How I Structure My Daily Routine

imageI’ve learned lately that just like my little ones, I thrive on routine. I would prefer a strict schedule to get things done, but with a toddler and a breastfeeding infant, that’s next to impossible.

Here is how I structure my day:

Between 4-6 am: J wakes up to eat. If it’s early enough, we both go back to sleep. But if he sleeps in (like this morning) I’ll get up. J eats and goes back to sleep.

7 am: Wake up. I am NOT a morning person by any stretch. I don’t usually hop out of bed and get going. I’d like to change that, but right now my routine consists of a few stretches, Pinterest, Facebook, checking Bloglovin’, and using my Happify app.

Yesterday was Sunday so I snuggled in bed with my hubby and kids.

7:30-8: I stagger into the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee. Then I put a load of laundry in the washer. (I only do one load a day.) After the coffee is finished, I go downstairs and practice the piano.

8-8:30: I unload the dishwasher, take my vitamins, clean the counter in the kitchen, and sweep the kitchen floor.

8:30-9:00- I get myself ready.

9:00- I get out my Motivated Moms app and do my chores.

10:30- J gets up. I feed, change his diaper, get him dressed for the day, and start on what I call the ’30 Minute Blast.’ Basically, I try to get as much done on my To Do List as possible.

11:00-12:00- I have different things we do each day of the week. Monday is errands day; Tuesday is recycling day; Wednesday is church day (except for in the summer); Thursday is appointment day; and Friday is fun/library day. Saturdays I try to do fun things with the kids. I feed J during this time.

12:00-1:00- I make lunch and eat.

1:00- J and I settle down for a nap. He’ll cluster feed a lot during this time. If I wake up before he does, I’ll watch TV or surf the Internet.

4:00- Blog time.

5:00- If C is working late, I go to get R from daycare. If he’s picking her up, I watch the evening news.

6:30- C and R home. I play with R while hubby fixes dinner.

7:00- dinner/clean-up.

7:30- quick walk if time. Bedtime routines begin.

8:00- R to bed. I feed J and try to settle him down. I’m trying to push back his bedtime, but right now it’s about 9:30.

9:30- Bed for J, bedtime routine for me. I turn off my phone and the TV, pick up any clutter, and lay out breakfast dishes for morning. Then I brush my teeth and take a shower.

10:30-Bed. If I have any time, I read before falling asleep.

Phew! What’s your daily routine like? Stay tuned Wednesday for ideas on how to set up a routine that works for you.

 

52 Habits To Change Your Life

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Yes, I’m still following this. Last week was to run the dishwasher and do the dishes right after dinner, and this week has been to straighten up the house before bed.

As far as running the dishwasher after dinner, we’ve been doing a great job with this. We just include it as part of our nightly clean-up after dinner. Since I put all the dishes away each morning, I load dishes as I go throughout my day. Clean counter space is great and definitely clears my head.

As far as straightening up the house before bed, I just set the alarm on my phone for 10 minutes and clean up. I love waking up in the morning to a clutter-free home. I’m still loving these lists of habits. I’m just trying to incorporate as much as I can into my daily schedule to make each day flow as easily as possible.

Playing The Piano

imageThis past winter, I fell in love with the piano. There’s a gorgeous piano in the lobby where I work, and each night as I headed home,  I had the privilege of hearing one of the employees practice.

I wanted to teach myself how. I set out to buy myself a keyboard since I knew they were generally less expensive, but I came home with a Janssen instead. I bought this literally right before I went into labor with J!

I like to practice first thing in the morning, before the kids are even up. I usually take my mug of coffee down to the piano and play. For some reason, I feel like being able to play before I really start my day makes the rest of the day go better. It’s a quick sense of accomplishment.

I’m doing… okay as far as teaching myself. I played the viola (badly) from about the age of 9, so I know a great deal of music theory. That does help. But it’s becoming increasingly more obvious that I do need a teacher to help. We’re planning on looking this winter, probably after Christmas. I’ll be working again and J will be old enough he’ll be able to eat real food, which will make the separation easier on J and my husband.

I’m really having a blast learning! My goal is to be able to play some easy hymns by the end of this year and some fun movie soundtrack songs. Eventually, I want to tackle the classical music monster, but right now learning is all about having fun and getting down the basics.

A Day In The Life- Why There Are Support Groups For 2 Under 2 (Or Should Be)

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7 am: I hear a  little fuss coming from J’s room. He quiets down shortly afterwards. Score! I get to sleep in until 7:30!

7:45:  I feed J and  he goes right back to sleep. I hear R talk to herself, then scream bloody murder.  C is off to work.

8  am: I feed R. So far so good. We have no groceries left so I don’t remember what I fed her, but I think as far as MyPlate goes, it’s a bit of a stretch.

9 am: We play. I have an episode of Sesame Street taped off the TiVo that R pays no attention to whatsoever. I have a weird spot in my mouth that’s kind of like a canker sore, but kind of not. I wisely Google ‘cancer.’ Not surprisingly, Google does not have a diagnosis.

10:30: J wakes up and I decide to take them to the mall so R can play. J wants to eat, so I feed him. I change his diaper and R’s diaper and pack up the diaper bag. I put her downstairs and pick up J. He’s had a blow out. I pick up R and she cries. I change J’s outfit and he cries. Now they’re both crying. I get the stroller ready and realize I parked in a different spot than I remembered. I attempt to lug a 19 month old, a 2 month old, and a stroller into the car.

11:35: We drive to the mall.

11:45: We get there in one piece, but I’ve parked at the wrong entrance so we have to walk. R insists on helping me push the stroller.

11:50: R has the time of her life sliding. And trying to do what the older kids are doing. She smiles at me a lot.

12:10: J has had enough so we go home. I give R lunch, which is quesadillas and grapes, because we still have no food.

It’s exhausting, but later that night I’m rewarded by R gently patting her brother and J giving her the sweetest smiles.

That’s why I wanted two.

Habits- Keeping The House Up

imageThe habit I worked on this past week was to keep the house looking the way I’d like it to look when I return. It’s actually been a great opportunity. Since R is now 19 months old and fully mobile, it’s been an opportunity to start teaching her to clean up her messes before bed or before we leave to do something else.

It’s been a work in progress… If you give her step by step directions, she’s pretty good. On occasion, though, she’d get distracted and start taking things out of her toy box. As you can see, though, I’m pretty pleased by how the house looks.

It’s also a challenge to make sure I tidy up after myself, too. In the past, I’ve always waited to pick up until right before bed. But always tidying up before I leave to go somewhere insures the house stays tidy constantly. Well, most of the time.

This week is to get up at the same time every day, which has been quite a challenge!

 

Smoothies

imageI had to find something to do with the strawberries we picked last weekend. In the end, we decided to make strawberry smoothies using this recipe, and I can say it truly was the best smoothie I’d ever made. I don’t know if it was the sweetness of fresh, ripe strawberries or the ice cubes, but it completely hit the spot. I don’t even like bananas, but I didn’t mind the flavor here. In my opinion, the strawberry flavor was stronger.

A word to the wise– do not give to a toddler who is not used to a lot of sugar close to bedtime. I probably should have thought through that better. She spent a lot of her nighttime routine running laps around the house.

Habits- unload the dishwasher

imageThis week, the habit I followed was to unload the dishwasher every morning. This was a great habit that quickly became part of my morning routine. I cooked twice today– yes, real cooking for breakfast and lunch– and the countertops are still clear.

Since I unloaded the dishwasher first thing, all I had to do was pop everything I used back in. I think this habit naturally lends itself to healthy eating, too, because I now have everything I need on hand to cook.

It looks as if the current habits are building towards a morning routine, and it’s working great. So far, I hop out of bed, make my bed, take my vitamins, throw in a load of laundry, and unload the dishwasher. The habit for this week is to leave the house the way you’d like to see it when you come back. I think this would pack more of a punch when I go back to work, but it’s a great reminder to pick up before I run an errand or the kids take a nap. Once they get bigger, I can get them in on it. I did it once today and it didn’t take long because I’m trying to straighten as I go.

 

Working On A Full Night’s Sleep

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We’re still working on the much-desired full night’s sleep after having a newborn. J is only six and a half weeks old, so I can’t blame him for waking 1-2 times a night. Sometimes it’s once (like today) and sometimes it’s twice (like yesterday.) He typically wakes up at 2:30 or 3:30 in the morning and then again at 6:30 or 7:30. This morning he gave me until 8:15! I think because he didn’t want to go back to sleep after his early morning feeding, so he’s been tired all day.

Anyway, I’ve loosely been following the Moms On Call schedule, as you can see above via the app. There’s a book with more complete information as well. We’re still having trouble getting him to sleep in his own room in his crib but all in all we went from waking up every 1-2 hours to once or twice a night.

We also use a swaddle to keep him calm as he sleeps. He does NOT like sleeping without a swaddle, since his arms are pretty much constantly in motion.

My goal for next week is to get him to sleep in his own crib and to take a bottle. I’m definitely not an expert at getting nighttime sleep with a newborn, but I’m very happy with the results so far.

Strawberry Picking

imageThis weekend we went strawberry picking. It was our first time, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. We had to do some research to see which places even offered that activity, because many farms weren’t doing strawberry picking anymore. We finally found one and off we went!

C wore J on his front and I helped R find berries. She was far more interested in mooshing berries and adding sticks and gravel into our bucket. It was a long walk from the entrance to the berries so she was already wiped by the time we got there. We were there for about an hour and still had a lot of fun.

The strawberries were delicious! They were nice and juicy. I was given the advice to try and do it at the beginning of the month since they’re even better, but they were great anyway. We ate through some and froze the rest since I’d like to make some smoothies.

After we washed the gravel and sticks away, we snacked on berries the rest of the weekend…

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A More Organized Life

imageI’ve pretty much struggled with organization my whole life. Lately, I’ve discovered that I do much better with a schedule and a routine. With a baby and a toddler, routine is so important in keeping my family running smoothly.

Two or three weeks ago, during a late night feeding, I found this link on Pinterest:


52 Habits To Change Your Life

I love this, and I got started immediately. You’re supposed to take one habit at a time and do it daily so you can properly work on the habit. I started from the top with making your bed. I used to do this before, but fell out of the habit. It was a great reminder, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel with a well-made bed. It makes me feel more organized and like my house is a bit tidier. It’s also nice to fall into late at night when I’m totally exhausted.

The next thing on the list is to take your vitamins/medicine at the same time every day. I do that anyway… I ended up putting my prenatal vitamins by the breakfast foods because I could never remember to take them. So now, every time I eat breakfast I take my vitamins.

Next was to eat breakfast every day. Again, I always do that anyway. I’m breastfeeding so after sleeping I’m pretty much Starving Marvin anyway.

The thing I’m adding this week is to unload the dishwasher every morning so we always have dishes available. I’m going to start doing this tomorrow.

I think since I’m adding each new habit on Saturdays I’m going to do a recap of how it’s going Fridays.

What do you do to stay organized?