Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (note to self)


Impromptu Christmas pic

Well they say that hindsight’s a biatch but it can also be a blessing.  I have been reflecting on my journey as a mumma second time round and mentally taking note of how much of my children’s character has been shaped by my parenting style versus their inbuilt nature. Having twins make the comparison even broader when I can see how, although the girls are parented exactly the same, they are completely different from one another.

As a mum in my late teens and early twenties I really placed a lot of pressure on my parenting techniques mostly due to my fear of breading feral teens (being a rebellious teen myself and marrying a once rebellious teen encouraged this crazy fear).  I figured that if I could do all of the ‘correct’ things (still unsure exactly what they are) then we would have nothing to fear.

Fast forward to now with 2 adult children, 1 teenager and 2 toddlers I realised how much pressure I put on myself and time wasted worrying.  Time wasted on trivial things that in hindsight had little bearing on the bigger picture.

So what have I learnt during my ‘man in the mirror’ moment…..the essence of who I am as a person, how I interact with my husband and those around me and the time spent enjoying my family and my life are what really make the difference in my children.

Some of what I perceived to be behavioral flaws in my children became some of their strengths.  Things I thought I was responsible for changing and correcting were more often than not things that were to be celebrated in my children…quirks that made them unique and became building blocks to greater things in their lives.

Miss Ivy, 20 months old, is a carbon copy of my eldest daughter.  She is stubborn, strong-willed, determined, tenacious and feisty which makes a very ‘busy’ toddler that unfortunately can be not so friendly to miss Scarlett who is a little love bunny in comparison.  But when I look at my eldest daughter and how her tenacity has caused her to be a young woman full of drive, focus, determination, gusto and empathy who stands up for what she believes, NEVER backs down I feel I can take a deep breath and enjoy the craziness that comes with Ivy.

Miss Scarlett is very similar to my other 2 children and although she may not have the same feistiness she gives the most amazing cuddles, shares her toys and is full of smiles and softness.  Her older brother and sister are similar.  They have become compassionate, loyal, friendly and lovable people with a quiet assurance along with a wacky sense of humour.

So my lesson learnt in a nutshell…..enjoy my kids, love on my husband and flow with the crazy times.  Now to live it…


To Bali..via Singapore

bali 1I can’t say that the thought of travelling overseas with the twinnies really excited me but in a lapse of judgement 6 months ago the notion of Bali with babies, family and friends to celebrate my 40th seemed not so daunting.  I knew that no matter what, being totally organised was the key to survival and hopefully some fun on the way.

Saturday 20th May and we arrived at the airport 2 hours before our flight.  The girls seemed quite content as we scrambled onto the bus link from the carpark to the airport with 2 dodgy strollers, our suitcases and carry-on luggage.   Thankfully we had our 17-year-old daughter and some friends travelling with us to lend a hand.

Airport check-in went smoothly and we went through to the lounge to relax and prepare before boarding.  The twins were given free rein on the airport playground to burn up as much energy before they would be restricted on the flight.  Miss Ivy attempted to show her playground authority only to be overturned by a boy a year older than her, but points for determination.

An hour before our flight was due to take off it was announced that the flight would be delayed for an hour.  Well the hour came and went as we were told again that the issues with the plane would be resolved in another hour.  4 hours later and the flight was cancelled.  I broke out in a sweat as my mind scrambled at any possible ways to ‘fix’ the situation.  Our whole group rallied together determined to make it to Bali that night.

As the multitudes herded into line to collect their luggage, looking confused and frustrated, I jumped on the phone to the airline figuring this would have to be the easier option.  Well one hour later after running through various flight scenarios over the phone I was told that my best shot was to go to the counter at the airport and sort it out.  Thankfully Miss Scarlett had settled into the arms of one of our friends and had a nap.  Ivy continued to explore the luggage conveyor belt looking for an opportunity to ride it.

After pleading with the flight staff for a suitable flight to accommodate our whole group and playing the ‘twins card’ (well that’s gotta’ be worth something after dragging them through the airport for hours) we were offered a flight to Singapore leaving 10:40pm with a 6 hour layover and a 2 hour flight to Bali.  At least we would still arrive in Bali a few hours before the rest of our crew who had a flight for the following day.

I figured this option could work in our favour as we could all get some sleep on the overnight flight….it seemed logical at the time.  Unfortunately we ended up being “that” family with the crying babies…you know the ones that no-one wants to be near, the ones that everyone is thinking why the hell can’t you shut those kids up!!  Yep that was us 😕 Thankfully we had purchased a ticket for our son who was unable to make the trip so we had a spare seat…this was a God send.  So with Shane on one side and me on the other we were able to get the twins to have a couple of hours sleep lying in the spare seat between us.  After a while the girls tag teamed who would be awake.  At one point, in a desperate attempt to get comfortable I lay back in the birthing position with my legs up in the air and Scarlett laying in between my legs while hubby was squished in his single seat with Ivy sleeping on his lap.  Certainly not my finest hour but at least I managed to get a measly hour or two sleep.

Once landed in Singapore we booked into a transit hotel for a 6 hour block and that would have to be the best $130 bucks I have ever spent.  Myself, hubby and the twins squeezed into a queen bed while our other daughter had the single and we crashed for 5 hours.  I think if it wasn’t for that we would’ve all gone crazy.

I wouldn’t say I awoke feeling refreshed but I definitely didn’t feel the psycho sleep deprived vibe.

So after 24 hours from the time our flight from Perth was scheduled to leave we finally arrived in Bali.

The girls are quite sensitive to loud noises.  If a plane flies over our house or the rubbish truck drives down our street they cling to me like baby chimps in absolute fear.  Because of this I felt pretty anxious about the flight to Bali along with the craziness of the place….the constant buzz of traffic, obtrusive hawkers and the thick crowd of tourists.  But to my surprise none of these things bothered the girls.  Not even the constant touching of the curious Balinese and the few Asian tourists who felt at liberty to have personal snap shots with the girls.

Meal times for the twins were a bit challenging as they both seemed to have funny tummies so they didn’t eat a lot.  Each morning at our buffet breakfast I would make them a sandwich and get a couple of mini bananas and pikelets so they had a semi-normal bland lunch for when we were out and about.

Our days were spent hitting the streets in the mornings, stopping off at one of the many little restaurants for lunch, nap time for the girls in the hotel room, swim in the resort pool then off to dinner with our group.  We even managed to tag team with the twins so that myself and hubby could indulge in the cheap massages.

After assurance from seasoned Bali travellers we got a nanny for 3 of the evenings so we could go out without dragging the twins around.  I cannot recommend this enough…a cheap nanny costing around $7AU per hour who came highly recommended.  This also allowed the girls to bed at a reasonable time setting them up to be easier the next day.

So my personal recommendations travelling to Bali with twins….

  1. hire a nanny, someone that has been recommended and that you feel comfortable with
  2. be prepared with tube food, snacks, tinned formula etc from home that your toddlers are use to
  3. hire strollers in Bali, preferably 2 single strollers to make it easier to maneuver through the place.  We paid $7 per stroller per day with $100 bond.  This was a better option than the 2 cheap strollers we brought along with us from home as they could recline and sleep in the hired ones
  4. take sealable lunch bags with you to breakfast so you can pack a couple of sandwiches and fruit for the twins to have for lunch (tip from my sister-in-law 😉 )
  5. short trips out and about we found to be the best option with toddlers
  6. be prepared for alot of interest in your twins by the Balinese and Asian tourists
  7. look for hotels with kiddies pool and perhaps a playground as at times you will no doubt be a bit restricted
  8. don’t expect a relaxing holiday but go with the flow enought to have a good time

My 5th time holidaying in Bali but first time with the twins.  In comparison this trip was in no way relaxing but we still managed to have fun and hopefully encourage our twins to be more adaptable along the way.

bali 2


My purpose behind blogging is to share my journey as a twin mum in all its challenges and glory.  However, although not ‘twin’ related, I don’t feel I can do another post without firstly paying tribute to my nephew who tragically passed away last month.

The day I got the news will forever be etched into my memory.  My body shook with the shock and disbelief as I attempted to make sense of what I had just heard, praying for Corey’s safety in the hopes that the news I had just received was wrong.

Corey oozed optimism, fun, charisma and a passion for life and wasn’t afraid to take on challenges.  He could relate to any age group and never felt threatened by people’s uniqueness but rather showed acceptance and tolerance to everyone he came in contact with.  He believed in people and thrived on building up others.

His vivacious character was displayed very early in his life and his extremely talkative and imaginative nature could be just as frustrating as it was beautiful.  Corey’s lavish stories provided much entertainment for the rest of his family, especially his cousins, no matter how far-fetched.

Corey’s cheeky sense of humour was only emphasized with his husky voice and range of character expressions that he pulled off so effortlessly.  Although he was accepted into the Navy, which he no doubt would’ve excelled in, I could see him more suited as perhaps an entertainer, salesman, mentor or preacher.  His strong faith was the backbone for his boldness and courage although sadly his full potential didn’t have time to fully shine as his life was cut short.

He touched so many people’s lives in his brief earthly existence of 19 years, especially his family who all deeply loved and adored the blonde haired, blue eyed, incredible man in the making.

The day I viewed Corey’s lifeless shell was confronting and strangely therapeutic.  His pale, ice-cold body was a stark comparison to the once charismatic, full of life character that I knew and loved.

Knowing the deathly decision that was the cause is hard to swallow but the peace that I feel with the assurance that Corey is rejoicing in Heaven helps to heal the pain although never replacing the void of his presence in our family.

Signed proud Aunty ❤❤❤

Nothing but a Dreamer

sunset-2I’m not sure if its an age related thing (I am coming up to the big 4-0 next year) or a mummy thing but just before conceiving the twins and even more so now I feel a real desire to ‘achieve’ something…make my mark in life.  I know that all you passionate mummas out there are probably thinking…”you have achieved something!!”  People who know me know that I would never down play the role of a mother but lets face it I am more than a mum, wife, daughter, friend….I’m just not quite sure what makes me me.

Perhaps this is part of my reason for blogging….searching for different ways to express myself, looking at what could be some of my strengths, attempting to connect with other like-minded people and expanding my community.

A quote by Bruce Wilkinson from his book ‘The Dream Giver,’ “you may not be able to describe it.  You may have forgotten it.  You may even no longer believe in it.  But it’s there.”  This is talking about dreams that we all have from my favourite inspirational read at the moment.

It seems no easy feat to discover my dream.  I questioned my mum about what I enjoyed playing/doing as a child (in the hopes to finding that perfect fit) and she told me I enjoyed anything involving bossing people around!

Haha!!!  Well I guess in that case I’m living it.

Does anyone else feel in limbo?  If you’re living your dream was it easy to discover?

One of my dreams has been to see my children live out their dreams.  Another dream of mine which was recently fulfilled twice over was to have another child and I am truly having a blast with this whole experience.

Yet I still can’t help feeling deeply compelled to discover what other dreams I may have. Perhaps this is how God designed us….to keep on dreaming.

Anyone with young children, especially multi mums, know how easy it is to get caught up in all our mummy duties but I think having goals and passions is a necessity so we don’t loose who we are.

I know this is a bit of a deep post but I can’t help but reflect on this and what better place to express myself than here.  I really believe God didn’t put us here to simply just exist.

Keep on dreaming 🙂



Coffee Break

coffee-break-resizeI’m sitting in my car, yet again, enjoying my maccas cuppacino parked up at Neil Hawkins while the twins are sleeping peacefully…I dare not wake them!!

The tedious tune of ABC classic plays in the background (apparently it’s great for babies…not so great for me). These times of tranquility are so important to me, parenting can be stressful and really tiring.

After waking up this morning with my head spinning, literally struggling to stay upright while juggling a hungry baby on my hip and trying to figure out why I felt so exhausted I was reminded of my chaotic evening last night.

It wasn’t that my evening was hugely eventful, just one thing after another it seemed, building up in my mind like a Jenga stack waiting to collapse.

I realise I may have an issue with boundaries, I have discovered that I don’t cope well with too many things being put on me at once.

There seems to be a fine line between helping others and being burdened and it seems I struggle to balance between the two.

One thing I try to do is put myself in others shoes, to what their delemia is and whether or not their expectations on me are fair or not but when I’m under pressure I find it hard to make the right decision and instead feel defensive.

Last night was one of those nights….about to run out the door to my spin class (aka saviour session from the daily grind) when I’m stopped by a frantic phone call of someone in need…a babysitter of all things.

Believe it or not I’m actually not that much of a kid person…I love and adore my nieces and nephews and am known to get pretty clucky over my friends babies but unless I have time to mentally prepare myself looking after them is a different story…go figure.  I think it’s partly a control issue and if put under too much pressure without warning I find its like a huge weight.  It’s not that my friend in need was necessarily after me to babysit, but my daughter….thank goodness I have an amazing daughter who stepped up to the plate and after some juggling it was sorted.

Still feeling flustered after having a clingy twin all day, the frantic phone call and rushing (another issue of mine that needs work) I make my class only to be visited by my friend “the guilts.”  Could I have been more helpful?  Was I a little harsh??  However I push through, determined to be an overcomer no matter what and finish the class but unfortunately lacking the usual high I feel after exercising.

Bee-lining for the car to hurry home, shower, eat icecream and ‘veg out’ only to drop the car key down the side of the passenger seat.  Leaning over awkwardly to move the car seat forward and back a few times while straining to reach the key and getting stabbed by the screwdriver in the cup holder I realise enough is enough!  In glorious form I have my mini meltdown in the car, feeling the adrenalin from the cycle class and my rage along with exhaustion the tears started flowing.

This probably sounds like a pitiful story but the silver lining is I managed to laugh at myself not long after at just how pathetic that would of looked if I was lucky enough to have an audience (thankfully I think it went unseen).

I make it home only to be greeted by two screaming babies that just refused to settle.  Anyway long story short we managed to settle the babies and I got some well deserved ‘veg out’ time but I am realizing more and more that I need to understand what boundaries work for me.

I reckon being a twin mum also means permission to be a little selfish.

Signed, work in progress xxx

The Twins are One!!

We celebrated the girls first birthday over the weekend and wow what a year it has been!! They have bought so much joy to our family and are absolutely adorable, I can’t imagine our family without them.  Do I miss my freedom?…..yes.  Am I at times a little freaked out at the whole idea of ‘mummy-ing’ again….yes.  But these are pretty normal thoughts…aren’t they??

I couldn’t help but ponder the old cliche “surviving the first year,” a saying which every twin mum relates to.  I really believed that although having twins has its obvious challenges, me being a seasoned mum would breeze through this first year.  Well I clearly underestimated the strains of “twinning it.”

The first year is HARD WORK!  Forget about being that mum sitting in the cafe discreetly breastfeeding her little bundle of joy….the first 3 months where I did breastfeed was a circus act that I definitely couldn’t pull off in public.  There are no little cutesy outings with a baby casually hanging on my hip, its pack a suitcase and make sure there is double of everything.  My pram is an absolute necessity because I can’t hold two babies and a purse let alone a couple of items from the supermarket as well.  If one baby decides to ball their eyes out  when I’m out I literally panic at the thought of both of them loosing it. Thankfully I have only been in this situation a handful of times.  This is where being armed with milk, snacks and toys is vital and of course one of their older siblings if possible.

If both girls have been put to bed and one wakes up during the night then it’s time to get my ‘ninja’ on and swoop that baby out of the bedroom before she disturbs the other one. Who am I kidding….I unashamedly admit that I usually try and sleep through their cries and my hubby tends to them (that man is an absolute legend).  But during their day sleep I am ‘ninja’ all the way.

All the craziness aside I have generally been up for a challenge and find it quite boring living the status quo…however that looks.  This past year has been a time of reflection for me of how I parented in the past and what I would like to do differently this time round.  It has also been a time of assessing how my life looks and what direction I want it to head in for myself and as a family.

Although this has been an extremely hard year it has also been alot of fun.  I have met other amazing ‘twin’ mums and done my best to still get out of the house at least every couple of days for my sanity.

This mumma is livin’ the dream….at least that’s how I like to look at it.


Survival Tips

twins 10 months

It would be great if there was a step by step survival guide that worked for all twin mums but lets face it every child, scenario, parenting style and core beliefs and values for each parent varies. Being the second time round for us I naively believed that apart from the obvious challenges of dealing with two babies we “had it in the bag.”  Who would be more equipped to deal with twins than someone with experience and is perhaps a little older and wiser.  Well that was an absolute farce.

With our first children (I say that as there is a 16 year age gap between our once youngest child and our baby twins) we did our best to learn and mimic other parents who had similar family values and ideals.  We were young and knew that with our lack of experience we needed to glean from more ‘seasoned’ parents.  In hind sight I like to think we did okay…sure there are many things I would probably have done differently now but generally speaking we were able to parent three children without too much drama (excluding some of the teenage years but that’s another topic for another day) and even enjoy the whole experience.

This time round it has been quite the experience.  Some days feel like I am running a marathon.  The days can be relentless….slow and steady I go about my day, trying to get all the housework done as well as enjoy my babies and even trying to have a bit of a social life in the process.  My confidence that I experienced whilst pregnant with the twins has dwindled to feeling like a first time mum navigating the uncertainty of it all.  But amidst the chaos is giggles, joy, excitement and two cute little faces to wake up to each day (and sometimes in the middle of the night…sighhhh).

My tips for surviving the first 10 months are –

  1. Coffee – This is number 1 for a reason!
  2. Routine – I am not completely rigid with this but it does tend to make things run more smoothly when the girls sleep at the same time and I get a break.
  3. Exercise – Without this I don’t think I would have the energy to parent….Even just taking the twins for a walk around the block helps.
  4. Hanging with other twin mums – We need one another and what better people to connect with than other mums who are living the same experience, who totally get the craziness of it all.
  5. Make a choice to enjoy it – I can sometimes get lost in the busy-ness of it all….the copious amounts of nappies, the constant feed times and the lack of sleep but one thing I remind myself is that this stage only lasts for a little while and I will never get these baby years back again.  God has totally blessed me with these babies…Just focusing on the simple highlights of each day, their little smiles and watching them grow and change….just amazing!
  6. ‘Me’ time – Ohhh so important!!  I am more than just a mum.  Whether its going on a girls night, dinner with my man or a night out with friends I need time to do things other than the laundry, washing, cleaning, bum wiping,etc,etc……..
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself – We are our biggest critics yet to our babies we are just the greatest.  I am well aware of my short-comings,my imperfections and insecurities all of which can effect my parenting and cause me to make mistakes.  Learning to forgive myself has become so liberating and actually helps me to parent better.  There is nothing more soul destroying and joy stealing than wallowing in self-pity or comparing yourself to other mums.

This has been my basic survival guide and has gotten me through thus far.  To think that the girls are already 10 months old is just incredible and I am absolutely loving it (most of the time).

We got this!!!



The Things People Say

twin group pic (2)

Our girls…just missing our son

People warned me about the weird and wonderful comments I could get being a mum of twins but I admit I was skeptical….however, they were right.


It all began when I was pregnant with the twins.  “Is this your first?” they would ask and being the relatively open person that I am I would respond cheerfully “well actually its number 4 and 5.” I should’ve known that this would only instigate a range of interesting and personal questions.

I remember one conversation with a shop assistant which began just like this and ended up almost with my whole life story.  Not to say there is anything that exciting to share but after the questions such as if this was my second marriage and when I responded that it wasn’t you could see the wonder in her eyes and then the prying into why we needed IVF.  Before I knew it I was led into the trap of TMI (too much information).  Now I can’t blame the shop assistant as I was guilty of over sharing and it wasn’t the first time.

These situations didn’t bother me while the twins weren’t in tow but once they were born it was a different story.  My shopping trips consists of being stopped at least once and generally I don’t mind a bit of chit chat as people stare delightfully at the girls (except when I hear the ever repetitive “wow you’ve got your hands full”) but sometimes my trip to the shops consists of a crying baby or two.  This was one of those days…

I was quite excited about getting out of the house and doing a bit of shopping with the girls but unfortunately Miss Ivy wasn’t happy with being in her pram…I’m not referring to a bit of winging, this was all out balling as though something tragic had happen.  According to Ivy it was tragic, I wasn’t carrying her at that point of her sadness.  After numerous stares and not to mention no-one making any effort to clear the path (double prams are not that easy to maneuver around busy shopping centers) I was left with no choice but to carry Ivy while pushing Scarlett in the pram and shopping.

This was no easy feat and probably one of the few times where it would’ve been fab for any random stranger to come up and offer to give me a hand.  However, it seemed even requesting a hand carrying a few items from one of the staff members was a bit of an inconvenience.

Anyway as I was lining up at the check out there was a lovely elderly lady standing in front of me.  After looking at my girls and giving them some smiles she asks “is it a boy and a girl?” Now I don’t mean to be blunt but if they are both dressed in the same clothing, pink I might add, is it not some what obvious that they are both girls???  I know that being gender neutral is all the rage now but surely it was plain to see they were both girls…I really wanted to ask her which one she thought was the boy but didn’t have the time or patience to discuss it.

After politely responding that they are both girls she made a comment that I have heard other ‘multi’ mums complain about but this was my first experience.  She proceeded to say that she had 2 girls that were 18 months apart so it was basically like having twins.  Arggghhhhh are you kidding me woman!!  My first 2 were 13 months apart and honey it ain’t nothin’ like having twins!! (picture that with some Jerry Springer show swag).

I didn’t say any of this but it was what I was thinking.  Instead I did a little chuckle and nod and we went our separate ways.

In all fairness this lady was probably just wanting to converse with someone and felt we had common ground but when you are dealing with a mum of twins at the shops, one baby crying and the usual sleep deprivation in the mix it can be a recipe for disaster.

Rant over xxx