A day in the life of Heidi, with three boys (10, 7, and 5) and a fifteen-month-old girl.
I’ve spent some time thinking about the different kinds of days we have over the course of weeks, months, even years. There are general reality days. A few lovely days. The dreaded fail days. And the once-in-a-blue-moon utopia days. Most days are a mixed-bag.
I want to post a series of a day in the life—posts that will give a better over-all idea of what life is like around here. Some days will sound really productive, but that isn’t necessarily indicative of what we accomplish on a daily basis. This series is sorta tied into my theme for the year—which I sadly haven’t even posted about yet. More about that later.
I woke up this morning feeling like this could be IT. One of those days when we are humming along, doing it ‘right,’ living in the moment, getting things done…and make it to bed feeling like ‘this is the life.’ I had stayed up late last night getting the house in order, the studio in order, our lessons in order. Lola slept all. night. long. Which is astounding considering she is working on getting four molars and her nights have been rough. I woke up ready to seize the day. Okay, that’s a lie. I NEVER wake up ready to seize the day. I could happily sleep in until 10 am every morning. It’s probably more accurate to say I got out of bed determined.
Well, I’ll let you decide what kind of day it was. Here’s the unedited version:
6:35 I’m up. (Russ left for work long ago.) Check email. Turn up heater. Turn on lights.
6:40 Wake up boys. Hop in shower and get dressed.
7:00 Luke empties dishwasher. Levi works on math. Leif is still asleep.
7:15 I start breakfast prep. Levi isn’t making much progress, so I set the timer. Lola wakes up. I put her in her playpen with Cheerios and Little Einsteins.
7:30 Luke and Leif join Lola. I boil some water for tea.
7:45 We sit down to breakfast: scrambled eggs and chicken apple sausage. I’m trying to eat Paleo again (whaaaa!!). I’m on day 9 sans Dr. Pepper, sugar, and grains. Levi makes himself an egg sandwich. Levi and Leif have OJ. Luke and I have green tea. I feed Lola a big bowl of yogurt.
8:00 The boys clear their plates, get dressed, and brush their teeth. I do a few dishes, put poison oak cream on Luke’s face (when will he learn?!), clean Lola up, change her diaper, get her dressed, comb her hair.
8:15 I set Lola loose in the front room and give the boys some assigned reading while I finish getting ready.
8:35 We grab water bottles and walk down to the studio. It’s a frosty cold morning. The boys say ‘oro et laboro’ as we walk in. (‘Pray and work.’ It’s a silly little tradition, but they get a big kick out of it for some reason.) Lola goes in the playpen. The boys sit on the couch. We sing a hymn, pray, read a lesson from Telling God’s Story, and read a story from the Children’s Illustrated Bible.
9:00 The boys do a little independent Bible reading. We listen to our Bible memory CD.
9:30 Lola’s ready for a nap already, so I put on a DVD lesson for Latin and take Lola up to the house for a nap. Leif comes up with us to use the bathroom. Lola and I snuggle for a few minutes, then I put her down. I put in a load of laundry, check my email, and grab bags of pretzels and goldfish to take down for the boys.
10:00 We work on memory work while snacking. I use all my will-power to stay out of the goldfish and have almonds and cranberries instead. They don’t taste as yummy as goldfish.
10:30 Lola still isn’t asleep. I snuggle with her for a few minutes and then put her back down. The boys and I spend some more time on memory work.
11:00 I put Levi and Luke on their computers to do geography quizzes while I watch Leif do his handwriting. I check on Lola. The boys dissolve into mayhem while I’m otherwise occupied. Everything comes to a screeching halt and I spend some time on character training for one of the boys. Arrrgh! (That reminds me of a sign I saw recently: ‘To err is human, to arr is pirate.’ Ha, ha!)
11:30 Leif plays educational games on his computer while I work on spelling with Levi and Luke.
11:50 We sit on the couch and read about Rudyard Kipling.
12:05 We break for lunch. The sun is shining, so I switch gears and tell the boys to go run around. Lola is up, so I put her in her swing outside. The boys take turns pushing her while I switch laundry and make a salad for myself. Leif comes busting in the house and says, ‘Mom, we’re putting on a play!’ I switch gears again and get a tray of food to take outside. It looks like it is another picnic day. The boys don their costumes. We eat and they do, indeed, put on a play.
1:00 Lola and I are cold so we come inside. I clean up and check email and facebook. I tell the boys to come inside.
1:30 Luke gets on the computer to work on math. Leif is watching Sid the Science Kid. (I think he has already watched every single episode on our DVR, but he just had to borrow a DVD from the library.) Levi is taking care of Lola. I’m pretty sure he has re-arranged her whole room upstairs, but I need the break so I’m trying not to think about it. I get derailed on the computer, and think about how nice it would be to take a nap. I fold some laundry and look longingly at the bed. I straighten up the house and wonder how it could possibly get so messy so quickly!
2:05 I lie down on the bed…just for a minute.
2:20 I muster every last bit of energy and get off the bed, gather everyone, and return to the studio. I don’t think Luke got much math done earlier, so I put him on another lesson. Levi is assigned a few pages in the history encyclopedia. An un-thrilled Lola gets placed in the playpen. Leif distracts everyone.
2:20 Luke, Levi, and I work on some sentence grammar analysis/diagramming. They are insanely distracted by Leif and Lola. Everyone is whining about being hungry.
3:00 We go up to the house. Again. I feed Lola while the boys have a free-for-all snack-fest. Luke picks dates with cream cheese, and I join him. But just one, I swear. I try to put Lola down for another nap (she was rubbing her eyes a little bit ago). Everything gets derailed again. Lola is not liking the nap idea.
4:00 I try to return to lessons. Leif works on a train track. I start reading a grammar lesson with Levi and Luke. Lola still isn’t asleep. We’re all distracted. I finally get Lola out of her crib. I put some spaghetti squash in the oven. I am so hungry and cranky. All I want is a batch of chocolate chip cookies and a 44 oz Dr. Pepper. And bed.
5:00 We re-group on the couch. Grammar (take 2) lasts about 5 minutes. The boys simply cannot pay any attention to the lesson when Lola is being so silly in the hallway. (I don’t blame them. She’s stinkin’ cute.) I start to lose my mind and fantasize about bedtime. We scratch the group lessons idea, and I have Levi play with Lola while Luke and I do a narration lesson on my bed with the door shut. That works.
5:35 Russ arrives home. Lola is ecstatic and attaches herself to him. She won’t be put down. He has to return a computer to a client, so he takes Lola and Leif with him. I am finally able to work on a writing lesson with both Levi and Luke.
6:00 I start some dinner prep and sneak a few almonds so I don’t lose it and attack the bag of mini marshmallows on the counter. Who left those there?!!! The boys build a blanket fort in the front room. I really want that batch of chocolate chip cookies. Instead I make meat spaghetti sauce with grated zucchini to go over the spaghetti squash and some noodles for the boys.
6:30 Dinner is ready, and Russ isn’t home yet. The boys and I are starving, so we eat willy-nilly. So much for the one evening we had available for a relaxed family dinner this week. This is the first time I’ve ever made spaghetti squash. It’s actually delicious in place of noodles. Who knew. (Well, lots of people, I’m sure, but I wasn’t one of them.) I do a little clean-up and put away laundry.
7:15 Russ arrives home with Leif and Lola. The second dinner shift begins. I get a bowl of spaghetti for Leif and feed Lola while Russ finishes off a bowl and heads back down to his office to work. The boys beg to sleep in their blanket fort tonight. I consent under duress. At least it gives me a little leverage. The boys get ready for bed and Luke practices the piano (or else).
7:45 I put Lola in the bathtub. I give her gas medicine, Advil, and Benedryl while she’s in the tub. I really want to sleep tonight. Between tummy issues, a weird rash on her torso, and four molars coming in, I hope this covers my bases. I slather prescription cream on Luke’s face of poison oak. I brush Leif’s teeth and slather his dry face with lotion. Levi comes to tell me that the light bulb from the lamp under their blanket fort broke. I obviously can’t deal with the broken glass while Lola’s in the bath, so I ask the boys to go to their room and not set foot in the front room. They don’t seem to understand the directions, so I tell them that they won’t be sleeping in their fort tonight. Wailing ensues. I get Lola out of the bath. She HATES getting out of the bath.
8pm Even though I told the boys repeatedly not to go in the front room, Luke sneaks in to get his bed stuff. I’m drying Lola off and getting her diapered in my bedroom and Luke comes in….bleeding. Not badly, but still. He asks for my help to get him bandaged. I tell him ‘tough luck, there’s only one of me and she’s busy.’ Lola has a diaper rash, and I realize the diaper ointment isn’t in the bedroom. I go searching through the house holding a naked baby. I finally find the ointment in the front room of chaos. I get an unhappy baby diapered and have nowhere to put her while I take care of Luke, since the front room is a hazard area and her playpen is part of the fort. I call Russ’s cell phone, but he doesn’t pick up. (The reception is bad in the studio.) I juggle Lola in the bathroom while getting Luke cleaned up and bandaged. I rescue a few blankets from the front room, tell the boys it’s lights-out time, and threaten them with certain pain if their heads come off their pillows or if a squeak is heard.
8:30 I finish getting Lola in her jammies and take her to her room to snuggle. She flails around and won’t settle down, so I just put her in her crib and leave.
8:40 I heave a sigh at the sight of the house. How can it be this disastrous? And I’m starving. I spend a few hours cleaning up (including the blanket fort and broken light bulb) and blogging (which admittedly takes me much longer than usual).
11:15 Lola is crying. I spend a few minutes trying to get her settled back down. We might be in for a long night. And I haven’t even seen Russ yet. He must still be working in his office…
11:45 To bed. Bed, sweet bed. And, you know what? This is the life.
And that, my friends, is way more than you ever wanted to know about a day in the life of Heidi.