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night-float survival.

Dear future self,

Here is a survival guide for you to use during Greg's night float rotations.

Be forgiving.  Of yourself and others.  This is a rough adjustment time, and just because one day is smooth, the next two or three or four may not be.  It's no one's fault. Not Ray's for going to bed late because he wanted to stay up late with Greg on his day off.  Not Greg's for being exhausted. Not Jimmy's for being Jimmy. And certainly not your for being so perfect. Ha. Ha.

I could just stop there, but I know you need more info.

Movies and TV.  It's okay to have the tv (Roku) on all day.  There won't be anyone around in the evenings to help out, so just give yourself a break and know that vegging is ok. As you wean back off the kids will be miserable whiny brats and you will question this advice... trust me.  It's worth it.  They'd be whiny anyway.  Recommended tv shows for your own sanity (not too loud or obnoxious): Nature channel, Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time, Octonauts, Tumble Leaf, Blue's Clues (Steve seasons), Pocoyo, and Trotro (if available). Shows to avoid during this time (too loud and obnoxious): Dora, Diego, Team Umizoomi, Wonder Pets--you will start thinking in song if you watch too much.  Recommended movies: Brave, Arthur Christmas (any time of year), Epic, The Lego Movie, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Robin Hood, Big Hero 6.  Limit the following: Frozen (no matter how well you think you can sing).... that's it.

Food.  Whatever goes. Feed them Ramen for all I freaking care.  Peanut butter and jelly is always a hit, just make sure you stock up so you don't run out of jelly mid-week (eh hem). Hard boil all the eggs. Spaghetti and macncheese are great, add tuna or sardines if you want to be fancy.
Make sure you stock up on coffee.
And Publix Moose Tracks frozen yogurt.
messy chocolate face means he's well fed. and very very happy.

Dishes. Don't even try. Next time buy paper plates and bowls and plastic utensils and cups.
Don't. Even. Try.

Laundry. The most important things are Greg's clothes: scrubs, socks, underwear and undershirt.  You and the kids have enough to wear, especially since you're vegging out in front of the tv.  PJs all day is totally cool too. Trust me. Everyone is jealous they can't lounge around in PJs.  Heck, get some yoga pants and be all PJs in disguise!

Shower and Baths. You *should* shower every day.  The kids can wait a week to bathe.  Unless they have a doctor or dentist appointment.  Then simply use babywipes and give them a good wipe down. Brush teeth before bed. Stock up on babywipes.

Exercise. You did? Hurray for you (you're crazy)!!!  You didn't? Hurray for you (you're doing great)!!!  If you can walk the .5 mile to the mailbox then WOW!!!! I'm so proud of you for taking the kids outside to wave goodbye to Greg!!! It's wonderful to stay in the house.  Getting outside always makes you feel better, but if you can't because you're in your PJs for the third day in a row, it's ok... work on showering and getting into a fresh pair of PJs.  See under "Laundry" about yoga pants.
indoor exercise. hurray! 

Creativity.  Let the kids be bored.  That will make them do something you haven't thought of, like when Ray wanted to paint because he was tired of watching shows, or when Jimmy ate the cardboard blocks and played put the toys away because they were all over the floor and he didn't know what else to do, or when they both played with puzzles by throwing the pieces as fireballs or playing animals with the farm one, or when they bring out books for you to read. You will want to occupy yourself with something like doodling, or reading, or blogging about all of the nothing you are up to, or knitting something small.... so Jimmy can't play with the big blanket you are working on.  And be sure to fix any stitches he yanked off the needles asap. Otherwise you may forget what you were knitting (eh hem).

Miscellaneous. Lights off and/or doors shut to any room the kids cannot go without supervision. The bathroom is not a good place to store your bike. The small black bike grease fingerprints on the toilet lid and tub are difficult to clean. And Jimmy has probably licked his fingers clean of it. Tape Greg's blackout curtains to the wall for best light blocking abilities.  Turn on the bathroom fans to drown out the movies, shows and fireball throwing in the living room.  Stuff towels under the doors to the cave.  Lock the doors to Greg's cave so you won't go bother him, like to ask him if it's ok to buy your own blog domain (toniellen.com).  You may, however, leave one door open for emergencies... like to ask him if there's a bug crawling on you.

Stock up on water bottles. 
Sometimes you may want to curl into a ball and 

couldn't resist.
and that's okay too.

I hope this helps you, future self.
Make sure to pray. 
Give and receive lots of hugs, kisses and compliments. 
Please edit this later if you have anything to add.
Love,
Toni


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