A Day in the Life of Jen Lohr – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day in the Life of Jen Lohr
Hello! My name is Jen Lohr, and today I am being featured as a guest on this blog. I would like to invite you to experience a day in the life of ‘me.’ You might be thinking, “Well, just because she’s a writer doesn’t make her all that different,” and I couldn’t agree with you more! In fact, my being a wife and a mother of four children (all under the age of ten) doesn’t make my situation ‘unusual,’ either… but I can tell you what does: I am the mom of four special needs kids – two of which have high-functioning autism, amongst the alphabet soup of ADD / ADHD, with a side of apraxia and a few other developmental delays. My children & their ages are as follows: Scott is 9, Jessica is 7, Alexandra is 5, and Brian is 3. So without any further adieux – here is what an average day in the life of Jennifer Lohr, aka “MOMMMM!” is like:

My day typically begins at about 5:30 am, when my youngest (Brian) wakes up. He has something called ‘Apraxia of speech,’ which according the NIDCD (the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders) means: “A speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the face, tongue, and lips). The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe,” and Brian has moderate speech apraxia. Therefore what I may understand, others usually do not.

Brian attends a therapeutic pre-school, which has all the delights of a regular pre-school but also has the many therapists any given ‘special need’ child would need. These men and woman are as much a part of Brian’s growth and development as I am, so pre-school is pretty serious business to my little guy!

After Brian wakes up, my other three children begin awaking to the day, too. First is always breakfast, followed by getting dressed, then brushing teeth and hair. Brian’s bus comes first, at about 8:15, so he’s the first one out the door (and I can expect the bus to bring him home around noon.) My other three attend the local elementary school (which is thankfully within walking distance). Once Brian is on his way, my other three have about 15 minutes to complete their ‘back-pack checkers’ (making sure their completed homework, due library books, and snacks are in order to return to school) and maybe even a little TV time. Their bus rolls to a stop at the end of the driveway no later than 8:40am. Then….SILENCE. It never ceases to amaze me the extremes in noise level from the hustle and bustle of getting their shoes and jackets on (and snowsuits, when snow is on the ground – after all, they still have recess if it’s not below 20 degrees Fahrenheit – or blizzard-like conditions, of course), to after the bus pulls away from our home.

My Alexandra attends Kindergarten (which in our school district, is half-day), but because of Alexandra’s ‘mild ADHD,’ she qualifies to attend extended (full) days two days per week. On Mondays and Thursdays I volunteer in her classroom (would you be surprised to know I help with ‘Writers Workshop?’) …And what a joy it is to be surrounded by those adorable little faces! Those little giggles and squeaky voices are just intoxicating, and I have the honor and pleasure to hang around – I love it!

Every other week I have ‘Parent Training,’ and a social worker works with me to help us overcome the many obstacles parents of special needs children may have. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to attend / visit with the Neurologists, developmental pediatricians, Autism seminars / classes, school district committee meetings, social and emotional development tutorials, and every other challenge I’m faced with – so this ‘parent training’ really helps!

So, if it’s a day without volunteering at the school or parent training (or the usual grocery shopping) I have a couple hours in the morning to catch up on e-mails and other various “business-related” tasks. Promoting my book series requires a lot of time, too – it really is ‘my second job,’ coming second to ‘mom’ & ‘house-wife.’

I try to get through whatever I can, as quickly as I can – after all: things like laundry, the dishwasher, snow-shoveling / gardening (depending upon the season), un-made beds, teacher / therapist e-mails will not get done by themselves. I have a lot that I am responsible for, and I take great pride in doing the best I can very seriously.

Around 1pm, I prepare and serve lunch for Brian and Alexandra (if it’s her half-day at school). Then we have a little ‘free-time,’ which we can easily spend playing, reading, or cuddling on the couch while we watch a carton. When 3:15 rolls around, we can expect the herd of trampling feet to burst through the front door, accompanied by, “MOM! You’ll NEVER GUESS WHAT….” Or “He was mean to me on the bus when…” and “I CANNOT understand my math today…” as they unpack their back-packs and wash their hands. Homework with a small snack follows.

I’ll start making dinner around 4:30 (we have a tight meal schedule: Monday is Pasta, Tuesday- I decide, Wednesday is left-overs, Thursday is ‘Mystery Meal,’ Friday is pizza & a movie, Saturday is family game night, & Sunday is ‘finger’ food) so I have a lot to rely on that makes it ‘easy.’ Between 5:30 and 6pm dinner is served. At this time, we have entered our family’s ‘sacred time,’ and phones are not answered, electronics are away, TV is off (except for pizza & movie night) & we enjoy each other’s stories of their favorite parts of their day, along with the ‘usual’ conversation.

Bath time commences around 6:30, and after all four little heads are shiny, it’s about 7:15pm. Now we spend time unwinding, with bed-time stories & ‘down-time.’ I prefer NO TV, but that’s not always the case…hey, I can compromise. No later than 8pm, all of my little treasures are piled in their designated bunk, and I begin my kissing and singing – it’s the end of another day for my little dears.

Aside from the occasional, “I’m thirsty” or “I forgot to go pee…!” this is when my ‘down-time’ begins. After cleaning up the kitchen / dishes from dinner, I try to spend a little time with my hard-working husband, who works ten hour days. As soon as he’s in the shower, at about 8:30, I go to the computer to check those twitter feeds and Facebook posts – again: promote, promote, PROMOTE – I’m determined to make my book series a success, and self-promoting is key.

—YAWN—

From about 9pm to (some nights) 1am, I am faithfully writing. Like I said – I am one determined individual! …And that’s about it. Thanks for walking a day in my moccasins!

Organization helps – each kiddo has their own hook for jacket / backpack, plus I write what each day / meal it is, along with if it’s a gym day or library or mystery, etc.

4_14 organized

Cubbies, cubbies, cubbies…did I mention I like to stay organized?

4_14 cubbies

This is where I write – my creative space.

4_14 desk

4_14 baltic Cover_BalticMistBaltic Mist – A Timeless Saga is Jen Lohr’s next big creation. It all began when she came across Egil’s Saga, written in the mid11th century, chronicling the life of Egil Skallagrimsson. The history surrounding the Viking awakened within Jen an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the Norse culture. A story was soon born, seen through the eyes of a young woman named Helga, originating from a character in Egil’s Saga.

Baltic Mist begins on a farm Norway, and takes the reader through the epic adventures of Helga’s enchanting life. Beginning in Book One, her tale falls against the backdrop of Scandinavia’s conversion to Christianity. The saga continues in Books two and three to a finale that no one, even Helga herself, could have ever imagined!

A must read!

About the Author: 4_14 baltic AuthorPic1Jen was first published when she was a sophomore in High School, and has been writing short stories ever since. The Baltic Mist series is her novel debut. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and their four children.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook
Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Comments

  1. Mary Preston says:

    Such a busy day. I’m not good with early starts.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    • Jennifer Lohr says:

      Yes, it gets a little busy around here (I think we may qualify for the ‘loudest house on the block,’ too! I’m not so great at the early starts either, but that’s why there’s coffee!
      Thanks for the comment!
      Jen Lohr

  2. Jennifer Lohr says:

    Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog! I’d be happy to answer any questions, or even have a quick ‘chat,’ so feel free to ask away – I love talking with readers! 😉
    Spring break vacation is this week & the kids are home, so I’ll be checking in again soon.
    Thanks & regards,
    Jen Lohr, author

  3. Thanks for hosting!

  4. Elise-Maria Barton says:

    My hat’s off to you Jen; you sound like an amazing person.To think that you have the inclination let alone the will to find the time to share with your readers is commendable.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  5. Rita Wray says:

    Such a busy life, I’m surprised you have time to write.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    • Jennifer Lohr says:

      Yes, Rita – it tends to get a little busy here. I found for a few years that I became so consumed with ‘life,’ that I forgot about myself – writing has always been an outlet for me, & once this story came to mind, it was accompanied by determination – I had to make it (the story) & myself a priority. This project has been such a fulfilling experience for me, & in more ways than I ever imagined…even chatting like this now – it’s all been a wonderful experience.
      Thanks for your comment!
      Best,
      Jen Lohr, author

  6. Karen H in NC says:

    I would say your plate is definitely full! It’s a wonder you find time to write! Since I’m about half Swedish, I think I will enjoy reading your book.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    • Jennifer Lohr says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, our plate is full, but it’s definitely filled with an interesting & satisfying ‘variety.’ Writing is quite therapeutic for me (even as much as gardening & cooking), so it’s something I look forward to, thankfully – my not viewing as a ‘job’ but rather a ‘privilege’ makes it easier to squeeze in a little but each day (it takes the mom-guilt out, today’s for sure)!
      And thank you for sharing some of your heritage with me – my book’s protagonist (Helga / Mist) finds her way to Uppsala, Sweden where she encounters a man by the name of Stormi Bjornsson – he is a Swede Viking, very honorable, respectable, & proud of his Swedish heritage & traditions. I worked very hard to remain as historically correct as possible…so I hope you will enjoy that.
      Thanks very much for your comment!
      Best,
      Jen Lohr, author

  7. Jennifer Lohr says:

    Elise – Thank you very much for the kind words. I know so many amazing women out there..! Take my grandmother for example: in the 1950’s she was a single mom of a child with cerebral palsy. She wrote articles for publications such as ‘Cosmopolitan Magazine.’ She moved to NY city from Winnepeg, Canada without any family or support network in NY.
    I often think of the many challenges she faced, any given day – I can’t help but see strength & appreciation for all I have, even in the midst of my little obstacles.
    Thanks so much for commenting!
    Best,
    Jen Lohr, author

    • Elise-Maria Barton says:

      How wonderful Jen, that you look up to your grandmother that way! My own grandmother had a strict policy of feeding whoever showed up on her doorstep and giving them a place to sleep if necessary, a habit I carry even 30 years after her death.

      • Jennifer Lohr says:

        Thanks again, Elise & good for you for carrying on your grandmothers ‘welcoming’ qualities – hospitality is such a wonderful attribute! Thanks for sharing!
        Best,
        Jen Lohr, author

  8. SHELLEY S says:

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! calicolady60@hotmail.com

  9. Such a busy lady and you still find time to write. I admire that.

    • Jennifer Lohr says:

      Thank you, momma Jane! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to leave a comment, too.
      Best,
      Jen Lohr, author

  10. Sounds like a busy day

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  11. Nice to meet you Jen!

    So what did you publish in high school, and do you still like it or is it like one of those embarassing school photos you wish would stay buried in your attic? lol!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOt com

  12. Jennifer Lohr says:

    Hi Andra – nice to meet you, as well! The 1st time I was published was in 10th grade on our student / community periodical ‘The Quill.’ My creative writing class was working on “Poe Prose” (I cannot believe I remember that detail…now to remember what I did with my pair of sunglasses, yesterday….). My teacher was so pleased with my poem, he submitted it to the paper, then went on to have me acknowledged in “Who’s Who Among American High School Students” for creative writing. Unfortunately, I no longer have the poem or the article…I wish they were buried in someone’s attic somewhere (lol).
    Thanks for the great question!
    Best,
    Jen Lohr, author

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