Okay, so I know that in a recent post I delighted in the wonders of staying at home, but I feel I need to talk a little…no, sing the praises of getting out too. I don’t really mean the friggin’ mall, or the grocery store, or even a walk for that matter. What I’m talking about is time with friends. The ones that love your children. Really. Not to say that everybody you know doesn’t love your children but, let’s face it, there are some people out there that just aren’t “kid people”. You know them, you love them, but when you try to put a kid in their arms they stiff up like the walking dead. I used to be one of those people. Not so entranced by children. Different story now but I can remember when I was pregnant and people would hold their babies in my face like; “Oh look aren’t they cute! This is what yours are going to look like when they come out!”. I would just tilt my head, look the parent in the eye, and say: “Really? Thank you. Because I was worried for a second there that I was going to be giving birth to puppies.” Oh, hormones.
Anyway, I’ve gotten a little off-track.
Spending time at a friend’s house is great. We have a weekly dinner get-together with a group of friends that I always look forward to. Not just because I thoroughly enjoy these people and their company, but also because they also love mine and the babies’….aaaaannd it’s a nice break. There. I said it.
I get to socialize while the twins are lovingly passed around from one “aunty” or “uncle” to the next and I can still be right there if they need to eat or be changed. It’s great for the twins because they get to interact with other faces besides mine and it’s great for me because I get a little break without having to arrange a babysitter. It’s a new thing I will call Semi-Babysitting…or Mommy Playdates. Whatever I call it, it works.
So I woke up this morning and I couldn’t remember whether or not I had to get up in the middle of the night to soothe Jackson back to sleep. I got a little excited thinking that my diligence over the last three nights has paid off but I asked Rob just to make sure. Yes! I actually did get a decent night’s sleep. Here’s what I did for three nights in a row:
I put Georgia in the other room for initial bedtime so Jackson wouldn’t wake her up by screaming or crawling on her face. I put Jackson in the crib and rubbed his back. When he sat up, I kissed his little head and left the room. He cried. For ten minutes. Then I went back in the room. As soon as I came in he knew the drill (by the second night) and laid down for me to rub his back. This happened about two more times until the back rubbing finally put him to sleep. When he would wake up periodically throughout the night, I would not take him out of the damn crib! To all non-parents out there; easier said than done. The first two nights I had to go in about every two to three hours but he was starting to catch on and falling back to sleep easier. So night three I only had to soothe him once and then I got to sleep in my bed with my husband, uninterrupted. Epic.
This all may seem a little boring for non-parents out there but I just had to share something that worked with other parents. That’s part of the reason I started this blog in the first place…that and, just like millions of other bloggers, I apparently like to see myself talk.
So. For parents and non-parents alike:
Go The **** to Sleep as narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
Today I made an executive decision and the twins and I stayed in today. I know, I threw caution to the wind and didn’t even ask Georgia or Jackson how they felt about it. I have a feeling they really enjoyed it though.
Lately I have kind of prided myself on the fact that we make sure to get out a lot, but mama needed a break dammit! It was like a beautiful dream. We woke up and cuddled in bed for a bit and then I thought I would attempt a routine. It was awesome. Seriously, from breakfast to playtime to nursing to nap…and then repeat. It was just what I needed to remind me that I am, in fact, a good mom.
For all those busy stay at home moms out there; try staying at home for a day. I know it sounds crazy but it does wonders for you and your babies. They get to relax and be car-seat free for a day and you get to just soak up their precious little faces.
Also, they don’t mind that you aren’t wearing make-up, smell a little,or that your hair looks like Don King’s.
So I’m pretty sure I had my first in a presumably long line of mommy meltdowns yesterday. I’m guessing it was pretty mild but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t disturbing.
I was driving with the twins to a weekly family dinner(which I look so forward to)when I felt crying coming on. Okay so, I’m not a crier. I don’t cry at hallmark commercials, when my feelings are hurt, or old yeller…although I did shed a little tear when MIchael Jackson died. Anyway, I found the crying thing strange; the kids were sleeping in their carseats(not screaming)and nothing bad had happened earlier that day. So I start to analyze the situation. Why am I crying? Well, when you are already crying and then start thinking of more reasons for crying….it just makes more crying….which equals breakdown.
Part of me is almost proud that I have made it 8 1/2 months without having one of these, and the other half of me is doing damage control. The conclusion?
1. I am exhausted and need to commit to teaching Jackson to sleep through the night.
2. I need to not overwhelm myself with too many side projects.
3. I need to ask for help when, ultimately, I do end up overwhelming myself.
4. I get to remember that I have two beautiful babies. So when they’re grown up billionaires and I’m sitting in the mansion they bought for us and playing parcheesi with the president, it’ll all be worth it.
Who am I kidding?
I don’t even know how to play parcheesi.
1. Occupy twins in a safe place. Swords and matches only if supervised.
2. Fill bathtub with a couple inches of warm water.
3. Try not to repeat “hot water burn baby” line from movie Rainman over and over in your head.
4. Check on babies. Remove unidentified stale floor-food from baby’s mouth.
5. Lay out two pairs of pajamas and two clean diapers in nursery.
6. Put two baby towels in bathroom near bathtub.
7. Announce “It’s bath time, yaaaaaaaaayyy….!!”. Flapping arms crazily is optional.
8. Get babies and one toy, and carry them both into the bathroom. Yes at the same time you hard-body, you.
9. Occupy least fussy baby with toy.
10. Undress second baby and place in tub keeping one arm around midsection at all times.
11. Look at first baby with toy and make googly faces.
12. Squirt baby shampoo on baby two’s head and lather all over head and body.
13. Make a bubble mohawk for baby two, yourself, baby one, and anybody else that wants one.
14. Take baby two out of tub and place on your already soaked lap.
15. Place towel on/around clean baby and set on floor.
16. Gently pry toy from baby one’s death-grip and give to clean baby.
17. Repeat steps 12 through 15 for baby one.
18. Scoop both babies up and carry into nursery for diapering and pajama-ing. Don’t slip Turbo, take your time!
19. Nuzzle clean babies. Take a big whiff, fresh baby smell is awesome.
Tonight was our one year wedding anniversary and we called in the troupes to watch the twins so we could go out. I love that we have such a great group of friends (that are family to us) that not only adore the twins but tolerate Rob and I as well.
When we first discovered we were having twins I read, heard, and was advised that we would need a lot of help. Being the stubborn “I can do it all by myself” person that I am, I figured I wouldn’t really need the help. “Those people are weaklings” I thought to myself but soon realized there is some weight to that advice. I could not do this without the love and support of my family and friends. I quickly learned to swallow my pride and not only accept the help of those around me, but ask for it as well.
Tonight it took a team of four amazing people to watch Jackson and Georgia for six-and-a-half hours…and they did it with love. To all those friends and family of parents with twins out there; thank you, and keep up the good work. To Ellie, Emily, Jasmyn, and Chris; you enrich my children’s lives on a regular basis and we can’t thank you enough for being part of our “village”.
Rob’s sister brought over a relic from his childhood the other day; a ceramic Jesus wall hanging. He said it used to hang in his bedroom when he was a kid and thought it might be nice to put it in the twins’ nursery. “How sweet.” I thought, and found a nice little spot for it. Over the last couple of days I have had a chance to really examine it while I’ve been nursing, changing, or playing with the babies and something just seemed different about it. Then I realized what it is: Jesus is standing on a potato. How wonderful and unique is it that we have Jesus on a potato in the nursery! I know that Jesus loves me and now I know that he loves potatoes too. I swear that’s what it looks like, but you can judge for yourself.