Sunday, August 13, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

This one is for the Crib Chick, who wanted a round of "a day in the life" posts. I jotted down notes on Monday for her, but didn't get a chance to get online and actually write it all down until now, pretty much 24 hrs later.

The day started at 6:55am when the alarm went off. This is about 35 minutes earlier than the alarm normally goes off, if I set the alarm (which I normally do on weekdays when Max has to Be Somewhere). I struggle through the blankets to get up because I am pinned under the blankets and between Himself and Milo. I turn off the alarm and tuck Milo back in bed, then close the curtains tightly so that the kids will hopefully sleep a little longer than usual for Chris. I walk into the twins' bedroom, where Ben is sleeping in Milo's bed for some reason. I close the curtains there, too.

I wake up Max, and then go back into my room where I pull on the jeans I've worn three days in a row, fish a clean bra out of the underwear drawer, and walk downstairs wearing the jeans and bra to find a clean shirt in the massive pile of clean shirts laid out on the dryer. It is my job to wash and dry the clothing. It is not my job to put them away.

I head back upstairs, peek into Max's room, go into the bathroom and turn on the shower, go back to Max's room and wake him--again. I shoo him off the shower.

I head back downstairs and turn on the computer. Once McAffee is done yelling at me for not buying anything from them other than their already too expensive virus protection program (I'm so totally switching to a new program when this subscription is up), I call up Mapquest and get directions to the new optometrist. I print those out. I've had insomnia all summer and since I'd worked until 1:30am the night before--which meant I was good and tired, I'd tried to go to sleep without taking benedryl or anything else to get to sleep. Consequently, I fell asleep somewhere around 3:30 am. At any rate, I was feeling lacking in short term memory, so I printed out the directions.

I went back upstairs and pulled Max back out of bed (his hair was wet and he smelled good though). I gave him suggestions about what to wear since he seemed incapable of making those kinds of decisions this morning. I don't normally have to wake Max, so fishing him out of bed three times in one morning was a bad sign. I told him if he could get his tush out to the car in the next three minutes, I'd buy him a bagel for breakfast. 30 seconds later he announced he was heading out to the car. I found my keys and followed him.

7:30 We buy bagels. Egg and bacon for him, lox and cream cheese with lettuce and tomato for me. Three plain bagels to take home.

7:50 We pull over one block before the eye place to look at the directions again. Two minutes later we park in the parking lot.

7:58 We wait around in the lobby till they open the doors.

8:03 We check in.

8:10 They take us back.

8:40 The very nice optometrist says that Max is a wee bit far-sighted, but not enough to need glasses (I was totally expecting that exact diagnosis of his eyeballs), and she makes an appointment for him to come back on Thursday to do an hour of testing out his visual perception (or, as she put it, "His hardware is fine. Bring him back on Thursday and we'll test his software.") [Max, like his mother, his maternal grandfather, and at least one uncle, can't spell his way out of a paper sack. The only program we've had any success with is Sequential Spelling. Nor does he enjoy writing, although he has plenty to say. We're curious to see if in spite of the fact that Max's reading is excellent, there isn't an element of dyslexia there that is specifically tied to the spelling. Ben and Milo are going to the same phenomenal optometrist at the end of the month, but in their case we really are just going to rule out the need for glasses before school starts since both Mom and Dad are far-sighted--although in my case, mildly so.]

9:00 We finally leave the optometrist as it took awhile to finalize the appointment.

9:10 At the dairy we drop off 10 bottles and buy 8.

9:25 Post Office. There is a huge envelopes of contracts from an employer. I glower at it. This company has recently changed the way that they accept and pay invoices. The new way BLOWS. So here I am, supposed to sign four more contracts. All I can think as I look at the due dates is "where the heck is MY reassurance that I'll get paid for this before Christmas?!?" The project I'm helping them with is small. Well, the project might be big, but my part in it is small because they are not Main Client. I glower at the envelope of contracts and resist the urge to shred them.

9:35 Back home, we distribute bagels.

9:45 I walk the dogs

9:55 I spend some time copying the first page of each contract which states how much I'll get paid. My fax machine is doing the copying. It likes to think about the page for a bit before actually printing them. I spend the time waiting feeling pissed off at the company some more. I thought the old way--in which they had 45 days to pay me from the day I submitted an invoice, was generous enough.

10:05 I answer email.

10:15 Still pissed about the contracts, I open excel and fuss with the budget for a bit.

10:30 I sign the contracts, fold them, stick them in an envelope, address it, put two stamps on it.

10:40 I decide to go check on the caterpillars. I go outside and check the carrots and count the caterpillars. Everyone's there. I had brought them in on Sunday out of fear for their lives, but Sunday evening thought better of it when it was clear that they hated the wilted carrots. [Today, I only count three. I hope the biggest, fattest ones went off to make a coccoon.] There is a fedex envelope on my front step. I open it. It is another friggin' contract. Today must be contract Monday! However, this one is a renewal with Main Client. I sign, copy, stick it back in a fedex envelope and call for a pickup.

11:00 Reassured that at least someone is going to pay me, I print out ten files and make a checklist of what needs to be done today. I'm off to a late start and without the checklist I'll spend all day puttering now.

1:00 I've finished the first page of this project and the phone rings. It's the piano teacher moving our lesson time. I prefer this call to the one where she calls and yells at me for missing the lesson. This happens every six weeks or so, largely because she's always moving the lesson time on me.

I make everyone peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. This does not earn me any points with my spoiled-rotten family, but tough. Some days you eat p, b, and j and like it.

1:15 I sit back down to work some more and realize that I'm remarkably awake for someone who got so little sleep. I make a mental note to get everything possible done today as I have a hunch I will be lunchmeat-for-brains the next day.

2:15 I cross the second and third page off my list, grab the kid, the piano books, and the envelope of contracts and go. We stop at the post office and I mail the contracts. We go to the piano lesson. I knit. He plays. She's just come off of a week's vacation to some place that made her tan and is in a great, even almost silly, mood. They have a fine lesson. She tells Max he needs to "supervise" his fingers. Max plays a piece all the way through with only one error. In May this piece so terrified him that he burst into tears thinking that the teacher was going to make him play it "that fast." Today he plays it that fast without her asking him to. Artists. Sheesh.

4:00 We pull in the driveway. Chris' head, normally big enough, is swollen and he is incapable of saying anything that doesn't come out in an angry growl. I give him more benedryl and like the Beast, he slinks off to his portion of the castle. I offer to take Max to football. He accepts.

4:10 Back to work. Chris goes off to run errands.

5:15 Chris comes home with another piece of football equipment (something to help assure future generations of our family) and Kentucky Fried Chicken. We haven't had KFC in so long that the kids are beside themselves with joy. We all eat.

5:30 Milo and I do a lesson from 100 Easy Lessons.

5:40 Max and I leave for football. I have a backpack with my knitting, my laptop, the files I'd printed out earlier, and that checklist. I still feel great. Max has 40 lbs of football equipment.

6:00 Max plays football. I open the laptop and get to work.

7:15 My laptop notifies me of the impending death of the battery. I hastily finish the last sentence of the page I'm working on and power down. I get to cross off two more pages from the checklist. There is one page and one paragraph of another page to go and I will be done. I am thrilled about this. I knit and the lady next to me comments cheerfully about the knitting. We end up talking for the rest of practice. This is so out of character for me that I realize again that metabolically--I'm doomed for Tuesday.

8:30 Practice is over. We go home.

9:00 Chaos. Chris has put the twins to bed but is still in allergy-induced hell. He refused to play the "going to sleep game" whereby we drink our last drink and attempt one or two stalls. The three of them sound like they are Wild Things at the end of the their Wild Rumpuss. Chris is roaring his terrible roar and gnashing his terrible teeth. And the twins are just pissed off.

I shout, "Be still!" and tame them all with my eyes.

Chris goes back to his paint cave. I get Ben a sip of water. I promise Milo I will put the last piece of chicken in the fridge and save it for him. Feeling guilty, I go and get the 100 Easy Lessons book and do the lesson with Ben. It's really too late, but there it is. They fall asleep. Emily is pacing, and since I can't remember if I had Max walk them earlier, I take them both outside for a walk. This reminds me that it hasn't rained in a bit. So after the walk I get the hose and liberally water all the plants. Yes, it's dark. But our yard is near the streetlight and I can see well enough.

9:50 I am starting to fade. I work on that last page, that last paragraph. Chris goes to bed, very early for him. I am grateful.

11:45 I finish. I email the finished work to its intended recipient. I find some pjs, I put them on, I go to bed. For once, God Bless America, I fall asleep after only about 30 minutes. I do NOT set the alarm.


So where are the twins in all of that? They were at home mostly yesterday. Some days are like that. Today I had to go get a bushel of tomatoes at the farmer's market near the dairy and all the kids came with me for that. Later I needed to stop by Wal-mart for more pint jars and lids and they came with me to that, and then to Sam's club for groceries.

I work in the basement in a section set aside for my office, but there is no door and the twins float in and out literally all day long. I am working, but I am also the go-to guy for more milk, more juice, a snack, a hug, some sympathy, a bandaid, etc., etc. We have the ez-up on the back porch and I sometimes work out there while they play in the back yard. They do play a lot of video games and sometimes we have to turn off the TV for them when it just gets to be too much.

When Chris isn't having a day like yesterday (in his defense, he hasn't had such a horrible allergy attack in ages and just wasn't remotely himself) he'll often take them to the playground. Or like tonight--he did football and I did errands with the twins.

Today I was slower on the uptake--didn't get up till 8:30. I answered email and balanced the checkbooks using the online bank, went to pick up tomatoes, came home and did some actual work, and around 3:00 went back to bed. I got up around 5:00, Max and Chris went to football. The twins and I ran errands until almost 8pm. We did our 100 Easy Lessons. I worked again until 9:15, we stopped and put the kids to bed. And then I did some more work, and now--this blog. I'll work until midnight and then quit and go to bed.


Anonymous said...

Oh Alaska that was AWESOME!!!! What a great post!!!!

And you just slay me with your Benadryl for sleeping thing ~ I thought that was My Secret And My Secret Alone but I guess not! It works better than anything else I can think of, when I need it. It just takes a while to wear off in the mornings. I'm such a total loser that I've been cutting the stoopid things in half or fourths and sort of dosing-with-cuttings-depending-upon-my-need.


~Jo's Boys

The Crib Chick said...

Yay! An Alaska 'Day in the Life'!