Terry calls on his way home from work to let us know he's left the building. Marshall and I are usually home. Terry and I chat for a few minutes about our days, but eventually Marshall requires my attention. I know I shouldn't complain, because Marshall is truly a very independent baby when it comes to play time, but around 4:00 he wants attention. I get it; usually by the end of the day he's gotten plenty of time on his own. It's just unfortunate timing because I usually need to start dinner and Marshall keeps trying to crawl into the kitchen. It's an excellent workout for me, though: Marshall crawls into the kitchen, I carry him out to the den, he crawls back in, I carry him back out...repeat about ten times before I decide we're done.
Terry arrives home, and not a minute too soon. I've usually given up on trying to make dinner at this point and Marshall and I are hanging out in his room, reading, cuddling, tickling, whatever. Terry comes in to chat with us for a few minutes and then takes over with Marshall while I head back out to the kitchen to cook dinner for real.
I throw something fun on the TV to unwind and spend the next 45 minutes making dinner. I hear shrieks (usually from Marshall) in the other room, along with Terry's voice reading some books or asking Marshall about his day. I love hearing them playing and often end up ignoring my TV show in favor of eavesdropping on my boys. I also try to clean the kitchen to reduce the workload for later, empty the dishwasher if needed, and get the table ready.
We start feeding Scout. Terry changes Marshall into his "eating outfit" (we have a few onesies set aside that we don't mind getting stained), sets him in the high chair, and helps me finish bringing all the goods for dinner down to the table. Sometimes our adult dinner isn't ready yet (there are days I just don't have it together!), but Terry and I still sit with Marshall and chat with him and with each other while he eats.
Dinner's done! One of us cleans up Marshall and takes him to play while the other clears the table. We usually hang out in Marshall's room for another few minutes until bath time.
On bath nights (every other night), we tag team the whole bath thing. One person fills up the bath while the other entertains and undresses the baby. Then Terry gives Marshall his bath while I race around cleaning the kitchen (or finishing up dinner if it wasn't ready before), grabbing Marshall's pajamas and other nighttime necessities, doing dishes. I help Terry get Marshall out of the bath most of the time, but then he finishes getting the little guy into his pjs and fresh diaper.
I feed Marshall on the couch. Jeopardy is on, and I talk to Marshall quietly about the day, things we did or places we went. Sometimes I sing to him or play an alphabet game (I try to name something relevant to the day for each letter of the alphabet). It's one of my favorite parts of the day!
Terry takes Marshall back into our bedroom for his bedtime story. They lie down on their backs for story time, and Marshall usually just stares at his daddy. It's so sweet. Meanwhile, I continue my work in the kitchen, usually doing dishes but sometimes finishing making dinner.
Bedtime for Marshall! Terry brings Marshall out for a kiss from me and then brings him to the nursery. Terry has the routine down perfectly--he sings two songs while pacing back and forth with Marshall, then puts him in the crib and continues singing one more song before walking out. Marshall is awake when he goes down and puts himself to sleep! They are total pros.
If we need to eat dinner, we do. Otherwise, we finish cleaning up and try to get our little chores done by 8ish.
Then it's couch time! Rarely, I'll squeeze in a short workout, but not usually. We might watch a show, cuddle with Scout, blog (me), work (Terry), play ColorKu, have a beer, just chat. Oh, and of course we have dessert.
I try to get up and take a quick shower and get ready for bed. Lately I've been working hard to get into bed by 9:30 or so, but it doesn't always happen. The couch is so comfortable!
I head to bed while Terry stays up. I read, then fall asleep watching TV. Terry plays a bit of his video game or works, and then comes to bed half an hour later or so.
It's quite the routine! The name of the game is teamwork, for sure. We help each other out with everything and switch back and forth a lot with the baby duties. Sometimes Terry is running up and down the stairs doing laundry, so I have to pause cooking dinner to prevent Marshall from eating the cat food. Sometimes we get to play longer after dinner because Marshall doesn't have to take a bath. But for the most part we love this little evening ritual, and it's become a relaxing way to end each day. Even though it's a ton of work, we find ways to make it fun!
What's the best part of your evening routine? My favorite is either feeding Marshall or talking to Terry about his day.
What chores do you do every day? I tidy up, do dishes, and wipe down the counters. I love having a clean kitchen in the morning!