Saturday, March 24, 2012

Snippets and Tidbits

Notes of what's going on at our house in my latest efforts in homemaking, parenting, child-training, homeschooling, and life-in-general!

- Last week I did something I should have done years ago.... I changed all of my dishes over to the Corelle set that my mom gave me for my birthday. (Corelle is non-breakable glassware.) May I say how blessedly wonderful it was to watch our 5-year-old drop his entire dinner on the floor the following day... and not have to deal with an evening of broken-glass clean-up? Lovely! A mess is nothing when it's not mixed in with glass shards.

- I also moved our dishes into a lower cupboard so that our children could help serve themselves... and also to help put dishes away! It's been great. "Mom, I need a plate!" "Okay, they're in the cupboard!" Yes!!!! Practicality at its finest. Why did I take so long to learn these things?

- In more child-training news, I have also implemented a plan to teach laundry responsibility - a plastic pan that I load our son's clean laundry in - for him to put away, rather than me. As well as skill-teaching, this is an attempt to show him that his current habit of changing clothes three times a day has consequences that he can control! (I think he's channeling a teenage girl.)

- We are also letting the 5-year-old dress himself now... it results in interesting combinations, but whatever.

You may notice a trend here! Yes, I'm trying to ramp up teaching responsibilities and skills to our kids. I've slacked off on this in the past - it is so much easier to do it for them than to train them, especially when they are as unenthusiastic about helping out as our eldest is. But I know the payoff will be tremendous, both for us and for him, so I am working at this task as mindfully as possible.

- For homeschooling - I am giving myself a break to look for curriculum, and in the meantime I have discovered the dollar store! The Dollar Tree is awesome and is packed with Pre-K through Grade 3 workbooks in math and writing that are just perfect for us. For our 5-year-old, it's not so much a matter of needing to learn, but of learning to learn to learn. In other words, sitting skills, paying attention, completing a task, working on a project for a prescribed length of time, etc. Good stuff.

- I am also in the process of trying out a second homeschooling support group - one based in my very own city (as opposed to valley-wide). Very excited about the possibilities!

- I have also developed a basic schedule for us! So excited about this! This has been years in the making. Here it is, and don't giggle. I know it's basic, but this is big stuff for me:

8:00 a.m. - Kids up, getting dressed
9:00 a.m. - Breakfast and cleanup
10:00 a.m. - School
12:00 p.m. - Lunch and Play
1:30 p.m. - Quiet time

I leave such big spaces because we are always occasionally late on the schedule, and this gives us a chance to catch up. It's also great because the clock can catch the flak for things, not me! "I'm sorry, I know you don't want to do school, but it's ten o'clock, so it's time for school!"

- Right now school looks like this: Bible story, Bible memory verses from AWANA, phonics, two workbooks (our "math" workbooks), then reading aloud and Brainquest and anything else. We also try to catch 1-2 playdates or park days per week, besides church and AWANA.

- I caught this idea from a friend (thanks, Z!) - I put a turn-table in the middle of the table with pencils/pens/scissors/glue, Kleenex, and water bottles on it. This eliminates almost every excuse to leave the table - which is a definite boon, considering that any reason to leave the table almost immediately results in a fifteen minute delay.

- I have reached another level in homemaking nirvana - I am now doing two loads of laundry a day! Yes!!!!

- Our newest little chubster is doing well! He is a gentle, easy-going guy and is a joy to the entire family. Besides the fact that homeschooling with a nursing baby who is not yet on an eating/sleeping schedule is not easy, he is melding into our family very neatly.

- I am eagerly awaiting the discovery of our little guy's nicknames! We can pick names, but nicknames are revealed to us - they can't be planned. Right now he is known as Morsel, Kitten, and Snuggle Bunny, but probably none of those will be his permanent nickname. We'll see!

- Our little guy is an excellent nurser, and my supply is amazing even me (hurray for placenta medicine and alfalfa tablets!!!). I have been astounded to see excess milk pouring out of his mouth while he nurses, and when he is finished, his face is coated in milk. Beyond adorable! He is growing and getting nice and plump. We have decided that we are going to change pediatricians, so while we're in that process we have been able to avoid those pain-in-the-neck newborn visits (not complaining!), but I can see that he is gaining weight and thriving. We will see our midwife in two weeks for our final visit (*sob*). I'll update on his weight then.

- Still totally intimidated by the double stroller. I think I need therapy.

Well, I've a lot more to write, but the littlest guy around here is making his wants known loudly! Off to nurse! Have a great Sabbath, everyone!

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