Here's a typical day in my life. To start with, there is NO SUCH THING as TYPICAL!! So, today the kids had a half day of school due to high school final exams--the entire district has a half day. I awoke early to the sound of something scrabbling under my bed. Luckily it was only Daryl, trying to retrieve my cell phone. I have been using it as an alarm, and have been using a new app called Sleep Cycle, which detects when you are in the lightest stage of sleep during the half hour prior to the time you must wake up by, and wakes you then. To do this, the phone must be in your bed (up high next to pillow) because it detects how much you move around in your sleep and uses this to determine how deeply asleep you are. Apparently, last night my phone fell out of bed. Daryl is training for a triathalon, and purchased some training equipment that tracks workout length, intensity, etc. which is compatible with my phone but not his. He gets up very early to work out and has been "sneaking" my phone out of bed. I am a data freak and the sleep cycle app collects different sleep data so I was annoyed to learn he'd been tampering with it. So, when I leaned over the side of the bed to investigate the noise, he was quick to whisper "it's me honey". Good thing he was quick or I'd have screamed! I went back to sleep, only to wake an hour or so later when he returned the phone.
The kids were getting up then, so I got up, fed them breakfast, packed lunches for M. and Z., packed all of their snow clothes into tote bags (which was wishful thinking since the temperatures were too low again today to allow outdoor recess), got them dressed, fixed Z's hair, and drove them to preschool. When I got home, I took big M's temperature because he awoke with a bad cough. It was 99.7 so I called his playdate's mom to see if it was still ok for him to visit. It was. I managed to get the broken dishwasher to turn on, ran it to clean it, unloaded the 2nd dishwasher, reloaded and ran both of them. Then I went to the basement to work out.
I lifted weights and did calisthenics, followed by Tabata. Tabata is a new cardio workout I've been doing, which consists of 20 seconds of doing an exercise at the highest intensity possible followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You choose the exercise (pushups, jumping jacks, treadmill, etc.) and it doesn't have to be the same each set. Hard to believe, but research shows that this form of exercise increases both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity significantly more than 60 minutes of moderate exercise, as well as promoting weight loss. For a time investment of 4 minutes (and a lot of pain--you should feel like you're dying by the end) it's certainly worth a try!
Then a world record speed shower, and raced big M to his buddy's house, raced to 2 schools to pick up kids, realizing along the way that I had forgotten to call the schools and inform them that I would pick up the kids instead of having them ride the bus. Made the calls mere minutes before school let out, hoping against hope that the school secretaries would be able to get a message to the classrooms in time. Arrived at school late, relieved to see kids waiting in the single digit weather. Raced to McDonald's, because I'd promised we would go, knowing that this would make me late to an appointment, and was dismayed to find a long, long line of cars, probably due to half day at the high school. Accepted the fact that I would be REALLY late.
Raced kids home, then off to appointment, then home again. I chatted with an old friend on the way home. We are attempting to plan a girls weekend away together with some other friends. I confessed my religion issues of late, and we had a lengthy discussion in which she tried to convince me that I must continue attending a Catholic church, because it is the one true faith. She had some good points and nice ideas, but I'm really unsure where my faith journey will take me.
At home I attempted to open and unload the large pile of Amazon boxes that had arrived. Once a month we receive a large amount of nonperishable grocery items ordered through amazon's subscription service. Before I was finished, it was time to leave again, this time with Daryl, to another appointment. I had to ask L. to pick up big M for me. On the way to the appointment, I had to confer with L. about big M's attempts to manipulate him into taking him to McD's, the end result being that L. did take big M to McD's. After the appointment we stopped for coffee. On the way home we stopped and picked up M and Z from school.
Once home, Daryl did potty duty with M., who is almost totally potty trained. We have discovered that he does a #2 at around the same time each day, and if watch him carefully we can prevent him from doing it in his pants. He is sneaky, and will disappear into another room for a moment (even the bathroom! how ironic) and do the deed. Daryl was successful! This was our 3rd day in a row of catching him. Hopefully he will give up on the sneaking around soon and just go in the toilet. He pees totally independently. Just imagine, the first time in TWENTY YEARS of no one in diapers!
Meanwhile I was discovering that the recipe I'd planned to make for dinner in the pressure cooker took an unusually long time, even for a pressure cooker. I didn't have anything else faster available, so I got dinner going. I was unloading the dishwashers and went to put away a wine glass. When I opened the cabinet door, out jumped a wine glass and smashed to smithereens on the counter, spraying glass in a 10 foot radius on the floor. Of course M. finds it insulting to be told NOT to walk there until I"ve finished sweeping, so has to be repeatedly scolded and removed. Everyone under 5 in our house finds a glass breaking extremely exciting. While I was sweeping and cleaning the counter, big M awoke. He'd fallen asleep on the couch after his playdate and unbeknownst to me, wet his pants (and the couch) while sleeping. He was upset and very wet, although he swore it was SWEAT, not pee. I convinced him to bathe, and he cried and fussed at me to fill the tub NOW the entire time I was sweeping. I turned on the tub, helped him take off the wet clothes, and headed back downstairs to follow up with the vacuum.
Daryl and K left for basketball practice--Daryl is the coach. I got out another wine glass and poured myself some wine. Then I made yorkshire pudding batter and got the puddings in the oven and set the table. L. left for soccer practice. I went back upstairs and helped big M out of the tub, and threw in a load of wet clothes and his blankies, which had been on the couch and were wet. I removed the couch cushion, which of course M. thought would make a great toy to jump on while I was helping big M. Hide the cushion. Called everyone to dinner. I. comes down complaining of a stomachache that she's had since lunch. When she reviews with me what she's eaten, including a chocolate shake from McD's, I conclude that it's lactose indigestion (a problem she's had before) and get up to give her some Lactaid.
Dinner was so late that it was bedtime right after dinner. Arrived upstairs to the realization that I hadn't yet put the blankies in the dryer. While I was doing that, kids were brushing teeth, and M decided to smear the bathroom mirror with his toothbrush. Withheld fluoride vitamin as punishment. When I went downstairs to get his blankie, saw that he had ripped up a large pile of paper while i was finishing up dinner. Got him and forced him to pick it up. Tucked M. and Z. in. As soon as I left the room Z. begins shouting it's too dark, which normally doesn't bother her. I turn on hall light and closet light, neither of which appeases her. After a warning to stop shouting, I shut her bedroom door. I receive a string of insults--dumb smelly mean butthead mommy. Ignore the yelling and eventually she shuts up. Tuck in big M. Daryl and K return from soccer.
I sit down to check calendar for tomorrow, send some emails, etc., find myself reading interesting blog posts, and decide to write a post myself. During this time I review school papers and say goodnight to K and A.
I. is clearing counters and informs me that she will not wipe them because they are covered with ants. I sigh.
L. returns from soccer practice, very upset that his car handles poorly on icy roads, that his windshield wipers need replacing, that we never had his airbags repaired, that he feels sick and never had a flu shot (he was too busy) and one of his close friends is really sick with the flu right now, and that he is worried he won't do well on his chemistry exam tomorrow despite many hours of studying, especially if he feels sick. I issue Motrin, wash off thermometer and instruct him to take his temperature, and discuss the impact of the chem exam on his final grade, all while killing some of the ants, cleaning up crumbs and putting out some ant bait/poison.
Finish blog post and head to bed at midnight, soon to be awakened to do it all again!
Christmas Letter Part Two
6 days ago