Posts Tagged ‘twins’

PostHeaderIcon Sick Baby Makes Mommy An Unhappy Girl

Zev has been sick all week. It is not the first time, but it is the second with a true fever and because of that, probably the worst. Next to the lack of sleep and my heart aching for my little man, the most challenging part is having my twin boys doing different things. Elan is healthy but wants whatever Zev has, including the extra care and attention. In response to his dislike of this current state of affairs he has peed in his pants and thrown a few tantrums. He has also been waking up in the middle of the night wanting just to get out and sleep in my bed. So, here I am exhausted physically and emotionally because both my boys demand the equal attention I generally give them. You really can’t win as a twin mommy.

PostHeaderIcon The Toddlers Rule The World

Well at least that is what it feels like (see title).  Since the potty training boot camp a lot has changed. Just two weeks after the start of potty training the kids began daycare part time. I thought about these endless hours I could spend catching up on chores, reinventing my future life and career, exercising. I mean, seriously. All those hours. Truth is, I have less time.  It’s all because toddlers rule the world.

Nearing our third birthday the boys are super quite and twice as exasperating. Their minds are molding and they are making acute and cute observations. They listen more (when they feel like it) and remember more. Basically, they are entertaining me, challenging my ability to mother and distract simultaneously, and teaching me to be humble and accept bodily fluids. I have heard many a person say that this is the best and worst age and I would have to agree, although I can only compare to what was. Somehow, they make me feel that the extreme sleeplessness that came with infancy was easier than explaining to a toddler why he can’t have something, go somewhere or drive a car without ending in tears yourself.

Yes, people, parenting is tough.

So, back to changes. I’m not sure if it is school or just the addition of 2 and a half months, but my boys have seriously matured and grown tremendously. All the little life skills like dressing, putting on shoes and eating messy soup come easier to them. In fact, sometimes their extreme desire to try something new can be a challenge in itself (note tantrum over putting on shirt by ones self). These changes are welcome. Yes, I miss the little cuddly babies, but these beings can converse with me and share some likes and dislikes. They tell me when something hurts and exactly where. These advancements have made outings more interesting. I just love to see their joy in going to a store or sharing their observations with me.

The developing independence is a blessing and a curse. As I said, they rule the world. Oh, and parents, the term terrible twos is inaccurate. It’s about 2-3 years of ups and downs with tantrums, tears (yours and theirs) and lots of laughter. Even poop can be funny (I have stories).

PostHeaderIcon Potty Training Boot Camp

Life with toddlers has been rough, making it very tough to type a blog post or take a break. They consume my time a suck my energy, yet I love them more every day!

Most recently we have tackled potty training. I started by reading other blogs, referring to books and talking to friends. When I realized that “cold turkey” works for potty training as well as other “habits” I went for it. I chose a weekend with no plans and we said goodbye to diapers during waking hours. I called it boot camp.

On day 1 of boot camp we started with potty training undies (just thicker down the middle) and using the potty every 1/2 hour or so. I soon realized the underwear was too tough to master on day 1. So we went commando, since it was summer they were mostly nudists in the house. By day 2 the underwear were on without pants. By day 3 the pants were on.

If you choose this method be prepared with tons of rags and extra undies. Oh, and patience helps. I used tons of rewards. Balloons, stickers and cookies worked best. By day 4 Elan was fully trained, so much so that he started to wake up asking to use the potty and always has a dry diaper at nap time (sometimes in the morning!).

I don’t think Elan is unusual. Since he is a twin, his life is more about structure and routine than singletons. Potty training was just another routine. Zev, on the other hand, has been more challenging. No amount of bargaining can speed up the process with him.

After one month Zev is just beginning to ask to use the potty, but not every time. I try to keep my cool and encourage the right behavior. Once we master daytime for 3-4 months I will work on nighttime. Oy!

I think that the most important lesson is to say goodbye to diapers during waking hours and to be firm with that, no matter how hard. Kids don’t understand mixed signals.

PostHeaderIcon Twins: The Road Trip Edition

I am a week into a road trip with my two and a half year-old twin boys. Oy vay. Seriously. All things considered, they have behaved pretty well. The over 1500 mile journey to Florida saw very little car napping time (like a combined 40 minutes) and some white hair causing whiny time, but we cam out unscathed. After a few days of chasing the boys around Grandma and Grandpa’s house (no amount of hiding things up high really seems to do it) we left on the second leg of our journey, Orlando and Disney World.

To get to Disney we had to spend another 4 hours in the car. The boys were not thrilled. Apparently, the sight of the hotel room door also really freaked one of the boys out (until day 4 when we were leaving). We were tired, cranky and trying to eat dinner in public at an hour the boys usually slept. They were troopers. I felt like I deserved a raise. Like all things in parenting, it is these little sacrifices of your hair color, patience and fun that really pay off when they smile and enjoy themselves. This trip had a lot of both (sacrifices and smiles, my new band name).

In Orlando we experienced several firsts: vacationing with friends, swimming in a pool, camping out in a hotel with Uncle “Uvi” and, of course, Disney. If you are asking yourself what a 2-year-old can do at Disney, the answer is a lot. I was asking myself the same thing about parents of infants. Aside from the thrill of walking through this new and magical world, much of Disney is a slow moving vehicle with a feast for the eyes. Some of it scared the boys, but they soon learned that a little bit of dark or waiting in a line was rewarded. I had to learn to let the routine go and live in the moment. All in all, I am pleased with the results.

Although we have several more days, including the long trek up north and another hotel stay, I have already experienced and learned more than I thought possible. I have learned to reach for patience I did not think was there and to ignore whining while driving 80 down the highway. Those are the valuable lessons. The others, well, when I finish this bottle of wine I will whine about them and get over it. That is parenting. Stay fierce parents. Just stay fierce.

PostHeaderIcon I love my kids but…..

I recently put this title as a title on my personal facebook page. I was expecting a list of examples to serve as a tool to make me feel more human. Not so much. Many of the friends that paid attention have infants at home and are still in that “My Baby is Magic” phase. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are magic. I tell anyone who will listen how funny, smart and charming my boys can be. But, and there always is a but, as they grow into toddlerdom the ups and downs are far more extreme and confusing (confusing because you sometimes want to laugh at bad behavior).

I’m pretty sure that my other group of friends, with school age kids and even teenagers, would have plenty of stories to share if they could get out of the car and stop chauffeuring their kids from one activity to another. I’ve heard the stories for years. I sometimes thought people were really having a love hate relationship with their kids. Now I get it. It’s not love hate, it’s all love and a little heartache and frustration.

I’ll put it out there. Feel free to join in. This could be a fun drinking game, no?

 

I love my kids but…….

  • They exhaust me like no other job I have ever had.
  • Even at two, they clearly have their own agenda.
  • Their poop smells horrible and I get to be intimate with it several times a day (times two, thanks).
  • They think screaming is both fun and funny. Lord can this phase please come to an end.
  • As twins they egg each other on, whether it’s funny, bad or tear jerking.
  • Emptying shelves and bins in the playroom is a favorite pastime.
  • They have learned how to kick, shove and hit and do not yet understand why it is wrong (only that mommy gets mad and they get a time out).
  • They are so married to their schedule sometimes it is hard to plan something special (this is both a blessing and a curse).
  • The same food they ate an hour ago is now fodder for play, smashing, throwing or crying over.
  • Since they spend all day with me, Dad is their hero and I am the manager/servant (can I get an amen, Moms).

PostHeaderIcon Having fun on a dime

It’s no secret that most of us struggle financially to live the American Dream. In the best of economies, this is true. We all want more, whatever the definition of more is to us. Since having my little twin nuggets, that “more” has changed. Sure, I still love the hot new boots and a gourmet meal in a five star restaurant, but my kids come first. Like most parents, my husband and myself have chosen to re-prioritize to give our boys the best life possible. This means one income, less frills.

As a result of an almost frill-free lifestyle, I do not want to forsake the fun. The boys are getting older now and exposure to music, culture and art is becoming more important to me. Every week I do my research to try and plan at least one fun activity out of the house. Some weeks the surprises of life, such as a recent domino effect of plumbing issues, keep us from our fun day out. Nonetheless, I fill my arsenal of cheap or free days out in preparation. When you pay close attention, you really can come up with quite a list. Here are a few of mine. Feel free to share yours.

1. Festivals such as a recent Apple Festival in a nearby community. The general buzz of the festival is free and we bring our own food and beverages. If we choose, we can put out a little money for a pony ride or a sweet treat.
2. A trip to a different playground or park. We live in the Philadelphia suburbs. There are a ton of parks in our area, but on occasion we trek over to one in a nearby town or even in the city to get the kids excited about a new environment.
3. Free under 2- I have one more month on this one. There are some amusements that are free for kids under 2. One local money draining facility only requires that parents pay, but the fee is nominal. They are really targeting the older kids in these types of places.
4. Nature Center- My boys are nuts about animals, probably since they now know the sounds most animals make and can identify them in their books. There are local nature centers that are free or incredibly cheap and even provide a little education.
5. Story time at the library is a great one. My boys will soon be old enough to sit still for this. Some books stores also have great story time with music and costumes. Just do your research.
6. Airport is on top of my list but I have yet to visit one. My kids always point out planes in the air and get super excited. I’m thinking an air show or just the simple local airport might be an hour of fun.
7. The mall has its own hidden treasures. Shopping at the mall is pricey and my kids don’t like it. I really don’t ever drag them out on errands if I can help it. The local malls, however, do plan some special events geared toward parents of young children. Just because they get you there, does not mean you have to shop. Have fun, bring your own snacks and pay for coffee alone.

PostHeaderIcon Tantrums, tears and laughter

The twins have been taking up so much of my energy this weekend. Even with Dad’s help, some days are more trying than others. After a rainy, gloomy weekend we decided to brave the crisp fall weather and get the kids out Sunday afternoon.

My wise idea was an indoor, wallet emptying, children’s paradise. I had been there with friends before and knew it was promising. I also did my research and found that there was a toddler room (music to my ears!). The toddler room left something to be desired, but it was free for my 21 month old twins.

The kids loved the freedom and the real winner of the day was a big water activity area. The smocks provided did nothing to protect them and I felt guilt over not bringing a change of clothes for our short excursion. But, a coat and a quick walk to the warm minivan was okay.

Our toddler play was followed by a tantrum (leaving) and then by joy as they took their first carousel ride. Then another tantrum (leaving for good). The kids were hungry and tired and mom and dad even more so. Mind you, this whole thing was a little more than an hour. Thank goodness for sippy cups and crackers!

20111003 095338 Tantrums, tears and laughter

20111003 095355 Tantrums, tears and laughter

20111003 095407 Tantrums, tears and laughter

20111003 095416 Tantrums, tears and laughter

PostHeaderIcon Hit me

Discipline. At 20 months my boys are a little young for it. We do our best to tell them right from wrong, but explanations are still lost on them. So it’s a lot of “no!”

Still, I feel compelled to find a way to stop the hitting early on. I am most concerned with the times they hit me. You’re going to change my diaper? Take that. I can usually distract them and put the kibosh on the hitting, but is that enough?

I keep saying we will wait until that magical age of 24 months when all the books and studies say kids start to really get it. Here’s to that.

PostHeaderIcon Sing, sing babies

My boys love music. At first we thought Zev was our little musician. From very early on he would focus on any music playing, eventually bopping or swaying along. As the boys started to babble and learn real word, everything changed.

My mornings now start with the sound of Elan singing made up words to melodies of the songs he knows. He gets the melodies spot on and has an amazing recall for music. He even knows that certain melodies are associated with tv characters. I love it.

Time to start planning some teaching moments via music. Maybe something more frugal than a Mommy and me class with tuition times two!

PostHeaderIcon Laugh a minute