Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day in the Life: Winter 2015

There is still plenty of time to do your own DITL on your blog - you have until Feb 3 to email me! Details here.


Wednesday, January 21

Cast of Characters
Max: 41 years
Laura: 34 years
Arabella: 5 years
Oliver: 3 years
Lily: 9 months
Toonses: 14 years
Our House: 62 years
Minnesota: 157 years
The Earth: 4.54 billion years

Setting
Winter in a land of passive-aggressive, yet kind, folk; a people who will happily push your car out of a ditch but silently resent you for years for cutting them off in traffic. The sun has not been seen in this frigid land for days and the citizens of this territory are getting restless. The story centers around a family of five in an excessively-beige suburban home that is lacking in wall decoration. Perhaps they just moved? Wait, no, it seems they are just lazy.

Note: My phone camera has suddenly gone terrible on me (?!) and every single photo is so grainy and fuzzy. I tried using my fancy camera but stopped by 8 AM because it was too much. So I'm sorry for the icky photos this round. Maybe I should wait to do my next DITL until after I can get my free phone upgrade?


3:30 AM - Lily wakes for the second time in the night. She has both of her front teeth pushing in so her wake-ups are increased, as is her grumpiness. I stumble into her room, nurse her for several minutes, lay her back down and then am not surprised to find I can't get back to sleep. My 2-5 AM insomnia stuff kicks in if I've had too many bad nights of sleep in a row and there has been a lot of bad sleep this January. I read a truly awful book on my phone and feel rage-y over how awful it is (so awful I won't tell you what it is) and eventually fall back to sleep an hour or more later.

4:45 AM - Lily again. I feel like I just fell asleep! Ah, because I did just fall asleep.


5:55 AM - Oliver wanders into our room and doesn't want to snuggle (i.e. get tricked into falling back asleep). He is in an early wake-up phase for some weird reason - probably related to dropping naps 100% in recent months so he's just kind of off and sleep is lacking for him, too. I give him my phone to watch a show because I want zzzzzzzzs.

6:30 AM - Lily is up again and Max goes and gets her and brings her to me. I feel especially exhausted this morning and can't shake the fog. Must have woken up in a bad sleep stage. And/or am sleep deprived.
 I like how Lily's little hand is all "help!" and also enjoy my gross elbow wound from falling down at the roller skating b-day party from hell the previous weekend.

6:35 AM - Bella comes into the bedroom, too. I take advantage of the fact that it's not an early day for Max and take a quick shower.

6:45 AM - We all (well, not Max - he is getting ready for work) head downstairs and one of the least favorite parts of my day begins. It's a lot of putting out fires and reminding the kids that there is only one Mama and I can't do ALL THE THINGS at one time. Yes, this could all go much smoother if I woke up before the kids.  Talk to me about that idea when I am getting daily 5 hour stretches of sleep for weeks at time.

I throw various foodstuffs at the children because they are wilting away and panicking: some homemade muffins the sitter made with Oliver last week, yogurt, fruit and then I give Lily a teething biscuit to keep her occupied. I make a much needed coffee to which I add my rice milk. I have come to accept my no-sugar rice milk coffee as acceptable. During this time I also run around and get the cat fed, get some dishes put away, and begin to organize all the school stuff. Lily does a lot of grumping at me and I have to hold her a lot of the time.

7:30 AM - Corporate Max takes off.

UUUUUGGGH EERRRRRG various other GAHHHHHHS
Ready for those teeth!! Yesterday was so rough that I pretty much had to hand Lily off shortly after Max got home so I could take a break and reclaim my sanity. I can't figure out why these intense teething days are so draining for me, but they are and they were with Oliver, too. I don't remember Bella being as tough of a teether, but then again, I don't think she got all her teeth in pairs like Ollie and Lily.  Plus I was able to give the one-on-one care a teething baby demands. I'm trying hard to mentally accept that this will go on for the better part of a couple years. Oliver was really challenging for me until he got those last molars in just before his second birthday and since then he has been a pretty happy kid.

One trick to help the grumps is to let Lily practice her standing. She is still pre-mobile although she has kind of started to scoot around while sitting. She remains steadfastly opposed to crawling. I'm hoping she does start to move soon to help with her frustration about not being able to get where she wants to go.

During this time the older kids do some crafts - plenty of extra time this morning with early wake-ups. Yay!

8 AM - My "vitamins and supplements!" alarm goes off on my phone. Current kid supplements are gummy vitamins, DHA, vitamin D3 (in a hefty-ish dose via drops), and Sambucus (elderberry). They get a probiotic at night. The Sambucus has been shown to be powerful at fighting flu so I have been including it as a daily supplement given the scary flu season and the flu vaccines being a bad match this year. I plan to stop the sambucus once flu season is over since I don't think it's necessarily good to keep it up long term. The probiotic is also to help keep immune systems working well.
My current supplements are similar: prenatal, prenatal omega-3, vitamin D and sambucus (I take an unsweetened version that I mix with water) and a probiotic if I remember . I'm bad at remembering Lily's ever but she has an infant vitamin D drop plus infant probiotics. Max gets the adult version of the vitamin, omega-3, vitamin D. I am a dietitian who is pro-supplements because I do believe our current food system and depleted soil means we are missing some essential things. This is the opposite of the message I was taught in school and my internship - there they insisted that there was no need for supplements if you ate lots of fruits and veggies.

8:15 AM - We move back upstairs to continue getting ready. Bella gets all her hair stuff and asks to re-organize it. I question this since I organized it last week but say she can go ahead. I didn't realize that meant dump a drawer out on my bed. Whoops.
Thankfully she does organize it and put it all away pretty quickly so it's not a mess for me to clean up later.

I get Lily settled with a few toys on the floor and dash around to take care of various people. Lily is medium okay with this - it helps when she has Bella and Oliver to amuse her, too.

Bella very reluctantly lets me brush her hair. She has inherited my hair: extremely thick head of very fine hairs with a sensitive scalp - I find brushing my hair painful and going to the hair salon and having someone wash my hair is pretty much torture. Such a delicate flower. Anyway, Bella is the same and screams while I try to do her (always tangled) hair and I go between complete sympathy and frustration. On Friday mornings she lets the babysitter do her hair sans screaming and then she gets some adorable braids.

Oliver climbs on my back as I'm working on B's hair and then starts giving me kisses on the cheek. He's very sweet to me and always telling me he loves me and that I'm pretty. He's awfully cute.

Oliver takes some pictures.

I get dressed at some point in here. Nothing fancy except I am able to wear my black skinny jeans again - HURRAH! I am juuuuust about back to my usual weight range and about 6 pounds to go to my pre-pregnancy weight, but am back into all my old clothes for the most part. I would like to thank my terrible sinus infection this January for allowing me to get to this point. Terrible tooth and face pain giving me a limited appetite for the win!

Back downstairs and the kids play in the kitchen while I make sure I have everyone's everything. I have the hardest time remembering all the little details each morning: the outdoor clothes and the indoor shoes and the car coat/gloves (versus the outside coat/gloves) and the water bottle and snack and lunch and extra outfit and and and!
Even with a checklist I still am missing stuff left and right every day, but today I think I got everything covered.

Bella's outfit makes me smile today: sparkly teal leggings, rainbow-sleeve shirt and a knit dress her Nana made. Bella has always had very firm ideas about what she wants to wear (and now this also includes how she wants to do her hair) and I pretty much give her free reign. I will occasionally mention if something is "unusual" (like if she puts a small ponytail in front of each ear) but say as long as she likes it, it's fine. Bella always says she does not care if it's unusual. Ha! Max feels I shouldn't say anything ever and he's probably right. I'm sure I am bringing my own overly self-conscious ways into this, which is no good.

The thing that makes me function in a timely manner: daily phone alarms.

I do my trick of getting Oliver to do his snowpants and boots himself: I tell him I know he can't do it since he is still so very young. This is possibly questionable or something but it's a reverse psychology trick that works so darn well on 3 year olds. So, eh. Whatevs.

We are finally bundled up and ready for drop-off.

I sewed Bella's backpack up with dental floss, which is my mom's thread of choice. She was always sewing things up with dental floss when I was young: "It's so strong! It's the best!"

Drop Bella and there is a little pocket of time and my gas tank is on E so we stop to get gas.
Crazy early 2000s prices.

Now we drop Oliver off which entails a long, long walk. I have been carrying Lily because strollers or Ergos and winter are a PITA, but she is getting too heavy which I always remember too late.

And I did forget something - darn it! Oliver will have to wear his boots today because I left his sneakers at home. Arg. At least Bella has sneakers for gym class at her school.

I chat with Oliver's bff's mom and get pleasant commiseration about birthday parties at the roller skating rink being a nightmare if the kids are too young and she also said she forgets something nearly every day when trying to get all her kids places. Yay!

Take a pic before we leave preschool.

Lily seems happy enough so I quickly stop by Lunds (grocery store) to grab a few items that I forgot yesterday at Super Target (lettuce, milk, tamari). I also treat myself to an iced Americano with a shot of vanilla (drink du jour - I do really miss fancy coffee drinks with dairy) and a $5 sushi. I will share the sushi with Oliver - he will be excited.

I take a picture of Lily to do a fun comparison picture since I know I took the same shot of Bella exactly five years ago this January. The more things change...

Lily is really ready for her nap by the time we get home so I get her sorted out right away. She goes down quickly.

I realize I haven't eaten and I'm getting overly buzzed from all the caffeine and no food so I make a FODMAP-friendly breakfast: fried egg, heated up some leftover bacon, GF bread, blueberries.



Do a little cleaning up while I have the chance because Lily is less than amendable to me doing any chores when she is hardcore teething. Here are the love notes I found in Bella's backpack that morning. :)

Then I decide to take care of some food prep. Normally I do this with Max on Sunday or do it earlier in the week, but with MLK day on Monday I am off my game.

I accidentally knock a homemade salad dressing down and it spills everywhere.
I am having some BAD sleep deprivation klutzy problems. I have been hurting myself quite terribly and having spilling problems and it's so frustrating.

I make an Asian Tofu salad with peanut dressing and divide it up for a few meals.

This is actually a decently stocked fridge for us but it makes Max twitchy as though we are lacking in groceries.

I have 15 minutes to spare so I lay on my bed for a few. Ahhhhh.

It's time to head out to get Oliver and I realize that a package came in the mail yesterday from my MIL. It's the thumbless mittens she made for Lily. She has been asking for more projects now that she is semi-retired and that came at the right time as I was needing something for Lily's little paws.

Pick up Oliver and he reports having a fun day.

12:30 PM - Get home and thus ends the pants-wearing portion of the day. Pants and bras are the worst, I tell you! It's pajama time.

We eat lunch. Oliver has sushi, veggies from my salad, string cheese, and a yogurt stick. I have sushi and a salad, but I'm not very hungry at all given my late lunch.

Lily has a squeeze pouch, puffs, and some water in a bottle. I'm thinking that I should re-start pumping now that she is willing to take water from a bottle.

Yay! I like this song.

1 PM - Post lunch laundry time that I have been trying to implement. Oliver is hiding in one of the baskets. Shhhh!

After the laundry is sorted we move into Oliver's room so I can tidy it up. Lily is in good spirits and happily digs in the Duplo bin while I put away Oliver's clothes and books and make his bed.

He has the best view of the house. Our house wasn't designed the smartest when they expanded it from the original 1950s house. I still love it and it's perfect for our family, but it would be nice to have this view from the master bedroom, instead of Oliver's room and the laundry room getting the good view.

2 PM - Lily is ready for nap #2 so I leave Oliver playing in his room while I go take care of Lily's naptime routine. I remind Oliver once again to not bust in there while I'm trying to get her down for her nap (this reminder works 50% of the time).

2:15 PM - Rest time. I should make Oliver do an additional 30 minutes on his own but I figure he has already clocked that while I was doing the chores. Besides, I like this snuggly time of day with him.
I have a little bit of guilt about Oliver watching more shows since he watched some this morning but I'm wiped and need to check out for a little bit. We will go outside later so it will even out. Sleep deprivation leaves me with little energy to spare.

3:30 PM - Time to get Bella from the bus stop (again, a phone alarm tells me when to start moving). I get us layered up in snowpants and hats and the whole 9 yards so that we can do a little playing. It's 27 degrees out which is plenty warm for January so I will take advantage.




5:15 PM - Back inside. I empty Bella's backpack and she is so excited that her daily book for reading is "Ballet." I ask her to read it to Oliver while I make cocoa for them.


Lily is actually happy enough to watch her big bro and sis so I quickly get some veggies prepped for making zoodles and also for making a big batch of juice. I got my zoodle-maker (veggie spiralizer) during an Amazon flash sale and I really like it. I don't have issues with eating GF pasta (or having the kids eat regular pasta) but it's nice to have this option, especially since I don't really like spaghetti squash. Oliver likes helping crank the zoodles.
Once they are all zoodled, I follow the prep instructions from Against All Grain. Highly recommend her recipes, especially if you have dietary stuff or follow a Paleo-type diet.

Juicing time. Max likes having juice for breakfast and we have found it works best to make it in big 3-day batches. Technically you are supposed to make juice daily for maximum vitamins, but that's not going to happen. This juice is a mix of apples, carrots, celery, cucumber, 2 kinds of kale, ginger and mint.
BTW, I like juice, too, but I can't eat a lot of those things without gut issues so I just skip it these days. I need to try making a cucumber-kale/spinach-mint juice for myself one of these days. Oh - and I find the best prices for organic juicing veggies to be at Trader Joes (carrots, celery, apples, pears, cucumbers), Costco (carrots, spinach, sometimes other greens, apples not so great there), or Super Target (nice kale there and they have decent apples, carrots and celery but they aren't as cheap as TJ).

Lily has had enough of me not holding her so it's back to doing everything with her on my hip. She is less willing to sit in the Ergo on my front because she can't see, but is also grumpy about being on my back in the Ergo. So I choose this back killing solution.
Even while being held she isn't content. Lots of whining and grumping and I'm feeling fried.

The kids love juicing and generally like the taste as long as it's a mix of fruits and veggies and not too much kale. Sometimes I put extra juice in their popsicle molds for morning popsicles.


5:45 PM I decide to kill some time before dinner with giving the big kids a bath - this way we can eat with Max. Lily does more standing practice which she is happy about.

6:15 PM - The kids are clean (well, not Lily - sorry babycakes!) and getting hangry so we go back downstairs. I set the big kids up with a plate of crudites (peppers, cukes, celery, carrots - I try to always keep a bunch sliced in the fridge) and I give Lily a baby cracker to munch on while I get her dinner heated up - parsnips, and some leftover stir fry veggies (I removed them before the soy sauce and stuff was added).

She is not having any high chair time and doesn't want to eat. I think her teeth are really hurting her.

6:35 PM - THANK GOD HE IS HOME HERE HAVE A BABY!
I try not to do the dump the kids on the husband and run thing very often as I recognize his day was long and hard and a commute is hardly pleasant "me time" but sometimes I am just DONE and need 10 minutes to re-human.

6:40 PM - Get the kids eating. This is a very late dinner for them/us. Kind of a small-ish/sparse looking dinner but they already had a bunch of veggies. The meat sauce was a freezer meal from earlier that I warmed up.
Both kids eat very well which is nice since some days mealtimes are dreadful. Glad they are into the zoodles.  I take my plate into the next room to eat in peace for a few minutes. That's enough to restore me back to calmness and I resume family time.

Matching jammies for my girls!

7;10 PM - Lily is fully melting at this point so I put her to bed. Phew. Ready for a break from that sweetpea.

7:35 PM - The big kids request their favorite "blast off" from Max. That is about 90 pounds of kid he is carrying.
Max is in charge of putting both kids to bed for some reason that I'm forgetting (I think I had to do bedtime on my own the day before? Can't remember.) and I tackle the dishes and take care of Toonses' litter box.

7:45 PM - Here I am not drinking on a weekday. AHEM.

I cannot recall why this ugly face moment took place but there you go.

"Mom, Toonses is bugging me." Bed stalling with the best of them since '09!

Max and I each do our own thing for a few - I play on the computer and he does financial stuff.

8:30 PM - We watch an episode of The Americans, which is really the only show we are watching these days. I have mixed feelings about it. Some episodes are exciting and interesting and then others are too complex for my sleep-deprived brain to comprehend.

9:15 PM - This is late for us! We head up to bed. Max suggests I dreamfeed Lily before she wakes for the first time (I have accidentally trained her into getting a 9-10 pm feeding each night - pretty sure I'm supposed to drop the dream feed by this time. Or maybe not. I should google.) and I suggest he be the one to dreamfeed her. I suggest this every night as I am amateur comedian. He declines. I decide to wait until she cries to maximize martyrdom.

9:30 PM - Lily's crying! A quick feeding and back to bed.

THE END