Irish Twins

irish-twinsI wrote the post below 3 months ago, or half a lifetime ago for DS.  I keep meaning to edit and post it, but clearly I’ve been slow…it’s taken 3 months to get around to it and that should be some insight for you into life with Irish Twins.

A little update: the past 3 months have gone by quicker than the first three with DS.  Things have been really, really hard lately. We just moved across the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the San Francisco Bay (more on that in a future post) which, to put it frankly, really sucked.

When I read the post below (written pre-move) about how everything was all happy and go-with-the-flow, I wanted to turn around and punch my old self in the face.  But, then I tried to look back in time through the sleep deprived haze that has settled in permanently around me, and I remembered: when you have a familiar location and a regular routine, Irish Twins are wonderful.

So, the post below gives me hope: I hope that as we continue to settle in to our new home here, to the new time zone and the new daily routines, that the babies will relax and feel comfortable in their environment once more.  Then I can be a happier, go-with-the-flow Mama again.

—From May 24th, 2016–

I am the mother of Irish Twins.  My baby girl (DD) is 13 months old, and my baby boy (DS) turns 3 months old tomorrow.

And whew, what a ride these past three months have been.

In many ways DS’s birth seems like a lifetime ago, which, for him, I suppose it was.  Before he was born, mothers with children close in age would happily reminisce to me about how these first few months would “be a blur” and how my kiddos would soon be “best friends” and “how great – in the long run – it was having children so close in age.”

Well mamas, as someone still in the thick of things who is not simply reminiscing, as someone whose *mom-nesia* has not yet set in, here’s my description what it’s really like to have Irish Twins these first few months:

It’s as if you’re *happily* fighting to keep your head above water; it’s as if you’re being swept off by a river of harsh rapids, *happily* almost drowning as you go, but because you know you won’t actually drown you are able *go with the flow* and enjoy the ride.

Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it’s fun.  Yes, I am beat and look forward to the night when I can actually sleep a total of 8 hours again (or even 7 or 6 hours, especially if they’re consecutive!).

But, the good news is that even while I’m almost drowning in the rapids, I’m so happy my babies have each other.

It warms my heart to see DD crawl over to kiss her baby brother.

It warms my heart to see the way DS watches his big sister play, with wide eyes full of wonder.

It warms my heart to see DD bring her WubbaNub over to her baby brother when he cries.

So to any Mama out there trying to have Irish Twins, or to any Mama out there with an unexpected miracle on the way I say: YOU CAN DO IT.

peace-be-with-youlove

On Becoming “THAT” Family

that-%e2%80%a8familyI am ashamed to admit that this past weekend was the first time we went to church in two months.  I have lots of excuses—babies, travel, moving, etc.—but I know deep down that I have just been lazy and shirking my duties as wife & mother by not getting us there.

So today I ask God for forgiveness, and pray that he will help me get us back on a church routine.

Now, on to the title of this post…”THAT Family”.  At church this weekend, we were THAT family…you know, the one with the fussy crying baby.  The one with the toddler who won’t sit still and screams every time Mama tries to make her sit down.

I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say we had to leave church early.

I am feeling badly about this and am trying to figure out what to do going forward. My kiddos have gotten out of the church routine and no longer know how to behave.

This is a particularly bad time to re-teach DD as she is going through a “phase” of tantrums. But, I read an awesome post by Jill Simonian on mom.me this weekend that gave me the inspiration…and hope…that I will get us back in the church groove.

This article was about training kids to behave at restaurants. It reminded me that behavior is learned and that I can’t simply expect my 15 month old to sit still and be quiet.  Developmentally, her body and mind want to do the opposite.

So I’m going to do what this author suggested: re-train DD on how to sit still and be patient.  We’ll start small and work our way up:

  • Wednesday: Have DD sit on her bottom on the couch when we read together.  Mama will only read if DD is sitting calmly.
  • Thursday: Got to Starbucks for a cake-pop and have DD sit calmly in her chair. (Note: I love what Jill Simonian said in her post about teaching her kids to observe their surroundings as their way of staying entertained. I also love how she talked about respecting others in the restaurant, and having her kids apologize when they were rambunctious).
  • Friday: We’re going to visit Daddy at work, so I hope to try a sit-down cafe maybe a step-up (in formality) from Starbucks.
  • Saturday: Lunch at IKEA, anyone?
  • Sunday: CHURCH. I’m sure it will still be a struggle, but I hope that with daily practice we will get better.

More to come on this…I’ll report back on how things are going.  I would also love to hear if you have tips & tricks to help little ones behave at church and restaurants!

peace-be-with-youlove

 

HAPPY “MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE DAY”!

happy-make-your-dreams-come-true-dayAccording to the morning radio show I listen to, today, January 13th, is “Make Your Dreams Come True Day”. On this fun holiday, you are supposed to do or plan to do something to help you achieve your dreams—so that’s what I’m going to write about.

Part of the purpose of this blog is to help me track my progress towards achieving my personal, non-baby related dreams. Right now I have one huge dream that I’ve been working towards for a decade, and I have a smaller, second dream (though I hesitate to call it that since it’s more of a goal and something I am interested in exploring, not something I am super emotionally invested in…yet).

The Big Dream: To continue my work as a writer and become a published author (hence the “Books” in the title of this blog, “Bumps, Babies & Books”). This is my “dream job”: to get paid to write books. I love writing middle grade and young adult fiction, and I have a middle grade novel that I’m polishing up. Steps I’ve taken to realize this dream include joining an awesome writers group, having members there critique the crap out of my manuscript, following agents on Twitter and reading blogs like QueryShark, and also joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and doing my best to attend conferences.

The Smaller goal: Teaching myself the basics of coding & web design. I love being home with DD, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I think it would be nice to one day go back to work when she’s in preschool (or at least have the option of doing so). I never really had a career I loved before becoming a SAHM; in fact, I worked a couple of jobs that I hated (Executive Assistant to the CEO of a small company, teacher in a rough, inner city school, and finally as a nanny). This blog itself is part of my attempt to get my hands dirty in web design stuff. I’m also working through sites like The Little Introduction to Programming (an AWESOME place for any newbie to start), and then going to move on to bigger challenges like Learn Python. My lil bro, who is a computer science genus, is giving me a “syllabus“ to follow for my “self-teaching”, and if it all goes well and I continue to be interested in coding & web design, in a few years I hope to attend one of the coding boot camps that are out there (see this NYT article).

What are you doing today to make your dreams come true?

peace-be-with-youlove