Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Day in the Life of the Rosendales, Blog Day #9 and 10

I pop out of bed at 5am and there is peace and quiet. I have a Luna bar and a glass of water. Then put on my workout clothes and go out for a 5 mile run while everyone is still sleeping. When I get back in an hour, I take a calm and relaxing shower. My hair is done without so much as a wisp giving me trouble, and my makeup is flawless.  While I am cooking pancakes and oatmeal, I am listening to the Bible through my iPhone and praying for each member of the household. After about 20 minutes, the kids are starting to wake and I greet them with a smile and a cheerful "Good morning, sunshines!" I hand everyone their plates, we say grace and we have a quiet breakfast while discussing the plans for the day.

School starts precisely at 8:30am. The kids are at their seats, quietly studying their individual Bible studies. When the timer goes off at 9am, we move on to Math, Language Arts, Writing, History, Science, recess, lunch, music lessons.  The kids are joyful to work with and love to produce their best work in all subjects.  Henry and Zoe are in their rooms after lunch doing a nap/quiet time. As soon as school is dismissed, everyone has a snack.and the big kids get their swim gear from the designated shelf and gets ready. We leave for swim practice and arrive on-time with 5 minutes to spare. They work hard, as they have all day and have healthy appetites for dinner. Of course, dinner is in the crockpot and I am able to serve dinner in 10 minutes. After dinner, we have silent reading altogether in the living room and one by one, according to age, each child puts their pajamas on and goes to bed. Promptly at 9pm, the house is quiet. I lock the doors, start the dishwasher, turn off the lights, get ready for bed and hit the sack at precisely 10pm.

And don't forget that throughout the day I have washed, dried and folded all the laundry, put away the laundry, swept the floors, prepared lunch and dinner, picked my own vegetables, ground my own wheat, baked bread, and spent quality time with my husband after work.

Ok, so if you haven't noticed, THIS IS NOT REAL.  I am not supermom. I am not full of patience and grace. My children are not the perfect pictures of obedience. My day is not always productive and peaceful.   In fact, read on to see a REAL typical day:

Rewind a little to 11pm the night before. I have stayed up late sewing one girl's Easter dress. But I am inexperienced and up late not because I'm hard core, but because I kept messing up and had to spend a couple hours ripping seams and re-pressing. Then on my way to the bedroom, I realize I had forgotten to put dinner away. So the next 20 minutes is spent putting food away and loading the dishwasher. That done, I head towards the bedroom again and while I am brushing my teeth, I realize I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer. So I finish washing my face and take care of the laundry. Finally, beyond exhausted, I crawl into bed. Just as I am about to fall asleep at 1am, I remember that I haven't locked the doors. Crap. So I drag myself out of bed, lock the doors and collapse into bed, falling asleep almost before my head hits the pillow.

3:30am.  "Mommy." A little voice is whispering to me.
"Zoe, go back to bed." Long silence. "Mommy."
"What, Zoe?"  
 "I accidentally pooped in my pull-up. I can't find another one."
I get up, help her with her mess and find a pull-up.  I tuck her into bed and after telling her that I'm not singing songs I get back to bed. I can't get back to sleep for what seems forever. And then the husband's alarm goes off at 4:30 but he's not moving. Gentle nudge, "Your alarm is going off." Another gentle nudge and I repeat myself.  Whack! "YOUR ALARM!"

It's quiet again, and after making sure the guy gets up for work, I fall back asleep.

Oy, my day hasn't even started yet.

It starts when Ethan, our early riser, wakes up and is playing, very loudly, with Henry.  I yell at him, from bed, to walk the dog. Repeat every 10 minutes from 7:30am-8:30am. By now, Zoe has discovered that her brothers are awake and she goes to join the party. I drag myself out of bed, brush my teeth, put my contacts in and throw my hair in a pony tail. I dress up in my running clothes to make sure I throw in a run at some point during the day. I yell again, "Ethan, go walk the dog!"
"But I have to poop!"

9:30am. School was supposed to start an hour before. But the kids needed to have their toast and Ethan had to poop and then I sent him to walk the dog. I go to the bathroom and put my make-up on. I come out and the girls have made a gigantic fort in the living room after abandoning the pattern blocks all over the floor. They have brought all of their bedding and pillows out. I feel my shoulders droop and I close my eyes in prayer for just a moment. "You need to clean up the fort. Take your blankets back to your room and the chairs back to the school room." The response: tears and wails of "I can't do it!" "It's too hard!" "It's too heavy!"


And again, "I can't do it!" "It's too hard!" "It's too much!" Only this time, they are whining about school-work. And Henry has got a pencil in each hand. And he's writing on the school table. And insisting on sitting on my lap. Meanwhile Zoe is on the little baby truck pushing herself loudly and pushing the buttons and singing along. I am yelling again, "Get back to work!"
Ethan says, "I can't find my math!" (It got knocked down to the floor.)
Lela says, "I don't know what these words mean and I don't want to use the dictionary." (she's been working on the same two problems for two hours)
Charlotte, who has done nothing all morning, says, "I have to poop! And I can't wait!"


Lunch is late, but the kids managed to get some of their work done. I slap together some sandwiches and hand them out. They get yogurt with it. One kid manages to rub the lid on the table, smearing yogurt at their spot. I don't know who it is, because I don't discover it until later when I am eating and put my elbow in it. I send the kids out to walk the dog and put Henry down for nap.
It's the only time I get to spend face-to-face time with him. We giggle, give butterfly and fishy kisses. . .I lay him down and he pats his pillow for me to lie down. I do, and he tries to play around. I say, gently but sternly, "No. Lie down." He gives me a sad frown, with his lower lip slightly out, lies down, sticks his thumb in his mouth. A couple minutes later, he's asleep. So am I. Until the kids get back from their walk. I know they're back because Lela is yelling at Zoe, "That's my water cup." Zoe screams in reply.


"Get ready for swim practice. Zoe, go pee on the potty."
It's an hour before we have to leave. Ethan grabs his speedo and is swinging it around. Charlotte is half naked and making jokes and giggling. Lela has disappeared into her room.

I take a much needed bathroom break after drinking at least 3 glasses of water.

I come back to the living room and no one is dressed. "Get your swimsuits on or you are going to get a spanking!"
Ethan says, "I can't find it!" He is sitting on it with his bare butt.
Charlotte says, "But it's still wet!"
"Put it on!"


We make it to swim practice. Henry and Zoe watch Thomas the Tank Engine on the van's DVD player. I try to read my book but fall asleep instead. An hour later, Charlotte and Ethan join us. Finally, Lela is done and we get home.

*sigh, I have not gone on my run yet.
*sigh, Dinner is scrambled eggs because it's the end of the month and that's what we have. I add spinach and cheese and some spices and turn the scrambled eggs into a giant omelette. At least the kids love it and eat it up.

Johnny has decided to take an overtime shift. So he eats dinner, takes a nap and leaves around bedtime. 

I put Henry down for bed. He is pleasant and we get another 15 minutes face time. I don't wait for him to fall asleep, though. The kids are playing around instead of getting their pajamas on. Zoe is running around naked and shaking her bottom, "Booty booty booty!" So I go out. Yelling again. Whining again.But they do eventually obey, on pain of death. Just kidding. Kind of.

I put Zoe down for bed. I sing her God of Wonders, Amazing Grace and Zoe Mine (our rendition of Disney's Baby Mine), but only at her prompting. Then she needs a kiss, a hug and a squeeze, in that order. But she decides to enhance her bedtime experience and makes it 10 kisses, 10 hugs and 10 squeezes. Being only four years old, she loses count and starts over. So it ends up being more like 28 kisses, 17 hugs and 15 squeezes. This shouldn't be annoying, but it is.  I finally say good night and head for the door. "I want a drink of water."
"No, go to bed."

Ok, now it's quiet reading time for the big kids. "But why can't we watch TV?" 
"You can either read a book, or go to bed."
So we read books and it is actually quite peaceful for about an hour.
Charlotte and Ethan get sent to bed. Ethan is gone before I even notice. Charlotte disappears. Then she comes out for a drink of water. Then she has to go to the bathroom. Then, I hear her playing with Zoe and they are jumping on the bed. Spankings, crying, whining, "Good night!"
It's quiet. Lela goes to bed. I hear the girls playing around again, but this time I just leave it alone. I'm so tired by this point.
I wait until they are asleep. They take awhile, but after I go in and turn off the light (much to Lela's dismay) and shut the door, they go to sleep. Finally, at 10pm, I go for a run. Up and down the street where my house is still within view.  I can't go any farther. So that's my run for 2 miles. Back and forth, back and forth.  My legs hurt, it's raining and it's windy. Yay. The dog tries to run close to my heels, and I nearly trip. Yay. . .
I get home, take a shower. I text Johnny and say "Good night." 
He says, "Why are you still up?"
I don't answer. I toss a load of laundry in the dryer. Shoo the dog off the table and put her in her crate. I clean up a newly discovered spilled cup of water on the kitchen counter. I rinse the dirty dishes and stack them nicely in the sink (I forgot to tell Charlotte to unload the dishwasher.) I kick the dirty clothes left strewn all over the living room into a pile. I pick up the chewed and shredded dirty diaper mess the dog left for me. I check the doors to make sure they are locked.

And finally, I go to bed.
I did not clean the house. I just didn't get to it.
I forgot to have the kids do their chores. I just can't keep track of everything.
We were late for everything. Sometimes, you just can't control all that other humans do.
I lost my temper multiple times. 
My hair looked like I just got out of bed. 
My eyes were poofy from being tired. 
My library books became overdue. 
The refrigerator was empty. 
One child got down to owning only 2 pairs of underwear because the dog chewed her other ones.
And thoughts of being the worst mom ever plagued my mind.

But here's the thing. I chose this lifestyle. This is my career. I am a professional mother and wife. And I reap more rewards that have eternal results:
My children are learning to respect (although it doesn't seem that way when they are running around like wild animals) adults and each other.
My children are academically learning and progressing and enjoying the knowledge they are being exposed to.
My children exhibit behaviors that stem from having a balanced, secure, safe and happy home.
My children are learning to see the world through God's eyes, and growing up in His love and grace. 
They see that their parents are not perfect, and neither are they. 
They are learning that there are severe consequences for their sins, but that Jesus died on the cross to take those consequences upon Himself. Therefore, we are forgiven and strive to live according to what He says in the Bible.
My children are learning to love. Love people, no matter what. Love each other, no matter what. Love us, no matter what. Because God first loved us.

Even though I feel like a failure when all I see is the daily grind and the constant annoyances, I remember that I was chosen for this job. God knows something about me that I don't even know myself. I am the least patient, the least grace-giving, the least playful, the least organized, the least self-less. My family knows this about me. But they also know that I do not live life on my own. I do not strive to be a good mom on my own. I do not offer nurture and strength and guidance on my own. 

It is God who leads me. It is God who gets all the glory. It is God who made me who I am, where I am, at such a time as this. It is God who gets all the honor.

It was He who was here before time began. He who made the stars, moon and sky. He who created all that is around us. He knows each of my little stinkers by name, knows the number of hairs on their heads. He knew who they would be when He created this world. And He knew that I would be their mother.

God, give me the strength and stamina to live up to this incredible calling by obeying you. The children will not be children for much longer. Days like this will pass by quickly.  Help me to remember that there is more to life than a spotless house and perfect children. Help me remember that gourmet meals do not produce spiritually healthy children. And most of all, let me give you the glory instead of pretending I have it all put together. Because, as proven by this blog entry, I don't have it all together. Amen. 

My view of my preggo belly.I can't believe I did this 5 times!

Okay, so the TV is our friend.

Couldn't find Hank's shoes. Hey, you do what you gotta do.

I scream, U Scream, We all scream for ice cream!

Went in to check on the boys. This is what I found.

Taken a long time ago. Zoe got into my bedroom. Johnny too tired to do anything about it.

Zoe posed for this one.


chyerl said...

Oh, I can SO relate to this post! The lid to the yogurt thing happens EVERY day at my house...seriously! Ugh! As does the entire bedding/blankets/pillows/stuffed animals (they each own like 50!) pile on the family room, every day...and the couch cushions are ALWAYS taken off the sofa and strewn about the floor as well. "Hi, welcome to our home...take a seat...oh wait, let me reassemble the couch for you!"

Anyway, thanks for your honesty. It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one living this crazy, exhausting, wonderful life.

Aimee said...

oops! I'm on my mom's computer...

We are the Ganyos.... said...

THIS is why I am so glad to have you as my dear friend and to share this journey of motherhood with you. Your perspective is beautiful - refreshingly real and tremendously encouraging. To know that deep in the trenches of life-at home-alone-with many children there is hope and purpose and confidence to be had outside our broken selves is sweet water to my weary soul...
P.S. can you tell I am reading all your previous blog posts in one day?! been meaning to get to them for a while now :)