A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

This week Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple (formerly Simple Mom) released her latest book, Notes from a Blue Bike. The more I hear about this book, the more excited I am to read it, especially as I have embarked in the past few years on a quest to simplify, to take time to smell the roses, to just live slower. So when I saw that Tsh was hosting a linky this week, I knew I wanted to link up. I just wasn’t sure what my topic ought to be, until I thought about how crazy and not-slow my life has been lately.

I’ve thought about doing a “Day in the Life” post for a while. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to bare my soul and confess how busy life is and perhaps look for suggestions on how to slow down a bit. Please keep in mind, every day is not as crazy as the one I’m going to share. But I do try to accomplish more than I can every day. Here is this past Monday . . .
4 am—I wake up to Evangeline fussing next to me. Yes, I brought her into our bed again. I am trying to transition her to sleeping the whole night in her crib, but that only works when she doesn’t wake up every two hours to nurse. I am just too exhausted to sit in the rocker and nurse her every two hours all night long. This has been going on for a week straight. I thought when those first two teeth popped through, she’d start sleeping longer stretches again, but not so far. I’m not sure what’s going on with her, but obviously I’m not ignoring my hungry baby, so into our bed she came around 2 am—maybe, the memory is kind of foggy. 
I nurse her and put her back in her crib for the rest of the night (morning?). She’s babbling to herself, but happy. I’m planning to get up early, work out, have a quiet time, in spite of the fact that Adrian vomited all over his sheets around midnight last night. I was nursing (naturally) when that happened, so Todd had to deal with the bulk of it. I love my husband. I slip back into sleep, expecting to get up when my alarm goes off at 5:45, and also expecting to face a long day with a four-year-old vomiting. (Camilla had a 24-hour bug on Friday, so . . .)

5:15—The baby is crying. I go to her room and nurse her back to sleep. She is nestled in her crib again. I say goodbye to Todd as he’s leaving for work and then I turn off my alarm, deciding to sleep until the big kids wake me up.

7:00—Camilla slips into bed beside me. I drift off for a bit longer before I make myself get up and hit the shower. While I’m showering, Adrian bounces into the bathroom. I ask him how he’s feeling and he is fine! I was sure we’d be down for the day, but I guess I need to buck up. We have some schoolwork to accomplish this morning, then haircuts at 1pm and a chiropractor appointment for Adrian and myself at 3:00. I also want to hit the grocery store after that, before rushing home to get Camilla to AWANA at 6:00. Perhaps I’m trying to squeeze in too much? This week is going to be so busy, though, I don’t know when I will get food in the house if not today. I dress myself and Adrian. I notice it is snowing! The dilemma today will be whether we actually go to our appointments or not! And I really need groceries! But the snow is so pretty . . .

8:00 or so—Eva is awake for the day. She usually wakes up happy once morning comes. I get her dressed and nurse her. Then I put all the dirty towels in the washer and strip the beds. We have breakfast, finally. I’m making eggs for myself, but can’t coax the big kids to eat some. They just want toast. Todd finished the homemade granola this morning, I forgot to bake bread yesterday, and we don’t have a lot of variety in the pantry, so I let them eat grocery store toast, while I drink my coffee.

9:00—I warn Camilla we’ll be starting school soon. Also, I make up a meal plan and my grocery list, while watching the snow fall outside the window. It’s 9:30 before we actually sit down to start working on math. We always start with prayer, so I ask Camilla to pray for our day. I guess I should respect the fact that she is not writing this and leave the next 15 minutes to your imagination. It was close to 10 before she actually prayed and we really started working on math. Perhaps sometime soon I will write a post on why we are homeschooling. (Then I’ll read it to remind myself why on days like this one!)

12 pm—We finish up most of the schoolwork I had planned for the day. It has been snowing steadily, so I get online to see what I can find out about the road conditions. Not much. But there’s an inch or two on the ground and it’s still snowing. I call our stylist. She’s not too happy that she drove into town and had two people cancel appointments today, but I can’t see dragging three kids out in this just to get our hair done. We reschedule. Eva has taken a nap and is up again, so I nurse her and make lunch for myself and the big kids (Chicken Salad and PB&J). I put the towels in the dryer and start a load of sheets.

1:00—I discover a new weather alert online, telling me it’s supposed to keep snowing until 4pm. I decide to cancel the chiropractor, too. Maybe we can fit it in tomorrow before Adrian’s ENT appointment. Maybe. I leave them a message. Camilla has been asking to make a Valentine’s Day gift for Daddy, so she helps me clean up from lunch (sort of) and I tape newspapers all over the counter so we don’t get paint on them. She paints the gift with my real acrylic paints while Adrian paints a picture for Daddy with his washable paints.

2:00—I decide we’re going for a walk. I look around the kitchen and at the floor, wishing I had time to clean up and vacuum. Maybe after the walk, I can put Eva down for a nap and clean up while the big kids stay outside in the snow. We all get our snowpants and coats on. I receive a text message that Awana is cancelled due to the snow. I put the Moby Wrap on and put Eva in her snowsuit. The big kids head outside while I finish getting myself and Eva ready. The phone rings. It’s the chiropractor. They can’t adjust Adrian tomorrow. The snow is tapering off. How about 5 o’clock today? I agree. I really want to go to the grocery store afterwards, anyway. On my way out the door, I text Todd wondering if he carpooled. I don’t know what we’re going to do for dinner if I’m going to the chiropractor and the grocery store starting at 5pm.

3:15—I cut my walk short, but tell the big kids to stay outside and play, thinking I will put sleeping Eva down, put clean sheets on the beds, clean up the kitchen and vacuum all before we need to leave at 4:30. Todd calls me first and says he did carpool, but he can come to the chiropractor and at least get Camilla and Eva so I don’t have to deal with so many kids at the grocery store. We’ll switch vehicles since he still doesn’t have a base for Eva’s seat in the truck. Todd’s coworker will rider home with all of them. I breathe a mental sigh of relief that I cleaned out the car on Saturday, reminding myself that things really do get accomplished when they need to be. Camilla comes in from outside. I tell her to make sure she puts away her snow gear and I head upstairs to put Eva down.
Eva wakes up when I take her out of the Moby Wrap and wants to nurse. I sit in the rocker in the nursery while she nurses, surfing the web on my phone and revising my to-do list, trying to figure out how much I can realistically accomplish before 4:30. Adrian comes in.
4:00—Eva is finally sleeping in her crib and I’m wishing I didn’t have to wake her up to drive to the chiropractor in half an hour. I wonder wistfully how to balance everything. It’s the desire to live more naturally that has us running to the chiro three times a week for Adrian, maybe avoiding him having to have surgery to put tubes in his ears. But it’s interfering a little bit with my resolve to live more slowly. I’m trying to keep the slow mindset, though. To look at the dirty floor downstairs and what’s left of Valentine crafting all over the counters and to choose the most important thing. Clean sheets on the beds. Because no one can go to bed until that’s finished and who knows what time I’ll get home from the grocery store. I make Camilla’s bed.  Then I tell Adrian to take off his snowpants (he invariably leaves them on when he comes in) and the raincoat he put on because he’s pretending to be an astronaut, and go potty because we have to leave in ten minutes. Wonder of wonders, he actually does what I asked him to do without more prompting. (Maybe the chiropractor is helping his hearing!) I put his freshly washed and dried waterproof cover on his mattress. So thankful it worked last night! It’s time to go, though. Todd can put the sheets on Adrian’s bed if I don’t get a chance to do it. I get Eva up and by the time we’re all in the car, it’s 4:39. And I’m hoping the roads aren’t bad.

4:40—The roads are just wet. I thank the big kids for their cooperation while we were getting ready to leave, and also for putting most of their snow gear away themselves. That was really helpful to me.

5:00—We pile out of the car and into the chiro’s office, where I learn he doesn’t have time for me (it would be my first appointment, so would take a while), but he adjusts Adrian and we talk for a minute till I see Todd coming in the door. We go out to my car. I say hi to Todd’s coworker, Jeff, and apologize for adding 15 minutes to his commute. I help get the kids and the stroller in the car, laugh at Adrian’s saying to Todd (about Jeff), “Why is he in our car?” Kiss the kids and Todd good bye. Grab four reusable grocery bags (not enough, as it turned out). Then I head to Todd’s truck by myself.
[Cue angelic choir.]

5:20—I’m at the grocery store. Alone. I wander around, getting what we need and run into my friend Mary. I haven’t seen her for two years and she is pregnant with her sixth child! Sixth! Well, now I feel like a loser. Not really. But I am in awe. Not only is this woman about to have her sixth child, she also homeschools and lives off the grid. I think she lives slowly, people. But it also has to be crazy. Probably not quite the type of slow I’m designed for, but I do want more slow in my days.

7:00—I pull into the garage. Todd is in the kitchen holding Eva and warming a bottle for her. He says my mom just called, so I call her back and take Eva to nurse her. (Dang that wasted milk!) She falls asleep by the time I finish talking to my mom. She’s still fully clothed and is not wearing her double duty diaper for the night. I take her upstairs to change her and then decide to give her a bath.

8:00—I nurse Eva, praying she will sleep better tonight. Todd brings the big kids up, makes Adrian’s bed, and is almost finished putting the kids to bed when I finish with Eva and head downstairs to get something to eat.

8:30—I make myself an omelette, blessing my husband who has washed the dishes from earlier in the day and now is going out to plow the driveway. When he comes in, I am eating some ice cream and thinking about preordering Tsh’s new book. We talk of many things while we fold the sheets and towels. I straighten up the house a bit and start a load of diapers. He’s going to work out. I’m going to get ready for bed because I have a scratchy throat.

10pm—I’m ready for bed, but I jot down a few things I need to do in the morning and decide to run downstairs and start the next cycle for the diapers so they’ll be ready to dry first thing in the morning.
Then I check on the kids, all sleeping soundly. Hallelujah!
I drift away, thanking God that nobody is really sick and praying that I get more sleep tonight . . .
Does this sound like slow living to you? What can I do to live more slowly? Is it mostly a mindset or do I need to make decisions to cut out some of the crazy? Is that even possible with three kids?

Addendum—Evangeline only woke up twice that night. Hallelujah!
  • Heather
    Posted at 08:35h, 09 February Reply

    I think that anytime you have a baby you have to nurse in the night, life is complicated! Honestly, I feel like I am just coming out of the fog, and mine are 5 & 3. I am making it a point to not over commit myself. Realizing it is ok to just do the bare minimum when life is crazy, and not letting myself feel like I have to say yes to things I don't really care about, was extremely freeing! But, life with littles is always crazy! I also just started having quiet time after lunch again, and making it a point to always have that until my kids move out of the house is definitely something I am working towards 🙂

  • Alison Treat
    Posted at 23:19h, 10 February Reply

    You are right, life with littles is always crazy. I started making it a point not to overcommit myself long ago, and I still find myself feeling stretched. Thanks for commenting, Heather!

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