Monday, November 19, 2012

Twinmama Tip of the Day 11/19/12

If you can't find your cup of coffee, check the microwave. You mostly likely left it in there after you warmed it up for the seventh time.

Why can't I get  through one cup of coffee without having to do something for somebody around here?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

How I Did It: Grocery Shopping With Twin Babies

Five years ago when I brought my two little bundles home from the hospital, survival was key. My husband cooked a lot, did a lot of the grocery shopping, and if I needed something he would swing by the store after work.

One day it occurred to me that I would eventually need to leave the house by myself with the girls. I know there are some twinmamas out there that busted out of the house the first chance they got with their little two-pack, but not me. I was scared out of my mind about taking two little ones out on my own.

I finally got the courage to step out into the sunlight with Peanut and Jelly Bean when I had to go to the store and no one could help me. They were still little babies and I was still toting them around in their infant car seats. Unable to hold up their heads much less the rest of their bodies, putting them in the front part of a shopping cart wasn't going to happen.

In a frantic search for motherly twin wisdom, I searched the internet for ideas on how to do this and not look like a complete crazy woman. Here are some ideas on how to keep your twins in tow while you grocery shop:

Take your double stroller: Use your stroller to push the babies while you hold one of the small shopping baskets for small trips. For large trips, drag a shopping cart  behind you while you push the stroller. (Drag by holding from the front of the cart so you have control as the wheels swivel.) A rolling shopping tote pulled behind you like the Olympia Rolling Printed Shopper Tote is a great option for those medium sized trips to the store.

Use two carts: Put one infant car seat in each shopping cart. Please note that I didn't say to put them on the top part of the child seat section of the shopping cart. Car seats and shopping carts are not designed to work together. Put them inside the cart. Yes, this takes up a good portion of the cart. Deal with it. Baby's safety is more important. Pull on cart behind you by the front of the cart while you push the other cart.

Carry one or both babies: Utilize the help of an infant carrier like the Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier so you can wear one baby while you keep the other in the shopping cart. Use one cart for small trips (since the shopping cart portion is full with the other infant carrier) or drag a second cart to fill up. Rather carry both babies? The Stuff 4 Multiples TwinTrexx Twin Baby Carrier is a great way to hold both of your babies and relieve your arms.

Team up with your partner: If going solo isn't for you yet, why not split up the grocery shopping duties with your spouse or partner? Head to the store with two shopping lists, separate with your assigned baby, and agree to meet back at a certain place when finished. Shopping gets done faster and you only have one wee tot to worry about.

Go solo: Hey, who says you have to take the kids? Have your spouse or a trusted babysitter watch the little angels and enjoy a peaceful hour or two by yourself. (Take your time for crying out loud!)

However you decide to do your grocery shopping, you cannot go wrong as long as your little ones are safe and secure.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Where Does the Day Go?

I am very ambitious. I can set out each morning with a list in hand ready to scratch everything off of it. I imagine that I can get a ton of work done for my job, I can entertain and stimulate the children with activities and meaningful memories that will last them a lifetime, and I can accomplish all the housework and errands that need to be done.

What? Isn't there 40 hours in a day? That's okay, I just need six more hours. That should do it.

Seriously, folks, I cannot begin to tell you where the day goes. I sit down to work in the mornings while the girls play and the baby naps. Check. When my work hours are over, I prepare lunch for everyone. Check.

Suddenly, the rest of the afternoon is a blur. I might actually black out. I am not sure.

From the hours of 1pm to 5pm, I literally think my life is like that movie, Click, starring Adam Sandler. Someone has a remote control of my life and they hit fast forward every afternoon.

By the time my husband comes home from work, there is still laundry to fold, dinner is still not ready, and that list sits with only a few scratches to show for. (Luckily he doesn't judge as he has recognized that going to work is far easier than wrangling three little girls all day.)

I need a new strategy, but I am afraid to say that I don't have time to figure one out.

Please, somebody remove the batteries from the remote!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The 2 Month Check Up

In April, we welcomed Bitsy into the family. She was born weighing 8 lbs and 6 oz and was 21 inches long. In contrast, Peanut and Jelly Bean were both around 19 inches long and were a little over 4 lbs each.(They were born six weeks early. Bitsy was born two days after her due date.) In fact, if you added up their weight it totaled 8 lbs and 7 oz. Apparently this is about all I can carry until it is time for delivery.

Having a full term baby versus preemies has certainly been eye opening for me. Things that I remember the twins could not do, Bitsy is sailing through at such a young age. Right from the moment she was born, she was alert. Preemies are often not alert at all and mine were no exception. They normally seemed sleepy and grimaced a lot which is common in premature babies.

Trying to get them to eat was challenging, too. They would often fall asleep during a feeding and I would have to wake them up or patiently wait for them to stir. Feedings could take a very long time. Bitsy, on the other hand, is very eager to eat and has a regular schedule. She takes her time eating like her sisters, but after feeding preemies it really doesn't bother me to wait for her to slowly drink her bottle like it is a fine wine.

The one milestone though that has made all the difference this time around was sleeping through the night. From the first night, Bitsy only woke up once to eat. By five weeks, she has been sleeping through the night. This is such an amazing gift especially after the sleepless nights with twin babies!

Yesterday was Bitsy's 2 month appointment and the dreaded series of shots that I worried would render the day useless with a very upset little baby. Although she received five shots and another medication squirted in her mouth, after the initial wailing she calmed down and was actually fine. The doctor also asked me questions to see if she has hit some basic 2 month baby milestones. Some examples are:

- Is she sleeping through the night?
- Does she lock into people, particularly mom?
- Does she hold on to my finger?
- Does she smile?

It was amazing to be able to answer "yes" to every question. And I look forward to the future milestones she will accomplish. Full term babies definitely have an easier time in general (granted they are healthy) than premature babies. However, it is important to note that even though preemies can be behind in their development out of the gate, it is equally as amazing to see that both preemies and full termers seem to finish the same by around age two. To look at Peanut and Jelly Bean now at the age of five, it is hard to believe they were ever that little and are happy, healthy, and smart girls.    

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Testing the Kindergarten Waters

Peanut and Jelly Bean have spent two years in our church's preschool program. It was a wonderful experience for them. I have stayed home with them since they were babies so they desperately needed some socialization. Within the first year the girls were out of their shells mostly and making friends.

Preschool taught them many lessons like how to behave in a group setting, listening to other adults, social skills, utilizing school supplies, faith based lessons, and Kindergarten readiness.

Recently, I registered them for Kindergarten and scheduled their assessments. Trying to explain to them what an assessment was proved to be a little interesting. I told them it was like a test. This would have been a fine answer if they knew what a test was. So, I explained that the teacher is going to ask them questions to see what they know.

Today I decided that I would show them what a test was all about. I wanted to make sure they could write all their lowercase letters since I noticed there were some they both still struggled to remember. I created two separate tests. Each test had 10 uppercase letters with a space next to each where they needed to write in the lowercase letter.

The girl's reaction to the test they were given was as unique as the girls themselves.

Peanut immediately sat down happily filling in an answer on every blank. A couple of times she tried to get my help and I had to explain that it was a test and I couldn't help her. She flew through the test and presented it to me. She got 6 out of 10 correct. I showed her how to write the ones she missed and had her sit down and practice them.

Jelly Bean sat quietly working on her test. She took her time...a long time. I patiently waited. Suddenly, she jumped up and ran off to her room. I followed her and found her freaking out over it. She looked at me and cried out, "I don't remember how to do a g!" Her very first test ever and the girl was STRESSED. So, I had to convince her to finish it doing her best. She finally agreed and got 8 out of 10 correct.

They both worked on their missed letters.

Peanut wrote out each one and they were done correctly. She did each one once and was ready to play.

Jelly Bean wrote out her missed lowercase letters along with her uppercase letters and then added for good measure all numbers 1-10. I never told her about extra credit, but I think she was trying to earn some. I think I found the overachiever in the family. Please, nobody tell her about grading on a curve!

I didn't realize today that my little test would show me way more than just lowercase letters.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How I Have Missed Thee

We're coming back! After a very long time away, I have decided to resurrect this very website. For real this time! There is so much to tell and a lot to share that I have learned. Most importantly though if I don't have a creative space to unleash my happiness and hardships then I am going to burst!

Here is a quick summary of what we have been up to in Twinland:

  • Peanut and Jelly Bean are five years old and are starting Kindergarten in August.
  • In April, we had a new addition - a SINGLETON! Our new baby girl will be called Bitsy on the site. (If you are keeping track that makes three girls.) Big sisters are thrilled to have their new baby sister.
  • Twindada started a new job last summer that has been an absolute blessing. After several turbulent years, things seem to be smoothing out.
  • I have been a stay at home mom for five years and a WAHM (work at home mom) for 3 1/2 years. I love being a mommy and having a fun job that helps contribute to the family budget. 
  •  Our dog, Blayney is almost eleven years old and has become a closer part of our family over the past year since the passing of our other dog, Sydney. Blayney is great with the girls and they love her.

What I would like to write about:

  • Peanut, Jelly Bean, and Bitsy of course! (They are saying some seriously funny stuff these days.) 
  • Raising twins, baby care, parenting info
  • Bitsy - The differences in bringing up twins versus bringing up a singleton. 
  • Things I love - products, websites, places.
  • Deals, free samples, coupon codes, etc.
 So stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Preschool

Peanut & Jelly Bean headed back to preschool today. They were off for two weeks during the Christmas break. There were some mixed emotions about going back, but once they walked into their classroom they were just fine.

I knew it was time for them to get back to their routine. While we planned several fun outings for them and enjoyed the time visiting family and friends during the holidays, they needed to hang out with their pals.

They really do love school. I am very happy with the preschool, teachers, and administrative staff where they go. It really is a great place and we are lucky to be there.

The girls have learned to pray before their meals and Jelly Bean insists on praying before dinner. I am glad for this. We should be doing it anyway and now the girls are reminding us so that we properly thank God for our meals.

Their preschool is held at our church, so the transition in the Fall into preschool was quite easy. They already attended Sunday School, so heading there during the week was easy for them.

Starting this month, they will also attend Wednesday night service where they will participate in the AWANA program. It is new to our church and it should be a great time for them filled with God's word and fellowship.

Twindada and I will also take a class at the same time as their class on Wednesday nights. I am hoping the time together will bring us even closer this year as we prepare for what the Lord has in store for us.