Weekends

Weekends look a little different with toddlers in the house. For example, sleeping in means 7:30, instead of 5:00. It looks a little bit like this:

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And this:

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We are currently watching Frozen for about the 100th time:

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Can I just say that I’m pretty sure Olaf is one of my favorite cartoon characters ever?

I also got to have a fairy draw pictures while sitting in my lap:

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And it’s not even nap time yet…

So what are you up to this weekend?

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Opening Up is Tough

I have the honor of writing a monthly piece for TwinTalks.com. The opportunity has been huge for me, as I love writing, and getting to write about my girls is just fantastic. This past month, however, my piece took a very personal turn. When suggesting topics for the month, I brought up how having twins has and is changing the way I view my body. My editor loved the idea, and that became my topic.
*Gulp*

I knew in discussing the ways that twins changing my body has changed my view of my body, I would have to publicly delve into my eating disorder. Yeah, I’m one of those people. I was very sick for a very long time, sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, sometimes both at the same time. I’ve been in recovery now for about 10 years, and there have been many things that have helped me along the way and moved me toward a healthier reality, but none in quite as powerful a way as having Z and R has. I won’t go too much into all that right now, since my other article isn’t published yet. Suffice it to say, they are my number one motivation to stay healthy.

What really got me was the nerves though. As I sat that Saturday night, writing out all my thoughts, editing, and finally clicking ‘submit’, I was practically shaking from nerves. I’ve never talked about this in such a public way. Or really, much at all. Once that piece is published, a pretty large audience is going to know about my struggles. A lot of people might judge. People I know personally who follow my posts may feel differently about me. But a lot of people may read my story and realize that their pasts can make them stronger, and that they can become the healthy, happy role models that their children need. They may be encouraged and reminded that the past is the past and that they can continue to move forward and heal. They may realize that they’re not alone when the physical and mental strain of pregnancy and childbirth is daily altering their body, barely giving them the time they need to become familiar with their new selves before changing yet again. So I went ahead and wrote.

My daughters are my motivation every day. I want to be the role model that they need, and that keeps me going every day.

So soon, everyone will know a little more about my past. Not everyone may like it, but it is what it is. I just hope and pray that it may be able to help someone else a little further along their path of healing and health.

In Memorium: My Tidy Living Room

I sit here tonight amidst the rubble of my once tidy living room. It is no more. I now have twins tornados that daily wreak their havoc, and each evening I put them to bed and come out here and sit in the chaos. 

From where I sit, I see dolls and toys and pretzels; coasters, a long disused Bumbo seat, and a stuffed dog that barks Jingle Bells (ask me how much I love that dog. Just ask. I dare you…). I know that on the dining room floor are bits of orange, bread, and chicken that were dropped at dinner. 

I used to care a lot more about the order and tidiness of my home, but that level of care has long since gone out the window. Sure, I wash the dishes, pick up all the toys, and sweep the floors, but there is always the lingering, “Why bother?” that comes with it. Cleaning a house with toddlers in it is like trying to rake leaves in a storm. 

I used to care a lot but now, as long as I can maintain basic sanitation, I just don’t. Why? Because the debris and chaos in which I am currently sitting is just evidence of fun. My crazy little tornados have torn up this living room with FUN. They play every day with ferocious intensity. Play is their job, and they pour their entire selves into it, leaving a wake of mess behind them once they ultimately tire and fall asleep for the evening. 

I could follow them around, picking up as they go. I could spend day trying to convince them to only play with one thing at a time, or to put things away once they’re done. That would be a fruitless, frustrating waste for all of us, though. Instead, I get on the floor and join in the mess making fun. 

Farewell, Tidy Living Room, I’ll take fun and joy and the disaster area it creates over a tidy house devoid of play any day. 

Unicorns

I met another twin mom today!

Meeting another parent with twins is like meeting a unicorn. It’s like walking through the forest and suddenly spotting another magical horse with a horn on it’s forehead. You have to fight the compulsion to excitedly run up to them screaming, “Yay! You have a shiny, magical horn too!” Only, instead of magical horses with horns, it’s meeting another person who knows what it’s like to have the same unusual pregnancy/birth/child-raising experience as you.

Instead of being that creepy person who freaks out and screams, “Yay! You have twins too!!!” You casually approach and say hi, then make a comment on how cute their twins are. It’s very cool and calm (well, calm for having twins). Then, of course, you very quickly begin comparing notes on shared placentas and pregnancy complications.

Because that’s the beauty of meeting other twin parents, it’s a very unifying experience. Not many people get to experience having twins, so meeting someone else who does is pretty spectacular! Even if you end up having little else in common with them, the simple fact that you both have twins bonds you together.

Then you get to have another unicorn to wander through the forest being magical with!

How Quickly Things Change

Taking the girls out to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating got me thinking about how much things have changed in the past year.

I remember taking the girls to get pumpkins last year, really wanting to go and make those memories, but being so nervous to take them out of the house in the evening. We were just coming off of 12 or so brutal weeks of double colic and the 10 hour screaming sessions every night. Things had been improving, but J and I were both SO gunshy. Things went ok, only one bought of screaming in the car, but I remember feeling the strain of wondering if/when the real screaming would start.

Halloween night was much the same. We took the girls for a little “trick-or-treating” at the mall, which the girls mostly slept through, but there was still the looming threat of colic screaming.

That’s the thing with colic. It comes out of nowhere, for no particular reason, and lasts for weeks. In the great scope of things, it’s not that long a time, but it’s so stressful and nerve wracking. It can make you feel like a failure. It can test your sanity. I remember walking the girls in their stroller for HOURS every night, trying to get them to sleep, just for a little while, so that I could sleep and so that my mind could rest. I cried almost as much as they did. But then, just as mysteriously as it started, it stopped.

Things are so vastly different now, a year later. My once colicky new borne are happy, energetic toddlers who snuggle in their beds and tell us, “night night” when they go to sleep at night. They still cry, obviously, but briefly, and for clear reasons like skinned knees or stolen sippy cups. They ran around the pumpkin patch this year laughing, and loved going out trick-or-treating and wearing their costumes.

Having twins is so overwhelming during their first year. Everyone told me it would be, but there’s just no way to understand the intensity of it unless you’ve lived it. But it gets better and easier and infinitely more fun. If you’re sitting there reading this shell shocked from parenting colicky babies, you have my deepest sympathies. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Containing the Chaos

I am about to share something that may shock you. My life is kind of chaotic. Oh wait. That’s not actually shocking, is it?

I have twins. Toddler twins. Chaos comes with the territory. I think chaos pretty much comes with toddlers no matter how many you have, but it is definitely a numbers game* when it comes to containing all the crazy. Two toddlers means two little crazies who are climbing and running and dancing all over the place (often in opposite directions), not very good at using their words yet, and prone to epic mood swings. It is enormous fun, but also extremely exhausting.

Some days are easier than others. Everyone naps at the same time, there are no injuries (see above…climbing, running, dancing…), I get to shower and drink my coffee before noon. Other days, not so much. Those days are full of skinned knees and tears, the floors begin to resemble a mine field of toys and books and Cheerios, and I end the day utterly depleted. Most days fall in the middle of those extremes, though. A little tiring, a lot of fun, but always full of crazy and chaos.

That’s what I’m getting at here. Chaos isn’t a bad thing, neither is crazy. It just is, and it’s a part of life, especially with twins. Containing all the chaos has required some recalibration in my life. New versions of normal, new and always changing expectations for myself, my home, my life. It always requires help. Repeat after me, “Chaos is ok. Chaos is normal.” Because it is. Some days it’s just better contained than others. And, hey, at least they haven’t burned the place down yet, right?

*Speaking of numbers games, I am always grateful to have a 1:1 ratio of adult to toddler in my home. Together, J and I tag-team this twin thing pretty well, I think. Toy mine field and all.

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