A typical day:
7:00a.--Noah wakes me by crawling out of his crib into my bed. I take him downstairs and have a bowl of cheerios, sharing a few bites with Noah. I brew a pot of coffee and do my hair (take it out of its braid, comb it, put it into a bun).
7:45--The girls I watch (K., 3 1/2, and A., 10 months) arrive. The older one is still in her p.j.s so I get her dressed for the day. Then I drink my coffee, supervise kiddos, and read the free newspaper that I found on my porch.
8:30--Elijah finally gets up and we eat breakfast--cinnamon raisin bagels, cream cheese, and o.j. After breakfast I find an old video of the BBC orchestra playing Beethoven's 5th, 1st and 2nd movements (our "piece of the week") on Youtube. The kids watch while I clean up the breakfast dishes. Then I give A. her breakfast and put her down for her nap. I do some more kitchen work, then read to/talk to/play with the remaining three for a while.
10:45--I have the kids pick up all the toys, put on shoes, use the bathroom, and we go outside. The big ones ride tricycles up and down the sidewalk, and Noah pushes a push toy. I water the plants on my front porch. Noah tries to escape a few times and giggles when I chase him. After a while we go back in (I couldn't take the heat, though the kids didn't seem to mind it).
12:00--I fix lunch. Peanut butter & strawberry jam sandwiches on whole wheat, and carrot sticks. We eat (carrot sticks first, to make sure they get eaten). By this time A. has woken up and joined us. After lunch I have the kids help clear the floor/move chairs, and I vacuum the main floor. The kids think vacuuming is very fun and exciting. We put on naptime diapers, read a story, and have a glass of milk. K., as she does every day lately, asks me to tell her where milk comes from. I say "from cows" just to tease her, but she says, "No, tell me the story," so I tell her the long version. I put K. down for her nap, feed A. her lunch, put Noah down for his nap, and put A. down for her nap.
1:30-3:30--a relaxing few hours with just Elijah to keep me company. I clean up from lunch, have another cup of coffee, check e-mail, etc.
3:30-4:00--K. gets up. Noah wakes up. A. wakes up. We read/talk/play/the usual.
4:45--the girls' mom picks them up. Once they leave, I cook dinner (chicken dijon, brown rice, green beans). We eat. Noah decides that he really likes green beans (has strongly disliked them until today). I have a cup of green tea. The boys drink the last drops (our tradition). Supervise kids--Noah in the evenings gets mildly fussy and needs a little more attention.
6:45--we get ready for a walk (shoes, hats, etc.) We are headed to a local rails-to-trails conversion. To get there we have to cut through a few parking lots, cross a busy street, cut through a couple more parking lots, go over a pedestrian bridge, and cross another busy street. Finally we are there. The trail is straight and level (as you would expect, seeing as it was once a railroad). It's well lined with trees, which keep it cool even on hot days. The sun is low in the west and slanting through the trees--very pretty. We go about a mile down the trail, and see runners, bikers, dogs, rabbits, and birds. Elijah collects handfuls of pebbles and tosses them into a creek, which Noah finds very funny. Now it's time to head home. We stop at Dairy Queen and wait in line, only to realize that they don't take debit cards. Fortunately, my bank is right down the street. I feel funny walking up to the drive-through ATM with a stroller, but I get over it. We go back to Dairy Queen and get ice cream (note to self: in the future, one small cup/cone/blizzard will be more than enough for all three of us). Then it's back through some parking lots, across the strip of grass, and home again. The sun is slipping behind the trees and it is now 9:00p.
9:20--the boys are changed and ready for bed. I take them upstairs to put them to sleep.
10:00--Noah is FINALLY asleep. I come downstairs, eat leftovers, and type this blog entry.
Well, that's a typical day in brief. I did leave out some things, like the diapers I changed--seven (yes, seven!!!) poopy diapers. And of course I mediated squabbles, supervised potty trips, nursed my little one, answered dozens of random questions, fielded phone calls, etc. etc. :) So...now it's past my bedtime and I still need to shower. If you have actually read all this, I am quite impressed. :)