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Archive for the ‘Famous Twins’ Category

After telling my husband I would not watch the season premiere of Jon and Kate Plus 8 last night, I ended up tivoing it anyway and watching it. I was sad after the show and stayed up way too late thinking about it. What really got me was when Kate said divorce rates are so much higher for multiple parents and they thought they would beat that statistic. The other part that was very hard for me to watch was the kids asking Jon when he was coming home and telling him they missed him. I am a total believer the majority of reality tv is scripted, but those moments still took my breath away.

In the multiples community, you can’t help but hear of two very sad realities: children dying and divorce. Every time I hear of a sick or dying child, I hug my kids close and gain some perspective. After watching that show last night, I’m going to hug my husband close and gain some perspective. My husband and I have been through some very tough things together: his back problems and surgery, double unemployment, my hearing loss and surgery. Yet having twins was very hard on our marriage because there was so much to do, so much stress, so little sleep, so much worry, so little money, and so little time. As joyful as those early months were, they were also some of our hardest together.

My boys are three now and I can say that my marriage is as strong as it has ever been. Yet last night I realized I can always do more to show my appreciation, work on my marriage, and commit to staying happy together. I don’t think I’ll watch the rest of the season but for that perspective, I am thankful. I am just sorry the perspective had to come at such a high price for them.

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Since having twins, my husband Jon and I have an astounding number of inane conversations. We often work the twin thing into them. The habit started when we were sitting around feeding newborns together. Last night we were watching the boys play in the pool after work and had this brilliant conversation:

Jon: That would be awesome if Michael Phelps had an identical twin brother, then he could enter every swimming race ever and pretend it was just one person.

Laura:  What if he already has a twin and he and his twin have been fooling the entire world?

Jon: That would explain a lot. They could even trade off, each getting to accept some gold medals.

Laura: He could even take performance enhancing drugs and his twin could provide the blood and urine samples.

Jon: I’m surprise those Hamm brothers didn’t do that.

I had a lot more to say on this theory, but unfortunately a fight broke out over a pool toy and we never got a chance to finish. That is another hallmark of twin parenting – never finishing conversations, particularly awesome ones.

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The views expressed below are strictly my own, not necessarily those of the collective “How Do You Do It?” mommies.

I’ve said it before but, I get a little annoyed when I read about celebrities having twins. It seems like there are new famous twins expected every day. Just this week alone we’ve heard that Rebecca Romjin and Lisa Marie Presley are going to be doubly blessed.

Don’t these people have enough? Fame, fortune, incredible good looks. Now they’re gaining entrance into this special group that makes me feel special in my otherwise ordinary world – they are going to become parents of multiples. And, really, I feel like they are not putting in the dues that the rest of us are with their army of nannies, personal trainers, housekeepers, chefs, drivers, etc., etc.

But when I first heard the news about the famous Brangelina twins, I was especially annoyed. Seriously, I have to share my special club with these two? Isn’t it enough for them to be the World’s Best Looking Family? I did my best to boycott all news of the pregnancy and eventual birth. Although, when you’re talking about the world’s most famous couple, it’s hard to avoid all the news unless you live under a rock.

Finally, curiousity got the best of me and I clicked onto People.com to view the world’s first photo of the twins. Then, I caught a glimpse of Hello!’s first photo and I was instantly shamed for all of my earlier feelings. This is a beautiful family. A family with seemingly hands-on parents. A family who has chosen to adopt beautiful children AND who has been blessed with a gift of amazing fertility. A family who has taken the world’s fascination with them and turned it into a charitable opportunity. A family who looks…exhausted!

Yes – thank you! After seeing the spread of J. Lo and Marc Anthony with their frill and pink outfits skipping down their driveway, I was moved to see Brad and Angelina looking like perhaps they were not well-rested. Are those bags under your eyes? Welcome to the club!

I’ve read recently that while Brad is planning a red carpet appearance in Venice, Angelina is not slated to appear. She is opting (I assume) to stay home and recover and tend to her growing brood. Finally, I feel like I can relate to her. Well, red carpet events aside that is.

So, I take back what I’ve said and thought about Brangelina. I now feel a connection with them I didn’t think possible. I wish them and their ever-growing family all the best. Parenting twins is a special gift – I’m happy they are part of our club.

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Angelina Jolie Pregnant with Twins

Angelina Jolie Pregnant with Twins

Add another celebrity to the Twin Mama club! Just announced: Angelina Jolie Gives Birth to Twins.

Awww!

The obstetrician who delivered the twins, Dr. Michel Sussmann, told The Associated Press that the actress, the babies and Jolie’s partner, actor Brad Pitt, “are doing marvelously well.”

Sussmann said Jolie gave birth to a boy, Knox Leon, and a girl, Vivienne Marcheline, by Cesarian section Saturday night.

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There are conflicting reports out there, one saying that Angelina Jolie has given birth to two girls, one saying it’s not true and she’s resting at her fabulous new home in France.  According to what I’d heard, her due date was August 19, which would make her 28 weeks… so I’m really, really hoping the reports are not, in fact, true.

I guess even celebrities aren’t immune from the preemie risk.  Fingers crossed for all the pregnant ladies out there…

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Oh my goodness…another celebrity baking up a fresh new set of twin babies! Two articles today are “confirming” the rumor that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are expecting twins. Guess we’ll have to wait for an official official announcement!

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In addition to the “How do you do it?” and “You must have your hands full!” I am now daily getting asked “Do you watch that show with the people with the twins and sextuplets?”

My answer, “Absolutely!”

I, along with a lot of other people, am totally charmed by the TLC/Discovery Health program “Jon and Kate Plus 8.”  In our area (Pittsburgh), Jon and Kate airs on Monday evenings. And you better believe that I will be plunked down on my couch with a bowl of popcorn and about 5 loads of laundry to fold, every Monday night. 

In case you haven’t watched this fascinating reality show, Jon and Kate Gosselin met and married and conceived their twin girls, Mady and Cara, via IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and ovulation induction medication  (ie Clomid).  And as the story is told, they decided to try for “just one more,” and ended up with 6! Kate was originally pregnant with 7, but one sac failed to mature.

Last year, the tag line was “We have two 6 year olds, and six 2 year olds.” The older girls, are fraternal twins Cara and Mady. The sextuplets are split, three girls, three boys. They are Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel, Collin and Aaden. The kids are now seven and three.

The Gosselins live in central Pennsylvania, and Kate quit her job as a nurse to stays at home with her houseful of children. Recent episodes have been about their travels as a family (Disney, Utah, the Pittsburgh Zoo) and a day dedicated to each of the kids individually. The episodes dedicated to the kids, were calm and enjoyable to watch. The trip episodes were loud, chaotic and constantly interspersed with a child crying or Jon and Kate snapping at each other. With 8 kids, I can only imagine the stress level they must be under at all times.  Another quote from the show: “While the stress of raising multiples doesn’t always bring out the best in us, we’re a family, and this is our life.”

Can I get an Amen?! For sure, the stress of raising multiples does not always bring out the best in me! And although I am not an angry person, I can only imagine how I would be portrayed if cameras were in my home day in and day out!

My fascination with this family runs deep…I don’t think I have missed an episode yet! For $13.95, you can purchase a copy of their book, Multiple Blessings:Surviving to Thriving With Twins and Sextuplets.

And now I leave you with “Tips For a Smooth Household” by Kate Gosselin, the multiples expert herself, taken from the Discovery Health Channel website.

Tip #1 Organize
As a mother of sextuplets and twins, one of the best methods for keeping a family organized is lists! No one has the memory of an elephant! Keep a constant running list of “To Dos” and then cross things off as they are completed! My to-do lists consists of meals for the week, which loads of laundry need to be done, and which parts of the house needs attention. Lists will keep you and your family organized.

Tip #2 Shop on a Budget
Shopping for a family of 10 means planning ahead and staying on a budget. The good news is that you can have healthy, home cooked delicious (even organic!) meals for a large family. Look for sales! Watch the sale papers and take advantage of store promotions, coupons and rainchecks. Keep a constant running list of things that are on sale and that you need at the store from week to week. This will avoid buying things that you don’t need. It’s also good to stock up on items that you use a lot of and that are on sale!

Tip #3 Prepare for Outings
Plan ahead! If outings are well thought out in advance, it will allow for a better time for all! Always take plenty of drinks, snacks, clothing and supplies. Make a mental plan of how the day will unfold and then adjust it as necessary!

Tip #4 Count Your Blessings
On days that your role as mom seems mundane and pointless and repetitive(we all have those), remember to count your blessings! Take a moment, see all that is positive in your life and the life of your children and it will give you that boost that you need!

Tip #5 Promote Safety
Talk about different scenarios and what is safe and acceptable and what is not safe and what they should not do in different situations! Remind them to come to YOU as a parent if they hear something that they don’t understand, think that is bad or don’t know what it means. You want to position yourself as their resource person to keep conversation lines open. This needs to start at a very young age.

Tip #6 Provide Order
A schedule will help everyone in the family. It removes the guesswork and a lot of frustration. It allows the things that need to get done to get done because life becomes somewhat predictable.

Tip #7 Reward Your Children
Reward them for their helpfulness and kindness—if only with your words, this will mean a lot to them. They want your approval!

Tip #8 Make Housework a Family Affair
Especially in a large family, involving all of the kids in the housework, chores, cooking, cleaning etc. This helps to provide family unity, and a sense of belonging. It also teaches kids to develop a strong work ethic. And encourage Dad to get involved—in our situation, much of what a successful mom is able to accomplish, is due to a very present and helpful dad!

Additional information on “Jon and Kate Plus 8” can be found at:

http://health.discovery.com/convergence/gosselins/gosselins.html

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