Showing posts with label twins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twins. Show all posts

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Day in the Life: My Babies are Growing Up


Writing these annual day-in-the-life posts has been pretty incredible for me. Not only do you guys love them (thanks!), but it is quite surreal looking back a year (2013) or two (2012) to see how much my life has changed in such a short time. Gosh, I only wish I had a post from before my twins were born to figure out what the heck I did with all that extra time. Man, I must have been bored. Here's what a day in my life looks like these days with 2-year-old twins (Natalie and Sophia) and a 4-year-old (Lily):


2:00 a.m. - Natalie has a nightmare. I sit up, wait a second for the blackness to disappear (I have orthostatic hypotension and can’t get up too quickly or I pass out.) and then stumble into the nursery. I hold her close for a second, wipe her tears and tuck her back in.

2:10 a.m. - Since I’m up, I use the bathroom.

3:00 a.m. - Insomnia has set in for the night. As a sufferer of adrenal fatigue I do get pretty decent sleep but if someone/thing wakes me up between 1 and 3 a.m. my whole cycle is off and I’m normally wide awake. I bum around online, do some reading on my phone, work on some social media work and try to not wake my husband. I might as well be productive, right?

4:45 a.m. - I am finally getting tired again so I shift and try to get comfortable. I finally nod off.

5:45 a.m. - Husband’s alarm goes off. I normally wake up to his alarm but after having a rough night, I manage to sleep right through it without even realizing.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tips on Planning a Toddler Girl’s Birthday Party

By Heather C.

Can't Go Wrong with Little Girls and Tutus
As the proud mom of three girls, planning fun themed birthday parties is one of my favorite things to do. Twice a year, we get to deck the house in pink and purple, invite over our families over, enjoy a few snacks and have a great time! I love planning for a little girl’s birthday party. There are three themes you almost can’t go wrong with. Here’s my go-to list and fun trick’s to make your toddler’s birthday party a success:

Princesses: If your toddler is into Disney Princesses then I’m all for using them in your theme but even if Disney isn’t your thing, your little girl’s birthday party can still be crowns and tiaras. This theme is perfect if your daughter is all about pretty things. You can get a crown from Burger King (or I’m sure you can find a template online) and trace it onto construction paper or cardstock to have all the boys and girls create personalized headwear with markers, feathers, beads, sequins, etc.

Fairies: Themed food for a fairy birthday party is so easy if you just get creative. Fairy Berry Salad anyone? Fairy Garden Veggie Sticks? You can even use sea salt or raw sugar (because they look more rock like) as pixie dust. Sun-kissed tea and lemonade for drinks based on light and water fairies. We used this theme for my oldest daughter’s 4th birthday and it was a huge hit. She loves everything Tinker Bell right now so we used the actual Tinker Bell characters for our theme but you wouldn’t have to do that. To decorate, try finding a template for Peter Pan shadows. You can cut them out on black construction paper and tape to the wall. Get templates for fairies and cut them out. Hang them from the ceiling for an effect of fairies flying through your party.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Multiples Jealousy: A Rivalry Like You've Never Seen

Reading... And Keeping an Eye on Sissy's Book
By Heather C.
When I was about 12 years old, my older brother threw a remote at my head. Guess what happened? I got in trouble! He did too. And neither of us was fazed. This was just one incident in years of fighting. Siblings do this. I love my brother. I loved him then. I love him even more now. (I actually have two brothers. I promise I love my little younger brother too. He just happens to not be a part of this story.) We were only 13 months apart so there was rarely a time when there was a Dale without a Heather. Only 1 year apart in school, we often had the same friends and were frequently confused as twins. We mixed his Legos with my Barbies and spent hours playing together in the basement. Lots of love, lots of fighting. That right there is the definition of sibling rivalry.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How to Increase Breastmilk Supply

A happy, full, breastfed baby.
By Heather C.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, breastfeeding wasn’t a top item on my priority list. My mom didn’t breastfeed me nor did I have any friends who had gone through it already, so it seemed like quite a mountain to climb. After researching the costs of formula though, I was convinced to give it a try. I went into my journey thinking if it didn’t work, I would be okay with it. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. It was a love/hate relationship (mostly love) but I was attached. 

From those first few days of success, I started educating myself on everything from how to increase my milk supply to how to treat plugged milk ducts. I wanted to ensure my success was uninterrupted. At the time, I worked 30 hours a week outside the home and often had to rely on pumping, so I read every book and article about increasing my milk supply.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Are you a Hypocritical Parent?

By Heather C.


I’ve long been an advocate for parenting the way you choose, to never criticize someone else, to have empathy for your momma co-parts and to really walk a day in their shoes before being so quick to judge. There are so many different parenting styles that it’s really unfair to be that mom: the know-it-all, that comments on everything you do thinking she’s better than you.

With all that said though, there is one parenting style that you absolutely need to stop practicing immediately. I was guilty of it myself. In fact, I’m betting most parents are guilty of it without even thinking about it. Do NOT be a hypocritical parent.

There is no true definition of a hypocritical parent. And I suppose that term can be taken a couple different ways but for the purposes of this piece, a hypocritical parent is one that preaches to their children about what to do but forgets to lead by example. 

“Do as I say, not as I do.” Who thought of that quote anyway? That’s the worst quote I’ve ever heard. If you are a parent, you are shaping a human being, teaching her everything she needs to know about life and how to grow up into a healthy, smart and independent adult. What makes you think that they are going to learn by your words alone? Absolutely not. They are watching your every mood. You think adults notice all the reasons life’s not fair? Think again. Go talk to your three year old. They catch EVERYTHING.

There are three big examples of this hypocritical parenting that I see most:

1.     Healthy eating. How many times have you told your child they need to drink juice instead of soda but not hesitated to drink a soda yourself? How many times have you ordered the applesauce as their side dish for dinner but gotten deep fried onion rings for yourself? How about this? What did you do when you were pregnant? Took vitamins. Ate lots of fruits and vegetables. Drank a ton of water. Extra stretches. Went for walks. No caffeine or alcohol or smoking or heavy medications… And as soon as the baby was born what did you do? I bet most of you are answering that you went right back to where you started. You made healthy decisions for your child but not yourself? Sounds like a hypocrite to me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Eating My Words: “Cloth Diapering Isn’t For Me”

By Heather C. 

A few weeks ago I was at my breaking point. Both baby girls were screaming from pain because of yet another diaper rash. We have literally tried every cream and ointment, including anti yeast ones and very expensive prescriptions. The rashes would go away for maybe a day and then as soon as they had a dirty diaper again, flaming red, even weeping skin would show up again. It was heartbreaking.

I’d almost committed to cloth diapering a few times now. The first time, I researched it and immediately threw out the idea because of cost and time and the “gross factor,” but by the second time I looked into it again, I had a much more open mind. It sounded intriguing but with 4-month-old newborns at home, I just couldn’t commit to it. I was still very new to being a stay-at-home mom and adding laundry piles was low priority on my list.

This is the third time. And I’m committed. It helps that my best friend recently switched to cloth, too. It also helps that I’m about 3 months in to exclusively using mama cloth myself. So with all the stars aligning, I decided to eat my words and revisit my hot topic from a year ago. This is what I have to say to all those excuses to not cloth diaper.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Life with a Preschooler and Toddling Twins

Oh, nothing much. Just playing.
By Heather C. 

When presented with the opportunity to revisit this subject, I was more than delighted to oblige. My last “day in the life of” post was a huge hit. I couldn’t believe how supportive everyone was. At that time, my littlest ones were just three months old but with them being two months premature, we were stuck in the newborn Groundhog’s Day, a constant repeat day in and out of the same thing with exhaustion growing.


Now today, we are just barely over one year later. My oldest is three going on teenage-hood. My youngest two are almost 16 months. They’ve caught up on nearly all their prematurity delays. The largest portion of our medical concerns has been addressed and is no longer affecting our daily lives. The walk everywhere and are quickly increasing their word capacity for talking too.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that life is easy but then again, I have no complaints. I live a very happy and beautiful life. So, here’s my norm:
5:45 a.m. Husband’s alarm goes off for work. Nothing has changed. I still groan every time I hear it. On the rare occasion, I manage to not hear it at all. Ooooo, those are the good days.
6:30 a.m. My alarm goes off. I toss and turn for a few minutes after hitting the snooze.
6:37 a.m. I crawl out of bed and measure a bowl of Honey Nut Rollin’ Oats for myself. I bring the cereal back into my bedroom and eat while I scan Facebook, Twitter and some of my favorite blogs from my phone.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nothing Easy About Parenting



Family Outing to the St. Louis Magic House. See, it's easy!
“Better you than me!”


“Oh wow, you really have your hands full.”


“I think I would die if I found out I was having twins.”


These are just some of the encouraging things people have said to me out in public. Strangers aren’t very good with words. Let’s just put it that way. Are twins easy? Well, no. But they are not any harder than your kids just because they are twins. There just happens to be two of them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Gain from Weight Loss




With all the New Year hoopla over, I scanned my Facebook page and saw many statuses regarding weight loss. As predicted, it seems a lot of my friends have goals to lose weight this year. And sure, you could probably put me in that boat, except my goal is not really about the weight.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am 13 months post-partum, which basically means I’m not post-partum at all. Just six weeks after my twins were born I had lost 37 of the 46 pounds that I gained in their almost 32 week long pregnancy. 

With nine pounds to go, I did not put a ton of effort into weight loss. It was hard enough keeping up with three kids, major life changes and exhaustion, I figured I could get rid of the last few pounds another time. I was breastfeeding and pumping, burning calories as I expressed milk. With my first daughter, I gained 19 pounds and by the end of my 15 month long nursing stint, I’d lost 42 pounds. This would be easy! Nine pounds is no. big. deal.

Guess what happened to that nine pounds? It became 21 pounds. Somewhere in that first year, I began I horrible habit of eating when I was stressed. Fritz’s Turtle concretes and cookie dough ice cream and Jack in the Box’s Ultimate Cheeseburgers were my downfalls. Nutella and Triscuits didn’t help. I went through a full nine ounce box if Triscuits in one day (on more than one occasion). I never felt like I was eating too much. 

I’d grab 3-4 crackers as I walked through the kitchen after putting down the kids for nap or on my way out of the bathroom. I’d hide in the corner of the kitchen where the kids couldn’t see me nibbling a few bites of Nutella on graham crackers to take a mini break from the chaos. It didn’t feel unhealthy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Guide: Buying for Two



As the holidays quickly approach, here are a few tips on gift buying for multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) or even two children close in age. In general, you need to remember, especially when it comes to buying gifts for multiples, is that they are not a packaged set. They are two (or more) different people and deserve to be treated as such.

1. Matching outfits are adorable. I have identical twins. I love 

dressing them alike. I love when they match. I love when they are wearing the exact same thing. But that is just me. Before buying two of the same outfits for a set of twins, make sure that’s what the parents like.

2. Buying a sharable gift is okay as long as it is in fact sharable. This Leap Frog activity table is a great example of a good gift idea. It’s a little more expensive than what you would spend on just one child but a perfect cost for two children. It has multiple sides so the kids can play at the table at the same time. A collection of books is another great idea. We wrapped up 12 Indestructibles books for both girls to share. They can play independently from each other with lots of options or they can read them together.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Plan a Birthday Party on a Budget

By Heather C.

This weekend, my two littlest ones will celebrate their first birthday. As many of you probably know, birthday parties tend to take a lot of planning, a pretty large budget and more energy than most moms have.  I’ve come up with a few tips to plan a great birthday party on a budget (both for you AND your guests).

The evite I created for my oldest's party
1.   Rather than renting out a hall or facility, host the party from your home. If your child has a birthday during good weathered days, host a backyard barbecue. Put on the invitation to bring lawn chairs if you don’t have enough outdoor seating. The city I live in charges for park pavilion rentals but this is also a good idea to check on for an outdoor party.
 
       Dealing with a winter birthday? If your home really doesn’t have enough space, host multiple parties. Do a small one for your child’s friends and another small one for your child’s family. If you do both parties in the same day or same weekend, you won’t have to worry about wasting leftovers or spending more money on multiple sets of decorations.

 Keep in mind, my house is under 1000 square feet and I’ve still hosted my whole family for holidays and birthdays: 30 people crammed into a small space with no major complaints. (And yes, the larger majority sits on the floor or stand. We have enough seating for maybe 12.)

2.       Keep it short. The birthday party does not have to last all day. Plan for a 2 hour window. This is enough time for your child to open presents, guests to eat snacks and the cake to be served. If you are doing a party for just your child’s friends, consider skipping opening presents in front of the big group and plan fun games instead. Use craft sites like Pinterest to plan cheap and easy options.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Just Be Thankful Already

By Heather C.

I find “Black Friday” to be quite the nuisance. I love shopping and getting good deals just as much as the next gal. And with three small children now, playing Santa takes quite a bit of planning ahead and saving up but when it comes to the idea of Christmas starting immediately after Thanksgiving, I just can’t get on board.

Within in minutes of Halloween ending, stores were decorated in red and green. Sparkling cardboard cutouts of trees and ornaments hung from the ceilings. Radio stations already played Jingle Bells and Silent Night. Did Thanksgiving get lost in translation? Is Thanksgiving just another part of “the holiday season” like many say?

A newer trend on Facebook is for November to be deemed 30 Days of Thankful. Many, including myself, post each day something they are thankful for. Even though I agree with the skeptics that you should be thankful for the people and things in your life every day, I like seeing statuses about something other than how Christmas has crept into yet another month of the year.

So Thanksgiving ends and less than nano seconds later, all that sentimental thankfulness and joy and love for family immediately goes away. Parents go out ravage each other fighting for that one coolest toy as if their child will hate them if Santa doesn’t make it appear. I’m not saying my daughter has never thrown a tantrum over not receiving something but we’ve make it a point to teach her the whole “the thought that counts” mantra. She’s three. It’s a work in progress. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Year Passes: An Intro Post Redux

By Heather C.

When I first joined Mumbling Mommy, I was a 26-year-old mom to a 2 ½ year old and 10-week-old twins. Now here I am, nearly a year later, having freshly celebrated another birthday and now with a 3 ½ year old preschooler and crawling-like-wild twinfants just weeks away from their first birthday.

You have all joined me in this journey as I blogged my way through breastfeeding, finding new hobbies, the financial woes of having a bigger family, hot topics, marriage, and my past with infertility and miscarriages.
 
In the past year, we’ve gone through big changes. In addition to taking our family from three members to five, my career life has taken a major change. Prior to joining Mumbling Mommy, I worked 30 hours a week at a local bank.
 
I continued working there on the weekends post twins in hopes that we would find the perfect daycare setting or in-home nanny; but after much deep soul searching, it became obvious that I was meant to be a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom. I began doing freelance writing back in February and in September I officially left the bank. In addition to my business writing, I contribute here and help run another parenting blog at www.amateurparenting.com.

It’s safe to say I stay busy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

10 Things I Never Want to Hear Again (But Hear Every Day)


By Heather C.
 
My babies, ready for Halloween adventure
The moment I became a mother, I subjected myself to comments from strangers. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are basic: “How old is he?” – “Well, SHE is ___ months and in pink for a reason.” Some are just plain silly: “Oh my, where’d she get all that red hair from?” – As they stare at me, very much a red head myself impatiently waiting for an answer, “Must have been from her blonde daddy.”

 

But these past [almost] 12 months since becoming the mom of twins, the comments have taken on a whole new variety. There are some that directly relate to the twins themselves, some that relate to me as a twin mom, and others that are in relation to my family as a whole. Regardless of the intention of the comments, these ten are things I’d like to never ever have to hear again (but will likely hear today, if not by week end and probably for the rest of my life… Darn, blessed to the max with having amazing children and getting to be a mother but now I’m the conversation topic for all the little old ladies in Target.)

 

·         “Wow, you really have your hands full” Yes, it’s that obvious isn’t it? And it’s not funny, not now that I’ve heard it nine times just since getting out of my car. Maybe hold the door open for me rather than waste my time with your annoying attempt at humor?

·         “Are they twins?” Nope, I just happened to find two babies the exact same age, with amazingly similar looks, put them in the same outfit and loaded them into a double stroller because I needed another reason for unwanted attention.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Birth Story: Twins that Just Couldn't Wait to be Born

By Heather C.
 
**It is safe to say that basically my entire pregnancy was spent in labor. I was first treated in L&D at 16 weeks, told to take it easy and put on pelvic rest. Things calmed down and I went on as normal until a routine check at 24 weeks determined I was in preterm labor. Contractions started at 25 weeks and continued until I delivered at 31 weeks, 6 days. This is an excerpt from my private blog written a few days after Natalie and Sophia were born**

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
At some point during the week, after discussing all of my questions and concerns, my doctor and I decided that we were now at the point in pregnancy where my condition was stable enough to no longer need the 24 hour monitoring of hospital bed rest. To be fair, it was actually the insurance company that began to question the need for me to still be under hospital care and there was only so much stalling my doctor could do.
I understood the concern and made all the arrangements to make sure that I stuck to my bed only once I got home. Saturday was the day. I'd be 32 weeks along. I'd get another round of steroid shots (one shot Friday morning followed by the second booster 24 hours later on Saturday morning) before leaving and out the door I'd go.

I was extremely nervous but also really excited. I just had to make it 4 more weeks at home before bed rest was going to be lifted completely! Jeremy had to bring me back once a week for monitoring, non-stress tests, ultrasounds, etc. They promised me they'd combine everything I needed into one day’s worth of visits since the hospital is 35 minutes away.

So, Friday morning my doctor checked in with me. I was surprisingly in really good spirits. I had been having rough nights the few nights before, having over a dozen contractions an hour for a few hours before bed, calming down only once I got to sleep on a heating pad. I cried Thursday night. I didn't think I was strong enough to keep doing this. The contractions were getting painful, taking my breath away. I was scared. The residents kept telling me the contractions were just irritability but how was I supposed to know? How was I going to go home and tell the difference?
Jeremy assured me that we'd be okay. He missed me. Lily missed me. And I missed them so much. It had been 8 weeks since I lived at home. By Friday morning, I was ready and I told my doctor that. She told me my schedule for the day and made sure I knew she was on call for the night/weekend. She switched things around to make sure she was there when I was discharged.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back To School Virgin

By Heather C.

Each year, I’m reminded of what holidays are coming up based on the seasonal section at my local Target. Mid-January, everything turns red for Valentine’s Day. Mid-March, everything turns to pastels for Easter. Late September, I’m surrounded by orange and black for Halloween. And around October, everything goes red and green for Christmas. But late summer, there is another “holiday” retail stores go all out for, one that I’ve lovingly ignored since graduating high school nearly a decade ago: Back to School Season!

It’s the only time of the year where you can buy folders for $0.10 a piece, where you see pallets full of notebooks and loose leaf paper in the middle of aisles and where backpacks hang like decorations above the cash registers.

This year, I’m a back-to-school virgin. I have a small, simple school supplies list (that I’ll purchase using my state’s tax free weekend). I’m already making my checklists and setting the girls up for a good morning routine so school mornings flow without a hitch.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sleep. Ugh. What Is It Good For? (Absolutely Nothing)

By Heather C.

No sleep for the weary, photo via thegloss.com
There is nothing worse than a long, exhausting day where all you want to do is crawl in bed and pass out than that same day where you have to put a young child (or children) to bed first only to have bedtime turn into an hour long (or more) disaster. It’s just a fact of life. Bedtime never goes wrong when you are full of energy and ready to practice patience!

With our oldest, we used a variety of bedtime routines, all combined into one big “we are obviously new parents” mushy mess. We got lucky. Even if I managed to explain what we did, it is unlikely that it would work for anyone else. I can say though that we stuck to our routine. To me, that is the biggest piece.
Routine. We left parties at 6:30 p.m. to make sure we were home by 7:00 p.m. to start bedtime on time.

We gave her a bath every single night. We did infant massage. We read to her. I nursed her. She had white noise. She was swaddled until she was 10 months old. The nightlight was on. The light was dim. Everything was exactly the same. No, she didn’t sleep through the night but she woke, nursed for 10 minutes and was right back to sleep. Like I said, we got lucky.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Feeding Frenzy Friday: Breastfeeding Preemies

By Heather C.

With my preemies
Like many moms, as I sat quietly holding my pregnant belly so many nights I envisioned my baby, perfect and sound in my arms breastfeeding: the slight suckling sound, the calm face, the bright eyes looking right up at me. I had this experience with my first daughter. I breastfed her for 15 months and didn’t question a day of it.

As my 2nd and 3rd daughters were born, the evening was frantic. I was just short of 32 weeks along. I was on a magnesium drip for nearly 3 hours and contractions were just becoming more and more intense. As the nurses did a quick scan to check the girls’ positions, they found my Sophia footling breech, her feet straight down, her knees bent slightly and her umbilical cord, wrapped right under her left knee.
My placenta was low, not a previa but in a bad position to try to get both girls out safely. As the resident checked my cervix one last time, I was nearly 6 cm dilated. We couldn’t wait any longer. Labor wasn’t going to stop and if I attempted to birth the girls, it could turn deadly. The doctors moved quickly around me, got me to the OR, administered a spinal and epidural and quickly got both of my babies out. They were born within 30 minutes of being told I would need a C-section.

They were premature. 31 weeks, 6 days. Barely breathing.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Feeding Frenzy Friday: Breastfeeding Twins

By Heather C.

Breastfeeding Twins. It sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it? Daunting? Exciting? A fun challenge?

Photo via Everparent.com
Yes, it is pretty much all of those.

Breastfeeding twins is a lot like breastfeeding one baby, except there are two. So for every 20 minutes you spend nursing one, you spend another 20 minutes nursing the other. If they go 2 hours between feedings like the average breastfed newborn, your schedule looks like this:

8 a.m. Diaper change, clothes change, etc. (Baby A)

8:15 a.m. Nurse (Baby A)

8:35 a.m. Diaper change, clothes change, etc (Baby B)

8:50 a.m. Nurse (Baby B)

9:10 a.m. Pump

9:20 a.m. Maybe time for your breakfast? A quick shower? “Sleep when baby sleeps”? Just don’t get too comfortable because before you know it, it’s…




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Advice For Parents Of Twins: Free Stuff!

By Heather C.

Babies are expensive. Even if you breastfeed, even if you cloth diaper, even if you make everything you can from home, they are still expensive. Now imagine two of them!

Faced with this myself, I spent many hours researching ways to save money. I’ve signed up for every coupon service, every discount offer, and every points and rewards program. I contacted numerous companies to see if they offer a discount or sample offer for families with a multiple birth and wouldn’t you believe it? There are a ton of great money-saving opportunities out there!

It does take a bit of effort. I did most of my research while I sat in the hospital on bed rest. I addressed the envelopes in the NICU. And I stuffed the birth certificates with the help of my husband after putting our older daughter to bed.  

Here are a few of the best offers out there:

Free and discounted packs of Pampers and Luvs diapers. P&G will send you vouchers for 1 free pack (up to a $9 value) of each brand. They also include vouchers for $5 off a pack of each, a couple for $2 off a pack of, and several for $1 off a pack of each brands’ wipes. I would highly suggest taking advantage of at least the free packs, even if you are cloth diapering your twins. You never know when you’ll need a disposable.  
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