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Twins

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Boys playing with girl toys? Careful now…

When multi-million dollar corporations start sending me free stuff to review my boys can have some boy toys. But for now the poor things will have to do with big sisters hand-me-downs. Yes, I’m officially going to risk turning my boys into transsexual perverts by allowing them to play with girl toys. In the name of science and mom blogging I will allow identical twins to review and pick their favourite girl toy, which I can only presume will be the most blue, macho looking toy because that’s what boys like, apparently. But don’t worry, as a precaution against instant limp-wristedness they are wearing their football themed outfits from the boy section of Target…

First up: My Little Pony Equestria Girls v Barbieboys playing with girl toys

Stage 1: Overview. George ponders whether he wants to play with Equestria Girl… “well she is blue, so I suppose its OK. But is it wrong that I kind of like her shoes?” Arthur, well he’s in total shock… “This is definitely a girl toy Mom, its wearing a pink glitter skirt, are you sure it’s safe?”

Stage 2: The shake test. Pretty standard testing for any new toy – shake it to see what moves and wobbles, and check if it makes any cool noises.

Stage 3: Close inspection. Poke the eyes, scrunch the clothes and stroke the hair in as manly a way as possible. Can I pull anything off? is it edible? So far so good.

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Stage 4: The boy test. George proves he’s-the-man by getting Equestria Girl to do the splits and looking up her skirt. Arthur looks on in horror, he didn’t know girl stuff could do that! He needs Equestria Girl immediately to redeem his sense of masculinity – George, sorry buddy.

Winner: Equestria Girl… probably because she’s blue and a bit slutty.

Next: American Girl Doll v Corolle Doll

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“Mom… er… you gave me the pink one again. And George’s is bigger, and us boys know size matters… this is SO unfair. I think I need to wash my hands, this girl stuff is starting to rub off.”

ag-02

I could see where this was headed so I thought I’d intervene and give Arthur one of American Girl’s slippers, afterall, even boys wear slippers. It turns out slippers taste pretty good so George wanted a piece of slipper action too. I tried swapping the dolls over – you know, to make it a fair test, but by then it was all about the edibles.

Winner: American Girl Slippers… because even men where slippers.

Last but not least:  Elsa from Frozen v Calico Critters

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George is stumped “Mom, this one is definitely a girl’s toy and Arthur looks like he has something dressed in a men’s blazer.” Arthur is very pleased indeed for he has scored a male Calico Critter, it’s so macho it’s practically a Ninja Turtle.

Shake test… check. George looking up Elsa’s skirt… standard. Then Arthur decides he’s escaping with Mr Critter while he can. George is definitely going to want to steal it afterall.

Winner: Calico Critter… because its wearing a grandpa blazer.

But hang on, what’s happening here? George couldn’t care less he’s stuck with Elsa and her disappointingly long skirt…

george

Turns out George is man enough to play with the snow princess… screw you Grandpa Ninja Critter.

I do have a point to make here.

I don’t stop my daughter playing with Barbie and Elsa, she loves all things girly, pink and purple – especially if they have glitter and unicorns that fart rainbows – and that’s OK. She also loves Paw Patrol, Skylanders and weird Manga cartoons on Netflix. She was disappointed when Party City put Paw Patrol in the boys isle. She was disappointed when Ronald McDonald put skylanders in the boy happy meal. I’ve talked to her about it many times and she’s coming round, but I can tell shopping in the boy isle still feels a little ‘dirty’ in the same way she refused to borrow a friends T-Shirt because “its a boy t-shirt.” To be six and feel tainted by wearing a boy t-shirt to splash about in the yard is sad; and I only hope I can help her to become free-thinking and independent in the future.

But why is Lego City in the boy isle in Walmart? When I was young (yes I did actually just say that) all the lego was ‘Lego City’ and it was unisex in a non-intentional kind of a way. Why when you drive through McDonalds (not that I ever do that…ahem), do they ask you if your happy meal is for a girl or a boy? Why don’t they just ask if you want SpongeBob or Monster High? Or better still just give everyone SpongeBob? It boils my blood everytime! Grrr…

As for the boys… now they’ve spent the afternoon playing with girl toys I don’t hold out much hope for them. It’s high school musical and guy-liner from here on in.

 


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Two Tiny Hands
Diary of an imperfect mum
Mumzilla

Questions twin moms are repeatedly asked and the quickest possible response.

Moms everywhere have little choice but to answer the same questions time and time again… How old is he? Is he sleeping through the night? Are you breastfeeding? (When exactly did it become appropriate for a stranger to ask that?!). But the questions twin moms have an abundance of others to deal with. Here are just a few of the most repeated questions twin moms have to answer week in week out…

questions twin moms

1. “Are they twins?”

Quick response: “Yes.”

Always wanted to try: “No. I just happen to have a double stroller housing two children of exactly the same age that look identical.”

2. “Do twins run in your family?”

Quick response: “No.”

Time saving tip: Even if this isn’t true, and even if you have identical twins, do not try and explain. You will give the perpetrator the perfect opportunity to tell you all about her husband’s sister’s neighbor who also has twins…

3. “You’ve got your hands full there.” “Oh… Double trouble!” or “Twins… How adorable.”

Quick response: Smile with an acknowledging nod and keep walking.

Note: This is not actually a question, so take the opportunity to run while you can. If you slow down or give a verbal response it will lead to a full scale incursion, toe grabbing and all.

4. “How do you do it?”

Quick response: “I have no choice.”

Alternatives if applicable: “Two nannies and a personal masseuse.”, “Wine.”, “a padded suit and earplugs.”  This question is often asked by new moms who are still traumatized by the arrival of their singleton child. The facial expression is usually somewhere between awe and pity.

5. “Are they on the same schedule?”

The only response: “Hahahahaha…” Accompanied by mild insane-mom eyes… this will allow you to slip away while they ponder what to say next.

 

It seems as my twins get older things won’t get any better. Here’s a bubbly pair called Samantha and Madeleine on Youtube telling us about the most common questions they STILL get asked…

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the post, and really, if the questions stopped I’d probably miss them!

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The post is linked up here:

Life with Baby Kicks

8 things you may not know about identical twins…

We all know they’re super cute, but there may be some things you don’t know about identical twins…

identical twins
My boys at 3 months!

1. Identical twins are not hereditary. 

Fraternal (non-identical) twins are caused by the release of multiple eggs from the mother’s ovaries and therefore she conceives multiple times at once. The tendency to hyper-ovulate is passed on from generation to generation, although there are other factors such as age that play a part here. On the flip side, identical twins are essentially fertilization gone wrong (sorry twinkies)… No one knows what causes that tiny fertilized egg to split, essentially cloning the conceived child (although there are theories). It is one of the those freak-of-nature events that can happen to anyone. Yes anyone… no one is safe here people, it could be you.

sciency source: verywell.com

2. The chances of having them is 0.3%.

The chances of conceiving twins has risen considerably in the last 30 years. In fact the rate has risen from 2% to 3.3% of babies being born a twin. This is likely due to moms wanting babies later in life, where the chances of releasing multiple eggs is higher (your body’s natural way of trying to increase the chance of conception while getting closer to menopause). However, the rates for conceiving identical twins have not changed… It has stayed steady at 0.3%. What lucky freak moms we are!

sciency source: theatlantic.com

3. People are obsessed with them. 

Prepare yourself to become an instant celebrity as soon as you leave the hospital. Plan an extra 20mins on your grocery store run and prepare to answer the same questions again and again. On an average trip to the shops I am stopped around six times… Not only are people super excited just to see two babies that look the same, but they will all have a set of twins somewhere in their family they will insist on telling you about. And occasionally you come across an adult twin… They go nuts for it! People are literally obsessed with the science and the cuteness and everything in between. And of course their’s all the freaky horror movies…

4. They don’t have identical fingerprints.

I’m pretty sure there are a number of crime dramas that use this nugget of knowledge in their screenplay… A basic DNA test will not identify ‘who done it’, but if the criminal was careless enough to leave a print at the crime scene it’s all over. This is because the formation of fingerprints is semi-random (I know… What does that even mean?!) and are influenced by chance fluctuations in hormones which would be different for each child. This also goes for the position of freckles – these are random mutations and are therefore different for each child.

sciency source: sciencefocus.com

5. They are often born very different sizes. 

A pregnancy with babies sharing a placenta is considered ‘high-risk’ because there is the chance of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. The size of your babies will depend partly on how much oxygen and nutrients they are receiving from the placenta, and occasionally one gets greedy and takes more than their equal share, leaving the other a little behind in growth. It is very normal to have a slight size difference, and unless the discordance goes beyond 20%, it doesn’t tend to cause a problem. Growth of twins is frequently monitored, and don’t panic, we live in the 21st Century and there are things doctors can do to remedy severe cases such as placenta laser surgery (I know… sounds terrifying) and delivering a little early.

sciency source: tttsfoundation.org

6. They don’t always share a placenta. 

Whether or not identical twins share a placenta and an amniotic sac is dependent of when exactly the fertilized egg splits. If it happens during day 1 after fertilization they will form separate placentas and amniotic sacs. However, it is more likely the split with occur around day 4-5 they will have time to form separate sacs but will end up sharing a placenta. 1% of the time the split happens at day 9-10 meaning the babies end up sharing a sac which can cause complications with the little ones getting wrapped up in each others umbilical cords. And lastly, if your embryo decides it wants a clone buddy around day 13-15 they are unable to separate fully, causing the babies to be born conjoined.

sciency source: usatoday.com

7. They won’t necessarily like the same food. 

This is where the nurture/nature thoughts start to explode your mind, and as a mother of twins I can say it baffles me everyday. Genetic clones, these babies should have identical taste buds and therefore enjoy the same flavors… right? But alas, the first food I offered my boys was banana – one liked it, the other didn’t. Butternut squash – a hit with one, the other is not impressed. Outside influences are supposed to make the difference here (the nurture) and once the kiddos get older they may start to oppose each other on purpose to enhance their individuality – french psychologist Rene Zazzo called this twin phenomenon ‘The Couple Effect’. Personally, when 4 month-old babies treated the same show different tastes I’m not really buying either. I like to think its a difference in the soul… OK I’m getting all fluffy now.

sciency source: christinabaglivitinglof.com

8. They might be mirror twins.

Mirror image twins are a subset of identical twins, occurring when the fertilized egg splits between day 7-12, and is characterized by asymmetries of the body being on opposite sides. For example, one may be right handed while the other prefers the left. One may have a birth mark on their left cheek while the other has a matching one on their right. Partings in their hair, or asymmetries of their teeth, it can all be mirrored, and in extreme cases can be seem in organ positions and skeletal features – we’ve all seen Orphan Black, right?

sciency source: twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com

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Sleeping upright – a joy of twin pregnancy

twin pregnancy
Funny Cat Pictures : http://www.funnycatsite.com/

When I heard the words “today is extra-special because I can see two healthy heartbeats…” the first word that uttered from my mouth was “oh”, quickly followed by “no”. Not because I don’t love babies, and not because I don’t love a good BOGOF deal… But how the hell was my 5ft 3″ body going to house two whole babies? And how do you even hold two babies at once when they’re on the outside anyway??

Twin pregnancy was tough, I’m not going to lie. All symptoms are essentially doubled, from morning sickness to swollen ankles, along with that irritating ‘incredibly full but could eat a horse and it’s cart’ sensation. My least favourite of these was not being able to lie down.

Closely linked to the horse and cart issue, finding a comfortable position to sleep is a challenge for all preggo ladies. You’re told not to lie flat on your back so as not to pinch the vena cava (an artery that supplies the placenta), so many of us spend considerable time training ourselves to sleep on our side. Once the round belly arrives we spend our evenings jamming pillows in from all directions including those giant body engulfing cushions designed specifically for this purpose (my husband renamed ours the cock-blocker). Even after all this, sleeping in the third trimester is a bit shit, let’s be honest.

Now I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, and I’m really not all doom and gloom, but sleeping in the third trimester of a twin pregnancy is worse than shit, it just doesn’t really happen. My boys were delivered at 36wks and for that last month I didn’t sleep for more than 2hrs at a time. Gravity is your enemy here because as you lie down the two cuties on the inside move from squashing each other to a team play full-body-invasion. They work their way up inside your rib-cage and your lungs really haven’t got a look-in. So you can’t breathe, at all, and breathing being essential to all players, you are left no choice but to retire to the couch. We are lucky enough to own a corner sectional (check us out), so I found the corner spot a comfort where I could remain upright but with my head propped to the side. In this position I could usually get two stints of up to two hours before having to awkwardly manoeuvre myself back to my puffy feet. Oh the feet… Another joy of twin pregnancy.

To end on a happy note, the advantage of a month of mommy sleep training is that you are more than ready to take on 24hr feeding of those space-invaders once they arrive. But do consider making an addition to the registry… When hubby thought that lazy-boy with the cup holder was a great idea for the lounge, he might have been right.

 

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