About Margie

Margie is happily married and the proud momma of fraternal, red-headed twins Wesley and Andrew.  She has her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science and went from a full-time to part-time federal worker when her boys were born in 2009. Margie is an active member of her local Mothers of Multiples organization and finds that the friendships she's made with other moms of multiples have been a huge support thoughout the "twinsanity" of life.  When she's not completely exhausted, Margie forces herself to go for runs and tries to eat healthy.  She loves Christmas and anything chocolate, and she enjoys the outdoors, cooking, being crafty and snuggling on the couch with her family and 3 dogs.  Margie is the author of Double the Giggles.

Toddler Thursday: It Gets Easier

Moms and Dads of toddlers… It gets easier. I promise. It really does.

It wasn’t long ago that my boys were extremely busy toddlers. I’m actually surprised we made it out of that stage without any broken bones or stitches. To say my Wesley and Andrew were active and fearless is an understatement.

I remember running into another mother of multiples at our grocery store’s “play center” about a year and a half ago.  Her b/g twins were about 6 years old, and mine had just turned 3.  We didn’t chat, really, but after we both acknowledged being part of the ‘secret mom of multiples society’, she left me with a simple statement that has stayed with me.  Before now, it was something I held on to with hope, and now I still hang onto it because it was the truth.  She was so right.  So right, that I am sharing it with you now.

Here is what she said to me:

“It gets easier. Just wait until they are four. It gets so much easier.”

Now I completely realize that not all children follow the same developmental timeline, and what a blessing it is to have two children the same age to witness those differences in development, firsthand.  That being said, her “4 year” mark was right on target for both of my boys.  So right on, that when they were 3  years and 363 days old, I was still in the “hope” phase of her statement. Shortly after they turned four, I repeated her words to myself, and slowly began to notice the changes happening right before my eyes.  Amazing.

The toddler years pass, and then it really does get easier. Doesn't always feel like it will, but it does.Toddlers come with their challenges.  Everytime we’d be frustrated or overwhelmed with one thing, it would soon pass and we’d be on to a new one.  They climbed on EVERYTHING (but mostly on things dangerously high).  They were curious of the contents of every single drawer and cupboard.  I remember spontaneous back arches and flips making diaper changes difficult and messy.  Then it seemed like we had to wrestle our boys into their pajamas on some nights. When we started with ‘timeouts’, our main goal became trying to sit the kids in the designated ‘timeout’ zone for more than ten seconds as opposed to the actual discipline aspect of it all.  My boys are really good kids, but at times, it felt like we were losing a battle against a small team of toddlers.

…and then four came.

…and guess what?

IT. GOT. EASIER.

Don’t get me wrong, we still face our fair share of difficulties.  Restaurant manners one time. Restaurant rebels the next. Testing limits. Talking back.  BUT, there are so many things that have gotten easier in the past 6 months.

The boys dress themselves.  This saves us so much time, and allows us to give a direction, secretly knowing the boys will succeed.  We are proud and they are proud.

The boys stay near us.  For the longest time, I would not enter a store if I was unable to confine the boys to a shopping cart (have you seen those tiny carts at the chain drug stores?). Four year olds still have curiosity, but they are better able to follow simple rules and we are able to shop with the boys trailing right behind us or next to our cart.

They totally get consequences.  Last night, Andrew cried over his lost possibility of having a popsicle treat, but I can be sure he knew exactly which of his actions led to his freezie-pop downfall.

Hang in there.  The twin toddler phase seemed more difficult to me than the twinfant stage.  The term “terrible twos (and threes)” didn’t just invent itself.  Hang in there, laugh, lean on friends for support, and enjoy the bright spots amongst the chaos knowing it will all be ok.

Instinctual Parenting (A Guideless Approach to Parenting)

It's okay if you're the parenting book type... and it's okay if you are!Parenting By Instinct. No, that’s not the name of a parenting book.  …or maybe it is, but I wouldn’t know. I don’t read parenting books.

First of all, I’m not a reader.  I don’t enjoy it, I get distracted when I am interested in what I’m reading, and when I actually do complete a book, I’m almost always frustrated and disappointed with the ending.

Second, I don’t have time to read up just to hone in on my skills. I’m too busy actually practicing my craft in real life. When I have a break from that, I’m doing something else I love like baking, crafting or sleeping.

In most parenting situations, I do what comes naturally. I’m a firm believer that parenting expertise comes from experience. Plain and simple. Maybe I have a devil’s advocate approach, but no two children are the same, and no technique will be 100% successful for every parent/child.

This week, you will get a glimpse of some wonderful parenting books that offer amazing advice here on How Do You Do It?. If you like to read, or feel the need to read parenting books, I hope what you read is easy to apply, and that it works for you. I also hope that you verbally share what you learned (only if it works for you, of course!) with those of us that don’t read.

Don’t get me wrong, I google my fair share of situations. I actually read bits and pieces of an infant sleep book back in the days of sheer mom-of-newborn-twins exhaustion. While reading the book, I realized I already was following the steps the book was suggesting – and I came up with it all on my own. Imagine that! (I’m glad I borrowed the book and didn’t actually pay for it.)

In most cases when I’ve been at a loss for innovative options, I go to the masses (the world wide web) and then derive my own path that sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t work. Try and try again. A few things that come to mind that I’ve looked up in the past are potty training, night terrors, discipline and time-outs. In my opinion, there are no set answers for any given situation that are going to work for you. You do what comes naturally, and when that doesn’t pan out, investigate what comes naturally for others. Then, keep your fingers crossed that someone else’s methods, or a combination of methods, will get you the results you need.

Children are sponges and constantly learning. That being said, raising children is a learning process for us, as well.  We can learn from our own mistakes in child rearing and witness direct results from a change in our approach. Our children’s responses and behaviors are results of our delivery of actions. I don’t need a book to tell me that. When I like a result, I continue the action. When the results aren’t what I was hoping for (tantrum, ignoring, talking back), I create a Plan B (… and sometimes a Plan C, then D).

There is a lot of amazing information out there based on studies and experiments. I get it, and I appreciate that. However, I honestly don’t have a desire or the time to invest in reading up on the latest parenting trend. For every concept that works, there is a complete opposite concept/approach that also works. Kind of like dieting. Eat carbs. Don’t eat carbs. Stay away from fats. Eat all the bacon and cheese you want. Each of these individual ideas worked for someone. The bacon and cheese diet sounds absolutely wonderful absurd to me, but someone, somewhere lost half their body weight on that plan.

If I can offer a suggestion to new parents seeking parenting advice, it would be to not limit your options to one source of information. Be open-minded to what works for others, but know that it may not always work for you. Also, trust your own instincts. If you are truly struggling, know that you are not alone, and there are a million ways to reaffirm that fact, whether it be a 250 page book written by a child psychologist, someone’s personal parenting blog, an online forum or a coffee date chat with your bestie.

You can do this. Kids can be completely irrational little beings, and sometimes things get frustrating and tough. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.  You have it in you, and you have enough life experience to know what you ultimately want for your children without some book telling you that.

{Holiday Cards for Heroes} Holiday Activity for Children

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!   Christmas is my favorite holiday, by far.  There’s a feeling of excitement that comes over me in late fall that sticks around for several months.  Having two little boys only makes it more enjoyable, and I’m proud to say that my love of Christmas music was apparently hereditary, because my children love listening to it mid-April just as much as I do! (Sorry, Dan.)  I almost feel like my Christmas Craziness may have turned my husband into a bit of a Scrooge.  I mean, he loves it all too, but he’s more of a “Christmas-music-ONLY-from-December-1st-25th” and “the-tree-goes-up-AFTER-December-1st” sort of guy.  Just twenty-five days? Bah Humbug.  He may have redeemed himself a tiny bit by getting our Christmas lights up on our pines trees outside before Thanksgiving!

All too often, the meaning of this season gets lost in the hustle and bustle of parking, check-out lines and virtual shopping carts, but I’ve found a great activity that will help your children get into the spirit and understand that this is a time of year to be thankful and gracious for what they may not realize they already have.

Here’s a FANTASTIC, educational and spirited activity to do by yourself, with a group of friends, and especially with your little ones.  The American Red Cross is hosting Holiday Mail for Heroes.  You can send holiday greetings to local heroes and Service Members serving abroad.  You can package up a bunch, or just send one.  The Red Cross will determine which ones will get sent in care packages to active miltary members and which will be displayed in local hospitals providing treatment to Veterans.  There are some very specific directions that need to be followed (no inserts like photos, no glitter, etc.) when sending the card(s), so please check out the Red Cross link (and be sure to scroll all the way down) before sending cards to the follwoing address:

Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

All cards MUST BE RECEIVED at this PO Box by DECEMBER 6th, so please hurry hurry hurry if you plan on doing this.   If you do participate, you along with others can share photos of your holiday greeting efforts on twitter, facebook and instagram with the hashtag HolidayMail (#holidaymail). Remember to get those cards in the mail so that they arrive in MD by December 6th.

Charity is another excellent way of giving during the holiday season.  Choose a favorite national or local charity and give a little something if you are able.  Many stores ask you at the check out to add an extra dollar or two onto you bill to support local food shelters.  Take a name from a Giving Tree of a less fortunate family or a child (many churches/schools and stores do this – I just saw a tree full of names at our local wholesale shopping club) and try to help them out in some way during this holiday season.  Bake some dog treats and deliver them to a local animal shelter.  Have your kids collect their outgrown clothing and not-played-with-anymore toys and donate them to those less fortunate.  Knit a scarf or two and take them to a homeless shelter.  Buy someone on the street a hot cup of coffee.  Can you think of a better way to teach your children about caring and compassion for others?

What ways do you and your family Give during the holiday season?  Please share your ideas in the comments below!

NICU Graduates: A Picture Round-up

Prematurity Awareness Week 2013: How Do You Do It?

World Prematurity Day November 17In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.

In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes, How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues.


Thank you for joining us this week as we shared our experiences, reflected on our journeys, and celebrated our milestones in the name of prematurity awareness.  Rounding out our series, the HDYDI MoMs are proud to showcase some of our NICU graduates.


Preemies shortly after birth compared to age 7 from hdydi.com

Sadia’s daughters M (top left and on the inside bottom) and J (top right and on the outside bottom) were born at 33 weeks but are now doing more than fine at age 7. They’re dancers, bookworms, pet lovers, Girl Scouts, best friends and the light of Sadia’s life. They read about 3 grades above their age level. M plans to be a restauranteur, astronaut and mother of quadruplets. J intends to be a teacher and dancer.

Preemies grow up strong from hdydi.com

Margie’s boys, Wesley (top row) and Andrew (bottom row) spent two weeks in the NICU after being born via emergency c-section (on their scheduled 38 week scheduled delivery date) due to an undetected blood disorder that caused extreme complications hours before their actual scheduled delivery time. After several blood transfusions each, having a seizure (Andrew) and receiving several rounds of platelets, the boys beat the odds and came home happy and healthy. The photos on the left were taken the day after their birth. After only a quick glimpse in the delivery room, the boys were rush off to receive immediate medical assistance and Margie and her husband were not allowed to see them until the following morning. The entire day seemed surreal, knowing she delivered two babies, not being able to see them and still having a big twin belly. Margie says those first few days were the hardest, scariest and saddest days she’s ever experienced. The photos to the right show the boys in the NICU after most of the wires and tubes had been removed. They are two of Margie’s most treasured photos.

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Wesley and Andrew just celebrated their 4th birthday and love living life at 100mph! Wesley wants to drive an ambulance someday to help sick people, and Andrew dreams of being an astronaut.

Preemies grow up healthy and strong! from hdydi.com

MandyE’s fraternal twin girls were born at 34 weeks and spent 10 days in the NICU. They will celebrate their fifth birthday in January with their very blessed family.

Angela's triplets were born at 27 weeks and 5 days after a month of hospital bed rest. They weighed a little over 2 pounds each. Carter only lived 49 days and Braden & Tenley came home after 4 and 3 months. They fought through L3/4 brain bleeds, shunts, NEC, seizures, sensory issues, feeding issues and GERD, and still have ongoing therapy. In the end though, Angela feels blessed and is very proud of how far her little preemies have come.

Angela’s triplets were born at 27 weeks and 5 days after a month of hospital bed rest. They weighed a little over 2 pounds each. Carter only lived 49 days and Braden & Tenley came home after 4 and 3 months. They fought through L3/4 brain bleeds, shunts, NEC, seizures, sensory issues, feeding issues and GERD, and still have ongoing therapy. In the end though, Angela feels blessed and is very proud of how far her little preemies have come.

 

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Carolyn’s first son was born at 31 weeks, followed two years later by her twin boys, at 27 weeks.  Now five and three years old, they are her superheroes.

Giving Back: NICU Gratitude

Prematurity Awareness Week 2013: How Do You Do It?

World Prematurity Day November 17In the United States, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely, 1 in 10 in Canada. Worldwide, over 15 million babies are born too soon each year. While not all multiples are born prematurely, a multiple birth increases the probability of an early delivery. Babies born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, are at a higher risk for health complications in infancy, some of which can have long-term effects. Full-term infants are not all free from their own health complications, of course.

In honor of November’s Prematurity Awareness Month, led by the March of Dimes, How Do You Do It? is focusing this week’s posts on The Moms’ experiences with premature deliveries, NICU stays, health complications, special needs, and how we’ve dealt with these complex issues.


During the first 2 weeks of my boys’ lives, the NICU was our home-away-from-home. I was aware of the possibility of a NICU stay, just based on a multiple pregnancy being high-risk. We made it to 38 weeks gestation, so what could possibly go wrong?  Our boys decided to throw a wrench in the we’re-just-here-until-we-can-gain-some-weight-and-maintain-our-body-temps NICU experience that I was prepared for. No parent wants their children to require a NICU stay, but if your children end up there, I now know that there is no better place. The care and concern of the neo-natal doctors and NICU nurses was unimaginably authentic and sincere, and they knew how to react to urgent situations in the blink of an eye.  They are skilled in their profession, and skilled in compassion. (Read a little more about my boys’ unexpected NICU stay in the letter I wrote to them on their first birthday.)

For the first two years after the boys were born, my mom and I “went back to give back”.  On their first birthday I baked 100 cupcakes and my mom knitted baby blankets to distribute to the current NICU residents.  On the boys’ second birthday, they went with us to donate 100 infant and preemie handmade hats (again, the crafty work of my mom).  The nurses loved seeing the boys and the families we encountered were grateful for the handmade items, and hopeful that they’d soon be home with their little ones.  Every February, we also attend a fundraiser for our hospital’s NICU which raises thousands of dollars each year.  Absolutely amazing.

Although my mom was prepared for their 3rd and 4th birthdays, I had a difficult enough time returning the first two times.  Although miracles were performed during my boys’ stay, I got extremely emotional as we walked down that long corridor to the NICU with gifts; gifts thanking the medical personnel for allowing me the opportunity to bring my boys home happy and healthy.  If anyone has ever seen me cry, you know it’s not a pretty sight.  I cannot easily contain my emotions.  I just couldn’t go back to the NICU again.  It was just too difficult, and instantly brought back very emotional memories for me.

Fast forward to today.  I have two very happy, very active four year old boys, and am now involved with our local multiples club.  I was ecstatic to hear that our club’s Charity Committee was able to purchase a rocking chair second-hand, and is in the process of having a plaque made for each arm of the chair.  The plaques will dedicate the chair to a local NICU and create name recognition for our club; a club which has been so supportive to new moms-of-multiples in our area.  You don’t even have to be a member of our club to receive and benefit from the plethora of advice our members are always ready and willing to share.  We want to let new moms know that we have ‘been there’, and that we are a strong, local support system that they can turn to.

Any small token of gratitue does not go unnoticed.  Gifts, parental support via volunteering, updates on your NICU graduates…

Do you feel NICU gratitude? What have you done to give back to those that gave so much?

{Giveaway} Tiny Prints Holiday Cards $50 Credit

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Good morning, HDYDI Readers!   How about getting a head start on your holiday cards by winning a $50 credit (plus free shipping, woo hoo!) to Tiny Prints!  Tiny Prints has so many gorgeous options to choose from, you may actually have difficulty deciding on just one design! Hop on over to my personal blog, Double the Giggles and follow the steps to enter.  Contest ends soon, so what are you waiting for?!

You could win a $50 credit to Tiny Prints!

Good Luck!

Potty Training Twins – It’s not Twinpossible!

There’s been some discussion of HDYDI having some more Potty Training Multiples posts. Here is my original post from a little over a year ago, transcribed (with some updates) from my personal blog, Double the Giggles. Ultimately, there is no single successful method, so my suggestion is to read up on as many theories as you can, and see what works best for your twins. Most likely, it won’t be the one that works best for you and your busy schedule… but nothing is ever simple when it comes to multiples, right? Enjoy reading about our experience (below), and good luck in your potty training adventures!

Twin boys and potty training. Ugh. I was seriously starting to think that my little Andrew and Wesley would each be hauling a diaper bag off to college, (preferably a paid-for-by-two-full-scholarships sort of college). We started getting them both familiar with the concept of using a potty around 18 months and we are just now reaping the benefits of not buying diapers and Desitin just weeks away from their turd birthday. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

By getting familiar with, I mean with potty books and the actual potty (read: 47 potties): The adult potty, the toddler potty, the tiny seat that goes on the big potty, portable seats, outside in nature (yes, I have boys), everything. You name it, we have it. I swear, I have at least 7 potties in addition to the two that came bolted to the floor of our house. We’ve tried them all. What ended up working? The permanent fixtures in the house. That’s right. You heard me.

Andrew was first to succeed, but what we didn’t know (18 months ago) was that we just had to wait until HE was ready… I wouldn’t believe this unless it actually happened.  And it did. Andrew decided when it would happen all on his own.  About 18 months of on and off, very stressful “trying to potty train” and one day, out of the blue, the kid just decided “today is the day.” It was wonderful.  Magical. (Insert angelic voices, here.)

Throughout this adventure, I’ve learned how difficult it is to have a mom (and/or dad), a curious second sibling and three dogs all in one tiny 4×5′ bathroom at the same time. Distraction, distraction, distraction. I decided to weigh my efforts more towards the child that seemed to have the hang of it instead of trying to train both at once. WAY EASIER, and Wesley wasn’t jealous or competitive at all. We always called him in after to help us wave ‘bye-bye’ to our flushable friend(s), but one at a time was the way to go for us. Give this a try if you are struggling with two at once.

Wesley is now (finally, about 3 weeks later) getting the hang of things, but that ‘light switch’ hasn’t been flicked quite yet. We are in the constantly-reminding-him-to-stay-clean-and-dry phase, and sometimes he’d rather continue to play then take a much-needed potty break. That being said, I’m refusing to buy any more diapers and still have a brand new pack that I’m not planning on busting open any time soon. All undies, all the time. (Pull-Ups at night, but that’s a whole other can of worms). Now that I see how things went with Andrew, I’m trying to stay as positive as possible with Wesley, even though their approaches to the concept are different. When an accident happens, I have him remove his clothes (and I’m sure to tell him “Yuck! I don’t want to touch those clothes!”) and after he visits the potty, he helps me clean the area he messed in. No yelling, no judgements, just matter-of-factly. You made this mess, kid… you clean it.

There is hope out there. We didn’t find hope in a toddler potty, or by using Cheerios as targets. We found it by sitting backwards on the regular old toilet, “making as many bubbles as possible” and by categorizing the end product, (Ex: “Wow! You made a dinosaur/crocodile/daddy-{yes, daddy}-sized poop!”)… and a sticker or M&M work well, if you’re into bribery!  Do some research for new and fun ideas if the ones you are trying aren’t working.

Hang in there. I truly think we give them the guidance they need, but it is up to them when it happens. Stay positive (so difficult, but sooo important), be prepared to do some extra laundry and buy stock in Lysol wipes. The day will come when they are ready for it and you’ll be their biggest cheerleader.

Rereading this post a year-or-so later, I need to add that it took another 6-8 months for the boys to stay dry through the night. I never realized that nighttime potty training was a whole other thing. I wanted my sleep, and feared that they’d be unable to go back to sleep if I woke them every few hours, so PullUps were what we relied on for quite some time. There was a lot of praise given on the mornings where dry PullUps still existed. The boys are now 4 and have been in “big boy undies” at night for several months now. Currently, the boys go to bed between 7 and 8, and I usually get them both up once a night (between 2 and 3am) to use the bathroom. I’m a light sleeper, so I’m usually up several times a night, anyway. This prevents any accidents in their beds (which if I didn’t get them up, might occur once or twice a month) and saves on unnecessary loads of laundry.

Whether you have one child in that stage or four, potty training is definitely an adventure. Not a hey-I’m-totally-living-vicariously-through-that-friend-of-mine-backpacking-through-Europe type of adventure. More like the adventure I had white water rafting where I was glad I was wearing protective safety gear, I was glad when it was over, and I never needed to experience it first-hand again!

Mothers More Fatigued than Dads…

Ever feel exhausted? Mentally drained ring a bell? This is how I feel these days.

ALL. THE.TIME.

Why, you ask?

Because I’m a mom.

I’m a mom to two very active, 100mph, hysterical, wouldn’t-trade-them-for-the-world four year old boys.

Sometimes I feel like the only people truly capable of totally understanding this can’t-shut—my-brain-off-even-when-I’m-sleeping feeling are other mothers. It’s a little extra bonus gift we get with those stretch marks, I guess. I swear, I wake up tired from all the thinking I get accomplished during the night.

My husband loves reading the news. (How does he even find the time?) He came across this article in the Washington Post yesterday that pretty much sums up what we (us moms) already know all too well.

Mothers More Fatigued than Dads… – Washington Post

I guess I just found some comfort is seeing it in writing (a fancy, schmancy “report”, no less!) and knowing that I’m not the only mother feeling this way. Nothing is more reassuring than knowing what you are feeling is not indigenous to you and you alone. Support in numbers, right?

Take a moment to read through the article and share with fellow moms who you know are experiencing the same exhaustion and mental fatigue. Even moms that may appear to have it all together have rough patches here and there, and that’s PERFECTLY NORMAL! Moms get worn out. Thanks to the aforementioned report, this is now a scientific fact! (Take that, naysayers!)

As important as it is to support our fellow moms, it’s even more important to share this concept with those who might not realize the amount of work that goes into being a mom. It’s something that we cannot turn off. We can’t, and we don’t want to. It’s all part of being a wonderful, amazing, superhero mom.

Margie P. is mom to fraternal four-year-old, redheaded boys, and the voice behind Double the Giggles.

Giving Back

Me and my boys, stopping back at the NICU 2 years later.

Hey, Everyone! It’s Margie from Double the Giggles again. I’m exhausted from a loooong weekend of celebrating my boys’ 2nd birthday (check my blog for a recap of their Little Men party – complete with mustache decor!), but I wanted to share something with you that seems to be becoming a tradition for us. Today, my post is about giving back to those that gave us so much to be thankful for, exactly 2 years ago.

When my twins were born at 38 weeks, they had some severe complications that the neonatologists had never seen, first hand. Having a negative blood type, I received a Rhogam shot to protect my unborn babies in the event of blood transfer during delivery. Only problem was, the Rhogam shot only works if you have a D-antigen in your blood, which most people have. I was the .000000001 percent that had an undetected E-antigen. The doctors were baffled, both mine and the boys’. The shot did nothing to protect me or my children, and my twins were born with their bodies attacking themselves. After being told by a Neonatologist that we had two VERY sick babies, that they shouldn’t have even made it to 38 weeks, that you shouldn’t have any more children and spending two horrible weeks in the NICU, my babies were cured, sent home and are now beyond happy, healthy two year olds!

Thanks to the AMAZING doctors and nurses in the NICU, we have our Wesley and Andrew, as perfect as ever.

Soooo… every year on their birthday, we give back. Last year, my mom and I went up to the NICU and delivered about 100 cupcakes and handmade baby blankets (made by my mom) for the new babies requiring the TLC of the NICU. This year, the boys got to come along with us. My mom and I headed up to the NICU again with Andrew, and Wesley, and plenty of donuts and coffee for the nurses, doctors and new moms and dads who will be calling the NICU ‘home’ for any number of days. My mom also made about 50 teeny, tiny knitted hats for the newest residents of the NICU. All different sizes and soft baby colors. Some were Extra-Extra Small, and my mom thought they wouldn’t get used. I told her that some little one would make his/her arrival way too soon and I’m sure he or she would love a little handmade cap.

The nurses/doctors were very grateful and were thrilled to see the boys. Some even remembered their stay in the NICU! Of course, who could ever forget that red hair that Wesley was born with! Although the sad emotions always come back whenever I walk through those hospital doors, it felt good to give back a little something to those that gave us so much.
Is there anyone that made an impact on you in the early days of your multiples’ lives? A Doctor? A Nurse? A nanny? A complete stranger? A friend or family member? How did you repay them or thank them?

Climbing Toddlers

Andrew's infamous window climb. Window was taped off with cardboard shortly after.

I thought I’d given myself enough time for this post, but once again, I’ve procrastinated. …and by procrastinated, I mean I’ve cleaned, chased babies, did laundry, made meals, and cleaned some more. Hello, I’m last minute Margie from Double the Giggles.  I’m so happy to be a new addition to HDYDI, a blog I’ve turned to for multiples advice many times in the past.

As a mom to two very active ‘almost‘ two year old boys, I face many challenges.  Daredevil was never something I’d thought I’d have to deal with…well, not just yet, I guess.  My little Andrew is very strong and loves to jump, leap, climb and flip.   The kid does a better summersault than I did after years of gymnastics class.  That’s problem #1.   Problem #2 is that my little Wesley is not as coordinated (ahem, bull in China shop) however, has a severe case of the Monkey See, Monkey Do’s.

Insert Band-Aid here.

The boy’s latest feat is the bookshelf in their room.   The bookshelf has been stripped of it’s many toys and books (by the boys, themselves) and is now used as a playground toy.   Fear not, it’s firmly bolted to the wall.  My husband and I have come up with all sorts of innovative baby-proofing in our house, but where does it end?  If I tape poster board over the lower shelves to deter climbing, it will only get torn off.   The changing table/dresser has already been removed from their room due to climbing… Is it time to remove the bookshelf now, too?  Is it crazy to have just beds in their room?

My question to other moms of multiples who have dealt with this is:  When saying “Don’t Climb” and/or “Feet on the Floor” don’t work, and your toddlers are determined to climb and jump beyond where it’s considered acceptable (say, at a playground or in a bounce house), what tricks worked for you in keeping them grounded?  I have endless kisses for boo-boos, but all these Band-Aids are getting pricey…