Category Archives: Secret society of twin moms

Massachusetts Mama

Moving to Massachusetts was not easy.

Well, alright, that’s not entirely true.  Moving wasn’t hard. I had just graduated college and bought all of my furniture once I got here.  What’s hard about that?  No, the hard part is moving past being one of a few hundred thousand students, past being a “visitor.”  It’s hard to become a Massachusetts resident in the sense of feeling like you can say “I’m from Boston.”

New Englanders can have a reputation for not being as “nice” as other parts of the country.  That’s not entirely fair.  What they are is more private. While people can be nice and friendly and gregarious, you still don’t find a lot of people trying to become friends with the new neighbors. Or, while you might certainly say hello to the neighbor across the street, they aren’t going to invite you over for dinner.  It’s hard to really make friends when you’re not from around here.

At first, it was no big deal.  We still had our college friends. M got his undergrad degree here, so a bunch of his friends were still around.  A college friend of mine moved here the same time I did (and, in the end, married M’s roommate, but that’s another story).  But, as these things go in the years post-college, people moved away.  Friends left town, we moved out to the suburbs.  As a newlywed with no kids in a house in the ‘burbs, I suddenly realized my social circle was very small.  We didn’t really have work friends to hang out with, many of our neighbors were retired couples.

I suspected that having kids would be my big New England icebreaker.  There would be a cute baby to talk about, new groups and activities to join. In an environment where people don’t actively seek out new friends, I’d have a new outlet.  I had no idea how true this would be.

Some things were as I imagined: the new mom groups, music classes, and the like. What I didn’t imagine was how much the “twin thing” would change it all… for the better!  Finding out I was having twins was certainly an unexpected twist, but it turns out I couldn’t be in a better place.

You see, it turns out that Massachusetts has the highest rate of twin births in the entire country.  Add that to a very densely-packed area, and you can hardly turn a corner without seeing another double stroller. Now, I did read an article that suggested this was not so great, and you can see what I thought of that (spit, spit).

Truthfully, if you have twins, Boston is a great place to be. While some people might prefer to feel a little more “special” or unique, I rather like the fact that having twins is not the biggest deal in the world.  I still felt like enough of a traveling circus with the Double Snap N Go, it was nice to also run into people who’d give you a knowing nod.

I was further reminded of the benefits this week at my Moms of Twins Club’s monthly “Cope” meeting.  Half-support group and half-social club, I realized how lucky I was to have twins.  Because, you know what? There’s no “Moms of Singletons” club.  With my MOT club, I get to be in an organization that has an email group/message board for all kinds of parenting advice (not to mention things like referrals for a local plumber), that puts on events for the kids and for the moms, and is generally great for support and resources.  It reminds me a lot of my sorority – a local chapter of a national organization, all women, a big/little sister program… OK, they don’t do formals and my sorority never held a huge tag sale.  But you catch my drift.

Tricky as the social circles can be in Massachusetts, I was right in thinking that having kids would be the break-out that I was looking for.  I had no idea that, by doubling down, a whole new world would open up to me.  Looks like I was destined to be a Massachusetts Mama, after all.

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Filed under Secret society of twin moms

Required for all twins

They don’t tell you this at the hospital, or in the prenatal classes.  But as a parent of twins, there are certain pictures that you are required to take of your children together.  The newborns sleeping side-by-side.  The Thing 1 and Thing 2 (and/or Wonder Twins) onesies.  Et cetera.

Well, one of the required photos, as my friend LauraC pointed out to me, is the both-kids-in-the-playground-swing picture.  She warned me, months ago, that I should make sure I get that picture before they’re too big to fit.  Well, today we were at the playground, I had my camera with me, and I finally remembered. Size-wise, I think we just made it. My duty is done.

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Filed under Photos, Secret society of twin moms, Toddlers, Weird things no one tells you

Sold!

This morning was my twin club’s fall sale.  The sale happens twice a year, in the fall and the spring.  It’s quite a spectacle, and this was my first time as a seller.

Holy. Crap.

It really is quite something.  Setup began at 6pm on Friday, with tables and signs going up, and the first batches of people’s stuff.  It resumed at 6am Saturday, when all of the sellers were required to come and finish setup and put out everything in its proper place.  I thought I had a lot with my three big rubbermaid crates full of clothes (plus carseat and other assorted things).  Yeah, I know someone else who had at least eight crates full.  Yikes!

It was still dark when we arrived, but you couldn’t miss the sea of minivans.  The scene at all of 6:45 in the morning was a sight to behold.  A several dozen strollers, high chairs, swings, and exersaucers.  Tables full of toys.  Mountains of clothing.  Bins full of shoes, racks sagging under the weight of dresses and parkas and Halloween costumes.

And that, as I say, was at 6:45 in the morning.  There were still carloads being brought in, and doors wouldn’t open for shopping for almost three hours.  At about 8:30, those of us who were selling were allowed to start shopping.  Having remembered all of my clothing and equipment, but apparently not my checkbook or even a single dollar, I had to borrow a check from a friend to get the toys and three pairs of shoes that caught my eye.  (Thanks, K.B!)  I couldn’t even wade through the clothing and coats.  It was too overwhelming for me, and my kids are doing fine with clothing.  At 9:30, it was straight to work for the sellers – that’s when twin club members enter.  I was working in the area with all of the strollers and carseats, so all of the pregnant women made a beeline to that side of the cafeteria.  At 10, the general public joined in the madness.  I’m told there were not as many shoppers as usual, but it sure seemed like a lot to me.  And hey, someone bought my carseat, so I’m psyched.

There were over 70 people selling.  Everyone is responsible for their own tagging and setting their own prices, so identical items varied widely in price.  You could find two of the same swing, and one would be $8 while the other would be $30. Crazy.  I was definitely on the low end.  I cared more that my stuff would get taken than about how much money I would make from it.  And, though I’ve yet to see the final total, I think I did reasonably well.  I believe all of my non-clothing items sold, from carseat to unused Diaper Genie to the BundleMe’s that kept my kids warm last winter.  And though the infant clothing has a reputation for not selling well, I would say a majority of my stuff was purchased.  There was some that wasn’t, of course, but I just tossed a few of the items back into my crate at the end of the day, and donated the rest.  It felt great.  Of course, I didn’t get home until nearly 3pm, and am exhausted.  But it was a good time and nice to get rid of all that stuff.

Sadly, my house does not really feel less cluttered at the end of the day.  Sigh.  So much yet to be done.

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Filed under Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

T is for Tedious

In my spare moments when the kids are sleeping, I’m plodding my way through the bins of baby clothes and tagging them for my twin club’s fall sale.  It’s hideously tedious work. Pick up an item, write my name, a description, the size, and a price on the tag… twice.  Cap the marker so I don’t stain my guest bed’s comforter, jab the super-sharp tagging gun into the cloth.  Fold and put in appropriate bin.  REPEAT.  AGAIN. AND AGAIN.  I’ve got two diaper boxes and one big rubbermaid container filled already, it has to be at least 100 individual items so far.

And I still need to go through the preemie-to-3-month box, and then do a sweep through the drawers and closets for the stragglers.  And even that hasn’t started on the larger items like one of the carseats, a Baby Bjorn, two exersaucers, and various assorted other baby stuff around the house.  It’s a little overwhelming, and I’m glad there’s still two more weeks until the sale.

It feels a little gluttonous, sorting through all of these clothes.  The sheer volume is amazing, and it’s sad, bordering on embarrasing, how many things were never worn at all, or only worn once.  So many were gifts from even before the kids were born, and the sizes and seasons just ended up being wrong (tricky to estimate correctly, since Rebecca is always a size “behind”).  But I’m pricing them pretty cheap (most shirts and pants are $1.00), and I hope some other family can get good use out of them.  I’m not exactly going into the sale with the hopes of bringing home big bucks.  I don’t feel the universe owes me some refund when I’m done with the clothes that we bought.  But hey, if I can make a few dollars here and there, why not? It can go towards this year’s fall/winter wardrobe, right?

I’ve come across a few items that have made me a little bit sentimental, but I may yet still stick a tag on ’em and sell them.  They’re cute, I remember the kids wearing them, but why would I keep them?  We’ll see.  I’ll go through the boxes again before the sale just in case there’s some I want to keep at the last minute.

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Filed under Infants, Newborns, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

That Un-Sentimental Feeling

One part of my big de-cluttering effort is to get things ready for my twin club’s semi-annual sale.  This will be my first time selling, but of course, also my first time with a critical mass of stuff that I’m done with.  Last night I started going through the first pile of outgrown clothing.  It’s incredible how much there is.  Easily four big Rubbermaid totes full.  My initial sorting criteria is simply “eligible for fall sale” and “not eligible for fall sale.”  As the sale is already large and packed to the gills, the request is for only season-appropriate items.  Swimsuits and tank tops just aren’t going to sell in Massachusetts in the fall.  So anything short-sleeved, summer-y, or stained from the months of prune-juice-influenced spitup goes in the “ineligible” pile.  I say “eligible,” because I haven’t yet put price tags on anything, and reserve the right to keep some of my favorites.

Here’s the interesting thing: as much as I look at some of these shirts and things and say “oh, I loved this one, she was so cute in it!”…  I don’t find myself with any real pull to keep any of it.  Maybe it’s because we’re most likely done having kids, and even if we aren’t, I’m not going to store it all on the off chance that we have another kid three years from now.  Maybe it’s because much of it, while super cute, was purchased on sale from Old Navy, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting a ton of money.  Maybe it’s because I’m just not into hand-me-downs.  Maybe it’s because I have nearly 5,000 pictures from their first year and nearly every outfit they wore is well-documented.  Or maybe it’s because they’re just clothes.

I don’t want to kick myself down the road, wishing I had kept some of this stuff.  Kept it, maybe, just so I could pull it out of the attic every now and then and marvel at how tiny they once were and see if there’s a little whiff of baby scent still on there.  But then what?  I still have my bouquet from my wedding, but it’s just sitting there in a box in a closet.  I’m never going to do anything with it, but haven’t been able to make myself throw it away.  Will I be the same way with the baby clothes, or shouldn’t I just bring them to the twin sale and donate whatever doesn’t sell?  Let someone else marvel at how adorable their child is in that little shirt.

So, we’ll see what happens when I actually put a price tag on these little things.  I’m sure there will be some that I keep, but I think the most are getting passed along.  I don’t even much care about making a lot of money, I just want to free up the space.  Like anything, it’s a little bittersweet to be done with some of the “baby” stuff.  But at the same time, would I really go back if I could?  Not a chance.  Let the tagging begin.

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Filed under Home, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms

I need a vacation

It’s been a rough couple of days over here.  It started with the whole Toys-R-Us debacle on Monday.

Tuesday was not a ton better.  It started off with a bang, as the dog decided to find poop in the yard (not her own), eat it, and then throw up all over my first floor.  Delightful.  I’m so glad I took that 6 years to convince M we should get a dog.  I then had to go to the doctor for my foot.  We still don’t know what’s wrong with it, but now it hurts more than before.  The doctor said he’d take an x-ray and see me back in 3 weeks.  Lovely.  I’ll limp until then.  Had a nice lunch with a wonderful friend of mine who is 30+ weeks pregnant with her first baby, despite Daniel throwing his sandwich all over the floor.

Daniel then completely skipped his afternoon nap, and was not a happy camper later in the afternoon while the plumber was here (again!), trying to make my bathtub drain properly.  But I had my monthly twin club meeting last night, which was lots of fun (and blog-tastic, with Mommy, Esq.36 weeks pregnant, c-section on Monday!!! – and Nancy in attendance).  I stayed entirely too late, but it was worth it.  Until I got pulled over on the way home.  For a damn expired license plate.  So guess what I got to do all morning today? Yay, RMV and unpaid Boston parking tickets.

Hopefully, though, this is all just to make me appreciate the upcoming week even more.  Because on Saturday morning, we leave (at the crack of dawn) for a week in Virginia Beach with some dear friends and their two kids.  We rented a house on the beach, how cool will this be?!  One 10-month-old, two 12-month-olds, and one nearly-3-year-old.  And anywhere between four and six adults, depending on the day.  Sure, the trip presents some new logistical challenges, since it’s the first time we’re not primarily staying with family who can shop ahead and all of that.  But I think it will be great, and if not totally relaxing, at least lots of fun.  And if we can get the stars to align just so, I might even be able to meet up with Cheryl!  Blogosphere and real world collide!

Now, I just have to do laundry… and make a grocery list… and pack… and make a reservation for the dog at the kennel….  oy.

In completely unrelated, but incredibly cute, news… Rebecca is getting a big kick out of playing peekaboo by herself:

Where's Rebecca?

Where's Rebecca?

There she is!

There she is!

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Filed under Home, Illness and Injury, Out and about, Secret society of twin moms, Toddlers, Travel

No rest for the weary

I remember, back when I was employed and had vacation days, that the week immediately before you took time off was a bit crazier as you prepped for being away.  Being a SAHM, it turns out, is no different.

I’m racing against time and my various to-do lists before the kids and I leave for Chicago on Wednesday morning.  First, there’s the quilts.  I thought it was a ridiculous goal when I set it last week, but I just might do it: finish all of the machine-sewn parts of all three quilts before I leave!

Daniel's quilt is done.

Daniel's quilt is done.

My brother's quilt is done.

My brother's quilt is done.

Rebecca's is pinned and ready for quilting.

Rebecca's is pinned and ready for quilting.

But lest I get too cocky, there are about a hundred other things competing for the less-than-48-hours before my flight.  First, there’s the gift basket that the HDYDI moms decided to contribute to the NOMOTC Convention’s silent auction.  Nearly forgot all about it, had to run to Babies R Us for the 2nd time this weekend (and Barnes & Noble, and iParty, and Staples) to get it all together.

Bid on me, I'm for a good cause!

Bid on me, I'm for a good cause!

The first trip to BRU was for more gates, to block off the stairs.  The kids aren’t thrilled about that one.

Oh, and did I mention that I have to PACK?!  For a week-and-a-half trip with two babies?  To three different locations?  Some without cribs or high chairs?  Oh my lord… I feel faint.  Gotta go… 🙂

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Filed under Crafts, Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Travel