These last two almost back-to-back trips will take him away from family for nearly two weeks. He was home only for the weekend.
Being alone with my 7 yrs, 5 yrs and 5 months old means my 'work' days are extremely long. There is a never ending list of things waiting for me to tackle.
6am: Alarm goes off. Wake M up. Makes him breakfast and 2 boxes of food to bring to school for recess and late morning break. Get myself ready. Nurse Bunny and get her ready. Take kids along to send M off to school bus.
7am: Make breakfast and head out with Chip and Bunny for morning picnic and stroll. Or potter around house.
8.30am: Bunny naps. Get light chores done while Chip plays and entertains himself. Play or home-learning with Chip.
10am: Bunny wakes. Feed. Her play time. Plan/prepare lunch. Get Chip ready for school.
12pm: Out and about with Bunny. Run errands and marketing. Meet friends for lunch or stay home to make lunch and/or prepare dinner. If home, put Bunny down for nap. Take my lunch. Light chores.
2pm: M's back. Lunch for him. Home-learning with M. Bunny wakes. Feed. Her play time.
3.30pm: Collect Chip. Showers him. Make snacks for both boys. Feed Bunny and bathe her. More chores. Continue home-learning with both or one of the boys.
5.30pm: Put Bunny down for catnap. Fix dinner during boys' rest-and-relax time. Dinner time. Bunny wakes.
7.30pm: Tidy up after dinner. Get Bunny ready for bedtime. Boys' R&R time.
9pm: Boys' bedtime. Continue with chores.
Of course to stay sane and be functional, I have to pick and choose the tasks to handle first and ignore the rest that can wait another few hours or even days. Multi-tasking is an essential skill, without which our household will be a complete chaos.
It helps that Bunny has more or less settled into the tried-and-tested Baby Whisperer's E.A.S.Y. method.
I first tried the method when Marcus was about 4 months old after reading the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer which E's cousin-in-law highly recommended. It worked like magic.
So when Chip came along in 2006, I bought this updated version. Again, it worked beautifully and by the time Chip was 6 months old, he would fall asleep at 7pm like clockwork.
Like the boys, Olivia's feeds around 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. This is a routine, not a schedule. So I don't watch the clock to feed her. I follow her cues but on most days, it seems like her feeding times don't deviate much from these hours anymore.
While my days are hectic, life is fulfilling. And the months ahead will only get better.