My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
I promise I haven’t forgotten about y’all. And I know that I STILL haven’t finished telling you about our trip to Indiana and our surprise visitors. I will do that soon, God willing. But our world became much busier this week when we invited my cousin’s 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Ginlee (pronounced Gin-lee, just like it’s spelled), to stay with us for the summer.


How adorable is she?

If you’re keeping track, we now have a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 4-year-old sleeping under our roof.

I use the term “sleeping” quite loosely.

In all honesty I didn’t think it would be all that different to just throw another toddler into the mix. But it has required a huge amount of planning and organization to keep three children entertained all day and asleep all night. It has also required a heightened awareness since we need to learn the personality and habits of an additional child.

Here is what the past several days have entailed:

7:30 a.m. – Drag my non-morning-person butt out of bed and make a beeline for my coffee
7:40 a.m. – Answer 10,000 questions about what we plan to do that day
8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
8:10 a.m. – Answer 10,000 more questions about what we plan to do that day
8:30 a.m. – Start to get the kids dressed and lathered up with sunscreen to go to the park and answer 10,000 questions about why we HAVE to wear sunscreen
10:00 a.m. – Finish getting the kids dressed and lathered up with sunscreen and walk to the park


10:15 a.m. – Stop halfway to the park because all 3 refuse to walk any further and proceed to carry one and pull two children in the wagon
10:20 a.m. – Answer 10,000 questions about when we’re going to eat again
10:30 a.m. – Eat snack at the park and answer 10,000 questions about why I didn’t bring MORE snacks to the park

ginlee_07 ginlee_08 ginlee_01

10:45 a.m. – Watch the kids chase butterflies and answer 10,000 questions about why butterflies are “too fast to catch”


11:30 a.m. – Leave the park to head back to the house for lunch
11:35 a.m. – Accept 300,000 dandelions from all 3 children and say, “thank you SOOOO much” like I’m not going to toss them as soon as they turn their backs
11:45 a.m. – Stop halfway home because all 3 refuse to walk any further and proceed to carry one and pull two children in the wagon
12:00 p.m. – Lunch


1:00 p.m. – Nap time (they sleep, and I cook, clean, and eat bonbons)
3:00 p.m. – Answer 10,000 questions about what we’re going to do in the afternoon
3:15 p.m. – Begin to apply sunscreen in preparation to go back outside
4:15 p.m. – Finish sunscreen application and actually go outside

ginlee_13 ginlee_12 ginlee_03 ginlee_14 ginlee_06 ginlee_11 ginlee_04 ginlee_15

5:00 p.m. – Come inside to prepare dinner
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
6:45 p.m. – Family worship
7:00 p.m. – Baths
8:00 p.m. – Answer 10,000 questions about why they have to go to bed now
9:00 p.m. – Beg/plead/bargain with them to actually go to sleep
9:30 p.m. – Clean the house and find the cup of coffee I never finished drinking that morning
10:00 p.m. – Stare at the wall without blinking for a few hours
Midnight – Bedtime

If you look closely, you’ll notice that “blog about my day” doesn’t quite fit into the schedule. Seriously, I don’t know how most stay-at-home, mommy bloggers do what they do (for those who blog on a consistent basis). I’m working hard to find my blogging rhythm, but I’m going to have to be patient with myself.

I have a feeling I will regain 4 hours of my day when my children can just apply their own sunscreen.

You may also notice that “personal Bible study” hasn’t made the list this week either, but I certainly plan to change that. I suppose I should eliminate some of my staring at the wall time and get to bed at a decent hour.

I would pay big bucks to become a morning person.

And if after reading that last comment anyone tries to sell me an exercise plan, dietary supplement, or self-help book, I reserve the right to force them to listen to an audio recording of my entire day. Because there is no plan that will overcome the exhaustion of entertaining children.

“Mommy, why is this flower yellow?”
“Mommy, why can’t I bite the table?”
“Mommy, where is my blanket?”
“Mommy, where is my other blanket?”
“Mommy, where is my milk?”
“Mommy, where is my baby?”
“Mommy, where are my baby’s clothes?”
“Mommy, why won’t the butterflies let me catch them?”
“Mommy, can I have a snack?”
“Mommy, are you listening to me?”
“Aunt Katy . . . read to me?”

Ginlee calls us “Aunt Katy” and “Uncle Brian.” Because “First Cousin Once Removed Katy” doesn’t really roll off the tongue as easily for a 3 1/2-year-old.

Though there is the added responsibility and investment of time, we’re so thrilled to have Ginlee here with us. She is a precious little girl with a very expressive personality. Her laugh is hilarious and absolutely contagious. And I believe her visit here will continue to be a blessing to all of us.

She has already managed in 3 days to potty train Averi. 

No, I’m not kidding. More on that later, though. Time to answer some questions about why it’s probably going to rain today.

(And the woman from our church with 11 children probably just rolled her eyes and thought to herself, “I’ll feel tired for you when you get past 5 kids.” Yeah. I’ll just have to take her word for it.)

Has anyone seen my coffee . . . ?


Comments to "First Cousin Once Removed"

  1. Kim Jordan

    May 8, 2014

    I’ll be the first to ask….why do you have an extra toddler for the summer?

    • Katy in a Corner

      May 8, 2014

      We thought it would be fun to have a cousins camp this summer since Ginlee is so close in age to our two kids!

  2. Monica

    May 8, 2014

    I think my third daughter was about 6 before I actually drank a HOT cup of tea. Hang in there, you’ll get that hot cup of coffee eventually. BTW – darling, darling pics!!

    • Katy in a Corner

      May 8, 2014

      Thanks so much, Monica! I actually did finish my coffee this morning. It felt like a minor victory.

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