July 11, 2015

My Routine

I have been meaning to do try and take a crack at doing "A Photo an Hour" for a blog post but never got around to it. Then I started seeing folks give an overview of what their routine day looks like and I thought I'd do that instead.. and never did. Until now. 

I guess I decided to finally do this because people keep asking me what I do all day. I try to answer but then get all confused and mention a few lame things because I am secretly scratching my head asking myself "What the heck DO I do all day?"

Here is a snapshot.

5:30 am 
My alarm starts to go off and some days I get up right away but most days I hit the snooze button for 15 minutes. I am most definitely up by 5:45 am. That is unless I am taking care of dogs who need attention throughout the night and I am waking up every two hours. Then I give myself a break and sleep in until 7:30 am or even 8 am.

5:50 am 
I am downstairs and get the kettle started for my coffee {I drink two cups by 9 am} and make Yangkyu's breakfast and lunch which he eats at work. Sometimes the dogs I care for will follow me down and I'll take them out to our yard to do their first pee and potty for the day. Piri used to wake up at this hour too but now he likes to sleep in until 8:30 am. I wash all the dogs' water bowls and fill them with fresh bottled water {Piri is unable to have tap water now and so all the dogs bowls get bottled water in case Piri drinks out of one of them}.

If I am caring for dogs who require a walk* to do their business then I take them out for their first walk around 6:00 am and am back home at 6:20 am. I try to make Yangkyu's lunch the night before or plan out our dinner so he's able to bring leftovers {if not he just buys it near his work place}. When I am back inside the house after the walk I have just enough time to make him a quick breakfast sandwich before he leaves for work. 

6:30 am
Yangkyu leaves for work. We say our good-byes and then I get Piri's breakfast going, which currently is his only home-cooked meal. I cook his dark meat chicken and hard boiled egg fresh every morning {he just has the white part}. I make his rice mix of brown rice and sushi rice every 4 days or so and he also gets asparagus (frozen kind which I just defrost in the microwave) and freshly chopped baby carrots with sea based calcium powder. I am also drinking my coffee slowly while watching either the local news or some TV show I decided to re-watch. Right now it's the West Wing. 

7:00 am 
I am done in the kitchen, which includes cleaning up the area and just making sure the sink doesn't look like a disaster zone. I don't do the dishes or load them into the dish washer just yet. I just like to have the bowls and dishes rinsed and stacked nicely so it's easier to do them later. 

I head upstairs with my coffee. The dogs follow. I still see that Piri is snoozing away. 

I make myself comfortable in front of the computer and check my social media accounts - Facebook and Instagram mostly. I skim through the news - local NBC, New York Times and the Washington Post. Then I start working on my blog post which I regret not doing the night before {this is a regret I have every morning}. 

After I am done I make my rounds on my blog roll and read posts. Then I am back at my own blog and respond to any questions people left in their comments. I then update my blogging editorial calendar if I need to.

I only take breaks for when the dogs need to be fed and to refill my coffee.

8:00 am 
First meal of the day for dogs I am taking care of {unless their owners specify a certain time they should be fed}. 

They are also taken out back after they eat to relieve themselves. I'll also squeeze in a quick play session should they want one. 

9:00 am 
Piri's time for breakfast and also his blood pressure medicine. He also goes out after he eats. 
I am also finished with my daily 2 cups of coffee by now.
I grab a cup of greek yogurt.  

11:00 am 
I am usually done with everything I need to do blogging wise -- unless I am playing catch up because on some days I am not able to follow my morning news and blog routine. 

I eat my breakfast {usually just a bowl of cereal, sometimes toast} and plan out the rest of my day by making a task list. 

After I am done eating I load the dish washer and get it going. The dogs are let out again to explore the outdoors, do their business or just sunbathe, even for a few minutes.

I also get the kettle going again to start drinking my green tea. I have 2-4 cups of green tea a day {sometimes fresh mint tea}.

The dogs also get a treat at 11 am.

12:00 pm 
I am usually getting through things like ordering anything we need on Amazon, filling out Piri's insurance claims, loading the laundry, doing receipt entries on our budget excel sheet that Yangkyu created {we literally track every penny we spend}, watering the garden, responding to all kinds of email {blog related, DogVacay related, friends and family chatter} or having a play session with the dogs. I also switch out the dogs' water bowls with fresh bottled water again.

1:00 pm 
I work out for an hour. Before when we used to live in a condo we had access to a 24 hour gym and I ran for an hour. I haven't been able to do that but a few months ago I borrowed the inmotion e1000 from our friends and it is compact and perfect for our small living room. I work up a small sweat and I feel good afterwards. I get through one and a half episodes of the West Wing while I'm peddling on this machine. Afterwards I do arm repetitions with my dumb bells. 

2:00 pm 
Piri gets his lunch and he along with other dogs are let out again. {Normally I have guest dogs who only eat twice a day but if they require lunch they are normally fed at 1 pm}. 

2:30 pm 
I grab a quick lunch, shower, play with the dogs again and continue other tasks which may include calling the vet's office, giving Piri a bath, ironing Yangkyu's work shirts, grabbing the mail, tidying up the living room, vacuuming, washing and cutting up vegetables or fruits or cooking and preparing foods like side dishes and barley teas which we like to drink cold during the summer months. etc. If I don't have any tasks left then I usually like to designate this time to do crafts and DIYs or knit and crochet or experiment with a new baking recipe. I also try to squeeze in a little bit of reading as well. Right now I'm reading The Night Circus, which I am about half way through.

Dogs are also let out every two-three hours or so during this time.

4:00 pm 
Piri gets his supplements during this time. He gets half piece of his VetriScience Canine Renal Support every day and 1 piece of Cosequin every other day.

It has been a quick thing to just give him his supplements but ever since his kidney disease diagnosis he nitpicks at times with the VetriScience and also his blood pressure medicine. So what normally takes a quick second usually is now a drawn out process - sometimes 10 to 15 minutes of me experimenting with different things to figure out what taste will entice him to eat. Pill Pockets usually did the trick but lately it hasn't been working. So now it's taking out the peanut butter, sometimes cream cheese, watermelon, white bread. I end up with dirty hands, dirty dishes and a dirty floor because he'll take the supplement in his mouth with whatever I put on it for taste and then he'll drop it. Add an extra 5 minutes to clean everything up. Or another extra 5 minutes because I am still trying to get him to eat his VetriScience. If this happens the whole thing ends with a lot of dirty things and a dog that just didn't end up eating his supplement. My worrying mode sets in quickly but I dissipate it {or try to at least}.

All the dogs have their second treat of the day. {I try not to let it get under my skin if Piri gingerly eats his treat after not eating his supplement}.

5:00 pm 
I get dinner started. Yangkyu usually texts me around this time to say that he is waiting for the bus at Vienna Metro Station. It usually takes him an hour to get to where his car is parked at the bus stop and maybe another 15-20 minute car ride from the bus stop over to our house.

6:00 pm 
The dogs get their dinner and are taken out again to do their business. If a dog needs a walk to pee and potty, I take them out as soon as Yangkyu gets home (around 6:15 pm). Water bowls are switched out again with fresh bottled water.

6:15 pm 
Yangkyu is welcomed home by a very happy Piri and also our DogVacay guests. He spends a private moment with Piri first taking in all his happy hellos {because Piri is older and his movements are a lot slower he gets trampled on by the other excited dogs, which then makes him retreat to a corner to protect himself}. Afterwards he spends time saying hello to all the other dogs and goes upstairs to change his clothes.

6:30 pm 
We have dinner and talk about our day.

7:00 pm 
Piri has his dinner and blood pressure medicine. He is taken out back after he eats.

7:30 pm 
Yangkyu and I clean up, load the dish washer {I actually hand washed everything before but the past couple of months has proven to be too hectic to do this so now I rely on the dish washer - me and her have become BFFs} and wipe all counter tops and our eating table.

Afterwards I spend time transferring, editing and resizing pictures of our dog guests and also write up a full detailed daily report of their day to send to their humans. It usually depends on how many dogs I have but this process usually takes at least an hour.

I also quickly put up pictures for Piri and Piri's Place Facebook pages. I contemplate on whether I should work on tomorrow's blog post but I decide against it (and regret it the next morning) and head downstairs.

8:30 pm 
We normally sit in front of the TV - or I will just spend time watching TV while Yangkyu is upstairs in his office either working a bit more or unwinding by playing video games. On Fridays we will either make it a movie night or we will play Wii {Dr. Mario - this never gets old for me} or Playstation {right now we are both playing Kingdom Hearts - it's a 1 player game so we take turns with the controller and reading the walk through}.

On some nights we spend time sorting through receipts to prepare for Tax Day. We don't want to get slammed with it all at once come April and so we do little by little. It's all for my DogVacay business.

9:45 pm 
We start to call it a day. The dogs are let out one more time {or I go out for a short walk with them if I need to}. We grab a water bottle {for us} and also a fresh bowl of water for the dogs and take it upstairs. We wash up, I clean Piri's ears and apply some medicine and brush his teeth.

10:15 pm 
After figuring out how to get myself in the bed because usually the dogs have taken over, I put on the X-Files {or some random movie} on Netflix from my phone and I literally fall right to sleep.

There is it!
Man that felt good writing it all out and putting my days in time blocks {maybe it's the Type A in me that gives me this weird satisfaction}.

*Also, because of Piri's age and his limited mobility now we don't go on daily walks with him and also try not to take in dogs that require walking to do their business. It's hard to leave Piri behind and also other dogs to go on individual/group walks and so I have to time it so that I am taking the guest dog out when Yangkyu is home. We do enjoy walks though when dogs stay with us from time to time, mostly during the weekends when I have Yangkyu's extra hands. 

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