Tuesday, March 3, 2015

a day in the life.

My nosiness is flaring up again. Yeah, I like to creep on other people's to-do lists, and I regularly read blogs whose premises are "let me overshare about my mundane life" (yeah, exactly like this blog). What is it I'm looking for, exactly? Is it my natural curiosity and need for connection, but disdain for sustained human interaction? Am I seeking validation, or answers to unasked questions? Who knows, who cares, but it's how this post came to be: It's a day in my life. And, by natural extension, of that one baby who follows me everywhere. I figure someday I'll want to reminisce about exactly what goes on during a random Monday with a seventeen-month-old baby and her stay-at-home mama.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

5:46 a.m.: My eyes pop open. Every single morning, I wake up sometime between 5 and 6 a.m., and then try valiantly to stop the flow of thoughts and questions in my brain so I can catch the last little bit of sleep possible before...

6:19: Rowan starts babbling in her crib. I must've fallen back asleep, and now it's torture to wake back up. I roll over and check the clock...good, she slept past 6. She's been trending closer to 7 (after a horrid month or so of waking up at 5:38 every. damn. morning), but I'll take anything past 6, because that means we can feasibly do just one nap instead of two. I drift in and out for a while, listening to her ceremoniously toss the contents of her crib onto the floor: baby doll, Bunny, pacifiers, blanket.

6:40: She starts patiently calling out, "Maaaaama...Maaaamaaaa..." This is her warning call - "I'm patient for now, but in about two minutes, I'm going to get PISSED." I hear J.J. getting her milk cup ready downstairs. Hopefully he's feeling all better - he's been sick since Wednesday (the sickest either of us has been since before I got pregnant). I started feeling awful last night, but my sore throat is gone this morning, so hopefully I've escaped the crud. J.J. comes upstairs and opens Rowan's door; she's surprised to see him, since she was calling for me, and greets him with a delighted, "Dada!!" They snuggle in her rocking chair while she drinks her milk.

6:47: We always try to convince Rowan to snuggle in our bed for a while in the mornings, just so we can sneak in some extra rest. She used to play happily for a long time, but nowadays, it's about ten minutes, tops. She reads an Elmo book ("Elmo mama. Elmo baby doll. Elmo dada. Oscar!"), and she covers everyone's eyes when I announce I'm turning on the light and says, "Bright! Bright!" She trills her r's when she says bright, which makes it extra adorable.

Signing "daddy" for the picture of Elmo with his daddy

7:00: I brush my teeth, which sends Rowan tearing into the bathroom to get her toothbrush, too. I shower while J.J. and Rowan make the bed and put away a basket of clean laundry from yesterday. J.J. also gives her a clean diaper and a ponytail.

7:30: J.J. gets ready for work while I make pancakes, with my hungry and impatient sous-chef on her woefully-inept "helper stool" (a chair shoved against the cupboards). It's...possible she fell off her helper chair yesterday (I was holding her hand, so she never actually hit the floor), so I keep a close eye on her today. Difficult to do while making pancakes, but I only have to finish making one for her; then I can put her in her high chair so she can eat and supervise the rest of the pancake-making.

Made her get off the chair so she could eat. #meanmama

7:45: Rowan sits to eat (pancake with peanut butter spread on top, strawberries, blueberries). I make the rest of the batch and sit with Rowan to eat, getting up a few times to fetch other breakfast items for her (water and, randomly, the apple slices she is adamant that she wants).

8:12: We took our time eating, and now Daddy is leaving for work. She gives him a hug and kiss, tells him "work, happy" (because we told her he goes to work to "help the kids feel happy"), and then wave to him from the front porch. Rowan runs around to the window to give him an extra wave this morning, then settles in to play while I clean up the kitchen.

8:30: Turns out she was playing independently especially well just now because she needed some alone time with her diaper, if you catch my whiff. Or her whiff, as the case may be. We change her diaper (and the Diaper Genie bag, since it's full), and get both of us mostly dressed. She's too wiggly right now to attempt to make her hair look cute...we'll do it later.

8:40: We go back downstairs to play. Her riding toy (that I got for free last week!) has a broken edge, probably from when I dropped it outside yesterday, and Rowan is quite concerned about it, so I get some duct tape and we give the car a Band-Aid. 

8:45: Over the next hour, we get dressed in stages (still needed tights and a ponytail for Rowan, and contacts and jeans for me). I pack her diaper bag in preparation for our trip to the library, remembering to throw in a little baby doll - it helps her transition away from the library's baby dolls when it's time to go home. I check the weather - it's 20 degrees out! Amazing. Maybe we'll swing by the car wash on the way home, now that the temperatures aren't in the negatives.

9:45: We leave for the library. Rowan has her milk cup (her morning snack) in the car on the way there.

10:00: Library! Storytime doesn't start until 10:30, but they have tons of stuff for kids to do in the meantime - watch the fish, peruse the books, play with whatever table activity they set up (today it's pretend baking with fabric cupcakes and brownies), and poke each other's eyes in exploration. Typical toddler stuff. One of Rowan's best buddies and her mama are here, which makes both of us super happy - yay for friends! I also run into a child and his father from my old work. They're here because the center is closed today for a staff training, and I can't put into words how grateful I am to be here, watching my girl squeal at the library fishies eating their food, instead of running around like a madwoman to coordinate a training session that everyone's going to complain about for the next month. I file this moment away in my mind to pull out again the next time I get jealous about other families' vacation pictures on Facebook...because right now in the life of my family, I have to choose: the quiet contentment of staying home versus earning enough money for regular splurges. Quiet contentment, please. And hey. Splurge is kind of a gross word.

10:30: Storytime is from 10:30-10:45, and then the kids can play with the toys the librarians get out - a ball pit, rocking toys, shakers, baby dolls, etc. I mostly sit back and chat with the other parents, since Rowan needs minimal help from me for the time being.

11:15: The kids are still playing happily, but I need to round up Rowan and get her home so she can eat lunch before she gets too exhausted. We check out an Elmo DVD about going to the doctor, since Rowan has her 18-month appointment coming up in a few weeks, and I've been trying to think of ways to help her more comfortable with the doctor. She's seen Sesame Street (TV in general) less than a dozen times in her life, but she has latched onto Elmo and is obsessed. He's been a hot conversation piece lately, mostly because I can't figure out what makes him so attractive to toddlers versus the other characters. Is it the red fur? The annoying voice? His easily-pronounceable name? Whatever it is, she's hooked, and she manages to spot him EVERYWHERE. Here's hoping the DVD helps her feel better about the doctor's office.

11:25: We pull into a car wash on the way home. I've actually never gotten an automatic car wash...I'm too cheap and (real talk) afraid of lining up my car correctly on the tracks. But my friend Sarah told me that this one doesn't have tracks, and my car has literally never been this dirty, so I go for it. We have to wait in line for a while (Rowan has a veggie & yogurt pouch while we wait), but then it's quick and easy. I wasn't sure if the noises would freak her out, but I tell her the car is getting a bubble bath, and she loves it. Whew.

11:45: Home much later than I'd planned. I throw together the lunch she has 95% of the time - a cheese sandwich with mustard - and she deems the floor the only acceptable sitting surface for lunch consumption. She inhales her tomatoes and clementines and then takes her time with the sandwich. I'm hungry, but it's not worth trying to eat with her unless I'm eating the exact same thing; otherwise, my lunch becomes hers. I'm not in a cheese sandwich mood, so I decide to wait until naptime.

Baby was hungry, too. And required a bib.

12:18: We cleaned up lunch and she's playing with J.J.'s shoes. She has a shoe-related meltdown (it's too big or too unwieldy or too shoe-y or something), which signals naptime. She chooses a baby to take with her, and we head upstairs, change her diaper, close the curtains, turn on the fan and humidifier, and walk around the room with her (and Baby...and Bunny) in my arms. She's asleep quickly.

12:30: Things I intend to do during naptime: Answer emails, sign up for Rowan's spring classes, figure out if I can do our taxes or if I need to make an appointment at H&R Block. Things I actually do during naptime: Eat lunch and then all the Hershey's Kisses; check Facebook; upload and edit some pictures for this blog post. It strikes me that I don't have the space heater blasting in my face while I sit in the family room; it really must be warm out. Yesss, it's 30 degrees! Maybe we'll go outside after nap. Ugh, but I hate going out when it's wet and sloppy and not 60+ degrees. And we have a grocery list a mile long...we'll see.

2:54: I hear a baby doll hit the floor upstairs...and then a paci. Rowan's awake. A disoriented baby voice floats through the monitor: "Mama. Mama. Maaaama. Mama." I let her wake up for a few minutes before going to get her for snuggles, milk, and books. As usual, she's turned her sleep sack into a cape and has tossed everything out of her crib:

3:33: We took our time waking up. Now we're in the car on the way to the grocery store, and Rowan is chattering about the car wash earlier: "Vroom. Bubbles. Bath. Yeah!" At 29 degrees, it's practically hot outside, and everyone we walk past on the way into the store is in a good mood. Rowan loves the grocery store - the people-watching, spotting random Elmos (they're everywhere), picking out food, and getting stickers. Today, she's in luck - an employee spots her by the veggies and gives her an extra-big sticker.

4:15: We're back from the store, and I need to distract a suddenly-grumpy Rowan while I put away the groceries and the morning dishes. She settles in at her little art table with a fruit bar and some apple slices.

4:30: I wanted to take Rowan outside before dinner, but I haven't even started making it yet, and she eats at 5. More importantly, she's happily occupied at the moment with toys in the other room, so I put the quinoa on the stove and start chopping vegetables.

Part of "happily occupied" = pretending the dish rag is a blankie for her nap.

5:00: Dinner! Tonight it's Mexican quinoa - quinoa with black beans, grape tomatoes, avocado, and cheddar cheese - along with some drinkable yogurt (transferred to her sippy cup). She devours everything except a random half of a tomato.

God forbid I ever forget to feed BOTH of my babies.
Hands > spoons

5:25: Finally...outside! We run into some friends from my new-moms' group who live around the corner, and Rowan and her little buddy take turns with her walking toy. After they go home, Rowan walks up and down the sidewalk, mostly excited about everything thing that she spots in the "up up sky": airplanes, birds, the moon, clouds. Just when the cold is starting to really seep through my clothes, J.J.'s car comes up the street, so we follow him back home.

6:05: We all come inside. Rowan has a seemingly random meltdown when J.J. asks if he wants to go upstairs with her so he can change out of his work clothes; turns out she thought she was going upstairs for bedtime. Once we get that straightened out, she's happy to go up with him and bounces on the bed while he and I both get our pajamas on (yes, before our toddler is even in her pajamas. That's how we roll). J.J. and Rowan play while I relax.

6:30: It's bath time. Rowan and J.J. clean up all her toys while I get her milk cup ready. She decides she wants it before bath, which is fine by me, since otherwise we don't brush her teeth in between her drinking her milk and going to bed. Once the milk is gone, J.J. helps her get in the bath while I get everything ready for bedtime: bring her jammies and diaper to the bathroom, fill up the humidifier, close the curtains. We do the post-bath routine together: lotion (she gets pretty bad eczema), diaper, pj's, brushing teeth (a new Elmo toothbrush from the store today!), brushing hair. Then J.J. and Rowan sit in her rocking chair while I sit on the ottoman and read stories (tonight it's "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, and "The Going To Bed Book" by Sandra Boynton). I head downstairs while J.J. sings Rowan a couple songs and kisses her good night.

7:00: J.J. and I make dinner (Mexican quinoa for me, like Rowan's dinner, and some pasta creation with homemade peanut sauce for J.J.) and eat while we watch Lost on Netflix. We started watching it sometime last year, but we totally burned out during the last season. Turns out we only had, like, nine episodes left to watch, and we've been tearing through them.

9:04: It's a judgement call when we see that the finale is up next, because it's almost two hours long. We're usually in bed reading by 10 or 10:30. I convince J.J. that we HAVE to watch it TONIGHT RIGHT NOW, so we do. This is also why I don't have a picture of Rowie asleep with her beloved Bunny...was too engrossed in not getting answers to a ton of my questions about the show.

11:30: In bed...falling asleep reading viewer reactions to the Lost finale on my iPad. (Maybe it's just because I didn't watch it in real time, but...did you all not see that ending coming from a mile away?) Definitely glad we stayed up to watch it! Totally! For sure!

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5:04 a.m. this morning: Why. did. I. stay. up. laaaate?? Now I have a chirping baby who's awake a full hour and a half before anyone should ever be awake. At least I know whether they got off the island. (Sort of.)

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