Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Day in the Life

A few years back I wrote a "Day in the Life" post, and it just so happens that, that day was July 24th 2013. So, yesterday I thought to myself, "do it again this July 24th!" Here's a detailed look at life once again, four years later.

12:30 am Coraline's shouting wakes me up and I decide to rush in to the kid's room to try and shush her before she wakes up her siblings. I also decide this might be a good time for the tooth fairy to swap out Reid's tooth for that cherished $1. But, I can't find his tooth holder under his pillow and my fumbling causes him to stir. Dang it! Why didn't I remember to do this before I crawled in bed at 10? I sneak out of the room, mission failed.

2:30 am I wake up to Ben stirring. He gets up to use the bathroom and I hand him the dollar bill and put him in charge of the tooth fairy's dirty work. Maybe now I can sleep for more than a 90 minute stretch.

4:13 am Mara's up, ready for her early morning feeding. I stumble in to her room, fill her tummy, and place her back in the crib.

6:24 am I hear "Nelly got poops! Nelly got poops!" hollered repeatedly from the bathroom. Noting that Ben is not in bed with me, I ask "Are you taking care of that?" to which he responds "I'm in Mara's room, changing her diaper." Huh, I didn't even know she was awake. Good news is, Nell didn't really have poops (Mara did though). Soon enough, all six of us have found our way into my bed. Family snuggles are the perfect way to start the day. Even if I'm totally exhausted.

7:45 The kids have unloaded the dishwasher, we've finished up our cereal, and Reid's in the basement playing Legos. The girls are begging for their beloved TV. I eagerly remember, "Wild Kratts Alaska!" They inevitably start a chant and coax Reid upstairs to join in their begging. We've been waiting weeks for this, and it's perfect because in last night's family council I set a goal that we'd only watch PBS shows this week (I'm too realistic to have a truly screen free week around here).

After a family prayer, Ben heads out the door for work. The kids cozy up on the couch and begin Wild Kratts (thank you PBS kids app!) I head to the nursery and snuggle Mara for a bit before putting her down for her morning nap.

8:30 Mara's finally falling asleep, and the kids just finished up Wild Kratts. This is unfortunate because I didn't even get any personal alone time while they watched TV. So when Nell asks to watch an episode of Dinosaur Train I say "Yup!" and get them situated. I then hide out in my room to check the usual: NPR, gmail, facebook, and mint.

8:55 The TV is turned off and I give the kids' some juice to take outside. I grab my book and lounge in a chair on the deck. I'm hoping this will encourage them to stay out there and play.
Gosh I love them! Time stamp: 9:07
9:08 After that photo was taken a pretty ugly fight between Reid and Nell breaks out. We're all back inside trying to chill. I decide to tackle the art shelf in the pantry closet (it's been a disaster for at least six weeks). Coraline looks over my shoulder and starts begging for water paints. I give in, thinking this is a good chance to get them to clean off the table while I finish dejunking and organizing. They sort of clear the table, but mostly just push things out of their way and start whining even louder for their paints. Sigh. Fine.

9:40 "Mommy, Coraline is tearing her paper and putting it in her water." This sentence is followed by the sound of Coraline's evil giggle. It's also the same moment Mara starts crying, having awoken from her nap. Sigh. Fine.

10:00 The closet is done, Mara is fed, and the paint mess is cleaned up sitting in my kitchen sink. I contemplate whether or not I have enough time to do some grocery shopping before our 11:15 swim lessons. I figure I do, but also decide I don't have the determination to really get the kids going just yet. Now I have to decide how we'll fill the next 40 minutes. Sometimes, waiting for the right moment to get ready and go can be just as complicated as getting everyone ready to go at the right moment.

The kids manage to fill the time playing both around the house and outside. I mostly just snuggle Mara.

11:04 We make it to the YMCA just after 11. Inside the entrance I give Reid and Nell their swimsuits and send them on their way to the changing room. I head in the opposite direction to drop Coraline and Mara off at the drop-in daycare. Mara is sobbing as I leave.

11:12 I make it to the locker room just in time to get the kid's clothes from them, put my gym bag in a locker, send Reid and Nell to swim class, and then head back to the car for my wallet so I can put some more money on my drop-in account. Mara is still crying when I drop off my receipt. I decide not to care and finally get on the treadmill by 11:25. This gives me at least 30 minutes to walk/run/climb. Perfect.

11:40 I pull out my headphones, because I hear the intercom: "Attention YMCA guests, would Liz please go to the daycare center. Liz, you are needed at the drop-in." I go to retrieve my crying baby after just fifteen minutes of exercise. How am I at this place for more than an hour, with just 15 minutes to myself?!?! Sigh. Fine.

12:15 pm Swimming is over and the kids are all loaded in the van. We can do our grocery shopping now, even though I know Coraline will fall asleep on the car ride there. And she does, even though it is less than a 3 mile drive. I wake her up at Aldi's and all five of us head in to stock up on 11 pounds of fresh produce, an 18 inch pizza, and some baby crackers -- all for just $21! I can't believe this place, why have I not been shopping here all along?

1:15 pm Back at home, the pizza is in the oven and a brocoli, cauliflower, and carrot medley is steaming on the stove. I'm randomly shoving spoonfuls of green beans in Mara's mouth as I keep prepping lunch. The big kid's are in the front room peacefully playing with the duplos.

1:45 pm Mara is now down for her second nap, and the kids and I are all enjoying (a very late) lunch together. I gobble a huge bowl of veggies so I don't have to feel as guilty about all the grease on that yummy pizza. I symbolically pat myself on the back for feeding the kids a balanced hot lunch.

2:15 pm I decide there is no use trying to give Coraline a real nap today. Instead, I let her pick a show, and before you know it all the kids are on the couch enjoying Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes. Ben walks in the door about this time (on his way to Wautoma), and I realize they were settled in to TV when he walked out the door this morning. I swear, this isn't all we do. His drop in is real quick, just enough to grab a snack for the road before he heads to court hearings.

2:45 The TV is off and each of the kids have picked a book for me to read. Just as we are about to start, Coraline whines about "poops" and I see that her diaper has leaked pees (no poops, thankfully) onto my couch (not thankfully). That diaper wasn't even full, and it was on right. So I have no idea how this has happened. But our reading time is shot as I now have to change her clothes and clean the couch instead.

3:00 I give the kids each a cookie and send them outside. I let them know they are not allowed back in until I give them permission (this ends up being about 6:15 pm). I head to the basement to start some laundry and enjoy my sanity snack (the laundry room stinks like kitty litter, by the way (which is odd, cause we don't have a cat). I flush out the sump pump and hope that addresses the problem -- it doesn't).
Oh dark chocolate, how would I survive without you? Time stamp: 3:33
4:30 We've all been playing outside for a while when I check my phone and find a message from Ben. He'll be home later than expected, so now it's up to me to start our FHE hot dog fire. It's about this same time that our neighbor boy arrives home from daycare. I know he'll keep the kids busy for the next half hour before fire time. So I take Mara inside and do a little clean up. You'll notice there really weren't a lot of endless indoor play times -- but they somehow always manage to make a huge mess. Sigh.

5:15 I tell the kids they each have to pick up ten sticks to earn their hot dog. The neighbor boy does the best job at this chore. Eventually, the fire is going and they have each earned their hot dog (this is part of our family culture -- the kids must complete some sort of family job before they earn dinner (the idea was inspired by Nell's and my reading of Little House on the Prairie)).

5:30 Ben gets home and I quickly pass him Mara (who has insisted on riding my hip for at least the past 90 minutes). I can now start cooking the hot dogs. Reid and Nell are in charge of filling up the waters and bringing out the plates. We all settle onto our picnic blanket and enjoy our dinner of hot dogs, baked beans, and green beans. Ben gives us a lesson on Education while the kids enjoy an ice cream treat. To appease Coraline, we all sing "Sunbeam" to close our FHE. It's a perfect, simple family dinner. 

6:15 We go inside and the kids start their baths. 

6:35 The kid's are cleaned up and in their jammies. They begin picking up the front room (I always tell people that if they want to see my house clean, they have to come between the right-before-bedtime clean up and the right-before-wakeup tornado -- that's the only time it's truly clean, but the important thing to note here, is that my house is perfectly clean at least twice each day).

6:43 Ben begins reading their bedtime stories 

7:00 Our guests arrive right on time for our game night. Unfortunately, we still have two more bedtime routine items to complete. Since our friends are our Bishop and his adult son, we figure they won't mind joining us for our Book of Mormon reading and family prayer. 

7:05 Kids are tucked into bed and we adults gather around the table to play Acquire. This all came about because the Bishop's wife, tween, and teen children are in Virginia visiting their adult daughter. We thought it'd be fun to have them over for a game night since things are probably pretty quiet around their house. 

7:20 The rules have been read (it's Ben and I's first time playing), and we are ready to get started. Reid comes out to tell us both his sisters are asleep, but he isn't tired (code for, can I stay up with you please?) Ben sends him back to his room, but I give Ben some sad eyes and before you know it Reid's sitting next to me, helping pick tiles and sort money. We give him until 7:45 to enjoy our company. 

9:10 The game is over. I lost, significantly. Our friends stick around and chat for a bit. It's nice to have adult conversation with others on a weeknight. 

9:40 Our friends are on their way home. 

10:30 I fall asleep for the night. This time I make it almost five hours before I'm interrupted by a crying child. 

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