Monday, March 28, 2011

Back To Reality

Today was the first day back to school after a relatively uneventful spring break.  The events of today more than made up for any boring spells we may have experienced last week.

We had to wake all four of our kids up from a dead sleep to get up for school.
Only two of them had time to shower, but at least they all ate breakfast.
I heard the bus coming down the hill while Alli was putting on her shoes.  Grant and Katie were at the corner, halfway between our house and the bus stop, and started frantically yelling, “What do we do Mom?”  They bobble-headed back and forth between the stop and Alli, who was trying to cram her feet in her shoes as fast as possible.  I yelled, “Run to the bus and tell the driver Alli’s coming.” Threw her sweatshirt and her snack into her backpack while she crammed her feet into her sneakers and sprinted in the direction of the bus stop.  As she tore down the hill, I saw another kid running down the street, parenting trailing with school paraphernalia.  It made me feel so much better when his mom posted on FB that he still had peanut butter on his face and that the bus was two minutes early.
Went to the gym with Paige who was adamant that she did NOT want to go the gym.  She also was less than thrilled when I told her she could not bring her porcelain doll to the gym to get shattered by the other younger kids.
Survived the gym and went to Target because the bike we just bought four days ago for Alli’s birthday is now on sale for $13 less than what we paid.
Forced myself and Paige to go buy birthday presents for five of my nieces and nephews.  Of these five birthdays, two have already passed and one is in two days so my gift won’t arrive in time.  It is the thought that counts, right?
Went to REI to exchange some socks.  For the price paid, they should have lasted an eternity, but within three months, they had holes.  The staff at REI is very thorough and helpful and SLOW.  I was beginning to think flying back to Denver to return them myself would have been a faster process.
While I was in REI (which is 25 minutes without traffic from Alli’s school), I remembered that I needed to stop at the grocery store to buy cookies for the co-birthday party Alli was sharing with her friend at school at 2:30 p.m.  I made this mental discovery at 2:05 p.m.
The gas light in my van had been on all afternoon.  My plan had been to get gas after REI, which is about 15 miles from Alli’s school.  When I started the van at REI my gas light said, “16 miles to empty.”  We gambled.
Got stuck behind a big truck hauling hay and going ten miles per hour under the posted speed limit.  Distance to empty is dropping steadily and my palms are starting to sweat.
Made a grocery store pit stop to buy aforementioned cookies.  Got the chattiest cashier this side of the Mississippi who somehow missed the fact that we were in a hurry, but made it to school with enough time to feed the kids cookies and juice boxes before school got out. 
It was my day to drive for water polo car pool and I filled every seat belt in the van with a child.  Distance to empty was down to four miles.  The pool is one mile.  The church where Katie and Alli needed to go for Bible study was an additional mile.  The closest gas station was 1.5 miles farther.  We gambled.
Distance to empty changed to zero before I made it to the church, then flickered up to 2 miles, then back to zero.  We coasted into the gas station on fumes.  Thank you Jesus!
We had a fifteen-minute turnaround time from the end of Bible study and water polo to get Katie and Alli changed into softball clothes for their first day of practice and eat dinner.  I fed the kids PB&J in the car.
Softball was supposed to start with a skills clinic that had been rescheduled from spring break.  We were two minutes late to the clinic and my kids were covered in PB&J, but we were there.  However, no other 6-9 year olds were there because the clinic got cancelled at the last minute and we didn’t get that piece of information.  Two dejected little players.  One very irritated momma.
Found out through a follow-up conversation with the softball coach that practices are NOT at the time marketed in the brochure, but instead fall smack dab in the middle of water polo pickup and Bible study.  I still don’t know how everyone is going to get where they need to be at the proper time and still fulfill their obligations, but solving that mystery can wait until tomorrow.  
Started homework at 6:15 p.m.  Alli, who isn’t known to clean out her backpack very regularly, sheepishly brought me some folded construction paper.  Attached to it was a note detailing a very large and labor-intensive project that she was supposed to have worked on over spring break.  The fill-in-the-blank box at the bottom of the sheet said, “Alyssa’s project is due on March 28th and her oral presentation is on March 30th.”  A quick calendar check confirmed that today was indeed March 28th and Alli’s yet-to-be-started project was already late.  
We began at 6:30 and finished three hours later.  During this process, I lost my temper on more than one occasion and heard myself saying, “Alli, it was wrong of me to get angry and raise my voice at you.  Will you please forgive me?  Will you please PUT THAT DOWN!!!”  Repeat apology.    
Also found in Alli’s backpack was a reminder for the music program she participated in ten days ago and a 1st grade weekly update informing parents that one of her classmates was moving and his last day was the day of the music program.  Would have been nice to say goodbye.

Back to life – back to reality.  And now I’ve got you humming…


  1. WOW. Wow. What a crazy day you had. Good job surviving :). Let's hope the rest of the week goes smoother for you. Think about all that time during the day that goes to the kids - you are a great momma.

  2. Thanks for reading my blog. We miss you guys too. I'm so thankful to have 4 kids. I used to look at your family and wish we could someday be there. The baby crying doesn't bother me like it used to with Addy. Being a mother is way more fun now b/c I know how quick they grow up. Your kids are so big! What beautiful girls you have. I always look at your facebook pictures. It must be nice to have so many beautiful places to explore. I saw you are on steering at MOPS. I'm a contact mom this year and love it. Keep in touch. ~Jessie

  3. Wow. You made it! I'm glad I'm not the only one pushing the gas tank! It sounds like you'll have to start a daily backpack emptying routine!

  4. So this is what we have to look forward to when the kids get older. WOW - I am amazed that you can hold it together with four kids;) It's hard enough with the two I have. Nice work mama!

  5. My palms are sweaty.

    That is just TOO much for one tiny day!!