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YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to Judy at "What I Live For"! She posts instruction on how to make a popsicle stick puzzle for your youngsters. This was THE coolest idea EVER! She plans on using her puzzles to entertain her kids at church, and I know my six littlest ones could have a great time with these at church as well, as I'm playing the organ. Just look how awesome....
Thanks, for this excellent idea, Judy! Can't wait to go out and get some modge podge! For instructions, go HERE. Thanks again, Judy, and feel free to grab the "I Was Featured" button on my left sidebar. :)
MINE: Most of us who blog have some kind of visitor meter that tells us how many people visit our blog, where they come from and how they got there. One thing I love to do is look at what people typed in their search engines to get to my blog. I once posted the top ten list of how I get googled, the number one reason being how to make manna bread. That list is HERE if you'd like to see it.
As I was going through the search terms yesterday, I came across one I hadn't seen before. Someone had googled "what to do with 18 month old twins". What struck me about this search was its vagueness. This mother (or father?) didn't search "what to do about biting 18-month-old twins" or "how to get my 18-month-old twins to sleep through the night" or "games to play with 18-month-old twins". She simply asked "what to do with 18-month-old twins", like she was lost. And yes, I can understand that. My curiosty got the best of me and I decided to go to the search results. That's HERE if you want to see.
As I began scrolling through the results, I read comments like the following....
"...And now we're just about at the 18-month mark and we are just DROWNING. I feel like it was easier when they were newborns. They still play together, but they fight together too. If we don't have two of any given toy, I'd rather not have one at all. I am just so exhausted. They can make mischief together so quickly (four little hands pulling everything out of a drawer, faster than my two hands can put it all back in). There is so much jealousy all the time. I feel I cannot possibly meet their needs. They want to nurse all the time, all the time, all the time.
They are still not sleeping through the night (they wake 3-4 times each)--although they are nightweaned now--and I think the sleep deprivation is really starting to get to me. I don't have the patience I want to have."
"OMG....I don't even know where to begin! My 18 month old twins have recently started fighting, hair-pulling, screaming at the VERY top of their lungs (for attention of course), hitting, pushing, throwing food on the floor, climbing & jumping on the furniture.......and these are just to name a few of the problems! Not to mention the constant tantrums, whining and crying every time they don't get their way. I NEVER experienced any of this with my now 5 year old and I'm not a real strict mom, but I do expect my children to be well-behaved and know right from wrong. I feel as though I am always being double-teamed and everything is a funny little game to them.......I am seriously losing my mind!!!!!!!!!!"
"I am extremely frustrated. Both of my 18-month-old twins can climb out of their cribs now and destroy the room instead of going down for a nap or bedtime. I have tried the Gestapo technique of standing by the door and putting them back in their cribs with the monotone voice, "Get back in your bed." I've sat in the rocker in their room and repeatedly put them back in their beds. I have yelled and spanked, and nothing seems to work.
Recently, we took everything out of their room that could cause a safety issue, and bolted the dresser to the wall, since they like to climb. I put a gate at the door but don't close it, and we let them do whatever they want until they become exhausted and fall asleep. Every 10-15 minutes, I go in the room and put them back in bed. Last night, we put them down at nine, and they didn't fall asleep until 10. Right now as I am writing this, one little guy is exhausted and crying, and the other is climbing into his crib."
And that is just the beginning of the problems exhausted mothers all around the world have taken the time to type out and seek answers to.
As I read these, I got somewhat teary-eyed, and am so even now. As I wrote in this post recently, the twins are almost three years old now, and have gotten so much easier, but I can well remember when they were 18-months-old, one of the most difficult of all childhood ages, that and between 3 months and the crawling stage, which I'm currently enduring.
I thought of these mothers, and remembered being in their shoes and wishing time would just hurry up and skip us through this stage. I remember wondering when I would ever just be able to clean a room and have it stay that way for one hour, when I would ever get to eat a meal without being interrupted, or when I would ever sleep through the night. (I don't think that has happened in 5 years.)
The mother who typed in "what to do with 18-month-old twins" lives in Lithuania. She read my section on raising twins for 933 minutes. Somehow knowing that someone across the globe from me is suffering what I once did makes me feel connected to mothers all over the world.
I think of the first-time mother of a newborn , shell-shocked, sleep-deprived, confused, having no idea what she's gotten herself into.
I think of the mother with many small children, and no older ones to help, like I have, who has to take them all to the grocery store every single time she needs to go out, even if it's just for a gallon of milk.
I think of the mother whose son is struggling with being bullied at school, or whose daughter is made fun of because grades are important to her.
I think of the mothers who have special-needs children, who suffer days and nights like I can't even begin to imagine.
I think of mothers whose children, as teenagers, have gone astray from the teachings of their parents, and who practice habits that could even endanger their lives.
I think of mothers who have lost children, both before being born and after, and the anguish they feel during the holiday season.
And I think of mothers of 18-month-old twins, who are dealing with biting, and screaming and climbing out of cribs and who wonder when it will ever end.
Can I just say to all of you mothers who are struggling (and I think I speak more to myself than anyone else), "this, too, shall pass." As The Lord reminds us in a verse in one of our scriptures, "...peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment, and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high;" Payday will come. I promise you. I have cashed in myself as we receive letters of appreciation from our son as he serves his mission, expressing gratitude for the sacrifices that were made for him, and as we read his letters and hear how he is changing the lives of those around him. I've cashed in when the 21-year-old girl shares her healthy vegan recipes with me, tells me how she practices the piano, and as I listen to her describe the "gnome" hats she's knitting for our boys.
And Payday came this morning, when Twin A climbed out of his crib, came into my room, got up onto my lap as I sat in my recliner, blogging this, and rubbed his soft little hand on my cheek as he looked into my eyes. It came again later, when the 8-year-old girl brought me Baby Hippo when he woke up, and his eyes literally lit when he saw me. The most recent moment came when the 4-year-old boy said, "Mom, do I look happy?" then showed me the cutest smile that has ever spread across anyone's face. Perhaps I should look for the Payday moments more often.
To all of you mothers out there, Merry Christmas. :)
Thanks for listening.
Oh, and P.S. We just found out this morning that the twins can light matches now.
OURS: Okay, let's see what homemaking tips you have to share with us today. We had 61 links last week, the biggest party ever, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. Thank you so much and have a great Homemaker Monday!
P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)
See how we're doing it HERE! :)