Dawn to Dusk

The one comment I get the most from my tens and tens of readers is where do you find the time.  I don’t honestly know, but I thought I could at least outline what a day in our life looks like.   (I might gloss over a few… shall we call them ‘disciplinary moments’ of our day.)

(There’s a fine line for me between being a know-it-all, oversharing, and just talking about stuff that I think someone out there might be interested in.  I try to write about what I like reading and unfortunately I’m pretty nosy, so I probably put more out there than I should.)

6:00-6:30 First chatter from Martha upstairs.  I usually leave her for 15 minutes or so while I slooooowly wake up.  Then I give her a bottle.  (Mark’s cute and always leaves one for me next to the bed before he takes off for work.)

Eleanor wakes up whenever and uses this time to have the house to herself.  Sometimes she plays in our bathroom, sometimes she goes downstairs… she’s on her own.

7:00-7:30 Oliver starts jumping up and down (literally) in his crib.  I make my bed, brush my teeth and get dressed before going in to get to jumping jack flash. I change Oliver’s diaper and get him dressed before we head downstairs for breakfast.  Eleanor gets herself dressed as you know.  (Don’t start looking for the time in my day when I shower as it doesn’t happen all that often.)

8:00 Breakfast.  The big kids obviously feed themselves, and I sit with Martha and feed her.  It makes it difficult to clean up while they’re eating, so sometimes the dishes just pile up in the sink until later in the day when I can (read: feel like) deal with them.  We don’t have much mealtime variety; breakfast is either a bagel, english muffin, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes and whatever fruit we have on hand.

8:30 Pack lunches/ snacks and make sure whoever’s going to school has what they need (like shoes).

8:50 Walk to school.  We’re lucky because both Eleanor’s and Oliver’s schools are around the corner.

9:10 Home from drop off.  Martha goes up for her nap, and I plug in the other child to Sesame Street.

9:15-10 While Eleanor/ Oliver watch TV, I check email, sometimes write for the blog, and clean up a bit.

10-11:50 I usually try to have one or two activities in the back of my head for each morning.  Sometimes it’s as simple as getting out the playdough, but sometimes it’s more unique.  If I’m REALLY organized, I go online the night before and either peruse the internet or simply look back through things I’ve already pinned on Pinterest.

I definitely don’t entertain the kids all the time.  Partly because I think they need to entertain themselves with the stuff that we have, but partly because I’d go mental.  If Eleanor’s the one home, I can get some of my simpler projects done while she plays, but Oliver takes a little more man power to entertain.  Sometimes I can fool him into playing along with whatever I need to get done around the house; yes, like yardwork.

11:50-12:50 Pick-up from preschool and lunch for all.

1:30 Oliver and Martha go down for naps.  They’ve been on the same nap schedule for a while which is key.  I’ll save sleep training for another post, as it’s probably the only thing that Mark and I were very deliberate and  regimented about, but it’s been a lifesaver for us to have such good sleepers!

1:45-4:45 Eleanor has her quiet time… this involves some DVD watching which I’m torn about.  Eleanor will wander in and out of her screen time and there are afternoons when she will just play with her toys, or sit on the patio or entertain herself without watching movies.  (And yes… I’d love it if she’d nap, but at age 3 she gave up her pacifier and the naps haven’t come quite so readily ever since.)

This is my work time.  I tend to have lots of projects in progress so I bounce around between all of them.  On this day, I sanded and primed a dresser, stapled some fabric on a bench seat I’m re-upholstering, and stained some trim that will eventually be a frame for some artwork I made.  And I got a chance to blog a bit.  If, and this is a BIG if, I’m doing something for Mark and my dinner, I will prep/ crockpot it now.  Or fold laundry, etc.

4:00 Martha often wakes up around now so I stick her in the saucer of neglect (Craig’s list, hollah) and finish up whatever I’ve been working on during quiet time.

5:00 Everyone’s awake.  Sometimes we just play in the 3rd floor playroom (Martha’s room is up there so during her naps, the kids can never enjoy it) or if the weather is nice, we walk next door to the playground.

6:00 Dinner.  You’ve seen here that mealtime is a disgrace.

6:45 Baths (every other night).

7:15 Read stories.  Oliver’s latest obsession is Go Dogs, Go… he chants for it.  Mark is often home in time to help with baths which is fantastic as I’ll put Martha down with some peace and quiet and he can tend to the two older kids.  On nights when he’s home later, I have to juggle the 3 kids: Martha gets bath and is put down while big kids play in their room, then I bathe and read stories with them.

7:30 Fireworks go off outside in celebration of bedtime.  Well, not the first part, but A-men to the latter part.

11-1 a.m. Bedtime for me.  Until we moved to the suburbs, bedtime was 10:00.  Not sure what’s happened out here, but it’s definitely gotten much much later. I’m trying to change that as I don’t think less sleep is ever a good thing.

You’ve probably noticed that there are lots of things missing from this schedule…. like cleaning and cooking and parental bathing and grocery shopping and exercise to name a handful.  Here’s how those go down:

We’re fortunate enough to have an amazing woman who comes through and cleans on Fridays.  It’s new for me since living in the suburbs, and I suspect it’s freed up lots of time not having to worry about the cleaning.  That said, I definitely try to tackle little things whenever I see them; I tidy before leaving a room, have laundry going pretty frequently (I’ve tried a weekly schedule, but it’s been easier for me just to take care of things when they come up.)

Mark’s amazing as he never says a word when dinner is cereal or peanut butter and jelly.  He will often clean up the kitchen dishes when he gets home from work or help fold laundry.  And there are usually projects littering the house (our dining room table has had the sewing machine on it for weeks…) that would drive me crazy if they belonged to someone else, but he says nothing (he’s not known for his powers of observation, so it’s possible he simply hasn’t seen all the clutter!).

I have a sitter 2 days a week for 4 hours each day so I can have a chunk of time to run errands or take Eleanor to a class.  I haven’t figured out a way to work in exercise yet, but that will come.

We live in an area where the local grocery store has an online option, Peapod, so I do that whenever possible. As you can read here… the market is a time suck that makes my head hurt.

Other time savers?  I really do try and leave the kids by themselves as much as possible and now that they’re older, there are afternoons when Eleanor and Oliver will happily be in their own little worlds in the living room while I putter and take care of things in the family room. Like every parent, I’ve gotten good at telling what’s going on by the sounds- or lack thereof- coming from the other room…

I make A LOT of lists.  Every night before I go to bed, I jot down a to-do list for the next day and remind myself of the outstanding to do items/projects I want to tackle.

All in all, there’s nothing fantastic going on, but I’ve gotten used to having a number of ongoing balls in the air throughout the week.  (But a beach, a good book and a pina colada sound really good on most days!)




4 thoughts on “Dawn to Dusk

  1. I am truly exhausted having read this Charlotte. I may quite possibly never complain about my busy life again. Ever. Okay, that’s a lie — I will. But it pales in comparison to the show you have going!

    Carry on!

  2. Ditto to the above. I never could have done it, with or without kid projects. Would have turned me into a jibbering idiot.

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