My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Toddler Toy I'm loving

We have a cornucopia of toys in this household.  Most of them are a bunch of different parts that are scattered throughout the house making them difficult to play with.  A variety of blocks, shape sorters, that kind of thing.

I want to show the kids how to draw and scribble but markers get sucked on, crayons get eaten, and it generally turns into a mess so I give up and put it all away vowing to try again another time.  I've tried a variety of no mess markers that need special paper to draw, but while that's a great thought, the girls just rip up the paper and suck on the pens.  Dry erase markers wipe off pretty easily so I was trying that for a while, but I still don't like spending all my time trying to get markers away from mouths.

The one system that's working for me is the Melissa & Doug Water Wow Kit.  They have these little brushes that you fill with water and the cardboard pages are generally white with black outlines.  As the pages get wet, color is revealed.  It takes the pages 5-10 minutes to dry and become white again.  Middie Biddie does like sucking on the brushes, but it's just water so it doesn't bother me.  When they get older, some of the books have outlines for numbers and letters so they can practice writing.

I don't talk about specific products very often because I hate sounding like an advertisement, but I really like these.  I found out about them from another mom in my Moms of Multiples club.

Toddler taste buds

Chicken?  Yuk.

Ground Beef?  Ewwww.

Roast Beef?  Not a chance.

Cat food?  Hell's yeah!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

For the love of boundaries

My kids surprise me a lot.  One of my biggest fears with having twins is when one goes one way and the other goes the other and me not being able to contain them.  Apparently I don't have to worry about this too much.

For some reason, my kids are really comforted by boundaries.  When given the freedom to run and play, they generally choose not to.  When in a safe environment, I try to encourage them to exert their freedom, but they just don't.  They'll choose one spot and observe the world from there.  When we leave a gate open, they rarely cross it.  Even if they do, they'll generally just amuse themselves by going in and out of the gate, never really leaving it.

Twice today, they exerted their desire for boundaries.  I took them out to the backyard and let them play while I blew bubbles.  After about 20 minutes, they climbed back onto the deck which is basically just an outdoor cage and didn't want to come back down.  This afternoon, we went out to the front, which is a driveway, an open rock garden, and free access to the cul de sac.  They pretty much wouldn't leave the driveway and then after 10 minutes, they both marched themselves back to the front door, went inside, headed straight for their playroom and closed the gate behind them!  They purposely caged themselves in!

Um, yay?  This certainly makes life with toddlers easier, but I hope they'll get a little more adventurous at some point.  Easier doesn't always mean better.  Then again, easier is a whole lot easier.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

As toddlers learn to talk

Be very careful what words you teach your toddlers before their pronunciation is good.  Teeny Tiny has a new favorite word!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Still itty bitty

The girls are 22 months and I thought they would be much closer to average size by now.  But no, they are still itty bitty for their age.

I took Middie Biddie out to Starbucks a couple of days ago (K and I are trying to take them out one at a time when he's available so we can practice public behavior) and someone telling me how cute she was guessed she was around 15-16 months.  *sigh*

We needed to get them some more shoes and we learned that they are moving up into toddler size 5, also known as approximately 12-18 month.  They are generally wearing size 18m clothing right now but 12-18m is actually a better fit.  I put 18m jeans on them the other day and they kept almost falling off.

Swimming in size 18m hoodies
I'm curious to see how this pans out.  The 18m snow pants that they've only worn once, with the cover-all portion as tight as possible and still seeming to be too big, any chance when winter cycles back around we'll still be able to use them?  Maybe they'll just be a little snug but still wearable?

I swear I'm feeding them.  I think Middie Biddie is actually growth spurting right now because she's eating everything she can get her hands on.  Teeny Tiny ends up feeding her a good portion of her meal because she's done eating and thinks it's funny to feed other people.

Oh well.  At least we get a few months use out of each size of clothing.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mama Says

I've been trying to figure out how to teach the girls various skills that will help us get out more.  Skills that can help us be safe out in the wild, but that we can practice at home when it doesn't really matter.  So today we started a new game called "Mama Says"!  It's simply Simon Says, but without that screwy Simon guy.

They don't find it as entertaining as I would like them to, but in trying it out for the first time today, they did a really good job.  I'm going to be peppering in "Mama Says" commands throughout the day.  Just a minutes worth of the game to get them used to suddenly hearing it and having to follow the command.

So far we've tried Mama says:

  • Touch your nose!  For when they are reaching for something I don't want them reaching for.
  • Hold my hand and walk close!  For obvious reasons.
  • Now we stand still! (while holding my hand)  Again, for obvious reasons.
  • Sit on your tushy!  I'm sure that will come in handy somewhere.
  • Wave your hands up high!  I dunno what this could be useful for, but it's fun.
  • Touch your toes!  Cuz why not?
As they get better at it, we'll start adding things like bring me a book or put the ball in the basket.  Hopefully this will turn into a tidy-up game at the end of the day.  I'm hoping this game will generally transition into just being able to tell them what to do, but in a way to make them want to do it so it's not a fight.  Once I know that they understand what I'm asking of them and they are just choosing not to do something, well then we'll get into instilling proper discipline.  But for right now, I want to make sure I'm teaching them what I want them to do before I expect them to be able to do it.  I really don't want to discipline for things that they may not yet understand.  

I really should have started this several months ago but I've had it in my head that they are so much younger than they really are.  That they couldn't understand.  After todays game, I really can see that they've just been waiting for me to teach them things.  They are ready to learn, have been for a while.  I just need to figure out how to teach.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I need to get out more

The days here are starting to get beautiful and I feel guilty every beautiful day that we don't spend some of it outside.  I don't go out with the girls very much because of the pain in the buttness of getting two toddlers out the door, Middie Biddie's habit of barfing in the car, and general laziness.  I often think that after their nap, we'll do something, then they end up sleeping later than I expect and it's too late.  But while last summer I was able to use the excuse that they were still just babies, couldn't walk, so no point in doing things outside, this summer they are going to be 2 year olds and I can't keep them inside forever.  I need to figure out how to do this.

Today, both girls decided that naps were for suckers.  They were throwing a party in their cribs, tossed everything out, including a sleep sack that one of them managed to get off, and there was no stopping them.  So I decided to give up on a nap and take them to a park instead.

There's a place near where I live called Country Village.  It's a bunch of little shops, a park, chickens running around, farmers markets in the summer, pretty much what you would expect from a little shopping center called Country Village.  There's a coffee shop there that has a child play area that we've gone to a few times.  My plan was to take them to the park to work off some energy and then go to the coffee shop when we got hungry and let them play there after eating.  It was a lovely plan.

Side note - I've been given a couple of those backpack leashes for toddlers.  We haven't actually used them yet, but I got them fitted on the girls today and brought them along in case I felt the need to give them a try.

So we get there, I get the girls unloaded and set them down on the grass and look at all the older kids playing.  Fortunately the girls tend to be a little shy in new places so they didn't just start running.  I'm realizing that there's really nothing here that's toddler appropriate and with so many older kids on things like merry go rounds and tire swings, it's very likely that they are going to get hurt.  I also realize that this is a huge expanse of space that's not at all enclosed, and there are a lot of places that are currently unattended (like the set up for the pony ride or train ride.  There's also some none too shy roosters pecking around that have no concept of keeping a distance from kids who might not understand not to pull feathers.  The more I'm looking around, the more I'm realizing that I can't just let the girls run around, there are too many directions they could go that they really shouldn't go and with my crappy ankle, I wouldn't be able to get to either of them if they got too far away from me.

I do get them into the one basket swing and we spend some time enjoying that.  But that wears off quickly and I think "Ok, I guess the park is a bust, let's go to the coffee shop".  But of course neither of them will cooperate and we have to cross the parking lot to get there.  So I bust out the leashes.

Wow did that not go over well.  They wanted to cuddle with the backpack animal and got pissed off when the animal went on their backs instead.  Middie Biddie only wanted to be carried and Teeny Tiny throwing herself on the ground and just generally being difficult.  When she'd get up, she'd have a leg tied in the leash, then Middie Biddie wanted to get down to pick up a rock over there but was stopped by the leash and crying about it....the whole thing was just a mess.

At this point, screw the coffee shop, these kids need to go home.  But just as I couldn't get them both to head in the direction of the coffee shop, I couldn't get them to head the direction of the car either.  Seriously guys, I was that frantic, flailing, frazzled mom running around in circles who couldn't do a damned thing that we all look at and think "glad I'm not her!"  I fucking was HER.

The car was about 30 feet away in plain sight of the park so out of desperation, I looked at the lady that Middie Biddie was nearest to and ask her "Could you just make sure she doesn't die in the next three minutes while I get this one strapped into the car?"  I'm pretty sure everyone there was pitying me by that point.  She was very nice and instead of just watching Middie Biddie, she picked her up and brought her to the car for me while I was strapping in Teeny Tiny.  Much crying ensued on the way home because they were pissed off and hungry.  Fortunately I had a couple of boxes of raisins in my purse and that pleased them for a few minutes.

This is why going anywhere for me requires an hour of internet recon.  Does this park have a toddler area?  Is it generally gated in?  Does that restaurant have space for two high chairs at a table?  Stuff like that.  Today I just tried to do something a little spur of the moment without major planning or double checking a billion details first and it sucked.  Just a disaster.

I really don't want to be so uptight.  I want to be the kind of person who can just go and do something and trust that I'll be able to figure it out when I get there rather than mapping out the logistics of every single step of the way before I get there but then I try something and it ends up a disaster like today.  These are simple things I'm trying to do but I just never seem to be able to do them.

I know the only answer is to just do it more so I can get over myself but days like today are just not encouraging and make it really difficult to be motivated to do it again.