New routine = Amazing!

A couple of weeks ago, I was complaining to my friends about being tired because the girls didn’t go to sleep until around 11. One of my friends piped up and sternly told me that I have GOT to get the girls to go to bed earlier.

“How?!” I ask, tired and bewildered.

She essentially says “Tell them to go to bed.”

It made sense. With our old routine, they didn’t know when to go to bed or how to fall asleep when they should.

The next evening, Operation GO TO BED officially began.

Now, my girls have always been pretty good sleepers. They pretty much slept through the night after two months. Kyle spent his fair share of nights on the couch with a baby in the swing when they were sick or teething, but generally, they were good. The problem was that we never established a good evening routine so they would just wallow around in the living room until they would fall asleep and then we’d carry them to their cribs. Honestly, I really liked the evening cuddle-time so I didn’t want to change anything.

But the girls were cranky in the morning because they were tired. And I know sleep helps their bodies and minds grow. Plus Kyle and I were losing out on hours of time with just each other.

So, it was time for a change. A big change.

Before Operation GO TO BED, we’d finish supper around 6:45, bathe the girls and then head to the living room to play and watch TV. I’d lay out a big quilt on the floor and make three pallets (Ella, me, Emma.) Eventually they’d come crash on either side of me and would fall asleep after some time…usually by 10, but sometimes it wouldn’t be until after 11.

After Operation GO TO BED, the girls are in bed and asleep by 8:30.

8:30 people. That’s a big difference!

The girls are overall much happier, they aren’t as cranky in the morning, Kyle and I have time to actually talk in the evenings, and we can get to bed at a decent time.

Here’s what we do now.

We still finish supper around 6:45, bathe the girls and then head into the living room. We play for a while or watch TV. But at 8/8:15 the lights go out and we sit on the couch or cuddle on the floor. We turn the bee show on (it’s a channel on Amazon Fire with soothing music and bees buzzing around in a meadow. It’s calming) and then I slowly and quietly read Goodnight Moon. After I read it the first time, I ask them if they want me to read it again (always yes hehe) and I read it again even softer and slower. After I say “The end,” I say “OK girls, it’s time to go to bed.”

Get this.

They stand up, grab their bunnies and walk to their beds. Along the way we tell Bubbles the fish, Penny the dachshund, and Daddy goodnight. No screaming. No crying. No fits.

They stand by their beds until I lift them up. They give me a hug and a kiss, I lay them down and turn on their seahorses.Then they both say “Nightnight sista.”

I turn the lamp off and as I’m shutting the door I say “Good night girls, I love you. Have a good night and I’ll see you in the morning, OK?” and I hear two little “OKs.”

For a few minutes, I can hear them jibberjabbering back and forth and their cribs squeaking as they roll over to get comfortable. Then they are out.

It took two days of “training” to get to this point. Day 1 they cried for 20 minutes. Day 2 it was less than 10. Day 3, they walked themselves in there.

I am still amazed at them. Every day they learn something new. Each day their individual personalities continue to blossom and their bond with each other grows. Kyle and I are SO lucky to have these amazing little girls in our lives.

Routines

When people find out we have twins, they are usually full of comments and questions. One of the top questions is “How do you do it?” The simple answer we always give is “We just do!” The real, complicated answer is a combination of teamwork and an intricate routine. I try to make sure I give Kyle the kudos he deserves. This man goes above and beyond what I ever could have imagined and does more than his part to keep our family rolling. Kyle and I depend on each other to make sure everything stays running smoothly…he knows what he needs to do and I know what I need to do.
Here’s an example of our typical weekday routine:
6:25 – Kyle’s alarm goes off and he plays on his phone for a few minutes.
6:30 – My alarm goes off and I ignore it.
6:40 – Kyle wakes me up and we get out of bed.
6:45-7 – Kyle makes breakfast for us (cereal for him, waffle breakfast tacos for me) while I get ready.
7:00 – Kyle whistles for me when breakfast is ready.
7-7:10 – We eat.
7:10-7:25 We finish getting ready and then I go dress the girls while Kyle gets dressed.
7:25 – Kyle grabs a baby, my purse and keys and starts loading up the car while I finish dressing the other baby and we head to the car.
7:30 – I head to school and Kyle heads to work after feeding the dogs and putting out the trash.
7:35 – I unload the driver-side baby and we walk to the passenger-side and I unload the other baby while pinning the first baby to the side of the car with my legs. I hold their hands and we walk into school. (On Monday mornings and Friday afternoons we have nap mats too so I loop a nap mat to each baby’s arm that I’m holding and we mosey on in.) There are three doors (one with a code) and the “log-in” computer between me and the classroom. Getting there is an art form. HA!! To open the doors and punch in, I use one hand to hold both of their hands. It’s a real treat when someone opens the doors for us!
7:45 – I leave for work and usually make it in by 7:50.
workworkworkworkworkwork 🙂
4:30 – Kyle gets off of work and runs any errands (go to the bank or quick stop at the store). He gets home, changes clothes, and starts supper.
5:00 – I get off work and head to school. Reverse the drop off procedure. I usually chat with their teacher for a few minutes. We play “stop and go” in the hallway while we walk out.
5:20 – I get home, check the mail, unload the girls with the same “pin the baby to the car” method.
5:30-6:45 – The girls play in the living room, Kyle and I chat for a minute while he cooks supper. I change clothes and either help him with supper, do chores, or play with the girls.
6:45-7:45 – Somewhere in this time frame supper is usually ready. We set the table and make the girls’ plates. Once everything is ready we open the baby gate and say “Supper’s ready!” and they make their way into the kitchen. We eat/referee/try to keep them from throwing food or their cups off their trays. If we get done early, sometimes we take a walk for an hour. Lately that hasn’t been happening. 😦
8-8:30 – While the girls finish eating, I go start their bath. I get their PJs and towels and lay out their clothes and two diapers for the morning. When I’m done I call for a baby and Kyle wipes one down and sends her to me. We brush teeth and get in the tub. I call for the second baby and we brush teeth and I put her in the tub with sister. I wash them and make failed attempts at keeping the water in the tub and off the floor/me. While I’m bathing them, Kyle cleans up the kitchen and makes our lunches for the next day…usually sandwiches or leftovers. When I’m done with one baby, I call for Kyle and he takes her to the living room. I finish up the second baby and he comes to get her too. I tidy up the bathroom.
8:30-10 – We watch the all magic and wonderful “Flower Show” and the girls calm down and we cuddle on the couch/they kick each other and fight over my lap. Then we watch an episode or two of House (or whatever series we are watching.) Once they are asleep, we go tuck them into bed.

10-11:30 – Kyle starts the dishwasher and I go wash my face/take a shower. We finish any laundry that needs to be done. Usually around 11ish we finally go to bed.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is our beloved routine. The weekends are much more relaxed. Kyle is so amazing. I can’t say it enough. It’s taken a while to learn the right balance for us both to maintain our sanity (for the most part HA!) and we are constantly adapting. As the girls get older, we encounter new challenges and, like always, adapt and overcome!

Thanks for reading!
Tell me what you think in the comments below 🙂

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Quick Pic: Actually managed to get them to stand semi-still for a picture this morning since I figured they would grow out of this outfit soon. Little did I know it’d get ruined at daycare! Oh well! At least they had fun! 🙂