Friday, April 30, 2010

To all the twin mamas to be...

With a year of being a twin mama almost under my belt I thought I'd try to come up with some advice and comments for twin mamas to be. Here's a list, all the other twin moms who read, please chime in in the comments with anything you think I missed :)

1. Get help for the early months. I had someone with me almost constantly for the first two months and I'm sure I couldn't have breastfed otherwise. Anyone who has twins without help (and with an older sibling at home!) astounds me. I barely was functional with all the help that I had.

2. Lower your expectations of cleanliness for your house. My house was never all that tidy to begin with so now it's borderline horrific. If you are a tidy person, you probably only just need to expect a bit of chaos ;)

3. Be ready to expect the unexpected. My plan of action changed constantly. From the idea of two babies sleeping in one crib (ha!) to separate cribs, to all of us sleeping in the living room, to buying a house so everyone could have their own room so I didn't have to sleep in the stairwell any more.... be ready to go with the flow and do what it takes to figure out what works.

4. Be ready to be a celebrity. People talk to you. People ask you inappropriate questions. And people tell you that you have your hands full. BOY do they tell you that you have your hands full a lot!

5. Take lots of pictures and try to write down lots of how things feel in the first couple of months. You likely won't remember them very well.

6. Mother's helpers are awesome. All you need is an extra set of hands. A teenager fits the bill perfectly.

7. Having a room that is baby proofed that you can dump the babies in once they are moving and know they are safe is a really nice thing to have. We didn't have room in the old house, but that's what our living room became in the new house. If you have a room you can spare - do it.

8. It gets easier.

9. Watching your twins bond and play together from a much younger age than singletons do is a very special thing.

10. As slow as every day may feel in the beginning - time disappears in a flash. And suddenly you went from this:

to this:

and you can't believe it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Twilight: Why I don't want to leave my husband for Edward

When I was a teenager I had a poster on the back of my door similar to the one below. In retrospect, I am relatively certain that I was probably more under the impression I *should* like having a poster like that on my door more than I actually enjoyed having it there. Ahhh Chippendales, was that a late 80s early 90s thing or just me and my friends? ;)

If I were a teenager right now, let me tell you, Edward, and even Jacob, would be adorning my walls. (I asked Eric if we could get a poster for our room but he said no. le sigh)

And I would really like a shirt like this one:

Because I'm totally a Twihard. I read the first book in a night and totally ignored my family to do it. When it was done, I started it over again. I've read the entire series at least 4 times. And I don't apologize for it - I love them.

I know there is a lot of criticism out there about the books because they create an unrealistic expectation of love and a normal relationship. At first I scoffed - really? People know this is fiction. But I do realize that some people throw themselves into a story a bit more than I do.

I have never thought "sigh... I wish *I* could be with someone like Edward". Because really, there are many reasons I would NOT want to be with Edward:

- He's way too intense
- He's all "I'm your protector" and stuff and that would drive me up the wall. Don't do things for my own good without telling me, give me a little more credit than that PLEASE. Or forbid me from doing something - I don't care how dangerous you think it is. You don't get to do that.
- His "I am going to kill myself if you die because I can't live in a world without you". Oh spare me the drama. That's exactly I would want in a mate, someone that was so dependent on me that they would kill themselves if I died. Except not at all.

Rinse and repeat over and over.

These are not really what I would consider good character traits for someone in a healthy relationship, at least not for me.

Their story caught me. I love to read about them. I can't even describe what it is about the story that I love so much other than that I really believe in Edward's love of Bella. But for all the girls out there who think they're going to find that, and be happy with it, I feel sorry. That's not what real life and love is about.

And I certainly hope that I will be able to teach Juliette that. You need to be happy loving yourself. You need to feel equal to your partner. Love is amazing, but it should never be your entire world.

Oh, and "don't date vampires"

"or werewolves"

(thanks to everyone who voted to have me write this post this week - it's been in my head for months. Don't forget to vote for what I write next week on the side bar!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

3 things - week 2

I give myself a 9/10 grade on my first week's challenge.

Granola bars - CHECK (they were good, but crumbly. They need hours to cool before you can cut in to them)

A week of green smoothies - I had one every day but yesterday and made up for it by having one today. They were good. They did not make me feel better, nor did they make my skin feel nicer, nor did I get any skinnier. I may continue to make them since they are healthy, but I'm far from sold or hooked on the green smoothie idea.

Empty 3 boxes - I'm emptied 2.5. I'm such a lazy ass. I will try to empty at least another half box before bed ;)

Poll - 17 votes, not bad. The Twilight post came out WAYYY ahead so I'll be writing that one this week. Keep your eyes open.

This week's challenge

- floss every day (I mean, I totally already do that)
- Bake 2 new kinds of bread in the break maker
- Empty 5 boxes

And check out the sidebar for a new vote for a post for next week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You've got your hands full - part 1

We are less than 3 weeks away from the babies' first birthday and it's had me looking back on this crazy year a lot. Twins has been a crazy ride, one that I haven't had a lot of time to record as much as I wished I could have. So before they get any older I thought that I would try to put some of my thoughts on twin down on screen through a series of twin posts.

Part 1

Twins first or Twins second?

It seems almost a pointless question - nobody gets to choose if they are going to have twins during a first pregnancy or during a subsequent pregnancy, but it is a frequent topic of discussion: is it easier to have twins first or second?

There are arguments to both sides, of course. If you have twins first then you don't know any different. If you have twins first then you don't have any older children to try to wrangle and take care of as well.

My feeling is that having twins after a singleton is far easier. Because you have experience to draw on. All the things that made you nervous the first time around aren't quite so daunting the second time. To me, that made the world of difference.

We had particular circumstances with tummy issues that really made this the case though. If we hadn't been through Kiernan we wouldn't have known that milk and soy were issues for our kids. I can't even imagine how I would have survived if I had had two babies who were as needy as Kiernan. Because I knew to look for problems and try to avoid them, I went off dairy and soy before they were born and was at the doctor's for reflux medication before anything got out of control. Without that knowledge, since they DID have problems, life would have been almost unbearable.

Other things that I think went more easily because I had previous experience include breastfeeding, babywearing and my ability to cart them both around without fears of them being breakable.

We were lucky. We were able to keep Kiernan in full time daycare when the babies were born. I am sure our experience would have been somewhat different if that weren't the case. But nonetheless, I maintain that the experience from first time parenthood makes parenting multiples a bit easier than it would have been otherwise. There were countless times that Eric and I said "thank God we didn't have twins first"

Then again, my friend who had twins first says she constantly thought to herself "Oh my god, thank God I don't have an older child to deal with right now too!" So it's all perspective. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's the little things

Lately a lot of days are hard. I'm tired. The babies are teething and up a lot at night and often won't easily go back down.

After a year, I just don't have the reserves to not be cranky the next day. I am longing for days, weeks, months... by myself.

But, there are so many joys at the same time:

- watching Juliette's hair turn this gorgeous shade of auburn and start to curl. Oh but she has pretty hair.
- watching Quinn figure things out. Everything is a mystery he is ready to try to solve.
- watching Kiernan develop his language skills and ability to interact with others as a kid instead of "baby". The stories and jokes that kid tells - hilarious!
- watching them play together, explore together, and enjoy each other.
- watching them learn and discover at every turn.
- the hugs, the kisses, and the love.

It's all so worth it. Imagine how much I would be enjoying it all with a few extra hours of a sleep a night!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Push me as high as you Grammie!!

We've gone through a bit of a scared phase. Suddenly we were too scared to go down slides and be pushed on swings. "Does that go fast? I don't like to go fast."

But a few weeks into park season and we're overcoming the fears.

There is just too much fun to be had!

"Now push me as high as the SKY!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

3 things challenge

I've started a photo challenge over at Kids in the Capital and I like that I have a scheduled post with a scheduled topic once a week. So I'm starting a weekly post here, with a vaguer purpose but it will have a similar format every week.

  • 3 things I "challenge" myself to do in the coming week
  • A recap of the things I accomplished in the previous week (obviously not pertinent this week)
  • A reader's choice poll helping me choose one of the many blog posts that have been bouncing around in my head, forcing me to finally put one to keyboard/screen
Sound fun? Of course! :)

My 3 things for this week:

1) Drink a green smoothie every day
2) Unpack 3 boxes
3) Make the granola bars Ottawa Mom talked about on her blog this week

3 post topics to help me choose from:

1) Twilight: why I don't want to leave my husband for Edward
2) Let me tell you a bit about sleep deprivation
3) Driving around in my automobile

There's a poll on the sidebar - help me pick one to write next week!

What about you - is there anything you're hoping to get done this week?

So? Fun, or what? :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

11 months old

I can't believe we are less than a month away from these babies turning one. Because seriously - woah!

That being said, we've come a long way!

- now has 6 teeth cutting his 6th tooth on his 11 month birthday. He's well on his way to catching up to Juliette now in the teeth department
- can pull himself up in his crib (and gnaw on the sidebars - awesomeness) but can't get himself back down. this is a pain.
- crawls. like properly. like I've heard babies crawl. Kind of neat to see. And he's fast!
- Still a cuddler and a bit of a mama's boy - but way less so now that there's so much to see and do. He is on the verge of being able to stand on his own, but doesn't seem interested in walking even with us helping.
- loves to drink water
- Wearing clothing Kiernan wore when he was 2 - 2.5 years old
- dances by shaking his head back and forth like he's saying no. It's hilarious and must make him dizzy
- Will allow daddy to rock him to sleep (or me too. essentially, he does not NEED to nurse to sleep)
- likes to pull stuff down off shelves and rip down safety guards
- loves his stuffed bear
- LOVES the remote. but only the cable remote, not one that we don't care if he touches.
- points at everything

- Can say maymay (that's mommy) and mmmmmo(more) and AH! AH! AH! (which means "look at me" or "yes!" or "I'm happy"
- loves to dance and does it whenever she is happy (when she sees mommy or daddy she immediately yells ah! ah! and then dances)
- will NOT allow anyone to rock her to sleep. Two options exist: nurse or scream to sleep (although there are the rare exceptions to this rule)
- still has 8 teeth
- pulls herself up on everything and gets back down by dropping (hard) to her bum. She isn't really walking along things but will pull herself up on toys that slide across the floor and push. Otherwise it's up and down and up and down with her army crawl between.
- is on the verge of standing on her own
- eats really well
- drinks water out of a sippy on her own
- loves to grab whatever her brother is holding
- likes to join Kiernan in whatever he is doing. Much to Kiernan's dismay
- likes to pull stuff down off shelves and rip down safety guards

Get us out of here!!

This is my brother Kiernan. He is fun to point at and/or harass by trying to take over what he is doing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Are they really almost toddlers?

Yesterday, on the eve the twins turning 11 months (!) I was thinking about how when Kiernan was this age I was weeks away from going back to work.

And let me tell ya - I am so glad I am not weeks away from going back to work.

I SO understand why I was in tears regularly at the thought of going back. I so understand why it was hard for me to feel ready to leave him. And he seemed so much older than they do. He was walking. He was talking. (I think because I now have an older kid to compare them to they also seem younger than Kiernan, as an only child, felt to me)

So today I am happy that I have decided to stay home. They are almost one though so I will start looking to see if I can find some part time work, and they are starting to visit their Grammie a little more without me (thank you Grammie!).

And I am going to try to enjoy the last little bit of baby there is left in them, because it's all going to be over far too soon.

I can't believe my babies are almost one.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet smiles

It may have been a rough week... but I think this makes up for it :)

Friday, April 09, 2010


I am jealous...

... of the mothers who seem to not get worn down by the neediness
... of the parents who don't resort to yelling
... of the patience I've seen other parents exhibit
... of people who have the time and the energy to take a class or pursue a personal hobby. Who have a little bit of time for themselves.

This has been a particularly trying week. Quinn had roseola and he doesn't do sick well. Juliette believes her world will end if I leave the room. Well, Quinn seems to think that too. Kiernan is still being noisy. I know it will get better. I know I'll feel a bit more in control again soon. But this week, I feel beaten down. I hate that.

I got a glorious break yesterday, but with the debt I have right now, and the angry "how could you have left me" reception, I quickly felt depleted again. At least I slept. (One day, I should document the variety of nights we have : trying, regular, good. It's loads of fun).

I know it will get better. I know I'll feel a bit more in control again soon. Say it with me. I know it will get better. I know I'll feel a bit more in control again soon.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Photos photos photos

I'm sure you've noticed, if you follow my blog, that I like to take a lot of pictures. I've decided to challenge myself to improve my photography in a series of posts over at Kids in the Capital (come play along if you want! :) and the side effect of that is that I'm going to be taking a lot more photos - playing around with my camera and trying to get photos to fill the themes.

So far so good for a first day, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Moving beyond the breast

The babies turn one in just over a month (OH. MY. GOD.) and more and more I'm getting people who quietly ask me "are you going to stop nursing when they're one?"

It's interesting because a flood of questions come racing through my mind when people ask this.

Are you asking because you think it's weird to nurse past a year?
Are you asking because a lot of people stop at a year and so you're curious?
Are you asking because you're hoping I'll go beyond a year?
Are you asking because you think it's somehow time for me to stop?

A lot of people are asking just out of curiosity, I know that, but it's made me think about my feelings about nursing. I was nursed until I was over 2 and so my attitude towards nursing is that it lasts for quite a long time.

With Kiernan, my goal was to make it to a year if I could. He self-weaned at 11 months as we pushed him to take bottles more often in preparation for me going back to work. This time I didn't have a specific goal in mind other than to try to nurse twins. I didn't want to think past achieving the goal of being able to nurse TWO babies. And I did it! I needed to top up a bit in the beginning but by 3 months old they were exclusively breastfed. And we stopped giving them bottles and formula. Because nursing was just easier most of the time, and they never really liked the nasty formula that they have to drink because of their soy and milk protein intolerances.

But now, they are almost a year old. They nurse to sleep, or at least to calm down enough to go to sleep, and they don't drink anything that can replace my milk. And pumping isn't an option. I pump for an hour and get 3 oz. That's not going to cut it for twins. So I need to do something different.

A few people have suggested that we introduce formula in a cup. In theory I think that's a good idea, except I have to admit that I'm a big fan of the milk to sleep thing. Kiernan outgrew it on his own, so maybe my views of how easy it will be to get them off this method eventually is skewed, but wouldn't it be easier to switch to bottles, even though they're already a year old?

What I also wish is that there was a better alternative than the formula. I can't imagine that almond or rice milk would be good enough, right? Or would it be fine for me to go out for the day? Would it be fine for me to go to BlogHer for 3 days?

So many questions and I'm struggling with deciding what makes the most sense and how to implement it all. I'm also being lazy... it's so much easier to stick with the status quo.

What do you think? Any tips or ideas?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

You better believe...

I'm having issues with this, mother! Please go and find the BOY HATS!!

(better go unpack some more boxes...)

Saturday, April 03, 2010


I feel old.

I look in the mirror and my skin looks old. I look tired all the time (unsurprisingly, but still) and I can see the steady decline I'm on.


I need to start doing something about it. Especially since I wear makeup about 6 times a year, it's not like I'm covering up these signs of aging.

But, I don't even know where to start. Oil of Olay? Every spa just promotes the line they use in the spa so it feels like it's for sales more than anything else. I know I could go to shopper's and ask them, but I thought I'd start with you guys first. Do you use anything? What works for you? Does anything work or is it all just a conspiracy to get my money?

Why do we have to get old? ;)

Friday, April 02, 2010


There are a lot of funny noises in our new house. A bunch of the toilets are kind of wonky and make bubbling and gurgling noises and start running inexplicably. There are new creaks and groans. And there's also this whining noise. Except this whining noise followed us from the old house.
It starts around 7 am and doesn't let up until about 8 pm - every day. (Oh, except for when it goes to daycare.)

The most prevalent tone of voice in Kiernan's repertoire right now is full on whine. He changes it up to "end of the world howling" if he hurts himself at all. Like "OMG, I fell down on this plush carpet and hit nothing hard at all but I am VERY UPSET!"

This whine, it hits my brain like nails on a chalkboard, and I don't know how to make it stop. With crying you can bounce, you can shush, you can go for a walk or a drive.

I am not a fan. Anyone know a repairman for this kind of noise, I'm willing to pay big bucks.