Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day to Day

(inspired by Erin, who was inspired by swistle)

During the week, my alarm goes off at 6:45. It's set to a country radio station that I typically let play for 5 to, uhhhhh..., 30 minutes. If Brian got up to run that morning, he's stretching and showering, or otherwise he's already showered and downstairs getting his coffee. I eventually get up the nerve to get out of bed (I didn't win the "Worst Morning Person in My Town, Ohio" radio contest for nothin'!), and I jump in the shower and try to get ready before Brian leaves for work. At some point during this routine, the kiddos usually wake up. When Katy wakes up, Brian gets her up and feeds her breakfast. When David wakes up, I nurse him and hand him over to Brian so I can go take my shower. Sometimes one of them doesn't wake up until after Brian leaves for work. He leaves at 7:55 (see what I mean about living close to work?), and I take over kid duty, whether I've managed to dry my hair yet or not.

The next hour is a blur of pouring bowls of cereal, nursing (if I haven't already), diapering, dressing, and brushing hair, etc. This is often in between books, puzzles, and coloring. Sometime around 9:30, I put David down for his first nap. Katy knows that this is the time that she gets to watch a video. She selects it, sits down at her chair, and I do the first round of Things That Need to Be Done. This could be unloading the dishwasher, sweeping, strategizing shopping lists to get the best deals, and checking my work email to see if there's anything that can't wait until naptime. Plus, of course, I'm checking my own email and taking a minute to read blogs as they pop up throughout the day. Thank the Lord for this laptop.

Katy's video ends and I'll do crafts with her or we'll have a snack. When David wakes from his nap (11:00, give or take), it's go time. This is the time of day that I leave the house with the 2 kids in tow. Our activity varies from day to day: maybe I need to go to Target (oh, happy day!), or we have storytime, or a playdate, or we meet Brian for lunch, or we do any number of 100 errands that need to be run. One thing I do NOT do during this time is grocery shop for more than 5 items. I just can't do it right now, not at these ages. I'd rather go at midnight by myself than take the kids. Especially since I'm trying to shop for sales and double coupons and ECB's and healthy foods and AH! I just can't.

We are usually rushing home to keep David from falling asleep in the car and ruining his afternoon nap. Usually we make it home and have lunch by about 1:00 and put him down again. Then Katy and I hang out for a bit and she goes down for nap around 1:30. That's when I race for the laptop, put on my headset, and get to work. On average I probably do about an hour or so of work in the afternoon. Usually by the time I finish, I have time to check my email or pick up toys and then one of the kids wakes up.

The late afternoon is the one-handed hour. David usually insists on being held, and Katy has a lot of demands, all of which I'm trying to fulfill with one hand. Sometimes we play outside, sometimes I have her "help" me with dinner, or sometimes we're folding laundry or doing more crafts.

Brian comes home around 5:30, and although my best intention is to have dinner ready, it doesn't happen very often. Usually I hand the kids over and try to go throw something together, or if we have something going on that evening and we need to move a little faster, we might get take out from somewhere (this happens more often than I'd like). After dinner, we play outside or take a walk, or we might go to a park. Because my sister lives close by and is a student, she might be around for any part of this daily activity. She just molds into it, walking into the house and picking up the baby, getting snacks for Katy and changes stinky diapers. I am blessed to have her close.

If it's a Bath Night, we all head up to the attic (where the only bathtub is located) to do baths around 6:30. David goes to bed immediately afterward, around 6:45, and is usually holding on by a very thin thread by the time I put him down. (And for my own future reference, at this point I am nursing him and laying him down awake in a sleep sack. He goes to sleep on his own, sometimes without any fussing, sometimes with a few minutes of fussing). Katy comes downstairs "all clean" and there's more playing until bedtime - which is 8:00 for her. One of us takes her upstairs, brushes her teeth, tosses her in her crib, says prayers with her, hugs and kisses her and walks out.

Then Brian and I have some time. Sometimes we're camped out in the living room, one with the remote, one with the laptop. Sometimes I go to the grocery and he stays home. Sometimes he goes for a run and I stay home. Sometimes we purposely don't do any of these things so we can have a meaningful conversation as husband and wife. Brian is ready to head to bed by 10pm, but I am never tired at this point. So I am guilty of keeping him up past his bedtime, often until 11ish by the time we get upstairs and in bed. These days I'm also stalling because David will wake up for his first feeding between 10-12, so I like it better if I'm still awake, rather than only having been asleep for 30 minutes. David then wakes up for a 2nd feeding between 3-5am, and I trudge downstairs to nurse him and often fall asleep in the glider holding him. But only for a little bit, and then I put him down and go back to bed.

I have to admit that I'm hesitant to publish this post. As I type it out, I feel like it looks like I have it pretty easy. It doesn't look hard or overwhelming like some routines would. But I feel really busy, I guess it's just life that fills our time. I don't know what it is or how to describe it, but somehow every moment of every day I am doing something. Something that seems critical to me right then. But a month later I won't be able to remember what I was doing or why. I guess if nothing else, I might want to look back at this later and remember what my routine was like at this stage. So here it goes...


Erin said...

Oh my goodness, you think this sounds EASY?! Girl, this sounds seriously brutal. But also very well organized & like it's really working well for your family. I really respect the patience and physical ENDURANCE it takes to be with the kids all day, every day. You ROCK!

Also, I really love this post. I love hearing other people's routines & habits. It is somehow really refreshing and comforting.

Pam said...

It does not sound easy at all!!!!!! Bringing children up right and keeping them entertained is exhausting. I think you are a super mum/wife/friend and career woman!

Oma Froehle said...

Some day you will look back and marvel that you ever found any time to have a part-time job in the middle of this. Are you kidding??? The amazing responsibility of have two other tiny human beings that depend on you for all their needs is a full-time job by itself!

Kelsey said...

Em -- You are very ambitious! Your day sounds plenty difficult to me and I admire the routine you've established. I thought about doing a post like this but we have only the flimsiest of routines right now. I'm not even sure I could write one. Maybe that will shift as school starts.

I am so glad you are finding/making special time for you and Katy! I feel like we're still in "Just get through the day" mode around here.

KNJ said...

I so want your routine! Heck, any routine! It doesn't sound easy, per se, but so what if it does? Only because you've managed to "make it so". (Did I just quote star trek? misquote it? which is worse?)

ANYWAY, I totally love the "hand the kids over" part. Because I was feeling like a pretty bad new-momma since I do this with my hubby. As soon as he walks in the door (well, not every day). And the keeping-him-up-later-than-he-wants: totally us! Glad to know I'm not alone in that!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness everybody else said what I was thinking, Emily - that is not an easy routine (maybe because I'm in the same boat). Being a mom is the least easy, most important, most fulfilling job in the world (along with being a dad). Have a great day! :)

Anonymous said...

previous post is from neighbor steph. :)

Anonymous said...

wow, thank you for sharing. This does not sound EASY, but it does sound like you are happy and that you find joy and some peace througout the day. As a woman who desires to be a mother, this is beautiful to read. Emily, your children are so sweet, so kind, and fun to be around. You and Brian are doing wonders raising to beautiful children while also growing your own relationship with one another and God. Thank you so much for sharing