Reality Check – time to lose the belly

Since having the twins I haven’t thought about loosing weight. I kinda figured it would fall off itself, after all I have two kids to run around after. The thing is though, newborns don’t really run around; in fact they actually don’t move very much at all, instead sleeping is the priority. So I wasn’t running around and I wasn’t losing the weight. Again this never really bothered me except for the few times that I had to leave the house and put on clothes that didn’t come from my loungewear range. OK, loungewear might be generous, really what i mean is sleepwear!! At these times I felt horrible that I still had a big swollen stomach (one person actually asked me when I was due, 12 weeks after having the girls) but didn’t dwell on it. Numerous times I had attempted shopping with disastrous results and online shopping was even worse. But I still honestly didn’t focus on it; babies, bottles and burping was the focus.

That was until recently when I was at one of my best friend’s hen party. I had gone against the black and white dress code with a navy shirt dress. Close enough, I thought, and this was my go to dress for all going out occasions. Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’m not every other weekend. We’ve had about 3 occasions where i needed to look some bit decent and this was the go to outfit for all of them. It was loose enough to over all necessities and still nice enough for dressing up. I find dresses a much better option as once you find one you are happy with they are practically a complete outfit and no messing around with tops and bottoms – bonus! However, this time when I put it on something looked and felt different. it didn’t sit quite as well as it used to, even when i had on the big slimming knickers. I forgot about it and went on with the evening, after all I didn’t have any other options. However, throughout the night I was awkward sitting down, I was awkward standing up and wished the night away. The next morning when I was back home I realised that this was the first time that I have felt truly disgusting. everyone has times when they are unhappy with their bodies and would wish for skinnier legs, stomach or whatever. But this was much more and I finally came to the realisation that this baby weight wasn’t shifting on it’s own.

So, I braved it and I stepped on the scales. I nearly fell off again when I saw the result – 2 and a half stone up on my normal weight. Conscious that another baby is on the way and this would likely lead to nearly 4 stone in weight to lose, I started to look into options. I’ve joined the gym in our block of apartments and have been trying to go 3 times a week. I use it for 30 minutes, alternating running and walking. After 8 weeks I’ve shifted 1 stone and feel loads better about myself.

So for anyone looking to maybe shift some pounds, be it post part or not, here are my few tips:

  • Find something you like.

Theres no point in trying to drag yourself to something you hate so get signed up to something you like. Even if it’s a little on the expensive do it for a couple of months until you get your mojo back.

  • Be realistic

Don’t start by signing up to a race that you have little or no time to prepare for. You’ll be under pressure and will feel even worse when you don’t hit little milestones.

  • Get clothes that are comfortable

I don’t know how many years i’ve been pouring myself into gym wear that honestly are just too small because “it’ll fit when I’m back to my goal weight”. I mean if it fit me now the way I think it should then I wouldn’t need to go to the gym. Get clothes that fit, you’ll feel better when exercising and every thing that helps get you moving is worth it.

  • Be kind to yourself

Don’t expect too much, just start and be happy that you are doing just that. There’s enough pressure on people to look a certain way but just being healthy is the only thing we need to worry about.

  • Prepare.

Schedule it into your day and even if you don’t feel like it get dressed for the exercise and see how you feel later on.

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My Ultimate Guide to Your Hospital Bag – everything you need for your baby delivery

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A mama-to-be friend of mine is getting very close to her due date and is heading for squeaking bum time. She has started to organise her bag for the hospital visit and asked me for my list of essentials. Rather than hand over the 3 lists I got from other friends and the one final accumulated list which would rival Santa Claus’ list of toys (mine, however, wasn’t filled with toys), I prepared a new one for her. This list had everything that I had actually used and needed during the time in hospital. I also added in my tips and bits of information that I thought might be handy for the stay (always looking out for those nuggets I can bring you!). Baring in mind for this that I had a caesarean section and knew this going in to the hospital so I didn’t pack anything for the labour ward.

Clothing and footwear:

  • Nightie x2 – string ones best for breastfeeding and also for the heat in the hospital
  • Pyjamas pants and string top – change into these during day time
  • Slippers – slide on ones
  • Dressing gown
  • Flip flops for in shower
  • Knickers – biggest ones you can get particularly get high-waisted ones, you’ll thank me afterwards
  • Maternity bra – comfy ones
  • Big towel – make sure its a dark colour
  • Hair turban towel can use normal towel but the turban is handy

Toiletries

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Shower puff or some sort of body scrubber
  • Body moisturiser, bring anything you used for stretch marks
  • Deodorant
  • Cleanser, toner, moisturiser
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair brush
  • Shower Cap
  • Hair bobble
  • Hair clips
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Lip balm
  • Hand cream (can use moisturiser)
  • Lansinoh nipple cream – to prevent cracked/sore nipples from feeding or pumping
  • Breast pads – used for leaking….I didn’t need this and I’m not sure anyone would have a big enough supply just after having a baby to leak but I could be very wrong on that.

Babies

  • Baby grows x6
  • Vests x6
  • Cardigan x4
  • Hats x2
  • Wipes
  • Nappies

Other things –

  • Phone Charger
  • Bag for bringing things to shower
  • Magazines
  • Note pad & pen to remember any info or to write questions
  • Deodorant for Hubby – for the long days in the hospital.
  • Spare T-Shirt for Hubby – same as above
  • A few protein bars for Hubby as he could be hanging around a bit.

Tips:

Bring a few additional bags with you for Hubby to bring things home just some small plastic ones that you can easily ball up.

Pack your toiletries etc in a clear bags to make it easier for Hubby to find items in them. If he’s anything like mine this will go a long way to avoid everything being pulled out onto whatever surface is closest and shoved back in without any order.

Bring miniatures where you can……hotel sizes are handy to have!

If you have favourite products for anything, bring these…..bring anything that will feel like a treat. After everything you’ve been through you deserve the bit of luxury!

Use sandwich bags for the baby stuff so that you have one baby grow, vest, nappy etc in each. Handy so that you’re not rooting around trying to find one of each. Can also use sandwich bags for the toiletries.

Get your other half to investigate the parking rules around the hospital. I was going to city centre Hospital and there was only public paid parking in the area. My husband set up the relevant Parking Tag App to pay for the parking around there so he was able to just update from his phone.

Pack up the things you won’t need until day 2 in a separate bag for your partner to bring with him when he comes back in. For example, spare knickers, spare nightgown etc won’t be needed straight away.

I feel like a total Irish Mammy for this one but have some meals at home for your partner that are quick to cook as he’ll be home quite late every night. We did this but then put them in freezer which totally negates what we were trying to do. A couple of microwave meals would do the trick.

I’ve heard of someone bringing in a scarf to tie to the bed to help pull themselves up after section which sounds like a good idea.

Hope you find this of help and have gotten some good information from it. If there is anything else you think is a must to have let me know in the commens below.

What we are doing to make our first family Christmas extra special 

Ok, I know it is pretty obvious that the first Christmas with your first-born is pretty darn special in its own right. I also know that the twins won’t remember anything but we will and I don’t know about you but I’m in the mood to celebrate it! Maybe it’s something to do with the tough pregnancy but I can’t help splurge out on a few things to make the Christmas season that bit extra special so here’s my guide to what we are doing. These would be great for children of any age really, not just newborns, so read on and get some ideas to help make your holidays extra special this year.

  1. Clothes – occasion wear and festive

Yes they are going to only get a month at best out of these but with all the visitors calling around to coo over the little ones, not to mention the hundreds of cute photo opportunities, why not take the chance to put your little one into some gorgeous outfits. We’ve gone for the traditional option for day time and novelty for nighttime but whatever your preference is there are loads of options in the shops.

2. Personalised decorations

Over the past few years I have noticed more and more places selling ceramic decorations that you can personalise with names or special messages. I have always wanted to get one for my mum with all the grandchildren on it but as the family is always expanding it was difficult. This year however I have my own family (yay!!) so I picked up this cute one. I thought it was just right for the twins and they have other penguins for any other additions in years to come….and by that I mean years and years to come!!!

3. Visiting Santa.

A controversial one between the husband and I, but I love the idea of starting this tradition now so that we can have a complete set of photos. You know, to go in the cupboard with all the other boxes of photos! Joking aside, a happy wife is a happy life so off to Santa’s kingdom we go. Luckily I have just the thing to put them in for the photo…..

4. Keep the important traditions

When were first married we had the usual decision about where we would spend our first Christmas. Both of us obviously wanted to stay with our own family and, with the most important meal of the year at stake, our argument for and against literally came down to which house could do the best roast potatoes. Sad but true! In the end neither of us compromised on it and instead we now have 2 Christmas meals.

This year though we need to come together on what we want the girls to grow up knowing. Now this is harder to do when you remember that we spend the holidays between our parents houses as we don’t live in that city anymore. I feel like its going to be a bit of hit and miss on this for a few years as we get into the groove of things but for the moment, like the christmas meal, we are doing everything. Yikes!

5. New traditions

I’m not sure why but one day I got thinking about what kind of things I wish for the girls in their life that I may not necessarily have now. this doesn’t mean something my parents didn’t do with me or something that they couldn’t give me, because in all honesty there isn’t much of those two things anyway, but the one thing was that i wish i remembered a lot more. So I thought about it and I came up with the idea that every year we will write down all the best bits of the year and keep them together (probably in the cupboard next to the box of photos!). The girls are obviously too young to do this at the moment but at least we’ll have it cemented by the time they can join in.

So take this opportunity to start your own traditions. It’s never too late to do this, just be committed to whatever it is.

6. Take time

As we transition from the party going holiday season to the family friendly, double buggy accommodating holiday season, I feel like it could be very easy for us to fall into the curse of trying to do too much in a small space of time. It’s important to take time out for just the 4 of us so I made plans for us to reign in the New Year together, just us. whether you choose this day or not, it doesn’t really but make sure to take time to gather everyone together and do something nice that is just for you all.