One of the blogs I like to follow writes a few blogs once in awhile of their simple daily routine...just as a written reminder/memoir of what life was like at that particular moment in time. I thought maybe it would be nice to document what our daily lives were for myself...probably will BORE the rest of you to death...but I will most likely look back and have very special memories from this time in our lives. SO here is what a "normal" day looks like with Caroline 2, Emily 1, and baby Hannah is 38 weeks pregnant...will be joining us in just 1.5 short weeks!
Our day begins anywhere from 6:45-7:15 with me jumping out of bed to the sound of one of the girls on the monitor. They share a room and pretty much wake at the same time and will either call out for "Mama!" or just screech until I come in to get them. Caroline is in her big girl bed and usually has a story to tell me about the night- either a blanket falling out of her bed, a passy hiding, sis screaming, always entertaining. But she wakes up happy. Emily is standing in her crib, holding blankets, ready to go. I think she would rather sleep a bit later, but big sis calls the shots most days. I get them out of bed, turn off all the sound machines, fans and we go to the living room. I usually sit Em on the couch and Caroline finds somewhere to chill while I make their juice cups 1st thing. We open all the windows, turn on the lights and sometimes just start playing, or sometimes turn the tv on and watch Curious George or Cat in the Hat. Right now they are waking up starving, so Caroline immediately asks for a "snack" which I in return call "breakfast" and she throws a little fit saying she doesn't want breakfast, she wants a snack. So I have quit using the B word;) We do a quick diaper change for E and C takes her pull up off and switches to big girl panties. The girls will play in the living room while I cook breakfast- our breakfast repertoire includes eggs, sausage, pancakes, toaster strudels, oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt. Emily always eats everything on her plate PLUS what is leftover on Carolines. C is not a big "snack eater"...even though she is starving most mornings. We either eat at the kitchen table in their booster chairs, or lately Caroline likes to get a tray to eat in the living room with and I bring Emily's booster chair in for her to sit in. They sit quietly while I clean up, eat something quick myself, and get ready to clean them up. They finish and play for a bit while I straighten up, pick out clothes for the day, get myself dressed. This is usually when I inhale my daily Dr. Pepper and get a little pep in my step each morning. It's a bad day when we don't have one waiting for me in the fridge. :)
Getting the girls dressed and groomed properly is kind of like a crazy assembly line right now no matter how I prepare for it. I pick out their clothes, socks, diapers/panties, hair bows and take them to the living room where they are playing. Caroline is amazing- she will most likely happily undress herself, and put her clothes on independently with out a fuss. She loves doing it herself and I am proud of her. After she gets dressed, I do her hair (which is always a lost cause because the poor child can't keep her hair neat/up for more than 15 minutes to save her life...but I always attempt.) Caroline will even gather up all the PJ's and take them to the laundry basket for me without a complaint. So that's the easy part. Then I have to wrestle the wild one...Emily...and get her together. She does not like to come to me when I call her, and usually fusses while I maneuver her clothes off of her and wrangle her into a new diaper/outfit for the day. Getting her hair done is a necessity because it is wild...and always in her eyes. So I usually quickly pin her bangs back with a bow or get a ponytail-bam bam "do" going within the first few attempts of her running away from me. Next stop- the bathroom- which is a TIGHT squeeze for all of us right now...especially with little busy hands that like to explore everything (trashcan, contact solution, soap/shampoo, etc.) I usually sit Caroline on the potty and have Em stand while I hand them their toothbrush while we all brush, and I simultaneously wet their already "done" hair to tame it just a bit more with water. It makes their precious curls "bounce" a bit more. :) I gather the toothbrushes up and we exit the bathroom and go search for shoes. Again, Caroline attempts her own, and I tackle Em to get hers on. They both have favorite shoes right now that don't necessarily match ANYTHING but I am not a fighter when it comes to shoes- they need to a) fit, b)stay on, c) not cause tripping or harm when playing...and that's about all I require. Sandals in October? Sure. The same dirty tennis shoes EVERY day? Why not. Purple socks with pink shoes? All the cuter. After shoes are on- I make a beeline for my room, throw on some clothes in record time so that they both don't follow me in to our bedroom and begin destroying it drawer to drawer. After the 2 minutes it takes me to get dressed, we herd back into the living room while I get our diaper bag together- fresh juice, snack (without them seeing it- or else they will demand it right then), diapers, wipes, panties, change of clothes, passy, my phone, my make up bag, and wallet. And the Dr. Pepper. First trip out to the van- I take the girls and get them buckled and in place, start the van and get a dvd going. I run back inside, grab all of our gear, put it in the van. It usually takes me 2-3 more trips to remember everything we are supposed to be leaving the house with- but thankfully the girls enjoy just being in the van and don't mind. Most mornings I will sit and do a quick 4 minute make up routine in our driveway before we pull out...and that's considered a good day. Some days, make up just doesn't make it to the van at all.
So it's usually about 9-9:30 by this time...sometimes a bit later depending on moods in the morning. If anyone is fussy- the faster we get OUT of the house, the better. If they are content, we can hang around and play a little longer. PRIME time playtime happens from about 9:30-11:00. We will either go meet friends at the park, enjoy a play date at a friends house, go to the library, go to the Wonderplace, go to the indoor playroom at The Church at Rock Creek, our church playroom, Chuck E Cheese, Chick fil a...those are our normal hang outs. There are SO many fun parks in Little Rock that we can drive to a different park everyday and never get bored. There is a special "Marketplace Kroger" that is HUGE way on the other side of town that we drive to sometimes if I need to desperately make a grocery shopping trip. It has everything- kind of like a department store Kroger. Anyway- Caroline LOVES it because they have kiddie sized shopping carts that she loves to push with our food in it. So I usually push a huge cart with a car on it- which Emily rides in- and Caroline pushes her cart next to us (note to everyone- don't let the little one push the cart behind you- she will run you over and injure your heels. Repeatedly.) So we usually play until about 10:45 or 11 when moods start to dwindle. Then we head home for lunch.
We unload the van, get inside, take shoes off (and socks...so no slipping injuries occur), and usually jump right into their chairs at the table for lunch. I wipe them down and wash their hands and we usually retell our mornings, or sing songs, act silly...anything to occupy the time while I make their food (usually can be done in about 3 minutes or less). Turkey, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, some type of veggie, a fruit, and yogurt. Drinks are refilled. Food is either devoured or thrown on the floor. They are never really hungry at lunch. Lunch lasts about 8 minutes until one is done and plates must be diligently removed from them or else messes are created- either thrown on the floor, in the hair, all in their hands, etc. Mostly by Em, but sometimes Caroline likes to get messy too. I then clean them up, usually change their clothes into something comfy to sleep in if they got really dirty, and clean up the lunch mess while the play. We play until about 12- then we do diaper change, pull up on for C, get blankets together and nap set up. Caroline has been napping in Hannah's crib (she thinks its REALLY neat) so that she doesn't wake up Emily early from her nap. Emily sleeps in her crib as usual. They both lay down with out a peep and fall asleep quickly. Naps usually last about 1.5 hours-2 hours on a good day. I immediately do a quick round of clean/straighten up the house, eat lunch in record time and move on to more important things:) I have been laying down and catching a quick cat nap this late in my pregnancy, but days like today I choose to do something "productive" by either preparing dinner without little hands involved, or cleaning something, doing laundry, catching up on bills, mail, etc. This is the most productive or unproductive time of the day, but I cherish it.
Caroline usually wakes first- calling out for me. I grab her out of Hannah's room, we come to the living room, quickly switch over to big girl panties, and she snuggles/wakes up while I get her afternoon snack and juice ready. She will watch tv or play with my iphone for a few minutes while I prepare that, and then by the time she is set up and happy, Emily is usually stirring. Neither wake AS happy from their naps as they do in the morning, but after a few moments of "chilling" they are rearing ready to go again. Emily gets her snack and juice and we usually just play (read books, play babies, do puzzles) until they are fully awake and ready to do something else. We will get dressed (again!) shoes on and usually go outside to our front yard or to our neighborhood park. Usually that would mean them jumping in the wagon and me pulling them, but since I feel like I am about to hatch, we have been jumping in the van and driving the few blocks. Embarrassing, I know. We have a few friends that will usually meet us at the park and we will play/visit for no more than an hour max. By that time it usually is certain that Caroline will need to potty (or have already had an accident) someone will be hurt, or just moody. So we will head back home. If we have time to kill and are in the van- we will tour the neighborhood for a few minutes. Our new task- looking for pumpkins. We can drive slow as snails and check out all the fall decor and be entertained for at least 10 minutes ;)
So by this point it's usually about 4:00 which equals "melt down" time is close at hand. If we stay busy through this time it is best, but usually impossibly hard to do anything without a lot of crankiness. I usually will attempt to get home and start dinner if I haven't already or go home and play- but the girls are HIGH maintenance at this time. Nothing a freezer pop doesn't fix...or free reign of a "off limits" spot in the house (like the downstairs craft stuff....or play on the back porch. Anything is possible at this time of day and I am usually happy to oblige whatever mess may occur during this hour as long as they are happy, not fighting, not on my hip, or screaming. A text to daddy usually happens about now as I anxiously inquire about what his day/evening is looking like as far as quitting time goes. Thankfully this month he is working at the VA hospital which has very reasonable hours....getting him home between 5:30-6:30.
I feed the girls at 5:00 on the dot and they are always ravenous! I usually prepare something that the whole family will eat and feed the girls, and save the rest for Brad and I to eat once we are "off duty". But recently, with as tired and exhausted as Hannah baby has been making me, we sometimes do the same routine as lunch- hot dogs, sandwiches, macaroni, mashed potatoes, something instant. Always attempt a veggie and fruit of course, and sometimes treat the girls with ice cream and fruit for dessert. I snack a bit too myself during this time- and try to get things as "ready" as possible for Brad and I to eat later in the evening. If by chance Brad is home and feels like eating immediately, sometimes we will all sit down and eat together. But that's a rare thing these days. So, I clean the girls, clean the dishes (usually empty and refill the dishwasher at this time each day) and we play until daddy comes home.
When we hear daddy's keys jingle in the door all 3 of us squeal with delight! He is bombarded by the 2 redheads and Brad amazingly usually tumbles to the floor and starts playing with them immediately. I love seeing how thrilled they all are at seeing each other. I try to get Caroline to recount her day and events to daddy but she is usually just to excited and has other things on her agenda- like playing hide and seek with him, or showing him something. Hide and seek has been a favorite for awhile now- Caroline and Brad take turns hiding/counting and E just pitter pats along them as the game goes on. Their special trick- whoever is hiding has to "hoot" like an owl to let the other in on where they are hiding- like a clue. Emily has mastered the hoot and also likes to mimic covering her eyes and counting in gibberish. It is a fun thing to watch. Other times they like to just play chase- literally- Brad will take off running and the girls will chase after him squealing as loudly as you can imagine through the "circle" in our house- through the living room, through the girls room, through the kitchen, and back into the living room. He is such a good daddy. They will play until about 6 or a few minutes after and then we get ready for bath.
The girls strip down to their skivvy's and head towards the bath with daddy. I have a few minutes to once again pick up from the tornado damage inside, finish cleaning the kitchen, lay out PJs , etc. The girls love bath time and lots of giggles are always heard from the bathroom. Caroline likes to play "restaurant" and serve daddy different foods. Emily loves to play with containers with tops/lids and put them together again and again and again. Brad got Caroline a special "loofah" and some big girl Dora shampoo that is the highlight of the bath. He has also started letting her choose what kind of bath wash/soap she wants from my collection- coconut, pomegranate, whatever her whim is that night. Sweet Em doesn't mind what she uses at the moment. Emily gets out first, is dried off and sprints around the house til she finds me...and I scream "Naked #1!!" and she giggles with delight. Caroline, or "Naked #2" is close behind and we gather in their bedroom to get PJ's on. Caroline is always happy to get ready- she picks her own PJ's out of her drawer. Emily fights it a bit, as usual. Depending on our day, what time it is, and mommy's mood, we either head back into the living room to play some more, or we call it a day and start bedtime. 7:00 is the normal bedtime- but on extra long days (which seems like its getting more and more frequent the longer I'm pregnant) 6:45 is totally acceptable. Caroline happily jumps in her bed, we gather up all her blankets, her sleep passy, and put socks on. Emily still sprints around the house trying to escape most days, but sometimes will be so pooped she will lay down on the floor on her blankets begging to be put in the crib. Brad takes little, I start with big. I tell her a story, we say our prayers, and I get a big kiss. Then we switch- I get little and sing her a song, say a prayer, and lay her down while Brad tells Caroline another story and says goodnight. As I walk out their bedroom door- a sigh of relief, a feeling of triumph, and complete exhaustion usually happen immediately! Another day done, another 12 hours spent with my sweeties, another blessing of being a MOMMY. But I'm not gonna lie- I am worn flat out. Done. Spent. Whatever word you would describe a worthless being. I do yet another clean up of the toys/dishes/cups and then - get to spend my "quality" time with my love.
Brad and I usually quickly get dinner prepared together, find our spots in the living room, eat, and watch some tv and just veg out. Pretty romantic I know. We are wild and crazy...usually feeling like we can't keep our eyes open by 8:30. Some nights he has to study, has journal club, or other things. Some nights I have to go to the grocery store. Or prepare for Bible study. Or do laundry. Or take a shower- you know, the essentials. Either way, we wind down, and conk out as quickly as possible.
So that is our day. Nothing fabulous, luxurious, or extra special. Sometimes we get in ruts and wonder if our lives could ever possibly get more routine, boring, redundant. We are ruled by our little loves and totally housebound after 7 most nights. And we feel it sometimes- and other times we are able to be reminded of what a blessing we have. And that it is only for a season. Although this season seems to be running on and on and on the more babies we add to our family. I'm not going to lie and say it is all roses and happy thoughts as we reflect on our days- we are in the THICK of babyhood/toddler hood and it is hard. We try to relish these days and Brad and I thankfully are usually each others strength when the other is falling apart (which seems like every other night these days!) But I am reminded how thankful I am...
-to have 2 gorgeous, healthy, VIBRANT little girls
-to be able to spend my waking hours making a difference in their lives (their beliefs, their demeanor, their knowledge, their concept of life)
-to have a loving husband that comes home with open arms to all of us- even after a LONG day at a draining job
-to have a loving Savior, my Strength, to keep me breathing and functioning
-to have family and friends that support and help as much as possible close to us and far from home
-to be excited about welcoming our 3rd little love in just a week and a half.
Wow. Our world seems to change on a daily basis as it is, yet I know sweet Hannah is going to come and completly make our world a different, but much BRIGHTER place.