Monday, August 27, 2007

Open Book Answers Part 1 (by Heather)

We are going to be answering these Open Book questions in no particular order. We're also going to be posting some semi-random photos with some of the posts (just cuz we aim to please and we've caught wind that y'all don't like it if we post too much text without photos!!!)

Tonight I'm just picking five to get myself started. These are, to me, the five easiest to answer. So, here goes...

laurafingerson said...
What does a typical daily schedule look like for you? I have posted these a couple times on our blog and I find it so interesting and informative to see how other twin-families manage all the things one has to do during the day to keep the family going (waking up, sleeping, eating, getting groceries, cooking, playing, working!, etc.).

Hi Laura!!! Why does it not surprise me that a Sociologist asks this question?!?!! The interesting in the mundane!!?! Anyhoo... yes, I too am fascinated by other families' daily routines (especially twin families). Our routine varies by season (winter, spring, summer, fall as well as what is happening in the academic year --- semesters, crunch times, etc.). This summer we've been in VERY laid back schedule (much more laid back than ever before because I was able to have a very flexible work schedule this summer), but we're about to break out of it big time (as the fall semester and end of summer is upon us)... Here's what our summertime daily routine has looked like (mid-week that is. weekends are always flying by the seats of our pants and we don't really have any "typical" weekend routine):

  • Braydon and I try to get up when our alarms go off at 6am. Honestly, if truth be told: this summer we've hardly ever actually gotten out of bed then. We've slacked off on that this summer!

  • Boys wake up sometime around 7:00

  • Cuddle in our bed for as long as they'll tolerate (usually no more than 5-10 minutes)

  • Braydon & Heather take turns showering and getting the boys their morning milk/breakfast/hanging out with the boys

  • Braydon leaves for work 7:45-8:30ish, depending on his day, Heather plays with the boys around the house until 10:00

  • Alex arrives and takes over with the boys at 10:00, Heather goes to work

  • Alex with the boys 10-5... doing all sorts of things including outings (playgrounds, parks, playdates, errands, concerts, fountains, creeks, ice cream, out for lunch, picnics, etc., etc., etc.) and home-time (swimming pool, sandbox, swings, bikes, lunch, snacks, nap/"rest hour", reading, playing, etc., etc., etc.). Note: the boys normally eat lunch around 11:30/12:00ish and have snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

  • 5:00 Heather finishes works and takes over with boys, Alex leaves. Mama and boys play, swim, hang out, etc.

  • 6:00 Braydon finishes work and takes over with boys (usually giving boys shower or bath)

  • 6:00-6:30 Heather frantically tries to get dinner on the table

  • 6:30 The Family Dinner

  • 7:00/7:30ish (depending how long dinner lasts), hang out a little bit as a foursome, sometimes watch a 20 minute video (Little Einsteins and Curious George are current favorites -- this summer we probably watched a video about 3-4 times per week) then head upstairs to get ready for bed (brush teeth, wash face/hands, lotion on skin and hair, pajamas, etc.)

  • 7:45ish Books & Prayers (Braydon reads to them every night -- between 3-5 books per night depending on how much time we have)

  • 8:00ish Tuck in, lights out, nighty night K & O

  • 8:00-9:00is Heather & Braydon clean up dinner, clean kitchen, dishes, laundry, kitty litter, trash, go through mail, tidy up house, etc., etc., etc.

  • 9:00-11:00ish Heather & Braydon work in our home offices (and often I/we blog during that time too -- like, right now!!!)

  • 11:00-12midnightish We try to have a drink together and debrief about the day

  • midnightish-1a.m.-ish Heather & Braydon go to bed. I'm usually asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Braydon usually reads for awhile in bed before he falls asleep.

  • Start the day again!

Anonymous said...
My question has to do with language- are you planning to expose the boys to the African American dialect? My family has dealt with this through marriage, and I am curious about your plans. . .I guess your boys are still young so maybe you had not had to deal with it yet. . .Oh, I link here from the Fingerson blog, I am a former student of Laura's. . .Michele

Hi Michele. So far we've been conscious of exposing Kyle and Owen to African American dialect in the sense that we go way out of our way to try to make sure they have time (like, real time --- with us not present) with black people, specifically young black people. We're really fortunate because as a college professor I can connect Kyle and Owen relatively easily with great young black men and women from all walks of life. I'm aware that Kyle and Owen are perceived as African American. I personally think of them as Haitian-American, or West Indian, or Afro-Caribbean... I don't really think of them as "African American" per se, but I do understand that is how others do and will perceive them. I fully realize how important it is for our boys to be in black spaces, in "black worlds" and immersed in them. It is going to be a tough road ahead for K & O because they are growing up with white parents. So, we're doing what we can now even though they are still so young. I think the younger we start, the better. I fully expect, however, that K & O will not speak with an "African American dialect" -- no matter how much we expose them to black folks -- because they are being raised by white parents. Also, we live in a predominately white area. And they go to predominately white daycare/school. This summer I read a great new book by sociologist Karyn Lacy called Blue Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class (click here for link) Braydon and I have been having lots of conversations spurred by this book. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about these sorts of issues. I expect that in the next couple of months I'll be posting more about this subject so keep checking in on our blog for that!!!

The Tacheny's said...
Does your nanny help you keep the house clean/cook? I dont have a nanny, I work full-time and I cant do it all. Any tips, hints, clues how to work and spend time with your kids and be a wife and homemaker?-Kim

Oh Lordy Kim, I should be asking YOU for tips!!!! LOL!!! I am by no means an expert in this area. Almost daily Braydon and I look at each other at the end of the day and say, "How do people do it???" (meaning dual career families)... then we laugh cuz people actually think we're doing it. What a joke!!! We're barely getting by!!! Our nanny does not do anything but straight child care. That's how we want it. We want her fully focused on K & O. Alex (our nanny) does not live with us. We do have a house cleaner (a wonderful, wonderful one!!!) who comes once each week for 3 hours. We couldn't get by without her. I've posted about her before (click here for example). We are also in the process right now of trying to work out some sort of help with food prep. I'll post about that later if it works out. My only tip is to try to rely on others (even if you have to pay them) as much as possible. Also, I try hard to not let my "Type A" personality get the best of me. I've learned to let a LOT go!!! LOL!!! ;0 One thing we do is totally prioritize our nights and weekends with K & O. We don't ever do dishes, clean, laundry, etc. with the boys awake. We do all that while they are sleeping. We want to spend every minute we can WITH them, playing, snuggling, etc. so we really try to do our 'chores' while they're asleep. That works for us, but we get too little sleep!!! This past spring I read a book that really helped me. I recommend it. It is called This Is How We Do It: A Practical Guide for the Working Mother by Carol Evans (click here for link). I also subscribe to Working Mother magazine (click here) which helps me feel less alienated. Lastly, I have written before about all the craze of the two-career family and I will write a lot more about it, I'm sure. (Check out this post -- click here -- for one example).

Kathrine said...
The only question I might have right now is where to get those triekes? I haven't seen those here at all.

Hi Kathrine in Germany!!! We got the cute bikes at LL Bean (click here). They are Schwinn brand tricycles.

Rob and Mandy Brelsford said...
Who picked your paint colours for your house??? I LOVE them!

Rob & Mandy-- My mother and I had a ton of fun picking the colors for the interior of our house! My mom is great with that kind of thing and has been my ADVISOR. When we were in the process of buying this house, I flew her to Pennsylvania for a few days and we picked out everything together: paint, carpet, furniture, etc. It was one of the best mother-daughter times I/we have ever had. Very wonderful sweet memory for me. Thanks for the compliment! Sometimes I feel self-conscious of how "bright" the colors are... but they are so "us" (and now.... they are soooo "K & O" too!!!)


crazylady said...

I was glued to every line. And nodding. said...

Good morning beautiful. Wow. I'm with the "crazy" one, I was on the edge of my seat head bobbing right along with your answers. Good job. Anxiously awaiting the next installment.

laurafingerson said...

Awesome answers! Your typical day is really interesting (hm, can you tell I had some ethnomethodological training?!). I love the "rest hour" for the boys. My girls are are currently in "nap time," which is always in quotes since I can totally hear them talking and giggling over the monitor. But, they are indeed resting more than they would outside of their room. How do you survive on so little sleep?! When I asked one of my grad school advisors how I could get everything done for my dissertation, he said, "Sleep less." Ha! It never worked for me since I am such a sleep-needy woman. Also, I love your point about being fully with the boys when they are awake. It is a lot more fun for we parents, too, as well as more relaxing to just be in the moment, rather than feeling guilty about the vacuuming or the grading.

Rob and Mandy Brelsford said...

Never feel self-conscious of those colours, they are are lovely! Your Mother has quite the eye, and what wonderful memories for sure!!

We currently live on University campus in family housing and are not allowed to paint ~ sigh ~ one day, one day!!