Monday, September 26, 2016

The Trenches

This three-under-three thing.  It sounds cute.  It certainly makes for a catchy hashtag.  But the WORK.  So much work.  Somehow it wasn't so bad at first.  I thought the first few weeks/months would be the hardest...a newborn!  Twin toddlers!  Constant nursing!  Night wakings!  Juggling it all!  Somehow we escaped what I had dreamed up in my head to be "the worst".  Sure we had some help from family at first, but even after that, it just wasn't so bad.  Nolan was a really good sleeper, the twins didn't have any issues with having a baby in the house, we relaxed and adjusted...I don't want to call it easy, but it certainly wasn't bad.  


Somehow over the summer it became much more difficult.  Maybe when Nolan became more scheduled and needs to take naps at home?  When activities basically ceased for the summer so our predictable routines to get out of the house kind of vanished?  When the twins naps became suddenly shorter?  I'm not sure.  Probably a combination of it all + the reality of having two 2-year olds and a baby around.  Whatever happened, I can hardly find a chance to write now, to read, to get the things I need to get done, much less the things I want to do.  Keeping up with birthdays, holidays, the playdates we have each week seem virtually impossible lately.  Things keep sneaking up on me.  This isn't me.  I'm organized!  I schedule everything there is to be scheduled and probably more!  I still use a planner, dammit!  How does this happen?


I thought I'd been here before.  But certainly this is what they call "The Trenches".

It looks so nice, doesn't it?  DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE PRETTY PICTURE.


It's exhausting.  So much right now is just getting from sun up (or *ahem* before the sun is up, thank you very much, toddlers) to sun down.  A daily endless loop of food-COFFEE-dishes-playtime-snacks-nursing-naps-cleaning-picking up toys-washing clothes-folding clothes-picking up toys *again*-teaching-disciplining-changing diapers-bathtime-go to sleep-go to sleep-go to sleep.  It is such a marathon.  Especially since the twins have decided their naps should be no longer than 1.5 hours (gahhhh!), the days are loooong.  I usually get to the end of the day and have zero energy for much of anything.  I've had approximately zero time to write or read or catch up on photos lately because I'm either A: pressed for time B: mentally and physically exhausted or (most likely) C: both.  It's been enough to just get through each day lately without adding anything else to the end of it.


That's not to say the days are hard, exactly.  I mean, they certainly aren't easy.  But I don't have any extra worries or concerns or issues.  The kids are all developing fine, none of them have been sick, we hang out with friends and get out of the house, we're pretty much settled into our "new" home.  We have enough money to keep a roof over our heads and buy food that I'm usually able to find time to cook.  They're generally happy, good, agreeable, lovely little children.  Frankly, it's exhausting enough to get through the day (2-year old DRAMAZ x two!) without any additional problems.


In fact, 90% of the time it's actually pretty okay.  The kids are playing well, they're listening or eating what they're supposed to, the house isn't any more of a mess than is to be expected.  It's the OTHER 10% of the time - when the you-know-what hits the fan - that is stressful.  Everyone decides to cry at once or a 2-year old decides to see what happens when they hit one of their siblings (usually causing more crying) or we're all ready to leave the house but someone needs a sudden diaper change while another wants "NO DAAAAA-DDDDYYYYY" (who is working, of course) to put their shoes on.


And this so close in age thing is weird.  While it seems like virtually everyone else with multiple kids (and especially 3+ kids) has at least one that's headed back to school, we're, uh, still just here.  All of us.  Here we all are!  Same old routine.  No one is even headed off to preschool for a few hours a week.  While there are a few activities we're gearing up for again, there is no drop-off and pick-up involved.  No break or the chance of having less children around for a routine span of a few hours.

I mean, there IS their parent-child class.  But it's generally frowned upon to ditch your child(ren) at the parent-child class while you go get coffee and a pedicure.  Bummer.


The so close in age thing also means it's difficult for Tyson and I to get away.  You can't just hire your average teenage babysitter and leave for the night.  The only people we can really trust with bedtime are grandparents.  Twins + a baby + bedtime basically requires two people around.  Even with two  capable teenagers, Tyson and I would basically have to go sit outside on the front steps for our date, since after paying for two babysitters we would have used up any and all money we could have used to go out to dinner or do anything for the night.


I told Tyson that this is probably (I mean, we'll see, but let me have this here) the most difficult time in our married/parenting lives.  Sure if we have another kid that's, y'know, another kid, but Caden and Brooklyn will at least be in some sort of school by that time.  Twin 2-year olds and a baby are just all so needy right now.  No one can get dressed by themselves, Brooklyn and Nolan still need diaper changes, no one can get food on their own (well, okay, Caden can open the pantry door and both he and Brooklyn know how to pull up a chair to get at the good stuff, so it's not like they'd exactly starve...), they're still too young to play outside by themselves...  


There are glimpses, though.  Caden, my miracle potty-trainer, goes to the bathroom like a champ (besides needing help pulling those pesky pants back up).  Some of the older kids in the neighborhood love to play with the twins, and I sometimes get a break once the big kids are home from school for the day, while the twins run around outside with their "friends" while I nurse Nolan in peace and get dinner started.  All three have an independent streak, and don't mind being dropped off at church or playing with their teachers at school.  Heck, even when I'm around at their parent-child class, Caden and Brooklyn could usually care less that I'm anywhere near them.  They're getting better at playing independently even while at home.


And also, so this isn't one entire, long complaint of a post, it can also be really fun.  Two-year olds, two-and-a-half-year olds, are a lot of fun.  They talk a lot (like, a LOT, a lot) (okay, it can get kind of annoying), and constantly crack me up with their conversations.  They love their baby brother, who is in danger of being smushed, smashed, and/or suffocated from so many hugs.  Caden and Brooklyn can do so many more things now, like ride bikes, play with toys that are actually interesting, and interact with other kids in a way that they just couldn't before.  And Nolan continues to be the world's easiest, happiest baby.  


We have five more months of this three-under-three business.  The only way out is through.  Then we'll have three-under-four!  Though that hashtag isn't quite as catchy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I've officially decided that Nolan can stop growing and stay right here at six months old.  I mean, I think I want him to keep growing up EVENTUALLY, but right now?  I can wait.  It's a good age.  He's also in the 99th percentile for height, so he can hold off and settle down for a bit.  I'd be happy if he froze right here for the next three months or so.  He can solidly hold his own head up (yay no more carseat in the shopping cart!), eat and enjoy some solid foods, has a strict napping schedule,  is the happiest baby you'll ever meet, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, sleeps for 11-12 hours straight through the night.  Can I get an amen?

He's also somewhat mobile.

Make that a LOT mobile.  He army crawls his way wherever he wants to go, whenever he wants to go (which is ALL THE TIME DON'T STOP TO CHANGE MY DIAPER WOMAN LET ME MOOOOVVVE) and still startles me sometimes when he's suddenly right beside me, or when I go to check on him and discover that he's not where I left him.

Where are you going, bay-bee?

He's usually trying to chase after his big brother and sister (Brooklyn can often be heard running around saying, "Come an' get meee No-an!") and he's already discovered that their toys are the best ones.  He can usually be found trying to play with whatever they are playing with, and it's only a matter of time before he figures out what "No no No-an!  That mine!" means.

Unless the older two are napping.  Then he gets free reign.

And still possesses the biggest blue eyes that you ever did see.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Family Photos - Twin 2.5 Year Olds + A 6-Month Old Edition!

So many favorites.  I tried to keep this short.  I failed.  Here we go...

Favorite Dock Shot:

Favorite of Brooklyn:

Favorite Twin Pic:


Favorite of Nolan:

Those eyes, tho...

Favorite Real Life With Toddlers Family Pic:

Favorite Real Life With Siblings Pic:

"No-an, look!"

Favorite I'm Glad I "Splurged" On a New Blanket Pic:

Totally worth the 9 bucks...

Favorite (and Only) Nolan Sitting Up Pic:

Favorite of Mommy and Baby:

Just Kidding, This One, Too:

Favorite Pics of My Guys:

Favorite This Is How It Would Look if We Only Had One Child Ha Ha Ha In My Dreams:

Favorite But I Wouldn't Trade Any Of Them (Usually, Most Days) Family Pic:

Favorite Holy Crap It Was Crazy Windy:

And The One That Actually Made Me LOL:


Favorite of the Siblings:

Or Maybe This One:

Favorite Where Everyone In The Picture is Actually Looking and/or Smiling In the General Direction of the Camera:

Favorite Girls Only Pic:

Favorite With Daddy:

Favorite (Like, Seriously, We're My Favorite) Couple Pic:

Many thanks again to Prall Photography!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Post (Labor Day) Weekend

The day after Labor Day means it's back-to-school time around here.  It's an exciting time of year: seeing all the first day of school pictures! getting back to routine! OMG the BUSES!!!1!!!!!1! (we live near a LOT of schools...).  Even if around our own actual home, it's pretty much more of the same.   Meals, snacks, playdates, naps, baths, repeat.  Though we soon will have some of our own routines starting back up again...storytimes and toddler activities and our own little classes.  We have one year left with no school, before 2 out of the 3 get shipped off to the Big Kid World of preschool.  In some ways I can't wait (preschool for 2-year olds, anybody?!?!? Just take them, PLEASE! ), but it's mostly good.  We'll be hanging out right here.

(Though possibly still working on our letters and spelling, just the same.)

(Caden: "k-c-o-s spell sock!"  Me: *dying inside from suppressed laughter* ".....yes.")

(Big sis is still excited to push baby bro in the swing.)

(In case you can't tell, he clearly hates it.)

My dad used to make me ice cream cones with drizzles of caramel and chocolate syrup flooding the bottom.  As a HIGHLY INTELLIGENT child, I figured out where all this goodness was hiding, and decided to eat my ice cream cone from the bottom up.  For some reason, from then on, I was banned to the front step right next to the hose when eating any and all ice cream cones.  THIS very front step, in fact:

The tradition continues.  Though they haven't quite figured out the eat-your-cone-from-the-bottom-up trick quite yet...


(Working off all that ice cream on a Labor Day family walk.  I mean, Tyson and I worked it off.  The kids either rode or were carried.  Slackers.)

(Brooklyn: "Bye-bye!  Gettin' groceries!"  Baby and all.  And it's not even our baby doll.  A sweet neighbor girl lent her to us and Brooklyn has spent approximately the past 24 hours with this baby by her side and though we've tried to drill it into her I'm not sure she understands the crucial part where she has to give the baby doll back...)

(Also at this particular grocery store, the green beans were suspended in mid-air.  Apparently.)

(Ice cream again.  Because it was a holiday weekend, after all.)

(Brooklyn never wanted to cooperate for ice-cream eating pictures.  "Say 'ice cream'!" and she's all like yeah, I'm busy actually eating it, fool.)

And now onward to fall.  The best time of the year.  

And also quite possibly the most delicious.

We got a head start on that this weekend.

And the eating up the leftover caramel with apple slices was an absolutely terrible idea, just as Deb said.  A terribly delicious idea.