We have a great schedule these days. It started to shape up around the time E turned one and dropped his morning nap, and it's only gotten better.
Monday mornings: play at the park with the mamas and babies
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings: co-op
Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) afternoons: play date with Jonas and Kay
Thursday mornings: play group with mamas and babies
Friday mornings: storytime
After being out in the morning, we come home, eat lunch, and then naptime starts around 1:00 and runs anywhere from 2:30 to 3:30. He's often groggy when he wakes up, and if so, we spend some time snuggling in the rocking chair. After that we play upstairs awhile and then we come downstairs and he gets his balls and we play outside until 4:00 or 4:30. Then we come in and I start dinner, which usually doesn't go over well. (The starting of dinner, I mean, not the dinner itself, ha.) TJ often stops working while dinner is being made and either takes over cooking or entertains E while I finish (or else we're both cooking). We now all three eat dinner at the same time, between 5:30 and 6:00. It's pretty hectic, considering there are only three of us. E eats what we're having when possible, which is maybe half the time. TJ is the one who bathes him and reads to him, usually, and then I nurse him and put him down around 7:00.
On Fridays we go to Chuy's.
On non-co-op mornings we sometimes end up running errands or meeting other friends or hanging out at home; it just depends.
Co-op has really taken off in 2009. I don't believe I've posted about it much. A group of the '07 Austin Mamas (myself included) started it last fall. E was 12 months when the first session began and he wasn't walking yet. (Wow--that seems crazy to me now.) We rent a room at the UU church that is fully stocked with toys and opens out into a wonderful courtyard play area with a sandbox, swings, a slide, push toys, balls, etc. We started with just two mornings a week (six babies each morning), but now we've expanded to four mornings (some people come one day a week, some two--like us--some three). We recently hired a teacher (last week was her first week), and in addition to being great for the kids, it also means that us mamas only have to work at the co-op once every six weeks instead of twice. In my case, since we go two days a week, I'll be on duty a total of two days out of twelve. Right now the hours are 9:30 to 11:30, but starting mid-March they'll expand to 12:00 and then later 12:30. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the group as (I assume) more and more of the kids leave to enroll in preschools around town. Right now we've got a good thing going.
Last fall E had some trouble adjusting and came close to cracking his skull open one day (I bawled all the way home and considered dropping out but felt better after talking to the other mamas about the situation), but this winter he's totally found his groove. He loves co-op and isn't as overwhelmed by it as he used to be. Before the holidays, one of the mamas made everyone a co-op book to take home with pictures of the room and the kids and mamas and the stuff outside, and E asks me to read it to him all the time now.
As you might imagine, I heart co-op as well, because it gives me time to run errands (I can run *so* many errands in an hour!), go on a walk . . . whatever. It's even been nice when I've spent the time close to the church, keeping an eye on E from afar. I've read in the car, written emails, stuff like that. I've also enjoyed slowly getting to know some of the other mamas. They're a wonderful bunch.