Please Vote! Monday, June 1st

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Hello Everyone!  Enormous thanks go to our wonderful MoM’s who have agreed to “try out” for HDYDI! We are beyond thrilled that so many of you are reading along with us, and we hope you enjoy our contest week.  Please vote for the author you would like to hear more from, as the authors with the most votes at 12:00am Eastern Time on Sunday, June 7th, will be invited to write for HDYDI. Enjoy and PLEASE VOTE!

Post #1: “Carry laughter with you wherever you go” by AmyO

AmyO, mommy to Reese Abigail and Riley Grace- 9 months, is a former elementary school teacher now stay at home mom in Texas.  Since having twin girls after going through infertility, IVF, and a lengthy NICU stay for the babies, she feels so blessed and often finds herself laughing at the daily occurrences of having multiples.   You can read more about them at  lovestarbucksalatte.blogspot.com and www.reeseandrileyowen.com. She will confess that since having twins, she has partaken of alcohol before noon once… okay twice, has been sucked into a soap opera, still has baby weight to lose, and can usually be found at Starbucks or Babies-R-Us.  When asked the question, “How do you do it?”  She always answers: “A lot of prayer and caffeine!”

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m ridiculously uncoordinated, or perhaps that I am 5 feet 2 inches tall with quite the wimpy stature, but I have found one of my BIGGEST challenges of being the mom of fraternal twin girls to be maneuvering that dang double stroller!  (You moms with more than 2 are snickering, I’m sure! J).  It’s quite laughable, but oh so true.

It all began when the girls’ 3-month appointment was coming up (last December), so I went to load the LIMO (aka Graco Quattro Duo Stroller) into my SUV and literally could not lift it.  It IS 39 lbs, y’all, – I looked it up.  So I quickly turned to the Double Snap N Go.  The day I bought it, I put it straight in my trunk for the following day’s appointment.  In the parking lot of the pediatrician on my very first outing alone with Reese and Riley, it was quickly apparent to me that this stroller needed to be altered a bit based on what kind of a car seat you had.  Did I know this?  No- because who reads directions?!  As I was fighting with it attempting to pop the car seats in, I was mortified when I realized something was NOT right… my girls were practically standing on their heads!!  I was in a panic because I was worried every ounce of blood in their body would rush to their heads, but physically there was NO way I could carry the seats in, so… I got their blankets and shook them out as big as they would spread and covered up the seats as much as I could, so no one would notice how bent back they were! Ha!

Here’s the proof. (Don’t call CPS… Daddy fixed this problem when he got home that same day!)Amy1

I was so embarrassed!  Didn’t want anyone to think I was a horrible mother that didn’t know what I was doing (even though I didn’t!)  I stumbled in the door awkwardly, and once in the room, I took the girls out of the stroller (I didn’t want the doctor to notice the angle!)- Reese was now on the floor in her carrier and I was holding Riley.  I can laugh about it now, but man was I sweating that day!

I figured that with time, I’d improve- like I’d run into fewer things and be more graceful through doorways, but I have to admit: after 9 months- I haven’t yet.   I still find doors just as challenging.  Just the other day at another doctor’s appointment, I made quite the “grand entrance.”  It included me trying to get the stroller in the tiny door/ narrow hallway while hitting my big booty on a sliding door behind me and knocking it slightly off the hinges and then proceeding to knock a frame off the wall with the stroller handlebar (I did catch it, however– impressive, I know)… all the while, a lovely father and daughter watched the whole thing and didn’t lift a finger to assist a poor clumsy twin mother.  Oh well.  You just have to laugh!

We’ve “graduated” to the Graco Quattro Duo- I can lift it now. Amy2

I love that I can laugh about these things.  I love that I have been blessed with twins to make my life more full of adventure.  I need to work on a lot of things… including my stroller skills, but I love that my girls love me anyway and giggle away on our rides…as dangerous as they may be.  SURELY I’m not the only mom who has moments of being clumsy and uncoordinated!  J  Do you have any embarrassing stroller moments while out and about with your kids??

Post #2: The Fun Continues by Amanda

I am Amanda, a first-time 40 year-old mom to boy/girl twins, living, laughing, playing and working (a little) in Pittsburgh, PA. I’ve been married for almost 9 years, and it took us 7 years to get our miracle IVF babies. I went to art school for college, but somehow I wound up working part-time at a fertility clinic, and I think of it as working with a team of dream makers, helping couples conceive. I enjoy being a creative person, writing, knitting and engaging in occasional inventive culinary pursuits. For more, visit twinertia.blogspot.com.

As we near the end of TFBCW (Twin’s First Birthday Celebration Week), I must report on some new and exciting baby developments. Seda started waving to people and clapping her hands on her birthday, and she’s very pleased with herself at her newly found skill. She also knows just what to do with her new rocking horse. She is still not babbling yet, but that will come in time. Kai, having thus far been ahead of Seda in communication skills, doesn’t wave yet or say “Bye-bye.” It’s so cool to see how they each pick up different skills at different times! Seda has always been ahead of Kai in physical development.

Friday night, my folks and Uncle S and Aunt P came over for dinner. Our version of the family circus had a fantastic raucous time. What we learned, is that Seda is quite the party girl. She doesn’t want to miss ANYTHING and as a result, that little pest did not fall fast asleep until 9:45!!! Usual bedtime is 8. Every time I thought she was ready, she’d wail if I put her in the crib. Some relaxation in Nana’s arms didn’t even fully do the trick, and besides, Nana had to get home for her own beauty sleep. Everyone left at 9:30, and I had to lay on the couch with Seda until she was comatose. I know my people are fun, so the girl obviously has very good taste in BFF’s.

When I heard that HDYDI was looking for writers, I got excited and thought, “YEAH! Mine is a voice they are missing!” This past week was hectic, full of the birthday celebration prep, aftermath and out-of-town visitors, so my mind is a bit too scattered and whipped to focus on anything very intelligent or whitty. So I looked through some older posts and found one that would really sum up a day in the life of “flying by the seat of our pants” parenting young twins. I wanted a humorous post that captured the feeling of trying to be organized but having the perpetual monkey wrench thrown in. This post is from last November, when the twins were almost 6 months old. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gas pain, a runaway dog, and did you know shoes can get dry rot?

Yesterday my mom took pity on my lackluster meal preparation of late (when I told her we’d be noshing on some vegetarian borscht and cold baked chicken – now there’s an interesting juxtaposition!) and whipped up a batch of gourmet mac n cheese to take home for dinner. She packed it up nicely, insulated with newspaper, so in theory it would still be hot when we sat down to eat. She even cut up some fresh green beans so I would only need to drop them in a pot of water. I had carrots too, could handle that on my own.

So, got the babies home, unpacked, figured we would be able to eat before their next feeding. Not so at all.

The boy started squeaking at 6:15, just as the veggies finished cooking. I made bottles and changed the diapers. Girl baby started crying uncontrollably, didn’t want food, didn’t want to sleep, nothing was working, and I was starving. I put her back in the crib and she settled down, even smiled. I left to go eat so I had the strength to continue the evening’s duties.

As I gobbled down the food, hubby said, “Maybe she’s over-hungry. We could try some oatmeal.” I scowled and said, “Noooooooo. She’s bawling. She won’t want that.” Also, I didn’t want her to choke on cereal while crying so hard.

After I inhaled my food, I was ready for another attempt to feed her. Just then, the dog wanted to go out. I opened the front door, and usually I grab Ashiko’s collar before putting her on her chain, but she bolted out the door in pursuit of one of the neighborhood cats (who happens to look just like Snoopy). I ran out after her, but stopped in the middle of the street and thought, “Great…this is hopeless…I might as well just go back inside…she’ll come home eventually.” But I walked around the circle towards the cat’s house, and the owner and her dog were returning from a walk. She said our dog was nearby, had been playing with her dog. I said, “Where is she now? She’s probably gone back home and is making me walk all the way around the circle.” Sure enough, when I got back, there she was in the front yard, waiting for me. Sigh.

So then…I scooped up whiny girl baby and she was crying again. Sat down with her at the dining table, and she still didn’t want any bottle. I said to the hubby, “Hmm…maybe she does want some oatmeal.” We got that ready, and after the first spoonful she cheered up and let out a lonnnnnnnnnnnggggg loud toot. Aha! So it was gas pain that was causing all the distress! She ate all the cereal, happily tooting during the meal, had a few sips from the bottle and fell fast asleep. She was worn out from the ordeal! I then had to apologize to the hubby and (cough, cough) tell him he was RIGHT for suggesting the cereal idea. Newman!

This morning, I yanked an old pair of shoes out of the closet that I haven’t worn in 10 years. I’ve had them since 1993. They were always comfy, a classic style, German-made, long-lasting, yada yada. When I stopped at my folks’ at lunchtime to deliver some pumpage, they said, “Where’d all that mud come from that was on your shoes? We’ve been cleaning up little piles of it here and there.” I said, “What mud?” and looked at the bottom of my shoes to find that the heels had dry-rotted and were crumbling all over kingdom come! Who knew shoes could get dry rot?

I returned to work and entertained the Chief of Fashion Police with my fashion faux pas. She said, “Only YOU would keep shoes for 15 years!” She actually admitted they were a cute style but gave me a demerit for my socks that didn’t bear any matching quality to the rest of my ensemble, which is always a sore spot with her. But hey, at least I don’t wear my purple Crocs every day anymore! Those were my preggo work shoes.

Post #3: “Mommy Mode” by Vicky

Hello, I am Vicky, a new mom to 5-month-old boy/girl twin babies. They have come to us after years of praying and hoping for them. As a young mom of twins I am learning a whole new definition of wisdom and am experiencing a vastly different way of living life! I write about what this amazing reality looks like daily @ thecitycradle.com which is my place to share thoughts of loving the city… rocking the cradle…. and being on mission to leave a legacy of faith and goodness in this, the city of sin!

The looks have been frequent this week…

The look of horror… of embarrassment… of pity…

Or maybe they were looks of envy… of respect… I will chose to assume the later.

I have seen the looks come when we are out in public and I move into my MOMMY MODE! This MOMMY MODE is a recently new phenomenon that I am quite pleased with, although we are finding the general public may think otherwise.

You see I am currently taking care of 2 babies by myself for about 10 hours a day. I am feeding them, changing them, playing with them, talking to them, carrying them in and out of the car, teaching them to nap, soothing them when they cry. This is a serious amount of work for 1 person to accomplish, and so, I have begun to find the easiest and fastest ways possible to make them happier, smiley, easier babies. Enter in MOMMY MODE…

Victoria1

Making them look like this is no easy feat.

Although I have found some great techniques for making both babies happy at once, they tend not to look like what the average NON-MOMMY MODE adult would label as sane, normal or appropriate!

Techniques like the perfect funny face, you know the one with the tongue sticking out, that stops a breakdown dead in it’s tracks. The VERY BIG smile with my bobbing head going left to right that always brings about a giggle. The swooshing noise, along with a big arm swing in the air works great and the ever-dreaded high pitch baby talk voice that somehow is the perfect tone to soothe any baby issue.

With twins I have learned quickly to do “whatever works” today… bouncing on the knee while singing is currently a favorite. They are also now old enough to be gently thrown in the air for a moment of quiet, a maneuver which horrifies any yet to be parents within 100 feet of us!

It’s no big deal that I do these things in my living room while buying 10 more minutes of peace until daddy gets home. At home I am just making the babies smile and harming no one. The problem comes because this is not a light switch, and you cannot simply turn off your MOMMY MODE every time you leave the house.

Which is why the looks have started. When I am out in public and begin my big smile dance directed at my babies… When I move into a high-pitched cooing chorus… When I (gasp) actually clap away in public to a made up rhythm to ease the baby’s tensions.

My MOMMY MODE does not stop just because I am out in a public setting– mainly because the responsibility and work of caring for 2 babies does not stop, the desire I have to make them happy and content does not stop, the love of seeing them smile does not stop.

Victoria2

Seriously, these results take much coaxing, singing and dancing.

I know I may look silly, even insane to some but you know what??? I really don’t care anymore. Maybe it is MOMMY MODE taking over but ever since I’ve become a twin momma I have been much less concerned about how normal or how “put together” I may look!

I have many more pressing things to consume my mind like the giggling little babies laying next to me- thanks to a rousing round of funny smiles and happy songs…

I would love to know how do you keep both of your babies happy while out in public? What does your MOMMY MODE look like?

Post #4: “Why You Sign Up For Extra Snack Duty—Or The Importance of the Thank You” by Bekki

A California native now living near Seattle, Bekki Lyon is a SAHM to seven month old twins Will and Andy. Hobbies include playing catch up with laundry and dishes, avoiding sweeping, and mastering the skills necessary to balence her innate laziness and the daunting prospect of raising two already rambunctious boys.

Bekki

A good friend is the health and safety officer of her preschool co-op. Personally, I can’t imagine signing up for a job where the highlight of the year is getting to call every home to inform them of the current lice infestation. Or having to send reminder after reminder that no, sandals are not, in fact, closed toe shoes. What could possibly be the motivation to be the front of the line when the classroom comes down with kid-plague?

She wants a thank you. Some simple acknowledgment that she is doing a good job. Some sort of praise and recognition.

We all want that, and hopefully you are getting those reminders at home from your partners. But getting the cheerleader treatment from your husband is kind of like when he tells you your new haircut looks good—he knows he’s supposed to say it, but he’s not exactly sure what it means. And let’s be honest, the likelihood of your children thanking you for the daily grind, is well, slim at best. I can picture it now, my seven month olds looking dreamily up at me from their high chairs…”Thank you mama for the sweet potatoes that cover my face and every available surface in a 50 yard vicinity.” Yeah, not so much. Love and affection from your family is a wondrous thing, but it sometimes gets outweighed by the never ending cycle of nap time, meal time, laundry time and, once in a blue moon, sleep time.

But true, unprompted appreciation from near strangers–that is the kind of reassuring validation that lets you know you are, in fact, a good and competent mom. And so, my friend, and I would imagine many of you, signs up for far too many responsibilities at preschool. Or hosts extra playgroups. Or plans your huge extended family’s reunion in a different state while you’re 7 months pregnant with twins. Oh, wait, that was me.

I think the real issue here is not about proving yourself to other moms. Especially those perfect moms whose kids always have matching clothes on and NEVER need an spare burp rag. I think the main issue for us moms, especially moms who have a little too much on our plates (hello, multiples?), is our inability to thank ourselves. To acknowledge our general awesomeness. To live up to our own impossibly high standards. Because to admit we’re doing a good, nay, great job, is somehow not in our genetic code.

I know I spend so much time in the day with the mental mantra “This isn’t good enough, I’m not good at this. My kids deserve more.” Too much time. It’s crippling. So why do I host the playgroup with singleton moms? Well, because I need someone to gossip with, but really, it’s because I need to hear from other people that I’m actually doing a good job, that my kids aren’t being failed. I need the thank you for putting out a snack and vacuuming the floor. I need the reassurance that I made the right choice to be a mom.

Do you get enough thank yous in your life? Are you able to be your own cheerleader?

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One thought on “Please Vote! Monday, June 1st”

  1. I am not a mom of twins, but two of my best friends are twin mommies so it is fascinating to me! I really do often wonder “how do you do it?!” I love the posts and was coming by to cheer on my dear friend Vicky, as she is such an inspiring mommy. I love the other posts too though! You all seem to have a lot to share and some great humor! I look forward to seeing who wins!

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