7:00am - Maddie wakes, I feed her a bottle, burp and change her. Back to sleep for the babe, and before I hope in the shower and get ready for the day I check my favorite blogs.
8:00am - shower, get ready
8:30am - Robbie and Ellie wake up. Change diapers, dress them, and Robbie heads down to reunite with his trains while Ellie plays in my makeup as I finish getting ready.
9:30am - Make and distribute milk cups, make Maddie a bottle and take it upstairs. Wake her up, feed and change her, buckle her into her car seat. Assemble diaper bag, usher the older 2 out to the car and buckle them in, give them cinnamon swirl toast in the car for breakfast. Bring Maddie out to the car and detect a poopy diaper. I'm smart enough not to leave the older 2 in the car by themselves for any amount of time, so I pull Maddie out and change her in the front seat of the car (in the garage - seriously). Hello, blowout diaper. Retrieve the change of clothes I keep in the diaper bag and redress Maddie. Buckle her back up, note how much time and effort it takes to go anywhere and give the cloudy skies my most intimidating look in hopes that it doesn't rain on our parade this morning, after all it's taken to simply back out of the garage.
10:05am - Success! Leave the house and fortify myself with a latte.
10:30am - praying in the car. Begin to feel convicted (again) about my tendencies towards impatience and discontentedness. Start to confess my sinful heart to God, and of course the natural result is a deep sense of gratitude as I count my many, undeserved blessings. I'm so distracted by this time with the Lord that I miss my exit on the highway. I am such a bonehead. Detour adds 15 minutes onto our little trip.
10:45am - arrive at our destination, Barnes and Noble. I give a firm explanation of expectations and non-negotiable rules for parking garage and bookstore behavior. Kids hold hands the entire way door to door, and no more than 5 steps inside B&N they lose their minds and run in opposite directions. I'm so very aware of the people around me that are watching my response whenever this happens in public. Partially because I'm self-conscious, partially because I want so badly to be able to manage these three little ones gracefully on my own when we are out. Mainly because I enjoy the variety of reactions in others' faces that range from pity to amusement to knowing smiles to annoyance. I appreciate the moments of camaraderie and encouragement from other mothers and vow to be the one giving that vibe to others down the road as well. We make our way up the elevator and into the children's section, where R & E camp out at the train table and play peaceably for quite a while. So calm are they that I pull Maddie out of her car seat and hold her up on my shoulder - she thanks me by spitting up on my clean shirt. Sad that it's important for me to note that it's a clean one? Whatever. Then Robbie poops in his diaper and we are officially a mess that needs to be cleaned up in the bathroom. Threaten the kids within an inch of their lives not to touch anything as I change all 3 diapers and use the restroom myself. Douse children with antibacterial self-foaming instant hand sanitizer. Curse my germaphobic self. Make our way downstairs and juggle antsy, hungry kids while attempting to pay the slowest cashier in the Midwest (please, no more lessons in patience! ha). I swear she was trying to punish me.
12:05pm - leave B&N for home.
12:30pm - feed the kids lunch, stagger them for naps. Lay Maddie down after giving her a bottle.
1:30pm - rest, make and eat my lunch (same as yesterday with the addition of a small cup of leftover soup and a handful of blueberries to compensate for my lack of breakfast!), prepare a few things to send to friends, dink around online (have you discovered Babble.com yet?!), watch part of "Courage Under Fire".
2:30pm - R & E wake from their naps, and play (read: destroy the family and living rooms with their toys) while I upload pictures from our weekend at the lake house.
5:00pm - our beloved babysitter stops by to say hello! She's been gone for a month getting married in Colorado and honeymooning in Mexico and just returned this week. We are so happy to have her back home, and enjoy talking with her about the trip, her wedding, becoming a wife, etc. She is so special to us and feels like an extension of our family. The kids are beside themselves to see her again and (wouldn't you know?) go nuts. As in, Robbie starts hauling around pieces of furniture and whacking us all on the head with his blanket, and Ellie spins herself around until she falls over and giggles like a crazy person. I tell our sitter that somehow, in the time that she's been gone, the infant has become the easy one of the bunch.
6:00pm - feed the kids dinner, then give them popsicles in the tub since it worked so nicely last night.
7:00pm - Put Ellie to bed, make Rob's and my dinner. Robbie plays with toys and has a popcorn snack nearby.
7:30pm - Maddie wakes up from her 6 hour nap (!), give her a bottle and play with her while I eat my dinner with one hand.
8:15pm - put Maddie back to bed. Change out of my clothes and into my pajamas, which is just your typical summer tank top nightgown, but must look differently from a 3 year old's perspective because Robbie asks if I'm leaving to go to a wedding tonight! Rob and I crack up. I put Robbie to bed, clean the kitchen and family room, make myself a big mug of Chai and head up to bed armed with chocolate chip cookies.
8:45pm - Rob and I watch a DVR'd episode of Jon Stewart and I compose this post. The kids are all settled in their beds and thunder is starting to rumble outside. It's shaping up to be a good night of sleep...