Twinkly Tuesday – July 7, 2015

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Welcome to this week’s Twinkly Tuesday, the link party hosted by Sadia here at HDYDI, Caro of The Twinkle Diaries and Lisa at Mummascribbles. We have changed the rules slightly, be sure to read through them even if you’re a regular participant.

Meet new people through Twinkly Tuesday, share your posts, and read blogs you might never come across elsewhere. Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers.

Each week, each of the hosts chooses a favourite post. If you have been featured, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog. We just have two Twinklers this week, since Caro was off at Glastonbury last week.

My Tuesday Twinkler is from Marion at Une Poignée d’Amour. Her post was titled “The 8 things that got me through the first month of motherhood.” The way parenthood works in today’s Western world, few of us have prolonged experience with babies until we become parents ourselves. First time motherhood is surprisingly overwhelming, and Marion’s insights and recommendations are pragmatic, honest, and filled with love.

Marion's insights and recommendations for the first month of motherhood are pragmatic, honest, and filled with love.

Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is from 23 Week Socks. In her post, “If we were having coffee – paying it forward,” Louise reaches out to Leigh of Headspace Perspective. Louise’s post is a personal note to Leigh, but she captures the intimacy and strength that makes blogger connections such a phenomenon. This sort of bond is completely incomprehensible to those outside this sort of community. You never quite know who your words have touched, and how.

Beautiful note from one mommy blogger (a NICU nurse) to another (a loss parent). Grab a tissue!

Take a moment to visit these posts, if you can. We would love it if you paid a visit to the other host links, and any others that look interesting.

The new rules

We have a few easy rules to follow, to ensure that everyone’s posts get the attention they deserve. Please do make the effort to abide by the rules, in fairness to the vast majority who do. Instead of the two links we’re invited in the past, starting this week, we’re asking each participant to link only one, and the linkup will be open only on Tuesday (UK time) rather than remaining open until Friday.

Lisa, Caro, and I feel very strongly that each Twinkly Tuesday link deserves attention. We insist that every participating link receive at least one thoughtful comment from a Twinkly Tuesday host. Much as we love the rate at which the link party has been growing, we are all busy mothers with a lot of obligations beyond the blogosphere, so we need to keep the links per week to a manageable number.

Last week, many of you shared your solutions through our survey (thank you!) and we’ve adopted the most popular options.

  • Starting today, we will only accept one link per participant. We will be strict about this, as those of you who have tried to link more than 2 links in the past know well. We invite your best posts, whether they were written in the last few days or years in the past.
  • The linky will be open only on Tuesday. We won’t accept links until the end of the week any more.
  • Please be kind enough to add our badge to the bottom of your post/s, to your sidebar, or to a link party page. (Scroll down for the code.) If you haven’t (yet) been featured, please make sure you’re using this badge and not the featured one.
  • Please comment on at least two other posts including the one directly before yours. Visit and comment on as many others as you can. Of course, checking out the hosts’ posts would make us feel very loved.
  • Please use #TwinklyTuesday in your comments so people know where you found them!
  • By linking up, you give us permission to use images from your blog if featured. You also allow us to add you to a mailing list to receive a weekly announcement when Twinkly Tuesday opens.
  • The linky will close at 23.55 GMT on Tuesday.

On with this week’s link-up!

Link ONE post, old or new, that you think deserve more readers!

Twitter: Mention me — @hdydi, Lisa – @mummascribbles, or Caro — @twinklediaries, on Twitter and please use the hashtag #TwinklyTuesday. We’ll be sure to retweet every tweet tagged!

We’ll also visit everyone’s posts and leave comments between us.

Pinterest:  Lisa and I pin every post with an image to the primary Twinkly Tuesday Pinterest board and I repin the top pins on the HDYDI Twinkly Tuesday board. Send an email to mummascribbles@hotmail.com or tweet Lisa your email address and she’ll add you to the primary board. No more than 1 post per week please!

Each week, all three of us pick our favourite posts which will be featured on the following week’s Twinkly Tuesday page.

We look forward to reading all of your fantastic blog posts and seeing you again next week! Remember to grab our button!

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Kid-Friendly Kitchen Storage

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American kitchens vary wildly in their storage options, but I think it’s pretty standard to store silverware in drawers, pots and pans in lower cupboards, and dishes and cups in high cupboards.

My kitchen turns this approach on its head in the interest of being child-friendly, rather than child-proof. Our plates, cups, and food storage are all within easy reach of the children. Many of the pots and pans are up and out of the way.

I chose to keep the dishes within reach to make it easier for the children to lay the table and help put the dishes away. In fact, I have moved dinner plates, bowls, silverware and storage containers to the buffet in the dining room. It’s right next to, but not in, the kitchen.

Initially, I only kept unbreakable dishes conveniently placed for the children, but as they’ve grown older, they have taken on more responsibility. They’re not always the ones to lay the table or empty the dishwasher, but there’s no physical barrier to keep them to doing those tasks.

Perhaps it’s because I’m so short myself, but I rather like having the dishes down low. It’s more convenient for me too!

Making Room for More

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Categories Guilt, Independence, Infants, Older Children, Parenting, Relationships, Siblings, Singletons, Twinfant TuesdayLeave a comment

Every mother worries how her first-born will adapt to life with a new baby. How can we quantify and plan for the way our hearts expand to supply enough love for more babies? When preparing for twins, I wondered how bad it would be to bring twins into a family that already housed a three-year-old.

It turned out not to be a matter measured as, “how bad,” but more “how different.” From the beginning, we were keenly aware of how important it would be, during those first few weeks, to give her a role to play as big sister, and to keep up on our promise to love her. Love comes in cuddles, extra helpings of dessert, shared bubble baths, movie nights and special walks together, at least when one is three years old.

The First Days at Home

My husband and I kept a close eye on how our oldest handled the transition. It was important to involve her in as many of the new changes as possible, so we did: She bottle-fed, sang to them, changed diapers, and drew pictures to decorate their nursery. Anytime a visitor came with a gift for the babies, we made sure to express our gratitude, but not evoke much fanfare if there wasn’t also a gift for the new big sister. This was the beginning of our learning the lesson of being even-Steven with everything in a family with multiple children.

bigsister1

One-on-One Time

We chose to do a combination of direct breastfeeding and bottle-feeding pumped milk and formula, which gave my husband and I some free time to spend one-on-one with our oldest girl. This. Was. KEY. Honestly, having a energetic three-year-old was often more work than having twinfants. She did not care if we were sleep-deprived, and she had more needs to be met than ever before. Initially, this intimidated me, and fed my worry about how I would ever have enough time and energy to satisfy each daughter.

Each day, I took a moment or two to capitalize on time together. If she woke before the twins, we would enjoy a quiet breakfast together, just us two. If the twins happened to nap at the same time, I would take her for a walk, or a quick trip into town. If all were awake, I would pile everyone onto my lap and read books, letting my oldest have a chance to ‘read’ to her sisters.

bigsister3

Let Their Bond Grow Organically

I watched my oldest with our twins and recognized there was a new dynamic in the family that required very little from me. New sister relationships were forming, and I moved out of the way. Sometimes, she was too rough with them, and they would cry or whimper in response. Rather than scold her, I watched her face process the twins’ reaction, and she learned how to better handle them. Giving her the space to learn how to be a big sister to twins on her own has given her the confidence to forge ahead, to the beat of her own drum.

She has learned when to shut them out (kindly), because she needs to be alone and doesn’t want to be a big sister sometimes. That’s her prerogative, and rightly so. In turn, the twins have learned to idolize their big sister, and today at age three themselves, they are elated when they are invited to play with her.

We also let her paint on their faces; It was non-toxic and washable!

bigsister4

When Our Hands Were Full

There were, of course, times I was busy feeding the twins, or rocking them to sleep, and I couldn’t physically respond to our oldest’s requests. I would do my best to explain I could help her with my words, but not my hands. I would sing songs if she had a tantrum, I would play word games if she was amenable. I even took to setting up a pile of stuffed animals beside me as I nursed, so I could throw them at her if she was getting into something she wasn’t supposed to!

Telling her, “I’m sorry, mama’s busy feeding” was heartbreaking and, I’ll be honest, is a guilt that doesn’t go away, although it changes as they grow older. I never feel like I am giving each of my (now four) girls everything they need at all times. How can I possibly? I cannot raise four girls with 24/7 individual attention from their parents, but I am happily raising four girls who have established a true sisterhood. They have learned from infancy the values of cooperating with others, empathy, shared joy, and patience.

Sarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

Twinkly Tuesday – June 30, 2015

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Skip to Tuesday Twinklers | Skip to rules | Skip to participant badge | Skip to this week’s links

Welcome to this week’s Twinkly Tuesday, the link party hosted by Sadia here at HDYDI, Caro of The Twinkle Diaries and Lisa at Mummascribbles.

Meet new people, share your posts, and read blogs you might never come across elsewhere. Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers.

Each week Lisa, Caro, and I choose a favourite post. If you have been featured, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog.

My Tuesday Twinkler for the week is from Maybe Baby Brothers and Me. Haidee wrote a post I wish I’d been able to read when I was a brand new mother titled “The Myth of Love at First Sight“. The fact is that not all mothers are overwhelmed by a rush of adoration and maternal instinct at the first sight of their babies. Some of us don’t even get to see our babies for hours or days. And whatever we feel usually falls within the realm of normal, even if the only ones who talk about it are usually in the love-at-first-sight camp.

The myth of love at first sight. It's okay and normal for maternal love to come gradually.

Lisa’s Tuesday Twinkler this week is from Motherhood: The Real Deal. Talya published an interview with an anonymous single mother friend about the realities of single motherhood. As you might imagine, this post really resonated with me. Reading the post made me realize that I just passed the 3 year anniversary of being legally single, although I was single parenting for quite some time prior to my divorce.

Mother holding her toddler son - what single motherhood is really like

Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is from Glimmer of Hope. Merlinda wrote an exquisite piece to her son on his fifth birthday. She talks about the heartbreak of being separated from him immediately after birth, the challenges of toddlerhood, and the magic of becoming a schoolboy.

5 years - A mother looks back on the heartbreaks and joy of the first 5 years of motherhood.

Take a moment to visit these posts, if you can. We would love it if you paid a visit to the other host links, and any others that look interesting.

On with this week’s link-up!

Link two posts, old or new, that you think deserve more readers!

Twitter: Be sure to mention me — @hdydi or Caro — @twinklediaries, on Twitter and please use the hashtag #TwinklyTuesday. We’ll be sure to retweet every tweet tagged!

We’ll also visit everyone’s posts and leave comments between us.

Pinterest:  Lisa and I pin every post with an image to the primary Twinkly Tuesday Pinterest board and I repin the top pins on the HDYDI Twinkly Tuesday board. Send an email to mummascribbles@hotmail.com or tweet Lisa your email address and she’ll add you to the primary board. No more than 2 posts per week please!

Each week, all three of us pick our favourite posts which will be featured on the following week’s Twinkly Tuesday page.

There are a few easy rules to follow, to ensure that everyone’s posts get the attention they deserve. Please do make the effort to abide by the rules, in fairness to the vast majority who do. We have been forced to block participation for repeat offenders who haven’t responded to multiple reminders.

  • Link up to two posts per week — old or new.
  • Please be kind enough to add our badge to the bottom of your post/s. (Scroll down for the code.) If you haven’t (yet) been featured, please make sure you’re using this badge and not the featured one.
  • Please comment on at least two other posts including the one directly before yours. Visit and comment on as many others as you can. Of course, checking out the hosts’ posts would make us feel very loved.
  • Please use #TwinklyTuesday in your comments so people know where you found them!
  • By linking up, you give us permission to use images from your blog if featured. You also allow us to add you to a mailing list to receive a weekly announcement when Twinkly Tuesday opens.
  • The linky will close at 23.55 GMT on Friday.

We look forward to reading all of your fantastic blog posts and seeing you again next week! Remember to grab our button!

Grab button for Twinkly Tuesday

Here’s how to add our badge to your site. Enter HTML editing mode on your post, sidebar, or page. Copy the code in the box below and paste it into your site in your code/html view. Save and publish. That’s it!

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Early Readers: Children’s Books Based on Movies

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My daughters, now aged 9, are fluent readers, several years ahead of where they need to be. Their elementary school librarian regularly requests books from the local high school library, since her shelves are targeted at less fluent readers than M and J.

Going through my old videos, I found this gem, taken when J was 4 years old. Yes, at that age both M and J wore butterfly wings more often than not. Seeing J’s hard work reminded me that, although reading came extremely easily to both my daughters, it took work and patience. In the video, J is reading a book based on the Disney movie Chicken Little.

I’m generally leery of using television as an educational tool for young children. However, one way to tempt a new reader is to offer him or her a book based on a film they know and love. Disney Little Golden Books are a great resource for this approach.

5 years later, J and M watched the first Percy Jackson movie, only to be appalled by the liberties taken by the producers. J pointed out error after error compared to the book by her favourite author, Rick Riordan. I agreed with her that I found film versions of my favourite books to be disappointments. I smiled inside about being able to share a love of literature with both my daughters.

What books got your kids over the hump of needing to spell things out?

Toddler Thursday: Flying with Triplet Toddlers

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Our triplets aren’t yet two and they’ve been on three big trips on airplanes, twice to Hawaii and most recently to Seattle.  Each time has been a different experience because they change so much every couple of months and this most recent trip was our first with them as toddlers.  Here are some tips I pulled together after that trip that I hope will be helpful to other MoMs as they prepare to take their toddlers on an airplane!

Tip #1: Sign up for both text & email alerts regarding your flight status!!!  My email to check-in for our flight went to my gmail “priority” inbox while the email about our flight cancellation somehow went to my promotion inbox & I didn’t see it!!!  AAAAHHH! Nothing like getting three babies out of bed at 4am only to get to the airport & learn that your flight was cancelled!!!

Tip #2: Travel lightly!  Check bags, car seats, & strollers (if taking one) so you have as little stuff to manage in the airport & plane as possible because believe me, managing three toddlers is enough!  We packed one big bag for all five of us.  Knowing we could do laundry while we were in Seattle was helpful! Then we checked two car seats & carried on the third (see tip #7).  Some hard core car seat folks highly recommend gate checking car seats because of rough baggage handling, but personally I think car seats are made tough enough & we just knew that lugging three car seats through the airport would be too much.  The nice thing is that car seats & strollers get checked for free.  Our bag was just a tad overweight so we offloaded a few things into the car seat bags.  I was hiding things under the car seat fabric but have since had friends tell me that most agents don’t care if you stuff your car seat bag with other things so that is helpful.

Tip #3: Use all available airport resources to keep them entertained so you don’t have to dip into your airplane tricks!  Our tiny little airport has luggage carts out for anyone to use & this served to be a great distraction for a while! It also kept them all close & not running in all different directions.  Having a squirell-y one get off and push worked well too. We also climbed on/under/over seats and a couple of parked people movers and watched a lot of planes and trucks.

Tip #4: Do some quick internet reconn to see if there are any kid-friendly play areas to let off some steam between flights.  If you are flying through O’Hare they have a great Kids on the Fly play area that has tons of things for kids to explore.  Our original flight plan had us with a very short layover at O’Hare & would have been very tricky.  Our flights the next day had about a three hour layover and while on paper that seemed agonizingly long, thanks to the Kids on the Fly play area though, it actually worked out great.

Climbing steps into the plane was great for tiring them out!
They liked running up & down the ramps too!

Tip #5: Find alternate ways to burn energy! If there’s no play areas then you have to work a little harder but you can still get some of that toddler energy out in the terminal & keep them entertained.

DSC04812
Walking through the terminal & “helping” pull the suitcase

 

Finding a "gate free" area helps contain the roaming too.
Finding a “gate free” area helps contain the roaming too.
Getting on & off can be a little tricky with multiples, but moving walkways are a great containment strategy too. And you can burn some serious energy if you get them running backwards on it!

Tip #6: Baby carriers rock for getting through airports! Did you know that you can wear your baby (or babies as the case may be!) through security?  They just have to swab your hands to make sure you aren’t carrying a bomb in your baby. =)  They are also great for getting down those narrow plane aisles & still having hands free to pull/lug a suitcase or car seat. (See the next two tips re:car seats)!  And carriers work well for walking naps in the airport too!

We love our Twin-Go carrier!  Note the car seat as baggage holder in this pic too!
We love our Twin-Go carrier! Note the car seat as baggage holder in this pic too!

Tip #7: Always opt for an extra set of hands when possible!  So, while kids are under 2 they can be lap babies, but you can only have one lap baby per adult.  This policy is a very good policy for many reasons…one of which is that it keeps crazy spendthrift triplet moms like me from thinking “I’m sure I could manage two babies on my lap in a space the size of a shoebox for hours straight!”.  Okay, I’m really truly not that crazy, but I do like to travel, don’t have a ton of money, & do sometimes overestimate my own supermommy powers so let’s just say, I can see how it might happen. =)

Anyway, getting back to the point…this means that when you have three toddlers you need to purchase a third seat.  Your choice then is to try to rope an unsuspecting family member or friend into making the trip with you & holding the third baby or to lug a car seat along for that baby.  My first choice is almost always to go for option A because the extra set of hands makes lots of things easier including carrying/herding babies through the airport & entertaining them on the plane.  We were lucky that it did work out for us to bring a third adult for the first two big trips with the babies at 6 & 9 months old, but that isn’t always an option (though we did ask around for this trip too!)  Even better was the flight with my sister & her family, where our adult to child ratio was 5:4 & we could pass the kiddos around & go to the bathroom alone or just sit quietly for a few minutes while someone else walked the aisles!  Also important to know when you are booking travel for triplet toddlers is that you can’t all sit in the same row of 3 on one side of the plane!  The online systems will let you book the seats, but you will have to be moved because there aren’t enough oxygen masks.  Given that, I highly recommend booking seats in the same row but across the aisle or one behind the other.  If you have a third adult you can book aisle-aisle-middle or three aisles near each other but if you have to bring a car seat then you have to do an aisle & then a middle & window across the way or the row behind because you have to install the car seat at the window.

Tip #8: Plan ahead for car seat configurations:  When taking a third adult isn’t an option, then you really need to do some advanced planning and ideally practicing to make the car seat on the plane experience less hellacious.  It’s hard enough to sit in the tiny space allotted in coach nevermind get a car seat installed while you have one or more toddlers also in that space.  Before we left I checked with my sister who’d flown with car seats a number of times & got some tips & tricks from her.  We have two different car seats right now, the Combi Coccoro & the Diono Radian R100.  The advantage with the Coccoro is that it is really light & very easy to install on a plane rear facing because you have easy access to the entire beltpath & it’s pretty compact.  Both of our seats are the narrowest on the market–they have to be to fit 3 across–which helps when it comes to fitting them in a plane, but the Coccoro is also not very tall so it doesn’t impact the person sitting directly in front.  The Radian is MUCH heavier & taller, but we still ended up taking it over the Coccoro & here’s why…it was easier to get through the airport.

We bought a cheap steel framed luggage rack from Amazon to attach the car seat to so we could pull it through the airport.  I tried to get the Coccoro attached to it and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get a secure fit because of the rounded shape of the bottom & certainly not in a way that I could actually buckle a kiddo into it.  The R100, on the other hand, was a dream to attach to the luggage rack & with one extra bungee at the top I could easily strap a kiddo into it & pull them around if I wanted.  This set up worked out great for us & because the seat is so narrow we were actually able to pull it down the plane aisle right to our row.  The day before our trip I spent 15 minutes or so of nap time practicing putting the car seat on the luggage rack & then taking it off & folding up the rack so I knew I could do it quickly & with minimal effort rather than stumbling around when people are waiting to get on or off the plane.  As you can kind of see in the picture of me wearing two babies we didn’t end up pulling a kiddo in the seat at the airport, but we did stack our backpack & other carryon on the seat & pulled those. The backpack was actually heavier than the kids so that worked out well.  And the R100 has this great strap that is meant to hold the bottom seat up in a folded flat position that worked great through the top handle of the backpack to keep it secure.

We opted to install the seat forward facing on the plane to make things simpler & since we weren’t really worried about the added saftey factor of rear-facing we thought the novelty of forward facing was worth it.  And it was!  I expected the battle to be convincing someone to sit in the car seat instead of on the lap, but actually there were a few fights over who got to sit in the seat!

They had fun taking turns riding in the car seat on wheels
I ran the luggage rack bungees across the seat & through each side  of the car seat & had one loop style bungee always on the top  of the R100 using the booster belt guides & then just pulled it up over the top of the rack
I ran the luggage rack bungees across the seat & through each side of the car seat & had one loop style bungee always on the top of the R100 using the booster belt guides & then just pulled it up over the top of the rack

Tip 9: Find the balance between novelty & familiarity for in-flight entertainment!  I think this is one of the tricky things about planning your in-flight toddler entertainment.  You want to find things that are fun & exciting, but you only have so much space so you kind of want to know if it’s going to be a hit before you dedicate precious space to it.  And you know how toddlers want to read the same book ad nauseum, right?  So they dig familiar things too.  So figuring out what “old stand bys” & how many new things to bring can be tricky.  One thing that I think can help with the old standbys is to make them disappear for a week or so before the flight so it has a little more pull.  Here are some things we did:

an old iPod touch (aka "phone") that they love to play with  loaded with classical music combined with new headphones =)
an old iPod touch (aka “phone”) that they love to play with
loaded with classical music combined with new headphones

 

Small toys hidden in plastic easter eggs will occupy some time. We used a few small figurines that we know they like & also got some little party favor squishy bugs, etc from the party section or dollar store to fill the eggs with. The light up ring was a fav! Would be even better for slightly older kiddos as ours got mad when they couldn’t put them back together
safety manuals are always fun to look at, but the magazines are better because you can rip out the pages & crinkle & rip the paper =)
Playing peekaboo with friendly folks & taking selfies & looking at them is also fun
Having the extra legroom of Economy Plus is a huge plus if you can swing it or get lucky like we did and get upgraded simply because that’s what was open when they rebooked us! But really, they can stand even in the tiny bit of legroom by the car seat & changing positions helps meet their need to move without having to walk the aisles. This is especially helpful when the beverage cart is out!
Toddler friendly iPad or iPhone games will buy you at least five minutes. Some of our favorites are Peekaboo Barn & the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose
And you can always hope for a nap, but know that even if your flight is timed during nap that the chances are they’ll be wound & crazy & overtired for at least 30 minutes (or 90!) before they finally give in & take the nap they so desperately need! Trying to do some quiet activities to help them settle down for a nap can help. Make sure that if you have “loveys” that they are handy for this time!

Tip #10: Feed the Little Monsters!  Make sure you think about when you will be flying & if you need to pack “meals” or snacks will suffice.  We were flying over at least one meal time & didn’t want to have to spend money or deal with finding decent food in the airport so we packed protein filled foods.  Our little lunchbox was stuffed with hard boiled eggs, cut up avocado, string cheese, Stonyfield’s version of go-gurts, & some melon & blueberries.  We tried to plan snacks that had some staying power, we were pretty sure they would be happy to eat, & were as least messy as possible.  But really, nothing is mess free with toddlers & the go-gurts definitely needed to be “mom-controlled!”  We also tried to balance the novel & familiarity when it comes to snacks too.  We intentionally didn’t give them some of their favorite snacks for the week or so before the flight so they would be more exciting when we busted them out in the plane (TJs cinnamon apple sticks & multigrain crackers).  We also got some snacks we never get like Annie’s bunny grahams, pretzel rods & yogurt covered raisins.  We did over pack on snacks, but that meant we had some left for the ride home so that was nice.

Tip #11: Prepare to be exhausted!  Our flights went very smoothly & the kiddos were very well behaved with only a few minimal bursts of crying/whining, but let’s be clear, it is NOT just because we have “good kids.”  All our planning of activities & snacks paid off and we worked our tails off changing activities, quietly singing songs, reading books, & telling stories!  Do your very best to stay positive & keep your energy up!  That means making sure you have easy access to quick snacks for yourself too!  And if at all possible, recruit help on the other end so you can get a mini break from entertaining babies when you get to your destination!  Having help when you get there is great too because it’s tricky to manage bags, getting out to the car & getting the car seats installed in a new, unfamiliar car!

I think the take home message for traveling with triplet toddlers is to be prepared!!! The majority of this content was originally published on the Therrien Triple(t) Threat blog.

12 Bizarre Comments About Identical Twins

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Categories humor, Identical, Other peopleTags , 30 Comments

We twin mothers love to trade notes on the odd and ignorant comments and questions we get from strangers. Most of the time, we’re given an opportunity to educate and for people to coo over our little ones. Standard questions include “Are they natural?” and “Can you tell them apart?”.

I’m used to those questions. Then, there are these questions. The comments I’m sharing here came from a completely different place. These questions didn’t come from ignorance or curiosity.

They came from Cuckooland.

  1. What are they mixed? It turns out that the person asking this oddly phrased question wanted to know about my daughters’ ancestry/racial makeup. The comment-maker was herself biracial and was curious about my triracial girls. They are half Bengali (South Asian/Indian/choose your term), quarter Mexican (Hispanic/Native North American/Spanish) and quarter Caucasian (Scottish/Irish/French). I prefer the terms “people”, “children”, and “American”. “Twin-American” if you insist on hyphenation.sadia2toddlercarry
  2. How could you not rhyme their names? This question was posed to me by a mother of boy/girl twins whose daughter was in the same jazz dance class as my daughters. I am rarely left speechless, but she managed it. I came back with some weak answer about not wanting to echo the plight of the monozygotic twins in our family named Janice and Janet."How could you not rhyme their names?" asks one mother of twins to another. And other odd questions.
  3. Why do you dress them alike? Granted, this is less cuckoo than the other questions on this list, but the assumption that there could only be one way to do things drives me batty. When they were babies, it was because we were given so many matching outfits at our baby showers. And because it’s adorable. Once they per past age one, it was because M and J had opinions of their own.Twins in coordinating outfits are adorable! And twins in uncoordinated outfits? Equally adorable...
  4. Why don’t you dress them alike? I’ve actually gotten this question on the very same day as Number 10. When they were babies, it was because it was way too much hassle to keep them coordinated. Also, J tended to want to be cooler than M, so she wore fewer layers. Once they were past age one, it was because J and M had opinions of their own.J and M didn't care to dress alike on this particular day. They get to have a say in the matter. From hdydi.com
  5. Which one’s the good one? I still don’t have a witty comeback for this one. Interestingly, I’ve only ever received this question from males.Twins in the real world do not come in "good" and "evil" flavours.
  6. Which is the original? Which one is the clone? Oh my. I wish I had a couple of hours to sit down with this guy and give him some basic lessons in fetal development. And manners. Sadly, I didn’t have the time, so I just said, “That’s not how twins work. If you cut an apple in half, there isn’t an original side and a copy side. Each is a full half in its own right.” This wasn’t the best metaphor to use, but it was what I could think of while holding two crying babies and checking out of the grocery store with apple-pear-sauce ingredients.Identical twins no more consistent of  an "original" and a "copy" than halves of an apple.
  7. Do they have different personalities? I tried to imagine the internal world of this person. They must imagine identical twins all over the world walking around in lockstep and speaking at the same time.Some people have some odd assumptions about twins.
  8. Do they have different names? I’m not George Foreman. Unlike Mr. Foreman, most twin parents do not give their children the same name.
  9. If I pinch one, does the other feel it? No. Just no.
  10. Do they have ESP? I mustered up my creepiest stare.These are not the twins with ESP you are looking for.
  11. Were you pregnant for 18 months? I felt bad for this girl. She seemed to be college aged, but may have been younger. Her question was so genuine and her affection for the babies so honest, I didn’t have the heart for snark. I just told her that no, the babies started growing at the same time and grew at the same rate as regular ones, so I just got really big. I didn’t think she could handle any information about prematurity while she processed that.Sadia and her husband, while expecting. From M and J's Birth Story from hdydi.com
  12. They are not identical. They’re wearing different colours. Here’s how I usually handle this type of comment. In this case, I just said, “‘Identical’ is more about how twins grew in the womb than how they look.” Sometimes, you have to pick your battles.Identical twins can wear different clothes. However, some people out and about will be very confused by this. The oddest questions faced by a mom of twins.

What’s the most oddball question or comment you’ve received so far?

Twinkly Tuesday – June 23, 2015

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Categories Parenting Link Up, Twinkly Tuesday4 Comments

Skip to Tuesday Twinklers | Skip to rules | Skip to participant badge | Skip to this week’s links

Welcome to this week’s Twinkly Tuesday, the link party hosted by Sadia here at HDYDI, Caro of The Twinkle Diaries and Lisa at Mummascribbles.

Meet new people, share your posts, and read blogs you might never come across elsewhere. Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers.

Lisa, Caro, and I all feel very strongly that at least one of us should read and leave a thoughtful comment on each Twinkly Tuesday post. Last week, we had 180 links, which is amazing, extraordinary, and, frankly, overwhelming. We’re seeking your thoughts on how to rein things in so that we don’t lose the intimate, thoughtful nature of Twinkly Tuesday. Please weigh in on our survey.

Twinkly Tuesday size survey

Each week Lisa, Caro, and I choose a favourite post. If you have been featured, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog.

My Tuesday Twinkler for the week is from occupation: (m)other. Lucy talked about the message sent to our children by the admittedly adorable party theme of Pirates and Princesses. The post is filled with insights and beautiful prose like this: “I do recognise that there are differences between the sexes. It’s the lazy gender positioning of this dressing up day in ones so young that really bothers me.”

Why pirates and princesses? Why not one day for a pirate theme and another day for royalty or fairytales? What do our kids learn about their place in the world from events like these?

Lisa’s Tuesday Twinkler this week is from The Gifted Gabber. Amy put into words a feeling that I’ve always had, that daycare doesn’t damage our children. In fact, daycare teachers serve more as co-parents, experienced, trained, creative, and willing co-parents. 

Day care teachers can serve as another parent to our children.

Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is from Pirates and Dollies. No, she and I did not collude to present you with an exercise in irony this week with the titles of our picks. Kirby wrote a heartbreaking piece titled “Can You See Me?” about how it feels when a marriage loses its spark, when partnership and passion are only a memory.

Can you see me? A heartbreaking letter from a wife who feels invisible in her marriage.

Take a moment to visit these posts, if you can. We would love it if you paid a visit to the other host links, and any others that look interesting.

On with this week’s link-up!

Link two posts, old or new, that you think deserve more readers!

Twitter: Be sure to mention me — @hdydi or Caro — @twinklediaries, on Twitter and please use the hashtag #TwinklyTuesday. We’ll be sure to retweet every tweet tagged!

We’ll also visit everyone’s posts and leave comments between us.

Pinterest:  Lisa and I pin every post with an image to the primary Twinkly Tuesday Pinterest board and I repin the top pins on the HDYDI Twinkly Tuesday board. Send an email to mummascribbles@hotmail.com or tweet Lisa your email address and she’ll add you to the primary board. No more than 2 posts per week please!

Each week, all three of us pick our favourite posts which will be featured on the following week’s Twinkly Tuesday page.

There are a few easy rules to follow, to ensure that everyone’s posts get the attention they deserve. Please do make the effort to abide by the rules, in fairness to the vast majority who do. We have been forced to block participation for repeat offenders who haven’t responded to multiple reminders.

  • Link up to two posts per week — old or new.
  • Please be kind enough to add our badge to the bottom of your post/s. (Scroll down for the code.) If you haven’t (yet) been featured, please make sure you’re using this badge and not the featured one.
  • Please comment on at least two other posts including the one directly before yours. Visit and comment on as many others as you can. Of course, checking out the hosts’ posts would make us feel very loved.
  • Please use #TwinklyTuesday in your comments so people know where you found them!
  • By linking up, you give us permission to use images from your blog if featured. You also allow us to add you to a mailing list to receive a weekly announcement when Twinkly Tuesday opens.
  • The linky will close at 23.55 GMT on Friday.

We look forward to reading all of your fantastic blog posts and seeing you again next week! Remember to grab our button!

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Happy Fathers’ Day!

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Categories Celebrations, Father' DayTags , 3 Comments

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the super dads out there.

We’d like to acknowledge the wonderful fathers behind the MoMs of How Do You Do You It?

Loving father of twins A and B.
Mandy‘s husband with their lovely daughters, A and B.
Grandfather of triplets and a singleton. Happy Fathers' Day!
Mari‘s triplets and their cousin with their very proud grandfather.
Ryan is Dad to two sets of twins. There's a dad to celebrate on Fathers' Day!
Amy‘s husband, Ryan, with their older twins. Talk about superdad!
Brand new grandfatherhood, times two, just in time for Father's Day.
Sadia‘s daughters, M and J, at one month old with their grandfather, J’s namesake.
Happy Father's Day to all dads, and twice over to fathers of twins!
SaraBeth‘s husband, Chris, with their little spitfires, Jack and Molly at just over a year old.
Dad to 5: two sets of twins and 1 singleton.
Michelle‘s husband Scott is Superdad to each of 5 children: one set of fraternal twins, one set of identical twins, and a singleton.
Now there's a dad to recognize on Fathers' Day!
Jessica‘s husband with his little ladies.

We hope you know how much we appreciate you.

Why not a DAD triptych for Father's Day?
Beth‘s kids celebrate Dad.

Canvas Art – A Father’s Day Gift Idea

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Categories Age Brackets, Celebrations, crafts, DIY, Make-It Mondays1 Comment

Father’s Day is on Sunday. It’s getting down to the wire, MoMs! If you are running out of ideas (or cash) for a Fathers’ Day gift, here’s a quick and easy project everyone can do.

I wanted to have all four kids enjoy the craft and that’s tricky because of their age gap. My oldest is 17 with the twin “cabooses” at 4. I also wanted it to reflect their personalities.

I had originally thought we could all make our own card or picture, but those tend to get discarded over time. Everyone loves to paint so I went to my local craft store in search of cheap options.  I found an 16×20 canvas for under five dollars. The acrylic craft paint was also inexpensive.

I sectioned the canvas with painters tape and let the kids have at it. The only rules were: they had to fill their entire square and no “trespassing” into their sibling’s square. It couldn’t have turned out any better! Each square shows their personality and creativity.

Last minute family Father's Day gift - segmented canvas.

If your kids are too young to follow the trespassing rule, tape down paper to cover all but one of the openings, leaving that one section for one child to paint. When a work of art is dry, cover it and move onto the next child and next opening.

Best project yet!

A cute gift idea for #FathersDay. Give each child part of the canvas to decorate.

I’m thinking of using this same division of the canvas again. I think it would be great for collages, glue art, sand, or even photos. Happy Father’s Day!!

If you decide to try this, send us a picture!