Monday, March 29, 2010


Prudy recommended that I document one of my days for you and as soon as I read her suggestion, I grabbed the camera and started snapping pictures.

This is my Friday-- a day in my week that is always jam-packed and always different from the last. Jared doesn't have office hours on Fridays, although he often has networking events, so I often spend parts of Fridays running errands and doing things that are harder to do with five kids in tow. Fridays are also more flexible school days than Monday-Thursday. But enough of the introduction-- come along with me!

7:19am. After another long night, up several times with a coughing, hacking baby and the sister she wakes up with her coughing, I somehow oversleep and wake up in a panic. This is not our norm. By this time I should be showered, dressed, have read my scriptures, and be half-way through our family devotional. Oops. I tell the kids that we're having a race to see who can get dressed faster-- them or me. This helps with the inevitable stalling and dawdling that seems to happen when I'm in a hurry. Jared is sleeping in. He usually goes to the temple early on Friday mornings but has a wedding to attend later this morning. He gets up within 10 minutes because we're not quiet when we're in race mode.

7:35am. Breakfast is "Jinglish" muffins, yogurt, and fruit. Who has time for something else at this point? Kimball brings his notebook to breakfast, as he can't tear himself away from the book he was in the middle of writing when I woke up. He'll be starting another by lunchtime, you can bet. The girls squint at me in the bright morning sunlight, but I don't get the hint and lower the blinds. I'm in rush mode. I do, however, check my email. Why do I even touch the computer when I know what a time suck it is?

8:16am. Time to get everyone in the car. We say a family prayer, then I remember that the baby needs a diaper change. And I can't find the wet wipes. At least I pulled myself away from the computer early enough to already have Ian's hair done. By the time we pull away from the house, I know we're going to make it by the skin of our teeth to kindergarten.

8:23am. We pick up Tyler, our carpool buddy. Luckily, he's in a superhero mood today and runs to the car.

8:27am. Ian enters his classroom, two minutes late but still within the 4 minute buffer period the teacher gives us before locking the door. Phew. We were late yesterday for the first time in ages and had to go get a tardy pass in the office. I did not want to face those office ladies again this morning. There's something about getting your kid to school late two days in a row that says, "I don't have it together." And even though I don't always have it together, as a mom of five kids, I feel extra pressure to appear to have everything together. Because I don't want people to think that I can't handle 5 kids or that having a big family is a mistake. It's crazy, wonderful, challenging and loud, but it is definitely not a mistake.
8:28am. Bronwen runs back to the car in a race with me (her idea.) Why, when we were hurrying to get to kindergarten on time, did she insist on me carrying her? Sigh.
When I buckle Bronwen in this time, I see that Ian has left some artwork for me on Margaret's car seat. Why do kids think that everything looks better after they've made it look junky?
8:35am. I arrive home and assess the kitchen. I have a little more than an hour to clean up the kitchen, make myself more presentable, and to roll out 6 dozen rolls for a wedding luncheon before I need to go back to the school to help at Ian's class party. Oh, and did I mention that I haven't nursed the baby since I was up with her at 4:00 am and she's very hungry now? I nurse the baby first.
Meanwhile, Jared and the boys have a science lesson on covalent and ionic bonds.
9:10am. I put Margaret down for a nap, a little earlier than usual, but she is obviously ready. Bronwen plays with her letter beads until she discovers that I am doing something she likes more, something that involves dough . . .
This child loves dough. I cannot let loaves of bread rise unattended or she'll take handfuls and leave the rest to collapse in a yeasty mess. She "helps" me roll out the rolls.
Henry works on his tornadoes report for later.

9:45am Mom shows up and takes over rolling out the last 2 dozen rolls. She is also going to watch the kids for me, since Jared has now gone to the temple. Have I mentioned recently how amazing it is to have my mom live a mile away? WAY better than 425 miles away.
10:01 am. I leave the house late, as I was supposed to be at the school at 10. Typical. And look how dusty my dash is! I've been meaning to have this car detailed for a year now. Although I suppose I could dust without a full detailing.
10:10am.Ian lights up when he sees that I have come to help with his class Easter party. I'm not in his kindergarten class nearly as much as I was with his brothers. Poor middle child. He'll probably need therapy.
The class decorates bags for their hunt, makes bunny hats, and ices egg-shaped sugar cookies. Fun is had by all. Then, they hunt.
I spend a few minutes scowling at this wall when no one is looking. You know how I detest punctuation and grammar blunders. I do feel some relief, however, that credentialed teachers aren't perfect-- since my home schooled kids have a less-than-perfect teacher (albeit one who punctuates properly).
11:45pm. I get home from kindergarten just as Meggie wakes up from her nap. Perfect.
Noon. The rolls are finished and none of them burned (thanks to my mom). The parents of the groom will be by for an adjustment from Jared and to pick up the rolls in a few minutes. My kids all eat a roll with joy and rejoicing. (See the boys playing Stratego in the background? I love that they are old enough to enjoy games like that together.)
I have mine with Nutella. Yum.

12:45pm. We gather in the living room for our home school presentations. Kimball and Henry have each worked independently this week to research a natural disaster. This is our first week of learning this way, and I am pleased with all they have learned on their own. Henry goes first. I start videoing halfway through because it doesn't occur to me sooner.

Kimball goes next.

1:15pm. What starts out as a naptime book for Bronwen quickly draws Ian,
then the rest of the boys,
then Margaret joins in, too.
I go into my room to feed Margaret and discover that my mom folded the laundry while I was at kindergarten. I love it when the laundry fairy strikes!
1:45 pm. Jared goes out to work in the garden. Kimball and Ian are playing with Legos. Bronwen is (theoretically) napping. Henry, Margaret, and I run to Borders for a birthday gift (Henry has a party to attend at 3:15), and to Target for various and sundry items. (I should have taken a picture of my purchases there, because now I can't remember why I needed to go to Target so badly.) Henry returns a book at the library and checks it out again while Meg and I wait in the car. I nearly fall asleep and wish I was at home, taking a nap. I am very ready to have all my kids sleeping all night again. Curse you, flu virus!
3:20pm. I come home from my errands to find Grammy & Papa here, playing Harry Potter Clue with Kimball. I feel so blessed that my kids have such involved grandparents, who would take the time to play such an involved game with him in the middle of a Friday. (He got to play later that night with Nana, too, so Kimball fared very well today!)
4:15pm. I neglect to grab my camera when I run out into the cul-de-sac because of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that I hear from my kitchen. Ian has neglected to put on his shoes and is outside playing with the neighbor kids. Doesn't his mother love him? The poor kid-- the entire time that I clean his wound and bandage him up, I lecture him on why we follow the rules of wearing shoes outside. I need to learn to show more sympathy when someone does something foolish. It's not like I never do foolish things.
4:30pm. Margaret needs to eat. Again. Peaches and pears and some frozen peas.
5:00pm. We go pick up Henry from his birthday party and pizza for the kids' dinner. I tell the kids they can watch an episode of The Penguins of Madagascar while I finish my contribution to OUR dinner.

5:20pm. Margaret helps me make the beans and rice that we're taking to dinner tonight. The thumb seems to be a recurring theme today!
I slave over the kids' dinner all afternoon. Do you love Little Caesar's $5 pizza as much as I do? I sit everyone down to eat dinner and then run back to my room to freshen up (run a brush through my hair and switch my flats for patent leather red heels. That's as dressed up as I have time and energy for at this point.)
5:45pm. I remember that I need to nurse the baby, too, so by the time I come out of my room it has been 12 minutes. The kids are no longer eating dinner at the bar, but have all disappeared outside. Nana is back to play and put them to bed.
6:10pm. We make an appearance at a wedding reception. Here are the bride and groom, Adam and Caitlin. Happy. Radiant. With flawless baby-face skin. It makes me feel old just to look at them. It feels like last year that we were the couple shaking hands and grinning from ear to ear. But my skin doesn't look like that anymore.
6:20pm. We see our friend, Nate, who goes to BYU and is never in town! Isn't he a doll? Then we run off to Teresa's for dinner with the Primary Presidency and their hubbies.
7:45pm. After a delicious dinner of chicken fajitas by Teresa, we fill over 350 eggs with candy and stickers for the next morning's Easter Egg Hunt.
Some of us play Gang of Four
and "the bean game" which is actually called Bohnanza or something like that.
Others bond over Mario Cart on the Wii. Don't we get wild and crazy on a Friday night?

10:45pm. Time to go home. We know because there is only one cupcake left. They were so delicious (Christine's doing) that if we play another game, we will end up duking it out over that last cupcake. So we leave before things get ugly.

11:00pm. We arrive home and chat with my mom for a few minutes, then tidy up a bit and check on each of our kids. Jared and I have a strict go-to-bed-at-the-same-time policy and we always read the Book of Mormon together in Russian and pray together before turning out the lights.

Lights out. I am so tired. I can hardly believe that I made it till 11:32.

11:47pm. Margaret coughs so much that she wakes herself up and is screaming. I get up with her and tend to other coughing kids. I don't crawl back into bed until 1:30am. Here we go again!


April said...

Phew! I'm exhausted just reading about your exhausting day. You are super Mom and you DO have it together! Love the play by play!

Prudy said...

Oh, what a fun peek. I didn't get to watch the videos yet, but I'll be back. You are a bonafide superwoman, I tell you. I hope you got to catch your breath on Saturday. Your kids are so adorable, I just love them.

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

wow what a great idea of your day to day routine. I understand with the 5 kids and wanting to have it all together

Grammy said...

Oh my gosh...I'm exhausted! You definately are a super Mom! Loved seeing a day in your life - thanks for sharing.

Nana said...

Do you think you can get the boys to collaborate on a day from their point of view? I wonder if the times they thought were the slowest were the times you were trying to get the most done?

Kim said...

I will not claim to be as busy as the mom of 5... but your day is awfully familiar! :) Loved the glimpse into your world. I've always wondered what goes on over there... :)

I think the idea of having the boys give their view of a day is awesome. I hope you'll do it. It sounds like something they would enjoy.

Stacy said...

I think you got more done that one day than I have this entire month.

nickandstaci said...

What a day you have! You are one amazing and very busy mama! Thanks for sharing your day with us.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I simply adore posts like this! I love to get a real glimpse into the lives of all the ladies I admire. Thanks for sharing ... reading your post makes me exhausted :) !!

Aubrey said...

This is a great post. It is fun to see life as it happens with all the ups and downs. How in the world do you stay so busy and sane at the same time? You have a beautiful family, and I have always envied your beautiful complexion. So don't you worry yourself about that!

Cellista said...

This was fabulous! I too can relate to wanting to appear like you have it all together so people won't think it's a mistake to have children.

I hope you get over the sickness at your house. We've had it too.

Love the new photo at the top of your blog. I can't believe how big your baby is!

Rebecca said...

I was tired before I finished reading up until lunchtime!

Glad to see you back, btw!

Kallie said...

What a great post - I loved it!!! I also love your writing style... so honest and genuine. You are amazing to me. :)


The Red Hen said...

Seriously?!? You made me feel like a total slacker and I needed a nap after I got done reading. You are an amazing wife and mother. I admire you and all tha you do for your family. Keep up the good work.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I agree with Stacy. Sheesh, I was exhausted by the 10 a.m. point. You're a rock star. :)

Sonja said...

This is incredible.
You are incredible.

I am in awe.
I will be a lot more careful about punctuation when I'm writing to you.

What a treasure, though. Your kids will read this some day and love you all the more for it.

Speaking of kids, yours are ADORABLE. I've been away too long.

You inspire me.
I still wish we lived closer.
The end.