I'm always saying that I never write about the regular going-ons around here. I look back at some of my older blogs and I see so many details about individual days. That is lost to us now, and it makes me a little sad. So, I've been trying to work on capturing more of those details.
Here is an outline of what a regular week day looks like in the Boyd House at this time.
When Natalie was small, her wake up time was more predictable, and William's wake up time has never been predictable. So, we could get up at 515 or 7, though the 7 o'clock are few and far between. The last couple mornings, William has been waking up and playing thanks to a new battery operated night light. Some mornings, Natalie gets up early and joins me on my side of the bed. Usually, Mike gets up with whomever wakes up first and gets them breakfast while he has breakfast. I try to set out the breakfast dishes for him to make it a little easier. Breakfast for the kids right now is usually fruit (banana or berries), cereal (Coco Puffs, Lucky Charms, or Fruity Cheerios), and something from the toaster (whole grain bagel with cream cheese, raisin toast, regular toast, occasionally french toast sticks or waffles). I get up by 630, which is when Mike really has to start focusing on getting ready to leave.
When I get up, I make sure that Natalie goes potty and gets her pull-up off. Right now we are working on a chart to get a big girl bed, so if she is dry she gets a sticker. If I'm with the kids for breakfast, I sometimes read them a few stories. (This morning I read to them The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Duck and Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny; and Barnyard Dance. The first and last are long standing favorites. William likes to say numbers when we get to the fruit pages in Hungry Caterpillar, and I have them take turns telling me the animals in Barnyard Dance).
Once breakfast is over, the next couple hours are a mix of tasks to get out the door. Usually, I get the kids dressed right away. I try to have their clothes out the night before, so I can just tell Natalie to go get hers and she will dress herself top to bottom, unless there is a crisis of an inside out sleeve or sock. I change William's diaper and get him dressed, though sometimes I have to change him again soon after as breakfast works its way through his system.
The kids mostly direct their own play, but I will bring out items as to help them redirect or keep busy. Sometimes I'll have something new or specific I'd like them to do, like I might want them to make a card for someone's birthday or have a new toy for them to try out. I often don't play with them much directly. Its too hard. Not only do I have somethings I want to do for myself (check FB, get dressed, drink my tea, go to the bathroom, shower, brush my teeth, etc), but I can't give one attention without the other climbing all over me, often literally. So, they are mostly left to their own devices as I supervise. They do sometimes play together beautifully for a half an hour or so, but more likely is several fights over toys. We have a rule of no TV before 8 o'clock, but I try to go as long as possible. (For example, even though I've been on the computer this morning, they have been entertaining themselves without the TV all morning. We are due to leave in 45 minutes, so we will have no TV until after nap!) If I take a shower, I put it on as a distraction. Sometimes its easier to leave it off than others. It goes on for the longest on days we can't go out because of weather or illness.
About 30 minutes before we need to leave the house, we make a push to get ready. We usually end with brushing teeth, potty for Natalie, and put on shoes and coats. This is so routine that after brushing teeth, William usually runs to the door to get his shoes. I try to clean up a little before leaving, mostly putting the items they need for naps in their rooms (pillow pets and stuffed animals). I've usually packed the bag the night before, so I'll only have to rush to find Baby Kitty and Blankie as we are heading out the door. It is a rush to get out the door on time because several things have to be done at the last minute. Natalie can get in the car alone, but William still needs me to get him up in his seat. He usually runs off to get a rock first. (I dislike Tuesdays when I have to avoid hitting the trash cans on the way out, and bring them back up to the deck to pull in the driveway on the way home).
We currently have somewhere to go every day of the week. I'm anxiously waiting to find out the times for Natalie's preschool in the fall, and anxious to find out if she will take the bus affording William and I more time to go out in the morning. For now and the rest of the summer, Monday we go to play group, Tuesday to older kid story time at the library, Wednesday we have our mom's group, Thursday we are back at play group, and Friday we have gymnastics and then baby story time at the library. I've even made a schedule for Natalie to help her understand what we are doing each day and the next day because she was always asking! Natalie really loves going out to see her friends and would rather play with them than with me. William is just starting to make friends. While out, he still usually wants to explore and play away from me. I usually get time to talk with the other moms. I interact with them the most at the library where I mostly keep track of William, though Natalie often likes to sit in my lap during big kid story time. During our mom's group, there are crafts and activities we do together as well as free time they play without me.
After our activities, we get home between 1145 and 1230. Immediately, we have lunch. (Well, first they take off shoes and coats. Natalie can do this and hang her coat by herself, and William is working on getting his shoes and coat off). I make their lunches the night before most of the time to make getting lunch to them right away much easier. During lunch, I mostly just have to open containers for them, though Natalie is learning to do some of this on her own. I often get a few minutes to myself as they eat, but other days I spend the whole time with them reading books. Occasionally for lunch, we will make something special like kale chips or "penguin sandwiches," which are toasted cheese sandwiches cut out with a penguin cookie cutter. Lunch is the meal Natalie usually eats the most at.
When Natalie is done, she goes potty and heads to her room. Sometimes she sleeps, other times she plays. When she plays, her iXL media player, her Little People Disney Princesses and castle, her books, and her Melissa and Doug magnet ballerina dress up doll are her favorite things to play with. After I get William cleaned up from lunch, he gets a diaper change (and sometimes a change of clothes, too). Then he gets into bed for nap. Just recently, I've given him more toys and a sturdy board book in bed. He sometimes plays for a long time before he sleeps.
Once the kids are in their rooms, I do a quick clean up of the kitchen and straighten the living room just a little, really just reducing my risk of tripping on things. In general, I do not do house work while the kids nap. I started this rule when I used to be afraid I'd wake up Natalie. Now, I keep to it so that I get some time to myself. Most of my time is spent on FB or blogger, but I also will read, nap, or watch shows recorded on the DVR.
Natalie knows that she can come out of her room at 3, and some days she comes exactly at 3. Most of the time, I do not have to go in and wake her up. If she is up first, she gets a little time alone with me. Sometimes we snuggle together while I read or she plays games on my phone, other times she wants to put on tea parties for her dolls. William wakes up anywhere between 230 and 430, which is our nap cut off time. He usually wakes up grumpy and wants to snuggle for a bit. With them waking up so late, for a while I wasn't giving them an afternoon snack, but we've been doing it more recently. Also, with the day light lasting longer, we've started to out on errands in the afternoon sometimes. I'm hoping in the warmer times to come we will go on walks and play outside during this time.
Our TV rule is generally no TV until 4pm, but if William wakes up early I will break that rule for him and snuggle with him as he watches Yo Gabba Gabba. But, if Natalie is up, we make it until 4, if not later. It is around 4 that I start thinking about nightly preparations. I start getting stuff ready for dinner, clean up the kitchen, and such. It is usually during this afternoon time that the kids play together the best. There have been many times Natalie will lead William from room to room playing a game. They like to jump on the mattress in William's room or climb on the water bed in our bedroom. Again, I don't interact with them much individually because the other won't really allow it. But sometimes I do have Natalie help me with stuff in the kitchen, such as making rice, taking things out of the dishwasher, snapping beans, setting the table, or fetching items for their lunch boxes from the pantry.
Mike gets from between 5 and 6. After he is changed out of his work clothes, he usually plays with the kids for a few minutes. Sometimes he takes over making dinner, especially if it is something he is good at (like Mac and Cheese or mashed potatoes). If he is home especially early, he might take them downstairs to play (or outside in the warmer weather). They get a lot of attention from him during this time. They will tickle and chase and get horsey rides.
We eat dinner together. Natalie is currently picky and William messy, so it isn't always stress free. Usually, we have Natalie tell Mike about the day. When we are done, Mike takes the kids for more play. Usually, they go in the living room with the TV on, but if they haven't earlier, they might go downstairs or outside. I clean up from dinner and do other prep work like setting up for breakfast and picking out tomorrow's clothes.
Mike starts the bath water at 645. He does bath with them alone. This gives him some more time with them and gives me a minute to alone, or more time to finish cleaning up. Natalie gets out of the bath first. She dresses herself. Sometimes after bath she wants to play, but other times she likes to snuggle on the couch watching TV William comes out next. He says goodnight to Natalie then goes with Mike to get dressed in his room. After William is gone, sometimes Natalie and I will play something we can't do when he is around, like make a craft. After ten or fifteen minutes, I head into William's room as Mike is reading to him. Depending on the time, I might read another book with him or we say goodnight to Daddy and have boo boos. After Blankie has had boo boos, William gets put into bed with Blankie and owl and tucked in.
Recently, I've finished with William while Mike is helping Natalie brush her teeth. After going potty, we head to her room. She climbs into bed and gets tucked in, then we read 1 -3 books, depending on the time and the length of the books. Rarely, Natalie will say she wants to play for a bit instead of books. Then, we tuck her in for real, and say good night. Natalie is much more particular about having Twilight Turtle on, a cup of water, and her toys arranged in bed a certain way. After we've giving her kisses and she's given us "squeezy hugs," we leave. Most nights she comes out at least once and we have to bring her back to bed.
By 830, we are usually free for the rest of the evening. Mike and I spend the time watching our DVR shows. We watch several together, but also some individually. I also might read, blog, do needlepoint, or prep things for the kids in the evening. We head to bed between 10 and 11.