Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday is NOT a Fun Day

Yesterday was one of those days when I probably should have just gotten back into bed as soon as I got up in the morning...and I totally would have, if that had been an option.  I had grand plans to get a lot accomplished--namely, uncovering the house because it looks like a Tazmanian Devil has swirled his way through the living room and kitchen.  Mondays are my days for de-cluttering, according to the Cleaning Schedule, but there's so much clutter built up from the weekend that I wasn't sure I could accomplish that goal and the 50 other things that needed to get done.  I started with getting laundry in the washing machine (after sending Abby out the door in the rain with Dan to catch the bus), and I was feeling decent about getting that chore started early so that I could focus on clearing out the junk all over the floor and counters from the weekend.  We had a busy, fun weekend...which was great, but come Monday morning, the boys and I were definitely fun-ed out--aka, exhausted and cranky.  They were hitting and screaming at each other, and not sharing more than usual--and I was barely awake, on a mission to get my stuff done, and not wanting to deal with their stuff.  It was ugly--I wasn't getting much done because I was putting out fires between them every five seconds (and dust busting cereal off the floor...grrr...), and there was lots of yelling out of all three of us.

not happening yesterday...

I managed to get lunch on the table at a decent, early time--which is totally crucial for Monday success since Abby has dance class and I need Alex up from his nap early in order to get her to class on time.  Dan even came home at the tail end of lunch and helped me corral the boys into their rooms for nap and quiet time.  Of course, getting lunch on the table at a decent time does not ensure getting Alex down for his nap at a decent time--it usually helps, but he managed to mess up the timeframe yesterday by refusing to eat his lunch (and just generally being crazy slow about all of it) and also by taking forever in the bathroom before nap.  It was after 1pm when I got him down, which is tight when I'm trying to get out the door for dance class by 3:45pm.  Dan was still here, so he and I pow-wowed about the plan for the afternoon--he said he could actually get Abby at 3:50pm, drive her to dance class, and pick her up for me so that I wouldn't have to drag everyone out in the rain...perfect!  Dan went back to work, and I had about 2 hours to get my stuff done.  First on my list was more laundry (had to get delicates out of the dryer...my least favorite part of the laundry process, other than folding!), and then my stomach was growling, so I made myself some lunch and sat down for a few minutes.  I had just finished eating when Jake called because he needed to go to the bathroom--and while I was upstairs with him, I heard my alarm go off on my phone indicating that Abby's bus would be arriving soon.  I dismissed the alarm when I came back downstairs--I had asked her to walk home from the bus stop since I knew Alex would be sleeping (Mondays are her early-out day, so it always conflicts with naptime), so I had some extra time to get a few more things done before I stood outside and watched her bus drop her.  I always watch her get off the bus and walk all the way home--it just gives me peace of mind to know that she's in my sight the whole way.

My mom called to talk to me about stuff for Abby's upcoming birthday party--she was at the store and had some questions about what I needed her to pick up for me.  I chatted with her while pulling up the recipe for the crock pot meal I was fixing for dinner (Sesame Ginger Chicken), and started thinking about the prep for getting the pot going--it was already almost 2pm!  I was off the phone and prepping food stuff for dinner when I heard a noise at our front door--the mail slot, which I thought was odd, because the mail had already come for the day.  I panicked that somehow Jake had gotten out of his room and was attempting an escape out the front door--I was on my way to investigate when I heard a little knock on the front door and I realized my failure...  Abby was at the front door, which was locked, after having walked home unsupervised from the bus!  I felt awful--I've never done that before, and with the creepy stuff happening at her school two weeks ago, I totally should have been more vigilant with my sweet girl.  I can't believe I got wrapped up in other stuff and forgot one of my most important duties of the day!  Ugh.  I just felt awful.  She came in and we chatted about her day at school, and then she had a snack and read to me from her chapter book while I again attempted to get something in the crock pot.  I had the chicken prepped with carrots in the pot, and turned it on shortly after 2:30pm...and then I perused the rest of the recipe.  Crap--it called for cooking it on high for an hour, then switching the pot down to low for 2+ more hours...before draining the liquid, adding veggies, and cooking for another 45 minutes or so.  The draining and whatnot would have to happen around 5:30pm--smack in the middle of my step class.  Obviously this is not a good meal to make on a night when I have an exercise class--because either Dan has to handle those last steps (draining and adding all the veggies), or we eat really late.  Neither option is great.  This week is my last week for the aerobic program I've been doing here, because the 10-week session is coming to an end, and I'm fairly certain I'm not signing up for the next session because of Dan's changing work schedule.  I called Dan at work, totally frustrated with myself for the poor planning, and hashed out a new plan for our evening:  he would come home at 3:50pm, at which time I would take Abby to dance class and then head over to the pool to swim laps for about 45 minutes, before running back over to the dance studio and picking Abby up at the end of her class.  Then I would be home around 5:15pm, and be able to handle the last few steps of the dinner prep so that we could eat around 6pm.  I was okay with skipping my final step class--a little bummed about it, but at least I was replacing it with some exercise, and it was what worked for my family last night.

sometimes I have so many browsers open, I crash

So that meant I had to prep all the veggies for the pot, get Abby ready for dance class, and get myself ready for the pool in the next 25 minutes--I flew through everything I needed to do, and was just putting the finishing touches on Abby's ballerina bun when Dan walked in the door.  Maybe I was going to pull off this crazy day after all!  Of course, just as Abby and I open the front door, the sky opened up and sheets of rain start pouring down.  She grabbed her umbrella, but I got soaked on the way to the car--I figured it didn't really matter since I was about to get in the pool anyway.  We drove in extremely low visibility to her dance studio and sloshed our way inside...we were both soaked.  My pants were wet all the way to my knees.  I scooted her to her classroom, only to discover that the lights were out...what?  Earlier in the day, another mom had emailed our class to ask if dance class was still on for the day--things had gotten confused because Monday was supposed to be "theater day" (just a regular dance class, but held in the theater to get the kids used to the space and more comfortable on the stage prior to their recital) to prep for this weekend's recital, but then the recital had to be relocated and the new location didn't allow for a theater day...  I had emailed the coordinator last week to make sure there was no theater day (there was never any communication about it), and she confirmed that there would be no theater day.  I just assumed that even though they couldn't practice in the recital venue, they would still have their regular dance class.  So I helpfully responded to the whole class email list that I believed we did have class...  Um, I was so wrong.  Other moms were now ushering their girls in from the driving rain (including a mom on crutches--I felt so terrible!) based on my erroneous assumption.  Ugh--I'm just going to assume that all the class moms now hate me, and I'm sure that's a correct assumption.  Back through the flooded parking lot to our car we went, and I dropped Abby at home before heading out to the pool as I had planned.  I got in the water and tried to shake off the bad day--the water felt good, and I was determined to get a comparable workout to my usual Monday step class.  I swam more than half a mile in about 40 minutes, and then I headed back home to tackle dinner.

I got home around 5:15pm, and went straight for the crock pot.  After my previous attempt at a crock pot meal when I discovered that I had neglected to plug the pot in, I was vigilant about making sure that I had set everything up correctly yesterday.  I had--everything was plugged in, the pot was on low, and I was ready to dump the juices and put the veggies in before grabbing a quick shower.  Only when I went to lift the pot out, I noticed that the chicken didn't look cooked at all--and upon touching the pot itself, I noted that it was cold.  Not hot, not warm, just plain old cold.  I was so confused--I checked the plug, which was securely in the outlet, and then I took the crock out and turned the pot upside down to see if the cord had somehow gotten severed.  I was convinced that my pot was broken, because turning the dial from Low to High did nothing.  I was distraught--my dinner was ruined, and so was my crock pot.  Before throwing the whole thing away, I remembered that I used to have problems with oulets in our house in Texas--when the GFCI breaker on the wall outlet pops, none of the outlets on that circuit will work until you push the GFCI button again.  I looked around the kitchen, and sure enough, there was a GFCI outlet--and depressing the button made my crock pot outlet work.  I had done everything right--I had no idea that the outlet wasn't working.  Ugh.  Poor Dan had to go out and grab Subway for dinner, because he was starving and didn't want to wait another 3 hours for dinner.  I didn't blame him.  I was dejected when I went upstairs to shower--what a totally poor effort I had made for the day.  I missed my step class for a dinner that I didn't even make, I took Abby to a dance class that didn't exist, and I forgot to watch my girl get off the bus.  Not to mention, I hadn't picked up any clutter in the house!

this one is just plain depressing!

Dinner didn't get any better--the kids were having leftovers from our dinner out with Dan's parents on Sunday night, and even though it was stuff they loved, they still managed to scream and cry and fuss about it.  Jake likes to make a huge mess and then laugh--he spills applesauce and yogurt everywhere, like a baby instead of a 4.5-year-old.  Alex refused to eat his macaroni because I gave him an orange spoon instead of a blue spoon (seriously?).  At one point in the chaos, I told the kids that I just can't wait until they all grow up and turn 18 and move out of the house so that Dan and I can have a meal without screaming--to which Abby hurtfully responded that parents aren't supposed to say stuff like that to their kids (she's most likely right...), and Alex started crying even more hysterically because he wants Mommy to go with him when he moves out.  Seriously.  I mentally checked out at that point and began cutting coupons--because I was done with my dinner and the coupon inserts were part of the clutter I needed to clear off the table.  The kids kept screaming, and I told them that I was on the verge of becoming scary--they just laughed at me.  They were not understanding the gravity of the situation (ie, my imminent mental breakdown) until I told them that they probably didn't want to make me angry while I had scissors in my hand--and if they didn't all quiet down and eat their dinners, I would be taking those scissors to all their favorite possessions.  I told Jake I would figure out how to cut up his trains (probably not possible, but it would be the effort that counted), and I told Alex that he had better eat that macaroni with his orange spoon or his beloved Lamby might meet my scissors.  It was a stellar parenting moment--thankfully, I don't think anyone believed me, but it did scare them enough that they finally finished their food without me having to resort to further threats.  For the record, I would never cut Alex's precious Lamby or Jake's trains (or anything else important to my kids!)...it was just one of those days.

I have three kids, so my mind is especially lost

Wow, writing all that out makes me feel like a really bad parent!  It was an epic failure of a day on so many fronts.  Notes to self:  Get more sleep, don't set unrealistic goals for your day when you know the children will derail you at every possible turn, don't forget your children at the bus stop, don't take your kids to activities they don't have, maybe you're not cut out for using a crock pot since you seem to screw it up more often than not, and don't threaten to take scissors to your children's prized possessions...no matter how bad the day is.  On the bright side, Abby is done with dance, so my Mondays will be slightly easier for the next two weeks until school is out!  And at least I already have dinner prepped for tonight...kudos to me for finding a few silver linings in the black clouds over my entire day yesterday.  :)

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