A mom’s typical day can change a lot. As I look back on posts I’ve written about my days, I often read through them and think, “That would never work now.” It’s fun to document our lives and today I thought I’d take the opportunity to share our typical day at home – or at least how it looks for now. Today also happened to be Valentine’s day as well, so there’s a few fun activities thrown in that I’d like to remember.
My day usually starts very early – like 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. It’s definitely not that I’m really disciplined enough to wake up that early. I don’t own an alarm clock and don’t need to set one on my phone either. See, this little one in my belly likes his room and he’s perfectly content upon letting me know when it gets a little cramped in there. It’s usually about this time that he starts pushing on the bladder, I make my trip to the bathroom and then I’m up for the day. This is actually a great thing right now since I just started designing full time and I’ve always got a ton of work to do. This morning I was able to check my emails, respond to a few clients, install a WordPress theme, send a mockup out, and work on a current project’s demo site. I do all this from bed as my two little rascals sleep peacefully right beside me.
About 7:00 and Wade (22 months) starts stirring. I hear some congestion in his chest and lift him up to help it clear. He gags and coughs up mucus all over his side of the bed. I should have known it was coming – he got a hold of his big brother’s buttered toast last night and snagged a few bites before I caught on. Dairy is not his friend. Another load of laundry to add to the pile, but for now I just scoot everyone over so they can get some more rest. Wade falls off back to sleep and I wrap up the work I was doing to head into the kitchen.
I start some Breathe Easy tea with raw honey for Wade, a cup of coffee for me, and sit down at the dining room table to put together today’s activities. It’s Valentine’s Day, so there’s lots of hearts and pink and red and purple. We won’t do much curriculum work today since I’ve got some themed activities already lined up. As I’m wrapping up my preparations, the boys quietly walk into the kitchen looking for morning cuddles. I always ask them the same two questions: “Did you sleep well?” and “Did you have sweet dreams?” Ronnie always replies with “uh-huh” and Wade gives a pitiful “nooo…” I know good and well he got awesome sleep, but I think he likes the sympathy. One day he’ll figure out that I’ll cuddle him up anyway without the pity party.
Ronnie (4) gets sight of his school activities and starts asking questions, so I know now that I’ve got to get on the ball and get the day going. After starting some laundry and a quick diaper change, I throw together breakfast: peanut butter on toasted sourdough bread, raspberries, and a clementine. Ronnie gets a probiotic smoothie and a small cup of juice with cod liver oil in it (we’re trying to heal some cavities) and Wade gets his herbal tea. We all sit together to eat, brush our teeth, and clean up a bit before starting our lessons.
We start off by discussing Valentine’s day, talking a bit about why and how we show love, and then read a few books we managed to pick up at the library last week. Then it was on to the fun stuff.
To take a break from all the girly heartsy cutesy stuff, we broke out an activity from this month’s Kiwi Crate. Ronnie followed the instructions to make a comet, set up some rings, and the boys played together trying to score points like on a skee-ball game. This gave me time to put away the supplies we were done with, change over the laundry, check email/facebook, and set up some more activities.
We’ve worked on patterns a lot in the past, but we haven’t ever defined them as an AB, ABB, or ABC pattern until today. To get things started with this activity, we watched a couple of youtube videos to introduce the idea (this one and this one) and he picked up on it right away. Instead of coloring the page like the directions asked, we used his hearts to make the patterns.
As a winding down activity, I had Ronnie do a puzzle with a sensory twist. Of course, he’s very familiar with his letters, but having to pull them out of a bucket of beans just satisfies his sensory-seeking side for some reason. You can see how Wade (almost 2) just kind of hangs around and “helps” every now and then. At this point, I throw on A Charlie Brown Valentine as a special treat, but the kids end up playing in the living room and entertaining themselves while I put away all the supplies we were done with and whipped up a quick lunch.
Mine doesn’t look as cool as the lunches on pinterest, but I did attempt the hotdog hearts – organic dogs and grass-fed cheddar, of course! On the side, we had strawberries, cucumbers, sauerkraut, and diced tomatoes (only on Wade’s – not shown).
After lunch, the boys helped me clean up the table and then they settled in the living room for some quiet time. Wade watched a little bit of Dumbo on Netflix while Ronnie played some computer games. Ronnie sometimes plays outside or in his room quietly at this time, but today he enjoyed the down time parallel to me. This gave me the opportunity to fold the 3 loads of laundry waiting for me (ick!), check some emails, load up the ThredUp bag that came with our BabbaCo box, and write half of this post. By the time I was done, Wade had fallen asleep on my lap and Ronnie was fixing himself a snack. I silently did a fist pump because Wade has a difficult time falling asleep during the day when we’re not out and about driving around town. Strap him in a car seat and he falls right to sleep but hanging out at home, he fights it. We’re home 2-3 days a week, so sometimes he skips his naps altogether. Thankfully, he sleeps really well at night or else I’d be worried.
With Wade asleep and Ronnie starting to look for something new to do, we decided to open up our new Math-U-See curriculum that got delivered earlier in the morning by our very friendly FedEx lady. He blew through lesson 1 and began lesson 2 before I cut him off. He really didn’t want to stop, but it was getting to be that time of the day where I couldn’t devote as much attention to what we were doing. Wade woke up in a fuss and it was time to start supper.
My bold plan to put a pot of bone broth on to simmer all day didn’t turn out – I forgot. Oops. So, a quickie dinner of pineapple teriyaki meatballs, rice and peas, and sweet potato fries seemed like a good alternative. As I’m pulling out the ingredients, my mom calls and asks if we can come over so she can give the kids their Valentines. I’m thankful my family is understanding of our dietary needs, so she treats the boys to books and crayons with cute v-day cards. I also love that my family lives right down the street and we see them a couple nights a week! So, I pack up our supper and the kids and we head on over. As soon as we arrive, I fix the kids plates because I know it won’t be long before they are wrestling in the living room with their cousin (3). I engulf myself in some much needed adult conversation with Mom, Dad, and my sister while my brother tries to keep the kids from destroying the other room. Eventually, he gives up and retires to his bedroom. Not too much longer and I realize we really need to go. It’s almost bedtime and the kids are getting a little out of control. Just as we’re all packed up, my other brother and sister-in-law walk through the door with my precious little baby nephew (1 month). I fight the urge to stay, but soak up a few moments looking at him before we finally leave.
On the way home, I let the kids call their dad back since he called right as we were leaving – and after a 5 minute conversation, we were in our driveway so I laid out the plan so Ronnie knows what to expect. It’s the same thing every night, but reminding him seems to help things go smoothly. He comes in, takes off his shoes and jacket, grabs the kindle and heads to his room for down time. It’s a good thing the kids got baths last night because there just isn’t time right now. A bath every other day seems to work for us and their sensitive skin. I get Wade changed into his jammies and, after putting our freshly washed sheets back on, we lay in bed reading books for a while. Wade just stopped nursing last month, so these cuddle moments are especially important for him right now. We usually watch Colbert and Jon Stewart from the night before on Hulu and he’ll fall asleep against my big belly.
Once Wade was good and asleep, I crept out of the room to check on Ronnie and help him with a bedtime snack. He was very specific – two boiled eggs and 5 strawberries. Okay, bud. You got it.
As he chowed down, I finally remembered to pick my chicken carcass and throw it in the crockpot with some veggies to simmer down into a bone broth. Should be good and gelatiny by morning. After my last kitchen clean-up of the day, I look over at Ronnie who has finished his snack and is engulfed into an episode of Caillou on the kindle. We brush our teeth and he heads off to bed without complaint. Thank goodness tonight is an easy one – that’s not the case every night! At some point, he’ll creep back into bed with me but its nice for him to have his own space for most of the night.
It’s already 9:45. I plop down on my bed with my laptop on the nightstand to finish this post. I’ll probably be up for an hour or two more to work a bit, respond to emails, and catch up on Facebook and Instagram to see what everyone else did for Valentine’s day.
And, this is our typical day at home – about 2-3 days a week. For the rest of the week it’s errands, church, grocery shopping, homeschool co-op, playdates, special trips to museums, parks, and interesting local events. Some days, I have to work all afternoon so the kids play outside or together in their rooms full of imagination-inspiring toys. And some days we just pack up and head to the beach to relax and enjoy the view. The kids spend a day each week with their dad, so I treat myself to a full day of designing at my favorite Starbucks or Panera (or both!).
Usually about this time every night, I reminisce about times when I could actually take a nap while pregnant. In fact, I slept most of the time during my first pregnancy. Now, I may lay down for an hour every now and then, but there are no naps. Somehow, I still have the energy. I think about the days when my house was really truly clean – when the carpets weren’t stained (darned cream carpets!), the hard floors weren’t sticky, and there were no little boy pee puddles on the toilet seat. And I faintly remember a time when I didn’t just plum forget to take a shower (like today!?). I wonder if my life would be so much easier if I went about things in a more conventional way. But, then I laugh and realize how much I truly madly deeply love my life and the people in it.
Sure, I am now a single, attachment-parenting, homeschooling, full-time work-at-home mom in her third trimester of her third pregnancy. I often feel inadequate – it’s a lot of work. But, how else could I live the flexible and present life I aspire to live? I’m not there yet, but each day I’m closer than I was yesterday.