Featured Blogger: Allie of 3 boys + 1 Hubby = What’s Next?

This weeks featured blogger is Allie of 3 Boys + 1 Hubby = What’s Next?.
Allie is the proud MoM of mirror image identical twin boys, Nathaniel and Tyler (7) and Bradley (2).

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What made you decide to start a blog?

I had tried different ways of recording moments in the twins lives that meant something to me, but nothing ever seemed to work. I have an old journal, and a couple of different computer files that have maybe three or four “moments” in them each. After we had a momentous night at a baseball game, I decided that I had to find another way to write down all of their moments before I forgot them all. This sparked the idea for the blog – and happily, it has been easy to keep up with.
How did you react to finding out you were having twins?

Although I was shocked of twins, that emotion was overshadowed by the fact that I was not losing yet another pregnancy. I had gone in for the ultrasound after some spotting, for the second time in a week. I was so afraid that something was wrong, I felt like having twins was just making up for all that I had lost.

Your boys are mirror image, can you talk about having mirror image twins?

Mirror image twins just add a different spin on the world of twins. In addition to being identical, all of their traits are mirror image of each other. One is left handed, the other right. The swirls on the back of their heads, are on opposite sides, and go in opposite directions. In our daily life, it doesn’t affect the things we do, other than having assigned seats at dinner as to not knock elbows. What I enjoy is watching them take pictures or react to a situation. While their reactions may be exactly the same emotion and mannerism, the mannerism itself will manifest in mirror image. If they shake a fist at you, it will be the opposite fist or opposite eyebrows will get raised. I enjoy watching them sometimes, just because it amazes me.

Since your boys are school age, did you keep them in the same class or separate them? How did you come upon that decision?

Whether or not to put them in the same class in school was probably one of the most thought out decisions we’ve made thus far in parenting. Our school allows the parents to chose whether our kids are in the same class or split up, so it was left completely up to us.

I started looking for answers when they were only 4 years old. I talked to their preschool teacher, who happened to be a retired elementary school teacher. She told me I should separate them to help them establish their own personalities and friends. I read books that said I needed to be careful of the fear of separation that a lot of twins go through (including ours). I talked to a family friend who is a psychologist , who said I should keep them together the first year. All this advice varied across the spectrum.

I knew that every child makes it through the first day of school, and that twins are lucky enough to be able to share parts of it with each other. I knew they needed to develop their own friends and personalities, but they were doing that pretty well together in preschool. Ultimately, it came down to an incident I saw occur one day. I watched as they were working on writing their numbers and Nathaniel didn’t know the answer, he just looked to his brother for it. Of course Tyler gave him every answer he needed. I realized, together they would not learn as well as they would separately. Tyler, excelling in math, would just let Nathaniel latch on, and the opposite would happen in reading. I wanted them to be able to stand on their own feet in the world and not have to rely on each other.

I wrote a letter to the principal asking that they be placed in separate classes, but also where the teachers worked closely with one another. This helps me at night when we are doing homework, because I don’t have to go over two completely different concepts. It was a little scary for them at first, but they were right next door to each other and saw each other throughout the day. Now that they are in the second grade, they are happy to be in separate classes, and enjoy having a break from the brother, they can’t ever get away from.

Do they play tricks on the teachers, or you?

They’ve attempted to trick Mommy and Daddy a few times. The only time it ever worked was when they had on Spiderman masks and I really couldn’t tell who was who.

They only tried to trick their teachers once that I know about, and a friend gave them away. Their teachers have never been able to tell them apart (even though they are currently sporting different haircuts), and rely on them to be honest majority of the time. I am waiting for the day when I get a phone call because one of them is in the wrong class.

What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?

I am a big advocate of experience over having stuff. We love to play outdoors or go places or do things that give us time together. In the cold winter, when we don’t’ get out as much, we really enjoy game nights. The twins got Monopoly for Christmas and it has been a hit at our house. So far, Mommy has only managed to win once, and Daddy hasn’t won yet at all.

What question do you have for the other MoMs and Dads in the community?

What do you do when it is cold outside and you don’t want the television on?

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Be sure to leave your answer to Allie’s question in the comment section and head over to 3 Boys + 1 Hubby and leave some bloggy love!
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14 comments

  1. my girls are 2.5 years old and we love to paint!! i buy the HUGE packages of cheap paper plates and let them go to town!! it's water based paint and super easy to clean. they use brushes, their hands, and even cut up fruits and veggies to make different patterns.

    we also bought the girls an easel (one side dry-erase, the other chalk) this has really helped with learning their alphabet and numbers.

    you could also try this website… zoodles.com
    it's for younger children and keeps track of what games they play, how often they play and how well they do. it a secure website and doesn't allow the kids to click on any adds so it's completely safe!! you should try it!! 🙂

    hope this helps!

  2. crafts, crafts, crafts! I have searched out and found a ton of fun crafting blogs where i can find lots of neat ideas for things to do with my kids.
    We also play a lot of games and my older kids like to make up skits to do for the younger kids too 🙂

  3. To answer your question, we're fortunate to live somewhere with a good selection of indoor activities. We're members of the Children's Museum, and love our local library. In a pinch, we'll hit the playscape at Chick-Fil-A. At home, we cook together a lot and play board games. My girls are deeply in the Age of Pretend, so that can keep them entertained for hours.

    A question for you: how do you feel about the fact that their teachers can't tell them apart? I suppose it's more understandable (?) since they're in different classes, but it drives me absolutely nuts when my daughters' teachers don't make the effort to distinguish them. In fact, we moved them to a different daycare when their teacher refused to treat them as individuals.

    My daughters are three, and starting to get frustrated when their friends get them confused, but apart from the one teacher we didn't like, their teachers have always been marvelous at getting to know them as individuals. Our plan is to keep them in the same class in daycare, and split them up in elementary school (first grade).

  4. Sadia-
    One, you are so lucky to live in a town with a selection of places to go. We have the library and well, the library – which we go to a lot.

    Two, We have been very lucky with our teachers, it takes a few months, but eventually they are able to tell them apart. Even though they are in different classes, they end up together for a lot of things, and the teachers have to be able to tell the difference.
    It took a couple of years for the boys to understand why their friends couldn't tell them apart. But at this point they think nothing of it when someone calls them the wrong name.

    I think you have a great plan as to when to split them. Make sure and talk to the elementary school about what they need, and hopefully they wll work with you.

  5. I love hearing what other moms are doing to keep their kids busy. Thanks for the ideas.

  6. wow! great post!! They are just adorable!!What we do is put on music(kids stuff) and dance clap and get silly!!Mine are only 17 months but they love it and they are learning, moving and giggling without t.v.!

  7. I enjoy Allie's blog and it was nice to see that she is the FB today!

    Her answer about keeping her twins in the same class or not was interesting to read. I often wonder about that with my twins who just started kindergarten. They're in the same class now and don't seem to have any issues but they are boy/girl with very different interests. I may have a problem when it comes to the 2nd set of twins who are both boys.

  8. Great interview! My cousins are mirror image twins and got away with switching classes when they were 9 or 10. They got caught about 3 hours in and got sent to the principals office. Oops!

    As for your question, we do a lot of reading. Mine are 20 months old but my singleton is 4 and we read. A lot. We also like board games, coloring and cleaning. Hey, if we're inside they may as well help me! 🙂

  9. Great interview! I'm a teacher and I am a little shocked to read that the TEACHERS can't tell your boys apart. From a teacher's stand point, I would think that they should be able to make some effort to tell your boys (who are each unique individuals!!!) apart…especially since you said they currently have different haircuts!!! Sorry…I'll get off my teaching soap box now…

    When it's cold outside, I try to keep my kids entertained with trips to the library and an area children's museum. If we stay home, we put on music to dance, read books, paint, and cook together. One day when the girls really wanted to go outside to play in the snow but it was too cold, I brought snow inside. I filled up two big bowls with snow and they played with the snow on cookie sheets at the table. It was fun!

  10. Great interview. Allie have a wonderful blog.

  11. We do crafting, painting and baking together. We also just openly play with trucks and pretend play. That is a great interview!

  12. The Adventures of Grunty and Chubbs

    Mine are 17 months and they will just play with their toys for hours! Having snacks keeps them happy if they get crabby. We also do some "I'm gonna getcha" to get their energy out. I haven't gotten brave enough to try any crafts yet.

    I'm lucky enough to be in a warm climate year round, though, so there are not many days that we can't get outside.

  13. First, I did not even know there was such a thing as a mirror twin, so thank you for providing me with some interesting facts to chew on.

    To answer your question: It is cold here in Illinois for months. I'm lucky that my three like to play together and find plenty to do with their toys and their imaginations. The tv comes on at some point in the day, but it is rare that they actually sit and watch it. We listen to a lot of music around here and they seem to enjoy having it on. At night when the twins go to bed, I'll sit with my oldest and we will color, put together puzzles, or read.

  14. Thank you for talking about Mirror Image twins that was really interesting and it always fun to learn about older twins 🙂

    As for us we do a ton of crafts, ball pit and sometimes even an indoor sandpit with lots of blankets to collect the sand 🙂

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