October 23, 2013

Pack up! (leaving the house with twins.)

When I want to leave the house, I have to start planning two days ahead!  I don't just make "a quick run" out of the house. I plan a whole day of things to do (neccessity and leasure) because it just doesn't seem worth my time and all the hassle to just leave for one errand.

can't just wake up and get ready to leave. First I need to pump (and hope the babies stay asleep long enough to get it done without interruption (typically an hour, to hour and a half, from beginning to end -includes distributing ounces for the day and ounces to freeze and then clean up).  Then there's getting everyone "ready".
 That is the biggest task!  Most times I can count on Kj to be dressed properly from head to toe without needing me to repeat each step to her --"most times".  If the twins are still asleep, I'll rush to get ready while KJ sits and watches tv or reads, sitting on my bed, close to the twins (most mornings, by this point, Liam is already laying in our bed. I normally move him to our bed before I start pumping. He gets squirmy in the mornings and it's just easier for me to have him close by instead of having to either stop pumping every time he needs his paci OR getting up and holding my "cones" in place with one hand (and arm) while I pop a paci in with my free hand).  So Kj stays close by for the same reason -keeping them calm and sleeping while I shower, get dressed, put some make-up on, and "fix my hair" normally some kind of ponytail or bun (ugh!).  Once I'm done, if I even get that far without interruptions, then it's time for the Baby Snowball Effect, I like to call it...

Which ever baby is the most squirmy, or already awake, is first.  Feed, change diaper, change clothes, and prop up right next to me while I do the same thing for the other: feed, change diaper, change clothes, and then prop up until it's time to head downstairs.  
*Liam typically take 15 mins to drink his bottle.  So he is ready in about 25-30 mins.  Elly typically nurses for 30-45 mins, with a little break between 'sides'.  So she is ready in about an hour to and hour and fifteen minutes. 

At this point, we are already about three, three and a half, hours in to our "getting ready to leave" routine.  ...

On top of feeding the twins before we leave, I also have to schedule in a meal time (or two, depending on what time I'm leaving) for KJ and myself. I may or may not have been able to prepare it the night before. 

I am not one to stuff my babies in their car seat if it makes them inconsolably unhappy. So, I'm always hoping they are content when it's time to buckle up. Normally it's their nap time by the time we start buckling up --which does not make Liam happy!  He does not like getting buckled when he's used to laying in our bed for a nap. Sometimes I have to rock him and get him super sleepy, if not completely asleep before trying to get him in his car seat. Elly is more easy-going. 

So now they are buckled.  Kj takes bags to the car (on one huge clip hangs my purse, the "milk bag", diaper bag [backpack] , and baby carrier 'stuff sack'), opens both back doors for me (back passenger and back driver-side), and then buckles herself in and waits.  A minute it two later, I am out the door with one carrier, sometimes both at the same time (right now there are still too many mosquitos, for my comfort, to leave a baby just 'sitting out', waiting to be buckled.  So normally I take one out at a time). It takes about five to seven mins or so, with going back and forth for the other baby, to buckle the babies into the car (the bases are currently in Chris' car). Then I go lock up and, ta-da!, we are ready to drive off... About four, four and a half, hours later --on a good, "I don't need to stop for anything, like an extra diaper change or outfit change right as I'm putting one in their car seat", day. 

Now the "bag prep" is an entirely different task!  Bag-prep should be done the night before, or we could end up taking an extra hour before leaving the house!  

Here's what the 'night before' looks like:

Our [twin] diaper bag includes:
6-10 prefolds
6-8 covers
Gallon ziplock with a thick stack of disposable wipes and diaper ointment.
1 travel changing pad
1 medium 'wet bag'
2 small 'wet bags'
1 bottle of hand sanitizer
I gallon ziplock with bibs and extra onesies (that always stays in diaper bag. Only gets filled/replaced if it was used.)
1 gallon ziplock with 4 receiving blankets
1 nursing cover
2 burp cloths (Liam still spits up quite a bit)
1-2 baby carriers (boba 3G, or ring sling. If I'm alone, just one. If chris is with me, then both. ) 
1 small milk bag (contains approximately 20-30oz of milk, one or two bottles, a small zipper pouch with 1 'spare paci', and 2-3 bottle nipples.)
*I believe that's everything.

I used to take a boppy with me, when Elly and I weren't fully used to breastfeeding positions.  Thank goodness we are past that point!

The double stroller is normally already in the trunk of my car.  I also tote snacks for me and KJ, and also my 34oz Bubba Keg, filled with water. 

It's definitely quite the task to "get ready" these days. Life with twins is a LOT of planning (and planning waaaay ahead, when possible).  I'm sure it will get easier, but for now this is why I should just sleep in my outfit, with my make-up already on! Ha!  

So, yeah... We don't get out much these days.  ;)

How do you get 'out and about' with kiddos?

What tips and tricks help you?

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