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A Day in the Life of Stacy DiMaggio

5:40AM Wake up to the muffled tweeting sound of my cell phone. I spend the next five minutes looking for it. I sleep with it every night and never know where it will end up by morning. Found! It was at the foot of the bed under Sydney’s fuzzy slipper, lodged in the driver’s side of some kind of toy Army truck. I jump out of bed and spend the next 30 minutes getting ready. Since I would much rather sleep than get ready in the morning, I have the getting-ready process down to a science.

6:15AM Go downstairs half-dressed to let the dog, Dracula, out. Open the sliding glass door thinking, “Surely nobody is up and looking around this early.” I look up and notice a neighbor watering her flowers.  Our eyes meet briefly. I know she will never speak of this moment because although I’m in my bra, she’s got a cigarette in her mouth.  Her family is unaware of her smoking habit.

6:20AM Grab my shirt out of the dryer, pour two bowls of cereal and run upstairs to wake up the two youngest ones. They share a room with two twin beds, even though we have enough bedrooms for everyone in the house to have their own. It was the only way I could get them to sleep in their own bed every night. Alone, they always said they were “scared.” I know this arrangement will not last much longer, as Ray is getting older and will want his own room. Ray is the hardest to wake up. I resort to tickling him. Sydney still wants to be carried, and even though she’s 7, my monkey-like instincts take over and I carry her downstairs with Ray dragging behind us half-asleep.

6:30AM I finish getting ready and I hear Dracula barking in the backyard. My mom lives next door and has complained that he wakes her up sometimes, so I bolt downstairs to let him in.

6:40AM Run upstairs to say goodbye to Ashley. She doesn’t have to be at school until 9am, so she sleeps later. Their dad lives nearby, and he comes later to take them all to school, which is much appreciated. I grab some earrings and run out the door with a plastic cup full of cereal that I will eat when I stop at stoplights.

7AM Call the kids on my cell phone to tell them to get dressed. Sydney always answers.

7:15AM Call the kids one last time to tell them their dad will be there soon and ask them to wake up Ashley.

7:20AM Arrive at work. My job is different every day, and I like the variety. My day is filled with phone calls, e-mails, meetings and lunch (my personal favorite).

3:30PM My mom picks up the kids at school for me, which makes me the luckiest girl in the world. She is retired and, since she lives next door, I count on her more than I should. I take a moment to count my blessings. I start driving home … traffic isn’t bad at this time of day.

4PM I get a call from Sydney. “Ray is being mean,” she says. I ask, “Where is Ashley?” since Ashley is the oldest in the house and should be in charge. “She’s right here, on the computer,” she answers. I talk to them the rest of the way home, resolving issues and finding out how their day went.

4:30PM I walk in the door to “I’m hungry!” before I even put down my purse. I look over and notice that Dracula had an “accident” … “Oh, we forgot to let him out when we got home!” I get on the computer and check my e-mails.

5:30PM I need to go grocery shopping and I can’t find anything to cook, so we jump in the car and drive to Taco Bell. I order from the “Fresco” menu, so I can keep my girlish figure. Ray is mad because he wants Kentucky Fried Chicken.

6PM We go for a walk to the playground down the street. I see that my neighbors are doing yard work together and it makes me miss the companionship of being married. I take a moment to appreciate my life.

7PM Ashley realizes that she forgot to tell me she needs some colored pencils for a project that has to be turned in by tomorrow. We all get in the car and drive to Wal-Mart. We get home and play a game of PIG (a shorter version of HORSE) in the cul-de-sac.

8PM Make Ray a bowl of cereal.

9PM Ray and Sydney take showers and get ready for bed.

9:45PM Tuck Ray and Sydney into bed and talk to Ashley about her day. I put a load of clothes in the washer and fold the clothes from the dryer while we talk. She goes to bed. I spend the next five minutes chasing Dracula down to put him in the laundry room for the night. I find him hiding under my bed.

10:15PM Go downstairs and check my e-mail messages. I try to write a few paragraphs in the book I’m working on about a single mom with three kids trying to survive and date! It’s a comedy!

10:30PM Watch the news while drifting off to sleep and cuddling my cell phone.