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A Day in the Life of Shay Swanger

2:30AM Beckett has been sleeping through the night since he was 4 months old. But Henry is already 23 pounds and loves a midnight snack. I breastfed for 10 weeks – but after pumping 64 ounces a day, you can bet I was ready to switch to formula. So after a bottle, I put him (Henry) back down and try to go back to sleep.

6:30-7AM Beckett and Henry are up. The first thing I have to do is flip on the coffee pot! I just drink the Maxwell House original, which I fancy up with the Coffee-mate creamer … it’s a really special moment for me … I like the vanilla cinnamon flavor. Don’t laugh! It’s the little things that make you want to get up in the morning. I don’t care that it’s fattening; I deserve it. If I’ve got to get up this early, I’m going to do it. Ryan travels a lot – so I feel like a single parent, sometimes for a week. A lot of times, it’s just me and the boys. I give the boys breakfast bottles in my bed while I watch cartoons with them and read books.

8AM It’s time to get dressed (not sure I’m dressed, but the boys are). They’re already so big that they are wearing 18-month-old clothes!

9-10AM It’s naptime for the boys and I run around, straighten the house, make the bed, clean bottles, put a load of laundry in. I might even get out of my pajamas at this point! I still use the sterilizer to clean everything from the night. Before then, I usually set up two more bottles and prepare for when they get up. I used to have a night nanny four nights a week, and she would come every other Saturday night so Ryan and I could go out. Plus she would come over every Thursday or Friday during the day so I could go to the store or out with my friends … you know, be a human.

10AM The boys are up and I feed them a breakfast of fruit and cereal and a small bottle. I feed them the organic Gerber (baby food) … I do not have time to purée – I’m not that kind of mom. I’ll buy the more expensive stuff, but I don’t have time to make it!

11AM Boys go in the jogger and we go for a walk around White Rock Lake. A walk around the lake is about an hour long, and on the way back, we’ll stop at the park for the swings.

12:30PM Now we’re up for bottles and playtime. They love nursery rhymes – I read and they listen. Actually, that’s how I got Henry to smile for the first time. He loves Humpty Dumpty – and he looks like an egg – he’s round and his hair sticks straight up. It’s like American Idol in here – I have a horrible voice, but I sing ridiculous songs to them. They love it – no matter how horrible my voice is, they find it completely entertaining!

2PM It’s naptime again and I am running around with my head cut off: folding laundry, preparing 10-15 bottles at a time for the rest of the day and the next morning. I lay the bottles all out in a row on the kitchen counter – it looks like a professional nursery. I used to buy powdered formula and whip it with a big mixer, but now I just use the premixed liquid. I buy it by the case, six cases at a time. I am not kidding around when I go to BabiesRUs – I have to get the flatbed. They usually don’t have enough cases so I’m stuffing what they have, plus a bunch of single bottles, in my car … you can imagine what I look like in the parking lot. During this time, I’m also getting their lunch ready so when they get up I’m ready to go. Every single day, I do at least one load of boys’ stuff, but it can be up to four loads a day … it’s an absurd amount. I’m an organizational freak. I have this separator and all the different nipple sizes for my bottles are in separate bags in different sections inside the organizer. I have a pacifier section and a spoon section. It’s the only way I can stay in control … if I didn’t have the organizer, I feel like I would lose my mind.

3PM It’s lunchtime in high chairs on the porch. Our porch is glassed in ceiling-to-floor and overlooks the pool. A French couple owned this house before us and they came in only six weeks out of the year during the summer. So there’s no eating area in the kitchen, but it’s lovely to have a table on the porch and enjoy the sun.

4PM For playtime, we do workouts since they’re a little behind on developmental stuff because they were preemies. We practice sitting up, have tummy time. They are not very consistent with rolling over yet, and they’re learning how to balance. We also read books and play with toys. I still use my swings because I feed in them. With twins, feeding at the same time is a necessity. I call it bottle pilot … it’s auto pilot time! They learned how to do this at a very young age because rarely do I hold them and give them a bottle because everything has to be done for them at the same time.

5:30PM It’s bottle and bath time, then change into pajamas.

7:30PM Book, bottle and lights out! We have them in the same room with their cribs close together, so I’ll stand in between and read them a book.

7:30-10PM I use this time to get ready for the next day. I might actually take a shower!