Browsing Tag

twins

First flight with twins
Family Life, Travel

First Flight With Twins! 5 Lessons I Learned (That Might Help You Too)

Readers of this blog well know that travel is among the greatest passions shared between David and me, so we knew we’d want to introduce the experience to our twin babies early on.

In our relationship, I’m more the one who’s like, “Cool, let’s totally fly to Australia tomorrow with newborn twins! I mean you never know unless you try, amiright?!” type of deal. David is more of the realist/pragmatist. I’m sure it’s very good to have this internal family system of checks and balances, but it is also the reason it took us 15 months to get on a plane with the babes.

At last, we did it! And in the end, the trip was both chaotic (duh) and absolutely doable — especially with nuanced preparation — some of which I’d done, and some of which I’ll know for next time.

Despite the fact that I already published the absolute, comprehensive best advice for flying with babies available on the Internet, turns out I had a few more things to figure out. Here’s what I wish I knew ahead of time (that might help you too!):

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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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Taking babies to hotels
Family Life, Travel

New Family Travel Traditions (And Happy Labor Day Weekend!)

David and I like to keep moving. We try to seize each opportunity to travel as a chance to visit a new country (or two, or three), ideally something we can both see together for the first time. I can’t think of a trip we’ve taken abroad that we didn’t love enough to repeat a million times — but there are so many other places we’d like to see first!

But in between the big trips, we do have some go-to minibreak destinations we visit frequently enough that they feel like home away from home for us. Specifically — as any regular reader of this blog will know — we love the Palm Springs region and travel frequently to the desert. It’s got all of the ingredients that make up a perfect little holiday: easy striking distance by car, luxe hotels, perfect pools, sunshine that won’t quit… and proximity to the world’s best outlet shopping.

I’ve stayed all over Palm Springs over the years, for all kinds of occasions and getaways. Korakia Pensione, the Avalon (nee Viceroy), and the Parker are among my favorite properties.

I now have a new favorite in the making, too. Continue Reading

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

best baby carrier for travel
Family Life, Travel

Winner! Here’s the Best Baby Carrier for Travel (From a Twin Babywearing Skeptic)

Of all the variances between expectation and reality so far in motherhood, babywearing twins has to top the list.

I am literally laughing at myself (not with myself) when I recall the visions I had about how this would go: I’d just “pop” one baby on the front and one baby on the back and we’d breezily hit the hiking trails or the beach or the farmers’ market. I’d done research on the best baby carrier for twins (front-to-back Ergobaby, evidently) and the best baby carrier for travel, and of all the things I’d be learning in my new role as a mom, surely this did not seem like one of the harder ones.

And then reality intervened. The babies were just a few weeks old, and Jordan was colicky and screaming, and I had the idea that we could just “pop” them on and go for some kind of a soothing walk. Picture us unfurling the folded Ergobaby manuals with cartoonish exaggeration, and then following up in desperation with YouTube how-to videos, ridiculously insincere in their jaunty tone. That’s when David said, “This is a BAD idea!” with such tragic defeat in his voice that is became a family in-joke, a shorthand for every idea I had that sounded fun and festive on the face of it (“Let’s take the babes for dinner at the Grove on the Saturday before Christmas!”) but ended in failure and tears.

The infant inserts made everything more complicated to boot, with the babies so fragile and bendy seeming. But even months into their little lives, and many attempts later, the Ergos just seemed so cumbersome. It’s supposed to be a one-person operation, but I could never seem to get every strap in place without backup, and I literally poured sweat with fear that my ineptitude would result in a baby on the floor instead of tucked quaintly, serenely in place. No part of twin babywearing turned out to be the breezy, streamlined method of soothing and bonding I had in mind.

In addition to the Ergobaby carriers we got as generous registry gifts, I also picked up hand-me-downs from my sister in the form of a ring sling (which I wanted to love, because it was called Maya Wrap), and a Moby Wrap. But nothing seemed intuitive, and I never managed to get past YouTube tutorial stage.

Here’s where I say that you may (as you no doubt already have) feel free to roll your eyes at me in the privacy of your laptop if babywearing came naturally to you, and you think I sound ridiculous. That may be the case. I’m far from a babywearing expert — uh, that much should be obvious — but I can only tell you honestly that for me, there were physical obstacles that led to serious mental obstacles when it came to babywearing. And it was all bumming me out, and dashing those pre-baby visions of an active lifestyle motivated by fun and not fear.

But I wasn’t willing to give up yet. Continue Reading

matzoh ball soup
Family Life, This & That

Happy Hanukkah! (And the Gifts I’m Getting for the Twins Slash Myself)

It’s babies’ first Hanukkah around here this week, and I’m feeling very jolly.

First of all, it’s been a week of nonstop holiday parties, both of the family-friendly and heavy-boozing varieties. Beyond that, I (mostly) honored my vow to myself to taper off my write-aholism in the last couple weeks of the year, so that I could find time for such things as braving Whole Foods on a rainy afternoon, followed by lighting a fire in the fireplace, and making homemade matzoh ball soup and latkes for my guy. That night, the first night of Hanukkah, he held a baby in each arm while I lit the candles and my heart exploded. It’s been quite a year.

Overall, I’m celebrating the abundance in my life, and I’m so very grateful to be surrounded by so much love. I hope I did something good in a past life to deserve all of it.

Of course, a few awesome new material things around holiday time are the icing… Continue Reading

Bob Revolution SE Duallie stroller for twins
Family Life, Los Angeles Living

Best Double Stroller for Twins: Bob Revolution SE Duallie Review (AND YOU CAN WIN ONE HERE!)

Funny story. On the advice of another twin mom friend, I registered for the Bob Revolution SE Duallie double stroller, which she said was the absolute best pick for an active lifestyle with twins — great for jogging, hiking, beach walks (so basically, my life — or at least, the life I want to live).

We received the stroller as a very generous shower gift from my husband’s company, where his team even assembled it for us and tied it with a big bow, a la a Christmastime car commercial. Only problem was: It didn’t fit in our car. Matter of fact, we’d soon discover that nothing we’d need for twins fit in our compact hatchback — not any double stroller, and not even my husband when the two car seats were installed. So in my 36th week or so of pregnancy we copped to reality and bought an SUV.

So flash forward to now, when I have a car big enough and finally also babies big enough to test out the Bob. And oh my gosh, you guys, I am in love. Continue Reading