At least, for right now.
Here’s what most of my days look like lately, and will for the next 10 weeks or so.
It’s hard to know when to “start” my day because it feels like it’s never ending. So I’ll start when the day officially starts – midnight.
12:00 a.m. I’m usually sleeping at this time. CJ and I have a system for overnight feedings where he takes the first few and I take the last few. Since I’m not nursing, it makes it easier to split shifts. That way, we can each get a 4-5 hour block of uninterrupted sleep. So, that means CJ’s on duty until about 2 or 3 am, at which point I take over.
Does that mean my day begins at 3am? I don’t know. It’s all pretty much a blur.
2:30 a.m. Basically, from 2:30 until about 7 a.m., I’m in the nursery. I feed Cora then put her back to bed.
I rinse out the bottle, go potty and then curl up in the recliner and try to get a few more winks until the next feeding.
Why don’t I go back to bed? Well, right now, Cora is waking up to eat about every 1.5 to 2 hours. And she makes grunting noises in her sleep. So, to be fair to CJ, I just sleep in the nursery so that he’s not awakened by me coming and going or her noises. Once she starts stretching out the feedings, I’ll go back to sleeping in the bed.
The recliner is actually quite comfortable. It reclines all the way back so I just curl up, wrap the blanket around me and I’m golden!
7:00 a.m. Isabella usually gets up around this time and will either go in to the master bedroom and snuggle with CJ or come in to the nursery and snuggle with me. Once we get up, I try to take a shower and get dressed right away. If I don’t do it immediately, chances of it happening at all are slim to none.
Most of the time one of the girls stays with me while I shower (Isabella watches cartoons and if it’s Cora, she sleeps or plays on her mat) and CJ takes the other one.
Today it was Cora who was my shower buddy!
And of course Samson is always close by, in the sunniest spot!
8:00 a.m. After getting ready for the day, it’s time for breakfast. Breakfast for me is either coffee or a smoothie and then a combination of oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt or toast.
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The bulk of the day is a mixture of feeding Cora, changing diapers and playing with Isabella.
Some days CJ takes Isabella out to a play group or story time hour, which gives me a nice break at home with just the baby.
On those days, I use the time she’s sleeping to get things done around the house, pay bills, update the blog or run errands.
Last week we planted sunflower seeds!
I tell you what – I do not know how stay-at-home parents do it in terms of keeping it fresh everyday. As many toys as Isabella has, I still find it hard to come up with new games or things to do. Isn’t that sad? I see how the days can become monotonous really quickly if you don’t take time to plan activities ahead or have a set schedule. I will probably try to set something up as the weeks go on – both for my sanity and to get Munchkin ready for pre-school in the fall. I hate to admit it but many times I turn the TV on to keep her occupied while I tend to Cora (if CJ isn’t around or unavailable). It’s become a bad habit. One that we’re going to curb immediately!
2:00 p.m.. This is my favorite part of the day – naptime! We usually get both girls down by about 2:30 and then it’s snoozeville for me too. CJ will sometimes stay up with Cora if her feeding/sleep schedule is slightly off of ours or nap with her downstairs on the couch. I always hit the bed and will get around 1.5 to 2 hours of sleep. I NEED this time. If I don’t get a nap, the rest of the day is miserable.
4:00 p.m. Up and at ‘em! If CJ hasn’t been able to catch a nap during the previous 2 hours, he’ll go upstairs and get some shut eye while I hang with the girls. It’s usually pretty quiet – feed Cora, get Isabella a light snack and read some books or color.
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Time to get dinner ready and eat! After Isabella was born, making meals seemed like a big challenge. We weren’t very good about planning ahead back then. Thank god for frozen meals people had made for us and gift cards to Pizza Hut!
This time around, I’ve stuck to planning meals out for the week every Sunday. This helps immensely. Most of the meals are simple ones because we don’t have the luxury of extra time to cook right now.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. These 2 hours are spent doing quiet activities or getting ready for bed. I can’t give Isabella baths yet because I’m not supposed to lift anything over 10 lbs (so can’t lift her in to the tub) and it hurts to sit on anything hard (like the toilet lid) or stand for long periods. So we try to make it a family affair. We all go upstairs and CJ and Isabella do her bath time while I feed/watch Cora and fold laundry or just rest. Some nights if there is time, we will go back downstairs and watch part of a movie. And of course we always make time to read bedtime stories!
8:00 – 8:30 p.m. This is when Isabella goes to bed. To be honest, the adjustment of having a little sister has been hard for her. She doesn’t like sharing the attention so she’s been acting out negatively, most often at bedtime. She will dawdle or not listen or even tell us no when it’s time to go potty, brush her teeth, etc. We made a checklist for her to cross items off, which worked for a few nights but then that got old. We’re still trying to figure out a good solution but in the meantime, each day is a new adventure…or struggle.
8:30-10:00 p.m. By the end of the day I am exhausted and very sore. Overall my pain levels have gone down quite a bit but after wrangling 2 kids all day and dong various other chores/activities, things really start throbbing down below. So I take some time to sit on an ice pack, put my feet up and unwind. I also have to prepare for the night of feedings – getting bottles ready and such.
10:00 p.m. I try to head upstairs by 10 (sometimes earlier) so that I can be in bed by 10:30. After washing my face and brushing my teeth, I lay on the floor and do some stretches, Kegels, ab exercises and push ups. I haven’t been cleared to workout yet because things are still tender in my nether regions, but I figure I can still do a little bit to start getting my upper body back in shape.
Then I hit the hay and am out like a light until it’s my turn for feedings.
And there you have it – my typical day. It’s completely different than what my days used to be like (working outside the home and such) and it’s been an adjustment. I’m pretty much at home, inside, for most of every day. I do get stir crazy but I also know it’s only temporary. I look forward to the coming weeks when the weather warms up (hopefully!) so we can get outside more. Also, once I’m able to walk and be on my feet longer, we can start doing family outings to the zoo or other fun places in Omaha.
It’ll be interesting to see how things change. Maybe I’ll do another DITL post in a month or so. I hope by then we’re stretching out nighttime feedings, doing more outings and generally feeling more human again!
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