Featured Blogger: Amanda of Twice the Love…Half the Sleep

Do you ever wonder what kind of people are coming up with this crazy multiples blog? I mean, what kind of multiple moms have time for this stuff? Um.. we do, sorta. Well not really but we do it anyway because we love it! We have so much fun learning about all of you, that we thought it would be fun to share a little more about ourselves today. This week our featured blogger interview is with none other than Amanda, of Twice the Love.. Half the Sleep, and co-author of the Multiples and More Blog! She’s the proud mom of 2 year old fraternal twins, Aaron and Jillian.

 

L:Tell us a little about your pregnancy; did you have any complications?

A: I was sick from the moment I found out I was pregnant. The only thing I could really hold down was McDonald’s double cheeseburgers (no pickles) and fries. Before I went in for my seven week appointment my doctor prescribed me Zofran which helped for a little while and then we had to add Reglan during my final trimester. The only time in my 37 weeks and 5 days of being pregnant that I wasn’t sick or nauseous was the second trimester. The only other complication I had was I developed PUPPS during my last few weeks.

L: Did you make it to your c-section date or go into labor early?

A: I actually went into labor less than 12 hours before my scheduled c-section. Scott and I had literally just finished packing my bag for the hospital and crawled into bed excited about our last night of uninterrupted sleep. Scott even asked “I wonder how long you would have gone if you c-section wasn’t tomorrow?”. He hadn’t even finished saying “tomorrow” when my water broke. I have to share what happened next because it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever experienced. So my water breaks and I jumped out of bed because all I could remember was the lamaze instructor saying you would need to throw out your mattress if any fluid got on it, to this day Scott is still impressed at how quickly I moved considering I looked like a beached whale. As I’m pulling myself together Scott ran down the hall to tell my parents that we were leaving, my Mom, no joke, said “Oh that’s nice” rolled over and went back to sleep. 5 minutes later she was in our room asking what was going on while my Dad was outside lining our car with garbage bags and towels. He even tried to buckle me in, it was hilarious. We were at the hospital within 30 minutes and the kids were born at 3:27 and 3:29 am, about 4 hours before I was scheduled to be admitted.

L: Tell us a little about your family- what are their personalities like? Don’t leave out Scott!

A: Oh my gosh where do I even start? Scott has a larger than life personality when he’s not working. The best way to describe him is if you’ve seen the movie Up, he’s a lot like Russell, a character we believe was based on him. He actually met John Lassiter of Pixar when working at Disney and spent several hours with him. John is known for basing his characters on people he knows or meets. Still waiting on the royalty check for that one. I mean look at the resemblance:

Aaron is a mini Scott in every way. He’s very much a Momma’s boy and loves his snuggle time. He’s the more passive of the two, always has been. I’m waiting for the day he realizes that he has a few pounds on Jill and can knock her to the ground. He’s also very much a boy, trucks, cars and airplanes are his toys of choice.

Jillian…oh Jillian. She is her own person, always has been. She’s the dominant twin for sure and loves to run the show. She’s also incredibly stubborn, something unfortunately I think she inherited from me. It may work to her advantage one day though. She’s also the typical girl, she loves her princesses (or as she says “pretties”) and just got her first Barbie-esque doll that has yet to leave her side.

L: What was Scott’s reaction when he found out you were having twins?

A: As long as I live I will never forget his reaction! Scott is very much about gadgets so he was right up against the screen during the first ultrasound and when we saw one of the babies he was really studying him/her. Then my doctor was checking everything out since I had recently had a LEEP and she said “Oh what is that?”. Our hearts literally sank because we immediately thought we had gotten pregnant too soon after the LEEP and something was wrong. So Scott planted himself up against the screen to see what was going on and when she said it was another baby he almost hit the floor. He was stumbling around the room looking for a chair, finally sat down, looked at me and said “Two?!”. I cried and laughed at the same time, which is a highly unattractive sound by the way, and he immediately sent out texts to all our friends that simply read “Twins”. We were pretty shell shocked for a few weeks.

L: What do you like best about being a stay at home mom? What do you like least about it?

A: I love that I get to see them grow up and get to be there for every milestone. Sometimes though I want to pull my hair out, but that’s normal, right? Another thing I love is that I get to color in coloring books and not be judged, it’s awesome, I love to color. The thing I like least is obviously not having a second income, but we’ve learned to work around it.

L: What is your favorite thing to do as a family? What is your favorite thing to do when you get a night out with just Scott?

A: We really like to do things that involve animals, whether it’s the zoo or aquarium. We spend a lot of time at Disney and Seaworld too, it’s just one of the perks of living in Central Florida. We took the kids to the beach this summer for the first time and they are hooked. We also love going to the library (geeks much?) and hanging out in the kids section.

When Scott and I get a night out we love to go to dinner. We’re kind of foodies and love a great meal and great wine. Plus, it’s nice to be able to eat while the food is still hot. We are also huge sports fans, mainly college football and baseball, so if we get an opportunity to catch a game, that’s a perfect date night for us.

L: Do you guys plan on having more children?

A: We would love to, right now we want to wait until they are out of diapers. I come from a big family (I’m the youngest of 6), so I always knew I wanted a lot of kids. Scott is the youngest of two and in the beginning thought we would play it by ear after one, now he’d love another one (or two).

L: I am in awe of your cooking skills. I just don’t it. Where does that come from? And what are some of your favorite recipes?

A: Thanks! I wasn’t always a good cook, just ask Scott. When we first met he thought all I knew how to make was Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese and grilled chicken. I just didn’t have the desire to cook then, I mean I was a college student. Now I make almost every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch. My Mom always made our dinner, we rarely ate out, so I think that’s where I get it from. My true love is baking though, I get that from my Grandma. I spent most of my childhood at her house and she could bake just about anything. If you have a couple of really good cookbooks there’s nothing you can’t make, that’s my philosophy.

Some of my favorites are:

Apple Oven Pancake (Dutch Baby): This is super simple and great for breakfast/brunch
Cheddar Cheese Soup: This is the recipe from Le Cellier in EPCOT, it’s so delicious!
Spicy Seared Swordfish with Tomato-Garlic Relish: Has just enough heat to it, not overpowering at all.
Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes: I love blue cheese, so these were a no brainer.
Blueberry Health Muffins: These are crazy delicious, I can practically eat my body weight in these.
Scotch Shortbread: Really buttery, really good.
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Fig: Perfect for fall

There are a ton more recipes that I make that are not on my blog. I try to pick a new recipe each week to make, just to try. Sometimes they work, sometimes they are epic fails. My favorite cookbooks to use are, Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking, Better Homes and Garden, Delicious Disney and my high school bands cookbook. I also use sites like Weelicious.com, Epicurious and Food Network to find new recipes. Funnily enough as I’m filling this out I have cream cheese chocolate brownies in the oven.

L: If you were given 20,000 dollars, on the condition that you spend it all in less than one day- what would you do with it?

A: Responsible me says I’d finish paying off our cars and put the remainder towards our house. The fun loving side of me says I would put it towards a fun family vacation, you know the all inclusive kind where you are spoiled rotten. Maybe in Hawaii?

L: You recently resumed taking classes after taking a few years off! How are you balancing school, family, and the 85 other things you do everyday?

A: For me, it’s all about prioritizing. I have a never ending to do list and I just try and get as much done as possible each day. I also try and give myself a cut off time, usually after nap time. Whatever doesn’t get done by that time, that isn’t super important, can wait until tomorrow. If I didn’t do that I think I’d be wearing a straight jacket.

L: Tell us your most embarrassing moment since having kids.

A: Pretty much every single day has at least one embarrassing moment in it. I’m the type of person that embarrasses easily, too easily actually, which is not conducive to having a husband with zero shame. I have to say one of the most embarrassing moments was when my son pretty much exposed me in the middle of mass. The piano players eyes were like saucers and I was doing everything in my power to fix my shirt. Thankfully all the goods were not seen, but it was pretty hard to look the guy in the eye after that.

L:What do you think you have gained from co-authoring the Multiples and More blog?

A: What haven’t I gained? I have gotten to interview so many great people, not just experts, but bloggers too. The whole concept of Multiples and More was born out of our need for more information. We couldn’t find it anywhere else so we thought, hey let’s just do it ourselves! It also gave me a creative outlet, and something that was “mine”, if that makes sense.

L: If you had to give one single piece of advice to a mom who just found out she was pregnant with twins, what would it be?

A: Read Dr. Luke’s book, then read Cheryl Lage’s book Twinspiration, then Elizabeth Lyons’ series Ready or Not. Get as much information as you can before those babies are born! Rest as much as possible because you will not have a chance after they are born. Finally, enjoy it! Having twins is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

L: What is your question for our readers today?

Wow, it was actually harder to come up with a question, since we get to ask one every Sunday, but here it is:

How do you encourage sharing? What if one child absolutely will not share, even if they are not playing with the toy in question?

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Don’t forget to stop by Twice the Love… Half the Sleep today and say hello to Amanda!

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11 comments

  1. LOVED reading about you, Amanda!!

  2. Ok I am going to go to the store and try some of those cupcakes and muffins and soup!! MMM!

  3. I loved this. It was great getting to know Amanda a little better. 🙂

  4. Great post! I enjoyed reading about it, and I do enjoy reading your blog.

  5. Loved this post! So fun to get to know you a bit better!

    I'm blessed with boys who share well 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, I use the timer on my microwave. I set the timer in 3-5 minute increments and each time it goes off, the desired object goes to someone else. Works beautifully!

    http://www.threetimesthegiggles.com

  6. I didn't push the sharing issue too much when they were younger. If someone had a toy, it was theirs to play with. When they were done, the other sister could have it.

    Now that they're 2.5, they are really good at taking turns and sharing, but every once in a while they don't want to, and I don't push it. Sometimes it's okay to just say this is mine, and I"m playing with it right now.

  7. Props to you for going back to school! That's amazing!

  8. Hi Amanda. Your family is adorable. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes. 🙂

  9. My b/g twins are going to be 3 in December and we used sign lanuguage when the kids were little. Now there are a small handful of signs that we use (that are SO useful when we are across the room or in a public setting). The sign for 'sharing' is pointer finger and thumb out and rotate your wrist. We pracitice/model it a lot and talk about how it makes other people feel when we share with them (happy!). For example: I will ask my husband for a toy (and use the sign). After he gives it to me, I turn to the kids and say, "What did daddy do?!" They say, "Share" and model the sign. "How does mommy feeel?" "Happy!" They get really excited and, believe me, it does not work every time…but it works a lot with their twin and other kids. Also, I don't push sharing every time…but we do work on it a lot, especially since we are expecting a new baby next month and as the big sister and big brother they are going to have to share/be gentle to the new baby.
    In the area of taking turns…we either use a timer or count to 5 and then switch. We try to have them high 5 eachother and say, "Your turn" before the switch so that it is a positive/polite experience for both kids.
    Sorry this is so long…hope it helps;)
    Loved your interview.
    Trina

  10. Yum to double cheeseburgers!!! Love the cooking! Twinspiration is a great book for twins moms-to-be!

  11. Your story sounds like mine, constant sickness, PUPPPs…no fun!

    Sharing. We're working on this. I've got one who will steal toys/books from the other one just to take it away. Then he'll throw it over the baby gate into the kitchen so it's out of reach. This brings out lots of crying and screaming of course. We had been putting toys they were fighting over on "time-out" but I think that is backfiring on us and Wyatt is starting to put things on "time-out" whenever he sees fit. They aren't yet two, so I think we have a little time.

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