Make-believe cameras followed my family around on Monday, February 15, 2016 to document every single mundane moment of our day. Here is a glimpse into a single day in our lives.
Jillian wakes up. I groggily watch her move around on the monitor, willing her to fall back to sleep. She doesn't. I grab my big, ugly, pink robe and trudge into her room, grab her out of the crib, plop into the rocking chair and feed her until she falls asleep in my arms. I ever so delicately lay her back in the crib and creep out of her room and fall back into my bed, trying not to focus on how much time is left before my alarm goes off and how many more times the baby may or may not wake up.
Jillian stirs. I open one eye to peer at the monitor. She isn't fussing. I close the eye and promptly fall back to sleep. She must have, too.
Jillian stirs again. I open both eyes, confused that the clock jumped forward an hour an a half from the last time I was awoken. The baby rarely puts herself back to sleep. It's like a mini miracle. Surely it won't happen again. I close my eyes, waiting for Jillian to start fussing.
My alarm goes off. I'm still in my bed. Alone. No baby. I fell back asleep again. I check the monitor. Jillian is passed out. It feels weird to wake up without a baby in my arms, soaking my shirt with her sweat, my fingers tingling. I've grown used to cuddling the wee hours between four and six a.m. with her.
I force myself out of bed. It's time to start the day.
Baby is awake and greets me with a smile from her crib. Apparently she's much more of a morning person than me. Coffee!
I wake up Spencer, set a Poptart on his night stand, and dress Jillian on his bed while he dresses himself for Kindergarten. Then we settle on his bed together to read, one of my favorite times of the day. Neither of us are quite ready to face the day, and our story time is a nice segue from sleep to waking.
We head upstairs. Spencer gathers his backpack, puts on his winter gear and waits for the bus to pick him up outside of our house. It's too cold in the winter to wait outside, so we watch for the flashing lights in the distance to warn us the bus is on its way. As soon as Spencer is outside, he yells, BUS! BUS! Apparently the bus driver assigned him the task of alerting the neighborhood kids since he can yell the loudest. Spencer takes his job very seriously. I watch from the window as he boards the bus, sending out little prayers for his day away from me.
Ashton is still fast asleep. Sometimes he wakes up early and joins us downstairs for a story and the bus farewell. Other days he sleeps in. Jillian and I enjoy some quiet time. Her on her activity mat; me with some coffee.
Finally, I wake up the sleepy-head. It takes him a few minutes to orient himself, but then he's back to his usual high-energy self after a few bites of cereal. I put Jillian in the highchair to be with us during breakfast. Ashton is unusually clingy this morning and wants to sit as close to me as possible. It's both endearing and smothering. While Ashton is still eating, I scour through the baskets in the laundry room to locate a Batman shirt. I lay out his clothes and then clean up the breakfast mess while he dresses.
Lugging his backpack and jacket, Ashton heads to the van to buckle himself in. I'm right behind him with Jillian in her car seat. It's a nipply 18 degrees out.
We arrive at Ashton's preschool. He locates his cubby and hangs up his stuff. We hug and say our good-byes. I sigh out of relief. I covet the few hours a week during preschool where my house isn't buzzing with contained energy.
Back home I ready Jillian for her nap, but she decides she isn't quite ready just yet. We play a bit on her bedroom floor before trying again.
She's finally out. I gingerly lay her in the crib and tiptoe out of her room. I know my time is limited, so I waste none and make myself comfortable on the couch with coffee and leftover Valentines brownies and settle in to watch Downton Abbey.
Jillian wakes. This is her thing. She doesn't last long in the crib during the day, but she isn't ready to wake up either. I grab her out of the crib and bring her downstairs with me. She nurses and passes back out.
Dave came home from work with a migraine, so I am able to lay a sleeping Jillian back in her crib to continue her nap while I pick up Ashton from preschool. Back home Ashton sorts through his Valentines Day loot from his friends. He lost his "fun privileges" which include treats, so he contents himself with the non-candy prizes, like bubbles and Playdoh.
We sit down for lunch. Jillian is still asleep. I debate whether to wake her so it doesn't bleed into her afternoon nap and throw off her whole schedule. She rarely sleeps this long for her morning nap. After lunch Dave heads back to work and I decide it's time to wake up the baby.
Ashton does a Math worksheet. I've recently discovered these are the perfect educational activity for him. They are short enough for his antsy body to sit through and they have an assortment of learning opportunities, from tracing to circling to coloring to counting and number recognition. It takes approximately five minutes and then he asks for Playdoh, which he plays for a good 30 minutes.
We get ready for nap time, which for Ashton means playing quietly in his room. Until recently he was allowed his iPad, but that is one of the revoked "fun privileges" and staying in his room becomes a game.
I try to get Jillian down for her afternoon nap, but the long morning snooze has left her wide awake. We play on the floor again to tire her out.
She nurses and passes out on the boob, only to poop. After changing her, she is wide awake again. I bring her downstairs where we rock until she is lulled back to sleep. I decide against putting her in the crib and cuddle her instead.
After Ashton comes out of his room for the second time, I lay Jillian down in her crib to continue her nap. Ashton and I play with monster trucks for a while before he decides this isn't high energy enough and we switch to superheroes.
The bus drops off Spencer and he ever so slowly makes his way up the driveway. He's happy to report that it was warm enough to play outside for recess today. While he sheds his winter gear, I get the boys a snack and we sit down to do homework. Ashton gets out the Playdoh again and attempts to sit quietly while we work. He's usually pretty disruptive and sent downstairs or to his room a handful of times during homework time. Today he manages to be respectful and Spencer lets him play an apple counting game he brought home from school.
With homework done, the boys spread the Playdoh toys all over the table and content themselves until supper time. This is a nice change of pace from them running circles around the table and the constant bickering. Jillian wakes shortly after and I set her up in the exersaucer while I attempt to tackle a basket full of clean towels.
Dave is home from work. He finds me in the kitchen preparing supper one handed while holding Jillian. He takes her and helps the boys clean up the Playdoh mess.
We sit down to eat supper. We eat obnoxiously early. Sometimes even before 5:00. Lately we've been holding hands to pray to encourage the boys to participate. Otherwise they're stuffing their faces with food. Tonight supper is uneventful. No kid loses the privilege to eat with us. Some nights they carry their plates to their rooms and eat alone.
Dave cleans up the supper mess while I go downstairs to balance the neglected checkbook and pay bills. The boys play quietly behind me. This is Jillian's fussy time as it's inching closer and closer to her bedtime. Daddy doesn't cut it when she's cranky, so she's fussing. I hurry through my work while Dave rocks her in her room with the sound machine on. He already got her ready for bed.
After making the rounds through the house so everyone can say good-night to their baby, Jillian and I sit in her dark room with the sound machine canceling out the noise from the house and we wind down for the day. She nurses, but isn't content to fall right to sleep. She's fussy and it takes a bit to convince her sleep is what she needs.
Jillian is finally asleep in her crib. I make my way to tuck in the boys, but they're already fast asleep. Most nights they're waiting up for me and we cuddle and talk for a while before saying good-night. After the long day, I'm a little relieved. I'm ready to sink into the couch with some M&Ms and relax.
9: 03 p.m.
I crawl into bed next to my snoring husband and am asleep within minutes.
Jillian wakes. I grab my big, ugly pink robe and trudge into her room, grab her out of the crib, plop into the rocking chair and feed her until she falls asleep in my arms.
I crawl back into bed, yell at Dave to quit snoring. He tries to escape my anti-snore ranting by going downstairs to sleep on the couch, but I tell him he needs to stay in case Jillian wakes up again. Tag, you're it. I pass out within minutes. I don't hear Dave's snores and Jillian grants us all sleep. Amen.