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I can't tell you how many people ask me "How do you do it? Taking care of all of those kids. Your poor wife!" I can't attest for how Kari does it, but here is a typical day when I am home:

Take into account it is much much much easier now that the twins are eating normally and sleeping (allowed to cry for awhile) through the night.

I am vaguely aware of a small person breathing on my face. I try to tuck said small person under the covers so it will go back to sleep for 15 more minutes. Then I realize that I only feel one small person and I wonder what the other small person is up to. At this point I try to doze for a bit longer, but am no longer totally asleep. I have found that at this point I can doze and still listen for normal sounds and/or crashing objects. Total silence after this point will also cause me to become fully awake. I take a peek and the monitor for the twins to check for the yellow lights that illuminate when they are crying.

Often this is the time that I am informed about poop or other messes that might need attention. Three times in the last week Rylee has come in and woken me by saying in a soft voice "Daddy...Daddy, poop."
"Daddy, dog poop. Bunker."
"Show me!" (Which means I will show you) Rylee sometimes get show me and show you mixed up. Its cute.

On days where there is no poop the girls will snuggle with us for awhile or will go play quietly with blocks and puzzles for 30 minutes or so till they kick us out of bed.

Guilt forces me to get out of bed and see what kind of trouble my big girls are getting into. That or Rylee comes back in and tells me "I hungry."

Usually by this time the dogs have had enough waiting around too and make their wishes known by shaking vigorously and whacking their tails on the wall. Two labs flapping their ears, rattling their collars, thumping their tails, and whimpering, can not be ignored for long.

The first thing that I do is take care of bladder over pressure. This formerly private act is now closely scrutinized by two toddlers and two dogs. I then try to get everyone out of the bedroom as quietly as possible to let Kari get a little more sleep. The dogs go out side till I have the kids under control.

More often than not I turn on the TV. I can not help but say this again, "If you have four kids and you don't use the TV as baby sitter, you are a moron. Their minds can't get any mushier than mine." Although, some mornings I opt for quiet and encourage coloring or other activities. It all depends on the moods of the kids.

Change Reagan and help Rylee into big girl panties.

Turn up the twins monitor so I can stop checking for yellow lights ever three seconds.

7:34 till 7:38
Stand and stare at the disaster of a house that we live in and wonder what I should do first. Rewash the clothes that were left in the washer? Put away the clean dishes so there is room for the ones that are about to be cleaned. We use a lot of dishes and they are never all clean.

"I hungry."

Start breakfast. If I am feeling motivated, and the twins are still quiet, I let the big girls help me with eggs or French toast. More often than not, however, the girls want and I settle for frozen waffles. Bananas are also a favorite.

Sometimes this all goes smoothly and sometimes not. Rylee often asks for something, but by the time you get it prepared she has changed her mind and wants something else. "You said that you wanted waffles."
"No waffle."
"Yes, waffle. You asked for it, I made it and you are going to eat this or nothing."
"No waffle."
"Fine." So I eat the waffle.
"Its all gone. You didn't want it."
"WAFFFFLLLE!" now with tears.
"Will you eat it. If I make another waffle, will you eat it?"
"I help?"
"Ok, you may help."

Reagan meanwhile has been lounging in her chair, observing dispassionately, as she munches on her waffle with honey. She will eat almost anything, at any time. Its great.

The kids are eating and quiet. I let Bunker in and take him to the garge for breakfast. Bogie gets his food out side. The cat tells me not to forget about him with a loud meow, so I feed him too.

I go to start coffee, but the sink is too full to fill the coffee pot with water, so I start to wash dishes, but there is nowhere to put them, so I start to put away the clean dishes. "Milk?" asks Rylee.
"You want milk?"
"What is the magic word?"
"Okay, since you asked so nice." "Reagan, would you like some milk too?"

Pour myself some coffee from yesterday and stick it in the microwave. Forget what I was doing and start on laundry. Remember that I was doing dishes and go back to that.

8:07 - 8:14
"Down." says Rylee
"You want to get down?"
"Alright." I take the tray off her highchair to allow her to climb down. I hold Rylee over the kitchen sink to wash her hands and think that we should have washed the hands before we ate, what a great parent.
"Down." says Reagan with her sticky, honey covered hands stretched up toward me. She has not found silverware to be useful at meal time, but we continue to encourage it. I figure that she will learn to use a fork before she goes to college. Reagan gets her hands washed too.

Back to the dishes.

"You have to go pee pee?"
"Well, hurry! Lets go to the bathroom."
Pee, wipe, redress, flush, wash, hand out the M&M reward and the star sticker for the "I Did It" chart on the wall.
While this is going on, Reagan wants to sit on the potty too. We encourage this, but it is time consuming.

Let Bunker out of the garage and back out side. Jordan is starting to fuss.

I get out the syringes and fill two for each girl. I set the Previcid tabs next to them. I try to give the twins their meds first thing. Since we have to wait 30 minutes to feed them after the Previcid, I like to have that done and then distract them with diaper changes and such. If you don't they start to get impatient and wake up Momma.

8:31 - 8:45
I peek into the twins room and find them both awake. Jordan standing and smiling up at me with her tongue sticking out. Madison sitting up playing with her plush toy and giving me an identical smile with her tongue stuck out. "Good morning!" I say and get some giggles and coos in return. I pick up Madison first. Since Jordan is always standing it is easier to pick her up with one hand.
We head down stairs to the dinning room. I put the twins down and get their medicine. I lay the syringes and pills on the chair and select the nearest infant. Before I can administer the medication I see Reagan reaching for my stock pile on the chair and I am forced to pause to shoo her away and move the medication to the table. I get the pill in Jordan's mouth and one syringe in while trying to keep her from rolling over and spitting it all out when I notice Reagan. Undeterred, she has climbed up a chair on to the table and slid on her stomach across the table to get at her object of interest. She got her hands on one syringe and a Previcid tab. "PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!" I raised my voice more than I intended. I was just really surprised to look up from my kneeling position and see her head poking over the edge of the table and a syringe in her hand. I guess I was pretty focused on what I was doing not to see her get up there.
Now, where was I? I set the twin down to deal with Reagan and now I was having trouble remembering which twin I had been working on. They move so fast, are wearing nearly identical pajamas, and this is one of those days that I am having a hard time telling them apart. Not to mention that I still have not had my coffee yet, my day old coffee is still in the microwave. After several minutes of examining the twins I figured out which one I had been working on the continued with the medication.

Then on to the changing table. I set one twin on the floor and the other on the changing table. They don't like being changed at all and now that they can roll so well, it can be a challenging job. You really need three hands.

Put the twins in front of the TV and retrieve my coffee. I log the time they woke up and their medication on the individual baby logs.

Kari is getting more relaxed about it now, but she used to really hit the roof when I would forget to mark things down on the log. I can understand her frustration. Some things, like medication, are very important to record when you have more than one person taking care of the babies. It is embarrassing to overdose your kids. Also the logs have been a great tool for measuring their progress and food intake. I have tried to be more diligent about recording on the logs and she has tried not stress about it when I forget.

Give the twins some Cheerios to pacify them till I could give them a bottle.

Discover that we don't have bottles made

Bottles ready and warming. Finally started a new pot of coffee.

Feed both twins at the same time while they stand in their bouncy seats. They look like little baby bears with their heads tilted back, hands griping the sides of the bottles and standing on tip toes to get a better bite on the bottle.

Put the twins on the floor in front of the TV. At least they start in front of the TV. I doesn't take them long to end up in another room. Kari is usually up at or before this point and is nice enough to fetch another cup of coffee for me (I have lost the one I was drinking) if I am still feeding the twins.

9:35 - 10:35
There is a lull in the action. Everyone is fed and rested so it is usually fairly calm. Now we can get a little food for the adults. However, most days we enjoy the few quiet moments and skip breakfast, settling for more caffeine instead. Now I search for a project that won't take to long or one that won't suffer if it is interrupted. More laundry and dishes. Some times we tackle vacuuming or the pool at this point. Often the big girls will play outside for sometime. The jungle gym is a blessing. No more playing with large rock though.

10:30 - 11:00
Feed the twins solid food. They are getting better about the solid food and sometimes even open their mouths. More on the trials of solid food in another post. I may have related this before, but I have read that if you want to practice feeding an infant, you should tie a milk jug from the ceiling, set the milk jug to swinging and spinning, and then with a very small spoon try to transfer baby food (which has a consistency slightly thicker than water) from the baby food jar into the jug without spilling any.

11:00 - 11:30
Snack time for the big girls and maybe a nap for the twins. Sometimes the twins will sleep for thirty minutes and sometimes two hours. Maybe you can type on the blog or surf the net for a few minutes around this time, if you are feeling like ignoring all the other things that need to be done.

11:30 - 15:00
The twins will get up from the nap and play on the floor for awhile. Medicine needs to be given again between two and three. Hopefully, one or both of the big girls have taken a nap somewhere around here or you are in for a lively evening.

You must remember that through out this post I have omitted the 5 to 10 minutes at a time that must be taken to mediate disputes over toys or pushing or hitting, find all the spots that the marker you just caught your child with has been applied to you home, look for your coffee, change a diaper (or four), sneak away to use the restroom, help with puzzles, handout Cheerios, wipe up paint or urine or poop or milk or vomit (or insert your favorite mess here), help with the potty training, just sit and hold your needy kids for a few minutes because nothing else is making them happy, take out the trash, uncap and recap markers, swap out DVDs, stop whatever you are doing to acknowledge "Daddy daddy daddy ... look.", check on kids when there is total silence, retrieve unreachable toys, constantly weigh whether to give in to what the big girls want verses a screaming fit, and kissing boo boos.

I also have to say that thing are soooooooooooo much easier that the twins are on the new medication and eating again. There is no more screaming at feeding time. When the twins are hungry, they eat. There is no overstating the relief that we feel after going through months of basically force feeding the twins while they scream just to keep them growing. When they got worse and started to lose weight we where very distraught.

15:00 - 16:00
Another bottle for the twins and sometimes solid food. We have not quite gotten a schedule for solid food. We do try to take some time just to sit on the floor and play with the twins. It would be easy just to feed them and change them sometimes with all that is going on with the big girls.

16:00 - 18:00
Start working on dinner. We try to remember to thaw something out early in the day so that it is ready to prepare. I have to admit that starting dinner at four is contrary to every aspect of our lives prior to twins and is a huge amount of work. However, I am really enjoying sitting down to dinner together with the whole family. I want it to be "That is just the way we have always done it." for our girls. I think that it is important.

However, as I type this Kari and I have both skipped breakfast and dinner. Sometimes it is just too much to do.

Rylee and Reagan are much more civil after dinner and we have some good play time before bed. between 18:00 and 20:00.

20:00 - 20:30
Bed time for the big girls. We start telling them around 19:30 that it is almost time to put on jammies, bush the teeth, read a story and go night night. When I am home this is usually the time that I deal with just the big girls and the twins really start to squawk for Kari. It is almost as if they can sense that she is alone and turn up the heat.

It can be a little tense till we get the last bottle in the twins. However, after the last bottle we have the twins in bed by about 21:00 and they have been sleeping through the night. (As far as we know, since we turn off the monitors.)

21:00 - 01:00
Cleaning. This is really the only time that we have to clean, blog, surf the net, watch TV (other than Dora the Explorer), give attention to the dogs, ect.

06:35 - 06:55


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