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Because Twins: Changes

7 May

So things have already started to change around here because we’re expecting twins.

#1- I’m not babysitting anymore.  I was too tired and too pregnant to chase those high energy, high maintenance extra kids around.  When I first found out I was pregnant in February, I told the mom that I would have to take a month or so off from daycare.  Then I found out in March that the the baby was actually twins, and I realized I couldn’t keep babysitting after they were born, so I told her she would have to find someone new by the end of June.  Then I had that week of terrible tension headaches.  Also, I realized I wouldn’t be able to lift her heavy 2-year old much longer.  Also, Baby Bean suddenly decided that the 2 year old was a threat to her territory, and she would just jump on him and bite him/pull his hair several times a day.  It was getting hard for me to move fast enough to keep him safe from her. I told the mom she had to find someone else as soon as possible.  I had to watch her kids for 2 more weeks.

I went from this:


to THIS:


I gave her the phone number of an acquaintance friend who was interested in babysitting.  I was a little worried that this friend would hate me forever, but I was desperate to get out of a situation that I couldn’t handle any more. I ran into this friend at a mom’s night out on Tuesday this week and timidly asked her how it was going.

“Oh, I only watched them for one day and I told the mom I couldn’t do it,” she said.  Then she turned to the other moms at the table and proceeded to tell them all how terrible these kids were.  They WERE really difficult to care for.  I babysat them for them for 6 months, half of which I was pregnant and sick and tired, but it wasn’t until the headaches that I had to cry “UNCLE!”  Apparently, their grandmother (who is a relatively young grandma) is watching them now, because the mom can’t find anyone else who is willing to put up with her kids.  Lucky for her, the 2 oldest will be in all-day school beginning August 12th.  The 2 year old is a piece of cake, as long as you keep anything breakable away from him (and also keep Baby Bean away from him.) So grandma has hope on her horizon.

#2- Switched Baby Bean to cloth diapers.  This will be less diapers I have to buy when the twins are born.  I don’t like putting newborns in cloth diapers.  They go through, like, 10 diapers a day (x2).  Thats a lot of laundry.  Also their legs are too scrawny for cloth diapers to seal around to keep in the explosive projectile poo.  However, Baby Bean has enormous fatso legs and only goes through about 6 diapers a day.  The DH rigged me a clothes line on the balcony.

Aren’t diapers on the line so cute?  I love not having trash cans full of stinky disposable diaper trash.  I love not buying diapers.  (Actually I am stockpiling diapers for the twins now, since I’m not having to buy them for Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie.  I don’t expect the stockpile will last long, but it should help.)  Also I’m hoping that cloth diapers encourage Baby Bean to potty train much earlier than Banana Cream Pie.  My other babies that wore cloth diapers potty trained before they were 2 1/2.  My babies who wore disposable diapers didn’t potty train until after their 3rd (or 4th) birthdays.  It would be super cool if Baby Bean was totally out of diapers by Christmas.

#3 – Banana Cream Pie is pretty nearly potty trained.  As soon as I was done babysitting, the potty training began.  We’ve been working on it for 2 1/2 weeks, and she is more trustworthy every day.  I’m not totally confident that she won’t have accidents when we are away from home, but at home, she is pretty good.  By August she should be an expert toilet user.

#4 – I’m slowly fighting my hoarder tendencies and trying to get rid of things we don’t use.  It’s difficult for me, because I can always think of possible scenarios when we might use those things.  However, one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is, you can’t clean clutter.  All you can do is move it around.  Reducing the “stuff” in the house will make the house easier to keep clean and make room for the twins and all their stuff (diaper stockpile).  When we designed our house plan, we were planning on having 6 kiddie pies.  Now we will have 9 (+1– I’ll have to tell you all about him later) and so using our space efficiently is important.  Luckily, the bedrooms are big enough to hold 2 sets of bunk beds each, and the closets are roomy.  I have planned out organizing systems to put in the closets (instead of just the couple rods we have installed now) to maximize the space for clothing storage.  If my dreams come true, those closets and maybe even some built-in bookshelves will happen before D-Day.

#5 This is just a little thing, but I feel like a genius for figuring it out:  I’m going to use a backpack for a diaper bag this time around. (Because my 2 hands will be full of 2 babies.)  Actually, for the last 4 years, I haven’t really used a diaper bag.  I just threw a few extra diapers and wipes in my purse.  I’m not one of those moms who feels like she needs 50 things to be prepared.  However, new babies do require a few extra supplies (like clothing changes and burp rags) and I’ll have to pack all that x2, plus Baby Bean is still in diapers.  So I for sure need a dedicated diaper bag, and it for sure needs to be as hands-free and easy to organize as possible.  I know I won’t actually use the organizing pockets as well as I could, but I plan on having a zipper pouch for each baby–or at least each size diaper.  That way I can say, “Cherry Pie, get the yellow pouch and change Twin A.”  Then the pouch can get tossed back in the backpack and yet it stays organized.

Yep, I feel like a genius for figuring that out.

I’m sure more changes are coming down the line, and I’ll roll with them as they come.  Life’s exciting and, yes I am busy.  But busy is ok.
#6. Oh yes, I got my hair cut even shorter. Easier is better, right?  I think I like it.

South Dakota, Camping Style, Part 4: Crazy Horse

2 Aug

Tuesday was the day we had planned our big hike up to the top of Harney Peak, but the 6-year-old came down with flu Monday afternoon, so we postponed the hike for Wednesday and instead we went to see Crazy Horse.  It was very hot, so I was glad we weren’t hiking.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain carving like Mt. Rushmore and was begun about the time Rushmore was being finished up.  (Actually, the artist who planned the sculpture for Rushmore –Gutzon Borglum–planned for the presidents to be carved down to their waists, but the government cut off funding and stopped the project in 1941.

Crazy Horse began because several Lakota Chiefs went to Korczak Ziolkowski and asked him to create a monument in their Sacred Black Hills.  After he began the project, the government offered several times to fund it, but Ziolkowski refused because he believed first that it should be a endeavor by people and second that the government would not finish the project.

“My lands are where my dead lie buried.”

Ben took this photo 2 years ago when he was in South Dakota for AT

 It is a much bigger carving than Mt. Rushmore, in fact, all of the Rushmore carving would fit in Crazy Horse’s head.

I was so inspired by the history behind the monument, and the video we watch of Korczak speaking about his work moved me to tears.  He said, ” “When the legends die, the dreams end; when the dreams end, there is no more greatness.”

Here is a good article about the mountain.

Beneath the mountain is also a museum of Native American artifacts.  We spent a good long time seeing everything.  Maybe too long, because when we finally returned to the car, we were all tired and hungry and cranky.  We had lunch (PB&J) and moved to our new campground.  This one was right by the highway, so we were disappointed at first, but then we discovered the beautiful shower house across the street.  Ah to be clean is so good!  

Also, despite being right next to the highway, we saw more wildlife here than anywhere else.  Squirrels kept scolding us from the trees and there were minnows in the little stream running by.  Yellow Jackets kept flying around our table and I became convinced that their nest was in the metal tubing.  Ben and a nice old park worker stuffed paper towels in the ends of the tubing and we had much fewer yellow jackets after that, although Cherry Pie did get stung. 

This guy quietly passed by our picnic table as we were eating lunch Wednesday.

After lunch, we took the kids swimming at Sylvan Lake which was much cleaner and prettier than Sheridan Lake.  It was also very much crowded and the water was cold! 

For dinner I warmed roast beef and browned bell peppers & onions and we had hot roast beef sandwiches and watermellon.  When the roast beef ran out, I toasted the remaining bread & cheese.  Another fast and tasty meal that everyone loved.