So, while I know this may not be interesting to anyone else, I like to think that some day I will like to look back and remember what it is I did with my life day to day when my boys were little.
We start off the day early. Mase is almost always in bed with us by the early morning. He starts stirring at around 5, and by 5:30 there is just no turning back. When he really wakes up he sits up, and usually starts clapping. I love the sound of his plump little hands clapping together in the wee hours of the morning. When he gets eye contact from us, he gives us his huge smile, and starts babbling and more recently, growling (a content and happy growl, but a growl non-the-less). He crawls around the bed, until we eventually let him down. Vaughn is usually quick to follow his act, and is always awake by 6. He is very talkative in the morning. He immediately starts talking to us, and jabbering about whatever is in his head, and we nod and give him um-hums, and talk about what he wants to do today.
No matter how tired I am, I always give my boys a big smile and Hi! Did you sleep good? How are you? when I see them. The truth is that I almost miss not interacting with them by morning. I love to see their cute little faces and smiles.
I potty Vaughn and get his big-boy-underwear on, change Mason's diaper, and get myself ready for our morning walk while Dad takes his shower and gets ready for work. We grab something easy to eat while walking-- a slice of bread, and piece of fruit-- whatever is fast, and load up into the Chariot after kissing Daddy goodbye, and telling him to have a good day. Both boys sit in the stroller together, with Vaughn's tricycle loaded up in the back. I'm sure we must be a sight to see.
There is nothing more essential to how I will feel during the day (with the exception of food) then our morning walk. It wakes me up in the morning, and gives my mind and ideas room to expand, grow -- bloom. It gets me out in the early morning sun, before the Vegas desert heats up too much. It makes me feel alive.
Our walk is 3.5 miles. Vaughn rides his little red tricycle about 1 to 1.5 miles. His little legs pump furiously while he makes race car sound effects. I almost have to run to keep up with him. We make frequent stops to examine all the fwaaawews, and wocks. Vaughn collects his favorite flowers and rocks and holds them up, examines them, and then ultimately puts them in the little compartment in the back of his bike to take a nap while he continues on. I love the look of his flushed cheeks and the morning sun on my little boys heads.
The day introduces itself to us on our walks. I get a sense of the temperature, wind, and temperament, and make our plans for the day accordingly. The changes in Vegas weather are subtle, but they are there. Two days ago we had beautiful stormy clouds above us. They swirled a dark grey, with the morning sun glowing just behind them. I wondered what he sun looked like to the wildlife deep below the ocean's surface-- if it had a similar glow. We were graced with a light shower, and watched the swirling sky streak and bleed, like water to paint. We breathed in the heavy rain scent and continued on our journey.
When we get home, we have our real breakfast. The kids help me chop and stir and add ingredients. Vaughn always has a chair next to the stove, and Mason is in the sling. We vary between 3 different things:
- Oatmeal, with raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey in it
- toast and scrambled eggs (with salsa and diced avocados on them)
- blender wheat pancakes
By about 8 or 8:30 Mason is ready for his morning nap. I put a show on for Vaughn, usually his only show for the day while I nurse/rock/sing Mason to sleep. My favorite song, and I like to think Mason's favorite song too, is a song based on a poem from Tennyson. The song is just the first and last stanza of the poem, but I love it. I sang it as a solo in college. Here is the poem:
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, Now the White
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;After Mason has been tucked away it is my time with Vaughn. We read books together, do little household chores that need to get done, and water the yard and garden. Vaughn likes to examine all the tomatoes on the vine and pick the reeed ones. He picks them almost every day, and almost magically more appear the next day. Before the tomatoes were ripening he picked peas, radishes and strawberries. He usually comes inside with tomato seeds stuck to the front of his shirt, which always makes me smile.
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.
Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Then we usually do drawing time together. I got the idea from a book called The Creative Family, and immediately loved the idea. We both have good quality spiral bound drawing notebooks, and we sit down together and create with colored pencils, water color pencils, markers and crayons. I love that it is like a journal of his drawing, and is something that will be easy to keep together and give to him later on. I can see how is growing and developing and progressing right before my very eyes. Sometimes on the back of his drawings I will write something about what he said to me about his artwork, or what he talked about while he worked. I also love drawing myself. I can get so absorbed in it, and I feel no pressure to create anything spectacular. I love looking back at what I've made. I can remember my moods, thoughts, feelings, and even the conversations that I had with Vaughn while we sat side by side. It's one of my favorite things to do with him.
When Mason wakes up and is fed, we take off for our daily adventure. I'm very flexible about where we go every day, and usually let the day decide. Most of the time we either go to:
- the pool
- the park (when it's hot, the water park is a must)
- Red Rocks
- Lied's Discovery museum
- the Library
When we get home we have lunch. I'm not much of a lunch maker, so I'm not sure you can even call it that. I try to just give them some sort of fruit, vegetable, grain, and dairy. If we have leftovers, then we have that. My favorite for lunch is soup and bread, which I should make more of, but regretfully don't. I'm a soup-lover.
Then the boys get a bath together. They splash and play, and sing, and get all wound down for nap time.
Ahhh, nap time.
After they are both asleep I get showered or bathed myself. I spend some time on the computer, and then usually join the boys in blissful sleep. I'm usually so tired, and thank my lucky stars they both sleep at the same time. It is one of the biggest perks to being a stay-at-home-mom. A much needed rest from it all.
Mason always wakes before Vaughn. We diddle-daddle around upstairs while we wait for Vaughn to join us. When he does, and we've had some snacks, we begin the "errand time" part of our day. This is usually when I do any shopping or errands that need to be done. If we don't need to go out, we get things done at home that need doing-- laundry, bread making, whatever we can manage, and then get dinner started.
The boys usually play on the floor while I get dinner ready. Lots of times Vaughn likes to help me here and there, but I pull out the toys and give them some time together. There favorite toys lately, are some tractors and animals, a cardboard box we've saved in our garage, and the couch. Vaughn pulls the cushions off, grabs blankets from all corners of the house, and they both climb and build all over the floor. Sometimes Mason escapes to the stairs:
He's quick, and loves it when I chase him down and say Where are you going! He laughs and goes even faster. It's our little game we play together.
When Dad gets home, a little after 5, we eat together. I can usually count the number of bites that Vaughn takes on both hands. He just keeps talking and talking and talking and talking, so can hardly get any food in his body. If Mason starts to get fussy, I give him anything I can find to keep him entertained. His favorite thing is water. Recently I will fill up a shallow dish with water, and give it to him in his highchair. He splashes and laughs and it can keep him entertained for a good 20 minutes. A few weeks ago, as we were being splashed periodically while eating, Rick asked Why do you keep giving him water? He gets it all over the place. I just shrugged and said Hey if it keeps him happy...whatever. I don't mind getting splashed with a little water if it means that I can eat in peace for 20 minutes. I think it's a memory that will make me laugh in the future. Our happy baby splashing water all over while his family ate in spite of it. It's a beautiful life, right?
After dinner we play on the floor, build things with Legos and blocks, rough-house, and visit. Afterwords we read the Scripture Readers as a family, have prayer, and I put the baby to bed, while Rick gets Vaughn ready for bed, and puts him to bed. I usually stop in to give Vaughn a once upon a time, his night-nights, and a few Eskimo and butterfly kisses goodnight. And then the night is mine.
Which leads me to my end...to now. I love my few hours to myself. I can blog, read, watch TV or a movie or spend time with Rick, or go to bed early if I feel so inclined. I should include exercise to the end of the day, but really, I'm just so tired by now. I always think no WAY.
So there you have it. Maybe the next time someone asks what I do all day long I will just say:
The days start early. They are long, beautiful, full of work, play, and meaningful moments that somehow slip from the memory all too fast, and drift away so quickly like leaves from a tree.