Monday, December 28, 2009

Two Coughing Babies and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Fa la la. Not so much. The last few months have been really tough. It seems like the colds and ear infections never end. We had a few good weeks and then I totally jinxed myself by mentioning out loud that I had gotten some sleep, consistently.

Before we left for Florida, my husband had the flu. The night before we left Florida, I came down with the flu. It may have been the most sick I have ever been in my life. Completely awful. After the flu I got bronchitis.

Then the girls got a cold, as did my husband. The colds turned to ear infections. All four of their molars began to come in at once, complete with blood blisters. Then I got the cold from everyone. The girls got antibiotics for their ear infections, which led to diaper rash for one of my daughters that turned into a yeast infection.

Does it end? My New Year's Resolution is for everyone to be healthier this year. The goal is not to miss any kindergarten when the time comes!

Life Lesson 296783465: Flying With Toddlers is No Fun

I am late writing about this -- and most everything else -- because life just seems to get in the way. In any case, went to Florida for Thanksgiving. I learned a few things along the way and felt necessary to give everyone a glimpse into the absolute HELL that was our plane ride to Ft. Myers.

I should mention that just prior, my husband had the flu really bad. He said he has never felt so terrible. Luckily he was on the mend by turkey week. Our in-laws were kind enough to book us an entire row on Jet Blue to Florida so we would have the space we needed. We thought we were totally prepared but that is just never possible.

We got to the airport way too early and all the girls wanted to do was run around. They were going up to people and trying to take their snacks and water bottles. It was a workout trying to keep up with them. Plus we had some carry on bags, despite our attempts to ship everything, as well as the two car seats bungee corded to a pull cart (that I forgot to get until the night before and went to four places before finding it!). I was so happy my friend told me to get the cart because without it we would have been more screwed then we already were.

We got on the plane late because my husband decided last minute he wanted food, so all the old people jumped the line and for some reason having twins and being visibly disorganized didn't get us any sympathy. We boarded the plane with the kids and the two Britax car seats bungeed to our little dolly cart. The stupid cart got stuck in the aisle and I was yanking it to get it down to row 18. The babies began to whine and we began to sweat. Finally the air marshall jumped out of his seat to help. Bless him, for real. He was awesome. He helped us get the seats in and get out of the way of all the grandmas and grandpas going down to Florida.

We got situated and I longed for the days of kicking back, taking a nap and waking up in the sunshine. But the girls wanted nothing to do with their car seats, the plane, or any of the books and toys we bought specifically for the trip. Before we even taxied down the runway, I was looking for some sort of child-friendly sedative.

The drink cart couldn't have come sooner. I was ready to explode. I was walking up and down the aisles holding one of my daughters who was having a full blown temper tantrum and was way overdue for a nap. Everyone was staring at us and some nice mothers offered toys and other distractions to try and make her happy. I went to the back of the plane near the bathrooms to try and get the screaming child away from all the other passengers, but it was no use.

I was standing there with the two flight attendants and guy looked at me and said, "You totally should have waited another year or two to fly." I wanted to punch him in the face. That's the worst thing to say considering we are already thousands of miles up in the air over the Atlantic Ocean. I looked at the other man and begged him to tell me we were at least halfway there, but he just shook his head.

I then went back to our seats and my daughter was still hysterical. The biggest mistake I made was taking her out of her seat (lesson learned). My husband then looks over at me (the twin he is watching is happily watching TV with her pacifier) and suggests I take screaming twin and go sit in the bathroom.

Seriously, he had to be joking? No, he wasn't. The person in front of us told him he was just "asking for a divorce" with that suggestion. At that moment, my beer must have kicked in and I had forced my daughter back into her chair. I looked at the Live Map channel on Jet Blue and saw that the little plane was finally positioned over Florida.

"We're in Florida!," I yelled to my husband.

"We're still married?" he replied with a smile.

I knew we were going to make it. I was sweating, but there was hope and the palm trees and sunshine were in reach. I looked over and my daughter had finally closed her eyes and fallen asleep with about 30 minutes to go in the trip. I began to wonder if we should drive back?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New York, New York

We finally made it to Manhattan with the girls. We went in early and met up with Grandma A and Auntie M. First trip was their hotel as they were in town for their annual "Sisters Week" extravaganza -- a week full of shopping, good food, sporting events and relaxing.

One of my little pumpkins is terrified of elevators, so it wasn't such a fun trip up to their room for a diaper change. I wasn't about to walk up five flights of stairs with a 25 lb baby despite how much I want to fit into my jeans. So we gutted it out. Into the hotel room we went and the girls promptly began to destroy everything in their path. They were loving the room.

After a change, we walked over to Build-A-Bear. One of the girls picked a teddy bear, she really has a thing for bears, and the other picked a puppy. One always seems to get a bear and one a puppy, but I can't tell if she even really likes the puppies.

I mean she loves real dogs, but I think she is holding out for American Girl. She will be a dollie girl and the other will hoard stuffed animals in her crib, which she will probably learn to use to spring out of the crib someday. We met up with my friend D and her little J for a 20 minute Build-A-Bear session. Little J got a pink bear and was very happy. Unfortunately she had to go home for nap, but the rest of us walked up to Daddy's office to show off the girls.

We ran around the office and then stole daddy to go for lunch at Landmarc. I completely underestimated how far it was to walk from daddy's office to the Time Warner Center but it was a beautiful day so no complaints. The restaurant is supposedly child-friendly, but we didn't quite get that vibe. Aside from a very kid-friendly menu, I don't think folks were so friendly. But maybe it's more kid-friendly rather than baby-friendly. And, I totally understand.

When we arrived they said we had to wait since we needed two high chairs. I couldn't imagine they only had two on hand for the entire restaurant. Once they freed up we were seated. The girls began to test their opera voices and throw goldfish around. I will say that the food came quickly, it was delicious, we had a wonderful view and they offer a roomy, handicap bathroom with a changing table -- all very clean.

We had to abandon the FAO Swartz adventure planned for post-lunch and instead just headed to the car. The girls were fading and we didn't want to push our luck. Next time. They fell asleep in the car and daddy let us do a Pinkberry drive-by since I hadn't had it in so long. Love that place. It's all about the regular with chocolate chips, mochi balls and mango. Yummy!

We drove down to the FDR Drive to find it was bumper-to-bumper. The girls promptly woke up from their nap and screamed the whole way home in horrible traffic for three hours. So much fun. Moral of the story, don't go into the city on a Friday or on a holiday weekend with children.

Welcome, Baby R

My brother-in-law welcomed his first child this week, Baby R. He was almost twice as big as my girls when they were born, but still seemed so tiny when I met him yesterday. Mom and Dad are doing well and love their little prince. I am really excited for my girls to have a cousin so close in age to grow up with, because basically it will be like another sibling to them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Preschool - Too Early at Two? Too Late at Three?

The girls just turned one and now I have to start thinking about pre-school. They can't even say mama or use a toilet and I am looking at programs for them. It's overwhelming. Oh, and did I mention? It's really expensive!

We are talking in the thousands of dollars range, depending on how many days. I looked at one tuition for the preschool that was recommended down the street and there is a waiting list already for next year.

I asked around, including polling two preschool teachers on my street, whether it's better to begin preschool at age two or three and the majority said three. Part of the problem is that my girls have a summer birthday so they would be a young two by the start of the school year. Who knows how potty training will go and they are hanging on my legs 24/7 as it is, so how will mommy leave for an hour to gulp down a Starbucks and return for pick-up?

In the meantime, we will continue at Little Gym and the Y for swimming and also look into Stepping Stones and New Canaan Nature Center, as well as more playgroups and activities at local libraries.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Twin Comments

I know this is a popular topic for me, but I can't help get annoyed. Maybe someday I will learn to ignore. I am getting better though.

I went to my beloved Stop & Shop in Westport yesterday, which I hear is getting a Starbucks, and heard all my favorite (hint: sarcasm) comments!

In less than 30 minutes I heard the following:
* Are they twins? (4x)
* Are they identical? (2x)
* Boy and girl? (1x)
* Double trouble! (1x)
+ two unsolicited toe touches

I know people are just trying to be nice, but it's so annoying. It's not like we are a freak show I mean it's just two children. Lots of people have more than two children. Twins are pretty common anyway these days. If I had six or eight babies in toe at Stop & Shop then yes, I would totally expect crazy stares and questions.

I guess it's not that I actually mind the questions, it's just that they are such stupid questions. I mean the identical question actually doesn't bother me. But they are usually dressed in pink and I have a hot pink stroller so the one of each question is just stupid. I get asked if they are boys a lot too. Let's not discuss.

Double trouble is just so annoying because it doesn't do anything for anybody. I am not going to throw a smile your way for that one! But it was an old guy and usually I get that from older people, so we will give him a break.

And please, don't touch my babies. Unless you want to come over when they get sick and rock them back to sleep every hour while they are snotting on your shoulder, just keep your fingers to yourselves.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ready for Fall

I am so ready for Fall. The cooler weather, the leaves, apples, soup and Halloween -- what's not to love? I also love Fall clothing.

Patagonia in Westport is having a huge sale right now. I went today to get a credit back on a rain jacket I bought last week and was able to get a zip-up sweater with the refund, so basically it was two for the price of one. It's way too hot to wear now, but the pumpkin color really gets me in the mood for cool days.

The girls have tons of clothes but I was in Janie & Jack the other day on Greenwich Avenue and there are some really cute things out right now. Of course I wait until it goes on sale -- don't think I have ever bought full-price J&J outfits -- and hope the right sizes remain. The Paris line
is so cute, but I love the quilted jacket from the Carousel Line. They are just so comfortable and vintage looking. I also adore the quilted jacket from the Orchard Line. I would probably get one and one so that it wasn't matching.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We just joined the YMCA Westport/Weston and signed up the girls for swim lessons. This way daddy can get involved on the weekends with an activity. Poor daddy misses out on a lot of the fun stuff during the week, so this is good bonding time. Plus now that we are members, we can go to the pool whenever we like during the week. Unfortunately, there was no "twin" discount.

The girls seemed really excited at the Y and were waving to everyone. Someone asked if the girls were related. Um, duh? I guess people just really don't know what to say so they ask to be sure. Then someone said well they don't look like you at all. I mean what do you say to that?

Thw weird twins comments just keep rolling out ...

Three Under Three

I thought I was pregnant. That would have been three children under the age of three.

Now that I have learned I am not, I'm left with mixed emotions. I was full of worry and anxiety, wondering if I would be able to give my girls the attention they needed while I was pregnant and then moreso, after the baby was born. What if it was twins again? How would we cope with the care and finance? Would the girls still love me as much or would they just want to be with each other and forget about mommy? We have two precious, healthy girls -- am I tempting fate with another baby? Should I just be happy with what we've been blessed with?

Inside all the worry and anxiety, there was a glimmer of excitement. I was decorating the nursery already. I was thinking of names and birth signs. The baby would have been Aries, like me. Boy or girl? A positive feeling that my husband and I would have made it work and come together for our family.

We're not actively trying, but I am left to wonder "what if"?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bumps, Bruises & Blood ... Oh My!

We are full force into the B3 stage. Everyday there seems to be a new injury whether it's a bump, a small bruise (or large!) or the worst, blood. No matter how much we baby proof, there are always dangers.

I am quickly learning that when toddlers get tired, they lose their balance and every little fall results in a "waaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!" So I try to let them run loose when they first wake up and keep activity to a minimum (stroller rides, etc.) when they start to get sleepy. Sometimes I wonder if I should get them helmets so they won't hurt themselves, but I guess this is how they learn, right? Please someone tell me I'm right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What to Bring in Your Hospital Bag?

The GAP posted a page on their Web site with suggestions on items to pack in your hospital bag. One thing I found is that we totally overpacked. After the c-section I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom, let alone take a shower. Plus you weren't allowed to for a day or so. I basically lived in the hospital gowns and blankets. I saw other women in comfy yoga pants and robes, but I just couldn't get out of bed without screaming in pain to put those outfits on.

My advice if you want to take it is just to bring an empty bag and cram as much stuff from the hospital into it -- diapers, formula, thermometers, etc. Basically anything they will let you take. And don't forget the lovely treats for mama like disposable underwear! Woo hoo!

Oh and a take me home outfit for the baby or babies.

Sidewalk Sales

Some of the stores in Westport are having sales with the leftover merchandise from last weekend's sidewalk sales. Swaddle, Toddle and Bump - one of my favorite stores in Westport - is having a great 50% off sale on all clothes plus they have several bins of $10 items. While this may still seem expensive to some moms for baby clothes since they grow out of them so fast, sometimes you just have to splurge on something special for the little ones!

Even just for a browse, the store is great because they have a nice bathroom with a clean changing room, an automatic door which is great for stollers and double strollers, and stroller friendly isles. They also feature products from local vendors, which I really like to see and support! The owners Alicia and Amy, both moms themselves, are incredibly friendly and helpful. They are also happy to try and help entertain cranky toddlers while you shop around for a minute or two.

We picked up an adorable button down shirt with anchors on it that was originally priced at $75 for only $2o. It's a really special shirt -- I will have to post some photos. Then we also got some basic leggings, which we wear almost every day, I think two pairs for $20. It's a good deal (and good idea) to buy the better quality basics because otherwise they stain and wash horribly and you just end up throwing them out. I know Carter's is cheaper but I just threw a bunch of their leggings out because their clothes shrink and hold onto stains.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Human Food

Aside from formula, an adult should be able to taste all baby food and give it at least a "not bad," if not "yummy" rating. It's not like the babies eat cat food, ya know? But people tend to put baby and kids food in a different category. Lot's of times I hear human food vs. baby food. That is just wrong.

I mean every kid is going to get some junk food and pre-prepared food at some point because it's convenient and part of being a kid. But I really try to give the girls healthy food whenever possible.

Between the babies, me, my husband and the cats, I swear I spend the better part of the day in the kitchen. But it's okay because I love food. I was actually enrolled in cooking school before I found out I was pregnant (a day before). I had put a deposit down on a Friday for The Institute of Culinary Education in Chelsea, NYC and that night on the way home from work I purchased a pregnancy test at Bridgestone Apothecary. I didn't think it would be positive but wanted to double check.

We had been trying for months and after the miscarriage I figured it would never happen, so I decided to switch career paths and do the only thing I would do for free when it comes to work -- cook. I wanted to do something in food media. It's nearly impossible to get a gig in that field without some sort of speciality training. I considered cooking school a graduate degree on top of my bachelor's in communication. Luckily the deposit was refundable.

I have been really trying to switch things up for the babies' mealtime routine. They are getting better at chewing so I am trying to give them more things that they can hold and take bites of rather than cutting everything into miniscule pieces.

When they were eating purees, I would make all their food but now that they are onto various food groups and and finger foods, it's about 50/50. I try to keep it natural, healthy and organic whenever possible, but since my husband and I usually eat different things at different times, we can't all eat together.

Things they love:
* peas, peas, peas ... just slightly defrosted from the frozen bag
* Any fruit - mainly blueberries, rasberries, cherries, banana, mango (the mango is especially good steamed in the Beaba)
* Nature's Promise vegetable pizza (they like it better the second day as it gets a little soggier)
* Eggo Mini Waffles
* Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers (loaded with carrots, edamame, corn, peas)
* Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs
* South Beach Oatmeal Pancakes (make a bunch, keep them in the fridge for snacks)
* Dr Praeger's Fish Sticks
* Yogurt with either ground flax seed, wheat germ and/or amaranth (previously cooked) with fruit mash or puree
* Scrambled eggs with a pinch of cheese, dash of milk and a side of multigrain toast

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Twin Meet-up

I met one of my best friends through MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) of Lower Fairfield County. It's a "club" for mothers of multiples (twins & triplets) in the area. There is minimal yearly fee and the group organizes events, playgroups, guest speakers and has a message board and classified section. The club has been invaluable for advice on parenting and for recommendations on local services and things to do. It's also how I found my pediatrician, night nurse, sleep expert, doctor and dentist, among other things.

My friend has twin boys about the same age. A few months back we went to the group's new MoMs luncheon and met two other cool ladies. Today we are having everyone over, including babies and husbands, for snacks and drinks. It will be pretty awesome to get together 4 sets of twins. I will try and take some pictures.

We are 1!

The first birthday party went really well and the Miffy theme was in full effect. We lucked out and got a gorgeous day after a monsoon of a summer so far.

My babies are taking first steps and growing into little girls right before my eyes. Still, no one has said "ma-ma" and I must say it 100 times a day. One of the girls says "da-da" and several other baby babbles and the other has started as well. They like to mimic us. If we stick out tongue out, they will to. They love to play hit the table and will copy you as you slap the table. One is also trying to clap but it looks more like she is wiping her hands clean of a mess. Still it's all very cute.

My husband got them the most adorable bear for their birthday. One of the girls really loves the bear and cuddles with him every moment she gets. It's like she forgets he's there and catches sight of him out of the corner of her eye and then crawls toward and attacks with hugs. It's pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Party Planning

Now that ear infections are hopefully over for at least a few weeks, we can start thinking more about the girls' birthday party. Of course it's more a party for adults but hey, everyone needs a cupcake once in a while.

The theme is Miffy and I found a bunch of Miffy themed party supplies on eBay. The cartoon is done in primary colors so I need to coordinate balloons and paper goods, which is so hard considering I love purple and pink. It's going to be hard to stray from those colors.

We have a woman named Chris, recommended to us by a friend, who is making Miffy cookies. They will be adorable, I'm sure. Her company is called ArtGirl Cookies and you can check out her work here.

I ordered cupcakes from Crumbs Bakery, which just opened in Westport a few months ago. I love their cupcakes. I still love the cupcakes from Great Cakes, also in Westport, but Crumbs is really good and the cupcakes are slightly bigger. They make cakes too, which I didn't know. I picked the basic sprinkle cupcakes in strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, with two special cupcakes for the girls: rasberry and blueberry swirl.

I had previously ordered a cake from SONO Baking but the customer service was so bad I cancelled my order. Apparently it's an ongoing issue there, which is really too bad since the product is good.

What's left? I'll put my husband on balloon pick-up and I am going to make a little lunch buffet for guests. I need to work out something for the kids as well. We have some tbd guests but I need a final count by next week for sure.

Almost there!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Etsy Obsession

I am totally obsessed with Etsy. I have found some of the cutest things for the girls, including this adorable door hanger for their nursery.

I also purchased these great bibs to soak up the drool. The girls are in the stage (I feel like it will never end) where every minute they are awake they must be in a bib. We go through several bibs each a day and I hate how they ruin cute outfits. These are adorable and affordable.

I have also been on the lookout for prints. I got this one, this one (I customized it with black background letters and then in various shades of pink it spells out Twin Love) and this smaller one, which is framed on their dresser in between the cribs. So adorable.

I will have to post some photos of the nursery soon.

First Babbles

The girls have been making sounds for several months but one has finally started to make more familiar sounds. The other day she woke up from her nap saying da-da-da-da and blah-blah-blah. Of course, there is no ma-ma or mommy, but I am not giving up hope.

First Steps

Last Thursday at The Little Gym, one of my girls took her first steps. I stood her up on the mat and motioned her to come to me as I had done many times before but this time she actually felt confident enough to try three steps. Last night she took nine steps without any encouragement at all. Soon she will probably be running around the house. I can't believe this time last year she was still in my belly with her sister. Life is just amazing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Awesome Giveaway

Check out the Kenzie Poo blog for great giveaways and design ideas. You can enter to win some of her cute and glamorous hand-crafted baby headbands.  

Monday, May 25, 2009


I never posted that we ended up with the Bumbleride Indie Twin in Vita. It's amazing and I absolutely love this stroller. I got a great deal on eBay, about $100 off the listing price. The stroller shipped very quickly and was simple to put together. I get so many compliments. 

Three is a Crowd

I am trying to make mommy friends so I don't go nuts listening to plastic toys sing all day. I need a life too. I have some mommy friends but I need to meet new people. I have some mommy + baby playdates lined up over the next week or so and things are looking good on friend potential. 

This past week I invited someone over with her twin boys -- I met them through my local multiples club -- but I discovered one of my girls had a fever and had to cancel as she was literally driving down my street. I felt terrible but I didn't want to give her whole family a cold. I mean what a way to make a first impression. 

Last week I also met up with a woman who I met briefly last summer. I also met her through the club and we had been emailing lately about sleep issues so decided to meet for the ever-popular coffee and walk outing. After we confirmed, she asked me if I minded whether or not she invited her friend. What am I supposed to say? 

I hardly know her and this was supposed to be an opportunity to get to know each other and now you are adding another stranger into the mix. The worst part is, someone would be odd man out during the walk. Think about it -- two double strollers and one single trying to walk down a sidewalk? Um, yeah ... not going to work. 

Anyway, at the very least I would get a coffee and get out of the house, which is not a bad prize. So I show up at Starbucks where we are supposed to meet. The other twin mom is 20 mins late. I mean a few mins late okay, but 20 mins in the world of a baby is an eternity. I am sitting there with my iced latte and praying the girls don't have a complete meltdown as I watch the clock tick closer to 4pm. 

Finally I see her drive into the parking lot. Her friend is walking up the street at the same time. To her friend's credit, she was closer to being on time but had trouble crossing the street so had to walk out of her way to a crosswalk. Still, I try to be optimistic. I offer to watch the strollers while they go get there coffee. Now it's been 30 mins since I arrived. 

We have the coffees and go for a walk. It's quickly obvious how hard it is to walk all together. We do one loop through Fairfield town and end up at a children's shop. Why on earth do children's stores not make the isles wide enough for a double stroller? One of my girls had her foot hanging off the side of the stroller and it got caught on a shelf as I pushed her through the store. She started screaming. 

It was that awful cry where no sound comes out. So we left and went home. I felt terrible for hurting her but it was an accident. 

Lesson learned, just because two people share a common interest -- their twin daughters -- doesn't always mean it's instant BFF.

Happy Memorial Day

My husband thankfully decided to bring down the Yankees flag today and raise the American flag back up in honor of Memorial Day. Tomorrow, the girls will be 11 months.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Child Proofers

Someone will probably flame me when they hear I paid someone to come and child proof my home. But I must explain that my husband and I are challenged when it comes to drills. We have actually bought several drills thinking it was the drill that was the issue, when in fact, it was just us. I can put anything together and my husband is amazing when it comes to wiring for TV/stereo, but we just can't seem to get a screw into the wall.

There is a great guy up here named Jay Martel -- aka the Child Proof Coach. He will come to your house, bring all the necessary safety devices (i.e. gates, locks, latches, etc.) and install everything for you. If you have twins and no help, you can definitely justify the cost. The actual labor fee is very reasonable and then you just pay for the products, which actually cost less through him than at a store like what was formerly The Right Start. Plus, he's really funny and nice. He won't talk you into gating and latching the entire house ... just wouldn't make sense.

So, if you are like me, a first-time mom who is not so great with a drill, give him a call.

Almost There ...

It's almost the girls' one-year birthday. The show I used to watch for inspiration during my pregnancy, Jon + Kate + 8, is now in the media spotlight because their marriage is falling apart from alleged infidelity, among other issues. We've certainly had our ups and downs -- being a parent isn't easy -- but we are a strong family. 

The time really did go by quickly. I think I wanted it to in a way because the early months were really hard. They seemed so little to me. Now when I see babies I can't imagine mine being that small. I don't even really want to hold little babies when I have the chance. It's not comfortable to me. I like my girls' just the age they are. In fact, I can't wait for them to be a little older. I want to hear them talk and to play games with them. I want to paint their toes pink and have fashion parades with dress up clothes. It's not that I don't love my babies, I am just ready for a different dimension to our relationship.

We're doing a Miffy theme for the one-year party. I ordered some Miffy decorations and there will be Miffy on their cake. I know they won't remember their first birthday, but it's definitely something to celebrate, if only for the adults. 

Thanks to all my family and friends for helping us get this far! 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Little Gym

I have been bad about blogging lately, so I am going to try and catch up with a few posts. Two ear infections and a cold (everyone) have kept me busy.

My friend in the city is always taking her baby to these sorts of classes and I felt I needed to begin doing the same. She is always out at a Mommy & Me type class -- music, working out, etc. So I set out to find something like that up here. I mean it's Fairfield County so I knew there had to be tons of this stuff. A lot of people in my Twins Club suggested Little Gym, which, as you many of you Sherlocks may have guessed, is a heavily padded, soundproof and colorful place for toddlers and kids to let out their creative energy.

After confirming they properly santize everything, I signed up for a free trial. I went with my former mother's helper (long story, another entry) and we waited for class to begin. Little by little the rest of the class began to arrive. Another set of girl twins (one month older), two other little girls and a little boy. Our overly cheerful instructor led us inside.

Since the previous class ran over we didn't get much time to get the girls comfortable in the room before the class began. This was their first class but the other kids had been coming for a while now. Our instructor Miss C asked us to all get in a circle.

She flipped on the music, which was loud for mommy's ears, and dumped out a basket full of bells. My girls burst into screams and tears, while the other babies happily crawled over to the bells. One of my girls warmed up to the whole bell and singing routine, while the other continued to scream and cry and grab onto my shirt for dear life.

It's so hard because you want to just say "okay sweetie, if you're scared we can leave." But that wouldn't be helping her to socialize and get used to other surroundings. Especially when I know it could be fun for her. So I decided I would hold her if she was scared but push her to do the activities.

Then there was a parachute. The babies (except for one of mine) sat on the parachute and the adults hold it and walk in a circle. It was very cute. I see my baby staring at another baby wearing glasses. I know exactly what is about to happen but it is too late and my mother's helper is off on another planet. My baby reaches forward, grabs the other girls' glasses and in doing so pushes her backwards and she begins to cry. The instructor runs in to grab her and my mother's helper is still just standing there braindead. The instructor is now holding my baby's hand and says "what sharp little nails you have." Uh, sorry lady, I didn't have time for mani/pedis before we came.

Anyway, the rest of the class went on like this. The nanny of the other twin girls said hers were scared in the beginning but they got used to it and now really enjoy the class. So now I have signed up for 3 more weeks and then the summer session. The problem is now I have no mother's helper, not that she was much into helping anyway. So I am off to Little Gym on Monday solo with two babies. I am sure it will be fine so long as both aren't screaming the entire time.

Lunch With The Girls

We are trying to better socialize the girls and bring them out with us more to restaurants so they get used to eating places other then home. Yesterday we took the girls to Swanky Franks, a local place in Westport that is taken over by kids on the weekends. They are known for their hot dogs, as the name suggests, but also have salads and such if you are watching your waistline. But this is the kind of place you have to have an onion ring or two. So get the salad and a side of fries to balance things out.

They have special hot dogs like the Westporter, my husband's favorite, which is a hot dog with cole slaw and chili. Honestly, just saying that makes me slightly sick but I try not to judge.

The girls split a hamburger and hot dog. Daddy was nice enough to share some of his chocolate milkshake. For dessert, one of my lovelies ate the check. Then as a nice treat for the waitress, she flipped mommy's diet coke over and it soaked the table, booth and the floor. Don't worry, we left a nice tip.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back Home

We had a very long, but quiet ride back from Florida. The girls were such troopers; they slept the entire way. The flight was packed -- maybe 2 or 3 empty seats max. We had an amazing time in the sun with our family but it is very nice being home and in my own bed.

The first morning the girls woke up they seemed confused. It must be weird to go to sleep one place and wake up in a completely new place! The best part -- their toys were new again.

It's definitely beginning to feel like spring. I love being able to take the girls outside without having to bundle them up in ten layers. We took the girls to the beach for the first time in Florida and they seemed to enjoy it. We went on a gray day (you can see the fin) and there were dolphins swimming just off the shore. The color of the sky and the water was absolutely gorgeous. We got some really amazing pictures of the babies.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stroller Envy

I'm always discovering new gear that is better in one way or another. I mean, we have plenty of stuff for the girls, but it's not until you meet other moms and begin to see your gear in action, that you realize what you have purchased might not be the best option for you.

The problem with the gear for babies and toddlers is that it's good for a millisecond and then a new stage begins, which calls for a different set of gear. From bouncy seats to swaddles, swings to jumperoos, it's only good for so long before they grow out of it or you find something better.

I have a wonderful MacLaren stroller, but I came down with a case of stroller envy recently. I saw a woman with fraternal twins in the Stamford mall and she had a Bumbleride stroller, which I really liked, but after some more research and talking to a MoM who has one, I found out that it doesn't lock shut when you fold it up. There is nothing worse than having a large double stroller unfold as you pull it out of your car. I have pinched my finger and gotten a blood blister more times than I care to recount with the stupid snap n go piece of garbage (garbage, but completely necessary in the beginning).

So now I am set on the Valco Twin. Someone let me push theirs today with their twins in it and they are twice as old as mine, but it was like pushing air. The seats are so roomy and they have better views and canopies. Anyone have an opinion?

Twins ... Coincidence or Evolution?

I never realized how many sets of multiples there were out there until I found out I was pregnant with twins. With all the celebrity twin births, there has also been a heightened awareness, let alone the "multiple" TLC shows on larger multiple births.

We're in Florida for the next week and everywhere we go, we run into people who either are a twin, have twins or have twin grandchildren. Today we ate lunch with my in-laws, their close friends and the girls. One of the waitresses was a fraternal twin and has fraternal twins. Well, those are hereditary so I wasn't surprised. The people we ate lunch with also have identical twin granddaughters. My in-laws neighbors in Florida also have twin grandchildren.

After lunch, we went to an outdoor mall. As we went into Gymboree, a lady stopped us who has twin children, now 40, and then on the way out, we met a man with twin grandchildren. After we crossed the street to hit the shops on the other side, we passed a woman with fraternal 2 year old twins and a 6 year old girl. Shortly after, we went into Starbucks. When we came out, my mother in law was talking to another family with identical twin girls, about 17 months old.

I always find myself wondering whether twins are on the rise or whether I am just now so hyper aware of multiples? I know twins are actually more common than I originally thought, but I've only been here 4 days!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stories From The City

When I had to restore my factory settings on my laptop a month or so ago, I lost a lot of music. I need to be better about backing it up. I realized I was missing a PJ Harvey album that I used to love. It fit how I was feeling earlier this week.

When I went to Manhattan on Monday to visit my friend and her baby, I really felt homesick. I missed Brooklyn. I missed being close to my friends. I also missed the excitement of the city (not that twins aren't exciting ... you know what I mean). I was driving down the FDR drive and passed under the hospital where the babies were born. I passed my old apartment on 34th street. I saw the Brooklyn Bridge running over the East River.

I pulled onto my friend's street and my mom helped me get the babies out of the car. She had a dentist appointment so she helped me get all my stuff up to my friend's place and then rode back with me to CT as well. I couldn't have done it without her. I had 4 bags of things (diaper bag, toys, handbag, door jumper, etc.) so I could feed the babies, care for them and keep them entertained. We unloaded everyone and since they were sleeping I put them in the Snap N Go instead of the side-by-side. As I left my mom I went to park in the garage right by her house and the parking attendant waved me away.

Suddenly I was cursing out the city I was missing 5 minutes earlier. This is exactly what I didn't miss about the city. I drive a Sequoia. It's basically a bus. It's the biggest thing you can get without getting a Suburban or a minivan. I had to drive everywhere when I was pregnant as I wasn't allowed to walk up stairs and the F train stop by our house in Brooklyn was under sea level so there were 4 flights of stairs and a long ramp to get down. There was another train I could take but the escalator hardly ever worked so I could have been stranded.

Anyway, long story short I had to park 3 blocks away, got charged $10 extra for having a big ass car, and then had to walk super fast in the freezing cold & wind with all my bags of baby stuff.

I know that being in CT is the best thing for the girls and for me. I was trying to imagine what it would have been like if we had stayed in Brooklyn, although it wasn't a possibility. First of all, we just didn't have the space. We had one bedroom and a home office, which would have been the babies' room. The "home office" didn't have any windows. One time a couple we are close friends with stayed in there overnight and she walked into the closet trying to get into the hallway to the bathroom. She suddenly realized she was stuck and had to yell to her husband to come find her (totally funny now, but probably scary and confusing at the time). Imagine trying to go put a pacifier back inside a tiny mouth in the pitch black? I stayed in their once when we had first gotten a new kitten and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. So yeah, probably not the best choice for twins.

And how would I have gotten around? The only way out without a car was the F train and we have already discussed the issues there. Our "charming" streets were all cobblestone. The babies would have hated the bumps. My double snap n go stroller would have hated the bumps! I would have run out of things to do really fast and would have been stuck in our apartment 24/7.

I think it's just the winter blahs. I know when the flowers start to poke through and the green begins to come around that I will be so happy to walk outside with the babies and enjoy the fresh air without having to sidestep dog poop and garbage bags.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Easy Button?

Today was a great day. I got to be with my family, out in the fresh air and sunshine, and shop. Couldn't be better. We went to Greenwich Avenue, strolled around, ate lunch -- just the four of us.

Our goal is to get them more comfortable going out for food so we can eventually take on the diner. Sherwood Diner in Westport is probably the best diner I have ever been to aside from The Breakfast Club in Boston. But it's crazy busy there and I think it would overwhelm them at this stage. In any case, we sat next to another family of four. The funniest part is they have a section for Jewish food on the menu. I wonder if anyone has ever talked to them about that ...

The two kids looked very close in age. The mom turned to me and said, "Ah the easy years." I think I almost choked. The "easy" years? My husband and I exchanged a look. First of all, it's been the hardest eight months of my life (not counting the first and last three months of my twin pregnancy). I thought it was supposed to get easier at some point? I asked if her kids were twins (boy/girl) and she told me they were 15 months apart, aka Irish Twins.

She said it gets much harder and her advice was to "drink ... a lot." Yikes. Seriously? We both ordered a second beer ...

Friday, February 20, 2009

No Photos, Please

If you have twins, you know what I am talking about. Why is a stroller with two babies such a spectacle? I mean lots of people have two kids and they have double strollers. I guess it's more when I use the double snap n go because it is so long. People stop and stare like I have a litter of ten babies I am pushing around.

Not to mention the questions I get: one of each? two boys? Look lady, the car seats are exploding with pink flowers, they have pink pacifiers and pink blankets. Come on people! Then there are the people who like to take a peek. Like my babies are there on display for their enjoyment. I mean I know they are absolutely adorable and beautiful, and of course I don't mind people complimenting the girls, but it's when people feel like the have the right to reach in and almost touch the babies. Aside from the fact they are often sleeping in the stroller, I don't want your germie hands on them! Someone on my street reached in one day to re-plug my daughter's pacifier. That is just such a no-no.

I couldn't imagine having sextuplets or octupulets, let alone triplets. What on earth would that be like? You get your own TV show and lots of freebies I guess.

The best is when I go out with my friend who has twins as well. People just stop and stare at the six of us. Trust me, I am not complaining about having two babies. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's just other people seem so amazed, when in reality, it's so common. Special, but not as rare as one would think. According to Wikipedia, "only about three pairs of twins per 1,000 deliveries occur as a result of natural conception, while for IVF deliveries, there are nearly 21 pairs of twins for every 1,000." And in case you're wondering, ours were spontaneous (aka natural).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Diaper Count

I wish I had thought to create some sort of ticker that tracked the number of diapers we have changed since the girls were born. We change the girls' diapers at least at every feeding -- but there are several more in between diaper changes.

In the beginning, the girls ate every 3 hours. That would make 8 feedings and 8 diapers x 2 = 16 diapers a day. That schedule lasted about 4 months. So that's 16 diapers x 30 (days in a month) x 4 = 1,920 diapers (conservatively) in the first 4 months. That doesn't count all the times you would change them and then they would pee all over the diaper you were about to put on and now have to remove.

At about 4 months, they had dropped 2 of those bottles. So for month 4, let's say they had 6 feedings so that's 6 diapers each a day x 2 = 12 x 30 (days in a month) = 360 diapers.

Then at 5 months they dropped another. They were down to 5 bottles a day and now they still have 5 bottles a day, but we have increased the solids. So as they say in Physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. They are almost 8 months. So for 3 months, we were changing at least 10 diapers a day. Let me tell you, it's way more than that every day. Sometimes by 8 am I have changed 6. But for this exercise, let's say 10 diapers a day x 30 x 3 = 900.

Add it all up: 1,920 + 360 + 900 = 2,580 diapers. You can only imagine what our garbage people must think of us ...

Lunch Break

I actually already had some lunch at 11 am, but I've been up since 5 am so I guess it works out perfectly. Why is it that babies don't like to nap? I would kill for a nap right now. I need to figure out an adventure for today ... still have 7 hours until bed time and it's looking like my little friends want to spend most of it awake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sales, Steals and Deals

Just put the kiddies to bed. Now it's time to catch up on my Internet time. I am all about getting a deal. In this economy, you're a fool to pay full price. There are deals everywhere.

Today, I came across a new site called Baby Steals that seems pretty cool. My friend also got me into a Web site called The Mini Social where they have really good deals on baby stuff. I do really well at Old Navy with their clearance racks and I am in love with Baby Gap and Janie & Jack. The key with those places is to wait until they go on sale -- because it always does -- and shop often so you can watch the sales. My all time favorite is Marshall's. The one in Fairfield CT on the Post Road has really good brands and great prices. I picked up some Splendid Baby clothes the other day.

I just bought new Puma sneakers online last night and while I was doing comparison shopping online there was an ad for 25% off all Puma online orders with CAT25 as the discount code. I got the pink/gray Speeder Mesh II to replace a pair that didn't fit after I gave birth. I guess it was nice that my feet grew a half size considering everything else grew several sizes. Maybe it's nature's way of preventing me from toppling over?

Anyway, I also recently got a great deal on a diaper bag. I know it's just a diaper bag but I saw this one in a store and it is actually designed in a way that makes a lot of sense. It's by a designer called Reese Li and retails for $160. I know that is a lot for a bag you put diapers in (my husband doesn't get it but I know lots of ladies out there do) but even a good looking bag has to be functional. This one has straps that have clips on them so you can clip them around your stroller handle or wear it over your shoulder. They also have matching clutch diaper bags you can buy as well for when you don't want to schlep the whole bag. I set out to find a good deal on one of her bags and visited the Web site where I found out they sell "factory seconds" at 50% off. Mine came with a smudge that isn't even noticeable. Definitely check it out.

My girls have reflux. I never knew that babies could have acid reflux. I have a terrible case of it. Mine is so bad I don't really feel it anymore except I have a cough at night when I am trying to sleep because the acid is creeping up my esophagus. Gross huh? So now the three of us all take prevacid. Sometimes I have to take something on top of it. Let's not even discuss the issues during a twin pregnancy as it regards reflux.

Anyway, the girls take the prevacid and they also have to drink a special formula. Of course it costs about $9 a jug. They go through two jugs a day, sometimes more. It costs slightly less per case at BJs but let's just say it's not a steal.

But through my local Mothers of Multiples club I found someone who was selling 12 cases of it and we made a good deal, or rather a steal, at $3 a bottle. She had a surplus and had gotten a bunch through her insurance.

All-in-all, I am feeling pretty good about my shopping karma right now. I think I will be doing a little surfing ...

Another One Bites The Dust ...

It's 1:45 PM. I'm cooking up some bottles and defrosting some squash all while gobbling a weight watchers brownie in the kitchen. If I eat in front of the girls they start crying and reaching for my food and with only 2 bottom teeth, I don't think they'd get very far with what I have for lunch. I mean I know their formula tastes horrible, but Lean Cuisine ain't exactly fine dining. I guess it is to them. They're watching Miffy, which will hold us all over until lunch is ready.

So yesterday we fired our nanny. She was our second nanny. I know, you're probably thinking it's gotta be something we're doing but I promise you it's not. You'd think with the economy there would be loads of overqualified nannies out there willing to work. I'm a stay at home mom, which I have found is a huge turn-off for nannies. Why? Because they don't want you to be watching them care for your babies. Now is that a big red flag or what? Basically I wanted someone part-time to help me care for the babies, give them equal attention and be trustworthy enough to watch the babies at home so I didn't have to drag them around on errands. It's also nice to have an hour or so of me time a day since I'm basically on duty from 6AM to 10PM, not counting if there are wake-ups at night, which thankfully have decreased dramatically.

Well the short story is that we were desperate for someone after we fired our first nanny. The first one was super sweet, had glowing recommendations, but was completely careless. She fed my one baby a screaming hot bottle not once, but twice, AND in front of me. So I wonder how many other times she did that to her. She would also leave the baby on the changing table, couch and countless other dangerous places and then walk away to do something. Seriously, for someone with such great recommendations and asking for $20 an hour, she should know basic safety. That's like Baby 101.

The second nanny was actually our night nurse. She wasn't getting calls for other jobs so we asked her to stay on days. She was pricey but we figured it was worth it considering we trusted her, she knew what she was doing and was really easy to be with. She has a child so we knew we would have to be flexible but then here I was in mid-February and I realized she hadn't worked a full week since before Christmas. Last week she asks me, "So what about Monday, President's Day?" So I told her my husband would be home but she could still work we would go out and enjoy some alone time. She says, "Oh, wouldn't it just be a paid holiday?" Seriously I almost flipped out. She makes more than I did out of college and has better benefits. Plus she works less than 6 hours a day. I told her she could not come but she wouldn't get paid and with that she said she would definitely be in on Monday.

Fast forward to Monday ... it's 9:15 AM (she comes at 9, but usually 9:15) and I am like no she didn't. I look at my phone and there is a text message from 11 PM the night before saying she wouldn't be coming in. Then there was another text at 8:30 AM asking if I got her other text???!?!? Obviously I didn't. So I texted her back and said next time she should call to make sure I get the message. I was furious. I mean I know it's not corporate but still wouldn't you call your employer to say you weren't coming in? My husband and I tallied all the money we had paid her for doing nothing. We just felt it wasn't worth it and let her go. So it's back to the 3 of us. Okay I hear the closing theme song of Miffy and the natives are getting restless.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Miffy & Friends

I watch channel 131... like, a lot. The three of us like a show called Miffy & Friends, which is about a little white bunny named Miffy and his various adventures. There is a token brown bunny called Melanie (I guess to be PC). I am making this assumption because on one episode Miffy goes to Africa to meet Melanie's cousins. Miffy also has friends who are pigs and then there is a little dog named snuffy.

As you can imagine, the plot line is rather thin. There are rarely new episodes, just repeats, and I feel like I have seen every episode. I was actually quite excited about the Africa episode previously mentioned. In any case, the entire show is done in bright primary colors. It's like baby crack. My babies will crane their neck around and stop whatever they are doing when the opening song comes on.

One day I wanted to see if I could get the girls a Miffy doll. You can order them online. But what is hilarious is the amount of commentary out there online about Miffy. This one guy wrote all about how he thinks Miffy is a communist. I mean, it's hilarious, but I really hadn't given it that much thought.

Boarding A Plane Near You: Countdown to Florida

I'll admit it: I'm that person who gave families the evil eye for bringing their loud, germ-infested, screaming children on planes. While waiting in line to board, I would scope out the crowd hoping that the little rugrats wouldn't end up next to me. Well now I'm on the flip side. Our in-laws live in Florida and I told everyone I wouldn't bring them down there until they could remember building a sandcastle. But here I am in February, praying for the snow to melt and for Spring to come. Every year around this time we would go down there and it was gorgeous. Even if it wasn't super warm, just the change of scene was so positive for our mental well-being.

So I made the decision and we're going in early March. My MIL is one of the kindest, most patient people on the planet. And I'm not just saying that in case she reads my blog. It's totally true. This summer they were both screaming their heads off and she just turned to me, smiled and laughed and I was instantly calm amid the storm. She is going to fly up to CT, help us get our acts together and then we'll go back down together. My husband is meeting us there from a business trip in New Orleans. After a few days, he'll come back with me and the girls.

When I first became pregnant I saw this t-shirt online and thought it was hilarious. I think I may get two for the girls so they can wear them on the plane. I mean, how perfect?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here we go again ...

On June 25, 2008, I abruptly gave up my first blog brooklyn enthusiast. My water broke in our apartment. I grabbed my hospital bag and jumped into a cab to NY Presbyterian-Weill Cornell (side note: how could the largest hospital in NYC be "out of network" for our insurance? We're still getting bills, but I digress ...). Five days later, we put our tiny twin girls into our new jumbo-sized car (no, not a minivan) and headed up the FDR to I95. This would be my second time leaving Manhattan for Fairfield County.

I guess it was at the 12 week ultrasound. I was lying down on the table and Dr. C was doing the sonogram. He was pointing out the various parts of the baby blob on his old school 6x6" monitor when my husband leaned over his shoulder and pointed to the screen.

"What's that other blob?" he asked, all the while knowing exactly what is was. "Oh I was just about to get to that ... it looks like you're having twins!" said Dr. C.

I grew up in Manhattan, which I guess makes me a "real" New Yorker. My parents moved our family to CT just before I was set to enter eighth grade. After living in Boston for several years, we moved back to Manhattan into a an apartment on 34th street, surrounded by the amazing Empire State Building, the obnoxious traffic from Queens/Midtown tunnel and New York University Hospital, which coincidentially I was born at in the late 70s. My husband is from CT so we always knew we would probably end up back here someday -- we just never realized how soon.

My identical girl twins are almost 8 months now. It's true what they say about time flying. I miss Brooklyn, but moving here was the right thing to do for our family. I also miss blogging. Writing has always been my passion. So, here we go again ... introducing Twinthusiast!

This blog is not intended to be an advertisement for baby stuff, but I will definitely go into the things my girls like, dislike and things I love and hate. There will of course be the occasional food tangent and rant. I hope people will enjoy my sense of humor, likely sarcastic at times, and join in on commenting about raising children. Enjoy!