Melissa, the director of operations for Associa Services, is mother to 19-month-old Noah. She and husband Aaron, a retail manager, were surprised with a honeymoon pregnancy and have enjoyed sharing their early years of marriage with their son. They currently reside in Lewisville.
6AM My internal alarm clock wakes me for the first time of the day and I reach for my BlackBerry (which I affectionately call “The Devil”) and check my agenda for the day. I can go back to sleep for a bit longer as my day doesn't start until 9.
7AM Aaron nudges me hard as my final warning that the alarm clock is not going to turn itself off and he will not be hitting snooze on my behalf anymore. I get up, check The Devil again to make sure there were no last-minute meetings scheduled and jump into the shower.
7:15AM I start my 20-minute routine of hair drying, moisturizing, teeth brushing and dressing.
7:30AM Aaron wakes Noah. He changes Noah's diaper and picks out clothes. Sometimes the outfits match; most days they are straight out of daddy's style catalog.
7:45AM I load my briefcase, laptop bag, purse and Noah's bags into my car. Aaron gives Noah his cup of milk, we exchange a quick kiss, and off we go. I am grateful for HOV lanes and that the law allows me to use a 19-month-old as my passenger. I am not a morning person, and Noah and I ride in silence. He listens to his kiddie tunes while I zone out.
8:30AM Aaron's 71-year-old grandma takes care of Noah daily. She is a very healthy lady and I don't know what I would do without her. She meets us at the door, breakfast cooked and on the table for Noah, and after a quick exchange of the kiddo and his bag I am off. Noah goes to blow me a kiss but then is distracted by the cat. Oh well!
9AM I pull into my office garage and finish my makeup quickly. I am already listening to a call on The Devil as I take the stairs up to my office, plug in my machine and start my cup of coffee. My staff knows to avoid me in the mornings and I shut my door for the remainder of the call so I won't distract them. I have meetings scheduled non-stop today.
11:30AM I pull out my emergency flat iron and fix that one unruly hair that has been sticking up throughout all my morning meetings. Run out the door to a lunch meeting where we are discussing Associa Supports Kids, our newest program. I can't help but think how blessed I am to work for a company that takes interest in kids and keeping them safe, especially my own!
12:15PM I excuse myself from the table to call Grandma and check in on Noah. He's a perfect angel, as she always says. I text Aaron to see how his day is going, then call Noah's pediatrician to schedule his 18-month check up, a month late. The nurse doesn't sound surprised.
6PM I wrap up my last Webinar and head out the door with a quick good night to those who are still in the office. I make a couple of last-minute calls from The Devil as I sit in traffic. I have to make the most of the hour in traffic, or else it would drive me nutty.
6:45PM Surprise! I made it to Grandmas before 7pm for once! Noah and Grandma are happy to see me. As we walk out the door he points up and says, “moon.” I hug him tight. He is so smart and I am so lucky. I tell Noah about my day and ask about his. He mostly talks about the animals he saw at the farm Grandma lives on (He knows every animal sound I can think of!).
7:15PM We pull in, check the mail and go inside. Noah strips immediately to diaper only. I change his diaper and then we wash our hands and I warm him up some leftovers. He sits in his highchair eating while I start dinner for Aaron and me. We listen to music and hang out.
8PM Dinner has been done for a few minutes and I get a text from Aaron that he will be stuck at work until 9. This is a regular thing, unfortunately, as he manages a retail store. I try to think of how lucky we are in this economy and not get frustrated. I eat dinner in the living room while watching a DVRed episode of Ellen. Noah plays with his animals on the floor. He loves to dance so he likes Ellen's show.
8:45PM Aaron texts he is on his way home and I put Noah in the tub. We count our toes and fingers and play with the duckies in the tub. I try to sneak in reading an article or two from one of my many favorite magazines while letting Noah play in the water.
9PM I get Noah out of the tub, put on his PJs (which he takes right back off a short time later) and then we read a book.
9:15PM Daddy walks in exhausted but really excited to see Noah. They exchange really big hugs. Aaron always takes Noah into our bedroom while he takes off his work clothes and puts on casual clothes. They play and talk while I clean up a bit.
9:30PM Aaron eats dinner while talking to Noah. I sneak into our bathroom and make myself a warm bath. Ahhh! I look forward to this more and more every day.
9:45PM I rock Noah to sleep while Aaron and I watch one of the programs we try to watch together. Sometimes I sneak a peek at The Devil to read through my e-mails. This annoys Aaron.
10PM Noah is out and I put him in bed. I pick up my book for the class I am taking and start studying. I see the novel I have been reading for three months on the nightstand and secretly wish I could read that instead. This class is killing my personal reading time, but furthering my education is important to me. Aaron watches TV and checks e-mail.
10:45PM I check my work e-mail and respond to anything urgent. I throw a load of laundry in the washer and make a mental list of the chores that are falling further and further behind.
11PM I kiss Aaron good night and fall into bed. Quickly I say a small prayer that my family will continue to be blessed with happiness and safety.