Monday, September 10, 2012

8 Things We've Learned About Life With Twinsies

Here's our update: still living with my parents. The countdown is temporarily off, because it's hard getting our hopes up for a closing date that gets pushed back. At this point, the closing date on the Louisville house has been delayed at the buyers' request and pushed back to the 17th. We can't close on the new house until they close on the old house, so we're in limbo for a little bit longer... but we're hoping not for much longer! I have put in the order for the girls' first birthday party invites (!!!) - WITH the new address included - so the pressure is on to move in ASAP! We're praying it all goes down smoothly and soon.
When I leave them alone in the play yard to hang out, this is pretty much how I find them: playing together in the same tight little area! (For those keeping track - and for my own forgetful self when I look back on this someday - E is in pink this time.)
Really that's about all I have as far as updates, so I thought it would be fun to share a list of a few bizarre things we've learned about life with twins!
E loves to hold onto her sister.
1. When both are crying, it's generally best to try to calm down the one who started it first. This is particularly noteworthy because it runs totally contrary to what I read in a book about twins, but we've found that this little technique works best with our particular girls. We're frequently asked what in the world we do when both cry at once. Usually what happens is that one of them is legitimately upset about something, and the other just chimes in because her sister is upset OR because she's annoyed by her sister's crying. So in general, by the time we've solved the first one's issue, the second one has already calmed herself down.
Tamsie enjoys putting this raspberry teether upside down in her mouth, and then she goes around looking like she has a green mustache, which, by the way, is nearly impossible to take a picture of! She is also sporting some bruises in this picture. Poor girl falls constantly these days... she's strong but still so wobbly!
2. Try to get them used to sleeping in the same room. Once again, this runs contrary to much of what we've heard about dealing with twins, but by keeping them in the same room, we're amazed at what they learn to sleep through. Often we hear crying on the monitor and go in their room to find one of them going bananas and the other one peacefully asnooze through the whole ordeal. I am convinced this makes them better sleepers. Speaking of sleeping in the same room, another question we're often asked is whether or not they sleep in the same crib. Because they were never in the same incubator in the NICU, and because I have always been paranoid that one of them would suffocate the other, ours never have - except for rare occasions during naptime. But those naps have always been crazy short, so that just never really worked for them.

Staring down the paci...
... and biting on the hard part of it! Blasted teething. It's nothing to see these girls going around with pacis backwards in their mouths these days so they can chew on the hard part.
3. Try to keep them on the same schedule, but slightly staggered. I have NEVER had success feeding them at the same time, so I give one her bottle and then I feed the other. It's best to feed the first one while her sister's sleeping so that you don't have to deal with drama when one of them sees you feeding the other first. Also, if you keep them on the same schedules, you'll (ideally) have times in the day when both of them are asleep and you get a break. Otherwise, someone's always up and you're always on!
Rockin' the backwards paci. It's what all the cool kids do...? Eh, probably not.
4. Parents of multiples can't be perfectionists. I really don't see how anyone out there can do everything completely by the book when you have two the same age to work with. My girls sleep in their swings during the day (and sometimes at night, as a VERY last resort), they love their pacifiers, they watch TV while I eat or while I feed them, they don't wear bows as often as I'd like them to because they try to choke on them when I take my eyes off them, they don't always go to bed at the same time every night. But that's OK - you can bet they're always loved, always fed well, always sufficiently clean, and generally pretty happy! We do what we have to do, and we learn to celebrate the extras. This has actually been a nice way for me to combat the perfectionism I tend to struggle with. (Blogging has also helped with this. If I were too much of a perfectionist in this area, I'd never post a blog entry... so sometimes good enough just has to do, and that's OK! :)

These girls love their dolls.
5. Be sure to give them both equal amounts of attention. Tamsie's personality just tends to be a little more attention-seeking than Evie's, but Evie still needs every bit as much attention as Tamsie does. We just have to remember to go out of our way to give Evie the attention she needs, since she doesn't clamor for it quite as much. Similarly, when both girls want attention and I'm the only one around, I have to remember to make a point to talk to the girl I'm not holding at the time so that she doesn't feel left out.

Evie heartily enjoys making her doll kick its little legs.
6. It's essential to treat them like the individuals they are. Just because they happen to look alike and have many of the same needs, it's important to remember that they are their own little characters! When both are feeling sick, they may not be sick for the same reasons. One may actually have a cold, and the other may just be teething. There for a while, Evie did significantly better on a completely different formula than Tamsie did well on. They have different senses of humor, different preferences in toys, and VERY different personalities. I have read that often, twins trail behind their singleton peers in their speech development. Experts have speculated this is because adults tend to interact with them as a unit rather than as the individuals they are, so each twin only gets spoken to half as much as a normal singleton would - thus significantly reducing their exposure to language. It's important for us to spend time talking and playing with each of them, honoring their God-given individuality and celebrating what makes each of them unique.

When did my little teeny tiny babies get this big?! (And YES, the TV is on. Pretty sure I was eating lunch when I snapped this one!)
7. People are crazy about twins. I had no idea just how crazy (literally, in some cases) until I started taking these girls out in public!

8. Mixing them up is never really a problem. This was actually a fear of mine while I was pregnant with them, but we can ALWAYS tell them apart! They look totally different to us!

OK, I am fully aware that the rest of this post will probably only interest you if your last name is (or ever was) Grayson, Bigbee, or Vafinis... but here are some cute videos of the girls from this past week!

First of all, playtime together, parts 1 and 2:

Evie has developed a little dance she does while in her high chair. Usually she has one arm straight out and the other behind her head, a la sprinkler... but by the time I get my phone, she always stops! This was the best I could get it (please pardon the food on her face - she was mid-meal):

Typical silliness:

Evie sings at her Great-Grandma's house:

Alright, so any twin moms who come across this, now it's your turn! What have you learned about having twinsies? What works for you? Please help a mama out!

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