Hey Guys! Happy Fall to you. The Benton clan is busy-busy-busy this time of year. We are finally outside all the time enjoying all the fall activities. Jack and Knox are one month shy of turning two (Nov.10th)! I cannot believe they are turning two –time is flying. Baby Sam is 8 mos. and boy has he grown!
Jack & Knox Updates
Jack (pictured R), weighs 29.8 lbs and is a size 2T and 6-7 shoe. His favorite foods are carrots, chicken, turkey meatballs, veggie pasta, yogurt, berries, and any snack foods. He sleeps from 7 pm-6:30 a.m. and naps from 12-2:30. His favorite activity is anything outside. We just put a playground in the backyard, so that is the new thing to do! He loves bubbles, reading, dancing, trying to give Knox and Sam hugs and kisses, playing hide-and-seek, and Gymboree classes. This past summer, he loved swimming and anything to do with the water. We were doing the Aqua Tot swim classes, which he loved.
Knox weighs almost 31 lbs and is a size 2T and 6/7 shoe. His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, pasta/rice, berries. He also has the same sleep schedule as Jack. They have separate cribs but are in the same room. It has been this way since they were babies and is what works best for us. He loves playgrounds, running and kicking balls, and just being outside.
The Twins’ Schedule
6:45: Twins wake up, diaper changes
7 am: Milk in sappy cups and cartoons to ease into the day (they never sit and watch tv, they are usually up playing, singing and dancing).
7:30-8 am: TV off and Breakfast time — this is when I fix myself coffee and some toast/eggs.
8-9: Get dressed, get boys dressed and feed baby Sam bottle and puree (more on Sam’s schedule below)
9-11 am: Morning activity- we usually go to the park, or to Gymboree indoor play place, depending on the weather. Baby Sam goes along or stays at home with our nanny.
11am- 12 pm. Lunch and get ready for nap time!
12-2:30/3: Nap time…this is when I eat lunch, clean up some/laundry and then try to take a short break. Usually, Sam will also need a bottle during this time. Hence, it is a short break. My nanny and I will split up the tasks so we both get some kind of break before the boys are up again.
2:30-3:30: Boys wake up from naps, diaper changes and snack time!
3:30-5 pm: Afternoon activity. We just installed a playground outside so we will either play in the backyard, go for a stroller walk — do anything to help get that energy out! My gym also has a childcare facility, so some days we will do that for an hour either in the morning or afternoon, just depending.
5-6 pm: Dinner time for the boys; dinner is usually from 5-5:30 pm and then my nanny and I will clean up and one of us feeds the baby, the other focuses on the twins. Twins will play some more inside or in the backyard.
6-7 pm: Bath time, brush teeth, PJ’s last sappy with milk and reading books.
7 pm: Bed time for all kiddos (baby Sam, too)! Now mom and dad get to eat dinner, relax and enjoy a glass of wine!
Baby Sam’s Schedule at 8 months
*Sam’s schedule is much more flexible than the twins are now or ever were! Our twins do everything at the same time, so they have always been on a more strict schedule. Sam’s schedule starts from the time he wakes up and revolves around being fed every 3-4 hrs., after that 1st bottle. So, it will change depending on what time he wakes up.
7-8am- Sam wakes up sometime between 7-8, diaper change, new outfit and 8 oz formula bottle. I put gas drops and probiotics in his first bottle.
8-9 am Playtime on the mat and activity center (we have the Fisher price one and he loves it)!
8:30-9 am- First puree of the day, will usually do a fruit in the morning.
9:30-10 am: Morning Nap. 1.5 hrs. usually. (sometime he naps on-the-go but not every day)!
10-11am: Bottle #2 8 oz with gas drops then playtime. Get in the bouncer and practice rolling/crawling/sitting up.
12 pm Puree Lunch
1pm – Nap-time maybe 1.5-2 hrs.
2/3 pm : Bottle #3 and Playtime
4-5 pm Puree
6-7 Bath and get ready for bed, last bottle of the day!
7 pm: in the crib! Nitey nite, Sam!
Making Everyday Life Work with 3 kids under Age 2!
Having twins is ALOT of work. Having twins and a baby is MORE than a lot of work. I don’t have family nearby, so we decided to let the twins go to daycare 3 days per week (M,W,F) and on the weekdays when all kids are home, I have a part-time nanny here all day to help until 6 pm or when Thomas gets home. The weekends are just me and Thomas with all 3. There is just no way for me to safely parent all 3 kids and meet everyone’s needs all day every day. Having a nanny here to assist ensure that everyone stays on a good routine and we are able to go out to public places without risk or injury! Toddlers run, climb and go in different directions and having another caregiver makes it so much easier and fun.
Because of the age gap, usually our nanny is feeding the baby while I am tending to the twins, or the other way around. She and I split up the cleaning, laundry, and child care most of the day. She also comes on M,W,F when the boys are at daycare for a few hours to help watch Sam so I can run errands, go to the gym and have a little time for myself. On those days, I usually drop the boys off at daycare, run errands and either go get a little massage or get my nails done –something/anything to help me relax for a bit.
About every other week, Thomas and I will get out of the house together. One night we went to yoga and then out for dinner, another time we went for a wine tasting event…we try to mix it up and try new things, depending on how we feel that week. If the kids have been sick and we are super tired, we may go to a local Mexican place in jeans and call it a night!
I think it is really important to practice self-care each week and find time with your partner or spouse. Some nights if we can’t leave the house, we will cook dinner (or takeout haha), and light some candles at the dining room table and just sit across from one another and have an adult conversation.
Jack is full of personality –he has so many facial expressions and loves to make everyone laugh. He is still so sweet and loves to hug and give kisses. I love that he loves me so much and wants to be held and hugged. I am not ready for that time when he decides he doesn’t need me so much!!!
What the Twins Eat and Drink
Breakfast: Whole Wheat mini waffles and peanut butter, scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, avocado, banana, berries, oatmeal with cinnamon and honey, unsweetened cheerios, once every few weeks I will do a pancake breakfast with blueberries.
Lunch: Diced ham and turkey, turkey meatballs, rotisserie chicken, sautéed ground turkey; pasta shells, veggie pasta, broccoli, diced sweet potatoes, 90 -second rice, Praeger’s broccoli squares from Fresh Market, fruit. If we are out and need to go somewhere fast, I will get them grilled nuggets from Chick-fil-a with a side of milk and fruit.
Dinner: Similar to above! Protein, veggie and carb with fruit at the end. I have to bring the berries out at the very end of dinner or else they won’t eat the other food!!
I am alternating Whole and 2% milk since they are almost 2 yrs. old. I plan to go to 2% once they turn 2 in November. Snack time is usually yogurt, cheese, applesauce, or Puffs. They have fruit usually at meal time, so I don’t do it for snacks. They also like smoothies, so sometimes that is fun.
Toddler Discipline and Other Unpleasantries
Right now, we are doing “time-out,” or “take a break,” however you phrase it. Five minutes is just not long enough for us, so we do about 10-15 minutes depending on the crime. The boys are testing all the boundaries – hitting, kicking, throwing toys forcefully, climbing to try and stand on tables hitting toys against glass….you name it! If I see one of the twins about to do something, I tell them to please stop and I count to 3, and let them know they will be put in time out/break time if they choose to proceed.
If they proceed with the behavior, I calmly pick them up and tell them, “we are taking a break for x,y, or z action.” Break time happens in the pack and play in their bedroom. 🙁 this way it is seen as an actual consequence. Having twins is tough because they are going through the same phase at the same time and testing it out on one another. I have to be consistent, calm, and stick to the plan. Sometimes it is hard not to laugh but I can’t send mixed messages. Throwing food is a big thing for them right now and it is just going to take time.
They are definitely trying to figure out the world around them and understanding what is appropriate when and how. As the parent, I have to take care of myself so I can remain patient, calm and follow-through. Getting enough sleep, taking a nice relaxing bath at night and getting enough me-time is how I stay sane through it all. Every parent has those days – and sometimes just walking outside for a few minutes and taking a few deep breaths helps tremendously!
Update on Sam
Sam is now 8 months old — crazy how fast it goes. He weighs 23 lbs. (big boy)! Sam is the happiest, most laid-back baby –maybe because the second one is taking cues from me being more relaxed? He eats well, sleeps well, and is just a dream –seriously we are so lucky!
He is rolling front and back and is trying to crawl/scoot around the living room. He can kind-of sit up on his own, but only for about 5 seconds. I think it will be another month or two before he is totally sitting on his own for 20 minutes no support. After all, he is a big baby! Truth be told, I really LOVE this phase from 7-9 months before they start going-going-going.
*Did you Guys like this post? If so, comment on my Instagram or on this post and let me know! I’m trying to decide if I am going to start posting more on motherhood, life with multiples, and self-care topics. What else would you like to hear about?