Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flexibility...going with the flow...a perfect example

So, the other day I wrote a post about our daily schedule, but wanted to be very clear that "flexibility" and "going with the flow" were very important, too.  Hmmmm....and then this morning happened...
I'll set the stage...
Breakfast was over.
I had just sent the kids upstairs to start on their jobs.
I changed Bethany and Ian's diapers.
I went to the kitchen to clean up from breakfast.
And then...flexibility and going with the flow joined my morning!
As I was putting the oatmeal away I knocked a brand new jar of blueberry syrup out of the cabinet.
SHATTER!!! A.very.serious.shatter.
A piece of glass popped up and cut my ankle.
Shards of glass went everywhere.
And then, of course, there was a whole bottle of sticky, syrup that had splattered on the cabinets, walls, refrigerator and for several feet over the floor, and on me, too.  Glass had scattered several feet across the floor, too.
So, here I am...38 + 2 days pregnant...walking like a duck through my kitchen (that should open my pelvis, right?!), picking up glass, and then trying to get all of the syrup wiped up.  And then, I vacuumed like crazy.  I just got a Dyson this weekend, so that part was kind of fun!  The vacuum worked really well!  And then, I mopped like crazy.

These were the thoughts going through my mind as I was cleaning up the mess:
I am so glad it was me, and not one of the kids!
I wonder if this floor will ever not be sticky again!  It is syrup, after all!
Is this considered a work out?  Maybe I don't need to do Zumba today.
Maybe all of this squatting and cleaning will give me some contractions...and then again, maybe not! 
Maybe it just isn't possible for me to go into labor on my own.
I sure hope I got all of that glass vacuumed up.  It really concerns me for the kids to walk through here and for Bethany to crawl in the kitchen over the next few days.

And in the middle of cleaning up glass and syrup I had to stop once to change a messy diaper, and another time to take care of a squabble.  I guess that's double, or maybe even triple flexibility today!

Now, on with our day...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Part 2--The semi-well-oiled machine...our daily schedule

I am a firm believer in schedules.  I think kids/infants thrive on schedules because they always know what to expect.  I think it helps with behavior, as well.  Watch out for "over-loaded" schedules, though!  I'll talk more about that later in this post.

This is a fairly typical day in the Shealy household:
I wake Roger up at 6:20, so he can shower and get ready. (he doesn't hear the alarm!)
I wake the kids up at 6:45 and everyone comes down for breakfast. (This is the only meal we get with daddy)
We eat and have family devotions.
Roger leaves for work and our day "officially" begins.
Everyone is excused from the table and "jobs" begin.  (Look back a few posts to see what jobs everyone has.)
I change diapers and get the little ones ready for the day. (Bethany isn't always up at 6:45, so she may be eating at this time)
While the big kids do their jobs I check email and facebook.
I continue checking in with everyone during this time to make sure they are getting everything done.
By 9:00, I bring everyone downstairs.
The youngest 3 watch a Leap Frog video (This is an excellent learning tool!)  Sometimes Bethany watches from her exersaucer, or I use the baby gate to gate her into the school room with me and she plays with toys.
While the younger kids watch the video I start school with the older 2.  We begin with History.  I read whatever I need to read to them that day and they get started on their assignment.
When the video is over and Lauren and Franklin are done with History we do "Circle Time."  This is a great time for our family.  Everyone gathers in a circle on the floor in the living room.  We go over our schedule for the day, ABC's, count, months, date, weeks, sing, etc.! 
Then it is snack time!  We grab a healthy snack and then we are ready to move on with energy!
After snacks Lauren and Franklin take turns doing math on the computer and I begin kindergarten with Ari and Miles.  Ian likes to sit at the table with us and color/"do school." I often take Ari and Miles one at a time...depending on what we are doing that day.
When kindergarten is done, and Lauren and Franklin have completed their math ,I bring Lauren and Franklin back to the school room to finish up with Science. (We don't do science every day.)  Ari and Miles are sent to finish whatever jobs they have not completed, or they get to play if they are already done.

Bethany is back and forth between one and two naps a day, so she either takes a nap at 10 and 2:30, or she takes a nap at 12:30. 
Between kids doing school I do loads of laundry, or clean a toilet, or vacuum, or dust, etc.
Typically, we finish all assignments by noon.
We eat around 12:00.
If Bethany didn't get a morning nap then she and Ian go down for a nap around 12:30-1:00.  (Ian doesn't take a nap every day, but he often still needs some rest).
While the little ones are resting I work out (Ian works out with me if he isn't sleeping!  I love it!  I often make all of the kids do Zumba with me!), check email and facebook, and get my shower.
The four older kids have a "down time" in the afternoon.  Lauren and Franklin have to read at least one chapter of whatever book they are reading, Lauren practices piano, and Franklin practices guitar.  Everyone gets the chance to play outside if it is nice, go for a hike with snacks, play Wii if the weather isn't nice, or possibly even watch a movie.  This is their chance to play games on the computer, too.
I start on dinner by 5:00, we eat, clean up, and play until daddy gets home.  The three youngest go to bed at 7:30, and the three oldest are typically in bed at 8:30, and then Roger and I get time together.

This schedule is working really well for us!  I am able to keep the house clean, play with the kids, and get school done each day.  Although I am a firm believer in schedules...I have become a much more firm believer in FLEXIBILITY!  Flexibility is necessary!  We may have doctors appointments, or someone may not feel well, or I may have an irritable teething baby that prevents us from keeping an exact schedule.  I also have to be flexible when determining if Bethany needs one or two naps per day, which changes our schedule, or stopping in the middle of something to change a diaper, or clean up a spill, or kiss a booboo, or hug hurt feelings, or break up a squabble.  It is so important to keep a schedule, but to learn to go with the flow!  Your day will be much more stress-free if you can grasp this concept!

As I mentioned in the first paragraph...WATCH OUT FOR OVER-LOADED SCHEDULES!    Pick and choose very carefully what extracurricular activities you will engage.  I have been told over and over and over, "I don't get it!  How do you do it?!  You never seem stressed out!"  I certainly have my "stressed-out" moments, but I think I am not stressed most of the time because I do not overschedule.  At this time, we really don't have any extracurricular activities.  No baseball.  No ballet. No art. No music. No clubs.  None of those things are bad!If it has no eternal may be time to eliminate it from life!  Pick and choose wisely!

And that is our semi-well-oiled machine of a least at the moment...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When was the last time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet?

Here is a friendly reminder...
Clean out your medicine cabinet!!!  When was the last time you did that?

Here is a story to motivate you to keep it cleaned out:
Several years ago a friend had a cold.  He used nose spray to help open up his nose.  He didn't even think to check the expiration date on the bottle.

He almost died. 
From using nose spray that had expired.

The spray had grown bacteria inside.  Once he sprayed it in his nose the bacteria went to his brain causing a severe infection.  He was in intensive care for several days.  He nearly died...from expired medication! 

And that is why I am adamant about keeping my medicine cabinet cleaned out and always checking the expiration date before I take, or give medications!  So, what are you waiting for???!!!!  Get to work!!!  It could save your life!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Preparing for Ligon

My due date is February 27th.  I have never gone into labor on my own.  I have always been induced late.  I won't go over a week overdue anymore because I have had meconium anytime I have gone more than a week overdue.  My doctor has said he would like to induce me between Feb 20th and March 5th.  I was planning on waiting until March 5th until...we found out that Roger has weekend meetings shortly after that.  I will have Roger's mom here to help me, and my parents are planning to come help for the weekend, too, but that was certainly not the original plan. being a newborn...and no daddy for an entire weekend...let's just say I'm a little kerflumped!  Yeah, I just made up that word because I couldn't think of another word that was appropriate!
So, I have gone from thinking I had 4 weeks to having the baby to now only having a little over two!  HYPERSPEED!!!  I hadn't even started on Ligon's burp cloths, or blankets.  I didn't even have fabric yet!  I have a lot of organizing left to do, but I got a lot done yesterday, I made a shopping trip last weekend for fabric, and I went into hyperspeed sewing Sunday afternoon and yesterday afternoon.  Here is the final result...

*click on the pictures to view better*