Monthly Archives: June 2008

Your room, my room, our room?

I was so thrilled when my kids finally seemed to notice each other when they were about six months old.  The first time they laughed at each other was a shining moment, for sure.  Now that they almost play with each other (OK, so they grab each other’s toys and ears, but it’s a start), I just love it.  The two of them giggling and babbling at each other is one of the best parts about having twins so far.

Sometimes, though, it’s a little too much fun.  Like at nap time.  Oh my lord.  For two babies who used to not even notice each other, now they can’t be stopped.  Their cribs are lined up end-to-end in the little room they share, and now that they can both crawl around and stand up, it’s party time.  Sometimes, when I hear them shrieking at each other over the monitor, it’s hilariously cute.  45 minutes later, when Rebecca has finally fallen asleep and Daniel is standing at the edge of his crib, glaring down at her, and screaming… not as much.  And he has been fighting the afternoon nap tooth and nail for the last week (they’re only 11 months, and definitely not ready to drop a nap).  Once or twice he has skipped it entirely, other times he takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to finally go to sleep.  The resulting nap (if there is one) isn’t great, so it makes for a rough rest of the day.

It gets me wondering, as I occasionally do, exactly why I have them sharing a room and how long I want to continue doing it.  Back in the days when they were still waking up at night a lot and taking bottles two or three times, I really preferred having them in the same place.  We went through a phase when M freaked out that they were waking each other up, so we separated them, and it drove me nuts.  Because they’d still wake up at the same time, so now I had to be two different places to soothe or feed them.  No thanks, back in the same room they went.  We kept them right next to each other when we Ferberized, and that really did help them learn to sleep through each other’s noises.  And I really do like the idea of these two little kids sharing their room.  I like that they entertain each other, that they make each other laugh.

Except, you know, when I want them to shut up and GO TO SLEEP!

So that’s when I wonder.  Why, truly, do I have them in the same room?  Is it better for them?  Better for me?  Or does it just seem cute but is entirely impractical for the sake of sleep?  The main problem is really naps.  At night, they go down pretty well.  But sometimes those naps… ooh, man.  And maybe separating them wouldn’t help, and it would turn out that Daniel’s just in the midst of a nap strike regardless of who else is in the room.  Hopefully it’ll pass, but I know this is something I’m going to come back to over and over again in the next few years…

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Cross-posted at How Do You Do It?

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Filed under Child Development, Home, Infants, Sleep

Doh!

Only two more days, I cannot miss out on my NaBloPoMo obligation!

Sadly, I have very little to say today.  So I’ll post a picture of my kids and hope you forgive me.  More tomorrow on Daniel’s ongoing protest of the afternoon nap and the debate on whether to keep them in the same room…

An out-take (though still quite cute, there were plenty of pictures of them just drooling and chewing on the letters) from the Father’s Day photo shoots.  Lest you think my kids are just that photogenic, or that I have some magic that allowed me to get three awesome pictures of them, you should know that it took two days, four outfits, and nearly 200 frames to get the final product…

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Filed under Blogging, Infants, Mommy confessions, Photos

Outings

A quiet Saturday here in the Goddess in Progress household.  M had to work in the very wee hours of the morning last night, so he was out of commission for much of the day.  No worries, the kiddos and I made an always useful trip to Target, and even met a woman working there who was 15 weeks pregnant with twins.  I gave her my email address and she might buy my carseats.  Hooray for twin mom stalking! 🙂

I feel like I’ve become more bold in my outings, or at least more comfortable and aware of what I’ll likely be able to do.  I basically have two windows for an outing in any given day.  A short outing is possible between the morning and afternoon nap (around 11, maybe 11:30), and a longer one can be done after the afternoon nap (around 3:30).  Our short outings often involve terribly exciting errands, like the grocery store (hence this morning’s trip to Target).  The later slot can be longer walks, a friend’s house, or something more fun like that.  Yesterday’s later outing was a nice long walk with Aunt R, followed by a stop at Whole Foods, where they have some pretty cool double shopping carts.

Today, once M had finally regained consciousness after his very late night, we decided to be extra bold.  We took the kids out for dinner.  The last time we took them with us for dinner was when they were still able to be rocked to sleep in their infant carseats.  This was a full-on dinner for four.  It was a little too impromptu to be a runaway success

(I was short on fun toys and small snacks, and my new portable placemats have not yet arrived), but overall it went quite well.  It was a sort of Tex-Mex chain restaurant, and the kids really liked the seasoned rice and black beans.  Hooray for being able to eat table foods!!

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Filed under Feeding, Infants, Out and about

Ready for our close-up

Not much to say today, but some close-ups from pre-bedtime today…

Daniel

Rebecca

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Filed under Infants, Photos

Visual confirmation

That I do, indeed, have two mobile babies in the house.  As with anything baby-related, this video is pretty much outdated already, even though it was less than a week ago.  Daniel is much faster now, though in the video you can almost catch his “gangsta-crawl,” where he’s on one foot and one knee, all lopsided.  It’s pretty funny stuff.

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Filed under Child Development, Infants

As seen at lunch today

We’ve gone a long way from the first time I caught them “holding hands,” when it was just a cute coincidence at about two weeks old.

Now they think it’s about the funniest thing, ever.

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Filed under Child Development, Infants

Mind on my money

and money on my mind.

I’m lucky, for a combination of reasons, we don’t have to worry too much about money.  Good job, generous family, and any number of other things mean that we don’t have to stress about the essentials.  Sure, the value of our house has probably dropped (ack, we bought at the tip top of the peak in summer 2005!!), but we have no immediate plans to move or sell, and we have a good rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage, so it’s all good.  We’re just not big spenders, either, so thankfully we haven’t had to work too hard at managing our money in order to make ends meet.  And we did plan ahead for me being a SAHM.  From the time that we got married, we changed the direct deposit so that my (much smaller) salary would go directly into our savings account.  It allowed us to “practice” living on one salary, but the money was right there in case we needed it.  A good tip for newlyweds if you’re considering one person not working after kids are born…

No, the aspect of money management that is crowding my brain today is more about consolidation and long-term planning.  I know, so exciting, right?  But it’s one of those not-so-glamorous things that you really need to do, and no one talks about because they’re boring.  Well, money needs to be talked about, especially if you’re married, getting married, or having kids.  Spouses need to have a plan, know where they stand, know how much money is where. Talking to a financial planner to cover the finer points is on my list, but first I want to make sure I know where all of the accounts are and what they’re up to. So, here’s what we’re (and I do mean the royal we) doing:

Consolidating old retirement accounts.  You know how it goes, you switch jobs, the new place does their 401(k) at a different company, etc.  They’re all over the place.  As I’m not working at the moment, I’m taking my old pre-tax retirement stuff and rolling it into a Traditional IRA.  At least, as soon as M gets around to having his signature notarized on the form.  Yep, your spouse needs to be in on that, too.  M could stand to do some consolidation, too, but at least all of his happen to be different accounts with the same investment company.

Consolidating other investments. My mom and M’s grandparents had given us gifts of stocks over the last however many years.  Again, all over the place.  Half of mine still have my maiden name, M’s have his name misspelled in a few different variations.  And they’re all these little, individual pieces that are hard to keep track of, especially at tax time. We have a little custodial account that will hold all of those, so we only will have to look in one place for them.  That is, as soon as I manage to get my name changed on them, anyways. Ugh.  More notarizing.

College accounts for the kids.  Compounding interest, people, compounding interest.  The sooner you start, the better you’ll be.  $50 now could be way better than $100 later.  We opened two different types of accounts for our kids.  A 529 plan, because it has tax advantages, and the money can be used for (and only for) educational expenses.  It doesn’t have to be a 4-year college, but it does have to be educational expenses.  We also opened up a UTMA account, which does not have the same tax advantages as a 529, but use of the money is more flexible.  We have them set up, but they do need to be better invested.  My dad’s rule of thumb growing up was to not do individual stocks, but just buy a market index fund.  For the first 13 years or so, he put roughly 80% of the money in stock index funds, and 20% in more conservative bonds. And just let it hang out, no need to fuss when you’re planning long-term.  When I hit high school, he swapped the balances, so 20% was in the riskier stocks, and 80% in the conservative bonds, since it was going to start being used in the shorter-term. If you don’t know much about investing, that’s a good, easy balance to remember.  80% riskier if you’re doing long-term, 80% more conservative as you approach the time when you want to use it.

Moving our checking and savings. We have regular old checking and savings accounts at one of the big banks that has bought plenty of the other banks.  That’s fine, but it’s not doing anything for us. We aren’t getting charged, but we aren’t making money, either.  So we’re moving to a Schwab checking account.  I’m sure other investment companies have similar deals. This one is linked to an investment account, so we can do more with our money than have it sit in a savings account and earn pennies in interest, but it’s still readily accessible if we need to get at it.  And the checking account earns interest on its own, and though they don’t have any of their own ATMs, they refund all ATM fees.  Not bad!  Might as well have the money doing something for us, other than just sit there.  And I don’t believe there’s a minimum balance requirement, so it’s not like you have to be rolling in the dough to do something like this.

Anyways, that’s the exciting things I’m doing on our summer afternoons: getting things notarized!  Wohoo!  Next up, wills.  I know, Marci, I know.  I still haven’t done it.  I will, though, I promise.  Shame on me for having nearly 1-year-old kids and no will!  Ack!

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Filed under Home, Just me