Two weeks before I had Zoe, I wrote a blog post about our daily routine. I stumbled across that post a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to do again. Fun for me, that is, because I like going back and reading things about my past that I otherwise wouldn't remember. I can't say that this post will be any fun for you, dear reader.
The thing is, you just never quite know how life is going to change when you throw a wrench, like a new baby, into it.
I both look forward to and fear the changes ahead. Here is a glimpse into our lives right now:
I recently wrote about our mornings here. In summary: my kids wake up early. Scotty leaves for work at 6:00, and the rest of us get up shortly after that.
Once the kids are up, we start the routine of getting ready for school. Nicky used to be really independent and reliable with getting ready for school, but within the last six months or so, I've had to nag him a lot more. It's a bummer, really. In the morning, he is supposed to take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, feed the chickens, and brush his teeth. If he has extra time, he practices the piano and reads. While he gets ready, I usually pack him a lunch (I am not opposed to school lunch, but when Nicky eats school lunch, he comes home starving. I have to pack him a HUGE lunch to hold him over) and start a load of laundry or dishes (I am not the type of person who has issues with going to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink).
Mornings are my most productive time. Anything I haven't accomplished by 9:30 probably won't get done that day.
Most mornings, my sister-in-law picks up Nicky for school. After he leaves, if it's a Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, I get Daisy ready for preschool. Daisy is pretty good at following a check list of things to do to get herself ready for school. The hard part is getting her hair done. She has beautiful, waist-length hair that she never wants to cut. But she has some sensory issues (and some over-all attitude issues), so she hates having her hair brushed. Her hair is also always very tangled, so it sometimes takes half an hour just to comb through it. I use a very expensive leave-in conditioner (I pay less than the price on Amazon, luckily) in her hair, and I use a tangle brush. The brush helps but the job still isn't easy.
We usually do hair while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. After Daisy's is done, I do Zoe's. Sometimes there are huge battles over who gets to go first. My kids fight over everything. Hopefully that means they're normal, but sometimes I wonder...
Around 9:30, my friend Amber picks up Daisy for school.
While Daisy is at school on Tuesdays, I work on school. Zoe isn't always agreeable (especially lately), so I just have to play it by ear. If Zoe isn't cooperative, I can't get much done for school, and I end up holding her and watching Dora or something equally unproductive.
On Thursdays, Zoe and I do errands, usually grocery shopping. Errands with Zoe are rough. She is in a phase where she fights me over everything. Changing her diaper, getting her dressed, and getting her in her car seat are quite difficult. Shoes aren't even worth bothering with most of the time. Zoe refuses to sit in a shopping cart (my kids have never been shopping cart sitters, and there is this mistaken belief among some parents that you can make your kid sit in a shopping cart. I'd like to see those parents make my kids sit in a shopping cart. Show me this magical ability you have! Puh-lease! I've never found a safety belt that can keep my kids in a shopping cart), so once we get to the store, it just gets more and more fun by the moment. Zoe walks for about ten minutes, and after that, she clings to my legs and stands on my feet crying until I carry her, so I'm that eight-month pregnant lady pushing my cart through Sam's Club with a screaming two-year-old on my hip.
Occasionally, when we're not in a rush, I will let Zoe take a doll stroller or toy shopping cart to the store to push around. This keeps her content, but it triples the amount of time we spend in the store because she pushes the object very slowly. She also put things in the cart/stroller that I then have to sneak to the cashier to put away (I always feel really bad about this).
On Fridays while Daisy is at preschool, I try to do more school work and clean up the house a bit - Zoe pending.
At 11:30, I pick up Daisy and two friends from preschool. Then I take the friends home, and we go home and eat lunch. Daisy is always really excited to come home and look for chicken eggs in the back yard.
Usually by 12:30-1:00, I am utterly exhausted. I can not account for what we do during this time. This is true even when I'm not pregnant. I am useless in the afternoon. It's when I hit my wall and become a bum.
Sometimes I nap. Daisy usually has some computer time. Sometimes Zoe naps, but we're in a touchy place with her nap schedule right now. She needs to nap around 2:00-3:00, but I have to leave at 3:00 to pick Nicky up from school, so this makes Zoe's naps a huge complication. Sometimes she naps in the car while we're picking up kids. Sometimes she doesn't nap at all. It's really rough. The poor girl never gets the sleep she needs, so she is always super cranky for the last half of the day (which is crazy because she's super cranky for the first half of the day, so really, she's just cranky all the time).
After Nicky is done with school, we are pretty busy. On Mondays we're able to come straight home. Nicky needs a snack immediately (and by "snack," I pretty much mean "meal") or he will die. He has emotional breakdowns at least half the school days because he is so hungry. On Mondays we do chores, homework, and make dinner. When Scotty gets home, we eat then have Family Home Evening.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I drive Nicky and a friend to Taekwondo. Once a month, Nicky has Pack Meeting on Tuesday.
On Thursdays, Nicky goes straight to piano lessons after school (if I don't bring a snack for him to eat on the way, things get really ugly). While he is at piano, the girls and I used to go to the library, but I won't take Zoe to the library these days if I can avoid it, so lately we've been going to the car wash instead (Scotty and I get a lot of free car washes when we buy gas, so we have a nice stockpile to use up). On Thursday nights, Nicky has Cub Scouts. Scotty is the den leader, so he goes, too.
On Fridays, Nicky gets out of school early. He gets a day off from extracurriculars, and Daisy goes to dance class.
Our routines in the evening vary depending on what needs to be done each day. I already mentioned that Monday is Family Home Evening. On the first Monday of each month, we let the kids shop from our "family store." When we read scriptures as a family, our kids earn a marble. They save their marbles all month, then they can trade them in for prizes.
Some evenings we work in the yard. Sometimes baths are needed. Sometimes we let go of all responsibility and go to a park. I usually have to do some homework in the evening while Scotty can take care of the kids.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are a whirlwind. They are busy and fly by quickly. Nicky is gone for a while each of those nights, and I always miss him, but he is doing good things, like Cub Scouts,
We start the bed time routine around 8:00 each night. On a good day, we read scriptures by 7:30. We send the kids to get ready, and we end up telling them no less than five times to brush their teeth. Then Scotty checks their teeth and makes them brush them again.
The whole family gathers in Nicky's room for songs and prayers (where Daisy sleeps as well - her bed is in there, but all of her clothes and belongings are in her and Zoe's room - she is our displaced child). Each child gets to pick a song to sing, then each child says their prayer. Then we say a family prayer and sing one final song (parents' choice).
We tuck in Nicky and Daisy. Daisy usually has a fit because she wants a drink, but we have a rule that you don't get drinks after you've gotten into bed. Nicky and Daisy turn on their book lights and either read or color until they are ready to sleep. Daisy's bed is full of markers and Christmas coloring books.
When they are settled in, Scotty and I tag team Zoe. Sometimes we're able to get her in pajamas while the older kids are getting ready, but more often than not, we have to use manipulative tactics to get that girl ready for bed. She's always more agreeable for Scotty than she is for me, so he frequently ends up having to get her ready for bed. Brushing her teeth is not fun at all. Sometimes it takes both of us to pin her down and brush her teeth.
Every night, Zoe escapes from us and climbs in our bed as if she's setting up camp for the night. When we find her, she is tucked in and perfectly propped against a pillow because she thinks she's going to watch a movie (we are those bad kind of people who have a TV in our room). We have to haul her into her bedroom kicking and screaming. If she calms down, we sing a series of songs with her: How Much is that Doggy/Piggy/Kitty in the window. A while ago, Scotty sang her a song about "Stinky Mama," so now every night, she wants to sing the "Stinky Mama" song.
So, thanks for that, Scotty.
(The older kids like to sing a song about "Pregnant Daddy" - so I guess we're both on the chopping block).
(Scotty has more food cravings that I do, so we tease him about being more pregnant than I am. It just seemed appropriate to sing a song about it).
After the kids are in bed (even writing about it is exhausting), we pretty much have nothing left. We are usually asleep by 9:00-9:30. No joke.
Our weekends have very few consistencies since every week brings new adventures. Scotty usually has every-other Friday off work, but for the last two months, he has had to work. Last Friday was his first day off in a while. We use those Fridays off to accomplish a great deal of work and fun.
If we don't have anything going on on Saturday mornings, I take Nicky to Taekwondo. We do Saturday chores and yard work. Many Saturday evenings are spent playing games with our friends.
Sundays are... well... I don't have a word for it. Scotty makes a German pancake or crepes for breakfast every Sunday. I have meetings before church three Sundays of the month. I try to get the kids as ready as possible before I leave, then Scotty does the rest. This year we go to church from 11:00-2:00. We have Sacrament meeting first, which is an hour and twenty minutes of pure bliss... ahem... followed by two hours of primary. Scotty teaches the 10-12 year old boys, and I am the primary president.
When we get home from church, everyone is ornery and hungry, so there is an hour or so of complete chaos. We have dinner... or lunch... or whatever you want to call a meal that takes place at 2:30 in the afternoon, then Zoe naps, and we go visit Scotty's mom. Occasionally I have meetings after church, so Scotty tackles the chaos alone - bless his heart!
That about sums up our norms. My life feels a little bit chaotic to me right now. I don't know how much of it is true chaos and how much of it is enhanced by the discomforts and heavy emotions of pregnancy. Either way, it will be interesting to see what changes. I can see one of these two scenarios taking place:
Scenario 1: Things just work out. The baby is born, and life goes on. We find balance in all things and move forward.
Scenario 2: I completely lose my mind. I drop out of school, quit my church calling, and start drinking.