too high but they are nice and low in the new house. I expected the first few days to be tough, new surrounding etc, but we are in week three and its been pretty horrific. They have spent so many nights in our bed, and being in our bed doesn't make them sleep better. They toss, turn and wake up constantly. Our presence does nothing to make them sleep better. Way to make us feel even more useless.

When we try to settle them in their room they have a sixth sense about when we leave, they can be out to it after an hour of settling and sneak out. two minutes later they are hysterical, screaming, the KICKING! They wake up just screaming these days and its heart breaking but also incredibly frustrating. I'm not a very nice person after midnight, I like my sleep and my patience level goes waaaay down. I have to grit my teeth and take deep breaths to calm down as they can be so trying. Basically I have gone from feeling like we had done pretty well at the sleep thing to being down in the mud being trampled over overnight by the nuggets. So I ask again, what the hell is going on? Is this a 2-year-old molar thing (they don't seem to be in pain and don't say anything hurts), is it a recession, is it night terrors, separation anxiety? Please tell me this has happened to other people and is there anyone who can help or specialises in toddlers sleep?

 

Go The Fuck To Sleep

Have you heard about that "storybook" Go The Fuck To Sleep? That's how I have felt all weekend about my children. Pretty much muttered it under my breath yelled it at almost all sleep times for the past 4 days. The boys are usually OK sleepers. Ok in the fact they can self settle (but don't always choose to do it) and generally sleep through the night (just not recently). But they aren't long nappers, never have been, and are early risers. The latter of which I am sadly not. Jays been away in Sydney for four days so I have been flying solo, and sure enough the boys can smell the fear and decide to act up. They have a really nasty habit (just plan naughty behaviour) of getting out of their beds in protest of going to bed, laying on their backs and KICKING their feet against the door and screaming really loudly...and I ignore them. You may think I'm mean ignoring their cry and obvious upset, but I swear they aren't, they just want to protest in the loudest, most aurally confronting way possible! The last few nights they have ramped this up a notch and really gone for it. It seriously sounds like the door is about to fall of its hinges. Yes I can hear you now, go in and tell them off, persist and they will stop, lay in there till they fall asleep....tried all that! My kids bizarrely don't do well with me in their room, they fuss even more and have scary spider sense. I can lay there for an hour and would bet anything they were asleep. I move in the slightest to leave and one will sit straight up and say Mama?! WTF, how did you hear me/why aren't you bloody asleep after an hour? GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP! I know they fall into a deep slumber in way less time when I'm not in their room, so why not when I'm there? Anyway, I disgress. This banging is so so loud and is really intense if you aren't used to it/havent hard the little buggers go for it. On Friday I was talking to my friend Rebecca on the phone after I put the boys to bed and they banged, banged and banged for 25 minutes before they gave up! She couldn't believe it. I think it just spurned us both on to talk about how our children had been horrors the last few days. I love my kids, but gosh they can run rings around you!

So settling to sleep has been a nightmare, nap times have been super short (and we all know nap time is the best time of the day when you are tired and flying solo!) and they have been waking REALLY early like pre 5am early, and wanting come into "mummys bed". It's like they know I am more of a pushover when Jays away, and in my head letying them in is a good idea! They will sleep better and we will all get nore sleep right? wrong! I  then spend a night awake being kicked, pushed and susshing babies to sleep as its suddenly more fun to stay awake and climb over me. Fail. Anyway the point of this blog is to vent, venting is good, so that honour falls on you. Thank you! Sadly there is not some magic answer at the end of this blog to stop my kids kicking in the door and sleep in till 7am. If you think you have one please feel free to share below!

Jays home in 1 hour, and he is on the drive show on Hauraki this week, so no breakfast slot 4am starts for him. Which means...you guessed it. This mama is getting a sleep in! Boom!

Night!

Shopping For My Nuggets

Online "shop-a-holic"- a phrase often used by my husband in regards to my spending habits. I hate to admit it (I never do to him, I’m not crazy!) but I have to tell you, my lovely readers, the truth, I’m very much guilty. Now not to lay the blame on anyone…but my dad is a pilot who regularly flies to LA, meaning he has been my online shopping mule for stores that don’t deliver to NZ, but can be sent direct to his hotel reception. So basically, the ease of having access to those items I didn’t otherwise have, has spurred on my addiction. Dad, it’s all your fault!

The amount of clothing, nappies, homewares and bits and bobs he has brought home for me over the years has been epic. Since the arrival of the Nuggets it has been even handier. We have had hundreds of nappies, wipes, my beloved Baby Brezza formula machine and oh so many cute outfits! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE New Zealand labels and supporting NZ owned businesses. Take one look at mine or the boys’ Instagram and you will see we/they are often dressed in clothing from NZ brands and a lot of them are small businesses run by stay-at home mamas. So don’t come at me for not supporting what we have here in NZ!

I often get asked where I get the boys clothing from and when it’s from brands overseas that don’t ship here, I am often met with disappointment. Which is exactly what I am facing come November; you see once you turn 65, pilots are no long allowed to fly into UK and USA airspace as a Captain! Which means, shock horror, my dad will be changing his plane so he no longer flies to the UK and US. I have been dreading this for years! #firstworldproblems

Lucky for me I have a backup plan…I had heard about YouShop from NZ Post but hadn’t checked it out or taken much notice of it since I had my own personal international courier. A recent gap in dads roster meant there was a good 2-months break between his trips to LA and I had some items waiting in my Zara cart that I wanted to push go on. Since I needed to figure out how I could still keep shopping from my favourite online stores who shun us Kiwis by not delivering here, this was the perfect time to trial YouShop.

I thought it would all be a bit complicated, but it wasn’t. YouShop sign up was super easy! You input all your details and it gives you your own “US address”. Easy as that! You use this address for your shipping address when you input your details during checkout. I bought a leather jacket for myself and two parkas for the boys. I had been looking for some cool army green parkas for a while but hadn’t had any luck here. So when I spied these I had to have them! They have a little badge on the arm and the interior has removable lining. So they are nice and warm for winter but as it gets warmer I can remove the lining so it is just a shell. Perfect!

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I knew this package was going to be a bit bulky with three jackets, so I was a bit wary of what the YouShop shipping costs were going to be. I tracked my Zara package and it showed it delivered fine to my “US address”, I then got an email a day later saying it had arrived at the warehouse and had been re packed to make posting more economical along with a link to pay for shipping; all up mine was $30, which included the repackaging fee. I think $30 was a fair price, especially since Zara shipping was free inside the US. Previously when I have shopped from international stores that ship to NZ the price is often around the $40-$50 mark, so $30 was a much better deal. I did note you can work out your shipping fee before you purchase something too, so if you have any heavier or larger items I recommend doing that before you buy it so you know what you are up for. After I had paid I got alerts from all the following stages; item has left warehouse, left US, landed in NZ, cleared customs and finally, item has been delivered! Shipping took 7 days from when I first got the alert it had arrived at the warehouse. So, while it’s not the fastest it isn’t too long to wait for your goodies.

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The boys are always super excited when parcels arrive; they know to go get a knife from the drawer to open them. A sign far too many parcels arrive at this house…that and the fact our couriers know us very well by now! The package had tape on it saying it had been repacked; they had kept all necessary things from the original packaging such as receipts and even a few flyers Zara had sent. The clothing was still in its plastic packaging and had been wrapped again with tissue paper. It was nice to see they had taken good care of the items, as I would have been disappointed if it had been just chucked in a box before being sent off again.

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My verdict, this is definitely going to be my go to once my private courier stops visiting LA. I will have to be more particular in what I am buying, as now I have to pay shipping costs too, but it’s definitely still worth it for those items you just can’t get here! It’s nice to have access to items that are a little bit different to what you can buy here.

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Now where do I shop? There are heaps of stores, but the one I visit the most for the boys and myself, is Zara. They have great on trend pieces, that are good quality and not too harsh on the wallet. Especially when our Kiwi dollar is strong against the greenback! I buy all of the boys footed PJs from Carters, they are made from such nice cotton, have non slip soles and footed PJs up to a size 7! If you have kids like mine that like to wriggle out from under their blankets, having footed PJs is always reassuring knowing they won’t be getting cold. But have you tried finding footed PJs in over a size 2? Mission! Bonds do a size 3 but I have never found any bigger than that! So thanks, Carters! A few other places to check out: GAP (this is where we got our cute yellow rain jackets the boys have been sporting on Instagram), Old Navy have great clothes at GREAT prices! I buy a lot from here in the opposite season in the boys next size up (American stores are always in opposite season to us), Ralph Lauren have epic sales which make the clothes surprisingly affordable - sounds weird but the best socks I have bought for the boys are their ankle socks from here, they stay on, was well and have non slip bottoms their t-shirts are also greta staples,  Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Forever21, J Crew, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Foot Locker. A few of these companies do ship to NZ; Carters, Gap and Old Navy for example, but YouShop's shipping is actually cheaper than their international shipping. So I would go with them to save yourself a few extra bucks.

Try out YouShop before July 31st and use my discount code ANNA10 to receive 10% off your shippings costs.

Happy shopping everyone!

Dinkus 3

SPONSORED BY NZ POST

Twins...Lucky you!

"Double trouble" "You must be busy" "You have your hands full" are just some of the things strangers like to say when you are out and about with twins. It REALLY irks a lot of twin mums as they rightly feel they are blessed to have them. The thing is lots of mums of multiples see these comments as a really negative and insensitive thing to say to someone.  I'm ok with it, mostly because I usually think the person is well-meaning or making a bit of a joke, so I don't let it bother me. But over the past two years it is something I have heard almost daily while out and about. For the first time since they were born someone said something that made my heart sing.  I was at St Lukes with the boys doing a bit of shopping and realised I needed to grab a few things from the supermarket. I usually try to avoid the supermarket with the boy as they get bored sitting in the trolley and have a thing about wanting to throw everything I choose into the back of the trolley. But needs must so I headed to Countdown.  I was in the checkout line and the boys definitely weren't being angels. Hunter was tired and grumpy and Oscar was whining (I hate whinging) and was trying to touch everything within arms reach at the checkout. Seriously whats with all the lollies and brightly wrapped packages at trolley seat hight!? I just wanted to get them in the car and home before they went into meltdown mode.

It was my turn for checkout and the lady behind the counter looked at me, clocked my boys who were currently fighting ver who got to hold my wallet and gave me the biggest smile ever and said  "Oh wow, twins?" In my head I though oh here comes the "double trouble" but she just continued "aren't you so lucky". I was floored, I think I am lucky to have my precious boys but not in their two years has a stranger ever told me that or said something really positive about twins. I was blown away, it instantly made me smile and made my day.  It was such a nice reminder of how a small gesture or a few kind words can have such a great effect on someone and totally change their day or mood. I can't believe it took two whole years to experience a moment like this! She then continued to talk to the boys and told me multiple times "You're doing a great job mama". It seriously brings tears to my eyes now typing this. It was such a lovely thing to hear at the end of a long day. Because, and I think ALL parents can relate to this, you can't help but let that doubt occasionally creep in that maybe you aren't doing a great job, you could play more with them, read more, forget about the housework and focus on them! It's nice to be reminded that you are doing a great job, because sometimes us mums don't give ourselves enough credit. I wish I got her name so I could write to Countdown and tell them what an awesome employee they have, but it totally skipped my mind to get it. I will be on the lookout for her next time we visit!

So please, next time you see a mum of twins resist that urge to make the "double trouble" joke, not all of us are offended by it, but you could literally make someones day if you tell them how lucky they are! Because we are, twins are very special and we were lucky to be chosen to be their mamas #blessed ;)

Sick Sick Sick

So I have spent the last two days in bed with a vomiting bug (NO I'm not pregnant)! Its's been pretty awful and I am just coming right today. So apologies for the lack of blog updates. I'm just trying to catch up on emails, posts and general work as well as a bit of DIY as we are prepping our house for sale. Eek! So promise me you will stay tuned as I haven't disapeared.

Yesterday I lost a Nugget!

SOOOOO yesterday I lost Hunter at the park. I'm a terrible parent right?! We went to our favourite park on the shore, Onepoto Domain, if you follow me on Snap Chat then you will see it often, it's a bike park and playground all rolled into one and is epic...except for when you lose one of your sons and a stranger finds him standing on the ROAD!

We met up with one of my fellow twin mum friends, Heather, and her two amazing twin girls who the Nuggets adore!

We go to this park all the time so I feel very comfortable there, the road that leads into it is only accessed by those going to the domain, so it's not super busy. The park is set back from the road and the car parks back onto it, so kids have to go past a row of cars to get onto the road. This is something all mums, but in particular mums of multiples think of, how far is the road if my twins split and run in different directions? We often look for gated playgrounds to take this risk out. As I said though, I felt pretty comfortable here and surely I could catch a Nugget sneaking to the road before he got there right?! Wrong!

I have written about this park before here. We were playing at that same slide but this time I was standing at the top. Usually I sit at the bottom so they come out, see me and then run up again. The whole playground goes back behind that slide, so If I'm at the bottom I can see most of the playground and I know they can only run back into bush area behind it. My friend and I were keeping an eye on our four toddlers who were wanting to play with different things on the playground, of course they do! Hunter was playing on the slide to my right and Oscar was walking across a wobbly bridge to my left when he fell off. He was crying so I picked him up and brought him back to the slide, I probably spoke a few words to my friend before thinking Hunter hadn't run back up to the top of the slide. Now I am not a helicopter parent, but even if I wanted to be you couldn't be with twins in a park unless you duct tape the little buggers together! I started to worry so went around the side of the playground as we often play around there, but he wasn't there. For some reason I didn't think he would have walked down the path to the road so I actually wasn't THAT worried. I seriously thought he would've snuck back up past me into playground so I checked again. He wasn't there and again I wasn't THAT worried as there is the bike track that he could have been on, so that's where I was checking next. This is why I felt terrible afterwards, why didn't I think about the road? WHY wasn't I THAT worried? I mean my 2-year-old child has been missing for a minute to two, we are in a busy park during school holidays, someone could have taken him or he could be on the road (duh Anna why didn't you think of that!).

As I was walking out to the bike path I see a nice young women walking towards the playground with Hunter in her arms. When I think about it now I am so relived, but at the time I was like "oh there you are!" She informed me she found him standing on the speed bump in the middle of the road! I mean seriously, what the hell! I felt like I needed to explain I have twins and I wasn't just a slack mum not keeping an eye on her one toddler at the park, as I felt a little bit judged that he had gotten out there.

Now I think, why didn't I think to go there first? Why wasn't I panicking and running around to check the places faster than walking? I need to get my head checked! I know this won't be the first time this has happened to a parent, but it's the lack of panicking thing that got my thinking and freaked me out a bit, maybe I am too relaxed as a parent?!

We can't win as mothers can we, there are always two sides to every emotion, thought, plan, routine, parenting style....it's endless. I was feeling bad for not panicking when I am usually quite proud of being a relaxed parent and going with the flow. I'm a mum of twin boys who are rough and tumble, I let them explore the world at a pace they feel confident with and yes sometimes they get hurt! I also don't have eyes in the back of my head, so I can't physically watch out for them 24/7 and I don't think I need too. Kids learn from mistakes.  Not having eyes in the back of my head has led to Oscar receiving a massive cut to his head when he pulled a chair onto his face (his scar is how some people tell them apart) and Hunter breaking his nose riding his trike off the steps of our deck! Bad stuff happens, you have to take it all in your stride..otherwise I think I would be a wreck with the endless 'what if' possibilities. I know this isn't one of those if they fall down let them get back up scenarios, he could have been hit by a car, it is horrifying to think about. But should a hopefully once off, really make me call into question my whole parenting style?

Have any of you had any moments that lead to a crisis of confidence in your parenting?

 

 

 

Reeve Nuggets X Little Flock Of Horrors

One of our favourite merino companies is Little Flock of Horrors, they make great quality and super cool merino for little and not so little kids. The nuggets wore so much of it last winter that we both decided that we needed to make a collab happen and this was our creation. If you have followed me on Instagram for a while then you would have heard about this before; we took pre orders for people to get their Nugg collection before it hit stores this winter. Well if you missed out then today is your lucky day, it's now available again at Little Flock Of Horrors as well as in kids stores around the country. I'm a massive fan of monotone colours so of course the whole collection is black and grey! They may also have been our colours of choice since the nuggets love to get messy whenever and wherever possible!

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Keeping Those Tootsies Cosy

So let's face it, winter is on its way. I'm such a summer girl and I'm sad that those long dreamy summer days are gone...but I do get excited over the prospect of filling up the boys wardrobe with winter goodies! That's one the best things about growing children, new wardrobes I get to fill each season (kidding, kind of). A burden on the wallet, but oh so much fun to do. Can you tell I'm a bit of a shop-a-hollic? So the first thing that was on the agenda was keeping The Nuggets toes warm with some Ugg boots. I have pulled together some of my favourite options available below, both high and low price range so there is something for everyone!

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Lessons and gratefulness

Today was a great day, I was reminded that I should be so grateful to be a twin mama and have my handsome, smart, fun and clever little boys, Oscar and Hunter in my life! Today was a great day but there have been plenty of really really tough ones. We had an extremely tough time settling into twin life (that's a whole other blog post though, and it's coming, I promise). 

The Nuggets turned two in March and with two comes the terrible twos. While my children definitely are delightful, they have been trying the last few months. They aren't naughty but they are just learning so much and they are trying to put it into practice. Just like the other morning when I was getting changed and they decided they wanted to "scramble" some eggs! I mean it was very clever, they got the bowl out from the cupboard I usually scramble eggs in, pulled a chair up to the bench, put the eggs in the bowl (and the floor!) and then got a fork to whisk it together. Hunter kept muttering "whisk, whisk" when I caught them. It's very cute and all but not something I wanted to deal with first thing in the morning!

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Another example; which I feel a bit mean about being frustrated over, is Hunters lack of skills on the balance bike. I have twins, very strong and ahead of the game kids. They do stuff other kids their age won't dream of...and they usually can do everything equally as good as each other. So when Hunter hadn't mastered the bike like Oscar had it threw me.

We went to the pink bike lane in Auckland CBD the other weekend and it was an absolute nightmare! Oscar NAILED his bike, he rode it the whole way with no problems and was really good. But Hunter was useless (I know this is a horrible reason to be frustrated) but he cried, moaned and just wasn't having a bar of it. We should have brought his three-wheeler, but we had done balance bike rides before and even though he wasn't as good as Oscar he could still plod along. This time however he just wasn't into it, which is cool, but after having to bend over and push him along (when we stopped he would tantrum) it became a pain in the ass and back, literally! Cue getting frustrated as this was just something we had never had to deal with...I feel like an awful mum writing this. Why should I be frustrated by my child just because he can't do something as well as his brother? Come on Anna, pull your head in! If you follow me on Snapchat then you would have seen the battles we were having.

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Fast forward to today and I knew I wanted to get the boys out and about this afternoon while we still have some pretty good weather. Being honest again, parks kind of suck at the moment. They get bored but at the same time they don't want to go home and fight me all the way to and into the car! Which is just sometimes too much to handle so I don't even try in the first place. Who wants to be kicked and screamed at while you wrestle your kids away from a park and into a carseat?

Today was going to be different, I wanted to get out and about and enjoy my afternoon with my children who are growing up all too  fast for my liking. I thought we should head to a bike park Jay and I had taken them too about 8 months prior on the shore. I know...bike park? You think I'm asking for a second run of the pink walk! But this park had the bike lanes and two playgrounds so I thought it would take much longer for them to get bored.

This time we packed both of the boys Cruzzee balance bikes and one of the three wheelers for Hunter as he wanted that one. I took the second balance bike as I know my boys,  they fight over toys and want to have the same things. Best way to avoid that is have double of the important things.

We cruised around this awesome bike park, at Onepoto Domain on the shore for about 30 minutes and I was right, Hunter suddenly had the confidence to hit the balance bike again...AND he was great! He went over the bumps and cruised down big hills. I was so proud of him, it was such a good outing and I loved seeing Hunter develop and grow.

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There was two cool playgrounds at the park, one for little kids and one for bigger children. In the big one there was a giant tube slide, the boys seriously played on this thing for 20 minutes while I did random exercises at the bottom (I could'nt get to the gym on Monday so felt I needed to get my heart rate going for a little while).

The boys LOVED this slide, Oscar always went down first follow by Hunter. Oscar was so excited when Hunter came down, EVRYTIME, he jumped up and down with such excitement that Hunter was about to pop out. It was that moment that really made me remember that I was so so so lucky to be a twin mama. Yes they can be trying but moments like these just make my heart melt. They have their best friend from birth and even though they fight, are co-conspirators, they find so much joy in experiencing new things together. It literally made my heart fill up with so much joy. I admit, I have been a little overwhelmed and busy recently and haven't found enough joy in the small things. I'm so grateful for today, to have two boys who love each other dearly, are healthy and amazing little men. Little men that make me want to be a better me,  to have a supportive partner, a partner that also makes me a better person. I'm very lucky and sometimes I need to set aside all the "garbage" and remember that, just like today. Man I am lucky!

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Keeping those bloody colds at bay!

The nuggets are exactly like me, every turn of season they get colds! Then throughout winter they flip flop between being fine and having a green snotty nose, not exactly ideal! Not even the Nuggets can look cute on Instagram with green snot ooozing from thier handsome little faces. Jokes aside, I want two healthy and happy little men all winter as opposed to two sick clingy nuggets, it's the pits!  I find that if the boys have a sniffle I can usually bring it to a standstill if I attack early enough with some serious doses of Vitamin C. Of course I don't always win this war but its better to win some battles than none at all right?!

Today I was walking down the aisle at my local Countdown and all the kids vitamins caught my attention. It was time for a top up so I checked out all the options. I have a massive habit (not a bad habit to have at all) of reading ingredient lists on the back of items. You obviously want to choose the best option and I find all the pretty packaging can be so distracting, as well as price points. What is it with parents and buying items like this that makes us instantly think "the most expensive item must be the better"? Sure sometimes they are but not all price points and products are created equal! There really is a HUGE difference to what makes up each option. I snap chatted (user name: annareeve1986) a few options and had so many screen shots that I thought this must be a topic you mums are interested in.

Before I start I'll let you know that the RDI (recommended daily intake) of Vit C for children aged 1-8 is 35mg, if you are like me numbers mean nothing to you so here it is in layman's terms. An Orange has about 70mg, a cup of Kale has 80mg and there is 65mg in a Kiwifruit (thanks Julia for giving me this info). Of course its best to get all our vitamins and minerals from food but in winter we need to up the intake so we can stop those bloody runny noses in their tracks!  So here goes, a bit more info on what I found and what I decided to buy for the nuggets.

The Nuggs love the gummy type vitamins versus the chewable tablet. This is also is a win win for me as these gummy vitamins are known to them as treats/lollies/sweets, so easy to fool 2 year olds! They have no idea what they actually are and they have been great bribing tools as of late! I mean seriously what more could you want for in a vitamin, other than a miracle cure of course?

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There were only two gummy options, Bioglan and Blackmores. Bioglan was around the $18 mark and came with 60 gummies, but you need to take two a day. My photos are a little shitty but there is 30mg of Vit C and 2.5mg of Zinc. This one is what I was naturally drawn to, all those pretty colours and eye level placement works a charm! IMG_4819

Second option was Blackmores, this was hiding all the way down on the bottom shelf and I almost missed it. 36 gummies for $14.99 and you only need ONE of these a day - bloody bargain! The photo on this one is a little better so you can see all the ingredients below. These has much more Vit C, Zinc plus Vit A & D, which are all really good for our immune system. Winner! These bad boys came home with me and the Nuggets gobbled them up for an after dinner "treat"! I could be telling you all what you already know, but with things like this check the back. It's amazing the difference there are amongst these suckers.

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Other things to think about - some of these gummies do have lots sugar in them, so if you are a completely sugar-free household then this isn't going to be for you. We are reasonably sugar free here, the Nuggs go crazy on the stuff and I just can't handle two crazy toddlers! But I obviously don't mind a little bit here and there and this is something that I definitely let it slide on. It's a shame that unlike food products they don't have to list the amounts of sugar on the packaging on these things. On the Bioglan packet it states that it contains sugar but not how much. On the other hand Blackmores states it doesn't have any added artificial sweeteners.  I feel "No added artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners" is a buzz sentence you see on a lot of products these day...would be interesting to know if that meant they had no actual sugar in them too? But I think sugar doesn't fall under the artifical sweetener umbrella?!

The above is just what's available in your supermarkets, but if you go to the chemist or health store there is a whole other realm of Vit C supplements. it literally blows my mind how big that industry is! Ideally I would love the boys to take Vit C in powder or liquid form in a drink or smoothie, but half the time the little buggers wont finish their drink/pour it on the floor/feed it to the cat...so I'm not actually sure how much they are getting. I'm a bit of a freak and I like the fact that I know if they eat one of the gummies that they have taken X amount and are keeping those snotty noses away!

What supplements if any do you give to your kids? Is it something you put value in doing? I could write a whole other blog post on other things I use for the Nuggets, but I think I will save that for another time if that's something you lovely lot would like to know more about?

UPDATE:

Blackmores saw my post and replied about the sugar content on my Instagram 

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