A Typical Day at Our House (2013)

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One day each year, I keep my camera with me and document the day’s happenings. I do this because it’s not the big events, but the minutiae, the everyday, ordinary, run-of-the-mill things that really make up our lives. It’s fun to look back and see how the children’s appearances and interests have changed, and I love knowing that someday, when they’re grown up and on their own, they’ll be able to read these posts and remember life at home with their Mom and Dad. You’ll notice a few changes this year, now that I’m working part-time with my husband in his basement office, but my days are still filled with the same activities – plus a few new ones!

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

My day typically begins around 7:00 A.M., but on this particular day I was up a little bit earlier, simply because I had a bad cold that kept me from sleeping well.


As always, the first thing I did was wander out to the kitchen in search of coffee, which my husband makes every morning because he gets up around 6:00 to do his Bible study.

I like to plant a little kiss on the back of his neck when I walk into the kitchen.

Around 7:00, I heard the girls talking downstairs, and before long they came bounding up the steps to the kitchen for breakfast.

Cakes wanted to pose like “a fashion girl.”

DJ heard us talking, and started calling for me, so I went to his room. He’d decided that he was going to be a kitty, so he crawled behind me down the hall, meowing. This was cute at first, but after 15 minutes of him mewing and pawing at my leg while I tried to make breakfast, I suggested that maybe it was time for him to turn back into a little boy.

He has a great imagination, I’ll give him that. He’s awfully cute, too.

To distract him from his kitty obsession, my husband let him walk on the ceiling, which DJ loves and thinks is hilarious.

I started breakfast,

A fried egg on toast with a slice of American cheese is one of my favorite breakfasts. It keeps me full until lunch.

and when I finished eating I made our bed, and quickly folded a load of towels that had been sitting in a basket on the floor since Monday. When the girls finished eating, they came in for a few minutes of girl talk.

At 7:40, I sent them to brush their hair and teeth, and get their stuff together so they could catch the bus at 7:55.


I always stand at the sliding door and watch for them to get on the bus, which picks them up at the bottom of the hill.

After the girls got on the bus, DJ and I went to his room to make his bed, and pick out clothes for the day.

This shirt is a hand-me-down, about 3 sizes too big, but he loves it and insists on wearing it anyway because it has Thomas the Tank Engine on the front.

When DJ was dressed, he decided to play in his room with his Hot Wheels cars,

while I got myself dressed and ready for the day. My morning routine is very simple – I just wash my face, brush my teeth, and put on jeans and a t-shirt. I’m a pretty low-maintenance kind of girl, and I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, but I do use and love my Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System. It gives my face a healthy glow.

After I got dressed, I drank another cup of coffee and briefly checked my email and the headlines. The news depresses me, and I never read the newspaper, but I don’t like to be completely oblivious to what’s going on in the world, so once or twice a week I skim the CNN web site. This is more than enough news for me.

After I put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, I took inventory of my pantry and freezer stock. I decided to make pizza casserole and a green salad for supper, so I took a package of turkey sausage out of the freezer to defrost.

With my supper menu decided, I took DJ downstairs and got him settled in the family room with his trains, and an episode of Bob the Builder on Netflix. Wednesday is DJ’s laundry day (see this post for my laundry schedule), so I transferred the clean laundry I’d done the night before to the dryer, and got DJ’s clothes going in the washer.

Then it was time for me to go to work. How long I work depends on what else I have going on, and on this particular day I only worked for a couple of hours because I needed to get our tax return finished and e-filed.

When it was time for me to go back upstairs to work in my other office, I first made sure that DJ was occupied in the living room with his Legos.

I had the tax return basically completed, but I’d been having several issues with the TurboTax software (which I ordinarily have really good luck with), and hadn’t gotten the bugs worked out until just the night before (after many hours – literally hours – of online chatting with several customer service representatives. They gave me free state e-filing for my trouble). Our tax return is somewhat involved because we operate a business in our home, and I HATE doing it, but self-preparation saves nearly $400! So every year, I push on through.

After I e-filed the return, which only takes about 5 minutes, I printed and filed a copy for our records,


and then I had to organize and box up the huge mess of business records, receipts, and tax-related papers scattered all over my desk, and every other flat surface in my office. When I was finally finished, I took the 2012 record box out to the storage shed and put it on the shelf with all the others. We keep these records for seven years, and then destroy them.


I did some filing and bill paying to get my desk completely cleared, and I reviewed our budget and made a few changes. Then it was time for lunch.


I’m one of those people who’s made weirdly happy by a clean desk.

I made chef salads, and since I was already chopping veggies, I washed and cut up enough for our supper salad as well, to save time.


After lunch, my husband put the lunch dishes in the dishwasher, while I got DJ cleaned up and ready for his nap. I’m always so exhausted at night that I can’t stay awake long enough to read him a book, so I try to always read him at least one story at naptime. As you might expect, he chose Thomas’ Milkshake Muddle, which we bought for him at a garage sale. I’ve read it many, MANY times now.

Another goofball face for the camera.

When he was all settled in I decided to rest for a little while too, because my cold was getting me down.


I dozed fitfully on the couch for about a half hour, but I couldn’t get comfortable because I was so cold! I decided to turn on the fireplace, and then I parked myself in a chair next to it, and folded the girls’ laundry, which I’d washed the day before. They will put it away themselves.

I also did a quick wipe-down in the hall bathroom. Now that I have less time for housework, it’s necessary to work small cleaning sessions in whenever I can.

At this point, DJ was still zonked out, so I started preparing the casserole for supper. I like to get food preps done early on Wednesdays and Thursdays, because the girls have dance class, and I’m pressed for time.

Ready to go in the oven

Just as I was finishing up, the girls came up the hill from the bus stop. As always they were starving, so I cut up some apples and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar – a favorite after-school snack here.


They took their snack outside,

and shortly after, DJ woke up and joined them.

He looks grumpy – I don’t think he was quite ready to get up.

Pumpkin never likes to be left out, so we let him come outside, too. He loves to sun himself on the deck.

Pumpkin now weighs more than 16 pounds, and is starting to resemble an ACTUAL pumpkin. He’s on a diet, which he’s very unhappy about.

The girls decided to take their radio out onto the deck, which they were pretending was a stage. Their dancing was quite entertaining!

I love these pictures of them!


They didn’t have very much time to play though, because at 4:15 we had to take Bee to ballet.

She’s a very graceful and accomplished dancer. It’s really fun to watch her.

We got home around 5:15, and the kids went back outside. I put the casserole in the oven, and while it was cooking I cleaned out, wiped down, and organized a couple of cabinets. I don’t have time for a big spring cleaning marathon, so I’ve been working on small, 15-minute projects whenever I can.

Around 6:00, I called the kids in to wash their hands, and we sat down to eat.


After they cleared their dishes, the kids went downstairs to play in the family room, while we loaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen. Our kitchen floor was badly in need of mopping, so my husband moved the table, and gave it a really thorough cleaning with the steam mop. I was so grateful – I hate mopping!


I LOVE a clean, orderly kitchen. It would be nice if it stayed this way for more than 15 minutes.

I focused my attention on the disastrous living room. I can’t stand going to bed with it like this – it’s not fun to wake up to in the morning.


When I was vacuuming, I noticed that there was a lot of junk under the couch, so I asked my husband to help me move it so I could clean underneath. What a mess!

At 7:15, my husband went downstairs and took DJ into the shower with him, and I called Cakes upstairs to take her shower in our bathroom. The hall bathtub is out of commission because the epoxy around the drain was chipping away (remember our tub painting nightmare during the remodel of this bathroom?) My husband scraped away the loose paint, sanded the area, and mixed up a small batch of epoxy to re-coat it, but it needs a second coat which he hasn’t had time to do yet.


When Cakes finished her shower, I clipped her nails and detangled her hair, while my husband got DJ into his pajamas, and tucked him in.

DJ isn’t ready to give up his binky (or bee-bee, as he calls it), so we made a rule that he can only have it at bedtime.

Then we went downstairs to put the Cakester to bed.

My husband prays with each of the kids before bed, and he also tells the girls really elaborate princess stories, which he just makes up as he goes along. My personal favorite was about Princess Heather from Want What You Have :)

Bee came downstairs after her shower and teeth-brushing, and we tucked her in too. She still likes to be tucked in, even though she’ll be 11 this fall, but I told her that as long as she lives here, I will happily tuck her in every night, no matter how old she is.

Bee hates drying her hair, so she just puts a towel on her pillow at night, which is why her hair is always crazy in the morning.

When the kids were all down for the night, it was my turn to hit the shower. While I was relaxing under the soothing spray of hot water, my husband sweetly made a store run to get me some much-needed Mucinex.

After all these years of doing nothing for my skin (except washing it, of course), I decided that since I’ll be 40 (!!!) this year, I should maybe use some sort of night cream. I’ll admit that I was skeptical about whether this was really necessary, but these RoC retinol products have made a big difference in my skin after only a few weeks. I just wish they weren’t scented, because I hate perfumes. This is why I love Cerave facial cleanser and lotion so much – no scent whatsoever!

The steroid ointment is for eczema, which plagues me every winter. Also, I have an obsession with flossing. I can’t even sleep if I don’t floss, because I lay awake and think about bacteria eating away my tooth enamel.

When I was all scrubbed and brushed and moisturized, and wearing my comfy pajamas, my husband and I settled down to watch a little TV. We usually have a snack too, but I didn’t feel well enough to eat anything, so I had water and Mucinex instead. Very appetizing.

We just started watching Mad Men on Netflix, and we’re completely hooked on it.

By 10:15, I was feeling really tired and headachy, so I went to bed to read my Bible for awhile. I rarely have time to get into the Word during the day anymore, but I find that it’s very comforting bedtime reading. Scripture is good dream-making material. :)

By 10:45, it was lights out for me!

These typical day posts always remind me of how fortunate I am. I’m married to, and still passionately in love with a man who is not only a wonderful husband, but also a loving and involved father. I have 3 happy, healthy kids, a comfortable home, and the freedom to work from home while still caring for my children. I’m busy, I’m loved, and I’m very blessed.

Now, if I could just get rid of this cold. C’mon spring! Any time now would be fine.

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Heather is a minimalist in love with a recovering packrat. 7 years ago, she and her husband sold pretty much anything that wasn't nailed down in order to pay off their mortgage, and they've been living happily debt-free ever since. They have 3 hilarious little kids who were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, and they haven't had a good night's sleep in the last decade. Heather is an anglophile who loves all things British, and spends her free time looking at real estate listings in Cornwall. Every day, she and her family work toward a simpler, more meaningful life. Some days are awesome, some are disastrous, and you can read about all of them here.

Have a question? Need a listening ear? Contact Heather, or visit Want What You Have on Facebook.

© Heather at Want What You Have, 2008-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material, including photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heather at Want What You Have, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Derivative works are not permitted.

26 comments… add one

  1. Lauryn April 5, 2013, 5:42 pm

    i love these posts heather! that caserolle looked great and pumpkin is so fat and sassy haha love it

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:24 pm

      He’s a real butterball! He only gets 3/4 cup of food a day now, and he takes this as a personal offense.

      Reply
  2. sarah stepec April 5, 2013, 7:15 pm

    My toddler boys also love walking on the ceiling and I have a boy who insists on wearing a shirt two sizes too big from a garage sale just because it has the Hulk on it! Boys! :)

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:25 pm

      DJ just started watching the Incredible Hulk cartoon on Netflix, so that will probably be his next obsession. He calls it “The Credible Hook.” :)

      Reply
  3. Pam April 5, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Loved reading about a day in your shoes. Thanks for sharing Heather :)

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:26 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

      Reply
  4. Mierin April 5, 2013, 8:44 pm

    Good evening Heather, 10:40 p.m. home is minutes. I like to read, keep a house clean and tidy with three children while working is not really easy but your sense for the organization, your courage and your family where so many great love reign can only encourage other moms to go forward. You are right to make your blog a book of life that your children will discover later with much joy. God bless you and your family. I use to communicate translate.google I hope there will not be many translation errors.

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:27 pm

      Not too bad, Mierin :) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  5. HeatherC April 5, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Thanks for letting us peek at your day. These are always my favorite posts!

    Reply
  6. AnikaGK April 5, 2013, 11:30 pm

    These are my favourite posts, thanks Heather!

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:27 pm

      HeatherC and Anika GK – people say this quite a lot. Maybe I should do these posts twice a year?

      Reply
  7. Cheryl April 6, 2013, 2:58 am

    Thanks for the peek at your day! You are amazing. I know I don’t get that much done even feeling my best. Can’t believe you did it with a cold!! I am happy and thankful that my oldest (14!) still lets us tuck her in. Hope your Bee never outgrows it :) Love all the pics of your beautiful kids. Hope you feel better soon!

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:29 pm

      I am feeling better, Cheryl, thanks :) And believe me, I don’t always accomplish that much. A lot depends on DJ, and what I’ve termed, “unfortunate events,” which, sadly, all mothers of preschoolers experience on a pretty regular basis!

      Reply
  8. Nicole April 6, 2013, 4:01 pm

    I look forward to these posts every year, and often refrence them. The casserole looks awesome! (especially since I’m pregnant again and want ANYTHING that has sauce). I done a few searches and can’t find your recipe! Help a craving pregnant woman out?

    Reply
    1. Heather April 6, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Here you go, Nicole:

      Pizza Casserole:

      1 (16 ounce) package uncooked pasta (I used rotini this time, but penne or even elbow macaroni would be good substitutes)
      1 lb ground turkey sausage
      1 tsp minced garlic
      1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
      1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce of your choice
      2 cups lowfat cottage cheese
      1/2 cup sliced olives (black or green)
      12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
      Grated parmesan cheese to taste
      Sliced turkey pepperoni
      (NOTE: You can substitute pork sausage and pepperoni for the turkey, if you prefer).

      Directions:
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 casserole dish.
      Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 6 to 8 minutes until just al dente (DO NOT OVERCOOK!) Drain.
      In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes (do not let the garlic burn!) Drain grease. Sprinkle meat with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish.

      In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, olives and mozzarella cheese. Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, and top with pepperoni slices.

      Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.

      Reply
  9. Cindy April 6, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Heather, I too look forward to these posts every year. I do have one question…when do your girls typically do their homework? It looks like they have so much time to play. We are considering homeschooling because my 3rd grader usually has 2 hours of homework a night and I feel like she never gets free time in her day.

    Reply
    1. Heather April 6, 2013, 6:46 pm

      Cindy, if Bee has homework she does it right after school, but this year (5th grade) she has a study hall at the end of the day, and typically gets everything done then. Cakes (kindergarten) doesn’t have homework, though we do practice reading with her several nights a week (generally not on Wednesdays or Thursdays, because of dance). I imagine that next year, when Bee gets into middle school, our schedule will have to change to accommodate a greater school workload for her.

      Reply
  10. Alison Johnson April 8, 2013, 9:25 am

    Wow that is one busy day! I can’t believe how much you did in a single day – and not even feeling that well! It makes me feel quite ashamed actually. I think I will definitely make that Pizza Casserole sometime, looks yum! You have lovely kids and looks like a very happy home (complete with a plump kitty!). Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:30 pm

      If you try the pizza casserole, let me know how you liked it!

      Reply
  11. Jessica April 8, 2013, 11:44 am

    Loved reading! Thank you for sharing your blessed life! That picture of Pumpkin really made me laugh.

    Reply
    1. Heather April 8, 2013, 7:31 pm

      Isn’t he a chub? Pretty soon he won’t even be able to fit through his cat door!

      Reply
  12. Stephanie April 8, 2013, 9:24 pm

    I just found your blog and I enjoy reading all about your nice family. I also have a chubby male cat who looks pregnant. I am also addicted to Mad Men!

    Reply
  13. momtothree April 20, 2013, 12:20 am

    My kids love to walk on the ceiling too! Always like your “day in the life posts”

    Reply
  14. Leesa May 2, 2013, 6:52 pm

    I wound up here after the HMG caught my eye; I’m going to start mine this weekend. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I can’t believe you had such a full day AND were able document it with photos too! What an inspiration! :)

    Reply
  15. momto9 September 24, 2013, 3:28 am

    I really really enjoyed this post!! Very heartwarming and inspiring

    Reply
  16. Lan January 17, 2014, 11:39 am

    I recently discovered your blog and really enjoyed reading these Day in the Life posts. Thank you for sharing! It almost feels Laura Ingalls-ish to me in the sense of reading about the daily activities that makes up a life. Your children will so appreciate this opportunity to recall the details of their childhoods as they get older.

    Reply

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