12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
My days usually start between 6:30-8:30 am and they usually start one of two ways: I hear soft talking and giggling from the crib in the next room...happy noises. Perfect way to start the day. Less perfect if the hour is pre-8am but lovely noises nonetheless. Second way my day might start: shrieks and screams jolt me awake and I try to run to the next room before the screaming/crying kid (often of the male variety in this house) wakes the other kid. These are less than ideal mornings and may or may not indicate how the rest of the day will go.
Once it's clear that we're up for the day, we drag ourselves out of bed and get something for Kayden to eat. That girl starts the day HUNGRY and will rarely wait for breakfast for more than 20 minutes after waking for the day. Once she's happily snacking on whatever we can find (often a muffin from the freezer - not thawed...she seems to prefer it that way, screaming if we put it in the microwave), we try to convince Levi to eat something too. He is a grazer. A VERY light grazer and trying to convince him to eat is like pulling teeth. I seriously wish I could inject nourishment into him some days because he gets grumpy as ever without food (a trait lovingly passed down from his daddy) yet is quite picky and rarely feels like eating. Not helpful, buddy.
With the kids eating, I often check a little fb/email before sitting down to eat my own breakfast. Why check those things first, you ask? Well, the first few minutes that the kids are hungrily ingesting breakfast are quiet and uninterrupted. If I can get the morning check out of the way, I can put my phone away for a few hours and just BE. While we're having breakfast, Nathan is getting ready for work and usually walks out the door while we're still at the table (though not before kissing us each good-bye!).
After breakfast we get dressed and the kids play. If I have anything to do that day like laundry, baking, etc, now is the time I start that. Sometimes we head outside after breakfast, especially now that it's nice outside. Around 10-10:30, Kayden goes down for her morning nap and Levi and I have about an hour to play together - or else I continue whatever it is that I'm doing that day (laundry, etc). Once Kayden wakes up, it is almost lunch time so I get some lunch ready while two hungry kids play in the kitchen and beg for snacks. I put lunch on the table and if I've served anything but noodles and hot dogs, I hear, "Mama, I don't like what you made!" cue: tears and running to the couch to pout (Levi). Mama gets frustrated but says very calmly, "Well, Levi, that's what we're having today. You can either eat it or wait for supper." He usually ends up eating it :)
After lunch, the kids play for a few more minutes while I clear the table and before long Kayden is ready for her afternoon nap, which is about 2-2.5 hours after she wakes up from her morning nap. She goes to bed and Levi heads to the living room for quiet time. I set the timer for 75 minutes on the microwave and usually head to the couch to do some crocheting. Or painting the last two days. But most often this is my crocheting time. These are the only 75 minutes in my day that are MINE. Though Levi's "regularity" has timed itself to quiet time so I usually hear a plea and end up having to tend to bathroom duties once or twice during this time. Though Levi has started taking himself to the bathroom so I only need to go to "finish up" in there. So nice.
When the microwave timer goes, I hear "Mama, can I come out now?" from the living room and I call "Come!" to him. He runs to me with a big smile on his face (quiet time is good for BOTH of us!) and says, "Mama, I want to watch a cooking show!" and "Mama, I want a snack." So I get him a snack - afternoon snack is a "treat" snack...this is the time of day when he knows he gets something sugary/salty for a snack. The rest of the time when he asks for snacks, he gets offered fruit or cheese or whatever else healthy I can think of. But right after quiet time we throw proper nutrition out the window and he can have a cookie or some candy or melted chocolate with chips to dip. And he loves cooking shows. It has to be close to a year now that he has asked to watch cooking shows with me. I can't complain!
When Kayden wakes up, I give her some snack too and, once snack is finished, we go outside for a bit. That is, if we have time. I try to get myself and the kids out at least a bit every day. It's hard to squeeze it in sometimes between naps and meals and snacks (especially in winter when "going outside" is an hour-long activity with all the snow suits and boots that need to be put on!). But we try to get out for fresh air at this point. Around 4-4:30 I start some supper (earlier if it's something that takes longer, obviously). Nathan gets home usually between 5-5:30 and I try to have supper ready between 5-6. After supper, I do the dishes and Nathan plays with the kids. It may seem like work to have to do the dishes after a full day and preparing the meal BUT, it is quite relaxing to know that for those 30 minutes I have no kid responsibility. All I need to do is get the dishes done, the house tidied, and floor swept. Aah...
Around 7pm we start bedtime routine. The kids watch some shows on the computer while they have night snack at the table. Levi's favourite is a Leap Frog Word Whammer show that Nathan found on Youtube. It's a show about learning to read. Kayden rarely watches as long as Levi so she gets some one-on-one time with either me or Nathan for a bit before bed. Then it's time to brush teeth (Kayden actually has some teeth now so she gets in on this as of 6 weeks ago!), pee, and get into pj's. Levi chooses two stories and Kayden sits at the bookshelf and "reads" her board books while either Nathan or I reads Levi his stories. Kayden's favourite is "The Monster at the End of this Book." She reads it every night and will often hold it out to us so that we will read it to her too. But if we try to read Kayden more than one story, Levi jumps in and says, "No! Kayden is only allowed to have one story!" He is one for rules, that boy. He is only allowed to have two stories and Kayden is only allowed to have one. No if's, and's or but's. That's how it is. With stories read, it's into bed for the kids. By this time it is often close to 8:30pm. We pray with them, tuck them in, and turn on their bedtime music. Sometimes they are asleep before we even leave the room it seems, while other nights (like tonight) they play together until after 9pm before falling asleep.
After the kids are in bed, I tidy the house one last time. I put away what's left of night snack. Then, once I'm sure that absolutely every chore that I feel I need to do is finished (I hate the feeling of sitting down and then realizing there's more I need to do), I sit on the couch and pull out my crocheting again. 10-10:30pm rolls around and it's time to head to bed. The light is usually not out before 11 though. And goodnight. The kids mostly sleep through the night, though probably 1 in every 3 nights one of the kids is up for the bathroom or teething or something. But sleeping through the night 60% of the time is feeling SO good. It was a long 3 years of being up much, much more than that. :)