Monday, January 19, 2015

The Days of Our Lives

Soo....big news (that I super vaguely alluded to in our last "life lately" update): Dustin got a job! He worked for a bit when we moved here, but that job wasn't the right fit for him (that sounds like a really diplomatic way of skirting over some drama, but truly it was a wonderful job that he just wasn't made for). So rather than slog it out in a role that was slowly sucking his soul dry (there's my signature dramatic flair!) he's been home with the kiddos. In addition to stay-at-home dad-ing it, he's been taking a class to get his teaching license renewed, and doing some freelance work for his old company back in Pittsburgh. It's been a bit of an unexpected detour for our family, but for the most part, it's been wonderful. I won't speak on his behalf too much (please, it's what I do) but he really loved being with the kids, and tried to take advantage of it as much as possible while we waited to figure out what might be next. We thought teaching might be the next phase (he loved it back in Cincinnati, and really missed it, plus thought the schedule would be a pretty perfect fit for our family), but he was also looking into corporate jobs more in line with his recent experience. And...very long story short, last week he was offered a metrics and analytics position and accepted it. And he starts today. What?! AND the very best/craziest part, is that his new job is at my company! Yep. The old gang is back together again. #powercouple

So as we prep for this new phase, I thought it would be fun to document the routine we're leaving behind. Being a SAHD isn't for everyone, but let me just tell you, my husband rocked it, and it made my life more than a little bit easier in the process. So while I'm totally supportive of his dreams to learn something new, take a risk, and you know...spend his days with people who don't poop their pants...a big part of me is also sad to say goodbye to our current set up. This has been an adjustment period, full of learning, and balancing, and relearning, and re-balancing, but it's also been such a sweet, sweet season for our family that I will look back on fondly.

Oh- and before I get into the specifics, I wanted to include a blurb from the last Day in the Life post I did over two years ago. Turns out, besides everything, not much has changed:
"before I share my daily routine, let me just add this disclaimer: It’s impossible describe my day without Dustin’s because it would be impossible to do my life without his. We’re a team like that. And very, very quickly it will be clear to anyone reading that the secret to any of my success is Dustin. Seriously. If I had any advice to give, it wouldn’t be time saving tricks, or multi-tasking tips. It would be choose your mate wisely. I somehow stumbled into this gem of a man and locked him in. And I’ve been reaping the benefits ever since."
So now you know not to expect some "secrets form a working mom" treasure trove of advice. In fact, this entire entry might be interesting to me and only me (and debatable at that) but for whatever reason I'm fascinated with the details of people's schedules. How do they do things differently? What aspects could I try or learn? Where is there a common ground of just trying to survive the madness?
So this might just be a post for me to review years later, to remember what life with two toddlers looked like. Or it might be semi-helpful for someone else to read and see how we manage (and struggle). So with that...on with the fun.

5:30- Dustin gets up and heads to his 6AM Crossfit class. He goes around 4 times a week, I think, but I can't really be sure because I sleep like a rock, and barely register his movement 99% of the time. It's a gift really.

7:45- Piper and Fin wake up. Piper takes her "ok to wake" clock pret-ty seriously, and we've somewhat accidentally (due to the time change, and a few random late nights) moved her wake up time back almost an hour over the last year or so. She was a struggle with her early morning wakeups for a long time, so I cherish this system. (for what it's worth, she typically wakes up sometime around 7 or 7:30, but dutifully waits until her magic green light comes on. Seriously- magic). Fin wakes up around 7:30ish too, but she's happy to play in her crib for a bit. She rarely even makes a peep, other than some cheerful babbling.
7:45- I wake up. I try to set my alarm for 7:20, thinking that if I actually manage to get up by 7:30 I could at least shower before the kiddos are up and about....But....I pretty much just love to sleep, and find myself snoozing until I'm greeted by an un-ignorable little face pressed against mine, proudly announcing- "MAMA! Wook! I made it to Green Wight!"
7:50- After checking all the super important updates on my phone (aka: emailed coupons, Instagram, and Timehop app) I actually have to get moving, or I'll be late. Or more accurately, I have to get moving, and will likely still be late. Here's where we get real: I shower every other day. It's a very simple, and obvious plan, day 1: hair down, day two: ponytail and bangs clipped back. I hustle through the routine while Dustin and the kids are downstairs doing their thing- which is breakfast prep, and an episode of Piper's TV-fav du jour. Dustin typically whips up some pancakes and/or cheesy eggs for all of us, while the jammy-clad girls zone out on the couch.
8:10 (ish)- I join the crew downstairs, and we all eat together. Kind of. The girls eat at the table, while Dustin and I eat/chat/clean/prep/pack my lunch etc. etc. I'm sure there's a way to streamline this (like...don't be so stinking lazy at night?) but we haven't really gotten our act together.

8:15- I should leave.
8:30- I should definitely leave. I gather up all my bags, kiss the babies goodbye (which looks more like chasing Fin down because she thinks it's a game, and yelling "BYE, BYE, BYYYYYYE, PIPER!" repeatedly, because she's once again glued to the remainder of her show, thus, I'm invisible/silent to her.
8:30- AM commute, listening to my current audio book. I also still put my makeup on in the car. I confess this as the first effort to change. Someday.
8:55- Park, and walk to my office. Stop for a covert selfie if schedule allows and wardrobe inspires.
9:00- Arrive at work. From then on, my day looks like: work, work, meetings, work, work, so many meetings, eat something at my desk while working, annnnnnnnnnnd done. It's nothing extraordinary, and not overly hectic compared with what I'm used to. Just a solid stream of stuff to do until it's time to pack up. There's probably always at least a half hour ish of work that just doesn't manage to fit in the day, so it gets pushed to the next one. But by and large, it's a pretty manageable schedule, and I'm thankful that I can get out at 5 most days. (P.s. Even on the rougher days, I don't dare complain. It's a sweet gig, and if I'm being real, many days even involve a snack/treat/booze. #agencylife)

**meanwhile, back at the ranch**
8:30- Two days a week my mom watches the girls- usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, but it's pretty loose. She comes to the house to pick them up, which is extra awesome. So early morning is typically just getting dressed and packing up bla-bla and Jelly (the closest thing they have to "lovies"). If it's a "g'mi/papa day" they go over by 9 and come back after nap, around 4:30ish. (She drops them off too. Is that the best?)

Now, if it's a "daddy day" it typically look a little something like this:

9:00- Play a bunch, or take a bath, or go to Target/Kroger. Or all three.
10:00- Fin probably needs/wants a nap, but that's likely inconvenient because it means staying home pretty much all day, so usually it's better to skip it and try to ride out the crankiness. Snacktime is a good distraction.
10:30- Errand running and more playing, either at home (play doh, coloring, puzzles, stroller racing etc.) or a trip to the indoor playground, aka germ pit, at the mall.
12:00- Chick Fil A if they're really, really lucky.

1:30- Naptime! Dustin jams in the billion and two things he has to get done (usually a work commitment of some kind, or some writing for class, and some housework, plus all the things I put on his daily "if you get a minute, can you just do a few random things for me?" list) before the kids are up again.
3:30- Piper wakes up. She gets to watch a show on PBS kids or Netflix.
4:00- Fin wakes up. Everyone gets a snack. Play, play, play while Dustin gets dinner ready.

**meanwhile, back in the rat race**
5:10- Scramble to wrap up whatever I can, or at least transfer to my to-do list for tomorrow, before sending an "on my way" text and heading out.
5:50- Arrive at home. Most days the family is just sitting down to dinner, so I walk in just in time to join. If they're sitting down already, I'm greeted with loud shouts of MAMA!, and if they haven't yet gathered at the table, then I'm pretty much bowled over with hugs when I walk in. It is: the best. Then we all sit down and hold hands while Piper prays, then we all chat while we eat.
6:30- More playing, while Dustin and I clean up dinner. (sometimes we get a head start while they eat a treat.) This wild hour is usually filled with wrestling, pillow piles, tickling, dance parties, and chasing each other around the "loop" of the kitchen/living room. Sometimes we squeeze in 8 or so rounds of hide and seek, and/or 7 library books.
7:15- Clean up and start the transition up to bedtime. The girls get jammies on, and brush their teeth. If it's early enough we'll read a few books.
7:45- In bed. Lights out. Sweet dreams. Fin might cry for 3 minutes, but then is zonked immediately. 
8:00- Dustin and I tinker around getting a few random things done, but because he does the majority (read: all) of the housework/chores/errands, our evenings are delightfully free. So a typical night involves me blogging or saving pictures etc, and the two of us watching an episode (or 3) of Parenthood on Netflix. I know. The glamour. It's overwhelming sometimes. 
8:30- Piper usually stops singing and goes to sleep. Usually.
10:30- Dustin heads to bed, and I promise I'm right behind him.
12:30- I finally tear myself away from whatever crazy online wormhole I've gotten lost in.

So that's the shape of it right now. Or at least...last week, last month, last year. And now....we enter a new phase that's going to look a bit similar, and also a lot different. I'm scared (justifiably so...we did the whole- both of us work full time thing with two kids for a while, and it was tiring) and excited (justifiably so...we did the whole- both of us work for the same company thing for years, and it was pretty great). We'll have to figure out daycare dropoff again, but we'll get the perks of a carpool buddy. And we'll have a lot more planning to do at night to make things run smoother, but we'll have a little extra cash to potentially justify outsourcing some of that effort (cleaning service? yes please!) It won't always be easy, because nothing is, but I've got the best crew to figure it out with me, so we'll enjoy the adventure as we muddle through it all together.

P.S. If you're diggin' the "slice of our everyday" vibe, you can out all of our Day in The Life posts,

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  1. okay, i think my comment was eaten by aliens, but I just want to say CONGRATS to Dustin! hooray! sounds exciting!

  2. I fought the cleaning lady thing for a long time (pride, I'm sure) but now I am not sure I can ever go back. And now that I have a kid I really would rather hang with him than scrub tile. You won't regret it!

  3. I gotta say, I think it is totally awesome sauce that Dustin was a stay at home dad for awhile, what a blessing for you and the girls! How fun to hang with dad all day! That being said, it is super awesome that he has such a great new opportunity! A sneak peek into the days of your lives is always a pleasure, hoping you guys are settling into your new routine well! No doubt, an adjustment, but you guys seems to take it all in stride!

  4. Hooray! How fabulous to be able to work with your hubby! Congrats to your family! Best wishes in the transition into the new and exciting period of your family's life!