A Day in the Life with two little boys

Thanks Trish for putting us up to this again! I had a great time recording last year’s A Day in the Life Of, and it was interesting to see how things have changed (or didn’t!). One big thing that changed though is that since last August, my younger son started preschool!


A Day in the Life of a Stay-Home Mum Tuesday March 22 2016

555 – we are up. Morning things and down for breakfast. Some slices of baguette today. PG Tips and milk for me.

630 – R leaves the house for the Bart station. I start clearing the dish washer and getting the kids breakfast ready. I listen to my latest audiobook on Scribd while doing this. It’s Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and he makes me laugh.

640 – head upstairs to use the computer for a bit. I find it rather impossible to comment on blogspot blogs on my phone (or even Safari on my Mac) so I have to use Firefox to do that. Why does blogger make things so difficult??

645 – the kids are up and making noise but I don’t go in until 7 so I work on a blog post first

7 – wakey wakey. Well they’re already up and laughing about something. Which is good. Sometimes Finnian, my older boy (five next week!) can be a bit sulky in the mornings, if he has to be woken up. Caellum, who will be three next month, is always up early and generally cheerful. He does sometimes fuss about having to use the toilet. But not today. So it was a good start.

715 – downstairs and ready for breakfast. Milk, Chex and Cheerios today is the breakfast of choice.

Train lover

725 – have to settle them down when they start giggling about something and not eating. C asks for the Polar Express song. They just watched it for the first time this year and he really loves it. He’s a train guy.

Busy inventing something

750 – finally done with breakfast. Brush their teeth. They go play while I clean up the table, wash dishes etc.
815 – time to pack up and go to school. I almost forget their water bottles today. Oops. It takes a while to get these two going, using the toilet, putting on shoes, getting into the car seats etc. The younger one makes sure to bring his train in the car, the other one yells for his cap. So I go back into the house get stuff and we are finally off at about 830!

840 – one great thing is the school is less than ten minutes drive away and the car park is huge. The parking lot at F’s old school was horrendous and the driveway on a steep slope so drop off and pick up was such a pain! So drop off their bags, water bottles, jackets in their respective classrooms and then off to the other classroom where daycare happens if you drop off kids before 9.

Usually I head home and go for a walk or run errands but today I have to pick up some forms for school. F will be going to kindergarten this August and we are hoping to get him into the Mandarin immersion program at another public school nearby. In our city you get assigned to an elementary school depending on where you live and the school in our area isn’t fantastic and anyway we would so love to be able to get him into the immersion. They start with 90% mandarin 10% English in K and then slowly raise the English % by 10 each year until it levels off at 50-50. If we were in Singapore, all instruction for subjects like science and math would be in English but there would be Mandarin classes every day. So this programme would be fantastic if we can get in! Unfortunately there will be a lottery because there is only one class of 24 and some 50-odd kids trying to get in! I have to run the forms back to Student Services at the school district office. Then back home to do some chores.

945 – Exciting times! I’m cleaning up the guest room as my in-laws will be visiting from Singapore. They arrive on Saturday. I decide that I might as well vacuum the rest of the upstairs.

The problem with having three whole hours to myself in the mornings is that sometimes I try to do too much. So I decide to sit down with a book for a while, but the thought of what to feed the children pops into my head and I am off again, to see what is for lunch.

1015 – I decided to make them mac and cheese and fish porridge for myself, as my stomach has been wonky for the past few days. Rinse the short-grain rice and put it in a small pot with a knob of ginger and some salt and plenty of water. Porridge takes a while to cook so I let it be and thaw out some tilapia. Then finally sit down and read some news and scan Instagram and Facebook. Then remind myself that I should just read a book instead of all this dilly-dallying online! Pick up my current read, Junichiro Tanizaki’s Seven Japanese Tales.

11 – The porridge is done and I add more soy sauce, sesame oil and eat. (oh I had added the fish earlier, forgot about that). Then start cooking the kids’ lunch. Yup, the Kraft kind from the box. With frozen meatballs, frozen peas and corn. You can say what you like. I try to make sure that dinner is more ‘home cooked’ than that but lunch, lunch I just throw my hands up in the air and resort to things I know for sure they will eat.

1150 – head back to school to pick up the kids. C is ready but F’s class is still in circle time so I read a book with C first while we wait.

1215 – home again. The kids change and I warm up the lunch.

F drops a fork on the floor so I said that he would have to use that one. He suddenly bursts out crying and wailing. He tends toward the dramatic that one and is very sensitive about being told off. I tell him he won’t get lunch if he won’t calm down.
C asks for the Polar Express song. Again and again.

After mac and cheese, they get strawberries and yoghurt.

1 – the kids are done with lunch. Off to brush teeth. Then I have to cut their nails. They play while I clean up.

So that gets us to 130 and a diaper change for C. We talk about diapers and poop and potties, try bribery, treats, stickers, but I don’t know why he’s still doing this. (I deleted a long rambly but about potty training. Because on hindsight you don’t really need to read that. Unless you really are in the same predicament! Let me know!)

Then we head upstairs to play with Duplo (Lego for the younger kids). They have regular Lego too but Duplo is easier for the two-year-old to fix by himself. They have been working on funny cats and a garage together. Of course an argument ensues about not sharing pieces.

215 – it’s story time. We read four books and then I send F downstairs to play with his own Lego quietly. C gets another book, makes a lot of noise, kicks his bed, tosses and turns and finally nods off.



245 – I sit down with F to practise his writing and reading. We also do a bit of math. He makes a fuss about reading some harder words but sometimes he surprises me like reading the word ‘family’ without help. He is a reluctant reader, in the sense that he is happy to be read to, but doesn’t want to try. So we are struggling with this. He is happier to be doing math. We work on grouping numbers of things. And counting coins in fives and tens. He also wants to write a letter to Daddy

350 – we go up and wake up C who is sleeping soundly but he wakes up with a smiley face. They play some Lego and run around and because it’s drizzly today we have a dance party. Guess what? Polar Express song again. I pretend to be Sir Topham Hatt and give my trains their duties for the day. There’s some pretending to be dinosaurs and frogs and random rolling around and whatnot. Finally we settle down and look at books.

5 – we watch Sesame Street for a bit. I give them an hour of viewing time mostly so that I can cook in peace but today we have the exciting (not) leftovers to eat so I don’t have to cook. Woohoo.

615 – dinner time. It’s leftover beef chow fun and vegetable spring rolls for them. More fish porridge for me.

7 – Daddy’s home. The kids are crazy excited as always and I’m just so relieved. He eats and hangs out with them while I go upstairs and take a shower and get things ready for the kids’ shower. Thankfully the heater is ok today. The pilot light went out two nights in a row so we might have to get someone to look at it soon!

745 – bathtime for the kids. Since the dentist visit over the weekend, I’ve been trying to clean their teeth better so we floss and brush. Then shower and pjs. We read stories together, although sometimes C prefers to flip through books on his own instead of coming over to listen to the story. F and I are also reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together. C always says “I don’t want to listen!” probably because there are few pictures to look at.

820 – goodnight hugs and kisses, we sing some songs together, and then lights out at 830.

I head into my bedroom. 

They’re still giggling and talking but not too loudly and not too long so I ignore them and turn on Netflix for a while. What am I watching? Fluff! Otherwise known as Lipstick Jungle! I have a soft spot for Kim Raver. And there’s Andrew McCarthy! Why did this not last longer? Also I try to read Arcadia by Lauren Groff. Then decide that I will read after finishing the episode. Because Groff’s writing is too good to half-read it (as I am sometimes guilty of doing). 

The husband is downstairs working. It’s the busy season for him. Tough times. 

1010 or so – I’m wiped out. Goodnight!


  1. Oh, I enjoyed reading this. Your boys are so cute and it was fun hearing about their day and the trains and Polar Express song. LOL

    Glad your in-laws will get to come visit and keeping my fingers crossed for the Mandarin immersion class. A busy day, but a nice one.


  2. I’ve heard wonderful things about Modern Romance. I hope you are enjoying it! Happy upcoming birthday to Finnian. My daughter turned five earlier this month. Now she’s a “big girl’. 🙂 I register her for kindergarten in another couple of weeks. Crazy to think about! I hope you are able to get your son in the immersion program. I had considered putting my daughter in the Spanish one here, but the wait list was long and so I decided it wasn’t worth trying.

    I enjoyed reading about your day! Thank you for sharing!


  3. I am so with you! My little girl will be 3 in May and she shows no interest in potty training yet. They’ll both get there eventually…I hope.

    We love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at our house too! Have you ever read the sequel? They go to outer space!


    1. Ok I feel less alone now… (don’t know if you saw Trish’s comment on her second kid being potty trained already!)

      And yeah, Charlie and the Glass Elevator, was that the title? It was pretty fun and I think my boys would enjoy that!


  4. Adorable boys! The days with little ones are exasperating and precious! Good luck with the potty training and I hope the immersion program works out!


  5. I got lucky with my second–she almost literally potty trained herself. This week was the first week she’s worn panties to school and she’s been doing very well. My other one, on the other hand, still has the occasional accident! I think she just get so busy that she forgets until it’s way too late. Sigh. We’re continually telling her to go so she doesn’t wait too long.

    I know the relief when hub gets home. And I admit that I kind of like the boxed mac and cheese. LOL! The girls love it. I’ve tried to make homemade several times but it just doesn’t turn out right (consistency-wise). My oldest is the more sensitive child as well–wonder what that’s about? I guess I was much more relaxed with the second–and still am. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to be too hard on the oldest (I’m the oldest so I know how that goes).

    Do you speak Mandarin at home with the boys?

    Thanks for sharing your day Sharlene!


    1. Yeah I often wonder if I was just too anxious a parent with my first one, and then with the second one it was all, eh whatever, as long as you don’t hurt yourself! But it is pretty interesting to see how different the two of them are.

      Sadly I don’t speak much Mandarin with the kids! For me it’s very much a second language and it wasn’t something I spoke at home when I was growing up, probably cos my mom never really learnt it in school (long story about Singapore’s education system here).


  6. So fun! As I work from home, I get happy when hubby arrives home, too… Mainly because it is an adult to talk to and someone for the dog to be distracted by. The dog does pretty good, but in the last hour or two of my working toys start appearing and his head needs a pet. 🙂


  7. This reminds me of how tired I used to be all the time when my children were small! I am amazed you manage to read all the books you do.


    1. Oh indeed. Tired. But it does help that there are two of them and that they sometimes play together and I can sit there and just read while they do that. Hahahaha!


  8. Good luck with getting into the immersion program. I hope that will work out for you! I made some fancy mac and cheese for the kids once, and they hated it. So it’s the boxed kind for us as well.


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