Every afternoon, shortly after lunch, my girls go down for a two-hour nap (and, in Ella's case, two hours of quiet time).
I nurse Ani, turn on her sound machine, and shut the door, then go next-door to Ella's room and we read a book together and set her clock to 1:00 p.m. and she starts playing on her own.
I spend the next two hours writing posts, cooking and photographing recipes, working on projects, or doing other various work-related tasks.
(I just realized this sounds like I think working and having my children shut in their room is the very best time of the day. Stick with me here).
Then, Ella will burst into my office and exclaim, "it's THREE!" And usually Ani wakes up right about this time (if she wakes up early, Ella always asks, "Can she come play in my room for the rest of the time?") and we head downstairs for an afternoon snack.
I love snack time because it gives me a chance to pull myself out of my work tunnel vision and segue back into parenting mode (okay, and to eat a snack myself. I love snacks).
Ani, especially, must have a snack. She never really acts all that hungry until she's suddenly beside herself with frustration and anger, and you realize, "Oh! You haven't eaten in five hours." If she has a snack, it helps her keep the 5PM crazies at bay (every parent of small children knows all about those 5PM crazies).
After everyone's refueled, we have a couple of hours to spend together before dinner and bedtime. We might go run a few errands, take a walk around the neighborhood, visit the park, or just hang out at home and read books and play endless rounds of bingo.
Lately, I've just been feeling extra lucky to have my girls. They are at the sweetest ages, and most days are good days. I'm so glad to be their mom.
Staying at home isn't always the easiest gig in the world (while I don't envy Bart the homework or exams or presentations, I do sometimes wish for entire days to get my own work done with no interruptions. Also, all the free dinners he keeps getting invited to), and some days, I put the girls to bed at 6:25 because I just need to be done parenting until the next morning.
But mostly, I feel really lucky that I get to be home with them, that I can take them to the park in the afternoon and then, when we are all starting to get icicle hands, go to the library and play with the train table and sing songs in the car on the way home.
And then have bananas, plain rice, and almonds for dinner because Bart was gone, and I almost never can convince myself to make a real meal when he's not home. So basically, like snack time all over again, except this time for dinner.
P.S. You can visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips for more snack (or dinner - I won't judge) ideas.
Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.
Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.