So I realized that the last Day in the Life post I shared was over a year ago, so I thought it was time for another one: with a 4-year-old, an almost 2-year-old, and a baby. The day I decided to do it ended up being pretty typical for days we spend at home (about half of the time we go on outings and half of the time we chill at home.) Although, there weren’t as many meltdowns from Benjamin as usual. I apologize for the excruciating detail and I hope it’s not super duper boring!
5:45am (Gwen wakes up to nurse for the 4th time) We typically co-sleep for the first 6 months, so I just snuggle her up and feed her for a few minutes. She doesn’t fall back asleep like she usually does at this time of the morning, so I go ahead and get up, throw my favorite grey leggings and long blue shirt on, brush my teeth, and tell Daniel that I’m gonna go up to Panera to work on our ebook*** and that he can climb into bed with Baby Gwen (he sleeps on our pull out couch until the baby is sleeping well at night so that he can get some sleep and comfort Lucy or Benjamin if they wake in the night so that I only have to think about the baby. It’s not because we don’t like each other. Promise.)
***Yes! We’re writing an ebook! I’ll tell you all about it soon but the short version is that it’s a real food/simple living cookbook that follows the Christian Year.
6:10am I arrive at Panera and get a cup of coffee and a pumpkin muffin even though I’m trying not to eat gluten these days. It was like a beacon of Fall staring at me from the bakery section!
6:15am I check email, schedule some FB posts, and write a quick post. I consider responding to comments but I’m way behind and get overwhelmed, so I start working on the book. (p.s. sorry I’m so bad at responding to comments these days! I love you all, I do!)
7:30am I head back home to find a happy baby Gwen in the exersaucer, and Benjamin and Lucy eating steel cut oats, peanut butter and almonds with Daddy.
7:45am I feed Baby Gwen while the kids finish up, change her diaper, and change Lucy’s diaper and toss them into the diaper pail (I just stripped all the diapers last week so they’re not stinky anymore, yay!)
8:10am Daniel leaves for work on his bike so we can have the car. The kids take turns yelling “I LOOOVE YOU! I NEED ANOTHER KISS!” until he’s out of sight.
8:20am The big kids and I start reading picture books about the ocean and Mr. Popper’s Penguins on the couch while Gwen watches in the Bumbo. After one chapter of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Gwen isn’t having it anymore. I tell Benjamin and Lucy that I need to nurse her to sleep in my bedroom and they need to be quiet so she can nap and I can come out and finish reading to them.
8:30am After about 30 seconds of nursing, Benjamin starting opening and slamming the door. He ignores my command to stop distracting Gwen and I lock the door to have 2 minutes of peace to get her asleep. He commences banging against the door with all his might. I have to unlatch Gwen again, take him to time out and come back to finish nursing her. After 3 more minutes she is done nursing but isn’t asleep. I set her in the cosleeper to see if she can take a morning nap. (Lucy has been flipping through books in her room for this whole episode because she is my super chill gal.)
8:37am I go in to Benjamin’s room and he is furious that I put him in time out. He takes a stuffed animal snake and hits me in the face with it. I throw the snake in the trash can after explaining (again) that we do not use our toys to hit people. He sobs and screams and runs around like a mad man. When he calms himself enough to sit on the couch and talk about it, we decide to compromise by putting the snake in time out in the laundry room for a week.
8:45am We get back into reading books and get through several more chapters of Mr. Popper’s Penguins without anyone getting hit in the face. Success!
9:15am Gwen is still sleeping and Lucy is entertaining herself with crayons so I do one lesson in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Benjamin while he snacks on a banana. He is very proud of himself for learning to read the words “me” “see” and “we.” (I absolutely love this book. It’s phonics-based and it’s helping Benjamin make so much progress toward reading.)
9:30am I bribe him to do the writing part of the lesson (his least favorite) with the promise of one of the healthy almond joy cookies I made for my goddaughter’s baptismal reception. He takes his outside and starts playing in the dirt and waving sticks around.
9:40am Lucy and I walk back to check on Baby Gwen who is cooing in the cosleeper. We get her out and Lucy tries to sit on her potty that looks like a frog while I open the laptop and start this post so I don’t forget everything.
9:50am Benjamin comes inside (short attention span) and asks to watch a movie. I tell him that we won’t do screen time until after naptime (a little tip I learned listening to the Simple Mom podcast that I’ve found to be totally true for my kids–if they watch anything before they get up from naptime, it’s game over: whining for the rest of the day). He whines for awhile, but then decides an art project might be fun.
(this is what things look like when we do art projects)
10am I put a diaper back on Lucy and feed Gwen again. I’m trying to hold fast to my new resolve to not look at my phone while I nurse and just bond with her. Totally worth it for the sweet baby smiles. Benjamin gets started with an art project while I check in with Daniel on gchat and read an email from our ebook cover designer. Then I realize Lucy is putting glue all over our homeschool curriculum. Oops.
10:15am Gwen is pretty happy in the Bumbo and the kids are playing with art supplies at the dining room table, so I start cleaning up from breakfast and getting the counters cleared off so I can start some beans and rice in the crock pot.
11am Almost an hour later I haven’t even started the beans. I’ve cleaned off one counter, convinced Benjamin to take out the compost, tried to keep Lucy from getting glue everywhere, and gotten a snack of ham and cheese for both kids. Then Gwen started fussing and I realized she’d pooped everywhere. While cleaning her off, I let Lucy play with the spray bottle of water and cloth wipes. There’s water all over the floor but hey, it kept a toddler occupied for more than 2 second so, win. Gwen is still fussy and I think she’s getting tired again. Another attempt to put beans and water in the crock pot commences.
11:06am I take Gwen to my bedroom to nurse her (she gets distracted these days if she’s around the “big kids”) and she falls asleep. I’m surprised at how quiet the kids are. Benjamin is playing in his room when I come out and then I see why Lucy was so quiet. She got out the paints from the art cabinet and they are all over the wood floor and the dining room table and her clothes. Whoops. I clean up most of the damage and get back to cleaning the counters on the other side of the kitchen….I kind of clean up all day and it’s always a semi-disaster everywhere. Is that normal?
11:45am: I make quesadillas for the big kids and we eat some lunch.
12:10pm Change Lucy’s diaper and tuck her in while Benjamin gets in bed for nap. Then I hear Gwen wake up, so I nurse her back to sleep and lay down thinking that MAYBE Benjamin will actually sleep and I can get a nap. Just after getting Gwen to sleep, Benjamin comes in to ask for a cookie. (I don’t give him one.) I get him back in bed, lay down, and he comes in again to say he needs help with his Narnia audiobook. Ugh. Gwen wakes up. I nurse her back to sleep and decide to just get up and have a cup of coffee and answer emails that I’m way behind on.
1pm Benjamin comes out to get some LEGOs. I get him back in bed. Gwen wakes up crying. I nurse her back to sleep (this time of day is cluster feeding time). And I watch some of the newish Masterpiece Theatre version of Great Expectations that’s streaming on Netflix. I’ve never liked that story, but it’s growing on me. Maybe my distaste for it stems from reading it freshman year of high school with a terrible English teacher.
1:30pm Gwen is asleep again and it’s quiet in Benjamin and Lucy’s rooms. But I’ve already made coffee so I just get set up on the couch with my laptop and start working on the ebook.
1:50pm Lucy wakes up, but Gwen and Benjamin are still sleeping. I drink my coffee and sit at the table with her while she colors and chats with me. We don’t usually have special time just the two of us, so we both eat it up.
2:10pm: Since she’s coloring happily, I start chopping up onions, garlic, and peppers to go in the slow cooker with the black beans.
2:20pm: I finish making a new batch of laundry detergent because I ran out and now it feels like there’s dirty laundry growing in every corner and crevice of the house (it’s seriously finding its way into every room, overflowing the baskets, taking over). I use Sarah O’s recipe. So cheap, so great.
2:40pm: Gwen wakes up. I change both the girls’ diapers. Then I check FB and say hi to Daniel on gchat. I miss him tons during the day–which I guess is good because it means I like him…and it’s nice to really like your husband.
2:50pm: Benjamin must have sensed that I opened my laptop….it’s like he has a computer radar and runs into the room when I think, “hey! I can sneak in a minute on the internet while everyone’s occupied.” Not so! He wakes up and obviously feels great after actually taking a nap. (We’re struggling with getting him to sleep enough. He rarely naps but isn’t sleeping any longer at night 9pm-6am is not enough sleep for a 4-year-old! To put it in perspective, Lucy usually takes a two hour nap and sleeps from 7pm to 7am so she sleeps 5 hours longer than he does. Suggestions? I feel like we’ve tried everything.)
3:00pm: After snuggling on the couch for a few minutes with Benjamin (he needs lots of snuggles these days) the kids are begging for a snack. I cave into their demands for the granola bars we got on super sale (usually we don’t buy stuff like that.) Then I nurse a hungry Gwen. While I’m busy nursing, my instructions for them to sit at the table while their eating crunchy granola bars are disregarded. Everyone is running around and granola bar bits are all over the floor. Oh, well. At least I got to nurse in peace, right?
3:15pm: Lucy really wants to watch an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I get it set up in my bedroom (we don’t have a TV in the living room, so we just watch Netflix on my bed) and try to finish chopping up peppers from Daniel’s garden to go in the beans.
3:40pm: Benjamin asks if he can watch the Emperor’s New Groove and I agree. I don’t like them to watch more than an hour of TV a day but I really want to tidy up before we have dinner…
4:00pm Lucy saunters out to keep me company. Gwen has fallen asleep on a blanket on the floor. I chop up some of the giant stock of peppers we have from the garden, do the dishes, sweep the kitchen and dining room and Lucy sprays the table with vinegar-water and tries to wipe it off (mostly she just sprays water everywhere.)
4:30pm Gwen wakes up and I put her in the bouncer in the bathroom. I take a quick bath while the “big kids” finish the movie. Then–get this–I actually have 5 minutes to put on makeup while all three kids are miraculously occupied. Yay! I start the rice cooking and call the “big kids” in for bath time. I’m mildly shocked that Benjamin doesn’t throw a giant fit because it’s bath time and I’m turning off the movie.
5:00pm Kids are out of the tub and running around mostly naked. Some dance partying ensues while we wait for Daddy. They get super wound up and Lucy starts her earsplitting squealing because Benjamin is roaring at her like a dinosaur. I check the beans in the crock pot and they’re not as tender as one would like. Oops. Should have started them earlier.
5:15 pm It’s Gwen’s witching hour and she’s getting fussy. The big kids are fantastic at keeping her happy if I have my hands full with something else.
5:25pm She’s still not happy and I realize she has a massive diaper explosion. I consider pretending I didn’t realize since Daniel is almost home…..but, I do the grown-up thing and get her cleaned up. And then I act extra mature and just throw away her onesie that’s now dripping with poop.
5:45pm Dad is home!!!!! I start putting beans and rice in bowls and we try to talk about our days over the tiny voices all shouting for Daddy’s attention.
6pm We sit down to dinner. Benjamin is warned that he will not get any of the gummies his uncle brought over unless he finishes his tiny bowl of beans and rice. He decides it’s not worth it and only eats half and then is ready for books, asthma medicine, teeth brushing, and snuggles.
6:30pm We get Lucy into jammies and Daniel gets both the “big kids” in bed while I change Gwen, swaddle her, and nurse her to sleep on my bed. I scoot her over to the co-sleeper once she’s out and come out to chat for a few minutes with Daniel.
7:20pm My friend Jeni picks me up and we have a very rare girls’ night. I order a cocktail and she gets sweet tea and we catch up after weeks of not seeing each other. Only the second time I’ve got out without Gwen in tow and I feel footloose and fancy free!
9:15pm We remember that our kids get up at 6am and head home.
9:30pm I get in bed and nurse Gwen again while she’s halfway sleeping. I check my email, FB, and instagram and then put my headphones in and listen to Harry Potter audiobooks (I have a hard time falling asleep and it really helps.)
11pm: Gwen starts crying, I feed her.
12:15am: Same story
2am: And again
3:15am: You guessed it.
6am: Yes, that’s the SEVENTH time she’s woken up and I take her out to the living room to hand with Daniel while I try to sleep for a little longer. (p.s. She used to only wake up twice a night until a couple of weeks ago. Why is this happening? I really hate doing CIO and I know it won’t last forever but..I really can’t live like this much longer.)
(not a good sleeper these days, but oh my word, so precious and sweet!)
7:10am Kids are up and Daniel has made them breakfast. I get up and we start the day (with an extra cup of coffee)!
Did you hang in there until the bitter end of the excruciatingly long post? I’m impressed!