Perspective from my other twin 8-year-old

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twins | 5 comments

What can I say?  We all knew this was coming in response to Sydney’s blog last week! Taylor is the best score-keeper I know…;)

What me and my faimly just did for a week

We just went on a vacation to Florida. We had a lot of fun there. We got to be in the hotness for a week. WE EVEN GOT TO WEAR SHORTS AND TANK TOPS! ISN’T THAT CRAZY! I felt so bad that in Flordia it was so stinking hot, when Michagan where we lived was snowing. SO HARD! In Flordia it was winter but it was hot. I think Flordia should be punished ,because Michagan is the opasit of hot…cold! And Flordia is hot. The raeson why I think it should be punished is because it is so hot there so I am hopeing that Flordia could share the warm air. And if it shared the coldness of it I would punch it if I could. but I am to nice of a girl. So no matter what I won’t punch it. I went on this vacation for winter break. My school had winter break for a week I tell you. So who ever parents and kids that are reading this mesegge if, you went to a hot place for winter break like me I hoped you had fun. And who ever stayed home for winter break in the coldness lets go punch the hotness out of hot places and let the hotness come here. That would be so caring of the hot city. Well thank you for lisaning to my blob today. I hoped you liked it.

By the way it was from Taylor Kristins kid.

Hoped you enjoyed it!



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Twin Turbulence Excerpt: “There was no time to dwell on the horror of what was just presented to us. There was too much to be done in order for our family to survive.”

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective | 2 comments

When Craig was in his mid-twenties, he had testicular cancer.  Not once, but twice.

The first time he received the diagnosis Gabriel was just a few months old.  When it was delivered, we were both shocked.  Was it scary?  Yes.  But more than anything it was confusing.  He was young, strong and kept himself in great shape.  He was a new Daddy looking forward to many wonderful years spent raising his son.  It just didn’t make any sense.

We were aware of the serious nature of the C-word.  We respected that it was nothing to mess around with.  So he followed his doctor’s orders meticulously.  He easily set aside his pride to undergo the orchiectemy that was required to perform a biopsy on the mass.

We convinced ourselves the outcome would be positive.  There was just so much left to do.  We wanted to enjoy the house we had just renovated.  He was to be the best man in my brother’s wedding later that year.  We wanted to have at least one more child.  Life was just getting started for us.  There was no way it could be ending.  We could do this.  Whatever it took – we could beat this cancer.

Surgery appeared to solve the problem.  Then, just when we were starting to get comfortable, the cancer returned.  This time with a vengeance.  It had spread, which is never good.

This time we were not as naive.  This time we were not as confident.  This time would be harder than the last.  There was no quick fix of surgery.  Craig was now officially a cancer patient.  He would serve his time in the oncology ward receiving treatments.  His hair would fall out.  He would get sick.  He would feel weak.  He would have to fight for his life.

All of this we knew.  All of this haunted our quiet thoughts.  All of this threatened to destroy our happy little family.

But that’s not how we rolled.

“There was no time to dwell on the horror of what was just presented to us.  There was too much to be done in order for our family to survive.”

When faced with fight or flight, Craig and I stepped into the ring.  We worked as a team.  We developed a plan.  We assumed control of the situation any way possible.

These were the facts:

  • We wanted more children…I demanded a pregnancy test from our local hospital, while Craig scheduled appointments at the sperm bank.
  • We were going to need help…We hopped on the phone and recruited family to come stay with us in shifts to help babysit Gabriel and drive Craig to treatments.
  • Craig had a brutal physical battle ahead of him…He exercised daily to get into peak shape.  He would face chemo with brute force.
  • Cancer was strong…Craig chose to be stronger.  He never missed a day of work during treatments.
  • Craig would not be a victim of cancer…We told no one of his disease other than close family and friends.
  • His hair started to fall out…He went to the barber and had it shaved off all at once.

Instead of thinking, we acted.  Instead of worrying, we believed.  When cancer struck, we struck back.  If it became time to worry, then we would worry.  But until then?  We did what we had to do to just keep on living.

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Twins and Sleep.

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in From My Perspective, Twins | 1 comment

Twins and sleep.  Not an easy combo.  At least it hasn’t been for us.  There’s too much emotion involved.  If sleep were the ultimate goal, then we probably should have split their bedrooms much earlier than their 6th birthdays.  But they loved being together, and it was much more convenient for us during the waking hours.  When we did initiate the split, it was because Sydney vocalized that she was ready for her own space.  Taylor, on the other hand, suffered from anxiety at the thought of not sleeping in the same room with her sister.  They were starting to fight during the day, however, so we decided to give it try.  Fortunately we discovered it was much easier to put them to bed in separate rooms as they no longer had the distraction of each other.  However this method is still far from fool-proof.

The existence of twins is comparable to a never-ending playdate with your most beloved BFF.  Sleep-over after sleep-over the playdate continues, and with all the fun to be had sleep only gets in the way.

When the girls were babies, we kept them on the same schedule.  Initially they appeared to be easy to put to bed, because they enjoyed the company of each other from crib to crib.  Most often, though, we’d lay them down at 8:00pm only to find them still awake and babbling at 11:00pm for their next feeding.    Finally I started to keep my two-year-old up until then so he would sleep later the following morning.  After a long night of twin feedings, I needed that 6-9:00am morning nap.

All hell broke loose when we moved them to regular beds at 2 1/2.  What’s worse than one toddler escaping from bed?  Twin toddlers escaping from bed.  They caused all kinds of quiet trouble.  On one such night we discovered them hidden in their shared closet behind the closed door.  They had cleared every shelf, stripped every hanger and emptied every drawer to create a giant mountain of disheveled clothing in the middle of their closet floor.  The mess was infuriating.  More importantly, though, it was dangerous for them to be scaling their closet shelves in order to be perfectly thorough in their twin mischief.

As a result, my husband started to guard their bedroom door.  Night after night, he would lie on the floor in the hallway policing them to stay in their beds.  It took hours for them to fall asleep.  It was worth it though, because every time we made the mistake of tempting fate we paid for their disastrous ideas of twin toddler destruction.

To this day our twin daughters require very little sleep.  They still sneak into each other’s rooms, always remembering to close the door so we don’t hear them.  When we do catch them, we find them working cooperatively to execute their latest and greatest plan.  Many books have been colored, stories have been written, pretend lessons have been taught, American Girl dolls have been dressed, etc. well past their designated bedtime.  It is also more common than not to find them snuggled up together in the same twin bed the next morning.

Rarely do they succumb to sleep before 10:00pm, and they rise easily for school at 6:45am.  On the weekends, they both stick to the same schedule.  Thankfully, now that they’re eight, they are old enough to make their own cereal and occupy themselves, realizing that we would prefer to sleep in.  When we rise between 8-8:30am, they are always cuddled up together on the couch or in front of the computer.  Their daily BFF playdate is already well underway.  At least now we are more rested to endure it.

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Why I Wrote a Book…

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Twins | 7 comments

I wrote a book.  That’s right…WROTE – as in past tense – it’s done.  To me, that’s a pretty big deal.  I smile just typing about the finished nature of my memoir.

At first I journaled for selfish reasons.  I was afraid I’d forget the noteworthy moments of parenting.  With a two-year-old and twin babies, life for this stay-at-home Mom was a clustered swirl of chaos.  The concept of baby books was laughable; there was no time to take pictures.  Nor did we waste time videoing the kids.  The few videos we do have are all the same: A chaotic attempt to highlight one child while the other two do their best to steal the spotlight, usually resulting in frustrated tears that ruin the intent of the positive attention in the first place.

When I edited my stories, I gained outside perspective.  I discovered that even though it felt like we were racing in an over-crowded hamster’s wheel, the kids and I were indeed making slow, forward progress.  This gave me the hope and inspiration to continue to wake up and do it all over again.  I patted myself on the back as I read about the moments that reassured me I was a good parent.  I experienced guilt-ridden shame when I was reminded of the moments when I was not a good parent.  This motivated me to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

As I read, I realized two things:

#1 My stories were honest.  I didn’t paint a picture to favor any one character, especially not myself.  And most of them were funny after I had a chance to cool down from the heat of the infuriating moment.

#2 This is what I coveted from other Moms: honest, self-deprecating humor.  The admission that life is not perfect.  Marriage with children is a treacherous mountain to scale to even have a chance at happily-ever-after.  The reality that sometimes your kids are downright rotten and even liking them is a toll.  The acceptance of the on-going hurricane level of destruction a home is deduced to whenever the kids are around.

As the kids – especially the twins – grew, I had pages and pages of dramatic comedy that just couldn’t be made up.  There was rise.  There was fall.  There was “You have got to be kidding me.”  I was high.  I was low.  I loved my family.  I hated my family.  I made the mistake of judging others, until it really hurt when others judged me.

Through my children, I learned so much about parenting.  About marriage.  About myself.  This was information that needed to be shared.  My book is for my children, but my stories are for everyone.

You are not alone.  There is no such thing as a perfect family.  If you hold the people in your own stories accountable – Don’t forget…that includes you! – then you can survive the turbulence of toddlerhood with twins too.

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One-On-One from my 8-year-old’s perspective

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective | 2 comments

I sat down to write about the special one-on-one time Sydney and I stumbled upon together yesterday.  Time like this is rare, so we were sure to make the most of it. I was one sentence along in my gratitude when she looked over my shoulder to see what I was writing.  She said, “I wish I could have a page that I could write on.”  So I let my 8-year-old baby girl blog for me.  I’m glad I did, because I couldn’t have said it better myself.  And it certainly wouldn’t have been as colorful.

I love when Momma and I have time to our self because:

  • She lets me go where ever I want.
  • She lets me get Ice-Cream and popcorn with lemonade.
  • She lets me get sweat-Shirts if I’m cold.
  • She lets me go to gift shops and stores and she lets me get toys and get hair stuff, and its like a special treat.
  • We look at art, Also I want to be an artist when I grow up.
  • We try to find coffee cups witch are Cinderella and special to me so I can drink out of one.
  • Then we go home and momma plays with my hair.
  • Then we cuddle and watch a movie.

This is what I do with my mommy when we have alone time together.

                   Ps. It makes me feel special.

See you later, Love Sydney

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