End of the year musings

Oh, my poor, neglected blog and 5 or so readers out there. Sorry I haven’t been as attentive lately! Some updates:

I started a part time job recently. It’s only 30 hours a week but it’s nice to get out of the house and be productive again. Also, the extra time away from the kids has increased my patience for their antics (lately, goofing off for 30-40 min instead of going to bed).

My twins started N1 at a new school this week. So far, jiejie has adjusted quickly (didn’t cry during drop offs this week), while didi took longer to adapt (only whined during today’s drop off instead of screaming like a banshee). I am putting them full time starting next week, so fingers crossed.

A few weeks ago, we attended a parent teacher conference at our twins’ old school (complete with a progress report–I guess they start early here in Singapore). Apparently my daughter is the mother hen of the class and likes to instruct her classmates to eat, drink water, line up, etc. Not surprising! My son has issues with sharing and hates being interrupted. Surprisingly, though, he’s very tidy at school and always wants to clean up his messes–not the case at home!

We started introducing the potty a few months ago. After researching various methods of potty training (3 day method?? No thanks!), I’ve decided not to train formally and just let my kids figure things out. We bought IKEA potties for the living room and reward them with one M&M (yes, I’m stingy) for every pee or poo. It’s worked well so far! My goal is to have them fully trained by age three, but we’ll see.

Our kids are really engrossed with Play Doh and Duplo lately, and they’re still obsessed with Magna Tiles. I’m trying to keep our toy clutter to a minimum, but it’s so tempting to buy fun toys for them! During our recent Legoland trip, we bought them some Duplo sets (tip: Legos are much cheaper in MY than SG). We got them a Brio train set for Christmas, so that has taken up even more living room space.

2017 was the hardest year for us so far. Our twin toddlers have developed so rapidly, but these amazing changes have also brought much frustration. I really can’t explain it articulately, so I’ll end with a few cute quotes.

Didi always pronounces “chocolate” as “cocholate.” It’s so adorable.

Jiejie pronounces “cook” and “corn” has “took” and “tworn.”

Didi: [waving his arms] “I do magic! Boom boom!” (I now use this quote at work when I’ve accomplished something.)

Jiejie: “Mommy, do you love meeeee?”

7 lessons I learned from my second year with twins

second birthday cake

My precious twins turned two last week. I reflected on my first year in a previous post, and this year presented a whole new set of challenges. Here’s what I learned:

1. Be prepared to handle countless tantrums. The terrible twos actually started before our kids turned two! Like most toddlers, our kids have little self control and are quite emotional. Handling outbursts has been extremely taxing and tested my patience every day, several times a day.

2. When things get bad, take the twins outside. If you watch the TV program “Dog Whisperer,” you’ll often see Cesar take dogs out for a walk when they are naughty. My husband and I soon discovered the same trick works with our twins. Even if you are dead tired, taking the family out for a few hours can make the day more manageable.

3. Facebook groups have been my new best friends. To all the mums and dads in SG Parents of Twins and Triplets and Stork’s Nest Singapore: your support and late night posts have kept me sane and grateful during this second year.

4. Spanking is not a good form of discipline. During a few bad moments, I lost my temper and spanked my children. I’ll admit it. But my heavy handedness did not help, and I felt horrible afterwards. After the last episode, I resolved to show more empathy instead. But it is really, REALLY hard.

5. Don’t buy too many toys. My toddlers have been fascinated with random household objects. Some of their favorites: empty water bottles, straws, shoeboxes, painting with water, combs, brushes…

6. Give your spouse a break. My dear husband works long hours, and handling twin meltdowns can be overwhelming. When I see my husband’s fuse dwindling, I often send him to the bedroom to chill out with Reddit or Hearthstone.

7. Take a break. I had my first getaway from the twins recently–just two nights in Bangkok, but it was so refreshing to be apart for a short while.

To my dear little sheep: our first two years have been full of ups and downs, but I can’t wait to see what our third year will bring! Mommy loves you. XOXO

7 lessons I learned from my first year with twins

1. Take one day at a time. Even during the worst days, your twins will do something amazing or adorable to remind you why you love them so much.

2. Get as much help as you can. Don’t try to be super mom. Your sanity is more important than your ego!

3. Facebook groups, Google, friends, and family can be helpful when you need advice, but in the end, use your mommy instincts when making decisions about your baby.

4. Create an email account for your kids and email them with updates on major milestones, funny stories, etc. This digital diary of their upbringing will be a great keepsake when they’re older.

5. Get a phone with the maximum amount of storage because you’ll need it! Also, Google Photos is awesome for storing (and sharing) the thousands of photos you’ll accumulate in the years to come.

6. Sleep train your baby as soon as you feel ready. I sleep trained my little monsters at 4 months, and with a few hiccups here and there, it has been wonderful ever since.

7. Breast milk is great, and so is formula. If you can’t breast feed or want to stop, your baby will be fine. After two episodes of mastitis and countless night wakings to pump for two, I quit making milk for my twins at 10 months, and I don’t regret it at all. A well rested mom is a happy mom.