The Double Nap

There is a certain sacred time in a parent’s day: nap time. It’s like Ecclesiastes 3 says: There is a time for every matter under heaven. Reaping and sowing. Weeping and laughing. Mourning and dancing. Casting away stones, and gathering them together. In short, it’s the time where shit gets done.

In the life of the parents of two (or more!), there is an even more sacred yet elusive time of day. This time is the double nap. Some days pass without this time. But on the days that you experience even a few minutes of a double nap, OH THE GLORY! Here is a list of things that might happen during a double nap:

1. Personal hygiene: uninterrupted shower, complete with time to shave your legs and dry your hair!
2. Uninterrupted pee. Or poop. Don’t even act like you aren’t glad of this.
3. Uninterrupted pump (if you’re still breastfeeding, of course).
4. If your spouse is home… I’ll let you guess.
5. A ridiculous amount of cleaning; laundry, dishes, floors, bathrooms, etc. can all magically get done if the kids are all asleep.
6. Phone calls. Catching up with family or friends, bill paying, registrations and more.
7. BLOGGING! (You know where I’ll be.) Or Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. Social media galore.
8. A nap of your own. Never underestimate what Hubby and I coined the “hard shut down and restart.”
9. Exercise. Running laps around your house and yoga to YouTube videos absolutely counts.
10. Meal prep or freezer stocking. You are your own sous chef!
11. Gardening/yard work. Sometimes this can be combined with #9.
12. Quiet time. This might be journaling, praying, meditating, reading, etc. Aka bliss.
13. Home lunch dates. I often find that double nap occurs during a lunch time if I’ve properly used my morning. Have a friend over for a take-out feast!
14. Finishing your novel. No, not the one you’re writing. I’m talking about the one you’re reading that you haven’t had time to read!
15. Eating a meal, drinking a hot cup of coffee, or having a glass of wine by yourself. Maybe this occurs in a bubble bath, or in the sunshine on your back porch. Your choice.

What do you do if you’ve got a double nap opportunity?

Reasons I Feel Sorry for My Second Kid

Let me preface this post by saying that my little boy is a ray of sunshine to all who know him (me most of all) and I love him dearly. I don’t show preferential treatment to either of my kids, and they are both well taken care of. That being said, parents of two or more kids, you’ll be able to back me up on this…

1. He gets really dirty. When EK was not quite 8 months, she was never really dirty. She played a lot, but she had a nightly bath, and her hands and face were constantly being wiped. J usually gets a nightly bath, but that’s the first thing to go if we’re running late or having a rough night. And as far as wiping his hands and face go, he’s left to the mercy of time… either we have it, or we don’t. EK is always trying to feed him something, or hand him something from the ground that’s covered in dirt. Yikes.

2. He wears a lot of hand-me-downs. Don’t get me wrong – EK did also (they have a lot of cousins). But most of her wardrobe was carefully selected before she was born, in lots of sizes, in sweet little outfits. J’s just wearing whatever I can toss on him before he starts rolling off the changing table.

3. He doesn’t get to play with many toys. EK isn’t a great sharer to begin with, but if it’s her stinky ol’ brother we’re asking her to share with? Well that’s totally unreasonable. Anything he has in his hand automatically becomes hers. And bless him, he doesn’t even cry about it.

4. He doesn’t get as much one-on-one time with Hubby and me. This is one we really try to keep to a minimum. We frequently take one kid each if we’re going separate places, so that each kid gets all the attention. But let’s face it – that first kid got all the attention (from everyone because she was the first grandchild on both sides, also) until J was born.

5. He rarely finishes a nap or night’s sleep. EK is loud. Really loud. And unless she is sleeping when he is waking up, he gets woken up by squeals, cries, or heavy-footed running by his bedroom door.

What are some things you feel like you did for your first that you didn’t (or couldn’t!) with your second?

Things New Moms Are Thinking

Listapalooza Part 2: to go hand in hand with the Things You Think at 40 Weeks Pregnant post….

1. So, you’re just gonna load me in the car with this tiny thing and send me home? You’re not even gonna check on me?

2. I could just use a nap.

3. This kid sure eats a lot.

4. Casseroles.

5. What day of the week is it?

6. I still have to pee. A lot.

7.I’m so sleepy…

8. Ugh, I wish I hadn’t Googled that.

9. Is that (sound, poop color, facial expression, smell, etc) normal?

And finally…

10. I had no idea I could love a teeny human this much.

the first teeny thing I loved more than anything.
the first teeny thing I loved more than anything.

Things You Think at 40 Weeks Pregnant

I love making lists (I might’ve mentioned that?) so here’s one for ya! This is a little bit of how I was feeling when super 40 weeks pregnant with my kids…

1. WHEN (for the love of all that’s holy) will this be OVER!?

2. I just want to know what he (or she) looks like!

3. I’m so uncomfortable all of the time.

4. I can’t wait to lose all this weight! (Said the first-time mom.)

5. If another person asks me if I’m carrying twins…

6. Yes, I’m doing jumping jacks. YES I WANT THE LABOR TO START!

7. House is clean, laundry is done, nursery is ready, and I’m caught up on my shows. What now?

8. I need another pedicure. It’s only been a few days, but I can’t see my feet to know if my toes still look nice.

9. I’ll have that fourth donut. I mean, I’m due this week, so I have to stop eating this junk in a few days.

And the kicker:

10. I can’t wait to have my morning coffee, a glass of wine with dinner, and… oh my gosh, I have to pee NOW!

Here's some homage to #7 - the answer to "what now?" was "take a belly selfie!"
Here’s some homage to #7 – the answer to “what now?” was “take a belly selfie!”

Toddlerese and Forgiveness

This post also appeared on MyBigJesus.com

I don’t know what qualifies as a “late talker” but I’m guessing my daughter falls on that spectrum somewhere. Recently, as in the past two months or so, her vocabulary has really catapulted into the “most sounds are actual words” range. For a while, it was still mostly gibberish while she pointed her chubby finger at something, with the occasional real word in there. Now, she’s stringing three or four or even five words together in a row, and sometimes making sentences! Hubby and I are so proud! I’m especially disappointed proud to say that her first full sentence was, “I wove fry fries!” As you can imagine, that means she really loves french fries.

Recently, she’s been using “thank you” (sounds like “kick you”) and “I’m sorry” a lot. For us, teaching manners to our kids also meant teaching a few polite phrases. When she receives something, she always says thank you. When she does something like take her brother’s toy or pull my hair (yeah, I don’t know where that came from but it’s a thing), we tell her to say “I’m sorry.” I know she doesn’t fully understand, but I always respond with “I forgive you” because I want forgiveness to be a familiar idea in our home. I want to extend forgiveness for small things and big things. I have a perfect model of forgiveness to follow; Jesus’ death on the cross for my sins (and yours!) is the ultimate act of forgiveness. If I have been forgiven for every single sin I have committed and will commit, it seems a simple thing to forgive my kids for their innocent transgressions. I consider forgiveness a particular blessing I can bestow on my family, and it mends my heart as well.

Do You Know a Robin Williams?

I read an article by Jeff Gissing this morning on MyBigJesus.com that was my favorite thing I’ve read since we heard that Robin Williams took his own life. It’s short, so no excuses not to read it.  The idea is simple – depression sucks, and it isn’t our job to judge people who deal with it different ways. The last line, “let’s ask God to soften our hearts toward those who suffer.” really spoke to me. How often are we quick to make a judgment or an assumption about someone? How often to we make a generalization without knowing the facts?

I’m sure I know people who struggle with depression and don’t tell me. I’m sure there are people in my life who have battled it and battled it some more. In ignorance I’ve probably made a judgment I shouldn’t have; I am also to blame. Yes, there are meds for depression. No, they don’t work for every person in every situation. Yes, there are other ways to deal with it. No, those don’t always work either. But I also know that there are people willing to help. There are places you can go, people you can call, and One who always desires to help and be there for His children.

I will not say that there is a perfect cure, or that a solution can always be found. I know that isn’t the case. But I also know that if you aren’t looking for help, you will rarely find it. So take the first step. If you know someone who struggles with depression, or other mental illness, help them take the first step. I know that if someone I loved was struggling, I would want to help them. I would reach out and take the step for them, if possible.

So throw no stones, pass no judgment. It’s unfortunate that celebrities get the worst of our scrutiny simply because their lives are all over the media for us to see. But we don’t know the details, the length of the struggle, the depth of the depression. We can only offer to help fight the battle, and honor the lives of those whose battle is over.

Things That Make My Life Easier: Volume I

I think that this may lead to another post or two of similar content, hence the open ended “Volume I” title. But as of today, here are four things that I’m ever-so-grateful for, because they make my life easier.

The dishwasher. I can’t believe Hubby doesn’t use ours half the time! I think he finds some weird gratification from hand washing things. But I say anything that is allowed in there gets stuffed in every chance I get. Sometimes we run more than one load of dishes a day (so many bottles and sippy cups and utensils).

Anyone else feel this way?
Anyone else feel this way?

My breast pump (I have a Medela In-Style). This is a double-edged sword. In a way, it helps me keep up my milk production and makes me feel better (J is a lazy nurser, and EK stopped nursing at 5 weeks but breastfed till 6 months), but on the other hand, it’s a pain in the butt sometimes, I’m stuck in one chair for 25 minutes, I have to be careful how I move, and I can’t really take care of two kids while I’m doing it. But then again, I love that J gets more of that nutrition because I’ve pumped it.

My view during my planning period every day after I came back from maternity leave: work laptop, breakfast, breast pump.
My view during my planning period every day after I came back from maternity leave: work laptop, breakfast, breast pump.

Diapers.com. This website (and its sister sites, Soap.com, etc) can send you anything you can possibly need. Two-day delivery is free if you order $49+ (and let’s face it, you almost always need that much, or you can stock up on whatever it is by ordering 2 of them to bump over $49 easily). They always have the brands I need and the prices aren’t more than they are in the stores. Also, they sometimes have e-coupons you can apply to things like diapers and wipes, or on Soap.com, toilet paper and toothpaste. Most days (okay fine, every day) it’s easier for me to get on the computer and order diapers than pack up both kids for a trip to the store.

Best catchphrase ever.
Best catchphrase ever.

The Boba. I have a magical baby carrier called the Boba 4G (in Tweet, because it’s cute and gender friendly). It holds my toddler, and she loves it. It holds my 7 month old (and has for almost 7 months) and he loves it. It fits me, and it fits Hubby. It goes on the front or the back. It’s extremely user-friendly. IT IS A LIFE SAVER IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. (See my posts from NYC and you will learn more about just how useful it is.) Babywearing is my favorite.

EK loves riding on my back. "Back, ma! Back, ma!"
EK loves riding on my back. “Back, ma! Back, ma!”

What are some things that make your life easier? Do you have a suggestion for me?  I’m always looking for “life hacks”!

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