• “Mom, did I hiccup in the womb?”
  • “Dad, what did I do as a baby that made you laugh?”
  • “Did my twin brother speak first or did I?”
  • “Have I always had this freckle here?”
  • “Who was my first friend?”

When it comes to keeping family memories, there are no do-overs! If that heart-melting toddler quote isn’t captured or the exact moment Baby smiles isn’t recorded, those moments will be lost forever…and you will kick yourself.

Don’t you already? (I do. Even when I know there was something my son said that was quote-worthy or something one of my babies did that made me laugh, wracking my brain for important information at the end of a long day is the last thing I feel capable of.)

It’s tricky to both be present in each busy day and to see it from a memory-keeping perspective. Collecting little everyday treasures creates a wealth of memories that you will want to remember in years to come. And your kids will, too.

Memory-keeping says: “You are special. We adore being your parents and love watching you grow.” I can’t think of a better and more reassuring gift than to show a child that he is uniquely loved, can you?

Can you imagine pulling precious memories down from the bookshelf to reminiscence with your child? Or their future spouses? Or those grandchildren?

Okay, okay, I’m sold! Are you?

But I’m not into cutting paper and adding stickers to 10 x 10 scrapbook pages. Nooo sir!

I want memory-keeping systems that are:

  • easy to handle (not too large)
  • easy on the eyes (not too frilly)
  • easy to do (not too intimidating)
  • easy to keep (not too ruin-able)

Let’s record this stuff now – even if it’s on scraps of paper – so we don’t kick ourselves later!

What are your favorite memory keeping items?

How do you use technology when keeping your family’s memories?

 

The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly

Moleskine Ruled Lined Notebook

Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book

One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book

Old Town Leather Photo Albums

 

 

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image credit: Jenn Ski

 

Most days, couldn’t you use the help of an octopus – or become one?

In 2-armed reality, friends and family who lend a hand are so appreciated. But when both babies are crying because they need a cuddle from Mom, do you really want to outsource your affection?

How can the baby-holding idealist and 2-armed reality make peace and get around already?

2 babies: not halved attention, but complete affection

Each twin doesn’t require half the affection of a singleton, but complete affection.

Don’t you wish they understood the impossible ratio?

Strollers and baby contraptions have their place, but sometimes babies just need to be held – (and usually both at the same time – and right when you are trying to get dinner together, right?).

So how do you hold 2 babies at once?

Carrying 2 babies around in one’s arms isn’t the safest or most realistic plan, but there is a way!…

Give yourself a hand by growing more arms

3 methods that work:

[continue…]

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Creative Commons License photo credit: I’m George

 

It happens.

One minute you are nursing away and the next you start to feel:

  • very cold
  • very hot
  • very tired
  • very tender
  • very sick
  • very scared

Mastitis can strike any nursing mom, and it happens even more often when you are nursing twins. (Congrats on nursing those babies by the way – keep it up!) Between the abundant milk supply and training 2 babies to latch correctly (usually at the same time), it’s no wonder nursing mothers of twins battle mastitis more frequently.

Mastitis is also more common:

  • in the winter months (being cold doesn’t allow for full emptying)
  • when mama is under any type of stress
  • when there has been a hiccup in the nursing routine
  • if there is any pressure to the breast tissue that might cause a milk duct plug

Milk duct plugs can be from:

  • an ill-fitting bra
  • a too-tight nursing tank
  • an improper latch
  • babies who like to push against the breast to steady themselves
  • holding a baby too often in the same position against your breast
  • not drinking enough water

I had a couple of plugged ducts when I was learning to nurse my singleton first born, but they were quickly resolved with frequent nursing and pumping. No infections. No biggie.

Nursing my twins, however, I had 3 – three – breast infections in the first 6 months.

It happens.

Mastitis is your body’s way of saying SLOW DOWN.

Before each of my bouts of breast infection, I was feeling plucky and accomplished with all I was (foolishly) juggling…and then – crash – into bed with mastitis and regret.

Each infection presented with a different set of symptoms, but each was resolved quickly using the same natural treatment. No doctor’s visits and no antibiotics.

  1. My first infection happened within the first 6 weeks of nursing. I started to feel suddenly very hot and then very cold. Shaking under a heavy blanket cold. I had a fever that spiked, lowered, then hovered around 101 degrees F, then lowered and hovered around 90 degrees F. But I didn’t show any redness or blockages in my breast tissue. I felt tired and “strange”.
  2. My second infection hit with a sudden and severe chill and a hard blockage on one side. I had classic flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, nausea, body aches, sensitive skin, fatigue, etc.
  3. My third infection left me so tired I could hardly believe it. I had 3 blocked areas on one side. They were hard, red, and “angry”. Nursing was very painful.

Using the same natural treatment, each of my infections cleared within 3 DAYS.

How?

[continue…]

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Book image by Horia Varlan/Flickr Creative Commons

Creative Commons License photo credit: Horia Varlan

 

I delivered all my babies…including twins…with midwives…at home…and I loved it!

Reading stacks of books about natural childbirth helped me birth my babies at home. Exercising my mind with the knowledge I gained got me in tip-top mental shape, ready to birth with knowledge and without fear.

The key to successful birthing is understanding that YOU deliver – i.e. birth – your baby.

You are responsible for your body and your birth. What a privilege! Your husband, birth class educator, or midwife cannot birth for you. Birth is something you do, not something that is done to you. (However, if you choose to labor in your local hospital, they will probably deliver your baby for you.)

So if you want to birth your babies, you need to hit the books! And here are 3 that can help you…

…deliver your babies…at home…with midwives…and love it!

[continue…]

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photo remix: Yoga woman on exercise ball - flickr_enthusiast_rocks_Nilmarie_Yoga-001

Creative Commons License photo credit: adria.richards

 

You could be in the best physical shape of your life in preparation for natural childbirth and it won’t do a lick of good if your mind isn’t just as fit.

It’s true. In the midst of labor, your body is doing the work of delivering a new human and it’s your job to simultaneously get your mind out of the way and in the game. How? Exercise and workouts for your mind!

Just like any workout, a reconditioning of the mind for birth begins with a structured plan, devoted time, and a coach (insert midwife here) to tweak things when needed to produce the best results possible.

Quiet the mental noise to make room for new ideas.

Just like anyone who wants to get into shape, we all have our preconceived (no pun intended) ideas about what is attainable. These come from years of absorbing information from others’ experiences and fears.

In the body world, these are ideas like, “If I even TOUCH carbs, I’ll gain 5 pounds instantly. My sister is the same way. It’s genetic.” In the birth world, it’s like, “There’s no way I can handle birth. I’ve seen the movies. And my sister wanted to go natural, but she begged for drugs. If she can’t do it, I’m not even going to try.”

It’s meaningless, unfounded, mental noise – quiet it – and get your mind ready for a mental makeover.

Ever notice how the people at the gym who are in enviable shape are the ones NOT doing the circuit training like the rest of the herd? They are doing crazy-weird stuff, like balancing on pods while doing squat reps or sprinting like mad for 5 minutes on the treadmill. You’ve got to shake things up and do what works, not what everyone else does.

You can be in enviable mental shape, ready to use your mind to both assist and allow your body to do it’s thing: birth.

Get in shape, girl. It’s totally worth it. Ready?

[continue…]

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