Trying To Do Too Much

It's funny, but on a day like today, where I feel like a total failure, I can look back through our day and marvel at how I FEEL that way even though our day was not a failure.

Perception is everything and I really did feel like we failed.

We did so much today and yet I felt like it was one of those days where nothing went right, no one was in a great mood and we didn't have a wonderful day.

Thinking back through our day I realize that most of those feelings belong to me.

The boys were mostly happy and if asked I'm sure that they'd say they had a great day (until the very end when our Wii died).   I woke up tired and kept adding things to my list that I wanted to get done today.

I don't know why I always have so much on my list and I try really hard to keep it realistic but today I just didn't. 

I wanted to get in a full day of school with the boys, go run errands, bake pies, clean the house, and really the list just went on and on.  As I saw the clock slowly ticking away the day my sense of urgency just kept ratcheting up and hampered my enjoyment of the day.

It was time to start dinner by the time I really stopped and gave conscious thought to our day.

When I tried to focus  on what we did today I realized part of my feeling about our day were due to the fact that we had done so much and I was feeling so rushed through it all.

I realized I needed to try harder tomorrow to enjoy the moments and have fun with my boys; something I don't think I did at all today!

Trying to do too much always leads to disappointment and frustration. 

Our day started out great.

Alec came downstairs around bedtime last night and watched us teaching Ian to play the card game Pitch.  He watched and asked questions and while I could sense he wanted to play he instead asked if someone would play Zeus on the Loose with him.  We told him it was bedtime but I offered to play with him as part of our school day "tomorrow."  Before he headed up to bed he had already shuffled the cards and dealt them out.

The minute I showed my face downstairs this morning he asked me to play.  I, of course, agreed.  We played three rounds of Zeus on the Loose and I marveled at his quick computations.  He can add and subtract very well in his head all the way up to 100.  

He was excited to play-- just still waking up I think
 As we finished up our game he asked me to play Hangman on the Kindle with him using Greek and Roman God names.  We played several rounds back and forth all morning as I pinned Ian's new pants for hemming, did laundry, ate and cleaned up.

Playing on the Kindle worked great for us since neither one of us had to be in the room while the other person was guessing and we just kept passing it back and forth to one another.  I often looked up the spelling of the Gods names on the internet to make sure I was spelling them right but Alec often just sounded them out (or perhaps he remembered them from his reading since he only spelled one or two of them wrong the whole time we were playing!).

I asked all the boys to vacuum their rooms and one other rug in the house.  Ian, who is always on top of things was the first one ready for school.

We did another mini lesson in his Verbal Math book and then I set him up with a tray of cornmeal and his list of new spelling words.  He practiced writing his words in cornmeal and reading them in cursive. 

While he was working the younger two were vacuuming and I brought my sewing machine down to the kitchen to work on hemming a bunch of pants.

By the time Ian finished his schoolwork the other two boys were ready to start on their work for the day.  I sent Ian upstairs to finish reading his book Miss Klute Is a Hoot.

The younger two boys sat down with the cornmeal and their lists of spelling words.  Alec had a tough time reading his words in cursive but soon figured them out.  Evan and I read all of his words together and as he wrote each word he re-read them to me.

The boys ended up getting frustrated with the cornmeal and both decided to just write their words.   Evan used a pencil and wrote his words along the side of his list while Alec pulled out black paper and my white chalk pencil that I use for sewing and wrote all of his words in cursive. 

Once they were done with spelling, I offered to work with Evan on his math.  We finished up lesson three in his Verbal Math book and then I let him play for a bit while I worked with Alec on catching up to Ian in their Verbal Math book.  He did two pages and didn't seem to mind doing more work today.  I was reading in the book how when adding 9 in your head you should add 10 first and subtract one.  Alec just looked at me and said "well, yeah, that's how I've always done it!" 

I sent Alec to go read and since has been complaining he's out of library books he went to see if Ian was done with his book.  He was and so Alec sat down and started reading Miss Klute is a Hoot while Evan and I did another few pages in his reading lesson book and read Count the Mice together.

It was slow going and painful trying to read with Evan today.

I noticed he was super sensitive about everything this morning and I thought he might have been overtired from our weekend.  I know it's always a hit or miss thing with him and reading so I tried not to get too frustrated with him.

By the time we finished all our schooling it was already lunchtime.  I was STILL working on hemming pants and was just determined to finish it all today since I had pulled everything out.

The boys were reluctant to make their own lunches but they did.  Evan surprised me and decided to make macaroni and cheese.  He asked me to walk him through the process again since he hadn't made it in a while and I was willing to do that.  I knew I could keep working in the kitchen on hemming up until he needed my help to pour out the boiling water.  He did a great job putting his lunch together!

By the time all the boys sat down for lunch I was finally done sewing.  They asked me to read the next chapter in Harry Potter and I agreed to just as soon as I got my lunch together.  Evan offered to share his macaroni and cheese with me so I had some not wanting to hurt his feelings.

By the time we finished reading and had the kitchen all cleaned up we decided to run out and finish all the errands we had planned.  

We were out and about for a couple of hours making several stops and we listened to our book on CD the whole time.  Our first stop was the library.  Alec has been complaining he has nothing to read but I don't think I'll hear that any time soon.  He must have checked out 20-30 books!  The boys learned how to use our library's new self check- out system.  One of the librarians came over to show us how to do it and all three boys took turns scanning books and running them through the machine that allows that us to get past the detectors without setting off the alarms.  They had so much fun and honestly, I think they're going to want to check out more books in the future. 

From the library we headed to Target.  Evan had birthday money and a gift card he wanted to spend.  We spent quite a bit of time walking around comparing prices, adding up purchases and figuring out change.  He finally settled on some new Skylanders and Ian picked out a new Wii game.  He had some money left over from vacation and working that he had brought along to spend.  We ran into some homeschooling friends and stopped to chat for a bit. 

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up all the supplies to make apple pie and Tollhouse pie.  The boys played outside while I cooked dinner.  We switched the boys chores around and they all willingly helped in the kitchen for once.

During dinner we got onto the subject of percentages and my husband started giving a mini lesson on finding percentages and decimal points from fractions.

After dinner we made a bunch of apple pies together as a family.   The boys all took turns using the apple peeler.  The two older boys read the recipe and helped mixed up the filling, they also helped roll out the crusts and Alec took great pride in pinching the crusts together and covering the edges with foil.

I knew Ian would help but was surprised the other two boys were even interested since they won't eat apple pies.  It was nice to have the help though!


Measure and pour

Peel and cut

Rolling out the dough

Once the first two pies were in the oven and the other two were all ready to go into the oven we cleaned up the kitchen and headed to play Wii.  Our console wasn't working and while my husband looked up ways to fix the problem the younger two boys occupied themselves by playing with Mad Libs.

We came up with a few really funny ones and they were laughing hysterically by bedtime.

We headed upstairs for books and Evan read Moo!  We listened to a few more stories too and each of the older boys kept their lights on for some additional reading.  Ian finished up Ice Fishing and was trying to finish Bow Hunting.  Alec wanted to finish the Weird School book he had started during school today.

All in all it wasn't a horrible day but we ended the night with the realization that our Wii had died and I had three pretty upset boys on my hands.

 Normally, I'd just think "oh well, that's too bad" but with all the new games Evan got for his birthday (that he really hasn't had time to play since we were gone on vacation) and the new games the boys just bought today I'm feeling really bad for them and researching different solutions.

We sent them to bed with the promise we'd talk more in the morning.   As much as I can't say our day was awful or anything I am still hoping for a better day tomorrow.   

I really will try my best not to over schedule myself and relax more, take enjoyment from the good times we have together, and just breathe.


  1. This is such a hard thing for me to deal with, too. Only getting sick has stopped me from living by my list. It's great that you're learning to deal with priorities. What a blessing to your boys and it helps your sanity, too :)

    1. I struggle with it; but I am doing better. It's hard to balance it all and I am such a perfectionist!


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