Despite this never-ending winter, life has been pretty fun around here. Soren and I, who both thrive on structure and order, have settled on a pretty wonderful weekly schedule. Long gone are the days of unpredictability that comes with a newborn baby’s timetable.
I decided I should document a week of Soren’s life, because a few years from now it will all be so different. So I committed myself to carrying my camera in hand for a week (though I still ended up with a number of poor-quality phone pictures) and I chose the very next Monday to begin capturing my cutie’s daily adventures. As fate would have it, the week was anything but typical. Soren and I have been talking about the letter “S” a lot lately, and our week ended up revolving around a few not-so-nice “S” words, like “snow” and “sickness” and “sleeplessness.”
I was tempted to abort my plan but decided I better just carry it out, since chances were slim I would recommit myself to the project the following week. So, here is a peek into a week with Soren. (For my journaling purposes, I’ll note that this was the week of February 3, when Soren was 17 months and two weeks.)
Monday: Soren made his first peep at 5:40 a.m., which probably sounds miserable to many. But it’s a great improvement from his prior habit of getting up at 4:30 a.m., so I felt happy and mostly rested. The first part of the morning is one of my favorite times of the day. Tim gets Soren from his crib and places him in our bed, where he snuggles up nice and tight next to me. Things are quiet and still and peaceful for a few minutes, then Soren starts tapping my chest and making the “milk” sign. He spends a leisurely 15 minutes nursing, and I lie there enjoying the cuddles. Eventually, Soren backs himself off of our bed and begins to wander the house. Tim is freshly showered at this point and takes over as primary caregiver while I sneak off to the office for a few hours of work. I don’t usually know what goes on during their morning time, but I hear a lot of books being read.
They also enjoy breakfast together, which is oatmeal and berries for Soren, plus as many bites of Tim’s cereal as Soren can get. At 8 a.m. Tim and I switched spots so I could give Soren his nap. (We’re both kind of thrilled that Soren hasn’t given up the morning nap yet — that means I get an extra hour or two to shower and finish my work for the day.)
Monday is the only day of the week where we have nothing regularly scheduled. So it’s the perfect day for either doing nothing, or taking care of random errands or appointments. On this particular Monday, we headed to Charlestown for part two of a chewing study Soren has been participating in through MGH’s Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab. The goal is to study children’s chewing development and food preferences. Right up Soren’s alley. Soren got to snack on a bunch of baby foods he’d never tried before (puffs, banana cookies, etc.) and the people running the study monitored his every movement via a bunch of wires stuck to his face. He looked like an alien, but he loved all the little cups of food I got to give him. We had a great time.
Back at home, we had a little bit of reading/play time before dining on our lunch of leftover enchiladas and rice, plus yogurt with blueberries and chia seeds for Soren. And then a kiwi. And an apple. Sometimes he just keeps going.
After a two-hour snooze, we had a leisurely afternoon at home. Lots of books, lots of toys, lots of milk. I mentioned something about how I should vacuum (I didn’t exactly intend to actually do it), so Soren ran off to the closet to get things started. I hate vacuuming (and most cleaning), and I do it very infrequently, but Soren loves it.
One of this winter’s million storms was underway outside, so we decided to go out for a quick walk to the park before it got too dark. We even convinced Tim to join us for a break from work. Soren thinks snow is really neat to watch through the windows or from the stroller, but he’s not crazy about actually playing in it.
After our snow walk, Soren and I started making dinner — baked gnocchi with bacon, tomatoes, and mozzarella, plus sides of peas, mango slices, and sautéed green beans. While I cook, Soren “helps” by getting various ingredients out of the fridge and emptying all the pots and pans from the cabinet.
While dinner was in the oven, we recruited Tim to come out of the office for a family home evening lesson. We’re really proud of our 2014 record — six Mondays in and we haven’t missed one yet! We’ve been using the nursery manual, and the super short lessons are perfect. A quick song, a little prayer, a few thoughts about a basic gospel topic while looking at pictures in the manual, and then Soren is off and ready for something new.
After dinner, Soren runs wild while Tim and I clean up, and then we try to get into quiet mode before bed. Which usually means Tim and Soren chase each other around the house while I tidy Soren’s room and round up all the pacifiers. Our bedtime routine is short and sweet. I change Soren’s diaper and put on his pajamas. Tim reads him a story, then turns off the light, turns on the fan, and begins singing a little song he made up — it’s called, “Milk Please, Mama,” and they sing it while signing “milk.” They sing until I come back in the room, at which point Soren giggles like crazy. Tim makes his exit, Soren nurses for a few minutes, then we sing a song, and down he goes into his crib. It’s usually about 7 p.m. at this point, and Soren falls asleep quietly and within just a couple of minutes. And then I go lie on the couch and check my Instagram to reward myself for a job well done.