Preparing for Twins - Farmhouse Restoration

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


One of my first thoughts I had when I found out we were having twins was 'Oh my goodness how will we fit in our house?' I'm the first to admit we hadn't really planned or prepared for one baby, let alone two so my initial reaction was panic. Thankfully unlike myself, Jay is the opposite of me and is calm, confident and doesn't panic in fairly unique situations like the one we were experiencing.

We're having MoDi (monochorionic diamniotic) twins, which means it's a high risk pregnancy because they share a placenta and are only separated by a very thin membrane - our midwife explained to me it's like a piece of clingfilm in a bag of water separating them! We were told upfront from the start that they will be delivered early at 36 weeks, that is if they don't arrive of their own accord before then which is common with this kind of twin pregnancy. So I was advised to rest as much as I could, not to stress and to get as much done as I could as soon as possible. I knew I was going to need lots of support and our house in Durham wasn't exactly near either of our families. So we took up the opportunity to move back to my family farm and restore one of the farmhouses there.

We received the keys this weekend and work has already begun on restoring the place, so I thought I'd share a few photos from the progress so far.

1. The house holds a lot of sentimental value to me as it is actually my Nan and Granddad's old home which sits across the way from my parents home. There is a path that runs all the way round the outside and it's where I learnt to ride my bike as a child. I have vague memories of myself swinging outside the kitchen window and leaping off into the garden (which is now extended driveway).

2. The views are just incredible - this is taken from the front on part of the driveway but behind the property if you walk past the garage, it's equally as pretty from all angles.

3. Been at home is not only going to be handy for when the twins arrive but also been able to just head out into the countryside for a quick walk is keeping my mind calm and my body well exercised. Since the sun was shining this weekend, my Mum joined me for several walks and it's lovely having time to bond with her more.

4. This is actually in my parents home - all my deliveries for the twins! Sorry about the mess Mum. Everything is packaged up until we can move it into the new house once it's ready so it's currently taking over her conservatory.

5. A little before of the kitchen which is obviously very dated. After much debate and help from Steve, our Kitchen Designer at MKM, we've gone with a traditional Shaker-style in an almost sage colour.  The kitchen was ripped out over the weekend and I'm so excited to see what it's going to look like when it starts to be installed.

6. This part of the dining area of the kitchen is staying! It'll be having a lick of paint and some TLC but I absolutely love our little log burner.

7. You'll see from the picture of the livingroom that there was a stone fireplace... well this now looks like this! After some rather horrendous loud drilling which I stayed well out the way of the stone is all gone. We're adding another woodburner here and I think it's going to be such a cosy space in the Autumn and Winter.

8. The light in the house is just incredible. It always feels so warm and inviting even on rainy days. Not to mention the views from all angles.

9. Our new Eames style chairs for the kitchen arrived and though we've only built one so far, they're perfect! This weekend has gone by in a bit of a blur and I'm so thankful to have Jay and our families all working on the preparations for our twins. I am obviously keeping out the way of all the heavy lifting and works and have instead been scouring the Next Home catalogue and Pinterest for design inspiration - my favourite kind of nesting!

The Green at Washington Village

Sunday, 26 March 2017



Back when I worked at the college, a colleague of mine, Kelly was starting a really exciting new project outside of education - she was opening a tearoom in an old disused library in Washington Village. I'd heard of the old library building before and knew it held a place close to many people's hearts in the village. The concept was a simple one, the green was to be filled with beautiful unique gifts, serve delicious tea and coffee and play home to a boutique florist. It sounded perfect and exactly the kind of place I would like to spend long lazy mornings. Due to work commitments, I had visited the green before but only to pop in and grab food to go and since getting pregnant I haven't caught up with friends nearly anywhere as much as I would have liked to. So when my friend Vicky suggested meeting for coffee in Washington, it was the obvious choice to spend a couple of hours catching up.

Describing itself as a 'concept store,' the green serves up delicious locally roasted GoldBox coffee and has the largest selection of organic loose tea I've ever seen. All the cakes, biscuits, scones, jams and chutney served are all homemade and without even been asked I was informed just to let them know if I had any gluten/wheat intolerances.

Vicky and I settled down into seats right by the window which was filled with flowers and the Spring sunshine. We'd ordered a decaf latte and Americano and set to catching up. I was sat in direct sight of the florist area which is never a good idea as I love flowers and I was already calculating how many bunches I could buy without Jay noticing.

The really lovely thing sbout the green is they also have a gorgeous workshop area out back which as well as been available for hire, also hosts regular community events. Coming up in April there's a Floral and Craftwood workshop which I would love to attend. I spied a leaflet advertising these and noticed on the inside they also do the yummiest sounding afternoon tea which I can't wait to go back for. I'm thinking I might even treat my Mum as a little thank you as she's been helping us so much with all the twin preparations.

The time flew by but I couldn't resist a nosey in the gifts and some flowers before leaving. I managed to resist buying any homewares from the gift section but did end up with Tulips and several bunches of Daffodils.

I had such a lovely time at the green - I kind of wish I wasn't moving further away now. The green is situated right in the heart of Washington Village and there's plenty parking around. If you're looking for somewhere a little bit quirky then it is simply a must-visit. Take a look at their website here for more information and directions and make sure you tell Kelly, Hi from me when you pay them a visit!

Week by Week Twin Pregnancy: 22 Weeks

Saturday, 25 March 2017


After not been very well the other week and after some discussion with my doctor and Jay, I finished my contract with the university this week. (A huge thank you to my colleagues there and especially to Anne for the present.) I'm now working flexible part time hours for myself which has already really helped and made me feel a lot better than I had been. That combined with the nicer weather we've been having has given me that extra bit of energy to feel more human again. It also meant I was able to head out and catch up with some friends this week rather than wanting to hide in the house in my comfies.

How Big are the Babies:
Can you believe there's two spaghetti squash sized babies in my bump? I can't... that is until I try to breathe or eat and I realise I have very little lung capacity left. At our fortnightly scan, they were weighing perfectly at 15oz each. They were also cuddling each other which was the most heart-warming thing to see. After a particularly quiet week on the kicks front, they've definitely up'd in energy and have been making their presence known, particularly when I need the loo or if I'm about to go to sleep. Cheers babies, one day I'll get my own back.

Symptoms:
I can't walk anywhere near as fast as I used to and I'm breathless even when sitting down. Besides this I haven't really had any other symptoms this week. Though I don't have the energy I used to, I'm feeling much better this week than I have been.

Diet:
I wouldn't say I lost my way this week but I definitely could have eaten a lot more fruit and vegetables. I'll be tackling the weekly food shop this weekend so will get back on it asap.

Weight Gain:
No idea and I don't really care. It's actually quite a popular question among people who find out I'm having twins! 'Oooh really? How much weight have you put on?' There is NO situation that question is ever really appropriate! I've got two 15oz babies in me, a rather heavy placenta and then a lot more blood than normal so I'm guessing quite a bit. Overall though, I'm really happy as other than a bump (& an extra bra cup size), my body hasn't changed shape!

Exercise:
I started at Puddle Ducks Aquanatal classes the other week and I love it. Been in the water is so nice and makes me feel weightless.
With having the opportunity to be at my parents farm more and the nicer weather, I've been going on lots more walks too!

Sleep:
Thankfully the insomnia only lasted for a couple of nights however my sleep is still broken with multiple trips to the bathroom - something tells me this isn't going to change now and is probably only going to get worse.

Other Notable Things:
I'm really looking forward to been able to choose the colours and start planning the twins room. Jay will be restoring our new home soon and I've already been to B&Q for a whole load of paint samples. It's all starting to come together which is probably a good thing considering in around 14 weeks they'll be with us!

Week by Week Twin Pregnancy: 20 Weeks

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

girl in the north twin pregnancy ultrasound 20 weeks
I guess I should rename these posts 'Two Weekly Twin Pregnancy' updates as unfortunately I missed last week due to been a bit poorly. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have heard I ended up with a water infection. One of the worst things for a MoDi pregnancy. The good news is after a couple of appointments with my Doctors, some rest and a round of antibiotics, I'm back to my normal pregnant self and the babies were absolutely fine at our scan on Friday.

How Big are the Babies:
Considering how ill I felt last week, the twins are growing just perfectly and are now the size of a banana each. According to my notes they're both 10oz exactly and I can certainly tell as I've started to feel a LOT more squished inside.

Symptoms:
It's 5:02am and I'm writing this - pregnancy insomnia has struck. It seems very unfair that I can feel this tired but absolutely cannot sleep. I've spent the past hour tip-toeing around the downstairs of our house trying not to wake up Jay whilst helping myself to Weetabix and a decaf tea in the hopes that some food will send me back off to sleep. This theory doesn't seem to be working.
Besides the insomnia right now, these past two weeks I've started to notice getting my breath is a lot harder and I have to walk slower. After I eat, even if it's a very small meal - I still feel like I've tackled five Christmas Dinners.
20 week twin baby bump
Diet:
So given above, I'm now trying to snack more throughout the day. I still have my three main meals but they tend to be smaller and I fill in the gaps with fruit.

Weight Gain:
As well as appointments with my Doctor last week and a scan with our twin midwife, I also had a community midwife appointment. This was where I was first weighed and assumed I would be again however she said she'd leave this to the consultant. So I've no idea exactly how much I have put on but it's all still bump and boobs at the moment.

Exercise:
I've been doing my usual routine of lots of walks and stretching however I was under strict orders to rest last week. Tonight though I start at my Puddle Ducks Aquanatal classes which I'm really looking forward to. Been in the water feels so nice and I already know from the twins movements when I have a bath or shower that they love it.

Sleep:
See symptoms. Until tonight I had mostly been sleeping well, even with the multiple trips to the loo each night as I was falling straight back to sleep. Hopefully tonight is a one off and tomorrow I'll be back to normal.

Other Notable Things:
We've felt kicks! This is the most bizarre feeling in the world as I often forget I'm pregnant. In the grand scheme of things I've been relatively symptomless so far (bar the tiredness) and it often slips my mind that in 16 weeks they'll be an extra two tiny humans living with us. When they move it's a lovely reminder I'm carrying them with me everywhere I go - I'm not so much looking forward to the coming weeks when they get stronger and the kicks get harder!

This week I did manage to venture out to Mothercare's Parent to Be event which was really informative. I took my Mum along with me as Jay was busy and we loved the mini first aid class. I left with a bag full of goodies and lots of information to read up on.