Every day is now a little bit different, but here is a blow-by-blow of my yesterday:
4:49 AM: Hayden wakes up after 6 hours 35 minutes. I feed him and change him.
5:24 AM: Hayden goes back to sleep in the nursery without a fuss, I also go immediately back to sleep in our bedroom.
7:00 AM: Up time. Adrian fetches Hayden from the nursery and brings him into bed. We play and talk, and Hayden joins in with loud cooing “aaaah ooooh yoooo uuuuub”. He is becoming a lot more aware an interactive. It is fun. Pepper and Mint join us too, and I am happy that we have the whole family on the bed together.
7:30 AM: I pick out his outfit for the day and get him dressed and feed him again. I fill out his sleeping and eating notebook for the creche while Adrian gets himself ready and packs Hayden’s milk.
7:45 AM: I say goodbye to my two little guys and get ready for work.
8:00 AM: On the metro, I read through my work schedule on my Blackberry and work my way through the emails from have arrived from the US overnight.
8:30 AM: I boot up my laptop, and file all my emails out of my Inbox and into my @action folder, into subfolders. A subfolder that starts with 0 has to be done today, a subfolder that starts with 1 has to be addressed this week, etc.
9:00 AM: No meetings this morning, so I have time to get stuck into my projects. I compile a list of future data sources for 2012, give my comments on a systematic literature review protocol, read through the epidemiology section of a disease area review, and create a slide-deck that will be presented next week to the global team. Adrian sends me a photo of Hayden asleep in his pram.
10:30 AM: Pump.
10:45 AM: The publication officer pops into my cubicle to ask me about my plans for congresses and publications next year. I would like to submit an abstract for a congress with a deadline of mid-January, but it has to go through three review and approval cycles before it can be submitted, and I don’t think we’ll have time to do that as most people are taking of most of December for vacations (myself included).
11:15 AM: One of the statistical programmers sends me an instant message. The statistical analysis plan calls for a statistical test that seems inappropriate for that particular data set. We discuss various options and decide on a better alternative. I update the statistical analysis plan to reflect that change in design.
12:00 noon: Lunch time! Normally I go for the salad bar, but I treat myself on Fridays with the fish and vegetables. Today we have sole with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and ratatouille. The chef corrects my pronunciation of “ratatouille”, but I can’t hear the difference between the word I says and the way that he says it. I am sure that he can, though. I talk with my colleagues about their upcoming travel plans to the Ukraine, Mexico, and Romania.
12:30 PM: The head of the department drops by my cubicle to see how I am adjusting to being back to work, and reminds me that out of all my projects that I have to manage, Hayden is my most important. He talks about his children and about how his youngest has just learnt to walk.
1:00 PM: I meet with my team members and we do a practise run-through of our presentation to the global team for Monday.
1:30 PM: Pump
1:45 PM: I reply to emails, then complete an online training course to certify that I am compliant with the new Standard Operating Procedures that have just been implemented.
3:00 PM: 9:00 AM on the West Coast. The emails start flooding in from the US office. I have a teleconference with a US vendor to check on the progress of a new database that they are delivering to us.
4:00 PM: I have a teleconference with the UK office to discuss how I can support upcoming products in the pipeline and in early clinical trials.
4:30 PM: Pump
4:45 PM: Print out materials needed for Monday morning, make sure I have completed all my necessary tasks for the week. Water my plant.
5:00 PM: I leave on the dot so that I can get to Leuven by 6. I reply to more emails on my phone on the metro and then on the train.
6:00 PM: Arrive at the restaurant in Leuven for a friend’s birthday, joined by Adrian, Hayden, and a few other friends too. They all enjoy a drink, I have a Croque Hawaienne for dinner – a toasted ham cheese and pineapple sandwich, in which the pineapple must go on top of the bread instead of inside, for cultural reasons I do not understand. I feed Hayden and play with him, giving him lots of kisses until everyone else wants to hold him too.
8:00 PM: Hayden is sleepy so we head home. In his pram, Hayden plays with his kitten mittens, looking a little confused as to how his hands have turned into animals again. On the train we sit opposite a guy who is trying to study, but Hayden wants to talk to him and babbles loudly at him the whole time. Hayden is also really stinky.
9:00 PM: We arrive home, I feed Hayden and put him to sleep in his cot in the nursery. Adrian gives treats to Pepper and Mint.
9:30 PM: We put all his bottles and pump parts into the dishwasher, tidy up the house, and go to bed.
11:00 PM: I feed and change Hayden and pop him back into his sleep sack and back into his crib. He quietly sleeps until 6:00 AM the next day.