Well, I decided that in order to fit that hour into my daily schedule, I needed to start getting up earlier in the morning to make up for it. This has reaped tremendous, unexpected benefits.
Instead of doing
Oh. my. word. You guys.
It is unbelievable how much more I get done in a day because I've added that one hour to my morning. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I now start off my day on a structured, peaceful, uninterrupted note. I wake up, put on a pot of coffee, and I sit at the dining room table with my Bible and prayer journal. It has been utterly marvelous to have that time, to sit in quiet. Just about when I'm done with that solitary time of reading, prayer, and reflection, N has come out to the kitchen and begins getting things together for his day. Yesterday, he even had breakfast at the table with me (usually, he eats breakfast in the car on his way to work).
I use the next half hour to blog, and by the time I'm posting to the web for all you lovely people to read, B is calling out, "Daddeeeeeee. Mommeeeee. Done! Holding!"
"Holding" is his way of saying, "Pick me up."
I change his diaper and we run (literally, we RUN) down the hall to the kitchen. Lately, he likes to RUN, and shouts, "I running! Mommy running!" as he's doing it.
This morning, when I asked him whether he would like oatmeal or eggs for breakfast, he stated very emphatically, "No liking eating."
Whose child IS he?!
Then he proceeded to eat a large bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and an entire banana cut up into it.
And then it's my new exercise time!
I put the computer on the end of our bed and work out in our bedroom. B runs around me, laughs, and plays, pausing once in a while to watch me or the DVD. Every once in a while, he will shout, "Exercise! March it out! WHOO!" after the girl on the DVD.
My favorite is when he yells the "WHOO!"
Yesterday, I did a cardio dance workout, and at one point, he excitedly jumped up and down in front of me shouting, "Mommy bouncing! Mommy bouncing!"
It might not be the most efficient way to work out, but for a girl who hasn't really exercised in over two years, trust me. This is a good start.
We then make a big deal over putting away my shoes. I'm not sure why it's such a thrill, but if there's anything to be learned from toddlers, it's that life is really fun!
Once everything is put away, we come back to the table and have learning time. This usually involves working with blocks (shapes and colors), letters, or some sort of arts and crafts. After a snack and milk (and another diaper change or two), he's ready for his nap.
Naptime has become uber-productive time for me! I shower, get dressed, PUT ON MAKE-UP (I haven't worn make-up regularly since ... hmmm, when I stopped working outside of the house two years ago!), and then I tackle my home-loving for the day. It's crazy how much faster washing dishes, doing laundry, prepping for dinner, and even deep-cleaning goes when I determine that I only have a set amount of time to do it all.
B will usually nap an hour and a half, maybe a little over two hours on a good day. I've always tried to make the afternoon the most active part of the day. So following lunch, we'll go for a walk to the playground, run errands, practice riding his tricycle in the garage/driveway, and so forth. The goal really is to just get outside.
Being constructively and intentionally occupied like this throughout the day makes the day go so much quicker. I have goals set right from the get-go and thus, have a plan for the day. B is less likely to get bored and antsy this way. It's a win-win!
N will be home in time for dinner, and then, as I clean up the dishes, he gives B his bath. Bath-time has always been a special "Daddy and me" time for B. I hear lots of splashing and laughing at bath-time, and I also hear teaching/learning. I also hear music being played as B got some tub instruments for Christmas. He especially likes his "floos" (flutes).
Once B is down for the night, I check my email and Facebook, work on orders for my business, work on editing my friend's Bible study lessons that she's preparing to send to China to be used as training tools for pastors there, read a book, or best of all, hang out with my husband.
I'm liking this new schedule. And because I know there is, in fact, such a thing as too much of a good thing, I'm taking weekends off. Saturday and Sunday have always been family days, even when it was just the two of us, and I want to honor that. I know that B (and any other kids we have) will grow up too soon and weekends will be a blur.
To reward you for making it through such a long, wordy post, here is a special treat for you. Remember that picture I posted at the top of this post?
As we rummaged through some of N's Momma's boxes, we found a picture that just made us laugh.
Anyway, back to the sweater. It belonged to N when he was a toddler living in Germany. A friend of his mother's knit it for him. I think he was about three in the picture above.
And now it fits B just right.