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March 26, 2014

12::52

One picture per kid per week for a year. 

Holt

Win. He can't be bothered right now

March 19, 2014

11::52

One picture per kid per week for a year.

This week is going to be a tad different than previous weeks.  Yesterday morning, Win didn't want to get out of bed and Holt was walking around talking to him.  Out of no where, Holt starts throwing all these stuffed animals that they have into Win's crib.  I eventually put Holt in there so he could play together.  Cuteness ensued.

This is what happened when I asked "who pooped?"


Win



Holt






As you can see, Win was really killing the serious magazine model faces.

March 18, 2014

time to slow down

I feel like I'm in a rush a lot.

With the everything from getting the twins up and running (and running and running), driving them to daycare, driving an hour to - and then from - work, getting home, making dinner if Husband hasn't done it already, playing with the boys for anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on how long it's taken them to eat said dinner or if it's bath night, and finally doing our night night ritual to put them to bed.

I always feel like we're on a schedule.  And, to be honest, we are.  A lot of parents of infants, and especially twins, know that a schedule is KEY to those first few months - really the first year - of their lives.  You are already feeding and burping and changing a baby all the time that if they get off schedule from each other there is literally no time for anything else ever.  ever.


Keeping the boys on a schedule was key to our sanity.  And, it's really stuck.  It works best for us if they get to bed at a reasonable time, 6:30-7, in order to have enough rest for their 6am wake-up - and to give mom and dad a little adult time in the evenings.  


Because of this, I feel like we are in a rush - a long fast slide into bed from the moment we get home.  If there are any bumps along the way, they seem to carry over in to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.  

A few nights ago, we were all playing downstairs and it was time to go upstairs for bed time.  The boys' play area is downstairs and we like to keep all their toys there so we don't have toys strewn all over the house (I know what you're thinking - you have kids, of course you're going to have toys all over the house.  Why even try? We just like to operate under the illusion that that isn't the case - the toy part, not the kid part.  Just go with me on this one).  Holt had been playing in the one cabinet in the kitchen that isn't childproofed and had taken out a water bottle with a hard plastic straw and was carrying them around.  

We usually have a hard time getting the boys to put down whatever it is that they are playing with to go upstairs to start getting ready for bed.  I was already anticipating crying and pouting and snatching (and was panicking about the schedule and the minutes that were slipping away).  

I asked Holt where he wanted to put the cup and straw (a trick I've learned to get them to do something I want).  He said, "KITCHEN!"  And ran back to the kitchen to put the cup and straw back.  He also, having inherited the cleanliness gene from Husband, began putting back all the cups and straws and tupperware that he had gotten out.  I started to say to him that he didn't have to clean up, mommy would do it, let's go upstairs, go go go.  He stood up, locked eyes with me, and stayed that way for a moment and then went back to cleaning, all the while singing our clean up song.  It was as if that look said, "Mommy, I'm finishing what I started.  Chillax.  It will take 2 minutes."  And that look was right.  I sat there and watched him pick up every last piece on the floor and put it back in the cabinet.  I realized it took two more minutes for my two year old to give me a moment of clarity and quiet - while he was AWAKE no less!   


So here's to taking two more minutes out of my day to watch in amazement as my kid cleans up a mess he's made and one that he should be cleaning up anyway to sit and not rush and listen to the quiet moments.




March 14, 2014

Interesting Reads

I know a lot of people do a "Friday Links" post.  I don't usually.

But, this week, I've read some pretty great stuff online. So I'm sharing it.

I don't want to #banbossy.  But I will #affirmassertive.  Rage Against the Minivan

"Problem is, sometimes girls have leadership skills, and sometimes they are just being entitled or controlling or cruel. Not every girl who is behaving in a bossy way deserves an affirmation for leadership skills. If I catch my girls (or boys) ordering friends around, refusing to listen to the boundaries of others, or failing to consider how others feel as they act like a tyrant, they certainly won’t be getting an affirmation from me. Being pushy is not a leadership skill. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that “bossy” describes the behavior of most bullies."

The Cry for Help  Kincaid Parade

"My kids are perceptive. They ask me what’s wrong. They give hugs. In the loud places, I stonewalled. In the quiet places, I crumpled. I tried to think rationally through situations and describe my emotions, to take away their power. The only word I kept coming up with was rage. It was bright and blinding...I had crossed the line. I had become fixated on the something trivial to the detriment of my mood, my day, and my family. And this wasn’t the first time. But I knew it needed to be the last."

We're All Doing this Parenting Thing Right  Writing Chapter Three

"With all my ear-marked pages in natural childbirth and parenting books, I was surely setting myself up for a perfect life as a mom. If I played my cards right, my child could be smarter, more alert, farther ahead, better adjusted, and in every other way more advanced than other babies. Far healthier and happier too. I, myself, would be a stronger, more empowered, enlightened woman. All this would all be thanks to my careful planning...So, why haven't we learned as a culture to stop passing so much judgement? At this point in the conversation, why do we care so much what our fellow parents are doing anymore? Shouldn't we be busy nurturing our own families instead?"

I really love this workout from Dancing with Ashley and this yellow shirt and polka dot skirt combo.

And finally, this is the reason that my kids will sleep in cribs until they leave for college.

Have a great weekend!

March 12, 2014

10::52

One picture per kid per week for a year. 



Holt after two parties at school. The Mickey Mouse ears were a big hit. 



Win. 

March 10, 2014

boys

I have to tell you something...and it's a secret.

I realize it's not a secret if it's on the internet.

I wanted girls.

Now...before you go all "oh you should be happy and grateful that you have happy and healthy children" on me, let me explain.

I wanted girls...not because I wanted to dress them up.  I didn't want to put them in tutus and have them in ballet from the time that they were too young to walk and put them in pageants.  Well...there still might have been plenty - at least some - of that (the tutus and ballet part).

I wanted girls because I felt prepared for girls.

Wanna know why?  Good, cause that's what this post is about.

One.  I have a fantabulous relationship with my mother.  We never had those weird competition vibes with each other that you see so often on tv.

Two.  I worked at a residential summer camp for 6 summers.  And while I will admit that working at a residential summer camp is really NOTHING like having your own children, one does get to spend a lot of time with a lot of kids (ages 7-18) for extended periods of time.  One tends to pick up some hints on how one might raise girls.

Three.  I almost minored in Women's Studies (it's a long story and there's no reason to go in to the fact that I am one class shy from the actual minor...I still feel like a Women's Studies minor.  And really, just like no one cares what one's GPA was in college, NO ONE cares what one minored in, except for the person who was one class shy of the minor).  We had a lot of discussion about female adolescence and what was really wrong with American girls' upbringing (and no, I do not think that Barbies are the root of all evil).  We talked about ways to be prepared and react to the throes of female adolescence (I know there are some parents of female adolescents that are laughing and cringing at what I'm saying right now).  I'm not saying we talked about everything, but I am saying that we at least had discussions about female adolescence.  That's a lot more than a lot of other people can say.

I wanted girls because I was going to teach them and tell them and impress upon them that they could do anything.  And that they probably wouldn't be the best.  At anything.  And that that's ok.  Because, really, no one is the best at anything.  There is always someone better, stronger, faster, smarter than you.  I would teach them that the important thing is that they try their hardest, and they do their best. They would always be the best in my eyes if they did that.

I wanted girls because of how mad it made me when people (mostly men) said that girls were harder to raise than boys.  Who made that rule?  Did anyone ever consider that maybe they treated their daughters differently than they treated their sons and that THAT might be the reason that girls were "harder" to raise than boys?  While I understand the inherent biological difference between boys and girls I want to argue (from the peanut gallery, mind you, as I have no girls) that like Supernanny demonstrates every episode, the way we behave as adults toward each other and toward our children directly influences the way our children behave.

I wanted them to be able to do whatever it was that they wanted to do (within reason): play soccer, dance, be a doctor, archeologist, architect, executive director of a camp and conference center, be a wrestler, be a cheerleader, be a chef, be a mechanic, a banker, an artist, a psychiatrist, whatever.  I don't care as long as they're happy and not hurting themselves or other people.   And I was hoping that I could help them pave their own way and have less struggles than I have had (which was not many), and have less struggles than my contemporaries have had, and certainly have less struggles than our mothers and grandmothers have had.

I wanted them to demand respect for themselves.  Not demanding it by words, but by proving that they deserved respect by their actions.  By working hard.  By knowing their own worth and proving it to others by being accountable for their actions and meaning what they say and saying what they mean.  By respecting others, no matter who they were or what their background was.

I was ready for girls.

And...

And then I had boys.




And I will be the first to admit, rather grudgingly, that they weren't the first thing that I was expecting.

To be honest, it really hadn't occurred to me that I would have boys.  I thought it was a done deal that we would have girls.

I understand how ridiculous that sounds. 

Now, of course, my boys are fantastic.  And I know that they love me as much as a two-year-old can understand the emotion.  And I love them more than I could ever explain to you.  Seriously.  Ever.  And, things are fantastic.  As I've said before, I am completely and utterly amazed by them.  Every day.

I kind of let go that, ya know, there probably weren't going to be any tutus.  Don't get me wrong, if they want to wear tutus, I am ALL about that.  But, I'm not going to be surprised, or disappointed, if they don't want to wear tutus.

To be honest, after they were born, there wasn't copious amounts of free time to think about how I had boys instead of girls.  There was only time to get to know them and postpartum me and establish the new normal in our household.

But this past Christmas, as they were playing with the kitchen Husband and I gave them; as we watched them play with balls (and be enamored with any sporting event in real life or on tv) and want to throw and catch and throw; as we watch Win dance with real gusto, a knowledge of his body, and - dare I say it - a little bit of rhythm (and secretly smile at each other knowing that we'd be completely happy if he was a real dancer in real life); as they learn all of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy characters; as they watch Daddy cook most of their meals; as they watch and learn that Mommy is the "fixer of things"; as I realize that the first color they can correctly identify is pink; as we watch them play with dolls and play food and paint and playdo and footballs and basketballs -



I realize that we are raising children - humans.

We made tiny humans and they are awesome and we get a hand in brainwashing raising them.  I know that it doesn't matter what their gender is.  I know there will be tough times.  I know there will be mistakes and hard decisions that we later regret.  I also know that these are some of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had.  And I believe that I will continue to have beautiful experiences mixed in with all the other crap.

I know that they can work toward gender equality whether they are boys or girls.

We will teach them to demand respect for themselves by working hard and by respecting others, no matter the person.

They can be anything they want to be as long as it makes them happy.  But they probably won't be the best.  And that's ok.  There is always someone better, stronger, faster, smarter than they are. What matters to me is that they try.  And try their best.  They would always be the best in my eyes if that did that.



March 05, 2014

9::52

One picture per kid per week for a year. 


Holt: After two years and change they FINALLY like the swings. Now, they never want to get off. 


Win: no explanation needed.