The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.
I thought you might be curious about what life is like at our house lately. I know I’m interested in what life with children looks like at other people’s homes. I loved when Tsh did this a few months ago and I’ve been meaning to share one of our days with you ever since. I’ve actually been thinking that I should write one of these once a year, just to keep a record for the future for my family and I to look back on.
Please, keep in mind this isn’t necessarily a typical day as we are in the middle of tax season, which at my house means long work days for my husband and a solo parenting gig for me. I allow myself some shortcuts (hello, paper plates and no-cook meals), the housework becomes less of a priority, and the kids are given a little more screen time than usual.
It also is not normal for my children to sleep in as late as they did today, but our normal rhythm and schedule has been a bit off as I let them stay up later to see their Daddy each day. Also, just mentally insert “feed baby, change baby, rock baby” several times during the day, okay? I didn’t write it down every time that happened.
So, keeping those things in mind, today’s post is going to be a little bit different as I share with you a day in my life, specifically yesterday, April 5, 2012.
Rise and shine
Sometime around 3am, my three year old daughter wakes up from a nightmare. She climbs into bed with my husband and I and goes back to sleep within a few minutes. I lie awake for a bit longer and then, thankfully, drift back to sleep.
I’m awake again at 5:41 when the baby, who is eight months old, wakes up. I nurse her back to sleep. I can hear my husband downstairs in the kitchen getting ready for his work day. In a few minutes, he comes upstairs and kisses me goodbye. I lie in bed for a little bit longer before putting the baby into her crib, pulling the covers up on my three year old, and heading into the bathroom.
At 6:04 I’m dressed, my hair has been combed into a high pony tail, and I’ve washed my face. I head down stairs, taking last night’s water and milk glasses with me as I go. I let the dog out, load the dishwasher and run it, and make myself some coffee, grating in a little nutmeg. Once the dog has come back inside, I feed him and then take my coffee and head back upstairs.
After a quick peek into the bedrooms of my other children, I sit down at my desk, open my Bible and spend some time in the quiet of the morning.
6:40 a.m. With Over the Rhine playing in my ears, I fire up the laptop, send out a quick morning “hello” to my knitting friends on Plurk, and then open up my calendar on my phone (which has my To Do list). I have officially put on my editor’s hat for the morning. I answer half a dozen emails, start this post, add some links to Sunday’s Link Love post, and outline Monday’s post.
Next, I read a few blogs, do some quick pinning from those to my Pinterest boards, and then I check in with the Simple Kids facebook page and remind everyone the Mother Bear KAL giveaway is almost over. (Have you entered yet?)
It is 7:46 when I close the laptop.
What’s this? Not quite 8am and no children yet awake? I refill my coffee and pick up my knitting. I’m working on a Simple Yet Effective shawl (pattern by Laura Chau) and I’m watching the Knit Girllls podcast. I set down my knitting and send out an Instagram “good morning” just as I hear the pitter patter of little feet.
The first kid awake is Jillian, my 10 year old, at 8:40am. Max, Lucy, and baby Mia follow soon after. After a quick diaper change and some potty time for my three year old, we sleepily head downstairs for a breakfast of cold cereal with sliced strawberries and bananas, buttered toast, and milk.
While we’re downstairs, I let the dog out again, refill the almonds jar, get green beans out of the garage chest freezer and move them to the kitchen freezer, and start dinner in the crockpot. Dinner is going to be an experiment: I toss sweet potatoes, chicken breast, honey from my brother NJ’s bees, and sliced apples and apple juice into the crock-pot and set it on LOW.
The kids finish breakfast and my oldest unloads and then reloads the dishwasher. The kids play and look at old photo albums and Mia hangs out in her bounce-a-bout while I wipe down the kitchen counters, clean the downstairs bathroom, and let the dog back inside.
We head back upstairs and begin the flurry of getting the kids dressed, making beds, brushing teeth, and hair do creating that happens every morning. My two oldest are independent in this, but Mia and Lucy, my three year old, need my full attention.
While she’s waiting for me to finish getting her little sisters ready, Jillian does her math review.
Everyone is dressed and ready for the day by 10am. I sent my husband a quick text to say “Good morning” and then we start switching into homeschool gear.
Morning lessons and play
The two middles are playing in Max’s room, so the baby and Jillian and I settle in on the couch in our loft playroom. I check over Jillian’s math and she does her children’s Bible reading. Then we start on our main lesson. The baby hang out in my lap and nurses and cuddles while Jillian and I read and do homeschool.
We continue with homeschool for about an hour and a half, with the occasional interruption from the younger kids and one change of clothing for my three year old. Max is busy with a stack of construction paper, Ed Emberley’s Complete Fun Print Drawing Book, and some washable ink pads and Lucy is building herself a princess bed out of every pillow she can find.
I give Jillian a writing assignment and head downstairs to check on the chicken and sweet potatoes and fix a snack for the kids.
Noon – time to go to put on my editor hat again
I have an editor’s meeting for SLM, so I set the kids up with their snack and give my 10 year old permission to turn on a movie on Amazon Prime on the Roku.
The baby and I head to my desk and my lap top and I snap a quick Instagram photo while I’m waiting for everyone to get to the meeting. I spend the next hour and a half planning and talking with Tsh, Aimee, Nicole, Jamie, and Mandi. Exciting things are in store for Simple Living Media in the future. I love my job!
A quiet afternoon
After the meeting and business stuff has been covered, the other editors and I stayed on skype to chat a bit longer and catch up on personal stuff. It is a nice benefit to working with people who are also your friends.
At 2 o’clock we say good-bye and the baby, who had fallen asleep in my arms during the meeting, wakes up from her short nap.
I make the kids lunch of black bean burgers topped with spinach, cheese, salsa, and guacamole on English muffins (don’t get too impressed, half of my children picked the toppings right off) and a side of black olives and orange bell peppers. I unplug them from their TV show and we sit down together to eat.
After we clean up lunch together, Jillian grabs a school book and we read together outside and the little kids enjoy some time playing in the backyard on this windy day. Jillian finishes her books and join in with her brother and sister and the baby and I sit on the step for a while. Baby Mia seems really amused by the feel of the wind on her face and blows zzzzzrbrts back at it – silly baby!
Around 3:00 we come back inside and I set the 3 and 5 year old up for some quiet time in their bedrooms, something it is evident they need by the arguing that went on toward the end of our time outside. They each have a pile of books and some music playing and the instruction that they don’t have to go to sleep, but they do need to be quiet and rest and stay in their rooms.
Jillian has made herself a snack of grapes and is listening to music and reading comics, enjoying some quiet time herself.
I put Mia in the sling and I get a bit of housework done. I soak a hand-wash only shirt (what was I thinking buying that?) and wipe down the upstairs bathroom sinks and counters with my trusty spray bottle of vinegar. I go check on the middle kids and notice Lucy has changed again (outfit #3 for those of you keeping track at home).
I rinse out the shirt and lay it flat to dry and then grab a large glass of water and sit down to nurse the baby while finishing up the KnitGirllls podcast from earlier in the day. The baby is fussy, but never goes down for an afternoon nap.
At 4:30 quiet time is over and we make a snack together of milk and graham crackers. The kids build pillow forts in the loft and I decide to check in with facebook and answer a few emails. As I’m setting my full glass of milk on my desk I spill its entire contents into the bag full of homeschool books on the floor. Fantastic. What can I say? When I’m awesome, I’m totally awesome.
I spread the books out, wipe up the milk, and turn on some fans. Then I send out a quick facebook and Plurk message so that others can laugh at my clumsiness.
By 4:45 baby Mia is pretty miserable (teething?) and we walk and rock and sing and cuddle. Finally, shortly after 5:00 she goes to sleep and I try again to sneak in a little more time on the computer and answer more work related emails.
By 5:20 Mia is awake. A short nap, but she’s in better spirits.
Mia and I go downstairs again and I check on dinner and do a quick pick up in the living room, re-folding the blankets for the couch, returning books to the shelf, and putting the blocks in the toy chest.
Around 6:00 I get a text from Christopher saying he’ll be home for dinner, a rarity these days. The kids are excited that their daddy will be eating with us. With a little supervision, Jillian makes the rice and green beans in the rice cooker and the middle kids help set the table. I sit in the rocking chair with Mia and the big kids play in the living room until Christopher comes home.
At 6:45 Chris is home and we eat, late but all together.
7:30 pm the table is cleared and Christopher takes over with the kids for a little while so I can get some time to myself. I update this post, check facebook, answer email, and resize a few photos. It is nice to have some peace and quiet and a little time to myself after a long day.
At 8:30 we start the bedtime routine: baths, pajamas, brushing teeth, and a story. With Christopher’s help, we get all three big kids tucked into bed by 9:15. Mia has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so I pack the diaper bag and set out clothes to get us ahead of the game in the morning.
Christopher, the baby, and I cuddle up for a little bit and watch some tv and Mia eventually nurses to sleep around 10:00.
I open up the laptop one last time today and set up this post for publishing tomorrow. I treat myself to a cup of sleepytime tea and some toast while I work.
It is now almost 11pm and I’m heading to bed. Tomorrow, this will all start over again, with each day’s own twists and variations. But Saturday, my friends? On Saturday, I’m sleeping in!
So, how was your day? Have a great weekend, everyone!