Three new siblings for a week

What’s crazier than trying to manage twins for a week? Managing twins, plus three more kids under the age of 6 for a week.
 Last Tuesday, my friend from high school, Sarah, came to visit from Utah with her three–count ’em three–kids, ages 6, 3, and 1. Since her husband had just taken a new job and didn’t have time off, she decided to come anyway and made the grueling ten hour drive (they took twelve hours) here solo–that takes nerves of steel, people! 
Once Sarah and crew got here, it was a teensy bit insane at first trying to adjust to more than doubling the amount of kiddos in our tiny 1500 square foot townhome. We put Sarah and the baby, Beckham, in our guest room, and the older kids, Alec and Ava, were luckily ecstatic about sleeping on the pull-out couch bed in the family room.
Let it go down as one of the crowning achievements of my life thus far that I succeeded in taking the twins, Bandit, and Sarah’s two older kids to the park by myself–and no one died! Sarah was exhausted after arriving at 3 a.m. that day and desperately needed a nap. I was taking Samantha and Amelia to the park anyways, and thought, “Twins plus two more? Bring it!”
The regulars at the park who are used to seeing me chase Samantha and Amelia (usually running in opposite directions), were confused to see me with two more kids in tow–especially since with their blonde hair and blue eyes, they could have been Samantha and Amelia’s siblings. I got lots of comments like, “WAIT…YOU HAVE MORE KIDS THAN JUST THE TWINS?” 
Later that evening, Jake stayed at home with the twins, who were asleep for the night, while the rest of us ventured out to Trader Joe’s for some groceries and ice cream for the kids. I had warned Sarah before she came that Jake and I were doing the Whole30 detox program and that, besides some cheese, yogurt, milk, bread, and pasta for Samantha and Amelia (who are obviously not on a detox), all we had in the house was fruit, veggies, nuts, and meat since sugar, anything processed, all dairy, all carbs/grains/flour/gluten and legumes are banned. Not the best month to visit us for sure, but she said she didn’t mind. 
Based on her kids’ reactions to our first dinner together–grilled chicken, salad with homemade dressing, green beans, and cauliflower rice for Jake and I since we can’t have regular rice right now (and NO dessert)–it was clear she needed to stock up on some friendlier food for her kids. 
Anyway, while Sarah was picking out some ice cream with Beckham, I was “watching” Alec and Ava, who, being kids on vacation, were running up and down the aisles and ringing the giant bells near the check-out lines that signaled cashiers to come out from the back. 
“Does watching your friend’s kids make you NOT want to have your own kids?” the cashier asked, jokingly. 
“It’s too late for that,” I replied. “I’ve got twins!” 
This pretty much sums up how Beckham felt about the whole experience. He warmed up…eventually. 
               
The girls were actually very motherly toward little Beckham, once they realized he wasn’t a stuffed animal. They’d offer him their wubs, food, blankies and read him books. I died of cuteness!
The craziest part wasn’t necessarily managing all the chaos while Sarah and kids were at our home; in fact, the week flew by for me since the older kids occupied Samantha and Amelia, and their dependence on me for finding stuff to do decreased exponentially. The girls were quite content to follow Alec and Ava around all day long to see what the big kids were up to.
The hardest part was getting out the door with everyone since none of our schedules ever synced up. Either Samantha and Amelia were down for a nap or Beckham had to go down for a nap as soon as Samantha and Amelia were up. We weren’t able to find too much time for just the adults to hang out either since Samantha and Amelia’s bed time is 7 p.m. and Sarah’s older kids stayed up until 9 or 10. 
However, we did manage to make it out to a few places, all five kids, plus Sarah and I, throughout the week. We hit up the park and splash pad, of course, and even made it to the beach (Jake took the girls since I was attending Marisa’s graduation that day). 
Let summer begin!

Apparently, the girls loved chasing the seagulls, but were quite distraught when they flew away, as you can see from Amelia’s reaction in the background. 
Pretend City is half price between the hours of 4 p.m. until closing (5 p.m.), but that was perfect for us, since an hour is all that the girls can handle anyway. An enclosed, childproofed space with hundreds of costumes and make-believe toys to pick up seemed like the perfect place to let five kids loose at the end of the day when we were tired of entertaining them. Jake works five minutes from Pretend City and joined us for the hour. 
Samantha hijacked these little cuties’ car to offer them a pretend donut. 
Fishing in the pond. 
A little girl in the pretend restaurant took our orders of croissants, shrimp and chicken, which the girls promptly gobbled up.
At this rate, Samantha will grow up to be over six feet tall, sheesh! She’s already 34 inches and isn’t even two years old yet.
Hi, I’m Dr. Amelia and I will be treating you today. What seems to be the problem? 

 Hmmmmm….according to these test results, it doesn’t look good. Yeah, you’re pretty much screwed.

Nurse Sammy! 30 ccs of apple juice, stat!
How does this thing work again?
Yeah, it’s been a few years since med school. 

Oh, wait, I read the test results wrong. You’re going to be fine…just paralyzed from the neck down and wheel chair bound. No biggie. 

 Future Harvard Med. 
There’s nothing like drinking juice in a convertible to round out a great day. 

Once Sarah’s husband flew in for the weekend, it was a lot easier for her to get out with the kids and they had a blast visiting the Getty Museum in LA, going to the zoo and visiting the beach in La Jolla where they got up close and personal with tons of seals. 
We didn’t join them on many of their excursions due to the girls’ nap schedule and the fact that they are a little too young (and difficult for me to control) in those environments. Not to mention, the girls LOATHE being strapped in their car seats, so any drive over 30 mins (unless it coincides with their nap schedule) was an automatic NO for us. I’m lame, I know!

Bandit got the best deal out of the week since Alec and Ava were absolutely obsessed with walking him. They even woke up at 6 a.m., just to make sure they could go on my morning walk with me. Bandit managed to convince them to walk him no less than fourteen times a day and it also made my job a lot easier when I took them to the park since I didn’t have to worry about Bandit.

Our friends left Monday morning and when Samantha and Amelia woke up from their morning nap, they were devastated to find a quiet house, once again. Bandit, too, has been quite depressed this week now that he is back down to his customary three walks per day. Spoiled.

Despite the craziness, we had a blast and hope Sarah and crew did too. Samantha, Amelia and Bandit can’t wait to hang out again with their new friends soon.

Lots of love,

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  1. This is so fun! How awesome that you got to see Sarah!