My name is Emily Burton and I live in Battle Creek, MI. My husband, Matt and I met at work and have been married for three years. My stepdaughter Alexis lives with us throughout the school year. She is 17, has a chromosomal deletion condition that makes her special needs and she’s our social butterfly. A little over a year after we got married, we got the best surprise when we found out we were expecting twins. An easy pregnancy but loooong labor later, Montgomery Charles and Violet Elizabeth were born on January 16, 2014. I almost can’t express how fulfilling and wonderful becoming a mother has been. I find myself more patient and enthusiastic overall and I could go on, for LITERALLY hours talking about how great my kids are. After returning to work for a few months, we decided it just wasn’t working out how we’d hoped and I became a full-time mommy. Squeeee!
Overall, my general approach to life with two babies is focusing on consistency mixed with flexibility. Full disclosure: It is completely ironic I would be advising anyone to “go with the flow” because I am a total planner who focuses on details (hence consistency), but caring for a family of five just makes you loosen up a little I guess. For example, my kids don’t nap at exactly the same time from day to day, it can fluctuate depending on what we are doing that day. Some days we get two naps and some days the first nap is so long they don’t need a second one. I give all of the credit to my kids because they have always been good eaters, sleepers and have very different but contented personalities. Also, my husband is extremely patient, thank goodness for him!
6:45 am - Matt gets up to start getting Alexis ready for school. After he helps her shower, I get her dressed and do her hair, help with shoes, coat and backpack and get her on the school bus.
7:15 am - As we wait for the bus, Monty is now awake and crying pretty loudly. Since he is standing in his crib and being pretty insistent, as soon as Alexis is on the bus I will bring him downstairs even though it's a little early. Daddy is already busy getting himself ready for work or he would have brought Monty downstairs.
7:25 am - Alexis in on her way, but Monty has now quieted right back down and is asleep again. I know I have either 20 minutes give or take before he’s up again for the day or if I’m lucky he could sleep up to another hour and a half. Either way I have time for a shower!
7:58 am - Babies are still asleep, great news! Time to get their diaper bag ready, do some dishes, laundry and get everything prepped for the day.
8:53 am - Both babies are awake. I LOVE days when they sleep in and I can get tasks done at my own pace. I bring them downstairs.
9:00 am - Milk time in sippy cups.
9:07am - Bath time! Monty’s diaper is filled to the brim, so he gets to be first today. I still bathe them separate because it works the best logistically for me when I am alone. After he’s dried, diapered and dressed, its Violet’s turn. Today the baths are all business, we have a play date to get to.
9:38 am - Everyone is in the car and we are headed for our twin play date, right after a quick roll through the Starbucks drive-through of course.
10:05 am - We arrive at our play date. My best friend was around 6 months pregnant with her own boy/girl twins when we found out that we were expecting the same. Her beautiful babies are about 4 months older than mine and they have so much fun together. It is nice to have play dates period, but having them with other twin mommas is one of my most cathartic outlets. I don’t know if either of us would be sane without another friend who knows EXACTLY what its like to be in each other's shoes. We chatter and catch up nonstop until it's lunch time. If you don’t have a twin momma friend, GET ONE!
10:20 am - After the initial excitement of playing with our besties is over, it's time for a our morning yogurt snack.
11:59 am - Everyone is getting a little hungry. Time to feed the big kids. Then the littles. Grilled cheese and fruit! One small example of why having play dates at other twin homes is the best is that they have two of everything and it's almost exactly like being at home. We literally have the same high chairs!
1:03 pm - The natives are getting restless, so we say our goodbyes and head home. Everyone is asleep within moments.
1:38 pm - I didn’t bring enough diapers to this play date (doh!), so instead of going straight up to bed, I change them both. Today it took them almost 50 minutes to settle back into sleep, but they handle the transition like champs playing and talking in their cribs until sleep comes. I take this lull in the action to check emails and social media, switch the laundry and get everything from our trip put away.
2:57 pm - Alexis gets off the bus. Our ritual is to put away our shoes, coat and bag and immediately use the bathroom. Then she selects a movie to watch and a game to play and checks in on all of her “friends” (her Mickey Mouse clubhouse stuffed animals). With most of the chores out of the way for now, I watch a little bit of tv to relax.
4:05 pm - Check in on Alexis, she’s been reading to Mickey and talking about how she’s going bowling tomorrow.
4:33 pm - Since it is kind of late for an afternoon snack, I had better get it prepared before they are awake. As soon as I finish cutting the grapes and string cheese, I hear Violet’s voice. Before I’m upstairs they are both serenading each other. I bring them downstairs and get their diapers changed and get them settled into their seats for snack time.
4:57 pm - Snack is over and playtime begins. Some of the highlights include throwing and chasing balls, climbing up onto the couch, trying on our favorite shoes/hats/sunglasses over and over and over, reading books, starting random dance parties and Mommy’s personal favorite; cuddles! Some of the low lights…...a few instances of grabbing and pushing, but there is more laughter than whining today; winning!
5:08 pm - Monty needs another fresh diaper.
5:40 pm - Alexis needs to use the bathroom. Before heading back to what she was just engrossed in, she takes the time to make the babies laugh and give a few high fives.
6:20 pm - Tonight is a special night for Daddy, as he is spending time with some of his other Daddy friends and playing board games. He does an excellent job making sure I get a chance to go out to dinner on occasion for Mommy time too! It is so necessary to have downtime together, but also for yourself! Since its just the kids and I tonight, I use some of my favorite make ahead kids foods. For Alexis a cheesy quesadilla! For the babies french toast and bananas.
6:58 pm - Dinner is over, everyone has been cleaned up and resumes play.
7:55 pm - I put Alexis to bed and we close out the day by reading a book.
8:09 pm - It's last call for milk. After they finish their sippy cups, I change their diapers and get them into pajamas. Of course that calls for a second wind!
8:31 pm - Everyone is ready to go upstairs. Tucked into bed, they go quietly off to dreamland. I head back downstairs to straighten up.
8:46 pm - I make myself something to eat and even prepare a special snack for tomorrow. Then it's time to do a little more laundry and unwind.
10:15 pm - Daddy returns home and we take some time to talk. I make sure to take plenty of pictures throughout the day to show him all of the fun we had while he was at work.
11:20 pm - We head to bed.
Each day is a little different, but there is always some laughter, a few tears and so much love it could choke a horse! Thanks so much for reading, I love being a part of the Twin Talk Blog community!
If you have any questions for Emily, CLICK HERE to email her!