Quintessential Twin Pictures

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When my girls were born 6 1/2 years ago, I wasn’t on Facebook. I hadn’t started blogging. And — to my knowledge — Pinterest didn’t yet exist. I barely had any mommy friends, let alone friends with twins. (That’s funny to think now, since almost all my mommy friends have multiples!)

I say that to say, I didn’t have a ton of inspiration for pictures. I took a blue million. Now, though, I look around at all the adorableness on social media, and I wish I could rewind the clock, if for no other reason than to take some adorable smooshy baby pictures.

One picture I’m thankful I captured is what I think of as a truly quintessential “twin” picture. I’m not sure where I got the idea back in the day (how old am I???), but it’s one that just makes me smile.

What is cuter than a baby in a bucket swing? Twins in a bucket swing!

Two kiddos, back to back in a bucket swing at the park. How I love those matching hats, baby-soft skin, chunky little legs, and uber-clean tennis shoes…all TIMES TWO.

If you have infant or toddler twins and haven’t taken such a picture: GET THEE TO A PLAYGROUND. FIND THYSELF A BUCKET SWING. Aaaaand GO!!!

These days I’m almost always at the ready with my trusty camera. And a couple of weeks ago, I realized I had an opportunity to sorta-kinda recreate this quintessential twin shot.

No, I didn’t cram my kiddos into a bucket seat at the park. (They’re slight, but I think that would be pushing it.) My dad has a disc swing [there’s probably a real name for this?] at his house. The girls were delighted to play on it last month when we went down for a visit. They were taking turns well enough, but then I suggested they try to swing together. (Oh, and please do so while I find the perfect camera angle… HA!)

Too big for a bucket swing, perhaps, but these twin sisters are never too big for an outdoor adventure.

Voilà!

I still love that baby-soft skin, now with matching ponytails and scruffed up tennis shoes.

I can’t foresee what my next recreation might be, but know I’ll be on the lookout, ever ready to capture the moment.

What’s your favorite twin/triplet/more pose? Share it on our Facebook page. We’d love to see!!!

MandyE is mom to 6 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls. She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

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Happy Fathers’ Day!

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Happy Fathers’ Day to all the super dads out there.

We’d like to acknowledge the wonderful fathers behind the MoMs of How Do You Do You It?

Loving father of twins A and B.
Mandy‘s husband with their lovely daughters, A and B.
Grandfather of triplets and a singleton. Happy Fathers' Day!
Mari‘s triplets and their cousin with their very proud grandfather.
Ryan is Dad to two sets of twins. There's a dad to celebrate on Fathers' Day!
Amy‘s husband, Ryan, with their older twins. Talk about superdad!
Brand new grandfatherhood, times two, just in time for Father's Day.
Sadia‘s daughters, M and J, at one month old with their grandfather, J’s namesake.
Happy Father's Day to all dads, and twice over to fathers of twins!
SaraBeth‘s husband, Chris, with their little spitfires, Jack and Molly at just over a year old.
Dad to 5: two sets of twins and 1 singleton.
Michelle‘s husband Scott is Superdad to each of 5 children: one set of fraternal twins, one set of identical twins, and a singleton.
Now there's a dad to recognize on Fathers' Day!
Jessica‘s husband with his little ladies.

We hope you know how much we appreciate you.

Why not a DAD triptych for Father's Day?
Beth‘s kids celebrate Dad.
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Twinfant Tuesday: Are You in Those Baby Photos?

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My 8-year-olds love to hear stories about themselves as babies and revel in browsing through baby photos of themselves… even if they can’t tell who’s who. When I look through these photos, it takes me back to those days of round-the-clock nursing, sweet soft baby nuzzles, diapers, spit-up, and getting to know my daughters for the very first time.

These early photos of your babies are the ones you will hold close forever.

It feels like I blinked, and those tiny little people grew up.

One minute, your babies are newborn, and the next, they're on stage at their third ballet recital.

I can’t help but notice, though, how few of those hundreds of first year photos I’m in. Even though their dad deployed when they were 5 months old, he’s in far more photos than I. I was behind the camera.

Daddy got a lot more photos with the babies than Mommy did.

I regret it. I regret not having more photos of myself with my girls. No matter how un-photogenic I might have felt at the time, my daughters and I deserve to have our relationship, as well as theirs, captured in images. Those photos that I do have of the three of us together are so precious, regardless of how visually unappealing photographic proof of the challenges of new parenthood felt at the time.

Exhausted though the new mother of twins may feel, these photos are so precious a few years further into the motherhood adventure.First laughs, early baths, rolling over, sharing toys—I have photos or videos of it all. I’m in none of them, except as a disembodied voice. The formal family portraits are well and good, but I wish I’d taken more photos of us in our day-to-day lives, at that time where every day brought something new.

Formal family portraits aren't nearly as textured and imbued with memories as the casual snapshot.

This Twinfant Tuesday, I invite all you new MoMs to get in front of the camera. Don’t worry about the dark circles under your eyes, or the baby weight you haven’t shaken yet, or how unevenly your bra is filled in that moment before switching sides. Just get in the picture. You’ll regret it if you don’t, and I promise you that 10 years from now, you’ll see how great new motherhood really looked on you.

Need encouragement? Check out the Mommy and Me Monday posts at Really, Are You Serious? Let Krystyn and her adorable daughters inspire you to get into those photos that you’ll be looking back on in a few short years.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious? Get inspired to get in the photo with your kids.Hosted by Krystyn

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Twinfant Tuesday: Holiday Photos

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My daughters were 7 months old (5 months corrected) at their first Christmas. I tried to take some holiday photos myself. At the time, I wasn’t too happy with how they came out but 7 years later, I cherish them.

I have since realized that infant photos of my pair were actually easier to take than toddler photos. At least they stayed generally where I put them as infants.

For one photo, I just threw a festive looking bed sheet over the couch and plunked the kids down. M disapproved mightily when J fell over on her.

Twinfant Tuesday: Holiday Photos

For another, I positioned ornaments from our tree around the kids, seated on the same couch, this time with a black satin bed sheet.

Twinfant Tuesday: Holiday Photos at home with multiple infants. Dress up your couch!

I have saved those teeny tiny newborn sized dresses and doll shoes. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to display one outfit in a shadow box as a reminder of how far my preemies have come.

Did you try to get holiday photos of your multiples as infants. How did they work out?

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-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, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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Me and my camera, then and now

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I hope everyone out there enjoyed Birth Story Week! It’s one of those fun stories that nearly all moms like to share, especially with pregnant women (in the most horrifying detail possible, for whatever reason). Anyways, we hope it gave our readers an idea of the wide range of experiences out there. Everyone has their own story, a little different from all the others.

In so much as it’s a holiday, I pretty much forgot that it is indeed Monday and my day to post! Doh! I thought I might expand a little on the topic I touched on over at my personal blog today: photos.

I was always a photo nut, from my first plastic Fisher-Price camera with a little manual push/slide to advance the film and the flash cartridges I had to buy separately. This is not to say I’m any great photographer, and I’ve only taken one photography class in my entire life. But still, I really enjoy it. Especially now, in the digital age, when I can snap 100 pictures of the same thing and not worry about wasting film. And while I am, strictly speaking, taking a number of photos that is way above and beyond anything I’ve ever done before, I find I’m actually much worse at documenting “events.”

I never used to be able to pass up taking pictures at a party. I always had my camera in my purse, and whether it was a barbeque or a sorority formal, I had pictures. Maybe I didn’t document every second of the party, but there was some photographic record that it happened. I suppose that started to change a little in the post-college days, but still, I have some very highly-documented weddings in my iPhoto Library. Heck, my cousin Amanda’s wedding about a year and a half ago? 115 shots. Sure, plenty are of the same thing, which is an important technique in terms of getting a good shot, and is more practical with a digital camera than it was with film. But still, well-documented. Pictures of the whole family, pictures of the ceremony, pictures of the “kung-fu fighting.” (Don’t ask, my family is crazy.)

Fast-forward a few months, and I was pregnant. I was huge, uncomfortable, swollen. I’ve always struggled with my weight, so the extra pregnancy flab and swollen face and extremities did not make me eager to have my picture taken. I look back and regret it, but I have pictures of my pregnant self on literally only four different days. Less than 10 total pictures. Not a single one from the shower my friends threw for me, when they came up from Washington, DC and had a “Danger and Peril”-themed shower and one of them was also pregnant with her second child. Did I take advantage of that photo-op, the two pregnant ladies? Nope. Did I have M take a picture right before the babies were born? Nope.

My children, on the other hand, are frighteningly well-documented. In less than 10 months, I’ve taken nearly 2500 shots of my kids. Again, things made possible by digital photography. That does include things like their monthly birthday chair pictures. For instance, their 9-month photo session was no fewer than 65 frames in under 15 minutes. It includes plenty of “outtakes,” but means I’m pretty likely to get some really good ones to send to the family. So if you want to know what my kids looked like on seemingly any day in the last 9 months, I’ve probably got a picture within a 5-day range of that.

If, however, you ask me in a few years who was at my Memorial Day barbeque yesterday? I really couldn’t look at the pictures and tell you. Courtesy of my sister-in-law, to whom I handed my camera, there are plenty of super-cute pictures of my kids. And, um, no one else (I think that’s my friend Ryan in the background, but I wouldn’t swear to it, and am unlikely to remember, three years from now, that he wore a baseball hat that day). Gone are the days when I’d tell people to get close to one another so I could take a picture. No one is quite as into that anymore. Plus, I really do have my hands more full than I used to. Watching the babies, cooking the food, making sure everyone is having a good time… and, having a good time, myself. No time, apparently, to take pictures of my friends having a good time, my sister-in-law’s boyfriend on our swingset, my friend’s kids chasing the dog. It’s too bad, and something I keep meaning to do better. Each time I have a playdate, each time I have a barbeque, we swear we’ll take more pictures of all of us actually “doing” something. And each time, we take one or two and then forget. There are worse things than enjoying each other’s company and spending time with your kids, of course. I just wish, sometimes, that I had some pictures to say that I did something other than take photos of my kids (and no one else) in my backyard or my living room.

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