I thought you might want to know how my day goes. And how I can do it all…. (well, maybe not all… ha!)
Working, parenting, fostering, hubby & me-time (?) etc. So I want to share with you what I do on a regular, random day.
6am – 6 month old baby cries, it’s time for her bottle. She sleeps in a crib next to my bed, and her bottle, water and formula are on a cabinet next to the crib. So I can easily prep it, and give her a bottle while waking up. She drinks quickly and after I change her diaper, she falls right back to sleep, giving me time to get myself ready and take care of the other kids. I check my email and play an ipad game before I leave my bed, unless a baby is crying than I have to skip those.
6:30am – I am getting dressed, brush my teeth & hair, but some make-up on and I’m ready for the day.
6:40am – 9 month old baby wakes up, she sleeps with her 3.5 year old sister in the same room, so when the baby wakes up, she calls me and tells me that the baby is awake. Depending on if she cries or not, I either get her bottle ready in the kitchen or pick her up and take her with me to the kitchen. The girls sleep in a bedroom close to the kitchen, so I have her formula in the kitchen. I give her her milk and lay her on the floor, sometimes she feeds herself. Other times I have to hold her. She is a slower drinker, sometimes sipping, and putting her bottle away. After that I change her diaper and put her in the high chair.
7:00am – I am making breakfast for 3.5yo, cereal, which is pretty easy. The 9mo baby gets some cereal she can pick up with her fingers. She loves that. In the mean time I am unloading the dishwasher (hardly ever finish unloading it, but hey I started it at least), and filling up the baby bottles with water, and getting formula ready for the babies, and snacks & lunch ready for the 3.5 yo. I am making myself hot tea, and get my breakfast (Trader Joe’s rice pudding) ready to take in the car. However yesterday I was at Trader Joe’s and they were all out of rice pudding, so my husband offered to make scrambled eggs (the sweet heart!). I am going upstairs to get the 6 month old baby ready to go. Put her clothes on and medical cremes on her face that she needs. If I am not completely ready, I’ll make sure I finish off what is needed in my bathroom. I have all the doors open, so I can hear them play. They are very sweet girls, and it works out well this way. Sometimes I have toddlers that I can’t leave by themselves, and I bring them to my bathroom to make sure they aren’t getting into things they shouldn’t. This morning the 3.5yo had turned back to her cereal and spilled the full floor over herself, table and the floor, resulting in a “MARIEKE” scream while I am changing the 6mo’s diaper. I put the diaper on, go downstairs with baby, her clothes and her cream, and put the baby on the floor. And then ‘save’ the 3.5yo from her milk monster. At least she wasn’t dressed yet, ha! After washing her up, the floor and the table. I finish the 6mo baby getting dressed.
7:30am – I am getting the 9 month old baby and 3.5 year old dressed, wash their face and hands. Then my 3.5 year old typically turns over the basket with Duplo Lego’s on the floor, to play with it for a little bit.
7:45am – The 2 sisters have a scheduled phone call with their biological parent. The judge has granted them 2x 5 minute phone calls every day. And the 3.5 year old is very chatty, so its great for her to talk on the phone with her parent. I am typically there to assist holding the phone when the baby listens to the parent on the phone; to prevent the phone being turned off by baby hands. Then will make sure the girls are in a safe place to play on the phone, bouncer or in the high chair.
8:00am – If the diaper bag, and back pack are all packed, I am getting the babies in their car seats. I am asking the 3.5yo to put her shoes on, which she can do as long as I’m telling her which shoe belongs to which foot. (I think they should make that more obvious, as all kids I had struggle with that, and I have had kids walking out with shoes on the wrong feet).
8:10am – I hope to be in the car by now, with my hot tea (that is now warm and drinkable), and breakfast (eggs this time, I forgot to put salt on it, oh well).
8:30am – I am arriving at daycare & preschool. I am very glad this is the same location for all three girls. I am taking my double stroller out in the parking lot (Oh men that thing is heavy!) and put one baby with carseat in it, and the other I have to take out of her carseat and put in the stroller seat. The 3.5yo walks with me and after I drop off the babies & sign them in. We drop off the 3.5yo in the classroom next door. Then I leave the stroller at the daycare and drive back home, typically listening to a podcast or audio book on the way back. It’s a 12-20 minute drive depending on traffic, so I have listened to many audio books & podcasts.
9am – There was a time when I drove to my office in Fullerton (or Irvine), or to the Anaheim Packing District to get some work done, but lately I am working from home. I see the bag of legos on the floor and take 30 seconds to put them back in the basket, so the living room looks somewhat organized. My husband was still home and we had a conversation about what projects we are currently working on and the schedule of the day. He gave me some tips on my current struggles with implementing an e-commerce store, and talked about a potential opportunity to help another company with Facebook Ads. After discussing this, I finally decided against helping that other company with Facebook ads.
9:45am – My husband has a client call, and I go to my office area to decide what I am going to do today. I start with a prayer to focus myself and my day on what is most important, take away worries. I want to implement my husbands ideas about the shop, start writing a blog post (this one), and work on a survey that I plan to send out. In the mean time I am coordinating a visit of the 9 month old baby, social worker and daycare. She will be picked up today to visit her parent, and a new social worker is picking her up, so I need to make sure she gets approved, and the daycare is expecting her. I am very glad the daycare is very strict on how they make sure kids are only able to be picked up by pre-approved people, at least I don’t have to worry about that, but I need to make sure everybody is informed.
11am – I am attending a webinar by Melyssa Griffin on creating your own ecourse. I like the idea of an ecourse and I think it’s a great idea to help people who plan to become foster parents to help them get the right information ab0ut what it entails, and help them take the next step to start fostering. Melyssa’s webinar helps me to clarify what it is that I want to offer, and I feel more confident I can create this.
12am – I am hungry, grab lunch (Trader Joe’s salt & pepper chips, I wish I eat healthier but this keeps me filled up and doesn’t upset my body and unfortunately many foods do. And its so easy to prep & take) and drink coffee. I hardly drink coffee, but this morning my husband made some coffee and I just had to take a cup. I love it, but it causes health problems for me. So with the coffee (and loads of milk), I am grabbing a few pills that offset the damage that I am doing to my blatter with the coffee. LOL. The coffee was really great! I am just grabbing food and my coffee, do a few stretches, and check on my kids. Apparently my 11yo woke up at 8am already, but I had missed him when I was bringing the girls to daycare & preschool, he is now chatting with his friends on skype and asks me to be quiet. He may be recording, so I don’t want to interrupt that. My 12yo and 13yo are still sleeping.
We unschool (a form of homeschooling) and our boys follow their biological clock when they wake up and when they go to sleep, and as you may know, teenagers get tired later at night and therefore wake up later in the morning (early afternoons), we believe it’s healthier for the kids to let them sleep, then to wake them up when they are still tired. Next to that, this way they learn what their body needs and how they can adjust it themselves when they want to wake up earlier if they want to go places. Anyways, both unschooling and sleeping patterns may be great blog posts for another time as there is so much more to talk about.
Then I land back in my office area, as I just like to get work done. I am a fan of The Amazing Race, and I have another computer in my office that is showing old episodes while I am working on revamping the design of the ecommerce store on this site. Sometimes I have to stop the video when I have to concentrate on text or figuring things out, but I like the pace of the show and need to keep my mind entertained. And I love reality shows, I just love to see & learn how people behave, ideally people that are cool and doing interesting or challenging things or group dynamics. I am a student of human behavior.
1:30pm – I have waaaayyy too much energy, and I can’t sit down and focus on what I was doing. I ran to the mailbox to pick up the mail, ran back, and noticed I forgot to mail out an envelope and run to the mailbox again & back again. But that short little end (across the street) isn’t enough to get rid of my surplus in energy, so I went to the thread mill (in our living room), took all the toys off and ran for 10 minutes. Now I’m tired, and thirsty and I am able to focus & concentrate again. Phew! I realize I need a shower now, but don’t want to waste my precious minutes in the bathroom while I have all the time now to get work done, so my sweaty body finds itself in my office chair working on the website again. My 12yo wakes up at 1:45pm, we chat a bit while he gets breakfast and then he is off to go back to his room, he has things to do (he is going to play League of Legends with his friend in Alaska and at midnight he is going to play GTA 5 with his friends). 🙂
2:00pm – Start working on the questionnaire I am going to send out to foster parents. Finished it at 2:40pm, sharing it on social media and send it to foster parents I know by email. I started up a few Facebook Ads to get some traction on the survey. I also wrote another blog post where I am offering help to foster parents. At this stage of my venture, I am trying to connect with foster parents, learning about their needs and finding out how I can contribute to them being more successful, confident and full of energy to be the best parents they can be to foster children who they welcome in their home. I understand their journey and struggle, and know that it’s not always easy. Heck no, it’s a roller coaster!
4:30pm – Okay, I got a lot of work done. Let’s check in with my kids, grab a snack and check my social media. Apparently my 13yo is awake too, I hadn’t seen him yet, he is now busy recording and can’t talk to me. I reminded my 12yo son that today is the day he can sign up for his college classes (he wants to start this Summer at Fullerton College). I grabbed a snack (I LOVE avocado’s!) and head back to my desk. I open the mail that I had taken from the mailbox earlier and notice it contains two big packets of papers to fill out, one is a developmental check questionnaire for the 2 sisters, the other one is a lot of papers to fill out to be able to receive a subsidy towards the childcare costs. A lot of paperwork is part of being a foster parent. But I’ll leave that for tonight and hopefully do that when the kids are to sleep, so I’m not wasting my valuable work time on foster papers. My 13yo just came downstairs, yay, we have a quick chat on how we stayed up late, and is now having breakfast.
5pm – I finish whatever I am doing, grab a bottle of water (so I don’t forget to drink enough water) and get in the car to pick up my girls from daycare & preschool. In the car the 3.5 year old and I talked a lot, she is very chatty and one baby was sleeping.
5:50pm – back home with the 3 girls. I immediately need to change a smelly diaper. Then I skype my 12yo as he loves to cook and see if he likes to prepare the meal tonight, we planned what to eat yesterday already when we did grocery shopping. But he is too busy to cook, so I turn on the oven. I am glad we had pizza planned for today and leftover salad from the day before, so its a super easy meal. In the meantime I put the babies in the high chair with a few toys. I am unloading the dishwasher and prepping the baby bottles so they are ready to go for their next drink. I prep the food and the table. The social worker called me to arrange logistics for a visit for the next day with the 2 girls and their parent. I am texting the daycare to inform them.
6:30pm The pizzas are ready and I skype the boys that the food is ready, who slowly join us at the dinner table. I am starting to feed the babies, the 6 month old just started with solid food (banana today), we have to introduce solid foods slowly to her, as she has a cow-milk allergy and very sensitive skin. So she’ll be eating banana’s for 3 days before we move on to a new food. The 9 month old eats pretty varied and loves to eat with us, although I’m not a proponent of feeding a baby pizza. So She’ll eat banana with the other baby, and food from a baby food jar. I skype my husband to see if he is joining us for dinner, as he hasn’t arrived home yet. When he confirms, I am putting another pizza in the oven. We go through a few food choices with the 3.5 year old, who apparently doesn’t like pizza, salad, and wants to eat mac & cheese. Then she decides she does like pizza after all and will try a piece. She is also eating the bag of chips that she received from her parent. The boys, my husband and I talk, my 13 yo has been working on writing scrips for his youtube videos today. And I ask him a few questions about his process, the script and what show it is for (he works on multiple shows on his youtube channel).
7:30pm The girls have another phone call with their birth parent, a 5 minute phone call. I start feeding the babies, they are getting hungry but don’t finish a full bottle. I am putting water in the bath tub and get everything ready for a bubble bath. The older two girls love baths, the little baby doesn’t at all unfortunately. So I have the little baby in a bimbo seat sitting on the floor while I wash the other two girls.
8:00 Baby bed time. 🙂 The 9 month old goes to bed first, so that she will be asleep when the 3.5 year old goes to the same bed room. I turn on the tv for the 3.5 year old and she will watch a show while I bring the 6 month old baby to her bad, washing her, putting her facial cream on and feeding her the rest of the bottle. Now its time to brush teeth & hair of the 3.5 year old, she is getting her pajamas on. The 6 month old cries, and I go back upstairs to check what is wrong, give her some more of the leftover milk and then she is done and falls asleep. The 3.5yo & I sometimes read a book in the living room before bedtime, but skip tonight. She is tired and I am tired, tomorrow is another day. I tuck her in under the blankets, check on the 9 month old to see if she is laying safely and wish her goodnight.
8:30pm my time! Oh wow, I am exhausted and drop down on the couch.. I turn on the tv to watch a reality show, and my 12yo comes downstairs who is looking for Humus and can’t find it in the fridge. After nudging him a few times (I really don’t want to get off the couch), I walk over to look and find the Humus in the fridge, after I had already texted my husband who was in the gym). LOL. I so want to eat ice cream but we don’t have any.
The whole day there was an Amazon delivery and our laundry delivery in front of our door. I am glad to find out my husband took care of the laundry and Amazon subscribed groceries (diapers, wipes, etc). I am watching an episode of the Real Housewives of New York, which I am not too excited about today, because – after 20 minutes into it, I remember I was watching the same episode yesterday, but was too busy working on my computer to really pay attention. I switch to another recording (There Goes The Motherhood) and keep on doing work on my computer.
9:30pm Time to go to bed. I forgot to load the dishwasher and grab a bottle for the 6 mo. I manage to prep the bottles for the next day, which is a win for next morning. Yay! Now finally upstairs, checking in with my boys, and I am taking a (long-needed) shower, check on the 6 mo baby, play another ipad game & “talk” a bit with my husband before I fall asleep, which isn’t hard.
10pm – I’m probably asleep by now. I need my 8 hours of sleep before I wake up to my alarm clock errr… baby. I have no need for an alarm clock, ha!