Day In The Life: Monday, May 28th 2018
My husband works for a company that has clients all over the world. His current client is US-based, meaning that he travels from Monday to Thursday. Daniel leaves the house bright and early on Monday (well before the kids awaken) and returns late Thursday (well after the kids have fallen asleep). Because his client and team are American, he does not have the luxury of Canadian statutory holidays. He does, however, get time off on American holidays which means he was home on Memorial Day (May 28th). This was a blessing because he was able to join us on a "regular" day with all of our typical activities, but also a curse because we didn't actually get to enjoy a day of just being together as a family. Read below to see what a jam-packed Monday in our household looks like:
6:30am: The gentle babbles and soft cries from Linden are almost deafening at such an early hour. Daniel lumbers out of our bedroom and makes his way downstairs to prepare a bottle for Linden. This is probably one of the biggest negatives to our new 2 story house: the trek downstairs in the early morning hours. First world problems, I know, but at 6:30am the steps seem almost endless. Daniel warms his milk and delivers it to the wailing babe. Linden is instantly quiet; he drinks his milk and drifts back to sleep without any further complaint.
7:20am: Like clockwork, Maelle bounds into our room thrilled to have Daddy home for an extra day. We cuddle together in bed and watch cartoons for the 10 minutes we have before we must wake Linden. Although we are exhausted, this is one of my favourite parts of the day. Having a special few minutes, just the three of us, as we delay the inevitable start of our day for as long as we possibly can.
7:30am: We have to wake Linden up by 7:30am or else squeezing in his two naps gets to be challenging. Linden is on the verge of transitioning to one nap but we aren't ready to bite the bullet just yet. As such, we are forced to wake him so we can ensure that he has enough time between naps and bedtime. On the weekends, Daniel takes on the task of waking up the kids and doing the first hour of the morning with them. Although I rarely fall back asleep, it is nice to have some time to myself after a week of constant Mom-duty. Daniel willingly takes on this responsibility, soaking in every minute he has with the kids. Note: the line between willing and begrudging is paper-thin.
8:00am: Maelle watches some cartoons as she drinks her morning milk. Linden, on the other hand, doesn't buy into the whole "start the day easy" vibes that we try to promote in our house. Instead, he chooses to grab the remote from his sister, change the channels, open the recycling, take everything out of the recycling, throw a fit when daddy shuts the recycling, knock over the tent in the playroom, climb the coffee table and of course persist no matter how many times we redirect him to something safer and more productive.
8:20am: I can hear the chaos that ensues downstairs. From furniture being rearranged by Linden, to dance music blaring so Maelle can shake her thing, to the paws of Lulu slipping on our floors frantically trying to play with anyone who will humour her. I love this buzz that I can hear as I drift in and out of sleep, or scroll through my phone. It is so rare that I am the observer. I am normally in the eye of the storm - the one frantically trying to empty the boat ineffectively as it fills with water. From here though, the crazy doesn't seem all that bad and in fact, it sounds pretty happy.
8:30am: Daniel feeds the kids breakfast. Maelle has pancakes, strawberries, and sausage. Linden has yogurt with chia seeds, applesauce, and honey. I finally decide to rise, make the bed, and get ready. I take my time. Something that I am not normally afforded the luxury of.
9:00am: Breakfast has finished and I make my way downstairs. I start a load of laundry so that Daniel has what he needs for his trip later in the day. Maelle goes and gets ready for her class and I do her hair up in a ponytail, adding a bow on the top of her head to complete her signature look.
9:30am: Linden goes down for his first nap of the day. Daniel puts him down and then makes his way to our room so he can get himself showered and dressed for the day. During Linden's first nap I always make it a point to play with Maelle (half the time she is at school and a quarter of the remaining time we have playdates scheduled so this isn't an everyday activity for us). I don't check my phone or open the computer. Today, she wants to play bunny. I am the baby bunny and she is the mommy bunny. Too often I am annoyed at having to take part in Maelle's imaginary games. But, when I take a step back and think about how quickly this will pass, and how she won't want me around in the future, I remind myself to embrace her spirit and enjoy making her happy with such a simple act.
10:40am: Daniel wakes Linden up from his nap. Poor guy rarely gets to sleep until he naturally awakens. Instead, he is abruptly pulled from whatever sweet dreams he may be having, changed, and whisked into the car to ensure that we are on time for whatever is on the docket for the day.
10:50am: We are loaded into the car ready to make our way to Maelle's gymnastics class. Maelle has a snack and Linden has milk.
11:10am: We arrive at her class with 5 minutes to spare. Maelle heads into the gym while we find seats in the viewing area where we have a clear sightline to her but are also close enough to the baby toys so we can keep an eye on Linden. Unfortunately, we do a terrible job watching Linden and about halfway through the class, he falls from a table he has climbed up on. There's a reason why he's always sporting some type of bruise on his head. Some would say it's his clumsiness and others a lack of parental supervision... I like to believe it's the former. He screams but I am not entirely sure if he is more upset from the fall, the fact that we laughed at him, or because we picked him up and removed him from the play area momentarily.
12:05pm: Maelle's class ends and she rushes out with as much enthusiasm as she had going in.
12:15pm: We attempt to sunscreen the kids and change them into their swimsuits in the parking lot of the gymnastics centre. I feel like this is such a typical thing to do as parents; trying to save time by doing things the hard way. Who would possibly think that lathering kinds in sunscreen and then wresting them into their bathing suits would best be done in a car in 29-degree heat? Only a mom who wants to save time!
12:45pm: We arrive at Fish Creek to wade in the water, have some food, and take a little time to enjoy each other. By this, I mean I go with Maelle into the water while Daniel takes Linden to a shaded area to eat. Feeding Linden while he walks around is like trying to herd a cat. I watch from a distance as Daniel chases Linden around spooning noodles into his mouth. By the time Linden and Daniel actually make it to the water we have all of 15 minutes left before we need to be in the car to make it to our next activity. Such serenity!
1:20pm: We are back in the car. I drop Daniel and Linden off at home and Maelle and I take off for her swim lesson.
2:00pm: Daniel finishes feeding Linden and puts him down for his nap. I told Daniel to also nap while Linden sleeps and, as always, he partially listens. Before taking a nap, he spends 25 minutes responding to emails. Daniel is taking a red-eye to Toronto and onto Boston, so getting some sleep now will be much needed. Maelle has her swim lesson and loves every minute of it. She finishes the class by going on the waterslide and taking a dip in the hot tub.
2:30pm: We rush to get dressed and out the door.
2:45pm: We arrive at Maelle's hair appointment with barely a second to spare. She gets her hair trimmed and the lady cutting her hair says "you sure talk a lot" and Maelle responds with "I only stop when I'm sleeping." I burst out laughing at the hilarity and the honesty of the statement.
3:30pm: Maelle and I make our way home and take some much needed time to relax.
4:00pm: I wake up Daniel and Linden and we decide to take a family walk (Lulu included). In retrospect, this wasn't the best choice in such hot weather. The air seems heavy and we move slowly with a stroller and a 3-year-old who a) never stops talking, b) is playing some sort of imaginary game and c) gets distracted every 5 seconds.
4:30pm: We stop at Starbucks and Maelle announces that "she needs a steamed milk because it's hot out so she needs a hot drink?" You didn't misread that... that was her exact reasoning. And with such sound reasoning, how could we possibly refuse?
4:45pm: We walk to the pet store and pick up a new collar and a few treats for Lulu.
5:00pm: We head to M&M Food Market and pick up a quick dinner we can make tonight.
5:30pm: We arrive back and home and the daily bedtime routine rush kicks in. It goes like this:
6:00pm: Dry off, moisturize, pyjamas, and hair.
6:15pm: Dinner for the kids. Seaweed salad, rice, and sausage for Maelle. Turkey soup and yogurt for Linden.
6:30pm: Wind down with a show and a snack. Mango for Maelle and milk for Linden.
6:45pm: Books, bathroom, and teeth brushing for Maelle. Linden wanders around, climbs furniture, yanks cords out of the sockets, pulls clothes out of drawers, plays with the toilet brush and causes general chaos during this time. We kiss Maelle goodnight, Daniel says a last goodbye, we give her a last sip of water, put on her white noise, and then leave her to sleep.
7:00pm: Diaper change, sleep sack on, and book reading begins for Linden. He has become obsessed with the story Llama Llama Red Pajama and kisses the pages as we read. It is adorable but also makes me question why he refuses to kiss us so often but never refuses a kiss for Llama.
7:15pm: We turn Linden's white noise on, shut off the lights, give him the last kiss goodnight, and lay him down to sleep. By now Maelle is fast asleep.
7:30pm: It is bittersweet on the nights Daniel leaves and the kids have finally been put to sleep. A sense of calm as another day draws to an end but a small seed of trepidation is planted in me as I know the next few days are all on my shoulders. Such is the season of life right now for us. So we embrace the chaos and make the best of what we have. We eat dinner together and enjoy each other's company, catching up on what's to come for the week, and watching sports together.
8:00pm: I head down to the treadmill to run while Daniel heads up to the bedroom to shower, shave, and finish his packing.
8:45pm: I head up to the bedroom to shower and get ready for bed while Daniel heads back downstairs to pack his work bag and finish up some last minute business.
9:30pm: We meet back in the living room to enjoy the final hour of peace before Daniel takes off for the airport. I had the brilliant idea of getting a treat at M&M - Bumble Blossoms. Daniel, who doesn't really like deserts, inhales his portion before I am even halfway through mine. Consider that a stamp of approval.
10:30pm: Daniel's Uber arrives at our door. We say our final goodbyes for the week. This is definitely the hardest part of a traveling job. It is the time before the actual week starts that I dread most. Once my alarm goes off on the first day Daniel is away, routine kicks in and I settle into the groove of what has become our day-to-day life. Daniel's career change has come with many sacrifices, but it has also brought us many blessings - least of which being Daniel's job satisfaction and happiness. It's hard work for both of us but it is nothing we can't handle.
10:35pm: I settle in to watch the season premiere of the Bachelorette, fast forwarding through the majority of it.
11:45pm: Daniel calls to tell me he is through security and waiting to board his flight. I let Lulu out one last time and then head to bed, ready for whatever comes tomorrow!