At 5:30am (most mornings anyway) I roll over in bed to the sound of baby giggles from the upstairs nursery, I shut the baby monitor off as quickly as I can and pray I can fall back to sleep before anymore of the kids are awake.
At 6:00am I hear tiny footsteps on the stairs and a small voice "mommy, I need to go potty"... my sweet Sophia is up for the day. It takes 4 or 5 times of marching her back to her bed and reminding her to stay in bed until her alarm goes off before she gets the point (at this point it's 6:45am - so much for falling back to sleep).
At 7:00am I can't hold them off any longer! Amelia would sleep longer if it wasn't for her siblings waking her up. It seems they all want something different at exactly the same time. Thankfully Tim is home for this chaotic part of the day! Breakfast, diaper changes and clothes on before we play!
By 7:30am all kiddos have been fed, mommy is lucky to have 10 minutes to myself to shower and dress before the day really begins! By the time I come upstairs I find all three kids have dog-piled on daddy and he is desperately looking for an escape.
8:15am means nap time all around. The girls fight over who gets to hug and kiss daddy first as he heads off to bed. I lay Abram down for his nap and the three of us girls start our "joy jobs!" Between cleaning up breakfast dishes (and usually dinner dishes from the night before), starting laundry, multiple trips to the potty, and settling lots of squabbles this nap time goes WAY TOO FAST.
10:30am Abram rejoins the world of crazy! We all head downstairs to play and fold laundry.
11:45am usually by this time the troops are "starving" for lunch so we pick up a little then head upstairs! If I let the girls choose, Amelia would have PB & J every day (with crunchy peanut butter), Sophia would have Mac& Cheese every day. We've been working really hard on table manners with the girls, they both are practicing saying please and thank you, and they have to ask to be excused and be washed off before they can leave the table.
12:30pm brings my favorite part of my day! Abram goes down for his nap, then the girls and I read some stories, then Sophia goes down for her nap! This is the time that we'll use for school this coming year. Generally I use this time to do things that I can't do with lots of helping hands, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, bible study, toy purging ;) etc. This is also Amelia's "quiet time." She has a few options to choose from, she can watch a video, or pick an activity from our toy closet (toys that I don't keep out when Soph and Abram are around). Once a week I try to do something special just the two of us, make cookies or do a fun craft etc.
3:00pm means everyone's awake! Amelia and Sophia take turns waking daddy up, then Tim and the kids all have a snack (and Tim starts his IV of coffee). This is the part of the afternoon that I think all mothers dread, that time before dinner when the kids are restless, hungry and bored. Usually Tim will take the kids outside or the girls will help me prep dinner while Tim plays with Abram.
5:00pm is our dinner time - yes we eat kind of early. Amelia helps set the table and we all hold hands to pray before we eat! Dinner is pure chaos! I'm lucky if I am able to take three bites without having to get up to get something for someone. It would be easier probably to drag the kids outside and just hose them off once they're done but we wipe them off as best we can then pile them into the tub!
6:30pm by now, kids are jammied, teeth are brushed and we're finishing up the "joy jobs" for the day - generally this means picking up the toys in the basement.
6:45pm Abram gets some special snuggles then it's time for bed. Once he's down the girls and Tim and I snuggle on the couch to read some bedtime stories and the bible story for the day.
7:15pm the girls go to bed (notice I didn't say go to "sleep"). Amelia is great at staying in bed and will usually fall asleep within 15 minutes or so. Sophia on the other hand may get out of bed 15-20 times before she actually falls asleep, some nights this means she's up until after 9pm.
Once the girls are in bed I take a deep breath and realize that we (barely) made it through another day full of precious moments and small blessings and in just 12 very short hours we get to start all over again. Now, I realize I spared you the gory details (the squabbles, accidents, tears, time-outs etc) but when I look back on the day and think of all the GOOD moments, I have to wonder, how could anyone NOT want to be a parent? Yes, it's exhausting, and yes there are times during the day when I'm not sure I can make it through one more hour; but at the end of the day, when those littles are giving bedtime hugs and kisses and when my 2 and 3 year olds tell me "good night mommy, I love you" I know that it's so very worth it!