I have been saying for a year that I will write more of these. I wrote about life at 7 weeks, and again at 5 months, but then I never followed through again. I actually really wish I’d written a post like this at 8 months and around the one year mark, because I know those were significantly different phases that now feel really fuzzy to me when I try to recall the details.
This post is long and includes far too many pictures, so I will apologize for that in advance. I tried to capture and remember as much as I could, but I’m sure there is still plenty I’m leaving out. Regardless, I always think it’s fun to take a peek into someone else’s day – the schedules, the activities, and the boring day to day stuff. And there is plenty of that right here!
Our days are all a little different, so I decided to just take one day (yesterday) and snap pictures from start to finish. Here’s a look at what we’re up to now that Cullen is 16 months old!
5:30am – Alarm goes off. Casey gets up immediately and jumps into the shower. I pull the covers over my head and pray for time to stand still just a little longer.
5:50am – I’m up. I’m showering. I’m still half asleep.
6:00am – Get dressed, do makeup, talk to Casey while he gets ready, avoid drying my hair as long as possible.
Clean up bedroom, make bed, start a load of laundry, and head downstairs to start a bit of work for the day. Note: every other day Casey and I get up and do a home workout together, but this was an off day.
6:15am – open up my laptop, check email, feed dogs. Wonder why I hear Cullen stirring on the monitor even though I’m expecting him to sleep for another hour.
6:45am – Casey says goodbye and heads to catch his bus. Cullen is UP, and there is no denying it. He plays in his crib happily reading books for a little bit, but then he’s ready to get out. I only get half my Babble post written before I head upstairs to grab him from the crib, change his diaper, and get his day started. He greets me with a giant smile, and an even bigger poop.
7:00am – Cullen isn’t usually up this early, so I let him just hang out with me while I get a few more things done. We start another load of laundry. He pushes the buttons.
I finally dry my hair while he plays with all my hair product bottles under the sink. I dump his laundry out on the floor and put it away while he plays in his sunroom.
He does puzzles and stands on his little stool and looks out the window, saying “dada dada” over and over again.
8:00am – Breakfast time! Cullen eats almond butter toast and a pear while I finish up making us some eggs. Breakfast is his favorite meal of the day, and he’s always really happy and talkative. He also has a glass of (hemp) milk. The dogs play outside while we eat.
I scramble four whole eggs for the two of us to share. I have to keep it all on my plate because Cullen freaks out as soon as he sees it. He wants the eggs immediately, but they are too hot. He says “hot, hot, hot” and tries to grab my plate.
I sit on a little stool in front of Cullen’s high chair, and we eat our breakfast together. I share eggs with him, and he tries to share really gooey half-chewed pieces of toast with me.
8:30am – Finished eating. Cullen stays in the high chair and is distracted with more fruit and cheerios, while I run around cleaning up, packing my diaper bag for the afternoon, and packing his lunch to-go. Dogs come in and lick all the crumbs and mess off the floor.
9:00am – We are out the door. Every day we have something different going on, and it is rare that we stay home in the morning. This outing is usually a Gymboree class, a playdate, a trip to a museum or the zoo, mom’s group, or some other get together with friends. It is nice to share our days with so many other mamas and toddlers! It helps break up the long days for me.
Today I decided to gamble and try to fit two big things into one block of time. I really needed groceries, and have plans to write this post, so I need to get them before my work window opens up during nap time. If I wait until afternoon, I’ll have to write my post at night, which I’m trying to avoid. We race to Trader Joe’s and are in and out within 20 minutes. I forget all my reusable bags in the car (see them there in the corner? Fail.).
10:00am – We have mom’s group today! Our favorite day of the week. We rotate houses each week, and this week we are at Christin’s. The kiddos run around and fight over toys while the moms supervise and talk about sleep schedules and the (insane) Seattle housing market.
11:15am – The littles ones are starting to get cranky and hungry, so we all break out the lunches. I packed sweet potatoes and black beans for Cullen, and Christin set out delicious baguette sandwiches for the mamas. Cullen sees my sandwich and insists on eating half of it, so I end up making myself a second one after I eat this.
We also snack on homemade cinnamon apples…
And I eat two of these delicious gluten-free brownie squares. Dangerous.
We take a group picture of all the babies before we’re done for the day. It is so fun to look back on these – we’ve been getting together for over a year now!
12:00pm – Quick diaper change before we go, and then we are back in the car and headed home. Cullen is loaded up with books, snacks, and a water bottle. I talk to him, sing annoying songs, and pray the whole way that he will not fall asleep and blow his afternoon nap (which happens about once a week). Adrenaline level is HIGH.
12:30pm – We are home, and still awake. Hallelujah! We head into Cullen’s room to get ready for nap time. He plays for a few minutes before we sit down in the glider for a few books. I read books for 20 minutes, until he seems sleepy. You can see that he had a lot of fun with his water bottle in his car seat.
1:00pm – Nap time! Cullen is a great napper, and I can almost always count on this window as my one chance to work during the day. If he doesn’t nap, I am screwed. I put him in the crib, hand him his blankies, and give him a kiss. Easy as that.
Once Cullen is asleep, my attention turns to these guys. Time for their lunch and another trip to the backyard.
While they run around outside, I head to the garage to unload all the groceries that I bought three hours ago. Oh yes, remember those? Still in the car!
This is usually when I make myself lunch, but since I ate earlier at mom’s group I just grab a snack. A mixed bowl of Marcona almonds (heaven!) and a big bottle of sparkling water.
The pups and I have a snuggle session on the couch, and I bust out my laptop to work, work, work. On this particular day, I spent the first hour unloading groceries and taking photos for this post. Then I spent the rest of my work window editing and writing the post, as well as working on a big Babble project I have in the works. I check email, try to respond to the urgent ones, and start a few more Babble drafts. Three hours feels like it disappears in three minutes.
4:00pm – Guess who’s up!?! Like I said, Cullen is a great napper (knock on wood!), and he very consistently takes 2.5-3 hour afternoon naps each day. Today’s nap was 2:45 – not bad! I head upstairs to grab him, change his diaper, and get him dressed again.
4:15pm – This is normally when we would grab the dogs and all go out for some fresh air and a trip to the playground, but it was raining today. Stuck inside – boo.
4:30pm – I don’t feel like getting back into the car and dragging Cullen out again, so we camp out at home for the evening. We read more books, do puzzles, build with mega blocks, and have a snack. I lost a little steam with my picture taking at this point, which is pretty indicative of how I’m feeling by this point in the day (tired).
Cullen and I had a snack of clementines, and a friend came over to drop something off and chat for about 30 minutes.
5:00pm – Cullen and I build a pillow fort. Casey texts that he will be on the late bus, and not home for a long time. I dig deep for more energy.
5:15pm – Attempt to talk on the phone with a friend in Ohio, while entertaining Cullen at the same time. I struggle to find the right window for phone calls because of the three hour time difference. Thankfully, she is very understanding and patient.
5:30pm – This is a hard time of day because I’m often on my own, needing to get lots of things together for dinner, but Cullen is also at his neediest. I chase him around in circles, offer entertaining distractions, and quickly chop things and throw them into sauté pans.
6:30pm – Cullen’s dinner time! He has leftover sweet potatoes and black beans (that he didn’t eat at lunch), lots of hummus, and almost an entire mango. I glance at the clock and realize that the 7pm barre class I planned to go to is not going to happen because Casey isn’t home yet. I am bummed.
6:45pm – Dad is home! His commute took almost 90 minutes, and he is drained. (Edited to add: this is not a normal day, but happens occasionally. Normal is more like 60 minutes.) We talk about moving – again. He gives Cullen a big kiss and snaps a picture of us.
7:00pm – Casey takes Cullen upstairs for bath time and a little alone time for just the two of them. I stay downstairs and start to prep our dinner. In an ideal world, we’d all eat together at the table every night, but Casey doesn’t get home in time, so that’s not our reality. Maybe some day, but for now we make the best of it on the weekends!
7:15pm – I come upstairs and crash on the ledge of the master bathtub, watching Cullen splash and laugh.
Up until Casey gets home, my days sort of feel like a marathon of reading, entertaining, driving, feeding, changing, and playing. As soon as Casey walks in and takes over, I can feel all that pent up adrenaline rush out of my body.
Casey is so good at Cullen’s bedtime routine, and while I’m not needed, I usually just hang out and sit and relax. The window of time that all three of us are home and awake is very short, so we try to take advantage of it.
7:20pm – Cullen gets toweled off and Casey helps him brush his teeth. This usually starts with smiles and ends with tears.
7:30pm – Bedtime! I drain the bathtub and clean up the bath toys while Casey takes Cullen into his room. I come in and am greeted by a wet little monkey in crazy adorable flannel pajama pants.
Even though we see him in these jammies all the time, we still can’t help but laugh at how much his giant belly hangs out. We talk about the belly, and Cullen smiles and points to it.
I give a few more tickles and get some really great bedtime hugs and kisses. He is always super sweet right before bedtime, even if he’s been a tough guy all day long. I look tired.
Last but not least, bedtime stories. We trade off who reads each night, but the other one of us usually just hangs out on the floor and listens. Cullen begs for more, and we have to eventually cut him off and put him in the crib. One more kiss and light out.
8:00pm – Adult dinner time. We head back downstairs and I finish up dinner. I fantasize about takeout or pizza delivery, but remember all the fresh groceries in the fridge. Tonight we are having really boring burritos because I am tired and it is late. We each fill up two olive oil tortillas with a mixture of onions, mushrooms, black beans, and sweet potatoes – topped with lots of salsa and a bit of greek yogurt. I feel extreme sadness that our avocados aren’t ripe yet.
8:15pm – We eat on the couch and watch Survivor. We know one of the players this year, making it extra fun to watch. I talk too much during the show, and drive Casey crazy. The dogs talk up 75% of the couch, while Casey and I fight to maintain our quarter.
9:00pm – Casey cleans up dishes while I check/respond to a few more emails. We head upstairs to bed and turn on Downton Abbey.
9:15pm – Despite my best efforts, I am fast asleep.
5:30am – Alarm goes off. DID I SLEEP THROUGH DOWNTON ABBEY AGAIN? Dammit. Here we go!