Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Day In The Life: Fall 2016.

These are my favorite blog posts.  They can be chaotic to track and tedious to put together, as evidenced by my rusty approach on this one, but so so fun to look back on.  And, bonus: Julia, a blogger I follow, does a round up post and links all of them submitted to her in one spot, so I can see what others' days are like, too.  I'll link that when it's up next week!

For this ADITL, I decided to just track the next day as soon as I was reminded about doing it.  There really is no "typical" day, and there are quite a few things about this day that are definitely not so typical, but I wanted to be sure I actually did it.  So, here goes!

Sofia Noethe Photography
Trevor is 34, I'm 29, Myra is 3.5, and Niko is 1.5.  Trevor is in his second year of dental school, I'm a stay at home mom/work at home mom (babysitting), Myra is in her first year of PreK, and Niko is in a toddler ECFE class.

5:38am My Sleep Cycle alarm goes off.  For those who don't know, it's a smart phone app (I use my iPod Touch).  You keep it under your pillow and it tracks your sleep cycles based on movement.  You can choose the window in which it wakes you up, I have mine set for 45 minutes.  So, if I want to be up by 6, it wakes me anytime between 5:15-6am whenever I am in my lightest sleep.  I feel so much more rested waking up at 5:30 in a lighter sleep than at 6am in the middle of a deep sleep.  On this particular morning, I was a little confused.  The Sleep Cycle alarm is under my pillow, but I still got out of bed to shut off my actual alarm clock...but it wasn't actually going I ended up turning on the sound machine feature...all while my Sleep Cycle alarm was still going off under my pillow.  I forget what time Trevor got up this morning, but he was already downstairs doing his usual morning stuff of eating cereal by the box, drinking coffee, reading emails, and figuring out his day.

I "rested my eyes" (whoops) until 6:20am and did my Miracle Morning (more on that soon, I promise) reading, Tuesdays with Morrie.

6:40am Got out of bed, went downstairs to get my coffee (we don't have enough space between counter and cupboards for our grind and brew coffee maker, so it's downstairs).  I did musical laundry (dryer to basket, washer to dryer, hamper to washer), fed Rowdy.

One of my besties makes these awesome mugs and other cool stuff here!
7am I did my visualization and journaling (part of my Miracle Morning - it's brief, I actually use a school year planner as my journal and write a few sentences for each day).  I have "coffee" written again in my notes here, so I'm guessing that means I microwaved my coffee and gave it another go LOL.  I heard Myra's giraffe so I know she's awake.  She's been having some typical bedtime fears (shadow shapes, noises, darkness) so at almost 4 years old I got her a Fisher Price soothe and glow giraffe toy, similar to a glow worm, and it's been a huge help.  I did a quick interval workout (jumping jacks and burpees), part of a workout program I've been doing.

They totally adore each other!
7:18am Trevor gets in the shower and I hear Niko waking up.  I go get Myra, who is sleeping in a gigantic pack and play in our playroom these days, then Niko.  Both of their cribs are in the "together room," but Niko had some weird night waking stuff for a couple weeks, so we moved Myra to the playroom.  She has since requested to stay there and I really don't care enough to push the issue.  Our play room is separated from the kitchen by a pocket door, so I liked them sharing a room so I could clean the kitchen after they go to bed, but whatever.

7:45am Trevor packing his lunch, I get the kids dressed.

7:55am Trevor leaves, he's sick, and has a practical exam today.  GOOD LUCK!

8:10am Myra requests her "circle rug yoga," Cosmic Kids Yoga, and I get in the shower.

My view as soon as I get out of the shower
Myra doing her yoga video.  We had company last weekend and the spare twin mattress hasn't made its way back downstairs yet...
8:32am I'm ready to go.  I do Myra's hair.  I try to get her to do a pony tail or "curly stuff" (mousse) every day because her curly, fine hair is all over the place otherwise.  I change Niko's diaper, everyone gets shoes on.

8:45am We're leaving to bring Myra to PreK which starts at 9:00.  When we get there, she picks out her laminated name, sticks it to the white board, and practices writing her name.  I pull Niko away from the train table in her classroom, and we head to open gym.  Myra's PreK is affiliated with the ECFE program, so she's familiar with the building.  ECFE has open gym 5 times per week which is awesome.

9:15am Open gym has sensory/sand tables, foam blocks and wrestling mats, trikes and riding toys, balls and basketball hoops, hula hoops, and more.  At the end, we do a short circle time with songs and sometimes every child's dream come true: the PARACHUTE.

10:00am Open gym is over.  I decide to stop at Starbucks because 1) I have just enough left on my gift card for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (decaf grande non-fat pumpkin spice latte with no whip, to be specific) and 2) I can look back at this blog post and pretend that Starbucks was part of my every day life HA!

10:15am So far, I'm still riding the high of PreK starting and having a couple chunks of time each week with only one kid.  I usually cram in a bunch of errands, but try to do some things for just Niko, too.  So, open gym where I only had to focus on him was great.  Next, errands.  We went to Half Price Books to see what they had for early reader chapter books.  I think Myra is ready for a read aloud chapter book.  I ended up getting a few choices for her, a personal growth type book for me (the chapters are divided into each month of the year, so I plan to read the corresponding chapter each month in 2017), and a Good Morning book for both of the kids to read together.  After that, I checked into the Goodwill down the street.  I'm always on the hunt for cheap Gopher gear, or a good deal on gently used clothes for myself.  I found a U of MN sweatshirt of Myra this time.

11:15am Niko and I head back to pick up Myra.  At some point last spring, I realized I was sick of carrying around my kids' stuff.  So, Myra got backpack and started carrying her own stuff.  After Niko had been walking a while, I realized he was big enough to do the same.  It's fantastic.  We were there early enough for me to change his diaper before Myra's class was done at 11:30.  Then I brought them right across the hall to the sibling care room so I could attend a short workshop called "Keep Calm and Parent On."

11:30am After dropping the kids off, I head down the hall to the parent classrooms.  I think seven parents showed up for this one and it was a good topic to discuss.  One of my personal growth books recently was Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting and the concepts were all simple, but have been fantastic for all of us.  We all shared some good ideas, and the free workshops with childcare are awesome.

12:30pm I go get the kids, and feed them some vegetable pouches and an uncrustable (premade PB&J in the freezer section, perfect for an occasional grab and go lunch) in the car so we could go straight to nap time when we got home.  This is one of those totally not typical, but definitely happens sometimes things about this day.  We can mess with nap times, and occasionally do, but it's almost never worth it and I'm typically the only one dealing with the aftermath, so.... I try to stay on track for everyone's sake.  We won't always be captive to naps, but for now it's worth it.

1:15pm Myra is down for her nap, I sit down for a minute and check texts messages/Instagram/Facebook, drink some water, and eat some roasted chickpeas.

1:40pm I head downstairs for a run.  I intended to run the actual 5K program on our treadmill since I haven't yet.  It has variable/interval elevation to mimic running a course with hills.  I've done some elevation on my treadmill runs, but I don't think I've gotten above 3.5 yet.  Halfway through the 5K program, I was at elevation level 7 with more to go and I decided to quit the program and do elevation manually.  I figured I could either see how far I could get and likely not finish the 5K itself, which was my initial run 5K, or I could ease up on the elevation but still actually complete 3.1 miles.  I'll eventually work my way up to hardcore hills like that and do the program, but today was not the day.  I watch The Good Wife while I run, so I did a cool down walk while I finished that episode then Yoga With Adriene Runner's Cool Down Sequence for some good stretching.  Laundry switch again.

Halfway, right over the "A," is where I switched back to manual mode
Happy with that! Especially for such an intense start compared to what I'm used to doing.
My yoga pal, Adriene.  Yoga never clicked for me till I found her videos! 

3:00pm I guess Trevor ran an update on our computer and it wasn't showing my login as an option.  I tried to figure that out for a bit then gave up.

3:13pm I went upstairs for some food, decided on an uncrustable for myself, ate it while texting a friend for a bit.

In front of the clean dishes I should put away one of these days
3:26pm Small, noteworthy miracle: I took a second shower for the day.  I don't even shower every day, and I certainly don't remember the last time I took two showers on the same day.  Myra was awake when I got out of the shower.  I let her choose which chapter book she wanted to read, The Chocolate Touch won, and we read the first chapter.  There was a part about the doctor shining a light in the kid's ear and I asked her what that would be.  She replied, "a otoscope!!" and I was so excited she was actually listening and processing the book.

4pm Niko woke up.  For the first time ever, I think, he put two signs together "please, milk" then signed "thank you" right after that.  He's gotten really good at using "thank you" at the right times.

4:15pm We're off to swimming lessons.  Myra's lesson is 4:30-5:05.  I try to keep Niko entertained while she swims, and he does pretty well.

I can not get over this kid's CHEEEEEEEEEEESE face.
5:05pm Swimming lesson done, Myra did great.  She's doing well overall and the latest skill to work on is to have legs straight "like pencils" when she's kicking, as opposed to bending "like riding a bike."  We go to the locker room where she likes to rinse off in the showers, go to the bathroom (an obnoxious ordeal with a wet, sticky swimsuit and self flush toilets).  I totally spaced getting a crock pot meal ready earlier in the day, so I was thrilled to see a brick oven pizza place at the Farmer's Market right in the parking lot of the community center.  We got a butternut squash pizza (my attempt at serving them vegetables).  While we waited for it to cook, we checked out a jelly stand and a roasted peanut/other nuts stand.  The owner was from Argentina and said she loved Myra's name.  I asked if she knew anyone with that name and she said yes, but in Argentina they spell it "Maira" or "Mayra."

"Can I push the button?!?!?!?!"

5:50pm We're home, time for pizza! Myra ate the sausages off it, Niko ate some of his pizza.  I also gave them some toast with our new jelly and a leftover coconut flour pancake to fill them up.

6:25pm I get the kids cleaned up from their pizza/jelly/syrup mess then do my squats (part two of my workout program).

Doing her squats, too
6:35pm While I was getting Niko changed into his pajamas, Myra pooped in the toilet!  This has been a bit of a battle for her as she liked to save that for her bedtime diaper.  In August, I made a poop chart for her.  Each time, she gets a tattoo right away.  After three times, she gets a small prize (cool pencil, one of those sponge animals stuffed into a little capsule, junk).  After nine times, she gets a new movie.  So, she filled in her poop chart and I helped her with her tattoo.

She chooses the best places for her tattoos.  Another recent tattoo went on the palm of her hand.
6:55pm We read the new Busy Town Good Morning! book and a Peek Inside Space book for bedtime.  Our bedtime routine consists of bathroom/diaper/pajamas, brush teeth, read two books plus one extra if bedtime goes smoothly, then in their beds.

7:07 Niko in bed, I start to read chapter two of The Chocolate Touch with Myra.  Niko crying, so after a minute or two I go see what his deal is.  His sleep sack was on the floor, forgot to put it on, so I thought he was angry about that.  I put it on him, say good night, and leave.  More crying, I go back and realize he didn't actually say goodnight to Myra, so she came in to give him a hug and a kiss and I put him back to bed.  Still more crying, so I figure he's just tired, or maybe not tired yet since his nap went kind of late? Not really sure. I finish the chapter with Myra and get her to bed, too.

7:45pm or so Everyone's quiet, I can hear Myra's giraffe going so I know she's not asleep yet, but that's fine.  I intended to do some laundry folding or dishes or something, but the bedtime crying drama totally fries my brain and I just checked out for the day.  I did get the dishes from supper into the kitchen at least.  Then I sat on the couch, looked at my Fantasy Football, checked Twitter, went through what I'd be doing tomorrow morning (my mornings go so much better when I think it through for just a few minutes the night prior).

8:17pm Trevor text me to say he'd be packing up and heading home soon.  He tells me when he'll be on his way so I can get Rowdy downstairs otherwise he BARKS.  My response was "Good. Niko stopped screaming. Lol.  Don't mind the disaster house.  Tuesdays are busy and I guess I go in shutdown mode with screaming at bedtime." Trevor replied, excellent grammar and all, "Won't bother me none."

8:38pm Trevor home.  He brought his stuff downstairs, got the coffee good to go for the next day.  I brought the laundry upstairs, step one!, and I'll fold it tomorrow.  Trevor gets himself ready for bed then goes to bed to watch whatever documentary type show he's watching these days to help shut off his brain so he can sleep.

8:45pm My FitBit buzzes its nightly buzz reminding me to get my butt ready for bed.

October goal/habit tracker.  These have been SO helpful for me.  Blank spaces make me twitchy.
9:15pm or so I get myself ready for bed.  Brush (and floss, mouthwash!), wash face, pajamas.  In bed to read.  Right now I'm reading five books at once, six counting The Chocolate Touch.  It's actually not that hard to keep track of.  My Miracle Morning book, Tuesdays with Morrie, is for the mornings.  I have an audiobook (Son by Lois Lowry) going for drives, lawn mowing, etc.  Who Will Cry When You Die is 100 short bits of insight and wisdom, kind of an in between book if I'm waiting on my next book from the library or something.  In the spirit of understanding and knowledge, and honestly, Halloween, a very short and sweet book on Paganism.  And, finally, my truly "fluffy" fun book, Chocolat.  I don't actually like chocolate much, so two books about chocolate at once makes me chuckle.

10:00pm Sleep Cycle alarm set, Kindle put away, time for sleep!

Like I said, these are kind of a lot of work, but so fun to read when they're done.  Hope you enjoyed our "A Day In The Life" - I'll post the link of the others next week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Clearing Out Cobwebs.

UFF DA.  I didn't even look at how long it's been since my last blog post.  I don't want to know.  As standard procedure for returning from an inadvertent blog hiatus, this will mostly be a photo dump.   When it's been so long since I've written here, I'm generally at a loss for where to begin.  So, photos it is. [Edited to add: I lied, mostly a narrative with some photos.  I'm determined to do another post soon with more details of what we've been up to this fall/October.]

Sofia Noethe Photography
The nutshell version of life these days:  I left my formal job in June.  I was working part time, some from home, for a non-profit an hour away (where we used to live).  I absolutely loved my co-workers and the work I did, and I still miss that part, but it was so much to juggle.  I was doing computer work in the evenings after the kids went to bed, my work schedule changed week to week, and trying to get phone/computer work done with small kids around wasn't getting any easier.  I've had the wonderful opportunity to babysit a few great kids for some additional income which is what allowed me to transition out of formal employment.  I have really been working on my own personal growth and development lately, more on that later.

Trevor is actually designing my October habit tracker here, but he looks like he could be studying
Trevor is in his second year of dental school and still enjoying it.  Although difficult, he is very dedicated and doing well.  For all intents and purposes, the second year is the most difficult.  Trevor's current courses include lecture and/or lab in the following: Microbiology, Pathology, Prosthetics, Operative, Oral Radiology, Periodontology, Bio Materials, and who knows what else.  I can't keep track (and I'm a pretty organized planner person).  He's also preparing for Boards in February.  Trevor is now a First Lieutenant and his job in the Guard is to be a dental student.  He surely misses much of First Sergeant life, but is very much looking forward to serving as a dentist one day and this is step one.

Myra (3.5) is in her first year of PreK (preschool) and loving every minute.  She goes two days a week and loves her teachers and new friends.  On Tuesdays and Fridays, she wakes up and says, "It's PRESCHOOL DAY!!!!" while clenching her fists.  I wasn't sure we'd be able to send her this year, dental school ain't cheap, but we qualified for a scholarship and I am so grateful.  Generally, kids are fine without preschool, especially at 3, but she loves it so much and we want her to continue loving school, so this is a huge help.  She's also been doing swimming lessons and thinks that's pretty great, too.  She's made great progress with her skills as well.

Niko (1.5) is in an ECFE class (during one of Myra's PreK days -- perfect timing) and it's so fun to watch him explore and learn new things there.  The parents separate for our own parent education time and the toddlers are not big fans of that part.  Our class is exploring options to make that part go a bit more smoothly, but like most things in life, the biggest help will probably simply be time.  Though we don't get much time for the parent education side since the toddlers are all downward spiraling, one of the things I love about ECFE is practice with separating, so we are at least working on that aspect weekly.

Rowdy (6) loves to play fetch with his orange Chuck-It balls and go for walks.  He's patient with the kids climbing on him and barks at anyone who comes near our property line.  He's a good boy and an excellent walking partner, even on the treadmill!  He's a big fan of doggie daycare here and gets to go every once in a while as a special treat.

Both kids keep me/us busy and give us lots to smile and laugh about.  We've been passing time by spending time with friends, exploring, reading, going to school, and messing up toys and dishes then cleaning it all up again, lather/rinse/repeat.  Perfect timing, as they're waking up now, so I'm back to the grind.  Until next time...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Photo Dump.

Busy, busy, busy!! Here are some photos of what we've been up to lately.


Open mouth kisses
Still willing to give kisses

Eating toes
Removing Niko's pants and putting them on herself
Playing nicely in Myra's room.  Can you find them?
Wagon rides
He does this when I say "Hello?"

Can't forget Rowdy!
Loving her curls!
Family yoga.  Too lazy to rotate I guess.

Quick photo before one of the very rare instances where I woke him up
Wearing Niko's sleep sack, with a diaper cover over it, while sucking on the cover for cooking spray.
Fixing teeth
St. Patrick's Day

Walking any chance we get.  And Niko removes socks any chance he gets.
Home Depot project days.

"I made this!"

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