Thursday, July 5, 2012

{31 Things} Day 10: Evening

Something about even just the word "evening" is so calm and relaxing. We often have a lot to do after work, so our evenings aren't always restful, but usually we try to squeeze in a least a little quiet time together. I crave a break between a crazy afternoon and a sleepy night. Ideally, we aim to protect a bit of special evening time to hang out and wind down before settling in for the night.

Our routine isn't set in stone, but we do have a typical pattern for weeknights. Work has to wrap up by five-fifteen for whoever is picking up piper. I'd like to say we take turns, but more often than not, Dustin is the one who can slip away first. I try to follow shortly, leaving by six. Piper usually needs a nap first thing- her nap schedule at daycare is still all over the place so she tends to be super tired when we get her. She'll sleep for an hour or less, and we'll use that time to tidy up, wash bottles, and make dinner. By seven she's usually up and ready for to eat. I nurse her upstairs (my bed has become our designated nursing spot) and then we head down to eat dinner as a family. I tend to plan the meals, but Dustin does the bulk of the cooking, which is awesome. It's so nice to come down the stairs with a full, happy baby, to be greeted with a delicious meal.

Growing up, my family ate together almost every night, and it's a tradition that is important to me. Piper may not know the difference yet, but I like setting up a routine of gathering around the table each evening to break bread (or at least pizza!) and talk about our days. We've been introducing Piper to food, so she typically noshes on something while we eat our meal. We're trying to let her feed herself if possible, so that we're free to focus on our own food (rather than having to spoon her mush while our dinner gets cold). If we're lucky she'll stay content in her seat until we're done. If we're not so lucky then one of us holds her while the other finishes eating.

After dinner we have some time to play. Depending on how messy dinner was (meaning if Piper fed herself) we might have bathtime. She’s really learning to love the bath, which makes it a lot more fun. We divide and conquer usually, with one of us scrubbing Piper, and the other cleaning up a bit more around the house (Dustin usually takes her, while I buzz around folding clothes, and clearing clutter). After she’s dried off and jammy-‘ed up, we try to squeeze in some storytime. Her attention and patience is typically wearing thin by this point so we’re lucky if we make it through a whole book, but I love snuggling up in our bed, even if she’s more of a wiggle worm than a bookworm.

Bedtime for Bonzo (an old saying my dad was fond of) is around eight-thirty. She’s getting better at going to sleep, so we’re able to lay her down fairly easily, with only a few minutes of crying before she’s off in dreamland. We try to wrap up any chores- washing bottles or remaining dishes, bringing up clean laundry, etc.- and the night (or what’s left of it) is ours! Typically we’ll watch an episode or two of TV online, or we’ll each surf the internet for a while (blogging for me, Eagles website for him)- but it’s usually not more than an hour before we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. I miss the days of staying up late indulging in milkshakes and full nights of Must-See TV or similar guilty pleasures. We both struggle to feel like we have any free time to ourselves, and though we could probably make better use of this late evening hour, after a long day of work, it’s a challenge to find the motivation to do anything but veg-out. It may not always be the most productive use of time, but a nightcap of couch snuggles and no-brainer comedy (or even more brainless Bachelor episode) is fine by me. After all, there will always be more chores to do and errands to run…That’s why God created Saturdays.

1 comment :

  1. Some of my fondest memories are of evenings when Noah was a baby. I would come home from work and I was always so excited to hang with him. We would sit on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls while I nursed him. I don't think you can ever regret spending some quiet hours with your wee one and some cuddles!