Sunday, October 14, 2018

The long and short of it - a series of thoughts #4kids3andunder

They say the days are long, but the years are short. I have definitely found that to be the case. I am pretty sure I just had my first baby and yet, here I am with 4 kids! At the same time, the minutia of the every-day-ness of the diapers and toddlers meals and repeated bottles can feel endless. I truly love being a mom, and at the same time, I am just as bugged as I expected by parts of this early kid stage. I find it reassuring to know that you can be honest about what you don't love, that there can be huge parts of this that you aren't a fan of, but that you can still love being a parent, still find joy in this all.

Life has settled into a wonderful routine. I work Tuesdays & Thursdays and am home with the kids Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Knowing myself, I made sure to make plans for the days I'm home with all the kids. I am social and get more tired when just home with all the kids alone but if people are around both of those things go away! Mondays my Dad comes to visit, Wednesdays there's a church group at my house and Fridays I host mom's groups. It's wonderful. Then each of those afternoons I've hired my cousin as a Mothers Helper - she does everything from babies to toddlers, to dishes and laundry. It's amazing. Some days I nap, some days I work a bit, some days I take the toddlers out to the park with a friend and leave the babies with her, other days I take the babies out to visit twin moms or for appointments and leave her with the toddlers. It's a perfect scenario. It helps that Naomy is amazing. The days I work I leave the kids home with our Nanny, an amazing woman named Leanne who used to be my Mom's companion and now engages my kids in amazing ways. When I left this morning they were having a dance party in the living room, twins and all.

Grandpa Jory and the girls reading books

Our wonderful mothers-helper (my cousin Nay) 'working' with Bailey

Bailey enjoyed pushing our Nanny, Leanne's, dog Sadie around in the doll stroller

The quad stroller!

Parenting 4 kids is better than I feared and much better than we were warned. When people would hear that we were having twins as babies 3 & 4, mostly they would say something about how hard it would be or 'better you than me" type comments (so uplifting). So far, it's pretty great. Now, ask me again when the twins are crawling or running in opposite directions but for now, it's not worse. It's certainly not worse than just having a 3. It's true that it brings its own limitations that wouldn't be there with 3 kids (ie I can not go to Costco alone with 4 kids since I can't fit all 4 in a stroller AND get groceries, but with 3 I could wear one and put the toddlers in the kart - but honestly who wants to go on their own to Costco with 4 kids?), but the level of insanity or crazy really isn't that bad.

That being said there are some laughable (or tear-inducing) moments - where everything goes wrong. The days where everyone poops through an outfit (except for hopefully Paul and I), where naps are shorts and night wakings are long, and everyone is irritable. But then the perfect moments happen where kids nap wonderfully and wake up snuggly and sweet, where babies coo and giggle at their siblings and toddlers thrive in the role of entertainer, and us parents are in love and happy and rocking the systems in our home. There are also a thousand in between days


Our house is divided into pairs - the parents, the toddlers, the twins. Some people make sure never to refer to their twins as "the twins" to give them an individual identity, but in our home, that's not really a thing. They are a pair, as much as Avie and Bailey are a pair, as much as Paul and I are a pair. To me, it's a blessing, another place to belong, always a buddy. We, of course, try for individual time with each of the kids (and each other) - Charlotte and I have cuddles each morning since she wakes earlier than Colton and the others, Avie often gets to stay up late with us or run an errand with one of us ending in a date someplace, Bailey wakes up from naps earlier than Avie so we get some good snuggles in with her and often run a quick errand with her and Colton is the best to get giggling - we often have to stop and laugh with him, and lastly, Paul and I are prioritizing times together after the kids are in bed (and housework and work prep are done) to talk and watch a favorite show - to connect. We are a unit of 6 made up of pairs and groupings; 4 girls, 2 boys. 2 adults, 4 kids. 3 pairs.

Gigi with all 4 kids!

Auntie Jenna and Bailey

Nana and Papa with the twins

The twins are doing so well - They started sleeping through the night by about 9 weeks. Charlotte usually would wake up around 5 but would happily go back to sleep in my arms until 8. From 12 weeks on they have been consistently in bed by 9pm, and sleeping roughly till 7 or 8. We do the morning feed at 8am (earlier if they need it, but they are usually set for 8). As of the last 2 weeks though Charlotte has started sleeping a bit longer on her own, often making it to 7 or 8 in the crib with Colty! Woot. I still enjoy the days she ends up in bed with me, and the days she doesn't. They eat usually 5 times a day, 7 ounces each feed. They are 5 and a half months old. They just moved into 3-6 month clothes. Char can sit well in a Bumbo seat (which Bailey LOVES cause then she gets to sit in front of her and play with her, it's so sweet), but Colty is too floppy. When you pick him up he is relaxed in your arms, like a sack of flour or something. Char is always engaged, holding herself up. We feed them together in the Twin Z pillow, with bottles propped up. Usually one of us is right there with them for when they flail their bottles out but with 4 kids and a house to run, I'm often prepping food or doing dishes while they eat. They are finally big enough to sit in real stroller seats, though more often than not they are still in their bucket seats since it's so easy to transfer them in and out of the car that way! 

I couldn't be more thankful to have twins as my last pregnancy, to round out the family. Having two babies (when you already have a bunch) is SO FUN. I think twins are way harder when it's your first kid/kids but when it's already crazy I would say it's a delight. Now they don't move much yet, so talk to me when they can crawl, but in the meantime it's such a lot of fun and I thank God regularly for the gift of these two sweet babes.

And there we have it - my stream of consciousness of kid/family thoughts and a big dump of photos; a little glimpse into our crazy and awesome world.


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