Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Emily: 35 | Nick: 35 | Sam: 6 yrs | Nora: 4 yrs | Evelyn: 20 mos | Lucy: 5 yrs
6:35am | It’s easy to wake up before the alarm when I don’t have little ones waking me up in the middle of the night to use the potty or fix a blanket or retrieve a lost binky. I roll out of bed, chug a half bottle of water (because #winter), grab my clothes for the day, and head downstairs to shower.
6:50am | I’m out and Nick is in. Still no sounds coming from the kids’ rooms. Yes! I’ll actually have time to dry my hair and put on some makeup. And time to notice how desperately I need a bang trim and brow wax.
7:05am | Ready for the day, and I can’t believe that the kids are still sleeping. I grab my phone and go down to the kitchen to start the coffee. I scroll through the weather, the news headlines for the day, my email, and Timehop before I hear Nora’s voice in the bathroom.
7:15am | Nick is brushing his teeth, Nora is going potty, and Lucy has found her favorite spot at the top of the stairs.
7:20am | Evie is up. Always with a sweet hug and pat on the back as I lift her out of the crib. I pull back the curtains, open the blinds, and change her diaper. Sam is up, too. We all slowly make our way downstairs.
7:30am | Evie is clingy. (“Up” and “carry” are her new favorite words.) Lucy is ringing the bells to go out. Sam and Nora are arguing over the magnets on the refrigerator. “Daddy got this for me from Canada.” “No, Daddy got this for me.” Coffee is calling my name.
7:35am | Hugs and kisses for Daddy as he heads out the door. I put Evie into her chair with a cup of water, a banana, and her vitamin. But, before I know it, she’s back on the kitchen counter while I get breakfast ready. Nora is close behind, dragging the stool and asking to help whisk the eggs.
7:45am | Nora convinced Evie to join her in the living room to play baby dolls. Sam is finishing his homework. (B is for baseball.) And breakfast is almost ready (scrambled eggs and avocado and bagels).
8:15am | After getting up twice for milk refills, once for extra napkins, and another to get the bottle of ketchup, we’re finally finished with breakfast. Evie ended up sitting in my lap, of course. Nora feeds Lucy, and I send Sam upstairs to get dressed.
8:20am | We have to leave for the bus in 10 minutes, and neither of the girls are dressed. Then I have a brilliant idea. Since I’m volunteering in the library at Sam’s school this morning, I ask if he wants me to drive him to school. “But won’t I be late?” (Since when is my son a rule-follower?) “Yes, but only 10 minutes.” He happily agrees, and I’m grateful for some extra time to get the girls moving.
8:45am | Everyone is dressed, teeth cleaned, hair brushed, and I even got to finish my cup of coffee. I pile up coats, hats, gloves, and backpacks, and start the assembly line. (Darn groundhog and six more weeks of winter.) Evie is insisting that she bring her baby doll and binky and two hats, and Nora asks me three times to fix “the bumps” on her socks.
8:55am | And we’re off! We drop off Nora first. And Sam’s former teacher is so excited to see him sitting in the back seat. Then we drive down the road to the elementary school. I sign in Sam and myself as a visitor. And I ask Sam to lead us to the library — my proud big kid!
9:15am | My little helper sits beside me while I sort bookmarks for the winter reading incentive. But that doesn’t last long. Soon she’s in my lap, and I’m trying hard to keep her from drawing on the classroom folders. After sorting, we head into the hallway to hang the kids’ names on the treasure maps. We see a first-grade friend and our second-grade neighbor. Both stop to talk to Evie. Oh, how I love this community and this school.
9:45am | We’ve moved on to shelving books. Evie pulls them off the shelf as I put them on. Fortunately, Curious George provides some distraction.
10:15am | Evie is getting cranky and keeps requesting “bars” (fig bars) from my backpack. I take that as my cue to pack up. We wave “byeeeee” to the librarian and head out. But not before sneaking by Sam’s classroom. He sees us, gives a big smile and wave, and we’re off.
10:30am | Back home and Evie is refusing to get out of the car. This is new. Usually she doesn’t want to get into the car. But she’s so darn cute.
10:35am | We have about an hour until we have to pick up Nora. I sure do miss Evie’s 10-12:30 nap time. We had a good run, but she’s over it. This means that Nora no longer stays for lunch bunch, otherwise there’s not enough time for Evie to nap before we have to pick up Sam at the bus stop. Poor third child. However, she does get extra couch snuggles with Mommy and a yummy early lunch (hummus and naan bread, string cheese, grapes), so I shouldn’t too bad.
11:20am | Time to bundle up again and head out for Nora. I can’t wait until the weather warms up so we can resume our walks to and from preschool.
11:30am | Nora runs out of her classroom, “Mommy, look what I can do. I can zip my own jacket! Now you don’t have to help me anymore!” Oh, the thrilling life of a four-year-old.
11:35am | Back in the car, and Nora asks to play Eye Spy. We get in just three rounds before we pull up our driveway. Evie is more than ready to nap, so I take her straight upstairs.
11:45am | Lunchtime for me and Nora. She asks for macaroni and cheese — no surprise. And I heat up leftover spicy sausage and potato soup for myself.
12:00pm | We spend the next hour rotating between puzzles, lite bright, kinetic sand, and coloring books. As much as I miss my productive time during Evie’s late morning naps, I am also loving this new opportunity for one-on-one time with the middle. Especially since she’s been struggling a bit with her big emotions. There have been more meltdowns and overreactions and tantrums since she’s turned four. And this extra focused attention on her has been good for both of us. We’re both feeling pretty relaxed with a blend of lavender and lemon in the diffuser and Moana on the Bose.
1:30pm | Nora asks for an apple and a bowl of Goldfish and to watch PJ Masks on the iPad. I give in because I have a bit of work to do. We’re in the process of hiring a realtor to begin house hunting (woo-hoo!), and I could use some quiet time on the computer.
2:30pm | Evie is still napping. And Nora is thrilled to get more screen time than usual. I take the opportunity to tidy the kitchen, wipe down the counters, and pick up a few toys that have been on the living room floor since this morning.
2:45pm | “Maaamaaa!” Evie is up. And we have just enough time for popcorn and applesauce before it’s back into our winter gear to walk to the bus stop. (If you’re counting, this is Evie’s fifth time of the day to suit up.)
3:45pm | The girls spend a few minutes walking up and down the steps of the doctor’s office near the bus stop, picking up rocks, and jumping over the cracks in the sidewalk. When we hear the bus turn the corner, they run to the curb. Our favorite brother is home! “Bubba!” He’s greeted with big hugs from both sisters. We cross the street, Nora runs ahead of us, Evie doesn’t want to hold my hand, and Sam is trying to show me the slime he traded on the bus. I pull the recycling bin up the driveway, and Sam grabs the mail before we head inside.
4:00pm | It’s important to serve a big snack to Sam before hanger strikes. Today he asks for a sausage biscuit and strawberry yogurt. I empty his backpack, toss yesterday’s homework, shake the crumbs from his snack bag, and quickly scan the reminder about their upcoming 100th day of school. The girls are racing cars on the rug, and Sam asks to play Nintendo. Fortunately, I’m able to redirect his attention, and he’s soon playing with the girls on the floor.
4:30pm | Bath time! Yes, before dinner. This has become one of my new favorite winter rituals. It really helps the kids to wind down from their days and eliminates a little bit of the bedtime chaos (especially on nights that Nick has to work late, like tonight). I get some lavender and thieves diffusing in their rooms and everyone gets nice and clean. I put on PJs, too, of course.
5:15pm | Just as I finish dressing the girls, Sam enters as Captain Underpants. “Tra-laaa-laaaaaaa!” We watched the movie last weekend, and Sam and Nora are still laughing at all the jokes. Potty humor, at its finest. Before I know it, all three kids are wearing underwear on their heads and racing from room to room. Sam and Nora say, “one, two, three,” and Evie shouts “goooooo!”
5:45pm | The next hour is a complete blur, as usual. While Evie pulls all of the colanders out of the cupboard, I prepare an easy dinner of grilled cheese and tomato soup, carrots, and strawberries. Nora complains that her bread is too dark and asks for “really, super cold water.” Sam requests a second sandwich. Evie’s chin and jammy shirt are covered in tomato soup. And I wish I had a glass of red wine to accompany this lovely meal.
6:45pm | Gosh, it’s getting late. But the kids ate really well, and cleaned the table. So when they ask to play “just one” game of Memory, I oblige. I give them each a granola bite, and Sam asks to crumble his up and add it to (another) yogurt. Sam and I quickly accumulate a stack of matches. Nora only has one and asks to be on my team as she moves into my lap. Sam protests, but I tease him, “you just don’t want to lose to the girls,” and he gets his game face on. He does end up losing, by just two pair. Before this escalates into an argument, I usher them upstairs.
7:15pm | Time to start our bedtime routine: go potty, brush teeth, do mouthwash, take fluoride, rub lotion on dry hands, apply “happy face” roller of essential oils to Sam’s face. As you can imagine, this takes least 15 minutes for one adult to complete with three kids.
7:30pm | We’re finally all laying in Nora’s bed, later than I’d like, but all three are in relatively good moods, so I’ll take it. I tell them they can each pick a book. Evie chooses one of her Ladybug Girl board books, but really just wants to flip through it and say “lady” and “dog.” Sam picks Brown Bear, what do you see? And Nora picks Polar Bear, what do you hear? They both have these books memorized, and so I suggest they read to me tonight. Cue the cuteness! Sam helps Nora to sound out the words, and she is surprisingly accepting of his help (this is not always the case). But by the time we get to the end of the second book, they have turned the story into a song and are trying to out-sing each other. And … we’re done.
7:45pm | I send Sam to his room while I tuck in the girls. Multiple hugs and kisses and nose honks before I say, “Goodnight, I love you, I’ll see you in the morning time.” Sam’s turn, and fortunately, he’s too tired to request another book. I kiss him on the forehead and turn off his light.
8:00pm | Whew. Before I sit down, I load the dishwasher and wipe down the counters. I put the kids’ cups in the refrigerator and set out Sam’s lunchbox and backpack. I do a quick sweep through the living room for rogue toys and fluff the couch cushions. Then I make a cup of tea and head to the basement for This Is Us — my current favorite show on television, and always an emotional roller coaster. Nick is already a few episodes behind, so he won’t mind that I’m watching without him.
8:45pm | I hear Nick upstairs, but I’m too into the show to get up to greet him. After he changes into sweats, he comes down to join me. He grabs the Nintendo Switch (like father, like son), while I finish the episode.
9:15pm | We spend the next 20 minutes catching up on our days and checking out a few houses on Zillow. We’re starting to narrow down communities and are really anxious for some new properties to hit the market.
9:45pm | Nick decides to stay in the basement with Lucy while I head upstairs to read a few pages in Origin, Dan Brown’s newest book.
10:45pm | Nick hasn’t come up yet. I text him and suggest he turn off the Nintendo (with a silly wink face emoji) and come to bed. But I’m fast asleep before he decides to take my advice.