08 January 2016

A Day in the Life

I thought it might be amusing to do an "A Day in the Life" post, being as it's one of the last day in an apartment! I love these posts, seeing what other people's days are like, and using mine to respond to the question: "What do you do all day?!"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2:11am - Theodore starts his "I'm hungry" grunts in his little Rock n' Sleeper next to the bed. I lay perfectly still, hoping he'll forget and fall back asleep (he never does) until he is about to cross the threshold into angry squawks. I get up and start nursing, but he falls asleep after a few sucks. Refusing to look a gift horse in the mouth, I put him back in his Rock n' Sleeper and crawl back into bed. Putting him down wakes him up. I decide to just do this the right way. I change his diaper, reswaddle him, and keep him awake until he's full. I fall back into bed somewhere around 3am.

6:45am - The alarm sounds. I shut it off.

6:50am - Matt gets up. I ask him to wake me up when he gets out of the shower.

7:05am - He's out of the shower. I continue to lay in bed.

7:10am - I get up, make the bed, and hop in the shower myself.

7:25am - I'm dressed and ready enough, so I let Abigail out of the girls' room, get her dressed, brush her hair, and get her settled at the table with breakfast. Theodore starts wailing because he skipped his 6am feeding. Matt picks him up and makes lunch one-handed. I would normally let Eleanor eat breakfast in her pajamas, but she's got a poopy diaper, so I change her out of her pajamas and brush her hair too. When she realizes that all her Frozen shirts are dirty, she starts a temper tantrum. I search through the girls' jewelry box and find a Frozen charm bracelet her great-grandmother got her for Christmas. She deems it sufficient.

7:50am - With everyone settled at the table, I take Theodore from Matt and settle in the living room to nurse him. I bring the tablet with me and check the weather and CNN to see if anything happened overnight.

7:58am - The "the bus is coming in five minutes" alarm goes off on my phone. I put Theodore in the Rock n' Sleeper in the living room - he instantly starts protesting, I get Abigail's shoes, coat, and backpack on. Matt gets his shoes on and gathers up his lunch and briefcase.

8:05am - Matt gets Abigail on the bus and leaves for work. I make myself oatmeal, move Theodore in his rocker into the dining area and eat while rocking him with my foot and reviewing my to-do list in my planner.

8:20am - Theodore is still hungry, so I nurse him and say a Rosary aloud. Eleanor says "Yay" after each decade.

8:33am - Theodore is full and Eleanor is content to play independently, so I straighten up the apartment. I do this every morning - it involves going into every room (except the closets) and picking up anything that was left out overnight, any messes that were made that morning, turning off lights, opening up curtains, babyproofing anything we un-proofed the night before. Today takes a little longer because I have a bit of folded laundry to put away. When I finish, everyone is still content, so I dab on a little make up, deodorant, and use the flat iron on my bangs. I feel pretty.

Clean slates are crucial for good mornings around here.

8:50am - Time for chores. Today that involves doing the dishes, cleaning the liter pan, sweeping the tile floors, starting the laundry, and roasting a chicken. Theodore stays his in rocker and watches me while Eleanor plays in the living room. When I pull the chicken out of the fridge, I realize there was a hole in the bag and it leaked raw chicken juice all over the bottom shelf of the fridge. I figure this is as good a time as any to wipe the fridge out (since I'll have to in two weeks when we move). Eleanor joins me in the kitchen, takes a square of paper towel and gets to work on the cabinet door next to me. After every wipe, she says, "I did it!" and I have to respond with "Good job!" After I get the bulk of the mess up, I realize the mysterious grime in the back isn't going to come out easily. I give up, put the food back in the fridge, and figure I'll do a better job when I clean up after we move out.

9:20am - I refresh my coffee and the three of us move into the living room. Theodore is content to watch me do puzzles with Eleanor from his Rock n' Sleeper.

Cat, excited to find my lap empty, sprints (almost literally) across the living room to stake her claim.

Theodore falls asleep, and Eleanor requests coloring. I'm pretty excited as I haven't yet transferred our hodgepodge of crayons to the new crayon box I finally remembered to buy. I tear out a few pages from a Frozen coloring book and we settle in. But Eleanor finds the crayons more exciting than coloring, so I color while Eleanor hands me random crayons. After a while, she just takes the crayon box and walks away.

My legs are sore from yesterday's attempt at lunges and squats, so I do some stretching until Eleanor gets distracted, then I sneak the crayons back into the locked cabinet.

10:05am - Theodore spent all of yesterday fussing unless he was in my arms (or in a carrier), but today he appears to be back to normal. Confident that he is down for the count, I slide the Rock n' Sleeper down the hallway and into my bedroom and quietly close the door. I switch the laundry, then plop down on the floor in the living room and continue crocheting the blanket I'm making him. It took a while, but the girls are finally content to let me crochet on the floor while they play around me. They used to tangle my yarn and pull out my rows - sometimes in a bid to help me, sometimes while feeling oppositional. But I make sure to put the work down when they want me to play with them or read a book to them, so they've agreed to compromise.

While I work, Eleanor plays with a smart pad. It's one of those toys I'd never buy her, but she got from either her grandma or her great-grandma for Christmas. I didn't protest because it doesn't have an electronic screen; it has static buttons designed to look like a real screen, so I don't really consider it an "electronic device." I marvel at her teenager-like behavior and wonder what the future will hold.

Cat, who is giddy for attention, is again in my lap. Every time I get up, she waits patiently by where I was sitting until I return, then resumes her spot on my lap. I don't let her sit on my lap when I crochet for other people, but I do when making something for us. After all, cat hair is going to end up on it anyway.

10:30am - Snack time. In my bid to loose the baby weight and wean the kids off our "cookies for breakfast" Christmas break, our morning snack is now seasonal fruit. Today that looks like grapefruit. My kids actually love grapefruit and it is one of my favorite fruits, so it's a win-win. Especially since the in-season price is less than $1 per pound.

10:45am - After we finish the snack, Eleanor suddenly has a serious need to find Cat. She walks around asking, "Cat, where are you?" then comes running back to me: "Uh oh! Cat!" I finally show Eleanor that cat is sleeping under the couch. Content, she heads to the bookshelf and and says in her cute little voice, "I want Jesus, please!"

She means my Saint Gerard chaplet. She loves my chaplet, which was a gift from a friend when I was pregnant with her. She's watched me say it many times and wants to do what Mommy does. I am loathe to hand it to her, but you can't exactly say "no" to a request for Jesus. I also hand her a "How to Say A Rosary" pamphlet for maximum cuteness. While she's praying, I fold and put away the cloth diapers from the dryer. After she's done "praying," she brings me back the chaplet and pamphlet and says, "All done," very politely. Impressed, I put the chaplet away where she can't see it as easily.

11:23am - The "the bus should be arriving any minute" alarm sounds on my phone. Eleanor shouts, "Bus!" in such a high-pitched voice that Cat, who has wandered out from under the couch, jumps into the air. I slip on my coat and shoes, convince Eleanor to wait inside, and walk out into the foyer area of the apartment building. When the bus arrives, I chat with the driver for a minute. Abigail is switching to the afternoon session tomorrow and no one has called me to let me know the pick up/drop off times yet.

We head back inside the apartment, where Eleanor is stoked to have her playmate back. But Abigail has a very hard time transitioning to being back at home. Eleanor tries to hug her and Abigail shoves her to the ground. Eleanor lets out an over-reactive scream and begins to sob. I comfort Eleanor while Abigail hides out in her room for about 10 minutes. When she rejoins us, she is back to her usual self. I read a few books to the girls. They don't like to sit in front of me while I read like a teacher, so they take turns sitting in my lap while the other sits next to me. But if Abigail is sitting next to me, she doesn't consider that I've read those books to her. So if I read, A Big Guy Took My Ball to both girls while Eleanor is in my lap, even though she is sitting right next to me seeing every page and hearing every word, when it's Abigail turn to sit in my lap, she wants me to re-read A Big Guy Took My Ball.

11:50am - Eleanor and Abigail take the stack of books we just read (and re-read) to their room. They read together and then play nicely with their toys. I pull the chicken out of the oven and use this kid-free time to check my voicemail, email, Facebook, and blog.

12:15pm - Theodore is awake. I change his diaper and his sleeper and hold him while making lunch. It is tricky to make three lunches one handed, but I manage. I prop up Theodore in front of the girls' door and then knock, so when the open the door, they think Theodore is coming to fetch them for lunch. The whole thing is really cute. All four of us eat together and no one throws their plates or cups on the floor, which is a nice break for me. Theodore is a bit cold, so I make him wear the foxy hat I made him. He looks cutely ridiculous.

After lunch, we clean up and put most of the toys away, keeping a few out for Abigail to play with when Eleanor naps.

1pm - We finish cleaning up right at 1pm, which is Eleanor's nap time. I put her down and Abigail, Theodore, and I return to the living room. I nurse Theodore and do puzzles with Abigail until Theodore falls back asleep.

1:20pm - I slip Theodore back into the bedroom and break out a sticker book that Abigail got as Christmas/Congrats you have a brother present from a family friend. It keeps her occupied for a solid 40 minutes, which is a long time for her.

2pm - Theodore wakes up and I'm exhuasted. I bring Theodore, Abigail, and a few books into our bed and we snuggle up under the down comforter. I nurse Theodore, who instantly falls back asleep, and read to Abigail, but after one book, she's done. She walks around the bedroom and gets into things that aren't baby proof, like our lock-less dresser drawers and our bathroom with the door that doesn't latch. Finally she gives up on rousing Mommy and returns to the living room. I hear her reading to herself as I start to fall asleep. She jars me awake when she returns with a page ripped out of one of her favorite books. I sigh and get up.

2:30pm - Happy with her victory, Abigail contentedly munches some pita chips while I strip the now cooled chicken. I like to buy whole, free range, cage free chickens that did yoga and had regular massages, then roast the bird and shred the cooked meat. It's a very affordable way to get higher quality meat, plus I then have cooked chicken ready-to-go for recipes. Like tonight's chicken bacon ranch quesadillas. While I work, we practice singing "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer." I leave out the last line and she fills it in.
"Rudolph the red-nosed..."
"Had a very shiny..."
After a few renditions, she begs me to watch the "Reindeer movie," which I agree to because she's been asking for days, plus I can use the free time to do some more chores. I set her up then unload the dishwasher and wash the dishes I put to soak that morning.

3pm - Eleanor wakes up, so I bring her out to watch the movie too. While they watch, I fold and put away the last load of laundry for the day. I have a few phone calls to make, but when I finish the laundry, I just lay down on the couch and rest until the movie ends.

3:35pm - The movie ends and Theodore wakes up at the same time. I sit down to nurse Theodore, and after a battle over whose milk cup is whose (at one point, both girls were in tears. Over cups of milk), Abigail heads to her room for some alone time, and Eleanor floats around between the living room and the girls' room, sometimes playing alone, sometimes playing with me.

Theodore falls asleep in my arms, so I break out the tablet. I put it down when Eleanor wants my attention, but for the most part, I get a solid hour to myself to chill in the rocking chair, read articles, and browse for a recipe for a new dish I want to try.

4:35pm - Eleanor wants to do something physically active, so I put Theodore in his Rock n' Sleeper in the living room and we play a little game Eleanor invented where we jump off her step stool. After a while, I go to get a few balls out of the girls' room for us to play with when I realize that I forgot to replace the baby proofer thing that keeps the door from latching shut. So she was stuck in her room. I hold my breath (literally) when I open the door. Abigail is naked from the waste down, but thankfully hasn't pooped. I re-clothe her and check the room for wet spots, but it appears to be okay. I spray hand sanitizer on her hands and the three of us head to the living room for a game of catch/kick/hurl the ball. Theodore wakes up and watches us run around the living room.

5pm - The girls are getting tired and it's time to start dinner. I throw together some quesadillas and gather up things we'll need for later tonight. We have a 6pm appointment with our mortgage lender and I'm planning to set the girls up in their stroller with a movie in the sitting area of the bank while we go over paperwork. The girls are impatient while dinner is cooking. There is banging and coaster throwing. Whenever Abigail does something and I tell her no, Eleanor does it and calls my name, asking me to tell her "no" too. Things get worse, so I break into rousing renditions of this cheer Abigail learned in school for every member of the family, the car, cheese, and Eleanor's milk while they wait. They are content to watch my dramatic performance, complete with jazz hands between shredding the cheese and chopping up the bacon. When dinner is finally served, Abigail refuses to eat her plain, cheese quesadilla and Eleanor only eats the bites of her chicken bacon ranch quesadilla that have lots of ranch on them. I scarf my food and change the girls into their pajamas.

5:40pm - Matt gets home and gets the girls loaded in the car while I get Theodore in his carseat and lug everything out to the car.

6pm - Somehow we make it to the meeting on time, and our two fleece-jammied girls are perfect angels as they watch the movie. I brought the rest of their quesadillas, which they eat without complaint because they are distracted by the movie. This is actually really exciting for Abigail because normally she can't be distracted out of food hatred. I leave Theodore in his carseat and rock him until he falls asleep. The meeting is supposed to be short, but Matt likes to read every word of the paperwork and have indepth discussions with the banker. She thinks the discussions are fun and her and Matt's personalities totally click. I don't fully understand everything that's going on because I'm not very smart about this sort of stuff, but Matt is really smart, so I just trust him and sign what he tells me to sign. I leave the meeting feeling kinda stupid, and confess to Matt that I've felt this way the entire time. Matt insists that he is going to explain everything to me so that I fully understand all the details. I am half dreading and half anticipating the discussion.

7pm - We arrive at home just in time for the girls' regular bedtime. We read some stories and they fall asleep quickly. I leave Theodore in his carseat as he is still asleep. Matt and I browse through some of the mortgage paperwork. There was a fee our Realtor put into the closing costs that he didn't tell us about. We can't find the paperwork saying we approved this fee, so Matt sends out a "polite lawyer" email. He then starts in on some work on the finances while I type up this blog post.

8:23pm - The Realtor (for once) responds promptly and tells us the fee was in error and will not be on the paperwork at the closing on Monday. Crisis averted. The fee was a hefty one and he did such a terrible job for us that I am loathe to pay him a single dime.

9:15pm - I put the finishing touches on this blog post. I will probably get ready for bed after this, then maybe dink around online a bit or read a chapter from my book (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) until 10pm, hopefully Matt will have done enough work and will come to bed too. I'll bring Theodore but leave him in his carseat until he wakes up hungry. I predict it'll be around midnight, 3am, and 6am. Ah, another long, tiring, but good, day.

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