This post is written by a dear friend and nearly-next-door neighbor whom I terribly miss. Tricia and I met when MG was just Bea’s age and she had two girls at the time (now three, Emaline joined last year around Christmas). The oldest (Liesel) is MG’s senior by 6 months and the youngest (Moira) was just a little over a year younger. What a blessing it was to meet her at this exact time in my life!
Tricia is one of those people that you just can’t help but love. She is the kind of neighbor you definitely want in your proximity because she will do ANYTHING for you (including go to the drugstore for you to fill an Rx for Zofran because you are keeling under morning sickness…or take your daughter to the library for story time so you can go to the doctor solo, etc. etc..).
She is also a very inspiring hands-on mama. She creates these elaborate “Liesel school” lesson plans that are so wonderful and so much fun. I have totally stolen some of her ideas before (you can find quite a few on her blog, like this fun “germs” one)
On top of that, she is very, very talented in the kitchen. All of her food has that homemade quality to it that you just can’t make without putting lots of time, energy and love into. She writes a wonderful blog called Going Homemade where she catalogs some of her tried and true recipes. I’ve never had one fail me…go check it out!
My day decided to begin at 5:45 am when I heard Moira yell, “Momma, Mommy!” Racing in to see what was wrong she sleepily said, ” I have to go potty.” I realized, at that moment, my day was starting. We have a strict rule of not going downstairs until 7. Usually if the girls wake before then, we let them play or talk in their room. This morning, because of the time, and the fact that Liesel was still asleep, I decided to bring MJ in bed with us. Amazingly, she fell back to sleep. I, however, did not. I laid there thinking of the day ahead-my do to list- until Eric got up to get ready. It was then I heard Emaline stirring and I went to nurse and change her. Eric had to leave early so he quietly came and kissed me goodbye. At 7:30 Moira woke for good and the three of us made our way downstairs. Liesel joined us around 8 and the day officially began!
For breakfast the girls requested ” The Grandpa Special” a staple these days: oatmeal with berries, almonds, cashews, applesauce and cinnamon. While they ate, I unloaded the dishwasher and began the espresso machine. Today was a caffeine morning.
The girls went upstairs to pick out outfits and play. Emaline stayed down with me, enjoying some Cheerios and I wiped the counters and vacuumed the floor.
Although not a dyson, this little vacuum is amazing for life with littles!
Emaline and I then make our way upstairs. After teeth are brushed and clothes are on, we have our devotional time. I love the days we can fit this in!
Em soon begins rubbing her eyes, signaling morning naptime. While she is napping Liesel and Moira are busy playing in their room. This is my time to complete morning tasks. Sometimes they play nicely for 10 minutes other mornings it can be for over an hour! I just do as much as I can until I am needed. Today the girls played wonderfully. Here is Moira singing Liesel to sleep 🙂 and apparently we are undressed-again.
I throw a load in the laundry, make beds, get myself ready and even have time to start on the ironing I am extremely behind on-
After about the 10th time the girls ask, if it is snack yet?? I decide “alone playtime” is over. Only three shirts were completed. It is 10:05 and an adequate time for a snack. Since we have been learning about spiders this week, the girls make their own spiders out of apples and marshmallows.
Emaline wakes around 10:30 and after a quick feeding we head out for a few errands. This morning we have three: post office (actually needing to go in), library and a TJ Maxx return. I am doubtful we will accomplish all since it is 11 when we actually pull out of the house. Darn you jacket season for lengthening our getting out of the house time.
The girls are rock stars at the post office, smiling and staying near, even though the line is somewhat long. Once back in the car and on our way to stop #2 Moira points, “look Hobby Lobby!” Tempted to stop, I know this cannot be on the to do list today.
Walking hand in hand the girls and I make our way in to the library
This stop takes longer as we run into some old storytime friends. The girls enjoy playing and looking at books while I catch up with a friend. I glance at the time and it’s past noon! We quickly checkout our books and DVDs (paying one small fine) then head out. I realize three stops was a stretch and I put TJ Maxx on hold for another day.
For lunch we have egg salad- so glad my girls love this as much as I do!
After lunch it’s time to pick up and take naps. The two little ones go in around 1:30 and Liesel sets up camp in our room for quiet time. She spends this time looking at books and working on her workbook while I finish up a few chores. Around 2:45 I allow Liesel some iPad time and I lay down next to her. This is my time to rest. I complete my bible study homework for a woman’s study at church. Currently doing Beth Moore’s study on 1&2 Thessolonians, my first woman’s bible study since kids! I then give myself time to mindlessly scroll through FB and Instagram.
A little after 3pm, Liesel and I head downstairs for reading time. This time is precious. Time alone with my big 4 year old is rare especially since L goes to preschool three days a week. We get through one book and Em wakes. She joins us for our second book. Liesel loves reading to her sisters and sometimes Emaline is her best audience!
It’s now 3:30 and MJ is still asleep! Liesel helps me get our afternoon smoothie together: Spinach, banana, frozen berries, homemade yogurt and almond milk. Bonus points for days our smoothie turns out PINK
The blender wakes Moira (success) and we all head up to get sister! While the girls are having their smoothies, I set up our afternoon activity. I make a web for the girls to work on balance and also letter sounds, f for “fly”.
Eric calls to check in and says he’ll be home for dinner tonight by 6. Looking outside, it’s gorgeous. So the girls and I head to our neighborhood park.
I’m starting to get sad thinking about how our days where walks and parks are included are fading. Trying to enjoy every beautiful day! The girls have the park to themselves. They spend most of the time at the swings (makes it much easier on me)!
At 5:05 we head home. Dinner is going to be leftovers and we still have time before Eric gets home, so I decide it’s a bath before dinner night! The girls love the idea. Bath nights are crazy, since all three go in together. In the midst of giggling, the girls get a surprise when daddy walks in! Squeals and hugs abound! And kisses for me! Then it’s cuddles with a towel baby, while the bigs go crazy behind the curtain.
Eric stays up with L and MJ. Emaline and I head down to heat up dinner. Chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans for all! I call up to the bigs and we eat dinner a little after 6. I glance at the clock and its 6:20. The girls help me clear the table and I clean up the best I can. Tonight I have a meeting at Starbucks about Sunday School at our church. I give Emaline a good nursing session and then hand her off. Quick kisses for the girls and I am out the door!
Once in the car, I exhale. A quiet car, is there anything more enjoyable to a parent? I drive for about 10 minutes in silence. I don’t think I was even really thinking of anything in particular, just enjoying my time alone. After a great meeting with some fabulous people (and a complimentary PSL to boot), I make the trek home. It’s a little after 8. Eric and I chat on the drive. Girls went in perfectly, slight cry from emaline, but not a peep from the older two. We talk briefly about my meeting and within minutes I’m home.
Before allowing myself to completely unwind, I always clean downstairs. It’s the way I keep sane. Floors are cleaned, counters wiped, dishwasher on, toys and books out of sight. It is then, and only then that I can relax. This is my favorite time of day. Tonight is especially great because it is Thursday. Which means Eric went to Trader Joes! Wine, a baguette and their, to die for, harvarti cheese! Need I say more? Oh and Eric decided to make one of our first fires of the season. This, friends, is my slice of heaven on earth.
Snuggling we watch two Madmen episodes and head upstairs. It’s 11. We climb into bed and talk until one or both of us drifts, who knows which. It’s late and I’m next to the man I love. This is real life, this is my life, and I love it!
Thank you so much, Tricia, for sharing your day with us! Reading this definitely makes me excited for what life will look like in just a few short months with MG & Bea…morning play time, reading alone time, girls getting dressed all by themselves, and going for walks without chasing someone down-haha!
Reading this also makes me a little sad that we aren’t neighbors anymore–but–it does inspire me to be a better neighbor to those around me right now. Thanks, Tricia!