Sunday, August 30, 2015

The New Routine

I was reading back through some old blog posts and I came across this post about our daily routine when the twins were Juliet's age. I laughed out loud at how different life is now, and how much crazy has come into our lives. Here's a little look at what I'm talking about, a peek into our average every-day kind of a day:

7 AM - twins wake up, climb on top of the dresser, pull out every article of clothing in any drawer in their room, empty the trash can and laundry basket, undress themselves and attempt to re-dress themselves in swimming suits and rain boots, and spread lotion all over every available surface
7:15 - I finally realize they are awake and walk in to find what appears to be the aftermath of Hurricane Charlie and Caroline
7:16 - rush to the potty and sing "The Wheels on the Bus" for what already feels like the 57th time that day
7:20 - go rescue Juliet from her crib moments before Charlie crashes in on top of her, and remind myself that I need to put a child-proof door knob cover on her door
7:30 - make oatmeal and toast for the twins, strap them in their seats with their milk, breakfast, and "treats" (which are actually vitamins. I've conned them into thinking they are a treat.), and then sit down to feed Juliet
7:45 - clean up the kitchen which was spotless before breakfast and is somehow now coated in a layer of oatmeal, and grab myself something to eat, also intermittently interfering in Charlie's attempts to lay on top of Juliet (confession - sometimes I let him do it if it doesn't appear to be bothering her. I have to pick my battles)
8:00 - put Juliet back in bed. Brush kids teeth (this involves me pinning them to the ground and holding their head in-between my knees. Caroline's tears usually make a brief appearance.), do hair, use the potty again, and get dressed for the day. Sounds simple, but it takes a certain amount of finesse to get Caroline to allow me to touch her hair and get it done in the brief moments of light that Charlie's obsession with flipping the bathroom lights on and off allows me. Also taking care to keep the water faucet pointed toward "cold" so that Charlie doesn't burn himself when he gets bored with the lights and moves to turning the water on and off
8:15 - mop up the bathroom counters and floors from all of the water that somehow made its way out of the sink and onto everything else
8:20 - go into my bedroom and attempt to get dressed. If I'm super lucky, I might get to use the bathroom privately, and might get a bonus of brushing my teeth, putting my contacts in, or maybe even putting on makeup (ha! not likely). Meanwhile, my room now looks like it too was hit by Hurricane Char and Care.
8:30 - head down in the basement, our most kid-proof area in the house, and play. We work on puzzles, peg boards, and mega blocks. We play pretend with dolls and little people and throw balls at each other. The kids climb over the back of the couch and play peek-a-boo with each other. At some point I go and get Juju, feed her, and add her to the madness.
Noon - finally lunch time. Head upstairs, and I make one of three meals: grilled cheese, cheese quesadilla, or macaroni and cheese (somebody loves cheese a little too much..) Eat, potty, and then the most glorious time of all is here.
1 PM - Nap time!! Hallelujah. Caroline goes in her bed in her room. Charlie goes in Juliet's crib. Juliet goes in the pack n play in my room. Put them all down then sit in the hallway watching the monitors like a hawk. Go put Charlie back in the crib at least 4 times. Take Caroline to the potty once or twice more. Then finally, heaven-sent silence. If I'm lucky I get 2.5 hours of beautiful wonderful naptime. Enter the debate: nap? Clean up after hurricanes? Work on a project? Watch TV? The possibilities are endless, and yet somehow I find myself spending at least 15 of those precious naptime minutes sitting in the bathroom scrolling through my Facebook news feed. So lame.
3:30 - twins wake up from nap. Same sequence occurs as when they wake up in the morning, only this time they are in two separate rooms so Juilet's room now gets the hurricane treatment as well. I swear they get out of bed silently and destroy without making a peep.
4:00 - try to start some kind of a dinner, all while protecting Juju from her siblings and protecting the twins from hurting themselves. Charlie inevitably bring his bike over to the stove and tries to use it as a stool to get up and help me cook. Caroline digs into the drawer and pulls out two oven mitts and tries to open the hot oven saying "help you mommy!". I constantly remind myself to keep the knives away from the edges of the countertops, in the sink, or basically anywhere except for the top of the refrigerator.
5:30 - dinner. Convince the twins that they can have a "treat" (treat this time meaning applesauce, yogurt, or Almonds..) if they finish their dinner. Charlie finishes first every single time and gets his treat. Caroline cries that she doesn't get her treat yet, then finally after many tears decides it worth eating her dinner for.
6:30 - twins bath, brush teeth, potty, go on horsey rides, read scriptures, say prayers, tickle their guts out and then sing lots and lots of songs. And read lots of stories. And then some more.
7:00 - lights out, door shut, and hope they stay in bed. Sit by the door and listen to their conversations.
Charlie - Gramma!
Caroline - No! No gramma. Night night.
Char - Outside!
Care - No! No outside. Night night.
Char - Jumping jellybean!
Care - No! No jumping jellybean. Night night.
She loves her sleep, and she also loves telling Charlie no.
7:30 - Juliet bath (on the good days), feed her, and put her in bed.
And then party because all 3 kids are in bed and asleep before 8:00. Do some laundry, sleep, and repeat. That's how we roll.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Turning Two

I'm in denial. I have been for quite some time, actually. As of Monday, my babies are two. A little over two years ago I was a whale. I was so swollen I could barely fit flip flops on my feet. I turned heads everywhere I went. I slept in a chair, surrounded by 20+ pillows. I ate a watermelon a day (seriously. I lived on watermelon). And then at 6:22 and 6:28 PM on August 10, my life changed forever.

Suddenly it wasn't about me anymore. I didn't matter how swollen or uncomfortable I was, or how often I had to pee. I was consumed with love for two little tiny humans, and I spent every waking moment (which was about 23 1/2 hours per day for the first 5 weeks) worried about whether they had enough to eat, were warm enough, and had a clean diaper.

And now I still worry about them constantly. Just about different things. I worry about them breaking every bone in their tiny bodies when they fly kamikaze off of the couch and onto the floor. I worry about them being nice to other kids and others being nice to them. I worry about them getting cavities and eating a balanced diet. And every day I love them in a whole new way. Every day they make me laugh and burst with pride and want to pull my hair out (usually all within a matter of 4 minutes).

The last few months have been full of changes for my little people. Milestones. Transition to toddler beds. Potty training at 20 and 23 months. Moving from clothing sizes that end in "months" to ones that end in "T". Talking up a storm and communicating their emotions so well. They've handled the transitions like champs. Yet another sign that they are growing up. And as exciting as it is to see them grow and change and learn, it's also heart wrenching because I just want them to stay little forever.

Potty Training Tales: What They Don't Tell You

If I've talked about potty training too much lately it's because I've basically been consumed by it for the last 4 months. But now, I am proud to say that I only have 1 child in diapers. Woot woot! Prior to starting the toilet training process, I was terrified. I'd heard horror stories of walls, clothes, floors and hands covered in pee and other unpleasant bodily excretions. Like I said, absolutely frightening.

So I approached the potty training process with caution and solely out of desperation to stop the poop-flinging fiascos that I spoke of in my last post.

But as I started potty training, I was surprised by my experience. I expected disaster: screaming, crying and lots of cleaning. And there was some of that. But what I noticed most was excitement. Pride and satisfaction. Nobody told me how FUN potty training could be! That's right, I just used the words "fun" and "potty training" in the same sentence. Seeing those big smiles and proud faces when they were successful.. now that is rewarding. Singing happy songs and clapping and handing out treats. Hearing their cute tiny voices call out "potty!" when they're in their beds because they know it will get them out. All in all I'd say our experience with potty training was really positive!

And yet there is another thing they don't tell you about potty training. At first it's harder. You get all excited thinking you don't have to change diapers anymore, which IS really exciting. But then you realize that leaving the house is nearly impossible. You have to time it so that you leave immediately after they "go" and even then you pack extra undies and pants just in case. You carry a folding potty with you everywhere you go just in case. And then there are the times that they forget to tell you they need to go and they have an accident. So you make a habit of putting them on the potty every hour to try to minimize those accidents. And then you realize that you are sitting reading books to kids on the potty for what feels like half of every day, whereas a diaper change only takes 37 seconds.

But that hard phase doesn't last too long. A few months maybe. And then life is good. Much cleaner. And it costs WAY less! And immediately after you high-five yourself for successfully teaching your child to use the potty, you find yourself in tears over the fact that they are growing up much too quickly.