Thursday, July 31, 2014

Life Lately with the Boys

Well, I am alive...these past 6 weeks have been intense.  I may or may not have showered for days at at time, can't recall if I ate anything by the time 5 o'clock rolls around, and not bother getting dressed most of the time, but I am somehow surviving this crazy phase in our lives. 

Having the twins plus a 2 year old is an adjustment that I can't even describe.   I actually don't think we'll ever be well adjusted...maybe instead, we'll just start to get used to this crazy life?  Before the twins were born and I was uncomfortably pregnant, I knew that things were only going to get harder once they were here....and I was right.

I was recalling one particularly difficult morning for Trey a couple weeks ago when he got home from work, and it was so intense I just had to write it down, even though it took me a couple weeks to do it!  In my constant hazy brain state, I will surely block out most of the day-to-day and only remember small lovely blips, (like this rare photo of everyone showered and dressed) which I strongly believe is the only reason people choose to have more children. :)

Maybe, just maybe, I will look back at this with a sense of triumph and accomplishment one day and be able to say I SURVIVED, and laugh at the memory.  Maybe.

Here's a standard couple hours of that day I was recounting to Trey...I happened to have no help this particular day, which is unusual for me!

DISCLOSURE.  If you are the type of person offended by the sometimes gross realities of having a newborn, I would stop reading here. :)

Here it goes....

6:30am- Alarm goes off, I hit snooze.

6:45am- Babies are both stirring so I know I need to get up this time. Warm up milk from the 3am feeding.  Diaper change Beau.  Pump and feed Beau simultaneously.
6:55am- Grant has been stirring, and is now starting to cry. I try to hold Beau's bottle with one had while trying to give Grant a pacifier with the other hand.   
7am- Beau starts to grunt and I suddenly feel a strong vibration on my leg.  I sit him up to check him and find he has pooped all over himself and my lap.  
7:01am- I grab the nearest burp cloth and stick it between me and Beau to sop up the mess while I try to get him to drink the last couple drops before I need to change him again.
7:20am- Beau's finished with his bottle.  I carefully carry him to the changing table to put on a clean diaper.  When I take the diaper off he proceeds to pee and I use ninja reflexes to block the stream with my hand.  It still manages to soak the changing pad cover, which I lay a blanket over for the time being.
7:28am- I put Beau back in the Rock-n-Play and pick up Grant for a diaper change.  As I'm changing Grant, I hear Beau let one rip. Again??  He's going to have to wait.
7:30am- Start feeding Grant 
7:32am- As I'm feeding Grant, Beau spits up all over himself.  I try to lean over and wipe his face with my free hand.  He isn't happy.
7:34am- Grant gulps down one ounce extremely fast so I try to burp him but get nothing.
7:35am- I hear Ward wake up.  Hopefully he will stay put until I can finish up with the twins.
7:55am- After that 1st ounce, Grant has really slowed down so still trying to burp him.  Finally, I get one!  Ward is in his room screaming, "MaaaaMaaaa, wheyre aghhh you?  Come heee-eer!"  My anxiety level is rising.
8:00am- Grant is pretty much done with his bottle.  I can't get him to burp at the end, but since he had a large one earlier I give up and put him back in his Rock n Play.
8:02am- I pick up Beau and change his diaper one more time.  I hear Grant spit up, so I put Beau back and clean Grant off.  Ward is still yelling for me.
8:10am- I walk in to Ward's room and he is reading in his crib.  I coax him to get up.  He won't. I tell him that if he does not get up, I will leave.  He still refuses. NO. NO, NO!
8:12am- I leave Ward in his room to his dismay and go back to our bathroom to wash the bottles and pump equipment, and finally brush my teeth.  Ward starts throwing a fit.
8:18am- I go back to get Ward up.  He still says no.  This time I get him up anyway kicking and screaming.  I change Ward's diaper but don't bother getting him dressed yet.
8:20am- I manage to get Ward downstairs and hand him a cup of milk.  He throws the milk on the floor, crying because he wants a "special drink".  I tell him we only have milk. He sobs.
8:25am- I run upstairs to get Beau and bring him downstairs, plug in his apnea monitor
8:27am- Back upstairs to get Grant and bring him down too with his monitor as well.
8:35am- I finally get Ward in his chair to eat some cereal.  He is hungry and eats everything (probably b/c he refused dinner last night).   He then entertains me with some singing.
8:37am- Grant projectile spits up and starts wailing...(that's what I get for assuming he was ok without a burp).  I get up to change his outfit since he is now soaked.  I burp him this time.
8:55am- Ward is done with his breakfast and now wants to watch Barney.  I tell him we'll watch it later and distract him by asking him to stack up some diapers for me.  He yells, "BARNEEEEYYY!" multiple times, but I stand strong not to turn it on.....yet.
9:15am- Beau is acting a bit fussy so I give him a pacifier and turn on the vibration on his bouncy seat.
9:16am- Grant is also fussy and I hear him grunt and pass some major gas.  I check him and he needs a diaper change.
9:17am- I change Grant's diaper.  As soon as the new one is on, he releases an enormous poop. Again.
9:18am- I change Grant's diaper. Again.  The changing pad is completely soiled so that comes off too.  I make a mental note to remember to change the changing pad upstairs too, even though I know I'll forget.
9:19am- While my back is turned I hear Ward say, "Mama, what is Ward doin?" (He often talks in the third person).  I turn around and he has Peter Panned himself on top of the Chesterfield Sofa arm, standing up balancing onto the adjacent floor lamp.
9:20am- I quickly drop Grant in his bouncy chair and run over to Ward and remind him we don't stand on the furniture.  He proceeds to jump off the sofa, squealing with delight.
9:21am- In order to distract Ward, I ask him to help me pick up some of the burp cloths and put them in the laundry basket.  
9:22am- Thinking I may have a moment to spare, I walk into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee.  I pass the bathroom on the way, and find Ward "throwing away" a burp cloth in the potty.  
9:23am- I retrieve the burp cloth (gross!) and remind Ward that
9:24am- The laundry basket is already full so I throw in a load into the washing machine and make my coffee.
9:25am- Babies are both crying. It's ALREADY time to heat up the bottles and start the next feeding.
9:30am- (Refer to 6:45-8am as a general feeding guide).  Repeat at 12:30pm, 3:00pm, 5:30pm, 8:00pm, 11:00pm, 3:00am.

Some Additional Notes on our typical days: 

  1. I may or may not get peed/pooped/spit up on during the feeding times.  Usually it is at least 1/3.  Usually Grant is the culprit.
  2. Almost always, as I'm feeding one baby, the other one will spit up/cry/need something.  I live in a state of anxiety during these times because it is SO hard to have one baby cry when you can't immediately run over to calm them.
  3. The times when Ward is awake while the babies eat, I turn on Barney or some other netflix kiddie show so I can feed everyone and keep an eye on him. 
  4. There are many advances by Ward that I must block during this time period when he insists to give the babies hugs and kisses.  Normally, this would be ok, but he has just wiped his nose and has snot all over his hands. (Although I am wondering how this is even possible since we've basically been on house arrest the past month?) I am tied to the pump with a baby on my lap so it's not exactly easy to get up and get a tissue.
  5. I usually find my full cup of stale coffee in the microwave around 6pm when I'm getting dinner ready.  I remember that it was reheated around 3 times and yet I never finished it.
  6. My house is a disaster.  We will pick up Ward's toys and within 5 minutes it will look like a tornado has blown through.  There is baby gear everywhere.  There is laundry everywhere.  There are bottles and pump parts AT.EVERY.SINK. There is just stuff everywhere. It looks like I live in a daycare. I cringe at the sight of my house daily.  (Insert thought about how one day my house will be clean but my children will be grown...blah, blah, blah...I know, I get it, but I really dislike the clutter!) 
  7. When Ward is sleeping (if he takes a nap) between 2-5, and miraculously the babies are sleeping and not eating/pooping/crying.  This will be the time when UPS rings the doorbell to deliver diapers.  EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
  8. I mentioned above both babies are on apnea monitors.  This is a device that they are connected to 24 hours/day.  We are able to disconnect for an hour at night, but during the day I have to lug around a machine with each baby.  I'm happy that we have the technology to have these, but geez, they are a pain.
  9. As soon as Trey gets home, I feel a wonderful sigh of relief that he can help me, hooray!
  10. My Mom and MIL are the BEST.  Usually, they are able to help me a couple days a week by coming to play with Ward while I focus on the twins.  I think I would have a mental breakdown without their help! :)
  11. Meal trains are a life saver.  Our sweet Sunday school, MOPS group, friends and families have been bringing us meals for the past couple months.  I have yet to "cook" dinner.  I don't know if I will ever cook again?  Maybe in a year....

As I mentioned before, this day happened a couple weeks ago.  It's still been rough, but we had a breakthrough just last night....the twins slept seven hours straight!  SEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT.   When I woke up at 5am, after feeding them there was a brief moment where I ACTUALLY considered going out in the dark for a run since Trey was home.  That's how awesome I felt.  But that thought quickly disappeared as soon as I realized I could possibly sleep for another hour before Ward got up....overruled.

So...I am alive and we're getting through it somehow!  I have to admit, these babies are demanding little things, but they are pretty cute. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY Paper Airplane Baby Mobile

Well, most of y'all may know that our twin boys arrived earlier than expected, on June 1st!  After spending 18 and 22 days in the NICU, we finally have both of them home and are adjusting to having 3 under 3 (or actually, 3 under 2-1/2!)  I had hoped to finish the nursery posts before the babies arrived, but they had their own agenda :)  Newborn photos to follow one of these days...

Anyways, getting back to the nursery posts. Finally, a project that does not involve painting!  Hallelujah! 

When I was on bed rest before Ward was born, I spent my spare time in the hospital making this nursery bird mobile.  It is still hanging in Ward's room, and even though he's not a baby anymore, I still can't bring myself to take it down yet. 

Anyways, I couldn't really re-use it in the twins nursery b/c I now need two mobiles!  And since I don't have all the time I used to, I wanted to make something super easy....and paper planes were the easiest thing I could think of.  Now, there are a lot of steps here, but each part of this mobile can easily be done in front of the tv, so it just took some patience (and a helpful husband to speed things up). 

Here are the materials I used:

22" embroidery hoop
Yarn and/or Twine
Wooden Letter (not necessary, but I wanted to personalize each one)
Scrapbook paper in various patterns/colors
Glue Stick
Fishing Line
Small screw-in hooks
*Paint (if you're like me and change your mind after you're finished)

First, carefully break off the hardware on your embroidery hoop with some pliers or scissors.  If the wood chips it's not the end of the you can see mine did a little.  

Then, adjust the broken piece to be the same size as the smaller one.  Duct tap the two pieces on top of each other so the hoop will be thicker when you wrap it.

I wrapped my hoop with this burlapy twine I found at Michael's.  It doesn't take that long and is easy to do in front of the tv at night.  Once the entire hoop was wrapped, I just used a drop of fabri-tac to secure the end piece to the hoop.

Then I took my colorful yarn and wrapped 5 evenly spaced hanging points on the hoop.  An easy way to find the correct hanging points is to lay your hoop on a sheet of paper and draw a pentagon in the center.  I just eyeballed it and when I checked the measurements it was pretty spot on.

After the hoops were wrapped, I took white yarn and tied a knot around each colored hang point, and then knotted them together at the top.  Just make sure you measure out the same amount of yarn for each hang point and you should end up with an even-hanging hoop.

Because I wanted to do something a little different, I took wood letters and wrapped them in my colored yarn and then attached the white yarn to a screw in hook at the bottom of the letter.  (You will also need a screw for the top of the letter too).

Once the hoops were finished, I started on the planes. Take two pieces of the scrapbook paper and glue them together using a glue stick.  

We debated making different airplane styles, but since the paper was pretty thick with the two pieces back to back, it was easier to fold just a classic style plane.  If you need to know how to fold a classic paper plane you can find out here :).  To get the size plane we wanted, we had to scale down our sheets by 1/2, so 4.25"x 5.5"

After Trey folded the planes, the tricky part was hanging them so they didn't droop or nose dive.  We ended up using a small pin to poke 3 holes through the plane, and then threaded fishing line through each hole and knotting at the top. (Making sure that they hung level.)  Then, I carefully cut the unnecessary 2 strings, which left me with one string that I tied to the embroidery hoop.

After the mobiles were finished, I had a change of heart and decided I didn't want the letters to be wrapped in yarn anymore (classic me), so I unscrewed the pieces, cut off the yarn and Trey painted them the darkest blue from the ombre dresser for a cleaner look....(I guess I lied, there was painting involved.)  Then, I simply attached the pieces back together and here it looks like all together:

To enhance the background and add some color on the wall behind the mobiles, I used 22" embroidery hoops inset with light blue canvas fabric.  Then, I took some plain white felt and cut out cloud shapes and glued them with fabric-tac. 

To hang them from the ceiling, we installed a drywall hook and I found some old drapery tie backs that I had in my fabric stash, which ended up working perfectly.

And here is the view that the little guys will see

For the record, I DID miraculously have the nursery completed before the babies arrived, but unfortunately had a picture fall off a wall and break, so once I get to replacing it I'll post pictures of the completed room!