lessons in mommy life

mommylife

For the record, I love pushing the stroller. It’s literally my favorite thing to do. lol. I’m also a bit of a nut when it comes to putting it in the car; I’m working on learning to get the girls in and out as fast as I can which is kinda fun for me! Slow mom + crowded parking lot + possible Houston heat + annoyed drivers = hell and honks. Not what I’m trying to experience. Luckily our stroller is super user friendly, light weight, and easy which helps a whole lot!! !

So, because I’m such a seasoned pro of a mama, I’ve been creating this mental list of what my thoughts and what I’ve learned and experienced as a new mom of twins. Answers to twin mama questions, fun experiences, and lessons are always fun to look back on and they’re great info for others!

SO!
What’s it like being a twin mom? How do you ____ at the same time?
Of course these questions come from singleton mamas and I really have no idea how to answer their questions! I’ve always had two babes to care for at once – I’d like to know what it’s like to be a singleton mom! lol. I guess the simplest answer is that you do things either simultaneously or back to back.
…. on feeding:
I quickly learned a few different ways to feed the girls at once…. My preference is to feed one about half an hour before the other but there are times when they just can’t wait. That usually happens when I’m not prepared and start warming bottles when it’s time to eat rather than having bottles ready and feeding one a little bit before. I also like the one on one time. If its really early in the morning, we just look at each other and there’s lots of touching. Group chats are fun, too, but I think one on one is pretty important, as well.
…. on handling:
You quickly learn how to carry, hold, and rock two babies at once. I think the closeness of the three of us calms the girls much more quickly; they calm each other and of course being so close to mom calms them, too! I’ve squeezed them both in my Moby and that works wonders…….. My girls don’t calm each other well alone right now. One will scream and the other isn’t bothered. They can also take turns crying or breathe/cry at the same rate which is really funny and you just do the best you can to calm them both down. They don’t really wake each other up but I think they’re just starting to cry if the other cries. And, I put them to sleep the same way I feed them. Either one at a time or at the same time positioned generally the same way I position them to eat. lol.
…. on calming/putting to sleep:
There will be a point when both of them are going nuts at the same time. This is where learning different handling positions works greatly your favor. My favorite and what seems to work really well with my girls is cradling one in my arms and rocking the other on my thighs. (Sit, pull your feet near your booty to raise your knees.) I feed and put to sleep that way.

How do you balance time between the two? How do you choose who to ___ first?
Sometimes, they decide for you. If ones asleep, you feed/change/play/etc with the one who’s awake first. Their temperaments determine a lot, too. At this very moment, both girls are awake but I’m holding Logan. Rhyann is just fine hanging out by herself and has even gone to sleep. Lo cried and cried; she needed some body heat and a neck to nuzzle. Easy. There are times when one just has cry and wait, which sucks but we rock and talk through it. As you learn their personalities, it’s easier to decide who needs/likes what and that helps a lot.

Shopping:
…. on getting in and out:
Since they’re so small, we’ve only been to a couple of places – Target and Hobby Lobby. When going to Target, I park as close as I can to a cart return dock which makes it super easy to get them from car to basket and back. When in Hobby Lobby, I take their stroller and put whatever I’m buying at the bottom because their baskets aren’t as large.
…. in store attention:
I guess Target is a  friendlier place because we get a bit more attention there than in HL. lol. Lots of  “Are those twins?” and “Are they yours?” and “Hey, come look! Twins!” (seriously!) But, luckily because they’re still in their carriers with their their privacy covers,  they aren’t ogled over as much yet. But, I’ve already had someone pull that up! We’ll see how things go as they get older….. some stories I’ve heard about being in public have been a bit interesting to say the least.

Personal time:
Surely I wasn’t the only child whose parents preached “Get it done now so you won’t have to worry about it later!”…… We’ll, I’m preaching “Get it done now or you may not be able to do it later!”
Obviously, with twins, you do have double the work. Double the laundry, double the babies to bath & get dressed, double the bottles to prep or time spent breastfeeding, more milk to pump, etc. The only thing that isn’t doubled is the time they take napping. So, you don’t have as much “free” time I’m assuming you’d have with a singleton. And, it’s not like that nap time you have or the time you’re wearing your baby/ies is spent getting a pedi. You’re cleaning, napping, prepping, folding, cooking, etc. I’m learning that with trying to get everything done that NEEDS to be done and have time for myself, I have to plan and not waste time. Even perusing social media has a time. I tweeted earlier how I totally get how the Prov. 31 woman was up before everyone else – that’s the only time you have to yourself. (If everything else is already done. LOL). It’s a never and I love it because it keeps me on my toes and I’m more productive when I have more to do. So, I’m foreseeing lots of late nights after babies are asleep and early mornings of getting things done.
… on getting ready:
I prep their bag the night before – restock diapers, water in bottles, powder formula in containers, etc. As you can see in the picture, I don’t and refuse to carry a huge diaper bag. There’s not yet a need and when they start to need too many things, I’ll keep the “just in case” and extras in the car. Anyway, the morning of, I get myself ready first from head to toe; If I’m wearing heels, they’re on as we walk out of the door. Next, I get the girls ready, pop em in their car seats, pick up the bag, and we’re out the door. That’s really working well for us now and takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two. I’m sure as they grow, getting out of the house will take longer and won’t be as simple but I’m soaking every minute of it up while I can!!

Is it easy? For me, it is right now. I’m loving every bit of it. When it does get difficult and everybody is screaming and mommy is exhausted, we just cuddle it out or endure the lung workouts until that bottle is warm or those eyes are closed!
One of my favorite phrases to hear is: “I can’t imagine you with kids!” or “Alaina has two babies.” I’m not quite sure how to take it – some people it’s the idea of having twins and we laugh because there are days I say the same thing.  But for the others – keep watching. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun for the both of us!

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nostalgia

IMG_5486.JPGI have a messy little eater….. My teensiest babe is a little guzzler and leaks milk ev.er.eee.where. Ok? Like all over the place. So, (when her dad feeds her) she usually needs a onesie swap after she eats. Yea, I kinda threw him under the bus there…. Lol.
Anywho.
The girls have been wearing NB sizes and they’ve been baggy. Especially on Rhyann because she’s smaller. WELL. Today! My girl FITS one of the smallest NB onesies she has. And, I just about cried.

Becoming emotional over the girls filling out a onesie or downing their 3oz of milk may seem trivial, but knowing there these girls have come from makes it huge. Just a few weeks ago, they were having trouble finishing 45cc’s (1.5 oz) of milk and would have to have whatever they didn’t finish tubed. They couldn’t maintain their weight – it was constantly up and down, not stabilizing at all. Rhy dropped to a bit over 3lbs at some point and in the two weeks she’s been home, she’s gained three pounds. (!!!!!!!!) Both girls have gained in weight and grown in length since they’ve been home and that makes my heart sing.

I remember how light they were in my arms and how frail & itty bitty they looked. I can hear how soft their cries were and the annoying beeps of the NICU. I won’t ever forget how long the days were and how sad it was to leave them alone at night. How scary it was to meet with the doctors or receive their calls, anxious to hear how they did during the night.

IMG_5960.JPG photo taken by Christin Armstrong

To see them now is to see completely different babies. Babies who scream with intentions of making sure you hear and attend to them. These girls have preferences and the sweetest smiles. They’re so beautiful and changing everyday.

So, I’m proud of them and incredibly grateful for them.

So proud of how God has allowed them to grow and develop as they have and humbled that I’m able to have a front row seat to their lives. I’m looking forward to what God is going to do with these girls and how He’s going to be made known through their lives.

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dreaming

IMG_6084.PNGThese girls are my dream. I’m looking forward to doing life with them. Manicures/pedicures, tutus and tights, and baking and crafting with them by my side is my dream. The dreams and secrets and knowing glances and facial expressions that will be passed between the three of us and shared in quiet, private moments will be the joy of our relationship that I pray will grow into a friendship as we all grow older.

I already pray their relationship, our relationship, their boyfriends and husbands, their girlfriends, and experiences.

My prayers are that their lives are beautiful and full. That they have swollen hearts for Jesus and do great things for His cause. I pray that they are kind and gentle, strong and independent, wise and witty, smart and humble.

I pray that I am able to lead them with wisdom, selflessness, and grace. That my very dry/awkward humor, abrasiveness, and hard perfectionism doesn’t callous them.

My girls. I’m so grateful for them and am just in awe of them.

I can’t wait.

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