Fiddlers on the Roof

Or, “A Day in the Life”

I’ve been meaning to do a “day in the life” day/post for a while, partly because even though our goings on may seem dull, I know from reading these types of posts from other people that people do find them interesting, and partly because I’d like to document a “typical” day for our own records.  So, I set out to detail a day in writing and photographs.

Part of our lifestyle is that days are rarely typical: Caleb’s schedule shifts every other week or so, the number of type of projects we have going on varies, and personally, I have different “chores” or activities that I do on specific days, so each day is a little different, but somewhat balanced in workload.  “We are all fiddlers on the roof, trying to keep our balance and scratch out a humble tune…and how do we keep our balance?” The way I keep my balance is routine.  It takes a while to settle into a solid routine after a move, but once I do, it’s not only productive but comforting.  I picked a relatively light day, chore and errand-wise for me, because everything takes longer when you’re trying to take pictures and notes!   Other days of the week, I’m doing laundry, meal-planning, grocery-shopping, errands, cleaning, maintaining our budget, or craft or improvement projects. Anyway, Thursday, February 4th went like this:

6 AM: Cody wakes up.  We wait a few minutes to see if he’ll fall back asleep, but when it’s obvious he won’t, my saintly husband gets up to see if Cody will doze when held.  The house is quiet for a while, so I sleep another hour. 😀  Up until two weeks ago, we were in this magical golden age of sleep, where Cody was sleeping from 7:30-7:30, every day, for nearly two months.  Then we fell slowly through a downward, backward spiral as teething, a cold, and changing sleep needs set in.  We are in the awkward, painful, and lengthy place where one nap is not enough, two naps is too many, and the nighttime sleep is suffering.

7 AM: I get up and get the report from Caleb that Cody dozed until about 6:30 and then they did some exercise in the playroom.

7:30: Breakfast time: scrambled eggs and apple for Cody, oatmeal for Caleb, and I pack a lunch for Caleb(leftover turkey chili, carrots, celery, and an orange).


Little Prince snacks on an apple quarter, awaiting his scrambled egg breakfast.

Also in this time frame, we tag team washing, drying, and putting away pots and pans from last night’s dinner.  It’s a rare day that I’m up to that least favored of tasks at the end of the day.  I always load the dishwasher, but usually leave the rest.  :-/

8 AM: Cody gets a fresh diaper and clothes for the day, I finish cleaning the kitchen–including actually cleaning our ceramic stove top.  I pat myself on the back each time I get out the designated cleaner and buff it with a paper towel.  This doesn’t happen more than once or twice a week.

Cody helps load the breakfast dishes.

Cody helps load the breakfast dishes.

8:30: I go get cleaned up and dressed while Caleb keeps an eye on Cody and catches up on the news.

9 AM: Caleb goes to shower, shave, and dress while I start trimming the fat from a pork shoulder and preparing our crockpot dinner.

9:30: I am interrupted from my task by a poopy diaper, so I clean and change that and bid Caleb farewell as he heads to work.  He’s been working roughly 9:30-7 this week and last.

"Bye bye, Daddy!"

“Bye bye, Daddy!”

10 AM: I wrap up the crockpot preparations and start a load of diapers in the washer.  Cody starts to get a bit grouchy and screechy.  I suspect he is getting tired, but recent history has shown that he is not tired enough to take a nap of any significant length, so I press on towards our “1 afternoon nap” goal and distract him with…

10:30 Changing the crib and bed sheets.  I alternate changing and washing two sets of linens every other Thursday.

Cody revels in attacking the fluffy duvet while I unmake and make our bed.

Cody revels in attacking the fluffy duvet while I unmake and make our bed.

11 AM: I decide it’s time for a snack and Cody concurs.  We sit on the floor in the sun shining through the sliding glass door and enjoy some cashews and popcorn.  I notice a neighbor’s dog in our yard, and realize there’s a gap in the fence.  Earlier this week, the power company sent guys to trim our trees (we had TEN trees along the ~100′ back fence line when we moved in!) away from the power lines, and they removed three trees.  I thought maybe they knocked out a fence board, but upon closer inspection, it looks like the dogs just pushed against a rickety section of the fence and the boards came loose from the supports.  We have dogs trotting to and fro through the yard the rest of the day, and I imagine this will continue until we(and by we I mean Caleb :-D) fix the fence.  The dogs think it’s the greatest day ever.

11:30: I move the diapers from the washer to the dryer and try to work on some paper valentines, but Cody has a major meltdown for no apparent reason.  When I pick him up and hold him for a while, I see his eyes drooping and head bobbing and I realize he’s not going to make it to our ” 1 nap in the afternoon” goal, and I decide to just put him down now, hoping against hope that he’ll just conk out in a great 2-3 hour nap, then sleep 12 hours tonight.  Talk about “miracle of miracles”…ah…ha ha ha.

12 PM: Nap time.  This is seriously a sacred time for me.  I’m never sure how much time I have, but I do my darnedest to NOT work on anything I could work on while Cody’s awake, and instead do what I want to do.  Usually I’m catching up on TV, looking at photography tutorials, checking Facebook, responding to emails, or reading.  Cody is good at entertaining himself while you’re working, bustling about, he can be quite a pest the moment you sit down at the computer, or to try to read or relax, and we try to never turn on the TV when he’s awake(except for select sporting events), so I capitalize on these activities while he recharges.

1 PM:  Cody wakes up  and continues fussing for a while even after I’ve gotten him up, probably a sign that he’s still tired and would benefit from a longer nap, sigh.  I get the diapers from the dryer, neatly stack them, put them away, and put a fresh one on Cody.

1:30: Lunchtime.  We don’t normally eat this late, but we are in an awkward, out of routine phase.  Like Tevye, I struggle between maintaining routines and keeping up with change. “Lunch is at noon!  But look at my son’s eyes…he needed to nap during lunchtime today…” We have leftover lemon-tarragon chicken and mushrooms.  I feel I have now fully achieved adulthood by willingly eating mushrooms, even if they’re sautéed and smothered in a delicious sauce.


2 PM: I spend some time cleaning up from lunch, tidying the house (I’m expecting a friend at 3), and trying to work on my little paper craft while Cody plays.  Around 2:45 we put on shoes and jackets to prepare for the walk with my friend, and play outside a little.

Cody amongst his toys, examining with an old (battery-free) remote.  Later, he "puts it away" with the other remotes under the TV.  :-)

Cody amongst his toys, examining with an old (battery-free) remote. Later, he “puts it away” with the other remotes under the TV. 🙂

3 PM: My friend Nicole comes over and we go out walking and talking.  It’s great to catch up and have girl talk.  You may laugh,  but even 50 degrees and sunny feels freezing to me with the humidity and the wind!


4 PM: Nicole is my new best design consultant: we love talking home decorating and helping each other make decisions.  Today I ask her if I which color I should spray paint branches for our mantle, or leave them in their natural state.  I change Cody’s diaper again.

5:30: Final preparations on the crock pot dinner: Slow Cooker Pork and Hominy Posole Soup .  I still don’t know what Posole means, but it’s a tasty dish with shredded seasoned pork, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, hominy, and–the best part–lime, avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco.

I like lots of queso :-D

I like lots of queso 😀

6 PM: I clean up the dinner dishes, and quickly duck outside to spray paint my branches before I lose daylight. Cody amuses himself taking little dishes in and out of the dishwasher, and looking at toys and books.

6:30: One more chore I didn’t get to earlier: wiping out the fridge.  Not that I do that weekly.  Or even bi-weekly.  Then we go through the get ready for bed routine: Clean up, night time diaper and PJs (we do disposable diapers for overnight), milk and story, and brush teeth.


Here you can see the 2×4 we put under the head of Cody’s crib, to help ease congestion or something, and the cord of the humidifier. Sometimes I’m not sure if an effort I make isn’t helping at all, or if it would be worse if I weren’t making the effort.

7 PM: Daddy comes home just in time to say goodnight!  Yay! We sing to Cody and put him to bed, and catch up while Caleb has his dinner.


Sunrise, Sunset.

7:30: Caleb starts in on his Master’s work, I finish my little Valentine paper craft, then work on uploading and editing my photos and notes.  And, of course, I arrange my spray-painted branches on the mantle.


The lighting here is not the best. You get the idea.

9 PM: We prepare for bed ourselves, leaving time to read and talk before lights out at 10.  Caleb is particularly motivated to make our lights out goal time, because he has to leave for work at 6:30 Friday morning.  In addition to the schedule swings, Fridays usually start and finish earlier than the other days, and he had one or two days where he had to go in early to serve in the air traffic control center rather than fly with students.  And one day, it was too windy and/or cloudy for the second round of flights, so he got to come home around 5!  As I said, no day is typical.

Hope you enjoyed that.  Bonus points to anyone who can identify four of the more subtle “Fiddler on the Roof” references.  Hint: it’s not the part where we eat pork, ha ha.

Categories: Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Fiddlers on the Roof

  1. Julie

    1. We are all fiddlers on the roof, trying to keep our balance and scratch out a humble tune…and how do we keep our balance?”

    2. Little prince?

    3. like Tevye – maintaining routines and keeping up with change

    4. Sunrise, sunset… 🙂

    Thanks for the day in a life! I enjoyed it and miss you all!

    • Close! It’s a little tricky because there’s a fine line between my “subtle references” and more obvious ones. You missed one entirely (miracle of miracles) and then the more subtle reference close to your third guess was mimicking the inner dialogue Tevye has each time a daughter makes her unconventional request (They gave each other a pledge? Ridiculous! But look at my daughter’s eyes..she loves him…)

  2. Mom/Mary

    Love hearing about your “typical” day; we’ll get to participate in it before we know it! You really pack it in:) Looks like Cody got a haircut since we were there. That dinner looks tasty.
    Wish I knew more about “Fiddler on the Roof” to play the game!

    • I’m glad you think I pack it in! I meant to add that I was also doing this to try to figure out what it is I do all day; I’m never sure when people ask. I know I’m busy all day but I feel like I never get a lot done!

      • Mom/Mary

        Hey, talking to and caring for Cody ALL DAY is HUGE!!!!!! That would be enough in and of itself!!!!!!! And then there is healthy meal prep and keeping your house organized and a home:) You rock!

  3. Dad/Paul

    Wonderful! If Caleb ever decides to give a day in the life of a USAF pilot, that would be great:) Praying for you all every day, and counting the days until our next visit!

    • Yeah, I’m sure everyone would love that! I mentioned it to him, but getting him to do things for the blog can take quite a lot of coercion. 🙂

  4. Fun! And I (Barb) agree, 50º is not warm when it is windy! 🙂

  5. Pingback: A Day in the Life 2.0 | Caleb & Tara

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