Tuesday, October 29, 2013

so...tired...

Eleanor apparently HATES baths these days. Jamund is upstairs doing bath duty and I can just hear her screaming/crying. I'm not sure who to be more sorry for, Eleanor or Jamund.

Guys, I am so tired after today. I had so much to accomplish and basically got it all done...I think... (still need to make muffins for breakfast tomorrow)... but I am exhausted. Give me a high five or something... because I: called doctors to set up appointments, made egg salad, made bread, made pumpkin bar things and frosting, cleaned the kitchen, went to one of those doctor appointments I just made (same day! I was shocked!) with the two kids in the stroller, went to the park with the kids, exercised, shopped with google shopping express (delivered to my door, hallelujah), wrote some emails, etc.

The rest of the week (including weekend) is not much more "relaxing" either... Sigh.  Early bedtime tonight?!

(And because it is Halloween week... Halloweek? Is that a thing? Did I just make it up?... I'll end with this:

IMG_5013


Thursday, October 17, 2013

our schedule

Hello!

IMG_4943

In case anyone was interested, I thought I would write out a sample of our daily schedule (give or take):

About 7:30 a.m.: Get children out of bed, underwear/diapers changed, potty time, etc. Jamund does this while I prepare breakfast/finish getting ready.

7:45-8:15 ish: Eat breakfast and get cleaned up

8:15 ish to 9:15: After getting excused from breakfast, we wash up and get the kids changed into their clothes for the day. We listen to music in the front room and they (hopefully) all play together. Sometimes I will do chores or clean up the kitchen.

About 9:15: Eleanor goes to her room for a nap/quiet time.

9:15-10: More play time, but usually from about 9:30 -10 we have "individual quiet play time" wherein I attempt to get them to play by themselves or read quietly while I also do individual quiet time things like reading or checking e-mail (or blogging in this case).

Rough estimates of times (but the "goal":)....
10-10:15: Learning time—we read a "learning" book like Berenstain Bear's "Almanac," "Science Fair," "Nature Guide," or other various kids educational books/encyclopedia, etc.

10:15-10:25: Exercise time—stretching, songs like "London Bridge,""Row Row Row Your Boat," pretending to be different animals, etc.

10:25-10:35: Numbers or alphabet flashcards

10:35-10:50: Learning Time Activity (lately we've been learning about our senses or food groups or maybe doing a fun number game or writing/tracing letters)

10:50-11: Usually Eleanor is done with her nap by now so we start getting ready for a walk/outside time

11-12: Walk/outside playtime/park

12-12:45 ish: Lunch/milk/getting cleaned up

12:45-1 ish: More music/dance/play time while I clean up lunch

1-1:30: We go up to the playroom and read books. The kids can "read" their own and I usually read a chapter book so they often cuddle up and look at the pictures (usually I read children's illustrated classics)

1:30-1:45: We go upstairs and have potty time, change diapers, and read a "Jesus" story and then a regular story. Then it is naptime!

2-4: Naptime/quiet time in bedrooms

4-4:20: Getting everyone out of bed/diapers changed/potty time

4:20-4:45 ish: Gospel learning time (we have lots of good gospel books/scripture stories).

4:45-5:30: Craft time/play time

(sometimes from 5-5:30 if I'm making a more labor intensive dinner and they are crazy, we have movie time. I try not to have movie time more than every other day or 2-3 nights/week, *ideally* once or not at all---ha!)

5:40-6:15 ish: Dinner time

6:15-7: Daddy time (walk, play, bath)

7-7:30: Bedtime (jammies, tooth brushes, story, prayer and then tuck into bed)

IMG_5162

That's it! Phew.

Friday, October 11, 2013

two plus two plus two

Having four kids is kind of hard. One day I thought about how my mom raised four kids but realized that my oldest sister was probably 15 when I was a year old, my brother was 13 or so, and my other sister was about 6.

IMG_4967

Not to negate the efforts of my saintly mother, but taking care of two three year olds and two in the one to two year old bracket at the same time is its own special opportunity. Like the above photo, when they're all awake it's often like constant motion, and not unified, nice constant working-together-motion.

IMG_5005

I also get used as a pillow/seat. I've learned being close to floor level in a reclined state is very dangerous (for me) when I'm around little kids. I become something to climb on, rub a snotty nose on, etc.

IMG_4931

We are having fun times, hard times, crying times, whining times, hissy fit times, dance times, dessert times, outside times, walk times, bath times, bedtimes, gospel study time, learning time, individual play time, reading times... lots and lots of times.

IMG_4944

This is what keeps the day going: short increments of activity. And a long quiet/nap time for everyone each day. I feel like Hugh Grant in that scene of "About a Boy" where he describes how he divides his day up. That's what we do, and it works. My advice: keep the day flowing and try not to have "I don't know what's going on time" because that usually leads to what happened to us this afternoon....

...which was: Jamund went out to pick up pizza I had ordered online, only they claimed they didn't have the order/that the order had been canceled, so I was at home with lots of hungry bellies and had to wait for the pizza place to make us new pizzas... We watched a lot of "Mary Poppins"and lots of tiny bits of chewed and rejected apple skin and orange got strewn about the living room.

(Though I am proud to say I don't think the kids had watched movies/TV shows the whole week until this point.. at least since Sunday!)

But really, the best times are dance times. We put on records and the kids LOVE it, especially Eleanor and Lillian who now will dance together/next to each other (which means they move around slowly in circles side by side). It is SO CUTE.



Favorite dancing records/songs in the household:
1. The Seekers' "Georgy Girl" and "A World of Our Own"
2. Saturday Looks Good to Me (don't remember the name of the album; it's got a pink cover, though)
3. The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" song
4. We listened to the Faint "Danse Macabre" but it was a little too much and we had to turn it off because kids/adults were starting to get a little sick from too much spinning after lunch.

But the real trick about this many kids together at similar ages is that one second they are having the time of their lives and the next, all bets are off and someone has gotten punched in the face or looked at the wrong way or something and everyone is screaming bloody murder and shrieking and oh! It's very touch and go.

But the dancing. It is so cute.

(and so is this daddy/uncle Jamund coming home welcome):

IMG_4918

And these two together:

IMG_4973

So funny. They can laugh and be so funny together and then start fighting/hitting each other like a little lady cat fight. It is ridiculous. Oh babies.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

venting...

...so once upon a time I was not excited about this weekend. You know sometimes it just doesn't feel right? I was feeling like that, plus I haven't been feeling well, plus Eleanor hasn't been feeling well.

Anyway, I just was not excited about this weekend and I felt kind of bad about it, but I still couldn't shake it. Today Jamund's sister and mom dropped off our two nieces (who we will be taking care of for awhile). I tried to take care of kids and get kids to sleep and missed watching most of the afternoon session of General Conference. I got the nieces to sleep on the couch and then sent Jamund out to Costco for milk and eggs and other supplies since we now have twice the kids!

...then I remembered that Jamund probably didn't have his Costco card with him since he doesn't always keep it in his wallet. So I texted him and he turned around after arriving and started to drive home... and got rear ended.

I am so sad. Our brand new car with backup cameras and blind spot sensors... that are probably now damaged! And it's our only car and we currently have four children to take care of... meaning taking it in for repairs is not going to be easy/fun/convenient/etc.

Yeah, not such a good weekend...thanks gut feelings.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

bits and pieces

Sigh.

Hey everyone.

A few things today:

1. They are selling our house. The house we are renting. This is super depressing for me but the realtors came over today and said that it's likely an investor will buy it (due to litigations and such, it is more difficult to get a loan to buy the townhomes we are living in so people often come in with cash... how would that be?!) and that we can keep renting it from them. They told us our lease is still valid (until end of April), but man, I don't want to move that soon. I really just don't want to pack and unpack and all of that hassle. We love our location, our square footage, our four bedrooms, our laundry machines, the newness of the house... I will be devastated if we have to pack up and move.

2. Sick. The kids, Jamund, and I feel it. So sad about this. I'm so sad about it that I have a headache and should probably take a nap...wait.... maybe that's just the sickness.

3. Despite #2, I went to see "Austenland" with some ladies from church today. Jamund was home with the kids (work from home day, plus see #2). It was pretty funny, sort of crass in some parts, but pretty funny. Better "Mr Darcy" (by a different name) in my opinion than the Kiera Knightley "Pride and Prejudice" Mr Darcy.

4. Simon. That man. Phew.

5. Eleanor has lately been dancing around in circles. Not necessarily to music, just dancing... It is pretty cute.

6. Our car is so hard to park in our tandem garage. If we do have to move, the improved (fingers crossed) parking situation is one thing I would be happy about (assuming we move somewhere with a normal side by side garage)...but I don't want to move!

7. What else... Oh, Netflix refuses to work on our TV lately. This is making my watching of season two of "Call the Midwife" so difficult.

8. I have a headache. Did I already mention this?

Sigh.