raising twins,momo twins,monoamniotic,premature,identical,multiples The good, bad & the ugly...real life!: March 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beauty in the backseat


Our house has been taken over by RSV, pneumonia, and ear infections and we finally ventured out to refill the supply of Motrin, popsicles,  my favorite chocolate and a swigger, more commonly known as a 32 ounce Coke with lots of ice for me.  We all need survival food, right?!?  After several days and nights, eleven to be exact of having one, two, or three sick kiddos at a time and none of them sleeping at the same time I am sure all of you fellow mama's out there can imagine the joy as I saw this in my rear view mirror.  I very carefully brought them in the house, tucked them into their beds and am now sitting here with my chocolate and my swigger.  Now the dilemma...do I attempt to catch up on all of the laundry, cleaning and germ removal while they are asleep or give in to the comfy couch that is calling my name???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

If you live in Arizona, Wyoming, Texas, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, or Washington you have to give this a try.  I have loved it and with produce prices increasing I love it even more.  I got everything in the basket for $15 and it's super easy.  The quality & variety are also great.  Ordering begins Monday at noon and ends Tuesday evening.  You just go online, select your pickup site, place your order and pick it up at the designated time on Saturday.  Some of the sites do go quickly.  I have discovered that if I don't place my order by 12:30 on Monday I am either out of luck or have to pick up at a different site.

www.bountifulbaskets.org

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

This is from one of my favorite recipe blogs.  I love sugar cookies and these are a lot easier than rolling, cutting out and all the clean up of sugar cookies and YUMMY!  You just can't go wrong with cream cheese and almond extract, at least that's my opinion!  If you aren't familiar with this blog I highly reccomend it.  Most of her recipes/ideas are simple, inexpensive, and fantastic!


When you hear the words
“Sugar Cookies”
do you get a little overwhelmed?
Do you feel a little whoozie thinking of an all
day project in the kitchen?
You know how a sugar cookie project goes.
You can see it in your minds eye…. flour and dough flying everywhere with candy sprinkles and frosting stuck from here to Timbuktu. If you have the patience of a mighty she-ra and want to participate in that kind of activity (I have to admit, I do love a good sugar cookie project! Twice a year does me up just fine) you can click here to find my fabuloussugar cookie recipe. If you are in the mood to save your patience for filling Easter eggs, and shopping for cute Easter dresses then I have the recipe for you ladies and gents! These Sugar Cookie Bars will have you whistling Dixie in no time. Your kids will love them just as much as the cut out kind…and you will have your sanity intact and ready to take on the world. That is something to be grateful for.

Sugar Cookie Bars
Yield: about 60 bars (depending on how big you cut them)
Time: about 40 minutes + time to cool and frost

Recipe from MyDearMother 
PRINT RECIPE 

Cookies:1 1/2 C sugar
1 C butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 t almond extract
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 1/2 C flour


Frosting:
1/2 C butter softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
3-5 T milk
1 t vanilla
food coloring


1. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until nice and frothy. About 4 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat for 1 minute more.
3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix them around so that all ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat for about 2 minutes.
5. Press the dough into a large jelly roll (cookie sheet) pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
7. Let the pan cool completely.
8. Time to make the frosting! In a medium sized bowl (or your stand mixer) combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat for about 2 minutes.
9. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and food coloring. Mix for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
10. Frost your pan of cookies. Cut the cookies into bars and serve!




 As a fun decorative option, you could pipe a bit of white frosting onto the bars. Just take about 1/4 of the frosting out of the mixer before you add the food coloring. Put the white frosting into to sandwich sized zip loc bag. Carefully snip the tip and pipe some fun decorations onto the bars.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sick, Sick, Sick


A lot more coughing than sleeping going on around here.  Hudson started out with RSV and an ear infection. He is now starting to perk up a little.  How couldn't he with the constant care he is getting from these two?  I have attempted to peel them off him several times, offering threats and every other form of manipulation to keep them from getting sick.   I lost and now I keep hearing coughs echo from one sibling to the next.  I am not sure there is enough chocolate or Coke to get us through this one.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kids safest in rear-facing car seats until age 2

March 21st, 2011 @ 8:42am
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - Children should ride in rear-facing car seats longer, until they are 2 years old instead of 1, according to updated advice from a medical group and a federal agency.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued separate but consistent new recommendations Monday.
Both organizations say older children who've outgrown front-facing car seats should ride in booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits them. Booster seats help position adult seat belts properly on children's smaller frames. Children usually can graduate from a booster seat when their height reaches 4 feet 9 inches.
Children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat, the guidelines from both groups say.
The advice may seem extreme to some parents, who may imagine trouble convincing older elementary school kids _ as old as 12 _ to use booster seats.
But it's based on evidence from crashes. For older children, poorly fitting seat belts can cause abdominal and spine injuries in a crash.
One-year-olds are five times less likely to be injured in a crash if they are in a rear-facing car seat than a forward-facing seat, according to a 2007 analysis of five years of U.S. crash data.
Put another way, an estimated 1,000 children injured in forward-facing seats over 15 years might not have been hurt if they had been in a car seat facing the back, said Dr. Dennis Durbin, lead author of the recommendations and a pediatric emergency physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Toddlers have relatively large heads and small necks. In a front-facing car seat, the force of a crash can jerk the child's head causing spinal cord injuries.
Car seats have recommended weights printed on them. If a 1-year-old outweighs the recommendation of an infant seat, parents should switch to a different rear-facing car seat that accommodates the heavier weight until they turn 2, the pediatricians group says.
Luckily for parents, most car seat makers have increased the amount of weight the seats can hold. This year, about half of infant rear-facing seats accommodate up to 30 pounds, Durbin said. Ten years ago, rear-facing car seats topped out at children weighing 22 pounds.
"The good news is it's likely parents currently have a car seat that will accommodate the change," Durbin said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations appear Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
___
Online:
American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org

Monday, March 21, 2011

Art?

My second grader was very offended when she handed me this lovely piece of artwork and I asked her if it was finished.  I thought maybe she was going to take it back to school to add a little splash of color or something.  Not only is this finished, but she was very pleased to tell me that the teacher said hers was one of the best of the entire grade.  Is it just my imagination or is this a piece of cardboard with a bunch of junk glued to it covered with aluminum foil?  If this is as hard as my tax$$$ are working I think I am going to ask for a refund.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nap with a side of popcorn

,

It gets a bit challenging when one twin still needs a nap while is in the in between stage and most of the time does not.  Usually I put Hudson in his bed and let Nick watch a movie with a snack in hopes that will be more exciting than waking up his brother, but some days it doesn't work.  I have tried the childproof door knob things and those keep him out, but it doesn't do much good when he sits outside of the door knocking, crying for his little buddy.  Yesterday I proceeded with the routine and started putting my groceries away.  After a few minutes I noticed that things were a little too quiet.  Nick didn't want his brother to miss out on anything, so he had dumped his popcorn all over him and was knocking on his blanket to wake him up.  Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walking!!!!

video

After 33 months and lots of prayers and holes in jeans this is a very happy sight!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Twin Shock!

I know there are a few out there that dream of having a set of twins.  That was not me!  Parenting did not come as naturally to me as I thought it should have.  I literally almost fainted when the ultrasound man (or whatever he is called) said that I was going to be having two babies.  I walked around in a foggy shock having anxiety driven chest pains for a few days until I called a good friend.  She has had much more experience than I have in life and has a set of twins that are now grown.  She told me that she had always considered herself to be special because not everyone gets to have twins and that in spite of many crazy moments she had greatly enjoyed her twins.  She also told me that there is nothing sweeter than seeing them asleep next to each other.  Anyone that is in the same panic that I was in-she was right!  For some reason that was all I needed.  I was still nervous at times, but for some reason considering myself to be one of the special few twin moms made it easier.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Multiples Discounts & Freebies

I had been working forever on putting together a list similar to this one, but stopped as soon as I saw this.  It has everything that I had found and MORE!  Please send me an email or leave a comment if you know of any others.

http://www.raising-twins.com/free-stuff-for-twins.html
Having twins is expensive so we love freebies and good deals! From double the car seats, highchairs, clothes , formula, bottles, DIAPERS, and baby food , it all really adds up fast. I've compiled a list of free stuff and deals here for you.
Planning in advance and saving all those coupons can really help. Here is a list of companies that have special offers available for twin families.




Free Stuff for Twins - magazine subscription American Baby Magazine

Babies "R" Us - they do have a discount for multiples - they offer 10% off two or more of the same item purchased in the same order - 2 cribs, 2 strollers etc. Babies R Us deals for twins

Beechnut Baby Foods You can call 1-800-BEECHNUT ( 1-800-233-2468) to request a freebies new parents pack for your twins. They will include double the normal amount of coupons for products and and you'll get ongoing newsletters with additional coupons. You can also sign up for an online email newsletter. Beechnut newsletter for more coupons

Get a freebies gift here for breastfeeding moms

Newsletter, product information and coupons 1-800-442-4221 Earth's Best Baby Foods

Enfamil( Mead Johnson) - talk to your pediatrician after your babies are born and ask them to contact their local Enfamil representative who can issue a recommendation that free products be sent to the parents. You can also call 1-800-BABY-123 ( 1-800-222-9123) to join the Enfamil Family Beginnings Program for ongoing coupons through the mail.

Evenflo Call 1-800-233-5921 for information on receiving a freebies gift basket for twins. You'll need to send them proof of your babies by mail but call first to get registered.

The First Years Write to them to request being a part of their Multiple Birth Program ( you'll need to send copies of the birth certificates) and get a free gift basket of rattles/toys. The mailing address is The First Years Attention Multiples , 100 Technology Center Dr, Ste 2A Stoughton, MA 02072

Gerber Call 1-800-4-GERBER ( 1-800-443-7237) to sign up for the Gerber Supertwins program. You'll get coupons for free Gerber products- double the amount sent to parents of singletons.

Halo Sleep Sac - These are the BEST way to get your babies to sleep !!! Call 1-888-999-4256 - they offer buy one full price ( $24.95) get one for half price - ask for the twin discount! Get your babies to sleep

Heinz - Call 1-800-872-2229 to receive free stuff for twins - welcome packets for each of your twins - coupons for Heinz baby products and informational literature.

Huggies-they will give you a one time gift of much higher-value coupons for parents of twins and you'll receive ongoing coupons through the mail after signing up for their program. Mail proof of birth to Kimberly Clark Corp. Dept. QMB PO Box 2020 Neenah, WI 54957-2020

JC Penney Portraits There's an online form on the JC Penney website to sign up for their Multiple Birth Program. You can get a pair of portrait sitting coupons for your twins ( offers can vary)- Complete the online form here

Johnson and Johnson - Call 1-800-526-3967 to receive free stuff for twins- a twins pack that includes great coupons and informational literature on their baby products.

McNeal Consumer Products The makers of Tylenol will send you free welcome packs for your twins if you call 1-800-962-5357 ( option #5) and make sure you tell them you have twins !

Mom and Baby Works they offer deals for parents and multiples through their Multiple Births Program. They have buy one, get one free on selected products purchased directly through our 1-866-477-5144 Check them out here!

Nestle Infant Nutrition-Call 1-800-782-7766 to request the address and a registration code number so that you can mail them proof of your twins ( doctor's letter, crib cards, birth certificates), to get coupons for 2 free cans of Nestle Good Start DNA and RNA formula. Take all the freebies offers on formula that you can - it really adds up and you don't know at first which one you'll be using long term! You can also sign up for their free magazine online ( more coupons in here !) Nestle

Oceanspray - Parents of twins can receive a special deal on Oceanspray product coupons in the Multiple Birth Program. Send a copy of proof of your twins birth to Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. One Ocean Spray Drive, Lakeville-Middleboro, MA 02349

OshKosh B'Gosh- they will give you 10% off on all products sold in their stores if you are a parent of twins - ask at the cashier for the discount

Pampers or Luvs - Call 1-800-726-7377 to request a freebie package as part of their Pampers Multiples Birth program or call 1-800-665-3257 for a freebies package from the Luvs Multiple Birth program. You'll get coupons for diapers and wipes and product samples. Sign up for both !

Playtex Diaper Genie - to be part of their Multiple Birth Program and get a coupon for $7.00 off a Diaper Genie and other coupons send your name and address and proof of your twins birth to Playtex Diaper Genie, 20 Troy Road, Whittany, NJ, 07981

Preschoolian Shoes- Fax copies of the birth certificates to 1-866-681-1081 ( toll free) and include your email addy. They will email you back a code which will reduce the price of your by 50% - shoes must be purchased in multiples of 2 ( 2, 4 6) - For more information you can go here

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus - you can get free stuff for twins circus certificates for your twins if you sign up online before they turn one - they don't have an expiration date and kids usually appreciate the circus more when they're a little older - after you're registered send a copy of your twins birth certificates to Baby's First Circus Program , Feld Entertainment, Inc, 8607 Westwood Center Drive, VA, 22182 Fill out the online form here

Similac - Call 1-800-232-7677 for information on their Welcome Additions Club and to receive a welcome kit of coupons and samples. It's too confusing to sign up online for twins so call them and tell them your good news!

White House Greetings - not twin specific but a fun thing to do - send your twins names, birthdate and your address to the White House to receive an official congratulations from the President - nice keepsake! Write to The White House Greeting Office Room 39, Washington D.C. 20500


Sassy , Inc 1-800-633-9111 Buy one, get one free, offer for a feeding utensil set or training cup. Spencers 1-800-633-9111 Growth chart, product booklet and coupons.
Stride Rite Stores - have discounts for multiples - ask for details in store.
Make sure you bookmark this freebies page
and send over any twin mommies you meet - we all need all the help we can get! You can always pass along any coupons that don't apply to you and your family.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cryin' over spilled milk


No such thing as a relaxing Saturday morning at this house!  As I was finishing a conversation with my five year old to decide what her discipline should be for her disaster of the day when her sister came in to let me know that the boys had spilled the milk on the living room floor and were now sucking it out of the carpet with their mouths.  I  quickly moved the little milk licking kittens up to the couch, threw a towel on the mini milk pond and attempted to stomp the milk out of the carpet all the while my boys were squealing with excitement as "mommy was jumping on the milk".  Unfortunately I was not in the right frame of mind to think of pulling out my camera.  If this is any indication of how this day is going to be I may be nicely tucked in my closet consuming large amounts of chocolate by the time my husband gets home.:)

Friday, March 4, 2011

10 Reasons Why Parenting Twins is the Best

www.squidoo.com

(Not in any particular order)

#10I Get Much More Exercise Than I Used to Get


I counted one day the number of times that I ran up and down the stairs between naps, diaper changes, outfit changes and things I forgot. It came to 49 times up and down.

Then as the twins get older, you have the joy of chasing them around. Chasing them around the kitchen, chasing them around the mall, chasing them around the playground. Well, I think you see the idea here.

And, I haven't even talked about carrying around two babies at the same time all the time. My biceps were almost like Linda Hamilton's in The Terminator when my twins were little. I have yet to meet an overweight twins mom and now I know why.




#9 I Get to Do Everything Twice. I Get to Do Everything Twice.

People will say to me "raising twins must be so hard" and I always reply with "no, not really. I just do for one what I do for the other one." If I change a diaper, I do it for each of them. If I prepare food, I do it twice. If I put one to bed, the other goes to bed too.

I also get to repeat myself twice. So, just in case I didn't hear myself the first time or I've forgotten what I've said, it won't be long before I have the chance to say it again to the other twin.



#8 I Get to Shop Often


I'm constantly at Target either because I forgot something on my last trip or I ran run out of diapers. I usually would buy enough diapers to last me to the next millenium, but somehow we constantly run out of them.

The twice a year shopping for clothes can be a little overwhelming since I have to buy for both a boy and a girl, but I'm getting better at organizing my shopping trips.




#7I Get the Best Deals


There are a ton of product deals and discounts created just for parents of multiples, you just have to find them and sometimes ask for them. Did you know that Babies R Us will give you a 10% discount when you buy two of the same item over $100?

Over the years, I've received discounts on these types of items from certain stores and companies.

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby Formula
  • Cribs
  • Car Seats
  • Preschool Tuition
  • Zoo Admission Fee


For a list of more discounts, here are two sites that I like to recommend About.com Free Stuff for Twins and Twin Pregnancy and Beyond Twin Discounts.




#6 I Feel Like a Superstar Everytime I Go Out


I've learned that people are fascinated by twins, especially senior citizens who have the time to stop and chat. It used to bother me that I couldn't go somewhere without someone stopping me and asking about my twins, but now I love it and am proud that I have twins.

I don't mind answering questions that people have about my twins as long as they aren't intrusive. But, luckily most people just want to take a look at them and reminisce about having young children.




#5Sometimes I Get to Discuss Intimate Details with Strangers

Okay, so this isn't really fun, but I'm always amazed at some of the questions people think they have a right to know about a total stranger.

My favorite questions range from just plain, old rude like "Are your twins natural?" to just silly when you think about it "Are your boy-girl twins identical?" But, like I said most of the people that I encounter while we are out are friendly and just say "looks like you've got your hands full."




#4People Don't Ask Me When I'm Having Another Child


I think people pretty much assume that things are busy enough with twins...and, they'd be right.




#3They Entertain Each Other

I spend a lot of time with my twins since I'm able to work from home. But, because I work from home I also need them to entertain themselves during the day so that I can get work stuff or house stuff done. They have an instant friend in each other and enjoy playing with each other. I think I do have to watch them closer though than if I just had 2 kids of different ages. They come up with the craziest games sometimes and work together to be "tricky monsters" as my husband calls them. They tag-team and can empty a kitchen cabinet in 2 seconds flat.




#2I'm A Part of the Twins Community


Every day, more and more people officially join the "twins community" when they find out that they are pregnant with twins. It is a special group of moms, dads, and children that all look out for each other, share advice, tell stories, and support one another through happy and hard times.

The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (NOMOTC) operates through a national chapter and through local chapters. Every state has their own chapter of NOMOTC that meets in-person on a regular basis.

Many other countries have their own multiples group as well. If you are pregnant with twins and would like to connect with other twin families in your area, the NOMOTC is a great place to start.




#1Double the Love, Double the Hugs and Kisses


After the initial shock that I was having twins, I realized that I wouldn't want it any other way. It has been my greatest accomplishment in my life to be pregnant with twins, deliver healthy babies, and to raise twins.

It is challenging at times, but it brings me great joy to watch them grow simultaneously. The most amazing feeling in the world is to be able to hold both your children and get two wet kisses on each cheek at the same time.

Hope you liked the list! Now that you feel all warm and fuzzy, you can head over and read Part 2 - The 5 Most Horrible Things about Raising Twins.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dentist....


I have heard horrible rumors that it is very common for premature babies to be born before the enamel on their teeth has formed which causes all sorts of dental issues.  I took my boys to the dentist before they even had teeth for the first time just for preventative measures.  I am not sure what I was hoping to accomplish, but the dentist got a good chuckle at my expense( bank account, not feelings).  Last time we went both boys had enough teeth for the dentist to assure me that they both have enamel on their teeth.  Phew......  Yesterday I took them for their check up and sure enough the enamel is still doing just fine.

A little interesting side note:  Remember, my twins are as identical as they come, but Hudson is developmentally a little bit behind because of his brain bleed.  Well, the dentist informed me that his teeth are a few months behind his twin brothers.  I guess we don't pay that dentist the big bucks for nothin!