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Ever wonder what someone else’s day looks like? Occasionally I see some of my favorite bloggers share a behind-the-scenes look at a regular ol’ day for them. While on paper this sounds kinds of boring, I always find it fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes peek how others go about their normal routines. With that, I thought I’d share what a normal day looks like around here, juggling all the goodness in life.
5:00 am ~ Hit the snooze button. M and I recently started setting our alarms for 5 am. We used to get up around 6:00 to start our day. I suggested we plan for an hour each morning before the boys get up that’s just for personal time. Each of us can do whatever we want. Sometimes I blog while M goes to the gym in our building. Other days, we work out together. Inevitably, we don’t actually get out of bed until about 5:15 or 5:20, but that’s been leaving us plenty of time to accomplish our personal goals before the day really kicks off. I’m not a morning person at all, but I’ve really been enjoying this new routine! (Full disclosure: M suggested this a couple of years ago and again not long before J was born. Both times, I resisted. I should have listened sooner…)
5:10 am ~ Hit the snooze button one more time, trying to be quick so we don’t wake up T (who’s in our bed with us). Just recently, he started landing in our bed a few times a week in the middle of the night. We’re gonna have to work on that.
5:20 am ~ Rolled out of bed, threw on some shorts and a workout shirt, and did the 20 minute interval training we planned the night before. Switching every minute, we rotate between push-ups, kettle bells lifts, and two different back exercises on the TRX that hangs over our bedroom door. We switch up the routine each time, but it generally follows a similar 20 minute interval training made up of 4 -5 different exercises. I shared more about it yesterday, if you’re curious.
6:00 am ~ Showered while M made my lunch. He makes my lunch most days, and I generally make breakfast. I take long showers and am a bit slow to get dressed and ready for the next step in our day. I hate being rushed in the morning.
6:30 am ~ I made breakfast burritos over the weekend and threw them in the freezer. We took a few out to the night before and popped them in the oven to heat up for breakfast. While I helped the boys eat breakfast, M took his shower. We sat down to eat our breakfast burritos with the boys and enjoyed a brief family breakfast. J loves when I hold him, so I occasionally hold him while I put my make up on. Today was no different. I shouldn’t complain because I’m sure his cuddly nature will dissipate before I know it. T asked to take a bath. Sure… so he jumped in quickly and played for a few minutes while we got ready to go.
7:00 am ~ Dress the boys and throw them in the stroller so M can walk them to daycare. T requests an impromptu bath. We oblige for 5 minutes, and then it’s off to school.
7:15 am ~ Home by myself for the next 30 minutes or so, I put away some dishes, got dressed, finished my make up, and took a quick photo shoot on the balcony to document my outfit for the day for the blog. My neighbor sat on his balcony while I did this, probably wondering what the heck I was doing. He couldn’t see me through to the tall wall between our balconies, but I know he hears the camera click while he smokes his cigarette (ewww). He’s tried to peek around the wall once or twice. I think he finally gave up and just figured I was weird. I often listen to podcasts while I’m getting ready after M leaves with the boys. Today, I chose Elise Gets Crafty.
7:45 am ~ Got a call from M that he’s on his way back to the apartment. I met him downstairs, and we walked to work together. We work just a few blocks away from each other and walk to work together most days. It’s a pretty nice way to start the day, even in less than ideal weather. It often gives us a chance to talk about what’s going on too, given that most of the rest of our day is filled with either work or parenting.
8:30 am ~ I sat down at my desk and opened my calendar to get a feel for my day. I did a quick scan of my email to see if I had anything urgent that needed attention immediately. Seeing nothing, I read a few news emails and put together my to-do list of the day. Sometimes I do this the night before, but I enjoyed the previous night relaxing with my boys.
9:00 am ~ For a few minutes, I took some notes for this post. Lately, I’ve been tracking how I spend my time in effort to better assess how much time I waste on email, social media, and other Internet soirees. I’ve noticed that some days I’m very productive while other days leave something left to be desired in terms of how efficiently and effectively I utilize my time. Recognition is the first step in fixing that I guess! I’m not alone…. right???
9:15 am ~ I checked my email again, responding to a few more things and addressing the new items I’ve received. At our company, we use Outlook (like most big companies). I got so distracted by all the notifications Outlook defaults to sending that I turned them all off. Thus, I don’t know if I’ve received new emails unless I intentionally check my inbox. While it’s cost me a delay in response to something timely once or twice, it’s been really helpful for the most part. It’s definitely a change that’s been worth missing one or two small things hear and there.
9:45 am ~ A colleague stopped into my office to say hello and see how things were going. I recently transitioned to a new team at my company. He just wanted to be sure I was settling in and getting everything I needed. How nice, right?!
10:00 am ~ I stepped away from my desk to chat with a few co-workers about current projects we have underway. We digressed a bit but stayed on track for the most part.
10:30 am ~ Two team members stopped by my office for a status update and training session about one of our clients. While meeting, another team member stopped in for a few minutes to catch up on a particular aspect of this project. As he walked out the door he said, “Oh yeah Jen, I have to leave early today because my wife had a baby over the weekend.” What?! He had not mentioned a single word about this for all nine months?! I guess when it’ your 8th child, it may not have the same newsworthy quality as your first. But I know I never would have been able not to mention it for that long (presuming I was the Dad, because as the Mom it would be rather obvious…). Too funny!
12:00 pm ~ Back at email, I checked the new ones and responded to some more. We also use an instant message system in our office (as many of you do I suspect), so I fielded a question from a team member about entering our time in our time management system. Working in client service, we track all our time so we can review how much is charged to each client and how much is administrative. It’s a bit of a tedious process sometimes, finding all the right codes and entering everything correctly. I definitely understand though why it’s important. Honestly, in my new role, most of my time is coded to administrative tasks so it’s way easier to enter my time. Let’s just say I’m a “teensy bit” excited about that!
12:15 pm ~ On our company’s travel website, I booked a trip to Minneapolis. My new team mostly resides in Minneapolis, so I’ll be making frequent trips there. Considering that’s where I’m from and my parents still live there, that’s fine by me! I’m bringing both boys with me on this trip, so I also got T’s ticket. J flies free still. Grandma and Grandpa get to do a little babysitting while I work. They say they don’t mind, so thanks!
12:30 pm ~ I spent the next few hours being quite productive. I reviewed some files, efficiently got through some emails, and met with another person about a current project on which I’m working. Any more details would probably be a violation of company policy and likely put you to sleep. As often happens for me mid-afternoon, I started to hit a wall. I often find a chocolate snack or something to give me a little boost of energy. Today, I opted for V-8’s new V-Fusion Energy drink. I’ve been a fan of their fruit Fusion drinks in general so this option with green tea seemed like an interesting alternative for me. I picked it up at Walmart last weekend while out and about. If it strikes your fancy, head to the bottom of the post for the giveaway!
4:00 pm ~ Pounding away on my computer, an instant message interrupted me to let me know that there were chocolate chip cookies upstairs and one had been saved for me. There’s a guy in our office who’s a great baker and loves to bring in treats for the team. Ummm… Yes, please! I pretty much dropped what I was doing and took a walk upstairs to indulge. We ended up chatting for a bit while I noshed on my snack. It may not have been the most productive use of my time, but I enjoyed it. I also think there’s “hidden” value in times like this building relationships with colleagues.
4:15 pm ~ I took another crack at my email and refreshed my to-do list. I didn’t cross off everything, but I got close. I’ve really been trying to be more cognizant about making a “to-do” list for the day and one in general that’s more long-term. It helps me prioritize what I really need to get done that day. While I’m certainly not perfect, I’ve definitely found it helpful.
4:45 pm ~ At a good stopping point but with a few minutes to spare before leaving to pick up the boys from daycare, I did a little research on blog business cards. I’m headed to the SoFabU on the Road conference in July that’s in Chicago. It’s conveniently hosted about three blocks from my apartment in that blueish hotel just above the water taxi in the photo of the Chicago River above. I’ve been wanting blog business cards for a while and figure I should definitely get them in time for the conference. I didn’t find what I wanted (that happened the next day), but I did rule out some things. That was helpful.
5:00 pm ~ I packed up my bag and started my 35 minute walk to pick up the boys. I threw everything in my backpack and put my headphones in to listen to a podcast. Having discovered the world of audiobooks and podcasts, I actually really enjoy my commutes! Some days (most days really) the weather here blows! This day, however, gave me gorgeous seventy degree weather under an evening setting sun for my walk through downtown Chicago to the boys’ daycare. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
5:45 pm ~ I arrived at daycare not long before they closed (pretty standard). The boys are getting easier to corral up and get into the stroller to head home. As long as I have snacks, I’m usually in the clear and can keep the boys happy. When does food not solve everything?
6:15 pm ~ When I got home, I did the usual – pick up the mail and check to see if we had a package. We did! I ordered an airplane pinata for T’s birthday which is coming up soon. He’s been asking for a pinata for his birthday for literally months. I’m pretty sure he tells everyone he knows that he’s getting a pinata for his birthday. I even had another parent at daycare ask me about it because now their child is asking for one. Because T loves airplanes, I scoured the internet and scored myself an airplane pinata. We’re not throwing a birthday party for him (bad parents?). I decided my kids can have birthday parties when they ask for them. He hasn’t asked yet, so it’s not on the calendar. We will do our own little celebration with our family but nothing beyond that this year.
6:30 pm ~ Hungry mouths requested dinner, so I answered the call. We prepare most of our food on the weekends to make weeknights more manageable. I pulled a marinaded chicken and homemade barbecue sauce out of the fridge and cooked it up on the stove. I warmed up some grilled vegetables from the weekend and we had a nice, easy meal. I couldn’t imagine trying to prepare something from scratch every night. I’d lose my mind. Really, we’d probably just eat out all the time. While I prepared dinner, the boys sat at the counter and ate some snacks (grapes, blueberries and cheese). M wasn’t feeling so great, so he was laying in bed.
7:00 pm ~ We ate a little dinner and cleaned up some of the dishes. Some nights we sit at the table and eat together. This night, I stood at the counter and ate a few bites while helping the boys to eat at the counter too. Whatever gets a relatively healthy meal in them works for me.
7:15 pm ~ The boys pulled out the train tracks and played with their trains for a bit while I sorted some laundry and played with them too.
7:45 pm ~ Time to get ready for bed. Baths were followed by pajamas, teeth-brushing and reading. (T just played in his morning bath, so this time we had to actually clean him up.) Lately, we’ve been reading to T and J separately (we used to do it together), but that didn’t seem fair to J. He’s too young for T’s books and wasn’t getting much out of it. Reading separately seems to be working better, though a 1 year old isn’t really ever in love with books (at least at our house).
8:15 pm ~ The boys finally in bed, M and I hung out for a bit. We often catch up on our day and talk about what’s next on the calendar. We relaxed for a bit and just enjoyed each other’s company. Of course, T bounced out of bed once or twice so we had to carry him back into his room before he finally went to sleep for good. That’s been happening since as long as I can remember, so we’ve come to expect it at this point.
9:00 pm ~ M and I watched an episode of Modern Family on Netflix. We don’t watch much TV aside from an occasional episode of a sitcom that we’re probably two or three seasons behind on. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I turned on the TV real-time for something other than sports for M and T.
9:30 pm ~ I brushed my teeth and washed my face, checked on our boys, and headed to bed. That’s about it. Some days, M goes to bed while I stay awake and work on the blog for a couple of hours. I didn’t do that tonight, but it’s par for the course three or four days a week.
Does that look anything like your day? Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you keep you revved up for sleepy afternoons or late nights? Don’t forget to register for the giveaway!