Two New Seats at the Table: Dealing with Twins

A friend of ours gave birth to twins about a year ago. She’s been just a little bit nuts ever since. 😉

Seriously, though, every parent knows how much time and energy even one child can demand, and doubling that seems to actually increase the effort required and stress generated by more than one hundred percent.

twinsThese two beautiful girls are not her first children … she has another girl and a boy … so our friend already owns many of the things needed to take care of them. Unfortunately, though, they are all for only one baby, and she has two to raise now.

For example, she has a very nice pram that worked well for her two older kids, but now needs to upgrade to a tandem stroller for the twins. Besides the additional expense, he and her husband now have had to make a significant shift in how they organize their time, as well as a change in mindset.

One of the websites our busy mom has mentioned multiple times is Parents.com. According to her, it’s proven invaluable in providing guidance on everything from how to get through the first year with twins to tips on making travel less stressful.

Another thing our friends did a great job on was preparing their older kids for the twin’s arrival, and then making sure they didn’t feel left out after their birth. For instance, they made sure that some of the guests at the baby shower also brought gifts for the three and six-year-olds, so the party felt just as much like it was for them.

They also spent a lot of time explaining to the children what was happening, especially to the younger girl, since the boy had some memory of his sister’s birth and clearly had a better idea of what was going on.

Lastly, their Dad’s company allowed paternity leave, so he took full advantage of it, and devoted a lot of that time to the older children to make sure they still felt loved and cared for. Trips to the zoo and other favorite places were a big part of this. It also helped him further bond with his kids, making the whole family a stronger unit.

All in all, we’ve enjoyed, and even marveled, at how well this couple has handled the situation, and hope that other parents can be just as successful in raising their own kids.

Next on their agenda: getting the six-year-old ready for school while continuing to care for the preschooler and twins. No time to rest, but plenty of time for love, it seems!

Save That Outdoor Party with Canopies and Planning

If you’ve ever done any entertaining, you’ve likely had things go wrong. In fact, it’s extremely rare for everything to go according to plan with, say, a backyard party. Maybe the food doesn’t turn out quite right, you forget to pick something up from the store, or the weather doesn’t cooperate. While your guests will likely make understanding comments, and largely mean them, they may be a little less likely to accept future invitations if things went rather badly.

Here are a few things you can do to make future get-togethers more enjoyable:

One of the biggest issues with outdoor gatherings is often bugs. From mosquitoes to bees and wasps and beyond, no one really likes these guys buzzing around their heads, let alone being stung by them. They are frequently attracted by food, as well, making eating an annoying experience.

eating outsideA good way to help address this is with a screened-in canopy. If you live in areas where flying insects are a regular problem, getting one big enough to fit a table in might be a good idea, so people can eat in peace. At the very least, a smaller one to protect the food if you’re serving buffet style is worth the investment. Just remember not to actually cook under the canopy, as flames and sparks could create a dangerous situation very quickly.

Screened tents come in a wide variety of sizes and price ranges, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget. The folks at http://canopieswithscreens.com offer an excellent guide, covering the various types that might suit your needs.

If you’re throwing a potluck, where each guest is bringing a dish, get organized about it. Make sure you know what each person is providing, so you don’t have a ton of desserts and no side dishes. In general, especially if you are grilling, it’s easier if the host supplies the meat. If you’ve got a friend who’s a grill master or a butcher, though, by all means, let them handle that part.

Even if you’re doing the entire meal as the host, asking guests to BYOB is often a wise choice. If you’ve invited more than three or four people over, chances are their tastes in beverages will vary widely, so trying to stock up on everything could be problematic. This is especially true if, say, you know the husband well, but not the wife. Does she like beer or wine? Is she a teetotaler? You see the difficulty.

Regardless, of course, you should keep an eye on the folks who are drinking alcohol, and do your best to make sure they don’t drive drunk. This is supposed to be a fun occasion, so no one wants it ending in tragedy.

These are just a few ideas for making your next party a successful one. When you send out the invitations, make sure your invitees know what you’re doing differently this time. They’ll be pleased that you’re trying to improve on your last effort, and will undoubtedly have a good time. Enjoy!

What is Second Wind?

Greetings! This is Second Wind, a blog about pushing the reset button.

We’ve all been there at one time or another: you set out to achieve a goal, create a plan (or not), then go for it. But at some point, you run into a roadblock, and for whatever reason, you just can’t seem to figure out how to get over, under, through or around it.

Sometimes, there may be real, genuine objects in your way, like a lack of funds, a legal barrier, or a small workspace. In other instances, it could be more of a mindset issue: lack of confidence or focus, for example.

Either way, the net result is often that you give up on reaching your goal, and quit.

And we’re not just talking about things like losing weight, starting a new business or buying a home. It could be something like learning to bake bread, becoming fluent in Spanish or improving your free throw shooting.

At Second Wind, we’ll be discussing how you should go about getting back up after you’ve fallen down. To accomplish this, we’ll use specific examples, then explain how you can adapt the approach to your own situation.

We’ll be getting started soon, so check back often to see what we have cooking. Thanks!