By 8:09am I am ready for a break. I am amazed at how much has to be done before these 6 little bits of bones and skin can leave the house. I bring most of it on myself but it is only because it is important to me. Why is it important to me? Not really sure but we all have a "things" that we pay attention to.
The alarm goes off at 6:30am and I head down the hall and flip on the light in Eamon and Liam's room. I make sure they answer me in some sort of a way even if it is just a grunt. I move back down the hall and walk into Mairin's room. I have to turn on the light for her and find her. She is never in the same place in her bed. She can be hidden under a mound of pillows or scrunched in the corner. She doesn't say much so I usually lay with her for a quick minute before I leave her to get ready. The walk down the stairs in my final opportunity to wake up before I enter the kitchen for a full on meal preparation. It is early but I pull out the 7 lunch boxes and prepare my mind for what I will fill these rectangular canvas zip up to go bags with. There are those who like ham and not bologna and some who prefer chicken breast over turkey and I do make some mistakes but most often I can put together some mean lunches. Liam is by far the easiest of all. He doesn't really care what I pack and never complains about what I pack. Eamon is pretty laid back but he is more particular about including healthy items. He likes certain bread, needs a bag of chips and will go without yogurt. Throw him an apple and carrots and he is good. Mairin takes some creativity at times. She wants the salami and cream cheese roll ups or the little cups of ravioli or something completely off the wall but she is 100% mood based (haha just like me...) Colin likes ham but not bologna and Finn prefers bologna. Declan will eat almost anything and Colin has to have green apples versus red apples. Plain vanilla yogurt for Finn but any flavor for the others.
The older 3 leave on the bus at 7:10am so usually while I am waking up the Blendtec is mixing smoothies and the toaster has a waiting line. I don't make breakfast and the kids know that they need to stay out of my way so that they will have a lunch. My counters start to fill up around this time because my mind is going in several directions and if I jump ahead to the triplets lunch I end up having lots of ingredients out. Throw in some permission slips that need signing along with The Today Show you have a rumbling morning. "Did you brush your teeth"? and "make sure you comb your hair". Peat and Repeat is the standard over here.
I have a 10 to 15 minute gap between the older 3 getting on the bus and the littles coming downstairs (that is only if the older 3 were somewhat quiet which is rare). The trips hate it when I make them go back upstairs and change their clothes or when they forget their socks. They will come down in some obnoxious outfit that is either mix matched, too small or dirty and I simply say, "try again" and they know that means to pivot on the right foot, turn around gracefully and retrace steps back to their room for a redo. I remember as a kid hating having to go back downstairs to retrieve something that I had forgotten.
By this time I am in full swing of making lunches for the trips and they usually consist of a roll up or sandwich, bagel, hot dog or even a salad. Throw in a fruit cup and some sort of crunch and they are good to go. The snack is tougher to figure out. I often resort to the fruit cup and a cheese stick. I stack their lunches on the floor in the kitchen and that is their signal to pack their backpacks. We encourage looking for our shoes and coat at this time so that we don't get to bus time and we can't find our coats or shoes. When they are complete they can then watch some TV...Oh and they are also on their own for breakfast preparation. They can do toast, bagel and/or cereal. I can assist with a milk pour, opening of a new box of sugar cereal or spreading some cream cheese on a bagel but that is the extent of that. The bus arrives at 8:09am and the house is then quiet. Time to fill the dishwasher and put away what looks like a complete disaster. Oh and David was in this mix as well. He comes down in the midst of all this...kisses whoever is left and grabs his coffee and lunch before he heads out for a day of "breaking rocks for the man" as he would say.
It is not long before I need to get serious about what is for dinner. (I get so tired of food being such a big part of my day but I have not figured out how to get away from it). Nothing good comes out of 6 hungry kids that jump off the school bus, barge through the front door and say "I'm hungry" and I have nothing for them.