Twingenuity - Motherhood, multiples & everything in between...
A blog for parents to share in the fine experience of motherhood, madness and all that accompanies. The theory behind twingenuity.co is to provide you with a laugh and offer a platform for support and information surrounding motherhood, multiples and parenting.
Teething. I hate it. There’s no other way to put it. I know it’s selfish but sometimes I’m genuinely not sure who I feel more sorry for, my teething twins… or me. As a mother, you know the stress that comes with teething, you’ll try ANYTHING. Now, my boys have never been into teething toys so unfortunately that never worked and I can’t just keep them dosed up on Panadol now can I.
Fellow mother and founder of Baltic Wonder recently got in touch and how appropriate the timing was. I used it as an opportunity to ask all the questions of an ‘on the fence’ believer when it comes to amber necklaces. For years I haven’t been able to decipher between ‘trendy necklace’ and ‘something that actually works’. As such I asked Jenn to put together something for Twingenuity readers. Read on for all the info on how and why Baltic amber helps our teething babies.
Baltic amber teething necklaces hit the teething scene and raised eyebrows in the process. Could a simple little piece of children’s jewellry actually combat the swollen gums, endless drool, persistent pain, and resulting crabbiness and sleeplessness that just come with the teething territory? It would seem that the answer is YES! And that is fantastic news when you know that you’re going to be going through it in full, surround-sound, hi-fidelity stereo!
So how do these wonder-products work?
The key is the certified Baltic amber that comprises the necklaces. Research has found that only amber (a fossilized tree resin) that is harvested in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania contains high enough concentrations of the ingredient that helps with the pain and swelling of teething.
Called “succinic acid,” this is the same compound produced by the human body to deliver natural pain relief and reduce swelling. The problem is that the body does not produce enough of it to effectively manage the sustained symptoms of teething. Wearing a Baltic amber teething necklace provides an extra boost of succinic acid, allowing the body’s natural systems to work at a higher rate of efficiency.
As your little ones wear their teething necklaces, their body heat will warm the amber and release the succinic acid. This is why it is very important that the necklace fits closely against their skin, underneath their clothing; for the succinic acid to be absorbed and used by the body, the beads must be in direct skin contact. Once activated, your child’s teething necklace will provide a constant stream of succinic acid, making its pain relief and swelling reduction sustained and long-lasting.
As the pain and inflammation are controlled, your baby’s mood and sleep patterns will also become more normalized, which is much less likely in the peak-and-valley relief cycle offered by traditional teething medications. Another contrast to synthetic medical remedies is that the succinic acid provided by a Baltic amber necklace will not create a risk of overdose or side-effects; the body eliminates any excess and recognizes the compound as an already-present substance that it knows how to process easily.
The simplicity of use, sustainability of relief, and safety of a Baltic amber teething necklace make it an ideal product to simplify the teething process in a family, especially with multiples. Add to that the fact that it is also multi-purpose for any childhood source of pain and inflammation – think sore throats, achy muscles, and sinus congestion – and you have a single one-time-purchase product that will replace repeated purchase medications throughout years of your babies growth.
Baltic amber teething necklaces, like the ones found at Balticwonder.com are exactly the kind of product parents: convenient, uncomplicated, multi-functional, effective, safe, and economical.
Welcome back to my kitchen ladies… as always, a pleasure!
Now, lets get right back into it shall we. Below you will find the best ever recipe for caramel slice. No exaggeration I tell you. I have done all the hard work and failed attempts for you and have tried every recipe and combination under the sun. The result, an unsurpassed, second to none, first class, absolutely perfect caramel slice. As you will see from the ingredients list below, it really is made up of ingredients you generally already have in your cupboard. So this recipe is my quick go to when invited to a birthday party or a special occasion suddenly pops up. And now – it can be yours too!
Base 1 cup plain flour
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125g melted butter (half a regular block)
Filling 2 x 395 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/3cup golden syrup
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place all base ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Line a roughly 20x30cm baking tray (I never actually pay attention to measurements, just anything that looks appropriate) with grease proof paper and using your hands (yes it’s time to get greasy) press the mixture into the base evenly and bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden.
2. While the base is in the oven, we are going to make the caramel filling. Place the rest of your butter, condensed milk and golden syrup, in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and STIR CONTINUOUSLY for 5–7 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly and is evenly combined. Once complete, pour the caramel over the cooked base and cook for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly and then refrigerate until cold.
3. To make the chocolate topping, place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel mixture and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. Using a warm knife, cut into squares to serve.
Note: DO NOT walk away when you are stirring your caramel or you will end up with crunchy caramel pieces cooking to the bottom of the pot! I mean it could be worse but dont get to confident – just saying’.
Welcome to your second instalment of “The Cooper Kitchen”
Today we are going to focus on a staple that is easy, straightforward, inexpensive and despite all of this – VERY IMPRESSIVE.
– Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder –
I feel like red meat is often passed off as ‘male domain’. Growing up in my household the Sunday roast and family BBQ’s were always dad’s area of expertise. There is just something about men and their meat, or at least all the men in my life. I remember taking dad shopping on many occasions and finding him unable to pass a butcher without staring unwaveringly (yes this is an actual word, I checked) over the cuts of meat in the window. It was embarrassing to say the least. The poor man lived in a house full of females and never had a soul that understood his obsession. I remember he would come home sometimes and marvel in his exceptional ability to find ‘specials’ in the meat section. We had to buy an extra freezer just to accommodate such specials. The man was and still is quite literally meat mad.
Now the pro here… is that I learned a few things.
A lot of things actually.
And slowly but surely – I too began to develop a love of meat.
So today I want to show you that cooking large pieces of meat is actually surprisingly easy and totally within your skill set…
You just don’t know it yet.
So let’s begin…
Lamb shoulder (Anything from 1.5-3kg)
Salt / Pepper
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees. Take your shoulder of lamb and place some deep(ish) cuts in the meat. Think 2cm wide x 2cm deep, basically just big enough to fit a garlic clove which you will place in the small space you have created ‘whole’. No stuffing around with garlic mincers that take forever to clean – just the whole perfect clove. Also in these spaces shove some sprigs of rosemary, no chopping…they are fine as they are. You can add as many or as few as you like.
2. Rub your meat
Yes, your heard me. Juice the lemon into a small bowl, add a good dash of olive oil, oregano (or any other herbs that ‘tickle’ your fancy haha), salt and pepper. Give it a little stir and then rub it over the meat. If you’re a fan or garlic (as I certainly am) and have minced garlic in the fridge… rub some of that over it to. Remember… your kitchen, your rules.
3. Throw it all in
Okay so you’re almost there. Chop up your onion & any other veggies you have in the fridge. Think carrots, celery, leek, potato, sweet potato… the sky is the limit. There is absolutely no vegetable that won’t work! Don’t bother peeling anything – that takes too long. Just chop up and throw in. And if you’re really pressed for time throw them in whole. They are going to cook regardless.
4. Time to cook
Now place the meat on top of it all, pour over a good amount of beef stock – say 1.5cups and a good splash of red wine (any wine will do). NB: When you’re pouring make sure you don’t pour too directly ‘over’ the lamb as we don’t want to wash off all of our hard rubbing now do we.
Place in a preheated oven and cook for 5 hours.
That’s it ladies… you’re literally done.
The whole preparation process from start to finish should take more or less 20minutes.
And 5 hours later you’ll look like Jamie Oliver.
Your husband will think you’re amazing, your kids will think you should go on master chef and let’s face it – you bloody well should. Well done Mumma.
QUICK TIP – Always let meat rest before serving.
Take lamb out of the oven – season with extra salt and pepper, and let it sit for 15-30minutes.
Having children changes everything. It changes the way you view the world, the way your view people, your parents, your friends. It changes your values and what is important to you. It really is like your heart shifts from living inside you and takes new residence outside your body. For me, I have three little hearts wandering around – and it scares the absolute life out of me. It’s an entirely new feeling of vulnerability and one that you won’t quite appreciate until you become a parent. Should anything happen to that little heart, it can break you. You are no longer the controller of how you feel and it becomes one of the scariest and most wonderful things you will ever experience.
I look at my babies and know, deep down, that for now and for the rest of their lives, their pain is my pain. Their triumphs, my triumphs. When they fall, I will feel the impact. Their happiness, is my happiness. The cord of their placenta may be severed at birth, but for a mother, that cord will remain forever.
Think simple, think easy, think ingredient’s you already have in the fridge.
Let’s start with the basics and I’ll have you on the receiving end of ooo’s and ahh’s in no time.
If there’s one thing I know how to do (apart from produce and maintain children obviously) its cook.
And I want you to have as much fun as we do in the kitchen!
This creamy cooper carbonara is a huge favourite in our household. With four simple ingredient’s you can have dinner thrown together in just 15 minutes and produce a meal the whole family will love.
1 x handful of thinly sliced ham
Work with what you’ve got. You can use shaved ham from the deli, leg ham, bacon, pancetta, prosciutto… It all depends on how fancy you’re feeling!
NB: I say handful because it really doesn’t matter how much. If your kids go nuts over ham – throw in another handful, and another and…
1 x packet of pasta
Don’t over think it. Whatever you have in the cupboard. Any pasta under the sun will work just fine!
2 x eggs
Self-explanatory. And before you ask, no they don’t need to be organic eggs, plucked from a chicken’s bottom who lives on the highest mountain in the most organic, free range sanctuary on earth. Just think eggs. Keep it simple.
1/2 cup x runny cream (Half the usual 250g cartons)
If you only have thickened cream – use that, if you’re into dollop cream – go for your life.
Runny will work best, but always remember it’s your kitchen – your rules. Anything goes.
Boil the pasta for 10minutes or so, then drain.
NB: Whenever you drain your pasta always try and keep a little of the liquid. This will keep it moist (yep I just used the word moist) and flavoursome. It will also help to combine all the elements (fancy word for ingredients… see what I did there).
Whilst the pasta is boiling throw your ham into a pan with a dash of olive oil or knob of butter (haha knob). This will heat it up slightly and give it a bit more of a salty taste. Give it a few minutes and then add it to the drained pasta.
Crack your eggs into a bowl, give thanks to the chicken that laid them for you, add cream.
Whisk slightly with a fork & then pour mixture over the pasta and toss.
Seasons with a good amount of salt and pepper.
Less pepper obviously if were cooking for babies.
Once evenly through – leave it for 5 minutes to sit and to allow the egg mixture to ‘cook’ in the heat of the pasta.
As is always the case with children and babies, you don’t need a doctor or medical assistance until you need it, and in that moment you need it immediately. Up until that point it is rare that we give much thought as to what other options we have in the unfortunate event of an injury or should an emergency situation occur. For most of us, our first point of call would be the local hospital or medical center. Well, what if I told you Sydney sider’s there was another option… an alternative with little to no wait times and specialised immediate care for you and your children.
A few months back the boys were suffering from Bronchiolitis and I began to notice that Jack was really struggling with his breathing. I could hear the rattle as he breathed in an out and decided it was time to see someone. Our first point of call was the local medical center where we waited for an hour and a half to have Jack seen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that we have a health care system which allows such a thing to be possible. In fact, becoming a parent has given me a new appreciation of just how lucky we are in this country, many don’t have such a privilege. However also as a parent, nothing can compare to the desperation you feel in that moment.
The doctor did not feel confident releasing us without further observation, so off to Mona Vale hospital we went. As you might imagine, two hours waiting to be seen in Emergency at 7pm at night with a baby is a nightmare. All jack wanted to do was sleep. But amongst the buzz of people, flashing lights and beeping monitors – he would have to wait, and wait, and wait…
Well parents – the wait is over.
Welcome to a new form of Emergency care – WiSE Specialist Emergency Clinic – where families are offered an alternative to the Emergency department and local medical centre. Established by a group of passionate emergency physicians who wanted to help patients access care quickly and with minimal waiting times, WiSE offers onsite access to the latest Ultrasound, CT scanning and X-ray technology, onsite pathology and dental, as well as a brand-new paediatric unit, equipped with everything from an iPad to limitless coffee.
Walking through the doors at WiSE you can expect to be seen to and assessed by a doctor. The clinic is staffed only by emergency physicians, so you are in the right hands right from the very beginning, and with everything done on site you don’t have to wait hours for results! You can walk in with questions and walk out with answers.
WiSE Immediate specialist care includes:
Problems in early pregnancy
Fevers – adult and child
Rashes and skin conditions
Work place injuries
Vomiting and diarrhoea
The cost? An upfront fee of $200 when you arrive. This includes your specialist emergency assessment & treatment, including X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and blood tests, with radiology and pathology bulk billed with a referral from your doctor.
In addition to providing expert emergency care, WiSE clinic can also provide acute follow up specialist clinics by appointment including:
WiSE SPECIALIST EMERGENCY CLINIC – EMERGENCY CARE DONE DIFFERENTLY
33-39 Talavera Rd, Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Entrance via Khartoum Rd
Open 7 Days 10am – 10pm
Phone: 02 9216 7676
This week’s guest post comes from registered paediatric nurse and mother of two, Sarah Hunstead. With a master’s degree in clinical practise, Sarah comes to us with 15 years of experience in paediatric emergency nursing and a determination to share her life-saving knowledge with others.
During the last 15 years, Sarah has treated children with all kinds of injuries and illnesses. She has also seen countless parents come through the doors of the Children’s Hospital, distraught that they didn’t know how to help their child. Becoming a mother reinforced to Sarah how valuable her professional experience was.
“I realised how lucky my husband and I were – as paediatric nurses, we’d know what to do if anything ever happened to our girls,” she says.
“It got me thinking about how wonderful it would be if every parent and carer was armed with that knowledge, and the confidence and security that come with it. I wanted families to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to act quickly and help save their child’s life, rather than feeling powerless should the unimaginable happen.”
Determined to share her knowledge, experience and passion for paediatric care, Sarah founded CPR Kids in 2012.
Working alongside Twingenuity, Sarah has put together the three essential medical apps every parent should download to their smart phone. In the whirlwind of raising babies, anything that can help us manage schedules and tasks – like remembering to make a GP appointment for vaccinations, or what time a dose of paracetamol is due – is a great help.
Here are Sarah’s 3 Essential Medical Apps to make life just that little bit easier.
Life is busy, especially when you have children. Vaccination dates can be forgotten in our fast-paced lives. The ‘Save the Date to Vaccinate’ app, developed by the New South Wales Ministry of Health, sets reminders so you never forget this essential part of your child’s health care. It even reminds you when to make your GP appointment!
In the event of an emergency, it is so important to give the triple zero operator your exact location – but you don’t always know the exact address of where you are. Emergency + is a national app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their Government and industry partners. It uses your mobile phone’s GPS location to tell emergency operators exactly where you are.
Making sure you have a full understanding of the medicine your children need is so important. Do you know what the medication can be mixed with? Does it need to be kept in the fridge? What medicines can’t you take with it? The MedicineWise app allows you to scan the barcode of your medicine to receive comprehensive information on your child’s medication. The best thing is that you can record the doses, ensuring you don’t miss a dose or give too much! This can be particularly important with multiples, as they may be on different medications, need to have it at different times or even different doses.
There are many more medical apps out there designed to make our lives easier. However, you still need to ensure that you (and anyone looking after your children) have done a first aid course specifically for babies and children. Could you confidently help your child in a medical emergency?
For more first aid tips and information visit CPR Kids.
Everyone has a different language of love – and ladies, my language is food.
I. love. food.
I love shopping for food, I love looking at food, I love talking about food, I love reading about food and of course I love eating it. Now all of that sounds a bit much so lets just settle for
‘I have a great appreciation of food’.
Nothing excites me more than an empty fridge and the looming challenge of – what can I come up with!?
So I have decided to share with you the many things that come out of our kitchen. Party for you, so you can enjoy some of our creations and, if I’m honest, party for me – as I have the habit of never writing down my recipes and thus many of these creative outbursts, resulting in delicious dishes, are quite literally never seen again!
Now the great thing about The Cooper Kitchen is that our creations, whilst looking complex, are usually thrown together using staples most of you would find in your kitchen with a few additions pending what’s been sitting in the crisper for the last few weeks.
So stay tuned for one of The Cooper Kitchen’s finest – Coming Monday 11th December