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Life with Twins | Meet Nicole and the Haviland Twins

“Are they twins”, “Double trouble”, “Are they identical”, and my personal favorite “better you than me”. If you’ve guessed by now the answer is, yes I have twins. Women have been birthing twins since the beginning of time, yet every time I wander into Target the kids and I turn into superstars. We’ve heard every comment imaginable, but the above are the most common. What is it about twins that just makes people go nutty? 
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I’m here to share with you the journey we’ve been on over the past year with our twins Vivian and Kipling who just turned one. Life is a crazy adventure with these two, but we couldn’t picture it any other way. 
 

Let me start off by saying life with twins is unexplainable;

The fact that my body created two lives at the same time. At one point I had three hearts inside me, (including my own) and that alone just blows my mind. Twin pregnancy comes with a lot more risks than singleton (what us Twin Mamas refer to Mamas who carry and birth one baby at a time). 

Then after pregnancy comes the high risk of premature birth leading to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stays.

My twins were born eight weeks early; my daughter spent five weeks in the NICU, and my son spent nine weeks in. Having babies (or a baby) in the NICU is nothing you can ever prepare yourself for. Leaving the hospital without my babies was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. It was dreadful waking up each day at home to their empty nursery, and then spending all day at the hospital trying to hold your babies while they have all these wires attached to them, and alarms beeping. If it wasn’t for my husband and my own Mama I don’t think I would have ever made it through those long nine weeks. But after the NICU stay is over, you get to take your little bundles of joy home and then the fun really begins.  

In the beginning I think the most important piece of advice we took from other twin parents was to get the kids on the same schedule.

That meant in the middle of the night if Viv woke up to eat, well then we were waking Kip up to eat too. My husband and I worked out a pretty good system where I would do the middle of the night shifts, and he would do the early morning shifts. But to this day the kids still eat at the same time. If you don’t keep twins on the same schedule you are going to kill yourself waking up every other hour. 
 
Eventually we talked to our pediatrician about their night time feedings and she said it was safe to wean them off. So with her approval and support we sleep trained the kids. (They were around six months old). It was an agonizing three day weekend of using the “cry it out” method, but after the third night they slept the whole night. To this day we put them to bed at 7pm and they wake up at 7am. If they wake up in the night they are able to self soothe themselves back to sleep. If they wake up earlier than 7 they usually just play in their cribs and yell to each other across the room. I completely understand that the CIO method is not for everyone, but we felt like it was the best option for us, and it worked. Everyone in the house gets enough sleep, and it allows my husband and I to have some time to spend together every night after the kids go down. 

Find your tribe; 

I think another thing that has really helped our twins thrive is the fact that we have a small army of support around our little family. My parents and my husbands parents have been instrumental in helping with the twins; anything we need they are always right there to help. My brother lives with us and is always lending a helping hand. (And let me tell you when you have two infants in the house, an extra pair of adult hands goes a long way). Our friends have provided us with advice, love, and shoulders to lean on when things didn’t go as planned. Without all the support from everyone in our lives I don’t think we would of made it. 

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Everyday with these two is an adventure because they get to experience life together. They always have a best friend right beside them. When they were a couple weeks old their favorite thing in the world to do was stare at each other and hold hands. Now that they’re getting older they love playing together, and wrestling. 
 
Sure loading two kids into a car by myself just to run to Target is tiring. Being questioned by strangers about personal details of your life, and annoying questions about twins gets old real quick. Packing for trips for two infants is also another pain in the butt. Then there are the times when they are both having meltdowns at the same time, and you have to choose who to comfort first. It’s also tough to try and not compare them developmentally; because although they are twins, they are still individuals. Having twins comes with unique challenges that families with one child, or children of different ages don’t face. But you know what? Having twins also comes with a unique set of rewards and gratification. We have double the kisses, and double the hugs. We have the joy of watching them interact and grow up right along side each other. We have the pleasure of experiencing every little milestone that children hit not once but twice. And most importantly we have learned to love more than we have ever thought was possible. 
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Life with twins is hard, its tough, it tests you, but it also makes you grow, builds you into a stronger person, and lets you open your heart to double the love
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You can follow Nicole and the lovable, stylish, and quickly growing Haviland twins on Instagram at @havilands_wifey.
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We’re honored to have been able to share Nicole’s story and we’re excited for all of the newness that’s to come on Beauty in the East! Be on the lookout for a new look, new bloggers, and most importantly – fresh new content!
We love meeting powerful women and hearing the different journey that comes with everyone’s unique experience through life and motherhood. If you’d like to share your story – email Krystal and Leigha at LYLASvlog@gmail.com to be featured as a guest blogger.
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Having Two Under Two | LYLAS Video

In less than a month we will no longer have two under two! Feels like yesterday I was laying in bed, 9 months pregnant, snuggling my 15 month old, and slightly panicking about what was in store for us as a family of four. The journey wasn’t easy but as the girls grow, and their bond forms, I am constantly reminded of how valuable these past two years have been.

Curious of some of the challenges we faced and what our two under two experience was like? Click on the video below!

 

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Pick Two: Strong and Kind

If you could pick two qualities for your children to possess, what would they be? The question seems like an easy one because most of us can name dozens of favorable qualities we’d like for our children to have, but the the catch is, you can only pick two

Would you pick qualities that give them a better chance of succeeding in the work place? Or how about ones that help them build strong relationships, friendships, and bonds?

When I first became a mom, the newborn days felt as if they lasted an eternity. My nights and days were so long and I filled a lot of my time with self help books and memoirs. One of my favorites was ‘Strong and Kind’ by Korie Robertson. It’s a book about her experiences as a parent, her stories, her battles, and most importantly, her realization that if you want your children to be good people, the best way to teach them is to show them. Pretty self explanatory, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. But Korie really opened my eyes to things I do that may not be teaching our girls the values we want them to exemplify.

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1. STRONG

When I think of the word strong, I think about the sports the girls will try, the criticism they will face, and as good as it is to win, the worse it feels to lose. I think about them coping with losing someone they love, experiencing heartbreak, and facing  challenges as they mature. Right now, Nick and I are here to help them develop but as quickly as these first two years have passed, I’m reminded that we won’t always be able to fix every problem they encounter.

This is why being strong is so important. I want them to be strong enough to say no when they want to and to stand alone if they have to. I want them to be strong enough to carve their own paths and create their own happiness. I want them to be physically strong, mentally strong, and most importantly, faithfully strong – and they need us to live those truths and show them. 

2. KIND

To be kind is to be of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person. As strong as I want the girls to be, I want them to be equally compassionate, selfless, and kind. The best sense of fulfillment comes from acts of love.

Here’s where a few (or all) may disagree: I don’t think you have to take away toys/material things to teach kindness or selflessness. Will my children have everything? No. But, they will treat a janitor with the same respect as they treat a CEO. How? Because they will see that money and ‘things’ are fleeting.

As parents, it’s our duty to embody kindness with patience, gratitude, balance, honesty, compassion, loyalty, and humility. Whew, that’s a lot! But it’s amazing that those attributes can all be wrapped up in one word: kind. I don’t think the girls could truly live a fulfilling life without being kind.

I’d love to give my girls the world, but we cant. However, by modeling positive traits, with confidence, consistency, and unity in truth and love, we can increase the chances of our kids catching on to positive, life altering traits. 

I highly recommend ‘Strong and Kind’. I find myself revisiting highlighted sections and rereading chapters for comfort and guidance. 

Would you pick different qualities for your children? I’d love to know! 

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