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motherhood

DIY Halloween costumes for twins
Family Life

DIY Halloween costumes for twins: 5 lessons I learned as a rookie

Last year, the twins were just three months old on Halloween; it was, of course, their first. I think I thought I was lucid, but upon reflection I now realize I was moving through life as a zombie impersonating a live human who knew WTF was actually going on. That’s why back then, I managed just enough brain power to buy Jordan an off-the-rack skeleton costume from Old Navy on approximately October 31. Inspired! (I was a bit more thoughtful, and emotional, when it came to Maya’s outfit.)

DIY Halloween costume ideas for kids
Jillian Sorkin

Well this year, I have my wits about me. When fall hit, the crafty spirit started swirling all around me — never mind the fact that it’s still 100 degrees where I live in Los Angeles — and I got in the mood for my first real DIY.

As a travel lover, I came up with the idea to dress my 15-month-old twins in pilot costumes. And, inspired by this blogger’s easy-to-recreate post, I would be their flight attendant. (The babes did have a travel-themed first birthday party, after all, so why not keep this motif going!)

I figured I could use cheap, navy blue onesies as the base for their “uniforms,” and it wouldn’t take much to make them official- and important-looking: just add some gold finishing touches.

I was nervous to say the least. But sure enough, with some buttons, a spool of ribbon, and a hot glue gun, I easily crafted costumes that make me so proud. I can’t wait to show them off! And with what I learned this time around, I might even become a DIY convert!

Here are a few takeaways from my first successful DIY project.

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Push present
Family Life, This & That

Yes, I Got a Push Present — and I Deserved It!

My twins turned one last month, and I’ve been reflecting a lot on the way this summer feels with them on the outside compared to how it was with them on the inside last summer. Duh, it’s a lot different.

As part of all the swirling preparations last year, I got something like a push present (even though we need to stop calling it that — but more on that later). Now I’m learning that these gifts for mama surrounding baby’s birth are highly controversial, so that’s what I’m here to discuss (and OK, defend) today.

A recent survey conducted by one of my employers, Today, showed just how controversial they really are: Among 8,000 respondents, close to half said they weren’t fans (and 26 percent said they didn’t even know what a push present was). Just 28 percent cheered the idea.

Evidently, some folks think they’re just tacky: Isn’t the baby the present? Continue Reading

Travel theme first birthday party ideas
Family Life, Los Angeles Living, This & That

Travel Themed First Birthday Party: A Festive Unisex Bash for the Twins!

I don’t even know how to approach a post about my twins turning one: No words can begin to adequately sum up the intense and wondrous and wild year after our family of two became four. All parents know this feeling, of course.

So how about if I focus instead on the babes’ travel themed first birthday party? That seems like a reasonable scope and scale. And I’m kiiiiiinda obsessed with the way it turned out.

For this party, David had one request: He wanted to host it in the backyard of our home, our first house, where we brought our babies after we left the hospital, a place to which he, in particular, has a deeply visceral connection (which is very sweet to see).

As for me, I had a few more ideas. After we got the babes their first passports and I saw how bonkers cute/hilarious the photos looked, I had this idea to make a sign that said “Oh, the places you’ll go!” and post those photos somewhere on it. From there, I loved the idea of a travel themed first birthday party. And then I thought of a “Here comes the airplane!” sign for the food table. Of course we’d have a taco cart, the crowd-pleasingest, budget-friendliest, easiest way to feed a group.

Along those lines, I was inspired by a couple of recent trips to Mexico (Punta Mita/Sayulita and Tulum), plus the availability of such great Mexican-style decor in Los Angeles. I was also pretty obsessed with this photo on Pinterest. But I knew I didn’t want the party to be too theme-y in any way. And that was about where my opinions and expertise on the matter ended.

Fortunately, I have friends in very convenient places — namely, in the event industry. My super-talented pal Sarah Granger-Twomey of PIE Productions got on board with helping me plan (never mind she’s in the throes of planning her own daughters’ celestial-themed joint birthday party in a few weeks), and helped me bring it to vibrant life.

Aaaaand her in-demand photographer husband, Sean Twomey of 2Me Studios (who also shot our maternity photos!) offered to shoot our day (while he also managed his two kids). Double score!

So after a super fun afternoon shopping for decor with Sarah in downtown Los Angeles, we were all set to go for an 11 a.m. backyard party. And then just as Sarah and our friend Rachel (who is among the most naturally festive people I know) were arriving to help set up, we heard thunder, and rain started falling. Out of absolutely nowhere. Um, what? People: It’s mid-July in Los Angeles, during a drought of biblical proportions. This cannot and does not happen. The Day After Tomorrow. Alanis Morissette. Etc.

And I would have panicked without my two seasoned event-industry friends, along with my event-industry husband, who rolled up their sleeves, pounded the coffee, and got to work.

Another thing that seems relevant here, before I go on with all the photos: As Sarah, Rachel, David and I stood in the living room formulating a rain plan, our friend (first) and neighbor (second), Dwayne, ran up the front walk in his jogging clothes talking about, “Hey, I have an E-Z Up tent. I’m bringing it by.”

This to me was a moment among so very many — nearly infinitely many in our love-filled first year — that have crystallized the idea of “It takes a village.” And we’d be absolutely lost without ours. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the helpers and everyday heroes in our lives. 

(By the way? The rain held off during our party’s exact mid-day window.)

Now onto the photos… Continue Reading

Photo: Angelo Sgambati
Family Life

10 Things Parents of Multiples Just Can’t Do (but Parents of Singles Can!)

“I just don’t know how you do it!” As a new mom to nearly one-year-old twins, I get that a lot. Frankly, it’s a reasonable thing to say, coming from parents managing one single baby at a time. Of course, all parenting has its many challenges (and rewards!), but managing life with two babies at the same time is a niche that requires a lot of finesse. And if your situation is three-on-one, four-on-one, or more for all you higher-order multiples moms and dads out there, well, I know you look at us twin parents like we’re silly amateurs. (And we’re in awe of you!)

With that in mind, I have compiled some of the key differences, based on my own experiences and the feedback of other moms in my local multiples club. Here are some things that singleton parents do that we multiples parents watch from the sidelines with equal parts amazement, jealousy…and maybe a little smugness, too! Continue Reading

Hiking Runyon Canyon with stroller
Family Life, Los Angeles Living

Hiking Runyon Canyon With a Stroller: Yes You Can!

Ever since I was pregnant with my twins, I have been dreaming of stroller hiking with the babes. Yesterday, nine months since they were born, we did it at last!

One of my favorite fast weekday-friendly hikes in Los Angeles is Runyon Canyon. (It’s also the go-to hike for half of the rest of everyone who lives here, but whatevs.) I figured that hiking Runyon Canyon with a stroller was essentially possible, though every time I went alone, I assessed: Would this part of the terrain support a stroller? Can you get from here to there pushing wheels? Just how much harder is this hike when you’re hiking for three?

Yesterday, I finally got up the chutzpah to try it. Continue Reading

Mom Atlantic City August 1946
Family Life, This & That

3 Fun Things in Honor of Mother’s Day (Including a Fab Giveaway for One Lucky Mama!)

Wow. I’ve been a mama for nine months, meaning those twin babes have been on the outside now for as long as they were in.

Any parent out there knows there are no words to describe the enormity of it, the massively additive power of parenthood to expand your life and love and reinvent many parts of everything you just thought you already knew.

But instead of using this post to wax self-indulgently philosophical (or self congratulatory) about motherhood, I’ll use it for three breezy, fun things I think everyone can get behind:

1) …to send big love and appreciation to all you moms out there for Mother’s Day! You are all goddesses and super heroes. Imagine me telling you this every day, forever.

When traveling on business this week, I gave an unsolicited hug and shared spontaneous tears with a mom sitting on the floor at LAX administering oxygen to her baby who was having an asthma attack, while the mom tussled with an unsupportive airline staff person. If I see you, and you need a hug, I’m going to hug you and cry with you too — mark my words. I stand with all of you mamas. We are a team.

2) …to share the above epic throwback photo of my mama (Atlantic City, 1946), who [did not have an easy job with my obnoxious behind and] has my back no matter what. I could never thank her, or call her, enough. But I am trying.

Bonus: Scroll down for more throwback mom-and-me photos (featuring epic ’70s fashion! world traveling! wedding joy!)!

And…
3) …to reward one very lucky mama among you with a killer giveaway! Read on…

Continue Reading

nude and gold negative space nail art
Los Angeles Living, This & That

2 New Mom Beauty Tips (Also Known As: Aint Nobody Got Time)

Here’s the deal. I have two infants. I have no time. This is literally true now, as compared to when I used to be like “OMG, I have no time” before I had kids and what I actually meant was “I’ll really have to write this story lighting fast if I want to make it to my favorite Equinox class at noon.”

Nevertheless, three months postpartum, you won’t catch me with chipped nails or too many visible grey hairs (ugh, I just put that on the Internet). Postpartum beauty is a key self-esteem tool for me at a time in life when so much is new and scary. I may not have the magic touch that can make my baby stop crying instantly every time, but I can have amazing nails with a little advance planning and a couple hours a month of family/hubby willing to run interference. That much I can control. And I’ll tell you what: In my world, conversation-starting nail art is key to faking it til I make it.

So I’ve modified a couple of my key beauty routines to suit my life as a new twin mom. Here are the two new mom beauty go-tos that work for me… Continue Reading

Twin birth announcement
This & That

Welcome twins!

Hear ye, hear ye!

We are so excited to announce the birth of our twins!

Jordan Oscar Rosen (6 pounds 6 ounces, 19 inches long, at 7:42 a.m., “Twin A,” on July 22, 2014)

Maya Zoe Rosen (5 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long, at 7:43 a.m., “Twin B,” on July 22, 2014)

Maya has dark hair like her dad and Jordan is platinum blond like me as a little girl. They are amazing, devastating, precious little people, and we can’t believe we made them!

We all left the hospital on Saturday and are starting our journey together at home.

Posts here might be sparse for a while (because: NEWBORN TWINS!) but I’ll be back in full effect after a little bonding time off.

<3