Date: Wednesday, January 7th
Jason is a few weeks shy of 38
Kiersten is 36
Nicholas is a few weeks shy of 3
Natalie is 5.5 months
12:50 am - Natalie wakes up and is crying loudly. I reeeeaaaaalllllly want her to just stop and go back to sleep, but she is fighting a double ear infection (her first) that has been keeping her up for the past few nights. I know from experience that even though she's not really hungry, she is going to need me to nurse her in order to fall back asleep. Begrudgingly, I get up and head into her room. I change her, feed her, and put her back down.
1:13 - I'm back in bed and hope to be back asleep in about 40 seconds.
3:30 - Natalie's crying again, but I ignore it. I was just in there barely over two hours ago. This is too soon. Eventually she goes back to sleep (although in my haze of sleepiness, I'm not sure exactly when.)
5:30 - And she's up again. I drag myself out of bed and go back in her room to change her and nurse her.
6:00 - Back in bed. Zzzzzzz.
7:15 - Jason comes in to wake me up, but I know I have 15 more minutes until my alarm goes off.
7:30 - My alarm goes off. I roll over and turn it off. I just need to lie there for a few more minutes.
7:40 - I hear a loud thump and then Nicholas' shrill cries. And I'm up. I hurry into the kitchen to find that he's fallen off his chair while eating breakfast and watching videos. A few kisses and hugs later, he's fine and I join him to watch a video of fire truck Legos.
7:50 - Ah, coffee. Sweet nectar of the gods. Also, a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats.
8:00 - I assemble Nicholas' lunch and pack up his backpack for preschool. I am still grumpy about Jason waking me up before my alarm given that I was up twice during the night, and we have words about that. (Just keeping it real.) Sleep deprivation makes me, um, less than "perky" in the morning, but I get over my crankiness quickly.
8:25 - Natalie is up and I head into her room to feed her. She is always easily distracted and slow to start eating at her first (daylight) morning feeding, so the process is slow. She talks and squirms while slowly grazing through her meal. Nicholas runs in and out of the room several times. Jason is finishing getting himself packed up for work and changes Nicholas into a pull up and puts on his shoes and socks.
8:45 - I realize Natalie has had a huge blow out and a handful of wipes aren't going to cut it. I bring her into our bathroom for a quick bath and simultaneously try give her her antibiotics for the ear infection. She is a little suspicious of any kind of medicine and half of it ends up in the water.
8:55 - We wrap up her bath and then I bring her back into her room to get dressed. Jason and Nicholas finally head out the door for work and preschool.
9:00 - Natalie is dressed and I quickly throw on my workout clothes, put my hair into a ponytail, and brush my teeth. On Sunday I started a two week unlimited pass to Barre 3 that I bought on Living Social, and I am planning to attend my third class of the week this morning. I'm still sore from Monday's class, but it feels good to finally kick start a new workout regime, hopefully lose the last few pounds of baby weight, and firm up my squishy midsection.
9:10 - Getting out of the house is always such a production. Even with one kid. I'm three years and two kids into parenthood and I am still amazed at how much stuff they need and how long it takes to gather it all together every time we go anywhere. I also realize that I never finished my first cup of coffee so I fill it up for the road.
9:20 - OK, finally on the road.
9:42 - We arrive at the studio with minutes to spare before class begins. I drop Natalie off in the childcare area and head into the class.
10:52 - Tired, a little sweaty, but feeling good. Natalie is getting fussy, so I quickly load her into the car and we head home.
11:15 - We arrive home and she's asleep so I just unload her and leave her in her carseat to snooze a little longer. I seize the opportunity to start taking down our Christmas tree. Yes, it's January 7th and my tree is still up. Don't judge. I have never been particularly timely about getting my holiday decorations put away, so the first week of January is actually pretty good for me. I rapidly pack up 3 small boxes of ornaments.
11:30 - Natalie is awake, so I get her out of her carseat and take her into her room to change her and nurse her. Girlfriend is hungry and unlike her last feeding, she is all business. Afterward, we talk and play for a few more minutes, and then I read her two stories. My poor second child... she gets so much less attention and one-on-one time than her big brother did at this age, so I try to make sure we carve out time to read, sing songs, and just play together for a little while on preschool mornings.
Noon - I take a quick shower and get dressed. Natalie observes from her bouncy seat while gnawing aggressively on Sophie. She is definitely working on some new teeth.
12:25 - I take her back into the living room and deposit her on her play mat. She is really working on crawling and can now get up on all fours and rock back and forth. It looks like she will skip the army crawling phase altogether. While she's playing, I throw in a load of laundry and make myself lunch (a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese and tomato slices, a few grapes, and a small handful of almonds) and start meal planning for the next 4-5 days. I am due for a big grocery shopping trip tomorrow.
12:50 - I take Natalie into my room to start folding some laundry while she continues to gnaw on some toys and practice her crawling skills. I fold about 3 items before deciding that I really need some caffeine in order to have a productive afternoon. I check the time and decide we can squeeze in a quick trip to Starbucks before picking up Nicholas from preschool.
1:00 - And we're off!
1:12 - We arrive and I order my guilty pleasure of late-- a grande, non-fat chestnut praline latte, with only half the flavor, but with the whip cream. Yes, despite my no frills, legit NW coffee heritage, I have become that lady. But, a trip to Starbucks is a rare twice a month treat for me these days, so I figure I might as well get what I really want.
1:20 - Coffee in hand, we're back in the car and heading over to the preschool to pick up Mr. Nicholas.
1:25 - Whew, made it just in time. I hate being the last parent at pick up. I grab his backpack off the hanger and then he sees me and happily bounds out of the classroom. I get a report from his teacher that he tried to use the potty, but was unsuccessful. Oh well, there's always next time.
Cheese! Full disclosure - had to bribe him with gummies (fruit snacks) to take this picture.
1:30 - Back in the car and heading home.
1:50 - We arrive and unload. Nicholas munches on the aforementioned gummies, while I change Natalie. She has another dirty diaper. The antibiotics for the ear infection are clearly messing with her little digestive system.
2:00 - Naptime drama commences. (At this point the day starts to get a little hectic and I forget to take pictures for the next four hours.) I get Natalie settled on the play mat in her room with a few toys and then take Nicholas into his room to settle down for naptime. We change him out of his pull up and into a diaper (which are now only for naps and bedtime.) He selects "San Francisco" (an illustrated book about SF from the 60s that he-- somewhat strangely-- really loves.) We get about 75% of the way through when I hear Natalie begin to wail hysterically. I don't like to interrupt Nicholas' naptime wind down, but I need to check on her. She has rolled a few feet away from the play mat and it's clear she's had another blowout, this one requiring a new outfit. The poor thing is still wailing and as I change her, I see that she is now suffering from a bad case of diaper rash. I change her into a new outfit, throw the play mat into the laundry room to get washed, and then settle her on the floor in her room with her toys again and take Nicholas back in his room to finish the book. I field a few questions about trolley cars, then turn off the lights and tuck him in. Whew! Now on to Natalie. I head into the kitchen to warm up her bottle and add her probiotics (an attempt to combat the daily antibiotic-induced blowouts.) Finally, I head back into her room, feed her the bottle, nurse her and rock her and very carefully deposit her into her crib.
2:56 - I head back into the kitchen. It's only taken me an hour to get them both down. Ugh. I turn on the coffee pot and brew myself a little afternoon pick me up. While the coffee is percolating, I head over to the tree to pack up another small box of ornaments.
3:10 - Coffee in hand, I head over to the couch, open my laptop and begin typing up notes for this post. If I wasn't writing this post, I would use this time to check email, surf some blogs, or perhaps pay a few bills online for a half hour or so. These days my list of nap time to-dos is always much longer than the time I have available, so computer time is pretty limited.
3:50 - I put the computer down and head into the kitchen to tidy up. I need to be better about cleaning as I go, but somehow I always find myself in the late afternoon with cluttered counters and dirty dishes lying around. It's not always easy to get lunch cleaned up immediately afterward, especially on the days when Nicholas is not at school and I'm trying to get everyone fed at once.
3:56 - Natalie is crying. So much for my "productive afternoon." I head into her dark room and take her out of the crib. I'm hoping I can nurse her a little bit and then put her back down for a longer nap. This works about 65% of the time when she wakes up from her nap early. Just as I get settled in the glider, I hear Nicholas calling for me. Great. He is unfortunately going to have to wait for me while I feed Natalie.
4:00 - I hear the garage door open and Jason walks in. He is home from work early, although he'll continue working in our office. Nicholas' cries are louder now, so I'm relieved that Jason is home and can go get him. Jason changes him back into his big boy underwear and gets him settled with "Toy Story 3" and a snack.
4:30 - I've moved Natalie into her bouncy seat and have given up trying to get her to go back to sleep. I bring her out into the living room in the seat and join Nicholas on the couch. I watch the movie while Nicholas intermittently watches and plays with his matchbox cars. Eventually I put Natalie in the office with Jason to see if she'll fall asleep there.
5:25 - We wrap up the movie and I head into the kitchen to start prepping dinner. I peel potatoes and put them on the stove to boil.
5:40 - Natalie has taken a little cat nap and is now awake, so I take her back into her room to nurse.
6:00 - Jason has wrapped up with work and is playing with Nicholas on the couch. I bring Natalie back out to join them. It's definitely the "witching hour" and Nicholas is pushing both of our buttons, but I need to get dinner going so I head back into the kitchen and let Jason juggle the kids.
6:05 - I am trying a new loaded baked potato soup recipe from the January issue of Southern Living, but it is a "lite" recipe and I'm a little suspicious of the technique. I end up making some substitutions from another baked potato soup from the Iowa Girl Eats blog.
6:25 - It's barely controlled chaos in the kitchen. Nicholas is running around and repeatedly trying to grab things off the counter, which is a pet peeve of mine. This is a signal that he's basically just really hungry, so I give him a string cheese to tide him over for a few minutes. He eats it, but continues acting wild, so I have to banish him into the living room under the threat of a time out if he comes back into the kitchen before dinner is ready. Jason is getting Natalie settled in her bouncy in the kitchen and is trying to clear off the table to get it set.
6:30 - And we finally sit down to the table. Everyone is starving, but dinner is not as relaxing as I hope and we spend a harried twenty minutes refereeing Nicholas' table manners and picking up dropped forks, napkins, and sippy cups off the floor.
(No shirt because we're eating a messy meal and he refuses to wear a bib.)
6:55 - We get up from the table and hastily clear a few dishes before starting the bedtime routine. We usually divide and conquer-- Jason taking Nicholas and me taking Natalie. Jason gives Nicholas a quick bath while I administer Natalie's antibiotic, change her into PJs, and prep her bottle and probiotic. Then I take her into room, pull down the blackout shades, turn on the white noise machine, dim the lights, and feed her the bottle. I hear Jason helping Nicholas brush his teeth and put on his PJs. He reads Nicholas a story, and I nurse Natalie once the bottle is gone. Finally, I burp her and rock her for a minute before putting her down in the crib and leaving the room.
7:36 - Freedom! Oh, wait. The kitchen still a disaster. Jason and I roll up our sleeves and tackle the mess.
8:05 - And we're done(ish.) There may be a bus depot somewhere with a cleaner floor than ours, but all the surfaces are tidy and that is just going to have to be good enough for right now.
8:10 - Jason heads into the office to do a little work and I plop down on the couch with a glass of wine and my notepad to finish my meal planning and grocery list. I decide to turn on season 2 of "Suits" from Amazon Prime.
(Partially disrobed Christmas tree in the background for your viewing/judging pleasure. Note: the tree does get completely taken down and put away by the weekend.)
9:45- I've watched two episodes and completed my meal plan and grocery list for tomorrow. Jason is heading into the bedroom to read, but before I can join him I need to pump. Ugh. Such a chore. But it seems to help boost my milk supply and I always use the milk the next day for Natalie's pre-nap or pre-bedtime supplementary bottle.
10:10 - Finally done. (I didn't actually pump for 25 minutes, but I got sidetracked looking at Facebook and blogs.) I put the milk and the phalanges away in the fridge and head into the bedroom to put on my PJs and get ready for bed.
10:30 - I'm all washed and brushed (as my mom always used to say) and I hop into bed and open up Baby Led Weaning. Natalie is approaching six months, and we're planning to follow the Baby Led Weaning method of skipping purees and going straight to solid chunks of food. I'm looking forward to it!
11:04 - My eyelids are starting to droop. Jason is already snoring so it's time to turn out the light. I'm hoping I'll get a long stretch of sleep before Natalie wakes up, but this ear infection has me doubting it.