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Friday, April 17th, 2015

Me:  32.5, Nathan:  Two days shy of 41, Jane:  4 plus 2 months, Aiden:  6.5 months

I woke up this morning and heard Aiden babbling and realized it’s been months since I’ve documented anything about either kid so decided today was the day, an impromptu Day In The Life:

7:15 a.m.:  Wake up tired and mildly hung over.  Last night I took my bike out for the first time (YAY spring!) to run some errands, one of which was delivering beer to a friend for a huge favor they did me earlier in the week.  So I ended up staying out late and drinking, plus Aiden still wakes up several times per night.

7:30:  In the bathroom, washing my face, and Jane is next to me, talking as usual, asking what we are doing today.  I used to think people were crazy for deliberately waking up earlier than their kids, but now I understand.  The talking is more than I can handle at this point in the day.  She is so sweet and smart though.  She loves to write down what we do each day on her calendar, which I got from the $1 store for x-mas.  In the past few weeks she’s started sounding out words to write on her own and I am soooo impressed!

Right now I’m just trying to have a minute alone to wake up though, so I ask her to go read a book to Aide who’s still in his swing and she’s such a good helper/big sister she agrees.

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7:45:  Milo, the almost 2 year old we watch today, arrives.  Jane starts singing a song like “I get to sit in the front todaaaaayayayyayayyyyy” complete with vibrato and a bunch of rhyming words, which she’s really into right now.  (She gets to sit in front in a booster since Milo will be in her car seat in the back.)

7:50:  “Mom, this baby smells like he has a poop!”  And she was right.  And it was very nearly a blowout poo!  But Aiden in his typical happy way had sat in it for who knows how long without complaining a bit.  I change him and nurse him.

So much to say about Aiden right now!  He continues to be an amazing sweet (pretty) easy baby.  His hair dries naturally into a mohawk.  Big flaky pieces still come off his scalp (cradle cap?).  He sat up unassisted for the first time this week.  We hardly ever call him Aiden, mostly A. Dee or A. Dees, which I’m unsure how to spell as a name. I’ll just write AD for the remainder of this post.  He likes to babble “deedee deedee”.  I love him so much and am always squeezing his suddenly really fat thighs and kissing him and telling him he cannot grow up any more because he is my baby.

My little naked fatties, both about 6 months:

 

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Mohawk:

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8:00: Get breakfast ready for the older two kids. Except Jane gets a lot of her own breakfast ready, she eats oatmeal almost every morning, with peanut butter, flax, fruit, and molasses. She gets out all the ingredients plus bowl and spoon and presses the buttons on the microwave by herself.

I make a grocery list for Costco (we are almost out of molasses) and start dry-frying some tofu for lunch.

Perfect fried tofu:

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Jane says “Mom, you know what?” like 30 times. Sometimes she doesn’t even know what to say after, just wants my attention. But sometimes she says things like “I have four dollars in my purse, it’s like, so crazy!” in a voice I’d expect from a teenager.

Teenager:

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8:30: Put AD down for a nap. I still just swaddle him and lay him on my bed:

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Jane and Milo play a game that involves throwing a piece of paper back and forth. I love that she can have fun even with a 2 yr. old who doesn’t talk yet.

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8:45: Finish the tofu, AD is still fussing so I go in to nurse him again. Jane shows me a “magic trick” with her Corduroy book where she basically tells me to look the other way while she hides it. I try my best to look interested.

9:00: AD finally is sleeping, I set up playdoh for the kids and get in the shower.

9:30: Go in the bedroom to get my clothes and AD wakes up. GAH why did I have to walk in RIGHT at the 45 minute mark? He’s started waking up (tired and cranky) at 45 minutes, just like Jane did at this age. Luckily, unlike her, he’s quick to get in a better mood and usually easy to get to sleep again if he needs another nap soon.

10:15 – 12:45: Go to a friend’s to play and have lunch. It’s gorgeous outside and she has a blow up bouncy house in her backyard, awesome:

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1:00: Home, start naptimes. The two year old goes down no problem. I struggle with AD for like an hour and he finally sleeps at 2:30. Jane is super crabby by this time and wants me to lay on the living room floor with her, put her legs on me, nothing is right. She falls asleep and I try to sneak out and she loses it and I lay down again so frustrated, the vision of the title of the book Go The F*ck To Sleep burning in my brain.

3:00: Finally all the kids are sleeping. I make a salad, sit quietly, do some work on the computer.

4:00: Kids wake up one by one, we have snacks, change diapers, clean up, play, pack for Nonni’s because we’re leaving as soon as Milo gets picked up so Jane can sleep over. AD eats a TON of rice cereal, it’s only the third time I’ve offered it, first time he didn’t quite know what to do, but now he loves it. I clip and file my nails, they feel disgusting to me if I let them get too long.

Stop to take a selfie:

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We go outside to play for awhile, but soon after I get everyone out, Jane has to come in to poop. High on my wish list for things to have in a house is a fenced backyard that I can see from my kitchen window so I can be inside and the kids can be safely out. Unfortunately we only have a front yard on a busy street with no fence.

6:15: Finally off to Nonni’s, but Aiden screams the entire 25 minute ride. Hang out with my mom and sis for about an hour.

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8:00: Come home, exhausted at the end of this week, get Aiden to sleep, and start writing this post but only get through about 9 a.m. (finishing it nearly a week later!), and go to bed!

K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s the time of year when many people in our climate start dreaming of moving somewhere else.  I gave up those crazy ideas years ago (winter has actually gotten easier for me to deal with post-kids!), but I do still definitely prefer summer.

Every year I’m like “oh I’m going to embrace winter this year, go snowshoeing or something, get some better outdoor gear”.  And then I just stay inside and pour more whiskey into my tea.  At least I have aspirations!  I am so in awe of people I see biking this time of year.  Someday…  maybe…!

We spent the holidays mostly sick.  Everyone we know was hit with something in those few weeks.  Nathan had the flu, the kids both had coughs forever, somehow I got away with only getting half sick – literally, I could not hear out of my right ear, and snot was coming only out of the right side of my nose.

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Now it’s just the countdown until spring.  January is halfway over, yay!  Feb. is short and is the month of celebrating love, and Jane’s birthday, which will be held at a place that serves alcohol this year (what took me so long?).  March I plan to do an unlimited month of yoga, and get in shape for going to visit one of my bestest friends in L.A. in April.  I’ve never been to Cali!  She has an 18 mo. old girl and we will just hang out with our babies on the beach  =).

Other random things:

-Aiden is still wonderful.  He’s the baby that makes me want more babies.  When I see him I say ridiculous things like “I wuv wuv wuvs you my bubby boobles”.

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-I finally calculated our net worth.  I feel ashamed admitting this, being so into personal finance.  But for so long I’ve been focused on our day to day budget and not spending more than we make in a month, because that has been such a challenge for years.  I sat down one Saturday night (I know, party animal) and put all our retirement accounts from previous jobs, other savings and debt into one spreadsheet.  And was pleasantly surprised we are not in the negative!

-I’ve started watching Wheel of Fortune a lot (I rarely watch tv but it’s on right when Nathan is getting home from work/Aiden is wanting to be held/I’m needing a break from the whole day) and dreaming about being a contestant.  Or maybe Nathan being a contestant because he’s better under pressure than I am and just as good.  Jane watches it with me and gets SO excited when I “win”.  I seriously love this show, it’s one of the only smart shows left on tv.

That’s about all, hope you are having a wonderful winter wherever you are.  One final pic of Jane dressing up Aiden in a Queen Elsa hat.  That is some kind of makeup on her face, which she is obsessed with, thanks Auntie Jen  =).

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Just wanted to capture what everyone’s like at this stage – especially Aiden, who, as a stereotypical 2nd child, does not have a baby book started yet.

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Aiden!:  Just turned 2 months and it seems like he’s been with us forever.  He continues to be an easy baby.  There’s never been an extended period of crying, he’s easily soothed just by being held.  He’s sleeping 6-7 hours straight at night, but this usually starts about 8 p.m. so doesn’t mean an uninterrupted night for me.  (As tired as I get, 10 p.m. is about the earliest I can get to bed.)  Then he usually wakes a couple more times before we’re up for the day, but again, he usually goes right back to sleep, never any middle of the night crying.  Daytime sleeping patterns are still really unpredictable, but he’s never awake for long.

He still doesn’t do much, but started smiling around 6 weeks which is awesome.  He has the cutest expressions raising his little eyebrows.  People say he looks so much like Jane, and I suppose there are similarities, but his dark hair and fat face (and easy temperament!) make him seem like a very different baby to me.

Jane:  Is still such a character at “three and three quarters”.

IMG_0417She loves playing dress up, princesses, Frozen, and makeup.  She still hasn’t displayed any of the dreaded older sibling behaviors I read all about before Aiden was born.  Never seems jealous and is even more patient than I am!  One morning I was obviously getting frustrated trying to get out of the house and Aiden was fussing in his swing I sighed and was like “sorry Jane, I just want him to go to sleep so we can get ready” and she came up and rubbed my arm and said “Mama, it’s ok, I understand.  Babies just cry sometimes, it’s ok.”  I love her so much.

She also seems so much older because she’s started asking how to spell words and then remembering how to spell them on her own.  I couldn’t believe it when she showed me how she wrote “Auntie Jen”!!

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Me:  32 years old.  Feel older when I now say I have “kids” plural.  I’m still feeling better than I expected, I especially thought the cold weather would be tough, but it’s ok, time is going fast.  There are some annoying physical things going on that would’ve bothered me a lot more in the past, but maybe I just don’t have time to focus on them or maybe have grown out of caring so much?

My skin is acting up, which I know is common in this postpartum period, but, UGH.  Skin and hair were so great during this pregnancy and now I have low level acne and redness all over.  My hair is flat and falling out and I feel like I have to shower more often (but maybe part of that is due to having milk/spit up dribbled all over me too…..)  I spent a large chunk of time this morning researching skin remedies and made a face wash tonight with Almond, lavender, and Vitamin E oils, plus aloe straight from our plant.

One thing I need to do soon is find a way to get regular workouts in, for my mood more than my figure.  My body looks pretty much back to normal, but my current weight is at a number that would’ve horrified me during much of my past life.  I’m surprised at how little I dwell on it though, I cringe at how obsessed I used to get over “the number”.  I just wear looser clothes now and am happy I grew a baby.  Hopefully this lovely phase of body acceptance will last awhile!

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Nathan:  40 years old.  I don’t have any pics of Nathan right now, and there are hardly any pics of the 4 of us!  He’s working the same shitty paying job with the same shitty hour each way commute, worse in the winter when it’s dark and made longer because of snow.  He’s still going through the application process to become a cop, and we’ll find out in late Jan. or Feb., so at least that’s giving him some hope for now.  But by the time he gets home at night and eats, it’s almost time for Jane to go to bed and he doesn’t have time for much else.  I feel so bad every time I think of him doing that commute and sitting in an office all day, and am thankful for being able to stay at home, even though I can get pretty beat by the end of the day too.

Overall, things are good.  Looking forward to all things x-mas, it helps get through the first part of winter, then we just have Jan. and Feb. to deal with!

K

 

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This day in the life is representative of one of our leisurely weekend days.  We’re not ones to pack a lot into any weekend, but this one was especially lazy because Jane stayed at my mom’s Saturday night until Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, August 3rd

9:15 a.m.:  I get up, groggy even after having gone to bed at 11 p.m.  No matter how much sleep I get, still not a morning person.  SO nice to not be woken by Jane at 6:30 though, which she’s been doing lately with way too much frequency.  For a long time she was definitely sleeping until 7 or 7:30.

First thing I do is get a big glass of O.J. mixed with water and take my prescription iron pills + stool softener.  And begin my morning of obsessing about poop, because I’ve been feeling gross and constipated for like…  well probably only a day or two, but it really makes me cranky and I have high hopes for this morning.  Oh glamorous pregnancy!

I check my e-mail and FB, look to see if there’s any open houses nearby today (even though we are not house hunting, I love to go see what’s in our neighborhood), and also look up some recipes for fancy homemade popsicles because both Jane and I have been wanting them a lot lately.

10:00 a.m.:  Call my mom to see what time we should get Jane.  Usually I drop her off the evening before and Nathan has pick up duty about 11:30, but my mom surprises me by saying she can stay through her nap today because G-Non wants us to come swim that afternoon so we can all meet over there.  Yay extra free time!  I make some tea and go outside to read the newspaper.

View from the front porch – new this year is the raised bed way in front and the playhouse on the right, complete with kitchen and working doorbell, which the girls LOVE:

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10:45:  Nathan gets up and pulls the fridge out to check if the coils need to be cleaned.  In retrospect I should’ve been happy he did this without me nagging (I’d noticed our electricity bill was higher than usual the past couple months and called the company earlier in the week and the lady said dirty fridge coils could be a huge electricity suck), but in the process he spilled my whole glass of O.J. (the only thing sitting on the counter) and it was running down over the cabinets and everything and I just imagined coming back to a big sticky mess because he “cleaned it up”, but not well enough (he claims I’m neurotic, I claim he doesn’t do things thoroughly enough…  ongoing relationship spat…)

Then he says he “lost” his vaporizer…  this pipe thing that he’s been smoking flavored stuff out of?  I don’t know, I haven’t really paid attention because he said there’s no nicotine in it and it’s harmless.  Anyway I said you didn’t lose it, I saw you using it in bed last night so it’s around somewhere.  (Another somewhat minor ongoing annoyance…  he always rushes around the house before going somewhere, dramatically saying he lost his wallet or keys… I pretty much just ignore it at this point, knowing they are not lost he just isn’t organized and will find them eventually…)  Then he implied that I might have put it somewhere which really made me mad so I started folding laundry and bitching at him about not putting away his clothes I had folded earlier in the week (which I WOULD put away for him if he had any sort of organization to his closet but I can’t stand to go in there so just try to ignore it)…  instead just throwing them on top of the hamper in a messy pile.

Offending pile and disorganized man-corner.

Offending pile and disorganized man-corner.

To which he replied something about how I take too long to fold laundry in the first place and he hates seeing baskets sitting around for days and why can’t I keep the house cleaner and I said do you have any idea how much I clean during the day?!  Do you want me to do nothing during the day and you can come home and see how it looks?

Sooo…  just an example of a stupid escalating fight, classic huh?

11:30:  He comes out to the porch to tell me a funny story about how after I was in bed last night he went in the pantry and found this package of sugary stuff crawling with ants and “screamed like a little girl and threw the whole thing in the toilet”, so he thinks he solved the problem of our “fast ants” (we’d been seeing them around the house lately but not concentrated in one spot – not normal little ants but slightly larger really FAST moving ants.  ick.)  So all the fighting is forgotten.  That is one thing I love about my husband, he is not one to hold a grudge and is usually the first to try to smooth things over.

He takes a shower, I make coffee (another attempt to get my system moving…) and continue reading the paper.  I read an article about the Root River Trail, which I’ve been wanting to bike for a couple years.  It was made along an old railroad bed in southeast MN, connecting all these cute little towns and going through bluffs along the river.  They even rent trailers for kids.  I tried to arrange a trip for us over Father’s Day this year but it didn’t work out for a variety of reasons.  I wonder when I’ll get the chance again…

11:45:  Poop, finally!  Minimal though, but at least some relief for me.  Now I can get on with my day…

12:15:  Leave on my bike to check out the open houses.  I’ve been feeling really slow and tired the past couple weeks, but they are all in a 12 block flat area so I figure I can handle it.  The other day I went for a slow 30 minute walk and was so out of breath and felt my back tightening I had to lay down as soon as I got home.  It was really hot and humid, but still, it made me feel like a wimp for only being 7 mos. pregnant.  Biking is much easier on my back.

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1:45:  Home.  Ride went well, although very slow and easily out of breath.  Looked at five houses, I think that’s a record in one outing for me, there were a lot open today.  Prices are going up in our neighborhood, and every time I look it makes me so happy we got this little house.  I see houses all the time listed for $80K more than ours and this is what they have that ours doesn’t:

-A little garage, most of the time not even used to park the car because it’s used to store stuff.  Located across the back yard, so in the winter you have to shovel a path and haul kids and groceries through the snow.  We have a shed to store stuff and a driveway next to our kitchen door.

-A basement, usually cold and prone to flooding when it rains a lot.  Used for storage and laundry.  We have main floor laundry and a cellar/attic for storage.  It’s not the most convenient or a lot of storage space, but keeps us from accumulating a lot of stuff we don’t need!

-A small 3rd bedroom.  So far we’ve had no need for this and believe it’s perfectly fine for little kids to share a room (contrary to what seems to be popular belief in the suburbs!)

-Possibly some fancy updates like granite counter tops that we don’t give a sh*t about.

While I was gone Nathan did some work on his motorcycle that has been sitting in our driveway not working for 3+ years.  He finally decided to clean it up and sell it, YAY.

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1:45 – 3:45:  Not quite sure where these two hours went.  I know I made a smoothie (yet another attempt to loosen my system…)  with banana, frozen watermelon, blueberries, parsley, kale, raw ginger, and protein powder.  And…  continued putzing online/reading the newspaper.  Nathan watched golf for at least some of the time.

4:00:  Get to G-Non’s, reunited with our baby girl, have a good time swimming on this hot sticky day.  My mom and sis came along too:

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Such a water baby.

Such a water baby.

6:00:  Done swimming and G-Non offered to take us to the Old Country Buffet.  Eek, definitely not the best quality, but they do have a lot more veg options than some restaurants, and hey it beats going home to make our own dinner.  Besides, nostalgia.  I used to love coming here as a kid and supposedly ate only mashed potatoes, jello, and ice cream.

8:00:  Home.  Jane sang a song in the car about “shakin’ my nuts in the sky”.  Could be perfectly innocent, but she also mentioned earlier in the day the radio station B96.  Ahem…. AUNTIE JEN!!

9:00:  Jane finally in bed after a little play time and the usual teeth/potty/books/songs routine.  She talks and sings to herself for about 20 minutes which tonight is pretty quiet and mellow, but some nights she rants and raves, yelling at imaginary people and singing at the top of her lungs like a lunatic.

9:30 – 10:30:  I work on writing this, which always takes way longer than I think it will.  Time to get ready for bed.  I hope I don’t look back on this in a few months mourning the summer and my easy life.

 

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Today was a success, despite getting a restless 6 hours of sleep last night.  Felt dead tired when I woke up, but better the rest of the day.  No crazy sugar cravings.

Breakfast:  Fruit & oatmeal.

Lunch:  Veggies &  hummus, salad.

Dinner:  White beans & broccoli w/tomato sauce.  And a rice cake w/almond butter and jam, one of my favorite snacks.

Not done eating until 9:30 but it’s only due to Jane going to bed late.  Off to finally finish Django Unchained, we are loving it so far.

K

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It’s only Friday night writing this and even looking back at notes I can barely remember what I did yesterday.  The last couple days have been good, but busy!

Thursday a.m. after our usual wake up, nurse in bed routine, I’m woken up for real by Jane bringing me a jar of popcorn kernels.  “Let’s make popcorn Mama!  I want to push the button!  I want to PUSH the button!  I want to push the BUTTON!”  Everything is dramatic with this girl.

G-Non found her a Hello Kitty air popper at the thrift store so we make some popcorn while I’m still half asleep:

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Nathan hugs me as he gets ready to leave and Jane says “Let’s all hug together!”  Don’t know where she gets this – neither of us have ever initiated a group hug in our rushed/tired states, but sweet anyway:  001

8:45:  Baby V arrives, she is just sitting in her chair across the room from me, eating some puffs and babbling, but Jane is screaming “NO That MY Mama!” as if they are in some sort of intense argument.  I am so happy I didn’t have another baby right away.

9:30:  Baby V naps, 10:00 I let Jane watch Sesame Street, who knows where the time goes, but by 11:30 we are all outside.  It’s amazing how good 45 degrees feels.  It’s a stereotype that all Minnesotans talk about the weather all the time, but seriously….  we have not seen nice weather for 6 months.  Everyone here is on the edge of their seats waiting for this weekend’s 70 degrees.  There is still snow on the ground from the storm on Tuesday.

Jane pushing Baby V:

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Then it was Jane’s turn to swing and she was babbling about going to get treats somewhere and I said “Oh Jane, you’re a treat” and she said “I not a treat, I a NUT!”.

Also, we were hanging out with Jane’s cousin last weekend who is 5 months older, and he was saying his full name, first and last.  It never occurred to me to teach her her last name, so I did, and she immediately reversed it and said “I am Johnson Jane!”.  Which is what she’s been saying for four days now.

At noon our friends stop by to play.  Pic of them hugging goodbye later on:

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Jane naps at 1:45 and for the next two hours I…  clean, eat lunch, respond to e-mails, general administrative life stuff.  I make some food for the party tomorrow too, including this white bean dip which Jane loves:

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When you have no dishwasher, the cleaning never ends.  Clean on the left, dirty on the right.  Imagine what it looked like when they were all dirty…

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Our little kitchen:

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We leave for a walk to the co-op about 5:00, it takes just over an hour to get there, buy a few things, and get back.  Jane in the bulk aisle saying “Mama, let’s get some nooch!” (nutritional yeast)  p.s. toddlers in the bulk aisle with scoops available right at their height = nightmare.

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6:15:  We get home, Daddy is home and helps me clean off the front porch:

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We enjoy the weather and swing some more:

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Nathan goes to the gym, I get Jane to bed about 8:30 and spend the next few hours getting food ready for tomorrow.  Planning a dinner always takes a lot longer than I think it will.  In bed by midnight  and really ready to sleep.

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Mondays are the only day we have off “work” (we watch another baby at our house 4 mornings a week), and today was pretty much my dream stay at home mom day.

Jane slept through the night (which she does… 70% of the time?) and didn’t wake up until after 7:00.  We lay in bed and nurse and watch cartoons (well, I doze) until 8:30.

8:30 – 10:30, get ready to go to Nonni’s house.  My mom works part time and sometimes when she’s off Mondays we go there so Jane can nap and I can go to yoga.  So two hours for…  breakfast and general getting ready, and it is just enough time for me to not feel rushed.  I am very slow in the mornings.

11:00:  At Nonni’s!

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We hang out for awhile and I take off for my noon yoga class.  Return about 1.5 hours later when I get the all clear text that Jane is sleeping.

Jane takes an almost 3 hour nap (very unusual) and I shower, help my mom rearrange some furniture and takes pics for sale on craigslist, make lunch, play on the internet, and watch HGTV.  We don’t have cable and it’s my favorite cable indulgence when away from home.  Except I’m peeved that it’s continuous episodes of “Love it or List it” and I dislike the show for the sole reason that they do not name the city the people are living in.

We’re getting ready to leave and my mom is being silly pretending to put Jane’s hat on her head and saying “my hat” and Jane flips out in a sudden toddler tantrum because it is HER HAT.  She is so dramatic clinging to me and won’t even look at my mom because obviously she just wronged her in the worst way…

My mom and I cannot stop laughing at this display which only makes Jane cry harder.  We finally pacify her with a snack bag full of sun chips for the ride home and then she’s cheerful the whole way.

We get home shortly before 6:00 and I reheat some food (quinoa, broccoli, tofurkey italian sausage) but Jane says “don’t eat Mama!”  She lays a dish towel on the floor and says “I made a bed for you!”  and pulls my hand until I come lay down.  I grab the camera and then she puts another dish rag on top to tuck me in:

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Daddy gets home, we play, Jane goes to bed at 8:00.  We crack a Maibock:

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Because May is only 8 days away, can’t you tell?

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Now it’s 9:30 and I’m writing this post and Nathan is cooking black bean soup in his new pressure cooker (birthday gift from G-Non) and we will read a little (Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C. G. Jung for Nathan and Just Kids by Patti Smith for me)  and hopefully get some good sleep.

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