Here’s a tip for making your fall and winter evening routine more sane:
Bathe the bigger kids before dinner.
The after dinner hour is one of the craziest times of day — kids are tired, babies seem to nurse constantly, dad gets home and everyone wants to climb all over him, parents are hungry, and there’s tons of basic household stuff to get done in the evening. Getting baths done before dinner takes one big thing off your list.
Older kids don’t get very dirty during dinner (we have a 5 year old and almost 4 year old)
Our kindergartener prefers to do homework after dinner. Having him in his pj’s already means we can take more time with homework, look through his school papers from the day, and turn homework time into quality time together. (Like the photo above, which my husband took before coming into the house one night.)
Having kids in pj’s sends the signal that the day is winding down.
It’s cold and dark. PJ’s are warm and comfy.
Having your older kids in pj’s for dinner means they have more time for quiet play, books, or free time before bed. (While you make lunches, clean up from dinner, and take care of younger kids who need more hands on attention.)
It also means more quality time with working parent(s) who tend to come home right in the thick of nighttime to-do’s.
It results in a much calmer evening routine.
So that’s what’s working for us right now.
What’s your tip for making the evening madness more sane?
1-4 weeks postpartum
As you slowly make your way back to yourself after the outrageous challenge that is a twin pregnancy, the early fourth trimester is all about firsts.
The first time you:
Hold both babies at once.
See your husband as the father of four.
Arrive home with your new babies.
Start back at the beginning.
Realize that your mother may love them just as much as you do.
Are left in charge of your new number of children, and the panic you feel.
Finally submit to the only to-do list you should be following.
Invite friends over to hang out in your bedroom, and feel totally normal about that.
Venture out with your new family.
Get behind the wheel, all by yourself.
Breastfeed your babies in a dressing room.
Witness the love.
Have two minutes alone to sit with your spouse, even if it’s while taking out the trash.
Accept that there is not enough water on the world to quench your breastfeeding mama thirst.
Experience, for the handful of times in your life, what love at first sight feels like. Times two.
What were your firsts?
Stay tuned for The fourth trimester part 2, where the theme is S l o w l y.
My favorite photos of our family are from the shoot we did with Tiffany Arment two years ago, so when she offered to photograph our newborn twins, I was thrilled.
I love Tiffany’s dreamy, hazy style, and her ability to capture the beauty in everyday moments. She’s not a “babies in a basket” type photographer. Nobody puts baby in a
I also love that after processing the best shots from a shoot, she presents you with a beautifully packaged CD. This means you can do whatever the heck you want with your images. So many photographers out there try to maintain the digital rights to their photographs. This is fine for corporate shoots, but not for my baby pictures! (I’m still trying to get the digital files from my wedding…)
Planning a photo shoot when you’re a few weeks postpartum can seem overwhelming.
But it ended up being so easy.
A few days before our shoot, I put together a Pinterest board to give Tiffany a general idea of what I was going for. I knew which room in the house got the best morning light. Fortunately I already had a crib and nursing chair set up in that room. The morning of the shoot, I pulled out a few white blankets to act as a soft backdrop. (We were so on the same page that Tiffany brought some, too.) Wardrobe was easy since I wanted the twins to be mostly au naturale.
Unfortunately the babies were a little cranky that morning, but Tiffany was super patient. She even helped hold them and worked some “shushing” magic on my fussiest babe.
Things got much easier once they finally fell asleep. In retrospect, I would have pumped some milk so we had bottles on hand. That way, we wouldn’t have had to stop the shoot so many times for little nursing/comforting sessions.
I also would have had some snacks on hand for the mom and photographer! I was still on heavy drugs so hopefully she’ll forgive me.
The babies were four weeks old here. But they were born a month early, so they are still super tiny. I’m so glad we captured them in their freshly hatched state.
Tiffany, I can’t thank you enough for this beautiful gift. (And your husband for his amazing pasta-free lasagne.)
If you are in the NYC/Hudson Valley region, I highly recommend Tiffany Arment Photography for wedding, family and newborn photography.
Or find her on Facebook.