Monday, March 30, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 9 weeks old

These little girls are all smiles finally this week and it is so fun.  They time everything just perfectly.  It's been so perfect having Tate home this for these two weeks when the girls are smiling more so he can see them react to having him around.  Tate and Finn love to talk to the girls in silly voices and try to win their little grins.  It's darling.
The girls continue to sleep great.  One long stretch from 9:30pm ish to somewhere from 3 to 5am and then one shorter one until 7 or 8 when the boys are waking up.  We'll see how that works next week when we start waking up before 6 again.  Glenn and I are starting this week to be able to tell between the girls' cries.  Kenna has a louder, more upset cry but even though it's louder she still somehow manages to sound so pitiful and mournful.  And she has the sweetest little chin quiver when she's really sad.  It's darling and funny.  If I have to let her cry for a bit while I'm finishing a workout or taking a shower, her face is bright red and soaked with tears when I finally pick her up.  Taryn's cry is more of a squawk.  She gets all wiggly like she's working up a really mad cry and then she lets out a little squawk.  It takes a couple minutes of that before she works up to a good cry.  It's pretty sweet.  Usually Kenna is the one sounding the alarm and letting us know that she is ready to eat and then we have to wake Taryn up so we can get them fed at the same time and keep them on the same schedule.  Some days it's Taryn, but not as often.  Taryn seems much more chill in general.  She loves to be held and sometimes she's fussy just so we'll hold her and then she'll stop.  Kenna also loves to be held.  They both prefer to be held upright over our shoulders.  I wonder if they're a bit gassy and it helps them to be upright and have some pressure on their tummies.  Neither of them really snuggle into our shoulders though.  They prefer to have their heads arched a little bit so they can look around.
I've started weening them the past week or two.  I'm kind of sad and feeling a little guilty about it but it feels like the right thing to do to keep things from getting too stressful as we start to get out and travel more.  It's stressful to have to find a place to nurse if we're out at feeding time, which we inevitably will be because it takes much longer than 3 hours to go anywhere and get back home.  Plus, how do you nurse in an abaya?  I don't think it's possible.  I don't think women really nurse here?  Or maybe they do but they don't leave the house until they're done nursing?  It's a puzzlement.  And we're going to London in just 3.5 weeks!  I think being done with nursing will make that trip a lot easier.
We took a long weekend trip to Bahrain this past weekend and it was blissful.  We spent tons of time at the pool and the girls were so great.  
Here they are, Taryn and Kenna, 9 weeks old.






Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 8 weeks old

I took Taryn and Kenna in for their 2 month check up today.  They are growing like weeds.  Which I guess I knew, but it was still crazy to see the exact amount they've grown in the last month!  Kenna now weighs 9 pounds, 9 ounces and Taryn weighs 9 pounds 7 ounces.  We were able to schedule their check up here on Rakah which was SUPER convenient.  I had a friend watch Tate and Finn at the park and I just walked over to the clinic.  The nurses argued with me a bit about getting the girls undressed.  They just don't care about a super accurate weight here and they were also vocal about the girls catching cold if they were naked in the air conditioning.  Oh well.  I'm doin' it.  I do want to know my babies' exact weights.  Sorry if that inconveniences you.  But not really.
There were four nurses there.  Two from the Middle East and two from the UK.  The difference in care and interaction was really interesting.  I was glad the Irish nurse was there to back me up once in a while and say, "That's how we do it at home too."
I really liked the doctor.  He was pretty chill, and again, if theses ladies were my first two babies or if they had any serious health concerns I'd be kinda bugged that he didn't give me gobs of information about their wellbeing.  He looked at Kenna first and noted how strong she was holding up her head and chest when he put her on her tummy.  Then he looked at Taryn and said, "Oh she is more chubby, yes?"  Actually, no.  I was surprised too today when Kenna still outweighed Taryn.  She seems a bit more chubber to me.  He was so surprised that he had us weigh her again just to make sure the nurses didn't switch their weights on accident.  He said Taryn's heart murmur was barely audible and that he wouldn't be surprised if it went away.  That made me really happy.  They both look perfectly healthy.  They're in the 25th percentile for weight right now but they're climbing and gaining great weight so he says they're doing perfectly.
After that we went back in to the nurses room and they got the shots ready. They only had two shots this time because one was apparently a 6 in 1 vaccine.  I had to ask them what was in the shots so I could check them off my little vaccination chart I printed off from US standards and they weren't really happy with the few extra seconds they had to spend with me to explain what they were going to inject into my babies thighs.  Oh man things are different here.  Then I had the nerve to ask them to have two nurses give the shots so they could do them at the same time. The Middle Eastern nurses again looked at me like I had two heads.  "It's only another few seconds.  The baby will be just fine." I know.  But please just do this for me.  I promise no one will get hurt if you just try it.  Purely to make me happy so I have to watch my screaming baby girl for just a couple seconds fewer, okay?  Another thing that is different here is that they ask you to wait for 15 minutes after the shots to see if the babies are developing a reaction.  My poor babies cried so hard they turned purple when they got their shots.  Little Kenna had tears rolling down her face and Taryn's face was so squished up and she stopped breathing for a second while she worked up a big wail.  It was pretty cute but also really pitiful.  They both wailed for just a minute or so and then Taryn fell right to sleep and Kenna settled down and sat there in her stroller looking at me.  Man, I love my little girls.  They are such sweeties.  I'm really glad it was a very positive doctor's appointment and the fact that is was way more convenient was a huge plus too!
The girls are smiling a little bit more.  They probably smile at me once or twice every time they're awake.  They're not super interactive yet, but I'm sure it will come.  I have to keep reminding myself that they are not the boys.  They are two months old, but they're still only 9 pounds.  They're still growing and catching up in some ways.  They've been sleeping well at night.  The last few nights we've had 7 or 7 and a half hour stretches from 10pm to 4:30 or 5.  It's been so great.  It's also been a fun week to have Tate at home and see him love on his sisters while he's off school on Spring Break.
 We finally got the girls Iqamas this week.  They both have Kennas pictures on them still but the names are correct this time so we're rolling with it.  We're going to Bahrain for the weekend and so excited for a little getaway!  And the girls first passport stamps!  At two months old!  This life is crazy town.
Kenna and Taryn, 8 weeks old.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 7 weeks old

For their 7 week birthday the girls gave us a present of 6 and a half continuous hours of sleep last night.  It was very sweet of them.  Though I dare say I think they enjoyed it too.  I sure love these two little girls.  This week they're outgrowing more of their little newborn clothes and filling out their little 0-3 month clothes a little more.  It's so sad to be putting away clothes already!  But look at those darling little squishy cheeks!  Hard to complain too much about those!
 I keep waiting for the girls to get more smiley but they're just not yet.  I probably get one little smile from each of them every day but that's about it.  Hopefully I'll get some more in the coming weeks.  They are still little, I suppose.  Though they seem enormous to me this week compared to how teensy they were at first.
Taryn and Kenna, 7 weeks old.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Living

Recently a few elements of living in Saudi have begged to be recorded. Finn is napping, Taryn is napping, and Kenna just stopped fussing, so it's precisely now or never!

Living in Saudi Arabia is difficult.  I think (hope) that some of the things that make it especially difficult will be easier once we are moved to main camp but a lot of things will still be the same.  I wanted to record some of the funny or hard things that have happened in the last few weeks just so I don't forget them.  Most of the time we can laugh at the bizarre things that happen here.  Once in a while it feels like you're running a race and Saudi runs up next to you and punches you in the face.  Then if you laugh and keep running, Saudi two hand pushes you in the dirt, kicks you in the stomach, and runs away.  Those days I stay down for a bit and usually cry.  But then the next day we get back up and start running again because we just can't let Saudi beat us.  We're Makechnies after all.  We do hard things.  

A few weeks ago I was cleaning up in the kitchen and I heard a distinct flapping noise in the ceiling.  Off and on all morning I could hear what sounded like either a large rodent or more likely a bird that was trapped somehow in the ceiling or vents in my kitchen.  Sometimes I could hear it in the ceiling and sometimes it was in the wall behind the stove.  I called maintenance and they came over and removed a vent from an exterior wall outside my kitchen and a bird flew out.  They replaced the vent with a new one and told me the problem should be solved, "Inshallah" of course.  The vent was like the AC vents in your car with flaps that you can flip open or closed.  Well the birds figured out how to perch on the vent, pry them open with their beaks, and fly in.  I called again a few days later and when the maintenance guy came he couldn't hear anything and told me that I was probably hearing the buzzing of the florescent lights in the kitchen.  I told him I was sure it was a bird but he just didn't believe me.  That night we heard the bird again and Glenn went outside and put duct tape over the vent to keep the birds from getting in but then we wondered, could this be the vent from the dryer?  In which case we shouldn't be doing laundry until we have a more permanent solution, right?  So Glenn called again the next day when he was home from work and they sent someone to put netting under the vent cover and we haven't had a problem since.  Perfect.  Now I can say I've had a bird living in my house.  That's a first.

Speaking of vents, there are vents in several rooms in our house.  They're little 4 inch circles with a little cover in every bathroom and in the kitchen and laundry rooms.  If we're not careful to turn the AC on all the time, somehow the pressure backs up and we get horrible sewer-like smells wafting up from those vents within minutes.  It's terrible.  And that's in addition to the smells that we get probably once a week just outside in our compound.  It's like a really strong sulfur/sewage smell.  It's horrible.  Glenn thinks it's due to all the rotting matter at low tide considering our compound is directly next to the ocean.  Whatever it is, it's super stinky.

Last week I saw a lizard in our house.  It was pretty large.  Maybe 8 inches.  I made some feeble attempts to catch it.  There may have been a few childish squeals.  But then I lost it.  I saw it again a few days later but then I haven't seen it since.  It's funny how I was really nervous every time I went past the place where I saw it for a few days and then the scared and startled feeling just sort of wears off after a while.  It's probably still in here.  But as long as I don't see it, I can forget about it most of the time.

The last few weeks have brought a few doctors appointments.  It's really difficult for me to get us to main camp now that I have two new babies and Finn in tow.  I could do the bus if I had some help but it would be difficult on my own.  Luckily, I have an incredible VT who has access, as part of her living situation, to a personal driver all the time.  So for my appointment, and two of the girls appointments, she came to our villa with her car, helped me get everyone buckled in the car, drove us to main camp, and stayed with me during the appointments to help get the babies undressed for weighing and feed them when they both got hungry at once.  It was a huge help.  A couple of times, Finn had a play date with a new friend from fellowship here on camp while I took the girls to their appointments.  We've had so much help making these appointments work in the really early weeks of the girls lives.  Without a doubt the most difficult part of having twin babies so far has not actually been the caring for the babies.  They have been so sweet and easy.  The hardest part has been living on Rakah camp in Saudi Arabia.  The feeling of isolation out here is so intense some days.  Getting around in the states with three kids would be difficult, but I could still put all three in the car and get to Target or any number of parks or museums or just a friends house across town for the morning.  But here, I'm so trapped and getting anywhere is SO much harder.  So when there are times when I have to be somewhere, and people really offer to help and make things go smoother, it's so invaluable and incredibly endearing.  I'm grateful to have people around me right now who I can talk to when I need to vent or laugh about the absurdity of life here and how isolated we are as stay at home moms on a little satellite camp, and who I can ask for help when I can't do things on my own.

At one of my doctor's appointments I had Finn with me and at one point we started making funny noises that morphed into pig snorts.  We were both laughing so hard and the nurse who was taking my vitals asked, "what is that sound?"  I replied, "He's just making pig noises."  She said, "What is he doing?  What noise is that?"  And I told her again, "He's making noises like a pig."  She looked at me with a really confused look and then shrugged her shoulders, deciding to let it go.  Then it hit me that the kids in Saudi Arabia don't grow up learning what a pig says.  There are no pigs.  So our grown woman nurse did not have any idea what the noise was that we were making.  Wow.  I hope we didn't offend her in some way!

Clothes shopping here is an adventure.  I've been feeling really stuck physically lately.  I'm trying to eat better and I work out at least once a day, sometimes Glenn works out with me again at night after the boys are in bed.  I'm trying hard.  But I'm not seeing a lot of progress yet.  I know that my body takes at least 6 months to get back down to my normal shape.  I know that.  But I don't have the ability to just run out and get some in-between clothes that will help me feel like I look decent in the meantime.  It's hard to get out to shop here.  So I've been making do in my two pair of pants that fit and maybe 5 shirts that sort of fit, for weeks.  I finally got fed up and had Glenn take me shopping last Saturday.  I tried to shop at a few stores that we have in the states and was so disappointed.  The fits are different, the style is different, the quality is really different.  It was so disappointing to realize that even at the same stores, I may not find clothes that fit me at all, or if they do, I may not like the clothes and all for at least half again as much more than I would ever pay in the states.  Also, there are no dressing rooms in stores in Saudi Arabia.  If you think you may want to try something on you have to buy it, take it to the nearest bathroom where there are a few dressing rooms and then if it doesn't fit you have to go back to the store to return it.  Here's the tricky part.  I bought a bunch of stuff at the gap, none of which fit.   So I sent Glenn back to the store to return it while I moved on to another store.  We were trying to fit in as much as we could with only an hour before prayer time.  They wouldn't let him return the clothes.  Apparently if you pay with cash, you can immediately return things but if you pay with a credit card, you can't return things until the next day.  Oh and also, you only have a 3 day window to return things.  I was so frustrated by these just plain stupid policies.  Actually, they're kind of brilliantly for the stores but so inconvenient for us.  Now we have to make another trip to the mall which means Glenn stops on his way home from work or we all head out in the evening and try to plan around prayer time, and we have to make it happen in the next three days or we can't return them at all.  Oh yes, and then there was another hilarious return policy at a different store.  I bought a pair of jeans and when I got to the register I was informed that they were on sale, 100 riyals off which is like $25 bucks.  The catch, however, was that if I chose to take the sale price it meant that I couldn't return the pants.  I could still exchange them, within 7 days, but taking the sale price would make the pants un-returnable.  Wow.  What bizarre logic.  The whole "pleasing the customer thing" is completely lost in Saudi Arabia.  

And the piece de resistance, my least favorite Saudi moment since the babies arrived happened last Sunday.  Tate had a Kindergarten music program at school.  I was so excited to make a big outing all by myself with the kids to go and support my little guy.  I booked a taxi 5 days in advance and checked several times on the phone that he had indeed heard the time correctly, a common theme of communications here.  It's so hard to understand people.  So he confirmed that the taxi would pick us up at 11am.  That morning was super busy.  We got Tate on the bus.  I got ready, fed the girls, changed the girls, made some muffins for our fellowship club brunch that we have every 2 weeks here on camp, packed the diaper bag, went to brunch, came home, pumped so I could feed the girls in the car or at the program without having to miss a nursing feeding, and then finished right at 11.  After 5 minutes I called the taxi office here on camp and they said, "Yes ma'am, he is just switching cars, he will be there soon."  After another 5 minutes I called again, "Yes Ma'am, he is leaving, he will be there soon."  Another 5 minutes passed.  It's now 11:15.  The program starts at 11:50 and it's at least a half an hour away.  I call again and the guy on the phone looks up my reservation and says it's not in the system until 11:30.  I lost it.  "I confirmed with him three times on the phone when I scheduled that it was at 11.  I am going to be late for my son's program.  I need a taxi NOW!"  And then he hung up on me.  I was furious.  I called back, it rang once, he picked up the phone, and hung  up again without even saying a word.  Oh no.  Oh no you didn't.  I called back and a new guy answered the phone.  I lost it on him and I asked for the name of the last guy who hung up on me.  Not that there's anyone to report him to.  And not that anything would happen at all if I did. So this guy explained again, the problem and then said that he would send a taxi down right away.  Seriously?  All this time you had a taxi sitting at the office and you didn't just send it to my villa?
By the time we got the kids loaded in the car and on the road it was 11:30.  There was no way I was going to make it.  I called Glenn to make sure he would be able to get there on time and to film it for me.  Then we got stuck in traffic.  At one traffic light, for half an hour.  The girls started screaming.  Finn had to feed them bottles in the back seat.  Thank heavens for my little Finny.  I cried in the front seat of the taxi and was so frustrated.  I got to the school, walked in and saw a friend from fellowship.  She gave me a hug and I started crying again.  Good times.  I just couldn't control my tears and there I was, in front of tons of Tate's peers, their parents and teachers, just crying because I missed the program and the picnic.  We were there for about 3 minutes before the bell rang for them to go back to class.  I wanted more time with him so we had him stay with us and took him back to class a bit late.  Glenn had planned to pick up pizza from the commissary for our little post-program picnic but after he ordered it, it got really backed up and he didn't have time to wait for it so he just picked up some other food and ran out.  Another lady from fellowship had some extra cheese bread and gave us some as she was leaving which was awesome.  Tate threw it down and told me about his program and then we walked him back to class.  
The thing is, I know that Tate is fine.  I know that he understands that I tried my best and he wasn't even the least bit sad about me missing everything.  But I'm ticked.  I'm so frustrated that I spent the whole morning getting everyone ready and did all the planning and prepping that I could and it was still out of my hands.  The taxi showed up half an hour late and then we got stuck in awful traffic.  It's just so hard to be the kind of mom I want to be here.  Sometimes Tate comes home from school with an idea for a craft that they did in school and I have to tell him, "Sorry buddy.  I don't have those supplies and maybe we can get them this weekend with Dad but I can't get out to get them for you right now."  Back home "mom wins" just came so much easier.  I could run to target and pick up holiday decorations or craft or costume supplies and be back in 25 minutes.  I could run to the grocery store for that one thing I forgot for dinner or some spur of the moment snack I wanted to make with the kids.  I wouldn't miss a school program unless there was some kind of emergency because I lived around the corner.  I guess I'm a bit of a control freak and having so much of my life and schedule here completely out of my control feels like a punch in the face some days.  

Some days it's absolutely crazy living in Saudi Arabia.  Running this race every day is exhausting and I feel like I finish many days sort of beat up and covered in dust but we're still running.  We're still living.  My four children are happy and healthy.  They don't seem to be the least bit bothered by the crazy stuff and the inconveniences.  They think having rain in their bedroom is kind of cool.  They think having a bird living in their ceiling is pretty funny.  They're doing incredibly well with the limitations here and their well-being is our job as parents so I guess we're doing pretty well after all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finny in Soccer!

Finn had his first soccer practice this past Sunday evening.  He missed his first practice last week because he had a stomach flu so he's been anxiously waiting for what seemed like a LONG time for his first soccer practice.
He has three coaches who are all parents.  In these pictures he is sitting next to Coach Maria.  She lives across the street from us and is SO sweet.  She has 3 year old twins, a boy and a girl, and has been a great resource for us.  She's so easy going and just darling.

In this picture Finn is telling Mister Reggie that he is a basketball player.  Good information to know during our soccer practice, right?


Finn practiced stopping the ball, kicking the ball to Glenn,

then dribbling the ball between cones and shooting into the goal.

His face was so fun to watch.  He either wore a mask of pure determination and focus or a huge, elated grin.  He did a very good job listening to his coaches, even though he often had a hard time understanding their accents.  I hope we will all get much at figuring out what people with different accents are trying to tell us with time.  This was Finn's first experience, other than classes in fellowship, learning and taking instructions from someone other than Glenn and I and I'm very pleased to say that he did incredibly well.  I'm so excited to see him play over the next several weeks.  This little league is what's called a "self-directed group".  Run sort of through Aramco and there are fees associated with participating for uniforms and such, but it is run by volunteers who are unpaid.  This age group has practices once a week for 45 minutes and no games.  Finn was so happy and sweaty after his practice was over and he told me as we walked off the field, "Mom, I made some goals and I think I won the game!  Did I win the game, mom?"  Yes, buddy.  You absolutely did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 6 weeks old

Taryn and Kenna are chubbin up just a bit this week.  They're fitting pretty comfortably in some of their 0-3 month clothes now.  It's nice to have a slightly expanded wardrobe, but kind of sad to know that I've only got one or two more wears in some of their teensy newborn clothes.  It seems too soon to be putting away clothes that my new little babies have outgrown!  They still seem like my new little babies.  But they're not really.  They're 6 weeks old today and they're so much bigger than they were when they were born.
We went to their follow up cardiologist appointment this week and they both weighed over 8 pounds!  Taryn was 8 lbs 4 oz and Kenna was 8 lbs 5 oz.  Still quite a bit less than Tate when he was born, but SO much bigger than when they were born just 6 weeks ago!  It's crazy to me that Taryn has made up such a huge weight difference already.   The doctor appointment went really well.  The cardiologist was so very much nicer than the first one that I spoke with in the hospital.  He made it sound like Taryn's condition was really common and would just be monitored in case it got worse, but more than likely it would just continue to be a little murmur that wouldn't affect her life in any way.  That was SO great to hear.
The last two nights our babies have only woken up once!  We put them to bed at 10, they wake up 4-5 hours later at 2 or 3, and then sleep again until 5:30 or 6.  It's awesome and at the same time, it makes for a crazy morning racing to get all the kids fed and out the door in time to get Tate to the bus.  In the past I've only had Tate and Finn to get ready and fed from 6-6:30 but if the girls start waking up then too, I'm not really sure how to get to them all in just half an hour.  Maybe I'll have to start waking the boys up earlier?  This morning Taryn and Kenna were just hungry until we got back from the bus stop and I was able to sit down to feed them.  The ladies at the bus stop were more than happy to help hold and comfort them while we waited for the bus to leave so we could wave at Tate.
I sure love these two little girls.  I feel like it's going to be a common theme of my life from now on that I'll never feel like there's enough of me to go around.  Especially, at this time, with my two baby girls.  Some days I feed them, change them, and that takes about 45 minutes, and then I put them down somewhere so I can get things done or attend to Finn.  I don't often take time to play with them or talk to them or work to get them to smile at me because I have so many things that I have to get done in the time that they're not eating.  I'm sure it will get easier or maybe I'll just adjust.  But those moments when I do sit down and just connect with my little girls are so precious.
I had the most wonderful morning on Friday with my two baby girls while Glenn had the boys at fellowship.  I talked to them, sang to them, stared at them and felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that they are mine.  That I get to have two daughters.  Two sweet little girls at the same time.  I'm pretty sure these ladies are my last babies and I feel so grateful that I get two at the end to love and snuggle and dress up and sing to.  I get to have so much baby time to savor before my little baby days are over and that is pretty wonderful.

Here they are, Kenna and Taryn, 6 weeks old.  Not the greatest pictures today, but this is what I had time for while at the park doing my visiting teaching!  Nonstop day today!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 5 weeks old

Oh these baby girls.  They are getting cuter and cuter.  This week I've noticed that they're starting to fill out a little bit.  They still seem really scrawny to me when we get them all undressed for baths but with their teensy clothes on they look a little thicker to me than before.  And they are definitely a little bit heavier when I pick them up.  It's really fun.  

I've been waiting for them to start smiling and this week I've got my first couple of smiles.  They are still very much figuring it out and their smiles are few and far between so it will probably be a bit before I can catch them on camera.  Today they each flashed me one big beautiful smile, on separate occasions, which absolutely took my breath away, and then I spent the next 20 minutes making ridiculous noises and voices and faces trying to get them to smile again.  But no luck.  

I thought I'd try to document what our typical day is like at this point even though it still varies quite a bit.  Starting in the morning:

5 or 5:30 am - the girls usually wake up to eat.  Glenn and I feed them and then put them back down to sleep.  Then I get dressed in my exercise clothes and sometimes get a moment to check my emails or read a few more pages of a book before or throw in a load of laundry if need be.

6 am - I go in to get the boys up and ready for school and Glenn leaves for work.  Usually Tate gets up right away, gets himself dressed and downstairs.  Finn takes a little more coaxing and usually needs a few minutes alone and meets us downstairs a bit later happy as can be.  We eat breakfast, pack Tate's backpack and..

6:35 am - We are out the door on the way to the bus stop.  Finn usually rides his bike but sometimes he walks with us.  The bus leaves by 6:40.  Finn and I wave to Tate on the bus, chat with some of the bus stop ladies then walk home.

7:00 am - Finn and I finish breakfast and clean up dishes then change loads of laundry then I either spend a bit of time on the treadmill or do a workout video really quickly and try to be done working out and showered before the girls wake up to eat again.

8:00-9 am - The girls wake up to eat.  If they're both awake and mad at the same time, I feed them both at the same time by propping one up on pillows next to me on the couch and feeding her a bottle with one hand, while balancing the other on a nursing pillow while she nurses.  It makes for some kinks in my arms and wrists but at least one baby girl isn't screaming for 15 minutes while she waits for her sister to eat.  Then we get the girls dressed and I finish getting ready for the day.  At this point I change more laundry, change sheets on beds or fold a load or two and on good days get dinner prepped before we head out to play for a bit.

10-11 am - Finn and I get the girls in their stroller and they usually fall asleep while we go for a walk to get out for a bit.  Sometimes we go to a friend's house.  Sometimes we go visiting teaching.  Sometimes we meet someone at the park or bowling alley or just go on our own.  We play for about an hour and then head home for lunch.

11:30-12:00 pm - Finn and I eat lunch and the girls get hungry again too.  Sometimes I feed Finn and the girlies and then I eat after Finn goes down for his nap. Sometimes if the girls are still sleeping, I do more dinner prep while Finn is eating.

12:30-1pm - I take Finn upstairs and read him a story and he takes a nap.

1-3pm - Kenna, Taryn and I hang out.  Depending on how they're doing that day we could be snuggling while they fuss for a while or if I'm lucky, they go down for a nap as well and I get some alone time.  I do laundry, shop online sales for next year's clothes which I have shipped to Aubry so I can pick them up this summer (that's a post all on its' own!), do some research for recipes or trips or sometimes read and lie down for a quick nap.

2:30-3pm - Finn and the girls wake up.  Sometimes I feed the girls before we go to the bus, sometimes right after we get home.

3:35 pm - Finn, the girls, and I go to the bus stop to wait for Tate and then walk home with him.

4-5 pm - The boys have an after school snack and then I do some reading with Tate or a short piano practice and then the boys play, or depending on how tired Tate is that day, watch an episode of Wild Kratts until Glenn gets home.

5-5:30 - Glenn comes home!  We have dinner.  Sometimes I've made something earlier in the day, but if I didn't start something that morning, I rarely get around to pulling something together during the afternoon.  The afternoons get crazy.  We still have some freezer meals to draw from and once in a while we just order in pizza or salads from the snack bar here on camp.

5:45-6:30 pm - We go bowling, play at a park, play a board game, have FHE if we're doing really good and have planned ahead, or just play hide and seek or read books.  Sometimes we decide to have a family movie night which means that we do early baths and then watch movie until 7pm when they go up to bed.

7 pm - The boys go to bed, we bathe the girls (every other night), feed them, then Glenn and I take turns showering and then meet downstairs to watch something and talk for a while.  The girls usually conk out about 8pm but we're afraid to go to sleep thinking that they'll just be up in another hour so we wait as long as we can and then feed them once more.

9:30 pm - Glenn and I are struggling to keep our eyes open and we finally cave and force feed our sleeping babies one last time and then get them and ourselves into bed as fast as we can!

1:30-2:30 am - on good nights the ladies let us sleep this long.  A 4-5 hour stretch has been rare this week.  We can usually count on at least 3 but we're lucky if we get 4-5.  Usually one of the babies is crying, Glenn goes downstairs to get a bottle ready, I stumble into the babies room and change the crying baby and then wake her sister and change her then we take them both into our bed to feed them.  After they're done eating we put them back to bed and promptly fall back to sleep ourselves.

4:30-5:30 am - the whole thing starts again.  Depending on how the night went, our day is different by a couple of hours, which makes it hard to plan appointments and visits since feeding times vary, but we're figuring it out.  

Overall, this whole two babies thing has been way easier than we anticipated.  Mostly due to the fact that the babies are such sweeties.  They've had more fussy days this past week but even on hard days, they're not too terrible.  Taryn's joined in on the fussiness and I can honestly say she's been just as fussy this week as Kenna, which is kind of nice.  No one likes to have a reputation as being the difficult one, right?  This week there have been a few mornings where the girls eat, and then about an hour to and hour and a half after they eat (which is usually when they should be asleep), they start fussing and they cry non-stop unless they're being held, and sometimes even then, until I feed them again.  I usually cave and feed them a half hour early if they're pulling this stunt, so it sometimes means holding two babies, one on each shoulder, for an hour.  Luckily, they don't do this every day.  Another HUGE factor to the twins being easier than anticipated is how the boys have handled and supported the transition.  I'm speaking primarily of Glenn, of course.  Who has been a champ.  So supportive and helpful during the evenings, every night, and on weekends.  When Glenn is home he sends me upstairs every afternoon when Finn is napping and lets me sleep too.  Finn and Tate have handled it brilliantly as well.  They have been so patient with having much less attention.  It's hard not to feel bad for them, knowing how different things are now and how distracted I am, but they are dealing so well.

We've still got a LONG way to go schedule-wise.  I'm anxious to get the girls on a reliable napping schedule and sleeping longer stretches at night, but they're doing so well for only being 5 weeks old so I just need to be patient and remember that it will come with time.  So far so good.  

Here are the little ladies.  Kenna and Taryn at 5 weeks old:


 You see the little double chin there?  Oh that makes me so happy!
And a couple of the babes snuggling with Glenn.