Day In The Life: 10-19-17

Before starting my own blog, I loved reading posts that featured a typical Day In the Life of the writer. There’s magic to be found in regular, everyday moments. I believe Day In the Life started with Ali Edwards as a way to scrapbook and I love the idea. With another baby on the way, I know these last few weeks with just Declan are pretty precious. I also know my memory is probably going to get even worse once the new baby comes and I don’t want to forget these incredible, ordinary days.

The day I tackled the project was a Thursday.

5:30 AM – Wake Up – I start to hear Declan make nosies on the baby monitor, aka Baby TV, and slowly turn on some lights. Before going to get him out of bed, I premake him a bottle of formula and make myself a piece of butter toast and scarf down a tangelo. I’m currently 8 months pregnant so I need a quick bite of energy before I get him out of his crib. By this time in the morning, Dillon has already left for work so it’s just Declan and me. And Mattie, our miniature Aussie. 

6:00 AM – Bottle – We sit together on the couch and Declan drinks his morning bottle while I eat my morning toast and scroll though Instagram on my phone.

6:30 AM –  For as long as he shows interest, Declan plays in the living room. I go back and forth with playing with him and reading blogs on my phone. For whatever reason, Declan does awesome at independent morning play when Daddy is on watch, but I have a harder time getting him to play by himself in the morning. Probably, I’m the fun parent. 😉

6:50 AM – Independent play time is over and we migrate to the master bedroom where Declan will find new toys to play with while I make the bed, get dressed, quickly do my hair, and tidy up the bedroom if needed.  This is also when the sun begins to  shine through the windows, so Declan helps Mommy turn off all the lights.

7:20 AMBreakfast Time –  I quickly cook Declan some breakfast while he plays in his highchair with a spatula or some other kitchen tool. Breakfasts usually consists of fruit and an egg. Today was half a banana, some blueberries, some raspberries, and a scrambled egg. His new favorite food is raspberries so I add in a couple extra. I finish off his banana and make myself a quick bowl of cereal once he is eating. I ask Alexa, our amazon music player, to play some Christian music. We eat our breakfast while listening to a little bit of worship.

7:50 AM – No picture for this block of time, but we clean up from breakfast and go to Declan’s room to play some more and get Declan dressed for our morning walk. It’s been chilly out in the mornings, so we gets bundled up.

8:10 AM – Morning Walk  With a fully stocked stroller (phone, baby toys, dog poop bags, mail keys,  dog leash, garage door opener, pepper spray) we head out of the house for our much needed morning outdoor time. Depending on how I’m feeling, we will go anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Mommy and Baby have matching grey beanies!  Mattie, our miniature Aussie, is in the corner of the photo. She knows when we are about to go on our walk because I put shoes on and I only put shoes on when we are going someplace. 

8:30 AM – 1st Naptime of the Day-  After our walk, Declan will get a diaper change, possibly an outfit change if weather permits, swaddled up, and drink a small bottle. I will rock him or bounce him until he falls asleep. The first nap is the easy one and he’s usually out within two minutes or less.

During Declan’s first nap, I vary what I do each day. I make it a priority to eat a second breakfast. A bowl of cereal is not a great breakfast, so I use this time to make something more substantial and nutritious for myself. I turn on Netflix and enjoy my second breakfast while Declan sleeps. I also try to make sure the dishes are done, the house is tidy, and may do a few small chores around the house. Right before it’s time to wake the baby up, I give the house a quick vacuum. I try to give myself some grace during this time to rest if I need to and not worry too much about being overly productive. Just eat, wash dishes, and vacuum. Anything else is a bonus!

9:40 AMWake up the baby. Declan only sleeps for one hour for his first nap to ensure that he will take a second nap. If I let him sleep too far past 9:30, he won’t be tired enough for a second nap until 2:30 or later and that is creeping up too closely on his 5:30 -6:00 bedtime. We hang out in his bedroom and read a few books to help him slowly wake up. Flip books right now are his favorite.

10:20 AM – Declan plays in his room while I clean up his room, build up block towers to be knocked over, daydream, or read blogs on my phone. He will get a second 6 oz bottle around this time.

11:00 AM – Outdoor playtime! Now that the weather isn’t so hot, we head to the backyard for some much needed fresh air and sunshine. Declan gets super excited, as does Mattie, when I open the sliding back door. He gets a big smile on his face and picks his speed up as he heads outside for his new adventures. We play a lot of fetch during this time. I love Mattie most during outdoor playtime because she helps me redirect the baby if he’s heading in the wrong direction. I love to tell her, “Come on, Mattie! Help me parent!”  The older he gets, the more they play together. Declan will throw the toys for Mattie or place the ball directly in her mouth. I’ve also noticed his crawling, standing, and walking skills seem to grow the most while he is outside exploring. He is fully walking now, but before when he was learning how to stand, he was the boldest with his attempts when we were outside playing.  He is also bold with eating dirt and rocks, so I do a lot of baby chasing during this time of the day.

11:50 AM – Lunch time! I cook Declan some lunch, this day it was ground beef, yellow squash, and zucchini. If he finishes lunch and seems hungry still, I will add in some more fruit, some puffs, or some baby food. He is mostly feeding himself but occasionally I will need to give him some baby food when lunch is light.  I need some energy boost at this time of the day so I have Alexa play some Billy Currington or Dierks Bentley music. I also don’t eat a real lunch right now, I just grab something quick like a second bowl of cereal or cheese stick and fruit.

12:00 PM – After lunch, Declan goes to play some more and explore the house. We dance together, play chase, play independently, play with Mattie, read a book, go swinging in the front yard, go on a playdate, or explore the rooms of the house. Whatever seems to keep his interest and get his energy out. This is also when we may do an out of the house trip, but most days we stay at home.

12:30 PM – Second Naptime of the Day – This nap is more of a struggle. If he only slept one hour in the morning, he will be ready three hours later for his second nap. But if I let him sleep longer than one hour, he won’t be tired enough for a second nap. He has his naptime routine of diaper change, swaddle, small bottle, and then I rock or bounce him until he falls asleep. This nap usually takes about 10 minutes to get him asleep, but sometimes it feels a lot longer…

12:40 PM – I use this time to make myself a real lunch. Most likely leftovers from dinner which is fine by mine! Less cooking! I don’t understand the hate of leftovers — I just love them.

2:00 PM – Declan starts to wake up. We read another flip book, he is obsessed, and play some more. Most days we will go on a second outside walk, in Declan’s cool new toy that I push him in, while we wait for Daddy to come home.

3:10 PM – Yay, Daddy’s home! One of my favorite parts of the day is when we hear Daddy’s diesel truck driving down the street. Mattie hears it first and alerts to the rest of us he is on the block.

3:30 PM – Declan gets another bottle after daddy comes home and they take some time to relax and watch Declan’s favorite movie, Moana. I adore watching TV while resting on Dillon, too.

The rest of the night was a little off from our typical day. This was a Thursday and we went camping from Friday through Sunday so we had a lot of camping prep and trailer packing to do. I don’t have any pictures of the rest of the night, but I’ll write down what a regular day looks like.

Declan plays with mommy and daddy until dinner time, about 5:10. He eats his dinner before we eat ours while I typically clean the kitchen and Dillon works on making dinner for us. We eat dinner once Declan has gone to bed and it is a fabulous part of the night. One day we will eat dinner back at the table as a family, but right now it is really great to get some alone time eating dinner with just Dillon.

Around 5:30 Declan takes a bath with either mommy or daddy and then gets in his pajamas, drinks a final small bottle, hears a little story and then off to bed by 6:00 PM.

This is typically when Dillon and I high five each other, get our dinner finalized, and settle down to eat while watching one of our shows, currently catching up on This Is Us or Amazing Race. Long gone are the nights of staying up late, so we limit our TV to one episode and then prep for the next day. I clean up the kitchen from dinner, make a PB&J for Dillon’s lunch tomorrow, and we head to bed around 8:00 PM.

These days are simple but so full of sweet moments. I adore the little rhythm our little family has made.

 

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The Summer of Pancakes, Moana, and Naps

The Mowdy family had a slow, sweet summer of 2017. Slow and sweet like maple syrup being poured onto pancakes. 2017 is the summer where Dillon and I both got to stay home. It’s the summer we sleep trained our 9 month old. It’s the summer we memorized the song lyrics to Moana. It’s the summer we started to figure out a balance to being parents, being married, and being ourselves again.

Pancakes

My husband is the main chef in the family. We used to tag-team it really well in the kitchen. He handled the protein and I handled the sides. Then I got pregnant with Declan and couldn’t handle any smells, so Dillon stepped up and took on more tasks in the kitchen. After having Declan, I was usually stuck to the couch breastfeeding, so Dillon continued in his role as the family’s main chef. I had started to migrate my way back into the kitchen more when I got pregnant with Baby #2 but the first trimester nausea and strong sense of smell had me stepping right back out of the kitchen.

One day I know I will be more active again in the kitchen. I still am in there a lot (#dishes…) and make most of my meals, but Dillon has spoiled me this summer with pancake breakfasts. Some bacon, some potatoes and bell peppers, fried eggs, a side of fresh fruit, and a big stack of gluten-free pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

I’m now really hungry and wanting breakfast food.

Moana

We first saw Moana as a family during a vacation to the beach. A beach college town near the coast of California still has a wonderful drive-in movie theater. Declan was about 3 months old, so our family outings were limited but we knew we could handle a drive-in movie with a baby who still mostly slept all day. We stopped and got a gluten-free pizza on the way from a popular pizza place in town that thankfully does large gluten-free pizzas. Most places just do individual size for gluten-free.

The movie night was not as magical as I would have thought. Declan spit up badly for the first time and the whole truck smelled like baby vomit. The pizza had gotten a little cold by the time I was done changing Delcan, breastfeeding Declan, and trying to bounce him in the front seat to go to sleep. I was nervous the other cars were wondering who brought that fussy baby, but Dillon assured me they wouldn’t be able to hear him. Pretty soon after having mommy bounce him and pat his back Declan fell into a deep sleep right on my chest. He normally napped on me, but without the drama first. I remember feeling like a mom because I got my crying baby to fall asleep.

The movie Moana playing in the background during the baby spit-up and the baby crying and the diaper changing was so calming. Probably all the blue on the screen during most scenes.

I ended up falling asleep before the movie ended. Moana and Maui were headed to the island when I feel asleep and when I woke up the credits were rolling. Dillon knows to not wake a sleeping mommy. It was some of the best sleep I got the first few months after Declan was born. Belly full of pizza, pretty songs playing in the background, and my baby in a hard earned deep sleep on my chest.

About two months ago Netflix added Moana! I was thrilled and finally got to finish the movie. Declan is also strangely mesmerized by Moana. He ignores other TV shows or movies when the TV is on, but as soon as we play Moana, this happens…

During rough mornings where Declan wakes up at 4 AM or when one of us needs an easier time watching the baby, Moana goes on in the background and the whole room (Declan) gets calm. Thanks, Disney! It’s his favorite movie. I didn’t really want my baby to have a favorite movie, but sometimes parents need some help.

Naps

This summer is the one where Daddy and Mommy took back our nights! We were so naive about baby sleeping schedules, but after a lot of internet research and helpful baby sleep websites, we got Declan on a really great sleep schedule around 9 months old and now he sleeps from around 6 Pm to 5 AM, give or take 30 minutes either way. He also takes one two hour nap around 8 AM and a second hour long nap around 1 PM. Some days the naps vary and go longer or shorter and some days the second nap is boycotted. But overall, most days and nights are now predictable. No more keeping the baby up until 9 PM because he just doesn’t seem tired. Some nights Dillon and I have to just laugh at how lost we were in parenthood by allowing Declan to dictate his bedtime. We now know all the signs of an overtired baby. Ours gets super super super playful.

Our summer revolved around Delcan’s nap times and bedtime routine. Occasionally Declan’s naps were used as times to get quieter chores done. Mostly Declan’s nap times were used for mommy and daddy to relax. To spend time together. To take naps together. To enjoy each other again before this next baby comes and we will be faced with many new challenges, sleep deprivation being one of them.

When I was pregnant with Declan, I remember getting really annoyed that people would say things like say goodbye to sleep! But man, it is so true. Unless the parents hit the jackpot with a sleeping baby (which I’ve met a few) babies mean less sleep. Especially the first few months when babies are eating throughout the night.

Our summer naps were exactly what Dillon and I needed to prepare for this upcoming baby.

I have a feeling that pancakes, Moana, and naps will always take me back to the slow, sweet summer of 2017.

 

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The Four Fathers In My Life

Happy Father’s Day!

TheFourFathers

I am fortunate to have not only one, but four fathers in my life. That makes me feel so wrapped with protection and love. I also feel so reassured that Baby Mowdy will also have these four fathers watching out for him/her. Here’s a brief story to show an example of the amount of love these men bring into my life.

About two months ago, I was fighting off a really stubborn cold. I typically just wait a cold out, nursing it with lots of homemade chicken soup and couch potato-ness. However, being about 16 weeks pregnant and having a cold got me a little concerned. I starting getting dizzy, felt extremely faint, and had what seemed like a hundred other odd symptoms.

To make a you-had-to-be-there story a little less confusing, I ended up in the doctor’s waiting room accompanied by a concerned husband, father, and father-in-law. It was by no means necessary for all three of them to be at the doctor’s with me. It just sort of happened to work out that way. They all came to help out, and man, have I ever felt so loved. I was the happiest sick pregnant girl. I couldn’t stop smiling at the realization of how much love is in my life. The realization that at a moment’s notice, I have three dependable men who are willingly to put a halt to whatever they are doing to come help me. That’s pretty special.

It turned out I was just low on electrolytes, plus the cold, plus being pregnant, so the doctor said to up the fluids and rest.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I’d love to introduce you to the four fathers in my life.

My Dad

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Kenneth Smith

Things that remind me of my dad:   homemade spaghetti, creek fishing, WWII books or movies, trains, Neil Diamond, lighthouses

A sweet memory: My dad and I played chess together all the time when I was a kid. He taught me how to play the game and he was sweet enough to let me win occasionally. He actually taught me too well because I eventually ended up being better at chess than him and he no longer had to let me win. We haven’t played a game in a while, but we’ll have to do a rematch and see where we stand. I can’t wait to see him teach Baby Mowdy how to play chess!

My Father-In-Law

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Steve Mowdy

Things that remind me of my father-in-law: Harley Davidson, trailer camping, boating, Jesus Calling, coffee, Van Morrison

A sweet memory: A few summers ago, every Wednesday night, Steve and I would go together to the church’s Bible study. Steve would get a cup of coffee and we’d sit together learning the word of God and singing praises of worship. Steve’s faith in God is a part of what attracted me to pursue a relationship with God. You can always count of Steve to be sporting a smile. He’s going to teach Baby Mowdy how to climb a hill on a dirt bike. Side note…this mama will be upping her prayer life.

My Husband – A soon to be daddy!

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Dillon Mowdy

Things that remind me of this father-to-be:  sweet tea, local breweries, bicycles, outdoor grills, Top Gear, Morro Bay

A sweet memory: The day we decided to pick out a puppy Dillon had found a ranch that had 4 miniature Australian shepherds puppies to choose from. We had an idea of which puppy we wanted based on the pictures, but we got to play with them for about ten minutes before we made our decision. We both favored the sweetest, gentlest one. Driving home with a puppy in the middle seat, we had fun tossing names around. We talked about the name Dolly, but I couldn’t say Dolly without adding Parton and that drove Dillon insane. He didn’t want a dog named Dolly Parton. So we landed on Mattie. And it’s perfect for her. And as for what he’ll teach Baby Mowdy, I can’t even begin to narrow it down. I do, however, really hope our child notices the kind, gentle way he loves and takes care of me.

God – My Good, Good Father

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Things that remind me of my heavenly Father: worship music, The Bible, hope, grace, love, forgiveness, church

While all the fathers in my life are dependable, God is the Father I can always turn to. The love I receive from God is the love that is teaching me how to love others. This Father-daughter relationship is the most important relationship in my life. It is transforming me. God is the only Father able to handle all my struggles and calm all my fears.

Happy Father’s Day, to all my fathers, I am so grateful to have each of you in my life.

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