a day in the life

My alarm goes off at 5:00am.  I used to be crazy {even crazier?} and get up at 4:15am, but I decided to trade in my morning quiet time and peaceful breakfast for that extra, beautiful, wonderful 45 minutes of sleep.  I’m not a snooze button kind of gal.  Even when I’m exhausted, or I’ve been up all night with a sick baby, I’m pretty good at getting right out of bed.  Sometimes I hop right up.  Sometime I roll out.  Sometimes I groan, but I almost always get right up.  Today was rough.  I mean really.really.rough.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night and am paying for it now.  That, plus the time change the other night…plus a cold I have been trying to fight off for a week that is now winning the battle.  Not a good combination.  However I feel, even if it’s that kind of a morning, I try to start with a prayer and then it’s full speed until I sit down to “rest” later that night.  I get myself completely ready and make the bed before getting the girls up and heading downstairs to start breakfast.  For the past year I also had a fifteen minute pumping session to fit in as well as a morning nursing session with Andrew {no more pumping now, but Andrew and I still get our time}.  I make all lunches the night before, otherwise I find myself running very late.  With five lunches to make each day, it’s quite a task!  Sometimes Eric does the lunches for me, and boy is that a treat!  I make the three kids’ breakfasts {or sometimes Eric does…yay!}.  Today Eric treated us to pancakes and scrambled eggs {he thought we deserved a treat on this oh-so-difficult to get up kind of morning}. I made Andrew his oatmeal today mixed with homemade strawberry applesauce.  I put hot water on the stove to make myself a cup of tea to go.  I empty the dishwasher from the night before and load it up with all the breakfast dishes when we are done.  Samantha has now taken over the cat’s food and water and emptying the home’s trash cans, but I used to do those tasks too.  I wait to hear Andrew’s first “peep” of the day and hurry to his room to find him standing in his crib, a big smile on his face.

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I scoop him up and get my morning kisses and cuddles before it’s back to business with diaper changing and checking the diaper bag to make sure it is fully stocked and set for the day.  I pick out clothes for the younger two and sometimes get them all dressed.  I help Caitlyn brush her teeth and straighten up rooms around the house as I go {I like there to be at least a little order around me when I return home later in the day}.  I usually move a load of laundry from the drier to the bed to be folded later that day and often get a new load going.  Then Samantha and I are out the door to fight traffic all the way to work and school.  It’s now only 6:35 am.  Although this morning routine sounds hectic and crazy, I love it.  I really do.  I am very type A in many ways so I like the schedule, the structure.  I wish I had more time to enjoy the morning moments with my little ones, but I get plenty of hugs, squeezes, kisses, cuddles, and “I love yous” in before I dash down the stairs carrying the five million things I drag to and from work everyday.

Work is nothing short of exhausting.  Picture 25 4 and five year olds from different backgrounds with very different parents all with completely different personalities and needs.  All.  Day.  Long.  I love them and I enjoy my job, but it is EXHAUSTING and it is not easy, but that’s a whole different post.

Most days after school Samantha and I head straight to pick up Andrew from his daycare.  From there we go to my mom and dad’s house to pick up Caitlyn.  We stop long enough for a quick snack and rest, then it’s on the road again.  Except for when it’s not.  On Tuesdays I go straight from work to another job teaching after school enrichment classes in cooking and art.  On Wednesdays Samantha has ballet class for an hour.

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Then we head home.  Except when we don’t.  Sometimes I have to stay and sort all the Scrip {I run the entire Scrip program for Caitlyn’s preschool} and sometimes I have meetings in the evenings for work.  Those are long days.  When we finally head home, it’s the three kids, me, and a whole lot of STUFF.  I’m lucky to be home by 4:45 pm.  The moment the garage door closes and I have to get out of the car is probably the most difficult and exhausting moment of my day.  I have to face the fact that  I have to get all three kids and their mountains of crap stuff up the stairs, into the house, and put away.  Somehow we always make it, although I don’t really know how.  Then I get to work making dinner.  As I make dinner, Samantha starts her homework, Caitlyn sits down to play with Andrew, or look at a book, or if it’s been a really exhausting day, to watch a TV show.  If I’d get it together we would have more slow cooker meals ready for us when we get home, but I haven’t gotten myself that organized yet so I rush around pulling together a quick and healthy meal for five.  As I dash between the sink the fridge and stove, I also make all five lunches for the next day.  I help with homework, time Samantha for her timed math assignments, and start feeding Andrew before he melts down.

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Once we finally sit down for dinner, it’s peace for a little while while we I enjoy my food.  Samantha is the pickiest eater and she eats painfully slowly.  Unfortunately her eating habits have rubbed off on Caitlyn, so I hear a lot of grumbling unless I’ve made one of the favorites {that include spaghetti, orange chicken, and stew}.  We’re working on the be grateful for what you have because there are starving children in the world/you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit concepts, but I don’t think either of them have really sunk in yet.  Once dinner is over I am rinsing and loading dishes in the dish washer, cleaning up the mess of a floor under the table, and then it’s bath time.  The girls usually go first while I get their room ready for bed, pull their clothes out for the next day {at least Caitlyn’s clothes…Samantha is learning responsibility and does her own bed making, outfit choosing, etc.}, and fold and put away clean laundry. Usually somewhere in this part of the routine Eric gets home from work and even though I know he is tired from his commute, he is great about jumping in and helping out where he can.   Once the girls are out, ready for bed and either reading books on their beds or watching a half an hour of TV, Andrew and I head to his bathroom for his bath time.  I love bath time with babies.  It’s such a happy time of day.  Andrew LOVES his bath.  We splash and play with his rubber ducks and some fun cups the girls got him for his birthday.  Then it’s “jammie” time.  We usually check on the girls and then start Andrew’s bedtime routine.  He still nurses at night, then we brush his teeth, read some books, sing a song or two, and into the crib he goes.  It’s between 7:00 and 7:30pm.  I now dash back up the stairs to get the girls in bed just as Eric starts his dinner.

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The girls and I read a book or two or three, brush teeth, and say prayers…lights are usually off by 7:30 pm…and then I prepare to start all over again the next morning.  Thank goodness for weekends {and summer vacation!}.

I’m tired just thinking about my day…good night!

Jenny

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