Saturday, June 28, 2008

Boo-Boo Fashion

Unlike 99.99999% other kiddos on the planet my lover-ly spawn do not like band-aids.

Not even the crazy-expensive-overpriced ones that feature cartoon friends or rainbows or a character from the most recent summer release that we should go see RIGHT NOW.

They just don't like 'em.

This poses a problem for me. I am DEATHLY afraid of Staph. Ughaaaaaa. Blech. I need to cover their (many) scrapes to ward off infection, etc. (And all scrapes must be swabbed liberally with Neosporin or some such antibacterial agent. And prayed upon to ward off evil bacteria. And then we dance by the light of the moon and ask Mother Earth is stave off infection. Occasionally we also sacrifice a lamb to the healing Gods.)

Ughaaaaaa. Blech. Staph.

Yesterday my problem was solved. (HIYA PARENT HACKS.COM!)

After Friday’s spill at the library a friendly and fast-thinking librarian appeared with a band-aid (those regular tan ones) and a STICKER. Not a really cool flower sticker or brightly colored choo-choo sticker but those small, circle stickers you use at a Yard Sale when you’re marking prices on your stuff. Small, round, bright green and totally plain and ordinary-looking. After I carefully applied the band-aid to my band-aid-hating, screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs cutie pie the librarian matter-of-factly handed me the sticker and said, “Here ya go.”


I didn’t know what to do but followed her all-knowing head-nudge toward the band-aid on J’s knee and plopped it on squarely on top.

The screaming stopped.


J absolutely LOVED the sticker. And, thus, the previously-offensive band-aid.

After J’s bath I asked her if she would help me decorate a new band-aid. She chose a sticker with cherries on it.

This morning her band-aid sported some righteous lady bugs.

We're definitely going to the library more often.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Loud and Proud

My lovely, little strawberry girl is dramatic.

I hate to bend to those ridiculous gender sterotypes of "boys are easy and girls are drama queens" but, man... She is.


J took a spill on her way into the library today. She skinned her knee. It was a pretty respectable scrape as far as scrapes go but judging by her shrieks you would have thought that she lost a limb (a really important one), poked her eye out (maybe both) and lost her beloved monkey all in one fell swoop. It was awful.

I'm always torn during times like this. I feel so badly that she's hurt and scared and needs help. I know that she's two, for Pete's sake, and isn't equipped to communicate as effectively as she would like to... but... when I see the extent of the injury and I absolutely want to scream.

But I never do.

I tell her that I saw her fall and that I know she hurts. I take her in my arms and kiss her all over. I tell her that screaming won't make it feel better, that she needs to breathe and let me help her. She howls and howls and howls. There's nothing I can do but keep kissing her and telling her that "I know, I know, it hurts..." When she leans into me and puts her head on my shoulder I know that she is comforted but still she won't calm down until she has a band-aid or a special seat or, well, LOTS of attention.

And then I stop.

Why do I want to scream? She's the one that's hurt. Why am I upset? Is it because people throw those awful "shut yer kid up" looks our way when she starts howling? Is J having behavior issues? No. SHE SKINNED HER KNEE. Am I actually worried about what people think? Are their feelings more important than my child's?


So, sweet J, if you take a spill, scream away. Howl if you're hurt. Throw yourself into a tizzy if you bump your elbow or stub your toe.

It's o.k. by me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Better Together

Nearly every morning my little man’s first word is his twin sister’s name.


Same with J…

“S! S!”

It’s heart-warming and very, very cool. They’ve always had each other. Since the very beginning they’ve looked to each other for comfort and support.

They shared a crib for the first 4 or 5 months and sometimes held hands while sleeping.

We often found them curled up into each other when we went in to check in on them during those wee, wee hours.

That always made me so beyond-happy and nearly always made me cry. (That good kind of cry where tears keep falling and you just smile through them, not caring where they land or how silly you look...)

They absolutely have no concept of being alone. The only time they spent apart was their first days outside my body when Jane spent an unfortunate 10 days in the nursery instead of being home with us.

Now that they’re the ripe old age of two they continue to check in with each other but in different way. J is a caregiver and will bring S a toy or something she knows he loves when he is upset or feeling bad.

I wonder if it’s possible to know any bigger comfort than having a twin, someone that’s shared a womb with you. I wonder if they will remain close, always looking out for one another, being a sounding board and best friend. I hope so. I hope for that with everything that’s in me. Sure, since they are different sexes I’m expecting that sometime in their teens they may want to part and find same-sex pals and explore the world on their own. But I mostly hope they always know they have each other and that no one can every break that bond.

And that they’ll always know they’re better together.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mother Superior

Danger Dad barely said it.


Our traveling circus of twin-life had just spied a dad with a single baby in a stroller.

I know DD didn’t mean it as a slam on dad-with-singleton, he meant it as comic relief for me. Since pretty much our first month with our twin kiddos, singleton parents have been known as “Underachievers.” I forget when the term was first coined. Probably after 52 hours with no sleep then getting a phone call from a singleton parent friend who wanted to vent about lack of shut-eye. Underachiever. After all, they ONLY had one baby at a time.

I’ll say it: Sometimes (o.k., most of the time, please accept my apology now) I feel superior to singleton parents. I can't help myself. I’m not bragging that I’m Super Mom or anything, but I do feel that if singleton parents had ANY idea what my day brings they might think twice about their lot in life. I see singleton parents rushing around, looking really stressed and seemingly asking me to understand... I can't. It's different for me. This may be one case in life when a blanket statement can be made:

Twins are harder than single babies. It’s just a fact. At least from 0-18 months.

Case in point: Double breastfeeding. Try it. It’s a frickin’ carnival act. We should have charged money for people to watch.

I'm certainly not discounting all the hard work it takes to be a singleton parent. No way. Parenting is a tough job. Really tough. We all deserve Medals of Valor or Purple Hearts or some such however it's hard to listen to singleton parents talk about being tired, stretched too thin, etc. Please, people. You really have no idea.

That being said, I think that twin toddlers may be easier than singleton toddlers. For one thing, they have an instant play-mate/play-date. I can’t imagine having to schedule play dates on a regular basis or introduce a new baby to a “King-of-the-Hill” toddler that DOES NOT want to share the Mommy.

So when we see singleton parents out DD and I nudge each other and just barely say... "Underachiever.”

We mean it in the nicest way.

Hey twin moms and dads... Do you feel superior? Share your story of superiority…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Danger Dad

Things it seems my husband thinks are appropriate for two-year kiddos:

-A 2x4 stretched between two chairs (a balance beam, of course)

-A 5” table propped up on an ottoman (it's a slide, dummy)

-Power tools. All types.

-Various nuts, bolts and other handyman junk paired with jars and cans.

-Learning about DARTS.

-A 40-year old set of wooden monkey bars. (Held together with 40-year old metal nuts and bolts.)

-A climbing wall. An actual climbing wall. In our basement.

So this is what he got for Father's Day...

Happy Danger Dad Day, sweetie.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Doubling Up

Parents that are expecting multiples frequently ask me, "Will I need two of everything?!" There is always fear and trepidation in their tone. Lots of it. They see their bank account dwindling away to nothing… and their house shrinking, shrinking, shrinking...


The answer is no.

The most valuable tip I received when I found out I was having twins? Take another mom of multiples with you when you register for baby showers. She’ll tell you the real deal. (You DO NOT need two wipes warmer. Step away from the wipes warmers…)

Here are my suggestions for the basics...

You’ll need two of these:
-Bouncy seats – these are LIFESAVERS. In my opinion, the more basic, the better. Skip the bells and whistles and get a simple seat that vibrates. Ommmm....

-Bumbos – Only use them when your kiddos can hold their heads up on own. They make great interim "highchairs." We put Sam and Jane on the dining room table with us while we're having a meal. (Watch them carefully if you do this. We had a really big table. And never leave your kiddos unattended.) They loved the "big person" perspective.

-Activity Mats (with arches to hang toys) - Put a few together to create a crawling gym of sorts.

-Highchairs - Get them now and use them in the full recline position until babies can hold their heads up. This way you can just strap in the kids and wheel them around your kitchen and such instead of carrying them from place to place...

Things you need just ONE of:
-Jumpy - You can rotate the kiddos in and out. These are over $60./each and take up lots of room.

-Swing - We like the Fisher-Price Aquarium swing because it swings side to side and front to back.

-Exersaucer - Again, you can get just one of each and rotate kids in and out... Saves lots of space! (We received a second one for free but found we didn't really need it.)

Stuff I couldn’t LIVE without that made my twin-life easier:

-Medela "Quick Clean" micro-steam bags - use these to quickly sterilize pacifiers, bottles, breast pump stuff, etc. in the microwave. Takes about 3 minutes. SOOO much better than boiling nipples, etc. This was a HUGE timesaver.

-"The Ultimate Crib Sheet" - "4 products in 1! Quick Change Sheet, Mattress Pad, Super Absorbent Pad, and Waterproof Pad!" Yeah, it's all that stuff. Elastic straps that snap/unsnap easily without removal of bumper guards or having to completely strip the crib to change the sheet... If a diaper leaks (or you have a huge spit-up) in the middle of the night you'll be glad you have these. A total timesaver when I needed to change beds QUICKLY.

- A breast pump - I used the Medela Pump n' Style and it worked wonderfully. Be sure to change your valves out about one a month and the pump will work much better over time...

Of course there's more items that I could list but that's the basics of the basics.

Of course the most important things to have two of are arms (to hug), boobs (to feed) and lips (for lots of baby kissin').

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hair Expectations

Everyone who's every dreamed of having kids has certain expectations and images in their head of those future children. Maybe it's that they'll be really good at baseball or have the bluest, bluest eyes. In my mind's eye I'd always pictured my little boy running around with long, white-blonde surfer hair trailing behind him. Turns out that aforementioned long, white-blonde surfer hair gets in the way at the pool and hampers the fun. Always batting the hair out of the eyes, not being able to see after popping up out of the water, doing that Clint Eastwood squinty-eye thing all the time...


Yesterday S had his first haircut.

I held out for 2 1/2 years. He hopped up in the chair and let Fantastic Sam Laurie and let her do her thing. I nearly cried. Like 17 years ago when I wept and wept after husband Danger Dad cut off all his long, beautiful hair. (I still have it. All of it. Love makes you do nutty things. Crikey.) It was too hard to let that image go.

I hovered over Fantastic Sam Laurie, willing myself not to say, "not too much , not too much, not too much" like the biblical Samson was sitting before her and she would take all his super-powers away is she snipped, well, too much.

S was awesome. I was a mess.

My sweet strawberry J didn't fare as well.

But darned if she didn't manage to keep her ever-present clip in most of the time.

That's my girl.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pants on Fire

I have a confession.

I lie “up.”

Generally when folks lie about their age they lie “down” and say they’re younger than they really are. I lie “up.” Last night I was 46. (Tomorrow I might try 49 on for size just to see if I can get away with it.) A friend from my actress-in-New-York days recently reminded me that I’ve been doing this since I was about 21. He said he once heard me tell someone that I was 30. (I was 22 at the time.) Somehow this has gotten to be a fun little habit. (Kind of like assuming a different identity while on a cruise or long airplane ride. I was a lottery winner from Texas once.) I don’t exactly know why I do it. Perhaps because it’s fun to see how people react. Perhaps because I'm a little scared that if I tell folks my real age they may say something along the lines of, "You know, 40 is the new 30." (Yeah, until you are actually 40 and it feels like 50.) I always ‘fess up if caught, which almost never happens. It usually goes something like this:

Them: So, how old are you?

Me: 46

Them: Really?!?! 46?

Me: Yup. 4. 6.

Them: 46? You look gooood for 46. You can’t be 46.

Me: O.k., I’m not.

Them: You’re not?

Me: You just said I’m not.

You: Wow. I hope I look that good when I’m 46.

Me too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Abundant Gratitude

My problems today:

- I’m supposed to attend a party tonight and none of my “nice” clothes fit. I’ve gone down 3 sizes since the kids were born.

- I have no idea where my playgroup is meeting.

I am feeling thankful for my awesome life.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Now hear this: Moms of multiples are not deaf.

We may be exhausted and jacked up on the 'Bux but we're definitely not deaf. All too often complete strangers freely give commentary on the "twin" thing.


This irks us. Sometimes these comments are directed *at* us (sometimes even with a smile, bless their hearts), but most often are muttered just within hearing distance. Nice. Thanks.

Double Trouble!
Boy, you sure have you're hands full!
Better you than me!

And the fertility drug references are a scream:
Are they natural?
Did you have to go to a doctor for those?
Did you have trouble having babies?
Are they *real*? (I swear that someone actually asked me this where I answered, "No, they're robots! You should git you some!")

and finally (drum roll, please...):

Did you need help having your babies? (WHAT?!?!?!)

Hellllooooooooo? We can HEAR you.

I used to get defensive but now I shoot back with some choice phrases of my own. Feel free to try these on your unsuspecting clueless commentators. Maybe you'll spare another twin mom from hearing the same sooo-not-funny schtick.

I find a perfectly sub-texted "Really?" goes a long way. Like, "Really?" with the subtext tone of, "Do you *really* want to tangle with me today? I've already changed 8 diapers this morning and I may still have poop on me somewhere." Seriously. Pair that with a hard but earnest stare and you have a winning combo for shutting down the clueless.

Other stuff that works:
Comment - "You sure have your hands full!"
Response - "Better full than empty!" (O.k., it's corny, but it works.)

Comment - "Did you have trouble having babies?"
Response - "Are you offering to be a surrogate? Super!"

Comment - "Are they natural?"
Response - "Do I know you?" (Wait for it.. The answer is always "no".) "Then why would you ask such a personal question?" (This always shuts them up. And usually results in them skittering away. Skittering. Fun to watch.)

Be sure to SMILE lots.

I know that most of these are snarrrrky but, hey, let's face it, wouldn't a better comment to a twin mom be, "You are doing great!. Keep up the good work!" Or maybe even, "Your kids are lucky to have such a caring mom." Just some suggestions. Let's get the word out. Stop the clueless comments, people. We need kudos not rudeness.

Stay tuned on ways to answer the douzy, "How sweet.. You have boy/girl twins... ARE THEY IDENTICAL?"

Oh dear...

What are your favorite twin mom comebacks? What gets the best/most positive/most shocking response? Share here - we need some ammo for the arsenal!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Blame it on the Mommy Bloggers

Especially Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored and, yeah, maybe even Dooce... Seems that it's high time for me to publicly publish this thing.

Welcome to the Blogosphere, kiddo.

What you can expect:
  • Commentary about being a twin mom. The good, the bad and the really, really sticky.
  • Resources for the twin (and trips and quads) mom, dad, caregiver, etc. Stuff that's worked for us. And what hasn't.
  • Info on FOOD. This is my passion. (Besides the whole mommy thing, of course.)
  • The joys of Momtrepenuership. (Not a word, but should be. ) Lights, camera, t-shirts?! Um, yes. And they rock. My journey as a business woman with two 2-year olds in tow. Hang on tight.

Check back early and often. I dare you.