twinfinite wisdom

my children are the reason i get up in the morning… and the reason i drink at night

Do you Fakebook? Are you a momplainer?

We have all been there…a big event or vacation we’ve been looking forward to for months, which has its moments of a total “family fail”. Nothing too catastrophic happens, but the day(s) may end in frustration, exhaustion and even a few tears (not to mention the non-verbal, solely evil-eye-based communication path now occurring between you and your spouse). Staycations never looked so good.

But, for three seconds, you had both kids smiling and were able to post the perfect picture on Facebook. Mission accomplished. Now everyone knows you were there and had a good time. Done. Erin Zammett Ruddy, the author of this blog, has a term for this: Fakebooking. We are all guilty. I am definitely a fan of posting the “life is perfect” pics, but to be fair, I sometimes share the outtakes.

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Happy birthday to my boys!

I can’t believe they are TWO! What a difference a year makes. Year one was long, year two flew. With twins, once you hit the one year mark, the hard work of having two definitely starts paying off. They are on a 24/7 play date.

Last weekend, we had the boys’ second birthday party at a little kid’s gym called My Gym, they were great! I made Mickey Mouse cupcakes, which were almost a Pinterest fail. I found cute Mickey & Minnie cupcake holders on Etsy (ASweetMelissaDesign). I ended up using mini Oreos as the ears- Pinterest had you using a cookie cutter to cut out smaller circles from the bigger Oreos, this was way too much work for me. I had to use toothpicks to get the ears to stay on- don’t forget to tell the kids to remove the toothpicks (oops)! The favors were Mickey Mouse crayon holders found on Etsy of course (holders from Janie at kidsstore, printable labels from LisaKaydesigns).

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A Roadmap to Naps

This is an oversimplified version of our nap journey, and hopefully provides a quick insight on what to expect. There is no scientific proof behind this besides my own experiences (and I am not a doctor), but it seems to generally lineup with most baby books. If you are nervous about getting your twins to sleep, try to read about baby’s sleep habits before you have them. These books are far from thrilling, and an exhausted mom will probably make it through half a page before enjoying her own nap.

Stage 1: What did I get myself into? (Newborn – 6 months)

This stage has its pluses and minuses. Newborns have no concept of time, so schedules are flexible. They are super portable, comfortably sleep in their infant carriers, and aren’t bothered by loud noises and distractions. But they still want to eat every few hours throughout the night (they had a constant food supply in our bellies!). Harvey Karp, author of the Happiest Baby on the Block, calls the first three months the “fourth trimester”. For the first few weeks, you’ll feel like you’re stuck next to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day; your days start to blend together because you are constantly drifting in and out of wakefulness. You get used to functioning within a 3-4 hour window of time which usually entails changing diapers, feeding, burping, a little playtime, and a short nap. Then you do it again. Babies do spend a majority of their time sleeping, but with two, it didn’t feel that way. When they’d nap, I remember trying to prioritize my basic needs. What do I want more: sleep, a shower, or a meal? Read the rest of this entry »

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Check out this mom’s best parenting advice ever.

This is an amazing article, especially for twin mommas. I always prided myself on being independent and self-sufficient, so letting go and leaning on others was difficult for me. I have a master’s degree in engineering, how could I buckle under the stress of two infants? It took me a few weeks days to realize I couldn’t handle it all on my own. My husband is a landscaper and his season started back up just when the twins were born, so he was literally out the door an hour after we got home from the hospital and was gone the next few months from sunrise to sunset. The lack of sleep mixed with some crazy post-baby hormones were starting to get to me. I needed help! Read the rest of this entry »

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Why two really are better than one

I have probably done a great deal of scaring some people with my twin momma stories. But I wanted to take some time to list out the amazing benefits of having two bundles of joy!

  1. One pregnancy – Let’s start with the obvious: nine months, two babies. I didn’t mind being pregnant, but I was definitely excited to NOT be pregnant anymore. In nine months, we achieve what most mothers nowadays accomplish in a three year span- having two children.
  2. Husband involvement – Dads really don’t have a choice but to be involved with twins. There was no alternating night feedings throughout those first few months- we were both up every three hours, Boppys on our laps, feeding the babies. I had a c-section and was out of commission for the first 24 hours, and apparently the nurses were putting my husband through baby boot camp. He had to show me how to change their diapers and swaddle them up. The nurses even made him bathe them. And he was not messing with those ladies, they totally outnumbered him. It was amazing. From that point on, I knew we’d be a great team. He has been completely involved in every aspect of taking care of them since their first few minutes. He still gives them baths every night. I still have the final say on dressing them when venturing out in public. Read the rest of this entry »
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Butternut Squash Soup

This is my favorite winter soup recipe. The veggies are full of nutritional value, and my toddlers gobble it up like its ice cream. More importantly, it’s impossible to mess up. In other words, the fact that I am actually calling it a recipe is almost embarrassing. You can use whatever you have on hand so it is a great soup to use up produce before it spoils. And it’s a one-pot wonder, enough said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Twin’s First Birthday Party

As the boys’ second birthday is quickly approaching, I thought it’d be fun to share the fun details of the first birthday bash.  They are March babies, and although we aren’t very much Irish, we thought it’d be fun to have their celebration on St. Patrick’s Day.  We rented a tent, sent out an Evite, and anxiously awaited the big day.  I did an Irish theme with a little blue mixed in, and had some rainbow themed apps and deserts to add some fun.  It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was great time and beautiful day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Holy Registry Hell

You’re having twins! Now what? Once the initial excitement wears off, panic might set in. You realize you need STUFF – and lots of it.

And not just a few things, a bunch of things.  Registering terrified me. I guess it’s because I’m a procrastinator who doesn’t like change.  Setting foot in a baby store was a reality check – these nuggets aren’t staying in me forever, and I need to start preparing.  I was clueless.  Do I just register for two of everything? That seems like a lot.  Too much.  My house can’t handle it.  My brain can’t handle it. There were things I registered for that I never took out of the box.  There were items that other moms swore they couldn’t live without. Everyone is different.  There were a lot of things I depended on day in and day out, total must-haves in my opinion.

With a twin registry, I think it helps to be more selective on what you add to your list. You need doubles of a few big things, and your stroller will probably cost more than a single stroller. So pick wisely. Instead of filling up your registry with small, inexpensive items, focus on big ticket items that you don’t want to shell out for. People love going in on group gifts, don’t they? OK, who cares, it’s your registry. I did my entire registry from my couch.  I don’t think I walked through the front door of Babies R Us until after they were born. It worked for me.

I almost forgot! The ultimate registry guide is Baby Bargains- make sure you buy the latest version so it has the newest strollers and furniture reviewed.

Here is my personal list of recommendations, enjoy!

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my favorite shower gift- thanks Nori!

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Twin Must-haves

  • Furniture / Nursery
    • Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper (Original not the Mini so you can fit two infants in there)
      • Loved this, it kept them so close during the first 2-3 months. It butts right up to your bed. Then, it converts to a Pack-n-Play that we still have set up at my sister’s house for naps over there.  Don’t forget to buy the leg extensions if your bed is on the taller size.  We never physically strapped this to my mattress, it barely moved and I liked sliding it around my room so I could make my bed in the morning.
    • An extra changing table – for your room initially, then eventually move to a family room or play room
      • This was extremely helpful, even after the babies moved out of our room.  When I’d hear one baby waking up from their nap, I would run in and get him like a special ops Navy Seal, and then change him in the family room.  It also serves as a great gathering area for all the baby stuff that invades every inch of your house.  We have this setup in their play room now and still use it every time we change them.  Their heads hit the one side while their feet rest on the other, its time for us to move on but its just so convenient.
    • Nursery furniture: We have two cribs, a dresser that had a changing table on top, and a taller 5 drawer chest.  We never once used the changing table on top of the dresser.  For some reason, we never change them in their room.  The 5 drawer chest we ordered after the other furniture, I didn’t think I’d need it and boy was I wrong. I didn’t think we’d have room but we made it fit.
    • Pack-n-Play: I had the Graco Kensington twin bassinet- Amazon just showed there is a newer one out now but it might just be a fabric change.  I had this out in my family room for when they would nap out there.  I could definitely see this being helpful if you have a two story house (mine is a ranch so we are all nice and close).This is great for traveling. It’s bigger then a standard pack-n-play, so the sheets are different.  My mom had this Graco TotBloc Playyard at her house that she inherited from my Aunt & Uncle and the boys LOVED it… it kept them busy for hours and it was huge.
    • Video monitor: Love the Summer Infant Baby Touch but I am sure there are many more to choose from now. Two cameras are helpful.  We stopped using it between 12-18 months, but I hear we will need it again once we move to big-boy beds.
    • Sound monitor: A nice backup for the video one.  It’s the only one we use now that the boys are older.  We have a Graco one.  It works pretty good- does not even come close to 2,000 ft like they advertise.  I think they have some newer ones out now.
    • Sound machine: We still use this, especially if we have people over and want to drown out voices.  The Graco Sweet Slumber is cheap, basic, and easy to use. It doesn’t get super loud but we didn’t need it to.
    • Wipe warmer
    • Diaper Genie: A must have, but the refills get expensive when they get older and the diapers get bigger.  I just heard about this new Ubbi Steel Pail that uses kitchen bags. You can even go green and use a reusable bag.. if you are up for it.
    • Easy zip crib sheets- We used Clouds & Stars, once you change your fancy matching crib sheets a few times, you’ll want these immediately.
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