Friday, May 28, 2010

Local Online Resources For Families With Multiples

Having multiples in your family truly is multiple times the blessing and is a unique experience. Love received and given by multiples is a joy that words sometimes can not describe. If it takes a village to raise a child, then raising multiple children will require the whole village and the entire tribe. Having immediate parenting resources, helpful tips, or just to being able to connect with someone who "has been there-done that" is priceless for families with multiples. Parents can sometimes feel like they are alone and outnumbered by their multiples. Its not always easy being parents and there are unique situations that parents of multiples face each day. For example, logistically, getting to and from any place each day, with a set of multiples, can seem like planning a military strategic operation.

A resource to families of multiples is the "Life With Twins and Multiples" blog. The blog created by Central FL mother, Kristen Stehli, features parenting ideas, advice, contests, and honest talk about parenting multiples. Kristen has invited current moms of multiples to be co-authors on the blog to get a wide perspective on life with multiples. The following co-authors are expert bloggers and/or Moms of multiples: Kristen from Life With Twins and Multiples; Jennifer from Twinhappy; Nicole, Mom of twins & 1 child; Joscelyn from Orlando Parenting Multiples Examiner and Mami & The Multiples; Raven, Mom of a surviving set of triplets & 3 children; Elayne, from Solinox Enterprises ; Carla Rose from Carla Rose Coaching; Amanda from Ravens Repose Handmade Soap Co; and Pam, (fellow Examiner) Bismark Budget Meals Examiner, and Cooking For Seven.

Another resource open to all families, including families with multiples, is Mami & The Multiples. This blog was created by me to offer parenting resources and helpful tips to all families, including families of multiples and bilingual children. As a new resident of Central FL from the Washington D.C. area, I'm currently experiencing first-hand the joys (and trials) of living in a new state, new home, and new surroundings with a family that includes toddler twins. (On a side note, leading bloggers of Latin descent were invited by General Mills to Miami to witness the re-launch of their family lifestyle website, I was honored to be representing Mami & The Multiples at this event. Please feel free to find out about and the wonderful family, fashion, and women oriented Latina bloggers via

If you are looking for playgroups in the Central FL area that are open to families of multiples, Kristen, is the organizer/administrator of several different groups in the area. Two "multiples friendly" groups are North Orlando Sunshine Moms and Twins & Multiples Ages 0-4 Playgroup.

If you live in the Central FL and/or just want to connect with Kristen or Joscelyn, please feel free to use the following:

And if you are a parent of multiples, be encouraged and know that you have an entire "tribe" who are supporting you!

For More Information: Visit Life With Twins and Multiples: and Mami & Multiples:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy TwinTuesday! Summer Reading...

Hi again everyone! TwinHappyJen here with another TwinTueday :-) And yes, getting this posted a bit late again :-p Honestly, I almost forgot it was TwinTuesday! Just had some errands to run this morning, and then ended up having to take a nap after getting the girls off to school (last night was my weekly date night with my husband and, they never to seem to understand that Mommy was up late the night before :-p)... so, just finally getting a chance to sit down and post today.

I also wasn't sure what I was going to post about today, but I happened to learn that a big book convention (called Book Expo America) is starting today in New York. I would have loved to go... I'm pretty clueless about, well, everything having to do with the literary/publishing world :-p But, this particular event seems to be a pretty big deal. Oh well, maybe next year :-D And in the meantime, I've decided to make this TwinTuesday book-themed!

With summer coming up, those of us with school-aged children might be wondering how to keep them occupied until the fall. This is a first for me... I think this is the first summer I've ever dreaded :-p The girls have just enjoyed PreK so much... even over the weekend, they'll start to bug me about going back to school. They're actually getting really familiar with the days of the week now just because, we go over it every time they wonder whether or not today is a school day :-p

So now we're facing a couple of months or so of no school... one of their teachers actually suggested our local library's summer reading program. I'd definitely like to check that out. We used to go to the library all the time, but we got out of the habit when they started a big construction project on the one here (the Cockeysville Library), awhile ago (it seems to have been going on forever now). They still have a "mini-library" with a few shelves of books and every once in awhile we'll go in to pick a few up. But, there's no giant play area or anything like that anymore. Really looking forward to their grand re-opening (whenever that may be)! :-p

Anyway, haven't checked into what programs they might still have running, but think I'll have to check it out. So, what about you? This might not apply to those of you with very young twins, but if they're at all near school age, do you have any summer programs that they'll be participating in? (And if you happen to live near me, here in Baltimore County, Maryland, I could definitely use suggestions! :-D)

To rephrase, here's the official TwinTuesday QOTW:

What summer reading plans do you have with your twins? Any particular books you're planning to read together?

I don't really have an answer to this question, myself, right now. But, I can say that Anna and Josie have renewed my interest in books. I used to read quite a bit, and I still don't read as many adult books as I should. But, I have been transported back to my youth a bit, when my parents would take us to our local library (which was the Harundale Library, now called the North County Library, in Glen Burnie, Maryland). We usually had some kind of limit on how many books we could check out, which was probably a good idea since I might have checked out half the library if they let me :-p I remember having so much fun picking out all these "new" books that I could take home with me... and not even having to worry about how much they cost (and hence, whether or not my parents would balk at getting it for me) like I would in a toy store :-p I could just pick out anything I wanted!

I do have to admit, though, that a lot of children's books today leave me kind of cold. A lot of times it just seems like they're thrown together and a lot of times, when reading them to the girls, I'll even make up my own words for them, because the wording in the books are so awkward, long-winded or whatever, that it just makes reading them out loud almost impossible. And, of course, finding good books about twins is even more impossible... the whole idea of writing "Two Snowflakes" started because I simply couldn't find any good twin books in my library.

So, I could definitely use some suggestions for summer-reading! I think it's the only way we'll all stay sane until September (or late August... whenever school starts now :-p)

Feel free to answer the QOTW in the comments below, or on your own blog and add a link to your post below! (And feel free to add the blog hop code to your blog post, as well!)

P.S. You can also feel free to talk about anything you'd like in the TwinTuesday posting on your own blog... the QOTW is just meant as a discussion starter, but you're certainly not restricted to that as a topic :-)

New to TwinTuesday? Read about what exactly it is and how it all began!

Looking to connect with other Twin Moms, Dads & More on Twitter?

Check out the ever-growing "Twin Tweeters" list!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Life with Downs

Hi my name is Lala, I gave birth to twins on Dec 4, 2009. I was supposed to be going for a oil change. That never happened.

I was blessed with my twins after 13 years of trying. Then God sent me for a loop when was I told that twin A, Andrew, has Downsyndrome.

I can say that I was not unhappy, a bit overwhelmed, however, I felt that well if this is the path the Lord wants me on, well, I guess I will just have to take the journey.

I have never been so happy.

There isn't too much information on Downsyndrome. This is what I know, my son is a very happy boy. If I would of had him first then years later have my daughter, I would of been in for a rude awakening.

I think what I hate most is when people find out he has downs they do the head tilt thing and say oh so sorry. To me its like Sorry that I have a son. What are you thinking.

I am not sorry for my son. Anyone who meets him feels that he is a angel sent from heaven. There is something about him that pulls you into his soul.

He is also very funny.

Now my daughter well lets just say, she wakes up with her hands in a fist and goes to bed with them in a fist. She is very funny, beautiful and well she will be a force to be rekoned with. Much like her mother. Her name is Alayna.

She was born with a protein allergy to anything from a cow, therefore, lots of tummy aches. Lots of digestion problems. I was told that these were supposed to be Andrews symptoms to having Downs. I guess she was brave enought to take one for the team.

Andrew, whom I also call Snowflake, because he is so fare, is fare skinned blonde hair and blue eyes. Alayna is olive skinned, bluish green eyes, and dark hair. She his my Sun Goddess.

I truly feel blessed, i hope you continue to follow my blog as they are very funny.

Lots of love to all, and god bless.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mom hates yucky public toilets

Since I have never had twins before, potty training twins will be a very new experience for me. Not so much one that I am looking forward to. I realized once we start potty training, we will need to figure our how to go about going on outings. Then I also realized... I am SO grossed out by public bathrooms!! I am not taking my twins into a public bathroom and having them touch everything while I struggle to help them go to the bathroom. YUCK. That sounds like a germ infested nightmare to me!!

There is nothing worse about public bathrooms than taking a child or TWO under age 7 into one, and expecting there to be a way to keep their hands off everything. Impossible!!

I think I need to go on a search for the best travel pottys. I would sooner have a potty or two in my van and find an easy way to dispose of the waste, than deal with gross public bathrooms with toddler twins.

I pondered the thought of having two pottys on our screen porch for when they play in our back yard. That way I do not have to take them inside if we are swimming and such.

How do you avoid germy situations with public bathrooms and potty training toddlers??

Friday, May 21, 2010


I ended the contest 2 hours early since there were no more entries coming in.....

drum roll..........

   We now have a winner for our 1st blog contest!!!
     I went to the random number website and it gave me 9
     Our 9th reply in the blog contest is twins2009.

     CONGRATS    twins2009

I will contact The Little Lasso with your name.
just email with your email address so that The Little Lasso can email you your code to order your Little Lasso's FREE from their website!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's your list?

OK Moms, what are the worst or dumbest comments you have gotten in public or online about having multiples???

I would have to say my top 5 are:

drum roll please.......

1. Oh I feel sorry for you
2. You must have been mortified when you found out it was twins
3. Double Trouble
4. Did you plan to have twins
5. I bet your life sux.

Why do people dislike twins so much or think of them as a punishment or a bad thing?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy TwinTuesday! Two of Everything?

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer Miller and I have a personal twins blog at This is actually my first post here because, well, I've been trying to figure out what to write about :-p However, I got together with Kristen and have decided to bring my weekly "TwinTuesday" posts here, too!

If you're new to TwinTuesday, you can read all about what it is and how it all began. However, it's basically something I started last year on Twitter... and it's not only spread to my blog, but other blogs, as well!

The main feature of TwinTuesday is the "Question of the Week." Here's today's:

Do you buy two of everything for your twins? Or do they share certain things?

This question was inspired, partly by the giveaway going on here at "Life with Twins & Multiples": Enter to win two little "Lassos!" (Not an official TwinTuesday giveaway, but thought it appropriate to mention here!)

However, it was also inspired by a comment that Kristen made the other day about, picking up a Lion King Ride-On at a garage sale. While she picked up some other things, too, her boys just became fixated on the Lion King Ride-On and then the search was on for a second Lion King Ride-On :-p

It's a situation that any seasoned parent of twins is well aware of. Just one example: While at a TotSwap a year or two ago, I had my girls with me... and someone had an extra balloon, so they gave it to one of the girls. I could've killed that person :-p NEVER give ONE balloon or toy or anything like that, to twins... it's much better to just not give them anything, if you only have one of something. All it causes is pain and grief... for the twins, but especially the parents :-p

While some things can be shared, and it is important to teach sharing, a lot of times it's a better idea to get two of something (and, of course, there are plenty of necessary things that you have to buy two of).

So, what kinds of things can be shared? And, what kinds of things, must you simply buy two of?

Feel free to answer this question in the comments below... or, post a reply on your own blog and add a link to your post in the linky below!

Looking to connect with other Twin Moms, Dads & More on Twitter?

Check out the ever-growing "Twin Tweeters" list!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Books :)

Graham and Parker are really into books lately. They like to look through them and talk about the pictures. They also like to make animal sounds too! They bring me books to read them quite often too! I think they will probably end up being really good readers. yay boys!
One of their favorite books is a book called Rusty's bone. They received it from their grandma after they were born. They love this book so much that it has fallen apart twice.
I feel so bad that their favorite book has fallen apart yet again, so I ordered a new copy.
Rusty's Bone is an "usborne" book title. I really have never known very much aboout usborne books but now I think I am interested.

I looked over their website and found a lot of cute toddler book titles on
I am considering having a "book party" with one of their local reps. I might even sign up to be an usborne rep. if it seems like something that would work out for me.
I had to order a few more books to get the free shipping on amazon, so I got a few more titles from that Rusty's Bone series (Curly's Friends and Wollys Walk) and one about a Panda in the Park. I think Graham and Parker will really enjoy them.
I found another usborne title in our house today too.. "That's not my bunny" I am going to read it to them later on this evening.
here are some pics of the books!

Got Twins?? Win TWO Little Lasso's!!!!


Let's see those entry comments!!!!
Confused on how to enter?? email

                              Parker using one of The Little Lasso's in the pool!
Graham with The Little Lasso, in the stroller...using 2 for each twin!!
Keeps's your little one's sippy's, snack cups, and toys safe and sound with them!

Those sippys and snack cups aren't going to be falling on the dirty ground!!

Language Development Times Two

As a teacher who worked with children of various ages and abilities over the years, I have had some experience with little ones as they learn to speak English. Maya followed the pattern of naming items for a long time when she was 1-2 years old, then suddenly one day began speaking in complete sentences (though some words were "Mayanese", she still had the right syntax, comprehension, etc. skills for her age).

I've never dealt with twin toddlers learning English skills before, though. It's fascinating to watch, and listen, to my two youngest practice their 'speaking' skills!

As with Maya, I've used sign language from the beginning, and while Sam and Sarah don't usually sign back, they DO understand the signs and will respond appropriately. Sarah has seemed to be a little bit more advanced than Sam in this regard from the beginning. The weird thing is, she won't TALK. You can tell her easy commands, like,"Sarah, hand me that toy," and she'll walk right over and pick it up and bring it to you. She'll point at various parts of her body if I ask her "Where is your nose? Where is your belly button?", that sort of thing. She KNOWS exactly what we ask her to do, and will 'ask' questions through pointing at something specifically and 'grunting' something that we interpret to mean, "What's this? What's that?". But she won't SPEAK. She'll hold her hand to the side of her cheek and say, "Ummmm..." as if she's trying to think of what to say, but so far, not a single word, and she'll be 2 in July! For those of you with older twins, does that sound weird to you?

Sam, on the other hand, has been babbling since he was a month old. He would struggle to get sounds out like he wanted to have an earnest conversation with us...a lot of times he would crack us up because he would be trying soooooo hard to 'speak', yet it seemed his mouth and tongue wouldn't cooperate with him. Sam was the first to start to label things, like 'ball', 'oh, man' (from Dora, "Swiper, no swiping!", although he leaves off the "n" sound, which he CAN say, but for some reason doesn't), he calls me "Mamamamamama" (always 4 or 5 times in a row, LOL) and with such expression depending on how he is feeling. :-) He'll babble out complete sentences and conversations and we have no idea what he is saying, but again, he seems to have the syntax and comprehension down even though it's in "Sam-ese".

I've heard about twins speaking to each other in their own 'language' even into adulthood in some cases. But Sam and Sarah really don't talk to each other. They communicate by grunts sometimes, sometimes just taking things away from each other gently (the other just keeps on going without getting upset 99% of the time), lots of 'parallel play', but no real interactive talking. Anyone else experience this with your B/G twins? Are identicals different? Do they develop language simultaneously?
Let me know!


I am pleased to announce that we are having our very first blog giveaway!!!!!

Do you remember the review I posted on The Little Lasso ??  Here is is....

Well, The Little Lasso has just offered to give away one free Little Lasso to one Lucky Winner on Life with Twins and Multiples!!

The Little Lasso will email our lucky winner a  code for 100% off the purchase of one Lasso so they can order directly through The Little Lasso website!!  If the winner has twins, she gets TWO!!!!!

Super cool huh!!

Here is how to enter to win your very own Little Lasso!!
1. Become a blog follower of Life with Twins and Multiples
2. Become a fan of Life with Twins and Multiples on FaceBook
3. Become a fan of The Little Lasso on FaceBook
4. Reply to this blog entry and tell us why you NEED The Little Lasso and how old your children are!!
                                   You must do all 4 steps to enter!!
For an Extra entry....
 Become a fan of TwinsGO! on FaceBook

For another Extra entry....
 Join TwinsGO!

For ANOTHER Extra entry......  Moms of Multiples only...
   Email us with an entry for our BlogRoll, or Playgroup page, or submit yourself to be a featured mom.
For a 5th and final Extra entry....
Get 5 of your mommy friends to follow of our Life with Twins and Multiples!!

That would be a possible total of 5 entries per person  Moms of  Twins, Triplets, higher order Multiples and Singletons are welcomed to enter!


Contest starts on 5/17/2010 and ends on 5/22/2010



Fun day at the Science Center!!

We went to the Orlando Science Center with our playgroup, North Orlando Sunshine Moms! Graham and Parker really enjoyed the Science Center but at age 2, they could not check out everything there was to see.

There was a lot of staying in the stroller but they had a lot of fun!! I wonder if other moms of twins under age 3 have to chase one of their twins if they let them ouot of the stroller. Parker is my runner...he just takes off and thinks it is very funny. Graham usually tries his best to stay right with me. Sometimes he plays copycat and runs too though.  Thank goodness for strollers and backpack leashes...although those are tough to use too if one twin wants to walk another direction or just stand there.

They LOVED the Dinosaurs most!! Here are some pics!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rear Facing carseats beyond 12 months old?

I recently read an article..  2 Is The New 1: Rear-Facing Car Seats Until At Least Age 2
The article is really good and made me feel better about keeping my twins rear facing in their carseats.

I am starting to think that maybe rear facing beyond 12 months old, should be promoted by the NICU as well. Honestly the main reason I am keeping my twins rear facing is because they were born 8 weeks premature. I am sure they would love to turn forward facing in their carseats, but they really are not complaining. I still have the fun fisher price rainforest mirrors attached to the seat, and they seem to really enjoy looking into them. I provide them with snacks, sippy cups, books, and small toys. They have no issue with rear facing at 2 years old. Your child does not have to be a preemie to be hurt or killed badly in an accident, while sitting front facing in their carseat.

The next thing that convinced me to keep them rear facing, was the abundance of memorial videos on your tube for toddlers that died due to being forward faced in their carseats.

Your child's head is the HEAVIEST part of his or her body.  Ever hear of internal decapitation???
Yes, it IS as bad as it sounds.

Check out this video!

This video is very sad and is about an 18 month old who was front facing in his carseat.  brace yourself for this one.

Check out this video as well, it is about the importance of the 5 point harness.

There are many car seats on the market now that will hold a child heavier than 35 pounds rear facing!!

Any thoughts??


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Udder Covers - For Nursing Mothers

While I, personally, am a die-hard BF Mom who will be the first to tell you to go... *Ahem* Eat your meal in a bathroom stall or with a blanket over your head, before I will do so with my baby... Not all women are comfortable with public nursing.

I do not use nursing covers. I do not believe in nursing covers. They are a pain in the... And I digress...

The whole point of this post is to stop and spread the word about a promo code for a free $32 nursing cover at (if you're not currently breastfeeding they make great baby shower and holiday gifts)!

You just pay the shipping. The code is "Family2010".

Go to, click on "Shop Now", select the product you would like (they also have 3 piece gift sets available with this promotion) and you will automatically be directed to the center of the page where you can enter in the promo code! Type in "Family2010" and it will pull up the ones available. They are selling out fast. You can use the code more than once - you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Good Luck!

This promotion gives you a $32.00 discount off your total order no matter what you put in your cart! This promotion code is valid once per transaction, so you can order as many times as you would like!

You just pay the shipping. The code is "Family2010".

Go to, click on "Shop Now", select the product you would like (they also have 3 piece gift sets available with this promotion) and you will automatically be directed to the center of the page where you can enter in the promo code! Type in "Family2010" and it will pull up the ones available. They are selling out fast. You can use the code more than once - you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Good Luck!

This promotion gives you a $32.00 discount off your total order no matter what you put in your cart! This promotion code is valid once per transaction, so you can order as many times as you would like!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Parents of Multiples & All Parents: Have Fun Raising Bilingual Children With Sing-A-Lingo

Parents of multiples have unique challenges in the daily aspects of taking care of their children. From feeding two or more babies simultaneously to possible language delays that can occur in toddler multiples--everything is part of raising multiples. According to renowned author, pediatrician, and Yale graduate, Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P, one of the many benefits of raising bilingual children is, "when babies grow up hearing two different languages in about equal amounts, most become fluent in both languages simultaneously. There is no cost in terms of emotional or intellectual (cognitive) delays. In some ways, bilingual children may have an advantage. For example, they may find it easier to learn certain grammar rules or rules relating to reading and writing. And, of course, they can speak with a wider range of people than can children who speak a single language." Parents, including those of multiples, who want to raise bilingual children can find educational products with Sing-A-Lingo.
Piña and Michael Madera, co-founders of Sing-A-Lingo, are Spanish speaking parents who made the decision to raise their children bilingual. Piña has worked as an educator since 1987 and was raised bilingual since it is her Mexican mother's language. Michael holds an M.A. in Spanish and a doctorate in Psychology. Understanding the developmental benefits of music for children, being musicians themselves, and wanting to create products that integrated useful Spanish into their daily lives,
Sing-A-Lingo was born.

Sing-A-Lingo has developed a new comprehensive Spanish program for fun and easy language-learning. The Spanish-All-Day Program combines music, visual aids and interactive games to encourage children to learn Spanish by providing language opportunities throughout the day. This new program expands on their first album, En Mi Casa (In My House). En Mi Casa features catchy Spanish lyrics about common activities, and provides families with a soundtrack for a typical day. The original songs featured on the album are about practical, functional topics in environments where children already find themselves, so practicing Spanish just happens. En Mi Casa has been well-received by parents and children everywhere and is the recent recipient of a 2009 iParenting Media Award and Parents Choice Award. This new comprehensive program from Sing-A-Lingo helps caregivers and educators teach children the fundamentals of learning Spanish.

Sing-A-Lingo has an easy approach to learning...Sing...Laugh...Learn...a method all parents can use!

For More Information: Visit Sing-A-Lingo Website:

Mother's Day History

History of American Celebration
When the first English settlers came to America, they discontinued the tradition of Mothering Day. While the British holiday would live on, the American Mother’s Day would be invented—with an entirely new history—centuries later. One explanation for the settlers’ discontinuation of Mothering Day was that they just didn’t have time; they lived under harsh conditions and were forced to work long hours in order to survive. Another possibility, however, is that Mothering Day conflicted with their Puritan ideals. Fleeing England to practice a more conservative Christianity without being persecuted, the pilgrims ignored the more secular holidays, focusing instead on a no-frills devotion to God. For example, even holidays such as Christmas and Easter were much more somber occasions for the pilgrims, usually taking place in a Church that was stripped of all extraneous ornamentation.

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamaition of 1870

The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers. With the following, she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.

"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

The Rise & Fall of Howe's Mother's Day
At one point Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, in order to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2nd was designated for the celebration. In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years.

Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day.

Anna M. Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1908
After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday School. Her request was honored, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The West Virginia event drew a congregation of 407 and Anna Jarvis arranged for white carnations—her Mother’s favorite flower—to adorn the patrons. Two carnations were given to every Mother in attendance. Today, white carnations are used to honor deceased Mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to Mothers who are still alive. Andrew's Methodist Church exists to this day, and was incorporated into the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 1962.

US Government Adoption
In 1908 a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 forty-six states were holding Mother's Day services as well as parts of Canada and Mexico.

Anna Jarvis quit working and devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother's Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women groups, churches and other institutions and organizations. She finally convinced the World's Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

The Fight Over Commercialization
The holiday flourished in the United States and flowers, especially white carnations, became very popular. One business journal, Florists Review, went so far as to print, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.” But the budding commercialization of Mother's Day greatly disturbed Jarvis, so she vociferously opposed what she perceived as a misuse of the holiday. In 1923 she sued to stop a Mother’s Day event, and in the 1930's she was arrested for disturbing the peace at the American War Mothers group. She was protesting their sale of flowers. In the 1930’s Jarvis also petitioned against the postage stamp featuring her Mother, a vase of white carnations and the word “Mother’s Day.” Jarvis was able to have the words “Mother’s Day” removed. The flowers remained. In 1938, Time Magazine ran an article about Jarvis's fight to copyright Mother's Day, but by then it was already too late to change the commercial trend.

In opposition to the flower industry’s exploitation of the holiday, Jarvis wrote, “What will you do to route charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations?” Despite her efforts, flower sales on Mother's Day continued to grow. Florist's Review wrote, “Miss Jarvis was completely squelched.” Anna Jarvis died in 1948, blind, poor and childless. Jarvis would never know that it was, ironically, The Florist's Exchange that had anonymously paid for her care.

Worldwide Spread of Mother's Day
By the time of Anna M. Jarvis's death, over 40 countries observed the Mother’s Day. Here is the history of the spread of Mother's Day throughout the rest of the world.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Playgroups and Names

We didn't do much of a theme with our names. We tried to stay with a Celtic theme for most of our kids, with some exceptions for literary characters or family names. That's it.

I'll second Kristen's opinion of NOMOTC, with some extras. I, too, noticed that it wasn't about the kids, it was about the moms, and I did not feel welcome there with my little ones. (This was in Austin, TX, 10 years ago.) At the time, most of the mothers of HOM (higher-order multiples) in the area felt the same, so we had our own separate group for triplets and up. We had a yahoo group, and we went out to a moms-only dinner once a month. Sometimes moms got together for playdates, but we didn't do any big activities as a group with our kids. It filled a need to be with other moms "like me" in having triplets or more.

I never did find a playgroup that worked, though. Never found a multiples-only playgroup, and never found one friendly to multiples. We're a walking freak show, not somebody you make friends with, apparently. One lady ran into me with my triplets at a coffee shop once, and invited us to join her playgroup. We went three times, and then the group was scheduled to meet at my house...whereupon I was called the day before the meeting and told I was no longer welcome. I tried a local babysitting co-op, too (don't get me started on finding sitters for triplets!). They kicked me out.

Multiples intimidate other families, I think. Singleton babies don't know what to make of it when multiples come to play. The multiples are already accustomed to crawling all over each other and playing together, and the singletons flip out. Moms of singletons don't know what to make of us, either. Some of them put us up on a pedestal as being goddesses of child-rearing just for staying sane (or some semblance of sanity). Some of them don't understand the chaos that comes with bringing more than one baby anywhere, the 20-minute diaper change routine, the 1-hour feeding routine, the fact that MOMs can't just sit still and watch one child, we have to constantly bounce to keep one child after another out of trouble. Based on my experiences in Austin, it seems like HOMs get the same reaction from twins.

It's hard not to take it personally. But keep trying. Eventually either you'll find the group that fits you, or you'll make your own, or you'll just settle in with some friends who are welcoming without any structure at all. Any way, while you're looking, at least our kids have built-in playgroups!

I guess I'll introduce myself. My name is Ellena. I am turning 30 next month, and I'm the mom of 4 children under the age of 3! I have TWO sets of TWINS born 2 years 3 months apart! We tried for years to get pregnant on our own. Finally after 4 IVF attempts we conceived our now almost 3 year old fraternal twin daughters Kayla and Haley. I had complications during that pregnancy, and ended up on bedrest in the hospital fighting off early labor from 29 weeks to 33 weeks 5 days when they were born. Kayla spent 2 1/2 weeks in the NICU and Haley spent 5 weeks in the NICU (due to a collapsed lung). You would never know to look at them today that they were born 6 weeks 2 days early! When they were 1 1/2 we decided to try IVF one last time in the hopes of having a 3rd child. We didn't want to wait too long inbetween since our girls are so close. We wanted a 3rd child to be close enough in age to play with the girls as well. Well, we conceived twins again! At first we were told it was 2 more girls - my husband just laughed, shook his head, and joked about building a man-cave out back! About a month later we were told that we were getting one boy out of the bunch after all, and my husband was ecstatic! Our girl/boy twins are now almost 5 months old. We are very busy, and so very blessed. :)


Twins/Multiples Names?

What are your twins/multiples names and how did you choose them?

Graham Rune and Parker Ryan  4/21/08
*I had a lot of trouble putting together 2 boys names and daddy agreed with whatever I chose, luckily. We did not match their first names by first letter or rhyming names...but both middle names start with an R and have 4 letters.  :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Life with Multiples

My name is Pam, I'm 38, and the mom of six kids! I have four sons who are 14, 11, 8 and 6 years old. This January I did something I never thought I would do...I delivered twin baby girls, vaginally, without an epidural (that was dumb), at 38 weeks!

Our home has been turned upside down! I was a pretty settled boy mom. I understand legos, and video games, and I enjoy that if the Star Wars movies are on, I get a few hours of relative peace. I always wanted a daughter, I just never imagined that I would get two at once!

I have a pretty wide circle of friends with multiple connections...most of whom I was friends with before having twins of my own. One of my very best friends is an identical twin, another is married to one, and I have several friends with sets of twins. The great thing about this is I have so many people to turn to to get their opinions on my twin questions!

I'm learning a lot. I'm learning as I go, and I love sharing what I've learned with others. From twin pregnancy ( a supportive and competent doctor is a MUST!), to breastfeeding twins (it CAN be done!), to finding ways to do things better or easier. I'll share it all with you!

I'm enjoying this journey! I hope you do too!

We may not always agree on how we do things, or raise our kids, but I always appreciate the conversation, so grab a cup of coffee, and lets talk about our multiples!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Welcome to the Madhouse

I'll start things off from my end with another intro. My name is Elayne, and I have six children. Three of them are triplets, 2 of them are blind, 2 are going blind, 2 have autism spectrum disorders, and 1 has cerebral palsy. Yeah, that was only six kids! You can read their birth stories on my own blog/site, Multiple Mayhem.

My triplets (technically surviving quadruplets) Brenden, Tamara, and Caitlin were born in 1999 at 26 weeks. I'll post a summary of their birth story another time, but we'll leave it at the entire pregnancy from start to finish was a freak-show of medical mismanagement, ending with doctors who preferred to send a 26-week triplet pregnancy home in early labor rather than bother with coming to the hospital to examine and try to stop it. 26 weeks gave us the cerebral palsy in Caitlin, and a diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (a wrong diagnosis) in Tamara and Caitlin. Caitlin also got Asperger's from me.

Later we had Liam, Jarod, and Kender, but one at a time this time. When Kender was born, he was almost completely blind. Finding his diagnosis led us to startling news: He has Familial Exudative Vitreo-Retinopathy (FEVR), a very rare condition...and so do Tamara, Caitlin, Jarod, and my husband Brian. Brian is blind, but was misdiagnosed and was told it wasn't genetic. Tamara and Caitlin were misdiagnosed because they were preemies, and FEVR and ROP look very much alike at birth. Jarod is legally blind, but just how bad his eyes were was completely missed by our pediatric ophthalmologist at the time (who has since been fired); we just thought he needed glasses and had a lazy eye. The girls aren't blind yet but do have active eye disease and have lost some vision.

So that's how I unintentionally ended up with the largest family of blind people I know. Now we pay for our retinal surgeon's retirement.

Other stuff: I'm a free-range parent. Part of me feels like I was pushed into it by having triplets in the first place (I only have two arms, after all), but I also feel like I would have been here anyway. I'm also a pagan Libertarian, and I am a Texan stranded in Michigan for the past 7 years (and we moved here for the money, if you can believe that). We homeschool our family, including teaching the skills of blindness now, which keeps us (well, me) very busy. And we are trying to set up sustainable gardening around our house, a little bit at a time.

Since my multiples are older, I have a bit of a different perspective, and I'll share what I've learned over the years as the muse strikes me. I look forward to sharing with you, dear reader.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life with twins as an AMA mom !


Well, I just got the invitation to participate in this blog (thank you, glorious leader/s!), and I'm looking forward to sharing some of *my* life with all of you! (At least some of the more interesting parts! :-)

Brief intro (not really brief, but just play along with me for a minute): My name is Carolyne (or CJ for short) and I live in the great state of Texas. I'm not a native, but I sure sound like one after living here since I was 12! ;-)

My life revolved around hpts for many years!
Now, by the grace of God, it revolves around my kids!

I am the mother (that sentence STILL brings a tear of gratitude to my eye after all this time!), after years of dealing with infertility, miscarriages, and a number of fertility treatments & IVF procedures (thanks to God that we have had wonderful insurance to be able to do all this!), of 3 miracle children. My oldest daughter, Maya Grace, was the result of my third IVF in 2000 and is 9 going on 19--yes, tweenie angst is our friend (NOT) here!
This is Maya:

Isn't she beautiful? :*) And smart to boot!

My twins, Samuel and Sarah, were the result of our "one last time" IVF(#6!) try in 2007. This is my son Sam:

My handsome boy, before his buzz haircut on 5/2.
He's the sensitive one.

And this is Sarah:

We call her "Mini-Maya", 'identical' twins
separated by 7 years! :-)
She's the clown in
our house!

All 3 are the loves of my life. :*) Sam and Sarah were born in July of 2008 (someday I'll share all the exciting birth stories with you, I never could do anything easy). I find it so hard to believe they will be two years old in a few months!!

Now you may be wondering what that "AMA" stands for--especially since it seems like a lot of the moms here are younger than me. For some reason God had me wait a really, REALLY long time before my family came along! AMA is a medical term that means -*gasp*- "advanced maternal age"--yep, I'm what they used to call a 'late in life' mother. How old am I then? Hold onto your hats! Next year I'll be the big 5-0!! Yep, that's 50 in human years! :-)

Let me give you all a moment to catch your breath as you think about that OLD age. That really, REALLY OLD age. 1...2...3...there, it should have sunk in by now. LOL.
I can hear the comments now: "WHY WOULD ANYONE HAVE LITTLE KIDS WHEN THEY'RE THAT OLD?!" It wasn't like we planned it this way! ;-)

My husband and I started trying to have a family after we married in September 1994.
Yes, this was before cell phones, laptops, YouTube and Facebook were popular!

I had Maya just after I turned 39 (both of our birthdays are in October). I was 46 when I had the twins in 2008, just a month after I had BRACES taken off my teeth! (More adventures.)

Yes, my life has been anything but ordinary, that's for sure, LOL. So many stories, so little time...well, maybe some time, now that the twins are getting older and more independent.

So now, this forum has arrived, and a chance to share some stories about my history with my precious kiddos, my views as an AMA mom, and just life as it happens with the twins and Maya in general (I'll try to skip politics and religion, I've got another blog and Facebook for that). ;-)

That's about enough for an introduction for now, it's getting late and Maya's got school in the morning, and the twins get up early! Y'all sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bite! :-)

A Gift for a Grieving Mother's Day

Mother's Day is around the corner. I am a grieving mother, as are many out there. Mothers who have experienced the loss of a child (at any stage or age) may find Mother's Day an emotional day.

However, you can help these mothers realize that they still are mothers, and with a sweet token, you can help them remember the child that was lost. They will appreciate your kindness, recognizing that their babies were, in fact, babies, and that they are grieving.

Forget-Me-Not seed packet. Forget-Me-Nots are Perennials, which means they will come up year after year. This symbolizes that you will never forget the baby that was lost. Seeds can be found in just about any garden shop.

Locket. A locket is a great piece of jewelry for any grieving mother. She can put a picture, a lock of hair, ashes, etc. in it and always have her child close to her heart.

A Doll or Teddy Bear. A Doll or Teddy bear is often one of the first toys that a baby receives. You can find them in all shapes and sizesand at any toy store.

Poems. There are tons of poems that are available on the internet that can be used. Or you can write your own. Finding the perfect poem to say what you want may be a little harder, but I know if you just look you will find exactly what you are looking for.

Journals. A simple journal with a new pen would be wonderful for the grieving mother to have a place to put her feelings down. Often being able to write how you feel helps the mother to feel better.

Rose Quartz. This pink gemstone is believed to promote healing. Many different items can be found at My Forever Child.

Cards. Do not forget the card. You may have a hard time finding just the right card for a grieving mom. I would suggest in that case to purchase a blank card and write a special message in it.

With so many choices, I am certain you will find the perfect gift for a grieving mother on Mother's Day.


The Miracle Blanket

The very best investment my husband and I made was to buy four miracle blankets before our twins were born and they have come to the rescue for us. They really are very serious when they call it a miracle blanket. If used properly this blanket can bring you and your babies endless nights of sleeping joy. They not only calm your baby when fussy and make them feel secure but help them to sleep better, more soundly, and longer.We bought four of them because we have twins and when one set is dirty we have the other set to use.I have tried other brands of swaddling blankets and was not as happy with them. I just can not say enough good things about miracle blankets.The only thing I would say they could do to improve is make more color options, maybe some cute patterns and larger sizes for larger babies.
They are a good size but I could see them not working too long for a baby that was a 10 pound baby at birth.We swaddled one of our twins with the miracle blankets until 6 months of age. At 8 months our smaller twin still prefers to be swaddled. He fusses if we do not swaddle him for his naps and at bedtime. The moment he gets swaddle he is instantly happy and ready to sleep. If you follow the instructions properly and do understand that at first they will resist just a little but as newborns and it may take you two or three times each time you swaddle them to get it right and get them calm, you will really get great use of thhe miracle blankets. Our twins really have enjoyed the secure feeling the miracle blankets bring them when they sleep.
There is a video available of how to swaddle with a miracle blanket at theit website. Baby wraps, baby accessory, colic, infant sleep, remedies, infant health, crying babyThe difference between miracle blankets and other blankets is that the miracle blanket has a set of internal flaps to swaddle the babies arms with, a built in pouch for the lower half of the babies body and a smaller internal flap that goes over the arm flaps to keep them secure as well as the longer flap that wraps around the babies body for a perfect and comfortable swaddle.