Monday, April 27, 2009

Twin Facts

From an unknown source:
"I can tell you that being parents of multiples is about the hardest thing on a marriage that I know of."
Statistics have shown higher levels of stress and arguing among parents of multiples as well as a higher divorce rate.

Really? Ya don't say...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Twin Facts

The average birthweight for a singleton is 7 lbs. 7 oz; Average weight for a twin is 5 lbs. 5 oz.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

8 Months

I can not believe that you are eight months old already. I know that I say that every month but really, how is this happening? You both grow so quickly. Every day it seems you are doing something new.

This month so many things happened.

You both started getting your top teeth in which has caused sleeping issues, like Landon not wanting to sleep, and eating problems. While you normally like your bottles and every kind of food imaginable you both decided because of the teething that you'd rather push the bottle away and maybe not eat so much. Plus you now prefer the food colder rather than warmer.
You both can sit up on your own now too. Landon can sit for a very long time which has provided the opportunity to play with your toys in a whole new way. You've finally figured out how to work the ball popper on your own. It made your Dad and I a little sad though as we thought this is one tiny step closer to you not needing us as much. Alex, you can sit too, however, most of the time you choose not to since then you can't play with your toys with your feet. We're beginning to wonder if you have a future in a circus as someone who juggles with their feet or something.
You are both rocking back and forth and are ready to take off with the crawling soon. Slow down! Daddy and I need more time for baby proofing.
You can feed yourself a cracker and LOVE teething biscuits. Although Mommy thinks they taste and look like dog food. Maybe that is way so many children develop a love of eating out of the pet dish?
You are starting to outgrow your 6-9 month clothes and you're now into size 4 diapers. We don;t go to the doctor for another month but I'm guessing you guys are both at 20lbs now.
Alex - you've figured out how to pick up your banana puffs and put them in your mouth. Self-feeding, another big step! Once Mommy can get past worrying about how big or small to cut food up we can start trying some different finger foods.
As for talking - your favorites sounds are ah-ba and ah-ra and try as I might neither one of you will even attempt the M or D sounds so Daddy and I will have to wait a little longer for that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Twin Facts

Studies have shown that mothers who gain about 24 pounds by week 24 have reduced their chances of giving birth either prematurely or to low birth-weight babies.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twin Facts

The average or recommended weight gain for average sized mothers of twins is between 35-45 lbs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top 10 Things To Love About Having Twins

A Great summing up of some of the wonderful things about having twins.

Top 10 Things I Love About Having Twins
By Pamela Prindle Fierro,
Being a parent twins or multiples is an experience full of ups and downs. There are many challenging times, for sure, but also plenty of moments where you feel so lucky and blessed to have them. These are some of the things that I love most about being a mom of twins.
1. Armfuls and Handfuls
Every child fills their parents' hearts and home with joy. That's what I really love about having twins or more. The love and joy are compounded. Cradling two twinfants in my arms was so incredibly, almost unbearably, sweet. Holding hands with two toddlers -- one on the right, and one on the left -- while crossing the street made me feel complete. Double hugs, double kisses, mommy-in-the-middle "sandwich" cuddles on the couch... life just doesn't get any better than that.
2. Single-Mindedness
Parenting happens in stages. For people with a one-track mind, like me, it's much easier to manage two infants, two toddlers or two 'tweens, than to juggle the needs of a baby and a preschooler. The phases of parenthood are experienced more intensely, sometimes, because they are simultaneous, but I love it that way.
3. Shared Accomplishments
It's always exciting to see your child meet a milestone. But when two or more multiples accomplish their goals simultaneously, it's a wonderful experience for a family. For example, I was bursting with pride when both of my twins made honor roll on their last report cards, but the achievement was even sweeter because they were happy for each other.
4. Private Jokes
It's such fun to hear them share jokes, call each other by nicknames and role play their special scenarios. Once when they were babies, 10 months old, we were driving down the road, when giggles erupted from the car seats in the back seat. As one laughed, the other broke out in giggles; they spurred each other on the entire ride home. What a sweet sound those baby giggles were; it is still sweet to hear them laugh together, not at each other, but with each other.
5. Alike, But Different
It's fascinating to be an observer of twins. With so many similarities, but such stark differences, it's always interesting to see how they develop as individuals. Where parents of singletons may say, "Oh, you are just like your sister was at that age," parents of multiples have an instant basis of comparison and contrast among their children.
6. 2-For-1 Bonus
Short and sweet .... one pregnancy = two babies! Such a deal! Although a pregnancy with multiples may have more risks, and sometimes more complications, it truly is a two-for-one deal.
7. A Sense of Status
Okay, I admit it. I get a little thrill of pride in being a mom of twins. It's like being a part of an elite club. You feel an instant bond with other parents of multiples. I love the reaction I get when I tell people I have twins. "Wow!" "I always wanted twins..." "I don't know how you do it..." It's almost like we enjoy an exclusive status in the parenting world, earning a slight nod of respect for pulling double duty.
8. Sharing
Twins share everything -- their birthday, their parents' attention, and many of their belongings. Although they may get frustrated with their situation, as a parent, it's very gratifying to witness their "what's mine is yours" attitude in a moment of unselfish benevolence.
9. A Beautiful Bond
The twin bond is more enduring than any other relationship on earth, starting even before birth, and often outlasting many friendships and even marriages. Despite their squabbles, it's comforting to know that they will (hopefully) enjoy their unique relationship for all of their lives. As their mother, I feel really privileged to be a party to their special bond, and to have the opportunity to nurture it.
10. Confidence in Companionship
I love the confidence that my twins exhibit simply because they have always had each other to rely on. I love to watch them enter new, unfamiliar situations with total surety because they are together. I love seeing all the ways that being a twin shapes their personalities, both as an advantage and a disadvantage. They have never known loneliness because they've always had each other as a companion.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twin Facts

Once you've had fraternal twins, you are 3 to 4 times more likely to have another set!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thank Heaven

Today we Christened the boys. It was a beautiful day complete with sunshine, a warm breeze, and birds singing, although the forecast had called for rain. I thank my Mom, who's not here anymore, for this. I know that she was watching from above and did what she could to help out on the weather front so the boys would have a nice day.
We had about 35 people attend, and enough food to feed twice that many. For some reason when we plan a party in our family we always seem to go overboard on the food. So J and I have leftovers for the entire week, plus I'll be sharing the surplus with the co-workers this week too.
Everyone who loves these babies was there - Grandpa, Grandpa and Grandma, Gram-Gram, and lots of Aunts and Uncles. We chose my sisters for their Godmothers and chose not to have any Godfathers.
The ceremony was nice and neither Alex nor Landon cried when they put the water on them. Plus the oil they use made them smell so sweet.

I've had my concerns about the Cathloic religion in the past - having known their stand on fertility treatments and such. But I still did find that growing up with religion a part of my life helped me with life skills like decision making, learning right from wrong, and building values and morals. I hope to provide that to my children by taking them to church, when they are a bit older, and having them attend Sunday School. My hope is that religion will just be one more piece in the puzzle of helping them to grow up.

and now some pictures....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Twin Facts

82% of multiples are delivered via c-section, while 5% are delivered vaginally. The rest are delivered both by c-section and vaginally.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Twin Facts

Only 14% of women carry multiples past 37 weeks. Most women give birth prematurely.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twin Facts

Up to 22% of twins are left-handed. In the general populace, only 10% are left-handed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Raising Twins Tip

Trying to manage two babies in a tub when you only have two hands is tricky. They're as slippery as little fish in that watery environment. To help keep them secure, plastic laundry baskets make a great bath seats for older babies and young toddlers. They are the right size to contain their little bodies and keep them upright so they don't slide around in the tub. Use them with only a small amount of water in the tub. Use them only with babies who are old enough to sit up.

I haven;t tried this yet but am going to soon. It would be so much easier to bathe them both at the same time. I'll let you know how it goes. I just want to wait a few more weeks so they are both really stable sitting up in the tub.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Differences in Raising Twins

I thought this article was a great way to educate people about how it is different to have twins or multiples as compared to having a singleton. Already my family has made comments about how having twins is the same as having two children under two and it drives me crazy every time they say it. How would they know??
(Taken from
"Mine were born 19 months apart, and its just like having twins." How many times have you heard parents of singletons make remarks like this? I've realized that it's pointless to argue this issue. It's my opinion that having two singletons is nothing like having twins. If we're chasing sympathy, I'd offer that having two of different ages is actually even more difficult in some ways. But it's not the same as having twins or multiples.
So, what are some differences?...

The Absence of Birth Order Dynamics
Singleton siblings spread out over several years develop a natural order. Aside from influencing personality development, birth order often sets the standard for how children are treated in families. Older siblings lead, younger siblings follow. Older children have more freedom, but also more responsibility, as they mature. Younger children watch and learn from their older siblings. There is a natural disparity of ability due to age.But multiples are the same age, and -- usually -- at the same stage. They face milestones simultaneously. They become mobile at about the same time, potty train simultaneously (generally), and start school together. Although some parents impose birth order personality characteristics on their multiples based on who was born first, it's a false designation. Without the defined roles established by birth order, multiples invent their own version of a pecking order, and often their parents have to deal with the fall-out.

Parenting Mulitples as Individuals
Every parent is tasked with guiding their children as they grown into individuals. Where parents of multiples face an extra challenge is in helping their children become individuals in spite of -- and in support of -- their status as a multiple. Despite parents' best efforts to treat their multiples as individual, to avoid comparisons and labeling, it's a constant fight to fend off society's views. Multiples face a barrage of stereotypes and are constantly confronted with comparisons because of their twinship. Their friends, neighbors, teachers and even well-meaning family members will attempt to label and categorize them. (She's the good twin, the smart twin, the pretty twin... If one likes baseball, the other one must also... He's outgoing, so his twin must be shy.)J and I have already noticed people doing this to the boys.
Where singleton siblings often feel the sting of sibling rivalry, the effects are offset by birth order and by the passing of time. They have years (or in some cases many months) to achieve the milestones set by older siblings. For multiples, the milestones are expected to be simultaneous. Therefore, it's very important for parents of multiples to overcome the stereotypes, labeling and comparisons by offering continual guidance and encouragement to their children, supporting them as they develop as individuals within the context of their relationship as multiples.

Division of Parental Assets
Many parents of multiples feel challenged to divide their time, attention and love between their children, moreso than with singleton siblings spread out over several years. Despite their claims that "it's just like having twins," parents of singletons have at least nine months of one-on-one time between children. Having children of different ages creates more opportunities for individualized time: babies nap while older children are awake. Older children stay up later at night. Older children start school while younger ones are still at home. Multiples generally do everything at the same time. They're asleep at the same time, and awake all together, making it more difficult for parents to find time for individual attention. Parents of multiples have to make a more concerted effort to bond with each child. Don't I know it. I always feel guilty when I'm holding one and the other is just sitting there looking at me. It's tough to remember I only have one set of arms.

Maintaining equality
Another big challenge for parents of multiples. Where a staggered birth order often evens things out for singletons, it's often a struggle for parents of twins or more to ensure that each child gets their fair share. Whether it is time, attention or material goods, it's simply not possible to always maintain equality among multiples, setting up parents for frustration and guilt.

Nurturing the Bond
The bond between multiples is complex and intense. Twins can be best friends one moment, and bitter enemies the next. Where parents of singletons also contend with sibling rivalry, the relationship between multiples is simply more complicated, in my opinion. Teaching their multiples to resolve conflict in a healthy way and nurturing the bond between them is a big challenge for parents. Already my children fight over toys and pull each other's hair. We are constantly separating them form each other. If we put them down on the floor they immediately roll themselves together and are almost always on top of one another.

No Do-Overs
Everyone learns from their mistakes, right? With multiples, there are no "do-overs." With each child going through the same stage and phase simultaneously, there's no opportunity to learn from past experience. Parents of multiples don't have the advantage of hindsight.

Tag Team
Isn't there a saying that claims there is "safety" in numbers? I'd venture that there is actually more danger when it comes to multiples. As a group, a set of twins, triplets or more can generate a lot more chaos than singleton siblings. Working as a team, they're likely to be more daring, take more risks, and push the limits further. Whether they are climbing on each other to reach the highest cabinet, or cooperatively unraveling the living room carpet, multiples really keep parents on their toes.

The Good Stuff
Despite some challenges and drawbacks, having twins or multiples is a great joy. It's a privilege to be an observer of and participant in their unique and special relationship. There is a level of convenience and efficiency in parenting children simultaneously; some of the more unpleasant aspects (sleepless nights, teething, potty training, teenage troubles) only have to be endured once. There's a level of "celebrity" attached to having twins or multiples; some parents relish the attention while others shy away. But mostly, there is great pleasure and enjoyment in parenting multiples, every proud moment is multiplied and every simple joy is magnified. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter Boys!

Usually on Easter we have our family come and visit - Grandpa, Gram Gram, Aunt Patty, Jeannie and Scott... but this year since we're having your Christening in just a week we decided it was silly for everyone to make the trip twice in two weeks.
So this year we'll just have our dinner as a small family; Daddy, Mommy, and you boys. We always have the same dinner on Easter - Ham, potatos, vegetable, babka bread, deviled eggs, and kielbasa. Yum! I found pineapple glazed ham stage two baby food that you boys can have today. We'll see how that goes since lately anything that is not pasta you gag on.

You also won a HUGE Easter Basket drawing that Daddy entered your name in. Lucky!
Happy 1st Easter babies. Mommy and Daddy love you very much!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Top 10 Mistakes

I just found out that April is National Multiple Birth Awareness Month. So, in order to celebrate this and increase awareness of the joys and challenges that families with multiples face, I've decided to post some fun facts and tips on pregnancy and parenting twins (from information I've found in my searches and also my own handy-dandy tips as I learn them with each new day, trial, problem, etc) I'll try to post daily - or at least weekly.
So here goes:

Top 10 Mistakes Made by New Parents of Twins/Multiples (taken from

1. Running Out of Supplies

With double the demand, baby supplies are consumed at a rapid rate. Stock up on the things you’ll use most: diapers, wipes, bottles and formula. An ample supply of onsies and light sleepers is invaluable. Keep items in their original packaging and hold onto receipts so that you can easily return the things that aren’t used. The clubs mentioned above hold annual sales; they are a fantastic opportunity to stock up on gently used clothes and equipment.

I had a boatload of clothes, enough to cloth them both for the first two years. I can not tell you how many I returned. Leaving some in the packages is a great idea. Most times we were too tired to dress up - the boys wore simple, comfortable sleepers or onesies for the first few months. Returned a lot and was able to get clothes in the now much needed 3-6 or 6-9 month sizes. You may think they will never be that big, but it comes quickly.

2. Not Napping

It may sound silly, but this advice is echoed repeatedly by nearly all parents of twins or more. It’s tempting to use the precious quiet time to get other things accomplished, but you have to remember your own rest requirements. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re exhausted. Sleep is a precious commodity, so take advantage of every opportunity.
Sounds good but don't be surprised if you don;t get to nap. The old "sleep when your baby sleeps" gets thrown out the window with multiples who are not always on the same schedule. For a while we had one sleeping and one awake, and vice versa. That leaves no time for Mom and Dad to sleep.

3. No stroller or the wrong one

My suggestion - if you can afford it have one tandam and one side by side.

4. Confusing the Babies

How much did she eat? When’s the last time he had a wet diaper? Which baby are you anyway? Setting up an organized system for keeping things straight will ensure that everyone’s needs are met. Make a chart to track feeding times and amounts, diaper changes, medications and other important information. (Hint: if you’re having trouble telling your multiples apart – even if they’re not identical! – a small dab of nail polish on one toe will help distinguish them.)
People may think you've lost your mind because you are writing all of this information down only to throw it out at the end of the day but honestly it helped J and I immensely. Just being able to remember when they ate, who ate, how much, when diapers were changed, etc. helped a LOT. Things get confusing when you have more than one baby and you are sleep deprived.

5. Mixing Up Priorities

Keep it simple. Let things go. Your focus during the first few months with multiple should be on your newly expanded family. It’s not the time to cook gourmet meals, do spring cleaning or learn a new hobby. Focus on caring for your new bundles of joy, and let the little things slide. You’ll have time to catch up on those other things a few months down the road, when your multiples have established a schedule.
Take this tip from me: Throw out your Type-A personality and adopt a more "who cares" attitude. If your babies are healthy and you are together as a family, then it doesn't matter whether your house is spotless, what you eat for dinner, or whether the outfits they are wearing even match. Most times you will have pajamas with spit-up on them on and unwashed and uncombed hair anyway. When you do finally get it together enough to shower and leave the house with your twins the constant "how do you do it?" from others will be a huge boost to your ego!
You can now do pretty much nothing and look like a superwoman to others.

6. Hindering the Help

People love multiples, and they genuinely want to help. Take advantage of every offer. Delegate. Be specific. Let your eager helpers take care of meals, errands, care of other siblings, housework, yard work, laundry, shopping and all the details of life so that you can focus on priorities. (See Tip #6!)

Wish, wish, wish I had done this more. People offered. I didn't take them up on it enough.

7. Not Taking Time Out
Even though your identity has changed to encompass your new role as parent of multiples, you can’t afford to neglect your old self. It’s important to take time off every once in a while to focus on yourself and your spouse. Put a helpful relative, neighbor or even a teenage mother’s helper in charge of the babies for a few moments so that you can take a break. Soak in the tub, take a walk, or simply take a nap. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed you’ll feel after even a short break.
Again, wish I had done this more.

8. Becoming Isolated from Others

Meeting other parents of twins, triplets or more can be extremely reassuring and rewarding. Not only will they show you that life with multiples is do-able, they can give you solid advice on just how to do it. It’s crucial to establish a network of been-there, done-that veterans to call on in times of crisis. You can also meet fellow parents online; stop by our message forum to say hi.
Also, if you can't find a parents of twins group join a group of singleton Moms. They have extra hands to help you out (since they only have one child) and always make you feel like you are great because you are a Mom of multiples. Don't feel badly though if you can't get out of the house as much as you'd like. Leaving the house with twins is hard - I don't think we did it except for neighborhood walks and Dr. appointments for a few months at least. Cut yourself some slack and know that once they are a bit older you can manage to get out of the house with them. And trust me, even though my boys didn't see other people, aside from family, for the first few months, they have not been transformed into hermits.

9. Being Inflexible

A textbook approach doesn’t work with twins or multiples. Every family has different habits and needs and the “right” way is really whatever works best for you. As you establish a routine that includes your newest additions, be willing to try a variety of schedules, techniques and products. Remember that your multiples are individuals, and not a perfectly matched set. What works for one may not be appropriate for the other.
I'm still working on this. Read: Night Owl post

10. Losing Perspective

Keep things in perspective. No matter how bad things get, they are temporary. Babies grow up. They will start to sleep more and eat less often. It will become easier to take them out in public. With each passing day, you are one step closer to getting things under control. Savor the special moments of infancy: the sleepy snuggles, shy smiles and sweet smells of your babies. They will soon be only a treasured memory.
When you are in the throes of night wakings and lots of feedings and sleep deprivation it seems it will never end. but it does. At almost eight months my boys don't get up for night feedings on a regular basis anymore. They grow up so fast - try not to let it happen too fast - or to wish it away. You will sleep again soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Night Owl

I know that I should not be complaining at all. There are people who may read this post and probably want to kill me. I know there are far worse sleeping issues with babies. My boys are good sleepers, in comparison to other stories I’ve read. But lately we’ve been having an issue with Landon and I’m not sure what to do.
It seems that the child does not want to go to sleep. The instant I lay him in the crib he starts screaming. Not crying – there are no tears really, just screaming. And this boy is persistent! He will NOT stop unless you pick him up. Then he lets out a huge sigh and is instantly quiet, or decides that it is playtime. I’d say that 5 out of 7 nights a week he doesn’t want to go to sleep. So, here’s the scenario at our house. Bedtime begins at around 7:15pm when we go upstairs. We wash up, or have bath, put on our PJ's, read a story, have a bottle, and then to sleep. Most of the time we fall asleep or just near asleep while drinking the bottle. Then I carefully pick Alex up, and lay him down. This child, without fail, puts his thumb in his mouth, rolls over and goes to sleep. He knows when he is tired and will tell you in no uncertain terms when he is ready to go to sleep. I then pick Landon up and carefully try to put him down in his crib. As soon as my hands leave his little body, he flips over, head pops up, and the screaming begins. I pick him up, rock him, walk him, hold him, lay on my bed with him, but he is not having it. He is NOT going to sleep. The child is rubbing his eyes, has bags underneath them, but he is NOT going to go to sleep. This goes on until 10:30-11:00pm each night, until he is completely exhausted and just passes out. By which time J and I are also completely exhausted. We’ve just had a 4 hour bedtime ritual.
Now I’ve said that this occurs most nights. On the other nights, when he does go to sleep, I do nothing differently. Here’s my problem – I don’t want to do CIO. I have two infants sleeping in the same room. If one is crying for 10, 15, 20 minutes, the other wakes up. Then I have double the work with not one, but two, babies now not sleeping. I also just don’t feel like CIO is the right solution for me. So, I pick him up, and now he’s learned that that is my response to the screaming.
Do I just let it go and let him stay up until 11pm? Do I assume that maybe he’ll be the night owl of our family, watching the late show while everyone else has gone to bed? Do I assume that this is maybe related to teething, or trying to learn how to crawl, or the fact that he maybe wants to spend more time with me?
I know that this is a minor problem in comparison to some other sleep problems. And once he does get to sleep he stays asleep all.night.long. Until 7am. My strategy now is to make sure I’ve eaten dinner, put toys away, and straightened up the living room before going up to bed. So in the event he decides he’s staying up late we can just lay in bed and watch TV until he’s ready for sleep. At least that way I can relax a bit too. I don’t have any other ideas on what to do. And I don’t want every night to be a struggle between my child and me.
I will say this…this parenting twins thing is teaching me to go with the flow a little bit more. Not my personality at all. My own inner struggle.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Decisions

I deleted my last post about the decisions I've made recently. I wanted to share my thoughts but then thought I didn't really want them out there in the open like that - for my children to possibly read in the future. So if I can figure out how to make an individual post password protected, then I'll post an update on that situation.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good Morning

Mommy is technologically challenged. I couldn't figure out how to upload here so this is the best I can do...
We do love those smiles every morning. And, yes, maybe your Daddy had a bit too much coffee.