A Day in the Life: 2021 Edition

As promised, today’s post is a “day in the life”. Last time I did one was in March 2016!! At least, that’s the most recent I can find. It’s entirely possible I wrote another day in the life post more recently and simply lost it in my archives (now (840+ posts deep). Though, this is the last one I remember writing so maybe not, either way, it’s an interesting contrast to how things run around here now.

I tried to pick a “normal” day, but we had a slew of dentist appointments, and bad weather and then it occurred to me how few “normal” days we actually have. Probably between March and June of 2020 we had less interruptions than usual, but even now, there’s nary a week that doesn’t have some interruption in the way of appointments, family visits, holidays, or repair visits (home or wheelchair). So my selected day wound up being a snow day which threw off my usual schedule. But, I think you’ll still get the idea and I’ll have a fun blog post to read in another five years.

So without further ado, here’s a day in the life of the Mantoans: Tony 42, working from home; Addie 18, college freshman (online classes); Byron 17, high school junior; Edith 15, high school freshman; Fulton 12, 7th grade; Teddy 10, 4th grade; and me, Kelly who’s aged 2,492 years since March 2020.

At some point before my alarm goes off, Fulton’s nurse texts me to say she will be late due to the snow. I turn off my 6:15 a.m. alarm because now I don’t need to be up by 7 a.m., which is her usual arrival time. (I have already been up about three times since the day started at midnight to roll and reposition Futon and Teddy in their beds.)

I finally get up at 7:20 a.m. and I start brewing my cup of coffee (decaf) and sit on the couch next to the dog and start my rosary. I get one decade in and Fulton and Teddy decide they want to get up. Tony and I sit them up in bed with books. I finish my rosary with my coffee and then scroll Instagram and read my blogroll on Feedly.

Fulton got me this mug for Christmas several years ago. I use it every year from Dec. 25 until Feb. 2.

The nurse texts at 8:02 a.m. that she’s on her way, but going slow. I head outside to shovel our steps and walkway, and Tony joins me to clear out part of the driveway after we decide it’d be better for her to park in the driveway vs the street. Byron is awake inside and keeps an eye on Fulton and Teddy who are still happily reading in bed. (I consider shoveling to be my workout for the day. If people can die of a heart attack while doing it, it’s a workout.)

I head inside and start Teddy’s morning routine. Tony helps with transfers to and from the toilet, and I use our Hoyer lift to put Teddy in his wheelchair once he’s dressed. Tony and I put Fulton on the toilet and Fulton’s nurse arrives around 9 a.m. Tony goes into his basement office to work. (He’s been upstairs working at the dining table up to this point.)

Now I remember that I promised to make chocolate baked oatmeal because it’s Candlemas. (Not that there’s liturgical significance to oatmeal and Candlemas, it’s just something I don’t make often so it makes the day a bit more special than usual.) I start throwing ingrediants together, and put it in the oven and set the timer for 20 min. I jump in the shower with the goal to be out in time to check the oatmeal.

Success! The oatmeal just needs a few more minutes in the oven but by 10 a.m. Fulton and Teddy are eating breakfast. Byron and Edie have some as well. Sure, this is normally when we start our English lessons, but it’s Candlemas so I try not to stress about being two hours behind our school schedule. I decide we’ll skip ‘morning meeting’ this morning and instead I just read our current Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, aloud during breakfast. Thankfully, everyone eats like savages and we get started with school at 10:20 a.m. (I checked my watch twice to be sure.)

Teddy reads from Minn of the Mississippi, answers questions in his workbook and does a page in his spelling book. I sit with Fulton and assist him with his reader, and then he types up a copywork sentence, making corrections for capitilization and punctuation, on his tablet. While they’re both working independently, I move around laundry in the basement and take meat out of the basement freezer for dinner.

Just after 11 a.m. the boys and I head back to their bedroom. Both boys are transfered to their beds, and Fulton receives stretches from his nurse and I stretch Teddy. They listen to several chapters of Pinnochio on Libra Vox while being stretched. Once stretches are done, they continue to listen to the story and I sit across the hall on my bed and scroll on my phone for ten minutes.

By 12 p.m. both boys are transferred back into their chairs and I begin making lunch. Byron has already made himself a huge grilled sandwhich and I convince Fulton to have one as well. Teddy eats leftover homemade, turkey soup. I make myself a quesadilla. Edie and Tony move in and out of the kitchen making their own food during this time as well. Once we’re done eating, I move around some more laundry, turn on the dishwasher, and correct some of Edie’s school work. I’m SUPER behind in correcting her work. I’ve got weeks of questions, essays, and workbooks to catch up on. At some point before now, Addie has woken up, wished me a good morning and gone into the basement to work. She might also be getting dressed. I can’t be sure. With the schoolroom in the basement, and my own to do list, I never quite know who’s doing what anymore unless they find me to tell me, or ask me something.

Fulton, Teddy and I start math at 1:18 p.m. Teddy works on a double sided workbook page. I’ve taken a photo of Fulton’s workbook pages with his tablet, and he’s uses an app, SnapType, to complete them. I set a timer for 15 minutes to remind myself to keep checking him to make sure he’s making progress and not spending too much time on any one problem. After allowing him to work alone for a bit, I help him complete the pages.

The boys take a short break once math is done and then we move into ‘specials’ time. Today should be art, which is normallly a project tied to history, but we’ve got some mapwork to catch up on, and they both really want to go out into the snow with Edie so we only do the maps and then Fulton’s nurse and I get them ready to go outside. Edie’s plan is to dig a path through the yard, and build a snow fort they can all play in. I’m very skeptical and I suggest they stay at the back of the driveway in the garage. Honestly, I feel a bit sad because Fulton and Teddy are at the perfect age for building forts and snowball battles, and they desperately want to play in the snow, but it’s just not possible. I offer to bring in baking pans filled with snow for them to play in, but they’re not intersted. It makes sense; they’re older and the allure of playing with action figures in the snow is losing its appeal. They head out and Edie starts shoveling. It’s a heavy wet snow and I don’t see how a path in the yard is going to work, or even get finished in a reasonable amount of time, but by 2:35 p.m. I go inside and continue to correct work, leaving the kids, and the nurse, to enjoy the outdoors. (I may also watch some YouTube videos of SNL and Parks and Rec.)

This sounds like a GREAT idea. What could go wrong???

Around 3 or so, (I forgot to check my watch), Edie comes in to tell me Teddy is stuck in the yard in the snow because he couldn’t wait for her to finish the path, and the snow didn’t look that deep so he just drove in and got his chair stuck. I am not happy. I go out and try to push his chair out of the snowy rut his spinning wheels created with no luck. It didn’t help that his batteries are dying and his chair would keep shutting off while I was trying to push all 500 lbs of it out of the snow. I go back inside, grab my coat and gloves, and head back out, being sure to find the hand spade I usually only need for planting. I proceed to chip away at the snow now packed under his chair, and dig out the large piles trapped behind his small wheels. With more pushing, digging, and mild cursing his chair is free and I send him inside and tell him to park his chair in the kitchen where the wheels can drip dry on the old vinyl floor vs our new floors in the dining room. (This whole episode counts as my second workout of the day.)

I do some more laundry before transferring Fulton to his bed, and getting he and Teddy their tablets and headphones for computer time at 4 p.m. Usually I start dinner prep right at 4, but the label on the lamb leads me to believe it won’t take that long to cook, and I’m reheating leftover oven roasted brussel sprouts and potatoes to go with it, so I get back to correcting work until after 4:30. Plus, Tony is making a few crepes to have as dessert so I let him have the kitchen.

Computer time is supposed to be an hour, but I let them stay on until 5:15 p.m. I call for the older kids to set the table. By the time everything is ready (delayed mostly due to my efforts to whip up a gravy from the drippings), and we sit down to eat, its about an hour later. We eat, clear dinner from the table, enjoy crepes and Tony and I still manage to step out for a quick walk around the block before we pull up a live -streamed Mass from our parish at 7:30 p.m.

Tony had hoped to attend and get blessed candles, but even though the roads seemed fine during the day, the temperatures were dropping and I was concerned about the conditions of the roads coming home. (Fulton’s nurse had left early for this very reason.) So we watched Mass as a family from our couches.

Afterwards Tony and I put the boys to bed. He focused on Teddy, I on Fulton. Lights were out by 9:13 p.m., but by 9:30 we’d already both gone back once to roll them each over. I still only roll them each once as they try to fall asleep, so with my work done, I crawl into bed and read (and maybe watch a few more YouTube clips). I believe I turned off my light just after 10 p.m.

If you made it this far- congrats! That’s sort of what my life looks like these days. If you’re so inclined, link up your own day in the life post below, or any other Takes you may prefer. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find this fascinating look into my day, as well as the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!

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5 Comments

  1. I always find these day in a life posts to be so very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love this write up. So real. I love how you admit your sadness at the boys not getting the full snow experience and also your frustration that the wheelchair was stuck in it!! Thank you for the glimpse into your life.

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