Thursday, April 9, 2015

A day in our life with three

It's been quite some time since we last wrote about our day! The last time we did, Junior J was three plus, and Lil J was almost one, and we were living in Germany (you can find our post here). Now fast forward 2.5 years, and our days are looking very different: there are three little fellows in the picture, and things recently have gotten a little crazier as the younger two have dropped naps, while somewhat still needing them (Baby J is now down to one nap, and Lil J is no longer napping). However, while our days are chaotic, there is still lots of loveliness in them, and writing this post helped me to see that. So here goes!


5.30 am: I am woken up by the baby, who wants to feed. After feeding him, I get out of bed, since I fell asleep early the night before, and there's lots to be done before the kids wake up. (I admit, my sleep schedule has been pretty messed up these days. I'm working on it!)

6.00 am: The hubby's up, and getting ready for work. He's usually not up so early, but today he's working with a surgeon who wants to start early as there are a lot of cases scheduled. He leaves the house. I have my breakfast, do my quiet time, dash out a post on the blog and schedule some posts to be published on the blog FB page. I tidy yesterday's mess, and pack our bags for the day ahead. 

7.30 am: Baby's first to be up. Then Junior J follows soon after, and crawls into our bed. They both tumble about, while I go and check on Lil J in the boys' room. He's still asleep, in typical Lil J fashion: legs out of his jammies. 

He says he sleeps in Australia. Which is sort of true. 

I change the baby, and get breakfast ready, and drag Lil J out of bed and get him changed too.

Nothing complicated for breakfast, so it takes minutes to assemble. :)

We have breakfast. Baby J is a pretty fussy eater, so we usually end up letting him flip books while we feed him his meals. Today, he's fascinated with the Moomintroll Peekaboo book which we borrowed from the library. He loves seeing himself in the mirror on the last page of the book, and likes looking for Moominmamma and Moominpappa. I start cooking Baby J's lunch, as we are headed out for co-op. 

9.15 am: We head off for co-op, after some yelling about various things (like moving faster, and stop poking your brother, and pick up your bag, and hurry up). Getting out of the house always takes awhile: today someone wanted to wear his tiger socks, so he had to wear his shoes instead of Crocs, which prompted someone else to insist on wearing his socks and shoes too. That same boy with the tiger socks also decided that he would wear his T-shirt as his shorts. We walk to the bus-stop with my dad, who's decided to join the boys for the bus-ride. (My dad stopped working about a year ago and lives near us, so the boys get to hang out with him very often.)

9.45 am: We reach our friend's place, and the boys bid goodbye to their kong kong and we head up.

They are always racing to press the buttons. These days one gets to press the floor number,
and the other, the unit number. Or they start fighting.

It's Chinese co-op, so the boys listen to stories and learn Chinese songs. Two families couldn't make it today, so it's just my boys and my friend's two boys. 

The topic today is on the human body. Everyone wants to be the model for our activity. Lil J gets his body drawn, much to his delight.

They learn about the different parts of the body in Chinese, and learn how to sing "Head and Shoulders" in Chinese too.

The lesson is done and the boys all head to the playground. Then it's back up for lunch (my friend kindly hosts and cooks lunch for the group, so we are very blessed. I look forward to these sessions where I only need to cook lunch for baby J!). It's fishball noodles today. The boys sit together and eat, while I chase Baby J as he wanders about and feed him his lunch.

Baby J always tries to join the older boys.

1.30 pm: It's past baby's nap time, and he's getting really cranky. We bid our friends goodbye and race out to catch a cab home. Baby starts a scream fest in the cab, but calms down after a feed. The older two are restless, so we play "I spy" to keep them occupied. Lil J always asks us to spot something green, which usually turns out to be grass. He then praises us with a "very good!" which makes me smile. 

We finally reach home, Lil J gets some building materials to work with (we discuss this in the cab ride so that I don't have to spend 15 minutes negotiating with an indecisive 3 yo), while Junior J starts on his regular work (Math U See, reading and some other art project that he gets to pick). I've learnt that I need to keep them separated during this period of time, so that Lil J doesn't disturb his brother at work, and they don't end up playing and making a ruckus. (I've tried keeping Lil J in his room for quiet time, but he only lasted two days before asking to play outside.) Usually these activities help to keep them busy for awhile, enough to buy me some time to pat baby J to sleep. 

2.15 pm: The baby is finally asleep. The boys are quietly doing their stuff outside the room. I sit down on the bed while carrying the baby, and take a cat nap for 15 minutes. I try to put baby down on the bed after awhile. Which is the time that the older two start fighting outside. Junior J is shouting, and Lil J is crying. The baby's eyes fly open. SIGH. 

The shouting and crying is getting louder so I go out and separate the two, and then go back to the room to try to pat baby J back to sleep. After awhile, I give up, and carry him out to find out what the fight was about. Apparently Junior J was working on his drawing of prehistoric sea reptiles when Lil J wanted his piece of vanguard. He refused to let him have it so Lil J drew on it, which got him really angry. I talk to the two of them and sort the matter out. 

Lil J shows me what he's been building (before he got into that fight). He chose to work with Zoobs today, and has linked them up by colour into long sticks. He now wants a vanguard sheet to draw on, but insists it must be purple. Purple is currently his favourite colour.

I tell him that we do not have purple vanguard. He still insists on purple vanguard, and I show him all the vanguard sheets that we have (Which is a lot. That's a long story.). No purple. In the end we compromise: I tape 2 pieces of purple construction paper together and he's happy he has his purple paper. 

3.10 pm: Usually by now Junior J would have been done with school and I would be doing school with Lil J. However, I realize that I need to start cooking, because today I had planned to make braised pork belly for dinner. ARGH. I feed Baby J his milk, get Lil J to drink his milk, and then ask Junior J to play with the baby while I wrestle with chopping up the pork belly (which I forgot to ask the uncle at the market to cut for me). I blanch the pork. I realize I can't drain the pot because the sink is full of dirty dishes from breakfast. And I can't load the dishes into the dishwasher, because it's full of clean dishes. So I unload the dishwasher, load the dirty dishes, and drain the pot. The recipe calls for you to fry the pork with sugar, but I decide to skip the step (oops!) to save time, and I just dump all the ingredients into the pot to simmer. 

I seriously need a coffee. So I make one (decaf, thanks to the baby), and finally sit down to do school with Junior J. We discuss the story he just read, and he reads it to me. We do some Chinese (Sage, some Chinese activity book, as well as learn some dinosaur names). Then we end off with some Math (Life of Fred, which we will share about soon). 

Baby J is quite cranky during the lesson and wants to be carried. So he sits in my lap and asks for a crayon. After a while, I manage to plop him in his chair. Now it's Lil J's turn for school. We work through his Chinese activity book, do some counting and phonics.

5.00 pm: My dad pops by, and all three boys head downstairs to the playground with him. 5 pm is the witching hour over here, where everyone is usually cranky, including myself, so I find getting the kids out of the house helps. I start cleaning up the kitchen. Hubs comes back (earlier for once, thanks to his early start today!), and volunteers to cook the veggie dish. I plop on the sofa for 10 minutes and reply my messages. The hubs is done cooking, and goes off to join the kids downstairs. I start cooking the rice and baby's food. 

6.00 pm: The boys are back, and we have dinner, and hubby and I get to chat (while nagging at the kids to eat). Junior J goes off to shower, I clean up our mealtime mess, while the hubby bathes the baby. Junior J then practices his piano, while the hubby gives Lil J a bath.

Our piano is under repair, so Junior J has been using the hubs (rather ancient) keyboard.
The problem with keyboards, is that it's a magnet for little itchy fingers who find all the buttons irresistible!
We end up having to close the door so that Junior J can practice in peace. 

8.00 pm: The younger two then get milk to drink while we read stories to them. Junior J is left to his own devices, and is busy sticking up his vanguard drawings. 

They all go to brush teeth and change into jammies. The hubs takes the older two to their room and reads a Bible story, and then prays with them before they sleep, while I put baby J to bed. Sometimes I am so tired I fall asleep while waiting for baby to sleep (he seems to need to roll about for a fair bit before he falls asleep!). Other nights, I stay up, and the hubs and I chat over chores, and do our stuff. 

And that's our day. Messy and rather full of mayhem, but with precious moments that I treasure too. :)


This post is part of the "Day in a Life" blog train, which is hosted by this blog. To take a peek into the interesting lives of other mums, please click here. And if you have your own post to share, do add it to the linky on the same page!

Next up on the blog train is Jolin from The Js Arena

Jolin is a blessed mother to a loving hubby and two adorable boys. The Js Arena is where she captures and documents memories of her motherhood and parenting journey. She has just taken on her new role as a full-time mother. Join her tomorrow as she shows you her day!


  1. I love it that you just take it all in your stride - every day can be so different!

    My son sometimes likes to wear his tee-shirt as his shorts too. Or his shorts as a hat. You know, as long as his body is covered he doesn't really seem to care.

    1. Debs: AH! Ok so my kid is normal then. Some days it can even be funny. Most days though, he chooses to do it just as we are rushing out and its grrrrrr...

  2. I have the same problem of the younger boy disturbing and distracting the older one when I am trying to get him do his work. It is amazing that you can squeeze in so much activities with your boys.

    1. Jolin: It took alot of trial and error to figure out how to keep them separated and occupied! Hope you find something that works, I know its not easy since they tend to be so easily distracted!

  3. Hi Jus, your day is indeed packed and laborious! Always inspiring to read how you cope with God's grace and savour the precious moments of the long days! As our kids grow, we feel the preciousness of how short the years are and thank God for them. our labour of love will produce a harvest of righteousness in the future. : ) Blessings, Angelia

    1. Thanks Angelia for the reminder! The years are definitely short, and yes I must remember to focus on the harvest to come!

  4. My goodness! I'm exhausted just reading about your day! You're so patient to show Lil J all the different vanguards you've got, and to tape two sheets of purple construction paper together for him. I would have raised my voice at Noah, and told him that he can't draw anymore, since he refused to use any other colour. I have lots to learn from you.

    1. Adeline: Oh, I think its because you've yet to meet Lil J! He's a very strong-willed child, and absolutely refuses to give in for many things. I have to choose my battles carefully with him, because I don't want to be having to tussle with him every hour. Fighting with him over purple paper (which would involve screaming, scratching and kicking on his side) isn't something I'm up to! Otherwise I would have done as you've described. ;)

  5. What a full day! Both in terms of physical activity as well as love :) love it!

    1. Adora: Thanks! Your days are full too, I'm sure, and you still have all those steps to climb!

  6. I seriously feel tired after reading your daily life. It is like.. how do you do all that while keeping sane! Especially the fact that you homeschool while "keeping the house" and cook! Well done and thanks for posing links on those activities too. :)

    1. Eve: Thanks! I just do what is needed at the moment, nothing extra. :) Hope some of the resources might come in handy!

  7. I spy is our favorite game too whenever we are driving to or from home :)

    1. Myshelomitashop: It's such a great game, isn't it? No prep, no cost, and keeps the kids occupied!

  8. I am wondering how to wear tee shirt as shorts and was looking for the photo. :P

    1. Lyn: Hahahahaha! I was too frazzled then to snap a shot, and was yelling at him to "HURRY UP AND WEAR YOUR SHORTS AND GET YOUR BAG!" Try to picture it: skinny legs into the sleeves of the T-shirt, then pull up and hold up to your belly button. Proclaim very loudly "I am wearing my shorts!". ;)

  9. Gosh! That was such a day! How do you keep sane, seriously?? And to manage everything so well - thumbs up!!
    - Dee -

  10. Love your sharing, thank you! I love how you are so calm and take thing one step at a time and not to overload yourself. And you have two wonderful men to support you, and a husband who can and willing to cook, wow, lucky you!!

  11. Oops! Is it me? The vanguard lady? Hehehe



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