Grapevine mom Lanna Nguyen proclaims herself a night person, but she is still up with the sun. Nguyen is the owner of Smoothies Paradise in Irving; her husband Robert is a supervisory analyst for Fidelity Investments. They’re parents of 5-year-old Olive, a rising kindergartner who has been home since the pandemic began—keeping the couple even busier than usual. (Thank goodness for some iPad time!)
6:50AM I wake up before the alarm goes off—why does that happen? This morning, I have an HOA meeting at 7:45am. Robert is already in the home office, working away.
7AM I go into the office to talk about our day and come up with a game plan for Olive. We float ideas for the business. I write an old-fashioned to-do list and shopping list.
7:15AM I’m in the kitchen prepping breakfast, usually something pretty simple or something Robert and Olive can warm up. I also prep all our lunches today and make sure dinner is prepped for later.
7:35AM Time to get ready. It takes me only 10 minutes; I’m a jeans-and-T-shirt mom.
7:45AM I run out the door to meet with my HOA group outside. This is so important to me because I’ve been blessed to be part of great communities my entire life. My neighbors are some of my closest friends now.
9AM I’m back in our office replying to emails and text messages. I can get a lot done when Olive is asleep. I start the payroll process, which I’ll finish later.
9:30AM Olive is up and asks for her usual milk and a movie. I give it to her and set up all her activities—some independent, some with Dad—while I’m gone. Giving Olive an iPad usually gives Robert a good 30 minutes of time to get things done. Olive has been home with us since the start of COVID-19—a blessing and curse. I’m thankful Robert will be holding down the fort while I’m gone today.
10AM I’m out of the house. Heading to Sam’s Club. I probably visit this place at least three times a week.
11AM I open my shop, Smoothies Paradise. Business has picked up over the last four weeks, so I’m short staffed. Today, I’m mostly an employee helping customers. In between customers, I’m taking inventory and calling and texting in my orders for the week before 1pm. I make more lists for the following days.
3PM Employees relieve me from my shift. I spend a few minutes giving them a rundown of the day.
3:15PM Headed from Irving to Addison. I have a meeting with a product manager helping me with a new product.
3:40PM I ran in late to this meeting—good thing he did too! We have an extremely productive meeting. He doesn’t have a lot of extra time, and neither do I.
4:30PM The guy loads my car with new product, and I rush home to Grapevine. During traffic, I call my mom in Austin. We haven’t seen her as often as usual because of COVID-19. She’s excited that we’re vaccinated, and she and my dad want to come for a visit this weekend. Yay!
5:15PM I get home to find Olive and her dad playing Uno. She asks to go outside to play with her friends. I let her ring doorbells and gather as many friends as she can to play for the next hour before dinner. Today is chalk drawing in the driveway. I do some light yard work and try to figure out what to do with the dead bushes left from the February snowstorm.
6:30PM We go inside. As I am preparing dinner—Chilean sea bass, spinach and rice—Olive goes upstairs and plays pretend grocery store by herself. Mom guilt kicks in. I invite her down to help me make dinner.
7PM Dinnertime—my favorite time of the day. We have silly conversations over our short meal. It always takes longer for me to cook and prepare dinner than it takes to eat. I clean up and prep tomorrow night’s dinner to make it easier for me the next day.
8PM I have two new employees tonight, so I run back out to my shop to check up on them. They seem fine. I help them close, and we all head out at 9pm.
9:20PM Olive and her dad are having a dance party. [Boy band] BTS is the new thing in my house. (Don’t ask.) I was the bad guy and asked Olive to do bathtime and try to settle down for the evening.
10:30PM She’s settled in bed and wants to play a game of Go Fish. We play about five games before I turn off all the lights. We toss and turn and chit-chat for maybe 30 minutes before she falls asleep. Yes, we’re late-night people.
11PM I call this my magic time because I can get so much done when the house is quiet and nobody is bothering me. I catch up on the entire day’s obligations, like writing recommendation letters for my two high school senior employees. The two letters look very similar. Hope they aren’t applying to the same places!
12:30AM I go through all the emails that I skipped this morning. I attempt to respond to some. If you get emails from me, most of them come from this hour. Late!
1:30AM I’m getting tired, so I take a shower and try to wind down. I always turn on the TV for background noise while I reflect on the day. Today, I have total mom guilt, like I didn’t spend enough time with my kid. I should have put Olive back in school. Tomorrow is another day. I did the best I could.
2:15AM Good night, DFWChild moms! Have to go to sleep so I can get up and do this again tomorrow.
Favorite Indulgence The center of a Cinnabon roll. If it’s in front of me, I can’t stop.
Where she goes for retail therapy Like most moms, Target!
Favorite cheap meal with her family Spaghetti
Best purchase ever My Dyson Animal cordless vacuum. We don’t have a pet right now, but it cleans better than the normal vacuum. I don’t know if I could live without it.
Languages she speaks English, Vietnamese and conversational Spanish
Favorite drink Green tea (iced or hot)
Beauty product she can’t live without Chapstick and the Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Moisturizer
What she does when life gets stressful Eat
Motherhood in five words Unconditional love. Fun. Rewarding. Stressful.
Hobbies Baking, cooking, gardening, crocheting, crafting, walking, watching sports
She wishes she had more time to Take my family on more vacations.
Looking forward to Giving hugs and shaking hands without it being weird.
Best advice she’s been given From Grandma Nguyen: “Nothing is permanent, not even your troubles.”
Celebrity mom she admires I admire working moms with multiple kids. You’re the real celebrities to me!
Photo courtesy of Beth Gold Photography.