I've been asked several times lately what my days look like. Many are pretty relaxed. Some are busy. Here's a glimpse of my day today... starting last night...
At 7pm Mike and I plus 4 piled out of the van after I grocery shopped and Mike wandered Wal-Mart with the kids for about 90 minutes. I had my first experience pushing the new stroller while pulling the cart and it went surprisingly well (K had to go to the bathroom).
We got home, put the refrigerator stuff away and got pj's on. Then we got bottles in 2, medicine in 2, and were getting the kiddos all off to bed.
Around 8:15 I got a call from a friend from high school. She and another friend stopped by soon after and I hadn't seen one in 6 months and the other in probably almost 2 years. Well, that long since we'd had a real conversation anyway. We visited for an hour or so (all the kids did go to bed except E) and then said goodbye.
After our company I started in on a project I knew I wouldn't get done that night but needed to start anyway. I made up 34 half-jars of babyfood and a few full jars with bananas, rice cereal, whole wheat cereal, pears, and grapes. Yum the grapes were great! That took me about an hour and I put all the veggies and apples on hold because I didn't have the energy to cook it all that night.
I got on the computer after that and responded to e-mails, blogged quickly about E's IEP, and started researching something that I needed to put an order in for the next day. I got talking to someone about it as well which is fun but it does definitely take a little longer :)
Then of course since I was online a few more conversations got going and eventually I put it all down and tried to go to sleep. That was around 11:30... I think...
With that I got back up to finish getting ready for the next day. I made up 3 bottles for Micah- 1 for the morning and 2 to go to KAD with him- and 2 bottles for Emma. I made Brianna's milk cup and added the Carnation instant breakfast powder. I packed a lunch for Kristopher and one for Brianna. Then I went in search of clean clothes for all four kids, which proves to be difficult right now since I have a pile on the guest bed and a load in the dryer and I really should take the time to put them both away... Really I should...
About 12:30 I grabbed my Beverly Lewis novel "The Sacrifice", turned off all the lights and fans in the house, bumped the AC a little warmer for the night, locked the doors, closed the baby gates, started the O2 compressor for Emma and fit on her oxygen cannula, and curled up on the couch in the living room right outside my bedroom door to get lost for just a minute (almost literally) in a book before I climbed in bed... And then I got up to check one more place that Kristopher might have left his school folder that was missing. It wasn't there. I laid down again and thought of one more place... though it wasn't there either, I did see it on the island in the kitchen (under other papers) on my way back through. Finally I wound down enough to not remember the words I was reading and went off to bed at abour 12:55.
At 6:45 Mike woke me up and asked if I wanted a shower. Of course, but no. I went back to sleep for 5 minutes then realized that Kristopher did and his chance was about to leave. I went and woke Kristopher up and sent him to Mike for his shower. Then I grabbed Micah out of bed and Brianna heard us up as well. With one on each hip we all came out to the family room. Since I'd laid out clothes I changed diapers and clothes, complete with putting their shoes on pretty quickly. Then they went to their highchairs. I'd started Micah's bottle to warm a little before getting him up and I pulled Brianna's cup from the refrigerator. Between dressing Micah and Brianna I stuck two frozen cinnamon waffles in the toaster to wait for Kristopher to be ready to toast them and I put a third one down for Brianna.
Once the two little ones were eating I went to retrieve Emma from her bed, turn off her O2 compressor, and get her dressed and going. I started her bottle to warm and went to change her. By the time I was finished with Emma and she was in her highchair eating Micah had finished his bottle and flung it- still hungry- to the ground. I had another half-bottle made and stuck it in the warmer while I left to go get dressed myself.
I passed Kristopher in the living room and he went to get his clothes to get dressed. Mike was also on his way out and he pressed down Kristopher's waffles and gave Micah the second bottle then sat down for breakfast himself.
When I was finished dressing I added ice packs to the kids' lunch boxes, put diapers in the diaper bags, made sure that Kristopher's lunch mde it to his school bag, and started shuttling kids out the door to the car in the garage. Mike helped load up the van and I send Kristopher through the house to turn off the many lights that had been left on throughout the morning and grab his school bag. I had a baby, two lunch boxes and two diaper bags and took my camel self out to the car.
Pulling out a few minutes late, I knew we were cutting it close for Kristopher's school. We pulled in to the church and after I'd gotten the triple stroller out, unfolded it and gotten 3 kids out of the car the bell rang and the National Anthem started to play. We were late. I got Brianna out, grabbed lunches, diaper bags, and of course all the kids... and we went to bring Kristopher to the classroom. By the way, I'm thankful for my handicapped permit because although there's LOTS of parking that's closer than the handicapped spots, those are big enough that I can have the stroller open and not have to worry that someone's going to hit it when they don't see it as they fly into a parking spot, also late for school.
We got K to his room while they said the pledge and mentioned to the teacher's aide that there's a note in his bag and I'd be there to get him about 5 minutes early today. Then I met the little ones' PT in the hallway as she looked around for Micah and I handed him off then got his lunchbox and diaper bag out to put in his classroom. I asked her a quick question about the next step in getting a wheelchair for Emma then went on my way so the little one crying for Mommy (not one of mine) would be able to calm down.
Brianna was next and she happily held my hand and walked into the classroom. Her lunch box has a pocket on the outside that's perfect for three diapers and a little "freebie" wipes pack so she can travel lite. Then we buzzed out the door, just Emma and I, and back to load up the van. Since I'd grabbed E's medicine on my way out the door I gave them to her when she was buckled back in then packed up the stroller, flipped it back into the trunk, and headed off to my parents' house.
Mom met me in the driveway, gave me a bag with some coupons and few jars of babyfood that she still had at her house. We hopped in our prospective cars and I followed her up to her rental house that she's fixing up. We went in and poked around... they've redone a LOT! Drywall is down all over the place, there's all new cabinets being stained and poly'd a bathroom pulled out and even a wall from the shower which had termites prior and will be replaced. The house is of course all torn up (the reason I was waiting until it was just Emma and I to go see it and not all 4 kids!) but it will really look nice when it's all finished. Leave it to Mom and Dad to not just do a project, but do it BIG.
After that my mom stayed to work on the house and Emma and I went to Wal-Mart to get a few things that I'd forgotten last night. Brianna's pretty much switched to the twin bed (YAY!) so we needed a second bedrail so that they'll cover the entire length of the side of the bed and she can't fall out (again). I also forgot bottle nipples and napkins so we got those too. Emma sat in the cart for the first time (forgot to grab my single stroller) and did great other than wanting to lay on my arm the entire time :) She was very happy about the idea though! I also splurged on a toy for Emma which is a xylophone but instead of a hammer there's these wheels at the base of each bar which you roll and they bump the bar to make the sound. Emma can roll them really well and loves the music they make!
We left Wal-Mart and made it home in time to finish researching my purchase that I was making today and to check with the appropriate people that it was ok (the item wasn't for me). Then I grabbed a quick drink, warmed Emma's other bottle, and put her in the car-bottle and all- as we drove back up to the church.
Mike joined me for just a minute then rushed off to fix another piece of the media puzzle that he was working on for a big rally this coming week- Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday a man named Nick with the Life Without Limbs ministry will be speaking at our church (and there's a brunch for parents of children with special needs on Saturday morning- e-mail me if you want details, RSVP req'd!). I went to the cafe and ordered lunch for us both then sat down with my friend Rachel to eat, Emma on my lap. Mike did eventually come and soon it was time to get the kids from their classrooms and reload the car.
I left Emma with Mike and went to the nursery to get Micah and Brianna's bags. I left Micah for just a minute but brought Brianna to the car to deposit all the bags and art projects. They'd both had good days! With one on each hip we went to Kristopher's classroom and pulled him out just a few minutes early. I changed Micah's diaper in the car as I phoned Mike to ask him to bring Emma out. We all piled in and headed home. It was 12:16 and it's an 8 or 10 minute drive home.
I pulled into the driveway and saw Mike's parents were waiting there for us. Leaving E in the car and the car running (it's HOT here), his mom stayed with Emma while his dad and I ran the little ones, stuck them in bed, and I ran to put long pants on so I could at least look a little presentable since I never did get that shower I was hoping for this morning.
Back at the car at 12:30 I was doing pretty good! We picked Mike up at the church then continued north and arrived at the school at 1:00. Unloading Emma and a single stroller (which I had gotten 2 doors down before I remembered and returned to grab), we made it into the school office, signed in, and were led to the IEP room.
At 2:45 we came back out! It really was a decent meeting though, and I dropped Mike back off at the church and took Emma home. The boys were up and playing at home and after telling Mike's mom about the meeting she headed off as well. I relaxed for a few then got Brianna up and going because it was getting late. Brianna hadn't eaten much so she was ready for something to eat and Emma and Micah agreed. Everyone had a snack then got down and played for a little bit while I made Kristopher some Mac'n Cheese for supper. He ate, they played, and I blogged then finally attempted to make my online purchase. Of course... the website was down! I worked on a project with Andrea for RR for a bit and between a chat with her online I got all the kids dressed, teeth brushed, medicines down, bottles in, stories read, and kids in bed. All but Emma... my night owl... by 8:15.
I finally DID make that purchase, which was a gift for someone and I'm so glad it's on its way! Then I again sat down to read my e-mails from the remainder of the day and finally to write up this post. All the while I'm watching the Republican Convention and I'm chatting with Mike (who came home around 9pm). It's almost 11pm and I'm ready to crash. It's been a long day. No, they're not all like this, but it's not all that unsual either. But before I go to bed... I need to at least grab out some clothes for Kristopher so we're not scrambling for him to get ready for school in the morning. And make his lunch. And sign the papers in his school folder. But tomorrow he's the only one going to school, so the three little ones and I will attempt to rectify the laundry situation... and the playroom... in the morning :)