Shoot It

Something about having a 5th child, in an area outside of Utah and Idaho causes people to ask all sorts of questions:

"Are they ALLLLL yours?!"
"Did you plan it that way?" - usually accompanied by a stark white complexion and eyes filled with horror.
"But you're done now, right?" - these people are usually quite fun to mess with ;)
"Are you Mormon or Catholic?"
"How old are you?!"
And my personal favorite, "Wooow.. how do you do it?".  I'm never quite sure how to answer that last one.  Umm, one day at a time?  With patience and long suffering?  Quick one-liners never seem to satisfy, and all of the sudden I see a desperate sense of longing in their eyes to unlock the secrets of successful parenting, because clearly, anyone with more than 3 children MUST have all the answers right??  Oh how I wish that were true!  I have opinions, sure, but I am no longer naive in thinking that there is ONE right answer for everyone.  Parenting is unique.  Personal.  As different as each of us and each of our children.  What may work for me may not work for you, and vice versa.  And you know what?  That's completely fine!  If I have learned one thing from living abroad it is this:  there is no ONE right way to succeed.  No matter what your upbringing, your culture, financial status, personality traits and personal breaking points may be, there are countless ways to bring up a great, well rounded child.  Countless ways to achieve a genuinely happy family life.  Evaluate your expectations, your hopes and dreams for your kids, for your family, and for yourself, study out the available paths you can take to get to where you want to go, do your best, and above all, be willing to stop, reevaluate, make some changes, and try, try again!  What more can any of us hope for?  I've heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child.. how true that is turning out to be!

This past Friday I wanted to document just a regular "day in the life of me".  It's nothing glamorous, but it's my life, and it makes me happy! :)  I saw the idea to take a picture every hour.  In order to fit everything in and be realistic, I opted to do a picture every 30minutes instead.  So, without further adieu, here is a typical Friday as they stand right now:  

5:30am - Wake up.  Nurse the baby.  At this point I was still half asleep and didn't remember that I wanted to take pictures until he was happy with a full belly.. oops. 
6:00am - Time to get ready!
6:30am - Get kids ready.

7:00am - Breakfast and top off baby.  Yes, I can nurse one handed.  It's how I roll. 

7:30am - Family scripture reading and prayer.  We use an iPad app with children's versions of the stories with pictures.  LIFE SAVER.
8:00am - Take the kiddos to school (the 3 eldest that is).
8:30am - Off to the feira with Princess P and Baby C in tow.
9:00am - On to the meat store.. yes, that's raw meat all over the back counter.  No, they don't use gloves.  Or hairnets..
9:30am - Heading home.
10:00am - Unscheduled diaper explosion with resulting impromptu bath.  Happy Baby C.  You're welcome little dude.  
10:30am - Organize and put away the spoils.
11:00am - LUNCH = Happy mom.  Simultaneous baby feeding = Happy baby.
11:30am - Dishes anyone??  (No Amazing V isn't slacking.. I guess I never did mention that we only have her clean one day a week now instead of the original 5 (we made the switch back in July after our trip to the US).. after I got used to life abroad I just didn't want someone in my house all the time anymore.  Even if that did mean less than sparkling floors 24/7.)
12:00pm - Pick up Sir L from school.
12:30pm - After school snack at the park.

1:00pm - Kids playing, baby sleeping = mommy gets in a little reading time!  I mark up my books.  I'm rebellious like that.
1:30pm - Precious downtime. :)
2:00pm - Hunger strikes again.
2:30pm - Straighten up.
3:00pm - Pick up Miss B and Mr H from school :)  Silly kids!
3:30pm - Prep pizza dough for dinner.  Friday night = pizza night! :)
4:00pm - Chores.  Teamwork is a beautiful thing!  (One of the major reasons I wanted less help was so my kids could have more responsibility.. we won't be in Brazil forever so they best get used to it now!)
4:30pm - My little pizza making pros :)
5:00pm - Get ready for bed.
5:30pm -  Pizza's ready!!  This Hooley family movie night brought to you by Netflix.
6:00pm - Popcorn's ready!

6:30pm - Desert anyone?
7:00pm - Bedtime routines.
7:30pm - Me time. :)
Not too shabby for a 14hr day!  As long as I stick to my schedule and have the ability to multi task, I am generally very happy with what can be done in the course of one day.  The only downside is come 7:30pm I am D-O-N-E being a mom.  I have nothing left to give in that era of my life.  It's time to be a wife and just plain old Erin.  But don't be surprised if I'm out cold by 9! ;)


  1. Oh, the memories this brought back! :0)
    LOVE the picture documentation!!!

    1. It was fun! Much more fun when you were here to do it with us though.. ;)

  2. Busy! You are a rockstar for sure! What's the iPad app that you use for your kiddos scripture study? Love You!

    1. Aww shucks ;) Love you too!! The app is called "Child Stories" and has a green CTR shield on it. It's the same stories found in the children's books at the distribution center and has videos they can watch with narration with the pictures or you can read it yourself. We've loved it! :)