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Tracey Rauen

Tracey Rauen lives in Coppell with her husband, James, and sons, Jake, 6, Will and Sam, who are both 3. The boys attend a Montessori school, while she works as the Family Education Coordinator at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Pre-children she was a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse.

6:27am Wake up and look at clock. Ugh. Need to be at work early. Move to shower.

6:50am Listen for kids. I hear James talking to them downstairs.

6:55am Start hair and makeup. What to wear, what to wear?

7:30am James has fed them. Still need diaper changes, clothes on. Gulp breakfast drink — this will be it until lunch. Finish packing kids’ lunches that I prepped last night.

7:45am Today we are celebrating a holiday at school and need to bring a family picture and snack (Jake chose chocolate-chip muffins). This we have, the pictures I do not. Off and running through box of about 400 pictures waiting to be scrapbooked, which sits next to dozens of quilt patterns and stacks of fabric that have not been touched since I was pregnant with Jake 6 years ago. I think the teachers have last year’s Christmas card posted in the room still … let’s hope.

8am Loading car up with lunch bags, work bag, purse, muffins, etc.

8:03am Tell Jake to get dressed; tell him that he needs to wear a collared shirt for his celebration and socks that match. Not the news he was hoping for and I get a look that says, “I will do it because there is chocolate involved today, but I am not happy about it!”

8:05am Start with Will. This involves chasing him through the house, over toys and behind the couch. Make-up application now a waste of time! He is not happy with my shirt choice; requests “bike” shirt. OK, looking for bike shirt …

8:10am Now on to Sam. James said he did not eat that much. Weird. He is usually a big breakfast eater. Open diaper and find it dry. Sam pats belly and says “path please” which means “cath please.” Sam was diagnosed with a malignant spinal tumor when he was 6 weeks old, and it has left him with a bladder that sometimes “freezes up” and won’t release. Feel abdomen and bladder is full and firm. Change of plans; now we need to set up for catherization.

8:25am Done with cath. Searching for Sam’s leg braces. Finally find them under couch. Now for the shoes; where does he hide them? Wait while Sam does the straps … patience is a virtue.

8:45am Pull out of driveway. Finally!

9:15am At school. Unload all three — this usually resembles a circus. There is always a backup at the front door as Will and Sam fight over who opens it and holds it for the other. This will end with one throwing himself on the floor and me having to pick him up and carry him down the hall.

9:20am We get to Will and Sam’s room first; give hugs and kisses. Will is into numbers and runs to get them. I have to pat him down at the end of the day as he usually has one or two somewhere on him to take home. Sam heads to the pegboard. Onto Jake’s room; hugs and kisses there. His “girlfriend” Caroline is already there so he has a big smile on his face as I leave.

9:45am At work. Check mail and see note to meet with boss.

9:50am Meeting with boss.

10:15am Start e-mail, see note regarding lunch meeting today that I forgot about. Need to speed up plan to head downtown … 14 voicemails to go.

11am Answer as many voicemails as possible, hit e-mail and answer most important. Rest will have to wait.

11:30am Head out for meeting.

11:50am Entrance to parking is blocked by a truck that is too high to get in, and now he is stuck. You have to be kidding!

11:55am Start circling block.

12:10pm Finally in lot. Park and run.

1:15pm Out of meeting. Visit with luncheon planners; I could use recommendations for speakers for an upcoming event.

1:30pm In car and headed to grocery store.

1:50pm In Kroger to buy extra muffins, napkins, drinks.

2:20pm At school, drop food off in Jake’s room and then head to twins room to see if they are up from nap. They are just stirring.

2:30pm Twins arrive in Jake’s room. Teachers had last year’s holiday picture, so I am saved.

2:50pm Kids serve muffins while I get the twins settled at a table with some of the older girls who are fussing over them. They are eating it up. I sit with Jake and talk about his day.

3:15pm In car and heading to doctor check-ups.

3:45pm Check-in and unpack crayons and coloring books. Peace for 15 minutes. Page through People and catch up on gossip.

4pm In examining room, and Sam insists on looking at the doctor first; he does a good job, knows the routine: ears, nose, throat, lungs. Matt sits patiently while Sam does his exam. Meanwhile Jake and Will are jumping off table and hanging off of chairs. Thank goodness our pediatrician has five kids, and he is not fazed. It’s Will’s turn, and he is not as happy to be examined. We talk about immunizations — both need some. Fun, fun!

4:45pm Waiting for nurses to come in and do shots.

4:50pm Nurses in, shots given 1-2-3. Wipe tears, get dressed.

5pm Waiting for prescriptions.

5:15pm In car and on the way home. Call James and let him know how it went and what plan is for Sam’s ongoing treatment. Call Mom and update her on boys’ growth and development. Talk about follow-up on Sam’s bladder studies. Drive through McDonald’s.

6pm In the door — babysitter is already there, and she helps unload the kids and get them to the table. Girls’ night out tonight, so I rush upstairs and start quick fix.

6:30pm Change into jeans, nice top and heels to feel taller (read: as attempt to look slimmer) and then debate Spanx or no Spanx. Really, is there a choice? Apply quick powder, blush and lipstick.

7:10pm At bar with drink in hand. Catch up with some of the moms and wait for the rest of the crowd. We have about 22 moms (united through our children’s school) coming tonight, so we have snagged a back room.

7:30pm All there, and everyone is talking about the moms-only Cancun trip we are taking in February.

9:30pm The get-together is breaking up, and I am ready to head out but am being conned into going to Starbucks.

10pm Shutdown Starbucks. The mini-party then moves to my minivan, the rolling living room, as we like to call it. With three carseats and the DVD player, it looks it.

11:30pm Finally home. Check on boys, give kisses and fix covers. Read babysitter Elaine’s note on how the evening went. Drop in bed and break rule of never going to bed with make-up on (again). Set alarm for 5am; we have an early appointment for Sam at Scottish Rite Hospital. Get back up and pack diaper bag again so that I am not running around for it in the morning. Double check to make sure stroller is in the van. Gather all leg braces for the docs to look at.

11:45pm OK, in bed for real. James stirs, looks at me and then at the clock. He starts laughing and asks how the night went. Quick rehash and then fall into coma. Falling asleep is never a problem.