Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A day in the life with two...

So I'm sure not everyday will be as crazy as the last few days have been...but you know...I'm pretty darn proud of the fact that I've sailed through these crazy hectic days without losing my head.

Life with two kids hasn't been easy so far. But I also haven't had too many days where I had to balance my life and my kids lives all by myself. I've been blessed to have my mother and mother-in-law trading off every two weeks to help me with everything while I settle into teaching (almost full time- 3 classes) and raising two kids at home.  Thank God someone has been around to do the dishes and fold the laundry...heaven knows if they hadn't been here I probably would just be buying new clothes for everyone because there just isn't time to do laundry some days.

But today I had the two mostly to myself and I came out okay. Which is a good sign because starting next week I'll be all on my own again for the first time in almost 2 months. But after today...I think I'm mostly ready.

The day started (or rather continued?) around 4am when John woke to leave for his two day trip to Michigan. I had been awake until 2am finishing midterm grades for my three classes which were due by noon.  Margot who had been miraculously sleeping since 8:00pm finally woke for a feeding and then, as usual, would not be satisfied by being put back into her crib. This is typical...I could rock and rock and rock until she seems asleep and transfer her to the crib and the second I put her down she screams bloody murder. The only solution I've found is to snuggle her. In my bed. And because I am mostly paranoid about crushing her in my sleep...I remain mostly awake until John leaves. Promptly, just as John walked out the door, Gunnar arrives in my bed also wanting to snuggle.  And then there is no hope of sleep with a babe on each arm and a cat between my legs. I reach for my iPhone to do some light reading while the littles ones sleep.

Around 7:15 Gunnar wakes up and asks if he can go visit Grandma downstairs. I agree and he skips cheerfully down the hall.  Twenty minutes later my in-laws pop in to tell me they are leaving for the day and that Gunnar is sitting on the couch watching iPad. Moments later Margot wakes up, I feed her, change her and make Gunnar breakfast and make myself some tea and grab a banana. I still have to grade papers for one class and enter in their midterms before noon...I don't have time to waste.

I attempt to put Margot in her swing for a bit and ask Gunnar to turn off the iPad and focus on a puzzle or coloring instead. He chooses a 200 piece puzzle (awesome those take him about an hour).
Unfortunately Margot isn't having the swing and needs to be held. So with one hand I finish grading papers and type emails to students and enter grades for the better part of the next 2 hours until Margot finally falls asleep and allows me to put her down in her crib.

For two more hours I focus on my grades but by now Gunnar is on his 3rd puzzle and has become frustrated and asks for the iPad again...seeing that I still have 4 papers to grade and I only have 40 minutes before the NOON midterm grade deadline...I comply.  Margot begins to scream at 11:54...and I'm only half way through calculating grades. Of course. But I cannot ignore pitiful baby screams so I rush to offer her a pacifier which she promptly spits out and screams even louder. I bend over to pick her up and get a whiff of yuck...I have no option but to do a wicked fast diaper change. I change it as fast as I know how and with her on one shoulder I race to my computer to finish calculating and enter the grades with literally seconds to spare. Somehow I manage to get it done on time. I imagine giving myself a pat on the back but I don't have a hand available to actually do so.

Now that its noon I realize that I have 5 hours to finish the 3 owl halloween costumes I am working on for customers of my Etsy shop. I've made it a goal to get these done and shipped today in case there are Halloween events these customers are hoping to attend over the weekend in costume.  But now I have 2 children awake and no hands to spare. Not sure how this will even be possible...and it's lunch time.

I make a deal with Gunnar that he will eat his lunch in his room while he reads some books. Margot fell asleep again on my shoulder so I put her back in her crib and rush downstairs to cut the eyes and noses for the owl hats...but that's as far as I get before I hear a baby screaming again...this time she's covered in spit up. Gunnar has beat me to the crib and is trying to offer her a pacifier (sweet boy).
It is then that I notice his mangled hair...I'm quite certain it has been a good 5 days since either of these cuties was bathed. (That's a problem with having too many helpers, everyone assumes the other is getting certain things done when in actuality no one is getting it done...in this case it's bathing the children).  I decide why not do it now? Both kids are up...it will be relaxing and play filled for both and might just get them in the mood for a nap after.

Bathing a 4 year old and a 2 month old is hard when there is only one person. It takes a lot of thoughtful preparation...like prepping the towels and washcloths before putting naked babies into the tub. Nevertheless the bath is a smashing success and both come out smelling like daisies. We get dressed, read stories, put baby M in a swaddle and send her off to dream-land and then I rub Gunnar's back and thank him for being such a helper and cooperative boy all day.  Before he falls asleep I promise him we can do something special when he wakes up, if he takes a good nap. He instantly requests a trip to the park with the "long long long hippopotamus" (which is actually a dragon). Even though this park is far away at the mall I agree (there are a few things I'd been meaning to look for there anyway). I watch G until he's clearly sleeping and rush downstairs to continue working on the owl hats.

A few minutes later my in-laws return and my sweet mother-in-law offers to help me with the finishing touches for these costumes. While I sew on eyes and noses, Kathy sews on hooks and eyes and buttons to the owl capes for the next 2.5 hours. Margot sleeps for only about an hour but is entertained lovingly by her grandfather while we ladies continue sewing. Gunnar sleeps for almost 3 hours and by the time he wakes up I'm packaging the costumes to go to the post office. He has not forgotten about our special trip and excitedly gets ready to go.

G and I rush to the post office only to find it closed at 5pm...40 minutes late. Wa-wa. Oh well, we'll mail them first thing in the morning...at least they're done. G and I head off to the park at the mall...no sooner did we arrive did G announce he was hungry. So I buy him a grilled cheese and smoothie at Epic Burger and in between bites he runs around the playground joyfully.
Just as we are about to leave G suggest we move to sit on a comfy couch and finish his sandwich...as we are walking over, Gunnar's smoothie pops open and spills all over the rubber floor (which has a sign not 4 feet away asking not to bring food onto the playground) whoops. And of course, just as I bend over to wipe it up with the 2 napkins I have...my iPhone falls into the pool of strawberry banana smoothie with a plop. Awesome.  But I stay cool. I remain calm. I rip open the bag that had once occupied G's sandwich and used it to pick up as much of the smoothie as I could before running back to the restaurant to get more napkins.  I then spend the next 30 minutes cleaning my phone...which miraculously survived it's adventure in swimming with smoothies.

We check a few stores for some gifts and then dash home for bedtime, not before stopping at Portillos  to bring home dinner for my in-laws and me.  We come home to find Margot watching the world series with Grandpa and Gunnar spends the next 30 minutes getting into his pj's and telling G & G all about his day while I try to eat my Chicago dog and nurse Margot at the same time (not an easy task).  Once Margot's meal is done I hand her off to grandpa as I take Gunnar off to finish getting ready for bed.

Halfway through story time I catch a whiff of a strong poop smell....and I can't finish the book. I'm up and searching with my nose. And that's when I find our cat Sven running into our room with about 12 inches of poopy ribbon hanging out of his rear end. YUCK! After chasing him for about 5 minutes I finally get a hold of him and with a pair of scissors I cut off the ends of the ribbon. Ugh.  After thoroughly washing my hands and a few floor surfaces I continue with story time and get Gunnar down for bed...

Margot then follows with baby stories, swaddles and nursing...and although I had to get up twice to nurse her while typing this...I would say...all in all...it was a pretty good day. Not bad mama. Not bad.