February goals & current bedtime routine with 3

February 1, 2018
Basically, I want to enjoy the rest of my leave, continue some of my habits from January (reading, music + keeping phone use in moderation), and start getting geared up for work re-entry.  I haven’t finished migrating my monthly tasks yet so there is definitely more, but I just use this planner page as an overview of habit/bucket list-type items from the yearly list.  Things I am tracking daily:
– workouts
– spending less than 90 minutes on phone (Moment app)
– taking some time to read
– listening to some music
– weekly Question of the Week (through the ABP)
– weekly fam dinners
– focused time w/ A&C
One big to-do item is combining the kids’ rooms!  I mentioned that we have been in a really good bedtime groove lately, so I am not terribly excited to rock that boat, but hopefully things will work out.  I do have some ideas about how to make it work, but they are currently untested . . .
That said, I am going to share what I am doing now for bedtime that is somehow working.  Putting all 3 to sleep was something I was really stressed out about pre-Genevieve — I’m often by myself from 6pm (usually this is when I arrive home from work & our nanny leaves) until bedtime, and was anxious about how I would handle this with 3.
Disclaimer:  I am NOT alone every night — and Josh has been arriving around 7-7:30 many nights lately, which is great.  But often at least 2-3x/week it’s just me.  (And sometimes 5x on a bad week).  This Tuesday, I was flying solo and this is how it went / what we did:
5:30 pm – nanny went home.  I ate dinner with A&C.  G sat in the bouncer (the Baby Bjorn one from this pic).  (Shown because it is my savior during the entire bedtime routine right now).
6:00 pm – fed G.  Kids played.  They are aware that if there is any bad behavior (mostly . . . beating each other up in some fashion) then they do not get a TV show.  They also know they have to clean up their toys before said show, which actually does prevent them from making too much of a mess.
6:30 pm – I let A & C watch a show (26 minutes of Wild Kratts usually!).  I clean up dinner, prep the coffee maker & next day’s pump parts, G watches from her seat.
7:00 pm – A & C get nightly cup of milk & square of dark chocolate (Note: they call this ritual milk & piece and it is how we typically do dessert at our house.  Sometimes I add some berries or replace the chocolate with something else like a cookie.  I eat something sweet every night so I don’t think it’s a terrible habit – the quantities are small and ingredients good!).  C never drinks much of the milk.  A always does.
7:10 pm – Teeth / potty.  I bring both into the bathroom at once and they switch off and I brush their teeth.  G again watches from the bouncer.  They know I mean business with this.  I have basically zero tolerance of shenanigans during this 5-10 minute window and thankfully they now seem to get this.  As soon as they are done, I ask both to get a book and bring it into C’s room.  
7:20 pm – Read books in C’s room.  Usually both listen; sometimes A does her own thing in her room.  Bounce G with foot.  She often falls asleep during this (while sitting up, in the bouncer — it’s a cat nap I guess).  Usually we get through about 3 books.  The more interested they are in the books, the better the nighttime behavior, so I do think it’s important to mix things up.  The library helps!  I went from a library non-user to a library die-hard in the past year or so, by the way.  I LOVE THE LIBRARY.
7:35 pm – C goes to bed.  He is always much more tired than A is.  He doesn’t fight it.  I put on his white noise & music (he has a little monitor that we don’t use as a monitor anymore but it plays twinkle twinkle little star).  Exciting note:  last night was the FIRST night he went to bed sans pacifier (we couldn’t find it and I think he was too tired to care much).  It’s 6:47 am and he’s still asleep so I’d consider that a major win!  I then bring G (sleeping) into A’s room.
7:40 pm – Read with A.  Sometimes she likes picture books, other times chapter books.  We’ve read Charlotte’s Web (she loved it) and are almost done with Little House in the Big Woods, but Tuesday night for example she just wanted The Cat In the Hat Comes Back (from the library).  She does know how to read basic words (she probably could read the Dr Seuss herself) but doesn’t want to at night and I respect this.  My brain doesn’t work well close to bedtime either and I just want to relax too.
8:00 pm – A getting tired, G awake . . . perfect.  I feed G at the side of A’s bed while she falls asleep.
8:15 pm – A asleep, G fed.  Watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend while holding G.
9:15 pm – G goes to sleep.
Sometimes Josh will come home at some point during this — then we’ll each take a kid and read to them separately.  Last night, he did this and read Harry Potter with Annabel while I read several books to C (with G in bouncer as usual).  I actually find that sometimes the kids have better behavior when it’s just me – like they know one person is in charge and not to play around, or perhaps I’m just less fun?  Either way, I am fine with bedtime these days whether or not Josh is home.  
Interestingly, I’m finding it easier than I remember it just a few months ago, but a) I was pregnant and the whole thing was so uncomfortable and b) I think I get home from work much more tired/depleted than I currently am right now.  So we’ll see how this looks in a couple of months, when A & C are in one room and I am coming home from a full work day . . . but at least we’ve got a good rhythm going for now.