By Erin Odom, Contributing Writer
This is the 3rd year for me to participate in the Keeper of the Home Day in the Life series (time flies!), and, at first, I was just going to post on our typical daily routine.
But then I realized: You know what? That’s real life. And I want nothing more than to be real with you all.
The fact is, my family does follow a loose routine, but there are always, always those really crazy days that throw a wrench in it all.
But I’ve learned to embrace those days. I get easily bored, and those days keep things interesting.
If you are interested in our typical routine, you can scroll down to the end of this post. But, for now, check out our day on Wednesday, September 17:
First, I must back up to Tuesday, September 16. I co-run Ultimate-Bundles.com with Stephanie (and our husbands), and our fall sale ended on this day.
The weeks leading up to the sale are intense, and I was just looking forward to some rest time at home on this Wednesday.
I leaned over my little girl when she arrived home from her university model school and noticed a strange smell. I thought: Well, I guess she just really needs a bath tonight!
About an hour later, we were lying on the couch together, and I noticed the smell again. It was then that I realized the smell was coming from her ear.
The lobe looked infected.
No big deal, right? Most people with pierced ears have dealt with infections before.
This wasn’t just any infection: Her earring backings has somehow embedded into the lobes.
Upon this discovery, mass chaos fell upon our house. Yes–mass chaos.
I asked hubby to work on getting her earrings off–because I just don’t handle those things well. Little Girl began crying. Her two little sisters began crying as well.
I sanitized the tweezers. Hubs tried holding Little Girl down over the bathroom sink.
We finally all–and I mean all 5 of us–moved to our bed. I held Little Girl on my lap while Hubs aimed the tweezers at her ear, and our two littles–age 3 1/2 and 2–held their big sister’s hands. We asked them to pray, and the baby closed her eyes into a squint and uttered her short and sweet version: “Jesus! Amen!”
To our relief, my hubby was able to extract one backing, but the other was too far embedded. There was no way we were getting it out.
We resolved for me to call the doctor first thing in the morning.
Exhausted from the bundle sale week, we all fell into bed. And when I say “fell,” I mean I didn’t even change clothes and forgot to take out my contact lenses. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night and realized both our 2 and 3-year-olds were in the bed with us–again–in between us, in fact.
Wednesday, September 17
6:45 a.m. I wake when hubby kisses me goodbye before he leaves for work. I did good getting up early all summer, but I am utterly and completely worn out from the bundle sale, so I “sleep in.”
7 a.m. Little Girl comes in the room and wakes us all. She is hungry. I really just.want.sleep. I tell her there are gluten-free pretzels in the pantry. This can be a little pre-breakfast appetizer, right?
The 2-year-old and 3-year-old begin a little squabble over who is cuddled closest to Mommy. They work it out, and the 2-year-old begins nursing.
7:15 a.m. My 6-year-old comes back upstairs and tells me she can’t find the pretzels and is so hungry. I roll out of bed and go to the bathroom, wash my face and brush my teeth. The 2-year-old gets upset when I go to the bathroom because she wants to keep nursing. I have to shut the door so I can go potty without having a toddler hanging off my…well…you know.
7:30 a.m. Miraculously,the girls have forgotten their hunger pangs. They are happily playing with Little People in their room! Taking advantage of this moment of peace, I throw a load of laundry in the washing machine–right after taking the load in the dryer out and tossing it on Mt. Laundry in the hallway. I have a great laundry routine when I don’t get behind. I’m behind right now.
7:45 a.m. We all stumble down the stairs. Ok–maybe they bounced, but Mommy definitely stumbled.
The kitchen is a WRECK. I mean–it’s an utter disaster. In between Little Girl’s earring-embedded-in-the-earlobe event and the post-bundle exhaustion, I think both hubs and I just left it the night before.
The blender is full of smoothie remnants, the sink is full of dishes, and the counters are crowded. There are plates with scraps of last night’s dinner on the table.
And the living and play rooms are not much better.
It’s a homeschool day. I decide that I absolutely cannot homeschool in this mess.
I begin cleaning. But wait–I remember I have to call the doctor first.
8:00 a.m. I call the doctor’s office and explain that, somehow, my 6-year-old has an earring backing embedded in her earlobe. I feel horrible for not noticing this before.
I ask Little Girl repeatedly all day long: “Did your ears hurt? Do they hurt now?”
“Nope!” She would say. And she would just hop to the next activity with a smile on her face. The fact that her earlobes did not hurt raised even more concern for me.
8:15 a.m. I make the girls little bowls of gluten-free pretzels to hold them off while I can clear enough space in the kitchen to actually make breakfast.
I start my coffee. Coffee–yes, please.give.me.coffee.
8:30 a.m. The coffee is ready. Praise the Lord!
I begin on breakfast–waffles. We usually eat sausage or bacon or eggs with waffles or pancakes. I decide it’s waffles and pretzels today.
While I’m working on the kitchen, the girls spy Daddy’s sea salt and black pepper potato chips in the pantry. I turn around just in time to see my 3-year-old dump the entire bag on the floor.
“Y’all clean those up!” I say. “I have enough to clean up.”
Cleaning them up entailed them using their hands to stuff the chips in their pretzel bowls. I am too tired to care.
Next, they spot grapes in the fridge. My 2-year-old asks for some. I cut up grapes for the girl to go in the bowls with the pretzels and chips.
By the time the waffles are ready, they are not hungry. And today? I’m ok with that. I now have breakfast for tomorrow.
Before I start cleaning the kitchen, I start Little Girl on a handwriting sheet.
It takes me almost two hours to clean the kitchen. (It.was.BAD.) I listen to the newest How They Blog podcast while I’m cleaning.
The girls are playing with their baby dolls and other toys in the playroom, which is open to the kitchen. When Little Girl finished her handwriting, I let her join them and decided we would do school in the afternoon this day.
10:30 a.m-11 a.m.
I tell the girls it’s time for Mommy to take a shower, so we have to go upstairs. I set the little ones up with Little People, and my 6-year-old decides she wants to play hair salon. I notice she has grabbed our homemade foaming hand soap from the bathroom and has it in her salon case.
I exchange it for a bottle that isn’t full of soap.
I switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer and put a new load in the washer. I throw the clothes from the dryer on top of Mt. Laundry. It looks like it will soon erupt.
I shower. I am out of shampoo. I use a natural shampoo bar from Vitacost, and I ran out–weeks ago. I had to buy a cheap bottle of non-natural shampoo from Aldi until I could carve out time to place an order. But now I’m even out of that.
I grab the girls’ children’s wash and wash my hair with it.
I realize I forgot to eat breakfast. I’m getting shaky as I get myself dressed. We have to leave for the doctor’s office asap. My mom arrives to watch the littles. She says: “Erin, shouldn’t you be leaving by now?!” I said: “I am shaky. I need to eat.”
I toss half an avocado, a huge spoonful of peanut butter, some brown rice protein powder, some stevia and some almond milk in the Blendtec. Yum–lots of fat and protein. I also fill up my water bottle.
Thankfully, Little Girl had already gotten herself dressed.
We take off.
We arrive at the doctor’s office–5 minutes late. The receptionist doesn’t say anything.
They call us into the office, and the doctor seems a bit…intrigued. Yes, I think intrigued is the word. But she didn’t do anything for the ear.
“It needs to be surgically removed,” she says matter-of-factly. “And we cannot do that here.”
She books us an appointment at the the ENT for the next morning. I ask her if it can wait until Friday (our next homeschool day), and her eyes get big as she says: “NO. It’s already a staph infection.”
I begin to imagine that her earlobe is going to fall off if we do not act quickly.
(For what it’s worth, I’ve had numerous people now tell me they have had this very same thing happen with little girls earrings!)
12:00 p.m.-2 p.m.
Since my mom was keeping the littles and the doctor’s office was close to one of our favorite restaurants, I decided to take Little Girl on an impromptu mother-daughter lunch date.
It was time to start our homeschool lesson. School goes so.much.better in the morning, but I love the flexibility of being able to do it in the afternoon if needed.
Before starting, though, I needed to put my 2-year-old down for a nap and get dinner in the crock pot.
But wait–the power had gone out while we were away, and it was still out. There was no way to cook the lovely organic chicken I had thawed yesterday.
I decided that I would figure out dinner once the power came back on, and I began our usual nap time routine with my toddler. We usually read three to four books–our favorites being the Eric Carle books.
We read a few extra today, and I rocked her before putting her down to nap in her crib.
I did school with my 6-year-old while my 3 1/2-year-old played most of the rest of the afternoon. The girls went outside to play and gather things for the bird’s nests they were constructing.
While they did some independent work, I lay down on the couch. I.was.tired.
My husband arrives home from work–a bit early tonight, but he has to go directly upstairs to attend an online class. He is getting his school administrator’s license (he is a teacher), and he is taking online classes all year long. His class lasts until 8 p.m.
The power has come back on, but it’s too late to start the whole chicken, and I have no other meat thawed. Good thing Aldi makes gluten-free frozen pizzas now. I take two out of the freezer and pop them in the oven. It’s pizza night!
I go upstairs to get my toddler up from her nap.
She nurses for a few seconds and then pulls away and proclaims: “Milkies yucky.” She says: “Other side.”
Again, she pulls away and says: “Milkies yucky.”
I cannot believe 6+ years of breastfeeding are about to end–just like that! It would appear that the taste of my milk is changing.
6 p.m. The girls and I are finished with dinner, and I say: “Let’s take a walk!” We love taking family walks together, and the temperatures are just starting to dip to the perfect walking weather.
The older two want to ride their scooters. We get the scooters out of the garage, and I strap the toddler in the stroller.
All seems serene until the older two begin to fight over who gets to be in the front. I say: “Fine, neither of you are going to ride scooters then.”
Tears ensure. Lots of tears. We are standing on the sidewalk out in front of our house, and I am sure the neighbors can probably hear this not-so-quiet sister squabble and meltdowns.
The girls settle down when they know I mean business. I tell them that instead of riding scooters, we will go on a short nature walk and gather more supplies to finish their birds’ nests. We walk to the front entrance of the subdivision, where there is an area of pine trees and lots of pine needles and pine cones.
We decide to walk through a little field and spy out the two barns that back up to our backyard. This was probably the most peaceful part of our day.
6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
We arrive back home, and the older two girls begin working on their birds’ nests again.
I gather the little ones’ things to spend the night at their grandparents. I also pack their backpacks for preschool the next day. Grandma will be taking them since hubby and I will be leaving early to take Little Girl to her doctor’s appointment.
I drive the little ones to my parents’ house while hubby helps Little Girl with her bird’s nest. She had gotten frustrated when it wasn’t turning out how she had envisioned, and she had thrown it across the table. He is much better at helping with crafts, and it ended up turning out just as she had imagined.
I stay at my parents’ house for a few minutes while dropping off the little ones. I ask the toddler if she wants to nurse before I leave.
“No!” she says and shakes her head. “Milkies yucky!”
I can barely believe my ears.
“Are you serious?” I ask her.
“Yeah,” she says–and turns to play.
I cry all the way home. This season of life is really, truly over. I don’t have any babies now.
I get home, and Little Girl is still bouncing off the wall. She is actually quite excited to be the only child for the night.
I tell hubby she needs a bath–something I hadn’t communicated before I left home. I run the water and let her take a bubble bath.
She is excited to wear her new penguin footie pajamas that I had purchased at a consignment sale the week before. She slides on the tile and wood floor and says: “I can do my little slip slide dance.”
We say our prayers and put her to bed.
I put on my pajamas and get in bed to read for a few minutes. I forget to take out my contact lenses. I think: “I will just get up and take them out.”
But I was so exhausted that I just fell asleep.
Now, here is our “usual” weekly routine (every day is different):
I get the girls ready for the day, make breakfast, and we all eat.
I drop Little Girl off at school.
The little girls and I run errands or come back home to play/do chores, etc.
I pick Little Girl up from school.
2:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
The toddler naps, and the older girls play outside or quietly with their toys. They might watch a show or two while I work a little. I then make dinner, and we all eat when my husband gets home from work around 6 p.m. We might just hang out or go on a family walk before getting the girls ready for bed around 7:30 p.m., and we aim to get them in bed by 8 p.m. (It’s often later than that.)
8:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Hubby and I work on our computers, read or watch some TV or a movie. Then we go to bed.
Tuesdays & Thursdays:
I get the girls ready for the day, make breakfast, and we all eat.
I drop Little Girl off at school and then drop the littles off at preschool. I settle into a cafe that is practically in the same parking lot as the preschool. I work at the cafe until about 11:50 a.m., when I leave for preschool pick-up.
12 noon-1:45 p.m.
I pick the little ones up from preschool, drive home and make lunch. They play and I do some chores until it’s time to leave to pick up Little Girl from school.
I pick up Little Girl from school.
2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
same as Mondays
We are at home all day this day. I homeschool Little Girl in the morning, and the rest of the day we are playing and doing chores. I don’t typically leave the house at all this day unless I have to.
My husband is off three Fridays per month. On those days, he homeschools Little Girl and takes over the regular daily routine, while I work up in our office or at a coffee shop.
On the Friday he does work, the day looks just like Wednesday.
We are all home and just chill out–or sometimes take a family outing. If it’s near a bundle sale, I am usually working in our office or at a coffee shop.
We attend church in the morning, rest and/or take naps in the afternoon, and every other week we attend a Life group in the evenings.
Most of the pics in this post came from my Instagram feed. You can follow me on IG here.