Five things I’ve Learned from my Husband about Parenting

Even though the event was a couple days ago, I've been thinking of Father's Day. I'm thinking a lot about parenting these days because we are on the cusp of new terrain in parenting. Our first set of twins are now preteens and we have the beginnings of the loud sighs, the exasperated shouts of YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! and the increasing importance of friends (and the drama that goes with those relationships). The second set and our little guy. . .well, they are still our puppies--happy to be fed … [Read more...]

What is Your Minimum Requirement?

Probably the most asked question I get (besides how did I end up with two sets of twins) is how did I do it. Honestly, I don't know and more honestly, I don't remember. I didn't have any great organizational system, philosophy or check-off chart. I constantly felt like I was drowning while trying desperately to swim through these days of infancy and toddlerhood. But, what I clearly remember is that I had a couple of minimum requirements that were like life rafts to my days and weeks. In … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Help People Tell Identical Twins Apart

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins and learned that they were identical boys, I don't think I processed exactly what that term meant: identical. I definitely didn't imagine that I, of all people, wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Then they were born, and I have to be honest, they didn't necessary look alike but I couldn't keep them separated in my sleep deprived brain. We used sharpie markers to put a "L" or a "W" on each of their feet. This worked, except for the middle of … [Read more...]

Encouraging Open-Ended Play

Since tomorrow has the possibility of being a "snow day" here in south Texas (really, it is going to be an "ice morning" that'll probably shut down the schools) I thought I'd post this idea to keep the kids busy. My  friend, Amie, a mother of three year old twins, originally posted this idea on Facebook. Amie is a child development specialist so she has a ton of ideas for encouraging play--which we all know is how children learn. Some of the best play is what is called open-ended: it doesn't … [Read more...]

A Broom: The gift I wish Santa had given

When the kids were younger I thought it was funny, in an odd sort of way, to buy them a kid's broom and dust pan. I'd see these items in toy magazines and I thought that it was sort of a demeaning toy. Really, what kid would want a broom? Now that I have an official "chore chart' and three older boys who claim that they don't know how to do things. . .I have reformed my way of thinking. Last month I ran over one of our brooms when I pulled into the garage and didn't see the broom off to … [Read more...]

The Recital Mistake: Go Back and Play Forward

For some reason, I think that at 40 (and then some) years I should pretty much know it all. That, as a matter of fact, I should be the one nodding my head wisely while patting the head of a young student while gently saying, "Yes, young grasshopper. . .you discovered an important law of life. . ." But, as it works in parenting the lessons are never over. If you are smugly patting young grasshopper's head, you are actually asking the universe to kick you in the behind. Such was the event a … [Read more...]

When it is too quiet. . .and I’m getting too much done. . .

So I was making dinner this evening, thinking to myself, This is great! Homework done and the four boys are outside playing baseball. Wow! What a long way from a few years ago where making dinner meant holding one while the other climbed up my leg and two more raided the pantry for Cheerios. I had that LOOK AT ME ROCK THIS DINNER THING moment. YEAH, I'VE GOT THIS DOWN. . .Let ME tell you how it is done. . . As a matter of fact my friend, Amie, a mother of three year old twins, asked me … [Read more...]

Don’t Yell at Your Kids: One crazy tip that might help

My husband, Scott, is taking a parenting class from a friend and parenting mentor, Geri Clouse. She offers free parenting workshops that you can learn more about here. When we had four under three, we both took her class on Nurturing Parenting. Here's the main lesson of the class: YOU CAN'T CONTROL the child BUT you can control the environment. And, that some of what we (or others that would interact with us) would consider "unacceptable" behavior is actually part of whatever development … [Read more...]

A Decision to Use Donor Eggs: Marni’s Story

One of the best things about being a mother-of-multiples (besides having multiples) is meeting so many women whose stories about having multiples are so different--and yet so familiar. A common theme to many of our stories is that we were told we couldn't conceive children on our own--for whatever reasons--and that we'd need assistance. What do you do if your body just couldn't produce the eggs necessary to conceive a child? Would you consider accepting an egg or two from another woman to … [Read more...]

How to Pack for a Trip with Multiples

Take it all. No really. Attach whatever you can to the back of the car, on top of the car. Stuff the stuff in every crevice and under everyone's feet. Pack it in trash bags, duffle bags. . .it doesn't matter. Everything will be covered in Goldfish and Cheerios and juice box drippings before you even get out of the city limits. Load groggy, morning-breath smelling kids into the mix. Strap them in, adjust pillows--then ask if anyone has to pee. Unstrap. Tell them to just go on the side of the … [Read more...]