Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Day In Our Life

I've had a couple people ask what I do all day as a babysitter/stay-at-home mom, so I thought I'd give you a little peep into our lives via the lens of my camera.
6 to 6:30am-- I stumble (or fall) out of bed glaring at the clock on my dresser that laughing blares at me that it is morning already. If one of the kids is not already awake I can get a good 20-30 minute quiet time that I desperately need to get my day going....That and a LARGE cup of Joe with some thick sweet cream.
6:30-- Wake up 4 reluctant kiddos and literally pull them out of bed. (I do have 2 that pop up all cheerful and ready to go most days. The other 2, well, not so much of the cheerful there).
6:45ish-- Pour bowls of cereal for breakfast because I'm not a morning cook and cereal is fast and easy and not a mess to scrape up when I get home from dropping off kids at school. Saturdays are for leisure and warm breakfasts.
7:15-- Load everyone into the car to drive into town and pick up the 2 munchkins I get to babysit all day. I turn on our SPARKS CD or Precious Jewel's Kid's Choir CD so they can practice their verses and songs throughout the week.
7:30ish-- Pick up the munchkins. Turn on Thomas the Train so little W can get excited about the car ride.
7:45-8:10-- Drop Precious Jewel and Mr. Smiles off at their respective schoosl to the tunes of Thomas the Train ringing in my ears.
8:10-8:15am-- I'm usually back at home and getting kids settled into our morning playtime and I can then clean up the kitchen while rocking to the tunes of Baby Bible Sunday Songs that makes Baby B giggle.

These guys LOVE the train set. If Little W isn't out in the front yard golfing (which he usually is), he and Nater Mater are downstairs on the train table chugging away.
The other favorite pass time is the CARS cars that they drive all over the living room floor and car garage that was given to them by a dear friend of mine.

9:30is or 10am-- If Little B decides he's ready for a nap, I can snag 30 minutes or so of time to take the 3 older boys out for their favorite game: EGG HUNTING and feeding the goats some hay.

It's like Easter every day around here. Our 2 loan hens that have evaded the coons and survived in spite of their lack of hen house, have been laying nearly an egg a day. Since they have no real place to call home, it's a daily adventure to hunt where the nested last. Usually it's in the middle of daddy's (ahem) goat hay pile (he hates that).

Last week it was under the goat feed trough (how they don't get smashed by the goats, I'll never know). Today it was on top of daddy's tool bench. Why they think that laying eggs on top of tools is a good idea I don't know, but they did.

Sorry hon, I'll clean off the bird poop tonight when I milk!

If Baby B is not sleeping, well, he comes on the hunt with us. I love those sweet little toes and that mop of dark hair. He's such an alert baby--wide-eyed at everything the older boys are doing.
If it's still between 9am and 10am, Little B gets his bottle and a diaper change. I follow the older boys around the yard or sit on the step while feeding the little guy. Then it's either take the two middle boys potty or change a pull-up.

Good Lookin' has started "wearing" his "baby" since he sees me with Little B all wrapped up in his Moby Wrap now. His "baby" amazingly loves it. Cupcake is an amazing kitten (now nearly grown cat) that gets dragged everywhere.

You gotta' to love the cat head sticking out of the skeleton jacket.

And Good Lookin' asked this past week if we couldn't just get rid of our new puppies and stick to cats. I guess he is an officially declared cat lover.

I threw this picture in for pure randomness. For all you other mommas who have asked how I keep my house clean? Well, now that a baby has re-entered the picture on top of milking goats part-time when Luke is at work and caring for toddlers and pre-schoolers, this is what my house often looks like. Laundry, how I LOATH YOU!!! As my dear sweet hubby has pointed out, at least it's clean. And, the other night he folded most of what was on the floor while I went to bed. Gotta' love that man!!

10:30-11:00am-- Still finds us outside. Now that the heat wave of this past blistering and record-setting summer has passed, we are enjoying the great outdoors so much more. The other new outdoor game--Hide and Seek in the Hay bales that Papa has put in front of our property.

11am-- Finds us back inside (quick wash down in the tub if needed) and getting lunch together.

I have the typical toddler pickiness challenges: Nater Mater won't eat bread to save his life and constantly begs for cheese and juice. Little Will pretty much only likes fruit and milk and chicken.

So, Thanks to Pinterest, I've got some new creative arsenal in my back pocket and have successfully tricked them into eating what they normal haven't. At least I've successfully tricked little W.

Nater Mater refused to eat his PBJ flower petals even though his little friend cheered him on saying, "It's good! Try it!!"

11:30-12noon-- Then it's usually a story, potty and pull-up changing time and laying everyone down for naps. (At least I give it a good go). Little W does a pretty good job of laying down and not running down the hallway. Nater Mater, not so good. I've finally taken to just giving him a stack of books and making him stay on his bed for an hour. If he falls asleep, he falls asleep. If he doesn't, well, he doesn't.At least I get an hour of quiet with just the baby and Good Lookin'.

12:30 to 1pm-- Usually giving Baby B another bottle and attempting Kindergarten with Good Lookin.' I say attempting because we've only really done about 4 days of real Kindergarten in the last 3 weeks. If little brother is refusing to stay on his bed and Baby B is fussy, he gets to go downstairs and play Mario Cart Wii (much to his delight).

2:30pm-- I wake up those who actually took a nap, change diapers and pull-ups, take others potty and load everyone into the car to pick up Precious Jewel from school. Mr. Smiles is brought home by another friend who lives a couple of miles down the road.

We may sit and wait for 10 minutes or for 30. It depends on the day and how far back in the line I got. The boys have been troopers though (It helps tremendously to have a DVD player in the car) and Baby B typically is sleeping, so there has only been one real day of crying or diaper changing while in the car line.
3:15pm-- We drive back home. This must have been taken the day that I picked up Mr. Smiles from school because my friend had an appointment. It was also a very hot day and my air-conditioner could barely keep up.

3:30pm-- Home and eating snacks and getting dirty in the yard. It's a tough life but someone's gotta live it! ; )

These two are finally becoming buds. It took several weeks for Nater Mater to stop asking for his friends from last year and accept that sweet Little W was here for the day instead. Change is hard on toddlers (and adults for that matter). But we all have settled into a new rhythm of relationships and are growing to love each other. I just keep repeating, "You are friends. Friends love each other. Friends don't hit each other. Friends don't bite. Friends share!!!" Repeat after me!!

At first, Nater Mater would yell out, "He's not my friend! M or S is my friend!!" I'd cover Little W's ears so not to hurt his feelings. Now Nater Mater and he will run up to each other in the yard and give each other hugs (if they are throwing dirt in each others hair and chanting "It's snowing!"

Which brings me to the next picture.

4 or 4:30pm-- I bring everyone inside and lately they've been FILTHY. The lack of rain has caused our front yard and drive to turn into this awful dust that sticks to everything...especially little kids who like to sit smack in the middle of it and drive their dump trucks and cars through it all. Yes, it makes fabulously filthy little roads for little boys to create roads out of.

And, it creates fabulously filthy little bodies. I try not to send home the little guy completely covered in dirt. If he's just "a little dirty" I can brush him off and send him home. If he (and the rest of mine) are dirty enough that I don't want them in the house unless they've had a bath, I give him a bath with my kids.
This is just from two fabulously filthy toddlers. They left a ring in the tub that day and I had to drain the water and re-fill it for them, so they wouldn't bathe in their own dirt.

Thank heavens for little boys!!

This is where my day gets tricky and crazy on the nights that Luke works.

Between 4:30 and 5pm-- I need to get kids inside, cleaned up, take little ones potty and change pull-ups and start older 2 on homework, start dinner and usually feed Baby B another bottle and change him before his momma picks him up.

The day I took these pics, I settled Precious Jewel at the kitchen table to start on her Math homework. So far, she hasn't required a whole lot of help, but I know that day is coming.

Then I hollered for Good Lookin' to join the 2 little boys in the bathtub and wash the layers of dust off. (Just to assure you, this pic was taken on another day when I didn't have 2 toddlers in the bathtub, but you get the idea).

I then settled+ Mr. Smiles on the floor beside me in the bathroom so he could read me his homework while I kept on eye on the two hooligans splashing around in the bathtub.

About this time Baby B also gets hungry, so I settled him in his bouncy seat to feed him just in case a certain toddler (mine) decided he was done before he really was and could make a mad dash for the door all nakey.

This day I also took a picture of my hair and the fun things I am getting to do now that it's getting long.

5pm-- Do you remember the books when you were little where you got to choose your own ending? Maybe they still have them, but I loved them. That's what my life feels like. On the nights Luke is not working, things look a whole lot different than on the nights he is working.

Scenerio 1: (Luke Home)

Little boys go home and I get to crazily throwing together dinner while the 4 kids goof off in the living room or downstairs. They come up with the best self-entertainment. This day, it was stuffing daddy's pants with pillows and knocking each other over.

6pm-- Dinner and then Luke plays in the living or basement with everyone while I clean in the kitchen. (I enjoy a bit of quiet and NO ONE pulling on my legs for something).

6:30 We start the whole bedtime process which includes showers (if needed), brushing teeth and pajamas. Then it's the highlitght of the evening...

Story Time
I think this is my favorite time of day.
Some days it's some little board book that Nater Mater has picked out and somedays it's a Chapter book that one of the older 2 brought home from school.
We just finished the Book Pinkie Pie by Eleanor Estes and even Good Lookin' paid attention to it because it was all about a cat who could type and "wrote" his own story.

Often the boys are tumbling on, around and over Luke while I cuddle up with Precious Jewel and read. They amazingly catch most of what is read.

7:30pm-- Then it's song time and off to bed and Luke and I get some time to ourselves.

Scenerio 2: 5pm-- Little brothers go home and I throw something together for dinner and then grab the milk pail and go out and milk and feed goats while there is still daylight left.

Pictures end here because I can't take pictures of myself milking goats.

Often the kids follow along and hunt for eggs if we didn't find any that morning. Otherwise they stay inside playing or watching a short cartoon I've downloaded from netflix for them.

6pm-- Dinner (if it's ready) where there are loud voices and lots of laughing and frequent knocking over of drinks by some child who is trying to describe a part of his or her day by flinging his/her arms wide to show how big something was. My floor won't forever be sticky and I want to remember these stories.

6:30--If kids are fighting, on goes another cartoon so I can get dinner somewhat put away before getting everyone ready for bed. If they are playing nice, I leave them alone.

7pm-- Attempts at story time (which often ends in me putting the book down and ordering them all to bed in the same upstairs room where I can just tell them a story and keep them coralled together). Story time does not go as well without daddy to entertain Nater Mater. He has no attention span for chapter books and finds much more enjoyment in launching himself over the back of the couch and onto unsuspecting heads.

7:30-- PJs, brush teeth and pajamas and we pull out our little Jesus Story Book Bible.

I love this little Children's Bible. It is so simple and yet so deep. It takes the whole picture of the gospel and weaves it from Genesis 1 all the way to Revelation in such a simple and yet profound way.

8pm-- Then out go the lights and we all pile onto the guest bed or onto my bed in our room and I sing the loud clapping songs first and gradually move onto the quieter more settling ones.

Hopefully by 8:30 I can say that everyone is asleep, but often someone has to be moved or removed from the room and across the hall.

9pm-- Back to the kitchen to finish up the supper dishes and pull out the last load of laundry which promptly goes onto the ever growing pile (see the above laundry picture). I glare at it and more often than not refuse to touch it and head to bed where hopefully I can get off my feet and have some quiet time and wait for Luke to get home from work.

Tonight it's 11:30 and I'm finally finishing the post that I began 3 weeks earlier, but I wouldn't have life any other way. I can count the many blessings each day... from egg hunts to bleating goats, to dirty and happy children to food on the table and I can count myself blessed.

1 comment:

Wendy Thibault Kane said...

What a great post! I always wonder how other moms do it, especially other moms with more children than me! You are amazing to take care of that many kids basically all by yourself. My hat is off to you!