We are now a party of six, and I want to remember those special days when it was Henry and Arden, age 3.5, and Hunter, age 22 months, so I wrote this two months ago. It will be a total snooze to anyone but me, but a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s…you get it.
7:05AM Thanks to daylight savings time, the kids are now waking at this perfectly reasonable hour. We’ve spent years rising between 6 and 6:30, but we’ve implemented the toddler alarm clock (only for the twins, Hunter is too young) and it’s done wonders. Right now it is set for 7:15AM, so they usually chat from 7:00 until it turns green at 7:15 and then they toddle into our room.
Hunter has already called “Dada! Dada! MAMA!” so he’s in-between us in our bed, holding his stuffed puppy and sucking his thumb. This is the most glorious time, as he loves to just lay quietly with us until the twins arrive.
7:15AM Not one minute late, the twins walk into our room, each holding a blanket and a stuffed animal or doll. They crawl into our bed and snuggle or cavort around until Mike gets in the shower.
7:45AM Mike is getting ready for the day and I lumber my big belly out of bed and start getting dressed. I change Hunter’s diaper and verbally facilitate the twins getting dressed. For Arden this involves asking her at least half a dozen times to get going, for Henry this requires absolutely nothing; he always gets dressed on his own initiation.
8AM Breakfast time — I make everybody either eggs, toast and fruit, or oatmeal with cinnamon, banana and seeds, or a green smoothie. Mike rolls in and makes his coffee and we all sit down to eat.
8:20AM Mike kisses the crew and heads to work, and I begin cleanup while the kids all do an independent activity. Usually they each read, or play in the living room (that is actually a playroom), or put some music on to start our day.
8:40AM I check the calendar, pay any bills, check email, get my head organized about what needs to happen that day.
8:45AM If it’s…
Monday — we head to Toddler Time at the gym to burn some energy. I pack lunch ahead so we can spend more time there and there’s less to do upon returning.
Tuesday — we go to Bible Study at church, with me getting two glorious hours of worship, teaching, interacting with adults, small group time, and two uninterrupted cups of tea. The kids get loads of stimulation and interaction with other kids in children’s ministry. Everybody wins.
Wednesday — Nonni day! My mom comes over at 9:30AM and spends the day with us and it is fantastic.
Thursday — twice a month we have MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) which is a lot like Bible Study in that I am with other moms for two hours with brunch and lots of chatting, and the kids are in children’s ministry doing crafts, stories, play time, etc. On non-MOPS days I try to arrange playdates.
Friday — Nana day! My mama-in-love comes over at 9:30AM and spends the day with us and we love it.
12PM I make lunch while they play or read.
12:20PM Lunch time
12:40PM I clean up lunch and then spend half an hour reading to them, or playing, or doing whatever my body will allow me to do at that point. I can’t chase them anymore, or spend more than a minute or two sitting on the ground, but we find ways around this.
1:15PM Nap time! All three down and all the hallelujahs. I spend the first part of naps eating lunch if I didn’t eat with them, then doing a chore. Mon: kids laundry plus dusting and vacuuming downstairs (though I usually vacuum earlier or after nap to reduce noise), Tues: our laundry plus dusting and vacuuming upstairs, Wed: clean kitchen, Thurs: bathrooms, Fri: break. Then I usually have 45 minutes to an hour to rest, which I spend emailing, reading, blogging, or budgeting.
3:15PM Their alarm clock light tells them it’s okay to get up, but often Henry will wake up around 3PM and whisper “Mom! Mom!” and I’ll sneak him out of his room and we’ll read books downstairs before the others are up. Hunter often sleeps until 3:45.
4PM If it’s not raining, we go outside after nap and a quick snack. Riding bikes, going on a walk, playing in the yard — whatever we can do to be outside and burn some energy and get some fresh air. Nowadays it’s hard for me because simply standing without taking a quick sit break makes me contract more frequently, so this part of the day is good but hard. The kids aren’t old enough to be out front without an adult, so I really have to be physically present at all times. Thankfully, our dear family friends gave us their super safe trampoline (only a foot off the ground, totally netted), which we put in the backyard. So now I can release the hounds to the backyard and start dinner and they’re perfectly safe. This is a saving grace just in time for the baby and for spring.
5PM My brain is officially on countdown mode until Mike walks through the door. Most days I can start dinner without him there, but if they really want to stay outside I’m stuck until he’s home.
5:30PM Daddy’s home! As soon as he arrives, all the kids barrel up the stairs with him to change. This is exactly as Mr Rogers as it sounds. He changes out of his suit and into casual clothes, and Henry insists on doing the same. Even if he was wearing play clothes all day, Henry will change into another set of play clothes so he’s just like Daddy. It’s adorable. Then they all wrestle on the bed and play and laugh while I start dinner allllll by myself. It is a lovely reprieve.
6PM Dinner time.
6:30PM Our agreement is that Mike cleans up dinner since I cooked it, but most of the time I just want him to play with the kids because they miss him, and also because I am burned out from playing with them all day, so I actually prefer the cleanup.
7:10PM Head upstairs for bedtime routine: bath (every other to every third day), pajamas, teeth, story time.
7:30PM Lights out.
7:40PM Parental fiesta!!!!! At nine months pregnant, this looks like asking Mike to do some sort of nesting chore, and then we have snacks and watch something on Netflix.
10PM Bed. Another day on the books.
P.S. Lest I give the impression this is all a smooth operation, there are moments of stress and chaos so acute I think I’m going to run screaming from the house. That’s when, at least a couple of times a week, I call in the big guns…TV.
Those glazed expressions mirror my own. They need a break from me as much as I do from them. Glory, glory.