Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Emily: 34 | Nick: 34 | Sam: 5 1/2 yrs | Nora: 3 yrs | Evelyn: 10 mos | Lucy: 4 yrs
5:22am | Evelyn is whimpering, so I tip-toe into the girls’ room and lift her out of her crib. I nurse her and lay her back down in the pack’n’play in the corner of our bedroom, hoping she’ll fall back asleep for at least another hour.
6:45am | Sam is at my bedside, asking if he can play in his room until his green light comes on (in just 15 minutes). “Of course, buddy,” I whisper. But Evie is already awake, standing up, bouncing, and talking to us. By the time I finish changing her diaper, Nora is at the bedroom door.
7:00am | “Our green lights are on!” So we all head downstairs. I regret not waking up earlier, especially since Nick is traveling this week. I really could have used some quiet time before the chaos. But it also felt so good to get that extra hour of sleep.
7:15am | Sam is set up at the dining room table with his new drawing book. He’s working on an astronaut and a pirate. Nora is reading books on the couch. And Evie is crawling all over the kitchen floor, pulling magnets off of the refrigerator, opening the cabinet doors, and trying to reach a plastic Easter egg that rolled under the island.
7:30am | Coffee is ready. Nothing tastes better than that first sip, am I right? I make waffles for the kiddos and top them with bananas and berries. Before I’m able to get breakfast onto the table, the big kids are fighting over the board book that Evie got in her Easter basket. Sam says that Nora has been reading it for 40 years and tracks on a piece of paper how much longer she is allowed to read it until it’s his turn.
8:00am | The kids are finished eating and are best friends again, playing magnetic blocks in the living room. I wipe Evie’s sticky banana hands and hair and give her water while I move the plates to the kitchen. I feed Lucy and fill her water bowl.
8:05am | Evie is out of her high chair and hanging on my legs while I begin the assembly line of lunchboxes. PBJ (“just jelly” for Nora), string cheese, carrots and hummus, fruit, and pretzels. Sam comes in to tell me that he can’t find Green Lantern. “He was in the bat mobile, but he’s not there anymore.” I tell him to look upstairs. “Oh, I bet he’s in Nora’s doll house.” Of course he is.
8:15am | We answer a quick FaceTime from Daddy and, as always, fight over who gets to push the red button to hang up the call.
8:20am | The big kids are back to playing with Green Lantern, Batman, Daddy Pig, and George. But it’s time to change out of jammies and get ready for school. Weather forecast is calling for high 60s and sunshine, and the kids are excited to wear short sleeves. Though Nora really, really wants to wear “short pants,” too. Soon, sweetheart. We brush teeth, brush hair, slip on sneakers, grab jackets and backpacks, and say “see you later, Lucy!”
8:50am | “Are we walking, or are we driving?” asks Nora. Hooray for walking! Also hooray for the first day back to school after spring break! The kids follow their typical obstacle course through town. They run through the maze of shrubs, walk across the “balance beams,” and hang from the bike racks.
9:10am | We’re back home, and I begin breakfast cleanup. I load the dishwasher, wipe down the table, and reheat my coffee while the littlest crawls around my feet. While Evie is entertained under the dining room table, I call the insurance company to question two claims. One of my least favorite tasks, but it must be done. And, no surprise, one of the claims will be re-submitted and likely covered in full. Why must they always make things so complicated?
9:45am | Time for Evie’s morning nap and time for momma to take a shower. It’s a no hair wash day, thanks to yesterday’s late afternoon run and shower. I use my three favorite products and a quick swipe of mascara, and I’m ready for the day.
10:15am | I start a load of laundry and guess I probably have about three more to do today. Before going back upstairs, I decide to tidy up the garage, which has been on my to-do list for weeks. Tidying up turns in to organizing a bin of kids’ shoes, putting away winter snow clothes, and sweeping the floor. FYI, our garage is really a storage unit and will never be used for cars.
11:00am | I contemplate starting my DitL post, but I’m also almost two weeks late with Evie’s 10-month post, so I decide to knock that out first. Gosh, I just love this girl. I can’t believe that we’re already planning her first birthday party.
12:00pm | I move wet clothes to the dryer and throw another load into the washer. And I decide this day is just too gorgeous to spend indoors so I text some friends to suggest that we meet at the playground after school. I put together a quick lunch for myself (carrots and hummus, string cheese, and a hard boiled egg) while I pack a lunch for Evie and snacks for the big kids.
12:15pm | Evie is still sleeping, so I quietly go into her room and open the blinds. She stirs and turns to me with a big smile on her face. She jumps up, throws her binky down, and is ready to go. I change her diaper and give her an applesauce while I finish packing our stuff for the playground.
12:45pm | Before we head out the door, I grab a handful of my new favorite treat. Better than a Reese’s peanut butter egg, right?
1:00pm | Nora runs out of her classroom first and smothers both me and Evie with hugs and kisses. Sam is next, carrying his backpack on his chest. They’re both excited to hear that we’re going to the playground. And I only have to yell “red light” (which means stop and wait for the mommas and strollers to catch up) three times during our walk with friends.
1:25pm | We arrive at the playground and lather the big kids in sunscreen before they’re off and running. I set up Evie with lunch on the picnic blanket (chicken, cantaloupe, and string cheese) and enjoy some still time before I start chasing her across the grass.
2:00pm | Sam and Nora are having a blast with their friends. They’re chasing each other up and down the slides, swinging from the monkey bars, and climbing the rock wall. I overhear them say that their Daddy is in Kansas. And Nora’s friend says that her mom is, too. (Yes, she really is. They work together, and the girls are always thrilled to remember this fact.) Evie could swing all afternoon, and the big kids only stop moving for Goldfish and water breaks.
2:15pm | Another group of preschool friends arrive. And, of course, the boys find sticks to play with. The other moms and I take turns checking on them and breaking up the sword fights.
3:00pm | We say good-bye to our friends and begin the walk home. But not before stopping a half dozen times to draw pictures and write our names in the dirt.
3:20pm | Back home and the littlest is filthy from crawling through the grass and trying to eat fistfuls of it. So I decide to give her an early bath before naptime. She eats the bubbles and plays with her plastic cups while I scrub her down.
4:00pm | Evie is fast asleep — a much later nap than usual, but I’m hoping she can get in a solid hour before we eat dinner and head to swim class. I oblige the big kids requests for screen time, but only after they change into their swimsuits. Sam chooses Ghost Busters, and Nora chooses Paw Patrol. While the kids are relaxing, I unpack our gear from the playground and repack the bag for swim class. I change the laundry, yet again. And then I sit down to check my e-mail for the first time all day. I RSVP to an upcoming Moms Night Out and respond to two emails from my mom regarding my sister’s June baby shower.
4:45pm | I peel myself off the couch and take some ibuprofen for my hip. I’m training for a half marathon and since I’ve increased my mileage, my left hip has been bothering me. I really want to run this race and am crossing my fingers that this doesn’t turn in to an injury.
4:50pm | The kids are getting hangry, so I start dinner. Copycat Panera macaroni and cheese with broccoli and sliced apples on the side.
5:00pm | Evie is still sleeping, and I hate to wake her for the second time today, but it must be done. No surprise, though, she’s happy and ready to eat dinner! As always, Lucy is just inches away from her tray, ready to catch crumbs before they hit the floor.
5:15pm | Nora hasn’t touched her macaroni and cheese and is begging for the other kind (Annie’s). I don’t have the time or energy to make it, though, so I give her more apples and a yogurt. Sam, however, is on his second helping. “This is my favoritest macaroni and cheese in the whole world,” he says.
5:45pm | We somehow manage to get out the door in time. But we have to take a detour off Madison Avenue because there’s a lamppost blocking the lane. Nora is upset because we’re not going to pass “the hostible where Evie was born” and “the glass building.” I distract her with the railroad tracks and turtle crossing sign.
6:05pm | Clothes off, goggles on, and into the pool just five minutes late. Whew. Nick typically stays home with Evie while I bring the big kids to class, so this should be interesting. I just hope that we can make it through 30 minutes without any trips to the bathroom.
6:15pm | No such luck. No matter how many times they pee before class, one of them always has to go again. Tonight it’s Nora. I barely manage to balance her slippery bottom on the toilet while holding onto a wiggly Evie who is trying really hard to grab Nora’s goggles off her head.
6:30pm | Swim class is over. And we’re definitely not doing showers in the locker room tonight. I can hardly keep Evie from crawling across the dirty floor while I wrangle wet suits off the big kids. I decide we all need a reward for surviving and take a detour at the snack machine before heading home.
6:50pm | Home again, home again. I put Evie into her jammies and get Nora into the bathtub while Sam FaceTimes with Nini and Poppy. When I open the door to the girls’ room, I find both Lucy and Evie under the bed and see Sam recording the whole thing for my parents. Everyone thinks this is hilarious. After Nora is in jammies, she gets the phone while Sam jumps into the shower.
7:25pm | Evie is barely hanging on, and so I suggest that the big kids go potty and brush their teeth while I nurse her. These are typically activities that require supervision, but I’m really trying to expedite the process tonight.
7:35pm | I’m ready to put Evie to bed and expect Nora to ask to read books in Sam’s room. Instead, “I’m tired,” she says and wants to go to bed. I kiss the girls and say “Goodnight. Happy dreams. See you when your green light comes on.” Then I move in to Sam’s room to read one chapter from his Magic Tree House book.
8:00pm | Wow. I survived day 2/4 of solo parenting. I know I’m going to crash if I sit down, so I take care of a few chores first. I clean up the dinner plates and run the dishwasher, fold the final load of laundry for the day, and clean up the toys strewn across the living room floor. I also quickly run the vacuum because I could do that every day and it still wouldn’t be often enough.
9:00pm | I finally sit down with a cookie bar. Which I choose instead of a glass of wine tonight because I’m sure the wine will put me right to sleep. Nick calls to fill me in on his day before he leaves the hotel to get dinner with his team. As hard as solo parenting is, I know it’s equally as hard for him to be away. We say goodnight since I don’t expect to still be awake when he returns.
10:15pm | I spend the next hour scrolling through my phone and watching Gilmore Girls on the iPad before i decide it’s time to go to bed. Lucy is already passed out, but I coax her up for one more trip outside. And I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.