January 12, 2011

a day in the life - nicole

Happy Wednesday all!  Today you get the pleasure of meeting Nicole and her little bean Nora.  I hope you enjoy a day in her life!


Hello bloggers!  I'm Nicole from life by nicole and am so excited to share my day with you!

I'll start with a quick intro.  My Hubby and I have been married for three years and we became parents for the first time on August 19, 2010 to Nora.  We are so in love with her!  Who wouldn't be in love with this face?

Life sure has been different and busy since Nora's arrival but the transition has been a wonderful and rewarding one.  I was so lucky to have 10 weeks off from work when Nora was born and even luckier to have my sister and my mom come and each stay for a week after I started work so Nora didn't start with her sitter until she was 12 weeks old.  Since I'm a working mommy, I thought I'd share a day in my life during the work week to show how we balance it all but still have lots of love time for Nora.

5:40 am - My alarm goes off.  Hate this part of my day.  Once upon a time, before baby, I used to get up around this time to run before work.  I haven't done this since a few months before Nora was born.  I have been cherishing every second of sleep!  I jump into the shower and start to get myself ready for work.  Hubby follows shortly.
6:30 am - Hubby and I are completely ready for work.  Lunches are made and car is packed with my work bag and Nora's diaper bag.  We have time to pour ourselves a cup of coffee and glance at the paper.
6:45 am - Time to wake up Nora.  Some mornings, Nora is up and stirring by this point but many mornings we have to be the one to wake her.  I hate disturbing this peace.

6:50 am - We head downstairs and give Nora a bottle.  She typically gulps this right down.  My Hubby and I rotate feedings.  The mornings he feeds, I dress and then we switch the next day.  This allows each of us some time in the morning to eat breakfast, read the paper, or get some last minute things ready.
7:05 am - Bottle is finished, baby is burped, and it's time to get dressed for the day.  I try to have her clothes laid out the night before so the change can be a quick one and I can spend some time singing and talking to Nora.  She is awake, full, and happy and will babble and talk to us while we change her.  I love this time.
7:15 am - Time to load up for our trip to the sitter's.

7:30 am - Arrive at the sitter's.  We LOVE our babysitter.  She is wonder-woman.  Nora is so happy at her house and we know that she gets tons of love and excellent care.  Nora also loves watching the other little kids...makes for a busy day and a tired girl at the end of the night!  I chat for a bit with the sitter, kiss Nora goodbye and head off to work.
Here's a look at my day and Nora's day:
7:55 am - Arrive at work{I work at an elementary school as an instructional coach.  After teaching first grade for four years, I decided to take on this challenge.  For the past four years, I have worked in this role and wear many different hats.  I work in my building with teachers and students.  I model lessons, plan with teachers, teach with teachers, get resources, and also do a lot of work at the district level like working to align curriculum and providing professional development.  My day is never the same.}
8:00 am - A teacher stops in to chat.  She asks me a few questions about curriculum but we also chat about what we did over the holiday break.
8:25 am - Morning dutyI let students inside for the day.
8:30 am - Nora is ready for a quick catnap
8:40 am - Back in my office, I have a few minutes to check emails and send responses.  I look at my schedule for the day.
9:00 am - Nora is up from her catnap.  Ready to lie on the floor for some tummy time.
9:00 am  - Meeting with my principal.  Typically we meet in the afternoon but I have another meeting this afternoon so we had to reschedule.  We discuss the classrooms I have been working in and plan upcoming grade level team meetings.
9:45 am - I plan with the fourth grade team.  We work on their reading and writing plans.  Our goal is to mesh the two.  We have some success and I leave them to gather resources for their instruction.
10:00 am - Nora has a 5 oz. bottle and goes down for her morning nap at 10:30 am.
10:40 am - It's planning day!  I'm now off to plan with the third grade team.  We are focusing on their reading plans and work on a way to build in some weekly test preparation into their reader's workshop time.
11:30 am - Nora is up from her nap.  Time for the bumbo!
11:30 am  - Back in my office to quickly check my email and work on an agenda for an upcoming meeting.
12:15 pm - I head to the lounge to eat some lunch.
12:45 pm - Grab some professional books and do some research for an upcoming meeting.  See something that would be helpful to the fourth grade team.  Flag to share at our next meeting.
1:00 pm - Nora has another 5 oz. bottle.  Goes down for her afternoon nap at 1:30 pm.
2:00 pm - I head to another elementary building to plan an upcoming professional development session with some other instructional coaches.
3:30 pm - Nora wakes up from her nap.
4:00 pm - Nora has another 5 oz. bottle.  Plays on the floor and waits for Mommy to come pick her up.

4:30 pm - I pick Nora up from the sitter.  My favorite part of my day.  I chat with the sitter about her day, load her up, and head home for the evening.
5:00 pm - Nora and I get home and my Hubby is waiting for us.  We take Nora out of her carseat and head upstairs for a diaper change.  Some nights we do tummy time, others we lay on the floor with toys and books.  Some nights we head down to the kitchen and Nora gets some time in her stationary activity centers while my Hubby and I do a few things.  She tries the jumperoo while I throw her diapers in the washing machine.

She sits in her bumbo while I start preparing dinner.

We try to exersaucer while I switch the diapers to the dryer and pack her diaper bag.  Sometimes she gets tired.

6:45 pm - Rice time.  We just started trying to introduce rice cereal to Nora.  This is what she thinks of it:

7:00 pm - By this time Nora is one tired cookie.  We head up for her bedtime routine.  Bath time is first.  We take time undressing her and getting her ready for her bath.  She is extra smiley.  I think it's because she knows she gets to take a bath, which she loves!  We head into the bathroom, let her admire herself in the mirror and into the tub she goes.  After some washing and lots of splashing, she is ready for some lotion and her jammies.  After bath time it's bottle time.  She takes another 5 oz. before bed and lately has been so exhausted she falls asleep while eating.
7:45 pm - Bottle is finished and it's time for bed.  We put Nora into her sleep sack, lie her in her crib, give her a clean burp rag (she loves to hold these close to her face) and her pacifier, and kiss her goodnight.  We sometimes hear her fuss and babble for a bit but she is usually out within 5 minutes.
8:00 pm - Dinner time!  Just as we do in the morning, Hubby and I rotate bedtime and cooking duties.  After dinner we clean up and have a few hours for ourselves.  We watch TV, I read some blogs, we talk, and hang out on the couch.
10:00 pm - Head upstairs to watch the news and go to bed.  Love this part of my day!  So tired but need some good rest to start over again in the morning.
That is my day...not too exciting but think Nora adds some flair that wasn't there before.

Answering Ashley's questions...
What is the most surprising thing about being a mother?
How hard it is!  Most people tell you the stellar moments so I think many people have an ideal and somewhat unrealistic expectation of what motherhood is like.  IT IS HARD WORK!  While it is definitely the most rewarding work I have ever done, it took me some time to realize that there wasn't something wrong with me when I was struggling my first weeks alone.  Time is a blessing.  The older Nora has become the more fun I am having with her and the more confident I am in myself as her mother.
What are some tips you would give to new moms or soon to be mammas?
Do what works best for you.  Before having kids, it was easy to look at someone and think oh, I'll never do that!  Be careful...because you probably will!  I have learned not to judge anything other moms do.  You quickly learn what works to make your little bambino (and you) happy and content.  And whatever you decide is the right thing.  If you want to breastfeed, great.  If you decide it's not for you, that is fine too.  If you wish to stay home with your baby, that is wonderful.  If you need to work, that is totally acceptable.  You want to put your baby down asleep?  Good!  Willing to let the cry it out for a bit?  A-okay.  Decide what works for you and go with it.
What are your top three baby products?
1) A swaddle sack.  This was a life-saver for us.  Nora was fussy when she was a bitty baby.  Some nights the only thing that calmed her down was being tightly swaddled.  We used one of these from birth until about two days ago.  We just started the swaddling weaning process.  This has helped our little girl learn to calm down and sleep well.  A must-have product.
2)  Heavy-duty burp cloths.  If you have a spitter, like we do, you will want something that soaks it all up.  These might not be the cutest burp cloths but they are the most efficient I have ever seen and used.  So nice and big, fitting over your shoulder, lap, or whatever you need to protect from that unpredictable spit-up!  Nora loves hers so much she cuddles up with it (a clean one) during naps and bedtime.
3) Carter's Onesies.  Love both the boy and girl designs.  Perfect for layering under short sleeve onesies and soft enough to be worn by itself.  Look back up at the pictures in this post.  I guarantee you'll see them!
Thanks for reading!  Nicole

Thanks so much for sharing Nicole!


Nicole said...

Thanks for letting me share, Ashley! It was fun!

The "L" in ELF said...

Wow Nicole! I feel like I could have written most of your post. I also believe that my son is the perfect match for Nora! Lol. They are so much alike! Thanks for sharing.

Kristy said...

I love this blog series! I love seeing into other people's day to day lives.

Also,I recieved the stylish blogger award and I am now passing it on to you! You can check out my blog to pick it up.

misc.alaina said...

It is nice to see the day of a working mom! I am going to be returning to work in less than 2 weeks from maternity leave and I am feeling very apprehensive. I have also taken 10 weeks off. Glad to see you have a schedule that works for everyone!

I have to second the Gerber diaper/burp cloths and the Carters onsies - they are both products we couldn't live without. I also love Carters mix and match pants!