Saying goodbye to summer is never easy and this summer is no exception. I have had the best time with all of my families but especially at the lake! Being at the lake IS home to me. And I am so grateful to everyone who drove out to see me this summer.
A vow renewal during a pandemic? I am here for it. You’ve loved each other for 10? 15? 20 years? You are survivors. You are going to last. Let’s take some photos.
I cannot wait for all of the sunset lake sessions in August! What a beautiful and unique way to capture your family.
It took a literal global pandemic to get me to blog again, but here we are! I have shared bits and pieces of our schedule during this funky time and have heard from some asking for more specifics on how we spend our days at home, since I am a certified stay-at-home mama 😉 I took the time to capture some of our at-home moments, and hope taking a closer look at our schedule will help those of you normally working parents who are now at home with their toddlers for the next 30 days with nowhere to hide, because they will always find you.
7:30am – I try to get myself to wake up. I am NOT a morning person at all. I normally wait until I hear Ali calling for me, but I TRY to get up 30 minutes before her to wake up fully, and prep for the day (this could be prepping breakfast, or the craft for the day, or being a human for 5 minutes)
8am- I greet Ali like it’s the best day of our lives. She goes to the bathroom and settles on the couch ready to watch a show. She will eat her breakfast and watch 30-45 minutes of TV depending on how much I have my act together.
9am – CRAFT TIME/Structured Play– Ali’s favorite time. (Look What I Made sign). It is the easiest way to have zero complaints when turning off the TV. She gets my full attention for a craft. Rule number one: always put a piece of newspaper down so clean up is easy. After we finish the craft we move on to a book with the same theme, or some other structured activity if the craft goes quick. Let me explain: We did a lady bug craft because we saw a lady bug in our house. I then pulled out all the lady bug books (Usborne is the best contact Meg) I could find, and put together mildly interesting facts about lady bugs. So basically a mini lesson on lady bugs for a 3-year-old. However, one day we did a flower craft, and I didn’t have any specific books about flowers. SO, we did our craft, I told her how flowers get their food (from the sun, water, soil), then we moved on to a structured activity. Magna-tiles, play dough, or puzzles depending on the day. This entire time I am leading the activities, and giving Ali my full attention so she feels important. We might also bake muffins or cookies during this after craft time. I get my craft supplies from Walmart and my ideas off Pinterest. Also, these dot markers are life, and Ali has also just gotten into stamps. Both need supervision.
10am – Mommy works out/Ali plays independently. Since I just “filled her cup” during craft time, she owes me 30 minutes of workout time. I do not tell her this, I just act like it’s super fun and she can either join me or do the following activities: Listen to a book on CD, color with her mess free markers, play with a sticker book, paint with her water WOW books. This took a little getting used to because she really doesn’t love when I workout instead of giving her my full attention, but after 2 weeks she got the hang of it. (For any help getting in-home workouts I recommend contacting Mallory with BeachBody)
11am – Ali leads the play either inside or outside. Depending on the weather this time could be spent outside playing with bubbles or chalk. Jumping in muddy puddles. Walking around the neighborhood begging people to let us pet their dogs. This time could be spent inside playing dress up, Barbie’s, Legos. Either way, Ali is the boss. You can sometimes find us rhythmic dancing to the Lion King Soundtrack.
12pm – Lunch, Books, Nap prep. I make lunch, we sit and eat together. We (really I) clean up from the random playing of things. She might take a bath if I’m feeling desperate because she will stay in there for a solid 30 minutes playing. Especially if she has a popsicle. We relax and snuggle and read some books and basically just get ready for nap.
1:30-3:30pm – NAP/REST TIME. The child is in her bed and I take my union break
3:30pm – Snack/Playroom Play. I usually try to stay out of the playroom in the morning to save it for this time of day so it’s fresh. Sometimes I flip this time with the 11am play time depending on the weather, so it could be our outside time. See, I’m super flexible. If we are inside we play Barbie’s, Lite Brite. Make necklaces. Do puzzles. Play with all of her little Disney characters. Dump some bins and find random toys we forgot we had. All of the good stuff is in the playroom.
5pm – iPad/Mommy makes dinner. Ali gets to play on Noggin while I make dinner. This might be my favorite time of day since she literally doesn’t ask me for anything. There is a time and place for an iPad/Tablet, some disagree, but it costs $0 to worry about yourself 🙂
6pm – We eat dinner.
6:30pm – Daddy comes home from work (he is actually only going into an empty office, since he’s closed, to catch up on paperwork/return calls but he goes in 2-3 times a week still) After he’s showered I usually stick Ali on him for a solid hour and clean up the kitchen and chill for a moment, sometimes I hide. But when he is home he participates in the whole day. We usually sub iPad time for more play or a family movie to spice things up.
7:30pm – Bedtime prep. I recommend starting this early because it takes us a while to wrangle her in. Teeth brushing, potty, maybe a book. She will want to make a “potion” in the bathroom sink. Major stalling. Then she gathers all the things she NEEDS to take to bed with her, etc.
8-8:30pm – BEDTIME
This is not an easy time for any of us. Try to use your creativity and also find time to take care of yourself! Thinking of you all, I’ll see you on the other side, and on InstaStories.
One of my New Year resolutions is to blog more. It’s February 17th. Slow and steady over here guys. It’s happening.
A few weeks ago I offered budget-friendly Valentine’s Mini Sessions super last minute on an unseasonably warm Sunday, and they were absolutely everything I imagined they would be and more. I hope to make these sessions at the red barn a winter tradition. Fingers crossed mother nature. I wanted to share with you a family that definitely made me feel the love.