Joanne is president of The Y Group, a public relations, marketing and events firm. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Joe, and five children: twins, Jack and Emma, 7; twins, Matthew and Jonathan, 2; and Alex, 3 months.
4:30AM I’m up to feed my youngest daughter, Alex.
5:50AM I head back to bed, which is a nice, weekend treat.
6:30AM My husband Joe gets up with Matthew (2 years) and turns on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, his favorite show.
7:30AM Matthew’s twin brother Jonathan is up, so Joe feeds the two boys.
8:15AM My oldest twins, Jack and Emma, and I are up, and we have breakfast. I let Jonathan “help” in the kitchen, scoop up pool towels and start some laundry.
9:30AM I’m feeding Alex and reading to Matthew when my mom (a.k.a. Grandma) arrives to help. We are so lucky to have her close by! I wrap gifts for birthday parties and then coordinate the hectic family schedule for the week.
10:15AM We head outside for family time in the pool while Grandma puts Alex down for a nap, makes beds and cleans the kitchen. (She is a saint.) I can already tell my arms will be sore from throwing boys in air, so I count it as a workout. Later, I head inside to find Jonathan has taken felt stickers Grandma is using on chairs and stuck them to our glass table.
12PM Grandma heads home and I make lunches, eating as I go. The big kids get to work on an art project, Jonathan “helps,” and I play ball with Matthew.
12:45PM I feed Alex. Joe puts Matthew and Jonathan down for their nap.
1:15PM I’m in the kitchen making an Oreo layer cake with Jack and Emma while they take turns entertaining Alex, who is playing on the rug. When the cake is done, I clean the kitchen and go over the schedule for week with Joe while he holds Alex to get her ready for a nap.
2:20PM Jack and Emma are playing Wii with Joe while I fold laundry. They come in every few minutes to ask if the buttercream frosting for the cake is ready so they can lick the spoons.
2:35PM Jonathan is up from his nap, which felt too short. He immediately spots the cake and wants some but settles for a few marshmallows before going to watch the others play Wii. As I’m making the filling for cake, Jonathan pours chocolate milk all over the counter. The little boys ask for candles once the cake is ready, Jonathan finds some in the pantry and breaks them all in half. Jack and I devour the yummy, leftover frosting. (Everyone but Matthew has my sweet tooth.)
3:30PM I play cars with the boys and Joe turns on golf. Jonathan ends up in the naughty corner for throwing cars, a tactic we recently implemented as none of the other kids ever warrant that kind of discipline. Matthew eats oranges while we read Dr. Seuss; I wish all my kids loved fruit like him. Emma plays with Jonathan and then joins us to read.
4:30PM Deena arrives to help since Joe is leaving town for work. We try to relish our family time over the weekend with him gone during the week. I look over and realize Jonathan got into gum and it's now everywhere. The oven is on for dinner; I’m so happy it's already prepped. Joe decides to shower the four kids to save me from doing it after dinner.
5:15PM Alex is up and ready to eat just as Joe leaves for his business trip. The big kids get the little boys in pajamas and Deena's husband arrives to join us for dinner.
6PM My mom and stepfather Martin (a.k.a. Mart) come over for a quick visit to give Deena her baby gift from all of us. Deena was Jack and Emma’s nanny when they were little and is still part of our family.
6:15PM Dinner was a huge hit! Three of the four kids had seconds. Everyone loved the Oreo cake except Matthew, but it’s now everywhere. Jonathan needs new pajamas, and we nearly need new chairs with all the crumbs. The kids play chase while we clean. I hear a peep from Alex, who is kicking in her chair. She’s had a massive explosion that requires her seat to go straight in the washer. The kids brush teeth; I get new diapers and pajamas for boys. I run Alex's bath and hand her off to Deena so I can change her bedding. I then walk into the living room to find all four kids on the couch watching a show I’m positive 2-year-olds can’t comprehend.
7:40PM It’s a late start to the boys’ bedtime routine. Jack reads in Matthew's bed and Emma reads to Jonathan … a sweet moment. I fall asleep on Jonathan's bed and wake when I hear Alex crying.
9PM I feed Alex and am ready for bed myself. Deena reads to the big kids (they’re going to bed late too) and then leaves.
9:45PM I move laundry to the dryer, double-check doors are locked and set the alarm.
10:09PM I’m in bed and am sure I’ll be asleep in seconds. My last thought of the day: I hope everyone sleeps … We have a busy week ahead!
10:16PM As I’m dozing off, Johnnie screams for me … and, just like that, he's in my bed. Oh, well. We’ll try it all again tomorrow.