blog homeschool day in the life

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler

When my oldest was approaching school age and when she was in early elementary, I was obsessed with looking up the schedules of homeschooling families. I did find a book which had a compilation of different families’ days and whose name I unfortunately can’t remember, and here and there I would find a blog post, but there wasn’t much out there at the time. I scoured the internet  and library looking for the “Day in the Life” information for several reasons.d.
Seeking new ideas is something I do on a regular basis. It’s so helpful to see how other people do it, and see what you can incorporate into your own life.
It’s fascinating! I am seriously curious about what goes on in other people’s homes. I love getting glimpses into the extraordinary ordinary.
I like knowing I’m not alone. It’s refreshing that I’m not the only one wanting to tear my hair out by two o’clock.
Because it’s so helpful for me, I asked several of my homeschool friends about their daily schedule. I’m writing a series of The Day in the Life of a Homeschooler posts. If you’re a homeschooler, and would like to be featured, I’d love to talk to you about that!
I would love to introduce to you my friend Sarah. We jokingly refer to each other as Sister Wife because last year we went to Vegas with our husbands and babies, but while her husband was in meetings all day, we figured we looked like sisterwives hanging out with Kevin. Her kiddos are 8, 6, 4, and 2, and she’s also a farmer’s wife.

6:30 am – Mommy and Daddy get up, get dressed, and drink coffee while checking Facebook and email and the weather reports. This is our most peaceful time of day. Daddy usually heads out to work on the farm before the kids get up. I get the farm’s bookkeeping and bill paying done during this quiet time. I try to log off the computer for the day when the kids get up, and NOT go back to check email or Facebook again until the next morning. We don’t own smart phones because we don’t want that constant distraction.

8:00 am – Kids start waking up. Getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth -times 4- takes forever and sometimes there are tears.

 9:00 am – If we are going somewhere (Grandma’s house on Tuesdays because she keeps the kids for a couple hours while I run errands alone, homeschool co-op on Wednesdays, horse riding lessons some Thursdays, library on Fridays) we head out. Often the 8 and 6 year olds have worksheets to complete in the car because we live a long way from everything and it keeps them from making too much racket during the drive. Math and spelling questions are shouted from the backseat of the Suburban up to me (over the noise of the 2 and 4 year olds in the middle row) and I shout the answers back. If we aren’t going anywhere, I attempt to get the 2 and 4 year olds engaged in an activity and then work on lessons with the 6 and 8 year olds.
Homeschool science slime
6 year old Joanna demonstrates making slime

We don’t cover every subject every day. They alternate between math and writing six mornings per week, 52 weeks a year. Science and art are covered at co-op for part of the year. Once a week we read a chapter from our history book, and throughout the week we read the recommended supplemental readings that go with the chapter.

9:30 am – Second breakfast
10:00 am – The big kids are finished with lessons and everybody has free time. For me,that means laundry, dishes, food preparation, gardening, and sometimes relaxing with my own reading material. The kids go outside when weather permits. Otherwise they entertain themselves in the house and that gets very messy. I am often interrupted by crying children who are having a toy squabble or other disagreement, or who have obtained boo-boos and need kisses, or who have invented something or drawn something they are eager to show me. Whenever perpetual disagreements or boredom strike, I give the kids chores to do.
11:00 am – Elevensies (Kidding… sort of… It’s unbelievable how much time kids spend eating!)

Joanna and 8 year old Katrina check out their specimens.
12:00 pm – Lunch. We usually eat leftovers from last night’s supper, or sandwiches or microwaved chicken nuggets. I do not cook a meal in the middle of the day. I basically hate cooking and do it as little as possible. The kids are expected to do as much as they can by themselves. I pay a quarter for emptying the dishwasher or sweeping the floor.
1:00 pm – Nap time. We never, ever mess with nap time. I am extremely strict about this part of the schedule. We are always home before 1:00. The 2 year old goes first. I remind the other kids that it’s time to be quiet and take her up to her room. After a few stories and some gagas (nursing), she’s down. Then it’s the 4 year old’s turn. He gets a few stories alone in his room and goes down.
Katrina loves to illustrate the stories she writes.
1:45 pm – Reading time. With the two youngest asleep, the two big girls and I sit together on the couch and read. I read a few stories to them, and they each read aloud to me from a book at their reading level. This is the extent of our reading “curriculum.” Occasionally, on staying home days, we do reading time before lunch so that I can have more free time
in the afternoon.
2:30 pm – This is MY time, and it is sacred to me. I send the big girls off to do whateverthey want (usually they play outside and  explore the far reaches of the farm) and I work on things that I care about. This often includes a home improvement project (my husband and I are rather proud DIY’ers and we are always renovating something). It takes me two hours a week to mow our yard. I squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise every day, usually during nap time but sometimes in the morning. Sometimes the big girls and I will get out a messy art or science project that we can’t do when the littles are under foot and work on that together. Sometimes we help Daddy fix broken machines or work cattle.
4:30 pm – Sacred nap time is over. The kids’ favorite show, Wild Kratts, is on, and all the kids sit and eat apples (the ONLY food they are allowed to have in the living room) while they watch. Sometimes this distraction allows me to keep working on whatever I started during nap time. Sometimes I get started on supper. Sometimes I watch with them.
Wild learning at its best.
5:30 pm – In the dead of winter, we usually spend a good deal of our evenings in front of the TV. The rest of the year, it is shut off after an hour and everybody goes back to playing and working outside. At the present time, we have no regularly scheduled
evening activities. In the past, the kids have done sports and dance classes that meet on weeknights, and I imagine at some point we’ll resume some of those things. Right now nobody is begging for those sorts of things so we’re not doing them.
We regularly enjoy local parks and playgrounds when we’re at loose ends. Often we meet
friends for a few hours either in the morning or evening (never at naptime!). We take nature hikes and the 8 year old tries to fish. The rest of the evening includes supper at some point, but we rarely sit down and eat together as a family of six. Usually Daddy works late (9:00 or later in the spring, summer and fall) and eats when he comes home (and often at least one kid eats with him). In the winter he sometimes comes in earlier and we might eat together. The kids enjoy a variety of electronic games, card games, and board games, and we play them together or separately. The kids need showers a few times a week and that can be a lot of work.
Ideally, all the toys get picked up and put away before bedtime, but sometimes I don’t  have the energy to make them do it.

9:30 pm – Bedtime. I put the 2 year old to bed because she still needs her gagas, then I take a shower and hit the hay. Daddy has always done bedtime duty for kids who are weaned. He reads them stories and tucks them in. It’s sacred time to him because during busy times of year he hardly sees them at any other time. (They all love tractor and combine rides with Daddy and we do that as often as possible, but it’s not always possible.) By 10:00, the whole family is asleep, resting up for another big day ahead.

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SPRING!

It was a nice day finally! I even wore flip flops and got a teensy bit sunburned on my neck. 
We went to a few garage sales today.  I snagged a dehydrator and a CD player (with a tape deck!). Five dollars goes a long way. 

I am thinking about perhaps making placenta pills one day and you need a dehydrator for that. My handsome husband is a more than a tad hesitant about my bringing other people’s organs into the house so that is on hold. In the meantime, I can dehydrate fruit.
We spent some time with friends and meandered around “Garage Sale City”. Cadrian is going to wonder why there won’t be a garage sale at every house the next time we are there.
At one sale, we met some people who do archery and bow hunt in our area. The papa even MAKES bows. The boys were facinated. I would love for my children to learn how to safely handle weapons.
When we got home, Denton and I went to collect eggs. 

This boy gives me a run for my money. He tells me “I hate you!” Every. Time. I tell him “no” or make him do something he doesn’t want to do. I know he doesn’t mean it. I know he is just frustrated. I know it’s just a phase, but it still hurts. And by the end of the day, I. Am. Done. I couldn’t even make myself sing his good night song to him tonight because he was throwing (yet another) fit. 
But this little hand in mine…*heart melt*

We saw a rainbow yesterday and today we saw one all the way around the sun.

I’m sure it means more good days are coming. 
It’s a beautiful day!
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A Day in the Life

6 a.m. Kevin’s alarm goes off. He has to go out and load cattle he’s selling today. Last calf finally born in the night. 107 lb bull calf. Helped it get nursing.

6:15: Hear 20 month old Elivette. She’s at the top of the stairs crying instead of just coming down to our room like usual. I pick her up and she immediately stops. I love that feeling when it happens, as if I’m the answer for which she’s been searching.

6:45 Take her back to bed. Nurse her both sides. Miraculously she’s fallen back asleep. I can’t even remember the last time that happened.

7:05 Lie there drowsily snuggling. Cadrian, 5, comes in; happy, talkative, and thankfully, whispering! He says he didn’t fall asleep for a long long time because his new clock kept him awake with all its loud ticking. We snuggle and chat for a while.

7:30 Think I hear Denton, 3, stirring and I don’t want him to wake the baby. Throw on  fleece cupcake pants, and a plaid fleece lined flannel (both purple of course). Start to make shakes. Denton comes in, toting his giant car seat box. I pick him up and start his good morning song, but he immediately sees C going for “his” box and starts screaming. The girls, Aviana, 9, and Brielle, 7, are up. Hug and kiss and good morning song them. Can’t find  lid to one of the shake cups. Start to feel annoyed until I remember the poor of East End (London, I just finished reading the Call the Midwife trilogy) and choose to be grateful instead.

Good morning, good morning to you
Good morning, good morning to you
I love you so much, I’ll eat you right up (nibble ears and nose)
I love you, I love you, I do!

8:00 D & C are fighting over the box. B & A are shouting because B got dressed right away and A is furious that it is 44*F and raining and it’s May 1 and supposed to be spring and she had planned to wear a tank top. I calmly tell people that if anyone is shouting, they can shout outside all they want, and I don’t even care what they are wearing at the moment. If they shout, they are out.

        Fix B’s hair in a “Lacy Braid” which my friend taught me last night. Our amazing neighbor, Cindee calls to confirm she’s picking the girls up for their tutoring session at 8:30. She tells me she messaged me on Facebook, but I didn’t get on FB last night! She takes them to her house once a week to work on science experiments or long term messy projects that would get destroyed or messed with by the littles here. C and D start in again, maybe about the rocket this time. Put C outside. He comes in when he’s done shouting, which is almost immediately.

        Fix A’s hair in a “Five Plait”. I wish I could figure out how to do a French Five Plait, but my fingers get confused. I go in the boys’ room to see how the fabric I got to make a bed skirt for Cadrian will work and pick up quite a bit while I’m in there. A has calmed down about the weather and decided to wear her CuddleDuds under her outfit.

 8:30        Give those who want it bananas and peanut butter. Do some geography songs and reading with Brielle and Cindee arrives. Remind A to take their books and she worries they’ll leave without her. Decide to check messages and to let Melissa know I’m not going to get my hair cut today. Comment on a few posts. Clean up the bananas and peanut butter.

9:00   E wakes! Nurse her. She’s so happy and hungry. Put off changing her a few minutes. Kevin walks in and makes eggs and ham for himself and disappears. I make eggs for the boys and Elivette. E and D eat 2 and Cadrian eats 4 (our chickens are young and the eggs are not jumbo). D doesn’t like the egg I made for him so I give him a different one and don’t even feel irritated. That’s kind of new and worth mentioning.

9:30 Gather 50+ library books and videos that are due today and tomorrow (sometimes I go though a “put-everything-that-looks-good-on-hold binge) Change laundry. Put my hand in honey B spilled yesterday on the half wall in the bathroom which no one cleaned up. Still don’t clean it up or I’ll get completely side tracked from the laundry. Goals for today: Get MY clothes put away. Get the winter jammas and clean clothes put away.
         Get E dressed. Get  a second cup of coffee. Get counting animals down for D.

10:00  Get dressed–long sleeve lilac sweater, black sweater vest cardi, jeans. Make bed. Start hanging up my clothes. Kevin wants to make bean soup with the leftover ham bone but needs help with the beans. E has dumped the counting animals all over. No clothes are actually hung up yet.

            Get my clothes hung up and put away. I have a bad habit of just throwing my clothes on the floor when I’m done for the day. I don’t wash my jeans or sweaters every time I wear them, so that’s part of why, but it’s also just because I’m tired and want in my jams. I will tell you this: If Kevin did what I do, I’d be mighty peeved. It’s that bad.

             Put my shoes back on the rack. Twice. Thanks Elivette.
             Put my stack of yoga pants back on the shelf. Thanks boys.
             Be thankful they didn’t pull down the closet shelves when all three of them decided to climb them at the same time.

10:30 Switch laundry. Check beans. Carry in my three pairs of shoes that have mysteriously migrated to the family closet. Bring in jammas, and two baskets of clothes to be folded and the bin for the jamms. It would be easier to sort and fold the clothes IN the family closet but it drives me crazy to have the chiddlers underfoot in such a tiny space and I can’t imagine the destruction which would happen in the house if I stayed out there to do it .
          AND my center closet door just fell out! (we have three bifold doors with mirrors, very heavy) Thankful Elivette was behind it, not in front of it!

11:00 Fold and sort clothes. Boys are playing with magnets, quietly-ish nearby. Cindee brings girls back who are WOUND UP. Try to discuss where to go from here and how long we want to continue our arrangement, but my brain has no ideas. Feel overwhelmed by the sudden mess and noise. The boys have now stripped to the waist and are wrestling. Cut up an apple for E. Finish the folding and go out to the laundry room again.

11:30 Clean up the honey. Pick up several toys and various detritus the baby or someone has strewn about. Among other things: a muffin tin, a cheese slicer, a metal tray, a magnetic letter Q, a headband, three socks and several pieces of apple. Put the pajama bin away, stepping over several articles of clothing in the process. Feel befuddled and annoyed this room ends up like this every day. (They take after me 🙁 )
           Put a load of rags in. Get another load of kid clothes out of the dryer. Decide I’m done and leave it on the floor.

           Orchestrate “pick up time” which is an exhausting and constant process. Everyone wants to negotiate their jobs and I just want the stuff picked up! Find several more counting animals. Keep 3 or 4 of them semi-focused and on task.

12:00 Start lunch. Mac and cheese and frozen mixed vegetables.Kevin calls suggesting I put Elivette down for an early nap since he wants to go to Menards later. Since she slept until 9, I don’t see that happening. Aviana wants to tell me why she is made. Cadrian wants to tell me why he is mad. Everyone is hyper and talking at once. I keep patient, telling them they are interrupting each other and listen as best I can. Inwardly though I feel anxious and irritable.

12:30 Tell C & D to sit down and wait quietly. They do fairly well. Ask B to get milk and C to help E with her bib, while I’m dishing up mackey. Suddenly I see B helping E and No-one getting milk. So irritating. Mention it calmly that no one would have to wait if she would have just done the job I’d given her.
           I love how E holds out her little hands expectantly at the beginning of a meal to hold hands and pray. Today we sing “Johnny Appleseed”, which reminds me to be grateful for even the rain.

Oh, the Lord is good to me,

and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me,
the things I need,
the sun and the rain
and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me.
Tell the children I need to get E down for her nap and to please clear the table and put their plates in the dishwasher. 
1: 00 Nurse E. Take her up to bed. Read boys Rain Drop Plop and Because Your Daddy Loves You. Put them in their Quiet Time areas after they choose where they’ll be. C is on my bed with a book and D is in his room. Several reminders of “It’s quiet time rest time, remember your question and ask me after it’s over” later, I have a bit of silent time. I snuggle up on the couch under my down comforter and rest with my eyes closed for a while. I hear Aviana singing Broadway songs to Denton.
1:30 Head to my studio for a bit. Finish making 2 I-Spy Bags, read a bit of Moon Time, send a few messages. Cut out fabric for several more bags.
2:00 Aunt Mary (another amazing neighbor) picks the girls up to take them to ice cream. We are so blessed to have so many people willing to give of their time to invest in our family. As soon as they’ve gone, D immediately begins hunting for me. He finally searches me out so I give him the job of counting out 10 trinkets for each I-Spy bag. 
2:30 He is so so excited to have such an exciting job that he jabbers like a strung-out magpie. Then Kevin comes up and installs a motion light in the homeschool closet. I next give D the job of cleaning the vinyl and quickly realize I’m done. 
        K is reading a book about the heart to C. He can’t find the other books because the boys’ room has devolved into a disaster zone. They clean up without complaint and find the books. 
3:00 Kevin goes back to work and I show C some videos of gliders and hang gliders. He promptly goes off to build one. I let Denton watch youtube with me and watch part of a boring vlog of a teen mom–her Day In The Life (DITL). Everyone wants to be famous. So ridiculous and sad. Watch a video on how to wash fleece. I have had a fleece in the garage for a couple of years and am finally going to use it to stuff “rocks” for our new play area I’m designing. Check eBay, my rocks should be here soon. I feel a connection with the woman in the video so look up her website. Maybe it’s just because we both have five children; other than that we don’t really seem to have a lot in common.

3:30 E wakes up. Nurses. Get a snack for C, D, and E. Graham crackers and natural fruit leather. Set it out and go find E. She is standing on the stoop in her brother’s fireman boots “calling” Duke (Duuuuu! Duuuuu!) Watch the adorable for a minute. Go back into the kitchen to discover D stole everyone’s fruit strips and he’s hiding in the corner. C only got 1/2 of one and doesn’t have a fit. No yelling (pats self on back). C is too busy looking for a mile high place from which to throw his “glider” to really care.
 
4:00       Change E and she messes around sitting on the potty. She loves to sit on the potty, but it has yet to see any action. Think about doing yoga but get distracted by something. Do some preschool pages with D. It seems like he’s on par with Cadrian. He can recognize his numbers and knows how many of something is represented by that number.

4:30   Time to leave for Kuk Sool Won and the new Menard’s. Round up everyone’s shoes and socks and all the library books and adjust the car seats again. Realize I forgot the closet drawing for our new walk-in.

5:00 Stop in our small town for K’s cattle check and to return the books. Pretty cool we can load the cattle at 7 and have a check by 5.   The boys each vie for returning books in the drive through which means they take turns crowding me and stabbing me in the neck with their elbow. Jet to Kuk Sool. Aviana is telling the boys a Tommy and Timmy story. She has such a gift for storytelling.
     
  I tease Brielle by telling her to ask her Kuk Sool Master what happens to kids if they don’t give him a check on the first of the month. He’s also a fire chief and they just had a pancake breakfast so I was telling her to ask him if they had any leftover pancakes. She was pink cheeked and grinning; I love to hear her laugh. She has such a contagious joy.

5:30 Aviana is reading the highway signs joking that we’re going to DesMoines and starts singing a silly song about it. She wants to know if we can just leave Brielle at Kuk Sool and drive to Omaha. Denton often tells me he wants to “sell Cadreen to Jonafon”. Maybe reading them the story of Joseph and his brothers was a bad idea 🙂 Silly kids.

They were a bit berserk at Menard’s. They need to have a giant store to run around in and climb the walls of when the weather is rotten. Too bad there were other customers. As it was though, everyone was grinning at them. Even though I feel like I need to rein them in all the time, they are adorable and funny!

We looked at closet inserts and organizers but didn’t make any decisions. It’s so expensive! It seems crazy to spend that kind of money on storage space. On one hand, I love the idea of it and on the other, it feels so wasteful. People in third world countries–heck, even 1950’s East Enders would love to live in my new walk-in closet.

We ended up buying stain for the trim, a heating duct, paint brushes and M & Ms. We were there under an hour (but it seemed longer since we circled the store twice) and ran into friends of ours. I love living in a city this size. It seems like I run into someone I know whenever I go somewhere.

6:30 We picked up Brielle, who noticed the M & Ms straight off. They weren’t as good as I remember. We ate at Culver’s for supper. Another decadent indulgence. Just being able to go out to eat occasionally seems like such a gift.

The boys were still in overdrive. Denton ate 1/2 his burger and some fries and as we were pulling out of the parking lot announces, “I’m hungry.” Brielle didn’t like her burger so ate some of my pot roast. Elivette would only eat fries.  LeSigh.

7:00  It was nice to be able to chat with Kevin in the van. The kids were only semi-quiet, but we could hear each other, so that was a bonus.
        A few minutes from Culver’s, still in town, but on the edge, Denton declared his need to pee. We pulled over of course. He ran on his short sturdy little legs down the ditch, up the hill on the other side and behind a bush. Cadrian couldn’t resist that invitation so he had to go too.
         They took so long I thought they might have gone down the hill on the other side, but no, just looking for pine cones. Denton rolled down the hill, and then staggered dizzy like a drunken sailor. I got the giggles.

7:30 Kevin and I got to everyone to bed pretty efficiently. I watched the kids like a prison warden in the family closet to make sure no clothes ended up all over the floor. Kevin brushed teeth. I did jammas and stories and nursed and good night songs and shushings and prayers. We love Richard Scarry’s Going Places. It has cute –short– stories; perfect for harried evenings.

  8:00       Denton had to get up and pee again.
 I heard him say to C “That’s just my breathe”
                                 “What?”
                                 “My breathe! The stuff tumming out of my mouf!”    
Nurse babe. She’s so funny about pretending to sleep.
Pray with girls. Sing them the good night song.

It’s time to rest your sleepy little head.
It’s time to snuggle in you cozy bed.
It’s time to say good night.
The sun has gone to bed and so must you.
Know you’re loved, all the whole night through
It’s time to say good night.
The stars will shine until the morning light.
God will keep you in His care all night.
It’s time to say good night.
It’s time to rest from such a busy day.
Tomorrow, we will have more time to play.
It’s time to say good night. (3xs)

Cadrian takes issue with that last line because he thinks it sounds like we’ll have more time to play than today. I maintain it only means we’ll have time to play again. 
As Aviana sagely notes, It does no good to argue with a five year old.

8:30  All is quiet. I mess around on FB and read more about Namaste Farms and read a few articles on gentle parenting. Chat with a few friends.

9:00 Kevin brings me in some ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and I start typing all this up.

As I’m typing I realize I took ONE picture today. ONE.

Last year when I did this I made a photo book out of it–it turned out beautifully. It’s pretty hard to make a photo book with one photo.

I’m not going to be annoyed with myself. It is what it is. It’s a day in my life.

         

   

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Restoration.

Ahh.

I have been a little concerned that I’ve been getting depressed. Like, seriously. But I think what I really needed was to just get out of the house!

The children were doing better healthwise today, even Elivette (who wanted to snurse all night, and if I pulled her off the breast she complained. Loudly. And often.)

I’ve been wanting to drive to a town about an hour away and check out the new Costco. Today, as I was downing my third cup of coffee and being blearily grumpy about having been awake since the wee hours of the morning, Kevin asked me if I wanted to go.

I couldn’t get those children ready fast enough.

We spent quite a bit of time browsing and exclaiming and discussing and corralling and it was so fun to see the chiddlers race down the aisles; Denton with his tiny little legs trailing far behind giggling all the while, Brielle in her ruby red sparkly slippers clattering with every step.

We ended up getting a membership, probably just so I could buy organic cream. And butter.

 I wasn’t ready to go home yet. We made a stop in West Branch, Iowa at the Herbert Hoover Museum. I knew nothing about him and had kind of believed the hyperbole of “Hoovervilles” and “Hoover blankets”. Today I learned differently! What a great man–literally brought himself up from nothing and made millions. He was the first person broadcast on television. Ever. He was one of the first students at Stanford. He saved millions and millions of people from starvation. Poor Bert–in the presidential office 6 months, the stock market crashed. And he was blamed.

It’s my opinion that the Great Depression was not ended by any of FDR’s policies, but by America’s involvement in WWII. Anyway, I digress.

We found a kitschy second hand store and found Cadrian some nice winter boots for next year. And we lost one.

We got a milkshake at an ice cream shop named “The Pink Pony”. (Guess which six year old was over the moon about that.)

We got back home in time to check out the Kuk Sool class we are considering for Brielle. And to visit Once Upon a Child to get some insulated pants and jeans for people with holes in theirs and leopard print baby outfits because babies need leopard print.

It was just a normal day…regular stuff…but it was so awesome to be laughing with my children, and my husband. It was so nice to be out and about.

******************************************
I had to sit down at Costco to nurse Elivette. Brielle suggested we sit on a couch facing the big TV.

“Or we could sit there.”
“That’s not facing the TV.”
“No, but we could sit and look at the jewelry.”
“You want to sit and look at jewelry?”
“I’m just that kind of a crazy kid.”
*****************************************
You know you are a rockstar mama when you can change a two year old who started out in bundies but ends up  with diarrhea, in a gas station, without losing your cool, and the child still has pants at the end of the deal.

And when the baby poos to her toes–neatly executing her first ever blowout at the museum–and ends up clean and clothed at the end of the deal.

And when the baby pukes all over the museum’s carpeted floor, and you nonchalantly clean that up too.

Laughing.
****************************************
I really love to laugh. Brielle told me once that she thinks I spend half my life laughing. I’m really glad that is the perspective she has of me.

Ahhhh…

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A Farm Fresh Day

This post is just for me. I share it with you because sometimes the mundane is oddly interesting. Perhaps what goes on in my house may encourage you to know that you are not alone in the mess and mayhem, the scurrying and squabbles.

 I do this a couple times a year, in a notebook. It helps me see how times have changed, the children have changed, how I’m growing, what exactly I do all day when, at the end of the day, I look around and can’t find a single room that offers sanctuary from the kid clutter, even though I thought I had the kids pick up (a couple times!).

And maybe, when the kids are grown, I’ll look back at my notebooks and weep softly for the crazy chaos that I’ll never have again.

I present to you
Tuesday 17 April 2012

5:41 a.m. “Mama. Mama? Mama!”
                 Uh-oh. Denton is awake.  Debate going up to the guest room (his crib is next to our bed). Wait–feigning sleep, barely breathing. Go back to sleep (I think) or at least a close approximation thereof.
6:30–       Cadrian slams open the door to our room. Sunlight streams in. Prairie dog baby pops up. Two boys in the bed, ” ‘nuggling”. Denton liberally distributes kisses and barely pulls my hair at all.
6:45–       up and at ’em
                 Play “Where’s Cadrian? Where’s Denton?” while they hide in the closet and the cubby by the dresser while I get dressed and make the bed. Tickles, kisses, tosses on the bed. Start to put away clothes from yesterday.
7:00–        Kevin asks me something. Go to kitchen so I can hear him.  Write checks and notes for Samaritan Ministries, pray. Cadrian carefully puts stamps on them and letters I wrote yesterday and licks envelopes. Kevin gets me coffee and the boys their shakes and bananas and cereal. Peels me an egg.
7:20–         Sit at table together discussing our house addition and  Samaritan Ministries newsletter while Denton eats K’s cereal. There’s a hole into the kitchen for a heat duct, but right now it’s windy and COLD. Ask  K, “Will you bring down the heater?” Denton answers, “No!”
7:35–          Go out to “summer kitchen” with K while he gets into boots and coveralls. Discuss sinks, attic, bathroom shelves/arrangement. Cadrian asks several more times for a story.
         Brielle and Aviana appear. Hug A & B.
7:45–           read C story-help him find “airplane clothes” which must be in the laundry–reminds me to switch laundry
8:00–          A reading Mrs. Pepperpot’s Outing                
                    BCD play with Mr Potato Head with minimal bickering
                    B reads “My Bible Book” to boys
8:15–           discuss debate club and Friday’s play date—share some almond mix with D
8:20–          clean kitchen counters, table high chair—fold Kevin’s clothes–start dryer–Kids wild dancing to Geography Songs–load dishwasher–clean off chocolate “Nobody” spilled in fridge a few days ago–clean up detergent “Nobody” spilled between washer and dryer a couple of weeks ago—sweep floor—slice lemons and limes to freeze–change Denton’s stinky dipe–put B in time out for squeezing C–fix hair–talk to furnace guys about storage space in attic crawl space
9:15–            make more coffee–talk with girls about next Presentation Day–prevent D from destroying C’s train tracks–prevent D from getting into CD’s
9:30–             make cape out of tee shirt for C–he doesn’t want it; he wants green–B loves it–make mask–find green fabric! (note to self: Get to Goodwill)–sew cape for C–he doesn’t like mask–make them pick up all the laundry they dumped–face paint masks for C and B—A wants flowers, and a headscarf like Chava in Fiddler on the Roof—D finds chocolate eggs in my bag (how/when did those get there?!) Ate 2 or 3 while I was painting–send B & C outside to play—return to find A & D snuggled on the couch under a blanket reading.
10:20–            fold laundry—intermittently play with D—fix slow clock—now A has on Christmas music; at least it’s calming
10:40–             start lunch–boil potatoes–direct Super B who wants to assist making Shepherd’s Pie–finish putting away clothes in my room—put away clean laundry
10:50–             talk w/ plumber RE: bathroom arrangement (toilet, sink, shower)
11:00–             call K to make sure he agrees with what I decided
11:10–             make mashed potatoes in food processor—get Pie in oven
11:20–             change D
11:30–              direct B to pick up all the shoes on the porch—send C (who is hindering her work) off to find jump ropes and put them away—direct B to shake rugs and sweep–she doesn’t need much supervision anymore and seems to really enjoy this task
                         direct A to match socks and put away some of the laundry
11:45–             finish sweeping porch, put away winter things, switch out summer bin, write in daily diary I’ve been keeping since February
11:50–             dish up food and drinks
12:02 p.m.–      BOY! It’s QUIET when they’re eating and the workers aren’t drilling/sawing. I didn’t realize how loud it’d been!
12:06–              banana dessert or cake. Oh I want some! But not as overwhelmingly as when I first drastically cut back on sugar
12:07–             Out of nowhere, B says, “Boy, I”m surprised Gigi and Opa are still alive!”
                           Me, “why?”
                           Her, ” Because you’re their kid and their kids are really old!”
                           Aviana, “People don’t usually die until their grandchildren are grown up.”
12:08–               eat a few bites of banana dessert, but stop myself from demolishing the whole thing. I guess that’s progress.
12:10–               Get cleaned up from lunch. Do dishes
12:20–                read “Who’s that Knocking on Christmas Eve?” and “Peter is Just a Baby”
12:45–               change D, sleep sack him, K puts him down for his nap–talk with K and plumber again about bathroom placement–come up with yet another plan
1:00–                  read “Peter is Just a Baby” again
1:10–                  Aviana wants to listen to a book on CD but can’t find the ear phone adapter
1:15–                    I look in stereo cabinet
1:20–                    I look in/on computer armoire
1:25–                    I look in electronics box in storage (and note that belly barely scrapes through closet door which only opens 1/3 of the way)
1:30–                    I look in Kevin’s music room
1:35–                    I give up in annoyance and give her the portable DVD player. Find charger after two attempts.
1:40–               Take homeschool/book catalogs, computer and notebook upstairs
1:45–                 Furnace guy comes wandering in looking for inlet for furnace
1:50–                Check emails
2:00–               Check Facebook–send a few birthday greetings
2:15–               Upload pics from camera
2:25–               Upload addition pics to FB; for some reason they are huge, which makes organizing album extremely frustrating
2:30–               Read article about PPD–traumatic birth experience lends itself to PPD, something I’ve always wondered about regarding B’s birth and the months afterward
2:35–               Looked up some more baby names; found one I really like!
2:40–               Leah (my sister) calls Man! So good to hear her voice. Had a really good conversation despite
2:50–              C coming in crying (bumped his head)
2:55–              B coming in crying (bumped her head)
3:00–              A coming in saying D is crying
3:05–              D coming in crying (just because he’s awake)–he calmed down quickly though (this time) so I thankfully don’t have to get off the phone
3:15                  ABC ask if they can walk through the field to the cemetery 1/2 mile away (permission granted)
3:17                   Help C with his shoes
3:30                  Get off phone–never did look at homeschool stuff/catalogs
3:35                  Phone again–talk w/ K about how to pay furnace guys
3:45                  Phone again–it’s the furnace guy
4:00                  Stop messing around online
4:05                  Find our favorite meatloaf recipe
                         Realize that I can no longer make “lil cheddar loaves” because of B’s dairy allergy; decide not to throw recipe away. Find a different meat loaf recipe
4:15                 Go back up to computer, find link through friend’s Pinterest for correct proportions for Peanut Butter Smoothies
4:20                   Cut up all the bananas in the house for the smoothies
4:25                   Call Kevin to see if he can pick up bananas on his way home from delivering bull
4:30                    Measure rest of ingredients
4:35                    Kevin shows up at door–I didn’t know he was already back. I guess no bananas for breakfast.
4:40                     Get done flirting with him
4:45                     Check bananas–not yet frozen
4:46                     Start on meatloaf–get distracted by giggling with Denton. He’s hiding in cubby hole between counter and cabinets and I’m “getting him”.
5:00                       Get “meat muffs” in oven (meat loaves cooked in muffin tins, Aviana named them this when she was 2 or 3)
5:05                     Wash potatoes
5:10                     Go downstairs. Think I hear a cat mewling inexplicably. Get more potatoes.
5: 15                    Wash more potatoes, get water boiling, get them boiling
5:20                     Kiddlets are back. Let them watch Magic Schoolbus
5:25                     Back to basement for carrots. Think I hear cat again. Realize I do hear cat! B locked barn cat in cat carrier–this explains all the cat hair on her I noticed earlier–release cat and carry cat and carrots upstairs
5:30                      Get carrots boiling–go upstairs to check on kiddlets–notice D is super stinky–can’t find any wipes–realize wet flannel family cloth work wonderfully–why haven’t I been doing this all along?!–rinse diaper with shower sprayer into toilet–still rinsing when kiddlets all appear to supervise and offer ICK commentary
5:35                      Get them going on tidying house
                              Fresh diaper applied. Notify B if she doesn’t stop bellowing, she’ll  have to be in charge of dining room AND family room before she gets dinner. Know she’s just tired and hungry.
5:45                        Tell C what to pick up and put away in kitchen
                              B is doing a great job!
5:50                       Finish vacuuming edges. Instruct A to pull out all the toys that creep under the couch, and put them away.
5:55                       Direct handwashing
6:00                Kevin calls to say he needs to go spray so he’ll be late. (Right now!? Pout. I’ll take care of everything. Again. Sigh. He’s really very sweet; “I know it seems like that, but it can’t be helped…” I know…I know.)
6:05                       Fill plates, get everyone sitting–get milk/water for everyone–sing Aviana’s prayer–admonish C to cooperate and hold hands with his sisters.
6:10                       Take away D’s milk so he doesn’t put meatloaf in it–C wants to sing “Fank You Gheezus” –admonish girls to cooperate with him–resist the temptation to ignore my babies and read at the table and veg my brain, even though it has been a mightily wonderful day, my brain is full and tired and I don’t want to participate anymore
6:20                  Get girls unloading dishwasher and putting all the dishes away, not just on counter
6:25                  B wants smoothie in “fancy glasses”–I consent–girls play “cheering each other” (toasting)
                         B cries because I tell her to put “fancy glasses” away
                         Talk to her about trust–she has to trust me–If I say she has to put glasses away and I said she can have fancy glass for smoothie, she has to trust my plan. Just like God put me in authority over her and I have to trust in His plan. Just like Abraham, Moses and Jesus trusted in His plan–she has to trust my plan even though she can’t see the whole picture or understand this part in the plan (I had the smoothies already in different fancy glasses in the freezer)
6:30                 Help C eat the last few bites of meatloaf
6:35                 Finish clearing table and load dishwasher
6:40                 Get everyone sat back down–distribute smoothies (1/4 c pb, frozen banana,3/4 c almond milk, 1/4 c oatmeal (grind first in vita-mix))–Unbelievable how good they are–NO Sugar!
6:48                  Denton has done a splendid job both eating his smoothie and dispensing it all over face, spoon, hands and chair–wipe him down as well as high chair, wall and counter
6:50                 Jama time
6:55                 Start brushing teeth
7:00                 Start reading stories. 4 McDuff stories, 1 Bible story
7:15                 One by one, pray with them and send them off to bed. Little Rascal Denton is hiding behind couch. Kevin shows up. Eats, executes super fast shower.
7:25                  Cadrian has snuck upstairs. “Cadrian get down here this instant or you’ll get a spanking!”
7:25               Marriage Mentoring couple shows up. They’re getting married in January. Emotional session.
10:00             They leave–we go upstairs to show K remodel album and pics of superhero day–look at pinterest, fb, email–talk about addition, baby names, mentoring–he likes smoothie
10:30              Bed

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So good

It’s so good to feel good.

I have been getting back to normal–we went to church on Sunday (my first time for several weeks) and I even took the kids to story hour yesterday, and on an outing today–pick up milk, grocery shop and a reward trip to Goodwill. The girls didn’t find anything they wanted, but even so I was so proud of them for first of all, being such good examples at the store, and secondly, not buying something just because they could.

I, on the other hand, found two maternity shirts I don’t really need, and a raincoat and jacket for Cadrian. It was just in time too, because it was raining fish hooks and hammer heads this early evening.

We wandered down to the barnyard to meet our new little red heifer named Lolly. She’ll be bred this spring to our bull Shawnee Five Star. She’s been broke to lead already, so if we can manage to spend enough time with her and keep her tame, I hope to milk her after she calves next year… emphasis on IF.

I watched a PBS special on DVD called A Midwife’s Tale. It of course caught my eye because of the title, but it is really a story of a woman in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s. She kept a diary, an almanac, a record of her work, of the tragedies and joys of her little town in Maine, of the life and loves and heartbreaks. All captured in a few words a day, every day, for 27 years. Also interesting to note, in over 1000 births, she never lost a mama in childbirth (there was a death of a mama a few days after birth) and only a few babes. Remarkable–and a much better current record than the ‘established’ medical community of hospital birth and prevalence of cutting mamas.

I set off the fire alarm making dinner tonight, but the homemade tortillas and refried beans were quickly devoured and the noise didn’t really seem to bother anyone. I forgot until it was too late that beans and rice together are a perfect protein, so I’ll try to remember to get the rice going next time.

UPS brought my Belly Armor blanket today and a book; Five Minute Art Ideas (I wonder if that includes clean up –doubtful). I’m looking forward to getting my splurge purchase of a Belly Chime.

Also got a tutorial for a Katwise coat. I want to make them for the girls–and me too if I’m brave enough. I’ve never seen anything like this on the streets where I live, but I sure do love the feminine twirliness! It’s so refreshing to be able to think about starting a project!

Hug your babies tightly. Listen to them breathe. Nuzzle their sweet soft cheeks and pray for them.That’s what I’m going to do and then go sleep on my new pillow (all night even, if the past few nights are any indication!)

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Mar302011034

A Day: In Status Updates

Dark. Bad. Quiet. Good.

Apple muffins: YUM! Shredded knuckle: Not so much.

School started promptly at 9:00. First interruption: 9:20. Not bad!
Denton actually says Ga-Ga.
I want a friend in Alaska.
Brielle’s sunflower sprouts are amazingly resilient.
B: I don’t want to help Tadrian! He always drools on my hand!
Why do I not feel as awesome in my apron as my grandma looked in hers?
I like big equipment as much as the next girl, but the third hour of “back ‘oe” “back ‘oe” “back ‘oe” (repeat. and keep repeating…) may have turned me off of excavators for life.
Too bad this sour cream isn’t actually sour cream.
Loving our new mealtime prayer song.
Quickie Mop doesn’t begin to describe it.
Never realized how good of bunk beds a new bookshelf would be.
It’s awfully hard to put on a coat with a baby on your back.
Ooooh–a new L.L.Bean catalog.
Perspective: When I had just a 2 year old and a baby, I thought life was pretty busy and crazy. Now when I have just a 2 year old and a baby, I feel like I’m on vacation.
Does it count as being in a smaller size if you can’t keep it zipped all day?
All the chirping birds make it difficult to make yourself heard out of doors. Not that I’m complaining. And if I did you wouldn’t be able to hear me anyway.
I adore my UPS man. He always seems to know just what I like.
I just used the word varmit. If I don’t watch it, pretty soon I’ll be a-settin’ on ma porch a’hollerin’ fer them pesky critters to git on outta heyar!

Do I need a special spray bottle for olive oil?
Home raised steak.
Frontier House”: reality tv before reality tv was cool. I’m not 100% confident I would have rocked Frontier House. But I would have tried hard. And learned a lot.
I don’t have enough time to do nothing when I go to bed at 10.
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Fabulous Friday

What a day!

Maybe it’s the being off sugar and God is blessing me for it–but I have been chock full of energy all day today.
I was up at two with my sweet four year old who just can’t seem to get used to her big bed and new bedroom upstairs. I had a headache and took some medicine which had caffeine in it. So by the time the headache was gone, the caffeine (which I haven’t had in a couple of days either) kicked in and I could NOT fall asleep. And you’d think, listening to four other people sleep soundly, oh so soundly, it wouldn’t be hard to doze off myself, but no. (yes that would mean there were four other people in my room)
So I finally I was convinced it was fruitless to just lie there and I got up and did a little cleaning and went to the gym. The gym! In the dark! Me?! Imagine! I just left a note on the fridge and left the house. I felt like a rebel.
It was an awesome class too.
Then I hit the store. By myself.
By the time I got home it was time for Kevin to get out and do chores. I did a little hanging out with the kiddos amid the putting away of the groceries and such, then we went to story hour. I kept Cadrian on a VERY tight leash, no running out the door or taking his pants off this time! I also bought a lamp for a quarter.
Home again. (and you must keep in mind when one lives in the country, going somewhere tends to be quite the production–you can’t just get there in five minutes) After lunch, stories and ado, we started quiet time. The boys were sleeping and I showered.
Brielle wanted to rub lotion on my legs afterward and I allowed her. Then she wanted to massage it on my back, and I acquiesced to that as well. Then she said, joyfully, “I’m like your servant. Except you don’t pay me, so I’m really your slave!” Even so, I still enjoyed the back rub.
Denton woke up and the girls thought that meant they didn’t have to be quiet anymore. I did manage to doze off while rocking the baby back to sleep.
We had some friends over to play and join in Forced Outdoor Fun, which now that the weather is warming up (she says with her fingers crossed), is muddy but back on the schedule.
Kevin took the middle ones to go get the pizza. We did the bedtime thing. I skimmed a book I might buy, Grow Your Own Drugs. It’s a really well written book (and I’ve read several home pharma books like it), but I still have a lot of questions. Learning from a book is good and all, but I would really like my grandmother in my kitchen guiding me through all this. *wistful sigh*
Now, my energy is flagging and I need to snuggle up in my bed.
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It’s Real Life–An Ordinary Day

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Here is the It’s Real Life badge and the code to copy which will put it on your post. The badge will appear on your page and will link back here to the fest.

This week’s theme is a photo tour of an ordinary day in your life.

Some caveats: You must include at least one picture of yourself in action.
You must include at least one picture of someone close to you, also in action.
You must include one picture in your kitchen.

My ordinary day was Monday.

5-6 a.m. Nurse baby. Try to get more sleep.
6-7 a.m. Brielle gets into bed with us. She jabbers non-stop.
She grunts loudly, toots, then declares. “Me tooting. Me say, Nnnnnngggg…toot!”
What a way to wake up.
7-8 a.m. Get people dressed, changed, pottied, fed. Google an ideal gift for a six year old boy. Overwhelmed by the large variety of choices, give up and call his mother. When discussing gift with Aviana: “What should we give Isaac for his birthday?”
“We sud div him Tadrian!”
“Give him your baby brother!?”
“Yes, den you tuld pway wif us more!”
8-9 a.m. Continue the getting ready to go process, along with sorting some clothes and relabeling bins, killing way too many flies and starting a load of laundry, hoping the lipstick comes out. There’s a phone conversation with my MIL in there too.
9-10 a.m. Arrive at Toys R Us to discover they are closed. Take a circuitous route due to ridiculous one ways to KMart across the street. Buy present, visit restroom, buy shoes for Brielle, socks for Aviana, and pick up penny 17 times off the floor Brielle keeps dropping

10-1 Arrive at party with gift wrapped in Kmart bag. Enjoy company of wonderful friends, even though four year old was cold and whiney and spent most of the party in the van.
Eat super yummy snacks.

After driving home again, commence ‘quiet time’.
1-3 p.m.Since Brielle actually fell asleep, Aviana and I started a batch of Ginger Cream cookies. Cadrian practices holding up his head, and
eats.
3-4:30 was today’s designated screaming hour. I was so frustrated, I didn’t get one picture of Brielle’s ginormous tantrum or Cadrian’s excruciating yelling.

4:30-5 Finally, though, everyone (but me) is happy once again. Aviana works on her state puzzle
while Brielle assists with the Ginger Creams. Somewhere in there Brielle gets in big trouble for spilling water on my new frame and getting the mat wet.
5-5:30 Thank goodness for Curious George!
5:30-6 Bath, try to read to the girls, nurse the still very unhappy baby. Intend to take some headache medicine but don’t remember to do it right away. Get chicken nuggets and fries on Pizza Pizzazz! and veggies on stove top. Kevin comes in–my relief is boundless.

Aviana sees how sad and upset I am and does a silly dance to try and cheer me up.

6-7 p.m. My relief is short lived when I see him dressed to go to his band gig. I start to cry. I don’t say much. Aviana asks if I’m still upset at Brielle. Kevin asks what’s wrong, but we don’t really have time to get into it, and I decline to answer.

Finally he makes a smart aleck comment about how I’m having a pity party because everyone is leaving me tonight.

I react very maturely and swear at him and stomp out of the room.

Fortunately, I married the best man in the world and he comes to find me and I tell him how exhausted I am. We make up.

7-8 p.m. Get the girls in bed. Shush them a few times. Finally tell them I’m going to shut off the living room light (they use it for their night light) if they don’t be quiet and go to sleep. Don’t hear anything else from them.

8-9 p.m. Eat a loaded baked potato and crawl in bed; still with a headache. Nurse baby and snuggle with him. Read for a while.

9:45-10:30 p.m. Am asleep when Kevin comes home, but he brought me a peanut butter and hot fudge shake with fat free ice cream, so I get up to eat my special treat! Mess around online for a bit.

10:30 Back in bed. Asleep.

Pretty typical around here (excepting the getting mad at my dear hubs part–that’s actually a rarity). Now let’s see an ordinary day in your neck of the woods!

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08-01-001

A Mama’s Birthday

or, “It’s Not Really All About You Anymore”

2:00 Nurse Baby
2:40 Take some ibprofen; fall back asleep
4:00 Nurse Baby
6:00 Still nursing Baby
6:30 Pass Baby to hubby; tell him you need a break; fall back asleep
7:00 Wake up to four year old asking if you want breakfast in bed; hear hubby from the other room saying, “Aviana, I told you to let her sleep!”
8:30 Wake up again to screaming, bickering girls and a screaming, hungry baby
8:31 Get some coffee
8:40 While nursing baby, issue directives to the other set of under three footers
8:45 Accept a call from aunt, grandma and cousin singing “Happy Birthday!”; can’t really hear any of the ensuing conversation due to child cacophony in background
9:00 Still nursing baby, read some stories
10:10 Have no idea where last hour went, change out of nightgown, get everyone’s hair combed, pottied, and ready to go to chiro appointment
10:28 Accept a call from sister-in-law wishing “Happy Birthday!”; while glad to get the wishes, wonder why you answered phone when you need to be walking out the door
10:30 Dad decides to go with us
10:31 Kevin decides to go with us instead
10:32 Come back in the house for something
10:32 1/2 Come back in the house for something else
10:34 Come back in the house for another thing
10:58 While waiting for elevator, notice breast milk is dripping down your leg (and is all over front of your shirt)
10:59 While in elevator, change breast pads
11:00 Arrive at doctor’s office on time; receptionist says, “Oh you still haven’t had that baby?!” Think to yourself that your belly is nearly flat (relatively!) and choose to ignore the pang of fatness you feel. Husband holds up baby in carrier while everyone oohs and ahhs over baby.
11:15 Preschooler and toddler occupy themselves by marching around to imaginary music and racing back and forth to toy area. Luckily, waiting room is nearly deserted.
11:20 Doctor finally ready for us
11:30 Neck “is like a brick”, but creeping headache averted
11:45 Brielle whines all the way to Culver’s
12:00 Get our food; make trips back up the counter for a knife to cut girls’ burger, more ketchup, more napkins, another straw, Kevin’s soda
12:20 Food half eaten; Baby starts to fuss; break out the boob
12:21 With boob out under blanket, some guy stops by table to admire screaming baby (do you not notice he’s screaming, guy?!)
12:30 Kevin tells girls, “Now you guys are going to fall asleep in the car and take nice long naps.” The old lady sitting behind us interjects, “That sounds like wishful thinking to me!”
12:45 Go out to van to finish nursing; girls march around grassy area with their umbrellas, because it’s fun, and they can
1:00 Drop off pan from a delivered meal at a friend’s; Girls whine and cry because they can’t get out of van to play with their friend
1:15 Brielle falls asleep
1:30 Aviana is finally quiet after much ado and arguing; she pretends to sleep
1:40 Cadrian crying again; go in to nurse him, Kevin brings in girls; Aviana plays semi-quietly in her room
3:00 Realize you fell asleep in the chair; awaken groggily and painfully slowly with baby in arm that’s asleep, and toddler wanting snuggled and preschooler who wants attention; husband is out baling hay
4:00 15 Little Golden Books later, decide you are too tired to go out with husband for birthday, call and tell him so
4:40 Call and order pizza; leave message with Mom to pick it up on way home from work
5:00 Herd everyone upstairs to watch Curious George; nurse baby
5:20 Accept a call from sister and family singing “Happy Birthday!”; exchange mothering stories, sympathize and give phone hugs
5:30 Still nursing; let them watch an episode of “naughty children-Upers Anny” (as Brielle calls Supernanny)
6:00 Kevin home
6:15 Gigi home; everyone eats pizza off paper plates
6:40 Do the birthday song and let girls blow out candles

6:45 Disappear upstairs to nurse baby (AGAIN) and let Gigi and Kevin get girls to bed
7:15 Gratefully accept a bowl of birthday cake and ice cream
7:20 Put baby down to sleep
7:25 Baby wakes up screaming
7:30 Dispatch Kevin to put together baby swing
7:40 Realize we have no batteries for it
7:45 Baby is asleep again after having nursed for an eternity; give him to Gigi
8:30 Get started watching “The Water Horse”
10:00 Decide headache is back and it’s time for bed
11:45 Baby wakes up hungry

**Edited**This was meant to be jaunty and funny in an “Oh the irony!” kind of a way. I guess it didn’t translate very well when you can’t see the wry grin on my face. It was a great birthday! I’m not having a pity party for myself. I love love this life–sore boobages, tired eyes and whiny kids and all.

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