Monday, January 27, 2014

Day in the Life, Winter 2014

Another Day in the Life!  If you want to know about these, read more on Laura's blog here:

Or, if you want to read my past posts, find them here:

I wish I had done one of these when MJ was a baby.  I think I remember how I felt about things, and what I spent my time doing, but I'm sure this is colored by later experience.  To the extent that I have the ability to plan my life, this will be the last 'Day in the Life' post written under the influence of a newborn.  As before, I wrote this as a 24-hour post because that's how newborns operate.

This was January 20th to 21st, 2014.  MJ was 4 yrs and 4 months, Greta was 18 months and Teddy was 3 1/2 weeks.  As you might expect, this was written in a haze.  I decided to write this on the day my Mom left town.  She arrived a week-and-a-half before Teddy was born and had been staying with us since.  I had been dreading her departure and wasn't sure how we'd manage without her.  Part of me was looking forward to it, just because I'd been dreading it for so long.  I'm a rip the band-aid off quickly kind of girl, and when I dread something I just want it to be over.  (But Mom, we miss you a great deal.  It's nice that we're figuring out how to survive on our own, though.)

She'll kill me for including this, but I love this picture.  It's Nana being an awesome Nana.
8:15 p.m. The girls are in bed, so my Mom and I sit down to watch Downton Abbey. Hubs is working an evening shift, so she stayed an extra day to help with the kiddos.  It's nice to have someone to watch Downton with, because the hubs totally dislikes it.  He watched half of an episode, commented that no one had made a single joke and was done with it (he must not have watched a segment with Maggie Smith, though.)  We hold Teddy while we watch and he drifts off to sleep.

Testing the low-light capabilities of my iPhone and introducing Teddy to British drama.
9:15 p.m. Finish the show, hugs goodnight and goodbye because she'll be catching a cab to the airport early in the morning.  My Mom is a crier, I know I've inherited this from her.  If she ever leaves without tears I'll wonder what's wrong.  I know I should go straight to bed, but with Mom around I've been getting extra sleep and I'm not very tired.  I climb in bed and read Looking For Alaska.  Since Teddy was born I've been reading books on my phone.  I like that it's one handed, and since I always have my phone with me I don't have to wonder where I put down my book.  I thought I'd hate e-books but have really been enjoying them, may have to invest in a Kindle.  

9:45 p.m. Greta wakes up and cries half heartedly.  I debate going in but feel it will only make things worse.  Not sure why she's awake.  She has a charming and weird habit of piling books in her crib (like, 10 at a time) and "reading" them in the dark after I put her to bed at night.  Then she falls asleep on top of them, and I wonder if these wake ups are because she wakes up uncomfortable from sleeping on a pile of books.  She finally falls back asleep, so I brush my teeth and slather on moisturizer. (I've really started to notice the eye wrinkles emerging).  I climb in bed at 10.  Toss and turn until 10:30, because I slept in too late this morning and drank coffee too late.

1:10 a.m. Teddy wakes up.  I give him a bottle and go potty (I can't stop calling it "potty", even when the 4-year-old isn't around.  Wonder when I'll go back to saying "take a piss").

1:25 a.m.  Start pumping.  This is the terrible part of exclusively pumping, though usually he takes a few minutes to settle so it's probably not time lost.  I also don't pump for very long at night, so it's really not too bad.  I check the internet, whilst trying not to wake up too much.  While I pump I replace Teddy's pacifier and hope he falls into a deeper sleep.

The scene while I pump, every night, every day.  The swaddle/wubbanub combo works magic.

1:36  a.m.  Finish. 9 oz.  Only so much because he slept so long (he went to bed at ~8, while we were watching Downton Abbey).  This is a mixed blessing; it's not good for my milk supply, but I appreciate the sleep too much to complain, and I'm still producing plenty. I rinse the pump stuff.  When MJ was a baby I was so high strung about washing and sanitizing pump parts.  This time I'm much more lax, and it allows me a lot less stress.  I often just rinse the parts and let them dry.  Considering breast milk is antimicrobial I've decided this is plenty clean for overnight use.  I potty again and put Teddy's pacifier back in his mouth again.  He looks awfully awake but I turn the light off anyways and hope for the best.

1:46 a.m. Climb in bed.  Chug some water.  Hopefully asleep by 2:00...

4:50 a.m.  Teddy up.  I wake up my Mom because she wanted to feed him again before she leaves, then I start pumping.  Didn't sleep very well during that last stretch.  Not sure why but Greta starts crying again.   She's been so upset the past couple days. Teething?  I just don't know.  She calms herself down and I hope she doesn't wake early.  One kid awake at night is enough.

5:00 a.m. Finish pumping.  6.5 oz.  Wash stuff.  Store milk (I store it in a cooler bag in my room at night so I don't have to take it down to the fridge).   Give my mom a hug and crawl back into bed. She says she'll change Teddy and put him back to sleep.

5:45 a.m.  Mom leaves.  Teddy promptly wakes back up and I bring him into bed with me.  He does this every night, where he is restless but still sleepy for the last few hours of the night.  I get intermittent sleep until 7:00.  He's restless so I give him another bottle.  I swear I hear someone downstairs and wake up hubs to go check (I was being delusional).   He also checks on the girls, who are awake. He  gets them dressed and climbs back into bed until 7:30.  He informs me he'll get up with them so I pop in earplugs, hoping Teddy will sleep a bit so I can sleep a bit.  At 8:00 I'm still periodically popping in his pacifier.  I try him in the swing.  No good.  This is the first kid we've had who doesn't like the swing, and I find it frustrating (though not as frustrating as hubs finds it).

8:20 a.m.  I give up.  I pump and decide I'm up for the day.  Hubs takes MJ to school.  She is already lamenting Nana's absence, as are we all.

8:40 a.m.  Give Teddy a bottle.  Greta makes the morning joyous, as she often does.  She continues to make me feel like such a rockstar in the morning, thinking I'm the most amazing thing in the world when she first sees me. Lands in timeout, many times, for harassing Vito.  I put Teddy in the Moby so that he'll calm down, as he wants to be held constantly. I have a feeling this kid is going to live in the moby for a while.  I eat a breakfast of Cheerios and a hard-boiled egg, and Greta insists on sharing it with me. I'm excited I finally convinced the kids to eat hard-boiled eggs, they're the ultimate in portable protein. Greta and I "discuss" different body parts, which is her poking me and me telling her what she's poking.  She knows "belly", "eye", "nose", "cheek", "toes", "tongue", and "arm".   

9:10 a.m.  Commence bottle washing and kitchen cleaning.  The morning rush, getting 2 very hungry children fed and MJ off to school, is always crazy and leaves quite a mess.  The bottle stack in the morning is always pretty immense.  Hubs comes down from the shower and we discuss the day.    I have dreaded this day, my mom leaving, for weeks now. In some sense it's nice to know the worst is finally over, though.

Love watching these two play. As hubs has expressed, he likes the kids once they find him funny.  Greta finds him hilarious, so they're best buds.

9:30 a.m. Take Teddy out of the Moby and hand him to hubs, so I can go to the bathroom and take a shower.  Lucky thing he has an easy day today.  I weigh myself, 13 more pounds to go to get to pre-baby weight.  15 pounds to get to pre-pre-baby weight (I was only 8 months out when I got pregnant, hadn't quite hit pre-pregnancy weight.  8 months... that makes me sound like a crazy person).

9:50 a.m. While I'm taking a shower hubs comes in to lament his realization that he has to work during the Super Bowl.  I'm not as sympathetic as I should be, I feel like I can't handle any one else complaining to me, whether through words or crying.  I ask him to leave.  He sets Teddy down so he can take a conference call, who promptly starts screaming for 5 minutes while I finish getting out of the shower.  I know it's illogical, but I fear he has been conditioned to only sleep while being held, which was much easier when there was an extra pair of hands around.  (the rest of the week has shown me this is true, but I don't think it's anyone's fault, just how he's made.)
Post shower.  Clean, but that's about as much as I can say.  The chaos surrounds me.  I thought about throwing out the unflattering photos, but that just wouldn't be authentic, now would it?

10:00 a.m. I get Teddy to sleep in his cradle, swaddled with a pacifier.  I have to close the doors to his room so Greta can't get to him.  I start putting the huge piles of clothes away.  I keep having to put Teddy's pacifier back in and finally decide he's hungry.

10:15 a.m. I get pumping stuff, bottle and nipple shield. I attempt to nurse Teddy but he immediately falls asleep.  I had hoped he would learn to nurse before my mom left.   I'm not sure how much longer I can continue pumping.  I find this so frustrating.  Greta retrieves piles of clean socks from Nana's room and scatters them about while I try to nurse.  All he does is sleep while  latched on just like when he first started nursing.

Thankfully Greta is happy to entertain herself while I pump, but it always involves destroying his room.

10:30 a.m. I give up and put him back in his cradle.  Five minutes later he's up again and I try again. He falls asleep again.

Sleepy boy.  He's awfully cute, even when he refuses to nurse.
10:40 a.m. I give in and give him a bottle.  He takes 2 ounces and pukes up a fair amount.  So of course, now I question if he was hungry at all.  I pump while he lays in his cradle and Greta makes a mess of his room.
I cannot take my eyes off her for a second.  Not surprisingly, she has no sense of his fragility. 

10:55 a.m. Finish pumping.  Rinse stuff.  Husband comes downstairs after finishing his conference call and I start crying.  He loves when I randomly bombard him with tears.  I just feel overwhelmed and tired, not sure how I'm going to do it all.  Teddy does not want to be put down for a moment, which wouldn't bother me if he was the only kid, but he's not.  

After I collect myself, I put Teddy in the Moby and do dishes.  Hubs helps feed Greta lunch and I get a marinade ready for some salmon I bought the day before at the grocery store.  He's being super helpful today (and doesn't even know I'm doing a day in the life).  He cuts up some green beans for dinner and gets Greta a third helping of lunch (this girl eats!). She's been much happier today, thankfully.

No picture of my day would be complete without a photo of my coffee cup.  It is crucial to everything.

11:30 a.m. Everyone is fed.  Teddy is asleep, finally.  I put him in his cradle and cross my fingers- he stays asleep!  I put the rest of the laundry away.  Bedroom isn't clean but at least it's not buried so deep.  Greta plays downstairs with dad.  I hope she'll go to sleep soon while Teddy is sleeping.  She comes upstairs and helps me put clean sheets on the guest room bed.  She keeps trying to climb on it and put her baby to bed but I tell her she has to wait until it's made.
Greta loves "helping" with the laundry, though that means it will end up somewhere unexpected.  Here, the basket has become a baby crib (which means the clothes have been dumped on the floor somewhere).

12:00 p.m. Teddy starts making noises.  I try giving him his pacifier but he's clearly hungry; I feed him another bottle but he's still not satiated.  I give him another ounce, for 4 ounces total (a ton for him!) and then I Moby him.  Hubs leaves for work and Greta waves goodbye to him from the window; this occupies her for a good 10 minutes.  Greta is not acting very tired but it's her nap time so I decide to try, largely because I'm aching for a break.  She piles 7 books on my lap then climbs up to read.  Some of the books are on the long side and she gets fed up and throws them on the ground; even she knows she has a short attention span.  When we finish the pile I put her in her crib (with the pile of books) and say "Night-night".  Still not sleepy looking but happy, so I'm hopeful.

Teddy, all Moby'd up.  I don't know how I'd survive without this thing.

12:30 p.m. I put Teddy in his cradle and pump.  I hear her with one of her noisy books while I pump, but eventually there is no sound so she must be asleep.  I rinse pump parts but decide not to deal with anything else so I can get a break. I lay Teddy on the bed next to me, eat some popcorn (in bed!) and catch up on some emails while he looks around.  I get out his play mat, which I can't do while Greta is awake because she'll stomp on him.  He stares at the toys intently so I convince myself he is being enriched.  Among other things, I look at flights for a trip we're taking to Florida in March with some friends.  Just thinking about the sunshine is enough to warm me up.
Mesmerized by the playmat?  Or so I tell myself to assuage the guilt of a much-needed break.

1:50 p.m. I lay Teddy in his cradle and wonder if he’ll sleep.  With some objection, he finally sleeps.  I peruse Pinterest for some projects to do with Greta and read the New York Times.

2:30 p.m. Greta is up!  I hadn't even realized how long she'd been asleep until I looked at the time.  For the first time all day I feel somewhat calm and rejuvenated, maybe I can do this.  The quiet and rest was needed.  

OMG!! A new toy arrived while I was sleeping!!!

When I get G from her crib she is a hot mess for no apparent reason.  Usually long naps mean happy Greta but apparently not today.  We head downstairs (she insists on being carried) and she drinks an entire sippy cup of water; thirsty, I guess.  I cut up a cantaloupe and she has some for snack.  I manage to get all the dishes put away and the dishwasher loaded.  I'm feeling very accomplished, it's amazing how much more productive I can be without a baby strapped to me.

3:00 Despite some squawks Teddy is still asleep so I decide to get as much done as possible.  I pick up the living room a bit and have a dance party with G; we've been loving Justin Timberlake lately.  We play with stacking animals and she is amazed by them, for some reason.  Then she puts them in the oven, obviously.  She decides she wants to play on her own (one of my saving graces in this new 3-kid-adventure is how much she loves playing by herself.)  I call Fossil to order some new parts for hubs watch, and they inform me that they no longer carry those parts, and offer an $85 gift card if I send the watch back.  Score for me!

I don't even bother taking the Moby off.  Greta is enjoying making faces in the mirror (and looks so much like MJ in this photo.)

3:20 p.m. Hubs come home.  He has decided to reorganize our first aid kit and stopped to pick up supplies.  My fatigue hits me suddenly, out of the blue.  I go upstairs to pump; hubs stays downstairs to work on his first aid kit and watch G.  I'm already looking forward to bed time.

What?  Don't your kids play with pill bottles too?  

3:30 p.m. Finish pumping.  4 oz.  Hubs and I have a discussion of where MJ will be in school next year, because we have to decide if we're going to submit her registration for her current (private, expensive) school.  Next year she would be eligible for public preschool but we currently have her enrolled in private preschool, so trying to decide whether to continue her in private kindergarten or try to get her into public kindergarten.  It's slightly complicated and all because of when her birthday falls.  You can read about it here.  Anyway, we decide to pay the registration for private kindergarten and possibly swallow that cost if something public works out.  

I warm up the car to go get MJ.  When I leave G is scattering Vito's dog food throughout the house and hubs is still organizing the first aid kid.
I know this will end badly, but sometimes I just let it go.  These days even more so.

4:00 p.m. I get in the van (by myself!  Teddy's still asleep!) to go pick up MJ.  I turn in her school registration and talk to everyone (teachers, staff) about Teddy.  I've only briefly seen them since he was born and apparently MJ has been talking about him constantly.  They're starting a unit on pets and MJ begs me to bring in Vito and leave him at school for the day.  Instead we decide to bring him in briefly in the morning next week, and the secretary offers to help watch Greta while we visit (though I think she wanted to watch Teddy, but he's easy to stick in a carrier when we're out.)  

In the van MJ discusses Martin Luther King Jr. Day (which was yesterday).  I had meant to talk about it with her but never did, so I'm glad they did at school.  I'm a bit amazed by the level of detail they went into in school, including talking about how he was killed for his beliefs.  There is some confusion, though, because MJ is under the impression that it was MLK who threw Rosa Parks off the bus.  She also feels that Rosa Parks was being "bad" because she wasn't listening when they asked her to move.  I discuss civil disobedience, trying to figure out how to frame it so that she doesn't use it as an excuse not to listen.

Somehow, the conversation devolves into a discussion of who was born first, Santa Claus or MLK.  I love post-school conversations.  We also discuss who she played with at school, and she says "nobody", which feeds my weird mom fear that she's struggling with friends at school.  Her desire to change the subject just feeds my fears.  ::sigh::

4:45 p.m.  We arrive home.   There is dog food everywhere on the kitchen floor.  Having the husband watch the kids is sometimes a mixed bag.  MJ kindly helps pick it up and I put Vito's food on the counter, which of course leads to frustration for Greta. I peel and boil potatoes for mashed potatoes, then preheat the oven for the fish.  Unfortunately, it doesn't light.  Our oven has intermittent lighting problems and probably has for 2 years.  It also sometimes flashes an error code.  I bought a part to fix it 6 months ago (!) and finally installed it a couple days earlier.  I knew it would fix the error code issue but didn't know if it would fix the lighting issue.  I am disappointed to find it has not and sheepishly ask Aaron to light the stove.  I am amazed he has put up with these oven problems for so long, I probably would by much less tolerant if the roles were reversed.  I promise him I'll call an appliance repair man.

5:00 p.m. Convince hubs to check on Teddy, who has been sleeping for 3 hours now.  In the chaos of working on dinner I'm not sure if hubs woke him up or if he happened to wake up.  At any rate, hubs feeds him 2 oz while I finish dinner.

5:15 p.m.  We eat!  I'm feeling pretty accomplished for getting a real meal on the table after our first day with 3 kids, though I know much of it is because hubs has been around to help.  It is the only fish recipe I like and thankfully the family loves it, or we would never eat fish.
A not very pretty picture and a very messy table.  But photo evidence nonetheless.
5:45 p.m.  Teddy is still not content, so I give him 2 more oz and we FaceTime with Baba (my mother-in-law).  Hubs is being very helpful picking up from dinner while we sit, and the smoothness of the day is not lost on me.  I am too spacey to be much of a conversationalist, but the girls chat in their own way.

6:10 p.m.  Pump.  G puts babies to bed around me, which is her newest past time.  She also spends time hitting them with a spoon; I'm not sure what this is supposed to represent, but I swear she didn't learn it from me.
This baby is being put to bed on the changing table.  (She was gleeful when she found it there the next morning.)
I don't even remember when this happened.  Sometimes moments of the day glide right past me.
6:20 p.m.  Finish pumping. Another 4 oz.  Bedtime is in sight.  We go downstairs and I finish cleaning up the kitchen and pack MJ's lunch.  I send MJ upstairs to put pajamas on.  Tonights tantrum (because there is always some sort of bedtime tantrum) is because she wants to tuck her dad in.  We all go upstairs to read books. I put Greta's PJs on while hubs starts reading, and when I finish she melts down and flails on the floor.  I read, then lights go out and the night light goes on.  Greta gets a 4 oz bottle of milk (I know) while I chat with MJ about her day.   I put Greta in her crib with her pile of books and give the girls hugs and kisses.

7:10 p.m. Pump again.  4 more oz.  Moo.  Grab a beer and my book.  Chill with Teddy until he falls asleep.  Another day down.

The cycle starts again.


  1. Annie is also at her most chatty immediately following the daycare pickup - love those conversations. This DITL actually seems pretty okay for having a newborn! Can't believe you pumped 4oz each time at the end of the day only an hour apart, by the way - that's pretty awesome! Hope Teddy does figure out how to nurse at some point though...

  2. Yeah, seriously, your single 9oz pump was more than I could usually get a in a whole day. Bravo! You are useful and delicious.
    I think it is unfair that you started this at such a time on the 20th that you left out that you MADE MY FAMILY DINNER and dropped it off. So not only are you keeping your own family going, you are keeping my family going too. This is the stuff of legends.

  3. I switched to mostly iphone reading after Oliver was born and sleeping in our room. It's pretty handy although I assume it messes with my sleep/circadian rhythms. Oh well, those are already pretty messed up on their own.

    I'm glad you did this day as it offers a peek into my future, but also: AHHHHHH. However, cute kids/babies helps a lot and your certainly have those.

    And reading the comment above: ZOMG you made someone dinner!?!? BLUE RIBBONS FOR YOU.

  4. Maggie (and Laura), it's only fair to note that the reason I was able to make you dinner is that my Mom was in town. Had it been a day later, it wouldn't have happened.

    Also, Laura, I have to say that a week later I can now say that it is not having three kids that is so very difficult, it is having a newborn and an 18-month-old. That age spread is very challenging. So maybe your addition will be cake!

  5. I also worry way too much about my almost 4year old who claims he plays with "nobody" every day at preschool. Since I work at the school & may occasionally spy on him, I know this to be true but it really doesn't seem to bother him. He will play with the teachers but he just is content doing his own thing. Also, having 10 out of 13 kids being boys, I think it gets very overwhelming for him.

    What a blessing to have your mom in town for such a large chunk of time! And way to go on the pumping, that would be exhausting in itself. And finally, I agree (even though I haven't experienced it) that a newborn and an 18 month old would be the biggest challenge. It sounds like your Greta is much like my youngest in that are just always up to something!!

  6. Reading your day is so reminiscent of my life right now. Kudos to you for penning such a detailed post! I, too, find one of my biggest challenges during the day keeping my toddler from not hurting our newborn. Their spacing is 26 months apart and it juuust now seems to be getting a little better at 10 weeks in.

    Also, boo for Teddy not liking the swing. My daughter was like that and I swear my only saving grace this time is how chill my little dude is. Having to carry / hold the baby 24/7 is such a productivity killer. Keep up the good work, lady!

  7. I am just fascinated / impressed by all of your pumping amounts - I NEVER got anywhere near that much. Moo indeed - that line made me laugh. As did the hitting the babies with the spoon (my kids do random stuff like that too) and the post-school MLK / Santa convo. Congrats on the little one!

  8. My kid hated the swing as well. We tried many a times and most of the time she would cry (and puke - she puked a lot). One day husband boxed the swing back up and returned it. I pointed out that our kid puked all over it, but he didn't care. Sorry to whoever might have ended up with that swing. :)