Several weeks ago, I was asked to play in a four-person golf scramble for a youth camp fundraiser. I’ve played in the tournament before, and I’m certainly no stranger to a golf course, but my life situation is drastically different now that I am Kamden’s momma. Husband and I talked about the possibility of me playing, we checked his work schedule and, as luck would have it, the event was on a scheduled-off Friday so he would be home with Kamden. I made a semi-commitment to play and let the other three men I’d be playing with know my intentions were tentative until closer to the event. It’s not that I was afraid of being away from Kamden, or leaving my husband and son together for an entire day, but a lot of worries were in the back of my mind: What if Kamden was extra fussy? What if Kamden didn’t follow his usual routine and nap schedule? What if Husband got frustrated? What if ….?
The golf tournament was last Friday, my team and I shot a very respectable nine-under par (63), and I had a blast. I got to visit with folks I don’t see very often, spent the day outside in the sunshine, and played better than I expected. Husband called a couple of times to reassure me he and Kamden were fine and that eased my mind. I didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony (we didn’t place, anyhow) because I missed my two favorite men. Needless to say, they were both VERY glad to see me! Kamden did well, according to Husband, but he was fussy right after I left and didn’t sleep as long as he normally does. Husband concluded that Kamden had some separation anxiety. At the end of the day, Husband and I were both exhausted, but it was nice to hear his praises for doing what I do on a daily basis.
Before I left for the golf tournament, I made sure all the necessities were within arm’s reach, or at least in the fridge, and accessible for Husband throughout the day. Days prior, I even kept a journal of Kamden’s daytime schedule so Husband would have an idea of how things should go. Before tossing the notes, I thought sharing it here might be helpful for others with an infant. Obviously, not every day is exactly like the one before but Kamden has done extremely well creating his own routine and patterns.
A TYPICAL DAY FOR MOMMY & KAMDEN
2:30am // I set the alarm on my cell phone before going to bed, but my body does a fine job of waking me up when it’s time to pump! Before I sit down on the couch, I get my water bottle (holds 20 ounces) and a snack. Sometimes it’s a lactation cookie, sometimes it’s a granola bar, and other times it’s a cup of yogurt. This pumping session typically yields 7-9ozs from each side. I pour the expressed milk into a quart-size Mason jar with lid, refill my water bottle, place both in the fridge, and return to bed (unless I’m distracted by Twitter or Pinterest, then I might be up for an hour or two!) Before going back to bed, I get a bottle from the fridge and sit it out on the counter for Kamden’s first feeding of the day.
7:30am // Either the alarm or my breasts wake me for another pump session. Before pumping, I put the bottle of milk I set out earlier in the bathroom sink filled with really warm water. I pump for 20-25 minutes, empty the milk into the Mason jar, and eat breakfast before Kamden gets up. I keep a close eye on the monitor and watch for signs of him stirring while eating a bowl of oatmeal made with soy milk and dried fruit. I also try to drink another full bottle of water (20 ounces).
8:30am // Kamden starts stirring, which usually consists of turning his head from side to side, stretching his arms and legs, and farting. Yes, I’m the mature parent who laughs every time their kid expels gas from his rear. On the weekends, Kamden will lay quietly awake in his crib, about 15 minutes or so, before getting vocal about wanting some human interaction. During the week, however, when Husband is getting ready for work and we’re in the kitchen talking, Kamden will signal he’s ready to get up early. Every morning, I stand beside his crib and rub his arms, belly, and legs while he stretches, grunts, farts, and welcomes a new day. I watch his eyes adjust to the soft light coming from the lamp on his changing table and maybe a peak of sunshine through the window curtain.
9:00am // After a diaper change, Kamden gets his first bottle (six ounces of breast milk) of the day. We sit in my recliner and watch the morning news.
9:45am // Kamden goes in his bouncer chair and into the bathroom with me so I can wash my face, brush my teeth, put my contacts in, and change clothes. Then I change his diaper and clothes. During the week, this is the time I put Kamden in the car seat and we go to the gym. On the weekends, he chills out with Daddy and the two of them watch old-school cartoons like Tom & Jerry or Looney Tunes.
10:00am – 11:30am // I renewed my gym membership on April 1 and go every week day. The child care center is very convenient and Miss Pam, an employee of the facility, is wonderful. She has 11 grandchildren! I prefer to work out in the mornings because of Kamden’s schedule, plus there are few to no children in the center. It’s not that I don’t like the other children being there, but Kamden’s small and everybody wants to check him out, touch him, and that’s not my favorite thing. The center is surrounded by glass windows so I can keep an eye on him while I’m on the cardio machines. If we aren’t at the gym, I’ll use this time to run errands, go to the grocery, or we stay home for a lazy, relaxing day. During play time, I keep the TV off or play really soft music. We’ll sit on the floor for tummy and back time. There is a foam mattress topper for extra padding on the living room rug where Kamden’s activity center is located. He’s still not a big fan of tummy time, but he loves laying on his back and grabbing the rattle ball or Peanut, a stuffed elephant with rings and textured fabrics. I’ll also sit him in my lap and we’ll read a book … well, I read the book and he looks at the pages! Husband assembled the ExerSaucer a couple of weeks ago and Kamden will stand in that for 15-20 minutes at a time. When he’s had enough play time and stimulation, he’ll begin to get fussy. On Sundays, we leave the house for church at 10:45 and he may or may not be fed during the worship service. He’s a really great, well-behaved child during church. The few times I’ve had to leave the sanctuary, it was to change a dirty diaper and not because he was throwing a fit. I don’t want to be THAT mom with THAT kid, you know?!
12:00pm // It’s time for Kamden’s second bottle. Even though I prefer routines, and we have a pretty consistent one going, I let Kamden dictate when he’s ready to eat. Some days, he doesn’t make it to noon before he wants another bottle. I don’t make him wait for a feeding if he is getting upset. After all, he goes 10-12 hours without eating at night and I know he’s really hungry in the mornings. As long as he sleeps through the night, I’m happy to feed him during the day!
12:30pm // Kamden goes back in his bouncer chair so I can pump and eat lunch. If I need to unload the dishwasher or prep something for supper, I’ll put him in the kitchen where he can watch me. This is about the time he begins to get fussy because he’s tired and ready for his afternoon nap.
1:00pm – 3:00pm // Kamden is ready for his afternoon nap. It took a little practice, but this has become a much easier, smoother transition than it used to be. I lay him down in his crib, with a pacifier, turn off the lamp, and walk out of the room. Once he’s asleep, I make sure the pacifier is out of his way, adjust the blanket, and close his bedroom door. While he naps, I eat or pump (if I didn’t get to earlier), fold and put away laundry, prep for supper, work on blog posts, or snooze on the couch. I don’t always do that last one though! Kamden is a very happy baby, but he is much more content in the evenings when he’s had some rest during the day. Since Husband only gets to spend time with him in the evenings, I make sure Kamden’s had a nap so their time together is as pleasant as possible. It doesn’t always work out, but I try.
3:00pm // If Kamden isn’t awake by 3:15 or 3:30, I get him up for a diaper change and give him another bottle. We cuddle in the recliner, but lately he’s more interested in sitting up and looking around than cuddling with Mom. Boooooo!
4:00pm – 6:00pm // If we’re being lazy or Kamden is in a cuddling mood, we’ll stay in the recliner or on the couch and watch TV. If I need to pump, I do. Depending on what I’ve planned for supper, I’ll put Kamden in his bouncer chair and sit him in the kitchen where he can watch me cook. This has become an almost daily routine. I look forward to the days he’s big enough to help me in the kitchen. I want him to enjoy cooking and learn to prepare meals. I intentionally make noise, sometimes I’ll even drop a spoon so he’ll get accustomed to the chatter. He isn’t phased by much and the noise doesn’t bother him. Sometimes I’ll look over and catch my ‘Sous Chef’ snoozing! When I’ve finished cooking, and the weather is nice, we’ll go outside. We walk around the house, by Daddy’s big truck and horse trailers, and say hello to Blue if he’s near the barn. Occasionally, we’ll drive to the city park and walk around lake. Kamden is super-cool kid wearing his shades! Of course, the sunglasses provide the perfect cover for him to sneak another few minutes of sleep too. How come he gets to sleep while Mommy does the hard work of pushing his chubby butt in the stroller?!?!
6:00pm // Time for another feeding and I set out Kamden’s next bottle and the Mason jars filled with breast milk so they’ll begin to reach room temperature. Husband usually gets home between 6:00 and 6:30, so it works perfectly for he and Kamden to spend quality time together. Kamden has had a diaper change and bottle by the time Daddy gets home and is ready to play and ‘tell’ him all about his day. It’s like Husband turns on Kamden’s jibberish switch because the kid goes wild. He has so much to say, but doesn’t know how to say it, so he jibber-jabbers and squeals with delight! It’s truly the cutest, most hilarious thing in the world. Kamden is getting better at sitting in his bouncer seat while Husband and I eat dinner. We always watch the evening news and Wheel of Fortune. After supper, Husband and Kamden play while I clean the kitchen, pump, or do some other chore. I don’t want you to think I do laundry or housework everyday, because I don’t and our house isn’t perfect. There have been days, once Husband is home and playing with Kamden, I’ve fallen asleep with the pump attached to my boobs. I wish I were kidding!
7:30 – 8:30pm // This can be a trying hour. It’s too early to bathe and feed Kamden, but he’s beginning to show signs of tiredness. We distract him by placing him on the activity mat and play with the rattle ball, Peanut the Elephant, or teething/chewing toys. Nine times out of ten, Kamden will play, fuss, then get real still and snooze 15-20 minutes, which is fine with me considering his sleep habits through the night. This short nap also recharges his energy reserves for bath time.
8:30pm // This is probably my favorite part of the day, except for Kamden’s smiles in the mornings. He LOVES bath time. While Daddy undresses him, I gather his jammies and get his bubble bath ready in our master bathroom tub. As soon as I slide him into the warm water, he gets the most ridiculous foul look on his face, then busts out in a grin as he kicks, squirms, and splashes water all over the place. He plays in the tub 15-20 minutes, or until the water is too cool. Daddy holds him while I use the hand-wand to rinse him off. Wrapped in a towel, I lay him on our bed for his nightly massage. I rub lotion all over his body and massage his arms, legs, and feet before diapering and dressing him. While I’m dressing Kamden, Husband is warming the bottle, collecting a spit/drool towel and pacifier, and turning on the video monitor and closet light in Kamden’s bedroom. We have followed this bedtime routine since Kamden was just a few days old. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
9:00pm // Kamden is bathed, massaged, moisturized, dressed in pajamas, and very ready for his last bottle of the day. We cuddle in the glider chair in his bedroom while I feed him. It usually takes 20 minutes for him to finish the bottle before he relaxes in my arms and drifts to sleep. I savor these precious moments, kiss his cheeks, and gently lay him in his crib. I make sure he has a pacifier then leave the room, leaving the door slightly ajar. Husband and I watch the monitor’s screen and make sure he is comfortable and quiet. If he is extremely tired, he may fuss for a few minutes but he’s really good about laying still and drifting off to sleep almost immediately.
9:30pm // Once I know Kamden is asleep, I shut his door and pump before washing and rinsing the bottles we used during the day. I run hot water over the Mason jars filled with breast milk and make sure the cream and water that have separated are mixed before filling the cleaned bottles for the next day. If I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast and drank plenty of water throughout the day, I pump about 50 ounces of breast milk in a single day. This is enough to fill six bottles and two freezer bags with six ounces of milk, plus a couple of ounces left over.
10:00pm // Time for me to take a shower and get ready for bed. Some nights I stay up later than I should to watch TV or work on blog posts but, even though I’m tired, it’s nice to unwind in the peace and quiet.
11:00pm // No matter how much I want to scroll through Pinterest or Instagram or edit blog posts, I’m in bed by 11:00 so I can get some sleep before getting up in the middle of the night to pump again! I guess you could say by this time, my day is officially over. I keep my cell phone on vibrate and set the alarm, plug-in the baby monitor and sit it beside my pillow or on the bedside table and it’s light out. Goodnight!
So there you have it, a typical day for Kamden and I at home, running errands, going to the gym, cooking supper, doing chores, or being lazy!