A Day in the Life, Weekend Edition.

This is almost two months old now, and has been sitting in my drafts folder since around the time Twyla was in the hospital, because I’ve been telling myself I have to post the conclusion of that story first, like I said I would, even though (SHOCKINGLY) once the episode was well past I didn’t particularly feel like revisiting it at length. Eventually, thank goodness, I realized I am a grown lady who owns this Website and so here we are.

(I did finish the story of Twyla’s hospital stay and have posted it as a link at the end of the previous post, in case you want to know HOW it all turned out to be fine. You can read the conclusion here.)

As with my previous Day in the Life, this is preposterously long, so do yourself a favor and get a snack. I recommend Nibs, or maybe something in the Chip family.


Unknown times, a.m.:
Twyla wakes up, cries, coughs, obviously has croup. At one point wakes with face covered in blood from bloody nose, likely from scrabbling at runny nose too hard in sleep.

5:27 a.m.:
Twyla’s cough and breathing sound particularly awful. Scott takes her to stand in front of the freezer (she gets croup often, and the cold air usually helps). I hear Twyla start to wail. Scott returns with the baby, and informs me that she was crying because he wouldn’t let her have a frozen black bean burger to eat, even though they were right there in front of her in the freezer. This is very much in character for Twyla, whose feelings about food are uncommonly intense. We all go back to sleep.

6:01 a.m.:
I am awake. I do not remember whether Twyla woke me up, but it seems likely. I try to return to sleep. Various children wake up and I shush/pat them (Simone, as of a week after my last Day in the Life post, now sleeps in her own room on school nights, but on weekends is allowed to bunk with us). Try, try to sleep, fail to do so. I am of the unfortunate breed that once awakened, can only return to sleep if I do it very quickly, before my brain whirls to life. Scott—not of this breed—is dead to world.

6:35 a.m.:
I am clearly not getting back to sleep at this point. All children now awake. Scott mostly awake as well, thanks to toddler clambering onto him. We all get up. Scott and children head to living room, I head to kitchen to make Saturday Breakfast. Am still too lazy to cook much most weeknights, so Saturday Breakfast has become a special occasion. I whisk some eggs with a little half and half, debone smoked trout, add goat cheese, season, and put in deep saucepan over low heat to scramble gently. I make an over-hard fried egg for Simone as she will not eat scrambled eggs. I make espresso for Scott, espresso with milk for me. As halfhearted last-minute nod to concept of “balanced breakfast,” I slice some strawberries onto a plate for the girls. Simone’s egg is ready.
“I am not going to eat this YELLOW part,” she tells me, when I hand her the plate. I make it clear that this is of no interest to me at all and return to kitchen. A few moments later, from Simone:
“The yellow part is good! Maybe TOO good, even.” I do not ask her to explain, instead keep scrambling eggs while she eats hers. Eggs are done. I put Sriracha sea salt on mine (salt was Christmas gift, and I have taken to putting it on almost everything—it is known as Mama’s Special Salt) and take the plates out.

7:12 a.m.:
I sit Twyla at her table to eat. Scott and I eat while watching Parks and Recreation (which Simone calls “Yellow Hair”). Then Scott shows me the little part of Late Night he taped for me because one of my favorite comedians (John Mulaney) was a guest. Simone is writing in a kindergarten workbook Scott’s mother gave her on our recent trip to Iowa.

8:00 a.m.:
I ask Scott to clean off the kitchen table so that Simone and I can work on her Science Fair project there. He takes the dishes out and goes off to do that. Twyla hurries off to help/make things more difficult. Simone asks me to check her “homework” in the workbook.

8:15 a.m.:
The table cleared, Simone and I get to work. I spread newspaper on the table and give her some newspaper to tear into strips. I tear strips as well. Then I put equal parts flour and water in a bowl and let her stir it up. I get the large Styrofoam ball that is to serve as our Moon, and show Simone how to papier mache. (The moon is not smooth like Styrofoam is, you see, and also paint does not adhere well to Styrofoam, and also Simone has never done papier mache before and it is super fun). She gleefully covers ball with goopy strips. We have an excellent time. Moon left on plate to dry.
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8:35 a.m.:
I run us a bath. I get in and wash my hair and such, then Simone joins me and I wash hers. Then she goes off to get dressed, as do I.

9:07 a.m.:
I spend a little time planning and making lists of what needs to be done.
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Twyla obviously unwell, so plan is that Simone and I will run errands, and some time after we leave Scott will nap with baby.

9:19 a.m.:
Put on makeup.

9:29 a.m.:
Simone and I leave the house. It is a beautiful Spring day, as you can see.
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I put on Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” for the drive to our first errand. Simone and I have a whole routine for singing this song together in the car, with designated parts, which we perform flawlessly. (Also tunelessly).

ME: And Ma Bell sends you a whopping bill..
ME: …with eighteen phone calls to Brazil!

9:40 a.m.:
Arrive at Target in high spirits. Consult list. To illustrate peculiar power of Target with which you are doubtlessly familiar, will now share with you list I took to Target, and list of items actually purchased there:

Target List:
-New set ballet clothes for Simone
-New socks for both girls
-Dishwasher detergent
-Napkins to pack in lunches
-Index cards
-Poster/presentation board for Science Fair project, the sort that is like a triptych
-Green juice for Scott

Items Actually Purchased at Target:
-New set ballet clothes for Simone
-New socks for both girls
-Dishwasher detergent
-Napkins to pack in lunches
-Index cards
-Poster/presentation board for Science Fair project, the sort that is like a triptych
-Green juice for Scott
-Duct tape (should have been on list, accidentally omitted)
-Small spool craft string from OneSpot (should have been on list, accidentally omitted)
-Package Shout Color Catchers from OneSpot
-3-pack travel tissues from OneSpot
-Chapstick shaped like crayon for Simone from OneSpot
-Pink headband with flower for Simone
-Frozen soundtrack on CD
-Frozen “young reader”-type book for Simone
-Fox in Socks board book for Twyla
-1 bag Pirate Booty
-1 box “healthy”-type fruit snacks
-1 box Wasabi Soy Triscuit Thins, as headed to checkout (have yet to try).
-Bottle of water for Simone from checkout cooler.

Believe it or not, this is an example of CONSIDERABLE restraint on my part.

10:36 a.m.:
Back in car, head to CVS. Discuss with Simone possibility of Lunch Out, first raised in Target to appease “starving” child and having additional advantage of keeping us away from house a little longer, as Scott and Twyla surely asleep and would like Twyla to get as much rest as possible. There is no parking anywhere near CVS. This is quite common on a Saturday. I decide to leave this errand (picking up non-urgent prescriptions) for another time (and likely for Scott), and instead pull onto side street to make phone call.

10:45 a.m.:
Call mother—would she like to meet us at favorite nearby Vietnamese place? Do we know if they have full menu or, as sometimes previously on weekends, only Dim Sum? Call restaurant to check. Full menu! Call mother back, arrange to meet.

10:55 a.m.:
Pick up dry cleaning.

11:05 a.m.:
Arrive at restaurant. This is the restaurant where Scott and I had our rehearsal dinner. Simone stops on bridge on the way in to coo over Koi.
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Simone has Shirley Temple, meatball wontons, white rice. My mother and I split meatball wontons, curry shrimp, glass of bubbly. Lovely time had by all.
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I mention how nice it is to have a girl lunch all together, and Simone says actually she quite likes a BOY lunch. On further questioning is revealed that a Boy Lunch is “handsome and stylish.”

12:00 p.m.:
Leave restaurant. Mother promises Simone that she (Simone) can come over the next day to watch recently purchased Brave Little Toaster on DVD.

12:10 p.m.:
Arrive home. Lug dry cleaning, leftovers, Target bags up many flights of stairs. Put away groceries, etc.

12:26 p.m.:
On way back from bathroom see Twyla is awake. Go in and sit on bed. Scott wakes up. Snuggle Twyla, talk to Scott. Twyla very feverish, obviously miserable. Take Twyla to living room to join Simone. Administer dose of Ibuprofen. Hold Twyla on lap, read her Fox in Socks.

12:52 p.m.:
I fool around on Twitter and snuggle Twyla. Simone reads me her new Frozen book. The girls play and watch Doc McStuffins.

1:37 p.m.:
Bring Simone her ballet clothes so she can get ready. Help her with tights.

1:58 p.m.:
Simone and I leave for ballet class.

2:00 p.m.:
Simone and I run back up stairs because forgot ballet shoes.

We listen to Frozen soundtrack in car and Simone sings along, loudly, declaring each song in turn her favorite. Instead of “let the storm rage on” she sings, as usual, “let the storm re-charge,” and I, also as usual, do not correct her. The way she really hits “BE THE GOOD GIRL YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE!” in “Let it Go” both amuses and alarms me.

2:19 p.m.:
Arrive at ballet studio. Simone changes into her shoes.
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I get details of upcoming May performance. Simone races around with other girls.

2:29 p.m.:
Class begins. I play around on Twitter, Instagram, and read my book (The Goldfinch).

3:37 p.m.:
Class over. Simone and I head home, starting soundtrack over again from beginning.

Unknown time, p.m.:
Park car and realize cannot find phone. Vaguely remember setting it on edge of back seat while I buckled Simone into car. Did it fall out in slushy parking lot? Feel panicky. Have 1000 pictures on phone. Can’t remember when I last backed it up, but know it wasn’t recently. Scour area around front seat where phone usually rests. Remember “Find My Phone” app and hurry inside. Hand computer to Scott, instruct him to Make it So. Phone is revealed to be transmitting from right where my car is parked. Hugely relieved. I head back downstairs to search again. Simone accompanies me. She tells me she is great at finding things, and once found a teddy bear that was lost under the sea, even. It was in a treasure chest next to a sunken ship! I am suitably impressed by this. We do not see phone, but then it starts making a beeping noise (Scott, back in apartment, is making it beep via app—which works even with ringer off, thank heavens) and we are able to locate it underneath front passenger seat. No idea how it got there, but very happy to see it.

4:07 p.m.:
Back to apartment with phone. Simone flushed with victory. I proceed to sit bonelessly in a chair for a while. I know I do some things during this time, probably. Twitter? Lists? No idea. Lost time. I put my coat on and prepare to leave for dinner at my mother’s condo. Scott informs me that he is going to order Pizza Hut for girls, himself, because he has seen an advertisement for a new pizza that looks excellent. I remind him that the last time he had Pizza Hut, some years ago, he swore never to do it again, but he feels this time will be different.

4:42 p.m.:
I go downstairs to wait for my mother to pick me up. She has kindly offered to transport me so that I needn’t drive, as I am very paranoid about driving and otherwise would not consume even one full glass wine.

4:59 p.m.:
At mother’s, we sample various recently acquired items as we try to decide on suitable drinks for the evening. For aperitif, I choose champagne cocktail made with new amusingly named peach-flavored quinine based liqueur called “Rin QuinQuin.” Quinine base makes this a sort of health drink that will protect me from malaria, always a pressing concern. We do dinner prep and listen to music and chat.

5:24 p.m.:
Scott calls. “You are making all of my decisions from now on,” he says. Pizza Hut not a success.

Mother puts little goat cheese/mushroom tarts she made earlier into the oven to heat and dresses greens for salad. I set table. For first course we have greens with tart.
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(My mother is truly an excellent cook.)

After we eat our salads my mother begins on the steak and mushrooms and I heat up some leftover potatoes and then mush them up with butter and quark. For our main course drinks we have Kirs Royale.
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After dinner we pick up and then repair to couch with cheese, and homemade blackberry/hazelnut/citrus financiers, which I forgot to take a picture of. I have cognac, but mother does not, because she is driving. We chat. I get text from Scott with video of Twyla eating chocolate-covered granola square—well, formerly chocolate covered, as chocolate covering now entirely transferred to her face. It is getting late, but I didn’t drink much of my cognac because I had two glasses of champagne already this evening and I am a terrible lightweight, so my mother gives me the rest to go in a jelly jar. I have the best mother. (Does your mother send you home with little jelly jars of cognac for later? I didn’t think so.)

8:24 p.m.:
We leave for my house.

8:40 p.m.:
At home, I check on girls. Scott has fallen asleep in bedroom with them. I ask if he is getting up, he says maybe later. I tell him I am not really sleepy yet and he suggests I sit out in living room and watch episode of The Americans. This is very exciting for me, as I do not watch television in the living room without children ever—I watch almost all of my television on my laptop at night in bed. I gather blanket and supplies and sit in quiet dark to watch, on the big(er) screen. The Americans is my current favorite show, and it is an excellent episode. I’ve brought my mason jar of cognac and a glass of water and some chocolate out with me, just in case, but I only drink the water.

9:50 p.m.:
I Google to understand the confusing part of the episode. I do this a lot, as I am congenitally unable to let tiny things go by in shows, books, etc., without being certain I understand them properly. It is a very annoying trait to both others and myself.

10:03 p.m.:
I crawl into bed, and as is my custom, play SpellTower until I am sleepy. At this point it is soothingly Pavlovian.

10:26 p.m.:


  1. Deborah says:

    I am stunned by what good food you eat! Also, that you had a child-free dinner AND 2 hours to yourself in the evening. But I am wondering, when do you clean? I feel like I spend all my time cleaning, and it messes up again faster than I can keep up.

    • Alexa says:

      Well, one of the weekend days is a Cleaning Day, and one of us takes the children somewhere while the other one stays behind and cleans, because it is hard to get much done when they are underfoot. (Really I am talking about Twyla being underfoot, because for instance if Simone and I hadn’t had errands to run, while Scott napped with Twyla I would have cleaned the kitchen and such and baked with Simone.) In general one day on the weekend is more errand-y, and one is more household chore-y–this day was errand-y. Weeknights I fold the laundry from the night before, make dinner, and get the girls ready for school the next day (lunches, baths) and then after I am in bed with Twyla (weeknights and weekends both) Scott does dishes, laundry, and all the general straightening. I feel perpetually behind on cleaning, but this is obviously my own fault, as I certainly could find the time if I could muster the energy.

  2. Kate says:

    For months, instead of “let the storm rage on” my daughter sang “let the storm raindrop.” And yes, the way they can nail that “good girl” line is a little alarming.

  3. Jenn says:

    I was impressed by your restraint at Target before you even pointed it out. That barely counted as extra buying in light of the wonders Target always tempts one with.

    My mother is a teetotaler, so I have never been sent home with a jelly jar of any sort of booze. Alas.

    • Alexa says:

      Thank you for appreciating my restraint. I was quite impressed with it myself.

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother. Try to get her to take up bread making. My mother has taken up bread making and I cannot recommend it enough as a hobby for one’s mother. Delicious.

  4. Emily says:

    You do have the best mother. My mother is, alas, a rather terrible cook, but there are a few things she makes well, German chocolate cake among them, so I will keep her.

    I did a day in the life post recently and I was sort of overwhelmed just reading it and realizing how busy my days are. I like that you did a weekend one. I should do that as well; I think the contrast to a weekday would be interesting.

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