Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First Day Alone With the 4 Under 4, in Pictures

Note: Please imagine all of these events intermittently sprinkled with innumerable breast feedings, diaper changings, and umbilical cord alcohol swabbings throughout the day...

Yesterday was my first day alone as a mother of ten. Here's how it went...

The first thing I did was miss scripture study at 6:45 AM. John was out of town, so I did the night-time thing alone. The 3-year-old boy got up twice to go to the bathroom, and of course, he needed my help, although during waking hours he doesn't, Twin B woke up to have his covers put back on, and the newborn woke up too many times to count to nurse. That, in and of itself, would have been manageable, as I nurse him in bed with me and quickly go back to sleep, but having to get up with all of the other kids made for a busy night.

Although I did miss scripture study, I was pleased that the 5 oldest kids did it without me. I hope they learned something.

While the kids got ready for school, I worked in the kitchen and the newborn slept in the bassinet play yard we set up in the kitchen living area...

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He slept until it was time to take the little kids to school. I had always wondered how I would do the trip to the school. I had thought I would have to make two trips from the car back into the house after dropping the kids off, and that is just what I did. I went inside and again placed the newborn in his bassinet, then went back outside to the car to get the 3 three and under. Twin A didn't put up too much resistance...

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...but Twin B had a different idea. He would not come forward from the 3rd row of seats...

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...nor would he come forward from the fifth row of seats...

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I finally had to enter into the depths of the van and retrieve him manually.

Next, I changed the twins into clean diapers and clean sleepers. If you are wondering why I didn't get regular clothes on them, you can click HERE for an explanation.

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Twin A then spent some time making a track out of the wet wipe bags that were left out...

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...which was fine, because as you'll see later, these, along with the diapers, kept the twins occupied from some time.

Next we had snack time. I let the twins peel their own clementines, as this is one of their all-time favorite activities, thinking that if I placed napkins on the table, they would contain their peels to those...

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Didn't work...

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Next, I finished cleaning the breakfast mess while the newborn slept...

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...and the twins continued their wet wipe engineering feats...

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...and the 3-year-old continued with his diaper box engineering feats...

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The diaper boxes, however, did not keep the 3-year-old entertained for long, so he made the decision to get out hand-fulls of grated cheddar cheese from the fridge, which spilled all over the floor, which the twins found easier to lick up off the floor then pick up with their hands...

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(I promise I only let them do this for about 5 seconds longer than I would have to get this shot...)

I was quite upset with the 3-year-old boy for making this mess, so I told him he had to clean it up. You can see how effective he was...

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Twin B also thought he would help, showing equal effectiveness...

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After cleaning up the mess myself, I made time to put on my makeup...

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(Dang I have a lot of neck wrinkles and am starting to look like I'm 40.)


...and did a little bit of laundry, after which lunch time finally rolled around. I was blessed that someone from church brought over a pot of beans, and I sprinkled the grated cheese over it and served it along with tortilla wedges...

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After all of the kids went back to school, the 3-year-old boy talked to the newborn...

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...while I, again, cleaned the kitchen...

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Next came my favorite time of day. Nap time! After placing the 3-year-old boy and the twins in their cribs, reading them stories, getting them water and saying a prayer, it was time to place the newborn in his co-sleeper...

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...and eat lunch myself. For some reason, I fancied a bowl of oatmeal with lots of butter...


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After my oatmeal was finished, I took a nap for an hour and a half, as the newborn slept for two hours. Someone must have said a prayer for me because of the cosmic event of all 4 under 4 sleeping at the same for two hours.

When I awoke, I sent the 15-year-old girl to be the mother of the 9-year-old boy for his pack meeting/homemade kite-flying contest...

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...and while they were gone, the 18-year-old boy initiated a grilled chicken dinner....

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...during which time I helped the 13-year-old boy with math...

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When the kids returned home from the pack meeting, I had all of them eat dinner, reminded everyone to clean their assigned dinner chores, reminded them to do their pre-bedtime chores, watched part of Pirates of the Caribbean with them, said our prayers, again placed the 3 three and under in their cribs, read them stories, gave them water, said prayers, and turned off their lights.

Over all, disregarding experiencing the baby blues at the end of the day because my husband wasn't a good enough conversationalist on the phone at 11:00 at night just because he got up at 3:30 in the morning, it was a good day, and easier than I would have imagined it would be. Thanks for listening. :)



On 365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time today:
It's Cereal and Pipe Cleaner Time! Click the pic to see.




On life in mexico {and other places} a picture a day today:
{a bonfire}

30 comments:

Stephanie said...

I am tired just reading this. You give me strength to embrace my days and not just get through them.

*Jess* said...

wow. I mean, wow. I hope every day runs so smoothly for you!

More than Survival said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I didn't think anything could top the amazing after birth beauty post! If everyone could function like you there would be a lot more moms with ten kiddos!!
I'm happy with four...
Heather

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

AMAZING!!! You are such a wonderful mother... your kids are so lucky to have you.
P.S. I just told my husband today that I wish he would like talking on the phone with me... :)

singlemormonchick said...

you seriously hit the ground running. wow. you dont seem the type to rest on your laurels, but i hope you are feeling a little bit of self satisfaction. reach over your shoulder and pat your self on the back!

16 blessings'mom said...

Congrats on your new baby!! And I love your kitchen!! I have ONE stove like that....and I have been in your shoes...five of my daughters were born in five years...now they are 13, 13, 10, 9, and almost 8....one day at a time, one situation at a time....anyway, hello, and I love your blog, I will be back!

della

The Farmer's Wife said...

Impressive Jen! I think you have great kids!

Jessica said...

What a positive attitude to have in a trying/adjustment time. Thank you for sharing.
And don't you just love/hate RS new baby meals? I got some of the best/worst meals ever each time :)
I pray that the next few weeks go as smoothly as this one was pictured (or that the twins don't run to the back of the van every day at least!) as you figure out your new routine.
Oh, and it's wrong to let your kids lick the floor? Geez, learn something new every day ;) j/k
Have a great night!

Jennifer said...

Thankfully you got to take a nap today! I know how much they can help especially when you have a newborn home. Hopefully this is a good sign of how things will be with the new little guy!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Jess, about the RS meals, I have to say I love/love them! I think that is one of my favorite parts of having a baby! :) In fact, the 15-year-old girl, upon seeing yet another delicious meal brought in, said, "Mom, I love it when you have a baby." I think they just love the fact that they are going to get something different from the same old thing I make week after week!

thorney said...

I am tired and all I had to do was read about your day. I will keep in prayer for your coming days to run this smoothly. Thank you for sharin pictures of your beautiful family.

Now I am off to click the link to learn why you prefer sleepers for the twins.

Kathryn said...

WOW!! You are amazing!

My grandma had a similar situation. Her 4th son was born the day her oldest son turned 3, with a set of twin boys in the middle. She managed by lining them up in the sun with Guinness in their bottles. Now I understand why! Lol!

My 2nd child is 6 weeks old today and after reading your post, I am in awe! You rock!

Swedish Yogagirl said...

Wow, that's a big family! I hope it will go smoothly around everyday life for you.
Just found your blog by the way.
/Maria

~Amy~ said...

I am so glad you got a nap! That baby is adorable! His fat lil' cheeks!

Anonymous said...

Bad Bad husband for not being a good conversationalist!

Christy said...

I'm rooting for you getting lots more napping opportunities. I clearly remember feeling overwhelmed when each of my children were newborns; you are an amazing woman. I have a question for you. Do your high school children attend seminary and if so, when do they have it? We have early morning seminary here in CT and have to leave the house at 5:30 am. When I read that you hold family scripture study in the morning I thought I'd ask because I have been unable to find a time of day that works for all of the family since the seminary schedule started.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Christy, to answer your question, my kids are lucky enough to attend a Mormon school, which has seminary as part of their curriculum. Thus, no early-morning seminary for us! I did that for 3 years with my oldest and I certainly don't miss it.

As far as scripture study, we used to do it at night, but with the 3 three and under, we couldn't even hear ourselves think, much less read, so we changed the time to the morning, when they are still in bed. I feel bad because they aren't always able to be a part of it, but at least the older kids can get something out of it. I still haven't found the perfect way to do it yet either!

Jenny said...

Oh this was fabulous! You did great, and it was so cool to see just how you did it!!! Reminds me that I can do it again too- in just a few short weeks! Keep up the great work- it's so worthwhile ;-) BTW- your house is absolutely gorgeous!!! I'm not sure of the story behind why you all live in Mexico (just started reading your blog), but it's incredibly interesting!!!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Jenny, if you'd like to know how we ended up in Mexico, you can just click on the "About Us" tab right under my header at the top of my blog. Thank you for your compliments!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hey sexy anonymous man, you can make it up to me when you get back into town! ;)

Expat Mom said...

I had to laugh at the pictures of the boys with the wet wipes . . . my kids do the same thing with wet wipes, pasta boxes and diapers!

You certainly seem to have everything under control. I suppose after 10 kids, you kinda know how to make it work, but my goodness!I'm tired out with two and while I'm considering another, I'm not sure I can handle three!

Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Hi Jen :-D
So glad that you did not waste the 'spilled chesse', but instead was able to use it by topping the twins beans for lunch with it o;-p just kidding, chuckle, chuckle.

I remember having three kids in diapers ... so glad they out grow that!

Would it work better if your first trip into the house, was with the walkable three - and if you walk them in and put them directly into their highchairs, while you then go bring the baby in?

Your next posting was about trying to hide the weight you gained during this pregnancy. All I can say is RELAX!!! Yes, it's nice to look good. But the harder you try to, the more stressed you get about it. People are going to 'see' and think what they want to. Plain and simple. Now true, not putting forth any effort what-so-ever gives them way more to 'think' about a person, but I'm suggesting that you need to relax a little about you.

I know that I just set myself up to be lambasted by some. And Jen, I am not saying that how you look doesn't at all matter. I think I'd better just stop now.

Back to this posting -
I use to unplug the phone while attempting to get all of the kids down at once. And if I succeded, it stayed unplug for the duration! My mom use to get annoyed, "I tried calling you, but you must have unplugged your phone again. grumble, grumble". My MIL use to say that when I got all of the kids to sleep at the same time, that was the perfect time for me to really get some housework done. I choose the same thing you did! IF and when all of the kids were down, it was definetly time for me to recharge my own batteries!!! Whether I too actually slept or not. Just plain out and out resting was the best thing - for all of us! An over tired mommie can soon become a cranky mommie.

As I was reading through the other comments, I was going to reply to (Mr.) 'Anonymous' that I was sure he'd do better the next time. But then I read your reply to him and thought I should quickly throw up some warning flags!!! CAREFUL! Or you'll soon be serving him cake in bed again o;-p

One last thought, you need to buy a 'kids sized' broom. Actually two, and use duct tape to keep them together. One with the handle pointing up, and the other with the handle pointing down. ;-b

May God grant you the strength and endurance you need for today Jen!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, the twins eat breakfast before we take the little kids to school, so I guess I'll just keep doing it this way!

Kristin said...

Jenny, I am filled with dread as I think of the next 4 years of your life. I mean, excitement.

I think your older 5 are just so amazing - give them a hug for me.

And I'm impressed that you would clean your kitchen two times in one hour. Never, EVER happens at my house.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Kristy, I didn't clean my kitchen in one hour. I just cleaned it after breakfast and after lunch! Doesn't always happen, though!

trooppetrie said...

I hope the next night you got more sleep

panamamama said...

And I thought I was tired! You're amazing, glad you got a nap! Hope they keep that up for you. Mine quit napping WAY too early for my taste!

Jes said...

I'm tired just reading this! Thanks for sharing your day with us!!!

young mother hubbard said...

I loved this! You made me laugh out loud several times. I only have two under four but your little boys to just the same things as mine. I loved the wry humor you use. You are such a brave woman! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

katie said...

I have four under four just now, but no twins! 3,2,1 and 4 months. Loved hearing about your day. Mine always have a good deal of crying, unfortunately. And my older three are 7, 8,and 9... So yeah it gets hectic. Anyway, glad you made it through those crazy times. Gives us hope.