WIC- the good, the bad, and the ugly

WIC Mother tells the good the bad and the ugly of her expirences with WIC

For those who don’t know what WIC is, it is a government sponsored program to help struggling families, specifically woman and children under the age of five, with supplemental food costs.

Living in California, Cory entering his Doctorate program, and 19 weeks of modified bedrest for me left our bank account dwindling fast. If we were going to continue to support ourselves until Cory finished his program, we would need help from somewhere.




This is exactly who WIC is made for, families who find themselves with babies or young children in financial situations that force them looking for temporary help. Women can only claim WIC while pregnant or breastfeeding during the first year of a child’s life. Children qualify until they are five years old. WIC provides necessities such as veggies, fruit, eggs, bread, milk (or formula), peanut butter, rice, and beans (may differ depending on state) for families below the poverty line. WIC is not food stamps. WIC does not allow receivers to pick what food they are to get, it is predetermined on a check or a card written specifically what the store is to give them.

In the months following the twin’s birth WIC was a huge help in many ways. Like most companies, I only received 60% of my pay while on maternity leave. Nearly half of that went to insurance for the family. The food I received from WIC made up some of that gap. Especially with the twins as I needed to supplement with a bit of formula (two babies are difficult to breastfeed). Eventually, we were able to say goodbye to WIC’s help. They were there for us when we needed it to support our family. I wanted to share the good, the bad, and the ugly from my WIC experience.

The good is pretty much summarized above. WIC ensured that my husband could stay in his doctorate program and not be forced to drop out, while I was able to stay home and take care of the twins. They also provide pamphlets with meal ideas for mom and baby to help with breastfeeding or introducing baby to new foods etc.

Moving onto the BAD

  1. Uneducated case workers– The misinformation given to me at the WIC center on several occasions. I would confirm with my doctor that the information they gave me was inaccurate. They made comments about my baby’s weight gain being abnormal, when he was only in the 23 percentile, he needed to gain weight! He was premature.
  2. Guilt trips- Many of the workers made me feel on several occasions that I was a bad mom. I was giving my twins 100% breastmilk until they were six weeks old, and even during this time, one clerk gave me a hard time for giving pumped breast milk in a bottle instead of breastfeeding the twins right there in the center. Breastfeeding twins is not easy, especially in public. But she shamed me all the same. It was even worse when I heartbrokenly began to supplement because I wasn’t making enough milk for two growing and demanding babies. WIC offers formula but they WIC clerks are strongly against using it.
  3. The hoops- I’m getting something for free, so I’m not against being told to jump through hoops to get it, but I think people should know maintaining WIC requires a monthly visit (with the kids) to the center, 2 classes taken a month on parenting online, or 1 in person, notes from the doctor for all participants, blood test information for mother, 1 year old blood test results for babies, 1-4 pages of paperwork each visit, required conference each visit, and proof of address and income every three months. Those receiving WIC are still working hard to get these benefits.

 




The Ugly

The worst thing about when we were on WIC was the way you are treated by people when you are shopping.

Mommies on WIC can avoid this, by trying to shop at WIC distribution stores, who are trained and happy to help.

However, WIC centers don’t offer a variety of brands or product, and often produce is not the freshest, so you may venture to a grocery store to use your WIC check. In which case, be prepared for some of the ugliness that can come from your fellow humans.

Cashiers that sigh and begrudgingly get a manager because they forgot how to process this “welfare” check, which they announce for everyone to hear. The people waiting in line behind you may mutter things like “get a job”    “stop having kids if you can’t afford them”   “you can’t pay for your baby’s food?”   (ALL THINGS I HAVE HEARD).

One time in particular, a nurse behind me was talking on the phone, “ I’m checking out at the store, but I’m stuck behind someone and it is taking forever. I mean I worked an 11 hour day, but sure, hand out free food to her.”

Needless to say I cried. I wish I had some victorious story of how I put her in her place, but I don’t. I felt ashamed to take help from WIC, but I didn’t know what else to do. My twins were too little for daycare, even if we could afford it, we have no family living around us, and my husband is gone all the time trying to finish his doctorate. I knew that we wouldn’t also struggle, I knew someday we would pay plenty into the system to support others. I knew there were people out there who abused the system and that was why I was being given a hard time. But these things I know didn’t matter. Words hurt.

Be kind to others, you don’t know their situation. Had she known that I had been out of work 20 weeks to get out babies delivered safely, staying multiple times in the hospital during my pregnancy, and paying $4000 in medical bills just the month before, maybe she would have been more understanding why I accepted help for this $17 can of baby formula.

If you are thinking of signing up for WIC or are currently receiving WIC benefits I hope you find this helpful. I hope you can utilize the program as needed and take comfort in no matter what someone says, you are doing what you need to for your family.

If you have never needed to accept help for food, count yourself blessed, and show kindness to those that have not found themselves in as fortunate of situations.

 

                                                                                                With love,

Dani

 

 




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Sensory Activity of the week: Sound!

Sensory Unit: Sound- Everyhting you need to teach your kids through play about sound and music. Book lists, Diy instruments, keywords, and acctivity suggestions. www.teachingtotwins.com

Sometimes we are very quiet, AND SOMETIMES WE ARE VERY LOUD!

And this week we are putting that volume to good use.

This week we are focusing on everything to do with sound.



We have our normal songs we sing throughout the day, like our Good Morning song, Days of the week (Link here to old post for video), months of the year, counting, and Mr. Sun for when we do our weather report, all part of our learning routine. But this week we are doing something a little different.

Music consistently shows to help with a child’s brain develop and later even literacy skills.




Here is a sample of how a Sound unit can go: 

Monday:Focus on loud and quiet. Play the louder/ quieter game. As you raise your hand higher, the kids can get louder and louder, as you put your hand down they get more and more quiet. *Bonus, this hand signal will double later on as a behavioral clue to speak softer or lower the noise level. With babies say the word loud and get louder, and whisper quiet.

With babies say the word loud and get louder, and whisper quiet.

With all kids go over other keywords (like sound, music, beat, instrument, song, sing) each day of the unit.

 

Subscribe on the lower right corner of any page to get download of sound unit keywords.

Tuesday: DIY instruments. While younger tots can use this time to just play and discover, preschool age children can start to be exposed to beat and rhythm. Discover different sounds, and remember the best learning is happening when they are playing.

Anything can become an instrument!




DIY instruments- sensory unit for baby or tot play. learning about sound                Learning about sound, tot school/ preschool sound unit, key words DIY instruments, and activity ideasDIY instrument ideas- use holdhold items to make instruments for learning about sound with your kids. full article at www.teachingtotwins.com

Wednesday: Exposure to the greats. Share great music with your kids. Now this means different things for different people. My children tend to get a wide variety of music between my husband and I. With him they listen to classical and country, and with me, we spend our time listening to jazz like  Ella Fitzgerald Louis Armstrong, Disney soundtracks, and pretty much any band from the British invasion in the 1960’s. Seriously, I encourage you to stop whatever you are doing and dance one song a day with your kids from beginning to end. This type of silliness and love of music and movement brings children joy, confidence, and of course happy memories.

Thursday: Visit a bookstore, to find a book with sound effects. Enjoy a family outing to a Barnes and Noble or library and look for a book with sound buttons. Let children younger than two play and discover the sounds on their own. Use the words for the sounds while they play. Children preschool age should read the book along with you. As you read, allow them to hit the sound buttons at the right time.

Other great books with music: Giraffs can’t dance, and M is for Melody.

Friday: Read a story that has a song. This can be a nursery rhyme or any story that features rhythm at some point. However, my personal favorite is Pete the Cate and his cool white shoes.

The song all over the internet, and it goes great with amazing illustrations from the book.

Coloring activities and crafts to companion with this book are featured below.

http://www.petethecatbooks.com/activities/

Saturday:  Musical opportunities. Seek out opportunities in your area whether it be a concert in the park, or a Gymboree class, or a mommy group, try to find an opportunity to have your kids engage with music. This can be concert playdate, or listening to a jukebox at a restaurant, or  musicians performing live. I am fortunate enough to have Disneyland right around the corner, so we took the babies to Disneyland soundsational parade, and to view other live musicians in the park….

 

what it was educational…. 😉

Hope you have fun learning and playing with your kids.

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With love,

Dani




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Encouraging Young learners to Write

I was absolutley thrilled to write this piece for Tinyugames, a startup company looking to provide parents with learning resources.

In this piece I present a parents guide to helping their child learn to write. See full article here:

http://www.tinyugames.com/encouraging-young-learners-to-write-a-guide-for-parents-part-1/

A parents guide on how young children learn to write, and how parents can help. Teachingtotwins.com

Please Share on facebook, pinterest, or twitter if you found the information helpful.





 

Today I’m just taking that reminder to follow your dreams, even in small steps, because amazing things begin to happen.

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10 Things Mary Poppins taught me about being a mom

 

http://teachingtotwins.com/2016/08/10-things-mary-poppins-taught-me-about-being-a-mom/

So much can be learned from this fictional person, who is very real in our heart. There is something we all identify with in Mary Poppins. More than nostalgia, we love Mary Poppins because so many of her qualities speak to who we want our best versions of ourselves to be. The following is a list of parenting lessons from Mary Poppins.

  1. You can get your kids to do just about anything if you sing it to a song.10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com
  2. Children need boundaries, it is important at times to be stern.10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com
  3. It is also just as important to sometimes be silly.10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com
  4. And getting messy with your kids is jolly good fun.10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com
  5. A little song, dance, and imagination goes a long way. 10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com
  6. If you have a sunny disposition, people will crave to be around you, including your children.10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com

 

 

 

7. Sometimes the best way to handle conflict is to agree and suggest a positive outcome or choice. They will choose something you want without even knowing it.

10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com

8. Never underestimate how simple it can be to spend time with your kids. Go fly a kite, they will love it.

10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com

9. Sometimes it is important just to laugh.

10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com

 

 

 

 

 

10. Even if someone else is getting attention from your children, they will still crave companionship from their mother and father above all. You are the most important person in your child’s life!               10 things Mary poppins taught me about being a mom... full post www.teachingtotwins.com

 

Happy Anniversary Mary Poppins… Thanks for everything!

 

With love,

Dani

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“Something is Wrong…”: A Postpartum Tale

Something's Wrong- A postpartum tale. How after I gave birth to twins I went back to the hospital...article discusses stroke, high blood pressure, and onset of bell'palsy

“I have to go,” I said abruptly. I hung up the phone not waiting for my statement to be acknowledged. Something was wrong.

I had suddenly felt like I was talking similar to Drew Barrymore, out the side of my mouth. I walked to the bathroom with haste. The mirror confirmed my worst fears.

My entire right side of my face was drooping, I tried to smile and the difference between the left side of My face and the right was dramatic. My lip, my cheek, the muscles that show expression in my nose, eye and forehead laid completely flat on the right side of my face obstinate to my commands.

I take a quick breath in and quickly recall an episode of House. What was the acronym? Ah F.a.s.t.

I assess myself quickly my face is drooping. A is for arms. I hold my hands out in front of me trying to hold them even, but my right arm begins to drop and I can’t seem to get it balanced. I move on.

S is for speech, I already was slurring.

T. What was t again? And it hits me: time.

I scream for my mother. She ran into the bathroom panicked knowing that the tone of my voice meant something was very wrong.

I couldn’t find the words to tell her that I thought I was having a stroke. I couldnt bring myself to say it knowing my twin babies were sleeping in the next room and only four days old. Would I be leaving them without a mother, I thought.

” mom, ” I said, “I can’t smile…”

You know how when one panics another person suddenly becomes very calm. In this moment, this is what happened. My mother calmly told me it was going to be okay and called 911. She walked with me the couch. She called Cory from my cell phone, the 911 operator still on the line on hers in case my condition worsened.




“Cory, you need to come home. Paramedics are on the way”. She says.

I begin to cry, you know out of the left side of my face because the right side no longer has any function.

“Let’s say a prayer,” my mother says. We pray together, in the moments it takes the ambulance to arrive. My blood pressure is 230/280… they begin to administer drugs, an IV is put in, they are asking me to do things like count to five,recall the month of the year, tell them what letter of the alphabet comes after c.

I know they are testing neurological functions. And the fear doubles.

These moments, four days after giving birth, had to be the worst fear I have ever experienced. The thought of never seeing my children grow up, and that they would do so without ever knowing me still brings tears to my eyes. The ambulance was ready to go, I looked to my mom, “take care of my babies,” meaning both right now and forever if something happened to me on the way to the hospital.

Cory got in the ambulance with me. And we drove off.

The diagnosis:

A CT and MRI showed no evidence of stroke. I had suffered from an onset of Bell’s palsy as well as postpartum eclampsia.

The signs:
Looking back I can see the signs that something was wrong. Postpartum eclampsia often starts with a headache. I had been complaining of that my last day in the hospital.

Blood pressure spikes. Discharge day the nurse documented that my blood pressure was rising. The attending prescribed a low dose of blood pressure meds. The nurse had me lay down on my right side for an hour. My blood pressure lowered and they sent us home.

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I had no use of my face, It was so hard to have my babies and not be able to smile.

Muscle weakness. What I thought was just looking tired I can look back now and see I was slowly losing function of my face. I would later learn that several of my family members noticed my face seemed off in the picture the day before the full onset.

At risk factors. From my research, it seems many  women pregnant with twins, special those that had been on anti-contraction meds to prevent preterm labor also experienced postpartum eclampsia.

*My advice* assuming it was a stroke is the best course of action. If you have these symptoms seek medical care immediately. If a stroke does occur time is essential. And if you are leaving the hospital and have a headache, or a sudden climb in blood pressure, ask to stay another day. Leaving the hospital, I had no idea I'd be back in less than 24 hours in an abulance. Every expecting twin mom should read....www.teachingtotwins.com

My treatment:
I was told that my smile may never fully return. It broke my heart to think my children may not ever know my smile.

I could regain most function within a span of 6-8 weeks.

This was difficult. I slurred when I talked for the first week, couldn’t blink or close my eye, couldn’t chew food (you underestimate how much your cheeks do), couldn’t suck a straw. Each of these became milestones.

I ran cold water over my face 9 times a day for stimulation. I began acupuncture three times a week. After the second week my blood pressure was finally returning to normal, I was on a lot of meds and would slowly lower doses over the coming weeks. I would keep a blood pressure monitor in my purse to monitor it.

It felt so good to feel normal again. And not feel like I could sense every drop of blood circulating my body before returning to my heart.

Week three I regained full control of my facial muscles. I really accredited this to the acupuncture I received at Southern California University of Health Sciences.

Today I smile my smile. It’s almost been a year since that day I stood in front of the mirror putting my tv knowledge to good use.

I smile every chance I get.

Why?

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Simply because I can.

With love
Dani

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Our Love Story: How it all started in the Back of a Pick-up.

How our love story began in the back of a pickup... full story at www.teachingtotwins.com

No, this isn’t the beginning to country song, that is absolutely how it happened. One late Arizona Autumn evening, clear nighttime skies, a baby blue Ford pick-up, and two kids who had no idea what was about to hit them.

Do you ever look back at one decision that you made, with total wonderment and disbelief at how it amazingly transformed the entire rest of your life?

Although Cory and I went to the same elementary, middle, and high school we never became friends until senior year. We knew of each other, I even spent some time with his family as I was friends with his older brother Tyler, but we had never spent time alone.

Senior year of high school, I had been healing from a broken heart. I had falling in love with my best friend and we ruined our friendship trying to see if it could be something more. I had lost my best friend. Our love story. how the moment I decided I didnt want love, love found me. full story at www.teachingtotwins.comI had spent the summer making my plans for life after high school. I traveled to where I wanted to go to Bible college and spent a week horseback riding, sleeping outside, and reading scriptures in Spokane, Washington. I was decided, I was going away to college. I thought about how I had tortured myself the year before, so I made another resolution. Senior year was about me, I didn’t want to date, meet anyone, and above all things did not want to fall in love again. (Funny how life gives you what you wanted when you no longer are searching so hard for it).

My resolve broke not three weeks into the school year. After a casual discussion  in the band hallway with Cory (yes, we were in the marching band), I felt something…magnetic…between us. It wasn’t love, but a connection. As much as I would argue against it, my heart won over my brain without me fully knowing what was happening. The next thing I remember is my hand holding the telephone, as I dial Cory’s home telephone number and ask if he would like to go to the movies with me. Some resolve on it being the year of me, huh? I don’t even remember thinking about calling him, it just sort of happened.

So I’m standing in his kitchen before the movie, and I realize, I just asked a boy out on a date. I begin to freak out. I don’t want to be on a date. I don’t want to go through this mess again. And just before I start hyperventilating Cory’s brother Tyler walks into the kitchen. Always having a purely platonic friendship with Tyler I looked at him as the solution to the mess I had got myself into.

“Tyler!” I almost proclaimed, “We’re going to the movies, would you like to come?”

“Sure, what are you going to see?” he asked.

How had I not thought of this already… I recall seeing a movie releasing with Jet Li and decide that would both secure Tyler coming along and that this was not a date. Cory would recall for years how confused he was at this moment….

We made it safely to and back from the movie without any complications. I was ready to go home when Cory’s mother thought it would be nice if he walked me out to my truck.

… Before I could really process what was happening, we were outside and Cory jumped into the back of my pick-up. He held out a hand for me like Aladdin just before the magic carpet scene, and for whatever reason I decided I would trust him. My heart beating out of my chest, my belly full of butterflies, the two of us in the back of my pick-up with millions of stars above us, and with all this beauty around us, Cory turns to me. “I bet you a dollar I won’t kiss you.”

“huh?” I say confused.

But without skipping a beat Cory’s hand quickly brushed across my cheek, and buried itself in my hair. He brought his lips within a centimeter of mine. His other hand tucking my hair behind my ear. Happy chills ran along my arms, as a briefly recall trying to figure out what to do with my hands. Cory closed the space between our lips, and kissed me softly, completely, and more passionately than I had ever been kissed. My hands eventually found their rest place on his chest, and when we finally parted Cory gave me that famous cheesy grin, you know that one I married him for, and laughed.

“Best bet I ever lost.” He said within his hearty laugh.

And that was it. That would be the moment that would shape my forever. I no longer had a choice of what I wanted for the school year, there was no more battling between my brain and my heart. My heart had won. As scared as I was to love again, in the coming weeks, I found myself falling more deeply and fantastically into love than I had ever knew existed, I had only dreamed I could love like this.

Cory and I were marvelously in sync. This was better than all the romances I grew up watching, because unlike Noah and Allie from the notebook, Cory and I didn’t argue. Our passion was in our playfulness. We could catch each other’s eyes across a crowded room and then find each other in the hallway to steal a kiss.

10 years later, he still can kiss me in a way that makes me forget anyone else but us had ever existed.

10 years later we are still crazy in love... full love story at www.teachingtotwins.com

And I think back on that moment that changed everything…and remember that it all came down to that pick-up truck.

 

 

With Love,

Dani




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10 things to mail to Grandma

Everyone love mail!

Isn’t it wonderful to walk out to your mailbox and find a colorful envelope addressed to you unexpectedly?

And if there is anyone out there who deserves those warm and fuzzy feelings it’s grandma.

Between one Grandma a state away who we miss daily, and another grandma babysitting for our Disney Date night (post coming soon), I’m feeling really thankful for Grandmas.

Here are some great ideas of little things that can be sent to Grandma this autumn season to let her know you are thinking about her. The big thing to keep in mind, is a little goes a long way, Grandma will love it no matter what. It truly is the thought the counts.

  1. 4X6 photos – Did you know Walgreens will printYou Are my Sunshine, gift idea for Grandma More at www.teahcingtotwins.com and mail them for you? For less then two dollars I sent Grandma a whole pack of 4X6 photos through walgreens and saved on postage.
  2. Remind her that she brightens your life with this beauty: (Full Pin here)
  3. Coloring pages addressed To: Grandma
  4. Spooky Ghost Feet Ghost Feet- 10 ideas of things to send to Grandma. see more at www.teachingtotwins.com     (Click Here for directions)
  5. Hello from your little pumpkins- Thello from your little pumpkins photo. and More ideas @ www.teachingtotwins.comhis is a quick and easy idea specially from those who may be less crafty. Just take a picture with some pumpkins, print it our and though it on some constuction paper and write “Hello from your little pumpkins” at the bottom. Nice and Easy!
  6. A letter- for older kids, let them practice letter writing by telling grandma in a letter about their new class, clubs they signed up for, and friends they have reconnected with or made at the start of school. Ask Grandma at the bottom to write back. Let them walk down to the mail box and send it.
  7. Decorate an oven mit as it gets closer to Thanksgiving with some puffy paint. (Click here for ideas).
  8. Make a fall tree with thumbprints, or corks for easier clean up fall tree
  9. Make a tissue paper or construction paper pumpkin.
  10. Send a Thank you letter from you and your spouse reminding them how grateful you are for Grandmas like them.

Let’s be real, Thank heaven for Grandmas.

With Love

Dani

 

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW:

What would you send to Grandma? Any other cute crafts for fall on your to do list? Share below.




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Blogging: stop trying for perfect & just publish

Stop trying to be perfect and just publish- my story on how I went from 10 viewers a day to 2000 www.eachingtotwins.com

When I decided I would start my blog  I was on bedrest prior to given birth to the twins. I had a few high quality posts and learned a lot about word press, plug ins, and how to promote your blog through social media (most of the information is featured on my Pinterest board: HERE.)

But in the months following the twin’s

Blogging through bedrest

Bedrest Buddies

birth, I would spend so much time trying to make a blog entry perfect I was only publishing once a month. I had several blog entries that remain unpublished and sit on my desktop in a word document. My site traffic was less than 10 visitors a day. Thinking of content was a huge task after I made the first few entries I had wanted to do.

All of that changed a month ago. I had been watching a youtube by the name of Casey Neistat and he was doing a video that talked about the three things he did to make his dream a reality (Link to video here).

One of the things really stuck out to me, if you want to be successful at something then you have to be showing up for work every day. I by work, he meant the work that brings you closer to your dream. Meaning if I wanted my blog to be successful I needed to work on it, every single day. Even if it was just a baby step like: okay today I’m going to learn how to put a Pinterest button in on my site, or today I’m going to watch a youtube video about how to promote my blog via facebook ads, whatever the task was, I did something every day. And I started posting 5-7 times a week.

 

I stopped trying to make it perfect, you will see grammar and spelling mistakes in my post, as I slowly get around to fixing them.  But I am publishing my content, I’m putting it out there. I’m working toward my dream to support my family through things I love to do, things I’m passionate about like writing, education, and family. As I stopped trying to be “Perfect” I began thinking of more and more ideas of things I wanted to share, activities I wanted to make, and adventures I wanted to document. Blogging became easy. And there was surely a positive response.

One month ago I started blogging every day.

By the end of the first week my site traffic was at over 100 visitors a day. Now almost a month later, I have an average of 1800 visitors a day, some post gaining as many as 2000 readers. I have been approached for cross collaborative projects from other bloggers now, and have a company inquHow I stopped trying to be perfect and started blogging -teachingtotwins.comiry in the works for a brand deal. All because I stopped trying to be perfect and started to publish daily.

Now, don’t get me wrong. As an educator, I understand the importance of proper spelling and grammar. But as a mother of twin one year olds, I understand that if it means delaying posting because I’m too tired to “grade” my post before I submit, I just hit publish! I would rather do it with some mistakes, than not do it at all!

I would rather be a hot mess trying!

This is the attitude that changed my blog.

 

I’m a paid writer now, sure not very much, but I have earned money to write, something 30 days ago I would not have believed was possible in just a month’s time.

 

So for those just about to start blogging, here are the things I recommend:

  1. Save 7 completed blog posts before launching your blog. This will allow you to be always working at least a week ahead, and gives you wiggle room for when life happens
  2. Include pictures, videos, and links to your blog whenever possible.
  3. Get to know some bloggers, they will be great resources and cross collaborate to drive site traffic. Hey you can start with me! Follow me on Instagram and send me a message @Teaching2Twins      LINK HERE!!! https://www.instagram.com/teaching2twins/

4.Write about things you want to. If you’re not passionate about it, your reader will hear it.

5.Use Narratives. This was advice I received from a fellow blogger. Narrative stories  help your audience get to know you. My most viewed posts are narrative stories of daily experiences that I decided to write about (Example: CLICK HERE TO SEE A NARRATIV HIGH TRAFFIC POST).

 




Each day make one goal on something you need to do to follow your dream. It is not big changes that contribute to making up our dream, but little steps taken a little at the time.

With Love,

Dani

LEAVE A COMMENT: If you could have any job, what would it be?

DSC03491Dani Wilson is a happy mother of twins, educator, and curriculum consultant. She holds a BA in education, certification as a Reading specialist, and Masters degrees in curriculum development and instructional leadership.She blogs about life as a mother, wife, educator, and friend. She find joys in the misadventures of motherhood while creating and sharing educational resources for all parents. She seeks to help her children learn through play and spend as much time outside as possible. Subscribe on the lower right side of any of the blog pages to recieve free monthly newletter of blog hightlights and free resources to straight to you inbox.

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DIY baby photos- all year round!

In honor of throwback Thursday, I thought it would be nice to share the DIY photoshoots- from all year round.

One of the many decisions we made prior to having the twins was about photos. I wanted to get professional photos of the babies as Newborns and Cory thought it was a waste of money.We made a deal. He would be given two weeks to get quality professional-like photos of the twins or I would be finding a Groupon and taking them somewhere.

Here is the outcome:

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Needless to say I was so happy with our photos, I didn’t take them into anywhere to get their photos done.

Cory had shown me a couple of quick tricks and articles about taking photos of babies. He said you only need some decent lighting, a couple cute props, and a really good camera (or a friend with a really good camera).

Then you just take as many photos as possible. You only need one to come out. And it isn’t hard to get a good one with a subject like a baby (or in our case, two babies).

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Since then I have done our own photos every month. Every stage is so different and they change so much. I already look back at some photos and can’t believe how round Ellie’s face looks, or cute Walts toothless grin was.

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(All grandparents will most likely be getting a calendar this year for Christmas)

So here are a couple really quality links to help a regular person take some really nice photos:

When I comes to lighting, the easiest thing to do is go outside just after sunrise or just before sunset.

And last, don’t be obsessed with getting the perfect photo. Even ones where things are going wrong end up being special.

Not to mention this is a fun way to learn about the seasons and holidays, use specific vocabulary to those holidays, and have fun with your baby, or… in my case… babies. 😉

With love
Dani

 

Dani holds a M.Ed. in Educational curriculum development, M.Ed. Instructional leadership. She is Certified reading specialist, Mother of twins, Loving wife, Blogger and Friend.

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To all moms, cashiers, and strangers in the store

All the ridiculous and inappropriate questions I get when I take out twins in public have never totally bothered me… with the slight exception  to when the elder male cashier who asked me if I delivered both vaginally… I’m sorry, curious friend, but any questions about my vagina will remain unanswered.

Anyways, being a singleton sibling of a set of twins I’m used to twins getting a certain amount of attention. It is abnormal and fun and others want to share in nature’s little twists.

However today a comment sent chills down my spine.

While Ellie has remained petite for her age, Walt looks a full three months older then her. He has several teeth, lots of hair and a bigger build. It is not uncommon for people to genuinely ask “are those twins?” Because they may not be sure.

Today checking out at the store, while the checkout lady began pestering me about opening a in-store credit card, like a good employee, the twins began to get impatient. I responded with a “not today but thank you for asking.” Maybe I was too polite.
She proceeded to tell me the benefits of the card and asks again if I would want to open one now.  Right at this moment my son bites his sister and very offended she begins to cry.

So now Ellie is in my arms as I comfort her and tell the checkout person once again that I’m not interested.

Could she not see my struggle? Please just let me pay so I can get out of here.

But she continued on. This is where she begins telling me how much I could save by clipping the weekly coupons from the ad or downloading the app. My patience is going…





“I understand.” I say “right now everything is a little chaotic, but I will keep that in mind. Do I put my card in the chip reader now?”

And here it is folks, the comment that took the lead as the most insensitive comment ever made to me.
” Yes you can. I know it’s got to be chaotic, this is why most people wait a few years between babies.”

-*-*-* What?!*-*-*

I quickly informed her they were twins and only a minute apart. “Oh!” She said.

I quietly took this opportunity to educate her, ” but even if they weren’t, I don’t think you can judge a family based on the five minutes it take to checkout in the store. Sometimes are more demanding than others and that is when we skip the coupons at checkout. ” I winked and smiled to help foster a moment that would educate not solely discipline, just as I would do with a young student when they were embarrassed by what they had done wrong. I hope my kindness and her embarrassment would help her be more kind to the next struggling momma in her line.

Although having twins is not comparable to having two close in age, it is important to acknowledge that these situations are each difficult in their own way. Motherhood is difficult in its own way. As women, we should not be judging each other, specially in the small interactions with strangers in public.

Of all the prying questions or comments, I never found any as offensive as this suggestion that I should have waited longer between children. To presume that had my children each been single births, that I had than some how been foolish for having a second beautiful baby is insulting, unkind, and awful.

As a stay at home mother with a husband gone most days and evenings, I look forward to my little interactions during the day. Keira, the checkout girl at walmart with babies at home 10 months apart. Diane, who is full of positive energy at Starbucks when I haven’t eaten anything all morning and decide to treat myself to breakfast. Angelito, the local WIC provider who always helps me out to the car with my bags of formula. I might only be five minutes of their day, but their interaction with me was so important to mine. They might be the only people I see face to face that day, that you know, talk back. I think if the cashier had realized knew the positive impact she could have had, she might not had been so worried about her credit card signups or rewards program and instead may have focused on what I needed as a customer.

So if you see a mom with twins or two young babies struggling to pull a grocery cart and a stroller, or having her two kids who were perfectly happy the rest of the day simultaneously decide to breakdown at checkout, or any mother struggling for any reason, offer help, give a smile, say I’ve been there, it will be okay, you’ve got this momma, you’re doing a good job, etc.

And to all my mommies out there, you are doing a good job.

And for the love of all things that are holy, if you are a cashier, please give that poor momma a break and make checkout speedy.

With love

Dani

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