House Monkey: Meet Mike, Entrepreneur and Dad of Twins Plus Two

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My wife Donna and I are parents of twins plus two. In her first blog she mentioned we have full time jobs and we are building a business together to introduce our organizing solution (called “House Monkey”) to busy families. I might be one of a few males here in the HDYDI community, but I hope you find my side of the journey equally interesting.

Learn how Mike, a dad of four, is working with his wife to turn an idea into a business.

How House Monkey Emerged — Mike’s perspective

Even before we had children we were busy. We both had demanding careers. We were getting married and we had just moved into our home. As you know, the home has a life of its own. Things have to get done. Things have to be fixed and Donna’s favorite, things have to be put away. Translated: the pool has algae; the gate looks like crap; the shovels and hose need to be put away. Besides these recurring fire alarms are the scheduled priorities: vacuum the pool; change the air filter in the heater; shut off the water to the hoses outside. Once we had the children, the “simple” list became a book. Now with twin girls that can walk & talk, volumes!

We needed a tool to:

  • Keep track of things to be done,
  • Get help getting them done,
  • Make sure they were done,
  • Reward the “team players” on allowance day.

Multiple calendars, project planning software, and bingo markers weren’t keeping up as life moved away from our front door. We knew we needed something, but “something” was a black hole of thoughts.

One day the aha moment came. It was a simple thought. We’ve all had it: the “I wish I had that when I was growing up” moment. (Cup holders in the back of the car!) Luckily technology was advanced enough to help get it to where we need it to be. House Monkey became less of a concept and more of a “something”.

House Monkey Today

The last two weeks have been very busy as we have been working diligently towards a summer deliverable for this resource. Donna does the front end part of the business. It’s only appropriate my beautiful wife builds the components (the screens and the way you move around the app) which everyone will see. I work on the back end portions of the business, the stuff no one sees!

Over the last two weeks we have taken delivery of upgrades to our technology, specifically for House Monkey software to organize our development efforts, a server to build a test environment which will be the sandbox in which House Monkey will take shape.

Being so busy, and staying up so late on top of “everything else” has been a challenge recently. Sleep and sanity have definitely been traded in for long hours.

On top of taking delivery for all these technical components, the spring sports season is ramping up. My one daughter had her first horse show. I was very proud of her as she took second place in her first time riding without a spotter. The spring lacrosse season is also starting. My son, the weed, needs all new equipment. Not only a drain on time, as the only lacrosse store is 45 minutes away, but also a large drain on the wallet. With spring comes the beginning of the golf season with outdoor lessons, driving range time and (ugh) tee times.

The only sport winding down is my daughter’s swim season. She swims all year, but her last meet for the winter season was this past weekend. We still need to take her to the pool 3 times a week, but at least the weekends have been freed from long meets in HOT indoor pools. (Don’t tell her I said that, I try to be the dad that smiles… and silently sweats!)

Late winter and early spring have also introduced us to the mid-year slide with school work not getting the proper attention. Donna and I called a “family meeting” recently. We sat them down and explained that this is not ok. It’s their only job. (I think we went on and on a little about how we grew up and what we didn’t have blah blah.)

The hardest part about this time of year is motivating each one. One responds to straightforward discipline (take away TV and the iPad), another could care less about those usual tactics, and we have to take away activities. I find this more challenging because we also believe that when you make a commitment to a team, you need to be there. The third is easy: sit him down and have a “talking to” which will be followed by a “come to Jesus” discussion. The fourth… Oh boy the fourth, nothing seems to work! This is a parenting challenge. We think all of these things could work, but it just takes longer with the 4th. He’s definitely on his own schedule. The apathetic attitude is just frustrating.

The fun part of the last two weeks was St. Patrick’s Day. This is a national holiday in my book and we celebrate it. Irish pub songs start the day on the stereo for wake-up and breakfast. Donna gets the corned beef (60+ pounds this year) in the oven early and it cooks all day filling the house with the scent of St. Paddy’s Day. Friends start coming by around 5:00 pm even though we don’t serve until 6:00 pm…until people stop eating.

Of course there are several hops-based beverages available. The house runs like a diner with people coming and going all night. This year we had nearly 60 people come by with about 30 kids. Needless to say, St. Patrick’s Day is a lot of work but it is worth it because it has become a family tradition. It honors the memory of my father and all he stood for (beyond his Irish heritage). My dad placed a lot of value on family and friendships. He was always the last one to leave an event. We hope to pass down this appreciation of friends and family to our children.

The last two weeks (or years — whichever) have left Donna and I very little time to connect. It was bad, but lately it just seems harder. When the kids were younger and not so involved in everything, it seemed easier. We would book “dates” once a month, even if it were just something very simple when money was tight.

Now, it’s so much harder. Every weekend is filled with something. Swim meets, horse events, lacrosse games, golf games, football games, musical concerts, talent shows…. The list goes on, right? So we made a decision for something big. We booked a 6 day getaway for our 15 year anniversary.

We asked my in-laws to help out and that was it. We booked it!

So, leaving right after House Monkey launches this summer is something we will look forward to. It may take as much planning as the Normandy Invasion, but by God we need some time together that doesn’t include talking about work or the kids!

Can anyone relate?

Linked at

The Twinkle Diaries
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Readers of HDYDI, Meet Jamie

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Jamie is the second of our new Twitter MoMs. She has the most beautiful family!

How Do You Do It?'s Jamie and her family

My name is Jamie. I grew up in a small town in Indiana, went to Indiana University, then moved to Salt Lake City, UT where I lived for 10 years. We moved to Las Vegas this past June, when I got to experience what 120 degrees really feels like!

Prior to having my twins, I worked in the senior health care industry as a Sales Director for retirement/assisted living and Alzheimers/dementia care. I absolutely loved it, but I knew that I couldn’t give 100% to both my kids and my career, so I chose to be a SAHM for their early years. Hardest job ever, but the best decision I ever made. My husband is the Executive Director for a retirement/assisted living.

When I have time to do anything besides parenting or cleaning, I like to see movies with my husband, get my nails done, read, and spend time with friends and family.

My oldest daughter, Ava, is five years old. She’s a beautiful little Barbie princess who loves horses and Hello Kitty. Her favorite things are preschool, dance, and going to the park.

My fraternal twins are Kaia and Elyana, who are 3 years old. They love to dance and sing. Elyana makes me laugh hard at least twice a day, because she is so cute and funny. Kaia is my cuddle bug. And she is fearless.

How did you find How Do You Do It?

Sadia told me about it after we had both posted replies to help a MoM in need on the National Organization of Mothers of Multiples page.

Do you have a favorite post?

I love all the posts! I feel like I am always in need of advice!!

What made you interested in Twitter?

I have been trying to write a blog post for a few months now, and finding the time has been hard! I knew I would be much better at keeping up with writing posts that consist of 140 characters or less!

What’s your vision for HDYDI’s new presence on Twitter?

I would love to be able to promote the blog so that it can be a helpful resource for MoMs, as well as moms of singletons. Sharing advice and experiences with other moms is the closest thing to a Parenting Handbook you can get!

What’s the best thing about being a MoM?

I love watching their twin bond and the way they interact. They can be so much fun.

The most challenging?

The most challenging thing… There are so many, I don’t know if I can choose just one! It’s hard to find time to myself, and it’s hard to leave the house. Oh, and potty training is probably the hardest thing I have done as a mother, period! Currently, those are my biggest challenges. But I would say that those top spots change often!

What’s your favourite kids’ book?

We love Heaven is for Real for Little Ones and Love You Forever.

Your favourite non-kid book?

My favorite non-kid book is a tie between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Where is the most interesting place you have ever been?

Paris, France!

What is the greatest lesson you have taught your children?

Manners. We are still working on most other things!

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?

Patience is a virtue. And that I definitely don’t know everything.

Check HDYDI out on Twitter and see what Jamie has to share!

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Readers of HDYDI, Meet Victoria

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Two new moms have joined the How Do You Do It? team to breathe new life into our long-neglected Twitter account. Meet the first of them, Victoria, mom of the too-cute-for-words Kaylee and Preslee.
How Do You Do It?'s new Twitter Mom, Victoria

My name is Victoria. We are relocating back to Texas where I am from, at the end of 2013. Luckily, daycare in NY is outrageous in cost so we could justify me staying at home with my babies until we move. I have loved every second of it and soak up every opportunity to snuggle with them that I can. Prior to being a SAHM, I worked as a graphic designer, executive assistant and freelance illustrator. I love the outdoors, yoga, running, bike rides, traveling, coffee, chap stick and sunshine.

Preslee and Kaylee are my mono di girls born in April of 2013, so they are currently 7 months. They both laugh a lot and love to be held! Preslee wakes up smiling every morning and promptly starts her crawling practice and Kaylee will be the first to reward you with a strong belly laugh if you do something to make them chuckle. They seem to enjoy posing for pictures… Whenever I say “cheese” they flash their two pearly whites right away!

How did you find How Do You Do It?

I found HDYDI on Facebook when a friend of mine liked the page.

Do you have a favourite post?

It’s hard to choose just one. The ladies behind HDYDI are all inspiring in different ways.

What made you interested in Twitter?

I like the idea of concise conversation starters or statements. I like that it’s so easily thumbed through—perfect for people who want to stay connected and yet find themselves short on time! I look forward to the practice in being concise!

What’s your vision for HDYDI’s new presence on Twitter?

I hope that by being active on Twitter HDYDI can reach MoMs out there who are not currently on Facebook and may have not heard of us. From what I understand, Twitter is much more conversational than Facebook and Pinterest and so I hope that it gets people talking and sparks interest in all of the other platforms that HDYDI exists on.

What’s the best thing about being a MoM?

The best thing about being a mom of twins are all of the snuggles! I love that they want my attention and affection all the time.

The most challenging?

The most challenging aspect of being a Mom to twins this far has been the guilt I feel about not always having one on one time with each baby or constantly worrying that it’s not equal. I’m paranoid that one of my girls will grow up thinking she was least loved somehow!

What’s your favourite kids’ book?

Smitten by David Gordon

Your favourite non-kid book?

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Where is the most interesting place you have ever been?

Costa Rica!

What is the greatest lesson you have taught your children?

They are only seven months, but hopefully I have taught my girls to have fun! I act incredibly goofy around them and they appreciatively giggle.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?

I can’t always be in control. Wasn’t expecting to get pregnant right away, let alone with twins (but I love it)!  Wasn’t expecting a girl because my husband’s family pretty much only makes boys, but I got two! I try to follow schedules and predict naps and bottles, but sometimes it’s not that formulaic. They have taught me that you can’t always plan everything out to a T so things will go smoothly… and a lot of times if you just roll with things it’s so much better anyway… And I LOVE it!!

Check HDYDI out on Twitter and see what Victoria has to share!

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Readers of HDYDI, Meet LauraC

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LauraC is the mother of Alex and Nate, 2.83 year old twins. She has been married for four years, together for nine to her best friend Jon. They live in Raleigh, NC. Laura tele-commutes from home as a software professional. When asked what profession other than her own she would like to attempt, she answered, “My degree is in environmental engineering and I was not happy in that profession. My software career is Plan B and I love it. It suits my personality, my skills, and my interests.” Her blog can be found at: http://JonAndLaura.blogspot.com

36 weeks pregnant with Nate and Alex.
36 weeks pregnant with Nate and Alex.

How did you get into blogging/why did you start a blog/etc…?

My college friend Libby had a pregnancy website I really enjoyed reading. I anxiously awaited each entry and watched in amazement as her belly grew. I started my blog the day I found out I was pregnant as a way to keep my friends and family updated.

Have your reasons for blogging changed?

Absolutely. When I first started writing, I thought I would post once a week and then occasionally upload pictures of the baby once it was born. As I wrote, I realized I had something to say every day about pregnancy. And after a couple of months, I really enjoyed having all those entries to read back on.

When we found out we were having twins, it became a very special place for me. This will be my only pregnancy and I wanted to capture as many moments of it as I could. My blog also became a peaceful place for me during a scary twin pregnancy. Over time, I’ve found blogs I love to read, met some really fascinating people, and forged strong friendships.

Fundamentally, my blog is always for me. But by doing this for myself, I have received so much back in return.

How long have you been blogging?

Can you keep a secret? I’m about to hit 1000 posts! I started blogging in October 2005 and I write Monday through Friday almost every week.

How did you learn about HDYDI? Do you have a favorite post?

I found Goddess’ blog through a Babycenter Multiples board and she asked me to be a part of HDYDI in the beginning. My favorite post I’ve written for HDYDI is my “failure” to breastfeed. (http://howdoyoudoit.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/when-breastfeeding-multiples-fails/)
I needed time to mourn before I was ready to write that post, and HDYDI was the right place to share it. I felt so supported and understood.

My favorite posts written by another HDYDI writer are Goddess’ Ask the Moms series. She does such a great job giving advice in a positive way. She’s the twin mom friend you need to know when you have a question.

Jon, Laura and boys
Jon, Laura and boys

Do you remember your first words when you discovered you had more than one ‘in there’?

This story requires some background information. In 2005, I lost my hearing in my right ear and in July 2005 I had surgery to repair it. I had extreme dizziness and nausea after the structural changes to my inner ear. A month before my surgery, I ran a 10 mile race. After my surgery, it took a week to build up to walking one city block.

As soon as my ENT cleared me for travel, we moved to Raleigh and started trying for kids, not expecting it to happen because I had been previously been diagnosed as infertile. To our surprise, I got pregnant the first weekend. Two weeks later, I was puking every day from horrible morning sickness. I was going to a birthing center so they recommended various natural remedies, none of which worked. It took me about two hours in the morning to move from my bed to the couch before I could think about even one sip of water. Then I would puke and pee my pants at the same time. And then cry and do laundry. In hindsight, I wish I had asked for Zofran because I was so miserable.

Jon and I always wanted two kids, and I would have terrible crying jags where I would tell Jon I didn’t think I was strong enough to do this a second time. Between the ear surgery and morning sickness, it had been six months of nausea.

Because I was going the ultra-hippy route, I didn’t have my first ultrasound until 18 weeks. As soon as they put the wand to my belly, you could clearly see two sacs, two butts, and two penises. The first thought in my head was, “I am one tough cookie to make it through TWIN morning sickness!!!” and I said out loud, “I never have to do this again!” Not my proudest moment.

Jon was literally in such shock that he just sat there with his mouth open, staring at the screen. The entire situation was so shocking that we couldn’t do anything but laugh. We went out to lunch and talked for two hours before we felt together enough to call our family and friends. And then we broke the news this way: “We found out we’re having a boy ……. (huge pause while the person cheers or congratulates)….. and ANOTHER boy! TWIN BOYS!” After our shock, it was so fun to shock all the people we loved.

laurawithhalloweenboys

If you could go back to the newborn days, would you do anything differently?

If you asked me this question when my boys turned a year old, I would have had a laundry list of items. But now my answer is I would not change a thing. I think all those experiences shaped me into the mom I am now, and I finally feel like I am hitting my mothering stride.

The smartest thing we did was have family and friends stay with us for almost two months after the boys were born. I have a history of depression and I believe that help is the reason I did not end up with post-partum depression. I was able to mentally care for myself during a very stressful time, and I constantly had mothers around me to help care for me as well as the babies.

What is one thing you do really well as a mother of twins?

I think I do a really great job living in the moment. My blog and having twins help me in this. My blog helps because it’s a morning meditation on what happened the day before. Having twins helps because I only get one shot at each age, so I better enjoy it. I am always trying to make each day the best it can be.

What is one thing you think you are horrible at?

I am really terrible, and I mean truly horrible, at dealing with loud chaos. I can deal with chaos and I can deal with loudness, but the two together drive me directly to the edge of insanity. And yes, I have almost 3 year old twin boys! I’ve learned as they get older, the chaos just gets more insane and the loudness gets so much louder.

I want the boys to grow up feeling comfortable expressing themselves and learning about their world but sometimes I feel like I am going to lose it with the insanity. Jon lets me hide out in our guest room until I feel emotionally calm. When he’s gone, I turn on the TV for the boys when I’m going to lose it.

I guess you say I’m learning when to put myself in time out!

Did you have a favorite product that you can’t rave about enough?

A white noise CD called For Crying Out Loud. Also the BOB Revolution Duallie. Pricey but so worth it. Jon and I will be doing a 5K race next month with the boys in it.

laurarunning

If you had an entire day to yourself (money and obligations aside, and no access to kids or the internet): What would you ideally spend that day doing?

Jon and I would magically wake up in the private villa in St Lucia where we honeymooned. We would have a leisurely breakfast overlooking the ocean. We would have massages on the deck. We would lay in the sun, go swimming, read books, drink fruity drinks, and then have someone cook us lobsters for dinner. There would certainly need to be something huge and chocolate for dessert. We would stay up very late talking and listening to music. Then at the end of the day, we would magically be transported back to our house so we could peek in on the boys sleeping.

What do you think you would actually end up doing?
Tackling the items on the never-ending chore list that are easier to get done when the kids are not around.

What is the first thing you do after saying goodnight to the kids and closing the bedroom door?

Turn on the monitor and listen carefully. Last week Nate said to Alex, “If you poop on your pillow, you won’t be able to sleep because you will have poop in your hair.” When I went back in their room, I was not surprised to find Alex naked.

Thanks for joining us Laura!
Remember readers, you are free to suggest other commentors/bloggers for the next interview series!

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Readers of HDYDI: Meet Mommy, Esq.

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Mommy, Esq
 lives in the Boston area (where the winters try their best to get her to move South) with six month old Ned and Penny, and her husband of six years. She is a corporate lawyer by trade, but would love to attempt being a wedding photographer. She says “I love taking photographs and doing storybook photographing – which is why blogging is perfect for me!”

mommy-esq-hiking-on-rock
Mommy, Esq
began blogging during a lull at work during her second trimester. She says “Instead of catching up on professional reading I took a break and trolled the Internet to get excited about having twins. One of the first websites I stumbled onto was Goddess in Progress, followed quickly by Laura’s Mommy Journal. I have to admit I read their entire back blogs! I thought it would be fun to start my own even if only my sisters read it.”

Have your reasons for blogging changed?
Now that I am returning to work next week I want to focus a bit more on how to be a mom while also working at a demanding job. I’m also pleasantly surprised how much my in-laws like the blog. My mother-in-law checks it every day to see photos of her grandkids. I am worried I won’t have time to keep it up or take as many photos of the kids when I’m back at work.

How long have you been blogging? Since April 16, 2008 but it took me a little while to find my “voice”.

How did you learn about HDYDI? Do you have a favorite post?
My sister Allison mentioned it to me – she found it while surfing the Internet. I have re-read (numerous times) posts relating to breastfeeding, feeding solids and sleep – the holy trinity of a new mom. I like how the posts make me feel inspired to be an übermom but when it doesn’t work out (breastfeeding, making my own baby food) the same posts let me off the hook.

Do you remember your first words when you discovered you had more than one ‘in there’?
I didn’t say anything but I got really flushed and hot all over. I’m a triplet so I wasn’t surprised plus we had started Clomid after a couple of years of trying on our own. One thing that stuck with me was that the ultrasound doctor told us “not to get attached” since one heartbeat was slower than the other. I learned later that “vanishing twin” syndrome is very common – as often as 1 in 6 pregnancies – and that with early ultrasounds more moms know when they miscarry. It was a long 2 weeks before I went back to confirm both babies were doing fine.

My husband actually saw both embryos on the monitor before the technician told us about it. He thought there would be more and kept asking them to confirm when we went back for more ultrasounds (“Are you sure there aren’t three in there?”).

If you could go back to the newborn days: Would you do anything differently? Hired a housekeeper who cooked for me. We had a baby nurse for 6 weeks but I was trying to breastfeed and pump and it was so exhausting that really I just wanted someone to pick up my house and feed me.

Did you have a favorite product that you can’t rave about enough?Currently the Fisher Price Jumparoo is all the rage in our house but the most useful product I have is the Dr. Brown’s formula mixer/pitcher.

What is one thing you do really well at as a mother of twins?

I am way more patient than I thought I would be since I’m not a particularly patient person generally. Even when I’m exhausted I don’t take it out very often on the kids – I can still fake happy and enthusiastic since I know they are going to bed around 6:30 pm. Of course it helped I had someone coming to watch the kids twice a week even when I was on maternity leave.
mommy-esq-with-twins-baptism

What is one thing you think you are horrible at?
I worry too much and compare the kids too much – to each other and to other kids their “age”.
mommy-esq-with-penny-christmas
What is the first thing you do after saying goodnight to the kids and closing the bedroom door?
Help Husband cook dinner and picking up the playroom. When I go back to work if I make it home for bedtime I suspect I will be logging back on to work some more.

If you had an entire day to yourself (money and obligations aside, and no access to kids or the internet): What would you ideally spend that day doing? A brunch breakfast (with a mimosa of course) followed by a massage and then a nap and TV at home.

What do you think you would actually end up doing?
Laundry, reading blogs, laundry.

Thanks for joining us Mommy, Esq!

Feel free to leave Mommy, Esq a comment, and check out our other featured readers:Sadia and Mamie. Also, let us know which readers and HDYDI authors you would like to see interviewed!

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Readers of HDYDI, Meet Sadia

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Sadia is the mother of monozygotic twins Jessica and Melody, who (like LauraC’s boys) are 2.75 years old. She and Lucas will have been married for five years next month. In regards to her marriage:

I didn’t really buy into the institution of marriage before I met Lucas. We met in a bar on New Year’s Eve. Five days later, we were engaged. Five weeks after that, he left for Iraq. After 15 months of wartime letter-writing, he returned to the US, and we were married three days later. The rest is history.

Sadia and her daughters live in Central Texas, although she is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Bangladesh. Lucas is living in Korea at the moment. She works as an identity management business analyst in higher education. “Essentially,” she says “I’m a reformed computer geek.” When asked what profession other than your own would you like to attempt, she quips:

I already feel like I’m working in a profession other than my own, since my academic background is in Linguistics, which has nothing to do with my job. Sometimes I dream of going back to teaching, but in reality the politics of higher education doesn’t sit well with me. If I were to go completely out on a limb, I’d like to try my hand at cooking professionally. Lucas and I have an agreement to go through culinary school together when we retire. We love to cook, and we love to cook together.

124032

Sadia became a blogger early in her pregnancy with the girls.
Seven weeks into my pregnancy, the obstetrician did a standard ultrasound, and we discovered that we were having identical twins. I realized that I was going to have a lot to say, and that not everyone would want to hear all the details. I set up my blog as an alternative to mass e-mail. Our friends and family could read about our babies as frequently or infrequently as they wanted.
When asked if her reasons for blogging have changed:
The primary purpose of Double the Fun and Twice the Confusion continues to be to share information about what Melody and Jessica are up to. Over time, though, my blog has also become a way for me to talk about my experience of parenthood and some of the odd things that go through my head. Since the army takes my husband overseas about every other year, the blog is also a way for him to stay connected with our daughters, and rereading old posts provides us a way to reflect back on how our family has matured and strengthened.
Sadia discovered HDYDI at The Twins & I. She says:
I enjoy reading HDYDI so much that choosing a favourite post is almost like choosing a favourite child!  Going It Alone: Solo Air Travel With Twins was incredibly helpful for me when I took Jessie and Melody to Oregon from Texas by myself to celebrate an early Christmas with my husband Lucas’ family. And The Super Dad was so touching, it made me cry.
Do you remember your first words when you discovered you had more than one ‘in there’?
I know that that first thing I said to the doctor was “There are lots of multiples in family.” You see, the doctor wasn’t the one to tell us we were having two. As soon as the ultrasound image showed up on the monitor, my husband Lucas said, very calmly, “There are two in there.” The doctor looked at him in amazement and asked how he knew. His answer? “I read maps for a living.”
The first thing I said to my husband was either, “Your Mom is going to be so happy” or “The triplets are going to freak out.” I said both; I just don’t remember the order. We weren’t surprised in least to be expecting multiples. My mother-in-law Brenda has twin cousins whose brother has twins. Brenda also has triplet nieces. (On an unrelated, but rather interesting note, Brenda’s mother, my grandmother-in-law, remarried shortly after our daughters were born. Her husband, Don, has two sets of grown twins.)

If you could go back to the newborn days, would you do anything differently?

I wouldn’t spend as much time trying to plan every detail of the girls’ lives. Since we knew my husband was heading to Iraq before Jessie and Melody hit the six-month mark, I wanted to know what we would do in every possible parenting situation. As I’ve matured as a parent, I’ve learned to trust my instincts. As Lucas and I have matured as coparents, I’ve learned to incorporate his style and values into how I interact with the girls, even when he’s away.

Did you have a favorite product that you can’t rave about enough?

Motherwear (http://www.motherwear.com/) nursing tops, specifically with the empire opening. As long as I nursed one baby at a time, I could feed them completely discretely, anytime, anywhere.

151336

What is one thing you do really well as a mother of twins?

I think that I do a good job of being a relaxed parent, especially since I’m incredibly intense in my other roles – as a wife and a professional. I fully subscribe to the philosophy of being a “Good Enough Parent”, although I have yet to read Bruno Bettelheim’s book by that title. Essentially, I believe that by allowing my children to witness my failings and how I handle them, I am helping them learn to accept their own and develop their own coping mechanisms.

What is one thing you think you are horrible at?

I am a terrible housekeeper. Laundry will be the death of me. Two-year-old Melody has the picking-stuff-up-and-putting-stuff-away instinct that I lack, and does her best to keep me honest.

What is the first thing you do after saying goodnight to the kids and closing their bedroom door?

It really does depend on the day. I usually either pop in a cardio DVD and work out, clean up in the kitchen, or take on my Mt Everest: laundry.

If you had an entire day to yourself (money and obligations aside, and no access to kids or the internet), what would you ideally spend that day doing?

What a concept! A whole day to myself? I would probably get a massage, take a seriously long bath, volunteer at Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic, and get a haircut.

What do you think you would actually end up doing?

I would probably get the brakes checked on both our cars.

Sadia, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

Thank you for inviting me to “play”! I’m terribly flattered, and look forward to every HDYDI post to come.

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Readers of HDYDI, Meet Mamie

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Categories Meet the MoM, ParentingTags 13 Comments

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Welcome to a new feature on HDYDI! We are spotlighting one of our loyal followers as a way to introduce you to some of the great parents who are working tirelessly to raise their twins and triplets.

Mamieis a mother of 21 month old twin boys. She has been married for 5 years, yet together with her hubby for 14. She and her three “boys” live in the very sunny but way too hot southern California. She is a full time mama, part time physical therapist/crafter/home keeper/plant killer, but she is working on the last one! When asked what profession she would like to attempt, she answered that she would like to be an owner of a brick & mortar shop that would feature local craft artisans and support community interaction/education through creating. Her blog, “Mamie Knits,” can be found here.

How and why did you get into blogging?
My blog was started due to my love of knitting, (hence the name of the blog) but I rarely wrote on it. I actually really started writing after I was put on bed rest in January of 2007. It became an outlet and a connection to other people during the time I was stuck in the house.

Have your reasons for blogging changed?
My reasons have stayed fairly the same. I try to connect and share about parts of my life, which includes the twins, my craft/photography and sometimes my thoughts on parenting, living and loving.

How long have you been blogging?
I started my blog in May ’06 and I have been fairly consistent since January ’07.

How did you learn about HDYDI?
HDYDI was the brainchild of my favorite twin Mama bloggers, so I was there at its ‘birth.’  I actually did not connect with other twin Mamas via blogging until the boys were about 4 months old…before that all my reading was other Knitter Mamas but they all had singletons.  I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I found other Mamas like me….with TWO (or more).  It is my go-to when I need to feel supported and understood as a Mama of Multiples.

Do you remember your first words when you discovered you had more than one ‘in there’?
Um, so here’s a funny story. My first ultrasound was at 13 weeks gestation. This was my first visit with our OB as my pregnancy seemed very normal up until then and I was seeing my primary care physician for the first trimester. So, on the table, the ultrasound started and Dr T. said “You owe me a bottle of Tylenol.”

My heart started racing, I turned to see the screen and freaked out as I saw two heads facing each other. I did not say it but my first terrified thought was that I was having a two headed child (and I am not talking about thinking they were conjoined, people, just two headed). He must have seen my panic because he quickly pointed out the two heart beats. Later my husband told me he thought the MD was showing him the baby’s heartbeat and then mine. Dr T. looked at us patiently and said “Twins.” Duh.

If you could go back to the newborn days, would you do anything differently?
I would do so many things differently, but then I forgive myself and realize that it was hard, it was my first time and I was learning. One thing I would definitely do is seek help for my PPD (Post Partum Depression) earlier. I was 7 months out when I finally admitted I needed help. I sought treatment via acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) but if that had not helped, I would have gone with prescribed medication.

And I would have purchased our digital SLR camera before they were born, not when they were ten months old. Still kicking self.
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Did you have a favorite product that you can’t rave about enough?
I loved using Playtex drop ins. No BPE concerns, easy to prepare in advance and line up in the fridge, and though they are a little ‘wasteful’, I found they saved my sanity.

What is one thing you are great at as a mother of twins?
I think one thing I do is embrace the moment as it is…the good times with two and the harder times.

What is one thing you think you are horrible at?
Sounds funny, but putting on enough deodorant to prevent public sweating when I take them out for excursions, be it hiking or shopping or play dates. I am always sweating, people!
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What is the first thing you do after saying goodnight to the kids and closing the bedroom door?
What do I not do?! I usually pick up a bit with my husband and we talk about our day, then I grab my knitting (if it is not a yoga night) and set up shop with computer, knitting or sewing and sometimes a favorite pod cast or program running. And I ignore the pile of laundry at the foot of the bed. Still am in fact.

If you had an entire day to yourself (money and obligations aside, and no access to kids or the internet), what would you ideally spend that day doing?
I would fly up to Mammoth Mountain, either mountain bike or snowboard for the day (preferably with my husband, but I am easy), soak in their hot tub with a beer and fly back when the sun had gone down. Ahhhhh.

And what do you think you would actually end up doing?
Um, cleaning the house, trying to organize my stash of craft items, making lists, running errands and making dinner. Not very different than a typical day except sans toddler terrors undoing everything I do.
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Mamie, it was a pleasure getting to know you!
Thanks for having me Mama’s!

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