Life has never been so busy. Two children under the age of two should sum it up. Actually, for those of you who are not yet a parent, and quite frankly, for those of you who have one child...it may be hard to relate. Allow me to explain:
Alarm clocks are overrated when you have a six week old who wakes you up every two to three hours to nurse. It just so happens when he finishes his last feeding of a night series, daylight has filtered into the room and as un-welcomed as an alarm, I get a jarring 'Mommy' from Kaitlyn's room. The day has officially began. Can I pee before I get her? What about getting dressed? If I don't do it now then I won't see my closet until mid-day. Oh well, 'Mommy' is even louder this time around and so off I go to get my little sunshine.
While I like to think mornings have become my favorite time of day with my children, it is truly the hardest part. Fortunately, despite any lack of sleep, within thirty minutes of Kaitlyn's 'Mommy', I'm fairly awake and consumed with comforting, cooking, feeding, talking, explaining, ... diaper changing, dressing, cleaning, playing, disciplining... the list truly goes on. Let's not forget the baby-he usually gets up and mind you he is upstairs while Kaitlyn and I are downstairs. If our staircase could talk it would request a massage. HTA (High Traffic Area) for me and the kids. Up and Down. Up and Down. One would think I could plan my day better to avoid the Up and Down, but the fact of the matter is that with two children, you can only plan so much. 16 steps. I know each one intimately.
Did I mention that Steve is sleeping during all this? Add that to the mix and it adds a slight level of strain as I try to keep everyone quiet-it doesn't work. Kaitlyn is ready for voice lessons as she warms up in the morning. You can find her often screaming a song or two. I haven't figured out the lyrics yet, but her range is quite elaborate. She also likes to whine and cry in the morning if the baby is awake with her. It's a jealous thing, but it's no quiet songbird. She is a broken record some mornings. I'm exhausted just writing this out.
By lunch I have reclaimed energy as I know quiet time/nap time is just around the corner for Kaitlyn and that means I will hopefully have some personal time-all dependent upon Dylan's decision to head for a nap, too. At a minimum, it will be one child to care for over two. Naptime comes and goes for me. On a rare occassion I slip into bed for a power slumber (with the exception of today...a blissful two hour nap beckoned me and I indulged) but generally naptime if both children are down means time for me to catch up on emails, surf the net for Christmas gifts, work on the MOMS Club newsletter and design birth announcements, baptism invites, holiday cards...do something creative. Then it's over, all too soon.
Second part of the day arrives and it's busy...but easier than the morning. It's pretty much focused on dinner, preparing it, eating it, cleaning it up. Then onward up the stairs for bathtime, storytime, clean-up and bed-time. Bathtime has come to be a cherished time for me as I place Dylan on a blanket and as he counts the bathroom lights Kaitlyn gets all washed up. Both are typically in their best form. It's lovely. It's not hectic. It's totally manageable.
Post bathtime, however, is another story. Kaitlyn is my bulldozer and that is her MO when she gets out of the bath. Naked butt and all she runs wild in her room. First taking her books off the shelves, tossing each one into the air like they don't matter anymore. Then it's a race to hide from me to avoid putting on a diaper and lotion. Sometimes a good bite occurs as I try to grab her and that just puts her into a timeout which results in the horrific screaming cry since she feels it's the end of the world. After a good timeout she's an angel child, obediently gets dressed and reads her books like nothing ever happened. Dylan hangs out through it all, patiently awaiting his next nursing session.
Once Kaitlyn is down then it's at least an hour holding Dylan before he is down for a good few hours. This is when I should crash. BUT, I don't. I embrace this time of the night as the only time for me. Well, it's not really for me until I finish up the dishes, tidy up the family room and keep some laundry going. When that is over, if I'm still standing, then I find some respite in my office before hitting the sack to only be awakened moments later by Dylan's grunts letting me know the cycle of night feedings, once again, has just begun.