Ok, it's February but with a 5 1/2 month old and a 27 month old, the year still feels pretty new to me. Usually we get our New Year's collages done on New Year's Day or by the end of that week. Well, we just finished ours last night.
For the first time in many years my collage has very few concrete "goals" - as in measurable things to check off the proverbial list. Last year there were many material such things - I was desperate for mobility (check, new car), more space (check, new bigger apartment) and of course a healthy pregnancy and birth (check check check!).
This year I have very few wants. My life feels so full and so rich that I just want to enjoy it and stay in the moment as much as I can. They say these years with little ones just fly by and I can see how. Here's what a typical day looks like:
7am - both babies wake. Hugh gets Valen and starts her breakfast routine while I get Maxima.
7:30ish Hugh and I have "couch time" for about 10-15 minutes. Its this great concept I read about in the Babywise parenting books where the mom and dad spend a few minutes each day talking and being together in the presence of their children but not paying them any attention. They get to learn that the whole world doesn't revolve around them and that mom/dad need to be with each other too. At first Valen hated it and would act out to get our attention for the whole 15 minutes. Hello terrible tantrums! but to me that just proved how necessary it was that she learn to play on her own for a bit.
8-:830 - Sister play time. Maxima can sit up now and reach for toy so Valen likes to sit next to her, explaining how each one is used or flits around with one of her dolls while Maxima observes. I have to stay very close as the occasional "too tight hug" is delivered. Here in Argentina they have a saying for it "amores que matan".
8:30ish - Maxima goes down for her morning nap. Will sleep for a good two hours or so. While she's napping Valen will spend some time in her room playing with her barbies. She often castigates them for not sitting up straight in their chair or they'll have a sing a long. We'll also eat breakfast and get her dressed and ready for preschool.
9:30 - papa walks Valen to her preschool - 3 blocks away Risas de la Tierra. Its summertime so its technically "summer camp". Its two hours in the morning with lots of water play to stay cool, singing, dancing and art projects. She's well worn out afterwards. While she's at summer camp and Maxima is napping, I head to the gym for my one hour of mommytime. Thanks to Viviana our maid/nanny who stays at home with Maxima, I can do this every day during the week.
11 - Return home, shower, play with Maxima and then head off to pick Valen up from summer camp. This week I started bringing Maxima with me. She loves seeing the other children and Valen has been a good sport about sharing this time with her sister.
12:15ish - return home and put Valen down for her one nap of the day. Then put Maxima down for her 2nd nap. Somehow their schedules have collided to provide about an hour each day where both are asleep and the house is quiet. I am just recently using that time to run errands outside of the house, return emails and phone calls. For a long time I would nap too.
2pm - Lunchtime with Valen. She eats in a big chair now so am saving the highchair for when Maxima starts solids in a few weeks
3-4 - More sister playtime
4-6 - In the afternoons Valen goes either to the neighborhood playground or I'll take her to a playgroup. Depending on Maxima's nap, I will sometimes meet Valen and Vivi at the playground with Maxima and/or take them both to the playgroup. Some days I'll take Valen and leave Maxima at home with Vivi to get another good nap in before dinnertime. The playgroup we attend is comprised of english speaking moms (from the US, Canada, S Africa and Australia) raising bicultural, bilingual children. Most of them are married to Argentines but not all.
6-6:30 - Hugh gets home from work and has more time with the girls. They play "corre corre/chase" all over the house. Utta joins in too also Valen usually screams "no more Utta!" so that she can get time alone with her papa.
6:30 - I give Maxima her bath, bottle and put her down for the night. She sleeps a glorious uninterrupted 12 hours! While I do her routine, Vivi and Hugh (if he's not on a work call) do dinner with Valen.
7-8 - Books with Valen. We are trying to read to her together now and get her calmed down for the night. At 7:30 I do her bath and then papa puts her to bed. They sing "Julia" from the Beatles and she knows every word. She sleeps a glorious 11 hours!
8-10:30sh - mama and papa time!!! Since Viviana lives with us during the week, we can go out in the evenings. We try to go out at least twice a week to dinner or a movie or just to take a walk and get an ice cream. Life is good