1. tosetuponinaforceful,violent,hostile,oraggressiveway,withorwithoutaweapon;beginfightingwith: "It smells like the skunk is attackling a bear. Wait no, I just remembered there aren't any bears around here. He must be attackling a deer."
Disclaimer: You may not like or agree with what you're about to read.
Note: I don't care. :)
The question that we get asked more often than any other, since adding twin boys to our family (now totaling 5- 6 and under. You do the math), is "How do you do it?".
This question can carry any number of implications, with varying degrees of sympathy, envy or annoyance.
My answer is generally blasé and general so that I can keep walking through the store, or so that the creepy guy asking doesn't try to touch my preemie babies.
So, here's a glimpse. Why? Because I don't like feeling like I'm making other moms feel badly. Like they're missing something because they had a bad day, or because I shop with five kids and they struggle with two. They're not, and you're not, everybody just keep their panties on!
-First and foremost, we depend on Gods grace, energy, and patience (excuse my cliché christianeese)
No Rest Here
-We work really really hard. Hard as a couple, hard as parents, hard as cooks, shoppers, bargain finders, and my amazing husband works harder than he ever has in his life. No one appreciates him more than I.
-I quit working (This was a huge blessing for us. I'm totally aware that it's not an option for so many families, and we're really tight but it's an choice that neither of us regrets).
-I quit folding laundry. Don't judge me too harshly. I don't care about a wrinkled shirt, and thankfully neither does my husband. This is a temporary way to find extra time. (Since starting this post I have gone back to folding and now even sort my laundry. I still don't regret the time saved with not folding.)
-I pretty much ONLY do dishes in the dishwasher. This also requires me to keep up on dishes.
Also, I started using paper plates. I know this is not a great thing to do to the environment but it's just temporary until the twins are older. (Kate: I can see you shaking your head from here:))
Seriously though. It probably cuts down on 5 loads of dishes a week. No joke. That's gotta even out a little with water consumption right?! No? Ok fine.
-You may have seen my previous post about our $5 Roomba. This cleans my floor and I personally haven't swept in months.
-We are becoming less and less selfish every day. Nobody wants to admit they're selfish. Let's face it. But, we were and are. The process is 6 years in the making.
We each take less time for ourselves than ever before and I can wholeheartedly say that I'm a better mother for it. Really and truly. When I stopped dreaming of time alone and started doing more enjoying my time with the fleeting moments that I have with these boys, it changed everything. (Ask me sometime and we can chat about my extended feelings on the subject :))
-We started asking for more help. This is especially difficult for me (being a do-er and the eldest of 5). I have a mother and mother-in-law and they will LITERALLY drop everything to come up and help. I know that's special.
-I've started giving the boys chores. Not so much that they can't be kids, but enough so that they get a feel for family teamwork and responsibility.
They do things like setting the table, wiping down appliances, and cabinets, clearing their plates, putting away laundry and folding blankets.
Finley has also kind of taken over folding washcloths. He takes great pride in his work too.
Suck it up
-I've done this for the past 4 years, but it's worth mentioning. I'm not a morning person, but I started getting up early , or more importantly, before the boys.
This completely sets the tone for our days. I call it getting a jump on my kids. If they get a jump on me (if my alarm doesn't oh off or I'm not feeling well) and wake me first, then I spend the rest of the day chasing them around instead of orchestrating the chaos:).
-I am naturally a bit free-spirited and for years I scoffed at the mothers who put their kids to sleep at the same time very day and lived by a schedule.... I am now one of those moms, and you know what? I didn't kill me and my boys love a schedule. It's almost like consistency and stability are beneficial to their little brains. Go figure!
So, in closing. We did make a lot of changes, but we still don't feel like we're going crazy.
If you're in our situation or your about to enter a similar one, be encouraged. It's totally do-able.
While learning about bones recently, we did a demonstration of "hallow" bones (billed with marrow) and how their design is better than if we had solid bones....
The demonstration was shown by loosely rolling a piece of paper, taping it, and then seeing how many books you could stack. As the photo shows, quite a few
Next we were to take a piece of paper and roll it tightly to demonstrate the lack of strength that bones would have due to a solid design.
The point was lost on my children who quickly pointed out that the books wouldn't stay put, not because of the "bones" solid interior, but because of the lack of surface area for the books to rest on. Well played boys.
I'm so thankful for both parents and in-laws, that have big yards. Places where our children can roam and explore. Last weekend we headed to Bompa and Grandma Becky's to watch the Packers whomp the Panthers. While we were there, the boys decided to make leaf pile. (Another magical experience seeing seemingly mundane life through the eyes of little boys.)
So, I recently picked up a massive block of sculpting clay. I've always wanted to try my hand at sculpting but never took the time to get the supplies. After making a couple animals with the kids, I quickly realized that I REALLY enjoyed sculpting.
I decided to skip the small stuff and start with something larger. Why not a face?
I'm far from finished, and I already decided I don't care what it looks like, but I'm enjoying the process so much. If you know me well, you know that you'll normally never hear me say process and enjoy in the same sentence, but I'm hooked. In fact, I'm lying in bed thinking about when I'll be able to squeeze in some time to get at it again. Wild.
It had been too long since I've gotten to go out with Oliver to somewhere other than the store. Tuesdays are $1 movies at our budget theater. After grabbing some frozen yogurt we headed to see Maleficent. It didn't disappoint.
Oliver's "frozen yogurt" was really more of a pile of candy on top of a couple tablespoons of yogurt:)
We discovered a new "you pick" farm in Elkhorn. It's clef the Apple Barn. It was a nice size with better prices than Elegant Farmer. The downside: it was flooded with People from Illinois. Lots of yuppies picking apples in evening attire, and ball gowns. No, it wasn't that bad. But we were laughing about the faux fur, coordinating couples, and high heels.
Here's marks "Apple Hat". He wore it all day, and it he was quite pleased that it enbaressed us....
No, it was just a funny coincidence that the sign was behind him:)
He was sooo eager to pick apples that we had to stop him from eating the yucky ones on the ground.
He's packin'. Front-packing that is.
This is the kind of yard I want for our children! Apples every morning. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?
Finn with his adventure-pack, not a fannie-pack
Laiken loved sucking on apples while we walked
This was pretty cool. A grove of trees that they had planted really close together and then fenced off the inside to make a maze.
(This photo captures a little girl bringing me the babies sock that I had dropped.)