I spent most of yesterday focusing on our routine, and then using my camera to document it. Recording a "Day in the Life" is the brainchild of Ali Edwards (a favorite memory keeper), very much similar to her Week in the Life (which I documented both last year and in 2013). Day is the Life is intended to be a bit more intense as it's a look at a single day instead of seven days. Similar purpose, similar outcome.
For me, as we quickly approach the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, I know that our days will look drastically different once the boys are home from school, and likely by the time next fall rolls around, let alone one year from now, our days are likely to look different even then. Slow, small changes, perhaps, but change nonetheless. The children grow, responsibilities alter, seasons change, etc. Perhaps much hasn't changed (as far as our regular day is concerned) since I did Week in the Life back in October - the days can be long and boring in their sameness. But when reflected back on in another 20 years, these posts will show a story of family evolution that, I think, is going to be a gem.
So, from when I woke up yesterday until I fell asleep last night - as often as I remembered to take a picture - here is a look at today in our life!
Early mornings for me (3-4 times a week) so I can maintain my running habit. I was a treadmill runner throughout the winter but I've become excited about being able to run outside during these nicer months. Up at 5:35 so I can be out the door by 5:50 (the sun is awake and it's light outside!) to run through our neighborhood. I'm working towards the goal of running 40 miles (accumulative) throughout the month of June and today I did 2.71 miles.
Back home by 6:30 to find Drew awake and reading on the couch. He is our early riser. He is usually awake before 6:30 but he isn't allowed out of bed until then. No TV on school days so he reads until breakfast or until one of the other kids wakes up.
Reed will sleep until usually somewhere between 7 and 7:30. Kindergarten wears him out! If he isn't up by 7:30, I'll have to wake him to get started getting ready for the day. Today, he was up shortly after 7, about the same time Ruby woke.
Brad and Ruby have their own routine on school mornings. When she wakes up, he wakes up, and takes care of her immediate needs (diaper, cold cereal and sippy) then they make their way to the living room floor to eat and watch ESPN and Good Morning, America.
I had a couple extra minutes between getting myself ready and beginning the boys on their morning routine and used that time to make a batch of mini muffins for cold lunches. The boys are getting bored with my lunch offerings (so am I!) and these muffins are a nice little treat.
At 7:30, the boys have breakfast (usually cereal) while I pack their lunches and make sure all the homework is gathered and in their backpacks.
Depending on how distracted and forgetful we are the night before, there have been times that Reed's take-home reading hasn't been done until the morning - like today!
Both boys dress, make their beds, brush teeth and wash their faces and lately it seems like this takes an exorbitant amount of time. So easily distracted, it seems!
We start to get shoes on at 8:20 and load up the van for the one mile drive down the road to school.
Depending on the day, the mood in the back of the van can vary. Sometimes they're quiet. Sometimes we time it just right for a favorite song to be on the radio and they ask to turn up the volume. Sometimes one is mad at the other for some minor offense. Thankfully, today was a laughing uncontrollably, actually enjoying each other's company kind of morning. Whew.
We park on the street behind the school and have plenty of time to get inside before the bell rings. I walk Drew down to his classroom, kiss him goodbye when the bell rings (at 8:33), then stop into Reed's room to kiss him goodbye on my way out the door.
Ruby was waiting on me when I got back home. She'd like "second breakfast", please.
*Usually* I balance out the cold cereal she's already had with some fresh fruit and milk. But because we had some of those muffins left over, she "asked" for those instead. :)
When she's done, we return to the living room, where Brad is watching the beginning dialogue on Kelly & Michael while he eats his pop tarts, Ruby returns to her Little People princesses, and I sit down at the computer. This is the one consistent time of my day where I take a minute to check email, Facebook, and my blog reader. Usually takes me 10-20 minutes, depending on how long Ruby allows me to sit. Also, caramel cappuccino from the Keurig. Yum.
Brad showers and heads off to work by 9:30. Ruby and I get down to business.
Diaper change. Get dressed.
Brush teeth. Always less than cooperative. Always so silly.
I make my bed. 95% of the time. There's really something about maintaining the put-together-ness of my room, especially when the rest of the house is so chaotic. Thus is life with kids. But with my bed made and the floor picked up, I can find relief from the crazy in at least one room! (Although not totally put together - there's one frame missing on that wall and three still need pictures!)
Then laundry. Always laundry. Laundry for days.
I wanted to get myself in on some of the photos today, and tried to do it as incognito as possible but that lasted for about .2 seconds as Ruby quickly discovered my phone on "selfie" mode. She was playing with her princesses alongside me as I was folding towels, but was immediately distracted by herself on the camera.
I had to opt for this angle instead. :)
It was a beautiful day outside (sunny and mid-70s for the high). I've been trying to get Ruby and I outdoors as much as possible on these gorgeous days, and lately we've been going for quite a few walks. We live two blocks from the grocery store, so we took a quick stroll up the street to pick up a few must haves.
The primary motivation: strawberries on crazy sale.
Back home for lunch just before noon. When the boys were this age, I remember being prepared. If there was something that needed cooked, I'd think enough ahead of time to have it ready for lunch. Not so much anymore. It's like lunch sneaks up on me and I'm "uh, again?" and I figure something out with what we have on hand that takes no prep. Today's menu: strawberries (of course), leftover corn, cheese, turkey pieces, and raisins.
Brad comes home for lunch and has his usual: turkey and cheese sandwiches and chips while he watches CNN in the living room.
Ruby and I read and rock shortly after lunch (usually between 12:30 and 1:00). She's really good at letting me know she's ready, by grabbing pinky (her favorite blanket) and asking for "ba-ba" (her pacifier). Or I will ask her if she's ready for pinky and ba-ba and she'll nod yes. We read one or two books, say prayers, and I'll rock her quietly until she falls asleep - it takes less than 5 minutes for her to be out.
What I decide to do during naptime is usually a gametime decision. There are two choices for me: 1) be productive or 2) take a break. Today is was a nice combination of both. Worked on the laundry - some more - while I caught up on a couple DVR'd shows, sat back at the computer to glimpse at Facebook and my blog reader, more laundry, picked up a bit and then as I was about to sit down for a few moments to read, she woke up.
Today was also a bit unusual as I normally go to school on Tuesdays after lunch to volunteer in the boys' classrooms. Brad is able to be home while Ruby naps, which is awesome. But today was field day at school and without a need for me to be in the classroom, Brad volunteered to help out. He was able to capture a few photos of the boys as they participated at each outdoor station.
So Ruby was up about 2:15, and she always - always - wakes up happy.
She'll peek up over the edge of her crib and call "Mom! Mom!"
We snuggled on the couch for a bit, read a few more books, then I asked her if she wanted to watch Murray. Um, yes. Yes, she does.
Her face as he comes on the screen. She loves that scraggly orange muppet.
Her ability to sit still to watch TV lasts all of five minutes, which is totally fine. She's one and a half. She isn't too interested in any other muppets anyway (maybe Elmo just a bit). By this time we'd normally be getting ready to head out to pick up the boys (it's about 3:15 when we start gathering ourselves to do so) but because Brad was there already, he would be bringing the boys home.
So we had some time to kill.
We took our snacks outside (another caramel capp for me and goldfish and water for her).
Then some art. She is loving sidewalk chalk right now!
Brad dropped off the boys a little after 4:00 (they like to play on the playground after school with some of their buddies) before he headed back to work for a bit.
Video games used to be at 4:00. A few months ago we changed it to after dinner, after homework is done. There was just something about having the boys go straight from school to screen time to dinner to homework to bed that didn't allow for any real conversation or connection between us and them. Drew is really good about sitting down and getting his work done.
Reed didn't bring any work home, so he set to task getting his portion of the dishwasher unloaded. Drew did his part after his homework was complete.
For the short time that there is between the end of school and when I need to start prepping dinner, the boys typically decide what they'd like to do. It's usually something quiet and still - I think they're pretty worn out after a long school day and with all the activity outside this afternoon, they were pretty wiped.
They both meandered to their bedroom
and started to look at books.
In the meantime I plopped Ruby in the tub. Totally out of the ordinary but this girl was covered in sidewalk chalk. She's a true artist.
At some point in there, the boys turned their attention to creating some kind of game using their Pokemon cards. Someone makes up the rules as they go. The other one disagrees and makes up his own rules. It's all good. :)
I was out the door shortly after Brad got home from work to go to a 5:30 Zumba class being held at church.
No pictures from there. Cuz nobody needs to see that.
The boys play their video games while I'm gone, and Brad takes care of feeding all the littles (frozen pizza).
Back home for showers for the boys, a leftover slice of pizza for me, and bedtime for Ruby (8:00).
We have some cake left from Brad's birthday on Saturday, so both boys got a bedtime snack (which is very few and far between).
Boys to bed, I take a shower, and by the time I tidy up around the house I'm ready for bed, too.
I've been focusing on two goals at the end of the day: getting into bed early enough to read a little, and getting to bed early enough to get a decent amount of sleep. The light is off by 10:30 - usually before.
So that's the bulk of our days right now. They are primarily motored by routine, responsibilities, and caramel cappuccino.
These days can be exhausting. But they are also exciting and fun and going by too fast.
These days are good.