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Question of the Week: How did you choose your multiples’ names?

*I’m still playing catch-up with the QOTW from Multiples…and More!, this question was asked several weeks ago. And it’s a long one. For me.*

 

How did you choose your multiples’ names?

Did you stick with family names?
How do you feel about “matchy” names?
Did you worry about their names “coordinating?”
Did you name your babies before you met them, or wait until you saw them to assign names?
What were your second choices?
Did you consider the popularity of a name as a deciding factor?

The first thing I always think of when it comes to my children’s names is that they aren’t named the real names we wanted them to be named. This is particularly true for the Juniper & Magnolia, and partially true for Snowdrop. See, Hubby and I found out we were having twins and in the spirit of being the hippies (well, trust-fund-country-club hippies, except neither of us has a trust fund but you get the idea) that we are, we wanted to name our daughters something botanical and with meaning to us. We got engaged (well, our engagement night dinner) at a restaurant we loved (it’s no longer open) that had the word Juniper in it. So, Juniper was a name for our first girl. Magnolia is a flower we both love. So… Juniper & Magnolia. We love these names. We announced this to our families and were promptly shot down in abundance, even though we planned to call them Maggie & June. My mother even called me one morning to ask me not to name her granddaughters Juniper & Magnolia. While I have the stubborness of a mule when it comes to my family, Hubby does not. So… after much discussion, we settled on “normal” names. (I won’t divulge them here because as you know if you’re a reader of my blog, I use psuedonyms in bulk.) I love their names but of course, I will always wish that we had gone ahead and named them Juniper & Magnolia. We still call them Juniper & Magnolia as nicknames.
The names they ended up with, I did not think were particularly popular. We didn’t have Internet at the time and had I been able to research Junie’s real name – she would have ended up with something else because her name is actually sort of popular (in the top 40 of her birth year). Mag’s real name hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1965 so I’m much more pleased with our choice her name. We intended to call them by nicknames (nn for the real name) but I usually call them by their full name since I began to hear their nicknames EVERYWHERE whenever I went out. I don’t want them to be one of many with the same name in their class. I was one of those kids and I hated it.

I wanted to do family surnames as middle names. In hindsight, I should have made more of a case for it. I really like the ‘trend’ of doing that. We did use family names in the sense that Junie shares my middle name, Mags has my first sister’s name as her middle name, and Snowdrop has my second sister’s name as her middle name. If we have a boy, his middle name will be Hubby’s first name as in keeping with his side of the family’s tradition. My family didn’t have traditions. I’m trying to start them. (So hopefully Junie’s first daughter will share her – and my – middle name, etc.)
 
I do not like matchy names. For example, I would never name my boy-girl twins Larry & Mary, nor would I name my girl-girl twins Millie & Lillie. But I DID worry about their names coordinating. I’m big on the coordination when it comes to their clothes, too. I didn’t want them sounding like they didn’t belong to the same family. Both girls, I will say, have old lady names and I love them. They don’t rhyme but they sound lovely together and have a nice flow. This is something that was also important to me when we were expecting our third child. I didn’t want to anyone to stick out like a sore thumb or grow up thinking that they were different from the rest of the family. (Maybe this is a remnant of being from an adopted family, I don’t know.) Their names don’t go quite as well with Snowdrop’s real name as in Snowdrop’s real name the vowels are stronger/louder in pronunication than Junie & Mags. Nonetheless, I suppose the names flow well together. Snowdrop’s real name is NOT the perfect name I had chosen for her but I felt bad denying Hubby’s requests for the name and I was really tired when we were in the hospital so I succumbed to the pressure. It is agreed upon though that should we have another girl, we will name her the name I wanted to name Snowdrop.
That brings me to this. We had the big girls’ names picked out well before they arrived. I even knew who was who inside of me. Snowdrop however didn’t have a name until hours after she was born, poor thing.
Popularity of a name was of utmost importance with Snowdrop – and would have had more of an impression on me with the first two, had we had Internet back then. I didn’t want a name that has been in the top 1000 for at least 20 years, preferably longer than that – never in the top 1000 would be perfect. 🙂 After the big girls were born, I would be grocery shopping or mall shopping and hear mothers calling after their children who shared the same name as Junie or the nickname we first called Mags. Now I’ve settled to having a popularly named first daughter, and as far as Mags goes – we call her by her full name now and I’m pretty positive (knock on wood) it will be a long time before we hear of another girl by her name. Snowdrop’s name itself has never been in the top 1000, ever. However, the name her name originates from was last in the top 1000 in, like, 1979. And it was near the end, too.
 
I also wanted to note that we thought heavily about naming the big girls after music. Like… Scarlet Begonia (the Dead), Lilly (Widespread Panic), Cecilia (Simon & Garfunkel), Lucy (the Beatles), Melissa (Allman Brothers), Jane (Dave Matthews Band), and I wanted Lady (after Led Zeppelin – and partially after the movie Almost Famous)… oh gosh, there were lots more than this. But we weren’t cool enough to do it. So there.

This post would make a lot more sense if I could just share my childrens’ names… but since I blog on the rule of psuedonyms, I can’t share such classified information. My most sincere apologies for any and all confusion. 🙂

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Question of the Week: Do you think birth order has any effect on personality in multiples?

*I’m still playing catch-up with the QOTW from Multiples…and More!, this question was asked several weeks ago*

Do you think birth order has any effect on personality in multiples?

I’m sure birth order affects multiples in some ways. I’m just not sure how it affects my multiples. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know a lot about birth order and what it all means!! So I searched online for a chart or something that would enlighten me. I found this:
 
(courtesy of: http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/birth_order.shtml)
First Child:
*is only child for period of time; used to being center of attention
*believes must gain and hold superiority over other children
*being right, controlling often important
*may respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected
*strives to keep or regain parents attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave
*may develop competent, responsible behavoir or become very discouraged
*sometimes strives to protect and help others
*strives to please
 
Second Child:
*never has parents’ undivided attention
*always has sibling ahead who’s more advanced
*acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child
*if first child is “good”, second may become “bad”. develops abilities first child doesn’t exhibit. If first child is successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.
*may be rebel
*often doesn’t like position
*feels “squeezed” if third child is born
*may push down other siblings
 
Now after reading this, I think our girls are a little young to analyze. I also think that because they are multiples and therefore not really “first” or “second” children that they exhibit qualities from both lists. Neither baby has ever had our “undivided attention”, save from the few times we’ve taken them out separately to get some alone time. And they haven’t really exhibited any of the qualities listed for First Child, other than that they misbehave get attention. But really, what kid doesn’t do that?
 
I think they both share some of the qualities from the Second Child list. They switch back and forth between being the “more advanced” child. Sometimes one does something before the other… the other soon catching up to the new trick. Neither has become a “bad” child just because her sister is “good”; gosh, they’re only two years old after all. If rebeling can be applied to things like not taking naps and making messes in their room… then yes, they sure are rebels!! And I can take the last quality “may push down siblings” quite literally as there is a lot of knocking sisters down around here, pushing, and wrestling each other to the ground. (I thought only boys did that?!  -Nope.)
 
But I don’t think they feel squeezed out by their newest sibling, Snowdrop. We talked a lot about Snowdrop before she arrived and I think we did a good job at preparing them for the changes. Sure, there are days when they act out but like I’ve mentioned, they are only two years old – not exactly the age of reason. And they’ve done nothing but LOVE their baby sister. Really, I can’t think of any time that they acted out against the baby. Juniper tried to pick her up yesterday from her newborn lounger and Snowdrop ended up rolling down the side of the lounger and onto the ground. She wasn’t hurt and of course, I didn’t scold Junie because she was just trying to console her baby sister. Pretty cute!! (In my defense, I was changing Mag’s diaper not lounging with a cocktail on the porch. AND I did, however, tell her that while I know she was trying to help she is not allowed to pick Baby Snowdrop up yet. Let’s hope she doesn’t try that again!)
 
I think other people tend to classify our kids into different personalities but I try to always tell them that both girls act the same way at different times and that they’re not all that different. I WILL say that while Junie tends to get upset much easier, Mags is the type to let things just roll off her back. In that way, they are different.
 
Editor’s Note: I wrote the above passage a few weeks ago. Since then (well, the last two weeks) Mags has been “exhibiting” signs of feeling squeezed out and loss of attention. While she loves her Baby Snowdrop very much and is an excellent big sister, she has been pushing her limits lately and I think it’s because of the new baby. So I took her to the market with me yesterday and Hubby & I have plans to up the one-on-one time for the big girls.
 
I will also note that I’m not sure I completed this question to it’s fullest extent, my apologies.
 

 

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Motherhood Has Made Me Forgetful…

So I thought I had finished catching up with all the QOTW from the last few weeks… but I haven’t. I don’t know what reminded me today that I still had to answer the QOTW about my multiples’ names and also about birth order. I’ll TRY to get those up tomorrow when they go to Grandma’s house but I can’t promise anything because tomorrow is SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!!! (And I’m making Irish Soda bread because the ones at the store were glazed with something and I don’t think glaze is traditional on Soda Bread. So I’m making my own, from scratch.)

Being the redheaded, Irish-Catholic girl that I am (I even have a shamrock tattoo… on my butt, ala Xavier Roberts and the Cabbage Patch Kids) – I LOVE LOVE LOVE St. Patrick’s Day. Corned Beef & Cabbage – ooh, I could eat that once a week all year round! Rye Bread!! Green River, when I was a kid. I wear a Proud to be Irish shirt year round. Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. I’ve had it since my 12th birthday and yes, it STILL fits. It’s got a few small holes in it, as of a year ago…and is becoming slightly more see-through as the years go by. I’ve begun washing it in a gentle cycle just to preserve it’s life. I’ve got a good story about my Irish Pride but it will have to wait until another day because it’s getting late.

Of course, in the past as a single gal, I’d celebrate by drinking with my girl friends and smoking the leprechaun’s lucky herb with my guy friends. Why, oh why, is Saint Patrick’s Day the big “get drunk” holiday? No I know, Irish people drink blah blah blah. Now that I’m older these things are less important to me. More important are things like corned beef, and cabbage, and surprising my children with leprechaun visits. THIS year will be a different Saint Patrick’s Day.

THIS year, the leprechauns came to our house. Well, they’re coming. Well, they came already but as far as the girls know, they’re coming in the night while we’re all asleep. I bought some lucky green coins from the dollar store and some green Peeps (not organic, but hey it’s a special day and they’re only getting two each) and new hats (dollar section of Target) and new dresses (no Irish theme to these dresses, just cute dresses that I hope fit because they’re size 24 months). Why would leprechauns bring my daughters new dresses? I have no idea considering new clothes is the last thing on their need list. Haha! But it’s fun to have a treasure hunt! I made a path of coins from their room to all the treasures downstairs in our family room. I even made a note from the leprechauns. There is nothing super creative about this, in fact my note was REALLY stupid. It went something like this:

Dear Redheads,

You have been very good girls this year. Hope you enjoy your treasure hunt. Follow the lucky coins!

Love, The Leprechauns

But I don’t think they’ll overthink the stupidity of my note. They’re two years old, so I think they’ll be excited about the leprechauns. We talked about leprechauns all week. I know they think leprechauns dress in all green (which they do) and that most leprechauns have red hair like them. Tomorrow they will wear these kelly green pants from TCP and shirts (also from TCP) that say “Big Sisters Are The Coolest”. I don’t know why they don’t have Irish wear. (Well, they have these Irish dresses my grandma made, I’ll have to post a picture of the dresses, maybe tomorrow?) Perhaps I’ll take Snowdrop to Target and scoop up some Irish wear on sale? For next year.

We’ll be eating Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, etc, at my In-Laws house tomorrow for dinner, along with my Irish Soda Bread. I hope my MIL got rye bread. I don’t think I celebrate without some good rye.

What are YOUR Saint Patrick’s Day traditions? Do leprechauns visit your house? Do you wear a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” button all day? Dress in green? 🙂

 

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Question of the Week: Daylight Savings Time Tips/Tricks

SO. I am FINALLY caught up with all the Questions of the Week!! Whoohoo!!! This week’s question is ACTUALLY FROM THIS WEEK. YAY ME! See, I had taken a leave of absence when Snowdrop was born – I just couldn’t get it all done. But I’ve spent some of my free time going back and answering all the questions. I was finally able to post all my answers this morning (so yes, there are like 8 or 9 new posts from me today if you check out my homepage…). This last question is this week’s QOTW from the Multiples…and More! blog.

What are Your Daylight Savings Time Tips and Tricks?

This is actually a pretty simple answer for me (GASP! I know! I won’t write a novella for this answer, I promise.)

My best tip is to act as normal. For example, today my daughters at lunch at noon like usual. (Without Springing Forward, it was really eleven. But they don’t know the difference.) If they still took naps, I’d still attempt a nap today at the regular time, perhaps just half hour later than normal.

Whether I lose or gain an hour, I just keep things as normal. Hubby is napping on the couch now because he “lost” an hour of sleep. I don’t understand his logic because I really feel it’s just a matter of turning the clocks forward or back. But that’s just me. 🙂

Play along on your blog and answer this week’s Question of the Week at Multiples And More! 

 

(see. i told you i wouldn’t write a very long answer.)

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Question of the Week: Are Parents of Multiples Really More Likely to Divorce?

Are parents of multiples really more likely to divorce?

I didn’t think about this until Kate Gosselin infamously said it.

I think that life for parents of multiples (most notably the first year) is absolutely, 100%, no question about it, harder than for parents of just one child. After giving birth to a singleton and experiencing what life “could have been” with just one – I do feel that I’m entitled to make such an observation and opinion. Life with one child is a breeze. Sure, you have the late nights, the same worries, the financial concerns – but with two (or more) it is literally twice (or more) as much. I think having those extra stresses can swing you both ways. Sometimes it makes your bond stronger, and sometimes it can pull you apart.

When our daughters were born, my husband and I were also dealing with becoming newlyweds, me moving to the Little City, us buying a house, him starting to support a family, etc. There was a LOT more going on for us than just “having babies”. We had a lot of support from family and most of our friends – and this was essential to our survival.

I think that if you had a strong bond before, you are more likely to come out ahead and far away from divorce. I’m not sure if I think that parents of multiples are more likely to get divorced. I can see how that phrase might be true (given the stresses of being a parent of multiples) but for the most part, I don’t really think it is true. I think that as  parent of multiples, you really become a TEAM and that the craziness of doing it together brings you closer. This is, at least, my experience. We don’t have a picture perfect marriage (believe me) but we’re able to work things out. We WANT to be married for the rest of our lives. We KNOW that we will fight and disagree. We ACCEPT that. We REMEMBER that we were by each others’ side during what seemed to be the worst of times, and that we survived.

So… I guess my answer is no. I don’t think we’re more likely. In fact, I think we’re less likely. I think that the more you survive as a couple, the more likely you’re going to stick together.

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Question of the Week: Dear Pregnant Self…

This Question of the Week is a little different than other QOTW. This QOTW explores your (my, yours, etc) pregnant self… your pregnant-with-multiples self. The QOTW is:

If you could go back in time (ala Marty McFly) and have a chat with your pregnant self, what would you say?

There’s a lot I’d tell myself. A lot.

1. Read up on giving birth… perhaps I wouldn’t have needed a c-section if they had given Baby A a “flush/bath of water” in utero to calm her down. (They did this for Snowdrop at the same turning point when Juniper freaked out… and Snowdrop ended up coming out regularly.)

2. Ask for a seasoned nurse  – she might be able to help you have those babies naturally/without a c-section.

3. Take a breastfeeding class.

4. Don’t be afraid to take clothes back to the store and exchange them for store credit or an outfit you like better. You won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

5. You’ll lose friends. It’s not your fault. Don’t feel badly when it happens. It’s difficult to learn who can and will be there for you… and who doesn’t really care to accept your new role in life.

6. Schedule the Baptism for when the babies are four months old. If you MUST get them Baptized immediately, have a priest do it in the hospital and save the celebration and a “re-Baptism” with family present until the babies are a little older. (I had the girls Baptized just before they were two months old… and that was a big mistake. We were still sleeping on a mattress on the first floor… and I had just started being able to go up stairs… talk about a nightmare in having a party at our house.)

7. Put your foot down about this whole wedding. (I’m not getting into this today. It has to do with having a wedding, not marrying Hubby whom I love very much.)

7 1/2. Since Mother is insisting on a big wedding, don’t saddle up with just SIX bridesmaids… include everyone you should have and go for 15 bridesmaids. Hey, you only get married once and who cares if you have the largest wedding party ever – you’re also pregnant with twins! This is a wedding to remember!! 🙂

7 3/4. Use more Instrumental Led Zeppelin in the ceremony. You’ll thank yourself for having more than one LZ song played in church. 🙂

7 5/8. Hey, if Mother wants to have HUGE flower displays, go for it! Spend their money like crazy!!! Why are you holding back? Get a $5000 dress while you’re at it. 🙂 (Honestly though, for $500, I got the dress of my dreams. I don’t regret my dress at all.)

7 9/10. Do your own hair. Just do it.

8. Fix things with your old roommate. You want her by your side when you get married and have your kids. Not hundreds of miles away. You were both wrong. (We are now friends again. But it’s still just so different.)

9. Get Internet as soon as you move into your new house and start a blog. Start your own, start reading others…. learn about multiples.

10. Don’t tell ANYONE the names you’ve chosen for your babies. ANYONE. Um, don’t tell until they’re born. 🙂

11. You won’t lose the weight until they’re over a year old. And when you do end up losing the weight… you’ll find you’re pregnant again with only ten pounds left to lose. (Yep, people, this is how it went for me! Haha)

12. Buy a swing that plugs into the wall. Buy two swings, for that matter.

13. Don’t be afraid to speak up about your wants when you’re in the hospital. You can be damanding and still be a nice person.

14. Buy a camera before the babies are born. You’ll want to videotape the c-section and have pictures on your own camera… instead of borrowing your in-laws.

15. Life will change and you’ll have no idea how you ended up at this place. Accept it, and love it.

16. Buy convertible carseats. You won’t be taking the babies anywhere (except for doctor visits) until they’re bigger anyways… so their small stature in the convertible seat won’t matter so much. They outgrow the pumpkin seats so fast anyways – it’s much more economical to buy convertible. And hey, when you’re suprised by a pregnancy when your multiples are 1 1/2 years old you’ll really wish you had invested in slim-fit car seats like the Radian seats (that I now own upon the birth of my third child) so you don’t need a new car. 🙂

17. Don’t feel like a failure when you end up not being able to breastfeed your twins. Some things aren’t meant to be. This is one of them.

18. Be sure to have regular date nights with your significant other once the kids are born. Even if it’s a quick bite to eat, just getting out and being adults is so important and will mean so much.

19. Buy a breastpump BEFORE you give birth. Going to Babies-R-Us the night you come home, breasts engorged, incision still fresh from the c-section, and exhauted from everything that just happened… is no way to meet friends of your husband’s from high school. Seriously. Talk about unpleasant. “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m on percoset right now and have literal bowling balls for breasts.” Awesome.

20. You are going to take so many pictures you won’t know what to do with yourself. Buy a nice computer, with a CD/DVD burner, so you can copy pictures and videos to CD/DVDs every time you unload your camera. This way, you won’t end up having a HUGE PROJECT to do two years down the road. And you won’t be so paranoid about the safety of your external hard drive. 🙂

Okay. Seriously, this list doesn’t even begin to say everything I want it to… but it was a good start. And I have two more QOTWs to finish before I’m caught up to date with them. Phew! 🙂

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Question of the Week: What Are Your Greatest Accomplishments from 2009 and What Do You Hope to Accomplish in 2010?

What are Your Greatest Accomplishments from 2009 and What do You Hope to Accomplish in 2010?

Greatest Accomplishment from 2009? Snowdrop, of course! And having that VBAC (whoohoo!)! Finishing off our third floor! Keeping up with my blog! Reconnected with old friends!

Hope to Accomplish in 2010? Finish our basement. Paint every wall in our house that isn’t yet painted. Save money. Be a little greener and cleaner. Go on a vacation with Hubby. Cook more often, try new recipes. Write more for my blog. Successful Breastfeeding – I might even do it longer than I thought I would! Lose some weight. Not get pregnant until at least 2011. 🙂

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