7:00 am Wake up. The monitor lights up with Ashton't little "Okay, I slept for 12 hours, let's play" noises, and I sleep walk into his room to get him out of his crib. I know that 7:00 am is not early, that's what time I used to wake up for work and most of the world is up by then but for whatever reason, 7 am always comes way too soon.
7:05 am Diaper change. Or should I say, diaper apocalypse. Not having been changed since bedtime the night before, the thing is practically disintegrating because it has been forced to hold so much. Luckily Ashton is not one of those babies that cares about the status of things down under.
7:07 am Lotion. I have to sing through this or otherwise entertain him because he hates it. A tall order considering I have been awake a whole 7 minutes at this point. Despite that he gets a lotion the thickness of Elmer's glue two or three times a day, his skin feels like sandpaper in the morning :( He dries out so fast.
7:10 am New outfit. Usually something preppy. Like father, like son.
7:12 am Playtime in bed. This is when I try to annoy Jason who is usually still asleep (what? he got home from work at 3 am? Oh well ;) ), by bringing a VERY awake, VERY noisy baby into the room. Hee hee. Before long, Tate jumps up too and it's a family affair.
7:20 am Eat. Ashton is exclusively breastfed and my goal is to make it to one year. I tried to give him formula last week just to see what he would do, and he threw the bottle on the floor. Great. But this means I pump twice a day in order to give him a bottle for bedtime and hopefully have some milk left over to freeze.
7:35 am Storytime. Usually accompanied by drool. Come to think of it, most parts of our day are. You'll see bibs occasionally in my photos.
7:45 am Play in the morning sunshine in the living room. I sit next to him and pump while he happily sits with his toys. He is so alert, rested, and content, this is truly my favorite time of day. I take a lot of pictures then and many of my readers see the pictures on facebook, but this is one from a few days ago:
The sunshine rays are real, but with the help of the Instagram app on my iPhone 4sssssss, he looks like an angel. To me, anyway. Here's another, his "Blue Steel" look for all those Zoolander fans.
I honestly was considering googling "Baby modeling contests" to see how I could enter Ashton somehow. Like all parents, I think my baby is the cutest baby that has ever lived and I'm certain everyone else feels the same way. They might as well pay me for such cuteness. College will cost $2 million per class by the time he gets there so we need to save up.
8:15 am Breakfast. Some kind of pureed fruit (via spoon), and then cheerios and banana slices that I give him on his tray to practice feeding himself. This is one photo that is particularly unattractive (i.e. would not be included in his modeling book) but I DIED laughing because he was eating cheerios and somehow, two pieces got stuck on his upper gums and made it look like he had teeth:
HAHAHA I'm cracking up all over again. My little jack-o-lantern.
8:45 am More playtime, usually in his jumper.
9:00 am Naptime. Before Ashton's 8 month birthday and his epic SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT event, I was a zombie and usually crawled right back into bed at this time. Now that he only wakes up once, around 5 am for a quick feed, I use this time to clean up from the massive mess that somehow results from cheerios and bananas, wash my pumping equipment, make the bed, change out of my pajamas, etc.
10:30 am Naptime is over. I change him, feed him (again) and we take off to do any number of things: grocery store, lunch dates, a Target run...Ashton is big enough now to sit in the cart all by himself, which means (you guessed it)...more gear! Had to purchase a shopping cart cover (helloooo, carts have so many germs). I did not run it by Jason before buying it either. Ha.
This looks so carefree doesn't it? Ashton has the wind in his hair and we are strolling up and down the aisles, easy breezy... um, no. Not like that. He tries to reach out and grab everything. He topples over to the side. He whines. He wants a snack. He poops and needs a new diaper. He drops his pacifier. I wipe it off. He pulls off his socks. I put them back on. He scratches at his head. I put on a hat. He pulls off the hat I put on to prevent him from scratching at his head. It's exhausting. We don't always shop though. Today we had playgroup with some of Ashton's little friends that we met when I took my new moms class last fall. It really is amazing to see how all the babies grow and develop. They are all so different. In spite of that, they don't care about slobbering all over one another's toys or steam rolling whoever is next to them on the playmat. But no matter what we do after the morning nap, we must, I repeat MUST be home by...
1:00 pm Naptime again. This nap tends to get pushed to 1:30 pm or sometimes 2 pm, but boy is that pushing it. I have said in the past that unless a large meteor is heading towards the earth or someone is in the process of telling me I have won the lottery, Ashton does not miss naps. If he does, he becomes totally crispy, overdone, burned out, whatever metaphor you would like to use. And life is just not fun.
Anyway, every time Ashton is not napping, I vow that the next time he is napping I am going to be super productive, reply to emails, do the laundry, unload the dishwasher and get everything done that I can't get done when he is awake because he is just such a handful. What do I usually do instead of all these productive things? Read my book. I lay down, Tate snuggles next to me, and it's just nice to have a break.
2:30 pm Wake up. Eat, change diaper, pack up supplies and head to Fresh Pond for a walk. I never knew about the Fresh Pond loop until after I had Ashton. It's ten minutes away, about a 2.25 mile stretch around this small body of water, SMACK in the middle of Cambridge and traffic and all kinds of urban stuff and yet looks like this:
It's truly amazing, I have my most zen moments while I am walking around it with the baby in the stroller and Tate trotting by my side. The path is somewhere between a sidewalk and a nature trail and it's gorgeous. The three of us love our fresh air in the late afternoon. It takes 45 minutes or so to walk the loop, I honestly can't get over how much hustle and bustle happens all around it and yet it's so quiet when you are right by the water. It's awesome.
5:00 pm Back home and time for dinner. [Insert more pictures of Ashton with food all over his face.] Tonight he got his first piece of red pepper that was a sorry mangled mess by the time he was done with it, but that experience more or less looked like this:
5:30 pm Storytime, general hanging out.
Of course I'm waiting for the Hollywood Foreign Press to call me and tell me they've nominated "Red Pepper" for an Oscar in the "Best Short Film" category. They will obviously have to get my number from the modeling agency.
6:00 pm Bedtime begins. While Ashton is playing, I: get the milk out of the fridge, warm it up, put it in a bottle. Get out his bathtub, put it in the sink, fill it with water and a little bleach (so the cuts he gets from scratching don't get infected). Line the countertop around the sink with towels. After Shrimps, he likes to splash. Fill his humidifier with water. Pull his shades down, turn the fan on, get his bath towel. Ashton then gets stripped and dropped in the tub for 10 minutes. Dry off, lotion, pajamas, scratch sleeves, bottle, rocking chair, bed. I close the door to the nursery, mop up the water, wash his bottle stuff, wash his tray and highchair, and immediately pour myself a glass of wine. 7:00 pm and I'm free until I have to pump, around 10:00 pm, and then it's bedtime for me. All my blog posts are time stamped around 9 pm or after because this is the only time I have to do it!
For the record, Ashton did have his first Easter basket and as much as I had hoped we would attend mass with our freshly baptized baby, it just didn't happen. Ashton had a sweater and a tie all ready to go but it was one of those unfortunate mornings where things did not go our way. Ah well. Until next time. (p.s. can someone text me or email me and tell me if this video format works? Is it better or worse than the other videos I usually put up? I'm experimenting. Thanks!!)