Why we were late to church, and in other news, Steffan is engaged!: Part I

This was my day in detail- everything- the good, the bad, and the ugly. When Rijen is gone I often email him a summary of the day, and this time I decided to try blogging it with a bit more description than I give him. First time I’ve ever thought about exactly what I did every hour of the day, but this answers some of the questions I frequently ask myself at the end of the day such as “Where did that time go?” “What did I do all day?” “Why didn’t I get x, y and z accomplished?” and “Who should I talk to if I ever need more information on polar coordinates?” 


19 May, 2013

6:10-6:30:  Fiona wakes up by coming into the room and briefly getting into bed with me. “I don’t think I can watch TV.”  “You’re right Fiona!” I try and see if she will let us both go back to sleep, but she’s hungry. I know I need to start making rolls anyway, so I get up. I give her applesauce while I start on the rolls.

6:30-7:00: I get the rolls to the first rising stage.  I know it takes 3 hours from start to finish for these type of dinner rolls, so in order to leave in time for church, I had to start everything at 6:30 to have a chance of leaving at the goal time of 9:30 to get to church on time, and maybe even a wee bit early! Ah, the optimism of 6:30 AM.  I set the timer for the rolls to rise for about an hour.

7:00: Leif wakes up with a bloody nose. There are both signs that it is old, but also signs that it is fresh.  This is the first harbinger of me getting the very last parking spot in the second-best parking lot at church. I clean him and things up in his room.

7:15: I feed him and Fiona their favorite cereal: Special K with berries. Aleida texts me a picture of her purple suede shoes.


I get the kids clothes ready. I know there is a church potluck after our meetings,  (hence making the rolls) so I am trying to choose clothes that I don’t mind them wearing while eating, and most likely getting stuff all over them. I discover to my alarm that in the pre-flight laundry loads I had done  I hadn’t washed the items in Leif’s clothes hamper, and that wasted some valuable time because I had to rethink my plan for him.

7:30: I get the dough prepared for the second rise, using the oven on low-heat and then turned off with a pyrex of boiling water to help with the rise. Other kid-related cleanup issues.

8:16: Via text, Aleida informs me that when she grew up the rules were “you didn’t wear black after may 1. And Shoes no darker than skirt or pant bottom. No white after sept 1.”

8:17: Rijen texts me good morning. I tell him about Leif’s bloody nose and send him this picture, which is a bit disappointing in the dramatic factor, since I had tried to wipe his face as clean as I could. A picture of Leif’s runny double bloody barrels would have been a lot cooler.

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I text with both of them a bit while I get the kids in the bath, get them washed.

8:30: We are on schedule! But in the back of my head I am a bit worried because I didn’t feel like washing and drying my hair and I have no idea what I am wearing. I do my makeup at least while the kids are playing in bath, while I periodically rummage through different areas of closet, drawers and ironing pile, trying to figure out some sort of solution.

Leif’s bloody nose seems to be getting worse and is from both nostrils. I think the bath water makes it look worse, and Fiona is pretty freaked out, calling me in whenever it alarms her.

Fiona gets unnecessarily upset when a tiny bit of water gets in her nose when I wet her hair for the shampoo. Since I think she is using that as an excuse because she just didn’t want me to wash her hair right then, I become unnecessarily upset while I shampoo her hair.

This results in me dumping the water bucket on top of her head three times while I yell “1-2-3 ALL DEE”  to rinse out the shampoo INSTEAD of nicely telling her in a patient voice, “Now put your head back, Fiona, here comes the water, there there, here’s a washcloth for your eyes,”  as I carefully pour the water on her head so that it doesn’t run down in her face (like I normally do). This is a harbinger of how soaking wet we all got later on in the day when we were caught in the rain.

Screaming, with water running down her face, Fiona luckily does not resist when I scoop her out of the bath and wrap her in a towel and then comfort her. Leif is looking on with great interest, hopefully taking notes not to be such a whiner about water in the nose, because mom obviously has no compunctions about efficient albeit slightly violent hair-rinsing.

I send her in to get dressed while I take Leif out of the bath and get his clothes on.

8:45– The dough has completed its 2nd rise and I form it into crescent rolls and then they need to rise another 30 min. I realize here I will be cutting it close just to get to church on time. But still on schedule, and I have 30 min to finish getting kids ready and get dressed.

I figure I can do my hair and kids hair/put on shoes etc. while the rolls bake during the last 15 minutes. I give myself a mental pat on the back for managing the 3 pre-church hours so well. Ah, hubris.

But then things start to go wrong. This half hour is very cloudy because several things happened here.

A. Leif’s bloody nose got on everything.

B. Fiona got into my church bag with things I had prepared for the music time. I should have put it up high, not left it on the couch. I didn’t get mad at her, just told her that she needed to put everything back in before we left. She was obedient and did.

C. I was running around like a crazy person trying to figure out why I coudn’t cobble together a decent outfit from the things in my closet.

9:20- The rolls are in the oven. Everyone is dressed. Amazingly, even me. I am wearing an outfit circa 2006, basic white blouse, leather skirt, brown belt- but since Rijen is not here today, he won’t make any jokes about how my wide  belt looks like I stole it from a weightlifter. Sorry I didn’t take a picture, didn’t realize I was going to document the day at the time. I don’t like to wear the suede skirt I have on when it is rainy, but the last time I looked out the window, I saw some blue sky…..

9:21– Fiona informs me while I am doing my hair that it is raining. So that’s what that noise is. Well, at least I didn’t waste time washing and blow-drying my hair. My hair is halfway up in a bun when Leif wanders in with more nose problems. I grab him to his great indignation, change him and comb his hair. I was smart this time and put him in a brightly-colored plaid shirt with a large amount of red. I figure that now if he stains his shirt you won’t be able to tell.

Since my comb is in my hand, I do Fiona’s hair, squatting in front of the large mirror in the living room while Leif and Fiona play with something they got into while I was doing my hair that I would have preferred them NOT to have gotten into. But I just go with it, because at least Fiona is distracted enough that she lets me put her hair in a low french braid without demanding that I do a pony tail or leave it down. She also wears the head band that Shannon gave her for her birthday and she looks really cute. Done and done!

9:25-9:35 I monitor the rolls and prepare how I am going to transport them. I mourn the passing of my original departure time, and hope for the drop dead time of 9:40.  However, my hair is only halfway done, remember? And, since I was standing in front of hot oven and running around, it fell out mostly and I have to start over. PLUS, when I got back in the bathroom to finish putting my hair up, my sisters were texting each other back and forth like crazy and when I glanced down and saw certain phrases, I knew I was missing out on a really important conversation and it was driving me crazy! At least every time my phone dinged the screen lit up and I could see what time it was, so that was helpful.

9:45- I want to be leaving now, and maybe have a chance of not being too late, but realize that it is not just a little bit of rain, but it is really bucketing outside. Everyone has to change their shoes. Cowgirl boots, rain boots, and I shuck my wedge sandals for my 2007 boots. But this also means that I have to find and put on pantyhose. I have to get socks on Leif.  We all need to put on our rain jackets. At this point, I stop trying to hurry and just proceed at normal pace.

We get on the road probably around 9:55- maybe the latest I have ever been? I don’t even try to go as quick as I can, I’ve already given up and embraced being late. I contemplate– while eating a roll and passing some to the kids, since I know they will be gone quick at the potluck–as always, what could have I done differently to get to church on time?

Well, made the rolls last night for one.  But at the point where I could have made rolls, I was just so tired from the day and after cleaning out half of my fridge (food is piled at bottom because I didn’t finish the job last night-that is not how we normally live).

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Instead of starting rolls at 11PM, I  just wanted to eat the delicious Rocky Road shake that my neighbors brought over while watching the season ender of Grey’s Anatomy WHILE texting in real-time with Aleida because she we were both watching it AT THE SAME TIME, my Sat night, her Saturday morning.  Wait, I was watching Grey’s Anatomy and texting my sister, not my neighbors. I’m too tired to fix that sentence’s dangling participle.


(I’m in blue).


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10-2:30– At church. Normally not there that long, but there was a meeting and then the pot luck afterwards. Fiona had a mini-tantrum as I was about to lead the singing time in Primary because I wouldn’t let her stand next to me. I had to take her and deposit her with another lady in the hallway. Someone asked me if she is bothered by Rijen being gone. Hard to tell! She has been more difficult in the last few days, but I don’t know if Rijen being gone is really the excuse. I need to make her a sticker chart this week.

Got caught in a really hard downpour on the way to the car from the building, and then again from the car to the house. But while I was in the car, I started thinking about Steffan and wondering if he was going to propose to Polly any time soon & remembering our conversation about it. I worried that maybe it had already happened and I felt bad about not being in touch with him more over the past few months. I thought about how bad I would feel if I found out it had already happened and I didn’t even know. It’s been harder for me to keep in touch well with friends/family this year.

3:00- 3:15: Comfy clothes!  When we got in the door we were all soaked. I commanded everyone that they had to put on their comfiest, coziest clothes. Fiona was excited to pick out her outfit. It started out being soft grey leggings, an Ariel shirt that thankfully is getting too small and then the princess nightgown she got from her cousin Brooklyn over all of that.  Fiona picked out my comfy clothes which involved a pink shirt. I put Leif in knit pants and a new T-shirt from Japan with a samurai on it.

I don’t remember what it was, but something set Fiona off and she started whining. I’ve decided I’m not going to tolerate whiny voices, so I gave her 1,2, 3 and the 3rd time she whined I put her in a “Pause” in her room for 4 minutes. She resisted at first, but was able to calm down enough to help me get Leif ready for his crib.

3:15-3:45 Got Leif in a nap. This involved both kids attempting to squish themselves into my lap while I read them books. Leif gets 2-3 books before his nap. After each book, he likes to clamber down from the chair and say, “annoder book” as he picks the next one from a basket. (I need to get him a bookshelf). I like that Fiona wants to be there too and is part of that routine.

3:50– I told Fiona that she could play on the computer while I cleaned up the kitchen (total whirlwind disaster area) and once Leif was out of his nap we could all sit on the couch and watch a movie while I folded laundry.  But of course I had to check my email before I started cleaning….and found out via an email from Steffan that……HE HAD PROPOSED TO POLLY!!!  Steffan and I have already demonstrated our psychic sibling powers, so of course I noted that he was probably proposing to Polly at the exact time I had been thinking about him in the car.

I think it is very interesting that nowadays you announce these major things on Facebook. In fact they have a nice little banner with icons for “Life Events.” I had never noticed that before, and one of these days I plan on accomplishing a “Life Event” just so that I can get my due FB recognition!

Anyway, Steffan knows me well enough to know that it would be important to me that I find out from him (semi-personally) before seeing it on FB, and indeed, I would have been slightly devastated to find out that my little brother was engaged by looking at Facebook. The news spread quickly, and as soon as I was trying to figure out a way to call him/Polly, the sisters had already started buzzing about it.

4:00-5:30 video chat with the newly engaged couple!

So the way that I listened to Polly tell the engagement story was by getting on a Google Hangout with Steffan. I heard Polly talking in the background to Aleida whom she had called, telling the story. I could tell I had missed some important details, so I made Polly back up and start over so she could tell us both at the same time. It was fun.

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By the way, the thing on Steffan’s head was not part of some elaborate creative proposal- it was just a necklace he was showing to Fiona. She had left it at their old apartment. You can see Fiona scurrying back to the office so she could continue playing on the computer after saying hi to Steffananpolly.

After Polly hung up with Aleida, we all three chatted for a long time, catching up and talking about dad. Evidently after hearing about their engagement, Dad quickly diverted the conversation to a discussion about polar coordinates.

We chatted all the way through Leif’s nap and I got to take the laptop into Leif’s room where he was very cutely sitting up reading a book. When I asked him if he wanted to get out of his crib, he said “nope” several times. I got him out eventually and we all sat on the couch and chatted some more.

5:30-5:45 I hadn’t intended on Fiona playing the computer for so long, so I unwisely didn’t give her any warning and just told her she had to stop playing. When she whined about it, I told her that if she started whining she would have to go in her room for another “Pause,” and if she had a tantrum, we wouldn’t watch a movie.  Noticing the glazed look in her eyes, I realized it probably wasn’t a good idea for her to watch a movie anyway, plus it was later than I thought.

I had to carry her into her room where she threw a full on tantrum. I had also asked her to clean up some toys I had gotten out for her while I was changing Leif’s diaper and playing with him earlier. At the time I had told her that she had to clean these up before we watched a movie. When I deposited Fiona in her room, I asked her to help clean up the toys, but she ramped up her crying. So I just started cleaning up the toys. Thus angering her because she inferred (somewhat correctly, although she had already lost the movie privlege) that because I cleaned up the toys, not her, there wouldn’t be a movie.

Fiona surprisingly became agressive, directing her anger towards me. This time she balled her little hands into fists and barreled me with them like a little windmill. In the space of probably 15 minutes, she did this 4 different times, as she would calm down a bit, and then probably because I was still in the room, would get angry again. I probably should have left, but I was just wanting to pick up some of the things in her room and make sure I had all the dirty clothes for laundry. I also was curious what she would do.

Usually if she gets angry, and threatens to hit, she chickens out, luckily she’s never been that physical with tantrums- doesn’t throw things or make a mess. Her usual thing is just flopping on the floor, kicking and screaming. Luckily I felt really calm, and when she came at me I just crouched on the floor and endured it. While I was in the fetal position, I wondered….”Maybe I should look this up online and see what the going advice is for when kids start hitting. Is this a phase? Should I ignore this or make a big deal of this? I’m so glad Leif is somewhere else and not seeing this….”

OK- this thing is getting long and since I am too tired to finish this up, have decided to break this into two parts. To find out what happened next between me and Fiona, and for the exciting conclusion of my day, check back tomorrow. 


3 responses to “Why we were late to church, and in other news, Steffan is engaged!: Part I

  1. I laughed, I cried, I felt like I was a mother to two children. Would read again.

    And in your dad’s defense, polar coordinates are pretty neat.


  2. Dang, I thought for a while that I was going to be the answer to the polar coordinates question. But in context, I now understand!


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