I love it when other people do those day in the life posts -- there is something wonderful about seeing how other people's days unfold. If you enjoy these as well, here's far too much detail about a mundane day with a two year old.
6:20am Hannah starts moaning over the monitor. I elbow Joel, who gets out of bed to tend to her. Back in the day I used to feel obligated to get up and take care of Hannah in the morning because Joel has to go to work! To an important job that pays him money! He can't possibly prepare himself for a day at the office while caring for a small child! Um, yeah. After maybe six months of sleep deprivation I realized that if Joel is going to get up at 6:30am anyway because he likes to have a leisurely breakfast, read the news, check his email, and take a nice long shower, then he could just as well do those things with an infant sitting in the bouncer. I don't get to sit in peace and read the news and eat my cereal, so why do I feel like this is absolutely necessary for him? That extra hour and a half of sleep makes an enormous difference in my day. It's my best natural sleep time, and it was especially precious back when Hannah was small because it was the only sleep I got with zero worry that I could hear tiny baby cries coming over the monitor at any time. Joel is a good, good man for doing this every day without a single complaint. This is also often the only time he gets to spend with Hannah, so. It works.
8:00am Joel plops Hannah in bed with me. She loves to roll around in our bed lately. She requests milk, as she does every day, and I heave myself out of bed and get it for her. She drinks it and plays with the six pacifiers she's brought into the bed with her while I brush my teeth and put on pants. It is gloriously chilly in the mornings lately. (I can't believe I am saying that, but I am so very pregnant and so very, very hot all the time.)
8:20am Joel calls out that he is leaving and Hannah and I come out in the hallway to give him a kiss and a hug at the top of the stairs, as is our morning ritual. I scarf down a bagel and coffee while Hannah entertains herself with the Megablocks she got for her birthday.
8:45am I tear Hannah away from her blocks so we can leave for the park for our daily morning playdate. I am always, always five minutes late and I hate this about myself. I am determined to be on time today. (Being on time would not matter in the least, except that we go for a walk before letting the kiddos play at the playground and the other ladies will wait for me to leave for the walk.)
9:15am Except we are going to a new park today and my GPS leads me astray, so I arrive late. As usual.
9:30am Strollers loaded with toddlers and toddlers equipped with snacks and dolls, we start our walk. This new path is extremely hilly and there is much huffing and puffing. Mostly from me, packing 30+ lbs of baby weight and pushing a 30+ lb toddler in a giant stroller.
10:00am We return to the playground, walk aborted early due to cranky toddlers (I was none too sad to cut the walk short. Jesus, those hills.). The kids play on the playground and feed the ducks and laugh like loons running back to the parking lot.
11:15am We pack up to leave. Hannah cries because she wants to ride in her BFF "Babby's" car. Her love for Babby (otherwise known as Gabby) bursts my heart. These two adore each other and it is the cutest thing ever. Hannah asks for her a million times a day and when they are reunited at the park every day they run full speed into each other and hug. Hannah is contented with seeing Gabby in the car next to her at the first stoplight we hit, and waves and yells "Babby! Bye!" as they go straight and we turn.
11:30am We make a quick stop at post office to mail off a huge return to Old Navy (free shipping and free returns means I order everything I might possibly want for me and for Hannah when it's 30% off, try everything on at home, and ship back 75% of the order) and buy a roll of stamps. I let Hannah hold the stamps in the car against my better judgement. She doesn't manage to get them open.
11:45am We arrive home and Hannah insists on "driving" the car for a bit. She climbs up to the front as soon as I unbuckle her from her car seat and plays with all the knobs and buttons in the driver's seat while I check email on my phone in the passenger seat. When she wants to switch seats, she pushes my legs and says "scuse me". When I don't move fast enough she looks me in the eye, pushing again, saying "scuse me! Scuse me! SORRY!" We haven't managed to get her to say "sorry" when she does something wrong, but she is very good at saying it for me when I do something she doesn't like.
12:00pm Hannah finally comes in from the car and lugs herself, a doll, and her doll suitcase (which she brought in the car, because toddlers have a lot of shit they need to carry around) up the stairs. I rejoice at the lack of Stair Tantrum, the bane of my existence. I refuse to carry her up the stairs any more and girlfriend is NOT pleased with her lack of a personal elevator. She often cries for 20 or 30 minutes at the bottom of the stairs, wailing for me to come and get her. EVEN IF SHE WENT DOWN THERE ON HER OWN. Gah.
12:10pm Hannah is in her high chair, eating lunch (hummus, carrots, mix of nuts/craisins/crackers, and a quarter of a bagel with cream cheese) and watching Phinneas and Ferb on the kindle. I don't feel great about her dependence on "show" to eat lunch, but a few weeks ago her eating habits (or more precisely, complete lack thereof) were pretty much ruining my life and now they're not.... so. I deal with it. I check emails and Twitter and eat cake frosting out of the jar while she eats.
12:45pm Shows are over. Hannah complains to watch more and claims she's still eating, shoving a bite of bagel in her mouth as evidence. Nope. Out of the chair. She tries to sit in her doll high chair, then runs off looking for the cat, claiming he's going to sit in the doll chair. Shockingly the cat does not come out of hiding as she calls "HENWY! Henwy eat!"
12:50pm I coax her into her room with the promise of pacifiers. Many, many pacifiers. I change her into a disposable diaper, put on new PJs because last night's pajamas smell like piss, read her two books and toss her in bed. As I'm walking out she asks for more pacis, and I promise to look for them and bring them in if I find any. She nods her approval and rolls over.
1:00pm I collapse on the couch for a few minutes, as is my daily nap ritual. I check emails and Twitter, RSVP to a few new meetups posted in my moms' group, send Joel an email with the subject line "did Hannah piss in the bed last night" (spoiler alert: she did). I wish for the millionth time that we had a house elf to fix me lunch. The cat comes out of his hiding place and plants his ass on my legs, because what I need at 30 weeks pregnant is an 11-lb cat adding his weight to me.
1:45pm I peel myself off the couch and throw together a nutritious lunch consisting of a buttered Lender's bagel with jelly and a large glass of chocolate milk, my most persistent pregnancy craving. Normally I hate milk (and still can't drink plain milk) but when I'm pregnant, chocolate milk is the most refreshing, delicious drink I can imagine. In fact, I pour myself another glass, stir in the Nesquik, and pound a second round as soon as the first is gone.
2:00pm Time to take care of business, as it were. I unload the dishwasher, do all the dishes in the sink, and clean up the kitchen, which somehow devolves into disaster every few hours. I wash down Hannah's filthy high chair and throw away the remnants of her lunch. Then I clean off the little table and chairs she got for her birthday last weekend, which is already covered in food particles and crayon marks. I pick up a few toys and put all the stuff out on the counters and floor back where it belongs. I feel like I spend an enormous amount of time each day on these small tasks. When the kitchen is done, I wander into the bedroom and fix the curtains that I bought approximately four months ago but we just got around to hanging this past weekend. I adjust the curtains on the rod and tighten up the little screws when I'm satisfied. Henry immediately takes up residence behind the curtains. He has basically remained there ever since.
I make the bed and put away the screwdrivers, leftover hardware, measuring tape, and step stool left over from the curtain installation. That done, I bring a load of laundry downstairs and start it running, take the load of Hannah's diapers out of the dryer and stack them up so I can put them in her changing table drawer quickly when she wakes up, before she has a chance to scatter them all over the house as she diapers her dolls and stuffed animals. I set that basket outside her door and put away the clean load of clothes sitting on our bedroom floor from last night. I think I hear Hannah moving around in her room over the noise of my audiobook, but when I check the monitor she still looks pretty passed out.
3:15pm I sit at the kitchen counter and tap out some notes for this post on my phone. Hannah is starting to move around now.
3:30pm Hannah's up. I text my friend to see if they're still going to be at the park when we get there, as Hannah's new later nap schedule has us missing half our afternoon activities (though you will NEVER hear me complaining about her glorious long naps). Hannah continues messing around in her crib, tucking in her frog, tucking in herself, reading books to her stuffed animals and shining her flashlight in her eyes.
On days when we don't have anything planned for the afternoon I happily let her do this for as long as she wants to. When I finally get her up she insists on wearing "dress! bow!", which is how we end up wearing the frilliest dress in her closet and its matching headband (birthday gifts), even though I have no idea how to put headbands on toddlers. Shit, I don't even know how to style my own hair. Hannah is two and is already far more fashionable than I am. She's also shaping up to the an extremely girly girl, hence the change into pajamas before nap -- she used to just sleep in her clothes, but one day realized she could score an extra wardrobe change if she asked to wear pajamas for her nap. I can't make myself care, as it makes her happy and I'll do anything to keep these excellent naps going for as long as possible.
4:10pm We leave the house. I smell orange as we're driving and remember that Hannah had shoved two clementines into her little suitcase earlier. When we arrive she's done a pretty good job peeling half of it and sucking out all the juice. I can't find any peels, and make a mental note to not be shocked if her diapers are extra orange tomorrow.
4:30pm We arrive at the park (a different park from this morning -- Utah has more parks than I've ever seen in my life) pretty much as everyone is leaving. One friend stays for a bit to hang out with us. We feed the ducks stale hot dog buns, walk around, and buy Hannah her first twizzler at the candy store. She approves. She and her little friend have dance party on the sidewalk and feed the ducks again before my friend's husband calls and she takes off because her spouse gets home from work at a normal time. Hannah and I hang around for a few more minutes and watch some big girls hang from a tree. (The next day she starts hanging from things on the playground -- THANKS A LOT, GIRLS.) The girls say they are 8 and inform me Hannah is "soooooo cute." We share our last hot dog buns with them and they help us feed the ducks. Hannah is delighted and keeps pointing to them, saying "help."
5:45pm I start herding Hannah towards the car. She whines the whole way home about not being able to get her keys (I made her a set of keys from all the old ones we have that go to nothing) apart. I explain for the ten millionth time that I cannot help her with these tasks while I'm driving.
6:00pm I stop for gas. Hannah points to the windows and says "wash!", a word I didn't know she knew. This shows you that Joel usually pumps our gas, because I don't think I have ever washed windows at a gas station in my life. But I dutifully wash them while the gas pumps and Hannah is delighted.
6:15pm We arrive home. Hannah plays in the car for a few minutes. She finds a juice box in the console and manages to get the straw out and insert it in the box with zero help from me. Independence! It is coming!
6:30pm After playing in the car/garage/driveway for a bit, we head inside. Hannah carries her suitcase up the stairs by herself AGAIN. Zero stair tantrums! This is a great day. We change her diaper and she insists on wiping herself and then throwing her washcloth in the diaper pail herself. I stand in front of the fridge trying to figure out what the hell to give her for dinner. She solves the problem by taking a giant container of parmesan cheese out of the fridge and carrying it to her high chair. She then runs off to her room mumbling something I can't make out... which turns to be "bib." I convince her to wear a different bib, one with a pocket to catch all the shredded cheese she's going to drop all over the place, and set up a Phinneas and Ferb for her. She also eats some banana, crackers, and orange/carrot juice. While Hannah eats, I make meatballs for Joel and I to eat for dinner (will be Hannah's dinner tomorrow) (and by that I mean it will be presented to her for dinner, even odds on whether she eats a single bite) and check email and twitter... meanwhile reminding Hannah to keep eating five hundred times. I refill her cheese and juice once. She doesn't eat much, but given that she ate an orange, a box of apple juice, and a squeeze pouch in the garage I'm not too concerned.
7:15pm The show ends. Hannah insists she is still eating, though I've been watching her work on the same single shred of cheese for the last five minutes. I rewind the show five more minutes and tell her she better eat all that cheese.
7:20pm Show is over again. Hannah insists she is still eating (masters of negotiation, two year olds) so I tell her to grab anything she still wants to eat and she can bring it in the bath. (I am not above this. I am not above much.)
7:21pm Hannah starts yelling for "sell" (Stella the doll) and insists she needs to feed Stella some of the cheese she grabbed while exiting the high chair. There is no way in hell I am turning her loose in the house with a bowl of shredded cheese, so I give her some cubed cheese instead (girlfriend eats a lot of cheese). Then Stella needs a bib. And a plate. I tell her I'm going to get the bath ready and count on the fact that she will wander in when she hears me doing something in another room without her (and she does).
7:30pm Joel texts that he is leaving work as I get Hannah in the bath. Sadly this is pretty average and even somewhat early. Please say a prayer that these hours let up before December 2 or I will have a mental breakdown. Or change all my locks and refuse to let my mom ever go home.
7:40pm Hannah has been playing happily with her "guys" (intended to vent pot lids while cooking, but long ago appropriated for bath play) for ten minutes but suddenly decides she is done, which is good because we are now WAY behind schedule and in the world of toddler bedtime, behind schedule usually means crying.
7:45pm Hannah bolts from the bathroom as I try to dry her off and I hear her pound into the kitchen. After I throw her diaper in the pail and her clothes in the hamper I find her sitting naked in the kitchen at her little table, playing the harmonica she got for her birthday. So, you know, the usual. I microwave her cup of milk and tell her to grab her pacis and come in her room, and thankfully she complies after demanding that I wrap a towel around her "like daddy" (regular towel wrapped around her waist).
7:50pm She is miraculously compliant in putting on her diaper and pajamas, given the late hour. She does add three books to the book pile and runs from the room twice while we are reading to collect more stuffed animals and throw them into her crib, along with her bath guys and the harmonica. (My rule about stuff in the crib is: as long as it's not outright dangerous, be my guest.) We read our books very quickly and halfway through the last one Joel arrives home in time to kiss Hannah good night. She gets in bed without complaint and even says goodnight as I walk out (I die).
8:00pm Crying. I knew that was too good to be true. She complains that the room is too dark (shorter days are killing us, this is a nightly complaint) and that she needs more pacis (she has six). I turn on her crib aquarium and flashlight, assure her these will keep it bright for her until the moon comes out, and tell her to lie down and go to sleep while I look for more pacifiers. I have no intention of coming back with more pacis, but I tell her this every single night. She just likes to have one last demand met before she can go to sleep in peace.
8:02pm I get the meatballs and pasta started cooking and chat with Joel. He goes downstairs to watch tv while I make salads and clean up the kitchen again.
8:45pm Dinner is served! This sounds super late to most people, I bet, but I cannot manage having dinner ready much earlier while simultaneously getting a small child fed, bathed, and in bed. And neither of us really cares. I have always done well on a European eating schedule. If I eat dinner at 6 I'm starving right around bedtime.
9:00pm Joel watches some new show about hostages while I surf the internet on my phone and write this post (also on my phone -- I've gotten pretty good at the at the touchscreen keyboard, though I do still miss my old phone with the full slider keyboard). This is a rare and wonderful night where Joel doesn't work from our dining room table from the minute we finish dinner until I beg him to go to bed so I can go to sleep (I can't go to sleep if he is still up. I have many, many sleep problems and this is one of them).
10:00pm Show ends. I go upstairs and put away our dinner dishes and put the pots and pans from cooking in the sink. Normally I would wash these now -- I hate waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes -- but since Joel isn't doing any work tonight it's a prime opportunity to go to bed at a reasonable hour, dishes be damned. I take a quick shower and get ready for bed before sneaking into Hannah's room to close her curtains, turn off her flash light, and take out the milk that she didn't drink. Henry, being the most annoying cat in the world, leaps off the bed the minute he hears me opening her door and attempts to follow me in. After I kick him to keep him out, he races up and down the hall yowling and jangling his collar as loudly as possible. Luckily Hannah is very used to this noise and doesn't flinch.
10:37pm In bed before 11pm. BOOYAH. I am pissed that I forgot to go on the library website during the day AGAIN and find a decent ebook, so I have to settle for reading Game of Thrones Book Five, the most boring book in the history of medieval fantasy fiction. Seriously, I have been working on this book (which I purchased, since I knew I could never finish it during the three-week library lending period) for well over a year. I am pretty sure that my bookmark got reset at some point (THANKS, HANNAH) because I was sure I was more than 30% done with this fucker, but I can't really tell because it is all the same. Jamie Lannister continues to be an asshole, more people die, new characters that I don't care about pop up to take their place. There, I just saved you reading five 800-page books. I make it through a few pages before drifting off for another night of uncomfortable pregnancy sleep. FIN.