A Day in the Life of…a writer and SAHM (on spring break)

A-Day-in-the-LifeA Day in the Life is an event hosted by Trish at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. She’s posted this for the last couple years, though this is my first participating. Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking I’d participate this year, either, until a day came up about a week ago that made me think, hmm, maybe it would be fun to have a day’s snapshot to look back on!

As a writer and stay at home mom, my schedule varies wildly from day to day. My boys are 15 (freshman), 13 (8th grade), and 12 (6th grade). My husband works from home (or from Starbucks or the library on days when it’s easier to work outside the house), and our family collectively attends about 25 doctor appointments a month. We’re a mess! We’re a triple-puberty, moved-across-the-country-twice-in-one-year, mental-health-issues-galore, booknerd, gamer-nerd, wacky, zany household. The day I chose to record my time was right smack in the middle of spring break, with all five of us home instead of three off to school.

March 16th, 2016

IMG_43257:00 am – I’m up, by necessity instead of choice. Still adjusting to the time change and it feels way too early. Laurence (my youngest) is up, too, because both of us have chiropractor appointments this morning. As he showers and has breakfast, I go through my morning rituals. I make coffee (using my brand new kettle for the first time!), feed the cats, post the day’s blog, go through my email, write in my journals, and draw my tarot card for the day (Knight of Wands). Eventually, though it’s really too early for breakfast, I have a biscuit and two chocolate-covered strawberries from the bouquet Jason brought me the day before (Edible Arrangements).

8:50 am – Laurence and I leave to go to the chiropractor. We’re the only two in the family who enjoy going, and he hasn’t been since the Christmas break. I particularly need a bone in my injured foot adjusted! We’ve been seeing this chiropractor for nine years and I love him to pieces. On the way to the appointment, L and I end up talking about how various religions have different “correct” ways to pray.

9:45 am – The chiropractor visit is done, and we stop by HEB, our grocery store, on the way home. We need to pick up a few things: yogurt, eggs, baby spinach, and honey.

IMG_433010:15 am – I put up the groceries, while Laurence rushes outside to start the lawn-mowing. He’s excited that it’s cool enough outside and he’s going to get paid to mow the lawn. He’s our youngest, but also the one who takes advantage of money-making opportunities. Jason moves to work outside to keep an eye on him, and Ambrose (middle child) goes with him to work on his own programming project. Morrigan (my oldest) is cloistered away in his room, reading or hiding or designing Magic decks. The house is relatively quiet. Time to write!

For the next almost-two hours, I work on the next chapter in my current manuscript-in-progress, stopping only for iced coffee and a few chocolate-covered apple-slices (Edible Arrangements again). This chapter is (generally) about a priest retrieved by a soldier to return to the capitol to investigate the unexplained murder of a fellow priest. Progress goes well, a good 2000+ words written and the chapter finished before the family comes together for lunch. Success!

Noon – Lunch is a haphazard and quick affair involving leftover pizza. I did at least make a salad with mine…

IMG_432912:30 pm – Time for audio! I put on my current audiobook (The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson), and alternate doing a couple lines of crochet on my current WIP with afternoon fitness/therapy work: yoga (32 mins, Yoga With Adriene), ankle therapy for my injured ankle, foam rolling (even though I really hate foam rolling!!!), and finally, showering for the day. Yes, I know. It happens. I have three kids…

IMG_43273:00 pm – Yogurt…mmm… –>

3:30 pm – So most of my planned day is done by now, lots of Xs in my bullet journal, with a few things waiting for later in the evening. The audiobook goes back on, with earbuds now, as I random-pants my way through the rest of the afternoon and early evening. A few more lines of crochet. Cleaning out my French press. Taking out the waste baskets around the house. Catching up on some paperwork like health insurance tracking and receipts. Playing around on facebook and other internet rabbit holes. Chasing the boys to make sure they get their chores done for the day. Eventually, I settle into my recliner and absently watch as the boys play Zelda and Super Smash Bros, now that Jason is done with work for the day. Once the allotted video game time is over, the boys and I watch an episode of NCIS together (Grounded, from season 12) – they’ve almost watched the entire backlog now! Jason is making fun of the show, so I “make” him rub my feet in recompense. Ha!

IMG_43366:15 pm – Tired of sitting around, I decide to take a leisurely 45-min walk around the neighborhood while Jason and Laurence make dinner (his turn today). Of course, I have my audiobook to accompany me. And while I’m out, the boys take the trash to the curb – the last chore besides dishes for the night!

7:00 pm – Dinner time! Tonight we have meatball-porcupines on rice with roasted asparagus on the side. Most nights, we choose a topic to discuss at dinner. Jason asks us questions and we see what we can all come up with. Dinner topic this night was “children’s TV shows,” because we’d been talking about Veggie Tales and Thomas the Tank Engine as the dinner began. Dinner is quick tonight, and Morrigan rushes to do the after-dinner dishes (his turn today) so we can play a game.

7:30 pm – After dinner, we put Scene-It on in “party play” mode, and spend an hour answering movie trivia questions together. None of us are big movie people, which means we fail often, but it’s fun, and in party-play mode, none of the boys feel like they’re failing or losing, which is a common game-problem in our family!

IMG_43268:30 pm – Lights out is around 9:00 pm in our house, so around 8:30, we move into prep-for-bed mode. I gather up the electronics and lock them away in our room (necessary precaution with preteen/teen boys!!), lock the doors, turn off the ceiling fans, feed the cats, and tidy the living room. While the boys get in their pajamas (or complain they don’t need pajamas) and brush their teeth, I stir up my nightly liquid magnesium citrate supplement (to help me sleep) and drink. The boys give us stuffed animals – they live on the back of our headboard for a week before going back to them. Tonight it’s a small frog and a giant Ugly Doll from Ambrose and Laurence (nothing from Morrigan). There is a flurry of hugs, multiple rounds, as they try to stay up later than 9:00, and eventually lights go out. Jason and I retreat to our room.

IMG_43289:15 (ish) pm – Now it’s time to relax just a bit before bed. I change into my PJs after skinbrushing (feels sooooo good), brush my teeth, and do a few more lines of crochet while I listen to a tiny bit more of my audiobook. When Jason is also ready for the night, we plan our days together. Then we lay back and just talk until we’re ready to sleep, which comes around 10:20 pm tonight (a bit later than usual, because again, still adjusting to the time change).

11:15 pm – Finally fall asleep after multiple interruptions, including 1) shouting teens outside who play basketball two houses away to all hours of the night, 2) some bizarre flashing lights that are near blinding even through wooden blinds, 3) Morrigan coming to check up on what said flashing lights are, and 4) a cat in heat yowling and fighting outside our window. It’s a good thing I don’t have to get up until 8:00 the next morning!!

It’s not exactly a typical day, but typical-enough for us, with all our crazy circumstances. Hopefully I didn’t bore anyone! Thanks, Trish, for hosting this event!

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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46 Responses to A Day in the Life of…a writer and SAHM (on spring break)

  1. Michelle says:

    I seriously love this event and am so sad I did not participate this year. Perhaps I can get it together to do something for next week…

    I must say that I appreciate you mentioning that your oldest hides away in his room. I was beginning to think there is something wrong with me as I barely see my oldest anymore, and my youngest stays in her room more and more often these days. It makes me sad and a bit lonely at times.

    I cannot believe you are able to get your boys to bed by 9 PM. I think my two would have meltdowns if we forced the bedtime issue. Granted, on most nights, Holly is just getting home, and both of them still have homework. I am very impressed!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      My boys have absolutely no choice on the bedtime no matter how often they protest it. My mom did the same to us. Last year in Boston, we tried to give them a slight bit of freedom – they had to be in their rooms by 9, but could stay up a bit longer if they wished, as long as they were doing quiet, relaxing activities. Only Ambrose did well with this. He’d read or crochet for 30-45 mins, then go to bed. Morrigan would stay up to 4am, and started missing a lot of school because he’d be nauseous and throwing up from lack of sleep because of it. Laurence would stay up for two hours reading mangas, and his teacher wrote that he was falling asleep in class. After that? Nope. Lights out at 9. They dont’ always fall asleep at once, but with their doors open and the lights out and the computers up, they don’t have much wiggle room. M still manages to read by nightlight, but at least he’s only up until midnight or so. The worst is that he still gets up to eat in the middle of the night. Sigh.

      Like

  2. Thanks for sharing your day and how you manage working, two boys, husband and exercise! I peeked at your writing in progress– I’m jealous of you. I secretly wish to start writing but I can’t pinpoint which genre I should pursue. I see you have several genres going. That’s pretty cool! Have a great week.

    Like

  3. What a great day! I love the idea of choosing a conversation topic at dinner.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      It started a few years ago, and then just stuck. Doesn’t happen every night, and sometimes we only get a question or two in before the conversation devolves or dinner finishes anyway. But it’s kinda fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michelle says:

    Yoga with Adriene is my new favorite thing in life.

    Like

  5. Lindsey says:

    It’s so fun to get a glimpse into the life of a family with older kids. I love the idea of playing games as a family. Since we have a two year old now, I’m not sure we could do anything more complicated than Memory or Chutes and Ladders!!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      We don’t do it very often. They’re all pretty temperamental about games, and they all like different things. I stay well out of it when the rest of them are playing Magic or D&D, ha!

      Like

  6. Kay says:

    I’m loving reading about everyone’s ‘day’. The yogurt looks good and I’m impressed with all the family time after dinner. What fun for you guys! Thanks for sharing with us!

    Like

  7. Robin says:

    Wow! You have a busy life! I’m enjoying reading these posts about our days. Yours was a lot of fun to read.

    Like

  8. Trish says:

    I love that you guys had a game night! I would love to do that but hub is NOT a fan of games. Well, and Evie doesn’t really get “rules” yet, so it would just be me and Elle. And I’m also impressed by how early your boys go to bed, especially with spring break. Also LOVE picking a topic at dinner. I bet with older kids you get taken in so many different directions. Thanks for sharing all of this Amanda–and hope the foot is feeling better.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      As I said to Michelle above, the boys have no choice about bedtime. All the lights go out. House rule. 😀 They certainly aren’t happy about it – or at least, the oldest isn’t. The other two either don’t mind or aren’t old enough to fight back as much yet, ha! The topics at dinner can be very fun. Sometimes the boys come up with wacky topics (“Today’s topic is Laurence!”) and sometimes Jason twists whatever topic with puns and unexpected directions. 😀

      Like

  9. We had neighbors who used to play basketball outside late at night during the week. I was not a fan and I do not miss them! I’ve always enjoyed the conversations that occur when you have kids one on one. There’s no telling where it’s going to go. I love the movie trivia time! That looks so fun! And is it ever too early for chocolate covered strawberries?

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      It’s NEVER too early for chocolate-covered strawberries!

      I don’t mind the basketball playing mostly. However, when they start shouting and shooting off fireworks and running around with strobe lights at 1 in the morning, I get annoyed.

      Like

  10. Debbie Stone says:

    We have 3 boys too, and I miss those days you speak of! Mine are all (crap!) in their 30’s now. Board games take place during visits now, but we LOVE THEM. This is such a fun event/day/meme. I don’t think anyone’s lives are boring.

    Like

  11. Reading all of these posts today is making me soooo hungryyyy! lol

    Like

  12. chrisbookarama says:

    I’m seeing my teen less and less these days too. She seems happy so that’s good. I think they just need to assert their independence. At least that’s what I tell myself.

    Like

  13. Kristen M. says:

    This day sounds so much crazier than mine ever is. Still, it sounds like you manage it all well. Good job! 🙂 Also, I’m going to give Yoga With Adriene a try. I’ve been looking for a good series to start at home.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      It helps that the boys are all old enough that I don’t really have to do things for them anymore, beyond driving them places. It’s lovely to have them come home after school, make their own snacks, and get to work on homework and chores with only the mildest direction. I really do adore that independence and helping shape them so that they know how to adult when they get to be adults.

      Like

  14. So much fun reading about your day! The dinner-time topic of conversation jumped out for me… we started that when the girls were just a little older than your boys. Now looking back, we wish we’d started even earlier. I was also pretty strict about bedtimes until high school. Then practices, games, and homework began to dictate the schedule. Everyone was tired when all three were done for the day!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, that’s true – we don’t enforce the bedtime rule if there are school functions going on. All through the fall, Morrigan has football games to attend with the marching band, and by the time the band returns, unloads, and the students are ready to go, it’s often midnight or later. So he doesn’t go to bed on time those days. But we try to keep it as regular as possible, because they’d mostly stay up to all hours otherwise!

      Like

  15. Melissa says:

    Game night sounds so fun, dinner sounds delicious, and I’m so impressed with the bedtime strictness. I love that each of your kids pursues their own interests so passionately to you guys must be incredible parents to encourage that!

    Like

  16. I definitely curious about your magnesium supplement! Do you take it for restless legs? I take a magnesium pill and I hate it because of the size. If I could drink something, I might be more likely to take it! Anyway, thanks for sharing a glimpse of what sounds to me like a wonderful day!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      I take a powdered magnesium citrate called Natural Calm. It’s available in different flavors, though mine is unflavored (meaning it tastes like sour lemon, from the citrate). I use a tablespoon or so into about six ounces of water, and it’s basically like drinking lemon juice (unsweetened). I began taking it almost two years ago because I had been suffering from severe insomnia for about three years then. It was the sort of insomnia that causes you to wake up at 3 in the morning for several hours. Magnesium helped me to stop taking benedryl to stay asleep. When I first started using it at my doctor’s suggestion, he said not to take magnesium pills or magnesium oxide, because they don’t absorb well, so you don’t get enough magnesium. In any case, the powdered stuff has made the difference of a lifetime for me!!

      Like

  17. Kailana says:

    Oh! What are your ankle exercises. I wonder if they would help me (still struggling with getting my mobility back). That’s it, we need to go back to emailing each other. I miss chatting!

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      You’ll have to send me your current email address – I apparently have several listed for you (??) and am not sure which is valid. I can email you the foot exercises – they’re mostly for strengthening and stabilizing specific bones that were stressed during my sprain.

      Like

  18. I loved reading about your day, including all your various pursuits, and realized that I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting your blog in a long while. I can’t remember what event I used to see you participate in…but now I’m going to follow your blog so I can keep up more regularly.

    Thanks for sharing…and here’s my (boring) A DAY IN THE LIFE POST

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Laurel!! I didn’t think your day was boring at all, and let me just say it was so good to hear from you! I believe you used to comment most on my Sunday Salon posts, before I got rid of the original Zen Leaf in 2011. I just started this new version about 18 months ago. I lost touch with a lot of people so it’s good to see you here again. 🙂

      Like

  19. SuziQoregon says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with foam rollers. They’re good for a lot of things but boy they can cause a lot of pain along the way.

    Like

  20. Sounds like a fun day — and like others, I’m impressed with the solid bedtime routine. Your crochet project looks lovely too, can’t wait to see the results.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      I hope I can make the project work! I have all the panels done now, just have to figure out how to put them all together. And possibly sew cloth lining in. Since I don’t know how to sew…

      Like

  21. priscilla says:

    What a day! So impressed that you have a dinner topic and a bedtime for your kids (I’m joining the chorus on both of those topics). I loved reading about all of your projects…I can barely keep up with one blog!

    Like

  22. lauratfrey says:

    I’m fascinated by your routines with three boys and so much going on. I’d love to hear even more! Tell me about the stuffies, are they in your room, and the boys choose one to take to bed with them?

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      Actually, it’s the other way around – the boys have TONS of stuffed animals, especially the younger two. They decide which animals to give to their dad each night, and once a week, they all get cleared off to go back “home.” Sometimes it’s a theme (by color or shape or natural habitat). Sometimes an “animal” might be a belt from a robe, or a crocheted model of a human cell, or a scarf, or some other item that the boys have decided are “alive” and need care. They all want to spend lots of time with dad.

      Like

      • lauratfrey says:

        That is very cute. My four year old has one special stuffie, a zombie from Plants vs. Zombies, named Michael. The other day he changed his name to Ramon. I dunno where he gets this stuff 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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