Category Archives: twins

Evy and Nola are THREE!

I’ve been trying to get this post done since last week…last Thursday when the twins     actually turned three…to be exact.


But, well, you see, there are these twins (plus four other small humans) always hanging around that seem to prefer that I feed them and read stories to them and wipe their bottoms over editing pictures and writing about them.

Totally backwards priorities, clearly.

Anyhoo, as I’ve thought about what I wanted to actually say about the twins’ newly minted status as threenagers, the entire mental dialogue has felt a bit surreal. Like: What? I have 3-year-old twins? I have 3. year. old…TWINS??!

I always wondered what life with twins was like whenever I observed mamas pushing their multiples through the grocery store, and, even now, if I spot twins out and about, I think, “WOW. That’s a special challenge. Wonder how she does it?” And then, I’m all: “Oh. Yeah. Duh.”

Mostly, it’s just my new(ish) normal. But then it strikes me again that I have twins, and I just shake my head in wonder.

So, what is having 3-year-old identical twin girls like?

Well, it’s fun. And I mean that with zero sarcasm.


And it’s hard. And I REALLY mean that with zero sarcasm.

Up until the past 8 months or so, twins didn’t really feel that “bad.” In fact, if you read last year’s “The Twins are TWO” post, I made it sound pretty darn rosy. And it was/is. I mean, sure, when they were babies, the sheer constantness of the feedings and changings and burpings and shushings on repeat was…a lot. It just wasn’t as overwhelming for me as I always assumed it would be.

Only recently do I feel like my twins have fully lived up to their (in my mind) “twin cred.”


How so?

Well, imagine, for a moment, one three-year-old–with all of the usual WANT it!!!/DON’T want it!!! meltdowns and picky food preferences and kamikaze attempts at independence followed instantly by death-grip clinginess…

And then add in another one with all the same ingredients for crazy but with just enough of a different personality twist to drive her twin (not mention her mama) a little insane…

And you’ve got the idea.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my girls to distraction (ha!), and there are entire days that having twins feels like a super-fun privilege. But those days are sometimes a precursor to 3 full weeks of arched back screaming fits every. single. time we get in the car to go anywhere. Fits that often take place in stereo.

And then, there are the occasional cat fights. HO.LY cow. I think some of their death matches could draw a hefty audience on Pay Per View. The screeching and the hair pulling and even the rare biting episode.

I realize that I’m making them sound downright feral, and believe-you-me, these displays of, um, spirit do not go undisciplined. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that they both have sweet natures. They’re not what I would call “wild” (although the potential is there, I think). And that’s not just a partial mama talking. They’re cheerful little girls. Ask anyone who’s met them.


But they are typical little 3-year-old sinners (lots of ME! MINE! NO!), and the mere fact that there are two of them the exact same age, constantly jockeying for the same territory, the same lap, the same toys (never mind that there’s probably an identical toy at hand), the same CUP (for the love…while 20 others mope in dejection in the drawer) creates an environment ripe for conflict.

Case in point: at the grocery store last night, while the boys were at soccer, I had all three girls stuffed in the bottom of the basket, with Theo’s car seat clicked into the top portion. And all of them were getting along beautifully…until suddenly they weren’t–complete with hair-raising banshee shrieks and writhing and flying elbows. At just that moment, a man walked by, and, without missing a beat, offered me the case of beer he’d just bought.

Now, I’m a teetotaler, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the phrase: “driven to drink,” was invented by a mother of 3-year-old twinados.

Of course, I think if I only had Nola, I might be feeling a bit at my limit for 3-year-old hormonal issues. Girlfriend is the sweetest thing you ever did see until she gets a bee in her bonnet, in which case, clear the room! Her capacity for tantrums is impressive, to say the least.


Tantrums? ME? Never.

Evy is a bit of a different story. She’s capable of a good ol’ throw-down herself, but her rebellions are a tad more subtle, usually.


I feel like this is a quintessentially Evy expression. Slightly mischievous. A little bit thoughtful. And a wee bit ornery.


Evy is quite happy to go along with Nola’s bossy britches ways, until she’s not.

Of course, I feel compelled to balance all of this threenager talk out with the fact that, no sooner have the twins finished rolling around in a snarling ball of fury than they are playing primly side-by-side, chirping: “Here you doll, No-wah.” “Dank you, Eh-vy!”


They just love each other to death. Almost literally sometimes.

And you’d better be ready with a another one for her twin if you ever hand out a treat because, inevitably, a little hand will shoot out for round two with an expectant, “And Eh-vy’s?” And off she’ll trot to deliver her sister’s loot.

And heaven help anyone who tries to separate them for long.


So, basically 3-year-old twins are delightful.

And exhausting.

And exhilarating.

And infuriating.

But more than anything, 3-year-old twins are sanctifying.

(But that’s pretty much true of every kid, now isn’t it?)

More than anything, I’m just praying for the grace not to wish this stage of twindom away. I have to actively remind myself that this very well may be my only shot at mothering 3-year-old twins. And as much as a part of me goes: “YIP-EE!”…another part already feels nostalgic for four identical, chubby little hands, the way they both pad into our room (lately, at approximately 5:30 every morning…zzzzzz) with soft little voices chorusing: “I hongrey,” the way both of their solid little bodies feel wedged up against mine when we read on the couch in the mornings, and the way I can never, EVER kiss one without her sister demanding her fair share as well.

So far, so good.

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Twins Are Twice as Sweet 2nd Birthday Party

I wasn’t sure until maybe a week and 1/2 before the twins’ 2nd birthday party materialized a) whether we were even having a party and b) what it would be like if we did.

Last year, I planned a big outdoor shindig for their 1st birthday...

And then it rained, for like the first time in 2 months…pretty much exactly and only during the hours of their party.

So, we moved everything and everyone upstairs to our big room, which I am so grateful to have. But, I’m not going to lie: it was crowded, nothing was particularly cute (despite hours of prep for several days ahead of time), and I was borderline pouty about the whole business.

This year, I didn’t have the energy for that kind of pressure (cough, pregnant, cough), so when I finally did decide on a semi-applicable “theme”–which then meant that there needed to be a party  to accompany it–I knew I didn’t want to go big. At all.

Of course, I also wasn’t planning on going quite as small as we ended up being after two of the invited families ended up with sick kids on the day of the party. What a bummer!

The plus side? The weather was absolutely gorgeous (which only slightly lessened the grudge I’m still holding against last year’s thunderstorm) and we got to eat yummy food and play with family and friends. Which is really all that little kids (should) care about.

The boys and I had fun making no-bake treats as a supplement to our homeschooling (um, hello? fractions, measuring, reading…it’s practically a flippin’ SAT prep course!) several days in advance, and the rest I did a little at a time throughout the week (up until the ultimate all-day-long, can’t-sit-down, too-much-to-do push of the day of).

The results were pretty much what I’d hoped for: cute, simple, and–you guessed it–very sweet.


The best part was that I already had almost everything you see on the table here (which was the only thing I decorated, so be prepared for shots from every angle). The wrapping paper I used to cover the ugly folding table…the striped bags for the favors…the party cups…the napkins. Practically all of it, I had either collected on super-clearance over time or had leftover from another party, and it felt pretty good to just toss all of it together in one big, sugartastic explosion of color!


It’s hard to get much more on-the-nose with a “Twins are Twice as Sweet” theme than pretty glass jars full of very sweet things–in this case, chocolate-dipped pretzels, jelly beans, Lemonheads, caramels, gumballs, and homemade caramel popcorn. twinparty2


I had ordered a grab bag of items from Pick Your Plum months before, not having a clue what I’d get. But several cute party accessories were included–like those yellow cookie-holders. Okay, so I don’t know what they’re actually intended for, but they were the perfect size for the chocolate-dipped morsels of death by marshmallow fluff cookies that the boys and I made, so I went with it.


Another fun item from the same PYP haul was these cupcake wrappers/embellishments. They fit perfectly in with all the bright colors and candy-related theme.



I already had a pretty decent stash of pretty paper straws leftover from bygone parties, so I tucked them into those white laser-cut holders from the Target Dollar Spot.



You’ve seen this chalkboard make several appearances already, including in my family command center and my fall-themed buffet reveal.


I didn’t really do much with the chalkboard trend when it first started, but now that’s it’s been going strong for a while (and is probably petering out, honestly), I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with different fonts and embellishments. Although I’m not much good at coming up with the pretty stuff on my own, I usually have a design in mind and am decent at hodge-podging together elements that I scrounge from Pinterest or Google searches. At least, I’m happy enough with the results. twinparty8

I borrowed the small candy jars from a sweet friend, but the large apothecary jars were my one big splurge for the party, since I knew I could use them again and again, both for future festivities and for decorating/useful purposes in between. They were 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby, but they still cost about $22 each. Honestly, though, after doing quite a bit of looking around both online and in stores, I couldn’t find a better price for something of this size and quality.


Those little double mint cookie balls were a major labor of love (AKA: a pain in the bohonkus) but I kind of adored how cute they were when all the fussy parts were done. Oh, and they were YUM-MO! (I’ll share more about some of these treats soon).

Of course, pretty-looking treats can only serve as (forgive me) eye candy for so long…


Eventually, they must be eaten.


Not too surprisingly, none of the party guests complained too much about that task…


And the birthday girls seem happy to do their part as well.


Not that I didn’t try to do my fair share. (This is the plate I made for me and Shaun, but I was so tempted to caption it: “It’s for the baby”).

It was such an enjoyable evening right up until the moment that I crawled into bed and realized that my raging allergies from the week leading up to the party had morphed into something else entirely (evil).

But, after spending the weekend downing Echinacea and Vitamin C and taking as many naps I could cram into a 72 hour period that was already pretty full of schedule obligations, I feel a whole lot better. At the very least, I can breathe out of one nostril at a time for longer than 30 minutes. And that, my friends, is progress.

Ultimately, I’m happy that I made the effort to do something fun for the twins’ birthday, but I’m not so sure they’re getting another one until they’re at least five!

Do you guys throw a party for your kids every year? We don’t. But neither do we really have a system for when we do. Simon and Della get somewhat gypped every year because their birthdays are so close to Thanksgiving (Simon’s is actually on it this year). But we did manage to throw them a mega-bash a couple of years back. And Ezra has gotten something resembling a party every couple of years or so since he was born. I suppose some day, we’ll have to figure out something that makes it more “fair,” but, for the most part, my kids don’t seem to notice too much if one gets a party and another doesn’t. A cookie, though? Well, that’s another matter entirely.







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