Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day In The Life: Spring 2014

As I lay in bed last Wednesday night browsing social media on my iPhone, I noticed someone's Day In The Life post announcement on Instagram. I quickly clicked over to Navigating The Mothership's blog to see if I'd missed the chance to join in Laura's quarterly blog series. Phew, I hadn't. I've participated in her DITL series for three years now (!!) and I'd hate to sit out now. I decided to recap the next day, Thursday, April 17 so it'd give me a few days to pull everything together before the deadline.

Tory is 2 years, 7 months old
Aden is 4 months old


Midnight: Ack. I'm up way too late tonight. I glance at the clock and I'm already dreading morning. Andi is traveling this week and it's been a constant go-go-go taking care of our two kiddos. With an infant who's still waking frequently to eat, I'm getting little sleep these days but I also crave my own down-time to blog, surf the Internet, read and catch up on some of my favorite TV shows. There's never enough hours to fit everything into a day. Last night (Wednesday), I fell asleep around 11:00pm, Aden woke up at 11:20pm to nurse and now it's 12:00am Thursday and I can't fall back asleep for the life of me. I grab my iPhone off the nightstand and continue reading Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gusty Living on a Tropical Island. Andi and I are dreaming of the day we pack up our family and travel the world, so I've been into books written by those who've taken the plunge into similar adventures. 

12:47am: Tory runs into the master bedroom, which is just next door to hers, screaming "Mommy!" It seems like she's had a bad dream as she's shaken up and half-delirious. I pull her into our new king-size bed where there's plenty of room for the both of us. For some reason, she still snuggles right beside me leaving half the bed empty.

1:44am: I wake to hear Aden coughing from his crib in the nursery across the hallway. More coughing and then crying. I look at the clock, do the math in my head and decide he's not ready to eat. I get up to plug his pacifier back in his mouth, hoping that'll do the trick.

1:55am: More fussing from Aden. Another pacifier plug.

3:02am: Aden awakes again, I retrieve him and bring him back into bed with me to nurse.

4:19am: I'm jolted awake, sitting up in bed with a seemingly broken neck. I must've fallen asleep while nursing Aden. I glance over at Tory sleeping spread-eagle beside me in bed and Aden snoozing peacefully in my arms. I get up and put Aden in his crib to sleep, then crawl back into bed myself.

5:00am: I wake up to Tory shouting in her sleep. She's moaning and saying something like "don't get me." Another bad dream? At two-and-a-half years old, I wonder and worry what she could possibly be dreaming so vividly.

5:22am: Aden wakes up coughing and crying from his crib. I get up and move him to his swing in the living room which is usually our routine early morning. He seems half-awake, but usually falls back asleep in the swing giving me a few more minutes of sleep. Oof, I'm tired.

6:39am: I wake up to a chipper Tory inches from my face, asking for yogurt and a television cartoon. I can hear Aden cooing and chatting from his swing in the living room.

6:45am: After Tory's tenth request for yogurt in the span of minutes, I pry myself out of bed. Outside the kitchen window I notice 7 inches of freshly fallen snow covering our backyard. I bring back Tory's beloved Chobani squeeze yogurts -- first blueberry, then strawberry; always in that order (never deviate from the routine or there's hell to pay) -- to her laying in my bed. Next, I wish Aden good morning, change his diaper, lotion his body and dress him for the day. He's beginning to achieve the awesome milestone of holding himself in a sitting position while I pull his onesie over his head.

7:00am: I nurse Aden and play with him in bed while Tory eats yogurt and watches Curious George beside us.

7:30am: Aden's already fussy and tired, so I lay him back in his swing to catch some more zzz's. Tory and I head to the kitchen to make breakfast. I brew coffee and make instant oatmeal for me while pre-heating the oven to make bunny cinnamon rolls for her. We've been making our way through a series of activities in anticipation for Easter and this is one of them on our list. Meanwhile, Andi and I exchange a few text messages. He's in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee this week, scouting for an ATV event he's producing for a client later this year.

8:00am: I do a series of morning chores -- unloading the dishwasher, clean up breakfast, pack our bag for swimming class later this morning, make the beds, etc. -- while Tory plays doctor in the living room. Next, I dress Tory and myself while texting my mom, friend Lindsey and one of our babysitters.

8:30am: Tory plays dollhouse while I run around the house, throwing in a load of laundry and loading the car for swimming class.

These two - I'm so in love. Tory begs to watch a show for just one minute while Aden practices tummy time beside her.

9:00am: On our way out the door, I draw Tory's attention to the snow on the ground. "Don't worry, Mommy. It will be gone soon," she says. I must've sounded less than impressed with the weather on this mid-April morning.

9:20am: Aden cries during the entire drive to swimming class. He's dropped his pacifier and given the snowy roads and backed-up traffic, I need to focus on driving instead of doing mama acrobatic moves to find his missing pacifier. Tory's chattering away while buckled in her car seat. She tells me she's caught some (imaginary) tiny fish and asks if I'd like to hold one. "Careful! It's flippery (slippery)," she says. She's un-phased by Aden's cries beside her in the car and praises me "good one, Mom!" as I cruise through a slushy puddle of melted snow on the exit ramp. If she isn't her father's daughter....

9:50am: In the locker room before class, Tory and I change into our swimming suits and I also change Aden's poopy diaper. Tory entertains herself by washing her hands a million times at the sink.

What DITL post is complete without a bathroom selfie?

10:00am: Out of five children in class, Tory is the only student at swimming today. I knew her best friend Ashley would be absent as my friend Lindsey (Ashley's mom) text me earlier saying Ashley is sick with the flu. On Thursdays, Lindsey and I hired a college-age babysitter to care for our two littlest children, Aden and her daughter Taylor, while we swim with the toddler girls (Tory and Ashley) during their class. Babysitter Kayleigh sits with Aden in the swimming pool observation area nearby.

During Tory's (now private!) swimming lesson, the instructor gives her a pair of pink goggles to wear. It's the first time Tory's ever worn goggles underwater. She's a little apprehensive at first, but quickly figures out water won't get in her eyes if she wears them and instantly becomes fearless. Tory's not one of those kids with a natural love for the water. She likes swimming class, but will strategically figure out a way to reach for colored rings without submerging her face while other kids dive full-steam-ahead into the water. Now with goggles, Tory is diving and swimming underwater. I'm so proud of her!

10:30am: After swimming class is over, Tory and I quickly shower in the locker room while Kayleigh continues to watch Aden. I pay Kayleigh for her time and together we walk to our cars in the parking lot.

11:15am: Back at home, I scramble to make lunch for Tory as she whines at my feet from hunger. I prepare Tory's request for "orange soup" (tomato soup) and grilled cheese and a turkey and cheese sandwich for me. Aden's sleeping in his infant car seat and I know as soon as he wakes, he'll also be ready to eat. Of course, Aden cries out just as I'm sitting down to eat, but as least Tory's settled with her lunch and an episode of Super Why! on TV.

11:30am: I nurse Aden, then move him to the Johnny Jump-Up in the living room so I can quickly eat my lunch. I'm still hungry after my sandwich and a few White Cheddar Cheetos, so I make myself a spinach salad with cottage cheese, boiled egg and leftover chicken cut up into pieces on top. The appetite of a breastfeeding mama is truly amazing. I eat twice as much as Andi does during dinner most nights. Over lunch, I can't help but reflect on the last DITL post I wrote this winter shortly after Aden was born. Our everyday routine is definitely getting easier four months into life with two kids.

Noon: I clean up lunch dishes and play with the kids on the living room floor. Aden practices rolling over from tummy to back on his activity mat. He's not a big fan and screeches and squawks while he lays there. Tory's sweet with him and keeps him company with toys and her face mere millimeters away from him. "You can do it, buddy! You can do it, you can do it," she coaches him.

12:30pm: Aden's demeanor heads south, and he's ready for his afternoon nap. I lay him in the baby swing with his pacifier and favorite blue blankie. Tory becomes engrossed in an episode of Word World on PBS so I seize the opportunity to change a load of laundry and tidy up the spare bedroom downstairs. Andi keeps his clothes in the spare bedroom closet down there and that room's ... always a mess. Ugh.

12:50pm: I turn off the TV and tell Tory it's time for books before nap time. She whines something about not being tired. I tune her out and head down the hallway toward her bedroom. Eventually she climbs into her bed ("Tory do it! Don't help me!"), she snuggles under her pink covers and together we read Hello Kitty Easter, My First Easter, Are You A Cow? and a nursery rhyme book. Big time stall tactics from this girl today. She demands to have her night light unplugged from the wall, says it's too dark when she closes her eyes and wants to sleep with a photograph of her and best friend, Ashley. Tory makes a last-ditch plea for squeeze yogurt, asks me to rub her belly and "pinch her eyes" which basically means she wants me to rub my fingers over her temples. Grrr. Go to sleep, child!

1:25pm: Tory's asleep and Aden literally wakes up the moment I'm quietly exiting her room. Seriously, why does this happen? It's like they're in cahoots with one another to prevent Mama from having even one moment alone. As I walk down the hallway to retrieve Aden from his swing in the living room, I pass by the dog near-barfing on the baby's bedroom carpet. Gah. I scoop up Chloe and get her outside before she does any damage. Then, Aden and I play on the floor in the living room. I pull out my camera and take some photos of him. He starts fussing shortly thereafter, so I feed him and put him back in the swing to rest.

2:00pm: Aden acts tired, but won't fall asleep. Eventually, he poops ... ah-ha. That must've been the problem. I change his diaper, take the opportunity to lotion his skin while he's undressed and play with him on my bed for a while. Baby Boy just found his hands and it's the cutest thing.

2:30pm: Suddenly, I'm exhausted and desperately want a cup of coffee but I resist the urge to drink caffeine so late in the afternoon. Aden and I play some more and I fold clothes on the bed beside him. We're driving to Nebraska tomorrow for Easter and I'm trying to get all the laundry caught up before we leave.

3:00pm: Aden falls asleep in the baby swing. I hear Tory stirring but she doesn't emerge from her room, so I leave her alone to wake-up fully on her own. I use this rare moment by myself to check my e-mail and upload photos from the day.

3:30pm: Tory greets me in the kitchen just as my mother-in-law, Janie, arrives at our house. Earlier in the week, Janie offered to come play with the kids while I pack for our trip to Nebraska. Thank goodness for Janie! She makes my life easier. I attempt to talk to Janie over Tory's increasing demands for Grandma's attention, so I leave them be and set to work.

4:00pm: More laundry, picking out outfits for everyone and packing the suitcase.

5:00pm: I ask Janie if she'd like to stay for dinner and she agrees. I pull a meal out of the freezer and begin to cook it while Janie plays with the kids. Tonight, I make white fish, green beans and mashed potatoes (a far fancier meal than I'd make if Janie wasn't visiting and it was only Tory and I eating).

5:30pm: Janie and I eat the dinner I've prepared while Tory has macaroni and cheese, as she's refused to eat any fish, mashed potatoes or vegetables. After dinner and a quick clean-up of the kitchen, I return to packing while Janie plays with the kids.

6:00pm: We're driving Andi's vehicle to Nebraska, so I load car seats into his back seat. I ask Janie for permission to drive down the street and fill up the SUV with gas while she continues to watch the kids. After I return home, I pack snacks for the road trip and finish the laundry.

6:30pm: DONE! I'm seriously thankful for Janie because without her, I would've had to do all that packing tonight after the kids were in bed.

7:30pm: Janie reads books to the kids and Aden falls asleep in her arms. Shortly after, I take Aden to feed him once more before bed while Janie continues to play with Tory in her bedroom. I hear them playing "Sparky the horse" and "tea party" together. I put Aden to sleep in his crib while Janie gets Tory dressed in pajamas for bed. She reads her a few bedtime stories while I upload the remainder of photos for this post to my computer and pick up the house for the evening.

8:00pm: Janie summons me to Tory's room to finish her nighttime routine. I go into Tory's room to tuck her in (aka: sit next to her bed on a stool and rub her belly while she falls asleep -- our greatest parenting mistake to date by establishing this ridiculous routine with Tory). More bedtime stall tactics from Tory and lots of questions asked. Every answer I provide her is repeated back to me in the form of a question. For example:

Tory: Where's Grandma?"

Me: "She went home."

Tory: "What she do at home?"

Me: "She's going to sleep."

Tory: "Why she go to sleep?"

Me: "She has to work tomorrow."

Tory: "What she do at work tomorrow?"

Me: "She takes x-rays, remember?"

Tory: "Why she x-rays?"

OMG, child. Go to sleep! I love my Tory Girl, but I have few patience for bedtime. I'm thankful for Andi who usually takes care of this part of our nightly routine when he's home.

8:45pm: Tory's finally asleep. Thank goodness I've already packed for our trip tomorrow - I'm exhausted and immediately collapse into bed. I hear some stirring from Aden in his room, but he doesn't wake up. I pull out my laptop and play around on the Internet for a while, all while reminding myself the need to go to sleep ... soon.

9:15pm: I shut my computer lid and force myself to go to sleep. I pull up Freeways to Flip-Flops on my iPhone via the Kindle app and read until I fall asleep.

10:30pm: I wake to both kids crying for me at once. I get up and bring Tory to my bed, then I go get Aden from his crib and bring him back to nurse in bed, too. I fall asleep while feeding Aden and wake up at 12:30am with a sore neck. Tory's sprawled out beside me in bed and Aden's sleeping soundly in my arms.

And, here we go again ...


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. You are for real super mom to get all that done with such interrupted sleep! And I love your MIL for all the help she gives you guys. What an awesome lady!

    Noticed many similarities in our little girls in this too. Yogurt & cartoon in the morning, endless questions, "just one minute", etc etc. We need to compare schedules for the summer!

  2. oh my gosh, girl! I so wish that those kind of nights were the exception and not the norm for you :( I'm super impressed with how much you can get done when getting sleep in 1 hour increments. So great your MIL could help you out - preparing to be gone like that takes way too much time. I used to make lists and my hubby would make fun of me...until I made him do it by himself one time. Let's just say he appreciates the effort I put into it more now after listening to our 2 year old scream for 2 hours in the car because we didn't have any toys and he didn't want to watch a movie :)

  3. Yes, I agree with the above comments - HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!!! Sleep is soooo key to functioning properly with little kids. I didn't get enough of it for a very long time and it sucked. But you are getting even less than I was. I'm glad for you that your MIL is close by and enjoys helping out - what a blessing!
    Does Tory drink milk or do you give her yogurt as a substitute? My girls love milk so much, but I'm having a really hard time transitioning W over to milk from breast milk.

  4. So little sleep! That sucks, hope you get more soon.

    I laughed at the swim lessons commentary because Annie is over a year older than Tory and STILL!!! refuses to put her head in the water. She isn't even mad about it, she just .... won't do it. This is her first lesson without a parent though, and we only did swim lessons one other time when she was around 2.5, and that went FAR worse. She enjoys them at least, so I'm just hoping if we stick with it she gets it at some point. Haven't attempted goggles yet - none of the other kids in her class have them and totally are fine jumping in, floating, and even can swim on their own a little! She is the youngest in her class by almost an entire year though. She'll get there eventually but I seriously just laugh watching her because she.... really is terrible :) It's comical :) Luckily she has no clue!!

  5. Oy- I am tired for you! I swear my boys have the same secret "ill sleep, you wake' game too. I hate it so much!

  6. Wow. Really impressed with this day on so little sleep. Glad that Grandma Janie was able to come and help. Grandma’s rock.

    I am far too familiar with the stool next to the bed tactic. I thought we were never going to get past that one, but we did. I can’t say there was anything we specifically did to turn things around, but it just got better. Hope it does for you too.

    Also, loving your haircut. Make me want to go shorter again.

  7. Your sleep situation sounds so familiar. I swear gus finally started sleeping for reelz around 3. A toddler that won't sleep is just so frustrating when you have another baby. Ughhhhh. It'll get better soon and clearly you're doing amazing and managing.

  8. Your post was a reminder to me to enjoy my sleep while it lasts these few more months before #2! You seem to be functioning beautifully though, wow even resisting the urge for afternoon coffee, I'm impressed (as I sit here at 2:15 during nap time about to have another cup of tea!) Also, I immediately went and ordered that book before I even finished reading your post, I'm always dreaming about stuff like that!

    1. If you like travel books, I recommend "Life Without Borders" by Carla Gray BeDell. It's been my favorite read so far.

  9. I'm exhausted after reading this. Those are such challenging days when you've got a little baby and the hubby isn't around. Or even when he IS around. How do you look so great when you're not getting any sleep? And my 2-year-old is right there with yours, answering a question that leads to another question, that leads to another.. Ahhhh, I'm brain-dead, kid, from answering all your questions! And the breastfeeding appetite -- I remember so well. I'm pretty sure I consumed as many calories as an Olympic swimmer every day when I was nursing.

  10. Ugh...such rough sleep! My Michael sounds so similar to Tory sleep wise. We have good nights and bad nights and right now we are in a bad you, I wonder what could cause him to have vivd, bad dreams. And we also have a somewhat ridiculous bedtime routine that includes one of us laying with him until he falls asleep and then creeping out of the room.

    Super cute kids! Sucks about the snow...I'm so over it and I just can't anymore.

  11. Oh man I thought that I was exhausted but at least I get to sleep through the night most of the time! Your kids are adorable- hopefully they both start to be better sleepers soon!

  12. I feel for you but I have to say it also brought me comfort to read about another mama who stays up way too late and then gets interrupted in her sleep so much! Ha. Sorry. :) But you seemed to handle it well, as I like to think I usually do ... but ohhhh, children, just learn to sleep!

    Super cute kids indeed. :)

  13. Holy cow. This wore me out just reading it!

    But I was compelled to comment because I am a Tory (with a Y!) and I don't come across a lot of Tory's that are with a Y and not short for anything. Great name!