Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Day in My Life

When I was recently searching through files on my old computer I found where I recorded one full day's activities when the twins were only babies.  Life was a bit simpler back then with two babies who were not yet mobile and no job, but it was so much fun to read.  Yesterday I tried to record a typical day in my life, so I'd have something to look back on to see what things were like at this stage of motherhood for me (L and E are 32 months old, Baby H is 6 months).  Here goes...

12:15am - I guess I should start here since it is technically a new day already.  Wake up, nurse Baby H, put him back in his carseat (at age 6 months he's never slept a night in his crib.. sigh), go back to bed.

2:30am - Baby H is making 'awake sounds', but it isn't crying, so I ignore him and eventually he falls asleep again.

4:30am - More sounds from Baby H.  This time ignoring him doesn't work, and the sounds turn to cries.  I nurse him and go back to bed.

6:00am - Baby H is sleeping peacefully, but one of our dogs is barking (loudly).  I get up, let the dogs out of their cages, and read email / blogs while eating breakfast.

6:30-8am - Get some work done (fixing software bugs, sending emails, etc..).

8am - I can hear the girls playing in their room.  There is the occasional cry, but it is more of a 'sister took my toy' cry than 'I want out'.  I warm up their milk and deliver it to their rooms in sippy cups.  Then back to my bedroom to feed Baby H (who greets me with a huge smile) before my 8:30 conference call.

8:30am - Conference call with important client.  Baby H is next to me on the bed busily chewing on a toy while I'm on the phone.  Whenever he starts making noise or rattling his toys too loudly, I run into the closet so the client won't hear (while keeping an eye on the baby in case he suddenly learns how to crawl off the bed).

9:00am - Conference call went well, and ended up being shorter than usual.  Send a couple more emails.  Let the girls out of their rooms.

9-9:30am - Breakfast for the girls.  E eats yogurt, L eats some cheese and salami.  I read them a beginner chapter book about Frog and Toad.  They've been really into listening to longer books lately (with very few pictures), and this one holds their attention for the entire half an hour.  H sits in his Bumbo chair and listens too.

9:30-10:00am - We're still sitting at the kitchen table.  We sing a song a couple songs about the weather (today it is sunny), then a song about the days of the week as each girl puts a sticker on the calendar.  I read them a couple riddles, most of which they guess correctly (with a couple hints).  I bring out their Kindergarten-level Math Workbooks.  L works intently and keeps asking for more:

 E decides she wants to draw instead:

(isn't it amazing how different each twin is?)

10:00am - Time to get dressed.  L has a fit because she wants to wear a summer dress and it's too cold.  Eventually she agrees to put on a sweatshirt.  E, the girl who has a particular fondness of being naked, is surprisingly easy to dress today. I move H to his Exersaucer.

10am-11am - L found a feather in their 'junk drawer' and I drop it from up high and let her practice catching it.  Then E declares she wants to make a baby bird out of playdough, feathers, and two googly eyes.  So I take out the playdough and some accessories and let them play while I get some more work done.  They've been really engaged in making cookies and cupcakes out of their playdough lately:

11am-12pm - Baby H plays in his crib.  We put the playdough away, except for Baby Bird (E refuses to part with it despite my explanations of how playdough will dry up if left out).  I take out a pasting activity for them to do.  When they're done gluing, they want to draw so I take out the crayons.  Then they want stickers, so I take those out.  Next they want to paint so I give them watercolor paints:

While E isn't looking, I manage to put Baby Bird back in the playdough container.

When the girls have had enough painting, they do some physical play involving climbing on furniture, playing 'horse and carriage' with hula hoops, and hitting plastic golf balls around:

(Who wouldn't want to play golf at home in fuzzy pink slippers?)

Meanwhile I'm cooking lunch - spaghetti and meatballs:

12-12:30pm - Uneventful lunch.

12:30pm - E has a fit because Baby Bird is missing.  I quickly make her another one out of Crayola Model Magic (an air-dry clay):

(Note the photo is from later that day after Baby Bird's feathers have been plucked and he has been painted, washed, and thoroughly loved on)

Then it is off to their room for some free-play with puppets, blocks, and play vegetables.

12:30pm-2pm - I work while Baby H plays next to me and the girls play in their room.  I can hear lots of giggling.  I'm only half concentrating on work because playing with Baby H is a lot more fun.  This is one of only a few quiet times that I get to interact with my baby without having my attention pulled into other directions by his sisters.  I love this cool little guy so much.

2pm-3pm - Another conference call for work with a different client.  Baby H sleeps next to me while I'm on the phone (no need to run into the closet this time).

3:00pm - I check on the girls and they are both napping.  There is a blanket on the floor with plates, play-food, and puppets arranged all around it - a lovely picnic! (wish I had take a picture..)

3-4:pm - I get more work done - it's been a productive day.

4pm - I wake up the girls and we spend a couple minutes cleaning their room.  They always get undressed when they're playing in their room, so I get them dressed again (in different clothes - don't think that I'm cheating on the record-a-full-day thing when the second half of the photos have the girls wearing different outfits).

4pm-4:30pm - We review the -at word family by watching Hooked on Phonics, and playing a game where I lay out a bunch of different words, and then they have to find the one I call out.   It's not going well (L scowls and E is focused on Baby Bird) until my wonderful husband comes upstairs and encourages them to play the game (I love it when homeschooling the kids becomes a team effort!).  When one of them gets the right word, we all cheer, and then Daddy chases them around the living room, which they think is so much fun.  Suddenly they're really into this game.  I even get them to read some simple sentences by picking them up and swinging them around if they get it right.  What's better than being able to educate my kids and get my daily workout in at the same time?

While the momentum to read is still there, I reinforce with some velcro letters and a matching activity from the Starfall website (free):

4:30-4:45pm - Baby H joins us on the floor in his Bumbo chair.  E completes a puzzle almost all by herself (with only a few verbal cues from me):

Her whole face beams when she's done and I tell her how proud I am that she did it all by herself (usually her sister likes to steal the spotlight so getting to do something all on her own is a big deal).

Meanwhile L plays Hisss with me (she calls it the "Snakes Game" and it is one of her favorites, mostly because she likes holding the cards and handing them out to everyone).

Usually she plays a lot longer, but today she has a fit about something (she repeats what she wants, but I have no idea what she is saying and whatever I guess makes her angrier).  The dogs keep getting near us and messing up our game.  Luckily E doesn't notice when one of the dogs takes a small bite out of Baby Bird's tail.

4:45pm-6pm - The girls help me feed the dogs.  I have a headache.  Since they say 'no, no, no' to every activity I suggest, I take out the plastic toy military set (which we haven't played with in a long time), and let them play independently.  L figures out how to take the wheels off the trucks and planes, and I demonstrate how to put them back on.  She counts them, and practices removing/reassembling the wheels for a while.  It's a really good fine-motor activity and requires a lot of concentration.

E put the flagpoles in the bases and lines up the fences.  She also gives Baby Bird a ride on a military truck.  Meanwhile I start working on my computer on a side project I've been trying to put together (which I'm super-excited about.. will have to blog about it when I'm done!).

6pm-7pm - Headache is getting worse. I feed the girls their dinner and let them watch an episode of Go Diego Go... and then an episode of Dora the Explorer.  Meanwhile I entertain Baby H and surf the web.

The highlight of the evening is when I sit on the couch to nurse Baby H, and the girls sit next to me pretending to nurse their teddy bears.  They say that they are giving their babies milk from their breasts, but they 'nurse' their teddy bears on their belly-buttons!  I think it's hilarious..

7pm - 8pm - Bedtime is supposed to be 7pm, but it's hard to get kids to go to sleep when the sun is still shining, so I bring the girls into my bed, and we read stories.  We're reading the picture-book versions of Little House on the Prairie.  They love that the main characters, Laura and Mary, are sisters and do a lot of the same things that they enjoy (helping Ma cook, playing with dolls, etc..). The girls want more and more and more until we've read all 8 books in the series that we own and it's been almost an hour! Then they let me brush their teeth without too much drama (the latest trick I use when L refuses to open her mouth is to ask if she wants to be first or second and then pretend I'm going to brush E's teeth first.  L always wants to be first, of course, so it works every time).

8pm - Put girls in bed.  They always ask to "vroom to bed", which involves counting down backwards from 10 and then blasting off around the room (more exercise for me!).  Then after tucking them both in, E asks for one more kiss, then L asks for two more kisses, and so on, until I have to tell them that they can get more kisses tomorrow.  Then we say goodnight in four different languages (it's silly, but we've been doing this routine for a while).   L sleeps with her two bears.  E sleeps with Baby Bird... and Baby Cow, and Baby Fish, and Baby Bunny, and Baby Elephant, and Floppy Dog....

8:00-8:30pm - Give Baby H a bath.  He loves the sensation of the water, but still holds his breath when I pour it over his body.  It's warm today so I get some extra cuddle time before having to rush to put his clothes back on.  I put him in his carseat (sigh..), sing him some songs, and recite some goodnight poems.  He smiles and reaches his chubby arms out to grab my face. 

8:30pm-9:15pm - Drink some milk for dinner (since my headache has taken my appetite), watch the Top Chef finale on Hulu (not sure why I'm obsessed with reality-TV cooking shows, but I love them), and Skype briefly with my Mom.

9:15pm - I hear giggles coming from the girls' room.  I go in and they are playing in the dark.  E is undressed again.  Get E dressed, get both girls back in bed, and remind them that they have to stay in bed because I won't tuck them in again.  We go through the 'more kisses' routine one more time.  I'm tired and I have a headache, but I play along.  I figure I better enjoy these years when they still want kisses from Mommy every night.

9:30pm - My head hits the pillow and I fall asleep instantly. 

It wasn't the best day, but it wasn't so bad either.  I got a lot of work done.  The fits were short.  The girls had lots of fun playing, and also learned a thing or two.  I got to be home with my amazing children all day - what's better than that?  I wonder if I'll read this blog post when I have three teenagers and think, "Wow.. life was a lot simpler back then!"

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