Mums is Your Neck & Shoulders Aching?

New mummy cuddles. Both mummy and baby are tired. Image courtesy of papaija2008 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New mummy cuddles. Both mummy and baby are tired. Image courtesy of papaija2008 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I had the twins I was so exhausted. Yes I am sure you can imagine. I had over 30 hours of labour that the doctors and nurses thought was not happening and of course it went on forever and ever! I just wanted to go to sleep. This could not happen. I had the first baby and blanked and forgot for a while that I had to do another. Silly really, but this is what happens when you are sleep deprived and physically exhausted and have mentally left the building as well. I am sure I am not the only one that has done this. (Let me know if you did this too, well if you had multiples)

After I had the babies, they of course went straight to intensive care so I tried to catch up on much needed rest in-between doctors/nurses visits and the NICU ringing for breast milk that I had not made yet! OH GOSH THE PRESSURE!

Once our stay in hospital was over and I was finally home with my two precious bundles of joy and I was of course super tired and zapped of energy. Thank god I cooked and froze dinners for three months to help. More on the blog later about that. I will share some of my favourite meals I froze and what made it easy in the first three months home with new born twins.

One thing that was clearly apparent soon after having the twins was that I was constantly bending over and this in turn was making my neck, shoulders and back ache. This was very annoying. I loved being with the babies but since I had to feed them and at times ended up in awkward positions it of course was not good for me.  Has this happened to you?

Not only did I ache, I had to keep on doing the same activity that made me sore! OH how annoying. What can be done you ask?

I went to the gym and found that they did not focus enough on exercises that stretch your body the other way. For example if you are constantly bending and leaning over, why can’t we stretch backwards? Have more movement with stretches that allow you to move the other way rather than constantly putting pressure on the part that hurts or is causing an issue.

Here are some great exercises to help the back, neck and shoulders (Note, this is just what works for me and I am not a fitness expert):

    • This is one of my favourite exercises. It makes my shoulders feel so much better. Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

      This is one of my favourite exercises. It makes my shoulders feel so much better. Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

      Backstroke. Swimming backstroke stretches and flexes the muscles that you are not using that much and it feels great as your body is having the other side exercised. This I find helps me feel more balanced and helps my neck and shoulders.

    • Yoga. Stretching and relaxing with yoga no matter your skill level I find very beneficial. You can either go to a class or have a DVD at home so that you can do it at a time that is easy for you to add to your routine. If your kids are older maybe get them to join in. If your child is still a baby sneak in a relaxation session while they are sleeping if you can.
      The cat pose, the tree and the spinal twist ones are my favourite. Not sure if I have listed them correctly but hopefully you know what I mean. I also like the mediation relaxation on the floor at the end. It helps centre you and makes me more relaxed.
    • Stretch your arms. I like to put my arm on a door or wall. Then I lean the other way so this gives you the stretch on the other side of your body. I do this to both sides and then it makes all joints and arms feel much more relaxed.
    • Meditation. I find a small window to meditate with nothing going on. I know this is hard if you have a house full of kids and activity. I do find that the times the kids are at school I take a part of my day to just sit still and do nothing. I like listening to the stillness, the quiet and just love it. No one yelling, “Mummy!, can you come here!” Sometimes it just takes those moments to make my shoulders and neck relax and it makes the difference to a calmer and more peaceful day.
    • Walking. I know it is not exactly exercising the back, neck and shoulders, but it is low impact and it gives the body movement and takes you to a different environment where you can breathe in the fresh air and relax. Don’t under estimate a good walk around the block or say around the park.
    • Aqua Aerobics. I love this form of exercise. Not only is it good for your joints being low impact, you are doing more as you have to use the water as an added weight that helps you tone up and get fit. You can push yourself as hard as you like or take it easy depending on your fitness level.

I like most mums don’t take enough time for themselves and I should. It is hard to fit it all in and I hope that some of these tips might help you. It will soon be daylight savings and I cannot wait. More daylight, in warmer weather to be outdoors.

NOTE: I am not an expert in exercise. Check with your doctor if these are right for you.

Here are some links that might help you:

Do you find that exercise programs don’t have stretches to help with the fact that we are bending and leaning over more? I do! I feel that we need to focus more on posture, relaxation and stretching. If we did more of this we might not be having such ailments like headaches due to neck pain and so on. I suffer most from headaches due to tension in my neck.

Let us know what you do to relax and make the aches go away. I must say a massage and a weekend away does wonders also, however does not happen often.

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Categories: Exercise | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WIN: A Moody Dude Couch Potato Cushion

Hi everyone. Mummy to Twins has partnered with Moody Dudes to promote their Kickstarter campaign and their great cushions for kids. Why have we decided to partner with Moody Dudes? Well it was due to the product. Yes they are making a product that helps kids and allows children to deal with their emotions.

The Moody Dudes’ Moods from Moody Dudes on Vimeo.
 

What’s a Moody Dude?

Moody Dudes are lovable, convertible ‘Couch Potato’ cushions.

They’re cute, but watch out, they’re moody! They change emotions, with eight different facial expressions on the same cushion. There’s a Moody Dude to suit every mood.

Check out Moody Dude’s Kickstarter video and campaign

The Moody Dudes are part of a special Kickstarter project that aims to help children in need this Christmas. The Moody Dudes have teamed up with The Smith Family in Australia to deliver comforting and fun Couch Potato cushions to disadvantaged children. The unique campaign is the world’s first Kickstarter campaign supporting a social cause. For every Moody Dude sold in our special One-for-One pledge, we will donate one to a child in need. One-for-one.

Moody Dudes

Moody Dudes

The Moody Dudes are loved by kids of all ages, backgrounds, and gender. They are the perfect couch companion!

Cuddling my Moody Dude

Cuddling my Moody Dude

We have received a lot of feedback from people in the early childhood learning community, and child disability community, saying that they are a fantastic resource for parents and teachers to use to help kids understand and express emotions. We have also created the Mini Dudes: for office desks, car rear-vision mirrors, and dollhouses.

How to Win A Moody Dude?

Fill out the Rafflecopter form and make sure you leave a comment on the blog with a caption the below image.

By filling out your details you agree to be emailed news about the blog and sent our new newsletter when it launches. If you ever wish to unsubscribe you can do so by clicking the button on managing the subscriptions on the right hand side of the blog.  I hope you don’t as more great things are going to happen on the blog.

This giveaway is no way connected to Facebook or Twitter and the winner will be emailed from Mummy to Twins.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Caption This Photo!

If you would like to be in the running to win one of our first ever prototype edition Moody Dudes, please enter a caption for this photo. To enter a caption please leave a blog comment on this post, also you will need to fill out the Rafflecopter form to be considered entered into this competition. Thanks and good luck!

Caption this image. The best and most creative answer will win a Moody Dude Cushion.

Caption this image. The best and most creative answer will win a Moody Dude Cushion.

The winner will be featured on the Moody Dudes website and Facebook Page as well as Mummy to Twins pages.

When Does the Competition End?

The giveaway is open until midnight 26th of September 2014.

Who is allowed to enter?

Australian residents only are able to enter

Get your thinking caps on and enter this great giveaway from Moody Dudes. Have fun and cannot wait to see all the captions for the image.

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Award Winning Photographers

The girls have been fixated on taking photographs and having an iPhone and an iPad it makes it accessible and easier for kids to take photos.  They did have a camera but it is hard to look out the view finder and as it is a more of a toy it is hard to change the batteries and just a pain to use. It is great and the kids love their dog cameras (a camera in a shape of a dog)  but they are not very good for taking pictures, hence them taking over my iPhone to take as many weird and wonderful images as possible and of course silly selfies!

In the newsletter at the kids school they have been asking for the children to enter the local Blackheath Flower and Craft Show. This year was the 94th show! Yes, it has been going a while.

We went to the show and discovered the girls got awards. Well done girls!

We went to the show and discovered the girls got awards. Well done girls!

I thought why not let the kids take my phone and take some images with it and if they were any good we will print them up and enter them into the show. I gave Lillian the phone and she got all creative and bent down and saw things at different angles. I asked if she needed any help and she yelled, “I will do what I want and take pictures of what I want mummy!” O.K, temperamental artist attitude.  I did say that she can do what she wants as it was her photos and she did not need the attitude…. not sure if the artist understood this but she did her images and then gave the phone to Julia for her turn.

Julia took some great images also but was more straight to the point about shooting her photos. Lillian was bending in all sorts of different poses and was getting very creative. The girls loved taking photos and I must get them a better camera that can be easily used by the kids. I have noticed that there are digital cameras for sale but hubby and I would like to do investigate what is best online before we invest any money. I don’t want to spend on some to then find that they are not what we wanted. If you have any suggestions on what to get for two six year olds that would be great. Thinking of Christmas presents for the cameras.

We picked out two images for each child to submit to the flower and craft show. Hubby mounted them on thick board and we entered them after school on the Friday 12th of September. The show was on the 13th and 14th of September and as the kids had their birthday party on the Saturday we went to the show on the Sunday.

Lillian with her winning photos.

Lillian with her winning photos.

When we saw the kids photographs at the show we were amazed and excited to see that they had been awarded prizes. Lillian got 1st and 2nd and Julia got 3rd for infant photography for the show. How amazing is that! We were very proud parents and the kids were very pleased as well.

Julia with her winning photo

Julia with her winning photo

I wonder what wonderful works of art they will produce next? Will they be photographers or just love it as a hobby? I did photography as a hobby and also at university. I must say I love taking photographs. Is it genetic? Who knows. It will be interesting to see how this interest progresses.

As said before I am keen to foster this interest in photography as I believe it is a nice skill and a good interest to develop. Who knows where it will take the girls. Now must figure out what is the best camera for little people that will give you decent images and of course not cost the earth. Plus it needs to be shock proof if dropped by kids. I know, I might be asking for a bit much!

Do your kids love to take photos? Has all the latest technology helped make it easier for them to get involved? Let us know.

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Categories: 6 years and beyond | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kids Are Now 6

I have been meaning to write this blog post all weekend but did not get the chance. So what have I been up to? Well, the kids had a big day at their school for fundraising on Friday the 12th of Sept, then Saturday the 13th was their birthdays and of course we went to the local craft and flower fair to see the twins photography and what other people had done. It has been a BIG week and that is putting it mildly.

I cannot believe my little girls are now six! Yes they are big girls now. What little babies they once were.

Mummy and the girls on the 27th of Sept, 2008. Julia on left, Lillian on right.

Mummy and the girls on the 27th of Sept, 2008. Julia on left, Lillian on right.

girlseatingsnow

Lillian and Julia

Lillian and Julia – My wonderful girls

 

The girls on the 12th of Sept. The day before they turn six. They have grown so much.

The girls on the 12th of Sept. The day before they turn six. They have grown so much. Julia on the left, Lillian on the right.

Firstly, I was madly baking and organising things for the twins birthday party. We were having it in a park this year and of course the weather was up and down and we were all crossing our fingers and toes. On the morning of the 13th it was raining, foggy and cloudy. Yes just what you want for a party in the park! However about lunch time the sun came out and it stayed like this for the majority of the day. No rain so that was a win and allowed us all to enjoy the day at the park.

The theme of the kids birthday this year was “My Little Pony” I created my own invites again and I have a free download so that you can change them to make it for your twins or children’s party. In the template you have text fields, can change the age of the birthday people. I have it for 6 as it was for the twins 6th birthday party. Make sure you put a picture of your children to personalise the invite on the bottom left of the invite.  I have added an image of the twins. Remove this one and replace with your own image.

Download your FREE PARTY INVITE HERE

Here are the instructions to add a picture:

  1. Choose Tools > Content > Edit Object Tool .
  2. Right-click the page and choose Place Image.
  3. Choose one of the following file formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PCX, PNG, or TIFF.
  4. Select an image file, and click Open.

A copy of the image file appears on the page, with the same resolution as the original file.

blankinvitetoedit What did I serve for food?

I kept it simple. I had savory snacks, cabanossi, cheese, crackers, dip, carrots, celery and so on. I then had fairy bread, vegan cupcakes, salt and vinger chips with grainwaves as well. The party was after lunch so I was not serving lunch just nice snacks to keep tummy’s happy and not starving. I had real juice poppers with bottles of water to allow us not to have cups for drinks. Not having cups cut down on things we needed to bring and waste as well.

We did have a huge cake so I was sure that all kids would want a piece of it and to my amazement it all got finished. Yes the cake was demolished!

IMG_7549 Here is a video of the kids helping hubby cut the cake. It is so funny to hear the reaction of the kids.

 
 

This is what the cake looked like inside. What a great surprise the kids got, and also to the adults. I don’t think they were expecting this.

The incredibly huge and colourful cake!

The incredibly huge and colourful cake!

More about the cake

I did a four layer cake. To make it easier I used vanilla cake mix from the shops. I put the food colouring in the milk before adding it to the mixture and made sure that it was a vivid colour for it to be bright when cutting the cake.

To make the whole for the sweets to fall out when cutting I cut a whole in the two middle layers. I had the bottom layer on first then cut the hole in the two layers at the same time to make sure that the hole matched up. Then I carefully put the two middle layers onto the bottom layer.

Now I filled the hole full of M&M’s and Freckles. Once all full I added some icing around the edges of the hole and middle layer to make sure it did not crack or fall apart. There were some slight cracks but all was fine with the icing helping.

Then I added the top layer of the cake and then iced and decorated. I added the Ponies and the candles on the day.

What else did we do?

The kids were also entertained by a unicorn pinata and it took a while for it to break. This was good as it meant each child got a turn. No kid went without as I had ample sweets and goodies in their party bags.

We all had a great time and I was so pleased that the weather was good. Not sure what they might want for their seventh birthday and not sure if I can comprehend that I will have to kids who will be seven next year. I am still processing them being six.

Next Post

My next post will be about my lovely photographers. Yes they are very clever and won awards on Sunday for their pictures. More later.

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Categories: 6 years and beyond | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Day of Cleaning!

Today is a big day. Kids are at school then off to after school care. You wonder what I will be doing? I am leading a glamorous life and of course I will be cleaning, scrubbing and doing housework!

The house needs a spruce up before the weekend. The twins have their birthday on Saturday and we might have family and friends drop by. Due to this and of course being flat out have a clean house might be a good idea.

cleaning cleaningmaid

I think after I calm down from the big week I might need to have them in care again so that I can spend my time doing something I like.

A bubble bath? Spending my gift vouchers at the shops? Sleeping? Working on the blog?

A maid would make things easy, but due to no funds to pay a maid I am her currently! Yes not ideal but cheaper.

Wish me well and I hope I get a lot done.

Stay tuned for more about this years birthday party for the girls.

Categories: 5 years and beyond | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DIY: Get Creative with Sharpies

I do have something organised for hubby for Father’s Day. However I thought it might be nice for the twins to do something creative for daddy themselves. I have had some friends do things with sharpie pens and I have always been curious. Online I saw that you can decorate a mug/cup with sharpie pens, then bake it and all good to use. How amazing and interesting. Will it work? The only way is to give it a go.

createacupfordad_web

So I got the kids some sharpie pens from the shop and a white mug each and then each child had to decorate them.  I told them that they can do whatever design they wished to. One child was very expressive and creative and wanted to colour the whole mug in and the other was trying to draw and write more on the mug. Interesting the difference. It did not matter what they created, it was an expression of them to their daddy.

What do you need?

1. Sharpie Pens. I purchased mine individually as this worked out a little cheaper. You can get a pack of 12 for about $20. Packs I saw for less varied between $14 or more.

2. A cup or a mug to decorate. I choose to have white mugs as then the colours from the pens will show up more

3. An oven to bake the mugs in

Concentrating on her creation for daddy.

Concentrating on her creation for daddy.

What is the process?

1. Once you have all your materials ready you can then start.

2. Decorate your mugs

3. Finalise your decoration and once happy you are ready to bake in the oven.

4. Bake in the oven for 30mins at 180°C or 356°F

Once baked you are good to use the cup. Might need to wait a bit and hand wash carefully to make sure it is all clean to use. As I have never done this before I am keen to see how they go. I would not put in the dishwasher.

Happy creating and this is a great cheap last minute gift for Father’s Day. Have fun!

Finished mugs ready to be baked

Finished mugs ready to be baked

Note: Some colours after it was baked have changed. The gold seems to have turned into brown. Maybe I need to get different sharpies next time.

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Love the Bookbook

This advertisement from IKEA is very clever. It is poking fun of the Apple commercials with their new iPhones, mimicking the head designer who has many different grey and black shirts to present this new info to us. Now IKEA is introducing the Bookbook. Watch and have a giggle and be amazed at how simple the technology is.

The Bookbook…..

Have a lovely Friday and enjoy this great video.

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Icy Shower

Today it has been freezing! Yesterday there was warmth in the air and a hint of what is to come. Summer and holidays! However today it seems like we have hit another cold snap. Black dark clouds hovered over us after I picked up the girls from school. We had to get Weet-Bix from the store or else there would be issues in the morning and when we exited the skies errupted with hail. Little balls of ice, and it bucketed down. It did not last for long.

Did you get a big down pour of rain? Was it hail? I have heard some people got snow. Yes snow! I suppose that is no surprise. Two years ago in October we got the biggest dump of snow in ten years here. So anything is possible. Snow in Spring. Hail in spring. Maybe it might happen in summer? Only time will tell.

The only thing that made it all worth it was that the store had Weet-Bix. Imagine making your way in a hail storm to find they had none.

It has been snowing. See the article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Categories: 5 years and beyond | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Happy Spring is Here

Today is a lovely day and as my last post we have had a couple of weeks of constant rain and bad weather. I have been hanging for sunshine, blue skies and better weather all round.

First Day of Spring - 1st Sept 2014

First Day of Spring – 1st Sept 2014

The twins were super happy that it is Spring as their birthday is in two weeks, and are very excited. In their class today they are changing the calendar to show that it is September and now spring. Also they will tell the class that two children have their birthdays this month, and they are my girls. I am amazed that the girls are the only kids who have their birthday in September for their class.

Pink Flowers in our backyard

Pink Flowers in our backyard

It has been getting warmer and warmer and had the hint of spring in the air. Even my garden thinks it was spring before it was. These pink flowers don’t usually bloom until spring but have been out for the last couple of weeks. The same goes for the blossom trees and other flowers. I just hope that they stay out for a bit longer as we usually love to sit under the tree to enjoy the flowers and colour. However with the rain it has not been possible.

Now the tidy up of the backyard and house begins as it is a big clean out that needs to happen and a tidy up due to the kids having a party in a couple of weeks. We are having it in a park but relatives will come over to the house for a tea and catch up.

I am hoping that you are having lovely weather where you are for the first day of spring. Enjoy!

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Bring On The Sunshine!

Rain be gone! Bring us sunshine and blue skies. Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rain be gone! Bring us sunshine and blue skies. Image courtesy of worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

31st of August: Woke up to Blue skies and sunshine. Maybe the post helped???

Today was forecast to be sunny. Well it said it was supposed to be after lunch time. Do you think this happened? NO it did not. It is cold, overcast, cloudy and yes still raining. It has been raining for the last week or so. Nonstop rain! We did need some rain but I am now over it and the weather can now turn sunny and warm.

Not only will the sunshine and nice weather help with doing laundry and airing out the house. It will also allow me to be outdoors to have a walk and experience the nice weather (when it does happen) and hopefully take the kids to the park. Being cooped up inside is very annoying for kids and also adults. Some vitamin D will be nice to get once the sun allows it.

My other frustration with the weather is that the twin’s birthday is in two weeks’ time and we are having it at the park. If it is raining a party at the park will not do. Might have to look at a wet weather alternative. Monday is the start of spring and I am  hoping that this will trigger some nice spring type weather. Well I can hope can’t I?

I did manage to take the kids to the park yesterday after school. The sun was out very briefly and I thought if I did not pounce on this opportunity I would regret it. I was right. Kids had a great time at the park and we ended up crashing one of their friend’s birthday parties, although they did not mind I felt terrible as we were just off to the park and had no idea that they were having a party there. As we had a fabulous time at the party the girls have picked out a nice present for their friend and will wrap it and give it to her for Monday.

On the day of the party we have a 75% chance of rain… this is a concern! I will call around and see what I can organise for a plan b. However invites have been sent out so changing the venue might be an issue. There is still time if this needs to happen.

Have you planned a party in a park or somewhere outdoors, to then have it rain for weeks beforehand? Did you get worried and organise a plan b that is undercover? Let me know what you organised? Did the weather behave itself and you were lucky in the end?

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