Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A day in the life

While I find these posts interesting, I had no desire to do one because it just seemed like a pain in the arse.  And, to be honest, the mundane details are a bit much for me.  But a conversation with DH yesterday made it clear that I need to do one.  He could not comprehend what I do all day, and I couldn't really explain it.  I knew that I was busy all day long, that I'm doing stuff all day long, but couldn't explain where all the time goes.  So I decided to do one to explain it to myself, and to him.  You guys just get to hear it, too.

Sunday, 23 September
11 pm: I decided to start my day with bedtime.  Because the course of my day is entirely dictated by how much sleep I get.  I laid down so late because DH kindly/mistakenly let me sleep so late yesterday morning.

11:30:  finally give up trying to sleep.  Meal plan for the week.  Apply for a mortgage (we're considering buying a rental property, my goal this week is to figure out financing, which is a little complicated because it's an investment property..)

Monday, 24 September
12:20 Lay down again.  Feel tired enough to sleep and start to drift off.
12:30  Greta wakes up.  Give her a bottle.  Catch up on Facebook and Twitter on my phone.  This is a big difference since MJ was born.  I didn't have an Iphone then, and didn't spend nearly so much time connected.  I'm generally not a fan of Facebook, but have found that I know far more about people's lives than I want to because I'm in the nursing phase of life.  I think this should be a named phase, much like "Retirement", because it has such a bearing on your activities.  Maybe it's the same as the "diapering years", but diapering doesn't really affect what you do with your time.
12:40.  Change Greta.  Reswaddle her and lay her in her crib.  Make sure she's settled.
12:47.  Pump.  Had pumped only two hours prior so this is a short session.
12:55.  Wash pump parts.  Put milk in fridge.  Bathroom.  Convince myself that Greta is asleep or close enough to it to try to sleep.
1:00.  Lay down.  Apparently sleep worked.
3:29.  Greta up.  Bring her into bed to nurse.  Also give her a small (2 oz) bottle to insure she got enough. This is the wake up that she often has a hard time settling back to sleep from, so I just keep her next to me so I can keep her Nuk in.  Half sleep for next few hours.
6:40  Return Greta to cradle.  Climb into bed.
7:40.  Chaos.  Apparently MJ woke up and I wasn't aware of it.  Go sleep in guest room and let DH deal with the girls so I can get some extra sleep.  This is the deal we've worked out. I get up with Greta through the night, then from 6 or 7 on (depending on the night) DH takes over (supposing his schedule that day allows for it).  He takes MJ into school and deals with Greta.  It means I miss out on some family time but get enough sleep, so I think we'll continue this for a while. 
9:40.  Greta wakes up.  Not sure how long DH and MJ have been gone, I'm guessing about an hour.  Give Greta a bottle.  Settle her in her cradle, make sure she's happy.
9:55. Pump.  Entertain Greta while pumping.

I feel compelled to include some pictures.  Many of them are blurry.  Here is the chair where I spend much of my day.  Super comfy.  Super cute when not filled with crap.  
10:06.  Change her diaper.  Get dressed.

  10:13  Go downstairs to this, and intend to clean.

Absolutely trashed from the weekend.  This is not a slam on DH, but he definitely doesn't help with the cleaning.  If I had his job I probably wouldn't either.  But everything stays where it was placed.  Dishes don't get put away.  Papers are left where they were set down after reading. 

Instead, need to calm Greta.  Turns out she likes being sung to.  Didn't know this.  We have a rousing rendition of "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

10:22 Start cleaning kitchen.  Pour coffee.  So in love with iced coffee, I will miss this once the cold weather hits.  I can't even comprehend how people with small children can get by without drinking coffee.

10:30.  Greta not having it. Try again to settle her.  She's sitting in her carseat in the kitchen.  Seems to want to sleep.
10:36.  Clean a bit.
10:42.  Still upset.  Try feeding her more.  For a while she was consistently eating every 3 to 4 hours, consistently eating 4 oz.  She seems to be upping her amount, so we're constantly guessing whether she's still hungry.  Didn't want a bottle, but likes being held.
10:47.  Settles down.  Try to clean.
10:50.  Give up.  Moby wrap her.  Pukes all over the place.  Maybe this was the issue? 
10:55.  Start cleaning with her strapped to me.  That doesn't work either.
10:58.  Back in her carseat.  She spends a lot of time in her car seat, seems to love it.  MJ was the same.
11:00.  Back in the Moby.  Frustrated.  Nothing is working. Tempted to give up and go for a walk.  But this time it works!  She falls asleep!  I commence cleaning!
11:10.  Return sleeping Greta to carseat.  It works.

 11:33.  Done!  I finish the dining room too.  Certainly not spotless but it pacifies me.

11:36:  Try to do laundry, but the washer didn't spin for some reason and the clothes are soaking wet.  I have serious issues with these new fangled HE washers.  They're good when they work but so often don't.  Set it to spin again.  So I go upstairs and review a quote from a landscaper for some work we want to have done in the backyard.  We need to replace a fence and a retaining wall, and are considering doing more.

11:46.  Look at reviews for double strollers.  Thought we could get by without one, but it has been prohibiting long walks and we're thinking of springing for one.

11:53.  Greta wakes up.  Furious child.  Change diaper and get stuff ready to leave the house.  Beautiful day, I think we're all feeling a bit stir-crazy and hope some fresh air will appease her.
12:11.  In the van.  Greta calms down with movement but gets fussy frequently during the drive.  I suspect she's hungry and hope she'll last until we get to the park.
12:23.  Arrive at Crosby Farms but it's closed!  Under construction!  Greta screaming, no where to park to feed her.  Head across the river to Lilydale.
12:31.  Arrive at Lilydale.  Feed Greta.  Read post by Law Momma about her 3 year old that convinces me that the fourth year (from 3 to 4) is terrible for everyone, not just me.  Having Greta means added frustrations, but also reminds me I'm not just a terrible parent, because I rarely get frustrated with Greta.  3 sucks.  That's the conclusion I come to. 
12:45.  Load up stroller.  Finally on a walk!  It's beautiful out, 70 degrees and possibly the last remaining warm day of the season.  I walk on a trail we went on with MJ the other day, only she threw a tantrum the whole time and was generally unpleasant.  It's nice to walk with a happy, fed baby in the beautiful weather.  I actually get far enough from roads to find some quiet.  The main thing I dislike about cities is the noise, so sometimes I have to seek out some quiet to regain sanity.

1:15.  Greta still awake but totally content; she loves the outdoors.  Turn around to head back to car.
1:24.  Finally asleep.  Not a peep!  Finish walk.
1:44.  Arrive back at car.  6,000 steps!  Have been aiming to get out for a good walk every day and continue to lose the baby weight.  I'm up 9 pounds from pre-pregnancy, losing about a pound a week.  Could be worse, but would really enjoy fitting into my pants again.
1:58.  Arrive back home.
2:03.  Pump.  4.5 oz.  Supply seems to be back.  We had a babysitter on Saturday night and I went too long without pumping a couple times, seemed to affect my supply, but it seems to be back to normal.
2:10.  Try for laundry again.  Still hasn't spun!  Lint trap appears to be clogged.  Change it, try the spin cycle again.
2:17.  Must choose between lunch or shower, as I don't think the nap will last much longer.  As you can see, I need a shower.  But lunch wins.  I heat up some frozen taquitos.  Guilty pleasure that I don't eat when MJ is around.
2:21.  Front porch.  Beautiful day!  Research strollers some more.  Dishes.
2:31.  Greta wakes up, but seems to settle down again.  Decide to risk it and hop in shower.
2:43.  Greta wakes up again.  Shower done!
2:48.  Back asleep.  Ugh.  Hungry?  Don't know.  Decide to call Citibank for some mortgage questions.  Of course Greta wakes up the moment I'm no longer on hold.  I feed her while answering questions.  Lots of cries, but thankfully the customer service rep was understanding.  I think he has a small child at home too.
3:16.  Off the phone.  Change diaper and clothes.
3:23.  Tummy time!!  Doesn't go well.  Pack stuff up to leave the house.
3:33.  In car.  On my way to pick up MJ at head to swim class.
3:40.  Arrive at daycare.  Check to make sure towel is in car ; relieved that it is.  Thankfully MJ comes without issue today.  Often this departure is a tantrum because I arrive when she's in the middle of something fun and she doesn't want to come.
3:46.  Back in car.  Endure 200 questions and lots of traffic on our way to swim class.  Better than whining.  Someday I will count the actual number of questions.
4:09.  Arrive at pool.  Pickup was smooth and traffic minimal, so we have lots of time.  Get MJ into her swimsuit.  Endure obligatory stop at potty, simply because it is kid sized and therefore must be visited.
4:16.  Dressed and ready.  Sit by pool and breathe a sigh of relief.
4:22.  Dad arrives!!  SCREAMS!!! Try to keep MJ from running on the wet floor but fail.
4:30.  Class starts.  It appears the trouble maker boy is absent, but he shows up after a little bit.  Watch him splash the two other kids in the class and be a general pain in the arse.  This time his parents actually try to discipline him, so that's a step in the right direction.  Also, this time MJ was also a bit of trouble so my high horse is not so inpenetrable.
5:00.  Class done.  (Note: Greta has been sleeping this ENTIRE time.  Dad asks during class if this counts as a date since both of our children are otherwise engaged.  I note that it is a sad state of affairs if we have to be asking this question.)  Get MJ changed into street clothes.  Tactfully try to explain why there is a little girl using a nebulizer in the changing room.  Wait as MJ takes adult sized dump in the kiddy toilet.
5:15.  Back in van.
5:18.  Arrive at Chipotle next door.  Enjoy a relatively uneventful meal and some Dad time before he has to go back to work.  Give Greta a bottle.
5:49.  Dinner done.  Back to van.  Kiss Dad goodbye, he leaves for meeting.  Endure MJ's sing-yelling the entire way home.  Turn radio up to drown her out until she is so loud I can't even hear the radio and demand she quiet down.  Finally a song by Lumineers comes on the radio and she claps along, both of us pacified for the moment.
6:11.  Arrive home.  Disembark.
6:18.  Pump.  MJ plays with loud banging toy.  Try to remember if I got her this, in which case what was I thinking.  Or someone else, in which case thanks!  She loves it!  Still plays with it two years later!

6:28.  Finish pumping.  Change Greta's diaper.  Head outside.
6:39.  MJ is ready to scooter.  Argue about why we are not going to the park and we are just staying in front of the house.  Finally okay with it once she sees neighbors are out.  Neighbor stops by, happy to hold Greta and get his baby fix.  We end up in an in-depth conversation on schools, starting children early (which we're considering for MJ) and the right fit for your kid.  MJ stalks his cat, plays with his boys, and goes in his house for something?  Don't know.  It takes a village, and the village is happy to entertain her.  Beautiful fall evening, just happy to get everyone outside.  Greta busy starting at a tree but eventually falls asleep.  All is well.
7:20.  Back inside.  Lay Greta down.
7:28.  Get MJ in bath and of course Greta wakes up.  Attempt to pacify her for the remainder of the bath.
7:50.  Bath done.  Get ready for bed.  Have conversation with MJ about whether she's up to undies, as she's had MANY accidents the past few days.  Agree to give undies a shot.  Give Greta a bottle because she's not calming down.
8:10.  Dad gets home!!  OMGG!!!! THE BEST THING EVER!!!  We all settle in MJ's room and read books.  This is one of my favorite parts of the day, as it's the only time MJ really cuddles.
8:25.  Nearly done reading books.  Has been a really excellent evening with no real tantrums.  MJ announces she's hungry and we tell her she'll have to wait until morning.  I don't actually believe she's hungry, just stalling.  This sparks a total, balls to the wall meltdown.  We try to tuck her in but it's no use.  We say good night and turn off the light.
8:30.  Start puumping.
8:33.  MJ still screaming.  Now Greta starts screaming.
8:36.  Greta calms down.  MJ still screaming.
8:40.  Finish pumping.  Wash pump parts.
8:50.  Tantrum finally ends.  I go in to tuck her in again.  Dad goes in after me and tantrum starts AGAIN.  Poor Dad.  What a horrible thing to come home to.
9:00.  Tantrum ends, this time for good.  MJ in bed.  Dad worn out.  Mom worn out.  Mom gets a beer.  Head upstairs to watch mindless TV, address birth announcements and work on this post.  Head to bed ~11:00 and start it all over again.

I learned a couple things from this post.
1)  I live my day in 5-10 minute increments.  That's really the length of time that anything happens for, most of the time.
2)  I spend quite a lot of time in my minivan.  My glorious, glorious minivan.  I've thought about trying to find swim classes closer to home, but that drive is one of the only calm parts in my day.
3)  Greta really does take most of my time when MJ is at preschool.  I thought I was getting more time to do other things, but no.


  1. I like to think my DITL posts serve as effective birth control when I get notions about baby #3.

    I have a pile of parenting books hoping they will answer some question about how to handle a 3 year old more effectively. I'm pretty sure the answer will be wine for me.

  2. It's amazing how much time everything takes with a kid. What happened to the days when I grabbed my purse and walked out the door - and it took 2 minutes. Now it seems like it takes forever to even do simple things.

    My Doctor gave me such a sad face when I said my daughter is 2.5 years old and then tried to comfort me by saying that once she turns 4 it will all change.

  3. I really hope this lets your lovely hubster know "what you do all day" :) This was alternately hilarious and sad to read. I mean sure, some great moments, but just the days are just sooo draining sometimes.

  4. it’s not always easy being a mom. No matter how hard you try, with all that you do right, you're bound to do some things wrong.