Even More Twin Questions and Answers

Cayt: “Did you dress them in lots of pink/blue so that they would be easier to tell apart later? If so, what would you have done with two of the same sex?”

I did dress them in a lot of pink and blue, to help tell them apart in photos and also because it was so! dang! cute! My mom gave me two three-packs of footed outfits, one pink set and one blue, and those were the best: each set had one solid, one striped, and one patterned, and also there were MATCHING HATS.

I found that I pretty much ONLY wanted to use outfits that coordinated. I used the non-coordinated clothes when I had to change a baby midday because of a blowout or something, but in the morning they were almost always coordinated.

It was pretty easy to coordinate them at first: lots of companies make their infant lines basically the same but one pink and one blue. As they got out of infant stuff, though, the coordinated stuff was way harder and soon I stopped doing it.

If both babies had been girls, or both boys, I think I would have chosen a color for each—probably pink and purple for girls, blue and green for boys. Well, or maybe not, because one of the things that appealed to me about same-sex twins was that they could share clothes. Maybe I would have used a pin-on ribbon or a fake beauty mark or something.

Anonymous: “I have one very important question. How did you come up with their names? Please share with lots of details!”

Oh, man, that was, like, the biggest naming project of my LIFE. “Elizabeth” and “Edward” are pseudonyms, which makes it a little tricky to discuss the naming process without giving away the real names but I’ll try. Early in the pregnancy I’d started lists of boy name candidates and girl name candidates. When we found out there were TWINS, I started combining from the lists, making three new lists: Boy-Boy, Girl-Girl, and Boy-Girl. The problem was that our first choice candidates didn’t really coordinate with each other—or went together TOO well, like John and Jane.

My IDEAL would have been to have some small gimmick: matching initials, or same number of letters/syllables, or SOMETHING. But we tried again and again to come up with something like that for boy-girl twins, and there was just nothing we could find that didn’t mean choosing a less-liked name just for the sake of the gimmick.

Finally we decided to treat each name separately: we pretended we were having a girl, and we chose her name; then we pretended it was two years later and we were having a boy, and we chose his name. We ended up with two names that are very different in style, popularity, syllables, letters, and initials; they have NOTHING in common. The names are something like Joe and Clarissa. I love both names but still wish there was a little Twin Gimmick.

I’m looking at my name lists now, and it’s so strange to see names I don’t even remember considering. Iliana! Jenica! Laken! Perrin! Brindle! Abbott! Dutch! Cullen! Joren! I still really like Brindle.

Rah: “Have their developmental milestones come together–did they walk/talk at the same time, etc.?”

Sort of, but not much more than any two siblings. The one thing I noticed was copycat developing: if one did something, the other noticed and tried to do the same thing, so this may have made some of their developmental milestones closer than they otherwise would have been.

Shelly Overlook: “I want to know if what you hear about twins developing their own language is true.”

My particular twins haven’t, though I’ve heard a lot about this. I wonder if it happens more with identical twins? I HAVE found that they seem to understand each other better: if one of them is saying something and I can’t figure out what it is, I ask the other one.

Beth: “What’s been the thing that surprised you the most about having twins, either in a good or bad way?”

I think what surprised me most is how little their twinness affects our household. I guess I’d expected it to be more of a big deal, or for Twin Issues to be something we would have to deal with often. Part of it is that they’re not only fraternal twins but also boy-girl fraternal twins—so they don’t really seem Twinnish. They look different, they like different things, they don’t dress the same, they don’t seem to have any Magical Twin Bond.

Jive Turkey: “My appetite was INSANE when I was nursing – was it twice as insane for you having to nurse twins?”

I do remember eating quite a lot, but what was amazing to me was that I was eating TONS but LOSING WEIGHT. I dropped all the pregnancy weight and just kept going. I have it written down somewhere but can’t find it, but I lost something like 15 pounds past my pre-pregnancy weight. (I got it all back later.) It was like I couldn’t keep up. It was fun to see what it would be like to be one of those actresses who says she has to work to keep her weight up.

35 thoughts on “Even More Twin Questions and Answers

  1. Becky

    I am cracking up because it never occurred to me that the kids’ names on here were pseudonyms. I mean, it makes sense… I know Swistle isn’t YOUR name, so why would the kids’ be on here? But still. I’m laughing at me for not realizing. :)

  2. cindy

    Love the pictures of them in coordinating outfits! I would still be dressing my 4-year-old fraternal girls in coordinating outfits if they’d let me, but, no, they have to pick out their own clothes and have their own opinions.

  3. Jess

    Twins! In coordinating outfits! LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. Oh, the cuteness.

    I know their real names and I actually think they make a very nice set. I know they don’t match but I do think they flow, and I think that’s for the best anyway.

  4. Joanne

    They are as cute as can be, really. Those clothes are too too! It’s funny about the milestones, I have a friend who has a single and then twins, all boys, but the twins are fraternal. One of the twins has autism and one doesn’t and she was able to get him such early intervention because he was developing SO much slower than his brother.

  5. heather

    Oh my gosh that is the best set of pictures YET! That was almost enough to give me baby fever. (Luckily my youngest announced this weekend that she will be undertaking the task of entering the Terrible Two’s with stunning displays of tantrum everywhere we went. So that should cure it.)

  6. klutzy k

    i am just loving these posts! and i have to say…i remember you saying that your newborns aren’t that cute. wait, that’s not how you said it. i can’t remember exactly, but HELLO. have you seen these children of yours? even in the newest of newborn pictures, they are SO cute! like, i-should-hang-up-pictures-of-your-babies-on-my-fridge-and-i-don’t-know-you cute. :)

  7. Jodi

    I just hopped over from your baby name blog to read about choosing the twins names, and, well, it was a fun story, but I really want to know what their names are now. And all your kids’ names, for that matter. The lists were such a tease! So, if you’re in the business of e-mailing loyal readers with such information… :) I’d offer a swap of telling you my kids’ names, but I wasn’t clever enough to come up with the psuedonym thing, so my kids’ names are all over my blog. I do know Laura Wattenberg’s daughters’ names…

  8. Jodi

    And also… (sorry, I get tunnel vision when names are involved) OMGoodness those babies are sweet! The two-in-one-bouncy-chair, the hoodies, the irresistible smile in the PJ picture, the OVERALLS? I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. I think I want twins now.

  9. Gwen

    Ooo, I love those pictures with the coordinating outfits. I am half of a fraternal boy-girl set, and I love hearing about twins. My mom always says she was so tired she doesn’t remember much of our babyhood. I love being a twin though!

  10. halloweenlover

    I love this! Those two are so stinking cute I could swallow them whole. Wow. Maybe you should have more babies, you make some pretty cute ones.

    I’m so grateful for your post on toddler and infant because HOLY COW, I’m so tired I could cry.

  11. Sahara

    Oh for goodness sake. How am I supposed to convince myself to stop having babies when THIS kind of thing drops into my lap?! (I lvoe it!)

  12. HHRose

    Oh! I’m so sad to learn that your kids’ names…aren’t.
    But I should have known!!! What I really want to know
    is if “Paul” knows this blog exists.

  13. Leslie

    While I think it would be neat to have that special “twinness” identicals have, I’ve heard that in a triplet situation, usually two have the bond, and the other is left out. How sad is that? Of course, I heard it on “Oprah” so collect your grain of salt over there.

  14. Swistle

    Ashley- Sheet twins high-five!

    HHRose- He does, but he’s not allowed to read it. Not because I generally write anything I wouldn’t want him to read, but because when he briefly WAS allowed to read it I felt so self-conscious and it was way harder to write.

  15. Erin

    I cannot even tell you how much I am enjoying these twinsies posts! I’m loving it.

    And the photos! You should really post more photos. They are adorable and if I didn’t live in mortal FEAR of having two babies at once, I’d say the photos make me want twins.

    I had the same experience with nursing my first two times. I dropped the baby weight SUPER FAST with Cal and Emmett. This time? No such luck. Blerg.

  16. Jodie

    I have twins (girls–fraternal) who will be 7!!! this Sunday and I can tell you this…. I could tell them apart at a glance, even as babies. I never worried about dressing them alike or different. We had many matching outfits and my husband used to use them as a clever ways of disguising diaper blowouts. So if he had to change one–he’d put her in the clean match of the outfit she’d just soild and say to her “we’ll just pretend this never happened”.

  17. Elizabeth

    I have a not really twin question – but I bet I can kind of make it fit, so here goes:

    I CANNOT believe you had TWINS and no dishwasher! I about lost my mind with ONE child and no dishwasher. I want to know about the “no dishwasher system” you mentioned, and how things are different now that you have a dishwasher? I am curious as to if you are “this is the best invention of ALL TIME” or if you are thinking “My old system actually worked better.”
    Also, I clearly have NO LIFE whatsoever, since I spend my time thinking about Swistle’s dishwashing system.

  18. BlondesPoopMascara.blogspot.com

    Hi!I have loved reading your blog!!! The pictures of your twins are so precious!!!! Thank you for sharing and leaving a comment on my blog. I would love to talk to you more. It was so great to hear you say having twins 3rd was the best. My husband said, you need to talk to her!! We are definitely feeling very overwhelmed today. But today is easier than yesterday(when we found out we were having twins). And hopefully the shock will become reality soon! ANY advice you have I would love to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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