I’ve been meaning to do one of these posts FOREVER, but it kept getting away from me. I love reading them when other bloggers write them, so I figured I had to take some notes and make it a priority.
I work on a freelance basis from home as a freelance writer/editor, and Darling Husband works full-time at the airport (about 45 minutes’ drive from us). In our house, we have four kinds of days:
Most of our days are the first two, when either I work in the morning or we all do something togethr (like go to the park, get groceries, etc.) I work every day during naptime, except for sometimes on the weekend (depending on deadlines). And Darling Husband works pretty much every single afternoon/evening these days (since he no longer has Job A).
So I decided to write about the first kind of day (when we both work a good chunk of the day) to show how we juggle the kids, and both work full-time-ish hours without daycare or sitters. Nothing against either of those, of course — they’re just not options for us right now.
After a few false starts of writing notes and then forgetting halfway through the day, here we are! A day in the life — my life, from last week — with a 26-month-old boy (D) and a three-month-old girl (C) …
6 a.m. I hear C crying over the baby monitor. Drag myself out of bed and get her from her crib. If it’s 6 a.m. or later, I’ll bring her into my bed to nurse her. If it’s earlier than that, I’ll nurse her in the glider in her room, and put her back in the crib. I’m not sure why this is my theory?
7:49 a.m. Wake up to hear D thudding around his bedroom. He’s by the door, which means every item from his bed is now jammed up against the door. Did he sleep there all night again, or did he just move it there this morning? Who knows? Zzzzz.
7:50 a.m. D is now knocking on the door. I like to encourage him to be polite (he doesn’t get retrieved when he’s pounding angrily on the door) so I slip out of bed — leaving C tucked in next to Darling Husband.
7:51 a.m. I lock the baby gate at the top of the stairs (it’s not a safety feature — strictly a keeping-him-upstairs feature) and release the prisoner. D is all smiles, and very happy to see me. Sure enough, all of his bedding is crammed behind the door. He immediately runs over to his window and gestures for me to open the curtains, so I do. He gets a cuddle while we admire the weather, and talk about what kind of day it’s going to be, and look at the birds on the lawn.
7:52 a.m. D and I brush our teeth in the bathroom. He’s like me, and enjoys doing that first-thing in the morning. Other people in the house (*cough* Darling Husband) don’t care if they don’t brush them for hours. Ew.
7:53 a.m. I jump in the shower while D continues to brush his teeth and play with his comb and nailbrush, and other items in “his” drawer in the bathroom. He wanders over to chatter at Darling Husband and C (still snoozing away in the bed) but returns to the bathroom to hand me my towel when I’m done showering. Such service! He starts his morning request of “duice” (juice), “ahncah” (pancakes) and a show. I keep telling him we’re hurrying, I know, juice and pancakes are coming up, etc.
7:55 a.m. D and I jump back into the big bed to hug and kiss the sleepyheads. There is tickling, as always, and C is in a great mood, as she always is first thing in the morning. Sometimes I nurse C at this point, but today she would rather just smile and try to touch D’s hair, which sends him into hysterical giggles. I think to myself, as I do every morning, that these are moments I want to remember forever.
8:06 a.m. The pace of the morning picks up, as I get dressed (yoga pants and a cute fitted tee), gather up outfits, diapers, and wipes for the kids, and lay them both on one of D’s beds to get them changed. D doesn’t even have a changing table anymore (it’s in the shed, being spray-painted for C’s room) and I rarely use the changing pad on C’s dresser. It’s a million times easier to diaper them both at the same time, in the same place, so we just use the end of D’s bed.
8:15 a.m. The gate is open, and D is released — clean, changed, and dressed. I cajole Darling Husband out of bed (in his defense, he’s worked until midnight and not gotten home until 1 a.m., let alone how late he probably stayed up watching TV). He throws shorts and a T-shirt on, and helps me carry C and/or dirty laundry down to the main level.
8:16 a.m. Things get chaotic. D immediately runs for the fridge, opens it, grabs the orange juice, and opens the carton. I fill a sippy cup for him, and he drinks it like he’s never seen liquids before (or didn’t have a water cup in his bedroom with him ALL NIGHT). I toss a few frozen homemade pancakes in the microwave while he runs around shouting “Dohrrr!” (Dora) and “Show!”
8:20 a.m. D is settled at his kiddie-sized table with buttered pancakes, a little cup of syrup, and his (empty) juice cup to watch Dora The Explorer. I take a now-squalling C from Darling Husband and sit on the couch to nurse her while he makes us tea (one pot of de-caf for me, a separate pot of regular for him). True story: Darling Husband only started drinking tea about six months ago. He’s a coffee guy, but I think he just got tired of dragging out the coffee machine. I win!
8:40 a.m. Darling Husband and I sit down at the table to eat our toast and microwaved eggs. D has finished his pancakes by this point and is twirling around the room. C is fed, but still fussy, and we have to take turns bouncing her chair with our feet. Dora The Explorer seems to be getting louder by the minute.
8:55 a.m. I’m sitting at the kitchen table, hooked up to the breast pump, so Darling Husband will have a fresh bottle to feed C. I’m trying to gulp my tea as fast as I can, because I know if I take it downstairs with me, it will get cold while I do my interviews.
9:03 a.m. I get into a tizzy of feeling like I need to start my work. Rush into the powder room and put on some quickie makeup (eyeliner, mascara, blush, hint of lipcolour) so I feel like a human being, kiss everyone, grab a new cup of tea and my gigantic jug of water, and head down to the basement.
9:08 a.m. Laundry into the washer. Read email. Look at Facebook and Twitter. Quick glance at US Weekly to make sure no celebrity has died or eloped or had a baby. Write and post blog for the day, since I didn’t have one already scheduled to post.
9:22 a.m. Look at Google calendar and document that lists all of my current projects, and get to work in earnest. Writing, interviews, etc.
9:24 a.m. D’s “breakfast-time TV time” is over, judging by the shrieks coming from the main level. He calms down pretty quickly, and I can tell from the thuds in the hutch that he’s digging out his Play Doh with Darling Husband. C must already be down for her nap.
10:50 a.m. C is screaming on the main level, and I can’t ignore it any longer. Run up stairs and attempt to nurse her. No, she’s just fussy. Already drank half of the bottle I had pumped. Leave her with Darling Husband and run back downstairs. Flip laundry to dryer, put on new load. Resume working.
12:35 p.m. Starving. Stop writing when I get to a convenient part, look at emails again, and flip laundry. Run upstairs to check out the lunch situation.
12:37 p.m. D is whiny, but happy to see me. C is crying in her bouncy chair while Darling Husband puts the finishing touches on our lunch: his speciality of pita pizzas. Mmmm! He is blaring techno music through the laptop speakers as he listens to YouTube videos of big weird techno concerts in Sweden or something.
12:40 p.m. Eat my pita pizza with one hand, while I sit on the couch and nurse C. Darling Husband stands at the kitchen counter while he eats, and we try to carry on a reasonable conversation while reminding a very whiny D to eat his lunch.
12: 58 p.m. Darling Husband throws on some sneakers and heads outside to mow the lawn. I’m tempted to take D straight upstairs, but he is starting to eat a few bites of lunch — while glued to Dora — so I leave him to it.
1:08 p.m. Almost naptime! I herd D up the stairs while carrying C, and bounce her in my arms while D brushes his teeth. We head into his bedroom — grabbing diapers and wipes from the linen closet on the way — and I change them both.
1:12 p.m. Kisses and hugs for D, and he climbs into his bed pretty willingly with his soother. He pulls his Thomas the Tank Engine blanket up around himself, and I think he has never looked more adorable. “Sissy” and I blow him kisses and close his door (tightly — don’t want anyone escaping!).
1:13 p.m. I turn on C’s white noise machine and fan, and sit in the glider with her to nurse her. Feeling my energy start to fade, as I sit there in the cool, dark room. Wishing I could take a nap, too! Look at a few blogs on my phone while C nurses and starts to get sleepy.
1:32 p.m. C has had a good amount of milk, so I put her in her swing and turn it on. She sleeps in the crib overnight, but during naps we find she sleeps longer if she’s got the little bit of motion. I sneak out of her room, shut the door, grab the baby monitor, and head down to the main level.
1:35 p.m. Clean up the kitchen from lunch, pack up leftover pita pizza for Darling Husband to take to work for dinner, and put the dishwasher on. Darling Husband is mowing the back yard, and it’s looking really nice and neat. He looks super-hot in his sleeveless shirt. Ooh-la-la, the muscles!
1:48 p.m. Sweep the main level. I remember that I’m making chicken wraps for summer, so I dump the boneless chicken from the fridge into the slowcooker, pour in a little salsa, and turn it on.
1:49 p.m. Tidy the living room and dining room from the morning’s play, grab my water bottle and the baby monitor, and head back down to my office in the basement. Quick check of Facebook and Twitter, then my email and my Google calendar, and then back to work.
2:10 p.m. Darling Husband appears in the basement, sweaty from mowing the lawn. We chat for a second before he gets into the shower, and then I go back to my work.
2:32 p.m. Darling Husband tells me he’s leaving a minute. I leave my desk and run upstairs to see him off. We run through our good-bye routine where I ask if he has his phone, his security pass, and his wallet, and he pretends he’s forgotten all three. Except he actually doesn’t have his pass, so then he gets a bit panicky.
2:35 p.m. We both search for it for a few minutes, and then he finds it in the dash of the van. Crisis averted!
2:36 p.m. I lean in the doorway — can’t go outside and let the sun touch me, as I am probably a vampire — while he starts the van, and pulls out of the driveway. I blow him a kiss, like I always do, as he drives past the front of the house. I wonder — as I always do — if there is a neighbour watching us do this every single day?
2:37 p.m. I close the door and lock it, and then take a second to admire the tidy main floor. The only time it looks this good is when the kids are asleep!
2:38 p.m. Starving. Grab a Laughing Cow cheese, an apple, and some melba toast, and head back to the nice cool basement to work.
3:16 p.m. C cries over the monitor, but I wait a second and refuse to let myself run upstairs. I’m trying to get better about not going up four times during each nap, because I convince myself she’s hungry. She stops. I go back to work.
4:07 p.m. There is a thud coming from D’s room. He’s up, but he is fine to play in his room for a little bit. I pick up the pace with my writing, knowing he’ll wake C up soon.
4:19 p.m. C is awake! Now I really need to stop. I reply to a final email, double-check my calendar to make sure my assignments for today are all in, and take off my headset. I grab the two loads of clean laundry (stuffed into a massive laundry bag that is awkward to carry), my water bottle, phone, and the baby monitor, and drag everything up two floors to the bedrooms.
4:21 p.m. I lock the baby gate behind me, toss the clean laundry onto our bed, and release D from his room. He looks a bit sweaty and is in good spirits. We open his curtains again and he points to a neighbour’s dog. I think he’s been watching it for a while. His pillow and about eight blankets are stuffed behind the door.
4:22 p.m. C has fallen back asleep, so I gratefully take the time to fold the laundry with D. He puts the baby monitor back on the charger for me, and then we play “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” while I fold, which involves him jumping and giggling while I sing the song (and push him over at the end of each part). He tries to fold by picking up items and kind of smushing them into a ball, and I get very enthusiastic over his “help.”
4:29 p.m. C is awake again, as I’m putting the laundry away. D has gotten the vacuum out of our closet, and is yelling “Ah-cume! Ah-cume!” over and over. I rescue C from her swing, cover her with kisses, and take her into D’s room to lay her on the bed. I grab two diapers and a fistful of wipes (two kids = two poops) and drag D into his room to be changed. C is crying while I change her, and I try to get D to lean over and kiss her, but he’s still mad he’s not allowed to vacuum.
4:45 p.m. The laundry has been put away, their diapers are changed, and we’re heading back down to the main level. The chicken smells delicious! I turn on the broiler. D doesn’t appear to be starving yet, so I settle him with a cup of milk and an episode of Dora (yes, I’m very sick of Dora) while I sit on the couch to nurse C.
4:55 p.m. I put C in her exersaucer, strategically positioned so she can see both me and D, and rush into the kitchen to throw together dinner. D doesn’t care about eating assembled chicken wraps, so I scoop some of the chicken on a plate for him, add some cut-up strips of tortilla, a few sticks of cheese, and a little bowl of frozen peas and corn (yes, actually still frozen — he likes it that way).
4:58 p.m. D seems to like his dinner, and begins eating it. C is not being a happy camper in her exersaucer, so I scoop her up to calm her. I hold her and bounce her as I grab ingredients from the fridge (container of cut-up green and red peppers, jar of salsa, spinach, etc.) and take out the cookie sheets. Realize I can’t hold her and do any more, so I put her in the bouncy chair with me in the kitchen.
5:25 p.m. I’m so hungry. Have not gotten to eat yet, as C is not cooperating. The wraps have been toasted, and are sitting on the stovetop. D has finished his dinner and therefore the TV has been turned off. He is running in and out of the back door, onto the deck, and keeps bringing me his squirt guns to fill. I keep telling him I’ll do it once I’m done nursing C. I sit on the couch with her and watch him play on the deck. He has taken off his diaper, and looks pretty cute in just his little sleeveless tee.
5:42 p.m. Sitting at the kitchen table, holding C and eating my wrap. Finally! We are watching D out on the deck. I think there is a neighbour off in the distance, because he is standing very still staring at someone. Naked, except for his shirt. Darling Husband would not approve.
5:43 p.m. D is yelling “Hi! Hi! Hi!” at someone. I can’t see anyone, so I suspect it’s the neighbour’s dog.
6:00 p.m. I’m finished my wrap, and even managed to drink a glass of milk. Win! I put C in her bouncy chair for a minute while I throw everything in the dishwasher (she cries immediately) and wipe down the counters and table. Duck into the powder room to brush my teeth (I’m weird about brushing RIGHTAWAYOMG after meals). Rush back to rescue the crying C.
6:08 p.m. D wanders in from the deck, and I suggest Play-Doh. He runs for the hutch immediately, and opens up the Play-Doh drawer. Yes, we have a Play-Doh drawer in our HUTCH. We used to have serving dishes in it, but I got tired of trying to cram all of his art supplies and assorted plastic Play-Doh crap into his one designated cabinet of the hutch. So I gave him two drawers instead, and my life is expotentially easier.
6:09 p.m. I insist on un-capping all of the Play-Dohs for D, so he doesn’t use his teeth. I hate when people use their teeth to open things! Mom always said mine were too expensive (braces) to even try that.
6:10 p.m. Every single cup of Play-Doh is the same nasty shade of poo-brown. That’s what happens when two-year-olds own Play-Doh and mix up all of the colours.
6:14 p.m. We are making Play-Doh cookies. It’s what we usually do with Play-Doh. I pound and flatten some of the poo-brown Doh, and then use the containers to cut out little round cookies. We pretend to eat them. It’s hilarious. I even keep a little fork with the Play-Doh supplies so I can make those criss-cross marks like a peanut-butter cookie. I’m awesome.
6:15 p.m. C (who is sitting on my lap at the dining room table) keeps trying to grab the Play-Doh, and D and I are laughing at her. Then she almost grabs it for real, and I’m like, hmmm, that wouldn’t be good?
6:29 p.m. Play-Doh Time has transitioned to Art Time (i.e. D opened his art supplies drawer and dragged everything onto the table amidst the Play-Doh). He runs for the kitchen drawer where I keep a little pair of kiddie scissors (waaaaay at the back) and he somehow reaches them. Huh. Must move those.
6:32 p.m. I give D a small piece of paper and he is happy to practice his cutting. I play with C, standing her on the table, and make a game of borrowing the scissors every minute or so, to hear him say “Dank-oooh” when I give them back. Except he also says “Dank-oooh” when he passes them to me. Still, manners are adorable!
6:41 p.m. Bath time! Bath time! I’m excited because it means the evening is coming to a close in another 90 minutes or so. D doesn’t seem like he wants one, but OH WELL! Hustle him up the stairs, following behind carrying C. He stops half-way up the stairs to sulk, and I carry him the rest of the way. Must. Keep. Moving.
6:43 p.m. Drag C’s mini-swing into the hallway and sit her there while I run the bath and get the temperature right. Strip D and put him in the tub. Grab C, strip her, and put her in the tub (on her baby sling). She is wide-eyed, watching D as he splashes around and tosses his bath toys. I wash her quickly and rinse her off. D starts stomping/splashing, and I’m about to tell him to stop when I realize C loves it. She kicks her feet, too, and he thinks that’s hysterical. I love when they entertain each other.
6:47 p.m. I wrap C in a towel and dry her off while we wait for D. He suddenly decides he wants to get out. I make him pick up his toys and put them back in his bath-toy bin, and he does it (it’s the one time he’s really great about picking up). He even hangs my exfoliator thingy on the taps, exactly where it goes. I put a bundled-up C in her swing in the hallway for a sec, wrap him in a towel, give him a quick dry, and release him. He runs off, naked and squealing.
6:52 p.m. Finally manage to corral the nude D. He was jumping on our bed, so I had to sing a few verses of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” before diaper-time. It’s pretty funny to see him “jump” (march) on the bed and giggle, and it makes C happy to watch him. Herd him and the nude C (still too young to run away from me, luckily) over to D’s bed, with nightime (disposable) diapers, diaper cream, and clean PJs. Diaper and change C, diaper and change D — it’s like a baby assembly line! When I’m done C, D starts saying “Mahhh tuhhh!” (my turn), which is a new thing for him. ADORBS.
7:02 p.m. Comb D’s hair and release him to go downstairs, as I walk behind with C. He’s getting so daring on the stairs lately that he barely holds onto the bannister. He just strolls down like a little person! On the way down, I suggest we count stairs. I start with “One!” and he continues with “Twoooo … Feeeeee … Fouhhhh … ” all the way down.
7:03 p.m. Put C in the exersaucer so I can get D’s snack. She wails indignantly. I grab a glass cereal bowl while D opens up the cupboard, retrives the cereal, and then grabs the “red milk” (homogenized milk). It’s a full carton and I tell him how strong he is. He tries to say it (“ssssstunnnnngg!”) and rushes off to find a seat in the viewing gallery (i.e. his child-sized table and chairs in the living room).
7:04 p.m. D has his cereal. I rescue C (who is more whiney than cry-y at the moment) and sit on the couch to nurse her. Turn on the TV so D can get his bedtime “show.” It’s Dora, of course, because that’s all he wants to watch these days. I flip through the options and try to choose the least annoying one (spoiler: they’re all annoying). I go on Facebook on my phone while C nurses. Text Darling Husband, who has written to ask how my night’s going. “Pretty good. Tired. How is work?” is my reply, in case you’re curious.
7:09 p.m. Occassionally remind D to keep eating his cereal (“Eeeeaat!” is his response) because he is zoning out, looking at his girlfriend (Dora).
7:35 p.m. Dora is over, so I quickly turn off the TV before a new episode starts and he feels invested in the plot. D cries, as usual. I remind him that we’re going upstairs “to find a soother!” and he allows me to herd him up the stairs, whining “Doahhhh!” (Dora) a few times for good measure.
7:37 p.m. Straight into the bathroom. I put C down her swing for a minute while I clean up the wet bath towels and hang up the mat. D runs to his drawer, pulls out his toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, cup, and nail brush, puts it all on the counter, and then climbs up (via the toilet seat). I fill up his cup, put toothpaste on his brush, and he starts brushing. I comb his hair and tell him (like I do every night) that he has gorgeous hair. It’s just like Darling Husband’s was in high school — thick and shiny.
7:39 p.m. I finish brushing D’s teeth. He takes a sip from his water cup, dumps the rest into the sink, and gets half of it on the counter. Then he tosses all of his items back into the drawer, closes it, and hops down onto the floor. Note that the nail brush never actually gets used, but yet it make an appearance on the counter every night.
7:41 p.m. I pick up C, put her swing back in her bedroom, and follow D into his room. We shut the curtains (after waving good-night to various animals we can see, and commenting on the sunset) and I lay C down on D’s extra twin bed (where we read stories). He’s picked a Berenstein Bear classic tonight (“Too Much TV” — a good choice!) and we lie on the bed together and read. C lies in the middle of us, and she is in a great mood — reaching up and grabbing at the pages, and bopping us in the faces. D laughs hysterically, and I laugh, too. We’re sharing a joke!
7:46 p.m. Story is over. D realizes his Elmo sippy-cup of water (that he keeps in his bed) is empty, so I go fill it up in the bathroom. Then we lie back down on the extra bed and I sing two verses of Bye Bye Baby Bunting (one verse with Daddy going hunting, one verse with Mommy going hunting) as always. We’re a little ahead of schedule tonight, so I also sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Itsy Bitsy Spider, at D’s request. He can sign the full songs now, as well as say “Dahhhh” (star).
7:52 p.m. Still lying in bed, we say prayers. Now we lay us down to sleep, we pray the Lord, our souls to keep …
7:54 p.m. D switches off his bedside lamp and I help him round up the few blankets and stuffies that were forgotten on the floor after he slept there during naptime. I tuck him in, under his Thomas the Tank Engine blanket, and arrange his favourites (Ralphie the dog, Scout the talking dog, and Glow-Baby the glow-worm). Glow-Baby needs to be swaddled in one of the ninety-million little blankets he’s squandered (mostly C’s). Hugs and kisses — I even put C in his bed for a quick snuggle — and then C and I are on our way out. Scout the talking dog is singing, so I sing along as I shut the door (grabbing the diaper bag on the way).
7:58 p.m. Shut D’s door, make sure it clicks, and feel a little sense of relief. Whisk C and the diapers downstairs to the basement, pop her on a play-mat while I deal with cloth diaper grossness, put the load of diapers into the washer, and head back to the main level.
8:10 p.m. Put C in her bouncy seat for a minute while I make sure the kitchen’s tidy. Pour myself a Diet Coke with lots of ice, use the food scale to measure out 50g of potato chips (Weight Watchers training), and sit down on the couch to nurse C. Finally feel like I can relax! Turn on the TV and choose one of MY shows from the PVR (sorry, Dora, but you’re done for the day). Tonight I’m watching Switched At Birth, my new favourite! I love watching the sign language parts and seeing if I can tell what they’re saying.
9:03 p.m. C is especially fussy tonight. Rush down to the basement with her, put washer on again (diapers get two cycles, plus extra rinses). Put on a 30-minute show (Cupcake Girls) and resume dancing around the living room with her draped over my arm. Catch glimpses of my reflection in the big mirror, and think I look really, really tired. And rumpled. I wonder if neighbours can see me through the sheers? Probably. Damn.
9:28 p.m. Turn off the TV, put my dishes in the dishwasher, turn off the lights. C is calmer now. I take her upstairs to her bedroom, sit in the glider and nurse her, and she finally starts getting sleepy. Put her in the crib awake, and she seems to be VERY awake all of a sudden. I put on her musical aquarium crib toy and slip out of the room. I figure she may cry in a few minutes, so I stay close — washing my face, brushing my teeth. She cries. I go in and nurse her, so she doesn’t wake D. Put her back in her crib. Seems to be down for the count!
10:03 p.m. Grab the monitor and slip back down to the basement. Check Facebook and Twitter, write a few blog posts, look at my writing schedule for tomorrow. Add a few entries into my Google calendar (people to call, interviews to book). Go on Pinterest for a few minutes. Wonder when I will find time to craft again. I miss it!
10:39 p.m. Throw diapers into the dryer, text Darling Husband to ask him to bring them up when he gets home (which will be around 1 a.m.) and to say good-night. Fill giant water jug and head upstairs. Carefulllllly open C’s door and check on her: sleeping peacefully. Carefullllllly open D’s door (after peeking underneath it to make sure he’s not right there): sleeping peacefully in his bed!
10:43 p.m. Change into PJs and put my retainer and mouthguard in (I’m super sexy). Turn on the fan, climb into bed to read a few chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey. Is it just me, or does everyone else feel like you’re just waiting to get to the sex parts (i.e. only interesting parts), so the rest of the book is just painful?
11:03 p.m. Really must go to sleep. C will be up in about three hours, I suspect. Good night!