Monday, July 27, 2009

Life from the Shoe, Day 1

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.

OK, so I live in a house (anyone wanna buy it?), but I am old (at least I often feel that way), and I have a lot of children for the next two days. We added two sweet, beautiful little girls to our fold last night--brought them home from volleyball and will have them here for a couple of days while their Mama is on a missions trip.

So I thought I would do something a little different today and get some live updates recorded as the day unfolds. Unlike the old lady in the shoe, I think I do know what to do. I have a lot of activities planned anyway...

10:30 PM
I have to say, one thing they didn't train me to do in college is console homesick children. Mostly because in the high school classroom, you sure hope you don't have any homesick kids. Although sometimes you wish that was what was causing the crying...and that the tears weren't yours.

Anyway, Alex stepped up in a big way. I had two very homesick little girls this evening, and Alex calmed them down by telling them stories. I think I have to admit she's better with kids than I! My idea was to let them talk to their Daddy, which just proved to make it worse. At any rate, the two girls are now settled down with Alex in the office. Well, maybe not settled down completely yet, but getting there. So much for sleeping in separate rooms AND for getting adequate sleep tonight. I hope they're able to sleep in a bit.

My husband advised me to turn in myself, but since my bed is full of laundry--AGAIN--well...if you need me, I'll be folding laundry--AGAIN.

8:48 PM
Ah, the sound of loud, stomping footsteps above. The tribe is heading in the right direction, getting ready for bed. Ordinarily, my children are getting ready for bed an hour ago, but I decided to be lenient tonight, especially because an hour ago, one of our little guests asked, "Can we go outside now?" It's funny how different every family is. I am very protective of my time-after-the-children-bed-down because it's my only Me Time, and tonight I have a lot to do...laundry to fold, a class syllabus to create for Monday's meeting, a paper to review for a conference, and a house to clean up a little. I won't spend too much time cleaning because it will just get undone tomorrow. Right now it looks like a bead factory threw up on my dining room table. Not the kind of mess I enjoy cleaning up. Since the children made it, they shall clean it up. But I'll let them create a few more masterpieces first.

Dinner was an ordeal tonight. Not anyone's fault but my own. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm in awe of all of those women who, daily, put on a spread for their families. I suppose I'm in awe of my husband as well for doing just that; I guess I've grown accustomed to it (ie: take it for granted). When Mark travels, I normally just do something simple...translation: mac & cheese or cereal for dinner ("Kids, guess what? We get to have breakfast for dinner! How cool is that?!) But these kids eat much healthier (translation: their mom is not lazy), so I've been trying to get full meals cranked out for them. Tonight was lasagna and zucchini. Everything was delicious, but it was an hour late getting to the table. So I guess the skills are there; my timing's just way off.

I found out tonight I will have to do a couple more of these Complete Meals because the two girls will be spending one more night with us. Not complaining, just racking my brain for another meal to throw on the menu. And some more activities to plan because they tore right through the friendship bracelet kit. Perhaps I should have them compile a list of friends (many friends) for whom to make a bracelet.

Well, I've spared them an extra half hour. Lights out at 9:30, and all must retire to his/her own room. We aren't doing the go-upstairs-every-5-minutes-to-tell-them-to-be-quiet routine tonight. Although climbing stairs ups my step count on the pedometer, and since I didn't have time to work out today...

4:10 PM
Did the Play-Doh thing. Still picking pieces of it out of the carpet and scraping it off the tile. Then we went o Wal-Mart by request of 4 little girls who wanted to make friendship bracelets. Not that I'm spoiling them or anything, but I can't deny them something that has the word "friendship" in it. And, while I could have sorted through and untangled mounds of embroidery thread left over from finished and unfinished cross stitch projects, I'm all for convenience, so a kit it was.

After I was asked by the kind man in the pet department (on account of the fact that we had to go see the fish), "Are they ALL yours?", Alex said, "I KNEW someone would ask us that." Incidentally, the fish man said he was a little puzzled about how the two blonde ones fit in.

And now we are swimming. I use the term "we" loosely since, in fact, I have assumed my Lifeguard position from the patio table. Which sits in the shade under the patio fan. It also gives me a good vantage point for photographing our two visitors. I've already posted some pictures on Facebook. I like the make sure the parents know their children are still alive and kicking. Audrey is co-lifeguarding. Today she prefers coloring over swimming. She's also grumpy. Not a surprise since she didn't get enough sleep last night. Tonight she sleeps in her own bed.

12:33 PM
Lunch is almost ready. Hot dogs cookin', broccoli steamin'. Yeah, I said broccoli. No, I don't have a kid who will eat it, but these little angels I'm caring for eat anything, especially healthy things. Maybe they'll rub off on my kids!

11:49 AM
So the kids are watching a movie now. Yes, I'm using the big screen as a babysitter. You have a problem with that? It's just that I need to make lunch. And clean up. And do laundry. And clean up. Also, my houseplant decided to vomit sap all over the windowsill and carpet. Apparently it's been doing this for awhile and I hadn't noticed. Because I've been such a good housekeeper and all. So there is an inch of sticky to clean from the windowsill and scrub from the carpet. The plant has been banished to the Out-of-Doors.

10:41 AM
Finally got that shower in. And not for lack of trying before this late hour. Wasn't the 6 kids that kept me, however, it was the phone calls. I rarely get phone calls from anyone besides my husband. I'm not a big fan of the phone. Love email and Facebook but not the phone. Probably those years of telemarketing in college. Not the mention the fact that whenever I get on the phone 4 little people (in this case, 6 little people) either begin killing each other or suddenly have dire need of something. Anyway, business phone calls (listen to me sounding all professional-like): set up a phone conference to go over a paper with one of my Write4Homeschool students and set up a teacher planning meeting for my Writing Workshop at Bright Futures Academy.

Seems as though this meeting shall take place at the same time as I had planned to conduct my first day of school here at the Homefront Academy. But I'm nothing if I'm not flexible. OK, maybe I'm nothing. I'm working on it. And, after all, one of the great benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it affords, right? So no sweat. We'll work with it. I'm excited about the meeting. I'm back down to teaching just the high schoolers, no middle schoolers, which makes me happy...smaller group, and I love high schoolers.

And back to my shoe...I think the interest in paper dolls has waned. I have yet to go into the kitchen to survey the damage, but I hear the Wii, so I'm fairly certain all of those poor flat dollies have been abandoned, lying in their beds of scraps.

9:24 AM
Breakfast - Check (fruit and homemade waffles).
Breakfast clean-up - Check.

Shower - Nope, not yet. Generally I try to get in and out of the shower before the husband leaves. You know, so I look more like a fairy princess than the Wicked Witch of the East, but this morning I'm afraid I was erring more on the side of the WWE than the fairy princess.

In a moment, I will be getting the next activity ready for them. My girls have been into paper dolls lately, and hopefully the other two girls will share the enthusiasm. When I told Audrey what I was getting ready to do, she said, "You have to print the clothes out from!" Actually, I print them out from Making Friends, but what a different childhood my children are living from mine where the World Wide Web could have only been the product of a nightmare about very large spiders.

7:30 AM

I was awakened at the unearthly hour of 7:15 by loud thumps from the room above mine. Someone using the theater chairs in the media room/office as a jungle gym. That someone being my eldest daughter who was the last to go to sleep last night. All 4 girls began in the same room, but then she began to complain that the "little ones" were keeping her awake. We moved her into the office where a mattress still remains from the kids' movie night the other night. So why in the world was she not sleeping at 7:15? Not that 7:15 is really that unheard of; it's just that it's been a lazy summer of sleeping in until 9:00 (me) while the children fend for themselves at breakfast. In other words, 7:15 is really just an unearthly hour to me.

Right now the "babies" are still sleeping, and the older 4 are playing "Risk". I don't think a one of them actually knows how to play "Risk", but at least they are being quiet. Nothing worse than grumpy babies, so let them sleep!


CrossView said...

Wow! A house full. But you kind of had that already. LOL!

The kids will be good and tired when this is all over. Hopefully, they'll be so busy entertaining themselves that you may find it's actually easier on you than them.
Hey! I said, "hopefully". ;o)

Arby said...

I'll be right over with the kids. Can you keep them until, oh, Thursday?

Khakismum said...

Oh poor you! While you are doing a great thing, it will totally throw off your groove. Well, at least it always threw mine off. Me, a mom of an only, would take in 2 or 3 at a time for various friends for multiple days... it usually took me a week to recover! LOL I feel your pain.


dclouser said...

Maybe the other mom will return the favor and take all 4 of yours sometime! Hey, if they learn to eat veggies out of this, it will be worth it, right? Can't wait to hear about your adventures at the high school.