Well, we survived. We are exactly one month into being parents of three little girls.
Our house is messy..
I confess to have served my family delivered pizza twice this week.
..and chicken nuggets and mac and cheese three times.
I am tremendously thankful for sweet friends and family that have brought us real + healthy meals since the moment we brought Baker home.
Seriously, if you have a pregnant or postpartum friend, bring them a meal.. or two.
We sit in front of the tv too many hours of the day right now.
..and sometimes another cup of coffee at 3pm in the afternoon is necessary for survival through the rest of the evening.
Dress up tutus worn over pajamas + messy hair have been normal wear around these parts.
..as I type this I am realizing that its been a couple days since the twins had a real bath.
Maybe thats what we while do after they wake from nap.
n a p t i m e.
I've never been so grateful. Sometimes I completely impress myself and get all three of them asleep at the same time.
bff tees c/o olive and birdie
All this to say and reading it back - It sounds like our life is in a constant state of chaos with the addition of number three. It isn't THAT insane, but then again sometimes I find myself 'yelling' at Jordan in attempt to hold a normal conversation with my husband.
The energy level of these twin toddlers we have running around is at an all time high.
I think it definitely has something to do with their age and surely to do with the attention needed after bringing home a baby to rock their little world.
I've had a handful of you reach out asking for encouragement or advice about getting through this season of crazy with the addition of another baby in the mix, which encouraged me to document because I'm sure I'll look back to this post again, for my own sake, as a reminder. While I am NOT an expert and still learning about motherhood myself, I did want to share a little about what is working for us right now. Most of what I share isn't my own 'original mama material' and I won't claim to be the first to share this kind of advice because we are not the first family to have gone from two to three kids, but this is really what is keeping our house somewhat normal, and there is no denying that.
-- Play for the Same Team --
I am thankful for my teammate (Jordan) in all of this. He takes the lead with much that has to do with the twins right now and we make sure to communicate often as to our plans for the day and week to come. This has been so much more helpful than all the sudden him having to leave to run errands or check up on his part-time business or even just going outside to work in the yard. Communicating and staying on the same page as Jordan helps for me/us to be mentally prepared for the day to come. It makes it really easy to plan around what we each have going on. That has been so important for us right now.
-- Get Out of the House --
As overwhelming as that may seem- getting out of the house, even solo, has helped break up the long days. Parker and Jolie are pretty easy going and 'go-with-the-flow' and I have never been so thankful for that than I am right now, but even with the most laid back toddlers, they are still busy bees and the walls of our house feel like they are caving in when we have been in the house too long. I strap Baker to my chest and we make a trip to the library to read books for an hour, run up to Sonic for a happy hour root beer float, or head to the mall for some time in the indoor play area - sadly going outside right now is way too hot, but when the weather cools a bit evening walks and park play will be in order. Jordan has taken the twins to the pool a handful of times and they LOVE it. Just that little bit of change in scenery can make all the difference in the days attitude - and how quickly it can go by:) Of course, the best and easiest time is when Jordan and I are out together, but I try not to let that stop me when I am home alone.
-- Time with One --
Or in my case, two. I don't know if this is more important for mom or dad, but I think in our season of life right now, it is so important for me to spend time with Parker and Jolie individually without Baker on my arm as I'm fumbling to do puzzle or brush their teeth with one hand. At this age, Parker and Jolie are a unit and we aren't quiet ready to separate them just yet because really, this all they have known their entire life. Outside of a handful of times they have been split to run errands with just mom or just dad, they have never been apart.
I didn't really realize the importance of this quality time with them until yesterday when I left to go to the grocery store with Baker and Joran randomly texted me:
'you should take the girls to get pedicures and have lunch this weekend. Spend some time with just them while I stay home with Baker.'
I responded with anxiety like I had done something wrong.. and then realized with his confirmation that this last month has been a lot to do about Baker and less to do about my first girls. So. This weekend we are having a girls day out:)
-- Keep the Routine --
This has been a struggle for me, but on the days we manage to maintain our regular routine (the routine we had before Baker's arrival) they seem to run much smoother.
Breakfast - Play - Lunch - Nap - TV/Movie Time - Play - Dinner - Bath - Storied/Music - Bed
While I am still working on getting in this groove, we are slowly getting there. Kiddos, as much as they fight it, thrive on regularity and routine. So, when you maintain that, even during the craziest time (and there cant be much more of a crazy time than adding a newborn to the mix), they do the best. Last year I started holding onto a few birthday and Christmas toys for rainy days. Keeping a stash of coloring/activity books, stickers, Little People, My Little Ponies, etc. and pulling those 'new' things out in the throws of the afternoon. Bringing each item out individually and they play together for what seems like hours with the new toys.
It is the resolution to breastfeeding in peace.
-- Meal Planning --
If you have read this blog long you know that I am a major advocate of meal planning.
I have been slacking in this department since becoming pregnant with Baker - I only had the energy to cook a couple times a week and I cut back our grocery spending a lot because we just weren't eating as much prepared food items, and therefore I didn't need to keep a ton of ingredients on hand. We did a lot of fresh produce and stuff like pasta salad that I could whip up and we could eat on it for a couple days after the fact. This easy stuff has also carried over to life lately, too.
I was excited this week when I started to make a short list of necessities we needed - you know, the survival foods, and I had an interest to actually cook a couple recipes I had saved recently. One was Pioneer Woman's Chicken Taco Salad (amazing), but it wasn't actually hard cooking but more like veggies tossed in a bowl - but buying the ingredients and planning our meals out for the week as I usually do was refreshing.
Normalcy never looked and felt so good.
Starting out the week with a plan for what we are going to eat - even if its a frozen lasagna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, having a plan is SO helpful.
I hope to get back to the swing of things and meal plan more often (and sharing them with you!)
Check out my meal planning + grocery shopping tips HERE + HERE and check out my healthy meals + meal plans HERE
-- Say YES --
When the twins were born, I don't know if it was my 'first time mom' OCD, Type A mentality, but I refused all help. I didn't want anyone helping me- I didn't want to take a nap, I didn't want someone making food for me, I didn't want the twins to take a bottle while I rested.. I wanted to do it all. ALL of it.
I learned really quickly that doing ALL of it was exhausting. It still took some learning, but finally I realized that accepting help was okay. It was more than okay- it was fabulous!
This time around, I am so thankful for each and every offer of assistance - from the meals to the play dates.. even when our favorite date night babysitter drove all the way to the house to bring me a coffee. I was so thankful!
BB and Papa have taken the girls a couple times for a day out of the house or for a sleep over - and having just one baby (that sleeps most of the time right now) is really amazing and refreshing for my mama heart. When Parker and Jolie come home from spending time with their grandparents, I am excited to see them and ready to love on my girls and spend some intentional time with those two. Often I find myself going through the motions of the day just to make it through, so I cannot express how important this is if you have the opportunity.
Outside of those moments of feeling as if I am teetering on the edge of a breakdown - panic texting Jordan to hurry up and come home..or begging him to call in sick the night before he goes into the fire station for a full 24 hours - there is the realization that life with our three girls could be going much different.
We could have a couple of sister girls hating the fact that they have a new sister to share time with.
They adore her. I mean, if their love could go any deeper, they will figure out how to get it there.
We could have a baby that doesn't sleep or cries NONSTOP.
Baker is in fact a pretty good sleeper- making it easy for me to get a decent night's sleep before the day of crazy. She also doesn't cry a lot outside of hunger, being in her car seat, or needing a diaper change.
We could be completely on our own - zero time for a parental break.
So thankful for family and friends that live close by to take one or two of the babies so Jordan and I can get in a nap or take an uninterrupted shower.
It all could be going a lot different than it is, so I cannot complain one single bit.
This transition has seemed to come tremendously 'easy' as easy comes with having three under the age of three. The easy ebbs and flows, of course, but the feelings of anxiety that filled my pregnant head during the sleepless hours of the night has completely subsided. I was really worried of how it was going to go after we introduced Baker to the twins. There was no amount of blog reading or encouragement from other mama's with multiple kiddos that was going to ease my thoughts.
As the days go on, our routine comes easier and more normal. We have come up with sort of a method to our madness with a few wrenches thrown in here and there - but its working.
And 'working' is just fine by me.