Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Day in Our House (or one very long Ash Wednesday)

This was yesterday...
shortly before one of the longest nights ever.
11 pm (last night): I'm just about to take James to go upstairs to go to bed when I hear Patch start to shriek in his room.  I run up the stairs and find him banging on his bedroom door hysterical.  At the same time I hear Paul get home and run downstairs to ask him to keep an eye on James while I try to get Patch back to sleep.

1 am: Patch is still awake and still tossing and turning next to me, which means I'm still awake too.  I go downstairs and ask Paul to go in and make up Patch's bed (he loves to pull all the sheets off of it when he's on strike about going to sleep) and switch with me.  He brings James up from his bassinet in the kitchen, where he's been sleeping like the most laid back baby in the world and goes to lay on the floor next to the pirate bed in hopes that Patch will go back to sleep with someone else in the room.

2:10 am:  I've dozed, off and on, but in between the "off" part managed to pray almost an entire rosary as I nurse James and hear Patch continue to fuss.  After about an hour he starts to scream because Paul doesn't fit in the pirate ship bed and Patch's blanket can't cover Patch in the pirate bed and Paul on the floor.... and apparently Paul being covered by this particular blanket is suddenly very, very important to Patch.  The screaming wakes up everyone in the house except James.  I hear Maggie start to make her little chirping "is it morning?" sound in her room.  I assure her that it's not.

2:35 am: Paul tries to sneak out of Patch's room.  Screaming commences.  We hope that it will stop after a few minutes but when it doesn't he grabs a pillow and goes back in to lay on the floor and try to calm Patch down.

James, demonstrating how we all
felt last night.
Except him, since he slept through
it all.  
3:10 am: After more crying I realize that Patch's allergy prescription ran out two days ago and we forgot to pick it up... and that he was itching his arm when he was in our room.  I get up and run downstairs and get his back-up allergy medicine and a sippie with milk.  I run back upstairs and give the medicine and milk to Paul.

3:25 am: Patch starts to scream.  Paul emerges from the room for a second time. Paul pokes his head in the bedroom and tells me that the sippie cup is empty and Patch is freaking out about it.  He's going downstairs to get more cashew milk.  Before he starts back up the stairs (approximately a minute and a half later) Patch falls asleep.

3:28 am:  I mentally kick myself for forgetting to pick up his medicine as we all finally get back to sleep (in case you're wondering Patch is usually a champion sleeper who sleeps a solid 13 hours a night).

7:08 am: Sadie and Maggie announce that it's morning.  I grab my phone and look at the time.  It's after seven o'clock and that is "sleeping in."  Paul takes the girls and James, who's already nursed, downstairs for breakfast.  I stay upstairs and try to grab few more minutes sleep before I have to get up.

7:44 am:  Olaf the Snowman (or Maggie dressed as Olaf the Snowman) climbs a baby gate, sprints up the stairs and climbs in bed with me.  She tells me she's "happy, happy, happy" and smiles when I say that I'm happy too.  After snuggling for a few minutes I ask her is she wants to take a mermaid bath and she springs out of the bed and sprints to the bathroom.

7:46 am: I run a bubble bath with epsom salt in it and help Mae out of her Olaf costume.  I sing "mermaid are brushing, mermaids are brushing, brushing their hair, brushing their hair..." and she actually lets me brush her hair while laughing, instead of crying.  I call that a victory.  Patch wakes up and Paul takes him downstairs so he can have breakfast.

8:25 am: I get Maggie out of the bath, get her dry and apply Patch's allergist ordered Crisco/Vaseline mixture since her skin has gotten super dry this winter.  Then I help her into her Elsa dress.  We go downstairs.

8:31 am: Paul vacuums the crumbs from breakfast up before the therapists arrive and I run downstairs and change out of my pajamas.  I grab an outfit for Patch and Sadie, since I know Mae will insist on wearing her Elsa dress and James already has a spare outfit upstairs.  Paul goes upstairs to try to sleep a little.

8:36 am:  Mae realizes that Sadie's dress is black and green and looks strikingly like Anna's and she starts holding it up to Sadie and trying to convince her to change into it immediately.  Sadie gets dressed and asks me to give her her veil so that she can wear it while we do school.

8:42 am: I slip into the kitchen and quickly eat breakfast while the kids clamor at the baby gate.

8:55am: I remember to turn off the alarm so that it won't go off when I open the door for Mae's therapist.  I get Mae's snacks for therapy ready.

9:00am:  One of Mae's favorite therapists arrives.  All three kids rush to the door to welcome her.  Upon seeing the snacks Patch runs to his high chair and I pick him up and help him into his seat.  He starts to eat crackers and color in a coloring book while.  Maggie goes into the play room and starts her therapy session.  Sadie sits down with her school books and starts working on spelling and reading.

9:25am: Sadie moves on to her grammar book.  She answers a question in French.  We aren't even studying French as a subject.

9:38am: Patch starts to get wild, but his eyes look incredibly tired.  I take him upstairs for a nap and he flops on the bed.

9:41am: James wakes up and shouts to let me know that he's hungry.  I feed James while Sadie works on her Copy Work and Memory Work.

10:24am: Mae wanders over to give James kisses and practice saying his name. She's been talking up a storm and has been saying (her version) of "wonderful" and "great."  When I help her with something she spontaneously says "thank you Mama" for the first time in her life.

11:00 am: We finish math and I get out my computer so that Sadie can watch Holy Heroes as part of our religion class during Lent.  And then she colors a printable calendar that counts down until Easter and we talk about making sacrifices and about penance.  She declares that she's giving up candy until Easter.  I fill out a form to register our homeschool with the state of Michigan.  It isn't something that is normally done in Michigan but it's a requirement if you need special needs classes and speech falls into that category.  So after many months of fighting for speech we've finally been told that this is the next step that we need to take.

11:30 am: We're done with class for the day and I suddenly realize that I need to get the kids fed fast if we're going to make it to the noon Mass.

11:45am: I'm working as fast as I can but I kind of feel like I'm moving in slow motion.  I get Mae a piece of toast with peanut butter in bananas on it, make Sadie a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and give Patch the banana that he's repeatedly requested. I cook up a few eggs for Paul and I and while I'm focused on the pan I don't realize that a nearby pot holder has caught on fire until I smell it.  I put out the fire and change James into clean clothes, tell Sadie to put her boots on and hand Paul the clothes I got out for Patch and ask him to get him dressed. Mae is still working on therapy, but that's for the best since she needs to be the last one dressed or there's a good chance she'll change her mind and get undressed before we make it to the door.

11:55am: I say goodbye to Mae's therapist and admit to myself that we're going to be late.  Paul is pulling the car around.  I tie on the Moby wrap and put on my jacket.  Mae hops the baby gate and goes upstairs.  I follow her and find a sleeper for her to wear under her dress, since she'll refuse to wear pants or a jacket with it and it's pretty cold outside.

12:08pm: Mae is finally in warm clothes.  We're late.  But the kids are all in the car and strapped into their car seats and the church is only a few blocks away.

12:15 pm: We arrive at Mass and there's no parking.  We have to drive quite a ways away before we find a spot.  We step out of the car and find that the windchill has dropped temperatures dramatically.  While it wasn't bad when we left the house a few minutes earlier we're now facing a freezing wind and "blowing snow."  As I get Patch into the Ergo on my back and James into the Moby and wrap a blanket around him I guess that it's below -20.  The muscles in my face start to feel like they're freezing.  It's very, very cold.

12:20 pm: We're finally in the church.  We stay in the narthex and I immediately fall into the familiar pattern of hushing Mae every few seconds and swaying slightly in an attempt to get the boys to stay silent and maybe take a nap.  Except Patch just took a nap and he's feeling whiny.

1:00 pm: Victory!  We've all made it through Mass.  Admittedly we were late, but with the vocal stims we've faced in Mass lately, having everyone there for the final blessing feels like a major victory.

1:14 pm: We stop by Paul's work on the way home so that he can pick up his tips.  The nearby parish's Mass ends and dozens of college students walk by with ashes on their foreheads.

1:15pm: While we wait in the car I realize that Sadie is very, very excited that she's the only one of her siblings that the priest gave ashes too.  James is a close second, since some of my ashes smeared on his forehead when I cuddled him, but Sadie is feeling pretty grown up since her other brother and sister have clean brows.

1:30pm: Paul gets back to the car and we swing by the store to pick up an on sale gluten free pizza crust.

2:00pm: We get home and Paul agrees to let the kids watch Song of Bernadette since it's a special day.  While they watch the movie for the second time this week I make mushroom, onion, olive pizzas.

2:30pm: The kids eat.  The grown up pizza takes a little longer to cook... I feed James while it bakes.

3:00pm: Everyone has been fed.  I take James out of his bassinet and we say a family rosary.  It's chaotic.  Maggie needs quiet time and ends up going upstairs to her room.  Patch runs around yelling and pretending everything is a sword.  I get hit in the eye with one of his "swords" (a long piece of plastic that's part of something else).  Thankfully James, who's sitting on my lap, is unscathed. Sadie sits next to me and says every prayer along with me.

3:17 pm: I realize that Sadie has a "make up ballet class" since her class on president's day was canceled and tell Paul that I'll need to take her at 5.

3:25 pm: Everyone is remarkable calm while I pray the Divine Mercy chaplet (for the first time ever, I just happened across a prayer card).  They must be exhausted from all the wildness during the rosary.

Also, apparently Patch stacked the rocking
fire truck on the driving fire truck.
4:01 pm: I go down into the basement and find clean tights and a clean leotard for Sadie's class.  She gets dressed and I see out the window that the mail man has just delivered our mail.  I look out the door and discover a package that I've been waiting for.  The purse that I ordered with my Thred Up credit (after trading in quite a lot of clothes that I no longer wear) has finally arrived.  Patch starts chanting "open" and is a little disappointed when he sees what it is.

4:18 pm: With Sadie dressed I transfer all my gear from my old purse to my new one.

4:40 pm: We wish Paul good luck with the feeding and changing into pajamas of the babies and head out the door and into the cold.  It's a good thing we left five minutes early, because we hit traffic and get their just in time.

5:00 pm: It's that awkward moment when you're sitting outside a ballet class and the topic of the highly controversial movie of the moment comes up and every other person there has read the books and starts discussing the "hot sex" in them.  Half of the women are grandmothers and another is a nanny who seems to be right around college age and I think I'm the only one there who feels at all awkward at the direction the conversation has taken.

5:14 pm: I text back and forth with two of Mae's therapists as we figure out who can make what appointment in the coming weeks.  One will help me help her through her hearing test and the other is coming with us to her intake appointment with her new doctor.  Since she tends to panic in doctor's office their help is hugely appreciated.

5:45pm: Class let's out.  A little girl says something mean to Sadie about the way she pronounces the "th" sound and her mom stands there and says nothing at all.  I bite my tongue to keep from saying something mean to an eight year old.  Thankfully Sadie, who sees so much good in people that she often doesn't realize when someone has said something mean, doesn't seem to notice.

6:00 pm: We're in out of the cold.  Patch and Maggie, have both crashed. I ask Paul to start bath water for Sadie... unfortunately Mae has a sixth sense when it comes to bath water and this rouses her... and she starts to kick the door because she wants that bath to be for her.

6:14 pm:  I go into the girls room and discover that Mae has finally completely destroyed her bed tent. She's also flipped her sister's mattress off the bed and pushed the bed frame apart (one of her favorite proprioceptive activities).  I put the bed back together and she hops into it and giggles.  She says "ashes, ashes" twice and touches my ashes, gives me many kisses, says a new word that I can just not figure out, and goes to sleep in her sister's bed.

6:22 pm: I go into the closet and find the spare tent parts from the last tent she destroyed (although since they've lasted nearly a year I'm still impressed) and take it downstairs to put together a new tent.  Unfortunately now Patch is awake and he's starting to yell. I hope this isn't the start of another hard night.

6:27 pm: I give up on putting the tent together and go in and help calm Patch.  I give him a drink of milk and put on his light up elephant and say his prayers with him.  When I leave he cries but stops almost immediately, which is a good thing, because I hear James start to cry downstairs.

6:28 pm: I arrive downstairs to find James crying.  I give him his binkie and put the tent together. Then I go back downstairs to check on James.  After that it's back upstairs to tell Sadie that bath time is over and to bring her a towel and pjs.

7:00 pm: Sadie's in her pjs and asks if she can watch Top Chef Junior and write in her journal (her two favorite things to do at night).  I take the tent upstairs and set it up on Mae's bed.

7:30 pm: Sadie, who was also awake for a good portion of last night, goes upstairs to get ready for bed.  When I tell her that I need to move her sister she assures me that that's okay, and I tuck her in next to Maggie in the same bed.

8:00 pm: I go online and see I have 55 notifications from Facebook.  One of my Lenten resolutions is to stay offline, except for a few sites with religious podcasts and programs that I listen to while I'm cooking, during the day...

I am also still using Instagram to upload pictures throughout the day however, and those do post to my personal facebook page too (you're welcome Mom!).

8:11 pm: I muster up all my energy and clean the bottom of the stairs, a place where tons of "stuff" accumulates.  I finish about 3/4 of the job and then go downstairs and bring up two boxes of clothes.  I sort it and decide about 1/2 (or one garbage bag full) will be donated.  I have my bag for the day for 40 bags in 40 days.

9:30 pm:  I decide to write this post.  And then enter my calories in for the day at My Fitness Pal and have the app tell me I haven't been eating enough.  Despite my resolution not to fast, the day has been so busy that I haven't had much time to eat.  So I have cereal and pretzels and write this post and nurse James again when he wakes up and wait for Paul to get home.

11:28 pm: It's just about time for bed... before someone wakes up again!


  1. Whew! I'm exhausted from just reading this! Props.

    1. Thank you! It felt so good to finally go to bed!

  2. WOW, my hard day and your hard day are something! I did not make it to Mass for ashes.

    1. I don't think we would have made it if I'd realized how cold it was going to be when we got there! I'm never brave enough to go out with the kids when it's in the negative double digits!

  3. Oh Cammie! I smiled hugely while reading this post, but I know it probably wasn't nearly so funny at 3 am. :0 Henry was the same age as Patch when he would sometimes wake at night and just be SO difficult to reason with and get back to sleep. And yes, 7:30 am is STILL sleeping in in our house, ha! Anne will sometimes stay in her room, but all of the loud conversations with herself and the singing tend to wake us anyway. ;-) Virtual hug coming your way!

    1. They can be so funny when they wake up! This morning I heard Patch saying "I'm shaking! I'm shaking!" (to the tune of the song at the end of Team UmiZoomi) from his bedroom when he woke up and it made me laugh so much!

  4. Wow! That is exhausting just to read. I know I had days like that when my youngest four/five were little, but I must have blocked those memories! I won't tell you to cherish this time because it is fleeting. LOL! God Bless YOU!

    1. I think I'm just starting to see it getting a tiny bit easier because Sadie has started to be such a big help! At least during the day. In the morning she's the grumpiest of the bunch!


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