Yesterday Gabe took a very productive 2.5 hour nap. I say productive because I let him take credit for what I get done when he takes especially long naps.

(BLESS HIM! I don't know if Quincy ever napped more than 90 minutes at a time.)

We were in Texas last week and this week was a bit of a transition, but here's my game plan for how our weeks will work this summer:

Note the white space.

Pre-parenting Whitney would think this schedule pretty tame. While I'm sure any other parents of toddlers might think this schedule is too ambitious!

If I don't leave the house once a day, I go a little crazy. Yes, I love our land and our animals and my kids, but I like to know civilization is still out there.

I need social interaction even if it's just making a transaction at the grocery store.

Baby needs exercise! And by baby, I mean the one that is in utero. Each baby takes an additional toll on your body and after my back problems last year, I'm trying to pre-empt this with more weight-lifting. I've always done basic cardio and yoga through my pregnancies but lifting weights twice a week has felt so good this time around. So you'll see we plan to go to the gym 4 days a week and then I have my sacred yoga day on Wednesday. Also: #momhack alert! Going to the gym means I can spend 30 minutes to an hour while the kids are still in the gym childcare catching up on email, writing direct mail copy for my part time job, or writing a blogpost. This all keeps me physically and mentally sane.

And kids need routine! If I take them someplace different everyday, the kids can get a little cranky, but if we follow something of a rhythm and I signpost that (literally) then things go more smoothly.

You'll also notice a couple self-drawn gardening emojis which represent the time we will spend intentionally incorporating the kids into tending our garden. But we do already try to do this every day! Sometimes Quincy will help his dad fetch the eggs in the morning or he will help us water the garden - he LOVES playing with the hose - but I wanted to be intentional with our time. I want to make sure to check in with our garden and our natural surroundings to help Quincy and Gabe appreciate the beauty and wonder around them.

I hung up the poster next to Quincy's place at the dinner table and away from his little brother's destructive grasp. His response?

"Good job mom!" and he ran back to his toys.

I'm excited to use it as a reference point for the summer and to motivate me to stick to a routine.