8:20: I unload the dishwasher and task the kids with making their beds.
8:35: Just as I finish cleaning up the kitchen, I spot a grapefruit I had peeled on the counter, but which I forgot to juice. I pull the juicer back out so I can juice my one sole grapefruit. When I turn to put the now dirty again juicer in the sink, Henry climbs up on a chair and pulls down my cup of grapefruit juice.
8:40: Break up a fight between William and Gracie. Tell them to hug and lay out rules of the day. No Hitting. No screaming. Use only NICE words. Keep our hands to ourselves. Do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. The kids hug and make up.
8:42: Break up a fight between William and Elizabeth.
8:50: Start laundry.
8:52: Take a quick glance around the house for the baby. Don't see him but spot his discarded pajamas and diaper. Walk to the kitchen and notice the back sliding door is open. He has climbed to the top of the play fort and is attempting to come down the slide.
In the nude.
8:55: The rest of the kids are outside playing. For the next 45 minutes they run in to the house at various times to change their clothes. I count at least three outfit changes for William, two for Elizabeth, one for Gracie. I use the time to run around and pick up various toys and play clothes that have been discarded from earlier in the day. I have absolutely no idea what they are wearing or why William has a skirt over his head and around his waist. I just smile and nod.
9:16: I wrestle Henry down and get him dressed.
9:18: Everyone is back in the house and they are in full wrecking crew mode. I am trying desperately to stay focused on one task at hand and completing that task before moving on to something else because there is something to do everywhere I look. I try to channel the kids energy by having them play a game of "trick or treat" and pick up all the blocks that have been dropped at random places throughout the house.
(Elizabeth is now wearing the double skirt get-up.)
Then, I have William and Gracie play "hot or cold" to find all of the books that have migrated far from the bookshelves while I have Elizabeth vacuum.
10:04: The kids inform me that they are hungry and want pizza. I tell them that this is what happens when they wake up and ambush the cabinets before mommy and daddy have a chance to realize the sun is up and make them a proper breakfast. I pour them all bowls of Life cereal, make cinnamon toast and slice up some bananas.
10:12: I eat a bowl of cereal and check my work e-mail to make sure that there is nothing critical I need to respond to. Then we play the name that "shape, color and letter" game. (We just made it up this morning.)
10:35: Everyone is finished and wants to be excused. They run back outside and play while I clean up the kitchen. Again. But whose counting?
(The triplets are now all wearing skirts, sans shirts.)
10:45: I head outside with two baskets full of laundry and set about folding it while the kids are running around and playing. I roll up the pants on Henry's Buzz Lightyear costume no less than 10 times. Carolyn comes in to the house with me and washes the mirrors on our closet doors while I put away all the laundry.
11:15: With their crazy energy stores tapped, Carolyn settles down at the table with her Maze book. William picks up a Magic School Bus book and Elizabeth plays quietly with her dolls.
11:30: I nurse Henry for five minutes and put him down for a nap.
11:37: We pull out paper, scissors, glue, cotton balls and various geometric shapes for tracing. We're going to construct something. What, I don't know.
11:45: Check work e-mail again. Answer a call.
12:14: Finish updating the blog before sitting down with the kids to make flowers out of construction paper.