June 6, 2024

Hello June!

Hey! It's June!  It's a week into June!

June is starting out... tired.  Nora now has two teeth, Audrey has one tooth.  Audrey is learning how to roll over.  Nora is still sicking on everything in the house, but is very happy about it.  Audrey wakes up at 4am every day for a feed.  Nora sleeps through the night.  Both babies love food, but I don't love the current state of their digestion. I don't sleep through the night and I spend a lot of time cleaning up baby mess [Also, people with kids talk about their kids a lot, but I have now realised that this is just a proxy for talking about ones self.  Because while all of the above is about the twins, it's mostly about why I am so very tired and why my house is arguably somewhat gross.]

Looking forward to in June:

Summer reading.  The great news about having such terrible sleep is that I am reading a lot.  I've already finished two books this month and am 25% of the way through a third.  I'm leaning into summer books now and have picked up 5 Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand.  I read Hotel Nantucket and enjoyed it but didn't immediately grab the next book... but if this isn't some light summer reading then I don't know what is.

Spending time outside.  We have a great garden for the summer.  Last weekend we had our first paddling-pool party, an impromptu gathering of 3 of our friends and their kids (our friends all. brought 1 or 2 kids, so by the end we had 4 families and 8 children in total... which is a much better ratio than 1 family and 4 children total).  I recently got some mats for the babies to hang out on the patio, and a "outdoor rug" because the kids wanted something to sit on as well.  I'm hoping June brings more outdoor meals too, and more sitting on our garden bench.  Lets cross fingers for less rain.

Rachel Mondays: Andy is off work on Mondays so I have booked one Rachel thing every Monday in June.  Next week is a massage - the last of a pack of 6 I bought while pregnant.   I'm also getting my first ever facial at the end of the month.  

Sports: I'm so happy to be back with my gym buddy on Thursdays.  Last week we did walking lunges, 4 sets, across the gym, and my legs hurt for 5 days.  The great thing about having low levels of fitness is that everything has that high impact muscle fatigue feel.  I'm also hoping to do a 5k this month so I can get my baseline (will it be 50 minutes?  45? The worse I start the more I can improve).  There is a 5k every Saturday at the park behind our house and I might end up taking the babies in their pram and pushing them while I run, which will definitely help me achieve a personal worst (and make room for lots of improvement, such as not pushing twins in a pram)

Other thoughts on the start of June: 

I need to spend slightly less time with the babies.  My time log is basically "baby baby baby baby" which makes sense because of maternity leave but I know I am walking straight into some serious separation anxiety.  Also, it's not good for me to spend all my time around babies.  I know this. And yet, I am becoming super adept at moderating my daily energy levels to suit the babies... which means I don't often have enough energy to transition back and forth from big kids to babies.  Big kids (ie the 3 and 5 year old, who are not actually that big) energy is big energy and rest.  Baby energy is a constant 18-20 hours a day low level input. 

Although babies are arguably good sleepers, the combination of two pretty good 7 month old sleepers is probably equal to one normal/bad 7 month old sleeper.  I need to remember I am still in the baby year and that going to be at 8pm (with 30-60 minutes of reading) is what needs to be done right now.  

I love reading content from people with lots of kids, but I forget sometimes that I am often reading from people who have 4-5 kids spread across 8-12 years, and often their youngest is a few years older than zero years old.  There aren't that many people trying to live my life with four kids spread across 5 years.  For us, this is a time of being at home, of playing in the garden, of not going out for big adventures.  Maybe scheduling a trip to the park is too much right now.  Maybe planning 7 nights of dinners is too many nights of dinners.  Maybe we need to take a step back and include sandwiches in the meal plan and realise it's fine to have cereal multiple mornings. (although my main issues with cereal is I don't eat it myself and I don't like making two breakfasts... so even on cereal mornings I still have to figure out my own breakfast.  Also cereal mornings mean we go through our milk faster and then we have to buy more milk at the store.  Sometimes easy solutions aren't always... that easy.  Also, have you seen a baby eat cereal? It is messy)

(Not cereal, but carbonara is also messy.  This is a before photo)

I can see why parents with many kids can feel like they are failing all the time.  The babies are having hard days.  Isaac and Lilah need more attention than they currently get.  I need more sleep.  But on the flip side - usually at least one kids is happy.  Often more than one!  If one kids is losing the plot I generally have three kids who *aren't* losing the plot.  

I hope your June is shaping up well and that you are getting summer vibes and (if wanted) big adventures.  What are you looking forward to in June?

18 comments:

  1. Love this recap!
    I'm looking forward to the end of school, mostly the end of prepping lunchboxes if I'm being honest, though also having to get up and be somewhere first thing.
    I'm also planning to fit in a solo trip away to visit my parents next week and I am SO READY for that. We arranged things last minute, but everything seems to be falling in to place. This is only my second time doing this - my husband and I have been away together, but I just never go away solo - since having kids, so I don't feel any guilt...and it also feels strange to think of being away without my husband or kiddos

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    1. It literally changed my life once both kids were at school/daycare where meals were provided. Bliss! Now it's summer and my older kid is in camps where I need to pack lunch again, but at least 1 kid's meals are taken care of. I think it's the combo of picky eater and my lack of meal creativity that starts to wear me down with daily lunch prep. -other rachel

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    2. Oh wow a solo trip! I am so excited for you!

      Daily lunches are such a chore! Right now we only do lunches for my son 3 days a week and the other two he gets school meals, and my daughter's nursery includes food. I was talking to a friend about different nurseries and we both said we would pay substantially more to not pack lunches in the morning. I bet not packing lunches feels like a big relief!

      @other rachel - this might just be me (probably) but I am all in on the compartment lunch boxes right now. Isaac is a fairly picky eater but when I look at a thing of 5 compartments and realize I just need to pick random things he might eat it's way easier for me than thinking "ok what goes with a cheese sandwich" every day. But you may have a picky eater or you may not like compartment lunch boxes.

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  2. If the rain ever stops, I'm looking forward to just more outdoors time. It's light enough that I can be outside for several hours after work and I NEED IT.

    If it makes you feel better, I have ZERO children, but frequently feel like our cat gets neglected in favor of the dog. There is maternal guilt in every woman's body, even if said woman isn't actually a mother.

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    1. I am sorry you are having a rainy summer! But I am glad to know it's not just Wales that gets the worst end of the weather. It's so frustrating when it's light but also raining!

      Love the cat/dog situation. The other day someone asked if we had any pets (after hearing we have four kids) and I burst out laughing. If we had had a pet I'm sure it would have run away by now.

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  3. I think Rachel Mondays is a great idea! I don't have kids but I think too much of ANYTHING can be a bad thing, including the kids! You need you time and I think doing something special for you will help to keep you from resenting the kids. I also giggled at your statement that at least one of them is usually happy -- so, 1 out of 4 ain't bad!? That's definitely putting a positive spin on it!

    I know this is not the same, but I kind of think of your experience as being like an ultramarathon, let's say a 100 miler. It is hard, and you are in pain a lot and you are constantly forgetting to eat and then regretting it and wondering when this is going to be over and you are mentally exhausted. For ultras, the aid station is your Monday. It is a little glimmer to look forward to every 10 miles or whatever. And you get there and it is wonderful, but too short and then you go back into your pain cave again. However, as soon as the race is done, you collapse, and then a week later you are signing up for another race because there are so many good things about it too! You just signed up for a double ultra and you are now on mile 5 of 100. The difference is that you are doing four ultras at the same time.

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    1. I love the comparison to ultramarathons! I would like to someday do an ultra and I sometimes think that this stage in my life is part of my mental prep for something so hard. I read that women are sometimes better at longer distance races and I think this is the exact reason. I am so going to think of my mondays as my aid station - it's friday now and I feel *worn* but it's because I'm far from aid in both directions.

      THis made me laugh out loud: "However, as soon as the race is done, you collapse, and then a week later you are signing up for another race because there are so many good things about it too! You just signed up for a double ultra and you are now on mile 5 of 100. The difference is that you are doing four ultras at the same time.".

      We are definitely not signing up for this race again... four is enough! But I'll definitely look into an actual ultra someday (but maybe not 100 miles).

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    2. I think you will kick ultra ass, because you DO know how to go through something hard and just keep going. Ultras are 25% physical and 75% mental in some cases. If you have mental strength, you KNOW you can get through it, despite the pain!

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  4. Rachel Mondays FTW! I love it. Fridays are my ME days, because my company gives me Fridays off, but my husband and daughter both work. At first my Fridays were hair appointments and massages, then they turned into a day to run errands. Tomorrow's excitement will be going to turn in our internet modem and cable tv box. Don't I live an exciting life? I may take myself out to lunch while I'm at it.

    I hope you LOVE your massage and facial. I am a recent convert to facials, and don't get them often, but I was surprised to find that they are (to me) as relaxing as a massage. So calming. Enjoy!

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    1. I am glad you get Fridays! I am sure if I had longer times of "me days" I couldn't afford or enjoy massages and facials all the time. Going out to lunch while returning a cable box without taking small kids on the trip does sound like a great adventure :-). I have never had a facial so I am excited to try it - I know I like massages but I also find reflexology as relaxing as a massage (or sometimes more relaxing!) so I am hoping that my facial can help reset my fairly stressy current self.

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  5. I love that you've booked some Rachel appointments for Mondays (so important) and that you're trying to figure out to spend less time with the babies while not feeling exhausted from transitioning back and forth between babies and bigger kids. Four kids under 5 is a lot - it's ok to remind yourself of that and give yourself some grace.

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    1. Thanks! I am excited for my Rachel Mondays too.

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  6. I love that you have Rachel Mondays. Such a good way to take care of yourself with all the craziness. June is full of birthday celebrations around here so that will be fun.

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  7. Thank you! We don't have any birthdays in June... everyone was born in September/October here and March/April for the extended family. Funny how it comes in waves!

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  8. Rachel Mondays sound amazing. A massage and a facial will be so good for body and soul. I love massages at the Korean spa I go to, which reminds me, I need to schedule one. I am still struggling with June- I want the final exams to be over, graded, and closed. Then I can relax. Although I have a hard time relaxing (anxiety).

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    1. I can't wait for my next massage! I hope you get over the exams. It sounds like a lot of stress right before a time when you are meant to relax... and it's always harder to relax right after a stressful time!

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  9. Yes, I can see how it would be nearly impossible for all four kids to be happy at the same time, which would make you feel like you're constantly failing. If you switch the goal from keeping them all "happy" to keeping them alive, then you're doing GREAT!
    I love the Rachel Mondays- yes, I hope you get something special on every single Monday (and I'm writing this comment on Monday- hope it's a good one.)
    i just read your guest post on Elisabeth's blog and enjoyed hearing some of your backstory!

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    1. Thank you Jenny! I definitely can't keep all the kids happy but so far they are all alive!

      Unfortunately my massage was cancelled today and I am so gutted! But luckily I have another Rachel Monday next week.

      I was so honoured that Elisabeth asked me. It's interesting reading people's answers on her blog because it's always different than their normal posts. I loved your guest spot!

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