A Day in the Life of Poppyseed

I was driving to the library with Poppyseed this week when I heard a little whisper from The Man Upstairs.

“Enjoy these days.” 

I looked in the rearview mirror at Poppyseed.  She was staring right back at me, sucking away on that paci, and when we made eye contact she scrunched her nose up and smiled at me.

“Oh, I am.  Believe me, I am.”

I may have a lot of downfalls, and I could make major, major improvements in myself as a person and as a mother.  But I will give myself this much… I make a point to love my life.  I make a point to focus on what is positive.  I make a point to enjoy every day of being a mother.

I’m not saying I’m good at it.  I’m not trying to tell you that I never lose my temper, or that I never look at the clock and calculate the exact hours and minutes until Oatmeal gets home, and I’m not telling you that I don’t appreciate a small amount of time to myself.

But I’m telling you with absolute certainty that I love my little life and I love this little girl and I would probably change approximately zero things about it.

Here is an example of a day in our life.

Our day usually begins anywhere between 5am-6am.  It used to bother me that Poppyseed takes after Oatmeal and is a very early riser, but eventually I just gave in and started going to bed early myself. There isn’t any sense in being the resident grump when the other two people I live with are all smiles at 5:17am every day.  I wake up each morning to the sound of her little voice.  It can be heard through two closed doors and over a sound machine.  (My baby monitor broke about a year ago and there has been no need to replace it.  I developed satellite ears shortly after giving birth.)  She calls for us until one of us goes to get her.

“Bah.  Bah.  Bah!  Bahh!  Bahhh!!  BAH!  BAH!  BAHHH!!”

I couldn’t tell you what “bah” means, but I’ve heard that word every morning for as long as she could talk.

The first thing she wants to do every single morning is nurse.  If I weren’t too lazy to take her downstairs and make her a bottle of milk, I’d have had her weened by now, but honestly it’s just easier to walk groggily back to my bed and let her nurse while I doze.

Usually Tough Puppy is snuggled up right next to us and Oatmeal is in the shower by that time.

Nursing under the covers with Tough Puppy cuddled behind her.

Nursing under the covers with Tough Puppy cuddled behind her.

Sometimes Oatmeal will take her downstairs with him and let me continue dozing while he makes breakfast and irons his work clothes.  That only takes about 15 minutes and then she is returned to me.  By then she’s been given a bottle and I just let her lie around next to me and drink while we cuddle.

18 months and still drinking out of a bottle.

18 months and still drinking out of a bottle.

Say cheese!

Say cheese!  I look pretty awake here, maybe it’s past 6am.

I really need to wean this baby.  This is getting out of control.

I really need to wean this baby. This is getting out of control.

Most mornings I let her play in my room until around 7:30am when I finally force myself to get up,  make my bed and take a shower.  She’s pretty good about entertaining herself while I get ready as long as I don’t take too long.

IMG_1414 Shower, dry my hair, get dressed and save my makeup for the car.  I don’t think my makeup bag has left my front seat in months.

We go downstairs and feed the puppies.  She is big on doing this with me.  She walks to the dog food bin and scoops a cupful and walks to the back door.  “Tut!  Doose!  Eat!”  I let her pour food in each dog’s bowl and then we go back inside.  I scramble eggs while she hangs out in the kitchen.  Every now and then she comes and points at me and says “Ess!”  (Eggs.)  Just recently I learned how to make paleo banana muffins and froze about a dozen of them, so sometimes I just defrost one of those and let her eat that instead.

She eats eggs for breakfast 5 out of 7 days of the week on average.

She eats eggs for breakfast 5 out of 7 days of the week on average.  Sometimes with avocado and fruit.

Sometimes we go straight to the grocery store before I even change her into her play clothes for the day.  I’ll admit that my first move when I walk into HEB is usually to go to the bulk section for a ziploc of raisins.  This keeps her happy while I shop.  Raisins are healthy and super cheap, so no harm no foul in my book.

This particular picture was taken the day after the time changed.  She woke up at 4am (dear me) and so we were at HEB by 6am.

This particular picture was taken the day after the time changed. She woke up at 4am (dear me) and so we were at HEB by 6am.

But most mornings we head straight to the gym after breakfast.  I go to a women’s only class at a local Crossfit gym that I love love love.  It is truly the most supportive place in my universe, and usually it is the highlight of my day.  Several of the members rotate watching all of the kids (and there are a LOT of kids) while the workout goes on.  I love it because I can get a workout in and feel zero guilt because Poppyseed pretty much gets to enjoy a play date.  The gym is small enough that I’ve gotten to know the other girls and their kids really well.  It’s not out of the ordinary for there to be 2-3 infants under the age of 3 months on the side of the room while we work out, 5-10 toddlers in a nearby room with a few of the moms watching them, and the “big kids” get to stay in the gym off to the side and play with toys, books, or each other.  During the workout it is completely acceptable to stop to give your baby a pacifier, take your tot to the potty, or discipline as needed.  And the most beautiful thing about my gym is how we all look after each other’s kids.  It’s completely normal to see our trainer picking up someone’s 10 week old and shushing/rocking her while her mom finishes up some burpees.   On more than one occasion a friend has rushed Poppyseed to the potty for me so I could finish my last set.  After the workout is over all of the kids are allowed to run out into the gym and play while all of us moms cool down.  Poppyseed loves this part of our mornings – she loves playing with all of the “big kids” and is especially excited about getting to “wee” on the rings.

Wee!

Wee!  This child can hang on those rings for-EVER.  She has stronger shoulders than Lola.

So I’m pretty sure that my gym shouldn’t be called Crossfit, it should be called “Little Slice of Heaven for Moms and Kids.”

After the gym, without fail, I drive to get an iced coffee at a local coffee shop.  Poppyseed has seduced both baristas and several studying college girls into offering their babysitting services.  Oh how I wish I had the extra cash and willing husband to take them all up on their offers.  I try very hard to stick to our budget and avoid places like Target and the mall so that I don’t find myself spending money on SWDN (stuff we don’t need) but I feel zero guilt for my daily $3 coffee trip.  If I have that coffee in hand I can window shop like a pro and not spend another cent all week.

Casually waiting on Mom to drink her coffee and doing some people watching of her own.

Casually waiting on Mom to drink her coffee and doing some people watching of her own.

I’d say that 9 times out of 10, she falls asleep within minutes of getting back into the car.  She sleeps like a rock in her carseat for about two hours, and I hit the dry cleaners on the way home, park in the garage, turn off the engine, and then quietly get out of the car and make lunch while she dozes.  If I can manage to keep her awake until we get home, we eat lunch and then I put her down for a nap.  She sleeps exactly an hour and a half for me when she is in the crib.  I have no idea why she can sleep so much longer in the car!

IMG_2260

Don’t you just wish you could pass out like that?

Now I’ll admit that on most afternoons we just stay at home and walk over to our neighborhood park.

Poppyseed will "wee" every chance she gets.

Poppyseed will “wee” every chance she gets.

But there are days where I’m a little more creative/on my game and we’ll go to a different park.

We had this one all to ourselves last week!

We had this one all to ourselves last week!

Lately she’s been really excited when we get back into the car because she recently learned to roll down the windows.  She will giggle and “sing” to the Tom T. Hall album while I drive her home.  (You MUST download his kids’ album if you don’t have it.  The lyrics are adorable and so clever – Sneaky Snake is our favorite.)  We usually call Oatmeal on speakerphone and check to see when he will be home.  And by check on him I really mean to nag him so that he leaves the office on time.  🙂

Riding with the windows down on a 40 degree day is fun when you're 18 months old!

Riding with the windows down on a 40 degree day is fun when you’re 18 months old!

I’ll admit that on most days I don’t schedule any type of play date, mainly because I am at the gym 2-3 times a week.  That really serves as a sort of play date since that’s where my friends are anyway.  On Tuesdays I do take her to a Mommy & Me gymnastics class.  And I still work twice a week, so on those days she goes to a daycare and gets to play with 5 other kids ranging from age 5 months to 4 years.  I do occasionally call a friend and set up lunch or a trip to the park, and I think next week I’m finally going to meet one of my friends and her baby at the Children’s Museum.  But, on a normal Stay at Home day, I’m not really good at scheduling anything.  My work schedule and mood changes so easily that it’s just tough to get something on the calendar that we can stick to.  I do wish that someone I knew would organize a weekly thing, because in that case I’d plan around it and be there.  Maybe one day soon.

This week I decided to mix it up a little bit and take her to our local library.  It’s fun to change our scenery and read books that we don’t have at home.  Sometimes I take her to Half Price Books or Barnes & Noble to do pretty much the same thing.  Her “favorite authors” as of late (ha) are Karen Katz and Dr. Suess.

"Reading" to herself at the library.

“Reading” to herself at the library.

When we get home I try to give her an activity to keep her busy on her own so that I can get dinner ready.  I aim to have dinner ready by 6:30pm, but any mom can relate to me when I say that it just doesn’t always happen.  I find that 5pm-6pm is the most challenging part of my day because that is the time of day where Poppyseed is least likely to play by herself and most likely to have a meltdown if I don’t give her the attention she wants.  I will say that one of my strengths as a mom and wife is that I always always always prepare a healthy meal at night.  But let’s be honest, one of my BIGGEST weaknesses is that this is usually the hour in which I will get very frustrated with my child.

So, to deal/cope with this challenging hour (translation: the hour where I am most likely to bang my head against a wall and forget my positive outlook on life and motherhood and start drinking) I usually pull out one of her bigger toys (such as her toy kitchen or horse), tape a paint with water paper to the kitchen table, or – don’t judge me, oh hell I don’t care if you do – park her in the recliner with Daniel Tiger on the iPad for a half hour.  I chop veggies furiously and throw some meat on the grill, all while humming, “Won’t you be my, won’t you be my… won’t you be my neighbor…”

A not so brain numbing activity - paint with water book by Melissa and Doug.

A not so brain numbing activity – paint with water book by Melissa and Doug.

Oatmeal gets home around 6:20 on a good day.  We are usually in the driveway waiting on him, or sometimes he finds us in the kitchen finishing getting dinner on the table.  I do make an effort to be waiting outside, mosquitoes be damned, because it’s a lot of fun to sit on the porch and wave at Daddy when he pulls up.  It makes me feel very American Housewife-ish I suppose, and the man seems to dig it.

After dinner one of us cleans while the other bathes Poppyseed.  She loves her bath and is pretty easygoing about it.  By 7pm-7:30pm one of us is usually singing to her and then putting her in her crib.  Lately I’ve been letting her play with the mobile that Aunt Jamie made for her.  We practice identifying all of the little felt animals/items hanging over her head.   Aunt Jamie is very clever and seemed to include all of the things that a toddler loves.  There is a horse, owl, elephant, flower, butterfly, bird, sun, and moon.   We go through all of those and then say one quick prayer.  I tell her “night night,” turn off the light, close the door and walk back downstairs to hang out with Oatmeal.  99% of the time she goes right to sleep.  For getting my kid to sleep easily I get a gold medal.  For getting my kid to sleep past 5:58am I fall flat on my face.

That animal print set of footie pajamas kills me.

That animal print set of footie pajamas kills me.

Note that the horse is lowest.  ;)

Note that the horse is lowest. 😉

So obviously this a typical “Stay at Home Mom” day for me.  A “Working Mom” day is obviously different… I drop her off anywhere between 7:30am-10am depending on my agenda and pick her up anywhere between 3pm-5:30pm.   I seldom work until 5pm, so I can usually just wait until her sitter texts me to let me know she woke up from her afternoon nap so I can pick her up.  But even when I pick her up before 5pm, it’s a grind trying to get home and cook in a hurry.  To make everyone’s life easier I’ve started to come home during my lunch break so that I can throw something in the crock pot and straighten up the house.  That way when I get home in the evenings I can spend time playing with her instead of rushing around cooking.  But every day is different.

And there are some days where I’m technically not working, but a customer will call me and ask for something.  In that case I usually just tell them something like, “Well I’m at home with my daughter today, but I have no problem bringing that right over as long as you don’t mind my gym clothes.”  The beauty of working a flexible sales job is that I can just take Poppyseed with me on these little work errands.  If anything I think she actually helps boost sales.  😉

Yep, my life right now – the mom of just one little healthy daughter – is a good life.  It’s not glamorous or exciting.  I follow lots of mom blogs who seem to lead FAR more exciting lives.  They have more kids, more lunch dates, more organizations they belong to, more errands to run, etc etc.  I’ll admit that I always feel like everyone else around me is getting much more done.  I imagine other moms are setting up weekly play dates and going to several Mommy and Me classes a week and hitting all types of various “kid friendly” museums and other such outings.

But as for P and me, we definitely have more of a relaxed and predictable little routine.

But when I feel like God touches me and tells me, “Enjoy this time….” I can say with 100% certainty that I am.

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