View Full Version : We're going stir crazy!

twins r fun
08-25-2002, 07:12 PM
Help! I have almost 10 month old twin boys that I am lucky enough to stay home with. They crawl, climb, and are CONSTANTLY moving. I really LOVE being home with them, but because they are so active we are getting a little stir crazy and I am exhausted from chasing them around! My husband has been home more this summer because he's a teacher, but tomorrow he goes back to work full+ time and I want to find some ways to keep the boys and I entertained through the fall and winter. We live in Maryland and have a few months of warm weather left and then an unpredictable winter. I usually take them for a neighborhood walk in the morning and then we go out (errands, visiting, park) in the afternoon or evening. I need some ideas of things to do with them either out of the house or in, some ideas for toys that they can really interact with, maybe yard toys (although we seem to be having horrible mosquito issues right now). Also I was thinking about something like Gymboree classes, but can anyone who's been tell me if this is something I would truly be able to do by myself with 2 babies or would I need to bring someone with me? Thank you and I look forward to hearing your ideas!


08-25-2002, 09:14 PM
I know how you feel, except I only have one little boy (age 12 months). I am also a SAHM. I just enrolled my son in a Mothers Morning Out program at a local chuch. He will be going 2 days a week, from 9am-12. It only cost $75/month, which I think is very reasonable. It might be out of your budget since you have two, but I know some programs will let you work one day a month instead of paying. I know a lot of churches do this and you don't have to be a member of that particular church to enroll your child. Most of the churches in my area are enrolling now. It might be worth looking into!

I don't know about Gymboree, because we don't have one here. We did take ds to Chuck E. Cheese this weekend (we were desperate!) and let him play in the "Toddler Zone". He had a blast and we spent a grand total of $2.00 for tokens to let him ride the "rides". I've heard weekdays when school is in are a good time to go there.

Hope that helps!

08-26-2002, 09:27 AM
Gymboree is an option, but is very expensive. I am on their mailing list and the price is $153 for 9 sessions. Yikes! I have never signed up for a session, but several of us in my playgroup regularly go during "free preview week". Basically, the first week of the new session, you can take one class for free to try it out. There is one coming up, but I can't find my card. I am pretty sure it is the first week of September, but call your local Gymboree to be sure. Sarah likes the music class better than the regular class, but she is pretty easily overstimulated. Also, the music class might be easier with 2, since they are not roaming around in the large open area like the regular class does. I have also NOT been very impressed by the quality of the instruction at the Gymboree near me, so I would never pay to go there.

We live in Fairfax Co. in Northern VA and we have taken classes through our county parks service (which is very large and well organized). We took a baby swim class (really a water acclimation class) and these are GREAT because baby gets quite tired. But this would be hard to do with two. There are also what they call "Watch Me Grow" classes for babies of various ages, which are like Gymboree and are essentially facilitated, age appropriate interactive play sessions with mom and baby(ies). Many places offer classes like these (some health clubs, larger churches, hospital systems, etc.)

Do you belong to a playgroup/mommy group? If not, I highly recommend joining one. Mine has playgroup once a week, usually a lunch once a week, and we often do other baby related things (Gymboree, Signing with Baby, swimmimg class) and non-baby related things (Mom's Night Out, Book club) as well. Mine keeps me quite busy!

You don't say where you are in Maryland, but if you are close to DC and live near a metro, you could make a day of going into DC. Sarah loves the Metro and is kept quite busy by people watching. Small petting zoos are nice too. Sarah likes to watch the animals and likes to touch the rabbits and goats (depending on your hygiene philosophy this may or may not work for you, I just take lots of antibacterial wipes for afterwards).


08-26-2002, 01:17 PM
A couple more ideas for you. Our local library (and I've been to 2 others like it in metro Detroit, so it shouldn't be too uncommon) has a wonderful kid's area. Puzzles, tables, books, puppets, etc. My daughter LOVES going there - plus it's free. They also have numerous free classes (I take her to a Lap Sit program). Also, our local malls generally have indoor play areas with huge foam/rubber climbing toys (usually shaped like food items or animals). I use both these places to shake off cabin-fever in the winter and on rainy days. Best of luck to you...


08-26-2002, 03:57 PM
Just a note about the Gymboree classes--you would definitely need a second person since they want you to be in a "hug's reach" of your child at all times. The session coming up (around here anyway) runs until January and costs $199. They extended it over what it was last year, but that also means more money at $11/class.

Check out the local boards at places like BabyCenter to see if anyone's forming a playgroup. That's how we found the one we were going to. Of course it ended up being me and one other mom making it most weeks and then they just stopped meeting over the summer. Guess I should send out a message to see if anyone's interested in starting it up again....(That is if two of the mommies DH's didn't get relocated like they thought they might. Oh, well.)

Guess I better get off the 'puter. Evan's Baby Einstein video is almost over! ;-)

08-26-2002, 06:04 PM
I strongly second the mom's group idea!!! I belong to the local MOMS Club (www.momsclub.org to find the group in your area). AND there is also a Mothers of Multiples group in our area. I just found a web site for the National Organization of Mothers with Twins Clubs... www.nomotc.org. Check it out, and see if there is a group in your area. I can't tell you how much belonging to a moms group has helped me. I would have gone kookoo a LOOOONNGG time ago, if I didn't have this support network behind me. If the Mothers of Twins club doesn't have anything in your area, check out the MOMS Club site, too. I think MOMS Club has more chapters. You can also look for MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) chapters, although I don't have a site reference on that one.

Good Luck!! HTH!

twins r fun
08-26-2002, 07:29 PM
Thanks everyone for your ideas so far! I guess Gymboree is out and not just because I can't do both babies, I can't afford both babies either! I would love to find a Mom's Morning Out like tarheelmom suggested but have been checking my resources since I read her post and haven't found something similar. I'm working on parks and rec and the library for classes and such. Can you guys tell me more about your playgroups-what you do, where you meet, how many people, etc. I have a loose get together with two other twin moms, but we're having trouble keeping things going. Maybe if I got things a little more committed and organized, figured out a better place to meet (we were going to the mall, but there is nowhere for the babies to play there), it would work out better.

Any ideas of toys (indoor or out-the mosquitos will go away eventually, right?!) or activities that we could do around the house. They really like bubbles-maybe something similiar.

08-26-2002, 10:19 PM
My playgroup is pretty big. We have about 20 moms, but on average, about 10 moms (and babies) come to any given playgroup. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. This seems to work out OK. We take turns hosting playgroup at each other's houses. Occasionally we do a pool playgroup or a Happy Hour playgroup (with Daddies) or something instead. Whoever is hosting provides light snacks and drinks and toys :) . Then we just let the babies roam and play. It is very informal and casual. And to be honest, since our babies are still so young (and not really interested in playing with each other) it is mainly for the moms. We socialize, chat, share advice, seek advice, etc.

Since we have so many moms, you only end up hosting about once every 3 months (and I figure I need to clean my house once every 3 months whether I like it or not, LOL). Toward the end of the third month, we pass around a sign up sheet for the next 3 months. We have done this now for almost a year and it has worked really well.

We also have a Yahoo Group set up for our playgroup. This way between playgroups we can chat, plan, etc. This is also how we provide directions to our houses for playgroup, post where that week's Mommy lunch will be, plan Mom's Night Out, etc. This has also worked out pretty well. Sometimes we're chatty and sometimes we're not. Again, it's all pretty casual.

I would think that a playgroup of about 4-5 people would work really well. That way when someone can't make it, it's not a big deal, there are enough people. Although with twins, 3-4 may be better!! Also, I would recommend setting up some really basic "structure" and then be flexible about everything else. The only thing we really are structured about are the sign-ups, the time and making sure to post directions to your house when it's your turn. I can see where if this wasn't structured, then it might be hard to keep a playgroup going. Everything else can be made up as you go along.

I don't know what I would have done without my playgroup. We just moved to this area right before Sarah was born and we knew absolutely no one. The women in my playgroup are all so nice, helpful and fun. It's funny, my DH knows that Friday morning (playgroup) and Wednesdays (usual Mommy lunch day) are sacred and NOT to be trifled with!


08-27-2002, 12:04 AM
Sounds like our groups are very similar, although MOMS Club is a bit more organized as a general support group. Our club has several playgroups (by age-range), and my particular group has about 15 moms, although there are about 6 or 7 that go very regularly. When I joined, though, there were so many moms in our group we had to split in half, and we just recently re-joined the 2 groups because the older one was only a handful of moms. ANYWAY... We meet weekly, at the same day/time at a members house. Some of our playgroups start meeting 2x per week. We are currently meeting 2x per week, although one time is more of an "outing" meeting (park, museum, zoo, pool, etc). And this summer some of us were doing a "craft class", (you HAVE to host one to be in the "class") where the hosting mom would provide a craft for the kids to do along with snacks. So that was 3x per week, not that we all made it to all 3 things. Our playgroup signs up to host monthly, and, actually, it is usually the same small group of moms hosting, but then, they like to host, and they have good houses for it. Like I really can't host in the hot summer months because I have NO air conditioning and my house gets really stifling, but I host at other times. Our group is really casual, too. Our kids are 2 - 3 yrs now, so we have gone through the "moms sit around with babies on blankets and talk" phase, the "babies on the move, and we really have to watch them, so not much talking gets done" phase, and are now in the "kids play by themselves & with each other, so we can talk while we keep an eye on them" phase.

Of course, this is within our larger chapter, which is currently about 40 moms. We had about 80-90 moms but National MOMS Club doesn't like chapters to grow that big, so we just split in half and created 2 chapters (some of our 15 playgroup moms went to each group), although the playgroups of both chapters are still meeting together, and we have some activity groups that still meet together. There are activities and activity groups planned for the whole chapter, like Park day (every Wed), zoo trips, beach trips in the summer, holiday parties, Moms Night Out (monthly), and anything else that sounds like fun. We have a walking group that walks MWF mornings at 9:00 am. We had a book club, but that is gone now. We have a cooking group that meets once a month, brings a theme dish and exchanges recipes (it's really like a glorified potluck group)... we meet at 11:00 am and eat yummy stuff for lunch! There are, of course, some moms we never see, and it seems that 1/3 - 1/2 of the moms are actually active in the group (go to a lot of activities). Some just join for the playgroups.

We have a web site, but it's really just for information about us & joining the club. We put out a monthly newsletter that is paid for by the annual dues ($25 per year), so everyone knows what is going on when & where. Other than that, we use the phone and email to plan things, or things get planned during playgroup.

I hope you can find a good group in your area. If not a twins group, then a regular SAHMs group like mine or Beth's. They really are great fun and very supportive. Plus, if you need emergency babysitting, there is usually a group mom that is willing to help! And you make a lot of good friends along the way. Well, hope this all helps you! Let us know what you find! :D

twins r fun
08-27-2002, 08:08 AM
Wow I can't believe how big your playgroups are and how often they meet! I think it would be nice to have a few more people than I do because we have to leave the schedule open and find a day we can all make it as opposed to saying let's meet every Friday and if you can't make it, it's no big deal. Since we are always trying to find a date when everyone can come, we don't meet every week. I was glad to hear about the "phases" of a playgroup because we are in that "the babies are moving and we can't talk much phase" right now and it seems very chaotic. I can't imagine what yours is like with 10-20 moms and babies, Beth! I am actually in the local twins club, but only joined a month or two before summer and they don't meet during the summer so I haven't really gotten involved. They have an under one playgroup, but it only meets once a month. Hopefully I can find some moms there who have an established weekly playgroup or bring some moms there to my existing "group." Thanks for all the info-I'm inspired to create or find a great playgroup that meets EVERY week!


08-27-2002, 08:49 AM
How do you find out about a local Mom's group? I'm in C'ville VA (for another week and then off to Germany, know of any ex-pat groups in Berlin?) adn would have loved to have found something both for company and support. While it won't much matter now, how do I go about looking into it when we come back to the States?

Mom to Dante 8/1/02

08-27-2002, 09:13 AM
We have some friends who now live in Nice. They transfered for his work. While they love it there, she is having a hard time finding friends. The culture in Europe is a bit more reserved than here when it comes to making friends (as you probably know). It may be better in Germany. She said she has had the most luck socializing with the other wives and also with a group of French moms who are trying to learn English. This might be something you could pursue as well.

Best of luck on the move. We moved when I was 32 weeks pregnant and I can't imagine doing it in the first few weeks after Sarah was born. But you'll get through it! And I am still very jealous of your opportunity to live in Europe.

I found my playgroup through a New Mom's Group that is sponsored by the hospital that I delivered at. I guess that playgroups commonly form out of that group. These are nice, because the babies all tend to be about the same age. At one of the meetings, we passed around a sign-up sheet for any folks who wanted to be involved in a playgroup. Since that was a pretty large group, we started off with almost 30 moms. Over time, some have become less involved and that will probably continue as time (and life) moves on and as we have second babies, etc. The moms in my neighborhood also have a small playgroup, but it is not well organized and their babies are all a lot older than Sarah, so I have never gone to that one. But most of the moms in my playgroup all live within a couple miles of each other so it is not very incovenient to get to their houses for playgroup.

The National Moms club that someone mentioned above would also be a really good source of info. They are a great organization. I went to one meeting awhile ago, but my own playgroup became so busy, that I don't really have time for it! But it is nice to know that there is a back-up.


08-27-2002, 08:16 PM
Go to the MOMS Club web site at www.momsclub.org, and email them from there. There ARE chapters outside of the USA, so ask them about chapters in C'ville AND Berlin. There may not be any in Berlin, but in never hurts to ask!! They can provide you with any contact info you may need.

Also, see if your husband can ask around at work (when you get there) to see if the wives know of moms' support groups in Berlin. You may find something that way, too.

Good Luck! HTH.

08-30-2002, 05:15 PM
Hi CT,

I am the Metro Detroit area. What libraries are you talking about? I heard W.Bloomfield has a good one. I really like the Roch Hills library too. Are you part of any Mom's club? I would really like to get my 10 month old into a play group. I checked one out, but I am not sure if I am going to join.


09-03-2002, 10:59 PM
I go to the Brandon Twp. Library (I live in VERY northern Oakland County :)) and we have a wonderful kids area and wonderful programs (and a brand new library :)). I have also taken my DD to the Shelby Twp. Library and the MacDonald Library in New Baltimore - both of which have great kids areas, though Shelby's is better. I don't know if those two have classes like Brandon does though - we just go there when we're in the area. I don't belong to any mom's groups - I doubt there are any around here where I live. There was one here in Ortonville a few years ago (MOMS Club), but I think it petered out because I never read about their meetings in the local paper anymore. I also take my DD to Great Lakes Crossing and Lakeside Malls to run around in their play areas on rainy days.


09-11-2002, 07:01 PM
I have almost 10 month old twin girls :) A coworker has 10+ month old twins boys. We can share war stories :) I understand what you are going through.

We bought a used playstructure to use inside the house. The more active girl really enjoys it at daycare. Plus, we have gates up all over the house. I've set up the dining room to be pretty safe so that the girls can crawl/cruise/walk while I'm cooking but I have a good view from command central. Basically try to give them a safe place to use up their energy.

What I've found, amusing them is not that hard. It's regaining control of the house and my sanity. Have you tried a speakerphone? My girls love talking to Grandma on the phone. I get a slight break and my mom is thrilled the girls want to babble at her. Try the local twins club to get more support. The parents there understand your dilemma. Plus, parents of multiples are more likely to want to trade babysitting time. I found in the mom support groups, mostly singletons, noone wanted to swap with me because they couldn't watch 3 infants simultaneously!