Meltdown.

Today was just one of those absolutely mentally exhausting days.

But it’s not as if every day is all sunshine and rainbows and then today hit like a supercell thunderstorm – no, the babies must be in a wonder month week or something because it’s been a nice gradual buildup to insanity. Right now it mostly resides with B. He’s SO unbelievably fussy. And by fussy, I mean angry. There’s nothing that he wants, or if there is, I can’t figure it out (other than the remote, my cell phone, the dog bone, his sister’s face, anything he can’t have). He is no longer content to sit. I knew this day would come, as both babies sat for months all nicely and whatnot, but now that they both want to crawl, they don’t want to sit. But they can’t crawl, not yet. And so for B – he’s just so frustrated with his little life. He doesn’t want to be held, but he doesn’t want to sit, practice tummy time, stand, jump – honestly, there’s no telling what he wants. If his sister has a toy he wants and he can’t get it, he smacks his sister in the face repeatedly. (What’s with that??) And every day, I try to get the babies out of the house or do something different, just to appease him and change up the day.

Today just wasn’t one of those days. After he woke up from his second nap (albeit a little early) he did nothing but scream for the next hour, at least. Finally I just decided to feed him early to calm him down, but he was still in hysterics while chugging his milk through his straw cup, subsequently choking, gasping, and projectile spitting it all over himself and me. C decided to join the scream fest when I ripped her out of her crib and ran down the stairs without giving her time to kind of adjust post-nap, because I had to return to the screaming child. And then, giving her no attention, I plunked her down to sit for a while as I worked on B and finally, she had enough of being forgotten. Cue tears. Sad, crocodile tears. I imagine she was wailing, “You forgot meeeeeeee”. I didn’t. I kept thanking her for being so patient and swore it would be her turn soon but for some reason, I don’t think she understood.

I say this must be a wonder week because both of them cry in hysterics multiple times a day. More B than C – he is guaranteed a massive meltdown every single time I 1) change his diaper, 2) put him in the stroller, 3) put him in the high chair, 4) put on his PJs, and 5) put him down for a nap. Let’s say on a daily basis he goes through around 5-7 diapers, 2 walks in the stroller, 3 times in the high chair, plus one PJ routine and two naps. So that’s – 13-15 meltdowns a DAY for Mr. B. The pattern here is laying him down flat and restraining him with straps. Nope, he does not like those things. Thankfully, C is less meltdown-prone but she tends to fuss more often.

And it’s days like these that kind of, sort of, make me want to go back to work. It’s not that I don’t WANT to be with my children (cue guilt for even having to write that), and it’s not like I’m DYING to be at my job (no offense, colleagues) – but going to work would force me out of the drabness that surrounds a stay-at-home parent. And we do get out of the house every day, even if for just a walk. But one hour away and at a playgroup doesn’t change the fact that I’m, by myself, taking care of two babies for around 10 hours a day. That one hour of socialization (or half hour, at the library sing-along), doesn’t change the fact that when we get home, I’m back on super-duty. It’s just so exhausting – starting from 6:00 am when we are all up until they go to bed at 7:00 pm. So going to work would allow me to step out of that realm for most of my day. But see – that’s also the downside of going to work. I don’t WANT to be away from the babies, I just want some breaks in my day.

I give major props to the stay-at-home-parent who is permanently in that position. Do you ever change out of sweatpants? Put on makeup? Work on yourself when you’re staying at home? I can’t seem to do it – we have started a little short jog with the jogging stroller in the mornings, so that’s good for me I guess. I don’t particularly FIT into my old, nicer clothes, so yes, I’ve been in sweatpants for let’s see – oh, about a year and a half.

So it’s a challenge. Today, I didn’t really feel like the parent as much as the nanny – just passing the hours. And that’s sad. Here’s hoping to tomorrow being a better day.

On a happier note, I’m finally planning the babies’ first birthday party and I’m excited about it. There’s absolutely no NEED to have anything lavish, or a theme, or much more than a mid-summer BBQ. However, being at home has allowed me to tap into my creative side and I have thoroughly enjoyed finding a theme. Thank you, Pinterest and Etsy – for exposing me to the vintage ice cream shoppe idea. I am on a mission to do this on a budget, so we’ll see how “vintage” I get, but it’s a big day that’s coming up in only 2 short months. Yikes.

I also received a new camera lens and wow, what a difference. Taking a picture now lets the subject really stand out and pop, as it blurs out the background. Do nannies take pictures for you while you go to work??

DSC_0511

 

DSC_0625

 

DSC_0717

C sees the camera come out and it’s instant smiles and holding poses. Much appreciated. B – not so much. It’s song and dance time until he smiles, or at least looks your way.

DSC_0280 2

 

DSC_0616

 

DSC_0733

 

And a few together, because I can’t resist.

DSC_0232

 

DSC_0484

 

 

Props to the stay at home parent!

I get it! I get what it’s like to be a stay at home parent, and I get why it’s hard. I mean, I always understood that, as soon as the babies were home – but I didn’t put two and two together – raising babies was hard.

I was so BUSY with newborn twins, what with around the clock feedings and naps, and then with sleep struggles and then finally getting to the stage where they can play, that at the time I thought, I’m totally good at home, by myself, day in and day out. I’m sure I have many a blog post on it, as I was a happy little clam. I’m still happy, but also going INSANE. But not with the babies – I’m not tired of their company at all actually. But being a stay at home mom is so LONELY if you let it be. I imagine that if you are a permanent stay at home parent, your secret to happiness is doing something with your days besides stay at home with babies, whether that be play groups or time to yourself. But you can’t just sit in your house every single day. And I’m not home permanently – I’ll be back to work full time in August, so for now, I don’t want to let these months slip by me without enjoying them to their fullest.

So that’s why, what started out as the occasional trip to Target and then Costco turned into an “OMG I must get out of this house on a daily basis”. It happened overnight, really. One day I was fine at home, and the next – I couldn’t imagine NOT leaving the house. We still run errands.

IMG_3605 Alert as always at Costco.

But this week we’ve started something new – story times, sing a longs, and playgroups.

Today we went to our first sing a long “rhyme time” at the library for kids 0-24 months. There were at least 30 people there, mostly with toddlers. There were some babies though, even one as young as about 6 weeks. My babies were a little shell-shocked, with C being curious in a new environment but not exactly smiling, and B having MULTIPLE meltdowns when the room started singing and clapping. He was that kid in the back corner where everyone turns around to see who’s making the fuss. And then, I had them both sitting on the ground, but C started to fall so I turned away from B for a second to help her back to a sitting position, and while I was doing that, B fell, like flat on his face in front of the woman next to me. And then he really cried. He wasn’t hurt or anything even close, but he wasn’t liking the position he fell into. I don’t blame him. That’s my life with twins. It’s so hard to tend to both of them at the same time! I offered up a “Sorry, Bud” and a “You’re okay!” with the hope that he’d calm down and he did, but he still didn’t smile.

IMG_3781This was before the major meltdown but you can tell, he’s begging for me to save him.

It’s obviously good for them to go out and see the world, and C even seems to like it, so of course I’ll continue. But I wonder if this type of behavior B has towards crowds, lots of people, etc. isn’t something I can “fix” by more exposure – and may just be how he is. Maybe for now, maybe for a while. I’d hate to put him through a stressful situation time and time again in hoping the exposure changes him. That said – I have two babies, and one of them really likes to socialize. So for now, we’ll be going back to that sing a long.

Now tomorrow, we’re off to a town-sponsored play group for the first time. For B, it’s all about crowd control and noise. Once the volume gets to a certain point, he feels completely overwhelmed and shuts down. I understand. I’m not sure how many people will be there tomorrow so we may end up with a repeat situation.

In related news, when I am home with the babies I decided I want to change and extend their toys and stimulation. It’s the same old light up, loud obnoxious toys, where the babies don’t have to think much – most of these toys are trance-inducing. They are great with a fussy baby and certainly have their place, but when it comes to exploration, I want to spice up their lives (and mine). This website was recommended to me:

The Imagination Tree. It has a million awesome, fun, and cheap ideas for toys and activities at home. I mean, really genius ideas. Once I browsed through this, I got many ideas and am loving the thought of making my own toys. Sometimes you don’t really have to spend money on gadgets and things that light up – babies would prefer the wrapping anyway.

So I’m starting with sensory bottles and “treasure baskets”. When they’re all done I’ll put a picture up to give you a better idea, but I just love the concept of taking things around your house that are safe for babies and letting them do the exploring. I’m also excited to transform the second bedroom upstairs that’s full of crap into the official “play room” for the babies. Pinterest is addicting – so many great ideas! So there will be more on all that when I actually get around to doing something about it.

DSC_0278

DSC_0276I got this idea online – so simple, yet I never would have thought of it. The trays on my high chairs come off easily and have those lips on the end to keep liquid in. I simply poured some warm water in and enticed the babies to splash it a bit. They didn’t understand what the heck I was doing, so I added one drop of food coloring. Just one. Granted, they should have worn bibs but honestly, only the ends of their sleeves got wet and no stains whatsoever. Only B even wanted to touch the water, C just looked at me like I was insane. Which I may be, but it’s fun to let babies explore. And babies love water, so it seemed like a good place to start.

I think being a stay at home parent means combating loneliness, yes, but also being creative. Same toys, same house, no company…it just won’t work for me at least. So far, getting out of the house once a day and thinking up some fun activities that let the babies explore is helping. You know what else would help? Warm temperatures over freezing, maybe some grass.

Here’s how the last week went down:

IMG_3597 There was more tub fun (one day I might actually put this in water),

IMG_3645I’ve had this mirror forever, not hanging anywhere. Perfect tummy time opportunity.

IMG_3664My babies love the dogs, and one of my dogs loves the babies.

IMG_3737They really like to be without clothes, and I can’t pass up the opportunity to take a picture when they are dressed (or not) like twins…

IMG_3767A big day! They sat up like big babies in the stroller when we went for a quick, cold, windy walk.

And that was our week!