Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are You Going to Have Anymore?

Recently, I have been asked the question, "Are you going to have anymore children?" It seems lately this has been asked of me more and more. I guess since the girls are almost three years old it is a good time for us to be thinking about it. Or at least everyone else thinks so.

I have several friends and family members who are having #3. This is the most children anyone in my life have. Three is a good number although I suspect several of my friends may go for more children. They are good, patient parents and if God blesses it, I am sure they will happily make room for more.

I grew up with two old brothers so I came from a family of three children. Three makes sense to me. Twindada grew up with one older brother, so two's company for him. Before our girls were born, we joked about how many we would have. When we were trying to get pregnant, we wanted a big family. Our version of big was possibly five kiddos. When we were finally carrying the twins, we joked that we would just get pregnant with another set of twins and have four kids. Once the girls were born, we said we would prefer NOT to have another set of twins and who knows what the future brings. (Translation: We were shell shocked and why in the world would we want to do this all over again? Fertility treatment, roller coaster pregnancy, hospitalization, bed rest, NICU time, first three months, next 9 months, next 1 1/2 years....)


They are so much hard work! They take over your world! They are the reason I toss and turn, worrying about them, praying for them and obsessing over their well being! They have multiplied the number of gray hairs on my head by 50! They want me to pull my hair out!!

Guess what? I love it.

Guess what? I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Guess what? Maybe there is room for more.

Now, I am not making any announcements. Our world has been turned upside down this year with the loss of a job and other challenges. This is certainly not the right time for us, but maybe, just maybe that one day God will bless us with more.

I am over thinking about how hard the beginning was because frankly all that hard work is so worth it. When my girls smiled at me for the first time, it was amazing. When my girls started saying "Dada" it warmed my heart. When the girls started walking, I was proud (and scared).

Now the girls are absorbing everything. They are singing, playing pretend instruments, learning, wanting to do things for themselves. I am in awe how my 2 little preemies have turned into 2 amazing little independent girls who are happy and have a love of all things they come into contact with everyday.

When I eavesdrop on them having a conversation with each other, it is so sweet. I love to hear them giggling with each other and I love when they melt in my arms. I love how they want to do everything by themselves, "I want to do it myself!" and when they need me, they come sweetly saying, "Mommy, do it..."

All of this reminds me how wonderful it is to be a mother. And when I think about my beautiful little girls, I know that if God gave me enough love for two babies in a single moment, there may just be enough room for more.

Only time will tell.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is It Really Double?

I heard a lot when I was carrying twins that we were in for twice the work - twice the diapers, twice the bottles, twice the baths...well, twice the everything. People would say, "It is like having one baby, but double the work." This seemed logical to me because I was carrying two children and that made perfect sense.

Then I gave birth to twins and brought them home from the hospital.

It was during those first three months that I decided that all of these people had no idea what they were talking about. All those people who appropriately spaced out their children so they were able to enjoy each of them individually. Yeah, those people, you know who you are...:)

I remember the first three months were filled with various emotions. I was thrilled that both Peanut & Jelly Bean were healthy and doing great. That was the blessing. I was thrilled because I was the mother of two beautiful little girls which was a huge surprise the day they were born. I was thrilled because my dream of being a mother had finally come true and that God blessed my prayers. No complaints from this twinmama, I am blessed! However, the first three months were also the roughest three months of my life. I was sleep deprived beyond imagine. I was overwhelmed beyond imagine. I was hormonal beyond imagine. I was confused...well, beyond imagine.

The work involved with caring for twin infants is well beyond double the work. Yes, there are double the diapers, bottles and clothing, but it is more than that. No one speaks about the "third" child known as "inconvenience, logistical nightmare and do-overs". Let me explain...

I remember watching my friends who could easily transport their sweet little mobile baby wherever they went. Want to go to the store? No problem! Grab the baby and pack the diaper bag and off you go! Want ME, a mother of twins, to go to the store? Okay, let me grab both babies, hold on, they are getting heavy in their car seats and the diaper bag is crammed full, you know, at least 2 sets of clothes, diapers, 2 sippy cups...wait a minute, I can't carry both car seats and the diaper bag to the car, so I need to take each one to the door and then come back and oh no, Peanut just spit up on her outfit...wait a minute, let me change her, but wait Jelly Bean is already in the car. So I go back and get Jelly Bean because I am paranoid and don't want her alone for more than a minute and then I finally change Peanut and go to put her in the car, but wait! Jelly Bean just pooped in her diaper. Crap. Yeah, that's what's in there alright. Go back for Peanut to bring her back in the house. Change Jelly Bean. I am really tired now. You know, sleep deprivation, right? FORGET IT!! I will just call twindada and have him pick up a pizza for dinner...

It's is more than double the work. It takes some time to figure out how to manage all of the demands, the logistics and emotions that make up the twin life. Each new stage presents new challenges, but it is also amazing how twin parents (and other multiple parents) are able to overcome each hurdle. I figured out how to plan my time better. I learned to not sweat the spit ups and unexpected diaper changes. I learned to recognize that this is hard work and that it is okay to ask for help. I learned that "this too shall pass" and once it is over, I will miss it. And even as hard as those first three months were, I would love to hold my 4 lb twin preemies one more time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Potty Training Lessons This Mama Has Learned the Hard Way

We have been attempting to potty train for the past few months. I say "attempting" because some weeks I am ready to give it a go while other weeks I cower in the corner rocking back and forth. Two little girls are in charge of our financial, mental, physical and emotional well being. This twinfamily needs to free up some funds, know what I am saying? Time for two little bottoms to air out and proclaim "big girl status"! Time for this twinmama to get a break once in a while instead of being up to my elbows in dirty diapers! Time for our trash to only need emptied a couple times a week instead of everyday! Yet every time there is a massive puddle on the floor or I am dodging turds right and left on the carpet, I immediately retreat.

Danger! Danger! Toxic materials! Call in the HazMat team! We have a CODE RED, people!

And I think these brilliant little girls know that they hold the cards. They know they control how long this is going to go on. They know they have us by our throats and won't let go until we cry uncle.

I will win. I must win. They are very smart...good gene pool, what can I say? Heh, heh...But there is one thing they don't have...

GOOGLE! Yep, I am going to shameless scour the Internet for every single tidbit, advice and downright evil tactic to get these little girls to go running for the potty. I will keep you posted.

So, while I think of new ways to beat them at their own game, here are my lessons learned. (Notice I said, MY lessons learned. The girls' list would be much shorter.)

1. Never assume because you have done everything at the same time since your twins were born that this time will be the same. Peanut is interested in potty training. Jelly Bean is absolutely not.

2. Never send your child to time out when they are only wearing panties and are potty training. They have a secret weapon and they will use it. And you will spend more time cleaning up the mess than they did in time out.

3. Never assume that all "currency" works the same for all children. Some may like stickers, some may like M&M's.

4. Never assume that "currency" will keep its value indefinitely. Peanut has bored of stickers, so we switched to M&M's. I fear that she is boring of these, too...

5. Never switch to training pants such as Huggies Pull Ups if they are waaay cuter than their other diapers. Pretty pink Pull Ups with princesses on them will not make them want to wear panties any time soon. They will happily go pee and poo in these pretty training pants. No, they don't care about the blasted hearts or butterflies that disappear. They are smart enough to know when this happens, mommy is going to put a new Pull Up on them. Poof! There are more butterflies and hearts!

6. Never assume once your child tells you that she has to go potty for an entire day that she will keep this up.

7. Never assume that your child will care if you tell her she will be a "big girl" if she goes potty in the toilet. Some are completely happy being a baby and have no plans to change that. Why should they do all the work, when there is someone available to wipe their butt for them?

8. Never assume that children will be disgusted by poop and pee as you are. Puddles are puddles and all are fun to splash in.

9. Never assume because your child wakes up dry after nap time, tells you that she needs a diaper change, and if you don't get to her fast enough she strips, that she is ready for potty training. She is clearly messing with your head.

10. Never assume that just because most of your family and friends potty trained their children before the age of 2 that there is something wrong with your child. After all, that stubbornness had to come from somewhere...

Monday, September 7, 2009

The New Parents Guide

Planning for a new baby or wanting new loot for your little one? Check out The New Parents Guide. The site is filled with baby and toddler products, family friendly resorts around the world, articles and much more!

New products, information and travel spots are added regularly, so check back in often!

Follow newparentsguide on Twitter!