Day After Day

I’m a self-admitted schedule freak. I like routine; it keeps things simple and everyone knows what to expect. Of course there are days I live it up and break routine, but for the most part every day is similar to the day before and the day after. It may sound boring but we have a blast. And the kids know what to expect. Like our dog who is scratching at her food dish at 5:01pm if I’m running a few minutes behind, Laine is in the kitchen at 5:31pm handing me a bowl.

The kids drive our schedule, depending on who needs how many naps at what age or who is too moody to take out in public (sometimes it’s me). Right now, Blaise is 26-months and Laine is 16-months. Our schedule has been the same since mid-summer once Laine dropped her morning nap, varying a few days here and there. Before it changes again, I want to get down how we roll before I forget and wonder what the heck we used to do. (Not to mention that my mom has *everything* written down from our childhood so when I mention one of the kiddos did something, the next time I talk to her she has the exact date when I did it.)

Our daily schedule (give or take 30 minutes depending on different factors):

6am: Brian’s alarm goes off. I wake up but try to fall back asleep knowing full well I won’t be able to. Brian showers, gets dressed, then heads downstairs with the pups to take them on a walk (if it’s not raining). He drinks his coffee, I still try to fall back asleep.

7am-ish: One of the kids wake up. It’s usually Laine; Blaise is a slow riser. Once Laine opens her eyes, she’s smiling and ready to start her day. Blaise likes to snooze. Laine and I head downstairs to have our morning coffee (her, milk) with Brian. (I never drank coffee until Laine. Now I drink coffee and whiten my teeth.)

7:30am-ish: Blaise saunters downstairs. It’s really weird to have a kid who now just walks downstairs when he wakes up. We usually hear him coming if there are any inconsistencies upstairs—like the nightlight still plugged in or the second bathroom door open (it’s usually kept closed because Laine likes to climb from the toilet to the sink). It’s an “Oh no!” for each inconsistency that warns us of his impending presence. Once downstairs, he gets milk, then walks over to sister and trades cups. They always think the other has something better.

7:45am: Breakfast time. Unless we’re having oatmeal or something messy, we have a casual buffet-style breakfast on the coffee table. Brian is usually the breakfast guy (he’s already staked his claim to make the kiddos breakfast before school each morning … he claimed this long before having kids). While the kiddos eat on the go, we play trucks, trains, read books, put together puzzles, whatever they want. Brian leaves for work sometime after breakfast is served.

8:15am: I need to shower, make beds, rotate laundry, clean whatever needs to be cleaned. Occasionally, I’ll shower and start house stuff before the kids are up but more often than not, it’s with two assistants. We go upstairs, the kiddos sit on our bed and watch either Super Why! or The Backyardigans, or decide they aren’t interested in watching anything and they play with activity bins (formerly once-in-a-while toys). There are several bins in their closet that are organized by activity/toy that I rotate during the week. They get to pick 2-3 bins to play with while I’m busy (they usually end up helping me though).

9am: Everyone gets dressed and we head out. And yes, this takes about a half-hour. The kids are total lollygaggers these days.

(Some days Laine brings back her morning nap at 9am so the rest of the day is off by 30 minutes.)

9:30am-12pm: Probably five out of seven days, we leave the house in the mornings to go do something. If there isn’t rain, we’re outside. If there is rain, we go to friends’ houses, toddler time, a weekly class, kid museums, the aquarium, even just to IKEA sometimes (kid-friendly and SAHM-ville weekday mornings) … so many options. If we stay home, we are downstairs doing a planned activity like crafts or Play-Doh. Their interest span isn’t long so after they’re ready to move on from the planned activity, we’re back playing trucks, trains, reading books, putting together puzzles, whatever they want. And wherever we are, snack time is at 10:30am.

12pm: Lunchtime kids. I know I drive Brian nuts on the weekends; he will ask hours before lunch what the kids are having and I always say, “I don’t know yet.” I wing lunches (dinners are planned). I find whatever needs to be used in the fridge and whip something up. Laine is usually in her booster already, Blaise is playing with trucks. We all eventually eat, play a little downstairs before heading up for naps.

12:30/1pm: Nap time (actual time depends on how many eye rubs are seen or if one kid goes to the gate wanting upstairs and I ask if they want to nap and they say yes). The kiddos go down easy, thankfully. Blaise sometimes plays a little before putting himself down. Laine rolls right over and is fast asleep. I retreat downstairs, clean up from lunch, cuddle with the pups and cats, pick up the toys from the morning play, and relax a whole maybe 20 minutes before Laine wakes up. She seems to think 45 minutes is a decent nap time.

2/2:30pm: Laine is usually up by now. And if she has been for a bit, I wait to get her until 2pm (she doesn’t like this). A few days during the week she’ll nap until 2:30pm. And once in a blue moon, she’ll nap more than two hours. We read books or just cuddle together. She isn’t much of a player, she prefers social interaction. She also enjoys going over the the plug covers and taking them off then looking at me and smiling. She also enjoys snacking and has a few during this time.

4pm: Blaise wakes up. The kid takes naps seriously. He’s actually cut his nap time by an hour in the past month but will occasionally still nap past 5pm. We all play downstairs, he snacks a little. At 5pm, the kiddos feed the pups. (I think Mayah has some sort of deal going on with Blaise because he gives her two scoops, sneaky wiener dog.)

(Sometimes Blaise wakes up earlier and we’ll go somewhere in the afternoon to play. It’s rare this happens.)

5:30pm: Dinner time. I’ve been meal planning and doing once a month cooking (post to come) so all I have to do—if I remember—is preheat the oven and toss dinner in so it’s ready at 5:30pm, and prepare a few sides. Brian has been getting home so we can all eat together most days (pre-November, he was going to work around 9:30am and getting home around 6:15pm, long past the kiddos ability to wait for dinner). We eat dinner, chat, enjoy each other’s company.

6pm: Playtime with Dad. We all hang out together downstairs after dinner. The kiddos are soaking up their Dad, and I start winding down mom-duty and pass the kiddos to Brian.

6:30pm: Bathtime. Brian and the kids head upstairs for baths. I either clean up the dinner mess and/or put the toys away. Or just be lazy for a bit and sit on the couch with the pups and decide to take the night off from cleaning up, too (Brian will if I don’t, and I know this).

7pm: Ready for bed. I head back upstairs as Brian is finishing up bathtime to start the bedtime routine. We play a little, read a little, then put the kiddos down for the night. We start with Laine. She still sleeps in our room and goes down without a peep, even points to her bed because she’s ready. Easy peasy. Blaise is next. We get him situated—he likes to sleep with specific toys, pillows, and blankets in bed—then we kiss him goodnight and tuck him in. Brian and I go downstairs to have some us time to catch up on the day … what the kids and I did, any highlights from his day, any household-related business, what’s on tap for the night and tomorrow, etc. Blaise screws around for about an hour and likes to be checked on 2-3 times before falling asleep for the night.

8pm: Kiddos are both asleep and we are freeeeee! I’ll run on the treadmill in the garage, work on whatever house project I have going on, go to Target, write a blog post, screw around on the internet, or just be lazy and sit on the couch with the pups and cats. Brian does a range of things too, from productivity to laziness.

11pm: We go to bed, later than we should since we wake up early. Kid-free time is precious. We usually read in bed a while before *actually* going to sleep around midnight.

Repeat.

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