Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Day in the Life

I am often wishing I could be a fly on the wall at others' houses,
just to see how their daily routine goes and learn from their systems.
I can't be a fly on the wall,
but I thought it would be interesting to record everything I did one day,
allowing myself to visit my past later on as a figurative fly.
There probably isn't much to learn from my daily routine, but if you're interested in a fairly typical day (slightly more productive than usual because accountability works wonders!), read on!



4:29 am-Maxwell is crying. I sleepily ignore his cries for a while, then stagger into his room and attempt for a few minutes to soothe him. He isn't having it, so for the sake of sleep I decide to break my rule of not feeding him before 5 am and nurse him, wrap him up, and crash back into bed.

6:03-I turn my alarm off, scan through my phone for 2 minutes, say a prayer (in the bathroom so I won't immediately fall asleep again...), shower, get dressed, and quickly put on some make-up.

6:48-I wake up all four boys, we gather for family prayer, load everyone into the car, and drive Sam to the bus stop.

7:10-We're home and breakfast and morning chores commence. I work on cooking chocolate bran muffins using the batter left from the batch I whipped up the night before for dinner. Talmage gets ready for school.

7:30-We eat breakfast while I feed Maxwell baby oatmeal mixed with applesauce.

7:45-I put another batch of muffins in the oven, dress Maxwell, briefly research whether arsenic from treated wood leaches into soil when using wood for a raised garden bed- and then conclude that in modern times treated wood is safe to use.

7:50-Talmage practices the piano, Wesley and Lincoln do their chores.

7:59-I tidy Maxwell's room, make our bed, dry my hair, comb Talmage's hair, make Talmage's lunch and pack up his backpack.

8:30-The bus picks up Talmage. I nurse Maxwell, trim his fingernails, and lay him down for his morning nap. Deep breath. Morning rush is over.


8:41-Call my sister about picking up some wood from her, clean up the breakfast dishes, finish fixing my hair, work on the laundry. Wesley and Lincoln play a typical game that involves weapons and dressing up like knights.

9:39-Maxwell is awake. He is supposed to sleep until at least 10, but napping consistently isn't his forte...he cries for a few minutes while I finish folding some laundry and then I get him out of his crib and after a morning snack (applesauce and string cheese), I help everyone get ready to head out to the library.

10:13-Leave for storytime. The theme today is lambs. The children's librarian has gone all-out again and is dressed up in a lamb costume she made herself! The boys work on making their puppets and we choose some books to check out and swing by my sister's house to pick up some wood.

12:07 pm-Home again! I nurse Maxwell, lay him down for his nap, and make Annie's "bunny pasta" for Lincoln and Wesley to eat for lunch. I read them library books as they eat.


12:35-Maxwell is awake and fussing. I enter his room and my suspicions are confirmed--he has made a messy diaper. I change his diaper, wrap him back up, and take him down to the couch where I finish reading to the boys before putting Lincoln down for his nap.

1:06-Wesley works on his "Upstart" preschool while I rock Maxwell and read scriptures. Finally he falls asleep again and I lay him down. Wesley goes down for his nap and I head down to the laundry room to work on some laundry. I've fallen behind this week, so a mountain of folding awaits me.

1:46-Maxwell is screaming again. This is a typical afternoon...I wrap him back up and rock him to soothe his gurgling stomach (when will the reflux and spitting up settle down??). I settle down on the couch to read scriptures a while longer while he sleeps in my arms. The warmth and comfort of cuddling my baby boy puts me to sleep for a while too...I wake myself up by scanning through social media for a few minutes.

3:05-Maxwell wakes up--this time for good. I make some administrative phone calls and nurse him again.


3:19-I wake up Wesley and prepare afternoon snack and begin grinding wheat for the bread we'll be having for dinner.

3:39-Wesley has fallen asleep again. I wake him up and greet Talmage as he comes home from school. Wesley is asleep again, so I spend several minutes with him trying to really wake him up so he will be able to sleep at night. When I am convinced he is awake, I mix up the bread and visit with Talmage about his day while Maxwell eats some puffs in his high chair.

4:00-Time to teach piano! My students come and the boys gift me with a surprisingly quiet afternoon as I teach--they are all absorbed in library books for 45 minutes of the hour I'm teaching.

5:00-Piano lessons finish up, I wrap Maxwell up and lay him down for his evening nap before preparing the rest of dinner--white bean chili.

5:40-I wake up Maxwell, load the kids in the car, and leave to pick up Sam from the bus stop. (Great big cheer!) The boys struggle for turns to tell Daddy about their day...the ride home is always a bit chaotic.


6:00-We're home, we eat dinner, and clean up.

6:55-It's the end of the month and I haven't taken Lincoln on his outing yet. So even though it's a week night, I take him to a local grocery store where we get soft-serve ice cream cones and sit and talk in the deli. In an effort to have meaningful conversation with him in the car, I turn off the kids' CD that is playing. He immediately asks for it back on and I say, "I want to talk to you! ...What makes you happy?" He responds, "Listening to the songs..." So much for meaningful conversation.

7:30-Lincoln and I arrive back home, the boys take showers, and the bedtime routine commences. We clean up, Talmage and Wesley read individually from The Book of Mormon, we brush teeth, we read a chapter from the illustrated children's scriptures, the boys say prayers and we have a family prayer, we tuck the boys in and read to them from the scriptures and then from a chapter book we're reading together...all while Maxwell crawls around, wreaking havoc as he tries to get hold of choking hazards and play with the plug of the lamp. It's a happy, peaceful way to end the day despite the busyness of it all. After we kiss the boys good night, I nurse Maxwell, say a prayer with him, and put him to bed.

8:45-Everyone is in bed! We're pretty late due to Lincoln's outing, but we did it. I spend the evening sending out e-mails, writing a blog post, and writing in my journal while Sam exercises and does more work from home. I pray with Sam and individually and we head to bed around 10:30.
Another day is in the books.

********

As I wrote the activities of the day, I realized how drab most of them sound. Why do I love life so much when we do basically these same activities day in and day out? What is it about motherhood that is so deeply satisfying? Why do I feel like the luckiest girl in the world every night when I've spent every day folding laundry, doing dishes, wiping noses, and fighting sleep every time I sit down?
I guess it's all about love. It's amazing how service doesn't feel like a chore when you love those you serve so deeply. And in return, the love they show to me lifts me and surrounds me and blesses me constantly.
It may not sound glamorous, but this life is a dream come true to me.

2 comments:

  1. Such a fun post to read. I remember similar busy days when my kids were younger. Although I still have an energetic "little" one at home during the day, and a busy elementary kiddo, too, it seems the older tweens and teens' schedules are becoming more complicated and requiring more of my time. There can be so many forces pulling them away, and my "mother struggle" is one of trying to keep them close, like when they were young. I loved hearing about your daily life with Sam and the boys. You're doing a great job caring for (and loving) each of them so deliberately.

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  2. Kaitlyn, you so have a wonderful life. You are also a wonderful mother and wife. All of us can find ways to improve, in every aspect of our lives, but some of us, you and Sam for example, have worked extremely hard to become who you are, with amazing success. I am certain the fact that you had parents that were a lot like the both of you, helped tremendously. Having parents like that can make so much difference. I know, because I did not have that and I failed in so many ways as a parent. Had I known people like those I met once I joined the church in my childhood, my life would be 100% different and better. Our Father in Heaven is the best parent of all, and I did have Him and my memories of Him and Christ from before this life. Still, being raised here on earth by parents such as your boys have, IMO, is over half the battle. I admire you and Sam, and am grateful that my boys have the both of you for their parents. Never doubt yourself. You can believe in yourself and still seek to find ways that will strengthen you and expand the wisdom that you already have. I love all of you so much!

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