How I Do It: Our Summer Day + Thoughts on Life

With school starting back in a few weeks,  I know this schedule will change very soon too.  But I wanted to let those of you interested in how I do summer with four, have a glimpse into our little world.

Wake Up.
I get up and ready for work.  I work the desk at a pilates/barre studio 3-4 mornings a week.  I’ve been working here since last October.  
**The other mornings when I’m not working the desk, I either work-out or go on a run.  For those of you who enjoy my (usual) weekly running stats, I’ll be back to running more consistently once school starts back.  I’m dropping my work time at the studio to only one day a week.**
My Shift
Back at Home.
When I get home, Effie’s usually the only one up at this point.  She gets up earlier than the rest of the children and climbs in our bed until I get home.  Sometimes when Wheeler gets up early like Effie, they play in their room until I get home.  Wheeler and Effie share a room.  Logan has his own room, and Vaughn has his own room.  Not sure if the boys will share a room later, but right now, this sleeping situation has been working well for us.  The boys usually wake up around 8:00.
This usually includes Cheerios, waffles, eggs, fruit, Nutrigrain bars, pecan twirlers, etc.  If anything, this is my children’s favorite meal of the day (meaning they eat the most at this meal).  Lanier is usually about to leave for work, so I make him a pot of coffee and he cooks all of us eggs.  And if we’re headed somewhere else rather than the pool, I run take a quick shower.
Play Time.
We play.  The girls usually want to play pretend or color.  Vaughn always wants me to read him books (which turns into flipping the pages and letting him point out all the animals on each page – the boy loves his animals).  And Logan plays with his cars, or pretend play with the girls.  He loves when the girls tell him that he can be the dad.  It’s pretty cute.  Some mornings, when they’re really tired, all they want to do is sit on the couch and watch a show.
This is also the time when I usually start packing our bags for wherever we’re going that day (lunches, towels, diapers, swim diapers, wipes, extra change of clothes, etc.).
An Outing.
We’re off to somewhere.  As you’ve noticed from my overload of IG pics, the pool is usually our go-to spot.  We normally stay until right after lunch.
Nap Time.
I say ‘ish’ because I don’t have an exact time that the children all go down for naps.  Sometimes it’s as early as 1:00, sometimes it’s as late as 2:30.  It honestly just depends on the day.  I usually blog during this time, fold some laundry, eat my lunch, turn on HGTV or Food Network, undo the dishwasher, etc.  I know you’re thinking, wait, Wheeler still naps?  And the answer is yes.  She’s always needed her sleep.  This school year is going to rock her world.  Her school starts at 9:15, and ends at 4:15.  I hate that she will be in school this long each day, but our school system chooses the amount of hours the children are in school each day.  I don’t even want to think about how much I’m going to miss her during that time, and how the dynamic of the children will change without her in the picture, for such a long chunk of the day.  But I know she will adjust well.
For those wondering, Wheeler will be in Kindergarten this year, Effie will be in the 4’s and Logan will be in the 2’s.  I have the opportunity to send Vaughn to the older toddlers two days a week, but I’m not going to send him.  I just felt like I’ve never had that proper one-on-one time with him.  Cannot wait to do some fun activities with him during the day; take him on runs with me, visit story times, have some playdates, etc. all while the children are in school.  Fall 2015 is going to be interesting.  It’ll be the first time in SEVEN years that I’ve had time in the mornings, without children at home.  Definitely going to be an adjustment next year, that’s for sure.
Between 3:00 and 4:00.
Play Time.
Effie is always the first one up.  The others get up after that.  They always have a snack when they get up and then want to play.  We either hang out around the house or the backyard.  They love the outdoors (making pretend salads for me with leaves, playing in their playhouse, etc.).  One of their favorite things to do is listen to music.  Pandora is always playing on our speakers.  When Wheeler and Effie are the DJs, it’s usually Disney.  But they let me choose my songs sometimes too.
Between 5:00 and 7:00.
If the children want to eat really early, I usually have a light snack/glass of wine while they eat, and wait for Lanier to get home before we eat dinner together later.  If the children eat later, then we all eat at the same time.
Bath Time/Shower Time.
I’ll be the first one to say I do not bathe my children every single night.  It really depends on what we’ve done that day.  After the Lazy 5 Ranch visit?  Definitely yes.  After a day at the pool?  Maybe.
Between 6:00 and 8:30.
Bed Times.
Logan and Vaughn are the first ones to go down.  They’re super easy.  Logan usually has a few “friends” in his bed, so he’s excited to get to play with them until he falls asleep.  “Friends” being his cars or planes.  I always let him pick a few of them out every night to take to bed with him.  He gets a thrill out of picking the special ones out for that night.  I still rock Vaughn at night and sing to him.  I used to do it with all of mine, but as they grew older they phased out of it.  As Vaughn will always be my baby, I hope he wants me to rock him forever.  A sleepy little baby nodding off on your shoulder? Doesn’t get much sweeter than that.
Effie goes to bed after the boys.  We usually play a board game, read a book, say prayers, etc. and then tuck her in.  She always gets up at least twice for water, one more trip to the bathroom, a tissue, chapstick, etc. you name it.  Wheeler stays up with us until Effie has almost fallen asleep.  Sometimes she wants to play another board game or lets Lanier read a chapter out of a book to her.  Right now they’re reading Alice in Wonderland.  Wheeler has always been good about going to bed.  After she’s tucked in, she doesn’t get up.  Even though they’re in the same room, we choose to put Wheeler and Effie down separately.  If they go to bed together, no matter how hard we’ve tried, they almost always play until 10pm+ and never go to bed.  I know it’s cute that they love to play with each other as much as they do, but they truly need their sleep by this point.
After Bed Times.
Some nights Lanier and I sit on the back deck with wine/beer, listening to music and catch up on our day.  Some nights, Lanier and I catch up on shows.  We only have one tv in the house, so whatever we choose to watch, we’re both watching it.  So if he watches Deadliest Catch, I’m blogging while watching.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the show, but it doesn’t need my undivided attention.  Same goes for the Atlanta Braves.  We’re huge fans and watch them a lot too.  But it’s nice to be able to watch it, chat with Lanier and blog.  We actually just finished the last season of 24, but there’s not much else to watch in the summer months.  Sometimes we’ll get out the Scrabble board, but haven’t done that in awhile.  Come to think of it, we need to pick that back up again.
About my day, one thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t want it any other way!  I feel extremely blessed in the life I get to wake up to every single day.  Yes, some days are harder than others, but seriously, don’t we all have those days?  And everything is relative, so I try not to complain about most things because I know that someone else out there has it a lot harder than I do.  Plus, I’ve always felt that however you convey yourself to others (especially to your children), is how you’d want them to act/behave.  So I try and stay as optimistic/upbeat/loving as I can be, so they have those same feelings too.
The best you can do is try.  Don’t strive for perfection.  Strive for your best and do what works for you in your life.  Yes, people do judge, but you yourself, try not to judge.  Pray.  Forgive.  Have a grateful heart.  And most of all, “Love one another” (John 13:34).

Hope y’all have a wonderful start to your week!

18 thoughts on “How I Do It: Our Summer Day + Thoughts on Life

  1. My oldest {I have a 5 year old and a 6 week old} started Kindergarten last week. I'm not going to sugar coat– it's been hard. I teach, so usually when he's at school I am too. Being home on maternity leave means I'm here to really experience the change. He loves it, though, and that makes it SO much easier. In fact, he wanted to go Saturday 🙂 And also, my husband and I always watch the same thing on TV together. We have more than one TV, but it was something that just became a routine nine years ago when we got married and has continued. I think it's super important to do things together as a couple– even if it's watching tv!

    1. That's such great news about your son loving kindergarten, Elizabeth. I know Wheeler will love it, but I'm sure going to miss her. But I know it's inevitable, they're all going to have to grow up sometime. I used to teach before having children, and loved it! It's a great profession. It's kind of perfect timing that your maternity leave happened at the same time your son started school. Rather than having to prep your classroom and lessons, you were able to experience it with him. And you're so right about doing things together, even if it's just watching tv, you're with each other. Hope you enjoy the rest of your maternity leave with your newest addition!

    2. Okay, so I left you the above comment before reading your blog post. I still agree with everything I said, but your post had me in tears! I'm SOOO going to lose it…like you, maybe not at school dropping her off, but at home, after it REALLY sinks in!!

  2. Your day is undoubtdley packed but really does seem full of fun and lots of cute kiddo love!!

    I love that you have your part-time gig in the morning. I know that's super early, but it seems nice that you are done with work and already at home at 7:30! What a smart move that was!! I'm keeping that in mind for the future. Seems like a great way to have a little fun money, get out of the house and have something that is just "yours".

    1. Thanks, Tess! Yeah, it worked out perfectly! I obviously wouldn't have been able to do it with infants, but once they were all sleeping through the night, I jumped at the opportunity!

  3. Great post. I love the "afterthoughts." We are very lucky, a tough day for us is likely a great day for some else. You really put life in perspective. It's a gift for us to enjoy.

    I saw the TB sale email this morning and saw my metallic Revas were on sale. I paid full price, of well.

    1. Thanks, Brian! Life is truly a gift!

      As for the TB flats, you win some, you lose some. Loved your Carolines you shared the other day. While I want summer to be eternal, I will be happy to get my closed toe flats out, when I store my sandals. 🙂

  4. Hi Ashley,
    I know this unrelated to today's post, but I was wondering how do the puffer vests from j crew run? The factory has free shipping today and 25% off (the vests arent included in that part, but I have a few more items to scoop up), I really love the camo one! Thank you for your input 🙂


    1. I LOVE my camo one! I honestly haven't tried on this season's vests from Factory, but in season's past they do run big, so I'd probably say go down a size. Hope that helps!

  5. I so loved reading about your day. I constantly feel like I don't get enough done every day with one little one. Hopefully one day we will have four little ones running around like you but not yet. I do Dailey Method (another barre workout method here on the West Coast and now Midwest) and love it! I have to ask because I have the hardest darn time fitting it in–when do you shower/ do your hair? You always look perfect in photos and my gosh to pull it off consistently! I love reading all your "How I Do It" posts because they have great ways to manage naps/ cooking dinner/ workout/ outings. It seems like you guys are always out and about and I have found that it is the easiest way to entertain my little one; but it is always a struggle to get dinner those nights! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Annie! Thanks so much for reading! As for shower time and hair, I really don't have a specific time, but usually try to fit it in sometime in the morning after I get back from working out. Sometimes the boys are in the bathroom with me when I'm doing it, but I usually just bring their cars/toys in the bathroom and let them play while I get ready. My hair is pretty dry so luckily I only have to wash it like twice a week. The other times I shower I jump in with a shower cap. Whatever works, right? And I try to knock it all out as quick as possible, so I use In-Shower body lotion, so that's one less thing I have to do when I get out. Your little B is precious, and you've got a rockin' body!

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