It's a little after 10pm. The only sounds in the house are that of the washer and dryer running at full capacity, and the dishwasher's buzz humming in the background.
Hubby is asleep on one couch while I fold laundry on another. When I'm done, I slowly open the door to the boys room and soft strains of piano music washes over me. The boys have insisted on going to sleep to music every night ever since one of them had had a bad dream and I put on the piano music to calm him down. Since then, they have both slept soundly through the night.
As I sneak around the boys room putting clothes away, I grin when I see Jacob sprawled on the floor, apparently having rolled right out of bed without even knowing it.
He's definitely my son.
Glancing up I see Joseph's leg hanging over the side of the top bunk. I can't help but feel just a teensy weensy bit smug when I remember how I had insisted on the safety rails even though Hubby had felt sure that the kids wouldn't need them.
I'm positive both boys unknowingly appreciate my foresight in saving them the experience of Joseph falling off and landing on Jacob.
Soon I am repeating my actions with the girls, only when I open the door to their room, instead of soft music reaching out to greet me, it is the sound of snoring. I hope Savannah's future husband won't mind too much.
I snicker at the thought.
After putting all their clothes away, I glance at Alayna and am not surprised to see her body twisted in some strange contortion, mouth hanging open as she hugs her favorite blanket.
Claira is not much better as she lays on her chest with her bum sticking straight up in the air. I carefully cover her back up with a blanket.
Closing the door, I walk back to the living room and look around. Despite my best efforts, the house still carries a faint but lingering smell of throw up. Joseph quite randomly and suddenly coated the living room floor before kindly running to the kitchen, where he continued to splatter the floor and several cabinets.
I have scrubbed and disinfected everything about six times.
I'm still fighting the urge to do it again.
Still, the overall condition of cleanliness in the kitchen was far from great. Crushed cereal still decorated the floor under the table, my counters are covered in produce from our garden, waiting to be frozen or canned, several toys and "projects" have been left out by the children, cluttering corners and floor space. I make a mental note to put all the library books that are spread out all over the table away before the kids spill something on them during breakfast.
Turning away, I grab some of Hubby's shirts and go to our closet to hang them up, trying to ignore the pile of "stuff" that covered the bed. Hubby has just returned from out of town and his suitcase and clothes have been haphazardly tossed in the middle.
Shaking my head, I couldn't help but think how spotless everything had been Saturday morning.
Still, strangely in that moment I didn't feel overwhelmed, well, not a lot anyway. I didn't feel guilty for the mess... well, maybe a little. But what I mostly felt was gratitude.
I thanked God for the pink sponge curlers that covered my bathroom counter and the frilly dress-up clothes that were spread all through the basement. I thanked God for toilet paper roll guns the boys had made and then left on the kitchen table, and for the pile of toy cars that are resting by the stairs.
These thoughts have also made me realize how little quality time I've been spending with that which is most precious to me and how quickly time is slipping through my fingers
So here's to a better week, a better mom, and a happier family.
By tomorrow I may be ready to donate my kids to the zoo, so let's just enjoy this moment while it lasts.