I've always loved taking self portraits and understand the importance of getting in the frame with my kids. But I was inspired to take my love of self portraits a step further, when I saw several photographers taking photos as they go about their day-to-day activities and titling it 'A Day in the Life.' This is a personal project that I've wanted to challenge myself with for awhile now, but could never find the right time to do it; but that's the beauty of life, it's unpredictable, messy, and no day is ever the same. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two little boys, ages 5 1/2 years and 13 months, and two fur babies, our cats, Friskie and Fragile (pronounced: fra-gee-lea) and our lives are far from boring. Even on days when we seemingly do nothing at all, we're still making memories and my boys are growing right before my eyes... So instead of waiting and watching my kids grow by the day, wishing that I had done this sooner, I decided to jump on it and finally do this project on Monday, July 11th, 2016. All photos are taken by me, using three things: my camera, tripod, and wireless remote. So, without further adieu, I present to you 'A Day in the Life' - Self Portrait edition.
7:30am - The first thing I do each morning is prepare a bottle for my 13 month old, Kolter. After getting him from his crib, and changing his diaper, I sit upstairs in the playroom, while Kolter drinks his bottle and my 5 1/2 year old, Kale, plays. Our cats usually join us and bask in the morning light until we head downstairs for breakfast.
8:00am - Some days, I'm a good mom and actually cook breakfast. But most days, Eggo waffles, Noosa yogurt, fruit, and chocolate milk are on the menu for all of us. I'm not a morning person, as you can probably tell from this picture.
9:00am - While Kolter is down for his morning nap, Kale and I like to snuggle on the couch and watch TV. Our current favorite: Mysteries at the Museum.
9:30am - Kolter wasn't ready for his nap...
10:30am - Kale said he wasn't feeling well, so I took his temperature and sure enough, he had a fever; so he made the decision to take a nap. I've always loved watching him while he sleeps, because it's the only time I can catch a glimpse of the baby he used to be. Reminds me so much of the classic poem... "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Kolter was also napping at this time, but I don't dare try to go in and take pictures because he's a very light sleeper.
11:00am - While the boys sleep, I put on some makeup and try to look less like a zombie. Even when my kids are not in the picture with me, their presence is still evident in my tired eyes, saggy boobs, and stretch marked skin.
11:30am - After putting in minimal effort with my makeup, I attempt to do my hair. This is the longest it's ever been in my life and frankly, I don't know what the heck I'm doing with it. Growing up, I didn't give a shit about my appearance and never learned how to style it. Until I learn more, this side braid will have to do. Another thing that's a part of our daily lives is 'Brand Repping.' My boys and I have the honor of representing several small businesses. They provide us with free and/or discounted items in exchange for the photos I take. This cute tank is from The Wild Kids Apparel.
12:30pm - Kolter is up from his nap, and one of the many glorious jobs of a mother is wiping someone's butt that's not your own, multiple times a day. I did not take a photo of every diaper I changed this day, because that would just be overkill.
1:00pm - The boys play while I tidy up the toy tornado behind them. Note the fact that Kale is still in his underwear; he's usually the last one to get dressed and would happily stay in his underwear all day, if I let him.
1:15pm - Kolter gets hangry and demands food before anyone else.
2:00 - Yes, I realize that's a little late for lunch but it's summer, we're lazy, and I do what I want. On the menu this day: Chicken strips (cooked in the microwave because I'm all about that instant gratification) and one of my favorite snacks as a kid: cottage cheese, tomatoes, and dill weed. Kale was mad for some reason, I don't remember why. Probably because I cut up his chicken wrong or something.
2:45pm - When you have cats, you have cat puke. I inevitably find myself cleaning up puke at least once a day. It's not pretty, but this project is meant to capture what I do on a daily basis and this is one of those things.
3:00pm - Monday is my designated laundry day. Sometimes I'm granted an audience, while I sort the dirty clothes into color-coordinated piles.
3:30pm - We were all dressed and looking cute, so I wanted to take some quick photos of us and Friskie ended up photobombing. haha
4:00pm - My husband is home from his morning shift at work. He's an Air Traffic Controller and on Mondays he usually also works the Midnight Shift. So we spend some downtime together, before he takes a nap in preparation to go back to work from 10pm-6am. His work schedule can be hard on all of us, but we make the most of it and I'm so appreciative of how hard he works to make the best life for our family.
4:30pm - Another diaper change... Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?
4:35 - Kolter's nap time. Some days he goes right down, and others he needs to be reassured that I'll be right there when he wakes up.
4:45pm - Time to empty the dishwasher, only to fill it right back up again. If you haven't already noticed, our cats like to make frequent appearances in my photos.
5:45pm - Kale keeps himself busy with Play-Doh, while Kolter eats a snack, and I finish up the last of the dishes.
5:50pm - Folding a quick load of laundry, before starting on dinner. Kale likes to help me with the towels, because it's something that he can easily fold.
6:00pm - I've been getting more comfortable in the kitchen and cooking dinner a lot more than I used to. I know my family appreciates my effort. This night, I made spaghetti and Kale wanted to watch.
6:30pm - The boys and I eat dinner at our new dinning room table, while my husband continues to nap.
7:30pm - Bath time! Kale is being his goofy self, pretending to meditate with a rubber duck on his head. haha!
8:00pm - After I get Kolter out of the bath and ready for bed, my husband wakes up from his nap. Lately, Kolter loves looking at these Instagram prints I hung on our wall.
8:15pm - Kolter lays on my lap, while he drinks his bottle before bed. I'm glad I decided to take theses pictures when I did, because this was one of Kolter's last bottles before he was weaned off of them. I wasn't able to breastfeed for long, due to recurring Mastitis infections, but feeding time has always been bonding time for us, no matter where the food came from.
8:30pm - This was the day he learned how to give kisses! The classic baby open-mouthed kisses...
8:35pm - Goodnight kisses!
8:40pm - I always read to Kale before bed and usually he picks something educational. His thirst for knowledge is boundless and I want to facilitate his love of learning in anyway that I can. This night, we read about hurricanes and tornadoes.
8:50pm - Someday he's not going to want kisses from his mom, so I kiss him while I can. Each night, we do a kiss on the lips, Eskimo kisses, butterfly kisses, caterpillar kisses (rubbing our eyebrows together... Kale came up with that one) and a kiss on the forehead.
10:00pm - After my husband left for his Midnight Shift at work, Kolter woke up wanting some snuggles and a song. Our go-tos are Rock-a-bye Baby and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
11:30pm - My hair is disheveled, I'm exhausted, but I usually stay up until at least 1am washing and folding all of the clothes, so I don't have any loads to do the following day. I also take this time to catch up on my favorite shows. 'Orange is the New Black' is what I'm currently watching. Once I'm done, I put all the folded clothes in a basket, where they usually sit for a few days until I have a free moment to put them away. The life of a mom.
And that's our typical Monday! As a stay-at-home mom, whether this answers the age-old question, "What do you do all day?" is up to interpretation. Granted, no day is ever the same. Some days I scrub poop off of every surface of the playroom, some days my oldest spends the majority of his time playing outside, some days I vacuum the whole house, some days my butt barely leaves the chair while I edit photos, some days we hang out with friends, some days we actually go places, and some days I don't get out of my pajamas and do practically nothing at all. Our life is a beautifully chaotic mixture of moments and I'm so glad I finally did this project to preserve just one day out of the thousands we'll have in our lifetime.