Monday, May 11, 2015

How I Should've Prepared Myself for my Four Little Boys

January 20th, 2011 this oldest of three girls was informed that in a few months her first-born would be a boy! I'm pretty sure the first thing I asked was, "What am I going to do with a boy??" I only know how to play with girls. You know, dress up, Barbies, dolls, play house.... What do boys play with? Dirt? {actually, yes} Someone should've compiled this list for me.

  1. Hide sticks and rocks in various nooks and crannies in your home. Or keys into random cracks. You know, so you can figure out all the hiding spots first and know where they'll be. Get ahead of the game.
  2. Play a recording of loud yelling/talking/crying all day long. Boys will be loud. My dad's side of the family tends to be extra loud. One of my boys seems to have inherited the "talk-very-loud" gene. Like dude, I get it. You're 3 inches from my face. You don't need to talk that loud.
  3. Have someone turn it off at random. Get worried. Yeah. you'll probably find someone drawn all over, or your bedroom completely white from baby powder, or butt cream smeared on the wall. Just to give a few examples. I won't tell you how I got those specific ideas.
  4. Hide sandwich crusts in seat cushions/under the seats/smashed in the carpet of your minivan. yes, your minivan. First of all, minivans happen. Second of all, we eat too many meals in our van. Third of all, most kids don't like crusts. You may even look back at your two year old munching on an old crusty crust he found and not know how old it is. Yum.
  5. Worry about the color or every drinking vessel given to you. Cry if someone gives you blue instead of green. Heaven forbid you forget which child likes what color.
  6. Fill your cupboards with only snacks. Finish your plate. Put it in the sink. Ask mom for a snack..... seems legit.
  7. Keep an eye out for big machines. You know, diggers, and things that push dirt all around. My boys know where they all are and always let out an "OOOOOOooooohhhhhhh!" when they see one.
  8. Learn their names. "Mommy, silly, that's a backhoe, not an excavator!"
  9. Get 100+ matchbox cars and dump them all on the floor. Or legos. Or both. Gives you an extra challenge, right. Obstacle course in your own home!
  10. Wait until the very last minute to use the bathroom, but make sure you're blindfolded so you can't find the toilet as easy. It's always going to smell like pee. Just give up on trying. Put the energy into something more constructive. Like eating oreos while brushing your teeth.
  11. Clean your toilet just before explosive bodily functions. Happens every time. Without fail. Every. Time.
  12. Visit a nudist colony. Might as well. A boy's natural state is naked. I had to explain to my three year old today that he had to wear something in the kiddie pool in case someone was walking down the road.
  13. Every time someone releases a bodily function, laugh. Every. Time. One of my boys was no older than seven months when he had his first tooting contest with his brother. He won.
  14. Forget to eat until 1 PM. Let's see, it's 1:35 right now. All I've had to eat was the peanut butter I licked off my lips from the kiss my son gave me before nap. You'd think you'd lose weight faster that way, but somehow it doesn't happen like that.
  15. When you do eat, make sure to finish within 2.5 minutes. "Hey look, Mom just sat down to eat, I'll poop for 15 minutes, while the baby cries, and you drop something breakable."
  16. Learn to share all the best food from your plate. They're like vultures.
  17. Bring an audience to the bathroom. No son, I do not need help wiping. Thank you for the one square of toilet paper though.
  18. Get a dog and a cat {because it's going to happen eventually} and brush their fur. Disperse said hair all over the house. Run around the house super fast to blow the hair around into even better hiding places to be sure it's literally. Every. Where. Gotta have something to keep me busy. Wouldn't want to get bored.
  19. Pee on the sheets the day after you change them. That's why I changed them, right?
  20. Try to gently place a 10+ pound fragile sack of flour into a tall garbage can without dropping it. Good luck getting the sleeping baby into his crib if you can't do that.
  21. For added practice {you can never be too prepared} try two sacks. One word: Twins.

How should you have prepped?

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Survive the First 6 Months With Twins

I feel like I should be reading this article for advice, but guess what! My boys are turned 7 months this week! And we're all still alive! So I'll tell you how.

  1. Blink. Seriously. Weren't we just in the hospital? {Well, technically yes, but that's totally unrelated.} Sometimes {actually most times} the nights feel so long because you're awake more than asleep, but before you know it, you're months down the road. I hate when people tell me this, but enjoy it. If it's not enjoyable, such as being awake all night or changing 18 million diapers, isn't it better to do it happily than to be a crank about it? You still gotta do it either way.
  2. Ask for/Accept Help. You know how everyone says, "If you need anything, let me know." I'd always respond, "I'm writing that down!" You will need help. Unless you're super-mommy. And I've been called super-mommy, but I still needed help. For the third trimester of my twin pregnancy my doctor told me to do as little as possible. My husband is a super worry-wart sometimes and he basically put me on bedrest. I sat on the couch with my feet up all day. My 15 year old sister came and stayed with us to help with my boys and take care of me. That was definitely a big help. My mom came also for the first three weeks. Basically all I did for that time was nurse, bottle-feed, pump, and change diapers. I definitely needed the extra hands. My sister stayed with us until the twins were four months old. By that time, everything was manageable. My husband would come home, and the house would look like ground zero of some natural disaster, but all four boys were fed and happy. {Not necessarily clean, but hey, they're boys.} What helped me was this: My oldest was potty trained. He could take care of most things that came up if I was tied down {nursing}. My second was potty training, but still in diapers for when I was unavailable to just take him. The twins didn't really have emergencies. They just got hungry or uncomfortable. If I was occupied with the older boys and they were coming up on their two hour feeding cycle, they weren't starving. Just hungry. They just ate two hours ago. They could wait a few minutes. There weren't any emergencies. And nap time became my reward. If I could get all four to sleep at the same time, I won. Even if it was just for a half hour.
  3. You aren't a failure if you quit nursing! I wanted to be the crunchy mom who nursed her twins for 18 months and impressed all the other moms. My milk was best and nothing else could compare! Yeah well, after my help left, it became harder to do it. I just needed a break. It was too draining to do it. I wasn't eating enough calories, {who's got time to eat anyways!?} wasn't drinking enough water, {seriously, no time} one of the boys had food sensitivities, {I couldn't have eggs, oats, or coconut} and I had to chase the older ones around.  The problem was, one of my twins couldn't have store bought formula. It made him miserable. The other twin couldn't have eggs
  4. Schedule. I know, everyone says that. Really though. Especially in the middle of the night. I remember I'd wake up from one baby crying to eat. Then think, the other one is sleeping, so I'll just let him sleep. I'd lay down, and close my eyes. Ahh.... The other one would start. So what could've taken 20 minutes {to nurse both at the same time} ended up taking an hour. Just to wake up again to the first baby in another hour. Just wake the second one. You'll regret not doing it. At least for the first few weeks. When they get to about four months I started letting the other one sleep, and it worked some of the time, but not at first, so please, for your own sanity just wake him if the other one wakes! Now that mine are six months we've settled into a daily schedule. I know every family is different, but I like to see examples of other family's schedule.
 They wake up between 6-7. {yay me} I won't give them bottles before 7. If they're hungry, I nurse them before 7.
7 AM - Bottles
8 AM - Big boys eat breakfast {usually something easy like yogurt and fruit}
             Get everyone dressed
9 AM - Bottles
             Babies' first nap
             Shower for me while big boys play or watch a movie
10 AM - Snack time
               Play outside if it's nice/work on project
              Housework if the children permit
11:30- 12ish - Bottles when they wake up
12 PM - Lunch
              Walk around the block with all four if it's nice
1 PM - Nap time for big boys
            Exercise {if I find ambition}
2 PM - Bottles
            Babies' second naps
            Drool on myself I can't write that!
3 PM - Big boys wake up
            Snack time {when they both wake up}
3- 4 PM Babies wake up
4 PM - Bottles
            Try to look like I've been constructive all day and start dinner
4:30 - See if husband had any ideas for dinner
4:31 - Ask husband to bring home dinner
5 PM - Husband comes home and all is right with the world
6 PM - Bottles
7 PM - Babies' dinner
8 PM - Bottles
            Bed time for all boys under 4 ft.

{Nightly schedule activities vary depending on the night}
Keep in mind that this schedule didn't get settled until around 6 months. None of my babies were in a good schedule until around 6 months.