We have a routine! I was worried we never would again.
On days Ben doesn't go to campus, Dorothy and I sleep until 7, and I don't have any official big kid responsibilities. We spend the day at Little Gym and running various errands before H and J get home. Cooper naps. We put away laundry. It's lovely. And I am on my way to screwing it up when I go back to class for 3 weeks and drag Ben and Dorothy with me.
On days Ben works, he leaves by 6:30, so I am up by 6:15, so I can brush my teeth and have a cup of decaf before the boys get up. The very first thing I do is start a load of laundry. I make breakfast and serve it while juggling the baby and eating a granola bar and a Greek yogurt. Dorothy, eats too. Dorothy sits in her bouncer or her rock n play while I clean up, and all 3 boys watch PBS kids. To minimize fighting, Harry and Jack get dressed one at a time. Then Jack watches Dinosaur Train or plays in Cooper's room. Harry plays his DS (if he got all of his stickers the previous day at school) in my room next to the bouncer. He is great at keeping Dorothy either asleep or happy. Cooper comes in the bathroom and freaking trashes the place while I shower, pull on some stretchy clothes, see how many days I can wear a top knot and beach wave spray in lieu of a shampoo, and cut my 5-minute face down to 3.5 minutes. Dorothy gets a bath, which everyone helps with, and we dress her in silly clothes and take her picture. I switch the laundry and supervise/ clean up after tooth brushing. We go outside to play/ take a walk before school.
After drop-off, I take advantage of Dorothy's Ergo nap to prep lunch for Jack, Cooper, and me, start the third and usually final load of daily laundry. I also wipe down all 3 bathrooms, vacuum and dust the bedrooms, and dust the main floor. Cooper grabs a Swiffer duster and the vacuum attachments and gives me a hand. He also makes a huge mess with a snack and craps himself. If I am on my game, I get all of the laundry folded and put away and feed the baby again at least once before it's time to get Jack.
We have lunch while watching Sesame Street, and Cooper goes down for his nap. After I clean up lunch, I have 2 hours to lounge on the basement couch, read a book, work on my online class, and doze while Jack plays and Dorothy naps and eats. Ben is home before H gets out of school 2 days a week (and, um, not, 1 day-- that's a rough one, but he is almost always home for bedtime), and the kids play outside or we take them for a walk/bike ride until it's time to make dinner.
Most nights we cook-- like, really cook with side dishes and everything!-- and Dorothy dozes in the Ergo while I clean up. Ben does bedtime now for all 3 boys. I rush to finish my housework-- kitchen cleaning, shaking out rugs/sweeping out laundry room, packing lunches-- and while Dorothy is either in the Ergo or content in her chair/rock n play, I wash my face and put on my PJ's and turn down my bed-- basically, everything I need 2 hands to do.
By 7, I am on the couch with everything I might need for the night, including a baby who eats and sleeps continuously. All 3big kids are out by 7:15-7:30, and Ben and I have a 2-hour couch date. By 9:30, Dorothy and I are in bed. She wakes to eat at 2 and 4:30 and is up for the day by 7, when we start it all again.
Saturdays, we do nothing-- except the daily laundry of course and dinner and kid work-- you know. Sundays, Ben, Cooper, and Jack grocery shop, and Dorothy, Harry, and I clean.
So far, 4 kids are as easy as 3, which is not to say they're easy, but another kids can be juggled in, you know?
Outfits that have made me laugh lately: