Yesterday my monumental laziness - and the deserted cupboards - finally began to bother me and so once everyone was fed and dressed and off playing, I sat down with a pile of coupons to begin clipping. I need to clip the coupons and put them away, pull out the expired ones, go through the sales flyer and find match ups, make a meal plan for the next two weeks, and create a grocery list. The entire process takes a few hours normally. This time, though, I'm prepping to host Easter for my in-laws. 21 people, including my brood.
(I worked while attempting to listen to some Catholic speakers.) This is my third time hosting them in the 15 months since we've bought the house. It's expensive and I'm feeling drained, so I only agreed after it was clear that no one else could possibly do it. I am lowering my standards this year, though, I'm only providing the main course, I'm asking everyone else to bring an appetizer or dessert, and I'm cutting the entertainment to the bare minimum (and relying on board games). To prepare the whole affair, it takes me a month. One week to create a menu, come up with games, order any supplies I need. Two weeks to prepare the Easter egg hunt (or wrap Christmas gifts) and create the games (they really like to do a family game). And a solid week - 7 full days - to prepare the food and get the house clean. With our perpetual sickness, spring break, and the fact that I just hosted four months ago, I just don't have it in me. I wonder if part of my laziness lately is me procrastinating in slight dread of the amount of work I have to do.
Anyway, so in addition to the yesterday's morning chores, I also needed to create the menu and figure out how much food I needed to buy. I'm trying to make it as cheap and easy to cook as possible this year: mac 'n cheese in the slow cooker, potatoes in the slow cooker, ham that comes with premade glaze. Cheating left and right over here. But I will make a piece de resistance in the bread. It'll be amazing. Anyway, I started the coupon/grocery list process right after breakfast and between the insane number of interruptions, I didn't finish until after lunch. I tried to distract the kids with food and the Frozen soundtrack on our little panda bear speaker. (See it on the curtain rod. No one can reach that. Yet.)
But Theodore was feeling extremely clingy and wanted to be held. Holding a 16-month-old and doing anything is impossible. I tried to take his fussy picture, but every time I pulled out the camera, he grumpily toddled away. It soon became a tactic on my part to make more time to work.
I think everyone is trying to get used to the change in schedule. Even though it's fun having Abigail home, it's just a big change to the daily routine and everyone needs time to adjust. I find that it takes about a week, so we are going to get adjusted just in time for her to go back to school. I'm already thinking about our new routine for the summer, the things I want to incorporate like a bit of school time for the girls, daily walks, and weekly Mass, but even with lots of preparation, it's going to take a week to figure out the natural lulls and productive moments and for everyone to get used to everyone else's temperament.
Theodore and Eleanor fell alseep early yesterday, and so Abigail and I had some one-on-one time. She's much more fun and easier to handle without a loud crowd.
It's also sooooo much harder to make myself a priority when she's home. Whether it's a three kids vs. two kids thing or an Abigail behavioral thing, I am way busier and have way less time for myself when they are all home. I have been sleeping in all week, but I think this summer I will need to make a habit of getting up extra early so I can shower and pray the Rosary in sweet silence. Phew, it's like spring break is a practice run for the full summer.