Featured Blogger: Kyle of The Kopp Twins

The featured blogger this week is Kyle of Kopp Twins. Kyle is the proud Dad of 15 month old girls, Arianna and Genevieve. Kyle’s blog is one of the few Daddy blogs that we have in our community so be sure to show him lots of love!

How did you get in to blogging?

It was pretty much out of necessity. We lost our first daughter late in the pregnancy so with the twins we were already considered high risk, even before finding out there were two of them. With a large and spread out family I found we were being barraged with update requests from concerned loved ones so I started a web site where everyone could go and get their answers. I then began taking a picture of my wife every day and was turning this into a video so there was a lot of traffic coming in to the site for that. After a period where I didn’t update for a few weeks (I think we were on vacation or something) I started, again, getting calls from concerned people so I made sure I blogged as often as possible after that and it just kind of snowballed from there.

How did you react to the news of twins?

I started cheering and pumping my fists in to the air. The doctor was very confused. I’d actually had a crazy dream about 3 months before we conceived the girls and I was 100% convinced we were having triplets. I made a side bet with my wife that we were having more than one baby, so initially I was just kind of just excited to be right (it doesn’t happen that often). We were driving up to a friend’s house (about 5 hours away) right after that appointment and that drive was a surreal experience. We went from elation to hysterics and back to elation again as we tried to absorb what this meant. Then we’d sit in silence for a long while until we both erupted in laughter. Having lost our daughter about 6 months prior I think it was one of those amazing yet bitter sweet things. We would not have our wonderful girls without having had that loss. That notion weighed heavy on us the first few weeks of the pregnancy.

I am amazed at how you work, take care of some seriously adorable twins, blog AND are in school, how do you do it?

I try not to think about it. I put my head down and I get it done. I have this fear that if I pop my head up and dwell on it I’m going to talk myself out of a lot of the things I do. Work is work; bills have to be paid and there’s not really much of a choice there. My girls are my life; there’s nothing more important to me than them so when I get home they have my full attention. After they go down my family is still my priority and their future is what matters most. It’s much easier to open a case book and study when you consider the weight that’s attached to your success. I also have an amazing support system in my wife. Parenting is teamwork and she is behind me in everything I do just as I am for her. Add to that I’ve mastered multitasking. I have two monitors at work and I usually have 4 things I’m working on at any given time; I just sneak the blogging in during this period.

What is some of the best advice you could offer a new dad of multiples?

Breath. Record. Absorb. It all flies by so fast, the moment the nurse hands them to you, you blink and they’re sitting up, you blink again and they’re walking; it’s easy to forget that breathing is crucial to your survival in the midst of that. It’s also easy to forget the whole experience entirely. Record everything. I have a flip video camera, a digital camera and a cell phone on me almost all the time. I have so much of my daughters’ lives captured on media it’ll blow your mind (and it drives my facebook friends crazy too). At night, when I need a break, I just pull up a video of their first day, or their first steps or some silly thing that happened and it powers me through. Blogging is a form of recording. Much of my first blog entries after they were born were simply stories of how the night before went. I would write as more of cathartic experience, but as I wrote it out I realized it was both amazing and hilarious; it helped take away the exhaustion and frustration that tend to creep in. Go back and read. It helps you realize what an amazing job your actually doing (which is easy to forget) because look at how far they’ve come in a few months. Absorb them. Absorb all of it. It’s easy for dads to step back and become spectators – I challenge you to get right in to it. Wife needs a break? Offer to be solo parent for a night (if she can do it, there’s no reason you can’t). Get down on the floor with your children, bond with them. They’ve had 9 months or so of bonding time with mom, you have to work hard to try and get up to that level. When they were blobby I would lie down on the floor in between them and just experience that moment with them. They would grab my hair, my face, my ears and just laugh hysterically about it. Getting physically close with them gets you emotionally close with them. There will be plenty of time later in life that they want nothing to do with you; enjoy the brief moment that they want you around.

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

Every couple of weeks the girls come to my work and take me out to lunch. Sometimes we go to a restaurant, sometimes we go to a park with sandwiches. It’s not a big extravagant thing, but it makes my day so much better. Going to work is the hardest part of my life because I would do anything just to be at home with them. Having them break up the monotony really is a joy. Aside from that I enjoy anything that engages them. I love watching them pound on the glass at the aquarium, amazed at all the colorful fish. We go to a playground and they go crazy. Feeding ducks at the park is epic for them. There is also a place near us called Pretend City that is a giant warehouse converted in to a miniature world for kids. Running around after them as they bounce from building to building, car to car, activity to activity is magic. I could go on in this section forever. Everything we do is enjoyable from the mundane to the exotic; just being with them. … that’s my favorite activity.

If you had an extra hour in each day how would you spend it?

With them. Whatever that equates to. Bath time, lunch time, play time; I’m not picky. If I didn’t have to work for a living I’d still get up at 5 o’clock to knock out life’s requirements so that when they’re up I can enjoy them. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a heck of a multitasker, so give me an extra hour and it’s gravy. Now, tell my wife you’ve given me an extra hour and I’m sure she could find plenty for me to do.

What question(s) do you have for the other community members?

Do you always feel like the rest of the world is trying to compete with you? I can’t tell you how many parents with children a year or so apart in age try to convince me that it’s just like having twins. No. It’s not. When we have another child I’m not going to tell a parent of triplets that it’s the same thing.

Do people constantly assume you are done having kids? I’m always getting that – “it must be so nice to get them out of the way at the same time and be done.” I hate that. It’s like I’m being given a procreation cap. It’s not like I’ve got 18, I’ve got 2.

And a practical one: how do you stop the biting? My girls are eating each other alive. They’re sneaky too, because they know they’ll get in trouble; they start with a kiss (how do you scold a kiss) and then BITE! I’m kind of concerned there was a dormant cannibal gene one of us passed along.

Be sure to leave your answers to Kyle’s questions in the comment section and then stop over by Kopp Twins to leave some bloggy love!

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9 comments

  1. "Do you always feel like the rest of the world is trying to compete with you?"
    Yes. This drives me nuts. Exactly as you said – I don't tell parents of triplets that my twins plus one are like triplets. They're not and I know it.

    "Do people constantly assume you are done having kids?"
    They did. And then I got pregnant again. Ha, I showed them.

    "How do you stop the biting?"
    Hmm…this one's a toughy. The first time my son bit my daughter, she bit him right back. The neither one ever did it again. I guess I got lucky. I hope some of the other moms have an answer for that one!

  2. I love the idea of lunches together! That's so cute. We might need to start surprising my husband for lunch. 🙂

    As far as your questions, I get asked constantly if we're finished…especially since we have a boy and a girl. Everyone assumes since we have one of each gender that we would be done. Until we announced that we're expecting again and due right before the twins turn one. I'm sure after this next one is born, we'll still get asked. I wonder if parents of singletons get asked this after their second child.

  3. People don't ask if we're done having kids, they just assume since we have 2 girls and a boy. I find it very annoying. And yes I get told all the time that having kids 11, 13, 16 months apart is just like having twins. Um no it's not. Next time you think so, I'll let you borrow my kids so you can figure it out for myself. On the biting, my son bites but his sister doesn't bite back. We haven't figured out what to do about it either.

  4. It's quite annoying to have parents of kids close in age tell me it's the same. I tend to roll my eyes at those comments. Those mothers weren't pregnant with multiples, they didn't care for screaming newborn twins, and one of their children was probably close to, if not sleeping through the night when the other came along. It's very different. We actually had a couple with triplets come up to us in the store one day and tell us how easy we have it with only having twins. I had to agree with them.

    Yep, the assumption is that we are done. We've got three frozen embryos and I usually tell people that. Their next question is typically "Will you try for triplets?!" Good God, no. We'll go one at a time for the next ones.

    Ah, the biting. I assume it will go on until one of them decides to take his twin's finger off.

  5. I love the lunch idea, too! I'm totally going to use that when the weather gets warmer here.

    As for the biting, we went through that (our twins are now 2), it is very frustrating at the time but it does pass. I just made sure I picked up and held whomever got bit and showed them lots of consoling so the other one could see. Then, I explained that biting hurts, etc, etc. Not sure if the explanation helped but eventually the biting did stop after a couple weeks.

  6. The parents of singletons comparing themselves to raising twins thing drives me INSANE! Some of my closest friends even say it and I just want to explode and say, "NO it is NOT!"

    We have 4 kids, 10…6…twins 2. So we get the Are you done question A LOT!

    As for the biting, I would love to see everyone's answers because my boys are currently nicknamed The Biter and The Pincher. Of course they only bite/pinch each other. We have been doing time outs and loving on the hurt one. I have also tried napping them independently. And finally I invested in a video monitor system, so that during the together naps I can see when things are escallating and intervene. It is getting much better.

  7. Oh yeah – it's an interesting ride isn't it? You are so blessed! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter, but so happy that your twin girls are in your life!

    We don't get asked as much as told that we are done. With 5 kids under 6 (well, when the boys were born our son was 5 and the girls were 4) people simply assumed that we couldn't possibly want another. But we might – never say never, right? Who knows what God has in store for us. It's certainly going to be interesting to find out!

    We don't have biting, but did go through a phase with the girls when Teagan would hit Meg all the time. She's finally gotten over that, but I honestly can't pinpoint one thing that helped in particular. It was just something she outgrew.

    Oh yeah, people are always trying to one-up us. It's particularly funny when we only have the boys with us and people say "Oh, well I had kids 11 months apart, so it's just like you." And then they find out we have another set of twins and don't know what to say. They usually finally utter "God bless you" and walk away. But the truth is, they have no idea what it's like to be blessed with twins – even through all the hard times, there's so much joy there that parents of singletons just won't ever be able to understand. It's a completely different ballgame. 🙂

  8. Haha, I love your blog! What a great interview, thanks! I am in kind of a unique position to answer that question as I have two older kids (boy and girl, 4 and 5 years old) that are only 12 months apart and then I also have 12 month old triplets. And I can tell you definitively that while there are certainly similarities to the two unique situations, having two kids close together is NOT just like having twins. When my big kids were little everywhere we went people would say to us "are they twins?". When I said no, they're 12 months apart everyone would respond with "Oh, well that's just like twins then!!". I'd always say "um no. I don't think ANYTHING can compare to having two screaming newborns at the same time". But maybe that's why people who have two kids close together in age are so inclined to tell you that their situation is just like yours- because the general public tells them that everywhere they go. I guarantee you if you had another baby within a year of having your twins, everywhere you went the general public would tell you it was just like having triplets. That's just how people are.

    That being said, the game changes after the kids turn about 3 years old. After that point the twin-ness becomes much less unique a situation as they are fully verbal and more self sufficient. By this point, two kids less then a year apart in age do everything together, rely on each other for most things, are on the same soccer teams, in the same groups of friends, often times even in the same grade at school, and consider each other equals. Not to negate the bond that comes from having a womb mate but maybe in a couple of years those comments of "I have a 5 year old and 6 year old, I kind of know what you're going through" will ring a little bit more true then they did when they were infants.

    And yes everyone assumes you're done having kids after two and it's not just a multiples thing. When my older two were little everyone said the same things to us "Oh how hard that must have been so close together! But at least it's all out of the way and you are done now!". Um, yeah. Thanks for making that decision for me. I guess we showed them all just how "done" we were by dropping triplets 🙂

  9. What a great blog you have and I love how involved you are as a father..that is awesome. My husband is also a great dad but he told me the blogging is my thing not his 🙂

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