There is a reason I call them "My little saboteurs."
Cute as the dickens, aren't they?!? Don't let the innocent grins deceive you......
Here is a map of my typical day:
7:30 AM - wake up, and trudge downstairs to make and drink coffee while I watch the news. That is *if* one of my children hasn't already beaten me to the punch and crushed a dozen raw eggs into the carpet.
8:00 - Sneak into the shower to get ready, *if* the above scenario hasn't taken place.
8:30 - Throw some clothes and makeup on while three little munchkins grab at anything I touch (and try to explain to Will that makeup is for girls, and that he is a BOY...), and subsequently pick whatever in my closet that will hide the flaws of my post-baby (er... babies -lol) body.
8:45 - Begin rounding up the kiddos, who by this time are in three opposite locations of the house, and herding them to their bedroom to get them dressed. Herd them up the stairs. Get to the top of the stairs, realize I only have two. One escaped. Go back downstairs, other two follow. Re-herd children back upstairs. Try not to freak out.
9:00 - Pick out clothes for each, and TRY to get them to at least coordinate based on what is clean and available at the moment.
9:00 - After getting them trapped in their room, attempt to grab one and put one at a time on the floor to strip his clothes off, change diapers and pin him down gently with my feet while I put on the new outfit.
9:30 - After each of them is dressed, say - "Who is HUNGRY?" And watch as all three run full-steam downstairs for the kitchen table. Put all three pj's in the hamper, and carry the clothes downstairs to be washed. Walk back upstairs. Begin cracking and scrambling the eggs. Smirk, thankfully praising God that at least ONE dozen eggs is going to be safely in their tummies and not on the floor. Small victory.
9:45- Present the minions with their warm, cheesy scrambled eggs, toast and juice. Immediately cue the throwing of the eggs, and smearing into the table and chairs.
10:00 - Wipe down each boy from head to toe, wipe down the table and whimper. This is only the beginning of the messes they will create.
*NOTE* - it is only 10 AM!!!!!
10:15- Turn on Thomas the Tank Engine - hoping for a few minutes of peace so I can clean the kitchen.
10:20 - Check on the kids. Discover that they have been pulling every book of the shelves in the playroom. Clean up books. Return to dishes/kitchen mess.
10:25 - Check on kids again. Discover that they found some stray chips and have mushed them into the carpet. Get out vacuum - clean it up. Go back to kitchen to get dinner going in the crock pot.
10:30 - Abort dinner, check on kids, discover Matthew tearing pages out of the book my Grandma gave me when I was 5 years old. Try not to cry and scream. Take the book away, put on the desk in my office for a future pitiful repair attempt. Keep trying not to cry.
10:40 - Decide any work with the kids awake is hopeless. Play legos with the kids.
11:30 - Get lunch ready for the boys. PB&J, carrot sticks and ranch, and milk.
11:45 - Check on the boys. Discover that Will found a marker SOMEWHERE and made a new masterpiece on the wall. NICE.
11:50 - Round up the boys. "Who is hungry?" encourages them to go to the dinner table, and they all climb up and dig in. Matt wipes peanut butter on his shirt and the table, Shane puts some in his hair, and Will wants another sandwich. Somehow deal with all three situations simultaneously.
12:00 - Lunch is finished, more dishes, more peanut butter/jelly smears to clean. Realize I haven't yet eaten. Throw together a sandwich, or eat soggy baby-disheveled leftovers. Eew.
12:10 - Read to the wee people. Because they refuse their normal nap schedule, which has a two hour nap at noon, try to encourage "quiet time" with reading a book. Each of them fights over who gets to sit in my lap. Even though all three want to sit there, I have short arms and can't hold the book while my arms wind around them. I try to make them sit on the floor, but they end up whining at me until I realize it would be best to stand. Stand and read to them while they whine for 30 mins, and give up. Put on Thomas again for another 30 minutes.
12:45 - Attempt to do some laundry with the boys downstairs with me in the basement. Doesn't go well. Matt and Shane are trying to crawl up the dryer while I'm folding, and telling them to go away doesn't work. Matt ends up climbing INTO the dryer, and Shane shuts the door. Quickly remove Matt from the dryer. After attempting to explain to Shane WHY that was a bad idea, realize that it's pointless and take Matt over to the other corner and repeat every time they get close. Fold REALLY fast.
1:30 - Now that I'm FINALLY done folding ONE load, I put the laundry basket on the dryer and play with the kids. Trucks, trains and airplanes being the favorites. Attempt to make realistic engine noises. Fail miserably, but entertain the people enough to keep their interest. Success.
2:00 - Run upstairs to make another pot of coffee, because the eyelids are a-closin'. Return to see the newly folded laundry basket tipped over by the dryer and the clothes being strewn across the floor. See Shane, Matt and Will each with one article of clothing in hand that they are using as either a cape or hat. Smile because they are so darn cute, but cry on the inside... wondering where on earth you'll find the time to re-fold. :/ Throw the clothes back in the basket.
2:15 - Dash like a madwoman up the stairs, pour the coffee, down it at lightning speed. RUSH like mad back downstairs and check on the kids, who are playing like little cherubim. Perfect. For once.
2:30 - Check my facebook while they're being quiet and well-behaved. Talk to other adult humans.
3:00 - See the kiddos rubbing their eyes, and encourage them to go to bed. Take off their shoes, put them on the shoe-shelf, and lay them down. Cuddle and kiss each one because they are listening so well and laying in their new big boy beds. Smile at their adorableness, wish them goodnight, put on music and leave the room. Return to laundry basket downstairs.
3:05 - hear subtle noises coming from upstairs. These subtle noises become much less subtle, and then sound like the atomic bomb just dropped in their bedroom. Go upstairs to find the rocking chair upturned, the shoes in a heap on the floor and three little boys jumping from one bed to the other. Give them all the best "look" I can muster, and paddle each of their behinds for getting out of bed after LOVINGLY explaining why I have to do so. Put them all back in bed. Kiss each, smile, leave.
3:10 - Repeat above scenario.
3:20 - Repeat above scenario.
3:45 - Repeat above scenario.
4:00 - Repeat above scenario.
4:15 - FINALLY.... quiet. Wait, nevermind.... repeat above scenario.
4:30 - Ok, so this time it sticks. I'm exhausted. Make another cup of coffee. Survey the damage. Decide to leave the playroom a wreck in order to get some homework done in peace and quiet.
5:30 - The kids wake up just as I've hit my stride. Go upstairs, check crock pot for dinner. Kids running around like crazy people. Attempt to throw together dinner to be ready in thirty minutes. Get out matchbox cars to distract them while I do so.
6:00 - Dinner. Pot roast with potatoes, carrots and some bread and butter. Kiddos devour it, and make a mess. Surprise. Clean them up, clean it up, realize I'm out of steam. Kids running wild again.
6:30 - Kids escape outside to the dirt pile in the backyard. I don't really care that they are now filthy because I'm so tired. Though I dread having to clean them up, I am just glad they are happily entertained and not screaming at each other for a while.
8:00 - After refereeing fights, stolen toys, who gets to ride in the toy car.... I herd them up to the deck. I brush the dust out of their hair, off their clothes as best I can, and strip them down to their diaper, putting the dirt blackened clothes in a heap by the sliding glass door.8:15 - Herd them all up the stairs, remove diapers and put them in the bathtub. As they begin splashing each other like little Shamu babies, I quickly soap them all down and get them out of the tub and into their room. I put new diapers on them and I run downstairs to grab the clothes and put them in the washer. Realize I left a load of clothes in there that need to be moved over, I do that and then run back upstairs with a pile of clean laundry. I dump it on my bed. Go back into their room where they have been nicely playing with the stashed Matchbox cars. Get their pj's on, and let them all come downstairs to watch the news with me.
8:45 - CUE THE NEWS. They all sit on my lap and cuddle. This goes well until William decides he wants to be the only one on my lap, so he shifts his weight to make the other two slide off. Screaming ensues. I am weary from work, so while crying on the inside myself, I pull the other two back onto my lap and tell William he has to share.
9:15 - Take the dozing kiddos off to bed. Tuck each in, kiss them, and smile. I successfully survived another day with them.
9:30 - Watch the news or whatever show is on that I don't hate (no DVR for this cheapo mommy) and just SIT. With silence.
9:35 - Will wanders back downstairs. Send him back up.
9:40 - Get back into my show.
10:00 - Show ends, so I get back to work. Downstairs to edit photos and do some homework.
12:15- Realize it's after midnight because my eyes feel like they are on fire and my back feels like it's bent at a 90 degree angle, and trudge off to bed. Change into PJ's - read until 12:45 to fall asleep.
12:50 - SLEEP.
7:30 - Wake up.
So, for those of you who wonder, "How does she do it?" or "What's her secret?" - know this.... I don't know how I do it and there isn't a secret. I simply just SURVIVE. I love my kiddos with everything I have, I deal with the circumstances directly in front of me with all the strength I can muster and I pray WITHOUT CEASING. I know that as soon as I direct my thoughts to the difficulty, the pain or the fear that it would overwhelm me. So, I have verses posted around my house to remind me of WHO is taking care of me and who is watching my every step. With a thankful heart, I continue on the path for which I have been specifically chosen, only hoping to complete the task given to me with a joyful heart - being a single mother of three beautiful boys.
In spite of the work, I already reap the spoils. Hugs and kisses, paired with, "Mommy, I love you." THAT would be enough to keep anyone going!