I’ve read many “Day in the Life” posts over the years as a blogger, but never did one until now, when SimpleHomeschool.net invited readers to share their day and link up to their Friday post. I’m so glad I did this! I learned a lot. I share what I mean here.
5:13 AM: My stomach, ignoring the protests of the rest of my body, decides sleep time is over. I get up and reheat a bowl of last night’s chili. I contemplate going back to bed for a bit, but since pregnancy nausea has set in, I’ve been sleeping later and I miss my morning routine. So I decide to stay up.
I grab the computer and place our farm order, which hubby will pick up tomorrow. 3 gallons of raw milk, 4 dozen eggs, and a bag of grass fed beef bones for broth. I read an email and learn what baby’s doing now at 14 weeks, officially my second trimester.
I hear Sadie, 6, get up and go to the bathroom. She leaves the bathroom light on, wide open, as usual. Ugh. It shines right into my bedroom and hits my eyes when I’m in bed. Reminding her to turn it off won’t do any good because she probably wants the light on so she can see back to her room easily. I decide to buy her a small flashlight to keep by her bed to solve this problem. She slept badly last night, and woke me up twice. I think it’s because she ate gluten on Sunday. Every few months I let her try a bit to see if there’s a reaction, and there always is.
There’s a lot I need to do on the computer, but I shut it down because I’m feeling nauseous. Screens have that effect on me when I’m pregnant, which is really inconvenient when you’re a blogger.
I take a bath, get dressed, start water boiling.
6:45: Julien and Sadie wake up and come sit with me on the sofa. I hear toddler feet padding down the hallway and cries of “Mama” from the youngest, her Daddy just behind her. They’re not usually up for another hour. I must have made too much noise. I nurse Ruby and snuggle with Sadie. I say a prayer and ask for help with patience… not something I usually struggle with, but pregnancy hormones and nausea are making my fuse way too short lately.
I eat another small bowl of chili. I’m hungry all the time now.
Tea time. Julien, our resident tea maker, steeps a cup of Tasha Tudor’s Welsh breakfast tea for me. We drink this tea every day. I write “Tasha Tudor” in my notebook and decide it would be fun to spend a day with the kids studying her life and works. She was a remarkable woman who lived life squarely on her terms and she’s fascinating to me.
Ruby hands me a Berenstain Bears book and says, “Read it“. I do, but it looks more like her turning pages to the objects she recognizes, so she can point and name them. “Baby, owl, bunny, eggs, puppy”, etc, which is frustrating to Sadie, who actually wants to hear the story.
7:20: I cook *Breakfast in a Bowl for the early risers. The later crew of big kids can cook some more eggs to eat with the remaining grits when they awake. Ruby seems frantic for the sausages to be done, and eventually grabs my fork from my hand and feeds herself, then asks for “Mo“. I take this as a sign my milk supply is dropping. While we eat breakfast, we see the sunrise out the window.
(* Grits cooked with a ton of butter and cheese heaped in a bowl with fried egg and sausage.)
I get up to get Ruby and myself more food and realize it’s normal to be hungry when your body is nourishing 3 people. “Pee!”. I look behind me and Ruby is standing in a puddle. I had just put a clean diaper on her but the leg elastic is a bit stretched out on her Fuzzi Bunz and her toddler bladder holds a lot. I take off her pants and diaper and clean up the mess. Good thing Ilana will be mopping later. Yes, we will be potty training come Spring.
While I’m away from the table Julien reads this post in progress and laughs. I explain what a “day in the life” post is about. He says that I need to “make a book”. Ruby goes in the sink for a quick bath. Meanwhile I unload the dishwasher.
7:46: Hubby’s up, so I fry more sausages and eggs, then put on a little makeup. I ask Sadie not to play guitar while people are sleeping. A sleepy teenage boy emerges from his bed and sits down at the piano to practice a new piece. I don’t tell him to be quiet. Now the big girls are up and eating breakfast. Ruby asks me to put her Raffi tape in the CD player. We discuss the origins of the song “Kumbayah”.
8:05: I check the calendar in my notebook that tells me what monthly cleaning task I’m working on today. It’s cleaning the outside of the fridge, stove and dishwasher. I decide to enlist Sadie’s help. I feel pukey, so I make myself a Perrier with lemon. I get a package together to ship, something I sold on Amazon. I don’t have a large envelope, but thankfully Julien, the eBay entrepreneur, does. My tape isn’t where it’s supposed to be on my desk. I holler to ask if anyone has it, and a child retrieves it for me.
8:20: Hubby kisses me goodbye, in a rush and looking stressed. Zoe is out the door to catch the school bus. I clean breakfast mess off the table then wipe up the grits Ruby dropped attempting to feed herself off the floor.
Someone has given Ruby a bowl of shredded cheese. She eats half, the remainder is all over the floor. I attempt to brush my teeth, but before I’m through painful gagging ensues. I make a mental note to floss later. Meanwhile the girls have followed me into the bathroom and begin peppering me with questions. I use a tiny screwdriver to unlock the door to Sadie’s room which has mysteriously gotten locked for the umpteenth time this week. I announce 5 Minutes to Bible Reading.
8:45: Everyone is fed, dressed and has teeth brushed. Our homeschool day begins.
We sit down to read the Bible first. This is probably my favorite time of day, and the kids really enjoy it too. Today we take turns reading Joshua 5-7. We discuss it afterwards. Then we spend a few minutes looking up some of the places mentioned on a detailed map of the Promised Land. The baby runs around the living room playing with her doll and alternates rummaging through books and sitting in my lap.
When we’re done Caleb immediately starts on Math (without assistance or prompting from me, lovely phenomenon with older homeschoolers!). He’s in the “young scholar” phase for sure. I send Julien and Ilana to do their chores (Julien sweeps the dining/living room and Ilana sweeps and mops the kitchen) while I read two Bible stories to Sadie that correspond to the reading: one is about the fall of Jericho, the other about Achan’s thievery. She is distractable and wiggly today. I point to words and have her read them. She gets the word right about 25% of the time.
We’re interrupted by a poopy diaper. I get up to clean up Ruby, then pass her off to Julien to put the new diaper on while I finish reading and discussing the stories with Sadie.
I notice that Ilana has begun reading Dave Ramsey’s book Financial Peace Revisited. She just finished Chapter One. I told her yesterday that for math this week instead of doing our usual thing (Saxon for her), we were going to talk about money and personal finance. It’s interesting that she took it upon herself to pick up this book and read it. Caleb did the same thing several months ago and completed the book in a few days. It’s very important to me that my children learn sound financial principles (and it’s clear my brainwashing is working) so this makes me very happy!
9: 30: Julien goes outside for a bit for some fresh air and takes Ruby with him. I take the opportunity to clean up the kitchen. I usually have it done up by now, because I find that I enjoy doing school far more when it’s clean.
Ilana brings me a science project she’s working on: she and Julien decided to sprout a bean and chart the progress over a week’s time. Sadie gets excited about this and decides to make one of her own, Ilana helps her set it up.
While I clean, I discuss dinner plans with Caleb. He wants to cook lasagna which wasn’t in my meal plan, so I don’t have the ingredients – but how can I say no to him cooking that? I didn’t want to leave the house today, but decide to swing by the store to pick up the couple of things we need. I can send Caleb in while I stay in the car with everyone else. I look up my favorite slow cooker lasagne recipe. Caleb tells me that Nannie says he needs to start a compost pile for our garden (we had one, but abandoned it because our garden was a colossal flop). He goes downstairs to find a bucket, brings it up to the kitchen and dumps old tea leaves in it. I’m determined to find a local gardener who can mentor us this year. A friend comes to mind.
Sadie wants to write a letter to her friend. I help her spell the words she doesn’t know.
The trip to the store doesn’t take long. When we get home Julien, Caleb and I start on the lasagna. I cook rice and leftover chili for lunch. Sadie decides to eat her rice with chopsticks.
11:40: Ruby has nursed to sleep, so it’s time for Read Aloud with the middle kids. We’re reading The Boxcar Children, which we started yesterday. We’re already halfway through the book because they kept asking for “One more chapter!“. While we read, Caleb does Rosetta Stone Spanish. Then he looks up YouTube videos to learn the fingering for new songs he wants to play on piano. When he’s done, he picks up his current read, a 700+ page Sherlock Holmes collection. He bought the book Sunday night, but it looks like he’ll finish it this week.
12:13: Sadie skips off to play in her room, so I decide to take a 20 minute nap with the baby. I let Ilana play on the computer for a bit. Julien is working on eBay stuff.
1:18: Ok, so maybe my nap was a bit longer than 20 minutes. The nausea has been unrelenting all day, and I’m fighting grumpiness. Besides, I have this sweet snugglebunny.
I get up, and remember the monthly task I need to do. I ask Sadie to come to the kitchen and hand her a cleaning cloth and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. We clean the front of the stove, fridge and dishwasher. It only takes a couple of minutes. The kitchen is a disaster again, but I don’t say a word. I’m happy the kids like to cook, so I’m ok with the “clean as you go” lesson taking a bit longer. Julien is at the sink washing a saucepan so he can hard boil eggs.
1: 50: History. I sit with Ilana and Julien and we read about Charles the Hammer. Caleb is working through the Story of the World: The Middle Ages too, but he’s way ahead of us and uses a different workbook to test himself after his reading. Where is Caleb by the way? I hear the dryer door slam and realize he’s downstairs doing his chore: laundry.
2:13: “Pee. Poop.” Pick up the baby and change her diaper, then head into the bathroom to wash my hands. I brush my teeth again, remembering to stop when I get that tickle in my throat, before gagging begins. I empty the bathroom trash can, then take two bags of kitchen trash to the curb.
It’s warm out, so Ruby comes with me. She begins climbing into the stroller. “Walk!” This surprises me, since for the last couple of months she has been protesting the stroller and the sling, meaning I’ve had to either let her walk and meander alongside, or hold her.
I take advantage of the situation, tell Sadie to get her shoes on, and start walking around the neighborhood. Ruby points out everything she knows. “Bird. Doggie. Choo-choo train. Flower.” Then, “Out.” Ah. There it is. I am already huffing and puffing so I encourage her to stay in until we get home. She goes back to humming and singing. Sadie chatters happily. I give myself permission to feel proud of exercising despite feeling like warmed up dog poop.
3:04: Caleb is back upstairs, updates me on the laundry situation, and sits down at the piano again. Julien plays with LEGO behind me, he is building a safe complete with a combination lock. Sadie is outside digging holes.
Ilana is playing a pointless computer game in which she has to do “Chef” tasks like shred cheese. I consider telling her that there is real cheese in the kitchen she can shred, but think better of it. We don’t have TV, cable, or Nintendo, so a little brain candy in the form of computer games isn’t a hill I want to die on.
I grab Ruby and head back outside to play with Sadie, who is digging up earthworms. She asks me again what they do for the garden, and I explain. I suddenly feel happy with my life, to be here with my children, and say a little prayer expressing gratitude for the mild weather. My body is craving Spring about as much as it’s craving steak.
I remember to take my shoes off so my feet can connect with the earth. This is supposed to make me healthier, or something.
3:35: Caleb brings up a load of clean cloth diapers, then reads a Potty book to Ruby. She Ruby brings me another book and says, “Couch!”. I sit down and we “read”. I try to muster the energy to attack the kitchen mess before Zoe gets home. It’s her chore, but I hate for her to come home from school to such a mess. Caleb is deep into Sherlock Holmes again. Ilana asks me to read another chapter of the Boxcar Children. I read 2. I successfully procrastinate the kitchen cleanup.
I go back outside with Sadie, who is desperate to do something in the garden. I tell her she can put dead leaves on the garden area so she begins picking up armfuls and spreading them around.
4:10: Did somebody mention steak? I’m starving, so I reheat the rice from lunch and stir fry some steak with ginger, soy sauce, vinegar to eat. I begin to smell the lasagna cooking in the slow cooker. It’s bubbling over and dripping all down the counter and drawers underneath. Caleb puts it on top of a large plate to catch the mess.
A fight commences, only the second skirmish of the day, so I feel fortunate. Ilana has taken a necklace from the floor, but it belongs to Julien, who demands it back. She can’t find it. They get animated, and the baby starts screaming at them. I ask Ilana if she wants to be like Achan, who took things that didn’t belong to him. She replies no. I ask her to sweep the living room. Incidentally the exact scenario played out earlier, only the perp was Sadie, who took a toy from Ilana’s room. I was thankful to be able to use that story.
4:50: Caleb walks in the door from the bus stop where he has picked up Zoe, who is finally home from school. I find it disturbing that a child in public school is gone from her family for this many hours a day. I’m glad I got the kitchen cleaned up. I call Julien over and read a couple of chapters of James and the Giant Peach, the current read-aloud I’m sharing with just him (although Ilana joins in). He’s not an avid reader as my other kids, but he loves to be read to, so I single him out for this.
5:15: Hubby walks in. He tells me immediately about a conversation he had with a potential landlord. We were interested in a home with 5 bedrooms in the area, and I contacted the man through Craigslist. He asked how many children we had. When Zeke answered truthfully, he laughed and said, “That’s not going to work.” Large family discrimination is very real folks.
Nevermind that in the 2 years we’ve rented from our current landlord, we’ve never been late on rent. Nevermind that we were prepared to pay a security deposit and first month’s rent. 6 kids are the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. It occurs to me that if I were a litigious person, I could contact a lawyer to sue him for discrimination. I think about emailing the jerk, but decide he isn’t worth my time. Besides, I prayed hard about this situation and asked that if it had His blessing, it would be effortless. Obviously it’s not meant to be.
The noise from dinner is getting to me a little, and I’m feeling gross. I send the kids downstairs to play so Zeke and I can have some quiet to talk. He rocks Ruby and sings to her, a song he made up. He announces to the kids that it’s 5 Minutes to Family Worship.
6:25: Family Worship. We read a few passages from 1 Samuel and discuss how God chose David. That he judges people not based on their appearance, but on their qualities. Caleb answers a question he was assigned to look up in his personal study. Sadie is getting tired so she’s a little wiggly.
7:00: The kids go back downstairs to play. Zeke holds my hand on the sofa and we commence one of our favorite activities, watching Ruby’s antics. She keeps picking up Julien’s foot and wrinkling her nose. I must look terrible, because Zeke keeps asking me if he can get me something to help. “Beer“, I reply. “I don’t have any. Do you want me to pick some non-alcoholic brew up for you?” “No“. I know he’s tired, and I don’t want him to have to leave the house. The only time I crave beer is when I’m pregnant.
7:18: The nausea has been getting progressively stronger and I can’t deal with it anymore. I head to my room to lie in the dark. (I ended up falling asleep and waking up at 12:00 to eat a snack. Meanwhile, hubby put everyone to bed!)