Call Me Their Referee

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I know that other moms of multiples can relate to this one.  It sometimes feels like 90% of my day is spent resolving spats, teaching the social skill of "sharing" and comforting the twin that gets the s*** end of the stick, or that didn't find the (insert any toy we have here) first.

Ice cream man came... that was sticky.

Families with multiple children can relate to the ever so troublesome skill called sharing.  It's the nemisis of all kids and the coveted skill of parents.  I remember not wanting to share ANYTHING with my sis Anna (and I'm sorry about that now... for real, love ya Anna).  I'm not sure at what age that changed and sharing not only meant good for Anna but good for me too!  We could share clothes and have almost double the closet!  But we were 2.5 years apart... and when we were younger, that felt like an eternity.  I think having children with an age difference is different.  But I wouldn't know... since I've only ever had twins and they are the oldest, obvi.  Bennett is bigger (by almost 5 pounds now!) than Emmy and I think that can attribute to the fact that he can just take things from her, no problem.  Her response?  Screaming.  At the top of her lungs.  It's super fun.

Teaching them to share has been something I've been working on since they were like 8 months.  Crazy, I know... How the hell do you teach infants to share?  But when both of them would be screaming and crying, and wanting to be held... I would look at both of them and say, "It's just me guys!  One of me.  Two of you.  I'm right here but I can't cuddle you both always."  Staying calm and probably sounding like a crazy person.  But I was implying they needed to "share" me.  I've tried to instill that in them.  And for the most part, they are pretty good about waiting their turn or sharing the parents.  But toys.  Toys are a completely different thing.  And if you think buying 2 of everything would solve that, you are sorely mistaken friend.  Because even if there are 2 of the exact same ball, Emmy's is better and B wants it.

Few tips I've come to learn:

1.  Distraction if your BFF.  When one of the babes has a toy or a rock that the other one wants (because let's be honest, my children think rocks are pretty much the best thing in the world, and I love it and can't wait to say "I remember when you thought rocks were cool" after they ask for an ipad), my usual response is to try and grab the other babe and give them something similar or "cooler".  This works pretty well.

2.  Let them resolve some spats.  I think this one is hard.  Especially for my ears.  Emmy will almost ALWAYS scream.  And loud when Bennett takes something from her.  And we're working on not screaming because its annoying and also alarming, especially when we are outside (poor neighbors).  But sometimes I will just watch over them and somewhere like 15% of their spats they can somewhat work out.  I'm not saying perfectly.  Em will scream and walk away and sometimes distract herself.

3.  Time Out.  We just recently started talking about how time outs would work.  We haven't really had to use them but once, with Em.  Since they are too young to really understand sitting on the step, hers was in her crib.  After a few minutes of screaming and throwing her fit, she calmed down and eventually rejoined the land of civil-ness.  I think this is important though.  Discipline can look so different for so many families, but find what works for ya'll and stick with it.  Your kids will thank you one day.  I promise.

4.  Move Locations.  Sometimes when I sense a spat over a toy, I catch it before it starts and say let's go outside!  Or if we are in the basement, let's all go upstairs and get a snack!  My kids are eat-a-holics.  They would do anything for food.  And it's not like we starve them!  They eat all day, every day.  But that distraction is a good one too.

Anyways... hope this helps someone... if not, hope it was at least entertaining to read.

We are peacing out of the country tomorrow!  Big blog update when we return.

Until then,
Lauren, B&E

With all the Kansas heat, we spend a lot of our days at the library.  It's the best, free and air conditioned, AND almost all of them have kids spaces with more than just books!   Toys too!
The new "forced" smile of Emmy.  My trick?  Ask her to see her teeth.  I hope she keeps this smile forever. 

Workin out with Emmy Lou.  She keeps me young.

S U M M E R , thus far

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hi Friends!

This summer has seemed to go by faster than a bowl of goldfish in front of Bennett.  It’s been awhile and I’ve missed writing and am here with an update post for you!  Summer 2017 is proving to be very eventful indeed.  We just came off 7 weddings from April to end of June and they were all amazing, beautiful, and just the best time with the best of friends but we are ready for a break from them.  Is that terrible?  Over the 4th weekend, we headed to Kahola Lake with our best friends and, a much needed weekend of relaxation.

This could be my all time favorite picture just ever.  The pure joy in Alex's face, the determination in Emmy's and the curiosity in B's (also rock in hand)... my world, my loves...  
B the man.  With his rock.
We have had two road trips so far this summer, one to Iowa for a wedding that Bennett and Emmy were in and one to Minnesota for a wedding but also to see my family.  Both were surprisingly not as hard as I thought they would be with two 17 month olds.  But don’t get me wrong… we had our moments.  Moments of complete frustration, utter exhaustion and “why did we ever think this would be fun?”  No, I’m being dramatic on that last one.  I don’t know how anyone would do it without a partner that is just willing to roll with the punches, who knows this part of life will be messy and who just loves being a dad with his whole being.  I couldn’t have done this summer without Alex.  He’s been my rock, solid voice, calming presence, all while going back to grad school for his masters.  I am just so grateful for him.  And damn proud.

St. Croix boat tour, courtesy of my Uncle Gregg! 

He must have slept like this for an hour and a half.  That relationship is inseparable.
Fam Bam in Iowa!
The ring bearer who bore no rings and the flower girl who destroyed her flowers.  I would say they scored an 8/10?
Wedding rehearsal! 
B, leaving Emmy behind.  Pretty normal.
Our hotel room was pretty much destroyed.  Two toddlers can do more damage than you think.  Sorry Comfort Inn.
Beautiful Iowa... also... hot Iowa.
Channeling her inner Moana... minus the ocean and hair. 
They look sweet and innocent now... :)
Em and Ben are basically adult’s guys.  Holy moly, they tell you time goes fast but you just never think THIS fast.  They are officially 18 months and moving faster than I ever thought tiny feet could.  The talking is what’s mostly new this month.  They are repeating us, learning words from Sesame Street, talking to each other (in a language all their own… and probably about me most likely) and eating what seems like 3x their body weight in a day.  Seriously… I don’t know how moms do it cooking everything fresh all the time.  Frozen food is my saving grace.  And I’m not ashamed.

Side bar:  I really hate the heat, unless I’m sitting in front of a pool with an iceberg in hand (corona with margarita floating on top… basically the best thing that ever graced the bar and probably the reason we left our honeymoon knocked up).  But this summer is warming up and warming up quickly.  We are spending time outside where the babies WANT and seem to NEED to be.  For being born in the thick of winter, it’s amazing how much they love this Kansas heat.  Still, I’ll sweat for them.  I’ll sit outside and think how hard our A/C is working to make our house arctic for an empty house.  Because you’ll most likely find us sitting in the front or back yard, collecting sticks and rocks, playing in water or drawing chalk lines (they are very good at drawing lines… nothing else really.  But those lines...)

Couple of outdoorsy goons.
Splash pads are God's actual gift to parents of toddlers... once they warm up to water spraying them in the face.

Don't let her evil glare fool you.  The girl is loving the water.

Alex and I have our trip to Italy coming up in less than 2 weeks and I’m telling you… this trip could not be coming at better time.  Continuing on that in another post. 
My man, my city.
I’m going to be getting back into blogging.  I took about 3 months off (even though I said I would keep it at least once a month… eek) and I’m feeling ready to share again.  I still can’t tell you how often but I want to.

Anyways… hope everyone is having an amazing summer, staying cool and enjoying life.  It’s so precious guys.  So precious.  Hug someone special to you today.  Just do it.

See ya’ll soon.

Lauren, E&B
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