One year ago, almost to the day, I did a “Day in the Life” post to chronicle a semi-typical day for me as a stay-at-home mom, and at the end, I wrote that I should make it a yearly tradition (since though our daily habits might seem routine/normal/even mundane at times for me in the moment, I know in future years, I’ll love having these posts that show what our life was like at this point in our lives).
Here was our daily rundown last Tuesday 2/6:
6:30 a.m. – Raven comes into our room, and we let her climb into bed with us so we can all get a little bit of extra sleep. (For the record, 6:30 is the soonest we let this happen. Any earlier, and we put her back in her own bed.)
7:10 a.m. – Matt’s alarm goes off (rare, since we normally just count on Raven to be our alarm since she’ll never let us sleep in past 7:30), but today we have lots of stuff to do. Raven goes and gets a pile of books for Matt to read to her in bed while I go to the bathroom and put on my makeup. (Lately, it’s been unusual for me to put on makeup by myself, as it’s one of Raven’s favorite ways to help me, but with us needing to leave the house so early this morning, we bypass that particular daily ritual.)
7:35 a.m. – I get Raven started with some yogurt then make a breakfast smoothie for myself and Matt. (Raven always says she wants some but usually doesn’t touch hardly any. I pour her a tiny glass anyway.) Normally we’d all eat a hot breakfast (like waffles or scrambled eggs) all together, but we have a lot going on this morning, so I get us started early.
7:45 a.m. – I sit down with my smoothie at the laptop to load coupons to my shopper’s card since we’ll be going to the grocery store soon. When Raven finishes her yogurt and what she’ll touch of her smoothie, I make her and I a piece of cinnamon toast.
8:05 a.m. – Breakfast done for Raven and I (Matt is just getting out of the shower and will sit down to his own smoothie and toast soon), I go through the process of getting Raven dressed (which anyone with a toddler can tell you is often a surprisingly complicated experience). I am unwisely overexcited when the picking-the-outfit goes completely smoothly and quickly (as her favorite moon-and-stars shirt that she picked out herself at the store is clean again), but when it comes time to pick out the pants that she picked herself for the outfit, she changes her mind and wants her favorite “horsey” pants, which she already wore yesterday. I give her a third option of plain black leggings, which she takes over the original khaki she had picked. I am smart enough by now to know that in the long run, we save time by letting her dress herself (because otherwise she’ll fight us and take clothes off), so I make sure the pants are going on the right way and pull her shirt over her head (not the arms though, heaven forbid), but otherwise she does it herself.
8:20 a.m. – Hair time, Raven’s least favorite thing lately. (Side note: I had a few people tell me that the trick to making sure that your little girls were good about having their done was to start super young and make sure to do it every day. News flash: I started basically as soon as I could actually do anything with Raven’s hair and have done it every day for around a year and a half, yet lately she’s acted like it’s the worst thing in the world and refuses to sit still half the time, which means that I’m chasing her around the house with a wet comb, as happened this morning. I corner her in the kitchen and Matt holds her while she sobs as I quickly (40 seconds, tops!) get her hair in a little half ponytail. Of course, the second I’m done, she’s all smiles and eager to “find a bow” for her hair, which has become the new favorite thing ever since I found her box of baby bows and discovered that they don’t need a headband and can just clip into her hair. The eternal choosing game commences, with her choosing the loudest and brightest (and most clashing) and me offering one that matches the best, and we finally settle on something in the middle.
8:30 a.m. – Time for me to get dressed, which luckily isn’t too complicated since I’m still not that huge in my pregnancy. (Granted, I’m still in full maternity wear most of the time, but at least all of the maternity wear actually FITS, ha ha.)
8:40 a.m. – The last minute scramble, as we all get on shoes, jackets, and try to convince Raven to get into her carseat without too much fuss. While Matt buckles her in, I’m trying to check online to see if there are any coupons for the car place and making sure I have my grocery list.
8:50 a.m. – We all leave the house, Matt driving our recently acquired van that we need to finish getting registered, and Raven and I following behind in our family car. We pull into the car place to drop off the van for its safety and emissions test, then Matt hops in the car with us and we take him the rest of the way to work.
9:10 a.m. – We drop Matt off at work, then Raven and I drive to the grocery store. Since we’re at Smith’s today, she eagerly asks me to get her one of the free bananas they put out for your kids to snack on while you shop, and I spend more time than I normally would wandering the aisles because they rearranged the whole store not too long ago and I still don’t know where everything is. The first ten minutes of shopping, Raven is upset about having to sit in the front of the cart (since we’re buying too many things for her to sit in the back like she sometimes does), so she spends the first 10 minutes of the shopping trip with her face cuddled against my chest and sniffing as I push her in the cart. Toddlers, man. (I also pick up some prizes for a scouting banquet Matt will be running tomorrow night, in addition to our own grocery list items.) Since our grocery bill last week was higher than normal, this week’s came to only about $45 (I try to spend around $70/week on groceries and all household items).
10:00 a.m. – After purchasing our groceries, we stop at the front of the store to refill Raven’s fluoride at the pharmacy, where we have to wait for a few minutes while the order is filled. When we finally get it, Raven eagerly wants to “eat” one right then, but I calm her down about not being able to by letting her hold the bag it came in.
10:10 a.m. – We are loaded and in the car, and we head back to the car place to check on the van.
10:20 a.m. – We get to the car place, and it’s almost finished but not quite. I go ahead and pay, then Raven and I head a few blocks over to Matt’s work to get him.
10:30 a.m. – The car place still hasn’t called to let us know the van’s finished, so we feed the animals (chinchillas, guinea pigs, and a rabbit) at Matt’s work, which is one of Raven’s favorite things in the world to do. We have now done this so much that the animals are starting to poke their noses eagerly through the bars in the cage every time she comes in because they know it means they’re getting treats.
10:45 a.m. – We head back to the car place since the van is now finished, and Raven and I wait for a bit in the parking lot for Matt to come back out to tell us everything is good to go on the van, but when he’s in there awhile and Raven starts talking about how she needs to use the potty, we just end up heading home (after getting the okay on everything from Matt via text from inside).
11:15 a.m. – We make a pit stop at a neighbor’s house on the way back to pick up a breast pump she offered to give me for free (a nice one, too!), but she ended up not being home, so I got back in the car and drove us the rest of the way home. (I checked with Raven first to make sure her potty need could wait an extra couple minutes.)
11:25 a.m. – We get home and I send Raven to use the potty while I start putting groceries away. Once she’s done, she looks at the new books we got at the library yesterday and rides around inside on the new trike she got for Christmas while I work on this post a bit and finish putting away the groceries. (Raven helps at the end.)
12:10 p.m. – I put on water to boil, as I’m going to make us some homemade mac & cheese with peas for lunch. (Raven begs for avocado toast again, but as we just had it yesterday and have been flying through the avocados I just bought last week way too fast, I come up with an alternative option that she won’t complain about.)
12:20 p.m. – While I wait for the pasta to finish cooking, I call the Salt Lake (LDS) temple to make an appointment in the baptistry for the last Saturday of the month, as Matt and I will be joining his brother and sister-in-law to go do work in the temple that day. I also unpeel and break the bananas I just bought into pieces to freeze for smoothies.
12:40 p.m. – Lunch is finally done, so both Raven and I sit down to eat together. I ask her to say the prayer over the food, which she does basically at every meal. During our lunch, she proceeds to tell me that one of my bites is too big and that I need to take smaller bites and chew carefully, then she praises me for doing so. She also proceeds to tell me–after I tell her that I think she’s cute and that she needs lot of kisses–that I “cannot reach” her (because of where I’m sitting) and makes sure I know it frequently over the next 10 minutes or so. There is also one point in the meal that she proceeds to act like a puppy. Toddlers, man.
1:05 p.m. – Raven suspiciously says that she doesn’t want to read two books or eat the applesauce pouch I offered her after lunch–she just wants to go to bed. Basically, this is the epitome of her latest trick, which is to tell us the exact opposite of what she wants and then freak out when we actually give her what she asks for. Sure enough, after I put her down for a nap, she is sobbing in her room and asking for two books and a pouch. Toddlers, man.
1:10 p.m. – I give her the pouch I said she could have, and we sit down to read two books. I ask her if she needs to go potty after, and she says no, so I put her into bed and tuck her in. Of course, as I’m leaving, she says she needs to go potty. (Queen of stalling over here.) In the past, I’ve thought about just leaving her to it, but half the time, she really does need to go, so I let her sit down (and she does go).
1:30 p.m. – Raven is finally tucked into bed and down for her nap (though only time will tell if she actually takes one or not. We’re currently at that tricky stage where she either sits in there and talks to herself for an hour and a half, or else she zonks out for three hours.) I go ahead and clean up from lunch, finish loading the dishwasher and start it through, and wash some of the bigger dishes that need to be done by hand. I also go out and get the mail (my brother’s save-the-date came today!) and sort through it.
1:55 p.m. – I sit down to work on some future blog posts and catch up on a bit of blog reading and email/social media checking (though not much, as I have a lot I want to do today). My new strategy with blogging is that rather than try to pump out a full post on the same day it goes live (ideally on each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), I’ve started working on the blog EVERY weekday in the afternoon, though not for a set time. My goal is basically just to sit down and do a bit every afternoon so that a whole post at a time doesn’t seem so daunting, and it’s because of this that I’ve actually been able to start getting ahead and SCHEDULING POSTS IN ADVANCE, which is a gigantic leap forward for this here blogger.
3:20 p.m. – Finished up my blog work for the day, and a future post reminded me of a couple books I’ve been meaning to dig out of storage (hardly any of our books have been unpacked from our move because we’re planning on putting in built-in bookshelves in the next few months), so I go looking for those. I get sidetracked and end up pulling out a bunch of titles for one of the few stand-alone bookshelves we’re keeping (that’s in our guest bedroom) that had been sitting empty before.
3:50 p.m. – Since I’m taking dinner into a friend tonight who just had surgery, I get a really early headstart on making dinner for both her family and for us (from-scratch chicken pot pies). I listen to my favorite podcast as I work (What Should I Read Next?), and Raven is (luckily) still napping.
4:25 p.m. – Raven wakes up and as I’m still furiously prepping both dinners as fast as possible (and realizing quickly that I grossly underestimated the time of this particular dish, as it was a new recipe), I put on Mulan for Raven.
5:20 p.m. – Matt gets home from work (after stopping by that neighbor’s house for me to pick up the breast pump) to find me a little panicky as I’m still thick in active dinner prep. Luckily, with both of us working, we’re able to get the first chicken pot pie in the oven only ten minutes later than I’d wanted and turn our attention to the second.
6:00 p.m. – Phew! Both pot pies are in the oven, with the one I’ll be giving away only minutes away from being done. I vow that I’ll never try out a new recipe again when cooking for someone else (nor will I pick such a time-intensive one to start with). Matt sits down to read some books with Raven, and I clean up the kitchen a bit since it looks like a flour tornado blew through it. After putting away the easiest stuff, I take a break to practice my French for the day on Duolingo (and to sit down for the first time since 3:50!).
6:15 p.m. – We all get in the car to go deliver our meal, and I chat with my neighbor’s husband for a few minutes about how his wife’s surgery went while Matt and Raven are in the car.
6:25 p.m. – We get back, and our pot pie still has 15 minutes to go, so I allow myself a mindless break since I feel like I’ve been going all day long. Instagram may be involved. (Matt and Raven go back to reading the books they were looking at before we had to go deliver the meal.)
6:40 p.m. – The pot pie could use a bit more browning on top, so I set the timer for 10 more minutes and start playing a game of pass with Raven.
6:55 p.m. – Dinner is on the table (and the Jell-o miraculously set up just in time), and we all sit down to eat. Raven likes the Jell-o quite a bit (which is a new food for her), but things don’t go quite as well with the pot pie, though we convince her to take a good 5 or 6 bites. You win some, you lose some. Matt is doing a Harry Potter-themed scout banquet tomorrow night, so Raven was a bit distracted by all the cool props lying around (especially the “bludgers” and “quaffle” balls he’d brought out).
7:15 p.m. – Once Matt and I are finished, we play a family game of pass with the three Quidditch balls, which ends in tears because Raven doesn’t want to stop and get ready for bed.
7:35 p.m. – Potty time, reading time, and brushing teeth all happen in due order in the usual bedtime routine. Lately, Raven has been favoring Matt doing the reading and me doing the brushing of teeth and administering of her fluoride pill, which is fine with me since she spends so much time with me during the day (and often a lot of that time is spent reading books together). Since Raven chose two longer books to read before bed, I took advantage of the extra time after I’d done my bit and got in my gym clothes so I could be ready to go to my class on time.
8:05 p.m. – Raven is finally in bed after some minor stalling techniques, and Matt and I chat for a few minutes together as we both clean up from dinner.
8:15 p.m. – I leave for my hip hop class, excited for the drive (as always) because it means I get to listen to Harry Potter, which I miraculously never get sick of, though this is probably at least the 11th or 12th time I’ve listened to the whole series on audiobook.
8:35 p.m. – I walk into my class slightly late, so I end up in the back corner since the class is so full. Near the end of the class, I go up to the front to help the instructor, who is in her third trimester of pregnancy and who is therefore unable to do some of the harder routines. After doing two super tough songs back to back, I’m beginning to think that my own days of doing the harder routines are pretty limited too, ha ha.
9:30 p.m. – Class is over, and I catch up a bit with an acquaintance from high school, who started coming to the same classes I do regularly a few weeks ago, and I’ve looked forward to knowing that I’ll have a friend there most times that I go now.
9:45 p.m. – I get in the car to drive home, and I come about thisclose to hitting a deer on the highway, but I luckily see it quickly enough that I can slam on my brakes as it runs in front of me. A bit shaken, I drive slightly slower than I normally would the rest of the way home.
10:00 p.m. – I get back home, chat with Matt for awhile about the progress he’s made in preparing for his big banquet tomorrow night, then hop in the shower around 10:20.
10:40 p.m. – Out of the shower, I go through the rest of my bedtime routine (brushing teeth, removing the rest of my makeup, moisturizing face, etc.). I also comb and blow dry my hair until it’s mostly dry so it doesn’t dry completely wonky as I sleep.
11:10 p.m. – I get into bed to read scriptures and to do a little personal reading (currently out of How Will You Measure Your Life?). Normally I would read a lot more in a day than I did today, but that dinner really ate up my afternoon!
11:30 p.m. – Lights out.
And there we have it—a busy but not-too-out-of-the-ordinary day for me at this point in my life! It will be fun to see how much will have changed when I do this again next year, as we’ll have a busy 7-month-old.