I stir to the sound of a little voice and the jingle jingle jingle of a stuffed elephant being played with coming through the monitor on my nightstand. I roll out of bed, stop to brush my teeth and head to the laundry room to start a load of clothes. I then quickly dress myself before I start to get the girls up.
Breakfast time, where Emma usually requests a banana or pancakes which most days are the frozen kind. A toy or stuffed animal from the crib is always present at the table. And milk, always almond milk, because it’s her favorite. Alina sits in her highchair playing with toys or attempting to get a few banana pieces in her mouth. I fix a bottle and feed Alina while Em finishes her breakfast.
I wipe them down and situate them in the living room with toys to play. I finish cleaning up breakfast, move the clothes to the dryer and sit down to pump. My pumping station is set up where I can see them playing. Emma usually rides up on her car and wants me to push her backwards with my feet. I always do. I talk to Alina and watch her play with whatever she can get her hands on. Today she’s in the exersaucer. She’s not crawling yet so sometimes I just sit her on the floor with a basket of toys.
Time for Lina’s first nap. After laying her down I get Emma ready for the day. She doesn’t care to pick out her own clothes yet. I spray her hair with water and put it in pigtails. I love the little ringlets. Next, we get the clothes from the dryer to fold. She loves to help me fold clothes. This usually consists of her taking each article of clothing out of the basket a few pieces at a time until the basket is empty, then she climbs in the basket and sits. After folding clothes I fix her a snack, usually a bowl of grapes. I let her choose a show to watch. She picks Curious George. Some days it’s Daniel Tiger or Strawberry Shortcake. But usually George.
I sit down to check my emails and various social media while Emma watches her show. Today I get in about 15 minutes in before I hear little sister stirring awake. This was a short nap for her, I know she’ll be sleepy again soon. I watch her on the monitor quietly playing with her stuffed animals and know that she’ll be okay for a few minutes while I finish up. She always rolls her way to the end where her animals are and plays. Her favorite is the elephant that jingles.
Emma and I go get sister up from nap, which always excites Emma because it gives her a chance to climb on the guest bed and jump. It’s a battle I don’t fight. She loves it. Alina greets me with a grin and a happy exhale. I unzip her from her zippy and we climb on the guest bed with Emma. Lots of bouncing and rolling on each other ensues.
We head back into the living room to play some more. Some days we use this time to run errands or go outside. Today we just dump the toys on the floor and go for it. They love it when I sit down there with them. They usually both end up in my lap. Building blocks is a favorite too. I get up after awhile to fix Alina a bottle since she’s getting fussy. I feed her and know that she’s ready for another nap.
Alina usually joins us for lunch but today she is extra tired from the short nap. Emma and I sit down to lunch. She’s having cheese shapes, cuties, raisin toast and olives. She’s not a big lunch eater. I eat then quickly pump again while she finishes up. We head outside to take the trash out and get some fresh air. I take the monitor in case we stay awhile. Emma always wants to see the neighbors dogs who bark incessantly at us, but she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s thrilled all the same. We go and get the mail, stopping to pick up a few rocks.
We go back inside to pick up toys and fold another load of laundry. Emma is pretty good about picking up toys and putting them back in the basket. She gets distracted by a toy she finds eventually. Today the rug needs vacuuming, so she climbs on the couch and watches while I vacuum.
Dad’s awake! Jonathan works night shift but today is one of his days off so he’s up early. On a work day he would sleep until about 3/3:30pm. Emma is so happy to see daddy and they go off to the kitchen for their coffee routine where she helps him make coffee. She knows exactly how many cups of water and how many scoops he likes. After this they snuggle in his chair for a bit and get the blocks out again that we just picked up.
Nap for Emma is always at 2pm. Today she chooses a tennis ball and a little people toy to take with her. She always picks a ball but the other toy can vary. I sit down to finish up a blog post and return a few emails as well as chat with my hubby while he drinks his coffee and eats his breakfast.
I Hear Alina stirring on the monitor and feel relieved that she had a good long nap. Daddy goes and gets her and I can hear his singsong voice talking to her and her happily exhaling through the monitor. Some days If I need a break I can get their naps to coincide some but other days it doesn’t happen and I’m okay with that because it gives me one on one time with each of them. Daddy brings Alina to the living room where I have her bottle ready. I feed her then she plays awhile on the floor. Later she wants me to hold her again. So she sits with me while Jon and I talk. She likes to chew on my phone and I usually let her. I take her to the kitchen where I fix her some solids. She loves apples and sweet potatoes mixed together.
Time for Alina’s 3rd nap which is usually a short one. I sit down to pump again after putting her down.
We hear Emma stirring on the monitor. Some days she wakes up grumpy or weepy but today she is in a good mood. Especially when we tell her we are going to the park as soon as sister wakes up. I start gathering things I know we will need for the park. Extra snacks, drinks, a bottle and light jackets. Alina wakes up soon and they play a bit before we load up in the car.
We go to our favorite park where Emma immediately heads for the swings. Her favorite is the swing meant for smaller children. For whatever reason that’s the one she likes. Today we talk her into letting Alina swing in that one. She tries the other swings but then decides she would rather slide. Emma was too busy playing for pictures today.
Tonight we have to stop and get groceries on the way home. I am so glad that Jonathan is able to come with us. I wear Alina in the Ergo while Jon pushes Emma in the big , bulky shopping basket with the race car attached. He never denies her this.
The girls play a bit outside with daddy while I cook a quick dinner. The days are getting shorter so it’s almost too dark outside.
Dinner is messy and loud but everyone is hungry from playing at the park. Tonight it’s hamburger patties, black beans with rice and steamed broccoli. Emma devours the black beans and requests ranch dressing to which we tell her no. Alina eats a little of this and that and mostly just makes a mess on her tray.
Bedtime. Tonight we don’t do baths. Usually every other night. So getting ready for bed is a quick affair. Dad changes Emma and helps her brush her teeth while I change Alina and fix her last bottle. We gather in Emma’s room for bedtime prayer. We always do this when Daddy is home. Kisses and hugs all around while Jon settles into the rocker with Emma and I take Alina to her room for her bottle and snuggles.
I quietly close the door to Alina’s room just as Jon quietly closes the door to Emma’s room. He stops to give me a hug in the hallway. I sit down to pump one last time for the day. After that I take a shower. While I shower Jon cleans up . Usually the dishes, trash and toys. After showering I stop in the kitchen to fix us a drink or snack. Tonight it’s lemonade for me and sweet tea for him. We both sit down in our chairs and sigh. We pick a movie to watch. Transformers. Some nights we watch our shows and sometimes we just sit in silence while we both work on our respective projects. Blog for me and app work for him.
I make myself go to bed, even though I wish could stay up longer and hang out with Jonathan. He will be up until 4am or so. Night shift. It was a good day. I put the monitor on my nightstand and hear the white noise from their rooms coming through. I close my eyes and sleep.
It was a good day.
“The days are long but the years are short”