Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.
- Brian Andreas
Once again I take a moment to document a day in the life of a Marpepp. Once again in tandem with dear beloved friends (see their days in the life posts at the Cagles here and at Family Snodgrass here). I love these not only because it’s an incredible practice to take stock of your day in such a purposeful way, but also because I love to compare these mundane days with those of my tribe. It brings us together – particularly now that we’re all so far apart. Have I mentioned how much I miss my tribe? Because they are so so wonderful – truly my blessing.
This time, the practice was particularly helpful for me because the last time I did this, I was the happiest I think I ever have been. I was on maternity leave, completely engrossed in newfound motherhood of two, and finding that it suits me more than I could ever know. That raising my boys is truly my calling and living that calling fulfilled me deeply. And we were in DC, with our friends and all the wonderful activities DC has to offer. I love building our family and adding to it brought so much joy to my heart – particularly with all the fun and resources DC had to offer – and having the space to enjoy it fully without the added burdens of a career truly was a moment worth cherishing.
Now today’s post is far more of a balancing act. And it was nice to look back and then see how it compares today. I’m back to work, now in Charlotte, and work is extremely demanding as of late. I’ve been a little grumpy about this because, well, let’s face it, when work/life balance is off, then the unbalance makes everything harder to bear. But the demands of a career ebb and flow, and we must find time for all things in life. So. Onto our day.
It’s now about 7:00am. Like last time, I began the day with the camera on my bedside table. The first thing I heard was the pitter patter of Caleb as he came into the bedroom to announce the new day. I’ve been trying to nurse Andy as an excuse to keep sleeping for over an hour at this point, to varying degrees of success, and I finally give up and pick up the camera. The cat is at my feet making it very hard to motivate out of bed.
But this image rouses me:
particularly the sweet small voice claiming “I’m hungry mommy.” Justin, the sweet wonderful husband that he is, hops up to get dressed and then sweeps Andy off to make oatmeal. Caleb crawls into bed with me for a few precious minutes before the desire to play overrides the desire to cuddle and we both stumble downstairs to the smell of cinnamon.
It’s 8:30 now. After breakfast, things speed up. I get Caleb suited up for the cold for preschool and help get Justin out the door. School is at our church a 10 minute drive away – at Justin’s work – so Caleb goes in with daddy. Andy and I stand at the door as they dutifully leave for the day. Today, they’ll walk the dog in the wooden trails behind the church before school starts. It’s now just after 9:00.
It’s time for Andy to go down for a nap. I take him upstairs and nurse him, then lay him down. I check my work email on my phone as I do it. Today, thankfully, he does not protest his morning nap.
It’s 9:15am. The nanny arrives and I smile and hand her the baby monitor. She and I clean the kitchen after breakfast to where it doesn’t look like a bomb went off.
I make the bed, throw in a load of laundry, and make the 3.5 second commute into my office. It’s now 9:30am.
On the docket for the day is continuing drafting a notice of intent to sue, work on tasks needed to help a collaborative advocacy movement, notices of objections to confidentiality designations for discovery documents, continuing work on an appellate reply letter brief on standing, multiple conference calls, and edits to a complaint. No big deal. I accept that I’ll be working tonight after the kids go to bed and still won’t get it all done.
It’s 11:00. Andy wakes up. I nurse him. This time, I get my work social media tasks done while nursing. Sure beats pumping like I had to do with Caleb. I take him downstairs and hand him off to our nanny. Luckily Andy is always thrilled to see her. With one big hug, I go back upstairs and miss him, but quickly become engrossed in my work, finding comfort in the sounds of their play. Most days, they are off to an activity (music class, baby gym, library story time), but today is a quiet day home.
It’s 1:00pm. I work nonstop through lunch and pause to nurse Andy again. The nanny will put him down for a nap momentarily. I take a moment to leave the house (probably the only time I’ll do so today) and I go pick up Caleb from school. Big surprise, he’s playing with the blocks – he and some boys have made a “race track” for toy cars.
We spent a few minutes playing outside on the playground, but I need to get back for a conference call (living 10 minutes from the church is so helpful). So off we go. It’s 1:30.
We’re back and home now and Caleb is busily regaling our nanny with the details of his day. Andy is still asleep so they get some time for snack and to decompress. I’m back in work land.
It’s 3:45pm and time to nurse Andy. I realize that it’s starting to snow. We all walk outside into the back yard to rejoice in the rare occurrence.
Caleb and I pretend to ice skate on the back porch.
Zuba makes an excellent tundra dog.
It’s just past 4:10 and time to get back to work. I sadly return to my spot and enter another conference call, but enjoy the view:
It’s 5:20 and Justin is downstairs with the kids – things are buzzing downstairs. Dinner is heating up. Caleb and I decide to draw some snowmen while dinner warms up:
It’s 5:30. Caleb quickly dismisses our art project for the chance to spend a few more precious minutes outside in the snow before dinner. Andy watches longingly.
Instead, Andy decides to help in the kitchen:
It’s 5:45 and we’re sitting down for dinner to say prayers. Can you tell we’re having Mexican for dinner?
Andy avoids the enchilada sauce and gets a straight up burrito (the Daiya “cheese” is a weird concept):
Then it’s bath, lotion, teeth brushing, and PJs.
And pre-bed time story and antics.
It’s 6:30 and I nurse Andy one more time and put him to bed. We’re in the midst of the Sleep Lady Shuffle and he’s rocking this whole sleep training thing. He’s eager for independence, even when it comes to sleep. I sit in my chair and make shhh sounds to reassure him in his crib and he watches me for a few minutes and then busies himself with the task of sleep.
It’s 7:00 and Justin is home (a rare occasion these days). He has read Caleb his chapter book by the time I get out (we are currently reading the original Winnie the Pooh). We talk about Caleb’s day, sing songs, do prayer and talk to God, then lights out.
It’s 7:45. We clean downstairs. Then I work on work until midnight. Andy wakes to nurse and I nurse him, and we all go to sleep until tomorrow. Sometime between 5-6am and start over.
I’ll end it with Caleb’s picture of me this morning. At the rate he’s been growing and developing lately, he’ll be doing the next one himself!