Friday, January 20, 2017

Day In The Life Winter 2017

*BIG thanks to Julia for hosting this! I absolutely love DITL posts and seeing how others spend their days.

Tom is 34 years old
Melissa is 35 years old
Reese is 3 years old (just about 3.5)
Henry and William are 19 months
Lily dog is 6 years old

6:05am // alarm goes off and apparently I hit snooze…wonderful.  Tom got up extra early to workout so he’s downstairs finishing up.  

6:10am // I hear “mommy? Mommy?” over the monitor so apparently the Ok to Wake! clock set for 6:30 means zip to Reese.  Since this is a work morning for me I need to get in the shower asap before the twins are up, which will be any minute.  I tell Reese she can come hang in our room while I shower.  I jump in the shower, which is basically a 3 minute sprint.  As I step out I hear the boys chirping not so happily over the monitor and begin fielding 101 questions from Reese. And so it begins.  I chastise myself for not getting up early to work out and shower before the kids get up...which seems to be a daily thing for me now.    I quickly throw on some comfy clothes and start to get the boys up.  Tom hears us and comes up to help get twins up.  

6:30am// Change diapers, pass out milk cups, and plop on the couch for a morning show.  My kids generally are on the crankier side in the morning and I find a little screen time helps them ease into their day.  Reese digs into cereal and a cup of milk and seems quite content.  The boys pile on my lap and they share a banana, Lara bar, and Greek yogurt.  This is what I like to call their morning snack as they'll be hungry again in approximately 75 seconds.  Tom hangs with us until he needs to head upstairs to shower and get dressed.   Once the kids are content I pour my coffee and make a smoothie for the kids to share.   Forget to feed myself.

7:00am//  TV is off and everyone disperses to play while I do my hair and makeup.  The only way this works is if I get ready in the dining room where I can keep my eyes on everyone.  I have to stop several times and grab a baby from doing whatever thing it is they're not supposed to be doing (dumping out diapers from the bin is a favorite this morning). Also plenty of stops for tickles, hugs and kisses. The boys are at the most delectable age (save for the tantrums) and I just cannot get enough of them. 

Once I'm semi-presentable we all head upstairs to get dressed.  This is a chaotic time and definitely my least favorite part of the morning.  I laid out the kids' clothes the night before but no matter how prepared I am mornings always seem to throw curveballs. Reese has several strong opinions about the clothes she picked out the night before and takes me to task on every.single.thing. as I get her ready.  Clothing is not one of the battles I like to engage in, as in I don’t force her to wear things that match or that I personally prefer, but I draw the line when it comes to wearing clothes that are clean and weather appropriate.  I try to keep my cool and work with her on getting ready which is particularly difficult as William and Henry are making their way through every room in a tornado like fashion, trying to throw things in the toilets, and just being the adorably mischievous rascals they are.  After several rounds of negotiations and some serious deep breathing on my part we reach a compromise.  I throw some clothes on the boys (yay for babies with zero clothing opinions as of yet!) and they all follow me like little ducklings into my room and make themselves comfy on my bed.  I'm distracted by the fact that all three kids are laughing and playing together...nicely. 

I know tears are inevitable within a few minutes but this sure is nice when it happens.  Tom pops in a few times to tickle and play with them all while trying to keep grubby baby hands off his freshly cleaned suit.  Always a gamble on his part  I hurriedly flip through my clothes, none of which are particularly exciting to me, but such is life.  I settle on my outfit, pick up the twins and Reese follows as we all head back downstairs

8:00am// Tom says his goodbyes and heads out for work.  Reese claims she doesn't want breakfast because she ate breakfast yesterday, which is fine with me because she seems I have forgotten about the cereal and smoothie she had an hour ago.  The boys run to their high chairs and start pulling them out; their subtle way of telling me they're hungry.  I heat up banana pancakes leftover from the batch I made yesterday and they go to town.  I realize I'm getting pretty crabby and decide it's time to feed myself...wheat toast and peanut butter. I dutifully log it into My Fitness Pal, which is the only way I can keep on top of what I'm eating and making sure I'm hitting my goals each day. I really can't wait until the day I don't feel the need to do this, but for now I've got to keep my eye on the prize.

While the twins are contained in their high chairs and Reese is busy giving her dolls much needed medical attention ("mommy her stuffing is ripped and I must help her boo boo wight NOW!) I clean up the kitchen, run the dishwasher, and pack up leftovers from last night’s white chicken chili for my lunch today.  I check the weather and email and get my bag and Reese's backpack prepped and set out by the back door.  We are actually ready to roll ahead of schedule so I let Lily out, pick up some toys and go through yesterday's mail. I administer my series of head’s up to Reese that we have to leave soon but she is so engrossed in giving her baby a checkup she doesn’t seem to hear me.  

8:30am// My mom (Nana) arrives and the kids are delighted.  She watches all three one afternoon a week and watches the twins one morning a week (today) while I work and Reese does an extended lunch hour at school. I clean up the boys’ breakfasts and chat with my mom as I get Reese's coat on and kiss the babies goodbye.  

Can't take your eyes off William the Conqueror for a second...

8:45am// Reese and I are in the car on our way to school.   This is only the second week with our new schedule and she loves loves loves the fact that on Thursdays "just Reese and mommy drive to school with NO brothers!"  Somehow we’re early in the car line so she jumps in the front seat and we engage in some car shenanigans until the teachers come out.  As much of a challenge this age is and how much I look forward to her school time, there is always a little lump in my throat when I drive off.  Living in the post Sandy Hook era, where much of our world is essentially a dumpster fire, has changed me profoundly.  No matter how stressful the morning can be and how many tantrums we work through, I work constantly to not take the bait and to make sure she knows how insanely and fiercely loved she is before her little feet step out of the van.  And no matter how crazy she has made me, I count down to the minutes until she is running out the door and I get to pick her up, even when that means resuming the crazy-making all over again.  Motherhood is nuts, ya know? Or maybe it's just me? Don't know.

After Reese heads in with her class I put on extremely non-kid friendly and enjoy the brief drive into work, sans children.  What can I say, I like to live on the edge.

I have extremely refined taste in music.

9:15am-12:45pm// work work work.  I am a mental health counselor and work with children, ages 5-18.  I work for a nonprofit mental health agency and we have a school onsite as well.  I currently have a very small caseload but for now it is what works best for our family.  I plan to continue to add back hours in the years to come, particularly when the twins start preschool and then elementary school.  But for now this arrangement is working about as well as I can hope.  I owe 100% of this to my mom and her willingness to hang with my babies.  Childcare for three toddlers is outrageous and not nearly worth it to us right now.  This allows me to continue staying relevant professionally, keeping my state license active, and provides me a respite and purpose outside of being "Mom".  Anyway, I see a few clients at our school and a few outpatient clients as well.  Since I am a "flex" therapist, I am contracted through my agency now that I'm no longer a full time employee.  There are several pros and cons to this set up but for now, the pros far outweigh the cons so we will roll with it as long as we can. I cannot beat the flexibility and getting to make my own schedule.  And no real pictures to show for this because of pesky little things HIPAA! CONFIDENTIALITY!

Lately Reese has been asking me to take pictures of myself whenever I leave the house and apparently she totally digs the purple walls in my work selfie for the little one.

In addition to seeing clients I take a bit of time to plan out my work schedule for the rest of the month and tackle my personal/family calendar for the next few weeks. I make a note to find a seamstress to alter my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding, which is in just a few months. My mom texts me that William feels warm and has a runny nose.  Dear God I cannot handle one more kid virus right now….really praying it is due the bizarre mood swings of our Midwest winter weather.  My poor little buddy.

12:45pm// Pack up and head out to pick up Reese. I'm a few minutes early so I paint my nails while I'm waiting. If you ever see me with decent looking nails there's a 95% chance I painted them while sitting in my car since it's pretty much the only time I'm not holding a child. As much as I'd love to frequent the salon for manicures or pedicures it just doesn't jive with my life right now. So cheap DIY manicures in the car will have to do.

I see the rectory door open and all the little ones pile out, eagerly looking for their caregivers. I hear Reese shrieking "mommy! mommy! I have to tell you what I did today! I rode a bike! I painted! I ate my lunch!" and so on and so on. I absolutely love these ridiculously long stream of thought conversations with her and I pick her up and squeeze her tight. We head home where my mom has just put the boys down for the naps. The three of us chat for a bit but Reese is clearly wiped out from her extended day so I bring her up for a nap and my mom heads out. <THANK YOU MOM xBILLION> Reese's naps are pretty hit or miss these days which I'm guessing is pretty standard for being almost 3.5 years old, but she is sound asleep within in minutes today. It's only a matter of time before William or Henry stir so I get to work unloading the dishwasher, my work bag, Reese's backpack and spend some time tidying up. There's just always something to be done!

Reese is going to be the Star Student of the Week next week...I cannot wait for this adorableness.

1:30pm// Everyone is napping...can I get a hallelujah. I use this time to catch up on paperwork from my time at work this morning. Since almost all of my time in the office is spent seeing clients I do the back end of all my non-clinical work at home. This is the best way I can maximize my time in the office for it to make financial sense. I also spend a little time perusing the MLS as we are planning to sell our home and move to the burbs in just a few short months.

2:45pm// William is up shrieking and not in a happy way.  This really makes me nervous considering my mom's text about him seeming under the weather. As I head up to get him the baby monitor cycles and I see Reese is up so I grab her after picking up William.  The kids have their own rooms so Henry was able to sleep through but I'm guessing not for long.  Reese is a bit of a disaster and it's not even fair to photograph her at this point. She's instantly furious that I'm holding William and demands I put him down.  Not off to a good start.  I carry both her and William downstairs and as soon as I try to set down either child they both lose it.  Which is really great since Henry is up and I need to grab him.  Can I just say how much this part of the day always sucks?  Ever since the twins were born the 3:00pm time frame has always been like juggling knives.  Reese would be waking up from her nap, clingy and in need of cuddles, right at the same time I would need to pump and give the boys their 3:00 feeding.  Fast forward a year to now and although things aren't nearly as brutal, it's still a prickly transition in the day.  I distract William and Reese with a snack and I run up to grab Henry. We all play in the living room for a bit.  Everyone seems to calm down and come out of the nap time fog, but Reese has a cough and runny nose and both Henry and William have runny noses, so I scrap the idea of an afternoon outing and decide to stay home.   Throwing up all kinds of prayers for healthy kids.

3:30pm// The kids are allowed screen time and settle on Mickey and then Daniel Tiger.  I contemplate whether or not the kids will let me get away with cooking something new for dinner or if I should just do salads with what we have in the fridge.  Tom and I text about some things going on at work for him and I text with my mom and my brother about his upcoming wedding.  I also zone out for a few and scroll Instagram and FB but I try to be good about not always being on my phone around the kids.  I realize I'm starving so I make a protein smoothie (vanilla whey, 1/3 banana, PB2, ice and water).  Henry and William also force feed me goldfish crackers while laughing maniacally.  Rascals.

The boys lose interest pretty quickly in the show and play happily with me on the floor in the living room.  We break out the Foamnasium blocks and bean bag pillow and they have a ball throwing themselves all over.  Henry and William have such different personalities and it is such a trip to watch how each of them play and learn in such different ways...just one of those unique bonuses that come with raising twins I suppose.

4:15pm// TV is off and Reese decides to color.  She has been bringing home some masterpieces from school so I encourage her creativity as much as possible.  The boys play and try make taco (er fajita?) bowls for dinner while stealthily supervising the children.  If I'm on the ball i have the majority of our dinners planned out for the week.  I feel like most of January has just been an endless run of recovering from the holidays and the stomach bug that plagued our house, so I'm only semi-on the ball so to speak.

I literally cannot go into the kitchen without both William and Henry following me immediately like little magnets.  They play at my feet or screech for me to hold them....more likely screeching and screaming than playing but today they aren't too pissed at me for abandoning them to make a meal.  Because of this making dinner has been a real challenge for me and is now yet another thing I try to prep ahead of time as much as possible.  

5:15pm// I get the kids all set up for dinner and per usual, everyone seems hungry.  Reese has specifically asked for leftover macaroni and a cheese that she doesn't have to share with her brothers, which is fine since there's really only one serving left anyway.  Everyone munches on yellow bell peppers and carrots while I cut up respective dinners....mac and cheese for her and homemade pizza from two nights ago for the boys.  I feel slightly bad about giving them leftovers but I hate throwing away food at the end of the week and right now the twins are basically bottomless pits and happy to eat just about anything.

While the kids eat I wash some dishes, straighten up and open a couple packages that arrived.  I don't know why but I just love mail with my kids' names on it.  

6:00pm // The children are finished eating and I get them cleaned up and out of their seats.  This also means I have to clean the floor, which is just crazy with twins.  No matter how well they eat there is always a mess to clean up.  We open a fun package for Henry (a belated Christmas present) from his godmother and start picking up the living room and kitchen.  The boys finished dinner about 15 minutes ago and are already in the kitchen asking for rice cakes.  The grocery bills these two run up actually scare me.  Tom gets home right around this time and we're all so happy to see him.  We all play and Reese requests to make tea with Tom, so they head to the kitchen to make some hot tea, which is just about the sweetest thing ever.  The boys and I read books and they finish up their milk before putting their jammies on.  Around this time Tom and I each sneak off to the kitchen to make ourselves a plate for dinner and take turns inhaling our food.  Standard.

7:00pm// Tom and I each grab a baby and Reese leads the way as we take the boys up to bed.  When I was pregnant with the twins I just assumed they would sleep in the same room, which they did for the first four months.  Henry began to sleep longer and more soundly on his own and when he dropped his overnight feedings before William did, we had to put them in separate rooms.   Much to my dismay William still pulls some overnight shenanigans every now and again and honestly I'm so tired I've kind of given up.  More often than night he sleeps through the night but his sleep is considerably more fragile than Henry's. 

The original trio head back downstairs to finish picking up toys, straightening up and washing dishes.  Reese and I read some stories and play with Snapchat filters (full disclosure: I literally understand nothing about Snapchat!)

7:30pm// Usually Reese showers/bathes nightly but we skipped it tonight so she could stay up a little longer to read.  Sometimes it's really clear when she needs more one on one time and today was one of those days.  After we wash up and brush her teeth we snuggle in bed for one more story.  We check and double check nightlights, fan, and noise machine and despite her protests of "I NOT tired at all mommy and daddy!" we closed the door and she laid down.  All the praise hands.

8:00pm//  Collapse on the couch!  Usually on Thursday I go to 8:00 boot camp but I'm starting to feel achy and a bit worn down, so I decide to use today as my off day and rest.  I've nailed my workouts so far this week so I'm not at all feeling bad about it.  Tom and I sit next to each other with dueling laptops and watch Trump's speech at the Campaign Donors Dinner.  I still really, truly, cannot wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow he is our president.   I do a little work and online shopping for gifts for several weddings we have coming up this spring.  I am so excited for my family and friends who are's such a fun and special time!

9:30pm// I am fighting to keep my eyes open so I shut down and head up to bed.  Tom will stay up for awhile longer but I just can't hang.  I also never really know what kind of sleep I'm going to get (ahem...William and Reese) so I've learned my lesson about staying up late.  I scroll through Instagram and Facebook and start looking at pictures I took today before giving in going to sleep.  

10:30pm// William starts crying but not fully awake...which lasts on and off for ten minutes and he's back to sleep.  This is a pretty regular occurrence so I'm used to it...well as used to it as I'm going to be.  I've really tried everything with him when it comes to sleep but overall we are in a much better place then we used to be, so I'll take it.

5am// Reese is up and wants help going potty and mercifully falls back to sleep until about 6:10...just a few minutes before the twins are up to start the fun all over again!

1 comment:

  1. Coming over from Julia's roundup (I'm ridiculously behind on my blog reading). Fun to see what a day in the life is like for others... especially one with three kids (and twins)!