Meet a How Do You Do It? author

Sadia

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

The Summer Childcare Quandary

Posted on
Categories Childcare, How Do The Moms Do It, Older Children, School-Age5 Comments

Like most people with full time jobs, my work hours remain the same during the summer when school is out. Like the other 12 million single parents in the US, finding childcare for my children falls solely to me. Technically, the girls’ father has summer visitation privileges, but I need to have a plan in case he doesn’t show up. I also have to choose between missing registration deadlines or forfeiting deposit payments if he does decide to spend time with the children.

Given the enormous variety of summer camps available here in suburban Texas, you might assume that the only challenge for summer childcare for my elementary school children is our custody situation. You’d be very, very wrong.

Most day camps sold as “full day” camps run from 9 am to 3:30 or 4 pm. After-school childcare programs suspend for the summer, so those of us who work fairly typical hours (8 am to 5 pm in the US, plus commute time) are out of luck. Some companies, including mine, can accommodates shorter hours in the office to allow us to work from home to make up the balance. However, that’s not an ideal solution, either. When I’m home with my children, I want to be actively with them, not simply physically present but mentally at work. My daughters aren’t huge outdoors kids, so shooing them out into the Texas heat to play only buys me a few hours per week.

Ever year, starting in March, all the working moms I know begin our summer care hand wringing. It never gets better, though. Given that stay-at-home motherhood is no longer the only norm in our society, I really don’t understand why we haven’t come up with better solutions. Year round school would work. Full day summer camps would be great if their hours mirrored daycare programs for infants and toddlers. After camp care, similar to after school care, including transportation where necessary, would be enormously helpful.

I must acknowledge that most of these options don’t account for how out of reach summer camp costs are for many single parents, often around $150-200 per child per week, more for extended care. I know. This is quite a bit less than infant care, but it’s still a major stressor for families. I know of kids my daughters’ age, 10 years old, who have been staying home along during the summer for years. While that may have worked in past generations, when free range parenting was just called “life”, it not a sustainable way to keep kids out of trouble in 2016.

Childcare for elementary schoolers when school lets out for the summer can be a nightmare for the working parent.

I’m very thankful that we have a full day gymnastics camp only 15 miles out of our way that always makes room for my girls. My boss is open to my leaving an hour early every day to pick the kids up before they close. Neither of my daughters does gymnastics during the school year, but they enjoy the program for the summer. In all honesty, they’d rather attend others, but I can’t meet registration deadlines because of visitation challenges. In a pinch, teacher friends will watch my girls, but I can’t expect that for the 10 weeks school is out.

Any great ideas for fixing our summer childcare culture?

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Respecting Boundaries

Posted on
Categories Independence, Individuality, Mommy Issues, Older Children, Parenting, Perspective1 Comment

Last night, I scrubbed the girls’ bathroom from top to bottom after tucking the children into bed. I then took a little break on the couch, eating a piece of chocolate while watching part of an episode of Turn on Netflix. Next to me lay my daughter’s sketchbook, closed. She had once again failed to put it away.

I was tempted to peek.

My daughter turns 10 in a few days and her artistic abilities are impressive. Her classmates commission drawings from her. She entertained a 4-year-old a waiting room for an hour the other day, drawing what the littler girl demanded: a ballerina performing on a stage in front of an audience. The perspective was spot on, the stage curtains elegant and heavy-looking, the dancer light on her feet. Some of the seats in the front row were empty, the audience members a mix of children and adults. The kid can draw, not professionally by any means, but well.

I am tempted to share her drawings with you.

I didn’t peek. I don’t share her drawings with you until I get her consent.

image

My daughters have boundaries and I choose to respect them. My little girl will let me leaf through her sketchbook when she is ready. She has shared some drawings with me but says I need to wait to see others.

I am allowed to hug her, but the bedtime kisses on the nose have been banned for a few months now. She was feeling poorly earlier this week and wanted snuggles. I forgot myself and kissed her on the top of her head, then apologized. “It’s okay,” she told me. “Feeling better kisses are okay.”

She shares with me her thoughts on school, life, family, and friendship. I feel like I know what’s going on with her.

She knows that I will respect her boundaries, despite temptation. This is how I keep boundaries from coming between us.

 

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Personalized Christmas Ornaments for Twins and More

Posted on
Categories Holidays, ProductsTags , , , 4 Comments

Disclosure: I received a $35 credit plus free shipping from Personalized Ornaments for You in exchange for an honest review. Images are shared with permission.

We absolutely love decorating our Christmas tree. Since my twins are responsible enough to handle breakable ornaments, I trotted out all the special ornaments this winter. These are the one-off ornaments that hold special meaning to us, whether they were a gift from my daughters’ great-grandmother to commemorate their first Christmas or handmade by my daughters the year they learned to write.

Popsicle sticks, paper plates, glue, and paint make for an easy Christmas ornament for little artists.

I’m a sucker for little things with big meaning. Family themed Christmas ornaments? Sign me up.

This ornament commemorates baby's (or in the twins' case, babies'!) first Christmas.

While the Hallmark First Christmas kitten in a stroller is adorable, its true meaning comes from it being a gift from Grandma Great. Let’s be honest, if it weren’t for that, it would be a little generic. Grandma Great was thoughtful enough to buy two of them so that each twin will have one to grace her own Christmas tree when she is grown.

wpid-Photo-20151231121925419.jpg

My girls have recently come to realize how very special their twin bond is. They spend a lot of time with their best friend, who was an only child for nearly 9 years. This friendship has inspired them to express more and more how special it is to have an identical twin sister.

2015 was the perfect time to find gifts for my daughters that would acknowledge their unique connection, and I found them in the form of Christmas ornaments.

This ornament from #POFY was an instant hit with twin sisters. Of course, mommy had to get two of them!

How utterly adorable is that mantle with matching stockings with each girl’s name (which I’ve edited out for their privacy)? The stock text for the ornament was “TWINS’ 2ND CHRISTMAS!”, but I was able to supply my own text for no extra cost. Of course, I also specified my daughters’ names. Adorable personalized ornament! #POFY #twins

The order form is wonderfully easy to use.

 

Ordering affordable personalized ornaments could not be easier! #POFY has a huge variety of family themed christmas ornaments as well as others.

I ordered two of the ornaments. Because, twins. They’re excellent quality and honestly far nicer than I expected them to be, given the prices and rapid delivery. I can’t come up with a criticism, and I’ve tried. They’re nice heavy ceramic with a beautiful sheen and the pride put into the handwritten lettering is clear.

When Personalized Ornaments for You first reached out to us for a review post, I was ready to say, “Thanks but no thanks,” as I do to most companies, since most companies have nothing specific to offer our multiple birth families. Generic family themed Christmas ornaments weren’t going to cut it.

#POFY was completely different. Not only did they offer options for twins, there were so many to choose from that I had to make a shortlist of favourites, step away from the computer, and then decide. In fact, although I went to their site fully intending to order a single ornament, I ended up ordering three, supplementing the company’s generous credit with a bit of my own money. I’ll get to keep my own single mommy of twinfants ornament when my grown daughters abscond with theirs!

An ornament for a single mother of twins? Oh, sure, Personalized Ornaments for You has even this mom covered!(My daughter has been exceptionally camera-shy of late, but she loved these ornaments so much that she even offered to model them for the blog!)

#POFY doesn’t just have stuff for twins, either! Triplets and quadruplets are set, as are larger families with singletons in the mix.

#POFY even has ornaments for triplet families!

How perfect would an ornament like this be to announce a multiple pregnancy? Instead of names, you could go with “Baby A, Baby B, Baby C, Baby D”?

A perfect ornament for the family of quadruplets that has everything. #POFY

Or you could sneak a due date in place of a name and watch realization dawn on Grandma’s face!

A great keepsake for a BIG family! #POFY has great family themed christmas ornaments.

I was going to distribute our ornaments around our tree, but one of my daughters stopped me. “Put them together, Mommy,” she requested, “because it’s our family, and we belong together.”

How cute are these ornaments for a single mom family with twins? #POFY has great family themed christmas ornaments for families of all sorts.

So, have I talked you into wanting your own little tear jerker moment, inspired by a personalized ornament? I’m happy to tell you that Personalized Ornaments for You is hosting their close out sale starting today, through the end of the month. If you’re in the US or Canada, hurry over to grab some gifts for loved ones or treats for yourself to squirrel away until next December.

Of course, I’ve focused on the multiple family-themed ornaments, but you’ll find something for everyone and every occasion on the #POFY website. Happy browsing!

Personalized Ornaments for You offers just that - the perfect personalized ornament to say, "You are special."

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinfant Tuesday: Distinguishing Night from Day

Posted on
Categories Overnight, Parenting, SleepTags , , Leave a comment

Switching kids from vacation to school mornings is no fun. They’re grumpy enough that vacation is over. The earlier wake up time just adds insult to injury.

The end of winter break got me thinking about sleep patterns. I worked through December, with two days off (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), but my daughters were out of school for the second half of the month. For the first time, I didn’t send them to daycare or a winter break camp. Instead, I worked from home and let the twins stay home with me.

Although I stayed on my regular work routine, my daughters stayed up later than usual and slept in. They loved having a full day for games of pretend, fort building, board games, and reading. And yes, I allowed them 2 hours of screen time per day, a quantity usually reserved for weekends.

Transitioning from an 8 am wake up time to 6 am for school wasn’t going to be fun for anyone. I did some reading on circadian rhythms and body clocks. Most of what I read, I already knew and had begun to put in place. One thing surprised me: the impact of exposure to electronic screens. More on that later.

Parents fixate on sleep. We worry about whether our children are getting enough sleep, whether the sleep is happening at the right time, and whether our children will ever again let us sleep enough to feel rested.

Parents fixate on #sleep: our kids and our own. #Babies learn to distinguish night from day. Click To Tweet

Whether or not we’re consciously aware, every parent has at least one sleep goal for their newborn: distinguishing night from day. As they grow, we want our children to develop sleep patterns that involve increasingly long stretches of sleep at night and increasing short stretches of sleep during the day.

We’re built for such sleep patterns. Our bodies produce a chemical called melatonin, and how much we produce is tied to the time of day. Melatonin levels, in turn, tell our bodies whether it is sleep time or wake time. The way that our bodies determine how much melatonin to create is strongly influenced by light exposure. It’s very logical. In the thousands of the years humans were around before the invention of the light bulb, we could rely on the timing of sunlight to regulate our sleep-wake cycles.

Consider gradually dimming lights around your little one as part of sleep training.

My daughters have a good friend who is blind. While I now allow some flexibility in my 9-year-old girls’ sleep time, their blind friend gets no such luxury. Without light input to help regulate to her body clock, she is wholly reliant on routine to keep her on the same sleep-wake schedule as her peers. Sleeping in on weekends or staying up late as a treat isn’t worth the disruption that it would cause her.

Electric lights may do something to mess with our body clocks, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start dimming lights as bedtime approaches. I babysit my friends’ 8-month-old with some regularity, and he goes down for the night easiest when I don’t turn on lights in the house as the sky darkens. He’s an active, curious little boy who tends to fight sleep, but the changes in light quality after sunset have an unmistakable effect on him.

The thing that hadn’t occurred to me until I started to research it more is that electronic screens, even those used for reading, can trick our bodies into thinking it’s still daytime as we’re trying to wind down for the night. After I read that little fact, I adjusted our “Kindle time doesn’t count as screen time” rule to “Kindle time doesn’t count as screen time, but any reading within an hour of bedtime must be on paper.” And of course, no other types of screen time, whether a game or a show, is allowed within that same pre-bed wind-down hour. Ideally, that wind-down hour would be two hours, but a full-time job and commute makes that impossible. When the girls are on the computer until close to bedtime because of homework, I can dim the screen as much as possible.

If rejiggering your family’s light exposure doesn’t work or isn’t an option as your kids are returning to their school schedule, you can actually buy melatonin in pill form. Please, before acting on this option, speak to your child’s pediatrician and go with the lowest available dose, 0.5 mg or less. It seems that the best time to take a dose is around 6:00 pm, which sets your school-aged child up to be sleepy right around bedtime. Unless your child has a confirmed sleep disorder, there should be no need to use melatonin over the long-term. It’s especially helpful when switching sleep patterns, for example after a trip to counter jetlag, or if you work a night shift.

Do you take light exposure into account when you consider your family’s schedule?

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Experiential Gifts

Posted on
Categories HolidaysTags , 1 Comment

I pride myself on giving thoughtful and personal gifts. However, my love of gift giving is in direct conflict with my penny pinching tendencies and antipathy toward consumerism. I’m a decent cook and baker, so I tend to give food gifts to friends. Since I feed my kids anyway, gastronomical gifts don’t work as well for them during the holidays, when my oven is rarely off. My daughters love being my quality control department. A gift of freshly made cookies or bread wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful to them as I want their gifts to be.

Two colours are all you need to achieve festive elegance. Food gifts are wonderfully economical, useful, and personal.

Now that my daughters are old enough to appreciate delayed gratification, I can give them gifts that aren’t objects. I can give them experiences. This Christmas, for example, I have enrolled my daughters and their best friend in a children’s sewing class offered at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. They’ll learn the basics of cutting fabric for a pattern, using a sewing machine, and will come away with a brand new pillowcase for their effort.Turn a mason jar into an experiential gift container with a short and sweet note.

To help the girls feel that this was an inclusive group gift, I chose a colourful fabric for the main part of the pillowcase, with contrasting fabric in each child’s favourite colour.

Achieve coordination and individualization at the same time in the decor of a shared bedroom!

The challenge with experiential gifts is how to effectively fold them in Christmas Day gift-opening wonder. Opening an envelope and finding a gift card is nice and all, but it’s not nearly as tactile as unwrapping a gift. I love seeing my girls wonder what’s inside, then spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours exploring the contents of each package. My twins, like me, avoid rushing through gift opening, instead savouring each gift as it makes an appearance.

I will admit that I’m quite proud of how I wrapped the three girls’ sewing class gift. I purchased all the supplies they needed for the class, except for the required pincushion and the sewing machines BFF’s mom and I already own. I then hit Pinterest and followed a wonderful tutorial from The Seasoned Homemaker to turn the lids of three mason jars into pincushions. Fabric, pins, thread, measuring tape, and seam rippers went into each jar, along with a printed invitation to the class. I wrapped the whole mess in happy Christmas paper. Sadly, the fabric shears couldn’t possibly fit in the jar, so I wrapped those separately and taped a pair to each jar.

Make an experiential gift one that a child can open with this mason jar sewing lesson kit!

 

I can’t wait to see the results of their effort!

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Make-It Monday: Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Posted on
Categories Parenting5 Comments

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we’re getting fully into the winter celebratory spirit. Our first winter craft of this year has been coffee filter snowflakes.

Coffee filter snowflake. The folded filter has tiny pieces tiny out of it (top left) and unfolds into a delicate work of seasonal symmetrical art.

Any paper can work for a pretty snowflake, but the circular shape and thin nature of coffee filters makes them all the easier to cut. You want to use the circular ones for this project, not the cones.

Circular coffee filters are the perfect material for paper snowflakes.

Depending on your child’s maturity, patience, and hand-eye coordination, he or she may be able to fold the filters or require your assistance. I like to flatten them, then fold them into twelfths, as shown below, but folding them in eighths is easier. The snowflake shown at the top of this post was cut from a filter folded in twelfths, the one at the end in eighths.

How to fold a coffee filter in even 12ths to make a lovely paper snowflake.

The next step is to cut small pieces out of the folded filter, being sure to cut through all layers. You can go with geometric shapes, or something more targeted. Hearts, Christmas trees, and flowers are all shapes with a line of symmetry, so those work well along the fold lines.

Sample cuts for a coffee filter snowwflake.

When you’re done cutting, unfold a lovely snowflake. These can go up on your wall, be assembled into a pretty mobile, or be glued onto cardstock for a cute homemade holiday card. You can also teach your kiddos about symmetry while you make these!

Unfold your paper snowflake and teach your little one about symmetry while you're at it!

Coffee filter snowflakes are an easy art project and illustrate the basics of symmetry.

I’ve been having just as much fun making these coffee filter snowflakes as the girls have. If you do this project, send us a picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

If you want to get really impressive, check out Anthony Herrera’s snowflake designs. We tried our hands at some of his Frozen-themed ones, and they were amazing!

Anthony Herrera's Olaf snowflake/

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinkly Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Posted on
Categories 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 Lisa at Mummascribbles. This is our final week of hosting for Caro of The Twinkle Diaries and me.

Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers. I have met so many wonderful people here, but none more so than Lisa and Caro. They have been friends, cheerleaders, supporters, and counselors over the last several months, and their friendship alone has been worth all the work that goes into keeping this linky running. There are so many others that I’ve met through Twinkly Tuesday, bloggers I will absolutely keep reading.

However, I simply cannot keep up any more as a host. 40-50 posts to read and comment on every week had begun to feel like an obligation rather than a joy, just because of all the demands on my time. The children come first. I look forward to returning to the ranks of Twinkly Tuesday participant.

Twinkly Tuesday will continue

Going it alone means that Lisa will make some changes. She is taking this opportunity to make Twinkly Tuesday less time-consuming to host. As of next week (December 1), look for the following changes will be coming into play.

  • No more reminder tweets on Tuesday mornings. Instead, you’ll get a reminder email.
  • Hosts will no longer comment on every post linked up. This makes it all the more crucial that you comment on the post before yours. Let Lisa know if you don’t receive any comments on a linked post. Twinkly Tuesday is mature enough to self-police!
  • Lisa will still retweet all your #TwinklyTuesday tweets, assuming you mention her @mummascribbles.
  • Lisa will choose a Tuesday Twinkler.
  • If you are linking up for the first time, do let Lisa know so that she can add you to her reminder email list.

We hope that you understand my reasons, and Caro’s for stepping away. Thank you, thank you, thank you all for opening your hearts, making me cry, and making me laugh myself silly.

It’s time. Just link up one post and comment on as many others as you can – including the one directly before yours.

If you are featured this week, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog.

My Tuesday Twinkler is a mortifying tale of an outing during potty training from Mummy Muckups with a heartwarming moment of parental solidarity. Just read Anna’s post. Both the content and the storytelling are lovely. Well, maybe just the storytelling.

A tale of potty training woe and parental solidarity.

 

Lisa’s Tuesday Twinkler is Heather’s beautiful tribute to her grandfather on One Crazy Ride. The photos, words, and feelings are uplifting and filled with love. The idea of his having over 100 grandchildren and great grandchildren is more than I can quite conceive.

A tribute from Heather to her grandfather.Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is a thought provoker from Tiny Tyger, Baby Bear and Me. Now that Lady Nym is reasonable sure that both her children are autistic, she ponders whether she would seek a cure for autism, if such a thing existed. It’s not as straightforward as you might think.

 

Pills

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 up a post, old or new, that you think deserves more readers!

Twitter: Be sure to 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!

Lisa will pick the post to 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.

  • Link up one post per week — old or new.
  • Please be kind enough to add the Twinkly Tuesday badge to the bottom of your post/s or your linky 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 closes at 23.55 GMT tonight.

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

Grab buttons 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!

Twinkly Tuesday

<div class="twinklytuesday-button" style="width: 200; margin: 0 auto;"><a href="http://hdydi.com/twinkly-tuesday/" target="_blank"><img src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/twinkly_tuesday_badge_2015.jpg" alt="Twinkly Tuesday" width="200" height="200" /></a></div>
Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

An Open Letter to Marissa Mayer

Posted on
Categories Parenting10 Comments

Dear Ms Mayer,

I know that you get a lot of flak. Because of your job as a relatively young female CEO of a high profile company, the world reads into your personal decisions all sorts of gender stereotypes and norms. You may have no interest in serving as a feminist symbol, whether icon or patsy.

I’m not writing to you as a feminist (which I am) or to criticize how you achieve family-work balance. Instead, I’d like to talk to you working MoM to working MoM. First off, congratulations on your identical twin daughters! I wish for you a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.

Welcome to the most wonderful club in the world, that of Parents of Multiples. While I’m sure that every parent of several revels in their children’s sibling relationships, there’s something magical and humbling about the wombmate bond. The identical bond is even deeper. I’m a mother of identical twin daughters myself, and close as we are, I can only marvel on the beautiful intimacy of their unique relationship.

The fact that you already know that your daughters are identical makes me suspect that your daughters may share a membrane and/or placenta. Of course, you may have conducted genetic testing and have a di/di pregnancy. If your girls do share a placenta, though, that makes your pregnancy a high risk one. Like you, I intended to work right until the moment that I went into labour, but the babies had a different idea. I started having preterm labour symptoms that forced me to reduce my work hours at 31 weeks gestation. Please listen to your body, which may not have quite the commitment to working all the way through your pregnancy that our work ethics have.

I wish for you your dream birth. However, we MoMs often don’t get that luxury. In fact, about 75% of twin births are C-sections. In my own case, I had to have an emergency C-section because one daughter’s water broke and both babies were breech. Even though it was only 3 hours from entering labour to delivery, Twin A was in distress by the time she was born.

Ms Mayer, please allow me to assure you that a C-section is major surgery. Yes, it’s standard surgery, but even a run-of-the-mill Caesarean involves cutting through multiple organs, each of which must heal. You’ll need time to let your body stitch itself together, ideally with minimal scar tissue. The scar tissue from my C-section has left me unable to have sex without excruciating pain. Like every other mother, your organs will be moving into their post-pregnancy arrangement, which may not look like where they were before you got pregnant. All this will be happening in the first days of your daughters’ lives, when they need you and you’re enveloped in visitors and well wishers. Allow yourself to heal, please.

I hope for your girls the full term gestation that my daughters were denied. I had a picture perfect pregnancy, but my sweet girls were still born at 33 weeks, less than 4 lbs each. They’re doing fine now, but they were in the hospital for just over 2 weeks. If your little babies were to follow the same schedule as mine, your commitment to return to work when they are 2 weeks old would put you at the office when they are released from the NICU. I wouldn’t recommend it.

A mom with one of her identical twins, born at 33 weeks gestation. Identical twin pregnancy risks are real.Don’t get me wrong. I, too, considered returning to work relatively early. While my girls were in the NICU, I considered returning to the office. I thought this would let me have a few weeks home with them once they were released. I was ready to start the paperwork when a NICU nurse told me to hold off. Our daughters would be home in days, not weeks.

I honestly thought I was in control of the schedule, but pregnancies have their own ebb and flow, as do newborns. Our bodies and those of our babies run the show. I hope that you have everything you dream of, but in your commitments during this pregnancy and its aftermath, I ask you to leave room for the unknown. Identical twin pregnancy risks are all too real.

Sincerely,

Sadia Rodriguez

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Twinkly Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Posted on
Categories 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, with Lisa at Mummascribbles and Caro of The Twinkle Diaries. Twinkly Tuesday is forum to meet new people, share a post, and read blogs you might never come across elsewhere. Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers.

We have an announcement:

After next week, Caro and I will be stepping down as co-hosts.

Caro and I both offered to join Lisa as hosts of Twinkly Tuesday because we loved the community and the way that everyone supported each other by taking the time to read and comments on posts. Unfortunately, between how large this linky has become and because of the increasing demands of our jobs and growing children, we simply can’t give Twinkly Tuesday the attention in deserves.

Twinkly Tuesday will continue

Going it alone means that Lisa will have to make some changes to be able to handle the workload. After examining a number of options, including replacing us with new co-hosts, Lisa is taking this opportunity to make Twinkly Tuesday less time-consuming to host.

As of December 1, please be aware of the following changes will be coming into play.

  • Lisa will no longer be sending out reminder tweets on Tuesday mornings. Instead, you will receive a reminder email.
  • She will no longer comment on all of the posts that are linked up. That said, the Twinkly Tuesday community has been lovely. The vast majority of linkers always stick to the rules of commenting on the post before yours. Lisa won’t be able to police this as we have in the past; she asks you to let her know if you don’t receive any comments on a linked post.
  • Lisa will still be retweeting all your #TwinklyTuesday tweets, assuming you mention her. She’ll still be choosing a Tuesday Twinkler.
  • If you are linking up for the first time, do let Lisa know so that she can add you to her reminder email list.

We hope that you understand our reasons for stepping away, and that you continue to help Twinkly Tuesday be as successful as it is. Just link up one post and comment on as many others as you can – including the one directly before yours.

If you are featured this week, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog.

My Tuesday Twinkler is a guest post from Caitlin on Chirpy Chatterbox. Caitlin sheds some light on childhood apraxia of speech. As a mother of children with speech delays who successfully graduated from speech therapy, I’m aware of how overwhelming a speech diagnosis can be. Caitlin helps explain what this condition is and what you can expect.

girl-878279_1280

Lisa’s Tuesday Twinkler is from Dancing Dandelions. She talks about the positive story that finally made her get her pap smear done, and how painless it was.

 

NoFearGoSmear

Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is actually mine, right here on How Do You Do It? It’s on how I, single mother of twins, do it all… or more accurately, how I don’t.

Learn one mother's secret

 

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 up a post, old or new, that you think deserves more readers!

Twitter: Be sure to 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.

For one more week, all three of us will pick the posts to 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 one post per week — old or new.
  • Please be kind enough to add our badge to the bottom of your post/s or your linky 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 closes at 23.55 GMT tonight.

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

Grab buttons 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!

Twinkly Tuesday

<div class=”twinklytuesday-button” style=”width: 200; margin: 0 auto;”><a href=”http://hdydi.com/twinkly-tuesday/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/twinkly_tuesday_badge_2015.jpg” alt=”Twinkly Tuesday” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a></div>
Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

How Much Should We Tell Children?

Posted on
Categories Mommy Issues, Parenting, PerspectiveTags , 32 Comments

The recent events in Paris are unthinkable. The unlivable circumstances in Syria defy reason. The devastation in Beirut is horrific. There is so much ugliness in the world.

I don’t believe in shielding my daughters completely from what goes on outside our immediate sphere, but I also think that it’s my job to mediate this knowledge and protect children’s right to feel safe.

All we parents are back in the quandary of talking to children about terrorism. There’s no one right way to approach it. I had the radio on for a little while driving, but the children were too absorbed in their books to notice what was being said. If it were a different week, I might have chosen to mention the Paris tragedy to my girls, but they’re already dealing with a challenging time within the extended family.

Tomorrow, my 9-year-olds will be back at school. All I can do is prepare myself for any questions they ask and reassure them that they are safe, that our little suburb is too unimportant to be a target, and that Daddy and his soldier friends are out there keeping us safe.

Much as I hate the apathy of the Western world toward tragedy occurring outside our borders, right now the mother in me is grateful. That very apathy is keeping my daughters from feeling that grief, anger, and fear that the Paris attacks have brought me.

Update – Monday, Nov 16

This morning, one of my girls asked me about the Paris attacks. “Mommy, there were bad guy shooters in Paris?” I told her that there were. Her sister had been entirely unaware and wanted details. I just told her that some bad guys decided that shooting a bunch of people would be a good idea, like on 9/11.

Then my first daughter asked whether it wouldn’t make sense if the news people only broadcast kid-friendly stories during the time that most children were being driven to school. I told her that it was parents’ responsibility to determine what’s appropriate for their children, not journalists’. There are plenty of stories that I choose not to let them hear, but I strike a balance between letting them know that people in the world are generally good, but that there are people who make really bad decisions. Unless we have some awareness of the suffering of others, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate what we have.

“That’s good, Mommy,” she told me. “That’s a good balance.”

Once again, my children clarified for me parenting decisions that I was over-thinking. Whatever I may be teaching my children, they teach me so much more.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone