I'm going to jump on the bandwagon...if there is a bandwagon. I've seen it around, and while boring to read on other people's blog, I thought it was a good journaling item. To remember where I am right now when it changes in a few years and I don't have three babies anymore. So, my day:
2am: Nurse Molly
5am: Nurse Molly, suction out her stuffy nose, and change her diaper
5:30am: Try to fall back asleep for a precious few seconds and throw a pillow over my head to drown out the sound of Sterling showering and heading out the door.
6am: Hear kids in their room and try to ignore them.
6:30am: Ruthie knocks on their door to remind me that they are in there and that they want to come out. If I haven't heard too much and I have hope that Will is still sleeping, I will leap out of bed and open her door a crack and let her out and let Will keep sleeping. That is happening less and less lately. Then Ruth will crawl in bed with me, wide awake, but be an absolute angel and let me sleep until Will wakes up. But usually Will is awake. So we all head downstairs and sit up to the table.
6:45: Change diapers and get dressed. Lately Ruth has already spent her time awake by picking out outfits for herself and for Will so she just hands me everything (including a diaper for Will and panties for herself, she's very resourceful) and we put it all on.
6:55: Do Ruthie's hair. Which always involves a huge power struggle between Ruth and Will over who gets to stand on the ikea stepping stool. I realized yesterday that we rarely use the one in the downstairs bathroom, so I should bring it up so there are two upstairs. That would make for very little walking room though. Hm.
7am: My motivation being small at that point, I usually give them the option of toast, cereal, or scrambled eggs with yogurt, banana, or grapes. Ruth opts for 'tortilla and cheese' but I usually reserve that for a lunch option.
7:30am: Nurse Molly while the kids eat so that when they are finished eating I can stuff some food in my face and do the dishes (wipe the floor under Will's highchair) before ants come out. But we just got our apartment sprayed--so hopefully that isn't so much of an issue anymore?
8am: Lock myself in my bathroom with Molly so I can throw in some contacts (I don't feel truly alive until my contacts are in, I truly hate my glasses right now, they fall off my face when I look down, ruff.) and some mascara and brush my teeth.
8:05am: Unlock my door (the kids can only last five minutes before either they are conspiring together to do things they shouldn't, or fighting against each other) and let the kids commandeer my room while I get dressed and make the bed and get Molly dressed. If I happen to shower (rarely in the mornings, because often we go swimming so I reserve showering for after that) then I also blow-dry my hair while they are pulling every toy out of their room and putting it into my room.
8:30am: Help the kids put all their toys back that they have pulled out in the last two hours. Get them started on one specific activity, because that equals less toys. Plus Molly is usually fussy at this point and I've been bouncing her in-between jobs for the past hour, so I just sit and hold her while they play.
9:30am: We usually get out of the house. Playgroup, swimming, the zoo, the library. Wherever. Also when I go grocery shopping it is usually at this time because my kids are happiest. By then my kids have already started to tax my patience and ability of finding things to keep them busy and they NEED to get some energy out in a way that doesn't involve destroying our small apartment.
10-12 (or 1, depending on how well the kids do): Play. Outside. In the heat. The water. With friends. Eat snacks. Mostly those are really great hours. The kids do well. They listen well. They fight less. It's fun for everyone and I really enjoy it as a mother. I have to nurse once or twice during this time.
12:30: Lunch. Usually leftovers. Often sandwiches. If Ruth had her way it would only be cheese tortillas. I try to be good and cut up apples, carrot sticks, celery sticks, raisins, or some other fruit or vegetable to go along with our endless sandwiches. The kids will eat them really well if I put them on their plate to eat while they wait for the rest of their actual meal.
1:00: Clean Will up and change his diaper. He waves to Ruthie and says 'bye-bye' to everyone and goes down for a nap. Often he's falling asleep before we even get to that point so he goes down really easily.
1:05: Clean up Ruthie and she usually plays while I do the dishes and clean up.
1:30: MY time. Sometimes. I hope for that every day, anyway. I nurse the baby and she usually sleeps pretty well in the afternoon (Although it is 1:35 right now and she is laying belly down on my lap because that is the only position she won't cry in.) so I can get a few things finished. I take a few minutes to read blogs, read Facebook, blog if I want to, upload pictures, etc. Ruthie usually watches an episode of Dragon Tales.
2:00: I feel like a bad mom that Ruthie has been watching tv (it can be more than one episode on days when I get caught up doing things) and she either helps me with what I'm doing, or I set her up at the table with markers (not allowed out with Will) or paint, play dough, or some other small craft--lately she's big on making cards for grandma. I don't actually send them, but she enjoys making them.
2:05: Once Ruth is set up with something to do I do laundry, or clean bathrooms, or vacuum, or fold laundry, or talk on the phone, or a million other things that seem to build up, ya know, bills, the boring grown-up things. Lately Ruth and I have baked something during this hour-bread, bran muffins. Ruth enjoys it and I don't go as crazy with just her 'helping' me as I do when both kids try to help.
3:00: Will wakes up. Snacks. Nurse the baby. Go a little crazy. Sometimes go on a walk to get the mail. Think about dinner.
4:00: Try to understand what happened to the last hour, realize that dinner needs to be started, sometimes start dinner like a good person should, often end up nursing the baby the entire hour (literally, when she gets fussy that is all that keeps her happy. I have TRIED with the soothers.) and watch the kids pull out all our toys for the five hundredth time and watch as they get more ornery and less happy playing with each other.
4:30: Really start something for dinner. Which, because the kids are officially ready for the end of the day and the baby is usually fussy, is often not much. Dad's casserole. Chicken salad sandwiches. Shake 'n bake chicken. Actually I've been really bad about dinners since I had Molly. It's my biggest goal right now to actually follow my menu plans and get it started at 4:00 so we don't have the crazy hour that 4-5pm always seems to be.
5:00: Sometimes Sterling walks in the door right on time, we sit down for dinner and it goes fairly smoothly with another adult. Sometimes Sterling doesn't come home, so the chaoticness continues through dinner. Always dinner happens though, my kids don't last longer than that.
5:45: Finish up and split responsibilities. If it's a perfect night and Sterling has enough time, then one of us takes the kids upstairs to clean up all their toys, take baths (if they need them that night, I only bathe them every other night and if we went swimming that morning then I bathed them in the tub afterwards), pj's, brushing teeth, and stories. The other person will do dishes, sweep, and mop the floor (we have a steamer. Our apartment is BRIGHT white tile. You literally have to mop under the kitchen table every night. Remember what I said about ants? Also...we have two toddlers.).
6:45: Scriptures and prayers and singing songs. Usually nursing the baby.
7:00: Walk out of the kids room.
Somehow all that stuff never truly seems completed by that time. So usually there is still cleaning and picking up to do. Sterling leaves to the undergrad campus to study for however long he needs that day.
8:00-10pm: Nurse the baby. Continually. With lots of efforts to lay her down throughout that time. It was my goal to work on baby books during this time. But lately I've realized that that will have to happen during nap time. Remember all the other things I do during nap time? So that's only happened once. But Molly screams unless I'm holding her. Usually I end up watching a couple episodes on tv. White Collar, Blue Bloods--recently we've had our new shows start up so I can watch Bones or Parenthood or some other random things. If I'm feeling any strength or motivation by this point I try to read scriptures or the ensign. Also...BIG BOWL OF ICE CREAM.
10:30 or 11: I usually maintain hope that I will see my husband and if I do it makes for a later night because then I want to spend time with him. Sometimes it's a late night just because I'm not very good at going to bed without my husband. But this is when I go to sleep.
That is my day. It's a good one. Now, that is obviously a day with the most 'typical' things all put together, but sometimes we swim longer in the morning, or I break the mold and go swimming after nap time. Ya know, there is some variation. But my kids do pretty well on this schedule and if I can pull it off every day, it works really well for us. Minus the dinner prep. How are people still motivated at that time of day to actually make dinner?
I enjoy it though. I really do. I had a hard time juggling work and really enjoying my kids. It felt like when I wasn't working I was constantly working to 'catch-up' on the things I couldn't do while at work-laundry, shopping, cleaning. It wasn't that I couldn't handle it--it wasn't hard at all, but it wasn't as easy to focus. I really enjoy being able to be completely home with my kids now. I love it. I love being a stay at home mom. I feel like I understand my kids better. I know why they are fussier or what makes them happier. I know Ruth is having a hard afternoon because I sat on the computer for an hour while she watched Dragon Tales, instead of playing with her or letting her do a craft. I feel much more involved in their lives and I get to experience all of those moments of triumph and joys and giggles. The scrapes that need kissed and the apologies for yelling, while they wrap their hands around my neck. This morning was hard. So I strapped them all in the van and drove to the library. By the time we got there all three kids were asleep. We never actually went in the library. But it gave all of us a break which was long enough for me to reflect on all the wonderful things about my kids and my life. All the reasons why mothers look back and call this the best time of their life. Even with diapers and late night feedings and the sometimes constant bickering that makes you want to send them both back.
I'm also really grateful right now for the playgroup that has been put together. Like I said, those morning hours we NEED to get out or our entire day ends up being harder. You can only go grocery shopping so many times. And on a med school budget I try to not ever go 'real' shopping at all. Haha. So having people to meet up with at the park and the pool and the zoo is LIFE-SAVING to my sanity. Also, I love watching my kids interact with other kids because as much as they push each other's buttons, I can see them learning. It's great.