BG Area Mothers of Multiples

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

Who’s the Kid of the Day? January 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 7:48 pm

A little more than a year ago, I read a post from Helen at Three Times the Giggles.  I didn’t think it was applicable for our then-22-month olds, but I filed it away for future reference.

Helen is mom to 4 1/2-year old identical triplet boys, and a one-year old sweet baby girl.  Helen uses a “Kid of the Day” system to cut down on the “it’s my turn to choose!” arguments that I imagine are pretty typical of families with more than one child.

I just revisited this post, and it still really piques my interest.  A big thank-you to Helen for allowing us to share this on our site!

***

Last Monday we started something new in our house that I think is going to be a game-changer when it comes to reduced fighting and whining. We started a “Kid of the Day” program. Back when my babies were actually babies I remember some of the moms in my local triplet group talking about using this “Kid of the Day” thing with their preschool aged triplets, and I was intrigued. I asked a few questions and filed the idea away in my brain until the boys were old enough to grasp the concept.

Lately, the fighting and whining over who sits where in the car, what we listen to in the car, what we watch during quiet time, whose book gets read first, what game we play, what we eat for breakfast, etc. was getting old. Often it would be 2 against 1 and I couldn’t seem to get the boys to understand when they’d been “out-voted”, so I decided to turn to the Kid of the Day!

Last week we did a trial run and it was a huge success! There was a whole lot less fighting (other than the wrestling Jackson and Tyler do 10 times a day) and there was very little whining from those who weren’t getting their way. Here’s how the plan works (or, at least how I’m working it)…

First, I picked who would be “Kid of the Day” for each day this month. I just decided to start with Tyler (which caused a ton of drama from Chase on Day 1) and then repeated the cycle over and over, every day this month. I contemplated having one day be “my” day, but by the end of the week I couldn’t fathom not having a Kid of the Day to turn to for decisions!

Second, I made a list of various things the “Kid of the Day” would get to control. Here is just a sample of them (I add more as needed throughout the day):

  • Pick what we eat for breakfast and lunch
  • Pick snacks
  • Gets first pick of where he wants to sit in the car
  • Gets to pick what we listen to in the car
  • Picks what the boys watch during quiet time each day
  • Gets to push the garage door button
  • Has their bedtime story read to them first
  • Gets to pick which games we play
  • If Nick or I has an errand to run and the other parent is home, the Kid of the Day gets to go on the errand
  • Gets to use special dishes at meal time
  • Decides where we go for fun stuff during the day (example: Do you want to go to the park with the train or the park near the sprayground?)

Do you see how this would reduce arguments in our house? It’s been fantastic! The boys are so excited when it’s “their” day. Last Wednesday Jackson came running out of his room at 7:30am and yelled “I’m Kid of the Day!”.

The boys know that they can lose their “Kid of the Day” privileges with bad behavior, but that hasn’t happened yet. I wish I’d started using this 4-5 months ago. I think they would have “gotten” it by then (so shortly before they turned 3).

If your kids (whether multiples or not!) are struggling with fighting and whining over things, give this program a try! And if you have multiples and aren’t in a multiples support group, get into one – the ideas I’ve taken from our triplet group have been worth more than you can imagine!

***

Helen is still using this program with her boys more than a year later.  I asked if she had anything to add to her original post.

“The only thing I would add is that if you are a Love & Logic discipline model fan, or wanted to try Love & Logic but felt like it wouldn’t work with multiples, the Kid of the Day fits perfectly with it! Instead of asking all of the kids the “this or that” question, just ask the Kid of the Day.”

Thanks again to Helen!

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Great Bedtime Book for Multiples January 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 7:59 pm

Since Day 1, our girls have shared a bedtime routine.  We snuggle and read a bedtime story, then brush teeth, wash faces, and say our nightly prayers…all together.

Our girls go to bed early, and — no matter how quickly we get cleaned up from supper — it seems like we’re rushing around most evenings.  This routine works for us, although I do sometimes wish we had more one-on-one time just before bed.

As I over-think our bedtime routine [from my perspective as an only child], it also occurs to me that the majority of the bedtime stories we read feature one character…a child, or an animal…snuggled peacefully between his mommy and daddy.  I don’t know that the girls have ever noticed anything, but I wonder if one day, they will.

I happened upon a great bedtime book a couple of months ago, unlike any of the others we regularly read.  “You’re All My Favorites“, by Sam McBratney.

The book features three bear cubs, whose parents tell them every night that they are the most wonderful bears in the whole wide world.  One day, the bears start to question how they can ALL be the best.

Which one of us do you like the most?

Who is your favorite?

We can’t all be the best.”

The daddy bear explains that one is the most perfect *first* baby bear…one is the most perfect *second* baby bear…and one is the most perfect *third* baby bear.

The message…we are all unique in our own special way…and there is plenty of love to go around…is a really sweet one…

…and the bears go to sleep happy and peaceful…together.

Is there a favorite bedtime story at your house?  Books that speak (in your mind) to multiples?

Mandy, mom to three-year old fraternal twin girls

 

Preserving Multiple Memories January 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 2:59 pm

We came.  We laughed.  We ate.  And we scrapbooked on paper and digitally / journaled / worked on baby books…

We had such a fun get-together to kick off 2012.  The stated meeting description was “Scrapbooking”, but — while we were all productive — it was fun to look around the table and see everyone taking a different approach to preserving memories.

Personally, I’m all over the place (could that be why I’m perpetually behind???).  I have traditional photo albums, I make photo books using an online site, I scrapbook, and I have baby books for each of my girls (which I may or may not have actually started).

At times I feel a little guilty that I’m not ordering double copies of photo books, or making each girl a scrapbook…but I just can’t add anything else to my “preserving memories” plate.  I rationalize that, when the girls are older, one can have the photo books, one can have the scrapbooks (or however they divide things up).  And (if I ever get them started), they’ll at least both have baby books.

How do you manage your photos and mementos?  Do you have separate books for each child?  Does that become more important as children get older, as they may be involved in different activities?

Thanks for a fun — and productive — night!  Looking forward to getting our kiddos together in February, in celebration of Valentine’s Day!

 

Advice for Expecting MoMs January 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 8:13 pm

We’ve written several posts over the past couple of years about advice / must-have items for moms who are expecting multiples.

A stroll through the blog annals yields what I think are some great, tried-and-true ideas…

Must-Have Items

  • Boppy pillow for each baby
  • Formula pitcher mixer
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Infant gas drops
  • Hooded towels
  • Lanolin cream (for mom)
  • Slow-flow bottle nipples
  • Nursing pillow

Advice

  • Consider teaching your children sign language.  It’s tough enough to try to discern the needs of one small child, and even tougher with multiples in the mix.  An early means of communication can be incredibly helpful.
  • Develop a color coding system to help keep certain item separate (bottles / cups, pacifiers, toothbrushes).

I was surprised that I couldn’t find a post specific to scheduling, but my guess is that many mothers of multiples would agree that getting babies on a schedule…the SAME schedule…is really critical.  Of course there are many ways to accomplish this, but I know several of us have followed the Baby Wise methodology.

Online Sources of Information

Links to Original Posts

Must-Have Post 1

Must-Have Post 2

Baby Sign Language – video post

Baby Sign Language – process overview

Color Coding

Online Sources of Information

 

What other items did you use or methodologies did you follow?  What is your biggest piece of advice for a new MoM?

 

Mommy Resolutions January 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — bgmoms @ 8:00 pm

I’m not one to make concrete resolutions for the new year, but over the past couple of years, I have used early January as a time to reflect and to look forward to things to come.

 

I have some personal goals for this year, like actually using a daily planner (instead of relying on my Mommy Brain to remember everything [which is not exactly foolproof…ahem]).  Really, though, most of my “wish list” for 2012 is centered around my girls.

 

I did the same last year, and it’s been interesting to look back and see where I was this time a year ago.  In hindsight, I realize most of the “goals” I outlined were developmental milestones, things the girls should have done regardless of Mommy’s list.  Maybe that’s my way of banking on having some success…to put the onus on Mother Nature to tackle my resolutions…I like it!

 

For 2011, for example, I wanted the girls to become proficient with utensils and with navigating the stairs.  Check!  I had a few other items on the list, things I had to actually work towards…like leaving the girls with a sitter and taking a family trip.  And while I can’t necessarily mark those as really “going out on a limb”, I’m glad I set those goals…and that I can check them off, too.

 

For 2012, my list has a number of developmental items on it.  By this time next year, surely I will have transitioned my girlies to big kid beds, and taken down the remaining baby gates.  [I’m being honest here…don’t judge!]  And I have a stretch goal or two [a stretch for me, at least], including enrolling the girls in an extracurricular activity.

 

I am quite certain we will figure out the bed transition.  And I’m hoping by writing some of my other goals in my trusty daily planner, we can record some more fun adventures in the new year.

 

Do you set goals at the beginning of the year?  Do you write them down?  For those of you with older children, do you get them involved in making the commitments?

 

Mandy, mom to almost-three-year old fraternal twin girls