Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping on routines...

I find that keeping the kids on a routine is the easiest way to a stress free evening.

I'm very glad to know the kids are back in school. I don't feel the guilt of my kid's brain rotting over the summer because I'm not a perfect parent and having my kid's do worksheets to keep their learning sharp. Plus, because they are in school now, they have to be there at a set time every day so I know they have to be up at 7am in order to get everything running smooth in the morning.

Since school started at 9 last year and it's 8 this year we've had to tweak our previous timings and we've had to put the boys to sleep earlier. We've been getting them down around 8 - 8:30. This is different from the 9:30 - 10pm time we had over the summer. When we first got them down around 8:30 Joe and I looked at each other and didn't know what to do with all the extra time to ourselves in the evenings!

The boys recently had their allowance revoked because we didn't appreciate their bad attitudes lately. They are not happy about this. They realize that with no allowance they can't buy their toys at the store every other week. I also instituted a new rule - any toys left out and not put away go in a toy timeout and they have to do a chore or something good without being asked to get it back. Up until today they were on track to get their allowance back. They've been listening and picking up after themselves. Then today Joe asked Joey to pick up the toys left in the driveway so he could get into the garage. Joey said, ok, and then ran after Christopher (the neighbor) and never picked up. Joe was calm and told Christopher to go home and told Joey to get inside as he started to scream because he was so mad. This screaming and yelling went on for about 10 minutes in which we made him go to his room. He cried that he doesn't like the dark, so I opened his blinds. Then he started to scream he hates the silence. So I put on the radio and he said that doesn't count and started to wail again. At this point I told him he lost his allowance again this week. It was ridiculous. It was only 6pm and yet I think he was tired.

Now that Joey's in the first grade we need to work on words and reading for at least 15 minutes every evening so we've had to build that into the routine as well.

Another crazy thing is Joey has recently decided he doesn't like to eat animals. We have chicken for dinner and he won't eat it. He freaks out that it's an animal and it's been driving Joe crazy. I've told him that it's fine if he doesn't eat animals but that means he has to eat more fruits and veggies. Tonight he ate a bunch of broccoli, something he normally eats very little of. Perhaps this is a great way to get him to try new things?

Justin has been doing good. He's very excited that he's 4 now. He's a very good eater and will try just about anything I put on the table now. He's so cute. When he eats vegetables he shows me his muscles like they are instantly growing on his arms.

I've been trying to do better at cleaning the house and making sure it's picked up every evening. I actually took a break from cleaning to come blog since I actually wanted to blog for the first time in weeks. I've come to my blog a few times, started to write and just couldn't think of what to write. I have to be in the mood to write and I just wasn't. Yes, it's bothering me that I'm here writing when I should be cleaning the kitchen.

I've been hanging out with my neighbor Michelle quite a bit lately. She makes me want to be a better person. She's born organized so she's been giving me some tips to make things easier. One thing I've been doing is folding the laundry as it comes out of the dryer. She actually got me using my iron again. I hated ironing and now I iron. She makes me care what I look like and has been giving me tips on what fits and what doesn't. She's a great friend to me.

In July we re-landscaped the backyard and covered all the crab grass by expanding our flower bed and planting some new shrubs and flowers. The grass has been creeping over into the flower beds so I've been working like crazy trying to maintain it. When it gets overgrown it drives me crazy so I have to go out and pull it all up.

Christmas is coming. I can't wait. The kids are excited about Halloween this year. They are finally to an age where they BOTH are excited and have been talking about what they are going to be.

That's about all for now. <3

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