Things I Talk About With R

An actual conversation I had with R last night:

*R runs up to me while I’m washing dishes*

R: My toes! Mommy, my toes!

Me: What about your toes?

R: Need help!

M: Why do you need help with your toes?

R: Need off, mommy! Need off! 

M: Why do you want your toes off?!

R: No need dem!

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Spring is Here!

It’s the first day of spring, and this day couldn’t have come at a better time. The whole family has been taking turns battling a nasty stomach bug for the past 10 days, and we’ve all been feeling pretty cooped up. This morning was the first time we’ve all felt pretty much ok, so the girls and I headed outside to enjoy the breezes and sunshine. What better way to chase off the last remnants of sick, right?
So we spent our morning picking coloring the sidewalks with chalk (hopefully our neighbors appreciate art, since we live in a condo building and share our sidewalks), hunting lizards and picking flowers. Spring is usually a tragically brief season here in Florida, so I’m happy to get out and enjoy it while it’s here!

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What are you doing to enjoy the first day of spring?

Simple Things

This holiday season was truly jam-packed for us! Nearly every day, from Thanksgiving through the end of December was filled to the brim with work, travel, holidays, a wedding, friends, and family. Every day was fun, but crazy busy. Crazy busy tends to bit a bit stressful for me, no matter how much fun I’m having. Which is why, at the end of every December, I find myself longing for normalcy, for routine, and for simplicity.

This year, more than ever, I could see that need reflected back at me in my girls. Every day was full for them this year, too. So many new experiences, sights, sounds, and tastes. It was just magical to see them exploring, but I could also see that they were wearing down and needing to return to their norm. Their simple little world needed to be restored just like mine did.

We began our new year by packing away our Christmas decorations, deep cleaning the house, purging the things we no longer need, and finally folding and putting away the mountains of laundry we never seemed to find the time to deal with during all the chaos of the holidays. It felt deeply restorative, getting back to routine and simplicity. The girls began to sleep better (which was a HUGE issue the whole month, due to erratic bedtimes), there were fewer tantrums, and they were just back to their normal happy selves.

I think that’s the thing with simplicity, sometimes it takes a bit of chaos to really appreciate it. The simple things are quiet and subtle, easily eclipsed by the shiny, loud, and chaotic times in life. But it’s those times that are exactly what it takes to remind us how much the simple and peaceful things in our lives, like quiet evenings at home, daily tasks, and routines matter and make us happy.

Now, I’m making a point to really try enjoy and relax in my daily routines, big and small. Remembering how much I miss my simple life and simple routines when they’re not there.

Don’t take simplicity for granted. It’s the best!

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Movie Night

Z and R are obsessed with the Minions in Despicable Me. Their reaction is nothing short of delight, with lots of squeals and laughter, so when they brought out the Despicable Me DVD tonight, my husband decided to set up a little movie night for us. He brought out one of their mattresses and some blankets. I set the girls up with some Cheerios and we settled in to enjoy the Minions.
We laughed and played and ran around a little (let’s face it, 16 month olds don’t sit still. Ever.) . We had a blast.

I love nights like this, when the four of us can hang out and goof off together. I love that we can make memories like this together. Some of my favorite memories as a child are simple nights spend at home with my parents and brother, so I’m more than excited to create the same types of experiences for my daughters. I spend every day looking forward to more wonderfully fun times together.

I love my family

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New Community, New Opportunites

Parenting twins can be a tricky business. It comes with a unique challenges and concerns, and it can often be tough to find help and wisdom from people who have been there because, frankly, there aren’t nearly as many parents of multiples as there are parents of singletons. That’s why it’s so important for all of us twin parents to band together and pool our support and information resources. That’s also why I’m immensely proud and excited to have been given the opportunity to blog for an amazing new podcast called Twin Talks. I’ve been given the chance to join this fantastic team of twin parent bloggers to share our experiences, encourage, and support each other and all the other twin parents out there, so be sure to check it out!

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I’m Baaaaaack!

Ok, so it’s been a couple of months but, to be fair, things got a little crazy around here. June is Birthday Month in this family (we have SIX birthdays to celebrate, including Z and R’s!), we had friends move back to town, said goodbye to a dear friend moving away, and just all manner of general summer fun. I’ll get you all caught up with pictures tomorrow on Wordless Wednesday ;). Anyway, now that we’re settling back down, I’m back!

It’s almost impossible to describe how much my little angel girls have changed over the past weeks. There’s this amazing phase between infant and toddler that no one ever told me about. The girls’ personalities are exploding, they’re getting more active, and learning new things every day but, in so many ways, they’re still just squishy, cuddly little babies. I love this.

I am constantly surprised by them. Z and R learn new things every day, and so do I. They’ve learned to walk and started talking up a storm (even though I still can’t understand a lot of what they say…), and I’ve learned that there is great wisdom and truth in the concept of being suspicious of silent toddlers (because it generally means that they are unspooling all the toilet paper, eating lipstick, or taking something apart).

I think that sums up what’s been going on around here and keeping my so busy lately!

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird

There are several people in my world who are about to have babies, which means I’m considering baby gifts for them. This got me thinking about all the gadgets and gizmos and stuff out there for babies, what I had (and have), what was indispensable and what proved to be utterly worthless. And so, without further ado, my list of the best and worst baby items…

The Best:

Aden + Anais Blankets: Yes, they are much pricier than your standard flannel receiving and swaddling blankets, but they are worth it!!!! They are 1000x more worth it if your babies are due in the summer or you live in a hot climate (or, like me, both). Why? Because light, soft gauze trumps heavy, sweaty flannel any day.

A Good Baby Carrier: Without the Moby wrap I used when the girls were first born, there would have been many days when I simply would not have been able to get off the couch. Sometimes little ones just want to be held all day, and a good carrier makes that possible while still allowing you to do important things like use your hands. Now, my Ergo carriers allow me to run errands without an assistant, because I can actually have both babies with me and still push a grocery cart.  And don’t think for one moment that having twins means you can’t baby wear, it just requires a little creativity and a little time with YouTube. If you don’t believe me, see my profile picture.

Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing: This swing is MAGICAL. I’m not even exaggerating. I can’t even begin to count the extra hours of sleep this little wonder bought me when the girls went through their “3am is a great time to get up for the day” phase. They were happy to swing and play and listen to the soothing (and, I must add, least annoying to come out of a baby toy) music. Not to mention, it’s small. This bit of magic is smaller than just about any other swing I’ve seen, and smaller than most bouncy seats. I actually felt pangs of sadness when I realized that the girls had outgrown it.

Sleepers That Zip From the Bottom: At first, I was confused by the backward zipper. That is, until my first 2am, January diaper change while using them, when I realized that a sleeper that zips from the bottom means that I don’t have to fully undress my warm sleepy baby in the cold to change them. Brilliant!

And, the Worst:

Pull-On Diapers: In theory, these are supposed to be quick and easy to put on your squirmy, active baby. Only they’re not. In reality, baby either needs to be able to step into them, or be willing to lie still so you can slide both legs through and pull them up, all without undoing the velcro sides. Also, in reality, my squirmy, active baby escaped while I was attempting to put these diapers on her. Twice. Oh and, about those velcro sides, the edges are often slightly exposed, which means the stiff part rubs on little one’s side and thighs, resulting in red, raw spots.

Buttons: Specifically, outfits with buttons that MUST be done and undone for each diaper change. Sure, they’re cute, but is cute worth your sanity when you have a diaper that needs changing, and a baby that is persistently trying to escape said diaper change? May I recommend snaps? Zippers are also awesome.

Car Seat do-dads: What do I have against all those soft little head rests, adorable monkey themed shoulder strap covers, and all the rest of the after market car seat attachments? They aren’t safe. Car seats are very carefully designed and tested for safety, and adding to or altering anything about those carefully designed restraints can potentially nullify them or even make them dangerous. Simple rule: If it didn’t come in the box with my car seat, it shouldn’t be attached to my car seat.

Bonus, because I just consider this weird:

Newborn Socks with Non-Slip Tread: Why do newborns need non-slip tread? Are they secretly roaming and dancing when we’re not looking?

One More Month

My baby girls are 11 months old today. In just one short month, my tiny little angels will be one.

It just blows my mind to see how much they’ve grown over the past months. They’re in such an incredible and fascinating place right now. Still very much babies, but turning to toddlers before my eyes. Every day they explore and discover new things. Their personalities are exploding and blossoming all the time. I love it!
It is a bittersweet thing, seeing the time pass and my teeny, tiny babies become not so tiny anymore but, more than anything, it is sweet and magical watching them grow. I remember watching them on the screen during my ultrasounds while I was pregnant, trying to wrap my head around the fact that the fuzzy images on the screen were actually real individuals with their own personalities. Now, I get to watch in awe as those personalities unfold before me. Z and R are two of the coolest, funniest, craziest little people I’ve ever known, and I feel beyond blessed that I get to be their mom.

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