A Day in the Life
(which was a regular work/school day during tax season – so apologies in advance for this being both the longest AND the least interesting post yet…)
5:55am – Wake up (no alarm – we don’t use alarms). Bathroom trip. But then I crawl back into my warm bed. Usually, I’d just get up and start my day, but today the siren call of my duvet was too strong.
6:25am – Plum (age 5) visits. Good morning! She actually climbs up onto our bed (a rarity!) for a cuddle. We chat and wake up Dad.
Head downstairs. I allow a TV show pre-breakfast and pre-getting dressed (never a good idea). Pack three lunches because Pickle (age 6) has opted out of school lunch, because it is “Cook’s Choice”. Lunches include some combo of yogurts, cucumbers, apples, Cheez-It, baby carrots, string cheese, and sandwiches. The littles get a special treat – ½ of a leftover birthday cupcake each!
While I make lunches with Tyler (he was helping with lunches, making coffee, packing bags for the day and doing dishes) Pickle arrives downstairs. A 6:30am wake up is late for him! He wants to take a shower because his hair is unruly. I agree, on both counts. I de-fat, de-bone, shred and sauce the pulled pork I had cooked in the crockpot overnight. That will be dinner tonight.
7:08am – Upstairs to shower. And brrrrrr, it is a cold one. All thanks to the hair-obsessed 6-year-old who used 94% of the hot water. Thanks a lot. Step out of the shower to hear Pistachio (age 3) bellowing for me. Wet and half-dressed I go see him. “Is it wake up time?” he asks. Indeed it is. As I had suspected the night before, this guy was tired and/or growing because this is a very late wake-up time for him, too. He wanders downstairs, and I finish getting dressed. I run a brush through my hair and yell down to Ty to let our neighbor in (we are giving her a ride to school today).
7:30am – Time to get Pickle and the neighbor to school. I go downstairs to find Plum screaming and naked on the love seat (reminder to self to talk to her – and my husband? – about being naked in front of non-family members), Pistachio is eating an English muffin in his PJs and chirps happily, “Bye Mama, have a good day!” I leave him and naked Plum in the competent and patient hands of their father. He will get them dressed and off to school. I have my usual argument with Pickle about the need for warm outerwear, which delays our exit, but eventually I get him out the door.
7:45am – Drop Pickle and his classmate/our neighbor at school. Stop at the local corner store for an iced coffee and bagel – a treat, and only $3.50! Sit in my car for a second to update my Moment app and sign up for “Moment Boot Camp”. Moment is an app that analyzes how much time you spend on your phone each day. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and have determined that my numbers are too high (yikes) so I sign up for their Boot Camp, which sets daily goals for using your phone less.
Drive to work listening to CD 15 of 16 of Bruce Springsteen’s Autobiography “Born to Run”. Bruce reads it, and I’m a fan, so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having him read to me during my commute. It is a fun history, and some of the writing is just fantastic. I’ll be sad when the last CD is done.
Park in the garage (I should park in the lot, but today I just don’t feel like it) and clock-in at my desk.
8:28am – Work. The regular stuff. During breaks in the day I pack up and send a toy I sold on eBay, and fill out a kindergarten registration form. We have our yearly benefits meeting at work (open enrollment – yippee) and I lament the brokenness of our health care system and its costs while simultaneously being thankful for pretty good insurance coverage.
Lunch – I had texted my husband that I was craving shrimp and he told me to go get some at lunch. So I do. And what a nice treat! I go to the (fancy-ish) steak house next door, sit at the bar, have a lovely lunch including some shrimp, and read a little bit of my newest book – The Atomic Weight of Love. It is a great break in the day, a delicious meal I didn’t have to cook, and some time alone with my own thoughts. Awesome.
4:30pm – Work done. Head out. Call my mom on the way. I call her most days during my commute home.
5pm – Pick up grumpy oldest. He often complains about pick-up time, being too late or too early. Sigh. Mostly he complains because he is hungry. Thankfully he tucks in to his uneaten packed lunch because he had, indeed, opted for the “Cook’s Choice” which happened to be calzones. Blood sugar and mood improve.
Pick up the littles, who are just down the road. Our elementary school and preschool are really close to our house – like a mile. What a win! The littles were not required to wear snowpants on this day, which makes my life easier because there is far less schlepping of KID STUFF.
5:20pm – Home! I pick up the mail, get all of the kids and all of their stuff in the house. They are in good moods, and are happy to play for a bit. I unpack lunch boxes, then convince Pistachio to take a quick bath. The big kids agree to straighten up the toy room with minimal whining. After bath the kids continue to play while I empty the downstairs trash cans and take out the kitchen trash. I open a package for me from a cool Instagram group called This Is My Fav. Basically, there is a theme each month, and you are assigned a group member to send a $10+ gift to. It is fun – and a little bit chain letter-ish. This month’s theme is Spring Cleaning, and I’m thrilled to open a box of Scrub Daddies. I laugh because I sent Scrub Daddies to my gift recipient this month, too. They are great.
6pm – Get dinner ready. It comes together quickly since I prepped it this morning. I mix up some coleslaw (for me and Ty). And we have pulled pork sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls with sides of green grapes, carrots and cukes. I typically insist on dinner at the table, but tonight, I allow dinner in front of our first pre-bed TV show. The kids choose Johnny Test, which is really not my favorite.
After dinner and the show, the kids get into their “cozies” (our family word for pajamas). This always takes longer than it should. I put on their second and final show, and they get to pick their dessert/treat. Usually they each have little bowls of ~20 chocolate chips. Tonight, Plum and Pickle choose to have a leftover birthday cupcake each. Pistachio sticks with the chocolate chips. While the kids watch their show, I unload the dishwasher, reload with dinner dishes and straighten up the kitchen. As show ends I realize that Pistachio has gotten a melted chocolate chip smeared on his cozies and the couch, so I do a quick clean up and rinse out the cozies so the chocolate won’t stain.
7:20pm – I declare it is time to head upstairs for our nightly routine and bed. Major protests from all, but they know I mean business. The big kids brush teeth (with help from me) and then state that they want to take showers (Pickle would shower 4 times a day if we let him). It is pretty late to start showers now, but I relent. While Pistachio uses the potty pre-bed, I wash Plum’s hair. Pistachio walks off to his room to sit in the big brown chair and wait for me. Plum finishes up, puts her cozies back on and climbs into my bed to look at a book. Pickle takes his turn, and his time, in the shower.
Pistachio and I cuddle up in the big brown wing chair. We brush teeth, which is still a bit of a battle, and then read some strange lift-the-flap book about two sisters, Madison and Ashley. He loves lifting the flaps, but the story – mostly about girls playing dress up, gardening and cooking – is pretty awful. I make a mental note to “lose” this book. We chat a little bit about our days. He declines a song. He typically tells me “Mama, please put me in my bed,” when he feels he’s done enough chatting, but tonight he tells me he has to poop. We truck off to the bathroom, and I find Plum and Pickle in my bed using the iPad, instead of reading books. Blargh. I sit Pistachio on the potty, and take the iPad away (tears). Pistachio decides he does not have to poop after all (poop is one of the most effective bedtime stalling techniques when you are newly potty-trained – he figured this out quickly, smart kid). I plop him in his bed and go back to dealing with the big kids who are tired, and still complaining about iPad removal.
(Photo below is what they were supposed to be doing…)
8pm – I alert the big kids that it is now 8pm and since rules haven’t been followed, they have to get in bed without me reading books tonight. Much sadness. Many protests. But they do get in their beds in their shared bedroom. I leave them for a minute to attend to a hollering Pistachio who needs me to cover him up with his blanket. I do. And say a final goodnight to him.
I sing songs to the big kids, This Land is Your Land and some others I’ve made up. And I agree to let Pickle read for 10 minutes. He is reading Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit, a great book, with fun big words, and he’s feeling very proud of himself. I spray Sweet Dream Spray (some sort of linen/room spray that I have repurposed) and give kisses. I retreat to my bed for a few minutes while I make notes about my day for this post and text a bit with Tyler, who is still at work.
8:20pm – I’ve given them extra time, and still hear them chatting a bit, so I tell them it is truly bedtime, no more chats or books. I give more kisses and sing their lullaby. I close the door behind me and head downstairs. I fire up my computer and organize photos on Shutterfly until 10pm. I make albums for each month and for every big event or holiday, and put these on a Sharesite for friends and family. It takes forever, and I’m behind. I finish up November and December, and start on Christmas. My husband’s phone and my phone update to Shutterfly automatically, and I upload the photos taken with my “real” camera there, too. While I do my photo stuff, I “watch” This Is Us and blackish and drink seltzer with a splash of lemonade.
10:20pm – Tyler gets home. He’s tired. I am too. I leave him on his own to make pulled pork sandwiches and wind down and I head up to bed. I decide to read a few pages before bed and end up staying up too late reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’m considering reading the series to the kids, and wanted to read the whole series myself first (I had only read the first 4 books previously). I’m finally on book 7.
11:28pm – Whoops. It is definitely time to turn off the light and go to bed.
1:11am – Up. Too much seltzer.
2:40am – Up. Way too much seltzer.
6:09am – Plum appears by my side of the bed, ready to start her day.