A Day in My Life: Stefani

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered what a typical day in their life is like? We bet most of us have. We wonder sometimes if our days are similar to others, especially people who are in the same season of life as us. Or we are curious how someone who is the complete opposite of us spends their days. How many times as a new mom have you scoured the web to find other mom’s feeding, sleeping, and daily schedules for their baby, just to be sure you’re on the right track and to feel a sense of camaraderie? Have you wondered how working mothers juggle it all? Do you really think stay at home moms sit on the couch and eat bonbons? Do you ever ask your friends how they spend their days or what they do on the weekends? We all want to know what the other person is doing. We’re curious by nature. Social media has certainly helped us out in this area, so thank you Facebook and Instagram.

We at Daily Mom are jumping on the bandwagon of getting personal with you. We all come from different backgrounds, have different careers, personalities, and daily lives. We all come together virtually to provide you with the content you love to read everyday. But, if you ever wondered how we spend our day to day (more than just the short bio you see at the end of our posts), then you’re in luck.


WELCOME TO “A DAY IN MY LIFE” SERIES

Each writer at Daily Mom will take a typical day of theirs, strap the camera to their hip, and go about their day shooting and documenting journal-style, everything from the mundane to the exciting. We’ll share our day with you in one hour-ish increments. You can learn a bit more about the person behind your favorite posts, maybe incorporate something new into your day based on what you read, or simply take a moment to be thankful for your day to day life.


Today we are spending the day with contributor Stefani, a stay-at-home mom, in her 6th year of classically homeschooling her 5th grade girl, 2nd grade boy, and kindergarten “baby” boy, which most days is a lot like being a work-at-home mom, without the pay.

Monday: January 4, 2016

Dallas, Texas

6:23 am

“You know it’s 6:23, right?” my husband says to me. “What?” I reply, confused. “Did my alarm not go off?” I grab my phone and quickly check – yep, I forgot to turn it back on after “winter break.” Well, it’s not too bad. I usually snooze that 6 am alarm twice before finally waking up around 6:20 am.

After checking my e-mail, reading my favorite blogs, and scrolling through Facebook, it’s time to get up and exercise. The time news jarred me awake a bit, so it’s easier to get up, but it’s still a chilly 64 in the house. My goal is to work out Monday through Friday (Saturday is up in the air). I do some body-weight exercise sets that take me about 20 minutes to complete. At least I’m warmed up now!

Have I mentioned how much I hate planks?

7:08 am

Another alarm went off 8 minutes ago. We’re supposed to be reading the Bible as a family and having prayer time. But I was still exercising…. And so was my husband…. And none of the children were up yet. Can you tell it’s the first day back from winter break?

I have alarms ringing all. day. long. I’m not a drill sergeant, really; I just can’t keep track of time sometimes, and I forget to look at the clock! On a typical school day, my alarm sounds 11 times. It helps keep me on track so that we don’t forget any school subjects or other important things like feeding the tiny, restless natives I care for.

The first child finally emerges from his room – my big boy 2nd grader. I finish setting up my computer at my “standing workstation” (i.e. the kitchen bar) and give the awake boy his morning cuddle, hugs, and kisses.

7:21 am

My husband wakes up our big girl, but the “baby boy” is calling for me. He insists he is still tired, so we leave him in his bed half-awake down our short hall while we start reading Luke 5 together – he can hear everything we are saying anyway.

7:32 am

After we read and pray together, it’s time for breakfast. Because we like keeping things simple, and since we eat Primal/Paleo/AIP at home, the choices for breakfast are eggs or sausage 90% of the time. The sausage is cooking in the oven, so I work on the eggs for me and my girl after I unload the dishwasher. All the while, my 2nd grader keeps complaining that I can’t take pictures all day because we have school. He also insists that we start school right now, which is strange, since usually he complains about starting at all.

8:00 am

It’s supposed to be time to start school. (I can hear my phone sounding from the bar.) But we’re still making/eating breakfast. Apparently my oldest with her “nasty egg” is sitting too close to my middle child. We can’t figure out if she was teasing him pretending to put egg on his plate, or if this is just his normal “I think I smell eggs” freak-out. We move her to daddy’s seat and all is well. Curiously, daddy eating his eggs by him isn’t a problem.

8:05 am

And again with the “school bells.” At least we’re almost done eating now.

8:10 am

My daughter asks to type on my computer whenever I am not on it. She’s creating a book for her Warrior Cats friends.

I finally silence the alarm. We’re obviously getting a late start today. I clean up from breakfast, brush my teeth, and hope that everything can go more smoothly as the day goes on. I don’t like starting off “behind the ball” – it’s not good for my Type A personality and leaves me feeling ruffled too early in the day.

8:17 am

My better half leaves for work. Monday is normally his “long” day at work, but since today is just a teacher workday, he’ll be home a lot earlier. (Yes, I’m married to a public school teacher who supports homeschooling 100%.) It’s actually going to mess with our school day more than help it to have him home more. Ask any homeschooler – daddy (or the non-home educator) being home is not as helpful as you’d think for home education.

8:21 am

We are finally getting started with “real” school! One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in our homeschool was to start our day with Latin. First, because if it’s not at the beginning of the day, it’s often forgotten, and second – and more importantly perhaps – it means that Monday starts out nice and easy watching our Latin DVDs.

“Tell them about my Latin because it’s awesome!” my daughter exclaims excitedly as I take a picture of the boys’ DVD. My girl and I are working through the last Primer of the Latin for Children series (I have no prior Latin experience, we are learning together), while the boys are having fun with Song School Latin.

9:00 am

Yes, our Christmas tree is still up. As traditional Christians, we would normally keep it up until Epiphany, but since my husband spent 2 years in Russia and has a minor in Russian studies, we’ll actually leave the tree up until “Russian Christmas” – which also happens to be his birthday.

With Latin over, I finally take up my “post” on the loveseat to start one-on-one work with my baby boy. We get through some math while my daughter starts her independent work. The 2nd grader complains that he wants someone to play a game with him. He purposely annoys his sister on the couch; she moves to make us squeeze 3 on the loveseat. I suggest he go outside and play, which he refuses to do unless I go out there with him. More whining.

9:10 am

If you thought taking a picture of one moving target was hard, try three!

Saved by the bell! Or, in this case, my mother calling. She calls on her way to work Monday through Thursday for a daily chat with her grandchildren and/or me. Baby boy hops up, answers the phone, and starts talking to Grandma. I agree to go outside with the big boy. Then, all the kids want to go outside. It takes them some time to “gear up” with socks, slippers, hats, and gloves since it’s 34 degrees outside, but it’s sunny, so it’s really not too bad. I talk to my mom on the patio for about 15 minutes (her usual commute time). I call the kids back inside and finish up math with the kindergartner.

And despite the cold temperatures outside, they all start snacking on ice after they come inside. I seriously do not understand their snack choices sometimes.

9:54 am

Kindergartner doing math on his lap, while seated on my lap. (If you’re wondering, this sheet is a bit much for K math; it’s technically 1st grade math.)

Apparently, the kindergartner needs a play break after doing math, so I let him go, and I take care of some other homeschooling details (like filling out our school charts that I didn’t finish from our last four weeks, and inserting our fresh four-week sheets onto the kids’ clipboards). Plus, I start making snack. I make a mental note (which I promptly forget) that I need to print the next chapter of math for my kindergartner and the next book of Mind Benders for my 5th grader.

10:00 am

It’s time to read our literature book, Sword in the Stone, and have snack. The kids drink kefir and eat banana chocolate chip muffins (baked over the weekend) while I read to them. I like reading to them while they eat because it’s harder for them to interrupt or be disruptive… most of the time. Today, the middle-sized child finishes his snack a bit too quickly and insists on walking around the table while I read, which is a bit distracting. When he breaks into a run, I try to make him sit again, but he promises that he’ll walk. He mostly does.

10:23 am

Back to one-on-one work with a boy. Doesn’t much matter which one – though, technically the kindergartner is supposed to be done by now. I have a quick pit-stop to help my 5th grader with a grammar question, and then sit down again with both boys on the loveseat. The 2nd grader is doing his independent reading (Mouse and the Motorcycle), while the kindergartner does his reading with me (All About Reading).

And now folks, this is where things start to go downhill. Homeschoolers are real parents, and our children are real kids. No one is “Super Mom” with all the patience and sainted children. The 2nd grader doesn’t want to get started on his math without me (even though, I can see the problems will be easy for him) and the kindergartner refuses to answer questions about the story he just read. I’ve already had several non-school-related interruptions from my fifth grader, and now my little guy refuses to stop stretching out his shirt neck. We have a rough time of it for probably 15 minutes with flat-out refusals and whining before we can get back on track again. Threats to take away screen-time are moderately effective for the big two, not as much for the little one; he answers his reading questions then pretty much exits from the school scene until after lunch, despite my occasional calls to “come and do your handwriting.”

11:40 am

Reinforcement arrives (long lunch breaks on teacher workdays). I’m almost done with one-on-one work with my big boy, so I haven’t put lunch into the oven like I should have 10 minutes ago. My husband handles that while I finish writing and grammar with the 2nd grader. Then, I take a mental break on Facebook and work on this Daily Mom article for a bit.

12:18 pm

Time for a late lunch. Several weeks ago, because the kids said that they liked them, I stocked up on bratwurst from our rancher (pastured meat is the way to go) that’s like a cross between a brat and a hot dog. The kids have now changed their minds, so I’m making the “dawgs” for my husband and I, but the kids can have some regular hot dogs that I’m making as well. Lunch passes with little complaints.

When it’s over, the kids ask to eat the rest of their Christmas Nerds, and my daughter asks to type on my computer again. The boys take to their room for Lego building.

1:00 pm

I’m on my own again and now it’s time for history. With the day about halfway over, we ease back into our work by listening to the audio version, while the kids color their appropriate coloring pages. (I love audio books for homeschooling – it gives my voice a break!)

We happen to have two chapters to do today. The older two sit nicely at our “school/activity table” and color while the youngest decides that he’s “too tired to color” and sits on the floor to put puzzles together. He’s tried to sneak off to his room, but then I tell him that he has to sit next to me… since he’s “too tired to color” he must be “too tired” to play. He ends up reading the history book over my shoulder while the audio plays.

2:00 pm

With history over, and the boys’ work done, it’s time to work with my 5th grader. She does really well with most of her work independently, but some cannot be done independently, so we work together for writing and spelling, and any problems she had with earlier independent work. (Today there’s a grammar issue and some math to grade and fix.)

Spelling goes fairly quickly despite some piano interruptions from the kindergartener. We combined this week’s IEW writing with the previous week’s, so we move on to math grading and specific help. The big boy is getting restless and decides to try and take his sister’s seat while she gathers her math supplies. I swear – half of parenting is dealing with sibling squabbles.

3:00 pm

Seriously, Bubba, this kindergarten work is not that hard. Just do it.

My daughter wants a break, so she opens a can of olives and snacks while playing with the baby’s forgotten puzzles. After a while, I ask her what she has left – turns out she still has today’s math to do because what I was helping her with was from 2-days ago (long story as to why she was doing math on Saturday). She’s spending too much time talking to her younger brother instead of doing her work, so I’m thinking this is going to take a while.

I call for the kindergartner to finish his coloring pages and his handwriting. I think he’s ignoring me. He emerges from his room to tell me about his Lego creation, and I finally get him sitting back at the table to do his work – but not until he finds a yo-yo and tries to play with it. I re-roll it up for him, and he agrees to set it next to his work-space while he works.

4:08 pm

The 5th grader finally finishes her math! I set them to work cleaning up so that they might be able to get some screen-time today! (Screens are actually supposed to start at 4 pm, but between the dawdling and the poor behavior, I don’t feel badly that it hasn’t started yet. Whether they get their full time or less will be decided shortly when “daddy comes home.”)

There’s a part of me that hates school breaks. The kids get off their routines, and getting back to work is no fun after 2 weeks of play for them.

4:25 pm

The kids finally get their screen-time, which means that I get some “me time,” which I use to edit today’s pictures on my computer.

6:00 pm

I love taking pictures of food! I could never be a wedding photographer… unless all I had to photograph was the food.

It’s Monday, and since my husband is usually at work during dinnertime, Mondays are leftovers. We still have some beef roast that I made on Saturday, but we’ve run out of vegetables, so I make some roasted green beans and carrots to go with the meat. (Although, the middle child will have canned green beans instead because it’s what he prefers, and it’s not worth a fight.)

After dinner, I continue working on my computer with picture editing while my husband reads for his Masters in Humanities that he just started. He makes occasional comments to me about the relative “goodness” of different translations of The Odyssey (his current read).

Sometime after dinner and before bedtime, we’re supposed to clean up. However, it’s not too bad today, and we’re all a bit exhausted from everyone’s first day back at school, so we skip it. Or really, we just forget about it until it’s too late because of the above.

7:30 pm

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel… it’s time to get the kids ready for bed! There’s a fuss over the baby boy wanting new pajamas for some reason, and my husband not knowing where his pajamas were – turns out I had actually been a good little mama over the weekend and actually washed the kids clothes and put them away on the same day (with help from the children, yes!). Miracles do happen, people. (I won’t tell you how my daughter’s clothes were washed on the same day and are still in the dryer. Oops. Too late. That probably explains the jammie confusion.) 

8:00 pm

Some Mondays, the kids get to stay up until daddy comes home (usually in another 35 minutes), but it’s been a long day (and daddy’s home), so that’s not happening. We gather in the living room again for prayers. Then, we tuck them in their beds and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” We alternate bedrooms each night, and while I sing to the boys, I hear some sort of bargain being struck in the next room. My husband leaves my daughter’s room and returns with a reading light. After some pleading and promises to stop at the appropriate time, she is allowed to read in her bed until 8:30 pm.

8:29 pm

I shut down my computer for the day and my husband goes and checks on our daughter to make sure she’s stopping her reading. When he returns, we fire up YouTube on his computer to finish up the Cinema Sins for Star Wars Episode I. We’ll be super boring tonight and finish watching the “Everything Wrongs Withs” for Episodes II and III as well. We have lots of good laughs, though.

9:05 pm

There’s a knock at our bedroom door. (It’s a good thing we hadn’t decided to do something a bit more exciting with our night!) It’s our daughter, who is annoyed that she hasn’t fallen asleep yet. We think it might be the Christmas tree lights down the hall bothering her, so we turn the lights off and send her back to bed.

9:50 pm

We’re done with the Cinema Sins; we get ready for bed, and it’s lights out!

Good night and thanks for letting me share my day with you!


For more Day in My Life peeks, check out Editor Dani’s Day in My Life and Contributor Sarah’s Day in My Life.

Photo Credit: Stefani

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Stefani

Stefani was raised in California; with her husband hailing from South Carolina, they’ve settled in the middle and are now raising three Texans. She loves classical homeschooling, great books, period dramas, modifying recipes, simple living, deep thinking, and cuddling up with her family to watch silly YouTube videos.

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