I’ve been trying to write in my journal regularly, partly because I want to record these early days of life for my son, and also because I’m trying to figure out new rhythms and routines. Big life changes always change routines, and a new baby counts as a big life change. I’m trying to figure out what habits I can maintain now, and what need to wait for later. Yesterday was a pretty good day, given that I’m trying to use my lower workload, coupled with more-than-full-time childcare, to do some other things I might not normally do, like the field trip (and massage!). Here’s what yesterday looked like.
4:50 – 5:20 AM -night nanny (C) wakes me up to feed baby. Read email on phone while I feed.
5:20 – 6:45 – ease back into sleep. Hear gurgling at 6:45 (baby is back in my room; C gone).
6:45 – 7:05 – shower, dress. Baby is back to sleep.
7:05 – 7:25 – make myself eggs with leftover veggies. Coffee. Read and have quiet breakfast.
7:25-7:45 – oddly, everyone still asleep. Go to computer and answer interview questions for a publication and revise day’s to-do list. Wonder why I don’t hear husband in shower (he’s been sleeping in guest room while I’ve been waking up in middle of night to feed).
7:45 – 8 – hear baby screaming, get kids, then realize husband is actually not in the house, having departed before I woke up. We exchange emails later about whether we’d talked about this or not. In any case, I’ve got 15 minutes of chaos trying to hold off baby who wants to eat while getting other kids their breakfasts.
8 – Nanny (P) here, she holds baby while I deal with 3-year-old’s temper tantrum that I didn’t make her breakfast first, this despite her not telling me what she wanted, while her brothers did.
8:10-8:30 – feed baby while surfing web (P supervises other kids getting ready).
8:30-8:40 – take 7-year-old to bus. Discuss multiplication while “ice skating” on driveway.
8:40-8:50 – back inside, make 5-year-old’s lunch. Pour more coffee.
8:50-9:10 – finish feeding baby (who is still hungry) while P takes other kids to preschool.
9:10-ish – hand over baby, start work.
9:10-11:40 – solid work time (well, with a few minutes to do hair and brush teeth). I do revisions of a Fortune web piece and work to help them find art and approve excerpt that will run in print mag, write draft of review of The Great Beanie Baby Bubble, assist another newspaper with a story about productivity that needs case studies. After: grab lunch (yogurt, banana)
11:45 – 12:05 – pump, say hello to 3-year-old (P picked her up), get into car
12:05-12:10 – drive to preschool/kindergarten.
12:10 – check in for field trip. Learn that illness has so decimated the kindergarten class that my carpool will be combined with another parent’s. A chaperoning father, who is an ER doc, reports that January’s flu has given way to February’s stomach bug in terms of his patients. Lovely. Say hi to 5-year-old, talk to his and 3-y-o’s teachers, get ready to go.
12:30-3:00 – kindergarten field trip to Fairmount Water Works. We learn about how flushed water gets treated. Thank goodness it does! My kid knew that water in our showers and sinks comes from the river. I learn how a fish ladder actually works. I follow the building’s plants on Twitter during a slow moment (@tweeting_plant). Head back to school after tour and art project.
3:00-3:15 – check in, drive home, email.
3:15-3:30 – baby is asleep so I pump.
3:30-3:45 – say hello to 3-year-old, grab snack (not a virtuous one).
3:45-4 – drive to Massage Envy, check in.
4-5 – massage. Ah… This is why I bought the membership! I now do this monthly. She uncovers some serious tension in my upper back.
5-5:15- drive home.
5:15 – 5:30 – baby is finishing bottle. Email, write this. Say goodbye to P.
5:30-6:15 — kid time! Play w/3-y-o and baby. He is cooing and smiling! We missed each other! My daughter plays dress up with some of my old dresses from childhood.
6:15-6:35 – husband takes lead on making dinner (pasta with meat sauce). I rock baby, run interference on kids, help put stuff on table, supervise 7-y-o’s online math homework. No meltdown tonight. This is progress.
6:30-7:05-ish — family dinner. This isn’t a Norman Rockwell thing. People have to go potty, others just go missing and have to be hauled back to the table, there is no clear ending. 7-y-o refuses to eat tomato but elects to eat 4 baby carrots instead. I decide this is acceptable. Baby starts fussing. He may be tired but I get sick of rocking him.
7:05- 7:30 feed baby. This always works. Read e-mails re my audio book, my website, and a great blurb for the next book.
7:30-8:45 — mess o’ kid time. We got the kids’ snacks, baby ate again, big kids into PJs. C comes at 8:30 and I go upstairs to give goodnight kisses, read stories, and show 7-y-o how to do 2-digit multiplication. He is fascinated.
8:45-9:10 – treadmill! Get a bit over 2 miles in. I’m slow, recovering from this cold. The glass of wine and pasta dinner earlier didn’t help.
9:10-9:30 – upstairs, have smoothie, talk with C for a while (she has gotten baby down – how does she do that??), head upstairs and nudge boys back into their beds.
9:30-10 – read (Better Than Before advance copy)
10-10:10 – pump night bottle
10:10-10:20 – in PJs, brush teeth, wash face
10:20-10:30 – read, then lights out! Slept until 5:10 feeding.
Photo: Fish of the Schuylkill River