Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mothering Organic Twins and Staying Sane

Once you have kids everyone wants to give you advice. The best piece of advice I have received from a fellow twin parent went something like this; many people will tell you what is best to do but really the right thing to do is what is best for your family. So here I go giving you all advice but please know that this is what works for my family and my daughters, your children may be very different!
By reading just one post of my blog you know that I am a green enthusiast, our home is all organic from food to laundry to cleaning. When the girls arrived I knew I had to find a balance in order to stay sane. Here are a few ways I have maintained my green lifestyle but with a twist.
Cloth diapering with Twins
I am a huge fan of cloth diapering but with twins it can become a little crazy! The amount of diapers we go through in a week is so high that I cannot fathom going with disposables all the time. However, I did find a great compromise. We have a Gdiaper system. What I love about the Gdiapers is you can choose to put a cloth insert or disposable insert in a cloth diaper shell. So far I have done all cloth at home and disposable when we are going out for a long day or at night since it holds more with out leaking. I love the system and highly recommend it for parents of twins who want to dip your feet in both pools. It also gives me the option of going all cloth if I ever become so brave.
Twin Scheduling
Many things bothered me about being in the hospital with the girls but this one takes the cake! So far every parent of twins that I have encountered has talked about "the schedule". It is discussed and lived SO much that it is almost a 5th person in the family. What I mean by a schedule is the twins have a set routine of eating times, diaper changing times, nap times, bath times and bed times. You can never waiver from the schedule or the whole system is destroyed. 
So here are my issues with twin scheduling. 1) My girls are VERY different people with separate personalities. One needs a lot of cuddling and attention and the other is happy to sit in a bouncy chair or stroller as long as she can see me. One of the girls wants to eat more often in smaller amounts and the other likes to eat a lot not as often. What I noticed in the hospital is heartbreaking to me. They would let a twin cry for 20 minutes when she was begging for food because it wasn't time for her to eat. It was everything in me not to stand up and do it myself! It just does not make sense to me to teach my children to push aside their natural feelings of hunger until it is time to eat or to force them to eat when they are not hungry. What is that teaching them? I would prefer to teach my girls to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full, what a great life skill to learn now! 
2) My life did NOT end when I became a mother. My girls go everywhere with me. I still do all the activities I did before they came home but it takes me about 2 1/2 times the amount of time it took before. The only exception is going to movies, I really hate it when people bring their babies to a movie and they cry the whole time! We get a sitter for that type of date! When you put your babies on a set schedule then the whole household revolves around the schedule. It dictates when you can sleep, eat and go to the restroom! It also prevents you from fun activities like going out to dinner or having a dinner party at a friend's house because you have to go home to bath and bed time. Instead of making them fit a schedule I made up I follow their schedule. When they nap I either use the time to get things done or I nap too. When they go to bed for the night I spend some time with my husband and then I go to bed too. When they are up in the morning I get up as well and we all have breakfast. I always have bottles ready to go so when they decide they are hungry I feed them as much as they want. I love what this communicates to my girls and this is what works for me. If you are a twin parent with a schedule that you love then that is what works for you but for me I like to keep our lives in an organic flow.
The Biggest Help in Staying Sane!
I cannot say it enough, keep a loud environment as much as possible! This is great for parents of single babies too. The girls had a loud environment in the NICU so I keep up the noise level when I came home. The result? My girls can sleep anywhere! They fall asleep in Target, other people's homes, the car and once they slept through a firework show! The beauty of this runs deep, I can do so many things when they sleep. I can run a load of clothes through the wash, run the dishwasher, vacuum the carpet, talk on the phone, watch a movie...and all with out waking them up! 
Wrap it Up

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Have Twins, Will Travel...

The last thing I thought I would be doing just days after our babies came home is move to a different house! With in minutes of arriving home we knew that our small 2 bedroom beach house would not be enough space for two adults and two babies with all their stuff. Right now my living room looks like the showroom at Babies R' Us! When a house opened up in the university professor housing we just could not pass it up. Our new place is three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms on a cute cul de sac with a fenced backyard (yay swing set time!) an attached garage, a separate laundry room and...gasp...a dishwasher! The best part is that is can be a rent-to-own so if we really love the place we never have to move again!
I am so excited for the girls to have their own room and kid bathroom and the hubby is excited that he does not have to give up his office! Although packing with two tiny babies has been challenging I keep thinking of what the future has in store. I love the idea of living with the other professors and having our children raised in an academic environment, besides, who doesn't love fresh ocean breezes and sand dunes?