Archive for February, 2009
At least once a week, we play with play dough. The kids are about 23 months … and still like to eat stuff. I started making edible play dough. Now, they can explore playing with play dough, and I don’t have to worry about them putting it in their mouth! An added advantage is that it is really healthy! In fact, the other day I let them have it as part of their lunch!
1/2 C peanut butter (I try to use natural, free of trans fats)
1/2 C dry milk (you will need more to get the desired consistency)
1/8-1/4 C honey
I use less honey to try to cut down on sugars. Mix the ingredients together and add dry milk or flour until it feels right. I use my hands to mix.
If you have a child that is allergic or sensitive to milk, you can use flour instead of the dry milk. If you child has a problem with peanuts, you can use almond butter or a “nut” butter they are OK with.
Feel free to taste some. It tastes like peanut butter cookies. YUMMY! Add some carrot sticks or banana and you have a pretty good lunch. Plus, it is fun!
So, today we went to Tot Time. It is one of those activities offered by our local Parks and Recreation. It is basically, where they open up the gym to toddlers. They set out a bunch of ride/walk toys, some balls, mats, etc. The kids run around, interacting with other kids, and just have a blast! We go to at least one a week. They get their energy out, I have a chance to talk to other moms… and best of all, it is FREE!!!!
Anyway, we left, worn out and ready for lunch and nap. I arrived home to find our water being cut off! I went inside with the kids and checked on the crock pot. It wasn’t even warm! It was plugged in and everything! Why??!!!
I gathered myself. Then I made the kids some grilled turkey and cheese. I served the sammys up with some tomatoes and grapes. I discovered the crock pot would work if put it on high. I wiped them down with wipes and put them to bed.
Now dinner is cooking. I cleaned off their trays with a tube of clorox wipes. So, I sit and wait for the water to turn back on. Not really an exciting day. Not the way I would have planned it. But it is going OK. Just take it one day at a time… right?!
There are a few basics most people purchase/receive when having a child. Strollers, cribs, carriers, etc. With multiples you have at least two kids and only two hands … So, most will be a carrier. Let me tell you, not all carriers are created equal!!!!! I have tried my share. Let me tell you about each one and why I liked it or disliked it. Hopefully, it will help you to make the choice that fits your needs.
The Maya Wrap was one of my first carriers. I enjoyed having it for the tiny babies. It is important to watch the video that comes with it, or online if you did not get one. This carrier has a learning curve. I don’t know how many women I have helped when I see them walking around with their baby hanging down by their hips! You have to have it lined correctly and have the baby snug against your body.
I did use this carrier with twins when they were very small. However, it wasn’t a practical, everyday use. I think to use it more with two, you would need two carriers. The thing I liked MOST about this carrier was how instrumental it was in breastfeeding in public. When the twins were only a few months old, I walked around the mall with Z breastfeeding while I pushed B in the stroller. My husband didn’t believe me when I told him! He had to look under the wrap to actually see him! He was in awe how easy and discreet it was!
I also liked it when we traveled to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho when the twins were about 3 months old. DH and I were seated away from each other because of the air mask arrangements and having 2 infants that did not have a seat. I was able to nurse one baby on take off and landing in the very confined space without notice. In addition, it blocked the twins from being distracted.
What I disliked about this carrier is that it was short-lived. I know of some people who can use it for a longer period of time, but at about four months I could not. Having had back problems, it aggravated my back. It goes over one shoulder and around one side. This made me feel somewhat lopsided as they got heavier. I switched often, but got to a point where I couldn’t comfortably carry them. I still kept it with me for nursing until they were about a year … but as a carrier, it had long passed its usability for me.
I didn’t discover the Moby Wrap until the kids were about 10 months. Had I discovered it earlier, I think I would have chose this over the Maya. It wraps around your whole back and gives full support. My daughter also liked being able to face out. This would also be a more stable wrap for carrying newborn twins. The best thing about this one is that you can actually make it fairly cheaply without sewing! You just have to cut the fabric in half. One note, if you do make one, get about 1/2 a yard more fabric than the directions call for… as I found it just a bit short.
Again though, I did not like this as they got heavier. Perhaps with more practice I would have felt more comfortable, but it is not easy to get them on your back … and carrying a heavy baby on the front is hard on the parent. In addition, the fabric is quite long. I found it difficult to put it on without getting the fabric on the dirty ground. If you are interested in creating one here is the site: http://www.mamatoto.org/.
Kelty Hard Frame Carrier
The Kelty Child Carrier is similar to what my parents used for me. I see a lot of people use this type of carrier for hiking. To me, it felt like it put a lot of pressure on my shoulders. In addition, the kids enjoyed kicking me in the back. I know some people who LOVE this carrier. It just didn’t work for me. Your child needs to be a bit older than some of the other carriers. By that time, I felt like it pulled on my shoulders. In addition, my research shows that a child hanging with the support around their crotch is not good for hip development. It takes up a lot of room (can’t just be thrown under the stroller) and was not condusive to everyday ease of use.
Baby Björn Carrier
The Baby Björn is probably one of the most used carriers. We purchased two before the kids were born. That’s what I thought I was suppose to have! I see them everywhere. I am a member of the local babywearer group… and let me tell you, amoung us, this carrier is a joke to baby wearing!!!! Whoever created this must not have worn their baby often! What makes me sad is that many moms who use this carrier quit around six months. At that point, the baby is heavier and it pulls on your back and shoulders. It also does not help your posture. Moreso, as stated with the previous carrier, it is bad for your babies hip development. If you have received one of these or bought one, take it back!
MacLaren Quilted Baby Carrier
The Maclaren Baby Carrier is similar to the Bjorn. I got one of these from another mom… hoping it would work better than the B’jorn. While it felt a little more comfortable, I ended up having the same problems.
I saved the best for last. The Ergo Baby is by far my favorite! There are only a few things I could not live without, being a mother of twins. This is one of them!!!! It is a soft structured carrier. Its design makes the weight of your child be distributed along your hips, shoulders, back, and chest. So, there is no strain on one area. You can use it on your front, hip, or back. We didn’t purchase one of these until the kids were about 13 months old. I WISH I would have found out about this carrier sooner! It can be used from birth to about 45 lbs!!!!!!! With this carrier, you don’t need another!
We had borrowed one to try it out. I immediately fell in love! With caring for a third child while having twins, I needed all the extra help I could get! B didn’t walk until she was about 15 1/2 months. So, I would strap her to my back while I chased the other two around the park. My husband also loved this carrier! While he hardly ever used the other kinds (due to lack of comfort or complexity of use) he was drawn to this one. I found when we went out, he was always taking it, leaving me with a single stroller or carrying a baby. Within a month, we bought a second, we have NEVER regretted it!!!!!
Here are just a few ways it has made our life easier:
- When one of the children is in a “needy, I-have-to-be-held-every-moment-I’m-awake” phase. I just put them in the Ergo. I can have one of them in it while doing housework, care for the other kids, etc. while still giving that child the comfort of being carried.
- When shopping I put one on my back and the other in the cart. It takes away the struggle of using the multi-child carts (which my children are just now old enough for) or having to push a stroller and pull a cart.
- Toddlers are into everything! Having multiples might make a person shy away from parties and other get togethers. Now, when we go to one, my husband and I each put a child on our backs! We can hand them a snack, walk around and socialize, while the kids are able to see everything from our point of view, and they can’t get into things!
- Walking around a festival can be daunting when you are pushing a stroller, especially a double stroller! We put the kids on our back and are free to wonder around as we like. Last fall we walked around for three hours with the kids on our backs. Z was on mine and was 27lbs at the time. I probably could have walked around even longer. The carrier made it so comfortable and easy!
- Some stores have eisles that are just too narrow for a double stroller. I will put one in an umbrella stroller and put one in the Ergo. Then, I can wonder around without feeling trapped by the stroller.
- Now the kids have been walking for awhile. I can hold their hands and we can walk into a store, library, etc. However, as we all know, kids don’t always want to do what you want them to. I have found leaving an area can sometimes be a problem… I’m sure you can recall seeing a child throw themselves on the floor in a fit, not wanting to leave. With multiples, what do you do in this situation? Hold the screaming child in one arm while trying to old the hand of the other? Not take the chance and always take the stroller? I just put the Ergo around my waist when going in. If leaving becomes a problem, I just put the child in the carrier. Then, I still have two hands free for the other child. Or, to carry the other child.
I could talk all day about this carrier. I use mine almost daily. Just today I went to the mall with a friend. I put Z on my back and the other two in the stroller. I wanted to get some exercise and did a speed walk around the mall for about 40 min… probably about two miles. It was so easy… even with 30 lbs on my back. I feel no ache from carrying him! When we went to Florida for hubbys’s Ironman triathlon, I even used both carriers (one on front and one on the back) to walk back to the hotel!
Having twin toddlers isn’t all fun and games. Some days are easier than others.
Currently, the weather here is about as bad as it has been this year. It is gray, cloudy, raining off and on, and the coldest it has been this year. Does wonders for the mood! NOT.
I took the two snotty, screaming monkeys out this morning. I HAD to get out! We were out of coffee… and I needed a hit of caffeine to survive the morning. DH was riding. So, off we went.
I went into Starbucks for a treat. Sugarfree Vanilla Latte was on my mind. As I’m standing there in line, my kids start their squirming. B starts saying, “Down, down, down”. I was trying to keep them occupied when a woman walked up to us. She smiled at the kids. She said she has b/g twins who are 3, almost 4. I said I didn’t know if we would make it that far… jokingly. She said, “oh yes, I remember how hard it was.” And right there… I started crying. Right in the middle of Starbucks… for all to see. I started crying. Not loudly… just tears of weariness.
She felt so bad… but she understood. She rubbed my arm. Laughed a bit when she started to get a napkin and saw I had all sorts of cloths and kleenex already in my pocket. She said, if anyone would understand, it was her. She is a mother of twins. She has been there. AND… she survived to tell!
Our little man has sprouted his first 2 year molar. He has been more needy and whiny than ever before. B follows suit. I think she doesn’t want Z to get love and attention that she isn’t getting.
On top of it… we are definitely on the path to terrible twos. They no longer pay any attention to “no” or “come here”. Oh, let me take that back… they do hear, but they chose to go the opposite way or do what we don’t want them to. Then of course, they laugh. They are at the point where they are trying to take control. They realize that they are a separate person from Mommy and Daddy. They have choices. They are testing their boundaries. No, they are not TRYING to be naughty. They are just exploring their limitations.
So, we have been doing time out. In fact, B climbs on the table. Tells herself to sit down. Then tells herself, “Pop ahht” (Time out”). She then proceeds to go sit in time out. I don’t even have to do anything. lol
Ahhhh If you have a toddler. You know what I’m talking about. I have been told we will survive. For now, I will take some breaks when I can. I will continue to meditate each evening (let me tell you, that does WONDERS). And for now, I’m going to have a glass of wine and watch a little TV while the little ones nap.