I’m not sure what time it is. The baby is crying in the next room. Well, I’m not sure if she should be called a baby or a toddler-she turned one earlier this month. Whatever the books might call her she sleeps like a newborn. I lazily turn over after determining the cries are not going to subside and see that its 7:17. I continue to ignore the cries and hurriedly go pee. Who knows when I’ll be able to go again. I head to the kitchen where I am stopped first by seeing my nearly 4 year old son cuddled up under blankets, wide awake on the couch. He tells me Juliette is crying. yes i know, thanks. And that Daddy went to work. I send a good morning text to Julio then pick out my favorite mug and press brew on my Keurig. Then I go get that cute bundle of joy. I open her door and see all of her scrumptiousness and I forget about my exhaustion. Well, at least momentarily. We head back to the couch and I let her cuddle up with her big brother while I sit down to drink that cup of coffee. Moments later Eliana sleepily walks out of her room and cuddles up with the littles. She is always the last one up. She loves her sleep like her mama. There’s some bickering, mostly over who gets to hold Juliette, or whose foot is in whose face, but it’s minimal this morning and I get about two thirds done with my cup before I have to grab/save Jules from her big brother and sister. Not bad.
7:45 Someone remembers its Valentine’s Day. Stephen immediately asks “What did you get us?” hmm, nothing. I start to feel guilty. But I’ve had over 5 years experience with mom guilt now, and this time I’m able to overcome it quickly. I decide I could make pancakes. It’s Friday and our first morning of the week we haven’t had to be anywhere, so there’s time. I think I even knew where I last saw the heart cookie cutters. Ta da. Heart pancakes and strawberries. Really kids, what more could you want? Ha.
8:15 Breakfast is done and now the kitchen is a total disaster. Last night’s dinner dishes are still out and now there’s an entire cut up and smooshed pancake under the high chair. I quickly sweep and put away about 2 things before Juliette is making it very aware that the high chair is not her friend. She must get down immediately to practice walking and picking things up to put in her mouth. okay okay. The dishes will wait-again.
8:30 Eliana and Stephen retreat to Stephen’s room to continue playing on a game they started yesterday. They re-discovered it after we started organizing his very unorganized drawers and closet of toys. It’s amazing what the kids will find to do after some simple de-cluttering. Soon they close the door to keep baby godzilla out of their way. Said baby and I sit on the family room floor to read board books. This quickly turns into pull all the books off the shelf, then walking away from mommy to play peek a boo from around the corner. She keeps her self busy while I occasionally check on the kids to see they are very engaged in building a city out of every single toy in Stephen’s room. I decide to sit on the couch with my phone while everyone is playing so nicely. I even get to make myself another cup of coffee and finish half of it. The dishes will be there later.
10:00. Juliette goes down for a nap. Thank goodness. I still need a shower and to eat more than pancake pieces left over from the cut out hearts. I can’t believe I only hear nice voices from inside my son’s room. This is refreshing and highly odd.
10:30 It’s been 2 hours and Eliana comes out declaring she is tired of playing. Stephen is sad, and I remedy this by offering an unexpected TV show (usually they have to wait but I need a shower!). Fetch is on PBS and I now have approximately 23 minutes to shower and dress. Mission accomplished without one single interruption. Amazing.
11:00 Juliette is still sleeping and the kids and I often take advantage of this time with games and learning activities that require more of my attention than is possible with a 12 month old underfoot. Today we play a pinterest-inspired Valentine game to get their bodies moving. Then a memory game and a favorite cooperative game called Hoot Owl Hoot!. The kids directed their own learning by starting conversations about gold, silver and bronze medals (it’s winter Olympics time!), primary colors during the owl game and practicing counting by two’s and various other math skills during the memory game.
12:30 Stephen helps me make a quick lunch while Eliana finishes playing by herself. The kids eat at the kitchen counter while I read them a chapter from our current read aloud James and the Giant Peach.
1:00 The kids head to their own rooms for quiet time. I get Juliette up, feed her and clean up the kitchen (finally!).
1:30 The kids play together again in Stephen’s room. I hear “Mommy!” and go to check, but apparently the call is for the pretend mommy, not me. My bad.
2:30 Kids are still playing, and I hate to interrupt, but this mama and the baby need to get out of the house! We head to the neighborhood park where they play, meet new friends, climb trees and have a great time.
5:00 We arrive back home and get motivated to straighten up all those toys because Friday is Friday Night Movie Night, and well, they’ll work for rewards.
6:00 Watch Monsters Inc and pause it only when daddy comes home with our Friday Night Pizza.
7:30 I put Juliette to bed while the kids get some much needed Daddy time. Bedtime routines are a lengthy process, and today is no exception, but lights out by 9:00. I’m in bed shorty after. I’m exhausted. It was a good day.