quarantine day 15.

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 ūüėČ 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 ūüôā

6pm РWe 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.

the birth of evelyn june: a love story.

Back in August, Ashley wrote to me asking if I offered birthing pictures. My first reaction was, uhhhhhh. Because let’s be honest, no. But¬†then I thought to myself, when¬†a stranger asks you to take pictures of the birth of¬†her first child, you do it. So we made a plan, kept in touch throughout the months, and on March 7th, I got the call at 10AM that her water broke. I was at the grocery store, in my gym clothes, looking wild. I super market sweeped the place, went home to grab my camera equipment, and hit the road. This is exactly what I walked into when I got to their hospital room at noon.¬†An adorable mommy-to-be and the sweetest husband in all the land.

I have never met anyone quite like Ashley. We hit it off immediately. Even though the situation could have been a little awkward, what with the contractions and the getting ready to push a baby out, it wasn’t. It was totally natural, like we had known each other forever. And her husband, oh my gosh, what a doll. He was so tender and loving throughout the whole experience. And what an experience it was let me tell you. Plus they didn’t know the sex of the baby beforehand, which made things¬†extra exciting.

I took pictures of EVERYTHING. I had a story to tell. But I’ll leave the actual baby coming into the world via Ashley¬†photos for her and her hubby to share, or lock away, whatever they choose.¬†Watching that baby be born though, I cannot put into words all of the emotions. And seeing their faces when they saw that they had a healthy¬†baby GIRL. Well, we were all crying.

Looking back, I still can’t believe I was asked to be a¬†part of something so beautiful. I cheered Ashley on. I passed the ice chips. I heard that little girl’s first cry. I counted her toes. I fell in love.

At the end of things, we made it clear to each other that we were now forever friends. Because you can’t just walk away from something like that and not feel it for a long, long time.¬†Miss Evelyn June, I cannot wait to see what the world has in store for you, or better yet, what you have in store for the world.