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A day in the life – Part II

Last week I shared the routine my husband and I created for keeping to our healthy lifestyle on days we both work. Since I only work part time, I only gave you half the picture. Today I’m going to give you the other half.

Here’s a look at the schedule I follow on the days I don’t work…

6:30 AM – Wake up

This is not a hard, fast rule but I rarely sleep past 6:30. Usually, I wake up with the sun and once my mind starts going, I can forget about going back to sleep. This is fine, because with two little darlings waiting on me, I never have a whole lot of time before they wake up. If they sleep until 7:00, they’ve slept in.

I still like to start these day with the morning yoga flow by Jayne Becca. It makes SUCH a difference! Then, my husband and I get our girls from their room and head down stairs.

7:00 AM – Breakfast

I usually put my girls in their high chairs while I prepare breakfast. I am delighted that they are FINALLY starting to eat eggs. It used to be hit or miss, but now they seem to truly like them. This part of breakfast is almost always followed up with berries. My girls are berry hounds!

I take breakfast to my husband in his home office, clean the girls, clean the kitchen, get the girls ready for the day, and move on with it.

8:30 / 9:30 AM – House chores, errands, and snack

Depending on the day, my girls and I do different things in the morning. Once a week I take them to story time at our local library. On that day, I take a snack with me that they eat in the car. This holds them over until we get home. Because I’m more limited in what I can hand to them in the back seat, I usually give them Graham crackers. We consider those a treat.

 

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Eating apples in the cart is a highlight of their morning.

Once a week, I also go to the grocery store. Sometimes the girls stay with their aunt and sometimes they go with me. Either way, they are given a snack mid-morning to keep their bellies full and smiles big. On the days they go shopping with me, they eat an apple in the grocery cart. They’ve come to associate going to the grocery store with eating apples.

 

I make it a point to get everything I need for the week in one grocery run. This is where meal planning is critical. I think through each meal and all the snacks that my family will consume in the coming week. I make my list, and stick to it. I even organize my shopping list so the items are in the order that I’ll find them when walking through the store. Not only does it help me to not forget anything, but it is much more efficient. When I get home, everything is put away. The produce is washed and cut so it’s ready to grab when I need it.

If we don’t have any plans for the morning, I may sneak in a workout while the girls play to free up some time in the afternoon. Or we may head outside for a little morning play in the great out-of-doors.

11:30 AM – Lunchtime for the girls

I like to make sure my girls eat lunch by 11:30. This way, they are done by 12:00 and we can take them out in the double jogger while we run / walk. Lately, I’ve been making my husband push them while he runs even though I’m walking. Bonus points for him!

12:00 PM – Exercise

On week days, this is still the best time for my husband to get his workout in. When I can, I walk at the same time he runs. Though we’re not really together I feel like we’re accomplishing something together and I like that. Plus, if I get my workout in before the girls nap I can use their nap time to do other things.

On the days my husband lifts, I usually wait until the girls sleep and then do my own work out (If I didn’t do it in the morning.).

12:30 – 1:00 PM – Shower, eat, and dinner prep

At 12:30, my husband has to get cleaned up before getting back to work. I usually make his lunch and my lunch and start in on dinner prep. Because I don’t have to work, I’m not nearly as rushed on these days.

1:00 PM – Nap, work, and more chores

Our girls go down for a nap at 1:00. This is usually when I grab a shower, finish dinner preparations, exercise (if I didn’t get the chance earlier in the day), pick up the house, work on my meal plan for the following week, and work on my other projects, such as this blog.

Side note: When I meal plan, I purposely choose meals that are easy to prepare for the days that I work. Anything that requires a lot of prep or time gets automatically added to the weekend. This too is one way that I am able to get it done and provide meals that are full of good nutrients while staying sane.

 

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Starting them young. We’re in this together!

To stay on top of the house chores without feeling overwhelmed, I do one chore a day. On Mondays I dust, on Tuesdays I vacuum, on Wednesdays I clean the bathrooms, on Thursdays I clean the kitchen, and so on. Throw in a few days of laundry and the house chores are complete without me ever feeling burdened by it. It’s a system I wasn’t sure of at first but once I tried it, I loved it. I thought I would feel pressured to make sure I got my daily chore done but I found the opposite to be true. When I know tomorrow is vacuum day, I give myself a little grace and let the carpet wait until then. We do general pick-up throughout the day every day so the house is never a total mess.

 

Occasionally, I’ll have the opportunity to read a little in the afternoon. I recently read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Now I’m starting on his book titled Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. It’s interesting stuff. If you want your beliefs on how and why people gain weight challenged, I recommend you read them both.

300 – 3:30 PM – Snack time

The girls usually nap anywhere between one and a half and two and a half hours. When they wake up, they get another snack. While they eat their snack, I get a head start on dinner. Sometimes I use the afternoon to prep the snacks we’ll eat for the rest of the week, such as homemade Larabars.

I have to admit, I am a huge fan of Chocolate-Covered Katie. I don’t like to have sweets on hand regularly but it’s nice to know I can find healthier alternatives to the desserts that are otherwise available. One of my favorite recipes from her cookbook is her version of the Larabar. It’s just dates, nuts, salt, and a few dark chocolate chips all chopped together in a food processer. Then, you spread the mixture out on a pan and cut it into bars. Delicious! And my kids think they’re cookies. If I can teach them to enjoy these healthier alternatives and avoid eating so many high-sugar and highly processed treats, I’ll be one happy momma.

4:30 / 5:00 PM – Eat dinner

We eat dinner early every day of the week, weekends included. In truth, I like it like that, though it puts us on a different schedule than most. Some of our go-to foods are steaks, BBQ chicken, roasted chicken, ham, homemade baked sweet potato fries, roasted carrots and red potatoes, and salad. You will see these items on our plates all throughout the week.

5:30 PM- Play outside

 

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All it takes is something small to bring them great joy. The simple, little things are often the most special.

Back outside we go. My in-laws have a pool, which we’ve been able to enjoy on multiple occasions this summer. Sometimes, we’ll pack up the girls and head over to cool off. With July hitting record highs, this is exactly the refresher we need. (Our house does not have central AC.) A few times I’ve filled our kiddie pool and let the girls play in that. They would probably stay in their bathing suits and play in our kiddie pool all day, if given the chance. Two thumbs up for active kids!

 

6:30 PM – Start bedtime routine

 

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Occasionally the girls have to take important calls on their toy phones.

At 6:30, we pick up with our normal routine of bath, teeth, potty, and books or a show. It is probably my favorite time of day. There is nothing quite so precious as your small child nestled in close to you. I believe this is an important part of living a healthy life and I fiercely guard it.

 

7:30 PM – Adult time

If I don’t have to work the next day, my husband and I may watch two episodes of a TV show (ahem, Star Trek) or a movie. If for some reason he’s not around, I’ll read for a while or maybe work on ideas for this blog. There always seems to be something going through my head and this gives me time to process it and decide what to do with it. Sometimes I’ll look at Pinterest or my favorite blogs to find new tips and recipes to try. I’m always trying to find new things that are both healthy and simple.

9:30 PM – Bedtime

It’s true, I still go to bed pretty early. But in order to keep up with everything during the day and be able to give it my best, I need my sleep!

What I hope you take away from this…

  1. These are not cookie-cutter days. It would be easy to fill the days with things I’d only like to do and neglect the things I should or need to do, but this would quickly lead to me getting stressed out and life getting unmanageable. For me, having a somewhat normal schedule helps. Plus, if you have any goals – such as working out daily, making healthy meals, starting a business – you have to be disciplined with your time.
  2. It’s OK to be flexible with your time as long as you don’t lose sight of your priorities; the flexibility is a blessing but is also a tool to be managed. Every night, I think through the next day. By the evening before, I pretty much know what to expect from the day to come since plans have already been made. With this in mind, I choose ahead of time when I will get my workout in, when I will take care of things around the house, and when (or if) I’ll have time to do some of the other things I’d like to do. I don’t have to exercise at the same time every day, but it is important to me that I exercise every day so that is automatically built into my schedule.

Our weekends look a little different from the rest of the week but for the most part, we do life the same way. On Sundays, we go to church in the morning so we get things done in the afternoon. If we’re going to be out on Saturday evening, we get things done in the morning. It is life and everyone does it. This is just a glimpse at the way we manage ours so we are able to do more than merely survive. The lifestyle we’ve developed keeps us feeling good right now and helps us feel good about the future and all its possibilities. What more could we ask for?

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