a day in the life

I am most definitely a Type A person. Or at least before having children I would have said I was. Maybe now I'm more like A- or B+...somewhere right in that range ;) One of the best things motherhood has taught me is how to be flexible; over the past 4 years I have better learned how to just go with the flow and I've perfected the art of just throwing my hands up in the air and letting go of everything I could stress out about. I have noticed with each baby, I have become more easy going and watch as my daughters have taught me the importance of not stressing over the small stuff.

That being said, I do still thrive on routine. That is a part of my Type A-ness that I don't think will ever go away. But I'm learning the importance of having a flexible routine and a relaxed schedule...just enough structure so that our household runs smoothly and our children know what to expect but not so much that we get stressed out and forget to have fun or be spontaneous. After all, isn't that what raising children is about -- amidst all the sacrifice and hard work -- having fun?!

So I thought it would be fun to share a little glimpse into our day to day routine and how I structure my time as a Stay at Home Mom to our three little girls. After Adaline was born we did a little adjusting and made small tweaks here and there but overall, it is very much the same as it was when we were just parenting two. And I can honestly say having a solid but flexible routine in place has made all the difference in adjusting from two to three. I'd be lying if I said there haven't been hard and exhausting moments (like when all 3 of your kids are crying and you are too...) but I also think the transition has been a lot easier than I expected. I always heard going from two to three was the hardest because you are now outnumbered, but the hardest parts of the transition for me haven't seemed to be related to that as much as I maybe expected.

8am | Olivia and Penelope usually wake between 8 and 8:30am. Once they're up for the day, I'm up for the day. I really should get up before they do so I'm able to eat breakfast and shower without little people pulling on the shower curtain, but I'd rather take my chances and stay in bed a few extra minutes. Olivia usually gets dressed, brushes her teeth and washes her face on her own and then reads books in her room or does stickers until I get her. I grab Penelope a breakfast snack (usually a bowl of fruit like blueberries or raspberries or some cereal) that she eats in her crib while I shower. I also give her a stack of books, as she loves to flip through them and "read" while she munches. 

9am | Adaline usually wakes for the day between 9-9:30am, so on a good day I am able to take a quick shower and get the girls downstairs to our living room by 9 before she is awake. If she's still sleeping, I make breakfast. Usually eggs in some form (scrambled, fried or in quiche I prepped on the weekend), sausage (our favorite is Applegate Farms chicken maple sausage or peppered turkey sausage) and fruit. Sometimes toast or cereal, depending on the day and how much time I have before Della wakes and I need to nurse.

I have loved making quiche in a muffin pan on Sunday evenings for the week ahead; throwing a few of those in the oven for 10 minutes to warm them is a quick and easy (but healthy and filling) breakfast. Plus I did all the prep work on the weekend so I have next to no dishes to deal with. I've also been making lots of sweet potato hashes, which I lived on during my Whole30 days and prep ingredients on Sunday night as well. The girls love any type of breakfast food so the possibilities in the morning are endless, it's just a matter of how much energy I have to cook and clean up afterward. But it really is a treat to be able to eat breakfast with my big girls like we used to before we added a baby to the mix. We try to sit at the table every day, with no TV on in the background or any noise and distractions and just enjoy that face to face time together. 

10am | Adaline is up by now and I'm nursing, so the girls are playing in the living room and the TV is usually on after breakfast. Favorite morning shows are Curious George, Daniel Tiger or Thomas the Train. The main toys we have in our living room for the girls are their Ostheimer wooden animals, two bins of lego duplos, books to read, sticker books, blocks and a bin of their Maileg mice. They tend to stay quite busy playing or watching a show while I sit and nurse or clean up the kitchen.

11am | Bathtime. On school days our routine is a bit different, but on non-school days and in the summer, this is about the time I would give the girls baths if we aren't out and about at one of my mom's groups or having a playdate. We love love LOVE morning baths. I have been saying that since Olivia was born and haven't stopped. I love being able to serve them breakfast in their pajamas and then get them all cleaned up and ready for the day in the tub. Adaline usually goes down for her first nap between 11 and 11:30, so this is a great time where I can focus on Olivia and Penelope and sit next to the tub, play with them, talk with them or get a few things done nearby (usually getting myself dressed and ready or cleaning the bathroom).

12pm | Depending on the weather, we either go downstairs to our basement playroom or head out of the house for errands, a park trip, playing in the backyard or on a walk. If we're staying inside, from 12pm-1pm they usually play or we read books, I fold clothes, prep their lunches, do a little cleaning, vacuum, etc. We'll often throw an episode of Berenstain Bears on (a favorite from my childhood that they both love) in the basement and they've also got their play kitchen stocked with everything needed for tea parties, icecream shop and more, as well as lots of books. If Adaline is still napping, this is another opportunity for me to just sit and play with them, which I've found is really important. If she's awake, I'll nurse her and then give her some wake time downstairs with us. If we're out and about for errands, it's usually at the chiropractor, grocery store or target & trader joes. Otherwise a local playground, nature park or with friends. 

1pm | Lunch. The girls usually eat lunch between 1-1:30pm, depending on what time they woke up and what time they ate breakfast + how big of a breakfast I made. If Adaline takes a shorter morning nap (say 11am-12pm), I will have already nursed her recently and she just chills out while I'm prepping lunch. Sometimes it happens that she wakes right as the girls are ready to eat, and in that case I either put her in our swing for 10 minutes while I prep their lunch or I put her in a wrap and wear her while I prep it. Then once they're eating, I feed her again. After they eat lunch, depending on the time, they get to play a little together or we head upstairs to read books before nap with Della in tow.

2pm | Naptime. I try to get the girls down for their naps between 2 and 2:30pm. When they sleep until 8/8:30, I find this is enough of a gap that they are starting to get tired. If they are up earlier, I adjust it slightly. For nap time, Penelope gets snuggles (which she so sweetly calls "nuggles") and I rock her, snuggle her and sing. We don't usually read a book until bedtime. For Olivia, I lay in bed with her and read to her. Adaline is usually with me wherever I am, hanging out and just relaxing. Her big sisters love being around her, they are the best at making her smile and laugh. Now that she is almost 4 months, Adaline has been going down for her afternoon nap around the same time as her sisters, so that has been amazing because it means I get a nice break while all 3 sleep. From birth to about 2 months, she just slept whenever, wherever. But since 8-10 weeks, I have been trying to get her on a more solid structured routine with naps at the same time every day. Even if she doesn't seem tired, I put her down around the same times (11/11:30 and 2/2:30) so she learns her routine and adapts to it.

2:30pm-4:30pm | By 2:30, they're usually all asleep and this is my time to squeeze as much as I can into the next two hours. I eat lunch, clean up from their lunch, nurse if Adaline isn't sleeping or pump if she is, blog and start dinner prep. Dustin gets home from work about 3:30pm, so if one of them happens to only nap for an hour, he grabs them and plays with them, takes them on a quick walk if it's warm enough, etc. while I finish up what I was doing.

5pm | The girls usually wake between 4:30 and 5pm and on a good day, I will have gotten everything done I needed to and dinner will be prepped or I will at least have an idea of what I'm going to make or have Dustin pick up. We try to cook at least 5 nights out of the week and then usually grab Chipotle, a take and bake pizza, etc. for the other two nights, especially for evenings when Olivia has dance, swimming or we have somewhere to be at the time we would normally be eating dinner. I try to make big enough meals that each meal provides some form of leftovers, whether for our lunch the next day or dinner again, so I'm not cooking every single night from scratch.

The hardest part of our day is definitely between nap time wakeup and dinner time. The girls are usually hungry right when they wake up, asking for snacks, and Dustin is trying to make his lunch for the next day while I am making dinner or feeding Adaline, depending on how long her afternoon nap is. From 5-6pm in our home is an hour of transition and after a full day I'm usually quite worn out but that time too, so I am constantly trying to find a way to occupy the girls while I cook without giving them 10 snacks and flipping the TV on, while still giving Dustin time to do what he needs to do since he's been gone at work all day and wants to shower, pack his lunch, work out, etc. I shared recently in a post here of a few of our favorite afternoon activities for spring & summer.

6pm | Dinner time. Once everyone has eaten dinner, we are all happy campers. After we eat, I clean up the kitchen quickly while Dustin takes the girls to the basement or in the backyard. Then it's usually tea parties or picnics, maybe watching half of a Disney movie and making popcorn, reading books, having dance parties, etc. in the basement with Dad. This is one of my favorite times of day, because the girls have waited all day to play with Dustin and they get a solid chunk of time to just be with him and goof around.

7pm | We start to get the girls ready for bed around 7/7:15pm and are usually out of their rooms by 8. Olivia gets her pajamas on, brushes her teeth/washes her face and then chooses her books while I am getting Penelope ready -- diaper change, pjs, face/teeth, snuggles etc. Dustin usually reads to Olivia at bedtime because I read to her at nap, and I read to Penelope. Before Adaline was born, this would be a "divide and conquer" type of thing; I would take one of the girls and do bedtime and he would take the other. Until Adaline was about 2 months, he did bedtime solo because I was always nursing or pumping. Now that she's a bit bigger and nurses less often, we divide and conquer like we used to.

I read a book to Poppy, rock and snuggle her, and then put her down. Then after Dustin has read to Olivia, I crawl into bed with her, snuggle, talk about her day, pray and sing and am the last one to kiss her goodnight.

8pm | Adaline often takes a very short evening nap after dinner (usually 30-45 minutes), from about 7-8pm. I remember Olivia and Poppy doing the exact same thing, and despite that nap, she is still ready for bed around 9/9:30pm. I love that putting her to bed a little later gives me one on one time with her after Olivia and Penelope have gone to bed and then she sleeps in nicely in the morning. If Adaline is awake and ready to eat again by the time I'm getting out of the girls' rooms (between 8 and 8:30), I'll nurse her while Dustin reads, finishes his lunch, washes work clothes, etc. or he will give her a bottle while I take a bath or do something for myself.

9pm | Around 9pm, one of us will put Della to bed. One thing I learned from sleep training (we used this method) is to always put your baby down awake but sleepy, not sound asleep. This teaches them to fall asleep on their own and has been a huge key in our girls learning to self soothe. I will lay her down, sing to her, pray over her and then turn the sound machine on (our favorite here), lights on low but not complete darkness (she loves looking at her hands in front of her face before she falls asleep) and then within 15-20 minutes she is asleep for the night.

10pm | By 10pm, we are almost always all in bed. Or Dustin and the girls are all asleep and I'm up, enjoying alone time and silence ;) I am definitely a night owl, so I probably stay up later than I should but I love that time after everyone has gone to sleep and I can just focus on me.

Then we wake up and do it all over again the next morning! I'd love to hear how your routine is similar or different. Hope this helps give some insight to how I structure our day and as always, if you guys have questions please feel free to ask! XO

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing people's schedules, thanks for sharing. What a blessing that everyone wakes up so late


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