May 4, 2024

Musings at the start of May (Weather, Twins, Sleep and Eating Too Much Sugar)

The start of April felt like resurfacing from underwater.  The twins were turning a corner in sleep, patter, and general enjoyablilyt. Life was getting easier. Suddenly we could do some things again.  We could cook dinners! The babies were sleeping better! I left the house with the big kids!

And then, it felt more like surfacing from underwater and realising you were still drifting out in the ocean.  We still have four small kids.  Everyone still needs a lot.  Naps are on a pattern but not a schedule.  Getting one baby to nap is hard, getting two babies to nap is... more than twice as hard.

Laundry was relentless.  Food prep had to be done during first nap or it didn't get done.  The house felt like pushing back a rising tide of clutter.  Finished projects brought me joy, but unfinished projects came on faster.  I went for a 8 runs this month and made it to two pilates classes and a few more sessions at home.

Mostly it rained and was surprisingly cold.

I made it outside for a walk on most days (thanks Elisabeth!).  There's even photographic proof of a very wet double baby buggy walk on her blog here.

However, things aren't all bad.  I have consistently been tracking my time, and I discovered that while my bedtime was creeping later (sometimes 10pm!) I was not really *doing* anything with that time.  Of course it's important to have downtime, and nothing time... but I should be able to remember something about what kept me awake between 9 and 10pm, if I'm staying up that late.  And then I should feel good about writing that thing down.  But looking at the log, there was always a blank half hour between 9 and 10.  

May goal: either go to bed at 9 or do something I can write down until 10.  "messing around on the internet" is not something I want to use my time doing, and it's not worth staying awake for. 

I have been very tired.  Although the babies sleep till 4ish (and then onwards till 7) I am still not getting a consistent amount of good sleep.  Last night I was up at 11 when Lilah was sick in her bed (though she was very jolly about it... weird?) and then Audrey was practicing singing at 3:30am (Andy patted her back to sleep) and then babies fed at 5am and I started my day just after.  

Babies are physically tiring, and two of them is twice as tiring.  Two times carrying semi-floppy 16lbs kids up and down stairs multiple times a day.  Bending over two cots to get them out.  Cleaning up two highchairs and two floor messes after food.  Lifting them both into their pram.  It's a lot.

Yesterday I decided to go to the post office with the twins and Lilah.  I went for a new method of carrying everyone - Nora in a carrier, Audrey in a single pram, Lilah walking.  I took a photo.  

Sometimes people make things look easy.  That is not me.  When I saw this photo I realised that while things are hard right now, at least I also make them LOOK hard.  

During this walk (which was 15 minutes) Lilah asked for a nature wee in someone's garden.  Of course I said no, and she yelled she needed a wee RIGHT NOW and IT WAS COMING OUT so we nipped into a local coffee shop to use the toilet.  Of course with a baby strapped to me and another in a pram I can't "nip" anywhere.  I saw someone sitting with two middle age kids (7? 9?) and parked Audrey next to her.  "This is Audrey, can you watch her while I take my daughter to the toilet?" I asked - before running after Lilah.  I helped Lilah in the toilet with Nora strapped to me.  I got her dressed again, collected the baby & pram, went to the post office, came home, and felt like I had run a marathon.

Later, Andy went for a walk back to the coffee shop and bought me a cookie, as a thank you to the shop for their toilet and a thank you to me for the adventure. In February Andy and I said we would get our diet under control and stop eating endless sugar - we thought we were exiting survival mode.  Maybe we were, but I still feel squarely in sugar dependancy mode.

On May 1st I turned on the heat in the morning because it was still 7c/42f outside.  Today, the sun is out for the first time in May.  It is supposed to get up to 62 degrees later this week (this is warm/good).  It's a cliche that British people talk about the weather all the time... but it's also true.  Because the weather starts to control how all British people feel.  Also, the Met Office has a great blog post about how rubbish this April has been (spoiler: it's the 6th wettest April since records began in 1836).  If you want to read dire reports from a small wet island, click here!

Do you live in a place with normal weather? Do you think about the weather all of the time or none of the time? Would you want to live in a place that rains all the time?

Edited To Add: The original post had the line "submerging from underwater" twice.  Sometimes writing like that remind me how far my brain is from 100% function yet.


  1. I grew up in farm country, where weather controlled the economy, and it was a HUGE topic at all times. I have carried that with me all these years and think about the weather a lot. I also talk about it a lot; for some people, it's mindless small talk, but I always feel like it's such an important part of life.

    You are in the middle of such a HARD STAGE OF LIFE, omg. Look at you with those three kiddos, kicking butt at all these tremendous challenges.

    1. Thank you for the perspective on weather! I don't think it's stilly small talk - I think it's as close as some people get to talking about their feelings. It is important!

      Thanks. I am glad that I don't just make it look hard for no reason. It looks hard and it is hard lol.

  2. Woof, that walk and pee story sounds like loads of fun! I know this is NOT the same, but I sometimes have trouble having a pee myself since I have a bike loaded with all of my worldly belongings. What do you do with it when you need to go!? Well, I often do what you did and ask people to watch it if they are sitting outside. Otherwise I would have to take things off of it and bring them in the bathroom. I also hold my pee for a long time sometimes! Obviously when it's a kid needing to pee, you don't have that luxury!

    1. Oh man I don't know how I would pee if I was on a solo cycle tour! I went with four friends and we always did a bike shuffle. We also did a lot of nature wees where we could lean our bikes against trees.

      We often left our bikes loaded just outside cafes while we ate, but we could always see them and I think it's harder to dis-tangle bags from 4 bikes than it is to grab bags (or the bike!) off one bike.

      I hadn't thought of the wee logistics of a solo cycle tour! What do you do in populated cities? Also, one time I went on a cycle tour in holland and it was so flat and with so few trees that sometimes I just had to go by the side of a long flat road and hope that no one drove by. I much prefered the bushes and trees in scotland for on-the-go wees!

    2. In large cities, I often find a park or baseball field and just lean my bike against the restroom or portapotty and go in and hope for the best. Otherwise, I have gone to Tim Hortons, where I lean my bike against the window, but when I am in the restroom, I can't see the bike, but I figure other people can so hopefully that is a deterrent. I refuse to worry about it too much although I am as careful as I can be.

  3. All things related to toileting are an underdiscussed hell of parenting. Full stop. From the state of public bathrooms with kids who are too little to know NOT TO TOUCH THAT! To how quickly the urges can come on. To what do I do with the other siblings. One of our big "things" was how fearful both my children were of electric hand dryers. Not only were they terrified of using them (controllable) they were terrified when other people started using them (not controllable). I remember trying to plug their ears while we were in a stall when someone else started drying their hands. Gah. It was mayhem and there were many tears shed. Those days are behind me but I don't forget them!

    I think about the weather a lot. It impacts my mood and it really does impact so much of what I can do with my kids. Do they need rain coats and boots for school? Can we play outside?

    I would very much NOT want to live in a place where it rains a lot.

    1. In the US it seemed like so many places had paper towels instead of hand driers and I soooo appreciated that!! Is canada more hand drier or paper towel? My kids hate the noise of the driers. They also get afraid of the flush noise so ask to keep the door open while flushing.

      I've spent a lot of my life in places it rains a lot AND it took me a long time to realise how much I dislike lots of rain. Oh Well! at least I own good rain gear... and so do the kids. I don't know how people manage with snow gear as well as rain gear. So much gear!

  4. The #1 joke around here is "if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes and it will change." Does anyone say that in Wales?

    THE COFFEE SHOP COOKIE DOES NOT COUNT AS SUGAR. That cookie was hard earned!

    1. I think the Welsh version is "if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes and it will rain more or less"

      My brother visited once in August and said that when the forecast called for 10% chance of rain it meant it was going to rain a random 10% of the day.

  5. I claim to love cool rainy weather, but I live in sunny California, and we are so often in drought, and we have many months of the year with zero rain, so I have not really been tested. What I really love is cool mornings and nights, and warm afternoons, and not too hot outside.
    Oh goodness, it sounds like you handled the wee situation perfectly, I'm not sure what I would have done. You're at such a busy time of life right now!

  6. Ahhhh I can't imagine how tired you must be. That sounds so hard. My boys are 15 months apart so I do remember going through some challenging moments when one was a tiny baby and yet the other was an unpredictable toddler who could not reliably walk alongside me yet without running off or just generally being difficult. lol. We had a big double stroller that I used but it was NOT easy to just quickly pop open nor was it easy to navigate in smaller shops, etc. I did the front carrier + smaller umbrella stroller combo sometimes which helped. But I just had the 2!! Can't imagine with even more. And we have terrible springs here in Wisconsin with lots of wind and rain and too-cool temperatures that is just not pleasant! At least we are starting to move into our nice summer season now finally.

    1. Oh man, a 15 month age gap seems HARD! I do think a lot about twins vs. a really short gap. I think the really short gap would be HARDER in the start than twins, but maybe get easier faster? I do feel like 2 is miracle age where certain things get a lot easier. So when you have a short gap one kid hits 2 and then you just have a baby. But also... it must be really hard.

      I didn't realise your boys were so close in age - I love reading about them now!

      I read a few wisconsin bloggers that make it look great - big seasons and big houses. I've not spent much time there but I definitely want to visit sometime!

  7. I love just handing a baby to a random person. That's really taking it upon yourself to create a village!

    All we do is talk about weather. Yesterday when I woke up it was warm and pleasant and the dog and I had a lovely morning walk. Then it STORMED like mad when I got to work and a cold front moved in. Then it was grey and overcast until mid-afternoon when it stormed AGAIN and a warm front moved in. I had a fitness class and we had it outside because it was warm and sunny. THEN! THEN! We had a big thunderstorm right before bed. And, to be honest, that's not super unusual.

    Midwesterners in the US also love to talk about weather.

    1. Haha I love the midwest! I feel like nebraska may be where I first heard the term "wind crazy".

      I remember the phrase "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met" and I apply that to everyone now - a stranger is just childcare I haven't met. pretty much anyone will help with a baby!

      We rarely get thunder or lightening here - sounds exciting!

  8. Kudos for leaving the house with three kids. You're a rockstar... and you navigated the challenge beautifully. I have watched babies for other people so I am glad there was a random stranger willing to help!