Picture that title like the Married: With Children TV show logo. 'Cause that's exactly how I'm seeing it in my mind!
OK. On to the story!
A while back, my sister offered to be a surrogate for someone close to me. Now, since every woman in our family seems to be fertile Myrtile, and it was through IVF that she became pregnant, we were all pretty convinced that she would get pregnant with at least twins. Well, guess what! She did in fact become pregnant with twins! How cool is that? This couple will be doubly blessed when these babies arrive.
Anyways...with a twin pregnancy, I was relatively certain that bed rest would become a part of it, and/or that my sister would be as big as a house and would need someone to drive her places, clean for her, cook for her, etc. When the twin aspect was verified, I offered to stay with her to give her a hand for a while. Originally, I was only going to stay for two weeks, but that wound up changing to four weeks. Michael wasn't exactly happy about it because he would only see the kids on weekends or on nights that he could come by after work. I wasn't worried about it. I thought it would be fine! My sister and I were thinking "Sweet! We'll get to hang out, do some baking, and chat a lot!" You know...like a mini-vacation! Yeah...not so much!!! LOL
Each Sunday night consisted of basically packing up half of the house. Two suitcases - the big one for clothes/blankets for the three of us, the small one...just for all things diaper! Cloth diapers for day time, disposable diapers for over night, wipes, creams, etc. - a booster seat (I had both seats with me the first week), the activity center (I left it there after the first weekend), toys, the potty chair, both gates, two pack n plays, my pump, laptop, camera, purse, crochet stuff...you get the idea. I got as much put in my car on Sunday night as possible. A select few items got thrown in the car Monday.
Monday mornings were actually somewhat easy. I got up early, loaded up what I could before the kids woke up, then got Julia's breakfast ready. As soon as she was done eating, I changed both kids, got them dressed, loaded them into the car and took off!
Now is when the adventure REALLY starts. Haha! When I got to her house, I had to unload all the stuff out of my car. Thankfully, her hubby was there to help me. The whole unpacking/getting organized/settling in thing took, oh, about 2 hours. (Remember...I'm dealing with a 2 year old and a 8/9 month old in the process of ALL of this!). The three of us all slept in one room. Me in the bed (MOST of the time alone), Justin in the small pack n play, and Julia in the larger pack n play. Let me tell you...the first couple of nights were NOT very amusing! LOL Any time Justin woke up, Julia woke up, and vice verse. It was horrendous. But, I was excited to be there with my sister so that made it all worth it! I mean, I spend my time talking to a toddler and an infant all. day. long. I finally had some adult interaction in my days!!! Woohoo!!!
Through the week, I had to take care of both kiddos, my sister, and her daughter - when she got home from school - oh, and myself. It was stressful, but I was so happy to be able to help her out in that way. Being on bed rest, she wasn't supposed to do more than lay on the couch unless she was going to the bathroom or showering. I had to get her food, her meds, drinks, you name it. I also had to make some dinner each night. I was able to tackle more day in and day out being responsible for three kids and two adults than I do in a normal day in my own house! What's wrong with that picture??? Haha
Typical day: Wake up (hopefully before the kids...yeah, that didn't really happen). Get out of bed and hop on the computer for some quiet "me" time before Hurricanes Julia and Justin woke up. Get interrupted by either a screaming baby or a screaming toddler. Get them up. My sis, her hubby, and my niece all get up. I get breakfast and medications/vitamins for my sister, and if I'm lucky...breakfast for myself, too! Get breakfast for Julia started, make a bottle for Justin, and attempt to eat. Change a couple of diapers, get the kids dressed. Let the kids play a bit while I still try to squeeze in a little computer time. Get a snack for my sis. Change a couple of diapers again. Nap time for Justin! He screams. A lot. I ignore him mostly (cut me some slack!). I check in on him after 5 minutes a few times, then he finally sleeps. Oh, it's lunch time! Lunch for me, my sis, and for Julia. Mine waits. Justin wakes up. Get him up and change a couple diapers again. Little man is hungry, so I make him a bottle. Put Julia down for a nap. She screams. A lot more than Justin did. I ignore her too...mostly. Get a snack for my sis. Somewhere in there, I manage to give Justin some solids and a handful of puffs (the kid LOVES those things) twice a day. Julia wakes up. I get her up, change a couple diapers. Justin gets super crabby because he's getting tired. I put him down for a nap. I ask "when do I get to take a nap???" (hahahahaha). Snack time for Julia! She's content with some goldfish and her milk most of the time. She's crabby. Whiny. Clingy. Yay! Justin wakes up. Change a couple diapers, get him another bottle, and start thinking about dinner! Another snack for my sister. Empty and reload the dishwasher. Oh! My niece is home! Sweet! She can entertain the kids so I can finish cooking! WOOOOOHOOO! Julia gets wound tighter than a top (it was HILARIOUS to see her so excited and having such a good time!) Dinner is done, we sit down to eat. Julia refuses most of the time. Get dinner cleaned up, change a couple of diapers and bed time ensues. OYE VE. Bed time was horrendous for the first two weeks, really. But oh well! That was really how each day went. There were slight variations, but all in all...it was constant moving for me. There were times that I let one or both kids sit on the floor and cry so that I could sit down for a minute. :-)
When Friday rolled around, I had to pack everything back up again, and load it into my car between breakfasts, lunches, dinners, naps, etc. It usually took darn near all day to get everything ready to go. Then, after dinner I would load up the kiddies and head back home.
I'm not going to lie. It was hard. I missed my husband. But I LOVED being there with my sister. Hanging out with her, my brother-in-law and my niece made it a lot easier to handle. We had a lot of good conversations, and having Michael stop by occasionally kind of lessened the "blow" for the kids. They missed their daddy like crazy, but they did so well. I really enjoyed spending time with my sister, but when I got home to my hubby...it felt wonderful! It has also made me realize that I can do ANYTHING I want. Anything I need to. Anything I really devote myself and my time to. Now what I need to do...is get my motivation back that I had when I was there so I can do the things here that need to be done! Haha!
I would do it again in a heartbeat. Without a second thought.
Cherish your relationships. Hug your babies, hug your family. They are what is most important in life.