The Routine

My weekdays are run on routine. We wake up at the same time each day (hopefully) and drive the same places. We usually eat the same thing for breakfast (cereal and milk or toast) and are out the door at the exact same time each morning.

I like routine – knowing what’s coming next and knowing what I have to do to make it happen. I like being busy and not having a lot of lazy time. After 4 kids, I don’t really know what to do with myself if it doesn’t involve laundry, kids, or driving around.

This week is no different. Well, maybe a little. But I’ll get to that later.

We pack up our backpacks and head out — at 8:12 according to the stove clock, but 8:15 according to the car.

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The kids pile in with coats, lunches and usually a book or toy to play with on the way.

Bundled up nice and cozy.

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We drive the same way to school each day — turning on 6th instead of 5th so that we’re on the right side of the street. Important for school drop-off.

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And off Maria goes.

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[she wanted her hair curled…it’s a bit dramatic, yes]

And then we head to Jamie’s school. I thought I would be annoyed at the 2 location drop-off in the mornings, but it works out quite well actually.

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He hangs his backpack up (it can be kinda tricky).

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And changes into his indoor shoes. I love this routine.

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And off he goes to learn about plants and animals and numbers and letters.

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Alice sits and waits very patiently.

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Sometimes we go and get Starbucks.

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And then Alice gets dropped off at her school, mama goes home, feeds Charlotte, puts her down for a nap, does some laundry, cleans up after the morning tornado, does some more laundry, cleans the kitchen, vacuums and then heads out to get the kids.

Sometimes we stop and get some lunch. Not too often, but just enough.

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Then the little kids and mama come back home for a couple hours before it’s time to get Maria. This is usually when I hang out online or read magazines or whatever. And the kids just hang out, too.

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They often get told to clean up and this is the look I get:

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Big, sad, brown eyes from Jamie and…

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…a sassy look from little miss Alice. Typical.

Then we go get Maria and the days instantly gets better. The kids get home and run crazy wild. They play outside, they play kings and queens inside, they play trains and cars or they play dressup. It always changes. I love my kids – they play every day together for hours and still don’t get bored of each other. They are rarely mean or rude to each other and most the time they laugh and giggle. They are the best.

So this week has been a little different. If you read my previous post, you know why. Getting my milk supply up has been very frustrating and hard. With my other babies, my milk flowed like a river. I never had to worry about supply. EVER. I could feed them and then pump a whole bottle full after. They would eat when they were hungry and would always gain weight very appropriately at their appointments. Charlotte is different.

Through all of this, I have realized she doesn’t really like to eat. She likes to suck. If she’s not sucking her thumb, she sucks my nipple. She uses it as a pacifier more than she does for food. I have really watched her eat the last couple days and have noticed that for the first minute or 2 of nursing, she gulps and drinks, but after that, her jaw just sucks like crazy — no gulps or drinks. She gets tired of eating and just wants to suck. That is annoying. Number 1 because the little stinker isn’t eating enough. Number 2 because my milk supply has gone down so much because of it. I’m lucky if I can pump 2 oz at a time. I am ready to pull my hair out it’s driving me crazy. The lactation consultant told me to nurse her, then supplement that feeding with 2 extra oz of breastmilk. Well that means I have to have 2 oz of breastmilk to give her. If I can’t pump 2 oz at a time, then I don’t have that extra 2 oz of breastmilk to supplement.

I set my alarm last night for 1:00am. That gave me 4 hours for my milk bags to fill up. I thought I was going to pump a whole bottle full of milk. Nope. I pumped 2 oz. THAT, my friends, is the definition of disappointment.

So anyway, these little thighs need to get a little chunkier and I will do whatever I have to do to make that happen. Even if it does make me exhausted (I swear I could sleep for hours and hours right now), frustrated and overwhelmed. It will be worth it.

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