Things are starting to settle down a bit for us now that Lately is coming out of the newborn phase, but life is still pretty crazy with two in diapers. I thought it would be interesting (and motivating) to document a typical day. I’ve been struggling with getting into a routine, dividing my attention between the two kids and Tarrell, eating right and taking care of myself, being productive & feeding all of our minds, so I thought it would be helpful to me (and others struggling with the same things) to stop and take a look at what we really do all day.
On this particular day, we stayed home all day. While this is not a typical thing for us to do (we usually try to get out in the mornings to a playgroup, story time, park, etc), I thought it might be easier to document than a day when we were out and about.
I apologize in advance for the terrible phone picture quality.
7:00(ish) a.m. Wake up call.
Knox typically wakes up somewhere around 7:00 and we hear him through the monitor. Often times he’ll lie in bed quietly and play for a while until demanding to be brought downstairs. The first thing he does everyday is ask to “go see baby.” They share a sweet moment before breakfast. I get her diaper changed and get her dressed while Daddy and Knox head to the kitchen to make breakfast.
8:00ish a.m. Breakfast
Often times Tarrell will make a big breakfast, but on this day, Knox and I shared a greek yogurt and a banana and he had a bowl of cereal. Because I am breastfeeding, I really should be eating a little more than that in the mornings - this is something I need to work on, but usually I’m tending to a fussy baby and rushing to get whatever I can into my belly before the purple crying begins. Anyone have any suggestions for quick, grab-n-eat, healthy breakfast food (perhaps something I can eat while nursing or walking around holding her)?
I usually put her in the swing or on a blanket on the floor to see if she will hang out while I eat, but it never lasts long. She was particularly fussy on this morning and seemed to still be tired, so I walked her around in the sling until she fell asleep and then put her in the swing so I could move around more freely while cleaning.
8:30ish - Naptime for Lately, Playtime for Knox, Clean up time for Mommy
Knox will play independently pretty well first thing in the morning, so I try to take advantage of that time and get some cleaning done (dishes, laundry, sweeping). Sometimes he will get tired of playing and come looking for attention. If he does, I will offer to have him help me with whatever I’m doing. Depending on his mood, he will either help or go back to playing (or whine until I give up on cleaning and go play with him).
9:00ish - Mealtime for Lately
That first little nap doesn’t ever last long (unless I keep her in the sling), probably because she is hungry. After a feeding, I take some time to spend with her while Knox is playing. Baby smiles certainly are the best.
Knox continues playing independently, although he does ask for help at one point with a challenging puzzle.
10:00ish - Playtime for All!
My cleaning is as done as it’s going to get for now, so we head upstairs to the playroom for some playtime with Mommy. I try several different things to hold Lately’s attention so I can play with Knox for a bit, but nothing really sticks (again, this was a very fussy day for her, as she was having some tummy issues). She wants to be held, so after the failed attempts to get her to play alone, I give in.
I do my best to play with Knox while trying to calm the baby. He’s into the blocks, puzzles and his little tent - having a blast. (Hey, look, I finally got him dressed! Go me!)
10:30ish - Snacktime for Knox/ Naptime for Lately (again)
I think I tried nursing her again to calm her down and she fell asleep again, so I stuck her in the swing so I could play with Knox and get him a snack.
We play with some toys he found in the closet while he eats an apple. He offers me a few bites and I try to incorporate some sorting work into this activity. He does well at sorting colored items.
And We have a little storytime since Lately’s still napping nicely.
Knox had some leftover tortellini and I had a weird combination of whatever I could find (boca chick’n patty, hummus & pita bread, pumpkin & sunflower seeds). Knox decides he likes pumpkin seeds & pours a huge pile of them on his plate while I’m tending to the baby who woke up very unhappy. Yep. You guessed it, they all ended up on the floor…and yes, he had to help clean them all up.
I try to give Lately some independent time on a blanket on the floor. When that doesn’t work, I move her to the couch (supervised, of course)…which lasted for about 5 minutes.
Knox goes to bed pretty easily , without much of a fight usually (although his stalling tactics are improving) and I swaddle Lately so she’ll sleep longer than usual. If only this meant that it was time for Mommy to relax. Though I have managed to, for the past few weeks, line up their naptimes (knock on wood!), I have a TON to do once they fall asleep. I run a small Kindermusik studio, and, though I took the summer off from teaching, there’s still a ton of administrative work to do since I have 2 other teachers running classes all summer. I usually work on answering emails, advertising, billing and other paperwork while they nap. If I’m not working on that, I’m usually stuck on the phone with someone annoying like our health insurance providers or paying bills online….or sigh …cleaning. Every now and then, I’ll take some time to work on this blog while they are napping - those are the fun days :)
3:00ish Snack time for Knox
He’s usually pretty hungry when he wakes up, so I try to give him a healthy snack. This day it wasn’t the healthiest (a yogurt squeezer) but he loves them….and he wanted to be outside on a really hot day, so I was hoping this would keep him cool. I should have had a small snack at this point, too, but didn’t…oh wait, yes, I ate a piece of chocolate - probably worse than not eating anything.
After snack, we blow some bubbles while I nurse the baby on the back porch. (That kind of multi-tasking takes talent!)
4:00ish - Another nap for Lately. (I feel like she may have slept more than normal on this particular day).
I put her on the couch while Knox & I play on the floor beside her.
Knox enjoys some independent water play on the porch while I try to squeeze in some cleaning before little girly wakes up again.
5:00ish - The Witching Hour Begins
Lately usually hits a wall around this time (you’re probably thinking - wasn’t she hitting a wall all day?!), she’s normally just fussy in general, but at this point in the day, she’s kind of inconsolable. So here, I’m nursing her on the couch while watching Knox play on the porch (Oh, look, on the table, there’s our GIANT hospital bill from Lately’s birth - fun!). I usually switch from nursing her to walking around with her in the sling, but nothing makes her happy. In fact, I probably make it worse and I know she’s ready to settle down for the evening, but I’ve got to keep an eye on Knox while Tarrell makes dinner (I’m a lucky girl!), so I can’t take her in a separate, quiet room, which is what she really needs. So, we all endure it for a while longer. At least while I’m nursing I get to sit…and play on my phone :)
Here’s Latley taking a short break from being inconsolable. She resolved her tummy issue (code for explosive diaper), but is definitely ready for bathtime and bed. She’s (we’ve?) just got to make it through dinner and then it’s time. (Side note, these cloth diapers are TERRIBLE. Stay tuned for a diaper review post coming soon!)
6:00ish - Clean up time for Knox
I like to have Knox help clean up his mess before dinner. As you can see, he’s made quite a big one. He’s still a little young to clean up completely by himself, so I help him, but I try not to do it without him if time allows.
This process usually starts with a little time alone in the corner to make the right decision. After a few minutes with no toys or attention, he realizes cleaning up is not such a bad thing & does a great job helping.
6:30ish - Dinner
I eat so fast I come close to injuring myself because this girl is way past ready for bed. We had breakfast for dinner this evening (broccoli, ham, cheese & onion fritatta, oatmeal & toast). I was starving and cleaned my plate. Knox barely touched his food and I think Tarrell gave him a banana to get something on his stomach before bed.
When dinner is over, I take the baby into our room and turn off the lights (usually after I give her a bath, but there was a thunderstorm going on, so we skipped the bath). I turn on some white noise and I nurse her to sleep. It usually takes a while, sometimes 30 minutes, but after that she is typically down for the night (I’m pretty sure the swaddle is to thank for that!).
As soon as I come out of the room it’s time for Knox’s bedtime routine. We skipped the bath for him as well, due to the storm, so we read a few extra stories. Sometimes Tarrell joins us, sometimes it’s just us, sometimes worlds collide and baby joins us, too. However it goes, I just love this time of day. And not just because we’re all exhausted and we get to rest. As tired as I always am, I try to savor these little bedtime moments - snuggly, blanket-sniffing, climbing on laps and whispering sweet things. He’s just the cutest at bedtime.
When both of them are down, I typically shower (the storm had passed so I did) and then hit the bed with Tarrell, who’s been hanging out with the sleeping baby. Recently, I’ve had a ton of work to do for Kindermusik, so we haven’t had much time to spend with “just us.” This is another thing I really need to work on. Making time for just us. He usually watches TV, plays a video game or does some work on his laptop while I sit next to him on mine. Sometimes, we’ll actually watch a movie together…sometimes it’s while I fold a giant mound of laundry (it took me the entire movie to fold it all, that’s how bad it was!). This is one thing that has to change, though…I miss having that time with him and I know he misses it too. After re-reading this post, this is the biggest thing I’m taking away from it. Yes, I could probably manage time better during the day and provide or encourage more educational, physical and productive activities for Knox (the TV wasn’t on this day, but that’s not always the case), I could eat healthier and try to fit in some exercise, but, most of all this is what I need to do.
So, there it is - this is how we spend our days. I know this routine will change a million times as they both grow and change, so I’m trying not to get to used to anything, but this has been how most days go. I think it will be interesting to update this is a few months to see what all has changed for us. Hopefully, I can report back some positive changes and overall improvement!
Is this similar to how some of you spend your days? I’d love to read some other “Day in the Life” posts from some of you!