Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Week in the Life - Day 1

Stacy’s Version

Mark and I are doing this together, because our day-to-day lives are very intertwined. We’re going to do a 10-day stretch since none of our weeks are really that “typical” - we do so many different things and every day is different to some extent. We are writing independently, though, so as not to color each other's presentations.

Tuesday - 7:40 AM

Mark kisses me as he is off to work. I hear him taking out the trash first. He’s awesome. I turn over and try to go back to sleep and am only somewhat successful – I sleep lightly for a while longer. No matter how hard I try these days, I can’t seem to sleep more than 6 hours, even though 7.5 is ideal for me. My mind jumps into overdrive and it’s hard to get back to sleep once I wake up. I think it’s partly due to NaNoWriMo coming up and ideas spinning around my head.

Around 9AM

I am rousing/awake and grab my phone to do a quick check of my usual stuff – texts, email, CNN, Feedly, etc. Every night, I turn off my phone and put it way across the nightstand and far from my head, as I’m paranoid about those radiation reports you see about cell phones. I have a text from Mark, some emails about our homeschool group, the news is pretty much the same and I smile to think of the Red Sox being 3-2 in the World Series.

We’ve resisted getting Internet phones for so long, but after skipping multiple phone upgrades in our resistance, we upgraded a couple of months ago and now we have fancy phones. I was resistant because I don’t want to be one of those people who is always in her phone. I’m not too worried about that anymore – Mark and I are both just not like that in our personalities. We’re pretty present with one another in our families and with our friends as well, so I am feeling better about having the phones. And I have to say, I like waking up slowly while reading and catching up like this – it actually keeps me from getting too sucked into my computer once I am up. It’s nice.

So, I check my Feedly (blog reader) and get really excited when I see that my friend Rachelle is posting a “Week in the Life” post in a blog series her husband started a few days ago. He wrote posts like this (but his are more succinct – I’m more like Rachelle: brevity is not my strong point) and I absolutely loved hearing the day-to-day “mundane” because it’s interesting to me to hear how people live. Everyone’s lives are so so different. It’s fascinating to me.

I wanted to do it right away when I read his, but I talked myself out of it because of NaNoWriMo coming up (why do I always want to blog more when I’m supposed to be writing the next great American novel?!?). And now, seeing hers made me want to do it even more and I found myself taking note of things all day long. True confession: I’m always blogging in my head. If they had an app for that, you’d all have constant blog posts.

I looked at the clock and told myself that I shouldn’t start reading hers, because I needed to get up and ready, but I read it anyway, so of course I was scrambling to get ready quickly.

9:40 AM

I reach over and pet the dog, who is cuddling with me. I love snuggling with her. I get in the shower thinking how I should’ve just gotten in before reading Feedly and wondering if I would be able to shower quickly (ha!) and pull of getting ready before taking Kate to her volunteering shift at the library (no).

9:50 AM

I get out of the shower, look at the time, and know I have to hustle. I start thinking about Steve Jobs (welcome to the inner workings of my mind) and how he always wore jeans and a black shirt Every. Single. Day. so as to not waste any precious brain power on mundane decisions so that he could focus on other, bigger things. I start to wonder if I should do that and if maybe I’d be some kind of revolutionary genius if I’d just wear the same outfit every day.

9:55 AM

Throw on yoga pants, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, socks, and pretty much nothing that matches. Pull back my wet bangs (a little trick I use to not have to wash my hair daily – in between shampoos, just wash the bangs) and run downstairs to take Kate to volunteer. I’ll just finish getting ready when I get back. She, of course, has gotten herself up and dressed, has had breakfast, looks gorgeous, is ready to go, and has even gotten up early so that she can write before she’s off for the morning. Because that’s what she does. She is amazing.

9:56 AM

I send Mark a text that says, “OMG. Wait until you see Kate. She looks very grown up. I seriously mouthed “OMG” as she walked by (without her seeing).” He just loves how she’s growing up and getting even taller and more beautiful every day – he’s handling it very, very well. /sarcasm

She puts the dog in the crate since Max hasn’t come downstairs yet (the only day he’s almost always “asleep” at this time of the morning – amazingly, he is always awake and downstairs by the time I get back, approximately 6 minutes later – I think he likes his quiet, alone time and doesn’t want to get dragged along for the ride and have to possibly listen to Kate’s Taylor Swift playlist) and we are off. The air smells of fall and manure. It’s October in PA. Mark has left me a sweet surprise note in the van, because like I said, he’s awesome. Later in the day, I see the "Service Tree" we have up on the wall and it reminds me that he can move one of his leaves down. I know that's not why he wrote the note, but it's a nice bonus.

The tree in question


I drop Kate off at the library and return home. Scout is out of her crate, ecstatic to see me, and I am wondering if we didn’t close it well or if Max is in the bathroom. He has hidden in order to jump out and startle me. He is successful.

We talk for a bit and then I send him upstairs to finish getting ready and I finish getting ready as well. This is our me-and-him time and we play games together, so we’re both antsy to get to that. I have my usual for breakfast – green tea with milk, my vitamins (B-100, D, and Ginko – I always forget if it’s Ginko or Ginseng, which is funny since it’s supposed to help my memory issues), and something to eat (always difficult to decide since most foods rarely sound good in the morning) – today I choose half a piece of toast with brie as well as a bit of one of those really good, thick 100% natural fruit/vitamin drinks. Max has some cheese and is busy drawing in a notebook as part of his NaNoWriMo prep – he’s drawing pictures of all of his characters.

10:40-something AM

Max sets up our game (Smallworld) while I put on my iPod. I have the song “In My Life” by the Beatles in my head and I want a new one in its place. That one makes me sad now that we’ve used it in a video montage of pictures of my mom and dad and her life that we made for her 70th birthday party.

Mark and I text back and forth about the kids, some NaNoWriMo stuff, errands, picking up our pork meat, and how Max needs to brush his teeth better. He tells me he’ll pick up Kate. Max and I enjoy playing games together and we enjoy me-and-him time. He loves one-on-one time and could play with someone 24 hours a day.

11:50 AM

Mark gets home and unloads half a hog’s meat into the freezer. Our friends raise pigs and we do this about twice a year. He has a tight turnaround between that and working in the clinic this afternoon, so I offer to get Kate. Max comes with me. I love living in a town where everything is so close. In all the switching of plans with who would go where, I got there later than I intended. We get back and Mark has lunch ready for us – it smells delicious. It is chicken and dumplings that the Johnsons made for us. Yum!

We eat lunch together, laughing and talking about breaking stereotypes (because the teen who works at our local frozen yogurt place as well as our local laser tag place just seems perpetually bored and disinterested, like he just can’t be bothered to do anything related to his job). Mark runs into the clinic for a 12:30 appointment. It’s a bit earlier than he usually starts, but he did that on purpose in order for us to have a date this afternoon.

12:35 PM

We finish lunch, and Max and I finish our game after lunch. I beat him by not that many points. I’m liking this game more and more (and that is unrelated to my beating him).

1:05 PM

Mark comes out of the clinic and he and I get ready for our date. We love that we can do this now that our kids are older. I’d say we do this a handful of times per year. As we’re walking from our car to the theater, he hugs me close and says, “I’m so glad I’m married to you.” I squeeze him back and say the same thing. I know we both mean it.

We go to a matinee at our local independent theater (the jewel of our town, in my opinion) and see “Enough Said.” We both enjoy it very, very much. It is so our kind of movie. Whenever we have these afternoon matinee dates together, we are often the youngest people there by far. I love our flexibility that allows this. We love owning our own business – wouldn’t trade it. We spoke with the owner of the theater for a while afterward. He is always appreciative and gracious and we love to talk to him about movies, the area, etc. He often compliments us on how nice our home/business look. I love our small town!

We are in the lobby of the theater. Mark returns some calls to the hospital. He is on call and this is typical throughout the days he works there. I don’t mind it. Taking calls is work he can do from anywhere and aids our flexibility. It’s a good gig.

3:30 PM

We’re home and talking with the kids, opening the clinic again for more afternoon appointments, and having the kids get ready for yoga class. I do another scan of my email, as I’m really trying to not let it pile up as it so often does. I’m trying to take time daily to stem the tide, I guess.

We all work together to fold two baskets of laundry. It’s something chore-related, yet the house is in a perpetual state of messiness and things to do. First world problems. Right before leaving for the kids’ yoga class, it is a flurry of activity, cleaning, checking emails, checking texts, opening the clinic, talking, and all the little things that can make 10 minutes feel like 1 (and nearly make you late for things).

4:23 PM

Quick snack and then out the door for yoga class. Mark and I are literally talking/trying to coordinate something as the kids and I are walking out the door. The weather today is beautiful. I take my laptop. The campus where their class is held is just gorgeous – all the leaves are changing and it’s in the low 60s today, so I’m going to sit in the car with the windows rolled down and write.

Mark and I text/talk for the first 15 minutes of my hour there, a continuation of our conversation as I left the house. We only get to some of what we’re trying to discuss when he has to go because it’s time to see another patient. I spend the rest of the time writing. The time flies by.

5:35 PM

The kids come to the car from their yoga class. They’re both happy and mellow. Max turns the volume off on the radio as I start the car – he likes to enjoy and extend the peace that comes with yoga class. He loves it. They both do, but he especially seems to really take it all in and recognize its benefit for him. He bemoans that it’s the last class of the 5-week session. They want to do it again in January. We’ve already spoken with the teacher about offering a family class. We’d love to take it all together. This past week, she came out to the car to tell me how much she enjoys our children and she even started to cry when she said it’s so great to see such great kids who “just get it.” That was so nice to hear!

5:45 PM

We are home from yoga class and Mark has dinner (leftover homemade chicken pot pie) in the oven. The house smells great. We do a dinner co-op with the Johnsons. They cook and deliver dinner on Mondays. We cook and deliver on Thursdays. We’ve been doing it for several weeks and it’s working great – we all love it. Since dinner isn’t quite ready yet even once we’ve set the table together, we all go to the living room and work together to assemble 25 NaNoWriMo packets for the kick-off party tonight. I love working on things assembly-line style. There’s something fun, cooperative, productive, fulfilling, and monotonous about it that feels really good. We finish up and go to the kitchen for dinner. I sneak a couple of minutes to write more on my computer, to finish a thought of mine from earlier.

6:00 PM (ish)

We sit down to dinner and talk about doing these week-in-the-life posts. I admit that I’m crazy for wanting to do them right when we’re doing NaNoWriMo, but such is life with me. I think I have ADD. Seriously.

6:20 PM

We do another stellar job of not cleaning the kitchen, because now we’re bustling about the house grabbing the packets, changing into our NaNoWriMo t-shirts, packing up laptops, using the bathroom, grabbing jackets, talking, etc. Mark is in the clinic making us homemade NaNoWriMo charts (on which we can chart our progress) like he does every year.

I am having issues remembering to change my socks so that they match what I’m wearing. The kids are battling in the dining room with Nerf weapons. I hear Mark say, “Are you battling with weapons IN the house?” and I hear them answer, “No,” and laugh as they continue their battle. They are both HYPED about NaNoWriMo. I call down the stairs asking why our house sounds like the set of a Disney sitcom. As if on cue, the kids each pop their heads around the corner of the doorway downstairs making “ding” halo sounds and looking mischievous and proudly not innocent at all. They think they’re hilarious (and they really kind of are).

6:49 PM

We’re putting Scout in her crate, loading up the car, and off to pick up Dave and the boys (Christie is working tonight) to take them with us to the NaNoWriMo kick-off party at our local coffee shop (attached to and part of that awesome indie theater).

6:50 PM

I look at the clock and say, “6:50?!?” And Mark says, “Yes.” And I say, “That’s impossible. It was 6:25 just 5 minutes ago.”

6:54 PM

We pick up the Johnsons. I love that they live 5 minutes up the road. We all pile in the van and go to the coffee shop. Max trips on his shoelaces as he gets out of the van. He had just complained about them being too long earlier this afternoon. I feel awful and make sure he is okay.

It is half-price sandwich night, chess night, and there’s a movie showing as well, so it’s busy and crowded, but as tables begin to clear, we grab them one by one. One guy who is there to play chess snags a table from me by sneaking in ahead of me. I’m unamused, but roll with it. Eventually, there are 14 of us (6 adults and 8 kids) at 3 different tables.

It’s fun to have our NaNoWriMo gang together – every November is so fun to reconnect through this activity. Even though many of us know one another from other things and see each other often, there’s something about doing NaNoWriMo together.

7:25 PM

Holly is there tonight. We know her through NaNoWriMo – this is our 4th year writing together. We see her at the Renaissance Faire, too. She is part of the cast. She’s a lot of fun and has great stories to share. She regales us with stories about the Faire for a good portion of the evening and we all eat up the details of the behind-the-scenes sneak peeks she offers us!

Holly's on the left. Then it's Cristin, Mark, Dave, and Amanda
I visit the girls’ table where they are busy brainstorming, looking up information for their story (I spot a web page about phobias), and writing notes while laughing. It is Kate, her best friend Kirsten, their friend Sophia, and Kirsten’s sister Avery. These girls are getting so grown up. I have a few sips of Kate’s chocolate milkshake and take some pictures. I’m always taking pictures. You wouldn’t know it from the blog where I wrote more than post pictures, but remember how I said I’m always blogging in my head? Yeah, I take pictures to go along with those many, many blog posts I always intend to write.

It smells like paint near their table. The shop next door has a new owner and they are preparing it for its grand opening – a local vintner is opening a wine bar, “appropriate dress required.” It’s an upscale place, a welcome addition to the fine coffeeshop/theater already next door to it.

I take some pictures of the boys’ table – Max, Rich, and Brennan are playing Minecraft. Alex is drawing. I return to the table of 6 grown ups. We’ve handed out folders and goodies to everyone, so now we’re mostly shooting the breeze and talking nerdy stuff. It’s great. The kick-off party was scheduled to be from 7:30-9, but most everyone has shown up early.

We all talk for a long time. Cristin has brought candy to share. At one point, I read an article about Nicole Holofcener. I love, love, love her movies. They stay with you, they make you think. She has great characters and addresses human frailties and faults. I love her films.

10 PM

The coffeeshop is closing (they’ve recently shortened their closing by an hour, but they’ve also begun to open for breakfast, too) and we’ve all stayed an hour longer than originally intended. This is typical of our group and NaNoWriMo in general. It’s fun. We pack up and take the Johnsons home. The kids ask if they can say hi to Blitzy (the Johnsons’ dog). We say yes and pledge to make it quick. Dave invites us to stay and we do. For about an hour, the kids run around playing some crazy tag game upstairs while Mark, Dave, and I shoot the breeze downstairs.

11 PM

We leave, knowing we probably should’ve left earlier. Mark’s tired and he has work the next morning. We get home and get our usual awesome greeting from Scout (we adore her!). I’m feeling grumpy. It’s been a good day, but now I’m tired, hungry (low blood sugar), and a bit frustrated that I didn’t get more writing done today. I have a writing goal I’m trying to accomplish before NaNoWriMo. I think I can do it, but not getting much done tonight didn’t help.

As a family, we do our “gratitudes and hopes” as we do every night. Max is grateful for a good day. Kate is grateful for a fun kick-off party. Mark and I are grateful we could go to a movie together. Hugs and kisses and time for bed.

I get a snack (low blood sugar) – corn flakes and rice milk. Over the past several months, I’ve noticed that I get pretty phlegm-y when I have milk/cheese/ice cream and so before bed, I sometimes use rice milk instead of regular milk. It doesn’t taste as good, but it saves me from feeling like I’m gagging.

11:40 PM

We head up to bed and check on the kids. Max looks sleepy and a little sad. I ask if he’s okay and he says that he’s rereading his Owly books and that they’re sad and the only books that make him cry. He’s such a sweet, sensitive kid. I rub his back and kiss him again. We stop in Kate’s room and she is . . . wait for it . . . writing in a notebook. As is typical on a nightly basis, the audio CDs of Harry Potter are playing in her room. She listens even when she is reading another book. I don’t know how she does that. Anyway, the kids love them.

Mark and I are getting ready for bed and obsessively looking for a book we can’t find that we know is in this house somewhere! This is day 6 of looking for it, some days harder than others. It’s bugging us that we can’t find it. I get really obsessive when it comes to hunting down lost items. It’s one of my many fun quirks.

We talk for a while about our day and my grumpiness. So much going on, so many loose ends not tied up, some frustrations with other people, usual day-to-day stress adding up as it does now and then. Really, though, it’s been a good day overall, especially the movie part. Fun treat.

1:10 AM

We really are trying to get to bed earlier. This is not a successful night in that department. We have been talking (and also looking for that book – where is it?!?) for over an hour. We recognize and own our craziness and call it a night. I write and read for a while longer and then also go to sleep.

Mark's Version

As soon as I started writing about a typical day in our life around here I realized that we rarely have a "typical" day. Expect the unexpected is more like it. With that said, I present Tuesday.

Tuesday - 6:00 AM

I don't normally wake up this early. In fact, I'd rather not wake up so early. I usually squeeze in every last minute of sleep possible since our days are so packed. But on this Tuesday I woke up for no apparent reason. I tried to keep sleeping, and I was fairly successful, but only if you consider a few winks here and there while my mind tried to force me awake a success.

7:15 AM

I finally decided that the fight was over and I got up. Tuesday is trash day and since no matter how many times I remind myself to prepare the night before, I don't. Monday nights are that crazy. So, I took the trash to the curb while the dog ran around the backyard, nervous to do her business while I was out there. Mostly I think she was curious about the trash barrels even though she's seen me put them out like a billion times. This morning was so cold that I had tea for breakfast. I don't normally do breakfast, but today I couldn't resist.

7:40 AM

I jump in the shower, take my customary 5 minutes to clean up (which is entirely adequate, by the way), and get ready.

7:55 AM

I start to drive away after scraping the frost off of my car windows. I should probably start getting ready a little earlier since it's that time of year, but as with the trash, I'll probably just keep forgetting .

8:05 AM

I arrive at the hospital for my first job. Doing the medical coverage at a psychiatric hospital is always interesting and always a surprise. I never know exactly what I'm in for. I should probably just write a book all about my experiences there--I have no shortage of fodder for a great story. Anyway, I arrive in the exam room where I am greeted by my assistant, Pat. I ask her if we can be done in an hour and she laughs. We both know that will never happen, at least not on a Tuesday.

I sign a bunch of telephone orders from the night before. There are no surprises here since I'm the one they were calling all of Monday to get the orders. Then there are the charts of patients who don't need to be seen but need some sort of attention. These are your Tylenol-for-headaches or cough syrup-for-colds kind of people. And every day there is at least one chart for a patient that has decided that seeing the medical doctor on a daily basis is going to improve his chances of recovery from his uncontrolled bipolar disorder. I kid you not. This person wants to see me. Every. Single. Day. If he were at home his doctor would never see him this often, but when patients are confined in a psych ward they act a bit differently sometimes.

While I'm in the middle of signing orders and reviewing the labs that came in this morning, the phone starts ringing from the other units. "We're here," the nurse from the residential unit says. That means it's time to stop working on the adult unit and go see the kids that need to get to school off-site. These are the kids that aren't thriving at home so they need to be somewhere else for a few months or sometimes a year or more. Today I did an admission history and physical for a kid who just got there on Monday. I also had to decide if another kid really does have athlete's foot. Yep. He does.

Once I'm done with those two kids I head over to the extended acute unit (EAU). These are the adults that are well enough to not need the intense psychiatric care of the regular unit, but are not well enough to go home yet. Many of these patients end up being placed in group homes and some end up going to the state hospital for years on end. It's a smaller unit, but the patients are there for long enough that I end up getting to know them pretty well. I'm greeted with a lot of "hi, doctor" as I make my way to the nurse's station. For the Tuesday morning stretch they are using exercise bands and listening to reggae music. I narrowly escape being punched in the nose as one of the patients suddenly extends her hands forward while Bob Marley tells me not to worry about a thing.

More orders to sign, labs to review, consultant's notes to read, and a patient to examine. I can always tell how bored the patients are by counting the number of requests I get to change their medications. Today I am told that one patient is not happy with getting his cough syrup every 4 hours as needed. Can he get it every 3 1/2 hours instead? Oh, and the Tylenol order I wrote yesterday for his headache that he so desperately begged me for? Even though it worked, he thinks we'd better stop using it today since the voices in his head told him this particular supply is tainted. I try to reassure him, but he's known the voices longer so they win out.

I'm done in the EAU so I go back to take care of all of the children and adolescent patients. For the most part these kids are in and out in a day or so. The most common reason they are there? They get angry and freak people out. It's really sad, but I think poor parenting should be the most common diagnosis. Or maybe not poor, but disinterested, or unprepared, or ridiculously unfit. I usually get along with the kids pretty well, even if no one else at home or in the hospital does. Besides the admission physicals, I get to see one of my "regulars" who has been at the hospital since the summer. This is not typical, but does happen sometimes. In this case she has a very broken home and nowhere to go, and the case managers are having a hard time finding a suitable placement for her. It's really sad. Today I get to tell her that I will not send her to the ER for swallowing the tip of a pencil. I've had to also tell her that buttons, chalk, pen caps, beads, pennies, and erasers will all come out the other end. I'm sure I'm forgetting other objects that will travel the GI system without being digested, but that gives you the idea.

Now I head back to the adult unit to finish up my day. Today it's all routine stuff. I'm sure by doing a day in the life post on a different day you'll get to hear about something a little more interesting, but today I see a handful of new admissions, one of which I've seen come into the hospital at least 5 times in the last 2 months. Something isn't working. I also have a bunch of people with rashes and headaches. Nothing too exotic, but enough to keep me busy.

Before I leave I mention needing to go pick up supplies for some packets Stacy is putting together for our NaNoWriMo kickoff party later tonight. One of the women who works with me says she hangs on to supplies that the hospital no longer needs, just in case. She hands me a packet of stickers and a whole stack of folders that I can use. Excellent.

I also receive a phone call from the local meat processor. The half pig that our friends raised for us is now fully processed and they need me to go pick it up before noon since they need the space for all the deer, elk, and whatever else people bag this time of year. It's about 20 minutes away from the hospital so I should have just enough time to get there and get home before I'm late for anything else.

10:30 AM

I leave the hospital (I may look like I'm done at this point, but they will now call me from now until tomorrow morning with anything and everything related to the medical care of psychiatric patients in an inpatient facility) and go drop off a coat that was left at Kate's Halloween party on Friday. I was supposed to take it to group violin class last night since the girl in question would be there, but we all forgot. Ten minutes before leaving for class we all discussed it, and I forgot. I swear I'm losing it some days.

11:00 AM

I arrive at the meat processors. I fill four large cloth shopping bags with pork chops, sausage, bacon, and other assorted pork products. I'm looking forward to the many excellent meals we will make with this local, naturally-raised pork. Anyone who's had a chance to taste the meat from our pig knows how great it is.

11:40 AM

On the way home I stop at the post office to mail a package for Kate. One of her friends won a blog giveaway and I need to send the books. Yes, this friend lives nearby. And yes, we see her often. Kate just thinks her friend needs the experience of going to the mail and getting the package. That's pretty sweet and thoughtful. I'm only about a week behind schedule, but the package is in the mail.

11:50 AM

I get home and hurriedly pack all of the meat into our outdoor freezer. It is officially non-Kosher now. Well, it probably was before but it is decidedly and undeniably so at this point.


I offer to get Kate from her volunteering job at the library, but Stacy and Max go instead. They know I don't have much time before I start in the office so they mercifully give me 5 minutes to breathe. I start getting leftovers out of the refrigerator for lunch. Today it will be homemade chicken and dumplings courtesy of the Johnsons. I balance it out with some apples and pears from our produce coop. All summer we've gotten organic produce from a local farm. It is so fantastic. This fruit was part of the last delivery.

12:15 PM

The gang all gets home. Stacy warned me earlier that Kate looked very grown up today. Here's the text:
OMG. Wait until you see Kate. She looks very grown up. I seriously mouthed "OMG" as she walked by (without her seeing)
Kate opens the door and I about pass out. What happened to my little girl? All of a sudden 13 looks like 18 today. I'm going to need a bigger stick to chase the boys away. Thankfully boys and dating are nowhere near her radar right now. I can wait this out a little longer if she can.

12:30 PM

I go to the office (in the next room) to see one of my smoking patients. Having a 12-step, 4-second commute cannot even be priced to show how valuable it is. I eat lunch, saunter to work, see a patient, and 30 minutes later, come out. I could stay in longer, but today I have a date with Stacy.

1:00 PM

It's time to gather our things so we can go catch a matinee at the independent theater down the road. It is, as Stacy likes to put it, "the jewel" of our town. Today they are showing a Nicole Holofcener movie, "Enough Said." Her movies are always good so even not knowing much going into the movie, I'm pretty sure this will be a great way to spend an afternoon. This is the second week in a row that Stacy and I have been able to enjoy a Tuesday matinee. Working for ourselves and working from home definitely has its rewards.

1:20 PM

After taking care of pre-movie personal care (you so wanted to know that, didn't you) I go into the theater and find Stacy sitting in our usual, center-of-the-row seats. I count from each side to ensure that we are in fact sitting in the exact center. Stacy's gloves are already resting on the seat I determined would balance us out. We're so meant to be together! I'm glad she saved me a seat, though, because all those retirees at the matinee were getting ready to steal my seat! ;)

1:30 PM

Skip, the owner of the movie theater, comes on the overhead mic to welcome us and thank us for attending the movie. He also announces other great programs coming to the theater like lectures and a silent movie complete with live music. We seriously love our theater. After a few minutes the film rolls and the curtains open. Yes, there are curtains. How old-timey, right?

The movie is fantastic and I only get a couple of phone calls toward the end of the movie, so I let them go to voicemail and figure I have enough time to finish the movie and get back to them in an appropriate amount of time.

3:20 PM

The movie ends and on our way out we stop and chat with Skip for a bit. He is seriously so nice and easy to talk to. We discuss this movie, the last movie we saw, and others we'd like to see come to the theater. After that I return the phone call and we head home.

3:30 PM

We pull up in front of the house. I pull the mail out of the mailbox (all junk, by the way) and open the door to a very excited dog. She loves when we get home, and she's a bit crazy. The kids tell us all about what they did together while we were gone. It was really nice to hear how well they got along and what great friends they are. We talked a bit about the movie and actors from the movie. We always go all IMDB after we watch a movie ( or during the movie if we are at home and can pause it). Nerds.
We all fold laundry together before the kids have their yoga class. And then Stacy gets ready to take them.

4:25 PM

Stacy leaves with the kids. I stay home with the crazy dog, who is so sad whenever anyone leaves. I end up talking to Stacy once she's at the yoga class, which isn't necessarily a good thing because that was supposed to be her quiet writing time. Instead, I interrupt her with some stresses I'm experiencing and blow a bit of that time. So sorry. :(

4:50 PM

My afternoon patient shows up. Normally I'm a lot busier but I knew we were going to see a movie so I scheduled light today. It's a good session. While he's on the table I catch up on a few emails and try and get some things ready for our NaNoWriMo kick-off party tonight.

5:20 PM

I come out to an overly energetic dog, who has been left alone in the house for 30 minutes. She knows I was in the office, but still acts like I just got back from my 3rd tour to Afghanistan. She follows me around while I put leftover chicken pot pie in the oven for dinner (thank you again, Johnsons) and finish up the NaNoWriMo tracking sheets I'm making for everyone.

5:45 PM

Stacy and the kids get home. More psychotic and energetic dog greetings. Dinner still isn't quite warm so we put together the packets for NaNoWriMo. They have plot helpers, character profile sheets, fun stickers, a countdown calendar, pencils, and more. We get the whole assembly line going and do quite well as a family. Scout does not help, but she's cute.

6:00 PM

We all eat dinner together. Again, our life is great. We get to eat just about every meal together as a family. We excitedly eat as we look forward to the kick-off party tonight. How nerdy are we that our excitement for a month of novel writing is similar to the excitement we have about the winter holidays?

6:30 PM

It's a house filled with animated energy as we gather our things, change into our NaNoWriMo shirts. Mine is a tasteful bluish-gray offering with the NaNo logo. Stacy, as the municipal liaison, gets to wear the bright neon chartreuse shirt with the "Yes. I am in charge here" logo on the front. She's cute in whatever color she is wearing so it's all good. Kate changes out of her "check me out I'm totally grown up (in case you hadn't noticed)" shirt and into a NaNo t-shirt. She's still obviously grown up. Max puts on his video game-themed NaNo shirt and looks awesome as always.

6:45 PM

We're out the door and on our way to pick up the Johnson boys. It's great to have them so close so we can hang out so much. After we leave their house it's a raucous ride down to the local coffeehouse. The energy is palpable whenever we get together so it's no different now.

7:00 PM

We arrive at the coffeehouse and try to scout out enough seating to accommodate our group. It's Tuesday, so there are a lot of people there for half-priced food, chess club, and a pre-movie coffee.
Eventually we commandeer a few different sets of tables and put up our flag. Well, we don't have a flag, but we still claimed them all.

For the next four hours the conversation is fast and furious. We meet up with old NaNo friends, long-time homeschool friends, who also write, and new people to our NaNoWriMo group. There are college students, parents, kids of all ages. It's really a great group of people who are very supportive. We spend a lot of the time listening to behind-the-scenes stories about the Renaissance Faire since one of our fellow WriMos is an actor at the faire. It is so great to hear all the stories you never hear otherwise.

10:00 PM

The coffeehouse closes up so we drive the Johnson boys home. Kate wants to go in and say hi to their dog, Blitzy, so we all go in and hang out for a while. The kids play some sort of outdoor game upstairs in the house while Blitzy tries to figure out a way to get past the baby gate so she can play with the kids.

11:00 PM

I let everyone know that the night is over by trying to fall asleep mid-conversation. My sincerest apologies to Stacy and Dave. (I woke up feeling pretty badly about that, but I should save those details for Wednesday's edition.)

11:10 PM

Another excessively energetic greeting from Scout, and then it's time to get ready for bed. We do our usual pre-bed routine of everyone giving a gratitude and a hope and we discuss the following day. After the kids head up to bed, I straighten up a bit, put away some things in the kitchen, and get ready for bed.

12:00 AM

While getting ready for bed, I discover the black sock that has eluded Stacy for the better portion of the day. It was probably wrapped up in clothes or blankets I had on the bed, but I can't be sure. It's at this point that Stacy reminds me that there is a book that we cannot find. It's one she read and then handed to me with a less-than-enthusiastic review, so I'm sure I put it somewhere for future consideration. I spend the next hour searching through our library, which does contain an almost embarrassing amount of literature. It's made even more embarrassing when you consider how many piles of books exist throughout the house besides the ones in the library. I scour the shelves, recheck piles, tear apart piles of papers in the school room and in the office. Each time I come back to the bedroom to disappoint Stacy with empty hands. We go through a number of new and somewhat ridiculous possibilities, none of which produce the book.

1:00 AM

At this point I can get about 6 hours of sleep, which will be uninterrupted so long as no one at the hospital has a 3 am headache. I jot down some notes to reconstruct this day in a blog post, and then I fall asleep pretty quickly, dreaming of lost items.


Boquinha said...

I love these!! It's so fun to read yours! I laughed out loud several times. I like hearing about your morning at work. So interesting. I love our life and I love you!

Dr. Mark said...

I love your account. I think our times match up pretty well, too! It's really fun to read both accounts because between the two of us we seem to have gotten everything.

Dr. Mark said...

I'm glad I could make you laugh. I love you, too!

The Magic Violinist said...

These were both hilarious! :D I love seeing how different these were, considering that you both pretty much experienced the same day together.

AVERY IS A NUT. Just saying.

I love this line: I come out to an overly energetic dog, who has been left alone in the house for 30 minutes. She knows I was in the office, but still acts like I just got back from my 3rd tour to Afghanistan.

Dr. Mark said...

I kind of like that line, too. Isn't that exactly how she acts?

LMW said...


I, too, love to read about the mundane things in people's lives, including what they ate.:) There is something oddly fascinating about that to me.

I love the sarcastic comment there.

I also have trouble getting excited about food in the morning. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, more specifically, I'm not much of a breakfast food eater. I prefer "real" food to most breakfast foods. I'd rather eat cold pizza or leftover spaghetti than cereal, pancakes, etc. for breakfast.

That dinner co-op sounds like an awesome idea!

Ha: "It's one of my many fun quirks."

You talk about poor parenting being a big problem with the children that you see and I can relate. In my job, we see kids with a variety of impairments, but one of my colleagues likes to say that, sometimes, our students' biggest problem is that they're "parent impaired."

Your account of your work at the hospital was fascinating to me.

I love this rundown of the day from both of your perspectives!

Jimmy said...

Scout is the happiest dog in PA.

I'm usually amazed at how well kids do despite the poor parenting that so many of them experience.

And eventhough I consider myself a forgiving person, I have hard time forgiving selfish parents. The problems is, those parents often lacked good parenting themselves, and it's just being passed along from one generation to the next.

I have no solution.

Is it bad that I envy the Johnsons?

Jimmy said...

Oh! And I almost forgot--congrats to your Red Sox. They cleaned house last night.

Jimmy said...

Scout is the happiest dog in PA.

I'm usually amazed at how well kids do despite the poor parenting that so many of them experience.

And eventhough I consider myself a forgiving person, I have hard time forgiving selfish parents. The problems is, those parents often lacked good parenting themselves, and it's just being passed along from one generation to the next.

I have no solution.

Is it bad that I envy the Johnsons?

LMW said...

Go Red Sox!!

Boquinha said...

LMW, it's crazy how many things we have in common - quirky stuff, too!

That's often how we are about breakfast, too. I think some American breakfast foods are kind of weird - flakes of grains in a bowl with milk over it? I've talked with people from other countries and they think that's kind of ridiculous, given that they drink vegetable/fruit/dairy shakes or have rice and fish and things like that for their morning meal - probably healthier and more substantial (and doesn't have to be fortified with vitamins and minerals). :P

And I agree - I'm fascinated by his details about his mornings at the hospital! Plus, I laughed out loud a the Bob Marley part.

I'm so glad you're enjoying these! We are, too!

Jimmy, she is wonderful. We love her! Remember, I partly credit you with us getting a dog!

When I am in a public place and see a parent berate or hit his or her child, I tense up and get tears in my eyes.I want to run over and rescue the child. It's visceral for me.

It's not bad that you envy them. Maybe it will encourage you to move here? We could hang out like this with you, too!

Yes, go Red Sox! :)

Dr. Mark said...

LMW, sometimes I feel badly being too judgmental when it comes to parenting. I know everyone has his or her own struggles, and it's not fair to project our perspective onto others. And then there are some cases where it is so blatantly a "parental impairment" as you put it. It just saddens me to see how many kids start with such a huge disadvantage.

Emily Foley said...

I have nothing specific to comment on (too much!) but whew! What a day! Also...what do you guys talk about? I feel like I have nothing to talk about but you always have fast and furious conversations, with everybody. I'd love to be involved in those convos sometime. And your dinner coop.

LMW said...

I think you're right that kids are resilient. Thank goodness.

No parents are perfect for sure. My mom always says that she hopes that she was a better parent than her parents were and that we'll be better parents than she was. Like you, Mark, I sometimes feel bad when I get judgmental toward parents too.

Interesting that people from other parts of the world think our traditional breakfasts are strange too. I think we're onto something.:) Pass the cold pizza, please!

Dr. Mark said...

When I was in Japan a traditional breakfast was rice, miso soup, and pickled vegetables. Cereal and juice was a distinctly American phenomenon.

Emily, the real question is what do we NOT talk about. You have to know that we all love to analyze and "process" everything--daily events, parenting, homeschooling, TV shows and movies, books and music, current events, philosophy, etc., etc. Stacy and I were like that from the first time we met, though. I distinctly remember talking with Stacy after one of my jazz concerts in college. We talked with a bunch of friends over shakes, and then we went back to the lobby in her dorm and talked, and then we talked outside of her dorm after they kicked the men out. I feel like we kept going for a couple of hours that night. We haven't stopped talking since then.