Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day In The Life: Spring 2017

Time for another Day In The Life post. Thanks to Julia at My Life in Transition for hosting.

The day I selected to document is Monday, April 10.

Andi and I are both 36 years old
Tory is 5 years, 7 months old
Aden is 3 years, 4 months
Chloe (the dog) is 12 years old

4:59am: I wake up to the faint sound of Aden crying in his bedroom. Sound familiar? If it feels like most of my Day In The Life posts start this way, it's because they do. This morning, Aden's early morning wake-up is precisely one minute before my Fitbit alarm is set to vibrate on my wrist. Sigh, I suppose it's time to get up anyway.

As I fumble downstairs in the dark to retrieve Aden, I recall the dream I was in the middle of and it makes me LOL: I was carrying a black collapsible cooler bag with a built-in sewing machine. I have no idea why I'd need such a thing, and I guess it'll remain one of life's mysteries ...

5:05am: Andi's awake now, so the three of us snuggle together in our bed for a few minutes. Limbs are draped over one another as Aden's lovingly strokes my chest. Ten seconds later, he requests milk and an applesauce pouch - aaaand, the moment of sweetness has passed. Happy Monday!

5:10am: I get up and retrieve Aden's milk and applesauce from the kitchen while Andi lays with Aden and starts Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV. I let Chloe outside to potty and I pull on my workout clothes that I'd laid out the night before on the desk. Slam my pre-workout drink and head to the basement to push play.

Loving the new Lululemon razorback tank I bought with my birthday gift card!

5:30am: Downstairs, I toss Ken and some Barbie cars toward the doll house, and give myself a quick motivation pep-talk. "You have the power and the passion to achieve anything," I tell myself. Last week, I started a new workout program called Insanity Max:30 and I know today's Cardio Challenge is going to be tough, but I also know it's worth it to push outside my comfort zone. I can do this!

5:50am: Out of the corner of my eye, I see Aden coming down the stairs and he looks unhappy. I realize Andi must've left for work, so I pull out an earbud and ask Aden what he needs. "Wahhhh!" is basically the response he gives. The point of Insanity Max:30 is to push yourself to your limit -- don't stop until you can't possibly go another second -- and that's your "max-out" time. Aden could care less about my ability to keep going because he's rolling around at my feet, trying to grab my legs as I'm jumping up and down. Bah! I finally stop and ask him what he needs in a breathless, not-so-sweet voice. I pause my workout, carry Aden back upstairs, and get him set-up with another show in my bedroom. Then, I hurry back downstairs and finish the last 10 minutes of my workout.

6:30am: Workout's done, and I take a few minutes to check in with my fitness accountability group and log my meal plan for the day.

6:45am: I make myself Shakeology in the blender - today I'm having Chocolate with frozen spinach and raspberries - and wrap up some homemade granola bars I made last night while my shake blends. Here's a tip: I portion one cup of spinach into snack-size baggies for my shakes. After I've used one, I put the empty baggie back in freezer and refill them every Sunday for the week ahead. Easy way to sneak some veggies into my day!

7:00am: Hop in the shower with my shake in hand (Monday morning multi-tasking at its finest!) while Aden plays with a cup in the bathroom sink. I get out of the shower, get dressed and help Aden go the bathroom and brush his teeth. I always want to remember these fuzzy Mickey Mouse jammies Aden wears to bed almost every night.

7:20am: I ask Aden to go downstairs to wake up Tory, and he runs off. Meanwhile, I finish getting myself dressed and then go to the kitchen to start breakfast for the kids.

7:35am: I realize Aden never came back upstairs with Tory, so I go downstairs myself to see what they're doing. Both Tory and Aden are playing in her bedroom and I urge her to get dressed quickly. For the first time in his life, Aden decides to have an opinion about his clothes. He picks a red waffle tee and blue corduroys.

7:50am: The kids will have to eat breakfast in the car this morning because we're going to be late. I brush Tory's hair and teeth, and rush them both to put on their socks and shoes. Like usual, Aden decides running away from me is a better idea. I finally back him into a corner and carry him to the door while he cackles with laughter. "Wait! I made this for you yesterday," Tory says, pulling cloud art from her backpack.

8:05am: On our way to school, phew! We're not running too far behind, thankfully. "Can we go there in a few days?" Aden points to a random building as we drive by.

8:20am: We pull into the parking lot at Tory's school, and I help the kids get their coats on before we exit the car. Tory's still eating her granola bar as we wait in the lobby for her teacher to greet us. It's complete chaos as parents and kids rush into the school, others wait in the lobby with our group, and a pile of children's items for sale take up precious real estate standing space on the carpet. "Good-bye Tory! Have good day!" Aden shouts to Tory as she eventually walks off with her teacher and we head back to our car.

8:45am: Every Monday morning, Aden and I drive to a local gym to pick up the fresh-prepared meals we purchase for dinners each week. As we pull into the parking lot today, Aden shouts "I have to go potty!" with panic in his voice. The gym where we pick up the meals is in the same parking lot as Andi's office, so I go there instead to take Aden to the bathroom. I'm sure the small gym has a bathroom somewhere, but it's a battle keeping Aden off the workout machines the way it is without leading his little wrecking-ball body throughout the entire place.

I remind Aden we aren't there to see Daddy - we're just stopping to go to the bathroom and leaving. "Please I have red chips, too? OK!" Aden says excitedly. Favorite part about visiting Daddy's office, for sure. (Sorry Andi) I feel some Mom Guilt about letting Aden eat Doritos at 9:00am, but saying 'no' would lead to an epic meltdown I don't feel like tackling this morning. 

9:00am: When we walk in the front door, Aden beelines straight to the kitchen so I give him a friendly reminder about using the bathroom. "Oh, yeah!" he says with a laugh. This new potty training a boy experience has me up-close-and-personal with toilet lids and I have to say -- ewww. 

9:15am: We make a quick pit-stop by the kitchen to grab a bag of "red chips" and walk down the hallway to Andi's office, but the door is closed. I decide not to knock since Andi wasn't expecting us and I don't want to interrupt, so I usher Aden toward the door and we leave.

Across the parking lot, I run into the gym to grab my pre-made Paleo meals. On the menu this week is: pineapple ham, chicken alfredo, and chicken and cauliflower hash. They could very well serve dog food and I'd probably eat it because that meal service is just so darn easy.

9:30am: Back at home, I unload the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry. Andi texts me and asks me to stuff some paper towels in his wet tennis shoes laying out to dry on the patio, so I do as he requests.

10:45am: After my morning chores are done, it's snack time. Today I'm having apple cinnamon quinoa with almonds which I'm really digging lately. I measure 1/2 cup cooked quinoa in a bowl, sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top, and warm it up for a minute in the microwave. Meanwhile, I chop up an apple and share some with Aden who's standing beside me on a chair. I add the remainder of the chopped apple to the warmed quinoa and sprinkle sliced almonds on top. YUM!

9:53am: This is my favorite part of the morning. I sit down for a minute at my desk in the kitchen to work on my computer and eat my quinoa. My legs are exhausted and it's only 10 o'clock in the morning. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Aden is quietly sitting at the table watching Daniel Tiger and eating apple slices.

10:15am: Aden uses the bathroom and I grin over his little boy underwear. I can't get over it! So cute. Then he dribbles a little on the floor and the moment of "cute" has passed. #momlife I clean up the mess in the bathroom and decide to keep mopping the rest of the floor while I'm at it. Aden asks to help sweep so he follows me around through the kitchen and hallway.

10:30am: I get a text from the condo handyman saying he'll be working in our place with a HVAC contractor at 11:00am, so I decide last-minute to take the kids to an indoor play park after we pick up Tory from school. I open the fridge door and toss some food into a cooler bag for kid lunches. My Fitbit alarm buzzes on my wrist to remind me it's time to get Tory so I put the dog in her kennel, chase Aden around the condo trying to get his shoes on, and we leave for preschool in a rush.

10:55am: I pull into the preschool parking lot just in time. Tory gets snappy when we're late picking her up, so I jog into the building carrying Aden in my arms.

Tory and Aden pile into the car. I ask Tory to guess where we're heading and Aden shouts, "Bouncy pillow!" before she can respond. InnerActive has an indoor playground structure, blocks, ball court, and a huge jumping pillow. My kids love it. It takes us about 20 minutes to drive there.

11:30am: It's getting colder outside - brrr! We hustle into the building and the kids bee-line to the pillow area. Fortunately, it isn't very busy which is a nice change. There's plenty of room to jump and tumble without kid collisions.

12:30pm: The kids run zig zags between the sport court, climbing structure, blocks and jumping pillow. Eventually Aden says he's hungry, so I grab our cooler bag and find a spot at one of the open tables. I grabbed Lunchables in my rush out the door this morning, but I'm fairly sure Aden won't eat it. He's allergic to cheese and generally refuses crackers and lunch meat, but it was a fast and I was in a hurry this morning. As expected, he turns his nose up to my food offering. I fish out a granola bar from my purse, he takes a few bites and runs off to play.

1:00pm: Tory stops to eat, and scarfs down both Lunchables. Tory is a total "kid food" lover -- she'll eat anything PB+J flavored or that comes in a squeeze tube. Aden, on the other hand, is my meat and veggies boy.

1:30pm: The kids are jumping on the inflatable pillow when Aden falls and hurts his foot. He starts crying and just as I go to retrieve him, I hear Tory crying from the other side. Now she's fallen and says she hurt her leg. A mother nearby seems concerned by Tory's wails, but I know from the sound she's not really hurt. "Time to go," I say to the kids and carry them both to the entrance area to find our coats and shoes. The concerned mother follows us in her concern for Tory, and I again reassure her Tory's fine. The lady tries to make Tory laugh, and Tory stifles her grin. She's hurt, remember? Gotta be sad.

1:45pm: Tory says she can't walk on her leg, but I encourage her to do so anyway. She walks normally for a few steps until she remembers she's hurt and then hops on one foot in a dramatic display of discomfort. By the time we reach our car in the parking lot, Tory is completely fine. I'm really not trying to be mean; I know she's not hurt and I can't carry both her and Aden out of there. Carrying Aden is a necessity because I can't trust him to stay close to me in the parking lot, so I need Tory to tough it out. Thankfully, she does.

As we're leaving, I see a text message from the handyman saying the HVAC contractor is just now on his way. Oy. The whole point of going to the play place was to avoid the construction work. Oh well, the kids had fun.

2:00pm: Tory, Aden and I arrive home and I immediately set in on making my lunch because I'm starving by this point! I defrost some shrimp and saute them in a skillet on the stove top with zucchini noodles and spinach pesto. While I'm making my food, I bake some chicken nuggets for the kids to eat either now (because Aden didn't eat much for lunch) or for dinner tonight.

Of course, Tory says she's not hungry and runs downstairs to play in her room. Aden and I sit down at the table and play a game of tick-tac-toe while I eat my lunch. Aden's never played tick-tac-toe before, so I'm teaching him as we go and proud that he picks up on it pretty quickly! I snap a picture of him playing, and smile when I see his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Classic Aden, always paired with his devilish grin.

The HVAC guy leaves while we're playing at the table, and Eric the handyman says he'll be back in a few days to repair the drywall. It's always something here ...

2:30pm: Aden says he's tired and asks to lay in my bed to watch Blaze and the Monster Machines. He doesn't nap anymore, but he's also been awake since 5:00am so I'm sure he's tired.

2:45pm: Tory comes back upstairs and asks to watch Mia and Me. She's been playing downstairs so quietly, so I agree. I can use some quiet time, too. Something funny about Tory at this age is how she always wears her pants with one leg up - always. She says she's "hot" and apparently this helps regulate her body temperature. Or, maybe it's the latest fashion statement.

I turn on the cartoon for Tory in the living room and swipe a Shakeology peanut butter cup from the freezer. These little nuggets are my saving grace for satisfying a chocolate craving.

3:00pm: It's pretty quiet in my bedroom, so I got to investigate. I find Aden asleep in my bed. That's what happens when you wake up so early! Tory and I take advantage of the one-on-one time and play a few rounds of tick-tac-toe. We move to the sofa and I start typing up this post while she builds Legos beside me. I love watching her concentrate so intently on these, and I'm amazed by how well she follows the directions on her own. Eventually, we play with the Legos creations she's built.

4:00pm: Time to wake the gremlin or he'll never sleep tonight. I get up to get Aden, but Tory begs to wake him for me. She runs into my room and I hear her say, "Aden, it's time to wake up!" in the sweetest sisterly voice. Tory and I play a sight word / opposites puzzle until Aden joins us in the living room. Then, the three of us wrestle around the living room floor. It's one of those "pinch me, I love this life" moments. 

6:00pm: Andi walks in the back door and the kids rush down the hallway to greet him. Tory always helps take off his shoes (I have no idea why) so she bends down right away and unlaces Andi's boots. Aden yells, "Daddy's home! Yay!"

6:30am: Tory and I continue to work on sight words in the living room while Andi starts dinner. Sounds about right - he's gone at work all day, comes home and cooks dinner for us. In reality, it's not too hard to warm up an Origin meal on the stove; not much "cooking" required. While the food cooks, Tory proudly shows Andi how she can read the words on the card game we played earlier.

Andi sits down to dinner at the table and I ask if he made the kids anything. He gives me a puzzled look, so I quickly chop some chicken, green beans and strawberries for the kids. We all sit down to dinner and both Tory and Aden are fighting over who gets to sit on my lap. I traveled to Nebraska over the weekend by myself, so the kids are still missing me. It makes me smile.

I planned to have ham with green beans and sweet potatoes tonight, but Andi wasn't pleased with his chicken and cauliflower hash so we switch.

7:00pm: I get the kids' pajamas on downstairs while Andi takes a quick shower. Tory is wearing a new pair of size 6 pajamas which blows my mind. When in the world did my little girl grow so big?

Andi and Tory peel off to her bedroom to read a Fancy Nancy chapter book while I read Pete the Cat to Aden in his room. Aden is tired so I keep it short and sweet. Andi is still reading to Tory when I'm finished with Aden so I go upstairs to clean up before bed. I find a note stuck to the side of the counter from Tory. She's drawn a heart and written our family's names all around it. What a sweetie.

I lay out my workout clothes for tomorrow morning on the desk, wash my face and put on my pajamas. Yes, it's 7:15pm and I'm heading to bed. I'm still in the habit of early nights all the way back from my years of kid up-all-nights.

7:30pm: Andi and I crawl into bed together and turn on Alaskan Bush People on Hulu. I have no idea how we got hooked on this show, but we've binged on an entire season this week. It's like a train wreck! We can't stop watching. While we watch TV, I check in with my fitness group on Facebook and read through their messages from the day.

8:45pm: Andi turns the television off; we've got to go to sleep. Five o'clock in the morning comes early. I read a page from my daily devotional, Savor by Shauna Niequist before I turn off the lamp on the side table.

Another day in this messy, fun, not-always-perfect life I love.


  1. Busy day! I'm so jealous of your early bedtime. Both kids are down by 8pm these days but after cleaning up dinner, washing dishes, prepping bottles for daycare the next day, etc. I don't get to relax until 9pm. I should go to bed at that point but then I would never see my husband. Sorry about your 5am wakeups. Thankfully both of my kids at least sleep in until 6:30 these days....

    1. I turn into a couch potato the minute the kids are in bed for the night. I'd love to stay up a little longer and make that my "me time" but it's not in my DNA at this point in life.

  2. We recently discovered InnerActive too! Fun place. Also, love Tori's dress. Is it one of those 'design your own' dresses? I was going to get Riley one of those, but never got around to it.

    1. It is! The company is called The Patchery and they're located right in the Twin Cities. A bit more expensive than typical kids clothes but the quality and customer service are fantastic.

  3. That is one of my favorite Indoor Play Areas! Our kids love it. I've been trying to carve out more time for working out, and I think early morning might be the only way to do it as I'm often too tired after the kids go down. Ha!

  4. I can't believe how busy you are. Seeing your Day in the Life posts really motivate me to get more things done with my own life and family. Don't ever give up! I am sure your kids and husband really appreciate everything that you do for them. As much as I learned from reading this I don't think I would ever be able to go to bed that early.

    Melinda Rose @ Phoenix South HVAC