Answer: Friday afternoons.
Today I scooted out of work at 3pm, and decided to go to BB&B just so I don't have to look at this bag anymore, and make the return. And I did. Done, fini, finata, finito.
From there, I picked the boys up, then took them to pick Katrina up. Not the most efficient route, but in terms of lugging things and kids around, it worked the best. Best of all, we were all home by 4:30pm, and the boys had some time to play outside together while Katrina bopped around making "bid-dah bid-dah bid-dah" sounds, playing with books and looking for things to draw on with a crayon. I actually got to sit down and have a snack and read the newspaper for a few minutes. Are working moms allowed to do that in the late afternoon? Stay-at-homes deserve every spare minute they get, but me? Anyway, I appreciated it.
When Katrina isn't being swarmed by her brothers and doesn't need a diaper change, she now routinely plays for half an hour, often longer, very happily on her own (and often very unhappily if you try to wrench her away). Another long attention span. We must be doing something right?
Best of all, time from leaving my driveway to pulling into the parking lot at work today was 35 minutes. A far cry from the hour and 20 minutes it took earlier this week! The importance of leaving early cannot be overemphasized, and that was with leaving a little late today (7:10am) and losing a minute -- every minute counts -- to missing a turn.
Still, it's hard to know how to fit everything in. If I exercise at work, then the overhead of a separate trip to the Y or Rancho isn't a time cost. But then I'm spending time working out instead of working, and right now I feel the need to work as much as I can to become productive again. I know it's temporary. I have no intention of making this rat race our regular life, but I have to pay some dues now so that I can start shaping my job/career/income-earning-activity into the lifestyle I want later. Which doesn't involve leaving home with an unbreakfasted (though a very happy and silly) baby at 7:10am.
Gabriel (who has a nice shiner now above his eye, but it's a lot less swollen) came home today with a funny song, one he says he learned in kindergarten class:
Lemonade (clap clap clap)
Chilly ice (clap clap clap)
Beat it once (clap clap clap)
Beat it twice (clap clap clap)
Turn around (turn around)
Touch the ground (touch the ground)
Kick your boyfriend out of town! (make a kicking motion and burst into peals of laughter)
I put the boys to bed tonight, and we had lots of fun repeating this song (really more of a chant) and acting it out. It sure is easy and fun to act like a silly kid when I've been a serious grownup all day.