A while ago, I agreed to watch my friend Kristin's kids for a few days while she and her husband went out of town. It sounded intimidating to me at first, but the kids were really great for us, and Kristin had a good schedule for us to follow.
The biggest shock was just how much there is to do with 5 kids, especially once they start school. The only thing really going in Norah's life right now is doctor appointments every couple months and the occasional play date. Older kids have so much to do! And there weren't even any sports going on for these kids right now. I'll probably be one of those ridiculous moms who has everything scheduled out to the minute just to make sure I'm not forgetting anything!
The Wallace kids were great at helping out and were old enough to know what they should be doing anyway. Norah was by far the hardest child of them all because she did not like not being an only child. She got really clingy and wouldn't let me leave her sight for a second. (I realized a few days ago that part of the problem was that she was in the process of getting four more teeth.) It's going to take some major adjusting for Norah when we have another child (someday).
Day 1 brought us homework, piano practicing, a school Christmas program for one kid, and scouts and mutual for another two (as well as for Rich and myself).
Before we headed over to the Wallaces' house, Norah hung out in her car seat for a while. For some weird reason, she loves sitting in it when it's not in the car.
Once the kids got home from school, Norah was never starved for attention! The kids made sure she always had enough toys and any snack she might want.
Day 2 consisted of more homework, more piano, a play date for the youngest (which was really easy because they picked her up), cub scouts, and another school Christmas program.
Norah's favorite place to hang out was the dog's bed. She was pretty much always covered in dog hair.
Gracie was really loving the dog's kennel, too. She insisted that Lucy (the dog) wanted to be in there with her. And, I have to admit, the dog was pretty happy with this.
Don't tell the other kids this, but the oldest, Andrew, was probably Norah's favorite. I even caught this shot of her cuddling with him!
Day 3 was pretty easy, although I have no idea how to cook for more than three people. Making dinner wasn't the easiest for me while there. We did attempt an outing to Walmart that night. I can only imagine what people thought when they saw this couple of twenty-somethings with six kids ranging from almost 13 to 18 months.
Norah and I got some alone time while Gracie was at preschool. She was much less clingy when it was back to just the two of us. I was able to clean things up a little while Norah played quietly on the bed.
Norah has quite the evil look on her face here, but she and Grace had a lot of fun together. Gracie always made sure Norah was happy.
A car full of kids (there are two more in the backseat you can't see). I let Rich drive the Yukon - I'm a little scared of how big it is!
Day 4 was lots of fun. It started with a ward Christmas breakfast where Santa made a guest appearance, followed by Norah's (and my) first trip to Chuck E. Cheese's.
Ward Party Shots
We tried to get them to take a good picture so we could send it to their parents. Caleb's face cracks me up!
Norah got to sit on Santa's lap at the party, and that went just about how I expected (which, I'm afraid to admit, is just how I wanted it to). She hated it. Threw a great fit about it. And I absolutely love these pictures.
Rich caught it on video, too. Love it!
And then our trip to Chuck E. Cheese's
Don't let Norah's face here fool you. She loved it!
So this ride takes a picture of you while you're going, and Gracie knew just what to do. She had this fake, though still adorable, smile plastered on her face the whole time.
This was Norah's absolute favorite part of the trip. In fact, she threw a giant fit if we attempted to get her off, even if it was to eat pizza, her favorite food.
After Chuck E. Cheese's, the plan was to go home and quiet down so Norah could take a nap. That was only after Rich and the boys had a giant Nerf gun war. Boys will be boys.
We had some play time later that evening where we had an epic game of tag, followed by some Skylander lessons for me. These kids were so adorable, doing their best to entertain Norah, who was just about babysat out.
They started playing peekaboo with her, and she loved it, although the video does not do it justice. It was so adorable of them!
Such a cute family
(Including Adam, who was sulking in the corner, for some reason I don't remember now)
This babysitting gig showed me that I still have a lot of things left to learn. Like how to cook a large meal. And how to get boys (including your husband) to stop shooting Nerf guns and start cleaning up.
It sure was a lot of fun, though! Thanks for sharing your family with us, Kristin!