When asked about motherhood, Natalie Te Aroha sums it up perfectly.
"Heart-filling and hair-pulling," says the doting mum-of-five. Having shared Natalie and her 35-year-old husband Kahn's journey through a giant quadruplet pregnancy, Woman's Day is overjoyed to celebrate the siblings second birthday at the family's home in Bunbury, WA.
From the backyard there are giggles and squeals galore, as her rabble race around on their new trikes, dressed top-to-toe in adorable Mario birthday outfits!
"They're on them all the time," says Natalie. "One day, I saw them hooning about and it looked like a scene from Mario Kart, so I bought them the outfits, too."
Now, as the non-identical quads – three daughters, Maddi, Frankee and Marley, and son Maioha – celebrate birthday number two, the couple reflect on parenthood and blissfully admit it has been everything they imagined, and more.
"I still can't believe that I've got quadruplets," Natalie tells Woman's Day.
The 32-year-old – who is mum to four-year-old daughter Kiana, too – was overjoyed when she learned she was pregnant in 2020 but was shocked to say the least when she went for her first scan and four heartbeats were detected.
"When the sonographer held up four fingers my jaw dropped," says Natalie.
As for Kahn, he is first to admit that while he'd always longed for a big family, nothing could prepare him for quads!
"My stomach dropped, like when you're on a rollercoaster," Kahn – who works in law enforcement – says, with a chuckle recalling the moment he found out. "For two years we couldn't fall pregnant, and then we were a basketball team."
While life has been a whirlwind, supermum Natalie has garnered attention on social media, with an incredible online following of 35,000, all addicted to her daily updates documenting her days in the life as a mum rearing five tearaway tots! Fans of her Kiki and the Quads pages can't get enough, especially of the "wake up" routine she shares.
"The morning welcome I get when I open their bedroom door is one of the best parts of having quadruplets," reveals Natalie. "They are so excited, and I feel like a rock star when I walk in. I get five times the love."
While all are still in cots, little "Houdini" Marley has worked out how to escape hers, even after her parents put her sleeping sack on backwards so she couldn't free her zip! "She's very switched on," Natalie confesses. "She has been the first to reach every milestone and is very self-sufficient."
On her other tots' quirks, she says Maioha just wants to be cuddled, and has nicknamed him Big Sooky Mamma's Boy.
"He's either screaming for me or sweet to sit and play by himself," she says.
Maddi too, is happy to keep herself occupied. "She's an old soul," says Natalie. "She reads books and loves her sleep, unlike Frankee who is a bit cheeky."
As for proud big sister Kiana, she takes it all in her stride and loves playing with her siblings, and more importantly, on this occasion, enjoys helping them devour a huge birthday cake!
As crumbs fly, icing flicks up the wall and chubby cheeks are smattered with squished sponge, food is very much on the agenda for Natalie and Kahn.
"They're good eaters," Natalie says, adding the family goes through 10 bananas, a loaf of bread and bag of porridge a day. Yet seemingly simple things like a grocery shop are a challenge.
"I'm a go-getter and hate the fact that to do anything, I must call on someone to help," she confesses. "I've never gone by myself to the shops with the children. I can't push a pram and trolley at the same time.
"It isn't safe for me to take them anywhere. At the playground, my eyes would have to go in five directions. One would be climbing too high, while another would be falling over."
Lucky for Natalie, she has selfless circle of help – a core network of 10 family and friends, five of which, including her mum, have been there to help and support every single week since the kids were born.
Amazingly, with the quad squad in day care once a week, fitness fanatic Natalie still manages to find the time and energy to exercise and coach three CrossFit classes a week.
To help keep tabs on the kids, Kahn, who's affectionately been dubbed the Quadfather, has come up with an ingenious plan and installed cameras around the house.
"As they get more mobile, we need eyes in the back of our heads. Now we can check where they are and make sure all are accounted for," he says, laughing.
While living life four-fold in the fast lane may be hard work, Natalie will forever celebrate her Mario Kart munchkins.
"Two years have flown, because I'm always so busy," she says. "But I couldn't imagine life without them."