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A Day in the Life of Peter Dinh

Peter and wife Beverly live in Arlington with their daughters Lauren, 10, and Reagan, 7. He works as a research study monitor at Alcon R&D, where Beverly also works. In addition to parenting their girls (and their dogs Carson and Bentley) and working full-time, Peter and Beverly operate an online cupcake business called SugarLush Cupcakes on the side.

5am I wake up in anticipation of 5:15am on my cell phone alarm clock. This is odd because (1) I typically don’t wake up for anything and (2) it’s Monday! My body is completely drained from last night’s soccer game. I easily fall back asleep.

5:15-6am Bev and I take turns hitting the snooze buttons on our phones every five minutes. Carson and Bentley are constantly whimpering to be let outside. Between the alarms and the whimpering, I’m almost too tired to be annoyed … almost.

6:04am I finally roll out of bed and I struggle to find my way through the house. I let the dogs outside and feed them. In the meantime, Bev has woken up the girls, picked out outfits and jumped in the shower.

6:10am Back in the bedroom, I iron four sets of clothes and watch some local news. Reagan switches the channel to SpongeBob SquarePants and we share a few morning laughs, but I quickly realize we’re short on time.

6:25am I put on SportsCenter in the living room and go into the kitchen to make lunches. Since we’re off to a late start, I throw together anything I can find.

7:05am We’re officially late to take the girls to their child care where they are taken to school by bus. We go with Plan B: Drop them off at school no later than 7:30. Relief! I brew some coffee.

7:25am In the kitchen, I find Bev with breakfast and coffee ready to go. I pack the car and I suddenly realize it’s trash day. I run for the trash bags and recycle bins and throw them by the curb. Off to school we go!

7:41am Hugs, kisses and the girls are dropped off at school. Time to go fight traffic, eat our breakfast and listen to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning.  

8:06am Made it to work on time—YES! (If you count the 10-minute grace period …)

10am Tornado drill! We all gather in a tight, secure hallway. Small space + lots of people = Too close for comfort. After 10 minutes, the tornado drill is complete and I realize the outfit of choice today is a black polo with gray slacks. I didn’t get the memo, but I fit in nicely.  

11:25am Wow, this morning has flown by. It’s lunchtime already. After a few phone calls, I’m off to the store for the party drinks.

12:30pm At my desk having lunch, researching continuing education opportunities and updating spreadsheets.

1:48pm The effect of lunch is starting to kick in. Zzz. Must. Get. Coffee!

2pm My energy levels are back up! I’m working on a plan to meet my job expectations for the remainder of 2011. I also have some research studies I need to go over and required training to complete.

3:35pm I get a text from Lauren as I do every day at this time: “Hi Daddy! Hi Hi Hi Hi!”  This alone tells me she had a great day and she’s thinking about me. It tugs at my heart the same every day.

5pm Bev and I rush home get ready for Reagan’s soccer practice. With the one-way conversations I have with my fellow drivers, the ride home is no less exciting than the ride to work.

5:45pm Dogs fed—check! Dogs outside—check! Change for practice—check! Girls’ soccer gear—check! Snacks—check! Then we’re out the door again.

6:05pm Picking up the girls at their child care and getting them dressed for practice.

6:30pm Only three of six players show up so we take advantage of the small group and work on individual offensive and defensive skills. The girls are enjoying the extra personal attention and we’re having lots of laughs tonight.

7:45pm I heat and serve dinner I prepared the night before. Every time I serve food, Lauren gives me a “YEAAAAAH!” and Reagan, “Thank you, daddy!” They’re simple words, but music to my ears.

8:30pm While I’m cleaning up the kitchen, the girls take quick showers and Bev tucks them into bed. No time for books tonight, but always time for some girl talk. I have no idea what they’re saying, but I love seeing the three of them lie squeezed in Reagan’s twin bed in deep conversation.

9:05pm Tonight, Bev and I have just enough energy to spend some time alone so we sit down to finish watching the last 40 minutes of The Hurt Locker from the previous night. Great movie!

10pm As tired as I am, I give Bev the back massage I promised her. Pretty soon, she’s in dreamland.

10:50pm I’ve decided to substitute Reagan’s soccer practice as my “workout” for the day, so I pull out the laptop to catch up on current events and sports. I try to stay up a little longer to catch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. About five minutes later, I can no longer fight the weight of my eyelids, and within seconds, I’m out like a light …