5:30: My morning starts with Ben up way too bright and early, climbing into our bed to wake me up. He is excited for swimming class, so he crawls into our bed already in his swimsuit. I was half awake at this point, since Mike was already up and will be on his way out the door soon. This month he is on the 8-5 shift, so he generally leaves the house before we are up and is home a little bit after I get home with the kids at 6.
5:45: Ben finally succeeds in rousing me out of bed, so I quickly get myself ready. I started taking my shower and drying my hair at night after Liv was born, because when she was younger it was more unpredictable as to what time she would wake up. Even though she wakes up at a more consistent time now, I still shower at night. I hate getting up early, so this buys me 30 minutes in the morning. Meanwhile, Ben brushes his teeth and chooses which stuffed animal he wants to bring to school today for nap.
6:15: I head into Liv's room to get her up and ready. Ben is already in Liv's room "entertaining" her for a bit, but he can't get her out of her crib, so she is happy to see me and get out of baby jail. Ben's idea of entertaining her is to run around yelling crazy stuff and flinging himself into her chair. But it works--Liv finds absolutely everything that Ben does to be hilarious.
Liv is always so happy in the morning. Her good mood helps me be a little less grouchy. I'm just really NOT a morning person.
I try to get Liv dressed, but she is not much for sitting still. These are her usual antics. Here she is trying to grab all her hair accessories out of the drawer that I opened to grab some socks. I change her diaper in this position too, usually. She hates it when I lie her down on her back.
We all head downstairs, with Dee leading the charge since she's been waiting for me to feed her and let her out. I put Liv in her high chair with some cereal while I feed Dee and get Liv's shoes on. It would be nice to just put her down and let her play or run around, but she still refuses to walk much and wants me to carry her around, so this works best.
Ben helps himself to an applesauce while he waits for us. He is making a face here to be funny; he calls this one his "mad" face.
6:50: The kids are loaded into the car, along with all of our crap. Purse, laptop bag, lunch box with the kids' breakfast stuff in it, a bag for Ben's towel and change of clothes, and a bag for Liv's towel and change of clothes. And my sweater, since the AC is always running at the office.
As is her daily ritual, Liv takes off her right shoe (only the right) on the way to school. (And yes, I know "they" recommend you keep kids rear-facing until they are 2, but she hated it and cried all the time. I just couldn't take it anymore. So when she outgrew her carrier, we just went forward facing.)
7:05: We arrive at daycare. They prefer that I drop off Ben first, so while I'm getting his breakfast set out, I put Liv in a chair since she won't walk. (Seriously cannot wait until this one decides to walk. She is able to walk, she just chooses not to.) Anyway, she loves sitting in the big kid chairs. She likes thinking that she is a big kid. And I guess her own Nutrigrain bar wasn't good enough. She had to steal Ben's too.
Ben likes a hearty breakfast. And it is the same thing most every day--yogurt, yogurt drink, cheerios, cutie, and Nutrigrain bar. This is in addition to that applesauce that he ate at the house.
Once we're in Liv's room, I get her breakfast set up. Milk, banana, yogurt, and a Nutrigrain bar for her. Her teachers feed her the yogurt. She has not mastered using a spoon yet and makes a total mess if you let her do it herself.
The work day is busy and flies by, as it usually does at this job. If I take a quick lunch, I try to leave at 4:45. The difference in traffic leaving at 4:45 versus 5 is crazy. Unfortunately, I end up getting out later, about 5:10. Traffic is awful, so I'm later than usual getting the kids. I usually get there about 5:30, but today it is closer to 6. Liv is not a fan of my late arrival. She is over-hungry and over-tired. She cries most of the way home. :-(
Until I remember the crackers that I have stashed in the console! Those keep them quiet for a few minutes. (Not either kids' most flattering picture.)
6:10: We are finally home. Ben likes to eat dinner as soon as we walk in the door. I forgot to defrost chicken for dinner, so I heat up some refried beans and onion to make bean burritos. While we wait, I give the kids some fruit and crackers. Daddy cracks Liv up pretending to steal her food. (And notice that her dollies must be at the high chair with her. She loves her dollies!)
Hugs from my love bug. She was covered in refried beans, so of course she wanted hugs and was clinging to me.
6:45: Liv's such a mess that it is straight to the bath for her. Since Ben's noodles aren't ready yet, I convince him to take his bath now too so we can get it out of the way. Liv loves the bath, but only if Ben is in there with her.
7:00: It's getting close to bedtime and Liv's tired. After she's had enough, she stands up, rubbing her eyes, letting us know she is all done.
7:15: Meanwhile, Ben's buttered noodles are finally ready just after bath, so he digs in and eats two bowls. He requests train crash videos on youtube for some "quiet time." Hmm. I don't know how that equals quiet time, but I just roll with it.
8:00: Ben plays for a little while, and then we tell Ben it is time to go up to bed. He is not pleased, as usual. Here he is crying on the stairs on the way up. Poor kid. He is really in a stage of fighting bedtime right now, throwing a mini tantrum most nights.
8:10: I finally get him upstairs after some drama. After potty and brushing teeth, he picks out his books. This night it's Llama Llama and the Bully Goat and Santa Comes to Chicago. Interesting choice in July, but what the heck. Usually he gets to choose three books, but this night I took away one book because he was misbehaving on his way to bed, so we're down to two. By misbehaving, I mean throwing things when we told him it was bedtime.
Notice Ben's blanket. It was a Christmas gift, but Ben resurrected it for the 4th of July since it is red, white, and blue. Now he sleeps with it every night. Underneath it you'll find about 30 stuffed animals. Mommy Cat, Daddy Cat, and Baby Meow Meow are his current favorites. But his Build-a-Bear dog was recently added to the favorites list after Lily showed us her Build-a-Bear on Skype.
9:30: We head up to bed. Mike falls asleep right away, since he gets up much earlier than I do. I read for a while, and then call it a night around 11. And then get ready to do it all over again. It's like Ground Hog Day. :-)