Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real Time Writer-Mom

Kim Smith has a wealth of ideas for me for my blog (and I am grateful because sometimes my brain feels a little depleted over here). Her exact words to me this morning were:  Give us details, stay-at-home-writing-mama!  So, here are all the gritty details, because I'm anxious to stomp out this rumor that I'm Superwoman (Kristin, I'm looking at you, Birthday Girl). 

I'll be updating this post throughout today as life (and writing) unravels.

6:30a.m. - Wake up late because Baby was up half the night yodeling. I couldn't leave her in the crib because she shares a room with two siblings and would wake them up. So we had deep conversations at 3a.m. She also worked on her kick boxing skills. I finally stripped off her pajamas and let her lie there in her onesie. She finally fell asleep around 5. Was she hot in her pajamas? I DON'T KNOW.

7a.m. - Sluggishly make breakfast and help children get ready for school.

8a.m. - Leave to drop off kids; pick up niece; drop off 2 children; pick up Daycare Boy; drop off 1 more child and niece; head home with 3yo + Crabby Baby who spent the night yodeling + Daycare Boy.

8:30a.m. - 3yo & Daycare Boy want to paint. I make phone calls to rearrange appointments that won't work with schedule. Crabby Baby wanders around the house crying.

9a.m. - Sit down to start blog post. Crabby baby demands to be fed. Stop blog post. Feed baby. Back to blog post.

9:30a.m. - Take 10yo Locks of Love donation to post office to mail.

9:50a.m. - Attempt to right wooden playground equipment in backyard that was blown over in yesterday's wind storm. Too heavy. Must wait for Dashingly Handsome Sidekick (DHS).

10a.m. - Snack time for 3yo & Daycare Boy. Attempt to clean kitchen. Put away paints.

10:15a.m. - Throw in load of laundry. Snack time for Crabby Baby.

10:45a.m. - Put Daycare Boy on bus to preschool. Sing to Crabby Baby. Crabby Baby falls asleep.

11:00a.m. - Read to 3yo:
  • The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Please Louise by Frieda Wishinsky & Marie-Louise Gay
  • Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel
11:30a.m. - Tell "I'm not tired" 3yo we must both shut our eyes for a few minutes.

12 noon - Wake up. Rush out to start writing. Oh wait, did not do Bible study this morning because I slept in, so must do that first. Lunch? Maybe later.

12:15 - Sit down to study the book of James: MERCY TRIUMPHS by Beth Moore.

12:35 - Write, write, write like a mad woman. THE BABIES ARE ASLEEP! Today I have two goals: Finish the edit on my Seagull book & work on the synopsis for my Butterfly book.

1:20 - 3yo wakes up. Make lunch for her and set her up on the computer to play games.

1:30 - Warm up lunch for myself -- leftover Chinese pot roast, rice and veggies. Delish. Read, read, read, edit, edit, edit while I'm eating.

2:00 - Baby wakes up. Feed Happy Baby lunch.

2:20 - Leave to pick up kids. Stop by the public library to pick up Gary D. Schmidt's OKAY FOR NOW, which I have on hold.

3:30 - Get home, read the first page and jacket copy of OKAY FOR NOW and decide I'll never be as good a writer as Gary D. Schmidt. Pace the kitchen with a worried feeling in my gut.

3:33 - Tell that worried feeling to SHUT UP.

3:35 - Squeeze out more reading/editing time while the kids do their homework.

5:00 - Drop off 5yo at ballet. Pick up the DHS from school. Ask DHS on the way home in most pitiful voice if we can have something else for dinner besides the chilli I have planned because chilli does not sound even mildly appetizing.** The DHS is kind and agrees we can use our gift certificate to the local Mexican restaurant tonight. Yahoo!

6:00 - 5yo returns from ballet and announces that she got the solo part for her age group in the upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty. She'll be Baby Aurora. So proud of her! 

6:30 - Off to Mexican restaurant where we eat too many chips and barely have room for anything once the meal arrives.

7:45 - Return from Mexican restaurant. Get children in pajamas. Read to them. Make sure they all brush their teeth. House smells because 8yo ate too many beans.

9:15 - All is quiet. Back at the laptop with plans to finish the last skim-through of my edits. (Isn't it amazing how many little mistakes there still can be after an edit? All these little loose threads to snip off. Here or there where I mentioned something and after the edit it doesn't make sense any more. That's what this skim-through is for. Today I've corrected at least twenty tiny mistakes.)

1a.m. - I don't usually stay up this late, but I accomplished all my writing goals. Edit finished. Synopsis typed. Goodnight all! Sweet dreams!

**The DHS is leaving for a conference tomorrow and will be gone all weekend. This is why the pitiful voice worked so well. I know he already feels bad about leaving me with the five kids by myself for three days, especially the potential yodeler, who, Mimi is right, might be teething. Yay for Mexican food and no cooking or dishes!


  1. I chuckle. Sounds so like my day- minus the daycare boy and siblings. It is so wonderful to know I am not alone.
    Sometimes it seems as if I don't get much accomplished, that I should be able to keep my house cleaner. Then God graciously reminds me that I didn't stop working to take care of the house, I stopped my outside job to care for a baby and take care of domestic life... The baby sure takes more time than I thought!

    For any who are not stay at home moms, I just don't think they can appreciate the effort it takes- at least I didn't.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Love this! I always love that mom-writer angle.

  3. I only had one and I don't know how I would have found writing time back then. Good for you!

  4. Sounds like a normal, Mommy, multi-tasking day!
    I remember those awful days after a bad night, ugh!
    Hope she sleeps tonight, is she teething? I mean, I know she's yodelling, but is she teething as well?
    You're brilliant!

  5. Oh, Amy, love the play-by-play! Thanks for letting us in on the DETAILS . . . and for humoring my insatiable curiosity of your mom-of-five write-from-home life . . . I can't speak for your other readers, but I sure wouldn't mind if you kept it coming! :)

  6. oh my GOODNESS I feel like I just had a panic attack reading your day's activities (and from seeing my name--nothing like getting called out on someone's blog hahaha THANKS for the bday wishes! ;)!

  7. What a busy day. Made me tired just reading it. And then you write on top of everything else. Now that's dedication. :)

  8. Hi Amy .. well done for finishing off - at least you won't be agitated (too much) at the weekend .. look after them little ones - and here's to Monday and Mr DHS' return!

    Cheers - Hilary

  9. Oh my goodness, I think I need a nap after reading that!

  10. Even for those of us who know this is what it's like, a dose of reality now and then is a good thing. You're doing great at balancing it all!

  11. OMG, I laughed out loud! First of all, I'm exhausted just reading this, so I can only imagine how tired you were at the end of the day.

    But the pacing and worrying, too many chips, and too much beans totally cracked me up. And congratulations to your little girl :D

  12. It brings back memories. All I can say is, you're magnificent and one day your kids will be grown and you'll have all day to write. But make sure you keep a massive notebook of all those ideas that are overflowing in your head now because, believe me, when you live in a silent house with no kids to wake up your brain, the ideas don't come anywhere near as easily.

  13. I am amazed at all you accomplish in a day! I don't have children yet but I work full time and still don't feel there is enough time in the day to get all I want to get done. I don't know how you do it! (Well, wait, actually, I do, because you just broke it down.) Kudos.

  14. I am so impressed with you and how you snuck in your writing every chance you got. I would have been lazy. My goal: to be more like you!

    Hope all went well with DHS gone.

  15. WOW. You are super writing mama!
    That's so cool your ten y/o did Locks of Love.

  16. Your schedule just convinced me that you ARE superwoman. :)

    Thanks for your sweet words on my blog. I'll be sharing more tomorrow about my journey so far.
    Catherine Denton

  17. Loved it Amy! So very true. It gets easier as your little ones grow up a little. Although I miss naptimes terribly! All that quiet...