Productive day

Four kids asleep in three different beds. Today has been a surprisingly but satisfyingly productive day. (Apologies for no photos, but I was busy actually doing stuff, rather than taking pictures of doing stuff.)

The day started at 3AM with a terrible, croupy cough from AJ. He still had it at 7AM, so he got a free pass from school. Of course, by 7:45 he was fit as a fiddle but I was exhausted, so I fed the three remaining kids (sent Olin to school by himself) breakfast and zoned out in the recliner while Seraphine napped and Evie and AJ watched cartoons on the iPad. Hey, man, sometimes you just need the electronic babysitter.

I finally felt decent enough to function somewhere around 10:30AM, and started what proved to be an epic, day-long journey to fold the laundry. There were five or six loads waiting around in baskets in the dining room, and I’ve washed another four since I started with the folding. The good thing is, what is clean and dry is also folded. The bad thing is, my enormous dining room table is covered in anwhere between 6 inches and 2.5 feet of folded, sorted laundry that the cat will rearrange in to a bed and/or knock on the floor before I get a chance to put it all away.

The overcast/rainy weather has caused my little plant nursery in the window to start turning unhealthy colors, so since it was bright and relatively dry today, I put up the pea fence and tomato cages, and planted my tomatoes and spring sweet peas. I ran out of ambition before I got to the peppers and melons, but as long as it’s not too rainy I’ll hopefully get that done tomorrow.

When Olin got home from school, Lance and I decided to take the entire crew and go bike riding in Decorah. We have a logistics problem right now with the age and size of kids:

AJ is able to ride a balance bike very well, but they don’t go much faster than a slow jog and he tires out after ¾ of a mile. He is too big/heavy to ride in a traditional bike trailer. We have a pedal trailer that he is very good at riding (I can actually feel his pedaling making a difference, and he can keep us both going on a straight stretch, albeit not fast.) but doesn’t seem to be quite ready to coordinate the pedaling of the trailer and the balancing of the standalone bike in to a kid-size pedal bike, yet.

Olin is much too big for the traditional trailer. The pedal trailer is more suited to his weight, but he is essentially like pulling dead weight because he doesn’t understand pedaling and insists on either not doing it at all, or pedaling backwards. He pretty much refuses to even try the balance or kid’s size pedal bikes. Ironically, Olin and his pedal trailer weighs within a couple of pounds the same as Seraphine, Evangeline, the diaper bag and the traditional trailer.

The girls fit just fine together in either of the trailers (we have a Burley or an off-brand one available), and as long as there is an infant converter on her side, Sera is happy enough to ride along. However, with both of the girls in there, there’s nowhere for a tired boy to ride temporarily.

The pedal trailer only seats one. Olin refuses to take turns with AJ riding the kids bike. So at any given time, we have one extra kid with nowhere to ride. A third adult and a second pedal trailer would solve the problem, but so far we don’t have another workable solution.

SO! All that being said… We ended up riding about a mile, mile and a quarter total maybe, with AJ riding the balance bike all the way to the turnaround point, then switching with Olin to ride back. Olin then had a fit because he didn’t want to ride the balance bike. He didn’t want to run or ride in the regular trailer, either, so he whined and cried all the way back while Lance threw the balance bike in the storage compartment of the trailer (it fits surprisingly well, thank goodness) and coaxed him along. Our offer to let Olin run inspired Evangeline to want to do so. She geared up her little toddler legs and RAN the entire way back to the car… And then ran around the hatchery for another 20 minutes. She didn’t even trip. I was, quite frankly, amazed.

AJ ended up running, too, because he didn’t like the fact that Evie was “beating” us. I let him go and waited for Olin to catch up (since the pedal trailer was vacant then) and by the time Olin was mounted, I actually had to hurry – on my BIKE, no less – to catch him before he got to the place where the bike trail crosses the highway. Amazing kids – maybe I’ll have track stars! (Ha ha…)

We had dinner at Pizza Hut, waited in line for 15 minutes at the Whippy Dip for ice cream (which AJ dropped in the parking lot – oh well), stopped by the grocery store for a few things I forgot to get yesterday, and got the kids home and in bed by the incredibly late hour of 9PM.

A pretty good day, considering how it started!

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