Long time readers know I have been recording my time continuously for the last 5 months. It’s been fascinating (for me at least) to see the rhythm of my weeks. Some weeks are definitely more intense than others, and last week was one of those weeks. A lot can fit in 168 hours.
The week started Monday morning in our rental house in Florida, with the day mostly spent at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Between the Toy Story and Star Tours rides, and the various shows (Disney Jr,, Frozen Sing-Along, Indiana Jones stunts), that was a full day, with a trip to the house pool, a dinner out, and then fireworks at Magic Kingdom after. Tuesday we did Epcot (Soarin’!) and flew home to Philly. My husband helped me get the bags, and load the kids in the van, and then he stayed at the airport to fly to Europe. In the “plan ahead for tense moments” category, I’d hired a sitter to meet me at the house to help with holding the baby and entertaining the kids while I unpacked. This made what could have been a nightmare meltdown-fest much more reasonable.
Wednesday was my daughter’s first day of preschool (finally). She was happy as a clam and pretty much jumped out of the mini-van. No separation problems there. I drove to downtown Philly to record a public radio interview. I had lunch with my kids, then drove to Bristol, CT. I had a surprisingly reasonable dinner at the hotel, worked, and then enjoyed a night in which no one woke me up. It was awesome.
Thursday morning I went to ESPN, where Cari Champion interviewed me. I signed books, and drove back to PA. I made it to the elementary school open house, though I was so discombobulated by all this that I managed to forget it was trash and recycling night. Whoops. Guess the stuff will be in our garage for another week.
Friday I had the kids. I got the boys on the bus, took my daughter to school, then worked for 2 hours while the baby took a blessedly loooong nap. He and I went grocery shopping after, then picked my daughter up. We had lunch and I took her to her first dance class at the YMCA. It was so cute! She loved it, and has reasonable balance for a 3-year-old. We came home, and the baby took another reasonable nap, so I did about 90 minutes of work while she had quiet time. I had a sitter come at 4, and I waited for my 8-year-old at the bus stop, then went to pick up the 5-year-old at his first Lego Club, which he also thought was fantastic. My kids are in a lot of activities these fall, but they’re liking all of them, so that’s a plus.
With the sitter there, I went for a trail run, then traded off with her doing dinner and baths and a bit more work. My husband came home around 9 pm from his European trip. I worked some more — all in all getting in 6 hours on Friday, which isn’t bad for a day where I generally don’t plan to get anything done.
Saturday was not my favorite part of the week. My husband wound up driving one kid at a time to various sports while I stayed with the baby and the others, but the baby is just generally exhausting right now. The house isn’t baby-proofed (and will never stay that way even if we try) so I have to watch him constantly. I did get away with the 3 big kids to the nursery school ice cream social. They played on the playground while I chatted with other parents. We all went in the pool after, enjoying one of the last warm days. My husband and I attempted to have an in-home “date night dinner” after the kids went to bed, but they wouldn’t stay down, and the baby wouldn’t go down, so we were trying to let him cry it out. It was the least relaxing date night dinner ever.
Fortunately, the baby slept through the night — a rare occurrence these days, but a lovely one when it happens. I set my alarm for 6:20 and woke up with the alarm. Since the baby wasn’t up, I pumped, then met Lynda to run 8 miles. It was a beautiful morning for it — not too warm, with the leaves along the trail mottling a bit on the edges. I hadn’t run long in a while and I definitely feel it! I came home, showered, and got 3 of the kids to church while my husband took our daughter to soccer. We figured out the two upcoming birthday parties after, then ran some errands (cleat shopping) and went apple picking at a nearby orchard. We are now the proud owners of $60 worth of apples. We made a pie, and grilled, and I got the kids into their rooms at 8. They didn’t stay there, but I still managed to get about 90 minutes of work in.
Looking back on it, it seems like a pretty full week, from Disney fireworks to apple picking. I did some things to maximize time, like listening to the classical choral CDs in the car on my long drive. I’m glad I made strategic uses of extra sitting during the week to save my sanity. I’m still trying to figure out how to relax a bit more on weekends, but when the baby’s awake, that may be impossible for a while. Someday he’ll stop sticking everything in his mouth…
Photos: Photos by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images