Calm or Chaos: a Day in This Life of Mine

2:39 am- My almost 3 month old baby boy starts to stir indicating its time for his nighttime feed. I strategically place my pillows around me so I can “comfortably” sleep on my side while he nurses. Should I change his diaper? Nah, he’ll be alright. Back to sleep.

4:15am- Awaken to the sounds of little feet leaving my bedroom. My 4 year old is walking out with a set of clean pajamas in his hands which he found on his own in the dark because he’s just peed on his freshly washed bed sheets which he peed on the night before. Luckily Hubby (by some miracle) heard him walking around as well and helps him change. Being too exhausted to deal with changing sheets from having had a minor heart procedure done less than 48 hours before, Hubby lets him in our bed where the baby is still sleeping. Side note: Thank goodness for tax returns and Groupon deals on king sized beds.

6:03am- I wake up (again) 27 minutes before my alarm is set to go off so I can get my 7 and 9 year olds ready for school. I should try to nap for a few minutes before I actually have to get up (baby stirs, again). Maybe he won’t completely wake up and I can… nope, he wants the boob.

6:30am- Alarm unnecessarily goes off since I’m already awake. Maybe the kids will sleep in and they can just stay home. I mean their dad is home again after having been in the hospital for a few days. That takes some adjustment, right? 9 year old is already up and getting dressed. Oh well, let’s wake 7 year old up to get dressed for school too. I can take a break from making breakfast by letting them eat at school. We’ll just have to leave the house by 7:10 to get there on time. For now, COFFEE!

7:16 am- On our way to school. They’ll have enough time to eat, right? I mean, I’ve seen them shove toaster strudels down their throats in less than 45 seconds. They’ll be alright.

7:42 am- Pulling into our driveway after sitting with the kids while they ate their school breakfast. Glad I wasn’t the only mom rubbing crusties from her eyes. Fight on Momma, fight on. Hopefully Hubby, 4 year old and baby are still sleeping when I get inside. Ugh, I should’ve left the dogs outside while I took the kids. Here’s hoping they don’t bark… Success!! No one barks and everyone is still asleep. Now, what to do? I could sneak back into bed to nap and hope the baby doesn’t feel me laying down triggering him to wake up. Or, I could sit on the couch alone and watch the morning shows. I should probably open up my computer and get some emails out of the way.

8:05 am- Work it is. Crap, computer battery’s dead. Need the charger. Okay, all set. Plugged in, password entered and…

8:06 am- Baby’s crying and hungry. Close computer and try again later. Nurse the baby.

8:47 am- After some cuddles and mindless social media scrolling I should probably make Hubby some breakfast. I need him to get better quickly. To the kitchen I go. Let’s hope baby stays happy in his rocker long enough for me to make us all breakfast and so I can eat with two hands! I hand Hubby and 4 year old their plates when baby starts crying. Oh well, bowl of cereal for me and booby for the baby. A few drops of cereal milk on his head won’t hurt.

9:34 am- Take advantage of baby falling asleep while nursing and watch a little Netflix. Did I pack 7 year old’s lunch? I think so. Of course I did. Okay, now that we got the daily panic attack about whether or not my child will starve at lunchtime because I may have forgotten to pack her lunch out of the way, maybe I can take a nap with the baby. He’s so sweet. He looks super uncomfortable though. Let me just fix his hea… And he’s awake.

10:20 am- Try to answer emails while holding a very squirmy baby being entertained by 4 year old. They’re getting so big so fast. Hubby records 4 year old’s wild version of peek-a-boo. Baby’s not too impressed anymore. He sounds tired. I think it’s time for his morning nap. Hubby can handle 4 year old for a bit.

11:04 am- Happy Nappy Time for mommy and baby.

12:46 pm- Well, that was a rare and much appreciated nap. A few interruptions here and there but not complaining. Interesting. Baby’s still asleep. I wonder if I can get up to make lunch without him wakin… And he’s awake. Good thing he’s cute. And now he’s crying. Booby it is.

2:50 pm- On my way to pick up the older kids from school. I usually leave at about 2:45. It only takes about 5 minutes to drive there and they don’t get out until 3:05 but sometimes, when the littles can stay home with Daddy while I go, it’s nice to just sit in the quiet car for a few minutes. Today I was able to sit alone for about 3 minutes. It was glorious.

3:28 pm- Finally home. 9 year old decided to stay a little longer to “finish homework”. I’m pretty sure he stuck around to peruse the book fair going on this week. Time to make them some PB&J’s to hold them over until dinner. Here’s where I’m pretty spoiled. I’m pretty lucky to have super supportive parents and in laws that help us out with the kids tremendously. I can’t imagine what this weekend with my husband in the hospital would have been like had we lived in another city. I certainly would not have been brave enough to have 4 kids if I didn’t have their support. Hubby was in the Marines before we decided to have kids. I think I was too scared of being a military mom dealing with deployments like so many of my friends were. I honestly have to hand it to single moms and military moms. They’re superheroes. So, in a sense, i guess you could say it’s our parent’s fault we have so many kids. But, I digress. My mom called earlier to check in on hubby and invited us over for dinner. YESSSSS!!! Anytime I don’t have to make dinner is a major WIN! Love my mom.

3:47 pm- After-school snack turned into Oreos and milk. Judge me, see if I care.

4:29 pm- Cuddles! With a side of guilt for not yet washing the dishes in the sink. I’ve also been yelling at the kids for the last hour to get their homework finished and get out of their school clothes. I’ve checked myself out at this point. They can walk to my mom’s house for dinner. I’m DONE!

5:25 pm- Dinner at my mom’s house before baseball practice for 7 year old at 6:30. Mom made enchiladas with a cheese they brought back from Mexico. My dad tells us a story about an old man from his village who, after making quesadillas for himself and his wife before bed, weighs the wheel of cheese without telling her. The cheese is so good he wants to make sure she doesn’t eat any without him. The next day, when he returns from work, he goes to weigh the cheese and discovers it weighs less than it did the night before. He’s so upset he kicks his wife out! My mom then tells us that this morning as they’re eating breakfast my dad says to her “I weighed the cheese”.

6:17 pm- 7 year old is off to practice with my mother in law who thankfully offered to take her so I wouldn’t have to rush all the kids to finish dinner and go. Meanwhile, my father in law picked up Hubby to take him to class (told you I’m spoiled). He missed school on Monday due to his procedure and has to go today to review for a test he has next week.

7:25 pm- Head to the park to meet 7 year old and grandma and hoping to catch the end of practice. When we get there practice is over so we decide to wait a bit so we can head over to daddy’s school in time to pick him up. He should be getting out any minute. My father in law is already there waiting so we head home instead. The kids are bummed because they had hoped to have more time at the park but by this time it’s 7:51 and they still need to wash up and get in bed.

8:18 pm- Were home and the kids are washing up for bed. I throw 2 peed-on sets of bedsheets in the wash (I hadn’t yet washed the sheets from the night before last, I’m told I need to accept I have a bed-wetter) and put new sheets on 4 year old’s bed. I made sure to grab one of my nieces pull-ups from my mom’s house before we left. Should he have another accident, at least I know I’ll only be changing a diaper and not the whole bed.

8:43 pm- Kids are washed up and in bed but I can hear them giggling and jumping. Hubby yells for them to be quiet and go to sleep when 4 year old jumps into bed and bangs his head on his bed frame. I go give him a hug and kiss his head to calm him down. He lays back down and cuddles his elephant named Peek-a-Boo. Meanwhile, my 7 year old is struggling with sleeping by herself. I get it. The boys have someone to share a room with. Daddy and Mommy share a room where even the baby sleeps. We thought it’d be nice for her to have her own space. On weekends she’s allowed to sleep in the boy’s room if she likes but on weekdays she has to go back to her own room since I struggle the most to wake her up for school. It’s rules like this that make me question what the hell I’m doing. I feel like I’m punishing her on a daily basis. Some nights she doesn’t mention it at all and falls fast asleep but then others she pouts her lip and asks to sleep with her brothers. Maybe it’s my own stubbornness that wants her to stay in her own bed so I’m not hushing then yelling at three kids to be quiet and go to sleep. Maybe it’s because I think it’ll somehow make her eventually enjoy having her own space and independence. But, maybe all that’s completely wrong and all it’s doing is making her afraid of being alone. How do I find that balance and what am I willing to compromise? Then I realize, this is where having a great partner in this makes all the difference. While I’m now washing up the baby, her sore and tired Daddy is laying in bed with her so she can fall asleep with her heart at ease. If anything, at least I know she’ll grow up to expect nothing but the best from her future mates.

9:18 pm- The 9, 7, and 4 year olds are sound asleep, finally. The baby fell asleep while nursing but we’re not in the safe zone just yet. The safe zone is when he’s in a deep enough sleep that if I move him he’ll (fingers crossed) stay asleep. If I dare move him before, he’ll wake up and the process begins all over again. For now, we wait…

9:31 pm- Nope. Too soon. Way too soon.

10:03 pm- SUCCESS!! Time to fix lunches for tomorrow.

10:54 pm I’m washed up and finally in bed. Thinking about what to make the kids for breakfast since they’re not crazy about what the school will be serving tomorrow. Pancakes sound good.

All in all today was actually a pretty good day. These days few and far between. There were no tantrums today. Very little yelling. Nothing was spilled or broken and no one got into a fight. I never did get to answering those emails. The dishes didn’t get washed. I did, however, manage to get a nap in so today was definitely a win.

They’re not all good days and they’re not all bad days. When I woke up this morning I decided I’d chronicle the day no matter how it went. Today we had calm. Tomorrow we may have chaos. They seem to coexist in this house. Sometimes in the same room.

As for tomorrow, I’ve got a mountain of laundry to tackle and baseball practice for the 9 year old in the afternoon. I expect the baby will wake up later around 2:00 am for his nightly feed and a whole new day will start again. So, come what may, calm or chaos, spills or kisses, tomorrow’s another day.

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