Twinfant Tuesday: Moving with Twins

Moving with a baby is tough. Moving with twins can be down right torture. Depending on their age, there is a pretty good chance they will be unpacking faster than you can pack.

We just got settled in after moving to another state and it has been a whirlwind. A “I think Mommy’s lost her marbles” whirlwind.

If you must face the feat, here are some of the things I did/learned in the process.

WHEN TO PACK: I think it’s really hard to balance packing enough in advance that you’re not a complete wreck the night before you move, while not packing so early that you find yourself needing a hundred things that you “just packed” for a month. This is especially true with all of the baby toys, clothes, and other items that you tend to need right up until the move.

I packed a few boxes here and there during nap times the month before our move, but really we saved the packing for the week of. This was stressful, but it was more preferable for our situation. We were in a two bedroom apartment and we don’t have an extraordinary amount of stuff. We really didn’t want the stress of the move to plague us for the 1-2 months preceding the move by being half in and half out of our place. Obviously moving from a larger home might necessitate a different plan.

I did pack the kid’s toys in phases and this worked out really well. I saved their favorite toys for last, hoping that they would be the ones that occupied their attention the longest. The really nice bonus was that once we got to our new home, unpacking the toys that were packed first was like Christmas and they were entertained for quite a while during the unpacking process.

BABYSITTERS: This is a big plug for babysitters. I wish I tried harder to arrange for someone to watch the boys for a while the week of our move.

We took breaks with the kids by taking them out to do fun things outside so that they could have our full focus, but they were still begging for our attention at home while we were trying to pack. As you probably well know, trying to accomplish something while your kids are competing for your attention can result in extremely high levels of frustration amazingly fast.

This is why I would highly recommend getting someone to watch your wee babes for at least a few hours so you can hammer out some major packing. It’s really hard when you are on a tight budget, but maybe you can work out some kind of trade with someone if you need to. It’s so worth it. They will have a happier few hours and you will be able to turn up the jams and pack like a boss.

I also highly recommend getting someone to watch the kids while you clean. If you have to choose between getting a sitter for cleaning or getting a sitter for packing, I would definitely recommend cleaning. I did not plan out the cleaning well. I thought I did, but the morning of the move 50 things I hadn’t thought of popped up singing, “clean me! clean me! clean me!” until my brain went numb.

I was stressed out, my husband was stressed out, and the kids were going crazy. Amidst the chaos, one of the twins managed to spill a puddle of liquid laundry detergent on the carpet. How do you clean up something that won’t stop bubbling and sudsing all over the carpet?

Lucky for me, a good friend saved me from losing my mind. She came over and helped with cleaning the kitchen and then after seeing the desperate situation I had created for myself she rescheduled her day so that she could take her kids and my kids to the park. She was Heaven sent that day. I was so grateful for that tender mercy since I obviously hadn’t planned well for that stressful morning. Learn from my mistake!

We still ended up leaving a few hours later than we were planning on, but we got it all done and here’s hoping we’ll get most of our deposit back!

Packing and moving are stressful. There’s really no way to completely avoid that, but you can at least heavily lighten the load. Hope these tips help.

Pack on, Mom.

How do you do it? Parenting Link Up #35

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! This week’s most clicked post was from Brandi of Fairy Tale Glamorous. With two kids under two, her diaper bag is an important part of her life. See what essentials she’s packing.I really appreciated Sarah of Me Plus 3 Todays post about getting out of your comfort zone and just creating your own village, instead of moaning about not having one. This is especially amazing as she herself is an introvert. It’s worth contemplating who is your village and the importance of having one.
Moms, Looking for Support? Build Your Own Village because it won't build itself! - www.MePlus3Today.com #motherhood #parenting #communityJennifer of the Study-at-Home Mama asks an important question - Can your kids handle your expectations? Her post is full of some reminders to evaluate how fair we are really being toward our children, as well as reasons as to why our children may not be meeting our expectations. www.studyathomemama.ca(1)In honor of World Breastfeeding Week last week and August being National Breastfeeding Month, I am sharing Lauren of Military Wife and Mom’s tips on how to breastfeed on a schedule, and still make enough milk for you baby or babies.
Breastfeeding on a Schedule or RoutineIf you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

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Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
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  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
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Twinfant Tuesday: Multiple Infants with Multiple Needs

Getting ready for a day of appointments.

The topic of Twinfant Tuesday came up and I wondered to myself and to Sadia, did I have a good experience during the infancy stage and do I have something to contribute? At first thought, I had serious doubts. My memories recall close to four months in a NICU, living away from home, the discharge and then the madness of appointments that awaited us, all the while working hard to balance the needs of my older child. My husband was at work Monday to Friday, working very long days due to unfortunate timing and he and I together were trying to figure out how to navigate as parents of 3, two and under, with particularly special needs.

We made it to some special events.

During the infant stage I was busy running my twin boys to appointments in town and out of town, navigating the hospital parking lots, calculating the best and quickest routes to my destinations, and breastfeeding in empty seminar rooms and in the back row of my minivan. I did whatever it took to keep these little infants well. It felt exhausting and unrelenting. These memories are my initial thoughts when I think about their infancy.

But when I think about these things and the other things that are too many to mention which made up the early week s and months of my twins’ first year, I realize that we had somewhat of a unique experience. An amazing experience actually. The healthcare they required and the follow ups that came with it enabled me to get to know these babies cues, health needs and personalities in a way I can’t explain. It’s as though I developed a sixth sense of proactivity when it came to their unspoken needs. That’s what I’m going to call it. I learned that really and truly, I was their expert. They couldn’t articulate their needs, but I knew how to sense them and articulate for them. I knew them best. Doctors knew about healthcare and the typical needs of babies like them, but I came to realize I know them best and if I had a gut feeling about something it was going to be accurate. Don’t get me wrong; I do appreciate every single thing our doctors and specialists have done for us along the way, but I recognize that we worked as a team and I really was my babies’ voice.

Putting some occupational therapy concepts to work.

So when I look back on my twins’ infant stage, I realize that it really was enjoyable. I did many things with them every day, maybe in atypical ways, but I breastfed them like I wanted to and made some fun and unique memories with them along the way. I look forward to sharing their stories with them one day.

On the road again.

Make-It Monday: Pillowcase Dresses

photo-5

I finally got around to making these dresses last week. The fabric I got at a Joanne’s store-closing sale back in April, and the ribbon I got online (ironically to match a different fabric– which it didn’t). Other than those two things, a sewing machine and some thread, all I needed was to find the time (when I wasn’t vegging on the couch). Seeing as how my summer is almost over, I decided that I should really get started.

It turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. Even with Big Sis “helping” me, I finished with hers in less than 1.5 hours. And after she went off to sleep, I made her sister’s in probably half that time. There are no photos of the process, because I hadn’t intended on posting about it. By no means am I any expert– I was figuring it out as I went along– but I do enjoy learning and making things on my sewing machine. I’m pretty proud of myself and happy with how they turned out. What I love the most about these is that even after the girls grow out of them as dresses, they can be worn as tunics and then tops!

Of course I can’t take credit though. Below are the sites I consulted in figuring out what to do:

I mainly used this one.

I’d like to try this for next time.

Another easy version.

If you do a google search, you will find that the measurements vary quite a bit amongst different sites. My daughters’ measurements were: Big Sis (4T) 44 width/24 length, and Baby Girl (18-24m) 32 width/18 length. Their dresses came out really loose and flowy, which is how I wanted them. It’s a great beginner project that you can make if you know how to work the basics of a sewing machine. The only tricky part was the armholes. I think next time I will try combining some different patterns and tying the bow in the back.

We were out at the mall, with both my girls in their pillowcase dresses, and got many compliments. With this beautiful girly paisley print and the bright yellow ribbon, I think they make for perfect summer dresses!

photo 2

I love matching my girls. They’re so cute!

lunchldyd is an aspiring children’s clothing maker and quilter. Her husband says, “If only that paid the bills.”

Ask the Moms: Aversion to Solid Food

What to do when a child won't take solid food? Feeding therapy may be the answer.

Reader Brielle had the following question for us:

I have 1 year old twins (11 months adjusted). My little girl is doing great, but my little boy is slightly delayed in some areas. One area that I’m concerned about is his diet. He. Will. Not. Eat. Food!!! He only wants to nurse! He won’t take a bottle or sippy cup. (I try every day.)

We first started solid foods when they were 6 months, and he has always been a struggle to feed, but there have been times when he will eat. But not anymore.

The doctor hasn’t really given any suggestions. His weight is right on track, so the doctor isn’t concerned about development. I feel like I will be nursing forever! I was hoping to start weaning them, but I can’t if he won’t eat anything else. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any suggestions??

Brielle, it sounds like your son may have an aversion to solid food. Feeding therapy is available, usually through your local speech therapist. When my daughters’ pediatrician suggested seeing a speech therapist for dinnertime issues, it sounded crazy to me. I quickly realized that speech therapists work with children on all aspects of oral motor control.

Feeding therapy changed our lives. I am not knowledgeable enough to be able to predict what the source of your son’s dislike of solid foods, cups and bottles is. However, my daughter suffered from trouble swallowing (dysphagia) due to poor tongue muscle control thanks to a tongue too big for her mouth (macroglossia). A few months of tongue exercises at age 2 made mealtimes manageable and helped her get the calories she needed.

HDYDI author Goddess in Progress‘s youngest daughter has also been through feeding therapy and Marissa‘s son is working on it right now. Their situations sound more like your son’s. I’m pleased to report that Goddess’s daughter now willingly eats crackers, sandwiches, and other solid foods. Marissa’s son has been seen chowing down on a pickle!

  1. Ask your doctor for a speech therapist referral.
  2. If he/she is not supportive of your going down this path, get a list of available speech therapists in your area from your health insurance company.
  3. Document details of your feeding efforts between now and your first speech therapist appointment. Write down what you try and the details of your son’s reactions.
  4. Once you do start meeting with a speech therapist, make sure that he/she is someone your whole family is comfortable working with.
  5. Do your homework. Make sure your son does any exercises he is supposed to do. Make it fun.

Please let us know how it goes, Brielle. And HUGE kudos for having breastfed twins for a full year!

Anyone have other advice for Brielle? Your own feeding therapy stories?

 

Toddler Thursday: Perspective Taking

At age 3 years, 2 months, my daughter J could spell three words without help: her own name, her sister’s and “No”. So, when she wanted to surprise me with a note, she was left with no choice but to ask for help—my help. She forbade me to leave the dining room, and yelled to me from the easel in the play room.

J: Mama, what’s after ‘S’ in “Sadia”?
M: ‘A’.
J: Then?
Me: ‘D’.
J: Then?
Me: ‘I’, then ‘A’.
J: How do you spell “from”?
Me: ‘F’ … ‘R’ … ‘O’ …
M: ‘M’.
J: Is ‘M’ the end?
M: Yes.
J: Mama, is ‘M’ the end?
M: Yes. Nice work, M.
J: How to you spell “to”?
Me: ‘T’ … ‘O’.
J: Then?
Me: That’s it.
J: How do you draw “don’t”?
Me: ‘D’ … ‘O’ … ‘N’ … ‘T’.
J: And “tell”?
Me: ‘T’ ‘E’ ‘L’ ‘L’.
J: ‘T’ ‘E’ ‘E’ ‘L’?
Me: No, ‘T’ ‘E’ ‘L’ ‘L’. Two ‘L’s.
J: Mommy, come see what I made for you! It says, “To Sadia from J. M, don’t tell.”

I’ve tried to help you parse this in the second image.

This 3-year-old has mastered neither linear writing nor secret-keeping. from hdydi.com

To Sadia from Jessica. Melody, don’t tell.

Toddlers are quite terrible at knowing what others know, their perspective taking skills still in development. I can report that now, at age 8, my girls are much better at keeping secrets. I’m not sure that’s the best thing, but it is fun to distract J at M’s request so that M can sneak a stuffed toy for her sister to the cashier at the toy store.

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 8-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, but also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering. She is the Single Parent Coordinator for Multiples of America.

Thoughts on the Multiples of America Convention 2014

The Multiples of America (aka NOMOTC) Convention last week was an intense experience. I learned a lot and made a lot of new friends. I was inspired in my parenting, my writing, and my advocacy. Above all, I had fun. A lot of fun.

Multiples of America convention 2014

Before I Arrived

I took the entire week off work to attend. I could have easily attended Wednesday through Saturday and learned nearly as much. The first few days were purely social, filled with tours of the local sights and get-to-know-each-other activities. Pre-convention activities began on Sunday, July 20, but I didn’t show up until Monday.

I’d never really considered attending the conference before this year, although I was vaguely aware of its existence. This time it was in Austin (Texas), where I work. My children were away visiting their Dad. The timing and location just seemed right. It seemed to me that How Do You Do It? being a resource for parents of multiples, we should know a little something about this organization for parents of multiples. I encourage you to check out Multiples of America’s quarterly magazine, Notebook, filled with articles and ideas specific to parents of multiples and the clubs that support us.

I went into the convention without expectations. I’d given the schedule a once-over, but I had no idea what the participation in the various events would be. I didn’t know whether everyone would be carrying diaper bags, backpacks, or purses. I guessed that conference goers would be predominantly female, but I didn’t know. I knew a little about Multiples of America: that it maintained a registry of MoM clubs around the US and that it supports research into all things multiples. That was pretty much everything I knew Monday morning.

Multiples of America Convention 2014 registration.

The scene at registration. Photo by Hannah Day

First Impressions

As I wrote on the way back from the Hill Country tour, I was overwhelmed by how warm and welcoming everyone was. I felt that the convention was more like a family reunion than like the professional conferences I’ve attended in the past. (I work in IT.) MoMs who had been coming for years, most whose children are now adults, were there to see their friends. They were quick to open their hearts to me as a new member of the family. A few husbands tagged along, but this was definitely a women’s get-together.

I was among the youngest, if not the youngest, of the MoMs to attend the pre-convention fun. A couple of adult multiples, accompanying their mothers, were younger than I. (I’m 35, my twin daughters 8.) I suspect that this is not unusual. The pre-convention tours, while mostly not actively excluding children, were not child-friendly. My daughters would have probably loved the LBJ ranch tour, but wine tasting and the cute stores in Fredericksburg might not have been as much fun for them. I didn’t attend the Austin Sixth Street club/bar night, but that would certainly been out of the question with children in tow.

glasses-262382_640

In addition to being better kid-free, the tour prices were prohibitive. Few mothers of young children have $35-$65 to spare for each of up to 5 tours, especially after factoring in travel expenses and hotel room costs. I had a surprise windfall with which to pamper myself: when my ex-husband suddenly decided that he wanted our daughters to visit for nearly 2 months, I was able to recoup summer camp costs. Still, I didn’t stay at the hotel and didn’t have to worry about travel expenses beyond what I usually spend on my work commute.

I understand from the lovely women planning next year’s convention in Cincinnati that there will be more child-oriented activities. Still, I will have to scrimp and save to make it to that convention, and will likely have to bring my daughters if I am able to attend. Judging by the number of adult multiples I met who have been attending the Multiples of America (then NOMOTC) conventions since they were children, my girls would be welcome, loved, and plenty spoiled, even if we were limited to participation in only certain convention events.

Social Scene

I’m an extreme extrovert, so my favourite part of convention was the downtime. I loved getting to know so many lovely women on the bus to and from our tour locations, over meals at local restaurants, and over drinks in the hotel lobby.

Multiples of America 2014 Convention attendees

Heather and Anna, two of the wonderful new MoM friends I made. Photo by Hannah Day.

I have a feeling that many of these women will be friends of mine for life. I loved hearing about pairs who see each other only once a year at convention,  and who have shared hotel rooms annually for 20 years or more.

There were mixers, dances, and banquets aplenty, in addition to the downtime. I can’t remember the last time I danced so much or had so much fun doing it! I appreciated the thought that went into ensuring that some of the events seated strangers together while others, especially those later in the convention, allowed people to choose the others at their table. Door prizes and raffles provided extra encouragement to show up!

Mothers of multiples get together, mostly without the kids, at the Multiples of America Convention 2014.

There was raffle after raffle, thanks to a plethora of donations. And in the background are Janie and Corky, the very first of my new friends to take me under their wings. Photo by Hannah Day.

Getting Down to Business

The Multiples of America Convention 2014 wasn’t all fun and games, although there was plenty of that. The business at hand included voting on proposed changes to its laws, electing the next executive board, deciding on future convention locations, reviewing the budget and organization finances, and other non-profit concerns. Only delegates of Multiples of America member clubs were eligible to vote, although all convention attendees were welcome to attend the business meetings. Only existing executive board members ran for their positions, so the board was reelected by default.

The executive board appointed additional volunteers, called National Workers, to move the organization’s mission forward over the next year. I was appointed Single Parent Coordinator, and hope to use that role to advocate for outreach to single parents of multiples and military families by local parents of multiples groups around the country. I’ve already learned that one obstacle some single parents face in joining a club is the membership fee. Please be aware that many such clubs are prepared to cover membership costs for parents of multiples who can’t afford them. Don’t be afraid to ask!

I detected some severe generational tension between NOMOTC traditionalists and younger Multiples of America members. In the age of social media, clubs that meet in person can feel outmoded, and I got the impression that local clubs with younger memberships tend to feel that Multiples of America no longer adds value. I love that the organization changed its name last year to recognize the greater number of higher order multiples in the population, as well as the increased parenting role that fathers and other non-mother caregivers are taking in our world. I think there’s plenty of room for communities of all sorts, especially when our shared goal is to do the best we can for our children. Membership in multiples clubs in general has been dwindling, and I’m certain that the ease of finding community online is partly responsible. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, by any means, but there’s a place for both online and local community. I hope that the executive board hears this and acts on it. Multiples of America should be about supporting multiple birth families, not just keeping Multiples of America going.

In addition to the core business meetings of Multiples of America, the Austin Mothers of Multiples group that organized the convention allowed time for structured sharing of ideas between parents and between club representatives. There was a resource room and MoMs’ Mall with information and products available to the multiple mom, whether new, expecting, or experienced. Discussions on consignment sales and school placement were particularly active and rewarding. I can honestly say it had never occurred to me how much goes into keeping a MoM club running! Since HDYDI is an informal group funded out of my family budget, I’d never given any thought to what location-specific clubs have to do to guard against embezzlement or legal challenges that might exist to providing childcare during club meetings. I’m starting to realize how little I know!

Booths at the Multiples of America Convention 2014.

Photo by Hannah Day

I appreciated learning about the research that is underway in partnership with Multiples of America. Of particular interest was Dr. Susan Griffith’s presentation on the Post-Partum Mood Disorder study that the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO) is running. It’s not too late to participate! They need all MoMs, whether or not you’ve dealt with PPD, to fill out their survey, to get a handle on how PPD affects us after multiples births in particular.

Multiples of America has also partnered with local clubs to raise awareness of multiple births in the month of April. Who knows? Maybe HDYDI will participate in Multiple Birth Awareness Month next year!

In Short

I am so very glad I went to the Multiples of America Convention this year. I made many new friends and got some wonderful parenting insights. I’ll be writing another post on the different concerns that parents of fraternal multiples have from those of identical multiples when it comes to school and education. I came back energized to speak up for issues specific to multiples and empowered to advocate for single and military parents in my volunteer coordinator role.

Thank you to Debbie, Ada, Heather, Karen, and Elizabeth for all the work that went into putting on an extremely successful convention. And if you’re in Central Texas and looking for a photographer, Hannah Day was amazing! She managed to get all the pictures without ever seeming to be in the way.

Have you ever attended a state or national multiples convention? How does your experience compare?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 8-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She is the newly minted Single Parent Coordinator for Multiples of America, also known as the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC). She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and currently blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering as well as here at HDYDI.

Twinfant Tuesday: How to Maintain White Carpet with Twins

We recently sold our house, and, during the many showings, I can’t tell you how many people commented on our white carpet.  “HOW do you have two little ones, and maintain this carpet so well???”  I’m not the most stellar housekeeper, and I don’t have a carpet cleaner, but we managed to survive infant- and toddlerhood relatively unscathed.

A big part of it, I think, is that we don’t wear shoes in the house.  But bare feet would have been no match for projectile infant spit-up, times two, back in the first year of the girls’ lives.

Once our girls started to wiggle around, when they were three months old or so, I started giving them floor time in the den (on the white carpet).  At the time, I’d spread a baby blanket down for them, but it wasn’t long before they started to wiggle off that.

My husband had the brilliant idea to get some large blankets to cover the floor of the den.  We invested in two king-size velour blankets ($25 each at Kohl’s, if I remember correctly).  Every morning, we would spread those blankets to cover the floor of the den.  The velour spread very evenly, and stayed put pretty well against our low-pile carpet.

It was fantastic!

floor1Not only did the girls have a nice, clean place to wiggle and crawl, but clean-up was a breeze.

Carrots for lunch, resulting in bright orange spit-up?  No worries!  A diaper blow-out just before bedtime?  Not a big deal!

We would wipe up the blanket as best we could during the day, and then we’d treat the stain and run it through the wash overnight.

During naps, when the cats were likely to come out of their hiding places, I’d fold the blankets over so they could enjoy the carpet (and to keep the cat fur off the girls’ crawling space).  At night, Hubby and I would fold the blankets, and our den would return to [relative] normal.

We didn’t choose white carpet for our new house, but our vigilance continues.  We still have those blankets, and we spread them down for rare snacks in front of the telly (like during the Thanksgiving Day parade).  If they’re not threadbare by then, I can envision those blankets serving us well for many years to come.

(You don’t think it would embarrass my girls if I spread the blankets down for slumber parties when they’re preteens…and show a short slide show of the girls on the blankets when they were tiny???)

floor2

This picture would have center stage! Hahaha!

Do you have any tips and tricks for Twin Tornado-proofing your house?

MandyE is mom to five-and-a-half-year old twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Make-It Monday: Thank-You “Notes” for Pre-Writers

We recently went to Chicago to see the sights, and also to visit some friends and family we haven’t seen in far too long.  When we got home, I wanted to have the girls make some type of thank-you gestures for those we saw.  I think it’s a great way to help them remember what we did, with whom…and I knew our friends and family would love seeing the girls’ handiwork.

I asked the girls what they most enjoyed about seeing Aunt and Uncle K.  They unanimously named Aunt K’s corn on the cob (she fixed it twice for them, seeing how much they loved it), and playing soccer with Uncle K.

I came up with a couple of fun crafts for them to make…

Craft1For our ear of corn, I gave the girls yellow paint and showed them how to dab it onto a long oval shape I drew.  [This was the first time we'd used Q-tips with paint...it was great!  We'll be coming up with more "dabbings" soon!]

When the paint was dry, the girls added green hand prints for the leaves.  (I didn’t take pictures of this part of the craft…even at age 5 1/2, I stay pretty close by when we start getting our hands covered in paint!)

For the soccer ball, I let the girls trace small hexagons (we have these awesome stencils). They cut out the shapes and glued them onto a piece of card stock.  Craft2 Then they traced a larger circle and cut it out.  Viola!  I am seriously in love with the way this turned out.

Craft3

Here are the finished products…

Craft4

The girls wrote little messages and signed their names.  I’m going to print a couple of pictures of A&B with Aunt and Uncle K to accompany the crafts.  I know they’ll be tickled to get this little surprise in the mail…and I love that my girls are still talking about Aunt K’s corn, and what soccer tricks they want to show Uncle K the next time we see him.

Do you have any tricks for making thank-you notes with pre-writers?

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up #34

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How Do You Do It? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not. It’s a place for you to share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? co-hosts the party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to all our linkers, whether you’re a regular or an occasional link up participant!

This week’s most clicked post was from Lauren of The Military Wife and Mom. She wrote about helping babies nap better. This is the second part of her series on this topic and her advice is right on the money. The best piece of advice, in my opinion, was to be consistent.

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Extreme Parenting had a great post on having a successful barbecue experience with children who have special needs. It just takes a little planning, and sometimes a few extra bodies. I think that the practical pointers are relevant to taking children out in public, whether or not they have special needs.

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Erica at What Do We Do All Day? wrote about her experience making paper boats with her son. She is the first to admit that she’s not the craftiest person around. I loved that she used this activity as an opportunity to gain some insight into her parenting and how she interacts with her sons.

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Kim at Cozinest put together a lovely list of games that parents and grandparents can play with their littles. She broke them up into contexts where each game is appropriate, from waiting in line to creative play. I encourage you to take a look and see what games from your childhood you can introduce to your children.

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If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

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Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
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