*This post is sponsored by Aveeno(r). Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Mama Notes in business!
Our evening routine varies from night to night depending on my husband’s work schedule – some nights I’m alone with the girls and other nights he’s here. It’s safe to say from 4-8pm is probably the longest and most trying time of the day for me and I’m sure you other mamas can relate! My favorite part of the routine ends with my 20 minute self-care session that has become something I greatly look forward to each and every day, especially when Flora was a newborn and it was often the only time I had for myself all day. Today I’ve partnered with Aveeno to share my routine and the new Aveeno products that have become a part of it! (You know I love my drugstore beauty)! I’ve been struggling with super dry and sensitive skin which I think is due in part to this cold winter but also to the fact that I’m breastfeeding and my hormones are pretty out of whack! Aveeno’s new Ultra Calming line is perfect for this time of year but I can see myself using it year round. But back to our routine……
Piper’s home from school by 3:30/4:00pm, one of us will pick her up or my amazing mother will drop her off. She changes her clothes as soon as she gets home! Most days she’s pretty tired and cranky after school because she rarely takes a nap there these days. If I’m alone with her sometimes I’ll let her watch an episode of Daniel Tiger (her current favorite), do yoga or I’ll try to plan an activity for her (like coloring, sticker book, something low-key and quiet) to bide the time until dinner. She usually gets a snack after school in the car and only water until dinner once she’s home. I can’t wait until the weather is nice again and we can just be outside or walk in the stroller for an hour!
As soon as I can get Flora down for a nap in her swing I give Piper a bath. We used to do baths after dinner but making this change has made our evening routine much quicker and less stressful. Piper changes her clothes 2343 times a day, so sometimes she’ll put on PJs after her bath and other days she’ll just put on her 3rd outfit of the day. She always wears a bib with dinner and we haven’t had to make any changes yet because of messy eating, we just wash her face + hands before bed!
I start making dinner. Piper is so good at self play and at this time is usually running around like crazy or zonked out on the couch – most recently she’s been very into helping me cook dinner which I love! We pull up her highchair so she can reach the counter and I give her small tasks to help with. If my husband is home he’ll be watching Flora, if he’s not I’ll either wear her or have her in the swing or rock & play. Most of the time it works out OK – but it can definitely be chaotic, which is why simple, quick meals are the best for me during the weeks. We are talking little to no-prep work, freezer meals are even better!
I aim to have dinner on the table by 6:00pm but most nights it’s closer to 6:30 — and we eat together when we are all home! I don’t make a separate meal for Piper, she eats what we do. We try to Facetime my in-laws once a week during dinner which has become a fun routine and something Piper requests all the time! Flora’s usually awake and somewhat fussy around dinner time so one of us will usually hold her.
I always try to feed Flora around 7pm so she’s on schedule for her 9pm feeding. Typically we ask Piper who she wants to read to her, and the other person will clean up the kitchen from dinner. Piper will wash her face, brush her teeth, go potty, put on her pull-up and then read 2-3 books. I try to have Flora fed by 7:15 at the latest so I’m available to go in to see Piper. From 7-7:30 Piper will usually request us several times, want to go to the bathroom again etc. etc. etc.
By 7:30 it’s usually safe for me to take my shower if Austin’s home without risking Piper needing one of us! He’ll watch Flora and my bliss begins! I always shower as soon as Piper’s in bed and do my routine so I have the time – if I wait until 9pm I often get too lazy and Flora will need to go to bed and I run out of time, so I’ve found as soon as Piper is sleeping is what works best. I love showering at night and will usually use a shower cap since I only wash my hair 3 times a week (saves so much time) and quickly use a wipe to remove any makeup. I added this step to my routine about a year ago and don’t know what took me so long! Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes. I’ve been using Aveeno’s new Ultra Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser to wash my face in the shower – I love that it gently cleanses my skin without over drying it. My skin has been soooo dry and sensitive with the cold winter weather and breastfeeding.
After I hop out of the shower I finish my skincare routine with toner and then apply my lash serum and put a little hydrating oil on the skin under my eyes. Then I’ll apply any serum I’m using, roll with my jade roller and lastly put on a nice thick layer of moisturizer. I’ve had a hard time finding moisturizer that hydrates my skin because it’s so dry but also absorbs and doesn’t clog my pores. Aveeno’s new Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream is seriously heaven in a bottle. It soothes my red patches on my cheeks, soaks in, layers well with serums and leaves my skin super hydrated come morning. Both new products feature feverfew and oat that work together to soothe redness and hydrate skin! They’re great for sensitive skin because it’s so gentle!
Now I have about an hour to relax. My husband and I typically alternate who watches Flora for this hour – sometimes I have work to catch up on or we’ll watch TV or a movie. Flora is usually fussy and wanting to be held and we are just trying to keep her up and happy until we start her bedtime routine at 9pm ;)