They say re-entry is hard, however short the road trip, but man, this one threw me for a loop! I really think I left my mind somewhere along I-90.
Here's how it started: Morning, kids are still on eastern time, so they are up even EARLIER than their normal beat-the-sun time frame. Violin practicing turns horribly wrong when Seth and Sarah decide they want to beat each other through the usual harmonious practice time. Picture screeching eels from Princess Bride. Yep - that's how the entire lesson went.
Sarah then stomps to her room for a time out with the usual "mean mom" comments.
We get home from the gym and I decide to conquer potty training with Ben once and for all. I strip him down and put him on the potty training seat and put him in front of a movie. I am supposed to make cookies for Jerry's home teaching families, and I decide to go for the butterscotch oatmeal cookies. It isn't until I get 3/4 the way through the mixing that I realize we are out of oatmeal. Great. Call to the neighbor (thanks Kathleen!) and mentally rehearse cooking 101: "always check ALL ingredients before baking!" I throw in the oatmeal, finish mixing and am spooning up the cookies before I realize, "I didn't even put the eggs in here!" Mentally rehearse: "I am so flunking cooking 101 - how did I ever become a dietitian?!"
Scoop all the unbaked cookies back into the bowl, throw in the egg, and hope for the best (it really doesn't matter when you put in the ingredients, just as long as they all get put in, right?!).
I put a batch in to bake, then go check on potty-in-training child. Still no potty, but still sitting on the potty. Run into computer room to finish up a grant proposal that is due in 2 days. Get a little too caught up in it and then come out to check on Ben only to hear the buzzer buzzing (for who knows how long). Ben is getting antsy(sp?), so I have him sit back down, run upstairs to try to salvage the 'crispier-than-normal' batch of cookies.
Put another batch into bake and come downstairs to realize that potty-in-training child is no longer sitting on the potty, but older (wiser??!), already-potty-trained brother is using the small potty as 'target practice' (did I mention that we have white carpet downstairs??!), and let's just say, he is not a very good aim even on the big potty where the distance to travel is way shorter! Give him an exasperated lecture on how insane that is, and start to clean up, only to realize that next batch of cookies is now overdone.
Get the next batch of 'crispier-than-normal' cookies out, clean up the mess, give up on the potty training for yet another day, sit everyone down in front of a movie (hey, it was a word movie, do I at least get credit for semi-stimulation??!), and finish up the grant proposal, get call from friend to play (again, THANKS Kathleen!!), and they are out the door before I even hang up the phone.
Right as I hang up, hubby calls to say he is on his way home (early), and 'when will dinner be ready?' my sweet reply 'oh, pretty soon' as I quickly scour the kitchen to see what I can throw together in 20 minutes or less. Spaghetti. Good. We haven't had that in a while, the good 'ole stand by. I put a pot on to boil, get bread buttered and garlic-ed up and stick in oven to toast. As the noodles are boiling, I reach for the spaghetti sauce, only to realize (yep, you guessed it...) we are OUT of spaghetti sauce. (SERIOUSLY, how did I pass any of my nutrition classes??!). I run to the food storage. Nope. Nada. No spaghetti sauce in sight. I grab the next best thing, pizza sauce. Hey, it's all Italian, right?!
As I come upstairs, I notice a distinct BURNING smell, and realize the bread is still in the oven 'toasting'. I pull out the cookie sheet to reveal what can best be described as 8 mounds of black bread shaped charcoal pieces. Since I have gotten grief from hubby about doing this before, I decide to what any Betty Crocker wannabe would do, and get rid of the evidence! I dump the whole stash out back (okay, so I dumped it right by Bailey, secretly hoping that he would eat it and choke on a piece... but that's a whole different post altogether!!).
I throw another batch in, get the noodles out, and decide to dump in the sauce so that no one will see the jar and complain that it's not 'real' spaghetti sauce. When I start mixing the noodles with the sauce, I realize that I probably have 2 x more noodles than sauce, causing the whole mixture to be the slightly red, completely dry, noodle concoction (yet, interestingly enough, there was enough sauce to splash me right in the eye, and get all over my white shirt...). I think, no problem, we can cover it up with some parmesan cheese, and at least get a little taste out of it.
The kids come back, Jerry gets home, we dish up dinner. I pour the parmesan cheese over my spaghetti, and take a bite, only to have my gag reflexes set in with that, "something is NOT right with this taste pallet effect!". I grab the parmesan cheese bottle and look at the expiration date (are you ready for this??!) "Best if used before 7/18/2007. Great, I have probably just poisoned my entire family with YEAR old cheese!! (But wait, isn't cheese supposed to get better with age??!)
At this point, I fight the urge to just curl up in fetal position in the corner until this day just goes away!! We somehow make it through dinner and I have the kids go outside for no other reason just to run themselves ragged so that I don't have to deal with the "101 excuses of why I can't go to sleep" (believe me, Sarah is the MASTER of this list!). I just sit zombie-like in the chair and watch them run, thinking, "the forcast is for no rain tonight, if I just run them until they drop, I'm sure they wouldn't mind sleeping out here. Brushing teeth is over-rated, anyway!"
I do heard them in (have you ever tried hearding 4 kids in from play-time to bed-time? If you haven't, picture trying to heard a bunch of cats, and you'll get the right idea!), and get them down, only to finally take a look around the house, which looks like a tornado made a touch down at one end and swept through the entire two levels (really, do kids need TWO forts? 'But, mom, we wanted one up here so that we could play here, too!').
I tackle what I can with what energy reserves I have left, and then just let the rest go, because, after all, it's not going anywhere - I know where to find it in the morning :).