Twice Blessed Life - Raising Twins Heartistically!

http://twiceblessedlife.com/

Twice Blessed Life – Raising Twins Heartistically! is the online presence of Lara N., a stay-at-home mother of twin girls, age 4, who writes humorously about the blessings and challenges of twin parenting and being a later-in-life, 1st-time mother!

How do you split your time so that all your children get enough attention?

Do have any tips for handling sibling rivalry?

Moms of multiples are often experts at multitasking. Have you discovered a shortcut or trick that all moms could use?

Some toys remain favorites for years; can you recommend one for young children (age 2-5)?

Lara N

We have a plush duck pull-toy that my girls have loved since they were two - they are four years old now. And their blocks, and their plastic foods with the halves attached with velcro dots that can be "cut" apart. And their collection of small plastic animal figures.
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Do you think the government should pay stay-at-home moms for their work of raising children and managing a household?

Lara N

And who would foot the bill for that? The taxpayers! Which means those who are childless as well as those who have kids. And if anyone accepts gov't monetary help, they also usually have to undergo increased scrutiny of whether they are "performing" according to gov't standards. Which means more social workers will have to be hired to go snooping into private homes to see if they are up to some "standard", which also means loss of privacy. I'd rather more money go to supporting orphans and unadoptable kids who are about to age out of the system, or for something like more after-school care programs, so kids who aren't lucky enough to have parents who can afford to do the stay at home thing, can be taken care of better instead of being on the streets getting into trouble.
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What's your family's favorite recipe for chicken or tofu?

Lara N

My husband is Japanese, so we're trying to introduce the girls to that cuisine as well. Their favorite chicken dish is called "Oyakodon" or "Family Bowl". Ingredients: Eggs - 1 per person 1/8 cup thawed frozen peas per person 1 cup cooked rice per person 1/4 sauteed onions per person 1 tbsp soysauce per person 1 tsp brown sugar/mirin per person 1 palm-sized portion of cooked chicken chunks per person For each individual bowl: Basically, you put cooked rice into a bowl, Cook chicken chunks - whether breast or thighs, up to you - and put on top of rice. Saute onions and put on top of chicken Lightly beat raw eggs and add a little soy sauce and either mirin (japanese sweet cooking wine) or brown sugar - and then cook them with only a little stirring (traditionally, the eggs are left a little underdone, but cook them as much as you like) they should taste a bit sweet/salty to taste so add more soy sauce or mirin/sugar as you like. Then put the eggs on top in the bowls, Then sprinkle the peas on top. Serve and enjoy!
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What's your funniest potty training story?

Lara N

We had almost finished getting our 4 yr old twin girls potty trained, except one of them refused to poop in the potty. She'd pretend to be trying very hard to poop there, but then announce that she couldn't - and then demand a diaper. Literally 10 seconds later, the diaper would be full of poop that it would be our joy to wipe off her butt. Not. We tried bribes, everything we could think of. Then on Father's Day at a church BBQ party, we had no access to a diaper, and she'd been eating a lot of fruit that day...well, I was too busy at the face-painting booth, so my husband got to do the honors. The girl required a full hose-down, as the diarrhea had been rather explosive. After that, my husband, my mother and I all had a brainstorming session to try and get the girl to be diaper-free, and my mother came up with the idea of getting one of those kiddie-type laptop computers with a few games on it to use as a bribe. It didn't work at first, but after the girl saw her sister getting all the computer time for successful potty poops, she started doing it too! After about a week of this, she was diaper-free!
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What's your kids' favorite backyard game?

Lara N

My twin girls (age 4) love to build "fairy" houses. They gather bits of nature and assemble a little habitat for the fairies to move into. They read one of the books by Tracy Kane about the fairy houses along the Maine coast, and ever since, they've been caught up in the idea of doing it themselves. Whenever we go for a walk, they gather nature bits to bring home for their fairy house construction.
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What's the best gear for playing outside? Please include a link to any product you recommend.

Lara N

Low-tech is always best when it comes to outside play for small children: Bubbles, chalk, a ball. Skates are nice, and if you don't want to invest in a water/sand table, then any box/bucket that is water-tight can be used - just remember, that a child can drown even in a couple of inches of water and never leave it unattended. A good imagination is also the best gear for playing anywhere! :)
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What are the best ways to keep kids entertained & well-behaved at a formal event or luncheon such as wedding?

Lara N

We pack an arsenal of entertainment options: snacks, books, toys, a portable dvd player, and a few surprise toys/books/craft items that the kids haven't seen before. My twins are 4 years old, and ideally the host who's invited you - knowing that you'll be brining small children along - will have a small room/corner set up with a child-minder. At my cousin's bat mitzvah, my aunt had just such a room set up with a pre-k teacher (certified by the state) to look after all the children (about 10 of them).
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What was the funniest or most memorable moment of your pregnancy?

Lara N

I was about 5 months pregnant with my twins ( I went 39 weeks total), and I was sitting in the eating area of a Whole Foods market when another mom and her 5yr old boy sat down at the table next to mine. The little boy turned to me and bragged "My mom bought so much ice cream and I'm gonna eat it all!" So I replied "I also bought so much ice cream and ate it all and look at me now!" Then I moved my chair back a little so he could see my belly (which was pretty huge by then). That boy's eyes were almost popping out of his head in shock. Hopefully he won't be so keen to gorge himself on junk foods after that :)
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What's your family's favorite board game, and why? (Please mention the best ages for the game)

Lara N

Our two favorites are: The Ladybug Game - by Eric Carle and Trouble (with Popomatic! action) Our 4 yr olds love both of those games. They love collecting the aphids and having to use good manners for the Ladybug game, and they love the Popomatic! action on the Trouble game!
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What's a great way to relieve stress? (The more unusual the better!)

Lara N

I recently took up crochet. That is very relaxing, I don't have to think too hard, and with only one needle/hook it's pretty easy to put down when the kids have an emergency. If you use an online coupon for Michael's or A.C. Moore arts and crafts stores, you can obtain the needles, yarn and other things pretty cheaply. Your library probably has some intructional books, and there's always vids on YouTube to learn from. Pretty quick and easy to learn - you can get the basic stitches down in about 10 minutes! And you also feel productive because you creating something, not just staring off into space, drooling.....or is that just me that does that sometimes? :)
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