Hi, I'm Stephanie




  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.




The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.




 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 






My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.


 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 


Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

Blog Honor Roll:

CK’s Days

Cozzens Family News

Cranberry Corner

Every Day I Write the Book

Graham Family Adventures

Grandma Honey


Living Waters




"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"

« A Cautionary Tale | Main | Amen »

Two is Different than Ones

Hallie, left, Sophia, rightFine.  I give up.  Raising twins is very different from raising singletons.

I didn’t want it to be different, and for four and a half years I’ve pretended that it wasn’t.  If I said their bond was special, could it mean that my other daughters were somehow lesser?  Hallie and Sophia are just two kids who happen to be the same age, have the same genes and mostly the same face, right?  Nope.

I should have known from day four (not days 1-3 because we were still in the hospital) that their relationship was unique, and that it would require a different approach to parenting them.  We had been told to put them next to each other for the first few months; they would sleep better which meant we would sleep more.  We accordingly swaddled them tightly and then stuck them right next to each other in the same crib.  It worked; their small movements calmed each other and that meant I could get upwards of two hours’ sleep in 24, which at the time seemed like a lot.

They learned to spit at four months.  Kira had been a world-class spitter, but she mostly used her talent to get out of church meetings.  Hallie and Sophia seemed to do it because it was something they could do together.  They looked at each other, and spit.  Raspberries galore, with lots of smiles in between.

My first two children had been accomplished walkers by 10 ½ months.  Hallie and Sophia could not sit well on their own by even 12 months.  They weren’t preemies or small for their age – I think they each looked over at the other baby and thought, “She’s not doing it.  Why should I?”  Infantile peer pressure.

They shared toys, fought over toys, pulled each others’ hair, and never got tired of each other.  On the rare days now when they’re not getting along (usually because Sophia decides to try some new insults and Hallie smacks her for it) I suggest they do something different. “What can we do?” they ask.  “No, girls, I mean do something different from each other.”  They look at me like I’m speaking another language.  Why would they choose to do separate activities?

If I am the one with whom there is conflict, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder to do battle.  If only one is in trouble, the other will say, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep you away from Mommy.”  They are a pair, a dynamic duo.  They are unique individuals with (some) differing opinions, but they are a team.

My other daughters’ primary relationship in life is with me.  I’m their mom, and if they want a cuddle or conversation, they come to me first.  My opinion is the one that counts.  Hallie and Sophia need mommy cuddles too, and they depend on me to shovel food in their direction (how do they eat so much?) but their primary relationship is with each other.  Each looks to her twin for approval.  If Hallie says it's okay, Sophia thinks it's okay and nothing anybody else says will change her mind, and vice versa. 


That sometimes drives me nuts: Sophia decided recently that she doesn't like church and Hallie fully supports (and imitates) her disruptiveness.  I am, as yet, clueless about how to break up that bit of twin action.

Other times, though, it's pretty darned sweet.  About a month ago Hallie told Sophia, "I hate monsters."

Sophia responded, "I hate monsters, too!"

An older sibling would have said, "There's no such thing."

A younger sibling wouldn't have understood.

Sophia, though, was just the right person to empathize. 

It doesn't make my other girls lesser, but Hallie and Sophia have a special bond.  I have decided it is one to acknowledge and celebrate.


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Reader Comments (2)

So when did the fighting settle down, because right now at three my girls seem to be fighting a lot. No one else better touch one of them though, or they definately get the wrath of the other.

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTammy Paulson

Hallie and Sophia never fought a lot, but it was worst when they were about 2 to 3 1/2 or so. It seemed like the better they got at talking things out, the less conflict they had. (Except for Sophia's insults. Haven't quite got it through her head that they're not okay.)

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Cozzens

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