Friday, January 30, 2015

The Return of: "What *Do* You Do All Day?"

Well, clearly it's not blogging!

Admittedly, no one asks me that anymore since having a new baby. I don't know if they don't ask because they figure I'm just plain busy or because they really don't want to know. To them, it sounds like everything they cram into a weekend. I mean, how exactly would you answer if someone asked what you did all day at your desk job? Well, maybe one day someone will write a blog post about it.

I wrote about this when I first became a SAHM but, obviously, things have changed quite drastically. Here is what we do all day, with some pictures to tell the tale, and others that I've just been too lazy busy to post earlier.

My days usually start around 5:30am when I inexplicably wake up, unless, of course, it's a day when I absolutely *have* to get up at 6:30am and then it's like digging out of my own grave. Pregnancy ingrained this hour into my body as the time it must absolutely expel something and, by then, I'm too wide awake to go back to sleep so I decide to enjoy this rare 60-plus minutes of absolute silence (except the dogs who are old, grumpy men who need to relieve themselves at 4am before steadily licking themselves until 8). I use this time to read a book, write, watch the totally horrendous Wake Up Montana, think about what I want to do that day, talk to myself, internet-stalk former acquaintances and boyfriends (gin?!), play BINGO, or just stare off into space. While I'm alone, things are rarely quiet, as Holden dozes in between playing in his crib, Zoey takes the "The Sun is Up and So Am I" approach, and I begin packing food for Jacob to take to work.

At 8am, I surrender to the start of the day.

We're all freshest in the morning, so that's when we do brain activities: letters, patterns, colors, shapes, numbers, balancing the checkbook, etc.

She got so into her preschool workbook, she finished it in record time. On to the next one!

Meanwhile, her brother was busted drinking and driving.

Maybe it's all the Old Milwaukee, but Holden recently stretched out his schedule to two naps (but, like, three meals) a day, so he goes down late morning and again in late afternoon. Awake-time is pretty much a free-for-all, something Daddy doesn't appreciate too much come the weekend.

 Yup, this one is definitely going to keep me on my toes as he gets older...

 All about the Beech Nut Baby Oatmeal! For a little while...then he gave up on the spoon.

 ...And is all about Ella's Kitchen fruit n' veggie pouches. I pulled one out and he actually looked at it and smiled.


 Crib life.

 Story time in da crib.

 Zoey decided she didn't want to have bangs anymore so I've just added Child Hairstylist to my resume to keep it out of her eyes and - most importantly - food.

 A boy after his daddy's heart, already interested in anything wheel.

 Sitting Up: 101

 Making a play-dough garden just before the weather turned cold.

 Partners in crime.

 They must be related.

Real men use their big sister's pink blanket for naked time.

Morning and afternoon naps are irrefutably *my* time. Zoey and Holden play HARD in those three hours he is awake so late-morning and late-afternoon quiet time isn't quite the travesty for my 4-year old as it might be. She's ushered down to the basement - AKA Toddler Dome - with a snack while I go back to reading a book, writing, internet-stalking, or I watch some adult-only Scandal, Revenge, or Game of Thrones. Nap times have hardly been relaxing, though, as I've listened to Hater of Sleep Holden routinely fight sleep for the last six months. But I downright refuse to do anything that resembles "work" during this time, like dishes, laundry, bills, phone calls, etc. Even in your office job, we all need a moment when we just sit, be silent, and stare.

When naps are over, all hell instantly breaks loose. Zoey is up from the basement, Holden is vocally filling his diaper while simultaneously being hungry, and the kitchen is once again open for business as it was for breakfast (which I've managed to bust out - eggs, bacon, and toast for Zoey and I - in between the time it takes to get Holden out of his crib and him getting sick of his wet (and getting wetter) diaper while cleaning up the previous night's dinner mess I was too tired to face). I whip up some kind of lunch for the three of us while cleaning up breakfast messes, and when that is over is usually when I'm at my height of motivation and feel like braving leaving the house. And with the weather not being nearly as frigid, leaving is also definitely more pleasant. We did have some frigid, snowy days there for a while, though...

 Holden's first time being in the snow. He liked it...

 ...And checked it out for a minute...

 ...Barely tolerated some pictures...

 ..And was ready to go back inside.

Zoey, of course, is an old snow-pro.

 One day, we made Holden's inaugural trip to the library.

 Although we had at least a foot of snow - most of it falling in one 12-hour period - a couple of 60-degree-days later and you'd never know. So we snatched up the opportunity for some jacket-less park-time.

 Just gobble up that adorable cuteness.

 He wasn't the biggest fan of the swing.

 He was more amenable to this situation.

 When's our next bike trip through South America, Grandpa?

 Seriously, though. This guy... *breaks heart*

 Had some adventures of his own at the playground.

 While his sister climbed mountains.

If we don't leave the house, after everyone is fed and mostly content, I spend awake-time doing work - cleaning, laundry, or anything else I can get away with. Unfortunately - as the meme goes - cleaning your house with children is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos so my house rarely reflects the work I put into it. But Zoey provided evidence while practicing her camera skills.

Each morning I sigh (sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way) that the entire day is in front of me. But in seemingly the blink of an eye, Jacob will be home and I need to start thinking about what to make for dinner (mostly, I start thinking about this while making, or shortly after, breakfast). With Holden's recent schedule shift, he is usually napping (or attempting to) when Jacob gets home from work so we're able to spend a few quiet moments together before he has his hands full with Zoey who wants to tell him every little thing she did that day (and the day before, and the day before that), and Holden who is at his brightest just up from a nap, but still mostly just sapped from the day, ready for his dinner, and ready to hit the hay, while I simultaneously make dinner and - yet again - clean up the kitchen from the disaster that was lunch.

Depending on what I make and how many times I'm distracted and forget I have something on the stove, we usually eat by 7pm, me being the last to eat as I'm usually getting Holden ready for bed.

Once Holden is satisfyingly working his way to dreamland, I begin to physically deflate, feeling more tired than I ever have before. The kitchen is once again destroyed and I make minimal effort to shovel my cold dinner into my face. Also depending on what I make, Zoey will either be slowly fighting her way through her now-cold dinner, or winding down her night with something on Netflix Kids before she brushes her teeth and reads a couple of stories.

At the end of it all, Jacob and I have a good hour together before me, him, or both of us are falling asleep on the couch. I throw in the towel but Jacob actively resists sleep (hmm, wonder where Holden got that from...), certain he can stay up for at least another hour but instead passes out in an awkward position on the couch while waiting for his video game to load.

A few restless hours of sleep later and it's time to do it all again.

Thankfully, while I don't technically have weekends "off," they provide a much-appreciated change to the daily routine. Saturday and Sunday are the days I *have* to be up by 6:30am, which wouldn't be such a thorn in my paw if the children didn't wake up at 7am during the week and sleep for daddy until 8am on the weekend (75-percent of this might just be him sleeping through the baby monitor, though).

I leave the house for a few hours in the morning to do the books of a small, local casino, then usually do some grocery shopping because shopping without two children is a dream and I'll take any opportunity I can. Sometimes I just aimlessly wander the aisles. Because I can.

When I get home, it's life as usual, only with an extra set of capable arms and legs.

 Sometimes there are tea parties.

 This was when we took a rare trip to the mall during Christmas time.

 Jacob spends the weekend doing stuff around the house, while cleaning for me takes a backseat. There are just too many people around to make it worthwhile.

 Guess he isn't the cable guy's baby after all! Whew!

 My parents came to visit for Christmas so we got even more hands for a weekend!


 Hashtag: Sunday.

 We took advantage of a particularly nice-weather weekend to parade our old mutts around the neighborhood. Plus, there wasn't any hockey or football on so we, like, had to go outside, or whatever. Well, the pro-bowl was on but that totally doesn't count. And since we hate both teams in the Super Bowl, we barely care about that.

 The men of the house.

 My reasons for drinkingImeanbreathing.

 Portraits By the Artist as a Young Girl. I'm on the right because I always have my hair up.

 Nothing slowing down this baby! He hopes to be the first baby to climb Everest!

But for now, he'll settle with snuggles from his big sister.

Life is busy and tiring, and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad; we just do the best we can. I may have my stresses, annoyance, complaints, and struggles as a SAHM, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. But being able to incorporate alcohol into any part of my day sure doesn't hurt anything either! :-D