A Day in the Life

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I love doing these every once in a while...there's something about spending a whole day taking as many pictures of commonplace little bits of life as you can that always shifts perspectives around and makes the mundane seem suddenly magical. Here is what a totally normal, typical old Wednesday looks like for us right now:

2:00 AM - Tristan wakes up for his middle of the night bottle. Which isn't too bad, considering he's been asleep for five hours already.

3:00 AM - Both of us are back to sleep!

6:30 AM - He wakes up again, eats, and passes right back out. 

7:20 AM - I have a luxurious few minutes for a cup of coffee and mindless Facebook and blog reading - oh bliss!

7:45 AM - Beef stew in the slow cooker for dinner, and waffles for the girls' breakfast

8:00 AM - I get the girls up and dressed, then send them downstairs to eat breakfast while I shower and get ready. Tristan has woken up for the morning by then and Aaron sets him free from his swaddle before leaving...the novelty of mobile arms keeps him content for a nice little stretch of time.

8:25 AM - The girls are done with breakfast and come back upstairs to coo over the baby (and bum makeup and perfume from me) while I finish up and make the beds.

8:35 AM - Loading up ON TIME IT'S A MIRACLE YAY!
We have to listen to that Megan Trainor Better When I'm Dancing song on repeat all the way to school because it keeps Tristan from screaming bloody murder. Which is okay because when we roll the windows down and all sing along as loudly as we can it kind of turns the drive into what amounts to a moving dance party.

9:00 AM - We get to school and head to our respective classrooms.

9:15 AM - I take a few minutes to get ready for my first classes while passing students pounce on Tristan.

9:30 AM -  Classes start! Tristan is ready for his morning nap by the time my Christian Studies class is over and he sleeps through most of three literature and writing classes.

11:00 AM - This class of cuties pies...

...some of whom might POSSIBLY be showing a few signs of the dreaded and inevitable senioritis!
(I made him stop reading random passages from Ramona Quimby, Age 8 so we could get started on our actual assignment, but I did let him stay in the comfy chair)

12:00 PM - Psyche's sister in Till We Have Faces stabs herself in the arm in today's reading, provoking a heated debate about the possibility of getting a dagger all the way through one's arm with a single stroke...complete with demonstrations, naturally.

(Totally possible, provided you swing your dagger like you were violently strumming a guitar, is the consensus) 

12:45 PM - Lunch time and the nursery crew stops by for a little visit on their way to the playground!

1:15 PM - One last literature class after lunch, then I put Tristan in the Baby K'Tan so I can get some work done around my classroom.

2:30 PM - Tristan gets to play with Miss Savanna while I work on costumes for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which the upper school will be performing in two weeks.

3:25 PM - Classes end, students do their chores, I confab with the drama team about some costuming questions, then rescue Savanna from my tyrant baby and get some lesson planning in before he gets too cranky.

4:15 PM - I collect the rest of my children. Aaron is still fighting a cold, so instead of going to work out he decides to take Phoebe to shop for her last birthday present. Everyone else comes home with me.

4:45 PM - We get home to find Scotty setting up an elaborate Hot Wheels track, so you know that's all good!

5:00 PM - Tristan hangs out with his sisters and GiGi while I throw together some low-carb cheese biscuits to go with the stew.

5:30 PM - I leave the girls to their Hot Wheels pursuits, with GiGi giving them their dinner when it's ready, and Tristan and I log in to a webinar for the Circe Apprenticeship. He's TOTALLY cooperative, let me assure you...

...Until his bedtime hits, and then nothing will do but a bath and a bottle like always. Nonnegotiable.

7:15 PM - And he's down for the night!

7:30 PM - I go back downstairs to see what Phoebe picked out on her shopping trip, and to read her new birthday book from Aunt Jill!

8:00 PM - Everyone is happy until I announce that it's time to clean up...then cheerfulness turns to tears and tantrums and timeouts (all Phoebe, actually) almost instantly.

8:30 PM - Messes are cleaned up, pajamas are on, teeth are brushed, and the baby is put back to sleep after being woken up by the shouted comments of his oldest sister. She was feeling a little silly, maybe? Do you see her there on top of the dresser, blending in so well that Aaron didn't even realize she was in the room?

8:45 PM - Time for our nightly chapter of Narnia (if you're thinking I have a bit of a C.S. Lewis addiction, you're absolutely correct. I know there are other authors...I just don't care!) this one from near the beginning of The Magician's Nephew left us on such a cliff-hanger that Avalon almost shouted the baby awake again.

9:15 PM - Sweet, blessed bedtime!

9:30 PM - I finally get to eat dinner! Which is made infinitely more delicious by the view... my husband doing the dishes for me!

10:00 PM - Bed, sort of. He plays a video game and I write an outline that I've been putting off for more than a week. And I lecture my students about the evils of procrastination! Ugh, teachers, amiright?

11:00 PM - I finish my outline and think I should really go ahead and wake Tristan up for a bottle before I go to sleep...yeah...in a minute...

11:30 PM - Tristan wakes me up, ready for that bottle.

12:00 AM - finally bedtime for real, another day done.

Phoebe is Three

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Miss Phoebe had her birthday on Friday. She turned three and you guys, this child.  

"She is gentle! She is wild! She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel! She's a girl!"

(Haha, but no, I just ran through that entire Maria song in my head and it describes Phoebe exactly. Seriously. It's like they wrote it about her.)

Every morning I get her up and dressed and she does her best to make the entire process as difficult as she can, laughing and randomly going limp and then bowling me over with violent hugs. I am almost always sweaty and aggrieved by the time I've wrestled shoes onto her feet, and then I have to do her hair and she HATES to have her hair brushed. Even if she doesn't have any tangles. Even if I'm not actually touching her head yet. There is no such thing as gentle enough, the only thing that keeps her from a full-out screaming tantrum is to mimic and tease her when she starts whining. Which, I don't know, but I feel like most kids don't like to be blatantly mocked. Phoebe thinks it's the funniest thing ever. Her sense of humor is just like the rest of her personality - expansive and unpredictable.

"Is the sun in your eyes, Daddy? IS IT IN YOUR NOSE?"

"Sisters! Sisters! You know what rhymes with Scotty? POTTY!"

She has this terrible siren-screech of a wail whenever things don't go her way, or maybe even whenever she thinks things might possibly not go her way, or sometimes for no reason at all. Every morning after she's all dressed and ready I send her downstairs to breakfast with the admonition to not scream at her sisters. Some mornings she triumphantly informs me as we're leaving the house that she didn't scream at anyone! High five! Other mornings...yeah. 
"What is Phoebe yelling at you about?" I'll call down the stairs to the older girls while trying to simultaneously give the baby a bottle and apply mascara.
"She dropped her fork and she wanted me to give her a new fork and I did and now she's mad at me." Is the kind of resigned explanation I usually receive. 

But if any of her siblings gets hurt she is more concerned and sympathetic than anyone. She pats them ever so gently and says, "Aww, poor baby. I'm so sorry for you!"

She sings along with every song on the radio and has a wonderful sense of rhythm and timing. She has the biggest blue eyes and the longest eyelashes to be found outside of a Disney movie. The later she stays up, the sillier she gets. Her favorite superhero is Wonder Mumman. She doesn't walk around things, she always tries to push straight through every obstacle. She still loves baby dolls, but she REALLY loves her baby brother. She is the biggest Daddy's girl ever and if anything is going wrong in her world her first coherent statement is always, "I NEED MY DADDY!" We never know if she'll concede to speak to (or even look at) anyone we see out and about. Not necessarily strangers even, I mean people she sees at school every day. But you couldn't call her shy, it's more like capricious.

For three months now she's asked us if for Christmas she could have a Tinkerbell birthday party. "You can have that for your BIRTHDAY" we'll say. "Yeah. That's what I reawy want for Christmas."

Well okay then, Merry Christmas, lovey.

Breath of Fresh Air

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's ridiculously easy for me to forget things that I know perfectly well... most recently the fact that going outside is good for you and makes you happy. 

I mean, I know this. The kids get lovely long outside recesses at school, and we try to go for walks around the neighborhood on nice afternoons, and sitting with Tristan on the porch swing in the back yard is a big part of my We Sleep At Night initiative. But blocking out a whole entire DAY to be out in nature together? I rarely even think of it. Which is crazy, given that we have every single Friday off from school. For the express purpose of Flint families having time to do things together - Charlotte Mason type things! Like being out in nature! Which makes you happy!

(the other purpose of Fridays off is so the teachers can recharge and plan amazing lessons and not lose their ever-loving minds. I tend to remember THAT reason a lot easier, oddly)

SO GiGi's suggestion that we hop in the car and head over to Dinosaur Valley State Park on Sunday was perfect. It's only about an hour away, and gorgeous! We spent the day hiking and playing in the river, loving it.

 By the end of the day we were totally filthy and worn out, and in wonderful spirits, resolved to Do This More Often, No Really. 

(And also camping, yikes!)
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