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A Day with the Tans (the 2016 Edition)

My life has changed drastically since last year’s Day in a Life (DIAL) post. Last year, things were pretty routine and manageable with only N, but this year, we’ve been blessed with our twins, and I’m still struggling to get some kind of routine going. I’m actually pre-writing this post because we are relocating to Jakarta TOMORROW, and my day will probably be very different after we settle into our new home. Looks like I’ll have to write another DIAL post next year!

At the moment, C is away for most of the week, which means I’m solo parenting for four or five days a week. I can’t cope with three kids on my own, so we have a confinement lady helping me with the babies until we move to Jakarta. It’s crazily expensive, but we have no other option, as I cannot manage the babies and N at the same time. As it is, I hardly have time to do any kind of home-learning with N, and he spends most of his time playing or “reading” on his own.

My “day” starts when the sky is still pitch-black, because I have two little babies to feed. On good days, they wake up around 3 or 4am for their first feed, but sometimes, they wake up at 1am, which means my “day” starts really early. I used to prefer it if they woke up at the same time, but they tend to choke on my milk more if I tandem-feed them at night, so I try to feed them one after another now. I spend up to an hour per session, if I feed both babies like that.

On days/nights when I feel especially “full”, which is when the babies first wake up at 3 or 4am, I use the Haakaa to collect some milk from the other boob while I latch one baby, before latching the second baby.

Milk collected in the Haakaa


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Milk coma babies


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Their second feed is usually two to three hours later, but if the babies don’t wake up at the same time, I have to wake up a lot more frequently to nurse them. Bad nights/days will look like this: 1am, 2am, 330am, 430am, 6am, 7am… and this is not including the amount of time spent nursing them. I am zombified by the time I get to 6am, and can’t even remember which baby I just fed. Thankfully, they don’t often choose to torture me like that, and I’m still waiting for the day that they can sleep through the night. With N, it was when he was almost 2 years old, which means I can look forward to having uninterrupted sleep in about erm, 21 months? Yay.

When I get back to my bed at 6 or 7am, I usually find N sleeping on it. He wakes up when I’m out of the room feeding the babies, and climbs onto my bed to continue sleeping. I either push him to the middle of the bed so that I can lie down, or I give up trying to get some sleep, and start my day officially by washing up, and having a quick breakfast while catching up on social media.

N-dilocks in my bed


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N usually wakes up shortly after I do, and I prepare his breakfast for him. Sometimes, he asks for scrambled eggs with cheese and bread, and I oblige because he is so scrawny! He actually eats a lot (he can eat three slices of bread before drinking a packet of UHT milk), but he’s still underweight.

Having breakfast


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We don’t usually have a lot of time after breakfast, as N’s school bus picks him up around 1035am. I rush to get him ready for school, and if we have a bit of time left, I’ll read a book or two to him before bringing him down to wait for his school bus.

Once N leaves, I either head home to nurse the babies again, or rush out to get some groceries. I try to order most things online, but sometimes, the items are out of stock, and I have to go get them myself. To be honest, it’s quite nice to have a bit of time to myself, especially since I probably won’t have this luxury anymore once we go to Jakarta, as I don’t think I will feel comfortable leaving the babies at home with a nanny or helper. I try to complete my shopping within an hour or two, because I have to get home quickly to, you’ve guessed it, feed the babies again.

Happy to see their milk supply again


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After I nurse them, I gobble down the lunch prepared by my confinement lady, and try to get a bit of rest before N comes home from school. Most of the time, one of the babies will wake up and want to be nursed again, so that’s what I end up doing.

At 345pm, I pick N up from his school bus, then give him a quick shower before making him a snack. He’s always famished after school, and can eat three slices of bread!

Super hungry after school


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We read a book or two after that, then cuddle for a while before he takes his nap. I still insist that he naps, because he gets really hyperactive if he doesn’t get enough rest, and won’t settle down for bed earlier at night. I have no idea where he gets all his energy from!

Napping with Tiger


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I try to nap when N does, and on good days, I get about an hour of rest before the babies wake up and want to be nursed again. I wake N up at about 6pm, and get him to use his new Leapreader to read some books. This is a fairly new “toy”, so he is happy to use it for about half an hour while I nurse one of his siblings.

Using his Leapreader


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If we have time before dinner, I sit with N to do some homelearning activities. The kits from Little Genie Box are very useful, as I don’t have to prepare the materials myself. You can read my review of their Everyday Chinese Program HERE. I still haven’t gotten down to writing my review on the Early Literacy Program, but we’ve used the materials already, and N seems to really like it. I would definitely subscribe to it if we weren’t relocating!

Everyday Chinese Program


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Sometimes, I get N to work on other things, such as tracing, mazes, puzzles, and cutting. If he’s in the mood, he will ask to do some painting or craft. If the babies are awake, N will play with them, or try his best to entertain them.

Tracing


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With one of his crafts


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Looking after Didi and Meimei


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We have dinner after that, and I have to eat fast because the babies will usually start fussing at this time. Didi ends up sitting in his bouncer near me while I eat, as he will only stop crying if he can see someone in front of him. Meimei is content to suck her fist until I nurse her, so I feed Didi first. Meimei gets wiped and changed into her pyjamas while I nurse Didi, then when she’s ready, I feed her while Didi gets wiped and changed.

Didi hanging out near me, and sucking his fist furiously


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Changed and waiting for milk


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N will play by himself during this time, as the babies take turns to cluster feed until they finally fall asleep for the night. This takes a really long time, as they usually suckle for one to two hours. Sometimes, N will sit next to me while I nurse the babies, so that I can read to him. After the babies go to bed, I change N into his pyjamas, and we read a book or two of his choice. If I’m not too tired, I try to read more books to him, because we used to read a lot more before the babies came along. We FaceTime C, then pray and snuggle in bed, before N goes to his own mattress to sleep.

Playing on his own


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Helping me to get my breastfeeding pillow


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Reading with me while I nurse the babies


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Good night!


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I’m usually exhausted by this time, and fall asleep quickly, because I know the babies will wake up for milk again soon. I hardly have time to blog these days, and when I do, it’s at the expense of my nap-time. I often choose to sleep instead of blog, because I need enough rest in order to have sufficient milk for the twins.

My day seems to revolve around feeding the babies, and I’m thankful that I have help, because I won’t be able to spend any time with N otherwise! As tiring as it is, I know that this is just a phase, and the babies won’t need to be fed as frequently soon. I know I can pump and bottle-feed them to save some time, but I prefer latching them directly, since I don’t do anything else with them. I’ve also noticed that they need to latch on before they can fall asleep, even after a full bottle feed, so I just nurse them directly. I’m going to have to start reading to them regularly soon, since I started reading to N when he was a lot younger than them. I don’t get one-on-one time with the twins much at the moment, but hopefully, I’ll be able to give them that when we move to Jakarta.

So that’s what a typical day looks like for me! It’s so different from last year, or rather, from before I gave birth, but I am thankful that I get to experience being a mother to newborns again. It’s tough for sure, but it’s a privilege, and I’m cuddling the babies at every opportunity, because they are most likely my last babies. My day will probably look rather different after we’ve settled into our new place in Jakarta, so do stay tuned for more updates!

PS. The photos you see in this post are taken over a period of time, because I keep forgetting to take photos consistently on a single day!

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This post is part of the Day in a Life blog train hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the button below to take a peek into a day in a life of other mummies!

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Next up on the “Day In A Life” blog train is Michelle Hon, mama to three under four and a stay-at-home-momprenuer. She is the founder of The Chill Mom Maternity Concierge which helps expecting parents plan and manage the arrivals of their babies. She believes motherhood is a joy; we should listen to our own mother instinct and not a give a sh*t about what people think (also known as “believing in yourself”). Visit her blog tomorrow to find out how she juggles her business with a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn.


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