Some stretches of time around here are just intense. It's not that anything is wrong, or out of whack. It's not the presence of a particular stress-causer or the absence of a specific stress-reducer. It's just the reality of a bunch of little people with a bunch of needs (real and imagined) and a limited Mommy who can only do so much with two hands and two feet at any given time.
This afternoon was one of those intense times. The girls were working on a craft that was just a bit out of their reach (and so needed lots of support and un-knotting of thread and restringing of needles). And John Paul who woke earlier than I was expecting and Luke who throws everything off his high chair tray (even the things he really wants.... crazy baby) and Isaac who was in tears over a pair of missing sunglasses (I knew they were in the car, which was parked just a smidge out of reach and I ended up running through the complex to go snag them anyways because I rescue train sunglasses for almost-4-year-old boys, among other things).
One of my 'go-to' mantras at times like that is "give this situation twenty minutes of just about everything you can muster.... and we'll have turned a corner". Call it a coping mechanism if you like, but it's true. It's amazing how twenty minutes of hard work can get you through some tricky moments.
And twenty minutes? Only twenty minutes? Ha! Twenty minutes isn't much!
Twenty minutes (I think) later Isaac was sporting his sunglasses, the two littlest boys had finished their snack & gotten cleaned up & shoes on and were out in the courtyard, Julianna (craft completed) was on her way to join/supervise them, Lydia busy finishing up her little felt owl (and sweeping under the kitchen table .... craft + snack = time to sweep. again.)
The afternoon/evening was far from over but the intensity level was dropping. It cranked up again before suppertime (surprise late arriving Daddy plus poor decision on my part to try making our own butter while getting dinner in the oven).
But another twenty minutes and we were (mostly*) seated at the table, dinner on plates, (unspilled!) milk in cups and Matt (home!) in his rightful spot at the head of the table.
Our homemade butter (pour cream into a plastic container and let your kiddos shake for about fifteen minutes) turned out great. We salted one chunk, and doused the other with a big splash of honey. Spread that honey butter on some homemade bread and you will. not. be. disappointed. YUM.
*mostly seated? Surely you don't think I sit for dinner?!?!?! He he he. Just kidding. I sit, sometimes :)