October 24, 2012

a day in the life - kelli

Well hello there Wednesday.  Currently days are flying by much faster than I am prepared for, and I am not getting near enough done.  Surprise surprise.

Today I'm happy to introduce you to Kelli.  Kelli and I danced at the same studio and have known each other for quite some time.  It is so fun and crazy to see all these girls I knew when I was younger all grown up and mamas to their own babies.  I mean it was bound to happen, but it is still surreal sometimes!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy a peek at Kelli's day!


Hi blogging world!  I'm Kelli, a wife, new mama and middle school counselor.  The hubby and I are the proud parents of a sweet 3 month old baby boy who is the highlight of our days.  My maternity leave just ended so I'm recently back to work full time.  Come along with us as we enjoy a typical Tuesday in our house.

5:30 am - My alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.  Twice.  I found out pretty quickly that if I'm going to get any play/snuggle time with E-man in the mornings, I have to get up and get partially ready before he does.  The 'partial' readiness is necessary since E is still pretty spitty.  Luckily we haven't had any real reflux, but he spits up enough that I would definitely go to work smelly if I didn't feed him in my pjs :)

6:15 - I go in to wake E up and feed him.  His paci is laying by his head which means he woke up while I was in the shower and daddy had to come in to give him his paci to keep him satisfied until I was ready. 

6:35 - E's done eating and we snuggle for just a few minutes until daddy is ready and comes to play.  It's going to be nice out today so E is sporting his aviators and black sweats.  Whoever says they don't make cute boy clothes is crazy.  I might be just a tad bit biased.

7:05 - Bottles are filled, bag is packed, breakfast has been eaten and Little Blue Truck has been read.  I am married to the most helpful husband/dad in the world.  Seriously.  We share parenting 50/50 (except for the feeding part - I'm breastfeeding.  He can't really compete with that).  And, if I'm honest, we share housework 70/30.  He gets the 70.  I'm not proud of it, but he truly deserves the credit.  He.  Is. Wonderful.  Anywho, Ryan takes E to daycare every morning by 7:15.  R has to be to work by 7:30 and I have to be at work by 7:45, but I work in a small town outside the 'city' so my drive is about 25 minutes.

7:15 - After the boys leave, I finish getting ready and getting my stuff together.  And, let's be honest, 7:15 is when I should leave.  But does that happen?  Rarely.  I spend my 25 minute drive listening to the first half of a sermon podcast from the pastor at our old church.  Rev. Adam Hamilton is one of the most gifted and intelligent speakers I have ever heard.  This summer he did a sermon series on the Olympics.  I'm still catching up on that series, so today's topic is on 'The Power of the Team.'  The amazing thing about Pastor Adam's sermons is his unmatched ability to combine theology with life-application.  This sermon uses Jesus' team of disciples as an example of the team we should surround ourselves by to serve and live the life God has called us to live.  You can find 10 years worth of archived sermons here.  They are worth your 45 minutes.  I promise.

7:45 - I'm at school and ready to start the day!  I am the only counselor at a middle school of about 325 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  This is my third year as a school counselor after spending three years as an 8th grade English teacher.  When I chose to major in Education I had every intention of being a high school journalism teacher, but my first job was in a middle school and I fell in love.  However, being in the classroom is a lot of work.  And it is HARD.  During those first few years of teaching I found myself frustrated that I didn't have the time to build the type of relationships I wanted with my students.  My classroom was a revolving door - 25 kids in and 25 kids out every 45 minutes.  Six times a day.  And when you work with middle school students academics is the least of your (and their) worries.  The social and emotional struggles of middle school kids consume them and I found myself more interested in helping them conquer those challenges rather than conquering the state tests. 

8:05 - The bell rings and all the kids go to class which means this is my chance to get caught up on everything from yesterday.  My responsibilities include meeting with students one-on-one, facilitating groups, teaching classroom lessons, talking with parents, advising our 8th grade leadership group and about a thousand other things.  Yesterday I was teaching in the 7th grade classrooms the entire day which means today I get to play catch up.  Big time.  On the agenda today: checking in on a 7th grade girl whose dad was in isolated chemo treatment all summer, talking with a 7th grade boy who is worried his parents will get back together (getting back together probably means more fighting...and the possibility of separating again- for the fourth time), meeting with a new student who just moved in with her dad (but now her mom wants her back), convincing a 6th grader that fighting is not the best way to solve his problems, figuring out why a sweet 8th grade girl has all of a sudden developed an uncontrollable temper, and, I'm sure, a little drama in there to keep me on my toes. Wow - that sounded pretty intense.  I guess it's just that kind of day.  Don't worry - my days are filled with plenty of laughter, goofiness, and joy working with 300 tweeny-boppers.

My leadership kiddos.  So proud of them!

10:30 - Mid-morning break.  Pumping has been the best thing that has happened to my professional development goals.  Being forced to sit at my desk without the ability to really do anything forces me to take a break from seeing kids, checking email and making phone calls.  I've spent most of my pumping time on school counseling blogs.  It's amazing what you can learn when you slow down enough to do some professional reading!

The next few hours consist of responding to teacher emails, setting up meetings and responding to parent phone calls.  I also need to work on the agenda for our Bully Prevention meeting tomorrow and update my school blog!

3:00 - Afternoon break.  More pumping.  I am lucky enough to have my own office with a door that locks so I don't have to sit in the bathroom or in a closet somewhere.  I've also had pretty good success keeping my milk supply up now that I'm back at work.  I know that can be a challenge for a lot of women, so I have been very diligent about pumping at work.  It is not always easy and there have been days where I only get one session in, but I do everything I can to pump at the times E is eating.

3:45 - Work day is done and a teacher friend and I head out the door for a quick run before I go get E from daycare.  At first I was very hesitant to stay 30 minutes after school to run, but I quickly realized that if it is ever going to happen it has to happen before I go home for the day.  And if I go get him right at 3:45 I usually interrupt a nap, so I figure this extra 30 minutes is good for both of us. 

4:45 - I've got E and we're headed home.  We are so lucky to have found a wonderful daycare provider.  She watches two other kiddos in her home - a 19 month old and a 4 month old.  It seems to be a great combination for E.  A friend who is a year older and a friend who is his same age.  He has already been caught trying to hold Mya's hand.  Uh-oh.  It will be fun to watch their interactions as they both grow!

5:00 - We're home and E is a happy guy.  This time between daycare and dinner can be hit or miss with him.  Sometimes he's happy and ready to play and sometimes he is cranky.  With a capital C.  I take advantage of the good mood - tummy time!  E has never been a fan.  However, a couple of weeks ago we had our first home visit from the Parents as Teachers educator.  She was wonderful!  R and I feel like we are relatively well educated, but we were so thankful to be able to glean some great tips from an expert who does this every day.  If you're interested, Parents as Teachers programs are usually run through the local school district.  In our area, anyone who lives in the school district has access to their free services, though some locations have income requirements.  Parents as Teachers provides a lending library of books, toys and educational resources.  They also have play groups for a variety of ages.  So far the service we've used is their in-home visits.  They send an educator to your home who basically plays with your baby for an hour while you ask questions and talk about your child's development.  Of course, she is playing intentionally with your baby modeling different age appropriate activities you can do when she is gone.  She is also checking for gross and fine motor development, speech and other developmental milestones.  She is not a doctor or occupational therapist, but she can make referrals if she sees anything of concern.  Last time she visited she gave us some tricks to help E with tummy time.  Essentially she just tucked his arms under him to use as a prop.  This helped him lift his head enough to figure out he can actually see the world around him.  Over the last few weeks we've been using this trick to work on rolling over.  He's got the tummy-back thing down...as long as his arm doesn't get in the way.  When he's on his back he will roll to his side (this is how he likes to sleep), but no rolling over yet.

5:45 - E is done with play time and wants to eat!  Daddy gets home while E is eating so we rehash our days while E finishes dinner.

6:15 - Mama and daddy's dinner time while E plays with his play gym.

Hands, eyes and feet.  Not sure if they're coordinated, but they're trying!

7:00 - We are all fed and the kitchen is clean.  R plays with the little man for a little while until it's pretty clear that E has had about enough for one day.  They snuggle a little then we get going on the bedtime routine.

Ooohhh - what have you got for daddy, E-man?

8:00 - Bath time - which the little man L.O.V.E.S.  As a water-baby, myself, I cannot tell you how happy this makes my heart.  I have spent a better part of my life in a swimming pool and I hope that is something I can share with my little boy.  Somewhere amongst the splashing and playing the little man actually gets clean.  Then of course there is the lotion, more giggles, and some oh-so-sweet footie pajamas.

8:30 - One more feeding, a book and prayers then we put E in his sleep sack, kiss him goodnight and put him down.  E has slept in his crib since the night we got home from the hospital and we have had a bed-time routine since day one.  This is the one thing we have been 100% consistent with and it is the one thing that E is 100% consistent with.  Makes me wonder how easy the rest of parenting would be if we could just be that consistent??  Ahhh, one can dream.

R and I spend the next 30 minutes catching up on a recorded episode of Big Bang Theory then it's off to bed for me!  I read for about 3 minutes until I can't keep my eyes open and I call it a day.  Getting to spend my days with two boys who love me unconditionally and 300 teenagers who make me sigh and laugh in the same breath is a pretty huge blessing.  I'm one lucky girl.

1.  What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
 Honestly, I was most surprised by how easy it was to simply hang out with him all day long.  I have always been a person who is constantly on the move.  I have never liked it if there isn't some kind of outing or activity on the calendar each day.  However, when my sole purpose became to take care of E and help him grow, my own agenda went out the window.  Of course, we get out of the house, but it is on his terms and in his best interest.  It's amazing how quickly you forget your own routine and adapt to his.

2. What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
I agree with all the moms that say 'do what works for you!'  Absolutely.  However, if I were to give advice it would be to read up on sleep training.  My husband and I did a lot of research on this subject before E got here and we were 100% committed to it.  We read "BabyWise" and "Baby Sleep Solution" by Suzy Giordano.  They both have a similar philosophy, but we preferred the latter.  It gives a more step-by-step plan for using sleep training and also gives a little more wiggle room when it comes to crying-it-out.   My advice is to read up on it and figure out what you believe about the topic.  The first weeks/months of parenting are so overwhelming you can feel like you are chasing your tail.  Nothing is going to work perfectly but having some kind of a plan can do wonders for your sanity and confidence in your parenting.

3.  What are your top three baby products?
- A bouncy seat.  Hands down.  This is where E hangs out, has play time, and, most importantly, naps.  He likes seeing the world around him and he's also a mover.  The bouncy keeps him upright so he can see, digest his food, and nap comfortably.  I'm not quite sure how my kid is going to take naps once he's too big for his bouncy.
- Mam pacifiers.  We used the soothies from the hospital, but they were so big he couldn't keep them in his mouth and we'd have to stay right by his side to put his paci in each time he spit it out.  We switched to the Mams and have really liked them.
- Medela Pump-in-style Advanced.  Now that I'm back at work, I completely rely on this baby to feed my baby.  My goal is to continue to breastfeed E until he can drink cow's milk.  I've got my work cut out for me, but having a good pump is going to help us get there!

Ashley, thanks for creating this community of mamas.  I have loved learning from other blogging moms over the last year or so and I am thrilled that I have finally been able to contribute!


Thanks for sharing with us Kelli!  And I love E's aviator onesie, too cute!

1 comment:

Erin said...

I LOVED reading this! Mostly because it is SO refreshing to hear from working moms who really love their jobs. Way to go, Kelli on being such an awesome influence in those middle schooler's lives, as well as your son's! That is SUCH a challenging age, very glad we have people like you who actually want to work with them :)