Apr 4, 2012  •  In Aerin, Baby, Claire, Home, Motherhood, Personal

A Day in the Life… (Part One)

Ever since I became a mother of “two under two,” I have received a few requests for a “Day in the Life” post, detailing what a typical day is like for me.

Better late than never, right? ;-)

This post chronicles the first half of Monday, April 2, 2012. Claire had just turned 18 months old, and Aerin 5 months.

(Please excuse the poor quality of some of these pictures as they were all taken with my phone and I usually only had one chance to get a shot!)

6:54am: Aerin wakes up, which means that I must also get up for the day. I keep her sound machine on so that there is less chance of our waking J, and quietly change, feed, and play with her, waiting for the rest of our family to awake.

8:15am: Claire wakes up. She usually wakes up between 7 and 7:30, so she’s slept in a bit today. I leave Aerin in the Bumbo on the floor of our living room while I prepare Claire’s morning bottle (yes, we know we should wean her from this) and go say hi to my firstborn. She giggles when she sees me and throws her arms up so that I will pick her up. I change her while she drinks her milk.

8:20am: J wakes up. He takes over for a bit while I brush my teeth and wash my face. Then I entertain the girls while he gets ready for work.

8:45am: J leaves for work. Claire calls out “Bai!” while waving a hand.

9:00am: It is time for Aerin’s first nap. I turn on Ni Hao Kai-Lan on Amazon Instant Video (we have a computer hooked up to our TV) so that Claire can sit still while I put Aerin down. Luckily, it only takes 5 minutes for Aerin to fall asleep.

9:05am: I prepare breakfast for Claire and I: scrambled eggs and yogurt. I also make a cup of coffee for myself, and we eat — or rather, I eat and feed Claire— while sitting cross-legged on the playmat while watching Kai-Lan solve yet another problem her friends have caused. (Rintoo is a jerk, Tolee is a wuss, and Hoho is just plain annoying.) When we’re finished eating, I continue to keep her entertained with books, toys, and stickers.

9:50am: Aerin wakes up. I give Claire some Korean shrimp-flavored crackers to munch on while I go tend to the youngest member of our family with a diaper change and a bottle.

10:30am: Aerin has taken to cluster-feeding as of late. I am hoping that it is just a phase, because breaking a habit like this can be heartbreaking (i.e., letting your child cry from what they believe to be hunger). Here you can see Claire looking at us with some resentment in her eyes. :-( Also notice that she’s placed her giraffe in the Bumbo. Lately, whatever she sees Aerin doing, she wants to do it herself or have the giraffe do it too.

10:45am: Here’s another example of Claire acting jealous. She started to cry when I placed Aerin in the activity gym so I had to scoop her back up. (We’re working on disciplining our toddler, but it’s a slow process with Aerin in the picture!) And as soon as Aerin was gone? She placed her giraffe there and turned on the lights and music, as you can see below.

11:00am: Ni Hao Kai-Lan is Claire’s favorite show so when I saw these Beanie Babies on Amazon, I immediately ordered them. I know that television is not recommended for toddlers, but mama needs a break sometimes. ;-) Claire obviously loves these little guys and has played with them all the time since we got them last week. She will take Rintoo (the tiger) and make him “Rowr!”, throw Hoho (the monkey) into the air because he is always hopping on the show, and even tries to tie a balloon to Lulu (the hippo)’s horns because that’s how she flies on the show.

11:45am: The past hour or so has mostly consisted of me playing with the girls: giving Aerin tummy time, reading to them, singing, playing with Claire’s toys, helping build Claire’s vocabulary by pointing out various objects, etc. Aerin is usually okay for about 10-15 minutes by herself on the Bumbo or on the mat, but after that I will have to carry her. After 15-30 minutes or so of this, she will get fussy and I will put her in the Bjorn. During the times that she is being carried or in the carrier, I try my best to keep Claire from getting jealous by paying extra attention to her and being overly energetic. Needless to say, this is very tiring.

12:00pm: It is time for Aerin’s second nap, and Claire’s only nap of the day. I try to time it so that they overlap, and today I am in luck. I turn on some Pororo music videos to keep Claire entertained, and go put Aerin down for her nap.

12:05pm: In the 5 minutes or so I had left Claire alone, she has gotten ahold of the baby wipes and pulled out a bunch. I save the ones that are on the floor in a ziplock bag so that I can use them to wipe up minor spills, as well as spot-clean our microfiber couch (apparently, baby wipes are what furniture stores recommend to spot-treat microfiber).

12:07pm: I change Claire’s diaper and put her down for her nap. As always, I enjoy watching her wrestle with her giraffe before falling asleep.

12:15pm: I finally have some alone time to myself. I sit down for a few minutes with my laptop, baby monitor on one side and a cup of instant coffee on the other. (I love Asian instant coffee, because they include creamer and sugar in the powered mix without making it too sweet.) I quickly check email for the first time that day, and start researching and writing my blog post for the next day.

12:20pm: Before I get too comfortable, I start preparing Claire’s lunch: miyukgook (Korean seaweed soup) with chopped clams, boiled with rice so that it has the consistency of jook, or rice porridge. I know that she can have soup with regularly cooked rice, but she likes it better this way.

12:25pm: I also pop a Korean sweet potato into the steamer and set it for 40 minutes. Claire’s a very fickle eater these days, so I try to have as much variety as possible available for her to eat.

I go back to my computer and savor my coffee with a piece of toast. I feel horrible saying this, but sitting here, in the peace and quiet without the girls, seems pretty darn good.

Stay tuned for part two, which will be published this Friday…

15 Responses to “A Day in the Life… (Part One)”

  1. Kelsey:

    Dude, there is no down time for you!! Of course you savor that little bit of alone time. You need it!

  2. Wow!! I’m very impressed you documented the day so darn well! I would probably have forgotten details and skipped some parts. Good job momma!

    Do you have a brand preference on the Asian instant coffee??

    • No I do not…however, we tend to favor Japanese brands because they are usually stronger. The one I have pictured is a Korean brand that I wanted to try because I haven’t before, and I’m sorry to say that I still prefer Japanese brands.

  3. Bee:

    Wean her from the bottle asap or you will end up like us! It gets harder the older they are. I wish we’d done it before Charlie started talking….

  4. Wow! I disn’t realize how much of your day was keeping two little girls entertained. Besides preparing food for Claire and Aerin, none of your morning even included housework. I am amazed that you can do that everyday! You go girl! Take that coffee break! Alone time is good for everyone.

  5. Sara:

    “I am hoping that it is just a phase, because breaking a habit like this can be heartbreaking (i.e., letting your child cry from what they believe to be hunger).”

    I am really hoping that you’re not suggesting that you let your children cry from denying them food. Really hoping.

    • Hi Sara, the key word there is “believe” — some children cluster-feed as a source of comfort, not from hunger. I would NEVER deprive my children of food, but I am willing to break them from eating for comfort if it becomes a habit. I know that some moms would continue to comfort-feed their children for as long as they would like, but I am not one of them (and as with many parenting decisions, this is one that is debated even among experts). I hope that makes more sense!

  6. Susan:

    I really like this post! It’s interesting getting a glimpse of the real, day-to-day activities of a mother, since this is where I imagine my life will be in 1-2 years..

  7. Wendy:

    Thanks! This helps me to imagine life with 2 kiddos. You spend a lot of time entertaining both kiddos…is Claire able to play alone by herself? No judgment, just a question.

    • She can usually entertain herself for 10-15 minutes. But I have been keeping a closer eye on her lately because she is starting the climbing furniture stage. Plus, since she has been displaying jealousy and resentment in the past week, I have been trying my best to let her know that I still love her and have time for her. :-)

  8. Mary:

    We weaned L off his bottle cold turkey at exactly 20 months after my friend said they weaned their daughter at 15 months. It took a day or two before he stopped asking for the bottle. One week later, we visited our new infant niece, L took hold of her bottle and we were afraid he was going to stick it in his mouth but he instead fed it to the baby.

    Next step, potty train L before little bro arrives.

  9. Shoot, there’s a part two?!

  10. Great post! I want but am also scared of #2……

  11. Ashley:

    It sure is hard having two so close together, isn’t it? My first two are ten months apart and my second and third are almost a year apart (a couple weeks shy). My days fly by like they are nothing. I think it’s funny some people think we do nothing but casually play with our kids at home when, in reality, we are busy doing anything and everything for someone other than ourselves. We deserve more credit!

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