Sunday, February 26, 2012

Great Gifts for Twins

This is a very sweet book that can be personalized with your twins names and the names of all the people who love them most.

There are lots of twin themed onsies and t-shirts out there.  Here are some of my favorites:
    - Milk and Cookies onsies.  They also have salt & pepper and bacon & eggs sets

- "They did it" Personalized Shirts/Onsies. Personalized onsies that say "Twin A did it" and "Twin B did it" with an arrow pointing to the supposed trouble maker.

-Thing 1 and Thing 2 Onsies (Thing 1 and Thing 2 Newborn Onesie Gift set. 3m). If you are not familiar Thing 2 and Thing 2, they are mess making, havoc wreaking characters from Dr. Seuss's classic book The Cat in the Hat. These always make me laugh - I even featured similar T-shirts (along with Thing 3 and Thing 4) on our last holiday card.

Anything monogrammed/personalized is usually a hit.  In a world where you share almost everything, it is nice to have something that is only yours.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Twin Advice: Miscellaneous

Put the babies back to back in the bucket swings at the park/playground.
The babies will love it and there is nothing cuter.

For large gatherings, consider putting your twins in clothes with their names or initials.
This will save you from endlessly having to say who is who, and save your friends and family from the embarrassment of not knowing! 
Stock up your freezer.
Every time you make something that freezes well (soup, chili, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, enchiladas, pot pies, bread, muffins, etc.) make an extra portion or two for the freezer. Then on the days when you do not have time or energy to deal with cooking, you can just pull a nutritious, homemade meal out of the freezer. I started doing this while pregnant to have meals for those crazy first few months, but have continued to do it and find it invaluable for weekday meals. I have always just done this on my own, but many cities have services (such as Dream Dinners) that handle the shopping and prep work for you and allow you to prepare a bunch of meals at once.

Lanolin cream makes great lip balm.
I have terribly dry lips and have tried practically every lip balm on the market. The best, hands down, is the lanolin cream that they sell for sore/cracked nipples. And, even better, an $8 tube has lasted me 4 years.

Get a minivan.
I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I would be driving a minivan, but I haven't regretted it for a second. Being able to open/close the side doors simply by pushing a button, by itself, is worth driving a minivan to me. This is invaluable when struggling with 2 babies, a diaper bag, and whatever else you need to carry. The wonderful thing is that since minivans are specifically designed with kids and families in mind, they also have lots of other great features - built in DVD players, wireless headphones that allow the kids to listen to something different from the adults (sanity saving on long trips), flexible seating, built-in mirrors to see the kids in back, built-in window shades - I could go on and on...

Check out consignment sales.
Many communities have semi-annual consignment sales for kids clothes and gear.  If you are willing to sort through what is there, you can find some great deals on clothes and baby gear that look as good as new.  Submitting things to sell can be a bit of a hassle depending on the rules of the specific sale, but it is a good way to recoup a bit of the money that you spent purchasing the items.  Plus, consignors generally get to shop the sale before everyone else which allows you to avoid the crowds and get the best stuff.

Dreft stain remover can get out almost anything.  On rare occasion it will take a second treatment, but this consistently works miracles in our house as I was reminded this morning when my husband decided to feed my toddlers a blueberry smoothie in their pastel dresses without a bib (or evidently much supervision!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Twin Advice: Toddler/Preschool

With a little practice, you can master the art of having both of your children holding one of your hands, with one child walking in front of the other. This is invaluable in freeing up your other hand to carry other things.
Give each child a space of their own. This doesn't have to be anything big, for my girls it is just a drawer where they can store their treasures and things that they designate as just theirs in a world where they share virtually everything - toys, clothes, room, birthday, etc. For us, this ended a lot of arguments.
Make copies of partially filled out school/camp forms to prevent having to fill everything out twice. Filling out piles of forms in duplicate gets extremely annoying. For many of these forms, the only thing different for the twins will be their name at the top. If so, you can save tons of time by filling out one form with everything except the name, then photocopying it and adding the names in.
Odds/Evens. One of my friends had done this with her two boys, and I thought it was genius. Assign one twin to odds and one to evens (we did this based on birth order so it would be easier to remember). When things come up (who gets to go first in line, pick the movie during a car trip, etc.), it is decided by whether it is an odd or even day of the month. This has eliminated numerous arguments about whose turn it is to do things, and as an added bonus they have learned the concept of even and odd (fortunately, they have not yet realized that there are a few extra odd days each year...).
"If you cut it, she gets to choose which piece she wants." This was the rule in my house growing up and works especially well with twins for whom sharing is a way of life. If something needs to be split in half, one twin divides it and the other gets to pick the first piece, ensuring that the splitting is done as evenly as humanly possible.
The 3 person playdate is difficult to navigate. It seems like someone is always the odd man out and getting their feelings hurt. Even though it is more people, I found that it was often easier to have 2 friends over. If your kids befriend another set of twins or siblings, that makes it easier.