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Archive for February, 2009


Mommy, Esq
 lives in the Boston area (where the winters try their best to get her to move South) with six month old Ned and Penny, and her husband of six years. She is a corporate lawyer by trade, but would love to attempt being a wedding photographer. She says “I love taking photographs and doing storybook photographing – which is why blogging is perfect for me!”

mommy-esq-hiking-on-rock
Mommy, Esq
began blogging during a lull at work during her second trimester. She says “Instead of catching up on professional reading I took a break and trolled the Internet to get excited about having twins. One of the first websites I stumbled onto was Goddess in Progress, followed quickly by Laura’s Mommy Journal. I have to admit I read their entire back blogs! I thought it would be fun to start my own even if only my sisters read it.”

Have your reasons for blogging changed?
Now that I am returning to work next week I want to focus a bit more on how to be a mom while also working at a demanding job. I’m also pleasantly surprised how much my in-laws like the blog. My mother-in-law checks it every day to see photos of her grandkids. I am worried I won’t have time to keep it up or take as many photos of the kids when I’m back at work.

How long have you been blogging? Since April 16, 2008 but it took me a little while to find my “voice”.

How did you learn about HDYDI? Do you have a favorite post?
My sister Allison mentioned it to me – she found it while surfing the Internet. I have re-read (numerous times) posts relating to breastfeeding, feeding solids and sleep – the holy trinity of a new mom. I like how the posts make me feel inspired to be an übermom but when it doesn’t work out (breastfeeding, making my own baby food) the same posts let me off the hook.

Do you remember your first words when you discovered you had more than one ‘in there’?
I didn’t say anything but I got really flushed and hot all over. I’m a triplet so I wasn’t surprised plus we had started Clomid after a couple of years of trying on our own. One thing that stuck with me was that the ultrasound doctor told us “not to get attached” since one heartbeat was slower than the other. I learned later that “vanishing twin” syndrome is very common – as often as 1 in 6 pregnancies – and that with early ultrasounds more moms know when they miscarry. It was a long 2 weeks before I went back to confirm both babies were doing fine.

My husband actually saw both embryos on the monitor before the technician told us about it. He thought there would be more and kept asking them to confirm when we went back for more ultrasounds (“Are you sure there aren’t three in there?”).

If you could go back to the newborn days: Would you do anything differently? Hired a housekeeper who cooked for me. We had a baby nurse for 6 weeks but I was trying to breastfeed and pump and it was so exhausting that really I just wanted someone to pick up my house and feed me.

Did you have a favorite product that you can’t rave about enough?Currently the Fisher Price Jumparoo is all the rage in our house but the most useful product I have is the Dr. Brown’s formula mixer/pitcher.

What is one thing you do really well at as a mother of twins?

I am way more patient than I thought I would be since I’m not a particularly patient person generally. Even when I’m exhausted I don’t take it out very often on the kids – I can still fake happy and enthusiastic since I know they are going to bed around 6:30 pm. Of course it helped I had someone coming to watch the kids twice a week even when I was on maternity leave.
mommy-esq-with-twins-baptism

What is one thing you think you are horrible at?
I worry too much and compare the kids too much – to each other and to other kids their “age”.
mommy-esq-with-penny-christmas
What is the first thing you do after saying goodnight to the kids and closing the bedroom door?
Help Husband cook dinner and picking up the playroom. When I go back to work if I make it home for bedtime I suspect I will be logging back on to work some more.

If you had an entire day to yourself (money and obligations aside, and no access to kids or the internet): What would you ideally spend that day doing? A brunch breakfast (with a mimosa of course) followed by a massage and then a nap and TV at home.

What do you think you would actually end up doing?
Laundry, reading blogs, laundry.

Thanks for joining us Mommy, Esq!

Feel free to leave Mommy, Esq a comment, and check out our other featured readers:Sadia and Mamie. Also, let us know which readers and HDYDI authors you would like to see interviewed!

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For all those mothers of multiples (with extra help!) out there, or those that didn’t have help, but are interested anyway, this NPR segment aired Monday. It is on multiples and how they are changing our lives—and I’m pretty sure she’s not talking about the specifics of MY life but the bigger EVERYONE’s. I found it disturbing on a number of levels, but perhaps that’s simply because I’m one of “those moms”, as she discusses, who would rather have had two babies at once than tried to do IVF again? My own personal feelings aside, I’m curious as to what others think of this? There are certainly some interesting ethical dilemmas which are highlighted, but I do think she misses out the positives of twins or more.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=2-23-2009

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My husband Jon travels for work and I have longed for the day that our boys and I can tag along for a trip. Last week, I got my wish as we took a four day trip to Dallas. The only glitch was that I would have to fly back by myself with the boys as Jon stayed on for his business trip. My boys are 2.75, which is a fairly good age for traveling.  I wasn’t that nervous until the day before the trip when I went into a complete panic, imagining all the things that could go wrong. Despite all my worries, the trip was a smashing success.

When I first booked the trip, I consulted the write-ups on solo travel by Snickollet and Sadia. For the most part, I followed their advice. I thought I would write about what I did differently than they did, and also emphasize some Very Important Tips.

1. iFrogz + video ipods.If you’re going to keep two toddlers entertained on a long flight, this is a good product to have in your arsenal. I limited myself to one carry-on yet was easily able to fit two of these. Not only did the boys watch tv, they also listened to music and looked through pictures I loaded onto them. I wrote a full review of this product here. I spent quite a bit of time reading on the plane while the boys watched Dora.

tadpole

2. GoGo Kidz Travelmate. We’ve used these for every flight we’ve ever taken with the boys. The only downside was the number of times I got stopped in the airport to discuss them when I was clearly very busy with two toddlers! Again, I wrote a full review here. Unlike Sadia and Snickollet, I planeside checked the car seats and let the boys sit in the airplane seats.

3. Burning off toddler energy.I had planned to let the boys run around and blow off  steam before getting on the plane. As soon as I let Alex out of the Travelmate, he took off running through the very crowded Dallas airport without looking back. Did I mention that kid is fast?! As I ran through the airport dragging two GoGo Kidz, Nate, and my carry-on, I decided the boys lost walking privileges. If you’ve got a darter, consider this one before experimenting in a crowded place.

4. Keep a positive attitude. Our gate got moved twice. The first time, it got moved six gates away. The second time, it got moved 14 gates away. I decided to take the jetway to save some time and energy. They were incredibly excited to get to ride a car rental shuttle bus, a jetway train AND a plane in one day. As we moved gates the second time, I saw a lot of adults traveling alone with very grumpy faces while the three of us had fun. From the jetway bridge, the boys were able to watch the entire Dallas tarmac with hoards of planes. That ended up being their favorite part of the day.

5. Stay respectful of your fellow travelers.When we got to our seats, I told the boys The Rules. No kicking the seats in front of them. You must stay in your seat. You must wear your seat belt. They happily obliged.  When they started playing with the seat back trays, I told them I would take away their apple juice if they did not stop. When we landed, I knew our flight was a success when the woman in front of us turned around to tell the boys they were very good on the plane.

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We’re in a very fun stage of language development at my house.  At 18 months old, the kids are picking up new words quickly.  My son, in particular, attempts to repeat a word in almost everything I say to him.  It’s a lot of fun.

As with anything developmental, I always think it’s funny to see how these two kids, from the same parents, being raised in the same household, do things differently from one another.  They make the same animal noises (meow is hands-down the favorite), and both started saying “na-na” for banana on the same day.  Yet other things the pronounce completely differently.

One of my favorites is what they call each other.  My kids are Rebecca and Daniel.  Rebecca has been saying a pretty clear “Day-yul” for ages, now.  Never called him anything else.  Just her very best pronunciation of Daniel.  He, on the other hand, seemed to not call her anything for a while… until I realized he had his very own name for her: Nee-nee.  That’s right.  Rebecca –> NeeNee.  I have no idea how he got to that one. Rebeecca, I can understand, is a mouthful. But I thought maybe he’d pick up on the “Becca” part? Nope. NeeNee.  We don’t have any nicknames for her that sound remotely like that.  But it’s quite clear, that’s the name he uses for his sister.

This also leads me to the question of how to deal with these odd words.  On one end of the spectrum, I’ve seen tons of parents start calling cats “meow-meows”, or ask the baby if she wants her “ba-ba” instead of bottle.  The parent adopts the child’s word or pronounciation.  On the other end, I’ve seen people get kind of harsh and insist on near-perfect pronounciation before they will concede that “bah-do” is the same as “bottle.”

I seem to be taking a middle road.  When Daniel says “Nee-nee,” I say, “that’s right, buddy, that’s Rebecca!”  When Rebecca starts shrieking “Meow! Meow!”  I say, “Oh, do you see a kitty cat?”  I didn’t give it a ton of thought before I started doing it, but I feel like what I’m doing is acknowledging that I understand what they’re saying, but continuing to say the “right” word in a non-critical way.  Seems OK to me, are there any speech people out there to tell me whether I’m doing the right thing?

What about the rest of you out there?  What do your kids call each other? Any idea how they arrived at silly nicknames?  And how do you approach mispronounciations or made-up words in general?

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Abigail's all ready to help Daddy cook!
Abigail’s all ready to help Daddy cook!

When my babies were young, it was easy to have them eat only healthy foods. We made our own babyfood, and mostly they ate veggies, fruits, rice, oatmeal and some proteins—-chicken, turkey, cheese etc….In fact, I remember once looking at their meals and commenting to my husband that we should all have that healthy a diet. However, I find that as the kids get older—they are now almost two—-healthy eating becomes more of a challenge. Other HDYDI moms have some suggestions for how to do this, I have some and I’d love to hear yours as well.

Cook with your kids
The general consensus is that kids are more likely to eat foods if they’ve helped prepare them. Now while this isn’t necessarily helpful when you’re making chocolate chip cookies, it’s certainly useful for the healthy foods. We–ok, fine, let’s be honest here—my husband does a lot of cooking with the kids, from breakfast foods on the weekends to chili or muffins or pumpkin bread. We started early, probably around a year or so, and let them sit and watch us cook at the counter. Now they are very into dumping cups of flour, sugar or eggs into the bowl and stirring is really a highlight of any cooking project. That and sampling the project as we go….

Sneak healthy foods
LauraC wrote a great post about this recently. I have nothing to add to this!

Education yourself
Do some reading on nutrition and foods for toddlers. It seems to me that recommendations change regularly—fats are good? Bad? What about carbs? I try to read the latest information on this and generally avoid the more processed foods, if possible. I ususally figure that if we made it ourselves, we know what’s in there. We tend to try to use whole wheat pasta and bread, instead of white and offer lots of fruits and veggies. I think each parent draws the line somewhere differently here.

Join a CSA
Here’s a fun way to get a bunch of local produce—and push yourselves to use  A LOT of veggies. There was just a list of local ones in our paper here.  Maybe this is just something we contemplate, but it seems like it could be a fun challenge.

 

 

Danny tries cereal and milk for the first time

Danny tries cereal and milk for the first time

Have only healthy snacks available
One HDYDI mom said that her toddlers are happy to have a healthy snack—if you give them a choice of snacks! Just make both choices something you’re happy for them to have. Ahh, toddlers.

 

 

What are your eating healthy tips? How do you keep your kids away from the junkfood and teach a love of healthy eating?

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Another twin naming tip

When contemplating names for our boys, we chose not to go the alliteration route. We didn’t want matching names. My husband’s name is Jon, my name is Laura, and we wanted names that matched the “style” of our names – solid, dependable, classic. Jon wanted names that have nicknames. We were planning to use my grandfathers’ names as middle names so we needed first names that flowed with those names. Jon loved the name Alex (Alexander Joseph) and I loved the name Nate (Nathan Robert), and those names together met all our standards.

2.75 years and we finally hit our first name issues. I’ll give you a hint what these names have in common:

A L E X   &  N A T E

Oh yes, the fighting over the only “A” and “E” in our various alphabet sets has commenced.

Even better? Our last name:

C A S E

Nobody gets to spell anything in this house without a fight right now.

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Amidst one of the crazier weeks of my entire life, it’s especially reassuring to find something that will truly make things easier for all of us. It doesn’t happen often, but I have great hopes for this product. My mom witnessed its magic at a hospital recently and thought it was so amazing, she ran out and bought one for us as a Valentine’s Day present (thanks mom!). And without further ado…

The easiest thermometer to ever exist! It’s a temporal scanner device and all you have to do is lightly pass it over the forehead for a temp reading as accurate as a rectal thermometer. Brilliant! I don’t know about you, but it’s never given me much pleasure to take a rectal on my kids. It was one thing when they were infants, but now that they are two…well, you can forget about it. And any prodding to their underarm or ear area is out of the question, too. This is so easy, so quick, and so painless – and you can take their temp without waking them while they are sleeping. Amazing!

It’s a little pricey ($40 range), but if this existed when my kids were born, I would have gladly invested in it. No cleaning with rubbing alcohol necessary. No germ transfer worries. We can all use it, easy peasy.

Here’s to easier times for us all!

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