Today I want to talk about routines and, now that Lucy Larkin has completely destroyed ours, just how much I miss having one. 😜 I know that routine isn’t a word you’d probably associate with us at this point considering the two kids at home and the bizarro work hours, but we try our best and we certainly have fun. These days, the most steadfast part of our routine comes from Emma’s peewee program. And in today’s blog post, I’d like to bring you along for the ride: what that whole experience is like for me as a father, and why it’s so special and nice.
Before I get to that, though, I want to to talk about what I’m wearing in these photos! Normally, I would NEVER do that 😂, but when I came downstairs the other day, both Kelly and Emma (who’s two years old) told me that I looked great. (Sensational, actually.)
The best piece of advice I’ve heard about working from home is to get dressed like an actual human being every day. I don’t have much time to myself and I typically grab for my favorite pieces in the dark when I’m all messed up on three hours of sleep. Lately, though, Peter Millar has me looking like I have it all together. I mean, if you saw me on the street, you probably wouldn’t think to yourself, “Now there’s a man who absentmindedly put Cheerios in the coffee grinder this morning instead of beans” — would you?
In all seriousness, though, Peter Millar is a brand that just works for guys like me.
It’s fashionable, of the highest quality, beautifully designed and just easy. I love a good polo, and today I’m wearing the Seaside Boucle Polo which has quickly become my favorite thing hanging in my closet. The shorter shorts trend snuck up on me, but I’m giving it a go this season and these Crown Cool Puppytooth Shorts both look and fit great. (Looking at these photos, I actually think they look better on me than the longer ones, which have always been my go-to?!) And Kelly’s challenged me to up my shoe game lately, so I’ve been reaching for these Sonoma Penny loafers more and more. It speaks to the quality of Peter Millar that they fit like a dream on first wear and never once wore a blister or anything like that.
I know we’ve been talking Father’s Day a lot on this site lately, but if you’re without a present, Peter Millar’s Father’s Day gift page is great. They even have a collegiate collection with tons of high quality gift ideas. So much good stuff!
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The outfit I’m wearing here is an example of that effortless quality Peter Millar offers. I can look good in this stuff even if I put it on with both eyes closed and a crying baby in my arms! And above are some of my other favorites from the brand. :)
Okay. Now let’s talk about that ol’ Daily Dad Routine!
My Daily Dad Routine
I’m a lucky dude. I get to dress, feed, pack and drop Emma off at her half-day pre-k/daycare program each and every day. Kelly stays home with Lucy because it’s a little too hectic to get everyone over there at that hour, so drop-off is a special time for the two of us. Emma and I pile in the car and sing songs, tell jokes, talk about her friends and her expectations for the day. She adores PeeWee, and it amazes me just how prepared she seems to take on full-day preschool in the fall. She’s growing up so fast, and I’m grateful to have some one-on-one time with her every day.
Dropping everything in the middle of the work day to go pick up a soaking wet toddler is no short order, but Kelly and I said early on that this was a perk of being self-employed that we didn’t want to skip–even if it means making up the time after bedtime! So every day, we hit pause on work and head over to grab Emma as a family. On a good day, we walk… but on most days, I’ll admit that we drive like a bat out of hell and sneak in just as Emma is getting out of the pool.
PeeWee pickup is so much more than just a chance to catch up with our daughter; it’s where we’ve made some of our best friends in the city. I know we don’t feature or talk about them as much as we do with “blog friends,” largely out of respect for their privacy. But I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a crew of good people here in the neighborhood. They’re in the same life stage with us, and offer the support and community we so need right now, especially being so far from family. And now that Emma is old enough for play dates, we have a rolodex of kids to hang out with!
But yeah: pickup is basically a social hour, and it’s really fun. It’s when we see the tail end of swim lessons, hear about the kids’ experiences that day, catch up with everyone, and make potential plans for the weekend. Nearly every time we walk out of that place, we talk about how lucky we are to have it in our lives! Chicago wouldn’t be home without PeeWee.
Emma is famished after pickup, so we typically bring a few snack options to get her to a point where she doesn’t have a meltdown before lunch. She’s a growing kid and the sheer volume of food she can put down is impressive. (But also she’s my kid, so this is somewhat expected.)
On a typical day, I’ll prep her lunch before pickup so she’s ready to roll when we all get home, and if the weather cooperates, we’ll eat on the back deck as a family. But when these photos were taken, we’d planned to go out for lunch since one of our favorite restaurants, Derby, was closing its doors for good. As luck would have it, though, I screwed up the schedule, and Derby closed the day before… so we ate sushi instead. But Emma was thrilled; sushi is probably her favorite food!
The walk (or drive) home
The new house is quite a bit farther from PeeWee, and while I’m sure that number will sting in the winter, we’ve been loving the excuse to take a long walk through the neighborhood once in a while. Sometimes we stop at playgrounds or maybe we find a cozy patch of grass to roll around in for a second. I’m aware of the fact that this pleasure stroll could be one of the causes for me writing this post at 3 a.m., but hey: you gotta live life, and stuff like this is worth it.
We walk through the busy streets with our double stroller like it’s normal and, occasionally, we swing by our favorite ice cream stand as an act of extraordinary indulgence. And sometimes our walk home takes so long that we have to skip Emma’s nap and bring her right back to daycare to finish out the work day. Today was one of those days and I’m thinkin’ that I should probably go to bed now. 😂
On a normal day, Emma goes down for a nap around 2 or 2:30 p.m., but lately we’ve been skipping it regularly–partly because I think she’s growing out of naps, and partly because it’s summer in Chicago and Chicagoans like to take advantage of the few short months of warmth that grace the city every year. So yeah: I’d say she takes a nap every other day at this point. She can’t quite handle doing away with it completely, but it’s nice to have the option to go without if we’re having a blast as a family!
In September, things will change. Regardless of what pre-school she goes to, Emma will be in a full-day program, and I’m kind of sad that this routine will change for us. Of course, we’ll still have our daddy/daughter drop-off in the morning. But as much as she’s ready for “full day,” it’s hard to watch your child grow up… and to have fewer hours with her every day. We’re going to make those hours COUNT, though!
If you have children, do you have a favorite part of your routine? (If your children are older, I’d still love to hear what parts you look back fondly on!)
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In collaboration with Peter Millar but all opinions are my own. As always, thank you so much for supporting the partnerships that keep Kelly in the City up and running!