Every once in a while I have one of those days where despite being woken up in the middle of the night by a baby who doesn't understand I like to sleep, and despite getting up for good at 5:00 am when the oldest and the youngest both think it's a good idea to run around screaming and being crazy, and despite hearing my oldest throw a tantrum because I didn't wash his favorite pants and he can't wear any of the seven pairs of pants in his drawer because his favorite pants are in the wash and he doesn't care if they're dirty or wet, he wants to wear them anyways, and despite all of the other crazy things that happen to irk me in the first several hours of my day, I manage (somehow) to be a pretty decent mom. Take yesterday, for instance.
I managed to get Caleb out of the house, dressed fairly appropriately for school with a good lunch and snack packed, and breakfast in his belly. (Honestly, he was gobbling down his breakfast as he walked to the bus stop since he was too busy worrying about what he would wear so he didn't get his teeth brushed before we left, but he did scrub extra well tonight.) It was raining, but still I took all three kids down to the bus stop. I even pulled out the cute frog and monster umbrellas we have that I never let the kids use because it's so much easier to either make them stay indoors or let them get wet. After Caleb hopped on the bus, I hung around outside for a while talking with our neighbor whose daughter also takes the bus. Camille and Chloe went inside a few minutes before I did, so when I came back inside I found them sitting nicely at the table eating a snack. Camille fixed them both peanut butter crackers and dried cranberries. I didn't even grouch at the mess on the table or floor or the fact that Chloe had peanut butter all over her hands (I think maybe Camille thought she was too little to use a knife) and face, although after I praised her for being such a thoughtful sister I did ask that the next time she makes a snack, please have Chloe take off her jacket first.
Instead of panicking about Chloe's winter coat being covered in peanut butter (read: grease stains), I calmly attacked it with a liberal dose of dish detergent (it's supposed to cut the grease, right) and threw it into the washing machine. I also washed Chloe's other jacket that was pretty grimy. The peanut butter and related grease did come out by the way.
I managed to get through more than half of an exercise video. Our local library has a ton of DVDs you can check out so I picked up a copy of Yoga Booty Ballet - the GoGo version. Camille got a kick out of the dancing and really liked one of the instructors because she very stylishly wore a skirt over her pants. The cardio portion was a pretty good workout if you can ignore the ridiculous choreography. I kept the shades drawn so none of the neighbors would see and the girls got a big kick out of trying to dance with me.
I only made it through half the video because my dad called. He was driving back from Pennsylvania and was going right past our exit so he pulled off, found a place to park and we went to meet him. We had a fun fifteen minute visit although it was raining and we had to stay in the car. It's so great living close to our family up here so quick visits are possible.
After that we bopped to the store where I did my best not to feel embarrassed that I hadn't had a shower yet that day. I bought (mostly) things that were on the list and stocked up on some extra staples so now not only is our pantry full but the shelves in the basement are getting there as well. I put back several things that I wanted but knew we didn't need to keep costs down at the grocery store. (Did you read that, Rob? Perhaps you should reward me by surprising me with the gorgeous bunch of multicolored roses I put back after all!)
When we got home I fed the girls lunch and then put them in their room to play while I finally caught a shower. After that I called it rest time - Chloe napped in the pack and play in our room and Camille watched a Hello Kitty movie. Since I had a few minutes of quiet where I was pretty sure no one would follow me around, I got out the mop and mopped the kitchen floor. And then I cleaned two of the bathrooms.
After the girls got up, I let them make magic cupcakes. (Mix 4 Tablespoons of meringue powder into a package of cake mix. Then combine 1/3 cup of the mix with a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave them for 30 seconds.) I let each of the girls stir their own cupcake batter and then let them cook them in these fun silicone cupcake liners we have that have silly feet on the bottom. Then I let them spread their own icing on them. Camille was meticulous, making sure hers was just so. Chloe licked the frosting off the knife and disregarded the cupcake entirely.
I took the girls outside to play while I waited for Caleb to get off the bus. Then after Caleb had his snack, I got all of the kids to help with our Christmas cards. I had everything all set to go, with the exception of sealing the envelopes and putting on the stamps. Everyone helped lick, although Chloe didn't quite get it right. Please forgive us if your names are kind of smeary. Someone had a hard time understanding quite where to lick.
After that the kids played nicely (all of them...imagine that!) while I fixed a dinner that they all ate (amazing! I know!) before herding them into the bathtub. The kids were all in bed, asleep, by 7:00. Sometimes I do get things right.
I took some photos of the days' activities, however Chloe got a hold of my camera and changed some settings so all of the pictures came out as black rectangles. I could post them here, but I think that's unnecessary.
(Before you panic (MOM!) the camera settings have been readjusted and everything is fine now. Hopefully tomorrow the elements will agree with me and I can get some kids with the tree and the awesome stockings that Aunt Karen made.)