Monday, October 20, 2014

Day In The Life - Fall 2014

Linking up with Laura once again to document a Day in the Life. (You should, too! There's still time between now and November 3 to post).

Truth: I documented a day in our lives last Tuesday, October 14 and it's taken me a week to write about it. Life is busy right now. Andi is working super long hours at work and I'm playing zone coverage in parenting at home. It may have taken me several days to record it, but I'm still very glad I took the time to participate in this series. Every quarterly writing prompt moves me to reflect and remember how blessed Andi and I are in the lives we lead together. I'm grateful for the candor these snapshots of life capture because they're full of moments I would have otherwise rushed right through and completely forgotten. It's good fuel for the soul to stop and smell the flowers once in a while.

Here's a day of our lives - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tory is 3 years, 1 month old
Aden is 10 months old

1:00am: I'm awoken by Tory shouting, "Mom! I have to go potty!" I get out of bed, stumble into Tory's bedroom, pick her up and carry her down the hallway to the bathroom. She does her thing, then I carry her back to bed and tuck her into the covers. Our total time awake is less than five minutes. Tory's been completely potty-trained for two months now, but she's not in a place where she can use the bathroom by herself at night. I'm okay with helping her since it's a quick process and I'd rather her stay in as sleepy of a state as possible.

6:43am: I wake up to hear Aden crying from his nursery. I glance at the clock and immediately wish for a few more minutes of sleep. I go into Aden's bedroom and plug his pacifier in his mouth. At the same time, I do a mental reference of nightly wake-ups and realize this is Aden's first time waking in the night. Given the fact it's nearly 7 o'clock in the morning, I'd definitely classify this as "sleeping through the night." Yay, buddy! This doesn't happen often with Aden (or with Tory for that matter), but lately there are a few peaceful nights sprinkled in here and there and it's liberating.

I crawl back in bed and realize Andi isn't here anymore. He must've left for work already. Aden cries out again, and I quietly pray he doesn't wake up Sleepy Beauty.

6:45am: Too late. Tory barrels into my room and asks if I'll go back to her bedroom to retrieve her blanket, pillow, Lambie and Minnie Mouse stuffed animals. I do as requested. We snuggle for a bit in my bed before Tory asks for "T.B. and a yo-gret." (translation: T.V. and yogurt). She then notices it's still dark outside and follows, "oh, it's still oil-ry (early). We need to wait a few minutes." This summer, on days Tory woke up too early, I told her it was still dark outside and she needed to go back to sleep. Now that it's fall and the sun rises later in the morning, Tory still assumes darkness = bedtime and who am I to correct her?! Since it really is close to 7:00am, I go to the kitchen and bring Tory a yogurt tube to eat in bed.

6:50am: Aden's been crying from his crib off and on now for the last 10 minutes, so I go into his room to retrieve him. My nose immediately notices the stench of formula spit-up and I feel Aden's damp Sleep Sack the minute I pick him up; he must've spit-up at some point last night. I make a mental note to wash Aden's blanket before nap time today, and carry him into my room to join Tory. She greets him hello ("Good morning! Good morning!") while gritting her teeth, as is always the way Tory talks to her brother. I nestle Aden into bed beside his sister, and grab my computer off the nightstand table to publish a Halloween-themed blog post I've already drafted.

7:15am: I move Aden onto my bedroom floor and attempt to get dressed for the day. He's crawling now and into everything, so I have to keep one eye on him at all times. While brushing my teeth and picking out clothes to wear for the day, I redirect Aden from crawling under the bed, away from the closet dangerously close to the laundry shoot, and from behind the nightstand as he reaches for the lamp cord. As such, it's taking me forever to complete the simplest of hygienic tasks. Meanwhile, Tory's shouting "I'm still hungry!," so I open a second yogurt tube for her. I remind Tory to use polite words (please / thank you) which is something she's really struggling to remember lately. Now the Dora In the City episode she was watching on television is over and I'm still getting dressed for the day, so I turn the channel to Curious George.

Outfit of the day: black Columbia long-sleeve thermal tee and dark-wash skinny jeans which wasn't as monotone as it appears in this dimly-lit picture. Photobomb from Aden in the background rolling around on the floor eating an empty toilet paper roll. I swear the child has fifty age-appropriate toys and books strewn about my floor (trust me: I pick them up multiple times a day) but he prefers items of the more sophisticated variety.

Make-up and hair before / after. At least the bags under my eyes are less visible.

At some point, Tory moves down to the floor with Aden and begins reading a counting book. Aden seems to be ... playing with a computer cord. Gah. (video)

You know how children go through phases in development where they're super interested in a topic and seem to focus solely on mastering it? Lately, that's counting for Tory and we're ... working on accuracy.

7:41am: The party moves to the kitchen for breakfast. I give Tory the choice between waffles or toast to eat. She selects waffles at the very moment I discover we only have Aden's dairy-free frozen waffles left in the freezer. Then, Tory races out of the room so I plunk Aden in the high chair and follow Tory to the bathroom to help her. While we're there (don't the best conversations with children happen while waiting for them to use the bathroom?), Tory asks me if she can have three M&Ms, but not 10, because she'll get a stomach ache. I tell Tory "sure," she can have 3 M&Ms because I know she'll forgot the minute we leave the bathroom. While we wash hands, she asks me if she can wear a "beautiful dress" today. I ask, "Wouldn't you like to wear the pretty Halloween cat shirt and black skirt Nana sent you in the mail?" knowing there's only a few more days of October to wear the holiday clothing. Nope; Tory is insistent on wearing a dress.

My view from my perch on the side of the bathtub, more times than I'd like to count in a day.

7:50am: Tory and I return to the kitchen and I finish making breakfast. I make Tory's (dairy-free) waffles into pumpkin shapes using a cookie cutter in an attempt to hide the "these are not chocolate chip Eggo waffles" taste. I also add real butter and maple syrup. Tory's excited! Pumpkin shapes! One bite and ... blech! She spits it out on her plate. Luckily, I've anticipated his move and back-up slices of toast have just popped in the toaster. I butter toast for Tory and serve it with homemade cinnamon applesauce. I mix Cheerios into applesauce for Aden (which works in place of milk to soften them) and spread dairy-free butter on toast.  

8:10am: I hurry around the kitchen washing bottles, packing our things for preschool, filling water bottles for Tory and I, making myself a cup of coffee in the Keurig, cleaning up Aden and his breakfast mess, scrubbing the floor beneath the high chair and wiping down counter tops. I start the dishwasher and package the Crock-pot applesauce I made overnight into Ziploc freezer bags. 

8:20am: After the kitchen is clean, I herd Tory and Aden back to my bedroom to get them dressed. I bribe Tory with another television show if she'll wear the Halloween shirt and skirt in lieu of a dress of her choosing. She obliges. (Oh, bribery. Where would parents be without it?) I brush Tory's hair and pull it into a ponytail. As I'm getting her ready for the day, Tory randomly says, "Daddy and Aden have tails." Hmmm. Wondering if Tory's talking about what I think she's talking about, I respond "They do? Where?" "On their body," she replies. Ha. Hahahahaha. I wait for a follow-up question/comment, but it never comes so I leave the conversation in mid-air. For another day ... 

I leave Tory with an episode of Peg Plus Cat (hate that show) and carry Aden to his nursery. I change his diaper and dress him in a navy blue onesie and gray sweatpants. I care very little about what he's wearing today since he'll be crawling around on a germ-infested floor in Sibling Care at Tory's preschool all morning. I usually strip his clothes the minute we return home anyway. 

Little boy playing with sister's princess crown. Again with the playing with off-limits toys thing.

8:40am: While Tory remains pre-occupied, I make a bottle of formula for Aden in the kitchen. He tries to "help" by grabbing the scoops of powder while I dump them into the bottle opening. I carry him to the rocking chair in the living room to feed him. Aden eats so much better if he's not distracted by Tory playing around him so whenever possible, I try to sneak away and feed him alone. Aden drinks a few ounces, then pushes the bottle away to chat with me. (video)   

8:55am: Tory joins us in the living room and says she's still hungry. Typical. I grab her a Babybel cheese to eat in the car on the way to preschool while ushering everyone into the van. That's right. The VAN. This is my new ride for the next three weeks while my SUV is being repaired. I manually close the garage door (annoying; the luxuries of automatic remotes and modern conveniences) and pull out of the drive-way. Shoot! I think I forgot my coffee on the counter. 

9:12am: We drive to preschool. So far, no whining from Tory about not wanting to go to school. Tory and I play "I Spy" along the way. I love these little games we play together. We spot school yellow buses, red leaves on the trees, the blue sky and "something pink, purple and brown" (Tory's clue) ... not sure what she was referring to with that one.

9:20am: We pull into the preschool parking lot 10 minutes early, and are the first people in Tory's class to arrive. I like to be early so we have ample time to unload, walk in together, use the restroom, wash hands and drop Aden off in Sibling Care before Tory's 9:30am class begins. I set Aden down in the hallway to help Tory wash her hands at the community sink which is gross, I know, but I don't have enough hands to juggle both kids, the diaper bag, our coats and Tory's preschool bucket. He looks so cute patiently waiting for us to finish. 

Tory and I drop Aden off in his classroom and make our way down the hallway to hers. She greets her teacher, finds her name tag set out on the table and puts her bucket in its place on the counter. Tory wants to play "kitchen" so we do so, then we pretend to call Grandma Janie and Daddy on the play telephones. Next, Tory asks to read a storybook in the reading nook and I can feel her body tensing up as more children arrive into the classroom and free play time is ending. We read a few books while another girl in class, Amelia, joins us. 

Stealthy reading nook selfie.

9:45am: Music playing announces the beginning of Circle Time. I can feel Tory tense up and she clings to my leg. I encourage her to find a carpet square and let her know I'll be seated right behind her. She asks for me to retrieve Lambie out of her bucket across the room, so I go get it and bring it back to her. The class sings and dances, and Tory participates. Then, the parents are asked to leave for their classroom. Tory gives me five or six hugs and kisses. I tell her to snuggle Lambie if she's sad and that I'll be right back to pick her up. No tears! Today is off to a good start.

9:55am: I walk down the hallway with the other parents to our classroom. I glance in the diaper bag and see my coffee travel mug - YES! I remembered my morning coffee after all! We find our seats and begin by going around the room to share how we're feeling today. It's strangely reminiscent to a support group, which I suppose it is in a way. Half the parents use a negative word to describe how they're feeling today which is definitely a downer. It also makes me feel thankful for living the life I do -- being blessed with a smart, charismatic, hardworking husband; two beautiful, funny, endearing children, the good health of my family and friends, very little life drama (which seems to be a huge factor affecting other people's moods). I say I'm "thankful" for family after a wonderful fall weekend together, and Tory is "hopeful" as child / parent separation went more smoothly today. 

We discuss child temperament and ways to spin negative words into positive attributes. I use the word "clingy" from a provided list of words to describe Tory which translates to her being "sensitive." I wouldn't describe Tory as being sensitive, but I don't draw attention to the point. I've often learned the teacher will hone in on a person who speaks in an effort to generate class dialogue and since it's not a topic for which I wish to be the center of attention, I stay quiet. 

11:00am: At some point, I'm paged by Sibling Care to go change Aden's diaper. I walk down the hallway to his classroom to get him. Aden's teacher says he is so smiley today and in a great mood. If I had a quarter for every time someone said how smiley Aden is, I'd be rich. I love this quality about my boy! I change Aden's diaper in the bathroom and return him to his class. 

11:20am: The parent session is over, so I go to Aden's class to retrieve him. Then we walk down the hallway to Tory's classroom. Her teacher waits outside the door to recap the children's day, and touches my arm at the end to say, "Tory did fantastic. No crying today!" Yay! She reminds everyone there's no class Thursday due to conferences and I'm secretly happy to have a bonus free morning at home with Tory and Aden this week. 

11:40am: Together, we walk down the hallway to wash our hands before leaving the building. Despite all the hand washing and daily care, Aden still catches every germ in that place. I suppose it's inevitable seeing how he puts everything in his mouth these days. 

Noon: We arrive home. I'm starving! First though, I hurry to get the kids something to eat for lunch. I set Aden in the high chair and make him green beans with mandarin orange slices. Tory requests a butter and jelly "heart sandwich" made with a cookie-cutter shape, and I also give her some mandarin orange slices and a scoop of cottage cheese. I reheat some leftover chili from the weekend for me and eat while helping Aden corral food on his tray. I also jot down a few notes from the morning on my computer.

12:32pm: The kids are hungry, too, and pretty much finish everything on their plates. It's unusually quiet for a minute or two while everyone eats their meals. 

12:45pm: I clean up the lunch mess, wash bottles and wipe the kitchen counter tops clean while Aden plays by himself in our sparsely-furnished living room. Andi and I are on a decorating spree. Last weekend, we moved our used-to-be-in-the-living-room leather sofa set to the cabin and bought new furniture for our living room here. It is being delivered on Wednesday, so in the meantime we have some empty space. 

Where is Tory?

Whining at my feet, as per usual. 

1:00pm: I make Aden a bottle of formula and gather everyone onto the three-season porch to read books before nap time. It is a gorgeous fall day today, and I want to soak up every second we can sitting on our porch before the weather is too cold to be here. Tory steals my iPhone and snaps a picture of me feeding Aden a bottle.

Then, we curl up together and read a few Halloween-themed storybooks.

1:15pm: I lay Aden down in his crip for nap time. Then, I read Tory a few more books while she lays in her bed. Aden is really starting to like books, but his attention span isn't long so sometimes it's easier to put him to bed and give Tory some one-on-one reading attention. After I read three more books to Tory, I turn off the light and tell her I'll check on her three times. This is some OCD thing Tory's got going on right now where she requests we check on her three times before she'll agree to go to sleep. Whatever. Sure beats sitting on a little stool beside her bed until she falls asleep like we used to do. Before I leave the room, I also let Tory know Terri the babysitter will be here when she wakes up, but that I'll be back home shortly afterwards.

1:45pm: I've got a new babysitter coming over this afternoon for a "trial run" before she babysits Aden on Saturday. Terri babysits for a friend of mine and she used to watch my kids during swimming lessons this summer, but has never been to my house before. 

The kids are asleep so before she arrives I make my bed, pick up toys in the living room and wash the rest of the dishes. I like for my house to be tidy when we have a babysitter so they know the condition I'd like it to be in when I return home. There's nothing worse than returning home from a few hours of recharge to find my house in shambles.

1:50pm: The babysitter arrives. She's early - nice! - and also quite chatty! I attempt to show her where things are in the house during conversation, and finally scoot out the door to run errands nearly 60 minutes later. Tory is going through a mad case of separation anxiety right now, so I want to leave before she wakes up from her nap to avoid a huge meltdown.

3:00pm: First stop, Charming Charlie to find a necklace for the dress I'm wearing to my sister-in-law Lindsay's wedding on Saturday. I've never been into this store before, and it's amazing! There's accessories coordinated by color for every occasion. Perfect. And, the best part - it's costume jewelry at cheap price points I can get behind. I buy a purple jeweled necklace with matching earrings and a black sequin clutch. 

3:15pm: Then, I stop at DSW for a pair of heels. It's conveniently located next door to Charming Charlie. I hate the idea of spending money on high heels I'll hardly wear, so I find a pair of black pumps in the clearance section for 40% off. These are comfortable (well, as much as they can be) and stylish. Good enough. 

3:45pm: I'm not sure how long Terri has agreed to babysit since today was basically a "meet and greet" in preparation for Saturday, and we'd already spent an hour of time talking. I decide to head home to spend the afternoon with my kids because it's a gorgeous day outside and I'd rather take them to the park than run errands anyway. Andi is working late tonight, so I stop by Papa Murphy's on the way home to grab a pizza for dinner. Pizza is an easy thing for Tory and I to eat on the nights Andi isn't home for dinner. Plus, leftovers for days. It's a win-win. 

4:00pm: I arrive home and greet Terri reading books to Tory on the three-season porch. One glance at Tory and I can see she's been crying. Awww. Poor girl! This separation anxiety thing is so hard on us both. I chat with Terri for a few minutes, then pay her and she leaves. 

4:15pm: I hear Aden waking up from his nap so I retrieve him from his crib, change his diaper and get him ready for a walk outdoors. I get Tory's shoes on, too, and print out a nature scavenger hunt for us to complete together during our walk around the neighborhood. Tory is really excited about these scavenger hunts lately. I get everyone loaded into the double stroller and we set out for the park. 

4:30pm: The weather is beautiful today! We walk and Tory and I talk while we complete the nature scavenger hunt. Tory finds a dandelion along the way and blows on it, but won't tell me what she's wished for. I plead for her to tell me her wish (even though it's against The Official Rules of Wishing ... but she doesn't know that) and she finally says, "I wish we could go the park everyday."

At the park we play "restaurant." Tory says I can order 10 things to eat but not 100. She asks for Aden to be pushed into her "kitchen" under the play structure so he can help her bake. Cutest little chefs I've ever seen. 

5:00pm: More park play on the swings and slides. We "drive to Nebraska" on the play steering wheels and pretend the red plastic tube connecting the slide structures is an airplane taking us to Nana and Papa's house. Tory says, "Can I get into the tunnel with you, little Chico?" It's so random and awesome the way Tory uses Spanish words interchangeably in everyday conversation. They go down the littlest slide together (with my assistance) and Aden's not sure what to think about it. Ha!

5:15pm: We leave the park and head for home. Tory's whining she doesn't want to leave, so we collect leaves along the walk home as a distraction. I'd have loved to stay and play, too, but I know Aden will melt down shortly if he isn't fed dinner. 

5:30pm: We arrive home and get the mail. I carry everyone inside and set Tory up with a leaf rubbing activity at her kids table so I can make dinner. First, I give Aden peas with applesauce on his highchair tray. He inhales his food while I throw the pizza into the oven. While it bakes, I show Tory how to rub a crayon over leaves sandwiched between two pieces of paper. She is less than impressed, and I'm left wondering why some crafts and activities are such a hit with her while others are less than stellar. I thought this one would surely be a winner.


5:50pm: The pizza's done, so I cute up pieces for Tory and toss a few blueberries on her plate. I clean up Aden's dinner mess and place him on the living room floor with toys while I shovel pizza into my mouth at the table. Andi calls and says he'll be home earlier tonight than anticipated. I apologize for getting pizza (his least favorite) since I thought he wouldn't be home until late.

6:00pm: Tory is still eating dinner, so I gather up Aden's pajamas, lotions and a nighttime diaper from his nursery and bring them into the bathroom. I retrieve Aden from the living room and put him in the bathtub. I don't think he's ever had a bath by himself before, at least not since he was a newborn. He looks so tiny sitting there by himself and yet, so grown up at the same time. 

He plays for a bit by himself before Tory joins us in the bathroom and asks to take a bath, too. I undress her and she hops into the tub with Aden. I love watching these two engage with each other so much. The sibling love they share is so strong; I hope it remains like this forever.

My iPhone battery dies while I'm sitting on the floor of the bathroom watching them play together. No more Day in the Life pictures tonight!

6:30pm: I wash up Aden and pull him out of the tub, drain it and refill with fresh water and bubble bath for Tory to continue bathing. She happily swims around in the open space and plays with her bath toys. As I'm towel-drying Aden, he starts to fuss and I know he's getting tired. I warm up a bottle for him, even though it's an hour before his usual bedtime, because he won't hold it together much longer without it. I feed and rock him in the living room. Half-way through eating, he pushes the bottle away from his mouth and reaches for a storybook on the tray table beside us. We read Honk, Honk, Goodnight Moon and Dinosaurs Everywhere. After books, Aden finishes the remainder of his bottle.

Suddenly, there's a knock at the door and I think it might be Andi locked out (??) or using the front door for some reason? I answer the door and it's a young girl going door-to-door collecting signatures for MPIRG. We get so many solicitations at this house - it's crazy. Crazy annoying, is what it is. I'm half-tempted to get one of those "No Solicitations" signs for our front door. I sign the girl's piece of paper about lobbying for wind energy or something ... and decline her request for donations. Lady, I barely have enough cash on hand most days; the heck if I'm going to fork it over to you!

6:45pm: Tory's still playing in the bathtub so I go to get her toweled off and dressed in pajamas for the night. I clean out the bathtub, brush her hair and teeth and keep Aden for pulling up on the toilet.

7:00pm: I put Aden to bed, slightly earlier than normal. His usual bedtime is 7:30pm, but he is exhausted and cranky and ready to go to sleep. I never did get to washing his Sleep Sack today, so he has to wear an old pink one of Tory's reserved in his closet for such occasions. Poor baby boy. Good thing he can't bock about colors / clothing just yet.

7:15pm: Tory asks for one television show before bedtime and I allow it. I set her up with a yogurt tube and a Dora episode while I throw in a load of laundry downstairs. See, I did get to washing Aden's Sleep Sack ... just not before bedtime.

7:45pm: Tory's cartoon is over, so I shut off the television and we read bedtime stories. Tonight she chooses Pumpkin Trouble, Pippa the Pumpkin Fairy and 10 Little Pumpkins. Andi comes home from work while we're laying in bed reading books. That's a 14-hour work day for him which is, sadly, quite average. I don't know how he does it.

8:00pm: I carry Tory down the hallway to use the restroom before bedtime, then read one more story in her bed before light's out. She request I leave a few books in bed with her so she can read while she falls asleep.

Andi is eating Chinese take-out in the kitchen. The smell is wafting down the hallway. His favorite food. My ... least favorite food. Though, I'm not complaining because I didn't cook a meal tonight.

8:15pm: Andi takes a quick shower and lays out his clothes for tomorrow. He has a 6:00am flight to NYC tomorrow for work meetings. I type up the last few Day in the Life notes on my computer.

8:30pm: Andi comes to bed and we watch Big Bang Theory together. I look over and Andi's asleep half-way through the episode. Can't blame the guy! He must be exhausted. I shut the TV off and read my current book, Landline, on my iPhone Kindle app.

9:00pm: The last time I glance at the clock, it's 9:00pm. I must've fallen asleep reading because the next thing I hear is Tory crying out from her bedroom at 11:00pm. 


  1. Love reading these! And yes, Andi has a long work day, but your day is SO LONG too! Wow. At least you got a couple hours of a break while you had a babysitter over but that's a lot of time being ON by yourself. Good job, Mama!

  2. The 'No Soliciting' sign is so worth it! Our first one blended in too much with our door and was often missed, so if you are thinking of one I would recommend one that stands out a little - may not be as great for curb appeal, but will save your sanity.

  3. I swear every time I read these it just makes me tired for you...well, all moms actually. Damn, regardless of working or SAHM, this stuff is tough work. Totally amazing, but really tough as well.

  4. Tails - hahahahahaha!!!! Oh boy. I'm SHOCKED we haven't had a conversation about this at our house yet.
    Good tip on the cheerios and applesauce. Perhaps a slightly less messy way to have W eat cereal….slightly ;)
    Glad to hear that Tory is doing better at preschool. I wasn't sure if you guys decided to stick it out or not. 3 can be a tough age for kids. They say 2 is the worst, but Adelle gave me the most trouble after she turned 3. Luckily it seemed to be short lived, but she was all threenager for a while there!
    Thanks for sharing your day :)

  5. I just recently thought to tell the girls that darkness equals night, and it has been amazing! Especially since it's not light until after 7 right now. I'm taking advantage of the extra sleep as long as I can get it!

    Charming Charlie is fun for cheap jewelry with so many choices. I've only been once, but I'm thinking I might have to go back before Christmas to get some necklaces for parties and maybe some fun jewelry for my big girls. They're really in to jewelry right now.

  6. Tails!

    And we get so much soliciting over here, too. It's really creepy during the day. Go away random door knocking creepers!