Here’s a normal day in my life right now with 4 kids. (4 kids!) (As a testament to how busy things are these days, I started this post DAYS ago, and just now had a minute to finish it.)
4:20 am: Lydia wakes up to eat. I feed her and then work on getting her back to sleep.
5:15 am: Baby is still awake and I hear a door in the hallway. I would have thought it was Kalena, but after he’s done in the bathroom I hear Will waking Daniel up. Crap. This is early for the boys, especially Daniel. I hope Daniel will go back to sleep.
5:20 am: Baby is finally asleep again so I go back to sleep too.
7:15 am: Brian wakes me and tells me he’s leaving for work. All the kids are up (the boys did NOT go back to sleep) and they’re downstairs watching Sesame Street.
7:20 am: Lydia wakes up again. The kids seem okay momentarily so I feed her and change her before going downstairs.
7:45 am: Looks like she’s asleep again. Of course she goes to sleep immediately THIS time. I lay her back down and get myself ready for the day. Well, I throw on some yoga pants with the shirt I slept in and brush my teeth, anyway.
7:53 am: Downstairs to make some breakfast. It’s oatmeal today. We alternate between oatmeal (Kalena’s favorite) and cheesy scrambled eggs (Will’s favorite.) I mix up the oatmeal with flavored creamer instead of milk, and the kids love it.
8:05 am: Breakfast is ready so we all sit down to eat. We discuss the word “windy” (word of the day on Sesame Street) and speculate on what the weather will be like today.
8:15 am: The big kids have plowed through breakfast already so they clear their dishes and go down to the basement to play. I finish up breakfast with Daniel. He’s in an obnoxious food throwing phase so feeding him is an exercise in frustration most days. Fortunately he likes oatmeal, so not much of it ends up on the floor.
8:30 am: After finishing up, Daniel and I play in the living room. (His toys are there while the big kids’ toys are in the basement.) Right now playing mostly involves me cheering his walking efforts. He stands up, takes a step or too and then lunges at his target (usually me.) Our playtime is interrupted repeatedly by the big kids complaining about various infractions committed by the other- “Kalena shouted at me!” “Will threw something!” as usual.
8:45 am: There’s a knock on the door and I panic that I’ve forgotten some appointment or other. I go to answer it and feel glad the house is relatively clean at the moment. But it’s just fed ex with some pictures I ordered. Whew! I hear Lydia stirring, but I leave her for the moment in the hopes that she’s not really waking up just yet. It seems luck is on my side and she’s quiet again in a few minutes.
8:54 am: Kirsta calls! We don’t talk all that often, but it FEELS like we do because she lives next to Kari and I talk to Kari a lot. We chat, our conversation punctuated by exclamations like, “Don’t put the rabbit food in the dog’s water!” and “Nononono, spit that out!” because 4 kids each means quiet moments are few and far between. We discuss life with 4 kids and the fact that things are just going to be HARD for a while. After a while I hear the baby again so we wrap up our conversation.
9:30 am: Off the phone, baby is awake and MAD, but I change Daniel and put him down for a nap first. It’s early for a nap, but since he was up at 5:15 I figure he needs it. Sounds like I’m right, he doesn’t fight it at all. Once he’s down I feed the baby and play on my phone while I do.
9:55 am: The baby is fed and happy so I play “attack turtles” with Will, something he’s been begging to do all morning. (It’s a game he made up using pieces of another Ninja Turtles game he has.) It’s a quick game and after a couple rounds I offer to read to the kids. Each of them picks a story. Horton Hears a Who for Kalena and Bartholomew and the Oobleck for Will.
10:25 am: Just as we finish the second story my phone buzzes. It’s my mom. We chat for a few minutes about what’s been going on there (Kari is there for Spring Break) and here (doctors appointments, Lydia’s pictures.)
10:40 am: Off the phone and the kids are occupied for the moment with coloring so I throw in a load of laundry. Then I change the baby and get her dressed in a clean outfit. It’s the one we brought her home from the hospital in and I feel a little wistful that this is likely the last time she’ll wear it. The kids want to take some pictures with her, so obviously I oblige.
Lydia wasn’t so happy about it though.
Will and I play a couple more rounds of attack turtles and then Kalena and Will play together while I try to get the baby to sleep.
11:30 am: Apparently sleep isn’t on Lydia’s agenda. Lunch has to happen anyway, so I let her hang out in the bouncer while I get it ready.
11:45 am: Sit down to lunch only to be interrupted by a crying baby 2 minutes later. I bounce her while I eat and she finally settles down.
11:55 am: The kids are done with their PB&J so I send Kalena to get her stuff ready for school. When I finish my lunch I put on real pants and a shirt with no spit up on it. Obviously Lydia went to sleep, we have to leave for school in 20 minutes.
12:15 pm: We have to leave, so I wake Daniel up. (He was still ZONKED.) Get everyone in the car and we’re on our way. Lydia is not happy to be in the car seat and spends the whole drive over and back screaming. She finally falls asleep as we pull in to our apartment complex.
12:35 pm: We get home, I send Will to his room for “quiet time” and feed Daniel lunch. Lydia is awake again, of course, so I hold her while I’m feeding Daniel. When Daniel is done I turn on an episode of Sesame Street so I can feed the baby without him trying to smack her face/poke her in the eyes.
1:15 pm: The baby is fed and in the swing so I change the laundry and put away clean laundry from yesterday. I’m interrupted by Will who tells me he’s “done with quiet time.” Uh, no kid. Go back to your room. When I’m finished putting away laundry I put away clean dishes and wash the dishes from breakfast and lunch. I finish the dishes just as the baby wakes up. I give her a pacifier and hope for a few minutes to check the ads. She goes back to sleep! Woo!
2:10 pm: Daniel hasn’t taken 2 naps in ages, but he seems super tired and is fussy, so I lay him down again. He doesn’t go to sleep right away, but he also doesn’t protest at all. I get out my computer to check Lydia’s photo album from her 1 month pictures. Spend way too much time creating collages I probably won’t buy.
3:00 pm: Shut down my computer and dig through the cupboard for snacks. I normally don’t snack in the afternoon but I’m feeling snacky today. I find a couple boxes of yogurt raisins. Excellent. Will always wants a snack when we go get Kalena. I go into Will’s room and find him asleep in his closet. 4 year olds are weird. I wake him up and tell him he can have his yogurt raisins in the car. I try not to wake Lydia putting her in the carseat. That goes about like you can imagine. Next up I wake Daniel, who did go to sleep eventually and is still sound asleep.
3:14 pm: Everyone is in the car and we head over to school to pick Kalena up. Once we park Will begins his daily chorus of “Is Kalena coming out yet?” He probably asks me this 20 times every pick up.
3:35 pm: Lydia starts crying and I debate getting her out for the last five minutes we’ll be there. Settle for standing next to her carseat and repeatedly retrieving her pacifier. Kalena comes out and we head home. We check the mail when we get into the complex. The kids have made a game of guessing if we’ll have a package or not. (We’ve had a LOT of packages.)
3:55 pm: Home again. Sign a permission slip for Kalena. Help Will in the bathroom. Get the kids set up with a Signing Times DVD. Feed the baby.
4:35 pm: Get Will dressed to play outside. He prefers to stay in his pajamas as much as possible, and most of the time that’s fine by me. Start dinner. Lydia is fussy, so I use one foot to bounce her in the bouncy seat while I cook dinner.
5:50 pm: Dinner is ready, and Brian walks in just as Daniel falls off the couch. General chaos is the name of the game. We sit down to dinner together. Typically Brian feeds Daniel while I hold or bounce Lydia. By 6:20 the kids are done, but Brian and I sit and chat while we finish our dinner.
6:30 pm: I put Lydia in the swing for a minute so I can feed Daniel a bottle. (Since I documented this day we’ve actually given up bottles completely for sippy cups. Woo!) Brian gives Kalena a bath and Will plays by himself. After Daniel finishes his bottle he and Will play for a few minutes.
6:45 pm: I put away the dinner dishes while Kalena picks up Daniel’s toys in the living room. Picking up is her latest bedtime stall tactic. OBVIOUSLY I give in. I’d be stupid not to.
7:10 pm: The baby wakes up in the swing so I feed her again. Brian puts the other three kids to bed.
7:40 pm: Kids are finally in bed. Brian and I chat some more before I head to Target to pick up a couple things. I wander around Target for half an hour or so because: Target! I love Target.
8:45 pm: I get home. Brian and I hang out for the rest of the evening.
9:45 pm: I’m spent, so I shower and get ready for bed. Whew! Long day.
(I know this is long, and I’m publishing without editing because my computer is going to die. Woo!)