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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A look at basic baby economics

May 16th, 2011 @ 5:58pm
By Kim Vatis, NBC News
CHICAGO — What costs more? Raising a child or buying a home?
There's no doubt that a bundle of joy brings a bundle of bills. Online calculators will help you anticipate the costs from groceries to insurance to a bigger car.
"All of those things really add up, and it's something you don't think about when you are picking linens for the crib," says Sarah Tims.
Tims is a financial planner and mother of three. Just as "how to" baby books are required reading, Tims says parents need a "financial baby formula." She has a suggested five-step plan:
  1. Find out what your pay will be while on maternity leave. If it's reduced, live on that lower amount while you're pregnant as a test.
  2. Save for health care costs — higher premiums and more doctor visits."It could be something between $200 and $300 a month, depending on your premium," Tims says. "And the ‘well baby' co-pays could be anywhere between $15 to $30."
  3. Research not only life, but disability insurance as well.
  4. For savings, investigate dependent care tax credits for child care. It's up to 35 percent of expenses with a maximum of $3,000 per year per child.
  5. Consider a Roth IRA for triple duty savings. Sims says you can take out contributions if you need them for living expenses or emergencies. You can use that money for college without paying a penalty and ultimately it's there for you when you turn 59 and a half and need it for retirement.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Grumpy, but Grateful Mama

My little Hudson is developmentally delayed.  In our state children with developmental delays receive services through a non profit agency until they turn three and then turned over to the local school district where they are required to start preschool on their Birthday or the first school day following their Birthday.  He recently turned three, which means that he also started preschool.  I usually comply with the things that I am asked to, as I have with this preschool thing, but I have not been all together happy with it for a couple of reasons. (1) There are only three weeks of school before summer break.  Why not just wait until school starts in the fall? (2) The program is 1/2 special needs and 1/2 "normal" kids.  I really like that idea, but the Federal Government has recently lifted the 15 person per class cap and there are now 25 kids in his class 25, 25!!!!  Not only is that an insane amount of children in the class room, but the class is full of three year olds with special needs.  Since the class is so big that means there is not room for his twin brother because they are only allowing the special needs kids that they are required to by law.  Even though I have been a little grumpy about it I have done what I am supposed to and taken my little guy, all by himself to preschool.  I have actually been enjoying the one on one time with Nick, Hudson has adjusted well and I have been very impressed with his teacher and the program.

This morning things have been a little different.  About an hour after I dropped Hudson off at preschool I received a call from his teacher informing me that he had "gotten away from them".  She said that he had gotten from the classroom, which is in a separate building behind the school, through the parking lot and across the street.  That is not even the worst part.  Someone found him (not sure if it was someone that stopped their car to keep from hitting him or someone came out of their house and just happened to notice him).  Whomever found him had enough time to go around to three or four daycare center/preschools nearby to see if he belonged at any of them and called the police all BEFORE the school noticed that he was missing.  His teacher said he had been missing for about 20 minutes  20 minutes!!!!  There is a busy highway less than 100 feet from the school where the speed limit is 50 mph, which could have been deadly, not to mention if the person that found him could have been a kidnapping pervert, he could have been attacked by a dog, etc...  As you can tell my mind has gone crazy with this one.  My husband was very skeptical of him ever even going to preschool in the first place.  He is young and does not talk well enough to tell us if someone is doing something to him that they shouldn't be or to even know if someone is doing something they shouldn't for that matter.  I assured my husband that the preschool is done through the school district, regulated, background check checks are in place, etc, etc..  It's pretty much as safe as we are going to get and I feel like we need to get our little boy all the help we possibly can.  With that in mind I convinced him that our little boy was going to be safe and we sent him off to preschool.  He was not a happy camper when I called him with the news this morning.  He made the drive from his office to the school in record time where we "hashed things out" with the principal and his teacher.   As for now we came up with a plan of items that are going to be done in order to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future and they are going to let us know when they are all taken care of, we will check it all out and then take him back to preschool.  I really don't blame the teacher.  I think she is doing things as well as she possibly can with the class size that she has.  I would really like to share my concerns with the state or federal government somehow without getting the teacher in trouble.  In the meantime we are very thankful that the situation turned out the way that it did and are certain that he was being watched over.

I received the incident report from the teacher stating that I dropped him off at 9:00 AM and they discovered that he was missing at 9:40 AM.  They are assuming that he "escaped" shortly after I dropped him off as other parents were bringing their children into the classroom.  The 20 minutes just went to 40.  Not settling so well with me.  I also spoke with the police officer who said that a man driving by saw him and stopped his car.  I'm not sure if he had to stop suddenly to keep from hitting him or if they just noticed him wandering.  I will be forever grateful for this man.  Not only was he not texting or distracted in some other way while he was driving and actually saw my little boy rather than hitting him or just driving past him, but he took the time to get out of his car and take care of my helpless little boy.  I also have no doubt that my baby was being watched over from above.  I think we will be taking a break from preschool while we wrap our minds around this situation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Study: Twin Moms Live Longer

www.harktheherald.com  May 10, 2011

Karen Ellingson got a couple of surprises when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.
One surprise was her third child.
The other was how healthy her second pregnancy was, even though she was pregnant with twins, which typically see more problems than single births.
"For whatever reason, my cravings were for things like vegetables and strawberries, whereas my first baby, it was like, give me a Big Mac and french fries or I will die," the Springville woman said.
Ellingson's twins didn't come early, as twins are prone to do; she actually was induced at 40 weeks and two days, which is about as full as a full-term pregnancy can be. She was never on bed rest; she said she walked consistently throughout her pregnancy.
She could be the poster mother for the results of a study from a University of Utah professor that found mothers of twins tend to live longer than mothers who only give birth to single babies.
It's not that having twins makes you healthier, family and consumer sciences professor Ken Smith said. It's that healthy women are more likely to naturally conceive twins and then continue to be healthy.
"Whatever the mystery ingredient is, that's what's leading to the association between twinning and longevity," he said.
Smith looked at almost 60,000 Utah mothers born in the 1800s, during a period without modern birth control or in vitro fertilization, who lived to at least 50 years old. About 4,600 of those women gave birth to twins, which is one of the largest samples available. Twin moms averaged about a 5 percent lower chance of dying each year after age 50 than single-birth mothers.
The significance today is that something made those women healthier and more robust, and it's possible that something is still floating around in Utah families.
"If it's this innate healthiness that is what the mother of that twin had, that's the ingredient that we're kind of circling around, that could be and probably is being passed on to her descendants," he said.
The study does not extrapolate toward women who have undergone fertility treatments. It also didn't take into account those mothers who died young; the researchers looked at those who made it past menopause.
The good news is, most mothers did make it past 50 years old, and from there those who gave birth to twins had an edge on moms of singles.
In some ways that seems counter intuitive, since having a newborn is stressful and having two newborns increases that stress exponentially. Smith admitted he was surprised, especially since these pioneer women were likely to see their longevity decrease as the number of children they bore increased.
"That was probably the most stressful time of my entire life because I was so sleep deprived," Ellingson said. "There's always somebody who needs you."
Springville resident Janette Weakley, a mother of 3-year-old twin girls, found the conclusions interesting, although not exactly surprising. She spent the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy in bed, and the twins came five weeks early, but mother and babies were fine. Weakley said she actually recovered more quickly after that pregnancy than the two before it or the one after it.
Part of that, she suspects, is in addition to two newborns she had two toddlers to chase. But she also started running sooner. She also, however, considers herself fairly healthy; she runs frequently, which both serves to keep her fit and helps to relieve pent-up frustration, and she and her family eat healthy foods.
But she also could see a correlation between wrestling twins and longevity.
"It's definitely a lot of work, and I believe hard work can you make live longer," Weakley said.
She's 31 -- "who knows if I'm really going to live longer?" -- but said she constantly talks to people when she takes the twins out who have a twin or know twins or are related to twins; she's intrigued by the variety of people who experience double birth.
Smith would like to look into whether this trend is still continuing, but the numbers are much harder to see today than they were 100 years ago. He suspects the natural robustness and the tendency toward twinning is there, but the rate of women having twins has dropped as fewer women have children and those who do don't have seven, eight or in one woman's case, 22 live births.
It certainly poses a number of questions about life span and health, he said.
"People age different, people survive at different ages and there's lots of variation," Smith said. "What are the contributing factors?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Heavenly Angels

As my eight year old was playing Wii Sports this afternoon I couldn't help but over hear her cheering for Grandma Jorgensen.  Grandma Jorgensen passed away in December, along with two other Grandparents.  It was not one of our favorite months.  I later discovered that my daughter has formed a team for all of our family members that have died called the Heavenly Angels.  They are winning.