On that note, let’s dive into my first day in the life post of 2020, shall we?
I was up before the sun on Monday morning and ready to get back into my usual weekday groove after two(ish) weeks of a more relaxed holiday-imposed schedule. It felt good to be able to slowly sip my coffee, eat a sweet potato muffin and ease into the day before the boys woke up. My 5 a.m. alarm gave me time to do my morning devotional and wrap up yesterday’s weekend recap blog post before Chase was up for the day.
Chase had himself mostly dressed before I came into his room around 7 a.m. and we settled into a chair to read two chapters from his latest Merlin Missions chapter book. The book was a gift from my mother-in-law for Chase for Christmas because we recently finished all of the Magic Tree House series and he was itching for more! I was afraid the Merlin Missions books would be too advanced however they read similarly to the Magic Tree House books but with a little additional length. (While we could often finish a Magic Tree House book in two-ish sittings, the Merlin Missions books take a bit longer in a good way!)
Eventually Ryder started making noise on the monitor and Chase, as usual, wanted brother “private time” so I let him climb into Ryder’s crib where the boys played for a bit while I changed into my gym clothes and got ready for the day. Eventually we all made our way downstairs for breakfast before heading out the door for preschool drop off. Though the boys stuck to cereal and bananas, I ended up making myself breakfast 2.0 to eat on the go which looked like oatmeal in a mug.
Yesterday’s combination included oats, almond milk, peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, crushed almonds and fresh berries.
We arrived at Chase’s school a few minutes early and spent a little time on the school playground before Chase headed into his classroom and Ryder and I made our way to the YMCA.
Once Ryder was settled in childcare, I took myself through a quick shoulder workout that looked like this:
The highlight of my workout was putting my new Bluetooth wireless earbuds to use!
They were a Christmas gift from my parents and I totally get why they have 24,000+ positive reviews on Amazon. I couldn’t stomach putting Apple earbuds on my Christmas list because they seem so pricey for something I could very easily lose and I can already say that my new pair of earbuds will be perfect for my workouts. They are comfortable, easy to charge, easy to pair with my phone and come with four different sizes of ear caps so you’re sure to get a good fit. I’m a BIG fan and loved the ability to finally do burpees and mountain climbers without a cord swinging around in front of me.
I was in and out of the gym in right around 40 minutes and spent some time in the gym lobby after I picked Ryder up from childcare because, like his big brother, Ryder loves the assortment of toys and books in our YMCA’s lobby and always wants to stop and play for a bit.
Ryder played and we both ate a packet of almond butter for a snack before leaving to run a few errands to the post office and UPS to return and mail various packages.
By the time we made it home, I was quite hungry and quickly threw some chicken thighs I had marinating in the fridge into the oven to bake while I took a shower. I closed off our bathroom so Ryder could play with toys while I showered and then I got dressed, threw my hair up into a bun and assembled lunch for the two of us.
Lunch for me looked like a bunch of Simple Mills crackers paired with a bowl of chicken thighs marinated in a new-to-me Asian marinade, leftover mashed sweet potato and chopped green beans.
We made it to preschool pickup right on time (not always an easy feat!) and Ryder high-tailed it into Chase’s school proving, yet again, just how ready he is for preschool. Soon enough, bud!
Chase chatted away about his day and was clearly psyched to be reunited with his teachers and classmates. Once we arrived back home, Chase and Ryder played for a bit while I straightened up around the kitchen and washed out Chase’s lunch box and all that jazz.
Eventually Ryder went down for his nap and Chase and I curled up with a snack on the couch to read more of his latest Merlin Missions book before his “quiet time.” Chase’s quiet time typically looks like playing alone with toys in his room or flipping through picture books for 45 minutes or so until he gets restless and asks to be done. While he played in his room, I made myself some Four Sigmatic hot cacao, cranked out some work on the computer and then spent the rest of the afternoon close to home with the boys.
We played in the backyard with Sadie and ran around outside before it was bath time. The boys were about halfway through their bath when our babysitter for the evening arrived.
After two of our favorite sitters both left for college last fall, we found ourselves on the lookout for a few great babysitters we could call on again and finally found two we love! Madison arrived in the early evening and after giving her the usual rundown of the boys’ bedtime routine, I headed out to meet up with Ryan and our couples small group. Ryan and I were in a small group together before through our church back when we lived in Ocala but it’s been years since we have been in a small group together. We’ve been meeting biweekly for the past two months or so with five other couples and typically get together for dinner followed by a discussion surrounding a short video we watch as a group. I forgot to snap a photo of the dinner spread from last night but we all filled our plates with chicken, pasta salad, butternut squash, garlic bread and cookies and cream cupcakes.
Last night’s discussion centered around the four stages of parenting which seemed dead-on to me and also really thought-provoking. Here are the stages in case you are interested:
- Discipline Years (0-5): Teaching kids there are consequences for their behaviors
- Training Years (5-12): Putting the why behind the what
- Coaching Years (12-18): Advising from the sidelines and moving toward connecting rather than correcting
- Friendship Years (18+): Enjoying one another’s company and processing life together
The video we watched is the first of a two-part series called Parent Unscripted by Andy and Sandra Stanley and lead to a really interesting discussion within our group. (The video is 12 minutes long and definitely worth a watch if this topic is of interest to you.) Ryan and I are clearly right in the middle of the discipline years and discipline is something we constantly work on with our boys. Watching this video and seeing the stages of parenting outlined in such a concise yet important way felt eye-opening and also encouraging. In the video, Andy and Sandra discussed the importance of progressing through the above stages with your children to avoid making the next stage increasingly difficult. (For example, a lack of discipline in the younger years will make the Coaching Years much more challenging.) We talked about our struggles related to parenting in our current stages and it was helpful to hear from parents in our group who are already in the next stages of life to hear what they would’ve done differently and also what they found to be helpful in the early years.
We also talked about the kind of atmosphere we want to have in our households (one key takeaway from the video was to “never freak out” over the good OR the bad for fear your children will stop opening up to you altogether) and I loved some of the ideas our group came up with to create strong relationships with our children and each other. (Note: The “never freak out” rule doesn’t mean you won’t freak out internally! It just encourages parents to try to temper your reaction in the moment your child is opening up to you so they feel comfortable coming to you about the really hard and sometimes shocking stuff without fear.) We also talked about our strong desire to raise kind children and I love the way one family in our group asks their children to say one kind thing they did for another person at the end of every day. To me, this seems to take the emphasis off personal accolades and achievements and puts it on helping others.
We made it home a little before 9 p.m. and chatted with Madison a bit before heading upstairs to get ready for bed. A very energetic Chase ended up popping out of his room to greet us which wasn’t all that shocking since the last time we had a babysitter in the evening he said he wanted to wait for us to arrive home. We tucked Chase in and then got ready for bed ourselves before chatting, reading and turning off the lights.
Now it’s time to do the whole weekday routine over again! I hope you all have a great Tuesday!
Questions of the Day
- If you have children, what stage of parenting are you currently in?
- Has one stage been more challenging than others?
- What is your current struggle in your stage of parenting?