Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What do you do all day???

I was standing by my car talking with my friend last night (we weren't going to coffee, so we stood by our cars and talked for two you see the irony?) She asked this question and since it was not technically part of bookclub, I decided to post it here because it amused me and I thought it would be a good conversation starter....

"What do you do all day?"

I would like to answer that here, with the caveat that this is all about to change in four days when school starts...and also that this is not glamorous at all...or particularly industrious, which I haven't really been this summer....

okay, got all the excuses???

I wake up about 7:30 and helped hubby out the door if he needs me...iron, pack lunch, find a granola bar or something. Sometimes (like after bookclub) he lets me sleep in.

After the kids have breakfast (sometimes they get it themselves) I break open my computer and check in this order:
bloglines blog reader (which shows a list of the blogs I read, with the ones that have been updated in bold)
the weather and the drudge report.
I blog. I usually have about four ideas I want to write about but I sometimes can't get into the groove of all depends...

then I instant message hubby at work and talk about the day...what he's doing, what I need to do...

I have the kids get dressed, pick up their rooms and send them out to play.

Most mornings, I like to stand at a window and survey my flowers and plants. I water them if I need to, and then do pool maintenance, which I liken to a zen garden...there is something really soothing about skimming.

of course, I have usually broken up three arguments by then, so zen is good...

Back inside I check my email again and think about working. Some days I need to list, or pack boxes, or take photographs. During the school year, I was very regimented, but I found that working with the kids underfoot was not productive at all and left us all really frustrated. So if they are in a good groove playing, I do try to work, but if they are not...I reply to blogs or IM Robb some more or other stop and go tasks.

By this time, I have also usually started some laundry, or run the dishwasher or ordered the kids to pick up their blankets, toys, and in Vin's case, wars. I kill flies.

Are you getting a feel for how formless and void my day can be?

Snacktime is 10 o'clock. Lunch is at noon. If I am busy with boxes, Mattie likes to make lunch. I'm always afraid she will resent this, but so far, she seems to get a kick out of it.

After lunch, I check email again, and the blogs, and ebay. I put out any fires. I IM Robb...

And most days, I am like caulk...I just fill in the cracks. Whatever needs to be done. This week, I have gone over to my brother's house to help him pack. I pay bills. I work on my mosaic table while watching the kids in the pool. I also answer questions like "Mom, can we take some stuff outside like pepper and laundry soap to make experiments with Rachel?" I've occasionally read or tried to get inspired. I think about doing projects, but always back off when I figure the kids won't let me get anything done. I make grocery lists, think about Vintage stuff, cut coupons, post the menu, fill in the calendar, break up more arguments...think of fun things to do when they are all gets warmer and drowsier as the day goes on...until Charleigh poops in her pants and it's back to life and reality.

At four o'clock a bell goes off in my head. More of a buzzer, actually. I spring into a sprint...kill flies, start supper,change the laundry, clean the kitchen, vacuum, organize, and just generally make things nice. I have been known to take my shower at this time of day as well. All this is in prep for Robb. It is always my goal for him to feel good about coming home. Sometimes he gets home before I am finished and then I'm all thrown off...

We eat supper as a family. Usually sometime during the day, Robb and I have strategized about how to spend the swim, vintage work, working on ebay together, a favorite tv show, meetings, book club...

We've watched very little tv this summer, but I love Leno. I consider him a good friend...a friend who's show I rarely see the end of.

That's my basic summer day. Here's what I dream about my day being when the school year starts...tick tick tick...

I will rise at 6:30 and have coffee made the night before. Robb and I will check our computer stuff and I will read my online liturgy.

I'll make a good hearty breakfast for the kids and pack Robb's lunch.

When I see them off with a kiss and a wave, I will post an interesting blog, and then do morning chores...which is sure to include turning off lights for some reason.

I'll make a nutritious snack for Charleigh, praise her for her success at using the potty, and then work on ebay all morning, being incredibly neat and productive, while Charleigh plays with her educational toys. At lunch time, Chuck and I will read books and I'll practice her colors and letters with her.

When she goes down for her nap, I will use the quiet time to read scholarly books about investment clubs, organic cooking, and how to break into the freelance writing market. Before Chucky G awakes, I will prepare milk and cookies for the children's arrival from school. Charleigh and I will go out to meet the children, thereby getting in our exercise for the day. We'll have our snack together and talk about their day, do their homework, and sign their folders.

Then it will be time break into the pre-Robb sprint, where I turn the house into home and prepare a lovely supper.

After supper, we play a game with the children and send them to their rooms for book time while Robb and I connect. We kiss them goodnight and say their prayers and settle in for a quiet night together with a good tv show, vintage project or both. We settle down at 9:30 and watch the Leno we taped the night before...because we are such good and orderly people...

Nice, huh?


Hannah said...

Okay, reading the part about what you expect to do during the school year.....a little bit of throw-up came up.

Here I go:

I get up reluctantly, poor cereal grumpily. DRINK LOTS OF COFFEE. Turn on the TV (regardless of last nights vow not to), veg., blog, read blogs, e-mail, daughter takes over computer, put on a load of laundry, possibly pick up, promise myself I'll unload the dishwasher, LOOK FOR DUMBASS DOG THAT WON'T STAY IN FENCE, become a human vending machine to three kids, have broken up at least 10 fights by now, been the referree of the Disney vs. Nick debate, PUT ON BRA, finally clean up breafast dishes just in time for lunch, listen to oldest daughters 15 ideas for what she wants to do today, sit down with kids (using holding them as an excuse to nap), start pre-hubby coming home scramble to make it look like I've done something all day, eat, go to bed and do it all again.

This looks worse when typed.

ness said...

you'll notice i never mention putting on a bra in either scenario.

courtney said...

It always looks worse in type, H. don't worry....I'm laid off this summer so I feel like the queen of slack, so right now its: 7:30 the "human alarm clock" crawls into the space my hubby has just left so he can get to the bus on time. We scurry off to the potty for the changing of the guard and then breakfast that Dora never wants but always eats. She takes her half hour to an hour time to eat a bowl of cereal while I read morning paper, drink slim fast shake and check in online to see what the adults are doing. Change into clothes, brush Dora's hair and start laundry, general clean-up and feed fish. Balance checkbook, check online again, find Sesame Street, change out laundry, clean down bathroom, ask child multiple times about whether or not she has to pee. 11:30 lunch time. Vacuum carpet after said lunch--our apartment is just too small not to. Pee time, child down for nap, hubby calls with check-in. Talk hubby off ledge. Grab diet soda, call Mom. Mom talks daughter off ledge. Watch alittle tv while convincing Dora to just rest alittle. change poopy pants. give up on resting alittle. Get mail, fold laundry, play dinobots with Dora and tickle into submission before starting dinner. Watch news while making dinner. Praise Dora for going potty again. Hubby calls to say he's stuck on bus, be home asap. Get everything on the table, wash face, primp for hubby (alittle, he's really hot, ya'll). Everyone tucks in and I clean up after. Dora harrasses Daddy for a while before bathtime...maybe we'll just play in kiddie pool (it's almost like taking a bath). Have snack/dessert/go to Rita's. Dora off to bed. Hubby and I grab a drink,our laptops and hit the back porch to catch up with each other and the neighbors next door. Showers, maybe use treadmill, iron hubby's shirt for next day. Tuck Dora back in bed since she's rolled out again. Feed fish, cut lights, attempt to defend myself--usually fail. sleep

During the school year with my current job it's not nearly so nice....3 hours of sleep while sister-in-law keeps eye on child. Run to work at 10pm work all night, rush home so hubby can get to bus. Maybe all of before mentioned day except dinner, which I leave out with instructions for babysitter, rinse and repeat.

Sara said...

Oh my mornings i wake up at 5:30 where i 'meet,' yes meet, my soon to be Husband down by the door...we we sleeply kiss "good morning," and put on our shoes for a morning walk.

After we return he goes for the shower and i sit around for about 30min wondering when the best time to make breakfast would be...Our usual morning breakfast consits of Eggs, and toast and sometimes if i'm feeling adventerous, bacon.

Then we sit down, pray and eat breakfast and then talk about what we need to do for that evening. I then help pack is lunch...and kiss him out the door.

Then what do i do.....hmmm... as of now...not a whole lot...i just try to be useful so i do a lot of dishes and organize some odds and ends...

Then my goal is to try to look my best for Carl when he gets home which some days means that i take my shower at 5 because he does not get home until 6:30-7

oh, i blog, catch up on blogs, look for job opportunities and talk to my future mother in law...

So yeah...that's my day

tammi said...

I don't recall you mentioning a time to create some lovely vacuum lines in your carpet.

Gotta go....hubby will be home in a few hours and *I'm* making 100 origami swans to decorate the table.
Because we're having Chinese.
Home-made of course.
In my stainless steel Emeril wok.
With organic rice.

courtney said...

tammi, didn't you just have a baby?????

Candice said...

Vanessa-we share some big dreams for the fall...Hannah, are you sure we are not in some twilight zone where we lead the same life in different houses? (The bra thing is my scientific proof!)
I hope y'all are having a good day!

Heidi said...

I'm enjoying the days of being able to clean etc. without any other responsibilities. When school starts most people are going to get a break, but we've decided that life is way too easy and ought to mix it up a bit by homeschooling. As if I didn't have enough to do. And I thought I was the only one who didn't bother starting projects. So I'm not just being lazy after all = )

tammi said...

Yes, I just had a baby! Hence my delusional state of mind. Did I post a comment here?? What? What's going on??
What were we talking about again??

courtney said...

I'm just really impressed. I don't remember having time to brush my teeth after I had my daughter....and you've got multiple children and you're folding're impressively nuts!!

yonderincarp said...

Hey! Wandered in from Heidi's blog. Figured would offer the balance side of my 'What do you do all day???'.

Wake up to alarm. Sleep 10 more minutes. Quick rinse and make sammich for lunch. 8 hours of measuring, cutting, fastening wood to things... basically playing with grownup blocks (usually on sunny days with an ocean breeze at sites on the beach or in the mountains with a view of the ocean... 8 hours of hearing and smelling sawdust and the surf). 3:30pm... home to watch Charlie Rose (online) and nap. Then it is either the beach, the mountains, the pub, poker with the guys, or occasionally a shopping run for poetry or power tools.

But... zero sleepy baby hugs.

tammi said...

Courtney-I was joking.
Looks like baby-brain has dulled the luster of my sarcasm. I'll have to work on that. :)

courtney said...

I feel better...dumber, but better.:)

ness said...

Well Hello there longer the Wandering Jew?

I lurk your blog when I need to see if the sleepy baby hugs have killed all my brain cells

I understand most of the words, so I figure I'm good.

That's the kind of day I would expect out of you....

makes me miss the ocean...

Amber said...

How do you have time for morning chores after checking all the blogs?!

I'm usually still stuck at the computer at 11, realizing I still haven't checked my email, but also needing to do the shower thing.

ness said...

I use the rss reader that tammi wrote about awhile ago...

you put in a list of all the blogs that you read and it shows you on one page who has's a huge time saver.

there are different kinds, but I use bloglines.

and I don't do very many chores :)

Amy said...

All I have to say is, Proverbs 31 Woman, baby, Proverbs 31.

Amy said...


My schedule just changed drastically as our last, our baby, just started Preschool on Monday. First time free on a daily basis in thirteen years!!! Woohoo, cry a little, reminisce(sp?), wonder what I'm gonna' do. The silence is deafening. I'm not sure I like this. Can't breathe.


6:00 - Get up and literally drag two oldest to showers; go back to bed

6:15 - Get back up and literally drag two middlers to brush teeth, having had showers night before (at least in theory)

-Go brush own teeth and hop in shower if hubby is out...okay, sometimes we decide to conserve water, Alabama IS in a drought, ya'll ;0)

-Hop out of three-minute, lukewarm shower(slightly longer if we're "conserving"), pickup hubby's wet towel and use it, depending on laundry cycle/day of week; yell ultimatums, in case all don't have teeth brushed by then

-Find clothes and, depending on the day of the week/laundry cycle, sniff to see if they're somewhat fresh

-Find matching socks for kids b/c I never "find the time" to match socks--it's a never ending cycle anyway

-Yell ultimatums if all are not dressed

6:30 - Pull #5 out of bed and, stick in bathtub, where:
-a)he washes himself if hair
passes the "sniff" test
-b)I wash him if hair does NOT

-Yell ultimatums if snacks are not packed and lunches are not being prepared

-Everyone fixes own breakfast most mornings unless I get up 15 minute earlier

7:15-7:30 - Older TWO leave w/hubby, unless it's Weds., then older THREE leave w/hubby, unless it's Thurs., then hubby has left by 6:15

-Continue getting ready, while checking in on younger three (or two) and helping with youngest's clothes, shoes, snack and lunch (if he's staying late at preschool that day)

-Yell ultimatums if I hear T.V. on or fighting ("if"?!? I meant, "when")

-Did I take a shower yet? What time is it? Why is my thong on backwards? OMG, my hair is drying in the towel, I'll look like Buckwheat!

7:50 to 8:00 - We walk(run) out the door but invariably someone has forgotten their lunch or snack or water bottle or soccer/volleyball uniform/cell phone/permission slip/etc., etc., etc.

-Invariably at this point, I curse under my breath, drop something on my big toe and give a "if looks could kill"

7:53 to 8:03 - Do my best to drive "25" down our street since many of the kids walk to school on our street and under "the tunnel of love". I drop off two middlers, eyeing the SAHF's who always disobey the "drop off rules" as if they only apply to Moms and then go inside to talk w/moms, hubby, teachers until...

8:25 - Drop off "Number 5".

This is my morning, I'm already worn out and hell has surfaced on earth with 100 degree temps by 9.

I go in search of coffee, kiss my hubby goodbye in his office, feel my boobs to make sure I put on my bra since he's staring at them and depending on which bra I put on, it might just be one boob has fallen out. Check my makeup for the "Bozo the Clown" affect my bathroom lighting causes, think about how much simpler my life would be if I had Ithyphallophobia, tighten the screws on my head, make sure I put on my "big girl panties" so I'm not prone to whine and take life with a grain of salt.

Go shop for new bra.

Sorry my morning takes so long...but you asked.

Amy said...

Okay, Girls, hellooo, sex lives?

Lives full of passion, erotica, relations.

Let's talk about sex, Ba-by. Bringing sexy back?

Apparently not here, Justin.

NOBODY mentioned sex...but me.

Sex, sex, sex; you'd think that's all that's on my mind.

I feel like such a slut.

klasieprof said...

however..I cannot discuss it here on an open forum.

Heidi said...

I used to imagine mornings like Amy' of the reasons I decided to homeschool = ) It seems much easier at this point, but ask me in two months. I may have changed my mind by then.

courtney said...

Hey, I mentioned the context that after an incredibly long day I have to defend myself from hubby who's not nearly as tired....THAT'S sexy

ness said...

Amy, I am rotfl.

It must be having them all out of the house during the day that is such a powerful aphrodesiac.

tammi said...

Amy - you crack me up.

And I can't believe you bathe/shower all 5 of your kids on a daily basis. I don't think Owen and AJ have had a bath in 2 weeks.

Unless you count swimming in our petri pool, a bath.

Amy said...


I thought that's what you might possibly have meant but I wasn't totally sure. Sorry. Care to post your own "sexy song"?


I let you pass b/c it hasn't been six weeks, right? But I know after that, it'll be time to start Baby #4! Yay!

Most importantly, I forgot about my Disclaimer:

It's ONLY the first full week of school; the new school year euphoria will wear off soon and it'll be enough just to know that my kids *thought* about a bath but just decided to wash their face. When they start to smell too ripe, their siblings will let them know--that's the beauty of five.

It gets so much easier when they all start taking care of all that personal hygiene stuff themselves; after four kids, I realized that if my four-year-old can program the DVD, he can shiney up his own hiney, as well.

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