Step One:
Plan a delicious meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Start before 1pm, by making meatballs with the three yo (very successful.. great memories and yummy meatballs).
Step Two:
Simmer sauce and meatballs until 345pm, when your DH calls and wants you to meet him at the apartment (he did not hear you earlier when you said that you were going NO WHERE until he got home) and grab a load. Turn the burner off, hurry kindergartner to finish the valentines (ugh, the handwriting..), take a shower, grab empty plastic bins. Arrive at apartment to find 3yo asleep; leave her sleeping in the van (hush.. we are carrying loads out frequently.. AND would you want a whiny 3yo helping with that?).
Step Three:
Leave apartment in freezing rain. Head to Publ!x and get spaghetti noodles and other necessities (beware there is never just one trip to the grocery store). Leave store in still freezing rain. Drive home in three minutes and carry groceries to the front door. Unpack groceries and pray your hands warm up this decade.
Step Four:
Preheat oven for garlic toast, put water on to boil for spaghetti, make additions to sauce, prepare salad and iced tea. Push garlic toast into oven when DH and T are heading home. Prepare bowls of pasta as men folk walk in the door.
Step Five:
Do NOT scream when: DH says this smells delicious but I'm nauseated; the boy who ran upstairs to change does not come down; the 3yo runs upstairs (you nievely believe she is pottying) and does not return for a LONG time and when she does return, she tells you she was watching tv and to be quiet.
Your leftovers are put away, dh's lunch is packed, the kids are playing independently, and DH is in bed. You head back out to Publ!x for Pepto, a replacement toothbrush (dog ate the boy's toothbrush), and hand soap. You treat yourself with a bag of sour brite crawlers and a phone call to your mother (she may be crazy but she's a thousand times better than MIL).

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