Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

May and June were spent packing. July was spent unpacking and surviving power outages. August and September were met with nonstop morning sickness that, while it could spike, on a scale of 1 to 10, to a 9 or dip to a 3, hovered pretty relentlessly around 6/7. The beginning of October and end of the morning sickness was slapped by a very rude week-long cold which, fortunately, everyone managed to escape except me. 

Needless to say, I feel like I've been off-kilter for a while now. It is near impossible to have a real schedule when you are moving or sick. So by the time mid-October rolled around, I exited the fog of instability and thought, "Now where was I?" with absolutely no clue whatsoever. I'm sure homeschooling and cleaning were supposed to be there somewhere. Meal planning was a must. Some time outdoors would be nice. Oh, yeah, and a prayer now and then a necessity. 

But I've been living, ... no, surviving, day to day with three kids for so long I was a bit blurry on what a schedule would look like. Last week when Cecilia and Felicity began bickering so much, the immediate need of one was made obvious. So, through baseball and football last weekend, I made up a schedule. 

So far things have gone really well. It has kept me off the computer so much, kept the girls' activities more varied, gotten Cecilia and Felicity back into homeschooling, and made me feel like I'm accomplishing more. 

I make sure I am up by 6 to give myself an hour for Morning Prayer and some time online. Then come breakfast, tushie changes, cleaning up breakfast, and starting laundry if it is laundry day. Then I watch Mass on EWTN. After Mass we have School. Most of school is focused on Cecilia but I do try to slip a few Felicity moments in too. Cecilia's patience lasted about 45 minutes. Which got us through 1 poem and a bunch of reading. 

She ran out of steam though after about 45 minutes of school so we all went out onto the deck for some outside time. Elizabeth hadn't really been outside at the new house before. Between thunderstorms, the pool being out, hail, swarms of stink bugs and morning sickness, I just hadn't taken her out yet. Outside time here is a little tricky too as our yard has no fence and slopes down away from the house, sometimes as much as about a 30 degree angle into a wooded brush park. Great for the deer viewing but not so hot for little kids and balls and a source for ticks. 
Then it was lunchtime followed by cleanup and getting Elizabeth asleep for her nap. We then had an hour of only book reading. We got through The Monster at the End of This Book, Too Many Pumpkins, Caps for Sale, The Emporer's New Clothes, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. This was followed by snacks in the form of chips with homemade salsa and pumpkin seeds. 

It was then time. Mommy time. You didn't really think I would not schedule myself some did you? Which was facebook/blog-checking/post-writing/email-responding time for Mommy! Ahhhhhhh. 

After about 2 hours, Elizabeth got up from her nap. Since the focus in the morning is really on learning and going outside, I really wanted some prayer focus in the afternoon. Now, I like the rosary, but I'm not a huge fan. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the other hand, I am very fond of. So, at 3pm, "we" did the Chaplet. I did bait the girls a bit by putting on EWTN's Chaplet and by letting them use the rosaries I have made for them but won't let them keep until they are older. Felicity mostly played with the box I keep the rosaries in and Elizabeth almost took out a few of us swinging hers around. But Cecilia sat quietly counting the beads, learning the words and sincerely trying to pray. I didn't excuse her pushing Elizabeth away, but she was sincerely trying. Halfway through the last decade she said, "I'm getting tired of this," but when I told her how close we were to the end, she persevered. I was very impressed. 
Now, we've had 3 pumpkins sitting on our table or counter for over a week. So I thought it was time we started working on them. After the Chaplet, Cecilia, Felicity and I went to the kitchen and began working on the pumpkins together. 

Felicity wanted Minnie Mouse; Cecilia asked for Mickey Mouse. I did the best I could considering my hand was hurting after 2 hours of scooping and carving 2 pumpkins. In the end we had two glowing mouse pumpkin carvings and almost 5 cups of cooked, pureed pumpkin for later muffins, breads and pies. I still haven't gotten to "Elizabeth's" pumpkin, but at least that one I can do at my leisure, even without 2 little girls "helping."

All in all, I think our first day back to some semblance of a routine or schedule was a definite improvement. Of course we won't be carving pumpkins every day. I already have a request to play the new Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii tomorrow and I still have to work in some cleaning, but of course we won't be outside on rainy days and there will be time. I really want to get the girls in the car sometime this week for a nice drive through the country for the fall foliage. I cannot get enough of it this time of year.

Here's hoping the rest of the week goes at least as well. 

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