Monday, April 28, 2014

Day in the life, Spring 2014

It's hard to believe that a year ago when I did a day-in-the-life post, I had just found out I was pregnant.  Despite it being tops in my mind I had to keep it to myself.  Now here I sit, with an almost-four-month-old.  It continues to amaze me how much can change in a year.  What will I do when my life is no longer changing by leaps and bounds on an annual basis?

The date is Friday, April 25, 2014.  MJ is 4 1/2, Greta is 21 months and Teddy is just shy of 4 months.

4:00 a.m. Teddy cries out.  Although he slept through the night twice this week (from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.) he is usually up once a night.  This is not a complaint, since it is worlds better than what we were dealing with a few short weeks ago.  In addition, I decided earlier this week to cut back on pumping (which I had been doing 6 times a day, pumping ~20 oz of milk).  I was feeling burned out, and with recurrent clogged ducts just needed to gain some more sanity.  On a whim, I decided to try nursing him a few days ago.  I didn't expect much, because the last few times I had tried, almost a month ago, he had screamed and screamed.  This time, though, he latched.  And he nursed.  That was Tuesday, and he's been nursing throughout the day since.  I still supplement with formula, but he seems to be getting a fair amount, and my supply seems to be going up a bit.  It still makes me a bit crazy, and I kind of wish it just hadn't worked at all, but I'll continue this for a while to see how it goes.  As long as I don't get caught up in it, feeling guilty if I have to supplement, it won't make me crazy.  I just have to keep reminding myself he's getting more than if I stopped altogether.  So cutting corners is better than stopping altogether.

But I digress.  I nursed him on side and fell asleep, but he freaked out when I put him in his crib.  So I nursed the other side and he fell asleep for good.  This is part of what makes me so crazy with nursing.  Because I know that I don't have a strong supply, any time he is ever upset I assume he must be hungry and it is my fault.

When I climb back in bed, hubs grumbles that he's been up with Greta since 2:00 a.m.  Both of the littles (littlest littles) have colds.  Greta got it first and gave it to Teddy, and she's been up for the past few nights.  This wouldn't have been so bad, but hubs and I were feeling overly confident in our children's sleep last night, and felt like enjoying the first night of a three-day weekend with him home, and had staid up late watching American Hustle.  By late, I mean 10:30.  He had said he'd get up with the kids in the morning, and I'm starting to wonder if I will lose that offer.

6:00 a.m. Teddy stirs, he's not really upset but he doesn't seem likely to go back to sleep, so I put him in the swing and cross my fingers.  I think shortly thereafter hubs got up and gave him a bottle but I was too sleepy to know what was going on.  I think MJ also got up at some point and was told to go sleep in the guest room so she doesn't wake her sister.  Again, hubs dealt with that and I'm not sure what happened.  

7:00 a.m. Husband's alarm goes off to remind him of a meeting.  Apparently he had forgotten about this.  My hopes of sleeping in are out the door.  I feel somewhat annoyed but must not be too sleep deprived because I manage to keep it at bay.  Teddy still seems hungry so I bring him into bed and nurse him.  Greta is still asleep and I hear MJ pounding around downstairs, probably getting into Easter candy she's not supposed to have (and, I later realize, eating some oatmeal hubs made for her before he left).  I spend this quiet time checking email and Instagram, including the comments on a post comparing MJ and Teddy as babies.   Teddy falls asleep and I try to snooze.

This outfit.  I don't remember where it came from, but it's so very 1995 it makes me giggle.
This face.  I die, every time.

7:40 a.m. I give up trying to fall back asleep, especially once it dawns on me I might be able to get a quick shower, a luxury I never get in the morning because mornings are simply too crazy and I can't trust Greta alone with Teddy for a moment.  I put Teddy in his crib and he stays asleep.   I weigh myself, up 2 1/2 pounds.  I've been trying to buckle down and lose the baby weight, and had been doing really well, quickly losing 5 pounds.  Apparently it wasn't real, though, because a day of more normal eating and it all springs back.  I know it will be easier in a few months, but I'm anxious.  Anyway, I climb in the shower and try to be quick and quiet.

7:55 a.m. Climb out of the shower and turn off the fan to listen for the sound of crying.  Amazingly, everything is still quiet.  What an unusual start to the day.  

8:00 a.m. G is up and she sounds angry.  To be fair, she is always angry when she wakes up.  In my quest to get Teddy to sleep better I had been reading about sleep issues, and apparently this signifies that she has no period of lighter sleep before waking but wakes immediately out of a deep sleep.  There's nothing to do about it and it's not necessarily bad, but it does mean we're doomed to a grouchy waker forever.  I am also a grouchy waker, so I have probably earned this.
What treasures await me in that diaper?

When I go in her room I see that she has unzipped her footy pajamas and partially taken off a poopy diaper.  She has been occasionally unzipping her pajamas for a couple weeks now, so I should know better, but I keep forgetting.  This is the first gross outcome but it was only a matter of time.  Although it is seriously gross it could be about hundred times worse because it is 99% contained. I change her and immediately Teddy starts crying as well.  She's a hot mess and also wants a lot of cuddling when she first wakes up.  She also has some serious jealousy of me holding Teddy, and she's hungry, so she turns into a flailing puddle on the floor when I have to go get him.

This is what I'm dealing with, folks.  I had intended this to be a D-SLR post, but couldn't find my camera all day.  Next time around, I hope.
This jacket.  It's stuck.  

Life is so hard.  And I don't know why.  This is the face I must console whilst nursing.
Also poopy, this makes my 3rd diaper change of the day. I change him as well and then sit down to nurse him.  I do my best to soothe her while feeding Teddy.  MJ comes upstairs to see what is going on, and I ask her to get Greta a banana while I nurse.  After much coaxing, Greta follows MJ downstairs.  However, Greta fails to eat it at the table and gets angry at Vito when he steals it from her while she's climbing up the stairs.  She still doesn't really speak many words, but she understands a great deal.  She comes into Teddy's room, still crying, and I ask her if she was sitting on a chair to eat her banana.  She looks guilty.  I tell her that Vito wouldn't have eaten her banana if she'd been at the table and she calms down.  She gets it.  I look forward to language development because I think it will solve so many of these issues.  At least, I hope so.

Awaiting me downstairs.  Queen Elsa.

And then, the next moment, playing dead on the kitchen floor.  I don't know why.
8:35 a.m. I finally finish nursing Teddy and head downstairs. I get breakfast for Greta and I; Cheerios  for her and oatmeal for me.  And coffee, of course.  Trying to get back to this diet today after too many potato chips yesterday.  Despite Greta's melt down, this is a seriously good morning so far, and I even have time to go to the bathroom while Greta eats and Teddy plays happily on his mat.  My standards for "good morning" have apparently sunk pretty low.

This girl could eat cheerios for 3 meals a day.  There are worse things.
Fueling our day.

This boy almost always wants personal interaction, which is fine (and fun).  But when he plays happily by himself it's amazing.

This video is 4 minutes, but a pretty accurate representation of my life right now.  When no one's crying, that is.

9:08 a.m. I text hubs for an update.  Although he had a meeting, he's supposed to be done by 9:30, at the latest, and plans to head home after.  I have decided to go for a walk to a park, since it's sunny outside and relatively warm, and I hope that he can join us.   But his plans change frequently and I'm trying to decide whether to wait for him.  I also see that our last texts to each other were argument texts.   I hate when that happens, and it brings up memories of an argument you've gotten past.  I wish there was a clear screen function on iMessage.  First world problems.

I didn't remember to take many selfies.  This is about as much as you get.

Last night, while G was playing quietly in the bathroom and we knew we should probably parent, she was apparently filling up my bobby pin container with water.  Could have been worse.

G loves to reorganize my makeup while I'm in the shower.  I never quite know where anything is.

Everyone is happy to entertain Teddy. 
So very proud of her parenting skillz. 

9:25 a.m. I finish putting on makeup and try to FaceTime Nana but there is no answer (she's 2 hours behind, so probably still sleeping). Hubs will be back at 10.  Change Greta, 4th diaper today.  Teddy, G and I start to go downstairs, but Greta freaks out and wants to hold my hand going down.  This is a recurrent problem.  She won't go up or down stairs unless being carried or holding hands (which isn't terribly safe because she uses you like a rail and often falls while holding your hand).  Though she's fine going up and down if there's something she wants to get, just not if we're all going at the same time.  ::sigh:: Toddler idiosyncracies.  I get another bottle for Teddy, making 7 ounces total for the day. Also another diaper change, already up to 5.  I'm vaguely curious how many I change in a day. I decide to spend the time until Dad gets home packing a lunch.  PB&J, crackers and cheese, apple slices and some leftover pizza from dinner.  All this gets piled into the stroller (which has weird baskets that can't accommodate a diaper bag) along with diapers, wipes, water bottles, bottles, formula, Moby, sunscreen, and extra clothes.  Dad gets home at 10:00 and he helps get socks and shoes on the girls, hats for everybody.

Who knew that solo-stair-climbing was so traumatic?

Her favorite book, the picture encyclopedia, circa 1984.  May need to consider finding an updated one, since the pictures can be a bit confusing.

Lunch helper.

Apparently, a whole hour since breakfast was just too long and a snack was needed.  MJ taught Greta how to suck up peas with her mouth.  The lesson was adequately passed along.

This girl still loves hats, luckily for all of us.

10:15 a.m. Finally out the door.  Teddy and Greta are riding in the double stroller and MJ is on her bike, which she has recently learned to ride on 2 wheels.  We ride by some neighbors who are super impressed that our little 4 1/2 year old already has her training wheels off.  While Dad is playing with his phone, I cross the street with MJ and the stroller.  There is a car coming that I hadn't seen and Aaron is furious with me for having let her cross (to be fair, the stop signs still made this is a safe crossing, but we just usually make her wait for all cars).  This is one of the many reasons why I don't let MJ ride her bike unless Aaron is around, it's just too much for me to keep tabs on.  The rest of the walk/ride is uneventful.  A beautiful, slightly chilly and breezy spring day.  I love our neighborhood full of old Victorian houses.

Ready to travel.

The road crossings are the toughest part.

10:45 a.m. We arrive at the tot lot.  I like this play ground because there is nothing beyond Greta's ability, so I don't have to watch her quite as closely lest she get herself in a bind.  Even though it's far below MJ's ability, she still enjoys it.  This particular day is the busiest I have ever seen it (I later realize this is because a nearby preschool group is here).  I immediately recognize two moms from a local mom's group and chat with them for a short time.  It's nice to finally feel like a local and know people almost anywhere I go.  

Tot lot, from our chaos to theirs. 

Someone feels the need to meet all the babies.

It's usually me holding this guy, so this is an unusual view.

G doesn't quite have the "pushing" part down, but is happy to ride.

As soon as we arrive Greta starts asking for a snack.  This drives me nuts.  Every time we go somewhere she spends most of the time just eating or begging for a snack.  Why do I bother taking them places?  When I'm not paying attention, Greta convinces some moms to put her in the swing and push her. My children are not shy.  There are also multiple incidents of little boys peeing on a nearby tree, one of which involves some serious pee competition between two little boys.  I am oddly looking forward to parenting a little boy.   After a while, I get the lunch out and we plop down to eat.  It starts to get cold once I sit down, and Teddy starts making his little cold noises.  We decide it's almost time to depart.

11:25 a.m. Pile back in the stroller while Dad takes a work call.  An uneventful return home, despite Teddy having gone a long time without eating.

11:50 a.m.  We arrive home.  As expected, chaos immediately ensues, with everyone needing something.  Dad puts the stroller on the porch and takes the girls inside.  He gets G another snack.  I change another Teddy diaper (the 6th) and change his clothes for the 3rd time.  This boy pees and poops through diapers in ways the girls never did.  I nurse Teddy and he falls asleep so I put him in his crib with the movement monitor.  When I go back downstairs I change G's diaper (7th) and look outside to see Vito roaming in our (unfenced) front yard.  Ugh.  In the chaos of coming inside he apparently got outside, why he didn't run off is beyond me.  Something is always forgotten.

Hubs and I discuss what dish we will bring to our friends house that evening and he rushes me out the door to stop by the grocery store on my way to a lunch date.  He heads upstairs to put G down for a nap and I grab my laptop and head out the door.

12:35 p.m. I'm in the van.  I realize I don't have enough time to get to the grocery store, decide what to make and meet my friend on time.  So I decide to just arrive early and spend 10 minutes at Peapods, the eco-friendly toy store next door.   It's so rare I get to drive anywhere by myself and I totally love the quiet drive (with my music blasting, of course).  I pickup 5 used cloth diapers at Peapods.  I've been cloth-diapering T and G part-time, and Teddy is growing out the newborn diapers I have so I feel I could use a few more diapers in my rotation.  But I can't bring myself to buy new ones, so this is a great compromise.  I also pick up a jump rope for MJ.

Yay!  A test train for the new light-rail slated to open near our house in June. So curious to see how this effects things.

A realization I have forgotten more selfies.  This is my attempt.

1:00 p.m. Lunch!  This is both a chance to catch up with a good friend and a chance to ask a few questions about a class I'm slated to teach at a local community college this summer.  I'm nervous, because only two students have enrolled for it (2!) and we have already hired a nanny for the summer.  I feel slightly better after some reassurance that there's a good chance it will still fill.  Still not sure what I'll do if the class is cancelled and I have a nanny 3 days a week....

2:15 p.m. I receive a frantic phone call from the hubs.  There is much crying in the background.  I made the comment before leaving that if he wanted me home by 2:00 I'd be home by 2:00, but I didn't think he'd take me up on it.  Clearly, I was wrong, so I wrap up quickly and hop in the van.

2:30 p.m. Arrive home.  Hubs is a mess.  He's furious that I didn't stop at the grocery store because now we have nothing to bring, but doesn't want me to leave and get anything either.  It seems Teddy didn't nap long (about 45 minutes, which is typical) and then his crying woke Greta.  She woke up furious (she almost always does...)  And on top of that, hubs squeezed in a 45 minute nap.  Despite anger from all sides I'm not feeling real sympathetic.  Abundant comments coming from hubs that amount to "I could never do your job..." help a bit.  A recognition that this is all hard always helps.  After coaxing, soothing and cuddling the littles, and the hubs, everyone is a bit better.  I propose cutting up a watermelon we have.  I also propose toasting pecans and making a blue cheese dressing for a pear salad, and we can just grab pears and lettuce to prepare at our friends place.  Despite much drama about not going at all, everyone agrees and I get to work.  In addition, everyone must have clean diapers (I've lost count on diapers now.... 9, I think).  Toys for everyone.  Sweatshirts.  Water bottles.  Bottles.  Formula.  Moby.  Beer.  Food.  
This photo does not do justice to how angry everyone in the house was.  How dare Mom have an hour to herself.
The only happy companion while I prep food.
Baby coos, they just never get old.

3:30 p.m. Out the door.  The drive to our friends place, in Minneapolis, is only 10 minutes with no traffic.  On some days, though, it can easily get to 45 minutes.  We made a point to get out the door early so as to not get stuck in traffic, and it definitely helps.  Both MJ and Teddy fall asleep on the drive, and Greta babbles happily and incoherently.  We drive into Uptown Minneapolis (home of the hipster!) and stop at a grocery store to grab lettuce, pears and CocaCola.  I go to our local food co-op so often that the feel of a normal grocery store stuns me a bit; trashy magazines and lots of chips.  First world problems.  It says something about my life right now.
Apparently, sissy falling asleep is hilarious.

Where does this crap come from?

Beautiful day.  Amazing friends.

Always up for some baby holding.  You bring the arms, I'll bring the baby.

We supplied half the children that were there.  ::ugh::  But what sweet children they were.

4:15 p.m.  Arrive at our friends place and park in the driveway so that MJ can sleep for a little bit longer.  Teddy immediately wakes up and I go inside to finish the salad while hubs parents.  We check out the attic of our friends place which they have recently refinished to use as a master bedroom (amazing!); I get a vague desire to use our attic as a master bedroom, and then remember that our bedroom is the messiest room in the house and it's best to keep that mess contained.

4:35 p.m.  Hubs wakes up MJ and I sit in the living room to nurse Teddy.  Afterwards, I put him in the Moby and he is so very discontent.  He's been vaguely sick, but his stuffy nose really seems to be bothering him and I bounce him constantly in the Moby to keep him happy.  He finally falls asleep.  

MJ scrapes her leg on some bricks and cries violently and briefly, as with most of her injuries.  We spend much of our time doling out watermelon slowly to our children to pacify them.  They snack on other things as well and I have no real idea what they've eaten.  This group of friends are amazing cooks and always have some pretty amazing food at gatherings so I don't worry much about their nutrition.  Even if it's not ideal, at least they're eating new and interesting foods.

We chat with some folks who are considering accepting a job here who are currently living in my hometown in Oregon.  I have an awkward interaction with a man I haven't seen in three years, who used to be on my PhD committee, before I quit.  We finally eat about 6:00; I tend to eat dinner very early (I would be happy to have it at 4:00 every day) so these more normal dinner times are sometimes tough for me.  

6:10 p.m  Nurse again.  Greta plays soccer with my former committee member's kids, who are much older than her and very, very sweet with her.  I really have no idea what MJ was doing during most of this time.  This is the beauty of older children and I can't help but look forward to a day when they are all self-sufficient.

7:15 p.m. After 30 minutes of warnings to hubs and the kids, we finally pack up and leave.  Our stuff is scattered everywhere and I'm sure we've forgotten something (I later find we forgot the Moby... the horror!  Also a pair of socks, which is not surprising since the girls take off their socks every chance they get).  It's still sunny and beautiful out so hubs and I decide to sit on the front porch when we get home.

7:40 p.m.  In the door.  Vito gets out again; he must be trying, we are not this bad.  But we see it happen and herd him back inside.  As per usual, hubs is in charge of getting the girls to bed (40 minutes past their bedtime) and I'm in charge of Teddy.

8:10 p.m Finish nursing Teddy and top him off with a bottle.   MJ gets in trouble for coming out of her room and playing (I am too harsh with her, but I am tired....)  I grab a beer and meet hubs on the front porch; I am unnecessarily grumpy about the absence of Blue Moon and the absence of a comfy front porch chair.  In an effort to be nice, hubs grabs me a chair and goes and gives teddy more bottle because he's still crying.  Teddy often snacks until he's full, making bedtime a very imprecise time. Not so much of an issue during the day, but annoying at night when you're just trying to get him to sleep.  You're never quite sure if this is the bottle that filled him up or just paused him for two minutes.

8:30 p.m. Hubs comes outside and chats, but after a few minutes I realize the monitor is off.  When I turn it on, Teddy is crying.  I convince hubs to go back up, and this time he finally gets him down.

9:00 p.m. We chat on the front porch for a while, and realize we are both still hungry.  This is a frequent problem when taking 3 kids out; we are often too busy to eat enough, and don't realize it until they are in bed.  Hubs convinces me to order Jimmy Johns; I've been trying to limit carbs, but not doing so hot.. Feeling guilty, I get wheat bread, knowing I have accomplished nothing.  We sit in the dark and count rabbits.  We watch people go by on their way from the nearby school's fun fair.  When the sandwiches arrive we realize we are cold and head upstairs to watch some TV.  We start an episode of Breaking Bad (the last people in the country to watch this show?  We are only on the 2nd episode) but are frequently interrupted by Greta waking up. She is also sick and restless.  We end up stopping it 15 minutes before the end because we're tired, and because we expect it to be a long night.  In bed by 10:15.  (Teddy's only wake up ended up being at 5:30, and G slept through the night, so all in all a great night of sleep...)

All in all, we are finding our groove.  Especially when we have extra hands.  The sleeping baby helps immensely.  Greta is the center of my focus, almost always.  She is the one usually getting into trouble, hurting herself or someone else, and the one most in need of monitoring.  When will this change?  It dawned on me that in a year's time we will have a toddler and a near-threenager.  That will be tough, I suspect.  


  1. This was my first DITL where nothing major changed in my life in the last 6 months (no new house, no new job, no new kid) and honestly it was awesome :) I'm sure you'll just continue to find your groove more and more as the kids get older! It does seem likely that Greta will be the toughest one for awhile though :-/

    I chuckled a lot at the chaos after your lunch :)

  2. Wow, what a long and busy day. I love all the detail you put into your post. It really takes me back to the not-long-ago days when my youngest was a baby. I also wonder sometimes what it will be like when life isn't changing so much all the time. I'm hoping for peace, quiet and a lot of relaxation, but at the same time I hope it isn't boring.

  3. And this is chaos WITH two parents on for most of the day! I've found that the chaos doesn't go away, you just get more and more used to it. In fact, I find that now I tend to only notice it when others who AREN'T used to it are around. When I look at my life through another's eyes, it makes me so tired, ha!
    Most of my attention goes to our youngest, b/c he is such a challenging kid, but it sounds like your oldest is such a dream child (as is mine), so I try to be thankful for that :)
    And yes, the diapers! So many diapers! Luckily my middle put herself into underwear pretty early (just over 2), but my first two are 18 months apart and I remember feeling like all I did all day long was change diapers for the longest time.
    Also, this may be totally obvious to you and you are already doing it, but W used to pee through his clothes all the time until finally someone told me that you need to point his penis down when putting the diaper on, otherwise the pee leaks straight up. Again, it seems so obvious now and you are probably already doing that, but for some reason I didn't get that memo. Once I started "tucking it in," the leaks stopped.
    Thanks for sharing your day!