I really can't believe that the first time I wrote a "day in the life" post was over 3 years ago. (Here is that link- the girls were12,10, 5 and 5 months!). It was fun to re-read and think about how much things have changed in 3 years which is why I originally intended to do one of these posts every 6 months or so! Oh well!
I decided in advance which day to post about in hopes that it would be a fairly normal day- it was. I'd forgotten that the last time I did this, Jason was also traveling. That's not intentional. Maybe I just have more blogging time when he's gone? Anyway, maybe next one, he'll actually be in town. Or maybe not. Actually, this trip Abbey also traveled with them. We hope that all the girls will be able to take turns traveling with him on various trips in years to come.
Anyway, back to my day. Thankfully, unlike the last post, I have nothing to write about from midnight until I woke up since I was quite asleep- that's a pretty big praise since I don't typically sleep that well when Jason travels and the girls have been taking turns getting sick.
So here it is, Monday November 3, 2014.
5:45 AM: My alarm goes off and somehow I manage to get up the first time. Throw on work-out clothes, put daily load of wash in machine. Grab handful of almonds while I finish fixing Naomi and Anabelle's school lunches. Wake Maddie up and tell her I'm leaving for the gym and make sure her alarm is set to go off for 6:30. Assure her that I will call to make sure they are awake and to talk to Naomi.
(I joined Crossfit in June and am still trying to figure out which class works best for our schedule- especially when Jason's gone. I like 6:30 AM because I get it done and it's only a 10 minute drive. If I go to one of the afternoon classes, the same commute has taken as long as 50 minutes! The downside of the morning class when Jason is gone is that Maddie has to get herself and Naomi up and get Naomi on the bus if I have a longer workout and don't make it home in time)
Head to the gym around 6:15. Call Maddie at 6:30 right before workout starts to make sure she's awake. She is. Remind her to get Naomi up at 7 and assure her I'll call back. (I can't even begin to remember what our workout was that day!) Call them again during a 2-3 minute break in the workout to make sure Naomi is up. Talk with Naomi and and tell her I'd try and get home before the bus gets her (shouldn't have done that- this 6:30 workout is not looking so ideal today!) Leave gym at 7:20 realizing there's no way I'll get back home before Naomi leaves. Try anyway and call Naomi at 7:30 to tell her to have a good day when I realize for sure it's not happening... She's grumpy but Maddie says she's been fine.
Arrive home at 7:35 barely missing Naomi's bus. Anabelle about knocks me over at the door- I love the way she always greets me like she hasn't seen me in a year! Plus, this means she woke up on the right side of the bed this morning- you never know these days! It's a good thing too, because this is her first day of school. How is it possible that the baby that was 5 months old last and riding around taxi's in a mobi baby wrap the last time I did one of these posts is now starting school?! We're leaving in 6 weeks for a 6 month period in the states and I am going to take Arabic classes (again!) for the last 6 weeks we're here so Anabelle is going to a little preschool around the corner from my school. We have a few other friends there, and she is SO excited. She's packed her back pack with a gazillion different things and is absolutely horrified when she finds the change of clothes I snuck into her bag at the teacher's request. "MOM, you don't take panties to school!!" Indeed. Allow her to unpack the bag and then sneak them back in. Not gonna fight that battle.
Look over the schedule Maddie has planned for herself for the day. (she and Abbey started Northstar online this year) Give her my approval and head out the door with AB. (I can't believe these pictures were less than a week ago and I was happily wearing shorts sleeves- it's COLD now!!).
Maddie took a first day of school picture for us. Anabelle is still super excited about school. (fingers crossed!). She has, after all, been talking about going to school ever since Naomi started back in September.
Realize on the way that I forgot to send her a water bottle. Stop at a small grocery on the way. Arrive at Bumblebee preschool and deliver Miss Anabelle. She marches in like she owns the place and doesn't look back. Head back to the van. Deep breathe in, deep breathe out. My baby just started school. Okay preschool. For 6 weeks. But still. No tears this time- I'm either good at this by now or too tired to be emotional- pretty sure it's the latter...
Arrive back home at 8:30 and check on Maddie who is making good progress and working away. Make sautéed veggies and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Take chicken out of freezer for dinner and soak cabbage. Make coconut/sunflower oil/ lavender mask for hair. I found this DIY mask on pinterest and I love the way it makes my hair feel and smell. I try and do it at least 2-3 times a week but usually not that much because I forget. The water here is awful on my hair plus I've been anemic- anyway, doing what I can! By 9:00 sit down with breakfast and hot tea and work on the bible study I just started- Beth Moore's Children of the Day study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. I'm only 2.5 weeks in but so far I love it!
Head back to the kitchen around 9:45 to put the chicken in the crock pot for dinner and finish washing veggies. Clean kitchen pausing every so often to think about how amazingly quiet the house is. Weird. But nice.
Dig Arabic books out of bedroom closet and figure out what to start reviewing before I go back to class tomorrow. The school I'll be going to has a different kind of curriculum but it's been so long since i've done class (2 years I think?) that any little review will help. Begin rearranging stuff on Jason's desk in the bedroom to make room for a study spot and remember that there are flowers in the living room left over from a ladies event that a hosted over the weekend.
Decide that will be a much better study spot...
Around 10:30 settle in with another cup of hot tea and my pile of Arabic notes from 10 years of on and off Arabic study. The Starbucks Memphis mug is my morning tea mug. That's my mug every morning. Afternoon tea can be in a different mug, but morning tea goes in my Memphis mug. Just because...
Realize around 11:30 that I've left coconut oil mask on too long already and head to shower.
Study for another 30 minutes before heading back to get Anabelle at 12:30. Most days she won't get out until 1, but I need to go early to pay and make sure we didn't forget anything major. Marvel again at how very quiet the house has been all morning- Anabelle must be loud! Besides the occasional check in with Maddie (who is still hard at work), it's been a very quiet, peaceful morning and one that I very much needed.
Finish paying at preschool and head home around 1:00. Anabelle talked non-stop the whole way home. Presumably she loved every minute of her day. It went something like this, "My teacher just readed me a story, and I played with all the friends and their names were Lilly and Maya, not the big Maya, but the little Maya, and I played on the slide, and I ate my lunch and it rained at my school, and I sang a song. And I speaked in Arabic and in Ainglish and in bonjour (french) (REALLY?) at my school." And on and on it went until we got home at which time she repeated the whole thing for Maddie not leaving out a detail and not missing a beat.
(Just to clarify: I said she presumably had a good day because if you've ever put a kid in school for the first time, you know that day 2 and day 3 are the more telling days. Well. Let's just say day 2 did not go so well. She pitched a full out screaming crying fit for pretty much the whole hour before we left the house on day 2. At one point she was standing in front of my full length mirror watching herself cry. Every so often she would stop and glance towards me and whimper, "are you still going to take me?" I'd say yes and the crying would start again. Before we left for the morning, she actually built a barricade of chairs by the kitchen table in an effort to prevent me from taking her. I was strong and didn't give in. Before you feel too sorry for her, she stopped crying the second I put her in her car seat and informed me that lovey should stay in her backpack and would I please inform her teacher that she didn't have to eat.. Well, if that's all it takes! When I picked her up on day 2, she was again quite happy and talkative about her day. AND, her teacher pulled me aside and said she had indeed been working with her in French because she seemed so interested in it! So I guess she was write when she said she's spoken in "bonjour"! ) Oh, and below is her unsuccessful barricade:
Anyway- back to our day. We got home from school around 1:15. Maddie was already having her lunch- BLT. I'm in the middle of a 40 day Paleo challenge at the gym which is unfortunately quite challenging when you haven't gone to the grocery in quite some time. I had picked up a few veggies the day before so I sautéed some cabbage and green beans and mushrooms with a little bacon. Sounds weird I guess but it was pretty good! Add an apple with almond butter and there's lunch. AB ate at school so she went to play in her room and was soon requesting that we have a tea party. Which we did, complete with British accents of course.
Naomi arrived home around 2:00. Mondays are their shorter day- she usually gets home more like 1:15 or 1:30 but it was raining which throws traffic into a complete uproar here. Yes, I said rain, not snow. Not even storm. Just rain. Naomi joined in playing with Anabelle so I was able to grab a few more hours of studying for Arabic.
Around 4, I headed back into the kitchen to finish getting dinner prepped. Naomi has tutoring on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-6 which makes for a pretty crazy evening and usually requires some sort of crock pot meal or leftovers or something that the girls can cook. Dinner plans included the chicken from this recipe which we had last week and loved (but I was out of cauliflower, tomatoes and cucumber so that wouldn't' work) with the cabbage and avocado layers from this recipe. The second recipe called for beef cooked with green chiles. Beef here is not great and I haven't seen green chiles in ages which is why we went with the chicken from the first. It was a really yummy combo that I would highly recommend. So before we left for tutoring, I got the cabbage ready and shredded the chicken in the crackpot and turned it off.
At 4:30, Naomi and I headed out to tutoring leaving Maddie behind with Anabelle. Our tutor during a non-traffic time, would probably only be about 10-15 minutes away, but at this time of day, we always have to allow about 30 minutes to get there. I brought my computer along with my Arabic to study and planned to just wait for her in the car. Sometimes I make a quick grocery trip while she's with her tutor but I needed so much that I just decided to wait. Plus, I didn't feel like messing with unloading groceries when we got home at 6:30 right at dinner time. Anyway, off we go. We got on the main street closet to our house and I noticed that traffic was ALOT worse than usual- and let me tell you, that's saying something! I realized we may be in trouble when a good 25 minutes later we were still just minutes away from our house. I texted Naomi's tutor that we would be late (don't worry we're in standstill traffic). Naomi and I had all sorts of deep conversation time which seemed to mainly center on food and why I am no longer buying chips, snack cakes etc etc. Seems that EVERYBODY else brings those to school and NOBODY else worries about eating healthy. I may or may not have gotten on a wee bit of a soap box with that one. But all in all, we did have some good mommy/daughter conversation time. We are now about 15 minutes late to tutoring, have been in the car almost 45 minutes and have still not gotten more than a mile from the house. Remember how I said rain makes drivers crazy here? That's all I could figure!! The traffic was completely and totally out of control. I called Naomi's tutor back and told her I didn't think we'd make it to her house- she then told me that she still wasn't even home from school and had left to go home at 3:30- this was almost 2 hours later. SOOOO, we talked about what Arabic Naomi needed to study at home, agreed that I'd send her Arabic teacher an email explaining that she hadn't made it to tutoring and we turned around and headed home. At 5:30, an hour after we left, we got back home and really hadn't gotten more than a mile from the house. I would say, "what a waste!" but I really think Naomi needed the quality time so it was worth it.
Even though we got home at 5:30 instead of the expected 6:30 after tutoring, I still managed to not get dinner on the table until around 7. While I finished in the kitchen, Maddie and Naomi played with Anabelle and did a quick straighten of the house. At the moment, it escapes me why exactly it was a crazy dinner hour, but all dinner hours around here are somewhat hectic and wild and I'm quite certain this was no exception. Especially since we had dinner around 7 and didn't get to our evening Bible reading time until about 8:15- chalk it up to dinner time craziness!
At 8:15 we sat down to have our evening Bible reading. Lately, AB loves to sit in my lap and turn the pages of my Bible and pretend to tell a story herself. It usually involves something about God and a captain and a princess- at least she's getting one of the characters right!
I've been having us read Colossians 3 over and over. The big girls are working on memorizing it, and the little girls key parts.
After bible reading, Anabelle led us in some songs. (she somehow has the idea that she is in charge around here...). We started out on the right track with "My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do, for YOU!"
...and somehow quickly digressed to a Frozen sing-a-long. (not before we got our prayer time in, though). It's a houseful of girls, what can I say?!
Unfortunately, the video of the singing is not wanting to upload- oh well! I eventually put an end to the singing (and dancing) and finally got the little people to bed. Maddie and I piled on my bed along with multiple loads of clean but unfolded clothes and folded clothes while watching the latest episode of Once Upon a Time.
Sometime not very long after that, I sent her to bed and crashed amidst the piles of folded clothes- you can do that when your husband's traveling and you have a king sized bed! It's amazing what can be stored on his side!
So that turned out to be a pretty typical day in the life. Hopefully I won't wait another 3 years before doing this again. I can't even think about the fact that in that amount of time, my baby baby will be in first grade and my big baby will be in college, and the ones in between will also be far older than they are supposed to be! Anybody have any tips for stopping time? It seems to just keep marching on!