Day in the Life


My friend Erin did a little exercise on her blog where she chronicled her life for seven days. I don’t think I have that stamina, but I loved reading them. It reminded me too of this series about juggling life and motherhood that A Cup of Jo did a while ago. It’s just so interesting to see how people spend their days, isn’t it? (Or am I weird?).

Anyway, here’s what Monday looked like a couple of weeks ago:

6:30 a.m. Hear Bart get up to go running. Promptly go back to sleep.

7:40 a.m. Wake up to hear Bart home and Ella running in to see me. She immediately wants breakfast, but Bart distracts her for five minutes by asking her to do push-ups with him (it is SO cute to watch her try to do them) so I can check my email and glance at Google Reader on my phone.

7:45 – 8:15 a.m. Ella and I read a few books on the couch while Bart finishes his push-ups and sit-ups, then I feed Ella two bowls of yogurt, a clementine (which she insists on peeling herself), and half a banana muffin.

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. I get dressed in my running clothes, take Ella outside to strap her into the running stroller, go about fifty feet and realize that one of the tires is completely flat. Bart filled them up for me the night before, but this tire is missing its cover where you pump it up (what is that thing called?) and after spending ten minutes trying to pump it up, I give up, and Ella and I go back upstairs. I try not to be really annoyed.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Ella and I sort the laundry, strip the bed, and start the first load of wash. I cross my fingers that the mysterious stain on Bart’s dress shirt sleeve comes out (spoiler: it does).

9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Inspired by Bringing Up Bebe and its focus on independent children, I inform Ella that I will be taking a shower and her job is to play in her room with her toys. To my astonishment, she does, popping back into the bathroom a few times to have me wipe her nose, but overall, she entertains herself while I shower, dress, and put on my makeup.

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. We keep the laundry going, I import A Good American onto my computer, and we play two games of Memory and one game of Bingo.

10:45 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Ella goes down for a nap, and I dash around like a crazy person, finishing up my hair which is finally dry, cleaning up the house a little, putting some chickpeas on the stove to cook, reading my scriptures, checking my email and Pinterest, putting away the first load of laundry and remaking our bed while listening to Wildwood Chronicles, and reading a few more pages of Bringing Up Bebe.

12:20 – 1:30 p.m. Bart comes home for lunch and Ella wakes up minutes later. I make this chickpea salad for lunch, and then we have some apples and peanut butter to finish it off. Bart does the dishes, I get Ella dressed, and we head outside so that Bart can try again to pump up the tire (I steal the little air cap from my bike). We go for a 20 minute walk since it is beautiful outside and Ella is entranced by the stray cat we see sitting under a tree.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. I pack up my purse and print off a few coupons and Ella and I head to Target. I stop to get the mail on our way out, only to remember it’s President’s Day. No mail. We pick up diapers, two bags of candy bars (they are on Valentine’s Day clearance and I have a large coupon), and some new hairclips for Ella. She can’t wait until we pay for them to have me put one in her hair, but when we check out, she insists on pulling it out of her hair and handing it to the cashier. We put our purchases in the trunk and walk to Michaels, where I look at some cellophane, but decide it’s too expensive. We head home.

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. The moment we get in the house, Ella starts begging for a piece of candy. How she knows it’s candy, I have no idea, since the boxes don’t have pictures of candy. But she knows. We put away the diapers and then I let her pick one candy (she picks a mini-Twix). We sit down at her little table in her room to eat it, but when I unwrap it, she realizes she NEEDS a plate and runs to the kitchen to retrieve one. Once she’s settled she eats it carefully in five bites, asking occasionally for me to wipe off her hands and face. Afterward, I’m ready for MY snack, so we go into the kitchen and pop some popcorn. I burn the first batch a bit, but we still eat it. When it’s gone, Ella asks for “Mo, mo” and I make a second, much better batch, which we also finish. I load up a few dishes, and then Ella starts asking for “Nigh-nigh.” Two short books and a sip of cocoa later, and she’s in bed.

3:15 – 4:00 p.m. Ella never appears to fall asleep; I hear her mumbling occasionally in there, but she never cries. I put away another load of laundry, start the dishwasher, and read some blogs. I transfer A Good American to my phone and then go get Ella out of bed. 

4:00 – 4:15 p.m. Ella and I read a Curious George Puzzle book about 4 times (she loves it and I like the concept, but the pieces are hard to get in and out without adult help). I’m surprised to see she can correctly identify several shapes.

4:15 – 5:05 p.m. I change into my running clothes again and we go outside. This time, mercifully, the tire is still full. I run two miles, listening to A Good American, while Ella watches the cars passing and occasionally exclaims over a bird. By the time we get home, she is anxious to get out of the stroller. We go upstairs and I do a few situps, etc (Ella hilariously copying me), and I get dressed back in my regular clothing.

5:05 – 6:05 p.m. Ella and I go for a little walk to a nearby park with two of my friends from the apartments and their little boys (both much younger than Ella). All three babies swing on the swings for quite a long time and then we make our slow way back (slow because of Ella who insists on walking nearly the whole way). By the time we get home, she is getting quite grumpy. We talk about Downton Abbey and Bringing Up Bebe and places we want to eat in Austin.

6:05 – 7:05 p.m. I heat up some leftover chicken pot pie and Ella and I have dinner. Afterward, we read The Busy Tree three times straight through. I convince her to come help me put away her clean clothes and she looks at some books while I do so. We read The Busy Tree twice more and then unload the dishwasher. Jammies for Ella, scriptures, prayer, a last few glugs of cocoa and then toothbrushing. We snuggle in her chair and read, you guessed it, The Busy Tree one more time, plus Counting Kisses, then one song and into bed.

7:05 – 10:00 p.m. I immediately switch my contacts for glasses, and then start making some roasted tomato and pesto soup for tomorrow’s lunch (the tomatoes I bought last week are starting to be dangerously soft and I don’t want them going to waste). In between steps, I plow through my email, download a new audiobook, make a phone call, put away a stray towel that had stayed in the dryer, and catch up on blogs, Twitter and Pinterest. When I’m cooking, I listen to A Good American. When the soup is finished, I put it away in the fridge and do the dishes. I work on this post and a couple of others.

10:00 – 11:00 p.m. I get ready for bed and read for a bit until Bart gets home (yes, this is a really late night for him, courtesy of busy season), and we talk a little while he gets ready for bed.

11:00 p.m. Goodnight.

(P.S. If you’ve done a day in the life post, share the link – I’d love to read about YOUR regular life).

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  • Reply Jenny March 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    cracks me up that Ella's book choice is Busy Tree while dad's having a busy season at work…
    Do you walk and run and eat high fiber foods EVERY regular day of your life?
    (I just don't know if I can continue to be your friend if you do…)

  • Reply Erica March 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I agree that it is fascinating to see how others spend their days. I LOVE this posts. However, I won't do my own because it would go like this: wake up, spend 9 hours on excel, go to class, come home, eat, sleep. Not really riveting.

  • Reply Karri March 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Wow – queen multi-tasker

  • Reply Amanda March 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I want to listen to audio books while I'm being productive, too! That's ingenious, and I don't know why I insist on getting hard copies from the library. It sure would make my chores more interesting.

  • Reply heidikins March 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Love it! My list would be considerably simpler. Wake up, shower, slog at work for hours on end, come home, watch DVR, eat cupcakes, sleep. Super exciting over here at casa de heidikins.


  • Reply karmacoy March 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    You're awesome! Ella is adorable! And I loved reading about your day! I don't think you're weird, I too enjoy seeing how other people spend their days. I could so totally "see" you going through your day and it made you feel like more of a friend (is THAT weird?).
    Now I'm inspired to try this little experiment too, although I think it's more interesting when children are small. My girl is ten now and so in school for the day all week. Hmm, maybe I'll do a Saturday.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply Lady Susan March 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I find these fascinating as well. I will have to do one one of these days.

  • Reply Lisa March 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    She seems so much OLDER than my girl! So much hair! And I'm jealous of your two naps, but realistically two naps didn't fit our schedule.

  • Reply Shalini March 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    This IS fascinating. It reminds me almost exactly of my days with my first little guy (minus the running, because I am a lazypants and walked).

  • Reply Packrat March 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Just the thought of changing my clothes that many times a day wears me out. LOL.

  • Reply Chrissie March 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I love this type of post – hearing about someone else's regular daily life is definitely fascinating. Also, I wish I could listen to audiobooks when doing household chores. So far I only do while driving, but maybe I should give it a shot!

  • Reply Shelly March 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I completely agree that it is fascinating to see how others make use of their time. I found this post to be very inspiring, you make very good use of your time. It makes me want to be more productive!

  • Reply Emily Kate March 13, 2012 at 1:05 am

    This was so fun. I love seeing what other people do with their toddlers all day! You're inspiring me to get Addie to have some more "responsibility" (helping unload the dishwasher, for example.) I generally shy away from her helping with a task because she usually just helps make a mess! But she'll never learn if I don't try.

  • Reply blaine and michelle March 13, 2012 at 2:32 am

    I LOVE seeing what people do with their days. So interesting. I did this way back when I only had two kids, which makes me think it's time for an update.

  • Reply Angela Noelle March 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

    What packrat said.

  • Reply preethi March 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I totally loved reading this. I'm going to do it sometime soon. Also I'm very impressed for several reasons: a) You went running while pushing a stroller. This always amazes me. b) You went running at all, especially after a first failed attempt. I probably would've bagged it for the day. c) Ella still (although evidently not this day) takes two naps. Wha??

  • Reply Peaceful Reader March 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Love Ella's expression by the door! This is a great post and I might have to try it although I would not want it to say played words with friends all day so I'm going to have to get busy.

  • Reply Monica March 19, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I know it seems silly, but I absolutely love reading about other mothers' schedules. It helps inspire me and makes me feel like we're all doing the best we can, which is great!

  • Reply Melissa March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I am amazed at how much you multi-task. And you have perfect timing with this post as my best friend will be out of communication range for a week, while my baby (my dog) undergoes surgery, so you've inspired me to chronicle the week.

  • Reply Rebecca Major March 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

    I love reading about other people's days too! You inspired me… I wrote down a blow by blow of my own day today too. It's not as varied as yours though. 🙂

  • Reply Erin Gong April 3, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Hooray! Loved reading this. Seriously, though, these get painful to write by day 6 or 7. Probably smart just to do Monday. 🙂

  • Reply Melissa Clarkson September 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Janssen, I'm the one who e-mailed you yesterday about library books. 🙂 I'm always curious about how other moms spend their days, and I loved this post. You get so much done in one day, I need a nap just reading about it, haha. I just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying it. Thanks for all the book recommendations!

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