Sunday was Jorge's 6th birthday which meant last Saturday we spent a very big part of the day cleaning the house. We just can't stay on top of it all and by the time everyone is fed (daily) and bathed (occasionally) and read to (daily) and generally prodded into the direction of being a respectful and responsible human (eventually) there's not always (hardly ever) time for dusting and mopping and baseboards. Having guests over--even just a few family members who wouldn't care in the least--is an excuse to move it up the priority list. Or onto it at all.
By late Saturday afternoon the house and children were all clean. In order to keep at least one of them that way, we took the whole circus to the local mall for dinner. The kids usually get to pick a special dinner to make or buy for their birthday, and we figured early Saturday night would be less stress than Sunday evening.
Jorge's first choice (PF Changs) had a 3.5 hour wait when we got there at 5. His second choice offered us a reservation for the next available table at 9 PM. We headed across the (very very very large) mall to the "old" end where Uno's Pizza had a 15 minute wait and we all had good food and a nice time.
Sunday was church and then the birthday party and Legos and cake and rice krispie treats and nothing substantial to eat all day long and phone calls and Skype and mayhem.
Monday was a sugar crash coma, but back to work and school, regardless. I taught my 3 lectures and did some early planning for the week, expecting to get a lot done. Monday's are such an optimistic time. That night Rob had to work and the kids and I muddled through a fairly easy day. This was our easy day in retrospect.
Tuesday started well, but Katie had an orthodontist appointment (yes, already) and had to be picked up from school at 11 (by me since I was closest) and then brought home where Rob jumped into the driver's seat to take her since he has the experience with orthodontists. I went inside to play with August for the afternoon. Productivity and toddlers do not mix. Also: we got one of our two new couches delivered that day so I did furniture assembling and re-arranging. At some point I had a 90 minute phone-meeting with some co-authors. The rest of the day was a blur of big kids and noise and shower-night.
Wednesday was a teaching day but promised some chances for productivity--until I walked in at the beginning of my two hour work period to a ringing phone informing me that Katie had a stomach bug and needed to be taken home. Rob was at home with August and in no condition for a quick exit from the house (potty training anyone? Did I forget that detail in here?) so I ran to the car, fetched Katie, dropped her at home and ate the lunch Rob had made while he, meanwhile, tagged out and ran to the village grocery for some ginger ale and crackers; then I tagged out and ran back to school and dropped my bags in time to walk into my next lecture. Never mind the 150 things I needed to have done during that break. And of course, immediately after class I had to leave to get home by 4 so Rob could go teach and so I could watch Katie and August and get Jorge to CCD (religious ed) and back. And the other couch came, so I couldn't just let that sit there in a box. Oh no. And it was approximately 150 times more difficult than the one we got Tuesday so cursing and kicking may have happened. And dinner, and bedtimes, and reading the next Oz book, and better luck tomorrow.
Thursday I realized I had a salon appointment at 10 which threw a big wrench in my day but couldn't really be moved. Katie was home until at least noon based on the "24 hours without a symptom" rule (yes, she came home and laid on the couch but was never feverish or actually sick; meaning 24 hours from when I got her home was our target), so Rob ran Jorge to school and then home while I did some work at home for an hour or two and then I went to the salon and back. At 1PM the whole crew went to school where we dropped Katie off for the half-day and then went to the belated birthday celebration in Jorge's classroom as scheduled. That left us with less than 1 hour until pick-up and no point going to my office so we waited, got the big kids, and went to the mall (again!) because Jorge had been promised a hair cut and a shoe-size check. Our life = so exciting. Add in some general drudgery of having three small kids in a mall and we managed to lose another hour and $50 on snacks and books. We came home, had taco night, and pushed everyone into bed.
This morning we woke to thick snow but no delays. The kids and I left at 8 as usual, but instead of a 25 minute commute it took nearly 90 minutes to get them to school and then me back to my office (and 30 near-miss accidents including one skid into a snowbank and one major thunk into a curb), whereupon I realized my wallet and parking ID were in the diaper bag at home. I improvised. I got into my office around 10, did some of the most urgent odds and ends until 11, hosted a career panel discussion for interested majors with some corporate representatives from 11-12:30, attended the following networking lunch from 12:30-1:30, attended a "meet the candidate for the job we're trying to fill" meeting from 1:45-2:45, and it was nearly time for the 3:00 pickup at the kids' school. Given the terrible weather, I opted to go get the kids and head home rather than make Rob and Augs get them and still have to drive myself home in worse weather later, too. So I shoved a week's worth of "to-do" into my purse (includes: grade 180 essays, write the exam for next week, completely design and code two very complex studies into a software program I am not sure is capable of it, and work on the edits for a project that just came back with revision requests. Oh, and review someone else's project. No biggie, just about 75 hours worth of creative, intelligent thought and I'll be caught up. (What's that, a weekend is only 48 hours? Right then.) ) and headed home. The usual 20 minute return trip took 45, but we made it. I caught up on the 17 legitimate email details that had come in since 11 and handled a few other work details before doing a project with Jorge that I had promised to do at 4:45 and then dinner and bedtime and cleaning up the kitchen. And so here we are. The dishwasher is clean and I only have enough energy for one job at most, so the sink is full and you can judge me all you want.
This week's photo project (not that I've had time for it) is "Wish". Would a picture of my pillow be reasonable?