"I don't know how you do it!!"

Now there's a comment I hear fairly regularly. I always wonder out loud what it is they think I'm doing, because much of it is not rocket science, nor am I painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling while raising my children. So since today was a fairly average day, in terms of activity and amount accomplished, I thought I would share what I've done, thus disabusing everyone that Super Woman lives in my house. (I kind of wish she did, as I'm sure she could whip through the vacuuming pretty quickly.)

Here is what I have done today, so far...

  • Started the school day by reading our chapter in the Bible. (We're going straight through and we are up to Numbers. Yes, Leviticus was a slog. Yes, I need to get some commentaries to make sense of some of it.)
  • Did some school, including algebra, "The Road Less Traveled", beginning reading, penmanship, French, grammar, and reading a big chunk about painting in the high renaissance. We had a late start, so it wasn't our most productive day.
  • Read a bit in a book about Vygostsky and his theories of learning. (This was for me, not reading aloud to the children.)
  • Stopped the dog from chasing the cat multiple times. (The dog just wants to play and the cat taunts the dog.)
  • Got people started on lunch.
  • Ran to the library to check out our new book for tea time. Spent more time than I should have at the library because the book has vanished from the shelves and the catalog and the librarians couldn't figure it out. Came up with Plan B.
  • Put in a load of laundry and sorted the laundry that had appeared over night. This is one of my few places I like to multi-task as it is also where I listen to my language tapes. Thus I can add 'increased my Mandarin vocabulary' to my list.
  • Ordered myself some contacts... which I should have done last week.
  • Answered some emails, including beginning to setup house/animal sitting for when we're gone next month.
  • Chatted with various grown children via phone and messaging.
  • Sent D. off to his rehearsal and P. off to the bus for her riding lesson.
  • Talked with my mom.
  • Talked with J. and worked out some logistics for the weekend.
  • Finally collected one of the fecal samples that we are supposed to submit.
  • Put everyone in the car to pick P. up at the stable and take her to biology. Kensie came with us. He did very well and is good at riding in the car.
  • Spent a long time calling various numbers to see if there will actually be street parking where we want to park tomorrow for our museum trip. I'm still not entirely sure I have an accurate answer.
  • Had tea time with the children and started The Second Mrs. Giaconda by E. L. Konigsberg.
  • Spent a little too much time on the computer.
  • Gave ice, arnica, and comfort to the child who fell and bit her lip.
  • Asked R. to use her eyes before she moves her feet more than once.
  • Told K. not to jump and yell more than once.
  • Convinced everyone that what they really wanted to do was pick-up the house... sort of.
  • Started a blog post having finally figured out what to write about.
  • Practiced the "When I say your name, you look in my direction" game with R.
What I didn't do. (And these are on the list because at some point during the day, I thought to myself, "I should ___.")
  • Clean up the kitchen. This often falls by the wayside and my sainted husband does it when he gets home.
  • Take the dog for a walk (or convince an older child to take the dog for a walk.)
  • Vacuum the masses of dog hair from my bedroom floor, or any other room of the house, actually.
  • Ask P. about the Forensic Science class I came across or check-in with how her as to how schoolwork is going.
  • Fill out some paperwork that really needs to be done.
  • Clean off my desk in order to pay bills.
  • Pay bills.
  • Encourage R. to practice self-entertainment skills instead of having her stand behind me and play with my hair. (I've been on the phone more than usual today and building self-entertainment skills requires more of my presence than you would expect.)
  • Finally put away my black fleece that has been decorating the ottoman downstairs for several days and it gradually becoming white with dog hair. (Do you see a theme emerging?)
  • Comb G. and L.'s hair myself (other than their less than half-hearted attempts.)
  • File away the important papers which have been lying about since China.
  • Get to the guitar store to have a couple of instruments repaired.
  • Get to the shoe repair store to have G.'s dress shoes repaired. (At this rate, she is going to have to wear boots on Sunday.)
  • Get to the bank to deposit some checks.
  • Get to the grocery store to restock our adult beverage supply.
  • Pick-up the sweater I have waiting for me at the dry cleaners.
See? Pretty average and dull. The completed list is certainly not something that requires much specialized effort or knowledge. (It was pretty basic algebra.) You can see why I wonder at people's amazement at what I do. I know not everyone gets to collect fecal samples, but still...

Since this was a pretty dull post with very little real content, You can head over to Adoption.com and read my latest (and last) Letters from China, part 3, there.


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