"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Monday in the Life

I have been wanting to do another “Day in the life” post for a while now, but I can never find a good day.  Ideally the day that I blog about would be full of interesting things and would be on a day where I was particularly productive or maybe even just a day where I was feeling especially creative and witty or especially a day when I am doing something particularly pious.  Odd that those days are so far and few between… Winking smile

In the absence of a day like that, I guess that I will just have to blog about a very, very ordinary day.  If I really get my act together then maybe I will blog about every day this week in order to capture part of my last weeks in Russia. If anything it will at least help my insomniac mother get some shut eye.

5:45 AM: Wake up.  Its soooo bright outside this far north in the mornings during the summertime!  I want to go back to sleep… <roll over and conveniently forget that I had planned to get up and work out at 6 this morning.>

6:05 AM: Hear a little voice calling out “Mama, mama” from her room.  Ummm… no way is my little preschooler getting up at 6.  I get up and gently tell her its not time to get up yet and aim her back for her bed; spend a few half asleep minutes looking for her toddle alarm clock <Wonder why I have not set that darn thing up since we got back yet…>. Give up and head back to my bed to snuggle with Nick.

6:30 AM: Get up.  If I am going to do this stupid work out thing, I better do it. Its just that snuggling’s my favorite thing…  But I get up – its painful.  Get dressed. Put on Tracy Anderson.  OMGoodness.  I attempt to bounce, jump, kick and pretend that I have any semblance of rhythm or grace or inherent dance ability; try, try, try to internalize her advice not to be embarrassed and believe that one day I will get it… that is until my half asleep husband stumbles into the living room.  “Don’t look at me!” I shriek, only halfway joking, as he turns around and high tails it back to our bedroom.

7 AM: Head to Isla’s room and quietly open the gate, thank goodness she fell back asleep.  Turn to our bedroom to find Nick and Gemma snuggling.  I pick up my sweet baby and start to nurse her and ask Nick about his day.  We chat and then he goes to the bathroom to shower and get ready.  Isla comes in to find me in the glider nursing Gemma.  She promptly returns to her room to get as many books as she can carry and then asks me to read.  I happily oblige her.  I love moments like these, snuggling my two babies, meeting their needs – one for food, one for attention.

7:30: Its time to make breakfast!!!! I refuse Isla’s request for a 6th book, and change Gemma’s diaper.  I move to our living/kitchen area and lay Gemma down on a blanket on the floor.  Isla wants to help me make our breakfast smoothies.  It actually goes ok, but I keep having to stop to go and soothe Gemma who doesn’t like being left out. <I mentally wish that I had a baby chair for her, but they are all in the states and we can do without for 5 more weeks.>  Finally I ask Isla if she can go and pat Gemma’s back since I need to get this darn smoothie done before Nick comes out.  Oh LORDY, that was a mistake.  Isla has shown great initiative and turned Gemma over onto her back (not what I asked) and is attempting to sit Gemma up all the way.  Not being strong enough, Gemma falls over right smack onto the side of her little head.  Of course she isn’t hurt, just a little unhappy. I cuddle the baby, and we take her back to the master bedroom so Daddy can hold her. Thankfully that helps me finish the smoothie in 2 minutes.

8 AM: We finish eating our smoothies and Nick asks me about the workout and what did I think.  Teases me (of course) and we figure out lunch plans.  Finally we tell him we love him, kiss him and he heads out the door and off to work.  I set Isla up in Independent Playtime/Room Time for an hour or so while I go and take a bath and get ready.  I want to clean the kitchen or make the bed, but I need to pay some bills and return some emails first.  Occasionally Isla calls me from her room to help her with something.  I have just started cleaning the kitchen when the timer goes off and Isla wants out.

9:30: Independent Playtime is over and although I want to clean the kitchen, Free Play is NOT what Isla wants to do.  At first I resist, my dirty kitchen countertops nagging at my conscience, however I eventually succumb to her adorableness.  We play with her Noah’s Ark set and I tell her the story of the ark and get out several of her children’s bibles and read the ark story in them.  We also get out her counting cards and work on counting exercises – she is getting sooo good at counting!  I am so proud.  Finally, even though she protests, I tell her I need to go and check the clock because its almost time to get Gemma up.

10:30 AM: WHAT??? It’s 10:30, I was supposed to wake Gemma up half an hour ago!  I wake her up and feed her in the living room while Isla plays with her easel and reusable stickers. Somewhere in there Gemma has a blowout all over me, her blanket and of course her clothes so I clean that up.  Those darn reusable stickers are NOT sticking, so Isla and I head over the kitchen to rinse them in soapy water since that is supposed to help them stick again and realize that I still have NOT finished cleaning up the kitchen.  Gemma is really fussy so instead of cleaning up; I opt to sit and hold her and cuddle her instead.  Win-win.  She is really the sweetest baby.  Isla continues to play with her easel and reusable stickers.

11:30 AM: It’s lunch already?  Gemma’s ready for her nap, so I put her down.  I take stock of our kitchen and decide on grilled cheese and prunes for Isla.  Awesome combination.  I say that I am doing the clean out the pantry exercise, but really its Isla that is cleaning out the pantry. Its nice to have a toddler that does not have an ounce of food snobbery in her. Somewhere in there I finally finished getting the kitchen cleaned up, only to have it get dirty again.

12 PM: Nick calls and we discuss the water delivery, and him stopping by Lenta for diapers and wipes on his way back from the work site.  He offers to do all the grocery shopping there, I waiver, wanting to be a strong, productive woman, but the siren song of no trip to the Russian supermarket with a busy three year old and a baby strapped to my chest is just too great.  I give in and tell him I’ll send him a list by 3:30 PM.

12:15 PM:  I hang up the phone and change my mind.  No, we will go when Gemma gets up! Nick works too hard to have to be in charge of all of the grocery shopping too.  Isla wants all of my attention, as usual, but I need to get a few things done, so I make her an offer she can’t refuse – I say we can put on the TV for her to watch.  Of course she accepts the TV, and I pop in Mega Mind.  I sneak into the master bedroom and make the bed without waking up Gemma and come back out to clean up the living room and kitchen. Then I get out the flax seed that I have been needing to grind up and get that done.  I organize a few play dates and respond to a friend’s request to get together and text my friend Li and offer some of my ground flax seed to her.

1:00 PM: I wake up Gemma, nurse her.  The water shows up without the warning call that I had been told I would receive.  Thank goodness I was home because we are completely out of water and otherwise they probably wouldn’t come back until tomorrow. Gather up our stuff and make it out the door by 1:45.

2:00 PM: The girls and I walk to Tabriz sans stroller.  This is a bold move on my part.  We are nearing Isla’s nap time and she is not a walker; I’m a little proud of myself for living on the edge.  Since we are carrying everything home I shop for only the bare necessities.  Isla runs willy nilly all over the store, but really does try to listen when I correct her or give her a direct command.  She is sooo busy.  She needs something to capture her attention at all times or she wonders and starts to touch and grab!  We walk up to the cashier and Isla helps me put the food on the conveyor belt.  I go to reach for my wallet and realize that I never put it back in my bag after I bought the water!!! Oh no.  Oh no!  Completely embarrassed I inform the cashier in Russian that I cannot pay and offer to take the stuff back to the shelves.  She’s clearly not happy, but also not rude about it either.  I leave the store – dignity in shreds and my girls and I all walk home.  Its going to be a couple of days before I will be able to go back in the store. Pride goeth before fall.

2:30 PM: Get back home and put the girls down for their nap.  Gemma wakes up after a short nap and fusses off an on for the next half hour.  I blog and only get up to 1:00 PM!  Seriously, why does blogging take me so long?  I can’t believe I didn’t even make it up to the present at that moment time. I also email my expanded grocery list to Nick, who now has to do all of the grocery shopping at Lenta Sad smile.

3:30 PM: My good friend Li stops by for the flax seed.  She’s expecting her first child and we chat about child related stuff.  I bring out Gemma a little early since she’s clearly not interested in sleep and I realize she’s hungry… growth spurt??? I feed her. Isla wakes up and I snuggle her awake while we talk some more.  This would be the only time that my busy little girl is in the mood to snuggle and I take full advantage. We keep chatting, Gemma has another blow out… what’s with this girl?

4:30 PM: I start to cook the rice for dinner.  Li is Chinese, and not to be cliché or stereotype, but she actually knows a lot about cooking rice (for real).  She comments on my old school style of cooking rice and says it looks “scary” and offers her rice cooker. I accept.  We decide to do a challenge to figure out which rice turns out better.

5:00 PM: Nick is home and I start dinner.  We chat with Li about the new Chinese food restaurant in town; Isla is being pretty naughty, continuously interrupting and being loud (I know she wants attention but I cannot always have my attention on her) so she gets sent to Independent Play time (this is not a punishment).  I am sooo glad that I started IP.  It comes in really handy at times, especially when we have company over. Without it I would probably get frustrated at not being able to carry on an adult conversation and Isla would be disciplined.  This way I just have to kindly announce its time for Independent Playtime and she happily follows since she’s used to it and I get to talk in peace!  Li leaves and we put Gemma down for a cat nap.

5:30 PM: Gemma wakes up HUNGRY.  That’s an hour and a half early so now I know it’s a growth spurt.  Nick holds her off with a binky for 10 minutes just because I am smack dab in the middle of making dinner (Cuban black beans – yum, yum) and I can’t stop until I get all of the ingredients together and simmering.  Finally I nurse Gemma; Nick plays with Isla and a little stencil toy she got in a chocolate egg.  We sit down to eat finally.

6:30 PM: Bath, lotion and massage time, bed time.  It takes a while.  Its fun but tiring.

7:45 PM: Nick and I clean up the kitchen. Gemma wakes up, I nurse her, she gets put back to bed again.  Isla keeps coming to door with requests trying to delay sleep Smile.  We work on taxes and pull together some documents for the house.  I read a blog or two.

9:00 PM: Finally it seems that all kids are asleep.  Nick puts on the Mentalist, which he loves, I’m like whatever about that show so I sit down to finish this blog post. Whoops!  Spoke too soon. Gemma is awake and we take turns trying to put her to sleep again; I nurse her again.  She’s clearly tired, but just struggling.  Bless her heart.  This is not like her. I admit that I am a little annoyed since I prefer my evenings sans children, but she still gets loved on because she’s so darn cute.  Nick finishes the Mentalist and I go to put on our favorite show, only to find out its not working. Boo.  We bring out Gemma since she’s so fussy and just wants to be held.

10:00 PM: Gemma falls asleep in Nick’s arms while I blog Smile. I suspect we will watch a little more TV and then off to bed!

Phew, that took a long time.  Maybe I won’t do that again tomorrow or ever again!  I just don’t know how to be succinct when I blog and I feel fairly certain that only my mom will read this whole thing!


  1. I read it! I am taking any insight I can get into life with 2 kids since that will be me in 5 weeks!

  2. I love this! I will do one tomorrow in return, although it is a weird day with final exams and such. Still, you can get a peak into our lives, too. I really loved seeing your routines and your tiny victories and defeats. Amazing how similar all of our lives are in spirit.

  3. Of course I read every word, I love that you record so much, love you sweet daughter.


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