my ‘all’ right now: a day in the life

July 11, 2012

i know, i know
having it all.  not having it all.  having ALMOST all of it or MORE than all — whatever.  everyone has a different idea of what this means, and no one can agree on whether it’s possible — or even a good thing to strive for.

right now, though, i feel like . . . i do.  have some version of MY all, i mean.  i’ve been working, keeping annabel fed/clothed/happy, and enjoying life when not infected with viruses.  if i had carried a crystal ball 10 years ago and saw today, i would have been overjoyed with how things have worked out so far.

that’s not to say it’s easy, or that everything [anything!] is perfect.  i already do feel sad sometimes about the things i will miss out on — both professionally and personally.  but i am just really encouraged about how things are going so far.

on a practical level, here’s what it currently looks like . . .
[on a non-clinic / lab day — things will be different — and unfortunately less relaxed — on clinic days!]

5 am:  wake up [either by alarm or by annabel].  if a. is awake around this time, i feed her and put her back to bed.  if not, i pump while eating breakfast and cross my fingers that she’s not seconds away from rousing.  if she’s still asleep or has gone back to bed, i take advantage of this little window to run [treadmill] or do a dvd [jillian michaels, baby].  weekday workouts are 25 – 35 minutes, max — on the days that they do happen.

6:30 or 7 am:  a typical annabel wake-up time.  if i’m lucky, i’ve already showered!  if not, a. gets to hang out in her bjorn seat until i’m clean and ready for work.  if there are a few extra minutes, we hit the mat for some tummy time.  i pick out her outfit [highlight of the day] and get her dressed for day care.

7:15 am:  bottle prep-stravaganza, plus a quick lunch packing.  i realize i could do this the night before, but . . . it just hasn’t happened yet.  i set all of the necessary work gear [pump, day care bag with bottles, work bag, etc] near the door.  a. usually watches from her seat.  somehow, this is enough entertainment.

7:30 am:  last feed and diaper change before i head out the door.  i always make sure to top annabel off before dropping her off at day care — this helps to delay her first bottle which helps to conserve oz of the precious pumped resource.  i would alllllllways rather feed her at the breast than by pump.  always.

8:00 am or thereabouts:  out the door.

8:15 am:  arrive at day care.  perform drop-off duties:  milk in the fridge, fill out daily info sheet, plant wistful kiss on a’s forehead.  i put her down on a playmat or boppy, and she usually smiles at me as i leave.  i’m sure she enjoys my company, but there are TOYS!!! at daycare.

8:25 am:  drive to lab.  and usually eat breakfast #2 on the way.

8:50 am:  arrive in lab.  i plan out the day and do various and sundry lab tasks — these vary a great deal, actually.  some days i’m dealing with mice [not my scene, but i’m used to it]; others i am at the bench [like today when i actually got something to work!  yay!].  i need to start spending more time reading papers and actually figuring out some sort of a mechanism for the physiology seen in our models, but admittedly i’ve been putting it off in favor of hands-on things.  still getting back into the groove, though.

11:45 am:  scarf down lunch as quickly as possible.

12:00 pm:  pump.  i realize i could eat while pumping, but i have a 30 minute slot to pump [includes set up/clean up] and . . . well, my breasts do not care about efficiency.  they’re slow and require hands-on attention, unfortunately.  so i’d rather have all of the time slot to actually pump.

12:30 pm:  back to work.  usually finishing experiments from the AM and analyzing [playing with] data.  this is time i would like to spend on more reading — both related to my project and in the more clinical realm.  i’m realizing that i have a year [!!!] until i’m in practice and there is so much i want to learn!

3:30 pm:  pump #3. [#2 at work].  this time i usually snack while doing it.  from a yield standpoint, this session is often disappointing.  bah.  if there is one low point in my life right now, it’s that i am still baaaaarely keeping up with annabel’s intake.  i wish it wasn’t a stressor for me, but it honestly still is.  she usually eats 12 oz/day and i pump 12 – 13 oz.  i guess it could be worse, but i’d love to be able to be less of a milk miser.

4:00 pm:  back to work, cleaning up loose ends/answering emails/etc.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm:  when i’m done with everything, i’m out of there!

5:00 – 5:20 pm:  day care pickup!  i LOOOOVE this moment of the day.  annabel is usually happily playing on the floor or on someone’s lap and there’s this moment when i see her and she smiles and i am just so happy to pick her up and take her home.  ahhh.

5:15 – 5:35 pm:  breastfeeding time.  i can’t say that every session is bliss, but this one is always so nice.  i just crash on the futon in her room and relax while she eats her heart out.  it’s lovely.

5:40 or so:  playtime.  sadly, this does get abbreviated if i arrive home on the later side.  but on earlier days [like today!] we hit the mat for some tummy time and lots of toy action.  i can usually get a giggle out of her by picking her up repeatedly and kissing her.  baby laughs are the best.

6:15 pm:  nighttime routine begins*.  i try to be very strict about doing this the same way and at the same time each night.  bath is first and as i mentioned — a. LOVES it.  and therefore i do too.  this is followed by applying lotion, chaining into bedtime gear, and then another nursing session.  someday i’d like to add a book in there, but usually she’s just ready to be done.

by 7:00 pm:  wrapped up and in bed.

7:00 pm:  unloading of the dishwasher from the night before, and packing of all of the day’s paraphernalia [bottles and pump parts as far as the eye can seen, basically . . . .].

7:15 pm:  if it’s a cooking night**, i throw together something easy for dinner.

10 minute gourmet . . .

if not, i heat up leftovers and eat.  and blog!  <– sunday’s enchiladas = the reason i have the time to be writing this right now.

8:00 pm:  pump #4, perhaps while watching tv especially if josh is home.  clean up.

8:45 pm:  pass out.

1 – 2 am:  get up to feed annabel.  recently, it has just been once per night on most nights.  i am completely happy with this and just hope it stays that way.

* you might wonder where josh comes into play with all of this.  he leaves the house for work around 5 am  and comes home anywhere from 7 pm on a great night to not-at-all on the worst ones.  luckily, he will be on an easier rotation starting in august and we are both greatly looking forward to it!

** i’ve definitely streamlined things already.  more on that in a post to come.


that’s my ‘all’.  as it stands now.  of course i’d like more family time, more sleep, more vacation!  but i’m content.  happy, actually!  and that’s enough of an ‘ALL’ for me.