Mama’s Got Her Hands Full

Mama Mama

It’s been a little over five weeks since our journey into parenting three tiny humans has began. To say our world has needed adjusting is an understatement. Though I found myself very fortunate to have my husband home for the first two weeks after having our third baby, what followed was chaos, uncontrollable emotions, stress beyond management and doubt.

You see, raising two munchkins with our crazy, eventful lives, was already a challenge. We knew bringing a third into the mix would be tough, and we expected changes and challenges. What I didn’t want to dwell on was the fact that I’d be doing a lot of the hardest, most time-consuming, and exhausting parenting on my own.

My husband is an extremely hard worker. There are times I’d actually say he’s a work-a-holic. It actually takes convincing to get him to just relax and snuggle, and be low-key and just present a lot of the time. In his defense, we have a never-ending list of projects to tackle and money is always an issue, so the overtime work is a blessing even when it doesn’t feel like it. And every single day it feels like the exact opposite for me.

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I am very hands on. I have always wanted to be the one who raises my kids, as well as be the one who helps build them up in education and schooling. I have controlling qualities, which enables me to provide healthy meals every day, produce creative school worksheets, and be the monitor to manners and attitudes. Those qualities also make it nearly impossible for me to ask for help until I’m already in full-blown fall-apart mode. And when that time finally comes, the guilt and doubt sets in, which makes it even more impossible for me.

In any normal week, my husband works 5 days, but in addition to that, there are three nights a week I have the kids to myself while their daddy works call and stays out of town, or works late; until bedtime. That’s three full days of cooking and preparing breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners and food thrown, spilled, and played in over hours of repeating “just eat”! That’s three full days of potty struggles, accidents, wiping butts, and wet pants. That’s three full days of fighting nap times, and bedtime routines that exhaust mommy more than anything. That’s two full nights of breastfeeding alone in a king sized bed, and unlatching when necessary in order to get out of bed and comfort the big kids in their room when they wake and cry, only to then have a screaming newborn as well. That’s two full nights of no sleep at all

So today, I decided the exhaustion had built up long enough. It was time to begin a pumping routine in order to hopefully build a small stock-pile enough so that mommy can find a time in the near future to get away.

Take a break. 


The plan was supposed to be that I pumped first thing, and allow Eason to be fed by daddy via a bottle using breastmilk I had pumped (as strictly a release for comfort) a couple weeks ago. It was supposed to be done simultaneously so that my re-fill schedule was consistent with Eason’s belly getting hungry again. I got out the pump, heated the frozen breastmilk, and got all hooked up.

And then we got a call from an electrician saying he was on his way over.

Frustrated, and almost in tears because of the fact that literally NOTHING seems to go as planned or in my favor when it comes to the house progress, and there is constantly someone in our personal space, I told Javin to hand me to the baby while he went and dealt with yet another project.

So I bottle fed while I pumped.

I kept telling myself that I should just remove the pump and allow Eason to attach to me, and make things a little easier, but I was also desperate to be able to sneak away at some point in time. Which meant I had to follow through with the plan.






Motherhood is hard.

It is messy.

It is chaotic.

It is unpredictable, and at times overly predictable.

It is exhausting.

It is precious. 

And it is busy.

Pumping only adds ONE MORE THING to our already busy days. I’m not exactly sure when or if it’ll get done most days, to be honest. It’s going to really just be one more inconvenience. All I know is there’s not another way for this mama to be able to get out of the house 100% kid free, until we have a milk supply on hand. Until then, all the grocery trips, library adventures, and all other errands will always include at least one baby. It’s now been a little over five weeks since I’ve had any time to myself. It’s been a little over five weeks now that we’ve been raising our growing Fleshman clan. Three of those five weeks, the challenge has felt almost that of my own. The exhaustion I’ve been feeling will back that up.

But when it comes to self-care, the biggest challenge of all is convincing myself I need it more than my kids need me. Every once in a while, it would be nice to feel like instead of needing more hands, that maybe my hands weren’t so needed. But they are needed. And they are full.




(important) Things I do With my Kids EVERY Day.

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Lately I’ve been asked a lot about curriculum, and where I get my ideas for home school activities. I’ve been asked about how our typical day goes here in our household-schoolhouse, so I am here to put all other Mommy’s minds to rest…

We don’t follow a strict curriculum. 

We don’t have a strict schedule. 

We just wing it. Every single day.

The way I see it, the more you are out and about doing things and taking in your surroundings, the more ideas can come together. So we try to do just that.

However, each day there are certain things I make sure to accomplish with my children, not just because my kids enjoy these activities, but I feel they are the most important for their growth, learning, and over-all maturing as tiny humans.

#1: We read. Some days, especially rainy days, my eyes grow sleepy with the amount of books we read together. Some days, after I have read my max, I suggest Parker “reads” to his sister. There are certain books he has memorized and it’s good practice for him as well. Ava enjoys the time with big brother too.

#2: We do chores. Allowing the kids to “help” with miscellaneous projects and chores around the house may mean that things get done in three times the amount of time it should take, but it’s so important for the kids to feel involved, needed, and doing chores gives them a very basic work ethic. The majority of our chores involve the animals, so that adds to the excitement for all of us. The chickens, bunny, goats, and dogs all need fed and cared for daily so Mama’s helpers are never empty-handed. When it comes to indoor chores, both my kids have found areas inside the house that they prefer. Ava loves helping in the kitchen; putting away groceries, and organizing cabinets are her specialty. Parker enjoys real organization, usually with his toys, or Daddy’s tools.

#3: We eat together. Frequently. Sharing meals is especially important to me. It’s that time during the day when you can all sit and actually be present together. I am, and always have been one of those women who eat all day long, and I am raising my children to have the same good habits with food as well. I enjoy making healthy family meals, so I hope all our kids grow to not only have appreciation for that, but will take my love for healthy food and apply it to their lives as they grow as well.

#4: We snuggle, kiss, hug, and tell each-other we love each other. Sometimes Daddy gets a bit overwhelmed with how lovey his son is especially, but I don’t care. I adore the fact that our family is so loving towards each other. Sure, it may be a tad embarrassing when the kids insist on pulling up my shirt, and my maternity pants down so they can kiss baby brother in my belly while we are grocery shopping, but there’s no way I could ever stop them. Having lost loved ones, I feel it is necessary to never waste a moment to tell someone you love them. And I am thankful my children are learning to do the same.

#5: I scold or discipline. There’s no way around it. When you have an almost 2 year old, and an almost 4 year old, there will be chaos as well as tragedy and tears. I grew up with firm parents, yet they were not overly strict, there was a good balance. However, I was raised to know respect, and good manners, and I expect my children to learn the same. So when they do wrong, we discuss it. Sometimes I raise my voice more than I like, and sometimes I cry as well. However, I refuse to be the parent that lets their kids get away with anything and everything, because those children grow up to be teenagers as well as adults, and they are our future.

#6: We get outside time. This is the Oregon coast, so you never know what the weather will be, and though we’ve been lucky this winter, usually the rain is too atrocious to even think about spending time outside. Lately, we’ve been loving the sunshine, even when the air is brisk and cool, we can bundle and get fresh air. The kids and I have been the beach a few times the last week, and have been feeling overwhelmingly blessed by the lack of wind! Fresh air is needed for keeping their little, growing brains functioning. Fresh air is needed for Mama and clearing her mind. Fresh air is good for immune health, mood, and so much more. It’s a wonderful thing, being able to raise our children on our eight acres that also happens to be within minutes from a quiet beach and having space to explore.

#7: We have “school” time. Though each day the schedule may vary, we do sit down and work on school work. Every day we do something, some days we do much more than others. At the preschool stage, I let my son guide me a bit more than I lead him. It’s important he doesn’t lose interest so I let him tell me how long he wants to focus on school work. When we need a break, we take one. If we don’t accomplish much, we go back to that lesson again. I have a weekly theme each week, and we will do projects based on that theme. Most weeks, we also add in things we’ve learned in the past and do reviews as well. I had a full school-years worth of themes planned out, but have rearranged as needed.

#8: We have REAL conversations. We use REAL facts, and REAL (even sometimes slightly uncomfortable) words. In this day and age, there are nicknames and slang terms for everything. We are very realistic with our children. After all, this is real life. Both Mommy and Daddy are/have been involved in the health care and/or fitness fields and the human body is no joke to us. We use the correct terms, and its actually quite fascinating how fast our nearly four year old picks up things we talk about with him. He could tell you the longest muscle in the body and talk to you about what bones he saw in an x-ray. We don’t use funny cover-up names for private parts, and just the other day Parker drew a picture of him and Daddy, stick figures of course, but they both had penises. (Insert blushing cheeks here…but also very proud Mom for him being anatomically correct.) When we talk about plants, and animals around our house, we make sure we share the correct info with our kids so they learn as we explore. If Parker has a question we aren’t entirely sure of an answer, we look it up and find the right answer.

#9: I let the kids entertain themselves. Not only does this give me a small mental break, or chance to pee without them, but it’s important for the kids to use their imaginations and try to problem solve without supervision and being able to ask for help the second they need it. They learn to get creative. Sometimes they learn what failure feels like. All important things.

#10: We pray and talk about the bible. I cannot express how deeply my children have changed my life. My husband and I both were raised christian, but becoming a mom has only encouraged my heart to grow with the Lord, and for that, I am thankful every day. Ava’s favorite book for her Grandpa Stacy to read when we go visit, is a toddler bible. We pray at bedtime, and we try to throughout the day as well. Teaching the kids to have a relationship with God, helps me do the same.


Seems like such a long list, and after reading through all ten bullets, there’s no wonder I am tired by the end of the day. It’s 100% worth it. My babies deserve as much as I can possibly give them, and I want to be the Mama that gives them unlimited memories as well as work towards raising them to be the best tiny humans they can possibly be.

stay at home mom

Message 2 my Kids # 52

Mama Mama


While you were away for the night at Grammy’s, Mama cleaned up all your toys, all your crayons, all the mess, swept and organized. An hour after you came home it looks as though the mess was never gone.

How can two tiny humans possibly be as destructive as a hurricane!?

No Such Thing as Super Mom

Mama Mama

Some days I feel like I am on fire! Chores get done, kids are fed full and balanced meals, animals around the farm are happy, one or more of the many projects around the construction zone got checked off, we did arts and crafts, and even took a nature walk, and I made it through the day alive.

Then are are days and nights like yesterday.

My threenager would not listen, and every time I either asked or told him to do something I heard “I don’t want to” or there was a gigantic break down. Then, my youngest, Avaley, she could not for the life of her sit with Daddy, snuggle Daddy, or sleep in her own bed. She had to be on mama at all times, or kicking me, or touching my face or poking at any part of me she could. And for some reason, from the hours of 1:30 am – 3:00 am she was awake and tossing and turning in bed. Half dozing, half smiley. Which means I was awake, doing the same, because she was in my bed. No cries, or discomfort, just being a turd.

My weakness comes with my overactive brain. Definitely not a super power.

Once I was awake because I was so frustrated that she was not only in my space, but wouldn’t stop moving…I irritated myself to the point I was fully awake and then my mind wouldn’t shut off. I began thinking about all the things causing stress in my life right now.

  1. House construction. If we could just get the drywall done, we could paint, and we could get moved into the bedrooms upstairs, and if the kids had their own room it would be easier to MAKE them sleep in their own beds. Then this would not be happening.
  2. Money. Everything we are doing is costing too much money.
  3. Our third baby we are growing inside me right now. I was doubting ever fiber of my being last night because this new baby means another many years of not being able to sleep next to my husband, and more chaos and more cleaning up after, and more head butting and body slamming toss and turns at night.
  4. Back to the third baby. I saw the midwife yesterday and all day I worried about everything we talked about. I am going to have to go see a specialist again, to determine whether or not I should take progesterone shots with this pregnancy since Avaley was to term. There are so many questions, factors, and honestly, I don’t even think the specialist knows, but progesterone is really THE ONLY “option” for women who have had a preterm birth in the past. I’ve been doing my research myself, and I am at a lost for how I feel about it. I am praying my gut gives me some sort of sign sometime soon.
  5. Then I began thinking about today…what should our day look like? This is Javin’s ONE DAY OFF he has with us here at the house, so I know we are going to try to cram too many projects into too little time. We will start with banana pancakes, swimming lessons, picking up the durango while we are in town because it’s been in the shop (another cost we can’t afford). We will need to go to Freddie’s because we are out of fruits and vegetables, I’d like to organize the garage enough so that I can get my gym equipment in there and out of the living room, which means I need to get that slider out! So maybe I’ll try to sell that, then the crib and a few other things can be moved upstairs to the bedrooms for storage for now, the insulation needs finished, the dining room/craft table needs cleaned, and at some point, I need to prep and put together the meatballs we are having for dinner. Which reminds me, I need to take that meat out to thaw!
  6. After this shitstorm, I realized I needed to breathe and pray. So in order to not wake Javin and Parker, who were managing to sleep through the majority of Avaley’s craziness, I whispered calm thoughts to God.
  7. I got up to pee for the second time, checked the clock, it was 3:47. Crawled into bed and FINALLY fell asleep.

And though I got VERY. LITTLE. SLEEP. last night, and woke up before the sun did this morning, the first thing I wanted to put on my list of to-dos, was a workout.

Taking care of me, is more important some days than anything else because If i don’t take care of Mom, Mom can’t properly take care of everyone else. So even though there’s a list of to-dos a mile long that I made mental note of in the middle of the night, I am changing the game plan and making me a priority today so that I can feel my best and hopefully be as productive as possible. That’s how I have to do it.

And I remind myself:


There’s no such thing as super mom. And today, I’m going to wing it like every other day.

Preschool Home-school Themes

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Being mama full time definitely is a lot of work. Emotionally, as well as physically, it’s very demanding of me. But, I wouldn’t want my “job” to be anything other than this. This is the most important job I could ever have. And since our oldest, Parker, is somehow almost at school age, I begin a new adventure!

Parker will be four years old in February, so this September, when school season begins, we will start a preschool routine. I think I might be more excited about this than anyone else, mostly because I know I now have more excuses to get creative and be a kid and learn myself.

Preschool…usually fun stuff. 

However, still very educational.

Our boy is ahead of the game in a sense that he has been learning for the past two years, and to him, “school work” has always been fun.

A few days ago, while my husband was home, I had a chance to actually put together a full school year of weekly preschool themes in which I plan to schedule my weekly and daily work around. I figured for the youngsters, themes are something to look forward to every Monday morning. (Heck, even us adults like themes, am I right?!)

I figured I would share our list of weekly themes, in case there are any other mamas out there who are stumped at where to begin with homeschooling a preschooler, or even a kiddo at an older age.

Preschool Homeschooling Themes rainbow

We are teaching based on our core values, Biblical references, and Oregon guidelines for early learning and kindergarten through the Department of Education.

Each day of the week will be broken up into individual lessons based around the overall theme. In addition to the weekly themes, I will be creating a list of sight words that will be learned alphabetically as the year progresses. 

As for Avaley, she will be two at the end of December, so we will come up with a “younger” version of many of the same activities Parker will be doing. She is still learning shapes, colors, animals, and things like that.

I now have a month to finish getting everything in order, and I know August is going to fly by! This is a new thing to me, homeschooling. So if there are any other moms with any pointers and/or advice, it would be very much appreciated! 


Wild & Free

Mama Mama

About a month ago, I came across a book that struck me right away as intriguing. I found it on Amazon, and put it in my “save for later” cart. I know we’ve all been taught to never judge a book by it’s cover… but the title alone whispered to my soul and the tag line felt like something pulling on my heart strings. Still, I knew we financially couldn’t just buy whatever we felt we wanted, so I didn’t purchase the book.

With everything that’s been going on in our crazy lives, this book has been in the back of my mind and a few days ago I decided, that after the emotional break-downs, confusion, chaos, and uncertainty, this was no longer just a book I wanted, but maybe it was just what I needed.

Sometimes God works in funny ways. His timing is never wrong.

The forward, introduction, and first half of chapter one is all I could get in this morning and if it wasn’t for a couple hungry munchkins, I would have not put it down. As soon as the kids went down for a nap, I finished chapter one.

40 pages.

That’s all it took to really sink in that maybe all this confusion, chaos, and uncertainty is happening for a reason. Maybe this is just the beginning of a journey God has me on to find my “Eden identity”.

To quote a brief section that connected with me today:

“When a horse is finally tamed and trained, bearing the burden of saddle and human expectations alike, she is called broken. It is only then that she performs the duties expected of her.”

“I don’t think that’s what God ever had in mind for Eve. And I don’t think that’s what God ever had in mind for you and for me.”


Not in a “She can’t be fixed”.

or a “She doesn’t work properly”. kind of way.

More like a “She isn’t her pure, wild self”. 

All my confusion, and all my uncertainty lately has been about an identity crisis. I’ve felt I am too much, and not enough, all at once, just as this book states. I am not sure who I am supposed to be, as a professional, as a wife, as a mother, and as a daughter of God. There have been so many changes in my life the last couple years that I am left to filter, prioritize, and accept where I am today. And pray that God reveals my path forward before I go too crazy.

Who am I meant to be? Who is the wild, most pure version of myself?

I am not the professional manager of a busy 24-hour gym anymore. I am not the well-dressed hostess at a local, fine-dining restaurant. I am not the personal trainer gone bikini competitor in her heels and spray tan on stage.

What I am is Mama. And though it is the ONE thing I WANT to be, I am having a hard time accepting that this is all I am meant for in my life. I am having a hard time knowing I am not doing more to help our family financially. I am having a hard time feeling like I should be doing more. 

I feel I am expected to achieve more as a stay-at-home mother, Lord knows dishes are my weakness. I feel I am expected to do more financially, though what I have done in the past doesn’t settle well with my heart anymore. I feel my emotions have been out of control and I should be able to contain them a little easier. That would be more acceptable. I feel I am expecting too much of myself, as well. I expect myself to have full control over what happens with our babies, with my fitness, with our little farm we are creating, and it’s exhausting! Is this what being broken feels like? If so, I want nothing more to be wild and free.

I am anxious to dig further into reading this book, because I know now that it was a perfect choice for me at this point of time in my life. I cannot wait to uncover what it helps me open up and reveal about myself, and where God might lead me.



Sometimes all it takes to feel a little better is a good book that truly connects with you.

Why I’m Choosing to Home-School


When September rolls around I plan to begin official home-school for my oldest, who will be 4 in February. Parker has been doing “school pages” for over a year now, and he frequently asks to get out his school books so he can do letters and numbers. Before age 3 he was tracing and singing all his letters and he’s been sounding out words the last couple months. There are things my three year old can’t seem to grasp (like how to get dressed) but school is something we’ve always made fun for him and he seems to be excelling so far.


There are people who have come right out and shared their opinion that homeschooling isn’t the best option, then there are those who haven’t been as bold, but still made that “Are you crazy?!” face when I brought up homeschooling my children. The thing is, I have been thinking about homeschooling since before my babies were born. I’ve put a ton of thought into it, as well as research, and I know it’s the best choice for our family.

My personal reasons why I am choosing to home-school my children:

  1. First, and foremost, I am their mother and they are my responsibility. I want the best possible life for them, and I know that homeschooling (at least through the early ages) is what will give them the best start they could get.
  2. I want to be the one raising my children. Between my husband and I, and the family/friends/loved ones we surround our children with, we are the ones who will mold our babies into the little humans they will grow into.
  3. We can use bible stories and prayer in our lesson plans.
  4. I believe that at an early age children should be able to learn real life lessons of patience, responsibility and hard work through experiencing day-to-day activities. Incorporating things like raising animals, growing food, budgeting, and caring for siblings into a “lesson plan” will only enrich the child’s views and encourage a deeper connection to learning.
  5. Too many kids these days are growing up to have bad attitudes, no respect, no sense of self control, no common sense, poor work ethics, and have the mindset that it’s always someone else’s fault. That will not be my children. Being able to homeschool also means being able to discipline when needed and being consistent with punishment. No rebellion around here!
  6. The fresh air. We can take our learning outside which not only helps encourage their brains to wander and think, and ask questions, but there are a million health benefits to being able to learn outdoors. We are incredibly blessed, as our homeschool/play room has a covered balcony so even on days where it’s not 100% beautiful outside, we can still get the fresh air.
  7. I get to control what and when my children eat. School food sucks, end of story. Also, I believe in eating throughout the day, every couple hours, and that isn’t allowed in schools. Fueling your body and your brain is important for not just building muscle and creating healthy metabolism, but also for promoting a properly functioning total machine. The healthier your body and brain, they more you will be able to learn and grow.
  8. I get to be the one who sees the “light bulb” moments. Those times where it just clicks, and your child is so proud of their accomplishment…I want to be there for those times.
  9. Our family will get to know each other on a deeper level, and we will create bonds and build the most important relationships.
  10. My gut tells me this is what I need to do. There’s simply no other option for us.

Statistical reasons why I am choosing to home-school my children:

  1. Home-schooled students score exceptionally high on test scores. The majority of home-schooled students were ranked in the 80th percentile or higher, whereas, those in public schools averaged in the 50th
  2. Student to teach ration is obviously lower.
  3. Do you really need more stats than that?!?

Other reasons why I am choosing to home-school my children:

  1. More play time (and also, play time at such a young age, is learning time)
  2. We get to study a wide variety of topics
  3. I get to witness which topics my children find a connection to and encourage their passions to flourish.
  4. Just as I get to see where their weaknesses are, and help build on those as well.
  5. We can learn anytime, anywhere.
  6. I will test my children, but their work will be done for mastery, not for a grade.
  7. The younger children get to learn also by watching the older children.
  8. I can allow my children to sleep in as late as they need. Their growing bodies are precious and need sleep. (Now, if only they would actually sleep in once in a while…)
  9. We will experience more field trips. Tide pools. Parks. Nature walks. Library. Museums. In reality, we could make just about any outing a learning experience.
  10. In more and more public school there are some seriously deceitful things being taught. And when God isn’t allowed inside our public institutions, we tend to follow suit of the deceit. I do not want my children involved in that.


Bible verses I’ve stumbled upon during my decision making process thus far:

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character.”
  2. Proverbs 3:13-18 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
  3. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Impatiently Praying for Patience.

Mama Mama


As long as I can remember, I have been an impatient person. Maybe that’s why I also have issues with control, I figure if I can control the situation I won’t have to worry about my impatience.

Who knows.

However, today, I sit here munching on banana chips and yogurt, with my black coffee, while my babes sleep. Normally right now I would be impatiently praying for patience as I shuffle every to-do through my over-active mind as I grow anxious, wanting to feel more productive with my day.

There are so many projects that need done! Our house still has shag carpet to be pulled, brush to be cleared, and literally months of work.

Normally right now, I would be texting my husband about how stressed I am about everything we have yet to check off our list. I can really be a hot-mess these days, and my impatience is my favorite fault to dangle by.

You see, besides adjusting to trailer living, diy construction, and living in another town, there has been a lot of bad news in our family and hometown lately. I have donated my share of tears, and I have felt what my impatience has brought to my family. It’s not a good feeling when you know you are in the wrong and the only thing I can think to do today is pray.

Today, I pray for patience tomorrow, because today, I am holding my babies a little longer, I am loving them a little harder, and I am okay with that because life is so short and we truly never know what tomorrow will bring.

Besides a never-ending list of chores, I know for certain it will bring that.

Stay-at-Home Mama Routine

Mama Mama

Every morning is basically the same. I wake up with my husband in order to get his lunch packed for his day at work, and usually, one or both of our littles are awake at the same time or shortly after, so I feed them, and try to comfort them if they are grouchy. (both happen to not enjoy waking up)

After the occasional melt-down because our oldest has changed his mind about what he wants to eat ten times, we settle, chow down, (my coffee is now cold and I’m re-heating it for the first time today) and have what little family time we can before daddy goes to work.

Then it’s off to the potty for Parker, he’s almost 3 and WILL NOT potty train! He poops in the potty, but pees his diaper, but I know if we didn’t insist on him sitting on the toilet it would all end up in his diaper. He just doesn’t care to be messy! We keep a few books on the back of the toilet for Parker, his favorite is a cardboard book of the United States, and he usually insists I sing the “50 Nifty United States” song along as he flips the pages. Avaley is probably crawling around the bathroom floor, playing with bath toys, or curled up in my lap being clingy. Parker says “bye-bye poop” and we get dressed for the day.

Depending on if I’m feeding Ava bottle or not, we curl up and put educational cartoons on. Parker and I both like Wild Kratts and their creature powers.

Parker loves his school books, so I have a stock pile of pages I’ve copied and he will sit for quite a while working on his tracing, his letters, coloring, and his scissor technique. It’s very rewarding seeing him enjoy learning, and though at times my hands are full with his baby sister, I still make sure to help when he asks because we’ve been making “school” work fun for him for a couple years, and I would hate to discourage that.

During this time I will try to throw a load of laundry in and take food out of the freezer for that nights dinner. If Parker and Ava are not playing together, I am carrying Ava with me around the house.

By 9:30 or 10:00 am we are all hungry again so I make eggs. We all love eggs for our second breakfast. (I also re-heat my coffee again at this time.)

By 11:00 I am praying the kids will both take a nap together, however, most days, that is not the case. Ava will sometimes take a morning nap so her afternoon nap is thrown off. I don’t attempt to snuggle them both until Parker shows me he’s getting sleepy. He gets irritable, and starts getting wobbly. Then, the real give away to when he’s ready for a nap is when he yells at me “I’m not sleepy!” 

Here at my father-in-laws house we can all fit in the recliner, so on one side I have Parker, squished right next to me, and on my lap on the other side I have Ava. We cover up, read a couple books, then I put a t.v. show on that I hope won’t keep Parker too interested. When they fall asleep and my butt is numb, I somehow make my way up and out of the chair, and only sometimes successfully keep them both asleep. IF they both stay asleep, I get a little time for myself. To study, finish chores, or get a shower in.

We have found that if we allow Parker to nap much later than 2:00 pm he will be a hassle at bed time. So when 2:00 comes around, I wake him if he hasn’t woke up himself. We have a snack, and depending on the weather, go to the beach, or the park, or for a walk in Bob. I love our double stroller!  On the days when the kids can’t be tamed, we go for a walk, and magically, everyone is happy again. Fresh air is my savior!

Depending on what day it is and how late Javin works, I start dinner and let the kids play/destroy the kitchen just so I can cook. Parker will drive cars up my legs with loud “vroooms!” and again, Ava probably found her way into my arms.

When I hear the dogs race to the door it means Daddy is home and Mommy can pour a glass of organic cabernet, if I haven’t already.

After dinner time, it’s daddy time. Then we get the kiddos into the bathroom, on the potty again for Mr. Parker, and into the bath. The two of them play so well together in the bath, so the majority of pictures and videos on my phone are taken at this time. Ava usually tries to crawl out of the bath way before Parker is done, so we lotion, and put jammies on and after 15 time warnings, Parker still doesn’t want to put his toys up, even after we have drained all his water. This usually encourages a struggle between Mean Mommy and Persistent Parker.

My favorite time of the day…snuggle and bed time. Javin is the best daddy in the world and reads and prays with Parker almost nightly while I get Ava down. We co-sleep, so usually Javin and I go to bed the same time as the kids do…hopefully by 9:00 pm. We would have been doing things a little different if we had been in our own house, but right now, all four of us share a bedroom, and while Ava was nursing, this was the easiest routine. And it stuck.

Avaley still wakes up once usually in the middle of the night, sometimes after a couple somersaults, head bangs, and karate kicks she falls back asleep. Other times we get up to make her a bottle to comfort her.

Come 6:00 am we do it all over again.

To sum it up:

6:00 am-wake up/eat breakfast/prepare for the day
7:00 am-potty time
10:00 am-second breakfast
12:00 pm-nap time
2:00 pm-wake-up from nap/play outside/get energy out
5:00 pm-dinner time
7:00 pm-daddy time
8:00 pm-bath time
9:00 pm-story/prayers/bedtime

Each day does vary a little. Sometimes we walk in the morning. And in the summertime, we spent a lot more time outside.

It’s been a challenging year because we haven’t been living in our own house. Normally I would not stress too much about a messy home because it’s nearly impossible to keep every thing 100% tidy when you have a baby and a toddler…but living with my husband’s dad has added the extra stress to keep things a bit more tidy than I would worry about out of respect for him. Dishes…that is a chore in it’s own EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I cook healthy meals, which makes a dirty kitchen, and this house doesn’t have a dishwasher. Luckily, I have a little helper that just loves playing in the bubbles which can either make things much easier or it can give me much more work to do.

Also, a time-saver: each week I try to only run errands a couple times because loading the kids up (especially in the winter weather) is a job in it’s own.

So, for all those stay-at-home mamas out there…what is your schedule like? Do you have any tricks and cheats you’d like to share?!