Meet a How Do You Do It? author


Ambereen is mom to two cute twins Mister and Missy, now with a third baby on the way! She’s Canadian eh, and lives in Canada’s capital with her husband. Between travelling and an active social life, she works full-time in the public sector in IT policy. She enjoys writing short stories interjected with subtle humour about life adventures, sharing recipes, and coming up with fun yet simple activities to do with the kids. After a short hiatus where life got in the way of writing, she is back blogging at 2Cute – Adventures in Twin Parenting. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences here at HDYDI about life with twins + 1. And yes, it’s only one this time!

Tips for Surviving the First Year With Twins

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Categories Infants7 Comments

With twins you’ll often hear strangers say to you “double trouble” or “you have your hands full!”. What they don’t realize is it’s also double the work and double the gear for the first year!

Our Little Mister and Little Missy are now officially into the terrible twos. They’re walking, talking little people, and little helpers to boot. I’m taking some time to reflect back on the early days when our twins were too small to move, too tired to keep their eyes open and two cute to care!

Here are some lifesavers and tips that helped us get through the first year of caring for twins as first-time parents.

Coming home
Heading home for the first time

Gear Up

Do you remember the first time you walked into BabiesRUs, registry in hand? I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff for babies. Where to begin?? And do you really need 2 of everything for twins? Well, kinda. By the time the twins were born, our house looked like a BabiesRUs.

We had a baby monitor, bottle warmer, double electric breast pump, 2 bouncy chairs, 1 exersaucer, 1 jolly jumper, 1 musical swing, lots of bottles, receiving blankets, washcloths, sleepers, a co-sleeper, etc. We bought stuff from our local twins consignment sale (, Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist), got hand-me-downs from friends and of course gifts!

This was my first pregnancy, so if I were expecting a singleton instead of twins, I wouldn’t have though about buying second hand items. Since it was twins, we needed double of (almost) everything so it made practical sense to purchase resale. Now I’m so glad we did!

Helping Hands

We have wonderful family, friends and neighbours. We had help during the day and night in the early days and even on weekend. Mr. Mama took over a month of parental leave (and couldn’t wait to get back to work!). I couldn’t have done it without him! To keep the peace in our house (and free up our precious time), we hired a housekeeper to keep things clean. We also enlisted our family to bring over food and groceries. I enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but it was a few months before I had the time and energy to chop up veggies and make myself a salad. Even now, every time I try to do something in the kitchen, I need to step away at least 3 times to check on the kids when I hear crying or – even worse – when they are too quiet! Line of sight is key!


We recorded all their changes, feedings and baths everyday for 3 months. Especialy helpful since we had lots of different people popping in those first few months to help. Also very helpful for me to record the amount of milk I was producing, and how much their intake was of both breastmilk and formula.

For housework, we figured out what chores were important to us, and who could help us with them. When our families came over we had a list of tasks they could do like fold laundry, wash and sterilize bottles, etc.

As we became more independent and I was home with the babies by myself during the days, I started doing more meal planning. I would cook a few things to last us a couple of days and freeze part of the batch for later.

Schedules & Sleep Training

We started sleep training around 6 months and kept at it. Luckily Little Missy was born with an internal clock that told her to get her beauty sleep by 7pm while Little Mister was our night owl. Still we tried to get them to bed early every night even if it meant we couldn’t go out for dinner or stay out late unless we wanted to be up all night with overtired babies!

The key was, and still is, routine, routine, routine. Even if we didn’t do things at the same time everyday. Our twins became accustomed to the cycle of nap, eat, change, play. One of our neighbours who has experience working in a daycare, suggested using the E.A.S.Y. method. Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time!

What tips and tricks did you use to get your family through the first year with twins?

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Allo Allo!

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Categories Development, Family, Toddlers1 Comment

This is my first blog post on HDYDI, so I thought it would be appropriate to greet everyone like my 2 year old twins, Little Mister and Little Missy.



Phone rings – it’s Grandma: “Allo Allo!”

Lil M&M get home from daycare: “Allo Allo!”

Running out of the bathroom after splash splash: “Allo Allo!”

Why ‘allo,?’ Our twins go to a daycare where the educators and other toddlers are predominately french speaking.

Hats off to all the multiple mommies reading this. Every M.O.M. (Mommy of Multiples) I’ve met so far in our journey since having twins has been dynamic, able to juggle many things at once, and seem energetic even though they are beyond exhausted. I have concluded that to be a M.O.M , you become or already are a Type ‘A’ personality, at least a big chunk of the time. I know I am!

A bit about us.

We are a family of four living in Ottawa Canada. Both my husband (Mr. Mama) and I grew up on opposite sides of our small city yet our paths never crossed until a few years ago. We’ve been married for 3.5 years now, and in that time a lot has happened, especially in 2010. In that one year, I started a new job, moved to a new house, and ended the year with our twins’ birth. Life has never been the same since. (And I thought life was busy before…?)

Fast forward to the present. We’ve survived the first two years with twins! In Canada we are very lucky to have one year for maternity leave (except for the self-employed). I was extra lucky to be able to take an additional 10 months of leave without losing my position. It was the best thing I ever did! Not only was I able to bond more with Little Mister and Little Missy, but we were able to put them directly into a group daycare setting once they turned 20 months, which is what we wanted.

Now that I’ve traded in my track pants for dress pants and returned to work, things are different. The transition back to work in the last 5 months has been hard, especially over the winter and changes to the workplace that happened during my absence. Not to mention the fact that I would rather be home with our lil munchkins!

As a regular contributer, I hope to share some of my experiences, survival tips and adventures with all of you and get to know other mommies through the comments and reading other blog entries. As Little Mister and Little Missy would say: “Bah byeeee” for now!

Ambereen is new to blogging, having only started her own blog at last summer as a way to share stories with family and friends. Between work, home and volunteering with her local Multiple Birth Families Association, Ambereen is always seeking that elusive work/life balance. Oh and she is brushing up on her french skills in order to keep up with her toddlers vocabulary.

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