Reaching my limit

So it’s been almost a week since my last blog post.  In that time I have been so unwell I ended up in hospital, my husbands little run about car has completely died (needs a new engine so bye-bye car) and we have attended a family wedding.

To say I am exhausted is such an understatement.  I have hit my physical, emotional and mental limit in the last few days and have been craving time and peace.  But when you have twin toddlers that does not come easily.  Thankfully my time in hospital was only short and although I am still not better (fingers crossed I feel better by the end of this week) I weirdly appreciated my time in hospital.  I know hospital is a place that no one wants to be, least of all me – I actually have a lot of bad associations with hospitals and will usually point blank refuse to go, but this time I was ready to go.  And my experience was actually really pleasant.  It was the first time in such a long time that anything was about me.  The nurses and doctors look after you, it’s quiet, it’s tidy and there’s no children demanding your attention.  I am well aware that you are all thinking that I am crazy but the time in hospital was what I needed (except for the needles which really hurt!!!).

So as I’m still not well I have been trying to rest at home.  Let me tell you it’s not working.  The wedding we attended was lovely but I was really not well enough to enjoy it or feel anything but sick and stressed and it’s very hard to manage a wedding with small children.  Thankfully our boys have always been very well behaved at these sorts of events so were quiet for most of the ceremony and managed to stay amused for a couple of hours at the reception (until I decided we had all had enough and it was time for home).  We had so many people comment about how well behaved the boys were that I felt I needed a sign that read ‘thank you,’ as I had no voice for most of the evening and was straining to try and be polite.

Add to my lack of rest is the fact that we now have to rely on only one car, so anything that I have to do has to be done first thing in the morning before hubby goes to work and takes my car.  Due to his hours and how far away from home he works public transport is not an option, so until we can work out finances for a new (second-hand) car and find one that’s within our very minimal budget we will have to get by on just my car.  No idea how that is going to work at this stage but while I’m still sick it doesn’t really matter as I’m not that keen on going out anyway!

Hopefully this is it for our bad luck but who knows, I’m just trying to take it as it comes now and deal with one hurdle at a time as I can’t afford to get anymore stressed.

Rollercoaster

My life is honestly feeling like a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment, hence why I haven’t been blogging as much as I once was.  I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with all my responsibilities and I know I should really cut back but honestly I don’t know what to cut.  My family (including extended family) is not an option obviously, but I have several volunteer commitments that do require a large amount of time, knowledge and skill.

I’m not one to complain too much, but what I wouldn’t give for a holiday!  But as anyone with kids can tell you a holiday is not really a holiday, its just a change of location with all the same motherly duties.  So as nice as the idea of a holiday sounds, in reality it seems a little pointless.  And besides all that we really don’t have the money.  A holiday is a luxury we certainly can’t afford.  But I can still dream about it!

So in the meantime its the challenge of what can I do to alleviate my stress, while I have the boys, usually screaming in my ear.  And all the while still keep on top of everything that I am juggling.  Some days I think it would just be easier to go back to work!!  Now if I could get paid for my volunteer roles life would be perfect.  Yet again, I can dream.

I think tonight will be a long night but hopefully tomorrow will be a good day.

 

Awwwwww

So that may not have napped today and they may have been a bit of a handful but one of my boys fell asleep in my arms tonight and it was the sweetest moment!  He is not one to fall asleep in my arms and transferring him from the car to inside or the pram never works, he always wakes up and that’s it for him.  But tonight, after a few stories we had a little cuddle in the rocking chair and he snuggled in so I thought I’d just keep rocking and enjoy the moment and a few minutes later he was fast asleep.  After having a bit more cuddles with my sleeping boy I transferred him to his cot without a fuss.

Then it was on to the munchkin who was still running around his room laughing and playing, and we did our special kisses more than a few times, a few cuddles and then it was lights out.  Less than a minute of complaining from him, and I’d say within 20mins he too was asleep.

I feel so much better about life as a whole after my special time with the boys, so I just had to share!  Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.

tots

18 months old

Adapting

I love my beautiful boys, they are the cutest, sweetest, funniest little human beings I know, but today was one of the worst days I’ve had with them and I literally wanted to just walk out the door!  The reason it was so bad was because I had absolutely no idea what was wrong.  Usually they have a little scream and I quickly work out exactly what they want.  Today I felt completely lost.  It reminded me of those first few days after bringing the boys home and having to walk outside to get away from the screaming and take a deep breath.

Today, after trying everything, I had to put them in their cots.  After a few more minutes of screaming I could hear them happily chatting and playing like they normally do at nap times.  So I let them be, to have a bit of quiet time and me a little breathing space.

I still don’t know what their problem was exactly but I am guessing it was something to do with being a bit tired and things being not quite normal at home.  As adults we adapt to new situations quickly (or we put on the brave face and try to get on with it), but babies and toddlers can’t do that.  They don’t understand why things change or that everything is still ok.  It takes time for them to readjust and get comfortable again, for some this can take days, weeks and for others months.  I believe it all has to do with the temperament of the child.

So today was a bad day for the boys, but hopefully tomorrow will be better.  And if its not then maybe I as the adult needs to find a way to better adapt with this temporary phase of misbehaviour, tantrums and whininess and give the boys extra cuddles, kisses, love, compassion and understanding.

Keeping toddlers entertained – our first attempt with crayons

Life with 16 month old twins can be very challenging!  My boys are polar opposites which at times is really great but at other times leaves me wanting to tear my own hair out.  At the moment their endless frustration and resulting tantrums (for want of a better word) are also very draining.

Although twins are an extremely rewarding experience and I love them more than anything, entertaining two children who at times have very different interests can be quite difficult.  I can only guess that it would be a similar situation with two children who are less than a year apart in age.  With children who are different ages you can set them up with age appropriate activities and the older they are, I hope, the less you need to help them with said activity (I could be completely wrong).

With all this in mind I have been trying to come up with activities that keep them both interested, that help them learn, and that are easy enough for them to do (and for me to manage).  Last week we did the water play.  So this week we made our first attempt at drawing, or should I say playing with crayons.  The crayons were a hit, they even managed to get some on the paper!!  Watching them use the crayons in completely different ways was really interesting.  One mostly banged, making small dots on the paper, between putting it in his mouth; while the other happily scribbled, between putting it in his mouth (hehe).

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Their first scribbles

One of my boys also managed to draw on the wall – oops!  When it happened, I laughed and my husband yelled (it shows our different parenting styles but it also shows how different my two boys are, as the other didn’t even attempt to draw on the wall, even though his brother went to do it a second time).  I wasn’t overly worried as I figured I’d be able to get it off somehow and really if it came to it there’s still some paint in the shed and I could just repaint that spot.  I tried getting it off with a damp cloth, no luck.  But then I remembered I had a sample I had been holding onto since pre-children just for this very occasion (yes I like to keep things just in case!).  After a little searching I found it, a magic eraser, and it turns out it is pretty magic.  Slightly damp, less than a minute and the marks were gone.  Yippee.  Now its on my shopping list to buy (I googled it, yes they still make it).  A friend told me later the same day that toothpaste also gets crayon off the walls so I will try and keep that in mind.

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The crayons were packed back into their box and will come out again soon but I’m slowly starting to get more of an idea of what they are capable of and what will entertain them (and for how long) which will make that last little stretch before a meal or a nap so much easier to deal with.  My list of activities in my head is slowly growing and I can’t wait to try lots of new things with my boys.  They are just growing up too fast!