6:45am A little hansei (planning) with myself before the whirlwind begins. Put on my workout clothes to do some free weights at home after making lunches.
7:15am Kids are rousing. Time to start making breakfast and lunches. Kate left her lunch box at school. Will starts pointing out the books he wants in the scholastic book order. Elizabeth wants me to see every page of the American Girl catalog. It's a Panda Puffs day.
7:30am Lunches are done and I want to exercise before it's too late but Rachael is awake and ready for her new morning ritual: temper tantrum. I try to please her in every way possible, even letting her eat at the table like a child who can actually control what goes in and out of her mouth but she finds a reason to throw a tantrum anyway. Milk. I don't know what she wants exactly but I offer her milk in every possible cup, sippy cup or bottle in the house and she is still determined to throw a fit. It is the new morning ritual.
7:45am Simultaneously helping Will with his piano practice, dealing with spazo baby, signing Kate's agenda for school and helping Elizabeth pick out an outfit for picture day.
8:00am Take Kate to school
8:15am Give up on the idea of exercising, change out of workout clothes and get in the shower.
8:45am My sister in law is at the door with my niece. She left me a message to see if she could go to school with us. I was in the shower.
9:15am Take Will and Nicole to school (they are "late birds") and head back home to finish the preparations that were delayed by the baby's shenanigans.
9:30am Rachael is completely freaking out because I'm trying to put her pants on. I finally put her in the car in her diaper and then go in and out of the house no less than five times for things I have forgotten.
9:45am Head to the harp store. The baby will NOT put pants on. Five to ten minutes go by just trying to get into the store with both children dressed. It turns out I need an appointment with my daughter so they can show her how to tune the harp properly so I'll have to come back tomorrow anyway. (I'm sure her teacher told me this and I was too frazzled to hear . . .)
10:15am Head to the grocery store for brownie mix and disposable pans for my youth activity at the church tonight. I'm there anyway so I pick up a few extra things like jelly, apples, fruit cups, spinach, cold cereal, laundry soap, cow pals, napkins, poster board, and Clorox wipes. My shopping experience is incident free for once.
11:00am Get a fruit and yogurt parfait at McDonald's for Elizabeth's lunch, drop books off at the library, pick up the dry cleaning.
11:30am Drop Elizabeth off at kindergarten (last minute combing of the hair for picture day) and drive around until Rachael goes to sleep.
11:50am Nephew Jack (3) arrives for the afternoon while Shauna volunteers in the kindergarten classroom. (I'll take my turn later in the month.)
12:00pm Laundry, morning dishes, put groceries away, pick up the house, phone calls, computer work, paper work. My favorite part of this is spending half an hour on the phone with Belkin to fix my router so my internet will work. I just did this one week ago today. Poor Jack has NO playmates. I'm sure he is bored out of his mind but he plays pretty well on his own and watches some Diego. He also shares lots of information with me. Jack can snap AND wink. He is very proud of this.
3:00pm Wake up the baby (she was obviously REALLY tired) and load her and Jack up to pick up the kids from school. I'm careful not to forget after school snacks for everyone and car entertainment for the youngest two.
3:10pm Pass off Jack, load up my kids and Will's friend and take Kate to her first official harp lesson at 3:15.
3:30pm Drop off Will and Rithik at cub scouts.
3:45pm Pick up Kate at harp.
4:00pm Orthodontic appointment for Kate. (All her teeth are in - she's ready for braces!)
4:30pm Pick up Will from cub scouts.
4:45pm Home! Time for homework and piano practice while I make dinner. That means it's also time for Rachael to have another temper tantrum.
5:00pm Elizabeth is melting down because she didn't eat any of her after school snack. I make her a plate of nuts, ham, carrots and mandarin oranges. (She does best with single ingredients.)
5:15pm Back to cooking dinner, correcting Will's science problems, playing measures of Kate's piano pieces for her to hear, helping Elizabeth staple together a homemade mask and pacifying Rachael. Everyone is always talking at once. It's really quite amazing.
6:00pm Homework and piano practice is done so I finally put on Little Bear for the little ones and start on the brownies.
6:15pm Standing over the kitchen sink, I feel the stress relieving effects of chocolate as I clean the mixing bowl with my finger. I am alone in the kitchen for 3 blissful minutes.
6:30pm Will's favorite dinner (cajun shrimp pasta) is done, the brownies are baking and the kitchen is a mess.
6:50pm Brandon's home, the kitchen is decent and I'm sprinkling the brownies with little pink and red hearts.
7:00pm Making a "Thank You Firefighters" poster with a bunch of 14 & 15 year old girls. We take the brownies and poster to the firehouse and have a fun time visiting with the firefighters.
8:00pm After taking home one of the girls and getting gas I head home.
8:30pm Everyone is showered and fed and Dad is reading with them. What a guy.
9:00pm I cannot resist snuggling my kids at bedtime. It's my favorite time of day with each of them because it's one on one. After many interesting discussions about Superfudge, the gingerbread man and the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland I retire to my room, check email, check the news and BLOG.