Thursday, September 22, 2011

5 minutes of chaos

We have periods of time in our home that are complete chaos and mayhem.  These usually occur right before another event such as dinner, bedtime, getting in the car, etc.  Granted, there's plenty of chaos around our house on a regular basis, but these time periods are like the buildup of a storm where the yelling, noise, fighting, etc. just seem to spiral out of control. 

I've come to mostly expect and accept this.  Knowing that it only lasts 5 minutes or so helps me to keep under control myself.  I can tell myself "You can handle 5 minutes of this.  It will stop." I wish I could attach a video that shows what it looks and sounds like around my house at these times but I'm fairly occupied at those times trying to keep the chaos from turning into a total meltdown.  If you try to call my house or stop by 5 minutes for a meal, you're sure to see it for yourself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kid Swap

One of the best things I ever did as a mom was to setup a babysitting exchange with a friend.  We started this about 4 years ago, amazingly enough, and we're still doing it.  Every Monday morning, my friend's kids come to my house and play with my kids for an hour.  Every Wednesday morning, my kids go to my friend's house and play with her kids for an hour.  Best. Thing. Ever. 

Thanks to my sister for suggesting this kid swapping idea.  It's amazing how much I can accomplish in one hour with no kids.  I keep a list in my mind of things to do while my kids are gone, such as: go to the post office, run into a store where you only need one item, exchange/return something, go to the OB/GYN, mop the floor, and definitely make client phone calls. 

We have our times where kids are sick so we don't send them over, and when there's a new little one, they stay home until they're old enough to be gone for an hour without being a burden on someone else, but what an amazing blessing in my life.  Our kids have been playing together for so long now, it's like second family (thanks for all the dirty diapers you've changed, Rachel!).  With 4 kids now, it's not so easy to find someplace you can send your kids without feeling like you're completely overwhelming them. 

Things will change this year, as we're using our switching time to volunteer in the kindergarten class for the hour.  Seriously, though, if you do not have a friend that you can set something like this up with, find someone.  It may seem a little more difficult at first when your kids are little and you feel like you're entertaining twins, but the benefits are worth it.  Thanks Rachel for being such a lifesaver!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nap math

This post is to go right along with my sleep deprivation math post.  I decided that one night of bad sleep equals 2 nights of good sleep to make up for it.  I'm wondering why 15 minutes of napping equals a bedtime that occurs one hour later.  You would think if my older toddlers took a 15 minute nap, perhaps they would go to sleep 15 minutes later, but that never seems to happen.  Their energy seems to grow exponentially.  What I'm really wondering, though, is why 15 minutes of napping for me doesn't seem to equal an hour more of energy at bedtime.  Anyone want to figure the math for me there?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Missing my Hubby

My husband has been out of town for 4 days.  Not a long time, in the grand scheme of things, I know.  (Kudos to all you single moms and those with husbands gone for extended periods of time.)  I've come to realize several things as he goes out of town every couple of months.

1 - I can watch movies like "High School Musical" with my kids without making my hubby suffer through them.
2 - We can eat Tuna Salad or Bean Burritos for dinner. (No real meat for a quick main dish, which is good considering there's no one to help corral or entertain the kids while I'm making dinner).
3 - There's no running or biking in the early mornings to exercise.  (I'm pretty sure DCFS would be all over that if I left my little kids home alone for 30 minutes.)
4 - Bedtime always takes longer when there's only 1 parent.
5 - I miss my husband terribly.

I've learned that the days go pretty much the same as always when my husband's out of town.  He's usually at work then anyway.  Even the evenings are not always that different, as he is gone at least one night a week for meetings.  I don't necessarily miss the extra help or break; I just miss him.  I miss his companionship after the kids are all asleep in bed and I have an hour or two to myself.  I can certainly be productive during that time, but it sure isn't as fun. When he gets back late tonight, I'll have to refrain from singing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home."  It's a great reminder to me of how much I love my husband and enjoy spending time with him.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First impressions of kindergarten

First impressions of the first week of kindergarten:
1 - Sending my child off the first day was not traumatic like I expected it to be.  The 2nd day, though, it was a little weird to send my husband off to work in the morning and have my 5 year old leave with him.
2 - My child didn't seem to be traumatized at all by going to school. Actually, I expected her to be quite chatty about it all, but she was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing when I picked her up her first day.
3 - Walking with my other kids to pick up my kindergartener from school, though it sounds like a fun family activity, is overrated.  It's hot and it takes a looong time for us to walk home, even if we hadn't stopped to chat with friends.
4 - My 3 year old did okay with his big sister/playmate being gone in the morning; he actually played with his younger sister. A nice thing about having kids close in age, is there's always another one to play with.

As my kindergartener put it (after 3 days of school), "It seems like I just started kindergarten yesterday". But, we've made it through the first week.  I think I'm going to be able to handle it. My child is happy and making friends.  Now, if I can remember to go pick her up in the middle of the morning, we'll be just fine.