Life as we know it: the first two weeks

This Friday evening, we went to Night on the Town in Almelund. It was a quintessential small town celebration – brass band in the park, classic car show, ice cream, Swedish sausage. I was just happy to get everyone out of the house on a perfect summer evening.

We loaded the girls in their stroller. Granted, it’s kind of a spectacle. But it must have been too much for one woman, who commented as she walked by:

You have my sympathies.

I have a strong case of Midwestern passive aggressive, so I just raised my eyebrows a bit, smiled, and said “Thank you.”

Your sympathies?

She hasn’t been around to see everything that transpired this week. Ellis made us roll on the floor laughing when she used her newest phrase, “No daddy, I don’t think so.” And Gabrielle sometimes smiled when she finished her bottle. Lucia still wanted to curl up like a little frog when I held her on my shoulder. And Jas and I? We kept each other sane with humor during our middle of the night dual feeding sessions.

Sympathy. Huh.

Yes, life as we know it is pretty different. Everything during the day revolves around a three hour schedule, which can be thrown out the second someone decides she’s hungry early. Entertaining Ellis (or just making sure she’s not coloring on the computer screen with a ball point pen) continues to be a challenge when I’m feeding little ones. Eating 3000 calories of the right kind of food every day is a feat of strength, and waking up in the middle of the night and the early hours of the morning makes me tired down to my bones.

But no matter how long the days get, I still wouldn’t say they’re worth sympathy. This period is short. (I think.) I’m taking the time, wherever I can, to hold the babies close. Let them fall asleep on my chest. Play with their long fingers. I love nuzzling the soft smoothness of their cheeks, which will soon enough be flushed with busyness and playtime.

Sympathy can take a hike.

However, in case you want a laugh, here are the top ten family changes I’ve noticed in the past two weeks.

  1. We cannot leave the house with any less than three trips to the van.
  2. Preparing to leave said house takes a solid hour and half.
  3. No matter how well I pick up the house at night, by noon, some sort of hurricane will scatter every bottle, diaper, rag, mega block, and plastic toddler toy we have in our possession.
  4. Ellis has developed a new word in her vocabulary. MINE.
  5. Ellis needs a dog.
  6. I need a new collection of recipes that I can prep in 15 minutes or less. Either that, or a personal chef. And a maid for the aforementioned mess hurricane.
  • PS. If you’re interested in helping us out with a meal, my friend Shara set up a meal tracker website for us. Just go to, and sign in with our last name (Riebe) and password (1114). You may be promoted to sainthood in my book.
  1. The twins do better together than separate. All nap
    Bedtime stories require a little more arm strength.

    Bedtime stories require a little more arm strength.

    times find them crammed in the same bouncy seat, crib, or blanket. This is starting to be a challenge now that they are growing.

  2. Gabrielle will take any and all opportunities to relieve herself during diaper changes.
  3. We are averaging about a 100 diapers a week.
  4. Sleep is like Dairy Queen. I never get enough, and if things are really bad, I actually start to crave it.

There you have it. Life with newborn twins and two year old. I’m sure it will continue to get even more interesting, but for today, this is plenty. All I can say is that Grandma Doreen traveling here as I type, and we are more than looking forward to her helping hands for a week or two as we settle into the new normal.


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