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A Day in the Life of Elizabeth Van Goor

Mom to 4-year-old twin boys, Spencer and William (who has Trisomy 18 Mosaic, a rare genetic disorder), Van Goor is expecting a third child in early May. In addition to her sons’ busy schedules at The Rise School, Van Goor works from home for a software company while her husband, Tom, is away on business travel (for a technology firm) about 50 percent of the year.

5:41AM I am awakened by the sound of small feet on the carpet. Spencer arrives at my bedside. “Mommy? Is it time to get up yet?” I check my clock and tell him it’s OK to watch Noggin and I then attempt to fall back to sleep. My growing belly and baby girl tell me to get up.  

6:15AM Our two retrievers begin to pace as happy morning noises become audible from the boys’ room.

6:25AM I make coffee and prepare the boys’ lunches. I lecture myself again that I’m crazy not to have made their lunches the night before.  

6:45AM Spencer says he wants “nothing” to eat. Not helpful. He’s going to get oatmeal, just like his brother.  

6:52AM I feed William breakfast while I drink my coffee and encourage Spencer to hurry.  

7:15AM We line up for our multivitamins and vitamin D drops. Now it’s time to get dressed.  

7:32AM We’re ready to go? No wait, I have to get dressed! I throw on some jeans and a light sweater. We attempt to get out the door and into the car. I hold William’s hand as we slowly head to the garage. He is still learning to walk and gets easily distracted by his curiosity; we’re nearly trampled by the dogs, who insist on riding along.

7:52AM Spencer announces that we’ve forgotten Teddy and his blanket and William’s stuffed dog, Gary. I make another trip in and out, grabbing a second cup of coffee. My "cups of coffee" are half coffee and half milk (even though I’m pregnant, I love my coffee!).  

8:04AM We finally arrive at school and make our way to class. I lead William by the hand, while Spencer holds the door and greets all the other early arrivals.

8:09AM We reach William’s class first. Spencer doesn’t want to leave this class, which was his class just four months ago. Instead of fighting the fight today, I ask if the teacher will take him to his class after I leave. I put William’s lunch, drink and Gary into his cubby.

8:17AM I cross the hall to Spencer’s class and let his teachers know his whereabouts. I drop off his lunch, Teddy and blanket and finally return to the car.

8:28AM I’m starving and the bagel shop is screaming my name. At the drive-through, I order an “everything” bagel with veggie cream cheese. Surely those veggies count for something.

8:35AM Get home and head straight to my office. It’s time to get to work.

11:15AM Change into yoga pants that still fit and grab the dogs’ leashes for a quick walk.  

11:50AM Get back home and microwave a frozen dinner. I eat lunch at my desk.

1:35PM The nanny arrives and puts a load of the boys’ laundry in the washer while I quickly fix a snack for William to eat before his speech therapy. He will only swallow purees and soft foods. We’re working on the chewing. I grab a bottle of water and sliced apples for Spencer. While William is in physical and speech therapies, Spencer has soccer. The nanny grabs the snacks and my car keys and takes off.

2PM Conference call. During the call, I realize that I haven’t even thought of dinner. Thank goodness daddy will be home tonight. I text him and request that he pick up bread.

4:40PM Read an e-mail from William’s speech therapist about the day’s progress and briefly respond.

5:15PM The boys’ arrival is loud and I’m in the midst of another call. I’m relieved that I remembered to shut my door.  

5:35PM The nanny leaves and I sit in the playroom for 15 minutes, letting the boys climb all over me. This is a fun time of the day.  

5:55PM It’s time to start dinner. Daddy won’t be home until 7 p.m., so everyone gets something different.

6:15PM Luckily, tonight the boys eat with gusto!  

6:45PM Bath time.

7:10PM Pajamas and teeth brushing. Spencer has selected three books to read when daddy gets home (right about now). I elect my husband to do the reading and I grab William’s medicines.

7:30PM Gather the stuffed animals and blanket and head for the boys’ beds. Spencer potties and we say our prayers.  
7:37PM Lights out and time for mommy and daddy’s quiet time (and dinner!).  We reheat frozen chili and warm the bread.  

8:03PM We eat and visit and watch a little Discovery Channel.

10:05PM Lights out and I drift to sleep lecturing myself again that I should have made the boys' lunches for the next day.