July 7, 2010

a day in the life

Welcome to the start of a new series (or at least what I hope to be a series) on the blog. As a new mom I am curious about what other momma's out there are up to everyday, whether they are working, staying at home or something in between. Every Wednesday I hope to be able to share the day of a different mom. I've contacted a few bloggers (who are moms) and though I only have next weeks post lined up thus far, I've had several interested ladies. Each mom may format her post a little differently, but the idea is to present a day in her life.

I warn you, this is a long post. I am starting the series off with a day in my own life, but I suppose I should touch on something first. Some of my friends and family already know, but shortly before Ryann was born, Chris, my parents and I decided it would be in my best interest not to return to work at the preschool. A variety of reasons brought us to this decision... For one, the cost of daycare is pretty steep, especially compared to the amount I was making as a preschool teacher. Also, my invitation business was gaining clients, and I worried that I would be completely stressed out trying to find time after work to spend with my daughter, spend time with my husband, complete my invitations and sneak in something I enjoy.

It was a tough decision. Though I always dreamed of being a stay at home mom (or a work from home I guess), I worried that I would be lonely, or bored, or regret not working. I enjoyed seeing the girls at work everyday, and lets face it, after having 10 12-24 month olds love on you and talk to you and make you laugh everyday, the thought of hanging out with one infant all day everyday is a bit, well, sad for lack of a better word. But for now I am happy to be home with my daughter, and watching her grow and reach different milestones. Somedays are definitely challenging, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Now, onto a day in my life... Honestly, I couldn't come up with a generic post paraphrasing a typical day at my house, because it has been so different the past couple of weeks. Chris had a week off, Ryann's schedule has been completely unpredictable, and we spent a few days in Topeka. So I opted to just document a single day. Here you go!

7:09 am: The wiggle monster is going crazy in her cosleeper next to me. I'm going to take that as, 'hey mom. i'm awake. you should be too!' I groggily rub my eyes and pull her into the bed with me. (I know, after 7, not so bad you would think. BUT, Ry decided for the first time in a long time that she had no desire to be swaddled therefore she was restless for oh I don't know, five hours last night) Ry gets a diaper change, and I feed her a morning bottle. Then the two of us hang out in bed for a while and chat, which is probably one of my favorite parts of the day.

I um, didn't shower yesterday (sorry) so today was definitely a must, which means Ryann hung out in her bouncer for 20 minutes in the bathroom, so I could get squeaky clean. After I was dry, I took Ry out to the family room to hang out with her 'friends' (lay on the playmat), with a brief stop in her room for a diaper change and some booger sucking. She chatted it up with the frog while I threw on some clothes (ok black stretch pants and a t-shirt, I'm not going anywhere) and not so happily cleaned up the cat puke I found on the carpet. Seriously, whichever one it was, was inches away from the hardwood floors. Help a girl out, could ya? By this point it is about 8:45, and some yawns and fussyiness let me know she is in need of a nap. So I wrap her up in a one armed swaddle, rock her to sleep, and put her in the swing.

9:11 am: During the first nap of the day I do a quick 'pick up crap' sweep of the house, grab a doughnut and some orange juice (healthy, I know) and park my bum in front of my computer. I use this time to read through my blog roll, do some blogging of my own, and check facebook. Highly important daily to-do's, I promise you! I've discovered if I don't take a little time to zone out in the morning with something that makes me happy, (like reading blogs) I get a little cranky. Some people need their morning coffee, I need my morning internet. It works. After I indulge myself, I click open inDesign to start working on some wedding invitations for a client.

9:47 am: Apparently my baby chewy (we've taken to calling her that because of what she sounds like when she talks to us sometimes) decided on a short morning nap, and proceeds to babble at me from the swing. I save what I'm working on and head over to get baby girl. Putting Ry down for a nap can be one of the most annoying/stressful/difficult parts of the day, but when she wakes up she is generally all smiles, which makes it all worth it. We head to her room for a diaper change, and I get her dressed for the day. She then hangs out in the crib with her owls and her seahorse while I make a bottle.

We head back to the family room and she eats. Then she hangs out on my lap for a little while so she can 'digest'. Ry is a very spitty baby so I try to keep her calm and upright for at least 15 minutes after she eats. We usually talk or read a couple books. After a bit she hangs out with her 'friends' for a little while so I can start a load in the dishwasher. Then it is time to hang out in front of her mirrors and do a little tummy time. Its only been a little over an hour when Ry goes from my happy little baby to extremely fussy with no warning. So I take the short morning nap into consideration, wrap her up, and we head out onto the porch to rock on the bench. It works like a charm and calms her down.

11:30 am: Ryann is down for another nap so I head into the kitchen to make lunch. I'm not all that hungry, but honestly her naps are so inconsistent right now that if it is anywhere close to lunch time I seize the opportunity to eat. I make myself a cheesy bagel, and enjoyed it with an apple and some lemonade. Then it is back to the computer to work on invitations. After I have exhausted my creativity capacity for this work session, I go downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, and put away the two loads that were clean.

2:04 pm: Baby girl starts stirring in her swing. Usually after a long nap it takes her a little bit to wake up, so I let her hang out for a few minutes. It is pretty hilarious to watch actually. There is lots of grunting, face scrunching, leg kicking... We change a diaper and have a bottle. Lately Ry has been showing some signs that she might want more ounces at a time, so I gave her a five ounce bottle. She downed the whole thing! And then spit up... but that isn't unusual so I'll go with it. Of course after she ate she decided to stink up her pants, so we changed another diaper, and then went back to the family room to hang out. I sang her some songs, we played on the floor some more, practiced sitting in the bumbo, a little tummy time, and she was pretty much spent. Just before 4, while I was rocking Ryann Chris came home.

I am feeling optimistic, so after she fell asleep I put her in the crib, turned on the white noise bear, and crossed my fingers. It lasted ten minutes. We watch her on the monitor for a couple minutes to see if she just might fall back asleep, but no such luck. She just starts babbling to her owls. Chris got her out of the crib and attempted to rock her, but she tried to claim she wasn't tired. So he went off to study, and Ry and I bounce and rock for another 30 or so minutes. Ugh.

4:56 pm: Ry is finally down for another nap so I do a little more work on invitations.

5:25 pm: Nap = fail. Or it was a cat nap I guess you could say. Chris hangs out with his daddy's girl while I finish up what I was working on. He changes her dipaer and I make a bottle. She was acting like she was hungry, but only ate half the bottle. Who knows... Chris and I take turns hanging out with Ry while the other one eats some left over spaghetti, all while watching an episode of Heros on Netflix.

After the show is over Ry and I play some more. Unfortunately Soph picks then to start puking in the family room again. Chris cleans it up, heads to the living room, only to find more. I don't know what is wrong with our cat, but she has thrown up oh say 7 times in one day? That is a bit ridiculous. Chris studies, I play with Ry a little more, and realize she is getting a little tired. We head out to the porch to rock for a little bit.

7:37 pm: Ryann is asleep again. I'm really starting to wonder if we should move her bedtime way up to like 8, so we would start the bedtime routine at 7:30, but I don't know how to fit all of her feedings in, nor do I know if she would really go down for the night at 8:00. Sometimes I really hate how much unknown there is about this raising a child thing. I do a little more work on invitations and the blog.

8:18 pm: Baby is up again, so we start the bedtime routine. Chris gives Ryann a bath, then I lotion her, get her in pajamas and give her a bottle. Tonight was a little rough, for some reason she got really upset after the bath, so the rest of the routine was difficult. Sometimes if she is really sleepy, she passes out after she eats, but not tonight. So we read our bedtime books (right now it is 'How Do I Love You' and 'Night Night Little Pookie') and then I rock her to sleep. Whew.

9:44 pm: Ry is finally in her cosleeper (hopefully) for the night. I come back to the computer to put the finishing touches on my blog post.

9:52 pm: I hear Chris go into our room. Ry is NOT sleeping. Seriously? I spent at least 25 minutes rocking her. She was OUT! I head back into the room while Chris rocks Ryann. It doesn't take long before she is sleeping again. This time for good. I decide I might as well stay in there and go to sleep. Good night!

Here are some questions I am also asking my blogging mommas:

What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mother?
When Ryann was born I didn't feel instantly connected to her, and that absolutely terrified me, I thought something was wrong with me. But now, when she wakes up in the morning and smiles at me, my heart melts, and I am so happy she is my daughter. It took a week or so for me to feel that connection, but now it is so strong. I'm madly in love with her.

What are some tips you would give to new or soon to be mommas?
Do what works for you. Its your child, your life, run with that. What works for someone else might be completely the wrong decision for you. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. The second week we were home from the hospital I called my mom crying because it had been a rough night. She drove an hour just to hang out with me so I could try to nap, and so I didn't go crazy. I don't know what I would do without her. Lastly, remember all babies are different, and they change quickly. My little girl who would sleep anywhere, anytime no matter what for the first several weeks, is now quite particular about the sleeping situation.

What are your top three baby products?
a playmat or play gym, halo sleep sack with the newborn swaddler, and a boppy

If you would like to be a part of the 'a day in the life' series, please leave your blog address as well as a contact e-mail in the comments!


Amy said...

Hi Ashley! What a cool series! I would love to be a part of it.

My blog:


Jenn said...

Great idea! Ryann is so cute. I think I'll tackle this challenge next week!



emily said...

loved reading this :)

Dana said...

what a great idea :D my blog is www.twolivecrew.blogspot.com and my e-mail is dmlivingston@ymail.com

I am going to try to attempt this :D

Dana said...

Oh and I am going to answer your questions on an extra post today!!

The Bignon Family said...

Hi! I am a new follower and enjoyed reading this! Your little girl is precious! My blog is http://babybignon.blogspot.com/ and my email is kristine_bignon@yahoo.com. I stay at home with my 3 and a half month old little boy!

Aja said...

This is a great idea! I'm pregnant with my first baby, so I loved reading what you and Ry do all day long! She is just a doll!

Mrs. D said...

Wow. What a great post! I literally read & took in every word. I find it so interesting how mom's breakdown their days with new babies.

I'm due in Sept. & so scared how I am going to set a little routine for baby. I guess it's all trial & error!!

Pigeon said...

I'd join in the fun :-) Email is lisacapasso{at}yahoo. My blog is www.trappedinnorthjersey.com.

Amber said...

I would love to be apart of it.

Life is an Adventure said...

I would love to contribute! My little one was born April 1.


Carey said...

Love this idea! I'm a new follower and new mommy as well! I would love to take part in this series. My email is careyandjon@hotmail.com and blog www.careyandjon.blogspot.com

Thanks! And I'm tackling this for my post tomorrow! :)

Anonymous said...

Count me in too!


Nikki said...

This was such a great read. I am a mommy to a 4 year old and 4 month old. It's always fun to see how other mothers spend their days. I would like to take part in this series too.

Tara said...

I would love to do this. My blog is private so I understand if that is a dealbreaker. I have 2 girls - ages 2 and 6 months. I work part-time (half in the office and half at home) and my husband travels for work 4 days a week - may bring a little different perspective in if you want it. My email is taraandjeremy@gmail.com and if not, no worries, I'm super excited to read all sorts of other mom's days!

S. Anderson said...

I would totally be up for it!



Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife said...

Love this! I've been wanting to do a blog post about this forever, but haven't gotten around to it! Maybe I could do a post for your series?

Also, I wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for an award that I'm passing on! Pop on over -> http://stefibeth.blogspot.com/2010/07/award.html

B Walker said...

This is amazing Ashley! You are so creative and although I'm not a mommy, I love hearing about you and your little girl. What a better way for people to share what works for them and to let them know they are not alone.

Awesome!! :o)

Meredith said...

This is a great post Ashley--I love that you did one particular day, even if it included things that weren't normal, like the cat puke (ps- my cat has been puking lately too, and it is SO irritating!).

Also, I realized that I TOTALLY didn't mention changing Lizzy's diaper in my post, but I totally do! LOL!

Baby Mama said...

I would love to be part of this series too! I love reading them every week!
MY blog:


Boni said...

I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have been hooked ever since! I LOVE these "Day in the Life" posts. They are so interesting to see how everyone goes throughout their day.

I am a working Mommy of 3 little girls and would love to do this post if you are ever looking for new participants.

Our blog: www.btwilli.blogspot.com