Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ordinary days

Every so often I like to write a post that just captures the day-to-day. Tonight I have time so that's what I'm doing. Pictures above are from a few weeks ago when we invited a whole bunch of friends over for our annual ice cream party and then stayed up to catch fireflies when everyone had gone home and we'd finished the cleanup. 

7:40: My alarm goes off and I lie there for a minute wondering at how quickly I've gotten used to not getting up at 4:45 AM to go running. I'm still so tired, mostly because I never sleep well until Neil is home and he worked until 1 AM the night before. And in a month we will be getting Abigail off to the bus by 7:30, which does not feel possible at this moment.

7:50: Neil starts making pancakes--thank heavens this is not one of the days where he leaves at 6 am. I pick up the sheets from our floor and toss them in the washer. Sometimes when I'm pregnant my skin is super sensitive and I end up changing the sheets in the middle of the night because I can only sleep with perfectly clean sheets--last night was one of those nights. Juliet starts practicing piano while Abigail practices the clarinet and I remind everyone to make their beds before they come in for breakfast. Abigail helps Nathan with his and Jules helps Luke.

8:20: Breakfast is over; the kids wash their dishes and Abigail wipes the table and sweeps the floor before she starts practicing piano. Juliet packs up the pool bag, then vacuums the main living areas, while Isaac cleans the kids' bathroom (it's his assigned day to do so).

8:40: We're out the door to swimming lessons! This is the first year that everyone has been simultaneously enrolled and I don't have a baby to entertain during the lessons. It's pretty awesome.

9:30: The boys finish their lesson--Nathan deigned to put his toes in the water today and Luke actually got in (although his hair is still dry) so it's an improvement on yesterday. We wait for the girls to finish their lesson. An older man compliments me on how well-behaved the boys are as we wait--I love it when people say the nice things they're thinking.

9:45: The girls finish and we head home. It's already blazing hot, and I promise the kids that we'll come back later for open swim.

10:00: We're back home and everyone changes out of their swimsuits--we've got the drill pretty much down now and all the towels are tossed in the dryer while the swimsuits are hung out on the back porch to dry. I cut up some apples for a mid-morning snack and settle down with the two little boys and a big pile of picture books. Juliet and Abigail stretch out on the couches to read and Isaac is busy assembling a remote-control car my parents gave him last weekend when we saw them at the beach; it's the kind where you can take it apart over and over again and I think he's put it together at least 15 times in the last three days.

10:40: Done with the picture books; we end with Miss Rumphius, my all-time favorite. The boys run off to play Legos and I spend a few minutes blitzing through the house putting things away, starting more laundry and folding the previous loads, some very overdue dusting, and another round of vacuuming. I call my mom with a quick question and she asks if she can stop by later today on her way back from dropping my youngest sister & family at the airport--they're on their way to Hong Kong for the next year!

11: 25: I remind the kids that if they want to go to the pool, I need to get my run in and ask them to please play together without arguing so that I don't have to keep stopping to sort things out. I really do not love doing all my runs on the treadmill, especially when the kids are awake, but it's just too hot outside to run safely, since I get really dizzy when I overheat during pregnancy--just sitting at the side of the pool this morning was enough to make me nauseated for the next hour. 

12:25: I finish my 6 miles. It felt much harder than the 8 miles I ran yesterday and I wonder for the thousandth time how long I'll be able to keep this up. 

12:50: Lunch is simple today: PBJs, carrots, sugar snap peas, and apples. The kids eat quickly with the allure of the pool, clean up at the speed of lightning, and they're back in swimsuits before I'm out of the shower.

1:20: We arrive at the pool and the kids are overjoyed to find that friends are already there! Nathan and Luke immediately jump in and proceed to swim around like brightly-colored fish--if only they would do this at their lessons! The water feels SO great on my tired legs and I make a mental note of how much the pool time helps with muscle fatigue and recovery.

3:30: Thoroughly waterlogged and sunbaked, we've had a great afternoon--time to rinse off and head home before my mom gets there! I shower all the kids off at the pool so we don't have to worry about it when we get home and they're all dried off again.

3:50: Back at home, post-pool routine again. I head off for a real shower, not just a quick post-run pre-pool rinse, and the kids take care of the wet towels/suits and getting themselves dressed. We're really in a lovely stage right now where everyone is pretty independent and I can generally count on them doing what they're supposed to do when they're supposed to do it.

4:30: My mom arrives and the kids are thrilled to see her! Isaac demonstrates his car's maneuverability and Abigail pulls out her new clarinet.

4:45: We head to campus. Every summer the College of Engineering puts on a pretty great to-do for the grad students and my mom is joining us for it today! There are food trucks, bounce houses, balloons, and face-painting. Isaac wins a cake at the cake walk and is speechless with joy. We wait out a humdinger of a downpour in the face-painting tent (Isaac agrees to have his face painted for the first time ever!).

6:50: Neil volunteers to go through the rain and retrieve my car from the parking garage. Once he arrives, we load the kids in and then kiss him goodbye--he's got a few more hours of work to put in before he's done for the day.

7:10: Back at our house, it's time for my mom to head home too--we won't see her again until we go to Florida, but it was so nice to have an unexpected few hours with her today!

7:30: Everyone is, of course, ravenously hungry, and as Nathan puts it, we eat "second dinner." The swimsuits on the back porch are blown all over the backyard and thoroughly soaked, so after we collect them I start yet another load of laundry.

8:00: Somehow--magically--the children are all in bed at their actual bedtime. Thank you, afternoon at the pool! I wash my face and take out my contacts--removing that barrier to bedtime always makes it easier for me to go to bed at a decent hour.

8:15: I start answering student emails about the research outlines due tonight, then compile and send out midterm grades. Hard to believe we're more than halfway done with the summer term!

8:50: I move on to the rest of my inbox. Messages from my online running forum about our workouts today: interesting and encouraging. Not so fun: reminders that I volunteered to make sandwiches for the homeless shelter and I'm in charge of a water game for Activity Days, neither of which I have the supplies for and I will somehow need to fit in a trip to the grocery store tomorrow (one of my least favorite tasks, especially in summer).

9:26: I finish writing this post. Time to hit submit and then collapse into bed!

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