Wednesday, October 19, 2011

so, what did you do today?

Staying home is: fill in the blank.

wonderful, hard, rewarding, thankless, fun, days at the park, days in the laundry room, frustrating, easy, etc. Whatever you may think, it's a job and it has it's ups and downs. Some days are productive and rewarding, others you go to bed feeling like nothing was accomplished. During all the madness, there are great moments and challenging moments taking place constantly.

Not very often, but sometimes, I get a not so awesome question or comment from my husband when he walks in the door: "Looks like a tornado came through here!" "Still in your pajamas, I see. Rough day for you, huh!?" "So, what did you do today?" Sometimes it's not even serious and more of a joke because I know he kind of understands (kind of), but even in those times, it makes me think..."what DID I do today!?" I know I was busy all day. I know I didn't watch much tv and the only time I'm usually online is on my phone while I'm nursing Norah. (that's what my life should be called these last two months...Nursing Norah would be this chapter's title if my life were a novel) SO, my response to Jason's greeting is often, "You know, I should write it down sometime and I bet you'd be surprised".

Guess what I did this Monday!?!
You don't have to, here it is, my Monday at work as a Domestic Engineer:
  • 630a: Nurse Norah & diaper change (what is wrong with the darn remote? not working...hate directv!)
  • Unload clean dishes from dishwasher, load dirty dishes and put away air dried hand washed dishes while my coffee brews.
  • Boys wake up and come downstairs: supervise diaper and potty/hand washing.  Get them breakfast, cut fruit, make toast, etc. I clean up while they eat and alternate taking turns screaming some obscure sound that they have determined to be hilarious and I find brutally annoying. I try to stay sane as they eat and I attempt to make them use their manners or sit in timeout.
  • Diaper for Mason, leaked out of disposable diaper (I wasn't on top of the diaper laundry and he had to wear one) so I have urine-soaked sheets waiting for me upstairs.
  • Norah fusses in her vibe chair, so I need to change, swaddle and walk/bounce/shhh her to sleep now...she makes you work for nap time most days. Meanwhile, the boys are playing and watching cartoons (dumb remote, again). I attempt to pour and sip coffee as I stand in front of the microwave fan trying to get Norah to sleep in between trying to discipline toddler arguments of sibling rivalry and sharing pushing and shoving and yelling going on in the living room.
  • Once Norah is sleeping, I go back and forth several times trying to get her to remain asleep in her crib. The monitor is my enemy. During a couple trips to and fro, I throw together a crock pot main dish for dinner. I go back and forth several more times before she remains asleep in her crib. It has taken so long, that now she's due to eat very soon and will be awake in no time.
  • Wash diapers! Cycle #1 is going now.
  • Get boys dressed for the day...nevermind the fact that I'm in my pjs, I'm not going anywhere today, right? Just pray that nobody comes by unannounced or some boyscout knock on my door to sell popcorn to the loony pajama lady.
  • 1030am: Hurry up and get the boys lunch before the bus comes. Good think ham and cheese is a favorite. A cooked ham will supply weeks of lunches and he loves it.
  • Re-start the diapers for cycle #2 while the boys eat.
  • Wash faces and hands, put on socks and shoes, grab jacket and backpack.
  • Pack snack in Will's bag to send to school...good thing I randomly remembered the reminder that was sent home last week.
  • Change Mason's diaper while we wait for the bus... Will's off to school, now what!?
  • Attempt to sneak in some playtime with Mason - stack some cups and try to teach colors. 
  • Remembered the wet sheets - strip bunk beds and wash sheets! Hang the diapers to dry.
  • Norah is crying now, time to nurse...but I let her cry while I bring up a figure-8 of train tracks from the basement for Mason to play with in order to avoid more tv time. That was short lived.
  • Nurse Norah while Mason watches Toy Story...dumb remote!
  • Change batteries in the remote...success.
  • Charge the rechargable batteries...and line up the other dead ones to rotate through the charger today.
  • Make top bunk with extra sheets while Norah is happy. Top bunks are not fun to make.
  • Work to get Norah to sleep; fan, bounce, shhhh, swaddle, sway, etc.
  • Get online and order a birthday gift for my niece. Wow, look at that...Mason is playing with the train set I brought up...success.
  • Put away basket of clothes that's been sitting in the boys' room for days and pick up books, toys, etc.
  • Mason gets a snack, book, and nap. Both kids are sleeping so I have to go into super speed productivity mode...
  • Rotate bedding laundry. Hang the pictures that have been sitting on the counter for weeks. Put away baby books that I finally got caught up on. File random paperwork & bills that have piled up on the entry table. Call HVAC company about the free services we should be getting this Fall for being premier customers - scheduled visit. Call customer service at hospital to have them resubmit claims now that Norah is officially on our insurance. While on the phone, I keep an eye out for the bus to bring Will home - he's home now...that means it's 3:00
  • Will's snack time and 5 minute chat about school while I change out the rechargeable batteries.
  • Mason wakes up crying. Change diaper, get snack, little snuggles.
  • Norah wakes. Nurse Norah & change diaper - while nursing I read to Mason as he sits on my legs/ottoman).
  • Help boys put on socks, shoes, jackets, potty & diaper change before sending them outside to run in the yard.
  • 430p: Tone & zap Porter as he's barking at people and the neighbor dogs while I finish shredding the chicken and making the rest of what will go with dinner, set the table, do the lunch dishes, empty recycle can & check on boys.
  • Get Mason a small snack (hasn't ate since lunch at 1030 and is crabby when hungry)
  • Norah is up and crying, but I gotta rotate I rotate laundry one handed and give her a laundry basket ride in the clean laundry to the living room.
  • 500p: Nurse Norah while clipping coupons. Jason arrives home, says "IT LOOKS LIKE A TORNADO WENT THROUGH THIS PLACE!" (no joke. seriously said that on this day.) and vomits his workday to me and the biggest issues he came across. I quickly solve all of his work problems with what seem to be obvious answers...he then emails his committee members almost exactly what I told him as though it was his own idea (again, this really happened, seriously). As I finish nursing, Jason eats supper with the boys and goes outside with them.
  • I eat alone while bouncing Norah to sleep in her vibe chair with my foot (wow, that was easy this time!)...then, I proceed to clean up the leftovers and do the dishes again.
  • Rotate laundry again (now we're dealing with regular laundry also), fold & put away clothes, make bottom bunk bed after using the long kitchen tongs to retrieve several McQueen cars that have fallen in the cracks. Put on workout clothes in hopes that I have enough energy to at least go walk for 30 minutes. Forget running or anything...I'm beat and average 4 hours of sleep per night for the last 2 months!
  • 715p: Nurse Norah while Jason does bedtime with the boys. When he's finished, I run out the door to workout. I get home and shower as fast as possible before Norah wakes and wants to eat.
  • 1015p: Rotate laundry, rotate batteries, empty the dishwasher, make tea to drink as I now fold/stuff diapers.
  • Final laundry load, fold & put away and off to bed at 1135p.
  • 2a: Norah cries, change and nurse Norah.
  • 6a: Norah cries, nurse Norah.
Keep in mind, this does not include things like Dr appts, grocery shopping, cleaning the house in any way, picking up the yard, picking up toys, daily doggie maintenance, no bathtime, etc. I'm not even sure if I ate lunch that day. I know I've left out a million other things that fall under the Domestic Engineer job title, but that's not why I wrote this. I just wanted to prove to myself more than anyone else, that I DO DO things. (Ha, like in that episode of do, love that Chandler). I do little stuff and great big important stuff. So, if you think "what did I do today!?" just try to write down your every move...see, you do stuff...

If you actually read that, I'm sorry. I had to do it for myself...and you'd better believe that Jason will read through it once. :)  He truly does know that it's not easy staying home and will say it almost every weekend when he takes on more of the domestic/childcare duties and gets frustrated in the first 30 minutes...but I'm not sure that there's a true understanding of what goes on in the day-to-day and I don't think there ever will be...but I think this gives a glimpse!

Finally, I just want to clarify that all of this may seem like complaining - it's not. It just is what it is. Everything is necessary and done each day because I love my family and everything simply needs to get done so they can live the life we've come to know...batteries need to be charged so that Buzz Lightyear can zoom across the floor and diapers and dishes are a necessity. I try to do chores thinking about why I'm doing it - try to put a little TLC into it. Try thinking about that when you're rotating laundry next time! For me, I guess one or two of the 'ups' makes it worth it. I caught about 4 big smiles from Norah, tons of kisses from Mason, and great conversation with Will and witnessed awesome dance moves to Footloose on that Monday, also!

So, in closing...
Cheers to mi familia!
Love all you dudes, and of course, my little nursing Norah.

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