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I was thinking yesterday about how quickly our babies change and evolve, and it got me thinking about each of our routines. Jack does so much better if we keep somewhat of a schedule - an eat, play, sleep sort of a thing.

And I thought it would be interesting to hear about your schedules. It might give us a peek into what's right around the bend for those of us with younger babes, and maybe even what it's like to have two, or three, or more?

Here's Jack's schedule (roughly):

7 am - wake up + 8 ounce bottle, change diaper, get dressed
7:30 - downstairs for puffs + Dinosaur Train, I drink coffee & check email/FB
8:00 - breakfast
8:45 - play
10:00 - nap
11:30 - wake up
12:00 pm - lunch
1:00-3:00 - play, run errands, bum around
3:00 - nap
4:30 - wake up, 8 ounce bottle
5:30 - dinner
6:30 - bath
7:00 - pajamas, nighttime diaper, bottle, books
7:30 - in bed, lights out!

Obviously, none of this is set in stone. We roll with the punches, just like everyone else. Lately, nap time has been a bit more variable than it had been in the past. He may go down for morning nap at 9:00, or maybe not until 11:00. Sometimes he skips afternoon nap. I pray we're not on the precipice of the days of only one nap.

Does your "schedule" look anything like this? Completely different? Do you scoff at the word "schedule?"

Also, out of curiosity, what do you do during nap time(s)? Has this changed over the last several months? For me, it depends on how the day is going. Sometimes, I still take a morning nap when Jack is napping.

But usually I do a little housework (if the mood strikes me, and the planets are aligned, and I'm wearing my lucky socks), do my hair/put my face on if we're going somewhere that afternoon, get on the computer and go through photos (I'm trying to get organized for the one year party!), watch a TiVo'ed show, catch up on email, knit...

Not all during the same nap, of course. But that wold be an awesome goal.

How do you fill your days? If you're a Mom who works outside of the home, what does your routine look like? Stay at home Moms, is your daily routine similar to Jack's? Completely different?

I'm looking forward to hearing about your routines, Mamas!


day trippin'

Jack and I drove to Hibbing today to visit his cousins, and visit with Auntie Naya.

The drive was uneventful. The Boy slept all the way there. I drank a yummy latte and listened to the President answer questions (sort of) about his new budget.

When we got there, Dylann greeted us with an enthusiastic "Auntie Jen! Auntie Jen! Baby Jack is here!" Ack, Could she be any cuter? She is such a little munchkin.

And Baby Lexi was snuggled up with her Mommy, all ready to be cuddled and smooched on by Auntie Jen.



Lexi slept a little, ate a little, and "cried" a little. I put that in quotation marks because her cry is so little. And quiet. I'm sure her Mommy and Daddy would probably disagree with that observation at four in the morning, but it's still that cute little newborn cry. She works so hard just to make a tiny amount of noise!

Dylann and Jack enjoyed a picnic in the living room.

Mmm... Cookie.

And Ms. Dylann sat still long enough for me to snap a few photos... There are only a few things that slow this one down. I think mostly food and her "stories" on TV will do the trick. She's eating and watching TV in the first photo. In the second photo, she's got a big ole cookie. She's a tricky subject for my amateur photography skills.

Real men wear pink.

Mommy forgot to bring a bib, so he had to borrow one from his cousin.

And Jack had so much fun watching Dylann's antics. I think he's just watching her for pointers while he's planning his attack. He's not super mobile yet, but I think it's close; and then we're in big trouble!

We had such a nice day. I really wish those guys lived closer. I keep trying to drop hints, like "When are you guys going to move back to Duluth?" and "You guys should really move back to Duluth."

Maybe I'm being too subtle?


scrambled brain

Lately, I feel like the only way I can communicate with a modicum of success is by typing it out. Blogging, Facebook updates, emails, texts - any form of communication where my brain only has to work as fast as my fingers can type, rather than try to keep up with my tongue (I certainly don't mean that to sound wickedly naughty, although it kinda does). Also, I've yet to come up with a verbal equivalent of  <--Backspace.

Aside: I just opened a new tab to look up a word in a thesaurus, and my browser (Google Chrome) prompted me to try this game called Entanglement. That distracted me for a good 15 minutes. And then I forgot what I had opened the new tab for in the first place.

Okay, where was I?

Right. Typing versus talking.

You see, my mind is decidedly non-linear. The path from A to B in my brain is full of forks, loop-de-loops, detours, one way streets, dead ends...

Ask my husband. He gets a little exasperated trying to follow my train of thought sometimes. We'll often have conversations like the following:

He: Did you take the trash out?
Me: Yeah... Hey, remember when I was in labor and I said that one thing to you while you were checking your email and we both laughed? What was that?
He: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Me: You remember. It was something that was on that list that Sara gave us, and we both laughed, which was good because I think it was about the time that I was starting to regret letting you get me into that whole labor situation in the first place. Remember?

...minutes pass while I try to remember, and he resumes whatever it was he was doing in the first place...

Me: Remember?
He: What?
Me: Remember that list that Sara gave us of things that might be helpful for you to say to me during labor, like, 'oh, honey, you're so beautiful and I love you so much because you're an amazing woman who's about to have my love child?'

...several more minutes pass while I try to remember, and he continues doing his thing...

Me: Oh. I remember. I said, 'Keep on keepin' on.' Remember? Because that was the thing on the list that we thought was hilarious because you would never ever really say that in real life. 'Keep on keepin' on.'You know... Like Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Or did he say, 'Just keep livin'?'
He: Right.
Me: Hey, it's garbage day tomorrow. Did you take the trash out?
He: {head explodes}
I've really always sort of been this way, but I used to be able to rein it in a little. Now, not so much.

I'm pretty sure it is related to the amount of time I spend using my brain to form complex thoughts nowadays. Don't get me wrong. I know that being a SAHM is a very important job, and I certainly do enjoy it or I'd be back in the corporate world in a flash; but hanging out with a pre-verbal infant/toddler/little dude all day isn't exactly intellectually stimulating.

I guess my point is that if you know me in real life, and you met me at some point during or after my pregnancy, I hope that you don't think I'm a stammering idiot. I have been known to form intelligent thoughts now and again.

It's just been a while since it's happened verbally.


what's her secret?

We all know her.

The perfect Mom.


She always keeps her cool. Her hair and make-up are always done (or she's so effortlessly beautiful, she doesn't need "doing"). Her kids are always cute, happy, clean, and perfect. She cooks, she bakes, she cleans the house, all while breastfeeding her little one in the Storchenwiege wrap. She makes her own organic baby food. She cloth-diapers all three of her little ones. Her eight-month old can recite the alphabet while walking backwards.

I actually know a few of these SuperMoms. They are my friends, and I love them.

I also hate them. Well, I don't really hate them. But I do hate that their SuperMom powers bring out my competitive side.

I see their limited edition, German woven wrap, and I convince myself that if only I had one, I could be a SuperMom, too.

I hear them talk about co-sleeping with their infant and their toddler in the family bed, waking up to lazy Sundays in bed, snuggling and bonding, and I convince myself that Jack will be scarred forever for being banished to his own room to sleep (through the night, I might add).

I read their Facebook status posts about going to the museum, the Co-op, and the gym all in the same day. And when they got home, they made dinner together (from scratch, using organic ingredients, of course), took gorgeous photographs of it, and blogged about it on their wildly popular Mommy Blog. And I convince myself that if I only had that new lens for our DSLR, my blog would be just as good as hers.

Then, I stop myself.

I get a grip on reality.

I realize that the wrap, the co-sleeping, the cooking, the blogging -- all of it is just a small piece of their parenting puzzle.

I'm not seeing the little baby who won't stop screaming unless he's being worn in the woven wrap, and the Mama who just wants to be able to take a ten minute shower without feeling guilty that she's breaking his heart because she's not holding him.

I'm not hearing about the sleepless nights spent nursing every thirty minutes which make the Mama feel like she needs to co-sleep even though a part of her might be wishing she could have her bed back to herself... And I'm not hearing about how guilty the Mama feels for wishing for something so "selfish."

And I'm not reading about how the self-imposed expectation to do it all and be it all is causing the Mama so much stress and resentment that she doesn't even know who she is anymore...

We see such small glimpses into each other's lives -- often in idealized situations, where the babes are having fun playing with their little buddies -- it's just really not fair to think we have the complete picture. We take the lovely parts we see and extrapolate them to create a pretty picture of the parts we don't see. We compare ourselves to a standard which is completely unattainable because it's not real.

When I start comparing myself to these SuperMoms, I just end up feeling terrible. And I know that I'll end up feeling terrible, yet it's still a struggle. I struggle with it most days.

And the best antidote I've found is to find some quiet time with my son, and realize that he's okay. Actually, he's more than okay. He's growing and learning and thriving. And I can take credit for a big part of that.

I'm doing the best that I can, and most days, that's more than sufficient.


nine months

I was about to post the Boy's ten month photo, and then I realized that I'd never posted the nine month photo. When I tried to find it on the computer, I had a miniature heart attack for a minute when I thought I had forgotten to take a nine month photo. Fortunately, it was just tucked away in a weird folder.

In other news, I love my new computer and having two monitors is awesome. My only complaint is that for some reason, I can't seem to calibrate them to look the same. It's driving me cuckoo.

I edit the photos in PS on the left monitor, and then upload them to the blog on the right monitor and they look completely different. I edited the ten month photo on the left monitor, and it looked fine. Then I viewed it on the right monitor and it looks like the Boy is wearing lipstick and has alien eyes. It's like the left monitor is wearing beer goggles and the right monitor hates me.

Does the photo look funny on your monitor?

I better call tech support sweet talk my husband.