The featured blogger this week is Kellie of The Peapod! Kellie is the proud MoM of 10 year old Big Girl, and 2 1/2 year old twins Buddy Twin and Bunny Twin.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog for two reasons: because I love to write, and I wanted to share things I have learned with others, particularly when raising my twins. Although there seems to be a lot of how-to information for twin parents of infants, once the children reach their first birthday, there is definitely a void.
How was your twin pregnancy?
It was relatively easy. I did have secondary infertility, and became pregnant as a result of one round of IVF — I feel I am extremely lucky because I know others were not as fortunate. I did have morning sickness early on, but after that I was active and busy until about the 30-week mark. We even took a trip to Disney World during my second trimester. At 30 weeks, I started to slow down a bit. I did not get instructed to have bed rest and take it easy, but I definitely needed to take care of myself and rest at the end. I delivered at 37 weeks via C-section, and I was ready! The twins were due in early Jan., but I was worried about being in the hospital at Christmas during the height of the swine flu epidemic and not being able to see my oldest since children could not visit the hospital at the time. I delivered on Dec. 15 and was home on Dec. 18, with plenty of time to enjoy the new babies and the holiday.
What advice would you offer soon-to-be parents of twins or new parents of twins?
Get organized and clear out as much clutter as you can from your house. Give everything a place, and if you have older kids, get them organized as well. Stock the pantry and freeze some meals. And if possible, stock up on diapers, wipes and formula (if you are not breast-feeding). These may seem like simple things, but the first few months can be crazy and having an organized home with supplies can help. Also, lower your expectations about housework or don’t worry about staying in your PJs all day. Expect to accept help when offered. I was always grateful when a friend or my mom brought me a meal or some groceries, or came over and helped me fold laundry or watched the babies so I could take a shower or run to the store by myself. And I would like to share my mantra, which I use even now when the twins are getting into everything: “Someday I will wish they are this small.” Enjoy each stage and don’t stress about how hard it is. Wear your Mom of Multiples (or Dad of Multiples) badge with honor because you deserve it!
Big Girl is 7 years older than Bunny Twin and Buddy Twin, were there any issues with her adjusting to not being an only child?
When I was pregnant, I was very aware of the impending change and worried about how it would affect her. She really did want siblings, so the whole pregnancy and baby thing was super exciting for her. We were sure to tell her how special it would be to have twin siblings, and that not everyone could say that. I thought the tide would turn and the baby thing would grow old with her after a few months, but she is doing very well 2 1/2 years later. My husband and I made a very big point, early on, to do things with her alone — take her to dinner, out to a movie, to an activity, etc., and continue to make her feel special. We still do that. Luckily my parents live nearby and can watch the twins so I can continue to participate in Big Girl’s activities as well as volunteer in her school as needed. All these efforts to keep her life consistent seemed to have eased the transition. She is very much a “mommy’s helper.” She loves spending time with her siblings and is very proud of them. That said, are occassional minor moments of frustration with her, but they are rare. Overall it has been pretty ideal, and they adore her as much as she adores them.
If you had an extra hour in your day, sans kids, what would you do?
Work in my garden, or catch up on my scrapbooking.
What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
Right now it is hard to do much, as the twins are very active, but it’s nice to take walks around the neighborhood, play in the yard, have a movie night, or go on a simple day trip.
What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?
I am now about to start potty training, so tips on that would be helpful.
Do I separate them in school? How do I make that decision?
Also, the twins share a bedroom, as a boy/girl combo I am trying to not only find a happy medium for decorating it as they grow, as well as decide how long to keep them together.
Be sure to leave your answers to Kellie’s questions in the comment section and then head over to The Peapod to leave some bloggy love!