Stress management and leading with love


This week was one filled with ups and downs, triumphs, and exciting new beginnings.

Last weekend we continued to struggle through our twins’ temper tantrums and hitting phase, which I can only conclude is them approaching the “trying threes.” Actually, as I sit here right now, it has dawned on me that they turn three next month! Where has the time gone?

But last weekend I started to realize that I was getting way too wrapped up in, and worked up with every tantrum, fight and frustrating behaviour. This, in turn had been taking a physical toll on me, with constant sore shoulders, migraines and extreme exhaustion. I was outputting way to much energy, when it wasn’t necessary.

So, what have I done about it? I am chilling out. I am taking deep breaths, ignoring, redirecting, and just trying to stay calm. Guess what? It’s actually working.

As the week progressed, although it had its peeks, I experienced some more difficult situations. After having a good cry, I regrouped and took the three steps it has taken me over thirty years to learn to do… which you can watch here:

But something really exciting happened this week… I hired a team member for Nesting Story and AmandaMuse and I hosted our Story Muse & Co. team for dinner, which was incredibly exciting and inspiring. Welcome to my week…

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Twin toddler aggression and regression

Nesting Story Twins

Take a deep breath Joanna. I am telling myself that a lot lately.

I’m not new to the toddler stage. I have been through it twice before. I get that there are ups and downs. Some days are magical and full of exploration and learning new things. Other days are hard to survive.

For the last week I have felt like I have been living with two angry cavemen (or I should say, cavewomen). From the moment we wake up our days are filled with screaming, hitting, pee on the floor, and constant communication break downs. At first I had thought our twins, (who will be three in July), were getting sick. Because, you know, there’s got to be some kind of reason for this behaviour.

But as each day unfolded without vomit, or snotty noses, I realized that we are going through some rough toddler stuff right now.

Dealing with toddler angst is hard enough when there’s one toddler, but two? Lord help me!

Let’s start with Mia. Mia has been having some mommy separation anxiety with a sprinkling of hitting her siblings. Not fun.


Then there’s Everly. My typically chill child has suddenly become an emotional rollercoaster, getting her kicks from copying her siblings, especially when they cry, and you better believe she one-ups them each time. Hitting has also been a problem, mostly towards Mia, but then there’s the regression.

We seem to have taken a step back in the potty training department. This I also know is all part of the journey with toddlers. So, we are going with the flow, taking those deep breaths and trying to picture what it must feel like to be a toddler.

Photos: Sarah Martin Photography and Ooh Ooh Darling

Check out our latest vlog to see the mayhem going on in our home…

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Today I broke

four kids

Well, that was a week.

It was one of those weeks that by today, my nerves are fried. It wasn’t all bad. I had a great work and social week, but when it comes to parenting, I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. The waves kept crashing.

As you may know, if you have been following our story, we moved our twin toddlers from cribs to beds last weekend. I am officially referring to this transition as toddler bed gate. It deserves its own name.

Nights haven’t been too bad, but the absence of naps has been a nightmare. Before switching our twins, they were napping every second or third day. So, I thought that if naps went out the window with their cribs, that we’d all be okay.

I was so wrong.

The most over-used word in our house right now is “basket cases.” Here’s the kicker, not only are Mia and Everly in fragile mental states at the moment, but we also celebrated Beau’s sixth birthday on Tuesday which has sent her through loop.

The build up and excitement of big events has a big impact on our Beau. I get it. I was that kid too.

But let’s get back to toddler bed gate. Although I have put our twins in quiet time in their room, and an occasional nodding off has happened in their stollers, the result of this big change and sleep deprivation has impacted their behaviour… big time.

So, here I am, on a sunny cold Friday morning, trying to navigate these waters as I balance motherhood and work, while switching our girls from Play Doh, to  Mega Blocks, to snacks, in hopes that maybe, just maybe naps will miraculously happen today. All plans of running errands with them have disappeared.

I had a good cry to Mike on the phone after dropping the big kids off at school this morning. That was therapeutic.

Thankfully it is Friday and I get to co-parent this weekend.

Send coffee.

Want to watch our week unfold? Here are this week’s vlogs…

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We are NOT ready, but our twins are

twin toddlers

Well, it’s happening, and I’m terrified.

Tonight we are shopping for our two-year-old twins’ big girl beds. They will be three in July, and honestly, my husband Mike and I thought we had more time.

You see, we have transitioned two kids to big kid beds before. This isn’t new to us. But two at once? Gulp.

Sarah Martin Photography - Nesting Story nursery

We have always waited until about three months before our childrens’ third birthday to make the big move. This was a decision made when we witnessed a family member’s traumatic transition at a younger age.

So, we had set the month… April. It was supposed to be April. But two things have happened recently that has made it glaringly obvious that it has to be now.

First, Everly, our much taller twin, has escaped from her crib for the second time. This kind of stealth maneuvering never happened with our big kids. But last August, when I was out, Mike heard a loud BANG. He apparently knew right away that Everly had jumped out. Sure enough she did.

We knew we weren’t ready for the big move back then so we installed cameras and had a big talk with Everly to not jump or put her leg up over the side anymore. It worked, she stopped. Until last weekend.

Suddenly during what was supposed to be our twins’ naptime, we heard the door to their nursery open and out struts Everly. Our jaws dropped. We never heard a bang.

She couldn’t have fallen. After some inspection in their room and questioning our mischievous duo, it was clear that she had climbed out, something she must have learned from watching her older siblings climb in and out of their cribs). Also, there was lots of evidence that this escape had happened quite a bit earlier than when she decided to make her exit.

Mia’s crib was filled with items we had not, and would not put in there. I pictured Mia pointing around the room asking Everly to bring her things.

So, there’s that.

But then on Monday this week, Mia woke up screaming. She was convinced that her crib had broken. She kept saying, “my crib’s not working,” over and over again. Finally we were able to understand what her dream was about, but there was no convincing her that it hadn’t broken and that it was okay. She wouldn’t go near her crib that night and spent an almost sleepless night in our bed.

Mia sleeping in crib

Every night since there has been resistance going to bed, and some tears during the night.

When the big escape happened with Everly, we made the mistake of discussing getting big girl beds in front of our twins, and we haven’t heard the end of it since. I never realized that two-year-olds could master the art of pestering, but they have.

So here we are, about to shop for big girl beds. The honeymoon is over. Maybe it won’t be that bad, but I am preparing myself for the worst.

I will be documenting this process here, on our YouTube channel and on Instastories. It will probably be going down this weekend. So follow along, and maybe say a little prayer for us.

Here we go…

Have you transitioned multiples from cribs to beds? Do you have a story to tell or any helpful tips? Please leave them as a comment below.

My Twins Aren’t Babies Anymore

Twin toddlers

My itty bitty, teeny tiny little babies aren’t babies anymore. Something happened recently that made me realize, we are truly out of the baby phase. Watch the video below to find out what that was!

The thing with twins is, all of the good stuff, the good memories, are doubled up and fly by. Here’s a look back to Mia and Everly from when they were first born, right up to now, almost two years old.

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