Monday, September 26, 2011

Recommendations for Twins

I currently know four people in my circle of friends who are having twins!  In thinking about what it was like to be pregnant with twins, I thought it might be a blessing for them to know how I did it.  Of course, they may not care, and that's okay too, but just in case they want advice from someone who is a few steps ahead, here are some recommendations based on my experience.

1.  If you're breastfeeding, get this nursing pillow.  It is great.  Once I had them latched on, I was hands-free!  It's awesome.  It is generous in size, and I have used it from the time I got home with the boys.  Now, my boys were term and Felix weighed 6 lbs 12 oz, and Milo weighed 7 lbs 5 oz, so they were not teeny tiny preemies.  This may not work for you until they get bigger if yours end up coming early.  But I love it, and STILL use it and my boys are 9 months old.

Double Blessings Twin Nursing Pillow (stock photo from

2.  I wanted a lightweight, inexpensive double stroller.  Another twin parent recommended a side by side as one twin may not like being behind the other and want to be able to see out.  This sounded reasonable.  You can spend as much as you want on a stroller.  Evaluate what you'll use it for.  I knew I would use mine either for a walk on a track, the mall, the zoo, or running errands.  I would not be jogging with it, so I knew I could buy something cheaper and not as awesome.  Plus, I live on a gravel road off of a state highway, so I knew I wouldn't be strolling regularly.  I went with the Jeep double umbrella stroller, got it at for $70 in May with free shipping.  The sunshades are a joke, but I have been pleased with the stroller for the price.

Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport Umbrella Stroller (photo courtesy of

3.  Nutrition is the MOST important component of managing a twin pregnancy.  This book was amazing, and I attribute my healthy outcomes both to God and to following the high protein diet in this book.

When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy

4.  Schedule help.  Dave was able to be home with us for two weeks.  50% of twins are born by c-section, so having help is even more imperative.  Regardless of how you birth your twins, you MUST rest for a month afterwards if at all possible.  My midwife, who provided me with nutrition and breastfeeding advice, said I needed to sleep as much as possible for the first month--no housework--just sleep, eat, and nurse the babies.  I have three older children under the age of 6.  I did not know how this was going to work, especially after Dave went back to work.  So, I made a calendar and divided the days he wouldn't be here into two sections: 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm.  People would mention in passing, "I'd love to help you when the babies come" or "Just let me know how I can help."  So, I made sure that I got all their names written down along with their phone numbers, emails, and times they were available to help.  Then, each week, I would contact people to fill in those time slots.  Making them 4 hr time slots seemed more doable and less overwhelming for people, and praise God, I only ever had to be alone with all 5 children TWICE in that first month.  I didn't have a full day alone with all of them until the beginning of February.  I got plenty of rest.  They watched the older children, made them lunch, fed them snacks, helped pick up around the house, made me lunch, helped me change and burp the twins.  It was amazing.  I would not have made it without my team of helpers that first month!  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  You cannot and should not try to do this alone.  It will keep you from getting depressed and overwhelmed.

5.  Freeze meals.  I had two weeks of meals that were brought to my home by friends and church members.  But, I knew that eventually, the meals would stop.  So, about a month before the babies were due, my friend, Tina, came over and helped me put a bunch of meals in the freezer.  For two weeks, I bought two of everything and made double of every meal and froze half.  By the time the twins came, I had 17 meals in my freezer.  I have a LARGE freezer, but I also have a small deep freeze.  You can get a small deep freeze for about $150.  It's worth it.

6.  If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper.  I hired Miss Emelyn about a month before the twins came.  She and her sister or her niece come every other week.  She does anything I need her to do--dishes, laundry, all cleaning, help with the kids or the babies.  They are amazing.  I would not make it without them.  I recently had to clean my house (all the way) by myself while they were on vacation.  I survived it, but I was super overwhelmed by all that I had to do.  I knew that hiring her was cheaper than therapy! I also love having her around; she is a blessing to our family.

7.  And, if you can do this, it will make everything better--keep your twins on the same feeding and napping schedule.  Ours is not hard core or strict, by any means, but they ALWAYS eat at the same time, and I lay them down for naps at the same time.  This has given me the time I need to rest and recharge and to homeschool my older two children.  This was by far one of the best decisions I have made.

I hope you find all of this helpful, and if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  Your twins will bless you more than you even know!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering Him

When someone dies, we try to remember everything we can about them--the good memories, their laugh, the way their hands looked at rest, the way their eyes would light up.

But what do you do when you lose someone you never got to meet?

I think, in my case, I have been remembering who Jesus was to me in my grief.

He was my strong tower. I ran to Him, and I was safe.

He was my light in a very dark time.

He was there, steadfast and true, never leaving my side.

He was the one who helped me run like I had never run before--He was my coach, my endurance. I ran a race and ran it well, thanks to Him.

He was the friend who didn't try to fix me. He just listened to me and held me when I cried.

He was my mirror, showing me some things in my life that He wanted to change and heal.

He was the Giver. And He blessed me two-fold. With Felix and Milo. Two instead of one. He laughed, I am sure!, when I learned I was carrying two!

He was my everything. And He still is.

So, on this day, the day my precious one would have been having the first birthday, I remember. I remember the excitement for the little one. I remember how quickly I loved. I remember the crushing reality of loss.

And I remember, how deeply He loved me through it all. And I thank Him.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

God's Classroom


The Color Green Lyrics


I highly recommend listening to this song by Rich Mullins, The Color Green, while you read this post.  :)

The high today is supposed to be 74.  I knew the kids had to be outside most of today, if possible.  So, we took our lessons outside along with our nature box and socks and jackets.  The children played between subjects.  The babies joined us for a little while.

It was wonderful.

The breeze was cool.  The air was fresh.  And we are all plumb tuckered out.

Our Classroom

Hard at work

Getting fresh air and looking so cute in pants and long-sleeved shirts!

What is this?

Our pup dog, Woodrow

So sweet.

Sam, 1st Grade

Maryn, Kindergarten

Lucy, footloose and fancy-free (almost 3!)

And me, the teacher, once again.

A-Rambling We Go

I haven't had the time or motivation to blog lately. I also think that laundry, dishes, and schooling doesn't sound super interesting. But just in case it does, here ya go.

I have found that adding school back into my schedule has really made a difference in my amount of free time. I have struggled to find moments of rest or time to do something fun. That is something I would like to figure out. I've noticed it is important for me to have some time for myself so I can breathe and think in quiet. Dave has been helping me in this department, and I am so thankful he serves me like this.

I am actually really enjoying homeschooling this year. I am much more relaxed, and the kids are not rushed or pressured. We take our time, and I attend to Lucy and the babies as needed.

Sam is learning a lot of great mental math methods. He is reading a few grades ahead, and his penmanship is impressive. He seems to enjoy school more this year, and I think my attitude change is a big part of that. He is constantly making something out of paper. He loves origami.

Maryn loves school. She is actually ahead of her math book, but I am not rushing her to complete extra. She is doing awesome with her reading and is learning to figure out words she doesn't know on her own. Her penmanship improves all the time. Her grip is a little strange, so I try to gently correct it. She loves making kitty-cat masks with paper and pipe cleaners (her design!).

I have been reading aloud a book my Great-Great Uncle David Unsell wrote, _Roxy the Raccoon_, about his pet raccoon. It has been a fun story and the kids love hearing about Roxy's adventures. I think it is super cool to have a story like this from our family. I met my Great-Great Uncle David when I was eight. He came to my Great Grandpa's funeral. He was hard of hearing and had one of those ear trumpets that we had to speak into. I am glad I met him and now have this bit of history from his life. The kids are narrating the story back to me in pictures. They are getting quite good at drawing raccoons.

Lucy's speech is improving all the time. She often surprises me with some of the things she says. She is a funny girl. The cutest thing is how she says "grand-daddy longlegs." I have got to get it on video. She loves to color. She loves watching Curious George. She calls him, "Georgie."

Felix is pulling up on the furniture now. He is getting two more teeth--this will make six for him. He says, "dug-a-dug-a-dug-a" and it is so funny. He grins a lot. He seems to like baby food alright. He also has learned to point, to wave, and to clap.

Milo is starting to cruise around the furniture. He has zero teeth, but his gums are swollen, so we are expecting some to come in soon. He wants food, but has a pretty strong gag reflex and is figuring out how to manipulate it. He has also learned to point. He doesn't say "ma-ma" much anymore :(, but he is saying "da-da" now.

Stay tuned shortly for a post full of pictures of our day in school OUTSIDE!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone