Ever wonder what a stay-at-home mom does all day? Or even what you have done with your whole day? People are always whining about Mondays, and yes, even I am prone to some weekend hangover-ness, but yesterday, I was on a roll, and decided to record my actions because such a productive day may never happen again. Or maybe one day in the future when the kids are older I’ll try to remember what it was like with two littles and a freelance writing career, and if I don’t write it down, I won’t remember. So here it goes, starting at 2 a.m., Monday Nov. 21, 2016.
2 a.m.: Feed Knox, change his diaper, go back into a deep sleep.
5:45 a.m.: Hear Knox, but he sounds happy, so go back to sleep.
6:08 a.m.: Hear Knox, realize that while he’s happy, he’s not going to fall back asleep unless I give him the binky. Go in his room to discover he’s majorly wet the bed. Strip him and the bed, change his diaper, wrap him back up and put him back to bed. Hear Rye saying he has to pee, so go take him to the bathroom and put him back to bed. Get in bed myself, but don’t fall back to sleep.
6:45 a.m.: Get up, retrieve Knox who did not fall back to sleep either, feed him.
7 a.m.: Remind Josh that his alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. and he need to get up.
7:10 a.m.: Greet Rye at his allowable wake time, change Knox’s diaper, and put him back to bed.
7:15 a.m.: Fold the kids’ laundry that I washed last night.
7:30 a.m.: Empty the dishwasher, make myself a cup of decaffeinated Earl Grey.
7:40 a.m.: Pack up Josh’s lunch, say goodbye.
7:45 a.m.: Breakfast with Rye—oatmeal, granola bar, and one cookie for him (that I made last night to take to his school’s special Thanksgiving program today); peanut butter-infused Greek yogurt dipped up with apple slices for me.
8:10 a.m.: Start a load of lights to wash Knox’s wet bed dressings.
8:15 a.m.: Play with Rye.
8:25 a.m.: Knox is fussing, go up and soothe him, get myself dressed, bring down Rye’s clothes and get him dressed, both brush our teeth.
8:35 a.m.: Try to soothe Knox again, realize he’s not going to settle, bring him downstairs.
8:45 a.m.: Help Rye do a puzzle while holding Knox.
8:57 a.m.: Realize I might as well feed Knox now to get a head start on the next cycle.
9:10 a.m.: Tell Rye to put on his shoes and start grabbing everything we need to take to school and the gym for me and Knox.
9:22 a.m.: In the car and driving to school.
9:35 a.m.: Leave Rye at school, with the homemade cookies and baby carrots I had signed up to bring, drive to the gym.
9:45 a.m.: Arrive at gym, put Knox in the nursery, and attempt to master the elliptical for 40 minutes.
10:03 a.m.: Interrupted by nursery staff, need to go change Knox’s poopy diaper.
10:15 a.m.: Decide Knox seemed really fussy and probably just needs a nap, give up elliptical early after just 25 minutes and head home.
10:30 a.m.: Get Knox in his room, change his clothes wet from drool. Realize he’s not going to fall asleep on his own so swaddle him, sing to him and sway for 3 minutes, until he falls asleep, then put him in his crib.
10:37 a.m.: Time to get a shower. While in the shower, realize that if Knox is really asleep, I have time to start another load of laundry, blow dry my hair and still make it back to preschool in time for Rye’s program. Start to realize this may be the most productive day ever and that I should start taking notes.
11 a.m.: Dress and head downstairs with load of darks, get them going, then blow dry my hair for five minutes. It’s still mostly wet, but I shouldn’t get icicles in my hair anymore.
11:15 a.m.: Wake up Knox, remember to grab a bib, then head downstairs, wrap him in my coat then head out with the diaper bag to go to Rye’s school.
11:27 a.m.: Arrive early. Must wait in the hallway. Ugh.
11:34 a.m.: We are let in and file into the larger part of the classroom, I stand in the back with Knox in the Baby Bjorn, wave to Rye, and get my phone camera ready. Take one picture then switch to video, and video all 10 minutes of their songs. Rye doesn’t sing, but mostly does the motions to the Turkey Wobble song.
11:45 a.m.: Snack time. Get some disapproving looks from other parents for letting Rye have 4 cookies, but he had 4 pieces of lunch meat and 3 chunks of cheese, so I’m happy that I won’t have to give him lunch when we get home. I’m a little discouraged that parents are giving kids these 2 ½-inch diameter store-bought M&M cookies over my homemade 1-inch diameter honey coins (a shortbread covered in powdered sugar), but one dad starts taking them by the handful, and one child with perfect hair and a model-like mother chooses my cookie over the M&M cookie. The 9 p.m. cookie making last night was worth it!
12:20 p.m.: Convince Rye it’s time to go home, as Knox can’t wait to eat and sleep.
12:30 p.m.: Home, see that the mail has not come and remember to put out a Netflix movie we need to send back. Feed Knox, then change his diaper. Help Rye spell out signs to write on his magnet doodler. Put Knox on his play mat and then help Rye put together another puzzle he had started this morning and abandoned.
1:05 p.m.: Nap time. Cajole Rye to come upstairs, change from his jeans to flannel pajama pants, take him to the bathroom to pee. While he’s washing his hands, swaddle Knox and put him down, go read Rye a book and put him in his bed, then go back to Knox’s room to re-swaddle him and hold his arms still until he falls asleep 20 seconds later.
1:30 p.m.: My lunch time, warm up leftover chili and sit down at computer to eat.
1:37 p.m.: Mid-lunch, Rye calls over the monitor that he has to pee again. Really tempted to call B.S. but go up anyway, take him to the bathroom where he dribbles out an ounce, then put him back in bed.
1:47 p.m.: Finish lunch. Remember I need to finish my food column, so open the document, edit the pre-selected recipes I found last night, then write my intro.
2:07 p.m.: Remember that if I plan to cook next, I should make sure the meat in the fridge is thawed. But I find the meat is not in the fridge, but the freezer. First fail of the day! Get it out and put it in a bowl of water, hoping that will get it mostly thawed in the next hour.
2:11 p.m.: Knox is crying and sounds in pain. Go up and give him gas drops, put my hand on his chest until he falls asleep, and go back down to finish writing.
2:24 p.m.: Finish food column and email it to my editors. Since meat is still frozen, decide to fold whites.
2:44 p.m.: Start cooking. I make a homemade Hamburger Helper-like casserole for a family from church on the Mercy Meals list, and start roasting a spaghetti squash for our dinner, to serve with leftover Italian sausage I cooked Friday.
3:34 p.m.: Casserole is done and put back in the fridge to cool, squash is still roasting. Time to sit down! But Rye wakes up and wants water. I give him some but let him know he has to stay in bed til 4. Go downstairs and start Project Runway with a little snack of leftover Mexican corn.
3:50 p.m.: Knox wakes up, bring him down to feed him while continuing Project Runway. Ugh, Dexter is so annoying!
4:10 p.m.: Go upstairs to get Rye, change Knox’s diaper, then let Rye know we have to take the food to the family. He agrees by asking if we can bring 3 of his toy road signs instead of just the standard 2 we allow (one for each hand—can’t argue with that logic). I agree to the compromise. I take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and let it cool, let the family know we’re on the way, then get the kids in the car.
5:00 p.m.: Back home. Put a very fussy Knox in his bouncer, then talk to Rye about some road signs he admires but doesn’t have, then convert two of his signs into two from his wishlist: two lanes ahead and squiggly road ahead.
5:15 p.m.: Back to cooking our dinner. Shred the spaghetti squash and put in pan, add marinara and cooked Italian sausage, start cooking pasta for Rye. Take Knox out of bouncer and put him in Bumbo in kitchen with me while Rye watches Truck Tunes, then a little of Busytown.
5:40 p.m.: Take Knox upstairs for his nap. Come back down and scoop out our food, wait for Rye to finish his video then we sit down to eat.
6:05 p.m.: I’m done dinner, but Rye isn’t, though he suddenly realizes he has to poop and leaves the dinner table. I use this opportunity to get a head start on dishes.
6:15 p.m.: Pooping is done, Rye declares he will not finish his dinner, which was about two-thirds consumed so I don’t really care, and he goes to the living room to play while I finish dishes.
6:30 p.m.: Having finished the dishes, I am free to play with Rye. We play 10 minutes of Signtown, where cars drive around and remark on the signs in the town, then I convince him to clean up all his signs so we can play with the magnet doodler for the last 5 minutes before bath time.
6:50 p.m.: Upstairs for bath time.
7:02 p.m.: Rye’s yell about getting soap in his eye wakes up Knox. Go into his room, give him his binky, stay for a minute then back to the bathroom for Rye.
7:10 p.m.: Bath time is over. Dry Rye up and take him to his room to get dressed. Then downstairs for his milk, upstairs to read a book, then count as he brushes his teeth. Then we both put some cocoa butter lotion on our hands, go back to his room, say a prayer, talk about three special things that happened today and talk about what’s going to happen tomorrow.
7:35 p.m.: Back downstairs. Give the cats their treats and night time food. Bring up the last load of laundry from the basement, go into the living room to fold it while continuing to watch Project Runway (same episode) and wait for Knox to wake up for his final feeding of this Monday.
8:00 p.m.: Done cleaning up and can finally sit down!
8:07 p.m.: Rye tells me over the monitor that his door opened by itself, and can I come and please close it?
8:12 p.m.: After I am back downstairs, Rye says he has to pee. I take him to the bathroom again, and tell him this will be the last time I come in tonight. We blow his nose one more time for good measure.
8:30 p.m.: Josh texts that he’s on his way home. I wake up Knox to feed him again.
8:50 p.m.: Project Runway is over—Dexter went home! Josh gets home, Knox is done feeding. We talk while Josh unloads for the day and giggle with Knox.
9:10 p.m.: Take Knox upstairs, tag team putting him to bed.
9:20 p.m.: Feeling good that Knox won’t need a feeding until at least 2 a.m. (or 3 a.m. if I’m lucky), and I create a new skinny cocktail: almond cashew milk with pumpkin spice Kahlua. Delicious! Consumed in a very small quantity.
9:28 p.m.: Sit down to view the latest episode of PBS’s “Poldark.”
10:03 p.m.: Check to see how much show is left, which is 18 minutes, so decide to go for it.
10:21 p.m.: Show finished, take all glasses and plates to kitchen, then show Josh the video I shot of Rye’s Thanksgiving parade. Marvel at how grown-up Rye looks, and how tall, standing next to his peers.
10:34 p.m.: Upstairs, brush teeth, get in bed to read a little more of “The Glass Castle” before sleeping.
10:53 p.m.: Lights out. Dead to the world. Day over.
So there you have it, if you made it this far—a full day. It was a good day. This must have been how Ice Cube felt when he wrote “It Was a Good Day”…