Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ask And You Shall Receive

I have recently become reacquainted with an old friend from high school who now lives in Germany. (Hi Stephanie!) She was curious as to what my daily schedule is like with 9 children. In fact, she says she finds things like that "fascinating".

Regardless of how mundane my daily schedule seems to me, I like to appear fascinating to others. So Stephanie, this post's for you! (Grab yourself a snack, it's pretty long...)

6:30 am - Coolister wakes me up almost every morning. (I'm lazy that way.) I like to prepare a real breakfast for the family every morning. This varies from hot cereals (oatmeal, germade, cornmeal or rice) to scrambled eggs to pancakes or waffles, baked oatmeal or breakfast sandwiches... the possibilities are endless but vary depending on the actual time I wake up. We eat cold cereal most Sundays, which the kids consider a treat.

6:45 am - I start making lunches and check that everyone who has to go to school is awake.

6:50 am - Breakfast is served! The kids eat in waves. Usually Coolister and ElemenoB eat at this time.

7:00 am - Coolister leaves for the bus stop. I am still making everyone else's lunches. ElemenoB changes her outfit for the 3rd time then gets in the shower.

7:15 am - Lunches are done. Go tell Thumbelina that her bus leaves in 15 minutes so she had better get out of bed!

7:25 am - Thumbelina, All-a-boy and Cowgirl eat breakfast. I tell All-a-boy that he can NOT wear that same shirt again. He rolls his eyes and goes to change.

7:35 am - ElemenoB and Thumbelina should leave for their bus stop, but Thumbelina usually can't find her shoes or her math homework or her jacket. ElemenoB acts annoyed but secretly revels in the fact that she can check her hair in the mirror one more time.

7:37 am - The girls bid me farewell.

7:40 am - I do Cowgirl's hair. All-a-boy shows up in the shirt I told him to change out of. I state his name and give him 'the look'. He rolls his eyes again and heads back to his bedroom.

7:41 am - All-a-boy comes up in a different shirt... with shorts. I remind him that it is about 40 degrees outside. More eye rolling, more clothing changes.

7:45 am - I brush down All-a-boy's cowlicks with plenty of water and hair gel. He requests 'spiky' or 'flat' and I comply.

7:50 am - Last minute (frantic!) scramble for jackets, homework, backpacks, lunches, shoes... All-a-boy and Cowgirl watch out the window for their carpool and slam the door on their way out.

Sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 am - Princess, Hubba and Curly wake up and eat breakfast. Princess throws a royal fit if it is "oatmeal again". I sit down and eat with them.

Whatever time I sit down to eat - Baby O wakes up. I feed him then finish feeding myself.

Around 9:15 am - Wash breakfast dishes.

9:45 am - Get kids dressed. Let Hubba stay in his pajamas, since he's going to change back into them anyway at some point in the day. Get out Legos or K'nex or Furryvilles or trains for them to play with. If I want to take a shower, I put in a movie for them downstairs with strict instructions not to answer the door while I am in the shower! Princess does not get this, as she is fully capable of answering the door without my assistance. Luckily, we have not had many visitors at this time.

10:15 am - Make my bed, put in a load of laundry, then get on the computer. Check Google Reader for new blog posts. Mull over what comments to leave. Read my email.

11:00 am - Put the laundry in the dryer. Put Baby O down for his morning nap. Back to the computer to see if I got any new email or comments on posts. Read the local news online at KSL and Herald Extra. Begin to compose a blog post if I feel so inspired.

11:20 am - Lunch for the kidlets. Princess usually requests not a sandwich. Quesedillas or cheese and crackers are regulars, along with some form of fruit or vegetable.

11:30 am - Clean up lunch, do Princess' hair according to her specifications: "Two braids today, mom - in the back." or "No ponytails, just a clip with a flower." or "Two big ponytails". Or, if we are in a hurry, it just gets brushed. Last minute search for show-and-tell items, homework, and jacket - despite Princess' declarations of 'I like cold!' and 'I get too sweaty in my jacket anyways, Mom! Geez!!'

11:50 am - Wake Baby O. Load the smallish ones into the suburban. Chase Hubba and Curly around the house a few times, screaming threats of no more milk today! if they don't get in their carseats RIGHT NOW.

11:58 am - Leave for kindergarten. Sing the 'Bob the Builder' theme song and 'Thomas We Love You' 3 times on the way while looking for large machinery to point out to Hubba. As in, "Hey, Hubba - there's Scoop! Do you see Roley?"

12:04 pm - Drop Princess off for kindergarten. She is always at least 3 minutes late, so I figure I'm being consistent.

12:10 pm - Back at home. Throw in another load of laundry, fold the dry load. Vacuum the floors so Baby O can soldier crawl to his heart's content amongst the discarded Legos and trains.

12:30 pm - Turn on www.starfall.com to occupy Hubba and Curly. Try to eat my lunch somewhere that I won't be discovered.

12:31 pm -
Hubba: "Mom, can I have a bite of yours?"
Me: "But you already ate lunch..."
H: "But not yours lunch."
Me: "Mom needs to eat lunch, too. Do you want a sandwich?"
H: "I want yours lunch."
Me: "I'll make you your own bowl of soup, ok?"
H: "Can I eat yours soup? And you can make the other bowl for you?"
Me: (thinking) Could he possibly know that mine is really ice cream?

12:45 pm - Put the laundry in the dryer. Finish my blog post, if one is started. Check my email again. (Hmmm... I'm sensing a pattern here...)

1:00 pm - This varies, depending on the day. It includes: Start to think about dinner. Pay bills. Compose email replies. Make phone calls. Clean bathroom. Vacuum. Screen phone calls. Try to come up with a more creative answering machine message. Look at old pictures. Read old journals. Leave comments on blogs read earlier. Transfer pictures from camera to computer. Put on some music and sing really loud. Dance a little if alone. Dance a lot if the kids are watching. Check the calendar for what else is coming up this week. Take a kid to a doctor's appointment. The list goes on for miles...

2:30 pm - Start getting the kids in the vehicle to go pick up the elementary school kids. Try to find shoes. Tell Hubba socks are good enough. Try to be systematic about this - Put Baby O in the suburban. Go get Curly. Buckle her in. Go get Hubba - who has escaped from the house and is running down the street in his socks and pajamas, laughing his head off. Try to stifle laughter when I capture him and tell him he should not run from me.

2:45 pm - Buckle Hubba in. Count the animals we pass on the way to the school (horses, sheep, cows and goats).

2:50 pm - Pick up at the school of my 3 plus 3 others. Drop others off.

3:05 pm - Home again. Homework starts immediately or else I will forget to make them do it. Everyone had to read at least 20 minutes every day. There is often also spelling and math involved.

3:15 pm - ElemenoB and Thumbelina get home. (except for the days when they have play practice. Then they get home at 4:30 pm). ElemenoB goes to babysit. Thumbelina locks herself in her room with a book and says, "I'm doing my homework!" when I knock. "Homework at the table!" I yell back. I can feel her eyes rolling at me behind the door when I hear the exasperated sigh.

3:30 pm - Run a few errands now that I don't have to take the whole gang with me. Last-minute groceries, the bank, the library and stores with supplies for school projects are the top 4 destinations. The local bakery is often right on the way, so I have been known to stop there on occasion. I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses, you know.

4:30 pm - Coolister calls and wants a ride home from cross country practice. If I am already out running errands, I oblige. If I am not, he gets more running practice in as he makes his way home.

5:00 pm - I am home. I marvel over how the kids can undo what I have done in the house throughout the day and pick up some things, enlisting the help of the slaves. I start getting out what is needed for dinner. I help with unfinished homework. I read to Princess and Cowgirl.

5:30 pm - Put dinner together. Let it cook. Pick up more stuff off the floors, counter tops and couches.

6:00 pm - ElemenoB gets home from babysitting. On a good day, someone sets the table and dinner is served. Dinner is served between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm. I hate the 9:00 pm dinner days, but when it's a day for grocery shopping that's what happens.

Everything gets crazy at this time of day, depending on the day of the week.

Mondays we have "Family Home Evening" which is where we sing songs, play games and have a short lesson about something, followed by a treat.

Tuesdays the oldest 3 kids go to church at 7:00 pm with the other youth in our area. The boys play basketball or Frisbee and call it "scouts". The girls do various things from cooking to sewing to having a little lesson.

Wednesdays All-a-boy has cub scouts.

Thursdays Allen has church meetings all night.

Fridays are often date nights. (I like Fridays.)

Weekends are a completely different story.

Around 8:00 - 9:00 pm, or whenever everyone is home, we read scriptures together.

Bedtime is somewhere between 8:30 and 10:30 pm, though we have been doing much better lately and getting to bed closer to 9:00 pm. This routine includes drinks of milk, bathroom reminders and empty threats before everyone is finally asleep somewhere. Hubba has a very nice bed but usually chooses to sleep with the "big girls", Coolister or right between Allen and I.

Once the kids are in bed Allen checks sports scores, peruses You Tube videos and does some work on his laptop while I head to the desktop for more blog surfing and email checking.

There are various things mixed in on different days, but that's about it. Pretty exciting stuff!

See what you get when you ask? Anyone else?

(I'm taking requests.)


Cami said...

"...enlisting the help of the slaves." I LOVE IT! You are Super Mom! I wish some of you would rub off on me.

Sister Pottymouth said...

Phew. I need to get a schedule.

Holmes said...

All I can say is "Wow!" I have 1/3 of the number of children you do and still struggle to get everything done. You're amazing!

Mom not Mum said...

That is quite the day! I do have to say my favorite part - as I was tiring out reading about your whole day - was "The boys play basketball or Frisbee and call it "scouts". " Hahahaha - how true that is!

Teachinfourth said...

And I thought my days were busy...

Maleen said...

I loved it all because it is so true. You really are a great mom and made to organize a household.
I like that you have someone to babysit because my afternoon errands still involve all my munchkins.

Chelle! said...

Gerb--you can soon include all the camp meetings that you will be attending. You are totally SUPER MOM!!

Gina said...

So...do you really have no kids when you go to the bank? Or does 2 kids mean "no kids."

I am sorry you only get 1 minute for lunch.

I, too, check my e-mails and blogs more times that I care to mention. It is my adult contact for the day.

How do you cook and clean up dinner so fast? I am non-stop in the kitchen for hours.

Do you have a menu for the week?

So many more. I just really want to be like you.

Steph said...

Wow... I am tired just reading your day. I have two kids and I struggle now. I try to schedule but I am not nearly as efficient as you. It's amazing I want more kids because I have no idea how I'd handle more. You are truly amazing!

You see, I think I have a secret desire to have an enormous family myself so I love to read posts about everyday life. How do you drive anywhere with all the kids? Or do you?

Gerb said...

Kate is right about slave age, I'd say. Get your whip out!

Sis. Potty-
A schedule? What's that?

This was a generalization. I fear I may have made myself out to be something I am not! We never follow this "schedule" exactly. And, for the record, you are pretty amazing yourself.

MOM (not mum)-
I think it's true no matter where you go. I wish someone would do something about that!

What do you mean? You have like 3 times the # of kids that I do... your days ARE busy!

When I have the kids with me I have discovered that you can do almost everything you need at a drive-through. I want to request a drive-through post office and grocery store, then I will be set.

I am giddy with excitement for camp meeting to start. I can't believe there is not a list of people who all want to go!

Gina & Steph-
For you guys, I will do a follow-up post. There are lots of questions I left unanswered! I guess I see us as a normal little family whose daily life is basically uninteresting. Thanks for being interested.

Steph- I'll answer all the questions you emailed me, too - with pictures included.

Gina said...

I am so excited for the "answer in the form of a post." That was secretly my desire with that comment. Yippee!

annette said...

So when do you read? or organize that drawer or closet? What do the kids do while you're online? You must have them well managed. (Don't laugh.) Mine give me some sort of fire to put out every 10 min. If I want to blog, it's usually some early am (see this comment's time!)