A Day in the Life…

Inspired by this “Day in the House” series, and as a follow-up to my day in the life post from a couple years ago, I figured it was time for a new post about what life looks like for us in the McCarthy household most days…

6:00am Cormac is in my face asking for “eggs and toast”. He is the early riser in our household and he is ready for breakfast right away. Occasionally, he will crawl into bed with me, Patrick and Moira (who joined us around 4am for an early morning nursing session), making us a rather reluctant but cozy co-sleeping bunch.

6:30am We’re up and downstairs, I plop Moira (7mos) into the high chair with a few finger snacks, while Cormac (2.5 yrs) joins me in his special corner counter seat while I prepare his daily breakfast of choice: eggs and toast. Oh, I should probably let the dog out… (Flynn, 2.5 yr-old pitbull; yes, we got a puppy when Cormac was 4 months old)

6:45am Cormac seated with his breakfast, Moira distracted with a sippy cup of water which she still can’t quite grasp, but enjoys gnawing on, I turn on the kettle to fix my giant mug of coffee. The coffeemaker and Keurig sit un-used on the counter… I prefer a single-cup filter method at the moment. Gotta let that darn dog in and feed her something, too.

7:00am  Breakfast done, wipe up the grubby faces and hands, send Cormac to use the potty (we’re at the tail end of potty-training), change Moira’s diaper and get her dressed.

Our schedule after breakfast depends on the day of the week. Mondays are for errands, groceries, housework; Cormac goes to half-day preschool on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; Friday is reserved for playdates, Bible study, or special activities outside the house. So, let’s do a Thursday… 🙂

7:30am Pack Cormac’s lunch and wrangle him upstairs to get dressed (or bring clothes downstairs to the family room where he’s playing with his toy kitchen… whichever seems more efficient at the moment).

7:45am Decide whether it’s worthwhile to turn on the cartoon Cormac is begging for (PJ Masks on Disney Jr) or distract him with other activities for another half hour…

8:15am Dad is downstairs and ready to get going. He helps keep my morning sane by dropping off Cormac at preschool before he heads to work. We strap Cormac into his carseat (sometimes it’s a two-person job) and they head off. Oh yeah, he brings the dog to work with him, too. Hooray for dog-friendly workplaces.

8:45am Moira is ready for her first nap, so we head up to her room and rock for a few moments before I lay her down in the crib and I attempt to get dressed. Usually after the morning madness, she’s pretty ready to nap. Occasionally, she needs some convincing and I go between my bedroom and hers (right next door), soothing her for a few moments between decided on what to wear (working on my Fall Capsule Wardrobe), how to do my hair, and whether today is a day to put on make-up (depends on whether I have a client meeting or just feel like it).

9:00am Moira is asleep (hopefully) and I sit down to my computer to get some work done. I work from home as a freelance graphic/web designer and I am thrilled to be able to get creative pretty much every day. I get to design logos, websites, print materials, and a wide range of other things for small businesses, nonprofits and a few corporate clients. It’s a dream job and I’m so blessed to have it.

9:15am After reviewing my e-mail and calendar for the day, I get down to businesses. I’ve recently engaged the services of a virtual assistant to help me stay organized. She is amazing at reviewing my inbox, assessing my work load, and scheduling projects into my work calendar. This helps me avoid project paralysis (so much to do you don’t know where to start). I work anywhere from 18-25 hours per work, and try to fit it in primarily during preschool hours and nap times. Occasionally, I get up early or stay up late to finish a project, but (as you can imagine) it’s pretty much impossible to get any real work done with two live children to care for. 😉

11:00am Moira is awake and crowing (not unhappily) in her crib. I head upstairs to feed her — she is nursing about 6x a day and these quiet moments are usually a welcome break in our busy routine. She is a fast eater (usually done in 6-8 minutes) and I bring her downstairs to crawl around in my office while I wrap up whatever I was working on.

12:10pm We leave the house to pick up Cormac (his preschool is 5 minutes away, big win). Wait, did I eat breakfast? Sometimes not… usually I snag a banana or yogurt somewhere around 9:30am, or heat up dinner leftovers around 11:30am… and sometimes I just forget or work straight through.

12:30pm Cormac eats lunch at preschool, so after picking him up I take the opportunity to run a few quick errands with both kiddos strapped in the car (in an attempt to get them to fall asleep). Usually this involves a run to the bank or post office.

1:00pm Home again, home again, jiggity jig. If I’m lucky, one or both of the children are asleep. Cormac usually transitions to his bed pretty well, while Moira may need a little more convincing. If Cormac is awake, I put him in his bedroom to play quietly. Even if he doesn’t go to sleep, “quiet time” is necessary. And usually he does fall asleep after a little while.

1:30pm Moira is asleep in her crib (or in her carseat on the dryer… whichever works) and Cormac is in his room talking to his stuffed animals (love hearing these conversations from my office). I sit down to my computer again to get some more work done. I try to arrange my projects into 1-hour work blocks, but more often than not I end up jumping from one task to the next as the ideas flow and I hop from one program or internet browser to the next. If you were to watch my work process, you might be a little confused… things don’t necessarily happen in progression. An urgent e-mail might throw off my entire workflow as I switch to a new task. My favorite projects are full-on brand platform creation: starting with logo design, website design/development, ID kit/collateral design and anything else to get a business launched. But a typical day could include anything from flyer design or e-mail design (MailChimp is my fav e-mail platform) to the minutia of website updates for a local nonprofit.

3:30pm Nap/Quiet Time is over (Cormac is calling to me from the top of the stairs) and I head up for a big post-nap hug. He is very cuddly after waking up. Moira doesn’t stay asleep for long when Cormac is up and making noise… she’s attuned to his voice! She loves to crawl around after him and do whatever he’s doing.

4:00pm The weather is nice, so I encourage Cormac to play outside with his water table or toy trucks (he likes to push them around in the dirt and generally make a mess). If I have a quick project to wrap up, I’ll bring my laptop outside and sit in the grass with Moira, but I generally don’t get much done, so more often than not I’ll bring a book or some toys to occupy Moira and run around with Cormac.

5:00pm Time to start cooking dinner. I try to cook most weeknights, but I reserve the weekends for take-out (pizza!) or leftovers. This week I’ve been cooking recipes found in my monthly copy of Real Simple, using ingredients from our weekly CSA basket that is chock full of fruit and veggies. Tonight: Chicken with Blistered Corn and Tomato Salad. We got several ears of corn in our basket, and I substitute the called-for spinach with fresh green beans. Yum!

5:15pm Dad gets home. Happy dance! Everyone is excited to see him. He tags in to play with Cormac and Moira.

6:00pm Dinner time! We sit down at the table to eat together, and I spoon feed Moira a mixture of mashed fruit or veggies and rice cereal while we eat and encourage Cormac to try his veggies. Doesn’t always work. But he loves the chicken and asks for seconds.

6:30pm Dinner’s over, we try to sit and talk a bit before Cormac begs off to play in his room. I clean up Moira and get dishes into the sink or dishwasher. Patrick heads upstairs to play Cormac’s new favorite game: Bert & Ernie in the Tent (involves lots of different voices and hide&seek in a pop-up tent in Cormac’s room).

7:00pm Bathtime! We do baths every other night or so and usually put the two kiddos in together, although occasionally Moira first and Cormac second. Moira gets out first and I get her into diaper and pajamas before we sit down for a pre-bedtime nursing and rocking session. She is pretty sleepy and once she starts sucking her thumb, I place her in her crib and quietly shut the door. Sometimes she fusses a bit when she realizes I’m gone, but lately I’ve just been letting her work it out… she is usually asleep in 5-10 minutes. I sneak into my bedroom to throw on some lounge/pj clothes.

7:30pm Patrick has wrangled Cormac out of the tub and into his night-time pull-ups and pajamas. The three of us sit down on his bed for story time and songs before tucking him in. Patrick cuddles with him for a few moments longer since he’s going through a “scared of the dark” phase and every once in a while he will sneak into our bedroom and fall asleep after we’ve gone downstairs.

8:00pm We both fall into the couch for a moment before I decide whether I want to clean up the kitchen tonight or save it for the morning. Patrick turns on Naked & Afraid or, our recent favorite, Married At First Site. If I need to wrap up a project, I’ll pull out my laptop and (half-heartedly) work while watching. Sometimes we chat about the day, or upcoming days, but generally we can enjoy each other’s company without conversation. 🙂

10:00pm If I haven’t already fallen asleep on the couch, I take my vitamins, grab a glass of water and head upstairs for my bedtime routine. If I’m still wide awake (e.g. drank something with caffeine after 12pm), I’ll stay up reading in bed for a little bit, or watch an episode of Blue Bloods with Patrick before we turn out the lights.

10:30/11:00pm Nighty night. Until 4am when Moira wakes up for some comforting…and the day starts all over again 🙂

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