A week before Noah was born I went on "maternity leave" and 5 weeks ago I started working again. My job? Watching my sister's kids, Emma (3) and Evan (2). It's hard work, but hardly a job. Those kids are such blessings.
It's hard to find words to describe Emma. She is far beyond her 3 years. The girl is crazy smart. Tell her something once and she'll remember it for-ev-er. And she is hilarious. Noelle and Emma together make me laugh all day long. I really need to record one of their conversations. Target almost always is mentioned.
I've been watching Evan since he was around 6 months old. He is the sweetest little guy. I'm amazed by how much he has grown during the past 7 months. He speaks very well and now keeps up with the girls. Noelle and Evan play great together. She acts like his little mommy, it's so cute! She asks him if he wants to hold her hand or if he wants to play a game with her. Sometimes she reminds me to do a better job at being present for them. Last week we were walking to the park and Noelle said to Evan, "See that white car, that's the mail-lady, she brings mommy the mail from the post office." And I thought, man, I should have told him that.
Needless to say, things are busy around here. The only thing keeping my head on straight is a solid schedule. Our day goes exactly like this.
7:45 - the E's are dropped off by my brother-in-law, Sean. Noelle and Emma quickly examine the contents of the bag Aunt Tina packed. See Noelle's face? "Wow!" I can't remember what was in there but apparently it was pretty stellar.
7:46 - the girls are in their Princess dresses and dancing around the house.
8:00 - Breakfast, during which the kids catch up on hot topics such as Hello Kitty, Halloween costumes, & lunch.
After breakfast we wait for Noah to wake up (usually at 8:30) then head to the park until 9:30.
It's a short 4 minute walk, but usually takes much longer because puddles are puzzling obstacles,
mailboxes are a math lesson,
and trees tell when seasons are changing.
(Grandma taught the kids to shake trees to see if the leaves "fall." Get it?
At the park the fun begins. Their new thing is climbing up all of the slides. Apparently stairs are so last year.
Every stranger we see asks one of these questions
Are they all yours?
Are the girls twins?
Is this a daycare?
You sure have your hands full!
While the big kids play, Noah hangs out with his toys and watches all of the park shenanigans.
Like the Chicken & Fox game. I am always chosen to be the fox, surprise surprise, who chases the chickens around the park until I catch one and "eat it."
Where on earth could those chickens be?
Probably why I've lost 8 lbs since I started watching them again.
Anyone who is around 3-year-olds knows that it's not all fun and games. I probably say, "please share the toy" and "be nice to each other" and "no mean faces, girls" a dozen times a day.
Timeout for Noelle
On our way back from the park, Evan walks a little faster because he knows it's time for his favorite part of the day - the bounce house!
I set the bounce house up in the garage and after a water break, they go crazy. It's short-lived, between 15 and 20 minutes of bouncing, because once I say the word "snack" they are lined up at the door ready for the air conditioner and ice cold juice.
10:30 - Snack time
During snack time, I put Noah down for his 1st nap of the day. He sleeps until 12:30.
From 11 - 12 the kids play on the back porch with water. We have a water table and squirt guns. They love it.
At noon, the kids eat lunch and then we go into the play room (also the classroom) to do school work. It was challenging at first trying to get the three of them to sit quietly and work at the same time. I tried stations, but that failed. I couldn't be 3 places at once. So now, Evan sits next to me and does 2 activities (coloring, numbers, colors, matching) and the girls do their work (patterns, tracing, writing, coloring, letters, etc). So far so good with this routine.
At 1:15, I start to get the kids ready for nap time. They all go to the bathroom and then I read a book...or three. The big kids nap from 1:30 - 3:30ish, and Noah goes down for his 2nd nap from 2 - 3:30ish (when one wakes up, they all wake up).
The last hour is usually spent picking up all the toys dispersed around the house and playing in the play room. Sean picks them up around 4:30pm and then I get busy making dinner.
Noelle usually asks for more school time after dinner, so we do another 30 minutes to an hour. We both really enjoyed J is for Jesus. I found a Mary and baby Jesus printable HERE. All you need is a toilet paper roll, scissors, and tape.
I cut the pieces out and let Noelle do all of the taping. Heads up - the glue stick didn't work.
The "Mary and Jesus" on the right was printed in black and white for Noelle to color. That one is "mommy and Noah" - so sweet.
So that basically sums up a day in my life. Fun, exhausting, and completely rewarding.