Thursday nights Daddio goes rock climbing. This means that I do bedtime routine solo. Bedtime routine is probably our most challenging time of the day. As I'm sure with most kids, when mine hit the tired wall, there is no returning to Happyland...and getting them into bed cannot happen fast enough. Fortunately for me (not), my kids hit the wall at the same time every night. So having a strategy lined up is always the key...and my strategy is the television! I am not happy about this...but it works.
If I've got my organizational game on, then our evening routine begins with both girls getting a bath. Some nights, though, only one of them gets clean and then some nights, when we hit the wall early, they both go to bed with dirty ears. Once bathed and jammied, it's time to calm things down.
I am all about taking the lights, noise and activity down a notch to ease the sleeping process. This is actually quite key for Cheekers. She is so social and so active that if she is aware something fun is going on, she wants to stay awake. So in order to get her the peaceful environment she needs, I have to redirect Sydney; and Syd's redirection is Sponge Bob Square Pants. On our good nights, I'm able to plop Syd down on our bed for 25 minutes of Sponge Bob entertainment. This quirky yellow creature gives me 25 minutes of uninterrupted time to quietly bottle my slow sucking baby to sleep, rock her to relaxation, guide her to her crib, lie her gently down, rub her back, walk backwards out of the room, shut the door and know she's out for the count. That's how it works on "good nights".
Other nights though... might look like this...
6:50 p.m. dinner is over. Cheekers is covered in dried squash. Syd has ketchup under her nails and on her chin.
6:55 p.m. head upstairs for fake baths and jammies...because we're already behind schedule. Hand Syd a wet wipe, tell her to wipe clean. Put Natty on the changing table for her wet wipe session. Do 15 rounds of wrestling Natty back to her back as all she wants to do now is flip over...give up on the wet wipes and settle for a clean diaper.
7:02 p.m. decide it's time for a break with Baby Wiggle pants, sit her down on the floor with some stuffed animals and go get Syd's jammies on. Strip Syd's clothes and tell her to go potty. Put on Syd's jammies - well first catch her to put on her jammies. The later it gets, the more rambuncious the crowd! Finish jammies, tighten my ponytail, tell Syd to put her dirty clothes in the laundry basket and head back to Cheekers for her jammies.
7:08 p.m. find Natty wedged under her dresser, chewing on the rug...pull her out, hand her the nail clippers to occupy her while I get her onsie on. Sing the ABC's to keep her extra content on her back so she won't flip over (again). Watch Sydney out of the corner of my eye hiding Natalie's music CD.
7:12 p.m. jammies on both - check. We're twelve minutes late for Sponge Bob - double drats! Grab Natty and escort Syd to our bedroom, help her up on the bed. Turn on Bob.
7:13 p.m. I have twelve minutes to get baby asleep...quietly. Go into the bathroom, warm the bottle, walk Cheekers to her room, turn on the rain sound machine, draw the blinds closed, grab a binkie, sit down in the rocker to give her bottle.
7:17 p.m. about two ounces of the six ounces gone, hum lullabies to keep the atmosphere relaxed and distract from Sydney's occasional laughs from the other room. Eight minutes until Bob is over.
7:21 p.m. about four ounces gone. Come on Natty, suck it up girlie...time is a ticking... Her eyes are getting heavy now.
7:23 p.m. five ounces gone....almost asleep, totally relaxed.
7:24 p.m. five and one half ounces gone....soooo, sooo relaxed.
7:25 p.m. five and three quarters gone...crashed out.
And just like clockwork...
7:25 p.m and ten seconds - thump, pitter, patter, pitter, patter, pitter, patter feet sounds come across the hardwood floors. "Mommy, mommy, Sponge Bob is over now. Mommy, he's OVERRRRR!!!!!"
7:25 p.m. and 30 seconds - Cheekers eyes wide open, bottle gone, relaxation lost. Both girls looking at me essentially saying, "now what, Mommy?"
7:26 p.m. I let out a deep sigh and think to myself, hmmm, maybe the girls can put me to bed tonight?!
My household has been chaotic at best for the past few weeks. Due to this, my workout schedule has been practically non-existent. While I have not been over-consuming food, I certainly haven't been under-consuming either. Nor have I been a good food groups eater.
So, tonight I have an appointment with my personal trainer who is prepared to whip me into shape. While my schedule doesn't seem to be any less chaotic in the upcoming weeks, hopefully I can gain a bit of control back and continue to lose the weight that I had been the several weeks before.
I will be honest here, I was getting a little tired of Weigh In Wednesdays. My motivation has really slipped. Hopefully seeing my number go up will redirect me back to the healthy lifestyle I had been creating.
I am a wreck. I don't think there is a day that goes by anymore where I do not get injured in one way or another by one of my kids. They are both freakishly strong beings and separately or collectively take me down daily!
My recent injuries include an out of whack jaw from Syd spinning into my face while I was on the floor, a bruise at the bridge of my nose from my glasses bring crushed into my face from an unexpected squeeze hug, a sore pelvic bone from Syd racing across the room to body slam me and a scratch on my chin from Cheekers getting me with those razor nails of hers.
I guess the upside to this is my children love me and show great affection toward me. The downside is I'm getting old and my reflexes aren't quick enough anymore to escape the hair pulling, the glasses being ripped from my face, the spontaneous wrestling matches and the jumping, bouncing, spinning, twirling, racing, running, grabbing, jiggling, wiggling energy of my girls. Sometimes I wonder how I'd cope if I had two boys, who I hear have even more energy.
I gave Hubby my run down of injuries and mentioned that I probably needed to add one more errand to my list this weekend. After Target... I'll be stopping by the Sports Authority to purchase a goalie mask and a sports cup!
I love this photo because it shows the usual scene in our family room when we come home from work. Syd is focused on a program of her choice. Cheekers is trying to chew the channel to her program of choice. We have the papers up high on the coffee table out of reach for more Cheekers chew items.
We have a new game in our household - how fast can I swipe that foreign object away from Cheekers before she can get it to her mouth. Now that my ever bubbly and extra wiggly six month old can make her way around a room, my tiny and dangerous objects radar is turned way up.
I feel so bad crushing her dreams as her little face lights up while she's rug-burning it across the floor to reach that pen cap or dirty shoe to toss into her mouth. I wonder what she's thinking when the site of her goal vanishes into thin air the split second before she can slobber all over it?
This whole process of keeping Baby Cheekers safe seems way more complicated (and exhausting) than I recall with Sydney. For one thing, we have more crap stuff now and a lot of it lingers around the floor. Another challenging factor is keeping two entertained now instead of just one. When I had just Syd, there was more time to baby-proof and get down and play. When Natty is now at ground level waiting for some entertainment, I'm rushing to get Syd set up to paint or get her a snack or getting her on the potty. And another thing I've observed about all this is how much more active Natty is than Sydney at the same age. I've heard from multiple people that the second one is much more active than the first one. It makes sense that the second one wants to catch up to the first one, she has an example to follow.
So far I am able to stay a step ahead of our little mischievous one...but she's just crawling. I don't know how I'll possibly keep up when she starts walking. Good news I guess is the weight loss program just keeps going and going and going.
So Hubby kindly and proactively decided to take care of dinner tonight. Hot dogs seemed to be a reasonable option for all. It was a nice summery day. Grilling out was the way to go. I was busy with baths and picking up toys and preparing some dinner for Baby Cheekers. I saw Hubby outside, doing as he normally does - multi-tasking. He's never doing just one thing. He's a busy thinker and a busy doer. Tonight along with grilling our dogs, he was taking a phone call, picking weeds, watering trees, hauling some tools from his truck into the garage and occasionally petting our cat, Eddy. Well sometimes, something has got to give. And tonight, it was my dinner... If this doesn't assist with my weight loss program, I don't know what could?