01 August 2013

a day in the life of many people.

I know many people who have far more children than we do. It doesn't seem like a big deal to me. But when we take our five out, people look horrified. Maybe it's because they're all so close in age? You know we're not about spacing births over here in the Cooke house, so people assume this place must be misery and crying at every turn. To tell the truth, it's pretty quiet and peaceful around here.

Our top five comments from "well-meaning" strangers are the following.

1) "Wow, you sure have your hands full! (Better full than empty!)
2) "I have no idea how you manage." (Prayer and energy drinks.)
3) "What on earth does your husband do?" (Kicks @$$ and names babies.)
4) "How big is your house?" (2200 square feet of pure fixer-upper.)
5) "You must have the patience of a saint." (You clearly know nothing about the saints.)

So, in an effort to show that our days are pure joy and very few tears, I decided to revive the "day in the life" post. I haven't done one in awhile, and they are just so fun to look back on. This blog is for the kids, and Andrew and I love hearing all the funny stories from our parents and grandparents. I know that someday this blog will be such a gift to them as they read through their childhoods. These five kids are more loved than any five kids on Earth, that's for sure!

This post will be long. The days are long, but the years are so short. Today was a "medium day." We went out for a few things, which tends to wear us out, but we managed to find a renewed energy this afternoon and ended up just packing the day with busyness. Here it comes.

6:30am - Andrew shut off the alarm 30 minutes ago and is still asleep. I don't know what to do with that, but the boys are making noise. I decide to see if I can get them back to sleep with a couple of bottles. They're still a little sleepy, so ten minutes later they're knocked out again. Whee! I head back to bed for a little more snuggling before the girls wake up. I can't believe no one has come in yet. Almost like a weekend...

7:00am - The girls wander into the kitchen and Andrew declares he is sick. Claire was a little sick yesterday, so it seems reasonable. I leave him and start getting breakfast together. As soon as the Frosted Flakes are served up, I jump in the shower. That doesn't usually happen til 4pm! Winning!

7:30- Time to dress the girls, brush hair, find shoes and pack the diaper bag. The plan is to leave by 8:30 to register Lucy for school and head to a playdate, so I'm moving quick! My best advice for getting a lot of small children out of the house on time is to start moving toward the door an hour ahead of time. They're dressed an hour out, hair is done 45 minutes out, putting on shoes 30 minutes out, Claire's shoes are always in the car. If there is anything extra to take with us, it's put in the car the night before or it's on a list on top of the diaper bag.

8:15 - Start loading the car. Lucy does the buckles in the back while I track down the last of the school paperwork. The boys are still playing happily, so I load them last. We pull out at 8:30 on the nose.

8:35 - We swing by Lucy's school to register her for the coming year. The school secretary and I have a short exchange.

Her: Are the boys yours, too?
Me: Yes...both of them!
Her: And all three girls?
Me: Yep, that makes five!
Her: Well, aren't you a saint...
Me: Oh, I don't know. It's gets easier with every kid.
Her: How big is your house?
Me: Uhhh...normal?
Her: My daughter has three and she's busy!
Me: I was busier when I only had three, I think. Now they all entertain each other and my system is pretty flawless.
Her: You must be incredibly patient.
Me: Well...I'm pretty patient...

(Just how many of the common comments can we hit in one conversation?!

The boys wait patiently while I load the car. On the passenger side, I lean over and start the car, Miles gets in and the diaper bag gets thrown in the front seat. Lucy does the back seat buckles while I get the boys in. After Miles is buckled, the stroller waits at the back while I buckle Max. The stroller gets loaded last and I check the back buckles while I'm loading it up. 
We arrive at Ms. C's for our playdate. Claire has a little moany-moment over her "gub." I think she's looking for a paci, but I play it off like she's looking for a cup. Ha. "Here honey, have a drink from Mommy's cup!" Suckaaaaa....doesn't her hair look great?!

Max getting in a few cuddles from his Godmother - she's always good for a little spit-up and some baby-loving! 

Claire hasn't been feeling so hot for the past 24 hours, so she spends most of the playdate cuddling with her Godmother and eating donuts. Good enough! 

We rush straight home after the playdate and Claire falls asleep in the car from 11:30 to 12. I pretend I don't notice because you KNOW she's going down for a real nap as soon as lunch is over. 

A lunch consisting of Cheetos and turkey dogs. Best mom ever! 

I tell the big girls that they can stay up as long as they do whatever I tell them to do and stay out of my way while I clean. They really don't care what I want them to do as long as they don't have to nap. Molly works on pictures for Reesie and Lucy works on Sudoku. She's a puzzle nut just like her Mama! 

And the boys nap like it's their job. Cause it is. 

 It's 12:30 and I have absolutely no motivation to clean. I turn to Facebook and get lots of "well, when I don't know where to start..." responses. It gets me going and I start knocking it out. Laundry first, dishwasher next and onto the rooms. 

As I cleaning I take a second here and there to get my afternoon caffeine in. There is no other way. 

 2pm - the boys are waking up, so Lucy and Mo help me haul them to the family room for some time on the floor. 

2:30 - time for a late lunch! Since the boys need to be fed semi-upright to avoid ear infections and reflux issues, I prop them up and they go to town. 

Once the boys are fed, I open the front door to throw some garage stuff onto the porch and find a box from my beloved sister! Yay! 
They're a little melted, but really, it's all perfect. 

Since it's super hot outside, Stone is on my heels all afternoon. Not cool. 

I move the boys to their next "station" and the girls keep them very busy, running past them and screaming. Max thinks this is just fantastic. 

The boys go back down for late afternoon naps around 5, just before Claire wakes up. 

We finally wake Claire up around 5:15 and she's so happy to be well-rested and ready to play! The girls build a pillow mountain and have a grand old time screaming and jumping. 

I cook dinner and Facebook simultaneously - my laptop sits on the counter and I click briefly as I run by. My computer time is about as frequent as my bathroom time these days! 

I take my "rice-cooking" time to do a little Pinterest searching for the boys' 1st birthday party. 

Daddy walks in the door at 5:40 and manages the crowd while I bustle around, trying to get the last of my "today" stuff done.  

The boys are waking up around 6:30, so I park them with Daddy and take a minute to change their sheets. 

Hi Miles! 

If you have a kid in a crib and you're not using QuickZip Crib Sheets , you need to make a change. These sheets are amaaaaaaazing, especially if you have multiple cribs. I no longer have to take the mattresses out - just zip them off and zip them on! Easy peasy! We have about 6 of the "tops" and we can even change the sheets while the boys are sleeping. Amazeballs. 

Okay, fine. I'll tell you the truth. The duct tape is there because we originally thought we didn't need an extra mattress, so we gave it to Stone. He chewed the corner and the next week I found out I was pregnant with twins. I'll just take that back, thanks...

The girls are instructed to "hurry and clean" their room before dinner. Here they are before the big reveal. 

Ta- daaaaaa! 

Claire makes it through dinner by eating three bites of chicken, so she gets a special chocolate lollipop from the box that Aunt Nina sent. It may have been a boat. 

After dinner, Daddy cleans up and Max and I land on the couch to kiss and tickle. He is such a crazy kid. All party, all the time. 

Miles prefers to lay on the floor and spit up. 

We've gone back to marking Max - the identical-ness is getting a little out of hand lately! 

While Max and I play, Daddy gets the big girls down - now it's 9:45 and we're watching Rookie Blue while the kiddies snooze. 

And tomorrow we get to do it all over again! Too blessed to be stressed, as they say!

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