5:30 am: My alarm goes off, and I’m up. I have a smartwatch, and use a vibrating alarm, so I don’t have to worry about waking up Craig and Juniper (we bedshare). They are both still passed out next to me. My goal is to get some computer work done before the nugget wakes up. I pull my laptop up into bed with me, open it up, and dive into my inbox.
5:36 am: Juniper stirs, pushes my laptop aside, climbs up on my chest, and falls back asleep. She’s getting her molars right now, so she’s been needing more snuggles than usual. I laugh to myself about my six minutes of work (I didn’t even get a whole email written), and remind myself that they are only young and snuggly once. I put my laptop aside. I pull out my phone and read the book I’ve been reading on the Kindle app while snuggling with my favorite nugget.
6:27 am: Juni is up for good now. She snuggles in and nurses for a bit to wake up, and then pops up and climbs to the other side of the bed to jump on Dada. Now that we’re both up, she slides off the bed, and then runs to the closet to play with shoes—her favorite morning activity. Craig and I spend a few minutes in bed chatting about the upcoming day.
6:45 am: Pull myself from the warm and cozy bed and head to the closet to get dressed. Then move to the bathroom and brush my teeth, put on a little blush and mascara, and brush my hair. A lot of people think that one of the big perks of working from home is getting to work in your jammies, but I am so much less productive if I don’t “get ready” for the day. It takes me all of 10 minutes, but it makes a huge difference.
6:55 am: Craig has taken Juni downstairs for a diaper change, so I take advantage of a toddler-free bedroom and make the bed.
7:00 am: I head downstairs. I stop by Juni’s room and grab her laundry, then go down to the basement to put it in the wash. I come back upstairs, get coffee started, turn on NPR, and do a little bit of tidying in the kitchen while the kettle is heating up.
7:15 am: Coffee is made and the dog is glaring at me expectantly. I pour my coffee into a travel mug, put on my boots, and strap Rory’s leash on. We head out for a walk.
7:37 am: We do a couple of laps around the property, then I drop Rory off inside. I head over to the chicken coop to let the ladies and gent outside for the day. Once the coop is cleared, I switch out the chicks food and water.
7:49 am: Back inside. The second I open the door, Clingy McToddlerpants runs over and latches onto my leg. I pick her up and we go and snuggle on the couch for a little bit. We read a few books. I ask her to say, “Yummy!” over and over again. It’s a new word she learned just the other day. It’s adorable.
8:01 am: I ask Juni if she wants to go see Nana and Grandpa and she bolts off my lap and runs to the door. She loves her grandparents! Craig straps her in the car while I grab her diaper bag and my keys. We make the long, long, 40 second journey up the road to my parents’ house.
8:05 am: Drop Juni off to spend the morning over there, and then head back home. Craig hands me breakfast when I walk in the door—Pumpkin Whole Wheat Pancakes plus Honeycrisp apples. I grab my plate, coffee, and water, and head to my office. Time to actually start working. I start by making my to-do list for the day. Which I now realize I labeled with the wrong day of the week. Mommy brain, man.
8:10 am: Finally get to dig into the work that I tried to start doing at 5:30. I have a morning computer routine that I try to stick to daily—clean out both my personal and work inbox (I only check my email twice a day), check our bank accounts and balance the budget, and check into Wholefully comments and social media. I’m through all of this pretty quickly. Woohoo!
8:32 am: Move onto actual work. I start writing a post that is upcoming the next week. Kitty comes in to snuggle. Craig comes in at some point and tells me good-bye—he’s headed off to school for the day.
9:25 am: I’m not really feeling writing all that much, so I switch gears and head to the kitchen. I flip off NPR and turn on Christmas music (don’t judge, man). And begin to work on a slow cooker soup recipe that you guys will see tomorrow. I knew basically what was going in the final recipe, I just had to make sure to measure and track it so I could write a clear recipe. And, of course, snap pictures along the way.
10:17 am: The soup is in the slow cooker, and I decide I want to make a batch of honey yeast rolls to go along with it. I’ve been working on perfecting a really easy yeast roll recipe that I’m hoping to get up before Thanksgiving. I wanted to do one more test before shooting it, and this seemed like a good opportunity—I mean, what’s soup without bread to dip in it? Snack on some trail mix while my mixer is kneading the dough.
10:37 am: The rolls are in the fridge so they rise slowly and are ready for dinner. I do a little kitchen tidy-ing. Load the dishwasher and run it. Clean up the stove from where I spilled chicken broth. Clean up the counter from where I spilled flour. I’m a really messy cook. I head downstairs and switch the diaper laundry over to the dryer.
10:45 am: Back to the computer to start working on this very post (meta). The clock is ticking on my work time for the day, so I gotta get down to business.
11:20 am: I’ve written as much as I feel like writing. I’m in a good place to get all the stuff I need to get done this week on Friday (when I have a full day of worktime, instead of just a few hours in the morning). So I check my email a final time and clock out of work for the day.
11:25 am: I latch the puppy onto her leash again and take her out for another quick walk.
11:45 am: Back inside, I grab the diaper laundry, and bring it up and start folding it. My goal each day is to get one load of laundry done from start to finish before noon. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s good to want things. Diapers fold pretty quickly, and I have them all put away in Juni’s room in no time.
11:55 am: I head to the kitchen to heat up some lunch for the nugget and I. We’ll split some leftover Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice (which I should really share with you guys, it’s a one-pot, 20 minute dinner that is SO good). I pop it in the microwave, and then go and get my stuff together for nap time. In the past few weeks, Juni has been napping on my lap a lot more frequently (see previous note about molars). It only took getting stuck on the couch under a toddler without entertainment, water, or an empty bladder once before I decided that was never going to happen again. I bring over my water bottle, the iPad and my phone to the couch.
11:59 am: I’m dishing out our lunch when I see my parents pull into the driveway. I head out and greet my Dad and grab my little girl from the backseat. I thank him for watching her, and send them on their way. We head back inside to dive into lunch.
12:19 pm: Lunch is done. Juni didn’t eat much—she’s tired and just wants to nurse. I clean up our lunch dishes, flip off the Christmas music, and then snuggle up on the couch and nurse Juni. She acts like she wants to fall asleep, but then the dog sees a stray cat out of the corner of the window and loses it. Nap foiled. The next hour is a blur of getting hit and kicked (which is how Juni likes to show Mama she is tired and frustrated), reading books, trying to put Juni in the carrier (while she hits and kicks me), nursing, her almost falling asleep, the dog barking at something and keeping her up, her dumping bags of crackers on the floor, and trying not to burst into tears from frustration (me, not her).
1:00 pm: Send out a desperate cry for pity on my personal Instagram account. Lots of other Mamas of kids Juni’s age chimed in and told me I wasn’t alone. It helped. Gosh, I do love the internet.
1:45 pm: I decide to try loading Juni up in the carrier one more time before giving up on the nap for the day. Surprisingly, she goes in without much fuss. We head outside, and she is asleep before I can even get off the driveway. I guess she just wasn’t ready before. Sigh. #reallife
2:10 pm: I walk around outside for a bit and bask in my success at finally getting the kid to sleep. I contemplate making myself a margarita, but decide it probably won’t help the stress headache I have. So I head inside and upstairs to our stand up desk. I pull out my laptop and start working on my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. It takes a lot of work to put the gift guides together, so I spend a few hours on it.
3:40 pm: The sleepy girl is starting to stir a bit on my back, so I sit down on the bed and let her out of the carrier. She climbs over to me and asks to nurse, and is almost immediately back to sleep. Two hours is normally her afternoon nap max, so I’m surprised she wants to keep sleeping. I have the “never wake a sleeping baby” mentality, so I just keep on letting her snuggle and sleep. If the girl needs her sleep, she needs her sleep. Plus, I like snuggles. Snuggles are cup filling.
4:40 pm: She is still out. I’m starting to worry she’s getting sick (she isn’t, but she is going through a growth spurt—we think). Craig texts me from downstairs and says he’s home. He comes up to do some family snuggling time. Juni finally starts to stir. She’s really groggy, so we spent 20 minutes or so just snuggling, talking, and letting her wake up slowly.
5:30 pm: Finally make it downstairs to get back to dinner. We normally try to eat by 5pm, but the marathon sleeping put a damper on that. I put the rolls on top of some bowls of hot water to finish them rising (my original plan was to take them out of the fridge when she woke up from her nap). I add the final touches to the soup while Craig reads Juni books.
6:03 pm: The rolls have finally risen enough to go in the oven. I pop them in and start to dish out the soup so it can cool down. I had grand plans to make a salad to go with all these heavy carbs, but I am one tired Mama and chopping sounds really exhausting. I’ll eat more veggies the next day.
6:20 pm: Finally sitting down to eat. Soup is amazing. Juni really gets into it.
6:40 pm: Dinner is done, and the nugget is covered head-to-toe in soup, so Craig takes her straight to the bath. I get the kitchen cleaned up while she’s getting cleaned up.
7:02 pm: The kitchen and the nugget are both clean, so we sit down to do a little playtime before bed. Usually bath happens right before bed, but the soup suit moved bathtime up a bit.
7:59 pm: We decide to try bedtime, even though the marathon late nap will probably make it a no go. Craig takes Juni in to get her jammies on, and I head upstairs to get ready for bed. Jammies on. Hair and teeth brushed. Face washed.
8:08 pm: Get in bed with Juni and nurse her to sleep. It takes a while to get her out, but she doesn’t fight it—she just takes a while to wind down sometimes. Mama is exhausted.
8:58 pm: I can’t keep my eyes open a second longer. I take off my glasses, plug my phone in, set my watch to sleep mode, and I’m out before my head hits the pillow. Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully with more veggies, fewer toddler (and Mommy) tantrums, and a lot more productivity.