Jul 3, 2008

Yesterday in my life

About a year ago I recorded a day in my life hour-by-hour (and with pictures, of course). The final product was for my journal only, but it seemed like something fun to do for the old blog. (You don't know enough about the Bartle family, anyway....)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4:39 a.m. Gavin cries. Remarkably, it's for the first time since he went to bed. We've been trying to cut out night feedings, but teething has turned our world upside down. I feed him so I can go back to bed immediately.

6:40 a.m. Gavin is up for the day. Mr. Sun is, too, and I've resolved to get up earlier. I nurse Gavin again.

6:55 a.m. I get dressed to exercise and start sorting laundry. Gavin crawls right over to the shoes in my closet and starts pulling them off the rack.

7:00 a.m. Tyler comes upstairs and asks if he can watch TV. I tell him he can after his room is clean. He retreats to the basement.

7:03 a.m. I start the white load of laundry.

7:05 a.m. I finish up Gavin's 7-month blog post, visited a few updated blogs, and check email.

7:13 a.m. With Gavin in the exersaucer and the boys watching Jimmy Neutron, I start my morning run.

7:36 a.m. Gavin is DONE in the exersaucer. I only have a few minutes left and ask Zach to babysit. He obliges.

7:45 a.m. I finish running. I cough and wheeze and guzzle water and stretch. OK, that was a little dramatic. But I'm glad to be done.

7:50 a.m. I update this.

8:00 a.m. Gavin gets dressed for the day. Surprise! I figure out that Gavin was sad at 7:36 because his overnight diaper couldn't contain a blowout. Clean clothes suddenly put him in a good mood. I always think of Zachary at this age (cough, size) when Gavin wears this shirt.

8:00 a.m. Garry gets up. The boys come upstairs. Garry gets a back rub from the boys' feet.

8:13 a.m. With the big boys eating cereal and Gavin enjoying a biter biscuit, I start to cut Garry's hair. I only know one hair cut, and I'm glad Garry's willing to go short enough to let me utilize my limited skills.

8:15 a.m. A fight erupts over spoons. Zach goes to time-out.

8:25 a.m. Breakfast is over. I have a mini-conference, mid-haircut, with the boys about preparing for swimming lessons and the park. I fully expect they will reappear in half an hour, still pajama clad and having done none of what I asked them to do.

8:35 a.m. I finish Garry's hair cut. It's not fair that he has so much hair.

8:40 a.m. I try feeding Gavin some new baby food: bananas with apples and pears. He's not going for it. At all!

8:45 a.m. Time to switch the laundry.

8:50 a.m. Zach at least has a swimming suit on. Tyler comes in for a hug and says he can't find his. I suspect it is still draped over the stroller in the garage. Garry showers.

9:00 a.m. I jump in the shower.

9:10 a.m. After getting dressed, I realize I forgot to shave my legs for the shorts I'm wearing and my arms are really too flabby for this short-sleeve shirt. A big fat "oh well" on both counts.

9:28 a.m. Done! Time to get park picnic stuff ready.

9:36 a.m. I slice apples and my thumb. The nearest Band-Aid has Diego on it. Perfect.

9:48 a.m. I quickly check the park schedule (which I created but have not committed to memory) for location and directions. I hear boys howling over something or other upstairs. What an echo chamber our house is! Now there's running, chasing, and more screaming upstairs. Ahhhhh... Zach is really picking on Tyler. When they come screaming into the office, I take away Zach's TV privileges for two days. This is probably more of a punishment for me than for Zachary, although he acts like it's the end of the world.

9:53 a.m. Time to get in the car for swimming lessons. We won't be back for several hours.

10:10 a.m. We arrive in time for lessons but not in time to get a great seat. Bummer. Tyler runs off to class while Zach and I sit waaaaaay down on the end of the observation area.

10:15 a.m. Zach heads out the observation area for a snack. Gavin is ready to nurse.

10:30 a.m. Not content with mere milk, Gavin is ready for we try stars. He likes them, but he's still working on hand-mouth coordination for tiny things. I help. I realize I skipped breakfast and that I'm famished. I eat crackers on the sly; I'm sitting by the "no food allowed" sign.

10:40 a.m. Since I can't see Ty's class, I'm being entertained by the ancient ladies doing water aerobics. I wonder whose figure will mirror my own when I'm 80. Hopefully that cute sporty one.

10:55 a.m. Tyler is done. His teacher offers a positive report. He'll be ready for the next level by the end of the session. And he didn't bite anyone today! High fives all around.

11:00 a.m. Zach's class starts. Tyler changes clothes under cover of a beach towel because I don't want him in the locker room alone. He plays out on the patio. This class time is more enjoyable for me because my good friend Kym has kids swimming, too, so we can chat.

11:15 a.m. Gavin is DONE in the stroller. I keep shoving stars in his mouth, distracting him with toys and books, and tickling his feet. Eventually he decides not to be grumpy.

11:35 a.m. Just kidding. We walk around to pass some time. I'm getting tired of the hot and humid pool area, too. Let's go!

11:45 a.m. Zach's class ends. He's cold (hard to imagine) but happy. He loves Level 4.

11:50 a.m. We're on the road to the park.

11:52 a.m. I call Garry to talk about our Arizona travel plans and get distracted from my destination. We end up at home instead, so I turn around and drive to the park.

12:00 p.m. We arrive at the park one hour later than the scheduled park group time. However, Kym is just behind us in her van and my friend Colleen shows up at noon, too. Fabulous! We spend almost two hours eating and talking. Our eleven collective children are surprisingly well-behaved, although Gavin is a man on the move which makes a picnic rather interesting.

12:32 p.m. Garry calls to tell me our play structure will be here July 8. Wow...we have a lot of yard work to do in the next week! We talk about making plans to visit Logandale in three weeks.

1:30 p.m. Gavin, having just finished another nursing stint, spits up all over Luke, Colleen's one-year-old. Mixed vegetables plus curdled milk equals gross, but Luke isn't too bothered.

1:45 p.m. We all pack up and head out. It's hot, we're all tired, and I'm ready for a nap. Gavin falls asleep in the two minutes it takes to drive home. Luckily his slumber survives a transfer to the crib.

2:00 p.m. The boys set about their "morning" chores. A brawl erupts over whose turn it is to unload the bottom half of the dishwasher (it's the preferred half). I wonder if these little feuds will always be a part of my life. I am losing the proverbial joy in the journey because of these incessant, relentless, omni-present feuds.

2:05 p.m. I start a third load of laundry.

2:06 p.m. The doorbell rings. A kid I've never seen hands me a piece of plastic and says, "This is for your sliding glass door." Huh? It dawns on me that perhaps he used to live here. A lady in the car in the street repeats his message at a barely audible volume. I still can't figure out what the heck the plastic thing is, but I accept it and go back inside.

2:10 p.m. Dishwasher emptied, the boys' next feud is over a bouncy ball.

2:12 p.m. Then it's about markers. Who raised these children? Who
wants to raise these children? Wait, that's not fair. I just need an owner's manual. They didn't come with one.

2:15 p.m. Garry's right; I'm obsessed. I sit down at the computer to check email and blogs (and download the morning's pictures for this post). One of my park buddies told me about hers, so I check it out for a few minutes. I look up a half-marathon she mentioned in a recent post. Should I try to whip myself into shape and do it, too? I'm not sure it's feasible at this altitude. What am I trying to prove, anyway?

2:35 p.m. Time to fold laundry. I'm determined that these clothes won't sit in the basket for three days.

2:37 p.m. I have folded three onesies, a blanket, and two pairs of socks when I hear Gavin crying. Oh no you don't.... Upon investigating, Gavin is crying that funky I'm-not-awake-but-not-asleep whine and is in no way ready to be done napping. I scoop him up with a comfy blanket and rock him. I get drowsy sitting in the quiet, dark room with a sleeping baby in my arms.

2:50 p.m. Blood-curdling screams from the basement rip us both out of peaceful slumber. First it's Tyler. I can tell Zach has taken something away. Then it's Zach, obviously the victim of a brutal attack. See 2:12 p.m. for my stream of consciousness.

2:55 p.m. I figure Gavin's nap is a lost cause, but I put him back in bed anyway. I figure if Gavin doesn't get a nap, the big boys will take it for him.

3:00 p.m. Zach and Tyler accept their consequence with very little reaction, maybe because they are too tired to protest. Zach flops down on his bed immediately. I march Tyler up the stairs with an armload of books. He is planning to resist peacefully; he'll read books but he won't nap. I suspect he'll last ten minutes. This will be the third time this week the boys have napped.

3:05 p.m. I resume laundry duties. With the boys asleep (or well on their way), I find Gilmore Girls on TV. I haven't watched the reruns in ages and I fear without a good "friend" I might resort to ice cream to wash away the frustrations of the last hour. I still might.

3:18 p.m. Both boys are totally out. Make that all three. Gavin managed to resume his nap unsupervised. Good boy. Upon going upstairs, I discover that an afternoon thunderstorm has rolled in. The sight of gray skies and the smell of rain makes me miss Beaverton.

3:20 p.m. I force myself to clean the kitchen. In the silent house with the sound rain on the windows, it feels good to tidy the mess. I realize, though, that my plans to work in the yard this afternoon will have to change. I leave the hair cut kit out so I can trim the boys' hair later on. I take meat out to thaw for dinner. Thinking about dinner before 5:00 is rare for me. Having a plan at 3:20 is practically unheard of.

3:40 p.m. Gavin wakes up very unhappy. I repeat the binky/blanket effort, but it's not successful. I try Orajel on his bulging gums. Works like a charm, but Gavin is up for good. He joins me downstairs. I'm done folding one load and the dryer is taking for-e-ver to finish, so we play.

4:15 p.m. Ready for a change of pace. I edit photos. Gavin nurses as I do so, thus recharging his batteries and enabling me to actually get something done.

4:30 p.m. Zachary wakes up. He's ravenous, of course. So he has a popsicle.

5:00 p.m. I "give" the computer to Zachary so he can build creations on and take Gavin upstairs with me. He is excited about sitting in the exersaucer while I defrost meat and gather ingredients to make sweet and sour meatballs.

5:10 p.m. Oh, crap. We don't have worchestershire sauce.

5:12 p.m. I take a breath and head to the neighbor's house with Gavin in tow. Lisa is very happy to lend us the essential ingredient. Dinner is saved, and I'm glad to have a neighbor who will lend me stuff.

5:18 p.m. Tyler wakes up. Wow. He is ornery.

5:30 p.m. Dinner is in the oven. I have thirty minutes to kill. Hm. Little boy hair cuts! Tyler screams all the way through his. So does Gavin.

5:40 p.m. Garry comes home during Gavin's hair cut. His helping hands get us through the home stretch. Afterwards we appease Gavin with some snacks to nibble on.

5:45 p.m. Zachary is summoned for his hair cut. Unlike his brothers, he is a happy statue. Cutting the hair of a happy statue is so much easier than a whiny tub of Jell-O. Garry starts making rice and carrots to go with our meal.

6:00 p.m. Hair cuts are cleaned up and dinner is served. The big boys whine about eating rice but suffer through it. Gavin is super sad but manages to down a container of bananas and mixed berries in record time. Then he sits on my lap, plays with a spoon, and squeals with glee.

6:20 p.m. I relocate Gavin to the floor and Garry and I finish our meal in peace. The boys clear their dishes and go out back to play.

6:30 p.m. Garry and I relocate to the floor. Gavin is being so cute and happy. He's crawling so much that we start eyeing the stair case six feet away. It's time to install the safety gates, but we wonder how they'll work.

7:00 p.m. It took some finagling, but the gates are up. Gavin delightedly grabs the gate and rattles it. A new phase of life has begun.

7:05 p.m. I ask Garry if he'd rather do dishes or bathe kids. He says he'll do whatever I don't want to do. He's shocked when I want to do the dishes, but I've been doing kids all day. He goes upstairs to change clothes and I start another load of laundry.

7:15 p.m. The big boys come inside for baths. They aren't super happy about it.

7:20 p.m. I start on the kitchen. As I hear the ruckus involved with cleaning three unruly boys, I'm happy with my choice. Washing dishes and wiping counters is so soothing, so I sweep and start mopping, too.

7:45 p.m. Three boys are clean. The littlest one is ready to sleep. I stop mopping and nurse him while Garry reads to the big boys. Again, I get the easier job. Gavin is soon out. Sleeping babies are so sweet.

8:00 p.m. I keep mopping. Garry is animatedly reading The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss. I can't hear the words, but his intonations are funny. As I mop I muse about draperies and rugs and couches that might one day adorn these rooms. I look at the fake calla lillies arching out of the vase on my new console table. I purchased a few possible fillers for that vase, but I again confirm in my mind that the calla lillies win. Except I need a few more.

8:15 p.m. Mopping done. I've mopped myself into a corner, so I go out the back door, walk around to the front, let myself in, and play a few songs on the piano while I wait for the rest of the floor to dry. I hear the dryer buzz while I am playing.

8:25 p.m. The boys are ready for the last stage of bed time: back rubs and a song. This is always my job.

8:30 p.m. Boys in bed. I start the last load of laundry and pile the dry stuff on the couch.

8:45 p.m. I decide to go to Target. The thought of a quick and peaceful errand sounds heavenly. Garry's glad I won't hog the computer all night for one project or another.

9:00 p.m. Having finished a spur-of-the-moment phone call to my mom, I make the return at Target I was planning on and head back to the home decor section for four more calla lillies. I marvel at how different this Target is than the one in Beaverton, but I'm pleased that I remember the way to the flowers.

9:05 p.m. I can't find the flowers. They were RIGHT HERE yesterday. Yesterday, I tell you! Why are all these fishing rods here instead? I'm so confused. I ask the workers fixing a display if they rearranged this part of the store today. They said they did so I don't feel quite so much like a dope, but then when I explain what I need they exchange blank, glazed looks with each other and glance at the crazy lady standing in front of them. The fishing rods have been their for a month, says the store manager. Hm. Suddenly, and with a great deal of idiocy coursing through my veins, I realized I'm at a different Target than I was yesterday. I admit this sad fact, and the manager points me in the right direction.

9:10 p.m. I still have to wander a bit, but I find the calla lillies, along with all manner of adorable home furnishings. This clock, for example. And a fabulous, brightly-striped quilt I can't find online. Am I crazy for wanting a rainbow-colored guest room right next to a circus-colored baby's room? Probably. But I do.

9:30 p.m. Home. I think five calla lillies are perfect instead of seven. Guess I've got another return to make. I had planned to hang that metal art piece tonight but I'm too tired. Things are getting fuzzy.

9:45 p.m. I chat with Garry for a bit and then decide to tackle laundry.

10:00 p.m. Garry comes in to help. We turn on "Whose Line is it, Anyway?" Hilarious comedy.

10:15 p.m. Folding goes so fast with two people! I change into freshly laundered pajamas and relax on the couch for the rest of the show. I make it to the next commercial and zonk out.

11:45 p.m. Gavin cries; the nightly circus has begun. I trudge upstairs with the baby monitor and my cup of water. I help him find a binky, cover him with a blanket, feel lucky that he goes right back to sleep, and crash in my own bed.

So there you have it: a day in my life. This day was particularly long and busy, but I didn't know it would be that way when it began. For example, I don't usually multitask hair cuts and dinner preparation!

And I promise my next post won't be so ridiculously long.

That said, I'd love to see what a day in the life of
you, fair reader, entails.
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