Featured Blogger Interview: Lisa of Two Bears Farm

Today’s Featured Blogger Interview is with Lisa, of Two Bears Farm! Lisa is a marathon running, farm-living, psychology-teaching mom 3 year old Pierce, and 9 month old twins, Reid and Cort. We know you’ll enjoy learning more about this extraordinary MoM!

L: You have mentioned that you haven’t missed a day of blogging since you started 5 months ago- what do you enjoy most about keeping a blog?

Lisa: Blogging is a chance for me to focus on the highlights of every day. Let’s face it – sometimes there can be a lot of drudgery in running a household. Focusing on the fun parts of our days through blogging is such a positive and creative outlet. And once in a while, it’s nice to vent too.

L: What kinds of plants/animals do you keep on your farm? Is growing organically something that you try to do?Lisa: We have chickens (both layers and fryers) along with two horses, a pony, a dog and four cats. We have a hay crop each year that we harvest and sell, and we also grow organic apples (most of which we make into pies and freeze – we enjoy apple pie all year round!). We also get raspberries and more mushrooms which grow naturally. I’d love to have a huge garden, but it just hasn’t been feasible so far time-wise. Hopefully when the boys get a little bigger – then we can put them to work! We like to focus on organic as much as we can (so excited to be getting some organic eggs later this summer) but realistically if we do eventually have a big garden we may have to treat the plants in some way. Virginia has a lot of bugs!

L: When you were pregnant with Reid and Cort, what kind of expectations did you have about having twins? What would you tell a newly-expecting mom of twins about how to handle a multiple pregnancy?

Lisa: Oh gosh, when I first got pregnant I was so scared. I had these visions of myself being so huge that I wouldn’t be able to walk across the room. Thankfully, it wasn’t like that. Yes, I was big (I put on 55+ pounds), and yes, at the end rolling out of bed was tough. And I spent significantly more time peeing at night than sleeping. But I was always mobile and I never had a moment where I felt like it was too much. In fact, I went to 38 weeks, 4 days, and I remember doing some 3 mile hilly walks during that last week in a desperate attempt to get things moving!
For newly pregnant moms, stay away from google! Just way too many negative stories out there. Remember that many people go through twin pregnancies just fine, and take it one day at a time. It’s definitely not worth stressing over things that could happen – because chances are excellent that the end outcome will be just fine.

L: Do you think being a marathon runner has taught you anything that is applicable to raising multiples? What advice would you give to aspiring runners who have difficulty fitting running into their schedule?

Lisa: You don’t have to be an incredible athlete to run marathons. You just have to be willing to be consistent and put in the effort. It’s more a mental race than a physical one.

Likewise, you don’t have to be a Super Nanny persona to parent multiples. Do your best to prep the house, ask for support from family and friends, and hang on for whatever emotional ups and downs will come your way. There will be some rough spots in there, but you’re going to have so much fun too! See…just like a marathon! 😉

Finding time to run can be tricky. We have a treadmill, but I got so sick of it this winter (we had an unusually large amount of snowfall this year). Since I have 3 boys, I don’t have options to take all 3 with me (we don’t have a triple running stroller). Things that work best are either running on my own early in the morning (which I adore – it’s such a great way to start the day) before Paul leaves for work, or meeting up with my local running group (and Paul) after work. We do have a single and double jogging stroller, so Paul pushes Pierce (he always wants the extra Dad-time) and I push the twins.

L: How did you prepare Pierce for the birth of the twins?

Lisa: We got him a boy baby doll which he named Kent that he carried around a lot. He wasn’t even 3 yet, so I don’t think he truly grasped the concept, although he would talk sometimes about the TWO babies in mommy’s tummy. Towards the end, he went to Joann Fabrics with me and I let him choose the material that would be on the twins’ beds (he picked fleece sock monkey frogs – they’re actually very cute and colorful). There is also a Sesame Street video called Three Bears and the New Baby that he watched a few times.

L:I love your idea of “Memory Lane Friday” for a weekly blog carnival. Do you have a favorite memory from your pregnancy with the boys?

Lisa: Oh yes, please stop by for Memory Lane Friday! I wanted to preserve memories for my boys of my own childhood, and each week is a different theme.
Looking back, sometimes the pregnancy seems so surreal. I’m not the type of person that just loves being pregnant, but I did have a good pregnancy and enjoyed seeing the ultrasounds. I think probably my favorite memory was from when I was maybe 32 or so weeks pregnant. I went out to my parents’ lake house to take Pierce swimming. I was trying to get from the dock into this intertube float and of course I was huge and off balance. My mom was going to hand Pierce off to me once I got in. I was trying to hop in gracefully but I ended up plopping in all crazy and to make matters worse, my swimsuit got hung up on this huge nail on the side of the dock. So there I was, baring it all as my swimsuit (and myself) hung on the nail and I floundered about trying to get lose. Finally, my mom managed to unhook my suit as it was tearing and I was cut loose. We both laughed so hard we cried. And I was so glad my mom and Pierce were the only ones around to see!

L: You delivered naturally, with no medical intervention!? Please, elaborate..

Lisa: When I was pregnant with Pierce, I had preeclampsia pretty badly. He stopped growing and they decided to induce at 38 weeks. What followed was a ton of medical intervention, during which I had 2 epidurals. Neither one worked. So I delivered without pain medication and was not very well prepared to do so. In the end, I felt a little unsatisfied with the whole thing (but was thankful he got there safe and sound). I resolved to do things naturally if at all possible for my next birth. Well, then I got pregnant with twins! I did so much online research and there isn’t much out there on birthing twins naturally, but I wanted to try. I found a doula (she has since passed her midwife certification) who was incredible. She did so much education with me about why to try to birth naturally. When the time came, I never asked for meds or even considered it. Yes, the pain was immense. I’m kind of a quiet person and was shocked I could be so loud! I never for a second felt like I couldn’t work through it though. One of the beautiful parts of labor is that you are forced to just surrender and roll with what happens. It’s kind of like reading a really good suspense novel. Things start rolling faster and faster and you just want to know how it’s all going to end! For me, the hardest part went really fast. In fact, my whole labor went fast ( about 3 hours from start to end) so I was fortunate – even if that did make it more intense. Here’s the link to the full birth story: http://twobearsfarm.blogspot.com/2010/01/birth-story-this-is-gonna-be-long-one.html

L: Having had a singleton before your twins, what things do you do differently with Reid and Cort than you did with Pierce?

Lisa: So long as they’re not crying I don’t stress over what they are doing. I don’t have a full time job anymore (but do work part time teaching psych classes) so I have more time to devote towards the twins. As a result, I’ve made their baby food myself. Also, because I’m home more and breastfeeding I delayed starting solids some. With Pierce, I breastfed but I had to pump all day at work, so I started solids a little earlier to take some of the pressure off. Cort has been a temperamental baby, so a lot of times it seems like what we do revolves around what makes Cort happy.

L: Describe a typical day in your household:

Lisa: Tough question! I don’t know if there is a typical day, other than that bedtime is always at 7:30! Most days I try to run and shower in the morning before the boys are up for the day. If we aren’t going anywhere, I often let everyone stay in pjs. I usually just roll with the twins’ cues as far as naptimes go, and they usually take 2 naps a day. Most days are filled with different activities – blocks, outside time, art, lunch, one tv show a day (Pierce almost always choosing Diego), books, more outside time, etc. I will often try to find specific fun crafts to do with Pierce. The days are so busy, they often pass in a whirlwind, and before I know it I’m finally getting to crawl into bed for my one hour of me time – I always read during that hour. I just love that quiet hour, but it sure goes fast. I go to sleep every night at 9:00, because often I’m up for the day at 5:00, and I’ve always needed a lot of sleep.

L: If you won 100 million dollars in the lottery tomorrow- what is the FIRST thing you would do, and why?

Lisa: I guess this is kind of overly practical, but I’d pay off our mortgage first thing! I hate having a debt. I know pretty much everyone has a mortgage, but it still looms over your head sometimes. In Virginia, you can pay $102 a year and the numbers you pick are actually played in the lotto automatically for you twice a week. I actually do this and am still waiting to hear about a big win one day 😉

Lisa’s Question for the Multiples and More readers is:

I’d really like to hear from moms that breastfed twins as to what to expect on weaning. Did one twin end up weaning before the other? How did the whole weaning process go? Any tips?

A big thanks to Lisa for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us today! Please stop by Two Bears Farm today, and show Lisa some Multiples and More love-don’t forget to leave a comment!

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  1. yay, Lisa! Tell Horace I love him. Oh, and I love you too. In a purely non-creepy way 😛

  2. Thanks, Hayley. Right back at ya 🙂

  3. I breastfed my twins and they weaned at separate times. One weaned at 15 months and the other at 26 months. I just let them decided how it was going to go. It definitely fit their personalities!!

  4. Thanks, Lara, that's so interesting. So the one that weaned first never got upset over the other still nursing?

  5. I will enjoy seeing the responses to this question.

    My twin boys are 18 months and show no signs of weaning.

  6. I didn't breastfeed my twins as long as I wanted to because one went on nursing strike and the other self-weaned. These happened two months apart.

    I hear that cabbage leaves in your bra help slow milk production when the time comes. I was lucky, though, that Melody tapered off so gradually that it was painless – physically, at least!

  7. I live in Va too! Totally know what you mean about the bugs 🙂

    I just weaned my girls (on Sunday!). One day Lily decided she was just done, at 7 months. I think my supply was dwindling and she didn't want to have to work for it. She just flat out refused to latch and would pull her head back and scream. It wasn't worth the stress for either of us to continue. I kept feeding Sophie and it never bothered Lily. I slowly cut out feedings though- about one a week. This last week I could breast feed and then Sophie would still take an entire bottle. She was also more interested in what was going on around her. So when I was down to one feeding after a week or so I just stopped. I enjoyed one last time and quit. Sophie hasn't noticed. I tried to bf her to sleep last night and she would have none of it. I really feel like babies pretty much decide when they are done. My girls are only 8 months but my supply was never great so we are done. I'm glad I could go as long as I did though. Best of luck!!

  8. Congrats on the feature Lisa! I loved reading your story all over again!

  9. I so enjoy your blog Lisa, your running always inspires me! Off to read your birth story . . . .

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