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I come from a long line of big families, which means that my extended family is massive. I am the fifth of six kids, my mother is one of twelve, and my father is one of five. There is nothing more important to us than family, and I absolutely loved growing up with a bunch of brothers and sisters.

To be honest, though, it was sometimes a little bit chaotic (and we can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to outsiders). It was pretty rare that we ever took a family picture that didn’t look precisely like this:

This is pretty much exactly how I remember every attempt to semi-formally record our childhood: my mom would be saying "I do NOT want a picture right now", one of us would be poking at her, my brothers would be making totally dorky faces, and one of us is inevitably blinking or giving someone bunnyears. Cue: my dad behind the camera, getting frustrated because his children collectively look like a disheveled menace to society.

That said, all of my favorite memories are these epic stories that have now become legend (and this is very much the same for my mother's family, but

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alt My experience with a sibling is as the oldest of two. My brother, however, is six years younger than me. So sibling issues weren’t much of a thing for us. We never overlapped at the same school. When I left for college, he was finishing sixth grade. The most annoyed I remember ever getting at him was when I was a sophomore in college and my friends invited my eighth grade brother to tag along with us to hang out on an occasional evening. My brother has always been cooler than me, even as a middle schooler.

My girls, however, are twins, which is quite different from my childhood experience. They not only have someone that is exactly their age, they have a sister, which is a relationship I never had and quite frankly, as a parent, one that I fear. In my experience with friends who have sisters, it can be a tricky relationship. I watched friends with sisters love their sisters hard and hate their sisters even harder. It was confusing for me, as an outsider. As a teacher, I’ve always been really good navigating boy drama. He hit me, I hit him back, we’re

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As I've mentioned here in the past, my wife and I are preparing for the arrival of our second child. Our first, 22-month-old Sadie, has watched on with half unbridled curiosity, half cynical enthusiasm for what is about to come. Insofar as a two-year old can comprehend the gravity and nature of what's growing in mama's belly (lord knows I barely can), Sadie's been quite the stoic accepter of inevitability.

My wife and I have gone through just about every idea possible to help get Sadie prepped for our impending arrival, so in the interest of providing an easy-to-follow guide that's not in a million pieces, I've attempted to shed light on the key elements of the toddler preparation plan. What will follow after baby no. 2's birth, who knows, but at least we can say that we did just about everything under the sun to get little Sadie ready to welcome her little sibling home with open arms (and not a smack to the face).

  • Talk about it early, talk about it often. Your toddler may not want to talk about it all the time, but instigate conversation with her as a means to getting feelings out in the

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alt "It's time Nicole!", my husband said truly pleading with me. I told him one more week, just like I did the week before...and the week before that. My husband so politely reminded me that the doctor said we should have done this weeks ago. An accurate reminder, yes, but it didn't mean I wanted to listen to him. Now let's be honest, I listen to our pediatrician about EVERYTHING. I trust her implicitly. However, there was just something about being told our baby Grace needed to sleep in her own room that I wasn't quite ready to accept.

If I had it my way, she would stay in our room until she was ready to head off to college. At which point I would naturally move to whatever city she decided to attend college. That's normal... right?

So in talking about proximity to our child, our nursery is right next to our room. A whopping 20 feet away. So while my husband thought 20 feet was 20 feet (how silly of him), my interpretation of that 20 feet was closer to the distance between San Francisco and Australia. So, as is expected in any relationship, we needed to compromise

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Everyone reads to their kids. It's one of the first things we, as parents, do to introduce our children to the world around them. The stories are creative, they're fun, they're colorful and engaging, and they're nostalgic. In some cases they remind us of what our parents read to us. In others, they're books written in the last few years that speak to the 30-something parent.

But whatever you read, the most important thing is that you read. Speak to your kids through books, tell them stories, get their imaginations running, and have a boatload of fun.

We polled some Mimo Parents for their favorite bedtime reads, and the responses we got back were pretty awesome. Notably, each had their favorite books, but those often didn't coincide with what their little ones preferred. So here's the list of the best of the best, as told from Mimo Parents and their kids alike.

Our Mimo Parents' most awesome books to read:

Ana Zamost, a Mimo Contributing Parent, says that "early on, they couldn't get enough of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Goodnight, Gorilla." Now that they're older (Ana has twin girls, who are almost 3 years old), "Dragons Love Tacos, The

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alt Wailing, cranky, ready to explode at the slightest provocation—your newborn or you before your first dose of coffee? Maybe the little one kept you up all night and you’re struggling to get through the morning, or, if you’re anything like us at Mimo, coffee is simply a critical part of daily life. But how do you deal with those coffee cravings and still get the quality sleep you need to care for a little (lovable) monster full of cravings of her own?

Most coffee-drinkers, and procrastinators, can attest to the power of late-night coffee in pulling an all-nighter. But you may be surprised by the powerful lingering effects of an afternoon cup of joe. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State College of Medicine found that a “moderate dose” of caffeine even six hours before bedtime can cause significant disturbances in the quality of your sleep. And coffee aficionados aren’t exactly known for enjoying in moderation. Parents can use all the quality sleep they can get, so it’s a good idea to enjoy your big morning coffee, but then cut off consumption post-lunch.

The real struggle for new parents lies in how caffeine cravings

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