Rhythm| Week 12

Okay, so I obviously fell off the one-post-per-week bandwagon. Truth be told, as I type this now, it’s Week 20!

Looking back, I can’t even remember exactly why I stopped. I’ve been storing ideas in my head like it’s a vault; I just never committed them to writing. Although I don’t have a story for every week, I do still have a clear memory of things I wanted to capture before the memories fade. So, there’s no time like the present . . .

Somewhere around Week 12, Ainsley and I finally found a rhythm.

I won’t say “routine” because we are far from it. We do, however, have a pretty predictable schedule.

During the day, I generally try to follow a sleep –> eat –> play routine in the hopes that she won’t associate nursing with nap time, since that obviously won’t happen when she goes to “school.” She gets tired every two hours. She never naps by herself for longer than 30 minutes. {I don’t use absolutes like “never” lightly, but in this case, she’s like a tiny human Timex.} When she pops up during her mid-day nap, she inevitably falls back asleep while nursing, so I get stuck under her tiny cuteness in the nursing chair for the next hour or two.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Okay, somedays it really is tough. These are the days when I’ve reached the end of the Internet on my iPhone, I can’t stand the thought of watching another Criminal Minds rerun, and all I want to do is pee or have a snack or refill my water bottle or do anything besides sit my @#$ underneath a sleeping baby. But it just takes one look at her sweet, sleepy face to remind me that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. Having seen babyhood be swallowed up by toddlerhood once before will do that to you.

I’ve always regretted not recording my routine with Reece. So, for posterity’s sake, my Ainsley days look something like this —

7:00 – Wake up + nurse + get Ainsley dressed for the day {On the rare mornings where Ainsley is still asleep, I go upstairs and get Reece ready just like the good ole days. 🙂 }
7:30 – Eat breakfast as a family + read books with Reece before school
8:30 – Hugs + kisses with the boys as they leave for the day
9:00 – Turn on the Today Show {My favorite guilty pleasure of being home all day!} + bounce with Ainsley on the exercise ball until she falls asleep
9:10-9:45 – Settle in to the glider for nap time {Sure, I could put her down for her nap, but once I’m back at work, I will never say, “Gosh, I wish I hadn’t held her as much when I was home.”}
9:45 – Clean diaper + nurse {Ainsley is a super-efficient nurser, and I’m still struggling with oversupply so nursing rarely takes longer than 10-15 minutes.}
10:00-11:30 – Read books + tummy time + sometimes sneak in a shower
11:30 – Make lunch + fill up my water bottles + get things ready for mid-day nap
*If I’m feeling brave or stir-crazy or in desperate need of something from the store, I’ll use this time to run errands. I try to plan things so that I can drive to one shopping center before the fussiness starts and then walk around to a few different places while wearing Ainsley. If I get it right, she’ll sleep through the whole thing.
11:45 – Start bouncing + humming to help Ainsley fall asleep {Our go-to nap songs are “You are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle Little Star.” }
12:15 – Ainsley wakes up + nurse back to sleep
12:15-2:30 – Watch the shows DVR’d from the night(s) before {My current obsessions include The Voice, Parenthood, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy}
2:30 – Clean diaper + nurse Ainsley
2:45-4:15 – Read books + tummy time + house chores + figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner
4:15 – Start bouncing + humming with Ainsley for another short nap
4:30-5:00 – Watch the news while Ainsley naps
5:00 – Reece + Brad get home –> nap time is officially over
5:00-5:15 – Clean diaper + nurse Ainsley
5:15-6:00 – Scramble to get dinner together + spend time with Reece reading books + negotiating when he’ll get his turn for mama milk
6:00-6:30 – Eat dinner as a family + hear all about life on the outside
6:30-7:00 – Read books with Reece + get things ready for bedtime
7:00 – Ainsley’s bath
7:15 – Night-night hugs + kisses with Reece
7:30 – Lie down with Ainsley for our bedtime routine {9 times out of 10, I fall asleep with her, so my day ends here.}

At this point, Ainsley usually wakes up twice during the night. The first time is totally unpredictable – it could be 11:00 pm or it could be 2:00 am. The second one is always around 4:00-4:30 am. Surprisingly, I don’t really mind the overnight feedings. Now that we’ve mastered side-lying nursing, I’m only awake for about 10 minutes, and then we both fall back asleep again. And, given that Reece woke up every two hours until he was 9 months old, I feel like I’ve won the lottery with this schedule!

And, in the midst of what can sometimes feel like a lonely and mundane existence, I try my best not to take for granted how fortunate I am to have this precious time with Ainsley.

Because I knew then the way I would feel now: I’d give anything to go back to these days . . . just for one more day.

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