Please Vote! Wednesday, June 3rd

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Categories Parenting
 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!

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 Hey everyone, my name is Shannon White.  I am a native Phoenician living in wonderful North Carolina with my Australian/American husband.  He was fortunate enough to be born in HI to Australian parents then raised in Melbourne, Australia.  My main job is taking care of my boy/girl twins, Blake & Madison while my second job is as a photographer.  I work whenever I can fit it in around the kids needs.  My husband is a police officer and part time photographer for our wedding jobs.  Our kids came to us after almost 5 full years of trying (with the help of a super ovulation cycle).  Having twins is exactly what I always dreamed and hoped it would be, and I get to see my childhood dream of having a twin brother acted out in my kids.   We love to travel anywhere we can as often as our budget will allow.  The kids have already been on 12 trips in their 13 months including 5 trips by plane.  My family blog is picture heavy with lots of thoughts on random topics and life events.  http://whitehouse3.blogspot.com.  Trying to only pick two pictures to go along with my post was beyond difficult.  I hope you enjoy my post!

 Post #1: Why every month with twins gets better and better!

by Shannon

 The first month were so excited to meet our kids and spent our time working out how to take care of twins while seeing tiny glimmers of their personalities.  My whole philosophy in life was to get to at least 6 hours of sleep in every 24 hour period!  I watched a lot of TV the first few months with 2-3 hour feeding sessions (no kidding! my kids were slow eaters) and staying in bed until those miraculous 6 hours were reached.  The second and third months each saw a tad more sleep.  Blake often found Madison whenever they were near each other yet he could also sleep through her reflux irritated crying. 

 By the time they got to 3 & 4 months they laughed more, ate a little bit faster, puked a little less, and could hold their heads up all the time.  They still traveled well with great naps.  They ‘lost’ each other completely yet loved to cuddle with their daddy especially.  At around 5 months the process of getting to know Blake and Madison really started.  Madison had almost kicked her reflux.  My guess is she found so much relief she has been calm and mostly content every since.  We affectionately call her our Little Lumpa Love which also may have something to do with her, ehm ehm, large booty.  Blake learned to sit during their 6th month while expanding his range of expressions designed specifically to entertain and amaze.  

 The cold winter arrived during their 7th month.  Little Lumpa Love, Madison, finally learned to sit up.  They began to interact more with each other including some toy stealing.  Madison loved to watch her brother explore all the stuff around them as she sat contentedly in one spot.  By their 8th month they looked at least a year old because of their large size which is somewhat of a prideful thing for me since we are large tall people.  Guy taught them how to kiss with a big open mouthed ‘aaaaawwwwwweeee.’  Nothing melts my heart more then a little reciprocal love.

 On one trip during their 9th month I put them side by side in a glider chair for their dinner.  Blake kept interfering with Madison by reaching for her bite or putting his hand up to her face.  She smartly grabbed his arm and pinned it down between them the rest of the meal.  It was so cute and funny how he just let her hold down his arm.   By 10 months Blake has added a bunch of new expressions and funny things to his cuteness repertoire.  Madison learned she can put just about anything non edible in her mouth.  My favorite was the soap Blake opened for her in our hotel room.  She loved it.  I guess we wont be washing her mouth out with soap when she says a bad word.

 The 11th month brought us a realization of how different they are, and how they will constantly surprise us.  We thought Blake would love the ocean and Madison would hate it.  She loved the ocean including sitting with the waves crashing into her up to her chest.  He screamed and needed cuddles.  So then we thought she would love the slide while he wouldn’t.  Wrong again.  She cried, and he laughed hysterically.  The magic one year arrived along with a switch in their brain causing them to learn at an ever increasing rate.  They crave the outdoors, adventure and finally figured out how marvelous books are.  Maybe in a few more months they’ll let me read them a whole story.

 We are now in their 13th month.  As I sit here writing this post Madison is busy entertaining me with her chair antics.  She loves her space saving feeding chair we keep on the living room floor (best purchase other then the stroller), and she will climb into and out of it often through the day.  Every few times she has a bit of trouble getting turned around to sit in the chair.  She will fuss and scream while trying to get her foot out from under her booty.  I will give her verbal encouragement.  When she finally gets that foot unstuck her joyful and pleased expression is such a pleasure to see.  Now Blake just came over to her trying to climb in the chair with her and give a double cheek grabbing kiss.  I can’t wait for next month’s growth and adventures!

Babies 5 months 1068
Babies 11 months 1512
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Debi is a SAHM in NJ (very soon to be PA) to nine kids, 5 adopted & 4 biological. Although her last pregnancy was planned, twins were the unexpected result and they have completed her home-schooling family. Their blog is all about their journey through autism, learning & physical disabilities, and finding their way through the teen years & pre-teen years  while raising two toddlers all at the same time. Please visit them at Who Says 8 Is Enough, http://bouffard11.blogspot.com/

Post # 2
by Debi
I was never one of those moms that wanted to have twins. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite for me. It was actually one of the main reasons I was terrified to use Clomid to help me get pregnant. I was so fearful I would end up with multiples, but I wanted a baby so badly, that with a 2% chance of having twins, my husband, Russ, & I decided it was worth the risk.
Of course, at seven weeks, I had an ultrasound that confirmed that I was carrying twins.
I was floored.
Russ was silent.
We already had 7 children at home and I had already had two pretty traumatic singleton pregnancies, so we knew a multiple pregnancy was going to be a huge challenge.
Boy, was it ever!
I spent 6 months on strict bed rest after I started bleeding at just 14 weeks and my pregnancy just continued downhill from there. I ended up with pubic bone dysplasia, gall bladder issues, contractions and early effacement & dilation. It was a rough road and thankfully, my church came to the rescue and helped my husband to keep my household going while I was out of commission for so long.
I often wondered during my pregnancy, if I was somehow being punished for not being thrilled with what I now consider a huge blessing. It took me many months to come to grips with the fact that I would have 2 babies to care for, but those feelings all melted away the moment I laid eyes on my sweet babies.
My twins were born at 35 weeks and ended up coming home from the hospital with me just 4 days later. It was incredible. They were both wonderful babies, so teeny tiny and perfect, aside from their absolutely horrible reflux. They were the sweetest babies that hardly ever cried and they quickly made all of my fears about multiples fade away. I am certain it was helped by the fact that I was a “seasoned” mom, but they really were very content babies that I just loved to hold and cuddle all of the time.
Flash forward 2 1/2 years now and I have toddler twins. I have always loved the toddler years and I thought that because I am experienced, it would be easy with Emma & Will. Wrong!
My twins are not your typical twins. At their birth, it was discovered that there had been a problem with their placentas for many weeks that had caused Emma to be getting too much blood & oxygen and Will to be deprived of those same vital needs. As a result, Emma had suffered a stroke in utero and Will had suffered a brain bleed that had left him with cerebral palsy. In the beginning, our main concerns were for Emma, as the evidence from her stroke was incredibly obvious, but with the help of intensive therapy, she made huge strides very quickly.
It was a few months later that our focus turned to Will and that is where it has remained. Emma has continued to flourish and is doing everything a little girl her age should be.
Sadly, Will is lagging behind. All of his physical milestones have been way behind his sister, but he has been meeting them, sometimes with the help of braces or supports, but he is doing it and we are so proud of him.
He was also diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder, having severe speech & developmental delays and recently was diagnosed with possible autism.
I will admit, some days are really hard and not just because of all of the challenges that Will faces. Probably the one thing I looked forward to when I found out I was having twins was that they would have built in “buddies”, but my twins aren’t like that. Emma is more like Will’s older sister. She absolutely loves him and it’s so sweet to watch her help him out, but they definitely miss out on the relationship that I assumed they would have.
However, I will also say, that when they do have some “normal” twinny moments, it makes it that much more tender and makes me really appreciate every single minute with my beautiful babies.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share our story.
If you would like to know more about my twins, or my family, please check out our blog, Who Says 8 Is Enough.
Sincerely,
Debi
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Kim, a first time mom to 1 year old boy/girl twins, has not only survived the first year but thinks it’s much more rewarding than she could have ever anticipated.  Spending her days in Marketing and nights/weekends relishing in the life of being a mom of multiples, Kim finds such humor and passion in balancing her career and family.  You can read more about her inspired balance (aka family blog) at www.kimandceasar.blogspot.com where she has a new found love for writing.  Kim is amazed at how natural writing has become since motherhood entered her  life.  A little bit about the family:  Married 8 years to her college sweetheart, Kim & her husband (Ceasar) spent the latter few years trying to get pregnant.  After acupuncture treatments and an organic diet , they got the life changing news …twins!  Pretty incredible.  Kim thinks her husband is amazing and his comical yet genuine approach to fatherhood would make for the perfect “guest blogger”…they make a dynamic team.   

 

Post # 3: A picture is worth a thousand words

by Kim

 

The water cooler conversation today is all about Jon and Kate Plus 8.  I can’t tell you how many times I get asked if I watch that show.  The answer is always no.  I watched it once and I just didn’t like the “job feel” that it portrayed for families of multiples.  I totally get it.  8 kids, that would require a job like atmosphere to get through the day.  I will not even try to understand or judge their situation.  However, I don’t like the picture it/the media is painting for families of multiples…especially marriages of multiples.  So, I want to take this opportunity to paint my family picture.  I believe it’s such a pretty one.  Yes, all families have their struggles but if you put the daily nuances aside, I bet most of you could paint a really beautiful picture of your family of multiples.  Colorful at that!

 

June 21st is quickly approaching and many families will celebrate Father’s day.  I think we will celebrate all week.  I believe that Father’s of multiples should get the entire week.  By no means am I saying that Father’s of singletons are not deserving of their special day.  They absolutely are.  BUT…when you are a Father of multiples, there is no easing into this new role.  They are right in the thick of it from day one.  Changing diapers, feeding every other hour, giving baths…Ceasar was playing dad AND mom while I was in recovery from my c-section.  Fast forward 1 year and he is still feeding meals, changing diapers, cleaning bottles and everything else you can think of.  We share all responsibilities.  So, when our daughter (Tristen) is being held by Ceasar and someone says, “aw, she wants her momma”…we just look at each other and laugh because as much as I would like to think that is true, we know the deal.  She knows and loves us equally.  Yes, I’m her mom but just as frequently and deeply, he’s her dad.

Leaving Hospital 024-HDYDI 

 

 

1 year old 254-HDYDI 

A while back on my family blog, I decided to post an entry about Fatherhood. I thought I would share with you the Q&A portion of it: 

 

“These are the best days of my life”

Since I am always giving MY insight on this blog, I thought I would ask Ceasar some questions on fatherhood to give you a glimpse into his thoughts today. 

What was your first thought when you found out you were having a baby? I felt the greatest amount of accomplishment when I found out we were pregnant. We tried for a year and a half and though I never gave up hope, getting pregnant become this place I knew existed, I just didn’t know how to get there. I was very excited and didn’t think I could wait 9 months for the baby.

What was your first thought when you found out you were having TWO babies? I thought, “how in the world did we get so lucky?” My second thought came out of my mouth and it was, “Are there anymore in there?” There weren’t.
  
What is your favorite thing about fatherhood? Being a father. That entails a ton of things. Things I can’t begin to list due to time constraints. But for me, to touch, kiss, baby scratches to my face, the hugs, the whole experience is my favorite thing about fatherhood. I love being the protector and comforter of my kids.
  
Is it what you expected? It is what I expected. But I think it is a whole lot more too. I thought it would be harder, but it turned out to be easier. The rewards of actually seeing your babies develop is what you don’t envision or expect or can’t begin to measure until they are in your life.
  
What is unique about being a father of twins? With twins, a parent must make an effort to give more love to many, as opposed to all the love to one. This is challenging, but it is also an opportunity like no other. As a father, I get all the kisses and hugs one man could dream of from his babies. And because I can go from one baby to the other, I don’t necessarily annoy them too much! Being a father to boy/girl twins, I am able to have a soft little girl to love on and a tough little busy boy who gets sweaty and cranky and wants to lay his head on my shoulder. The best!
  

What is the most challenging thing about having twins? Obviously, being able to physically take care of two instead of one is the greatest challenge. When I’m alone with them, my fear is that one will need special attention.  So, what do you do with the other one? But so far, so good. The most challenging thing with having twins for me is being able, physically able, to hold them and love on them at the same time. But I know this will be less difficult once they are able to grab and hug daddy’s neck.

 

What are you most excited about? Everything. The next kiss. The next hug. The first words. Bedtime. Waking them up in the morning. Their laughter. Their cry when they want to be held. A smile on their faces. The next time their little hands touch my face. I am excited about them making eye contact with each other again. These are the best days of my life! Thank you God.

 

And that is my family’s simple yet beautiful masterpiece.   

 

Easter 09 032-HDYDI

 

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