a day in HER life [Vanessa]

Hey! I'm Vanessa Strickland from Strickly Speaking. I'm Mama to three little boys {Noah is 5 years old, Jude is 4 years old and Blaise will be a year old on the 17th}. I'm married Jamie. We've known each other since we were 9 years old. I'd follow him anywhere. I first met Em when she was a student in University. It's been a long time since then, but we've stayed in touch via the glorious, glorious interwebs.

My "normal" day has been radically changed in the last several months as we've moved from Kampala, Uganda {where we'd been living for the past two years} back to Canada. My two oldest boys start school this month for the first time and we've moved into our very first house that's stuck in the 80's. So I've got a full plate and I'm still trying to wrap my head around what a day in my life actually does look like!

But as of this week, this is my average week day:


My alarm goes off. Either that or one of the boys has already woken me up.

I'm usually up after this.

Stumble downstairs, open the pantry, pull out the coffee cart and either plug in the Keurig or the coffee pot {depends on how I feel. Will this be a multiple cup of coffee day or a single cup?} to get the caffeine started.

The whole morning routine starts in full swing. Breakfast is made {we are kinda obsessed with waffles right now, by the way} and eaten. Jude is told multiple times to come back to the table and finish his breakfast {my kids, by the way, are completely mixed up on what meals are called. I'm not sure how I failed them in this respect, but it's not unusual for Noah or Jude to refer to breakfast as lunch, lunch as breakfast and dinner as anything but.}. Jude starts Junior Kindergarten next week and I am certain it's going to come as a shock to his wild-child system.

I have all these ideas in my head of things I'd like to do with the boys; morning times with Jesus with the boys using the Jesus Calling book for kids, playing specific worship music songs inviting Jesus into our day, but honestly? They haven't happened at all or at least consistently. I'm giving myself grace at the moment, though. We are still living in a barely unpacked house that still needs uber work on it. So we're makin' due with where we're at for now.

I put Noah's lunch in his backpack {I've started making them the night before. It's much more enjoyable and way less stressful.} and call the boy from their toys {or iPad/tv watching} to go pee and then we hustle out the doors with shoes on and sweaters or whatever the current weather calls for.


We are out the door and hopefully getting in the car.

I drive to the school first, we all get out and walk Noah to the playground. We wait for the bell to ring and then help him get in line and walk in with his classmates. It's only the fourth day {as I write this} since he's started and it still makes my heart ache to watch him walk into that big school on his own.


We're back in the car and we drive Jamie to work, say goodbye and then head home for Blaise's nap.


Blaise is in bed napping. Jude is playing with toys and probably bugging for second breakfast since his first breakfast was either barely eaten or not at all. I am cleaning up the kitchen. No dishwasher. Le Sigh.


I read some books with Jude for awhile and then let him watch a show on NetFlix while I go online to try and find good deals on things we need for the house or Skype with the team who replaced us in Uganda.


If Blaise isn't up by now, I wake him. I need him to take a second nap in time for us to be able to pick up Noah from school around 3:20pm. I breastfeed Blaise {this is the longest I've ever exclusively breastfed any of my boys thus far. To be honest, it's easy, cheap and available. I haven't had time to think about weaning him and he is quite content at the boob. So there's that.} and then I get lunch together for us.

We'll either hang around the house, go for a walk or run errands.


Blaise is hopefully back down for another nap and Jude and I will do the same routine all over again. Books, toys, snacks, Skype. I don't even bother to start projects during the day. Jamie told me a couple days after we moved in that I need to give up any notion of getting projects done around the house when the boys are awake and it's just me. Wise words from my husband. I am, however, feeling a bit like our place is *cue overly dramatic sigh* never going to be finished.


Time to pick up Noah from school! The day has flown by and I know that if I blink, it'll be Christmas already.

We pick up Noah and talk through his day. He is happy to see his brothers and the feeling is definitely mutual although him and Jude are fighting within minutes.


We're home and eating a snack, whether it's Noah's leftovers from his lunch or something else I've been baking. Or goldfish crackers. Those always score big points in our house.

From now until around 5pm is flex. Maybe we've gone to the park {although I banned Jude from it the other day due to his apparent inability to walk, listen to me or ask politely for help. So...we're not at the park for the next few days.} or maybe we're hanging out in our living room that's currently littered with painting supplies, toys and two oversized couches. The boys are either playing with toys together and getting along famously or fighting bitterly. I may read a story or two.


Daddy comes home! I start prepping dinner. Jamie will hang out with the boys and play outside or take them swimming {yay for town house complexes with pools!} while I get dinner going.


We are eating. It's loud. And chaotic. And usually over pretty quickly. By the time I'm seated and eating, Jamie and Noah are probably done and Jude's done a preliminary pick-over. Blaise is squawking to either be done or for more food depending on what I've given him. I shovel in some food and then take him upstairs for a bath and he's in bed around 6:30pm.


Blaise is sleeping. Jamie and I clean up and hang out with the boys. Sometimes there's a bit of tv. Okay. Most times there's a bit of tv.


Baths are on like donkey kong. Fill it up and let 'em splash. That is our unofficial motto. Not really.

But the boys will happily play in the bath {usually} for 20 minutes. Sometimes less. Sometimes more.

 The rare occasion that all three boys bathe together. They all love it. Water.Goes.EVERYWHERE.

Big boys are in bed now too. Jamie and I breathe a collective sigh and do a final tidy up before relaxing for the evening.
There's so much to do around our house, but at this point it's all we can do to just spend some time together before hitting the proverbial hay. Usually we'll watch a tv show on Netflix {House of Cards} or stream one online {Suits} and look at stuff online. Decorating stuff and blogs for me. Sports for him. 

Time flies by and it's usually 10pm before we know it. We start to get ready for bed and it's already 11pm somehow. Blaise will usually wake up around this time and I'll nurse him back to sleep. He's my worst sleeper out of the bunch and will  wake at least once more during the night where I'll again nurse him back to sleep. {And this is the best it has ever been so far!} For now, it is what it is. 

As I look upon this and know that next week we add sending Jude off to J/K 2-3 times a week I am exhausted! Life in Uganda was slow, simple and I rarely left the house. But we're back in Canada and I'm trying desperately to make good choices for our family to keep our schedule as simple and pared back as it can be as we readjust back to life here in the fast lane. I love it, but it is an adjustment.

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