Viewing posts from August, 2015

Life with two under two

Life with two under two is hardly easy, but, it isn't all that hard as I envisioned it to be a year ago. Every day it gets easier. The more structure and routine we have, the easier and more predictable it gets. 

There are some days that I'm over the moon, energized, and running around the house happily with two little munchkins. There are other days, however, that make me question why we decided to have them so close together in age. Right after Caspian was born, life was really hard. I was recovering from a c section, sleeping two hours at a time, and taking care of two babies drained my energy. During the first three months after Caspian was born I looked like a zombie. I would go days without showering, the house was an absolute mess, and I lived on peanut butter jelly sandwiches and apple juice. BUT- it got easier. A lot easier. Now, although it's still no piece of cake, I am extremely glad that they are so close in age. We have such a great routine and a lot of structure (routine and structure are key to making life easy). 

Here's a peek into life with two under two:

I wake up at 6am and get ready for the day. I get the kids ready and feed them. 

Valentino goes to school for four hours in the morning, and comes home in the afternoon. We have discovered this fantastic montessori school that he absolutely loves. Although he doesn't really need to go to school (as he's not even 2 yet) we thought it would be good for him to learn how to socialize, make friends, and learn new things! While he's at school, me and Caspian spend time together and I have some time to do the millions of things that are outstanding. Things like laundry, laundry and more laundry, dinner prep, meal planning, cleaning and organizing and more cleaning (sometimes I wonder, will my entire house ever be clean? Ever?) 

When Valentino comes home from school it's his nap time. I have Caspian nap at the same time as well, but then after one hour I wake Caspian to feed him. That gives me an hour to cook lunch, eat with hubby, and run the dishwasher (we sometimes run the dishwasher up to three times a day!) 

When they wake from their naps it's play time. I strive to spend one hour during the late afternoon to play one-on-one with Valentino. One-on-one time is SO important for kids. Caspian gets one-on-one time in the mornings when Valentino is at school. It's great time for bonding and teaching while playing together. 

Because the kids need to be in bed by 8pm, we start their bedtime routine early. They eat dinner at 6pm, and bath time is at 7. We have to bathe them separately for now as Caspian is still so little. Right before Valentino's bath we all go in front of the bathroom mirror and wave at ourselves and say "Hiiiiii" and then clap and then we all do a happy dance. Then Valentino raises his hands in the air and does a little "pre bath" dance and wiggles his bum. Then I die because it's so adorable. Hubby bathes the kids then I dry and dress them, and then put them to bed at 8pm sharp.

Afterwards I cook dinner for me and hubby and we eat while discussing our days. We only have half an hour to talk (yes, we schedule in "talking time" into our routine, and it's always rushed as we are racing against the clock to get to bed and complete the bedtime routine). The bedtime routine consists of running the dishwasher, cleaning the kitchen, taking the trash out, taking Sir Edward out, showering, drinking sleep tea, and if we are in bed by 9:30, we may watch 15 minutes of Walking Dead. Then I have to turn it off as my eyelids get heavy and I start dozing off. 

We never EVER deviate from this routine. To do so would end in disaster. Unless it's the weekend, which would be spent going to multiple grocery stores and preparing for the week ahead. 

Sticking to this routine requires some sacrifices. Any "me time" is very limited. It's great success if I manage to get more than ten minutes to shower. I can never finish a cup of tea while it's still hot. I can't remember the last time I got my nails done, and I've been planning on getting a haircut for the last 6 months. Any phone calls I make constantly get interrupted. Date nights are extremely rare and are a luxury. If you're our friend and you wonder why we have dropped off the face of the Earth- it's because of this routine. 

I could easily just not be so strict about the routine, get a nanny, or have grandparents share the load, but I am extremely finicky when it comes to raising the kids a certain way. The harder I work on them while they are little, the easier it will be when they are older. I feel like they are my way of investing in our future. I want smooth sailing. I want to shape their personalities, teach them values, and encourage their ambitions. My husband has tried to convince me that we should get a nanny, but I am totally not having it. We kind of need to start saving every single penny he makes now so that in a few years I can splurge on expensive tutoring and cello and violin music lessons for the kids. Kids are expensive! And so is the price of keeping them busy. Yes, I'm planning their lives starting now. I've already picked out all their extracurricular activities along with their instructors. I've also created a spreadsheet of rules and jobs they have to do starting from the moment they can talk. I've chosen their majors and what Ivy league schools they will be attending. Ok just kidding. Only slightly obsessed, no big deal. #tigermom. 

The routine is sometimes hard and exhausting, but I often remind myself that these little boys aren't going to stay little forever, and that I should cherish these moments we have with them (while they are little and cute and still like their parents). Overall, I love this sleepless, hectic, messy, loud life. The reward is so worth the sacrifice it entails. My life is crazy and exhausting but my heart is so full and I wouldn't have it any other way.