7:30-8:30am: Everett wakes up babbling in his crib. I can hear him recounting baby dreams through the video monitor. Brett is usually up already, getting ready for work. I crawl out of bed slowly, put my glasses on, and open Everett’s door. He’s sitting in his crib smiling, clutching his blue blanket. I open the blinds and turn on the light; he squints.
“Good morning, Ev!” I chirp, my voice more awake than I am.
I change his diaper and carry him into the kitchen. He points and says “da!!” the entire way, motioning towards the pantry cabinet. I position him on my hip and grab the honey nut cheerios. He smiles. I fill up his activity table snack tray with cereal and turn on Curious George. I plug in the twinkle lights that adorn the top of his teepee. Everett sits on the floor grazing like a bird while I scan e-mails on my phone. I eat a bowl of cereal myself and crack open a Go Girl Energy Drink.
Brett walks in, showered, looking like a million bucks. I look the opposite. He plays with Everett on the floor for a few minutes before he leaves. Everett waves goodbye, kisses Brett, and watches him drive away through the kitchen window. Brett honks and flashes his lights, their little signal for love. I fix Everett a waffle and a few slices of pineapple.
8:30-9:00am: “It’s independent play time!” I tell Ev. I flip his bedroom light on and throw eight books in his crib with a handful of small toys. I turn on the Pandora Toddler radio station, and shut the door. Everett plays by himself for 30-45 minutes while I take a shower and get dressed for the day. I listen to the Simple Mom podcast or worship music while I put on makeup and brush my hair. If I’m feeling energized, I make the bed and fold a load of laundry.
9:00-12:00pm: Our morning free time varies by the day. We have a number of commitments throughout the week: mom’s connection, playgroup, babysitting swap, etc. We are rarely home during this time. On a day when we have no specific plans, we’ll usually go for a walk and to the park, and maybe to Target if I’m feeling brave and patient.
12:00pm: I feed Everett lunch—fruit, cheese, crackers, and applesauce. He’s very picky and happy to eat the same foods for every meal. I roll with it and convince myself that he’s getting taller so I can’t be doing that much damage. I clean the kitchen and empty the dishwasher while he eats, fixing myself lunch in the process. I leave my plate on the counter while I wipe crumbs from Everett’s face. I stare at the 217 crumbs on the kitchen floor, contemplate vacuuming, and then decide that vacuuming is a waste of time when you have a toddler who eats five times a day.
12:30-3:00pm: I put Everett down for a nap. He falls asleep instantly, and I thank God for blessing me with a good sleeper. As soon as I close the door, I hear angels singing. I grab my lunch from the counter—half a turkey sandwich, tortilla chips, an orange,
seven four pieces of Halloween candy—and plop down on the couch. I pig out and watch last night’s episode of Parenthood, ugly crying just a tad. Once I’m fed and rested, I grab my laptop and attempt to do 100 things. I catch up on e-mails, make lunch dates, upload a recent photography session to dropbox, buy a wedding gift. I read an online devotional and catch up on my favorite blogs. I write this post, reply to blog comments, gchat with Brett and make plans for date night. I catch up with a handful of friends via text. Most days I can sit on my computer until Everett wakes up, but occasionally when I’m feeling like Super Mom I use this time to do laundry and clean the bathroom and prep dinner.
3:00-5:00pm: Everett wakes up sometime between 3:00 and 3:30, babbling and recounting more baby dreams through the video monitor. I go get him and he immediately points to the kitchen, telling me that he hasn’t eaten in three whole hours and is obviously starving. I fix him a snack—blueberries and a cereal bar, and he scarfs everything down quickly. Our afternoons also vary by the day: sometimes we play in the backyard, sometimes we meet friends at the park, sometimes we walk to Pinkberry with Christina and Ben. Sometimes we play with chalk on the driveway and sometimes we go to the post office. Generally we just try to kill time before the Elmo hour.
5:00-5:45pm: It’s officially the Elmo hour. I put goldfish crackers in Everett’s snack tray and turn on a rotating favorite Elmo DVD. I sit on the couch and edit photos while Everett claps happily along to the theme song from Elmo’s World. We wait for Daddy to get home.
5:45-6:15pm: “Daddy’s home!” I announce loudly. The jury is still out on who is the most excited. Brett flies through the garage door like Super Dad and scoops Everett up in his arms, tickling him. I wave my white flag and happily pass over parenting duties. If I’m having a bad day, I escape to the bedroom for 20-30 minutes to be alone while Brett chases Everett around the coffee table. If I’m having a good day, I head to the kitchen to make dinner while Brett chases Everett around the coffee table.
6:15-6:30pm: We attempt to eat dinner at the table. Brett prays over our meal and we try to hold Everett’s hand while he squirms and babbles. Sometimes dinner is a disaster and sometimes dinner is wonderful. It’s about 50/50 these days. Everett never eats what we eat. We offer him small portions of our meal, even going to great lengths to make it child-friendly, but he refuses. I sigh, Brett sighs, and we fix him a tray of more fruit, more cheese, and more crackers. Everett grins and giggles, and stuffs his face with his favorite foods. We eat and watch the cars drive by out the kitchen window.
6:30-7:00pm: We take a walk through our neighborhood after dinner. Brett and I talk about our days and weekend plans. Everett sits quietly in his stroller, wrapped in the blue blanket, occasionally shouting “da!!” when he sees a dog.
7:00-7:45pm: Brett gives Everett a bath. If I’m feeling responsible, I do the dishes and clean the kitchen. If I’m feeling exhausted, I hop on my computer to finish 10 of the 100 things I attempted to do earlier. I can hear Everett’s giggles echoing throughout the house. After his bath, we do “naked time” in Everett’s room (to clarify: Everett is naked, not us). We let him run around his room, naked as a jay bird, for about twenty minutes. I know what you’re thinking and no, he has never pooped on the floor (*knocks on wood*). He is always super happy and hyper during this time. Sometimes we turn on music and have naked dance parties (again: he is naked, we are not). Everett laughs hysterically for 15 straight minutes. Finally we wrangle him into a diaper and jammies. We work with him in his First Words book, and teach him 2-3 new words. He knows half of them already, and can point to objects when we ask him where they are. We read Goodnight Moon, turn on his sound machine, kiss him goodnight, and place him in the crib. Brett and I both crouch down on the floor for our last kisses. Everett shoves his face through the crib rails, as his smushed cheeks and puckered lips meet ours with one big “bah!!!” He moves back and forth, shoving his face through different openings until he has kissed Brett and I three times each. We finally say “goodnight baby!” and tousle his hair before we close the door. He goes right to sleep.
7:45-10:00pm: Parent free time! Most of the time, Brett and I collapse on the couch with ice cream and watch TV. Sometimes we clean, sometimes we pay bills and work on our budget, sometimes we read. Sometimes Brett watches the Sharks game while I write in the bedroom. But usually, the majority of the time, this is when we relax together.
10:00pm: We check on Everett. Brett peers over the crib and I touch his head, carefully placing the blue blanket on his back. We close the door and talk about how much we love him. You’d think that would get old after a while, but we really do it every night before we go to sleep.
10:02pm: Brett checks every lock on every door three times, because he’s weird and slightly OCD. It’s officially bedtime.