Multiple Birth Awareness Week - radio interview

Multiple Birth Awareness Week - radio interview

My family and I were recently invited to the studios of ABC Radio Gold Coast to chat about our experience so far with our gorgeous twins (& our reaction when we found out we were double blessed), the challenges of four under four & Multiple Birth Awareness Week.

Hubby was at work so after finishing up a photo shoot with our local newspaper (thankfully had my Mum come and help mind the toddlers while I attended to the twins for the shoot in the park) I then carted Miss 3, Mr 2 & our 4-month-old twincesses on my own to the ABC Radio studio, where, thankfully, hubby was able to meet us as he had finished work.

All four kiddies joined hubby and I in the studio as the Producer and Announcer were very accommodating and were keen for the kids to play/make noise to add atmosphere (so if I seem a little distracted or mispronounce a couple of words, ha ha, I may have been trying to make sure certain toddlers weren't licking the microphones or spinning around on the office chairs, ha ha).

It was fun! 

In addition to all the great support and information I mentioned that the Gold Coast Multiple Club offers, as part of the Australian Multiple Birth Association, such as the book library, loan premie clothes etc, there are also information evenings and information available to assist not only parents of younger multiples, but parents sending multiples to school and all the different challenges that may include.

Happy Multiple Birth Awareness Week!

Click on this link to hear the audio:

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Gold Coast toddler's leukaemia battle

Gold Coast toddler's leukaemia battle

A Gold Coast couple whose toddler daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia last year, will transform their locks on Saturday as part of the World's Greatest Shave in an effort to raise $3000 for the Leukaemia Foundation which has assisted the Elanora family throughout the past year.

Troy and Emma Kling-McAuliffe's lives were turned upside down last year when their daughter Chloe became unwell.

Chloe and her identical twin Maddie (Madison) turn three today. They also have an 11-year-old brother Sam.

Emma says Chloe started to get a cough and a sore throat last June.
After being told by a Doctor that it was viral, and being prescribed antibiotics, Chloe then developed a cough that her parents were told was asthma, and was then given ventolin.
"Then we went back to the Dr when she nearly stopped breathing in the night," Emma said.
"We were then given steroids to try and clear her lungs up. By the end of that week she was miserable, tired, covered in bruises and virtually unable to move off the couch. I knew that this was more than a virus and on Saturday the 6th of July I took her to Tweed Hospital. 
"They really had no idea and ran some blood tests. By that afternoon our world changed forever. I think I only heard half of what the paediatrician to me. They said we had to go to Brisbane for treatment. I thought it would be as simple as driving there on the Monday but her red cell count was low as was her platelets meaning she needed a blood transfusion and a platelet transfusion."

"By 7pm that night we were put into a ambulance and transported to the Royal Children's Hospital. I was surprised that we were given an oncologist straight away and he came and met with me that night. My head was swimming and I couldn't take a lot in of what he was saying."

Chloe had a blood transfusion on the Sunday and was taken to theatre on the Monday for a lumbar puncture, spinal chemo and to have a port inserted. 
("A port is a device that sits underneath the skin where they can hook up her chemo and fluids so she doesn't have to have a cannular", Emma said). 

Chloe was in hospital for the next six days.
"And after that we were discharged but weren't allowed back to the Gold Coast as she could become sick very quickly and require hospitalisation. This is where our association with the Leukaemia Foundation started," Emma said.

The Foundation provided the family with a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit in one of their villages. This was at no cost to the family "and meant that my husband and other two children could come up at the weekend to stay", Emma said.

"My mum and mother in law moved into our house so that Troy could continue to work and they helped to look after the other two and keep some 'normality' in their lives. 
It was incredibly hard being away from everyone but there was always someone to say hello to at the village".

Chloe responded well to her initial treatment and the family were permitted to return to the Gold Coast after 6 weeks at the Leukaemia Village. 

The family have been travelling up to Brisbane weekly since then and have also spent a large amount of time in the Gold Coast Hospital when Chloe becomes unwell due to having no immune system. 
"We also have had to give her chemo tablets and injections at home so life has certainly centred around Chloe," Emma said.
"Quite often, on treatment days, I leave home at 6.30am and arrive home at 8pm."

Emma said she and Troy are doing the World's Greatest Shave to say thank you to the Leukaemia Foundation, "as we would never have been able to afford to rent a unit in Brisbane and keep a roof over our heads down here".  

Chloe, who enjoys going to the beach and likes Peppa Pig & Thomas the Tank Engine among others, will continue her treatment until October 2015 "and she has a 85-90% chance of beating it" Emma says.

"She is aware of what's happening to her and knows that her hair is gone because of the chemo. Maddie also knows and is very protective of Chloe," Emma said.
"We are now at the stage where we do a lot of the chemo at home but still have to go to Brisbane every three weeks."

Chloe's family are holding an event tomorrow (Saturday March 15th) from 9am-11am at North Kirra Surf Club (near the big roundabout at Kirra Surf) and hope to raise $3000.

"It started out that I would go blue for $500, which we raised. Then Troy said he would go pink for $1000 and eyebrows for $2000, Sam has now said he will go orange or purple for $3000," Emma said.

People can donate on the day or via:

Multiple Birth Awareness Week - Life as a mum of twins

Multiple Birth Awareness Week - Life as a mum of twins

It's Multiple Birth Awareness Week

When hubby and I first saw our TWINS on screen during an ultrasound at around seven weeks gestation, we were shocked, amazed, excited and scared.
We already had a 2yo & 1yo at that stage and knew life was about to become preeety chaotic.

I joined the Gold Coast Multiple Club on Facebook when I was about 12 weeks (really had to contain my excitement and wait til then in case it showed up in my Facebook feed to friends who had not yet been informed of our exciting news).
I researched high and low for all things relating to twins, and even sat through a bunch of You Tube clips with demonstrations of how to tandem breastfeed twins (as I had successfully breastfed my older two so was determined to do the same with my twins).

Thankfully I had a smooth pregnancy - other than Gestational Diabetes that was controlled by diet & exercise. I felt well, though some usual pelvic pain right at the end, but was up and about, chasing after my toddlers and continued working part time (in the office) til 36 weeks. 
I was feeling pretty good - amazing considering I had two bubs in there 2.9kg & 2.7kg!

Our twins were DCDA twins - separate sacs and separate placentas (but, as we learned thanks to great information provided to us, still a 30% chance of them being identical if the egg split within the first three days of conception. Whereas many people assume twins in separate sacs and separate placentas must be fraternal when in fact fraternal means two separate eggs were fertilised, or something along those lines).

During my twin pregnancy I did shared care with the Gold Coast University Hospital and the fab Dr Drew Moffrey at Pindara Hospital who I saw for many of my antenatal appointments (a great Ob/Gyn who was so friendly and informative & saved hubby & I soooo much time rather than waiting for hours and hours at the GCUH's antenatal clinic.)
With Dr Moffrey, he was always running on time and we never felt rushed - he was always happy to answer our million questions & he was great at ensuring all my records were kept up to date with the hospital, being shared care, and booked me in for any required blood tests/ ultrasounds etc. 
He also was really helpful by putting me in touch with a Diabetes Educator when I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes & helping me keep it under control.

((With Dr Drew Moffrey who we saw for most of our antenatal appointments at Pindara.))

At around 25 weeks pregnant I attended an Expectant Parent Evening held by Gold Coast Multiples where I was able to hear from a couple of other twin mums, borrow some twin-related books and meet a couple of mums with twins on the way (one of whom I've stayed in touch with and we catch up often with our little ones).

I was induced at 37+1 (but could have happily gone another week) at the new Gold Coast University Hospital (had a great experience though my epidural wasn't so great/ didn't really work as much as we had all hoped especially facing a twin 2 breech delivery - aaargghhh).

Our twin girls, Natalia and Victoria arrived 13 minutes apart in a vaginal delivery with twin B born footling breech.
We were home after three days and the girls have thrived despite feeding/latch issues to do with tongue ties which we had snipped at 4-weeks, colic, silent reflux, oh and a bout of mastitis which saw me bed ridden for a few days.

It was really tough from about week 3 to week 10. Our twins barely slept, didn't like the car or pram & were constantly feeding (to soothe their throats apparently - to do with the silent reflux).

Through the Gold Coast Multiples Club, I'm hiring a twin breastfeeding pillow which has been my saviour & became aware of a Sleep Settling Session put on by a couple of members of the club which hubby and I took our girls along to when they were almost two weeks old. Even though we already had two toddlers and thought we knew what we were doing, it was a great chance to hear the twin-specific tips and tricks.

I'll be honest, it has been a very challenging four months. Life with one newborn is hectic enough, let alone two precious newborns, oh and two toddlers the mix too.

My hubby is a star. He's a modern man thankfully(!), right there cooking dinner, changing nappies or reading bedtime stories to our toddlers & putting them to bed when I'm busy feeding the twins.

When people ask how do we do it. It's simple, we have to. There's no alternative.
Some days, when in my own, I've been tearing my hair out as I prioritise screaming baby Vs 2yo needing a nappy change or pouring his cup of water all over the floor & a 3yo upset as she can't find her Barbie's tiara. I have had to let some things slide.

Even though I was a positive, optimistic, can-do person, I found myself upset at things beyond my control & I've had to swallow my pride and ask for help upon the realisation that I really can't do it all with four small children under four (especially when on my own during the day while hubby at work). 
I simply don't have enough arms to feed babies, wipe bums, feed mouths, give cuddles, entertain and stimulate (usually all at the same time).
So have had to turn to a couple of close family members to come to the rescue on numerous occasions, and we've had some hired help via an inhome educator who, while not in our budget, is a huge help for us at this time, three days a week.

Thankfully, the other twin mum friends I have made since joining the world of multiples have also helped put my mind at ease, and have been great sources of support and advice (as well as my hubby & my family & friends too of course).

I've found the Australian Multiple Birth Association and its Facebook page to be a great source of information as well as a couple of other twin-related forums.

As a member of the Gold Coast Multiples Club, I've attended various play dates/ catch ups and the Christmas party and have made some great friends.
It's so great when you're catching up with other twin mums as we're all willing to help each other out, whether it's hold a crying baby while its twin is having its nappy changed or if mum has her hands full. We all understand what each other is experiencing.

Being out in public with my twin daughters is an interesting experience. It's beautiful when people are looking at my precious bundles adoringly.
I've heard Double Trouble more than anyone would need to hear it, but usually respond with 'no no it's a double delight', or 'twice as nice'.

As we're yet to have our twins' DNA tested to see if they are identical, it's always interesting hearing other peoples' opinions (most agree that they might be).

My hubby and I feel truly blessed to have our beautiful baby girls, in addition to our 2yo son and 3yo daughter. And we're so excited about what the future holds for our family.

At this stage, our twin girls seem to have mastered sleeping through, so now hubby and I are just (dreading) kind of not looking forward to when our twins become more mobile and we'll have to juggle when they're each going in different directions lol.

My hat goes off to all the other twin and HOM parents & care givers. It truly is an amazing experience.
And a big thanks to all the Gold Coast Multiples & AMBA members/volunteers for all the great work they do.

Teddy Bear's Picnic THIS Saturday 10am-1pm at Laguna Park, Palm Beach to celebrate Multiple Birth Awareness Week.
Fenced playground, Laguna Ave, Palm Beach. 10am-1pm. Gold Coast Multiples will supply tea, coffee & teddy bear biscuits. Please BYO teddy bears & food if you're planning to be there for lunch. 
Look for the GCMBA banner. 
Hope to see you there! 

Did you hear about the time all 6 of us went into the studio for a radio interview on ABC Gold Coast? Want to hear the clip?


Creating a rod for your own back...what's so wrong with feeding your bub to sleep?

Creating a rod for your own back...what's so wrong with feeding your bub to sleep?

The topic of feeding to sleep is something many people have an opinion on.

Whether it's breast or bottle, yes feeding to sleep CAN create bad sleep associations - eg it's the only way bub knows how to get to sleep so may wake multiple times throughout the night looking for boob (or dummy users can have same issue) to put them back to sleep.

I fed my first born (daughter now 3) to sleep til she was 11 months & still waking a few times overnight.
I remember people telling me to let her 'cry it out' (hellll noooo) when she was only a few weeks old but that didn't sit comfortably with me. There was no way I was letting my precious newborn be so sad.
So I continued feeding her to sleep - because it worked (til it no longer worked). 

Hubby & I decided we did need to try and change our firstborn's bedtime routine to improve her sleeping habits at around 11/12 months.
After a few nights of whinging (but not upset), she finally was able to be put down in her cot at night after her final breast feed and get herself off to sleep.
As so as she was able to self settle, she was sleeping like a champ. Because she KNEW she could roll over and put herself back to sleep if she did wake in the middle of the night. That she didn't NEED a boob (or dummy for others playing at home).
Some nights, yes of course, she just wanted cuddles from Mummy & Daddy (which we of course welcomed), but generally she transformed into a fab sleeper.

So second time around, with our son, I knew to still feed him til almost to sleep, but put down burped and drowsy so he could get himself off to sleep happily with no tears and he was a great sleeper. I can still recall patches where I did feed him to sleep, even a couple of times after the 12-month mark & when I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my twins. But then he dropped that final feed before bed altogether & his breastfeeding journey ended & he would wave and say good night and go off to bed/sleep happily. (Now is a different story though, since recently transferring from cot to toddler bed, we're now sitting/laying with him for 10mins each night as he drops off to sleep).

Given our previous two experiences, we've been trying to do the same with our 4-month-old twin girls. 
Some nights yes they do fall asleep on the boob, but mostly (like tonight) they fed fed fed (cluster fed for hour) then once they're content, burp, wrap and put in cot awake and they roll over and go to sleep. 
It's great. Most nights they sleep 9-10 hours but there are some nights (growth spurts/ supply building) when they might wake once or twice.

I remember people saying, first time round, 'you're creating a rod for your own back' or shaking their head as they warned me that I was 'creating bad habits' etc, but I enjoyed it (til she wasn't sleeping and waking so often for boob to put her back to sleep). 
And yes, we knew better for next time. 

No one can tell you what to do, you just have to experience what works for you. 
Hubby and I did it in a way we were all comfortable with, in a way that did not upset our babies. I've always demand fed and act fast to meet their needs rather than trying to stick to a 'routine' that bub may not necessarily know about (hello coz they can't read yet. They just know they're hungry/hot/cold/want cuddles when they want it. Not on a schedule).

My advice is, listen to all the tips/advice/ books, take elements that work for you & do only what you're comfortable with. :-D

See archive post:

Kitchen tip: How to clean up a broken egg

Kitchen tip: How to clean up a broken egg

Dammit, so you were clearly just throwing eggs around your kitchen like you were working at a teppanyaki restaurant & one happened to splat all over your floor. (Or, like me in this instance, just TRYING to multi-task while trying to make an omelette).

Well, we all know how tricky (& gooey & gross) clearing up egg can be (much like dealing with toddler snot but x100), so here's a nifty little trick that helps make the situation much more mess-free.

1. Pour salt on & around egg
(The salt helps to contain the spread and helps to solidify the egg goo)

2. Wipe it all into a pile in the centre (omg can you just seeee how easy it is thanks to the salt?!) 
(Use an old cloth you can throw away straight after or paper towel)

3. Keep wiping...

4. Once the egg & salt is all in a small pile, you can pick it up with some paper towel to put in the bin. Or can scoop it onto a small dish & then transfer straight to the bin.
Most traces of the egg should then be gone. But it's worth going over the area with your preferred cleaning spray/antibacterial/floor cleaning product & paper towel to ensure the area is free of any nasties.


Happy Birthday to meeeeeee (celebrating 1 year of blogging)

Happy Birthday to meeeeeee (celebrating 1 year of blogging)

Guess who turned 1 this weekend?! Never thought I'd take up blogging, but it has been a blast. 

Onwards & upwards with a few fab giveaways coming soon :-) Thanks for your companionship! :-) 

To celebrate, tell me your likes/dislikes about my FB page & blog. #blogging #1stbirthday

Males breastfeeding? Breast is best for Dads?

Males breastfeeding? Breast is best for Dads?

How supportive was/is your partner/husband when it comes to breast feeding? Is it something he would do if he could?

A photographer in the US has decided to get the conversation going, & is spreading awareness, by showcasing photos of shirtless men, clutching an infant to his breast much as a nursing mother would. 

Beside him is a message: “Project Breastfeeding. If I Could, I Would.”

Hector Cruz, founder of Project Breastfeeding said: "There is nothing out there for men [about breast-feeding]. I wanted to change that.” 

According to an article on 

"These photographs, a twist on slick ads, are part of a project Cruz started to educate men about breast-feeding. After his wife, Nicole, gave birth to their daughter Sophia on Oct. 11, 2013, she struggled with breast-feeding. Suddenly, Cruz became immersed in a world of nipple guards and latching problems, and he felt helpless and confused. 

2013 CDC report notes that women are more successful at nursing when fathers support them. The report also finds that dads who know more about breast-feeding are better able to encourage their wives".

I couldn't agree more. As I've previously said  my hubby was a huge support the first two times. And has been this time around with TWINS.

View the article and images here:

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Kissing your kids on the lips. Are you guilty?

Kissing your kids on the lips. Are you guilty?

So Jessica Alba has gone out & defended kissing her children on the lips. What the?

For most parents, it's one of the most natural things. It's a non issue.

Appearing on the cover of the April 2014 issue of Redbook, JAlba answered a bunch of questions for the feature.

According to Perez The profile enlightened the world on Jessica's life with her husband Cash Warren and their daughters Honor and Haven. But one thing that Jessica seemed taken aback by was when she realized not ALL parents kiss their kids on their lips!
Jessica had no clue why that was, and went on to defend her parenting skills. 
She said:
"Really? Why?! It's your baby. People allow dogs to lick at their mouths."


I agree! What could possibly be wrong with showing some affection to your little ones?

Pic source:

Though I'm not sure what prompted JAlba to discuss kissing one’s children. 
Is it really such a big deal? 

I can remember sitting around with colleagues at a work meeting a few years ago, discussing this sometimes touchy subject as we viewed photos of celebs kissing their kids (for a pic spread in an upcoming edition of the magazine).
A male colleague, who had no kids at that stage, expressed his disgust at mums and dads kissing their offspring on the lips.
Not yet a parent myself at that stage, but pretty sure of my maternal instinct, I defended the act.

And now, years later, with four children of my own, I can proudly say, yes I'm one of those mums who can't help but smother my bubs (big & small) with kisses.
Who can resist those chubby cheeks, milk drunk smiles & chubba bubba thighs?!

My male colleague now has kid/s of his own, I hear, so I'd be interested to know if his opinion has changed, and whether he has been able to resist smooching his babies. 
I know my husband and I aren't shy when it comes to showing our kids how much they are loved.

Most people I know kiss their kids on the lips when, for example, saying goodnight, goodbye or I love you. 
People do it all the time. Every day. 
There's no harm in a peck on the lips, surely!? (Though those sloppy kisses that come with a free side of slobber and snot can sometimes be not so pleasant. But when it's a well meaning two-year-old delivering it as he proudly tells you he "wuvs you", how can your heart NOT melt!?)

Pic source:

During the interview JAlba also revealed that her mother's group (or 'Mommy and Me group' in the US) are some of her tightest confidants, saying: "They're some of my closest girlfriends."

Surely pecking your kids on the lips is not such a big deal?

Are those who have an issue with it possibly affected by other issues for it to be considered in a negative light (eg perhaps along similar lines as those who choose not to breastfeed due to perceived sexual links/issues)?

Do you kiss your kids on the lips? If not,why not? When is the appropriate age to stop?
Where do you draw the line, eg are aunts/grandparents allowed to kiss on the lips?

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Oscars 2014

Oscars 2014

Jennifer Lawrence has just proven once again that she's just your average girl next door, by managing to stack it on the red carpet at the Oscars.
What a good recovery.
Fingers crossed she manages to stay upright for the rest of the night.

Check out the clip here:

Is your baby CUTE? Like...really?

Is your baby CUTE? Like...really?

Aah it's that time of the year when most mums on Facebook are sharing pics of their gorgeous offspring & will be asking (begging) you/their friends to vote for their little cherub in the Bonds Baby Search competition.

With only a small number of relatives, I've wondered how I could compete in the People's Choice category with those who have huge families & gazillions of cousins, aunts and uncles who could all help out by voting & encouraging their friends and family to vote too.
(And how/why would all my mummy friends want to vote for my kids when they clearly want their own kids to win, lol?)

This year, I'm jumping on the bandwagon & am entering all four of my cherubs - with my twincesses participating in the new multiples section. 
I'll have an entry in each category with my children aged 3, 2 & 4-months (twins). 

This isn't my first brush with baby competitions... As a baby, I was apparently named the 'Cutest Baby Boy' in my region. 
Yes, BOY. Dammit. My claim to fame destroyed thanks to a mix-up by the judges who thought my name was Lawrence, not Lauren...
As the proud Mum of the winning 'BOY', my Mum scored a nifty dish which featured my photo. A memento that has always been on display at Mum's house & has been the cause of a few chuckles over the years.

For those interested in entering their bub into the Bonds Baby Search, time is running out.

One of my fav Australian actresses and star of Channel 9's Love Child, Jessica Marais has signed on to be the face of the 9th Annual Bonds Baby Search and will join fellow Bonds ambassador Pat Rafter in the selection process of choosing Australia's Most Adorable Baby (entries Close Monday March 3 at 4pm).

Silver Logie winner Jessica has an 18 month old daughter, Scout, with her partner - ex-Packed to the Rafter's star - James Stewart. Jessica is currently in a play in Brisbane, has a TV show and is balancing life as a mother.

A celebration of all Australian families and babies, Bonds are said to be looking for individuality and character in each and every baby. 

The categories this year are Bonds' Choice, People's Choice and Multiple Birth’s Category – a new category for the popular talent search due to the volume of entries from previous years. 
Five winners will be handpicked from each category, with a total of 15 winners overall.
Last year, 2013, was the biggest search to date with more than 65,500 entries (more than doubled 2012 entries) and more than 295,000 online votes.

For those who love stats, the most popular Australia Baby Names, after 35,000 plus entries, were:

Traditional names to enter the top 50 for the first time in  years – William #13 & Kate #44 –  a reflection on the renewed interest in British Royal Family?

Will you/ have you entered your little ones this year?

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