A day in the Gautraud home
HEEEEEYYY! My name is Kerry. I am a wife, mommy of 4 ( 1 by birth, 3 by adoption), and pediatric nurse (part-time). Here is one day of my life. My life is full and a bit crazy, but I would not change it for anything. I hope you laugh a lot and maybe learn something.
Woke up for the day around 7:30. This sweet boy was already in our bed snuggling cause when I woke up at 6am to go to the bathroom, checked on him, and he had soaked the bed. This is our youngest Oscar, 7 months old and nothing but sweetness. Lyla joined the party shortly after. She’s our oldest at 7 1/2 years old. Moments later came Olive (age 6) and Petra (21 months). Daddy is getting ready for work. I threw on my Old Navy t-shirt dress… I own about 4 and live in them most of the summer. Most important of all, my Chacos…they give me superpowers. A quick washing of the face & brushing the teeth and I am ready to conquer the day. Everybody starts the day water & lemon juice! Feed the baby, read my Bible, pray, think lots of positive thoughts, while I beg for quiet to do so from the other 3. After water comes exercises, cause some of us have unlimited energy and sensory needs ;) BREAKFAST! Worship music plays while we get the day started. Olive is ALWAYS ready to put on a concert. After all the kiddos our fed, I feed myself. Today I have tomatoes and basil from my friend Allison’s garden, so I get fancy with scrambled basil, tomato, and goat cheese. YUM. I really like cooking and food.. It’s good. No better way to start the way than a dance party for Jesus! my jam. Petra joins in. Ut oh, the baby has rolled away. ((chest scar due to open heart surgery… that’s a whole nother story)) I homeschool, so after breakfast = start today’s reading! I don’t exactly have a curriculum, but grab a collection of books for today that cover a variety of subjects. Bible, nature study, math, and art for today. After reading we go outside to draw and be inspired. I saw it’s gonna be in the 90s today, so gotta get outside early. I try to have them outside for at least an hour each day. Momma enjoys drawing too, so I write out the subjects I want to cover this year to put on display. This will help me cover each subject area as I shop for books/ reserve stuff from the library. Little people don’t like to sit for long, so TIME TO MOVE! Jumped on the trampoline while we listened to music. After years of Occupational Therapy, I learned that kiddos do best when they get repetitive physical exercise, water, and snack every 2 hrs. Sometimes I remember… sometimes their behavior reminds me :) Notice my garden box of weeds in the background. Next on to the swing. And scooter. Lyla picks me a new bouquet of flowers, cause she is just “that kid” meanwhile, Petra escapes! She escaped twice, and therefore ends up inside for“time-in” (which is time-out, except I stay in the same room or hold her, talk through what happened, and practice a “re-do”)… which apparently she enjoys. Notice the poster above the microwave that my awesome husband and I made for our adoption & foster support group. It serves as a daily reminder for our parenting vision. I decide she might need an earlier nap. *wish me luck* Which mean I can read some more! Olive always wants to flip through the book after. Lyla is inspired to be a little Monet. I give Oscar some tastes of food. He hates food. Not gonna stress about it… moving right along ;) And I remember that Oscar has an appoint at Children’s at 3:15, so I need to get my crockpot recipe in the pot. Olive helps, cause she LOVES to help in the kitchen. It’s her thing + we connect = yes. Lyla, I need you to feed the baby… he’s HANGRY. Don’t worry about the paint on your face ;) Lyla begs me to play her current audiobook. How can a homeschool mom say no?! P.S. most of the books on Librivox app are FREE! Oh wait, who is that? It’s Petra. She was not ready for a nap. She was ready for lunch. And decided to put the berry container on her head… HILARIOUS. Olive, stir the onions, they are gonna burn. And I’m crying… Cause the recipe calls for 4 onions diced…. I say 2 is enough. Meanwhile Petra says she is “ALL DONE” …. nice. In our house, you make a mess… you clean it up. Petra, get off the table. Petra, try again… off the table. PETRA TRY AGAIN. NOPE. PETRA off the table or time in… you choose. YOU CHOOSE… TIME IN! *I must remind myself often “a behavior is a need being expressed and my job is to help them meet the need appropriately” I think Petra enjoys the “time-in” time, cause she needs my attention. We practice “using our words” to ask for hugs and mommy’s attention vs. climbing on the table. She hugs and squeezes me for a long time. ((side note: we tried keeping her paci in her bed, but she started putting EVERYTHING in her mouth, and eating things she should not. Her paci is the only thing that is appropriately fulfilling that need for now, so I’m not fighting that fight)) Kitchen is a disaster… But dinner is DONE. and in the pot. I so very love my Chambers oven. Next to the stove I notice, these are our daily rhythms… These are just goals, and a thing I go to when I don’t know what to do. Or I say “the schedule says…” Alright Petra, NOW you must nap. Some PT exercises with Oscar. Dang he’s yummy. And it’s past 1pm and momma needs lunch. Thankfully I made up some salads in mason jars this week, which keep for days. I try to do this when I can, cause otherwise I don’t eat lunch and I turn into a monster. TA DAAAA! But notice the video monitor for Petra.. she climbs out of her crib many times, so I have to keep getting up and putting her back in bed. Good thing she is cute and I like her a lot. about 1:30pm, Lyla informs me that I never made her lunch.. whoops. Girl gets a special grilled ham and cheese for that. Gotta do chores before the toddler wakes up! Everyone pitches in here… we are a TEAM. They actually love chores.. it’s weird, and awesome. Nothing better than a CLEAN kitchen by 2:45. This kitchen has been over 2 years in the making…lots of layers of dust and months of no stove,etc. We totally ripped out the old one and my amazing husband has done 100% of the work here. It’s my dream baby. My goal is NEVER to keep the whole house clean, but I do try to keep our kitchen and dining room (the 2 areas we mostly live in) mostly clean.. these help me feel more at peace. GET ON YOUR SHOES! GET YOUR WATER CUPS! Wake the babies from their naps, cause I gotta drop the girls off at Aunt Maria’s and get Oscar to his appointment. BUCKLE UP! I MIGHT make it on time. Our 2nd home. Run across the street to Aunt Maria’s (who has 5 kids) to drop off the kiddos. This happens at least once a week, but has happened like 4 times in the past week. Maria is my person. We date night swap, we doctor appointment swap, we call each other crying. If you are a mom and don’t have a person in walking distance, get yourself one… game changer. HAVE FUN with your cousins! BYE! Our 3rd home. I work here. We see at least 6 specialist here, Oscar had open heart surgery here… less than a 5 minute drive. Waiting to see ENT. Meanwhile, Maria sends me this text picture informing me that Petra aka Petrazilla has gotten into her paints… typical. Just gotta laugh at toddlers. After an ear cleaning and lab draw, poor baby needs a bottle and mommy’s kisses. I just want to cry with him. Oscar has Down syndrome and many associated medical issues. I hate how much he’s been through, but I’m so glad to be the one to walk through it all with him. Momma got you boy. Pick up kids from Maria’s and a few minutes later…. DADDY’S HOME! PRAISE JESUS, HALLELUJAH! We’ve made it this far! Golly, he’s our prince, and I think he’s HOT. A few minutes later…Uncle Doug lives down the street too, and Aunt Carly is sick, so we send dinner. COMMUNITY is where it is at. Bless this food. Pray fast though, cause Momma hungry. Beef stew = worth the wait. Toddler is ALLLLLL DONE! Mommy retires to the couch after dinner cause I’m about to fall out. So is Petra… Olive finds it a good time to play “hair salon” Petra and Lyla play with bubbles in the sink and steal my glasses. I could care less at this point. Joel works on the kitchen more.. cause it NEVER ends, while Hannah (our roommate who lives on the third floor) and her boyfriend Ben make fish tacos for their dinner. Yes, to add to our weirdness, we also rent out our third floor. Why not?! 7pm = Olive unplugged I brush hair, cause doing hair is the majority of my life. I was out of things to do at 7pm, so I sent the girls upstairs to shower… good idea! Look, clean children. Still adorable, always smiling. Now Hannah is making someone’s wedding cake, cause did I mention she is a pastry chef? Oh snap it smells so good. More reading to make it closer to…. BED TIME! Where Daddy reads more! Lots of snuggles all around. Prayers, songs, blah blah. GOOD NIGHT my loves! Joel walks to the Woodburn Brewery a block away to meet with some other men in our neighborhood to talk about our neighborhood ministry, while Hannah and Ben offer me a margarita, which I take to bed…. WIN!
While he was gone, I compiled this post. Now it’s 11pm and I just ran down to get myself a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream… cause I can. My life is fun & exhausting. Some days are really hard, but more often than not I have joy & peace & freedom in my home. That has taken years of work & lots of Holy Spirit intervention, but it’s been 110% worth it. I wouldn’t wanna do anything else. The end.