BG Area Mothers of Multiples

a small glimpse in our unique journey…our real-life journey

2014 Valentine’s Day Party March 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 4:02 am

We had such a great time at our THIRD ANNUAL Valentine’s Day party!!!  There were some fun activities…crafts…and of course some yummy goodies!  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came and celebrated our multiple sweethearts!!!

Stacking conversation hearts was quite the challenge!

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It’s a group effort!

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Big brother and little sister, having fun!

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He’s the master!

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Love her concentration!

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Figuring it out!

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The cutest smile!

Stained glass hearts are a BGMoMs tradition!

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Hearts and smiles abound!

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Proud of their masterpieces!

Creating creatures from hearts was fun, too!

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Love their imaginations!

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Daddy didn’t actually let him eat the glue!  ;)

And the goodies brought smile all around!

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Family fun!

And of course we had to try for a group picture.  It’s may not be “picture perfect”…but it’s perfectly cute, for sure!

Say CHEESE!!!

Say CHEESE!!!

 

This Time Will Be Different June 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 1:59 am

One fairly common story that I hear many MoMs talk about is their lack of a “normal” pregnancy and delivery.

Many of us mourn the easiness that others appear to have. We are scrutinized for our fertility choices, inability to deliver vaginally and feed our babies just like everyone else. All of us seem to know at least one person who got pregnant exactly when they wanted to, had tons of energy during an uncomplicated pregnancy, which preceded a birth that went off without a hitch, followed by a newborn who slept through the night at 6 weeks.

You all know someone like that don’t you? And you think to yourself, well if I ever do it again, next time will be different. It will be the easy pregnancy.

The easy pregnancy. Well, I just got through my “easy” pregnancy. And I hate to tell all of you, it was not easy.

My mulitples pregnancy had its challenges. If I can say nothing else, it was overwhelming. Let me rephrase that…OVERWHELMING and anxiety-producing. I just really wanted everything to be alright and us all to come out on the other side as a family.

I mourned various “losses.” But we did come out alright. I always wondered what I had missed with that “normal” pregnancy I just didn’t have. So, we tried again and I knew this would be my easy pregnancy. And that it would be my last pregnancy.

Miscarriages, abnormal lab results, hypertension, pain and another c-section…and no more chances after this one. Why couldn’t I just be that other person? The normal one?

During this pregnancy I had a great fear that something would go wrong. I’m sure that is somewhat normal for all mothers. I wanted so badly to give birth vaginally, no drugs. I did yoga and hyponobirthing in preparation for this and I wanted to be a partner with my baby in what is the most natural thing that a woman’s body should do. As a part of this, I underwent hypnosis to release those fears.

During this is when I realized that all of the terrible things that you read about, still birth, nuchal cord, maternal death, those WERE NOT MY STORY.

I could not own stories or fear stories or want stories (good or bad) that were not mine. I feel that this is a very important lesson for me and for others.

No, my journey was not the “perfect” picture. But it was mine.

Own what is yours. Own your complications. Own your lessons. Not to sound too “Pollyanna,” but your journey is what created you, created your family, and created love. Isn’t that better than wishing and wanting?

Another big part of this for me is that I knew there would be no more pregnancies (barring immaculate intervention). So, immediately I started mourning again what did not happen for me. And it seemed like every hour that went by I would grow teary that my baby was growing faster than I wanted her to.  (OK, I know a little baby crazies (blues) affects everyone, but bear with me).

But a dear friend reminded me, don’t mourn, CELEBRATE the moment. That and use up every digital chip that you have for your camera.

Celebrate.

Huh. No one else ever said it that way.

So my circumstances were not perfect and they never will be. And I am not saying that I don’t revisit what could have been, but these two little seemingly simple things get me through the harder times.

And prepare yourself for the next chapter.

 

October Meeting Recap: Multiples in the Classroom November 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 12:31 am

We focused our October meeting on one of the most frequently discussed topics in the multiples community, that of multiples in the classroom.

We were very pleased to be joined by Beth Schaeffer, a preschool consultant for Warren County Public Schools.  Additionally, the resources “Twins and Supertwins: A Handbook for Early Childhood Professionals” by Eve-Marie Arce; and NOMOTC’s “Placement of Multiple Birth Children in School: A Guide for Educators” were also used to guide the meeting.

Key takeaways were as follows:

1)      Work with the school system to ensure that the teachers and administrators understand your children’s unique needs.

Ms. Schaeffer:  “Just because a teacher has had twins or triplets in her classroom before, don’t assume that she knows how you would like for your children to be treated.”  “ Be direct.  Write a list of what is important to you.  Write a list of pet peeves.  Cover these with the teacher.”

If you do not want your children to be referred to as “the twins”, for example, tell the teacher.  Help the teacher understand how to tell you children apart.  Tell the teacher if you are concerned about your children being compared to each other.

2)      Pros and cons for keeping multiples together or separating them into different classes.

Ms. Schaeffer cited that the majority of the research points towards keeping multiples together through kindergarten.  After they are established in the school routine, in early elementary school, most parents consider separating their multiples into different classrooms.

Pros for separation

-        Avoids comparison in the classroom

-        Encourages independence

-        Allows for separate social development and may decrease head-to-head competition

Pros for keeping multiples together

-        May allow children to be more confident / they are already dealing with separation from their parents and a new environment

-        Some competition among multiples may be healthy

-        Multiples may support each other, especially in the cases of developmental delays and/or unique physical or emotional needs

In the Warren County and Bowling Green City systems, the decision to keep multiples together or separate them lies with the individual schools.  Ms. Schaeffer encourages parents to work with the school system to determine the best model for their children.  She said that spring is the optimal time to talk with the principal of a school.  Tell the principal about your children, their likes, dislikes, and needs, so that he or she can take those considerations into account for classroom placement.

Since our meeting, Christina Tinglof of “Talk About Twins” published an article in response to a reader’s question on the topic of classroom separation.  She also cited research that supports keeping younger multiples together.  Fortunately, though, she also notes research that states that classroom separation does not have significant long-term consequences.

There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence.  The “right” decision depends on who our children are and what are their unique needs.

I think Tinglof sums up the question by saying, “If your twins make friends easily, show an interest in being on their own, or have regularly spent some time apart, then enroll them in different classes. Yet if they still cling to each other and show real anxiety about the prospect of being separated, by all means keep them together for kindergarten and then slowing start preparing them for separation in first grade.”

Ultimately, as parents we know our children best.  It’s our job to be their number one advocates, and make sure that their needs are known by their teachers and administration.

For those of you with older multiples, what route did you choose for your children?  Any insight to share with those parents of younger children?

 

How Do Multiples Define Themselves as Individuals? August 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 6:56 pm

I read an entry from my blog friend Amanda over the weekend.  Amanda’s identical twin girls, Maddie and Izzie, are 4 ½.  I like to think I ponder individuality quite a bit, but her post really got me thinking about how multiples may sometimes perceive themselves, especially in relation to each other.

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I know that when you are a twin, sometimes it is hard to figure out who you are, separate from your sister. This will be a life long journey my girls go through. Every single person goes through this journey, but for twins there is the added element of seeing a mirror of who you are, might be, could be, and even are not, every single day. Most people don’t have to worry about how they are singular in this world until a much older age. I know I’m over thinking it, but I want my girls to be everything they want to be, and last night’s conversation has just stuck with me.

We do a little family game before bedtime a couple times a month, “I love ‘blank’ about you.”  We take turns going around the family, “Izzie, I love how graceful you are,” or “Maddie, I love how kind you are to everyone.”  Last we say something we love about ourselves, like “I love my smile.
When we play this game we let the girls say whatever they want, and oftentimes at this age they just repeat whoever went first. And that is fine. They LOVE this exercise. But last night Izzie was having a hard time saying what she loved about herself.

I tried not to put words in her mouth, but she was getting frustrated and I opened my mouth and said, “Do you love how you twirl? Your talented art? Your great math skills?” And before I could say anything else both girls stopped me, “Mom,” Maddie piped up, “I am the girl that is a mather, Izzie does art.

I said, “Izzie can do math too.” They argued and Izzie said, “I do art, NOT math.” I just said that they could both do art and math and anything they wanted and just let it drop.

This has come up over and over. I don’t know how it started and I know they are just trying to figure out who they are in the world, their sameness and their differences. And yes, Izzie does tend to spend more time drawing and coloring and Maddie will keep answering addition and subtraction problems all day long, but I really hope that at 4.5 years old they are not setting themselves in stone. Izzie is great at logic problems and Maddie loves 3D art like cutting and gluing. I probably just need to take a deep breath and let them be.

***

With our girls, at 3 ½, I sometimes see them avoid head-to-head “competition”, so to speak.  If I’m praising Baby A for writing her letters, and I invite B to join, it’s rare that she’ll want to come near a pencil.  And there are times when that carries beyond a particular situation.  With writing, specifically, I’ve had to find time to work with B one-on-one.  She’s never said anything, but it’s almost as if she seems to think that’s her sister’s “talent” and she’d be best to focus on something else.

Have you encountered this with your multiples?  How did you handle it?

Amanda blogs at Ditt and Dott: Raising Twins.  She’s such a creative, hands-on mama, and she’s one of the crunchiest people I know (and I say that as a big compliment!).  Among many other things, I love following along with the at-home preschool curriculum she does with her girls.

 

Not All Twins Are Identical July 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 1:40 pm

I always get a chuckle out of the “Are they identical?” question that is directed towards parents of boy/girl twins.  I’ve heard some pretty funny responses, and I’ve heard of random strangers being downright insistent that that’s a very legitimate question.

I’ve always joked that our twin girls are “very” fraternal.  And while I’ve never had to explain the gender differences between a boy and a girl, I still think a Public Service Announcement biology lesson on the topic of “One Egg versus Two” may be in order.

Lately it seems we’ve gotten tons of questions about the girls’ eye color.  Baby A’s eyes are deep brown, like her daddy’s, while Baby A has her mama’s bright blue peepers.  It’s not uncommon for people to comment, “WOW!  That’s AMAZING!

…or…

That’s INCREDIBLE!  What a blessing they have different color eyes!”  What?  So we can tell them apart???

I think people just “expect” twins to look alike.  They overlook Baby A’s olive skin, in comparison to her sister’s fair skin.  The 2″ height difference doesn’t seem to register.  But those eyes?  A freak of nature, or a stroke of AMAZING luck, apparently.  ;)

What questions about your multiples make you chuckle (or drive you batty!)?

Mandy, mom to fraternal girl twins, age 3 1/2

 

It Takes a Village July 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 2:05 pm

When I found out I was having twins, the topic always brought up enlightening conversations with people.

God has a special place for people like you.” Yeah, it’s called still in bed at 6:31 a.m.

You’re going to be busy.” REALLY? I only thought I knew.

I wish I had twins!” REALLY?!?! Seriously…

All sarcasm set aside, what they did not tell me and what I did not realize is that I would get to see the kindness of humanity. These experiences have been exemplified by our experiences with “the terrible twos.”

For instance, the day when Twin A at age 2 1/2  would decide that laying down in the parking lot would be a great thing to do, especially since I was already carrying his brother. I hear a Mom of a 4 year old, “Could I carry him for you?” Ohh, yes. That would be better than me leaving him there.

Or what about when yet another tantrum struck and I had to leave Twin B with a cashier while I took Twin A out to the car to put him in the car seat (and yes I left him there for a minute while I ran in to get the one with the cashier- figured it was better than leaving him lie in the road). The cashier didn’t blink an eye and was smiling while she did it.

Or after a visit to Sam’s Club and I needed to take the cart back to the store and a new Mom of two (baby and two year old) said, “Can I take that for you? I know what it’s like when you’re trying to watch two by yourself.

Huh. That didn’t happen when I didn’t have children and although I can not speak from experience, I doubt it happens as much when you only have one child (or children of different ages) to take care of.

Now, I am positive it makes some of you gasp in horror that I do not have complete control of my children at any given time. The world can be a rough and terrible place.

But it is also a place of kindness and compassion. Sometimes you have to have faith in that.

I have a great love for my community. I think that people sometimes forget that we all start out as strangers. My parents started out as strangers, yours did too. They learned to love and accept each other.  It is by choice that we become a family and the process starts over.

We have been adopted by so many friends around us. We have been supported and loved through so much. I am proud to have this village help raise my children.

 

Demara, mom to 2 1/2-year old fraternal twin boys

 

Picnic Fun 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 1:59 pm

A few snapshots from our June picnic…a fun time was certainly had by all!

And how amazing is it that this is our THIRD annual picnic already?  It’s so very cool to see our kiddos growing up together.  :)  :)

 

 
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