I realise that mostly my posts are tidbits about the kids, or quick stories from our lives, or a photo or two of something mildly interesting to those who know our family. I think I often choose this format because I really live my life in tidbits. Not every day is awesome, not every day is even necessarily GOOD - I've had my share of days when I've felt unbelievably depressed that this is my life. These kids are getting older by only minutes at a time, and those minutes can draaaaaag. Then again, not every day is awful, not every day is necessarily BAD - the kids can be so sweet and they show me so much love, it's wonderful that I get to stay home and enjoy them! But mostly the days aren't good, bad, or ugly - the days are tidbits. Funny stories about what Patrick did that made me laugh, followed by huge sighs over how how the kids are fighting over who gets to be closer to Caroline, followed by a sweet photo of them spontaneously hugging in the kitchen. You can't really lump all those feelings into one simple sentence, "our day was good," and have anyone understand how your day was.
So here's my day, in a big-picture sense (and in a very long paragraph. Feel free to quit reading when you get bored). Joe goes to work in the morning before anyone else gets up. Often I only have a snippet of a memory of him kissing me goodbye before he goes, when I still had dried-up drool on my cheek and I wonder how he could stand to kiss me like that, but I'm glad he did. The kids all have internal alarm clocks set to exactly the same time and they typically get up at 6:45, within 15 miutes of each other, no matter how quiet I keep the kid who wakes up first. They have a 6th sense about it, I swear. I typically make eggs for breakfast because it's the most important meal of the day, because I'm starving and they're quick, and because I know the boys will eat them. Patrick has become OCD about his hands being sticky, so anything with syrup is out, and cereal is just too difficult for Eli so I'd have to make him his own breakfast anyway, so I might as well make everyone eggs. We have breakfast and they're off to the races outdoors, often so eager to get outside that they simply grab shoes and head out in their pajamas. They spend almost all day outdoors, playing in the sandbox or on the dirt hill with dinosaurs. Five days a week we have something going in the morning, either a meeting or a lunch with friends or me going to the gym. It adds a bit of structure to our day, lets the kids see some friends, and helps me remember which day of the week it is! Otherwise they would all be so similar... Anyway, I stay inside with Caroline when she's awake, doing chores around the house - she likes the be up and around, perfect for picking up the living room and putting away dishes. When she naps I work on the yard and then the boys want to help dig/water/weed/supervise. In spite of playing outdoors all day long we always eat inside because I am so afraid of one of them falling off the picnic table - it's a sizeable drop onto concrete, and they inevitably fall head-first. Joe broke his collar bone falling off that picnic table as a kid, which lends to my paranoia. After eating lunch indoors Eli takes a nap, Caroline usually naps then as well, and Patrick likes to watch movies on Netflix on our computer. I take a break and read or nap on the couch next to him, inevitably getting woken up by the phone or the door or Patrick wanting more juice, and I curse them all and hide under a blanket to finish my snooze. After naps we head to the front yard to do work out there, and the boys ride their tricycles on the driveway. I dig weeds and haul rocks and water my garden, which leads to the boys watering the lawn, their bikes, and themselves. We head inside when Caroline wakes up so I can nurse her (they aren't allowed to be out front without me) and the boys run rampant in the house and destroy all the picking up I did that morning. They like to create "loops," as I call them - running in a circular semi-obstacle-course, following each other. One favorite loops is up onto a toddler chair, over the arm of the overstuffed big chair, somersault onto the floor, and climbing back to the toddler chair. Another is using the toddler chair upstairs to boost onto the table of the play kitchen, falling face-first onto the bed, then rolling off the bed and climbing back to the chair. After nursing Caroline (while they run loops) she sits in her bumbo while I cook dinner - usually something kid-friendly because I know Joe won't be home to eat with us. Often I cook a second "adult" meal that will take longer, like roasting a chicken, while the boys eat so that I can eat dinner with Joe. The boys eat at 5:00, play outside for another house, take a bath if absolutely necessary (we've seriously cut down on baths due to Eli's eczema), then it's a bottle of chocolate milk for Eli at 6:30 and he's asleep. Caroline goes down about 7:00. Patrick stays up and we either read books or he asks for stories about Joe and I when we were kids. Joe gets home about 7 or 7:30, so he hangs out with Patrick until I nix their guy time in favor of bedtime, usually about 7:45. I know it would be nice to have more time together, but I'm the one who's here with a crabby 3-year-old if he goes to bed much later, so I have the final word. Joe usually eats after Patrick goes to bed, then we relax and talk about our days for about an hour. Lately he has brought work home so he'll work on his laptop the remainder of the evening and I get to do my own thing, like read or scrapbook or (like right now) blog.
It's almost ridiculous how similar every day is, even down to the food we eat and the boys running loops while I make dinner. There are certainly things I would change about our day if I had the chance, but those things are really in Joe's hands. One day he was able to sleep in a bit and didn't leave for work until 7:30 - we all got to eat breakfast together and it was AMAZING. I am so jealous how people who get to do that with their husbands every day take it for granted. One night a week I work, but other than that we hardly vary. And that's our big-picture days. The rest is, as you know, tidbits. And I'll fill you in on those as they happen :)