Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy. It's all out of your control anyway.

I think that the most interesting aspect of having twins is it makes you realize there are many things you have no control over.  So much of their personalities and traits are hard-wired.  Unless you have two kids at the exact same time, you can't see how each has developed into their own person without any help from you.

You can't wonder what you did right with the first child that you must have forgotten to do with the second.  You can't pat yourself on the back for fixing your mistakes with your second that you made with the first (even though you can't really recall what you did wrong).  You actually have proof that you treated each child exactly the same, fed them the same food, put them to sleep using an identical method, etc.  Even though all this is the same, at the end of the day they are completely different people.   I have recently discovered, for example, that I have no control over the development of picky eating (Darn!). 

So, I say throw out the books!  Forget the professional advice!  Just love and kiss them and see who they become.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So much has changed...

It has been a really long time since I made a post.  So much has changed. 

The biggest news is that the boys now sleep in separate cribs.  I never thought it would happen.  They always kept to their own sides and never woke each other.  Then one day I noticed that Carter would not go down as easily for a nap.  Then it happened again, and again - lots of crying before finally falling asleep.  After a few days, it was so bad that I finally went back into our room.  Gerrit was sound asleep tucked into his corner of the crib.  Carter was on the other side of the crib screaming his head off.  He looked at me, then at Gerrit, then back at me as if to say, "get him out of here!"  The next day I set up a pack and play (our other crib was never fully assembled) and he slept like a dream.

The boys also no longer nurse together.  At night I noticed that they were only feeding for a minute or two before stopping.  That would have been the greatest weaning opportunity if the pediatrician had not just informed me that my boys were too small and needed to put on additional weight.  So, one night I fed them separately, and they each ate for 10 minutes again. 

This change in nursing caused Gerrit to have to wait for Carter to finish before he could nurse.  The result?  He would fall back asleep while waiting - and thus started sleeping through the night.  This happily continued for almost two months.  Only, in the last month we have been dealing with molars and other teething issues, and are thus up again in the night.

All this change for the boys is leading to some change for us as well.  We are finally preparing to move the boys into their own room.  Now that we know they can sleep through the night, we are ready to get our privacy back. 

It is so strange to look back at pictures and realize how much our lives are changing.  Some things get easier (like the boys being able to climb into their high chairs all by themselves), and some get harder (like the boys being able to climb onto table tops all by themselves).  Overall though, it gets better every day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How to keep your kids in the tub? YooKidoo!

Recently my boys started to try climbing out of the bath tub.  They are not yet big enough to accomplish it , but it was starting to stress me out.  My sister in law gave the boys the coolest bath tub toy for their birthday.  Not only does it keep them obsessed with staying in the tub, but I no longer have to run a trickle of water for their entertainment.  This is also a good thing because it keeps their attention away from the hot tap.  The toy is by Yookidoo and is called the Yookidoo Flow 'N' Fill Spout.  It uses a battery to recirculate water and comes with three different cups to play with.  I can not say enough about how great this toy with.  When bathing twins, anything that makes life easier is great!

Oh yeah, and my mother bought them the cutest robes recently.  I had received bath robes earlier as a gift, but found them useless to use on a baby that can't walk.  But, these robes have also made bath time easier for me now that they are walking.  This is because my husband and I used to have to both be present at the end of bath time to pull two babies out of the tub and into their towels safely.  Now, with these robes, only one of us needs to be there to pull one out at a time, and send them out the door knowing they are warm and dry.  Did I mention they are super cute too?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Advantages of Twins

I recently made a list of advantages of having twins for a friend when she was pregnant.  (I wish I still had it because it would make this post a lot quicker to write!)  She had been a little down after all she heard were horror stories from other twin moms.   Why people do this do each other, I will never know.  There are numerous benefits to having twins.  This list probably isn't long enough!

1. Grandparents can't get jealous of each other because there is one baby for each to hold.
2. Double the snuggles.
3. When one baby isn't sure it wants to eat something, they often do when they see their twin eating it.
4. You become very efficient at everything.
5. You get to dress them alike.
6. They play with each other from a very early age.
7. They are more content to be left alone by you because they always have a companion.
8. They sleep better also because they do not feel alone.
9. It is easier to feed them solid food because you're not left with as many leftovers as when you try to feed just one baby.
10. The dad is a very involved parent.
11.  Did I mention double the snuggles?

Monday, May 3, 2010

My new addiction - finding a new brand of cloth diapers...

OK, so my new addiction is trying to find a new brand of cloth diapers to use.  Alas, the mountain of BumGenius diapers I bought have not worked out for me. (see earlier post)  Turns out microfiber and a super HE machine equals one stinky batch of diapers.  So, I am on a mission to find the perfect diaper.  Turns out, I need all natural fibers to prevent the stink. So far I have tried GroBaby, Soft Bums, and Bottom Bumpers.  I must admit the Bamboo Soft Bums are fantastic.  A bit pricey though... so I am still searching.  It turns out there are so many to choose from.

 As Thoroughly Modern Milly would say,
"Searching.  Searching.  Always Searching."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pretend your twins are older then they really are.

Huh?  Who doesn't want to slow down time, stop their babies from aging, or prevent their infants from becoming toddlers? Ummmm.... me. 

Over the last two weeks my boys have started walking.  I have to admit that my joy is for mostly selfish reason.  I no longer have to make two trips to get the babies in the car.  I no longer have to make two trips to get the boys outside to play.  I no longer have to make two trips... oh, you get the picture.  I take each one by the hand and away we go.  Now, it may take us 5-10 minutes to actually make it across the yard to get to the van, but once we are there - we are gone! 

So, Carter was the only one who could actually walk when we made our first attempt at this.   Gerrit was held up by his hand as he stumbled along trying to keep up.  But, he made it to the van and was soooo proud of himself.  Now they are both walking.  Today they took my hands and tried to steer me towards the door to go outside.  They were most upset when I forced a detour to the living room.

To get outside you have to go out the back door and onto our concrete porch.  There are no railings and there are three large (well worn smooth) stone steps to climb down.  After one week of trying to keep them off the porch and carrying them down, I gave up.  Yesterday I opened the door and let them crawl across the porch and down the stairs all by themselves. They did this sort-of scraping ,slide down the steps, slither.  But, I figured if it hurt, they would complain.  Again, I got huge smiles of accomplishment when they got to the bottom, and my life was made a lot easier.

I sometimes wonder am I too lenient?  Is my mother reading this and having an internal heart attack?  Probably so.  But, I think that as a mother of twins you have to let your children grow up faster and be more independent then you ever imagined you would have allowed.  Maybe it also stems from the fact that I was not the first born child, and so was left to my own devices more.  Who knows?

Friday, April 23, 2010

My "Living" Room

I literally “live” in my living room. It is like the one room command center. With two babies in tow, it just makes life easier.  I can’t imagine functioning any other way.

When I was pregnant, I folded all their little outfits into the chest of drawers upstairs. I set up a changing station in their room. I put all their extra things into a multi-shelf unit in their closet. All was a blissful dream of using their nursery and creating this little dream world. As I have mentioned before, their nursery now stands unused. It has become a storage room for all the things they have outgrown. The chest of drawers that I forced my husband to empty of all his clothes now stands empty.

I imagine a world with one child is much different. But, with two, it just never seemed possible to leave one unattended while I schlepped it upstairs to do what needed to be done. After the boys came home, the diaper changing station for the pack-and-play was quickly set up. Baskets were brought downstairs to house their clothes and blankets. The basinet of the pack-and-play became their daytime crib.

Those baskets of clothes still sit in my living room. They now house PJs, tops, and pants. The nicer changing table was moved downstairs. I transitioned the babies from the pack-and-play, to the “drop zone” (see previous post) to a dog bed. Don’t laugh! A large rectangular dog bed makes the perfect baby nap spot. When they wake up, they just crawl off and go back to playing! (They were so used to napping in the same room as me they do not wake up from sounds.)  They only started to nap upstairs in their crib at 8 months.

My living room is total chaos. Total and complete chaos. In this room we get dressed and nurse in our rocking recliner. In this room we fall asleep and then get carried upstairs. In this room we play and throw all our toys and books everywhere. In this room we eat at the table and throw our unwanted food on the floor. In this room we snuggle and play. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.