Friday, March 16, 2012

A Day in the Life of Mandi

Here we are at another week of the A Day in the Life series! The series is meant to give us a glimpse into each others' lives... the parts we might not normally show or might not fit the 'theme' of our blogs. It's also meant to help us get to know each other even more, to inspire us, and to let us know that life isn't quite as glamorous as blogs make them out to be :). Today we have a Friday in the life of Mandi, who is celebrating a birthday today! I've met Mandi and her family in person and just love them! So welcome to a day in the life of Mandi!

Today is my birthday, so it isn’t a usual Friday in my home, although I suspect that it will be much more ordinary than last Friday was.  Last Thursday, I flew to Atlanta with my three month old daughter, Lucia, to be with my best friend, C., while she had a minor surgical procedure.  I went back and forth regarding whether I should write my “Day in the Life” about last Friday which was a very abnormal day in my life or the previous one which was much more average.  Ultimately, I decided to write about our unusual Friday in Atlanta for two reasons.  First, life with a baby is ever-changing and unpredictable, so even if I had written about my Friday at home two weeks ago, it would only vaguely resemble how I currently spend my days.  Second, by describing what was out of the ordinary last week, I am more aware of what exactly I’ve come to rely on as my “ordinary”. 
I woke up at 6:30 am to Lucia making loud coos and shrieks.  I got out of the bed and knelt down over where Lulu had been sleeping on the floor in order to make sure she was really awake.  I have terrible eyesight and hadn’t yet put on my glasses or contacts so I had to put my face very close to hers to see that her eyes were indeed open.  She smiled up at me, my sweet morning girl, and I talked to her quietly as I unwrapped her from her swaddler and changed her diaper.  Then it was time to nurse.
Lulu, first thing in the morning
Normally, the morning is my favorite time of day with Lucia, but this morning I was really just wanting to fall back asleep.  I slept terribly the night before.  Lulu started sleeping through the night at six weeks, so I had gotten used to nights of uninterrupted sleep.  Since this was the first night Lucia spent in a new place since she started sleeping in her crib, I wasn’t at all certain that she would sleep through the night.  Therefore, I was hyper alert all night, waking up every time she made a noise (and she is quite the noisy sleeper!).  Thankfully she didn’t wake until the morning, although 6:30 is about an hour earlier than she had been waking up the previous few weeks.
After Lulu was done nursing, we went out into the living room to play.  I laid her on the couch, tickled her, and held up some of her toys for her to grab.  Traveling with an infant makes me appreciate the conveniences of baby gear in our home, like her play mat where I can attach toys above her and have her play independently while I take a shower or do things around the house.  At the same time, it also reminds me how little I actually need for her - sure, all our baby items make caring for Lucia a bit easier but I can get by with only the contents of a suitcase. 
At about 8:15, C. comes out of her room and we start to get ready for the day.  Her friend is coming to pick us up and drive us to her procedure at 9:00, so we didn’t have much time to spare.  Lucia seems to be ok by herself for a while, so I jump in the shower while C. makes us breakfast.  I am a cereal girl all the way, not only do I love how quick and easy it is, I also love the taste; when I was in college, cereal was often my lunch or dinner as well as my breakfast.  My best friend, on the other hand, hates cold cereal, so our breakfast for the day was oatmeal with strawberries.  We stopped by the grocery store the night before to pick up some food for the next few days and strawberries were on sale 3 cartons for $5 and we couldn’t resist.  This was just the first of many meals over the next few days in which we would find creative ways to use the strawberries. 
After I got out of the shower, had breakfast and made sure Lu’s diaper bag was adequately packed, we only had moments to spare before we met our ride in front of the apartment building.  I strapped Lucia’s car seat into her car (I will never take a car seat base for granted again after this trip!) and we were off.  When we arrived at the hospital, I settled down with Lulu as my friend filled out the necessary paperwork and then was called back for her procedure.  I said a prayer that all would go well with the surgery and then the waiting began. 
The waiting room was large and very full, with people constantly coming and going throughout the several hours we were waiting.  I brought a book to read in case Lucia slept, but she was awake the entire time and I was kept busy attending to her.   When I am in public with Lucia, I am always very cautious to make sure that she doesn’t get upset or cry.  At least part of this concern is because I want the people around me to see the joys of parenthood.  I feel like it is more usual in a public setting to see children misbehaving and parents losing their temper than to see the beauty of family which is more often seen in the privacy of the home.  I know that I should be more forgiving of myself, especially since babies do cry and sometimes there is nothing one can do about it, but I don’t want to contribute to the current societal mindset that children are burdens.  While we waited, I walked Lucia around, played with her toys (which usually consists of them “kissing” her - that girl loves kisses!), and nursed her.
A few minutes after 11:00, C. came out and was ready to leave.  She looked fine and felt normal, although the doctor had told her to expect about 48 hours of pain and discomfort after the anesthesia wore off.  When we arrived back at the apartment, C.’s roommate told us he was planning to order Chinese food, so we decided to do so as well.  C. took me out to dinner the night before after we came in from the airport and now we were going to order food out!  David and I rarely go out to eat, maybe a few times a month, so this was quite a treat.  And to add to that, my best friend insisted on paying for all my food while I was there since I refused to take money from her for half my plane ticket. 
After lunch, we watched “Raising Arizona” (my first time seeing it) as C. waited for the man she was seeing to come over.  We almost got through the entire movie before he arrived.  Apparently he had gotten lost, which I soon learned was fairly typical of him.  This may sound strange, but I was very nervous to meet him.  Since we have lived in different states (and for a while countries) since becoming friends, this was the first time I would meet someone my best friend was dating.  What if I didn’t like him?  Would I be able to tell her?  Should I tell her?  Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about this, since he turned out to be exactly like she had described him: intellectual, a little nerdy, and very kind.   He seemed to genuinely enjoy Lucia (always a good sign).  Unfortunately, he was unable to stay long because his sister and brother-in-law were coming in that night and he needed to clean his apartment.
After he left, we spent the rest of the afternoon finishing the movie, having hours and hours of girl talk (you just never run out of things to talk about with your best friend!), and playing with Lulu.  Throughout this all, C. still continued to be feel great, as if she had never even had surgery.  Having had such a large lunch, we waited to make dinner until after Lucia fell asleep at 8:30.  While making dinner (a soup with vegetables, rice and lentils), C. received a call from a friend from high school that had recently moved to Atlanta.  She knew that I would be in town and was hoping to come over to spend time with us.  She joined us for dinner. 
I was never quite friends with this young woman although we had several classes together in high school.  Yet I really enjoyed catching up with her.  If we ever ended up in the same place again, I could see us becoming friends.  Speaking with her and my best friend over dinner, it was easy to see the path my life might have taken had I not met my husband.  They are highly educated young professionals, my best friend in graduate school seeking her Ph.D., the other young woman working in her field after receiving her master’s degree.  And although I had spent my life yearning for marriage and children, I could have seen myself happy in their place. I know those two young women want to someday get married and have families, but in the meantime, they are involved in their communities, have meaningful friendships, and are taking advantage of single life by traveling.
As I crawled into bed at 11 pm, exhausted after waking up so early (and knowing that I would have to wake up early again with my sweet girl), I felt incredibly blessed that I was able to be there for my best friend (even though it seemed as if I wasn’t needed after all), that I spent the day with such wonderful people, and that I was able to do it all with my baby girl beside me.  I drifted off to sleep as I prayed the rosary, taking solace not only in the familiar prayers but also the awareness that sometime that night my husband had done the same.
Mandi is a wife to her grad student husband, David, and mother to their three month old blessing, Lucia Rose.  While learning to keep house and care for a baby she’s found herself becoming increasingly “crunchy” - cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby wearing, homemade cleaner making.  When not taking care of her family in physical ways, she’s doing all she can to get them to heaven.  Read about her efforts at Catholic Newlywed.


  1. I'm usually a skimmer with the posts in this series, but I really got into this one. Loved it!

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I really enjoyed your modesty guest post the other day.