June 26, 2013

a day in the life - grace

Good morning lovely readers! Thanks so much for your input yesterday on our sleep issues. Truth is I'm really with most of you, do whatever the heck works to get some sleep. Honestly our biggest issue is getting Elsie to sleep. Once she is asleep she usually naps for 1-2 hours and sleeps 7-10 hours straight at night. So we aren't dealing with night wake-ups and such too much anymore. It's the fact that she cries and squirms and fights me every time I want to put her to sleep. And I can't really have that half hour battle all the time with Ryann roaming the house.

My concern is not so much that she is sleeping swaddled or in the rock 'n play, but teaching her to sleep by herself in those situations might be a lost cause since eventually we'll need to get her to the crib. Last night I let her sleep one arm swaddled in the rock 'n play and she slept for 9 hours. So there's that.

Anyway, that is probably enough about sleep. I swear a good percentage of my blog posts talk about sleep. Ridiculous. Whatever. Today though, you get a peek at a day in the life of Grace. Enjoy!


Good Morning Domestic Wannabe Readers! Thanks to Ashley for the opportunity to share my day with you guys. I think I originally found her blog back in my Knot/Nest lurker days (many years ago!) Anyway, my name is Grace and I blog over at Pinster Sisters with my younger sister Shannon. We post mostly about things we have attempted from Pinterest - crafts, recipes, beauty treatments, etc. I don’t delve into a lot of my day-to-day stuff, so this is pretty new for me. I live in NJ with my husband Joe and our 19 month old son JJ. I work full time so this might get a little boring in the middle, but this is a “typical” weekday for me...
4:58am - Alarm goes off. I get up, go to the bathroom, put on some socks, throw my hair up and head to the guest room to use the elliptical machine. It pains me to get up while the clock still has a “4”, but the fact of the matter is I need those 2 extra minutes when getting ready in the morning and if I don’t work out now,I know I won’t work it in during the rest of the day.
My workout views.
5:35am - Done with a 30 minute work out. I go back to the bedroom and wake up my husband Joe. His schedule changes from day to day - some days he’s out of the house while I am on the elliptical, some days I wake him up before we leave the house. Unfortunately for me, today he needs to get ready at the exact same time as me. So while he’s showering, I make the bed, let the dog out and start dinner. Tonight is Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. I already prepped the sauce last night and just stuck it in the fridge so all I had to do this morning was throw the pork in the bottom, top with the sauce, and turn it on. If you are interested in the recipe, check out the Pinster Sister’s blog on Friday! I toss the bowl in the dishwasher and set it to run once we leave the house.
5:50am - My turn for the bathroom. Joe kisses me goodbye and I hope in the shower. I am way behind schedule so I try to be quick and then blow dry my hair. I brush my teeth and apply my makeup, all while trying not to sweat  (I still haven’t completely cooled down from the elliptical).
At some point during my shower JJ wakes up and starts babbling to himself and playing around in his crib. Some days I have to wake him up, others he wakes up on his own at 6am. He is usually pretty good at keeping himself entertained until I go in and get him.
6:35am - Go get him out of his crib. Change his diaper, get him dressed, and spend about 1 minute getting some extra snuggles in on his chair.  Put the dog in his room, then head downstairs. I give JJ a cup of milk and turn the TV on Sprout. I grab a yogurt out of the fridge, make sure my bag has everything I need, start the car and go find JJ’s shoes.
Apparently still a little sleepy
6:52am - Shoes are on, bags are packed and we head out the door. I like to leave the house by 6:45 - sometimes that 7 minutes can make a huge difference traffic wise.
Ready to go to Shahie's!
7:18am - Arrive at my Aunt Sharon’s house. We are very fortunate that JJ has been taken care of by family members since I went back to work when he was 3 months old. Depending on what time of the year it is, either my Aunt, my cousin Claire, or my sister Kelsey is watching him. They get paid (but no where near what a traditional daycare would cost) but its so comforting knowing  he is with family. I spent a little too long talking to Aunt Sharon and know I am going to pay for it in traffic.
about 8:10 - Arrive in Newark. What should have taken 20 minutes with no traffic, has taken me 40 today. You’d think I would be used to this by now, but I still get stressed about it. I park the car and walk over to my office.
I work as a Traffic Engineer for a smallish consulting firm. Its a bit nerdy and can occasionally be boring, but in general I really like what I do. Once I get to my desk I turn on my computer, change my shoes and check my email. Before Outlook even loads I see a bunch of new messages that I was not expecting - this could be a long day! I start skimming them and decide I need coffee before I tackle anything. Fortunately I work in a building that’s connected to a couple others with a sort of plaza walkway. There are a bunch of food places, two Dunkin Donuts, a Starbucks, pharmacy, and some other stuff I can get to without having to go outside. I pick up a large french vanilla with skim milk and sugar and head back upstairs.
My view at work and my typical breakfast
I start tackling the emails and prep for a surprise meeting. Around 10 I give into my hunger and eat my greek yogurt and low fat granola. At this point the morning starts slowing down. At 11 I am starving again, but I resist snacking and pop a lifesaver instead. Finally at about 12:20 I run downstairs to grab some salad.
Lunch happenings.
I do some light internet shopping while eating my lunch. JJ’s doc said he should try drinking from a real cup so I am researching some “training” options. After my 45 minute lunch break, I get back to work.
2:59pm - I receive a text/pic from Aunt Sharon alerting me to the fact she thinks JJ got a bug bite on his cheek.

The "incident report". 
3:30pm - Decide its time for a (decaf) coffee run and snack while I catch up on some company news. I successfully avoid a donut and opt for my peanut butter crackers instead. Still not the healthiest of choices, but better than a donut.
What I really want, and what I wind up with.
4:13pm - I hear one of the guys who sits in an adjacent row start clipping his nails. I almost gag. I swear it happens at least twice a week in my office. Who thinks its ok to groom themselves in their cubicle?! After I turn up the volume on my headphones to drown out the sound, Joe texts me. He will be passing through Newark a little before I am ready to leave so he decides to save himself the train fare and catch a ride with me.
Evening commute arrangements.
5:00pm - Quittin’ time! Log off my computer, sign out, and head downstairs. Find Joe in the walkway on the way to the car and we are on our way. We make it to Sharon’s by 5:35 and find my cousin Katie, her husband Nick, and their son Sal all hanging out front with JJ. They came over to cover for Sharon because she had some appointment that started before we would get there. We spend the next half hour  or so enjoying the sunshine and talking while JJ runs around the yard.
6:00pm - Back in the car on the way home. When we get there, Joe and JJ go upstairs to get changed, let the dog out and get him fed. I go start a load of laundry and then  get the rice going. I am about to shred the pork when I notice it is unusually watery and double check the recipe. I forgot to add the brown sugar. Lovely. I throw in a couple teaspoons of brown sugar, a couple teaspoons of cornstarch, and turn it on high hoping to thicken up the sauce a bit. It sort of does the trick and we are all seated and eating dinner around 6:45.
Dinner after I tried to fix the sauce
Ready to eat! Check out my blog on Friday for more details.
By 7:25 we are done. I work on clearing the table and unloading/loading the dishwasher, JJ gets some last minute energy out. I join the boys for a few minutes of playtime and before I know it, its time for bath.
Um, I think that bus is a little too big for the track.
7:50pm - JJ's getting a bath from Joe and I am picking out his pjs and changing into some comfy clothes myself. Once he’s clean, he’s handed over to me for a fresh diaper, pjs, bottle of milk, and bedtime story. I kiss him goodnight about 5 times and put him in his crib. He doesn’t always go right to sleep but he is pretty good at being quiet and eventually getting himself to sleep.
8:15pm - Switch the laundry, put in a new load. I call my mom and head outside to water my flowers. Everything is looking pretty good with the exception of the hanging baskets on my front porch. I have a pretty black thumb so I am surprised this is the only problem plant at this point. I head back in the kitchen to clean up the rest of dinner while Joe straightens up JJ’s toys and wipes the table and highchair down.

8:45pm - I sit on the couch for a couple minutes before I start folding a load of laundry. I didn’t note what was on so it must have been one of Joe’s shows.
9:15pm - Head upstairs to pick out an outfit for tomorrow and iron it. I put away the load of freshly folded laundry. I go back downstairs to pack up my work bag and switch the laundry. I give into my hunger and devour a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich over the sink in about 30 seconds (don’t judge me, we've all been there).
9:40pm - I am back upstairs to get ready for bed. I have been trying to do these exercises every night in hopes of losing my mommy-belly. I am on week 3 and although I get sore, I am not yet noticing a difference. In fact, sometimes I feel like my belly sticks out more. I now know why the women in my family used to wear control-top panty hose all the time under everything: dresses, jeans, dress pants, etc. I think it might be time for me to invest in a case, are they sold in bulk?! I attempt a pretty weak plank (1:10.9) and head in the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth, and put on the million creams my dermatologist has prescribed (okay, a couple are self-prescribed OTC wrinkle creams!). I also remember to set out my sports bra and socks for tomorrow morning’s workout.
10:00pm -  I am comfortable in bed and surfing the internet on the iPad. Joe joins me and puts on Aliens 2. Just what I need to settle down before sleep! We chat a little until the movie ends and then its lights out! I think we are both asleep by 10:30pm. After what feels like 30 minutes, the alarm goes off and its time to start another day!

-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
I guess the most surprising thing for me was realizing how much I could accomplish with little sleep and little time. In general, JJ is a good sleeper, but like any newborn, the first few months were rough. Before kids, I used to think that getting anything less than 7 hours of sleep meant I was in for a rough day. Now I would love to get 7 hours of sleep! :) Looking back, I am amazed I made it through those first couple weeks back at work and managed to be a productive person both at work and at home. It felt impossible at the beginning, but I eventually got into a groove (like everyone said  I would) and JJ slept more and more.
-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
Never say never. I admit, I was judgey (in my head) about other people’s parenting styles before becoming a mom. Now I know we all do what we can and what is best for our kids. JJ is 19 months old and still takes a nightly bottle of milk. I realize he’s probably a little too old for that, but we will get rid of it soon and it just works for us. Don’t worry too much about “deadlines” and try not to let other people’s comments/advice bother you.
-What are your top three baby products?
Boppy Pillow - This was probably the most used item we have. From nursing, to propping up for tummy time, and then as protection from falls before he could sit real well. I know Ashley expressed some concern about Elsie growing out of it - but don’t worry about that. We used it for over a year with JJ - it will last longer than you think!
Video Monitor - I fought the idea of a video monitor at first. We had a regular sound one for the first 6 months of JJ’s life. I thought having the video was a little excessive and that it might make me a little crazy checking it all the time. Our regular monitor, however, used to click and hum and make annoying noises until one day there was an unfortunate accident (which may or may not have involved me throwing it down a little too hard after it started clicking for the millionth time) and we bit the bullet and bought the video monitor.  It was life changing. Especially once JJ was mobile and I could see him fall asleep sitting up because he couldn’t figure out how to back down. That was priceless!

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle - JJ was swaddled for a looong time. I don't think we weaned him from them until after he was 6 months old and I was afraid of him rolling and having his arms trapped. He used a Halo Swaddle the whole time - the fleece ones in the winter and cotton ones in the summer. I think it was one of the reasons he was a pretty decent sleeper and starting sleeping through the night (for the most part) before I went back to work.

Thanks again Ashley! I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!


Thank you for sharing your day with us Grace!


Katie Barr said...

I would love to do a day in the life for you. I blog at becauseofbeckham.blogspot.com

J Young said...

I love the image of eating the ice cream sandwich over the sink in 30 seconds. Yep, we have all been there :)