This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday.
Life is always busy when one has a toddler!
Busy in a good way, of course. Most of the time.
Our days are filled with all kinds of fun. Breakfast...
|Om nom nom.|
|We would probably bake things every day if Bug had his way!|
And of course, snuggles. Endless amounts of snuggles. I am so blessed to have a child who is so sweet and loving, who always has hugs and kisses for me and seems to care as much about my happiness (well, sometimes) as I care about his.
|I love him so much I can't even.|
Bug is an early riser. That means that most mornings, he wakes up sometime between 5:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. And no matter how kindly I ask him to try to sleep some more (or grumble at him to get back in bed, as the case may be), once he's up for the day there's no stopping him.
"Wake up, Mommy! It's morning!"
So after we get some food going, we usually have some quiet time at home. Partially because I need time for the caffeine to kick in. Partially because nothing is open that early in the morning. Partially because it's often too dark to go to the park. So we read books, or we color, we do housework, we play Minecraft, or we otherwise just spend time together.
|Sometimes, coloring will actually entertain him long enough for me to get something done on my own!|
I freely admit that Bug does get some cartoons every day. That's the best way for me to get my workout in, and since exercising helps keep me sane... well, sometimes a mama has to do what a mama has to do, right?
What we do during the day depends on all kinds of different factors. What day of the week is it? Do we have a car? Did we make plans with friends? Do we need to pick up more bananas? On Thursdays, we almost always go to the library for story time, and sometimes we go on Mondays as well (for sign language story time, which is twice a month). There are at least 5 parks within walking distance of us, and we try to go to a park of some sort at least once or twice a week. If we need to go to the grocery store, I usually end up getting Starbucks, because... well, Starbucks. Earl Grey tea lattes. Need I say any more?
|Them cake pops, though. (And no, he doesn't get them very often. Stop judging me.)|
One of the great things about living in San Diego is the abundance of beaches. There are so many beautiful beaches in this area. And since our weather is usually so pleasant, we can even hit the beach in winter.
Regardless of what we do, we try to get outdoors for at least part of the morning, weather permitting. Burn off some energy and be home by lunchtime.
|At Sunset Cliffs in San Diego.|
Bug is currently in the process of giving up his daily nap. Which makes life all kinds of fun for me, let me tell you. Most days, he does not nap, and most days he does pretty well without it; later in the afternoon, he might get a bit crabby or have small meltdowns over otherwise inconsequential things, but for the most part he has been handling the shift in his sleep patterns pretty well. (I, on the other hand, have been having a bit more trouble with it, but I am slowly adapting too.) But he does still nap once or twice a week, thankfully.
|The elusive nap.|
In the afternoons, whether a nap happened or not, we usually just hang out close to home. More reading, playing with his toys, doing jigsaw puzzles. Riding his tricycle outside, decorating the sidewalks outside with chalk.
|Our neighbors love the brightly colored sidewalks! Right?|
Often at some point, we make a trip to the mailbox. Bug loves going to the mailbox! He loves getting to run around outside, he loves seeing if there is any mail for him. (And often, there is; between his Highlights High Five magazine, books I order him from Paperback Swap, and little packages from his grandma, Bug does get mail with some regularity.)
|Ready, set, GO!|
|Even the AAA magazine is exciting when you're three.|
Eventually, it's time for dinner! I also feel blessed to have a child who will eat most anything I put in front of him. Whether it's pasta filled with veggies, omelets, tempeh chili mac, chana masala, stir fry, or something else exciting from one of my many cookbooks, Bug usually happily eats whatever D and I are eating.
The bedtime routine starts sometime after dinner; the exact time depends on whether or not he took a nap (he goes to sleep earlier on no-nap days), what time D got home from work (sometimes he gets to stay up just a bit later to get some time in with Daddy), and whether or not he needs a bath.
Bug does get a bath (or a shower) most days. The vast majority of the time, it's just regular, clean water he sits in; he likes bubble baths sometimes, but I often don't use any kind of soap if he hasn't gotten particularly dirty. I try to get his hair wet, but I hardly ever shampoo it.
|Why yes, that handle is reflective.|
The rest of the evening routine consists of pajamas, bedtime snacks (sometimes it's the rest of his dinner, sometimes it's yogurt, sometimes it's an egg or some carrots or some fruit...), brushing teeth, and books, of course! (We read all day, actually; I couldn't even tell you how many books we read in a typical day.)
|In our home, we read books about vegetables. Wearing underwear.|
Then it's lights out! Nursing and snuggling. Sometimes a few songs.
And then sleep. Glorious sleep.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- A Day as Mama and Data Manager — Becca at The Earthling's Handbook explains what she actually does as data manager of a social science research study, as well as Mama to a baby and a fourth-grader.
- Pictures of a Day — A photo montage of a typical day in the life of Life Breath Present! You can see how she wakes up and spends her time in quiet, to Baby Boy sleeping at dinner, making natural products, and so much more!
- Escaping a Mekong cityscape for a slice of rural life — It's often necessary for Nathalie of Kampuchea Crossings to escape the heady concrete jungle that Phnom Penh is rapidly becoming, for the calmer environment of rural life.
- Community-schooling — Dionna at Code Name: Mama and her family don't *home*school, they *community* school!
- A day in the Life in La Yacata — Read how Survivor and her family at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters spend their Sundays off-grid in rural central Mexico.
- Day in the Life of the Cole Family — Stoneageparent details the everyday life of her family through twelve photos taken over twelve hours
- The Days Are Just Packed — Holly at Leaves of Lavender talks about the beauty and simplicity of daily life with a toddler.
- A Day In The Life of a Heavily Pregnant Naturally Parenting Mama — At 37 weeks pregnant, Sam Vickery of Love Parenting shares her current reality as she naturally parents her four-year-old and awaits her sweet baby.
- My Life in Pictures on a Random Day — Donna at Eco-Mothering captures a random winter day in Rhode Island through a series of snapshots. What seemed boring at first made her smile in the end.
- How One Book Inspired Our Whole Day: A Day in the Life — How to plan the whole day with a toddler after reading one book together from Rachael at B is for Bookworm.
- A day in the life of an unschooling, work-at-home family — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares a picture journey through a typical day with three little homeschooling boys.
- Day in the Life of a Toddler — From mess making to cleaning up to trying new things, All Natural Katie shows the life of a toddler.
- Things I have done today (and every other day for the past seven years) — Marija Smits shares what a 'normal' day looks like in her crazy world of kids, writing, creativity and household chores!
- Just Another Wednesday — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl shares a glimpse into a typical Wednesday in her family's life.
- Day in the Life — Dr Sarah at Good Enough Mum gives us glimpses of her life as a British GP and mum.
- Our days, these days — Dietary restrictions and health issues take a lot of time for Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, but she still follows her passions and tries to show up for her kids.
- A (Typical) Day in Our Life — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes a typical day with two kids, eight cats and two dogs.