A Day in the Life: Stephanie Ross

(Note: This is the third in a series of posts all about how we spend our days. You can read the first two posts here and here. As you’ll see from the sunny photos, Stephanie wrote this back in early fall. What a lovely time of year to think about right about now, with all this snow still on the ground.)

A day…just a day…

Ever since I heard about the suggestion to do “A day in the life of…” post, I’ve been trying to pin down a day to write about. It’s been difficult because lately each day seems to be blurring into the next. My husband told me today is Friday. TGIF, right? Ha ha. Kinda like an old school version of the hashtag. But TGIF was a TV lineup, not social media, so maybe it doesn’t relate. I’m sorry. I honestly can’t distinguish today from any other day right now.

We’ll see how this turns out.

7:30, I think: The clock in our bedroom keeps flashing because at some point this week it got unplugged, or the power went out, or something. We haven’t fixed the time. I can’t even tell you if I’m awake or asleep right now. This morning the baby woke up before me. Then when I changed her diaper she decided to pee again. So I swooped her up and gave her to my husband, who was in the shower. Surprise! Here’s a baby!

I throw on some jeans and a sweater, grab a towel, and retrieve said baby from the shower. I think that was her first shower. She was rather wide-eyed. I wish I had gotten a photo of her all cute and wrapped up in her giraffe towel, but she is too fast. Fast is not part of my TGIF theme. Fast is NOT something I’m thankful about. At 7 months, this one is moving more quickly than any of my other littles. She is working on tooth number three and is already attempting to stand up! Get down, and slow down, Littlest One! Please! You’re breaking my heart!

I get some potatoes from our garden frying, and then grate the last of the block of cheddar to throw on top before running downstairs to start a load of diapers. Yep, we cloth diaper.

On deliriously sleepy mornings like this, I completely understand why people decide to pass on cloth in favor of disposables instead. Someone please hand me a cup of joe. OK in all honesty, a Costco box of diapers can usually be found hidden in my home. But cloth diapering saves us a load of money in the end.

As I climb up the stairs, my hubby walks out the back door to splash out the old coffee dregs from the french press into the garden bed, a sign that coffee is on its way. He pulled out the flavored coffee beans this morning. #thankgoditsflavored.

The girls’ chamomile tea is steeping now, the milk standing ready to be poured. They love creamy chamomile. But I think they’re getting immune to the sedative effects.

We are all starting to get a bit stir-crazy. I can tell that we need to go on a walk or do something outside. We’ve been quarantining ourselves this week because of weak tummies and flu-y symptoms. Our days have been spent playing tea party with dolls and stuffed animals, coloring, reading on the kid-couch and watching movies. I’m a people person, so it takes awhile for me to get into the groove of this home-bound stuff; but it’s been pretty good week, overall. I’ve been getting a lot of organizing done.

…oh yeah, transfer the diapers to the dryer…

Hubby’s off to work a bit later than usual. On delirious mornings like this, I’m thankful he’s self-employed and doesn’t have to punch in at the same hour each day. He’s still going to get a lot of tiles down. Every amazing shower or floor he completes equates food in our bellies and a debt snowball that keeps rolling downhill toward zero. I’m so thankful for my guy! He left me some of that flavored coffee, so I’m going to go warm up my cup and make sure my girlies are all dressed and ready for that walk…

…a few random (but welcome) phone calls, and we’re off…

Our meandering walk actually turned into quite a glorious morning at Washington Park. Baby took a nap on my chest while I laid on the bench and watched the girls, head tilted sideways; quite a funny view #thankgoditsfunny! They played with their dolls, threw maple seeds (helicopters), ran around the empty wading pool.

I actually looked at the clock. It’s 11:44. I just gulped down some water and the girls are drinking smoothies. I plan to tackle the messy kitchen, then bake some bread. It’s a lovely gluten free recipe that requires no rise time and bakes up very quickly. No eggs?! Yikes. Don’t panic, we’ll use chia seeds. It actually works. We’ll have a late lunch with fresh bread, carrot sticks, chicken soup. Just what our tummies need to feel better. It’s one of my favorite fall recipes, from Taste of Home. I like to simmer the broth in advance so I can squeeze the most nutrition (read: gelatin!) out of that little fryer.

I’ve been trying to pump the vitamin C and betacarotene into our diets lately. We’ve also upped our vitamin D supplementation since we’ve moved the darker days. Nutrition and health maintenance has become easier for me to focus on as a stay at home mom.

The baby almost didn’t make it until I got the bread in the oven. My oldest helped distract her until I could swoop her up for a nursing session and mid-day nap. 1-3 p.m. is emerging as her most important nap time. I’m thankful because there’s a bit of overlap with the middle child’s waning rest schedule, leaving me some occasional precious one-on-one time with the oldest. I love spending time with her. She’s an introvert, and seems to thrive on it, too.

Today we read together, snuggled side by side on the kid-sized couch. Eric Carle, Yumi Heo (LOVE her illustrations), Lola M. Schaefer…James Herriot wrote some incredible books for children. “The Christmas Day Kitten” is a good title if you’d like to gift your child with a book.

2:45: Aaaah, now a few short minutes of “me” time reading my own book and drinking some iced coffee. (OK, reality check: it’s the dregs of the flavored coffee that went cold this morning made over with some milk and ice, in a tall glass. But “iced coffee” sounds so much better.) I’m reading a book called “Nora Webster” by Colm Toibin, who also wrote “Brooklyn” which came out in theaters last year. I like the way he writes women. I also like our library for reawakening me to reading great literature through their novels that became movies display.

3:15: Babe just woke up happy! My niece walked over to our house when school let out to hang with us before her mom picked her up. We look forward to seeing her a few times each week. Right as she went home, the middle child emerged with bed head and a wet diaper. I always have to cover my smile when that one walks out of her room after a nap.

Eeeeek! Don’t panic…slow sentences and breathing…we were playing downstairs, when the girls discovered a spider in the kid-couch! How long had that been crawling around in there? And we sat on that only hours ago reading!!! I squash it and drag that little cushion of death up the stairs and out into the back yard. I never want to see that thing again. I think I need to check the whole family for spider bites.

I’m itching.

4:45: Phone rings. Husband just called. He’s coming home. We are saved!

Impromptu art project: cut paper wings for the model horses to turn them into flying horses. I’ve become a pro. The girls flew those horses around the house like it was serious business.

Husband is home. We all went outside to pick tomatoes (OK just me), play in the grass, read a story, and chill with dad (all except me). Baby’s going down for another nap.

Spider report: It wasn’t a bad kind. TGIF: #thankgoditsnotafiddleback Thankfully, I don’t have to fix a big meal tonight. We’re just going to graze, because none of us have much of an appetite because of the bugs…in our tummies and in the couch…maybe the girls will have some soup now, since they didn’t want hardly anything at lunch?

6:30: I’m walking over to my other sis-in-law’s house to help her load up some stuff for our impromptu yard sale tomorrow. We’ll see if we can earn some extra change before the warm season ends. Hopefully it won’t rain…

Wow. Have you ever had your agenda deteriorate so rapidly you don’t know what hit you? The minute I stepped out the door it started pouring! Actually, there was rain, vomit, and tears. I don’t know in what order. I was called home post haste. TGIF, I chuckle as I jog home, thankful my husband doesn’t have to work tomorrow so I won’t have to face the day alone. Yard sale: canceled! Tomorrow will be a day to play nurse and housekeeper, and just be.

8:50: All three children are finally clean and asleep. I sit at the computer trying to figure out how to finish up this post, whilst consuming chocolate (“Stress Tabs for Women” as they’re called in my house). In retrospect, I probably should have known how this day would end first thing in the morning when the baby peed all over everything. But I’m glad I didn’t quit early. We all would have missed out on fresh air, helicopter seeds and pegasus wings. Who could ask for more?

Let me just say one last time: TGIF. Not because it was Fun, or Fabulous, or even just Fair…

but because it was FACT. Genuine. Real. Not Fake. I’m just a normal mom, and I have
normal/strange days like you do. In this world of cynicism, categorizing and blurry truths, I do thank God for a life that is anything but fake.