Apr 15, 2015

A Detailed Account...

I wrote this yesterday (Tuesday), so it is referencing the day's events from Monday.  I didn't publish it yesterday because I wasn't quite able to finish it.  It's not my best work, guys.  It was supposed to be a basic 'what does a day with 4 kids look like for you?' post, but I got hung up in the details.  It's LONG.  It changes from past to present tense, like, a FEW times.  In some areas it's pretty boring.  I almost scrapped the whole thing.  But then I thought- it's true, it's real, it happened, so it has value right?  If nothing else I know I'll enjoy looking back on it one day and reminiscing over it like an old picture: ahh remember when...  

After a night of not much sleep for either of us, (thanks to the tiny sleep terrorist we share a room with) Chris got up at 6:30 and got in the shower.  I'm pretty confident the girls got up around the same time to the sound of the alarm clock in their room, but I can't say for sure because I was still snoring.  At 7 Chris took the baby downstairs, woke up our son and refused to leave the room until he was standing (because the kid will not get out of bed in the morning), and then made coffee.  I got up at 7:30.

The kids eat breakfast and clean up after themselves, brush their teeth, and our oldest wipes down the counter in the bathroom after everyone is done.  They do this every morning- have for the past 3 years- but they still need cajoling and encouragement and reminders to "quit bugging each other and get ready for school!"  Chris gets ready for work, the baby plays on the floor, I eat breakfast, drink coffee, and remind and cajole.

He leaves at 8 to take the big kids to school.  Our little love is ready for her first nap by now, (yes even though she's only been up an hour).  So, I take her upstairs and put her down.  I check her diaper, give her medicine for thrush, darken the room, turn on the rain machine and the fan that blows her mobile around, and sit on the bed and nurse her.  When she's finished I give her a pacifier and stand up and cradle her in my arms, swaying back and forth and singing "You Are My Sunshine" [off key].  Then I lay her down in her bed, tuck her stuffed raccoon under her arm and walk out.  Sometimes she's already asleep, sometimes she squawks once (literally once), but 99% of the time this works like a charm.  Yesterday at 8am it totally worked.

I go down stairs and finish my cup of coffee while I do some sewing for The 100 Day Project.  I listen to This American Life while I sew.  I made a bandana bib and a bow, and posted a picture on Instagram.

Chris came home from dropping the kids off at school for a short time before heading off to work.  He isn't able to do that every day, and the only reason I'm sure he came home yesterday is because I have this picture of a smoothie I was drinking around 9:30, and I'm certain I didn't make it for myself.  I'm way too lazy to make such a complicated morning snack.  It was delicious.  Thanks Chris!

After I finished sewing, I paused my podcast and wrote yesterday's quick little blog post.  While I was uploading the pictures I heard the baby on the monitor.  She woke up but was cooing happily, so I finished what I was doing and then shut down my computer before I went to get her.  It was almost 10.

She smiles so big when I walk in the room after a nap- I love it.  I picked her up and snuggled her, changed her diaper, and then set her on the floor with a couple of toys while I changed out of pajamas and into work out clothes.  I brushed my teeth (finally, right?!) and we were off.

I've been using the '10k Runner' app on my iPhone to help build strength and stamina and I'm REALLY happy with it.  It tells me when to walk and when to run, and when I've hit the halfway point.  This was my run yesterday.

I play a podcast or pandora at the same time, and my run is over in no time.  Yesterday I skipped the headphones, plopped my phone into one of the cupholders on the stroller and played my workout and This American Life through the speakers.  The baby likes to listen, too.

When we got home, I did my sit ups and squats, using apps by the same developer.  Normally this is no big deal and the baby plays on the floor next to me while I finish up, but yesterday she would not leave me alone.  I tried nursing her first, but she still climbed all over me.

Ya know how some girls look cute while they exercise?  Yeah... no.  My work out partner is ADORABLE though.

I squeezed out my sit ups and then put her in her high chair with some boiled pear slices I'd made the day before.  I did my squats right next to her so I could watch for choking, but didn't really get to stretch at the end because she was already getting grumpy.  I tried feeding her some pea puree, but after 2 bites she was done.  It was about 11:30.

Normally at this time I would take her in the shower with me.  When we were done, I'd put her down for a nap at about 12, and she would sleep until around 1:30.  However she already seemed really tired, and we were going to have to leave the house at 12:30 to get the big kids from school anyway, so I thought an early nap would be a good thing.  I really needed a shower, so I did the normal nap routine, but instead of walking out I walked into the bathroom and hopped in the shower.

This did not go well.  She screamed.  The door was closed, but she knew damn well where I was.  Luckily about 3 minutes into my shower Chris came home during a break between appointments and texted me, "Shit did I wake her up?"  He tried to put her to sleep but it wasn't happening, so she didn't get a nap.  I finished my shower, Chris had to leave for work at 12:15, and I hurriedly scarfed down a Trader Joe's prepared salad before I had to pick the kids up from school.  The baby amused herself by jabbering loudly and pulling all the big books off the bottom shelf in the dining room.

You were delicious, you just weren't enough for me!

Out of the 25 minute drive out to the school, my best estimate is the baby slept about 15 minutes.  As soon as the kids get in the car, she's awake.  My son hands me a behavior chart the teacher fills out every day to hold him accountable- he had an excellent day!  (He usually does, but she was afraid if we stopped the charts he might slide back into his clowning ways).  My daughter tells me her friend started her period that day and it totally freaked her out.  I chuckle sympathetically.

We stop by Target on the way home to get a pack of diapers, because we are still battling a yeast infection and can't use our cloth diapers until it's gone.  (It's just the faintest whisper of an itchy red spot that will not go away, it's driving me crazy.  Of course I say it's itchy but she can't tell me that and doesn't actually act like it bothers her so maybe it's not- but it LOOKS itchy.)  Still, I'm feeling optimistic, so I buy the small pack and cross my fingers I won't be back by the end of the week.

We get home and only have an hour before we'll need to leave again for my oldest daughter's baseball game.  My son wants a snack but he just had lunch, so I tell him to get his homework going and he can have a snack before we leave.  The baby is a hot mess by now, so I bring her upstairs to put her down for a nap.  When I walk out she screams.  I sit for a minute to see if she'll stop.  Meanwhile, I hear my other children ignoring my instructions and loudly rummaging around the kitchen for food.  My 12-year-old and 8-year-old are arguing, but I can't even tell you over what because it's already deteriorated into obnoxious sarcasm and name calling.

So I sit on the floor in the hall, with my baby screaming... SCREAMING on the other side of the door behind me and 2 kids fighting downstairs.  I'm starving- all that exercise and then just a hastily half-eaten salad for lunch?  No bueno.

My mind wanders for a minute and I think to myself, thank god I don't have to do it all at once.  I ignore the big kids.  I take a deep breath and go back into the bedroom.  I snuggle the baby but it becomes clear she's not taking a nap.  I bring her downstairs and plop her on the floor and suddenly she's not a hot mess anymore.  Maybe all she wanted was to nurse?  I knew she would be tired during the baseball game, but there was nothing I could do about it then and I needed a snack.

The kids were done arguing and done eating already.  I sit and eat an apple and a giant spoonful of Nutella while they do homework.  Mister is sitting on the bean bag chair doing his reading, and the baby won't stop climbing all over him.  I think it's hilarious and take some video.  I move her off him once, but then I give up because I'm eating, and he obviously doesn't mind the distraction from his homework.

Chris gets home at about 2:20.  We decide to take 2 cars to the game so one of us can leave early to take our other daughter to dance class.  Since we're doing that, only one of us has to leave right away to get our kid there for warm ups- everyone else can meet us at 3:30 when the game actually starts.  Chris doesn't care either way so I opt to leave first and he stays home with the baby and the other 2 kids.  I tell him I was going to make Smitten Kitchen's mushroom pate and put it in the fridge for dinner but I ran out of time, in the vain hope that maybe he can pull it off.  He doesn't have enough time, but he does chop up all the vegetables we were going to roast and eat with it.

I get to the baseball park and my daughter runs off to join her team.  I go inside and buy a black coffee (for $2.50, geez) and sit in one of those stadium chairs, in the shade.  Alone.  Warm air, pleasant breeze.  Quiet.  For a FULL 30 minutes.  Again, A-L-O-N-E.  I read blogs on my phone and sip my coffee, and it was like a friggen' vacation.

The game goes well, our kid plays first base and bats 4th.  The team is really coming together and makes some good plays.  The game has a hard 2 hour time limit, which means they have to stop in the middle of the last inning- the other team's parents are pissed because they were catching up.  This is not a very competitive league, I didn't even know what the score was, those parents were being completely obnoxious.

For the duration our 8-year-old played on the playground with some other kids- it's a really nice baseball park.  They've got multiple baseball stadiums, batting cages, a hockey rink, a restaurant with all the classic baseball food and coffee and beer (baseball makes me wish I liked beer, but I don't.)   The baby was tired but she nursed, ate puffs, and rode around in her stroller and she was good.

Our middle daughter coincidentally got caught in a lie while we were there.  Serious offenses mean serious consequences, so no dance class for her last night.

By the end of the game I was getting really hungry.  By the time we got home I felt weak and shaky.  After the holiday I was trying to get back to eating healthy, and time (or lack there of) was definitely a factor, but I need to make sure and eat a heartier lunch on the days I work out.  I was so hungry there was no way I was waiting the hour minimum it would take to make the dinner we'd planned.  The baby finally went to sleep, and Chris left to get fast food.  (So there goes my healthy day, huh).

My brother-in-law came by and dropped off his baby boy for a couple hours, as he had a hockey game but his fiancé wasn't back from an out-of-town work thing yet.  Our peanut woke up after a half an hour, but it was pretty clear she was still exhausted.  We inhaled our gross food and took care of the babies.  I didn't feel full, but I thought if I waited my body would catch up and I'd feel it eventually.

Our son dragged the garbage can across the kitchen, down the hall and out the front door with some nasty black sludge on the bottom of it, so that was a giant mess.  He deteriorated quickly after that.  He's one of those kids who you can tell is tired just by looking at his face, and last night he was TIRED.  He kind of cleaned up the mess, took a shower, and we put him in bed early.  It was around 8pm.  Our exhausted baby was finally soundly asleep in her crib by then, so we just hung out with our nephew for an hour until his mom picked him up.  He's a sweet baby and pretty low maintenance, but we're so busy with our own brood we don't get much time with him, so that was nice.

At 9 the big girls went to bed, and we did, too.  I was still hungry, but too tired to care.  It was insanely windy, (insane for northern California anyway).  We live in a two story house that sticks out of the surrounding landscape like a sore thumb, so when the wind blows you can feel the house brace against it.  To top it off there's a giant tree that scrapes and thumps the other side of our bedroom wall incessantly.  Ever since I had the baby I'm far more paranoid than I used to be, so I laid in bed for 3 hours imagining that tree bursting through the roof at any second.  At one point I woke Chris up just so I could say "Can you hear that?  It's crazy!"  (I'm a really annoying wife).

He stayed awake, at first just in solidarity, but then because he couldn't sleep either.  I fell asleep and woke up to loud noises a couple times.  The baby woke up a few times in that short period.  Eventually we were all asleep at the same time and our day was over.

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