You all now know more about how our days run around here than you probably ever even wanted to know!
Here are some closing thoughts as I wrap up this week:
* Our basic schedule frame is:
Wake/Breakfast/Dressed for Day
That leaves lots of space to fill in - but this is the stuff that rarely changes day by day.
* One thing that really helps us is to alternate a chore and a child-involving activity. For example, you'll notice I empty the dishwasher every morning. One morning after this chore, we take baths, then I vacuum, then we go for a walk. See how it alternates? This helps my girls so much - I've tried it other ways and this is by far the best in our home. Yes, I try to involve them in the chores too - but that can't be our sole source of fun around here!
* Planning ahead is key for me. I am nearly always working ahead on something. Rachel has a birthday in two months and I have a list of ideas already written down, some supplies already purchased and a good game plan in mind. This is the only way I can do the things I do. It doesn't work for my personality and it wouldn't work for the kind of things I'm trying to pull off. Even writing out a potential list for the next day is a huge lifesaver and guide to me. I don't have to be a slave to it - but use it as a guide.
* Dinner hour: One of you commented about how crazy it is at your house during the dinner prep hour. We have two scenarios in our home depending on the time of year. One helps this and the other makes it just like what you are describing. Right now, David's schedule allows him to get home mid-afternoon - he goes in to work really early! So, dinner hour is much calmer and smoother just by having another adult in the house! But, during baseball season - when he is coaching and doesn't get home until 5:30 - oh. my. It is crazy. I don't really have an answer - planning ahead helped me in this area too, but it did not solve it. If you've found something that works or at least helps, please leave a comment and help the rest of us out!
* Running errands: Another of you wondered about taking all three out to do errands. I do take all three with me when that is what works best in our schedule. I want them to learn how to behave while running errands and even have some fun getting out of the house. Taking a snack that is saved for the store has helped me on numerous outings! And, I have used the cart as a discipline tool - behave and you get to walk around, but if it gets out of hand or I have to warn repeatedly - in the cart for the rest of the trip. Yes, this means I have to have two carts with all three and my groceries. But, pushing one cart and pulling one cart is easier and less stressful than running after littles and wondering what might get broken or ruined in the process.
Since Samuel was born, I will try to run at least some of my errands while David is home. Obviously it is much simpler and I can get lots done in a shorter time when it is just me. Share your ideas on this too, please!
Thanks for all of your comments and questions this week! Hope you all have a great weekend!