Saturday, October 22, 2016

Life Lessons from the Photos I Didn't Take

Last night, on my way to my twin mom board meeting, I had just gotten on the interstate when I caught a glimpse of the sunset out my passenger side window. It was one of those amazing, orange and pink, sky is on fire, makes you wanna pull over and gawk sunsets. Simply stunning.

And then blogger mode kicked in and I wanted a picture of that sunset SO BADLY! But I was driving, didn't have a passenger I could delegate the picture-taking to, and wasn't about to attempt it myself at almost 70mph. I knew by the time I reached my destination, the sun would've finished setting and the colors wouldn't be nearly as knock-your-socks-off, and I was frustrated. May have thrown a tiny tantrum in my head.

Friday, October 14, 2016

8 Things You May Not Have Known Twin (or more) Parents Think About

This morning we went to get flu shots (the grown-ups, the kids had already gotten theirs at their pediatrician's office), and when I got home, I breezed through what has become a pretty familiar routine, but one that I was nervous about a couple months ago.

I parked in our driveway (our driveway and garage were built weirdly, to the point that our van doesn't have enough room to turn and maneuver into the garage. It has to live outside, poor thing.), opened both automatic side doors, unbuckled Sam, carried him into the garage, snapped him into the waiting stroller. Then I went around to the other side of the van, unbuckled Abbie, grabbed my diaper bag and my purse, pulled my key out of the purse, got my drink from Panera out of the cupholder, shut all the van doors, locked the van, hauled all of that (including Abbie) into the garage, and closed the garage door behind me. I carried her into the playroom, dropping bags and such where they needed to go on my way, and set her down in the nice, secure, child-proof room. Then I went back out and fetched Sam from the garage where he was (thankfully, patiently) waiting in the stroller.

Why the elaborately choreographed kid schlepping? Well, I don't want to leave anybody outside and out of my sight line. We don't use pumpkin seats anymore. And my kids aren't walking yet. 

It's one of those things about having twins that I would never have thought of before I had mine... how to get everyone safely into the van when they can't walk yet. For parents with kids of different ages, if one child has to be carried, usually the others can at least walk to the vehicle with their parents under their own power. :-) I was thinking about this sort of unexpected little challenge in twin parenting the other day, and I reached out to some of my twin parent friends to see if they could help me come up with a few more examples, and I think we came up with a fun and eye-opening list. Some of them haven't come up with my kids yet, so I had my eyes opened a bit, too :-)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Preparing a (Spoiled) Pup for a Human Sibling (or a couple of them)

[This post includes an affiliate link - if you click through and make a purchase, it won't cost you any extra, but I'll make a couple cents. Thanks for supporting this blog!]

I've mentioned here many times how much we adore our dog, Charley. He was our first "baby" and taught us a lot about parenting, and when we were preparing to welcome his little siblings, he had one more parenting lesson for us: how to prepare and introduce an older sibling to a baby (or more).

We wanted to be sure to prepare him as much as possible before the birth and have a plan for helping him cope after his tiny fluffy world had been rocked.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What's Up Wednesday: September

Here's a fun link up I've wanted to join but always remember too late ;-) Yay for being reminded early in the day when I still have some blogging time left. :-) I used to participate in a style link up that Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel hosted, so I've followed all these ladies for a while... you should pop over and visit. Sheaffer's Bachelor/ette recaps are way more entertaining to me than the show ever was ;-) 

Annnnyyyyway... here's what's up with me!

Monday, September 26, 2016

TTC in the Rearview Mirror: Reflections on Infertility After 15 Months of Parenting

During the five years we tried to get pregnant, I had a lot of time to wonder what life "after" infertility would look like. I suspected that I would still feel infertile, that finally having children wouldn't be able to heal all of the pain or rewrite the part of my brain that identifies as infertile.

Now, as we celebrate the two year anniversary of our successful embryo transfer (September 25!), I have a little bit of distance on our childless time and felt like doing a little introspection on what has changed and what hasn't over the past two years since transfer and over the past 15 months since delivering our miracle twins. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stuffing a Stocking with Groupon Goods

[[This blog has been compensated by Groupon.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]]

We had to run into a store last night to make a quick return, and while Ethan handled that, Momma and babies ran off in search of a bathroom. On our way there, I noticed that they were starting to put up their Christmas section.  It wasn't even a craft store (where supplies for Christmas crafts go up in July because festival season starts in October and professional crafters need to have their inventories ready), but like... a normal store. 

OMG you guys, Christmas is coming up SO SOON!  I'm brainstorming Halloween costumes now, then once I'm done with those, it's Thanksgiving dinner time, then the whirlwind of Christmas gatherings and tasks starts. Whew.  I always feel like the last third of the year just WHOOSHES right by me.

I like to start on Christmas shopping as early as possible. We budget for the season with a separate account that we pay into from every pay check, so we can start making purchases as we see things we think our loved ones will enjoy. But, despite these plans... I inevitably end up scrambling to finish things right at the deadlines.  One of these things that I always always always have trouble finishing is filling Ethan's stocking. (Santa fills kid stockings, parents fill each other's.  Of course.)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sick Day Rehydrating Gelatin

There has been an icky, unwelcome guest hanging out at the Hodge house lately, bringing with him the need for ER visits, lots of drugs, a liquid diet, and conscious effort to stay well-hydrated.  Ugh.

I have had precious little energy left for blogging, but I wanted to pop in real quickly today with a handy little tip for sick days like these.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: December Caravan by Rebecca VanDeMark

One of my new favorite things to do as a blogger is participate in book launches.  I love reading, and I admire anyone who is willing to pour so much of their time and hearts into writing a book.  Writing my own book is on my 30 by 30 list, and while that's one of the more far-fetched items on my list, I hope to accomplish it someday. It's an honor to support and encourage those brave souls who've made the formidable leap from "someday" to published. :-)

Never has it been more an honor, though, than this most recent book I've helped to launch, December Caravan, written by my dear friend and personal hero, Rebecca VanDeMark.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

10 Awesome Tote Bags for Moms, by Moms

My secret mom weapon of organization is tote bags :-)  I love having designated totes for all of my roles... my current diaper bag is a tote bag, and I have another bag containing things we need for taking the babies out to eat, one for taking to meetings or work days for my twin mom club's newsletter, one I can carry my blogging necessities in, and a bunch more for organizing travel (entertainment, road food, quick changes of clothes).

I also love supporting small businesses, so I've rounded up some of my favorite totes from online small businesses! Funny, clever, beautiful... and of course, super-practical!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Protect Your Identity (and I'm NOT talking about finances)

[Trigger warning: suicidal ideation]

What do you know about yourself? 

I'll bet most of you can tell me a few positive things that you are, things that you like about yourself. You're a hard worker, you're pretty, you're loyal or passionate or funny or you can really cut a rug. When you're having a rough day, or starting to lose sight of some of the nuances of who you are, you can count on these details to be true and good.  

I'm smart.  

This is the one good thing I've known about myself since I was very young.  Even when I also believed I was bad, lazy, messy, ugly, boring, nerdy, overly-emotional, not worth being friends with or dating... I knew I was smart. It was a good quality of mine I could cling to, and I built the bulk of my identity around that.   

But what do you do when that identity is called into question?

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