Destination Motherhood: A Twin Birth Story

This time 3 years ago, I picked up my hospital bag and headed to Methodist Hospital Houston to deliver my fraternal twin girls. I was 39 weeks pregnant. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't have a birth plan. I was going to wing it on hope and prayer because in my wildest dreams, I did not imagine an ending as surreal and ordinary as me walking into labor and delivery to have twin babies on just another Tuesday. 

I'm sharing my birth story today on the HDYDI blog.  I hope you'll stop over to read it and the many other stories from twin moms. 

Cheap Thrills For the 3 Year Old

My girls will be turning 3 in a few days and I've spent the last couple of months researching and buying the "best toys" for their age. However, the realization hit me recently that the things that make my girls giddily happy most of the time are actually low-cost and I could totally give them a great birthday experience without breaking the bank. 

Here's my list of cheap and thrilling potential gifts for my 3 year olds (and maybe yours too)

  • A letter addressed to them in the mailbox. Spice has be walking around with an envelope with her name on it for 3 days now. She slept with it under her pillow. She knows I pick up the mail every evening and now recognizes that her name written down. Imagine her joy if I actually bring out an envelope with HER name on it from the mailbox
  • A flashlight - any generic one from a dollar store would do. The girls beg and plead to play with the ones we have at home almost daily
  • Stickers
  • Old gadgets - like an old computer keyboard or camera. I saw the daycare had an old keyboard in the girls' room a few weeks back and they so enjoyed banging away
  • Hairbands as bracelets - my little fashionista loves to wear theseon her hand and I got a pack of hundred for less than $5.
  • Play money or empty giftcards. Somehow they've figured out the concept of money and credit cards and they love holding my store loyalty cards for me. I've also started teaching them to read the value/number off the currency notes as a bonus
  • Their favorite foods - it's their birthday afterall. We can totally spend the day indulging in KFC chicken, ice cream, lollipops and grapes
  • A little ID card with their pictures on it - This came with the Halloween firemen costumes and the girls aren't messing with their cards
This list is fairly specific to us but I bet one common thread that 3 year olds share is that they can be easily and cheaply pleased. I think this knowledge will be shaping my toy purchases going forward into the 3s.

What about you? What have you spent money on and later realized that your kids would have been just as happy with a cheaper and more common alternative? 

How do you save on birthday and holiday gifts for twins?

Potty Training - The Final Chapter?

It has finally happened. Today my Sugar slept in her big girl undies all night and woke up DRY! That's right people. Approximately
569 days after they first sat on a potty
293 days after I actively started the potty training
I have potty-trained twins!

Night Potty Training Twins: The final Chapter - How it happened.
Time to retire the potty!
Part 1: Spice was the first to become night trained. One night after she had conquered the daytime part of using the potty, she woke up screaming and frantic. I thought she had a nightmare but also notice she seemed fidgety. I took her to the potty and she peed and went back to sleep. That was the last time she needed to sleep in a diaper. She's been dry overnight and diaper-free ever since.
Time to fully potty train? Around 100 days

Part 2: Sugar also had a screaming fidgeting episode overnight and I followed the same formula I used with Spice. She stayed dry for 2 nights and on the third her bed was soaked so I put her back in diapers. She continued to use and soak her nighttime diapers until a few weeks back when she discovered the joy of waking up at night to sneak into mommy's bed. Her winning formula was to go to OUR bathroom, take care of her business and then come snuggle into our bed. Eventually we cured the sneaking into our bed part of things but she's now gotten used to getting up at night to pee and going right back to bed. 
Time to fully potty train? Around 185 days

Lessons learnt
  1. Twins are different, their potty training timelines and milestones will be different too. One twin holds her pee all night to stay dry while the other wakes up at night to use the toilet and stay dry. Same birthdates, same parents, different styles.
  2. Speaking of parents, go with what works for you the parent. I had read all about the 3-day potty-training method which is all the rage on the interwebs and thought I needed to do that to get my mommy laurels. Well 2 hours into trailing naked twins on hardwood floors in a rented apartment, I decided that my blood pressure and sanity could not handle that particular style of potty training. 
  3. Don't sweat it or force it. I wanted to put Sugar in panties when I saw that Spice was staying dry overnight. I put her in panties and used the sheet protectors to get her to night train, but after the third night of soaked sheets and plenty of laundry I decided I was not ready for the additional laundry work required. I made up my mind to leave her in nighttime diapers until she turned 4 if necessary before attempting to actively night-train with sheet protectors
  4. Speaking of laundry, let them have a few consecutive dry nights before you assume they're ready for overnight panties. 
  5. It's going to take me a while to get used to the fact that I have no business in the baby aisles anymore. I'm still clipping diaper coupons y'all! Hard to break a 4 year habit
  6. What am I going to do with the freed up bathroom floor space when I move the diaper genie to the garage?
I can't end this potty training twins saga without giving a shout-out the resources I believe contributed to our success the most!
MandyE's potty training process for her twins which was paced over a few months and gave me a good insight into the emotional aspects of potty-training.
AND
Diaper-Free Before 3 - The first and only book I've read on potty training. I agreed with the author's style of not making a big deal out of what is basically another bodily function and it helped shape my approach.
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