2015: An 9yr old and a 4.5yr old #SAHM #motherhood #whatdoyoudoallday #kids

It's the end of another year and as I look back over the last couple of month since both kids have been in school all day all I keep saying to myself is; "Wow, I made it!".

Do other moms (and dads!) think this once their kids are no longer "babies" and aren't at home for the majority of every day?


Just me? :D  Yeah, right...
For myself, this has been the year of SLLLLOOOOOOWWWWING down. A lot. I've said "no, thanks!" to much of what has come my way, except for being The Council Treasurer for all PTA/PTSAs in our city and staying on Emily's elementary school PTA board as Vice President, that is. Neither role requires even a quarter of the time I spent being PTA Treasurer at Emily's elementary school so let's just say I'm much happier and, with Nolan in Preschool nearly the same hours Emily is at school, a lot less busy! I find myself with time to workout, prepare meals, organize and complete many of those projects that have taken a backseat since before Nolan was born (the stack of papers I need to file is shameful). David and I have a date breakfast once a week (after we drop off the kids, before he heads off to work) and I've had lunch with several friends! I grocery shop and run all our errands when the stores are empty and {brace yourself for ensuing jealousy} I've even taken a few mid-day naps. Ahhhh!!!! I find myself showering and putting on real pants just about every day and I've already read six novels since August. I don't think I read one entire novel in the last two years! See, now you know why I say; "Wow, I made it!". It feels like I've been on this ten year marathon of being a SAHM with kids at home full time and finally crossed the finish line. Well, the finish line of at-home full time parenting, that is. I'm still trying to get in-shape, physically and mentally and have devoted much more time on weekends to family outings. We are traveling more (we've been to Hawaii, Texas - to visit the family, and Lake Tahoe already this year with San Diego and Disneyland coming up in March) and really enjoying ourselves together doing "regular" stuff, like going out for brunch on Sundays and riding bikes in the park on lazy afternoons and I feel like it's due a great deal to me having more free time during the week and thus, really looking forward to spending quality time with my kids when they are home.

So, what's our schedule like these days with a 9yr old and a 4.5yr old? 

Dare I say; "fairly uneventful, predictable, and fun"?

Emily can completely take care of herself getting ready for the day and at night and Nolan has fallen into a great routine since starting preschool in August that he just falls in line. Now, we do have "those" mornings and evenings where I'm screaming, at least one kid is crying, and the weight of the guilt I feel is enough to crush three feet of concrete BUT I think that's just life - it's not perfect and we are all constantly growing and changing and thus, it's best to remain grateful for the good days and not sweat the bad.

7:00am - our alarm goes off and we roll out of bed to check on Emily (she gets up with an alarm and starts getting ready on her own) and wake up Nolan - if he hasn't woken us up first. David starts up his espresso machine and breakfast right away: pancakes or french toast,  bacon, fruit, and yogurt is a staple as well as some corn/rice cereal. One of us helps Nolan get dressed and brush his teeth before coming downstairs. Once Emily's morning "list" (literally a list of things for her to do like get dressed, brush her teeth, make her bed, etc.) is complete, she comes to eat breakfast with Nolan while I throw on my workout clothes and brush my teeth. Because I pack lunches the night before and lay out the kids' clothes, we just have to make sure everyone is completely dressed, get the lunches in the backpacks, and ensure whomever needs it has their library book, share item, hat, and glasses. David cleans up and gets himself ready for work while Nolan plays and I take Emily to school. 

8:10am - I walk Emily to school, which starts at 8:20am then head right back home to have my espresso and finish getting David ready to head off to work (if we aren't having breakfast together!) and Nolan ready for school. It's weird, not having anything to do at Emily's school this year. Fourth grade just doesn't require as much in-class parent help. No reading groups (they are assigned to a first grader that they help read!) and no centers each week. However, I must admit, it's nice to just drop and go! 

8:55am - I drive Nolan less than a mile to his preschool, which starts at 9:00am and go on about my day, mostly to the gym.

11:00am - I'm usually home from either the gym, breakfast, errands, and/or shopping and use this time to do whatever it is I want or need to do. I read, watch television, call Gram, take a nap (my new thing), piddle around in the garden, blog, catch up on Facebook and Pinterest, or take on a new project like putting together digital photo albums, cleaning out the master bedroom closet (yikes!), filing papers, or something like that. I also have lunch. Alone, mostly at home as I'm trying to eat healthier and that requires meal preparation at home. If it's nice out, I'll go walk down by the beach or sit in the backyard and read and have lunch.  

2:25pm - I drive over to pick Nolan up from preschool and stay to let him play and chat with the other parents.

2:50pm - We arrive to Emily's school to pick her up. Often times we will stay at the school and play on the play ground or rides the bikes I've packed up. Other times we play in the backyard or in the playroom, I take them to the pool at the gym, or to a nearby park, which they really love! Emily takes a theater class on Mondays right after school until 5:00pm in the fall and is invited to play dates at other kids' houses a few times during the week so, there are many days where it's just Nolan and I all afternoon doing the above. 

4:30pm - This is curfew for everyone being home from activities and play dates as I have learned we need about three hours to complete homework, have dinner, get ready for bed, read together, spend quality time talking about our day, and physically getting into and staying in bed. I begin dinner right about 4:30pm most days. Emily sits down at our family computer (in a communal space, our kitchen) or her laptop in her bedroom to do her homework by 5:00pm. It takes her about 15-20 minutes per night and she is really focused and dedicated to plowing through it. It's quite amazing, really. She rarely asks for anything and I just see her bring her binder to the mudroom and place it back in her backpack when she's completed it. Nolan happily plays with his cars, builds with his train set, digs around in Kinetic sand, draws, puts together puzzles or bangs around on his many musical instruments during this time. I play with him and so does Emily once she's done with her homework. They seem to really enjoy this quality time playing with each other and not many fights break out. Fights tend to happen on weekends. :)

5:00pm - The kids eat while I sit with them (David works late hours so he and I eat dinner together much later at night) and we just talk about the day and show off any "works" done at school. 

6:00pm - I bathe Nolan, brush his teeth, get him into his PJs and we read books together while Emily is playing, making crafts, reading, or doing whatever she wants in her room. She really enjoys "alone" time every evening to sort of wind down. 

6:45pm - Lights out for Nolan. Because he's no longer napping but still needing 11-12 hours of sleep a day, he has to get in bed earlier than everyone else. 

7:00pm - Emily has had an hour to herself so it's now time for her to take a shower, get in her PJs, brush her teeth and retainers, floss, use mouthwash, brush out her hair, lay out clothes for tomorrow  clean her room, and ensure everything she needs for tomorrow is laid out. 

8:00pm - Emily and I have the next 45 minutes to ourselves. She loves board games so we play a lot of Uno, Allowance, Scrabble, Guess Who?, and Trouble. We talk and share about our days and we read, for at least 20 minutes of this time. Most of the time I read to her. She loves it! 

8:45pm - Lights out for Emily.

Once the kids are tucked in, I finish dinner for David and I and we sit down to enjoy a quiet meal together so we can talk! It's like date night every night and it's been this way since Emily was born. Often times he will get home around 8:30pm so he will spend some quality time with Emily, too, which she really enjoys. Evenings are stress-free and enjoyable these days. The house isn't a wreck and there isn't anything to do but make the next day's lunches and relax with a glass of red wine and a book or television before going to bed. I get in bed by 10:00pm every night and read these days. I'm typically asleep before 11:00pm. I tell ya, eight to nine hours of sleep a night does wonders for me so I rarely stay up later than that!

Life sure is sweet these days. We are all in a nice routine and enjoying work and school (and not working!) and look forward to holidays we can travel!


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