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Hello how have, you all been? It has been a little while since I have blogged. Life has been busy with my twin 8 year olds back to school and juggling extracurricular activities. I am constantly amazed as I get older how much my mum did to drive 6 kids around to 4 different schools and all our extra-curricular activities and I have only got 2!

Today I wanted to blog to see if any mums and dads wanted to learn more about essential oils? Over two years ago when the twins father left, a friend dropped by and mixed me up a few blends to help with calm, relaxation and grounding. I was a complete newbie and didn’t think they would help the kids and I at all. Two years later… I am a complete and utter advocate but only recently started to sharing it with other people.

The brand I buy is doTerra and I love dōTERRA because of how they choose to source the oils indigenously from their natural habitat while using ethical, sustainable practices and supporting farmers. Co-impact sourcing is environmentally and socially responsible sourcing and is a step above and beyond fairtrade.

So I want to give you my BONUS OFFER if you would like to trial out Essential oils for yourself.

When you order your first Home Essential Kit I will send you: 

• Free 15ml Wild Orange Oil
• Free eBook with all of my favourite essential oil recipes
• Free travel essential oil kit for on the go or sharing
• 1 Free pipette
• 2 Free rollers.

Value of over $50.
Just reply to my email (lisa(a)multiplesandmore.com) for more information!
How to set up a DoTerra Wholesale account

If you’re like me and find yourself turning to natural solutions more and more you’ll want a wholesale account. This is the most popular and flexible account and gives you the biggest discounts.

As a Wholesale Customer – Option to earn 10%-30% of your purchase back in FREE product points.

Creating your wholesale account doesn’t automatically sign you up for anything beyond your wholesale account. If you just want the 25% discount, that’s absolutely fine! You are in control of your account and can purchase when, how and what you’d like.You can either purchase an ENROLMENT KIT when you start, or fill your cart and begin with your own customised order which means picking your own essential oils and products – as little or as many as you like. Many people start with an enrollment kit and then add any extras if needed. The kits are below wholesale cost – they’re such a great deal, so it’s hard to pass them up.

What if I don’t want a kit?
 No problem.  The kits are optional.  You can open a wholesale account with the $35 Essential Oil Introductory Enrollment Packet and pick items a-la-carte.  But the kits waive the $35 fee and are really the best deal (with extra stuff thrown in).

The wholesale account is for anyone wanting the deepest discounts and best benefits dōTERRA has to offer.

If you have decided to start your shopping experience with me and want a wholesale account, then

​Don’t live in Australia?

You can be open up a wholesale account and be just about anywhere in the world! Including America, Cananda, El Salvador, New Zealand, Europe, Costa Rica, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and many other countries! You can go through the same process or CONTACT Me by email to schedule a time for us to speak on the phone/skype to help you set this up.

Be rewarded for being a loyal customer
The Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP) allows you to get what you want on a monthly basis and maximize your membership. It is the smartest way to purchase your oils and its how we get ours. We get FREE oils and products and so will you! The program is a flexible, optional monthly program that rewards you for placing regular orders. We receive around $100 in free products every month simply for opting into this generous program from the purchases we make for our family.

FREE Notes ABOUT CYPRESS ESSENTIAL OIL

Promoting vitality and boosting energetic feelings, Cypress Essential Oil can be used for its aromatic and topical benefits. Cypress Essential Oil is composed of monoterpenes, which can help improve the appearance of oily skin. It can also be applied topically to give the body an energizing lift. The chemical structure of Cypress Essential Oil also contributes to its renewing and uplifting fragrance.

When used aromatically, Cypress produces a clean aroma that has both an invigorating and grounding effect on the emotions.

Due to Cypress Essential Oil’s rejuvenating aroma and skin benefits, it is commonly used in spas and by massage therapists.

  • Needing the energy to get up and run? Don’t sweat it, just apply Cypress Essential Oil to your feet and legs prior to a long run. The vitalizing sensation of Cypress Essential Oil on your skin will give you the motivational boost you need to endure and enjoy your long run.
  • Oily skin is a common problem for many people. If you are looking for a way to reduce the shiny glow of oily skin, add Cypress Essential Oil to your daily routine. To rid your skin of the oily look, add one to two drops of Cypress Essential Oil to help improve the appearance of oily skin. This addition to your daily toner can help you feel more confident in your external radiance.
  • Fill the air with the fresh scents of essential oils in this Cypress diffuser blend. Add Lime and Cypress Essential Oils in the diffuser of your choice for an invigorating scent. The soft, woody aroma of Cypress Essential Oil will work to renew and uplift the senses while the scent of Lime will help purify the air. This diffuser combination is perfect for diffusing in times of transition or when feeling a lack of energy.
Oils that Blend Well with Cypress Essential Oil

Cypress essential oil blends well with citrus oils like Lemon, Lime, and Wild Orange, as well as other oils such as Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Marjoram, Rosemary, and Sandalwood Essential Oils for diffusion.

Cautions
: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

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Parenting can be frustrating. Children are very demanding of attention -especially babies. With twins, there is an extra struggle with trying to give the individual baby the attention they need. It can be very tempting to try to lump your time with them together, but it can be especially important for the twins to get the one-on-one time they need to develop healthy identities and build the relationship you want. While it can be trying, here are some helpful tips to get your twins the one-on-one time they need and how to go about it.

1.     Schedule one-on-one dates

As a parent, scheduling will be your friend. Organizing your time in advance will make your life easier for you and your child. Just as you can structure your day out to plan bath time and play time, try to fit some extra time in there devoted to one of your twins. Whether you go out to a nice movie or just play a board game together, the extra time will be appreciated by both you and your child. Make sure that their twin sibling is doing something fun with the babysitter or another relative too so nobody feels left out.

2.     Get to know their differences

A most parents will tell you, it doesn’t matter whether your twins are fraternal or identical, they will most likely always be different in some way. While it may be easy to focus on their common interests for the sake of time or money, it can be important to let your twins explore their differences. Maybe you notice that your one twin is more outdoorsy while the other prefers reading? Try to take one on a nature hike and the other to the library. When it comes to one-on-one time, you want the child to enjoy it as much as possible, and in this case doing the same activity may not equate to equal levels of entertainment.

3.     Recognize them as the separate people they are

This really dives into the important notion that they are not the same person. No matter how much they look alike or how similar they act, they are not the same entity and it is important that you realize that. Twins are going to have a hard-enough time with developing separate identities with how outsiders may treat them. It can be very disheartening for twins if your regularly mix them or their interests up.

4.     Split Responsibilities

Chores are a great way for children to learn how to be independent as well as bond with parents. Splitting up chores differently allows you the chance to give your child the attention they need while they learn to develop important life skills. This can be very good for twins to recognize that they do not need their twin around to get something done or learn. It can also be a great way for them to learn that they are useful and needed even when they are not together.

5.     Enroll them in separate activities

If you are struggling in finding a good way to actually have a set time spend with one of the twins, it may be a good idea to try to enroll them in separate activities. Generally speaking, kids love being enrolled in different sports and clubs! It is a great way for them to make friends outside of their sibling-ship as well as for you to have time with the twin who is not participating in the activity. It is a way for everyone to have some sort of healthy fun without having anyone feel like they are missing out.

6.     Avoid Identical Assumptions

As many of these points emphasize, make sure that your twins understand that they are two separate people. You do not have to do all of the same activities as them and you must always be careful of your words. When trying to find an activity for one-on-one time, don’t bring up the other twin. During one-on-one time, try not to focus on their sibling at all or make this the time to draw comparisons between them. One-on-one time is just that, time for you to focus on the one child.

7.     Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Finding the time to give children the attention they want/ need is hard enough without adding twins to the equation. If you feel like your twin is not getting enough attention, never be afraid to enlist the help of friends and family. They will understand the importance of giving the child the attention they need while also broadening the twin’s circle of trust even further.

8.     Find other multiple moms

Reading advice from an article can often be a little impersonal and sometimes these things are much easier said than done. Finding other multiple moms that can share their experiences may give you the insight you need in order to find the perfect strategy that works for you!

Share and Like or write us a Comment below what your suggestions are for one-on-one with TWINS! or More

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Being a twin is special and unique so when Amy sent us her newly launched children’s book “The Twinniest Twins” for my twin girls to read, they were delighted. Beautifully illustrated, this little books is about fraternal twins, Trent and Morgan. The story shares how twins can be be the same but oh so different and to celebrate both! I definitely know this just by taking photos of my girls of all the different reactions I get! Even identical girls are like ‘chalk and cheese’

About The Twinniest Twins: Not two peas in a pod…not double trouble…twins can be as different as they are the same. Every twin (even parents of twins) will enjoy reading this joyful book about being a twin! Vibrant watercolor illustrations that speak to the child in us all bring this beautiful and playful story to life. This is a book that celebrates childhood and twindom!

So if you are looking for a unique gift for another twin mum or a beautifully illustrated special book for your own Twins then you can get this book delivered via Amazon.

Don’t forget to follow The Twinniest Twins here! 

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Welcoming a new baby is an exciting occasion for a majority of people. No matter who you are, it is not uncommon to feel a little bit of anxiety around the joyous ordeal as well. One child may make you anxious enough -now multiply that feeling times two or three (or more!) and then you start to get close to what it’s like to hear that you will be expecting multiples. There are many great things about having twins or triplets -but that also comes with its own specific obstacles and tribulations. For that, many parents would agree that you may benefit from finding a parenting book specifically directed for multiples. Last year we reviewed Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories And Advice From Parents of Twins, Triplets and More and here we present the second edition!

Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years is a hilarious and informative collective for any parent dealing with multiples. It is defiantly a book I’d recommend to any parent. Filled with a collection of personal anecdotes as well as interactive content, this is must-read for anyone that feels a little jittery about their pregnancy.

This book highlights and addresses many of the common dilemmas any new parent would face. People criticizing your parenting strategies, invading your personal space, and offering unwarranted advice are some of the things that come up,  just to name a few. The authors take these infuriating events and spin them in a fun manner that entertain you as a reader while really making you feel more secure about the whole situation.

The book opens up with some activities to determine if you are “ready for multiples.” I won’t give away the content, but just know that this was easily my favorite portion of the book. If nothing else, any expecting parent should do this -I can guarantee that you will feel better after it and have a smile on your face. When reading this, I truly get the impression that this book is here to help you instead of making you feel like you’re not doing enough.

Unlike some other parenting books out there, I believe that this one gives a real perspective. This is not going to be one of those books that offer intense “life hacks” or advertise the “perfect” lifestyle that end up making you feel like a bad parent. Instead, the book really tells you what to expect, even when the reality isn’t so glamorous. Sometimes kids cry and you can’t do anything to stop them. Sometimes, parents need regular breaks from their kids. Sometimes, even moms will have problems telling twins apart. This doesn’t make you a bad parent, this just makes you human. I think this book offers great pieces of advice that all parents need to here, but seldom ever do.

Considering that a majority of this book is several different writers telling their personal experiences with their multiples, I think this book offers many different perspectives for readers. While a lot of these stories refer to funny shenanigans, there are several points where the stories take a serious tone. The book’s perspective is not limited to one family situation or even one parenting style, and that makes it even easier for you to find a story that resonates. For even support in finding you the right connection, it even conveniently offers further resources where you can get advice for parents in your situation.

I have nothing but praise for Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years. It is truly the perfect book for anyone expecting multiples in their lives. I think the writing style and clever activities keep it exciting and an easy read. It won’t try to limit you to a single parenting perspective or condone you for not reaching unrealistic standards. I would highly recommend this book as I believe it is certainly the type of parenting book you will learn from without feeling like you’re reading a textbook.

Order your copy on Amazon Today

The digital version of the book is available for preorder now. Click here —-> Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years
The paperback will be available on August 4, and we’ll send you the link when it’s up on Amazon.

About the Authors

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I’ve always been a little bit adventurous when it comes to party invitations and such. I’m an aspiring crafter, and was always that person who spent the extra time to make her own valentines or get my friends to make t-shirts for our fundraisers. Unfortunately, as I got older I got a little bit busier. With kids and a career, I really don’t have time or patience to sit down with scissors and glitter. I have even less patience for the clean-up of any crafting venture. This doesn’t mean I ever lost my sense of creativity though -and luckily, in this day in age, there are ways to get around busy schedules and sparkly messes.

Purple Trail has honestly been a huge lifesaver to me. No matter the school event or holiday, I always make my own invitations and brochures. People often ask me where I find the time or praise me on how talented I am. The truth is -it’s pretty fun and easy!

I find myself unable to keep up with technology at times. While I know there are many awesome designs you can make on your computer, I just don’t have the patience to sit down and learn about it. Purple Trail makes things fun and simple. With seemingly endless designs to choose from, I still haven’t had to repeat a single template. Even if I wanted to stick with a particular design, there are lots of little things that I can customize so it’s never really the same exact thing. Although I tend to opt for the premade templates for the sake of convenience, there are options to totally customize the design when I feel more motivated and adventurous. Even then, you don’t have to be tech savvy to follow along. The directions are clear and user friendly.

Products are not limited to cards either, you can actually make your own planers, mugs, and t-shirts to name a few! One of my favorite products I’ve ordered from the site is actually a metal print of my family on the wall. People are surprised to hear I got it from the same place I make my barbeque invitations, but honestly the quality of all of their products is rather high and I would trust any of their products.   It’s great because I can find everything I need right at this site -and being familiar with how well they run things, I never once considered taking my business elsewhere.

I’ve never had a problem with any of my purchases at all. In past experiences with other stores, I have found that some things just look better on the site then when you see them in person. This is why I was always skeptical about exploring my online options instead of just walking into the print shop. Purple Trail really changed my perspective on this.

I have to say compared to other, similar services I tried out, I find that Purple Trail’s products have a professional quality to them! The whole system is relatively inexpensive too. They are better than other sites I have tried out and are definitely a budget-friendly alternative to a lot of the DIY options.

Personalise your Twins, Triplets and More! Baby Shower, Birth Announcements and Birthdays!

Also for our Twin, Triplet and More Parents its super easy to use the search bar to search all the Purple Trail products that are designed for multiple births. Check out some of these great designs for your next party.

I will say, switching to online was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was faster, more convenient, and definitely more cost-effective. I never have to worry about making time to pay the print shop multiple visits or dealing with my house after I spill a tub of glitter. I would highly recommend Purple Trail as the place to start your online venture. As a repeat customer, I can say with certainty that I believe they are an amazing company. Unmatched quality, fair prices, and a user-friendly system make it the best service I have encountered thus far.

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One of the most overwhelming parts of planning and taking vacation is worrying about flying with your baby or toddler. Recently, my husband and I took a short vacation to Colorado, which required us to take the almost 2 year old twins on their first flight. I made sure to plan ahead and asked my mother’s of multiples group if they had any recommendations.

The biggest response was to get the kids their own seats. However, the thought of paying for four seats made us reconsider the trip altogether. We decided to settle for three seats, which seemed reasonable, considering that the kids were small enough to both fit in one seat if they had enough of our laps. It turns out that the third seat gave us some much needed wiggle room on a overbooked flight.

The next most important decision was how to restrain the kids. A friend, and fellow mother of twins, let us borrow her CARES units (Child Aviation Restraint System). These are approved for use on children from 22-44 pounds. They are a great little device that turn an airplane lap belt into a four point restraint. There is a belt that goes around the seat and under the tray table on the back of the chair. It has two straps that come down, buckle together at the chest, and then have loops at the bottom. The airplane’s lap belt then goes through these bottom loops. There are plenty of adjustment straps to make sure the harness fits your child well.

What is the point? The other responsible option is to bring a FAA approved car seat. While it is very nice to have your own car seat with you when you travel, it is a pretty big pain to lug it on to the plane. We decided to rent car seats with our rental car while we were in Colorado, but if you would rather have your own and save on the rental fee, checking the car seat is much easier than taking it on the plane!

Another great part about the CARES unit is that it is easy to install and is super compact to cary along. Please check out their website to learn more about them. They even offer a discount to parents of twins, triplets, etc. if you are buying more than one at a time!

In order to make the inflight travel go smoother, we bought some backpacks and stuffed them full of entertainment. I packed some sticker books, board books, and a few small simple toys the kids could play with. They loved checking out the back pack. It had zippers to play with, velcro, a snap and…. Elmo was fuzzy! We practiced identifying the numbers and letters on the back pack as well as the colors. This entertained them for a bit. They really enjoyed looking at the provided magazines in the seat pocket. My son spent quite a while just reorganizing the seat pocket by pulling things out and then putting them back in.

If I could recommend one vital item it would be a DVD player.

 

This wound up being a great decision. We also have tons of pictures on our laptop and when the kids got tired of watching Finding Nemo (with hardly any sound due to the airplane noise) we looked at pictures. What kid doesn’t like seeing pictures of themselves?

We also followed the advice of everyone and made sure the kids had a snack and drink during takeoff and landing to help their ears pop with the pressure changes. This, however, did not help my screaming son on a turbulent decent into Denver. After a loud burp upon landing he promptly fell asleep on me while everyone else got off the plane. My daughter was happy playing with her sticker book through the entire decent. Every kid is different but I am so glad I have other people’s experiences to learn from!

Do you have any tips for traveling with your multiples? Leave them below.
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“I’m sorry did you, did you say, err twins?” Was the bewildered cry from my husband when the nurse announced the two heart beats belonged to twins.

Five weeks earlier my husband and I had had our early reassurance scan which you have when conceiving through IVF and we were totally overjoyed to see a teeny heartbeat and a little “blob” that was our baby, the baby we had been trying five years for. Having been diagnosed with endometriosis aged 23 and polycystic ovarian syndrome we were unable to have a baby naturally and needed a little help, we were eligible for IVF. We went through two years of IVF and finally had made it to the egg transfer where only one embryo was placed back in. We had our scan at seven weeks and came away completely in love with this one little “blob” and our scan picture was proudly shown to anyone that would look! We started to fantasize about our single baby, was it a boy or a girl, pink or blue? What pram would we buy? Excitedly looking on pinterest every night, pinning a million nursery inspo ideas.

edf

Fast forward five weeks, I’m laying on the couch in the hospital all excited to see how much our little “blob” has grown, husband eagerly sat by my side. The nurse starts scanning and confirms the pregnancy, “everything looks perfect” she says reassuringly “I will start measuring once I have traced the heartbeats”. Sounds normal to me (obviously I have no idea this is our first pregnancy) so the nurse proceeded to trace the heartbeats. “The heartbeats sound perfect, good and strong”

Heartbeats? Heartbeats as in plural, meaning more than one heartbeat? I lay there while the nurse continued to scan for what felt like an eternity, she was chatting away and still to this day have no idea what she said to me. Instead I was lying there having a conversation with myself in my head! “Did she say two heartbeats? Clearly that means my heartbeat and the baby’s heartbeat. There was only one baby five weeks ago so she must mean my heartbeat and the baby’s. No Nicola you’re been totally stupid don’t ask you will look a fool. Well I kinda need to know I should really ask what she means by two heartbeats”. Meanwhile my husband is sat watching the screen having all the same thoughts looking totally confused. So I plucked up the courage and asked, “so you know when you say two heartbeats is that my heartbeat and the babies heartbeat?” This was met with a laugh, like a laugh of total disbelief that I had even asked that question (my friends moment for the friends fans out there) and then the nurse replied “no the twins heartbeats!”

Queue my husband stumbling over his words like a man with a stammer interrogating the nurse “twins sorry did you say twins?” Both of us just sat there in complete shock. The nurse replied with a shocked response “What you didn’t know?” NO WE DID NOT KNOW! That’s when the scan descended into a blur; the nurse was completely bamboozled telling us she had never in her career had this happen to her. I started to tell her that there was definitely only one baby, one! At the seven week scan and that there was only one embryo put in so where they hell has this other baby come from? How could this happen? Hubby had by this time gone all hot and flush, had lost the ability to talk and actually needed water off one of the zillion nurses that had been rushed into the room. I on the other hand was in a fit of hysterical nervous laughter, laughing that hard my belly was wobbling and the nurse couldn’t continue scanning.

A consultant was brought in to double check as the nurse pronounced “right lets all calm down read your notes from the seven week scan and I will get a consultant to scan you to check I’m not seeing things. The consultant scanned and confirmed, yes two heartbeats, yes two babies. Two freaking babies in my belly? Holy smokes. All our notes were checked and the previous scan confirmed only one baby so how had this happened? Well after a two hour scan it became clear that the single embryo from seven weeks, had decided that it didn’t much like being alone and well kinda decided to split extremely late to form an identical sibling.  So our twin babies were sitting there in my belly, both sharing a placenta 100% identical. A rare type of twins called MCDA that would put us all at high risk throughout the pregnancy both the consultant and various nurses had never seen it happen before so we were like a walking freak show.

After hours being scanned and checked my hubby and I left the scan room completely in shock. It didn’t feel real I honestly felt like Ant and Dec were going to come out and it had all been a hoax but the scan pictures in my hand were proof YES I was having twin babies. I just couldn’t wait to tell family and friends but no one believed us. After telling family we were pregnant and having one baby to now telling them “oh sorry they got it wrong we are now having twins” you can kinda understand why no one believed us. We couldn’t function for a few hours hubby needed a drink and I, well I took the shock out on the biggest bar of chocolate known to man, in absence of not being allowed wine! So all our plans had changed and after a few days of walking around in a bubble it actually hit me and hubby. And the usual twin parent questions hit us. How are we going to be able to afford it? How are we going to cope? The house isn’t big enough, car…we need a bigger car!

But amidst all the panic I was sitting on cloud nine, I had gone from a failed IVF round and thinking I would never have children to been totally blessed to have two little miracles growing inside me. And instantly I loved those two tiny little humans more than I ever knew possible and nothing much else mattered. I was having twins, double the trouble, twice the fun and I was ready to take on this role of “twin mumma” with all my energy.

Follow our guest blogger Nicola on Instagram at Twinning Through Life and her blog! Nicola welcomed beautiful miracle baby’s identical daughters Alissi and Ilaria in February 2017!  after a six year journey including a diagnosis of Endometriosis and PCOS.

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This week we have a super special twin blogger, Katy from the blog keepingabreastwiththetwins.  Katy is a proud mum to identical twin girls but is also currently fighting breast cancer. Here is her story!

Why did you start your blog?

Blogs had always interested me and when I found out I was having twins it was an idea I had toyed with. Fast forward four months into motherhood and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was when I made the decision to start my blog and keepingabreastwiththetwins was born! It was a great way for me to share my experience of raising twins whilst coping with chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. It also allowed me to explain and raise awareness of what happens to you after diagnosis.

Were you surprised to discover you were having twins?

Hell yeah! There are no twins in mine or my husbands families and it hadn’t even crossed my mind as a possibility. I had suffered a miscarriage previously, so for me I just wanted to see something on the screen when we went for our first scan.

How did you discover you were having twins?

We found out at our first scan. I got up on the bed and looked up at the screen in preparation. There was a trainee in the room and the sonographer asked my permission for her to be present. What a treat she was in store for. When the sonographer started scanning me she changed her tone slightly and said she had a shock for us, I really thought there was going to be nothing there. I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for. When she explained there were two babies I just laughed in shock and my husbands face was a picture and he immediately thought about how much it was going to cost! She then told us they were going to be identical because there was one placenta and one sack and a clear membrane separating them. Sadly the scary stuff started straight away as we were then whisked off into a room with some professionals to explain the complications of identical twins (TTTS) and also discussion of what to do as they could not perform the downs screening as my scan was quite late. All very scary and stressful after what should be a happy moment.

How did you announce to your family and friends you were having twins?

My parents were away on a Caribbean cruise when we went for our scan. They knew we were going and would await news by text. After all the drama I just wanted to phone them, but they replied to my text saying they couldn’t call. So I had no option, but to email them. Funny as soon as they read my email, they managed to get access to a phone line. They were flabbergasted and drank A LOT of cocktails that night. Weirdest thing is that it turned out that three of the couples on their table were grandparents to twins! I should have got the hint then how common twins are!

What was your pregnancy like?

To be honest my pregnancy was pretty easy and I felt really good after the initial rough period. The early days were grim and my appetite was pretty bad. Nothing tasted good or satisfied me and I must have been a pain to live with. I remember my husband making me pasta and chicken pots to eat on break duty! I felt like I was a boxer preparing for a fight!! My bump was very small in comparison to all the twin bumps I see so I still feel a bit cheated. My girls were fairly dinky though so I just think they were all snug inside me. Obviously all the scans and constant fear of TTTS made it an anxious pregnancy, but in the end I managed to become quite relaxed about it. After all I didn’t know anything different. My body was obviously preparing me mentally with the enormity I was about to face after having the twins – cancer.

How did you cope with your diagnosis and bringing up the twins?

Nothing can ever prepare you for being told you have cancer. I remember leaving the room thinking “ will I get to see my girls grow up?” and bursting into tears on the way home. It hasn’t been easy, but you survive and just get on with it. You have no choice. The girls have given me the strength to fight and kept me as positive as I can be. It has meant accepting a lot of help and without an incredible support network around me I am not sure I would have coped as well as I have.

When did you discover you had breast cancer?
I decided to try and breast feed the girls, I was desperate for it to be a success. I was expressing and sat on a breast pump for most of the early months. It was during a pumping session that I noticed a lump. At first I dismissed it and put it down to a blocked milk duct. It started to bother me and I guess having the girls made me more proactive. I went to the doctors and was given antibiotics and told to go back 3 weeks later. Three weeks passed and I went back to the doctors and was referred to the breast clinic. Here I was given a mammogram and biopsy, they knew what they were dealing with at this point you could tell by the change in them. I did not find out until a week later once the biopsy results were in. The following week the news was confirmed that it was cancer and I was booked in to have a lumpectomy the following week. My world fell apart when I heard this news. The girls were 4 months old and I was supposed to be enjoying being a new mum.
What was your support network during this time?
My parents live quite far away and it become apparent that they would need to stay for long periods of time to help with the twins. They have been amazing and basically put their retirements on hold to help out. I always thought I would be helping them not the other way round! I am also blessed to have the most incredible colleagues who have cooked meals, taken the girls for walks and done my ironing! My friends have also been incredible helping out and providing the emotional support I needed.
Would you have done anything differently?
Not got cancer and been the dedicated mum I hoped I would have been!!
What advice would you give to new parents of multiples?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from every possible outlet. I am lucky that I get help from HomeStart an amazing charity that support many families not just multiple parents. My volunteer was matched to me and started when the girls were 5 months old and is still with us today. Sadly the help will end soon as I return to work, but it has been invaluable with all we have been through as a family. Definitely seek out other multiple mums as they do understand better! I have a fab network on social media as well as local twin groups.

What is your favourite blog post you would like to share?

It’s hard to pick a favourite as it has been a blog of my journey through this madness. I do think my post on #parentingthehshitoutoflife is a good one as it is true and real about how I struggled with the girls being behind their peers due to being premature.

The girls are now thriving and it’s been an incredible year. I have finished treatment and am about to go back to work next month. It’s going to be weird being just Katy again.

Good Luck Katy!

Please follow Katy on Instagram here! 

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This week we welcome Amanda, mom to twin girls and blogger over at Amanda’s Great Idea.  Enjoy her story as she shares how she announced her twin pregnancy to her family!! 
 Finding out we are having Twins!
My husband and I are only children, so imagine our surprise when we found out we were having twins! When discussing our family planning hopes and dreams, my husband was pretty set on just having one child. We both had great only children experiences; we grew up in loving households and we were provided for in every sense of our lives. My husband went to private high school and college without any student loans. I was fortunate to not have any loans from undergraduate. He wanted to be able to do this for our future (only) child. I, on the other hand, definitely wanted more than one child! I grew up longing for siblings and obsessed with the marvels of sibling relationships and birth order.
Fast forward to our first dating ultrasound, after we tried for 2 years to conceive. Being in the medical field, I prepped my husband as to what to look for on the ultrasound. The night before, I had a dream that we were expecting triplets, so I jokingly gave him a crash course in how to read a sonogram. The doctor placed the probe, and sure enough, there was one big sac with an obvious pregnancy inside. My husband said, “look, just one!” The doctor fanned the ultrasound probe, and a second sac came into view on the screen. We were both in shock. The doctor asked if I was okay, and all I could reply was, “keep looking! Make sure there aren’t any more!” I don’t remember the rest of the appointment. We both left with dumb smiles and glassy eyes. Two babies? After we had waited so long and tried so hard for just one? It was a blessing, and a shock.
Twin Announcements
My mom had announced to my grandparents that she was expecting by wrapping up a gift of Fisher Price play keys on a key ring back in 1986. I decided to take one from her book and do the same. We made a surprise visit (traveling 6 hours by car) to visit, so she knew some big news was coming. I had not yet even told her we were pregnant. I didn’t even wrap them; I just gave her the keys after we sat down on her couch. She was overcome with emotion! 2 minutes later, I handed her a second set of keys. I would say she was speechless, but honestly she had plenty of swear-laden exclamations! Don’t get me wrong, she was thrilled! We told my dad later that day by showing him the ultrasound. I thought he would notice that there were two babies, but he didn’t. I had to explain it to him, which was a bit anti-climactic. He had similar swear-laden exclamations. It was so great.
We had much more fun revealing to the grandparents that we were expecting two girls! We told my in-laws in a very memorable way. We had sent girl-colored bouquets to all the grandparents, but unfortunately there was a mix up with theirs and they didn’t get them by the end of the business day. I knew we could not have my parents know and not my husband’s, so we had to think fast. My husband called their local pizza place and had two cheese pizzas delivered. Inside the lids of the boxes was written, “Two Twin Girls, No Meatballs!” While a bit crude, it went over with much hilarity and hysterics.
Twin Pregnancy

I had an absolutely uneventful and pleasant pregnancy up until I went into premature labor just after 31 weeks. The girls were born naturally (one breech), which was a goal of mine. While not the ideal or traditional birth in any way, much of my experience was positive. We live near (and I work at) a hospital with a level IV NICU so the girls were in fantastic care from the very start. They spent 30 and 45 days in the NICU, mostly weaning off oxygen and gaining weight. While our time in the NICU had its ups and downs, in hindsight it was very uncomplicated and an ideal course given their gestational age.

On April 23rd, my girls turned 1 year old! In anticipation of their birthday, I began working on writing their birth story a few months back. I had always wanted to write a blog, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I recently launched their blog by featuring their birth story. I am posting twice weekly, and my posts are a mix of personal experiences as well as tips/tricks for moms and moms of multiples, especially working moms (as I continue to work full time).
Advice to other Multiple Parents
When speaking with new moms of multiples, or those expecting multiples, my number one piece of advice is that motherly instinct is greater than any baby book! While I tend to gather information from multiple sources when making decisions for my children, I ultimately do what feels right, and that has not steered my wrong. Some of my more practical pieces of advice are 1–try to keep your kids on a schedule, 2–consider and decide your plans for childcare early in your pregnancy, 3–don’t try and do everything yourself, and 4–document special moments as they happen and remember that no phase of your children’s lives will last forever! While it can be so daunting to be in a certain phase, one day you will look back on that phase with nostalgia (only if you document your memories, otherwise it may just be a blur! Ha!).
My Twin Birth Story
Read my birth story here:
Read about how I returned to work full-time when my twins were 4 months here: http://amandasgreatidea.com/2017/04/04/how-to-go-back-to-work-full-time-after-twins/
Follow me on social!
Instagram: @amandasgreatidea
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To generalize the “lifestyle” of an entire nation is a tricky thing, especially when talking about a massive country like the United States of America. There are over 350 million people in the country, and every individual is entitled to the right to live a lifestyle of their choosing. To use a single umbrella to describe every single lifestyle choice of the entire country would be tough, and even dangerous. However, there are certain commonalities that entire cultures, nations, and countries share, things like language, food, commerce, and religion all exist within America, and while vast differences exist from one person to the next, the fact remains that it is still practice.Composed of 50 states and a handful of outlying territories, America has the third largest population in the world. A strong sense of nationalism resounds throughout the populace and Americans are not afraid to show it. The Star – Spangled Banner flies almost anywhere a flag can be hung. It is not uncommon for entire streets to lined with the American flag hung on car antennas, patios, and flag poles in front yards. Just like any country in the world, poor areas do exist within America, but compared to the rest of the world it is still considered a “first world” or industrially developed nation. And, the liberties, freedoms and even economic behavior of its residents reflect this.

Language is often a point of commonality when it comes to most countries, and America is no different. For the overwhelming majority of the population, English is the first language. It is the national language and is speaking in every state and city. Spanish is considered the second language, the origins of which can trace back to the days of Christopher Columbus, Spain’s expansion into the New World and the neighboring country of Mexico. Surprisingly, the third most spoken language is German, which is most prominent in the Midwest which saw a lot of immigrants from Germany and Bavaria at the turn of the century.

While Americans are viewed by outsiders as secular and do not subscribe to religion or superstition, nothing can be further from the truth. America is known as a melting pot of cultures. Comprised of immigrants from all corner of the globe, these people have brought their culture, food, and religion to America as well. The majority of the country identifies itself with some denomination of Christianity. However, that is not all. Several dozen religions are recognized by the United States from Judaism to Islam, and from Buddhism to Bahai. So important is the concept of religious freedom, that the Founding Fathers of America included it in the nation’s Constitution.

The United States is a vast country with varying ecosystems, terrains and geography. Very few countries on Earth can sport this kind of diversity, however, like most countries the majority of the population congregates near the water, and in particular, cities by the water. Sure, there are rural locales has some semblance of the community, but the cities are where the bulk of American civilization lies. Seaside Metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Miami hold more people in them than several other states combined. While the American landscape may bring about visions of the wild west, open expanses of grasslands or wooded forests, the truth is that most people find solace in the concrete jungles of cities,

Education is another part of the American lifestyle that permeates throughout the entire country. While quality does vary from area to area, public education does exist for all children in the country. Unless they are attending a private institution, American children go to school for free (relatively speaking) until they attend college or university. Going to school is highly encouraged and almost seems mandatory in some cases. Needless to say, this is not the norm for children all around the world. American children, in general, do not need to work or care for younger siblings. Thus, they have the time, energy and attention to go to school, to learn and socialize.

America has a higher standard of living than most of the world. Its citizens are often gainfully employed and earn a decent amount of income. It allows them also to spend said money. Famed traveler, chef, and TV host Anthony Bourdain once noted that due to the decrease in manufacturing jobs, America’s chief export is now culture. By this, he meant entertainment, arts, and fashion. American’s can indulge in their consumerism by procuring the goods they often see on the television, in adverts and on the bodies of their on-screen idols. The real American lifestyle is a quagmire of paradoxes when looked under a microscope. But take a step back, and one can easily see the threads that tie one single American to another.

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