These past couple months have marked a lot of changes for our family’s daily routines. The biggest change is – Eric finished school at the end of April! This past semester was pretty rough since he was working 32 hours a week and taking 15 credit hours in addition to having a baby and everything else that happened! It didn’t help that his classes started at 9am each day (and 8am on Thursday) and he didn’t get off of work until 10:30pm. He’s probably one of the few people who can start working full time and feel like he’s getting a break :P You can read Eric’s thoughts about this switch in his blog here.
Eric is finishing up his last two classes Independent Study before the end of July so he can graduate officially in August. It has been SO wonderful having him around more often! We’ve gone through a couple different iterations of his schedule as he’s made the switch from 32 to 40 hours per week. Before school got out his schedule had been 3pm – 11pm on Sundays and then 5pm – 10:30pm Monday – Thursday. When he made the switch to being full time they just had him take the same schedule Monday – Thursday that he was doing on Sunday (3pm -11pm). We had definitely gotten into a routine with that, albeit a strange one. We woke up every day around 1pm and spent most of our time just getting ready until 3pm. Then I’d make dinner and drive it over to Omniture. Sam and I would hang out at work with Eric until he’d finished dinner (so he didn’t have to take dishes back on his scooter) and then drive back home. When we got home I’d try to get stuff done with Sam in tow (usually not as much as I’d like). Eric would get off work at 11pm and then go to the gym with his co-workers for a couple of hours. He’d come home around 1am and we’d watch some TV until we’d settled Sam down to sleep… and we’d go to bed. It was a rather strange schedule and not real productive, but it was the routine we’d gotten into.
A couple of weeks ago Eric’s boss asked him if he’d be interested in changing schedules again so that he could be more involved with Chinese clients (which is the whole reason he’s there). When Eric first proposed this new schedule to me my heart sank. It initally sounded horrendous. The schedule they proposed was 6pm – 3am Sunday – Thursday. I was excited that Eric would get a chance to work with Chinese clients more since that’s what he wanted to do… but the hours just seemed dreadful, and our schedule was already messed up enough. I thought about it though and we decided that we might be able to work the change to our advantage. For starters, Eric was able to shorten his shift slightly because I make him dinner before he leaves and send him with a “lunch” so he doesn’t need the extra hour for a dinner break. Somehow getting off at 2am seems a lot more reasonable than 3am. Plus, since we can have dinner before he leaves, Sam and I don’t have to spend the night going back and forth to Omniture, which gives me more time to get stuff done. Finally, I have Eric at home until 6pm! We still don’t generally get up until noon, but we can actually get stuff done. Grocery store runs, going to the gym, doing dishes. It’s so much nicer to have that solid block of time in the afternoons to get things done. It has made a big difference for us.
The one sad thing with the change is that I tend to fall asleep before Eric comes home. Even though 2am doesn’t seem that late (to me) to be awake, when I’m home alone I just can’t seem to stay up. I’ll usually wake up when Eric comes home… but it’s only enough to say hi, goodnight and fall back asleep. This also means that we’ve lost our TV watching time, which I have mixed feelings about. I’m really glad in a way because I was starting to feel a little bit media-overloaded. On the other hand, we’d been watching Battlestar Galactica and haven’t had a chance to watch it since. But I think this is good, we can now spread it out and enjoy it much longer.
I started watching Battlestar Galactica with Eric when I found myself stuck in the living room feeding Sam while he was watched. Unfortunately, I started watching with him during the last few episodes so I found that I was constantly asking him questions (“What’s a cylon? Why are there two of the same person? I don’t get it, what’s the big deal with that song? Ok, one more time, what’s a cylon??) but was really interested in the show. So, once the series ended Eric got the DVDs from Netflix and we’ve been slowly going through them. It’s an interesting show and not as geeky as I would have thought, much more of a drama than a sci-fi. The sad thing is since I watched the last few episodes I have spoiled a lot of the surprises for myself.
Anyways, back to our routine changes… Our other big change is that I started working for Axis41 again. They are allowing me to work from home, which is such a blessing. I ended my maternity leave about a month early so that I could test out balancing working and being a mom before I felt like I had to be committed 100% to being back. I’m really glad that I did that because it’s given me some time to adjust how I do things. I’ve finally settled on working for them 2 hours a day while Eric is at home and able to take care of Sam. Of course, he usually takes care of Sam by staying asleep and cuddling with Sam, but it makes a HUGE difference for me to have that dedicated time to get work done.
So, that’s what we’re currently doing with our routines. Samuel, of course, is still working on settling into a routine. His naps and feedings still seem sporadic, but I think they’re getting more regular. I really need to monitor them closely for a week or so to see what the patterns are so I can make sure that I’m encouraging them rather than discouraging them. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to have any problems with our night-owl schedule and can sleep during the night pretty well. He’s slept through the night a few times, but since it’s so convenient to just feed him and get him to sleep longer I tend to just feed him in the middle of the night if he starts to fuss at all. I probably *could* just give him a pacifier and put him back to sleep… but I’m too lazy :P