Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day In The Life: Spring 2016

The day I selected to document is Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Andi & I are both 35 years old 
Tory is 4 years, 7 months
Aden is 2 years, 5 months 

6:00am: I hear footsteps coming down the hallway, then see a little blond head pop up over the end of the bed. It's Aden, and he says good morning as he climbs into bed with Andi and I. As we lay there and wake-up slowly together, Aden serenades us with toddler renditions of Itsy Bitsy Spider and ABC's in his cute little voice.

The sirens sound outside and Andi and I wonder what's going on. Six o'clock in the morning is an odd time of the day for a tornado drill, we say to one another. The thought of a national emergency crosses our minds and Andi turns on the morning news for info. A quick check of Twitter tells me it's National Severe Weather Week so I think that might be it, but then I see a post on Facebook announcing a false alarm set off by Hennepin County. Ah, well, now we know.

6:15am: Tory wakes up and crawls into bed with Andi, Aden and I. She happily gives everyone a morning hug, and tells us she woke up earlier when Aden was calling for her from his bedroom. "I closed my eyes for a little longer once the shouting stopped," she says. 

Andi gets out of bed to shower and the kids watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in our bedroom while I lay beside them and check Instagram on my iPhone. I remember I want to document a Day In The Life today, so I hop out of bed and retrieve my big camera from the desk in the kitchen.

6:30am: Aden notices Andi is getting ready for work and starts to cry. "Daddy! Where my socks? Where my shoes?" he demands in a panic, thinking he'll get dressed and leave for work with Andi. Since moving to our condo earlier this month, we've had the chance to see Andi more often throughout the day which is fantastic and one of the major reasons we decided to move closer to his office. Andi leaves later in the mornings now and last week, he even came home for lunch a few times. It's confusing for Aden, however, because it's more parent separation than he was used to. Before, Andi left before the kids woke in the morning and typically wasn't home until bedtime. More time with Andi is a good thing -- a great thing, actually -- it'll just take some time for Aden to adjust to our new normal.

The crying escalates into a full-on meltdown when Andi walks to the kitchen to grab breakfast to-go. He kisses both kids good-bye, puts on his shoes and walks out the back door.

Aden is now crying so hard he's nearly hyperventilating. I wait a few minutes to see if he'll calm down on his own while I pull out the makings for breakfast, but he continues to scream. I carry him downstairs to his bedroom and sit on the floor with him in my arms until his panicked cries turn to sniffles. It's the only thing that seems to help snap him out of these tantrums lately. Secretly, I also hope it puts enough distance between the crying and the neighbors living above us.

7:00am: Aden finally calms down so I carry him back upstairs for breakfast. I find Tory in the kitchen filling up her water bottle from the refrigerator spigot and see she's set out plates, silverware and napkins for breakfast. Goodness, I love her so much. I give Tory a great big squeeze and thank her for being such a sweet girl. Age Four is seriously the best! (For the record, Age Two is definitely not.)

One of my favorite features in our new place -- a filtered water spigot inside the refrigerator! Anyone who knows me, knows I drink a lot of water throughout the day and this is so nice and convenient. 

7:30am: I take orders for breakfast. Aden is half-crying / half-whining while he sits on the counter next to me. "No! Don't like that! I want chicken," he demands. I am making his beloved chicken sausage, but apparently not moving fast enough.

During the cooking scramble, I burn the frozen waffles in the toaster. I guess I didn't realize the slider was pushed all the way up to level nine. Into the trash they go and I start again. Meanwhile, I heat up the overnight oats I made earlier in the week for me to eat -- rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, peanut butter and fruit -- ready to eat in 60 seconds.

8:00am: I turn Doc McStuffins on the T.V. and buckle Aden into his booster seat hoping he'll actually eat this meal. Getting him to sit at the table has been a challenge since moving him out of a high chair. Aden was also sick over the weekend and hasn't had much of an appetite, so I hope he eats something this morning.

I text back and forth with Allison, our past nanny-turned-friend, about the overnight oats recipe I'm eating. We both take part in the same fitness group and it's nice having someone else in my life who's as interested in discussing oatmeal as I am. Ha!

8:15am: I chug my coffee and get crackin' on the rest of my morning chores. I clean up the breakfast mess, unload the dishwasher and re-load it with dirty breakfast dishes, feed the dog and let her outdoors to go to the bathroom, make everyone's beds and get Aden and I dressed for the day.

The condo building next door is currently being constructed, so this is the view outside our patio door.

Tory emerges from her downstairs bedroom wearing her favorite self-assembled outfit -- a white floral dress, blue floral leggings of a different pattern and striped pink socks. If this outfit is clean, she chooses to wear it -- no question. Today, Tory adds a jean jacket on top of her short-sleeve dress, and I tell her it's going to be a chilly day so she may want to wear something warmer. "I'll be fine, Mom," she reassures me.

Meanwhile, I hear Aden phoning Andi from the hallway. "Hello, Daddy? Helloooo!" I look over and see he's talking into a door stopper. Ha! I text the picture to Andi hoping he won't feel so bad about leaving a crying Aden this morning.

8:30am: I head to the bathroom to do my hair and make-up, and marvel over the pretty surroundings. We've lived in this condo for a week and a half now, and I still feel like a guest in a fancy hotel. I love it! Tory and Aden are in the bathroom with me, and I listen to Tory hugging Aden saying, "I love you, Buddy Baby, I love you, I love you."

8:45am: I throw a load of laundry into the washer located in the hallway closet (another feature I love about our new place - having laundry so close in the main living space) and pull together the things we need for ECFE preschool today -- the kids' school buckets, Tory's favorite Lambie stuffed animal, Aden's favorite blue blanket, water bottles and snacks for everyone, and my purse. The kids are laying on the coffee table in the living room watching television. Then, Tory takes my picture while I get Aden's shoes on. I catch sight of a big fork-lift passing by the kitchen window and say to the kids, "You don't see that everyday." "Actually, ya do," Tory responds. 

8:50am: Tory, Aden and I head out the door for school. I still forget we're living in a shared space until I open the door to the lobby area. I corral the kids into the attached garage and buckle them into their car seats. We're on our way a few minutes later, sit at the world's longest stoplight down the road, then make the 20 minute drive to preschool. Aden's fussing from the backseat at the mention of school (more separation anxiety), so I quietly whisper to Tory not to talk about school anymore until we get there.

9:15am: We arrive at school a few minutes early, so I unbuckle the kids from the seats and let them crawl around in the car while I record a few Day In The Life notes on my phone. Shortly after, we head into the school building. Aden seems happy to be here now, and I hope he doesn't cry when I leave him in the "Sibling Care" daycare room. No dice -- he throws a huge fit when I leave him, but I check back in a few minutes and watch him contently playing with playdoh at a table with a few other students and a teacher.

9:30am: Tory and I walk down the hallway to her classroom and she's excited to see her school friends. I tell a few of the mothers and Tory's teacher, Ms. Janna, I'm making an "Old House, New House" book for Tory and that's why I brought my big camera to class today. It is true, but it's also a good cover for taking Day In The Life photos!

9:45am: During craft time, Tory makes a bird feeder using a paper towel roll, string, Crisco shortening and bird seed with some assistance from her teacher. Then, we move on to playing "grocery store" at the Imaginative Play station. I'm a little sad to see this school year come to an end because Tory's really grown fond of Ms. Janna in the past two years. Definitely not looking forward to starting a new school year with new teachers in a new school district next fall.

10:00am: Now it's Circle Time, so all the kids and parents sit together on the carpet and sing the Welcome Song. This is such a special time with Tory every Tuesday, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share the preschool experience with her. A few minutes later, the parents leave the room and head to another classroom for the parent education portion of the morning. The parents spend most of our class time listening and giving advice to one of the mom's struggling with a family issue.

11:20am: I pick up Aden from the Sibling Care room and he's happy to see me. "I play trucks!" he tells me, excitedly. "I play playdoh! I eat snack! Let's go get Tory!" I know he enjoys himself at school, so I wish he wouldn't cry every Tuesday when I drop him off there. It's hard on my mommy heart!

Aden and I walk down the hallway together to pick up Tory from her classroom. Ms. Janna greets the parents in the hallway and gives us a quick recap of the kids' morning. As the three of us walk out of the school building to our car, Tory tells me "So, Sam was the leader.... we had Cheerio's for a snack ... I worked on my letters with Ms. Janna." We pile into the car, buckle our seat belts and head home for lunch.

11:45am: I have the hardest time convincing Aden to get out of the car once we're parked in the condo garage. Every time I try to grab him, he moves to another hard-to-reach spot in the car just outside my reach. It's smelly in here, thanks to four full garbage cans (trash day is tomorrow), and I'm getting frustrated. Finally, I get him inside the lobby where he refuses to walk inside the back door of our condo. Come on, Aden! My arms are full and he's screaming, "No! Shoes on!" as I try to shuffle him inside and take off his coat.

Noon: Tory lets Chloe out of her kennel downstairs, and I take the dog outside to use the bathroom. She goes, so I reward her with a treat. Well, Aden technically gives Chloe the treat and it's enough distraction to stop his whining ... for now.

12:15pm: I pull out all the supplies for lunch and set them on the counter. "I'm so hungry!" Tory demands, and I reassure her I'm moving as quickly as I can. She'd like a black bean and cheese quesadilla, so I cook that on the stove-top while I make Aden chicken fries and green beans. They both get milk and watermelon.

12:15pm: Once the kids have their food, I make a chicken gyro salad for myself. I top romaine lettuce with sliced red bell peppers, feta, cucumber, add some rotisserie chicken that I made in the slow cooker on Sunday, and use homemade tzaziki sauce as dressing.  

12:30pm: There's a knock at the back door while we're eating lunch, and it's Eric the property handyman. He's come over to install the kitchen sink soap dispenser. We chat for a bit about the door locks (we need to have them replaced because Aden can easily open the doors to escape!) and Eric asks me if there's anything else I can think of that needs to be fixed in our place. I kind of like having my own personal handyman to tackle my honey-do list! I take a stealth iPhone photo while Eric's busy installing the soap dispenser under the sink. 

1:00pm: I clean up the lunch mess and load the dishwasher while Aden and Tory wrestle each other in the living room. Soon enough, I hear Tory yelling for me and find Aden standing on top of her. So it begins! The kids ask for a treat since they ate all of their food at lunch, so I give them each a piece of chocolate. I have one myself, too, because - duh.

I tell Aden to join me downstairs for books before nap time. Tory follows us downstairs to play Barbies while I put Aden to sleep. As much of a handful as Aden is these days, I am thankful he sleeps so well. He doesn't give me any trouble at nap time. We read three stories, I kiss his forehead and tell him good-night. He's asleep within minutes.

Whenever Aden sees an animal in a book he says, "Poop!" I have no idea where that came from, but I'm blaming Andi. Ha!

1:30pm: Tory and I head upstairs to spend some quality time together. She picks out a Frozen Look + Find book from the craft drawer and I mix myself a pre-workout drink to have while we play. I also take a minute to check into my fitness group on Facebook and post my daily meal plan. The encouragement and support this group has given me the last six months is incredible. I feel like a stronger, more confident person thanks to these ladies!

I posted about this on Instagram earlier this week, but it's worth mentioning again. This built-in desk area in the kitchen is one of my favorite places in our new condo. It's perfect for playing games or doing arts + crafts with Tory in the afternoons. I love that we can sit right next to each other at a flat working surface. Or if I ever have a minute to myself, I like to sit there with a cup of coffee and my computer. It's perfect!

2:00pm: After we finish the Look + Find book, I tell Tory I'm going to workout and ask her if she'd rather sit downstairs with me or watch a show in my bedroom. She wants to watch the movie Frozen with a snack, so I lift her up on the kitchen counter and let her pick something out. Tory wants hot chocolate and Lucky Charms for a snack, so I get those ready for her and set up the show in my bedroom.

2:15pm: I started a new workout program this week called Master's Hammer + Chisel and it's super challenging! I have to put my eyeballs back into my head a few times and rewind the workout to figure out exactly what I'm suppose to be doing. Today's workout is called Hammer Plyometics and later when I Google "what type of exercise is plyometics?" I find out it's "jump training" by exerting maximum force in short intervals of time. Yep, that about sums it up!

2:45pm: After I finish my workout, I head upstairs to take a shower. Tory asks if she can take a shower, too, but doesn't want to wash her hair. "Can I wear that thing on my head?" she asks, and digs out my shower cap from underneath the bathroom sink. She looks so stinkin' cute I have to snap her picture. We have a good laugh together.   

Tory wants to take a picture of me, so I let her. The camera body is heavy, and she's having a hard time holding it up to her face. Next lesson, how to hold down the button to focus.

3:30pm: I hear Aden waking up downstairs while I'm in the kitchen making a protein shake. I retrieve him from his bedroom and change his diaper. The boy is cranky! Tory and I try to distract him by making Cheerio bars in the kitchen together. Aden wants nothing of it, and cries for me to hold him the entire time. The mixture is 3 cups of Honey Nut Cheerios, 1/2 cup honey and 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Tory is having fun ... until she burns her hand pressing the gooey mixture down into the pan with a spatula. It's nothing serious, but now both kids are crying for me to hold them. Onto the next activity!

Always a mess when cooking with kids!

4:00pm: Tory gets out the Minnie Mouse matching game and we set it up on the kitchen desk. I get Aden some Dot Art markers and a workbook to play with beside us. It's fun while their attention spans hold. I've got tunes playing in the background (Country Coffeehouse on Spotify), and we've got nowhere to be but with each other. Life is good.

5:00pm: The kids are over QT with their mama, and ask for a cartoon in my bedroom. I turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for them and steal a few minutes for myself at the kitchen desk with my computer. Andi started ordering fresh-prepared Paleo meals from a local company called Origin a few months ago, and it's such a lifesaver during this typical witching hour of the day. Instead of prepping dinner for tonight, I'm able to spend the late afternoon hours with my kids. Such an awesome luxury!

5:30pm: Andi arrives home from work, and the kids swarm to him like bees on honey. He suggests we walk to the shops across the street for some, um, liquor replenishment so everyone puts on their shoes and coats. Aden manages to pull on his own shoes and we all clap for his accomplishment.

6:00pm: Andi and I haul out the trash cans on our way out the door while the kids are running around us like crazy maniacs. A wine bottle falls out of the overflowing recycling bin and breaks into a million pieces on the garage floor. "Everyone onto the drive-way!" Andi shouts to the kids while he and I work to sweep up the mess.

To the shops we go on this very chilly spring afternoon. Andi and the kids race down the strip mall sidewalk to the liquor store. When we arrive, there's a sign on the door that says the store is closed until Friday for remodeling. Darn! Instead, we wander inside the nearby furniture and sports stores but don't buy anything.

6:30pm: Our little crew walks back home together. I start to make dinner for the kids while Andi pours us each something to drink. Cheers to making it through another day! He warms up our Origin Meals on the stove-top, and we all sit down for dinner at the table. This is exactly why we made the move closer to Andi's office -- it's so awesome having dinner together as a family!

6:45pm: Andi and I are having a conversation over dinner when all of a sudden Aden begins to projectile vomit all over himself, his plate and the dining room table. Oh, geez! It's like something out of a movie; it just keeps coming. "What can I do?" Andi asks, and I direct him to grab some paper towels. I take Aden and clean him up while Andi tackles the vomit mess. Oddly, Aden doesn't seem phased and asks for more food once he's all cleaned up. I'm not sure if it's lingering sickness from the weekend, or if he ate too quickly? Whatever it is, I pour out the remainder of my glass of wine because I'm sure I have a long night ahead.

My cell phone is sitting on the kitchen counter, and Andi notices my sister is calling me. I answer it, and she frantically asks me why I haven't been answering my phone for the last two hours. We were having dinner I tell her, and also because I had my hands full with Aden. Ashley tells me my dad is in the hospital. He fell down some stairs earlier in the evening and broke his collarbone. Luckily, he's okay and is at home resting now. As is always the case in these situations, I feel terrible I'm not there with my family. Ashley tells me she'll call later with more info. 

7:00pm: I throw together another batch of overnight oats for Andi since he liked them so much at breakfast. So simple! To make, layer from bottom to top: 1/3 cup rolled oats, dash of cinnamon, pinch of chia seeds, 1 tsp. peanut butter, 1/3 cup almond milk, then top with 1 cup raspberries and diced apples (or any fruit of your choice). Keep in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

7:30pm: Andi asks me which kid I'd like to put to sleep, and I choose Tory. We read three books in her bed, then I kiss her good-night and turn on her lullaby music. Meanwhile, Andi does the same routine with Aden in his bedroom.

8:00pm: Kids are in bed and Andi and I settle onto the living room sofa to watch a few minutes of television. He turns on The Mindy Project and we half-watch it / half-talk about our days.

9:00pm: We turn in for the night and Andi's asleep a few minutes later. I lay in bed and read a book for a while on my iPhone Kindle app before falling asleep myself. The End.


  1. Gotta love the random puking! Sounds like Aden recovered quickly though. Hope your dad is feeling okay.

  2. I hope Aden adjusts to the change soon – it’s got to be hard on the little guy. And, I loved when we finally got to age 4. It was like something totally changed and I suddenly had a (mostly) cooperative little helper. Huge bummer on the puking incident too!

    It must be so nice being in a place that’s new. I’ve always loved fixer uppers, but am kind of over them at this stage of my life.

    I hope your dad is recovering well! I had a family emergency a few years ago and wasn’t near my phone so I’m now a little scared to not have it by my side all the time.

  3. Your new place looks very nice! We're hoping to relocate and even though the kids are little, the thought of switching preschools/day cares always makes me a bit anxious/sad.

    Ha ha, I have an almost 4 year old and a 2 year old, and it's amazing how they change when they hit 2. Granted, while my 4 year old son is so self-sufficient, he can sometimes be more fussy than my 2 year old daughter. Maybe it's a boy thing. ;)

    (Stopping by via the linkup)

  4. Projectile vomit on DITL day (or any day!) - yuck! Seems he was ok though? Your new condo is gorgeous!

  5. Your son sounds a lot like my three year old. Still waiting for him to grow out of that strong willed, stubborn, tantrum-y stage but no signs of that happening anytime soon.

    Lovely condo! I spent a lot of time admiring how clean and organized your fridge was too! :)