Sunday, May 22, 2011

Making my summer more than survivable

All quiet on the blog means a nice week here. Lots of sun, lots of playtime, a visit with a lovely family to the zoo, and lots of grilling.

The inaugural playdate went about as well as I thought it would. The child who visited is I-M's best friend at school. He is an only child in a two-income household where he seems to be in charge, so visiting our home was a bit of a culture shock. He was pretty annoyed with my toddler for being a toddler and wondered aloud how we could like her since she's so pesky. Despite my quick rundown of household rules, he was perplexed by my actual enforcement. Friends seem to be in short supply here, so we'll give it another try, especially since it means a lot to my son. A big blessing today is that the Jedis got to go for a playdate at some slightly older church kids' home, and they had a great time! We're trying to make connections where it really matters, and this was a great thing for them.

The kids have been on Starfall a lot lately, crowded together all 3 on the chair by the computer with IM as the instructor, A-man as the star pupil, and M-girl as the little fledgling learner, hugging and kissing her brothers and giggling while they teach her letter sounds-- too cute! I love how close they all are and what affection they share!

My big fear for the near future is that I'll be in a messy house with all 3 kids bored all summer, so I'm filling out the schedule with planned meals and activities as I mentioned before, and I'm also working on a series of 3 quick cleanups per day: morning - bedrooms, afternoon - downstairs, and evening - finishing what is left in the chore jar. The chore jar will be for disciplinary purposes throughout the day (fight, sass, or disobey, pick a job from the jar) and will keep things from getting too out of hand when used with the 3 quick cleanup times.

I know enough about myself to know that I am less patient and loving when the house is crazy. Same goes for when my kids are unruly. My hope is that this system will help me keep things running smoothly. The goal will be for us to go somewhere 3 days a week. When our home is neat, we will be able to find what we need to get out the door. When we return, I will be tired from outings but not depressed to be returning to a cesspool of kid mess. That makes all the difference!

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