A day in the life…

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I always enjoy reading these “day in the life” type posts.  I decided early yesterday morning to chronicle the day exactly as it happened, so here goes.

I wake up to the baby’s cry.  The sunlight in my room means it’s much later than it’s supposed to be.  I jump out of bed and peek in Teddy’s room, but he’s rolled over and gone back to sleep.  I head back to my room and look at my husband.  It’s 6:45am.  N. usually wakes up at 5am to run, and this morning he was going to wake me up at 5:45 so I could go to the Y.  But, last night was the second night of training our baby to sleep in his crib all night, and N. was up patting Teddy’s back a lot last night.  Now he’s asleep holding his alarm clock in his hand.  I wake him up, “It’s 6:45!!”  He’s supposed to leave at 7.  He leaps out of bed and into the shower.  I sit down to pray for a few minutes, but now Teddy is really awake and crying.

When he and I settle into the rocking chair I’m watching him closely.  The last time we tried sleep training, Teddy was 5 months old.  It went well for two nights, and then he started acting  anxious and clingy during the day, and I brought him back in our room.  Now, 3 months later, he’s back to nursing all night long, and I’m just tired.  N. was willing to do nighttime duty, so we’re giving it a try again.  All our other babies have co-slept for at least a year, but this one, our fifth, is exceptionally easygoing, and my hopes of a full night’s sleep have been raised.  We’ll see how it goes.  He seems happy this morning.

N. is out the door in a record time, coffee and breakfast in hand.  The older kids get up and dressed quickly so they can play outside before breakfast.  William, 9, checks the weather report.  It’s surprisingly chilly this morning so everyone’s back inside quickly.  By 7:30, we’re sitting down to eat.  N. took the kids out to pick wild blackberries yesterday evening, and they are delicious.

I read a Bible story and try to get everyone to stay quiet for a second to pray a blessing on our day.  The kids are off to do chores, and I’m cleaning up the huge mess Teddy made of his cereal.  This part of the day gets really chaotic, but I think I only raised my voice once, and whew, it’s finally over and we start school work just after 8:30.

Ben and Marie, 5, color their calendars and then are off to play while the big boys practice piano and do a math lesson.  I remember I have a doctor’s appointment in 15 minutes but didn’t line up a babysitter, so I call to reschedule.  Ben and Marie are playing a game now, and William is working on math independently, so I bring Louis (7) and Teddy into my room and set them up on the floor with flashcards and a box of toys, respectively, while I make my bed.  I’m still in my pajamas and when I think about getting dressed, realize I don’t even remember when I last showered.  Louis is going to do a 5 minute subtraction drill, so I set the timer for him and take a record shower.  I’m dressed and walking out of the bathroom when his timer rings.

Teddy’s starting to look sleepy.  William’s still working on his own (yea!!), and Ben and Marie have abandoned their game and are playing in Marie’s room.  Louis starts practicing piano, and I sit down to nurse Teddy.  The twins have started arguing over a toy spaceship, so I leave Louis to break up the fight and lay Teddy in the crib to pat his back.  He closes his eyes almost immediately.  It’s working!!  48 hours ago he would have screamed if I’d laid him down in the crib awake.  I step out to ask Louis to stop playing the piano because it’s going to keep Teddy awake, but he is already asleep when I come back.  Wonder baby!!!

The boys finish their math and everyone gets a snack and a break.  The older boys have to wash their clothes today and start that.  I have some paperwork and bills to mail off, and then of course get distracted on the Internet.  I snap to and call William back to the table at 11 for a spelling test, but I’ve started writing this post by then and the distraction in the air is contagious.  The test takes way too long.

Louis comes in for his Language Arts lessons and is supposed to write a poem in rhyming couplets.  Here is “Teddy’s Poem from Louis.”

I have a brother named Teddy,

I like to be on the trampoline with confetti.

I like to jump in the pool,

With a tool.

Our sandbox is under the swingset,

And I have a pet with a vet.

It’s noon, and we actually completed everything on our list (my lists are getting much more realistic and as the homeschooling years go by).

The weather has warmed up now and it is a perfect day.

The kids are so proud of this garden they are tending and want to show me everything.

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Zinnia and brocolli

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Spaghetti squash

We find this little green bug on a Mexican sunflower.

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I can’t identify it in our field guide or online.  Our closest guess is a leaf-footed bug or coteid, neither of which is friendly to gardens, so we eliminate it.

During lunch outside, someone gets upset with someone else and throws something (my kids are old enough now that I don’t want to embarrass them by posting details).  Short story is a plate gets broken on the patio, and someone is in big trouble!  The person in trouble has to remake lunch for the person whose plate got broken; everyone else watches Teddy, and I sweep up the broken glass.  At least Corelle plates are under warranty for, I think, any breakage.  I need to check if tantrums are not covered. 🙂

Peace reigns again.  My beginning readers need to read aloud to me, so Will grabs my camera and snaps some more shots of the garden.  I can brag about this garden because I did nothing but buy the seeds and plants.  N. tilled the soil, and the kids, mostly William, have done everything else.

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I like the angles on these photos.

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Rest time–silent reading for William, quiet play time in their rooms for the others, baby in bed, and I quickly wash dishes while coffee brews, then put my feet up and read and blog.  That hour passes all too quickly.

After quiet time, William works on his banner for his First Communion coming up this weekend.

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I tell the kids we’re heading to the Y so I can exercise, and they beg me to reconsider.  They hate the childcare, the weather is gorgeous, won’t I please please please take them to the park instead?  It really is too beautiful a day to exercise in a climate-controlled room.

Along the way the kids rescue a dove our cat attacked and spot a very large cottontail rabbit.

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Treasures from our walk: more wild blackberries, shell, paper wasp nest

When we get home, I gather the mail and find that the postman didn’t take my bills but just shoved them down into our mailbox.  Arghh.  It’s not urgent, but I decide to post them myself so everyone gets in the van and we drive to the post office.  The real reason is I want to listen to Prince Caspian on audiobook for 10 minutes!

Home, finally, for a quick clean-up.  Kids watch Looney Tunes online, except for the person who broke the plate.  That one helps me make dinner.  No time for chores or stories after dinner because we’re running really late, but it was a good, busy day.

Papa gets home at 8:15, having worked two jobs and made a mid-week grocery run to support us all in this peaceful, comfortable lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed.  Not every night is this late, but tonight he makes it just in time to pray with everyone and tuck them into bed.  Then he offers to do the dishes so I can write this post.  It’s obvious who is the true hero of today.  Good night!

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