A lot of my DITL posts have been to remember special occasions – family holidays, Thanksgiving, weekends together, etc. It has been a while since I did one that is just my every day life as a working mom of two young boys during the week. In some ways those might be considered the more “boring” posts, but those are the ones I really want to remember. I want to remember the “every day” parts of life that are often overlooked, taken for granted, and quite frankly ordinary and exhausting.
This past Thursday I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and so did Micah. I didn’t want to adult, he didn’t want to be happy, and I certainly didn’t want to do a photography project on top of everything else I had going on that day. But I’m so glad that I did, even if it did turn into the Levi show a little bit! Some of my favourite moments captured from this day, even if they aren’t the best from a photographer’s perspective, are Levi sitting straight up on his own (something he randomly learned to do that afternoon without warning); Micah “praying” at the Christmas tree, which is actually his version of the sign for “help” which I think is adorable and might not last long once he finds his voice; and Micah in the sink (his newest obsession as of late). I had no way of knowing Levi was going to learn to sit on his own, but the camera was there. Catching Micah signing for help is almost impossible as it’s the most fleeting of things and is so often substituted with a point and a grunt. The sink bath I may have been able to document later, but the sheer exhaustion of, “Oh my goodness, child, you need to find something to do!” will always be remembered with these photos and why shouldn’t it be? Why should only the glamorous parts of motherhood be documented and treasured. It’s the frustrating moments and the “days” like we had on Thursday that make the joyous moments that much more appreciated.
So here it is. Our day where everyone but Levi was a grump, and we had way too many things to do and didn’t want to do any of them. But it’s our life, and it’s precious.
The boys have been waking up sporadically this past bit. Sometimes at 7:00, and sometimes even at 8:30 or once it was 9. But when Micah wakes up, EVERYONE wakes up. He got up just after 7am, and Nick went down the hall to fetch him while I went to nurse Levi who was woken up by his brother’s attitude – usually a “hey, it’s morning, let’s play” attitude, but this particular morning it was more akin to “I hate life and everything in it”. In retrospect, we should have made him go back to bed, but it was too late before we realized just how tired and grumpy he was. Nick and I have been cat-napping in turns each morning. I grabbed the first shift from 7:20-8:00 before I had to nurse Levi again, and then grabbed another half hour until 8:45 when it was Nick’s turn to nap for a bit before work.
While Nick slept, I cued up my editing project for the day, left the t.v. on, and got the boys some food. I even made myself a fancy latte. Before you get too excited, after setting it on my desk and taking a few glorious sips, real life kicked me in the pants. Below I have a photo of my wonderful coffee, two pictures of the boys in their cribs, and then a sad cup of lukewarm coffee dregs. What I don’t have photos of is what happened in between those two cups. In that space, the following occurred:
Two outfit changes;
Three steps in vomit;
10 square feet of scrambled eggs all over the floor;
two high chairs and babies to wipe down;
1.5 toddler protests;
two babies dumped in cribs; and
an undetermined amount of frustration had by all!
Once I got back to my sad coffee, I managed to pound out an hour and a half of editing before crawling into bed just before lunch to see if I could also catch up on a bit more sleep since we’ve been staying up way too late and babies don’t sleep in. Spoiler alert – the answer is no. Levi woke up about 10 minutes after that and we hung out in his room playing peek-a-boo in his crib (mostly so I could take cute photos) and then hanging out in the master bedroom while I got ready. We stayed in there, nursed, and played with random things like belts, which are apparently very tasty, until Micah woke up on his own as I didn’t want to risk waking the toddler by taking Levi into the living room since Micah was such a bear that day.
Once we heard brother was awake, I stuck Levi in his highchair with more raisins so I could be hands free, and Micah “helped” me clean the house for Lifegroup that evening. I swear having 9 to 11 people over once a week for dinner is the reason my carpets get vacuumed, bathrooms get spot cleaned, and fridge gets sorted to make room for leftovers. Those are my weekly “Lifegroup” cleaning tasks, and I threw in the last lingering load of laundry as well since I was forced to be productive anyway.
Once the house was tidied, Levi went down for his afternoon nap and I pulled a stool up in the kitchen so Micah could watch me cut vegetables for burritos that night. He tried each thing I was cutting and hated it all – especially the onions, but he enjoyed munching on a few grapes and raisins from his little snack cup he carries around the house.
Once food prep was done, I turned on a show for him to zone out to while I got back to the other half of my editing. It didn’t last long before I felt tiny toddler hands on my knees, so I made him a bit of lunch to eat with his show and that afforded me the remaining time I needed to finish the base edits on a family gallery.
Levi’s afternoon nap isn’t a super long one so he was up by the time I had finished work for the day. We all went into the living room together to play with some toys, fold laundry, and watch more t.v. since that is our life in this season.
As it got closer to 4:30pm, I headed back into the kitchen to get the burrito filling prepared and set the table. I had kids underfoot again, so I quickly made them perogies to keep them busy and have them fed before everyone else arrived so their highchairs would be freed up for the other littles and they could be on their way to bed before the study. Micah wasn’t too interested in eating, but Levi might have found his new favourite food and ate almost everything Micah didn’t. Micah was much happier to play in the sink than eat. It’s his new favourite activity and keeps him quite happy for up to 30 minutes at a time, so I plunked him in there and continued to set up for the evening. We had 1.5 families away that evening so we all fit around the table without me moving my desk out of the way and it was a nice cozy meal. (Ordinarily my desk lives downstairs, but for finishing the crunch of family season, Nick moved it upstairs for me so I can get more done during the day with the kids).
Micah managed to splash water out of the sink onto his dry pajamas and Levi got perogies all over his despite a bib, so a quick change had them ready for bed. Micah likes to climb into Levi’s crib from the bed beside it, so I also plopped Levi in there to keep him occupied while I quickly finished dinner prep. Micah was super annoyed, but Levi thought it was the best idea ever.
Before everyone arrived, I grabbed a couple quick photos of Micah in front of the partially-decorated tree in his festive jammies while Levi explored the kitchen, and then before we knew it, daddy was home!
He’s signing for help because I stuck a teddy bear into the branches to make him be interested since the tree has lost its novelty factor already around here, which I appreciate as a mom!
The boys scrambled over to the stairs to wait for daddy to come up, and he brought some treats for the evening. Micah was thrilled to have held out for banana bread (which ended up being his dinner), and Levi had some mommy milk. After that, it was teeth brushed for Micah, soothers for all, and into bed.
I actually set down my camera during dinner and forgot to pick it up again until after everyone left around 8:30pm. Nick and I tidied up and both went to work on our computers for the evening. He worked until about 2am (yikes!), and I finished off the final tweaks on the days’ gallery and watched some show in the tub before heading to bed at a much more reasonable hour (11:45pm). Well, reasonable compared to Nick anyways!