Sunday 22 February 2015

A day in the life at four months

A few bloggers, including Sensitive Ginger, inspired me to do a day in the life.

The day was Thursday, February 19th. AJ is 16 weeks, going on 4 months.

6:00am, Mr. Turtle's alarm goes off. I wake up, tuned into AJ as usual. She sleeps in the Halo Bassinest by the side of the bed, which means that she is at eye level with me all night. I love it and am not looking forward to her outgrowing it, which she is going to do soon. AJ is stirring a little. Swinging her head side to side, smacking lips, giving signs of waking up and being hungry, but not exactly committed to being awake. I'm a bit unnerved, because her last feeding was just after 11pm, so she's slept around 7 hours. I'm surprised that I slept quite deeply too; I didn't "surface" to check on her multiple times. I kind of wish I had. (edit: 7 hours a longer than usual stretch; it's usually more like 5.)

6:17am: I decide that I will get up and feed AJ, although she's not completely awake. She eats from both boobs with a diaper change in between. Shortly before 7 we say goodbye to Mr. Turtle who leaves for work.

Back to bed. We both wake up again around 10:00am, and I feed AJ from one boob. I put her in her crib in the nursery (she has naps in it but hasn't slept the night there yet). We have back and forth babbling, giggles, squeals. AJ does her "happy crunches" where she pulls her knees into her chest and grins.

I put away a basket of clean baby laundry as well. AJ has a lot of clothes. A few I've bought her, but most are gifts. I don't think of being a mom as a job, but if I wanted to have a job title I could be AJ's wardrobe consultant. I'm always washing her clothes, going through them to see which are outgrown and which she will soon grow into, and then sorting them into the correct cubbies. Yeah, I'm a bit of an obsessive organizer. The one thing I don't do is fold. And of course, every day I figure out the coordinated outfit for the day.

I give AJ a quick sponge bath on the change table, and get her dressed. She tries to eat the blanket, her hands, the soap, whatever.

I have a shower with the bathroom door open. When I'm done I hurry out, still in the nude, to check on AJ. It's about 11:30am and she's almost asleep. I leave her iPod on very quietly.

While AJ naps I get some breakfast. Two soft boiled eggs, yoghurt with honey and raspberries, a muffin, and instant coffee. My hot instant coffee is one of my daily luxuries; I look forward to and savour it. It has to have cream in it; it's just not the same with milk. I start reading an article in Scientific American on the invention of neural computer memory (or whatever it's called.)

12:16, AJ is waking up. I'm still working on breakfast, so I bring her into the living room and sit her on the swing. I look at her and talk to her. The article is never finished.

When I finish breakfast AJ still seems happy in the swing, so I get the laptop to do some computer stuff. I do one or two "useful" tasks, then check Facebook, and torthúil, and a couple of blogs, because you know the whole internet is right there. AJ starts to fuss a bit, letting me know she's had enough of the status quo. Shortly before 1pm I take her to nursery and feed her from right boob. She stays on for about 30 minutes.

It's a beautiful day outside, so when she's done I start getting ready to go for a walk. I wanted to go yesterday but AJ had a fussy afternoon; she would fall asleep for a while, and then wake up angry/crying/screaming. She did this alternately all afternoon and it was pretty exhausting. I actually started to wonder if she was sick. But then at about 4pm she had a large poop and her mood improved markedly, so I'm guessing that was the issue.

Getting ready is a bit of a process. I change AJ's diaper and put her in a sweater (one her Baba knitted) and change into my jeans. Then she sits in the swing while I get the stroller outside. We have stairs at both doors, so it's a four step process. (I would like to use a baby carrier more, but I'm afraid of falling while there is ice and snow on the ground.)
  1. Carry chassis down the steps
  2. Carry baby seat down the steps and attach to stroller
  3. Put baby into stroller
  4. Go back inside house and set the alarm. (I have to do it with the door closed, which I don't like because it means AJ is alone outside. Only for a couple of seconds, but still.)
Today I get as far as step one and AJ poops noisily. So abort mission, change diaper. 2:15, we're finally both outside and ready to go. It occurs to me that I kind of have to pee, but I don't want to leave AJ outside or take her back in the house, so I decide to just go for the walk anyway. 

AJ is awake and happy for most of the walk. It's an amazingly warm day with some sun and cloud. I see the usual senior citizens/dog walkers in the neighbourhood, and toward the end of our walk, school buses and kids and moms hanging around. I manage to extend it to an hour and a quarter.

Back at home I see AJ's Lammily doll has arrived, so I put her back in the swing and open the package and show her. I leave the doll in the box, but luckily it opens up so that you can see and touch her, because I'm curious. She is beautifully made. I muse on how AJ might react to her one day. Maybe she'll like her or maybe she won't because all her friend have Barbies and her doll is "different." I find myself imagining some dramatic future crisis involving peer pressure. AJ starts acting hungry so back to the present moment it is.

After I feed her, it's shortly after 4 and time to start dinner, so I move the swing to the kitchen and put her in it so she can watch. She's happy with this for a while but soon starts to fuss. She's been in the swing a lot today and is probably bored with it. I hurry as fast as I can to get the casserole in the oven, and manage it just short of meltdown. I cuddle AJ and walk around the house, and in a few minutes she's asleep. I actually manage to get her into the crib without waking up, and then I have a few minutes to clean up the mess I made in the kitchen. I feel quite pleased that I have actually managed to have dinner ready when Mr. Turtle comes home. This is one of my domestic fantasies and one that I don't usually manage to fulfill. (Mr. Turtle, incidentally, doesn't care when dinner is.)

Speaking of Mr. Turtle, he comes home around 5:30. We greet each other then seeing AJ is asleep, he lies down for a nap as well. I realize the one thing I haven't got to is pumping, so I do that for the next ten minutes. At about six AJ and Mr. Turtle wake up. We eat at the dining room table, and AJ is back in the swing, and of course after five minutes she's had enough of it. But I've shoved food into my face eaten efficiently so I take her and nurse again while Mr. Turtle finishes. I think we manage to have a something of a conversation while this is going on.

Today I have my stepdance class, so Mr. Turtle takes AJ and I get ready as fast as I can, and then sit on the couch and pump some more until Carpool Lady gets here. Dance class is 7 to 8, my one hour (and a half with commute) to myself a week. Today Carpool Lady tells me about her stepdaughter who has had a baby prematurely via emergency c-section. Due to various complications with mom and baby, they are in different hospitals, which is obviously very hard on the mom (and probably baby, too).

I offer compassion and reassurance, while thinking yet again about how random life, including the pregnancy / birth process is and how things can go sideways so easily. One reason I was very interested in Ina May and natural childbirth toward the end of my pregnancy was because I was desperate for another narrative, for assurance that things could actually go right. But of course there are no guarantees and the more experience I get, the more personal these stories feel, even if they are not happening to me.  I think the biggest difference between myself now and five years ago is I no longer believe that difficult or tragic things only happen to other people.

Anyway. I am confident that this family will be OK in the end, and I'm glad both Carpool Lady and I have the opportunity to go to dance class. I really enjoy focusing on learning our dances, and the fast pace and the exertion. Toward the end I'm almost lost in the music and the rhythm of the shoes, and I feel both energized and peaceful.

When I get home again shortly after 8pm, AJ is napping and Mr. Turtle fills me in. She drank all the 40mL I pumped for her. AJ has been able to take her bottle successfully the past few times (rap wood). I have a quick shower and then take over while Mr. Turtle goes downstairs to work on his graduate studies.  AJ wakes up from her nap and tools around in her crib. We giggle and tickle and talk for a while, then eventually I take out the computer to do some final things for the presentation I'm doing tomorrow (the second of two for teachers' conventions). AJ tools around on her own. There's always one more thing to do, it seems. I think I sometimes procrastinate doing a lot of things because I no longer believe it's possible to finish any task.

9:45pm, Mr. Turtle comes upstairs saying he needs a break from studying, so we put the kettle on for tea and cut two pieces of pie. This is almost a daily ritual. We don't always have pie, but it's better with pie. I change AJ's diaper and put her in a sleeper. We all go downstairs and sit on the couch and watch comedy on TV, while I feed AJ. After she's done I eat tea and pie and Mr. Turtle plays with her for a while. At 10:30 it's time for him to study some more, so I go back upstairs with AJ and put her in a sleep sack. She still seems a bit hungry so I feed her again. She is awake but relaxed when I'm done, so I put her in the bedside bassinet.

I brush my teeth and get ready for bed, but don't feel like sleeping quite yet. I'm a bit preoccupied by tomorrow: in the morning Mr. Turtle has to take my car to be inspected (it's an import so bureaucracy blah blah) and I'm taking "his" car to the doctor to get a mole checked out.* At 11am I will leave for the convention centre by taxi to give my presentation.** I plan all the steps out in my head, even taking out the clothes I plan to wear. This is something I do a lot these days: I'm always thinking three steps ahead. I am sure this will be the case until AJ is old enough to be independent, so I might as well get used to it! Sometimes I feel like I'm not living in the moment and I miss spontaneity, but I think that as I adjust to parenthood I will find ways to be spontaneous again.

I boil the bottles and pumping equipment, hoping I have time to pump tomorrow so Mr. Turtle can give AJ a bottle. We have milk in the freezer but I always try to have fresh available if I know it will be needed. I put away some more laundry; Mr. Turtle's this time. I leave mine in the basket because I don't want to disturb AJ by opening my dresser.

* The mole was normal.
** The presentation went well.

When that's done I open up the computer to work on this entry. Maybe I will at least get my day in the life post done! (I started one last week but I didn't get it done and then I didn't feel like finishing one that was a week old lol.) I write till around midnight (checking on a now-sleeping AJ every 15 minutes). At that point Mr. Turtle comes upstairs to go to bed and so I do too.

And, well, that's my day. I slept well and the next one went well too, and then a very good weekend followed too. But that's another story....always another story. For now, I'll sign off....and thanks for reading. Wishing everyone a good week!


  1. "We don't always have pie, but it's better with pie." My favorite part ;)

    Thanks for thus! It's been fun reading DITL posts, sort of a "coming attractions" for us. Especially looking forward to seven hours sleep someday, though I know that's not a given.

    1. You're welcome! I should add that seven hours of sleep is her upper limit; often it's more like four or five. Maybe I should add that to the entry. Pie is the best!!

  2. What a great idea! A glimpse into a day in the life- I've often wondered how a day pans out with a little one! It is sort of hard to imagine when you haven't done it before. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You're welcome. I agree; it is nice to get a preview. I really appreciated that from the bloggers who had babies a bit before I did.

  3. What a busy day! What a cutie!!! I love these updates!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, some days not much happens, other days I'm on the go all the time. Thought it would be interesting to share a day where there was some goings-on.

  4. Ha ha sounds like a great day she is such a cutie I may have to do a day in our life as well!!

    1. Oh you should; it's fun to see similarities and differences. It was a good day. Most days are good; I feel lucky.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your day and can relate to so much of it. Being unnerved because baby is sleeping or not sleeping, obsessively taking inventory of clothes, delicious breakfast and cream in my tea, "happy crunches", noisy poops, Ina May's positive narratives and knowing that bad things still happen and not only to someone else, I could go on and on. Basically your entire post is relatable in one way or another. If we lived in the same city it sure would be fun to get together for a play date.

    Time to sign off. Zelly is resisting napping today and is awake after only 20 minutes!

    1. Thanks! always nice to hear about that common ground. I agree, the only thing I'd change about the blogger community if I could is to make it easier to get together IRL!

  6. I'm just really impressed she's able to fall asleep by herself! Sounds like a good day :)

    1. it was a good day! AJ can go to sleep on her own sometimes - not all the time for sure, but more often. Definitely seemed to help when she learned to suck her thumb lol.