Today we have a little bit of a different post. One of my goals for next year with this blog, is to try to share a little more of my personal life, while still maintaining privacy (especially for my kiddo's safety!). So, when I had the opportunity this past Wednesday to be a guest over at Ashley's blog, The Domestic Wannabe, I thought it was a great step in that direction! This post first appeared on 11/13/13 over on Ashley's blog; so enjoy this glimpse into a fairly normal, oh-so-exciting day for me. :)
Hello Domestic Wannabe readers! My name is Justine and I blog over at little dove creations, a diy blog where I share all things that can make your house into a home! :) I am a knocked-up, stay at home mom to two little ones (soon to be three!!), and when I say stay at home, I mean it pretty literally. My husband and I have been a one car family for about three years now so pretty much every weekday is full of the same monotonousness routine. I know, aren't you excited to read about my day in vivid detail now...? ;)
6:20 am- I slowly start to wake up. We're still adjusting to the time change at our house and this is the first morning in three days that I don't hear the little pitter-patter of my 3 1/2 year old son's feet running into our room to snuggle with us. Probably because he and his sister both had tough nights last night and woke up a few times. It hits me that I'm 27 weeks along today (November 6th) and I can't believe this pregnancy is going by so quickly. I hear my 18 month old little Miss fussing in her room and when my husband, Mike, gets up to quiet her back down, I'm really tempted to blow off my morning jog. But instead I get up, get dressed, check the temp (49 degrees, which is 6 degrees warmer than yesterday! Whoop whoop!), and head out the door.
6:50 am- By the time I get home my daughter is up for real and is in bed snuggling with Mike. I start collecting laundry to be washed, turn on the frying pan to start heating up, and go get little Miss ready for the day while Mike showers.
Since we share a car, sometimes (usually every other Wednesday) the kids and I drop Mike off at work so we can use the car to run errands, but today is not one of those days.
The three of us (little man is still not up) have breakfast together, which is rare for a weekday. Then after a family prayer, Mike walks out the door, entrusting the care of our impressionable children to me, ha!
7:45 am- My daughter is finishing up her breakfast, so I go and check on my little dove who is awake laying in his bed. I ask him how his sleep was and tell him we have doughnuts and eggs for breakfast, which he is psyched about. I get him set up at the table next to his sister and then I sneak out to the garage and start a load of laundry.
9:00 am- After we're finished with breakfast and everything is cleaned up (and I've done some blog stuff really quickly), we get ready to go on our walk. We used to go early and have breakfast afterwards, but with the change in season it's too cold so we've pushed it back to later in the morning. As we pass through the garage to get the stroller, I switch the laundry over to the dryer.
10:00 am- We're home and any other week day this would be the time that I put little Miss in her Jumperoo and did some pre-school with my son, but Wednesdays are the one weekday we don't do school. On the Wednesdays when we're not gone running errands I try and set up a play dates for my son, but we're all recovering from a cold so today we're friendless. I use the electronic babysitter and put in the movie Brave so I can hop in the shower, feeling fairly confident that my kids will be able to avoid burning down the house for 5 minutes.
12:00 pm- The morning passes by quickly with the movie and playing with blocks. I've pulled the laundry from the dryer and I'll fold it later. I make some quesadillas for lunch and while the kids are chowing down on those and some bananas, I spend a few minutes on the computer.
1:00 pm- My son does something he has never done before, he walks into his room and starts climbing into bed; I guess he's ready for naptime! I put the two little munchkins down for their naps, but despite the fact that he said he wanted to nap, I spend over an hour trying to get him to lay down and go to sleep. Usually he's really good about napping, both my kids nap 2-3 hours a day; but sometimes he fights me on it and won't end up napping at all. In between trying to get him to sleep, I eat my own lunch, fold laundry, and work on a craft project for my blog. FINALLY he's quiet for about 30 minutes and I figure he's really out, so I head into my room my own nap.
3:30ish pm- I wake up out of a DEEP sleep, the kind where you know you're awake before your eyes even open and you can't move at first. I hear my little Miss fussing in her crib so I go and get her, then spend some one on one time with her snuggling and playing until brother wakes up.
4:40 pm- Little dove is up. Mike could be home anytime from 5:00 - 6:00 pm, so I usually start dinner around this time. Tonight we're having corn chowder so I decide to get going on that. I put in The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special so my little helpers won't come into the kitchen while I'm working on dinner.
5:00 pm- Mike is home and dinner's not ready (of course). After I go outside with him for a quick minute to point out some branches I think need trimming before we lose all the daylight, he takes the little man for a quick walk and leaves me with little Miss to finish making dinner.
6:10 pm- Dinner is finally ready, geez. Somehow, I always forget how long it takes for the chowder to thicken up.
6:50 pm- On Wednesday nights Mike usually has church stuff to do, but not tonight! It's so nice to have some extra time together and have help getting the kids ready for bed! We give the kids a bath and get them ready for bed: teeth brushing, story reading (tonight it's The Foot Book), prayer saying. :)
7:30 pm- Little Miss goes to bed without any issues, snuggling up to her stuffed giraffe and giggling. Mike spends some one on one time with the little man, building towers and castles with blocks while I finish cleaning up the kitchen.
8:00 pm- We put the little man down for bed and I take shower #2 for the day (what can I say, I like to be clean and it's usually my one chance to relax during the day!). Then I turn on an episode of Bones on Netflix while I work on a craft project (a different one from earlier) and Mike works on some paperwork and cleans up the blocks, I love that man. :)
9:50 pm- I am EXHAUSTED... for real. Running after two little ones and being a human incubator is hard work! Thankfully, for the second night in a row, I'm in bed before 10:00 pm, I'm so proud of myself! :)
-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom? Honestly, how exhausting it is. I grew up in a house with three siblings and for a good portion of my childhood my mom was either a SAHM or worked for a school so she had basically the same hours as us. I could see how much she had to do everyday and that it never ended... but as a kid I guess you don't really grasp what that means. Not only do I spend a good deal of my time being tired physically (especially while I'm pregnant), but it can be really mentally draining staying at home with kiddos all day and never really having much of a break. Sure, occasionally you get to go out to dinner alone with your husband, or have a fun night out with the girls, but somehow it's never enough to make up for the rest of the time. I'm not saying I think it's harder to be a stay-at-home parent rather than one who works outside the home, then has to come home to the chaos, but I do think it's different. I hope I don't sound ungrateful, I am SO glad I'm able to be a SAHM while my kiddos are young, but I really do believe it's one of the most physically and mentally exhausting jobs you can have; and when I think about the fact that I'll soon have three kids under four years of age, it makes me want to huddle in a corner, rocking back and forth sometimes.
-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas? Sleep, sleep, sleep! Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, and that is because it's excellent advice! Sometimes it's hard for me to follow my own advice because I know there's so much that I should be doing, but if you don't take the time to rest and recharge then you're not going to be the best mom that you can be. A well rested mom is a happy, fun mom. And when mom is happy, it sets the tone of the whole household!
-What are your top three baby products? (1) I am in lurve with the Aden & Anais muslin swaddling blankets. I got a set when I was pregnant with my first and they have been well used for both of my kids so far... so much so that I registered for another set with this baby! They are so large, soft, and stretchy and make the best swaddle! Plus, in a pinch I've used them for nursing covers and a clean place to lay my baby down. (2) I love my Puj tub for new babies too, it is the easiest way to wash those small, slippery babes when they're too little to sit up on their own, or even hold their head up. Bonus- it doesn't take up a ton of room like most baby tubs do! (3) I think one of the most important things (to me) is to have an awesome diaper bag that works for you. I know lots of mom just like to use their own purse, or use a simple backpack, but I'll take a diaper bag with lots of pockets and a waterproof liner any day! My first was a Timi & Leslie and I used that thing every single day for 2 1/2 years, regardless of if I had my kids with me or not because it was such a beautiful bag and didn't even look like a diaper bag! I tried a different brand (that also is very popular and most people seem to like), but I've been disappointed... I'm hoping to get another Timi & Leslie bag for Mother's Day next year. ;)
Thanks so much for hosting me Ashley! And thanks to everyone who actually read through my day!