Kim Martinelli is a speech therapist. She and her husband of 15 years, Brent, an attorney, live in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas together with their sons, Thomas, 10, and Gage, 8. Her older son, Thomas, is diagnosed with Zellweger Spectrum Disorder, a “rare genetic autosomal recessive disorder.”
5:15AM The alarm goes off. I get up after snoozing only once – woohoo! Get up and head out to meet friends for an early morning run, aka my “free therapy.” It’s the best way to start the day.
6:30AM Back home. Take a shower and pack lunches before the boys get up.
6:55AM Wake up the boys. After a few attempts, I get them up, and help pick their clothes because they’re too tired to pick their own. Thomas tells me he doesn’t like his alarm clock and needs a new one. This one beeps so loud, it wakes him up when he’s sleeping so well. Ha!
7:05AM Take breakfast orders: eggs for Thomas, cereal for Gage. Turn on SportsCenter and the boys give me a rundown of the football stats while I finish.
7:15AM The boys eat and I get dressed for the day.
7:25AM Remind the boys to brush their teeth, pack their backpacks and put on shoes. Help with final touches of hair gel, make sure they take their meds and confirm that they actually did brush their teeth. Thomas feeds Simon, our 13-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer.
7:38AM Brent takes the boys to school on his way to work downtown. Hugs and kisses for all.
7:40AM Fix scrambled eggs and toast for my breakfast. I take five whole minutes to sit, eat and gear up for the day.
8AM I head to work. On the drive, I catch up on my favorite podcast, Up and Vanished.
8:30AM Arrive. I work for a private speech and language therapy clinic that serves students at Dallas area private schools. I travel between two schools four days a week, but today I’m at one school. My first speech therapy appointment is with my favorite 4-year-old client, teaching him to say ‘K’ and ‘G’ sounds. The rest of the morning is spent working with pre-kindergarten and elementary school students on their speech and language skills.
11AM Break time. Drive downtown to drop off Thomas’ broken hearing aid for repair. Enjoy my sandwich and baked Cheetos, and call my mom to spend a few minutes catching up while I drive back to work.
12PM Back to the school. I see my last five students for appointments and pack up for the day.
2:45PM I wrap up work and head to the boys’ school. Thomas and Gage usually walk home from school, but some days I like to surprise them with a free ride. While waiting in the carpool line, I return a few emails and calls.
3:05PM The boys spot my car and run across the playground to me. They are both so happy to be spared from the three-block walk home. We head home for a healthy snack and homework time. Thomas works on his math facts while Gage sets his 15-minute timer and reads one of his Dog Man books.
4:45PM The three of us head over to Thomas’ swim practice. While Thomas practices his strokes, Gage and I get a little hang out time. He tells me all about the new season of Fortnite and gives me the play-by-play of today’s recess football game.
5:45PM Back home. I get started on dinner—it’s taco Tuesday, which is everyone’s favorite. My boys tell me absolutely no soft tacos, only crunchy shells, so it’s super messy. Taco nights usually call for a sweep and mop afterward. I make ground beef for the boys and ground turkey for myself, so that I can use it in taco salads for lunch during the week. Brent walks in right before we sit down to eat.
6:30PM The boys and I head outside to play football. I play quarterback for each boy, so that they can take turns with one on defense and one trying to catch. Our neighbor, Gage’s BFF, comes out to join and the game becomes a competitive two-on-two showdown.
7:30PM The boys bathe while I make a snack plate for their “second dinner.”
I roll up slices of turkey with cubes of cheddar cheese, and some almonds, sliced apples and a handful of Goldfish. They are only 8 and 10, but boy can they eat! Thank goodness for Costco.
8PM Tuck Gage into bed with a book and prayers, then head to Thomas’ room for the same routine. Bedtime is when the boys relax and want to tell me all the details of the day. It may be a stall tactic for them to avoid going to sleep, but I love our evening conversations.
8:30PM Time for me to relax. Just kidding! I do a load of laundry, make tomorrow’s to-do list, pack my workbag and prep for upcoming appointments.
9PM I curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and my comfy robe to indulge in a little bit of my guilty pleasure, Real Housewives. After an episode, Brent joins me on the couch. We catch up on the day and watch an episode of Ozark.
10:30PM Settle into bed and read my latest book club pick, The Nightingale. I love to read, and usually finish two to three books a week.
11:30PM Light’s out!