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What do I need if I’m Pregnant with Twins?

12 May

Four years ago, my doctor informed me that my baby number 8 was actually baby number 8 AND baby number 9.  I was a pretty experienced mommy, but I knew twins would be different.  I scoured the internet for information on what I would need.  Most mommy bloggers of twins had different life situations than I had.  Their twins were usually their first and second babies, or they had a toddler and twins.  I don’t think I found a single blog by mothers who already had 7 babies and then had twins.  (These women are much too busy to blog.)  These mommy bloggers all also seemed to be able to afford the deluxe, premium versions of everything from strollers to diaper bags.  That was definitely not me.

I do want to remember what I learned and what turned out to be useful for me.  So if you just found out that you are going to be a Mother of Multiples and you have a real life budget, here are the things that were the best things I bought.  I got my money’s worth out of all of them.  (P.S. None of these links are affiliate links because Missouri and Amazon do not get along–these are just sincerely the things that saved my sanity.)

#1–I ordered this brace when I was 30 weeks along. I should have ordered it at 25 weeks. It really helped reduce how much back pain I had while standing to cook dinner. (by 27 weeks, I only stood up to cook dinner. The rest of the time I sat on the couch watching Dora with Baby Bean.)
#2–I bought this pillow for nursing two babies at once. It was great for just holding them too. My twins turned out to be terrible at eating, so I only used it for about 3 1/2 months before I faced reality and switched to full formula and bottles. There are lots of twin mommy blogs out there of super women who exclusively breast fed or exclusively pumped and bottle fed their twins for a whole year, so I’m not saying it is impossible. But don’t judge yourself if your unique situation doesn’t work out that way. ❤
#3–If it turns out that you partially or fully bottle feed your babies, you will be super glad to have these “hands-free” bottles. The part that goes in the baby’s mouth is like a pacifier that hooks to the bottle on a long tube. This way, no one has to hold the weight of the bottle. It’s awesome. Also, the babies swallow less air with these, so if your babies have colic or gastric re-flux, they help with that too. I can’t tell you how many nights at 1 in the morning I was attempting to nurse a baby with one arm, hold the breast pump on the other side, and had the other baby in a bouncy chair and was propping a bottle for him with my foot. These fix that.
#4–Speaking of bouncy chairs….when I had only one baby, these seemed like useless space hogs. But My twins were in their bouncy chairs so much. Bouncy chairs or swings…either is fine, but you need two! They can double as high chairs for a long time as well.
#5–I got a backpack diaper bag because I knew both hands would be busy with the babies. That was a good call. You don’t want a shoulder bag that is going to slip down your arm onto a baby or make you lopsided. You’ll be juggling too much anyway. This is the one I got, and I loved it, but there are many many options out there.
A lot of twin moms recommend the JuJuBe diaper bags. They look amazing and expensive.
#6–This stroller is light weight, sturdy, and works with most car seats, so you don’t have to buy two new car seats (if you don’t want to) This thing was my work horse for many months–as long as you bring the babies into church in their car seats, you’ll be glad you have it. Baby Trend Universal Double Snap-N-Go Stroller Frame
#7–Start making a list now of things that people can do for you. Lots of people will ask if they can help, and you’re going to be so tired and overwhelmed that you’ll go blank, and you won’t know what you can tell them to do. So make a list now of things you’re willing to let people help you with– like running a load of laundry through your washer, or sweeping your floor, or washing baby bottles, or feeding your goats etc. The thing that someone did for me that helped me the most was to come once or twice a week and take away my preschoolers for the afternoon (Banana Cream Pie was 3 and Baby Bean was 18 months old.) For those few hours I could take care of the twins or take a nap and not have to worry about what crazy messy thing Baby Bean might be getting into.
#8–I made lots of casseroles and freezer meals so that dinner would be easier after the babies were born. By 25 weeks I had 30 meals in the freezer.  I didn’t make more because after that, I was in too much pain to stand for long enough to put extra meals together.  (see #1)  After the babies were born, we also ate a lot of dinosaur chicken nuggets, freezer pizza, taquitos, and popcorn–everyone survived just fine 😉
You can do this, Mamma! Heavenly Father will grant you the strength and wisdom you need when you need it ❤ He is sending these beautiful babies to you because you are the perfect mommy for them. They will love you as you are.
Don’t let yourself think that you have to do things a certain way.
Every time you get frustrated, ask yourself–What is driving me crazy?
How can I make that process simpler or make it go more smoothly?
What expectations do I have that aren’t really true and I need to let go of them?
(example: “good moms do X so I have to do X also.” or If my kids are unhappy, I’m failing.”)
❤ Glowworm

The Pink Kitty Is The Important Thing.

30 Mar

I made this doll in December and gave her to Banana Cream Pie for her 5th birthday.  

Banana Cream Pie burst into tears, threw the dolly on the floor and screamed at me that she did not want this for her birthday.  

None of my other children have ever acted like that.  

So I put the dolly away, thinking maybe I’d give her to someone who’d love her, a niece or a friend’s daughter.  But not ready to part with her yet.  

Banana Cream Pie found dolly the other day and said, “When are you going to make her a pink kitty? You said you would.”  Did I?   

She pestered me all Sunday afternoon until I sat down with some felt and made a pink kitty.  Now  dolly is acceptable, I guess.  

I’m pretty sure a pink kitty by itself would have gotten as good or better reviews. I’m still asking myself if it’s my fault that I have an ungracious child. Nature? Nurture?  Who knows.  

I actually have pieces for 4 more dolls cut out, but not the heart to make them up yet.  You can find the pattern free over at Make it and Love It, but I can’t guarantee you child will love it.  I sure think it’s a cute pattern.  The only alteration I made from the instructions was to make the doll hair out of flannel instead of felt for durability.  

Thirty Days of Real Life

2 Oct

My cousin started doing “real life” posts in Facebook. As in not just the pretty ideal moments of life but the unpretty ones too.  Today it suddenly seemed like a fun idea.  

I just want to point out though that lots of times people talk about being “honest” and “real” and they mean they are going to tell you all the bad stuff.  But telling all the bad and leaving out all the good is not honest either.  Life is a beautiful mess of good and bad.  

So here’s my real life today:

Here Banana Cream Pie and Hurricane Beana are eating apples for breakfast which they got for themselves while I fed and burped 2 babies (8 weeks old today!) 

Hurricane Beana also helped herself to the Cheerios and milk that the school kids left out this morning. Yes there are Cheerios floating in the milk jug. She woke up after I had fallen back asleep with the twins.  Someone left the baby gate open, so she had access to the kitchen.

Those of you who know how I feel about healthy vs. processed food will know that just the fact that there are Cheerios in the house means I’ve let a lot go for the present.

But, you know what?  It’s okay.  The kids have food to eat.  The floor really needed to be mopped anyway.


Taking Care of Twins and A Little House Elf Magic

18 Aug

Taking care of twins is not what I imagined. I read lots of other moms of multiples blogs, but all of those Moms were either first time moms, or they had a toddler and then twins.

 I have 7 other children, so I knew my experience would be different from theirs, but I wasn’t sure HOW it would be different.

These little sweetie pies are just the best.  They sure are fun to hold and admire, but I haven’t had as much time as I usually get for doing so.

First off, they still aren’t very good at nursing, so I’m still making lots of bottles.  That means I don’t hold the twins as much as I would usually get to hold a new baby.  I miss that.  I’m attempting to remedy it.

Zeke is still clearly hungry.  Mm mm. Bacon.

Secondly, I’m not nearly as exhausted as they all said I would be.  The twins often sleep for at least one 4 hour chunk of time at night.  In fact, all they do is sleep and eat.  Possibly this is because they are preemies.  Possibly they will start waking up more and I will have less “not feeding the twins” time.

That’s probably likely.  Already my time falls into only 2 categories: feeding time, and not feeding time.  So far those times seem about equal.  But like I said, the twins sleep a lot for now.

My older kids are super helpful.  They have house chores to keep things running (like unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, set the table).  They are capable of putting casseroles in the oven (I had 30 made and frozen before the twins were born, plus kind friends and family have been bringing more).  They can chop veggies for salad.  They love to hold the twins and feed them bottles.  Thanks to those big kids, the house is pretty clean and the laundry is not behind. I didn’t expect it to run so smoothly.

Even Banana Cream Pie, who is only 3, can hold a bottle for a baby to drink.

Fourth, I didn’t imagine the large impact that even small health troubles would have.  My twins only had trouble with blood sugar levels, keeping warm, and jaundice.  It’s not like they had to be in the NICU.  But it was stuff I had never had to deal with or worry about before.  

I didn’t realize how demoralizing having to stay extra days in the hospital would be.  

I didn’t realize how time consuming extra tests would be.  Skeeter had high bilirubin levels and had to be on a bili-light for this whole week.  I had to take him to the hospital lab every day to have his blood checked to see if the bilirubin  level had gone down.

The first day wasn’t so bad because my big kids were home to help.

The second day was their first day of school.

By the time I had loaded Banana Cream Pie and Baby Bean and Zeke and Skeeter into the van, I was so overwhelmed I was crying.  And then I realized that I was still wearing my pajamas.  

Obviously hormones had something to do with the crying, but leaving the house with a new baby is always hard.  I generally do not even attempt it until my new baby is 4-6 weeks old.  ( I try to avoid unnecessary exposure to germs).  

Attempt to leave the house before the baby is a week old, multiply by 2, and add a toddler and a preschooler.  Well, that was a lot to handle.  It took me over an hour just to get us all dressed and buckled into the car.  Then there was the hour at the hospital.  (Lucky for me I have a friend who lives right next to the hospital, and she kindly kept Banana Cream and Bean during that hour.) Then I had to repeat The whole process 5   more times over the week until Skeeter’s test finally showed his levels had gone down significantly.

(P.S.  If they ever send you and your baby home with a Bili-blanket and tell you it doesn’t matter whether you put the light on the baby’s stomach or on their back, this is FALSE.  Start with it on their stomach.  If the jaundice doesn’t improve, alternate stomach then back.  But don’t just put it on the baby’s back because that is easiest and think you are good. I’m pretty sure we could have shortened our ordeal by 2-3 days if I had started out with the light on his stomach.)

What I figured would be difficult, but didn’t realize how difficult, is taking care of the twins plus my 20 month old, Baby Bean.  I guess she is now Toddler Bean.

Never have I had such a naughty, busy getting into things, toddler to keep track of in addition to a new baby(s).

Always before, my toddler was pretty happy to sit by me on the couch while I took care of the new baby.


My sister has 6 boys born in the last 8 years.  Each of her boys is very smart, and that means each boy has been very busy being naughty and getting into things and creating big messes.  I don’t know how my sister manages the stress of trying to keep up with her toddler(s) when she has a new baby. 

 I guess she just does what she has to do.  

All of the experienced mothers (including my own mother) whom I have asked for advice, sort of shrug and say, “I don’t really remember how I did it when I had all those preschoolers at home.”

It’s the magic of moms, I think.

Remember when Harry Potter asks Kreacher how he escaped from the zombie filled sea cave, and Kreacher can’t explain?  

He just did it because he had to.

I think moms are like that.  Moms often cannot explain how they do what they do.  But they do it because it must be done, and they love their families enough that they find a way.


Without fail, Zeke and Skeeter will both be crying–needing new diapers (and new dry clothes) and to be fed.  I will be in the process of attending to them, when I will hear the sound of a kitchen stool being dragged across the tile floor downstairs.  It is like the herald of doom.  It is BEAN.

Bean already tried tasting the cayenne pepper and ground white pepper from the spice cupboard.  Sadly, I don’t think she learned anything from the experience.  (Well she didn’t learn what I wish she had–not to get into the cupboard.)

She never tried this before the twins were born.

The DH reinstalled the baby gate at the top of the stairs for me, so I can at least trap her on the same level of the house that I am on.

I can’t really quantify what it is I do all day to take care of Banana Cream Pie and Bean, but they need nearly all of the “not feeding twins” time. So I spend the day feeling just a little bit behind what needs to have been done.

Sometimes I get to have a nap.  Sometimes I fall asleep without really meaning to.  Bean uses this time to her great advantage.


The resident lieutenant will soon be promoted to the resident captain.  He needs a new command level to keep control over the brigade of kiddie pies.  Also, he needs the new pay grade because these little guys use up alarming amounts of diapers.  

They are so worth it.

Because Twins: Changes

7 May

So things have already started to change around here because we’re expecting twins.

#1- I’m not babysitting anymore.  I was too tired and too pregnant to chase those high energy, high maintenance extra kids around.  When I first found out I was pregnant in February, I told the mom that I would have to take a month or so off from daycare.  Then I found out in March that the the baby was actually twins, and I realized I couldn’t keep babysitting after they were born, so I told her she would have to find someone new by the end of June.  Then I had that week of terrible tension headaches.  Also, I realized I wouldn’t be able to lift her heavy 2-year old much longer.  Also, Baby Bean suddenly decided that the 2 year old was a threat to her territory, and she would just jump on him and bite him/pull his hair several times a day.  It was getting hard for me to move fast enough to keep him safe from her. I told the mom she had to find someone else as soon as possible.  I had to watch her kids for 2 more weeks.

I went from this:


to THIS:


I gave her the phone number of an acquaintance friend who was interested in babysitting.  I was a little worried that this friend would hate me forever, but I was desperate to get out of a situation that I couldn’t handle any more. I ran into this friend at a mom’s night out on Tuesday this week and timidly asked her how it was going.

“Oh, I only watched them for one day and I told the mom I couldn’t do it,” she said.  Then she turned to the other moms at the table and proceeded to tell them all how terrible these kids were.  They WERE really difficult to care for.  I babysat them for them for 6 months, half of which I was pregnant and sick and tired, but it wasn’t until the headaches that I had to cry “UNCLE!”  Apparently, their grandmother (who is a relatively young grandma) is watching them now, because the mom can’t find anyone else who is willing to put up with her kids.  Lucky for her, the 2 oldest will be in all-day school beginning August 12th.  The 2 year old is a piece of cake, as long as you keep anything breakable away from him (and also keep Baby Bean away from him.) So grandma has hope on her horizon.

#2- Switched Baby Bean to cloth diapers.  This will be less diapers I have to buy when the twins are born.  I don’t like putting newborns in cloth diapers.  They go through, like, 10 diapers a day (x2).  Thats a lot of laundry.  Also their legs are too scrawny for cloth diapers to seal around to keep in the explosive projectile poo.  However, Baby Bean has enormous fatso legs and only goes through about 6 diapers a day.  The DH rigged me a clothes line on the balcony.

Aren’t diapers on the line so cute?  I love not having trash cans full of stinky disposable diaper trash.  I love not buying diapers.  (Actually I am stockpiling diapers for the twins now, since I’m not having to buy them for Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie.  I don’t expect the stockpile will last long, but it should help.)  Also I’m hoping that cloth diapers encourage Baby Bean to potty train much earlier than Banana Cream Pie.  My other babies that wore cloth diapers potty trained before they were 2 1/2.  My babies who wore disposable diapers didn’t potty train until after their 3rd (or 4th) birthdays.  It would be super cool if Baby Bean was totally out of diapers by Christmas.

#3 – Banana Cream Pie is pretty nearly potty trained.  As soon as I was done babysitting, the potty training began.  We’ve been working on it for 2 1/2 weeks, and she is more trustworthy every day.  I’m not totally confident that she won’t have accidents when we are away from home, but at home, she is pretty good.  By August she should be an expert toilet user.

#4 – I’m slowly fighting my hoarder tendencies and trying to get rid of things we don’t use.  It’s difficult for me, because I can always think of possible scenarios when we might use those things.  However, one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is, you can’t clean clutter.  All you can do is move it around.  Reducing the “stuff” in the house will make the house easier to keep clean and make room for the twins and all their stuff (diaper stockpile).  When we designed our house plan, we were planning on having 6 kiddie pies.  Now we will have 9 (+1– I’ll have to tell you all about him later) and so using our space efficiently is important.  Luckily, the bedrooms are big enough to hold 2 sets of bunk beds each, and the closets are roomy.  I have planned out organizing systems to put in the closets (instead of just the couple rods we have installed now) to maximize the space for clothing storage.  If my dreams come true, those closets and maybe even some built-in bookshelves will happen before D-Day.

#5 This is just a little thing, but I feel like a genius for figuring it out:  I’m going to use a backpack for a diaper bag this time around. (Because my 2 hands will be full of 2 babies.)  Actually, for the last 4 years, I haven’t really used a diaper bag.  I just threw a few extra diapers and wipes in my purse.  I’m not one of those moms who feels like she needs 50 things to be prepared.  However, new babies do require a few extra supplies (like clothing changes and burp rags) and I’ll have to pack all that x2, plus Baby Bean is still in diapers.  So I for sure need a dedicated diaper bag, and it for sure needs to be as hands-free and easy to organize as possible.  I know I won’t actually use the organizing pockets as well as I could, but I plan on having a zipper pouch for each baby–or at least each size diaper.  That way I can say, “Cherry Pie, get the yellow pouch and change Twin A.”  Then the pouch can get tossed back in the backpack and yet it stays organized.

Yep, I feel like a genius for figuring that out.

I’m sure more changes are coming down the line, and I’ll roll with them as they come.  Life’s exciting and, yes I am busy.  But busy is ok.
#6. Oh yes, I got my hair cut even shorter. Easier is better, right?  I think I like it.

Banana Cream Pie is Three

16 Dec

Banana Cream Pie is three!  She still likes to be a baby, but is willing to move up to “little girl” now–but she will tell you emphatically that she is not a “big girl”. 

Her favorite color is red and white and yellow.

Her favorite game to play is Just Dance Movie.

Her favorite song is “Let it Go” 

Her favorite food is apples and hot dogs and macaroni& cheese. 

“Mommy, my cheeks are smiling”. 

She picked this baby herself.  After about two hours, she wanted to go back to the store to buy a different one. 

This is her face most of the time.  Smiles from Banana Cream are like a sunny day in Oregon–rare and wonderful.  

Easter 2014

10 Apr

Banana Cream Pie’s first egg hunt.  So fun!!

MOPS activities are so fun!

Key Lime Pie is a veteran egg hunter.  

Planting potatoes in the garden.  Spring is here!!


Green green Missouri

Taking Honey Bunney for a ride in the stroller