Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Life Lately and Our Weekday Routine

I wanted to write up and share with you our current schedule for two reasons: 1) a way to freeze this moment in time of how life looks like for us right now, and 2) because these are the posts I’m always interested in reading in from others for scheduling and activity tips and tricks. We have two little boys, Oskar, 3.5 years, and August, 22 months. Life is busy, but finally getting a bit more manageable, and this is how we roll. 

6:00-6:30am: Both boys wake up. We’ve always had very early risers and have come to terms with the fact that this is life now. Oskar, especially, has always been a very light sleeper, and we used to have issues with him getting out of bed all through the night. We introduced this clock about a year ago that made all the difference (he named it Freddy). It lights up and glows green when it’s OK to get out of bed. When he wakes up during the night he can see that it’s still night time and he needs to stay in bed. We have the clock set to his normal wake time of 6:15a, and he always skips into our room shortly thereafter saying, “Freddy’s green!”. Both boys cozy up into our bed and watch a show or two as we slowly wake ourselves up and get everybody downstairs.

7:00am: Cheerios in bowls and milks in these spill proof cups as the boys sit on the couch and watch a show (current favorites are The Gruffalo, Stick Man, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, or Daniel Tiger, all on Netflix). Matt and I take turns getting ready for the day upstairs while the other is making coffee and getting breakfast together for the kids. The boys normally eat hardboiled eggs, waffles, pancakes, yogurt, a banana, or smoothies. Matt heads out to work around 7:40am since he works right down the street (truly the biggest blessing) and sees his first patient at 8:00am. Some mornings, I'll have early-morning calls for work and Matt will drop the boys off at school instead of me.

 Morning TV
8:00am: I leave the house to drop the boys off at daycare/pre-school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays and Thursdays their Mummo (grandma) comes to the house to watch them. I work from home and am typically able to load the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, or do a quick grocery run over lunch. Very thankful for that! I try to get dinner started, but we also give ourselves grace and order out once a week or so. There are also plenty of days of eating leftovers or building salads, so cooking definitely does not happen every day.

The ride to school. I simply cannot. PS-I was at a redlight when I took this picture.
3:30pm: Since I mostly work with colleagues from Europe and Asia, I'm able to go pick up the boys from school or send Mummo home and finish up any remaining work after the boys go to sleep. If it’s nice outside, we’ll go to the park to play, go to the lake by our house, or ride bikes in our cul de sac. Otherwise, we’ll go to the library, go to a little cafĂ© for an after school snack, stop by to see a friend, or come home to play in the bounce house the boys got for Christmas.

 Park Day!

5:15pm: Matt comes home (he has shorter days Thursdays and Fridays, so those are our favorites!) The kids play with both of us for a little while and Oskar recaps his day. We let them watch a show around 5:30/5:45pm as we finish getting dinner ready together.

6:00pm: Dinner time. We try our best to eat together, but on especially busy days, Matt and I will eat by ourselves after the boys are sleeping. The boys are typical picky eaters and they usually have pizza, chicken nuggets, or some pasta variation, with fruit, snap peas, or cherry tomatoes on the side. This is a hill I’ve chosen not to die on. We certainly continue to offer new and different foods, but “fed is best” is our motto for now. 

6:45pm: Bath time. We usually do baths every other day. We’ve gotten some really cute bath toys for birthdays or holidays recently, and especially love this bubble making train, this waterfall making frog, or this ice cream cone set. Out of everything we’ve tried, we like this baby wash and this lotion the best. We let them play until someone gets squirted in the eye or they start flooding the bathroom. 

 Bathtime. Fun fact: we got these buckets at the hospital after each baby was born.

7:15pm: Pajamas and brush teeth. We’ve always let Oskar pick out his toothbrush and toothpaste from the store himself, and he’s always been a really good rule follower in this department. August sometimes needs some coaxing, but watching big brother or letting him watch this Elmo video while simultaneously brushing normally do the trick. The boys are, strangely enough, the very best at this time of night and are so good at playing together. They run up and down our upstairs hallway, pretending that Matt is the Giant and I am the Wife from Jack and the Beanstalk (Oskar is Jack and August is the Harp, haha), or that we are monsters and they need to run away from us. They also like to wrestle like little bear cubs, and I think this will be forever be one of my very favorite memories from when they were small.

7:45pm: Matt or I start putting August down. We try to take turns on who takes which kiddo, though Oskar has been pushy for just Mama lately. August gets read three books, rocked with the lights out for a few minutes, then we put him in his crib awake. He’s always been infinitely better at this than Oskar ever was, and goes to sleep on his own by 8:00pm without a peep. We still use this sleep sack for him in the winter months because without it, he’s constantly waking up cold and without covers. We also use this sound machine that plays continuously since they have a shared wall. The more white noise, the better they seem to sleep.

In the meantime, whichever parent isn’t putting August to sleep is doing a 1:1 activity with Oskar (he truly shines when he gets undivided attention, and I think this is really important for him). Lately, we build Legos or Mega Bloks, play with his Dollhouse, put together these gears, or build a marble maze

8:00pm: One more potty run, then Oskar picks out the books he wants to read. We typically get through 2 or 3. Then its lights out and Oskar crawls into his big boy bed. He has a big imagination, and he always asks to hear two (he negotiated this) made-up stories about a little boy named Brian who does naughty things and plays tricks on people. We always end the stories with an “I love you”, and a promise that we’ll check on him in a little bit. I think this reassures him, and he stays in his bed and falls asleep by 8:30pm, before we ever make it back up again. 

8:30pm: Matt and I eat dinner on the nights where we couldn’t squeeze it in earlier. We both catch up on work and watch a show in the background. Then we pack lunches (our most dreaded activity) and get the kids clothes ready for the next day.

10:00pm:  We really try to be in bed by 10 to either fall asleep when we’re totally exhausted (often) or to read a book for a little while. Then it’s a new day, and we marathon through again. I think all parents agree that weekends are sacred, and we try to find a good balance of doing fun stuff but also resting and relaxing. 

So that’s it! I’d love to hear any tips or tricks to making life as seamless as possible with kids, so send them my way!

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