Sunday, March 6, 2016


It's been awhile.  Three months, to be exact.  I'm not sitting down and writing nearly as much as I would like, but I have come to peace with the fact that writing once a week doesn't fit comfortably into my life at the moment.  It's busy; there's no way around it.  When I prioritize how I spend the time that I get to myself, it's important to me to be able to read; to be able to workout; to be able to plan ahead.  I make sure that I have some time to myself every day.  Jim and I have been consistently waking up before the little ones--anywhere between 5 and 5:30.  Jim is using the early morning hours to work out--he's currently training for a half Ironman in June and is back into a serious training routine.  I use that time to have a quiet cup of coffee, listen to some music, and get ready for my day (put breakfast on the table, make lunches, plan meals for the week, do laundry, etc).  I savor this time, because once the little ones are up, it's game on.

Eliza usually wakes up first, around 6:30, which means I sneak back up to bed with a hot cup of coffee for a quiet feed with a well rested, clean, smiley 9 month old.  I soak up every single feed with Eliza these days, as she is becoming more and more distracted and before long, she will be having a bottle or cup of milk and our nursing days will be over.  Eliza is everything I love about babies.  She's cuddly and smiley; she wakes up with crazy hair and loves touching my face and trying to grab my teeth or my eyes or my necklace while I'm feeing her.  She sits in her crib and plays with all her stuffed animals, swinging them around, chewing on their noses and throwing them over the edge when she's had enough. She babbles and blurts and is learning how to clap her hands.  I can't think of a better way to start my days.

Hannah emerges around 7, and you never know what you're going to get with her.  Sometimes, it's a happy little toddler who can't stop chatting and singing songs, and other times she stumbles out of her room, eyes half closed, with her blanket in hand (which is still her old sleep sack) and would like a cuddle but would prefer not to engage in any conversation yet, or so help you God.  Whatever her mood, Hannah adores Eliza and always starts off her day by asking to hold her and play with her.  I can't wait to see the little friendship between these two unfold.

...this is how Hannah came downstairs yesterday. 

Jack is the next one up, between 7 and 7:30, and he's always up for a good cuddle or a book before he dives into a four course breakfast (fruit, toast, cereal, juice...)  He's growing like a weed--getting closer and closer to Lilly by the day.  Jack takes care of himself.  He finishes breakfast, gets dressed, makes his bed, brushes his teeth and is ready to go by 8.  He makes sure that any book he read the night before is by the front door, ready to go back to school.  If he's taking his lunch, he has it in his backpack, next to his coat, hat and mittens.

And then there's Lilly.  We have to wake Lilly at 7:30, as she likes to lounge in bed and hide under blankets for a good 10 minutes.  She would prefer not to have breakfast, and really doesn't feel like getting dressed or making her bed.  We have spent 6 months trying to figure out how to get Lilly motivated to take care of herself in the mornings.  Just last week, we discovered that a morning shower helps her wake up and start her day so we're going to roll with it for a few weeks and see if that is something that sticks.  In some way, shape or form, Lilly has to be ready to walk out the door and get on her bus by 8:25.  She has yet to miss the bus, although she came extremely close one day last week.

Lilly, doing everything...except getting ready for school!
...with the best smile around.  
Everyone loves going to the bus stop.  It's social hour for Lilly there--riding the bus is her favorite part of the day!  Jack has a little buddy and they race cars down a driveway together or show each other whatever toy each of them decided to bring out to the bus stop on that particular day.  Hannah, once again, is Hannah.  Sometimes, she's chatty and off playing "what time is it, Mr. Fox?" with some of the other younger children.  However, Hannah does not like putting on her big winter coat.  Unfortunately for her, Jim and I insist upon this if she would like to come to the bus stop, which can lead to a filthy mood.  And then there's little Eliza, who is happily passed around from one mother to another...everyone getting in their baby cuddles.  After Lilly gets on the bus blowing kisses to the younger three, who wave to her like she's a celebrity as she drives away, we all pile in the car to take Jack to school.  

We pull back into our driveway right around 9am; 7:30 to 9am is an action packed hour and a half in our house!  Hannah, Eliza and I head up to Eliza's room, where Hannah and I sing Eliza some songs and put her to bed for her morning nap.  Then, Hannah and I head back downstairs and set up the living room for "Mum's exercises".  I've found some workout DVDs that I love, so if I don't end up going to the gym early, I have been popping in a DVD and spending 30-45 minutes doing a workout at home.  By then, it's almost 10:00 and our day is in full swing.  Sometimes, I'll take the little two for a walk before we pick up Jack at noon.  Other times, we'll play games or dance in the basement or clean up the house.  It's busy, but not crazy.  It's organized chaos and it works for the six of us.

This is how Jim and I got our workout in this morning.  Not really relaxing, but definitely entertaining.