Last time I recorded a day in the life post, I was barely pregnant and could not yet comprehend what it would be like to parent three young kids. Well, here I am, parenting three young kids. And surviving. Mostly.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Emily: 34 | Nick: 33 | Sam: almost 5 yrs | Nora: 2 1/2 yrs | Evelyn: 5 wks | Lucy: almost 4 yrs
4:07 am | I hear Evie whimpering in the bassinet beside my bed. I roll over and check the time on my phone. Way to go, girl! Another night with an almost 5-hour stretch of sleep. Momma could get very used to this. I sit with her in the rocker while she nurses for about 15 minutes, do a quick diaper change, then place her back in bed. Successful transfer! I don’t think she even opened her eyes. I run downstairs to use the bathroom, take a few sips from the water bottle on my nightstand, and fall back asleep in a matter of minutes.
6:12 am | I hear little lady stirring again, about an hour earlier than her typical wake-up, so I let her go and, as expected, she quiets down.
6:30 am | I’m still awake, and I hear Lucy gagging at the foot of our bed. I nudge Nick, and he responds with “Just 15 more minutes. I’ll clean it up in 15 more minutes.” I sit up to make sure she’s okay, then close my eyes again.
7:00 am | Nora is calling “Mommy” from her room. I nudge Nick again — well past his “15 more minutes.” He begrudgingly rolls out of bed to check on her. He opens her door and is greeted with “I want Mommy.” But he manages to suffice, and she even invites him to lay in bed with her until her green light comes on (at 7:30 am).
7:14 am | Evie is ready to get up now. I lift her into bed with me to nurse. But she’s too busy stretching and yawning and grunting. So I get up to change her diaper first.
7:30 am | I hear Nora say, “Daddy, my green light is on.” Then I hear Nick ask if she needs to use the potty. Of course, she defiantly responds, “No.” So they go downstairs to start breakfast. And I hear the glorious sound of the coffee grinder. Less than two minutes later they’re back upstairs to use the potty. “See, Daddy, I not pee in my pull-ups.” I’m surprised, really, because she’s been waking up wet almost every morning for the past week. This is after many, many weeks of dry diapers before Evie was born. But let’s not talk about that regression right now.
7:45 am | After a solid 15 minutes of snuggling with the littlest, we get up, and I notice the thin trail of dog puke on the rug. It’s not terrible, but I have to step around it to get to the door. I take Evie into the bathroom to wipe her face. Poor girl has a clogged tear duct, which causes her right eye to get crusty every time she sleeps. She also has baby acne on her forehead, cheeks, and neck. Our doc didn’t seem concerned about either at her appointment last week, but both still bother me. While I’m in the bathroom with Evie, I hear Sam’s door open. He’s carrying Ricky, says good morning to us, asks where Nora is, then goes downstairs to find her.
7:50 am | Cereal is on the table for the kids: Life with honey and bananas for Sam and dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch for Nora, plus a bowl of raisins. They’re helping Nick to make our coffee — oh, how we have fallen in love with our French press. I put Evie into her bouncy seat and head back upstairs with the Spot Bot to clean up Lucy’s mess.
8:05 am | While I’m Spot Botting, the kids run up and down the steps shouting “Alert, vacuum!” and “Alert, Lucy throw-up!” After three rounds of the Spot Bot and a run of the vacuum, our bedroom rug is clean again. Since I’ve been upstairs cleaning, I’ve heard “Daddy, up” on repeat from Nora; I’ve heard Sam requesting more honey and more milk; and I’ve heard Nick say “Away from the baby” and “Give the baby some space” at least a dozen times. Back downstairs to drink my coffee while Nick goes to take his shower.
8:15 am | While Nick gets ready for work, I make breakfast for myself (three eggs, a piece of chicken apple sausage, and 1/2 an avocado) and the kids entertain themselves in the living room. Nora is talking to Oma and Opa on her “phone” (a.k.a. an old iPod she found in the desk drawer), and Sam is sketching a plan for his fort of the day. Because we build forts and secret hideouts every day. In every room. With every pillow in the house.
8:30 am | Daddy is back downstairs for hugs and kisses before he heads out the door. I ask if he still has a dinner meeting tonight. He thanks me for the reminder as I mentally prepare for my first attempt at bathing all three kids and getting them ready for bed without any assistance.
8:35 am | I’m still trying to eat my breakfast, which Nora keeps stealing bites of. And drink my coffee, which is no longer hot. I also send a few texts to friends to make plans for next week while we’re visiting my hometown.
8:45 am | Sam requests “Up Down Funk-You-Unk.” I happily oblige — I love morning dance parties. Additional requests include “Shake It Off” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling.”
9:00 am | T-minus one hour until story time begins at the library. Can we make it? I’m not optimistic, but I figure we’ll try anyway because our days are always better when we manage to get out of the house. I take the girls upstairs to get ready while Sam watches “Auntie Laura’s wedding video” on the iPad (which he asks to do at least once a month — he loves that he knows the entire cast of characters). I change Evie’s diaper and dress her in a onesie and a pair of pants. I also put a bib on her to, hopefully, prevent multiple outfit changes due to rogue spit-up. Then I put her in the bassinet and quickly slip into shorts and a t-shirt. I showered last night after working out (my first workout postpartum and, oh man, am I feeling it today) and am grateful that I don’t have to find time to shower this morning. While I apply some R+F eye cream (love!) and a bit of mascara, Nora entertains herself with my chapstick. This occupies her while I finish, then we brush our teeth and use mouthwash (her favorite part). Into her room to get dressed and pull her hair into a ponytail. And another stop in the bathroom to go potty because her pull-ups are still dry. Woo-hoo!
9:25 am | Yes, all of that took a solid 25 minutes. And I still have one more kid to get ready. Evie is crying now so I grab her and take her into Sam’s room to help him get dressed. He is completely capable of dressing himself, but not when I ask him to, of course. I brush his teeth and send him back downstairs while I gather a few things for Evie: change of clothes, two more diapers, a burp cloth, and a muslin blanket.
9:35 am | Downstairs to nurse Evie while the big kids run amok and I play referee from the couch. I threaten to stay home at least five times. They either don’t hear me, or don’t care. This ultimately ends in Nora hitting Sam (which she has been doing a lot of lately) and declaring “You’re not my best friend anymore.” Ugh. We have to get moving.
9:50 am | Realize I forgot to print a return label for the Amazon box that I want to drop off at UPS downtown. So I quickly take care of that and throw in a load of laundry while I’m in the basement. Then back upstairs to pack a few snacks and waters for our walk. Nora insists on bringing a plastic banana, and I don’t argue.
10:00 am | We’re finally out the door and on our way downtown. Sam and Nora are being surprisingly good listeners and holding onto the stroller like I asked them to. As we turn onto South Street, Sam informs me that there is a dead blue jay in the bushes — he saw it when he was running through them with Aunt Kirsten last week. He proceeds to describe the ants that were crawling all over it and suspects that they ate the bird’s head. Nice, Sam, thanks for the gory details.
10:15 am | We arrive at the library 15 minutes late and cause a bit of a scene as I park the stroller and coerce the big kids into finding a spot near the front so they can see the final book. The librarian is wonderful and knows Nora by name since we came almost every Tuesday while Sam was in school. After the book, we “go on a bear hunt.” But Sam is too cool to join. Then the librarian distributes the craft supplies, and the kids make jelly fish to hang in our window.
10:30 am | They wrap up their craft projects, and I clean their sticky gluey hands before I send them off to pick out two books, each. Sam returns with Star Wars and Batman. No surprise. Nora has a book about dogs and one about cars. Evie is wide awake, so I get her out of the stroller and she joins us to read. So much for a solid morning nap while we’re out and about.
10:45 | Before we leave, I encourage Sam and Nora to decorate paper pennants that the library staff is going to hang. Sam draws a ninja and asks me to draw the castle that he’s protecting. Nora wants me to trace her hand — five times. We write their names on both, check out our books, and head back outside.
11:00 am | We walk to the UPS store to drop off an Amazon return, and we have to stop twice for water breaks — it’s already so hot outside. But the kids are behaving so well that I suggest we get lunch at The Creamery. We haven’t been there since Sam’s last day of school, and we all miss it.
11:30 am | We arrive at The Creamery, and I order a pizza for the kids to share. I get a “Home Brew” iced tea for myself, which is one of my favorite finds in Morristown. (House brewed black iced tea sweetened with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juices and a touch of sugar.) I decide against ordering lunch for myself since I made a big batch of chicken salad yesterday. We find a table, and Sam spots one of his school buddies. Max shows Sam a flyer for a local air show and bike show, then they laugh over Snapchat on his mom’s phone. When Kara is finished talking with another friend, she joins us. The two of us chat about summer camps, the township pool, upcoming vacations, how we can’t believe our two-year-olds will be starting preschool in the fall, and Evie’s birth story, which she hadn’t yet heard. Kara and Max leave around noon, hoping their parking meter hadn’t yet expired.
12:00 pm | We can’t come to The Creamery without getting ice cream. Nora asks for strawberry, her usual. And Sam wants vanilla with cherries on top, his usual. But just Nora gets her strawberry scoop, Sam decides that he would rather have cherry Italian ice. Oh no. I know where this is going, and it’s not going to be pretty. Of course, now Nora wants “cherry ice!” Which she yells multiple times, loud enough for half of the shop to hear. When I say no, you asked for strawberry, and you can have a bite of Sam’s, she throws her cup of ice cream onto the floor. Did I mention that I’m also holding Evie in one arm and fumbling through my wallet with the other? The woman behind the counter is so super nice and comes out to help Nora clean up the mess. Though I insist that Nora pick up the cup and hand it to her. Then she gives her a scoop of “cherry ice” at no additional charge. This woman obviously has kids of her own. I thank her a bunch of times, leave a tip, and scurry back to our seats. Four years ago, something like this would have left me feeling embarrassed and red in the face. Now, I barely flinch.
12:30 pm | Home again. The kids race to the front door. And immediately upon entering, Sam declares “I have to go poop.” Followed by Nora declaring “I have to go poop, too.” Why must these two children always have to poop at the exact same time? When we only have one bathroom? Well, we also have a random toilet in the laundry room, but I refuse to use it unless it’s an emergency. And this hasn’t yet reached emergency status. Both kids do their business, and I wipe their bottoms. Then I head upstairs to change Evie’s diaper and nurse her.
1:00 pm | My stomach is growling, and I remember that I haven’t yet had lunch. I pull a croissant from the freezer, thaw it in the microwave, and pile chicken salad on top (rotisserie chicken, green grapes, celery, cranberries, almonds, and Greek yogurt). I put some potato chips on my plate, too, and pour a big glass of water. Sam and Nora ask for a few potato chips, which turns into a few more, and a few more. This is why I rarely ever buy potato chips. But Trader Joe’s got me with their kettle-cooked chips made with nothing but potatoes, olive oil, and sea salt. TJ’s also got me with this amazing chocolate candy bar.
1:15 pm | Evie is snoozing in the bouncy seat and the big kids are playing quietly upstairs, so I take advantage of the opportunity and clean up the kitchen and dining room. I unload the dishwasher and reload it with breakfast plates and coffee mugs. I wipe down the counters and the dining room table, and take the place mats downstairs to the laundry room. While I’m down there, I fold a load of laundry and start another. Okay, I’ve probably exceeded my allotment of quiet chore time, so I head back upstairs.
2:00 pm | Surprisingly, the kids are still playing nicely. Nora is reading books in her room and Sam is rearranging his train shelf. Also, it appears as though Rexy has joined the battle happening on Sam’s bed.
2:15 pm | When they realize that I’m done eating and cleaning, they start fighting for my attention. Sam lost his Golden Ninja. Then he asks me to help find LEGO weapons for each LEGO guy. Nora wants me to write her name in the notebook that she’s carrying around. Then she decides she would rather play sand. But, first, a selfie with my two big kids. Then I quickly find the LEGO pieces that Sam is missing and set up kinetic sand for Nora at the dining room table, even though there will be purple sand all over the rug in a matter of minutes. Nora reminds me that “I two and half, and that’s why I have purple sand now.” But then she wants the brown sand. She says, “Mommy, you like brown because you like chocolate.” Can’t get anything past this one! Evie is stirring, so I take her upstairs to nurse her back to sleep and manage to transfer her into the bassinet to finish her nap.
2:45 pm | While feeding Evie, Nora decides she’s done with the sand and starts filling tea cups with water from the bathroom sink. Sam joins in on the fun. Before they have the opportunity to soak each other, I suggest we have some quiet time with the iPad. (Because Nora hasn’t voluntarily taken a nap since baby sister arrived. But I still try to enforce quiet time every afternoon.) They are thrilled! We start with a few rounds of Endless ABCs. Then we switch to Justin Time on Netflix. I sit down on the couch for, what feels like, the first time all day. Unless you count the multiple times I’ve nursed Evie. I read a text from a friend asking “Where are you? Why aren’t you at the pool today?” For a brief moment, I consider waking Evie, packing up, and heading to the pool. But I quickly admit that’s a crazy idea. Especially since I’m on my own for the rest of the night, and I need to do everything possible to dodge meltdowns.
4:00 pm | Sam and Nora are still watching Justin Time. And I must have dozed off for about 30 minutes because I wake to hear Evie crying upstairs. Just as I’m heading up to feed her, S and N decide that they’re hungry, too. I very quickly hook them up with blueberry yogurts and string cheese and run upstairs to scoop up the littlest. After she’s fed and changed, it’s her turn for a selfie with momma.
4:15 pm | Back downstairs the big kids are still snacking and watching the iPad. But I decide we need to get outside before dinner. I’m met with much resistance. And so begins the dreaded witching hour.
4:30 pm | I convince everyone to come outside, and I sit down with the baby and my sparkling water to enjoy the evening sun and my beautiful kids playing together. Yeah, right. Within a matter of minutes, I take away two toys (a shovel because Sam won’t share and a squirt gun because he’s chasing Nora), scold Sam multiple times for climbing onto Nora’s car while she’s trying to drive it, scold Nora multiple times for threatening to throw sand at Sam, and have to remove two balls from the yard because Lucy won’t stop pestering me to play.
5:00 pm | I’ve reached my limit, so we’re all back inside. Since S and N just finished snacking an hour ago, I decide to start baths before making dinner. Also because I somehow have to figure out how to bathe all three by myself. Nora is first into the tub, and I let her play while Evie and I watch. I end up feeding Evie in the bathroom because she’s really fussy. By the time I finish, change her diaper, get Nora out of the bath and into jammies, it’s past 5:30 pm. So we head back downstairs to scour the fridge for leftovers.
5:30 pm | There is not enough leftover mac and cheese for both kids, and I don’t have more to make, which means it’s Sam’s turn to meltdown. I convince him to have a grilled cheese sandwich instead. Both kids also get watermelon. I’m not hungry yet, and Evie won’t let me put her down anyway, so I bounce around the kitchen with her in the K’tan wrap while eating the crust from Sam’s sandwich and a few slices of watermelon. Then it’s back upstairs for Sam’s turn in the tub. But not before sword fights with empty paper towel rolls. Because, why not.
6:00 pm | Sam is bathed and into jammies.
6:30 pm | Evie is bathed and into jammies.
7:00 pm | We all end up in Sam’s bed for stories and snuggles. You’ll notice that there aren’t many details about the previous hour because I switched into survival mode, counting down the minutes until these three sweet heads hit their pillows and drift into dreamland.
7:25 pm | After four books and two songs, we hear the front door open. Daddy is home! He changes and relieves me of my duties. I kiss the big kids goodnight and take Evie upstairs to feed her. Then I lay her in bed while I change into my running clothes.
7:40 pm | Nick brought leftover tabouli salad home for me to eat. Thanks, babe! I add some leftover rotisserie chicken and call it a late dinner.
8:00 pm | Sam and Nora are asleep and Nick finally gets to hold the littlest for the first time all day. We chat for just a few minutes before I cue up Pandora and head outside for a run.
8:30 pm | My legs are so sore from cardio fix the night before, but I push through and am proud of myself for completing my first run (albeit my slowest run) postpartum. Two miles done in just over 20 minutes. Plus it felt so darn good to blare music in my ears and not have to listen to endless demands from my three little dictators.
9:00 pm | Back home, and I give in to Lucy’s pleas to play ball in the backyard while I chug water and cool down from my run. I can’t help but snag two chocolate chip cookies on my way upstairs to shower.
9:15 pm | Evie is still sleeping in Nick’s arms. We chat for a bit about his day and mine and discuss plans for our upcoming weekend away. Then I set up my laptop and start organizing my photos and notes from the day while he watches a show on the iPad.
10:15 pm | Nick’s ready for bed, and Evie is still sleeping, so he puts her into the bouncy seat while I get a bowl of cereal and do a bit more work.
11:30 pm | I always forget how much I love blogging until I actually make time to do it again! I force myself to close the laptop and go upstairs to brush my teeth. Then I change Evie’s diaper, which wakes her up just enough for a quick feeding before we both go to bed.
The days are long. Sometimes very, very long. But the years are so short.