It’s 5:30 am and my littlest one, Clementine, wakes for her breakfast. I nurse her and then tuck her back into her nest of soft muslin swaddles in her swing. As I get her all settled, I hear my second youngest, John, stirring in his bed and starting to call out for me, “Mama! Mama!”
It is no time at all before a sleepy Ruthie and her twin sister Anna, come plodding down the hall towards the kitchen.
“My tummy is rumbling, Mama. It needs pancakes,” Ruth reasons.
I start my water heating for tea, listening to the familiar bubbling of the machine and after steeping some cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove and star anise in my mug, fill my Secura with milk for steaming and frothing.
I pour some ghee on the griddle and prepare the batter. I throw in a little of this or that depending on what I have on hand. Some soaked blueberries or almonds. A dusting of powdery white. Breakfast is served and I head to my computer.
I am working hard to limit my computer time to email correspondence and posting in the morning and writing after the little ones go down to bed. This serves as my time to catch up and connect.
At some point during this time, my oldest two~ Ara and James, drag their bodies into the kitchen and slunk down into chairs.
“Good Morning!” I try to spark a smile. Blank faces stare back at me.
After they have filled their bellies with some breakfast, it is time to close up the laptop and venture out. We change our clothing, brush teeth and ready hair. These may seem like simple tasks but when you perform them x7 it seems that time stands still.
I pass out the vitamins, we go on a shoe hunt and then barrel out the door. Time walking in nature grounds us all. They run through patches of sunlight and show me their dew covered feet~ they shed their shoes the second we pause somewhere, of course~ and we gather pinecones or stop to examine baby turtles.
After such excursions, we should probably all take baths but as we bring our treasures back home, I prepare John for his morning nap and then nurse my sweet Clementine on the back porch while the others play in the yard.
Ara records a video documentary of herself giving advice on herbs and takes viewers on an herb walk through my garden.
“And this is mint. Mint is great if you have an upset stomach or need to cool off,” she informs them. Some day I am going to watch my not so little baby girl hosting some well loved show on HGTV.
James torments his sisters. Squeals of play punctuate their play and even though they act annoyed with him, anyone can see the joy all over their faces as they are the target of his silliness.
“It’s too hot. I’m melting,” signals that outdoor time is coming to a close and we head indoors to cool off and start lunch.
As I heat up the skillet, Ara looks through what veggies we have on hand to add to our Kitchari that day. It looks like today will be sugar snap peas, carrots and some onion.
We sing our thanksgiving and they shovel food into their bodies like they haven’t eaten in months. I am always surprised how fast two large skillets of food can disappear, though at this point~ I shouldn’t be.
Rest time for all as the littlest two are waking up and needing attention. I serve John his lunch in his highchair after the plates and cups from the others have been taken over to the sink. We make silly faces and I try to push through the afternoon sleepiness that settles in my body while I sit at the table with him.
After an hour or so of low activity my twins usually fall into slumber right where they are at. Curled up on the couch or in a ball right in the middle of the floor. I marvel at how they can sleep that way all the while being thankful that they can!
My oldest two start schoolwork and join me at the table. They roll out white clay for letters and numbers or we read aloud an amusing series or adventure.
My favorite part of the day comes when my one year old takes his afternoon nap and my twins are still snoozing. I read from the pages as my oldest massages my head and does hairstyles.
“Mama, you have read that same sentence three times. I think you are falling asleep.” Oops. Pushing on…
Dinner prep needs to happen and sleepy heads are waking from naps.
“We’re starving Mama!,” come their cries.
“I’m working on it,” comes my response. I actually really love to cook when my brain is able to do so mindfully and isn’t pulled 17 different directions.
We light our table candle and sing our thanksgiving. Rituals that mark the time and ground the day.
We might take an evening stroll after dinner or have a family movie night. We might play outside and catch fireflies or snuggle on the couch and watch a kid talent show. Sometimes, we have car races or when I am really brave~ we paint.
And after the fun our bedtime ritual begins.
The tub fills with lavender bubbles. Way too much water makes its way out of the bathtub and then we end with towel swaddled clean skin and yummy smelling shampoo heads. We cuddle and get in cozy jammies. We read and tuck in.
James pulls out his seek n’ finds and Ara her novel. I pull the laptop out and settle down to write or read or, in this season, bounce a fussy baby who doesn’t like evening much. James and Ara have recently taken an interest in giving massages with the body oils I am trialing and perfecting for my company. I like their newest interest :). I happily volunteer to be the recipient.
And then they reluctantly head towards their covers and I gratefully and exhaustedly welcome mine. I shut my eyes and, of course, am met with infant cries. So I pull her close and we drift off to sleep. Just to start again in about 6 hours.
Some days it seems to drag out forever and others fly by like a dream and I realize like anything else, it all depends on my frame of mind. So today, I choose joy and I choose to be present and I choose to be thankful.