It’s funny how life changes you. One of my sisters and I are very close in age, and when we were in high school we shared a car. One of those old, boxy volvos that I was totally in love with. If I could still be driving that car today, I would be. After college, I drove that little duct taped beauty into a dealership parking lot as it was smoking its last sputters. But in its prime it was the perfect car for the two of us.
Sharing a car meant we shared our mornings driving to school together. And I literally made Abigail late (or later than she wanted to be) every single day. Bless. She just wanted to leave the house at 7:30. Was that too much to ask? Apparently, for me, it was. I could not get myself in gear to ever be ready on time. Every day the same, her sitting in the car honking for me to get out there, and me tucking in my shirt #privateschoolproblems and flying out the front door into the passenger seat at 7:40.
This disregard for time and punctuality continued into my college years. I was late for class, late for church, late for chapter. You name it, I was late for it. Either I couldn’t properly gauge how long it would take me to get somewhere or I didn’t care.
Fast forward a few years, and here I am, rigid Time Keeper! Motherhood, y’all. It changes you!
So here’s how this little ship runs most days:
7:00 AM EBug’s “cyock” turns yellow and she is allowed to exit her sleep chamber. If she wakes up before 7, she can turn on her lamp and play in her room until her clock lights up.
7:30 Brother Bear decides he’s ready to start his day. Some days I even have to wake him up at this time to make sure our day stays on the right course. Controlling much? Admitting it makes it ok.
It’s nice to have a few minutes with EBug before I start to be outnumbered. I can make sure she gets some undivided attention to start her day. We might read a few books or just chat as I drink my coffee and she eats cheerios.
7:30-8 Breakfast time. The kids usually have cheerios or granola and some type of fruit. Without fail, E will ask for cookies or chips instead. Obviously, I say no. But sometimes I compromise and make some pancakes with chocolate chips. Brother Bear’s happy place is in his chair eating food and drinking milk. He is such a good eater, and I love it.
at 9:00 he goes back down for his morning nap. The two naps phase is my absolute favorite. It gives me a chance to get ready and get EBug ready for the day. This nap is short, usually an hour, maybe a little over. EBug spends time reading to Penguin, listening to her High Five magazines, or playing an iPad game. My current favorite game for her to play on the iPad is abc PocketPhonics. This app is awesome. Great for preschoolers who are learning their letters.
around 10:00 we leave the house. If we don’t leave the house during this time, things get ugly. Lots of jerking toys and injuries leading to a very impatient momma.
Some days we have something scheduled at this time like preschool playgroup or BSF or a playdate with someone. If nothing is planned, we go to the library or park or gym.
We decided to splurge on a gym membership for multiple reasons, and it has been the BEST decision. It gives me some time by myself, I can exercise and feel re-energized, and the kids have a great time at the kids zone. I did lots of research before we picked one, and I love the one we chose. The childcare was the main attraction to me. Lots of fun things for the kids to do and lots of sweet girls taking good care of them.
For lunch they like to eat ham, cheese, fruit, pretzels, crackers, mac n cheese, pb&j, hummus, carrots, yogurt, goldfish, or leftovers from the night before. Not all of that at once obviously. And of course, E makes sure to find out if this will indeed be the time she breaks my will and gets to have chips and cookies.
Then they play til nap time. And by “play” I mean jerk toys and injure each other.
1:00-3:00 Ahhhhhhhhh. Afternoon nap. My children’s naps overlap, and they sleep for the same two hours every afternoon. It is glorious. I do not take it for granted. It is my sanity.
I use this time to blog, duh, watch a show, work on my bsf lesson, or catch up on a household task. Probably laundry if I had to pick. I have an unusually high tolerance for dirt on my floors and dust on my furniture.
around 3:30 the munchkins wake up. I sometimes have to wake up Brother Bear, best sleeper ever. And it’s gut-check time. This is an intense part of the day. Any stay-at-home mom can attest to this. Things get crazy. We usually just play at home and hang on til dinner time and then hang on til bedtime.
It’s still a little tough to get dinner made, but it’s getting easier. The only hope I have of success is to plan out my meals a week at a time. I write on my calendar what I plan to make each night. I always look and see what’s on the sched for the day and strategize how I’m gonna get everything chopped and cooked on time.
If I were really on top of things, I would do all the prep work during nap time and have it all ready to just slide into the oven at 5 o clock. But then there would never be blog posts!!!! No fun. So instead Brother Bear has to eat a few too many goldfish while I chop.
After dinner it’s time to either put on some music and dance off some energy. The kids LOVE to do this. Or it’s bath time. A friend asked me the other day if I bathe my kids every day or every other day. I laughed. Every fourth day is sufficient. I don’t want their skin to get too dry 😉
at 7:00ish Brother Baby goes down for bed. The simplest little routine and goodbye.
between 7:30 and 8:00 We put EBug to bed. Rob is so wonderfully intentional when he puts her to bed. They read from the JSB, pray together, and sing. Even his prayers with her are so purposeful. After they read about Moses, they prayed thanking God for His power. I tend to rush through a story, speed-sing a song, turn off her lights, and sprint to my glass of wine. I was really convicted/inspired to use this unique time to really connect with her and teach her truth. I’m glad my husband led in this way. By example.
So that’s pretty much it. We are in a great place with routines. There’s lots of changes in routine during a child’s first year, but once you hit that one year mark, things get pretty smooth. It feels good to write it all down. I wanted to remember this phase. Or maybe I just needed to apologize to my sister for all those years of stress I caused her. Love you, Ab 😉