Day in the Life

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This was a sun-filled and kiddo-focused day (plus wine!).  My favorite kind of day.  Here’s what it’s like to stay and work from home with two crazy kiddos:


6:45 AM –  I wake up and sneak out of bed.  Claire only got up once last night – wahoo!  No one else is up yet so I turn on the laundry and brew coffee.  I review blog comments, hit publish on a post I wrote the day before, and try to wade through my emails.  I schedule some social media posts on the Healthy Tipping Point Facebook and the Operation Beautiful Facebook page. I also quickly organize the post for today’s selection of notes for Operation Beautiful.  I can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 years and the mission is still going strong; I’ve received over 20,000 notes to date.  Crazy, huh?

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7:42 AM – Henry, who has been up since 7:20, is really awake so I go upstairs to get him.  We talk a bit, and then I pump a bottle for Claire, who is waking up, too.

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7:55 AM – I take the kiddos downstairs.  I make Henry chocolate milk using my extra pumped milk; I give him some every day that I have extra, and I swear it has helped his immune system so much.  He hasn’t had more than a single case of the sniffles since Claire was born!  Claire has her bottle, too.  We talk to the Husband for a bit.  I drink more coffee and make everyone breakfast while the Husband plays with the kids.


9:12 AM – Claire goes down for a nap. While she naps, I rush around, getting dressed for the gym, packing my gym bag, and organizing snacks.  Kristien hasn’t left for work yet, so I take James on a quick walk outside.  I pump a bottle.  Then I play cars with Henry until Claire wakes up at 10:15.  We go directly to the car.  Whew!

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10:30 AM – I’ve dropped the kids off at gym childcare and start my workout. I do 2.0 miles with speedwork on the treadmill, 5 minutes on the stairclimber, and ab work.  I do two rounds of these moves – I’ve realized that I do more strength work if I write down my plan first.  I take it easy because tomorrow is ab day at bootcamp.

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11:15 AM – I shower at the gym and eat a snack. My whole family is addicted to Emily’s sunflower butter balls!

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12:00 PM – We drive to the playground.  I run into another mom that I kind of know and our kids play together while we talk.

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1:00 PM – Henry is getting hot and whiny.  I’m really struggling to figure out his napping situation.  He rarely naps now, but sometimes, he’ll get so tired and really need a nap.  But then he can’t fall asleep at night and bedtime is a baaaaattle.  Ugh.  Advice?  I load the kids into the car, give Henry another snack and some ice water, and cross my fingers that he rebounds because I have an errand to run.


1:45 PM – Crisis averted; we ran our errands and now we’re at home.  I make Henry’s lunch (he had a lot of snacks earlier) and nurse Claire.


2:00 PM – Henry sits in front of the TV for quiet time.  I make myself lunch.


2:30 PM – Claire and I do tummy time on the floor while Henry watches more TV.  I let Claire roll around naked for a bit and then she poops all over the blanket! Whoooops.  After I eat, I pump again.  Claire goes back down for a nap around 3 PM.

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3:30 PM – I turn off the TV and suggest we read books.  Henry doesn’t want to read so we play with his trains and his Octonaut toys in his room instead.

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4:30 PM – Claire wakes up and joins us.


5:15 PM – Henry takes a bath.  I pump a bottle and then I read a book to Claire while I supervise the splashing.

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6:00 PM – Time to make dinner!  Henry eats in the dining room while I finish cooking a meal for the Husband and I to eat later.  Claire takes a nap in her carrier.  She is super fussy.


6:45 PM – I herd Henry upstairs.  He On the way up the stairs, I pick up tiny sea creatures with my feet (can’t bend over because Claire is still in the carrier…).

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7:00 PM – Henry is in bed.  Claire and I pick up the house.  I pump again.  I start rocking her to sleep at 7:20 – she inhales a HUGE bottle but won’t go down.  I rock and rock and rock while texting with friends.  Finally, Claire is asleep at 8.  I put her down and sneak away…


8:00 PM – Dinner for me!  I wanted to wait for Kristien, but he’s still not home from work and I’m starving.  I had roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and tofu with BBQ sauce (oh, just an FYI, I obviously did not photograph or even list everything I ate today).  I eat this meal while typing this post!


8:20 PM – Done with the computer.  Time for some wine and TV with the Hubbers.  <3


10:00 PM – I pump Claire’s last bottle (she’ll eat this one around 3 AM), dream feed her, move her into my room, check on Henry one last time, and try to go to sleep.  I lay awake until 11 making To Do lists in my brain (whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?).



  • Heather March 18, 2015, 8:46 am

    We are about to transition our 2 year old to a bed in order to give the crib to new baby. I noticed you said Henry had been up for awhile before you went to get him. How does that work with a bed? One thing that makes me nervous about the bed transition is our son getting up and walking around really early!

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 9:02 am

      Yup. His room is entirely child proofed so he just plays around.

      • Heather March 18, 2015, 11:32 am

        Do you have a gate in his doorway though? How is he not walking around?

        We Have a gate at the top of the stairs so just wondering how others do it.

        • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:52 pm

          He only comes out during naptime/quiet time. He doesn’t come out in the morning. I’ve taught him to yell into the monitor to wake us up. I try to keep him in his room by threats and bribes, which usually works… Hah.

          • Heather March 18, 2015, 3:47 pm

            Wow, that’s awesome and what I am hoping for! Thanks.

    • Meredith March 18, 2015, 9:45 am

      Not trying to stick my nose where it doesn’t belong, but here is a great article about considering whether to transition a younger child when you have another baby coming. It made me rethink our plan to move ours to a big boy bed just yet…

      • Heather March 18, 2015, 3:50 pm

        Thank you for the link. I have thought about it so much and go back and forth. My toddler doesn’t climb out and sleeps so well that I originally wanted to get a second crib to avoid unnecessary sleep issues when baby comes. I still go back and forth, but we are going to give the bed a shot now before baby comes in a couple of months.

    • Rachel March 18, 2015, 11:14 am

      We moved my son to a bed around Christmas when he was 2 yr 3 mos. He has NEVER NOT ONCE gotten out of bed without us there to tell him it’s time to get up. When he wakes up in the morning he rolls around in his bed, talks, sings songs, whatever until we come in and turn the light on.

  • Amy March 18, 2015, 8:52 am

    What happened to Henry’s bed? It was so cute and it looks like his mattress is just on the floor now. Just curious :). I have a son that was born 2 days before Henry and I just switched him to a twin bed yesterday. He loves it! But did fall out once last night hehe.

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 9:01 am

      We got rid of his toddler bed and gave him a twin mattress. I want to get him a frame for it but I haven’t found anything super cute.

  • Jessica March 18, 2015, 8:57 am

    My son will be three in July and is definitely in the in between phase of needing a nap most days but other days he wont sleep. If he doesn’t nap he is absolutely a wreck by bedtime and goes down at 7/7:10.

    When he does nap I have started limiting his nap to an hour/hour and a half, and that has helped him have a rest and still be able to go go to sleep without a fuss. On nap days I usually say goodnight to him at 7:45 or so and he falls asleep without trouble.

    Another idea I have read about is offering a nap every other day. This allows their body to catch up on rest without getting so much sleep that bedtime is a battle.

    I also have a 9.5 month old daughter so I can relate to your day. 🙂 She is down to two naps and sleeping through the night and I finally feel like things usually run so much more smoothly. I’m actually excited for her to go to one nap and wean her in a few months… we will have so much more freedom to play.

  • Heather March 18, 2015, 9:20 am

    Puppy training pads are great to use for naked baby playtime and make cleanup really easy – and as a bonus, they love kicking with the crinkly sound it makes 🙂

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 9:38 am


  • Ellen March 18, 2015, 9:39 am

    I may have commented on this already, but my 2.5 year old doesnt really nap when he is with me or my husband, but naps with my mom and at daycare. Usually he ends up falling asleep in the car when we are doing errands, which actually works out to be the perfect amount of time for him to rejuvinate. I also like to give him some quiet time , whether watching a movie or reading books in the afternoon so he isnt too worn out by night…but if he doesnt nap he is in bed by 7:30 which I kind of like.

  • Meredith March 18, 2015, 9:42 am

    Wow…you go!! That is quite a day. Makes me feel better to read about other mamas and their days. I have an almost 3 year-old and he is in the same boat as Henry with naps. He quite napping around Christmas but he still gets an hour of “quiet time” in his crib in the dark each day. I’d say about once every 2 weeks he actually falls asleep, but then takes a while to fall asleep at night. The way I look at it is this–I’d rather keep the quiet time and risk a nap with a later bedtime that night to accommodate than skip the quiet time altogether. I figure if he actually falls asleep for a nap, then his body needs the sleep at that point and he is just going to be up a little later that night. Fortunately he will go in his crib at the usual bedtime and just play until he falls asleep (so the time he goes to bed is actually the same). It’s a tough transition spot, but it sounds like you are handling it well.

    Great to read this, too, as I am due with my second in May. I get a preview of what I have to look forward to, lol 🙂

  • Katie March 18, 2015, 10:24 am

    As a mother of a 2yr old and 6m old, I LOVE these posts! Two questions out of curiosity – (1) How many ounces are you pumping each day? You are inspirational! and (2) Have you dealt with any terrible two toddler tantrums? We are just entering it with my daughter where the slightest thing can set her off and I was wondering if you experienced this at all and had any advice on how to handle them!

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:56 pm

      1) 26- 30 ounces, depending.
      2) OMG yes of course. Several things really help: not over talking the tantrum. Also, there are many techniques in How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk that work well. One is the “I wish” statements. Like Henry was crying this morning over something, and he said he wanted to go to the zoo (but we had to go to school). So I did this big flourish with my hands and said really excited “I WISHHHHHHH i could buy you FOUR pet WHALES!!! And we could keep them in the bathtub! What do you think?” Then we talked about what we would feed them (fish crackers) and tricks we would teach them (how to spin around) etc. It was silly and fun and it diverted his attention really well. Also, here’s a post I wrote on tantrums:

  • Denise March 18, 2015, 10:34 am

    I would try putting him to bed a half hour earlier if he is not napping.

  • Amanda March 18, 2015, 10:38 am

    Awesome post! It reminds me a lot of when I was a SAHM for 6 years. Such wonderful days 🙂

  • kristin | W [H] A T C H March 18, 2015, 12:13 pm

    i am all too familiar with lying awake making to do lists in my head 🙂 have you tried jotting a note in your phone or keeping a notepad by your bed? that has helped me a bit.

  • bonnie March 18, 2015, 12:19 pm

    When you say claire goes down for a nap, do you put her to bed awake or have you spent some time rocking/soothing her? (Just wondering… I gave one the same age and feel like half the day is rocking for naps!)

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:51 pm

      I rock and soothe. I try to put her down drowsy but usually knock her out cold first. 😉 It does take a while but she goes pretty quickly, thankfully. Probably 15 minutes a time?

  • Tricia March 18, 2015, 12:25 pm

    I have a 16 month old and a newborn. This is very similar to our days! Nap transitions suck. We are moving from 2 naps to 1 and have the same issue with bedtime. If he gets too much or too little sleep, it stinks. Not sure what the magical amount of time for him is though.

  • Liz March 18, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Love this post! Random question, but did you wear Claire in the Boba at the park? I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old, and lately I’m having a harder time getting out with both kids and still accommodating naps. My 2 year old naps from 11:30-2:30 every day, but my 5 month old still takes 4-5 shorter naps. He’ll doze in the Boba but those times are becoming more infrequent. Just curious how other moms do it! That’s so awesome that you make it to the gym and use the childcare there. I may have to convince my husband we need a gym membership!

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:51 pm

      I’ve been wearing our Ergo 360 at the park because it’s forward facing and she likes that more. I think I need to start talking Henry to the park at like 9 AM though because it’s getting too hot to wear the carrier!

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 18, 2015, 1:07 pm

    What a great idea to use extra pumped milk for Henry! I’ll have to keep that tip in mind for the future!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul March 18, 2015, 1:10 pm

    Ahhh chubby baby! What a cutie!

  • Emma March 18, 2015, 1:14 pm

    my favorite kind of post!

  • Monica March 18, 2015, 1:34 pm

    What do you use to make Henry’s chocolate milk?

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:50 pm

      It’s the cocoa powder from World Market… it’s just cocoa, sugar, and some spices like pumpkin spice and cinnamon.

      • Monica March 18, 2015, 7:39 pm

        Thanks! I have been looking for something without all the extra ‘stuff’. I will check it out..

  • Michelle March 18, 2015, 1:38 pm

    Babies and toddlers are hard work. You’re looking good, though.

  • lauren March 18, 2015, 2:10 pm

    I’m jealous of your nice weather! We haven’t been to the playground in a couple months and we’re getting ~2″ on Saturday. Figures it’s the first full day of Spring.
    You mentioned dropping naps and someone else I have to ask for suggestions!
    Did you have any issues transitioning Henry to his bed? I remember you held off after your first try. My son wasn’t a climber, but a diver; all arms and head first, right out of the crib. There was no stopping that. He transitioned to his bed NO problem at 16.5 months. The most I ever had to say was, “please get back in bed” or “night night”. Fast forward 3 months and he suddenly has super separation anxiety at bedtime. I know “people” say to just walk them back to their bed, but what if you can’t leave the room? He throws a fit , standing on the bed freaking out if he thinks we’re leaving and attaches himself to us if we actually try to. Like a meanie, I try and pry him off and he grabs on again. Extra cuddles, less cuddles, we’ve tried it all. It’s making life a bit tough. It took 1hr 40mins to put him to bed and he was up at 12:30am. He asks us to lay on his floor and sleep. He doesn’t make a peep if we do, but I know we aren’t helping things by complying. I was so tired I slept on his floor for 5 hours last night. And of course, 15 minutes after I got up he was ready to start his day. I’m getting desperate!

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 2:50 pm

      Aw that is so sad… Henry does that sometimes too and it breaks my heart. Does he have a night light? We have the Turtle Star Light and he really likes that because he can turn it on and off and make it change colors. Maybe something like that would help? Or you could put a baby gate in his doorway and say you’re going to leave the door open?

    • Katy March 18, 2015, 11:52 pm

      My son does this sometimes… I tell him I have to go brush my teeth and get ready for bed and then I’ll be back. I would come back within a few minutes. Each night I extended it a little more. .. Good luck!

  • Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 18, 2015, 3:52 pm

    LOVE your idea to give Henry your extra breast milk! I’ll have to remember that for future reference for our toddler when our next little babe is born and I’m pumping again.

  • Mabel @ Ma Bella Vita March 18, 2015, 4:41 pm

    Awww I absolutely love your schedule. Who said stay at home moms do nothing all day?! You obviously have A LOT on your plate but I am sure you love every second. Your babies are so adorable, god bless them. I am really looking forward to my own, in the near future. 🙂

  • Melissa March 18, 2015, 5:52 pm

    Love the idea of giving a daily(ish) dose of breast milk to Henry! I’m due in two weeks and have a 2.5 yr old at home with me. Where did you get the idea? I’m curious because I’ve not heard of doing that before, but it makes so much SENSE.

    • Caitlin March 18, 2015, 6:01 pm

      I have a lot of friends who still breastfeed their toddlers so that was my inspiration 🙂

  • Eileen March 19, 2015, 9:01 am

    I really enjoy day in the life posts! So relatable. Thanks!

  • Luv What You Do March 19, 2015, 11:12 pm

    That is one LONG day! Woo hoo for Tummy time : )

  • Chelsea March 21, 2015, 9:33 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    I found your blog a few months ago while I was pregnant and my little guy was born about a month after Claire. I know you mentioned it in a previous post that Claire is still taking 4-5 naps a day. My guy is, too. Are most of these just an hour or so? I read the Baby Whisperer Book as well, and have been trying to get my guy to lengthen his naps but he’s not having it. He wakes up 45 min to an hour after I put him, totally content. So, I’m trying to decide if working to lengthen his naps is worth it. I just was wondering if you have any experience with this. Also, what does Claire’s feeding schedule look like? I’m breastfeeding and pumping and since my guy isn’t taking taking 1.5hr naps, I’m trying to keep a 2.5-3 hr schedule but we’re not following the EWS schedule very well since he won’t nap longer. Ours is more like WEWS. Just wondering what your thoughts were. Thanks for all the awesome posts.

    • Caitlin March 23, 2015, 2:09 pm

      I think this is developmentally normal. Henry did it too – I called it the 45 minute nap monster. It gets longer eventually, especially as they start to drop the naps! I don’t really have her on a schedule but I would say ours is close to WEPES. Hah. 🙂

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