Year One Complete!

Wow! We made it!! AND we are all still alive! A few bumps, bruises and scratches but officially intact.

What a year it has been, the hardest but definitely the best year of my life. It hasn’t gone as expected but whatever has been thrown at us we have taken in our stride and carried on going.

Today we had a party for Jude & Luca with lots of family and friends plus the twins got to meet their cousins for the first time!! And I got first snuggles with baby (not so baby) Isaac. Precious memories.

Also none of us had a clue who was who all day! (As in the twins) we bathed them last night and dressed them in mismatch PJs I had bought. Not sure why I even question if they’re identical or not! in personality they are quite different Jude is much more relaxed and happy go lucky, Luca is a tad more temperamental and likes to be centre of attention – seeing as both mummy and daddy went to drama school I’m not surprised. I’m pretty sure I have them the correct way around now, tomorrow as the excitement will have died down their true personalities will show through.

Lesson learn – leave hospital bands on until old enough to be able to tell the difference.

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The first 16 days of the twins lives were spent in hospital, they were good weights at 5.11lb (Luca and 6.1lb (Jude) but during their first night in hospital the midwives began to worry about their blood sugar levels dropping so we had to be separated and the twins were taken to “paediatrics” for a few tests and a bottle, I was told! Being on my own unable to move from the epidural before my section in a ward with three or four other women, during the middle of the night, on my own without any babies was a horrible feeling.

Few hours later and I was told they were hooked up to monitors and being fed through a tube. Heart broken! They weren’t even in the same room to start when I first went to see them, they were so unsettled, just horrible. After tests, including a lumbar puncture, they came to the conclusion that Jude had meningitis and Luca had an infection, which meant Jude had to be on a full course of antibiotics for 14 days. After a few days once they started feeding from me they were able to come up to the room with me.

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Those 16 days dragged so long, being away from Nathaniel for so long was completely devastating. He has coped so well becoming a big brother, welcoming two screaming children into his home and taking up his time. He is such a loving, kind and fun big bro, the twins love him more than they love each other!

God it has been such a busy year, babies, starting my own business when they were 3 months and 18 months, ditching diets and processed food and switching to a healthy living, transforming bodies and helping my family too to live a healthy life!

Incredibly epic! Would sum it up pretty well. Here’s to an extreme 2015, throw it at me!!

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A year from now…

Around this time last year I found out I was pregnant. We had just moved into our first family home, renting a flat in Witney, it wasn’t ideal for one baby let alone more. In that same week we got offered a 2 bed house in Woodstock and Anthony got offered his PGCE place in Birmingham. They say news travels in threes!?

There was no question to whether I would keep it or not. Yes, I was supposed to be returning to my last year at Rose Bruford but a family to me was worth a lot more than a degree. So it was just a matter of logistics.

When we went to see the house we kind of fell in love, even through the jungle out back and awful decor. That was one problem solved anyway. We both discussed and agreed that it was best for Anthony to get his teaching qualification this year than to wait longer to be earning a proper income. Therefore the plan was that Anthony would live in Birmingham for the year and come back on weekends to see us. Which meant technically I’d be a single parent, and at this time we only thought it would be one baby.

It wasn’t long before we got the news of our multiple arrival and the plan still stayed the same. Technically being a single parent with Anthony not earning either left me having to claim income support. Good old benefits hey!

I found it extremely embarrassing having to ask for help, other than the odd loan from my dad, I’ve always worked and made my own money. We shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for help when we need it and I am sure a lot of you have your own opinions on the benefit system. But it’s not a proud moment for me.

When the twins were born I had to ring up to claim they were alive, it doesn’t change your amount it just means that you are not expected to work then until the child/children are around a year old and I wouldn’t have to attend any interviews. Can you imagine taking twin babies and a toddler to the job centre!? I can think of better things to do with my day!

When we were home from hospital I started receiving letters about going in for an interview and each time I would ring up and explain my situation and they would apologise and tell me that I did not need to attend. The last letter I received I rang up about and explained and they told me that it was compulsory as they needed to check that my children were actually alive.

I don’t have a triple push chair so this would mean me struggling with the three of them on my own! Luckily my dad was around and he took time off from his own business to come with us. We managed to get there reasonably on time with my three babies and got called over by this woman. Now if you’ve never been in a job centre, it’s pretty open with lots of desks and as we went past some of the employees they cooed and commented on the twins, however, the woman interviewing me did not! I should have known then. She went through general details checking everything was up to date. We then came to Anthony. She continued to say that I was choosing to be on benefits because I would not move to Birmingham and when I reminded her that he was student, she said that was his choice. She was so nasty to me that I was crying, while rocking the twins who were getting miserable. So I said, “Find me a job that pays more than £15 an hour? Because that’s what it would cost me in child care!” She literally accused me of being a benefit fraud. I have never felt so little and horrible in my entire life that my throat literally tightens while I write this. There are so many people out there who scam benefits here and there, but because Anthony was a student trying to better himself and get a degree for a higher paying job to provide for us that wasn’t good enough. They basically want anyone of job seekers or income support to get any job no matter what it pays or whether it’s suitable. Perhaps if we encouraged people to learn more or find an actual career then there would be less people having to claim those benefits.

From that day, I had had enough. I needed a way to make money for my family and avoid ever having one of those interviews ever again.

That’s when I found Juice Plus! My friend from a previous job offered me a place on her team and after a week of being on the weight loss plan I agreed. I cost me £50 to join, it was a company that was 40 years old with a 20 year old product, backed by doctors a product that worked for me and would benefit my whole family.

I only did 5 orders in my first month but I didn’t let it get me down, because I truly believed this could help so many people with their health as well as their weight issues. The month just gone, May, was my second month, I’ve hit my first big promotion Senior Direct Distributor (SDD) and now have a team of seven below me. I have not only improved mine, my boys, my extended family and friends health but yesterday I rang income support and closed my account. Might sound silly but I could literally cry! No more hand outs from them and no more horrible interview with judgmental people.

I wash 28 bottles on average a day, I change on average 17 nappies a day, I have a 20 month old and 5 month old twins and I run a business. A business that cares about improving peoples lives all around! I’ve now lost 16lbs and 9 inches after 8 weeks of being on the weight loss plan, my hay fever has cleared up, it’s helped my twins health and Nathaniel’s too.

I’m no where near my peak and I can’t wait to see what this is going to do for me and my boys. I work for them, they are my why and they are the only reason I will succeed and make all of our dreams come true. It took twins for me to get my life in order and I know where I’ll be a year from now.

Where will you be a year from now?

Peace x

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