1:00am - Maddie wakes for a bottle. Locating bottles, diapers, wipes, etc. is difficult since we spent the weekend at the lake house and I have yet to unpack. I feed her, change her, burp her, and she is back asleep in 30 minutes or so.
3:45am - Ellie wakes up in the night. Spend the next 45 minutes trying to console Robbie, and get Ellie to go back to bed (have I mentioned they're sharing a room? ARGH!). Put up a pack and play in the family room out of sheer frustration and put her in it, let her shriek out her 2 year old angst for a little while. Think, what in the world do you do with situations like this one? Answer: Daddy calmly snuggles Ellie, then manages to get her to go to sleep in her crib again. Mommy makes room for Robbie in bed, where he sleeps until morning. Daddy decides to just start his day at 4:15am by taking a shower and heading to work. (I'm nauseous just thinking about it for him.)
5:30am - Maddie wakes for another bottle. Feed, change, burp her and she's asleep again within 45 minutes.
6:00am - Robbie tries to convince me it's morning because he can see through the blinds in our room that it's getting light out. I firmly tell him that just because the sun's coming up, that does not mean we are starting our day. Successfully convince him to lay back down and doze for a little while.
7:00am - Robbie is his father's son and cannot sleep in, or go back to sleep once he's awake. I turn on cartoons for him to watch from our bed and I sort of go back to sleep.
8:30am - Maddie wakes for the day with a blowout poopy diaper and a leg stuck between the rails of her crib. Tough start for a wee one! I dislodge her, change her, feed and burp her in my room while Robbie finishes watching his last cartoon. Say a prayer of thanks to God for His new mercies every morning, and ask Him to be all that I need today, knowing how weak in my own flesh I am, particularly after difficult nights.
9:45am - retrieve Ellie from her crib. Change all 3 kids' diapers and dress them. Spray my own hair with dry shampoo, wipe my face with Say Yes To Cucumbers facial wipes, brush my teeth, apply blush, mascara and chapstick, and put on the first pair of running shorts and tank top I find. Make up a bottle, two milk cups and two juice cups, fill the diaper bag with essentials, and put the kids in the car. Pick up donut holes for the kids to eat on the way since we don't have groceries in the house yet from being gone all weekend, and get a latte for myself.
11:00am - arrive at Buy Buy Baby. Exchange monitor at service desk while R & E play at the pretend kitchen and diner nearby. Maddie drinks one bottle and takes a cat nap while we shop. Allow the older 2 a few minutes of browsing in the toy aisle as a reward for dragging them around the store for diapers, etc. Try to convince Ellie that we don't need the $30 puppy that moves and barks, as she lugs it around in a box that is nearly as large as she is. As I try to check out, they begin to fight over a riding toy 2 aisles over. Both kids LOSE. IT. and justlikethat I am "that mom" again, trying to get out the door with my dignity in tact. (Big fail, by the way.) Realize as we exit the store that Ellie left her sippy cup somewhere inside while we were shopping. If we hadn't lost 2 sippies in the last week for the same reason, I would abandon it. Retrace my steps with tantrum-y kids and retrieve cup. Pray for strength, patience and grace the whole way to the van.
12:15pm - head towards Chick-fil-a drive thru on the way home for nuggets and a chicken salad sandwich (no groceries yet, remember!?). Offer myself Mom Of The Year award for 2 meals eaten out in one day. At least Robbie and I had a sweet conversation about how he loves God and Jesus, and that we can pray to him about everything (all his words), and we had a humble teachable moment when I explained to him the many kinds of prayers I pray.. including confession "Dear Jesus, please forgive me for yelling at Robbie or Ellie and for losing my patience. Please help me learn to be more patient and kind. Amen!" and thanks "Dear Jesus, Thank you for my sweet children, our home and the food we have to eat. Amen!". He had the most precious, thoughtful look on his face as he looked out his window listening to me and contemplating our prayer lives. He then announced to me that Jesus was inside his (toy) train, as he chugged it around his lap. So then, as we are pulling up to order lunch, I hear a juicy burp in the backseat and assume it's Maddie. Robbie cries out that he just spit up in his car seat, and indeed he has. I tell him it's just because he ate too many donut holes and drank too much juice (which is probably the case, but also what I tell myself so that I don't get that panicky "my kid has the flu" feeling that plagues me still.) Decide against feeding the kids lunch before their naps; they are exhausted anyways.
1:00pm - set up new monitors, put all 3 kids down for naps. Eat my lunch, clean the kitchen, then read this and sit and think a while. Pray again for a heart that is focused on God so that I am able to receive what I need from Him alone.
2:45pm - take a shower.
3:20pm - R & E wake up from naps; put on an episode of Little Einsteins in our bedroom so I can finish getting ready. Go downstairs, feed them lunch (dinner?), help them get started playing in the living room so that I can then clean up the kitchen (again), pick up the family room, do a load of dishes, start the wash (the lovey that caught the throw up must be clean by 7:30pm!), and start dinner. Intervene with playtime when fighting breaks out. Attempt to put Ellie on time out for major screaming/shrieking. She's either too young to understand the concept or she totally ignores my discipline and instead begs for me to hold her, snuggle, wipe her boogies, etc. She finally gives me an 'Ok, mommy' when I tell her for the 100th time that screaming is unacceptable and a No-No. We move on.
5:00pm - Maddie wakes up from her nap, ticked and hungry. I put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for the older two so that I can feed, change, and burp Maddie without interruption. Also because I am EXHAUSTED. Did you know that one woman can earn two Mother Of The Year Awards? Because I just did.
5:10pm - Contemplate not logging the rest of our days this week, after rereading the day's events thus far.
5:30pm - Maddie hangs out in the exersaucer while I prep dinner. That was the idea at least. Instead she wanted to be held, so I talked to her and loved on her while the older 2 played in the family room.
6:15pm - Maddie wants a little more milk before she can drop off to sleep. 2 oz later, she's down for the night. I put R & E in the bath with popsicles (fun!), and by the time I have them out of the tub and drying off, Daddy comes home from work. He helps with pj's and we read books and pray together. Somehow things get wild and loud, and Maddie is woken up.
7:15pm - I feed Maddie to help her calm down, and with a fresh diaper she's off to sleep again. I give the older 2 cough medicine for their lingering congestion from colds last week, and we put Ellie down first in her crib. I quickly make Rob nachos for dinner (I haven't felt well in the evenings lately so I skip dinner tonight.)
8:15pm - Put Robbie in his crib, even though Ellie's still awake. I walk out of the kids' room after singing 'Holy, Holy, Holy' to them, and pray that they fall asleep soon.
8:30pm - leave to get groceries. Just walking outside by myself to get in the car brings wave of refreshment to my spirit! Hmm. This is bad. I stop and get face wash and a Chai on my way to the grocery store, and am so thankful for the time by myself to think over my day and enjoy a little solitude. I just realized that I bookended my day with a warm drink instead of actual meals. Oops. Will remedy that tomorrow.
10pm - unload groceries, finish up this post, take bottles and formula upstairs and head to bed.
Sometime courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
(Mary Anne Radmacher)