Our Daily Routine

We love what we do and are SO blessed by all of you. Selling these bonnets allows us to have this wonderful work from home schedule, a schedule that for both of us has been a dream come true.

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So many have asked about the daily routine we have for our kids (and for us) as work at home parents. I thought it would be much easier to just do a blog post than stories on IG. That way if you wanted to read this at your leisure, it would always be here for you.

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So, we weren't always big into routine until Elliot received his autism diagnosis. It used to drive my MIL nuts knowing that I didn't have a set time to feed the kids, nap time, bath times, bed times. When Elliot was a baby I really just listened to what he needed at the time and changed plans accordingly.

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Pop another kid on board and you've got a different story altogether! Elliot was diagnosed autistic when Leia was about 6 months old. It was then that I realized BOTH kids would thrive with more of a routine, so both Marc and I set out to make that happen. 

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It has changed over the months, we have catered it to fit our lifestyle since we both work from home now. And things change... naps, school schedule, weather... a lot of things can attribute to a change in routine, but for the most part, on a daily basis, this is what our routine looks like:

Weekday Routine:

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6:30: I get up. Marc has programed the coffee the night before so I flip it on and work in my studio for about an hour to hour and a half answering emails/drafting IG posts, depending on what takes priority. At this time Marc also wakes up and goes upstairs with the kids who have been playing for a little while on their own. Elliot in the playroom and Leia in her crib. Marc gets Elliot dressed for school and Leia stays in her jammies since she is a messy eater for breakfast.

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7:45: The kids come downstairs, I try my best to snag some morning stories for IG. Marc makes the kids breakfast while I entertain them (Elliot usually likes to "help" Marc)

Breakfast: We all used to sit down for breakfast together on weekdays, but that proves itself to be too challenging for Elliot. He is most talkative in the morning and while we LOVE to hear our once non verbal toddler talk, he doesn't eat much if we are within earshot. So I sit and continue to work, listening to the kids from my studio. Marc gets Elliot's bag packed for school and gets dressed himself.

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8:25: Leave for school. We used to go back up for playtime (so come down for breakfast earlier) but it also proved too challenging for Elliot. He was not wanting to go to school because there was too much fun being had at home. By eliminating a transition we are able to keep him on track for school a lot better.

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8:30: Marc has left for school with Elliot and I post to IG if I have a post for that day. I have taken Leia upstairs and get her dressed, we let Elliot has his space when leaving the house since transitions are the hardest for him. It's at that time I have quiet playtime with her. Other than capturing stories on IG I try to put my phone away and play with her. You can see some of the quiet things we do daily on IG, they aren't anything too fancy, but they help with her motor skills and I try to work on her speech at the same time, too. If Marc needs to run any errands he does them after the school run (grocery store, post office, pharmacy)

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9:00-1ish:

Marc: He takes over with Leia and I go to work. She usually watches some Youtube educational show on the TV in our living room with a snack and juice. Marc has a little desk set up in the living room where he can do some work while she plays (he is a children's book illustrator)

Me: I go down to my studio, have another cup of coffee while I catch up on IG stuff. Then I do whatever is on my to do list. Usually it's taking photos of bonnets but if I am caught up on that I either- design, cut out, or sew some bonnets. If inspiration doesn't hit me to do that I work on my website. If I am able to sneak into Leia's room without bothering them I flat lay some outfits or take some room shots.

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MONDAYS: The only difference with Monday is Leia has OT therapy at 10:30, I'm usually working at this time so Marc visits with her therapist and includes me if I need to be there. 

TUESDAYS: If it is a Tuesday, at 9:00 Marc leaves for the day with Leia, giving me the whole house! (good man!) He stays out until it's time to pick Elliot up from school, so I have a huge chunk of time to do work. He does the grocery shopping, runs errands, they go out to lunch, sometimes he visits his Mom. I usually reserve this day for flat lays for the companies we work with. Since it's such a mess of a job, getting out all her clothes, it's best to do it when there are no children home. We have a new speech therapist coming soon for Leia so this schedule may change. That's the beauty of working from home, though. It allows us to change things if we need to. 

FRIDAYS: On Fridays, at least for the next couple of weeks, I have a photography class at our local community college. I am taking it with my Mom. We go out for coffee before and have a bite to eat, and then our class is from 9:30-11:30. Which leaves Marc to do ALL the kids stuff... he is the best husband ever. Elliot has half days on Friday, so school lets out at 11:30. My Mom then takes him after our class leaving us with just Leia. 

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1:00: Leia is usually ready for her nap at this point. I try to have her outfit picked out before she erupts into cranky baby mode so that I don't do it rushed. After her nap photos, which usually take about 30 mins to get, I head downstairs to edit and upload them for the brands we work with. Usually, Marc has made me lunch. After I am done editing and sharing to IG I eat my lunch, putting my phone away. I read my book while I eat or just enjoy my food depending on my mood. Marc usually takes his lunch upstairs since this is the first alone time he has had all day. Sometimes we eat together, but I let him have his space since he does A LOT of the childcare while I work.

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2:45: School pick up time for Elliot. Usually Leia is still napping, she naps for about 2.5-3 hours on her good days. We have a back set of stairs so when Elliot gets home we try to keep him quiet (try!) and corral him up the back stairs so he doesn't wake her. This works out nicely because after having to follow a strict schedule at preschool with lots of kids he likes to have some alone time to play with his cars and trucks. 

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3:30-4: If Leia isn't up from her nap at this time we usually wake her. I snag a few more IG stories and then change her back to her play clothes. Some people ask why I change her clothes so much. A lot of the clothes she wears is product we are sent for me to photograph, either on Leia or product photos. Until I have taken a sufficient amount of photos (usually a number set by my own standards, not the companies) I don't sacrifice those clothes to everyday wear. I don't take it lightly the fact that these clothes/product are made for us free of charge, the payment I make for the merchandise is through promotion and photos. I can't very well capture nice photos if the products are stained and/or rumpled. Some companies I know for sure they are sending us the products to just wear in everyday life. Just tagging in stories and letting the product fit organically into our lifestyle is what they are after in regards to promotion. But I am always mindful that it takes a lot to make these products and I try my best to respect their hard work.

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4:00: Marc (again, best Daddy ever) has snacks prepped for the kids. He usually puts on a show show for them both and we use our Lollipop Baby Cam (click for a link) to watch them in the playroom. He usually preps dinner at this time, does dishes or does the laundry. I go back to work (I work a lot). Depending on who is doing what, one of us has the baby cam so we can be sure the kids are ok, usually it's me since it is easier for me to hear it as I work on the computer or sew.

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5:00: We try to shoot for dinnertime around this time. I'd like to say we all eat together, but we find that both kids eat better if we are out of sight. Mealtime for us is by far the most challenging part of our day. We try to do what works (whether it is right or wrong) because we like our kids to be well fed AND we like to keep our sanity (or at least try to). 

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6:00-7:00: This is when we try to put phones away and enjoy each other. This time is usually spent in the playroom, sometimes it's bath night (every other night... or if they need it) and other times it is just good old romper room playtime. Pig pile on Daddy, Leia concocts pretend meals in her kitchen and Elliot usually jumps on the mini trampoline we have. We shoot for bedtime around 7, sometimes it's later and more like 7:30.

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7-7:30: Bedtime. I would like to change this up in the near future and change to reading books together with both kids. Right now we switch kids every other night, Elliot usually prefers Daddy over me... I don't blame him. Daddy is pretty great. Leia settles herself in her crib as long as one of us is in the room with her. Elliot is read books and settles down on his own, but like Leia one of us has to be with him.

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8:00: We eat dinner. This is a terrible habit... it's not good to eat this late but as my my mother says often "any port in a storm!". It works for us, we usually eat together, chat about the day, talk about things that need to be done. One thing, that I think has helped with our marriage and caring for our kids is we ask two questions of each other. One being "what is your favorite thing about our kids right now?" It can be something in general or something that happened that day. But we both share something about each kid and laugh about them, enjoying this season of life as parents (or we try to) And the second question is "What's something as your spouse I could work on that would help our relationship?" (we don't phrase it like that, but that's what we're asking of each other) The rule with this question is that no matter the answer the other person cannot get defensive. Nor can the person stating their "issue" be harsh about it. We just simply state something that happened that day (or something in general) that irks us. We sometimes discuss how to overcome the issue but mostly it is just about being heard and mindful of the other persons feelings. It helps us a lot because then things don't get bottled up and BLOW up. We try to do this every night but if not we at least do it once a week for sure.

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Bed for us: Marc is a night owl, he stays up and does Man things! lol... he plays his video games, watches TV and usually falls asleep on the couch. I like to go to bed early and read my book. I usually fall asleep around 9:30 and Marc comes down around 1am... pretty sure he needs to change this habit but I know for sure he won't listen to me and I try not to argue with him. 

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Weekends:

We try to stick to the same schedule for the weekends/holidays but it's not always that easy since both kids are home. The things that are a must (like meals and nap time) remain the same, but we keep a looser schedule for the weekends, allowing time for family outings or for one of us to get out by ourselves. 

So that's our routine. Once a month I do a big shopping haul for fabric/materials to upcycle into bonnets. When the weather gets warmer I will walk down town daily with Leia to our local thrift shops to scope out what's available. 

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Our schedule is in no way perfect, but it works for us. Screentime for our kids is usually 2-2.5 hours a day. We used to let Elliot play video games but we stopped when his tantrums were getting worse. He is very easily over stimulated and the more "real life" shows we show him the better. We stay away from shows like Curious George, Minions, Angry Birds. Anything that doesn't have a lot of speech in it because he tends to just echo what he sees/hears. We have a very hilarious video of him on Christmas morning talking just like Curious George. You can tell exactly what he's saying, as you can with George in the show, but when we ask him to please use his words he does. We are just mindful as to what we let them watch and try to keep the screentime to a minimum. 

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I'll make changes to this blog post as our schedule changes and update you on IG in case there are any other work at home families who enjoy seeing what works for other people. We love what we do and are SO blessed by all of you. Selling these bonnets allows us to have this wonderful schedule, a schedule that for both of us has been a dream come true. We both have the best jobs ever and it has always been Marc's goal to be a stay at home Dad. His goal in life have been achieved and I am so happy I could make that happen for him because he is the best husband ever.