Thursday, October 29, 2009

Operation Sippy Cup: Week 1

I think I titled this wrong but I don't want to jinx myself.  I was temtped to title this "Operation Sippy Cup:  Complete" because they have been doing so well with it.  The first day, Collette cried but since then, we really haven't looked back.  As of yesterday, we are down to just 2 bottles a day (wake up and bedtime) and they get their milk (formula) sippies when they wake up from naps as a "snack." 

I do think it will be a challenge to have them only drink milk at meals, as some people have suggested.  To me, if it's a snack that I just will replace with something else (like Goldfish or Graham Crackers) I would rather them drink milk.  But they are still young and I won't worry about that too much just yet.  I have a feeling that once we switch to cow's milk, they will be drinking less anyway. 

One more question for you all out there - how many sippy cups (per kid) do you have?  Right now, I have 3 different ones and it's clear that they have a favorite.  I need to go buy more of those so I wonder how many I should invest in...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Weekend

I haven't posted in a while because I have been quite busy doing things other than parenting twins, cleaning and cooking.  This year, I volunteered to organize our Mother of Twins club annual Halloween Party and we finally had it this past Saturday! 

The party was a big success, as far as I could tell.  I was freaking out a little bit because we had approximately double the number of RSVPs compared to last year and I was was sure we would break some sort of fire code.  But, with so many small people, 200 guests didn't really seem like that many and I'm sure we had a lot of no-shows.  The entertainment was great - we hired Joyce with Wiggles and Giggles and she did a fantastic job getting the kids singing and dancing.  For those of you in the area, she does do smaller events, like birthday parties and such, so check out her site if you're looking for a fun, non-clown, non-magician entertainer for your little ones.  And, as always, the bounce house was HUGE hit. 

Of course, I have no pictures because I was so busy running around playing hostess.  Billy got a few good ones on his phone so I'll have to steal those later.  In the meantime, Zimmer Zoo has some shots of her nuggets at the party - check 'em out here!

Now that this is behind us, I have to start planning the twins' first birthday party.  Would it be totally white trash of me to have the party at Chuck E Cheese, considering my kids won't even be walking, let alone playing games?  *Sigh*

Thursday, October 22, 2009

11 Months

11 months in and things are going pretty well in the Soto house.  Sebastian and Collette are crawling, climbing and standing all over the place.  They are playing with each other (sort of) and loving it.  They steal and fight and cry; they chase and talk and laugh.  All typical, fun baby stuff. 

I am enjoying it, too, I must say.  I think if I were to look back at all these month-birthday posts, all have been pretty upbeat since about 7 months, when they learned to sit up.  So, for people reading this out there with little newborns, it does get better.  You can actually have fun with your kids in that first year, contrary to popular belief.  I hear so many people say, in reference to their multiples, "I don't even remember the first year!"  I hope I don't say that some day, when their first year is behind us.  Because we have had a lot of good times.  And yes, the job of being a SAHM to infant twins is still tough.  Carrying them up and down stairs all day long, feeding them constantly, keeping them entertained, changing 17 poopy diapers per day, dealing with crying for no reason, dealing with crying for good reasons like new teeth, bruises and stolen toys.  But overall, it's a good gig.  I smile and laugh more than I did at any paying job I ever had.  And I cry a lot less.  Like, never.  Always a nice measure of job satisfaction.

Also, I know this post is a day late.  I'm not lazy or anything - it's just that I can't do the chair pictures alone, since I have kamikaze babies (don't we all, though!) and I need a spotter while I play photographer.  As you'll see below, I shouldn't quit my day job.  Anyway, here goes - Sebastian and Collette, 11 months old (and 1 day):

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Sippy Cup Saga

Ah, sippy cup.  How I loathe thee.  You are a glorified bottle that my babies do not prefer but must use so that they do not become illiterate, junkie, buck-toothed juvenile delinquents.  Or at least that's what I am led to believe.

So, to keep my kids out of jail, we will be starting the transition from bottles to sippy cups tomorrow, on their 11 month birthday, with the goal of being finished by their first birthday.  They can use the sippy cup well enough and I think once it has something more enticing in it (milk/formula) they will get even better at it.  I discussed some approaches with B., our EI worker.  She suggested that since we LOVE routines (guilty!), we should implement a sippy cup routine - different, maybe, from the bottle routine but something structured nonetheless.  She mentioned having them sit on the couch for their sippies and when they get off the couch to play, sippy time is over.  I like that idea but not sure I really want to manage two fearless 11 month olds on a couch.  We'll figure something out.  It will most likely involve The Backyardigans or some other kid's TV show.

As for getting them to drink milk (as opposed to formula) I think I will start that around 11.5 months.  I have no worries about them liking the milk - when we transitioned from breast milk to formula, they could not have cared less.  But their tummies may need some time to adjust and I think two weeks should be more than enough.

I'll be sure to post again about our progress - we'll be taking out one bottle a week to be done by November 21st.  We'll start with the mid-morning bottle, then the afternoon bottle, then the bedtime bottle, and lastly (shudder) the morning bottle. 

In the meantime, I'd love any tips from you wise mommies who have been through this already.  Thanks as always!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Top Toys that DON"T Make Noise

I have never seen an episode of Dora the Explorer and I already want to murder her.  You see, one of the ride-on/walker toys I bought for the twins at the Twin Moms tag sale happened to be a Dora toy.  Which means it sings irritating songs with a bad Latino flare, features very annoying Dora sayings and is, of course, adored by my children.  Unfortunately for me, this is just one of many toys that light up and make awful noises.  Most of their favorites play some sort of music or sound - and they can't get enough!  Meanwhile, I am ready to decapitate fictional cartoon explorers.

So, here is my list of our favorite toys that DO NOT make noise and therefore will probably not drive any of us bonkers.  In no particular order:

  1. Tunnel
  2. Ball Pit
  3. Stacking Cups
  4. Melissa and Doug Puzzles
  5. Water Bucket with floating toys
  6. Stacking rings
  7. Animal figurines
  8. Foam Letters

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Ok, maybe I am overreacting.  It's been known to happen.  But I am seriously put off by a seemingly harmless email someone sent to our mother of twins club listserv.  There was been this thread about delivering twins, started by an expecting MoT who is very close to having her babies.  She was asking for advice about which way to go and, as you could imagine, she has gotten advice from both camps.

My issue is with this one responder.  She started her response by saying that since she got pregnant with her twins "without any help from outside sources" that "it only made sense to deliver them without any help from outside sources" - the fuck??  Some of you are probably thinking, "um, I don't get it, what's the problem??"  But you have to realize that when you are part of a mother of twins club in the wonderful state of Massachusetts where we have ART covered by insurance, you are going to be in the company of a lot of people who "needed help from outside sources."  How is that supposed to make us feel??  Since we had to deal with IF and daily injections and surgeries and FAR too many vaginal ultrasounds, it "only makes sense" that we should also have some scalpel-happy OB slice through our abdomens and birth our long-awaited children that way.  I mean, it only makes sense.

And what about the others who also conceived "without help from outside sources" but, for whatever reason, didn't deliver without help?  Are they supposed to feel like they went against nature?

To be honest, this says far more about me than it does about this woman - I know she didn't intend to hurt anyone's feelings.  But I still have a lot of not-so-fun feelings re: IF - I don't think it's something I will ever "get over" but I don't cry about it every day either.  It is what it is.  I also have unresolved feelings about not being able to deliver without help.  It was my plan all along to have a vaginal delivery and for a number of reasons, it didn't work out that way.  But even though I am a bit hypersensitive when it comes to these subjects, I don't think I'm alone in this group.  And I would certainly keep that in mind before spouting off about what makes sense and what doesn't.  This is a group meant for support and I think when people get too caught up in what they do/did and what they believe, they can often forget about the people they are trying to help.

PS: You don't need to tell me I'm crazy.  I already know.  Rant over.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twins' First Fair

This weekend, we took the nuggets to the Topsfield Fair - the oldest agricultural fair in America!  I went as a kid and the only thing I really remember was that I got to ride an elephant.  More recently, my father decided to become a vendor at the fair and has had a booth there for the past 3 years.  Last year, I got to work the fair with him while I was still preggo.  My giant, twin-gestating belly got lots of people to our tattoo booth.  Writing that makes me realize how white trash it sounds...pregnant girl gives people tattoos at county fair.  They were temporary tattoos - does that make it sound better??

This year I was dismissed from tattooing duties now that the babies are out of the womb and require a lot more work.  But we had to visit Grammy and Grampa so we made the trek up on Saturday with Auntie Kim and her friends Geneva and Brandy.  We didn't have too much time to explore, what with driving there, feeding them lunch and getting an afternoon nap in.  But we introduced the twins to their first taste of fair food.  We had some pork ribs that were so soft we just broke off pieces and fed them right to the kids.  And they LOVED it!  We have some serious carnivores on our hands.  Here are some pics of them enjoying goodness:

Collette, mid chew

Sebastian, savoring the flavor

We also got to show the babies some real live animals - mostly just cows and goats.  The line to get in the pig barn was a mile long (why???) and the chicken barn was too crowded and the aisles were a bit narrow for us and the Schwinn stroller.  Not sure if they really understood that they were looking at animals.  The cows didn't move much and the goats were pretty calm and quiet too.  But all in all, we had fun, enjoyed the nice weather and tasty food.  I still have some pumpkin fudge so I'm doing alright.  Also got to buy some very local honey!  Next year will be even more fun when we can take them on some rides and let them play games.  And, of course, get tattoos from Grampa.  I'm thinking skull and cross bones.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One of Each

Having boy/girl twins, especially as your first children, is generally viewed as wonderful, lucky thing.  So many people tell me that they always wanted to boy/girl twins, then they'd be done!  Old ladies tell me how perfect it is to have one of each.  Experienced moms tell me how lucky I am not to have two boys, or two girls - their thinking being that boys fight too much and girls are catty?  I'm not sure but I get the comment a lot. 

Anyway, I do love having one of each.  But in our case, it goes a step beyong just gender.  We have one Soto and one Georgoulis, too.  Collette had her fathers face from day 1, there is no doubt about that.  But she is also a little salvadorena in the making.  I could give her a spread of all her favorite finger foods and the one she will grab first are the little red beans, a salvadoran staple.  She also likes cheese, which isn't in itself salvadoran but beans with cheese certainly is a "plato tipico," especially for breakfast.  And Billy is counting down the days until we can give her some ceviche.

Sebastian is a Georgoulis boy, through and through.  He doesn't look like me so much, but bears a strong resemblance to his uncle and grandfather.  He also has the Georgoulis temperament - total momma's boy.  It's better than it used to be but there's no denying he got the gene.  He is also a little flirt, which is another trait he must have inherited from my dad.  If things keep going this way, I will truly have my work cut out for me.

It's fun to see the two sides of their family play out differently in them.  And as they get older, I'm sure we will notice lots of new things, too, plus things that are theirs alone.

Besides looks, what do you notice in your kids that might be inherited?  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally, they like TV

Ya, I know most responsible parents would love to have their kids grow up in a world with no TV.  So, color me irresponsible.  I grew up on TV - cartoons, sitcoms, bad movies (think Weekend at Bernie's followed by Problem Child), and eventually reality TV.  And I love it.  I'm not ashamed.  I also played sports and had jobs and friends and got (very) good grades.  I guess in my opinion, its just not the end of the world.  And if it means my kids will be meltdown-free for their usual fussy times (right before nap/bedtime) - then what's wrong with a little TV??  Nuttin'!!

Anyway, a while back, through the mommy grapevine, I heard of the show Backyardigans.  All the moms reading this know what I'm talking about.  Maybe even some aunties/uncles/grandparents out there do, too.  To those who have yet to be indoctrinated in the world of all things baby/kid, Backyardigans is just some musical cartoon where they have imaginary adventures and sing their way through each episode.  Every mom I know SWEARS by their magical power to captivate audiences of all ages, but namely those from 0-5 years old.  Maybe older, I'll let you know when we get there.  So, when Sebastian and Collette went through a very fussy period at 5/6 months, I tried to exorcise their infant demons with the Backyardigans. No dice.  They "watched" for about 4 minutes and they were all like, whatever Mom, this sucks.  Apparently, my kids were immune.

But today, it dawned on me that I hadn't tried it since then.  Now that they are 10 months old, I assume they see the world (and the TV) a lot differently.  They have their favorite commercials (on the shows I watch) - mostly an Amica commercial and the one for Bernie and Phyls.  Go figure.  Anyway, I figured if they like commercials, maybe they are ready to step it up and enjoy an actual cartoon.  I had a bunch of epsiodes taped from way back when and put one on - it was about ancient Greece (is that a good one???)  And whaddya know - they liked it!  Not glued to the TV as I imagined they might be but definitely interested.  Now, I didn't really need to get anything done - this was more of an experiment.  But now I know that if I do need to get something done, like prep their meal, run their bath, get their bottles ready, etc., they have something in addition to mountains of toys to entertain them. 

And because I know the real reason you come here is to see some cute pics, here is some season-appropriate attire to get the kids in the holiday spirit.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm like a baby expert now!

OK, I'm not really a baby expert.  Unless you define baby expert as one who refers others to true professionals like Dr. Karp and Dr. Weissbluth.

But seriously, I was feeing like an expert this weekend when I attended out Mother of Twins Club new member brunch.  I was invited to attend as a "veteran" member (I joined a little over a year ago, while I was preggers) and welcome in the newbie twin moms.  Some were pregnant with their twins and many had their twins within the past year. 

The women at my table all had babies under 7 months old so I felt like I had a lot to offer in terms of infant-twin-rearing wisdom.  One mom especially was in the weeds.  Her girls are 5 weeks old.  The last of her "help" (her parents, in this case) had just left.  And she is breastfeeding.  To be honest, she was doing a great job!  BFing twins is no easy task.  So, we all reassured her that she was doing AWESOME.  But, like any new mom, she wanted some guidance on how to do things better and maybe get a glimpse at the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  Even though I didn't nurse my kids, I still felt I was able to give her a lot of good advice on the other aspects of parenting infants.  Like sleep issues.  Always a big one with new moms.  Sleep for their little ones translates to sleep for them so its critical that moms get their babies to snooze.  At the end of the brunch, I think she felt better, like at least she walked away with some ideas on how to make things run smoother at home.  Hopefully they work out for her and soon enough, these early weeks will be distant memory for her.

For me, it was great to be on the other side of things.  Finally, I'm the one with knowledge about babies and I can help out other moms who don't know what they are doing.  I was there some months ago and it sucks.  I mean, being a mom is great - I really love it.  But no one likes feeling as if they have no control, like they are just keeping their head above water because they have no idea what they are doing.  So, in that sense, being a new parent kinda sucks.  Lots of doubt, lots of questions, lots of frustration.  I asked other moms, especially other twin moms, for SO MUCH advice in those early months and it was invaluable.  Now that I have learned a thing or two about this mom gig, I can pay it forward.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

He's getting a little ahead of himself...

Sebastian, ever the optimist:

Sorry buddy, but Christmas is a LONG way away.  Until then, we'll have to distract you with Halloween, your birthday and Thanksgiving.  Think you can make it?