A day in the “life”
Skating in riiiiiight under the wire, here’s today’s post! It’s a glimpse into my day yesterday — which is the perfect post for me because it counts as an update and also answers the question about why I’m flailing in my own blogging challenge.
BACKSTORY FOR NEW READERS: It will help you understand the chaos below to know the following:
- I have six kids ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and 10 months.
- My husband is a lawyer/CPA. It is tax season.
- I have a book coming out in April, published by Ignatius Press.
And now for more details than you ever wanted to know about what I was doing all day yesterday:
7:40 AM: Alarm goes off. Notice that I feel even less inclined to get out of bed than usual. Remember that I stayed up reading until 1:45 AM.
7:41 AM: Ask myself why I do stupid things like that. Realize that I dodged a bullet since the baby slept through the night. Promise not to do that again. Know that I will anyway.
7:50 AM: Back asleep. Alarm goes off again. Browse iPhone to help wake up. My intent is to pull up the Divine Office app to pray Lauds, but I make the mistake of checking Twitter first and then it’s all over.
7:55 AM: Check email. See flight confirmation for Chicago trip. Remember that just yesterday we made the decision that I would go to a studio in Chicago to record the audiobook for the book. I’m also giving a talk while I’m there. Try not to think about the fact that I leave Sunday — as in, just a few days from today.
8:00 AM: Get up, get dressed, go downstairs. All kids still asleep, including the baby.
8:05 AM: Pull up my computer and see a half-finished draft of a post. Recall with dread that this is one of those quicksand posts that has turned out to be a time-sucking mess, but I’m too far in to get out of it now.
8:06 AM: Recall with even more dread that I committed myself to writing seven posts in seven days. Hate myself for my lack of foresight and self-knowledge. Wonder what I did to anger the Schedule Fates that I found out about the Chicago trip only after I told the internet I would post every day.
8:10 AM: Make coffee. Wake up kids. Change baby’s diaper, get him dressed. Change two-year-old’s diaper, get her dressed. Wonder why two-year-old has to scream through the entire process.
8:25 AM: Two-year-old still screaming, this time because a sibling looked at her blanket. Put on a Shaun the Sheep DVD and she’s instantly happy, as usual. Take a moment to thank God for Shaun the Sheep.
9:00 AM: Joe takes the two preschoolers to Mother’s Day Out on his way to work. Remember that he’s working late again tonight. Wonder if tax season is going to kill us.
9:10 AM: Go into my home office to make homeschool copies. Put baby on floor. Notice he’s happily tearing up mail. Wonder if it’s a bill. Decide I don’t care.
9:50 AM: Still haven’t made homeschool copies because I’m distracted by my computer.
9:52 AM: See email from Fr. Jonathan Morris asking if I’d like to weigh in on “the Arizona situation” on his show tomorrow. Realize I’m not as up to speed on current events as I should be. Consider replying saying, “You mean the Grand Canyon? I’m for it!” but decide that that would probably end up forwarded to his producer with a note telling him to please never book bloggers again.
9:58 AM: Remember that the official pre-order announcement for the book is coming soon. Remember the promises I made about some important stuff I would have ready. Realize there is no way I can do it. Email the Ignatius folks to say in so many words, “You know that stuff that was entirely my idea that I assured you I’d have done by now? It’s not going to be done for a few more weeks because my life is crazy.” Thank the Lord that I have a very cool publisher who is completely understanding about that kind of thing.
10:00 AM: Realize that the paper-mush that the baby is smearing on the wall was the electricity bill. Finally make homeschool copies.
10:15 AM: Make second cup of coffee. Homeschool three big kids.
11:15 AM: History lesson that veers into lively discussion about where our ancestors come from, with kids pointing at globe and eagerly asking questions about European geography, makes me feel like a homeschooling champion.
11: 50 AM: Baby crying while I try to explain fractions and my daughter assuring me that “one-and-a-half is not a real number” makes me feel like a homeschooling failure.
12:30 PM: Baby finally naps. Finish homeschool lessons, set kids up with books and independent work. Have the daily discussion about whether Minecraft constitutes schoolwork.
1:00 PM: Babysitter arrives. Congratulate myself for having the foresight to convey to her that she should be here every single moment that she is free for the next month, and I will happily pawn the TV to pay for it.
1:10 PM: Sit down to work on the Chicago talk, remember that I have to finish that post. Hate myself for announcing that I would post every day for a week. Consider throwing in the towel. Pridefully refuse to throw in the towel.
1:11 PM: Consider that my life would be simpler if I had never learned to read and write.
1:15 PM: Realize that I haven’t eaten yet — though the approximately 2,000 calories of half-and-half I added to my coffee kept me from noticing. Think that I should scrap my current post with weight loss tips and write one called: The Overbooked Fool Diet: How to Get Yourself So Ridiculously Maxed Out that You Don’t Have Time to Eat!
1:16 PM: Microwave frozen Thai food for lunch.
1:45 PM: Just as I get back to the blog post, the two preschoolers return home from Mother’s Day Out and the baby wakes up from his nap.
1:46 PM: Thank my dad profusely for giving the preschoolers a ride home. Know that the crazed look in my eyes tells him I mean it when I say I couldn’t do it without his help. He offers to take my nine-year-old son to get a haircut. I almost weep with gratitude.
1:50 PM: Help babysitter manage chaos. Try conceal laughter when I reprimand tired two-year-old because she was walking through the house, picking up various objects and disdainfully tossing them aside, saying, “HATE dat book, HATE dees shoes, HATE Care Bear…”
1:52 PM: Consider trying to clean off kitchen table, which is littered with school papers mixed with snack wrappers and a disgusting juice-milk concoction one of the kids made, but decide that I need to pretend that it doesn’t exist for a while.
1:55 PM: Two-year-old playing happily. Baby crying now. Wonder if I will ever know a life when we can go 10 minutes without someone screaming.
2:45 PM: Put two-year-old down for nap. Am vaguely reminded of a crocodile wrestling video I once saw on Youtube. Except the crocodiles weren’t shouting, “HATE NAAAAP!!!”
3:30 PM: Work on post. Wonder if I should see psychiatric specialist about this decision to blog every day this week.
3:35 PM: Babysitter has her hands full with fussy baby. In process of working on post, am interrupted once every few minutes to referee arguments involving the byzantine rule system of my daughters’ pretend pets game. Declare in exasperation that the next person who refuses to be the owner after getting ten minutes to be Princess Kitty Cuddles will go to time out.
4:00 PM: Overhear kids asking why baby has poop on his neck. Realize we have an epic diaper situation. Offer to change it to avoid traumatizing the babysitter.
4:15 PM: After washing my hands for about ten minutes, go back to writing post.
5:00 PM: Make the official call that it’s too late to try to get baby to take a second nap, which means he’s going to be loud and angry for the rest of the evening. Try not to throw myself on the floor and cling to the babysitter’s ankles when it’s time for her to go.
5:30 PM: Get an email from my publisher’s PR agent asking me to review some marketing material. Dash off a reply sounding more desperate than I meant to saying that my life is insane and I can’t get to it until tomorrow.
5:50 PM: Tell kids to “do whatever they want” while I finish my blog post. They decide to eat marshmallows while finger painting. I let them.
6:05 PM: Publish post. Feel like I need to frantically work on the next post or prepare for tomorrow’s interview with Fr. Morris or go over the Chicago talk, but decide to let it all go. Shut my laptop. Tell God he’ll have to help me find time for that other stuff because I need to turn my attention back to the house.
6:06 PM: Tell big kids to straighten up. Feel very thankful that this is not a source of conflict — Joe, who was raised by a single mother, trained them early on that they need to help around the house with good attitudes.
6:30 PM: Joe texts to say he’ll be home at 11 PM — earlier than I expected him.
6:31 PM: Four big kids have picked up the living room, swept, vacuumed, unloaded the dishwasher, and cleaned the kitchen table. Time for dinner. Realize that my dinner plan for tonight was a slow-cooker stew…which I never started. Announce to kids that we’re going to the McDonald’s drive-thru.
6:32 PM: Go out to driveway to start car so that it can be warming up because it’s SO COLD, wonder who can live in such extreme conditions. (It was 45° F.)
6:33 PM: Seven-year-old daughter goes to get jacket. Suddenly stops, frozen, shrieking and holding her foot.
6:34 PM: Put the overtired baby down, he starts screaming. Two-year-old starts screaming because she doesn’t like it that the baby’s screaming. Seven-year-old is screaming because there’s something in her foot.
6:35 PM: Examine seven-year-old’s foot. Almost pass out when I see that a sewing needle is lodged deep into the flesh, having entered between her toes, parallel to the plane of the foot. I try to pull it out but it’s stuck. In between bouts of visceral terror, I notice that this needle is from me teaching the girls sewing the past weekend. I note bitterly that evidently we can’t do fun things in this house without it ending up in a stabbing.
6:36 PM: Tell seven-year-old we’re going to ER. Call mom and tell her to come over. Mom can’t hear me because of all the noise — step away and scream over the screaming to say I need her to get in her car and start driving NOW.
6:37 PM: My daughter begs me to get it out now because it’s causing her so much pain. Tell son to grab pliers. With the little ones yelling their heads off in the background and my daughter about to shatter the windows from her own crying, with great effort I manage to pull the needle out. Feel certain that the neighbors wonder what on earth is going on in the Fulwiler House of Horrors this time.
6:42 PM: My mom walks in. I’m about to pass out from my foray into home surgery, though my daughter is fine now. All I want to do is retire to my fainting couch, but I realize that I have six hungry children who need to eat.
6:50 PM: My mom graciously offers to stay with big kids while I get food. Go out to the car to see that it’s still running. Head to McDonald’s, drifting through the drive thru with the vacant-eyed stare of someone escaping a war zone.
7:15 PM: Mom leaves. Dinner finished. Give baby bath, put in jammies.
7:45 PM: Give four-year-old and two-year-old a bath. Wrestle two-year-old into jammies. Watch her act like these jammies are eating away at her skin with the agony their terribleness is causing her. Give her new jammies, which meet with her approval. Don’t care that she puts them on backwards.
8:10 PM: Go to my room to put baby down (his crib is in our room — a downside of having a three-bedroom house). Am interrupted twice by downstairs chaos.
8:30 PM: Hang out with kids. Tell voices in my head that say that I should be writing or cleaning or preparing talks to shut up. Admonish myself to be more like that blogger who says she has the courage to rest. Remember that that was me.
9:20 PM: Joe home early because of the whole needle-embedded-deeply-into-muscle-tissue-of-foot thing. Try to chat with him, but two-year-old needs a diaper change and the big kids are fighting upstairs.
9:30 PM: Joe changes two-year-old’s diaper. While I put her to bed, he cleans the kitchen.
9:50 PM: Tell big girls to go to bed. Collapse onto the couch. Wish I could do the Star Wars Princess Leia hologram thing to tell them bedtime stories, because I really do not want to move from this couch.
9:55 PM: Talk about some new NeverWinter game with my nine-year-old son, who is alert and cheerful and not headed to bed right now because he’s a bionic child who doesn’t need sleep.
10:00 PM: Tell big girls stories. Force my exhausted self to appreciate precious moments. Try mostly unsuccessfully to squelch overwhelming desire to flee downstairs to soak in silence.
10:20 PM: Try again to chat with Joe, but we’re both too tired. He goes to bed.
10:40 PM: Hang out with my non-sleeping son.
11:00 PM: Reply to as many personal emails, blog emails, blog comments, tweets, and Instagram replies as possible. Prep for tomorrow’s interview. Surf the web in a stupor.
11:50 PM: Feed cat, straighten kitchen, check on each kid to make sure they’re all tucked in.
12:00 AM: Get in bed. Consider trying to sleep, but baby starts making noise like he might be waking. Decide that since I don’t know if I’m about to have to get up with him or not, the most prudent course of action would be to surf the web on my iPhone.
12:20 AM: Re-read today’s post. Enjoy sense of accomplishment that it’s done.
12:30 AM: Baby quiet now. Time to go to sleep.
12:31 AM: Read a few posts by fellow bloggers who are also in the trenches of writing every day this week, laugh and nod and smile through each of them. Silently thank them for being a highlight in my day. Feel kind of glad that I signed us all up for this crazy seven-posts-in-seven-days thing. Look forward to writing another one tomorrow.
I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week (or trying to, anyway). To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.
New here? Come say hi on Twitter at @jenfulwiler!