I'll warn you right now: This post has a TON of pictures. And is going to be LONG. So click away if you already know you're going to be bored by an in-depth look at our day!
7:20 AM - Wake up when the baby starts fussing, turn over to check the time, realize it's late enough that I might as well get out of bed to nurse him rather than try to fall back to sleep only to be woken by the big kids.
7:40 - Andrew heads upstairs to get the twins out of their room, John Paul is out on his own, Cecilia still sleeping. Everyone comes downstairs because PETER!!! Mary Claire is VERY angry that Peter is asleep and doesn't want to play with her.
"MOM! PUT Peter on da PLAYmat!!!"
Elizabeth throws a temper tantrum because she asked for Cheez-its (from the open bag I forgot to hide) and I only gave her two. I take them from her and give them to Mary Claire. More sobbing. She's calmed down by promises of toast for breakfast.
8:00 - Breakfast for the awake children, coffee for me. Andrew heads to work and I run downstairs to get the laundry only to realize the baby is awake and crying. Grab baby and abandon laundry. Maybe next time.
Full tummy, willing to be put down for a while!
8:20 - Clean twins off (sticky jam hands), check to see if Cecilia is awake. She is. Search for Cecilia's doll's wooden bowl. Spend WAY too long searching for it, because she's sobbing because her baby needs BREAKFAST and cannot possibly use a plastic bowl or plate. Finally convince her that her baby would be excited to use a plastic bowl just like a real kid.
She had finally stopped crying at this point.
Twins are begging for second breakfast. Fill two bowls with cheerios and grab their sippy cups of milk. Lament the state of the playroom, but don't do anything about it because everybody needs a new diaper.
8:40 - Change Elizabeth's diaper & get her dressed (in the skirt I made for her last night out of an old t-shirt), change Mary Claire and attempt to fit a pair of leggings made out of old shirt sleeves on her. Fail. Change Peter and leave him be because he's happy and calm and why mess with that?
9:00 - Baby's crying, get him dressed in an outfit of Elizabeth's choosing.
# of children dressed: 2.5
# of adults dressed: 0
Get kids' new game out for them to scatter all over the floor, clean up breakfast dishes, run downstairs to grab extra diapers for the baby. Consider folding some of that laundry but...
9:10 - Baby's crying,
And big brother comforts.
Pick up baby to nurse him.
Realize Mary Claire's shirt is on backwards.
Burp baby, attempt to snuggle Elizabeth at the same time.
Look over and chuckle to see that John Paul is, once again, reading on the bookshelf in front of the heating vent. (He was in the playroom for the rest of the morning, sitting in front of the heater there reading.)
10:00 - Put baby on play mat. Remind Mary Claire not to shove the toys directly into his mouth.
Appreciate Cecilia's attempts at cleaning up the game.
Chuckle at John Paul's position.
And look, Bitty Baby didn't eat her breakfast. Jerk.
Twins are occupied with their second breakfast (which they have now transferred to the big table), so I run downstairs to get dressed.
Sneak a couple pieces of candy (surreptitiously hidden under a pair of sweatpants inside the pack n play that the baby doesn't sleep in) and attempt to get dressed before the kids storm my bedroom.
Trick John Paul into running upstairs to "watch the baby" and get dressed while the girls have a "picnic" on the cutting mat with their cheerios.
Nurse baby to sleep. Place in glider.
Head to the playroom to make sure there are no silent disasters occurring. Mary Claire asks very nicely, "Mrs. Pteranodon, could I please have some more milk in Elizabeth's sippy cup?"
John Paul gets out the geo boards, which the twins have finally stopped scattering around the house, and I remind myself that we still have 4-5 more months during which we don't have to worry about a crawling baby attempting to eat the rubber bands that inevitably fall onto the floor. Plan on training the kids to pick up their toys better sometime in the near future.
Baby is awake but happy, just hanging out sucking on his fist.
Take Cecilia to her room to encourage her to get dressed. She picks out an outfit for her doll and asks me to choose something for her. She emerges from her room in her pajamas, but her doll is wearing a 5-piece ensemble. Send her back to her room to get dressed.
Find John Paul a sticker book to attempt to get him to stop fighting with everybody. Nurse baby to sleep. Place in glider. Run to try to put away dishes.
Baby is awake almost immediately, but happy and smiley! Mary Claire is horrified that his sock has fallen off. Distract twins with toys in the playroom and attempt to eat breakfast on my own without having to feed half of it to the most polite 2-year-olds on the planet ("Mom, MAY I please have a bite? Mom, MAY I please have ANOTHER bite?"). Succeed for the first time ever!
Cecilia begs to hold Peter and can't believe that BOTH his socks have fallen off. How dare I not replace them immediately.
Get puzzles down for the twins to try to keep them in the playroom so I can get the baby down for an *actual* nap. Take Mary Claire to the potty, at her request. Run to put wet diaper in the wet bag and return to find Mary Claire climbing up on the sink attempting to eat John Paul and Cecilia's toothpaste, and Elizabeth attempting to remove the cap from the baby toothpaste. So potty training... Going real well over here.
Put pants & a diaper on Mary Claire after a serious discussion in which she rejected the jumper I offered, then wanted to wear jeggings, then wanted to wear JUST the jumper and jeggings, then settled for jeggings and the shirt she was already wearing.
And of course, John Paul and Cecilia got puzzles down for themselves.
Nurse baby to sleep. Place in glider. IT STICKS!!!
11:30 - Lunch time!
Enlist John Paul's help distributing gummy vitamins because he keeps bugging Cecilia while she does her puzzle.
Make a very exciting lunch that is primarily composed of foods don't require any cooking or removal of twins' clothes.
Baby's still sleeping! Heat up leftovers for myself while I put away clean dishes.
Chuckle at what Elizabeth ended up doing with all the rubber bands from the geo boards.
Clean twins off (Mary Claire ate everything, Elizabeth ate half of her cheese and crackers and chewed up her apple and prunes and then spat them out on her tray) and take them to their room for nap time. Diaper changes, quick story, prayer, song, tuck them in with the usual reminder NOT to leave their cribs or leave the room and to close their eyes and go to sleep immediately.
1:00 - Baby's awake. Nurse, read next chapter of Little Town on the Prairie to John Paul and Cecilia before they go to their room for nap time. Give up halfway through the chapter because it's long and John Paul won't stop spouting insults from the Latin for Every Day Use (or whatever the title is) book he's reading. Send big kids to their room for quiet time.
Put sleeping baby down, try to figure out what to make for dinner... Check green beans that are at least a week past their sell-by date - still good! Grab chicken from the freezer downstairs and fold a few pieces of laundry before running upstairs to rescue the crying baby. Start chicken defrosting in the sink, then nurse the baby.
2:00 - Cecilia emerges from her room and I hear her saying, "Mary Claire? Are you out of your crib?"
She opens the door to the twins' room and I hear a stern voice saying, "Mary Claire! You are NOT supposed to be out of your crib! Get back in!!!"
Surprisingly enough, Mary Claire doesn't obey. She comes to me for advice, and I tell her to say that if she won't get back in her crib, Mom will put her back in.
She goes back in and I hear nothing but giggles. I bring the baby with me and see Mary Claire and Elizabeth together in Elizabeth's crib, giggling with their legs through the bars playing footsie with Cecilia on the floor.
Get twins back in proper cribs with the reminder to close their eyes and go to sleep.
Listen to the twins sing, jump around, and have a heated argument about whether the song is about "Angelina Ballerina" or "Angelina Ballet Slippers."
Storm into John Paul and Cecilia's room when I hear the kind of shrieks that mean somebody's being injured. Kids are on opposite sides of the room, and apparently John Paul was screaming because he wanted something to pretend to crochet with. Even though they're each clutching half a broken clothespin. Throw a couple crocheted things at them for them to pretend to crochet.
Put sleeping baby down. Wash dishes. Grate cheese for chicken. Rescue crying baby. Give up on nap time. Tell Cecilia she can let the twins out of their room.
Mary Claire immediately comes trotting down the hall saying, "Mom!!! I had a good day!!!"
Suggest kids build a tower out of blocks to keep them from getting in the baby's face. Cecilia takes the bait! John Paul runs off to read by himself.
3:00 - Nurse baby. Wonder why Cecilia chose this particular outfit to change into during nap. Snap a picture of her "stool" when she asks me to.
Put sleeping baby down. Try to get more dinner prep done and clean up the playroom a little. Baby crying, Cecilia attempts to comfort:
Bounce and jiggle baby around while watching the various games the kids have invented this afternoon. I particularly enjoy Mary Claire's depiction of the nativity, including St. Peter and St. Peter Damian between Joseph and Baby Jesus...
4:00 - Clean-up time! Direct kids in clean-up activities while nursing baby on the couch.
Remind John Paul that it's okay for the twins to take books off the shelf even though he just put them away. Because it happens to me seven million times a day.
Tell Mary Claire to stop putting her hand down her diaper.
4:30 - Send kids downstairs to watch TV. Nurse baby.
4:45 - Put sleeping baby down. He wakes immediately but is happy and low-key. Let him hang out while I start dinner.
5:00 - Twins are apparently not happy watching TV and need to snuggle me. Throw chicken in the oven, snuggle for a few minutes, then get back to making dinner while nursing the baby.
Convince them that dancing around the kitchen is a good idea.
But it stops working pretty quickly...
And then suddenly - miracle of miracles!!!
Oh, if I could bottle the energy in that excited shriek... Andrew takes the younger three back downstairs so I can finish making dinner.
5:30 - Call kids upstairs, strip down twins, deal with Elizabeth's inevitable sobs that she doesn't get dinner immediately but has to wait for us to pray (no nap is KILLING her on the days they don't sleep).
Elizabeth cheers up immediately when we start praying, giggling her way through grace.
Eat. Nurse baby. Listen to Elizabeth shriek when she runs out of chicken and there isn't any more (should have made more, but she would literally eat an entire chicken if we let her soooo there's never enough chicken for her). Put sleeping baby down to help with cleanup & distribute dessert to everyone who didn't throw a temper tantrum about chicken.
Baby's awake. Nurse on the couch while Andrew gets the twins in diapers and jammies and gets them to bed. Grab pajamas for the big kids and supervise them getting ready for bed. Cecilia can't find the pajamas for her doll and tears ensue.
Her doll CAN'T wear short sleeves because she'll be too cold. And Cecilia can't snuggle her to keep her warm because it will hurt her cheeks. NOTHING is right. But eventually she overcomes her extreme grief to get in her pajamas and brush her teeth. Andrew leaves for rehearsal and I start reading the rest of the Little House chapter to the big kids. Prayers & songs & a very upsetting discussion with Cecilia in which she begs to have someone carry her to bed even though the only someone there is is me, and I'm nursing the baby. Settle on hand holding, and accompany her to bed.
Put Peter in John Paul's bed with him and watch them snuggle adorably while I tuck Cecilia in. Tuck John Paul in and turn on noise machine and lights off.
Diaper & swaddle baby, nurse and watch Gilmore Girls & work on this blog post until baby's finally down at about 9:30. Attempt to tackle piles of laundry... Nurse baby one more time around 10:30 to try to top him off and get a longer stretch of sleep (ha!), and head to bed around 11, exhausted.
Whew! You deserve a prize if you read all that! And I didn't even include everything... It was a surprisingly smooth day, and hopefully we'll have more that go that smoothly! As I finish this the next day, we've already had one time-out for John Paul and the punishment of the removal of 7 of his favorite books (for each time he disobeyed me), as well as Mary Claire and Elizabeth getting into our bathroom and finding Andrew's razor (no damage done but... Yikes.), and Elizabeth's lovely discovery that John Paul's PB&J dipped in milk makes a deliciously messy treat (this is why I don't feed them messy things...).
Your turn! Show me what a day in your life looks like right now - I'm dying to know!