Day in the life of a working mom: 2/14/19

February 14, 2019. A regular Tuesday except for the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day. Here’s what real life is like with 5 kids, working part time, and doing our best to remain sane and happy. 😉 This is a real life look, not some Pinterest-worthy stuff that’s sugar coated. We all have our shortcomings and I’m definitely not a perfect mom. I genuinely love and enjoy my family and we really try to do our best. But us moms all need our time outs and chocolate occasionally 🙂

I should add that I keep this schedule 3 days/week. The other 4 days are 100% Costello-mom-of-5 days that I spend doing all things mom/kids/home!

5:30 am My alarm goes off. I try not to hit snooze because we all know that just gets you in trouble. I get up and immediately get dressed and ready as silently as I can in our bathroom. I kind of pride myself on my mouse-like morning skills. I make sure J is awake and head downstairs once I’m ready. I get my pump and work bag together, grab some breakfast. I made my people a special baked oatmeal breakfast with a Sharpie message. True love, folks.


I read a few blogs and reply to some personal emails when I retrieve my phone. {About 2 years ago we started leaving our phones in the kitchen at night to charge instead of upstairs on our nightstands and it has been the best. We went old school and bought two $7 alarm clocks. It’s been a simple yet life changing habit that we maintain! I recommend it!} Anyways, I realize that there are 2 FULL bottles of milk left in my pump bag from Tuesday. This is called mom-brain and it’s a problem. I silently curse and feel sick to my stomach as I dump the milk down the drain. It’s a sad way to start the day. I mutter in my head about the kids leaving their snow stuff all over the kitchen. Again, I’m so mouse-like 😉 I have to move it all to get out the door. One of the many things we are constantly addressing with the kids! Maybe one day they’ll get it (?) I have hope! I sneak out and all kids are still sleeping!


6:20 am I start the van and get all my things in. I pump while I drive to work. Now here’s the thing. I have to be efficient with my time that I’m away from my family, and pumping while I drive is one way I’ve found to maximize my time. I pump IMMEDIATELY before and after work so that I don’t have to clock out to pump while I’m there, which is about 6 hours. If the roads are bad I figure something else out, but for the most part it works. Only once in awhile do I get a double take from a truck driver during the daylight hours.


I get to work and get my things in order, turn my work brain and computer on, reply to emails, check out my caseload for the day and do some admin work before others come in. My first patient is at 7am. She’s kind of sleepy too.

I see patients from 7am-1pm, sometimes with maybe one opening, usually none. I see patients for 40 mins at a time, back to back to back. I am rarely slow at work and don’t get a lot of desk time. I really enjoy what I do!!!!  We have a lot of fun and I love how each patient gives me a new challenge. I love chatting with people, learning their story and helping to heal them. It’s been a huge blessing in my life. Thanks to HIPAA regulations, I cannot share any pictures from my clinic or this part of my day 😉  We have a whole slew of knee replacements right now and my oldest patient is 90. My job is definitely never boring!

1pm My last patient leaves and so do I! My documentation and admin work is not done, but I will find time over the next few days to squeak some in, likely after kids are asleep. I head home, pumping once again. #efficiency

I get home and chat with my family a bit. The girls were outside building a snowman and it’s adorable! Nana leaves and I immediately put Ruth down for a nap. She complies without a fight, we read one book and she’s snuggled happily in her bed. During this time Amelia gets out her legos and starts building. I warm up some lunch because now it’s almost 2pm and I. AM. STARVING. I eat lunch, hold Kateri and play a little legos with Amelia. We build Rapunzel a tower and swing. My lego gal rides a motorcycle.


To Amelia’s dismay I leave legoville to go workout. Sometimes this works and sometimes not, just depending on the kind of day we are having and what is going on. Amelia usually works out with me if there’s lots of ‘jumping around exercises’. She’s quite the nimble athlete! Most days I try to squeeze it in before the end of the school day because after that there’s a 90% chance of it NOT happening. I love love love HASfit and have for years. I do a shorter workout today because 1) my bod is tired from Tues and Wed’s workouts 2) I ate too much lunch 3) I have a headache all of a sudden 4) Amelia is dancing around me the entire time asking what we can play when I’m done. She finally gets out Boggle and works alone on that and spells ‘bird’ without looking at the letters! She’s so proud! Kateri plays on the blanket with a heap of toys. Amelia only knocks her over once.


I finish my workout and have about 30 mins before school’s out. Kateri decides she needs to eat so I’m forced to sit down and nurse and I’m ok with that. Amelia begs to watch a show and I let her. The quiet is nice and a good way to recharge.

3:25pm and it’s time to go! I get Ruth out of bed and strap Kateri in the carseat while Amelia puts boots on and we’re off. I’m thankful that it’s a balmy 35 degrees today and we don’t have to bundle up so much!


Amelia throws a fit about ‘why do we always have to take Gabriel to swim?’ that I reply with ‘Remember t-ball is coming soon and how would you feel…..?’. Despite her best efforts she gets in and buckles up. I give them each 1 swedish fish candy and Amelia hangs it out like a tongue. Why is it so hard to be 5?!


School pickup. G and L jump in and immediately launch into a rundown of their day, Valentine’s parties, when can we look at more first communion dresses, how long is my swimming practice tonight, what is for dinner, my snowpants are wet, can we eat more Valentine’s candy, Amelia is touching me, etc etc etc.

We drive to drop off Gabriel at swim team practice. He always hugs me, gets out through the front door, returns the “I love you!” and waves to me like a man before he turns around and walks in. Melts my heart a little bit each time. I tell him daily to never get too old to hug his mom.


We drive the 10 minutes home and the girls get right into some deep crafting/fighting/drawing/bickering on the dining room table. Ah, girls. 🙂 Lucy wants help on her Canva project she’s working on. Amelia wants to help me in the kitchen. Ruth has convinced someone to get down a set of twistable crayons for her use along with some paper she’s helped herself to. Kateri is asleep in the carseat carrier. I spend some time in the laundry room, which is actually my favorite room in the house, believe it or not. If the kids can’t find me, that’s usually where I am. We are behind in laundry because I didn’t do any for 2 days. That is a big deal considering that’s at least 3 loads we’re behind!

4:30pm I start dinner. I try to start dinner every night at 4:30 because then we usually manage to eat around 6pm, which is ideal. It doesn’t take 1.5 hours to make dinner, but it does when you are interrupted 4,397 times. 😉 Tonight I make instant pot chicken and rice. Enter kitchen helper #1. She’s cute.


Amelia has always loved to help in the kitchen. She pours everything I hand her into the instant pot and stirs and helps seal it and turn it on. She also wants to make cookies. Sounds like a great idea to me, chocolate chip it is! We mix those up. Ruth runs back and forth out of the kitchen and then needs new pants and Lucy diligently works on her Canva project but constantly wants my opinion on colors, backgrounds, etc. I bet the word ‘mom’ is said 1,000 times in this 1 hour and 15 mins. No joke.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say my blood pressure was rising up and up during this, despite my efforts. I want to be calm, present and pleasant with my kids, but I also just want to get dinner going kids! Don’t you want to eat tonight?! Every mom’s dilemma….

We make sure the cookie dough tastes good (of course it does!) and then jet off to pick up G from swim. Normally Jeremiah would do this job and I wouldn’t have to rush out with all the kids again, but he is picking up a grocery order that I placed last night so we stand in for pickup, just for tonight. I like that we are able to split things!

5:35pm Pick up Gabriel at swim. His coach treats them for the end of the season with a drumstick ice cream treat. More sugar on St Valentines day! Whoa! He loves swim and always enters the van with a smile. Love that!

We go home and dinner is ready. I LOVE MY INSTANT POT. I could shout it from the rooftops.

Kateri finally wakes up. She napped from 3:30-6, entirely in her carseat. This poor 5th child knows no nap schedule. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but she’s a quite flexible child and I thank God for that. Jeremiah arrives with a car full of groceries. The kids all don coats, even Ruth who is pants-less, and they carry in all the groceries. We all put them away, the kids carry all the stuff that goes to the basement fridge and deep freeze to the basement and put it away. I then have to enlist the girls to clear the table so that we have a place to eat. The table is covered in their art, games, etc. It always boggles my mind how they make such a massive mess in such a short time!

I dish up dinner (7 bowls/plates now as Kateri eats table food (!)) and everyone grabs their bowl, we sit down, pray, eat. Everyone has something to say. Ruth bites Gabriel on the hiney after she’s released from her booster seat. (How does that even happen, you ask? Good question!) She almost has to go to bed for the night until she decides to apologize. Kids have to ask to be excused and clear their own area, wash hands and face if needed.

6:45pm We clean up dinner. Everyone has a job and everyone clears their own dishes from the table. I always load the dishwasher. Amelia, Gabriel and Lucy rotate in wiping the table, emptying the dishwasher, sweeping and putting things/leftovers away. Ruth helps wash dishes and bottles that remain. We usually turn on music and it’s fun. Jeremiah floats and is supervisor of the kid’s jobs and assists where needed. There is always A LOT OF DISHES. And we do them EVERY NIGHT.


Enter kitchen helper #2. She’s also cute.


Gabriel sweeps while on his hoverboard (quite the skill!) and Lucy is put in charge of finishing up the cookies. Enter kitchen helper #3. She’s my oldest girl cutie and a great helper.


The kids are becoming more and more helpful and wonderful and awesome little and medium-sized people. And the kids are loud. I love them to death but sometimes this introvert mama needs to step away for a second.  I sneak upstairs and start talking to Jeremiah about something with his work that is quite important. 42 seconds later (I know, I timed it) there is a little person looking for me and the conversation is interrupted. Oh, children.

We have some down time where the kids bounce around between activities and we chat and chill. We try not to have the TV on in the evenings. But sometimes the kids get 30 mins to watch a show, and that’s ok.

8 pm Kids go to brush teeth. Ruth refuses help with her pajamas, just like every night. She’s quite the independent child and often gets it figured out herself! Yay for independence! The girls pick out a book and I snap this gem:


We always have done kid’s bedtime all together and it’s usually nice. Read, say prayers, kids in bed. Although now G tends to want to read on his own for awhile while the girls get read to. After younger girls are in bed, Jeremiah reads a chapter book aloud to Gabriel and Lucy in G’s room. I usually sneak off with Kateri during this time and switch the laundry again or get her ready for bed or eat chocolate from my secret stash 😉 If Kateri is napping or occupied, I sometimes lay with G or L and we chat about whatever they want. That is something I wish I could do every night because it. is. the. best.

9pm Kateri is ready for bed. I swaddle her and nurse her to sleep. She’s such a sweet pea. She still sleeps in her bassinett in our room and I’m trying to figure out where to go from here. Looking like the girls will be bunking 4 in their room soon!


Jeremiah and I usually rest and read after the kids are in bed. We rarely do TV and try to leave electronics alone after 9pm as well. Reading goals are being met and crushed! I usually turn out the lights at 10pm and am asleep promptly by 10:03pm. #momlife


There’s a day in the life of our crazy family. It’s sometimes overwhelming but it’s always the biggest blessing of our lives and I am thankful every day for it!


Friday Five: 2/8/19


  1. Hallelujah! Ruth is potty training! 4th kid that has successfully made it out of diapers in this house! And she has finally calmed down some. Maybe now I won’t have to take out the trash every day. My days of cloth diapering, although fond memories, are looooong gone. Kateri continues to truck on through and dirties enough for all of us, so that’ll still keep me busy.


2.  Someone has turned 6 months old! Kateri is growing so fast and is just the best little person. She is rocking solid food and eats what we eat. I do baby food only when we don’t have something easily eaten by a person with no teeth. It works well. She’s in that ultra-gumby stage where she can put her entire foot in her mouth, fold entirely in half and put her face on the floor, as well as ring sit with her knees flat on the floor. Ah, to have that much cartilage again! She can sit up unassisted, which is one of my favorite milestones because now she can entertain herself (and siblings!) and I don’t have to always have something to ‘put her in’. JOY! She’s got 2 cute little teeth on the bottom and tolerates her sisters picking her up and carrying her around when I’m not looking. Oh, and she has the best laugh and cutest dimple. I may be a bit partial.

3.  This guy had his last swim meet of the season last weekend. When we signed G up for swim I remember thinking how loooong the season seemed (he started in October), but now we are all sad it’s ending. Besides becoming a much stronger, better, faster swimmer, the kid has grown several inches it seems (up to my chin!!!) and has gained a lot of dedication and motivation and muscle mass, which is awesome to be a part of. His team has 2 photogs that take awesome pics at each meet that they share with all of us parents, so here’s a few more of my favorites from the season:


4.  Yep. We’re now frequenting the orthodontist. Good times. So far it’s been a good experience and Lucy was pleasantly surprised that her maxillary expander placement was painfree, although she was disappointed that she will have to pass on sticky candy at Valentine’s Day and/or trade her siblings for chocolate. I think she’ll survive. Shout out to the staff at Clark Orthodontics because they have been great to work with!

5. What’s that? You’ve been looking for some good new recipes to try? Well, it just so happens that I have a few! Yes my kids eat these and no, there’s not much for leftovers. Here are some new favorites in our house as of late:

Instant pot taco pasta

Instant pot white chicken lasagna soup

Instant pot loaded cauliflower soup

Healthy peanut butter cups  {Disclaimer–my kids don’t eat these because I hide them in the freezer where they don’t know about them and I am the only one allowed to eat them. Because I’m the mama and sometimes mama needs peanut butter and chocolate, that’s why}

Homemade granola bars

Aloha chicken rice casserole

Life is full, and it’s good!

Have a great week!




January books

As I sit at home on yet another {partial} winter weather day with the kids, 2 of which are sleeping, I thought it’d be as good a time as ever to review my 6 January reads. I’m on track for this year, and I hope to write a review each month. Goals!  Books! Learning! Yeah!!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo. 4 stars. By now everyone seems to have heard of the Kon Mari Method of organizing and simplifying your belongings. She even has her own Netflix series now! (I’ve only made it through half of the first episode, but so far it’s good and Marie Kondo couldn’t be any cuter or sweeter.) I found this book simple and thought provoking. She has great ideas on how possessions come into our lives for a reason or season, and then we may be done with them, and that’s ok (ie don’t feel bad about giving away things). ‘Does it spark joy?’ is Kondo’s motto of deciding whether or not to keep anything. She suggests doing this with every and any item that you own. EVERYTHING. With a large family in a normal sized home, clutter is a constant battle and I’m constantly getting rid of or passing on things. My issue is that the Kon Mari method seems to be good if you live alone. Or with one other person that thinks exactly like you. But with 6 other humans in our house, I’m not sure I can ever make it a reality. However, I did like many of her ideas, and for that I’m glad I read the book.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“The Seven Husbands of  Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 3 stars. After finishing “One True Loves” also by Taylor Jenkins Reid and absolutely loving it, I thought this novel was sure to be another favorite. Wellll I was mistaken. Obviously the main character has quite the marriage record, but everything that happened in between those 7 ‘marriages’ (if you want to call them that) was bizarre. Each page turn was a surprise and I finished the book thinking, I’m not sure there is anything else that she could have possibly put in this book to make it more jaw dropping. Just craziness. So, if you like bizarre books and a well- woven story, this is a book for you!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling“Is everyone hanging out without me?” by Mindy Kaling. 3 stars. The only way I know of Mindy Kaling is from The Office and she is funny! I could practically hear her voice reading this book to me. I had no idea Mindy had so much background in writing and performing comedy. This was a light read and funny, but not much for substance, which is sometimes ok between 2 other heavier reads.

Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly“Rediscovering Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly. 4 stars. I believe this is the 4th book I have read by Matthew Kelly. This was a good read, all about the Catholic faith and living your ‘authentic life’ and celebrating and enjoying the true church. I found it informative and fascinating at times, and boring and drawn out at other times. Jeremiah and I have decided that Matthew Kelly books are all good, but are all very, very similar. It seems that each sends you away with a nugget or two of new information, and the rest is a repeat. Saying that, I have another Matthew Kelly book in my to-read stack upstairs, so we shall see.

My Heart by Julie Manning“My Heart” by Julie Manning. 3 stars. This is a true story about a woman who, in the middle of her 2nd c-section, has a life threatening heart arrhythmia that leads to the discovery that she is in active heart failure. She has to have a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted in her early 30’s. That part hit a bit close to home for me! The author finds great comfort and peace in leaning on God and her faith to get her through every day, and gives great insight into living every day as if it were your last. The author goes on to live a full life from what I gathered, but in the back of her mind is always the possibility that it may be her last day.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple“Where’d you go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple. 4 stars. A humorous mystery-type story that is being made into a movie! Even fiction books can lend to a lot of learning, I’m realizing, and I learned a TON about Antarctica through this book and wouldn’t turn down a trip there myself! I had no idea how the story would turn out and I liked the chain of events and real-world way it was written. Bernadette was a quirky character that I found endearing.

There it is! My January reads. I can’t say I was overly impressed with any of my January books, really, but I have high hopes for February following my trip to the library last week 🙂