What happened to the good ole days?

I am not an old timer, but when I was growing up kids still had manners and were taught respect. Wow, actually that previous statement makes me sound like an old lady…

But seriously…what happened to….
Holding doors
Smiling
Waving hello to neighbors
Saying, “good morning”
Writing thank you cards
Please and thank yous
Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms.
Opening doors for others
Helping others
Giving up your seat for someone
Family dinners
No technology with meals
Small talk with people while waiting
Friendliness
Shaking hands
Hats off inside
Getting dressed up
Handwritten notes
Nature and outdoors

Being a teacher there are so many things that I wish all parents instilled in their children. I have my students still write handwritten letters. In fact they have pen pals. The good old snail mail. They really love receiving their letters and writing back….the bonus with technology is that we will either Skype or Face time with our pen pals soon so they can meet virtually.. I like the new, but what is wrong with holding tight to certain things and blending them together?

My husband and I recently had a date night (doesn’t happen often with one year old twins!). Our big night out was to a movie. My parents were in town and our babysitters. We checked in after the movie and the boys were asleep.. So we figured why not go out for a drink? We’ve only been married three years and together for almost six..but man how things have changed socially in those years! We enjoyed people watching. Practically everyone was on their smart phones. Even couples on dates. It got me thinking…why were these people even out if all they were doing was playing on their phones..texting, Facebooking, on twitter, Pinterest…and so on. Might as well be at home with a drink and an iPad, iPhone, smart phone, laptop, net book, kindle, nook, or tablet. I am so glad I’m not dating in this techno craze. It made me wonder… Are people going to forget how to communicate in real life face to face? What kind of society and social skills will my boys need?

One thing is for sure…. I believe in writing handwritten thank you notes, paying attention to people at dinner (put the phone down and pay attention to the moment and people you are with for goodness sake!), waving hello to people in cars and passerbys, reading actual books (watch “Goodnight ipad” on youtube for a new version of the classic “Goodnight Moon”),eating dinner with family, saying “please,” writing notes and cards, southern manners, getting dressed up, and spending quality time with those I love…..while putting the technology aside. That is often hard to do, but with more and more advances, I think it is essential to teach our kids the importance of showing full attention to people without looking at a text or liking every status update. With shows like “Duck Dynasty” gaining popularity maybe folks are wanting to go back to the family values.

What are things you miss or wish to keep around for the next generation?

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WHen we found out we were having twins we went on Craigslist and bought two cribs. Later we found out those cribs had been recalled! We couldn’t even donate them! My husband is pretty handy so he decided to keep parts pod the cribs out in the garage.

We looked everywhere for new highly rated cribs. It was so frustrating that most stores only carry a couple on hand and most have to be viewed online! The nicest and safest are so pricey. After looking and searching we decided on two cribs from Cribs for Life. We are extremely happy with them.

The boys shared a twin bassinet in our room for four months. Since they always slept together we put them in one crib until they no longer fit in there together width wise. I think that was at five months (our boys are short!).

Months later when the boys were crawling all around we learned it ’twas time for baby gates. We have a family room that’s completely baby proofed and playroom for mommy, daddy, and the boys. We wanted to gate that room off. My husband made custom baby gates out of the old cribs we bought from Craigslist. They are cheaper than buying them and look much nicer in dark wood! From true called crib to recycled and recreated in to a fancy baby gate!

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Baby food…especially organic for twins plus formula adds up.  With time and weekly preparation my husband and I made all of the purée for our boys. We both work so it became our weekend routine.

My parents bought us the Baby Bullet, which worked great at first. Since we were making food in bulk we switched to the regular blender. We made puree for a week or two at a time. We added one or two new foods a week.  Saturday mornings we went to the local farmers market to stock up on fruits and veggies. Then we came home to blend, label, and freeze… we were a mean lean baby food making machine. The veggies and fruits like apples and pears were steamed or boiled first, then we pureed them. we usually used a huge pot and boiled everything at once while we made the fruit purees. We stored in one cup size Gladware containers.  I wrote the date and was sure to use within one month. I just took out enough containers to last a few days and would thaw in the fridge. It worked great for our nanny/ babysitter. One cup is really one serving size for the purée stage so we would have two containers per meal so the boys could split and get variety.

We started with the basics: banana, sweet potato, avocado, carrots, and slowly added more and mixed some together. We only made fruits and veggies.. I’d not try to make the rice cereal or oatmeal. The boys were not impressed with the rice cereal. They loved and still love the Yo Baby yogurt, too.

Making their food was such a great decision. It took a bit of work, Burt once we had a system down it worked out well. It is good to know you babies are getting all the good stuff from local produce. It saves money too!

“Breast is best,” the phrase all expecting parents hear. I always planned on breastfeeding my babies, but with twins come many challenges. I did breastfeed them exclusively for the first two or three months. It is the best decision I made. I had challenges from the beginning. One of my boys had trouble latching in the hospital. I had two lactation consultants come in to help. Apparently the roof of his mouth posted a challenge. With the aid of nipple shields he eventually caught on.

Nursing twins was so rewarding, but equally exhausting, and at times painful. At 6 weeks I developed a blister on one nipple from one of the boys latching incorrectly. OUTCH!!! Sleep deprived and in pain, I did spurt out some Not so pleasant words and phrases until it disappeared with a lot of nipple cream!

The bonding was so worth it. The sweet expressions and gestures only a nursing mommy can see will remain with me forever. I will cherish the loving smiles, gazes, touches, and hungry little faces I saw privately several times a day and throughout the night.

It was possible with a double bassinet on top of a twin pack and play in our room. looking back, I wish we had a co- sleeper instead, especially with a c-section. Lots and lots of pillows helped…that and a sweet loving equally sleep deprived husband to hand off the babies.

After about two and a half months I had to start supplementing with formula. Nursing twins is no easy feat. I felt inadequate about not being able to produce enough for my boys. Through many tears my husband and I decided new needed to supplement with formula. It was such a tough decision, but what was best for the boys.

I breastfed twins at them same time for eight months. feeding them at the same times made it plausible. There is no way to feed them separately for the time and sanity of the mommy. Once the boys were four months I went back to teaching and could only pump a couple times a day, which decreased my supply. It did make it easier to ween, though. I simply cute down one feeding a week until the last one at eight months. That last nursing was bittersweet.

The reactions are all very similar…

  • Congratulations!
  • When did you find out?
  • Fraternal or identical?
  • Double trouble
  • Double joy
  • Double love
  • Do twins run in your family?
  • We’re the premies?
  • You were huge!

…among others.

Found about at first ultrasound at 13 weeks. No, the midwife did not hear both heartbeats at the first appointment, even though my husband had a feeling we were having twins and had her double check ( pun intended). Yes, we were surprised. Apparently twins run in the family, but we didn’t find that out until we were expecting ours. I had horrible morning sickness at night for 17 weeks. i did not have weird cravings, however, lemon pepper chicken was one smell I couldn’t handle (found that out after my sweet husband made me dinner one night).  They were born at 37 weeks and did not spend time in NICU  and were normal weights.  I was not on bed rest. I did swell up with the largest cankles in the world. I worked teaching until 35 weeks. Yes, I was huge; I gained seventy pounds and wanted to cry at my last weight check as I weighed more than my hubby! I could see and feel them both moving at once. While reading aloud to my third graders the boys would move around like crazy. It became a game for my students to see them moving. They had separate sacs and placentas,so they are fraternal, even though they look similar and have the same hair and eye colors.

Twins are indeed a blessing and fill my life with double joys, love, and diapers. I could never ever imagine only having one baby.

First time blogger here…well, other than weekly blogs about the things my third graders are learning. I hope to blog about really important things such as the day I first got baby poop in my wedding ring, that, and the day to day joys of being a mom to one year old twins. I am also the best wife ever to a handsome southern man and owner of two quirky dogs. Not sure if anyone will actually read this, but at least I will have it to look back upon in the years to come. 

Where to start? How about the poop day ( well, that is every day really). My boys were about seven months old and my husband supposedly has a gag reflex that only appears with poopy diapers or when the dogs leave unpleasant surprises that need to be cleaned. Anyway, my boys were really excellent rollers. They loved it to much that they had to roll for every diaper change. We had a messy one…. I was holding up the legs it’s one hand trying to keep the poop from getting everywhere..my son had to practice his sweet rolling skills. I quickly tried to stop the poop escaping from the diaper when my entire hand went in diamond first. i was frustrated and probably silently cursing my hubby. Later I saw the humor in it and posted my lovely experience in a mamas group on facebook for my to mamas college alumni to get a laugh.  That was the moment I decided it would be fulfilling to blog….and here I am… 6 months later trying to recount the details. 

Here is to a new year, 2013, and a new blogger on the street.