Right now as I'm typing, the 10-year-old boy is massaging my shoulders to earn money for snack time at school. In addition, he and the 8-year-old girl struck some kind of deal in which he has to give her half of the money he earns for massaging, which I don't understand, but I don't care, because it's all the same to me.
I started my day at 6:52, when the 15-year-old girl came to my room, shook my foot to wake me up, and told me it was time for scripture study. We read our usual two pages, then knelt in prayer to begin our day.
Over the next hour, I drove three times to the school to drop off various groups of kids, then drove by the 4-year-old's preschool teacher's house to leave the mid-morning snacks with her, as it was my week for snacks, but the 4-year-old boy was too sick to go to school.
I returned home after the morning driving and folded clothes, picked up my bedroom and the 4 four and under's room, then started on the kitchen. The twins and 4-year-old played upstairs in the playroom while I worked, and Baby Hippo jumped in his jumpy toy. I love his jumpy toy.
At exactly 9:30, it was movie time, so I hooked up the IPOD on which the 14-year-old boy had downloaded Toy Story 3, turned it on, gave the twins and 4-year-old warm blankets to cuddle, and pushed play. I then headed to my room, changed Baby Hippo, then nursed him to sleep as I read Nicholas Spark's "THE LUCKY ONE". I'm not sure how I feel about Nicholas Sparks. I love the plots of his novels, and the love stories he weaves, but there is usually pre-marital sex portrayed in a glorified manner, which bothers me. I don't know. I'll have to think more about whether or not I'll keep buying his novels.
After putting Baby Hippo to sleep, I continued doing housework, including cleaning out the storage area under the stairs that go up to our loft. It felt so, so good to do that. I threw away a lot of stuff, mostly mismatched socks. I always wonder where their other halves went. I suppose I'll find them one day, and then have to throw them away, too.
Baby Hippo's nap time was cut short by the screams of Twin A as he ran from the 4-year-old boy. I don't know what the 4-year-old boy was doing to him, but the fact that he caused Baby Hippo to wake up earned him 5 minutes in time out. I also said, "That's One" a lot of times. It's a new discipline technique I've learn from the book "1-2-3 MAGIC". This is a no lecture, no argue, no yelling, no spanking solution to common behavioral problems. I think it is going to change my life. I've already gone for like three days without yelling, and the arguing and reasoning I do with the older kids have been reduced to a fraction of what they were before. I'm loving it and would highly recommend the book.
Since the 4-year-old was sick, I let him decide what he'd like me to fix for lunch, he chose mac 'n' cheese, I made it, then loaded the 4 four and under into the van and drove to the elementary to pick up the other kids.
After everyone ate and cleaned up their kitchen parts, I drove them back to school, then got the twins and Baby Hippo ready for their afternoon naps. The twins only got out of their cribs once, and I only said, "That's One" once, then they went right to sleep. I again nursed Baby Hippo to sleep while reading Nicholas Sparks, laid him down, then put my dress clothes in the dryer in preparation for accompanying the high school choir. As they were drying, I continued to read, then got up to straighten my hair, put my clothes on, answered the door for my babysitter, then left. I always arrive ten minutes early so I can read a little more by myself, then I walked into the chaos that is 99 teenagers in one room. Chaotic as it is, I always have fun, and have never regretted my decision to give an hour every day to help these kids learn music.
After returning home, I had a great visit with a friend about her decision to begin the weight-loss program my sister and I have had such success with. It's so exciting embarking on this adventure with someone!
After she left, I realized that we had left all eight loaves of bread we bought from the states during our Thanksgiving trip there at my mother's house. (Enjoy, Mom!) Since it was the 14-year-old boy's turn to help with dinner, I asked him to make four loaves of bread, but he said that he would take care of Baby Hippo if I did it. I always agree to it when they offer to take care of the baby because it's nice for me to have a break from carrying the 23-pound hunk, and whatever chores need to get done get done much faster. See, we both win.
After making the bread, the 14-year-old boy made grilled cheese sandwiches with it, warmed up a can of green beans, and mixed together pineapple juice and mineral water for a very refreshing drink.
After the kids cleaned up, I took them to the high school to watch the varsity basketball game, then came home to hang with the 4 four and under again. The 4-year-old found a movie to watch, so while I swept the kitchen again, the 4 four and under sat with blankets and expressed sadness when the baby dinosaur started crying for some reason. It's hilarious watching the twins watch TV because they both get the same expressions on their faces at the same time.
I then went to give Baby Hippo a bath and continuously wondered if experts are certain that breastfed infants can't become obese. Even so, his man boobs are so, so cute.
When he got tired of splashing in the tub, I toweled him off, lotioned him up, dressed him in a fleece sleeper, then nursed him to sleep again while reading my novel.
Once he was settled, I hung out with the 3 little boys in the kitchen, served them more pineapple drink, acted thrilled when they purposely got their motorcyles stuck in Baby Hippo's jumpy toy, then released them, then changed their diapers and got them ready for bed. Just as we started towards their bedroom, the 4 big kids came home, so we said our prayers together, then I resumed our trip to the bedroom for bedtime. This time the twins didn't get out of bed even once, so now I think that "1-2-3 MAGIC" is actually working.
After checking on them a few times, I settled on the couch in the kitchen for my massages, which are still going on. I know I should send the kids to bed, but I'm really liking the massages and listening to the kids talk about the universe, and about atoms, and about how it's too sad that Grandma won't be coming to Utah with us for Christmas.
Seven more minutes of massage, then I'll send them to bed.
Oh, and P.S. I underwent a root canal yesterday, and it doesn't hurt a bit today. Sometimes the stars align just right and things work out perfectly.
Thanks for listening. :)
P.S. My sister and I are finally getting skinnier!
See how we're doing it HERE! :)
See how we're doing it HERE! :)