Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Renee Wojtanik

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Renee Wojtanik

Where do you currently live?
Buffalo, NY

Monday, September 29, 2014

#tiredmom Mug & Cozy for TWO | Giveaway

It's time for another giveaway!  This one is near and dear to my heart because I'm one of the five ladies who are a part of it! :)

Erika shares more about @multiplicitees and our cheerful giveaway below!


First comes love. Then comes marriage.

Then comes bab(ies) in a baby carriage.

... and then came the girls. The friendships. The ladies of @multiplicitees.

Front: Ashley, Meri, Meredith

Here’s what we have in common:
1.       Dallas Area
2.       Moms
3.       Twin Moms
4.       We met thanks to social media
4.       … everything else

At least that’s what it feels like sometimes.

What started as a small launch of the original #twinmom sweatshirt has grown into a love for sharing creative products that encourage moms to be, well, awesome moms.

Follow along as we reveal the fun, kitschy items that make us happy. We share them with you through @multiplicitees. Fun, right?

dallas twin mamas + kindred spirits.
@multiplicitees is our creative outlet.

We've teamed up with Twin Talk and are giving away a #tiredmom mug and coffee cozy (@crochetiquette) for you AND your #tired BFF!

Pour a little sunshine into the start of your day with the cheerful #tiredmom ceramic mug! Chase away those zzzzzs with your favorite tea, coffee or hot chocolate before embarking on your daily awesome mom adventures.  Made just for you, you amazing #tiredmom.



Enter the giveaway below!  It begins NOW and ends Thursday at midnight!  The winner and her BFF will be announced Friday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Jennifer Pargeon

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Jennifer Pargeon

Where do you currently live?
Fort Wayne, IN

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thoughts From a Twin Dad

Today's guest contributor is a very close friend of mine.  He also happens to be my husband and the first male writer for Twin Talk!

I asked if he would write to new and soon-to-be twin dads and offer a bit of knowledge now that he's got (almost) two years under his belt.  He replied, "I don't remember the first six weeks.  At all.  Nothing."  And I believe him.  But after thinking on it a few days, he came up with some pretty great tips (and a few lighthearted stories) that I hope new dads will appreciate and new moms will applaud! 


There is a stereotype that pregnant women can be a bit emotional.  I'm not here to address this rumor, but I simply suggest this is a special time in your relationship and you should let your pregnant wife know how pretty she is even more than usual.  Speaking of emotional, she's going to say things that may come across as insulting.  Either to you or about you.  Don't take it personally, I'm pretty sure she doesn't mean it. 

If you choose to sleep in the hospital room (and I highly advise you do), they provide you with a nice couch that extends into a torture bed.  It's too short to stretch out and it has a firm wooden arm that will slice your Achilles if you follow that path.  Since you're in the room with a woman who has recently expelled two humans from her body, the hospital wants to ensure you don't wake up all peppy and ready to go.  

Be aware that most babies are nocturnal in the womb.  Their mom knows this, but you didn't get to enjoy the sensation of two tiny humans stomping the yard on your bladder.  The kids slept in the nursery at night during our hospital stay, so we only saw them when the nurses would bring them in every three hours to feed.  This didn't allow us to fully grasp their sleeping patterns.  Surprise!  The children gave us more joy than we could imagine during the day and then slowly sucked it away at night.  We'll still call it a net profit, but man those first few nights at home were rough.  The first night Meredith became very paranoid and thought everything in our room would suffocate the babies.  Another night I was so tired I walked back and forth between the pack n plays thinking I was holding a baby.  I was actually holding my pillow and offering zero help whatsoever.  One night I ended up on the couch with my knees up.  A baby was on each leg and they were both sucking on my pinky finger.  It was uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep, but I didn't want to stop when Meredith came to relieve me because they were quiet.  This stage passes quickly, in retrospect.  

I would encourage everyone with new babies to take pictures all the time and label them when possible.  Albums can be put together later, but the pictures and a little context will serve as the memory your mind failed to create on a Saturday morning after sleeping 3.5 hours.  

On that note, sleep when you can.  There was a period in the first few weeks where I would sleep from 7-10:30 at night.  It was a time where they both usually slept between feedings.  Waking up at 10:30 isn't easy, but it's sleep I wouldn't have had otherwise and I was still able to help Meredith.  

Speaking of being helpful...  There are certainly times where you'll feel like a waste of space.  If the kids are breastfeeding, the dad can't really tag in.  Dad can help in all the prep that goes into making breastfeeding a (hopefully) quick and successful task.  When the kids needed to eat, I would get up and throw all the pillows to Meredith so she could get set up (this was before she purchased that giant nursing pillow).  I would grab the loudest baby and change their diaper and hand off to Meredith.  This would give her time to get one going, while I changed the second diaper.  I stayed up during the process and helped burp and get everyone back to bed.   I was obviously able to participate more if she pumped and we were feeding the kids bottles.  

The first few months are also a time for dads to complete the household chores.  All of them.  And don't even tell her everything you did - no scorekeeping necessary. After birthing two babies at the same time, she's always going to win.

Diapers were not as terrible as I imagined.  The first few are rough for a couple of different reasons.  If it's a boy and he undergoes the snippity snip snip, you have to apply Vaseline generously and it can get to be messy and weird.  For either sex, the first few bowel movements are...different.  I think I compared them to those commercials where they're trying to wipe oil off of a seagull and it's not working at all.

She's not going to want to share her personal space with you for a very long time.  After spending every waking hour with two babies in her space, she wants a break.  I remember trying to cuddle up next to Meredith one night and she asked if holding hands could count.  And then she offered me a pinky. 

The easiest advice is to enjoy the little moments of downtime with your new additions to the family.  You may only hear the stories of the work involved in keeping infants happy, but there's plenty of time where they're perfectly happy to sleep on your chest for an hour or lay quietly on a blanket and practice smiling.  Every stage with our kids has been so much fun, but those first few months are your chance to have them in your arms for as long as you want.   


If you have a question for Michael, CLICK HERE to email him!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Kiersten

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!


Where do you currently live?
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day in the Life: 9 Months

Twin Talk's "Day in the Life" series continues with Katie and her 9-month-old twin girls!


Hello! I'm pretty excited to be a part of the "Day in the Life" series for Twin Talk Blog. I remember scouring through the internet while I was pregnant, trying to learn as much as I could about what my life would be like when the babies came. I would have loved to find this series and now that I'm part of if, I think it will be great to look back on when my girls are older. Before I get into our day, I'll tell you a little bit about us: 

Matt and I got married on August 13, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee. We decided to wait until spring to start trying for a family (besides our fur children, Boss and Marlee), but little did we know that it would be much harder than we thought! We suspected there might be an issue and sought out testing. Through this testing and plenty others we learned that because of our problems IVF was our only option to have a biological family. After more hormones and injections than I'd like to remember, we transferred two embryos in April 2013. A few weeks later we found out that we got our greatest wish: twins!
I had a very uneventful pregnancy with just a few weeks of bed rest at the end. We entered the hospital for a scheduled c-section at 36 weeks and 5 days, we were so happy I was able to make it that far!
At 12:33pm Quinn Marie entered the world at 6 lbs 9 oz and Delainey Rion followed right behind at 5 lbs, not even one minute later. Because we were under 37 weeks gestation (only two days!) they took the girls to Special Care for a required 6-hour stay. Later that evening we were all reunited and we fell in love... hard! We stayed at the hospital for three nights and all came home as a family of four, ready to begin our wild and crazy journey.
I'll admit, the first 5-6 weeks of having twins was the toughest thing I've ever done in my life. I loved these little beings so much but I cried more than I ever thought I would, and slept less than I knew was possible! We couldn't have done it without our family, whether it was mine with support via phone from Ohio or Matt's here in town, helping us almost daily in the beginning.
It started to get much easier after the first few months and we've really settled into a routine. I'm a photographer and I own my own business, so I went back to work slowly starting when they were 6 weeks old. I've had a blast with my two favorite subjects right here in the house!
Right now I only take on a limited amount of work per month so I'm able to work around my husband's schedule and his family helps us fill in the child-care gaps.
No day is the same around here but a typical day for us would be me home with the girls while Matt is working a 12 hour shift. He leaves before we wake up and gets home around 7:30 pm. He isn't supposed to have his phone with him in the building so we don't communicate much at all while he's gone. It makes for a long day for me and the girls, so we make it a priority to get out of the house every single day whether it's a playdate or a simple errand. Otherwise, all three of us would go nuts! Their naps and feeding times stay very similar but I love that every day is different.  Twins make for a life that is never boring and humor is absolutely the key to survival. You just have to laugh at the ridiculousness that comes from raising two babies at the same time.

I hope you enjoy taking a step into our life, it's a busy one but we wouldn't change it for the world!
6:15am: I wake up when Delainey starts fussing in her crib.  7:30 is their typical wake-up time but Delainey lately has been waking up for a few minutes around this time and then falls back to sleep. If I was to go in there, there would be no turning back and she'd be wide awake and up for the day.
6:28am: Delainey goes back to sleep (or was it me? I'm pretty sensitive to EVERY sound they make through the monitor so likely she also decided it was too early).
8:30am: Both girls wake up, I'm shocked that they slept an hour later than normal! Both girls are standing up in their cribs and I get huge smiles, they are always so happy first thing in the morning! (<--which is not hereditary). 

I take them out, give tons of kisses and put them on the floor so I can change diapers. While I'm changing/wrestling one, the other is usually crawling all over the nursery getting into everything. When I'm done with both I let them play for a little bit. This usually results in them fighting over the prized toys in the nursery: lotion or the butt paste tube.
8:54pm: The nursery is gated off (and baby proofed) so I leave them in there while I go make bottles. When I'm finished I take the gate down and they immediately follow me and crawl to the living room. I take a "before" picture so that everyone can see what two twin tornadoes can do to a house in 11 hours.
9:00am: The girls drink 8 oz bottles, I turn the Today show on for some background noise and drink my "coffee." I hate the taste of the real stuff so my weakness is a Coke every morning. It's not exactly healthy but it does the (completely necessary) job.
9:15am: We have playtime in the living room. The girls are pulling up onto EVERYTHING. Currently they are more interested in what they can grab off the coffee table than their huge selection of toys.
9:32am: I give Delainey her reflux medicine. She's been gagging and spitting it out lately so I mix it with some applesauce and she takes it right away.  Quinn doesn't understand why she doesn't get any.

9:35am: Every morning I do a load of dishes that includes enough bottles to make it through 24 hours (8-10), I give the girls measuring cups and spatulas to play with while I'm doing this and they are pretty content. I' m usually telling them about how one day it will be their job to do the dishes. They seem indifferent about that. When I'm done I just throw their "play toys" in the dishwasher with the rest of the stuff.
9:55am: We head back to the living room and I change Delainey's diaper, which is like wrestling a small piglet. She takes advantage of a second that I had to grab something from Quinn's hands and escapes bottomless. Eventually I chase her down and get a diaper on her.
10:00am: The girls are starting to get fussy. We always have breakfast 1.5 hours after waking and they know it! I take their shirts off and put them in their high chairs, even with me spoon feeding they find a way to get messy. I give them a few puffs while I prepare their food. Between the both of them they eat about 2/3 cup oatmeal and a tub of baby yogurt.
10:30am: Breakfast is over,  I put them back in their pajamas and change Quinn's diaper. They are always really tired by this point so I turn their fans and sound app on and lay them down with their bunnies in their cribs awake.  
10:35am: I collapse in my chair and take a social media break, I also answer texts that I couldn't before (the girls can see me hold my phone from 10 feet away and dive bomb/karate chop each other to get it).
10:40am: I check the monitor and the girls are asleep. I take this chance to hop in shower since we will be meeting friends at the park, it's a million degrees outside so I don't bother drying it and throw it up in a ponytail. I pack my diaper bag for the day and usually eat breakfast at this time but instead I try to answer some emails for work. The girls usually nap for about an hour to an hour and a half.
11:41am: Delainey is starting to stir, I go put the diaper bag and blanket in the car and turn it on so it can cool down. I go and get the girls, feeling a little guilty because they might have slept for a few more minutes but we are already running late (story of my life). The girls wake up happy so I breathe a sigh of relief.
11:50am: I change diapers and get them dressed for the day. Even though it's hot out I put them in jeggings because I figured they'd want to crawl around but wouldn't with bare knees (they are semi-new at the crawling thing). I load the girls in their seats so I can keep them contained for a few minutes while I grab last minute stuff.
11:56am: I buckle and tighten up their straps and we head out the door.
12:14pm: We are running a little late but I need to stop at the bank to deposit checks from the last few days of work.
12:17pm: We arrive at the park. I load the girls in the stroller and put some toys in the basket underneath ( I keep a bunch of toys in the car that I move from stroller to diaper bag to shopping cart seat, whatever we need them for).
We meet friends over by the playground and I spread the blanket down. I chat with my Mama friends and play with the girls while the bigger kids run around. Mostly I'm going from girl to girl, trying to stop them from eating mulch.
12:50pm: They are getting a little fussy so I make them a 7 oz. bottle, which they seem a little too busy to finish. Their faces look a little flushed which makes me think it's probably too hot for pants, so I strip them down to their diaper. Mama fail on the pants. Live and learn!
1:15pm: Everyone is hot and tired so we make it a short playdate. I pack everything up and load them back in the car, giving the girls lots of toys in their carseat in the hopes/PRAYERS that they won't fall asleep on they way home. I definitely need them to stay awake so that they'll take a nap once we get there. We sing songs and I talk to them from the front, hoping my awful singing will do the trick. It does and they seem tired but awake so after debating whether I should risk it or not, I stop at the Burger King drive thru for a grilled chicken sandwich. I had just realized I hadn't even eaten yet today. The girls are fussing but still awake (hooray!)
1:39pm: We get home and I change both diapers. I offer them the rest of the bottles that they didn't finish and Quinn takes it but Delainey refuses.
1:48pm: I turn on their fans and sound app and lay Delainey in her crib, I go back out to the living room to get Quinn. I take Quinn to the nursery and lay her down. By that time Delainey is standing back up so I lay her back down. Lay Quinn down AGAIN and then tell them I love them and walk out of the room.
1:54pm: I look at the monitor and both are standing up babbling/fussing. Both eventually lay down and roll around for a bit chewing on their bunnies.
2:04pm: Delainey is asleep.
2:08pm: Quinn is asleep. I take a deep breath and relax, eat my lunch and feed the dogs (poor things only get to eat when the girls are asleep, otherwise I'm chasing babies out of dog bowls ALL. DAY. LONG) I open up my laptop and work, editing photos and loading galleries online.

3:15pm: My friend Amy comes over, we work on some outfits for her boys' birthday photos that we are doing the next week. I jumped at the chance to help her, I'm such an arts and crafts nerd! It is definitely something that has had to be pushed to the backburner after the girls came. Not enough time in the day!
3:30pm: Delainey wakes up. I'm up to my elbows in hot glue so Amy goes and gets her. She gets a major stink face from the little one but once Delainey sees me she's happy as can be. I  sit her in her high chair where we are working in the kitchen. I give her some puffs and yogurt drops as a snack and she is a happy girl, we chat with her while we work and she puts on a "show" for her audience, making faces and funny noises at us.
3:40pm: Quinn is up, we bring her into the kitchen and give her a snack as well. They hang out with us while we work at the table and in my studio (our third bedroom) while we take some test shots.
5:00pm: Amy leaves, it's time to give the girls a 7oz. bottle. The two of them only want to be held at night while eating, the rest of the time they want to wriggle and kick around.  While they drink I fold some laundry. When they finish their bottles they "Godzilla" through my folded piles. I wonder why I ever fold anything anyways?
5:12pm: We have no food for dinner and we're out of some of the girls favorite foods so I get ready to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things while they are playing happily in the living room. I turn the car on and grab the diaper bag which is still stocked pretty full from our earlier trip.
5:22pm: We head out the door, I am lucky that the girls love their car seats because they don't put up a fuss, I think they are like their Mama and like going places!
5:33pm: Quinn starts crying in the back while I'm driving, since I'm hoping they'll take a short cat nap on the way I pull over and find the pacifier she dropped.
5:38pm: It worked, both girls are asleep.
5:50pm: I decide to go to the store that's a little farther away so that they can nap a little longer. I pull in parking lot and hang out for a little while and let them sleep. If we were at home this third little short nap would be a sleep-fight to the death (yet they still need it). While I'm waiting I check social media and answer some texts.
6:00pm: The girls are up and we are ready to go in, I load them into a cart and we shop for stuff for dinner tonight. We stop about 43,503 times and answer questions: "Yes, they are twins. Nope, two girls. They are 9 months old. Yes, they run in the family (not a lie, Matt has two sets on his side)." I really don't mind the questions because people are curious and they are usually followed by compliments on their adorableness. When we are in a hurry I find that smiling but not making a ton of eye contact does the trick.

6:40pm: We are ready to head home, I unload girls into their seats then load groceries into car.
6:55pm: We arrive home. I unload the car seats and drop the girls off in house still strapped in so that they don't wreak havoc while I'm outside. I go back out and unload groceries. I take the girls out of their seats and let them play in the living room while I put groceries away.
7:10pm: The girls are starting to get fussy, which is fine because it's time for dinner! I put them in their high chairs and give them some puffs (really, we should buy stock in these) while I peel a peach for them to eat first and put our lasagna in the oven. I always talk to them about what I'm making, and they usually fuss back telling me I'm not doing it fast enough.

7:15pm: Since when are peaches so hard? These peaches are like a rock, there's no way the girls can eat them. They are really starting to protest so I open the cabinets and pull out some jar food instead. I throw some frozen veggies (their usual dinner) in the microwave and feed the girls spinach/green beans from the jar while the veggies cook and then cool.
7:20pm: The girls demolished the jar food and now the veggies have cooled down so I drop them onto their tray for them to eat. I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and they love it.While they are eating I sit next to them and they watch me prep green beans for mine and Matt's dinner. They make a huge mess with their food and the dogs are thrilled.
7:30pm: Daddy's home! The girls always get so excited! He gives us all kisses and hops in the shower while I finish up (not a luxury, this is by my request. He stinks like burnt rubber!)
7:40pm: The girls have finished eating/throwing their food and Matt's out of the shower so we each grab a girl and some towels, remove diapers and drop them into the bath. He goes back to clean the trays, finish cooking our dinner, and making bottles while I bathe them. The girls LOVE the bath. We sing some songs while they splash around and try to stand up 34,830 times. Towards the end they start getting mad that I won't let them and the fussiness really starts.

8:00pm: I yell for Matt to let him know we're done and he grabs a toweled babe and we both head to the nursery. We lay the girls down and diaper/lotion and PJ them up, all the while they are wriggling and giggling/fussing/going wild. We let them play for a few minutes to burn off some of the crazy post-bath/dinner energy. Matt plays with Delainey while I read a book to Quinn, who loves to turn the pages herself. Delainey still frantically grabs at the book and tries to eat it the ENTIRE time so we'll try the stories with her again soon.
8:15pm: We all head to the living room, turn out all the lights and we each hold a baby while they drink their last 8 oz. bottles. By the end of the bottle they are always super drowsy and rubbing their eyes like crazy.
8:26pm: We turn the fan and the music on and lay the girls down in their cribs. We hand them their bunnies and they are always asleep within a minute or two. They'll be out for the night, we are lucky to have such great sleepers.
8:28pm: Breathe a sigh of relief/exhaustion and sit down to eat dinner ourselves and catch up from the day. We straighten up the house and then hang out together in the living room for the rest of the night. Matt watches TV and I start working, this is the only truly uninterrupted time I get so I'm usually editing photos/answering email/planning sessions until about 11:30pm/12:00.
12:00am: I head to bed and do it all again the next day!

If you have a question for Katie, CLICK HERE to email her! 

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