A Day in the Life

I used to do a “Week in the Life” photography project every year, back in the days when I had less children+more energy. It was a fun challenge to find ways to document normal life in creative ways, and I love how my kids still page through those photo books regularly.

But those weeks were pretty intense, so the project shrank to a “Day in the Life”, and then when Everett was born, I stopped it completely.

I was always meaning to get back to it, but somehow Everett is six, and I never have. But it suddenly hit me the other day – this is Anika’s last week of homeschooling forever, and our routine is going to change, so it seems like the perfect time to jump back in and document life right now. I want to remember the normal, little things that don’t seem particularly special or important, because when we look back on these things years later, I can see how our family, our home, our life are shaped by those little things.

So here’s what life looks like right now:

6:40 Ben’s alarm goes off. He ignores it and goes back to sleep. I start my morning with meditation. I started meditating every morning last October, after reading Emily Fletcher’s book “Stress Less, Accomplish More”, and I love it. It takes 15 minutes, twice a day, and it makes a difference in ways I don’t even understand, but I’m hooked.

7:00 Everett calls for me. He’s not allowed to call before seven, so I have no idea what time he actually wakes up, but he says he likes to think while he lies in bed. He always wants a snack + stories. “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian” has been his favourite podcast for a long time.

7:15 I do my morning routine stuff – water, supplements, essential oils. I eat some fruit while I do my journaling and Bible reading. Ben goes for a run.

7:45 I do some physio exercises while listening to a podcast episode – usually a message from Bridgetown Church. Right now I’m listening to a message on marriage. (Main point: Marriage is not for the purpose of experiencing happiness. Happiness a great byproduct of a healthy marriage, but God did not tell Eve to go make Adam happy.)

8:00 Everett comes out of his room, always dressed in a monochromatic outfit these days. Kaylia “whistles” for me at 8:15. (Note: She does not actually know how to whistle, she just calls out “Whoo- hoo” really loudly which is what she thought whistling was when she was three years old.) I go in to give her a hug, open her curtains, and nag her to drink water, because I think she lives in a perpetual state of dehydration. Anika is usually up and ready to start school between 8:15 and 8:30.

8:30 Eggs + sauteed kale for me, peach oatmeal for the kids. The girls eat breakfast while they start their school, and Everett just eats all day without stopping.

9:00 Everett plays games by himself or builds stuff out of Lego while I help Kaylia with her school work. Anika is completely independent with her work, I just need to make sure she’s staying on track and not cutting corners. Not that she would ever do that. Ahem.

10:00 Kaylia finishes school really early, because a bunch of her subjects are done for the year already. She disappears to her room to read. Everett is still happy playing games, and Anika has a voice lesson over Zoom.

Ben is coaching online a few different times throughout the day – we can always hear his enthusiastic voice echoing through the vents in the house. We can’t ever hear exactly what he’s saying, but we can always tell when he’s coaching. If we need to know if he’s free to come up for a meal, Everett just goes and listens by a vent!

10:30 Snack timer goes off, mainly to remind me to give Everett one last big snack of the morning and then make him stop eating so that he’s actually hungry at lunch. Also serves as Everett’s signal that it’s time to stop playing and do some schoolwork. (He still sits on my lap to do school and it’s the best. Don’t know at what age this won’t work anymore, but I’ll enjoy it as long as I can!šŸ¤)

11:00 After Anika’s voice lesson, we have one of our many “bed meetings” to discuss the rest of her day, and touch base on school work she needs to finish by Friday, grad party plans, and boy stuff, because… always. (Bed meetings started last year when I got adrenal fatigue, because I spent half my time in bed. She’d crawl into bed with me so we could talk about life, etc. for hours at a time. We have never stopped having them.)

11:30 I finish getting ready for the day, because I didn’t have time until now, and Ben comes in to brush his teeth between coaching appointments. We chat about our schedules for the rest of the day.

11:45 I tackle a bunch of physio exercises on my list for the day, Anika is doing school work, and Kaylia and Everett are on a huge game kick today.

12:15 I get my food ready for lunch, and Anika makes different food for everybody else. This is how we’ve decided to deal with all of my food restrictions. It’s too much work for me to cook two kinds of food for every meal, so the girls take turns making lunch.

1:00 After we finish lunch, Anika and I sit around for a long time, doing more planning for her grad party. We’re trying to figure out how to make her graduation feel special during Covid, and it’s proving to be quite a challenge with restrictions. We’ve planned three or four different versions of her party, depending on what the restrictions might be, but we’ve decided there’s nothing else we can do except wait and see. (That sounds all reasonable and casual, but actually we both got ticked off and frustrated, because the situation is a pain. So we decided to stop talking about it, because it’s pointless.)

2:00 We have “Rest Time” every day at this time. Rest Time means Anika spends an hour writing fantasy fiction, Kaylia reads in her bed, and Everett listens to story podcasts and eats snacks (of course). And I get an hour by myself to nap/read/do another round of meditation.

3:00 Kaylia and Everett go play outside for awhile, which gives me some more time on my own to do housework or more exercises on my list, if I haven’t finished by this time.

4:00 Everett picks some games for us to play, and we have a snack.

4:45 We go for a quick walk to the park before I start making supper. He likes to bike far ahead of me and then come back to find me.

5:15 I make stir-fry for supper, which all my children hate, but I love, and Ben is never picky. Usually I only make food the kids tolerate, but stir-fry is my exception.

5:45 We clean up from supper, make breakfast for tomorrow, and tidy up the house.

6:45 I play a game with Kaylia while Everett is mad, because he doesn’t like the game she chose, but he comes around and starts handing us pieces when we need them. Ben and Anika are busy with a project for school. She needs to spend five hours learning to do something new, so Ben is teaching her how to do everything on a car that she needs to know, like checking the oil, tire pressure, pumping her own gas, going through the car wash, having the oil changed – whatever is car related.

7:15 I hop in the shower while Ben gets Everett ready for bed, and then I read to Everett. We are just finishing up “Indian in the Cupboard”, and the ending puts the hugest lump in my throat. Ben reads “Lord of the Rings” to Kaylia. Then we get Kaylia and Everett settled in bed. Kaylia reads for an hour, and Everett listens to stories until he falls asleep.

8:30 Once the kids are in bed, Ben and I watch an episode of Suits while doing yoga. (We are in season 8, and Ben is kind of sick of it, but I am here for Donna and Harvey.)

9:30 Anika comes up to chat for a bit before she gets ready for bed, and I do a few more stretches.

10:00 Ben and I do all of our evening routine stuff, and climb into bed. He wants to read, and I want to talk, so we do a little of both. We go to bed much earlier than we used to – Ben says it’s because we’re getting old, but I think it’s because we’re getting smart.šŸ¤“

And that is a normal day around here!

*Observations:

  • We play a lot of games.
  • Everett eats a lot.
  • Next time I’m using my good camera, because it is worth the effort.
  • No one in my family ever wants their pictures taken. Ben is okay, but not excited. Six years ago, everyone was much better with pictures. Next time there will be more pep talks/bribery, because again, it is worth the effort.

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