What are your children’s names and ages, as well as your spouse’s name?
Matthew is our oldest twin. He is intense and particular about almost everything. He loves to be organized and to sort things :). I secretly love that about him. He is a momma's boy, too. He always has been. He is very good at karate, and is very smart in Math. He loves his LEGOS, and is always on the go-playing, creating things, using his imagination.
Lucas is our middle child. He is more laid back. He likes to relax and watch movies-a very stark contrast to his brother who won't sit down for a minute. He LOVES anything cinnamon/sugar. So cute. He is very snuggly-even at 8 years old does he like his snuggle time. He also has an awesome sense of humor and can be very funny.
Natalie...well, she's definitely her own person. She loves attention of any sort, and she thinks her brothers are the funniest people ever. Her new words are "baby, bye, mommy, daddy, nana (banana)". She is quite the toddle bot-moving very quickly from one place to the next. She's a daddy's girl, that's for sure.
Matthew, Lucus and Natalie
Tell us a little about your family:
As a family, we always have a pizza night on Fridays and watch a movie. We also like to play outside together and go swimming in the summer. Bike rides become part of our summer routine, too. If we miss one night of dinner together, that's very rare. We make it a priority to have dinner at home as a family almost every night.
What has been the biggest challenge with having multiples?
The biggest challenge with having multiples was all the attention we got at first-everywhere we went. As they've grown, it's been a challenge for us as parents to treat them as individuals, as well as maintain a sense of fairness. In the past year or so, their individual personalities have really come out, so it's gotten easier in some respects as far as discipline, punishments, rewards. Also, seeing them struggle and their coping mechanisms has been a challenge to observe, too.
What has been your biggest joy in having multiples?
The biggest joy-all of it. I love being a MoM! I love seeing them grow and change. I also love seeing their differences come out. There was a time when I wondered if our parenting was forcing them into sameness. Then when they started school and hit other milestones, I realized that nothing we do can change who God is making them into.
Matthew and Lucus
I think our traditions are small, but hopefully significant for our kids. Every birthday they get a mylar balloon that goes along with the theme of their birthday. We are starting dinner out on their birthday-they'll be 8, and this is the first time we've done birthday dinner at a restaurant. Disney World is becoming our traditional vacation spot. Also, we do pizza and a movie at home every Friday.
What is your favorite funny family story or mom moment?
I think the mom moment that sticks out in my mind the most is from first grade and what happened that first week. I was beyond nervous sending the twins to school. But, when Matthew came home he told me about something his teacher had done. Their teacher read them a book called The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. In it the raccoon, Chester, is nervous/sad about leaving his mom on the first day of school. So, she kisses the palm of his hand and he puts it to his cheek throughout the day to comfort him. Everyday for about a week, Matthew asked me to kiss his palm either before bed or before I left in the morning. One day I asked him if he wanted me to kiss his hand, and he said, "No, I still haven't used the one you gave me yesterday."
Do you have a favorite book(s) on children/parenting that you feel other CMOTC MoMs would find beneficial, interesting and/or humorous?
I love the books Parenting Isn't for Cowards, Bringing Up Boys, and Bringing Up Girls. They are all by Dr. James Dobson. Parenting Isn't for Cowards is a good one because he encourages us as parents to be the authority, and that sometimes you just have to get your kids through a stage. He helps identify strong willed children and their personalities, and how to parent them in ways that are productive. Bringing Up Girls and Bringing Up Boys, both address the genders and their development. He talks about the roles of the opposite sex parent in regards to their importance in the lives of the boys and girls we are raising. Also, why boys do what they do and why girls do what they do at different stages is a large part of his books.
Do you have any “sanity saving tips” that work for you in managing those particularly hectic days or moments of parenting and day-to-day life with kids?
Sometimes parenting is the 3 Bs-benadryl, bribery, and brainwashing...just kidding. I think to survive, I have become a planner. I think that being a teacher has given me the midset to always be one step ahead of my students, and I do that with my kids. I know that around 5 pm, the boys turn into maniacs...so I try to suggest an activity to them that they will be engaged in around 4:45 or so..I also plan our meals, set clothes out the night before, and stick with a routine.
Do you have a family or personal blog or website that you would like to share with the group?
I have two blogs and they are both on the CMOTC blog roll - The Hurst Family, and My Favorite Finds.
If you could ask a question to our other CMOTC MoMs about raising multiples (at any age or stage), what would it be?
I would like to know how other families handle discipline and sibling rivalry. I feel like competition between the boys is huge in our house.
If you have advice for Carrie's question, or any comments in general, please leave them below.
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