I'm back. It's been... a while!
I've been waiting, wanting, searching for just the perfect time to begin writing again. And it wasn't until last night-- don't know why it took me that long-- to realize, "self, you have four little rascals in the house, there is no such thing as the perfect time!"
Take, for instance, this post. I thoroughly planned on writing it yesterday morning before the kids had breakfast. However, some unforeseen circumstances (we like to call them poop-tastrophies around here) delayed my writing.
So, one impromptu morning bath and a quick floor cleaning later, I am here to tell you about "a day in the life of" me. I was really blessed reading about other mommas' schedules the other night on Keeper of the Home and I thought maybe sharing about my day would bless someone else in return.
Here goes nothing...
Today began quite a bit later than other days! Last night, at the last minute, I decided to go grocery shopping after the kids were in bed, you know, so I wouldn't have to go with 4 kids in tow. Overall I think it was a good choice but it did cause a super late bedtime (11:45PM) and thus a late start. Fortunately the rascals slept in a bit (a rarity). Typically they wake and have a little quiet time in their rooms so that I can "get myself ready"-- which really just means drinking a glass of water & slapping on my robe-- pray, read a chapter from the Bible, eat my breakfast and start preparing their oatmeal. Today was not too different, just a bit later.
When I went to get the rascals out of their rooms, my oldest told me that he overheard his 2-year-old brother say something about poop. Lovely. I brace myself as I open the door and, sure enough, there's poop on the floor and it, well, stinks. He was wearing a diaper to bed, mind you, but somehow, some way some poop managed to stealthly escape the clutches of cotton. So, I tell him not to move. I clean up the mess and proceed to throw him into the bath for a quick clean-up. Feeling both disheartened and relieved (I can check "daily bath" off my to-do list today!), I usher him on to his waiting oatmeal. Not before I first search high & low through numerous baskets of clean yet unfolded laundry. At the bottom of the pile of summer clothes that need to be stored in the attic soon (ugh. add something back onto the to-do list!) I find an over-sized pair of underwear & pants & a shirt, get him dressed and toss him into the high chair, right after I clean last night's crumbs off of it that is. Every time this happens, and let's be honest, it happens often, I think of Large Family Logistics' insight that everyone has a system, but it's not always a good one! Took mental note to rework my system. Alas, his breakfast has now begun, just as the others have finished. I quickly down the rest of my muffin and move on with our day.
We homeschool our first grader and normally we would all do morning devotions over breakfast. Again, this is an atypical day and our day "off" from school so the kids jumped right into drawing pictures [that will later be scattered about the house].
I quickly switch the wash. Secretly rejoicing that I had enough smarts to put one load of laundry on delay so it would be washed by morning, forgetting-- at least for a little while-- the other 3? wash baskets yet to be folded.
My 2-year-old hops into my lap for a quick cuddle before the baby awakes for her morning feeding (usually around 10AM!). My oldest and I retrieve smiling baby from her bassinet and I immediately start nursing her. She eats like a champ.
While I feed baby, my 6-year-old works on a surprise for me-- he cleaned the school room. It looks great! Then the kids settle in for a snack of homemade sunbutter cookies.
I make a small batch of crock pot applesauce for the first time while the kids play and the baby exersauces.
My 6-year-old plays an educational game on the Kindle Fire while my 4-year-old "types" on the school computer. I sit down to write a quick email.
I run downstairs to switch loads of wash and the "middle" rascals decide to help me. Finally got up the gumption to empty out my cedar chest so that I can properly store some extra linens in there. While my back is turned my darling 2-year-old slams the hinged wooden lid on his hand. The chest locks and I just cannot get it open. I yell, numerous times, to my husband who was nearby in his at-home office. He hears my cries and between the two of us we wiggle little rascal's hand free, inspect it for broken bones (of which there were none, PTL) and catch our breaths.
In order to abate my thumping heart, I send the children into the playroom to busy themselves while I finally get myself dressed for the day. By this point my stress level is through the roof-- it's been a stressful couple of weeks around here-- so I decide to put on a skirt & blouse. I brush my teeth (yes, I know that it is almost noon!), wash my face, put on some dangley earrings and apply chapstick. I take a deep breath and say a little prayer to help me get through the rest of the morning.
I check email and go prepare lunch for the children. They're having leftover pumpkin pancakes, potatoes & bacon. I sneak a piece of bacon while I, ironically, make myself my favorite green smoothie. Kids eat while I slurp down my smoothie with baby on my hip. I prepare lunch for my husband; he's having scrambled eggs with assorted leftover veggies & a homemade muffin. Baby waits patiently to be fed, which happens just after I get my 2-year-old son down for a nap (around 1ish). I bribe him, telling him if he stays in his bed AND leaves his diaper on I will come get him and bring him a sweet treat. It works; he's fast asleep.
The older two get to watch Busytown on Netflix while I feed the baby and get her down for a nap. I spend the remaining minutes catching up with a friend on Facebook and tooling around the Internet. Quiet time is a MUST in our house!
Next I grab a bowl of granola & milk, and sit down to sketch out how I am going to rearrange the furniture in my bedroom. Which leaves me wondering, am I the only strange bird that does this?? I now feel motivated to go attack this mess and turn it into the retreat it ought to be! Won't hubby be surprised! My 4-year-old decides to help.
Kids test out the crock pot applesauce and approve. Decide to cut up another 12 apples and get them crockin.
We work together to get the dishwasher unstacked. And baby is awake and hungry again. The kids head upstairs to play while I begin dinner preparations. Tonight my husband is helping out at church so the kids and I eat an unlikely dinner (chicken burgers & frozen french fries!) and watch one of my childhood favorites-- Follow That Bird.
As soon as the movie is over-- the kids loved it!-- I begin getting them ready for bed. The process usually starts a little after 7PM and lasts anywhere from 25-45 minutes. Tonight my goal is to be done by 8, the estimated time my husband is due back home. As soon as the last light switch is extinguished, I hurry off to finish cleaning my bedroom. While I was putting the others to bed the baby fell asleep in her swing which is typical and lasts for about 20 minutes until she needs to be fed one last time before bed.
I finish off the night cleaning up the kitchen a bit (no sink shining tonight), cuddling baby before she's out for the night, eating a carob brownie in a mug, showering & playing some video games with my husband. I always relish going to bed but tonight, in a clean bedroom, seems extra special. I think to myself, maybe cleaning isn't so overrated after all.