Forgive me for posting again so soon.
As a stay at home mom, most nights I go to bed feeling like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. For everything I did do, there are twenty things I didn’t get to.
Today, I decided to make a list of all I did. I’ve also included a few snap shots of the thoughts running through my mind and some of the action going on around me. You don’t have to read it all. But making it the list did help me feel marginally more accomplished than I do most days.
Got up (long after the alarm went off)
Picked out clothes for two kids (picked out the other two last night)
Got one kid into the shower
Dealt with Sloane’s rude attitude towards her sister
Got breakfast for four kids
Made lunches for three kids
Got four kids out the door
Dropped four kids off at school
Came home with one kid (have been driving the neighbor girl in addition to my three who are at school)
Made marinade for tomorrow’s roast
Ate breakfast while formatting a bi-monthly newsletter I send out for a local minister
Checked to be sure I had paid the natural gas bill (which I had)
Worked through two early reader books with Sloane
Put in a load of laundry
Encouraged Sloane to take down streamers from foster child’s birthday on Monday (she was super eager since it involved lots of climbing and problem solving)
Put away two loads of laundry from the other day while facebook chatting with a friend. We brainstormed about marketing our small businesses.
Watched two videos on parenting adopted children while putting laundry away and facebook chatting
Started another load of laundry
Encouraged Sloane to finish with the streamers (She insists upon putting them into a tiny candy machine and carrying that over to the garbage. This is taking forever!)
Made a raw chocolate mint pie
Made gluten free banana muffins
Start some organic bread in the bread maker
Made lunch for Sloane (gluten free toast with homemade organic peanut butter)
Loaded the dishwasher
Got Sloane started on some math work
Put in another load of laundry
Worked on rhyming words with Sloane
Put some laundry away – discover one of the foster children peed the bed last night (feel like a failure for not noticing sooner. Really, what have I been up to?)
Strip foster children’s beds. Bring sheets to the basement to be washed (may not have mentioned I live in a two story house with a basement laundry room)
Edit a friend’s first blog post.
Suddenly feel incredibly overwhelmed and in need of a bath (not something I usually indulge in)
Work with Sloane to tidy up her school work and colouring items left out from days past (sometimes I hurry the kids off to bed instead of making them clean up)
Watch some profile videos from an adoption funding program in the US. Contemplate the ridiculous cost of international adoption. Remember my sister saying years ago, “These countries should cover all the costs. In the end it will save them tons of money.” I consider the long term cost of children in orphanages who grow up to be struggling adults.
Take dough out of bread maker. Shape it into a dozen buns and one loaf of bread. Set it to rise.
Announce that I will have a bath.
Sloane decides she will not watch a movie after all. She’s been talking about doing so all afternoon. Now that I’m going to be doing something, she decides she won’t go to her room (which is the spot for movies)
I check on the rising bread and buns.
I run a bath and decide to finally give Downton Abbey a chance. People who know me are absolutely shocked that I’ve not seen it yet. I’m expected to be an avid fan.
Sloane goes to her room with much fanfare. After some choice words, she looses the “privilege” of watching a movie. She screams for her window to be shut (I’d been airing the rooms on this first nice day. Did I put that on the list? Sometime this morning I opened most of the windows.)
I shut Sloane’s window with a reminder that there’s a proper way to speak to me.
I check on the bath. It’s nearly ready.
Sloane screams for her window to be opened again.
I close and lock the bathroom door.
By the time I turn the water off and get situated – with my computer perched nearby so I can watch Downton Abbey – Sloane is happily playing in her room.
I think of all the things I should be doing: dishes, vacuuming, mopping floors, organizing my room, organizing the basement, working on my coffee/tea business, working on my income tax for last year, shopping at Ikea because the coupon I have expires this week.
I remember why I don’t bother taking baths. It’s not relaxing in the least.
I continue messaging a friend about her new blog. We discuss names.
I get out of the bath and hastily dress.
Summon Sloane out of her room.
Put the buns and bread in the oven.
Get out the door to pick up kids from school.
Remember the volunteer driver coming for the foster children (taking them to birth mom’s to celebrate a birthday) will likely be there a moment or two before we turn.
I go back inside, write a note, pin it to the door. It blows away. I secure it better.
Drive to the school. Park in the adjacent church parking lot.
Run across the field in pouring rain. Sloane decides with my glasses getting wet, I can’t see properly. She tries to guide me.
The bell rings. I locate the foster children.
I can’t find my own child. The neighbor girl usually brings her out. They’re nowhere to be found.
I herd the other children toward the car. Flora* worries the driver will leave without them if we’re not back soon.
Sloane ignores my instructions to leave the snow alone. She doesn’t have gloves. Her hands are freezing. I try to get her to walk with me. She resists and falls backwards into a pile of slush.
I don’t have time for this. I can’t find Elise*.
Putting the foster children in the car, I head back towards the school. There I discover the neighbor girl went home sick. Elise is waiting by the door with her teacher.
We trudge back across the field. Sloane again starts picking up snow. Again I try to take her hand. Again she makes a big scene. I talk to her. She refuses to comply. I pick her up. She kicks and screams. I put her down. She throws some snow at me. I pick her up again.
Eventually we make it to the car.
I calm Flora’s fears and assure her I really am trying my best to go quickly. I buckle Elise.
We drive home. The volunteer driver is in our driveway.
I park on the street. I get the foster kids out of the car. Three times I tell Flora to go get the bag with her birthday outfit from the house. Finally she understands me. (Although we went over this plan endlessly last night, before school, and on our short drive home she’s still unclear.)
I greet the driver, explain where Flora’s headed, get Marcus* into the driver’s car.
When Flora emerges from the house, I get her into the car.
They drive away. I pull into my driveway.
I get Elise and Sloane out of the car.
In the house, I get the bread out of the oven.
I talk with my daughters while they eat some fruit.
I serve up raw mint chocolate pie.
Sloane spits out the first bite. She wants to try more. I insist she doesn’t because I don’t want anymore spit all over the place.
Elise makes a mess of her pie – insisting she likes it but not taking a single bite.
I eat some pie. I check emails and facebook posts. I continue chatting with the friend I’ve been in contact with all day. We discuss her employment prospects.
I announce we will go out for dinner.
Elise and Sloane announce they must change from track pants into dresses. They bring down an assortment of their fanciest. I try to explain where we’re going – a local independent, diner. They go upstairs and come down with another assortment of formal wear.
Eventually I get them appropriately dressed.
My friend I’ve been chatting with suggests we go for dinner with her.
We drive to her nearby town.
We have dinner. Sloane is less than well behaved. She’s angry I won’t let her have pop.
I discuss who I can possibly get to watch my kids when I go to California for a week in May (need to do some training for my volunteer position at the church)
Elise drinks ketchup from her plate with a straw. Somehow I miss this at first.
I pay and discussing with Sloane how long the waitress we had has been working there (the woman mentioned she was new). Elise wipes the specials off the white board beside us.
We drive my friend home.
I drive home. Elise tells me repeatedly she hopes the volunteer driver drops the foster kids off before we get there. I assure her that won’t happen, but then start to panic. What if they come back early?
I stop to get the mail.
We go home. Elise and Sloane decide not to come out of the car. After several giving several rational reasons for them to, I go to the front door alone. Reluctantly they follow.
While they get their pjs on I make the foster children’s beds with their sheets fresh from the dryer (obviously went to the basement to get them).
I brush Sloane & Elise’s teeth. I put them to bed. I hug and kiss them. I make sure they know they’re loved.
I start doing dishes.
The foster children return. I hear about all the fun they had at their mom’s. I assure them I’m very happy and interested in everything they have to say.
When they’re done, I send them to put on their pjs.
I wash a few more dishes.
I got upstairs to get the foster kids to bed – no hugs or kisses, seems a little soon when they’ve only been with me a week. But I make sure they know they’re cared for and wanted. (Not that I want to keep them from their parents, or rejoice in the calamities that brought them into foster care – but you know what I mean and so do the kids)
While washing the rest of the dishes I watch a short video from someone in the Ukraine. I realize I should find out what’s going on there. I wonder how the political unrest will affect adoptions that are underway. I worry about children languishing in orphanages. I wonder if my life of fostering and raising my two adopted daughters is really enough. There’s so much more I could be doing. Maybe I should move to the Ukraine. I tidy the kitchen.
I decide that’s enough for today. I’m ok with the fact that the floor isn’t swept. I’m going upstairs so I don’t have to look at it.
I write this lengthy, useless blog. I post it. I watch a bit more of Downton Abbey. I eat some more raw mint chocolate pie. I hope it’s healthy.
I go to bed.
Tomorrow I get to do it all again.