Inspired by the other ladies on this blog, I decided to chronicle a day in my life -- if for no other reason than to have it for myself in five years when all four of my little ones are off to school and I'm wondering what to do with my time (ha!). I am both a stay-at-home mom and a working mom. I have several freelance clients and on the days that it is just the kids and me, I work when I can but do not schedule any official "office hours." The day you see here is one of those days.
|My little crazies... From left: Ferris, London, Emilia|
Brant: My husband
Ferris: My (recently turned) five-year-old stepson
Emilia: My three-almost-four-year-old daughter
London: My two-almost-three-year-old stepdaughter
Ricky: Our fluffy Keeshond dog who weighs about 59 pounds. He pants a lot but is very sweet.
I figured that anything after midnight was fair game. So, naturally, I started with my first "wake up" of the night...
1:35 a.m.: My daughter Emilia comes in my room and says that she wants the Nintendo 3DS. My stepson got this for his birthday and Emilia knows the only time she has a chance to play it is at... well, 1:35 a.m. I plead with her to just go back to bed, but she is determined. I sneak into my stepson's room, grab the gaming system, tuck Emilia back in bed with it between her hands and climb back in bed.
1:52 a.m.: Emilia is back. The 3DS needs the charger. I stumble around the house in the dark and locate it in the dining room. I plug it in. I climb back in bed.
2:17 a.m.: She's back. She wants to "sleep by somebody." I tell her to go back to bed. Please go back to bed. She starts to cry. I get up and start to corral her back to her bedroom. My stepson, who wakes up at the sound of ANYTHING hears us and now he is awake too. I tell him to get back in bed. He starts to whine, loudly. I peek into the room where my stepdaughter is resting and she is oblivious to all the racket. Apparently my husband is too. I manage to get both kids back in bed. Ferris, my stepson, falls asleep immediately. Emilia cries for about three minutes and then it gets quiet. I climb back in bed. My husband is snoring. How does he do that? I decide to get on my Kindle Fire for a few minutes and settle some Words with Friends scores. I bury my husband in an almost-complete game with a 47-point word. I feel a little better and go back to sleep.
3:35 a.m.: Emilia is back, insisting that she "sleep by somebody." I set up a makeshift bed on the floor of my room for her. She points to my bed and says she wants to sleep there instead. "Absolutely not." She starts to cry. I consider letting her have my comfy spot (what?!) and just going out to the couch. I decide to try to put her to bed one more time in her own room. I take my favorite pillow with me and lay in the other twin bed. This seems to appease her. I wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go back to my bed.
7:20 a.m.: My dog is panting heavily in my face. I usually let him out around 6:30 a.m., but have overslept my normal routine. I push him back a few times and my husband throws a pillow at him. He is persistent though. I groan and roll out of bed. I let him out and start to make a lunch for my husband (who is running late) and my stepson who will be heading to preschool. I set out three plates with some dry oatmeal squares and watermelon and pour three cups of OJ. I feed the dog too and grab a Greek yogurt for myself.
8:05 a.m.: My husband leaves for work. He says "good luck today" and says he will do his best to be home by 6:30 p.m. I sit down at my computer and put the latest Mumbling Mommy links on Facebook and Twitter. I block a Twitter follower who keeps sending me SPAM topless pictures of herself.
8:15 a.m.: I try to wake up my stepson for preschool. No dice.
8:20 a.m.: I try again. He covers his face with a pillow and keeps sleeping. His two-year-old sister, London, wakes up and starts right into a very involved conversation with me about her "booty butt" and how Emilia has one, Ferris has one, Daddy has one, the dog has one... etc...
8:32 a.m.: Ferris is finally up but not happy with me. My saving grace? It is another family's turn to drive today so he is being picked up. In twelve minutes. I decide to put on a bra.
8:40 a.m.: I chase my stepson around the house with a spray bottle of water. He tells me he wants his hair to be messed up. I try to diffuse the situation by spraying my own hair, his sister's hair and the dog. He laughs. I'm able to make his long waves look acceptable. Sort of. A very groggy Emilia emerges from her bedroom.
8:45 a.m.: Carpool arrives. Even though the mom who is driving has a newborn (with her), she is wearing a cute yellow sundress, earrings and adorable sandals. I'm... well, wearing a bra. At least. I tell her that it was a rough night. She says that she understands. Of course she does. She has a newborn! I vow (to myself) to pull it together in time to pick up her daughter the next morning.
8:50 a.m.: The girls eat breakfast and chat nicely with each other. I decide that my usual healthy oatmeal and hard-boiled egg breakfast is for the birds. I throw a frozen pizza in the oven.
9:00 a.m.: While the pizza cooks, I open my "To Do" list. I decide there are a few small things I can complete first to reduce that list. I shoot off a quick email to a new client with some links that she requested. I try to print out the Illinois State Tax forms that I need and have some issues with the printer. The girls have moved on to playing "house" in a different room so I let a few curse words fly.
9:10 a.m.: I sit down with two slices of greasy goodness and start to fill out the tax forms. I get up about a half-dozen times to get other paperwork, a better pen, more OJ for both girls, to let the potty-dancing dog out, to let the barking dog back in and to take my vitamin before I forget.
10 a.m.: I tell the girls they really should get some fresh air. We all move to the backyard where they run around playing pretend "Mario Kart races." I open up a copy of "The Basketball Diaries." I've been given an assignment to write an online study guide for it and need to get it going. After a few pages, I vow never, ever under any circumstances to allow my kids to play on a youth basketball team with a coach named "Lefty."
10:20 a.m.: They are bored and want to go inside. I am quite enjoying myself so I tell them to keep playing instead. This works for about ten more minutes.
10:32 a.m.: For the next hour, things are relatively calm. The girls entertain themselves and only yell at each other occasionally. I continue to read my book and get a little work done. I decide that I'm really hungry and equally tired.
11:30 a.m.: The girls finish up a light lunch of cheese, whole wheat crackers and raisins. I eat the leftover dry cereal from breakfast and a bowl of cottage cheese. I tell the girls it's "quiet time" and they agree without a fight. I lay them down in separate rooms and decide I need to lay down too.
11:52 a.m.: All is quiet in the house... and then the lawn people arrive. It sounds like the riding lawnmower is actually being driven in my kitchen and not outside. Between the roar of the motor, I hear the girls talking to each other. So much for separate rooms.
12:07 p.m.: The lawn people are done and the girls are back down. I set the alarm on my phone in case I should fall asleep and then I close my eyes.
1:13 p.m.: Both girls are sitting next to me in my bed and the dog jumps up too. Who needs a cell phone alarm clock? I check my email messages on my phone before I get up and I have a frantic request from a college student who speaks English as a second language. She wonders if I have time today to look over a 2-page psychology report (double-spaced) and let her know what she should change. I'm no ace on psychology but I reply, "Sure. Send it on over." I make the girls and myself a snack and put them in their bathing suits so they can play in the kiddie pool. I move my computer into the room with the screen door where I can watch them as they splash.
2:16 p.m.: London, who is potty training, pees in the yard through her bathing suit. I see it happening and realize there is nothing I can do to stop it. She rushes over to the screen door and shouts "I pooped (she means pee... I think) outside like Ricky (the dog)!" She is pretty darn proud of herself so I smile and nod. I'm thankful it's not my gigantic bedroom rug (again). She splashes in the pool and I decide I can scrub her down later.
2:18 p.m.: First "time-out" of the day. The girls are screaming bloody murder at each other for an unknown reason. I separate them and debate a second quiet time.
2:19 p.m.: Ferris is back from school. He sees the girls in their swimsuits and immediately begins to get naked in the driveway. I tell him to keep his clothes on until we get inside and he says "but Dad lets us swim naked!" The mom from the carpool laughs and says "Oh Dads." I squeeze every second of adult conversation that I can from this interaction but am distracted by Ferris' bare butt. The mailman pulls up and walks my mail to me. London has climbed into the mini-van to talk to Ferris' classmate. It's pretty much chaos in my driveway. I tell my mom-friend that we will be there in the morning to get her little one and then I sneak a quick peek at the newborn baby in the car seat. Oooooohhhh, so cute!
2:22 p.m.: Ferris is excited to go jump in the kiddie pool but immediately starts asking repeatedly if he can have the hose on. After saying "no" 30 times, I threaten to dump all the water out of the pool and make them come inside if he asks me again. I've done it before. He knows I'll do it again. He goes back to playing.
2:39 p.m.: I get a text from my brother's fiance asking if our family can make it to Indiana for their wedding. I ask "when?" and she says "July 3rd." I explain that we still do not have a vehicle that seats six yet but that if we do by then, we will try to come. We text back and forth a few times. I say that I will make sure to be there but I'm unsure about the rest of the family since baby will be so little and it's fast approaching.
2:50 p.m.: The kids play happily outside for the next forty-five minutes and it is glorious. I look over the two-page paper, make a few suggestions and send it back to its owner. I read a few more page of "The Basketball Diaries" and add twins named Winkie and Blinkie to my list of people my kids cannot hang out with under any circumstances.
3:35 p.m.: The kids ask to watch TV and even though I'd rather they keep playing creatively, this house is a mess and I could use them sequestered to one spot for awhile. I turn on "Yo Gabba Gabba" (and run away) and they all cuddle up in blankets and dry clothes. From the next room, I hear them having a conversation about "our baby." Emilia says that the baby is going to be so cute. The other two heartily agree. My heart is warmed... for the moment.
4:15 p.m.: I offer up a snack hoping to keep their blood sugar up long enough to put off eating dinner until Daddy gets home. I think I'm being very nice with PB&J's and some juice. They each begin complaining in turn about something that is wrong with what I gave them. Soon two of the three want to sit in the exact same seat (and do), screaming and pushing each other for the spot. Ferris knocks over a cup of juice in the process. I tell him to go get a towel to wipe it up. He tells me to clean it up. I refuse. He continues to tell me to clean it up as he is on the floor cleaning it up. I thank him for wiping it up and it seems that the chair fight has ended. Snack ends and they run off to find some toys to play with.
4:22 p.m.: London pees in the potty! YAY!!!!
4:30 pm.: The next hour and a half is pretty laid back. The kids move from room to room playing made-up games. I read some more, clean up some more and try to downgrade our wireless plan online. I can do about half of what I'm trying to accomplish on the Web site and have to call in for the rest. They will get back to me in 3 - 5 days. I'm not overly impressed with this level of customer service.
6:05 p.m.: It sounds like Daddy won't be home until 7, so I decide the kids should eat dinner now. By request, we do breakfast. They each have a bowl of whole grain star cereal, some scrambled eggs and some OJ. They ask to go back outside to play for awhile and I say "ok." I dump the pool so they can't swim and clean up the kitchen while they run in the backyard.
6:20 p.m.: Give London a quick bath and lay her down. She's a tired little girl.
6:45 p.m.: Bring the other kids in from outside and throw them in the tub. I spruce up the house a little bit and it actually doesn't look too bad. The kids spent so much time outside that the inside held up pretty well. I bend over to pick up a few stray pieces of clothing from the girls' bedroom floor and remember for the first time in several hours that I am indeed 7.5 months pregnant.
6:58 p.m.: My husband pulls in the driveway. He asks me why I didn't answer his text message. I say that my phone is charging. He had wondered if I needed anything from the grocery store because he needed an excuse to get some cash out. I eagerly volunteer to go back out and handle that errand.
7:03 p.m.: I leave for the grocery store. Did I mention I was eager? It's a gorgeous Florida evening. I can hear the ocean as I drive the short trek down A1A from my house to the grocery store. I get the items that I need, plus cash, and notice that the cashier has the name we have picked out for our baby girl -- and it's the same spelling. We chat and I ask if she likes that it is spelled a little bit different and she responds "absolutely."
7:35 p.m.: I pull in the driveway. My husband has finished getting the other two ready for bed and they are in their rooms. He tells me that he went in to check on London who was still awake and he asked her what she did today. She told him that she ate breakfast -- twice! I check in with the other kids who are awake but looking tired. Brant and I decide to make bean tacos and watch a segment on our DVR of the First Lady on the Late Show as we chow down.
8:25 p.m.: We clean up from dinner and move to our bedroom. He watches a show about fantasy baseball (or something?) as I post two pieces on Mumbling Mommy and finish up a "Thursday Three" of my own. At some point during all of this, he falls asleep.
9:15 p.m.: I eat a Milky Way candy bar in bed while I read more of "The Basketball Diaries."
10:48 p.m.: I finish reading and write down a few notes for the morning. I get my Kindle Fire back from a sleeping Ferris who had been using the Kid Drawing App as he drifted off. I let Ricky outside once more and play a few rounds of Words With Friends in bed. London starts coughing so I take her some water and rub her back until she falls asleep again.
11:03 p.m.: Lights out for me, fingers crossed that I won't have any little visitors in the night.
**update: everyone slept through the night! I woke up at 7:45 a.m. to find that my husband had taken care of the dog, made breakfast and shut our bedroom door so no one could come in and talk to me, pant on me or in other ways bother me as I slept**
You can contact Katie by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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