Majesty in Motherhood: Week Four

{Pictures taken Monday, January 29th 2018}

I've been telling my household that I wanted to wake up at 5am for the past two weeks. 5am to journal, to make charms, to update the shop if it needed to be updated, have my coffee in peace {I do this every day, but I felt like I needed another reason}. 

But as it seems to happen, instead of speaking it into existence, only obstacles came. Someone didn't sleep well, we went to bed too late, woke up before the 5am alarm rang {when I even set the damn thing - because that was an issue too}, so I finally just shut up, and naturally, opportunity came. 

When my alarm went off yesterday I felt good. Ready to get up and accomplish something.

Yes - that's a chair on top of the table. Santino climbs them and there's no more room underneath to store it. No one can reach the chair but the adults, so we're not worried about it being pulled or pushed off. 

Yes - that's a chair on top of the table. Santino climbs them and there's no more room underneath to store it. No one can reach the chair but the adults, so we're not worried about it being pulled or pushed off. 

Morning journal complete, I moved on to charms and crafted three of them before the rest of the house woke, and I had to put everything away. It felt productive, so I created an ambitious to do list, knowing Severus would be home, and rain was our all day forecast. 

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I could tell the moment Elena woke up that it would be a difficult day for her, I had no idea just how difficult it would be, but I scratched a couple of things off the to do list to give me additional time to devote just to her needs. 

Santino woke shortly after she did, and was in a much better mood. Was. 

I crossed another couple of activities off the list.

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I get everyone fed, by some miracle, and it is the last time anything goes according to plan. 

Thaddeus doesn't want to paint, he wants to play with Lego, but he doesn't want to play alone, so even though Severus wants to paint {and we get out all the paint stuff} he opts to play Lego with his brother instead. 

The paint stuff goes back in the art drawers, and another thing is crossed off the to do list without having been completed. While they play the babies take turns crying and demanding to go "Up! Up! UUUP!" I cannot carry both of them at the same time, as that upsets them both tremendously, so up and down they go until I distract them with god only remembers what. 

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The Lego bucket is in my room, and after about 45 minutes, they both come out asking to wear makeup. I initially deny their request.

Severus doesn't want to try his magic kit, "It's too complicated, Mom." he laments so I suggest he creates a science experiment with Thaddeus instead. That appeals to him, but he needs help, and when I try to help him the babies cry, and while juggling them I place the instruction booklet down somewhere we still haven't found {later that evening I discovered the kit's instruction manual online, which is good to know in case we never find the hard copy}. We are unable to finish making our jiggly crystals, and so to quell their disappointment - I give them my two contour palettes and makeup brushes. 

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Almost all of my brushes are now a deep purple, and I clean them while the kids eat lunch. 

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After lunch, the big kids and I get through an I Spy book until one of the babies snatches it, and flustered, Severus asks if they can "just watch TV". I acquiesce.

I sit on the floor with the babies, who drift off to sleep. Elena drops her bottle and reaches out for it, flipping it in the process and sleep suckles the bottom of the bottle. I make the mistake of getting up to retrieve my camera, and Santino, who was so, so close to sleep, is up again with his second wind. 

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Santino's second wind is fussier than the first because it's in denial about being tired. I don't often wrap him, or wear either of them much at all, truly, but I remember I can do that and grab my Wild Mockingbird from the closet. 

I clean up the toys from the living room floor, while I listen to the laughter of my older children who are *finally* entertained and feel a pang of guilt - but with one fuss nugget asleep, and the other content on my back, it might be the only time I get any chores completed. 

I know I said "chores" but I was also having a text conversation with my friend, so that too.

I know I said "chores" but I was also having a text conversation with my friend, so that too.

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Two fuss nuggets asleep. 

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I make myself a quick lunch, unload, reload and start the dishwasher, feed the cat for a second time and sweep the kitchen. A mantraband is swept from under the dishwasher. "Do it Anyway" it says, "I'm fucking trying." I mutter under my breath as I take a picture of my late afternoon inspiration. 

The battery icon on my camera blinks wildly for less than a second, and the camera shuts off. 

I'd love to say that Severus and Thaddeus and I salvaged the remainder of the afternoon. That we arted and scienced and wrote two novels, and you just so happened to miss it because my camera battery was charging. But we didn't. 

Instead, I'm hit suddenly with violent cramps, and spent 45 minutes alternating between rocking on the floor and pacing the hallway until the Aleve kicked in. It's day three of my second period of this month, and it has been abnormal from the start so I'm half unsurprised to have cramps when I'm not "scheduled" to have them, but am totally unsurprised when the typical Day 3 brutal exhaustion swoops in to wipe the little energy I had right out. 

Severus asks if they can play the Nintendo Switch. I don't hesitate to oblige.

make red velvet cupcakes
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I join in on a few Mario Kart races, but no one wants to continue playing with me because I always win, so I tidy the little things I had left to tidy up. The babies wake up within minutes of one another, in much brighter spirits than they went to sleep in. 

HA! JUST KIDDING!

They wake up crying, the eat a snack crying, they take bottles crying, they cry and cry and cry and cry and I pick them up and hold them and hold them and hold them as they fuss and fight and try to push one another out of my arms. 

I don't prefer to use them, but I remember babywearing is a tool I have at my disposal, pull both Tulas from the coat closet and I wear them both. It has been many months since I last tandem wore, I am sweltering and my shoulders are aching within moments, and then the phone rings at 4something when Antonio calls to let me know he's on his way home. 

I decide not to squander my free hands and make the bed. At 4pm.

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Both babies are still attached to me when Antonio walks into the house.

They were fine by then, but both cry to be let down, because I'm not releasing them fast enough, and run to him as if I'm the cause of all their emotional distresses. Maybe I am. He takes them in the room with him to change, Thaddeus and Severus had already shut down the Switch and were gathering their bath stuff, and I go to start dinner {which is usually done by then, but I wasn't risking cooking while the babies were being worn, so we had to wait}.

We all sit in the living room and exchange stories about our days. The big kids don't mention the unfinished science experiment, but do excitedly say "Mom let us watch TV!" the frickin' highlight of their day. Great. 

I serve my family dinner on paper plates, because I'm not interested in ever loading the dishwasher again. I forget that the arrabbiata sauce is too spicy for the babies, and didn't reserve any unsauced ravioli, they have oatmeal and fruit for dinner, and I cry in the kitchen because I'm an asshole.

Thaddeus hates it and makes a sandwich, Severus has four plates, when I finally sit down to eat Antonio asks me for something because I'm "closer to the kitchen" and I want to kill him. When I sit down again I say "I'm eating now, if you need something from me - don't." 

I decide I'm not done taking pictures, even though Antonio is here to help.

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I've been trying to get Severus to bathe on his own, he'll be eight in October, and still requires constant companionship. But I'm pulling from my nearly empty reserves so he wins this fight before it even begins, and I tell both big kids to hop into the tub.

I ask them not to make a mess on the floor, I can hear them giggling throughout the apartment and I make a mental note to take my socks off when I go in to check on them so as not to get them wet. I forget the mental note immediately and step in the puddle of bathwater on the floor in my socks anyway.

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Antonio pulls out his work laptop, and I groan but I know he has something big to prepare for so I take everyone into our room for bedtime wind down. 

Which went a lot like this:

Santino pulled my hair and this "Ouuuuuch" face of mine makes the kids laugh even though it looks kind of ferocious.

Santino pulled my hair and this "Ouuuuuch" face of mine makes the kids laugh even though it looks kind of ferocious.

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Within the hour, they were all asleep with little to do from me. I sat in the living room editing pictures and starting this entry while Antonio put the three smallest ones to bed. 

All through the day I'd cursed the sky for raining, cursed my body for doing what it's supposed to do, cursed the television for existing and being more dependable than I was, cursed the school for giving Severus a day off that we couldn't make the most of, cursed my exhaustion, cursed "Do it Anyway", cursed the to do list, cursed how excited the kids were when Antonio came in the door, rescuing them from the misery that was me, cursed the pangs of guilt because I was doing everything I felt I could, and to feel guilty on top of failing was just damned unfair

I briefly considered scrapping this day, and shooting another when the sun came out, when there was more to do, when I wasn't so exhausted. But you know what? Some days I have time to clean out my makeup basket before delicately smearing highlighter all over my face, some days I can move from one thing to another flawlessly, some days I am present and attentive and on top of shit, some days are dry and we can go to the park or to Starbucks. And some days a baby wipes their nose on my shirt and I don't change it until hours later, some days I barely get my hair up and out of my face so I am definitely not taking the time to apply highlighter anywhere, some days I'm bloated, and emotional, more tired than usual, and require patience that I sometimes can't reciprocate, some days I make the bed at 4pm.  

The rough days aren't few, sometimes they aren't far between either, but they also aren't every day.

And, though some days it doesn't feel that way, that's a very lucky thing.