Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Fairly Typical Tuesday

This is from a few weeks back - but it's still worth posting since it's still totally true of our Tuesdays!

Today Jared had to leave extra early to take a man from our church in for surgery since he and his wife don't drive and he was scared and really wanted Jared to take him. So I was in charge of getting the kids up - usually Jared's job since he's a natural early-riser (hard for me to imagine just naturally waking up early and feeling like getting right up and getting going like Jared does!). I guess I turned off my alarm when it went off because next thing I knew, it was 6:55 and we are supposed to be at the table, ready for scriptures and breakfast by 7. Oops.

I got everyone up, told them to throw on the clothes I'd luckily remembered to set out for everyone the night before while I threw on my workout clothes. Miracle of miracles, for once, Ashton listened to my plea to please take a 10-minute instead of a 30-minute shower! We all scrambled a bit but managed to still fit in scriptures and breakfast . The kid we drive to school was a few minutes late so it didn't really matter that we were a few minutes late because we would have had to wait for him anyway. And it seemed like maybe the kids actually listened to my little lecture last night about how they needed to get their backpacks together and get their socks and shoes on BEFORE coming downstairs for breakfast so they don't have to go back upstairs again and again after breakfast when we're supposed to be heading out the door. I had a couple kids ask if they could pack a lunch since what was on the lunch menu didn't look good to them. But I stood my ground. If they don't have a lunch packed up before breakfast, they'll just have to eat school lunch. So despite our late start, we amazingly made it to school pretty much on time!

I came home, got myself some breakfast and watched a TED talk I've been meaning to watch about a book that I've been meaning to read - Lean In (here it is - very interesting food for thought). I've been determined to watch one of these talks or a conference talk at least 3x a week while I actually sit down and eat breakfast. It only takes about 10 minutes and feels so good to fuel my brain and body a bit before launching into the rest of my day. (I've pinned some of my favorites here.)

When the talk was done, I meant to go running and take a shower but I got sucked into replying to emails and suddenly it was time to get on the phone with April and make two podcasts, then put together the landing pages for the podcasts. Our podcasts have become really popular lately and they're pretty quick and fun to make plus April and Eric (Power of Moms partners) just went to a conference and learned all about how to really promote our podcasts so that's a big focus (along with tons of other exciting things - just need to figure out how to prioritize when the list is long and rich and full of great things but there are only so many hours in the day). Here's a link to the podcasts in case you want to check them out.

I finally squeezed in a pretty good workout and a super fast shower before dashing off to pick up the kids.

I was late - but I'm always a bit late - on purpose. If I go right on time, the school is a zoo with kids and cars all over the place and it takes forever to pick up the kids. If I get there about 10-15 minutes after school lets out, the kids have time to get to this place across the street from the school where there's way less traffic and the pick up is easier. Plus I have 10 more minutes to finish things before I have to head out the door and pick them up.

The twins were reading books up in a tree when I got there to pick them up. Since the weather's been nicer, this is pretty common. Pretty cute.

As is pretty common, the kids had a bit of a scuffle over who should sit where in the car when I picked them up but they worked it out pretty quickly without too many mean words. Then as we drove home, everyone tried to tell me things all at once, me feeling like a traffic cop as I tried to make some semblance of order out of the conversation.  "Isaac, wait for Oliver to finish what he's saying." "OK, Isaac, now Oliver is done, what did you want to say?" "Yes, Silas, I know you have scouts tonight." Now Eliza, what was that you were trying to say earlier when Silas interrupted you?" "Ashton, it's OK if Isaac is singing - remember we talked about this? You have to give it at least 15 seconds before you can say anything he's doing is 'annoying' and at least give him a chance to stop on his own. You're constantly calling everyone else annoying which ends up being far more annoying than whatever anyone else is doing." "Yes, I know you need a poster board, I've got it on my list and I'll buy it tomorrow."

At home, there was the typical scramble and organized chaos of after school snacks and helping with homework and fielding requests for mutually exclusive things simultaneously ("Can so and so play?" "Can you help me with my homework?" "Can I have some cookies?" "I need you to sign this paper." "Guess what happened today..." "Isaac won't leave me alone so I can't concentrate on my homework!" "Can we turn on some music?" "WHY do I always have to practice?" "What are we having for dinner?").

Then dinner has to be ready by 5:30 sharp on Tuesday night or the whole evening sort of collapses like a row of dominoes. I feed the kids at 5:30, get the twins to basketball practice by 6 (on the other side of town so we're always just a bit late I'm afraid - oh well - they're just warming up at the beginning...), reply to emails and catch up on a couple phone calls while staying at their practice (since it's far away and in the middle of nowhere, just waiting seems to work best), call Eliza at 6:20 to remind her that it's time to walk to dance class (luckily that's right down the street), grab the twins as soon as they finish practice and rush to the church for scouts, calling Jared on the way to make sure he's been able to get home, get the dinner I left for him on the stove, and get the big boys to their Young Men's activity that starts at 7 (while getting himself to his bishopric meeting that also starts at 7), get the twins to scouts by 7:15 (just 15 minutes late - could be worse!), check to see that all is going well at scouts (I'm the primary counselor over scouts), then hurry home to pick up Eliza from dance at 7:30 before going back to the church to pick up the twins when their scouts ends at 8:00 (sometimes a kind neighbor brings them home and it's nice to stay home and have a little time with just me and Eliza before the boys come home). Then sometimes I have to go pick up the big boys after Young Men's between 8:30 and 9 but since that is really the time when I need to be putting the twins and Eliza to bed, the boys' youth leaders have been great about driving them home lately and I so appreciate that.

One Tuesday a month, I have a scout committee meeting at 8, right when scouts ends. That adds another special layer of business to the evening.

Another Tuesday a month, I have my Learning Circle meeting at 8:30 so I hurry to get the kids to bed and take off for a very fun evening with great friends, learning and laughing together. But lately, I've had to miss those meetings more often than not because Tuesdays are just so darn crazy!

For the past three years or so, inevitably, when someone tells me about a new activity we need to attend, it seems to be on a Tuesday night. It's almost comical how often it turns out this way. Isaac's cross country meets were on Tuesday afternoons all fall. Ashton had volleyball games on Tuesdays. Isaac had soccer games on Tuesdays. Then when those seasons were over, Eliza had basketball games on Tuesdays. When that was over, the twins started up their basketball practices on Tuesdays. And I've had to miss almost all of the PTA meetings that are held on Tuesdays - I've proved to be a pretty flaky board member this year!

Maybe some day Tuesdays will be less full. But for now, we're sort of making it work. And as long as I expect a little lateness and get that dinner on the table by 5:30, most things happen in a sort of timely way. I fall into bed Tuesday nights so glad to have made it through another Tuesday - and, on a good Tuesday, so grateful for all the people I love and worthy activities we're involved with - even though they add up to some craziness sometimes.


Allison said...

Oh man, I just have an 18 month old and a baby in my belly right now, and sometimes that seems all I can bear. The carpool/activity filled days seem so crazy!

Where can we listen to your podcasts? Can they be downloaded from iTunes?

Saren Loosli said...

Yes, Allison, you can get all our podcasts at iTunes (Power of Moms Radio) or you can see them all on our website here: http://powerofmoms.com/category/power-of-moms-radio/

Thanks for reading. And don't worry, your capacity to handle chaos increases as the chaos increases!

Tara said...

I love seeing little peeks into another mom's day - thanks for sharing! I've pinned all the podcasts for easy reference this week! I love the idea of listening to one during breakfast.

Eyrealm said...

Love knowing all this, even though I sort of knew, the details are entertaining. De ja vu!

Anonymous said...

Why do people insist on cramming in so many extra activities for their kids? Kids need a little down time too, you know. Chill.

kms said...

She has five kids, that was one night of the week. One kid didn't go to five activities. Basketball isn't a 12 month activity.

One thing I don't understand is why there is so much time spent at church three hours on Sunday. A few hours during the week for each kid and not on the same day. And then add five hours during high school for seminary. Can't seminary or the evening activity be done on Sunday? What do you spend three hours doing? Seems there is two hour period not really well spent.

Saren Loosli said...

We actually choose to do WAY less extracurricular activities than most families. The kids each pick one sport and the season for the sport they pick just goes for a couple months. They can play an instrument if they want and so far only Eliza has decided to take music lessons. Eliza saved up her own money to take dance lessons and loves her dance class with all her heart - and it's super easy since it's right down the street. Then the boys have Scouts for an hour on Tuesday evenings and Eliza has Activity Days (sort of like girl scouts) every other Wednesday afternoon. It just oddly turned out that lots of things ended up on Tuesday nights. And when you have five kids, even if everyone is only doing one or two things, there's a fair amount of running around. That's fine with me. I signed up for this. I just wish the things the kids really want to do and really need to do wouldn't keep randomly being on Tuesdays!

Saren Loosli said...

to kms: Thanks for your question. I totally get that 3 hours of church sounds like a lot to many people. But for people who believe in making Sunday a day of worship, three hours is a pretty small portion of the 24 hours of Sunday. And when you grow up with 3 hours of church every Sunday, it just feels nice and normal. We spend one hour in "Sacrament Meeting" where everyone meets together and hears talks from members of the congregation as well as taking the sacrament. We then go to Sunday School for an hour where we study the scriptures in a discussion setting. Then we have meetings were the men, women, youth and children have their separate meetings. All three meetings work very nicely together so that we get a good mix of studying scriptures, learning from each other, talking about specific topics, etc.

I love that the youth have their own meeting on a weeknight so that they can enjoy good times in a positive peer setting and work together on various goals as well as do community service. Kids in the area where I live desperately need more constructive positive group activities in their lives and the Young Men/Young Women activities on Tuesday nights involve not only members of our church but also many of their friends who are drawn to the positive and fun activities and leaders.

As far as kids 14-18 taking a special class each day at school or before school called Seminary, if you really believe your religion is a central part of your life, you want and need to understand it on a fairly deep level. To help your kids get to that level of understanding, where they're not just doing church stuff because you tell them they're supposed to and where they have their own beliefs, you need to put gospel study right alongside the learning of math and science and language arts in your kids' lives.

kms said...

I had religion ed in a parochial school daily from 2nd through 12th grade. Before 2nd it was about an hour and half on Saturday and would have continued like that until high school if I stayed in public school. But it was an hour of worship on Sunday and no further obligations. I do get wanted it studied and studied separate from parents. Activities would be less frequent. We had retreats. The time commitment is overwhelming to those who aren't lds.

Having read your blog for a while I find your kids are often doing creative things with their time. Instead of contracting out camp year after year they create their own camp and seek out other kids to do it with. Your kids are not going to suddenly get into mischief when they have free time cause they don't know how to entertain themselves. They will go for a bike ride, run, create something, maybe dig a fort in the backyard. You have chunks of the year you are traveling to see family where an activities would have to be halted for a season.

Anonymous said...

Saren, it just sounds so much running around - I don't see how you keep it all together!

Hilary said...

I got "Lean in" free from the library. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
Some of it I really agreed with.

Lori said...

I'm glad I read this today. I have 5 kids ranging from age 4 to 16. There are definitely crazy times where I feel like they all need me at once - right after school especially! Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts. I can relate!


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