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A Day in the Life of Charlene Garcia

Charlene Garcia is the mother of 3-year-old Ethan Rene and 20-month-old Charlize Renee. A business analyst at UT in Dallas, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband J.R., owner of a media installation company.

7:15AM Wake up; get dressed.

7:45AM Start packing miscellaneous items (trains, dollies, random snacks, etc) in the kids’ bags for their visit to grandma’s house. Try to remember to take something out of the fridge for dinner.

8AM Wake up the kiddies. Assist them with brushing their teeth and washing their faces. Leave pajamas on (because grandma dresses them up … thank goodness!).

8:15AM Realize I’m behind for work and really should be leaving NOW! Load the kids into their car seats and head over to grandma’s. The 30-minute ride involves singing Itsy Bitsy Spider and Ethan pointing out every color and shape he sees along the way.

8:40AM Drop the kiddies off. Drive to work listening to the Rickey Smiley morning show (I need the laughs.) and switching to an upbeat, hip-hop station to get me ready for the long day ahead.

9:10AM Arrive at work.

9:30AM Begin checking e-mails and voice mails. Begin a long day of support, development and training for clinical and hospital employees and meetings.

11AM Call mom to chat about nothing. Call sister to chat about nothing some more. My mom, sister and I are really close. We talk every single day, even if it’s about, well, nothing.

NOON Starving. Must. Get. Food. Head downstairs to the local deli to grab a salad, chicken and their delicious mac and cheese … my weakness.

3PM Realize that the day is almost over, and there is still so much work that needs to be done. Sigh. Tell myself it’ll be here tomorrow, because it will. Work even more diligently for the next few hours until it’s time to wrap things up.

6PM Look out the window near my desk and dread that the “sun is sleeping,” as Ethan would say. Not loving the whole daylight savings time change, though we’re months into this—I can’t get used to it. Head home.

6:10PM Drive home listening to sports radio … don’t ask … I’m not even a sports kind of girl.

6:30PM Arrive at my mother-in-law’s house to pick up the kiddies. We exchange lots of kisses and hugs. They’re nicely dressed and have eaten dinner … thank goodness for grandma! Head home.

7:15PM Arrive at home, immediately begin preparing dinner. Let the kids play. Ethan spends his time building train tracks and Charlize spends her time breaking Ethan’s tracks apart and running around the room with track pieces in hand. Never a dull moment with these two! I love them oh-so much!

8PM Dad gets home, dinner is ready, and we eat. Usually the kiddies sit with us and eat a small second dinner. Dad and I talk about the day and engage in conversation with Charlize and Ethan about their day. Usually the response is something about Ethan’s trains, something about Dora the Explorer, the different shapes and colors he’s seen or how he’d like to play with the iPad.

8:30PM Wash one load of clothes to avoid the monstrosity of a major pile at the end of the week. Pray my husband starts cleaning the kitchen.

9PM Start getting kids ready for bed. Read a random book that Ethan chooses and then another book that I choose for Charlize. Tell kiddies it’s time to head to bed. Ethan tells me “the sun is sleeping”… I tell him that’s why we all have to go to bed. Brush their teeth, help them change into their pajamas and tuck the kids into bed.

9:30PM Let my husband know that the kids are finally down. We pray that Charlize doesn’t wake up crying “mommy” and then, after hearing no response, switch over to calling for dad.

9:45PM Put clothes in the dryer. Decide if I’m going to watch some TV with my husband, a girly show I’ve recorded or just browse the Net—looking for our next vacation.

10:30PM Start cleaning up the debris from the “tornado” that hit my living room and wonder how I didn’t remember to ask the kiddies to help clean up their mess.

11PM Realize it’s late and I should be going to sleep, but I’m such a night owl. Browse my closet for an ensemble for work tomorrow. Make a mental note of items I have in the closet, but will let how I feel in the morning decide what I’ll actually wear.

11:20PM Take a shower.

11:30PM Climb into bed. Bury my always-cold feet under hubby. Cuddle. Play a couple of games of Words With Friends on my iPhone. Reflect on the day. Wonder if there is anything I need to remember for tomorrow: Did I miss any deadlines? Hope I remember to pack any miscellaneous items for the kiddies.