Have you ever wondered what people with babies do all day? Are you nosy and like to peek into other people’s lives? (No? Just me?) Do you wonder how I read so many books while taking care of a 9-month-old? Do you want to see if your baby sleeps more than mine? (I bet she does!) Here’s what Pearl and I do all day:
Sunrise from the kitchen window.
6:15 am. My day begins. Peter’s already up and getting ready for work but Pearl’s still asleep. Ideally, I like to have some time to myself in the morning before she wakes. I head into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee (Peter makes coffee every morning and I love him so). I settle back into bed with my mug, my Bible, and my journal. I haven’t been good at reading my Bible regularly since Pearl was born but with the start of Advent (the beginning of the liturgical year) I’ve begun following the Book of Common Prayer readings again. Every morning and evening there is one reading from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
Journal, Bible, Book of Common Prayer – good start to my day
A quote from my morning reading:
I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me.
As I’m finishing, Peter joins me to drink his coffee and we chat a little about our days.
7:00 am. Almost on the dot, Pearl’s awake. I kiss Peter good-bye and head into her room. She’s usually up for the day at this time but I keep the lights low in case she’s still tired and settle into the chair to nurse her. (My current baby-feeding time book is Dreamtigers by Jorge Luis Borges.)
7:20 am. Pearl’s clearly awake so I give her her Vitamin D drop, get her out of her sleep sack, and change her diaper. She stays in her pajamas until after breakfast because, well, mealtimes are messy and this cuts down on outfit changes.
7:35 am: With baby in tow, I start getting myself ready. I make the bed, get dressed, and put away clothes from yesterday. Pearl is happily playing with the packing paper a package arrived in yesterday. I open the Advent calendar for the day (one of my favourite Christmas traditions).
Eric Carle Advent calendar
We move across the hall and into the bathroom where I wash my face, put on some moisturizer, and put in my contacts, all with one knee pressed against the cupboard door because Pearl can open cupboards now. “Please don’t play with the toilet,” is a thing I say daily.
7:45 am: I throw a load of diapers into the laundry and load the dishwasher. I have to do this quickly before Pearl realizes what I’m doing or she will attempt to climb in there with our dirty dishes.
7:55 am: Breakfast. Pearl has banana chunks. I have yogurt and granola with a bit of honey and cinnamon. I finish first (parenthood has made me a fast eater) and tidy in the kitchen a little before sitting down with Pearl to help her focus and finish her breakfast.
We’re dressed and ready for our day!
8:15 am: After breakfast, Pearl gets dressed for the day. (Plus another diaper change.) I brush my teeth and then we sit down on the floor in her room and read The Runaway Bunny together.
The Runaway Bunny
“If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said his mother, “I will be a tree that you come home to.”
While she plays (ie: pulls books and toys off the shelf) I dig through boxes in her closet to find some pants the next size up for her. I get on my phone and send a quick e-mail.
8:50 am: We move into the living room where Pearl has a joyful reunion with her best friend, Big Bear.
I love you, Big Bear!
Meanwhile, I do some haphazard dusting, sweeping, and general tidying. Pretty soon I settle down on the couch with Don Quixote. Pearl is playing happily with her toys and I read out loud to her. I have to laugh at this quote:
“…and so, as far as I am concerned, there is no need to employ any more words in describing her beauty, worth and understanding, for knowledge of her reading alone is enough to make me confirm her as the most beautiful and intelligent woman in the world.”
Reading is great.
9:25 am: Laundry finishes and I move it to the dryer. Pearl helps.
It’s time for Pearl’s first nap so we move back to her bedroom where she has a diaper change. I nurse her and cuddle her a bit before putting her in the crib.
I try not to be on my computer while Pearl’s awake so I take the opportunity now to catch up on reading some blogs. I also write a quick review of Kidnapped for my own blog (it’s this one that you’re reading). My in-laws text me during this time and we make plans for them to stop by.
10:40 am: Pearl wakes up. She’s not and has never been a great napper. Sure, some of my friends speak of babies who nap for two hours or more but that’s not my baby. She’s napped for fifty minutes and I’m happy with that. I bring her out to the living room where we have a cuddle on the couch until she’s feeling more alert.
Post-nap cuddles are some of my favourite times in the day.
We read Are You My Mother? while we wait for our guests.
Are You My Mother?
11:10 am: My in-laws drop by with their dog (Bella the Dog) for a short visit on their way to picking out a Christmas tree.
12:10 pm: Once we’re on our own again, it’s time for lunch. I set Pearl in her seat with her sippy cup and some raisins while I make lunch. She loves her sippy cup. Raisins, not so much. She’s only had them once before and she takes time to warm up to most new foods. She gets antsy while I’m making scrambled eggs so I give her a bit of bread, which turns out to be a mistake because then all she wants to eat is bread even though she normally enjoys scrambled eggs. That girl loves her carbs. (She gets that from me.)
I love her little Bunnykins plate
After toast and eggs we share an orange. You cannot eat an orange in Pearl’s presence without sharing.
Pearl and her current favourite read
12:30 pm: Pearl looks at her favourite book (I reviewed it here) while I clean up in the kitchen. One of the things we did before we moved into our house this summer is we removed half of the wall between the kitchen and the living room. We did this with the goal of opening up the house (it’s not big) and I’m so thankful we did. Aside from letting a lot more light in throughout, it gives me a clear sightline from the kitchen to the living room and makes it easy to keep an eye on Pearl.
This used to be a wall
I join her in the living room and fold laundry. She follows me down the hall when I go to her room to put it away. “No playing with the garbage can,” is also a thing I say daily. I quickly glance at the Canada Reads 2016 long list and try and make a mental note of titles I should read. (I won’t remember.)
1:05 pm: Pearl’s fussing a bit and the sun is shining so I get us ready to go for a walk. I try to get outside with her every day, barring really terrible weather. Usually it’s just a walk around the neighbourhood, sometimes just to the mailbox and back home but it’s always nice to get out.
Sweater, slippers, hat, she’s ready. We have a stroller and I do use it sometimes but Pearl doesn’t like it for long periods of time and especially not when it’s cold so I usually walk with her in the Ergo carrier.
The view from the end of our street
Bundled up and out for a walk
1:45 pm: Back home and we play one of Pearl’s favourite games, which is basically just chasing each other around the couch. She’s getting pretty fast these days.
I can usually catch her
2:20 pm: Diaper change and I get Pearl ready for her afternoon nap. Once she’s down, I head into the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. (I was going to take a picture of my tea but forget and, well, it’s tea. You know what it looks like.) I drink my tea and search Etsy for new knobs for a desk that Peter recently fixed up.
This cat likes to hang out in our backyard lately.
3:05 pm: Pearl starts crying. That is a woefully short nap so I go in to settle her and attempt to help her fall back asleep. I leave her in her crib where I can hear her chatting to herself. I read some more of Don Quixote while I finish my tea.
4:00 pm: Pearl hasn’t fallen back asleep but I decide to give up. Before I go into get her, I light up the house. It’s just starting to get dark so I turn on the Christmas tree lights and light some candles.
Lights = magic
Pearl and I have another cuddle and another diaper change.
4:20 pm: I start thinking about dinner. On my best days, I know ahead of time what I’m going to make for dinner and so some mornings involve a bit of prep. Today’s dinner is easy so I haven’t had to do anything yet. Pearl is playing happily in her room so I leave her there and go into the kitchen. There’s not much that can harm her or that she can damage in her room and I make frequent peeks around the corner at her.
I’m making tomato shortcakes from Smitten Kitchen tonight. Easy and delicious.
Before long Pearl makes her way down the hall and joins me in the kitchen. Now that she can open cupboards, this can make meal prep a little more complicated. I compromise by letting her go nuts with the Tupperware cupboard. She knows this and heads straight to it.
Sweet, sweet tupperware
4:50 pm. Dinner’s prepped. The shortcakes will go in the oven as soon as Peter gets home. Pearl and I go back to her room and read Each Peach Pearl Plum.
Each Peach, Pear Plum
5:20 pm: Peter’s home! When Pearl hears the door open she knows her dad has arrived and she goes racing off down the hall to him.