September 22, 2010

a day in the life - lisa

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I'd like you to meet Lisa from Trapped in North Jersey. I hope you enjoy a peek into her daily life!


Hi, I'm Lisa, and my blog is Trapped in North Jersey. My husband and I have three kids; Greg, age 5, Peter, almost 3, and Princess, 14 months (not their real names). Last year we moved from southern New Jersey, outside of Philadelphia, to northern NJ, right outside NYC. The Mister had been commuting from Philly to NYC every day for the previous two years (2.5 hours one way). We tried to sell our house, but he accepted that job riiiiiiight as the market crashed, and so selling our house took a lot longer than we thought. We now rent a spacious upstairs apartment from my wonderful in-laws while we figure out where we'd like to buy a home up here.

Here's a pic of my babies: Greg, Princess and Peter. I tried for 10 days to get a picture of all three children smiling and looking at the camera. It didn't happen. At least no one is screaming in this picture.

2 am to 5 am: Princess is getting four molars and has been waking repeatedly. I don't get much sleep lately.

5:40 am: Greg comes in for a morning cuddle.

6:20 am: I wake up when the Mister puts the Princess in bed. She crawls over and starts pulling my shirt down. "Num num!! Num num!!!" I nurse her for a bit and chat with Greg while the Mister gets up and starts getting ready for work.

6:40: I'm already running late. Throw on some running shoes, brush my teeth, tell the Mister I'm leaving for a walk. On my way out I hear Peter in his crib "A little help in here??? A little help in here, pweese??" I detour to his room, find he has peed everywhere. Arg! Running late! Change the diaper, fresh clothes, change the sheets.

6:48: Out the door for a short brisk walk. It is becoming clear now that school has started I need to get up earlier, or I don't have enough time for exercise. But I get so little sleep as it is, the thought of willingly getting up at 5:30 in the dark in order to exercise is depressing.

7:15 to 7:30: Back home, hop in the shower. Beauty routine: moisturizer with sunscreen, partially blowdry hair. Done. I am clean, that's about as exciting as it gets. Children are screaming and banging on the bathroom door.

Its kind of chilly out this morning, so I look for pants in the pile of fall clothing I brought in yesterday from the garage. What, I have no pants? I brought in clothes for everyone but myself? This was poor planning on someone's part. I put on shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Apparently I only have dainty summer-weight elbow-length cropped sweaters in my closet. Sigh. Put on a short sleeve sweater. Must rectify this situation today.

7:30: Lunch was made last night, so I take it out of the fridge and put it in the lunchbox. Make sure folder and lunchbox are in schoolbags, everyone's coats and shoes by the door.

7:34: The Mister goes to work. Put a bowl of oatmeal for myself into the microwave. Try to trick children into eating breakfast. Yogurt and chocolate cake for breakfast! They gobble it down. Joke's on them! Its chocolate ZUCCHINI bread!!! Made with a weight Watchers recipe! Bwuhahahahaha......

7:45 Get everyone dressed. The crying begins. We are on day four of going to kindergarten, and Greg is slooooooow to accept change. "I won't go! I don't want to! I want to stay home with youuuuuuuuuuu." And so on for the next hour.

8 am: Let Greg watch 10 minutes of tv before leaving. Pack up diaper bag, I need to run errands when we get back.

8:06 Pull oatmeal out of microwave. Have four minutes to eat it. Wish we had not run out of blueberries. Oatmeal is much tastier with blueberries. Choke down dry plain oatmeal. Think to myself that I need to get up a lot earlier, because this frantic pace in the morning is not something I enjoy. I like to sit down and have a leisurely meal, read some blogs, check my email...and that is not going to happen unless I get up earlier. Gah.

8:10 to 8:24: Put coats on kids, grab bookbag and diaper bag, go downstairs and out Grandma's house to get the stroller in the garage. Put kids in stroller, toss diaper bag in minivan, walk to school. Greg has still not stopped crying or telling me how much he doesn't want to go. We have our daily pep talk; new things are hard and scary, but when you get used to them they get easier and more fun. You can't get used to something unless you do it all the time, therefore you have to go to school every day so you get used to it and learn to like it. Greg is not impressed with my pep talk. He thinks it sucks, actually.

Tried to get a pic of the three of them, but as usual, Greg will not allow his picture to be taken. That's him hiding behind the stroller.

Thank goodness that drop-off is finally on the playground instead of inside the gym. The only handicap entrance to the school is locked in the mornings and it is difficult to get the BOB stroller up all the stairs into the school. Greg starts wailing in earnest when we hit the playground and glues himself to my leg.

8:40: the teachers come out and bring the kids in. Peel Greg off my leg, hand him over to his teacher, kiss goodbye, see you at 3! He stops crying as they walk in the building and I see him chatting and smiling with the teacher.

Walk home, toss the younger two in the minivan, off to run errands. We need a specific toothbrush as a part of Peter's speech therapy. No one seems to carry this special toothbrush. Should we go to the small, crappy Target near our house that never has anything, or the Target with the great selection that is far away but means we will sit in bridge traffic on the way home? (We live very close to the George Washington Bridge into NYC).

I decide to go to the good Target, because then I can also return some stuff in the mall attached to the Target. We get on Route 4, drive for a bit, make a mental note that the bridge traffic is backed up pretty far and I should take a different way home....and come to a complete halt and sit for a while. Usually traffic jams up a bit further, not all the way back here....arg. Get off Route 4, remember that there is another Target (also not a good one, but can't be too picky here). This Target also does not have the special toothbrush, but I manage to spend money anyways.

Peter is obsessed with the Buzz Lightyear display found at most Targets---he asks to go see it at least once a day---so we stop in the toy section.

10 am: Done, back out the door, put Peter in his carseat. He freaks about wanting to buckle himself in. Okay, okay, you do it. I turn around to see a nice lady catching my 1 year old who has climbed out of the cart (she was strapped in! I swear, no straps can hold this little Houdini) and is perched to do a swan dive onto the pavement. Thank you, nice lady in the Target parking lot!

10:05 Can see that Route 4 is still backed up, so we take a back way home. I am not that familiar with this area but I remember my mother in law taking me down this other road, so I will try that. We get lost. Drive around for a while before figuring out where we are.

10:30 to 12:15: Get home, make and eat lunch (pastina with Grandma's delicious meat sauce.) Princess goes down for a nap at 11:15 while Peter plays in the playroom. Peter helps me eat my salad for lunch, and then goes down for a nap himself at 12.

12:15 to 2: Blessed silence. I fold some laundry, clean the kitchen, clean off the dining table, generally pick up, sort some mail. Finally, I can read my blogs and check my email. I have a Honeycrisp apple and surf the innernets. Keep an ear out for the Princess. She usually wakes up at 12:30 but today gets up at 1:30. Woohoo!

2 to 2:40: Wake up Peter, play for a while. Keep Peter sans pants, as I usually do lately when we are at home. Potty training exactly going so well.

2:40 to 3:15: Put the kids in the stroller and go get Greg at school. Come home and have a snack. I promised Greg we would play with the Wii this afternoon. I try to convince him to go to the park, but he wants to play video golf. Weirdo.

4:30 to 5:30: making dinner while the kids play in the playroom. Pasta with pesto, an arugula salad with tomatoes from our garden, some good bread.

6 pm: Kids are allowed to watch an hour of tv before bed. They take turns picking the show. Greg is getting very frustrated lately because Peter ALWAYS picks the movie Toy Story 2. Always. Princess wants to nurse but its like trying to nurse a spider monkey on a sugar high. She literally climbs over my shoulder to nurse.

7 pm: Bedtime! Brush teeth, pjs, potty, bedtime stories. The Mister comes home around 7:15ish most nights and reads stories to the kids. After a few stories I nurse the Princess and put her down while the Mister puts the boys down.

8 pm: The kids are usually asleep, although Greg is staying up later and later lately. The Mister has some dinner, we chat, watch some tv. I am not a huge tv watcher; I usually catch up on blogs and write posts for my own blog while sitting next to the Mister.

9:30 to 10:40: Pack a lunch for Greg, clean the kitchen, run the dishwasher, switch over the laundry, pick up the playroom, do general clean up, brush teeth, get in bed. Princess wakes up, nurse her back to sleep. Get into bed. Laying in bed I realize I forgot to get myself some fall clothes out of the garage. Finally get to sleep myself around 11:15.

1. What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mother?
My kids have such amazingly different personalities. And that means the tricks that worked with the first kid don't always work with the second kid.

2. What are some tips you would give to new moms, or soon to be mommas?
a) Pick your battles. Currently Greg is in a very argumentative mood. So for things like getting dressed (I use this approach with all my kids), as long as they are attired in a seasonally appropriate manner, I don't care what they are wearing. (I pack away things I don't want them to wear, like shorts in January.) Stripes and camo? Two pairs of underpants? Different sneakers that don't match? Knock yourself out, kid. I save my arguing for things that matter, like yes, you have to wear a seatbelt and stop beating your brother.

b) Take some time for yourself. I'm a much nicer person when I get my daily morning time to eat breakfast and surf the internet. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

3. What are your top three baby products?
a) I love love love my BOB Duallie and Maclaren Twin Techno double strollers. The BOB is great outdoor stroller that we use every day on walks, and the Maclaren is better for indoor activities.
b) My Cuisinart mini food processor. The only baby food I buy is pureed fruit. Otherwise I puree whatever we are eating for dinner.
c) This hands-free bustier made pumping much easier.


Thanks so much Lisa!

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