previous entry :: next entry

a day in my life

5am the alarm goes off, and by alarm I mean baby flailing next to me indicating that he wants to nurse. This is the forth time he's nursed since he went to sleep at 7pm, but it doesn't count as "night nursing" if I wake up afterwards, right? I nurse him back to sleep and pick up the bible from my bedside table that I have been attempting to commit to read. I try to make my eyes focus on the words of a small paragraph in a way that will make these words scan into my brain. Reading, I guess that's called. It's made difficult by the fact that my eyes keep closing. After a half hour I've sort of woken up and sort of read a parable. I pray that I may not be like the rocky soil that's distracted by wants and worries. Also, that the baby stays sleeping when I get up.

Get up quietly so as not to wake both children in my bed. MAKE COFFEE. I thank God for the sweet life-giving nectar, and sit in front of the computer as I drink it. I try to remember what I'm supposed to check on the computer - the weather, the hours for the place Zion wants to go when he finishes his sticker chart, print coupons for said establishment. As I do that I pump out what breastmilk is left. It's for a friends' baby, which is the only way I can do ministry these days (before 6am... silently).

Dan hears the baby waking up and changes his diaper. So I should try to do something nice for him later. Like actually make dinner.

I put the milk in the fridge, take the baby, nurse him, change him into clothes. Our next chore is to walk the dog around the block. It is a nice morning, not too hot not too cold, and I try to be in the moment and enjoy walking. This is sort of possible, except that Elijah needs me to maintain a constant hum of the Mexican Hat Dance. And sometimes dance around a bit.

When I come back Zion is awake, and soon so is Harvey. Dan is busy cooking them bacon and eggs, so I put the baby in his high-chair with food while I run around the house collecting the trash and recycling. Elijah is happy for enough minutes that I'm able to put everything out on the curb. I come back inside and lift my arms in triuph. "I PUT OUT THE TRASH!" I bellow at my family. They look at me perplexed. I say that I am celebrating small wins, and they would too if their life was impossible. The baby is already yelling and I take him out of his seat.

Dan leaves for work and says that after we feed the chickens Harvey needs help lifting the strawberry net. So I leave the breakfast dishes where they are and go outside to make farm crap happen.

jostling for position over the chicken food bin

Elijah wants to help scoop the chicken food, but he is getting in the way, so Zion pushes him down. I order Zion into a ten-second time-out, and he doesn't fight me to sit down, so I guess he's making progress.

We all work on feeding the chickens together. I have to open the door, keep the hens from getting out, and then shut it once the kids have poured food into the feeder. This is supposed to be all Harvey's responsibility, but getting to the feeder takes moving a bunch of sharp heavy fencing, which is to say it that takes an adult. Which is fine, Elijah likes seeing the chickens too.

nothing stands in these farmers way except a complete lack of physical strength

We stand and watch the chickens for a few minutes. Harvey asks if he can take a picture, and soon he declares, "Wow! I got the best picture ever!"

call the photo award committee

Next H and Z pick berries. They need me to move the netting off the strawberries and put it back on again. Meanwhile, Elijah plays in the sandbox.

strawberry picking

I decide this would be another good time for a cup of coffee. I run in quickly and bring out a mug. This time it's decaf.

survive. survive!

Elijah freaks out all of a sudden, so maybe he's sleepy. I take him inside to try for a nap, but the attempt is aborted when Zion comes in screaming that he needs a bandaid. He got several splinters from playing with a fiberglass tool that he's not supposed to touch. Washing and bandaiding his hands takes ten minutes. While I work, Elijah takes everything off the bathroom shelf and chews on some math manipulatives. I don't THINK they're choking hazards. I have no idea why they're in the bathroom.

Nap attempt #2 fails when Harvey and Zion see the neighborhood boys riding their bikes to the busstop. We all go out and ride bikes with them, sleepy Elijah included, and then we keep riding after the bus comes. Elijah gets a second wind from playing outside, and I realize that I am starving. At a moment when they all look safeI run inside and shove a hot dog in my mouth.

the boys make a course of obstacles with skate boards

At quarter past 9 Elijah decides he's actually tired and starts climbing up the stairs to go inside. I am tired of worrying about the boys safety during nap attempts, so I offer Harvey and Zion the ipad, which they gratefully accept.

Elijah is asleep, praise Jesus. I change into my workout clothes to do a new 30 minute video. Unfortunately, the video doesn't work and I spend some minutes online troubleshooting a return. Then I do some push-ups and take the ipad away from the kids. Harvey wants to do his workout. I put in the kids workout DVD and it turns out that NOTHING is working in my computer. Crap. I offer to lead him through push-ups but he asks for a snack. I hang up workout clothes in disgust, cut fruit.

I figure I should get some homeschooling in during nap time, so I make myself a smoothie for courage and read to H&Z until Elijah wakes up, which is only another two minutes. I ask Harvey to sounds out some words. Then I hold Elijah on my lap and nurse him, while I finish reading the book. He is okay until he wants to eat my smoothie too. I feed him spoonfuls of smoothie while reading while trying not to get food on the book. Harvey says he wants smoothie too. I get up to make them more smoothie, which they don't like as much when it isn't in MY cup. While they eat or push smoothie around in their cups I set off to do the dishes. Elijah plays on the back porch. I wash two dishes before Zion comes to me screaming that he needs a new bandaid. When I come back into the kitchen with the bandaid I see Zion kicking Elijah. I tell him he needs to sit on the couch for a time out. He runs around after me yelling for five minutes before he complies. So, maybe not learning so much. New bandaid finally applied. Meanwhile, it looks like the baby has hurt the lime tree on the back porch. Also, what happened to his pants?

honestly, where did they go?

Everyone calms down and Zion does the two cleaning tasks that are necessary to finish filling his sticker chart. None of my cleaning tasks are done, but we head out anyway for his chosen reward destination. And he chooses... ChuckECheese.

(After I strap the kids in the car I go back into the house for a cup of coffee. This is the closest thing to a ProTip that I know of.)

gamer faces

We spend $30 on a token/lunch package and Harvey has a great time with a pirate video game while Zion has fun riding the merry go round and asking me to win him tokens. He decides he wants to win a tootsie roll pop, which costs ten tickets. He has six tickets so far, and when I ask him how many more he needs he goes to his fingers. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10." he says. "Basically, that's all my fingers."

The boys eat pizza and I try to make the salad bar worth its price by eating my weight in salted nuts. This only results in making me sick, however, and after two hours I'm really ready to go home. Zion turns his tickets in for a tootsie roll and a plastic spider. Harvey has trouble picking a prize and it makes him cry. Everyone is tired.

On the ride home the boys are each eating a slice of pizza. I have this surreal conversation with my middle son:
Zion: "Where can I spit this?"
Me: "What do you need to spit? You're eating pizza and drinking lemonade?"
Zion: "It's yucky."
Me: "I don't know. Spit it into your hand and put it into your cup holder."
Zion: "Nooooo! My spider's in there!"
Me: "Well I don't know, we don't have a designated spitting area in this car.

When I get home I have my 3rd cup of decaf coffee.

I put Elijah to bed (again) (finally) and as Harvey and Zion play TinTin I take care of some lingering issues. I change the laundry, I finish washing the breakfast dishes, I plunge the toilet. I walk around wondering what I should make for dinner. If I can prep it during nap time the afternoon will be managable, gosh darn it. I decide on cooked cabage slaw (cabage, grated beets, and sliced onions cooked in butter), steamed kale, and chicken parmesan caserole from leftover chicken. And rice, with the idea that everything could go in a tortilla with sour cream. Harvey comes in to ask what I'm making, and to ensure that I'm cooking the vegetables SEPERATE from the cheesy chicken. I put everything on the table, even though it's only 3pm.

dinner. Waiting to get cold for maximum yuckiness

The baby is still sleeping, so I figure we should do some homeschooling. I read a science book about wolves with the kids. They ask a lot of questions about plants and which way is north. Elijah wakes up just as I finish the story and we go outside to resume the game of obstacle course.

this time with neighbors

Dan comes home from work while we're playing outside and immediately goes off to do some farm chores. After that he watches the children while I walk Rascal. When I get back we eat dinner. Spoiler alert: the kids don't like anything except the rice. We spend most of dinner talking about whether it's rude to offer a constant commentary on your food preferences. I vow only to make them single meats and seperated steamed vegetables from now on. Because, honestly.

Harvey had been asking since the morning if we could try out the new fishing rods they got over the weekend (new is a relative term; they came from my parents' basement). I felt like we needed an antidote to our time at the child's casino, so even though it was evening and everyone was testy we headed for a quick swim at Walden Pond.

everyone don't drown please

Dan tried to teach Harvey and Zion to cast out (or whatever it's called) while I kept Elijah breathing air. Both Dan and I were tired from the day and from the rudeness at dinner, so we were not the most giving parents. Still, nature is giving in its own way and I have to imagine being outside and learning new things covers over some relational sins.

let it go!

We stayed until the park ranger threatened to ticket our cars (7pm) and the kids were pretty tired on the way home (espeically Elijah who flailed into his PJs like it was a sport). Still, no one fell asleep in the car so we did a full bedtime upon arriving home. I tried to nurse Elijah down but he refused to sleep so I took him downstairs to make muffins with me. He beat me with a measuring spoon while I put ingredients into the food processor, and then played on the floor with a cup until he cried that he was really ready for sleeping. Another nursing put-down, this time with Zion too lying on top of me waiting for his cuddle. I successfully got one then the other down to bed, then I took the muffins out of the oven. Cleaned the kitchen.

"They smell good," Dan said.
"They don't taste at all good," I said, "but I'm eating them."

While Dan tried to troubleshoot my computer I picked up the toys and clothes from all over the downstairs. Put away the muffins. Vaacumed the front rooms, even though it was late, because I wouldn't have time to do it in the morning and Elijah's developmental specialist comes to the house at 7am.

Got into bed at 10pm. Kind of bummed I didn't get to work out.

I don't know what I expected to learn from an exercise of writing down every single thing I did in a day. Maybe I had hoped to illumine the beauty of tiny passing moments. Maybe I did that too, but reading over my account I am more aware of how I am really really tired.

Tomorrow starts another day. One which will go un-documented, perhaps, but certainly not un-worked.

previous entry :: next entry