Twins: Best Friends and Rivals

When you are pregnant with twins people always tell you that twins have an automatic playmate. Well that is true part of the time. Yes twins get along and do have someone who is there to play with. Twins do love their sister or brother very much. They have a unique bond right from the beginning. But many other people do not know is that twins also have sibling rivalry, which starts at an early age. 
For the first part their lives the girls did not play together but did parallel play. Basically they played alone but in the same area. After they turned one they began to play together. This is when they began looking for each other in the morning and had a desire to be together. It was precious! Now they have play time together, copy each other, act silly together, and love to search for their sissy. They take care of each other and love on each other. It is so special to watch them when they are affectionate. But this is not how the entire day goes. At other parts of the day they are rivals at battle. 
As soon as they began to have ownership, Bailey and Brooke began the fighting. They no longer were okay with sharing their things. At the beginning of this stage they would fight over who got to play with a toy. I would interject and try to solve the problem. This strategy did not help the situation and caused a lot of stress on myself. So I decided to research what other parents did. I read a post about multiples that suggested that I let them figure it out on their own, not to try to stop the fighting or solve the problem. The girls would solve it on their own. So I did what they suggested and at first it didn’t work. But after a week or so of ignoring the situation, they would fight but it would be solved fairly quickly on their own without my involvement. 
The second stage is the current one that we are dealing with and have been for a while. This is the “My Stage.” Objects are no longer shared but either belong to Brooke or Bailey, not both. Clothes are this way too. Yes, my two year old are fighting over clothes. If Brooke wears an outfit once it becomes her and Bailey will not wear it. We have to change their clothes if one of them is wearing her sister’s clothes. I have tried to make them wear the outfit, tell them that it’s both of theirs, ignore the situation, and even try to remember who wears what, and nothing has solved this issue. 
The latest problem with this stage is over daddy. Brooke has started saying that Joel is her daddy. Well Bailey has taken this statement literally and is starting to reject Joel. She will refuse  to go near him saying “Brooke’s daddy.” This is absolutely heartbreaking to hear. We try to tell her that he is her daddy too which works sometimes but other times it does not. All we know to do in this situation is to keep telling her that he is daddy to both of them. I really hope this phase ends soon because I do not want Bailey thinking that she can’t love on her daddy because he belongs to Brooke. 
I know that this rivalry-friendship will continue as they get older. I would love input from other parents of twins as to what they did in these situations. 

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Oh No Not the FLU!!!

Here we go again! As soon as we start to think the girls are in the clear, one of them gets sick. This time it was Bailey. Bailey came down with what we thought was a cold Friday night. When she woke up Saturday morning she had a fever, 100.2. We gave her Motrin to help with the fever. The fever came down for a few hours but was back up again by lunch time. I gave her Tylenol because it was too soon for Motrin. Again, her fever came down for a few hours but was back up again as the medication wore off. This continued until Sunday evening. Her temperatures ranged from 100 to 102.6. She was also very grumpy and whiny throughout both days. She would complain that her head, arms, and ears hurt.

On Monday morning I took her to the pediatrician. They did a strep and flu test. The flu test was positive. Since siblings, especially twins, share everything including their viruses, we tested Brooke even though she wasn’t showing any symptoms. It was positive as well. Brooke’s fever started that night around 11 pm. Luckily her fever was down by noon on Tuesday and has stayed down. The girls are both on Tamiflu and rotating Tylenol and Motrin to help with the aches of the flu.

All day yesterday I bleached and sanitized our house hoping to kill the germs. I have washed their sheets daily and am rotating the pacifiers they use, boiling them in between uses. All of their toys that they play with were bleached on Tuesday and have been sprayed with Lysol after each use. Hopefully we can kill the flu virus before Joel or I get it, because even though we all had the flu shot, it did not prevent the flu virus from entering our home. Praying this flu is gone soon and we can get back to a normal routine.

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Snow Day

On Thursday it started snowing here. It snowed all day but nothing stayed, it all melted. We were very disappointed. It stopped snowing that evening. I was hoping to play in the snow with the girls but nothing was on the ground. 🙁

However, the next morning we awoke to a mini-winter wonderland. I say “mini” because let’s be honest, we live in Texas and it does not snow much here.

The girls were so excited to play in the snow. As soon as they saw the snow out the window, they put on their toboggans and begged to go outside. After they had a warm breakfast and bundled up we took them out to play.

**Bailey is wearing pink and Brooke is wearing purple.

The girls had fun trying to build a snowman and playing soccer in the snow. It was a lot of fun for them. Joel and I were freezing. We let them play outside for about thirty minutes before coming inside. It was so cold and Joel had to go to work. Unfortunately living in Texas means that as soon as the sun came out the snow melted. It made us want to plan a weekend away to play in the snow that won’t melt right away. Hopefully we can do that soon.

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Book Challenge: Christian

I chose for my Christian book to read A Woman After God’s Own Heart  by Elizabeth George. I chose this book because I am wanting a spiritual change. I have never been one that had a strong relationship with God. My heart was heavy with a desire to become baptized and wanting to become stronger with my faith in God. After the past year I decided it was time to take that leap and develop a stronger relationship with the Lord. This book seemed like the perfect choice to read on my new journey with the Lord. 

After almost losing Brooke a few months ago, I made a promise to God and myself that I would become closer to him and raise my children knowing and loving him. The first step for me was to devote myself to him which means to get baptized. My complex on this issue is that the church we attend makes baptism a publicized event. The men and women who are baptized are often video taped and their stories shown with all the congregations. For me, baptism is a moment with the Lord and I do not believe in this method of exploitation. So as I began this book, I was searching for an answer to my situation. Do I go ahead and become baptized at this church even though I do not believe in their videotaping practices? Or do I wait to be baptized at a different church even though my heart is ready now? I am hoping to reach those answers as I read this book. 

The first part of this book immediately reminded me of my Great Grandmother, Edith. She has always been a woman of God’s own heart. As the author describes her mother-in-law, I thought of Grandma. She is currently 94 living in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. She has lived a long life. She was widowed, lost three out of her four children, two at birth, and survived leukemia among other illnesses. She is a woman who has suffered great loss and hardship but yet is still a devoted woman after God’s own heart. Her faith has been with her always in every moment that she went through. She is a woman  of great strength and of whom I greatly admire. So as I read this book I thought of Grandma and how I hope I can be the strong faithful woman that she is. 

As I continued reading I entered into the steps to connecting with God. The first step is prayer. This is not your typical prayer but a prayer that strengthens your relationship with God. The next steps talk about removing sins and growing as a person with your relationship with God. At this point I had to take a deep look at my life and think about the different aspects of my life. I am critical of myself so I believe that there are many things that I could improve on. I took note of these things and decided to pray about them. Instead of being frustrated through my faults, I stopped and prayed to the Lord about my issues. I guess you could say I talked it out with him. After my conversation I felt better. I know that it will take time to improve my faults but taking this step to speak and pray with God first is a nice start. 

The most important thought to me during these steps was confidence in God. In other words putting your full trust in him. I am the worst about questioning his motives and this is something that really got to me. Stop questioning his motives and simply trust in him. When Brooke was so sick and we nearly lost her I turned to the Lord and told him that I trusted him. I told him how I was feeling and opened my heart to him. After I spoke with him that day in the hospital, I felt a sense of certainty that it would be okay. I wasn’t alone and he was taking care of my child. My nerves calmed and my anxiety went away. I did my part as her mom and let God do the rest. That was my first moment of putting my whole trust in the Lord.

The remainder of this book discusses the important changes and things that you must do on your pursuit of God. This book also has a study guide edition to help you as you take this journey. 

If you are interested in having a closer relationship with God, this is a wonderful book to read on your journey. 

My rating of this book is: 

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Holiday Blessings

The holidays are always busy for us. Between traveling with toddlers to multiple homes and trying to find time for us to celebrate it is chaotic. With all the holiday madness, the blessings we have are often forgotten for material things. I am by no means saying anything bad about gift giving because our family also celebrates the holidays with gift giving. This post is about counting your blessings.
So many times in life we look at the misfortunes in life. We think about the things we do not have experienced. I have been guilty of looking at the negatives in life before seeing the things that I do have. The holidays are a time for thinking of those good things in life. Count your blessings.
My blessings this holiday season are very basic:
Family – I am still happily married to my husband. My children had a rough year medically but they are with me and well now. I am thankful for this I was able to see the ones I love this holiday season.
Home – I have a roof over my family’s head. I am able to stay home with my children. We are able to put food on the table.
Faith – Faith is a strong part of my family’s life. Although our year had some missteps, we kept our faith.
New Year – I am thankful for a new year that I am able to embrace and enjoy with the ones I love.
As this new year begins, I want to look at the blessings I have and not my misfortunes.
Remember to count your blessings as you start this adventure of a new year.

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Potty Training Times Two

Potty Training Times Two

The concept of potty training twins has been a scary thought for a while now. Our first attempt at potty training was this past summer. Bailey would go a few times but Brooke refused. We could tell they were not ready so we chose to wait.

I found some readiness guidelines that we went by to figure out if they were ready. These are the guidelines I found:

  • Holding their bladder for 2+ hours
  • Staying dry during nap time
  • Interest in the potties
  • Telling you they went potty

Attempt #2:
In November we started trying again. We would put the girls on the potty every 30 minutes for 5 minutes. We did this for 2 weeks while they were home. We would make progress with one and then the other and then they would have Mother’s Day Out and all progress would be lost. By the first weekend in December I was done with this method. It was clearly not working.

That is when we found the potty party book.

Attempt #3:
This book is called Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day by Teri Crane. We decided to try this that next Saturday, the second weekend in December. We started out just like the book suggested, potty training their dolls. I even took the time to create fake pee and poop for the dolls. Gross, I know but I was desperate.

That afternoon, we attempted training them again. Since it is supposed to be a potty all day we celebrated with a theme of Frozen and Christmas. Two of the girls current favorites. No matter how much Joel and I tried, the girls were not going in the potty. Another attempt failed. At this point we were about to leave for Christmas holiday and I was not going to try right before traveling. So the last week of December was going to be potty training week.

We returned back home from our families’ homes on a Saturday. The next day we started potty training again.

Attempt #4:

This time I gave them their water or juice every five minutes. I put them in panties and took them to the potty every 30 minutes, like before. That day was the worst. They didn’t go to the potty at all and had so many accidents. By 3 o’clock that afternoon I was exhausted and was tired of cleaning floors, toddlers, and clothes. During my moment of exhaustion, Brooke had yet another accident. I had had it! I was not putting more clean panties on her. I had her go bottomless.

Now I must tell you, Joel and I had discussed this method and decided against it because we thought other ways would be better. We were wrong. Brooke didn’t have any more accidents that day. I decided that Monday I would try the naked attempt with both girls. To my surprise it worked. They would not pee on themselves. I think that the bareness of this method was enough of a difference to make them learn to control their bladder long enough to make it to the potty.

Day 2 of nakedness was not as successful. They had a handful of accidents. I stayed positive and tried it again Day 3. This day was a success. We had made enough progress with very little accidents that I decided to put panties back on them Thursday (Day 4). They had a few accidents but it was only two or three. We continued the panties only until Sunday morning. We then put them in pants. Bailey had one accident and Brooke had none. This was the day that Brooke started telling us that the potty was disgusting. She refused to go in the potty. She would hold her bladder until she had a diaper for nap or bedtime. This went on for four days. Even at school she refused to go. Bailey however had her last accident (pee) that Sunday. She would use the restroom at school and home. Finally on Thursday Brooke went in the potty at school. Since Thursday of last week both girls have gone to the bathroom, accident free with the exception of pooping. Now that is a harder task for them.

Both girls now communicate that they have to go to the bathroom. I still take them regularly to avoid accidents. I am still nervous about outings and accidents. I guess a few more weeks of accident free and that will go away.

Here is a list of supplies we used for potty training:

  • two small training potties
  • a removable adapter potty seat
  • lots of wipes
  • big girl panties
Quick Tips we learned along the way:
  • Know that your child(ren) are ready before trying
  • Patience, patience, patience
  • Nakedness truly works
  • For multiples, train them at the same time (they cheer each other on)
  • Do not give up. They will get it some time.
Good luck with potty training!

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Becoming A BabyWise Mom

One of the best advice I received while pregnant was from a mom of triplets. She told me that I had to make them be on a schedule together as soon as they came home. She also told me about the book On Becoming Babywise. When she told me her story and this advice, I had no idea how important this advice would be to me.

I bought the On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo book from Amazon. I began reading it before the girls were born. Every thing about it made sense. Keep them on a schedule together or your whole day would be feeding and changing babies without a moment of silence. Without being on a schedule together babies could be feeding and sleeping at different times. Joel and I made the decision that the Babywise schedule was best for us.

When the girls came home I continued the schedule the hospital had started, every 3 hour feeding times. I slowly made the schedule my own version of Eat/Sleep/Play as suggested in the book.

I followed the babywise scheduling until the girls were a year old. I would transition them to the next phase at every age they suggested. By 3 months both girls slept eight hours without waking up for feedings.

Babywise works if you follow the guidelines closely. I will use this method again with future children.

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Baby Registry

This registry list is what we bought or registered for:

  • 2 boppies and covers
  • air vent bottles with a regular nipple size
  • receiving blankets
  • 2 cribs (we chose the converter cribs)
  • A twin pack-n-play with dual bassinet
  • 2 spacesaver high chairs
  • 2 infant car seats
  • 2 extra car seat bases
  • We registered for the travel system stroller to go with our car seats but found that the Graco Snap and Go Double Stroller was much better with infant carriers. 
  • Twin nursing pillow if you plan to tandem nurse. If not the single boppy works. 
  • Boppy pregnancy pillow
  • Bedding
  • Breast pump (Our choice was the Modela it worked best for me. You can also rent the machine and just purchase replacement cups from the hospital).
  • 1 swing
  • 2 bouncers
  • 2 play mats (we did different ones so that they could switch out)
  • A nursing cover
  • Diapers size 1, 2, and 3
  • Bath tub (We bought two but one will work)
  • Bath supplies
  • Bath Towels
  • Table for Two feeding chair
  • Bottle dishwasher racks
  • Mommy hook
  • Bowls and spoons for baby food
  • Bibs
The best thing to do it think about the essentials. Things that you will need in the beginning. The rest you can get later. Some people want to register for toddler essentials with their baby registries. This is okay to do but remember, you will have to store that for a few years. With children, your storage space limits so keep that in mind when registering. 

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Book Challenge 2015: Health

I chose Clean Food Diet by Jonathan Vine and Tali Carmi for the Health topic of my book challenge. I chose this book because it fits what I am trying to do for my family this year, more clean eating.

The book starts out discussing the additives and preservatives in processed foods we eat. It also describes what clean eating is and why you do it. The book continued with examples of what you should eat that is considered clean, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. 
The next section of this book describes how you can transition to clean eating and how you cook clean. The final section of this book has recipes that you can try. 
I liked this book because it told you what additives to look for in canned goods. This was different than other clean eating books I have read because they usually tell you only to eat fresh or frozen produce. Canned goods are sometimes what we need in a recipe. Knowing what is good to eat and what you can eat for clean eating was very helpful. 
A few recipes I would like to try are: 
  • Appetizers and Salads
    • Guacamole Bruschetta
    • Mini Spinach Pizzas
    • Crusted Jalapeno Peppers
    • Mexican Bean Salad
    • Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • Dinners
    • Meatless Chili
    • Greek Vegetarian Burgers
  • Desserts
    • Two Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies
    • Clean Chocolate Souffle
    • Chocolate Popsicles
My Rating:

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars only because I wanted more recipes as well as some more tips on clean eating. Since I have toddlers I would like some snack ideas as well. The book was a good quick read. It gives information to get you started with clean eating. I do think that it will meet the needs of someone else but for me it did not meet all the expectations I had. 
Check back for my next book challenge when I review A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. 

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Winter Storm Fiona

We have had a lot of cold weather recently. Some of this weather has brought large amounts of ice. We had a really bad ice storm over New Years which struck our city hard. Tree limbs were down and power was out all over the city. We were one of the fortunate ones. We lost a few branches but did not lose power. It was cold and Joel was not able to go into work. It was a nice extension to the holidays.

We hope this is our only ice storm this year!

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