My Morning Routine

my-morning-routinePlease Note: I am only able to do this routine because both my kiddos are sleeping through the night. Until very recently, DS was still waking up every 2-3 hours, and I could only manage an abbreviated version, often when DS had already woken up for the day. Also, some days I need to “sleep in”, but I will always get up before my kids wake up and, at a minimum, have breakfast and spend a few moments in prayer.

5 a.m.: Rise & Shine! Wash my face & brush my teeth. Put on lotion (I love Aveeno Positively Radiant).

5:10 a.m.: Pour the coffee! Drink a glass of water. Get my husband’s lunch together.

5:15 a.m.: Sit down with my husband, my coffee & my Jesus. Prayer time begins!

5:45 a.m.: My husband leaves for work—I continue my prayer time and usually pick up the devotional that my husband has been reading. (We love the In Conversation with God devotionals).

6:00 a.m.: Finish up prayer time & transition into writing time.

6:30 a.m.: Feed DS…and put him back to bed. DD sleeps in until 8 a.m., and I want DS (who is not a great sleeper) to be on the same schedule as her. When you have two under two, it’s so important to maximize your “me time” since you don’t get much of it!

6:45 a.m.: Resume writing.

7:30 a.m.: Eat breakfast, get dressed for the day and put on make-up. I’ve found that it’s critical for me to be up and running for the day when before the kids are up as I don’t have time to think about my needs after everyone is awake.

8:00 a.m.: Kids get up.

When you have two under two, taking care of yourself is vital. You need to get enough sleep, so adjust your wake up time accordingly. You also need to spend time with Jesus in order to survive the day, which is just as critical as making sure your body is fed and watered. Early on in DS’s life, I wasn’t doing these things and I felt out of control. Slowly, I started making space for this routine. I’d wake up 10, 15 then 20 minutes earlier…and now (only because he’s sleeping though the night) I am able to have this amazing morning time.

If you are still in the season of you’re getting no sleep: DO NOT DWELL ON YOUR LACK OF FREE TIME. I got hung up on this for a while, and it made me feel sad and resentful. Finally, I realized that those months were just a season in my life, that God’s Will for me in that time was to be totally self-giving to my babies, and that I would one day again have time to write and reflect.

And now, only a few months later, I have reached that day. You will too.

peace-be-with-youlove

 

My Postpartum Depression Survival Guide

postpartum-depression-survival-guideUgh. Just as I was getting up and running with blogging, a second wave of postpartum depression (PPD) knocked the wind right out of me. This is my fourth episode of PPD in the past year and a half (I had two episodes with DD and now two episodes with DS). After coping with PPD so much lately, I’ve come up with some tricks to stay afloat during this painfully difficult time:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert, just a mom who has suffered from PPD. Consult your doctor if you think you have depression, or call 911 if you think you might harm yourself or others.

Pray hard, and pray often. Psalm 13 really helps me during these times.

Get medical help. With DD, I did not realize what had hit me. I thought what I was feeling was normal, and I needlessly suffered through it. With DS, I started taking an antidepressant the night he was born. The difference between my two postpartum experiences was night and day.

Do your best to live in the moment. When I focus all my attention on exactly what I’m doing in that moment, I can’t think about how many hours stand in between me and my bedtime, or how life used to be before babies. It’s much easier to enjoy this one moment in time and not worry about all the other moments that need to be filled.

Try to get out every day, even if it’s just for a walk. It may sound cliché, but getting out into the world for some fresh air makes me feel less isolated and ALWAYS lifts my spirits.

Have healthy snacks on hand. This is very important for me as I have a tendency to overeat and gain weight when I’m depressed.  Healthy snacks also energize your body.

Do something nice for yourself every day. For me, this us usually just taking a long, quiet shower in the evening. On really rough days, I’ll splurge on some Starbucks.

Rest whenever possible. I have two under two (still two under 1.5 as of writing this post!) so I know this can be a big challenge!

Avoid your iPhone. When I’m feeling bad off, all I want to do is zone out on Pinterest or Facebook. It feels good while I’m doing it, but the second I get offline I feel even worse than when I started scrolling through my news feeds. Instead of staring at your screen, close your eyes and relax.

Get on a routine. I have a morning routine and evening routine that I always follow, both of which help me gear up and wind down from my day.

I am not out of the PPD woods yet, so I would love to add to this list. What do you do to cope with your PPD?

peace-be-with-youlove

Irish Twins

irish-twinsI wrote the post below 3 months ago, or half a lifetime ago for DS.  I keep meaning to edit and post it, but clearly I’ve been slow…it’s taken 3 months to get around to it and that should be some insight for you into life with Irish Twins.

A little update: the past 3 months have gone by quicker than the first three with DS.  Things have been really, really hard lately. We just moved across the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the San Francisco Bay (more on that in a future post) which, to put it frankly, really sucked.

When I read the post below (written pre-move) about how everything was all happy and go-with-the-flow, I wanted to turn around and punch my old self in the face.  But, then I tried to look back in time through the sleep deprived haze that has settled in permanently around me, and I remembered: when you have a familiar location and a regular routine, Irish Twins are wonderful.

So, the post below gives me hope: I hope that as we continue to settle in to our new home here, to the new time zone and the new daily routines, that the babies will relax and feel comfortable in their environment once more.  Then I can be a happier, go-with-the-flow Mama again.

—From May 24th, 2016–

I am the mother of Irish Twins.  My baby girl (DD) is 13 months old, and my baby boy (DS) turns 3 months old tomorrow.

And whew, what a ride these past three months have been.

In many ways DS’s birth seems like a lifetime ago, which, for him, I suppose it was.  Before he was born, mothers with children close in age would happily reminisce to me about how these first few months would “be a blur” and how my kiddos would soon be “best friends” and “how great – in the long run – it was having children so close in age.”

Well mamas, as someone still in the thick of things who is not simply reminiscing, as someone whose *mom-nesia* has not yet set in, here’s my description what it’s really like to have Irish Twins these first few months:

It’s as if you’re *happily* fighting to keep your head above water; it’s as if you’re being swept off by a river of harsh rapids, *happily* almost drowning as you go, but because you know you won’t actually drown you are able *go with the flow* and enjoy the ride.

Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it’s fun.  Yes, I am beat and look forward to the night when I can actually sleep a total of 8 hours again (or even 7 or 6 hours, especially if they’re consecutive!).

But, the good news is that even while I’m almost drowning in the rapids, I’m so happy my babies have each other.

It warms my heart to see DD crawl over to kiss her baby brother.

It warms my heart to see the way DS watches his big sister play, with wide eyes full of wonder.

It warms my heart to see DD bring her WubbaNub over to her baby brother when he cries.

So to any Mama out there trying to have Irish Twins, or to any Mama out there with an unexpected miracle on the way I say: YOU CAN DO IT.

peace-be-with-youlove