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My daily plan

Our schedule has seriously made a world of difference. To go from 45 minute (max) sleep stretches to a full night's sleep (7 pm to 6:30 am) is... is there a word? My mind feels like it is actually connected to my body. I remember things. My eyes aren't black and baggy. I don't have a glazed expression and I can remember where I live. Conversations with friends don't involve strange looks (Me: "How old is he?" Her: "6 months." Me: "Aw! How old is he?" Her: glare). I drive to Target and not only remember what I wanted to buy, but I also remember that I have a list in my purse.

With a full night's sleep to look forward to every night, we got a puppy. He sort of fell in to the family. I've heard from a lot of people that I was crazy (in a joking manner) and that I was crazy (in a serious manner). Animal people get it: I love having L to cuddle with after the babies go to sleep for the night, to sit with me during feedings, or to bounce up and down when I get home. That unconditional animal love. We've made leaps and bounds with house training. He's even learned not to go in the kitchen, which toys are his, and we are working on no biting (puppy nipping). He is the sweetest little ball of Morkie there ever was. I have been the primary caregiver for him, as well as for the babies. When W gets home in the evenings and gets D ready for bed... sigh... it is wonderful. (See:

We start getting the babies ready for bed at 6:30 pm (earlier if it is a bath night), start feeding them around 6:45 pm, in bed by 7:00 pm, and lights out right after that. They fall asleep in their cribs without our assistance. We let them cry for 5 minutes max (less if they are extremely upset or not feeling well) and give them a pacifier or readjust them until their crying stops. We followed the book "12 Hours in 12 Weeks" ( recommended to us by a twin mom. I would recommend this for any mom that wants a full night's sleep, not just twin moms (though a note for twin moms: this is a schedule that you can do by yourself all day even with an older child home). We did not start this book until after their newborn schedule switched to something more difficult to handle; they slept great for the first 10 weeks or so that we had them home. Once their lights go out, then we have time with D until we start getting him ready for bed. W takes care of D while I get the babies to sleep and they usually play cars until 7:25, 7:30 pm. Then it is bathtime, jams, brush teeth, stories, prayers, and bed. With the bedtimes staggered, W or I can get all the kids to bed on time by ourselves. It takes the pressure off if he needs to stay at school and study longer or if I want to go out with friends or take a long, long walk. Alone. :)

From the time the kids wake up to the time they go down for morning nap, it is pedal to the metal around here. If I oversleep by 10 minutes, I have to deal with screaming children and a wild dog until I start the first feeding, mostly because I have to take L outside before I can sit down and feed, or, dear Lord, there go the carpets. Those mornings I am grateful for W's help. He'll get D's breakfast going while I take the dog out and take care of the babies. I can usually get us all dressed (and check my email--no smartphone for me) before their 9 o'clock nap. However, once they go down to nap, I do laundry, tidy, get our things ready to leave the house, and try to spend some time with D. He loves to help me get things together.
The list of things we need to leave the house is long. I have things I always keep in the mini-van and things I constantly restock in our diaper bag. Here is the list:

Diaper Bag
  • 8 diapers for the twins
  • 3 diapers for D
  • 3 change of clothes for the twins
  • 1 burp cloth
  • 1 bag of sanitizing wipes
  • 1 package of baby wipes
  • 1 travel size of hand sanitizer
  • snack for D
  • protein snack for me (bag of peanuts)
  • enough formula for 2 feedings (6 4 oz travel packs)
  • formula dispenser full for approximate time out of the house (1-2 feedings, depending on where I'm going)
  • Bottles: 3 nipples (in case one is dropped and unusable), 2 bottle tops (nipple covers), 2 bottles
  • Sun hats for the twins

Backpack Diaper Bag
*I always have this with me in case I don't want to carry the full diaper bag in the building with me: going to dinner and carrying in the infant carriers, or running in to a store, etc. I leave it fairly empty and load it while I am out, dropping in the bottles, or whatever else I want with me. Plus side: if I HAVE to carry both infant carriers, for some reason, you can throw this on your back and don't have to deal with a bag under your arm.*
  • 1 Hot Slings brand baby sling
  • 1 burp cloth
  • Lipstick for me (in case I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror)

Mini Van aka "Mobile Home Base"
  • Sun shade that accommodates both infant carriers (see picture)
  • Plastic bags (like Target bags--never know when you need these. I use them for trash, for dirty outfits, and for whatever other thing that comes my way and I need a plastic bag)
  • Canvas tote
  • Sunscreen: adult spray bottle, child lotion bottle, and works when wet child spray bottle
  • Stocked extra diaper bag that never goes in my house (I stock it by bringing things OUT to it or pulling things from the diaper bag I carry in the house) full of 4 infant diapers, 2 D diapers, wipes, shirt and shorts for D, socks for D, burp cloth, onsies for babies, diaper cream, hand sanitizer, and travel size baby powder.
  • 4 one time use bottle nipples
  • 2 one time use bottles
  • Large tub of sanitizing wipes and a smaller one in the back seat
  • Hand sanitizer by the "changing spot" in the van and by the drivers seat
  • Extra wipes (not a large pack because they will dry out if you don't use them or if it is really hot. However, don't throw them out if they dry out: rewet them with water for less messy clean ups)
  • Extra diapers to stock my diaper bag when necessary
  • Diaper disposal bags, great to use for diapers or for cleaning up after the dog
  • Hand lotion, plenty of hand lotion
  • One of those nasal aspirators
  • First aid kit including Neo to go and hand sanitizer
  • Trash bag in reach of driver seat
  • Water (usually brought out in a Nalgene type bottle) to make bottles if I need to, but I do keep a plastic bottle of water for me in the van (I know, I know, heat melts plastic in the bottle, I know)
  • Changing pad (I do not always carry this with me and I do not keep it in the diaper bag. Most of the time I change diapers at the van. So much easier with twins, less messy, and I can let D play in the back seat instead of exploring the public restroom)
  • Kids' CD's for when I need to feed babies in the van and D is bored
  • Boppy pillow (I always leave one in the van in case I need it to feed the babies while I am out by myself)
  • Disposable changing mats (in case I stop at a rest stop and the van is too full to change them there or if I know I will be inside somewhere a long time)
  • Snack bag: juice boxes, pretzels, cashews, granola bars, goldfish, Teddy Grahams, fruit snacks, Odwalla bars, Cliff bars. Snacks that will not melt, do not have chocolate, will keep D happy at the bank or will give him protein when I am running late.
  • Toys for D: laptop that makes noise (very entertaining), lacing boards (shoe strings and boards with holes to lace them through, like sewing), action figures, cars, etc.
  • Sun hats for me and D
  • The car seat adaptors for our stroller (2 adaptors) and the actually seats for our stroller (2 seats)
  • ...I'm sure I will think of other things later that I forgot to list.

Obviously with all these children I usually forgo the purse option. Instead I carry a clutch with a credit card/coin purse inside, my camera, my cell phone, and chap stick. I drop this in my stroller, the infant carrier, or my diaper bag, depending on where I am going.

Having all these items on hand in our van makes going out MUCH easier. Every couple weeks I make sure that the van is fully stocked. In between times, I make a note when I run low or out of something in the van and refill as needed. I bring my diaper bag and backpack in the house with me every time I go in the house. We live on the first floor, so I load up the stroller every time I go in and out of the house. It is too much work to carry a Diet Coke, two infant carriers, wrangle a three year old, a diaper bag, and whatever else I am leaving with. Even with just the kids that would be a WORK OUT. No thank you, the stroller is much easier.

Our stroller makes our life possible. I've written about it before, but I mean it. I can walk the dog while the babies sit in their car seats or stroller seats, push the stroller with one hand, while D sits on the glider board eating a snack. I can push it through the grass at the park EASILY. I can load up my diaper bags and a Boppy pillow and still have room for shopping bags. That glider board has a million uses: drop a shopping basket on it, put your shopping on it, put the dog carrier on it, put D on it... I can feed the babies in their stroller seats without a Boppy by myself. I can rearrange their seating with the babies still in the seats by myself. If you want more details on my stroller, here is the link and obviously I would be happy to share our many uses of our stroller. We have the City Select stroller with the second seat attachment, the car seat adaptors, the mommy console, and the glider board, as well as a drink holder that I haven't attached yet.

We try to be home for their afternoon nap from 1 to 3. I always nap them at the same time. The babies go down at 1 pm. D follows shortly after for his "quiet time." From 1 to 3 pm, I have Mommy Time. I usually have (shocking) laundry to do. I have napped myself, but I am not a napper. I feel like I nap in the afternoon and then I can't fall asleep until late. I would rather go to bed early. I don't know what happens to these two hours, but usually 3 o'clock comes quickly and it is feeding time again. The evenings fly by: dinner, diapers, walking the dog, cleaning, W coming home, and suddenly it is evening.

I have figured their schedule out well enough that I can mix things up every now and then, stay out later then usual, push their morning nap up or back, give a feeding a little later than usual. The key is not to mix too many things up at once. Keep feedings on schedule (7 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm) but do the morning nap 10 am to 11 am (instead of 9 am to 10 am) and keep the afternoon nap the same (1 pm to 3 pm). Only change one thing. And don't do it all the time. Monday be out for morning nap, but then don't mess it up again until Wednesday or Thursday. You get the idea.

This is my day to day life. It's busy, but it's manageable. I pray a lot. I really do. When D is melting down and O is refusing to eat for some unknown reason, it can be frustrating. Or when C won't fall asleep. Or L had an accident on my carpet. Sometimes it is LOUD, but that makes the quiet times better. Sometimes time moves too slow (please hold up your head, please use your hands) and then I realize it went by too fast (you can roll over? When did you turn three?). I feel claustrophobic and want out of the house, only to have O throw up on my shirt, C puke orange all over his onsie, D drop their pacifiers in a puddle, and I wish I was home with my own things. Other times I love being out of the house with the kids, the breeze blowing, the babies playing with their toys, D kicking ball with his friends... I thank God for these blessings. For babies that smile when I do silly things, for babies that soothe when I sing them songs, for boys that cuddle me during movies, for having them here to drive me crazy. For my husband who still leaves diapers on the changing table instead of putting them in the diaper genie, but who reads D 5 stories before bed when I only do 2.

Life is unpredictable and that makes me enjoy the good times all the more.


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