Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day in the Life: Winter 2014

Friday, January 17

7:30 AM - I wake up in my bed (this is notable because I tend to switch beds in the middle of the night or I sleep in the guest room due to pregnancy sleep issues) and I am so surprised to realize that it's 7:30 AM. This is super late for me to sleep in for me so that means Raj must have gotten up with Oliver and also didn't have to get into work super early. Lovely surprise. I check the weather. Ah, an 18 degrees BELOW zero windchill. I am doing better this winter than other winters, probably because I have some bonus built in layering this year with extra fat and spare human beings to keep me warm, but COME ON.

Bella is also in bed with me. Like her Mama she is a bed wanderer at night and probably only wakes up in her own bed a couple mornings a week. It doesn't really bug us that she ends up in our bed as she isn't awake longer than it takes for her to come into our room at night so we haven't made any efforts to change it or really enforce her staying in her room. I didn't think I would be so open to this family bed sort of thing pre-kids (I remember being distinctly weirded out by some Pitt-Jolie interview where they talked about all waking up in the same bed), but the fact that we always start the night without kids in our bed makes a big difference to me. I actually really like the cozy cuddly mornings while still maintaining adult space in the evenings.

[Edited to add - as I am cleaning up this post today I would like to report that Bella came into the guest bed with me at 2:30 AM this morning and proceeded to thrash around until 3:30 AM when I kicked her out to go back to her room to sleep. She fell asleep there promptly. I remained awake until 5:30 AM. Perhaps the night wandering does need to be nipped in the bud after all.]

Bella is super excited to wake up with me, "It's a girls slumber party!" and then we talk briefly about what's going on today. In addition to preschool she gets to go on a Mama date tonight to the Hungry Caterpillar play at The Children's Theatre.  "I knew there was something exciting about today!" We received free tickets for the opening night show as I'm on the press list as a local blogger. (**feels fancy**) I am so grateful to get these kinds of experiences via the blog and it's much better payment than the pocket change I earn each month through my ad channels. I'll review the performance at the end of this post.

7:35 AM - We head downstairs and say hello to the male species of the family and I make smoothies (spinach, mango I'd sliced the day before, frozen blueberries, greek yogurt, and some OJ). Raj also hands me a cup of coffee that is already prepared the way I like it. I eye him suspiciously and ask if he's being super nice because it's a DITL. He laughs at me and says he forgot. Ha. Makes him look good and very sweet either way.
7:45-8 AM - Raj finishes getting ready for work while I have breakfast with the kids. In addition to the smoothies I also give them each some dry Life cereal - not our usual breakfast fare but I bought it in a weird pregnant-lady-craving moment until I was cruelly reminded that my body does not get along with Life cereal in the least.  I still can't figure out what ingredient is so triggering to the ol' GI system, but there is something in there that is dangerous. Also, it has yellow #5 in it so it's really not so good for any of us. And so I feed it to my children rather than throw it away! Ha.

As Raj says goodbye to us he asks Bella if he can bring her new squeeze ball that she got as a prize at the dentist the day before. He wants to show his co-worker (show-and-tell still quite popular amongst corporate scene, it seems). I had thought Bella would refuse but she was completely fine with it. Please note how horrifying this toy is. Reminds me of fat cells from dissecting animals in various biology classes.

8:20 AM - We are running a little behind due to me sleeping in so late so I quickly dress the kids and myself and rush us out the door. Oliver does his usual run down the driveway. He's much better about not being such a rascal all day every day when compared to last year, but there are still several things he likes to push limits on. This would be one of them. It's getting more challenging every day to have to pick him up and carry him to the car and then hunch over to buckle him in (dreamy minivan in my future will hopefully solve the hunched over problem!)

As we arrive at preschool I remind Bella several times that we are in a hurry and we cannot stop and talk to everyone we see along the way. It never really makes a difference but I like to pretend that a pep talk does help. Normally I build in a ton of extra buffer time to accommodate my social butterfly as it's easier just to go with her style of chatting to all than to force my style of direct hustle-bustle introverted ways on her. She, like her father, is good for me in terms of making me a more relaxed and sociable person. But anyway, she still chats to everyone and wants to hug everyone on arriving so it's frustrating as I'm trying to move her along/get her coat off/get her boots switched to sneakers/etc. We finally get her into her classroom and then Oliver and I head back out into the cold since he doesn't have any programming on Fridays.

9:15 AM - We head to the gym.

I get paged to change his diaper after 15 minutes on the treadmill (just walking at 3.0 mph while also taking super awk selfies). When I am changing him he tells me "Love poop at gym." It's good to know what one loves and even better to get to pursue those loves. I tell him that I'm going to keep exercising but I'll be back soon enough to get him. He has zero issues with this and I'm once again so thankful that he does well at the gym after our problems last year.

I do another 10 minutes or so on the elliptical since all the exercise bikes are taken by various elder-folks (I had been hoping to fakercise with some level 1 biking). It's probably for the best since it's getting super weird to sit on an exercise bike right now with my belly resting on my legs.

After the gym we hit up Trader Joe's to restock our groceries. I always forget to look for "Wally" or tell the kids to look for Wally (if you can spot Wally the walleye - a stuffed animal - then you get a lolly) but Oliver being of the age where he is super observant of his surroundings exclaims, "Funny dolphin!" over in the produce area. I look up to see Wally above the veggies. I'm all proud of him for thinking Wally was a dolphin even though he's not because (1) Oliver is just so darn cute and (2) it's cool that his vocab and recognition includes things like dolphins these days.

We finish shopping and I make sure he gets a lolly. I even let him have it right away (not my usual) because that way I won't have to deal with a possible sibling/tantrum issue if he gets a lollipop and Bella doesn't. As he is sucking it he tells me his lollipop is "so juicy." Hahah. So gross but cute.

We have a random 15 minutes to spare and I realize I never had more than coffee and a little smoothie for breakfast (am clearly not in the first trimester as I would have been hurling left and right if I'd attempted that a few months ago). I split a Lara bar with Oliver and then treat myself to a small berry mocha at Caribou since I have a gift card.

11:15 AM - At preschool pick-up Oliver does his now-usual slightly-naughty thing of trying to get attention as all the parents listen to the teacher give a recap of the day. I'm surprised by this side of him and I often wonder if this is a result of Bella being his older sister or if it's because he also takes after his father with being more willing to draw attention to himself in public.  Anyway, it means I am often trying to get him to sit still (HAHAHAAAA) or pulling him out of lockers or stopping him from rolling on the floor and I miss most of what the teacher says. The other younger siblings sit quietly on the bench or in their strollers like wee angels.

11:45 AM - We have a smooth transition out of preschool and drive home. I give the kids a quick hodge-podge lunch since I know they will both be ready right away for eating. They are insanely in love with hard boiled yeggs right now, to the point where I have to cut them off at two a day (?!?!?!?!!)  I give them the rest of their breakfast smoothies, some yellow bell pepper sticks, the hard-boiled eggs, and I re-offer the Life cereal from breakfast. While they eat I unpack the groceries. Note the the front vs. the back of my Trader Joes' haul :)

After lunch the kids are in such great moods so I let them play for awhile rather than having Oliver go right up for his nap. Oliver wants to do the dried rice & beans sensory bin so I pull that out and they play while I tackle dishes. After that there is a mix of playing on the plasma car (thanks, Santa!) and cat harassing. 

During all this we listen to our latest Pandora station: Disney songs.

And then there was dancing.

I get a little more cleaning done while they boogie down and then Oliver decides he really wants to help Mama with some clean up. They love love love spraying the cleaning spray (mix of 1/4-1/3 bottle vinegar, the rest distilled water, and then several drops of various essential oils like orange, tea tree, and peppermint). He also sweeps the table, as one does.

While Bubs is cleaning, I get my belly picture set-up and taken for the week. This gets Bella very interested in taking some photos using the tripod. Since it's secured very well I let her do some photography practice. [Here is where my husband reads this and gives me a disproving face.]

Some of her best work...

She asks to take more pictures of the baby and insists that I lift my shirt and face the front. So here is what will probably be the only front baby bump picture.

I take a quick picture of what the backyard is looking like these days. The neighbor set up the hockey rink on our little frozen bay again but I don't think they have been getting quite as much use out of it this year because it's been so darn cold.

12:55 PM - It's now approaching 1 pm so it's high time to get upstairs. Oliver asks for Bella to put him down for his nap and Bella happily agrees. This is an absolutely magical thing they have been doing lately and what is especially wonderful is that it's successful 90% of the time. Could not have fathomed this one on the horizon last year. I think often about how much easier life has been for the past six months or so between Oliver finally being done with his highly dramatic/intense teething and Bella moving out of her difficult 3-year-old stage. This sweet spot with the kids being easier was just what I needed to recharge before diving back into the baby days. Anyway, it's ridiculously heart-warming how sweet they can be with each other and I also am so grateful for all the extra time I have to keep the house running these days. 

Speaking of running the house, while Bella is reading to Oliver, I make the bed, start working on some laundry, check my to-do lists, and take a picture of my surprisingly clean kitchen since I was able to get all the dishes done/counters wipes/floors swept.

1:20 PM - Bella comes back downstairs after finishing up Oliver's naptime song and turning on his white noise and I give her two marbles and a small piece of licorice as a reward for her help.

Then I make my own lunch: hard-boiled egg and fruity spinach salad. Bella nibbles on my lunch along with me, as I expected her to. She has clearly been in a growth spurt lately because she'll eat her entire dinner, and then some dessert, and then ask for more dinner. Then we do 10 minutes of "Mama time" with her legos and after that she does 30 minutes of "Bella time" which involves crafts today. Bella time is generally far more successful if I start it with Mama time. For her craft project she wants to make a name tag for her friend Emma (she came up with that idea on her own).

While she does her Bella time, I move into the living room and do a little computer work finishing up my guest post for the Moms Make it Work series on Life in Transition. Toonses insists on joining me. Kitties love my pregnant tummy. Quick Toonses update: seems to be doing better though still being SUPER picky about eating so he's down to a little over 8 pounds. We are just keeping an eye on him and he will never, ever, ever get his teeth cleaned or extracted again (or probably any other medical procedure, especially if it involves anesthesia). Not worth it in an elderly kitty!

2:10 PM - Bella is done with her Bella time so now she gets some iPad time. She joins me in the living room and does some Toonses snuggling.

I continue to work on the guest post while she watches a Kratts Brothers show (current fave for both kids) and then I have her help me in the kitchen with dinner prep for tonight's tofu & veggie fried rice. She loses interest in cooking with me pretty quickly and resumes her elaborate name-tag project instead. She also starts doing some painting. In the meantime I get all the veggies chopped and stir-fried and pull out some frozen rice to thaw and also get the tofu dry-fried and marinating in a watered-down soy sauce + garlic marinade.

3 PM - Oliver wakes up and I decide to have both kids get in the bath so that Bella's hair can dry in plenty of time to head back out for the Hungry Caterpiller show. For whatever reason it is not a good post-nap transition day and he cries through the whole bath. I need to shower so I have to let him be a grump in the bath with Bella while I quickly take a shower (the shower stall is right next to the tub) and then I get him out but he still cries. OY. 

Eventually he calms down and he especially perks up when he and Bella start tossing freshly folded clothes around.
This is why I never fold laundry, people.

3:45 PM - I let the kids randomly play upstairs while I get ready. My bump has grown exponentially in the past week.

4:30 PM - We head back downstairs and I finish dinner by frying the rice in some sesame oil and adding the veggies and tofu. The kids play randomly around me.

5 PM -  I sit down with the kids and we eat. Just as we are finishing up, Raj comes home from work. I greet him with a freaked out "ZOMG MONEY" discussion as I just saw an email come through from our lawyer with our estimated tax cost this year. I know it's a crappy thing to do just as he's getting home but EEEEEEEE!!! Between the new flooring to replace the ruined lower-level carpet and the upcoming minivan purchase, this expense is not easy to swallow. Anyway, he calms me down but I'm still all preggy disgruntled but there is no time for elaborate financial discussions as Bellz and I have a play to attend. The show must go on!

5:30 PM - Oliver is reluctant for me to leave, but Raj convinces him they are going to have a magnificent man date. We also get a picture before leaving on our lady date. I'm wearing big, thick, ugly wool socks (with plans to wear knee-high leather boots to cover them up) because it's SOOOOOO cold.

Oh - one more thing! The kids were poking each other with their fingers and yelling "shot! shot!" and I looked at Raj all horrified and said "Where did they learn about guns?" and started asking the kids to stop and was questioning what show had they watched with guns/shooting when Bella told me they were just pretending to give each other at the the Rhogam shot I got last week.


5:45 PM - We head out into the frigid cold night and drive into the city. Bella is super cute and so excited to see the play. We arrive at the theater with plenty of time to spare.

7 PM - Bella enjoys the show, but I would say that Hungry Caterpiller is probably best for pretty young kids - like 1.5-3.5 year olds. It basically a puppet show with black lights that followed the stories of Little Cloud, The Mixed-Up Chameleon and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The pace was quite slow, which was a bit challenging for a pregnant adult at 7 pm on a Friday but perfect for young children. I liked the Hungry Caterpillar portion the best and the Little Cloud story the least (to be fair I have never really liked Little Cloud, probably because of that scary clown cloud -shudder). It takes about 45 minutes for the show and then there is a question & answer session. (A couple things - the show runs through Feb 23 and keep in mind that kids under 3 are only $10 with a lap pass!)

During the Q&A Bella's hand shoots up immediately to ask a question. Another one of those moments where I am struck by her innate confidence and lack of shyness and just the major differences between us. I lean over and ask what her question is as I suspect she is more interested in getting to speak up in front of an enormous audience rather than has a specific question. But she whispers that she wanted to ask about the butterfly puppet so I'm reminded that I should dial it back and let my child do her thing. (But I was thinking of how I would need to be the one to loudly shout the question to the puppeteers on stage so they could hear it with 300 or something people watching me and EEEEEP!) They only have time for 3 questions and Bella isn't called on, but another little girl asks about the butterfly so Bella seems satisfied. (And I'm secretly happy that we escaped all those eyes looking at us.)

8:15 PM - We drive home and I can tell Bella is getting super sleepy. I'm also exhausted - it's past both our bedtimes by now!

8:45 PM - We get home and greet Raj who reports a great night with Oliver. Since it's my turn to do her bedtime routine I quickly get her going on that.

9:15 PM - I end my day with a quick chat with Husband who is lounging on the couch with a Surly beer and then give Toonses a dental rinse, the latest ridiculous pet treatment I am dealing with...le sigh.

9:30 PM - I grab a few more pieces of licorice and head off to bed where I'll play on my iPhone a bit before sleeping. Mama's tired!


  1. Busy day! I don't recall getting NEARLY that much done when I was that far along with #3. If I made it to the grocery store, that was my major outing for the whole day and I was wiped from it!
    Isn't it crazy how we always jump to conclusions and fear the worst when our kids do certain things?! We had a situation similar to your "shot" story the other day when Adelle kept saying "shoot" to a fly…I thought she was saying it to mean like, "OH shoot, a fly" (like she had heard "oh, shit" or something?!??) Anway, she was apparently trying to just shoo the fly, like in the song "shoo fly, don't bother me". Annnnyway, gave me a total heart attack at first.

  2. Nice post! Planning to do mine tomorrow!! I'm so happy you reviewed The Hungry Caterpillar. Allie is going tomorrow night and so far, I've heard nothing but bad reviews. Exactly the comments you said - geared for much younger, too short, etc. So, it was good that Bella enjoyed it, I'm hoping Allie will too. Funny about the Q&A, they've had that at a few performances lately and Allie ALWAYS raises her hand! It's so weird to me because she's normally such a shy kid, but every time she's been called on and always does quite well asking a pretty intelligent question!

    Also, where did you get the little book with Lego ideas? Allie is huge into Legos lately and while she's good at creating her own things, she also likes to follow directions and we've already exhausted all the sets that came with the actual Legos - yours looks like a laminated book, did you make that or get it somewhere?

  3. Mama T - I am surprised at how "spry" I am right now as well :) But I do turn about 95 years old rather abruptly at night if I lay down on the couch for a bit and then try to get up. OWWWWWW. But I'm only 31 weeks...plenty of time for me to get super broken-down :)

    Jodi - Yeah, in retrospect I brought the wrong kid to the Hungry Caterpillar. Might even be better for Jake to go in place of Allie but I'm sure that Allie would NOT be okay with that and it's past Jake's bedtime. Bella said she liked it equally to Cinderella and Charlotte's Web but she was FAR more antsy during it and kept pestering me about wanting a snack. She didn't do that during the other performances and instead was on the edge of her seat in awe at those shows. I just think it was a little too slow for her plus 7 pm is very late for her to be at a show. The lego book is just the paper booklet that came with those small lego packets (I've seen them on endcaps). I have bought Bella a set of those here and there as a way to keep her busy during her rest time and also as rewards. But check on Amazon - they seem to have a ton of lego stuff there!

  4. Loved it.

    -Life cereal is like crack to me right now. So sorry you cannot enjoy--I haven't had it in years but can't get enough of it.

    -that ball thing Raj is holding is really gross. Reminded me of baby tomatoes at first but yes, fat cells are more like it.

    -Oliver cracks me up. We love finding Wally at TJs, too!

    -You are looking mighty adorable and very energetic/inspiring at this stage!

  5. Love the pink dress! Will you share where you got it? The tofu looks super yummy.....maybe a recipe sometime? I just came across your blog. Love it!

  6. Julia - Isn't it weird how cereal takes on a new level of wonder during pregnancy? I don't think I thought about it for a couple years and then I got pregnant and was suddenly thinking about all the different cereals and all the options and how exciting :)

    Rebecca - Hi and welcome! The dress was loaned to me but it comes from Old Navy (I suspect it's from a couple seasons ago). Here is the recipe I use for dry frying tofu: I don't really follow any particular recipe for my marinade any more - just a mix of tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, maybe ginger... This way of preparing tofu COMPLETELY changed how I approach tofu.I like it so much more this way.

  7. I love Bella's going-out outfit! As others have noted, you seem to be keeping up really well for this stage in your pregnancy! I added tofu fried rice to the meal plan for the upcoming week ;). Also, are your cabinets maple? My husband pointed out that they are very similar to ours (down to the hardware).

  8. So very brave taking selfies at the gym.

    "Love poop at gym" - giggles.

    Trader Joe's must have different animals at different stores. I pretty sure it was a wolf the last time we were at the store by our house.

    Bella's pictures are fantastic. :)


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  10. Busy, busy day!

    I never (ever ever never) eat cereal except for when I'm pregnant, so I can totally relate to your pregnancy craving driving you to buy Life cereal.

  11. It is so amazing that Oliver lets Bella put him down for a nap. Seeing that sort of sibling interaction just kills me, love it! And, I think it's so awesome that the teacher does a recap every day after school. Granted I work at the school so I have a pretty good idea, but it's so nice to have that information on a daily basis. Finally re: Oliver doing business at the oldest LOVES doing business in every and all public bathrooms and taking his sweet time. No matter where we go, he announces he has to go & then smirks at me. I have finally decided he's big enough so I stand outside the stall door and that seems to speed him up a little bit, apparently it's not as much fun when I'm not standing there badgering him to hurry up!