Book Review: Twin Souls: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium

When I first heard about the book, Twin Souls: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, by Elizabeth Anne Hill with Catherine Mary Hill, I expected it to be one of those typical memoirs where someone loses a close family member and comes through the grieving process with a new perspective. In truth, that is only a very small part of Twin Souls.

Elizabeth (“Betsy”) and Catherine (“Cathy”) were identical twins, but their similarities pretty much ended with their appearance. They were opposites throughout their lives and argued about almost everything, including religion and politics. But then, on October 25, 2002, Elizabeth received the devastating news that Cathy, a United States Border Patrol Agent, had been killed when her Jeep rolled over while she was on patrol.

Despite their differences, Elizabeth was distraught. But, in time, Elizabeth realized that her sister wasn’t really gone. Her body was no longer there, but her spirit was still very much alive — and able to communicate with her twin sister. With Cathy’s death, a new life began for Elizabeth.

Cathy had been on a spiritual journey before her passing, and she began to show Elizabeth the same path. Through Cathy’s promptings, Elizabeth was led to just the right people, places, books and experiences that would ignite a fire within her to seek out the answers to so many of the questions that plague humankind. Do we really die? Does God exist? What does the future hold for our species? Why are so many religions at odds with each other? Elizabeth knew that her sister was guiding her to find the answers to these questions and share them with the world.

Twin Souls is the story of the Hill sisters, but it is also, as the subtitle indicates, “a message of hope for the new millennium.” Chapters include (but are not limited to):

Unity and Universal Truth (meditation, the spiritual eye and reincarnation)

Man-Made Religion (original sin, hell and the devil)

Man-Made Armageddon (overpopulation, poverty and the environment)

The Bible-Old Misunderstandings, New Insights (the Holy Trinity, Jews vs. Christians, the Ten Commandments, Creation vs. Evolution)

The Master of Galilee (the lost years of Jesus, who Jesus was and his purpose)

The World’s Teachers (the Ascended and Unascended Masters)

The World’s Messengers (our higher and lower selves, mediums and psychics)

Heavenly Helpers (spirit guides and angels)

And much more!

Other chapters in this in-depth book examine The Law of Attraction, science and spirituality, politics and ancient wisdom. No spiritual stone is left unturned.

You may not agree with everything you read in this book, but my gut feeling is that’s okay with Elizabeth Hill. She knew she had a big task ahead of her when Cathy persuaded her to write Twin Souls. What this book will do is challenge your thinking and spur you to seek answers to the questions that have perplexed our planet and its people for a very long time. As Elizabeth notes, “our planet is at a crossroads” and “each person will contribute to the transformation by changing their own views about the world.” If you allow it, Twin Souls will send you on a quest for your own life’s purpose and convince you that there is hope for our troubled world.

Available on Amazon.

The DUBBE Awards: Best Books for Families with Multiples

Double Up Books just released the results of their first annual Double Up Books Book Excellence (DUBBE) Awards! Through popular vote, the following books were selected in these categories. You can find all of these books at www.doubleupbooks.com.

Best Twin Pregnancy Book

Twins 101: 50 Must-Have Tips for Pregnancy through Early Childhood from Doctor M.O.M.

Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, M.D.

Best Raising Twins and Multiples Book

It’s Twins!: Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy through Adolescence

Susan M. Heim

Funniest Multiples Book

Ready or Not…Here We Come: The REAL EXPERTS’ GUIDE to the First Year with Twins

Elizabeth Lyons

Best Two Children’s Books for Twins and Multiples

I’m Having Twins

Paris Morris

Two Snowflakes

Jennifer Miller

Best Twin Specialty Product/Book (Twin Tie!)

Twice Upon a Time: Twins Baby Memory Book

Lynn Lorenz

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins: A Step-By-Step Program for Sleep-Training Your Multiples

Marc Weissbluth, M.D.

Best Multiples Book from Dad’s Perspective

I Sleep at Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets

Bruce Stockler

Best Inspirational or Advice Multiples Book (Twin Tie!)

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More

edited by Susan M. Heim, Jack Canfield, and Mark Victor Hansen

Twinspiration

Cheryl Lage

Best Twin Memoir

One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to be Singular

Abigail Pobrebin

Best Multiples Psychology Book

Emotionally Healthy Twins

Joan Friedman, PhD

Benefits of Joining a Moms of Multiples Group

By Carrie Kauffman

I’m a member of a local Moms of Multiples group. We meet once a month, and it’s a great time to get out with other moms who have twins and more. Our multiples group has several outlets for sharing new ideas and helpful hints. We have a monthly newsletter that includes good articles, and we share what’s going on for the month. We have several activities throughout the year for our families and their children. We have a Halloween hayride, holiday party, egg hunt, and a family picnic.

We have a website where members can ask questions on topics from multiple pregnancy to potty training toddlers. When you have twins, it’s different from having two children close in age. Women in our club have been there, and only they can really understand what you’re going through. A big benefit from belonging to this club is just getting out of the house and sharing your thoughts and ideas with other moms. You can learn so much from just talking or even listening to another mom who has multiples. Moms are able to share their thoughts on raising twins, and new moms get their questions answered by several “seasoned” moms. During our group meetings, we have social time, and then either a speaker, game, or age-appropriate discussions.

The new moms that I met at the group started a play date once a month. There are ten moms and twenty-one kids (one set of triplets). People think that we’re crazy for doing this, but just to get out with our kids and see everyone else is a great time. The kids all hang out and play together. We have other play dates throughout the month for smaller groups.

Joining this group has been a great outlet for me and my family. I’ve learned a lot from the other moms and formed many new friendships. Sometimes, being a mom of twins, you forget about yourself and just concentrate on your children. You need to remember who you are, and doing that will make you a better mom.

Red Leaf Papers Offers Unique and Attractive Twin Birth Announcements

Red Leaf Papers has just come out with some wonderful Twin Birth Announcements. The company’s founders, Allison and Olivier, are the parents of twins, and they felt strongly that there weren’t enough cute options for birth announcements for multiples. They solved that problem by creating their own!

Take a look at some of the creative designs they offer:

I love the beautiful colors in these designs! Red Leaf Papers was created around a love of color, uniqueness, versatility and typography. I encourage you to visit their site at www.redleafpapers.com. They also have invitations for birthdays, holidays, weddings, graduations, and more events!

You can go right to the Twin Birth Announcements page by clicking HERE.

DISCLOSURE: No compensation or products were provided to encourage this review.

Win Adorable Onesies for Your Twin Babies from Baby’s Language! (Giveaway)

At Baby’s Language, they have the cutest clothes for twins! Check out these shirts:

And these:

And even triplet clothes!

Now, Baby’s Language is offering TWO TwinsTalk members and visitors the chance to win the irresistible doggy onesies below:

We have two sizes — 6-12 months and 12-18 months — available. So, how can you win? Head over to www.babyslanguage.com, and then come back here and leave a comment on this post with your favorite item! (They have items for singletons, too, as well as diaper bags, bibs and other things.) Also, note the size of the onesie you’d like to win. You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries when you:

– Become a friend of Baby’s Language and me on Twitter (@babyslanguage and @ParentingAuthor) and tweet this giveaway. Leave a comment here with the URL of your tweet. You can do this once a day! Leave a separate comment for each daily tweet.

– Put a button for TwinsTalk on your blog or website and link it to www.twinstalk.com. The picture is below. Leave a comment with the URL of your site.

– Become a Fan of TwinsTalk on Facebook. Just go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/TwinsTalk/92832936823?ref=ts and click on the Fan button. (You must be a member of Facebook to do this.) Leave a comment with your Facebook name.

– Post this giveaway on your blog or website with a link to this page. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post.

Two lucky winners will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Wednesday, September 30, 2009, at midnight ET. Please leave an email address on at least one of your comments so I can reach you. Winners must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Thanks to Lisa at Baby’s Language for this terrific giveaway!

Why I Love Being a Twin

Why I Love Being a Twin

Why I Love Being a Twin

By Debbie LaChusa

Being a twin has its ups and downs. Over the past 45 years there have been times I wouldn’t trade being a twin for anything. Then there were the days I’d give anything to be a singleton. But all in all, I love being a twin. And, here are the reasons why.

(1) It’s something I have that most people don’t

Let’s face it, no one wants to be just ordinary. As a twin, I never have to worry about being just ordinary. I’ll always have something very special that separates me from the average person.

(2) There’s always been someone right there with me

My sister and I haven’t always been the best of friends, but she has always been there. And, I know she always will be. There’s a comfort in that.

(3) We share a connection no one but a twin could appreciate or understand

Whether it’s because we were conceived together or just that we shared nine months together in the womb before we came into this world, we are connected in a way that sometimes defies explanation. Like the times I’m thinking of calling her and suddenly the phone rings and it’s her. And, all those other little “coincidences” in our lives. We are connected in a special way.

(4) People think you’re special

Just consider how you look at twins when you see them. You take notice. Of course, it’s more prominent when the twins are identical, which my twin and I aren’t. But people still look at you differently even if you’re a fraternal twin. Simply because people are fascinated with twins.

(5) It’s like being a member in a private club

When I decided to start collecting twin stories for a book, I realized there is a whole “twin world” out there. Web sites, books, forums, groups. And you can only participate if you are a twin. We all share something that can’t be truly understood by outsiders. And, we have free lifetime membership in this special club.

Being a twin is truly an amazing experience. Sure, many twins have a stronger bond that my sister and I do. And many look a lot more alike than we do. But she’s still my twin. And we still share a bond. And it is truly special.

Debbie LaChusa is a fraternal twin and the founder of Twin Connections, a web site that celebrates the mysterious bond between twins. She’s collecting twin stories and invites you to Submit your twin story, read unbelievable, inspiring and incredible twin stories and subscribe to the free, monthly Twin Connections Update at http://www.Twin Connections.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Debbie_LaChusa

http://EzineArticles.com/?Why-I-Love-Being-a-Twin&id=447961

Should Twins Be in the Same or Separate Classrooms?

When your twins are ready to start school, the big question is always whether they would be better off in the same class or different classes (assuming there is more than one class in their grade level at that school). First of all, you should know that you may not have a choice! Some schools require that twins be placed in separate classrooms. If you’d prefer that your twins be in the same class, you’ll want to do your research well before it’s time for the kids to start school. You may choose to move your children to a school that is more willing to work with your request, or you may wish to explore your options to fight the policy, as did Wendy M. Haavisto of Minnesota. When her boy/girl twins were forced into separate classes at the start of first grade, she took her fight all the way to the state legislature, where a bill was signed into law on May 5, 2005, giving parents of multiples the right to choose whether their children should be placed in the same or different classrooms. Since then, many other states have passed similar laws (including my home state of Florida).

With that in mind, and assuming you DO have a choice, you should know that there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.

Advantages of Placing Twins in Different Classrooms:

Your children are more likely to be judged as individuals rather than as a unit. Comparisons between the two will be avoided.

If your twins tend to play only with each other, this might help them to make new friends and be more sociable.

Your twins will be less distracted by each other and better able to focus on their work.

They’ll both have to do their own homework, as it is likely to be different. One can’t rely on the other to do the work or supply the answers.

If one twin lives in the shadow of the other, this may allow the shyer, less confident child to shine.

Advantages of Placing Twins in the Same Classroom:

Your children will experience equal instructional quality. One won’t get the “bad teacher” while the other benefits from one who’s better qualified.

It will be easier to help them with homework when they have the same assignments, and they can help each other as well.

It will be easier for you to participate in the classroom when you’re not stretched thinner with two different classes (especially if you already have other children in other classes).

As starting school can be an adjustment for any child, having a brother or sister in the classroom can make the adjustment less traumatic.

They’ll have each other’s ears in the classroom. If one misses the details of an assignment, the other may hear it and repeat it at home.

If you feel your twins would do better together, but your school has a strict policy of separate classrooms-and you don’t feel you have the resources to fight it or move-consider taking a “wait-and-see policy.” Some families are pleasantly surprised at how well their twins adjust to separate classrooms after a period of time. Ideally, make sure you know your school or district’s policy as it relates to twins several years before your children start kindergarten (or a new school) so you can pursue the choice that’s right for your family.

Book Review: Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets

by Susan M. Heim

One of the most popular shows on TV right now is Jon & Kate Plus 8, which portrays the daily lives of the Gosselins — a family with a set of twins and a set of sextuplets! People are fascinated by how Jon and Kate maintain their sanity while rearing eight young children. Fortunately, the couple’s deep faith often comes in handy when their patience runs thin, as it frequently does. Kate and Jon have no doubt that they’ve been chosen for the special privilege of raising these children.

Of course, the TV show can only give viewers a glimpse of their lives a day or two at a time, so it’s welcome news that the Gosselins have just released a book that tells their story from the beginning. Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets explains how Jon and Kate first met, their journey through infertility, finding out they’re expecting twins…and then sextuplets, Kate’s high-risk second pregnancy, Jon’s bout with unemployment, and their strategies for raising their suddenly expanded family. The book makes it clear that many days are a struggle, but the overriding blessings of a healthy, large family outweigh the negatives. As Kate notes in the book’s conclusion: “I feel so incredibly blessed that God has chosen us for this journey. This life is absolutely not in a million years what Jon and I expected, but it is infinitely more than we ever hoped or dreamed in so many ways. While Jon and I can’t imagine what the days ahead will hold for our family, I am often comforted by a quote by Abraham Lincoln. He said, ‘The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.’ I say, ‘Thank God.'”

Although Jon and Kate are both listed as coauthors (along with Beth Carson), this book is clearly in Kate’s voice and from her perspective. Kate is surprisingly candid about her weaknesses and fears, such as her difficulty in relinquishing her need for control and accepting help via strangers in her home. While being very grateful for all the people who stepped in to help out, she is frustrated at the same time with her inability to be able to “do it all,” as she had in the past. As she notes about her children, “I really wanted to try to train them to entertain themselves, knowing that as part of a big family they would need to be fairly self-sufficient. I just couldn’t possibly give them their way the minute they wanted something.” She also says of her sextuplets’ early days, “One thing that makes me so sad is thinking about all the moments I missed.” This is because she was constantly running to the kitchen to make formula, then to the laundry room to wash clothes, and everywhere else when she was “on duty.” She didn’t have the luxury like parents of singletons do to just sit down with her babies and enjoy their milestones.

Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets is an eye-opening and fascinating account of life with “multiple multiples.” It is also a story of determination and faith — two qualities that certainly make the Gosselins ideal parents for their large brood. I have a feeling we’ll be reading a sequel of this family’s incredible journey in a few years!

Twins Pregnancy: A Father’s Point of View

by Dan Brunkow

So you’re expecting twins. Congratulations!

Are you still in shock? I sure was. The thought of bringing two babies into the world at one time scared the heck out of me, especially since I was already the father of two boys (ages five and three). I remembered how much work the first year was with both of them, with all of the diapers, the bottles, the sleepless nights, etc… I wondered how in the world we were going to do it with two babies? I immediately started stressing out about all of things that we were going to go through once the babies were born. Little did I know at the time that the most stressful part of having twins was already upon us…the pregnancy.

I did not know at the time that a twin pregnancy is not at all like a single pregnancy. With our first two pregnancies, it was relatively low impact for me (I know, all of the women reading this are rolling their eyes, especially my wife). But to my wife’s credit, it’s true. I figured I had about eight months to play as much golf as I could before the birth of the twins, and that’s when I would really have to become involved. After all, my work was already done for the time being, right? Boy, was I wrong!

There are many things that happened during the pregnancy that surprised me, or that no one told me about. I’d like to tell you about some of those things here, so maybe you’ll be a little more prepared for what happens during a twin pregnancy than I was.

First, pre-term labor is fairly common in a twin pregnancy. I didn’t even know what pre-term labor was until it happened to my wife. This was definitely the most stressful thing about the pregnancy, and it’s something that I don’t remember anyone warning me about. Maybe my wife mentioned it to me, but you know how it is, there was probably a ball game or something. My wife went to a routine check-up at about the 25th week of pregnancy. After being gone for an abnormally long time, she phoned me from the hospital and told me that they were keeping her overnight because she was having contractions. What a shock! I couldn’t understand how that could be so early in the pregnancy. The babies were less than 3 lbs. each at the time, so we were both extremely worried. They wound up giving her medication to stop labor and kept her in the hospital for a couple of days. This was the first of four trips to the hospital to stop labor. The good news was that the medication that they gave her successfully stopped the contractions each time, and she was able to carry the twins past 36 weeks.

Second, prepare for bed rest. My wife wound up going on bed rest for about the last four weeks of the pregnancy. This is a very common occurrence for a twin pregnancy, so you need to prepare yourselves for it. We were fairly lucky because my wife was a stay at home mother, so we did not have to worry about her taking time off from her job. We were also very fortunate that my mother-in-law was able to come and stay with us during that time to help with our two boys and to help out around the house. I’m not sure what we would have done without her. My advice is to recruit family and friends if you can to help out. But however you do it, take bed rest very seriously. Make sure you’re wife stays off of her feet. There’s a good reason why many mothers of twins are put on bed rest by their doctor, and that’s so she doesn’t go into labor too early. You want your wife to carry those babies as long as she can for the health of your twins. Oh, and needless to say, golf was just not an option while my wife was on bed rest.

Third, don’t expect a full-term pregnancy. It very rarely happens with twins. The goal of a twin pregnancy is to carry them at least 36 weeks. Once you reach that mark you are considered to be out of the ‘danger zone’. Even though 36 weeks is the target, many twins are delivered earlier. What this means is that you have less time to get everything ready for the new arrivals. I would suggest getting the babies room ready earlier, start buying those baby items that you need to purchase, get things done around the house that need to be done. During this pregnancy, you may not have time to wait until the last minute!

Finally, you are about to embark on an emotional and stressful, next few months. It was truly an emotional roller coaster for us. I’ll never forget our fourth trip to the hospital because of pre-term labor. My wife started having contractions again at around week 34. The babies were both more than 5 lbs., so we were sure that they would just let it go and we could finally deliver the twins. We thought that the twins were big enough and strong enough to be born safely, so I packed up the overnight bag and the camera and we headed for the hospital, positive that we were going to finally have the twins that day. After all of the other trips to the hospital, we were ready. Once we got to the hospital we were immediately put in a delivery room. And then the contractions stopped…all by themselves. We asked the doctor to induce labor, and he refused, for the safety of the twins. Of course he was right, but we were both devastated. We were just emotionally and mentally exhausted. My wife cried all the way home.

My best advice to you is to try to stay calm, help and support your wife (she truly is doing most of the work), and trust your doctor’s advice. Remember, you’re goal is to try and carry the babies at least until week 36, which will greatly decrease the chance of complications with the birth of your twins. Do everything you can to make this happen. Trust me, even though a twin pregnancy is a very trying time for the mother and the father, its well worth it once those twins arrive!

About The Author

Dan Brunkow is the creator and moderator of http://www.twinadvice.com, a site created by parents of twins, for parents of twins. E-mail: dbrunkow@twinadvice.com

How to Approach a Parent of Twins

By Diane Johnson

You know when you run to the store and bring your twins along with you how people start coming out of the woodwork to ask all the regular questions, “Oh, twins? Boy, girl? Identical?” Then they usually follow up the question with some sort of comment that leaves your mouth agape. Well, I’ve always dreamed of handing out a “How to Approach a Parent of Twins” flyer. I never had the nerve to hand out the flyer, but in my dream world, this step-by-step sheet would be handed to every person as they reach the age of 18. Ideally, it would be a required sheet for graduation. They would be tested on how to approach parents of twins. My dream flyer would go something like this:

How to Approach a Parent of Twins

With the rapid increase in twin births, it’s safe to say that at some point you are going to run into a parent of twins (if you’re not one yourself). Here is the best way to approach a parent of twins (POT).

The first step is to take a close look at the parent with the joyful bundles. If the parent is not smiling and one or more bundle is crying, chances are good the trip is absolutely necessary and the parent is focused on completing the errand as quickly as possible. This is not a good time to stop and carry on a full conversation. If you can’t pass up getting a peek, try to do so in a way that helps the parent, such as opening the door. If the parent is smiling or seems calm and unrushed, proceed to the next step.

The next step is to look closely at the bundles of joy before beginning the question phase. This is imperative if you want to avoid any sarcasm. Asking if they are twins is okay — hey, you never know if the parent is watching someone else’s baby or not. However, it’s safe to say that if they’re dressed alike, they’re twins. Asking gender is fine if the babes are not decked out in gender-specific clothing or wearing items emblazoned with “Daddy’s girl” or “Wonder Boy.” Asking if same-sex (and that’s key — same-sex) babies are identical is fine. Asking if boy/girl twins are identical will cause the POTs to wonder if you passed biology. Once you receive an answer on identical/fraternal, it’s important to note: do not argue with the parent. Trust that they know their twins.

Step three is to notice whether or not there are any older siblings. POTs get pretty irritated when one of their singleton children is ignored. If you see another child, do not ignore him or her while gushing over the twins. Make a nice comment such as, “Wow, I bet you are an awesome big brother.” The POTs will be happy.

Step four is to bite your tongue. Refrain from asking if the parent did fertility treatments. You may get a nasty inquiry as to whether or not you’ve visited your proctologist lately. Also refrain from the “my brother’s, wife’s, sister’s, neighbor’s, best friend’s, daughter lives next to twins.” POTs never know how to address these statements, but choose to listen in the off chance you may have inside information on how to contact Mary Poppins. A few other comments to bite your tongue on: “Glad it’s you and not me.” Twins are not a disease. “How do you do it?” Well, we couldn’t very well tell the doctor to put one back, so we did the next best thing, we chose to live by Nike’s motto and just do it.

Finally, make sure that you finish on a high note. A pleasant comment, like “You have great kids,” “What a lovely family you have,” or “You are so blessed,” is always welcome.

Side note: If at any time one or both of the babies starts to fuss, cut the conversation short and move aside. The POT has only a few moments before the angels sprout horns and full chaos ensues.